Northern Italy from West to East – Pristine Beauty
This relatively short tour offers a great mix of history, Jewish heritage sites, culture, art, natural landscapes and glamour in northern Italy.
MILAN, the most cosmopolitan Italian city and fashion capital of the world, with its own unique charm, beauty and glamour; TURIN, Italy’s first capital city after unification, where you can still feel its royal past in its urban lay out; BIELLA, VERCELLI and CASALE MONFERRATO, 3 small towns where Jewish life was proudly thriving; LAKE COMO with its unique charm and beauty which even Hollywood stars find irresistible; PADUA “the erudite” with one of the oldest universities in the world still active since 1288; MANTUA, one of the Renaissance pearls and the unique magic VENICE, with its lagoon and archipelago and where the first Jewish “ghetto” was established.
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:
Milan; Turin; Biella; Vercelli; Casale Monferrato; Lake of Como; Venice; Padua and Mantua.
ELEMENTS OF INTEREST INCLUDED IN THE TOUR:
3)”Minor Italy”: places off the beaten path, but that are worth visiting for their beauty and their typical Italian characteristics and atmosphere;
4)Nature and landscapes;
5)World War II;
Arrival at Milano Malpensa. 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.
We will visit the central Synagogue of Milan, built in 1892 and the Binario 21 (Track 21) 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. Accommodation at the hotel in the evening.
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 two 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 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. Overnight stay at the hotel.
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. Overnight at the hotel.
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 number 13 in our “Additional activities available” here below). We will go back to Milan in the evening and overnight.
After b’fast we will head out to Verona, check-in at the hotel and start a 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. 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. At the end of the visits we will head to Venice. Accommodation 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. 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. Shabbat at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel, free day. Possibility of attending Shabbat services in one of the Ghetto’s Synagogues. In the evening 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. Departure to Padua. The Jewish community of Padua currently has about 200 members.
The tour starts 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 Verona. 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- tickets included), 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. Return to Verona in the evening, overnight stay at the hotel.
Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the Milano Malpensa airport.
Tariff per person, starting from:
|Departure||2 participants||4 participants||6 participants|
|From 1 January 2022 to 31 December 2022||€ 6,400||€ 4,200||€ 3,400|
OPTIONAL EXPERIENCES (we are open to satisfy any additional request you might have):
1) VICENZA, explore the amazing and noble city of the late Renaissance architect Palladio (night in Verona or Venice);
2) 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;
3) FERRARA, one on the Renaissance pearls, who had once a flourishing Jewish community. Ferrara also hosts the MEIS, one of the largest Jewish museums in Europe;
4) Tour of the quaint hamlets of VALEGGIO SUL MINCIO, BORGHETTO AND CASTELLARO LAGUSELLO where time seems to have stopped;
5) GARDALAND, MOVIELAND, (near Sirmione) – amusement parks on LAKE GARDA for children and adults– (night in Verona);
6) 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;
7) 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);
8) PORTOFINO, RAPALLO, SANTA MARGHERITA AND PORTO VENERE: a flavour of the famous and gorgeous Italian Riviera (night in Milano);
9) Concert or Opera at the VERONA Roman Arena or at the “La Scala” Theatre in MILAN (in season only);
10) Bike tour along LAKE GARDA;
11) Italian cooking lessons;
12) Shopping in a fashion outlet (night in Verona or Milan) OR in MILAN fashion district (night in Milan);
13) 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 LAKE COMO and LAKE 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 830€ per person. Full-board with kosher certified pre-packaged meals, throughout the whole trip.
The tariff includes
The tariff does not include
Duration: 17 days / 16 nights
from € 5590
Duration: 9 days / 8 nights
from € 2700
Duration: 10 days / 9 nights
from € 3500
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