2018 Italian Summer Festivals

August 8 – 20, 2018

Featuring the Puccini Festival in Torre del Lago, the Rossini Festival in Pesaro plus the Macerata and Verona Festivals.

Please check Great Expeditions Cultural Tours for more information.

The Vancouver Opera Guild invites you to join its exciting tour to some of Italy’s famous summer festivals with four nights in historic Lucca, one night in Montecassiano, three nights at the Adriatic coast resort of  Pesaro and four nights near Bardolino on Lake Garda.  Seven opera performances and a Puccini concert are featured including Nabucco and Aida at the Verona Arena.

TOUR SCHEDULE (subject to minor change)

Wed. Aug. 8:  Florence – Lucca

Arrival day in Florence (depart Vancouver Tuesday, Aug. 7).  Transfer from the airport (specified arrivals) to the 4-star Hotel San Luca Palace for a four night stay in the historical centre of Lucca.

Enjoy a welcome reception this evening.
Thu. Aug. 9:  Lucca
World famous for its walls surrounding the old town, Lucca has preserved its medieval character over the centuries.  A guided walking tour takes us through the medieval streets, past the palaces, the Renaissance gardens and the piazzas with their friendly cafés. We discover the main monuments of the city including the Cathedral of San Martino,  Amphitheatre Square, the Guinigi Tower and Puccini’s birth house which is now a museum.

In the late afternoon, a concert in the Baptistery of Lucca under the festival Puccini e la sua Lucca.

Fri. Aug. 10:  Lucca
Free day.

Evening boat transfer across the Massaciuccoli Lake to the performance of  Puccini’s Madama Butterfly at the open air theatre in Torre del Lago.  Return by coach.

Sat. Aug. 11:  Lucca
Morning excursion to the mountains north of Lucca where Puccini’s ancestors were from.  Visit the famous Ponte del Diavolo and continue along the valley to the Celle dei Puccini.  The founder of the five generations of musicians lived here and his house is now the Puccini Museum containing the piano, notes, letters, etc. of the famous family.  Afterwards, visit the tiny village of Vetriano known for the world’s smallest historic public theatre measuring just 71 square metres but containing all the facilities of a regular playhouse.

Evening performance of Il Trittico at the open air theatre in Torre del Lago.

Sun. Aug. 12:  Lucca – Montecassiano
Morning transfer to Montecassiano, near Macerata and overnight at the 4-star Hotel Villa Quiete situated in the middle of a lovely park, with large swimming pool.  Afternoon at leisure.

This evening transfer to the spectacular outdoor Teatro Sferisterio for a performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute.

Mon. Aug. 13:  Montecassiano – Pesaro
A morning walking tour of Macerata shows us the main streets and monuments of this medieval town.  Continue to Pesaro and three nights at the 4-star Hotel Mercure Cruiser.  Afternoon free to enjoy Pesaro, the birthplace of Gioacchino Rossini.

This evening a performance of The Barber of Sevilla at the Adriatic Arena.

Tue. Aug. 14:  Pesaro
Free day. 

Evening performance of Ricciardo e Zoraide at the Adriatic Arena starring Pretty Yende and Juan Diego Florez.

Wed. Aug. 15:  Pesaro
Morning excursion to Urbino, capital city of the Renaissance and now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and birthplace of the artist Raffaello Sanzio, better known as Raphael.  Built on two hills and surrounded by ramparts, it overlooks undulating countryside.  Urbino enjoyed its golden age under the reign of Federico da Montefeltro (1444-1482), a very successful military leader and patron of the arts.  This evening an optional performance of Adina at the Rossini Theatre in Pesaro.

Thu. Aug. 16:  Pesaro – Lake Garda
Leave Pesaro this morning for Lake Garda with a stop in Ravenna to view the priceless early Christian mosaics.  Accommodation for four nights at the 4-star Hotel Caesius Thermae & Spa Resort located by the lake near Bardolino.  The hotel is a resort with a big swimming pool, spa and restaurants.

Fri. Aug. 17:  Lake Garda
Free day to enjoy the facilities at the resort, or maybe take a cruise on the lake.

Sat. Aug. 18:  Lake Garda
Morning visit to the nearby Valpolicella wine production area including a wine tasting.

Early evening transfer to Verona and time to enjoy dinner in one of the many restaurants prior to the performance of Nabucco at the Verona Arena.

Sun. Aug. 19:  Lake Garda
Free day.

Evening performance of Aida at the Verona Arena.

Mon. Aug. 20:  Lake Garda – Verona
Morning transfer to Verona and Venice airports for flights home.

Tour Cost

Guild Members:  Cdn. $7,395 per person sharing
Non-Guild:  Cdn. $7,495 per person sharing
Single supplement:  Cdn. $1,325


A non-refundable deposit of  $2,000 per person is required at time of booking, plus insurance premium, if required.  A second payment of $2,000 is due by January 26 with balance due by May 31.


All payments are non-refundable unless space can be resold.

Tour Includes:

  • Accomodation for 12 nights at hotels listed
  • Welcome reception and daily breakfast
  • Seven opera tickets and Puccini concert in Lucca
  • Guided tours as describe in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees where applicable
  • Coach and driver for tours and transfers/li>
  • Gratuities to drivers and guides
  • Full-time Italian tour escort
  • Vancouver Opera Guild Tour Director
  • $300 donation to the Vancouver Opera Guild ($400 for non-members)

Tour Does Not Include:

  • Airfare (Great Expeditions will be pleased to assist with airline reservations)
  • Optional performance of Adina in Pesaro

For further information, please call:

Lis Dawson 604-922-8008


Genny MacLean
(Great Expeditions) 604-738-5535

Vancouver Opera Guild