Michelangelo is also an official Arena Ticket Supplier.
In the unique setting of Verona’s amphitheater, every performance becomes an unforgettable musical experience. An evening in the arena is not only an absolute highlight for opera fans but also for the general person. Join the 100th celebration of Arena di Verona Opera Festival and discover more about what to do in Veneto and other Group Tours to Italy.
The 100th Opera Festival Program 2023:
Michelangelo employees enjoy a night at the Arena di Verona Opera Festival
What to do and where to go in Veneto
Basilica di Sant’Antonio
This immense, many domed basilica is the highlight of Padua and it stands out for everyone to see in the center of the historic old town. Constructed in the 1200’s, the basilica features a myriad of different architectural styles and is listed as one of the international shrines of the Holy See. Several archways and intricate details frame the main doorway, but the side is 8 different domes stand out above the walls together with a series of delightful towers. Inside, frescos and beautifully colored artwork cover literally every inch of the basilica together with various gold trimmings and marble sculptures. There are also several chapels that feature beautiful Renaissance artwork from artists such as De Zevio.
This small botanical garden is truly captivating and contains a plethora of interesting plants, vegetation, herbs and trees. It is one of the oldest gardens still in existence and originally served as a learning center for the university students. At one end of the garden is a series of modern greenhouses that contain a myriad of different plant species. At the other is a typical nursery garden that is laid out in a circular shape and annexed into many small charming sections. If you love plants and the natural world, the Orto Botanico will prove to be a true treat.
The Brenta Canal stretches for many miles between Chioggia on the coast, to Padua where it turns back into the Brenta River. The canal was meant to expand trading routes and possibilities for Venice and the major cities in Northern Italy. Boat trips are actually available on this impressive waterway that takes you from Padua to Venice and visa versa. On the way, you will see a variety of beautiful houses, stately homes, and villas such as Villa Foscari and Villa Pisani. The natural scenery is truly amazing and as you pass out towards Venice you will see the odd small village scattered around the banks of the canal.
A boat tour of the Venetian lagoon generally includes the three most important islands: Murano, Burano and Torcello. Murano is world-famous for its glasswork. Visitors disembark and walk around the factories to see glassblowers manipulate the fiery, bubble gum-like material to create art. The mesmerizing process is followed by a visit to the nearby island of Burano, known for its location. For centuries Burano was highly regarded for its intricate patterns and pastel-colored houses. Torcello is the lesser known of the three, but has an interesting history that reflects the far-reaching impact of the fall of the Roman Empire. When Rome lost its power, the people of Venice flocked to Torcello for protection. The island refuge now features a magnificently mosaicked eleventh century cathedral, Santa Fosca.
La Fenice Theatre
In Italian, “fenice” is the word for phoenix. Just as the great bird arose from the ashes, the Fenice Theater in Venice has done the same. The opera house was first constructed in 1755. Before it needed to be rebuilt several times due to fire damage. The most recent calamity was arson by the company responsible for the theatre’s restoration. Unable to meet the deadlines set for the project, the men in charge set flame to the building as an attempt to avoid the heavy fines levied on them for falling behind in their work in 1996. Once again, the fenice took form from the ashes and maintained an identical aesthetic as the original. The iconic theatre once again represents an important symbol for Italian theatre. As many renowned works debuted here, Rossini, Bellini, Donizetti and Verdi chose the venue for their premieres. For those unable to stay for an evening of opera, day tours take place throughout the week and in multiple languages.
The Doge’s Palace
At the heart of the Venetian Republic, the Doge’s Palace served as administrative headquarters and a residence for its leaders. Gothic in style, the private apartments occupy one wing of the house and were integrated with each doge’s personal furnishings brought from their own houses. There were various reception areas, halls and meeting rooms, as well as chambers and antechambers for the Censors, Council and Court. Many prisons were needed – being sent to jail in Venice did not take much. The most famous figure held at the Doge’s Palace was Giacomo Casanova. The legendary lover’s life of crime led him to be sentenced to the Piombi prison. The event that rendered the character infamous he later detailed in his book – on Halloween night 1756 he escaped from the palace. He climbed out his cell and onto the roof, then down the golden staircase where he met a guard who mistook him for a politician and let him out into Saint Mark’s Square. As Casanova embodied certain Italian ideals, the legend then recounts that he stopped for an espresso in the piazza before fleeing away by gondola. After the fall of the Venetian Republic the Doge’s Palace fell into disrepair until the Italian government invested in major restorations and turned it into a museum.
Arena di Verona
Forget about the Colosseum in Rome; Verona has its own version that is just as spectacular and possibly better preserved. This national landmark is unknown to many, but it stands as a triumph of Roman engineering and is a true wonder. Located in the middle of the historic town center, the Arena is an immense Colosseum that contains literally of its original seating and exterior arches. Today Opera Festivals has been held and 2023 will be the 100th celebration.
Sitting on the banks of the River Adige, the Castle Vecchio is a hugely important structure and has stood since its initial construction in 1354. Serving as a primary mode of defense for the city, this castle was the greatest achievement of engineering for the Scaliger dynasty. The front gatehouse of the castle is quite imposing and features a series of crenulated battlements and two guard towers. Inside there is a museum dedicated to the history of the castle that contains a myriad of artefacts and factual displays. There is the fantastic Castle Vecchio Bridge that is attached to the main complex and provides fantastic views down the river.
Located next to the Piazza dei Signori, the Scaliger Tombs are a series of gothic funerary monuments dedicated to the influential Scaliger family. This family rule Verona for many years and the heads of the house sat as the Lords of Verona. Enclosed within a series or ornate Iron grills, the tombs have a Gothic design and feature a central arched structure with many pointed towers and stone sculptured decoration.
Five tombs in total sit in the enclosure dedicated to Cangrande I, Mastino II, Cansignorio, Alberto II and Giovanni. The last monument is actually built into the wall of the adjoining chapel and features an ornate coffin and death mask.
Treviso | Prosecco
Tastings in Prosecco Hills
Go for a tasting at a local cellar and a typical grappa tasting in Bassano. Drive through the verdant countryside dotted with villas and castles. Stop at a local winery for a visit and a tasting of this wonderful Prosecco sparkling wine.
Cathedral and Museo Diocesano
The five-domed cathedral of San Pietro was built in the 15th and 16th centuries on the site of an earlier Romanesque church. Below it is the crypt of the original church, dating from the 11th and 12th centuries; the porch was added in 1836. Inside the cathedral, look for The Annunciation by Titian, painted in 1517, and the frescoes by Pordenone, completed in 1520. The Cappella del Sacramento is decorated with examples of the sculptures by Pietro and Tullio Lombardo and by L. Bregno. To the left of the cathedral stands the Romanesque Baptistery from the 11th and 12th centuries, with 13th-century frescoes and a fine font. Portions of a mosaic floor from a paleochristian baptistery have been exposed on Via Canonica. Where there is also the Museo Diocesano d’Arte Sacra di Treviso, containing sacred art and archaeological finds.
Bike or Walk along the Sile River
One of the most popular things to do in Treviso, for both locals and tourists, is walking or cycling through the Natural Regional Park along the Sile River. The park protects more than 10,000 acres of meadow, wetlands, and river. You can follow the river in either direction; passing villas, settlements, even the Cimitero dei Burci. They were abandoned and sunk here in protest when the river was closed to navigation.
Set in elaborate and beautiful grounds, you would not think that this structure was meant to be the home of a retired Vatican priest. La Rotonda is located to the south of Vicenza 15 minutes from the city center and is one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. What makes this building so special is its amazing design and symmetry. Each of the four sides of the house have a portico that looks similar to the Pantheon in Rome and can be approached by a series of steps. Inside the building is a series of lavishly decorated rooms complete with beautiful frescos and ornate stucco plaster work.
Chiesa di Santa Corona
Located in the historic old town center of Vicenza, this church was partially designed by the legendary Palladio. Created in a Gothic style, the church was built in the 13th century and has a series of brick towers, chapels and front facade. Whilst the exterior is not overly impressive, the interior has a lot more to offer. Features of the Valmarana Chapel that is said to have been designed by Palladio. There is a series of artwork and frescos depicting religious scenes such as the Adoration of the Magi and the Baptism of Christ.
Vicenza, Asolo e Bassano del Grappa
The dense pocket of Palladian constructions in the small city of Vicenza transports visitors back in time. The Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, used the artistic forms of ancient Greece and Rome as inspiration for his buildings. Then move on to Asolo, the “City with a Hundred Horizons.” Asolo is surrounded by rolling hills and is noted for its charming atmosphere. Recognized for the way it successfully retained its historical appearance, it is now considered to be one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. Artists, poets and painters have been drawn to it and imbue their work with its charming scenes. Gourmands also seek it, as it is listed as a Slow Food city and a “Città del Vino” (Wine City) for its Montello, Colli Ascolani and Asolo Prosecco Superiore varieties. The atmospheric taverns tucked into historic arcaded ways serve delicious dishes paired with a great glass or two. Continue your tastings in Bassano del Grappa, a town that takes the name of its best brew.