The Italian way of life – La Dolce Vita – combined with a touch of the Côte d’Azur – this is the flair of Lake Maggiore, which is located on the westernmost of the northern Italian lakes. The ambience is sophisticated and cosmopolitan, the countless Art Nouveau villas and their imposing landscaped gardens were commissioned in the mid-19th century by wealthy pensioners of the British Empire. In contrast, you will experience archaic mountain villages in the Centovalli after endless narrow mountain stages.
Day 1: Isola Bell
There are many lakes in Northern Italy, but Lake Maggiore really stands out. It is where the Southern Swiss Ticino and the Italian Piedmont and Lombardy regions meet. With its considerable length, stylish promenades, winding mountain roads, sleepy villages and glitzy seaside resorts, it is simply a stunning lake. On our first day we start out in the afternoon, driving along the lakeside to the promenade of Pallanza with its small street cafés – a perfect setting for a cruise in a Mercedes-Benz SL.
Later in the evening our skipper Marcello will await us at the hotel’s pier to take us on a boat trip to Isola Bella, a UNESCO World Heritage site. In the evenings, this island is deserted but for the connoisseurs who dine at the island’s restaurant. Not only does it offer culinary highlights, but it also rewards its guests with an exceptional panoramic view of the strings of lights at the lakefront.
Day 2: Driving fun at the Monte Mottarone
Double clutching and curves: If you are aiming high and appreciate panoramic views high up above the lake, you will find what you are looking for today. Along a winding road with numerous serpentines we ascend from Stresa, passing aristocratic villas located beautifully in the hills, high up until we cross the timber line. Our first stop is Monte Mottarone, just under 1,500 metres above sea level. From here we have a fantastic panoramic view from the snow-covered Swiss Alps to the lakes of Northern Italy, Lake di Varese, Lake Maggiore and Lake d’Orta. Orta San Giulio is one of the most beautiful villages in Italy with its cobblestone, arrow alleyways, high-rising baroque houses and beautiful lakefront at Piazza Mario Motta. Later in the afternoon our route through the “Sacro Monte d’Orta” and “Monte Mesma” natural reserves will be a lot less busy. Near Arona we return to the shore of Lake Maggiore in the South-West, passing Mediterranean vegetation and turn-of-the-century villas as we follow the shoreline.
Day 3: Mountain canyons and sea promenades
This day is rich in contrast. Valle Cannobina’s typical shingle-covered one-storey farmhouses are beautiful and very different from the architecture at the stylish lake promenades. Further on, the valley opens up as we cross the border into Switzerland and Centovalli. At noon we reach Ascona, which is beautifully located on the Northern shore of Lake Maggiore and – with its Mediterranean flair – has been a favourite hotspot for artists since the beginning of the 20th century. In the afternoon, after a sightseeing tour we enjoy a relaxing drive back to our hotel along the lakefront.
Day 4: Popes and Saints
After Piedmont and the Swiss lakefronts, we now discover the Eastern Lombard shore. The Castello di Angera fortress, which also bears the name of its aristocratic owner Rocca Borromeo, is not only one of the best-preserved medieval defence systems in Italy. It also offers a unique view from its former watch tower. Once you’ve climbed up 150 steps, Langensee, as Lake Maggiore is also called, will be at your feet. On the opposite shore you will see the gigantic statue of Saint Charles Borromeo, a member of this aristocratic family. After an exciting ferry ride across the lake’s narrowest part you take over the wheel of your Mercedes-Benz SL vintage car again in Verbania before you reach the hotel, where it’s time to say goodbye to your car and catch your transfer to the airport.
Price: from 2,195 Euro p. p.
Place: Lake Maggiore
We can offer you the following dates for Lake Maggiore:
You did not find a suitable date or you would prefer another region to do your classic car experience? From a minimum group size of 12 people we will design your exclusive, individual Classic Car Tour.
*Single room supplement on request.
**Two people always travel in one vehicle. Models will be swapped.
The General Terms and Conditions of Nostalgic GmbH and Co. KG, which you can view here, shall apply.
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For over 125 years, unique innovations and timeless elegance have ensured that the three-pointed star of Mercedes-Benz is pointing towards the future. In the first half of the 19th century, the lifetime achievements of two personalities – Gottlieb Daimler and Carl Benz – revolutionised the history of the car, laying the foundations for individual mobility. Ever since, ingenious engineers have been coming up with revolutionary inventions time and time again. Take the SL sports car, for example, a fascinating success story from Mercedes-Benz, which, since its introduction, has become legendary. With its own special character and charm, it’s the number one dream car and luxury roadster of all time, even after more than 60 years. Two letters have rarely gained such charisma. The abbreviation SL, synonymous with “sporty and light”, could, thanks to the roadster’s sophisticated design, pioneering technology and how pleasurable it is to drive, equally refer to “superior living”. With its classic car trips, Classic Car Travel brings the legendary Mercedes-Benz SL to life with maximum pleasure behind the wheel and a passion for tradition.
The charm of the classic car doesn’t only start once you’re behind the wheel. When almost a dozen Mercedes-Benz SLs are lined up, shining in the sun, your eyes will already light up. Spring 1963: return to the era when the W 113 was introduced. Its hardtop, which curves inwards slightly, is reminiscent of the type of roof that pagodas have in the far east, and is what gives this Mercedes-Benz SL series its characteristic name “Pagoda”. With both the W 113 and its successor, the R 107, it’s impossible not to be transported back to the golden seventies, when luxury class was a term used in the automotive industry to describe people who had “made it”. Feelings of nostalgia are conjured up as soon as you hold the ignition key to one of these legendary Mercedes-Benz SLs in your hand. But don’t get in just yet. First of all, transform your roadster into an open-top convertible. The handy stowage space for the roof under the bonnet, painted the same colour as the body of the car, will get you warmed up.
Now it’s time: it won’t start at the push of a button: you turn the ignition key – a magical moment – the engine starts up slowly, and is soon screaming out for you to take it out for a spin. Wonderful: you take in the round, analogue elements. Be it the chrome jewel gear shifting gate with its delicate Bakelite knobs in the Pagoda or the cherished root wood inlay in the cockpit of the R 107, the chrome-plated ventilation elements or the snappy wipers on the headlights: as a driver behind the wheel of this Mercedes-Benz SL, there’s one thing that will really strike you – absolute control.
This feeling will stay with you whilst you drive, when the six-cylinder engine powers up. These vehicles continue to impress not only their passengers, but also passers-by. After just a few miles, you’ll notice how people like you and “your” Mercedes-Benz. Strangers will wave at you. Other vehicles on the road will forget the hustle and bustle around them for a moment and greet you by flashing their lights; other drivers will even give way to you. And suddenly you’ll remember how bends used to feel, that ascending and descending take some concentration when driving. By now you’ve enjoyed an original driving experience that you’d previously deemed lost. Welcome to the world of classic cars. With Classic Car Travel, you’ll manage to square the circle: to slow down whilst driving. You won’t need to worry about anything, thanks to the Mediterranean sun at your destinations, the wind in your hair, carefully selected picture-postcard routes and an all-inclusive package with Classic Car Travel.
Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 107): the star amongst stars
In April 1971, a new Mercedes-Benz SL finds its way to people’s hearts: the Mercedes-Benz 300 SL (R 107). The roadster presents itself as powerful and prestigious, having been given a removable roof by its creators. Under its long bonnet, an eight-cylinder engine roars into life for the first time. In fact, the R 107 really belongs to the German movement of 1968, as the ultimate decision to create it was made on 18 June 1968. In Hollywood, Dallas and the Königsallee in Düsseldorf, stars, celebrities and nobility sauntered around the streets in this elegant car. Plenty of chrome and distinctive bumpers and window frames give the vehicle a self-confident, sovereign look. The R 107 quickly became a bestseller. In addition to the comfort typical of a Mercedes-Benz, a number of small details make life with this car a real pleasure. Charming detail: the rechargeable torch built into the glove compartment.
Mercedes-Benz 280 SL (W 113): the sporty, light pagoda
How do you get highly accomplished power deployment and impressive elegance under one roof? Engineers and designers solved this problem with flying colours in the spring of 1963. The Mercedes-Benz SL W 113, successor to the legendary 190 SL and 300 SL super sports car, was introduced and was, from then onwards, known to its fans as the “Pagoda”. It effortlessly balances the comfort of a touring saloon with the liveliness of a sports car, and is, to this day, the most elegant and desirable convertible for anyone who appreciates the simple elegance and spirit of the sixties. Hollywood stars such as Grace Kelly and Frank Sinatra loved this classy car.
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