Fodor's To Europe!

Northern Italy and Switzerland: The Lakes to the Mountains

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Fly into: Milan Fly out of: Zürich
Total Duration: 15 days

Italy's and Switzerland's Alpine regions are some of the most magical destinations in Europe, and this trip takes you to the best lakes and mountains in the area. You'll crisscross between the two countries, exploring lake-side towns and islands, as well as postcard-perfect mountains and valleys.

    This Trip's Top Experiences:

  • Food and Wine
  • Natural Beauty
  • Art and Culture
Days 1-2

1 Lake Maggiore and Verbania

Islands and the Alps

  • Visit Stresa, a setting for Hemingway's A Farewell to Arms and home to a stunning villa
  • Explore the jewel-like Barromean islands off the coast of Stresa
  • In Verbania, stop by the Villa Taranto, which has magnificent botanical gardens
  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
Discover Lake Maggiore and Verbania »
Days 3-5
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Schweiz Tourismus/

2 Ticino and Lugano

Castles and Climbing

  • Head to Bellinzona, capital of Ticino, to explore its picturesque Old Town and collection of castles
  • Climb one of the three peaks in the Lugano area
  • Walk along the promenade at Lugano, and take in as many of its museums as you can
  • Indulge in the local cuisine, which is earthy and centers on roasted game
  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
  • Food and Wine
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Days 6-7
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hausfrau/ member

3 Bellagio and Lake Como

Villas and Romance

  • Head to Bellagio, one of the prettiest towns in Italy, with meandering cobblestone streets and romantic lakeside restaurants
  • Ferry to pristine villages nestled along the lakeshore to visit lush gardens and elegant villas
  • Art and Culture
  • Shopping
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Days 8-9
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4 Luzern

Lovely on the Lake

  • Luzern's gorgeous waterfront is straddled by the picturesque Chapel Bridge, Europe's oldest
  • Enjoy the dramatic explosion of gilt, marble, and Baroque frescoes that is the Jesuit Church
  • Towering over the city is Mount Pilatus—ride the cable car up, then hike down (the blisters will be worth it)
  • Natural Beauty
  • Architecture
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Days 10-12
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Interlaken Tourismus/

5 Interlaken

Postcard Perfect

  • Walk the Höheweg, Interlaken's main promenade, to enjoy stellar mountain vistas
  • Take the 45-minute train ride to the Lauterbrunnen Valley, Switzerland's most beautiful
  • An hour-long bus ride takes you to Mürren, a Noah's Ark village perched 5,400 feet up the side of Mt. Schilthorn
  • Art and Culture
  • Natural Beauty
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Days 13-15
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Ales Liska/shutterstock

6 Zürich

Switzerland's Commercial Heart

  • See the Great Church, updated in a Gothic style in the late 1700s.
  • Cézanne, Manet, and Degas make the walls glow at the Stiftung Sammlung E.G. Bührle Museum
  • Shop the Bahnhofstrasse's finest boutiques.
  • Shopping
  • Architecture
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