The Italian Lakes Study Tour

Monday, September 11 - Sunday, September 17 | Limited Enrollment

This fall tour will reveal the delightful allure of the Italian lakes, including Como, Maggiore, and Orta. Traveling by boat and bus, we will explore an island palace, tour lakeside villas and take in the charms of the villages and gardens which encircle the lakes. We will follow Edith Wharton’s path up peaceful hillsides above the lakes to the clusters of Renaissance chapels, known as Sacri Monti, which have been designated by UNESCO as World Heritage Sites. We will visit a privately-owned but only partially-restored villa on Lake Como which has an illustrious history. Pliny the Elder and Leonardo da Vinci documented an unusual natural phenomenon on the site, Rossini wrote his masterpiece, “Tancredi” while staying there, and Percy and Mary Shelley attempted to purchase it. We will stay in a grand hotel which hosted Ernest Hemingway and was featured in A Farewell to Arms.

Cost of the study tour is $2,930.00. This cost includes scheduled ground and boat transportation during the study tour, seven nights accommodation in the Grand Hotel des Iles Borromees (based on double occupancy; supplement for single rooms, subject to availability, is $115 per night), seven breakfasts, six dinners with regional wines, five lunches, taxes and gratuities for hotel and scheduled meals, guides and entry fees. The price does not include airfare; transportation to or from airports; meals during unscheduled free time; insurance; medical, hospitalization, or evacuation costs. Participants are responsible for any additional charges made within the hotel (including food and beverages, room service, telephone, fax, internet, laundry and valet, and other personal charges).

Registration and payment schedule: Registration form, a copy of your passport, emergency contacts list, signed waiver, and a deposit of $750.00 per person must be received by June 25, 2006. Please note that enrollment is limited and the trip might fill prior to June 25. If the deposit and all documents are not received by June 25, the reservation is not complete and the Houston Seminar reserves the right to give priority to those who have submitted complete registration packages. The balance of $2,180.00 must be received on or before July 10. If written cancellation is received before July 10, a cancellation fee of $375 will be imposed. We regret that if a cancellation is received on July 10 or afterwards, we cannot offer a refund unless your place can be filled from the waiting list. A handling fee may be deducted from such a refund.

Mobility and Fitness to Travel: This tour involves strenuous, extended periods of brisk walking, sometimes on lengthy, steep inclines and stairs. Participants must be in excellent health and able to participate in tour activities. Any person who, in the sole opinion of the Houston Seminar is unfit for travel or whose physical or mental condition may constitute a danger to themselves or to others, may be refused the opportunity to participate in this tour. The Houston Seminar reserves the right to decline or accept the tour registration of any person at any time and to retain or to require the withdrawal of any person as a member of this tour at any time.

Links to sites outside of The Houston Seminar are not under their control and The Houston Seminar is not responsible for the information or links you may find there.  The presence of the link is not intended to imply The Houston Seminar endorsement.



Upcoming is Spring 2018! 

West Side Story: Leonard Bernstein at 100
Two Wednesdays, March 21 and 28, 6:30-8:00 P.M.
Private residence directions to subscribers
A few seats available


Farming Wonders in Richmond, Texas
Saturday, March 24
Details to subscribers
A few seats available


What's on Lisa Falkenberg's Mind
Tuesday, March 27, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, Hermann Park, 1500 Hermann Drive, 77004


Gorbachev: His Life and Times
Monday, April 16, 6:30-8:00 P.M. | The Junior League, 1811 Briar Oaks Ln, 77027
Co-sponsored with World Affairs Council of Houston


Behind the Pages: A Conversation with William Middleton 
Tuesday, April 24, 6:30-8:00 P.M.


For additional information about any of our courses, to register offline, or to add your name to our mailing and/or email lists, please contact our adminstrator at  or phone 713.666.9000.