The Vistas of Switzerland & Italy 2022

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13 Days / 12 Nights
Availability : May to October
Start: Milan, Italy
End: Rome, Italy

The Vistas of Switzerland & Italy: 2 nts Locarno, 2 nts Lausanne, 1 nt Interlaken, 2 nts Milan, 1 nt La Spezia, 2 nts Florence, 2 nts Montepulciano

Enjoy the quintessential landscapes and landmarks of Northern Italy and Switzerland on this journey from Rome to Milan.

You ogle at renaissance masterpieces with a belly full of pasta in Florence. You see an azure blue ocean contrasted with pastel-hued houses of Cinque Terre. You admire the snow-crested mountains of the Alps in Switzerland. And you witness the architectural beauty of Milan Cathedral.

Join this journey and discover the vistas of Switzerland and Italy.

13 DAYS / 12 NIGHTS / MAX 16 GUESTS

Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected] to book this small group tour of The Vistas of Switzerland & Italy.

Tour Details
Places you explore

Lake Como and Lake Maggiore – Prestigious villas, lush nature and charming villages. Fall in love with the beguiling beauty of the azure blue lakes

Zermatt – A glamorous resort adorned with the hypnotically beautiful Matterhorn

Lauterbrunnen – Stare in awe at this postcard-perfect village nestled deep in a valley of 72 waterfalls with views of the Eiger

Chillon Castle – Located on a little island with the Alps in the background, this iconic Medieval castle looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale

Cinque Terre – Imagine five pastel-hued villages perched on the rugged coast surrounded by terraced cliffs and clear deep blue water. It’s Bella Italia at its finest

Pisa – A legendary city with the iconic architectural duo: the spectacular Romanesque Cathedral and the famous leaning tower

Florence – Marvel at the finest collection of Italian Renaissance art and architecture in this fine city

Val d’Orcia – Bucolic Tuscan hills dotted with cypress trees, olive groves and vineyards

Pick Up Location & TIme

Milan  (Google Map)
Check-in closes at 8:15am (tour departs at 8:30am) – Starhotels Business Palace, Via Privata Pietro Gaggia, 3, 20139 Milano MI, Italy

Drop off Location & Time

Rome  (Google Map)
6:30pm – Hotel American Palace, Via Laurentina, 554, 00143 Roma RM, Italy

Price Includes

  • 12 nights 3/4 star hotel accommodation
  • Transport in a 16 seat Mercedes mini-coach
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • Daily breakfasts
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking driver-guide
  • Boat trip across Lake Como
  • Return train tickets from Täsch to Zermatt
  • Train to Cinque Terre as part of the Cinque Terre Card
  • Wine tasting and tour of the Solaria Winery

Meals

  • 12 breakfasts
  • 0 lunches
  • 0 dinners
  • 0 teas

Price Excludes

  • Entry fees to visitor attractions/Optional Activities
  • Airfare
  • Transfers
  • Pre / Post hotel nights
  • Driver / Tour Leader gratuity is at your discretion
  • Travel Insurance
What to Expect

Explore in 16 seat mini-coaches, always taking the scenic route, you have great views through large windows, and you’re free to sample the local tipple without worrying about driving. Our driver-guides are famous for their knowledge, facts, quirky stories, history, and fairy-tales. They truly take you beyond the guidebooks and into your adventure. You make your trip your own. We provide the timetable; and you can choose where you want to eat and which attractions you pay to see. So, if you want to skip a castle and read your book by a mountain view, you can.

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel. So we’ve hand-picked three-star to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys. Your accommodation is included in the tour price.

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it’s worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

We’ve arranged experiences for you on your tour. The ‘included activities’ are already booked and paid for as part of your trip, whereas you can purchase ‘optional activities’ while on your tour. You also have free time in many destinations to pick and choose which attractions you visit.

Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views. Carry swimwear and a towel for swimming spots. Your holiday’s more fun when you protect yourself from the sun.

Itinerary
The Vistas of Switzerland & Italy

Day 1Milan - Lake Como - Lenno - Lugano - Locarno

  • Experience Lake Como from the water on an included boat trip
  • Marvel at the Mediterranean feel of Lugano

You travel directly from the metropolis of Milan to Lake Como, the most stunning lake in the region. Framed by the Rhaetian Alps, this Italian slice of heaven’s crystal-clear waters seduced the most famous writers of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Admire the mountainous vistas and colourful villas from the unique perspective of the water, as you hop on an included boat trip across to Lenno.

Once you’re on dry land, you can grab lunch in Lenno. The town boasts an 11th-century octagonal baptistry, a Romanesque-style crypt, and enough lovely lakeside views to last a lifetime.

You then cross the border into Switzerland and visit Lugano. You have a couple of hours here to explore however you please. People watch over a coffee in Piazza della Riforma, pour over the frescos at the Church of S. Maria degli Angioli, or feast your eyes on more waterside scenes on the shores of Lake Lugano.

You travel to the quaint and cultural town of Locarno for your evening and overnight stay.

Included Activities: Boat trip across Lake Como

Accommodation: Home Hotel Locarno or similar, Locarno

Day 2Locarno - Stresa - Varese - Locarno

  • Admire Lake Maggiore from the promenade in Stresa
  • Stroll through the old town of Varese

Wake up, eat a scrumptious breakfast, and get ready for more lakeside adventures.

You first travel to elegant Stresa. Here you have the option to take a boat ride to Isola Bella. This island sits in Lake Maggiore and offers visitors a chance to wander through gorgeous gardens and admire the exuberant extravagancies of a wealthy 17th-century family in Palazzo Borromeo.

In the afternoon, you venture to Varese, also known as the ‘Garden City’. Grab a snack here and enjoy a guided stroll through the old town centre to find out how this town earned such a nickname.

You travel via the lush Campo dei Fiori landscapes back to Locarno for your second night on the shores of Lake Maggiore. (B)

Optional Activities: Boat ride out to Isola Bella and admission to Palazzo Borromeo

Accommodation: Home Hotel Locarno or similar, Locarno

Day 3Locarno - Domodossola - Simplon Pass - Täsch - Lausanne

  • Feel like an age-old smuggler as you go over the Simplon Pass
  • Be awed by up-close views of the Matterhorn in Zermatt

You leave Locarno and head deep into the Alps.

Your first stop of the day is in Domodossola. You have time here to grab a coffee, snap a few photos of the piazza, and acclimatise to the sky-touching mountain views.

The winding roads take you to the Simplon Pass. This is a historic location that’s been used as a key route through the Alps by Stone Age dwellers, Romans, and smugglers of the Middle Ages.

Now, it’s time to discover one of the most admired peaks in all of Europe, the Matterhorn. You arrive in Täsch and take a round trip on a train to car-free Zermatt, a “base camp” for aspiring mountaineers, to enjoy the views and grab lunch.

Back on our coach, you travel to Lausanne. Overlooking Lake Geneva, this town is home to the Olympic Museum, grand mountain views, and your bed for the next two nights. (B)

Included Activities: Return train tickets from Täsch to Zermatt

Accommodation: Hotel Alpha Palmiers by Fassbind or similar, Lausanne

Day 4Lausanne - Gruyères - Gstaad - Lausanne

  • Savour the quintessential flavours of Gruyères
  • Go celebrity-spotting in glamorous Gstaad
  • Admire the iconic Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva

We hope you have an appetite, because your first stop of the day is the home of Gruyère cheese, Gruyères. You have time here to go beyond the dairy delights and discover the Medieval town and its views of the Saane Valley.

You then travel alongside Alpine peaks to Gstaad. This glamourous Alpine village is a favourite hangout spot for ski-loving celebrities; see who you can spot.

Near Montreux, you have the option to visit Chillon Castle, an unbelievably idyllic stronghold that deserves its claim as Switzerland’s most visited castle.

You arrive back in Lausanne in time for dinner. (B)

Optional Activities: Chillon Castle

Accommodation: Hotel Alpha Palmiers by Fassbind or similar, Lausanne

Day 5Lausanne - Lauterbrunnen - Interlaken

  • Experience Switzerland’s most inspirational views
  • Walk the trail of waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen

The valley of 72 waterfalls, an outdoor pursuits paradise, and your first stop today.

You spend time in Lauterbrunnen any way you choose today. There are lovely walks, trains to mountain peaks, and more. You’re spoilt for choice, so ask your guide for advice on what you should do.

Once you’ve gratified your senses with Lauterbrunnen’s imposing mountain views and pastoral Swiss splendours, you travel to Interlaken. This small resort town, nestled snug between the mountains, is your home for the evening. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Weisses Kreuz or similar, Interlaken

Day 6Interlaken - UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch - Altdorf - Bellinzona - Milan

  • Meet William Tell
  • Enjoy the typical Swiss landscape of Biosphere Entlebuch
  • Be impressed by the defences of Bellinzona

You leave Interlaken and head through the bucolic landscape of the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch. Stroll through typical sound-of-music style scenes of cows chomping through fields of green grass and along mossy paths to Chessiloch Falls.

Nature may rejuvenate the senses, but it doesn’t fill your belly; so your next stop is for lunch in Altdorf. This historic town is famous for being the place where William Tell shot an apple off his son’s head.

You then descend from the heights of the Alps to Bellinzona. Since Roman times, grand castles, now UNESCO heritage sites, have stoically guarded the access to northern Italy. You have the choice here to visit the castles or relax in the town.

You arrive back in Milan in the evening. (B)

Optional Activities: The castles of Bellinzona

Accommodation: Business Palace Milan or similar, Milan

Day 7Milan

  • Stand face to face with Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
  • Get your fashion fix in one of many designer shops

In Milan, life revolves around art, fashion, and delicious cuisine, so make sure to indulge in them on your free day.

When it comes to art, seeing da Vinci’s Last Supper is a must. This enigmatic piece of work attracts many visitors, so book your tickets in advance.

Next, there’s the Duomo, the Cathedral of Milan. This tremendous tribute to Gothic architecture is one of the biggest churches in Italy and will mesmerize you with its intricate design.

In a city obsessed with fashion, even window shopping feels like a unique experience. Visit the flamboyant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II or Quadrilatero della Moda, the home of the most luxurious brands.

Then, follow in the footsteps of Milanese and partake in aperitivo, the pre-dinner ritual. Savour that moment of relaxation after the day and get ready for the next stage of your journey. (B)

Optional Activities: Ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus

Accommodation: Business Palace Milan or similar, Milan

Day 8Milan - Parma - Cinque Terre villages - La Spezia

  • Savour local Italian specialities
  • Spend the afternoon and evening in the stunning pastel-hued villages of Cinque Terre

We leave Milan and head for Parma in the Po Valley. You have time here to delve into the town’s prosperous past and plentiful palazzo’s dating back to the Middle Ages. It’s also a perfect opportunity to try Parma ham and Parmesan cheese in their place of origin.

We leave around midday and head for La Spezia, port town and gateway to the beautiful Cinque Terre. After checking in to your hotel for the night, your guide accompanies you on the short train journey to the first of the seaside towns. From there, you can roam free for the remainder of the afternoon and evening.

Each town has a unique character, so you decide what you’re in a mood for. If you want to see beaches and a seafront promenade, head to Monterosso. Wine lovers should explore Manarola and savour its local wine. And if you want to visit a hamlet with great views, choose one of this fantastic trio: Riomaggiore, Vernazza or Corniglia.

After exploring the Cinque Terre villages, you get on the train back to La Spezia, your base for the night. (B)

Included Activities: Train to Cinque Terre as part of the Cinque Terre Card

Accommodation: Hotel CDH La Spezia or similar, La Spezia

Day 9La Spezia - Pietrasanta - Pisa - Lucca - Florence

  • Pose for that classic photo with the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa
  • Be impressed with Lucca’s impeccably preserved city walls

Buongiorno! Today is all about discovering the architectural wonders of Northern Italy.

You leave La Spezia in the morning and stop in Pietrasanta where Michelangelo picked out the best marble for his sculptures.

We then travel to Pisa where you can explore the city for a couple of hours. Once a maritime power competing with Genoa and Venice, this city is now famous worldwide for an architectural project which went horribly wrong. Tilting or not, the Leaning Tower of Pisa has beautiful, elaborate Romanesque architecture and fascinating history. Grab your lunch and take in the views of other architectural highlights at Campo dei Miracoli (Field of Miracles).

Next on the list of our Italian delights is Lucca, famous for its completely preserved city walls. Originally founded by the Etruscans, then a Roman colony, the city has gained its wealth through the silk trade. You can see this prosperity in the abundance of graceful buildings and pretty piazzas. With a couple of hours of free time, you can wander along the city walls before you continue your journey further.

All these impressive architectural gems of the day were just a warm-up. Prepare yourself for a real feast for the eyes as you travel to Florence, your base for the next two nights. (B)

Accommodation: Hotel Monna Lisa or similar, Florence

Day 10Florence

  • Marvel at Florence’s Renaissance masterpieces in the city’s grand galleries
  • Stare in awe at the ornate details of Florence Cathedral

You have a free day in the ‘Birthplace of the Renaissance’ and can decide how you want to spend it.

You can start by following the paths of Leonardo, Michelangelo, Dante and Galileo – stare in awe at the Duomo, the city’s majestic Cathedral that dominates the skyline; see The Birth of Venus and some of the most celebrated treasures at the Uffizi Gallery; and visit Galleria dell’Accademia, to admire Michelangelo’s masterpiece, David.

Man does not live by art alone, so don’t forget to try some of the local specialities. The culinary delights like handmade pasta, pizza, pastries, wine and gelato will help you to regain your strength.

In the afternoon, you could ponder over the Medici’s power and secrets and explore Palazzo Pitti. The grand palace of this influential family is home to some of the greatest treasures of the Renaissance.

For a perfect end to the day, you can visit Boboli Gardens peppered with statues, fountains, ponds and hidden mazes. It’s your second night in Florence so spend the evening soaking up the atmosphere as you explore the bustling squares or excellent restaurants and bars. (B)

* As this is a free day, we would recommend that you book any attractions you are interested in visiting before you depart, to save time and avoid queues

Accommodation: Hotel Monna Lisa or similar, Florence

Day 11Florence - San Gimignano - Siena - Montepulciano

  • Explore San Gimignano, the city of soaring towers in Tuscany
  • Enjoy your lunch at Siena’s unique Piazza del Campo

It’s time to wave Florence goodbye to go discover the spectacular medieval hill-towns of Tuscany.

As you travel over the green hills of the famous Chianti wine region, you notice the 14 towers of San Gimignano soaring like a medieval Manhattan. Listen to the story of the noble families who got caught up in a race to build the highest tower house. Then enjoy a walk around the well-preserved fortified old centre and sample some of the local delicacies for lunch.

You continue south to Siena, the highlight of the day. This gorgeous red-brick city celebrates Gothic architecture like no one else. The place’s essence centres around the unique shell-shaped Piazza del Campo. It’s here where the bi-annual horse race ‘Palio di Siena’ is hosted. And it’s also where James Bond madly chases his enemy in ‘Quantum of Solace’.

Next, you travel along the country roads, past cypress trees and olive groves to arrive in Montepulciano in the early evening. This hilltop town in rural Tuscany is your home for two nights. (B)

Accommodation: Albergo San Biagio or similar, Montepulciano

Day 12Montepulciano - Pienza - Solaria Winery - Bagno Vignoni - Montepulciano

  • Stare in wonder at the revolutionary vision of urban space in Pienza
  • Savour Brunello, the famous red wine, in the place it’s bottled

Today you explore the dreamy Tuscan region of Val d’Orcia where time seems to slow down. This area boasts unspoiled beauty and is steeped in history and culture. No wonder it has been declared a UNESCO heritage site.

Start the day exploring Montepulciano on your own before travelling to Pienza. This jewel of urban planning is known as the ‘Ideal City’ and is the fruit of Pope Pius II‘s Renaissance vision. Call it vain or forward-thinking, but in the 15th century the Pope set about transforming his birthplace. And the results are so stunning that UNESCO designated Pienza as a world heritage site.

Then it’s time to try some of the best wines in the world on an included visit to Solaria Winery in Montalcino. This is the home of Brunello, the famous red wine made of a special grape variety with protected status.

We finish today’s exploration of the Val d’Orcia with a visit to Bagno Vignoni, a village renowned for its curative waters. The Etruscans, Romans, pilgrims of the Via Francigena, and the Medici appreciated the hot sulphurous waters here in the past. Today, you can admire this ancient spa and follow the flow of the spring waters across the archaeological park.

After experiencing and savouring the best of rural Tuscany, you arrive in Montepulciano in the early evening for your second night. (B)

Included Activities: Wine tasting and tour of the Solaria Winery

Accommodation: Albergo San Biagio or similar, Montepulciano

Day 13Montepulciano - Sorano - Sovana - Capodimonte - Rome

  • Travel through the marvelous Maremma region, the home to the mysterious Etruscans
  • Visit the Etruscan Necropolis of Sovana and the Vie Cave

You leave Tuscany in the morning and travel south to the Maremma region. The adventure takes you to Sorano, where you can grab an espresso and take in the dramatic views across the valley.

Later on, you can choose to get up close with the Etruscan civilisation at the Sovana Necropolis and the Vie Cave. These form an impressive road network carved out of tuff during the Bronze Age. Then, you visit Sovana, where you can grab something to eat and absorb the atmosphere of this medieval town before you continue your adventure.

In the afternoon, you continue your journey towards Rome with a photo stop to admire another dramatic hilltop city, Pitigliano, and then on to Capodimonte. This small town is situated on the bank of Bolsena Lake, the largest volcanic lake in Italy. It’s your final comfort stop, so enjoy the charms of this little hamlet before your final journey to Rome. (B)

Optional Activities: Entrance to the Etruscan Necropolis & Vie Cave

Dates and Prices - Hotel accommodation
Departure Dates and Days Double/Twin (pp) Single Rate
2022: May 23 $5,330 $6,260
2022: May 30 $5,500 $6,590
2022: June 20 $5,330 $6,260
2022: June 27 $5,500 $6,590
2022: July 18, 25 $5,280 $6,210
2022: August 15, 22 $5,280 $6,210
2022: September 12 $5,730 $7,060
2022: September 19 $5,500 $6,590
2022: October 10 $5,290 $6,230

All guaranteed departures.

Pricing

Pricing is per person (pp) based on twin/ double occupancy.
Rates are in $ CAD.


Contact DHTour at 1-888-597-3519 or 905-639-9954 or [email protected]  to book.

Ask us for the best available pricing for your dates & choice of airline.

 

Notes
Mobility: All of our tours involve walking and require our guests to board and disembark our vehicles several times a day making this tour unsuitable for those with reduced mobility.

Luggage: You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This should be one piece of luggage similar to an airline carry-on bag (approximately 55cm x 45cm x 25cm / 22in x 17in x 10in) and a small bag for onboard personal items.

Want to extend your stay in Milan and/or Rome?  Ask us for a hotel package. 

Map

Photos