Of all the famous lakes of northern Italy, Lake Como is the most spectacular, for its size, beauty and mountain backdrop. It’s been a popular destination since Roman times, and settlers have bequeathed grand villas, churches and fortresses. A walking tour introduces fast moving Milan, while a sedate day on the Bernina Express takes us through the beautiful Swiss Alps. We visit the home of one of Italy’s great adventurers, Count Guido Monzino, and taste local life with a food tour in Como.
7 nights in hotel (accommodation as specified or similar)
This tour has an exclusive Trailblazer departure, only available for Travellers' Club members
Titan’s Trailblazers have been designed to enable our members to become a pioneer and trial a brand new Titan tour. We are very pleased to be able to offer these exclusively to the club. If you’ve travelled with Titan before, you’re automatically a member – find out more here.
Titan’s VIP door-to-door travel service collects you from home, for your flight to Milan. On arrival, transfer to the Seven Park Hotel (4T) in Colico at the top of Lake Como and the rest of the day is free.
Day 2 Lake Como
After a leisurely morning, we travel by coach to Villa Monastero for a guided tour. This 17th century house, converted from a 12th century convent and subtly modernised over the years, preserves the opulent characteristics of a nobleman’s home. An explosion of colours from plants from all over the world fill the surrounding botanic garden, set in patterns over the terraced ground.
Day 3 Milan
Milan is Italy's financial powerhouse, a city of business and everything you need for the stylish life. The succession of powers that have ruled and rebuilt Milan, from the Caesars to Napoleon and Mussolini, has created a fascinating cultural history, and a list of sights including Sforza Castle, the cathedral and the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II. We visit La Scala, the wonderful opera house that has hosted most of the greatest singers in the past 200 years, and premiered many sensational operas including Falstaff and Turandot. After a guided tour, we’ll have free time to browse the shops and fashion houses, people -watch from an elegant café or enjoy an Aperol Spritz on the famous Terrazza Aperol which overlooks Piazza Duomo.
Day 4 Lake Como
A day to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings of Colico, on the shore of Lake Como. You’re just a 10-minute walk from the beach; perhaps relax by the lake or take a swim. Or view the lake from another perspective, by taking a boat trip. Or, if you prefer to explore, then Fort Montecchio Nord - the best preserved large First World War fortified construction in Europe - is not far away.
Day 5 Swiss Alps
The most spectacular way to cross the Swiss Alps - a route so impressive that parts have been bestowed UNESCO World Heritage status - has to be aboard the modern panoramic cars of the Bernina Express. We’ll journey on the highest railway across the Alps, as it winds its way gently through splendid scenes of alpine landscapes, up to glistening glaciers. The train negotiates the 55 tunnels, 196 bridges and inclines of up to 70 per mille with ease.
Day 6 Lake Como
Staying just a short walk from the railway station and ferry terminal, you can spend your free day exploring delightful destinations further afield. Or stay close by and visit Piona Abbey and perhaps purchase an item handmade by its Cistercian monks.
Day 7 Villa del Balbianello - Como
The romantic 18th century Villa del Balbianello has been home to writers, scholars and travellers, including Count Guido Monzino, the first Italian to climb Mount Everest. We tour this magnificent mansion, full of maps, travel tools, books and peculiar souvenirs of his mountaineering exploits. The garden is equally wonderful, with trees pruned into unusual shapes and stunning views that have tempted many Hollywood directors here to film scenes in blockbusters such as Star Wars and James Bond. This afternoon, a food tour provides a unique experience of the history, culture and architecture of Como. Our guide takes us to monuments such as the great Gothic-Renaissance cathedral, the town hall and the 18th century Teatro Sociale, as well as food shops, a charming café and a wine shop to taste favourite local breads, cheeses, meats, sweets and Valtellina wine.
Day 8 Lake Como - Milan - UK
Transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK. Upon arrival, your Titan vehicle will be waiting for the journey home.
• In many cities in Italy, a room tax of between €1-5 per person per night (subject to change), is payable directly to the hotel on check-out.
• 24 April 2019 departure is a dedicated ‘Trailblazer’ departure. Exclusively for Titan Travellers’ Club members, you’ll pioneer the tour and provide us with feedback that’ll let us fine tune every aspect of the trip. Please call for more information.