The birthplace of Renaissance, Italy is a spectacular mix of Roman history, artistic flair and edgy style, with food that is as simple as it is ingenious, and dramatic landscapes that will leave you spellbound. Check in and settle down at your luxurious hotel, before stepping out to explore the city for a bit. Some of the highlights are the Duomo, the Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, Piazza delle Grazie and Leonardo’s ‘Last Supper’ at Santa Maria delle Grazie. For shopping, try the trendy Quadrilatero d’Oro. And for dinner, there are a selection of Michelin-star restaurants including the popular Nobu, serving up Japanese fusion.
Lakeside Luxury (Milan – Lake Como)
In the morning, our representative will bring you your stylish ride for the journey – the classically Italian Ferrari. Drive outside the city to the foothills of the Italian Alps and the pristine shores of Lake Como, about 2 hours away. The azure waters of the lake are set against the backdrop of the snowy Alps, embellished with grand Roman architecture around the shores. Stop for lunch at a local trattoria, before riding further to Cernobbio, where you will check in at a plush 16th-century villa with a fascinating history. The place has been owned in succession by a ballerina and a Napoleonic General, a Queen without a crown who renamed it Villa d'Este, a Russian Empress and a minor aristocrat. With 25 acres of gardens overlooking Lake Como and opulent interiors including delicate stucco work, magnificent frescoes, and ornate mirrors, the place makes for an indulgent stay. Dine on their terrace, with a moonlit view of the lake.
We recommend spending the day exploring the legendary villas of Lake Como. See the remarkable terraced gardens and interiors of Villa Balbianello, which has been the setting for many popular movies including the James Bond thriller, Casino Royale. Take a short boat ride to the tiny island of Comancina, which is a great spot for lunch at the island’s only café – La Locanda dell’Isola. Later, visit Villa Carlotta, home to a beautiful botanical garden and an art collection that includes the works of Canova, Thorvaldsen, Migliara and Hayez. And walk through the cobbled streets of Bellagio, known as the Pearl of Lake Como for its picturesque sights, gorgeous villas, a tranquil coastline and a quaint town centre full of local shops and food. In the evening, you can stroll into Cernobbio to dine at one of the many restaurants with a view.
The Prancing Horse (Lake Como – Maranello)
Check out of your hotel and drive to scenic Maranello, the hometown of Ferrari, a little over three hours away. On route, you can stop for coffee in the countryside at the charming town of Modena. Once you reach Maranello, we recommend lunch at Il Cavallino, the restaurant where Enzo Ferrari is famously known to have lunched for his entire working life, just opposite the Ferrari factory. Later, spend some time exploring the Ferrari museum, which houses a collection of cars, images and trophies from the company’s history. The museum promises an enthralling journey of discovery of the Prancing Horse dream, told through cars that have made automotive history on streets and circuits the world over. About 40 minutes of drive will get you to the town of Bologna where you will check-in at a glamorous 18th-century hotel, known for its impressive décor and art collection.
Tuscan Hospitality (Bologna – Chianti)
Take some time to explore Bologna, home to a mix of historic wonders and an edgy, modern spirit. You will the find the world’s oldest university here as well as graffiti-covered piazzas that are unique to the region. Drive for about 2 hours to the region of Chianti, known world-wide for its production of the exquisite Chianti wine. Hidden among the rolling hills of Tuscany lies your luxurious stay for the next two nights. Set amidst a 740-acre estate, the hotel is inside a 12-century castle layered with Renaissance frescoes and contemporary design. For lunch, the hotel offers Michelin-starred dining experiences with estate-to-table Tuscan produce. Take the rest of the day to relax or try their in-house spa which offers a range of wellness therapies. If you are up for more action, try a hike across the grounds of the hotel.
Countryside Views (Chianti)
The Chianti region is best explored in your own car, as you drive around the countryside, observing its beautiful olive gardens, dense forests, rural churches, Renaissance villas and stone castles. It’s also a great way to get to some of the best wineries and farms in the area, for a taste of some of the most prestigious labels and great vintages of the region. We can arrange for a private wine tasting or curate a longer day to explore the region based on your interests. The nearby cities of Siena and Florence are interesting spots to visit as well.
Farewell Italy (Chianti – Florence)
Drive down to Florence airport, where our representative will meet you to pick up the Ferrari. Board the flight back home.