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Experience more with so much included

  • Stay in medieval Castelfranco with fantastic views of the walled old town
  • Experience extraordinary Vicenza, both ancient and modern, and the best place to view Palladio’s architectural masterpieces – complimentary museum pass included
  • Visit atmospheric Mantova, the inspiration for artists, poets and composers
  • Stroll through the beautiful gardens of Sigurtà Park and see an Italian interpretation of an English garden
  • See the enchanting riverside town of Bassano del Grappa in the foothills of the Prealps, and sample its famous liqueur
  • Tour Villa Sandi, the palatial headquarters of a renowned Prosecco producer, and its impressive underground cellars
  • Enjoy a relaxing cruise on the Brenta Canal and see the elegant Venetian villas of the elite
  • Visit ancient Padova with its astonishing array of architectural styles and the famed university where Galileo once taught
  • Return travel from a selection of regional airports, plus all hotel transfers
  • Five nights in centrally located four-star accommodation inclusive of all local taxes, plus breakfast
  • The services of our experienced and insightful tour manager throughout

Selected departures up to November 2019 & March to November 2020

8.6 out of 10  
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At a Glance
5 nights in 4-star accommodation
Return flights & transfers
Programme of daily tours & visits
Bed & breakfast
Expert tour manager
Checked Luggage
 

Overview

Uncover the unseen gems of the breathtaking Veneto and beyond: astonishing architecture, cities steeped in history with deep cultural connections, and some of Italy’s best wines. 

The mere mention of the Veneto conjures up images of Venice, the ‘floating city of canals’, but there is so much more to discover in this northeastern region. The lush plains of the Po are dramatically offset by the rugged peaks of the Dolomites rising majestically to form the northwestern border, while the mirror-like Adriatic to the south embraces the gently curving Venetian coast. To the west is picturesque Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake, surrounded by pretty villages on its flower-laden banks. Spread across the Veneto are miles of undulating countryside dotted with classically beautiful cities dating back to ancient times. Even before the arrival of the Romans, the Veneti prospered on this fertile land and many cities became cultural centres. Under Venetian rule, wealth from agriculture, commerce and the spoils of war funded their beautification, and numerous Renaissance palaces and public buildings emerged. Many were designed by Andrea Palladio, one of the greatest architects of all time and a great influence on British architecture in the 18th century.

Our fascinating tour takes us back in time to some of the most illustrious towns and cities. We unearth the spectacular past of each destination, rich in history and captivating attractions, many with ancient remains revealing pre-Roman origins. We stay close to the heart of the Veneto in charming Castelfranco, a medieval town defended by perfectly preserved walls and towers. Chosen for its location and wonderfully atmospheric ambience, it is the perfect introduction to the region and the ideal base for exploring the Veneto. From here we visit extraordinary Vicenza, one of the world’s most beautiful cities and still one of Italy’s wealthiest, celebrated for its splendid and varied architecture. The perfect marriage of old and new, this thriving cosmopolitan city is home to some of Palladio’s best works. Whether you’re an architecture aficionado or not, it’s nigh impossible not to be impressed by the classic sophistication of the Palladian buildings, which were bold innovations miles ahead of their time.

Next, we journey west of the Veneto to cultural Mantova, a picturesque city bordered on three sides by serene lakes. Known to the Italians as La Bella Addormentata – a sleeping beauty which has changed little since the middle ages – Mantova boasts an impressive list of cultural connections. This is the birthplace of poet Virgil and composer Monteverdi, the playground of the Gonzaga dukes, and the setting for Verdi’s tragic opera, Rigoletto. We visit Bassano del Grappa, a beautiful town nestled serenely in the foothills of the Prealps, where the river Brenta flows from the valley and traverses the lowlands on its meander to the Adriatic. This wonderfully photogenic yet unassuming town is renowned for its grappa, a strong liqueur responsible for relieving generations of northern Italians from the pain of poverty. You’ll have a chance to taste the tipple for yourself on our visit to one of its top producers and learn how it is made. Our insightful tour continues to ancient Padova which exudes a youthful exuberance thanks to its prestigious university, affiliated with not one, but two of the greatest mathematicians and astronomers who ever lived: Galileo once taught here and Copernicus was a student! Much more than a university city, Padova was described by Shakespeare as a ‘nursery of Arts’ where Renaissance Englishmen could enjoy the ‘sweets of sweet philosophy’.

Then there is the exemplary cuisine for which Italy is so famous, and as with all our thoughtfully balanced tours, there is time to sample regional specialities and more. Often found on the menu are fresh fish and seafood, complemented by seasonal produce. Pasta is enjoyed throughout the northeast, but more typical of the region are polenta and risotto. The Veneto produces an excellent variety of fine wines including Prosecco, which you’ll taste when we visit the underground cellars of one of Veneto’s top wine producers. For us, one of the greatest joys of visiting Italy is meeting the Italians, famous for being friendly, accommodating and possessing an infectious zest for life. Join us on our eye-opening tour of spectacular northeastern Italy and experience all the wonders this tremendous region has to offer.

Your Itinerary

Hidden Italy: Padova, Vicenza & Mantova

Price Includes

The price of this holiday is per person, based on two people sharing a twin room. Single rooms and are subject to availability at the relevant supplement. The price includes return flights, five nights’ accommodation with breakfast, all local taxes and transfers, all tours as mentioned, entrances to Parco Sigurtà, Grappa Museum, Vicenza Museum Pass and the services of a Riviera Travel tour manager.

Andrew Graham-Dixon on Padova, Vicenza & Mantova

Useful Information

Mobility

We want to ensure you make the correct choice before you book your holiday with us. If you have any concerns regarding the suitability of the holiday due to reduced mobility we would encourage you to call us to discuss these concerns. General information on mobility in connection with our tours can be found here.

Air-Conditioning

The use of air-conditioning in hotels in Italy is at the hotel’s discretion and is normally restricted to the summer months (mid-May to mid-September), depending on the temperature.

Fact File

  • Currency: Euro
  • Deposit: £100 per person
  • Flight time: Approx. 2 hrs 20 mins
  • Language: Italian
  • Time zone: GMT+1
  • Country: Italy

Transfer Times

All transfer times listed here are approximate, and dependent on traffic. If you have a question regarding transfer times please don't hesitate to contact us

Airport Hotel location Transfer time
Venice Marco Polo Airport Castelfranco 50 mins
Venice Treviso Airport 35 mins

Accommodation


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