Verona Opera: Northern Italy & the Italian Riviera 11 days / Special Event Tours
About This Experience
Something about northern Italy hits all the right notes. From the resounding Verona opera to Bologna’s delectable pastas to the Riviera’s coastal villages, there’s no end to region’s sights, sounds and simple indulgences. Experience firsthand the laid-back lifestyle Italians hold so dear. Savor the bold wines. Sample the fresh flavors. Let northern Italy’s individuality unfold as you make your way from Turin to Verona.
Your Tour Includes
Round-trip airfare & transfers
9 nights in handpicked hotels
Breakfast daily, 2 lunches, 5 three-course dinners with beer or wine, 2 wine tastings
Multilingual Tour Director
Private deluxe motor coach
Select entrance fees
Why You'll Love It
Outdoor opera hits all the right notes
Relaxation & Riviera go hand-in-hand
Bologna does pasta best
You’ll sip & savor regional wines
Romeo & Juliet come to life in Verona
Architecture, from Classic to Baroque
Overnight Flight1 night
Turin2 nights - hotel info
Ciao and welcome to Milan! Now, off to Italy’s first capital, Turin
Breakfast (in flight), Dinner
Welcome to Italy! Upon your arrival in Milan, transfer to Turin, Italy’s first capital city and home of the 2006 Winter Olympics. After you’ve settled in to your hotel, meet your fellow travelers at an included Welcome Dinner.
From piazzas to palazzos, discover Turin through the eyes of a local
The elegant boulevards of Turin come alive, thanks to the many museums and cafés you’ll find there. This morning, you’ll discover Turin on a guided tour. Pass by Piazza Castello, Palazzo Madama, San Lorenzo Church and Palazzo Carignano. The rest of the day is yours to continue your explorations or relax at your hotel.
Italian Riviera2 nights - hotel info
Breathe deep, sip slowly, life seems simpler in Barolo
Breakfast, Light lunch, Wine tasting
Travel west to the region of Liguria for a taste of seaside luxury. Along the way, stop in Barolo, a hilltop town and one of the best-known names in northern Italian wine. Enjoy a wine tasting and light lunch here before continuing on to Liguria, which has always drawn artists and celebrities to its shores. Discover for yourself il dolce far niente, Italian for “the sweet art of idleness.”
Learn “il dolce far niente,” Italian for “the sweet art of idleness”
Optional Excursion - Cinque Terre: Cliffside Villages & Coastal Views
Relax on the shores of the Italian Riviera at your leisure today. Or enjoy an optional excursion to the Cinque Terre, a group of five villages dramatically situated in the heart of the Italian Riviera. Travel by boat cruise (weather permitting) or by train to explore two of the villages.
Cinque Terre: Cliffside Villages & Coastal Views $89* pp
Discover the best of the Italian Riviera on a full-day excursion to Cinque Terre. Charming towns, astonishing views and sprawling vineyards make Cinque Terre one of the Riviera's most sought-after destinations. You'll visit two of Cinque Terre's largest villages, Vernazza and Monterosso. If weather permits you'll travel between the villages by boat, where you can marvel at Cinque Terre's cliffs and sweeping coastal views. If the seas are a bit choppy, you'll travel by train through the Ligurian hills, giving you the opportunity to stop at Riomaggiore to walk the Via dell'Amore.
Bologna3 nights - hotel info
Local producers bring their best fare, you just bring your appetite
As you bid a fond farewell to the Riviera, rest assured that culinary delights await in your destinations today. Your first stop is at a local Parmigiano Reggiano producer, where you’ll sample this well known cheese. You’ll also visit a balsamic vinegar farm for a tasting, a sampling of Lambrusco wine and lunch. Then continue on to Bologna, considered the culinary capital of Italy and touted for its pasta and mortadella sausage.
Take to Bologna’s streets, unlocking its charms with a local guide
Optional Excursion - Dozza Village & Castle Wine Tasting
University of Bologna
This morning, venture out into the sienna-hued streets of Bologna on a sightseeing tour with an expert local guide. Your tour includes a visit to the University of Bologna, the world’s oldest operating university, as well as Piazza Maggiore with Palazzo Comunale, Sala Borsa and the Basilica Saint Petronio. This afternoon, opt to join an excursion to Dozza Castle, which includes a wine tasting. Tonight enjoy an included dinner in Bologna.
Dozza Village & Castle Wine Tasting $65* pp
Travel to the medieval village of Dozza. Though off the beaten path, Dozza is known for the brilliantly colored, contemporary frescoes painted on homes throughout the village. Wine novices and experts alike will savor a visit to the village’s famous wine exhibition at Enoteca Regionale Emilia Romagna, located within a 13th-century fortress. A professional sommelier will lead you on a tour of the enoteca, which displays a seemingly infinite number of regional wines from some of Italy's finest wineries in Emilia Romagna. You’ll be invited to taste three types of wine accompanied by a light snack.
Amazing pasta is more than just “al dente”—discover Bologna’s secret
Enjoy a free day to explore Bologna on your own. Follow the world’s longest portico uphill to the Basilica of San Luca. Later, partake in an evening cooking class where you’ll learn to make the traditional pastas of Bologna, such as tortellini, tortelloni and tagliatelle. Dinner is also included tonight as part of your cooking lesson.
Verona2 nights - hotel info
Get in the mood for a night of opera at Verona Arena
Venture to Verona for an afternoon of exploring on your own. Situated by the River Adige, Verona is one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval centers, where you’ll find a lovely arched bridge, numerous fine basilicas and churches and a well-preserved Roman amphitheater. Tonight, dress up for a specialty dinner followed by a once-in-a-lifetime experience—an opera performance of the tragic love story Aida at the magnificent Verona Arena. Set in Egypt, this Verde masterpiece debuted in Cairo in 1871, with its European premier the following year in Milan. After the performance, partake of the Verona tradition of a toast with a glass of sparkling prosecco.
Verona: the backdrop for Romeo and Juliet, and now your playground
On a guided walking tour of Verona in the morning, discover the sites that served as the backdrop for Shakespeare’s famous drama, Romeo and Juliet. Take a look at Casa di Giulietta, Juliet’s house and storied balcony, and continue on to marvel at the town’s beautifully preserved Roman amphitheater. In the afternoon, enjoy a winetasting excursion to Valpolicella to sample the region’s delicious vintages. Following the wine tasting, you’ll partake of an included light dinner.
Extend Your Stay
Add Venice $329*
All the picture books in the world won't prepare you for the sight of Venice's gilded palaces rising from the sea. Explore the city's many famous churches and museums, but set aside time to get lost in the maze of canals and streets. Deceptive and mysterious, Venice has a soft spot for wanderers.
Venice2 nights - hotel info
Stand on the bridge that Lord Byron named
Optional Excursion - Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music
Continue your tour of Italy in Venice, dubbed “the fairy city of the heart” by Romantic poet Lord Byron. During this afternoon’s guided sightseeing tour, cross St. Mark’s Square, admire the view from the Bridge of Sighs and visit the Doge’s Palace. This afternoon, join an optional gondola ride, complete with music.
Gondola Ride: Canal Cruise with Music $65* pp
More than 100 waterways crisscross Venice, and boarding a sleek black gondola to explore them has become a time-honored tradition. On this memorable excursion, join your fellow travelers for a tour through the canals of Venice. A musician serenades you as your gondola cruises through the city. Please note: This excursion runs as weather permits. A private two-person gondola ride is available for an additional $100 per person.
Float along Venice’s meandering streets and canals
Optional Excursion - Islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Burano & Torcello
Meander through the maze of streets and canals with a free day to discover Venice on your own. Or join an optional excursion to Burano & Torcello, the islands of the Venetian lagoon.
Islands of the Venetian Lagoon: Burano & Torcello $65* pp
Visit the islands of the Venetian lagoon, a favorite day trip for locals and travelers alike. First travel by water taxi to Torcello, where the story of Venice began. It was here that mainlanders sought a safe haven from invading barbarians. Step inside the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, whose famous mosaics depict The Last Judgement. The next stop is the tiny fishing village of Burano, where brightly colored homes greet visitors. Wander as you please throughout Burano, and be sure to stop in at the island's bakeries.
Passport & Visa
In order to enter Italy, U.S. and Canadian citizens need a valid passport. The expiration date must extend at least six months beyond the date of your return home. No visa is required for U.S. or Canadian citizens. If you are not a U.S. or Canadian citizen, you must contact the Italian consulate for your specific entry requirements.
There are no major health risks when traveling to Italy. It is always advisable to check with your doctor or health-care provider for the latest updates and overseas travel requirements.
Transportation / Walking on tour
Round-trip flights arrive in Florence and depart from Rome. When you first arrive at the airport in Italy, a Go Ahead representative will meet you after clearing customs. Please remain in the arrival lounge, as the representative might be escorting one of your fellow travelers to the bus at the time of your arrival. All other included transportation on this tour is by private motor coach. In your free time, you may wish to explore the major cities of Florence and Rome by public transportation. Florence is split up into two separate sections by the Arno River, with most of the attractions spread out around the Duomo. The city is walkable, although frequent local buses are also available.
Museums in Florence
Steeped in culture and history, the museums of Florence are popular attractions that you might consider visiting during your free time in the city. However, Go Ahead recommends that you make reservations two months in advance if you would like to visit any of the museums in Florence, particularly the Uffizi or the Accademia. For more information about the museums, go to www.polomuseale.firenze.it/english/musei. Recommended times to visit are 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. on Day 2, or after 4 p.m. on Day 4 if you are joining the Lucca & Colle Verde excursion. Please note that the museums are closed on Monday.
Airlines have varying weight restrictions on luggage. Some airlines may impose additional charges if you choose to check any baggage. Please contact your airline or refer to its website for detailed information regarding your airline’s checked baggage policies. Bear in mind that your luggage will probably weigh more on your return trip due to souvenir shopping. We allow only one suitcase per person. One carry-on bag is also permitted, provided that it does not exceed 45 inches (length + width + height). There may be times when you will have to handle your own bags, and you’ll find that lightweight luggage provides a distinct advantage. Make sure you label your baggage and carry valuables, medication and documents in your carry-on luggage.
Clothing and Packing Tips
To ensure you’re comfortable while out exploring, we recommend packing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing that can be easily layered. For sightseeing, we suggest bringing a sturdy pair of walking shoes or sneakers, as well as a lightweight sports jacket or rainwear. If you’re planning a visit to a high-end restaurant or performance, you may also want to bring dressier attire. Also, please remember that it’s preferable to avoid showing bare legs or shoulders during visits to churches or other religious sites (entrance may be denied on this basis).
The euro is the currency you will be using on your tour. Better rates of exchange are usually available in Italy, although it is worth ordering some currency from your local bank to use when you first arrive. We strongly advise that you take debit/bank cards and credit cards, which can be exchanged for cash at local banks, as needed. You can use most debit/credit cards at ATMs on the international networks Cirrus and Plus, but make sure to check with your home bank about withdrawal fees. We suggest informing your bank and credit card company of your travel plans, so that they don’t confuse your international purchases for fraudulent charges.
At the conclusion of your tour, it is customary to offer your Tour Director and driver a gratuity. We recommend tipping in your tour country’s currency, the equivalent of $3USD/CAD per person per day for your driver and $6USD/CAD to $9USD/CAD per person per day for your Tour Director. If applicable, we also recommend the equivalent of $2USD/CAD per local guide. Tips can only be paid in cash. Please keep current local currency exchange rates in mind when tipping.