Bellissima Northern Italy
"Romancing the senses" is an apt description for the experiences showcased on Bellissima Northern Italy... for the landscapes you'll see and the lifestyles you'll sample take you on a love affair with Italy. It starts with fashion and art in Milan when you view da Vinci's The Last Supper with a local guide (subject to availability). It continues during a private Tauck cruise across Lake Como to Bellagio and a boat ride to Isola Bella on Lake Maggiore. It captures your heart along the cobblestone streets of Verona, home to Romeo & Juliet... your taste buds at an agriturismo in the Franciacorta region and a cooking demo in Bologna (whose nickname is La Grassa, "the Fat One")... and all the senses in Venice, with visits by boat to some of the Venetian Islands and a Tauck Exclusive, after-hours guided visit to St. Mark's Basilica to view its treasures without the daytime crowds. Now that's amore, from pane to formaggio to vino...
With a great historic past and incomparable art treasures, Venice is renowned as one of the world’s great cities. Its 118 islands are separated by more than 150 canals and spanned by 400 bridges. During Venice's artistic golden age many magnificent structures were erected to create world-famous masterpieces. One of the best sightseeing routes is along Grand Canal, with many palaces lining the famous waterway. St. Mark’s Square offers access to some of Venice’s most famed attractions - St. Mark’s Basilica and Doge’s Palace. From Piazza San Marco, a maze of narrow streets are lined with shops, cafés and restaurants. A popular pastime is sitting at an outdoor café facing the square while people-watching and letting the whole marvelous scenario unfold. Venice’s Murano, Burano and Torcello Islands comprise an area famous as home of Venice’s glass-blowing industry and known for their charm, skilled lace-making and medieval monuments. Relax on a gondola ride, see art treasures in museums, churches and palaces, and have a sumptuous meal - all in this incomparable city.
Milan is a city that arouses extreme feelings, just like the city lifestyle. A frenetic, restless rhythm is part of both work and leisure, so much so that it is difficult to stay unmoved and not get overwhelmed by all the cultural and social stimulus.
Maybe for this reason, Milan makes itself indispensable, because it is impossible to feel so alive and full of energy when you are away from the city. Milan is always one step ahead: a laboratory of artistic experiments and a building site for social behavior that is continuously changing. City full of contradictions, ancient and modern, trends and counter-trends, fashion and underground, middle class and working class, but always simply “cool”.
Like the other northern Italian lakes, Lake Maggiore's credentials as a tourist destination go back a long way. The early twentieth century saw a spate of illustrious visitors enjoying themselves in luxurious lakeside villas and verdant gardens.
The most popular Lake Maggiore resorts are on the western shores of the lake. Stresa is a lovely town with beautiful villas and gardens (some open to the public), a good climate and lake views. From the town a cablecar takes you up Monte Mottarone, where from a height of over 4,000 ft you can enjoy views of the Alps and the other lakes.
If you spend time at Lake Maggiore, you will soon become familiar with the name of the Borromeo family, who still own the islands named after them. Their most celebrated scion, St Charles Borromeo, was born in the castle in Arona, at the southern end of the west shore. A gigantic statue in the town celebrates San Carlo; if you climb up inside the hollow structure, you can admire the view through the Saint's eyes.
The Borromean Islands are unmissable Lake Maggiore tourist attractions. There are three open to the public, containing beautiful gardens, small settlements and restaurants.
The city of the most famous lovers in history: Romeo and Juliet. But Verona has much more to offer. The city, also known as Urbs Nobilissima, is the second biggest city in Veneto (after Venice). It is one of the cities that has better preserved its artistic heritage in Italy.
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