Overtures of Operatic Italy

  • Sample Itinerary
  • Experiences
  • Pricing
  • Featured Hotels
  • Custom Quote

Let Italy’s fine opera traditions inspire you while experiencing the great musical heritage of Milan, Cremona, Mantua and Verona. Appreciate the sonic majesty of the renowned opera houses of La Scala and the Arena di Verona, journey to Verdi’s birthplace, delve into Mantua’s illustrious Mozart legacy and visit Stradivarian’s Cremona where you’ll examine its rich violin-making customs.

Sample Itinerary

Day 1

Upon arrival in Milan be greeted by your private chauffeur and be transported to your deluxe four-star boutique hotel located in the historic core of the city. Be joined by a resident opera expert for an insider’s look at La Scala Opera House and its Ansaldo workshops, where carpenters and artists gather daily to build the dreamlike sets of La Scala’s legendary operatic productions. Enjoy a few hours to explore the famous Vittorio Emanuele II Galleria or the city’s gothic Duomo at your leisure. In the evening enjoy an elegant dinner at a historic Milanese eatery where you’ll sample the city’s signature dishes of ossobucco and cotoletta alla Mianese.

Day 2

Admire Milan’s most revered artistic treasures including the illustrious “Last Supper” by Leonardo Da Vinci and the Pinacoteca Brera gallery with a local art expert. Stop for lunch at a revered trat­toria in the bohemian neighborhood of Brera and indulge on regional Lombardian fare. Enjoy an afternoon on your own to shop in Milan’s premiere designer fashion district, the quadrilatero della moda, or relax in the city’s grandiose park, Parco Sempione. In the evening attend a stunning performance at Teatro Alla Scala, viewed from your premium stall or box seats. *Please note that CountryBred will design your itinerary to include seasonal opera performances. Specific and/or multiple performances can be included upon request.

Day 3

Depart Milan via private chauffeur for operatic composer Giuseppe Verdi’s birth home in Roncole Verdi and admire the 19th century organ of his childhood. With your local guide, make your way to Busseto for a tour of Verdi’s villa and Teatro Verdi, the opera house built as an homage to the legendary composer. Enjoy lunch at a historic osteria frequented often by the master himself. In the early evening make your way to Cremona, the sophisticated birthplace of master luthier Stradivari and operatic legend Monteverdi. Arrive at your deluxe retreat that was once a Roman fort turned 17th century Benedictine monastery. Relax in the inviting sophistication of your hotel before learning the secrets of making the region’s signature pasta dishes with a local food expert. After your cooking lesson, dine on your delicious creations al fresco.

Day 4

Spend the day exploring Cremona, starting with an intimate musical performance played on Stradivarius violins. Afterward, tour the Stradivarius museum with a local expert to study some of his most prized violin masterpieces, then make your way to a present day luthier’s workshop to learn the art of crafting the perfect violin. Next, stop for lunch at a locally favored eatery and sample the region’s famed Mostarda Cremonese. Enjoy the rest of the day at your own pace, perusing the city’s elegant shops and cafes before returning back to your countryside retreat.

Day 5

Depart Cremona via private car and driver for Mantua, an ideal Renaissance city perfectly preserved in time by the masterful architecture of Giulio Romano and the painted works of Andrea Mantegna. Settle in to your 12th century medieval tower converted into luxury suites and owned by one of Baldesar Castiglione’s descendants, then embark on a walking tour with your resident expert of this UNESCO heritage site. Visit the Ducal Palace of the noble Gonzaga family with its lush interior gardens and grotte, before touring Mantua’s esteemed Teatro Scientifico Bibiena, which in 1770 hosted one of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s earliest concerts. Afterward, stop for a lunch of typical risotto mantovano. Depart Mantua by chauffeur for the UNESCO heritage city of Verona, noted for its epic influence on the fine arts for centuries. Settle into your chic boutique hotel situated in the historic center of the city, just minutes from the famed Arena di Verona.

Day 6

Be greeted at your hotel by a local art expert and depart for a private tour of the beautiful Giardini Giusti. Afterward, embark on a walking tour of the city that includes the Piazza dei Si­gnori, the Balcone di Giuliet­ta and Ponte di Scaligero, among other unique points of interest. Enjoy the afternoon at your leisure to explore the city’s romantic promenades and artisanal shops. In the evening, savor an elegant dinner of local Veronese specialties before relishing an opera performance at Verona’s open air Arena with exclusive poltronissime seats. *Please note that CountryBred will design your itinerary to include seasonal opera performances. Specific and/or multiple performances can be included upon request.

Day 7

Depart Verona via private chauffeur for your return flight home or the next leg of your trip.

Experiences We Recommend

  • Private behind the stage visit to Teatro Alla Scala Opera House with music expert with in-depth look at sets
  • Guided tour of the Ansaldo set building workshop
  • Exclusive opera performance with premium box or stall seats
  • Art history tour of Milan including reserved visit to Da Vinci's Last Supper and the Pinacoteca Brera
  • Privately guided visit of Giuseppe Verdi's villa and Teatro Verdi in Busseto
  • Musical performance showcasing historic Stradivarius violins
  • Inside look at master luthier workshop in Cremona
  • History tour of the Gonzaga's family's palazzo ducale in Mantua
  • Architecture focused visit of Mantegna's Palazzo del Te
  • Guided exploration of Verona's Giusti Gardens
  • Exclusive opera performance at the open air Arena di Verona


The minimum trip length for a CountryBred Encounter is 5 Days/4 Nights

Pricing for our Italy Encounters begins at:

  • $850-$1,000/per person, per day* based on double occupancy and a travel party of two
Small group pricing available for travel parties of four or more

*The final price of your custom tour will be determined by your travel party size, departure dates, trip length, amount of meals included, percentage of guided time requested, cities chosen in your itinerary and signature CountryBred excursions selected. This sample itinerary can also be crafted for solo travelers.

Encounters Include

  • Stays at five & four-star boutique luxury hotels
  • Chauffeured transport for touring & transfers
  • Private touring with professional local guides
  • Engaging activities led by cultural experts
  • Signature experiences with insider access
  • Regionally authentic dining
  • Traveler Welcome Package
  • Taxes & base gratuities

Read Client Reviews

  • Phyllis L.

    Operatic Grand Tour of Italy
    "We just returned from a flawlessly planned custom Overtures of Operatic Italy tour for grandmother and teenage granddaughter. And, everything was as planned and exceptional."
  • Barbara R.

    Getaway to Tuscany and Northern Italy
    CountryBred thought of every detail for our trip. We didn't have to think about or worry about anything because they had it all covered by professionals every step of the way. From the chauffeurs, to the private boats, to the ambassadors who were extremely knowledgeable and spoke good English, to the amazing hotels, to the selection of restaurants and wines...WOW!
  • Paul B.

    Gourmet Emilia-Romagna and Veneto
    The trip overall was amazing and the logistics were executed flawlessly which allowed for a level of relaxation and unpretentious luxury that resulted in a truly memorable vacation.

Crafting the Experience

Experiential travel takes time, passion and local ingredients to make something truly special.

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We turn travel inspiration into unforgettable journeys. Begin the trip design process by filling out the form below and a CountryBred specialist will contact you to get your next great adventure underway.


  • CountryBred Encounters begin at $750-$1,000/per person, per day
  • The minimum trip length for a CountryBred Encounter is 5 Days/4 Nights
  • All CountryBred Encounters are land touring experiences only and do not include airfare
  • Groups of four or more are eligible for small group pricing


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