Venice, Verona, Lake Garda, Milan
Dates are flexible and customizable for private departures.
Lovers can embrace in the open and indulge in private luxury during your customizable Northern Italy itinerary, designed for the perfect romantic escape. Gondolas glide through the narrow canals of Venice. Decadent paintings cover the walls and ceilings of 17th-century villas overlooking the banks of the Brenta Canal. Storybook castles continue to guard the narrow cobbled lanes of small towns on the shores of Lake Garda. From capturing the passionate spirit of Shakespeare’s Juliet in Verona to...
Venice – Striking Romance on the Grand Canal
Venice is a city of romance and elegance, a labyrinth of baroque palaces and hidden cobblestone lanes offering preferred seclusion. Water laps against the stone edges of historic canals and church spires create a graceful skyline enjoyed from the comforts of your private room. Your flight lands at Venice Marco Polo Airport, where your private transfer greets you upon your arrival. Board a vaporetto, a water taxi, on the border of the Grand Canal. The waterway has acted as a highway, connecting island in the lagoon to the outside world for centuries, stretching two miles long. Your guide introduces you to the romantic ambiance emanating from the architecture and wooden plinths rising out of the water. The bordering facades date between the 12th century and the early 18th century, demanding your attention with the dramatic features of the Palazzo Grassi.
The structure was erected in the 1790s and was the last lavish palace erected in the city before the collapse of the Venetian Republic. The façade contains elements of baroque and neoclassical styles, offering a harmonious connecting between the historical aesthetics and the renovated modern architectural vision. After drifting along the rippling waters of the Grand Canal, your vaporetto leads you to the private dock of your stunning luxury hotel, known for offering the perfect blend of elegance in the aristocratic furniture and contemporary comforts with special attention to the little details.
Venice – Wander Amidst the Ancient Architechture
The morning light washes over the bright facades of the Grand Canal. Speedboats and ferries glide through the waterways, connecting locals to the mainland. Cafes open their doors to the city and place tables and chairs along the cobblestone lanes. Patrons sip espresso or frothy cappuccinos while watching the movement of boats or locals passing the endless arching bridges. A cafe that opened nearly three centuries ago continues to offer elegant service and sophisticated ambiance with views of Piazza San Marco. Your guide greets you at the hotel in the morning eager to lead you on a fascinating tour of one of Italy’s most romantic cities. The aroma of decadent espresso and delicate cakes emanates from hidden cafes. Cross over the iconic Rialto Bridge to reach Piazza San Marco, home to the eponymous basilica and captivating Doge’s Palace.
Gilded onion-shaped domes crown the 9th-century edifice, with marbled features taken from Syria, Egypt, and Palestine over the course of centuries. The exterior archways contain mosaics glistening with gold leaf, leading to the interior nave graced with hints of frankincense. The elaborate display of devotion culminates in the nearly 91,500 square feet of radiant mosaics draping the pillars and vaulted ceilings, with the sunlight pouring in from the windows. You embrace the endless romance of the city when strolling beneath the painted ceilings of the Grand School of San Rocco, known for displaying 16th-century biblical scenes depicted by master artist Tintoretto.
Verona – Find Elegance and Grace within the Palaces
At breakfast, you can’t help but think of dinner the previous evening, enjoying the canal-side terrace of a premier seafood restaurant in the neighborhood of Cannaregio. The 17th-century grandeur set a romantic and enchanting ambiance for you to bask in. Your private transfer greets you at your hotel, after breakfast and escorts you to the mouth of the Brenta Canal that once acted as a highway connecting the elegant streets of Padua to Venice. The Venetian aristocracy took to building elegant palaces alongside the waterways, with small villages sprouting up in between the lavish estates. You board a boat and take to the waterway, passing elegant towns draped in bright colors, sporadic ivy, and moored boats.
Stop to enjoy the stunning architecture and welcoming ambiance of Villa Foscari, an estate located close to the Venetian lagoon. The draping vines of weeping willow trees frame the picturesque bend of the canal. The palace was erected in the mid-16th century atop an 11-foot tall pedestal. The interior contains fascinating frescoes depicting mythological and allegorical themes. The trompe l’oeil artistry creates three-dimensional images bursting from the walls and ceiling amidst the hanging fixtures and vaulted ceilings. At Villa Pisani, you can stroll hand-in-hand through the opulent 114 rooms of the 18th-century edifice erected to celebrate the 114th doge of Venice. Dance in the ballroom amongst the frescoes hailing the Pisani family before continuing to Padua.
Verona – The Joy of Shakespearean Italy
The characters of Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet have cast a romantic veil over the historical charms and enchanting piazzas of Verona. In the morning, the scent of pastries stuffed with chocolate blends with the aroma of fresh espresso drifting out of the cafes along the Piazza Delle Erbe. The sunlight washes over the 3rd-century Roman Arena bordering Piazza Brà. Marble paves the pedestrian lane of Via Mazzini leading to the trickling fountain at the heart of town. The glamour of the city derives from the 12th-century cathedral. The Romanesque exterior hides the extravagant 16th and 17th-century frescoes lining the interior.
The trompe l’oeil style contains images of cherubs and heavenly features protruding from the dome and arched ceiling. You continue to embrace the beauty of Verona at the House of Juliet, home to Shakespeare’s renowned Capulets. A small, arched tunnel leads into the courtyard. Notes to Juliet fill the crevices between the stone, all sent from lovers and romantics in search of a burning passion similar to that of Romeo and Juliet’s. The sunlight glints against the bronze figure of Juliet standing beneath the second-story balcony overlooking the courtyard. The enchanting story adds to the luster of Verona, allowing you to indulge in the city’s romance, garnished with dramatic architecture and fascinating history.
Verona – An Enchanting Alpine Stroll
The Italian Alps offer a perfect getaway from the shores of the Venetian lagoon, allowing you to embrace the secluded mountain peaks and endless pathways crisscrossing the ridges. Your guide leads you into the massif, where the floodplains around Venice ascend into verdant forests and snow-capped summits. You make your way into the granite cliffs to visit St. Romedio Sanctuary. The white stone exterior and sloping, gray rooftops contrast the surrounding evergreen forests. The edifice stands amongst a precipice at 230 feet above the town below. More than 130 stairs wind along the cliffs to connect the 11th-century grounds to the valley floor.
The path offers thrilling and romantic views of the dale and surrounding cliffs draped in greenery. The scent of apples fills the air. Arched colonnades frame the courtyard. The interior galleries offer insight into the history of the alpine region with artifacts from the Bronze Age, along with Roman statues and pieces of medieval jewelry. You reach the fortified, fairytale castle of Arco, which stands atop a soaring, rugged cliff. Olive groves grow on the outskirts of the alabaster walls. 14th-century frescoes adorn the walls of the interior gallery, featuring brave knights and courtly ladies for an enchanting image of aristocratic life.
Lake Garda – The Amorous Ambiance of Lake Garda
Malcesine is regarded as the Pearl of Lake Garda due to its picturesque setting amongst the northern foothills and cliffs. Sailboats fill the small harbor with masts wading in the rising sunlight. Cafes set out tables and chairs along the narrow cobbled lanes of Old Town, filling the air with the scent of espresso and decadent chocolate pastries. The turquoise waters of Italy’s largest lake lap against the pebbled beaches beneath the cypress and oak trees sweeping into the hilly forests. Your private transfer greets you at your hotel in Verona and escorts you to the marvelous shores of Lake Garda. The day is yours to indulge in the romantic atmosphere embodied in the historic villages and vibrant landscapes around the lake, which encompasses nearly 143 square miles.
You can make your way from Malcesine to Limone sul Garda, traveling along the scenic road from Riva. The tunnels carved into the mountains open for a dramatic view of the orange-tiled rooftops contrasting the forest greenery. The waterfront promenade offers an abundance of boutiques with charming window displays and restaurants filling with the aromas of baking bread, sizzling olive oil, and sautéing garlic. Olive groves grow along the outer edges of town, offering a vibrant, savory aroma. Venture to the Limone Castle for an enchanting stroll along the walls where the citrus trees used to grow.
Lake Garda – A Fashionable Outing
In the morning, the sunlight washes over the sapphire waters of Lake Garda. Sailboats catch the morning breeze and glide over the horizon. Fishermen return to the marina with fish ready for the market. You make your way to Milan to enjoy the splendors of Italy’s fashion capital, along with discovering the historical and artistic marvels of the capital of the Lombardy region. The central cathedral is a model of elegance and sophistication, with more than 3,400 marble statues. 135 spires soar above the surrounding plaza resembling the filigree of a delicate crown. You enter into the majesty of the life of Gian Giacomo Poldi Pezzoli, one of the most prolific art collectors of the Italian Renaissance, inside Museo Poldi Pezzoli, one of the first private museums of Italy and which contains his namesake.
The galleries have transformed the 19th-century apartment of the aristocratic member of Milan into a museum with themed rooms dedicated to the works of medieval, renaissance, and baroque art collected over decades. Botticelli’s Lamentation Over the Dead Christ adorns the wall of the renaissance room, adding to the spectacular balance of light and shade spanning the gallery. For a touch of romance, you venture to the Ambrosiana Library to view the 16th-century love letters written by Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. The words express the longing and desire between Lucrezia and Pietro Bembo, with a lock of her hair displayed between the glass plates containing the original, handwritten letters.
Lake Garda – Stars Uncrossed
The sister towns of Nago and Torbole contrast one another through the various landscapes along Lake Garda. Torbole overlooks the water with sailors weighing anchor in the marina. Windsurfers take to the beach to catch the breeze sweeping downward from the foothills. Nago stands atop the mountainous slopes overlooking the cobbled lanes of Torbole and the vast expanse of Lake Garda. The enchanting panoramas captivate visitors and locals, with restaurants offering tables specifically for patrons to enjoy the view. At breakfast, you bask in the pleasure of your company, sipping frothy cappuccino and indulging in the sweet flavors of a brioche stuffed with chocolate. Your private transfer meets you at the hotel when you are ready, and escorts you to Verona Villafranca Airport for your flight home.
- Visit the home of Shakespeare’s Juliet in Verona during a private luxury tour of the city’s enchanting myths, histories, and charm
- Embrace the beauty of the Grand Canal in Venice during a luxurious introductory tour of the famous waterway lined with elegant palaces
- Cruise down the Brenta Canal from Venice to Padua for a delightful look at antique villas and tranquil towns
- Discover fairytale castles sprouting from mountain promontories while visiting the town of Arco in the Dolomite foothills
- Treasure the fashionable ambiance of Milan, which embodies passion and love through the architecture and artwork on display around the city, including the collected early 16th-century love letters of Lucrezia Borgia
- Stroll along the lakeside promenades and medieval cobbled lanes of charismatic towns bordering Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake
Follow the romance along the Grand Canal and the shimmering shores of Lake Garda during your 8-day tour of Northern Italy. The splendors of Venice welcome you upon your arrival at Marco Polo Airport. Your private transfer leads you to the shores of the Grand Canal for a private introductory tour along the renowned waterway. Settle into the comforts of your centrally-located hotel with the remainder of the day at your leisure. The following morning, your guide leads you on a private tour of Venice, highlighting the iconic monuments and the local culture for a balance of charm, grandeur, and romantic appeal.
Next, you travel along the Brenta Canal, enjoying the private splendors of historic villas once connected to the Venetian Republic along the narrow waterway. Enjoy the beauty of the artwork and pleasures of the countryside en route to Padua. Your guide leads you on a remarkable tour of Padua before continuing to Verona for the evening. Discover the wonders of Verona with your privately guided tour, finding cobblestone streets, Roman ruins, renaissance architecture, and the home of Shakespeare’s Juliet Capulet, who embodies the spirit of love and romance in the city. Then, you venture into the Dolomite Mountains with a guide leading you to serene villages. Explore preserved castles and delight in sharing the panoramas of the snowcapped mountaintops.
You transfer to the shores of Lake Garda, taking the day to traverse the scenic roads to visit captivating towns. Wander hand-in-hand through lakeside castles and relish a boat ride for views of the northern foothills. Venture to Milan for an excursion highlighting the fashion, history, and artwork of Lombardy’s capital city. View the Duomo and fabulous filigree of the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele, along with witnessing the love letters of Lucrezia Borgia, the daughter of Pope Alexander VI. On the final day, your private transfer greets you at the hotel and escorts you to Verona Villafranca Airport for your flight home.
$2,195 per person (excluding international flights)
Your Zicasso trip is fully customizable, and this sample itinerary is a starting place for your travel plans. Actual costs are dynamic, and your selection of accommodations and activities, your season of travel, and other such variables will bring this budget guideline up or down. Throughout your planning experience with your Zicasso specialist, your itinerary is designed around your budget. You can book your trip when you are satisfied with every detail. Planning your trip with a Zicasso travel specialist is a free service.
- In-country transportation
- Some or all activities and tours
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Your final trip cost will vary based on your selected accommodations, activities, meals, and other trip elements that you opt to include.
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