Saturday Make your way to your chosen airport for the flight to Venice Marco Polo or Verona, where on arrival we will transfer you to 3 star Garda hotel for check in and free time before dinner and the first of seven nights stay.
Sunday Breakfast today and then a welcome meeting with your Omega representative will tell you about the included excursions and introduce you to the area (see Garda Town below).
Monday Breakfast and then a tour of the lake. Garda has extremely varied scenery from a Mediterranean landscape and vast plains in the south, to dramatic cliffs and a more Austrian heritage in the north, and a colourful and interesting history. Your coach will visit lakeside villages including Lazise, Malcesine, Riva del Garda and Limone with their monuments dating back to Roman, Venetian, Scaliger and Austrian reigns and empires. Part of the tour includes a ferry boat crossing of the lake between Sirmione in the south and Salò on the western bank.
Tuesday Today we're off to Verona, a small market town with a giant history. Verona has one of the most complete Roman amphitheatres in the world, lit up at night for open air operas and other shows. There are Roman ruins and excavations everywhere, even in cutaway sections underneath the streets and buildings, so that you're almost walking in two worlds simultaneously. This was once the town of a rich family known as 'The Little Hats', who had a little hat on their coat of arms. They lived in 'Hat' street, the Via Cappello, and their house was known as the Casa Cappelletti, which Shakespeare rendered as 'Capulet'. Today it is called Juliet's House, named for the great tragic heroine. It's not known if any part of the Romeo and Juliet story is actually true, but Dante does mention the Cappelletti, and a family called Montecchi (Montague?) in the Divine Comedy of 1321. At any rate, every year thousands of letters are sent to this address by young romantics from all over the world, which local volunteers patiently answer. We'll set off back to the hotel in time for dinner.
Wednesday After breakfast the day is at leisure to explore the area before dinner.
Thursday For today's full–day excursion, if you've never been to Venice before, prepare to be overwhelmed. Venice really does live up to the hype. It's a bizarre and beautiful warren, a bunch of swampy islands chain–linked together, built in the Dark Ages by fleeing Swedish Vandals, which became the world's most improbable superpower thanks indirectly to Genghis Khan, and latterly became the numero uno of the global tourist bucket list. Famously bereft of cars and motor transport, La Serenissima deserves its name, but it also has a dark side, celebrated in its macabre Carnivale. Every time plague swept past Venice the wretched survivors struck up a new church, each grander than the last, each as awe–inspiring on the inside as the outside. Especially worth a vaporetto ride is the San Giorgio Maggiore across the Grand Canal, built by the great Andrea Palladio, marbled throughout and with a clutch of old masters by Titian and Tintoretto. We'll return to the hotel in time for dinner.
Friday Breakfast and then a final day at leisure to do some souvenir hunting.
Saturday Breakfast and then transfer to the airport for your flight home
The charming lakeside town of Garda may be found on the southern part of the lake, on the centre stretch of the Riviera degli Olivi where Lake Garda opens out after the enchanting promontory of San Vigilio and Mermaid Bay. The town has many fine villas and gardens, a small historic centre of narrow lanes and Gothic and Renaissance buildings, as well as sophisticated cafes and an attractive waterfront promenade. The town is particularly noted for its leather shops and the ever–popular lakeside Friday market, and is superbly located for ferry and hydrofoil services to other enticing Lake Garda resorts.