A Stylish Sojourn in the Lake District
They were premature naming the Great Lakes. Maggiore, Como and Orta could easily steal that title. Sapphire blue waters set against the stunning backdrop of the Swiss and Italian Alps. Basilicas and fortresses, grand palazzos and timeless villas. Cobblestone paths and forested hillsides, with not a turista in sight. Bustling lakeside towns brimming with luxurious hotels and Michelin stars. And quiet hikes above it all, with astounding vistas of the lakes below. The views, the flavors, the wines. And every tiny beautiful detail that makes these lakes—great.
Enjoy exhilarating hikes on historic mule paths offering extraordinary views
Breathtaking scenery, including the staggering panorama from Monte Mottarone
Stunning—and often overlooked!—Lake Orta
Boat to see Palazzo Borromeo, with splendid fountains and art
Slumber at sumptuous lakefront villas and dine on Michelin-starred cuisine
Day 1 Stunning—and often overlooked!—Lake Orta, known for fueling the creative inspiration of Flaubert and Tchaikovsky In the medieval hamlet of Orta San Giulio, explore quiet lanes on a guided tour After an aperitivo, savor modern Mediterranean cuisine at Villa Crespi, recipient of two Michelin stars.
Day 2 Breathtaking scenery, including staggering views from Monte Mottarone, 4,000 feet above Lakes Orta and Maggiore Travel by funicular to the town of Stresa and boat to Isola Bella, home to the Palazzo Borromeo and its splendid fountains and art.
Days 3-4 Slumber at sumptuous lakefront villas Passing tiny chapels and crossing small bridges, walk along Lake Maggiore from Cannobio to Cannero Riviera Sniff, swirl, salute! A beloved enoteca invites us in for a tasting of local vintages Hike past magnificent villas, colorful gardens and castle ruins to Varenna Walk to Italy’s shortest river, the 800-foot-long “River of Milk”—not even Leonardo da Vinci could discover its source! Ferry to beautiful Bellagio, the “pearl of the lake” An experienced chef teaches us how to prepare regional specialties.
Days 5-6 Walk lakeside trails and mountain paths amid elaborate gardens and frescoed hamlets Your feet carry you to Villa Melzi, one of Lake Como’s grand estates Visit a farm that produces cheeses, creams, milk and yogurt en route to Baita Belvedere, where a mountain lunch awaits Explore 18th-century Villa Balbianello and relish the vistas of the lake and surrounding hills.LESS