This Spring, take up residence in a fabulous Italian country house hotel. Meander through the courtyard with its tinkling fountain. Gaze through the archway to the hidden garden and the swimming pool beyond. Luxuriate in the peace and tranquility of this fabulous private estate. It’s your home for the next week. When we're not enjoying life at the villa, we’ll explore Lake Garda by boat (one of the most beautiful lakes in Italy), stroll through the streets of Verona, and visit the medieval small city of Sirmione.
Here's a day-by-day itinerary of the trip.
Fly into the Verona Airport (VRN) where you’ll be met by our driver and whisked to our home for the next week, the Villa Cordevigo.
Villa Cordevigo is an ancient patrician residence dating back to the 18th century. A short distance from Lake GardaIts nestled in the countryside,Villa Cordevigo is a place of harmony, featuring a gourmet restaurant, modern spa and a sun-kissed wine estate. Janet, your trip leader, will be waiting at the hotel to welcome you to this beautiful place.
Relax, unpack and settle in. We’ll meet for an evening welcome drink followed by dinner at the hotel restaurant, featuring traditional Italian and Venetian food.
After a delicious breakfast in the hotel, we’ll head into the fairytale city of Verona, just 35 minutes away. Verona is the city of Romeo and Juliet. We’ll explore the Roman amphitheater, which hosts an opera festival every summer. Then we’ll wander through the squares of the town. Our local guide will show us Juliet’s house and balcony. We’ll also visit the fruit and vegetable market that takes place each day in Piazza dell’Erbe.
Lunch today will be on your own, suggestions given. There’ll be free time for shopping before we head back to Villa Cordevigo. This evening the sommelier will explain the wines produced in the vineyards surrounding our country house and make a suggestion or two for an aperitivo.
Dinner this evening on the terrace over-looking the grounds. Heaven!
Villa Cordevigo and Bardolino
After breakfast in the hotel, we have an exciting activity lined up. We’ve arranged a private art class with a local artist. We’ll be taught how to create a charming watercolor painting – creative, educational and fun! Immerse yourself in the beauty of the Villa Cordevigo gardens and create your own masterpiece. Help is on hand to allow you to choose a subject, develop your use of color and complete a simple and yet effective painting. A morning of pure creativity and fun.
A light lunch will be served on the terrace. Then this afternoon, it’s time to relax and enjoy the swimming pool, gardens and spa. In the early evening we’ll head into the local village of Bardolino on the shores of Lake Garda. Here we’ll explore the waterfront and enjoy a typical pizza supper at a local pizzeria. Great food and a typically Italian evening.
Today we have an exceptional private cooking class with Villa Cordevigo’s Executive Chef. We’ll learn how to prepare the perfect pasta dish with the most delicate and delicious of sauces. You’ll see that it’s all about simplicity and quality of ingredients. It’s fun to create new flavors and tastes and to learn new skills. At lunch today we’ll have the opportunity to eat the fruits of our labors.
This afternoon there’s time to rest and enjoy the pool and gardens. Then later, there’s A wine tasting of the Villa Cordevigo’s unique range of wines with an expert sommelier. Start with sparkling and white, move on to richer whites and fabulous reds. A journey of discovery through the wines of Villabella. Dinner is not included tonight as many will still be full from lunch, but feel free to order some room service as you wish.
Villa Cordevigo and Sirmione
Today, a wonderful local florist will arrive at the hotel to demonstrate and teach us how to arrange the flowers and leaves of the garden. Enjoy a session of learning and creativity as the blooms of the season scent the air in our studio. Once again this is a chance to learn new ideas and design your own creative floral arrangement. We’ll work with seasonal flowers and foliage to create something perfumed and original.
After a few hours to relax, we’ll head to Sirmione, a charming historic town on the shores of Lake Garda. We’ll explore the castle and narrow medieval streets of this quaint little town. Lunch is on your own today – grab something simple or spend time in a local osteria. Then it’s time to board our fabulous launch for an exclusive private boat cruise on the lake.
Dinner this evening is at a delightful trattoria near the lake.
Villa Cordevigo and surrounding areas
Today starts with breakfast at Villa Cordevigo. Then it’s time to stretch our legs and head off on a wonderful bike ride through the local countryside. There’s even a couple of e-bikes for those preferring a gentler ride. We’ll cycle through the local countryside and make a couple of surprise stops en route. While lunch today is not included, together we can shop for some goodies to have lunch as a picnic in the park.
There’s time to relax and enjoy the spa and pool this afternoon. There will also be transport to/from Verona for those wanting to enjoy a little free time and shopping in the romantic city of Romeo and Juliet.
Tonight, is the Farewell Dinner and Tasting Menu created by the chef at Villa Cordevigo to celebrate our final night together. It’s sure to be a memorable experience of flavors and creativity as we think back on our week together and the new skills we’ve learned.
Villa Cordevigo to Verona
Alas, our adventure has come to an end; it's time to say arrivederci to all your new Girls’ Guide friends. After breakfast in the hotel this morning, we’ll transfer you from the hotel to Verona Airport and/or Verona train station for the return trip home.
Villa Cordevigo is an ancient patrician residence going back to the 18th Century, in an unrivalled country setting.
It has all the charm of the Veneto villas, the subtle balance between geometrical lines and rotundity, the perfect blend of the architecture of palaces and the architecture of landscape, all enclosed in this estate lying in a little place called Cordevigo, once an ancient Roman settlement.
Janet Simmonds is a British-born tour guide and writer with a special affinity for the history, culture and art of the Mediterranean, especially Italy. She studied Geography and Art History at the University of Oxford and has spent most of her adult life traveling extensively. Several times a year she leads small groups to different parts Italy, most recently Venice, Verona and Sicily.
An 18th century villa that brings together wellness, health and beauty as well as fine food and wine
Villa Cordevigo has all the charm of the Veneto villas - the subtle balance between geometrical lines and rotundity, and the perfect blend of the architecture of palaces and the architecture of landscape. Once an ancient Roman settlement, Villa Cordevigo has seen great changes over the centuries. The original nucleus is of the Renaissance period but then in the 17th and 18th Centuries it was transformed according to the styles in vogue at those times.
6 nights accommodation in luxury, 5 star hotel country house hotel
Arrival and Departure transfers from Verona Airport and/or Verona train station on 8th May and 14th May, 2023
All meals and drinks as indicated in the itinerary, except where noted.
Expert guide with knowledge of art, history and life in Italy
Fabulous daily experiences
Roundtrip airfare to Verona, Italy
Airport transfers on different days or from different cities
Additional wine, beer, or spirits beyond what is offered at meals.
All personal souvenir purchases or wines you want to take or ship home
Travel and Medical Insurance (required)
You are going to want to fly into the Verona Airport (VRN).
The trip officially starts on the evening of May 8th, but if you are traveling across an ocean to get to Verona, you may want to consider arriving a day early so you have time to relax and get acclimated to the local time zone. If you do decide to arrive early, please let us know and we will take care of booking your room for you and make sure that you are kept in the same room as you will be in when the trip starts.
We will have a zoom call about 6 weeks before the trip starts to discuss all that information and give you a packing list. Here is a great website that we love that will help you with packing and travel trips.
The average minimum temperature in Verona in May is 53.6°F. You can expect very pleasant temperatures during the day. The average maximum daytime temperature lies around 73.4°F. If you enjoy looking at a blue sky and love the sun than this is a great time to go to Verona with 241 hours of sun. May is known as one of the best months to visit Verona.
Janet Simmonds will be your trip leader. Janet is a British-born tour guide and writer with a special affinity for the history, culture and art of the Mediterranean, especially Italy. She studied Geography and Art History at the University of Oxford and has spent most of her adult life traveling extensively. Several times a year she leads small groups to different parts Italy, most recently Venice, Verona and Sicily.