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Self Guided Tour
Pick up your car in Milan, Rome or some other arrival point.

Suggested tour length:

7 days, 6 nights
Suggested travel periods:
April 1 to October 31
Price for this tour
Includes compact car , all hotel accommodations , breakfast
(based on double occupancy)
Jul-Sep 15:
USD $ 1699/person
Off season:
USD $ 1399/person

Tour car rentals from AutoEurope
included in tour price

(7 days)
Alfa Romeo 147 or similar: 4 door, Manual  Transmission with AC
Add $85/day for extra days

Pix and upgrades

Click to enlarge

Route mileage and MapQuest maps (approx distances)
Click on links for maps

Milan - Stresa -
88 km
Stresa - Verbania -
16 km
Verbania - Cannobio
- 21 km
Verbania - Laveno
(ferry) - 8 km
Laveno - Bellagio
- 120 km
Bellagio - Varenna
(ferry) - 5 km
Bellagio - Menaggio
(ferry)- 5 km
Bellagio - Lecco
- 22 km
Lecco - Bergamo - km
Bergamo - Milan -
50 km

Print maps and driving directions from these MapQuest maps

Book this tour
Contact: IV Travel

Tour includes all hotel costs and  car rental for 7 days and 6 nights. Hotel costs are based on a bed and breakfast plan.

Hotel costs are based on one suite, or one room with double occupancy, and either double bed or twins.

Costs may vary slightly depending on hotel and car selections available during your travel period.

No hassle booking:
Contact (by email) and let us know the dates of your tour, how many are travelling in your party. 

We'll contact you within 24 hours to offer you a selection of hotels and cars.   We can also assist with flights to and from Italy and any other needs you may have.

20% deposit on booking
remainder within 45 days
of your departure date

We will confirm all hotel and car bookings and forward all the vouchers and other material you need for the hotels and your car.

Contact: IV Travel



Rates are highest in July and August.
Car  rental:
Included in tour cost, but varies according to tour level.
Other  Transportation:
Air fare, gas, road tolls, ferry's etc not included.
Breakfast is included in all recommended accommodations; the cost of other meals is extra.  Meals in Italy are priced to include the tip.
Entertainment, entrance fees:
Entertainment costs and the cost of entry to museums, galleries, tourist sites, etc are extra
Cost of tours or guiding services is extra.
Extra of course.
Equipment rental costs (bikes, boats, etc) are extra.
If your soul is craving romance then fly to Italy, rent a car and drive a few short kilometers north into one of the most stunningly beautiful and enchanting regions of Italy.  During the journey you will encounter gorgeous lakeside towns that have attracted visitors since time immemorial and immerse yourself in landscapes of unimaginable beauty.  Time spent walking the cheerful lakeside promenades of Bellagio, Cannobio or Varenna, or chatting in a charming Italian cafe in definitely time well spent, and well-deserved.

Click the links for more info from
Booking this tour:
IV Travel

Day 1 - Stresa
(2 nights)

Fly to Milan and pick up your rental car at the airport and head for Stresa, a beautiful little town on Lago Maggiore.  Book into one of our great hotels, have a great meal and sleep easy.

Hotels in Stresa *
(included in tour price)

Hotel - 4 star
(Superior double)
Grand Hotel Bristol
Things to do

See: Stresa, Lago Maggiore, on

La Botte,Via Mazzini, 6
Piemontese, Via Mazzini 10
Osteria degli Amici, Via Anna Maria Bolongaro 27
Day 2 - Verbania - Cannobio

Today you will drive north west along the shores of Lago Maggiore through the charming villages of Campino, Baveno and Fondotoce to Verbania and then on to Cannobio.  You'll be gone most of the day so plan on having lunch at a restaurant in  Cannobio, or better still have your hotel in Stresa pack a picnic lunch, go to the supermarket and put one together yourself.

In Verbania, look first for the Villa Taranta where you can walk through very some particularly gorgeous gardens.  About 30 minutes south of the Villa on foot is the village of Pallanza, where you will find a neat collection of pastel coloured lakeside buildinds, among them some tidy little shops, pasticerias, fruiterias, cafes and gellaterias.

Around Noon, drive north to Cannobio, one of the most convivial of all the towns and villages on Lago Maggiore.  There's lots to see in town, but save time for a small excursion up the Val Cannobio about 10 km.  Here you will find the River Cannobino racing through an amazing, forest shrouded gorge called the Orridor Santa Ana.  It's a marvellous place to break out that picnic lunch!

At the end of a long, satisfying day - return to Stresa - for dinner and a good night's sleep.

Things to do

See: Verbania on
And: Cannobio on

Restaurants (Cannobio)
Lo Scalo - pricey
Osteria La Streccia - reasonably priced
Antica Stallera - garden restaurant
Ristorante Grotto Sant'Anna - in the Val Cannobio by the Roman bridge
Day 3 - Como - Bellagio
(3 nights)

If you haven't spent much time looking around Stresa, why not start your day with a walk down by the water - perhaps have a cafe and cornetto to get your motors running.  By mid-morning you should be checked out of the hotel and on the road to the city of Como at the south westerly corner of Lago Como, timing your arrival for just before Noon.  Drive through the outskirts into Como's centro historico - historical center - which sits close to the Lake.

Things to do in Como

See: Como on

Restaurants in Como
La Scuderia, Piazza Matteoti 4 (lively and inexpensive)
Teatro Sociale, Via Maestri Comacini - decent food at a good price
Villa Olmo Parco, Via Cantoni 1 - good food
Antica Trattoria da Angela, via Foscolo 16 - a bit more upmarket
Oseteria del Gallo, via Vitania 16 - great place for an evening drink

You'll be staying for the next 3 nights at Bellagio. It's a small town with a lot more charm than Como, a great place to settle in for a wider exploration of Lago Como. and some of the other towns and villages on the Lake, some accessible by car, and some by lake ferry.  In Bellagio take your sweet time walking the harbour-side promenade, visiting local gardens, sitting quietly at a charming cafe or dining at one of many good restaurants.  If you like walking...take the trails up behind the town to any number of prospects where you can stop and gather in the sublime views they offer.  Down at the docks you can hook up with a guided tour of the lake or rent a boat.

Hotels in Bellagio *

Hotel - 4 star
(Superior double)
Hotel Belvedere
Things to do

See: Bellagio on

La Punta, 5 minutes walk north of town center
Bilacus, top of Salita Serbelloni
Sylvio, fish restaurant
Day 4 - Day trip to Mennagio - Varenna - Bellagio

There will be no driving today.  Just walk from your hotel in Bellagio to the lakeside harbor and board the ferry for Mennagio where you can enjoy lunch and a walk around this wonderful little town, swim at The Lido, water ski, and much more.  Later, take another ferry from Bellagio to Varenna, the "pearl of Lake Como", which many think is the prettiest town in the Lake District.  You will see why when you arrive!  When you are ready to return to Bellagio, just grab another ferry.  Whether you stay in Varenna for dinner or not is up to you!  We think you should!

Don't miss the last ferry back to Bellagio!

Things to do in Mennagio and Varenna

See: Mennagio on
And: Varenna on

Restaurants in Mennagio and Varenna
Vecchia Menaggio, via al Lago 13
Vecchia Varenna - in the lakeside arcades
Il Mole on the bay in Varenna  - great salads
Days 5-6 - Lecco - Bergamo
(1 night)

It's time to say goodbye to Bellagio, but we have one more stop on Lake Como - at Lecco - and then its off to Bergamo.

Lecco at the bottom of the south eastern fork, like Como, is a largish city.  You'll go through the outskirts of the city to the heart of old Lecco where there are many things to see and do.  Have lunch, walk the promenade, then drive east to the cable car station for a ride up to the Piani di Erna where you can follow the mountain trails for a series of jaw dropping views.

Bergamo is not official a "lake" town, but while you are in Italy's fascinating north, you must visit this very beautiful and compelling old medieval city.  You'll arrive in the newer town - Bergamo Bassa - but you are here to see the much more convivial  Bergamo Alta - the old medieval heart of the city - which is accessible by foot (about 30 minutes uphill) or by funicular (inclined railway) which you catch at the end of Viale Vittorio Emanuele II.

There is too much to say about Bergamo here, so check out our expanded page here: Bergamo

Hotels in Bergamo *
(included in tour price)

Hotel - 4 star
(Deluxe double)
Hotel Cappello D'Oro
Things to do

See: Lecco on
Bergamo on

Antica Trattoria la Colombina, Via Borgo Canale 12 - good food, great views
Baretto di San Vigilio - Via Castello 1 - pricey, but good food, views
Bella Napoli - Via Taramelli 5-9, Pizza!
Coop Cita Alta - Vicolo Sant'Agata - funky and charming, with a garden - nice views
Donizetti, Via Gombito 17a - cosy, warm welcome, good meals
Sole - via B Colleoni 1 - traditional specialties
Vineria Cozzi - Via Colleoni 22a - classy wine bar
Day 7 - Departure
  • It's time to head home.  You can drop your car at Bergamo International airport, or drive to the Milan airport Board your flight, full of great memories, and eager to return to the Lake District in the very near future!
  • Or better still, extend your trip - see below

* reserves the right to select hotels within the same class depending on availability at the time of booking.


Looking for suggestions to extend your journey to Northern Italy?
  • A few more days in Milan for shopping, site-seeing and entertainment.

  • Explore Bologna - one of Italy's most majestic and interesting cities.

  • Head to Venice - and enjoy one of Italy's greatest cities for a few days.

Want to extend your tour for a few more days? can customize your tour.

Contact: IV Travel