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Itinerary

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Tour Itinerary

"Romancing the senses" is an apt description for the experiences showcased on Bellissima Northern Italy... for the landscapes you’ll see and the lifestyles you’ll sample take you on a love affair with Italy.It starts with fashion and art in Milan when you view da Vinci’s The Last Supper with a local guide (subject to availability). It continues during a private Tauck cruise across Lake Como to Bellagio and a boat ride to Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore. It captures your heart along the cobblestone streets of Verona, home to Romeo & Juliet... your taste buds at an agriturismo in the Franciacorta region and a cooking demo in Bologna (whose nickname is La Grassa, "the Fat One")... and all the senses in Venice, with visits by boat to some of the Venetian Islands and a Tauck Exclusive, after-hours guided visit to St. Mark's Basilica to view its treasures without the daytime crowds. Now that’s amore, from pane to formaggio to vino...

  1. Day 1
    Arrive in Milan

    Tour begins: 6:30 PM, Grand Hotel et de Milan. A transfer is included from Milan's Malpensa Airport or Linate Airport to Grand Hotel et de Milan, close to the La Scala Opera House and the city’s celebrated fashion district. Please join us to meet your Tauck Director and your fellow travelers at a welcome reception followed by dinner this evening.


    Meals: Dinner
  2. Day 2
    Art and architecture of Milan

    Milan's wealth of art and architecture awaits on your first day of sightseeing in this remarkable city. Subject to availability, visit the Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie to take in Leonardo da Vinci's mural The Last Supper, which he painted on the refectory wall at the request of his patron, Ludovico Sforza, Duke of Milan. With dimensions of 15 by 29 feet, this beloved mural covers the entire large wall.  Then, join a local guide for a panoramic tour of Milan by coach and on foot, including views of Castello Sforzesco; the Duomo, the great Cathedral of Milan and a striking example of Gothic architecture; the famous La Scala opera house; and the impressive Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. The rest of the day is free to explore what interests you most.


    Meals: Breakfast
  3. Day 3
    Lake Como villas and a cruise to Bellagio

    It’s said to be Italy's most beautiful lake, and you’ll understand why it entrances celebrities, aristocrats and jetsetters when you see Lake Como for yourself today. In Tremezzo, discover Villa Carlotta, known for its lovely setting and splendid 17th-century gardens decorated with sculptures, stairways and fountains. A private boat ride across the lake to Bellagio reveals the grand villas of the rich and famous. After lunch on your own, board another private boat for a cruise to Como en route to your Belle Époque hotel in Stresa on Lake Maggiore.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  4. Day 4
    Lake Maggiore and Baroque Isola Bella

    Your vacation continues as you travel by boat to Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore and the exquisite Villa Borromeo on the tiny, private island. Count Vitaliano Borromeo began the construction of this opulent Baroque palace and its splendid gardens in 1632. A guided tour of the ornate family home showcases priceless works of art, tapestries and furniture in an elegant and sumptuous setting. Have lunch on Isola Pescatori, then return to lovely Stresa, where the afternoon and evening are free to enjoy as you please.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  5. Day 5
    Bergamo, a wine tasting & on to Verona

    Today's travels take you across lush rural landscapes to ancient Bergamo, where you'll explore its walled medieval center – straight out of a storybook illustration – with a local guide; visit the Piazza Vecchia, the 12th-century Church of Santa Maria Maggiore, and the Cappella Colleoni. After a wine tasting and tasty lunch at an agriturismo in the Franciacorta region, your northern Italy vacation continues to Verona, land of Romeo and Juliet, where your accommodations at the Due Torri Hotel are not far from the famous balcony that recalls Shakespeare's timeless tragedy.


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  6. Day 6
    Verona, the home of Romeo & Juliet

    Verona is probably best known as the home of Shakespeare's tragic lovers, Romeo and Juliet… and of The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Valentine and Proteus. But, Verona is so much more. In honor of its many historical buildings, Verona has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is famous for its Roman amphitheatre, the third largest after the Colosseum in Rome and still used for operas and other cultural entertainment, and other buildings that have survived since Roman times... as well as for its outstanding wine and cuisine. A walking tour this morning reveals the many charms of the city; the afternoon is free to continue your explorations on your own. Enjoy dinner with wine at a local ristorante tonight.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  7. Day 7
    Ferraris, Parmigiano & balsamic in Modena

    Travel to Modena, where you'll visit a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese factory to experience first-hand the process of cheesemaking; from the milk delivery to the finished wheels, follow each detail of the production – and end with a tasting! You'll then hear the story of Enzo Ferrari, driver and creator of Scuderia Ferrari in the 1930s, at the Enzo Ferrari Museum. Later, a guided visit reveals the art of balsamic vinegar making – an elaborate process of rendering grapes and decanting must into wooden barrels. Your visit is memorable, as is the sampling of this aromatic staple of gourmet cooking aged from 18 to 25+ years! Journey on to the celebrated university town of Bologna, where food, fashion and culture reign supreme. Dine this evening at a local restaurant.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  8. Day 8
    Bologna & a cooking class with a chef

    Surrounded by hills, the dusky red buildings, marble-floored ancient porticoes and wide piazzas contribute to the distinctly Renaissance feel in the center of Bologna, a bastion of food, fashion and culture. Home of the world's oldest university, the Alma Mater Studiorum, founded in 1088, notable scholars such as Dante, Boccaccio and Petrarca once walked its streets. A walking tour this morning reveals sights that they may well have seen centuries ago – including the university's magnificent Archiginnasio, the Church of San Domenico, Piazza Santo Stefano and the city's iconic Two Towers. After time to explore on your own, learn the secrets of Bologna's cuisine in a cooking demonstration by a chef.


    Meals: Breakfast
  9. Day 9
    The Venetian Islands & St. Mark's after hours

    Travel on to Venice today, one of the world’s most enchanting cities. Venturing as far as possible by coach, you’ll board a private boat to begin an exploration of the islands of the Venetian Lagoon, starting with Torcello, where you’ll enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, you’ll have a chance to tour its 11th-century basilica. Then continue on to nearby Burano, known for its exquisite lacemaking and picturesque colored homes. Back on dry land (or at least the Venetian version thereof), check into your home for the next two nights in the City of Canals – The Gritti Palace, Venice, originally the 15th-century private home of a doge of Venice overlooking the Grand Canal, recently re-emerging and reopening after a painstaking, handcrafted restoration. Tonight a Tauck Exclusive awaits – an after-hours guided visit to celebrated St. Mark's Basilica in the heart of Venice (subject to availability and day of the tour may vary), during which you can explore the iconic basilica without the usual crowds!


    Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
  10. Day 10
    More Venetian delights as you please

    Awaken in intriguing Venice, one of the world's most beloved cities, today and indulge in all things Venetian just as you choose. You might begin your day enjoying a coffee in Piazza San Marco, referred to by Alfred de Musset as "the drawing room of Europe." Here in the city where streets are paved with water, the sound of human voices replaces the traffic noise so common in the other great cities of Europe as pedestrians (and pigeons) flock to this central gathering place for Venetians. Perhaps you'll choose to see the magnificent view of the city from the top of St. Mark's bell tower, stroll over to the Rialto Bridge, take in some of the city’s excellent museums or shop for distinctive Venetian souvenirs such as the traditional Carnival masks and colorful Venetian glass. Or, just follow your nose and see where the tiny streets might take you. This evening, join us as we celebrate the end of a splendid trip with our farewell cocktail reception and dinner at the hotel.


    Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
  11. Day 11
    Journey home

    Tour ends: Venice. Fly home anytime. A transfer is included from The Gritti Palace, Venice to Venice's Marco Polo International Airport and / or Santa Lucia train station. Please allow 3 hours for airport check-in formalities. We wish you a safe and pleasant journey home.


    Meals: Breakfast
Countries Visited

Italy

Cities Visited

Bologna, Milan, Venice, Verona, Bellagio

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Inclusions

"Romancing the senses" is an apt description for the experiences showcased on Bellissima Northern Italy... for the landscapes you’ll see and the lifestyles you’ll sample take you on a love affair with Italy.It starts with fashion and art in Milan when you view da Vinci’s The Last Supper with a local guide (subject to availability). It continues during a private Tauck cruise across Lake Como to Bellagio and a boat ride to Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore. It captures your heart along the cobblestone streets of Verona, home to Romeo & Juliet... your taste buds at an agriturismo in the Franciacorta region and a cooking demo in Bologna (whose nickname is La Grassa, "the Fat One")... and all the senses in Venice, with visits by boat to some of the Venetian Islands and a Tauck Exclusive, after-hours guided visit to St. Mark's Basilica to view its treasures without the daytime crowds. Now that’s amore, from pane to formaggio to vino...

  • TAUCK'S YELLOW ROADS - Picture-postcard settings await at every turn, dip and bend in the Italian Lakes region - tranquility perfected
  • TAUCK EXCLUSIVE - An after-hours guided visit to St. Mark's Basilica in Venice 
  • Private Lake Como and Lake Maggiore cruises featuring spectacular scenery & elegant villas
  • A cooking class in Bologna; learn the secrets from a chef
  • Tours & tastings in Modena; experience the art behind balsamic vinegar at the source and learn how Parmesan cheese is made

Health and Safety Protocols for Tauck Tours

Traveling with Peace of Mind
Our commitment never wavers – to earn your trust by always doing the right thing. As we explore the world together again, this will be more important than ever as we adapt to living and traveling in the presence of COVID-19.

Tauck is 95-years young this year, and our ability to weather many storms over the decades is a result of our values and beliefs – as a family and as a family-owned and led company. In addition to the guiding light of these values, our extensive experience, local knowledge and global support network help to ensure your safety on every Tauck journey. Building upon our bedrock of award-winning guest care, we have worked tirelessly to prepare for your return following the COVID-19 hiatus in travel. With guidance from leading experts, including the CDC and WHO, together with our internal Global Response Team and, most importantly, with feedback from thousands of our guests, we have redefined how we will conduct our experiences as we resume travel.

Tauck is Prepared for the Unexpected
For decades, Tauck has operated in over 70 countries in all 7 continents. Over this time, our staff and network of supplier partners have always been there to support our guests and team on the road. Our guests travel with a comprehensive, built-in support system that starts with the care and local knowledge of our Tauck Directors and extends to our network of partners around the world, including hoteliers and transportation companies.

At the core of our ability to quickly and effectively respond to the unexpected is our Global Response Team - a group of over 50 employees across all departments who stand ready to spring into action around the world. This team has plenty of experience, from weather events, high and low water on rivers, earthquakes, volcanic ash, civil unrest and work stoppages. They have also dealt with past virus outbreaks including the SARS and Zika viruses.

The Tauck Travel Well Pledge
Before we operate tours and cruises, all Tauck employees, our supplier partners and our guests will take Tauck’s Travel Well Pledge.

As a company, we will follow our enhanced protocols with diligence and rigor; review them frequently as the landscape changes and always make common-sense decisions grounded in purpose and pride. We embrace these new and necessary measures to combat COVID-19 and will do our very best to provide the Tauck care we have been honored to deliver for 95 years.

OUR NEW HEALTH & SAFETY PROTOCOLS
Consistent with our commitment to the well-being of our guests, we are implementing enhanced health and safety protocols. These protocols may vary by geographic regions and will certainly evolve over time, as science and society respond to new realities:

Tauck Staff
Prior to interacting with guests, each member of Tauck’s field staff is trained in enhanced protocols and participates in a personal health screening.

Once on tour, our Tauck Directors and supporting staff are responsible for maintaining these protocols with a special focus on cleanliness and physical distancing. They will relay critical information regarding requirements, advise when protocols are mandatory – such as wearing a face covering in group settings – and help facilitate guest care through communication with appropriate parties should a guest become ill on tour. All Tauck staff will adhere to the same requirements.

Guest Responsibility
When joining a Tauck journey, every guest is responsible for their own health and, in turn, the protection of their fellow travelers, the Tauck staff, our suppliers and the places we visit. Guests will pledge to follow the direction of the Tauck staff and adhere to health and safety protocols.

Guests are expected to wear face coverings in all group settings, to wash their hands frequently and to adhere to supplier and government regulations. While supplies of face coverings, gloves, and hand sanitizer will be available, guests are asked to bring such personal items for their own comfort.

Small is BIG
For many years, Tauck has emphasized and invested in more choices of activities, resulting in smaller groups for activities like sightseeing and events. This is consistent with our mantra that “Small is Big” – small groups and smaller ships with fewer guests.

We initially focused on these elements to improve the guest experience. Yet today they take on an additional dimension; small group experiences and more personal space are critical in providing the peace of mind our guests expect. Accordingly, we are offering even more small group experiences and limiting guest numbers across all of our journeys.

We have been working diligently with our partners to be prepared to welcome you back when the time is right.
Tauck has worked meticulously with our global supplier partners to plan for every itinerary following the hiatus in travel. All partners, whether they be a hotel, museum, small ship/riverboat, restaurant or other partner, have been thoughtful about how to provide a Tauck experience in this environment.

And while it's impossible to list all of the enhanced health and safety protocols for the hundreds of Tauck partners across the globe, we would like to share a representative sample of what you can expect:

Hotels
Our hotel partners all have world-class health and safety protocols. However, these guidelines may vary depending on local situations and regulations. Here are some typical examples:

  • Upon-arrival, health questionnaires and temperature checks may be required. Some hotels may even require daily temperature scans.
  • Social distancing may be required in public areas, bars and restaurants.
  • High-touch areas such as railings, door handles and elevators will undergo enhanced cleaning.
  • In-room measures may include removal of tent cards and magazines. Common use items, such as coffee makers and minibar amenities may be on demand.
  • High-touch areas, such as light switches, thermostats, remote controls and door handles will be subject to enhanced and frequent cleaning.
  • Guests will have the option to determine housekeeping frequency.
  • All hotel staff will undergo daily health screenings.

Ships and Riverboats
We have worked closely with our cruise partners to ensure the best possible health and safety protocols and to ensure the care and service you expect from Tauck:

  • Guests on cruises and river journeys will be required to complete a health questionnaire and will undergo a temperature check prior to boarding. In some instances, our ship partners will conduct daily temperature checks.
  • Face coverings and physical distancing will be required in most public spaces for guests and crew alike.
  • Meals may be offered at staggered times and self-serve buffets will be eliminated.
  • In-cabin measures include removing common use items. Coffee makers, minibar amenities and housekeeping will be on demand at guest discretion.
  • Ship staff will undergo daily health screenings.
  • All vessels will have medical staff onboard.

Sightseeing and Local Activities
Many of our experiences are exclusive and/or private and that’s important in taking care of you. Whether it be a guided tour, a visit to an iconic museum or private home, a musical performance, or any other special Tauck activities, we are applying the same rigor to health and safety protocols:

  • Tauck listening devices will be sanitized thoroughly and frequently.
  • Sightseeing is being adjusted to ensure proper physical distancing.
  • Admission times at venues may be altered to ensure no crowding.
  • Paper tickets, handouts and the like may be eliminated.

Dining
Tauck has always been known for a la carte dining; having more freedom to decide when and with whom to dine now has more value than ever. Additionally, our partners whether they be hotels, ships, special venues or restaurants, are raising their already rigorous hygienic standards. Here are some examples:

  • Waitstaff will likely be wearing face coverings and gloves.
  • Seating will be adjusted to accommodate physical distancing.
  • Self-serve buffets will be eliminated. Common use menus will no longer be used unless sanitized.

On-Tour Transportation
Keeping on-tour transportation safe is a major focus of our team who has worked with hundreds of partners to ensure continuity in health and safety protocols:

  • On motorcoaches and other on-tour ground transportation, such as airport transfers, guest should expect physical distancing and will be required to wear face coverings.
  • Prior to each trip, our motorcoaches, vans, airport transfer vehicles and on-tour aircraft will undergo a deep sanitizing process.
  • Luggage may also be sanitized at each movement.
  • Drivers will wear gloves and face coverings during all guest-facing interactions.
  • Drivers will frequently clean handrails, door handles, arm rests, tables, seats, air conditioning/HVAC units, restrooms and overhead storage areas.

Our Supplier Partners are ready for you
Tauck is proud to have worked closely with our partners around the world, many of them for decades, to deliver the quality, comfort and safety you expect. Whether it be hotels and resorts, riverboats and small ships, restaurants, event venues or transportation companies, their meticulous health and safety protocols reflect their leadership and well-earned respect in the travel industry. The following are some select health and safety protocols. We will update these on a regular basis.

In addition to our supplier partners, we have also been actively engaged with global travel organizations to standardize health and safety protocols throughout the travel industry. TourCare is one example:

TourCare are health and sanitation guidelines developed by the tour industry's major global associations: the United States Tour Operators Association (USTOA), The Canadian Association of Tour Operators (CATO) and the European Tourism Association (ETOA). Tauck, and our supplier partners, meet and exceed these guidelines that require members to adhere to the highest standards in the industry.

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Accommodations


Grand Hotel Des Iles Borromées
Grand Hotel et de Milan
The Gritti Palace, Venice
Due Torri Hotel
Grand Hotel Majestic - già Baglioni

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Questions & Answers

Question: How many suitcases can I take with me on my trip?

Each person is allowed one "check-in," and one "carry-on." Remember to take all valuables with you as "carry-on", because electronic equipment, cameras, laptops, jewelry, business documents and money are not covered by the airlines' liability, so always carry them aboard with you.

Question: Is Airfare Included in the Price?

Airfare from your point of origin to and from the trip is not included in the land price.

Customer Reviews

Overall Rating
4.8
Accommodations
4.8
Itinerary
5
Professional Staff
5
Repeat with Operator
4.6
Value for Money
4.8

Ratings based off 9 reviews - currently showing 3 reviews with comments only

Transfers from city to city and to/from airports, hotel quality (all 5 stars), food variety and quality and sites visited were all exceptional. We particularly enjoyed the Tauck guides and variety of venues we visited. On the other hand, we felt there was too much free time in Bologna and Venice that could have been filled with additional guided tours and musical performances such as a visit to La Scala Opera House in Milan.

Tauck trips are the best. No gimmicks, they take care of you from start to finish. And they always surprise you with a few freebies too.

Tauck is an incredible company with top of the line services. Our first trip with Tauck and we were blown away! Recommended f/u tours are River cruises, Amalfi coast, Capri and Sicily. We will be looking into these in 2015. Hotel services and beauty were incredible also. The towns of the Bellisimo tour were very interesting and provided us a lot of exercise of our minds and bodies. Thanks for all you did to get us our "Dream Vacation."

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