Northern Italy Itinerary: How to Have Two Epic Weeks

Northern Italy is a feast for the senses, bursting with vibrant cities, breathtaking lakes, rolling vineyards, and towering mountains. Planning a two-week itinerary can feel overwhelming, but fear not! This guide unveils a two-week adventure through iconic destinations and hidden gems, promising an “epic” escape for discerning travelers while capturing the essence of this captivating region, leaving you with memories that will last a lifetime.

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The Grand Adventure Begins by unveiling Venice for 4 nights

Immerse yourself in the magic of Venice, a city unlike any other. Explore the labyrinthine canals by gondola, marvel at St. Mark’s Square’s architectural grandeur, and get lost in the maze of charming alleys. Don’t miss a chance to witness the artistry of Murano glass blowing or intricate lace-making traditions of Burano Island.

Pro Tip: Be sure to wander off the beaten path with a private walking tour to delve into Venice’s rich history, hidden corners and squares and discover authentic cicchetti (Venetian tapas) bars. 

Transfer to Verona with a Stop in Padua (Private transfer + Half Day tour)… Break the journey to Verona with a stop in Padua, home to the awe-inspiring Saint Anthony Basilica and the starry sky of Cappella Scrovegni.  Explore the university town’s charming squares and museums before continuing to Verona.

 

3 nights in Verona: the city of star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet. 

Renowned as the “City of Love” due to its Shakespearean connection, Verona offers a delightful blend of history and romance. Explore the enchanting Piazza delle Erbe, the heart of the city, and soak in the romantic atmosphere of Juliet’s Balcony. Verona also boasts a magnificent Roman arena, the Arena di Verona, where you can catch an opera performance under the stars (seasonal). 

Verona serves as a fantastic base for further exploration. Immerse yourself in the world of Valpolicella, and take a day trip to Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. 

Wine & Wonder: Verona’s Delights and Day Trips (2 Full Days + 1 Half Day)

    • Uncork the Magic of Valpolicella (Half Day tour): enjoy a private wine tasting tour through the picturesque Valpolicella region. Sample the world-renowned Amarone wine, a unique local specialty, and learn about the region’s rich winemaking traditions.
    • Lake Garda’s Enchanting Embrace (Full Day tour): Escape to the largest of Italy’s glacial lakes, Lake Garda. Explore the charming lakeside towns like Sirmione or Limone, indulge in water sports, or simply relax on the picturesque shores. Click here to learn about some of the places you shouldn’t miss at Lake Garda. 
  • Bergamo, a historical Gem (Private transfer + Half Day tour): En route to Lake Como, take a detour to the fortified city of Bergamo. Explore the historic Citta Alta, an upper town reachable by funicular, wander through the medieval streets adorned with Venetian architecture and admire the breathtaking panoramic views. Don’t miss the captivating Piazza Vecchia, the heart of the Upper Town, and the Accademia Carrara, a renowned art gallery showcasing masterpieces from the Renaissance period.

4 nights at Lake Como the crown jewel of Northern Italy 

Surrounded by lush mountains and dotted with charming villages, Lake Como is a haven for relaxation and exploration. Cruise the serene waters on a private boat, discover the opulent villas that line the shores, or simply soak up the beauty from a lakeside cafe.

While in Lake Como we suggest:

Following are some useful resources to help you decide what to do while at Lake Como:

Beyond the Border: Switzerland or Valtellina? The choice is yours! (Full Day)

Lake Como offers a unique opportunity to explore neighboring Switzerland. Take a day trip to Lugano, a charming Swiss city boasting stunning lakeside views and a pedestrian-friendly atmosphere. Alternatively, delve deeper into the Italian Alps by venturing into Valtellina, a valley renowned for its winter sports and breathtaking scenery. Here, you can embark on a thrilling journey aboard the Bernina Express, a panoramic train ride offering unparalleled views of the Swiss Alps, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

  • Swiss Sojourn in Lugano (Full Day): For a touch of international flair, consider a day trip to Lugano, Switzerland, a charming lakeside town located just across the border. Stroll along the picturesque lakeside promenade, explore the historic city center, and indulge in Swiss chocolates and local delicacies.  Read this article to find out more.
  • Valtellina’s Mountain Majesty and Bernina Express (Full Day):  Looking for an adventure beyond the beaten path?  Opt for a day trip to Valtellina, a dramatic alpine valley known for its breathtaking natural beauty and delicious cuisine. Hike or bike through the scenic trails, visit the charming mountain villages, or take a thrilling ride on the Bernina Express, an awe-inspiring engineering marvel train journey offering breathtaking views of the Alps. Learn more about Valtellina delicacies here.

A Final Flourish: Exploring Piemonte and Lake Maggiore (3 Nights)

  • 3 Nights at Lake Maggiore: Lake Maggiore, with its beautiful islands and charming towns, offers a tranquil setting to conclude your Italian adventure. Explore the charming towns of Stresa or Verbania, visit the captivating Borromean Islands, or simply relax and soak up the beauty of the final lake on your itinerary. Click here to find out about our 6 favorite things to do in Lake Maggiore. 
  • Proximity to Malpensa Airport: The convenient location of Lake Maggiore makes it an ideal base for your final days before departing from Milan’s Malpensa Airport.

A Touch of Milan (Optional)

Craving a dose of urban vibrancy? Consider adding Milan, Italy’s fashion capital, to your itinerary. Explore the iconic Duomo cathedral, marvel at the opulent Teatro alla Scala opera house, or indulge in a world-class shopping experience. Read here about our favorite off the beaten path museums in Milan and the best neighborhood of this vibrant city. 

Pro Tip: Two nights in Milan can be strategically placed at the beginning or end of your trip. Shave off a night each from Verona and Lake Maggiore to accommodate this addition.

Cruising the Northern Lakes District

Yearning for a more lake-centric experience?  Imagine gliding across the crystal-clear waters, taking in the breathtaking scenery and charming villages that dot the lakeshore. To do this consider replacing some day trips with multi-day cruises on Lake Como, Lake Maggiore, Lake Garda or Iseo. Immerse yourself in the serene beauty of the lakes, explore hidden coves and charming towns, and enjoy a luxurious experience on the water. This option offers a unique perspective on the region and allows you to experience the beauty of multiple lakes without constantly changing locations.

Whichever itinerary you choose, Northern Italy promises an unforgettable adventure. From the cultural treasures of Venice and Verona to the breathtaking beauty of the lakes and mountains, this region will leave you yearning to return.

**Ready to embark on your own Italian odyssey? Contact Lake Como For You today! Our expert team will craft a personalized itinerary that caters to your specific interests

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