To many lovers of opera Arena di Verona is one of the greatest experiences. To sit in the 2000 years old Roman arena under the Italian summer sky together with 20000 other opera fans is a completely unique experience.
This is the biggest opera stage in the world and the traditions go all the way back to 1913, when the first performance of opera in the arena took place to celebrate the centenary of the birth of Giuseppe Verdi. The staging is impressive and the atmosphere unbelievable. Several hundred singers and live horses are some of the features in the performances. That it all takes place in the romantic city of Romeo and Juliet makes it an even bigger experience.
Verona is a splendid historical city, which was founded even before the Romans came here. In the 13th and 14th Century Verona experienced a growth and prosperity, which is still visible today in beautiful buildings, impressive fortifications and historical monuments. Verona is also a culinary city, where the biggest wine fair in the world takes place every year, so it is swarming with good restaurants and cozy wine bars.
Arrival at Milano Malpensa airport. Coach and tour manager awaits us and the tour manager makes use of the transfer to Verona to provide us with practical information about the trip as well as the traditions and the history of the arena and the opera performances.
In Verona we check in to our charming Hotel Mastino***, which is perfectly located just a few minutes walk from the arena and the historical centre of the city.
Dinner is on your own and the tour manager is available for advice on good restaurants.
Day to day menu
After breakfast, which is served until late morning, we set off on a historical promenade in Verona. We see some of the many Roman excavations, which Verona is very proud of. We pass the balcony of Juliet, the most splendid squares, through some of the oldest and least visited parts of the city and at lunchtime we end at the main shopping street, Via Mazzini. Late in the afternoon we meet to walk the short way to Arena di Verona and the first opera. The flags are up, the police is wearing their dress uniform and on horseback. The darkness falls and the performance can begin.
The day is free on your own. Maybe some people will go by local bus to the beautiful Lake Garda, others will go by train to the Vicenza of Palladio or the nice university city of Padua.
Late in the afternoon we gather to go to the second opera.
You can have a day on your own to explore Verona.
Or you can join us for an optional excursion to the wonderful Venice of Marco Polo. We go by train and reach Venice in one and a half hour. We walk through the less busy parts of Venice before we reach Canal Grande and the Rialto Bridge. Then we reach the heart of Venice, St Mark’s Square. Here our local guide awaits us to tell us about the mysteries of the city. There is also time on your own to visit museums, the St Mark’s Church or exhibitions. Some people might go for a trip with the famous Gondolas and others might spend a bit extra on a cup of coffee or a glass of white wine on the St Mark’s Square accompanied by the delicious sound of the orchestra.
We return to Verona early in the evening.
After breakfast we go to Milano Malpensa airport for the homeward journeys.