This spectacular short break combines a journey on the world’s most elegant train with a night at one of the world’s most prestigious operas. It all begins in London aboard the Belmond British Pullman before you join the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for a rail experience to remember. You’ll be treated to the very best in white-gloved service and fine dining before arriving into Verona – Shakespeare’s city of love. Here, alongside a stay in a converted 15th-century palace, you’ll take in the sights on an expert-led private walking tour before heading to the iconic Arena di Verona for a very special performance of one of the great Italian operas.
Your holiday begins with a private chauffeur transfer to Victoria Station in the heart of London, where a drinks reception will see you aboard the Belmond British Pullman. Things then get underway with a scenic dash through the Kent countryside to Dover, enjoying a three-course lunch and a Bellini cocktail en route. It’s then just a short hop across the channel to Calais, where you’ll be greeted by the famous blue-and-gold carriages of the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express.
Having been shown to your private cabin, or Grand Suite if you’ve chosen to upgrade, you’ll have time to freshen up and change for dinner, a sumptuous three-course affair with ingredients influenced by the train’s route; expect the likes of lobster from Brittany and salt marsh lamb from Mont St. Michel. It’s then off to the bar car for a nightcap, and to listed to the strains of the resident pianist, before retiring to bed as the train winds its way towards the Alps.
You’ll wake to a continental breakfast, served in your cabin by your carriage’s dedicated steward, before enjoying a morning of relaxation as first the Swiss Alps and then the Italian Dolomites rush past. Then, after a three-course lunch served in one of the elegant restaurant cars, you’ll arrive into Verona where a private transfer will be waiting to whisk you to your luxury hotel – a converted 15th-century palace.
The rooms here are splendidly palatial, all handcrafted marble and intricate mosaics. There’s a rooftop bar, too, with views across the rooftops and the restaurant has three Michelin stars. Take the chance to settle in before heading out to explore Verona’s maze of Roman streets on an included private walking tour. In the company of an expert local guide, you’ll take in the city’s highlights, from Juliet’s balcony to the ancient amphitheatre.
Breakfast & Lunch included
Enjoy a day free to explore Verona before the evening's entertainment begins. Then, with tickets included, you'll experience the unique thrill of a live performance of one of the great Italian operas at one of the country’s most evocative venues – the Arena di Verona. This colossal Roman amphitheatre was built in 30AD, and to help you get to grips with its history, we've included entry to its museum, which you might choose to visit before the show begins.
And what a show it will be. It’s all part of the city’s annual summer opera festival and, depending on which departure you choose, you’ll take in either Aida, La Traviatta, Il Trovatore, Tosca or Carmen. All departure dates and performances are listed below. And, please note, some schedules mean the opera will be on day two, with the walking tour moved to day three.
After a final, sumptuous breakfast at your hotel, you’ll sign off in style with a private transfer to the airport and a flight back to London where a chauffeur will be waiting to see you to your door.
"While a journey aboard the Venice Simplon-Orient-Express is a special event in its own right, when the opportunity came along to combine it with something as magical as the Verona opera, I just couldn't resist. Running throughout the summer, to coincide with the Arena di Verona Festival, this short break includes a night on the train, tickets to an opera of your choice and a stay in one of my favourite Italian hotels, which itself comes with a three-Michelin-starred restaurant. It's the ideal trip for opera aficionados, and would make a wonderful anniversary or special birthday treat. "
Twin Cabin from: £3,975 pp