Rome, Milan & the Verdi Festival in Parma

October 2022

With performances at La Scala in Milan, Teatro Regio in Parma and Teatro Verdi in Busseto, Teatro dell’Opera and Santa Cecilia in Rome. Sistine Chapel, Borghese Gallery, Villa Medici, Colosseum in Rome; The Last Supper, Ricordi Museum in Milan; Verdi touring in Parma. Grand Hotel et de Milan; Stendhal Parma; Grand Hotel Via Veneto Rome.

Rome

This is an exclusive opportunity that delivers the finest Verdi experience possible. We will have preferred access to Verdi historical sites, and we will also have special events with the Club of the 27. These special events combined with superb art and historical tours, great cuisine and wine and the communal aspect of travelling with fellow opera, and Verdi, lovers makes for an unforgettable experience.  

Rome, the Eternal City, is an endless progression of mirrors reflecting Italy’s cultural, religious and historical identity. We spend five magical days and nights here and drink it to the lees, with at least one opera and one concert, most likely by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia under Music Director Antonio Pappano. Our 5-star hotel in Rome is the Grand Hotel Via Veneto, a modern statement of élan befitting the city’s majesty.

Our annual pilgrimage to the Verdi Festival in Parma is a trip to the soul of Italy, and also to the soul of Italian opera. In Parma, we hear three Verdi works. There are definitely many stranieri at the performances in Parma’s glorious Teatro Regio and Busseto’s miraculously tiny Teatro Verdi, but there are also locals, and although the peanut gallery at La Scala has the reputation, the Parmagiani are a tougher crowd. Yes, they can crush the spirit of a singer not yet ready for the big stage, but they can also warmly reward the deserving. Witnessing a performance at Teatro Regio is the ultimate Verdi experience—an orchestra and conductor with Verdi in their blood, singers born to sing the maestro’s lines, and an unforgettable electricity in the auditorium. This is a highlight in our year, every year. Our hotel is the central Stendhal, a short walk to all of the city’s major sites.

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ITINERARY OUTLINE

DAY 1
Independent departures on overnight flights to Milan.

DAY 2
After arriving at Malpensa or Linate in Milan, you will be met and transferred to the superb Grand Hotel et de Milan, Verdi’s city home and one of our favourite hotels anywhere, where we are treated like family. After time to check in, rest and/or explore the city on your own, we meet for a Welcome Reception and dinner at the hotel.

DAY 3
This morning we see Da Vinci’s The Last Supper, stop at the Casa di Riposo (the final 
resting place of Giuseppe Verdi) and visit the magnificent Duomo. Lunch is included. This evening we attend a performance at La Scala.

DAY 4
This morning we enjoy tours of the La Scala and Ricordi Museums, followed by leisure time to pack and shop (in one of the world’s great shopping cities). This evening, we meet for a typical meal in a relaxed setting. 

DAY 5
We check out of the hotel and depart for Parma, stopping first in Busseto to tour Verdi sites and enjoy a memorable lunch at the Antica Corte Pallavicina, still owned by the family of the man who cured meats for Verdi. Once in Parma, we check in at the Stendhal and then make the short walk to Teatro Regio for our first performance at the Verdi Festival.

DAY 6
Today we tour Parma, including the spectacular Teatro Farnese, the magnificent Duomo with its Correggio cupola fresco, and the Baptistery by Benedetto Antelami, one of the most important Medieval monuments in Europe. Lunch is included at Corale Verdi, the HQ for the Verdi Chorale Society. Tonight we hear a performance at the tiny 300-seat Teatro Verdi in Busseto.

DAY 7
Following a morning and lunch at leisure, we meet mid-afternoon for a reception with the Club of the 27 (Parma’s Verdi fan club extraordinaire), and then enjoy an early dinner at Angiol d’Or before our final Verdi Festival performance at Teatro Regio.

DAY 8
Today we take the fast train to Rome and transfer to the Grand Hotel Via Veneto. After some time to settle in, we meet for a survey tour of the city and then an unforgettable dinner at La Terrazza, with unforgettable views.

DAY 9
Following breakfast we explore Ancient Rome, including the Constantine Arch, Colosseum, the Forum, the Palatine & Capitoline Hills, the Baths of Caracalla and more. Lunch is included after the tour. This evening we depart for the Auditorium Parco della Musica for a special concert by the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia di Santa Cecilia under the baton of Antonio Pappano.

DAY 10
This morning we take a brief tour to Villa Farnesina (Raphael frescoes) and
Villa Medici before lunch at leisure. This evening we have the Vatican to
ourselves for 2 hours, so that we can see the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s rooms,
the Vatican Museums, St Peter’s Basilica and Square, and Michelangelo’s Pietà.
Afterward we enjoy dinner near the hotel.

DAY 11
Today’s touring focuses on the superb art to be found in Rome, including the
Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Church of Sant’Agostino, the Contarelli Chapel
(Caravaggio masterpieces), San Agostino (his Madonna of Loreto), and the Villa
Borghese. This evening we meet for a reception prior to a performance at Teatro
dell’Opera.

DAY 12
Full day at leisure. Tonight we bid arrivederci to Roma with a special dinner.

DAY 13
Transfers to the airport for homeward departures.