The Metropolitan Opera Guild

Verdi & The Jewels of Northern Italy

2010-10-03 - 2010-10-13

Top Highlights:

Milan and Florence have their undeniable attractions, but they are both well-trodden, and many travelers to this part of Italy miss the charms and abundant riches of the more “provincial” towns we will visit on this trip. True, we include Venice, but we will take you where you may never have been, and in a wonderful (quieter) season.

In addition to a performance at Teatro La Fenice (in its reconstructed glory, one of the most beautiful opera houses in the world), we will focus on three not-to-be-missed sights in Venice: the Rialto market, where each vendor’s stand of fresh seafood is worthy of a photograph, Burano, with its colorful homes and perhaps the finest restaurant in the city, and the Scuola di San Rocco, where the Tintorettos will leave you speechless.

Mantua is rarely found on tour itineraries, and one has to wonder why. It is an endlessly charming and manageable town, with the oldest church in all of Italy (the Rotonda di San Lorenzo), breathtaking frescoes by Mantegna in the Palazzo Ducale, the magnificent mannerist Palazzo Te, and an old town that absolutely thrives at night (unlike many other cities, including Milan and Venice). We will sample some of the incredible Mantovan cuisine and also possibly attend a chamber performance. Parma is one of our favorite destinations in Italy. Perhaps more than any other city in the north, it feels authentically Italian, not overrun with tourists like some of the larger cities we have all visited.

Parma is what you imagined Italy would be like before ever having gone. We will surprise you with superb and important architecture, predictably perfect cuisine and performance experiences that, for the beauty of Teatro Regio and the sheer electricity in the audience, are quite possibly the most fulfilling to be had in the country. As well, we see sights associated with the patron saint of Italian opera, Maestro Verdi himself.

Yes, in Bologna we will sample some of the finest food and wine in Emilia-Romagna and Italy, to be sure. But there is plenty more here that many pass over: thousand-year-old churches, a university that dates to 1088, gorgeous piazzas, stunning architecture (including not just one but two leaning towers), and have we mentioned the food? But of course, we would not bring you here without attending the opera, and we will attend a première of La traviata at Teatro Comunale, a venue perhaps underrated and thus undiscovered by those who travel to Italy for opera. There is a reason that many of the finest international stars of opera appear in Bologna, even before Venice and Torino, and we will find out why.

Price: $6,995  

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