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Opera, history & fine wine

Take your seat at the world-renowned Arena di Verona, the almost perfectly preserved Roman amphitheatre at the heart of the exquisite city of Verona – the setting for Shakespeare’s timeless Romeo and Juliet. This very special break includes a stay on the shores of picturesque Lake Garda, a tour of the beautiful Brenta Riviera, a visit to ancient Padua and a memorable day amongst the vineyards of famous Valpolicella. And of course, tickets for your selected performance.

What does this price include?

  • Five nights' dinner, bed and breakfast accommodation at the four-star Hotel du Parc, Sirmione
  • A gourmet lunch in Valpolicella
  • An un-numbered gradinata ticket on the stone steps at the high point of the Arena di Verona (selected upgrade tickets available)
  • Return flights to Italy
  • Coach travel and transfers throughout
  • Fully escorted by a friendly, experienced Tour Manager

Your Itinerary

  • Fly to Italy, meet your tour manager and transfer to Sirmione. Your four-star hotel is set on a promontory jutting into Garda’s blue waters. Take a stroll along the shoreline, taking in your beautiful surroundings, before enjoying your first dinner at the hotel.

  • After a relaxed breakfast, board the coach for the first of your included tours, taken in the company of your tour manager. Explore the verdant countryside of the Riviera del Brenta, a near 25-mile route alongside a 16th-century canal built to connect the Venetian lagoon with Padua. The route is lined with some extraordinarily beautiful and ornate villas, which were once weekend homes to Venetian nobility, who travelled along the waterway by burchiello boat. Enjoy discovering renowned Villa Pisani, the Queen of the Brenta villas, and a national museum that includes a stunning fresco on the ceiling of the grand ballroom.The day is completed with a visit to lovingly restored, fun-loving Padua, a former Roman stronghold boasting the famous Scrovegni Chapel with its Giotti frescoes. Check out the museums, great churches and colourful markets, and wander through Prato della Valle, Italy’s largest town square. Return to the hotel for dinner.

  • Today sees you journey into the heart of the rolling Valpolicella wine-growing area north of Verona. Take in beautiful Fumane village and visit wine-estate Costa degli Ulivi. Learn about the production of high quality wines and olive oil using natural methods and, over a delicious three-course lunch of regional specialities, sample three of the celebrated Valpolicello wines – Classico, Ripasso and most famously Amarone. Return once again to Sirmione for the evening.

  • After a morning at leisure, perhaps spent exploring Sirmione or visiting the 13th-century Rocca Scaligera castle on the shore, the highlight of the holiday sees you make the short journey to Verona. Lose yourself in the maze of 13th-century streets that formed the backdrop to Shakespeare’s tale of star-crossed lovers. Take a seat in a cafe in Piazza Bra, in the shadow of the great arena, to watch the world go by, or enjoy an early dinner at your leisure in one of a vast choice of restaurants and trattorie.This evening, take your place in the amphitheatre, soaking up the atmosphere as darkness begins to fall and the stage is set for the performance of your chosen opera. Here, on warm summer nights, some of the world’s best-loved works are played out by some of its brightest talents, in front of a rapt audience drawn from all four corners of the globe. For opera buffs, enthusiastic amateurs or simply lovers of truly special occasions, a night at the Verona Opera Festival is a memorable experience to treasure forever.

  • Enjoy the hotel and its surroundings and spend some time relaxing in Sirmione today. Explore the shore-side lidos, attractive waterfront promenade and selection of cafes and trattorie. You’ll also enjoy a short boat trip around the Sirmione peninsula for a cruise that will take in the sights of the castle, the crumbling ruins of the Roman villas of the Grotte di Catullo and the elegant, pastel-painted villa that was once home and refuge to opera star Maria Callas.

  • Transfer to the airport for the return flight to the UK.

Prices

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Hotels

Hotel Du Parc, Sirmione
This excellent four-star hotel is quietly positioned just outside the town’s centre.

Further Information

  • Your break includes a night at the opera to experience one of the great operatic works of all time performed by some of the world’s most talented artists. The opera you will see will vary depending on the departure date you choose.

    Aida (23rd June, 21st July, 25th August departures)
    Giuseppe Verdi’s vast, sweeping tale of doomed love is set against the background of ancient Egypt, with the soldier/hero Radames the object of affection for slave-girl Aida and princess Amneris.

    Il Trovatore (30th June departures)
    Famed for its arias, Verdi’s The Troubadour is set in 15th-century Aragon, Spain. The tale of the Count of Luna and Leonora, the object of his affections, her lover Manrico – the troubadour of the title – and his mother Azucena unfolds with ultimately tragic consequences.

    Carmen (7th July, 14th July, 1st September departures)
    George Bizet’s enduring masterpiece, with its popular arias and famous score, introduces a host of colourful characters, including the love-struck soldier Don Jose, dashing matador Escamillo and Carmen - the eponymous gypsy girl.

    La Traviata (28th July departures)
    Verdi’s monumental tale of love and death is played out against the background of 19th-century Parisian high society, and is regarded as opera's greatest tragedy.

    Please note: On occasions when the opera performance takes place on a Thursday (Day Five), Days Four and Five of your itinerary will be reversed.
  • The transfer time from the airport to your hotel is approximately two hours from Venice, forty five minutes from Verona, two hours from Treviso and one hour from Bergamo.
  • We sometimes need to combine transfers to and from your hotel. We always try to keep any wait to a minimum, but you may be asked to wait at the airport for up to an hour, while other incoming flights arrive, before the transfer to your hotel. Similarly, we may need to transfer you back to the airport up to three hours before your flight home departs.
  • If you have notified us of any special requirements, please check that they have been noted and acknowledged. This is especially important with any dietary needs you may have.
  • The majority of our tours involve a certain amount of walking, including a short walk from the coach stop to the town, attraction or venue you're visiting. If you are bringing a wheelchair, please let us know at the time of booking so that appropriate arrangements can be made.
  • Occasionally, for operational reasons, we may have to change the order of the excursions on your holiday. The final day-by-day itinerary will be confirmed on your Final Travel Documents, which you will receive approximately three weeks prior to your departure.
  • Visit www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice to find out the latest Foreign And Commonwealth Office travel advice for your holiday destination, as well as information about passports and visas.
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