Day 1: MILAN.
Arrive in Milan. Meet your tour leader and travel by bus to the hotel. Dinner and overnight.
Day 2: COMO.
Breakfast at the hotel. Leave for Como and visit this charming city known for its breathtaking views of the lake and mountains, and for its fine quality silk. Independent lunch. In the afternoon, visit the Villa Carlotta, a Baroque style villa built in the 18th century by Marquis Giorgio Clerici, and famous for its beautiful terraced garden. Visit the gardens of Villa Melzi, an elegant Neo-classical building. It was built between 1801-1810 and is surrounded by wonderful gardens with very old and exotic plants, decorated with classical statues. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: BERGAMO.
Breakfast at the hotel. Depart to Bergamo and stop at Villa Gromo. The owner will guide you through this 18th century villa in the form of a 7, surrounded by a large English-style garden. The interior has elegant rooms decorated with frescoes by various 18th century painters. Visit Bergamo for a tour of the ‘Citta Alta’ including its famous Piazza Vecchia and the Cappella Colleoni, a private church decorated with precious marble. Visit the Accademia Carrara, which houses a collection of 15th - 18th century art including works by Mantegna, Bellini, and Lotto. Independent lunch.
Depart to Villa Terzi, built in the 18th century and surrounded by a terraced Italian-style garden. Visit the Castello di Bornato. In the cellars of the castle you can sample Franciacorta wine, a typical Lombard wine, accompanied with local antipasti. You will also be able to buy oil and wine produced from the castle's estate. Dinner and overnight.
Day 4: MILAN | FLORENCE.
Breakfast in hotel. Shop in the morning in Milan before leaving for Florence. Arrive in Florence and check in at the hotel. Dinner will be in a typical Tuscan restaurant, located in the hills just outside of Florence where you can enjoy the famous ‘bistecca fiorentina’ and/or other Tuscan dishes. Return to the hotel.
Day 5: FLORENCE.
Breakfast at the hotel. Take a walking tour of Florence with an English-speaking guide, who will explain the history of this unique city, show you its most famous monuments as well as its less well-known sights. The afternoon is free for shopping. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6: FLORENCE | POGGIO A CAIANO | VINCI | PISTOIA.
Breakfast in the hotel and depart for Poggio a Caiano where one of the most beautiful of the Medici villas is located. This is a 15th century jewel designed by Giuliano da Sangallo for Lorenzo de' Medici and was completed during the Pontificate of Leo X (of the Medici family) in the 16th century. Visit Leonardo da Vinci’s house and the Castello dei Conti Guidi a Vinci, a 13th century castle which also has a museum of Leonardo’s inventions and designs. Independent lunch.
After lunch, depart for Pistoia. Visit the world-famous Villa Garzoni gardens, built in the 17th century, with its many fountains. Return to Florence, with your evening free and dinner on your own.
Day 7: FLORENCE | LUCCA.
Breakfast at the hotel then depart to Lucca. Visit the Villa Reale di Marlia, originally built by Napoleon's sister, Elisa Bonaparte. Next, tour the Villa Grabau, built in the 16th century. This villa has been occupied continually since the early 1800s by the Grabau family, originally from Northern Germany. Independent lunch.
After lunch, do a walking tour of Lucca, a medieval walled town with a wonderful Romanesque cathedral. Visit Villa Torrigiani, built during the 16th century by Muzio Oddi, with its gardens that are famous for its magnificent cypress trees. Travel back to Florence for a farewell dinner and overnight.
Day 8: DEPARTURE.
Breakfast in hotel, travel to the Florence airport and depart.