Highlights of Italy & Switzerland
13 day tour

  • EU1ROMEP_03_697_x_448.jpg
  • IT-MLPU-SWIS-6S_04_697_x_448.jpg
  • IT-RMPU-NORT-6S_01_697_x_448.jpg
  • IT-RMPU-NORT-6S_05_697_x_448.jpg
  • IT-MLPU-SWIS-6S-01_697_x_448.jpg

Discover the cities of love and art, the deep greens of Swiss valleys, and the glitz and glamor of the north Italian Lakes.

Highlights

UNESCO Heritage Sites
Boat Cruises
Wine
National Parks
Castles
Film Locations
Mountains
Literature

Places you explore


Bologna – A beautiful city boasting the western world’s oldest university whose alumni have changed the world

Venice – One of the great centres of the Italian Renaissance, the ‘City of Water’ will steal your heart

Verona – There’s a lot to love about Verona, the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet

Zermatt - A glamorous resort adorned with the hypnotically-beautiful Matterhorn

Lauterbrunnen – Stare in awe at this postcard-perfect village nestled deep in a valley of 72 waterfalls with views of the Eiger

Chillon Castle – Located on a little island with the Alps in the background, this iconic Medieval castle looks like it’s straight out of a fairy tale

Lake Como and Lake Maggiore - Prestigious villas, lush nature and charming villages. Fall in love with the beguiling beauty of the azure blue lakes

Gruyères – This little quaint Swiss village has it all: lush green fields, charming houses coverd in flowers, a medieval castle, and legendary cheese and chocolate


Your journey


Nature, love, and art are never far apart on this scenic tour through the North of Italy.

You experience the eternally beautiful architecture of Venice, Bologna, and the Renaissance. You travel into valleys adorned with waterfalls, cliffs, and fondue-loving locals. And you see the scenes that inspired Shakespeare, Da Vinci, and all your favourite fairy tales.

Join this tour and experience the highlights of Italy and Switzerland.



Tour Details

Starts
Check-in closes at 08:15 (tour departs at 08:30) - Rome Pick Up, Hotel American Palace, Rome,
Finishes (approx.)
19:00 - Milan Drop Off, Business Palace Milan, Milan,
Luggage
You’re restricted to 20kg (44lbs) of luggage per person. This may consist of a small bag for onboard personal items and a larger suitcase or rucksack.
Discounts
Important information
  • This journey combines two of our tours and a free day in Milan. This means you may swap your bus and guide during the journey
  • Pack comfortable shoes for walks up to beautiful views
Tour inclusions
  • Transport in a luxury mini-coach with a local driver
  • Air conditioning as standard
  • The stories and services of an English-speaking guide
  • 12 nights in 3-4 star hotels with continental breakfast
  • Two-hour guided walking tour of Venice
  • Entrance to Villa Pisani
  • Boat trip across Lake Como
  • Return train tickets from Täsch to Zermatt
Tour exclusions
  • Meals, unless listed above
  • Attractions, unless specified above

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Admire the sculptures, tunnels, and culture of Orvieto
  • Inspire your creativity at the landscape da Vinci loved, Le Balze Natural Park

You leave the hustle and bustle of the Eternal City and travel to Orvieto. Virtually traffic-free, perfectly preserved, and awash with delicious wine: it’s the idyllic Italian village. You can choose to visit the colourful cathedral here and explore at your own pace.

Your journey leads you through the Parco Naturale Le Balze, a landscape studded with balze rock peaks, sulphite streams, and gorgeous vistas that inspired Leonardo da Vinci.

Your lunch stop is in the tiny hamlet of Piantravigne, the perfect spot to sample some truly authentic Italian cuisine.

With your belly full and your senses satisfied, you travel to beautiful Bologna, your overnight destination.

 

Accommodation

NH Bologna de la Garde or similar, Bologna

 

Day 2

  • Stroll through the endless porticos of Bologna
  • Gaze into the detailed mosaics of Ravenna

Today, you can join a half day trip to Ravenna in the morning. Ravenna is a maze of mosaic masterpieces, a unique blend of early Christian and Byzantine architecture with eight sites on the UNESCO list. This unforgettable North Italian destination is also the town where Dante Alighieri is buried.

After lunch, you return from your half-day trip and have the rest of the day to explore Bologna your way. During the Renaissance, this fascinating city was blooming with art and was a centre for intellectual innovation. Its famous university is the oldest in the western world and saw great minds like Petrarch, Dante Alighieri, and Copernicus.

There’s plenty to do here. You can stroll through the beautiful, kilometres-long UNESCO porticos, unravel the mysteries of the university, or tantalise your taste buds with Ragu alla Bolognese.

 

Accommodation

NH Bologna de la Garde or similar, Bologna

 

Day 3

  • Discover the wonderful wildlife of the Po Delta
  • Take in the Gothic and Baroque architecture of Este

It’s time to slap on some sunscreen, charge up your camera, and head deep into nature. Your first stop is Gorino, where you can join an optional boat trip along the River Po. This is the longest river in Italy, and its wetlands give you a chance to spot rare migratory birds. There’s also a lunch box for you to enjoy.

Once you’re back on dry land, you travel to Este, a picture-perfect town with a history that spans over 3000 years. Here you have free time to amble along the city walls or visit the town’s moated Medieval castle.

You then venture to Padua, allegedly the oldest city in Italy and your home for the next three nights. This fascinating place sits at the crossroads of science and religion. This is where venerated St Anthony is buried, and where the ground-breaking scientific discoveries were made at the height of the Renaissance.

 

Optional Activities

  • Boat trip with a lunch box along the Po Delta

 

Accommodation

Hotel Al Prato or similar - Padua

 

Day 4

  • Lose yourself in the canal-lined vistas of Venice

177 canals, 350 gondoliers, and the most idiosyncratic cityscapes in the world: Venice, ‘the Floating City', is your destination today.

With its wealth, trade, and power; Venice has always been bold.

It’s been built on over 118 islands, hosts one of the most famous festivals in the world. And its unique painting style and architecture classifies Venice as one of the great centres of the Renaissance, equal to Rome and Florence.

Once you arrive, you enjoy an included two-hour guided walking tour of the city. From people-watching in Piazza San Marco to frequenting the famous galleries, it’s up to you how you spend the rest of your day in Venice.

In the early evening, you head back to Padua in time for dinner.

 

Included Activities

  • Two hour guided walking tour of Venice

 

Optional Activities:

  • Gondola ride

 

Accommodation

Hotel Al Prato or similar – Padua

 

Day 5

  • Explore Villa Pisani, an exuberant 18th-century palazzo
  • Sip on Prosecco and Grappa at the foothills of the Dolomites

The traditional flavours of Italy are yours to explore today.

First, you go to Villa Pisani. This included attraction boasts awesome art exhibitions and is the epitome of late baroque architecture. Napoleon once owned this huge holiday home and presented it to his stepson as a gift.

You say bye to the excesses of the aristocracy and venture to Valdobbiadene for a chance to indulge in something a little sweeter. This rolling landscape is home to the best prosecco, and you have the option to enjoy an exclusive tasting. We promise it’ll be the freshest prosecco you’ve ever tasted.

The indulgence continues as you travel to Bassano del Grappa, where you have the chance to sample sweet and intoxicating Grappa. If you’ve had enough tipple for the day, you can spend your time admiring the castle and the town’s famous old bridge instead.

You then travel to Padua for your final evening in the historic town.

 

Included Activities

  • Entrance to Villa Pisani

Optional Activities

  • Prosecco tasting at Valdobbiadene
  • Grappa tasting in Bassano del Grappa

Accommodation

Hotel Al Prato or similar – Padua

 

Day 6

  • Weep for the romance of Romeo and Juliet in the play’s setting, Verona
  • Get inspired by the fresh views of Lake Garda
  • Sample excellent Franciacorta wines

Say ‘ciao!’ to the romance of Italy, because your first stop today is the setting of Romeo and Juliet, Verona. You have time here to reminisce about past lovers at the famous balcony, admire a grand Roman Colosseum, and amble through the ancient piazzas at your own pace.

You then travel to Lake Garda. This lake’s crystal-clear waters and views of the Dolomites have made the place a favourite destination for artists, poets, and travellers since the Roman ages.

Your journey west takes you to the vineyards around Erbusco; also known as that place in your imagination you’ve always dreamed of. Here you have the option to indulge in one more authentic wine tasting.

You arrive in Milan in the evening.

 

Optional Activities

  • Wine tasting at an Ebrusco winery

 

Accommodation

Business Palace Milan or similar, Milan

Day 7

  • Stand face to face with Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper
  • Get your fashion fix in one of many designer shops

In Milan, life revolves around art, fashion, and delicious cuisine, so make sure to indulge in them on your free day.

When it comes to art, seeing da Vinci’s Last Supper is a must. This enigmatic piece of work attracts many visitors, so book your tickets in advance.

Next, there’s the Duomo, the Cathedral of Milan. This tremendous tribute to Gothic architecture is one of the biggest churches in Italy and will mesmerize you with its intricate design.

In a city obsessed with fashion, even window shopping feels like a unique experience. Visit the flamboyant Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II or Quadrilatero della Moda, the home of the most luxurious brands.

Then, follow in the footsteps of Milanese and partake in aperitivo, the pre-dinner ritual. Savour that moment of relaxation after the day and get ready for the next stage of your journey.

 

Optional Activities:

  • Ticket for a hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus

 

Accommodation

Business Palace Milan or similar, Milan

Day 8

  • Experience Lake Como from the water on an included boat trip
  • Marvel at the Mediterranean feel of Lugano

You travel directly from the metropolis of Milan to Lake Como, the most stunning lake in the region. Framed by the Rhaetian Alps, this Italian slice of heaven’s crystal-clear waters seduced the most famous writers of the 18th and 19th centuries.

Admire the mountainous vistas and colourful villas from the unique perspective of the water, as you hop on an included boat trip across to Lenno.

Once you’re on dry land, you can grab lunch in Lenno. The town boasts an 11th-century octagonal baptistry, a Romanesque-style crypt, and enough lovely lakeside views to last a lifetime.

You then cross the border into Switzerland and visit Lugano. You have a couple of hours here to explore however you please. People watch over a coffee in Piazza della Riforma, pour over the frescos at the Church of S. Maria degli Angioli, or feast your eyes on more waterside scenes on the shores of Lake Lugano.

You travel to the quaint and cultural town of Locarno for your evening and overnight stay.

 

Included Activities

  • Boat trip across Lake Como

 

Accommodation

Home Hotel Locarno or similar, Locarno

Day 9

  • Admire Lake Maggiore from the promenade in Stresa
  • Stroll through the old town of Varese

Wake up, eat a scrumptious breakfast, and get ready for more lakeside adventures.

You first travel to elegant Stresa. Here you have the option to take a boat ride to Isola Bella. This island sits in Lake Maggiore and offers visitors a chance to wander through gorgeous gardens and admire the exuberant extravagancies of a wealthy 17th-century family in Palazzo Borromeo.

In the afternoon, you venture to Varese, also known as the ‘Garden City’. Grab a snack here and enjoy a guided stroll through the old town centre to find out how this town earned such a nickname.

You travel via the lush Campo dei Fiori landscapes back to Locarno for your second night on the shores of Lake Maggiore.

 

Optional Activities

  • Boat ride out to Isola Bella and admission to Palazzo Borromeo

 

Accommodation

Home Hotel Locarno or similar, Locarno

Day 10

  • Feel like an age-old smuggler as you go over the Simplon Pass
  • Be awed by up-close views of the Matterhorn in Zermatt

You leave Locarno and head deep into the Alps.

Your first stop of the day is in Domodossola. You have time here to grab a coffee, snap a few photos of the piazza, and acclimatise to the sky-touching mountain views.

The winding roads take you to the Simplon Pass. This is a historic location that’s been used as a key route through the Alps by Stone Age dwellers, Romans, and smugglers of the Middle Ages.

Now, it’s time to discover one of the most admired peaks in all of Europe, the Matterhorn. You arrive in Täsch and take a round trip on a train to car-free Zermatt, a “base camp” for aspiring mountaineers, to enjoy the views and grab lunch.

Back on our coach, you travel to Lausanne. Overlooking Lake Geneva, this town is home to the Olympic Museum, grand mountain views, and your bed for the next two nights.

 

Included Activities

  • Return train tickets from Täsch to Zermatt

 

Accommodation

Hotel Alpha Palmiers by Fassbind or similar, Lausanne

Day 11

  • Savour the quintessential flavours of Gruyères
  • Go celebrity-spotting in glamorous Gstaad
  • Admire the iconic Chillon Castle on Lake Geneva

We hope you have an appetite, because your first stop of the day is the home of Gruyère cheese, Gruyères. You have time here to go beyond the dairy delights and discover the Medieval town and its views of the Saane Valley.

You then travel alongside Alpine peaks to Gstaad. This glamourous Alpine village is a favourite hangout spot for ski-loving celebrities; see who you can spot.

Near Montreux, you have the option to visit Chillon Castle, an unbelievably idyllic stronghold that deserves its claim as Switzerland’s most visited castle.

You arrive back in Lausanne in time for dinner.

 

Optional Activities

  • Chillon Castle

 

Accommodation

Hotel Alpha Palmiers by Fassbind or similar, Lausanne

Day 12

  • Experience Switzerland’s most inspirational views
  • Walk the trail of waterfalls in Lauterbrunnen

The valley of 72 waterfalls, an outdoor pursuits paradise, and your first stop today.

You spend time in Lauterbrunnen any way you choose today. There are lovely walks, trains to mountain peaks, and more. You’re spoilt for choice, so ask your guide for advice on what you should do.

Once you’ve gratified your senses with Lauterbrunnen’s imposing mountain views and pastoral Swiss splendours, you travel to Interlaken. This small resort town, nestled snug between the mountains, is your home for the evening.

 

Accommodation

Hotel Weisses Kreuz or similar, Interlaken

Day 13

  • Meet William Tell
  • Enjoy the typical Swiss landscape of Biosphere Entlebuch
  • Be impressed by the defences of Bellinzona

You leave Interlaken and head through the bucolic landscape of the UNESCO Biosphere Entlebuch. Stroll through typical sound-of-music style scenes of cows chomping through fields of green grass and along mossy paths to Chessiloch Falls.

Nature may rejuvenate the senses, but it doesn’t fill your belly; so your next stop is for lunch in Altdorf. This historic town is famous for being the place where William Tell shot an apple off his son’s head.

You then descend from the heights of the Alps to Bellinzona. Since Roman times, grand castles, now UNESCO heritage sites, have stoically guarded the access to northern Italy. You have the choice here to visit the castles or relax in the town.

You arrive back in Milan in the evening.

 

Optional Activities

  • The castles of Bellinzona

Accommodation

 

Where does this tour stay overnight?

You stay two nights in Bologna, three nights in Padua, two nights in Milan, two nights in Locarno, two nights in Lausanne, and one night in Interlaken.

For examples of the accommodation, please see the tour itinerary.

 

How does the accommodation work?

A good night’s sleep is often needed for a good day of travel.

So we’ve hand-picked three-star to four-star hotels in remote coastal villages, bustling towns, and mountain valleys.

Your accommodation is included in the tour price; and when you book your trip, you can choose whether you want double rooms, twin rooms, or single rooms.

 

Are there any extra accommodation costs?

The price you see is for all your tour's accommodation and for the tour itself. It also includes a tourist tax. This figure is based on shared accommodation. When you're booking your tour and select a single room, an additional single room supplement will be added to the price.

 

FAQs

Do I need a visa to take this tour?

You may need a Schengen Visa to travel throughout Europe. Check the official tourism website of the country you’re visiting for up-to-date and reliable information. Travel between countries is easy because there are no passport checks at the borders.

 

Are the tours suitable for people with mobility issues?

Most people can comfortably enjoy our tours, but it's worth bearing in mind that we often include optional short walks in scenic locations. Please also be aware that many of the old European towns are built on steep hills with cobbled lanes, and you may have to carry your own luggage at times.

So that we can ensure you're comfortable travelling with us, please let us know about any special requirements or needs at the time of booking. If you have any more questions, simply email tours@rabbies.com .

 

Do you offer hotel pickups in the departure cities?

Europe's historic city centres are full of narrow streets and winding roads. So, to speed up your departure and avoid contributing to congestion issues, we start our trip from hotels located conveniently on the edge of cities. We choose hotels with good public transport connections to the city centre, so you can enjoy your evening explorations.

To make your tour more convenient, you can add an optional pre and post-departure accommodation in the hotel we use as a pick up or a drop off point.

 

When should I get to the departure point?

Arrive at the hotel lobby 15 minutes before your departure time. Unfortunately, we’re unable to wait for you if you’re late due to vehicle restrictions. But depending on your situation, we may be able to help you catch up with your tour.

 

What are your cancellation policies?

We have a cancellation period of 42 days for our Europe tours. If you cancel your trip before this period, we give you a full refund minus a 10% admin charge. If you cancel inside this time frame, you’re liable for the cost of the tour package.

We understand how disappointing it is when you have to cancel a trip with us, so please contact our friendly team who will try their best to resell your ticket and refund you.

Click here to view full terms and conditions.

 

What is a guaranteed departure?

It's simple: you book, you go. This means we'll never cancel your tour because of a minimum numbers policy.

 

Can routes change?

Your friendly driver and guide are passionate about the places they visit and know all the local gossip. This means your tour itinerary can change a little due to festivities, attraction opening hour changes, and spontaneous photo opportunities.

 

Can I pre-book a specific seat?

Due to logistical reasons, we're unable to let you pre-book a seat on the bus. But our comfortable mini-coaches offer a good view.

 

Are there toilets on the bus?

We like to keep our coaches small, nimble, and odour free. This means we have no on-board toilet facilities, but you frequently stop in local towns and villages for comfort breaks.

 

Do you take children on your tours?

Unfortunately, we’re unable to have children under the age of five on our Europe tours.

You can ask us about the tours we recommend for younger children. And if your child is less than 1.35m tall, you should let us know, so we can provide them with a suitable booster seat.

 

How much time do I get off the bus?

We want you to enjoy your trip to Europe. And we believe the best way to do this is to get you off the mini-coach and out exploring. So, we give you plenty of stops to take photos, go walking, and explore ancient ruins.

 

What are 'included activities' and 'optional activities'?

We've arranged experiences for you on your tour. The 'included activities' are already booked and paid for as part of your trip, whereas you can purchase 'optional activities' while on your tour. You also have free time in many destinations to pick and choose which attractions you visit.

 

Do we need to bring our own lunch?

You don't need to pack or bring along food on the mini-coach. We stop in small European towns, villages, and rural eateries where you can choose whatever meal pleases both your taste buds and your budget.

 

What should I do if I have too much luggage?

It’s more enjoyable to travel with light luggage. You can take less by cleaning clothes along the way. Most hotels provide affordable laundry service.

But if you're travelling with more than 20kg, don't worry! There are left luggage facilities close to the majority of our departure points, and courier companies who could ship your excess luggage on to your chosen destination. Our team are happy to help if you need any suggestions or recommendations.

 

Should I tip the driver and the guide?

Let's be honest, our drivers and guides would never refuse a cheeky bonus. But it's up to you, and the amount is entirely at your discretion.

 

What about travel insurance?

We highly recommend you take out travel insurance, so you can enjoy a stress-free journey.

 

What is ABTOT?

You're protected by ABTOT when you book a tour with us. This means you can claim back anything you've paid us if we run into any issues. Read our terms and conditions for more information.

Our packages are covered by the Package Travel Regulations. For full details of your key rights please click here.

 

I have more questions, who can help me?

If you have any more questions, call us on +44(0)131 226 3133, email tours@rabbies.com, or check out our full FAQs.

4 reasons to choose Rabbie's

Travel the local way on small group tours of 16 people or fewer

You'll have a guaranteed experience, or your money back

Guaranteed departures: you book, you go

Our eco-friendly tours support local communities

BTA_2018.png Green Tourism Award Scottish Thistle Awards Winner 2015/2016 TC_2018_WHITE_LL_R-112x105.png queens-award.png Scottish Tourist Board 5 Stars
Download Rabbie's Brochures

Looking for inspiration?

Subscribe to our emails for tips and updates about our friendly tours across the UK & Europe.

Yes, inspire me