Northeastern Italy: From the alps to the Mediterranean Sea
This is the one of several tours included in our varied pallet that retrace portions of the famous “Grand Tours” of the 17th and 18th centuries taken by the great European writers, composers, philosophers and artists through picturesque landscapes that inspired so many artists of the past 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.
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/).
LOCATION INCLUDED IN THE TOUR
Verona; Mantua; Ferrara; Sabbioneta; Pomponesco; Padua; Venice with its lagoon and surrounding islands; Sirmione and Lake Garda; The Majestic Dolomites Mountains; Milan.
ELEMENTS OF INTEREST:
1) Jewish Heritage;
3)”Minor Italy”: places off the beaten track, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||2 participants||4 participants||6 participants|
|From 1 January 2023 to 31 December 2023||€ 7,800||€ 5,700||€ 4,900|
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (we are open to satisfy any additional request you might have):
1) GARDALAND, MOVIELAND, (near Sirmione) – amusement parks on LAKE GARDA for children and adults– (night in Verona);
2) VICENZA, explore the amazing and noble city of the late Renaissance architect Palladio (night in Verona or Venice);
3) Possibility of covering part of the distance between PADUA and VENICE by boat on the RIVER BRENTA and discover some of the famous villas built by famous architects between the XVI and XVII centuries scattered along the BRENTA RIVIERA;
4) 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;
5) MANTUA AND FERRARA (1 day each): two Renaissance pearls who had once flourishing Jewish communities. Ferrara also hosts the MEIS, one of the largest Jewish museums in Europe;
6) LAKE COMO: experience one of the most famous and charming lakes in the world thatY even Hollywood stars find irresistible;
7) SONCINO: visit one of the oldest Jewish printing presses dating back to 1480, its hamlet and castle, the set of many Hollywood movies (night in Milan);
8) 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);
9) Tour of the quaint villages of VALEGGIO SUL MINCIO, BORGHETTO AND CASTELLARO LAGUSELLO where time seems to have stopped (night in Verona);
10) PORTOFINO, RAPALLO, SANTA MARGHERITA AND PORTO VENERE: a flavour of the famous and gorgeous Italian Riviera (night in Milano);
11) Concert or Opera at the VERONA Roman Arena or at the “La Scala” Theatre in MILAN (in season);
12) Bicycle tour along LAKE GARDA;
13) Italian cooking lessons;
14) Shopping in a fashion outlet (night in Verona or Milan) OR in the MILAN fashion district (night in Milan);
15) 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);
14) Go karts/Quads/Surfing or Sailing on the lake Como or Garda.
1) IN/OUT city of Venice LUXURY PACKAGE with private boat and personal assistant: € 400 total cost. We highly recommend this solution to have a private assistant and boat that will make easier and more comfortable the arrival and departure to/from your hotel in Venice. This way you will avoid the crowds in public transportation, also avoiding to walk with your luggage up and down bridges and throughout the alleys;
2) KOSHER MEALS: starting from 1.190€ per person. Full-board with kosher certified pre-packaged meals, throughout the whole trip.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
from € 2800
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
from € 3400
Duration: 17 days / 16 nights
from € 5590
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The Jewish history of the city dates back to the 13th century. The Jewish Community lived a relatively peaceful life, with most people specialising in trading and money lending. The transition of the city to the Republic of Venice in 1405, brought in a period of progressively worsened living conditions. Nevertheless, Jews were still allowed […]