Whilst Garda continues to seduce, the wider region of Lombardy also offers so much beyond its great lakes. As well as Lake Garda's glittering waters, palaces and fortresses drape the rolling hills of the region, peaceful Lake Iseo offers a sense of tranquillity, and characterful towns nurture medieval cores. These provincial masterpieces boast extravagant architecture and spectacular artworks, yet somehow they remain free of crowds. Wonderful regional wines are produced thanks to the rich, fertile plains and beyond these, mountain valleys are occupied by stunning cities such as Mantua and Brescia. These treasure troves of history and culture are endlessly fascinating and impossibly graceful, showing off art and artefacts at every turn, inside and out.
based on two sharing in a twin/double room, with a minimum of 35 passengers travelling in a specific month
April, May, June, September, October
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Glittering like a sapphire amongst the vibrant green hills and craggy mountains, Lake Garda is a destination that has it all. Italy’s largest lake has inspired poets and artists for centuries with its crystalline waters, characterful harbour towns and picturesque vineyards. The Riviera feel of the gentle southern shores gives way to more dramatic scenery on the northern coast of the lake. The town of Riva del Garda at the lake’s northern tip is bright and breezy with pretty baroque buildings, and lively Limone is surrounded by lemon trees and sheltered by cliffs.
Once an Etruscan village, Mantua (Mantova) was transformed during the Renaissance period by the powerful House of Gonzaga. Today, the grandeur of this family remains to be seen in the town’s architecture, which includes the grand Palazzo Ducale and the wonderful Palazzo Te. The interiors of these spectacular palaces are adorned with incredible frescoes.
The Palazzo Te is a stunning example of High Renaissance architecture. Commissioned by Frederico II Gonzaga in the early 16th century, this pleasure palace is a masterpiece by Giulio Romano, a pupil of Rafael. Inside the palace, his awe-inspiring trompe l’oeil frescoes demonstrate the Mannerist style.
Mantua’s Palazzo Ducale was the sophisticated seat of the Gonzaga family for three centuries. This vast palace boasts over 500 rooms, alongside many courtyards and gardens. The Painted Chamber, a 15th century masterpiece by Mantegna, is a highlight of this important and extensive historic court.
Beautiful Brescia is an artistic and archaeological delight. With no less than four grand, historic squares, it boasts Roman remains dating back to the 1st century, an 8th century monastic complex, two cathedrals, Venetian architecture and a fascinating astronomical clock. A fascinating selection of museums accompany this living history. Brescia is also in the heart of a European Region of Gastronomy, meaning that the food is a delight at almost every turn.
Tucked unobtrusively between the larger lakes Garda and Como, this hidden gem is nevertheless the fourth largest lake in northern Italy. Loaded with the charm and beauty of its more famous neighbours, it sees just a fraction of the visitors. Idyllic Iseo, romantic Lovere, splendid Tavernola Bergamasca or charming Sarnico are the perfect towns for soaking up atmospheric alleyways, elaborate churches, collections of fine art and impossibly beautiful vistas.
The pretty, historic town of Salò is lined with art nouveau villas and exudes a sense of grandeur. Flanking the western shore of Lake Garda, this Venetian town is packed with history and lays claim to the longest promenade on the lake.
5 minute read
It’s a key part of my job to match my clients and their groups with the perfect hotel, so in addition to understanding my client’s needs, it is also important for me to understand exactly what facilities and services a hotel can offer, and how good its location is within...
By Jo Blair
31st Oct 2019
Hand picked destinations
Lombardy offers so much more beyond its great lakes. Palaces and fortresses drape the rolling hills, peaceful Lake Iseo offers tranquillity, and characterful towns nurture medieval cores. These provincial masterpieces boast extravagant architecture and spectacular artworks, and the impossibly graceful cities show off art and artefacts at every turn, inside and out.
Loaded with the charm and beauty of its more famous neighbours, Lake Iseo sees just a fraction of the visitors, therefore making it the perfect place to soak up atmospheric alleyways, elaborate churches and impossibly beautiful vistas of northern Italy.
Glittering like a sapphire amongst the vibrant green hills and craggy mountains, Lake Garda is a destination that has it all. Italy’s largest lake has been inspirational for centuries, with its crystalline waters, characterful towns and picturesque vineyards.
A rural jewel set between the sparkling Lakes Como and Iseo, Italy's Imagna Valley is a lush green oasis that remains relatively untouched by tourism.