Countries Italy Verona Opera Festivals

Verona: Opera and Art

with
Clare Ford-Wille
Clare is an independent art historian. She has led study tours to Europe and lectured on European art, architecture and sculpture for more than thirty years, primarily for the University of London, the National Gallery, the V&A and NADFAS. She has also contributed to several academic guides.
What's included...
  • Return flights on British Airways (economy) to Verona
  • 4 nights accomodation in the 5-star Hotel Due Torri
  • 4 breakfasts, 2 lunches and 4 dinners (lunch and dinner with wine, water and coffee)
  • Tickets to 3 opera performances in the Arena di Verona costing £390
  • All church, museum & gallery entry tickets
  • The services of your lecturer and tour manager
  • A tour-guide headset system to make hearing the lecturer easier
  • Transport by luxury coach, as the itinerary requires
  • All tips and taxes
Hotel
Hotel Due Torri
Getting about
Participants should be reasonably fit. There is a significant amount of
walking, standing and use of stairs.
Highlights
Aida is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto by Antonio Ghislanzoni. This year's Aida, directed by Gianfranco de Bosio, presents the first stage design of Aida from 1913; the year the Verona Opera Festival started. The opera, which, since its 1913 debut on the Arena stage, has been performed over 670 times, becoming a symbol of the Arena di Verona.

The Egyptians have captured and enslaved Aida, an Ethiopian princess. An Egyptian military commander, Radamès, struggles to choose between his love for her and his loyalty to the King of Egypt. To complicate the story further, the King's daughter Amneris is in love with Radamès, although he does not return her feelings.

 
La Traviata is an opera in three acts by Giuseppe Verdi set to an Italian libretto by Francesco Maria Piave. It is based on La Dame aux Camélias (1852), a play adapted from the novel by Alexandre Dumas.

 
Il Trovatore is an opera in four acts by Giuseppe Verdi to an Italian libretto largely written by Salvadore Cammarano, based on the play El trovador (1836) by Antonio García Gutiérrez. It was Gutiérrez's most successful play, one which Verdi scholar Julian Budden describes as "a high flown, sprawling melodrama flamboyantly defiant of the Aristotelian unities, packed with all manner of a fantastic and bizarre incident".
An afternoon is spent at a magnificent privately-owned villa in the Valpolicella hills, by special arrangement, where you will enjoy a three-course lunch prepared from locally sourced foods. Four outstanding wines accompany lunch. Afterwards, you are taken on a tour of the villa to see some faded frescoes by Giulio Romano.
Between 1415 and 1420, Pisanello was the assistant of the renowned painter and illuminator Gentile da Fabriano from whom he acquired his refined, delicate, detailed style. Pisanello also acquired from him a taste for precious materials and beautiful fabrics that can be found in his later paintings. 

Saint George and the Princess is one of the few surviving frescoes by Pisanello, located in the Pellegrini Chapel of the church of Sant'Anastasia, Verona, northern Italy. It is one of the most notable works of the International  Gothic painting.
Each night you will enjoy a three-course meal, with wine, water and coffee in restaurants near the Arena
Join our tour to the Verona Opera Festival in June 2019. During the day, tour the city of Verona and at night, the opera awaits. This tour is a magnificent way to holiday in Italy.

The atmospheric setting of the Arena di Verona plays host to an annual opera festival harking back to 1913 when an opera was held to celebrate the centenary of Verdi’s birth. We will attend three operas during our 5-day visit to Verona; Aida, Il Trovatore and La Traviata. During the day, we will explore the impact the early rulers of Verona had on the city, from Roman times through to Venetian. Visits include the Duomo, San Zenobio and the Roman theatre, and for a little light relief, lunch and wine tasting at one of the leading Valpolicella estates.

 
After arriving at Verona airport, we transfer to the luxuriously appointed 5-star Hotel Due Torri in the medieval quarter of Verona. We dine together this evening.
 
This morning, we visit the Church of Sant'Anastasia conveniently located by the hotel. This large church was finished in 1400 as a Dominican church, benefiting from the patronage of the Castelbarco of Trento for its construction. Inside, we quickly come across two stoups, each supported by a hunchback figure, one of which is attributed to Paolo Veronese's eldest son, Gabriele Caliari. The Pellegrini Chapel houses the late International Gothic fresco of St. George and the Princess, main work of Pisanello, as well as terra-cotta statues by Michele di Firenze. We then embark on a walk through Verona's medieval heart, taking in what is supposedly Juliet's balcony (Romeo & Juliet), the beautiful palazzi, Herbe and Signoria, and the elaborate tombs for the Scaligieri family who ruled Verona for much of the 14th-century. After dinner, we attend our first opera in the Arena di Verona: Verdi's Aida.

 
Our first visit of the day is to the Basilica of Santa Maria Matricolare, Verona's Duomo, consecrated in the 12th-century. Its unfinished bell tower was designed by Michele Sanmicheli. Next, we cross the Ponte Pietra on our way to the Roman Theatre which also contains an archaeological museum. There are incredible views from the Castel San Pietro, with our next visit; the Church of San Giorgio in Braida, at the bottom of a short funicular railway. After dinner, we make our way to the Arena for a performance of La Traviata.
After breakfast, we walk through Verona, passing palazzi designed by Michele Sanmicheli for Verona's leading families. Arriving at the Castelvecchio, the Scaliger ruler's base during their reign, we enter what is now an extraordinary collection of Medieval and Renaissance artworks. The Basilica of San Zeno is where we find Andrea Mantegna's San Zeno altarpiece before a coach drives us into the hills of Valpolicella. We spend the remainder of the day at a winery run by the Allegrini family, who are one of the leading Valpolicella producers, enjoying lunch and a wine-tasting experience. On returning to Verona, there is a little free time before dinner. Our final opera is Il Trovatore.
After breakfast and hotel check-out, we depart for Verona airport for a mid-day flight to London.
Rooms - Single rooms are double rooms for sole occupancy.

Flights - If you would like to fly BA Club class, please contact us and we will provide a price for the upgrade.
The flight departs London Gatwick at 1.25pm. The return flight leaves Verona at 10.50am, arriving in London Gatwick at 11.55am.
Hotel accommodation at Gatwick airport can be arranged on request.

Travel advice - Please refer the Foreign Office's website to make sure you are comfortable with the travel advice they provide for the destination(s) you are visiting. www.fco.gov.uk 

Activity level - Our tours involve a lot of walking, climbing stairs and standing still for periods of time. The historic centres of cities are often uneven and cobbled requiring everyone to be confident walking across them.
with
Clare Ford-Wille
Clare is an independent art historian. She has led study tours to Europe and lectured on European art, architecture and sculpture for more than thirty years, primarily for the University of London, the National Gallery, the V&A and NADFAS. She has also contributed to several academic guides.
with
Charles Barber
Having graduated with a Bachelors of Law from the University of Edinburgh, Charles Barber embarked on what became a twenty-year career in business at the Reed Travel Group, LexisNexis Butterworths Tolley and The Economist. Charles received his MA in Renaissance Studies from the University of London. He gained his Masters in History of Art from the Courtauld Institute of Art, where he specialised in Early Netherlandish art and its impact on the art of Renaissance Florence. 
Hotel Due Torri
Hotel Due Torri is a fabulous 5-star hotel situated in the medieval centre of Verona.  The hotel is in a 14th-century palazzo, Palazzo Dell’Aquila. There is a spectacular rooftop restaurant to take in the surroundings of this ancient city which claims to be home to the second largest number of ancient Roman ruins in the world. The Hotel Due Torri is included in the list historical dwelling-houses in Verona and is a member of The Leading Hotels of The World Group.
Featured tours
from £2,625 per person
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Duration: 5 days
from £2,625 per person
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Charles Barber
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Veronique Biddell
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Clare Ford-Wille
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Graham Harris
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Christina Hemsley
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Janis Kelly
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Stella Grace Lyons
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Sarah McBryde
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Victoria Tate
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Georgina Trevelyan-Clark
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Salvo Trigilia
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Tim Wright
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Alessandra Zorzato
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