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GIOTTO TOUR - Milan, Venice and Mantua 5 Days

From the enchanting Venice to Padua, the city of frescoes, from Mantua, the jewel of the Renaissance, to Sirmione, the pearl on the Garda Lake, and finally Milan, the Fashion Capital of Italy! Join us in this colourful tour!!

SUMMARY

  • 5 Full Days + 5 Nights
  • Type of tour: Circular
  • Start and End in: Milan
  • Minimum number of participants: 4

 

PRICE PER PERSON

Double occupancy in Country House - 3 Star Hotel

  • Spring Summer 2018: 1,775 € (Groups of 4 to 5 pax) - 1,675 € (Groups of 6 to 7 pax)
  • Autumn Winter 2017 - 2018: 1,675 € (Groups of 4 to 5 pax) - 1,575 € (Groups of 6 to 7 pax)
  • Supplement per person for accomodation in single room: 150 €

Double occupancy in 4 Star Hotel

  • Spring Summer 2018: 2,220  (Groups of 4 to 5 pax) - 2,140 (Groups of 6 to 7 pax)
  • Autumn Winter 2017 - 2018: 2,020 € (Groups of 4 to 5 pax) - 1,940 € (Groups of 6 to 7 pax)
  • Supplement per person for accomodation in single room: 220 €

Quotation on request for accomodation in 5 Star Hotel - Historical Palace - Groups up to 18 pax

 

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • 5 nights with European Breakfast
  • 5 3-course dinners (wine not included)
  • Private transportation in a comfortable air-conditioned van
  • English speaking full-time Tour Leader
  • Private tour of Venice city center with a dedicated Licensed Tourist Guide
  • Admission to all locations mentioned
  • All taxes and tips

Day 1 – SIRMIONE and PADUA

Welcome to Italy! In Milan, you will meet at the hotel your Tour Leader and your travel mates who will join you in this unforgettable tour around Italy.
Let’s have a coffee together, just to know each other!
Today we will reach Sirmione, known as the Pearl of the Garda Lake, about 140 km east from Milan. Its magic atmospheres were already described in Catullus' poems in 1st century B.C. Catullus was born here, and probably lived in the beautiful villa (Grotte di Catullo) on the extreme tip of Sirmione peninsula, from where we will enjoy a wonderful view! We will visit the Castle, built by the Scala family, closing the entrance to Sirmione peninsula and we will stroll along its lanes and have lunch on the river of the lake!
In the late afternoon we will arrive in Padua, called “the City of Frescoes”, because of the extraordinary range of frescoed surfaces of its buildings. One of the main series of paintings from the 14th century is preserved in the Cappella degli Scrovegni (Scrovegni Chapel), the work of the brilliant artist Giotto. A visit to the Chapel is a journey through poetry and pathos!
At dinner, look out for “risotto ricco alla padovana” served with duck and chicken or “risotto with radicchio”, a vegetable grown locally, or “bigoli con ragu’ d’anatra” (little strings of pasta with a duck sauce), with a glass of white Pinot Bianco or, if you prefer, a red Merlot or Valpolicella, all produced in Veneto!
Overnight in Padua
 

Day 2- PADUA and VENICE

Padua is the city of St. Anthony, Giotto and Galileo: here devotion, art and science are inseparable. We’ll visit the Scrovegni Chapel and the Basilica del Santo. Pleasure is enhanced with a walk in the historical centre, through the squares (Piazza delle Erbe and Piazza della Frutta) in the shadow of the imposing Palazzo della Ragione and a stop at Caffè Pedrocchi, the meeting point of great artists of the past such as the French novelist Stendhal and the English poet Lord Byron. Let’s have a coffee here!
We will be enchanted by the beauty of Venice while reaching it in the afternoon!
After some time to settle into the hotel, we will enjoy a walking tour through the back streets of Venice leading to Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square).
Before dinner, we will relax by tasting wine and savoring delicious ”cicheti”, finger food ranging from simple cheese or salami to almost any kind of seafood, fried and grilled vegetables, sweet and sour sardines, creamy codfish and much, much more!
Overnight in Venice 

Day 3 - VENICE

Today we will visit Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square) and the interior of the Basilica, a 900 year-old marvel of architecture! The church is unique in Italy for its golden Byzantine and Medieval mosaics, its intricate stone and marble traceries and exuberant Middle Eastern domes. Near St. Mark’s Basilica is Palazzo Ducale (Doge’s Palace) the most impressive secular building in Venice and once the official residence of the supreme authority of Venice, the “Doge”.
In the afternoon we will visit Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari:  this vast Gothic church is striking for its huge size and for the quality of its works of art, including masterpieces by Titian, Giovanni Bellini and Donatello, and several grandiose tombs. Then Chiesa dei Santi Giovanni e Paolo, one of the city’s greatest Gothic church, built by the Dominicans in the 14th century, which houses monuments to no fewer than 25 doges. We will explore the streets and savor everyday life in an intricate maze of ancient narrow alleyways, lively squares with magnificent buildings and meandering canals, and we will finally walk on the Ponte di Rialto (Rialto Bridge), the busy "heart" of Venice.
Tonight we will have dinner in a typical Venetian trattoria. We suggest you to try “Sarde in saor” (marinated sardines), a risotto with seafood, the typical “baccala' mantecato”, to finish with a fantastic bussola (a ring-shaped and cinnamon-flavored cake)!
Upon request, you will have the possibility to assist to a Baroque music concert in the evening.
Overnight in Venice 

Day 4 – STRA’, MANTUA and SIRMIONE

Today we will say “goodbye” to Venice and reach the navigable Brenta river, a direct waterway connecting Padua with the Venetian Lagoon. The two shores of the river are still enlivened by many attractive sites, like fancy villas, small towns and green areas. As we approach Strà, we’ll see a long wall with wrought iron gates and a neoclassic-style façade. This was once the luxury dwelling of the Pisani, one of the most powerful Venetian families in the 18th century. The building of Villa Pisani consisted of 114 rooms, in honor of Alvise, the 114th Doge of Venice and the most celebrated Venetian painters were commissioned to decorate the interiors. Also the park is worthy visiting for a pleasant walk through the Labyrinth, the elegant Coffee House, the original Stables and the 20th century straight basin.
After Villa Pisani, our Tour Leader will drive us to Mantua, a jewel of the Renaissance Age. We will see Palazzo Ducale (Duke’s Palace), the magnificent palace where the Gonzaga family used to live: you’ll be admiring immense frescoed halls, wonderful art galleries, surprising gardens and courtyards along with undisputed masterpieces in art history such as the “Camera degli Sposi” by Andrea Mantegna or the Medieval Tournament frescoed by Pisanello in the 15th century. Then we will visit Palazzo Te, the summer residence commissioned by Federico II to Giulio Romano, one of the most representative artists of Mannerism. Its multi-faceted style and the pomposity of its decorations have been impressing guests and visitors for almost five centuries.
Near Mantua is the village “Grazie” which has one of the most unusual churches you may come across. Actually, the Sanctuary has been visited by pilgrims for centuries and is rich in ex-voto and statues showings people’s devotion and making it something unique in the world!
It’s time to relax on the Garda Lake! In the late afternoon we will reach a comfortable country house in Sirmione sorrounded by vineyards, where we will have a savoury typical dinner, sipping a glass of Lugana wine while watching the sun set!
Overnight in Sirmione
 

Day 5 - MILAN

Today we will reach Milan. Milan is the Fashion Capital of Italy, so it shouldn’t be surprising that there is some great shopping to be done in this city! We will stroll down the streets of the Quadrilatero D’Oro, admiring the shop windows of Prada, Armani, Versace, Ferragamo, Dolce & Gabbana and Valentino.
A must-see is the Duomo. It’s one of the biggest churches in the world, a fact which may surprise you when you stand outside it – the Duomo sits on the grand Piazza del Duomo, and beside the immense and beautiful Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, so it doesn’t actually look as massive on the outside as it feels once you get inside. We can also take an elevator up and walk around on the cathedral’s roof!
Tonight will be our last night together, and we will spend it in a typical Milanese restaurant in the Navigli.
Arrivederci with another tour at the discovery of Italy with VITOR.
Overnight in Milan