Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to Milan:
Sit back, relax, and enjoy your flight to Milan.
Day 2 :
Welcome to Milan
- Arrive in Milan:
Our 24-hour Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure. We will have use of a private coach and driver, while touring for the next seven days.
More chic than traditionally beautiful, the bustling city of Milan is a center of fashion, business, and finance. For centuries, it has been an important trading center and a prize for powerful dynasties. Today, it is the best place to experience cosmopolitan Italy.
- Milan’s Piazza del Duomo:
Spend time in central Milan’s Piazza del Duomo and visit the unique and beautiful Gothic Duomo. The cathedral is easily recognizable because of its unusual roofline, consisting of 135 spires and numerous statues and gargoyles. We will view the cathedral’s beautifully crafted stained glass windows, the treasury, and the remains of the original 4th century baptistry.
- La Scala Museum:
Visit the La Scala Museum, which houses memorabilia relating to Toscanini and Verdi, including busts, portraits, and stage costumes. Depending on the daily schedule, we might be able to go into one of the boxes and see the famous auditorium and the work that goes into preparing for a show.
- Hotel Check in:
Our hotel in Milan (area), will be our base for the next one night(s). While here, we will enjoy breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
Day 3 :
Travel to the Parma Area
Today we will travel from Milan to Parma. En route, we will make a stop in Cremona.
The city of Cremona is especially noted for its musical history and traditions, including some of the earliest and most renowned luthiers, such as Giuseppe Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari, and several members of the Amati family.
- Stradivarius Museum and the Palazzo Communale:
Explore the Stradivarius Museum and the Palazzo Communale to see displayed some of the most famous violins in the world.
- Arturo Toscanini Birthplace and Museum:
Visit Arturo Toscanini’s Birthplace and Museum. It was here that the famous maestro was born in 1867. It is a very important meeting point for music students and enthusiasts from all over the world.
- Continue to Parma:
Parma is a city in the Italian region of Emilia-Romagna famous for its prosciutto (ham), cheese, architecture, music and surrounding countryside.
- Hotel Check in:
We will continue to Parma (area), our base for the next three night(s). Breakfast and dinner will be included at the hotel.
- First Concert Performance:
Your concert performance is today. Venue options include Parma’s Teatro Regio di Parma, the Casa della Musica, and the Paganini Auditorium. Parma is also the site of one of the true marvels of Italian theater, the Teatro Farnese, built in 1628 and still an active music venue. Finally, Parma being the birthplace of Arturo Toscanini and rich in musical tradition, an option would be the Arrigo Boito Music Conservatory.
Day 4 :
Day Trip to Busseto and Mantua
Busseto is a town near Parma in Emilia Romagna. It is best known as the home of composer Giuseppe Verdi.
Visit the house and museum at the birthsite of Giuseppe Verdi.
Mantua was an important Renaissance center and is currently the capital city of Lombardy. In the 12th century, residents created three surrounding artificial lakes for defense. In addition to its rich history, Mantua has also served as a fictional destination. Romeo spent his exile in Mantua after killing Juliet’s cousin. Verdi’s Rigoletto is also set here.
- Ducal Palace:
Visit the Ducal Palace which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries by the noble Gonzaga family and served as the royal residence of the Duchy. With over 500 rooms, this beautiful palazzo contains many famous treasures such as frescoes by Mantegna. The Camera degli Sposi (or bridal chamber) is a room that was painted between 1465-74 by Andrea Mantegna and commissioned by Ludovico III Gonzaga.
Day 5 :
Day Trip to Lucca – Torre del Lago
- Learn about Lucca:
Lucca’s peaceful narrow lanes wind among medieval buildings, churches, tiny piazzas, and Roman ruins, taking visitors on a true journey through the town’s long history. Founded as a Roman colony in 180 BC, the city center was shut off from traffic in the 17th century, making it a pleasant place to wander and explore.
- Museum and Birthplace of Giacono Puccini:
Now completely restored, the museum displays photographs, opera costumes and librettos, drafts and other rare documents. One of the more famous items on display is the costume of Turandot, made according to the figure of Umberto Brunelleschi and worn by Maria Jeritza for the premiere at the Metropolitan Opera House of New York in 1926.
- Torre del Lago’s Puccini Museum:
Villa Puccini Museum is in the former villa of the composer. Inside you can see photos and relics from Puccini's life, his piano, period furniture, and the chapel with his tomb.
- Second Concert Performance:
Your concert performance will be today. Venue options include the Cattedrale di San Martino and the Church of San Michele in Foro, which is also a venue for the annual Sacred Music Festival held in the spring.
Day 6 :
Travel to the Pesaro Area
- San Marino:
Today we will travel from Parma to Pesaro. En route, we will make a stop in San Marino.
The tiny nation of San Marino is Europe’s oldest republic, founded in the 4th century on the slopes of Monte Titano. Only seven miles across at its widest point, San Marino is dotted with small towns. However, it is the walled capital of San Marino that is the real draw, with its historic buildings and lovely views.
- Continue to the Pesaro Area:
Pesaro is one of the larger seaside resort towns in the Adriatic. Beyond the pristine beaches and wide promenades, the town also boasts a beautiful medieval area with a wealth of history and culture. The composer Rossini made his home here among the castles and museums.
- Hotel check in:
We will stay in the Pesaro (area), which will be our base for the next one night(s). While here, we will enjoy breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
- Concert Performance:
Your concert performance will be today. Venue options include the Teatro Concordia, the most prestigious venue of this small republic, and also the home of the International Piano Competition of San Marino.
Day 7 :
Today we will travel from Pesaro to Verona. En route, we will make a stop in Ravenna.
With ancient streets and peaceful piazzas, there is so much more to the town of Ravenna than the superb Byzantine mosaics for which it is famous. The city rose to power in the 1st century BC and was eventually made capital of the Western Empire. Although this power has waned, the city is still of vital importance to the arts and archaeology.
- Mausoleum of Galla Placidia:
Discover the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, a 5th century chapel that contains exceptional mosaics dating from antiquity. Translucent panels bring the mosaics alive in all their grace and harmony, vivid with peacock blue, moss green, Roman gold, eggplant, and burnt orange. Visit the octagonal- domed Museum and Basilica of San Vitale, which dates from the mid-6th century. The mosaics inside, among the most celebrated in the western world, are done in brilliant greens and golds.
- Continue to Verona:
Verona is a vibrant city that has grown to be one of the most prosperous in northern Italy. Despite its magnificent Roman center and unique palazzi, the town is still primarily known as the setting of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet.
- Hotel check in:
Verona will be our base for the next one night(s). While here, we will enjoy breakfast and dinner at the hotel.
Day 8 :
Verona to Milan
- Verona’s Roman Amphitheater:
Tour Verona’s Roman Amphitheater, the largest in the world. Completed in 30 AD, this arena has been the site of executions, fairs, bullfights, opera and theater productions, and, of course, gladiatorial combat.
- The Tombs of the Scaligers:
Explore the Scaliger tombs, a group of five Gothic funerary monuments in Verona, Italy, celebrating the Scaliger family, who ruled in Verona from the 13th to the late 14th century.
- Museum of Donizetti:
The museum connects Donizetti's personal and professional history to the times in which he lived and provides a perfect collection of memorabilia of this great artist.
- Hotel Check In:
We will stay in Milan for our final night in Italy. Breakfast and dinner will be provided in the hotel.
Day 9 :
- Departure from Milan:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our Tour Director accompanies us to the airport on our final day.