Tour to Northern Italy and Switzerland by Firebird - Firebird Tours ®

Tour to Northern Italy and Switzerland by Firebird

Lucerne, Switzerland
Verona, Italy

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Trip Overview

Explore the best sights of Northern Italy from Venice, Verona and Como to beautiful Switzerland towns Lugano, Lucerne and Zurich in 13 days. As a highlight of your trip, take a cogwheel train across the world's steepest railway passing through lush Alpine meadows.

Tour type:
Private tour
Tour rating:
4.87 / 5, Based on
  • HOTELS
  • 4-star central hotels
    Standard rooms
    12 nights
  • TRANSPORT
  • Airport-hotel transfers
    Water taxi in Venice
    2 train trips
  • SIGHTSEEING
  • 7 guided city tours
    Como-Brunate funicular ride
    A wine tasting in Valpolicella
  • MEALS
  • 12 buffet breakfasts

Day-by-Day

Day 1

Arrival to Venice

Welcome to Venice - one of the most charming cities of Italy. Upon arrival, you are met by your private driver at the airport, who transfers you to the hotel for the check-in.

The rest of the day is at your own leisure to relax after the trip.

Day 2

Venice Sightseeing Tour

After having delicious breakfast at your hotel you meet your private guide to start a touring program around Venice.

During the tour you visit St. Mark's Basilica, where you can see the astonishing Pala D'Oro altar as well as the Treasury with numerous exhibits surviving from Venice's notorious raid on Constantinople back in 1204. Next you go up to Loggia dei Cavalli to enjoy the best panoramic views of St. Mark's Square.

Next on your list is the tour of the Doges Palace that includes crossing the Bridge of Sighs, visiting the old prisons and lushly decorated chambers of the Palace.

You may add an optional gondola ride to your city tour to admire Venice from water.

After the tour return to your hotel and have the rest of the day at leisure or my go on an optional gondola ride.

Day 3

Free Day & Transfer to Lake Garda

Today you check out from the hotel and have half of the day free. The morning is reserved for you to explore and enjoy Venice on your own. We suggest visiting the Peggy Guggenheim Collection or joining our carefully planned optional day trip to the islands of Murano & Burano.

  • Optional tour: Murano & Burano Boat Tour, Venice
    Enjoy a tranquil trip through Venetian lagoon to the islands of Murano & Burano. Your first stop is Burano Island and see this charming and colorful fishing village with intricate streets and canals lined by pastel colored houses is famous for its lace-making industry. Then make your way to Murano. It's main pride is the world known Murano Glass. Enjoy a visit to a glass-factory where you see a demonstration of glass-blowing and visit the factory's showroom full of beautiful glassware.

In the afternoon you meet your private driver for a transfer to Lake Garda. In about 2 hours you reach your hotel for the check-in. The rest of the evening is free for you to relax.

 

Day 4

Lake Garda Sightseeing & Private Boat Ride

Following breakfast you meet your private guide at the hotel lobby and have a memorable private boat ride around the most magnificent landmarks of Lake Garda.

During the cruise you make a stop in Sirmione, one of the most popular sights on Lake Garda, for a short walking tour. Then continue sailing around the peninsula and discovering the western coast of the lake with its lush nature and fascinating villages. You get to see the Rocca di Manerba, Isola dei Conigli and Isola del Garda. Your boat tour provides the possibility to make stops to explore the shore and islands with your private guide. You see historical places and enjoy the always loved atmosphere of this lake.


After the tour you return back to the hotel. Overnight at the hotel.

Day 5

Day Trip to Verona & Winery Visit

After breakfast you are picked up from the hotel and taken directly to Verona, the city renown worldwide for being the place of action of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet".

Verona is a crossroads of history and a mosaic of landscapes: the gentle hills and the sinuous river embrace this checkerboard of streets with its soaring red-brick towers.

During the tour you explore the main highlights of the city, including Piazza Brà, Roman Arena, della Scala castle and famous Scaligero family tombs. Juliet’s house is naturally on the program too!

Following a lunch break you travel to Valpolicella area which is a birthplace of Amarone, a well-known Italian wine. You will enjoy a wine tasting with a guided tour at one of the local wineries.

After the tour you are transferred back to your hotel in Garda.

Day 6

Transfer to Como & Sightseeing

Following breakfast you check-out from the hotel and your driver transfers you to Como, located on the shores of another stunningly beautiful lake - Lake Como.

Como town boasts several artistic monuments from different historical periods. Once you check-in at the hotel, you meet your local guide who shows you around. During the city tour you see the medieval walls surrounding the historic center, stroll through the ancient streets in the heart of the town, and admire beautiful Romanesque and Baroque churches. You see the Piazza Volta and Piazza Duomo with its charming old Town Hall building and its characteristic bell tower. During the tour you enjoy public boat tour as well as a Como-Brunate funicular ride.

The highlight of the tour is visit of the superb 600-year old Como Cathedral. Nearby is the Palazzo Terragni, an example of the modern rationalist architecture. After the tour you are guided back to the hotel and have the rest of the day free.

Day 7

Free Day Near Lake Como or Optional Trip

Today you have a free day to spend near the Lake Como or you can choose an optional day trip to Milan or Bellagio. 

  • Optional trip to Milan:
    In the morning you are picked-up from the hotel and transferred to Milan - world's fashion capital. Upon arrival you have a city tour during which you make a stop at Castello Sforzesco to see history and style combined with Milanese flair. Explore the public areas, with stories of its 15th-century owners ringing in your ears, and then continue to nearby La Scala. Prepare to be wowed by the prestigious Milan opera house, with its ornate stage that glistens under crystal chandeliers. Gaze down at the orchestral pit from the public box, and take a quick look inside La Scala Museum with your guide. After the tour you are transferred back to the hotel on the shore of Garda lake.
  • Note: The unique treasure of Milan - Leonardo da Vinci’s legendary fresco “The Last Supper” located in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie is not included in the city tour due to its limited availability. Please, ask your travel specialist about available tickets for your tour date.
  • Optional trip to Bellagio:
    Today you have a day trip to Bellagio - the “pearl of the lake” which has often been described as the prettiest village in Europe with its charming historic center called the “Borgo”. We get there by boat and have a couple hours city tour right away. You start with a stroll along the pretty promenade as far as the Villa Melzi to visit the very first English style gardens created on Lake Como in the early 19th century. The villa, a perfect example of Neoclassical architecture, was built in 1808 for a wealthy aristocrat from Milan and was designed by Giocondo Albertolli, a leading architect of his day. When your tour has completed you will head back to Como via boat.

Day 8

Transfer to Lugano & Sightseeing Tour

Following breakfast you check-out from your Como hotel, meet your private guide at the hotel lobby and your private driver transfers you to Lugano. The city stands on the northern shore of glacial Lake Lugano, surrounded by beautiful mountains.

Upon arrival you check-in the hotel, leave your luggage and start a 2-hour walking tour. Together with your guide you explore this wonderful city that sits on the border of Switzerland and Italy. Lugano is situated in southern Switzerland’s Italian-speaking Ticino region. Its Swiss-Mediterranean mix of cultures is closely related to that of Italy’s northern Lombardy region. This mix is reflected in its architecture and cuisine.

After the tour you have rest of the day free.

Day 9

Free Day in Lugano or Optional Tour

Today you have a free day in Lugano so you can choose any of the optional day trips available.

  • Optional Trip #1: San Salvatore Mountain
    The easiest and most rewarding peak on the lake, thanks to its fine panoramic views, San Salvatore (2,990 feet) rockets up from the Lugano suburb of Paradiso. At the top you'll find good viewpoints, as well as a playground, a self-serve cafeteria, and a restaurant.
  • Optional Trip #2: Lake Lugano Cruise
    A boat cruise is the perfect way to explore the diversity of the region: Morcote with its stately patrician houses and the Santa Maria del Sasso Church, an important renaissance building at a unique panoramic location with a clock tower dating from the late romantic era; or Gandria, the epitome of a quaint little fishing village at the shores of Lake Lugano.
  • Optional Trip #3: Alprose Chocolate Factory
    A visit to this factory in Caslano, a small town near Lugano, makes a fun excursion. Alprose is one of Switzerland's smaller, less-well-known chocolate producers, but their factory is geared up for visitors and generous with free samples.

Day 10

Train to Lucerne

After breakfast you check out from your hotel and head to the railway station for a train ride to Lucerne. Upon arrival you go to your centrally-located hotel for check-in.

The rest of the day is free, so you can start exploring the nearby attractions on your own, dine in a local restaurant or take a rest after your train journey.

Overnight at your hotel in Lucerne.

Day 11

Exploring Lucerne Region

Today after breakfast you are invited to take an unforgettable trip with your private guide who shows you the magnificent views of Mount Pilatus and the Lucerne region.

The tour starts with a cruise across the Lake Lucerne to Alpnachstad. There you board the famous cogwheel train that takes you across the world's steepest railway passing through lush Alpine meadows, spectacular rocks and sparkling mountain streams to the top of Mt Pilatus, altitude of which is (132 m) (6995 ft).

For the return journey you ride a cable car to enjoy the fantastic scenery once again. As the last part of your magnificent tour you take a 20-minute bus from Kriens to Lucerne. Tickets* for public boat cruise, cogwheel train, cable car and bus are included.

After the tour you return to your Lucerne hotel and have the rest of the day free.

  • Please note: The boat cruise and the cogwheel train are available only from May to September.

 

Day 12

Train to Zurich & City Tour

After breakfast you check out from your hotel and head to Zurich.

Upon arrival you check-in at the hotel, leave your luggage and meet your private guide. You then proceed on a sightseeing tour around the most beautiful landmarks of Zurich. Immerse yourself into the unique atmosphere of the Old Town for the following 3 hours, walking through its narrow cozy streets and exploring its breathtaking medieval houses, churches and town halls.

After the tour you return to the hotel and have the rest of the day at your leisure. Overnight at your hotel.

Day 13

Departure

This is the final day of your tour. Following breakfast you check-out from the hotel and your driver takes you to the airport for the departure.

 


Hotels

12 nights at centrally-located 4-star hotels

  • Free WiFi
  • Restaurant
  • Room Service
4-star accommodation at top hotels

Always included:

  • Central location close to major sights
  • Buffet breakfasts
  • Free WiFi
  • Spacious beds

  • Accommodation at remarkable centrally located and lakeside 4-star hotels in Venice, Garda, Como, Lugano, Lucerne & Zurich; 
  • Delicious breakfasts at your hotels;
  • Airport transfers and all transportation according to the itinerary with private drivers;
  • 1st class railway tickets on high-speed and regular trains: Lugano - Lucerne & Lucerne - Zurich; 
  • Water taxi in Venice upon arrival and departure; 
  • Sightseeing tours with private professional English-speaking guides;
  • All tourist fees & taxes, including tourist city taxes;
  • Emergency line support during the trip.


Not included: international flights, other meals not mentioned in the program, optional tours and services, all personal expenses.

Tour Highlights

  • A walking city tour of Venice
  • Lake Garda Sightseeing & Private Boat Ride guide
  • A day trip to Verona & winery visit
  • A public boat tour & Como-Brunate funicular ride
  • Lugano sightseeing tour
  • Lucerne tour & a cable car ride
  • A sightseeing tour in Zurich

What to Know

  • In Italy you can expect to find some shops and restaurants closed from 1-4 p.m. as it is "Riposo" time, Italy’s midday siesta. Most places will be also closed on Sundays
  • Tipping in Italy's restaurants is included in the bill, the cover charge is called ”coperto”. A charge from $1 to $3 will be noted on the menu
  • Make sure you have coins, in Italy you will be typically charged from 1 to 2 Euros to enter a public restroom
  • Switzerland has one of the highest costs of living in the entire world, checking prices before ordering or buying souvenirs is highly recommended
  • Though Euros are sometimes accepted in touristy cities like Zurich and Bern, Switzerland uses the Swiss Franc. You will easily find ATMs in Switzerland, but we advice to bring a small amount of Swiss Francs anyways

Dates & Rates

Package type Price
Friends trip: 4+ travelers
based on double occupancy
$4,551
Deposit $911
Regular package
based on double occupancy
$5,681
Deposit $1,137
View all dates
Package type Price
Friends trip: 4+ travelers
based on double occupancy
$4,551
Deposit $911
Regular package
based on double occupancy
$5,681
Deposit $1,137

Map


Reviews

Maggie Dylann

  • ratingFull
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October 16, 2016

We had a top-notch tour to the UK. Even more than top-notch, "ace" as the locals say!

We had a top-notch tour to the UK in June 2016. Even more than top-notch, "ace" as the locals say! The Treasures of Britain tour my husband and I took was everything we wanted. We really liked the hotels we stayed in, each with its own charm and history. Particularly we would like to note breakfasts in the hotel in ...

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Regina Mayer

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October 16, 2016

Superb tour to Italy! You really deserve a round of applause

I wasn't sure what to expect from our trip to Italy but my mom and I were very surprised with how smoothly everything went. Only a few minor hiccups that were too minor to even mention. We enjoyed the guided tours because all the views were really great and the buildings so old. The sites were a bit crowded but still ...

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George Smart

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October 16, 2016

London, Brussels, Amsterdam Tour (May 2017)

Overall, very good. The group did not like starting off on a crowded 20-stop subway journey instead of the Heathrow Express. Guides were great. Brussels was 50/50 with the group. If we had more interior visits, it would have been better. We will eliminate the Hague next time, and spend more time in Rotterdam. ...

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Reviews

Maggie Dylann

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

October 16, 2016

We had a top-notch tour to the UK. Even more than top-notch, "ace" as the locals say!

We had a top-notch tour to the UK in June 2016. Even more than top-notch, "ace" as the locals say! The Treasures of ...

Read more

Regina Mayer

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull

October 16, 2016

Superb tour to Italy! You really deserve a round of applause

I wasn't sure what to expect from our trip to Italy but my mom and I were very surprised with how smoothly everything went. ...

Read more

George Smart

  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingFull
  • ratingEmpty

October 16, 2016

London, Brussels, Amsterdam Tour (May 2017)

Overall, very good. The group did not like starting off on a crowded 20-stop subway journey instead of the Heathrow Express. ...

Read more

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