- Discover Roman history in Verona
- Explore Piazza San Marco, Bridge of Sighs & Doge's Palace in Venice
- Tour the romantic city of Verona and see Juliet’s balcony
- Explore Treviso's well-preserved defensive walls and canals
|Day 1||Arrive in Venice, Transfer to Treviso||Treviso|
|Day 2||Day Trip to Venice, Walking Tour||Treviso|
|Day 3||Treviso to Verona, Guided City Tour||Verona|
|Day 4||Guided Tour of Lake Garda from Verona||Verona|
|Day 5||Goodbye Italy|
Day 1: Arrive in Venice, Transfer to Treviso
Welcome to Italy! Upon arriving at Venice's international airport, collect your bags and in one hour transfer by train to the city of Treviso. Located to the northeast of Venice, Treviso is a medium-sized city with similar charms of Venetian waterways and architecture, but more tranquility than you can find in Venice itself. There are no huge crowds of tourists here. Check in to your hotel and head out to discover Treviso and its local life.
Due to damage during World War II, Treviso's center had to be rebuilt and is now restored to its full glory. Treviso is a walled city, with medieval gates, cobblestone streets, and unique red brick and stone buildings. It is surrounded by two rivers, Sile and Cagnan, which can be seen side-by-side at Riviera Garibaldi (noticeably the Sile River has much calmer waters). Tiny canals run between houses; the city's ample waterways help keep the gardens green and parks looking their best.
Depending on your arrival time, we recommend walking around the city and the following activities:
- Explore the city's well-preserved defensive walls and its canals. Wander across ornate iron bridges along the Buranelli canal toward the point where it joins the Sile River.
- Walk along the Via XX Settembre and into the main square and heart of Treviso, Piazza dei Signori. There are many nice cafés with outdoor terraces where you can stop to enjoy a coffee while admiring the historic architecture of Palazzo dei Trecento (the town hall). Tip: look out for the famous local bar and deli, Hostaria dai Naneti, in an alleyway just off this square.
- Go shopping along Via Calmaggiore, Treviso's main shopping street. The brand Benneton originates here and has a flagship store alongside designer boutiques and luxury vintage shops.
- Visit exhibitions at the Civic Museums of Treviso. The most impressive is the 14th-century Santa Caterina church, beautifully restored and housing art and archeological collections.
- The Gallerie delle Prigioni and Casa dei Carraresi are two privately-owned galleries, of which the first is free to enter. In both, you can admire extensive collections of avant-garde and international pieces.
In the evening, good Veneto cuisine is easy to find in Treviso. Local osterias and trattorias serve hearty and delicious pasta and meat dishes. The streets off the Buranelli canal are where your senses will guide you. Walk along Vicolo Trevisi and you're sure to discover a bustling place for dinner.
Day 2: Day Trip to Venice, Walking Tour
Today head on over to the lagoon city of Venice, by train it takes 40 minutes to arrive in the center. Experience Venice's highlights with a guided walking tour. Start at Piazza San Marco (St. Mark's Square), the heart of the city's cultural and administrative district. There, see Palazzo Ducale (Doge's Palace), a Venetian Gothic palace built as the primary residence for the Doge of Venice in 1340. The palace stands on the Piazza San Marco, but don't just view it from the outside- its resplendent interior decor and priceless works of art make it a must-see for history and architecture buffs.
Adjacent to the palace is the San Marco's Basilica, originally the Doge's personal chapel. The building is one of the best surviving examples of Italo-Byzantine architecture and features a stunning collection of Byzantine art, gold mosaics, and exquisite marble floors. Your tour includes a visit inside, where you'll be able to see for yourself the incredible art and architecture it holds.
Away from Saint Mark's Square, you'll delve deeper into the heart of Venice and away from the crowds. You'll be guided through the maze of streets and canals that makes Venice so unique. Hear fascinating stories and admire the incredible views over the Grand Canal. Feel free to ask your guide for a dinner recommendation before your tour's end!
After the morning's tour, grab lunch at one of the city's many cafes before spending the afternoon exploring.
- Tour the 18th-century Chiesa di Santa Maria Assunta (also known as I Gesuiti) in the Cannaregio district and the baroque 17th-century Basilica di Santa Maria della Salute, Venice's second-most renowned church.
- Ride the elevator to the top of the Campanile di San Marco for a bird’s-eye view of Venice.
- Dive into history at the Correr Civic Museum to see art and artifact displays from Venice's history as well as the former royals' quarters.
- Go shopping at the famous Rialto fish market, located at the heart of Venice. The smell of seafood and sound of vendors vying for shoppers' attention make this colorful and hectic market a must-see for any Venice traveler.
In the evening stick around in Venice for dinner, the former Jewish Ghetto is an area with lively bars and restaurants. Enjoy a drink by the canal before sitting down to eat, and after your meal, when you're ready, take the train back to Treviso.
Day 3: Treviso to Verona, Guided City Tour
After breakfast, you'll depart Treviso and travel for 2 hours by train to Verona. After settling into your hotel, you'll head out to savor the romantic city of Verona with a local guide. You'll see for yourself why this city is now a UNESCO World Heritage site. Apart from being the setting of the most famous Shakespearean love drama, Verona is rich in history and archaeological importance.
Your walking tour will start with one of Verona's most notable landmarks, the Arena in the Bra Square. Still used today, this ancient Roman amphitheater is one of the best-preserved of its kind. From there, wander through the cobblestone streets and arrive at the central Piazza Bra, the largest square in the city and the perfect spot to delve into the importance of the ancient economic and political life in the quaint market Piazza delle Erbe.
Nearby, you'll visit the house of Verona's famed lovers and see Juliet's balcony and the Casa di Giulietta, said to have inspired Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet. However, Verona isn't only known for its romance. Continue your tour and learn more about why Verona holds such an important place in Northern Italy's medieval history and visit the former political center Piazza dei Signori.
After your tour, take the rest of the day to explore on your own. Spend some time seeing inside the Roman Theater and Archaeological Museum. Admire the impressive archaeological feats before heading over to the Castle Vecchio. First, cross the Castelvecchio Bridge, constructed in the 1350s. You'll travel back in time as you walk over its red brick and take in the incredible scenery of the Adige river from this ideal vantage point. As you reach the other side, you can visit the Castelvecchio Museum. This small castle, built for military purposes, is a lovely example of Gothic architecture.
Take note of your guide's recommendations for which restaurants not to miss for the best local dishes, and watch the sunset over dinner.
Day 4: Guided Tour of Lake Garda from Verona
Today you'll travel and spend the day on the southern shore of Lake Garda. By train, you'll arrive at Desenzano station in 20 minutes and meet your guide in the town center.
Desenzano and Sirmione are somewhat larger than other villages around the lake, with vibrant bars and restaurants, but they are also steeped in history. Your guide will take you on a tour of Lake Garda, hopping between the villages using the lake's ferry service. Admire how the landscape changes around the lake, noting that the south is much flatter and less mountainous than the north, but also beautiful.
Explore the lakefront, old port, and winding streets of Desenzano. Learn about ancient Roman and medieval history from your guide while visiting the town's castle and Roman villa. If you're interested in delving even further back in time, the Bronze and Stone Age museum in Desenzano (the G Rambotti Museo Archeologico) is also worth a visit. Wander through the center and check out the variety of shops ranging from high-end designers to smaller boutiques, and if you are there on a Tuesday don't miss out on the market.
During the scenic boat ride to Sirmione, you'll notice that the town juts into the lake on a long peninsula, making its location and views unique. The village itself is very pretty, with colored houses and cobbled streets to charm you. After you disembark, you'll visit Sirmione's two main sites, the Grotto of Catullus and Scaliger Castle, with your guide. The grotto was actually a large Roman mansion built for the poet Catullus. It was very common for patrician families to construct their villas around the lakes, as they were inspired by the tranquility of the water and Alpine nature. The 14th century Scaliger Castle overlooks Sirmione and Lake Garda. For an unrivaled view across the lake, you can climb to the top of the castle up narrow stairs.
Additionally, if you'd like to visit other villages with your guide, you can let them know. The tour is customized around your interests. Towards the end of the day, enjoy some leisurely free time to explore at your own pace. We'd recommend finding a great spot for lunch in Sirmione's square Piazza Carducci or Piazza Cappalletti back in Desenzano.
After some last-minute shopping and exploring, take the train back to Verona. You'll return in time to sit outside and enjoy an aperitivo around Piazza Bra before dinner.
Day 5: Goodbye Italy
Your journey in Italy will end after breakfast, with a transfer to the airport to catch your flight home or to your next destination. Arrivederci!