Trip Highlights

Explore “fair Verona,” the Italian town made famous by Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Founded in the 1st century B.C., Verona has long been a favorite retreat for travelers, including Romans who rested here before crossing the Alps. Spend seven nights at a first-class hotel and venture out to explore a family-owned winery in Valpolicella; admire beautiful Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake; and sip grappa in the foothills of the Alps. In Vicenza, admire Palladio’s architectural genius and see the famous Teatro Olimpico. Zip to Venice on a high-speed train, cruise Venice’s Grand Canal and visit St. Mark’s Square, St. Mark’s Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. In Padua, see Italy’s largest town square; and Giotto’s famous Renaissance frescoes at Scrovengi Chapel. A visit to Villa Pisani, an opulent Venetian villa once home to Napoleon, rounds out the trip! This small-group journey includes an extensive meal plan including wine with dinner.

Exclusive departure: This departure is considered exclusive. The participants are U-M travelers, consisting of alumni, family, and friends.


Day 1 – Depart gateway city

AHI FlexAir passengers depart for Verona, Italy. Please check your luggage from your gateway city to your arrival city. Your claim checks should have the following airport code: VRN.

A Note About Activity Levels

We want you to have a comfortable and enjoyable experience. That’s why we have rated all of our excursions with activity levels to help you assess this program’s physical expectations. Activity Level ratings indicate each excursion’s physical expectations. To make the best personal choice, please evaluate each excursion’s rating and your ability to meet the tour’s physical demands. Please note excursions on this program require you to: walk on cobblestones, unpaved paths or uneven surfaces; and get on/off motor coaches, boats and trains.

Mild: walk under 1 mile on mainly flat terrain; navigate under 50 stairs; stand under 1 hour

Moderate: walk 1-3 miles on flat/uneven terrain; navigate 50-100 stairs; stand 1-2 hours

Active: walk 2+ miles on flat/uneven terrain, including up and down inclines; navigate 100+ stairs; stand 3+ hours

Depending on the excursion, more leisurely alternatives may be available.

Day 2 – Verona, Italy

Arrive at Verona Airport. Proceed through immigration to the baggage claim area and retrieve your luggage. After completing customs, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for the group arrival transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer should exit the baggage claim area and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where an AHI Travel representative will meet you.

Transfer to the Grand Hotel des Arts. Please note, if you arrive before check-in time, your room may not be immediately available.

Meet and mingle with your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception at the hotel, then continue the conversation over a Welcome Dinner at a nearby restaurant.

Accommodations – Grand Hotel des Arts

Meals – Dinner

Day 3 – Verona

Enrichment: History and Architecture of the Veneto. The vibrant Veneto region lies in Italy’s northeast corner between the Dolomite Mountains and the Adriatic Sea. From Roman ruins to medieval churches to Renaissance palaces, the architecture of the Veneto reveals the story of the region under Roman rulers and powerful families.

Discovery: Verona.

Activity level: Moderate

Explore this enchanting, very walkable city, designated a UNESCO World Heritage site and famously known as the setting of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet.” Begin at the Arena, Verona’s renowned Roman ruin and Italy’s third-largest amphitheater, built in the 1st century A.D. The well-preserved, outer stone arches enclose an elliptical-shaped arena with excellent acoustics. During the city’s annual summer opera festival, thousands of spectators enjoy open-air entertainment here, just as audiences of the past reveled in gladiator contests, circus events, exotic animal shows and medieval tournaments. Visit Piazza Bra and the charming Piazza Erbe. The latter, built on the site of the Roman forum, still functions as a market today. Grand palazzi surround the square, which is a stone’s throw from Juliet’s House and her balcony. Conclude with a relaxing lunch in the historic center.

Free Time: Spend the rest of the day discovering Verona on your own. Perhaps you’ll return to lively Piazza Bra, just a short walk from the hotel, and indulge in a gelato while savoring the local scene.

If you’d like, join your Travel Director for an optional walk across the Adige River, and delight in panoramic city views at sunset in the romantic, cypress-lined Giusti Gardens.

Accommodations – Grand Hotel des Arts

Meals – Breakfast and lunch

Day 4 – Lake Garda | Valpolicella Winery

Discovery: Lake Garda.

Activity level: Moderate

Feast your eyes on breathtaking Lake Garda, Italy’s largest lake. Its beauty has inspired poets and writers from Catullus and Virgil to D.H. Lawrence and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Travel to glamorous Sirmione, a popular resort town that sits on a narrow peninsula on the southern end of the lake. Its highlights include the ruins of a Roman villa and Rocca Scaligera, a 13th-century castle. Glide across the shimmering water on a boat ride to the quaint town of Lazise.

Discovery: Azienda Agricola Coali.

Activity level: Moderate

The Valpolicella wine region east of Lake Garda produces highly regarded red wines. Visit a small family-owned winery, Azienda Agricola Coali, for lunch and a wine tasting in the countryside.

Enrichment: Contemporary Italy. Discuss the social, political and economic issues influencing Italian society.

Accommodations – Grand Hotel des Arts

Meals – Breakfast and lunch

Day 5 – Venice

Discovery: Venice.

Activity level: Moderate

This morning, board a high-speed train bound for Venice. This most entrancing city, where arched bridges stretch over quiet canals and narrow walkways lead to astonishing churches and inviting palazzos, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Get your first glimpse of its grandeur as you arrive by private boat along the Grand Canal. Then, on a guided walking tour, discover its rich history. Stand in the heart and soul of Venice, St. Mark’s Square, bordered by palatial arcades and bustling cafés. Gaze up at the stately Campanile tower that looms over the piazza, and the beautiful, 15th-century St. Mark’s Clock Tower topped by two bronze figures that strike a large bell on the hour. Admire the striking Byzantine façade of St. Mark’s Basilica and then head inside to explore its gilded interior. The church originally served as the chapel for the neighboring Doge’s Palace. In 1807, it became the cathedral of Venice. Afterward, visit the opulent Doge’s Palace, which was the political center of the Venetian Republic for more than 1,000 years.

Free Time: Find a nice spot for a lunch, then pursue your own interests before returning to Verona by train. Follow Venice’s labyrinth of bridges and footpaths, and see where the afternoon takes you!

Accommodations – Grand Hotel des Arts

Meals – Breakfast

Day 6 – Verona

Enrichment: Music and the Arts of Verona. Learn about Verona’s long and proud tradition of supporting the arts.

Free Time: The day is yours to plan! Maybe you’ll stroll at leisure and linger in pretty squares like the Piazza dei Signori, or browse along the city’s main shopping avenues, the Via Mazzini and the Corso Porta Borsari.

Look forward to a special night on the town this evening, featuring a delicious Veronese dinner, and capped off by an exclusive operatic performance.

Accommodations – Grand Hotel des Arts

Meals – Breakfast and dinner

Day 7 – Bassano del Grappa | Vicenza

Discovery: Cities of Veneto.

Activity level: Moderate

Journey to Bassano del Grappa in the foothills of the Italian Alps. The town’s iconic Ponte degli Alpini, a covered wooden bridge that spans the Brenta River, was designed by the celebrated Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio, in 1569. Hear about its fascinating history from your guide as you stroll across it. Then, sample aromatic grappa, a classic brandy that’s been produced since the Middle Ages and enjoyed by Italians as a digestif after a meal. Later, travel to Vicenza, known as the city of Palladio, and delve into the creative genius of this highly influential architect. For its wealth of exquisite Palladian buildings, the city has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. See his masterpiece, the Basilica dei Signori, and visit the magnificent Teatro Olimpico, an indoor homage to classical Roman theaters.

While in Vicenza, break for lunch at a family-owned restaurant and delicatessen that specializes in the popular regional dish, baccalà, or codfish.

Free Time: Make your own plans in Verona upon your return this afternoon.

Accommodations – Grand Hotel des Arts

Meals – Breakfast and lunch

Day 8 – Padua | Stra

Discovery: Padua and the Villa Pisani.

Activity level: Moderate

Venture off to Padua, another of Veneto’s medieval gems, richly steeped in the cultural traditions of art and learning. With your guide, walk through the historic center’s arcaded streets and see its highlights. Meander in the Prato della Valle, a vast square dominated by a canal ringed with statues of famous Paduans. It’s a focal point of city life and a favorite of locals and students from the University of Padua, founded in 1222. Inside the Capelli dei Scrovegni, marvel at the spectacular frescoes painted by Giotto in the early 1300s, depicting the lives of the Virgin Mary and Christ. With his groundbreaking use of perspective and three-dimensional, lifelike portrayals, the frescoes are regarded as a milestone in Western art. Afterward, spend some time on your own for lunch and sightseeing. Then rejoin the group and depart for Villa Pisani in Stra, the most sumptuous of the Venetian villas. Tour this impressive residence, once owned by Napoleon, which hosted emperors and kings in its heyday in the early 1800s. The villa’s elaborately landscaped gardens also feature Europe’s most challenging garden maze.

With your fellow travelers, celebrate the journey you shared together at a Farewell Reception and Dinner in the hotel tonight.

Accommodations – Grand Hotel des Arts

Meals – Breakfast and dinner

Day 9 – Depart for gateway city

After breakfast, AHI FlexAir passengers traveling on flights that qualify for a group transfer and Land Program passengers who have purchased seats on the group transfer depart for the Verona Airport for your return flight home. Your Travel Director will provide the details.

Meals – Breakfast

NOTE: Itinerary may change due to local conditions


Show Full Itinerary

Your Journey


By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

  • Oct. 16–24, 2020
(9 days)
Starting price: $3,645
+ air + taxes; singles $4,090
Deposit per person: $600
Type: Land, Exclusive U-M Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

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