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Grand tour of North Italy

“A MAJESTIC GRANDTOUR ACROSS NORTHERN ITALY”: from our tasting menu of North Italy, this tour is the ultimate highlight, the most diversified choice to please all your curiosities and to stimulate all your senses. You will retrace the steps of Goethe, Byron, Stendhal and experience the iconic landscapes of the “Grand Tours” of the 18th and 19th centuries that inspired many more great European writers, composers, philosophers and artists before reaching the splendours of the Italian Art Cities.

VERONA, the city of Romeo and Juliet; MANTUA and FERRARA two of the Renaissance pearls; SABBIONETA included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites as a perfect example of  Renaissance urban planning; PADUA “the erudite” with one of the oldest universities in the world still active since 1288; the uniquely magical VENICE, with its lagoon and archipelago and where the first Jewish “ghetto” was established; small and secluded hamlets that seem frozen in time and where Jewish life used to thrive; quaint SIRMIONE lying on the shores of  LAKE GARDA where its natural beauty can be enjoyed while gazing out at some of the most famous Italian landscapes or taking a dip into recent history ( Mussolini had his headquarters here after Italy’s armistice in 1943); MILAN, the most cosmopolitan Italian city and fashion capital of the world, with its own unique charm, beauty and glamour; the royal glories of PIEDMONT with its incredibly rich Jewish heritage ; the unique charm and beauty of Lake COMO which even Hollywood stars find irresistible;  the magnificence of the DOLOMITE Alps, by many considered the most beautiful mountains in the world.

Like any of our tours this trip can be shortened or extended.  For the latter option, we invite you to have a look at all our tours which, either partially or totally can be added to this tour.

We invite you to also check our list of additional tour options and activities that are offered with each tour at an extra cost to be advised upon request.

After visiting Italy’s beauties, if you might be interested in continuing your trip to Israel please bear in mind that we have a strong partnership with GO ASIA tour operator (https://www.goasia.it/destinazioni/israele/).

LOCATIONS INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
Verona, Mantua, Sabbioneta, Pomponesco, Ferrara, Padova, Venice, Sirmione and the Garda Lake, Dolomite Alps, Milan, Turin, Biella, Vercelli, Casale Monferrato, Lake Como.

ELEMENTS OF INTEREST:
1)Jewish Heritage;
2)Art cities;
3)”Minor Italy”: places off the main tourist map, but that are worth visiting for their beauty and their typical Italian characteristics and atmosphere;
4)Nature and landscapes;
5)World War II;
6)Glamour/ shopping.

1° day

Sunday Milano Malpensa – Verona

Arrival in Milano Malpensa, transfer to Verona, check-in at the hotel and guided tour of the city. We will start by visiting the main attractions of the Old Town such as the ancient Roman Arena, located in Piazza Bra and the Basilica di San Zeno Maggiore. Packed lunch; then we will continue our visit to Piazza delle Erbe, the Loggia del Consiglio, the house of Romeo and Juliet and the Synagogue of Verona, one of the biggest in Northern Italy with its fascinating building of rare beauty which has preserved the original furniture and decorations of the nineteenth century in their entirety. Return to the hotel in the evening, dinner and overnight stay.

2° day

, Monday: Verona - Mantua – Verona

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Mantua, one of the Renaissance pearls. Arrival and meeting with the tour guide. We will see the Bridge and the Castle of San Giorgio, Piazza Sordello (Duomo and Palazzo Ducale), the Scientific Theatre, Piazza delle Erbe. Visit to the Jewish ghetto and the Synagogue. The Jewish community of Mantua is one of the most ancient and important in Italy. The Synagogue Norsa-Torrazzo takes its name from one of the oldest Jewish families of Mantua: the Norsas. This Synagogue, a national monument, is the only surviving representative of six Synagogues that were a part of the Jewish life of Mantua. Lunch at the local kosher restaurant. Return to Verona in the evening, dinner and overnight stay at the hotel.

3° day

Tuesday: Verona - Sabbioneta - Pomponesco – Gualtieri – Verona

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Sabbioneta, a small town in the Po Valley, originally founded by the prince Vespasiano Gonzaga Colonna in the Sixteenth century following the Renaissance theories of the “ideal city”. The tour of this town includes Porta Vittoria, Palazzo Ducale, Palazzetto del Cavalleggero, Teatro all’Antica, Chiesa dell’Assunta, Palazzo della Ragione, Piazza San Rocco, Chiesa di San Rocco and the Synagogue.
Later we will head to Pomponesco, small village reshaped in the XVI century by Giulio Cesare Gonzaga, cousin of Vespasiano, to resemble his concept of “ideal town”. The village has maintained its ancient flavour with its original arcades, walls, courts and squares. The most characteristic monuments are the Municipal Palace and the Chiesa di Santa Felicita e dei Sette Fratelli Martiri. We will also visit the Jewish graveyard and Palazzo Cantoni, once owned by one of the most important Jewish families of the area. Packed Kosher lunch. Time permitting, we will then proceed to the nearby village of Gualtieri where we will be visiting the Bentivoglio Palace with its magnificent halls. Return to Verona in the evening for dinner and overnight stay.

4° day

Wednesday: Verona – Ferrara – Verona

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Ferrara for a guided tour of the city. During the day we will explore the Renaissance part of the city with its beautiful Castle and Palaces and medieval quarter. This neighbourhood conserves the memories of one of the most ancient Italian Jewish communities with its ghetto which was isolated from 1627 until the Unification of Italy in 1861. In Mazzini Street, not by chance named after one of the “founding fathers” (Giuseppe Mazzini) of the newly united Italy, we can see how the buildings and shops have maintained their original structure, we can also find the Synagogue and a big building bought by the rich banker Ser Samuel Melli in 1485 and given to the Jewish community for their institutions and which till today is the centre of the local Community. The most relevant indoor environments are the former German Temple (Ashkenaz), used for conferences and community celebrations and the Oratorio Farnese, a small Synagogue of the Nineteenth century, used for Shabbat. Last, but not least, we will visit the very recently established MEIS Jewish museum, one of the best Jewish museums throughout Europe. Packed lunch. In the evening we will return to Verona for dinner and an overnight stay.

5° day

Thursday: Verona – Padua – Venice

Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Padua “the erudite”. After checking in the hotel the tour will start from Via VIII Febbraio reaching the University, one of the oldest in the world established in 1222, where, depending on their availability at the time of our tour, we will visit the magnificent Palazzo Bo with its “anatomical theatre”, the Galileo Galilei’s Aula Magna, the “Hall of the forty” and the Aula di Medicina where the first lectures on medicine where originally given, then pass through Piazza delle Erbe, the ancient market square where open markets are still held, Palazzo della Ragione, the Duomo, Piazza dei Signori and Prato della Valle. We will end our tour in Padua in the area that used to border the ancient Jewish ghetto where Jews were forced to live from the Seventeenth century until the arrival of Napoleon in 1797. Here we will visit the Jewish Museum and the Padua Synagogue, the only currently operating in Padua (the Jewish community of Padua currently has about 200 members).
Before taking the bus to Venice we will have a “coffee break” at the old and charming Pedrocchi caffé, the best place in Padua to have an Italian coffee. Then we will head to Venice: Kosher dinner and overnight at the hotel.

6° day

Friday: Venice

Breakfast at the hotel. In the morning an early start will take us to the Jewish Ghetto, the first ever to be established in Europe. The term “Ghetto” comes from the Venetian word “gheto” which in the local dialect means “foundry” many of which were found close to where the Ghetto was established. Nowadays it is a lively and busy district of the city where we can still find the Jewish religious and administrative institutions and five old Synagogues, some of which can be still visited. Lunch at one of the two kosher restaurants in the Ghetto. Afternoon spent touring the city. We will admire Piazza San Marco where we can find the famous Basilica and the unique Bell Tower; the Ponte di Rialto and the Scala del Bovolo. Kosher dinner and Shabbat at the hotel.

7° day

Saturday: Venice

Breakfast at the hotel, free day. Possibility of attending Shabbat services in one of the Ghetto’s Synagogues. Lunch at the hotel. In the evening, following dinner at the hotel, we will enjoy a walk through the picturesque calli, the typical Venetian winding and narrow alleys along the canals crossed by many little bridges.

8° day

Sunday: Venice – Sirmione

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Sirmione, one of the most beautiful and picturesque sites on Lake Garda. A guided tour of this beautiful town is planned. When the visit is over we will take a boat trip on the Lake throughout which we will admire a spectacular mix of architecture and nature: we will be skirting the peninsula of Sirmione and moving towards the Rocca di Manerba, a massive cliff on the southern part of Lake Garda, we will pass by the San Biagio and Garda islands and proceed towards the magnificent Costa Romantica between Salò and the Gardone Riviera. From here we will reach Gargnano, a lovely village that became the unlikely headquarter of the overturned Fascist government after the coupe that in 1943 brought the Badoglio government to sign an armistice with the Allied governments. Stop for packed lunch either at Gargnano or at our next destination across the lake, the beautiful and romantic peninsula of Punta San Vigilio. After this break we will sail towards the Gulf of Garda to see the magnificent Villa Canossa, the tour will end back in Sirmione where, time permitting, we might able to enjoy the hotel spa and swimming pool before dinner. Accommodation at the hotel in the evening, dinner and overnight stay.

9° day

Tuesday: Sirmione – Canazei

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Canazei lovely village nested in the majestic Dolomite Alps which are in the Unesco’s world heritage natural wonders list because of their unique rock formations, majestic peaks, crystal clear small alpine lakes, breathtaking landscapes all of which offer fantastic opportunities for hikes and, in the winter, for skiing and winter sports. Check-in at the hotel. Free day to relax and enjoy the village atmosphere and the incredible surrounding views. Time permitting we will be taking also the cablecar up to the Punta Rocca observation deck at 3,265 mts of altitude (11,700 ft) in the Marmolada massif, where we will visit the Museo Marmolada Grande Guerra 3000m, a museum dedicated to WWI which had in this area some of the fiercest battles and trench fights between the Italian and Austrian troops. This spot offers also beautiful landscapes and bird’s eye views of the Italian, Swiss and Austrian Alps. Overnight stain in Canazei.

10° day

Wednesday: Canazei – Dolomite Alps – Canazei

Breakfast at the hotel, full day tour in the Dolomite Alps. The Dolomite Alps are a group of massifs of the Oriental Italian Alps stretching through three different Italian regions: Veneto, Trentino-Alto Adige and Friuli-Venezia Giulia. Packed lunch. During the tour we will have some breaks for snacks. In the evening we will come back to the hotel in Canazei for dinner and an overnight stay.

11° day

Thursday: Canazei – Milan

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Milan. We will have a guided tour of Milan, the world capital city of fashion and design. This metropolis, is the capital city of Lombardy, seat of the Italian Stock Exchange and is famous for its exclusive restaurants and shops.
Strolling through the city’s downtown area we will visit its main attractions, such as the majestic gothic Duomo, whose roof top can be reached by elevator or on foot to enjoy on a clear day a fantastic vista of the city all the way to the Alps, the elegant Galleria, the world famous La Scala Theatre (and eventually its Museum) and, time permitting, the “fashion quadrilateral”. Then we will take the bus to the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie which hosts the world famous fresco “The Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci. Packed lunch; dinner at a kosher restaurant and accommodation at the hotel in the evening.

12° day

Friday: Milan

Breakfast at the hotel. We will visit the central Synagogue of Milan, built in 1892 and the Binario 11 (Track 11) at the Central Station, in itself quite an architectural feat, from where during WWII the Jews of the city and the surrounding areas were deported to concentration camps.
The central Synagogue of Milan was built in 1892, rebuilt after the bombings of WWII in 1947 and renovated in 1997. Since in the last 20 years more and more Jews from the Milan community have moved from the down town area where the central Synagogue is located to a more residential area near the Jewish Schools and other Jewish institutions the Central Synagogue, though still retaining its institutional role, is no longer the main temple for worshipers. Packed lunch and rest of the day for shopping or else at will. In the evening, Shabbat dinner at the hotel.

13° day

Saturday: Milan

Breakfast at the hotel, free day. Possibility of attending Shabbat service in one of the many Synagogues of the area. Lunch and dinner at the hotel. After Motzei Shabat possibility of a pleasant stroll to the nearby area where the night life is quite active to enjoy a drink.

14° day

Sunday: Milan – Turin – Biella – Milan

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Turin, Italy's first capital city after the country reunification, where Italy’s royal family lived until the capital was moved to Rome and where you can still breath in the air of its royal past. At the arrival we will meet our guide and start visiting the city. Nowadays Turin is the capital of the Piedmont region and it is known for its tasteful architecture, cooking and the art of chocolate making which was born here. The Alps stand at Northwest of the city, luxurious buildings and ancient cafes skirt the magnificent boulevards and squares of the city, like Piazza Castello and Piazza San Carlo. The high spire of the Mole Antonelliana of the Nineteenth century stands nearby. This impressive building was originally commissioned by the wealthy local Jewish community to become the city’s main Synagogue, but its ambitious project was soon forsaken due to its enormous costs. It hosts now the interactive exhibitions of the Museo Nazionale del Cinema. We will be visiting also the 2 existing Synagogues, the large Temple and the small Temple, the latter built inside what used to be the area where the Pesach Matzot were baked. At the end of the visit we will move just outside Turin to visit one of the Savoia family’s magnificent Royal palaces, “Venaria Reale” and then head to Biella, located at the foot of the Alps. We will visit this city which dates back to the Early Middle Ages, its Ghetto area and its XVIII century Synagogue which hosts the oldest known Sefer Torah in the world, recently restored to its original splendour dating back to the XII century. We will return to Milan in the evening where will have a dinner at a kosher restaurant and overnight stay at the hotel.

15° day

Monday: Milan – Casale Monferrato – Vercelli – Milan

Breakfast at the hotel. We will head to Casale Monferrato, where we will meet our guide and visit the tiny, but gorgeously adorned Synagogue with its fully frescoed walls and its small museum. The Jewish community of Casale Monferrato is very small counting only 10 members and is one of 21 communities that make up the Italian Jewish Community Union (UCEI). At the end of the visit we will head to Vercelli where will visit its beautiful Synagogue located at the center of what used to be the city’s Ghetto. Then we will head to Milan for dinner (either at the hotel or in one of Milano’s kosher restaurants). Overnight at the hotel.

16° day

Tuesday: Milan – Lake Como – Milan

Breakfast at the hotel and departure for Como. We will have a guided tour of the city and we will continue with a boat tour on the lake which will enable us to enjoy some of the most beautiful villas, charming villages and natural vistas that have made Lake Como so famous. On the way we will stop at Varenna for a short walk through the narrow alleys of this magical village, visit Villa Monastero, its beautiful interiors and its majestic gardens stretching for over a mile along the shores of the lake. Time permitting, with a 20 minutes hike we will reach the over than 1,000 years old Castle of Vezio overlooking Varenna from where you will be able to enjoy stunning views of the lake. Paths crossing the surrounding mountains dividing Italy from Switzerland, used in the past to smuggle goods in and out of Italy, were used during the last years of WW2 to smuggle Jews to safety out of Italy into Switzerland. These are now part of a hiking network called “The routes to safety” (see point F in our “Additional activities available” here below). Packed lunch served during the boat tour or at a stopover on the lake. We will come back to Milan in the evening for dinner and overnight.

17° day

Wednesday - Milano MPX: Flight back

Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the Milano Malpensa airport.

Tariff per person, starting from:

Departure2 participants4 participants6 participants
DoubleDoubleDouble
From 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022€ 10,450€ 7,450€ 6,300

Notes

OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (we are open to satisfy any additional request you might have):

 

1) VENICE AND ITS ISLANDS by boat (CHIOGGIA, MURANO, BURANO, TORCHIELLO, the LIDO: experience Venice from the seaside and visit some of its charming and picturesque islands where one can admire the local craftsmanship and also buy the famous Murano Glass on the Murano Island and the Burano lacework on the Burano Island;
2) VICENZA, the amazing and noble city of the late Renaissance, architect Palladio will astonish you with its beauty (night in Verona or Venice);
3) GARDALAND, MOVIELAND,  (near Sirmione) – amusement parks on LAKE GARDA for children and adults– (night in Verona);
4) Tour of the quaint hamlets of VALEGGIO SUL MINCIO, BORGHETTO AND CASTELLARO LAGUSELLO where time seems to have stopped (night in Verona);
5) BERGAMO and VILLAGGIO CRESPI D’ADDA: discover these two charming towns only 45 minutes from Milan, the beautiful medieval city of upper Bergamo and the ideal workers’ village built by the Crespi family nearby their factory along the ADDA river banks (night in Milan);
6) SONCINO: visit one of the oldest Jewish printing presses dating back to 1480, its hamlet and old castle, the set of many Hollywood movies (night in Milan);

7) PORTOFINO, RAPALLO, SANTA MARGHERITA AND PORTO VENERE: a flavour of the famous and gorgeous Italian Riviera (night in Milano);

8) Concert or Opera at the VERONA Roman Arena or at the “La Scala” Theatre in MILAN;
9) Bicycle tour along LAKE GARDA;

10) Italian cooking class;

11) Shopping in a fashion outlet (night in Verona or Milan) OR in MILAN fashion district (night in Milan);

12) Hike on a trail on the mountains surrounding LAKE COMO belonging to the network “Routes to safety” used during WW2 by smugglers to smuggle Jews to safety from Italy to Switzerland; hikes  on the ALPS (night in Milan);
13) Go karts/Quads/Surfing or Sailing on the lake Como or Garda.

 

OPTIONAL SERVICES:

KOSHER MEALS: starting from 1.550€ per person. Full-board with kosher certified pre-packaged meals, throughout the whole trip.


The tariff includes

  • Bed & Breakfast accommodation in double Superior or De Luxe rooms in 4 star hotels or superior.
  • Airport pick up and drop off;
  • Transport to all destinations by private luxury minivan;
  • Entrance tickets for main touristic attractions, when specified in the program
  • Activities included in the program;
  • Professional private English speaking guides (other languages will be quoted on demand);
  • Medical and luggage insurance.

The tariff does not include

  • Flights and airport taxes
  • Flight cancellation insurance;
  • All meals and snacks are not included (glatt kosher meals can be provided on request and will be quoted separately);
  • Tickets to be paid on the spot;
  • Taxi transfers for activities within the same city;
  • Tourist taxes (by law in Italy every town/city can charge at its discretion a local tax ranging between about € 1.50 to € 2.50 per person per day to be paid at the hotel at check out);
  • Any personal expenses;
  • Additional “Itineraries” and “Activities” available at extra cost;
  • Anything not included in the package.
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Via Brecce Bianche 68 - 60013 Ancona

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