Duration:
13 days/12 nights
Price:
from CHF 30'800.00 for 2 persons / 34'000.00 for 4 persons - MANY EXTRAS!
Route:
Zurich - Lucerne - Grindelwald - Zermatt - Ascona - Sinio (Piedmont) - Levanto (Cinque Terre) - Florence

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Day-by-day itinerary of Switzerland and Northern Italy Tour (Tour example):

If such a program is of interest to you please ask for the Hotel details or for a customized program which we are happy to work out according to your desires and budget.

Each season brings up special features. To make a tour special, we will be happy to adjust the program and to include Swiss Folks festivals and events which are mainly held from June to September and on week-ends  (ex. Mountain spring festival, Cattle driving up/down, cheese sharing events, vintage festivals, fairs or markets, etc.).

(This is not an offer but a tour proposal. Rates are estimated. Please enquire for your tailor made program and a fix rate)

Day 1: Arrival Zurich airport – Transfer to Lucerne

  • Your personal  SwissSafari driver/guide will welcome you at the airport.
  • The day program will be created according to your arrival time and upon your requests and can be a short term decision. It can include a trip to the Rhine falls and a city tour of Zurich with lunch and shopping at Zurich.
  • Direct transfer (1 hr) to Lucerne or scenic transfer along Lake Lucerne. The room will be ready for check-in from 2.00PM.
  • Your driver/guide is full day available for sightseeing and transfers and will be flexible.

Accommodation is provided at 4-star superior Hotel Art Deco Montana with lake view or 5-star Grand Hotel Palace Luzern
Double room with lake view if available

Day 2: Lucerne and sightseeing

  • Enjoy breakfast and meet your driver/guide (9.30 AM or you pick the time) for a great day in Lucerne.

An hour south of Zurich and Basel, boasting invigorating mountain views, lake cruises and a picturesque old quarter, LUZERN has long been one of Europe’s most heavily touristed towns and five million admirers are passing through each year.
The River Reuss splits the town, flowing rapidly out of the northwestern end of the lake. River banks on both sides are clustered with medieval squares, frescoed houses, ancient guildhalls, churches and chapels, and filled with a liveliness that belies the city’s age. Aside from using Luzern as a base from which to explore the region, it would be easy to spend at least a couple of days taking in some of its quality museums – a Picasso gallery, the impressive Verkehrshaus (Transport Museum) – in between walking on the medieval battlements, and exploring cobbled alleys and hidden garden courtyards.
But Luzern is no museum piece; café culture is treasured by the city’s large population of young people. Whether you’re charmed by Luzern’s sense of history and tradition, or by the misty lake at its doorstep and the snow-capped Pilatus rising above, charmed is what you’ll be.
The surrounds of Lucerne offer scenic landscapes and the natural beauty can be explored by car, by boat, cable car or on scenic mountain trains. And make sure that if you visit Lucerne you don’t miss to go up the “house mountain” of Lucerne – to Mount Pilatus. The Pilatus is accessible by cable car or on an exciting trip on the world‘s steepest cogwheel train. The summit of Pilatus offers to the visitor breathtaking views over Central Switzerland and on clear as far as to the black forest in Germany.

  • Start your day with a short drive to Kriens and a trip by cable car to Mount Pilatus. Enjoy the great views from the summit of Pilatus and have some time at leisure, to check out the souvenir shop and for an early lunch.
    On the worlds steepest cog wheel train you make your way down to Alpnachstad (from May to October) where you have a short walk to the pier. Now, you have a boat cruise on lake Lucerne with a stop at Hergiswil to visit the glass factory which is well known for it’s Art of Glass. You can see the glass blowers at work (closed on Saturday and Sunday) and can shop in the boutique selling finest glass productions of all kinds. Finish your boat cruise and arrive early afternoon at Lucerne pier.
  • Followed is a city walking tour to see the highlights of Lucerne. On the plan is a leisurely walk over the 14th century chapel bridge and through the cobble stoned old town. A visit at the famous lions monument and Glacier Garden is also on the plan.
  • The remaining afternoon can be created according to your desire and is free for shopping and for leisure.

Bookable Extras:
– Swiss folks music dinner show (Mai to September)
– Lucerne Festival/Visit of an Opera or Orchestra
– Dinner cruise on lake Lucerne
– Kids program: Rope park and bob sleigh on Pilatus

Day 3: Lucerne – excursion to Jungfrau region

  • Have breakfast before you meet with your driver/guide (08.30am) for a great day in the Jungfrau region.
  • 1 hr scenic drive over Brünig pass to arrive in the Jungfrau region

The JUNGFRAU REGION is south of Lucerne and the rather uninspiring title foisted on what is perhaps the most dramatic, certainly the most memorable, mountain scenery in the whole of Switzerland. The Matterhorn may be more recognizable, Davos and St Moritz may be flashier, but the quantity and sheer scale of the awesome giants on offer here at close quarters takes your breath away.
The two lakes in the heart of the Bernese Oberland – the Thunersee and the Brienzersee, with the major resort of Interlaken lying between them – form the gateway to the Jungfrau region. Sidelined by more famous lakes such as Geneva and Luzern, the two are often overlooked by visitors in a hurry to get into the mountains, but there’s something very peaceful about them, poised between the big cities of the north and the high Alps further south. In even the most hurried of Oberland tours, you could easily devote a day or two to enjoying the beauty of the lakes, set amidst cliffs and forested hillsides, dotted with quiet villages, and backed by a long chain of dramatic snowy heights.
Stretching east of Interlaken, the Brienzersee (Lake Brienz) is much vaunted as the cleanest lake in Switzerland, deep blue and beautifully set in a bowl amidst forested slopes. BRIENZ, which is nestled at the northern shores of the Lake has a quiet, community feel – not many people come visiting for a longer stay. A pity actually as the shores of the lake would invite the visitor for leisurely promenades.
The town is known as the most accomplished centre for woodcarving in Switzerland, and has many workshops with high quality hand-tooled busts, figurines and nativity scenes. JOBIN is one of the most famous woodcarver factories in Switzerland.
The area is dominated by the mighty triple crest of the Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau (Ogre, Monk and Virgin) – three giant peaks rising side-by-side to 4000m and seemingly always mentioned in the same breath. The Jungfrau is the focus, partly because it’s the highest (at 4158m), and partly because the network of mountain trains culminates at the Jungfraujoch, a saddle below the Jungfrau peak that claims the honour of being the site of the highest train station in Europe.
The journey to the Jungfraujoch – Top of Europe, at 3454 metres (11’333ft) Europe’s highest altitude railway station, is the highlight of every visit to Switzerland. It offers visitors a high-Alpine wonderworld of ice, snow and rock, which can be marvelled at from vantage terraces, the Aletsch Glacier or in the Ice Palace. On clear days, views extend as far as the Vosges mountains in France and Germany’s Black Forest. The train journey to the Jungfraujoch through the rock of the Eiger and Mönch is also an incredible experience. Visitors can enjoy stunning views from two intermediate stations, the Eigerwand (Eiger Wall) and Eismeer (Sea of Ice).
It’s hard to overstate just how stunning the LAUTERBRUNNEN VALLEY is – even hardened Alpinists shrug their shoulders and call it the most beautiful valley in Europe, bar none. An immense U-shaped valley (the world’s deepest) with bluffs on either side rising 1000m sheer, doused by some 72 waterfalls, it is utterly spectacular. Just beyond the southern end of Lauterbrunnen village, the delicate Staubbach falls – at nearly 300m, the highest in Switzerland – gush out of a sheer cliff, like a lacy decoration on the rugged precipice. It’s a scenic 3 minutes drive up the valley to the Trümmelbach falls. These impressively thunderous waterfalls – the runoff from the high mountains – have carved corkscrew channels through the valley walls: a lift and stepped catwalk leads you over and around the enclosed, boiling cauldrons of rushing water (up to 20,000 litres a second), which throw up plenty of spray and have gradually eroded the rock into weird and wonderful shape.

Lauterbrunnen village itself lies on the green valley floor, while the slopes above nurture two of Switzerland’s most appealing little resorts. Mürren to the west is the transfer point for the dramatic cable-car ride up to the Schilthorn peak on 2’971m, while Wengen to the east is a stop on the train line up to Kleine Scheidegg and the Jungfrau Joch. Both of them are car-free, perched on narrow shelves of pasture way above the world below, and both offer some of the best hiking and skiing to be had in the Alps.

Sightseeing recommendations, some of which can be combined, not all which can be made. Your driver/guide will make best recommendations according to the weather and your interests (tickets included):

  • 2 hr cogwheel train ride to the Jungfrau Joch – Top of Europe. Visit the Ice Palace, the look out point and the Sphinx observatory. The sporty ones can make a safe hike on the glacier to an Alpine hut; a real Alpine experience!
  • Cable car ride to the Schilthorn and lunch in the rotating restaurant Piz Gloria. From the Schilthorn you have the best view to the imposing mountain trio Eiger, Mönch and Jungfrau. On your way back to the valley you visit the car free village Mürren.
  • Trip to the Lauterbrunnen valley to see the Staubbach waterfalls and the Trümmelbach falls, 10 glacier falls inside the rocks and made accessible by a tunnel lift (a lot of steps). (Open from April to October)
  • Trip by steam train to the Brienz Rothorn. Great views over Lake Brienz and to the mountains. See Alpine farms and have lunch in a mountain restaurant. A visit of an Alpine farm can be on the plan. (operates from June to September)
  • Boat cruise on Lake Brienz with a stop over at the Giessbach waterfalls. The historic funicular takes you to the historic Grand Hotel Giessbach, offering fantastic views to the falls and over lake Brienz (open from April to October)
  • Visit Interlaken for shopping if you stay at Grindelwald

Return drive to Lucerne for another night stay

Optional outdoor activities which can be booked at place, some have to be reserved:
– Hiking, biking, paragliding, rope park, First zip liner, snow park on Jungfrau
– Gorge climbing, cannyoning, wild water rafting with reservation

Day 4: Lucerne – Emmental – Bern – Zermatt

  • Breakfast and check-out. Your driver/guide will meet you at 09:00 AM for a great day program (or you pick the time).

Just a 1 hrs drive of Lucerne stretches the EMMENTAL, a quintessentially Swiss landscape of peaceful, vibrantly green hills dotted with happily munching brown cows, sleepy rustic hamlets and isolated timber-built dairies. Emmentaler architecture is distinctive, the local timber-built inns and dairies crowned by huge roofs with overarching eaves, ringed by wooden balconies, and encrusted with rows of tiny windows, each with its window box and neatly tied-back set of net curtains. This is where the Emmental cheese (the one with the holes) originates and a visit of the Emmentaler show cheese factory may not be missed.

Of all Swiss cities, BERN is perhaps the most immediately charming. Crammed onto a steep-sided peninsula in a crook of the fast-flowing River Aare, its quiet, cobbled lanes, lined with sandstone arcaded buildings straddling the pavement, have changed barely at all in over five hundred years but for the adornment of modern shop signs and the odd car or tram rattling past.
For all its political status (nation’s capital and home of the Swiss parliament), Bern is a tiny city of barely 130,000 people and retains a small town’s easy approach to life. The attraction of the place is its ambience; traffic is kept out of the Old Town and you could spend days just wandering the streets and cobble stoned alleys. The perfectly preserved medieval street plan, with its arcades, street fountains and doughty towers persuaded UNESCO to deem Bern a World Heritage Site, placing it in the company of such legendary sites as Florence, Petra and the Taj Mahal.

  • Scenic drive to the hilly Emmental, passing through small farming villages. The Emmental is the origin of the famous Emmental cheese (Swiss cheese) and home of the typical wooden farm houses.
    Stop in the Emmental show cheese factory with a short guided tour to learn more about the Swiss tradition and cheese making culture as it was yesterday and as it is today. Then, you may spend some time at your leisure to check out the handcraft shop and the bakery where you can get Swiss specialties (closed on Monday).
    Lunch is in a rural restaurant where you get a typical Swiss lunch (vegetarian and International food also available, lunch not included).
  • After lunch you have a scenic drive to Bern, the capitol city of Switzerland. Have a tour through the beautiful and charming old town to see the highlights like the famous clock tower, the Münster cathedral, the House of Parliament and the Swiss National Bank where Switzerland treasures all it’s gold. If the time allows a visit of the house where Einstein lived and which is now a museum can be made. Time at leisure and for shopping.
  • Now you have a scenic drive through the Kander valley to arrive at the mountain resort Kandersteg. You board the car train (you can stay in the car) and on a 20 minutes ride through Lötschberg tunnel you arrive in the Canton of Valais. Another scenic drive will take you to the village Täsch where you leave the tour car behind. A shuttle train will bring you to the car free resort Zermatt, beautifully set on the foot of the mighty Matterhorn.
  • Check-in at a first class 4-star or luxury 5-star Hotel, room with Matterhorn view if available – Overnight stay at Zermatt

Accommodation is provided at:
4-star superior Hotel Schönegg, double room with best view to the Matterhorn (or similar)
5-star Hotel Zermatterhof, double room with Matterhorn view (or similar)

Day 5: Zermatt – Ascona

  • Meet your guide after breakfast.

St Moritz may have the glamour, Verbier may have the cool, Wengen may have the pistes, but Zermatt beats them all – Zermatt has the Matterhorn. No other natural or human structure in the whole country is so immediately recognizable; indeed, in most people’s minds the Matterhorn stands for Switzerland, like the Eiffel Tower stands for France. Part of the reason it’s so famous is that it stands alone, its impossibly pointy shape sticking up from an otherwise uncrowded horizon above Zermatt village.
Emerging from Zermatt station is an experience in itself: this one little village – which has managed, much to its credit, to cling on to its old brown chalets and atmospheric twisting alleys – welcomes everybody, regardless of financial status, and the station square is where all worlds collide. Backpackers and hikers rub shoulders with high society glitterati amidst a fluster of tour groups, electric taxis and horse-drawn carriages, but everyone has come to see the mountain.
The small area around Zermatt features 36 mountains over 4000m, a statistic as enticing to summer hikers as to winter skiers.

  • Orientation tour of Zermatt and to learn more about the history of Zermatt. Have a free morning for shopping in the quaint village or relax.
    Oor ask your guide to take you by cog wheel train to the Gornergrat to see the Matterhorn close by (optional).
  • You check out at noon and meet the guide after lunch for a shuttle transfer to Täsch where the tour car is waiting.
  • Scenic drive over Simplon Pass to the southern part of Switzerland, the Canton of Ticino, where palm trees and camellias are growing and where the Swiss speak Italian. In the evening, you arrive at the charming small town of Ascona, magnificently situated on the sunny shores of Lake Maggiore.
  • Check-in and free time.

Accommodation is provided at:
4-star Garno Meridiana, ste on te Piazza with lake view rooms
5-star luxury Hotel Eden Roc and Spa, direct lake access, rooms with lake view
or similar


Day 6: Ascona and Sightseeing

A leisurely day in the beautiful and charming small town Ascona alo called the Pearl of Lake Magguiore becasue of it’s great setting. You can enjoy a stroll along the lake or walk through cobble stone alleys with their boutiques, art galleries, and antique shops. The many local restaurants offer great lunches with Ticino specialties or international food.

Your driver/guide is available for sightseeing and transfers. Sightseeing recommendations (tickets not included):

  • Boat cruise to the Brissago Islands to have a relaxed time in the Botanic Garden which offers you a wonderful opportunity to escape from the noise and confusion of frenetic modern life. The exotic plants, the colors, and perfume of flowers are beneficial for their wellbeing.
  • Drive to the nearby City of Locarno to enjoy a cable car ride to the Monastery Madonna del Sasso, a place of pilgrimage with a fantastic view over the lake and the mountains.
  • Visit the falconry of Locarno with the one of a kind falcon show
  • Visit the rural villages which are nestled high up in the mountains offering breathtaking views
  • Have a drive to the well known Foxtown outlet factory for shopping

The driver/guide is the full day available for transfers and sightseeing.

In the evening, your driver/guide will pick you up and take you to a nearby Grotto (restaurant) for a real Ticino dinner. You are our guests.

Overnight stay at Ascona

Day 7: Ascona – Asti – Sinio (Piedmont)

  • Enjoy breakfast in romantic Ascona before you check-out.
  • You follow the shores of the so called “Gold coast” of Lake Maggiore on a winding road, passing by Villas and little villages and have great views over the lake and to the surrounding mountains. At Brissago you cross the border to Italy and after another hour scenic drive you arrive in the wine region of the Piedmont.
  • Time for lunch en route in one of the many typical Italian restaurants.
  • You have now a drive though that part of the Piedmont which is famous for its Barbera d’Asti wine, for its highly prized truffles, and for gastronomic delicacies such as bagna caoda and gran bollito.
  • Asti is one of Piedmont’s most elegant cities. Famous for its magnificent tower houses, Asti is often called the city of a hundred towers but it is also renowned for ist superb wines and spectacular Palio horse-race. The historic center, where the remaining 12 of 120 towers can be seen, has conserved its typically medieval radial plan, and is best visited on foot or by bike. Asti is worth exploring not only above but also beneath the ground, where the crypt of S. Anastasio is hidden. The city’s medieval past comes back to life every third Sunday of September, when more than a thousand people dress up in elaborate period costumes and parade through the town for the historic Palio, a spectacular horse race which takes place in Piazza alfieri.
  • After another scenic drive through the Langhe wine region you arrive at Sinio.

Check-in at 4- star Boutique Hotel  Castello di Sinio an Italian castle built by the Marquis of Carretto in 1142
Rooms and suites with great views over the Piedmont wine region.
or similar
5-star Hotel on request bookable

The restaurant of the Hotel Castello di Sinio is closed for dinner on Mondays and Tuesdays. Your guide will be happy to take you to a typical Piedmontese restaurant nearby where you will be the guests of SwissSafari.

Day 8: Sinio – wine tour and tastings
Sinio Castle, one of the oldest castles in the region, dominates the medieval town in the centre of the famous Barolo and Barbaresco wine production areas. Magnificently restored with original materials: stone walls, authentic terracotta, ancient chestnut wood beams, internal finish and furnishings.
You might rather want to stay here today and enjoy the romantic castle and the fantastic views over the wine yards but your driver/guide would like to take you on a wine tour to learn more about Barolos and Barbarescos and to taste some of the world’s finest wines.

  • Meet your driver/guide after breakfast for a  scenic drive through the beautiful landscape to 3 different wine makers for guided tours and wine tastings. As a culinary highlight you will have lunch in one of the wineries where you get Piedmontese specialities (tastings and lunch is included).
  • Back to the Hotel in late afternoon or early evening to have some time at your own leisure.

Another night at Castle di Sinio

Day 9: Sinio – Ligurian coast – Levanto

  • Enjoy breakfast before you check-out and meet your driver/guide for another great day.
  • Today you start your day with a scenic drive through the south of the Piedmont towards the Mediterranean Sea. At the city Savona you reach the Ligurian coast and will follow the scenic coast road with great views passing through quaint italian tourist villages. Many stops for pictures, lunch and to enjoy the Italian way of life.
  • In the evening you arrive at Levanto, a famous and picturesque seaside resort, which has a large bay in the shelter of a luxuriant vegetation mediaterran sea. It is set an hour drive from Cinque Terre and the surrounding area is delightful and very characteristic, and famous throughout the world.

Accommodation is provided at
4-star Park Hotel Argento, Levanto or similar
5-star Hoerlr on request bookable


Day 10: Levanto – Cinque Terre – Florence

  • Breakfast and check-out.
  • Meet your driver/guide at 08.30 am for depature.

The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. “The Five Lands” is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre is a very popular tourist destination.A walking trail, known as Sentiero Azzurro (“Light Blue Trail”), connects the five villages. The trail from Riomaggiore to Manarola is called the Via Dell’Amore (“Love Walk”) and is flat. The stretch from Manarola to Corniglia is the easiest to hike.
You will visit these lovely cliff & seaside villages and its National Park on foot and by train. It is a fun, rewarding day where you will learn about the culture, Ligurian cuisine plus the local gossip/folklore and get lots of exercise!

  • Drive to Monterosso al Mare to meet with your local guide. From here you take the train to the picturesque Vernazza. This is a nice place to stop for a dip in the sea, a little lunch of Ligurian delicacies and window shopping. From there you will train to the bottom of Corniglia and take a more leisurely and flat 1 hour hike passing through Manarola, Via del’Amore and ending in Riomaggiore where your driver will pick you up.
  • Scenic drive towards Florence with a stop and brief visit of Pisa!

Pisa, is set on the right bank of the mouth of the River Arno on the Tyrrhenian Sea. It is the capital city of the Province of Pisa. Although Pisa is known worldwide for its leaning tower (the bell tower of the city’s cathedral), the city of over 88,332 residents (around 200,000 with the metropolitan area) contains more than 20 other historic churches, several palaces and various bridges across the River Arno. The city is also home of the University of Pisa, which has a history going back to the 12th century and also has the mythic Napoleonic Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa and Sant’Anna School of Advanced Studies as the bestSuperior Graduate Schools in Italy.

  • Have a tour with your driver/guide to see the leaning tower of Pisa and to learn more about the history of this place.
  • Leave Pisa late afternoon for a 1,5 hr highway drive to Florence.
  • Arrival at Florence is in the evening. Check-in

Accommodation is provided at
4-star Hotel Brunelleschi, situated in the haeart of Florence with views to the Duomo.
5-star St. Regis Hotel. Situated in central Florence, the scenic St. Regis Florence has been the preferred stop of seasoned travelers since the 18th Century. Steps away from iconic landmarks, it offers an unrivaled immersion into the cradle of the Renaissance.
Or similar

Day 11: Florence city tour and free time
Located on the banks of the River Arno, Florence is famous for its history and especially its importance in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance, its art and architecture and, more generally, for its cultural heritage. A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages. A turbulent political history includes periods of rule by the powerful Medici family, and numerous religious and republican revolutions. From 1865 to 1870 the city was also the capital of the recently established Kingdom of Italy.
The historic centre of Florence attracts millions of tourists each year, and Euromonitor International ranked the city as the world’s 72nd most visited in 2009, with 1,685,000 visitors. It was declared a World Heritage Site UNESCO in 1982. Due to Florence’s artistic and architectural heritage, it has been ranked by Forbes as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the city is noted for its history, culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace, amongst others, and still exerts an influence in the fields of art, culture and politics.
Florence is also an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked within the top fifty fashion capitals of the world.

  • Today you meet a local guide at 09.00 am at your Hotel for a 4 hr tour of Florence. Together you’ll go on foot and by taxi to explore the highlights of Florence including Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signora, Accademia Gallery, San Lorenzo Market including some delicious gourmet food shops and tastings.
  • Tour ends around 1:00 pm. All entrance fees & food tasting fees included. The guide will give you suggestions on places to eat near the Uffizi.
  • Late lunch and afternoon free time for shopping and to explore the city on your own.
  • Uffizi Gallery Tickets for a self-guided tour in the afternoon will be handed out to you by your local guide and are included.

Another night at Florence

Day 12: Excursion to Tuscany – Via Chiantigiana

  • Today your driver/guide gives you a good reason to leave Florence in the morning: You will explore with him the Tuscany wine region.

On the so called Via Chiantigiana, which is one of the most enjoyable motoring routes in Italy you will explore some of Tuscanies most beautiful places. The route runs directly south from Florence to Sienna through the middle of the Chianti Classico wine zone of Tuscany, one of the most instantly recognisable landscapes in the world. After passing Ugolino Golf Course, the oldest golf club in Italy, the Chiantigiana runs upward and follows the ridges between the Val d’Elsa and the Valdarno, wandering from one farmhouse and villa to another, from time to time passing through villages and small towns. These include Strada in Chianti, Greve in Chianti, Panzano in Chianti, Castellina in Chianti. The towns of Impruneta, Lamole, Volpaia and Radda in Chianti are just a short distance along side roads from the via Chiantigiana and if the time allows they can be visited by following the network of secondary roads that link them together. Other short diversions take the visitor through beautiful hillscapes to Montefioralle and Badia a Passignano, San Gimignano to the west.

The territory traversed by the Via Chiantigiana has been one of the most important wine producing regions in Italy for over two centuries. In fact, it was the Habsburg-Lorraine ruling family, most notably Leopold I, Grand Duke of Tuscany, who, during the 18 C and 19 C, began cultivating the grapes that would become modern Chianti. Since the 1920s, this territory has been the official area of production for the Consorzio del Vino Chianti Classico Gallo Nero wine makers consortium. It was under the Lorraine government during the 19 C that Bettino Ricasoli, a landowner and highly accomplished agronomist, began codifying the formula of Chianti wine. Ricasoli was born at Brolio castle and played an important role in the unification of Italy, succeeding Cavour as premier of unified Italy. Many of the dirt tracks that ran between Florence and Sienna were opened up and turned into proper roads after unification and this contributed greatly to the development of local agriculture over the following century, especially wine production. Until that time, the lack of decent roads had been a severe impediment to agricultural growth in the Chianti region, despite reforms instigated by Grand Duke Leopoldo. These reforms had aimed to transfer land-ownership to the local farmers from monasteries. The typical Chianti landscape that we see today is the result of these reforms as they encouraged farmers to extend their fields into the woodland that grew over much of the area and which still covers a large proportion of the territory. The classic picturesque views of the Chianti countryside that we see today may seem timeless, but in reality they have only existed for the last two hundred years. Before that, the region was much more wild and overgrown with only the Via Chiantigiana as a half-way passable all-weather road from Florence to Sienna.

  • You visit 2 wineries for a guided tour and for tasting of some excellent wines. Lunch is in a typical Restaurant in the wine yards  and is included.
  • Return to Florence with arrival in the evening for another night stay.

 

Day 13: Florence – and departure

  • Breakfast and check-out.
  • Private transfer to the airport for your flight to Milan, Zurich, Venice or home.

End of the tour with SwissSafari

Include Venice in your program (scroll to the end)

 

The price includes:

  • Program as described. The vehicle is a modern van, fully air conditioned, slide doors
  • 12 days with a personal English speaking Swiss driver/tour guide – 10 hrs per day
  • Half day Cinque Terre Guide
  • Half day Florence guide
  • Accommodation in best located 4-star or 5-star Hotels, double rooms with view
  • Buffet breakfasts in the Hotels
  • All tickets and admission fees on the sightseeing tours except of optional tours or of mentioned
  • All city tours and tours with the SwissSafari driver/guide or local guide
  • Visit of exclusive wineries in the Piedmont and Tuscany wine region with wine tasting of som seelected wines
  • 1 x Grotto dinner at Ascona
  • 1 x Lunch in the Piedmont
  • 1 x Lunch in the Tuscany
  • Shuttle train from Täsch to Zermatt and return
  • Car train from Kandersteg to Lötschberg
  • All transfers with the SwissSafari driver/guide
  • Train tur in teh Cinque Terre
  • Taxi transfer on the Florence tour
  • Airport transfer Florence
  • Porter service
  • Soft drinks in the car
  • All expenses for the driver/guide
  • Mileage, Fuel, road toll in Italy, parking fees
  • Taxes and VAT

Not included:

  • Travel to Switzerland/from Italy
  • Meals others than the ones mentioned at “The price includes”, all beverages
  • Tickets on optional tours, tickets in Zermatt and in Ascona
  • Activities, rental of equipment, etc.
  • Transports other than those with SwissSafari or mentioned at “Included”
  • Extras in the hotels, Hotel/Room upgrades
  • Bookable side trips
  • Gratuities
  • Travel insurance

 Payment terms:

  • Deposit payment of CHF 1’000.00 at booking
  • Full payment 7 weeks prior departure
  • Payment by bank transfer (we don’t accept checks and credit cards)

* The driver/guide is bound to the European law of passenger transportation which does not allow more than 10 working hours or 8 driving hours per day and regulates an 11 hrs night rest.

Bad weather, snow, natural disaster or increased traffic can alter the program. SwissSafari reserves the right to change the program and the rates

Extend your holidays with a romantic stay in Venice:

Day 13

By car: Florence – San Marino – Venice

  • Breakfast and check-out.
  • Meet your driver/guide for your drive to Venice (5 hrs in total).
  • You will start with a 2 hr drive through Umbria and passing by Citta di Castello. Before you hit the coastal highway which goes along the shores of the Adriatic Sea, your driver/guide will take you to the miniature State of San Marino for a brief visit.

San Marino, officially the Republic of San Marino and also known as the Most Serene Republic of San Marino, is an enclaved microstate surrounded by Italy, situated on the Italian Peninsula on the north-eastern side of the Apennine Mountains. Its size is just over 61 km2 (24 sq mi) with an estimated population of over 30,000. Its capital is the City of San Marino. San Marino has the smallest population of all the members of the Council of Europe. Visiti this place and have alook aorunf with Stefan who will show you the beuatiful old town.

  • Lunch yon your way or at San Marino.
  • Now, you take the highway passing by the city of Ravenna and will arrive at around 6 pm at Venice, Piazzale Roma where you will be welcomed by a local host. Say goodbye to your driver/guide and have a private water taxi transfer to your hotel.
  • Check in and free evening – Restaurant ideas given by your host

By plain: Flight from Florence to Venice

  • Transfer from Hotel in Florence to airport. Flight to Venice (not included)
  • You will be fetched at the airport and transferred by water taxi to your Hotel in Venice. Your private guide will then meet you at your hotel and is at your disposal for 3 hours for an orientation tour and to help arrange for any restaurant reservations.
  • Restaurant ideas given by your host or table reservation at your Hotel

Accommodation is provided at
Elegant 4-star Hotel Bucintoro, facing the San Marco Docks right near Piazza San Marco. The Hotel Bucintoro embraces the maritime lifeblood of Venice with charming spaces inspired by ancient sailboats and galleys that once bobbed right in front of the hotel.
5-star Hotel The Gritti Palace, (re-opened after an extensive handcrafted restoration). An historical treasure where heritage and culture have blended with renewed Venetian style. Among exceptional art and elegance, the restored Gritti Palace retains its reassuringly intimate and familiar feel.
or similar

Day 14: Venice tour on foot

  • 9:00 am: Your guide will meet you in the lobby of your hotel and together you’ll go explore Venice on foot to include St Mark’s Cathedral, Doges Palace, Bridges of Sighs, Rialto Bridge and more. You’ll have a break for lunch and reserved is a table at a fantastic food lovers Osteria.
  • The afternoon you’ll meet back up with your guide to explore the wonders of the Cannaregio, a fantastic maze of winding streets and history, including the Church of Madonna dell’Orto, Palazzo del Cammello and of course the Jewish Ghetto.
  • Today is completely customized and the guide can be flexible on the itinerary as you go along. Tour ends around 4:00 pm.
  • Have some free time.
  • 6:30 pm Private Gondola Ride: Enjoy this 35 minute private gondola tour through the small canals of Venice. You will meet your gondolier at the nearest dock to your hotel (3 min walk). We can arrange this anytime before 7pm.
  • Evening at your leisure – restaurant reccommendations will be given by your guide

Day 15: Venice and 3- Islands Tour

  • 10:00 am: With your private guide you’ll explore using public water taxis (tickets included) the 3 Islands of Murano, Burano and Torcello. Approximately 6 hours total including a break for lunch and time for shopping. All entrance and transport fees included.

Murano became famous in 1291, the year in which the glass production was transferred here from the old city center due to fear of fires in the kilns. You will catch a glimpse of the San Michele island while traveling between le Fondamenta Nuove and Murano. This is Venice’s cemetery where famous people such as Stravinsky and Diaghilev are buried.
Burano is one of the prettiest islands in the lagoon: it is a miniature Venice where all the houses are painted in bright colors. Burano is famous for its lace work, an art carried out since the sixteenth century and which is famous worldwide.
Torcello is an extremely romantic and charming place. Venetians love to go there once in a while as they are attracted by its calm and the greenness of the island. Unlike Murano and Burano, Torcello is practically uninhabited and still has a lot of archeological proof of its glorious past.

  • End of the tour is at around 4 pm
  • Free time after the tour and dinner with restaurant recommendations given by your guide.

Overnight stay in Venice

 

Day 16: Venice – Milano (on your own)

  • Breakfast and check-out latest at 11am. Private water taxi to train station or to airport of Venice for flight or direct train to Milan.
  • Pick up at Milan train station or airport by a personal driver for your transfer to the city Hotel, located in the centre where shops and restaurant are.
  • Free day in Milan for shopping.

Accommodation is provided at
Boutique Hotel Principe di Savoia, Enjoy the true Milanese experience at Hotel Principe di Savoia, where effortless elegance meets timeless tradition.
Dominating Milan’s Piazza della Repubblica, this spectacular landmark building has been the natural home for international travellers and cosmopolitan society since the 1920s. The grand dame hotel showcases a winning combination of Old World luxury and the latest technology, with the city’s famous world-class designer shopping nearby.
or
5-star Hotel Four Seasons, set in one of Italy’s sleekest and most fashionable shopping districts, find a 15th-century convent transformed into an urban sanctuary of luxury and comfort. Get caught in Milan’s excitement and attractions by day, fall asleep to soothing breezes and quiet serenity at night.
or similar

Day 17: Milano Malpensa departure (on your own)

  • Breakfast and check-out.
  • Private transfer (approx. 2 hrs) to airport for departure

Rate on request

Included is accommodation with breakfast, all transfers (except of air fare or trains) as outlined, local guides as outlined, admission fees, tickets, VAT and Taxes