Thursday 25 to Sunday 28 August 2022
Bergamo, Verona, Garda Lake & Iseo Lake
3-4* hotels in Bergamo & Verona
Direct flights to Italy
Update 30 June 2021
This 2021 trip is cancelled due to the ongoing uncertainty about corona measures and the unpredictability of travel restrictions. We are coming back with this trip in 2022. Pre-reserve your spot now.
Attending an opera in the 2.000 year old Arena of Verona must be on everyone’s bucket list. The atmosphere in this 15.000 seats arena during a summer-evening opera is magical. The warm air, the snow-capped alps in the distance and thousands of stars above you, while the world’s best opera stars perform the most famous operas, such as Aïda, Nabuco and La Traviata. Verona is a city of love and romance. No wonder, it’s also the home of Romeo and Juliette. During this long weekend trip we also a few other magnificent places close to Verona, which allows you to add 3 UNESCO World Heritage Sites! What to think about Sirmione in the beautiful Lago di Garda, a stunning little town with a medieval castle situated on a peninsula in the lake? On the last day we visit the small but stunning Lago d’Iseo.
Pre-reserve your spot now
We would like to know if you are interested in this trip. If yes, please let us know by making a pre-reservation. This is for free and without obligation. You can do this in 2 ways. If you are a member, log in and click on the RSVP button. If you are not yet a member, you can either first register as a member, the log in and click on the RSVP on this page, or you can send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org with the number of people you would like to join.
Making a pre-reservation comes for free and without obligations. We would love to hear if you feel like joining, but you are not obligated to actually do so until you make a final booking (from end June).
What is the trip fee?
We are currently not yet able to give you a precise trip fee, but will publish this by 30 June or earlier.
What is included in the trip fee?
This trip will be rather inclusive, meaning that we will arrange most of the items beforehand. More items will be added until the trip is fully confirmed. Please check the final package upon reservation.
- Private transportation from Place Schuman to Brussels-Charleroi
- Direct Ryan Air flights from Brussels-Charleroi to Milano-Bergamo
- Local transfers in Italy
- 1 night in a good 4* hotel in Bergamo, including breakfast
- 2 night in a good 3* hotel in Verona, including breakfast
- Guided tours in Verona and Sirmione
- A boat tour on Lago di Garda
- A visit to Isola del Garde
- Entrance ticket Opera Aïda
- Entrance ticket Opera Turandot
- Welcome dinner
- A great group of international people
- A lifetime memory
What is optional?
This trip already rather inclusive. Still, there are a few things that you can optionally select. Prices are shown during the reservation process after you click on the blue “Reserve my spot” button.
- Single room
- 1 checked luggage (10-20kg)
What about the flights?
Expat Club arranges private return airport transfers from Brussels to Brussels-Charleroi Airport, and from/to Bergamo Airport to the city center, as well as between Bergamo and Verona (train). In other words, all transportation is included.
- Thu 26/8 – Brussels Charleroi 18h10 – Milano Bergamo 19h45
- Sun 29/8 – Milano Bergamo 15h20 – Brussels Charleroi 16h50
Who can join?
Expat Club welcomes everyone who feels like joining an open-minded international group of expats and Belgians. Most of our participants are 30-65 years old with some younger and some older, and work in a variety of fields (EU, NATO, NGO, diplomacy, corporate, academics).
- Members & non-members
- Expats & (international) Belgians
- All ages, including children (minimum 8 years advised due to topic)
- Singles / couples / retirees / friends / colleagues / families
Expat Club welcomes families on board. For this trip, however, be aware that the operas are long and possibly boring. Please contact us before making a reservation, so we can give you a proper discount and can assign the right rooms for you.
The program for this trip to Verona (and surroundings), like any other Expat Club trip, is carefully designed. We value realistic departure, travel and arrival times, and put a lot of effort into allocating enough time to visit each destination. Of course still much depend on traffic situations, but you can rest assured that we always do our best to give you the most optimal experience. The below schedule is very close to the final program, but until we have everything fully confirmed some elements still change a bit.
Thursday 27 August
15h00 – Meeting at Place Schuman
16h00 – Arrival by private taxi at Brussels Charleroi
18h10 – Departure on Ryan Air FR4526 to Milano Bergamo
19h45 – Arrival at Milano Bergamo
20h30 – Check-in hotel
21h00 – Italian dinner
Friday 28 August
08h00 – Breakfast
09h00 – Check-out & transfer to old town
09h30 – Guided tour Old Town
11h30 – Early lunch
12h30 – Walk to hotel & pick-up bags
13h00 – Train to Verona
14h00 – Arrival Verona
14h15 – Check-in hotel
15h00 – Walk to city & Guided tour
18h00 – Dinner in city
20h45 – Opera Aïda (Giuseppe Verdi)
00h00 – End opera & drinks in town
Saturday 29 August
08h00 – Breakfast
09h00 – Daytrip to Lago di Garda
– Guided tour at Sirmione
– Long boat tour on Lago di Garda
– Visit to Isola del Garda
18h00 – Return to Verona
20h45 – Opera Turandot (Giacomo Puccini)
Sunday 30 August
08h00 – Breakfast
09h00 – Checkout from hotel
09h45 – Visit to Brescia
11h00 – Drive around Lago d’Iseo
13h30 – Arrival Milano Bergamo Airport
15h20 – Departure Ryan Air FR4527
16h50 – Arrival Brussels Charleroi
17h15 – Private transfer to Brussels Place Schuman
18h15 – Arrival Place Schuman
Our itinerary for this 4-day trip will take us to some of the most beautiful cities and parts in Northern Italy, including Bergamo, Verona, the legendary 2000-years old Arena, the “peninsula town” Sirmione at the Lago di Garda and on our final day Lago d’Iseo, possibly the most beautiful lake in Northern Italy with stunning panoramic views and ancient villages.
Verona & Opera
The city of Verona in the Veneto region in Northern Italy dates back to the 1st century B.C., although there are indications of previous settlements in the same area. It’s city centre is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
“The historic city of Verona was founded in the 1st century B.C. It particularly flourished under the rule of the Scaliger family in the 13th and 14th centuries and as part of the Republic of Venice from the 15th to 18th centuries. Verona has preserved a remarkable number of monuments from antiquity, the medieval and Renaissance periods, and represents an outstanding example of a military stronghold.” – Unesco website
The city is situated on the Adige river and acquired Roman citizenship in 49 B.C. After that the development of the city went fast, with the construction of temples, bridges, theatres, city walls and of course the world famous Verona Arena, one of the most important monuments from that era. During our visit to the city we will discover them all with a professional guide.
Verona is also the “City of Love” of Romeo and Juliet. We’ll visit their houses and of course see the famous balcony. But of course the most famous place of all is that magnificent 2000 year old arena. Nowadays it is still a beloved venue by the world’s biggest stars, including Paul McCartney, Roger Waters, Pearl Jam and many more. But the Opera Festival that takes place in the summer is probably the reason why so many people choose Verona as their holiday destination.
The Opera Festival of Arena was founded well over 100 years ago with a performance of Verdi’s Aïda, in 1913. This Opera is still the must-see opera, although Nabucco is performed also virtually every year. Can you imagine a 250-strong Hebrew slave choir performing Va Pensiero on the steps of the arena? It is an incredible experience that is virtually always repeated after a minutes-long standing ovation by the 15.000 attendees under the Italian star-filled night sky.
We will be attending two operas, Verdi’s Masterpiece Aïda on Friday evening and Puccini’s Turandot with the world-famous aria Nessun Dorma on Saturday.
The Lago di Garda is with Lago Maggiore and Lago di Como the most famous lake in Northern Italy. The surroundings are simply stunningly beautiful. Against the backdrop of the Italian Alps, the shores are covered with lovely villages, exquisite villas and endless promenades. A visit to Verona would not be complete without a visit to Lago di Garda, so our Saturday we’ll be spending mostly there.
The Garda lake stretches out over 50km from the planes near Verona to Riva del Garda and Torbole in the North and between the mountains. We will discover it first from the shores on the spectacular peninsula Sirmione in the very South. This resort town also dates back to well B.C. and contains another UNESCO World Heritage Site:
Prehistoric Pile Dwellings around the Alps This serial property of 111 small individual sites encompasses the remains of prehistoric pile-dwelling (or stilt house) settlements in and around the Alps built from around 5000 to 500 B.C. on the edges of lakes, rivers or wetlands. Excavations, only conducted in some of the sites, have yielded evidence that provides insight into life in prehistoric times during the Neolithic and Bronze Age in Alpine Europe and the way communities interacted with their environment. Fifty-six of the sites are located in Switzerland. The settlements are a unique group of exceptionally well-preserved and culturally rich archaeological sites, which constitute one of the most important sources for the study of early agrarian societies in the region. - UNESCO website
After lunch we are probably ready to cool down a bit, so Expat Club arranged a private speedboat to further explores Lago di Garda from the water. Feel the warm-cool breeze on your face while we are sailing Northbound to the hilly Northern region of the lake. No doubt we stop at the exquisite “Isola di Garda” for a guided tour through the gardens and the villa.
On our last day we still have a full morning and lunch time before going to the airport. We could stay in Verona, but we’ve already seen it. We don’t have time to Mantova (our original plan for the 2020 trip) due to flight changes. We could visit Brescia on our way to Bergamo. But maybe we should just see the little jewel among the Great Lakes of Northern Italy, Lago d’Iseo. We’ll drive around the lake, stop in some of the greatest historic villages, including Iseo, Pisogne and Lovere, before driving onward along the Western shore towards Orio-al-Serio, Milan-Bergamo Airport, for our flight back to Brussels.
Expat Club always arranges good hotels for our trips. For this trip we have found two good 4* hotels in Bergamo and a good 3* hotel in Verona, each located at a stone’s throw from the stations. For Bergamo this is great because we won’t lose much time to get to our hotels from the airport express drop-off points. Also, we literally have to walk one street (about 15min) to get to the funicular (steep train) that will take us to the splendid old Upper Town. In the afternoon we take a quick train to Verona, so we only have to pick-up our luggage from the hotel, walk just a few minutes to the station and continue our journey by rails. Upon arrival in Verona we again have to walk just 2-3 minutes to get to our hotel. How easy!
Best Western Hotel Piemontese****
Our first Best Western hotel is located right next to the Bergamo train station, so perfect to come from the airport and to go to Verona (just like the next hotel). This 4-star establishment offers air-conditioned rooms with free WiFi and a flat-screen TV. Each room has a large, private bathroom. Some have a balcony. A buffet breakfast is available daily.
Best Western Hotel Cappello d’Oro****
Our second hotel in Bergamo is also part of the Best Western chain. This 4-star hotel is located at just a few minutes by foot from the station, so also perfectly located. Offering air-conditioned rooms with free Wi-Fi access and an LCD TV, Hotel Cappello d’Oro its rooms include a mini-bar and tea and coffee-making facilities. Needless to say, a good breakfast is included already.
In Verona we stay in a good 3-star hotel located right next to the station. Super easy for our arrival in the city. We can check-in immediately, freshen up a bit, before walking over to the centre of Verona (about 15 minutes). All the air-conditioned rooms come with a private bathroom with a shower and a hairdryer. A satellite TV, a desk and a mini-bar are also available. Free WiFi is available throughout the hotel. Also here breakfast is included.
In each hotel you can choose between the following room options, all include a private bathroom:
- Single room (normally with 1 large bed, with surcharge)
- Double room (1 large bed, for couples, no surcharge)
- Twin room (2 single beds, for 2 friends travelling together)
- Twin room (2 single beds, for 2 single female travellers who would like to avoid the single surcharge)
- Triple / family rooms (double bed + single bed / sofa, upon request only)
Expat Club room sharing for single travellers
If you are joining this trip on your own, you can of course take a single room, but then you pay a surcharge (start the booking process). However, you can also opt for the Expat Club room sharing service. This means you do not pay the single surcharge. During the outbound journey we will introduce you to the other travellers who also want to share a room. We do not assign a room partner, but you can mutually agree to share the room. We only offer female/female and male/male rooms. This is a great way to save some money while you get to know another nice person on this trip.
We have decided to Milano-Bergamo, because of limited flights to Verona. In fact, it will give us the opportunity to see the stunning Upper Town of Bergamo and see Lago d’Iseo on the way back. These are the flight times.
- Thu 26/8 – FR4526 – Brussels Charleroi 18h10 >> Milano Bergamo 19h45
- Sun 29/8 – FR4527 – Milano Bergamo 15h20 >> Brussels Charleroi 16h50
We know that many of you don’t like Ryan Air and Charleroi Airport. We also prefer Brussels Airport and a regular airline, but it is what it is… To sweeten the deal a bit / a lot, your trip will include private transportation to/from Charleroi Airport and Bergamo Airport, priority boarding, an assigned seat, a 10kg hand luggage (check-in upon request with surcharge), and 1 small personal item. Plus, we will make sure a nice dinner is waiting for you upon arrival in / near our hotel. Sounds good?
- The flights will be carried out by Ryan Air.
- The trip is carefully planned. Still, all timings are indicative and may change if required by circumstances.
- The trip is sold as a package. You cannot go with your own transportation or arrange your own accommodation. If there are specific things that you do not want in the package, please let us know.
- You are personally responsible for getting good cancellation and/or travel insurance that covers you for unforeseen emergencies and medical expenses before or during the trip.
- You are personally responsible to make sure you adhere to local, national, and international corona measures, including arranging your green certificate and masks wearing.
- You are personally responsible for using the hotel room in an appropriate way. Any missing or broken items will be billed after the trip.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for unforeseen delays that influence the program (e.g. missed guided tours), neither can Expat Club be held liable for weather-related cancellations or any other unforeseen events that influence the course of the trip, including, but not limited to technical problems with the flights, coach, strikes, weather etc.
- Expat Club cannot be held liable for personal injuries during the trip, such as, but not limited to, things that happen during the guided tours. Joining this trip is safe but still at your own risk.
- If you do not find a room partner on your own, we will find one for you (male/male, female/female). During the outbound trip we will connect you with others in the same position. If you decide to take a single room during the trip, then you will have to fully pay for it yourself. We only have 1 male room available.
- If you book a double / twin room and your travel partner cancels, you will have to pay the single room supplement or share a room with another person (if available).