Group Travel Tour Operator for holidays to Milan and Genoa
Milan and Genoa – The Capitals of Lombardy and Liguria
A Tale of Pesto, Pirates and Pizza in Northern Italy
Discover Northern Italy’s hidden delights in this wonderful tour. Northern Italy consists of eight regions, with a diversified climate and culture. However, on this tour, it will be the capitals of Lombardy and Liguria, two different regions with their own uniqueness that we will inspect a little closer as we travel to the cities of Milan and Genoa.Read more
Milan is situated in the region of Lombardy and is the wealthiest city of the country. This city is famous for being the fashion capital of the world with all the top fashion houses originating from this magnificent city. International brands such as Prada and Armani have their headquarters in Milan and Armani even has its own museum dedicated to its founder Giorgio Armani and has exhibits of his most famous designs.
Well known for its elegance, Milan has a wide range of activities suitable throughout the year making it a perfect destination for a city break. From the Teatro alla Scala to the iconic Gothic cathedral, Duomo di Milano; marvel at the beautiful architecture and soak in the atmosphere of this sophisticated city. Moreover, the Brera district is full of small boutiques and restaurants, perfect for a stroll in the afternoon.
Genoa: ‘La Superba’ and Cinque Terre
Once Venice’s rival and a maritime superpower, Genoa is perhaps Italy’s most underrated city. Located in the region of Liguria, this city is full of contrasts and hidden gems. The birthplace of Christopher Columbus, Genoa is a city rich with history, art, and culture. Walk in the footsteps of Charles Dickens who lived in this city for a year. The author described Genoa as a place ‘that grows upon you’ every day. Explore the narrow streets of the Caruggi district, and look out for Piazza Banchi, the site of the first Commodities and Stock Exchange in Italy. Ligurian cuisine is also one of the best in Italy, from focaccia, farinata, paniccia, to the world-renowned Pesto alla Genovese, these dishes will definitely whet your appetite. Additionally, head to the beautiful Cinque Terre for a taste of the Italian Riviera at its finest!
Fancy seeing more of the area, why not check out the stunning scenery whilst staying on the Magical Lake Maggiore.
March - October 2021
Travel to Milan
Travel to Dover for a ferry crossing to Calais. From there, continue through France, making an overnight stop in the Metz area. Continue to Italy the following day, enjoying the scenery as you travel to your hotel in Milan.
The Four Gates of Milano
After breakfast, enjoy a guided tour of this majestic city. Start the day by exploring the iconic Duomo Cathedral, a 500 year-old Gothic masterpiece. The glass-domed Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II is right opposite the Duomo, and has some of the world’s leading fashion houses displaying exquisite designs, all lined-up in one of the oldest shopping malls in existence. Alternatively, for a different sight of Milan, you can head south along Corso di Porta Romana until you see an old ancient gate known as Porta Romana– the main imperial entrance of Milan centuries ago. There is a thermal spa right next to the old city walls which is perfect for a relaxing morning.
In the afternoon, head to the northern part of the city where you will find Castello Sforzesco, a medieval fortress that houses a collection of museums and has a dedicated section for both Leonardo Da Vinci and Michelangelo. The park and gardens adjacent to the castle is massive, and you can walk right through it until you see another ancient gate- Porta Sempione. This neoclassical structure was designed by Luigi Cagnola on the request of Napoleon, and was the backdrop for several historical events in this city.
The next gate, Porta Garibaldi is a symbolism of both old and new. Previously known as Porta Comasina, it was dedicated to Francis I of Austria, who was the King of Lombardy-Venetia. Walk along Corso Como and you will find a magnificent UniCredit tower in Piazza Gae Aulenti. Enjoy a cup of coffee in one of the many cafes in this modern district.
In the evening, perhaps take a stroll along the interconnected canals in the Navigli district against the backdrop of Porta Ticinese, a landmark neoclassical pink granite gate honouring Napoleon’s victory in Marengo. Navigli is famous for its all-night bars and aperitivo- a concept the Milanese has adopted decades ago.
Genoa: ‘La Superba’
In the morning, have your breakfast in the hotel before departing for Genoa. The journey takes approximately 2.5 hours. Remember to look out for the Lighthouse (“La Lanterna”) along the way. A symbol of Genoa, it has been operating for almost 9 centuries and was once the tallest lighthouse in the world. After enjoying a traditional Genoese lunch in a characteristic trattoria, continue to Palazzo Reale. This 17th century palace once belonged to the noble families (Balbi, Durazzo, and Savoy) and houses a rich collection of paintings, including works by many Italian and foreign artists (Van Dyck, Tintoretto, Strozzi), as well as those of the Genoese school (Piola, il Grechetto, Schiaffino) and sculptures by Filippo Parodi.
After breakfast, meet your guide for a tour around the city. Some of the city’s highlights include the Piazza de Ferrari, a city square with a fountain designed by Giuseppe Crosa di Vergagni in the 1930s; Teatro Carlo Felice, the Cathedral of San Lorenzo, and the Caruggi district- an area full of narrow streets in the city’s old town centre. Following your tour of the city, enjoy a tasting of pesto – perhaps the area’s most famous export.
In the late afternoon, walk along Porto Antico– a large waterfront overlooking the Ligurian Sea. There are many restaurants, bars, museums as well as the Aquario Village along this harbour. You will also find a replica of a 17th century Spanish galleon Neptune, built in 1985 for Roman Polanski’s film Pirates. The Aquario Village includes the Aquarium of Genova- the largest in Italy, the Galata Museum, the Bigo Panoramic lift and the Biosphere- a tropical forest in a sphere-like glass and steel structure.
A Day at Leisure
You will have the whole day at your leisure where you can explore Via Garibaldi, a UNESCO-listed street connecting three important buildings:- Palazzo Rosso, Palazzo Bianco and Palazzo Doria Tursi. The entrance fee includes all three buildings where you will be amazed by the extensive painting collection by the prestigious Brignole-Sale family over a period of two centuries, a violin that once belonged to Paganini, the Penitent Magdalene by Canova and Genoese paintings from the 16th century. Additionally you can also take the Zecca-Righi funicular railway where you will be able to see an amazing panoramic view of the city.
The Harsh Beauty of Cinque Terre
Meet your guide in the morning where you will begin your journey to Cinque Terre, a collection of five different villages situated along the Italian Riviera. Riomaggiore is the largest village and is situated on the Eastern side closest to La Spezia. Manarola is perched on top of a cliff and offers a panoramic view of the coast. Corniglia is the only village that does not have direct access to the sea and is fairly quiet in comparison with other villages. Vernazza has a small picturesque harbour with pastel-coloured houses lined along it. Last but not least, Monterosso, the westernmost part of Cinque Terre is the only village with a long stretch of beach. Make your way back to Genoa for your final night in Italy.
Return to the UK
Enjoy your breakfast in the hotel before travelling up into France. Make an overnight stop in the Metz area before continuing your journey home the following day via Calais for a ferry crossing back to the UK.
Hotel Ritter, Milan ***
Hotel Ritter is located 100 yards from a Metro station and just a short walk from Castello Sforzesco. The hotel features free WiFi and all rooms are equipped with a satellite TV and a fridge, and many overlook a quiet inner courtyard. Rooms are air conditioned at fixed times during the day. A pleasant 20-minute walk from your comfortable accommodation at Hotel Ritter will take you all the way to Milan’s famous Duomo. Brera, the area near the hotel, is great for evening aperitifs and dining out.
Best Western Hotel Porto Antico, Genoa ***
The Best Western Hotel Porto Antico is a renewed 3 star hotel located in the city centre within walking distance from Via Garibaldi and the Aquarium of Genoa. All the rooms in the hotel are non-smoking, soundproof and equipped with air-conditioning, 42 inch LED LCD television, free high speed Wi-Fi connection and a safe for laptops.
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|9 Days by Land and Sea||Half Twin||Single Supplement|
|March – October 2021||Price on request||Price on request|