The present program is built to pay a tribute to a great Italian composer, Claudio Monteverdi (1567 – 1643), a pioneer of transition from Renaissance music to Baroque era and inventor of a new genre of opera. His heritage in Renaissance polyphony and in the new basso technique of the Baroque music is more than notable.
Monteverdi, native from Italian city of Cremona, has lived and worked in Venice, Milan, Mantua and Ferrara. The itinerary of this tour covers all these cities where you will be able to perform and explore them with professional guides, specialized in history of arts and music.
Highlights of the tour:
La Scala Theatre and Museum in Milan
Da Vinci’s Last Supper in Milan
Duomo’s rooftop sights of Milan
Stradivari Violin Museum in Cremona
Visit of Arena of Verona, a place of world famous Opera Festival
Guided tour of the historic opera house of Teatro La Fenice in Venice
Visit of Bibiena’s Theatre in Mantua
Saint Abbondio Church in Cremona, the native town of Claudio Monteverdi
One of historical churches in the centre of Verona
Singing at a mass in Basilica of St Mark’s in Venice
Monteverdi – Vespers, “Vespro della Beata Vergine” | John Eliot Gardiner
DAY 1: Milan
Arrival of the group to Milan in the morning, the unofficial northern capital of Italy. Meeting by our assistant and transfer to hotel. After checking in and taking rooms, our bus expects you to start the exploration of Milan.
We shall start our tour with famous Duomo, the third biggest church in Christendom, and in a clear day we shall not miss the opportunity to climb the roof for a surprising view of the city, stroll in Vittorio Emanuele Gallery, the oldest covered shopping arcades in Europe, proceed to world famous opera house, Theatre della Scala for a guided tour of the Theatre and its Museum. The Theatre is located in Anguissola palace dating back to 18th century, a gem by itself, and a unique opportunity for opera and theatre lovers to admire a rich collection of costumes, musical instruments and portraits. During your tour, led by an expert guide, you’ll visit this incredible theatre’s foyer, and see the auditorium, the theatre boxes, the pit orchestra and the stage itself.
The visit continues to see a majestic Sforzesco Castle (from outside), once home to the noble Visconti family, and reach Santa Maria delle Grazie Church to see The Last Supper.
We stop for dinner in the most truly Milan restaurant, Antica Trattoria della Pesa, located in a 19th century weigh station, to taste a fabulous pasta and local wine.
After dinner, transfer to hotel. Overnight in hotel 4 stars in immediate surroundings of Milan.
DAY 2: Milan – Cremona
After breakfast in hotel, transfer to Cremona, a native town of Claudio Monteverdi and a capital of violin making. Our guide takes you around the town. We walk in the centre of the town where Monteverdi lived and worked for 20 years, visit a Cathedral dated 1107 with its beautiful frescos, Baptistery, and proceed to Stradivari Violin Museum to admire a rare collection of violins and to learn more about secrets of violin – making.
In the late afternoon a performance in Church of Saint Abbondio in centre of Cremona.
Dinner in a typical restaurant of Cremona Il Violino where we shall taste a famous Cremona’s dessert – il torrone! Overnight in hotel 3 stars in Cremona.
DAY 3: Cremona – Verona
After breakfast in hotel, transfer to Verona. We start our guided walking tour of Verona’s centre to see Shakespeare’s Romeo and Giulietta places and admire Duomo Sant’Elena, St Anastasia Cappella Giusti, Santa Maria in Chiavica and San Fermo Inferiore churches.
We visit Verona’s beautiful and remarkably well-preserved first-century Roman amphitheatre, Arena di Verona, and learn more about summer Opera Festival held here annually.
We dedicate a lunch to wine tasting in a small intimate trattoria with local cuisine and excellent wines. In the afternoon a performance in one of the beautiful churches of Verona.
Free dinner in Verona. Overnight in hotel 3 or 4 stars zone of Verona.
In the evening possibility to attend a concert at Arena of Verona in the period corresponds to the dates of the Festival. The bookings should be done at least 2 months in advance.
DAY 4: Verona – Venice
After early breakfast in hotel, a transfer to Venice. We start our visit of Venice with introduction about Monteverdi’s connections this city. We visit St Marks’ Basilica (10th century) to admire its mosaics and proceed to visit Palazzo Ducale, founded in the 9th century and the official residence of each Venetian ruler. Then we visit the Ospedale San Lazzaro dei Mendicanti, one of several churches in Venice that provided musical education for impoverished young girls. After a free lunch in the centre, we visit a historic opera house of Teatro La Fenice and stroll along the Bridge of Sighs and take our time for a romantic gondola ride.
Transfer to a sea resort near Venice, Lido di Jesolo. Dinner in a seaside restaurant and overnight in hotel located 200 meters from the beach.
DAY 5: Venice – Mantua
After breakfast we travel by private coach to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Mantua. We admire Mantegna’s ‘Camera degli Sposi’ in the magnificent Ducal Palace with its 500 rooms. We have a lunch in a centre of Mantua to taste pumpkin ravioli or risotto as per mantovan traditional recipes. Then we visit a famous Theatre Bibiena, where thirteen-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed a resoundingly successful concert in 1769. Free dinner in Mantua. Overnight in hotel in Mantua or close surroundings.
DAY 6: Mantua – Milan
After breakfast in hotel, transfer to the airport of Milan and departure. If the flight is late i the afternoon, it is possible to have some free time in Milan before departure.
The suggested dates for this tour: period of spectacular Lyrics Festival held in Arena of Verona (consult the official site for the dates and the program)
The dates when the tour is not effected due to closure of Museums: 24 – 26 December, 31 December-1st January, 1st May and 15th August.
The package includes:
Accommodations: 01 night hotel 4 stars near Milan;
01 night in hotel 3 stars in Cremona;
01 night in hotel 3 or 4 stars in surroundings of Verona;
01 night in hotel 3 stars in Lido di Jesolo, max 200 meters from the sea;
01 night in hotel 3 stars in Mantoa or close surroundings;
The accommodations are intended on double basis with 2 singles and other singles on request.
Treatment: bed and breakfast (breakfast is served buffet);
Professional English speaking guides in:
1) center of Milan walking tour, Theater La Scala with Museum;
2) Cremona and Stradivari violin museum;
3) Verona center;
4) Venice and visit of La Fenice Theater;
5) Mantua and Theater Bibiena.
All transfers as indicated in the program in a comfortable bus with air conditioning;
1) Saint Abbondio Church in Cremona, the native town of Claudio Monteverdi:
2) One of historical churches in the center of Verona;
3) Singing at a mass in Basilica of St Mark’s in Venice.
Single room supplement on request;
Entrance fees to places of interest (State run museums free to over 65s);
Lunches, dinners and tastings during the tour;
Audio headphones during the excursions;
City taxes if applicable to be paid directly in hotels (from 1,50 up to 3,50 euro per person per day);
A possibility to attend an opera at Teatro La Fenice in Venice (to be booked in advance, see the program here;