Verona and Venice

Duration: 7 days

Highlights: Verona, Lake Garda, Bologna, Padua, Venice

A 7 day trip of romance around Venice and Verona, taking pleasure in exploring time-honoured palaces, impressive ruins and mouth-watering cuisine.

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Itinerary

Day 1 - Arrive Verona

Your local representative will be waiting in the arrivals hall of the airport for your private transfer to your luxurious hotel in the heart of the city.

Overnight: Il Sogno di Giulietta

 

Day 2 - Verona and Lake Garda

This morning you will be met at your hotel by your local English-speaking guide for a 2.5 hour walking tour of Verona. The city owes its romantic reputation to Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet, which was set here. Your tour will include Piazza delle Erbe, Juliet's House and the Roman Arena, one of the largest and finest preserved amphitheatres.

After seeing Verona, head out of the city with your guide and private driver to beautiful Lake Garda. You will visit Desenzano del Garda, one of the liveliest and most popular towns on Lake Garda, where you will see Roman ruins dating back to the 4th century. You will then go on to visit Sirmione to visit the ruins of a Roman villa which was once thought to be the residence of the Latin Poet Catullus; it is one of the most impressive examples of an ancient Roman dwelling in Northern Italy. Return to Verona from here.

Overnight: Il Sogno di Giulietta

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 3 - Bologna 'The Fat One'

Transfer today to the railway station where you have pre-reserved First Class seating on the express train bound for the city of Bologna. The journey takes just 50 minutes, upon arrival into Bologna you will be met from the train door by your expert local guide to begin your tour of this fascinating city.

Bologna is the main city of the Emilia Romagna region, the bread basket of Italy. With its wealth of produce, Bolognese are famous for their love of food hence why the city has earned the name ‘The Fat One’. Your tour today will begin in the sidestreets and markets where all the fine meats, cheeses, oils and pastas are sold. Visit the Basilica of San Petronius, construction on this cathedral began in the 14th-century and work was still in progress on this vast building some 300 years later. It still stands unfinished with the wings of the transept missing and the facade only partially decorated, lacking most of the marble face the architects planned several hundreds of years ago.  You may also visit the complex of four churches known collectively as Santo Stefano and the intricate medieval streets around the piazzas.

After some time at leisure, return to Verona by train where you will be met from the train door and transferred privately back to your hotel.

Overnight: Il Sogno di Giulietta

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 4 - Verona to Venice via Padua Followed by an Evening Private Visit of St. Mark’s Basilica

Depart Verona today, stopping in the city of Padua where you meet an expert local guide. Dating from 1183 BC the city claims to be northern Italy’s oldest, however the major attraction is the Scrovegni Chapel. The chapel houses a remarkable cycle of frescoes completed in 1305 by Giotto. It was commissioned by Enrico degli Scrovegni, a wealthy banker, as a private chapel once attached to his family's palazzo. It is also called the "Arena Chapel" because it stands on the site of a Roman-era arena. The fresco cycle details the life of the Virgin Mary and has been acknowledged by many to be one of the most important fresco cycles in the world.  

Travel to Venice as far as the road can take you before boarding your private boat to arrive in true style at your hotel, located next to the world famous St. Mark’s Square.

This evening is a truly spectacular experience as you visit St. Mark’s Basilica privately where the beautiful mosaics take on an entirely different look when illuminated after dark.

Overnight: Luna Hotel Baglioni

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 5 - Venice - San Marco District

Your English-speaking local guide will meet you today for a 3-hour walking tour of Venice. Your tour will include visits to the Doge's Palace, where you can enjoy the secret itineraries of this spectacular palace. Once the home to Venice’s rulers and to the offices of State, the Doge’s Palace is a triumph of Gothic architecture. It was also where countless prisoners were held captive and tortured. 

Visit the underground dungeon of the Doge’s Palace (subject to availability) and step back in time to see what it was like to be a prisoner under the Doge’s rule. A fascinating maze of cells is linked by corridors and staircases on both sides of the canal. Famous inmate Casanova made a dramatic escape across the rooftop in 1756. Your tour will also take you down some of the fascinating but lesser know alleyways and narrow streets not far from San Marco.

Overnight: Luna Hotel Baglioni

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 6 - Hidden Venice

Your English-speaking local guide will meet you today for a 3-hour walking tour of Hidden Venice, to explore the fascinating but lesser know alleyways and narrow streets not far from San Marco. You can admire the churches and monuments that testify to the long tradition of the Venetian history and culture, seeing the many different architectural styles that have evolved over the centuries, from late Byzantine to Gothic, from Lombard to Renaissance through to Baroque.

Overnight: Luna Hotel Baglioni

Meal Plan: B

 

Day 7 - Depart Venice

Travel in style again today as your private speedboat awaits you at your hotel’s pier to bring you across the Lagoon to Venice Airport.

 

Should your flight be in the evening, you could also embark on an exclusive aristocratic cooking class earlier on with a local countess at her 16th-century palace, superbly located on the Grand Canal, between St Mark's Square and the Rialto Bridge. After a tour of the market to pick up some ingredients, the countess shares her helpful advice, passes on her knowledge, makes suggestions and provides the opportunity to taste the delicacies she has prepared using her vivid imagination to inject old and new recipes with a dash of originality. A complete menu is prepared with your help and afterwards you enjoy a leisurely lunch in the elegant dining room overlooking the famous Grand Canal.

Meal Plan: B

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