Verona, lake Garda and the walled cities
The magic of a world apart.
An exclusive itinerary designed to experience in a few days some of the major natural and artistic beauties of the region, lying in the Verona area.
Verona is the principal land gateway to the Veneto, and is fortunate in lying at the intersection of many various climates and environments: passing from alpine landscapes to typical Mediterranean scenery in just a short time.
Verona is a concentrated blend of history and legend capable of leaving deep emotions in the heart and mind of the visitor.
From the Arena, one of the most important Roman monuments, which dominates the splendid Piazza Bra’, we encounter the enchanting locations of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet: under the famous balcony of the 13th century house traditionally known as the Capulets abode. Here we have found the two keystones of the so-called City of Love.
Our tour continues with an exploration of the mystic and religious aspect of the city, a fundamental element for capturing the typical Medieval spirit, and which is embodied perfectly in two magnificent structures: the Romantic-Gothic Duomo and the spectacular Basilica di San Zeno.
Following to Piazza delle Erbe, taking in the “ancient” everyday atmosphere, we can witness the Medieval –Renaissance- Baroque blended in a harmonious picture of beautiful palazzi which encircle the characteristic marketplace.
Our tour continues to Piazza dei Signori, another jewel case of supreme architectural gems to admire: the Palazzo del Comune, Palazzo del Capitanio, Loggia del Consiglio, and arches and porticoes of the Scaliger times.
Our visit concludes with a trip to Castelvecchio, a breathtaking fortress built by Cangrande II following the natural bight of the river Adige. Today it houses one of the best Venetian galleries, whose rooms, in addition to their artistic beauties, provide stunning views of the river and the Ponte Scaligero.
Montebaldo, Malcesine, Torri del Benaco, Punta San Vigilio
Our second day focusses on the incredible variety of the Lake Garda area.
From MONTE BALDO, “Europe’s botanical garden”, to PUNTA SAN VIGILIO, passing through MALCESINE and TORRI DEL BENACO.
An enchanting trip through lemon and olive plantations, cypress forests and castles, with splendid bays in the blue of the lagoon.
MONTE BALDO. From Verona, an hour and a half’s bus ride takes us to Monte Baldo: situated on the high ground which dominates the lake, it was known in the past as the botanical garden of Europe owing to its dense and variegated flora – olives, pine trees, oaks, oranges and palms.
After passing through this paradise our tour takes us on to Malcesine via the futuristic rotating cable car which allows a 360o view of the lake and surrounding area.
MALCESINE. A charming locality, poised between mountains and lake, nature and history, with a splendid castle of ancient origin, reconstructed by the Scaligeri family in the 13th century and later remodelled by the Venetians and the Austrians.
Our takes us along the narrow streets of the medieval centre, through the old gates leading to the 16th century Palazzo dei Capitani, and the venerable church of Santo Stefano, which dates to the 9th century.
After a wholesome typical meal of lake fish garnished with exquisite olive oil produced in the area, and the prized local wines, we depart for Torri del Benaco.
TORRI DI BENACO. This town is one of the few remaining Garda localities which preserve the ancient Roman name of the lake.
We will visit the Scaliger castle with its three crenellated towers (with an additional tower dating back to a previous construction of the 10th century) which dominates the town. In the centre we can see the Medieval harbour surrounded by Venetian palazzi, and the church of SS. Trinità, the parish church of Santi Pietro e Paolo, and the church of San Giovani containing 14th-15th century frescoes.
PUNTA SAN VIGILIO. The most enchanting corner of the entire Veneto Riviera.
We continue along the road which leads to the parish church lined with cypresses, pausing at the Siren bay for the best photo opportunity of the lake; proceeding to the 16th century villa Guarienti, attributed to Sanmicheli, with its marvellous Italian-style gardens, and finally to discover the ancient church of San Vigilio, dating back to the 13th century, immersed in the charming citrus orchards, olive trees and cypress plantations.
Soave, Montecchio Maggiore
Our three days of history, art and natural beauty among the surroundings of Verona are completed with a visit to the walled cities which arise in the area, and which, in addition to maintaining the aura of the Medieval era with its legends and traditions, boast a lively present among viticulture, tourism and industry.
SOAVE. Firstly to Soave, a charming Medieval town famed throughout the world for its prestigious white wine, then moving through the province of Vicenza, on to MONTECCHIO MAGGIORE, whose fame rests on the Montecchio family, better known to the English-speaking world as the Montagues, and their place in Shakespeare’s play: the two castles situated in the surrounding hills are thought to be the legendary Romeo and Juliet castles.
SOAVE.The morning takes us to Soave, a charming Medieval town famed throughout the world for its prestigious white wine: its gentle rolling hills, the taste of its grapes from which the Soave and Recioto wines are made, the atmosphere thick with romantic mystery, the rhythms of nature and the comportment of the local inhabitants are all priceless jewels of the territory. We will visit the Scaliger walls, replete with their 24 crenellated towers, and the castle, where we enter and view the hall of the bodyguards and the lords’ apartments.
Continuing to the historic centre along the via Roma and via Camuzzoni we encounter the edifices of greatest artistic and historical interest: San Lorenzo and the Palazzo Scaligero, arriving at Piazza Antenna to admire the Gothic-Venetian of the palazzo Cavalli and the Palazzo dei Giudici of 1375.
MONTECCHIO MAGGIORE. Moving on a little further into the province of Vicenza we visit those places which, together with Verona, belong to the legend of Romeo and Juliet.
Montecchio Maggiore’s fame rests on the Monticelli, better known to the English-speaking world as the Montague family, Notwithstanding the lack of concrete evidence that the edifices were in fact inhabited by the Montague and Capulet families, the former give their name to the two castles on the nearby hills.
We then turn to Villa Cordellina Lombardi, the most important artistic attraction in the area: built between 1735 and 1760 under the direction of the celebrated Venetian architect Giorgio Massari paying homage to the master Palladio, its main salon contains precious frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo.
Arriving in the centre, we visit Villa Lorenzoni and the 15th century campanile lying opposite the church of San Pietro al Costo, with its noteworthy 16th century relief above the door.
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