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Upcoming Programs:
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The Italian Lake District

Two Departures:                                                    October 9-17, 2007 (open for registration)
August 7-15, 2007 (sold out)                                         
Donald Loach, U.Va. Associate Professor of Music Emeritus (October).
John Portmann, U.Va. Assistant Professor of Religious Studies (August).                                   

Registration is Open (October departure)

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Buon Giorno! Explore Italy's magnificent Lake District on this spectacular journey through the breathtaking beauty of Northern Italy. Glide over glacial lakes and past romantic Renaissance villas. Stroll blissfully through elegantly formal or wildly exotic gardens that delight your senses with sweet perfume dancing on cool, shady breezes. Where Italy kisses Switzerland, each unique lake sparkles in the sun as you stroll through colorful towns, impressive cathedrals, and gorgeous palaces. Soak up breathtakingly lush vistas and admire the art and architecture of sophisticated cities. Seeking the serene and spectacular? Embrace it all in Italy's Lake District.

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Program Highlights

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Donald Loach is an Emeritus Associate Professor of the University of Virginia Department of Music. He came to the University in 1964. The Introduction to Musical Literature course that “Coach Loach" (as he was called by his students) taught was one of the most popular courses at U.Va. Coach Loach was also Music Director for the University Singers and for the Oratorio Society of Charlottesville. With the University Singers, he established the Renaissance Madrigal Dinner Concerts each December in Newcomb Hall, and students and townsfolk filled Cabell Hall for three performances each year of the Annual Glee Club Christmas Concert, made especially popular for the audience's riotous singing of The Twelve Days of Christmas.


John Portmann is an Assistant Professor in the University of Virginia Department of Religious Studies. He received his Masters in Philosophy from Cambridge University and Ph.D. in religious studies from the University of Virginia. He teaches a number of courses including a popular undergraduate seminar entitled "Cultural Catholicism." He has written four books and is currently working on a fifth entitled Sin: Vast Past, Vaster Future, which will be published in the summer of 2007. John is passionate about Italian culture, having traveled to Italy over 25 times.

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Depart your gateway city for Milan, Italy.


Upon your arrival in Milan, transfer by motorcoach to the Lido Palace Hotel in Baveno on beautiful Lake Maggiore (transfer provided for air-inclusive participants only.) This evening, gather for a Welcome to Italy Reception and Dinner. Enjoy the rich regional specialties and wines.


Educational Focus: Lombardy and the Development of the Lake District. Surrounded by Alpine peaks and formed by glaciers, the magnificent lakes of the Italian Lake District offer artists and travelers an extraordinary panorama. Lake Maggiore is known for its exceptional beauty and the remarkable Borromean Islands. Lake Como's dramatic shores, surrounded by lofty Alps, are lined with gracious villas nestled in perfumed gardens. Learn about and discuss the highlights of these stunning lakes. Educational Focus: Contemporary Italy. Enjoy an engaging discussion of Italy's vibrant economy, politics, role in the European Union and society today. Excursion: Walking Tour of Baveno, Intra and Pallanza. Experience the natural beauty of the glistening lake and the striking mountain scenerke District offer artists and travelers an extraordinary panorama. Lake Maggiore is known for its exceptional beauty and the remarkable Borromean Islands. Lake Como's dramatic shores, surrounded by lofty Alps, are lined with gracious villas nestled in perfumed gardens. Learn about and discuss the highlights of these stunning lakes. Educational Focus: Contemporary Italy. Enjoy an engaging discussion of Italy's vibrant economy, politics, role in the European Union and society today. Excursion: Walking Tour of Baveno, Intra and Pallanza. Experience the natural beauty of the glistening lake and the striking mountain scenery in Baveno. Walk along the lakefront, lined with colorful 19th-century villas and visit the 5th-century baptistry next to a lovely Romanesque church. Against the backdrop of the azure lake, admire the dramatic face of Intra's St. Vittore Cathedral and Peretti and Scaramuccia Palaces. Then, see the beautiful villas and gardens of Pallanza with its magnificent St. Stephano's Church.


Educational Focus: Golden Age of the Renaissance. Delve into the true genius of Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci and their profound influence on sculpture and painting. Excursion: The Borromean Islands. Cruise Lake Maggiore to visit Isola Bella, the Beautiful Island, extolled by writers over the centuries. Explore its 17th-century baroque palace and summerhouse that is home to a mosaic grotto and an astounding collection of art and antiques. Stroll through hanging gardens adorned with Greek and Roman statuary while listening to rare birds. See Isola Madre's paradise of baroque splendor. Inside the 16th-century villa, a ceramic collection and display of 19th-century puppets and marionettes help you conjure images of daily life in another time. Finally, embrace the rustic charm of the peaceful fishing village of Isola dei Pescatori. Stroll its narrow streets lined by quaint houses of the hard-working fishermen and their families who call this island home. Local Flavor: Savor a delicious lunch in a local restaurant on one of the islands. Educational Focus: Meet the People. Participate in a panel discussion and learn about Italian life from local residents.


Excursion: A Cultural Visit to Milan. Visit some of the world's most stunning art and architecture in stylish Milan. Enter the flamboyant 14th-century Duomo, a masterpiece of gothic marble defended by 2,244 marble saints and nearly 100 scowling gargoyles. See the legendary La Scala, Italy's opulent, premier opera house. Then, enjoy a memorable trip to the beautiful Renaissance Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie and its rectory to see Da Vinci's magnificent Last Supper. Local Flavor: Enjoy lunch in a charming Milanese restaurant. Independent Exploration: Spend time on your own getting to know cosmopolitan and cultural Milan.


Independent Exploration: Your day is your own. If you wish, you may join an optional boat excursion to Stresa for excellent shopping or exploration. Educational Focus: Life in Borromean Times. Learn about the region's colorful artisan traditions, including how the Borsalino Hat Factory, umbrella production, and designer Bialetti, continue to shape the region's culture and craftsmanship.


Educational Focus and Excursion: Tremezzo. Ascend one of the five grand staircases past terraces adorned by fragrant orange tree pergolas to the neoclassical Villa Carlotta. Tour the museum with its spectacular collection of sculpture, tapestries and paintings before descending into the stunning Italian and English gardens. Breathe in the unforgettable fragrance of over 500 species of blooming flowers, including rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolia grandiflora! Excursion: Bellagio. Explore Bellagio, jutting out into Lake Como, where we'll roam peaceful, narrow lanes and covered walkways lined with pastel houses typical of the area. Explore the 18th- and 19th-century villas built by the region's noble families. Local Flavor: Enjoy a delicious lunch in a lakeside restaurant. Independent Exploration: Shop Bellagio's boutiques or take a romantic stroll along the waterfront. Excursion: Como. Travel by private boat from Bellagio down Lake Como and past gorgeous villas, to the city of Como. Enjoy a guided tour of this beautiful town, which has kept much of its ancient Roman street plan, starting with the lovely Piazza Cavour, surrounded by cafs, hotels and the lake. Independent Exploration: Explore Como at your leisure.


Excursion: Lake Orta. This morning, take a boat trip on romantic Lake Orta, known for its picturesque beauty, fascinating history and wealth of artistic treasures. Visit the legendary island of San Giulio and admire the spectacular frescoes in its 4th-century basilica. Local Flavor: Enjoy the charming scenery over lunch. Lake Orta's villages are known for producing many of the finest chefs in all of Italy. Independent Exploration: Your afternoon is at leisure in Baveno. This evening, join your friends for a special Arrivederci Reception followed by your Graduation Ceremony and Dinner.


After breakfast, transfer to the Milan airport for the return flight to your gateway city (transfer provided for air-inclusive participants only.)


Itinerary schedule may change due to local conditions. Many excursions in this program involve an element of walking as some of the finest attractions are located in areas not closely accessible by motorcoach. ^ back to top


Program Fees

$2,445 per person, double occupancy, land only. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $250.

Price includes:

$3,645 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from Washington Dulles. Please inquire about pricing for other gateway cities. A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $250.

In addition to the inclusions noted in the land-only pricing, air-inclusive price includes:

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 800-346-3882. Or, e-mail with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot, plus an additional deposit of $100 per person if you wish to take the extension. Final invoicing will be done approximately four months prior to departure. Final payment is due 75 days prior to departure.

Deposits can be made via Visa, MasterCard, or check. Checks will need to be made payable directly to the travel provider. We will provide you with this information, along with a mailing address.

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Terms & Conditions


The Alumni Holidays Passenger Travel Protection Plan now offers a low-cost Any Reason Cancellation feature. Book worry free!


Any increases in U.S. and Canadian air and airport taxes and security or fuel surcharges imposed by air carrier or other transportation suppliers; fees for passports and, if applicable, visas; personal gratuities; laundry and dry cleaning; excursions, wines, liquors, mineral waters and meals not mentioned in this brochure under included features; travel insurance; all items of a strictly personal nature.


The right is retained to decline to accept or to retain any person as a member of this trip who, in the opinion of Alumni Holidays (AHI International) is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others on the trip, subject only to the requirement that the portion of the total amount paid which corresponds to the unused services and accommodations be refunded. Passengers requiring special assistance, including without limitation those who permanently or periodically use a wheelchair, must be accompanied by someone who is fit and able to assist them, and who will be totally responsible for providing all required assistance.


The price of this trip is based on an Advance Purchase Excursion fare. After tickets are issued, penalties up to 100% of the ticket price may be levied. If connecting flights are requested, special promotional fares may be used, in which case penalties of as much as 100% may be assessed by the airlines if reservations are changed or cancelled after ticketing. After departure, if the reservations are changed, you will be charged the higher, all year Economy class fare. VARIATIONS TO THE GROUP ITINERARY MUST BE REQUESTED NO LATER THAN 60 DAYS PRIOR TO DEPARTURE.


In addition to airline cancellation penalties, all cancellations for any reason whatsoever will be subject to a $150 per person cancellation fee. Cancellation from 90-61 days prior to departure will result in forfeiture of 10% of the entire cost of the trip per person; 60-31 days, 30%; 30-15 days, 50%. Cancellation from 14 days up to the time of departure will result in forfeiture of the entire cost of the trip. TRIP CANCELLATION INSURANCE IS AVAILABLE. AN APPLICATION WILL BE SENT AFTER YOU RESERVE. All cancellations must be submitted in writing to AHI International Corporation.


The most restrictive airline regulations permit two checked pieces per passenger for which the total sum of the linear dimensions (length + width + height) of both should not exceed 117 inches or a maximum weight of 50 pounds. The linear dimensions of the first piece must not exceed the sum of 62 inches and the second piece must not exceed the sum of 55 inches. One piece of carry-on luggage is allowed per passenger for which the linear dimensions should not exceed a sum of 41 inches or a maximum weight of 13 pounds and must fit completely underneath an aircraft seat. Differing baggage allowances may apply, depending on program carrier. Baggage allowances are subject to change by the carrier without notice. For additional or oversized/overweight pieces, excess baggage charges are expensive and not included in your trip price, so you should plan your wardrobe accordingly. Liability is clearly stated on the passenger contract. In no event shall liability exceed the actual loss incurred, subject to proof of the amount lost.


Alumni Holidays and the University of Virginia act only as agents for the suppliers of travel conveyance, transport, accommodations or other service and have no responsibility for any delays, delayed departure or arrival, missed carrier connections, loss, death, damage or injury to person or property or accident, mechanical defect, failure or negligence of any nature howsoever caused in connection with any accommodations, transportation or other services or for any substitution of hotels or of common carrier equipment, with or without notice, or for any additional expenses occasioned thereby. Dates, Program Details and Tour costs, although given in good faith and based on tariffs, exchange rates and other information current at the time of printing, are subject to change at or before the time of departure. No revisions of the printed itinerary or its included features are anticipated; however, the right is reserved to make any changes, with or without notice, that might become necessary, with the mutual understanding that any additional expenses will be paid by the individual passenger. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. If the entire program is cancelled for any reason, participants shall have no claim other than for a full refund. By forwarding the deposit, the passenger certifies that he/she has no physical, mental or other condition of disability that would create a hazard for himself/herself or other passengers and accepts the terms of this contract. The airlines and other transportation companies concerned are not to be held responsible for any act, omission, or event, during the time passengers are not on board their conveyances. The passage contract in use, when issued, shall constitute the sole contract between the company(ies) and the passenger and/or purchaser of this trip. ^ back to top