Verona – featuring Venice & the Italian Lakes

Verona – featuring Venice & the Italian Lakes



Explore Verona’a legacy in a Roman arena, “Romeo and Juliet”, and pretty piazzas and parks. Enjoy opportunities to sample authentic cuisine and local flavors. Wander through the narrow streets and bridges that cross the canals of Venice. Cruise Lake Garda and experience the chic Italian lakes lifestyle. Admire Palladio’s architectural genius in Vicenza.


Pricing from

Small group limited to 28 travelers

Trip Type
Group Travel Tour, International Land & Rail Voyages
Departure Dates
Apr 10, 2020 - Apr 18, 2020


Grand Hotel des Arts
Located near Verona’s famous city center, Grand Hotel des Arts is convenient to the central square Piazza Brà, the continuously active Roman Arena, eye-catching shops and friendly trattorias. Unwind after a busy day of exploring in the tranquil solarium or sculpture garden of this boutique hotel, originally commissioned as an elaborate noble residence. Amenities include a business area, available bicycles, and contemporary guest room comforts. Wi-Fi is complimentary.


Verona map


  • day 1

    Depart gateway city

  • day 2

    Verona, Italy

    Arrive at Verona Airport.

    Transfer to the Grand Hotel des Arts. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

    Meet and mingle with your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception at the hotel, then continue the conversation over a Welcome Dinner at a nearby restaurant.

  • day 3


    Enrichment: History and Architecture of the Veneto. The vibrant Veneto region lies in Italy’s northeast corner between the Dolomite Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. From Roman ruins to medieval churches to Renaissance palaces, the architecture of the Veneto reveals the story of the region under Roman rulers and powerful families.

    Discovery: Verona.
    Activity level: Moderate 

    Explore this enchanting, very walkable city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and famously known as the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Begin at the Arena, Verona’s renowned Roman ruin and Italy’s third-largest amphitheater, built in the 1st century A.D. The well-preserved, outer stone arches enclose an elliptical-shaped arena with excellent acoustics. During the city’s annual summer opera festival, thousands of spectators enjoy open-air entertainment here, just as audiences of the past reveled in gladiator contests, circus events, exotic animal shows and medieval tournaments. Visit Piazza Bra and the charming Piazza Erbe. The latter, built on the site of the Roman forum, still functions as a market today. Grand palazzi surround the square, which is a stone’s throw from Juliet’s House and her balcony. Conclude with a relaxing lunch in the historic center.

    Free Time: Spend the rest of the day discovering Verona on your own. Perhaps you’ll return to lively Piazza Bra, just a short walk from the hotel, and indulge in a gelato while savoring the local scene.

  • day 4

    Lake Garda | Valpolicella Winery

    Discovery: Lake Garda.
    Activity level: Moderate 

    Feast your eyes on breathtaking Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. Its beauty has inspired poets and writers from Catullus and Virgil to D.H. Lawrence and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Travel to glamorous Sirmione, a popular resort town that sits on a narrow peninsula on the southern end of the lake. Its highlights include the ruins of a Roman villa and Rocca Scaligera, a 13th-century castle. Glide across the shimmering water on a boat ride to the quaint town of Lazise.

    Discovery: Azienda Agricola Coali.
    Activity level: Moderate 

    The Valpolicella wine region east of Lake Garda produces highly regarded red wines. Visit a small family-owned winery, Azienda Agricola Coali, for lunch and a wine tasting in the countryside.

    Enrichment: Contemporary Italy. Discuss the social, political and economic issues influencing Italian society.

  • day 5


    Discovery: Venice.
    Activity level: Moderate 

    This morning, board a high-speed train bound for Venice. This most entrancing city, where arched bridges stretch over quiet canals and narrow walkways lead to astonishing churches and inviting palazzos, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get your first glimpse of its grandeur as you arrive by private boat along the Grand Canal. Then, on a guided walking tour, discover its rich history. Stand in the heart and soul of Venice, St. Mark’s Square, bordered by palatial arcades and bustling cafés. Gaze up at the stately Campanile tower that looms over the piazza, and the beautiful, 15th-century St. Mark’s Clock Tower topped by two bronze figures that strike a large bell on the hour. Admire the striking Byzantine façade of St. Mark’s Basilica and then head inside to explore its gilded interior. The church originally served as the chapel for the neighboring Doge’s Palace. In 1807, it became the cathedral of Venice. Afterward, visit the opulent Doge’s Palace, which was the political center of the Venetian Republic for more than 1,000 years.

    Free Time: Find a nice spot for a lunch, then pursue your own interests before returning to Verona by train. Follow Venice’s labyrinth of bridges and footpaths, and see where the afternoon takes you!

  • day 6


    Enrichment: Music and the Arts of Verona. Learn about Verona’s long and proud tradition of supporting the arts.

    Free Time: The day is yours to plan! Maybe you’ll stroll at leisure and linger in pretty squares like the Piazza dei Signori, or browse along the city’s main shopping avenues, the Via Mazzini and the Corso Porta Borsari.

    Look forward to a special night on the town this evening, featuring a delicious Veronese dinner, and capped off by an exclusive operatic performance.

  • day 7

    Bassano del Grappa | Vicenza

    Discovery: Cities of Veneto.
    Activity level: Moderate 

    Journey to Bassano del Grappa in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The town’s iconic Ponte degli Alpini, a covered wooden bridge that spans the Brenta River, was designed by the celebrated Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, in 1569. Hear about its fascinating history from your guide as you stroll across it. Then, sample aromatic grappa, a classic brandy that’s been produced since the Middle Ages and enjoyed by Italians as a digestif after a meal. Later, travel to Vicenza, known as the city of Palladio, and delve into the creative genius of this highly influential architect. For its wealth of exquisite Palladian buildings, the city has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See his masterpiece, the Basilica dei Signori, and visit the magnificent Teatro Olimpico, an indoor homage to classical Roman theaters.

    While in Vicenza, break for lunch at a family-owned restaurant and delicatessen that specializes in the popular regional dish, baccalà, or codfish.

    Free Time: Make your own plans in Verona upon your return this afternoon.

  • day 8

    Padua | Stra

    Discovery: Padua and the Villa Pisani.
    Activity level: Moderate 

    Venture off to Padua, another of Veneto’s medieval gems, richly steeped in the cultural traditions of art and learning. With your guide, walk through the historic center’s arcaded streets and see its highlights. Meander in the Prato della Valle, a vast square dominated by a canal ringed with statues of famous Paduans. It’s a focal point of city life and a favorite of locals and students from the University of Padua, founded in 1222. Inside the Capelli dei Scrovegni, marvel at the spectacular frescoes painted by Giotto in the early 1300s, depicting the lives of the Virgin Mary and Christ. With his groundbreaking use of perspective and three-dimensional, lifelike portrayals, the frescoes are regarded as a milestone in Western art. Afterward, spend some time on your own for lunch and sightseeing. Then rejoin the group and depart for Villa Pisani in Stra, the most sumptuous of the Venetian villas. Tour this impressive residence, once owned by Napoleon, which hosted emperors and kings in its heyday in the early 1800s. The villa’s elaborately landscaped gardens also feature Europe’s most challenging garden maze.

    With your fellow travelers, celebrate the journey you shared together at a Farewell Reception and Dinner in the hotel tonight.

  • day 9

    Depart for gateway city

    After breakfast, depart for the Verona Airport for your return flights home.

Everything you need to know about the tour

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