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Italy 2017


Day 1

 

 



After an incredibly early start we arrived at Gatwick and were too early to check in even for Easyjet.
After some delay due to a damaged baggage net in the hold (Katharine and Mhoira knitted a new one) we departed for Venice.

We transferred to our hotel, settled into our rooms and then took a little walk to find the beach via the supermarket to buy lunch.

 

Most of the choir took a dip in the sea to cool off and we all enjoyed a picnic. We then returned to the hotel where most took advantage of the pool before partaking of a three course meal and retiring to bed.

Day 2

 

After a very peaceful night and a good breakfast our coach took us to our own private vaporetto to Venice.

We spent the day exploring the many wonderful and beautiful sights of the main islands that make up the city. We lost count of the bridges and canals that we crossed.

Many had the chance to experience real Italian gelato for the first time. Some visited an unusual book shop hidden away in the middle of the city.

They all had the opportunity to take photos and eat freshly Cooked food. We then took another private vaporetto back to meet the coach before another swim before dinner.

 

Day 3

Another good breakfast today,and then off to get our private transfer to Venice. The only way to travel into the city.

 We made our way to the Vivaldi church otherwise known as (Chiesa di Santa Maria sella Pieta). Here we visited the Vivaldi museum where it was explained how Vivaldi became organist and teacher at the school of music there. There were exhibitions on the orphanage attached to the church and one priceless collection which contained original instruments that Vivaldi would have used. There was an interesting art installation in the church.

  

The choir performed  an informal lunchtime recital to passers by in the church. After this there was some free time for lunch, gondolier rides shopping and relaxing in a local park.

    

We walked back to the Vivaldi church to get changed ready for singing at evening mass at St Mark's Basilica.

 

We then boarded our private "speedboat" back to the hotel. We then enjoyed our late evening meal before retiring to bed.

 

Italy day 4

We had an extremely relaxing morning around the hotel, with some taking advantage of the pool,some souvenir shopping, and buying lunch. We picked up 2 extra passengers, headed for Padua. Here we spent a leisurely hour exploring the market and relaxing in the main square.

We started to make our way to lake Garda, however the coach decided at a convenient point to overheat. We were given a replacement coach within an hour and continued our journey to Bussolengo. We checked into our hotel for another excellent 3 course meal.


Day 5 -Lake Garda Day 1


This morning we travelled up to Ferarra di Monte Baldo to take part in morning mass at Santuario Madonna della Corona.

This beautiful church is built into the rocks on the side of the mountain. The access to the church for most of us was a long kilometre on a very steep and winding road.


 

Others accessed it via a small and very rickety bus. the sound of the previous service could be heard echoing round the mountain and down into the valley. We were amazed by the stunning views over the valley very reminiscent of Monserrat in Spain.

We then sang mass to a packed church and performed a short recital at the end of the service. We then hiked  our way back up the long kilometre to meet our coach which took us Verona.



Here we went to various eating places, relaxed in the park and most visited Juliet's balcony.



We then took our coach to Sona where we were treated to a very tasty home cooked meal of lasagna and roast beef and chips by members of the church of San Salvatore.



We performed a concert in the church to rapturous applause. One of the songs we sang was "rainstorm " and as we left the church the rain came down and we had a beautiful thunderstorm. And so to bed. and for those in the know "day 5" went extremely well.

 

Day 6

Lake Garda day 2

 

After a welcome late breakfast we boarded our coach for a full day of sightseeing.

We started with a visit to the Malcesine cable car which took us to San Michel half way up Monte Baldo with its magnificent views over Lake Garda.

 

We had lunch in the cafe admiring the vista before taking the cable car back down into the town. We boarded the coach and made our way to the Verone Water falls.

This was a wonderfully cool oasis on a very hot day. We had the opportunity to explore the caves cut out by the waterfall, and look at the beautiful flowers.

We then made our way to Riva del Garda on the shores of Lake Garda where we wandered through the town before enjoying an early evening ice cream. Which some of us remembered from our tour in 2009.

Then we made our way back to our hotel for dinner and some free time before packing our cases.

 

Day 7

 

 

We packed our cases after breakfast and enjoyed a couple of hours at the pool and relaxing at the hotel before a hot lunch and our departure.  Our flight was scheduled for 21.40 so we had plenty of time for a visit to the beautiful town of Sirmione, one of the most popular "sights" on Lake Garda.

  

Visitors flood in each day to view this picturesque peninsula with its 13th century castle and bustling squares.  For us this was the final chance for a delicious ice cream.


One last opportunity for souvenir shopping and taking in the glorious lake and sunshine, and we boarded our coach to the airport.  Unfortunately notification that our flight was delayed was already pinging up on phones

 

The 21.40 departure became 23.00 and then finally 23.55!  We were the last flight out!  Everyone kept in good spirits, and scoured the airport for snacks and drinks before finally boarding the plane for the UK.  Unfortunately this delay meant we arrived back at SHSg at 3.30am - exactly to the minute 7 days since our departure there at 3.30am on 26th July. 

 

This has been a great tour with a really lovely group of singers, and a brilliant team of chaperones.  Here's to 2018.


 



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