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Honeymoons
& weddings
  
Honeymoons and weddings abroad are tailor-made by Expressions Holidays. Contact us for a range of honeymoon and wedding destinations around the world and an amazing choice of honeymoons from island-hopping to visiting cultural sites.
Authentic
Experiences
  

With Authentic Experiences from Expressions Holidays you enter a world of genuine holiday and travel experiences within the framework of one of our tailor-made holidays, be its significance culture, gastronomy, wine appreciation, wildlife, sports or special occasions.
Spa
holidays
  

Expressions Spas opens a world of tailor-made spa holidays that allows you to choose according to region, type of treatment desired, product type and recommends for your party type, whether it be for couples, singles or perhaps mothers and daughters travelling together.
Family
holidays
  

Expressions Families affords you an amazing choice of sophisticated resorts ideally suited to families in selected destinations worldwide. You can also choose according to required facilities in resort and we suggest holidays for families with grandparents and single parent families too.
Rail
holidays
  

Expressions Holidays offers you tailor-made rail holidays and journeys by train, including luxury trains, scenic journeys and classic rail tours.
Worldwide
journeys
  

Tailor-made journeys and tours for individuals and small groups to selected destinations around the world from Burma to Italy, from Vietnam to India.
  • Luxury tailor-made hotel holidays to the Italian Lakes

    Luxury holidays to the Italian Lakes including Lake Como, Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore

    Our luxury tailor-made hotel holidays to the Italian Lakes span the northern Italian regions of Lombardy, Piemonte and the Veneto.

    We offer hotels located by the undisputedly beautiful Lake Maggiore, Lake Como and Lake Garda and also the smaller, quieter lakes of Orta and Iseo, both well-worth exploring in their own right. Each lake has its own character and atmosphere, distinctive terrain, architecture and style. Placed as the lakes are to the south of the Alps and to the north of the Po Valley, they naturally possess a charming mixture of the vibrant coolness associated with the Alps but enlivened by the warmth of the South. 

    The landscape around the Italian Lakes is one of deep blue waters surrounded by greenish-blue tinged mountains, often snow-capped. On the shores of the lakes and the lower slopes of the hills you find a profusion of lemons and olives, chestnuts and palms, magnolias and camellias. Pretty villages with rustic stone and wood houses hug the sheltered bays and fishing boats still moor next to sailing boats. Wrought-iron balconies and colourful shutters adorn gaily-painted houses with terracotta roofs. 

    Dining is usually al fresco in the summer months and a magical atmosphere is created with the lapping of the waters and the twinkling of the lights around the lake and in the hills above. The close proximity to Milan and Verona as well as other less well-known but artistically interesting cities means that you can visit the Italian Lakes quite easily for just a weekend or short break as well as a longer holiday. The Italian Lakes can all be visited as part of a rail holiday, and the many beautiful gardens located in the vicinity of Lakes Como and Maggiore are well worth a visit as part of a garden tour holiday. You can also download here a pdf of the Garden Tours of Italy leaflet.

    Our favourite four and five star hotels for luxury holidays in the Italian Lakes include Lefay Resort & Spa on Lake Garda, Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni and Villa d'Este on Lake Como, and the Hotel Cannero Lakeside Resort on Lake Maggiore.

    Local highlights

    Cultural Highlights around the Italian Lakes
    Much of the artistic and architectural cultural wealth in the region is concentrated in the great cities such as Milan and Verona but also in the less well-known but culturally-rich centres of Bergamo, Brescia, Pavia, Mantova and Vicenza (not directly on the Lakes but within reach for a day`s excursion). Highlights include the frescoes by Masolino at Castiglione Olona, the Rocca (castle) at Angera, the Flemish tapestries on the Isola Bella Lake Maggiore, the marble cathedral of Santa Maria Maggiore at Como and the works of art in the Galleria dell`Accademia Tadini at Lovere on Lake Iseo. Milan has La Scala, the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, the Brera Gallery (containing Raphael`s `Marriage of the Virgin` and the Montefeltro altarpiece by Piero della Francesca) and its Gothic cathedral. Verona has its annual opera festival from June until the end of August, the Romanesque church of San Zeno, the Renaissance Loggia del Consiglio and the Roman Arena. 

    Festivals in the Italian Lakes
    The Verona Opera Festival takes place in the Roman Arena every year with performances running from June until the end of August. Verona also celebrates Carnival every year culminating on the Friday before Shrove Tuesday. Como holds a flea market, the Fiera di Pasqua, over the Easter weekend. Music festivals take place in Bergamo throughout the year. The Mille Miglia veteran car race starts and ends in Brescia (via Ferrara to Rome in May each year). 

    Gastronomy in the Italian Lakes
    The cuisine of northern Italy tends to contain more meat and butter than further south and rice and polenta compete with pasta. Saffron is used extensively as in Risotto alla Milanese. Bresaola is cured raw beef served as an antipasta (now often with rocket and parmesan). Manzo al Barolo (beef in Barolo wine), Costolette alla Milanese (veal cutlets in breadcrumbs) and Ossobucco (veal in wine and tomatoes) are all popular dishes. Panettone cake and Zabaglione are two regional desserts. This region produces some of Italy's most famous cheeses such as Gorgonzola, Bel Paese, Fontina and Taleggio as well as some of Italy's most exportable wines such as Soave, Bardolino and Valpolicella. Less well known but interesting wines are produced in the Valtellina in the north of Lombardy and in Franciacorta near Lake Iseo.

    Getting out and about

    Historic villas are to be found on every lake from the Grotte di Catullo Roman villa at Sirmione on Lake Garda to Villa Melzi and Villa Olmo on Lake Como and the Palazzo Estense in Varese. Most of these villas also have extraordinarily beautiful gardens (which can be visited as part of an Expressions Garden Tour holiday) such as the Villa Carlotta on Lake Como, the Isola Bella in Lake Maggiore and Villa Taranto at Punta della Castagnola on Lake Maggiore. Monte Mottarone above Stresa on Lake Maggiore and Monte Baldo above Lake Garda can both be reached by cable car and afford spectacular views. At Gargnano on Lake Garda you can see the stone pavilions where lemons were traditionally cultivated. Within the region there are national parks such as the Stelvio National Park north of Orta and the Parco Nazionale della Val Grande above Verbania on Lake Maggiore.

    Travel arrangements

    By air: Fly to Milan, Verona or Brescia Daily flights to Milan with British Airways from Heathrow, Manchester, Birmingham and Edinburgh and daily flights with Alitalia from Heathrow. Daily flights to Verona with British Airways from Gatwick. Most of the hotels in the Lakes are no more than 90 minutes' drive from the airport.
    Hire-car: We include a hire-car with all our holidays to the Italian Lakes. However, you do not need to have a car in this area, particularly if you are going to stay at just one hotel on say Lake Como or Maggiore. We can arrange a taxi transfer for you instead of the hire-car. If you are going to combine a stay on the Lakes with say a stay in Verona or Venice, you can collect the car at the airport when you arrive, use it for your stay in the Lakes and then drop the car off when you arrive in the city.
    Self-drive: With your own car you can reach the Lakes with just one overnight stop en route, perhaps in Burgundy or Alsace.
    In addition to holidays by air and by car, you may also be interested in holidays by rail (including the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express and an overnight sleeper service from Paris to Italy).


     Lake Como and Maggiore Map

     
    Lake Garda Map

  • Lake Como luxury holidays

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    Find out more about Lake Como, 'a treasure which the earth keeps to itself'.
  • Tour of Gardens and Villas of Como and Maggiore

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    Small group tours of the stunning gardens on the Italian Lakes.View holiday

    Gourmet food and wine tasting holiday in Franciacorta

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    Taste regional sparkling wines and learn to cook Italian cuisine at Hotel L'Albereta.
  • Self-drive to the Italian Lakes by Car

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    Drive South from Calais to the Northern Italian Lakes, via France & Switzerland.

    Three Lakes and Venice touring holiday

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    This is a wonderful, leisurely touring holiday of Italy’s famous lakes and spans the northern Italian regions

    Lake Maggiore by train

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    Travel  by train to the delightful Hotel Cannero Lakeside Resort on Lake Maggiore.

    Lake Como by train

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    Experience the romance of rail as you travel through Europe by train to beautiful Lake Como in Italy. Lake Com

    Lake Garda by train

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    Travel through France to the shores of Lake Garda.

    Verona Lake Garda and Lake Geneva by train

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    Travel by train to Verona, Lake Garda and Lake Geneva

    Lake Como on the Bernina Express

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    Over the Swiss Alps to Lake Como on the Bernina Express
  • Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni - Luxury Lake Como Holidays

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    Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni in Bellagio is an elegant five star hotel on the banks of Lake Como.

    Grand Hotel Tremezzo

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    Located on the western shore of Lake Como facing the pretty resort of Bellagio, the Grand Hotel Tremezzo Pa

    Grand Hotel Imperiale Resort & SPA - Luxury Lake Como Holidays

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    The Grand Hotel Imperiale Resort & SPA is a charming and historic four star hotel in a beautiful setting.

    Hotel Villa d Este - Luxury Lake Como Holidays

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    The five star Villa d'Este in Cernobbio, Lake Como exudes charm and relaxed sophistication.

  • Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli

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    The Grand Hotel a Villa Feltrinelli has an exclusive setting on the western shores of Lake Garda. 

    Grand Hotel Gardone - Luxury Lake Garda Holidays

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    The Grand Hotel Gardone offers classical elegance amidst a historic Lake Garda setting.

    Hotel Bellevue San Lorenzo

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    Hotel Bellevue is a 19th century lakeside hotel in the town of Malcesine on the eastern shores of Lake Gard

    Hotel Olivi - Luxury Lake Garda Holidays

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    Hotel Olivi in Sirmione is a pleasant and comfortable hotel in a beautiful lakeside setting by Lake Garda.

    Hotel Villa del Sogno

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    The Hotel Villa del Sogno is another hotel which we found captivating from the moment we arrived and which

    Lefay Resort and Spa -Luxury Lake Garda Holidays

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    Lefay Resort is a unique five star retreat on the shores of Lake Garda

    Palace Hotel Villa Cortine

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    Palace Hotel Villa Cortine is a top-quality hotel combining a relaxing atmosphere and excellent service. Th

  • L'Albereta

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    The five-star Hotel L’Albereta is an enchanting discovery within gently rolling landscape in Franciacorta.

  • Villa & Palazzo Aminta

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    The Villa Aminta stands in its own gardens in the resort of Stresa facing Lake Maggiore.

    Hotel Cannero Lakeside Resort

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    Hotel Cannero Lakeside Resort is a charming family-run hotel right by Lake Maggiore.

    Grand Hotel Majestic

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    The Grand Hotel Majestic enjoys an enviable position on a promontory that juts out into Lake Maggiore.

  • Hotel San Rocco

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    The Hotel San Rocco enjoys a splendid location in the glorious village of Orta San Giulio, on the banks of

  • OUR HOLIDAYS

    • Rail holidays

      Rail holidays and train journeys, tailor-made.

    • Garden holidays

      Italian garden holidays and tours for individuals and small groups

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      Visit our selection of tailor-made family holidays to selected hotels and resorts around the world.

    • Cookery holidays

      Tailor-made cookery holidays in Italy

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      Rejuvenating, relaxing, refreshing, good for the body and the soul; spa and well-being worldwide

    • Authentic experiences

      Our selection of authentic experience and special interest holidays.

    • Worldwide journeys

      Luxury tours for individuals around the world

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