View from the orchard of Villa dei Vescovi
View from the orchard of Villa dei Vescovi
with Brightwater Holidays

Oberammergau & Veneto with Brightwater Holidays

Veneto is one of Italy’s wealthiest regions, reflected in the extravagance of the grand villas and their stunning gardens. Many of the grand villas we visit were designed by Andrea Palladio, one of the most influential individuals in the history of Western architecture.

Join us as we discover no fewer than seven glorious villas on tour. The first on our list is one of the most recognisable buildings of the Renaissance the Palladian Masterpiece, Villa Rotonda. The UNESCO World Heritage Site was designed for elegant entertainment, and is definitely one for art lovers — lavishly decorated with stucco and frescoes. A short walk along a leafy lane takes us to an outstanding architectural and artistic site, the Villa Valmarana. There’s something for everyone here. The surroundings were designed to suit different tastes, ranging from an Italian garden with a dovecote and well, to a pagoda in the woods.

We explore Padua which includes a guided tour of the impressive Basilica di Sant’Antonio followed by visits to the Oratorio di San Giorgio with its magnificent frescoes and the Scuola del Santo, home to some outstanding artworks.

A unique feature of this tour is our encounters with members of the Italian aristocracy. Our visit to the Villa Rotonda includes a private tour with Count Valmarana; we have dinner with other members of the family at the Villa Valmarana in a room decorated with frescoes by Tiepolo, while we are welcomed by a member of the family at Villa Godi Malinverni and enjoy a gala dinner.

We then head north through Austria and into Germany for our performance of the Passion Play at Oberammergau. Held only once every ten years, this spectacular event with a huge cast formed exclusively by the townsfolk of Oberammergau is a treat to be savoured.

What's included?

  •  Accommodation
  •  Local transport & private transfer to/from airport and group hotel
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Tickets to the Oberammergau Passion Play
  •  Local Guide / Tour Manager
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary

Today's Price

Deposit: $300 Single supplement: $675

Tour highlights:

  • Witness the once-per-decade Passion Play in its entirety
  • Wander the grounds of five glorious villas in beautiful areas
  • Pay a very special visit to the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua
  • Enjoy free time in the beautiful little town of Asolo

Tour details

Dates August 24 2020 - August 30 2020
Duration 7 days
Today's Price
Deposit: $300 Single supplement: $675 Balance due by June 1 2020
Activity Level
Tour code BWOBV20A

Call for availability

August 24 2020: Itinerary

We depart from London on a direct flight to Venice (Marco Polo) airport. On arrival we are met by a local coach and guide and transfer to our hotel.

Meals include: Dinner

Today, following breakfast, we will be joined be a local guide for a walking tour of Vicenza’s historic city centre, a UNESCO World Heritage site. External views include the Corso Palladio, Palazzo Thiene, Palazzo Barbaran, Palazzo Chiericati, the Basilica Palladiana, the Duomo, and entrance is included to the wonderful Teatro Olimpico.

Following this we visit the Villa Rotonda, which was designed by Andrea Palladio around 1570 and became one of the most recognisable buildings of the Renaissance. Situated on the top of a hill just outside the town of Vicenza, the Villa Capra is called the Villa Rotonda, because of its completely symmetrical plan with a central circular hall. In 1994 UNESCO designated the building as part of the World Heritage Site. Our private visit is hosted by Count Valmarana.

We continue to the nearby Villa Valmarana, an outstanding architectural and artistic site belonging to the Valmarana family taking its name from the statues of dwarves (nani) which decorate its garden wall. The Villa’s surroundings are designed to suite different tastes and functional needs, ranging from an Italian garden with dovecote and the well, the walk through the hornbeam and the pagoda in the woods. The family still lives Valmarana Villa, which is widely considered the top expressive painting of the eighteenth century and the highest testimony of the genius of Tiepolo and we will be privileged to have dinner in a room decorated with Tiepolo frescoes.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Today, following breakfast, we depart for a visit to the Villa Vescovi in the Euganean Hills. Dating from 1535, this was the summer retreat of the Bishops of Padua.

In the afternoon we transfer to Padua, where we have a guided tour of the Basilica di Sant’Antonio, including the Chapel of St Anthony and his Relics, the Chapel of St James with frescoes by Altichiero, the Cloisters and the Magnolia Cloisters.

Following our tour we visit two important monuments nearby. The Oratorio di San Giorgio (Oratory of Saint George) was erected as a family burial chapel by the Marquess Lupi of Soragna and completed in 1377. The interior was frescoed by Altichiero da Zevio, who completed the magnificent series of paintings representing “The Crucifixion of Christ” and “The Coronation of Mary” in 1384. On the entrance wall there are scenes from the infancy of Jesus, while on the left there are episodes from the life of Saint George, and on the right, scenes from the lives of Saint Catherine of Alexandria and Saint Lucy.

The Scuola del Santo (School of the Saint) was constructed as the headquarters of the Confraternity of Saint Anthony between 1430 and 1504. The upper level contains a series of 18 frescoes from the early 16th century showing scenes from the life and miracles of Saint Anthony, three of which are early works by Tiziano Vecellio (1511). The paintings and the interior have regained their original splendour after extensive restoration work completed in 2006.

This evening, after an early dinner, we have a treat in store with a special ‘Giotto under the Stars’ visit to the Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, home to one of the most amazing works of art you are ever likely to see.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast today we depart for a visit to the gardens of the Villa Barbaro, in Maser. The Villa was built by Andrea Palladio for Daniele and Marcantonio Barbaro during 1560-68 as a farmhouse at the centre of an agricultural estate and has the unique attraction of being the only Palladian villa in Veneto to retain some of its original garden. The garden was laid out in front of the villa and Palladio’s great achievement was to unite the villa, garden and surrounding landscape and seemingly create a single architectural structure. As the gardens at the front were essentially a public space, Palladio also designed a secret garden behind the villa, a small enclosed courtyard dominated by a magnificent nymphaeum, decorated with statues of classical gods.

After some free time in the beautiful little town of Asolo, where the poet Robert Browning and the explorer Dame Freya Stark once lived, we return to the hotel to freshen up before we depart for dinner at the Villa Godi Malinverni. We are met on arrival by a member of this aristocratic family who will show the villa before we sit down to eat.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

After breakfast we check out of the hotel and head north over the Brenner Pass in to Austria, arriving in Innsbruck in time for lunch (not included). In the afternoon we cross into Germany, travelling via Garmisch Partenkirchen and checking into our accommodation in Bavaria in the late afternoon. Dinner is served in a local restaurant this evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

In the afternoon we attend the performance of the Passion Play, which includes dinner in the intermission. After the play ends we return to our hotel.

Meals include: Breakfast, Dinner

Following breakfast we check out of the hotel and transfer to Munich airport in time for our flight back to London, where on arrival the group will disperse.

Meals include: Breakfast

August 24 2020: Additional Info

August 24 2020: Accommodation

August 24 2020: Enquiries

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