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Giro Dei Laghi – A Tour of The Italian lakes

Blenheim Palace, Woodstock, Oxfordshire OX20 1UL | 28 August - 31 August 2024

The romance of the Italian Lakes, the glamorous Concorso d’Eleganza Villa d’Este at Villa Erba, driving the most desirable roads in Italy and finishing at the stylish Byblos Art Hotel; this is a grand tour in every sense.

A five-day tour which incorporates some of the most beautiful landscapes in Europe, taking in the shores of Lake Como, the Southern slopes of the Italian Alps, Lake Iseo and Lake Garda and finally into the Tyrol in the Dolomites and returning along mountain roads to our destination near Verona.

Along the way the sights and experiences will be enhanced by hand-picked hotels and restaurants, curated experiences, with specialist support throughout, all in the company of a select party of like-minded automotive friends.

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MAY 2024

Day One, Saturday. Let’s go to Lake Como

Our tour doesn’t officially start until lunch time on the Saturday – perfect for those flying into Milan that morning.
Alternatively, why not combine the Tour with a stay in cosmopolitan Milan beforehand?

The day’s destination, and where we will stay for two nights, is the third largest, but arguably the most attractive, of the famous Northern Italian Lakes. Lake Como is the jewel in Lombardy’s crown and boasts the elegant destinations of Bellagio, Varenna and Cernobbio on its shores.

Late spring is the perfect time to visit and our home whilst we are in Cernobbio is the charming 19th-century villa on the lake, the Hotel Villa Flori where we will relax and enjoy our first dinner together in the pretty lakeside garden awash with colour.

Day Two, Sunday. A Day at Villa Erba.

Leaving our cars parked securely at the Hotel Villa Flori we explore the magic of Lake Como. Boarding beautiful launches from the Hotel’s private jetty we shall enjoy a splendid boat tour taking in the wondrous sights and unforgettable views of the lake before disembarking at the imposing Villa Erba, the summer residence of the Italian
director and screenwriter Luchino Visconti. It is here in the glamorous gardens where the movie Ocean’s Twelve was filmed that we explore the automobiles of the Concorso d’Eleganza – a magical combination of Italian style and an amazing line-up of rare and historic motor cars.

Upon arrival at Villa Erba we will enjoy a private Champagne Pommery reception before perusing Il Festival, taking in the award parade and the winner of the Coppa d’Oro Villa d’Este.

After the Concorso we shall take dinner in the hills with a view of the traditional closing fireworks over the lake.

Day Three, Monday. A Tour from Lake Como to Lake Iseo.

After breakfast, the flag drops and the Tour waves goodbye to Cernobbio and sets off to the famously glamorous town of Bellagio. Described by Lonely Planet as Italy’s best springtime road trip, the morning drive continues to hug the stunning southern shoreline of Lake Como.

After lunch our route explores the foothills of the Italian Alps. Wending our way through the amazing countryside between historic Bergamo and San Pellegrino to reach our beautiful destination and third night’s stay on Lake Iseo.

Here one may steal a glimpse of Monte Isola, the mountain island village which is included in the list of Borghi Più Belli d’Italia.

Today the tour takes in a private visit to the famous Cantiere Riva, home to the Ferraris of the Seas, synonymous with La Dolce Vita. That evening we shall relax and swap stories of the day over dinner at our luxury spa hotel.

Day Four, Tuesday. Towards Riva Del Garda.

After a relaxed morning we wave arrivederci to Lake Iseo and head for the largest of the Italian Lakes and the dazzling azure waters of Lake Garda.

The first part of the drive takes in a landscape of gently rolling hills and verdant countryside near Brescia towards the south of Lake Garda where we will stop for luncheon at the spectacular Venetian town of Sirmione, complete with castle, thermal spas, and Roman ruins.

After lunch the route then takes us north along the west coast of the lake, bringing a dramatic change of scenery with breath-taking views following rugged mountain roads. The lakeside destination of Riva del Garda awaits, laying at the foot of the gargantuan Monte Rocchetta which soars to a height of 1,575 metres.

Day Five, Wednesday. The Dolomites to Verona.

Today we enjoy the Dolomites – the mountain region that is home to some of the most exhilarating and scenic driving roads in northern Italy. The route gently snakes amongst the saw-tooth grey peaks, across forested plateaux and through magnificent green valleys.

Lunch is at an historic wine-growing estate, on a sunny terrace overlooking Lake Kaltern. Beautifully presented South Tyrolian delicacies and Italian traditional favourites await – a cultural juxtaposition typical of this area.

After lunch the route heads south and our Grand Tour must come to an end, where a spectacular finish awaits in the Byblos Art Hotel, a 16th Century Villa at the Gates of Verona featuring a unique combination of classicism and modernity. Time to relax and enjoy the beautiful surroundings before enjoying a final meal with new friends made, while swapping highlights of the preceding days.

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