Viva Italia Tour

Viva Italia Tour

31 August - 30 September 2020

We invite you to join us to celebrate the vibrancy of Italy, Viva Italia! on a brand new 31 day opera tour to experience the incredible Festival Verdi and Verona Opera Festival. We avoid the tourist traps and luxuriate in rich musical and gourmet experiences in small, charming, intrinsically Italian towns and discover the beautiful regions which inspired Verdi, Puccini and Pavarotti to produce some of the greatest music of all time.

$21,973 NZD
per person
Twin Share
Single Room Supplement
- ADD $5,775 NZD
Initial Deposit On Booking
$2,000 NZD
Second Deposit Due 30 January 2020
$3,000 NZD
Final Balance Due 1 May 2020

Viva Italia Tour

  • Experience the Exceptional

    Festival Verdi (winner of best festival in the world at the 2018 International Opera Awards) with three great operas Rigoletto, I Lombardi and Macbeth in historic theatres plus we learn about Verdi's life and music with visits to his birthplace, his villa (where the family still live), and his opera houses.

    Verona Opera Festival with two great operas Turandot and Aida, staying in a 16th century villa in the countryside.

    Immerse ourselves in the Emilia Romagna region, famous as a gastronomic producer, where we will enjoy cooking classes and tours of balsamic vinegar, Parma ham, wine and parmigiana, plus gourmet meals at vineyards and villas, learning how locals produce their own delights, while staying at an 18th century palazzo!

    Visit Pavarotti’s house with a private gala concert in his music room plus drinks and dinner - a premium event!

    Long stays in each region to learn about and experience its own food, music and culture.

    Numerous music and arts experiences including visit to Mantua, the setting of Verdi’s great opera Rigoletto and birth place of opera, Lucca Puccini experience, tour of Palladio architecture, Uffizi and Accademia Florence, Verdi concerts, organ recitals and opera concerts.

    A beach stay in the charming non-touristy Sestri Levante and visits to Cinque Terre and the Italian Riviera.

  • We begin and end our Italy Opera Tour with flights to and from Dubai on Emirates.

    As we arrive into Dubai early in the morning we have arranged another night's accommodation so we can go to our rooms immediately. On return we arrive into Dubai late at night so we will again have access to our rooms immediately.

    Our stopovers are planned to give you time to rest and get ready for our Opera Tour of Italy. We include a dinner on the BICE Mare restaurant terrace, while watching the famous music fountain display. Time can be spent shopping or relaxing in our 5 star hotel which is adjoining the Mall of Emirates.

  • Byblos Art Hotel Villa, Verona. Fly into Venice and drive to Verona.

    Opera in the ancient outdoor Verona Arena, home of Romeo and Juliet

    Our opera tour begins with five nights staying in a magnificent villa in the countryside near Verona. Our operas, Turandot and Aida are presented in the original pink marble Roman amphitheatre built in 1AD which boasts wonderful acoustics, so opera here is a magical experience.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Stay in a 16th century villa in the countryside with swimming pool, fountains and a Baroque interior which houses an amazing art collection, worth millions of dollars.
    • Turandot, Puccini's great opera at the Verona Arena!
    • Aida, Verdi's most spectacular opera, at Verona Arena, final gala night of the Verona Opera Festival!
    • Welcome dinner in an elegant restaurant where Maria Callas and other famous singers dined with a view of Verona Arena.
    • Half day walking tour of Verona including seeing Juliet’s balcony.
    • Free day for relaxing at our Italian villa and enjoying this lovely town.
    • Full day tour to Mantova (Mantua) with visits to 14th century fortress Palazzo Ducal, Mantua UNESCO World Heritage listed, and castle, home to famous Duke of Mantua and setting of Verdi’s opera Rigoletto.
    • Tour of Bibiena Opera House where Mozart appeared many times  - the place where Italian opera was born plus tour of the town and visit to the statue of Rigoletto.
    • Dinner in the award winning restaurant at our hotel.
    • Full day tour of Palladio architecture to Vicenza, all UNESCO World Heritage listed, Villa Barbaro, the most beautiful creation of Palladio, walking tour of Vicenza, Basilica Palladio, Palladio Museum, Church at Santa Corona and Teatro Olimpico, the oldest indoor theatre with its original roof and with the oldest stage set constructed in 1585!


    ~ Travel from Verona to Florence via Ferrari Museum

     Visit to Ferrari Mirella then lunch at a cute local restaurant followed by tour of a parmigiana factory with its private collection of Lamborghini.

  • Hotel Pierre 

    Two opera concerts, Tuscany countryside tour and Puccini immersion day

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Guided city sightseeing with reserved entrances for the Uffizi, displaying some of the greatest paintings in the world from the Old Masters and Accademia Galleries, including Michelangelo's 'David'.
    • A traditional Tuscan dinner with opera concert.
    • Puccini immersion day-trip to Lucca including tour of Puccini’s house, walking tour of Lucca plus a Puccini recital.
    • Tuscany experience day - scenic day in Tuscany with an Italian long lunch on the terrace with views to San Gimignano and the Tuscan countryside at an Italian Agriturismo restaurant.
    • Full day of leisure to explore the markets and sights including the Medici Palace.

    ~Travel from Florence to Sestri Levante via Pisa

    Walking tour of Pisa including the Leaning Tower and Baptistery.

  • Vis a Vis Hotel

    One of Liguria's lovely hidden gems, Sestri Levante is a favourite with Italian holiday makers but is not touristy. It is small and in a fairy-tale setting, between the Baia di Silenzio (Bay of Silence) and the Baia delle Favole (Bay of Fables), so-named as a tribute to Hans Christian Anderson, who once lived here.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Staying in Sestri Levante, one of the most lovely beachside towns in Italy.
    • Sea view or partial sea view rooms in this lovely hotel, set above the town with a holiday atmosphere and a chance to absorb ourselves in this area.
    • Experience the Italian Riviera: a sweeping shore that curves between France's Côte d'Azur and Tuscany with beaches of sparkling blue waters, seaside towns and old-world 'ritziness'.
    • Gourmet dinner with local musicians in an award winning restaurant on the sea in the most beautiful setting.
    • Cooking class and then a chance to enjoy our labours with drinks overlooking the bay at sunset.
    • Boat trip to Portofino and Rapello with a chance to wander and enjoy lunch and shopping.
    • Visit the extraordinary steep villages of Cinque Terre of coastal Liguria that maintain the charm of Italian yesteryear, with lunch in a local restaurant.
    • Free time to enjoy our own walks in this gorgeous town, drink cocktails with extraordinary views over the two bays, sit by the swimming pool or eat at local restaurants.

    ~ Travel to our villa near Bologna via Reggio Emilia

    Travel today via Reggio Emilia, a really charming town, with visits to museums, the opera house and time to wander.

  • Palazzo di Varignana Resort & Spa, near Bologna

    We base ourselves in this 18th century incredible villa, away from tourists. A place perfect for relaxing with its three swimming pools, golf course, spa and views over the countryside set on a 20 hectare vineyard and olive farm.

    We enjoy the wonderful atmosphere but it is also a great place to explore the gastronomic delights of this opera and foodies paradise region.

    HIGHLIGHTS in Palazzo Di Varignana and the Emilia Romagna region include:

    • Premium event - visit and tour to Pavarotti’s house, private gala concert in Pavarotti’s music room with local professional singers and pianist using the great tenor’s own Steinway piano, followed by drinks on the terrace and dinner.
    • Bologna Tour including guided walking tour: Archiginnasio Anatomical Theatre, which is part of the oldest university in the world and where the first dissection was performed for its medical students! Other great sights in this lovely city include Stabat Mater Hall where Rossini’s Stabat Mater was first performed, Piazza Maggiore, the miles of porticos throughout the city and two of its many churches: Basilica di San Petronio, which houses the first European Meridian Line dating from 1576 and the Catholic Cathedral, Cattedrale Metropolitana di San Pietro.
    • A chance to relax and enjoy this beautiful hotel and setting with its farm, food, and swimming pools.
    • Numerous foodies experience including visits to a balsamic vinegar farm and a cooking class, then a hilltop dinner with views over the valley at sunset. A very special and gourmet experience.
    • Walking tour of Modena, home to Pavarotti’s Theatre and balsamic vinegar.
  • Hotel Grand de la Ville, Parma

    We spend seven nights immersed in Verdi country experiencing three of his great operas plus visits to Verdi’s houses, special concerts, organ recitals on the organ which Verdi learnt his music, as well as gourmet food experiences and visits to violin museum and factory with violin recital.

    HIGHLIGHTS include:

    • Three opening nights of Verdi operas: Rigoletto, I Lombardi and Macbeth as part of the famous Festival Verdi, including opera premiere of Festival Verdi at Teatro Regio di Parma. We enjoy dinner before the opera at Gran Caffè del Teatro inside the Teatro Regio di Parma. Festival Verdi won best festival in the world at the 2018 International Opera Awards.
    • Guided visit to the Teatro Regio backstage: Foyer, Ridotto Hall, Scenography Room, Costume Room.
    • 'Verdi homelands day' including visit to Verdi birthplace, the most evocative monument of Verdi, guided visit to the nearby San Michele Church with the organ where Giuseppe Verdi learned to play music. Lunch and meet 1 Michelin Star chef at the ancient medieval restaurant, where the environment and the dishes tell the story of an important tradition.
    • Guided tour of Villa Verdi and its garden and we visit exclusively the private rooms where the family is still living.
    • Walking tour of Parma including a visit to the Teatro Farnese, a breath-taking wooden theatre of the 15th Century, to the Romanesque Cathedral with the dome frescoed by Correggio and the pink marble baptistery by Benedetto Antelami.
    • Dinner at “Verdi Club” Restaurant Corale Verdi for an opera night. This restaurant represents the great love of Parma citizens for opera!
    • With a private concert and the chance to meet some members of 'Club dei 27', a very exclusive club where each person is one of the operas of Verdi, their names are: La Traviata, I Due Foscari, Nabucco and they know all anecdotes about the opera and about Verdi in general.
    • Foodies day in the Parma hills including visit and tasting of Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham) factory, Parmigiano Reggiano cheese and lunch of local gourmet delights at a local winery overlooking the medieval Torrechiara Castle. Visit to Torrechiara Castle dated 1460, with its history of battles and of love!
    • Full day excursion to Cremona which includes: tour of the Museo del Violino, private Stradivari violin concert inside the Auditorium of the Violin Museum, a visit to a violin maker’s workshop with demonstration, and a tour of the 12th century Cathedral the Romanesque Baptistery.
    • Organ promenade tour with short recitals inside Santa Cristina Church, the Cathedral, organ recital inside San Giovanni Church including the exclusive visit to the Library and Benedictine complex.

    This trip can be booked in conjunction with the Oberammergau Tour, also hosted by Sue & John.

    There is an optional pre-tour before the Viva Italia tour, running 29 August - 02 Sept 2020.
    This is NOT included in the Viva Italia tour price and does not include airfares. 
    A semi-escorted 4 nights in Venice which includes La Traviata at the La Fenice Opera House, return transfers from the airport to the hotel on private boat, one long Italian dinner, 4 nights of hotel accommodation staying at the centrally located Bauer Hotel plus breakfast.
    Airfares can be arranged to meet up with this pre tour option either from NZ or other destinations.
    Twin share $2810
    Single add $1900

This trip includes

  • Return airfares, Auckland - Dubai - Venice// Bologna - Dubai - Auckland, economy flights on Emirates

  • Long stays in each town to allow us time to settle and really get to know the region. Accommodation in 4 or 5 star hotels in Verona (5 nights), Florence (4 nights), Sestri Levante (4 nights), (5 nights), Parma (7 nights) plus 4 nights Dubai stopovers including early check in.

  • Five operas total, three at the Verdi Festival: Rigoletto, I Lombardi and Macbeth, all in historic, beautiful opera houses. Two at the Verona Festival: Turandot and Aida in the Verona Arena, a 1st century Roman amphitheatre, with extraordinary acoustics. (All operas are confirmed).

  • Exceptional exclusive musical experiences include Verdi Homelands tour, organ recitals and concerts in places relevant to Verdi’s life, private concert in Pavarotti’s house, tour to Mantua to see the setting for Rigoletto and the birthplace of opera, Puccini immersion day and Puccini concert.

  • Other musical events include opera concerts in Florence and Lucca, organ recitals in Parma, violin recital at Stradivarius Museum and music at special dinners.

  • Fabulous food experiences including 14 dinners, 7 lunches, gourmet food experiences including foodies tours and visits to vineyards, balsamic vinegar, Parma ham and parmigiana producers with tastings, long lunches, gourmet dinners and cooking demonstrations.

  • Reserved entrances, therefore no long queues, to Uffizi Gallery, Academia, Baptistry, Cathedral & Leaning Tower ofPisa, guided tours include Mantua, Florence, Parma, Verona, Bologna and Vicenza with all entries included.

  • Other special experiences include staying in two Italian grand villas and historic hotels, cruises on the Italian Riviera to Portofino and the Cinque Terre, architecture tour of Palladio works, Ferrari Museum, opera house tours, tour to the oldest university in the world, churches and art galleries.

  • All tours, boat cruises, coach transfers included as listed on itinerary plus reserved entrance and entrance fees to all sights and sites as listed in itinerary.

  • All breakfast, 14 dinners and 7 lunches, tips, porterage and taxes included.

  • Hosted by Operatunity owners Susan and John Cameron.


    • All trips are subject to change but any changes will be of equal or greater value.

    • Deposits refundable until final payment date minus any costs incurred, or an administration fee of up to $300.

    • Travellers need to be independently mobile and fit to travel.

    • Travellers are required to obtain comprehensive travel insurance for all international trips.

    Please refer to terms & conditions on our booking form.


    This is still a moderately paced tour, but you will be required to walk longer distances, walk on cobblestones and stand in museums. To really get the best out of this tour you need to be able to stand or walk for a couple of hours comfortably, be it at a leisurely pace.

  • This trip can be booked in conjunction with the Oberammergau Tour, also hosted by Sue and John.

    Please note:

    The optional extra 4 nights in Venice before the beginning of the Viva Italia tour. This is not included in the Viva Italia tour price.

    Dates are 29 August - 02 Sept 2020

    Airfares can be arranged to meet up with this pre tour option either from NZ or other destinations. For Venice only sector - no airfares.


Byblos Art Hotel Villa, Verona (5 nights) is a 5 star hotel and a living art gallery housed in a 16th-century villa, 20 minutes drive from Verona. It has a delightful garden, swimming pool and fountains which then lead us into amazing Baroque interiors and incredible art.

The Hotel Pierre, Florence (4 nights) is housed in a 13th century historic building and is situated in the heart of the historic centre of Florence, just a few steps from Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Duomo and Uffizi Gallery.

Vis a Vis Hotel, Sestri Levante (4 nights) is perched high above the town providing spectacular views over two beautiful bays. It has an elevator which takes us down to just a few steps from the historical centre of the town and a short walk to the beaches. Awarded second place in the category of Rooms with a View, the hotel offers one of the most exclusive and romantic views anywhere in the world.

Palazzo di Varignana Resort & Spa, near Bologna (5 nights) is a prestigious, elegant hotel in the Emilia countryside. An 18th Century villa, restored to its original splendour, is the setting for relaxation and beauty on 20 hectares of gardens, vineyards and olive trees.

Grand Hotel de la Ville, Parma (7 nights) is the only 5 star hotel in Parma and is within walking distance of the historic centre and all the sights of the city, located in the exclusive Barilla Centre.

Mall of Emirates Hotel Dubai, (4 nights including early and late check in/ stopovers return.) We begin and end our Italy Opera Tour with flights to and from Dubai with Emirates. As we arrive into Dubai early in the morning we have arranged another night's accommodation so we can go to our rooms immediately. On return we arrive into Dubai late at night so we will again have access to our rooms immediately.



FIVE OPERA IN TOTAL (All operas are confirmed).

Verdi Festival: Rigoletto, I Lombardi and Macbeth, all in historic, beautiful opera houses

Verona Festival: Turandot and Aida in the Verona Arena, a 1st century Roman amphitheatre, with extraordinary acoustics.

Plus exceptional exclusive musical experiences include Verdi Homelands tour, organ recitals and concerts in places relevant to Verdi’s life, private concert in Pavarotti’s house, tour to Mantua to see the setting for Rigoletto and the birthplace of opera, Puccini immersion day and Puccini concert.

Travel Insurance

Every customer is required to take out insurance for all international travel when taking a trip with Operatunity Ltd. We have our own travel insurance broker and we invite you to ring direct for your insurance requirements.

Phone Harriet on 09 3629038 Or email Harriet.lawrence@aon.comYou are of course welcome to make your own insurance arrangements for travel, just be sure that your insurance policy covers you extensively especially when travelling to certain countries such as USA with its high health costs.



Operatunity provides group senior travel and with this in mind we plan trips to suit our target market. But not every trip is created equal in terms of mobility. We want to give you the best possible experience but that will only be achieved if you are able to enjoy everything that our trips have to offer.
Most of our long haul trips require a better level of mobility. We will look after everyone as well as we possibly can, but we cannot look after one at the expense of the rest of the group. We also cannot have one person slowing the rest of group to the point where the group is not able to enjoy every experience we are able to provide.
With this in mind we have put a mobility clause into every trip. Under each explanation here I have popped a statement. Ask yourself if this is ‘you’, when booking on a trip.

None of the following mobility clauses preclude you from ordering a wheelchair at the airport if required.

1. GENTLE TOUR This tour will suit most people, even with a stick or a walker, but sorry not someone in a wheelchair. The activity level is gently paced, but you still need to be able to get on and off buses easily. There will be walking, but not a lot. “I love travelling, but at a gentle pace. I like to avoid stairs or too much activity, but I am able to get on and off buses easily.” 

2. EASY TOUR This tour will suit people with a stick, but not a walker. You will be required to walk to get from place to place and stand in museums, but it is designed to be an easy tour with lots of times to rest, travel on a coach and walk easy leisurely distances.  ”Walking is fine. I can get on and off a coach. I am happy to stand for an hour or two in museums and galleries and gently stroll through places of interest. I am happy to climb the odd set of stairs.” 

3. MODERATE WALKING TOUR This tour requires a better level of fitness with no wheelchairs or walkers. Generally, there may be times when we can’t get the coach close. In some of our Pacific Island tours we will need you to transfer onto a tender and walk on soft sand. We also will have much longer flights and long walks through airports. “I like walking at a moderate pace. I love to keep my days full and experience everything the tour has to  offer. Stairs, tender transfers and cobblestones don’t bother me.” 

4.  EXPLORING TOUR This is still a moderately paced tour, but you will be required to walk longer distances, walk on cobblestones and stand in museums. To really get the best out of this tour you need to be able to stand or walk for a couple  of hours comfortably, be it at a leisurely pace.  “I like to spend most of the day exploring. Whether walking historic neighbourhoods on cobblestones at a moderate pace or out and about on a coach, I want my days full. Stairs don’t bother me and I am keen to see and do as much as I can with the odd day off to recuperate.” 

  • Operatunity is a company specialising in music lovers tours to the senior market. Each trip has been especially planned to include music and arts experiences and has a level of friendliness and care which cannot be found anywhere else! Our trips are packed with features not found anywhere else

  • Yes we have lots of people who travel on their own. We endeavour to match you up with someone who lives close to you or is close in age to you. Often you will get a chance to meet with your matchup or ring them before you leave on your trip. You also may prefer to travel solo and pay the single supplement price. We travel as a happy band so there will be lots of chances to meet people. You will find fellow music lovers and those with other similar interests. In fact those like the nicer things of life so you will travel with like-minded people.
    It is also important to remember that our singers are our escorts so you will see at least a couple of familiar faces as you leave.

  • If you live outside of Auckland, we can arrange travel and accommodation on your way to meet up with our group. We have access and can book domestic airfares in conjunction with Air New Zealand international airfares. Plus we can book your pre and post tour accommodation if required.

  • It is compulsory for our international trips and highly recommended for our domestic tours. 

  • No as most airlines offer various special meals and any restaurants we visit are happy to accommodate special dietary requirements.

  • While we will endeavour to provide the best possible experience and care, all travellers must be fit to travel and be independent. All trips are catering for a senior market but some trips will suit better than others. Some trips also carry an advisory note as they require a higher level of fitness.

  • We ask that you can walk at least 100 metres unaided and be able to get on and off buses with little or no assistance. We cater for a senior market but it is important that you do not jeopardise the enjoyment of others by requiring more care and holding up the rest of the group. Talk to our office or staff at concerts and any advisory notes for individual trips to get a better idea of your suitability for each trip.

  • We stay at 4 and 5 star character hotels, avoiding package, tourist or big hotel chains. We choose  hotels with a more personal feel often with historic content or hotels of beauty and character, centrally located or in parks, by the water, or with beautiful gardens.

  • Breakfast is included daily, and many dinners and lunches are also included as per our itinerary.

  • There are no hidden costs. Included in the trip are tips, taxes, porterage, breakfast, meals where specified, inclusions listed in the itinerary, entry fees where listed in the itinerary, concert/show tickets where listed in the itinerary, tour escorts and local specialised guides. 

  • Some of our trips sell out very quickly and we recommend you make your booking as soon as you can to avoid disappointment. 

  • We will ask you to pay an initial deposit when making your booking. We will then follow up for a second deposit and then a final balance payment prior to travel.

  • All deposits up until final payment are refundable minus any costs the company may incur.

    After final deposit refunds are unlikely and the refund becomes an insurance claim. We do not charge a cancellation fee.

  • Our numbers vary from destination to destination, please contact our office for further information.  We have a minimum number required to operate a tour. Should minimum numbers not be met, a full refund will be made. 

  • For international trips, all guests must have a valid passport that does not expire earlier than at least 6 months beyond their intended stay. 

  • Music is a key element in making our experiences special. There are special experiences and events every day, such as themed dinners, impromptu concerts, music, art tours with art experts and garden tours with garden experts.

  • Most hotels now have internet connection and all hotels have telephones in the room or at reception. If using your mobile telephone check calling and text rates, and disable data roaming before leaving New Zealand. Consider purchasing a prepaid SIM card. And you can keep in touch using social media such as Facebook. We have a copy of your next of kin details in case of emergency and we are also happy to help out with texts, phone calls and emails if you can’t get in touch with your family and need to while away. We are also happy to help out with getting your phones, ipads and cameras to work if needed while away.

  • We spend less time travelling between regions, allowing more time to enjoy experiences when you arrive. We avoid one night stops and “conveyor belt” travel, so you really can capture the local colour and vitality of the region. Our trips are planned so that there is a balance of included activities and free time for you to relax or do some exploring on your own.

  • Contact Operatunity Travel 

    Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Mail your booking form to PO BOX 132 150, Sylvia Park, Auckland 1644
    Email: travel@operatunity.co.nz

  • Phone toll free: 0508 886 489
    Email: travel@operatunity.co.nz


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