THE REAL VENETO – JUNE 2018
Shakespeare's Verona, Lake Garda, Palladio's Perfect Villa, a Dreamy Hilltown and lots of Prosecco!
Adagio Travel has designed a delightful itinerary as an introduction to a new and refreshing Italy full of history, architecture, food, art, culture, and natural beauty. This week is for those who have been to Italy before. It goes past the typical tourist attractions to give travelers a deeper and more authentic travel experience most never see. Our recommended pre-tour adventure: Bologna, a gastronomic paradise and so much more.
Day 1 – Arrival in the City of Shakespeare: Verona
Independent arrival in Verona, the city of Romeo and Juliet, and accommodation in a gorgeous palace hotel built over Roman ruins right in the ancient and lively heart of the city of Verona. Palazzo Victoria is just a few steps away from the Arena and directly on one of the main streets, full of elegant shops, restaurants and cafés. (We will assist with your arrival plans upon request. Possibilities include trains from Italy’s major cities or the Verona airport.)
In the afternoon, you’ll have time to begin independent exploration of the enticing shops and alleyways of Verona. Consider checking out Juliet’s House and Tomb, the Castelvecchio, the Maffeiano Museum, the Archeological Museum and the Frescoes Museum. Another option: relax with a Negroni in the stunning lounge of our hotel.
Adagio will host an aperitif prior to offering a delectible dinner. Welcome drink, D
Accommodation for the next 4 nights: Palazzo Victoria , Verona
Day 2 – Verona Top to Bottom
A sumptuous breakfast awaits, after which we’ll explore this beautiful city with our guide Michelangelo. His walk around the city includes of course the Arena and Roman Theater, as well as peeks at both Romeo and Juliet’s houses and the main squares of the city: Piazza Bra’ and Piazza Dante. The afternoon and evening will be free. Many options are available, from elegant shopping to a wine tasting in a historic wine bar, or even an e-biking excursion into the vine-covered hills surrounding the city (weather permitting; additional supplement). Dinner at another lovely Veronese restaurant tonight. B, D
Day 3 — Biking and Amarone — the Perfect Combo!
After breakfast today we’ll begin our biking adventure (e-bikes available for a small supplement; 25km roundtrip; gently rolling hills; about an hour each way going at an easy pace), heading northwest on beautiful roads along the “pedemontana“, the “foot of the mountains”. The soil of the famous Valpolicella area — with its high clay content and self-irrigating qualities — works beautifully for the local grape varieties. And thus is born Amarone, the complex, elegant, rich red of which we have become so fond. We will end our morning ride at one of the top producers of this wine, housed in a prestigious 16th century mansion, surrounded by cypresses, olive trees, stone walls and vineyards. Tasting of several wines, accompanied by local salumi and cheese.
Return back to Verona in early afternoon, with time to enjoy the lively city on a Saturday afternoon. Free night for dinner. B, L
Day 4 – Loving Lake Garda
Depart after breakfast for Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake and an absolute must-see in this area. We’ll embark on our private vessel, stopping briefly to visit a hidden corner of gorgeous Sirmione, then viewing some of the Lake’s most brilliant jewels — the Gulf of Salo , Maderno, Villa Feltrinelli and Torri del Benaco –from the sparkling water (no crowds to deal with!). Lunch is right on the shore in the understated elegance of Locanda San Vigilio. The afternoon concludes on Isola del Garda, with its marvelous private Villa.
Return to Verona by late afternoon. Free night for dinner and packing as tomorrow we’ll continue our adventure moving in the direction of Venice! B, L
Day 5 – Bassano del Grappa; Amazing Asolo
We’ll embark after breakfast on our sojourn eastward, reaching by late morning Bassano del Grappa, a prosperous town on the Brenta River. The architecture reflects Bassano’s location: typical Veneto-style arcaded streets and piazzas are interspersed with alpine wooden balconies, and some of the hostelries have a decidedly Austrian flavor. Find lunch and perhaps a treasure at one of the town’s smart shops. And a must-try naturally is the distilled liquor that the town is famous for; learn how it’s made at the small museum in town. Hemingway was a big grappa fan!
In the afternoon, we’ll travel through the Venetian countryside, filled with the soft light that has inspired so many artists, to the pristine hill town of Asolo. “The city of a hundred horizons”, which the Romans knew as “Acelum“, welcomes us with winding medieval streets, smiling locals, and intriguing shops. Dinner (on the terrace, weather permitting) in the elegant restaurant of Albergo al Sole this evening. B, D
Accommodation for the next 3 nights: Albergo al Sole, Asolo
Day 6 –A Private Garden and Stunning Sculpture
Rich breakfast with homemade pastries both savory and sweet start the day off right! Afterward we’ll embark on a walk through Asolo with our charming local guide. She’ll highlight how the lives of the English poet Robert Browning, the actress Eleonora Duse, the explorer Freya Stark and the violinist Wilma Neruda, all residents of Asolo, impacted the town. The private garden of Villa Freya, where Roman ruins were recently uncovered, is opened just for us at midday. Time in the afternoon for an energizing walk up to Asolo’s castle with its panoramic views, or to wander the shops in an unhurried fashion. Before dusk we’ll head north a few kilometers to discover the art of one of the most important Neoclassical sculptors, Antonio Canova. Admire first the artist’s monumental Temple, synthesis of the Roman and Greek world. Then cross the street to Canova’s home, now transformed into a mysterious ambiance of light and shadow where his plaster casts and models, paintings and sketches are brought to life. Elegance, beauty, perfection and harmony define these sculptures. We’ll end with an aperitif in the museum; back home in time for your choice among many charming restaurants in town. B, aperitif
Day 7 – Pizza in a Roman Castle; Prosecco!
Mid-morning departure down to the nearby Villa Barbaro (also known as Villa di Maser), a masterpiece by architect Andrea Palladio. We’ll learn about it briefly, before travelling north through the pre-Alps (the Italians call these the “Dolomite Mountains”) to a tiny town with an impressive castle (one of Europe’s largest). Inside there’s time to go through their intimate museums, including one with costumes of the Venetian elite and one that highlights the 2000 years of Roman history, of which the castle forms an integral part. We’ll enjoy pizza from Castelbrando’s wood-burning stoves, after which we’ll work our way along the charming, hilly “strada del prosecco”. The afternoon closes with a visit to a very unique producer of top-end prosecco, called Cartizze, the only DOCG of this area. Late afternoon finds us back at home in time to pack. We’ll savor a fabulous final dinner together tonight. B, pizza L, wine tasting, D
Day 8 – Departure for Venice
Breakfast and transfer to Venice. Consider spending a couple of extra days in this breathtaking city, possibly enjoying our “Hidden Venice” walk, far from the city’s madding crowds, while there! B
*B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, D=Dinner provided
A WORD FROM THE LEADER OF OUR POST-TOUR OPTIONAL “HIDDEN VENICE” WALK (Note — this is unedited “Venetian” talk!):
One thing that i really like to do is to show my city, show this incredible island with has got still a magical atmosphere. My walking tour will give you the idea of the venice of the venetian, the venice of every days life, my tour will give you the idea of how all this things work so well together and are so melt together in such a great and incredible place which is Venice. With my orientation walk we will understand why the venetian built up a town in an island, we will discover the ancient jewish quarter, we will use the traghetto to cross the grand canal ( we will act exactly like the venetian) we will discover the fish and fruit market, you’ll be impressed by the story of marco polo and his 17th years trip to china, the amazing adventure of the eclectic Casanova not only an italian latin lover but a great genius of the 1700. We will walk through Venice and we will enter from the back street to discover the hidden areas. We will see the church of St. John and St. Paul, the church of Santa Maria Formosa. We will have a glassblowing demonstration to understand the secret of this incredible art. We will see the scala contarini del bovolo, Mozart’s House, the Fenice Opera house. We will be able to have a gondola ride and you’ll understand a bit better the history of the gondola and the gondoliers. The other best way to see Venice is to have a canal boat ride along the grand canal so we will discover all this incredible palaces, all the different kind of boat.
After this walk you ll be more confident with venice, and after that you ll realize that even if you ll get lost is not such a bad thing! Because you ll have beauties all over the island !!!! AND THEN IT’S AN ISLAND YOU CAN’T GET THAT LOST!!!!!!