Stunning Villa Taranto on Lake Maggiore throws open the doors to its gorgeous formal gardens every April to celebrate its Tulip Festival. Over 65 varieties of this beautiful flower dominate the garden, attracting visitors from all over the world to its famous maze of flowers, producing a riot of colour in the Spring. Enjoy Spring in the beautiful Italian lakes on this tour which includes boat trips, visits to stately villas, and excursions to the neighbouring Lake Como and Lake Orta.
Day 1: Arrive at Lake Maggiore. Toast to the great beginning of the tour with the included welcome drink at the hotel.
Day 2: Boat Trip to the Borromean Islands
Lake Maggiore was a favorite resort town for Lombard families; the islands in its middle took their name from the most famous one, the aristocratic Borromeos. Learn more about the area on your boat trip to Isola Bella and Isola dei Pescatori. The Baroque palace with its Italian gardens on “The Beautiful Island” will take your breath away. The stop at the “Fishermen’s Island” will reveal how tradition reigns, as it is still inhabited by families who continue to make a living from their daily catch.
Day 3: Tulip Festival at the Villa Taranto Gardens with a Visit to a Garden Nursery and Free Time in Verbania to Follow
Visit the gardens of Villa Taranto for the Tulip Festival. The simple yet elegant flower inspires feelings of hope and warmth, as it is one of the first to emerge after winter. A walk around the historic grounds will then be followed by a stop at a local nursery, so potential green thumbs can pick up some varities and bulbs to bring home. In the afternoon have some free time in the charming town of Verbania before heading back to the hotel.
Day 4: Excursion to Lake Como, including a Visit to Villa Carlotta
Just one hour north of Milan visitors find themselves in an opulent microclimate where it is possible to stroll along camellia-lined promenades while gazing at the snow-capped Alps. The extravagant beauty of the luxury resort town was established as a vacation destination and alpine garrison by Julius Cesar. Enjoy your time at the lake synonymous with celebrity, stopping in Tremezzo to see the lovely Villa Carlotta. The elegant fifteenth century villa is located in a natural basin, surrounded by the mountains, Italianate gardens and offering amazing views of the Bellagio Peninsula.
Day 5: Excursion to Lake Orta, including a boat trip
The bus will bring you to the west of Lake Maggiore, to Lake Orta. This lesser known lake sometimes lost amidst its greater neighbors has an allure of its own. French novelist Honoré de Balzac described it as a “gray pearl in a green jewel box.” The boat trip through its cool waters will enable you to ride past the Romanesque and Baroque architecture on its shores.
Day 6: Departure