Explore Northern Italy's natural charm starting with Lake Como, where you'll take a boat tour of its extravagant shore lined with mansions. Ride the funicular to the scenic vista in Brunate where you'll catch a panoramic view of Como and the stunning surrounding nature. Transfer to colorful Cinque Terre, where you'll hike from one seaside village to another while enjoying breathtaking sunsets and views of the Ligurian Sea.

Highlights

  • Cruise the extravagant shores of Lake Como
  • Hike from one colorful, seaside village to another in Cinque Terre
  • Enjoy sunset views of the Ligurian Sea from cliffside restaurants in Levanto
  • Take the funicular to Brunate in Lake Como for stunning panoramic views

Brief Itinerary

Day Highlights Overnight
Day 1 Arrive in Milan - Transfer to Lake Como Como
Day 2 Private Boat Tour of Lake Como - Explore Bellagio Como
Day 3 Transfer to Cinque Terre - Prosciutto Excursion in Parma Levanto
Day 4 Hike the Villages of Cinque Terre Levanto
Day 5 Depart Italy - Transfer to Florence or Pisa Airport  

Detailed Itinerary

Day 1: Arrive in Milan - Transfer to Lake Como

Lake Como at Night
Lake Como at Night

Welcome to Italy!

Upon arrival at the airport in Milan, your private concierge and driver will meet you and transfer you to Lake Como where you'll spend your first night. 

You'll start in the city of Como, which is set on the southern shores of the lake. Settle into your accommodation, then go and explore the quaint streets. Stroll along the waterfront promenade, where you'll find plenty of restaurants and cafes to sit and enjoy an espresso or a meal. If you have time, ride the funicular up to Brunate for amazing views of the lake. You can also enjoy the gothic Cattedrale di S.Maria Assunta di Como or the Educational Silk Museum.

Day 2: Private Boat Tour of Lake Como - Explore Bellagio

Mansions of Lake Como
Mansions of Lake Como

Famous for its turquoise waters, there's no better way of seeing magical Lake Como than by boat. From the water, you'll get a much better view of some of the extravagant villas that border the lake (including one owned by George Clooney), as well as the lush gardens that surround them.

Between Torno and Blevio, your private guide will show you the pretty little villages that line the shore, many with beautiful bell towers reflected in the water. Pass by the island of Comacina, the only island in the lake. Largely abandoned now—apart from a handful of artists and a restaurant—Comacina is, in fact, one of the earliest inhabited parts of the lake. There was already an established settlement on the island when it was taken over by the Romans.

At the town of Bellagio, known as the pearl of the lake, you can stop and wander its quaint little lanes. Explore the many wonderful craft shops filled with local goods. Towering above the town is the impressive Villa Serbelloni, an extravagant hotel built in the late 19th century. Stop here for lunch or find a quiet cafe in the town's center.

After lunch, you'll return to Como for the night.

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Day 3: Transfer to Cinque Terre - Prosciutto Excursion in Parma

Famous Prosciutto Ham in Parma, Italy
Famous Prosciutto Ham in Parma, Italy

After breakfast at your hotel, enjoy a quick stroll along Lake Como's edge. Then, meet your private driver in the lobby for your transfer to the hilly region of Cinque Terre.

Along the way, your driver will stop in Parma, a city renowned for the Parma Ham farm. Here you'll discover the secrets of this world-famous prosciutto, starting with the cooling, salting and “resting” rooms, each emulating the traditional winter-to-spring curing seasons.

End your experience by visiting the company's “Naso” (or master nose). The Naso deciphers the scent of the products, ensuring the quality of the prosciutto and preparing it for top restaurants in Parma, Italy, and the world.

After lunch—which includes delicious prosciutto, of course—your driver will take you to Cinque Terre. You'll stay the night in the town of Levanto, one of the quieter villages on the coast. Enjoy a stroll along the town's large public beach and grab dinner at one of the many seaside restaurants.

Day 4: Hike the Villages of Cinque Terre

Colorful Village of Cinque Terre
Colorful Village of Cinque Terre

Today you'll explore the beauty of 'Cinque Terre' (the five lands), quickly understanding its appeal and popularity. The five villages that constitute Cinque Terre are the highlight of any trip to the Ligurian coastline. They include Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore, together creating a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

These unique villages can only be accessed by foot, boat, or train. Steep terraces plunge down to the tiny harbors with colorful little houses, huddled together until you reach the sea. You will feel that you have stepped into a painting with such picturesque scenery! 

In the morning, you'll meet your private hiking guide in the lobby of your hotel. After receiving your Cinque Terre National Park Cards, you'll start your hiking experience. Your guide will help you choose which path to follow, based on your interests, the weather conditions, and your training.

Your hiking options include:

  • Monterosso – Vernazza. Difficulty: medium. Time: about two hours.
    This walking tour starts in Monterosso and will take you along a scenic path with amazing views. After an initial climb up a steep cliffside stairway of one hundred steps, the trail winds up and down through scrubby Mediterranean vegetation bordered by dry-stone walls.

  • Corniglia – Vernazza. Difficulty: medium. Time: about 2 hours.
    This walk starts in Corniglia. After winding your way through vineyards, olive groves, and along terraces dotted with scrubby Mediterranean bushes, you will end in Vernazza, probably the most photogenic of all the Cinque Terre villages.

  • Riomaggiore – Madonna di Montenero. Difficulty: medium. Time: about 1.5 hours.
    This trail takes you along the cliffs of Cinque Terre and brings you to the Sanctuary of Montenero. For centuries, it housed the only religious center for the whole area; now it operates as a youth hostel.

After enjoying lunch at your destination, your guide will transfer you back to Levanto for the evening.

Day 5: Depart Italy - Transfer to Florence or Pisa Airport

Cinque Terre
Cinque Terre

It's time to say goodbye to beautiful Italy! After breakfast, enjoy the final scenes of gorgeous Cinque Terre before meeting your private driver. Depending on your next destination, your driver can transfer you to the airport in Pisa or Florence, or to the train station in either city.