Lovers' Escape to Venice and Verona Tour

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Total Trip:

10 Days
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Countries Visited:

Italy
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Places Visited:

Venice, Murano, Villa Pisani, Verona, Villa Barbaro, Treviso
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Departure Dates:

Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
If you're dreaming of a romantic getaway, this private tour might be the one you've been waiting for. Indulge in the majesty of Venetian palaces and the vineyard-covered hills of the region of Veneto. Step into three-dimensional paintings as part of a noble family. Cover a traditional Venetian mask with feathers, combining a sense of yourself with the heritage of Carnivale. Gondolas race down the Grand Canal, and the Roman ruins rise out of piazzas overlooking bending riverbanks. Your custom

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Day 1

Venice – Charm of a Venetian Neighborhood

The beauty of Venice emanates from the marble palaces shimmering in the sunlight against the reflective waters of the tranquil lagoon. In the evening, the aroma of freshly grilled fish hinted with lemon zest drifts out of Bacari, traditional wine bars serving small dishes to accompany the drinks. The ancient spice route across the Mediterranean Sea has shaped the cuisine and the wealth of the former Venetian Republic, apparent in the architecture and the labyrinthine streets known as calli. Your flight lands at Marco Polo International Airport, where you meet your private transfer. You venture to the edge of the Grand Canal and are immediately drawn to the mystery and majesty of a city riddled with hidden passageways and gothic palaces, radiant frescoes and unique masks. Board your private vaporetto ship that winds along the canals taking you to the dock of your hotel.

The luxurious lobby adheres to the ambiance of Venice, exhibiting lacquered furnishings and embellishments of red and gold hues, the colors of the historic Republic. The comforts of your accommodation, along with the friendly staff and attention to the smallest details, make you feel like Venetian nobility. After settling into the hotel, you venture out onto the meandering cobblestone streets to explore he neighborhood of Rialto, known for the 16th-century marble bridge arching over the canal, along with the narrow streets leading to Campo Maria Domini, a piazza bordered by medieval palaces with windows modeled after the Byzantine style.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Transfer

included

Accommodation

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Day 2

Venice – In View of the Regatta

In the morning, the Rialto Market returns to life as vendors open their stalls to passersby. The bright produce comes from the island of Sant’Erasmo, which is dedicated to the cultivation of fruit and vegetables for the consumption of the Lagoon islands. Tomatoes shine ruby red and eggplants glow a deep purple. Patrons of the Rialto Market crowd around the fish stalls, which display goods from the lagoon valley ponds, including crabs and gobies. After breakfast, you venture to the edge of the Grand Canal to witness the parade preceding the famous Regata Storica.

The canal erupts with color in the form of parade floats drifting down the water. The entire community gets involved, decorating the windows of shops and houses with balloons. Gondoliers row along the water highlighting colorful seasonal produce. Spectators watch from the around the Rialto Bridge. The lavish 16th-century boats with gondoliers draped in period costumes harken back to the opulence of an empire. The race began in the mid 13th century as part of a different festival, but soon focused on the importance of oarsmen in the maritime power of the Venetian Republic. The most popular race today is the gondolini, when gondoliers compete for the fastest times.

When the race begins, the crowd roars with excitement. You couldn’t have picked a better time to experience the true culture of a Venetian tradition. Each gondola is painted a different color, and the gondoliers wear sashes corresponding with the hue of their boat. The rope drops in front of Sant’Elena Gardens. The gondoliers paddle across the canal, turning around at the post driven into the center of the Grand Canal in front of the railway station. When the leader crosses the elaborately decorated floating platform at Ca’Foscari, the race is over.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 3

Venice – Fun with Tradition

The trendy boutique shops of Venice open near the Rialto Bridge along the Mercerie. The shops fill their windows with lavish displays, including decadent bakeries turning pastries into art. At breakfast, you balance the flaky texture and sweet flavor of a fresh brioche with the bittersweet richness of a frothy cappuccino. After the meal, you venture to a historic mask making store to learn about the history of the Venetian tradition, which dates back to the 14th century and the Commedia dell’ Arte. Masks fill the store windows of souvenir shops across the city, but none are as vibrant or indicative of the self-expression of each mask than at the workshop in which you meet your instructor.

The different types of masks represent the various characters of the productions, from comedy to tragedy, each containing a stock character known to the audience by the mask that actor wore. After the history of the artwork, your instructor has you choose your style along with your decorative materials, from Indian ink to gold leaf. By the end of the class, you have crafted a mask representing both Venetian tradition and your personal taste. The unique world of Venice’s Carnivale opens up to you during the mask making. Once your instruction is complete, you board a private vaporetto to reach Lido, the first beach resort in Europe. The art nouveau buildings accentuate the beauty of the white sand beaches.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Dinner

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Day 4

Venice – A Thrilling View of the Glass

The 17th-century façade of Ca’ Pesaro glints with marble columns wrapping around the second and third stories. The first floor contains a series of arches adhering to a chiaroscuro motif. The beauty of Venice is inherent in the architectural embellishments as well as its traditions. After breakfast, you search for a deeper connection to the traditions of the Venetian lagoon by making your way across the water to the famous island of Murano. The glass furnaces were moved to the island in the late 13th century to protect the main city of Venice from fires.

The glassmakers gained prominence with their artistic works with some even rising to a noble status. The workshops and stores line the main canal looking out to the water. The smaller canals crisscrossing the inland banks lead to pastel-painted homes and quiet cobblestone streets lined with moored boats. Display windows turn into ornaments of glass, from fine china to trinkets, vases to chandeliers. Step into the Murano Glass Museum, an often-overlooked gem of history and beauty located inside the 17th-century Palazzo Giustinian.

The collection ranges from 20th-century glasswork back to antiquity, including a set of Roman glass that once held perfume. The exhibits take you on a tour, not just through the glassmaking process, but also along the change in artistic styles over time. The 12th century Veneto-Byzantine basilica is located near the museum and contains remarkable mosaics decorating the apse, including a Madonna framed by a gold background. Wander along the side streets and canals away from the main waterway to find hidden workshops with artists happy to show you their glassblowing technique.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 5

Venice – A Day in the Gardens

In the morning, the gondolas return to the waterways of the city, traversing the narrow canals. The excitement from your first morning of watching them race has waned, replaced by the graceful calm of the gondolier’s gentle paddling. After breakfast, your guide leads you on a tour of the botanical gardens of the city. The first of the public gardens was established in the 14th century and grew to an alleged 500 gardens by the 18th century. The quiet park in the Castello neighborhood contains the paths decorated with gravel and shaded lanes filled with the aroma of oak trees.

The glass greenhouse, known as La Serra del Giardini, was erected in the 19th century and embodies the lavish greenery of the former noble gardens with plants from around the world. You venture outside of Venice for a visit to the Villa Pisani, located on the banks of the Brenta Canal. Noble families once built their estates along the waterway due to its proximity to Venice and how the canal connected the city of Padua to the Venetian lagoon. The grandeur of the villa is apparent immediately. It contains 144 rooms and a national museum specializing in 18th and 19th-century art and furniture.

There are nearly 30 rooms on the first floor, each filled with unforgettable frescoes and the original furniture of the villa’s first inhabitants. The opulence of the ballroom easily enchants you with its rococo trompe l’oeil painting on the ceiling. The fresco depicts the Pisani family in great detail resting on pink clouds. The three-dimensional technique draws the family closer to you as the background of pure blue sky reaches back. In the garden, you can wander along the dense maze, distinctive for its wisteria covered passageways and challenging routes.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 6

Venice – The Depths of the Grand Canal

In the morning, the cafes along the narrow side canals set out tables and chairs beneath the shade of large umbrellas. The aroma of rich espresso drifts out of the café doors and mingles with the fresh water of the lagoon. After breakfast, you meet your guide on the private dock of your hotel and board the vaporetto, ready to experience the history and opulence of the Grand Canal. The boat takes you to the palace of Ca’ Rezzonico, a marvelous Baroque structure erected in the 17th century under the patronage of the Bon family. The marble façade faces the water with a recessed portico on the ground floor.

Enter the stunning palace to find a marble staircase leading to the ballrooms glinting with gold. A magnificent fresco decorates the ceiling depicting Merit reaching the Temple of Glory while clutching a book of names, which represents Venetian noble families. The Vedutisti Gallery on the top floor offers stunning views of Venice with the Grand Canal sweeping more than two and a half miles across homes, palaces, and churches. Step back aboard your private boat and continue your discovery of the art of Venice hidden inside the architectural splendor of the Palazzo Grassi, a Palace with Baroque and Classical decorative features.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 7

Venice – Venice on a Whim

Today you have the splendor of Venice at your whim and pleasure. At breakfast, you can linger under the shade of an umbrella and watch the boats glide down the Grand Canal. After your meal, you could spend the day wandering the labyrinthine streets of the city or take an island tour across the lagoon to visit Sant’Erasmo. You could also venture to Padua and enjoy a cruise down the Brenta Canal, stopping to visit the lavish villas en route back to Venice.

You return to St. Mark’s Square for a private tour of the Doge’s Palace, the seat of power and the residence of the Doge. The building in its current iteration was erected in the 14th century and overlooks the Piazzetta with an elegant façade of pink Verona marble supported by slender Istrian marble columns. Sculptures and carved capitals decorated the façade overlooking the Grand Canal and the small square alongside the palace.

The main entrance contains a stunning example of Venetian Gothic architecture embellished with allegorical figures, along with an image of the Doge Francesco Foscari kneeling beside an open book and the Lion of St. Mark. Your guide leads you beyond the normal tour of the palace and through the secret chambers and passageways of the palace. Ascend the stairs to the Inquisitor’s Chamber, where three magistrates of the Venetian government used to meet. You can imagine the government officials discussing ways to protect state secrets beneath the gorgeous frescoes adorning the ceiling, each painted by Tintoretto.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 8

Verona – Villas of Veneto

The beauty of Venice is equaled only by the splendor of the surrounding region of Veneto, stretching from the edge of the Adriatic Sea to the foothills of the Dolomites and Italian Alps. In the morning, you leave behind the marbled palaces and soft tones of historic churches around the city and travel north to the Palladian style of the Villa Barbaro. Romans erected estates in the region as early as the 3rd century BC. The tradition of opulent architecture and décor has continued for more than two millennia. The villa was built in the 16th century and remains a monument to the elegant lifestyles of Venetian nobility. The famed architect Andrea Palladio designed the structure with trompe l’oeil interior.

The interior contains a sense of whimsical allure with paintings connoting beauty and a sense of humor. In the grand salon, a fresco contains an image of the painter’s spattered shoes and cleaning broom, which stand out from the work done on the wall. In the Stanza di Cantuccio, you find a watchful dog guarding the painted door. The winemaking scenes in the Room of Bacchus offer a glimpse into the vineyards encircling the villa, except the walls are actually covered in frescoes resembling windows to the countryside.

Your guide leads you through the vines following the stunning tour of the interior to discover the different types of grapes grown on the land utilized since the beginnings of the estate. The grounds contain almost 570 acres of Merlot, Cabernet, Chardonnay, and Prosecco. After touring the winemaking process, your guide leads you into the tasting room, which offers a rustic atmosphere complimenting the lavish villa. The last glass your guide pours contains the Prosecco produced on the property, which is a grape famous in the region for its use in sparkling wine. The effervescent qualities offer a crisp, citrusy aroma with lingering traces of melon.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast, Lunch

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Day 9

Verona – Priceless Verona

The captivating city of Verona crosses over the banks of the Adige River. The Roman amphitheater edges the Piazza Bra and continues to support up to 22,000 spectators a year in the original stadium seating during the annual summer opera festival. Brightly painted buildings line the main street leading to Piazza delle Erbe. In the morning, café tables border the square providing a view to the morning produce market and 14th-century fountain of the Madonna di Verona, which an ancient marble statue adorns.

Your guide meets you in the lobby to escort you through the history and unique culture of the city, distinctive in its Roman beginnings, the power struggle of the Middle Ages, and prominent reputation as a city of lovers, as given by Romantics in the 19th century based on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The true heritage of the city takes you beyond the home of Juliet Capulet and over the Ponte Scaligero, a 14th-century bridge in which locals enjoy daily strolls.

The bridge leads to the impressive 14th century walls of the Castelvecchio. The Scaligeri family erected the castle as a sign of wealth and protection. The stone contains a rosy, golden hue in the passing daylight. The main tower looks over the bridge and the city, offering a panorama of the hills on the horizon. In the charming church of Santa Maria Antica, the Gothic tombs of the Scala family overshadow the beauty of the 12th century structure. You find the figures of the former Veronese ruling family cast in full armor with the family crest of a ladder adorning the marble tombs.

What's Included:

included

Tour

included

Accommodation

included

Breakfast

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Day 10

Verona – The Cultural Takeaways from Veneto

In the morning, the various coffee shops of Verona open their doors to the emerging business people and students of the city. The aroma of rich espresso and frothy cappuccino begins to drift along the streets near the Roman amphitheater. The Romanesque style of the 12th-century basilica hides a 15th-century Gothic nave. Two paladins crafted in the mid 12th century flank the main portico. Red marble pillars cast a striking image against the marble choir screen. The immaculate design is treasured as much for its simplicity as for its lavishness. Your private transfer greets you in the hotel lobby when you’re ready and escorts you to Verona Villafranca Airport for your flight home.

What's Included:

included

Transfer

included

Breakfast

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Trip Highlights

  • Experience the unique floating parade of Venice followed by the celebrated gondola races
  • Venture into the heart of the Venetian Republic with a tour of the secret passageways, hidden prisons, and clandestine government rooms of the Doge’s Palace
  • Enjoy the gorgeous artistry and tranquil atmosphere of Murano Island before viewing a glassblowing demonstration
  • Learn the history of the Venetian mask and design your own during a guided instruction
  • Discover the opulent décor and labyrinthine garden of the Villa Pisani on the Brenta Canal
  • Delight in a wine tasting on the private vineyard of a historic estate known as Villa Barbaro
  • Relish the beauty of Venice’s stunning palaces and churches during a private boat tour of the Grand Canal
  • Relax in the tranquil evening of the island city with a private evening gondola ride highlighting the ethereal glow of the canal-side lights
  • Walk along white sand beach and beneath art nouveau décor at Lido, home to Europe’s first beach resorts
  • Embrace the distinctive culture of Verona during a private half-day guided tour to find the brilliance of the architecture, along with ancient and literary history
  • Visit the romantic balcony in Verona where the star-crossed lovers of Romeo and Juliet professed their love for one another
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Detailed Description

The culture of Venice and the region of Veneto differ in proud tradition from the other regions of Italy. Your 10-day tour encompasses the legends of the Venetian Republic and the noble heritage rising from the empire’s wealth, overtaking the Adriatic Sea, from the edges of the canal to the foothills of the mountainous terrain. The city of Venice erupts with local pleasures in September during the Regatta Storica. You arrive at Marco Polo Airport and venture to the heart of the historic city by private transfer. Explore the narrow streets of the canal around your hotel for an introduction to the beauty of the water. On the following day, Venice embraces you with celebratory parades floating down the Grand Canal to usher in the boat races.

Delight in the morning regalia and witness the annual gondola race before joining in the festivities of a celebrating city, followed by a tour of St. Mark’s Square. The next day begins with a historic introduction to the famous masks of the city. Learn about the production and past of the masks before making a personalized work under the guidance of a professional artist. Venture to the sandy shores of the Lido district to enjoy the lagoon and relaxed pace of the first beach resort in Europe. Then, you have a private transfer to the Island of Murano to spend the day wandering the quiet cobbled streets, visiting the glass museums and mosaic-clad churches, and witnessing a stunning glassblowing demonstration.

The next day takes you to the gardens in and around the lagoon, from the public park providing greenery to the stone city to the lavish Pisani Villa and its challenging maze. In the afternoon, you wander through the maze-like streets of the Jewish Ghetto to take in the remaining history of the first ghetto Europe. Traverse the Grand Canal on a private boat. Visit the lavish palaces, museums, and churches along the two and a half mile waterway leading to the Adriatic Sea. The following day is at your leisure to delight in the splendor of Venice. Take a cruise down the Brenta Canal or wander through the remarkable museums of the city at your preferred pace. You could also take a tour of the Doge’s Palace to reveal all the hidden chambers of the seat of the Venetian Republic.

Next, you leave the noble city behind for the villas around Veneto. Explore the town of Treviso and the nearby Villa Barbaro. Tour the opulent interior before your guide takes you on an encompassing tour of the vineyards, followed by tasting of the wines produced on the estate. Your private transfer escorts you from the villa to the charming city of Verona. The next morning, you have a private tour of the marvelous city, which contains Roman ruins, looming castles, and an unforgettable connection to Romeo and Juliet. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel in the heart of Verona on the final day and escorts you to Verona Villafranca Airport for your flight home. 

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Starting Price

$2745 per person (excluding international flights)

This trip is customizable for your private travel.
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What's Included

  • Accommodations
  • In-country transportation
  • Some or all guided tours and activities (dependent on season)
  • Expert trip planning
  • 24x7 support during your trip
The starting price is based on travel during the low season for a minimum of two travelers staying in shared 3-star accommodations. Please inquire for a custom trip quote based on your travel preferences and travel dates.

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