Lakes and Landscapes of Northern Italy | Short Small Group Tour for Seniors

Our small group tour begins in the cosmopolitan city of Milan and ventures to 2 of the region's lakes - Garda and Maggiore. Our tour uncovers a wealth of natural beauty, castles, serene waters, snow-capped mountains, and breathtaking scenery.

From $9,989NZD



  1. 1. Visit Verona; with its Shakespearean connections it is Italy's Stratford-upon-Avon.
  2. 2. Visit the Archaeological Museum of Cividale, which features precious finds from centuries.
  3. 3. Visit Palmanova, the nine-sided city, a fortified town founded by the Venetian Republic.
  4. 4. Spend a day exploring Lake Garda, surrounded by mountain villages and peaks.
Lakes and Landscapes of Northern Italy | Short Small Group Tour for Seniors itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
05 September 2024

Ends 18 September 2024

$9,989 Twin

$11,147 Single

26 May 2025

Ends 09 June 2025

$10,487 Twin

$11,689 Single

04 September 2025

Ends 18 September 2025

$10,487 Twin

$11,689 Single

25 May 2026

Ends 08 June 2026

$10,487 Twin

$11,689 Single

03 September 2026

Ends 17 September 2026

$10,487 Twin

$11,689 Single


A short tour of the Lakes and the Landscapes of Northern Italy

Odyssey offers easy, convenient, and relaxed escorted small group tours across Western Europe and beyond. We explore Italy’s incredible natural beauty, its ancient Roman heritage, its World Heritage Sites, and world famous cities, all with some truly spectacular scenery along the way. This and more is all waiting to be explored on one of Odyssey’s small group tours of Italy, designed for the senior traveller, and led by experienced, and enthusiastic like minded people.

Our short tour of Northern Italy draws you into one of the many fascinating parts of Italy. Northern Italy has been shaped by its beautiful landscape and long history. From Ancient Roman luxury villas to today's celebrities, the stunning lakes region has always attracted the world's rich and famous.


This Northern Italy guided tour begins in the cosmopolitan city of Milan. Milan is the centre of Italy's world-renowned fashion industry, with luxury designers centred on the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele. From Milan we travel to two of the most famous Italian lakes - Lake Garda and Lake Maggiore. On Lake Garda we take a boat ride around the lake and visit the Roman Villa of Desenzano. We also make a day trip to Verona, a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its well-preserved medieval town.

Following this, our trip to Italy heads into the north-east, a fascinating cultural blend of Italian, Venetian, Austrian and Slovenian influences. Here we make a visit to Trieste, one of Italy's most interesting cities, and the town of Cividale, home to an archaeological museum full of finds from the Roman, early-Christian and early-Medieval, Romanesque and Gothic ages. Finally, we end our trip in Venice, with a walking tour of St Mark's Basilica, the Doge's Palace, and all of the city of Venice's must-see sights.

About our short tour of Northern Italy:

Odyssey provides a collection of local guides who as a result share their knowledge of this part of Italy with you. You enjoy short guided walking tours around many of these destinations, learning about the lives of the locals who inhabit them.

Odyssey's short tour takes you through this diverse craggy and pastoral region of northern Italy and its mountainous borderlands. You will see the regions bright lakes and azure seas. During the tour we will find out for ourselves why this land has for so long produced such a convivial and colourful people.

Northern Italy is the home of one of the world's great cuisines. In order for you to experience the local food culture, our tours always include breakfast, lunch, or dinner at a local restaurant. We also visit a vineyard in the Collio Hills for a wine tasting and sampling of local delicacies.

Frequently Asked Questions About Our Northern Italy Tour:

  • Two words to sum up Northern Italy?

It's basically impossible to sum up such a beautiful and diverse region in only two words. Perhaps 'lakes' and 'alps' would work - but then you'd be leaving out fascinating cities with cobblestoned streets, ancient ruins, and the seaside villages of the Cinque Terre. I think we'll leave this one up to you.

  • How to get to Northern Italy?

Our tour begins and ends in Milan, which has a well-serviced international airport. Travelers from the Australia, the US, UK, Canada and New Zealand do not need visas to enter Italy for up to 90 days. Italy is also a member of the European Union Schengen Zone, making it a good launching point for further European travel.

  • Why travel on a small group adventure?

There are so many reasons to join a small group tour! Travellers find that a smaller tour allows you to develop personal relationships with your local guides, find friends in a close-knit environment, and most of all, have an authentic experience without the feeling of being 'herded' everywhere. For more information, take a look at our definitive guide to small group tours.

Lakes and Landscapes of Northern Italy short tour for seniors is an abbreviated 13 day version of the 22 day version of this tour.

If you're more interested in visiting Tuscany, the Italian Riviera, the Amalfi Coast, or Southern Italy, don't click away! This tour of Northern Italy is just one of many escorted programs offered as part of our small group tours of Italy each year.

For more details, click the 'Top 5' or 'Itinerary' buttons above! If you're keen to experience this tour, please call or send an email. Or, to book, simply fill in the form on the right hand side of this page.

Articles about Italy published by Odyssey Traveller

The following list of articles published by Odyssey Traveller for mature aged and senior travellers to maximise their knowledge and enjoyment of Italy when visiting;

You can also browse all the articles published on Italy by Odyssey Traveller.

External articles to assist you on your visit to Italy


14 days

Day 1: Milan

Accommodation: 1 night at Ibis Milan Centro or similar.

Upon arrival in Milan we check into our hotel individually. Milan is the centre of fashion and style in Italy, the country most renowned for its style icons. Among the fashion houses headquartered in Milan are Versace, Gucci, Armani, Valentino, and Moschino. Our tour begins with a welcome dinner at our hotel.


Day 2: Salo

Accommodation: 3 nights at Eden Salo or similar.

We enjoy a half-day city tour with a local guide to explore major works of art, architecture, and design, including Leonardo da Vinci’s “Last Supper.” We transfer to Bergamo in the Lombardy region northeast of Milan and see its 4 gates erected when it was part of Venice. These gates symbolise Bergamo’s value as a major repository of past treasures. Here we enjoy a guided city tour before making our way to Salo.

B, D

Day 3: Salo

Accommodation: Eden Salo or similar.

Today we enjoy a full day exploring Lake Garda, Italy’s largest and most spectacular lake surrounded by mountain villages and peaks.


Day 4: Salo

Accommodation: Eden Salo or similar.

Today we explore Mantova, also known as Mantua, once an Etruscan stronghold before it was overrun by the Romans. It is this provenance dating back to 2,000 BC that makes it a mecca for students of the past and present. The capital of Lombardy is surrounded on 3 sides by man-made lakes created in the 12th century.

Then we travel to Verona, which is considered to be Italy’s Stratford-upon-Avon with its Shakespearean connections. Its Piazza delle Erbe Verona was originally the Roman Forum; the rectangular piazza is in the heart of Verona’s historic centre and is surrounded by beautiful medieval buildings and towers.


Day 5: Bressanone

Accommodation: 3 nights at accommodation in Gruner Baum hotel or similar

Our next stop is Trento, the capital city of the province of Trentino, 2 hours from the Austrian border. Here we enjoy a local guided tour which will demonstrate the Austrian influences on its architecture and cuisine.

We walk the high alpine ridges of the South Tyrol.

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Day 6: Bressanone

Accommodation: Gruner Baum hotel or similar

Today we begin with a guided tour of the abbey and then enjoy an afternoon alpine walk.


Day 7: Bressanone

Accommodation: Gruner Baum hotel or similar

We spend today exploring Bolzano, a mountain transformed into a city and gateway to the Dolomites. During our guided morning tour, we learn about the city before we visit the South Tyrol Museum where we get to meet the Ice-Age man, Ötzi. After some time to explore on our own we return to our accommodation for dinner.


Day 8: Cividale del Friuli

Accommodation: 5 nights at Ai Dogi Hotel or similar.

Today we transfer by coach to Cividale del Friuli. The remainder of the day will be free.

Cividale del Friuli was founded by Julius Caesar as Forum Julii, Cividale. It eventually became the capital of the first Lombard duchy in Italy and later flourished as a meeting point for artists and nobility during the Middle Ages.

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Day 9: Cividale del Friuli

Accommodation: Ai Dogi Hotel or similar.

Today we visit the Archaeological Museum of Cividale which features precious finds of the Roman, early-Christian, early-medieval, Romanesque, and Gothic ages. We are joined by our local guide for a city orientation tour of Udine. This tiny mountain-ringed city in northeast Italy was once part of the Austrian Empire, so it radiates a strong Viennese flavour.

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Day 10: Cividale del Fruili

Accommodation: Ai Dogi Hotel or similar.

Transfer by coach to Trieste where we enjoy a city tour with our local guide including the main sights of the city, the Basilica and the Castello di Miramare. Trieste lies at the very edge of northeast Italy and is sandwiched by both nearby Slovenia and also the Adriatic Sea and is amongst Italy’s most unique cities and Mediterranean resorts.


Day 11: Cividale del Friuli

Accommodation: Ai Dogi Hotel or similar.

Today we explore Gorizia on the border of Italy and Slovenia. In Slovenia across the border a new town has been founded by the name of Nova Gorica. It lies on a plain surrounding by the Collio hills, famous for their full-bodied wines. After our guided city tour we transfer to Carso Plateau for a walk and vineyard visit which will include a wine tasting and sampling of the local delicacies.


Day 12: Cividale del Friuli

Accommodation: Ai Dogi Hotel or similar.

We explore Palmanova with our local guide. This town is quite extraordinary in that it is a town shaped geometrically like a nine-point star. This fortified town was founded by the Venetian Republic at the end of the 16th century in order to defend its eastern borders both from the Habsburg Empire and from the Turks. It is known internationally as one of the very few towns to have achieved the status of being an accredited perfect residential centre. Our journey continues to Grade and Aquileia, an important Roman site with impressive mosaics.


Day 13: Venice

We arrive in Venice and transfer by private boat to Piazza San Marco. We begin our visit with a city tour with our local guide.

Our tour concludes in Venice after the city tour.


Tour Notes

  • Group size is limited to a maximum of 18 participants.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 12 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • 12 breakfasts and 5 dinners.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • Service charges and gratuities.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Comprehensive international travel insurance.
  • Return international airfares and departure taxes.
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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05 September 2024


Ends 18 September 2024 • 14 days

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Room Type

Single Traveller
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$9,989 pp

By booking two travellers sharing a room you save $1070 per person.

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You can reserve your spot by paying a $1,000 pp deposit, for full details please see our Terms & Conditions .

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Prices are per person and valid until 30th December 2024.

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Make it a private tour

If you have a group of 6 friends or more you can book this tour as a private departure, with all the benefits of our small group tours.
Get in touch to find out more.

Easing your journey

Crossing international borders with restrictions

The list of requirements to travel internationally has changed and will continue to change for several years. Odyssey is here to assist you in managing your way through these requirements:

Pre-departure checklist for travelling across International borders.
Support over email or phone available 24/7 for any questions you have.

For more information see our Crossing international borders with restrictions page.

Book With Confidence

If less than 30 days before your tour starts you are unable to travel as a result of Government travel restrictions, Odyssey Traveller will assist you with a date change, provide you with a credit or process a refund for your booking less any non-recoverable costs.

See Terms and conditions for details.

Peace of Mind Travel

The safety of our travellers, tour leader, local guide and support staff has always been our top priority and with the new guidelines for public health and safety for keeping safe for destinations around the world, we’ve developed our plan to give you peace of mind when travelling with us.

See Peace of Mind Travel for details.


Very enjoyable tour, the group was small, so we all became quickly known to each other. It was a very enjoyable atmosphere, also with our guide and driver. The tour was well designed. Renate K. Sep ’18

Reading List Download PDF

The Pursuit of Italy: A History of a Land, its Regions and their Peoples

David Gilmour

Visiting a villa built by Lorenzo de Medici outside Pisa, David Gilmour fell into conversation about the unification of Italy with a distinguished former minister: '"You know, Davide," he said in a low conspiratorial voice, as if uttering a heresy, "Garibaldi did Italy a great disservice. If he had not invaded Sicily and Naples, we in the north would have the richest and most civilized state in Europe." After looking cautiously round the room he added in an even lower voice, "Of course to the south we would have a neighbour like Egypt."'

Was the elderly Italian right? Was the unification of Italy a mistake? The Pursuit of Italy traces the whole history of the Italian peninsula in a wonderfully readable style, full of well-chosen stories and observations from personal experience, and peopled by many of the great figures of the Italian past, from Cicero and Virgil to Dante and the Medici, from Cavour and Verdi to the controversial political figures of the twentieth century. The book gives a clear-eyed view of the Risorgimento, the pivotal event in modern Italian history, debunking the influential myths which have grown up around it.

Gilmour shows that the glory of Italy has always lain in its regions, with their distinctive art, civic cultures, identities and cuisine. The regions produced the medieval communes and the Renaissance, the Venetian Republic and the Grand Duchy of Tuscany, two of the most civilized states of European history. Their inhabitants identified themselves not as Italians, but as Tuscans and Venetians, Sicilians and Lombards, Neapolitans and Genoese. This is where the strength and culture of Italy still comes from, rather than from misconceived and mishandled concepts of nationalism and unity.

This wise and enormously engaging book explains the course of Italian history in a manner and with a coherence which no one with an interest in the country could fail to enjoy.

The Borgias

Christopher Hibbert

The name Borgia is synonymous with the corruption, nepotism, and greed that were rife in Renaissance Italy.

The powerful, voracious Rodrigo Borgia, better known to history as Pope Alexander VI, was the central figure of the dynasty. Two of his seven papal offspring also rose to power and fame - Lucrezia Borgia, his daughter, whose husband was famously murdered by her brother, and that brother, Cesare, who served as the model for Niccolo Machiavelli's The Prince. Notorious for seizing power, wealth, land, and titles through bribery, marriage, and murder, the dynasty's dramatic rise from its Spanish roots to its occupation of the highest position in Renaissance society forms a gripping tale.

Erudite, witty, and always insightful, Hibbert removes the layers of myth around the Borgia family and creates a portrait alive with his superb sense of character and place.

Invisible Romans: Prostitutes, outlaws, slaves, gladiators, ordinary men and women ... the Romans that history forgot

Robert C. Knapp

Robert Knapp seeks out the ordinary people who formed the fabric of everyday life in ancient Rome and the outlaws and pirates who lay beyond it. They are the housewives, prostitutes, freedmen, slaves, soldiers, and gladiators who lived commonplace lives and left almost no trace in history - until now. But their words are preserved in literature, letters, inscriptions and graffiti and their traces can be found in the histories, treatises, plays and poetry created by the elite. A world lost from view for two millennia is recreated through these, and other, tell-tale bits of evidence cast off by the visible mass of Roman history and culture.

Invisible Romans reveals how everyday Romans sought to survive and thrive under the afflictions of disease, war, and violence, and to control their fates under powers that both oppressed and ignored them. Their lives - both familiar and foreign to ours today - are shown against the tumult of a great empire that shaped their worlds as it forged the wider world around them.

The Land Where Lemons Grow: The Story of Italy and its Citrus Fruit

Helena Attlee

Travellers have always been thrilled by the sight of citrus in Italy, where dark leaves and bright fruit seem to charge the landscape, making the trees symbols of a sun-soaked, poetic vision of the country. Citrus also holds a special place in the Italian imagination, and in The Land Where Lemons Grow, Helena Attlee sets out to explore its curious past and its enduring resonance in Italian culture. The Land Where Lemons Grow is a heady mixture of travel writing, history, horticulture and art; a unique journey through Italy's cultural, culinary and political past. Helena Attlee is the author of four books about Italian gardens, and others on the cultural history of gardens around the world. Helena is a Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and has worked in Italy for nearly 30 years.

The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy

Jacob Buckhards and Peter Murray

For nineteenth-century Swiss historian Jacob Burckhardt, the Italian Renaissance was nothing less than the beginning of the modern world - a world in which flourishing individualism and the competition for fame radically transformed science, the arts, and politics. In this landmark work he depicts the Italian city-states of Florence, Venice and Rome as providing the seeds of a new form of society, and traces the rise of the creative individual, from Dante to Michelangelo. A fascinating description of an era of cultural transition, this nineteenth-century masterpiece was to become the most influential interpretation of the Italian Renaissance, and anticipated ideas such as Nietzsche's concept of the 'Ubermensch' in its portrayal of an age of genius.

Art in Renaissance Italy

John T. Paoletti and Gary M. Radke

With a freshness and breadth of approach that sets the art in its context, this book explores why works were created and who commissioned the palaces, cathedrals, paintings, and sculptures. It covers Rome and Florence, Venice and the Veneto, Assisi, Siena, Milan, Pavia, Genoa, Padua, Mantua, Verona, Ferrara, Urbino, and Naples. Chapters are grouped into four chronological parts, allowing for a sustained examination of individual cities in different periods. "Contemporary Scene" boxes provide fascinating glimpses of daily life and "Contemporary Voice" boxes quote from painters and writers of the time. Innovative and scholarly, yet accessible and beautifully presented, this book is a definitive work on the Italian Renaissance. This revised edition contains around 200 new pictures and nearly all colour images.

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