Discover Lake Maggiore, most westerly of the north Italian lakes. With its mild climate and exceptional scenery, Lake Maggiore makes for a perfect day trip destination from Milan. Enjoy a day far from the crowds of the city in laid-back Stresa and the flowering gardens of the Borromean islands.
Tour price includes:
Not included: Personal extras (such as food) and tips.
Please note: Food is not included in the tour price. You will have time to have lunch on your own on the Isola dei Pescatori island. You'll also have time to pick up a snack along the way in Arona, and will be back well in time for dinner in Milan at around 6:00 pm.
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On the borders of Piedmont, Lombardy, and Switzerland, Lake Maggiore (or Verbano) is the second largest Italian lake, after Lake Garda. Most of the lake lies in Italian territory and only the most northerly end (42 sq km) belongs to Switzerland.
Like the other northern Italian lakes, Lake Maggiore's credentials as a tourist destination date back to the early twentieth century, when illustrious visitors enjoyed life in luxurious lakeside villas and verdant gardens. Ernest Hemingway was one of them – setting part of his Farewell to Arms in Stresa, which is your first stop of the day. Stresa is a lovely town on the western shore of the lake, with elegant villas and gardens (some open to the public), beautiful lake views, and a climate that allows for mediterranean vegetation such as olive and lemon trees.
From Stresa, you'll take a ferry to the Borromean islands, named after the family which owned the small islands and made them into luscious floating gardens between the 16th and 19th centuries. You will have a chance to visit Isola Bella, and have free time for lunch and relaxation on the tiny Isola dei Pescatori.
In the afternoon, a boat will take you back to Stresa where your bus will be waiting for you. On the way back to Milan, we'll make a short stop in Arona at the south-western end of the lake. One of the most celebrated Borromeo family members, Saint Charles Borromeo, was born in the castle in Arona, where a gigantic statue celebrates him. Climb up inside the hollow structure, and you'll admire a stunning view onto the lake and the snow-capped Alps through the saint's eyes.
Price per person: € 89.00