VENICE, VERONA & MILAN
Verdi Fest In Verona with Anna Netrebko & Yusif Eyvazov
It is a pleasure to reintroduce one of our most successful touring programs, taking us to the very heart of Northern Italian operatic and artistic culture. Venice and Milan were the crucible of 19th century opera, premiering the vast majority of the period’s Italian operas that we know and love today, while the Arena at Verona, being a more recent addition as a performance venue (1913), is matchless in terms of an atmospheric outdoor summer festival location. Our five operas focus on Giuseppe Verdi, while including one of Mozart’s most performed da Ponte compositions, Don Giovanni, in Venice’s fabled Teatro la Fenice. As the undoubted operatic high point of the trip, we have been extremely fortunate to have secured a limited number of seats for the premiere of Verdi’s Il trovatore on June 29, the exceptional Zeffirelli staging, with Anna Netrebko in the role of Leonora and husband Yusif Eyvazov as Manrico. Dolor Zajick and Luca Salsi round out a stellar cast in a performance that should not be missed!
Accommodation is confirmed at ideally located 4/5* hotels in the three cities. The Saturnia & International, run by four generations of the Venetian Serandrei family since 1908, is steps from San Marco and Teatro la Fenice. In Verona, we have selected the Hotel Antica Porta Leone & Spa, a beautifully restored smaller hotel created from a 15th century mansion, with all possible comforts, near to both the Arena and famed “Juliet Balcony.” We finish the trip in Milan’s Grand Hotel et de Milan on Via Manzoni, a time-tested grand luxury hotel with its strong Verdi history and roots.
Dining and sightseeing is always a major part of Italy’s summer attraction and the itinerary has been built around the inclusions that have proven rewarding in the past, while leaving plenty of time for personal exploration of the cities. We offer the opportunity to extend in Milan to complete individual sightseeing priorities.
Sunday, June 23
Independent air departures from North America for Venice’s Marco Polo airport (VCE), or optional pre tour arrival.
Monday, June 24
Independent air arrival at VCE. From there transfer by a water taxi to the Saturnia’s private dock on the canal to the rear of the property. This will be arranged directly with the hotel and Act 1 Tours as part of the program.
Relax and gather together with the group in the early evening for a reception with aperitivi and canapés, followed by dinner in the hotel’s outstanding Ristorante La Caravella.
Tuesday, June 25
After breakfast (included daily) we meet our guide and start a walking tour at Piazza San Marco with a guided visit of the Basilica and then the fascinating Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace). We then cross over the Grand Canal from San Marco to Salute on Dorsoduro and wander through this section that also contains the prestigious Peggy Guggenheim Collection and world-renowned Gallerie dell Accademia. We lunch today al fresco at Riviera, taking in the sights and sounds of the Canale della Giudecca. We nish with a visit to the Gallerie dell Accademia, housing a ne collection of art from the Venetian masters. Return to the hotel.
5:15pm Gather in the hotel and walk the short distance to Teatro La Fenice where we have a private guided visit to this historic theatre before a reception with drinks and finger food in the Apollonian room.
The performance of Don Giovanni starts at 7.00pm.
Wednesday, June 26
Enjoy a completely independent morning and afternoon. Note that there are many options to spend the time and Act 1 Tours can assist in your arrangements. Consider a ferry ride over to the islands of Murano and Burano, a visit to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection or one of the grand Palazzi situated along the Grand Canal.
In the evening we gather and leave on a short walk to dinner together at Ristorante Marciana, nestled behind the Basilica San Marco.
Thursday, June 27
To make the most of our transfer day, we leave after breakfast by private ferry for Venezia Tronchetto, where we meet the coach and cross over the bridge to the mainland. We continue to Padua for a late morning visit to the Scrovegni Chapel and its spectacular Giotto frescoes. Here we meet our guide Andrea Zaffaroni who will curate this special visit. Lunch is in Padua at Ristorante Belle Parti and we then continue to our hotel in Verona, arriving by approximately 5:00pm.
Settle in and dine independently in one of the many good restaurant choices around the hotel.
We gather at 8:15pm and walk to the Arena (ten minutes) for the 9:00pm start of Aïda, the classic 1913 version by Gianfranco De Bosio.
Friday, June 28
After breakfast meet Andrea again in the hotel lobby for a tour of the heart of Verona, including the Piazza delle Erbe, Palazzo Ma ei, Casa dei Mercanti and the Monumentali della famiglia della Scala. Independent time in the afternoon.
Early evening we head out for a pre-performance dinner at La Griglia on Via Leoncino 29. La Traviata, a new production this season, starts at 9:00pm.
Saturday, June 29
The day is completely open for individual exploration.
The evening premiere performance of Il trovatore, with Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov starts at 9:00pm.
Sunday, June 30
We leave after breakfast for Milan. After about two hours we reach Bergamo, the birthplace of Gaetano Donizzeti and meet a local guide who will walk us through the old walled center (Città Alta), the Donizetti Museum and the Cappella Colleoni.
The tour will end at the Enoteca al Donizetti where we will have lunch. Walk back to the coach and transfer to Milan for an approximate
5:00pm arrival at the Grand Hotel et de Milan.
Personal time for the evening with dining recommendations, including the hotel’s own Ristorante Don Carlo
Monday, July 1
Starting the morning gently with breakfast (included daily) on your own, we offer a curated visit to the Museo Poldi Pezzoli, a sometimes overlooked collection of masterpieces located very close to the hotel, and then two options for the rest of the day: rst, a three hour food tour through the Brera district, a blend of old-world charm and contemporary cool or visits to the two galleries that make up the Fondazione Prada, the Milano Osservatorio and the Rem Koolhaas designed Fondazione Prada at Largo Isarco, to the south of Milan city.
We gather for an early dinner in the hotel’s private Verdi Suite and continue to La Scala for the start of Verdi’s I masnadieri, a David McVicar production, led by Michele Mariotti, with a cast that includes Fabio Sartori, Michele Pertusi and Massimo Cavallett.
Tuesday, July 2
Independent departures or optional extension.
With the extension, arrangements will be made with our guide to take you for a viewing of Leonardo’s The Last Supper (not open on Mondays). One extra night with breakfast, plus guide service, transfer and entrance fee to The Last Supper are included in the rate.
• Eight nights 4/5* hotel accommodation
• Breakfast each day
• Five opera performances with best available category seating
• Seven lunch/dinner and one reception
• Arrival transfer from Venice airport to hotel
• Private ferry/coach transfers on transfer days
• Five half-day guided sightseeing, as described
• Site entrances throughout
• Guide/driver/restaurant gratuities
• Act 1 Tours’ partner throughout
- $6,750 per person, with shared hotel room occupancy
- $7,950 person, with single hotel room occupancy
Extra night in Venice: priced on request and subject to availability
- $425 per person with shared occupancy
- $600 per person with single occupancy
Note that a minimum of 12 participants are required to confirm the program.
Air arrivals should booked To Venice (VCE) and From Milan (MXP or LIN).
A deposit of $2,750 per person is due at registration ($1,500 is non-refundable to cover tickets and hotel commitments). The balance is due by April 24, 2019 and at that date the whole amount is non-refundable.
We strongly advise purchasing trip insurance to avoid financial loss should the need to cancel arise for insurable reasons. Act 1 Tours can arrange this coverage on your behalf at competitive rates and certain policies are available to cover pre-existing medical conditions if purchased within 15 days of the initial deposit.