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Appreciate input for Itinerary for Italy in June

I’ve been busy (& happy!), researching for a solo trip to Italy in June. (The previous France post where you contributed valuable input is my backup plan if Italy isn’t possible.)

Here’s my itinerary. Each place listed has refundable lodging reserved. I like to move around a lot & I’m retired, so no worries about number of days. I only travel by train or the occasional bus. Please don’t suggest an irresistible village that needs a car to reach. ; )

I usually travel in September, so I would especially appreciate hearing about any annual classical music events you’ve attended in June. Also, any cooking classes, art, or other small group activities for these locations would be appreciated.

Every city is new to me except Stresa & Pisa. The festivals in Pisa & Spello are the only fixed dates.

Fly into Malpensa

Stresa: I prefer getting over jet lag at a familiar location, and my favorite, Boutique Hotel Elvezia on Isola Bella is reserved. : )

Bergamo: staying up in Citta Alta; some art museums, architecture, photography, etc.

Mantova: possibly a cooking class, historical palaces, bike ride, etc. Maybe a day-trip to Cremona to tour the violin museum. Feedback on Cremona?

Modena: including a day-trip to see my favorite cathedral at Parma

Pisa: just a 1-night stop to attend the Luminara of San Ranieri on June 16 - 70,000 wax candles!

Perugia: just a 1-night to position myself to reach the next destination in the morning.

Spello: Saturday/Sunday, June 18-19, to attend the Le Infiorate del Corpus Domini and photograph the lovely village.

?? From here it’s undetermined…Possibly stay a few nights in Perugia and do a food tour or some activity. (I’ve only been in Umbria at Assisi.) Then head to Rome and fly home after 1-2 nights. I’m completely open to other options. Any input on La Festa di San Giovanni in Florence? I do need to be home by the last week of June, so the Siena Palio is out.

Thank you so much for your comments! I appreciate your input sharing from your experiences!

Posted by
1687 posts

Jean, I don’t know anything about most of your stops but I got excited when I saw you are considering the violin museum in Cremona. I was there in January, 2020, and if you love classical music, it is such a cool stop. The museum itself is not huge, but try to go on a day when they have a small concert: 2 Stradivarius violins and a Stadavarius cello (plus piano) in the room built just for those instruments.

There is also a street full of craftsmen (and women) who make instruments to order. You may have to schedule that visit ahead - I was with a group so didn’t have to plan my own day. I watched a young man making a violin headed to Boston and he explained all his techniques.

Cremona itself is charming and has the requisite cathedral, as well as a small opera house.

Posted by
1738 posts

Yes - definitely check to see if there's something on in Cremona's Teatro Comunale Ponchielli (opera house). We heard a youth orchestra concert there conducted by Kurt Masur and it was fantastic.

If you haven't read Michelle Damiani's books about Spello you might enjoy doing so, especially Il Bel Centro.

Posted by
1687 posts

The likelihood is high in June or July that some group, especially from the U.S., will be performing in the opera house. A lot of performance tour companies use it as a venue for groups touring this area of Italy. :)

Posted by
4353 posts

Thank you, Travelmom & Janet, for the description of Cremona’s concerts. That would be wonderful!

Posted by
23 posts

Jean, I've been to Le Infiorate in Spello. While travelling solo. Did not have a car. If you stay in Perugia, I can recommend Let's Cook in Umbria just outside of Perugia. I stayed at this farm for about 4 days. Each day had a cooking class and an excursion. I went to a ceramics factory, went truffle hunting, went to Le Infiorate, went to a chocolate factory. You can easily find the website for them. You do not have to stay at the farm to partake of the classes. You can do just a 1/2 day cooking class or a full day with cooking and an excursion. Looks like things changed a little since I was there and now when you are solo, it seems Rafaella (the hostess/owner) wants to schedule you on a day when others are attending as well.

Posted by
4353 posts

Brenda, thank you for that recommendation! I definitely want to stay in town, but I will contact her for options to attend her cooking class and possibly a tour, also. It sounds perfect!

Posted by
4353 posts

Isabel,

I have your photos’ link saved on my iPad. When I had to cancel the 2020 and 2021 trips the past two years, I would periodically look through your photos to enjoy a wonderful virtual moment in Europe of places I wanted to see and fond memories of past trips.

Your photos are gorgeous!

Posted by
922 posts

Lake Iseo would be another good choice. They have had an annual music festival but I don't see a schedule posted for 2022 yet. Here is last year's schedule (Lake Iseo Musical Waves) and a link to the famous rock drawings at the north end of the lake (Val Camonica) Both the festival and the valley have been on my list for a while. Seems not far off your planned path, so I thought I'd throw it out.

I know there are frequent buses from Bergamo, probably also from Brescia. And there is a train line but not sure it goes to the north end of the lake, just the south end.

Posted by
4353 posts

Nelly, thank you for posting the info about Lake Iseo’s music festival!

That sounds like the Stresa Musical Festival that I’ve enjoyed so much in September. I contacted the Lake Iseo’s tourism website, and they sent me info.

Posted by
922 posts

That’s great, Jean, did they confirm there will be a festival this year? I want to go too!

Posted by
4353 posts

Hi Nelly, they don’t have specific event details, yet. We will hope for the best!

Posted by
313 posts

If you're interested in music museums, Bologna has an amazing early keyboard museum, the Museo di San Colombano. The Museo Internazionale e Biblioteca della Musica was also very good. It's a short and easy train ride from Modena. If you're interested in music concerts, the Arena di Verona is one of the biggest summer opera festivals in the world. Their season starts June 17 this year. Verona would be an easy stop for a few nights between Bergamo and Mantova. Rome also has a summer opera festival at the Baths of Caracalla.

https://www.arena.it/en/arena-di-verona/calendar

https://www.romeopera-tickets.com/en

Posted by
4353 posts

Bill, thank you for those recommendations! Your info for Rome is especially helpful because my daughter & I will be in Rome in September. It would be nice to attend one of those events together for one of our last evenings in Rome.

I did have the opportunity to attend the opera at the Roman arena in Verona, and it was a very special evening! I had tickets for it again last year but unfortunately cancelled that trip.

Posted by
4353 posts

I have a couple of hotel vouchers that are going to expire the end of June - 1 night in Milan & 3 nights in Venice. I may decide to add one or both cities as repeats. If there are any musical activities or any interesting 1-day or half day classes you enjoyed, I would appreciate hearing about those, also.

Posted by
4353 posts

Thank you for your responses! Here’s my updated itinerary:

Fly into Malpensa
Milan: using a hotel voucher at Hotel Berna
Stresa: my favorite Boutique Hotel Elvezia on Isola Bella is reserved. : )
Cremona: making it a 2-night stop from your feedback. I will be there on Saturday/Sunday so hoping for a concert.
Parma: realized I would always regret not seeing the Parma Cathedral again. Returning to the same room at Palazzo Dalla Rosa Prati hotel. Also, researching short bike tours.
Bergamo: staying up in Citta Alta; some art museums, architecture, photography, an outdoor painting class, etc.
Mantova: possibly a cooking class, historical palaces, bike ride, etc.
Modena - researching activities
Pisa: just a 1-night stop to attend the Luminara of San Ranieri on June 16 - 70,000 wax candles!
Perugia: just a 1-night to position myself to be in Spello in the morning.
Spello: Saturday/Sunday, June 18-19, to attend the Le Infiorate del Corpus Domini and photograph the lovely village.
Perugia - two nights, still researching activities
Rome - just the airport hotel to fly home the next morning. (I will be back in Rome in September)

Posted by
4353 posts

Janet, thank you for the recommendation to read Il bel Centro by Michelle Damiani! I am thoroughly enjoying it and can relate to some of the humorous learning situations!