Verona & The Magic of the Verona Opera by First Class Rail
Prices from £1,895 per person
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Imagine the warmth of an Italian summer’s evening as twilight fades, the moon rises and a thousand lights twinkle all around you. As you gaze in awe around the wondrous Roman amphitheatre the diva takes centre stage to beguile you. Verona Opera is a truly magical spectacle, a genuinely unforgettable experience.
Journey to enchanting, vibrant Verona to be enthralled by the city’s own dolce vita, an intoxicating blend of ancient history, epicurean pleasures, exuberant style and inspirational music.
5 night / 6 day holiday by First Class rail, including 3 nights at the Hotel Accademia, Verona from £1,895 per person.
Day 1 – By rail to Switzerland
Your holiday begins as you stroll into beautifully restored London St. Pancras station. Take your time to appreciate the splendour of magnificent glass roof, then sit back, relax and watch the countryside swish past as you travel by Eurostar to Paris at speeds of up to 186mph.
Enjoy the light meal and drinks served on board in Standard Premier Class (the First Class for leisure travellers). On arrival at the Gare du Nord your private taxi transfer takes you across Paris to the Gare de Lyon to continue your journey by TGV through France into Switzerland.
You travel through the undulating Swiss countryside to attractive lakeside city of Zurich. Here you make your own way to your overnight hotel, the comfortable and welcoming Hotel Glockenhof (4 star).
Day 2 – Through the Swiss Alps to Verona
After breakfast why not make a whistle-stop tour of Zurich? Most of the city’s sights lie within the compact area on either side of the River Limmat, between the main station (Hauptbahnhof) and Lake Zurich.
The churches and burgher houses of the Old Town are clustered here, as are the elegant shops along Bahnhofstrasse. The baroque Rathaus (Town Hall), Zurich’s most impressive churches – the Grossmünster, Fraumünster – and the city’s oldest, St Peterskirche (its clock face is the largest in Europe), all lie within a short distance of the River Limmat, near the point where it opens onto the lake. Then make your own way back to Zurich station, for the scenic journey along the impressive Gotthard route through the Swiss Alps. The line transports you through picturesque scenery, climbing to the foot of the snow-capped Alps and through the Gotthard Base Tunnel, the world’s longest tunnel and a marvellous feat of engineering. You soon emerge and continue across the Swiss border and through the outstanding Italian Lakes before arriving in Milan.
On arrival at Milan’s imposing art-deco station you change trains and continue to Verona. Here you make your way to your hotel for the next 3 nights, the richly evocative Hotel Accademia located very close to Piazza Bra with its stylish and welcoming rooms.
Day 3 – Verona, the surrounding area and a night at the Verona Opera
Stroll around this attractive walled city famous for the star-crossed lovers, Romeo and Juliet, and soak up the warm pastel colours of Piazza Brà, surrounded by churches, monuments and fine palazzi, built from local pink limestone. Impressive churches, such as San Zeno Maggiore, contrast perfectly with the opulence of Piazza dei Signori and Piazza Erbe close to Juliet’s balcony. For a change of scene venture out to the Valpolicella vineyards, the Palladian delights of Vicenza or take to the waters of stunning Lake Garda. Savour the build-up to your night at the Opera as the crowds gather inside the wonderfully preserved Roman Verona amphitheatre and thousands of candles light the ensuing spectacle. The Arena di Verona provides the perfect backdrop for an unforgettable evening’s entertainment.
Day 4 – The Roman city of Verona and the surrounding area
You have a further day to enjoy the Roman city of Verona. For a change of scene you could venture out to the Valpolicella vineyards, the Palladian delights of Vicenza or take to the waters of stunning Lake Garda.
Day 5 – Verona through the Alps to Lake Geneva
This morning after breakfast you make your way back to Verona Porta Nuova station as you leave Italy behind and board the Eurostar Italia service for the First Class journey to Milan. From here join the comfortable Euro City service as it snakes its way into the Alps for the spectacular journey through the Simplon Pass and onto pretty lakeside town of Montreux on the shores of Lake Geneva. On arrival in Montreux your overnight hotel is the recently refurbished, belle époque Grand Hotel Suisse Majestic (4 star superior) located right next to the station.
Take a stroll alongside Lake Geneva and visit this elegant lakeside town which is home to the famous jazz festival.
Day 6 – Free time in Montreux – Montreux to London – Homeward bound
Stretch your legs this morning or board the trolley bus for the short journey to the stunning medieval Château de Chillon (payable locally). As you marvel at the spectacular setting, twixt sparkling lake and breathtaking mountains, spare a thought for the prisoners of this 13th century castle, considered to be one of the best-preserved in Europe.
Then make your way back to Montreux station. From here you join the Inter Regio train to Lausanne, where you change trains and board the TGV to whisk you back to Paris. Watch the rolling hills flash past or reminisce on the wonders of the past few days. Your taxi transfer takes you to the Gare du Nord and the last leg of your journey.
Here you join the Eurostar and let the train take the strain as you stretch out and savour the light meal and drinks included in your Standard Premier service. At 186mph the landscape is a blur at times, though memories abide as you return to London St. Pancras International and the final leg of your journey home.