Italian Lakes

Quick Facts
SEP. 12-20, 2015 $3,845
Cernobbio, Bellagio, Stresa, Lugano, Milan
UCLA Faculty on Tour Activity Level: Moderate Activity Hide This
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Italian Lakes

SEP. 12-20, 2015
Cernobbio, Bellagio, Stresa, Lugano, Milan

Experience the true essence of life in northern Italy’s fabled Lake District with UCLA History professor Teofilo Ruiz. Enjoy a lakeview room in the charming Regina Olga Hotel in Cernobbio, a picturesque village overlooking Lake Como. Partake in a private boat cruise on Lake Como and expert-guided excursions to Bellagio, Villa del Balbianello, the Borromean Islands and Stresa. Enriching lectures with local residents bring you personal perspectives on the region’s modern life and cultural heritage. This comprehensive itinerary also features an optional excursion to stunning Lugano, Switzerland, and a two-night Milan pre-trip.

Cost: $3,845
Thomas P. Gohagan & Company
Activity Level: Moderate Activity
COVID-19 Information:
  • Enjoy an authentic experience in the incomparably beautiful Lake District and its quintessential northern Italian città and villagi.
  • Immerse yourself in a carefully planned, balanced itinerary of included guided historical and cultural excursions.
  • Enjoy time on your own to discover and observe the rhythms of daily village life just like the Lombardi (residents of the region) do in the small village of Cernobbio, historic Como and the Lake Como jewel of Bellagio.
  • Hear it from the Experts! Meet a Como scholar who will present a lecture on his luogo natio (hometown) and share his expertise of historical, cultural and contemporary Lombardy.
  • Experience the best of the Italian Lake District in unspoiled Como, the picturesque islands of Maggiore and the Alpine splendor and culture of Switzerland’s Lugano.
  • Engage local Lombardi during the VILLAGE FORUM® where they share their candid perspectives on contemporary daily life in the Lake District.
  • Admire the architecture and elaborate terraced gardens of the 18th-century Italian National Trust property Villa Balbianello.
  • Visit Isola Bella’s 17th-century Baroque palazzo, home to priceless masterpieces by famous artists, and sprawling gardens where exotic birds walk among breathtaking blooms.
  • Explore Como’s colorful three-times-weekly outdoor market, a short ferry ride from our hotel.
  • Sample authentic northern Italian regional specialties both in the hotel and in a typical Cernobbio ristorante.
  • Handpicked and by special arrangement, experienced, English-speaking local guides will accompany you throughout the program and their knowledgeable expertise will enhance your understanding of Italy’s la dolce vita.
  • Choose to take the opportunity to visit Ticino—Switzerland’s only Italian-speaking region.
  • Learn key phrases in la lingua italiana (the Italian language) to make your interactions with local residents all the more enjoyable.

UCLA Faculty on Tour

Teofilo Ruiz
UCLA Professor of History
Teofilo Ruiz received his doctorate from Princeton University and has taught at many universities, including the University of Michigan and Princeton. He served as UCLA History Department chair (2002-2005) and chair of the Department of Spanish and Portuguese (2008-2009). Ruiz has taught courses on Medieval and early modern Europe. He was selected by the Carnegie Foundation as one of the four Outstanding Teachers of the Year in 1994. The author of 14 books, Ruiz was honored by the American Historical Association with the Premio del Rey prize for "Crisis and Continuity: Land and Town in Late Medieval Castile." In 2007-2008, he received the prestigious 2007 Guggenheim Fellowship and the Distinguished Teacher Award at UCLA. Two other books, "The Terror of History" and "A King Travels" (which is about late medieval and early modern Spanish festivals), were published by Princeton University press in 2011 and 2012 respectively. In 2012, Ruiz was selected as the Senior Research lecturer at UCLA and received the National Humanities Medal from President Obama.



DAY 1 | Sep. 12. Depart the U.S.

DAY 2 | Sep. 13. Milan, Italy/Cernobbio, Lak Como
Check into Hotel REgina Olga. DAY 3 | Sep. 14. Como/Cernobbio Walking tour of “Old” Como
Cultural Enrichment:

  • Learn basic phrases in la lingua italiana.
  • Lecture by Como scholar.
  • Cernobbio Village Forum

DAY 4 | Sep. 15. Lake Como/Bellagio/Varenna
Scenic private cruise on Lake Como.
Cultural Enrichment:

  • Specially arranged tour of Villa del Balbianello.
  • Explore the treasures of Bellagio and Varenna, two of Lake Como’s charming villages, at your own pace.

DAY 5 |
Sep. 16. Cernobbio
Day at leisure in Cernobbio.
Cultural Enrichment: Lecture by local resident.

DAY 6 | Sep. 17. Lake Maggiore/Stressa/Isola/Bella
Private cruise on Lake Maggiore around the Borromean Islands.
Cultural Enrichment:

  • Tour of Isola Bella’s magnificent palazzo and gardens.
  • Explore the treasures of Stresa at your own pace.

DAY 7 |
Sep. 18. Cernobbio/Lugano, Switzerland

Day at leisure in Cernobbio.
Lugano Cultural Enrichment Option:

  • Visit Santa Maria degli Angioli church.
  • Explore the 16th-century Villa Pizzo.

DAY 8 |
Sep. 19. Cernobbio

Day at leisure.
Cultural Enrichment: Stroll Como’s colorful market and mingle with Lombardi.

DAY 9 | Sep. 20. Cernobbio/Milan/Return to the U.S.


2015-09-italian-lakes-lodgeHotel Regina Olga
Overlooking Lake Como in the charming village of Cernobbio, HOTEL REGINA OLGA combines traditional Italian ambiance with modern facilities, exceptional service and comfortable accommodations. Its classic 19th-century Italian style takes you back to the golden age of travel when the hotel first opened. By special arrangement, your air-conditioned room will feature a lovely view of legendary Lake Como; it has a private bathroom, and is equipped with direct dial telephone, satellite television, minibar, hair dryer and ample closet space. The elegant Cenobio dining room serves northern Italian cuisine, and the lounge, coffee lounge and cocktail terrace bar provide ideal settings for conversation and refreshments. For your enjoyment, the hotel also offers beautifully landscaped gardens to stroll through, bicycles and an outdoor swimming pool. It is a short water taxi ride to Como and within easy walking distance of trattorias and boutiques.


$3,845 to $4,145

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (1.2 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
  • Professor Ruiz was excellent! What a privilege to travel with him, he went way beyond expectations."
    John Wolfe, Traveler

Book this Tour

How to Book

Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $500 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to Thomas P. Gohagan & Company. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Terms & Conditions

Written cancellations from time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure will be assessed a minimum administrative fee of approximately $250; within 90 days of departure, refunds vary according to the policies of each tour operator. Please read the cancellation clauses contained within the brochure for this tour carefully.

CST 2031868-40

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (1.2 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
  • Professor Ruiz was excellent! What a privilege to travel with him, he went way beyond expectations."
    John Wolfe, Traveler