Head to Cadorna railway station in Milan to meet your guide in the morning. After getting on the train, relax for 90 minutes, enjoying the scenery out the window and learning about the history of the region around Lake Maggiore from your guide.
Arrive in Laveno-Mombello, a port town on the lake, and then hop on a boat for a fun ride around the lake. Lake Maggiore, the second-largest lake in Italy, is the border between two regions in Italy: Lombardy and Piedmont, and readers of classic literature may recognize the lake as a setting in Ernest Hemingway's novel, A Farewell to Arms.
With your guide pointing out landmarks and points of interest, enjoy the cruise around the large lake. Gawk at islands, such as the verdant Isola Madre (Mother Island), and then pull up to Isola dei Pescatori, the Island of the Fishermen. Take some time to explore the island at your own leisure, strolling down the narrow streets or sitting down to enjoy a coffee at a cafe.
Once you're back on the boat, head to Isola Bella (Beautiful Island), where you'll find the Borromeo Palace, a beautiful Baroque structure from the 17th century. Explore the gardens and study the ornate facade or perhaps wander around town and do some shopping.
Back on the boat again, head to the last stop: the lakeside town of Stresa, home to many artists and writers in the 19th century. Even Hemingway spent some time here in the 20th century. After some free time exploring, hop back on the train for an early-evening arrival in Milan.