Village Life – Italian Lakes



Join our small group of member travelers in the quintessentially Italian città di Como— your picturesque “home” in Italia for a full week—for this one‑of‑a‑kind, eight-day Village Life around the Italian Lakes soggiorno, an exceptional way to experience the true essence of life in the beautiful and charming regions of Lombardy and Piedmont. Our carefully designed, expert‑guided excursions explore the artistic and architectural treasures commissioned by Roman patricians, medieval lords and Renaissance princes, including the fashionable city of Milan and a specially arranged viewing of Leonardo da Vinci’s renowned masterpiece, The Last Supper, hung in the UNESCO World Heritage‑desginated Santa Maria delle Grazie. Enriching presentations and the exclusive Village Life Forum, featuring local residents, offer you personal perspectives on Lombardy cultural heritage and contemporary life.

Pricing from

SAVE up to $840 if reserved early!

Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
Oct 19, 2024 - Oct 27, 2024


The Palace Hotel
The recently refurbished, classic belle-epoque Palace Hotel is a delightful establishment with a magnificent setting on the lungo lago (lakefront promenade) overlooking Lake Como and is just steps away from Como’s beautiful marble Duomo and the medieval, pedestrian-only town center. Venetian stucco artistry, Italian marble and antique furniture provide subtle touches of 19th-century elegance throughout the hotel, while its beautifully landscaped gardens provide the perfect setting to admire enchanting views across Lake Como. The Ceccato Ice Cream Parlor, with its summer terrace and winter garden overlooking the lake, is an excellent place to enjoy the refreshing flavors of a traditional Italian ice or a cup of cappuccino. Each of the hotel’s 94 comfortable guest rooms is tastefully appointed with a private bathroom, air conditioning, satellite television, minibar and hair dryer. (Lake-view rooms can be requested for an additional fee and are subject to availability. Call for more information.) Meals, featuring well-prepared Italian and local specialties and international cuisine, are served in the hotel’s beautifully furnished Antica Darsena restaurant. Table wines are served with dinner. The hotel staff provides exceptional service.


Airport transfers and luggage handling abroad are only included if air arrangements are booked through Gohagan & Company. If travelers make their own air arrangements, transfers and luggage handling are not included; transfers can be organized through Gohagan & Company and purchased by the traveler.


  • Giuseppina Lucini

    Giuseppina Lucini

    Giuseppina Lucini was raised in Como, Italy, where she still lives today. Her family has resided  here for generations. Giuseppina earned her Classical Literature at Liceo A. Volta in Como,  as well as an M.A. in Medieval History from Università degli Studi in Milan. Her active interest in art  and history as well as her fluency in English, Italian and French complement her open and enthusiastic attitude with travelers. Always a popular study leader, she looks forward to introducing you, through her lectures, to all that the Italian Lake District has to offer.


A non-refundable administrative fee of $300 per person will apply for all cancellations received more than 7 days after booking and before other fees take effect at 120 days:
120 days $300 per person admin fee after 7-day grace period from booking
120 – 91 days 25% of full invoice fare
90 – 61 days 50% of full invoice fare
60 – 31 days 75% of full invoice fare
30 – 0 days 100% of full invoice fare
Separate airfare Terms & Conditions apply




  • day 1

    Depart the U.S.

    Depart your home city on an overnight flight to Milan.

  • day 2

    Milan, Italy/Lake Como

    Arrive in Milan and transfer to Como, the perfect “home” for our soggiorno in the spectacular mountainous Italian countryside. Check into the charming Palace Hotel on the shore of Lake Como and unpack only once for this exclusive journey. After enjoying some of the hotel’s luxury amenities, join your traveling companions for a welcome reception. Enjoy a provided dinner at the hotel. (r,d)

  • day 3


    Start your morning by listening to a fascinating lecture about Como’s history, “From Roman Ruins to Medieval Walls to the Present.” Stroll throughout Old Como and admire magnificent architectural sites like the Gothic Duomo di Como, the beautiful fresco-adorned Romanesque Basilica di San Fedele, the 13th-century town hall Broletto, and the 12th-century gate tower Porta Vittoria. During the walking tour, you will also visit the grand Voltas Square, which commemorates the credited inventor of the battery Alessandro Volta. Enjoy lunch on your own and provided dinner at the hotel. (b,d)

  • day 4

    Lake Maggiore/Borromean Islands/Stresa

    Enjoy a private boat cruise amid charming Lake Maggiore islands, graced with elegant villas and striking natural beauty. Visit the crown jewel of the Borromean archipelago, Isola Bella, occupied by the 17th-century Palazzo Borromeo, and stroll the island’s lush in the island’s lush gardens. Enjoy spectacular mountain views from Stresa, a must for any “Grand Tour” that was also the setting for Ernest Hemingway’s iconic novel “A Farewell to Arms”. Explore Stresa and have lunch on your own. At the hotel enjoy an art lecture by a local expert. Enjoy dinner on your own. (b)

  • day 5


    Visit Milan’s world‑famous Teatro alla Scala opera house, a Neoclassical jewel of gilt boxes and glittering chandeliers. Continue on to the city’s social hub, the Galleria Vittorio Emmanuele II. Visit the city’s Duomo, renowned as the largest Gothic cathedral in the world taking nearly 500 years to complete. Enjoy lunch on your own. By special arrangement, visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Santa Maria  delle Grazie to experience the genius of Leonardo da Vinci’s famous work, “The Last Supper.” Enjoy dinner on your own. (b)

  • day 6

    Lake Como/Villa del Balbianello/Bellagio

    After a delicious breakfast buffet at the hotel, cruise by private boat across the sparkling waters of Italy’s deepest—and perhaps most spectacular—lake while learning about its fascinating history and allure. Enjoy time to explore Bellagio at your own pace and browse through its wonderful boutiques. Across Lake Como from Bellagio, visit the magnificent Villa del Balbianello and its unique terraced gardens. Lunch will be on your own. Later, savor the delights of a provided northern Italian dinner in a local ristorante. (b,d)

  • day 7

    Lake Orta/Orta San Giulio/Sacro Monte di Orta

    Start the day by enjoying a provided breakfast buffet at the hotel. Visit the heart of Orta San Giulio’s medieval village center to admire Baroque palazzos built by Italian nobility. Admire chapels dedicated to St. Francis of Assisi atop the summit of UNESCO-inscribed Sacro Monte di Orta and admire the chapels’ frescoes and terra cotta statues. Transfer by private boat across the cobalt‑blue water to Isola San Giulio and visit the 12th‑century Romanesque‑style Basilica San Giulio, taking in views of Italian villas and gardens along the way. Lunch and dinner will be on your own. (b)

  • day 8


    Following a complimentary breakfast at the hotel, the day is free for independent pursuits, which may include exploring the Como public market, or a visit to Villa Carlotta, a botanical garden and museum on Lake Como, or Isola Comacina, the only island on Lake Como. The island also played an important role in Como’s history and it acted as a fortress centuries ago, with its structures surrounded by high walls. Enjoy lunch on your own. This evening, join your travel companions for a provided farewell dinner at the hotel. (b,d)

  • day 9

    Como/Milan/Return to the U.S.

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