Please sign in to post.

Villages of Italy…pre-and post-tour question

Hello, I have a question about the Villages of Italy tour. The tour starts in Padua. I will be flying into Venice. I am thinking about staying two days in Venice (I have been there before but on a cruise stop). Then one day in Padua before the tour starts.

The tour ends in Lake Orta. I am flying out of Milan. I am thinking about staying an extra day in Orta, then going to Milan and stay at an airport hotel overnight. I would fly out the next day.

This will all be in April.

What have others who have taken this tour done? Does my plan make sense? Thanks so much!

Posted by
10095 posts

If you haven’t seen da Vinci’s “The Last Supper” in Milan, I highly recommend it. We stayed near it at Antica Locanda Leonardo which we enjoyed. Get your tickets to “The Last Supper” far in advance.

Posted by
214 posts

We stayed in Padua and did a day trip to Venice, visiting Murano and Burano. If you’ve never stayed in Venice, I’d go with your plan.
After the tour we stayed in Milan for a couple days and included seeing the Last Supper. Milan is a big city. It had a beautiful cathedral, architecture and wonderful food. Lake Orta is beautiful and relaxing. Milan is beautiful but very different.

Posted by
451 posts

We took this tour 8 years ago and had a fabulous time!

In the narrated photobook that I later made, I mentioned everyone's post-tour plans, so I consulted that book just now so as to be able to answer your question.

There were 12 married couples on our Village Italy tour.

My husband and I spent one final day and night in Varenna and then flew home from Milan the next day. We weren't yet retired and couldn't extend our vacation with multiple post-tour nights, but we'd always wanted to visit Varenna, and being so close to that town at the end of the tour, we couldn't resist the opportunity to get over there for one final day after the tour. Some would say it takes too long to get there from Lake Orta, for just one night, but for us, it was the perfect way to end the trip, relaxing and unwinding, some quiet time just to ourselves, in a beautiful place, reflecting on all the wonderful experiences we had for two weeks. The next day, it was pretty easy to go by train to Milan's airport for our flight home (regional train from Varenna to Milano Centrale station, then transfer to the Malpensa Express to the airport.) .

Only one couple was remaining behind in Lake Orta for another night, and only because they'd made an error in booking their flight home, thinking the tour ended one day later than its actual end. Lake Orta is lovely but small. The consensus of tour members, I recall, was that the one day and overnight we had there with the tour was enough. This couple who ended up with one extra day reported later that it was a bit depressing to be there by themselves for one extra day, all of their new friends having departed, no one left to socialize or dine with.

One couple left Lake Orta after breakfast on the final day, headed to Tuscany for a week-long stay in a villa.

One couple went to Milan on the final day of the tour, for one last overnight before flying home the next day. They had reservations to see the Last Supper.

One couple flew out of Milan to London on the last day of the tour, intending to spend a few days there before going home.

Five couples shared 2 taxis to Milan's airport on the final day of the tour, for their flights home to the U.S., one taxi departing before the final breakfast and the other departing after breakfast.

Two couples who had come on the tour together had booked a couple of post-tour nights in Stresa, then they were going to be traveling up into Switzerland to extend their vacation.

You're going to have a wonderful time on the Village Italy tour!

Posted by
232 posts

Do stay a few nights in Venice, it’s a different place once the cruise ship crowds leave and waking up in Venice is amazing. The light, the people goi g about the start of their day. You will not regret spending a day or two there before the tour starts. Have fun!

Posted by
1103 posts

Here is my report on the Village Italy tour - April/May 2019:

We flew into Venice four days before the start of the tour, and immediately took a bus to Padua. Venice was worth a day trip since we had not been there before, although the early evening was much more pleasant after the cruise passengers returned to their ships. Only one couple stayed an extra night in Lake Orta, and I have heard that some people were disappointed with a longer stay. It was nice to chill out in Milan for a day before heading home, as we usually get more enjoyment out of pre-tour travel. We shared a taxi with another couple to the main Milan train station. The Milan hotel was a short walk to the train station, and the Malpensa express runs frequently to the airport.

Posted by
457 posts

We did this tour in May of 2018. We flew into Milan and took the train to Varenna for three nights. From there we traveled by train to Venice for another three or four nights. We arrived the day before the tour started in Padua.

I don't recall anyone staying at Lake Orta at the end of our tour, but another day wouldn't be a bad choice. We could have filled another day exploring and doing a hike we skipped.

Posted by
93 posts

Lake Orta was beautiful, BUT one day is definitely enough as there is not much to do there once you are through with the tour. I'd definitely move on to Milan rather than stay there. Nobody on our tour stayed an extra day there, except one couple and they wished that they didn't have to stay.

Posted by
12639 posts

My brother, SIL and I stayed an extra day in Orta and regretted it. By noon we'd done the SacraMonte walk and were done with the town. The guide will arrange for transportation from Orta to Milan or Malpensa. We shared a van with another couple who stayed an extra day to our hotel in Milan and that worked well. I'd go to Milan the day the tour ends. I didn't look to see what day of the week this tour end on, but I'd consider getting a timed entry to The Last Supper for that afternoon if that is of interest to you although it is closed on Mondays. I'd probably stay overnight in Milan unless you've got an early flight out.

I did not allow us an extra day in Padua and regretted it. I thought there was a lot to see there that we didn't get to! So...your plan for at least one day ahead on Padua is a good one as is 2 (or more) days in Venice.

This is a wonderful tour!

Posted by
2249 posts

It’s a terrific tour and you’re wise to spend extra days front and back. We did as some on here did and flew into Venice where we spent a few days before taking the very accessible and easy to use 30 minute train trip from Venice to Padua. We arrived in Padua the morning before the first day of the tour and so had an extra day and a half there. We stayed the night the tour ended in Lake Orta to kick back, repack and just chill. We shared a van to Milan with some other tour members who also stayed after, where we spent an additional two days before flying home.

Posted by
73 posts

Thank you so much, everyone for your responses. I have decided to spend two nights in Venice and two nights in Padua before the tour starts. I will also spend one extra day in Milan and not Orta, per your suggestions. Thanks again!

Posted by
12639 posts

JamieMayo...I think your plan is a really good one! Enjoy this tour!