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Our group tours cover the length and breadth of Italy. From the lofty peaks of South Tyrol and the dramatic Dolomites to fiery Sicily, our tailor-made tours and packages offer both classic destinations and hidden gems as well as exciting experiences.
We can design the perfect customized itinerary with a range of services including hotel reservations, guided tours, entrance tickets to tourist attractions, restaurant bookings, food & wine tastings and fully tailored ground services.
The Christmas Markets of Northern Italy & Lake Garda
Spend some quality time in Northern Italy experiencing the joy of Advent in the mountains. Visit a range of different towns and villages each with their own special character. Snow-capped peaks provide the perfect backdrop as you sip mulled wine and experience the magic atmosphere in these authentic traditional Italian Christmas Markets.
Arrive at your hotel in Trentino to be greeted by a welcome drink before enjoying dinner.
After breakfast we head north to the town of Bolzano, a fascinating town where the Alps meet the Mediterranean and two distinct cultures and languages merge. Here Tyrolean traditions and cuisine meet Latin flavours, and the Christmas markets are heady with the scent of cinnamon and spices, whilst stands offer local delicacies and wonderful handmade gifts and decorated candles. On our way back to the hotel we call in on the market of Trento where we will enjoy a warming glass of mulled wine and Strauben, a traditional deep-fried sweet, commonly served with fruit jam.
Today you have a relaxing day to explore the lakeside resort of Riva del Garda. Take in a stroll along the lakeside promenade or explore the narrow streets of the old town. Stepping out of your hotel you find yourself right in the heart of the town and Riva’s Christmas market. Just 4 km north Arco offers its own share of magical Christmas Atmosphere. Make sure you don’t miss out to buy some crafts or local products to take home with you.
We visit two of Italy’s most beautiful villages to sample their Christmas Markets on a altogether more intimate level. Our guided tour of the ancient villages of Canale and Rango will make you feel that you are experiencing a real life nativity play where you too take part!
Canale is an authentic medieval village dating back to the 1200’s, perched on a hill just a few miles from Riva del Garda which has become reborn since it was abandoned after World War 1. Your guide will explain the history of this village, explaining its rediscovery by artists in the 60’s before you will have some time to soak up the Christmas spirit in its cobbled alleyways and enjoy the delicacy of a Carne Salada roll accompanied by a glass of wine before we continue on to the village of Rango, passing by the hidden gem that is Lake Tenno.
Like Canale, Rango is a member of the Association of the most beautiful historic villages of Italy, and the traditional market stalls are cosily arranged in the porches and cellars of this typical old Trentino village. Here you will get familiar with the centuries old handicrafts and watch artisans as they make their goods and ply their trade. Both stops represent an altogether different but wonderful Christmas market experience.
Today we embark on a circular tour taking in two of Trentino’s many ancient castles. Our first visit is to Toblino Castle which sits on a small promontory overlooking the lake of the same name, providing a majestic setting for this 900 year old fortress.
We continue on through the Cavedine Valley to Drena Castle, which is said to have been constructed on top of a prehistoric settlement. Strategically important and impregnable in medieval times, the castle protected the road that lead from Trento to Lake Garda. Your guide will give you the background on the impressive fortress with its well preserved remains. We will also acquaint you with the local drink grappa as we call in on a local distillery to sample the produce. As we make our way back to Riva we will call in on the town of Arco, dominated too, by its imposing hilltop castle ruins, to wander its narrow alleyways and quiet squares.
Sadly today we must return home, and we depart our hotel after breakfast.
· Great location directly on the lake in the centre of Riva
· Roof-top restaurant with amazing views of the lake
· Small wellness centre
Location: In the old-town of Riva del Garda with its enchanting little alleys, on the promenade, just 5 walk minutes from the beach
Rooms: 77 rooms with telephone, satellite-TV, safe, hairdryer and air-conditioning/heating
Facilities: Panoramic restaurant on the top floor, bar, lounge, 2 meeting rooms, lift and sun-terrace
Coach parking: At the former bus-station "Stazione Vecchia" 5 walk minutes from the hotel (extra charge)