All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Wonderful renaissance cities – Padova and Mantova
Glorious mountain scenery around Bassano del Grappa and Asolo
Beautiful buildings by renowned architect, Andrea Palladio in his hometown of Vicenza
Olive oil and wine tastings
Romeo and Juliet Castles – said to have inspired the play
Based in the heart of the lovely wine town of Soave
The northern Veneto region of Italy is one of the most historic and beautiful in the country, packed with gems usually overlooked by most visitors. This tour, a version of which we ran 20 years ago, has been updated and includes a host of wonderful sights that compare to the more famous (and crowded) monuments in Verona and Venice. Glorious Renaissance cities, spectacular scenery, beautiful art and architecture as well as a superb regional cuisine combine to create a tour to savour.
Day 1: Fly from London Gatwick to Verona and transfer to Soave. Welcome drink at the hotel.
Day 2: Vicenza and Montecchio Maggiore.
This morning we transfer to Vicenza, the city of master 16th century architect Andrea Palladio, whose influence has extended and remains worldwide. A guided tour will show you many of his buildings including entrance to one of his masterpieces, the Teatro Olimpico. This afternoon we continue to the town of Montecchio Maggiore about 12km west of Vicenza, the site of two castles (Romeo and Julieta) built a thousand years ago, connected by underground cellars and said to be the inspiration for Romeo and Juliet.
Day 3: Full day to Mantova.
A full day is allowed to explore lakeside Mantova, a beautiful city full of marvellous buildings and a perfect place to step back in time. A key sight is the magnificent Palazzo Ducale which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries by the Gonzaga family as the royal residency of their Duchy. As well as charming streets and piazzas, other notable buildings include the early Renaissance church of San Sebastiano, Andrea Mantegna’s House and the Palazzo Te, the masterpiece of Giulio Romano and the Palazzo San Sebastiano.
Day 4: Full day Villa Arvedi, Grezzana with olive oil tasting and Soave with wine tasting.
A varied day starts with the impressive villa and gardens of Arvedi, followed by the pretty town of Grezzana, with olive oil tasting. This afternoon we return to Soave for a wine tasting and free time to explore this lovely town, including its castle located opposite our hotel.
Day 5: Full day to Padova.
A glorious university city and largely overlooked by tourists with a wealth of sights, including the beautiful Scrovegni Chapel (entrance not included), lavishly decorated by Giotto in the early 14th century and said to herald the birth of the Renaissance. Elsewhere the University, Anatomical Theatre, Duomo, Eremitani Church, famed for its magnificent roof and frescoes by Mantegna, the Basilica of St Anthony and the Scuola del Santo and Oratorio di S.Giorgio, which includes the earliest documented painting by Titian, dating from the early 1500s.
Day 6: Full day to Asolo and Bassano del Grappa.
A full day into the hills to the mountain town of Bassano, famed for its liqueur and Asolo, a town that the poet Robert Browning loved and known ‘The city of a hundred horizons’ for its mountain setting. Its name, which means to “pass time in a meaningless but delightful way”, reflects the relaxed atmosphere of this charming place.
Day 7: Transfer to Verona for free time to explore this magnificent city renowned for its Roman Arena, Juliet’s balcony and a host of important churches before heading to the airport for the return flight to London Gatwick.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 35 passengers.
Hotel Roxy Plaza, Soave
Modern four-star hotel located opposite the castle in the heart of the famous, lovely old wine town of Soave, ideal for exploring the Veneto. Facilities here include fitness room, bar and very comfortable bedrooms with private bathroom facilities, free wifi TV, telephone, minibar, safe and hairdryer.