Carnivals, Gnocchi & Garda - Verona, Venice & Lake Garda

5 Days

8th Feb 2018 - £699pp


Verona & Venice Carnivals

Stay on Lake Garda

All Info


Come with us to Italy for a bit of gnocchi! At Verona’s carnival, Papa Gnocco (daddy potato dumpling) symbolises a centuries old tradition of free gnocchi, begun when a local aristocrat kindly fed gnocchi to the famine struck population. Witness massive parades and costumed folk from far and wide at this unique spectacle. We will also visit Venice’s famous carnevale by train, crossing the Venice Lagoon on the Ponte della Libertà (Bridge of Liberty) into the heart of its historic centre. We stay in a 4-star hotel by Lake Garda, just a short drive from Verona.

Papa Gnocco
Verona Carnival
Every year on the last Friday before lent Verona starts its weekend long carnival. Dating back almost 500 years makes Verona Carnival one of the oldest carnival celebrations in Europe. On the day we attend we witness the colourful parade that covers a 6km route and if you manage to get to Piazza San Zeno you will be given a free plate of gnocchi with tomato sauce from Papa Gnocco!

Venice Carnival
In 1980 the carnival was renewed after a period of inactivity. The Carnival is celebrated by costume parades, Gondola sailing, games and parties in the ancient palaces. During this period the streets fill with artists, acrobats and musicians and the whole city is filled with very lively people parading in masks and costumes that symbolize characters from mythology. Costumes relating to nature, to legend, to styles and historic eras, to church characters, and to characters from the Comedia del Arte are all on parade for all to see. The atmosphere is truly electric![


Lake Garda
Day 1: Gatwick to Lake Garda
Early morning flight from Gatwick to Verona. On arrival we transfer by coach to our hotel in Desenzano by Lake Garda (approx. 40 mins). There will be free time to settle in before dinner in the hotel.

Day 2: Verona Carnival
Today we visit the UNESCO Heritage town of Verona, best known for its amphitheatre, and as the setting for Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We spend the day enjoying the Carnival celebrations. Return to Desenzano late afternoon for dinner in the hotel.

Day 3: Lake Garda
Lake Garda is the largest of the Italian lakes and one of the most popular with its exotic landscape and back drop of Alpine peaks it’s not difficult to see why. Today is free in Desenzano. You may like to travel by public transport to nearby towns on the lake; alternativaley you may like to return to Verona by train for the regatta on the Adige in which Papa Gnocco appears on an inflatable boat - your tour manager will be on hand to give suggestions. Dinner at the hotel.

Day 4: Venice
This morning we travel by direct train from Desenzano to Venice (approx 1½ hours), where we have a free day to soak up the Carnival atmosphere. We return late afternoon by train to Desenzano for dinner at the hotel.

Day 5: Lake Garda to UK
We check-out of our hotel after breakfast and drive back to Verona where we will join our return flight back the UK.

Note: Order of excursions are subject to change depending on local conditions.


Hotel Desenzano
Hotel Desenzano – 4-star – Desenzano del Garda
Hotel Desenzano is located in a quiet area, five minutes‘ walk from the centre of the oldest part of Desenzano del Garda and a short walk from the Lake and the train station. The hotel has a terrace which overlooks the lake, a bar and a restaurant. All rooms are en suite and include minibar, LCD TV, electronic safe deposit box, air conditioning/heating, bathroom with shower, hair dryer and toiletries, balcony with chairs and a small table and free Wi-Fi.

  • Escorted throughout

  • Return Easyjet flights London Gatwick to Verona - hand luggage included

  • 4 nights sharing a twin/double room at the Hotel Desenzano (or similar), Desenzano del Garda with buffet breakfasts & dinners

  • Return train ticket to Venice

  • Excursions as stated

  • All transfers abroad

Accommodation Options:
  • Single room supplement £88pp

  • DEPOSIT: £150pp

    Flight Information

    Flight on EasyJet - duration around 2 hours each way

    Gatwick-Verona Departs 08:25 Arrives 11:30
    Verona-Gatwick Departs 16:40 Arrives 17:45

  • Allocated seating included - Easyjet now allocate seats, but this does not guarantee seats together - for this you may choose seats at time of booking from £6pp

  • 1 item of carry on luggage, no bigger than 50 x 40 x 20cm incl wheels, is included. Hold luggage can be added at time of booking. Please ask for details.

  • Flights subject to availability at time of booking - supplement may apply.

  • Flight times subject to change by the airline.