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The Magic of Italy: A Grandparent Adventure by Riverboat

Program Number: 21395RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/8/2015 - 7/17/2015; 7/10/2016 - 7/19/2016; 7/20/2016 - 7/29/2016; 7/30/2016 - 8/8/2016;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $3,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; River Boats; Intergenerational
Meals: 22; 8 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 8 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 11 - 15 years of age.

Benvenuti in Italia! Let the River Po lead you and your grandchild on an unforgettable journey among the canals of enchanting northern Italy. Get your first taste of Italy in beautiful Verona, then step aboard a river barge for a five-night voyage back through the centuries, floating past tiny villages and lush landscapes and tasting the many flavors they produce. Come ashore again in Venice to learn about the canals, bridges, lagoon and medieval streets of one of Europe’s most magical cities.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to 1.5 miles on city walks, sometimes on uneven paving stones, bridges, steps.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Verona, 3 nights; aboard MS Michelangelo, 5 nights.

Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.

Days 2-4: Arrival Verona / Lake Garda and the Olive Coast:

Familiarize yourself with the language and customs of Italy in a lesson with a native speaker. Discover sites and monuments related to Shakespeare's “Romeo and Juliet” on an expert-led walk through Verona and attend a concert in a historic venue in Verona. Visit the medieval village of Lazise on the shores of Lake Garda, with a stop at a local Olive Oil mill to witness firsthand the production of olive oil, and taste the products at a local winery.

Day 5: Padova / coach to Venice / embark MS Michelangelo:

In historic Padova, see one of Italy's oldest universities and visit the Scrovegni Chapel, host to a series of Giotto frescoes completed by Giotto in his later years. Rendezvous with the vessel in Venice.

Day 6: Sailing the River Po / Chioggia:

Journey to Chioggia, a Venice in miniature with canals, bridges and narrow streets.

Day 7: Ferrara:

Visit Ferrara, a UNESCO World Heritage Site dating from the 14th century and enjoy an Italian cooking class.

Days 8-10: Venice / disembark / departure:

Return to Venice to join a Venetian mask workshop and explore the famous Doge's Palace, Piazza San Marco, Bridge of Sighs and Rialto.


The Michelangelo cruises on the Po and Venetian Lagoon. All cabins are located above water level and offer panoramic views of the scenery, and spacious and comfortable accommodations. Common areas include a restaurant where lunch and dinner are served, and lounge-bar area. The Sun Deck is equipped with recliners and deck chairs.

Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Veronesi La Torre
  Verona, Italy 3 nights
   CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo
  Venice, Italy
Polesella, Italy
Taglia di Po, Italy
Venice, Italy
5 nights
 Hotel Veronesi La Torre
Type: Hotel
  Description: Converted Monastery, refurbished to a good standard, with modern facilities, swimming pool and garden area.
  Ship Information: N/A
  Contact info: Via Monte Baldo, 22
Dossobuono di Villafranca
Near Verona,  37062 Italy
phone: +39 (0)45 860 4811
  Room amenities: Room facilities include: •Direct phone line •Cable LCD and Sky TV •Complimentary Wi-Fi •Refrigerated mini bar (for a charge) •Electric kettle and herbal teas •Hair dryer •In-room electronic safe suitable for a laptop computer, plus outlet •Comfortable and modern beds •Thick terry bathrobe •Air conditioner •Hotel amenity kit
  Facility amenities: The 4 star hotel is a converted Monastery, located on the outskirts of Verona in several acres of gardens. Facilities include a swimming pool, café-bar, restaurant and complimentary Wireless internet connection.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: On request On request

 CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo
Type: Riverboat
  Description: The MS Michelangelo sails on the Po and Venetian Lagoon.
  Ship Information: Year Built:2000 Year Refurbished:2011 Length:361 feet Width: 37 feet Cabins:78 Passengers:158 Cabin Size: 118 sq. feet
  Contact info: 12, rue de la Division Leclerc
Strasbourd,   France
phone: +33 388.764.197
  Room amenities: All cabins have individual controls for AC and heat. Cabins are equipped with satellite television, a radio, a hairdryer and a safe for your valuables. The private en-suite facilities include a shower, toilet, sink, and are provided with towels, but not washcloths.
  Facility amenities: Amenities include: lounge bar with a dance floor, dining room, sundeck with deckchairs, gift shop, and free WiFi on board. Also included: central heating, 220V electricity, air conditioning, radar, and radiophone.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Additional nights after:  N/A

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Program Starts at 5:00 p.m. at your hotel in Verona You will be staying at Hotel Veronesi La Torre that night.
  End of Program:
Program Ends after breakfast on board your river cruise in Venice. You will be staying at CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: ATVO bus or a taxi from Venice Airport to the Mestre Train station. From there, a direct train will take you to Verona. A taxi will be required from Verona Train station to the hotel.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Verona
  Transportation to site: Independant travelers may take the ATVO bus or a taxi from Venice Airport to the Mestre Train station (about 2 miles from airport). From there, a direct train will take you to Verona (the train runs hourly from Mestre to Verona Porta Nuova station). Then you can take a taxi to the hotel.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Venice
  Transportation from site: Bus Transfer from Venice Port to airport included for all passengers booking flights with Road Scholar. If you can't take the group transfer, please take a taxi from the port to the airport (about 40-50€ per taxi).
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Overnight flight from the US
(Wednesday, July 8)
 Depart From: International Flight to Venice, Italy

Day 2: Arrival in Italy and transfer to your hotel near Verona
(Thursday, July 9)
 Arrive To: Flights arrive in Venice, Italy.
 Afternoon: Buona Sera Italia! At the hotel learn some simple conversational Italian from a local teacher to help you through your trip followed by the Welcome Meeting. Welcome and Orientation meeting at your hotel. We will gather in our private meeting room in the early evening where the Group Leader will greet you with a warm welcome and introduce everyone. We will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities and scheduled times could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.
 Dinner: At the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Veronesi La Torre
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Verona - Arena di Veron and evening performance.
(Friday, July 10)
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Discover the sites and monuments related to the legend of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet during this morning's guided walking tour of Verona. See the famous balcony in Juliet's house and Juliet's tomb, alleged scene of their tragic demise . Later visit the city's renowned and remarkably well preserved Roman Arena & Theater and the monumental 16th Century city walls and gates.
 Lunch: Enjoy typical Italian Pizza at a local Pizzeria in Verona
 Afternoon: Take advantage of some free time before transferring back to your hotel
 Dinner: At your hotel.
 Evening: Enjoy an evening performance in Verona. Your Group Leader will confirm the performance at your Welcome Orientation!
Accommodations: Hotel Veronesi La Torre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Lake Garda and the Olive Coast.
(Saturday, July 11)
 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Today we depart early morning for the splendid village of Lazise and the crenellated walls and towers of the medieval Scala Castle. Stop at a local Olive Oil mill to see the olive groves and taste the oil - an essential ingredient in every Italian recipe. Later discover the secrets of viticulture as we tour a local vineyard and taste some of the products of the region (children may taste the grape juice) . Transfer to the charming lakeside town of Garda for some free time.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: After a short walking tour of Garda, we board a pleasure boat to the town of Sirmione, from where you can enjoy the city surrounded by the waters of the lake.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Veronesi La Torre
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Padova - Embark your River Cruise
(Sunday, July 12)

Note: Approximately 1 mile of walking on the city visit of Padova. 1 hour cruise from Venice San Basilio to Venice 7 Martyrs quay

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Check out of the hotel this morning and transfer to the historic city of Padova for a guided visit. See one of Italy's oldest universities, founded in the 13th Century and visit The Scrovegni Chapel, a masterpiece in the history of Italian and European art, dating from the 14th century, and host to one of the most comprehensive series of frescoes completed by Giotto in his later years.
 Lunch: On your own in Padova.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Venice and embark your River Cruise at the Venezia San Basilio Quay.
 Dinner: Enjoy a welcome drink followed by dinner on board.
 Evening: This evening the riverboat cruises up the Lagoon to the Quay of 7 Martyrs, a short stroll from St Mark's Square, from where you can enjoy a free evening in Venice.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Sailing from Venice
(Monday, July 13)

Note: 5 hours morning cruise from Venice across the lagoon to Chioggia. 4 hour evening cruise to Polesella.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Today's itinerary starts with a relaxing morning cruising across the Venetian Lagoon to towards the historic fishing port of Chioggia.
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we arrive in Chioggia, a Venice in miniature with it's canals, bridges and narrow streets, and a well known fishing community. On a guided walk with a local expert we will discover 'Le vie del pesce" - the fish route and fish market whilst learning a secret or two from local fishermen. Later a coach transfer is provided from Chioggia to Taglia di Po, arriving by 7pm.
 Dinner: On board.
 Evening: This evening we cruise along the river Po to the next port of call.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Ferrara
(Tuesday, July 14)

Note: Approximately 1 mile of walking in each city. The riverboat is docked all day in Polesella, before cruising back to Taglia di Po in the evening

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: After breakfast, we set off by coach to visit Ferrara. Awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO, this town dates from the 14th Century & was home to the House of the Court of Este. Later it's time to learn all about la Cucina Italiana as we participate in a fun cookery class based on regional produce of Northern Italy and enjoy the results of our efforts over lunch.
 Lunch: At local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to the ship in Polesella before sailing on to Taglio di Po arriving in the evening for a gala dinner.
 Dinner: On board.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Adria, Venice & the Doges Palace
(Wednesday, July 15)

Note: In Venice be prepared for lots of uneven paving stones, bridges and steps all around the city. Morning coach transfer to Adria/Chioggia. Afternoon cruise back to Venice.

 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: After breakfast depart by coach to the port of Chioggia, en route enjoy a visit to the town of Adria (which dates from the 12th Century BC).
 Lunch: On board.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we cruise back to Venice, arriving in time for a guided tour of the Doge's Palace, symbol of the glory and power of Venice, the famous Piazza San Marco & Bridge of Sighs.
 Dinner: On board.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Murano and Venice
(Thursday, July 16)
 Breakfast: On board.
 Morning: Today we set off with your Group Leader to the lagoon islands of Murano . Murano is famous for its glass work and today we will enjoy a glass blowing demonstration at a local workshop, before joining your Group Leader on a walking visit of this island steeped in ancient tradition. Later we head back to Venice where your Group Leader's will lead you on a further exploration of the city. Choose to visit the Rialto area, or perhaps take a ride on a Gondola!
 Lunch: Picnic lunch on the islands.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon take the chance to explore Venice with your Group Leader or perhaps take a ride in a gondola! Return on board in the evening for dinner and free time.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner on board.
Accommodations: CroisiEurope MS Michelangelo
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Arrivederci Italia! Disembark your River Cruise after breakfast.
(Friday, July 17)
 Breakfast: On board
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your flight home. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please be in touch via the Road Scholar Social Network, where you can share memories, pictures, and comments. Best wishes for all your journeys.
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Are We There Yet?

Author: David Levithan

Description: Levithan makes the most of an excellent setup in this novel which places two brothers, 16 and 23, in Italy on vacation with their parents. Told in alternating chapters, the novel shows the changing relationship between the two very different youths.

Cathedral, The Story of its Construction

Author: David MacAulay

Description: In this illuminating book for middle readers, master draughtsman MacAulay presents text and innovative drawings that detail the planning and construction of a 13th-century Gothic cathedral. It's a masterpiece.

Death at La Fenice

Author: Donna Leon

Description: The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated La Fenice theater.

Eyewitness Guide Venice & the Veneto

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: Features color photography, dozens of excellent maps (including a pullout map) and a synopsis of the region's attractions.


Author: Donna Leon

Description: In this profile of the trademark Venetian gondola, Leon provides background on the gondola’s history, explains how the boats are constructed and even includes an accompanying CD of "baracoles," or Italian boat songs.

Italian Neighbors

Author: Tim Parks

Description: This sparkling memoir by the British novelist captures the travails and delights of life in the Italian countryside. Montecchio, which Parks so indelibly sketches in this favorite book, is outside Verona.

La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

Author: Beppe Severgnini

Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.

La Bella Lingua

Author: Dianne Hales

Description: Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir.

Learn Italian Together

Author: Living Language

Description: These multimedia boxed sets feature CDs, games, stickers and adorable illustrations to help kids and parents pick up a new language together.

Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook

Author: Lonely Planet

Description: A handy, palm-size guide to pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.

Made in Italy, A Shopper's Guide

Author: Laura Morelli

Description: The second edition of Morelli's expert survey of handcrafted Italian shops and products from Murano glass to ceramics, jewelry and leather.

Midnight Magic

Author: Avi

Description: Newbery Medal-winner Avi conjures the architecture, costumes and fears of medieval Italy in this action-packed tale of a princess tormented by what seems to be a ghost.

Northern Italy Map

Author: Touring Club Italiano

Description: This beautifully shaded road map of Northern Italy (1:400,000) shows the region including Trieste, Venice, Bologna Milan and Turin.

The Diary of Melanie Martin: Or How I Survived Matt the Brat, Michelangelo, and the Leaning Tower of Pizza

Author: Carol Weston

Description: Ten-year-old Melanie tells all about her family's summer trip to Italy, writing it all down in her dear diary. A hit on the middle-school market, it packs in a lot of cultural information while being very of-the-moment. Ages 8-10.

The Genius of Venice, Piazza San Marco and the Making of the Republic

Author: Dial Parrott

Description: With 112 color illustrations and four maps, the Genius of Venice presents the magnificent buildings of the celebrated piazza as, in the words of John Ruskin, the "living books of history" in this handsome cultural history.

The Italian Renaissance

Author: J. H. Plumb

Description: A well-written history of the Renaissance, its artists and thinkers, with chapters on Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Women of the Renaissance.

The Italians

Author: John Hooper

Description: Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.

The Renaissance, A Short History

Author: Paul Johnson

Description: The history, background, literature, sculpture, paintings and architecture of the Renaissance in just over 200 lively, thought-provoking pages.

The Thief Lord

Author: Cornelia Funke

Description: The hidden canals and crumbling rooftops of Venice shelter runaways and children with incredible secrets in this captivating novel for ages 9 to 12.

The World of Venice

Author: Jan Morris

Description: Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.

Venice, A New History

Author: Thomas F. Madden

Description: With authority, Madden tackles the history of the celebrated city from Roman times onward.

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