Tour of Lake Como
In 1818 Percy Bysshe Shelley wrote "This lake exceeds anything I ever beheld in beauty”. We cannot agree more with the English poet: lake Como is one of the most beautiful places on earth.
Everybody can appreciate the magic of this place but to really crack its secrets you need a local guide. Learn the history of this lake that was already famous at the times of the Romans, understand why people like Leonardo da Vinci and Napoleon travelled its shores and discover where Mussolini was captured and sentenced at the end of World War Two. Walk the footsteps of history, or better sail history on board a ferry or a private boat while admiring the villas once owned by kings and artists, now by the glamorous vips, locations of many movies, from Start Wars to Ocean’s Eleven and 007.
Learn about traditional food and wines only locals know and make the best of your time on the lake. Tour of Lake Como is perfect while you are staying on the lake or even as a day trip from Milan and surroundings.
Lake Maggiore and Borromeo Islands
Maybe the lake Maggiore does not have the dramatic landscape of lake Como neither the large spaces of lake Garda but is the location of the most beautiful Islands among all lakes of the Alps. In Renaissance the local lords, the Borromeo family, dismissed most of their old fortresses and transformed them into places of pleasure. Visit the Isola Bella and its palace that seems to be floating upon the waters of the lake. Do not miss the sumptuous gardens and the small village. The Isola dei Pescatori (fishermen's island) is the perfect place to indulge with the pleasures of the local cuisine.
But Lake Maggiore it's also Santa Caterina del Sasso, a medieval hermitage suspended over a dramatic cliff facing the waters, or the Rocca d’Angera, one of the most beautiful castle in Italy. It is the funicular of the Sasso del Ferro, be pulled inside tiny bucklets up to a mountain while enjoying amazing views over the mountains.
Near lake Maggiore is also located the secret jewel of lake Orta. Discover this tiny lake off the beaten path and you’ll be amazed by its beauty.
Castiglione and Castelseprio
Just 40 minutes driving North of Milan lies the tiny village of Castiglione Olona. At the beginning of the 1400s the Cardinal Branda Castiglione, one of the most important men of his time, close friend of popes and kings of the time and great patron of artists, decided to transform his home town into a prefect Renaissance city. He gathered here his best artists and enlarged the grand palace of the family and commissioning the Chiesa di Villa, a copy Brunelleschi’s San Lorenzo sacristy in Florence. On top of the hill that dominates the historical city center lies the Collegiata church. Inside the complex is hidden the Baptistery. Inside are located the frescoes by Masolino da Panicale, an unexpected jewel, perfectly preserved.
On the other side of the bank of the river Olona lies Castelseprio. In the archeological park there are the ruins of an Ancient city its origin dates to the late Roman Empire. Just outside the walls of the settlement is located the church of Santa Maria Foris Portas and inside there are frescoes considered unique in the entire Medieval European art. An example of the magnificent art created between Italy and the Byzantine Empire more than 1000 years ago.
The Southern region of Switzerland, the Canton Ticino, is a charming region of blue lakes and snow white mountains, full of history, Medieval castles, beautiful churches and glamorous towns. All of this, just one hour driving from Milan.
During our trip of southern Switzerland you can stroll the glamorous streets of Lugano (and stop at a fancy outlet for shopping), visit a chocolate factory and enjoy some local wine in an elegant cellar. Then you can head to admire the massive castles of Bellinzona, discover the beauty of the Alps on top of the Gotthard Pass and finally stop at Locarno on Lake Maggiore and discover the only building in the world designed by Leonardo da Vinci still standing.
Discover the beauty of this land with a day trip from Milan or from the lakes with a guide and a private driver at your disposal.
A ride on the Bernina Express
Do you want to admire the magnificence of the Alps but you are not a sporty person? Do not worry, you can enjoy all their beauty from the comfort of the Bernina Express. The famous red train climbs the Alps from Tirano in Valtellina (Italy) to the heights of the Bernina Pass (Switzerland), more than 2000 meters above the sea (more than 6000 feet).
Perfect trip for photo lovers and instagrammers: from the windows of the train you’ll have hundreds of breathtaking views, from charming Swiss villages to blue lakes and dramatic peaks covered in snow. At the end of the ride you can visit the glamorous town of Sankt Moritz, one the jewels of the Swiss Alps. No matter if you do the trip in winter or in summer, every season give an excuse to admire the view.
During the trip you can also enjoy the beauty of Valtellina. The guide can show you the places to get the amazing local food and…wine! Valtellina is one of the greatest producers of excellent wines in Italy. Discover its wonders with a dedicated excursion.