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ITALY

Discovering Lake Garda, Verona, Palladio's Villas and Venice

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Road Scholar
Program #21311RJ
14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
If you’re looking for a more flexible schedule with ample independent time and several meals on your own, then our FLEX learning adventures are made for you.

Itinerary for Sep 29 — Oct 12, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Monday, September 29 - Depart from points in North America
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hotel Europa in Desenzano del Garda is just across the street from Lake Garda. Lakefront views, near the public beach and port, it is ideally situated close to the historical center.

Contact info:
Lungolago C. Battisti, 71
Desenzano del Garda, 25015 Italy
phone: +39 030 914 2333
web: www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; modern furniture; free wifi; satellite and flat screen TV; direct dial telephone, mini bar; safe, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: 24 hour desk service, free wifi and internet point, elevator, comfortable lobby and American bar--take your beverage out to the veranda and enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains and lake. Restaurant and conference center.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Two: Tuesday, September 30 - Arrival, Orientation / Neighborhood Walk / Welcom...
Note: Minimal activity

Morning: Upon arriving at hotel, if rooms are not ready group leader will offer suggestions for lunch. After, return to room and settle in.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Meet in the appointed room for a brief Orientation followed by a neighborhood walk to locate bank ATMs, pharmacies, stores, port, etc. Back at the hotel gather for a Welcome Reception.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Europa Desenzano del Garda

Meals Included: Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hotel Europa in Desenzano del Garda is just across the street from Lake Garda. Lakefront views, near the public beach and port, it is ideally situated close to the historical center.

Contact info:
Lungolago C. Battisti, 71
Desenzano del Garda, 25015 Italy
phone: +39 030 914 2333
web: www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; modern furniture; free wifi; satellite and flat screen TV; direct dial telephone, mini bar; safe, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: 24 hour desk service, free wifi and internet point, elevator, comfortable lobby and American bar--take your beverage out to the veranda and enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains and lake. Restaurant and conference center.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Three: Wednesday, October 01 - Explore Roman Desenzano / Free Time for Lake Boat...
Note: Uneven pavement in the archaeological site of the Roman Villa.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Explore the archaeological area and a 4th century Roman Villa with decorative mosaic floor.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: Lecture welcomes you to the Veneto and provides background information about the region's rich history. Free time late afternoon to take a boat ride to a village on Lake Garda or a stroll along the lakefront garden in Desenzano.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Lodging: Hotel Europa Desenzano del Garda

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hotel Europa in Desenzano del Garda is just across the street from Lake Garda. Lakefront views, near the public beach and port, it is ideally situated close to the historical center.

Contact info:
Lungolago C. Battisti, 71
Desenzano del Garda, 25015 Italy
phone: +39 030 914 2333
web: www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; modern furniture; free wifi; satellite and flat screen TV; direct dial telephone, mini bar; safe, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: 24 hour desk service, free wifi and internet point, elevator, comfortable lobby and American bar--take your beverage out to the veranda and enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains and lake. Restaurant and conference center.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Four: Thursday, October 02 - Lake Day Sirmione and the Roman bath complex
Note: Ferry ride across the lake, typically not rough, 2 mile walk around island, small elevation.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Walk to port and board a ferry to Sirmione. Expert-led exploration of the island and the ancient Roman thermal bath complex fed by hot springs flowing below the surface.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Opportunity to enter the Scaligeri castle that served the family's fleet; take another ferry ride to other lake cities such as Bardolino or Lazise. Free time till the next day.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Europa Desenzano del Garda

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hotel Europa in Desenzano del Garda is just across the street from Lake Garda. Lakefront views, near the public beach and port, it is ideally situated close to the historical center.

Contact info:
Lungolago C. Battisti, 71
Desenzano del Garda, 25015 Italy
phone: +39 030 914 2333
web: www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; modern furniture; free wifi; satellite and flat screen TV; direct dial telephone, mini bar; safe, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: 24 hour desk service, free wifi and internet point, elevator, comfortable lobby and American bar--take your beverage out to the veranda and enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains and lake. Restaurant and conference center.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Five: Friday, October 03 - Verona / Independent Exploration
Note: Leisurely paced walk through the ancient city of Verona

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Verona to explore the sites with an expert. Included is the Arena of Verona, Italy's third largest Roman amphitheater in excellent state of conservation. During the summer months live opera performances are staged there.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in the heart of Verona.

Afternoon: The local expert and/or group leader will give suggestions for Flex time exploration, chose among: Piazza delle Erbe; the supposed house where Juliet's family lived; the archaeological museum and Roman theater; the Scaligeri monuments; Piazza dei Signori and the Castelvecchio museum, the Duomo or simply enjoy a stroll along the Adige River. Enjoy a tasting of local wines and cheeses and a light dinner at an enoteca in Desenzano.

Dinner: Light dinner at the wine bar.

Lodging: Hotel Europa Desenzano del Garda

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: Hotel Europa in Desenzano del Garda is just across the street from Lake Garda. Lakefront views, near the public beach and port, it is ideally situated close to the historical center.

Contact info:
Lungolago C. Battisti, 71
Desenzano del Garda, 25015 Italy
phone: +39 030 914 2333
web: www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com

Room amenities: Air conditioning; modern furniture; free wifi; satellite and flat screen TV; direct dial telephone, mini bar; safe, hair dryer.

Facility amenities: 24 hour desk service, free wifi and internet point, elevator, comfortable lobby and American bar--take your beverage out to the veranda and enjoy the spectacular views of the mountains and lake. Restaurant and conference center.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.desenzanohoteleuropa.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 2:00 PM


Day Six: Saturday, October 04 - Gonzaga Family and Court Artists / Palazzo del Te...
Gonzaga Family and Court Artists / Palazzo del Te and Ducal Palace in Mantua

Note: The terrain is level but some walking in the heart of the city closed to vehicles.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Lecture on the Gonzaga Dukes and the art of Giulio Romano and Mantegna. Coach to Mantua. Following the expert led visit of Palazzo del Te on the outskirts of the city, we will be dropped off near the center.

Lunch: Lunch at a characteristic restaurant in the heart of Mantua.

Afternoon: The expert and group leader will offer suggestions for Flex time options,such as the Ducal Palace; in the Castle enter the Bridal Chamber by Mantegna. The dome is painted in fresco--cherubs seem to be peering down from the open sky; the walls depict scenes of the family.Meet at appointed time and place for coach to Desenzano.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: Free time to stroll along the river walk.

Lodging: Hotel Europa Desenzano del Garda

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: 24 hour concierge reception; Air conditioned lobby; restaurant and solarium, close to center.

Contact info:
V. G. G. Trissino, 89
Vicenza, 36100 Italy
phone: +39 0444 505 476
web: www.key-hotel.it

Room amenities: Climate control; free wifi, satellite TV; hair dryers; safe for valuables.

Facility amenities: Climate controlled structure, solarium and restaurant, American bar, modern furniture, free wifi throughout; breakfast buffet. Each floor has a common refrigerator available to guests.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Sunday, October 05 - Transfer to Vicenza / Soave Winery / Architectur...
Note: Minimal extertion

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to Vicenza by coach.

Lunch: En route, stop at a vineyard in the Soave appellation to sample the wine and enjoy a light lunch.

Afternoon: Proceed to check-in at the hotel. Time to settle in, then meet for a lecture on the Architecture of Palladio. Walk of discovery around the center of town to find ATMs, pharmacies and stores. Identify Palladian themes discussed in the lecture.

Dinner: Dinner suggestions given on site, some might select the local specialty Baccala' alla Vicentina, cod fish baked in the style of Vicenza.

Evening: Stroll in the city park adjacent to the hotel. This area of the Veneto produces Grappa, the Italian equivalent of Schnapps. Some find the liquor strong, but you can try a small glass at shops in town.

Lodging: Key Hotel Vicenza

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: 24 hour concierge reception; Air conditioned lobby; restaurant and solarium, close to center.

Contact info:
V. G. G. Trissino, 89
Vicenza, 36100 Italy
phone: +39 0444 505 476
web: www.key-hotel.it

Room amenities: Climate control; free wifi, satellite TV; hair dryers; safe for valuables.

Facility amenities: Climate controlled structure, solarium and restaurant, American bar, modern furniture, free wifi throughout; breakfast buffet. Each floor has a common refrigerator available to guests.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Monday, October 06 - Palladian Palazzi \ Duomo
Note: Light walking, Vicenza center is a pedestrian zone over a slight rise in elevation.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A walk of discovery in Vicenza explores some of the public buildings and palazzi designed by Palladio.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Lodging: Key Hotel Vicenza

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Full Service Hotel

Description: 24 hour concierge reception; Air conditioned lobby; restaurant and solarium, close to center.

Contact info:
V. G. G. Trissino, 89
Vicenza, 36100 Italy
phone: +39 0444 505 476
web: www.key-hotel.it

Room amenities: Climate control; free wifi, satellite TV; hair dryers; safe for valuables.

Facility amenities: Climate controlled structure, solarium and restaurant, American bar, modern furniture, free wifi throughout; breakfast buffet. Each floor has a common refrigerator available to guests.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Tuesday, October 07 - Discover Vicenza / Teatro Olimpico
Note: Minimal walk in town. Find shelter from the sun or rain under the porticoes.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Expert-led visit to Palladio's Teatro Olimpico, an indoor theater that takes its inspiration from the Greek theaters typically built on the side of a hill. It is decorated with sculptures and the vanishing perspective gives the illusion of depth.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Use your map to explore other Palladian villas and palaces in town. Find the road named after Della Porta, the man who wrote the first version of the story of Romeo and Juliet.

Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in Piazza Castello.

Lodging: Key Hotel Vicenza

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: This small, family run hotel is ideally situated in the quiet residential "Salute" neighborhood of Venice, across the Grand Canal and one vaporetto stop from St. Mark's Square. The Guggenheim Museum is right around the corner. Please note the rooms assigned in your program are exclusively in the main house and 3 star annex, not in the one-star Messner B&B, part of the same complex.

Contact info:
Madonna della Salute, 216
Venice, NA 30123 Italy
phone: +39 041 5227443
web: www.hotelmessner.it

Room amenities: Every room has private bathroom, air conditioning, satellite TV, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi connection, safe for valuables.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: varies by season
To book additional nights at the Hotel Messner contact the hotel’s online reservation system at www.hotelmessner.it. Indicate that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Ten: Wednesday, October 08 - Transfer to Venice by Boat down the Brenta Canal ...
Transfer to Venice by Boat down the Brenta Canal / Palladio's Villa Rotonda

Note: Leisure ride on a passenger ferry boat with minimal walking on estates with Palladian Villas.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. Deposit your checked luggage at the hotel; it will be transferred to the hotel in Venice, making the canal ferry ride more enjoyable. Instructions about the luggage transfer will be explained more fully on site.

Morning: Board coach to the "Rotonda" perhaps Palladio's most famous design for an expert-led visit of the interior. Reboard coach to Oriago along the Brenta Canal.

Lunch: Lunch en route to Oriago, the dock for the ferry.

Afternoon: After lunch you will board the Burchiello Ferry for a half-day cruise along the Brenta Canal on into Venice. The boat stops at the patrician Palladian Villa Foscari a.k.a. La Malcontenta for an expert-led visit. You will notice also other villas where wealthy noble Venetians built their sumptuous retreats. Passing through a few locks, one will notice the drop in elevation to reach the Adriatic Sea.

Dinner: The ferry is scheduled to dock near the Bridge of Sighs around 6:30 P, from there you will board a Vaporetto city-bus boat to the hotel where dinner will be waiting for you. Check into your room for the evening.

Lodging: Hotel Messner

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: This small, family run hotel is ideally situated in the quiet residential "Salute" neighborhood of Venice, across the Grand Canal and one vaporetto stop from St. Mark's Square. The Guggenheim Museum is right around the corner. Please note the rooms assigned in your program are exclusively in the main house and 3 star annex, not in the one-star Messner B&B, part of the same complex.

Contact info:
Madonna della Salute, 216
Venice, NA 30123 Italy
phone: +39 041 5227443
web: www.hotelmessner.it

Room amenities: Every room has private bathroom, air conditioning, satellite TV, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi connection, safe for valuables.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: varies by season
To book additional nights at the Hotel Messner contact the hotel’s online reservation system at www.hotelmessner.it. Indicate that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Eleven: Thursday, October 09 - Welcome to Venice / Neighborhood Walk. / Glass bl...
Note: Use your vaporetto pass to get to stops along the Grand Canal. Visiting Venice sites involves lots of walking and crossing bridges that span minor canals.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast is served buffet style at the hotel.

Morning: Illustrated lecture Daily Life in Historic Venice. Neighborhood walk in the quiet Dorsoduro district. Vaporetto to Murano.

Lunch: Lunch at a trattoria in Murano.

Afternoon: Observe an artisan produce items of Venetian glass. Followed by free time to continue to Burano, where Venetian lace is crafted or return to the main islands to visit one of the museums, e.g. Peggy Guggenheim or Accademia.

Dinner: Suggestions will be given on site for local restaurants.

Lodging: Hotel Messner

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: This small, family run hotel is ideally situated in the quiet residential "Salute" neighborhood of Venice, across the Grand Canal and one vaporetto stop from St. Mark's Square. The Guggenheim Museum is right around the corner. Please note the rooms assigned in your program are exclusively in the main house and 3 star annex, not in the one-star Messner B&B, part of the same complex.

Contact info:
Madonna della Salute, 216
Venice, NA 30123 Italy
phone: +39 041 5227443
web: www.hotelmessner.it

Room amenities: Every room has private bathroom, air conditioning, satellite TV, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi connection, safe for valuables.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: varies by season
To book additional nights at the Hotel Messner contact the hotel’s online reservation system at www.hotelmessner.it. Indicate that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Twelve: Friday, October 10 - Saint Mark's Square, Cathedral / Doge's Palace / ...
Saint Mark's Square, Cathedral / Doge's Palace / Walk over the Bridge of Sighs / free time / Musical Performance

Note: Periods of standing in the Doge's Palace as the local expert expounds on the history of the Venetian Republic through its art. A few flights of stairs at the historic site.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast is served buffet style at the hotel.

Morning: Expert-led visit to the Doge's Palace, where you will learn about Venetian history through the art depicted in the paintings. Walk over the Bridge of Sighs, so named because those who were judged guilty passed over it to the prisons and sighed at seeing the sun and sky for the last time. The expert continues the visit to the Basilica of St. Mark's, Venice's patron saint. Admire the more than 86,000 sq. ft. of mosaics.

Lunch: Lunch on your own, suggestions given on site.

Afternoon: Free time to explore other areas of the city. The ticket to the Doge's Palace is valid in other museums, such as the Correr, and others around Piazza San Marco. Explore the market area of the Rialto Bridge.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Venice is a city of music, consider that Monteverdi, Mozart, Vivaldi lived in Venice, Wagner even died there. There are many ensembles and musical performances every night. We will arrange to get tickets for an instrumental (classical music) or vocal recital (opera arias).

Lodging: Hotel Messner

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Three-Star Hotel

Description: This small, family run hotel is ideally situated in the quiet residential "Salute" neighborhood of Venice, across the Grand Canal and one vaporetto stop from St. Mark's Square. The Guggenheim Museum is right around the corner. Please note the rooms assigned in your program are exclusively in the main house and 3 star annex, not in the one-star Messner B&B, part of the same complex.

Contact info:
Madonna della Salute, 216
Venice, NA 30123 Italy
phone: +39 041 5227443
web: www.hotelmessner.it

Room amenities: Every room has private bathroom, air conditioning, satellite TV, hair dryer, free Wi-Fi connection, safe for valuables.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Additional nights after: varies by season
To book additional nights at the Hotel Messner contact the hotel’s online reservation system at www.hotelmessner.it. Indicate that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check out time: 10:00 AM

Day Thirteen: Saturday, October 11 - Architectural Treasures of Venice / Gondola Ride ...
Architectural Treasures of Venice / Gondola Ride / Palladio in Venice / Farewell Dinner

Note: Leisurely walk around the city. Accept assistance from gondolier as he helps you into the gondola.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast is served buffet style at the hotel.

Morning: Learn about the Architectural Treasures of Venice. After a short break, a gondola ride through the back channels.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: At the appointed time, meet to the expert to explore other Palladian buildings in Venice. Free time to get lost in the labyrinth that is Venice.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Messner

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Fourteen: Sunday, October 12 - Departure day / Taxi boat ride to the Airport
Note: Taxi boat drops you off at the airport dock, you will need to handle your luggage from there to the terminal. It is an 8 minute walk on a path with an overhead canopy. At times one can find a luggage cart at the dock, utilize a coin to free the cart, it is returned once you click it to other carts.

Breakfast: Continental breakfast is served buffet style at the hotel. For early departures, a sack breakfast will be provided.

Morning: Transfer to the airport by taxi boat, luggage and you. Early morning flights require ample time prior to check-in, consider that it takes about 40 minutes from the hotel to the airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
26 meals: 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 7 dinners
4 Expert-led lectures
17 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.2
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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