The beautiful walled city of Lucca in Tuscany was the birthplace of Giacomo Puccini in 1859, but was already a prosperous, established town by 59 BC.
Far enough off the beaten track to have retained much of its original character, it offers beautifully shaded walks among its many churches, towers and, of course, its city walls.
Cafes and restaurants abound, especially in the glorious Piazza dell'Anfiteatro, an oval piazza built on the remains of the Roman amphitheatre. In fact, the whole area is famed for its cuisine and fine wine.
And of course, there are shops offering something for every taste, from chic Italian boutiques to rustic family bakers.
A short distance from Lucca is Torre del Lago. This was where Puccini built his villa, quite modest by today's standards but set near Lake Massaciuccoli where he hunted regularly. Today the lake provides a stunning backdrop for performances of his operas.
Verona is a superbly stylish city with a range of elegant shops and lovely restaurants. At it's centre is the impressive Arena, a Roman ampitheatre built in 30 AD, one of many Roman remains. This Arena forms the magnificent setting for the opera festival throughout the summer.
Verona has an array of beautiful churches including St Anastasia and the grand Cathedral. It has an excellent museum set by the river Adige flowing by the side of the old city which has always been important in the administration of Northern Italy. Many delicious types of Valpolicella wine come from the area.
Interestingly, three of Shakespeare's plays are set in Verona: Romeo and Juliet ; The Two Gentlemen of Verona and The Taming of the Shrew.
By keeping our groups to a comfortable size we're able to book our tours into some of the most characterful and charming hotels you'll ever come across.
Always within walking distance of the major sites and always beautifully appointed, our hotels offer a warm welcome and a taste of true Italian hospitality.
Every hotel we use has been visited and approved by our team and we have excellent relationships with the owners of each one. So we know first hand that they all meet the high standards we expect for Opera Tours Italy guests.
Situated close to a picturesque square in Via San Paolino, this stylish and welcoming converted palazzo nestles just inside the walls of the ancient city, a mere five minutes’ walk from its shops, restaurants, and narrow medieval streets.
The Accademia Hotel is in the centre of Verona. Well placed on the Via Mazzini, the hotel is in the heart of the exclusive shopping area of Verona, conveniently positioned between Piazza Brà where the fabulous Arena is found, and Piazza delle Erbe with Guilietta’s House and legendary balcony.