Venture Out Gay Tours

Italy Gay Tour - The Places In Between

Italy Gay Tour
The Places In Between

The Less Trodden Route!
Bologna, Modena, Ravenna, Parma, Verona, Valpolicella, and more!

7 Days From Bologna To Verona, Italy

September 3 – 9, 2018

 

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Verona, Italy gay tourInspired by the travel guide book of the same title, our tour Italy: The Places In Between focuses on cities in the Emilia-Romagna and Veneto regions — cities that are almost always passed over as tourists head from Florence to Venice. There's a plethora of worthy sights around here, and we're very glad to bring you this unique Italy gay tour program.

This in-depth exploration of North-Central Italy's marvelous urban centers will take us to the "must-see" highlights as well as off the beaten track for some less common and very interesting sights and activities. This is an area with an exceedingly rich art history, lavish natural beauty, stunning ancient towns, and of course, a cuisine that is molto deliziosa!

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Bologna, Italy gay tourOne of the best-kept secrets in northern Italy, our first of two bases is Bologna — a very handsome city (and a pity that its name conjures up the less-than-appealing American food product). Indeed, some would argue that, after Venice, Bologna is among the most attractive cities in Italy. Home to the world's oldest university, Bologna lives on its red-brick towers and stately colonnades and is almost universally considered to be Italy's gourmet capital. The sidewalks in the city center are covered in intricately decorated porticos — some 25 miles of them all together. The feeling of a university city permeates the air, and Bologna feels full of Italians in a way that many other places, thronged with tourists, do not.

Modena, Italy gay tourModena vies as Italy's wealthiest city and can boast the UNESCO World Heritage sites of its 12th-century cathedral, tower, and adjacent main piazza evoking a glorious past. It's famous for local products: Maserati, Ferrari, opera star Luciano Pavarotti — and not least of all it's also home to the true traditional Balsamic vinegar, which is little understood and often badly misused! We'll learn what makes this product so special — some of it aged up to 40 years — and taste various types at one of the area's artisinal producers.

Ravenna, Italy gay tourOne of the greatest cities of the Mediterranean from the fifth to the eighth centuries, Ravenna has brick palaces, cobbled streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine-period mosaics. Churches and tombs with the most unassuming exteriors contain within them walls covered with these sumptuous mosaics. These beautifully preserved works of art place great emphasis on nature, which you can see in the delicate rendering of sky, earth, and animals. The mosaics have been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, and they quite handily rival what you'll find in Istanbul.

Parma, Italy gay tourThe stately historic center of Parma shows its prosperity, along with its well-dressed residents and immaculate piazzas. The residents of Parma are generally considered to be the most elegant people of Italy. Bursting with gustatory delights, Parma draws visitors for its sublime cured ham, prosciutto crudo di Parma. The pale-yellow Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese produced here is the original — and best — of a class known around the world as "Parmesan." The city has also been a mecca for opera lovers. Giuseppe Verdi was from here, and his operas echoed through the Teatro Regio, the opera house that we'll visit and which is today jam-packed during the season. We'll also see some of the greatest Romanesque buildings in northern Italy: the 11th-century cathedral and 12th-century Baptistery with its superb sculpture work.

Verona, Italy gay tourFounded by the Romans in the 1st century A.D., the enchanting city of Verona is dotted with very attractive palazzi, elegant squares, and medieval gems. Architectural remnants of the Roman era are also a real draw, most notably the famous Arena, which is home to a world-renowned summertime opera festival. It is perhaps the best-preserved Roman amphitheater in the world — and the most famous after the Colosseum in Rome. Dubbed the "City of Love," romance is most definitely in the air in fair Verona. The city's most famous residents, Romeo and Juliet, seemed to think so anyway. The Basilica San Zeno Maggiore is another wonderful highlight — a very impressive Romanesque-era building with extraordinary artistic creations. Verona sits on the Adige River which comes tumbling down from the Italian Alps, and indeed just outside the city is hilly terrain and the location of some excellent vineyards, one of which we'll have the pleasure of visiting to taste their wines.

 

Italy gay tour - Parma

 

The Places In Between - Italy Gay Tour Itinerary

The following is our planned itinerary, which is being set out a year in advance. We reserve the right to modify some of the specific sights visited during this program.

Day 1 - Monday, September 3, 2018
Arrive in Bologna, Italy
Italy gay tour - BolognaWe will come together at our very central 4-starhotel in Bologna in the early evening for a welcome aperitivo before walking to our carefully chosen restaurant for an excellent dinner in the center of this handsome city.

Please Note: We can arrange an extra night for you at our group hotel in Bologna before our tour begins depending on your travel plans.

Meals: Welcome Drink, Welcome Dinner
Hotel: Corona d'Oro Hotel, Bologna, 4*

 

Day 2 - Tuesday, September 4, 2018Italy gay tour - Piazza Maggiore, Bologna
Bologna
Our exploration of Bologna will be all on foot. Highlights include:

Piazza Maggiore — the city's gorgeous central piazza, including the 16th century Neptune Fountain styled by Giambologna; the Palazzo Comunale (city government building); and the church of San Petronio – one of the finest Gothic brick buildings in Italy and originally intended to be larger than St. Peter's in Rome.

Food Market — a grouping of stalls and shops that makes for one of the city's most enticing sights and provides proof positive of Bologna's gourmet proclivities.

Santa Maria della Vita — with its outstanding pieta by Nicola Dell'Arca - seven life-sized terracota figures that are among the most dramatic examples of Renaissance sculpture.

Teatro Anatomico — the original medical faculty dissection theater, part of the oldest university in Europe.

Basilica of Santo Stefano — a marvelous complex of religious edifices spanning the ages beginning from the 5th century, and presiding over an equally marvelous piazza.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Corona d'Oro Hotel, Bologna, 4*

 

Day 3 - Wednesday, September 5, 2018
Modena
Italy gay tour - Modena vinegarModena vies as Italy's wealthiest city and can boast the UNESCO World Heritage sites of its 12th-century cathedral, tower, and adjacent main piazza evoking a glorious past.

The city is also famous for local products: Maserati, Ferrari, opera star Luciano Pavarotti — and not least of all it's also home to the true traditional Balsamic vinegar, which is little understood and often badly misused! We'll learn what makes this product so special — some of it aged up to 40 years — and taste various types at one of the area's artisinal producers. This property is also where we'll enjoy today's delicious lunch, which will feature, not surprisingly, dishes that incorporate their esteemed product.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Corona d'Oro Hotel, Bologna, 4*

 

Day 4 - Thursday, September 6, 2018
Ravenna
Italy gay tour - RavennaToday we head in the opposite direction — to Ravenna. One of the greatest cities of the Mediterranean from the fifth to the eighth centuries - it was the capital of the Western Roman Empire, the Visigoth Empire, and the Byzantine Empire - Ravenna has brick palaces, cobbled streets, magnificent monuments, and spectacular Byzantine-period mosaics. Churches and tombs with the most unassuming exteriors contain within them walls covered with these sumptuous mosaics. These beautifully preserved works of art - all with dazzling colors — place great emphasis on nature, which you can see in the delicate rendering of sky, earth, and animals. The mosaics have been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage site, and they rival what you'll find in Istanbul. Our visits include the Basilica of San Vitale; the Mausoleum of Galla Placida; the Sant'Andrea Oratory; and the Neoniano Baptistery.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Corona d'Oro Hotel, Bologna, 4*

 

Day 5 - Friday, September 7, 2018
Parma / to Verona
Italy gay tour - ParmaLeaving Bologna today we head to the stately historic center of Parma, which shows its prosperity, along with its well-dressed residents and immaculate piazzas. The residents of Parma are generally considered to be the most elegant people of Italy. Bursting with gustatory delights, Parma draws visitors for its sublime world-famous cured ham, prosciutto crudo di Parma. The pale-yellow Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese produced here is the original - and best — of a class known in America as "Parmesan." The city is also a mecca for opera lovers. Giuseppe Verdi was from here,and his operas echoed through the Teatro Regio, which is today jam-packed during the season. We'll also see some of the greatest Romanesque buildings in northern Italy: the 11th-century cathedral with fine works by Correggio and Parmigianino and the 12th-century Baptistery with its superb sculpture work. The Farnese Theater is in our program too, a virtual jewel box dating from 1618, evocative of Palladio's theater in Vicenza and made entirely of wood.

After a wonderful lunch we'll then move north to the lovely city of Verona where we'll check in at our other hotel base for this trip. Dinner is open this evening.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch
Hotel: Palazzo Victoria Hotel, Verona, 5*

 

Day 6 - Saturday, September 8, 2018
Verona
Italy gay tour - VeronaFounded by the Romans in the 1st century A.D., the enchanting city of Verona is dotted with very attractive palazzi, elegant squares, and medieval gems. Architectural remnants of the Roman era are also a real draw, most notably the famous Arena, which is home to a world-renowned summertime opera festival. It is perhaps the best-preserved Roman amphitheater in the world — and the most famous after the Colosseum in Rome. Dubbed the "City of Love," romance is most definitely in the air in fair Verona. The city's most famous (although fictional) residents, Romeo and Juliet, seemed to think so anyway. Our walking tour of Verona will take in the Arena as well as the Piazza delle Erbe and the Piazza dei Signori with their striking buildings and lively atmospheres.

Italy gay tour - ValpolicellaFurther exploration of Verona will take us to the Basilica San Zeno Maggiore, a very impressive Romanesque-era building with extraordinary artistic creations. Its large rose window, representing the Wheel of Fortune, dates from the 12th century, as does the stunning portal, which bears relief sculptures representing the months. The 50 or so panels on the bronze doors are remarkable as well.

Verona sits on the Adige River, which comes tumbling down from the Italian Alps, and indeed just outside the city is hilly terrain and the location of some excellent wineries and their vineyards. We'll have the pleasure of visiting a beautiful property in the Valpolicella zone close to the city, where we'll enjoy a tour of this impressive historic property as well as a wine tasting accompanied by a light lunch.

This evening is our farewell dinner where we'll have a chance to recount all the wonderful sights and meals we got to experience in this lovely corner of Italy!

Meals: Breakfast, Light Lunch, Dinner
Hotel: Palazzo Victoria Hotel, Verona, 5*

 

Day 7 - Sunday, September 9, 2018
Departure
After breakfast you can depart any time that suits your onward travel schedule.

Please Note If you’d like to extend your stay at our excellent hotel in Verona we can set up extra nights for you. Verona is close to other noteworthy cities to which one can do daytrips such as Mantova (Mantua), Vicenza, Padova (Padua), and Venice (although we think Venice is best done with a few overnights).

Meals: Breakfast

 

Gay tour to Verona, Italy

 

Parma, Italy Gay Tour

 

The Places In Between - Italy Gay Tour Highlights

• The understated handsomeness of Bologna and its 25 miles of elegant porticos
Ravenna's astounding Byzantine-period mosaics
• Urbane, sophisticated Parma and its wealth of sights
• Tasting traditional Balsamic vinegar of Modena at its source
• The Roman-era Arena in Verona and the city's numerous other attractions
• Winery tour and tasting at a historic villa in the Valpolicella zone
• Several UNESCO World Heritage Sites
• Delicious meals and lovely accommodations, of course!

 

Italy Gay Tour - Ravenna mosaics

 

Included:

• Accommodations for 6 nights in carefully selected high-end properties
- 4 nights at Corona d'Oro Hotel, Bologna;
- 2 nights at Palazzo Victoria Hotel, Verona
• Buffet breakfast each morning in the hotels
• Lunch every day (except the arrival and departure days)
• Welcome and farewell dinners
• Mineral water and limited regional wines with group meals
• Welcome drink
• Entrance fees for all sights mentioned in the itinerary
• Licensed private tour guides for all cities mentioned in the itinerary
• Winery tour and tasting; Balsamic vinegar tour and tasting
Venture Out tour escort accompanying the group throughout the trip
• Ground transportation in a private comfortable bus

 

Not Included:

• Airfare
• Four dinners
• Gratuities for drivers, porters, and restaurant staff
• Additional hotel nights pre- or post-tour that may be desired or required by flight schedules or other factors
• Airport or train station transfers at the beginning and end of the tour
Travel Insurance
• Passports and other expenses of a personal nature such as minibar charges, laundry, phone calls, etc.

 

Bologna, Italy gay tour

 

Accommodations

The following are the hotels that we plan to use for the tour at the time of publishing this itinerary. We reserve the right to make changes to the accommodations.

 

Corona d'Oro Hotel, Bologna

Corona d'Oro Hotel, BolognaThe 4-star hotel we’ve selected enjoys a very central location in the heart of the city on a pedestrian-only street, easily walkable to Bologna’s impressive historical attractions, great restaurants, and good shopping. Set in a magnificently restored 15th century palazzo, elegantly designed construction conserves architectural elements of various periods. The beautiful lobby has a real wow factor thanks to a large skylight that floods the pretty space with light. A number of different architectural styles are on display in the hotel yet it all combines to create a whole that’s elegant in an old -fashioned, genteel way. Fresco work and paintings date back to the building’s aristocratic origins.

 

Palazzo Victoria Hotel, Verona

Palazzo Victoria Hotel, VeronaThis is another very central hotel, in a perfect location for our Verona sightseeing as well as for any shopping you might like to do! A jumble of three ancient palaces have been stitched together and thoroughly modernized inside to create a 4-star hotel while respecting and highlighting the Roman ruins that were discovered beneath in the process. Original frescos and paintings join historically inspired design to create an almost magical atmosphere in the hotel's interiors. A chic lobby bar lets guests soak up the atmosphere from white leather seats. While the lobby, lounges, and restaurant have a very contemporary, enchanting, and rather hip feel to them, the 75 guest rooms are more classically decorated with stylish furniture, high-class fabrics, patterned wood floors, and red Veronese marble bathrooms. On top of all that there is an equally elegant restaurant with the casual style of a brasserie. Here guests can enjoy refined, novel variations of classic Italian dishes by a Michelin-starred chef.

 

Bologna, Italy gay trip

 

Arrival and Departure Logistics

At the time of publishing this program Bologna's airport is served by nonstop flights coming in from Rome, Frankfurt, Munich, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, London, Madrid, Barcelona, and some other European airports.

Additionally, Italy has an extensive network of high-speed trains, and Bologna is well connecte to Rome, Milan, Florence, Venice, etc.

Verona's airport is served by nonstop flights departing to Rome, Frankfurt, Munich, Paris, London, and some other European airports.

Veron is also well connected via high-speed rail to all points in Italy and beyond.

Sample high-speed train travel times to Bologna from:
Rome – 2Ό hours, Florence – 35 minutes, Milan – 1 hour, Venice – 1½ hour.

Sample high-speed train travel times from Verona to:
Rome – 3 to 4 hours, Florence – 1½ to 2½ hours, Milan – 1½ hours, Venice – 1Ό hours.

 

Ravenna, Italy gay trip

 

Factors to Consider

The cities that we visit have to be explored on foot. We cannot drive through them on our bus (even on a smaller bus) as the roads in the city centers are from medieval days. In general, adding it all up, you should be comfortable walking a total of about two miles each day (but not all at once) and standing while visiting many of the sights. Occasionally there are places to take a seat. Please check with us if you have any concerns in this area.

We have structured the days in this program in the most logicallyn flowing way in order to keep driving times to a minimum. However, some days will see more driving than others. None of the driving is done at long, uninterrupted intervals. We stop throughout the day for our visits, thus breaking up the day's activities. Our transportation will be in a comfortable small tour bus, and at no time will it feel like an endless road trip. Day 5, when we transfer from Bologna to Verona, will involve the most road time: about 3.5 hours in total but broken up by our visit to Parma and lunch there. Driving time on the days that we go to Modena and Ravenna is about 2½ hours round-trip for each day.

Each day's actiities are optional, and you are free to stay back at the "home base" (Bologna or Verona) and spend your time as you wish.

 

Verona, Italy gay trip

 

 

Quote or Reservation

 

The Places In Between - Italy Gay Tour Prices

Tour Date Description
Per person
$ (USD)
Availability

Tour Only, Per Person, Double Occupancy.

$ 3,695

Tour Only, Per Person, Single Occupancy
(If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room, we will match you with a roommate if one is available. Should there be no one to pair you with, the single supplement fee will apply.)

$ 4,390

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A small group surcharge of $200 per person will be added to a group size less than 14 travelers.

A small group surcharge of $300 per person will be added to a group size less than 11 travelers.

Payment card charges may apply.

 

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Pre/Post Tour Hotels

 

Book Gay friendly hotels in Bologna, Italy at Gay2Stay.eu

 

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Verona, Italy hotels at Booking.com

 

Book Verona, Italy hotels at Hotelopia

 

 

 


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