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, whose short hop to the Kent coast provides just a small taste of the glamour to come. Because, once you’ve crossed the Channel, you’ll then join the legendary Venice Simplon-Orient-Express for a rail experience to remember. Racing overnight through France, and by day across the Swiss Alps, you’ll be treated to the very best in white-gloved service and fine dining, finally 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: £3,565 pp
Cabin Suite from: £4,940 pp
20 Jun (arr Verona 21 Jun) – either La Traviatta 21 Jun or Aida 22 Jun
23 Jun (arr Verona 24 Jun) – nothing works
27 Jun (arr Verona 28 Jun) – either La Traviatta 28 Jun or Il Trovatore 29 Jun
04 Jul (arr Verona 05 Jul) – either Aida 05 Jul or Carmen 06 Jul
11 Jul (arr 12 Jul) – either Aida 12 Jul or Carmen 13 Jul
18 Jul (arr 19 Jul) – either La Traviatta 19 Jul or Il Trovatore 20 Jul
25 Jul (arr 26 Jul) – either Il Trovatore 26 Jul or Carmen 27 Jul
01 Aug (arr 02 Aug) – either Carmen 02 Aug or Aida 03 Aug
08 Aug (arr 09 Aug) – either Aida 09 Aug or Tosca 10 Aug
15 Aug (arr 16 Aug) – Tosca 16 Aug
05 Sep (arr 06Sep) – Aida 07 Sep
Opera performances could be on the night of arrival or 2nd night depending on choice of opera and availability