CHARMING LAKES & RIVIERA

8 Days – 7 Nights

Self Drive tour

Operated daily from April 6th – October 24th, 2021

Day 1: Venice – Verona – Sirmione – Milan (192 miles): In the morning, pick up the rental car at Venice airport or at the gates of the city (Piazzale Roma), then depart for Verona. Here you will be given either the possibility to take a guided walk through the historic centre with a visit to the ‘Juliet Balcony’ and skip-the-line entrance to the Arena, or join a cooking lesson to learn how to prepare a real Italian risotto, typical of this region. In the afternoon continuation to Sirmione, the pearl of Garda Lake, where a short boat cruise on the lake is included which will allow you to admire what was once Maria Callas’ Villa, the ruins of an ancient Roman villa, known as Catullo Caves, and finally the Scaligero Castello from an unusual perspective, passing under its drawbridges. After these visits, we continue towards Milan. Arrival in the evening and hotel accommodation. Meals included:

Optional Experiences:

  • Guided tour of Verona with skip-the-line entrance to the Arena
  • Risotto & Pasta cooking class.

Day 2: Milan – Tremezzina – Como – Bellagio – Milan (137 miles): Breakfast at the hotel, then free morning to visit the city. There is the possibility to participate in a guided tour of the centre, which reaches the main symbols of the city, such as the Duomo, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, La Scala theatre house and the Sforzesco Castle, or use the hop-on / hop-off tourist bus with multilingual audio guide. Alternatively, you can take a thorough visit of the Duomo with access to the crypt and the panoramic terraces, or of La Scala theatre house. Early In the afternoon, depart for Tremezzina on Como Lake, entrance to Villa Carlotta, where you can visit the museum admire the gardens all around. Free time to spend discovering the villages that line the lake, such as Tremezzo, Cernobbio, the ancient village of Bellagio with its noble villas and magnificent gardens. Do not miss Como, where you can either participate in a food tour to taste the local delicacies or, those who want to, can stop for a romantic boat ride with dinner in a charming restaurant on the lake with panoramic views. Return to Milan in the late afternoon or after dinner, overnight stay at the hotel. Meals included: Breakfast.

Optional Experiences:

  • Guided tour of the centre of Milan
  • Hop-on / hop-off tourist bus
  • Skip-the-line visit of the Duomo or La Scala theatre house
  • Como Lake food tour
  • Como Lake Dinner & Cruise

Day 3: Milan – Turin (93 miles): Breakfast at the hotel, then departure to reach Pessione, home of the factory where the famous Martini is produced: here you can explore the museum of Casa Martini, discover all the secrets of vermouth, and finally a special tasting. Those who wish can also participate in a 2-hour Vermouth Masterclass, a unique experience to learn the techniques of preparing distillates and aromatic extracts. Continuation to Turin, first capital of the kingdom of Italy, which hosts numerous royal palaces and historic coffee houses. It is possible to book a walking tour with private guide, visit the Egyptian Museum and the Cinema Museum, or join a tour of the esoteric Turin, an intriguing and mysterious path to discover the secrets of the city. For the sweet toothed it is possible to live the experience of an authentic “royal snack”, a tradition born in the eighteenth century at the Savoy Court to appease hunger between lunch and dinner: it is a sweet break including hot chocolate, biscuits and chocolates. Overnight stay at Hotel. Meals included: Breakfast.

Optional Experiences:

  • Vermouth Masterclass at Casa Martini
  • Walking tour with private guide
  • Card including entrance to 2 museums at your choice
  • Tour of the esoteric Turin, the “Royal snack”

Day 4: Turin – Barolo – Alba – Savona – Genova (155 miles): Breakfast at the hotel, then early departure to the famous Langhe vinary-growing area, recently named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The first stop will be in Barolo, where the entrance to the Wimu Wine Museum is included, an immersion in the world of wine, its culture and its myth. We continue to Alba, home of the very precious white truffle. Here you can participate in an exciting truffle hunt accompanied by a real ‘trifulau’. The next stop will be in Savona, with its imposing Priamar Fortress overlooking the Ligurian Sea. Here you can walk around the city by yourselves or book a private guide. At the end of the day we arrive in Genoa, widely famous for its large aquarium. Meals included: Breakfast.

Optional Experiences:

  • Truffle hunting in Alba
  • Walking tour with private guide in Savona

Day 5: Genova – Portofino – La Spezia (81 miles): After breakfast at the hotel, an entrance to Villa del Principe follows, the largest and most sumptuous noble residence in the city of Genoa. You will be given the opportunity to enter the beautiful villa and stroll through the imposing garden that once hosted Emperor Charles V and was the home of the successive generations of the Doria Pamphilj family. Rest of the morning to discover the main monuments and alleys of the historic centre, called “caruggi”, we can organize a guided tour. Then we continue towards La Spezia. Depending on the time available, you can stop in one or more of the many towns along the coast. We suggest not to miss the fishing village of Camogli and the small gem of Portofino, famous all over the world. Rapallo and Sestri Levante also deserve a stop. At the end of the day we arrive in La Spezia, the starting town for exploring the Cinque Terre. Accommodation and overnight stay at the hotel. Meals included: Breakfast.

Optional Experiences:

  • Walking tour of Genoa.

Day 6: La Spezia – Cinque Terre – La Spezia (boat): Breakfast at the hotel, then full day dedicated to the discovery of the famous Cinque Terre, the stretch of coast with the 5 fishing villages perched over the sea: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola and Riomaggiore. A ticket for the ferry operating between La Spezia and the 5 villages is included. You can get on and off freely throughout the day. For gastronomy enthusiasts, we can organize a wine tasting in Manarola or Monterosso, or a cooking lesson to learn how to make the pesto. Overnight stay at hotel. Meals included: Breakfast.

Optional Experiences:

  • Wine tasting in Manarola or Monterosso
  • Pesto making class in Levanto

Day 7: Spezia – Lucca – Pisa – Grosseto Area (155 miles): Breakfast at the hotel, then departure to Lucca, a wonderful small town full of treasures, such as the beautiful Amphitheatre Square, elliptical in shape because it rises right above an ancient Roman amphitheatre. The next stop is in Pisa, the city of the famous leaning tower. Here we can organize a guided walk with a presentation of the monuments in Piazza dei Miracoli, namely the Duomo, the Baptistery, the Campo Santo and the Bell Tower. For the bravest who want to experience the thrill of climbing to the top of the tower, there is the possibility of purchasing an additional ticket. After the stop in Pisa, we continue southwards. Arrival in the evening at the hotel in the outskirts of Grosseto, dinner and overnight stay at the hotel. Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner.

Optional Experiences:

  • Walking tour of Pisa
  • Ticket to climb the top of the Tower of Pisa

Day 8: Grosseto Area – Viterbo – Rome (137 miles): After breakfast at the hotel, we set off for Rome. Along the way, we recommend stopping at the wonderful Tarot Garden, an artistic park made up of huge sculptures created by the French artist Niki de Saint Phalle, inspired by Gaudí’s Park Güell in Barcelona. Another absolutely recommended stop is in Viterbo, known as the City of the Popes. Here we suggest visiting the Popes’ Palace and the medieval quarter of San Pellegrino on one’s own, or to admire the Villa Lante in Bagnaia nearby, which houses one of the most famous Italian gardens, full of fountains, waterfalls, caves and water games. At the end of the day, we return the car to Rome Fiumicino airport or Termini station, but you can continue the journey by joining another itinerary of ours. Meals included: Breakfast.

Package Includes:

  • 2 nights in 4* hotel in Milan
  • 1 night in 4* hotel in Turin
  • 1 night in 4* hotel in Genova
  • 2 nights in 4* hotel in La Spezia
  • 1 night in 4* hotel in Grosseto area
  • 7 breakfasts
  • 1 Martini discovery tour with final tasting
  • 1 dinner (drinks not included)
  • 1 regular boat tour ticket of the Garda Lake
  • 1 entrance ticket to Villa Carlotta
  • 1 entrance ticket to Wimu Wine Museum in Barolo
  • 1 entrance ticket to Villa del Principe di Genova
  • 1 regular boat tour ticket in le Cinque Terre
  • Car rental

*Package descriptions and pricing are subject to change without notice.

Contact Us at 800-621-2259 or info@tourcrafters.com to book today!