Verdi’s Italy: Parma, Milan, Venice

October 11 - 24, 2022

With Il trovatore, Simon Boccanegra and La forza del destino at the Verdi Festival in Parma, Andrea Chénier in Bologna, Fedora at La Scala, La fille du régiment at La Fenice, The Turn of the Screw in Vicenza. Verdi touring in Busseto, The Last Supper, Ricordi Museum in Milan, Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, Palladio tour, art in Venice. Grand Hotel de la Ville in Parma; Grand Hotel et de Milan; Luna Baglioni Venice.

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.  

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

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 11 
Independent departures for Bologna (BLQ).

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 12 
Arrival in Bologna and transfer to Parma and the 5-star Grand Hotel de la Ville.
19.00 Gather for a Welcome Dinner in the hotel’s Restaurant Parmigianino.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 13 
10.00 Meet in the lobby for a walking tour of central Parma. We will see the astounding Teatro Farnese, Benedetto Antelami’s Romanesque baptistry—one of the most important Medieval monuments in Europe—and the Duomo, with Correggio’s wonderful cupola fresco.
13.00 Lunch is included at Angiol d’Or.
18.45 Transfer to Fidenza for a Verdi Festival performance of Il trovatore in Fidenza at the gorgeous Teatro Magnani. 20.00 curtain. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be provided during the first interval.
23.00 Transfer back to the hotel after the performance.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14
09.30 Today we tour the Verdi sites in the countryside near Parma. We will stop to see his birth house in the village of Roncole, his estate at Sant’Agata, and the Verdi Museum and the tiny Teatro Verdi in Busseto.
13.30 A special lunch is included at Antica Corte Pallavicina.
16.30 Back at the hotel.
19.30 Transfer to Teatro Regio for Verdi’s Simon Boccanegra. 20.00 curtain. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres will be provided during the interval.
23.00 Return to the hotel

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Parma.
14.00 Transfer to Bologna, in attire that will suffice for touring, dinner and performance.
15.15 Upon arrival including the oldest university in the world (anatomical theatre and library).
18.00 Dinner is included at l Carracci.
19.30 Transfer to our performance of Andrea Chénier at the glorious Teatro Comunale. 20.00 curtain. The cast includes Gregory Kunde and Roberto Frontali.
23.00 Return to Parma.

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 16
The morning is at leisure to attend a service at one of Parma’s lovely churches or to pack for tomorrow’s move to Milan.
17.00 This afternoon, we enjoy a special reception and dinner with The Club of the 27, the famous local Verdi fanclub, at the Corale Verdi in the Parco Ducale.
20.00 Curtain for La forza del destino at Teatro Regio. Roberto Abbado conducts a cast that includes Gregory Kunde once again, Anna Pirozzi and Roberto de Candia.
23.00 Return to the hotel

MONDAY, OCTOBER 17
09.30 Depart for Milan, where we check in at one of our favourite hotels in the world, the Grand Hotel et de Milan, where we are treated like family.
11.30 We store our bags until rooms are ready and then enjoy a leisurely stroll through the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, with a private tour of the magnificent Duomo.
13.00 We stop for a casual lunch before touring the La Scala Museum.
15.30 Back to the hotel.
19.00 This evening we meet for a special dinner at Il Salumaio.

TUESDAY, OCTOBER 18
10.00 This morning we meet for a brief tour of the Ricordi collection, then the Casa Verdi and a viewing of The Last Supper.
13.15 Lunch is included at Osteria del Treno.
19.15 Walk to La Scala for a performance of Umberto Giordano’s Fedora (20.00 curtain). Marco Armiliato conducts a stellar cast that includes Sonya Yoncheva, Roberto Alagna and George Petean.

WEDNESDAY, OCTOBER 19 
09.00 Baggage pick up (have bags waiting outside your door). Bags will be delivered by coach to our hotel in Venice.
09.15 Transfer to Milan Central Station for our fast train to Padua (departs 09.45; arrives 11.45).
12.45 Entrance at the Arena (Scrovegni) Chapel to see the stunning fresco cycle by Giotto, one of the most important works of art in Italy.
13.30 Lunch is included at one of my favourite restaurants anywhere—Belle Parti.
15.00 Coach transfer to nearby Venice and water taxi to our hotel, the 5-star Baglioni Hotel Luna.
Enjoy the evening at leisure in one of the most beautiful cities in the world.

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 20
10.00 Today we explore the Rialto Market, walk to the Scuola di San Rocco for an inside tour, and, time permitting, the Frari Church.
Lunch is at leisure.
18.00 This evening we enjoy a boat ride along the Grand Canal and then a special dinner at Terrazza Danieli, with unforgettable views of La Serenissima.

FRIDAY, OCTOBER 21
10.00 Today we offer an exciting full day excursion dedicated to the Palladian villas along the Brenta River. Our first stop is at Malcontenta, “the most beautiful house in the world” according to House & Garden Magazine. Lunch is included before our arrival in Vicenza, we we tour briefly and then have a light dinner at Il Ceppo before a  performance of Britten’s The Turn of the Screw at Teatro Olimpico, part of the Vicenza Opera Festival. Iván Fischer conducts an excellent cast that includes Laura Aiken, Andrew Staples, Miah Persson and Allison Cook.
23.00 Return to Venice.

SATURDAY, OCTOBER 22 
10.30 This morning we meet in the lobby and depart for a walking tour in Piazza San Marco, including the Basilica, and Palazzo Ducale.
15.00 This evening we gather in the lobby and depart for Donizetti’s La fille du régiment at La Fenice (15.30 curtain). Stefano Ranzani conducts a cast that includes Grazia Schiavo, Natasha Petrinsky, Marisa Laurito, John Osborn and Armando Noguera.
20.00 Dinner is included after the performance at Antico Martini,

SUNDAY, OCTOBER 23
Enjoy the morning at leisure in Venice.
14.00 Late afternoon we enjoy a lesiurely farewell lunch at the storied Cipriani.
19.30 Walk to La Fenice for our final performance: a piano recital by Anna Kravtchenko in the Sale Apollinee.

MONDAY, OCTOBER 24
Transfers to the airport/rail stations are included.