Iconic Opera Houses of Northern Italy SOLD OUT - WAIT LIST, April 23 to May 08, 2018
Opera was born and enjoyed its golden age in Northern Italy. The region is also the birthplace of the Renaissance and one of the world's richest repositories of works of art, be it Roman, Byzantine, Romanesque, Renaissance, or Baroque. The Italians' love for wine and food – and opera, we might add – is like no other. Join us on our spring 2018 tour to discover all of that and much more!
 
Performances. You'll attend opera and a concert with VIP privileges at the legendary Teatro alla Scala in Milan and be in the audience for opening night of Italy’s most prestigious music festival, the Maggio Musicale Fiorentino. We’ve also scheduled performances at the gorgeous La Fenice opera house in Venice, the Teatro Regio in Parma, and the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi in Trieste.*
 
Guides and Exclusive Tours. We have engaged highly regarded art historians to guide our visits in each city, arranged special tastings and meals, and planned interesting excursions.
 
Study the details below and then get your reservation and deposit to us right away:
more people have indicated a strong interest in this tour than we have space.
We will accept no more than 25 participants, based on the order in which deposits are received.
 

Click on any of the thumbnails at the right to see the photo, full-sized; then use the arrow keys to view them all.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos are by Zsófi and Dean.

* * * Be sure to read the important notices found at the bottom of the left column,
regarding performances, optional tours, and single supplements. * * *

 

CONTENTS AND COSTS

PACKAGE PRICE
per person, sharing a double:
$5,375


single supplement: $1,075


supplement for single use of double room: $1,400***



Prices include

Accommodation in these
fine hotels:


Hotel Continentale, Trieste

  Palazzo Sant'Angelo, Venice


  Hotel Milano Scala, Milan

  Stendhal Hotel, Parma

Hotel Berchielli, Florence


Breakfast each day

Lunch or dinner 9 days
(drinks included)

Airport transfers on
April 24 and May 8

Ground transport by
private coach

  Tours with expert guides

  Six performances*



We will assist you in booking additional performances,
as available.



You may tentatively reserve space on the tour by submitting the online form, accessed via
the button below.
We will send your official reservation form.

Your place on the tour will be secured according to the date we receive the completed form and your deposit.



* Please Note:
At this point, we can guarantee seats for at least four performances: two at La Scala in Milan, one at the Maggio Musicale in Florence, and your choice of either the Rossini or Donizetti in Venice. The opera companies in Trieste and Parma have accepted our ticket requests but will not make a firm commitment until subscription sales are completed, early in 2018. 
In the unlikely event that we cannot provide one or more of the included performances, we will issue an appropriate rebate.

  ** Also Note:

  The “basic” tours in Venice, Milan, and Florence are intended for first time visitors to those cities and are optional. You may participate in any or all for a small supplement (based on the number of participants). Details are on the “options form" you will receive following acceptance of your reservation.

*** Singles note:
The single supplement of $1075
is based on true single rooms
where available.
(i.e. a narrow bed in a small room)
If you prefer a full-sized bed
and room, you should check
"prefer a double room for myself "
on the reservation form and pay the higher supplement of  $1400.

YOUR ITINERARY


Monday, April 23: Depart Houston. You can fly from Houston with United and Lufthansa with a single change of planes in Munich. Book the connection that gets you to Trieste at 12:25 PM the next day, to avoid a long layover. There will also be only one change on the return, from Florence.

 Trieste

Tuesday, April 24: Arrive at Trieste airport at 12:25 PM, where we will await you. Miramare Castle, built for Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg, lies on the coast overlooking the city. We’ll enjoy a short tour before checking in at the Hotel Continentale, perfectly located in the heart of Trieste and just a brief walk from the opera house.  You’ll have time to relax and take a little stroll before we get together for our traditional Welcome Dinner.
 
Wednesday, April 25: For centuries, Trieste was the Habsburg Empire’s port on the Mediterranean Sea. This morning’s walking tour takes us through the “Austrian Quarter,” an example of enlightened 18th-century urban design. We’ll also visit the Old City, San Giusto Cathedral with its outstanding Byzantine mosaics, and the 1912 Synagogue, one of Europe’s largest. Following lunch at one of Trieste’s most highly regarded restaurants, you can visit the Revoltella Museum, housed in the neo-Renaissance mansion of Baron Pasquale Revoltella. A wealthy businessman, Revoltella bequeathed his palace, his art collection, and fortune to the city, and his wealth served to acquire, over more than a century, the extensive collection of paintings and sculptures that make up today’s modern art gallery. Several of the rooms, including the baron's private residence, have been preserved with their original furnishings and make up part of the impressive collection.  When you’re ready, the hotel is just a short stroll away. The evening is free.
 
Thursday, April 26: You might want to take it easy in Trieste, before tonight’s performance of Mozart’s Cosí fan tutte at the Teatro Giuseppe Verdi . . . or join us for an optional excursion to the Karst region of Slovenia nearby. We’ll attend a demonstration at the stud farm where Vienna’s famed Lipizaner horses are bred and trained, visit one of the oldest settlements on the Karst plateau, have a typical lunch, and enjoy a wine tasting (perhaps at an osmiza, a place where you can buy and eat typical products from local producers or farmers). Time permitting, we’ll make a stop at the Ferrari Garden, designed by noted architect Max Fabiani in the 1920s, before heading back to the hotel in plenty of time to freshen up for tonight’s performance.

 Venice

Friday, April 27: We leave Trieste this morning for the short drive to Venice, where we transfer, bag and baggage, to boats to reach our hotel, the Palazzo Sant’Angelo, right on the Grand Canal. Then we’ll have a quick lunch before meeting our Venice guide, Susan Steer, a Brit who came to Venice 20 years ago as an intern at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, eventually taking masters and doctoral degrees in art history and marrying a Venetian. This afternoon, she’ll reveal Venice’s response to “Plague and Pestilence:” a surprising journey, from Palladio’s famous Redentore, to the Baroque extravagance of Longhena’s Santa Maria della Salute. See masterpieces of Tintoretto at San Rocco, and perhaps visit the church of San Sebastiano in a quiet backwater, discovering how many joyous works of art and architecture were created in the teeth of a health catastrophe.
 
Saturday, April 28: This morning, we offer the more “standard” tour of Venice**, an introduction for first-timers to St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Rialto, plus other musts. If you already know Venice, this will be an ideal time to explore a museum you haven’t had time for in the past or revisit some favorite haunt.  Susan will again be our guide this afternoon as we explore the “Decadent 18th Century.” Visit Ca’ Rezzonico with its sumptuous decorations and collections of art, including luminous ceilings by Giambattista Tiepolo and the surprising frescoes painted by his son Giandomenico for his own home. Donizetti’s delightful L’Elisir d’Amore is the offering this evening at La Fenice.*
 
Sunday, April 29: Today, you may explore Venice on your own, an endlessly fascinating enterprise. Don’t be afraid of getting lost – that’s half the fun! Besides, you’ll always get found again, since there are signs here and there, directing you toward Rialto and St. Mark’s. The afternoon offers an opportunity to attend Rossini's comedy, Il Signor Bruschino.*

 Milan

Monday, April 30: It’s always a challenge to get out of Venice, but once we are on dry land, we’ll make good time on the superhighway.  We’ve planned a stop in Valpolicella for a wine-tasting/lunch before heading on to Milan and our aptly named eco-hotel, Teatro Milano Scala, just a couple of blocks from the eponymous opera house. We have booked VIP tickets for both La Scala performances, not being extravagant but simply to be certain of getting seats.  We’ll enjoy a backstage tour prior to tonight’s performance by the La Scala Philharmonic – the venerable Christoph von Dohnányi conducts the Brahms Third Symphony and Mozart Piano Concerto number 22, with pianist Rudolf Buchbinder.
 
Tuesday, May 1:  For those who’ve never visited Milan before, this morning offers an introductory walk, from Piazza in front of La Scala, through the Galleria to the Cathedral (Duomo), ending up at the Sforza Castle.** Old-timers will have a free morning – several important museums are open, even on May Day. We’ll all get together for lunch near the Castle, before our afternoon tour, “Changing Milan:” a chance to see Milan’s urban revolution of unprecedented scale, which the city underwent to welcome the 20 million tourists who visited the Milan World Fair in 2015. We will visit the Porta Nuova district with such examples as the Vertical Forest residential towers boasting 730 trees, 5,000 shrubs, and 11,000 perennials and groundcover on the facades – vegetation equivalent of that found in a 2.5-acre woodlot! (International Highrise Award 2014); I.M. Pei’s Palazzo Lombardia, seat of Lombardy Regional Government (2012 International Architecture Award for the best new global design); as well as the green and eco-friendly futuristic architecture in the CityLife area with striking apartment building complexes by Zaha Hadid and Daniel Libeskind, and Arata Isozaki’s Alliance Tower.
 
Wednesday, May 2: This morning we turn our attention to an earlier era, visiting several religious buildings: San Maurizio, San Satiro, and Sant'Ambrogio, each containing very significant works of art. The afternoon is free, whether for more art, shopping, or simply relaxation. For anyone interested in seeing Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, we will reserve your admission time; it’s not far from where our morning tour ends or the hotel, for that matter. Tonight, we return to La Scala to see the new David Pountney/Lesley Travers/Marie-Jeanne Lecca production of Zandonai’s Francesca da Rimini, a rarely heard verismo masterpiece from the era of Puccini, Mascagni, and Leoncavallo. Maria José Siri sings the title role with Roberto Aronica as Paolo. Fabio Luisi conducts.

 Parma

Thursday, May 3: We break the short drive to Parma with a visit to Certosa di Pavia. Now a UNESCO World Heritage site, the Carthusian monastery complex is a masterpiece of Late Gothic, Renaissance, and Mannerist architecture, containing paintings by Bergognone including the panels of St. Ambrose, San Siro, and the Crucifixion. The church also boasts panels by Perugino, Morazzone, Guercino, Francesco Cairo and Daniele Crespi.  Lunch will be at a Michelin star restaurant, idyllically set in the Lombardy countryside, at an old mill near the Charterhouse. Our hotel in Parma, the Stendhal, is both a lovely, comfortable place to stay and located perfectly, close to both the opera house and all the destinations on tomorrow’s walking tour.
 
Friday, May 4: Parma may be small but as we see this morning, rich in art and architectural history. Her baptistery is perhaps the greatest Romanesque building in northern Italy while the adjacent 11th-century cathedral is acclaimed for its stunning frescoes by Correggio. For contrast, we needn’t go far to find the work of a much younger Correggio, in San Giovanni Evangelista. We’ll also visit the famous, and for its time, huge Teatro Farnese, built in 1618 entirely of wood. It is housed in the imposing Palazzo della Pilotta, which today is a museum boasting paintings by Correggio, Parmigianino, Leonardo, Canaletto, and many more, so you might want to spend some time there this afternoon. Also of interest is the fascinating museum devoted to the great conductor, Arturo Toscanini, who was born in Parma. This evening, we see Puccini’s Tosca in the beautiful Teatro Regio, designed by Nicola Bettoli and built in the 1820s. Attending a performance there is like a trip to the soul of opera—an orchestra and conductor with this music in their blood, singers born to sing it, and an unforgettable electricity in the air. Audiences are not averse to catcalling if a performer fails to measure up to expectations!

 Florence

Saturday, May 5: On our way to Florence, we make two stops: first at Villa Donnino for a balsamic vinegar tasting and to visit the art-deco villa and its personal collection of 20th-century art; then for lunch at a farmhouse turned into an agriturismo in the verdant hills near Bologna, overlooking vineyards, wheat fields, and fruit trees. We will arrive in Florence in plenty of time to relax and get ready for this evening’s gala opening night of the Maggio Musicale festival. The opera is Cardillac, an early work by Paul Hindemith, dealing with the same question that permeates his better-known Mathis der Maler: the relationship between artist and society.
 
Sunday, May 6: We will discover Florence with Simone, an expert art historian of mixed Italian, English, and Irish descent, who has lived in Japan, Brazil and the United States. As in Venice and Milan, we are providing an optional half-day “basic Florence” tour** for anyone not already familiar with the city’s most famous landmarks: the cathedral (Duomo) and its Baptistery, graced by Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise; the Piazza Signoria with the towering Palazzo Vecchio, center of political power in Florence for seven centuries; the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest and most intriguing of the Florentine bridges across the Arno river; and Piazza della Repubblica, once the Roman forum, later the city’s medieval market, which continues to be the liveliest square in the heart of Florence’s shopping district.
 
Our afternoon tour focuses on Florence’s Golden Age. We’ll see such seminal works as Masaccio’s frescoes that introduced the Renaissance style to painting; Santa Croce, the masterpiece of Florentine Gothic architecture and the adjacent Pazzi Chapel, jewel of Renaissance architecture; Cimabue’s iconic Crucifix; and fine examples of the classic Florentine palazzi.
 
Monday, May 7: Our final art tour involves such masterpieces as the pre-Giotto Madonna in Santa Maria Maggiore, Ghirlandaio’s Last Supper Ognissanti, Perugino’s Crucifixion, Santa Maria Maddelena dei Pazzi, and Sant’Apollonia with the Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno. Following time on your own this afternoon, we all get together one more time for a special “farewell dinner.”
 
Tuesday, May 8: Depart for home

Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Teatro alla Scala, Milan
Palladio's Santa Maria alla Salute, Venice
Palladio's Santa Maria alla Salute, Venice
Duomo, Florence
Duomo, Florence
Piazza Unitá, Trieste
Piazza Unitá, Trieste
photo courtesy of Teatro Lyrico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste
photo courtesy of Teatro Lyrico Giuseppe Verdi, Trieste
Photo courtesy of Teatro Giuseppe Verdi
Photo courtesy of Teatro Giuseppe Verdi
Lipizaner mares with foals
Lipizaner mares with foals
Doge's Palace, Venice
Doge's Palace, Venice
Grand Canal with Salute
Grand Canal with Salute
Photo courtesy of La Fenice
Photo courtesy of La Fenice
Palazzi on the Grand Canal
Palazzi on the Grand Canal
Duomo, Milan
Duomo, Milan
Zsofi at Teatro alla Scala
Zsofi at Teatro alla Scala
Boticelli's 'Christ Mourned' (detail) at the Poldi Pezzoli
Boticelli's 'Christ Mourned' (detail) at the Poldi Pezzoli
Baptistry, Parma
Baptistry, Parma
Correggio's Assumption, Parma
Correggio's Assumption, Parma
Correggio's early Ascension
Correggio's early Ascension
Dean at Teatro Regio, Parma
Dean at Teatro Regio, Parma
Teatro Farnese, Parma
Teatro Farnese, Parma
Panorama of Florence
Panorama of Florence
Florentine Mosaic
Florentine Mosaic
Zsofi in a Tuscan landscape
Zsofi in a Tuscan landscape
 
deandaltontours  | 2011
powered by EMERiGOS
web design