Small group tour to Venice and Genoa

City pairs and rivalries exist. When spice, gold, steel swords and cloth where major commodities in the Mediterranean then Venice and Genoa fought for market share. Venice offered mercenaries, Genoa, banks. Italian history tour for those interested in joining a small group educational tour for senior couple and mature solo travellers.

From $7,267USD



  1. 1. Explore and learn about Genoa and it the rivalry with Venice
  2. 2. Visit Pisa
  3. 3. Visit the Doges palace and Peggy Guggenheim Palazzo
  4. 4. Explore Milan
Small group tour to Venice and Genoa itinerary

Departure Dates

Departure Date Price
09 September 2024

Ends 26 September 2024

$7,267 Twin

$8,291 Single

28 April 2025

Ends 15 May 2025

$7,630 Twin

$8,803 Single

08 September 2025

Ends 25 September 2025

$7,630 Twin

$8,803 Single

27 April 2026

Ends 14 May 2026

$8,010 Twin

$9,249 Single

07 September 2026

Ends 24 September 2026

$8,010 Twin

$9,249 Single


Small group tour to Venice and Genoa, Italy

Genoa, a deep water harbour on the Western side of what is today's Italy. Venice the eastern side, closer to the trade routes of Alexandria and Constantinople with a shallow harbour but plenty of guns for hire. These two cities sought to suffocate each other to control the trade routes across Europe through war. The people of Genoa also had a problem with Pisa who where also keen to prosper from these trading routes. However, traders from Europe's north headed to party central Venice" which dominated European trade, proximity to the Silk route and Alexandria placed the Venetian in a strong position to trade. Genoa sought to be an influencer though it was only when the Atlantic opened up as a route to Spice did Genoa come to the fore.

On this 17 day small group tour you spend time exploring both of the historic cities with almost a week in each city. For Venice, the group is based in Padua, one of the oldest university towns where Gaileo studied and the frescoes are old. From here it is a pleasant ride into Venice each morning to continue to explore and visit this unique place. As as well St Marks and the Grand canal and other key places where history was made. We visit and explore the Guggenheim gallery (Peggy Guggenheim's collection) not only a truly great gallery of works assembled pre-dominately in the second world war, but a palazzo that Winston’ Churchill mistress owned and lived in after the infamous Marchesa Luisa Casati.

Venice had been on the good side of the Byzantines for fighting the Normans. Manuel’s predecessor Alexius I Comnenus even granted Venice unrestricted access, with no customs dues to trade throughout the Byzantine Empire in the East. This planted the seed of Venice’s monopoly in Eastern trade. However, this goodwill turned sour with the Venetians’ aggressive behaviour (and mockery of Manuel) during the siege of Corfu. This Venetian conflict with the Byzantines would later lead to Byzantine favour being granted to the Genoese, who would challenge the Venetian monopoly.

Genoa and Venice would fight an intermittent war until around the 14th century. The first match was in Acre, with the Genoese attacking the Venetian quarter. The Venetians were supported by Pisa, the Knights Templar and some of the local nobility, while Genoa was supported by the Catalans, the Knights Hospitaller, and other local nobles. The Venetian navy won in Acre and maintained the upper hand until 1270, when a truce was signed with the help of Louis IX of France, who mediated the peace treaty. Louis IX needed both fleets to stop fighting so they could fight for him in his crusade against the city of Tunis.

Louis IX’s crusade ended in failure and his death, and Genoa and Venice went to war again in 1294. In 1298 they had their biggest battle in the Adriatic, where the Venetian fleet was destroyed.

(It was during this war when the explorer Marco Polo, fighting for Venice, was taken prisoner and became a Genoese inmate from 1296 to 1299. He later chronicled his experiences in Travels of Marco Polo, which would later inspire the Genoa-born Christopher Columbus.)

This victory led to a period of growth in Genoa, and by the 13th century the city, with Florence, already had enough gold to start minting its own coins.

The rule of the powerful families of Genoa ended in a popular revolt and the installation of Genoa’s first doge (duke), Simone Boccanegra, in 1339. We learn more and more about these two historic cities rivalry during this tour.

We also visit Verona and the city art gallery as well as one of the great Palladio villas and break for two days in Milan on our way to Genoa. In Milan, the group has time to for a guided city walking tour and our time will also visit the Prada foundation art compound. Though we have planned to this small group educational tour to be based in 3 places for the 17 nights, Padua, Milan and Genoa as we weave our way through the history of each city with time to pause and people watch.

This is a tour that enables you to enjoy and watch the culture of Northern Italy come to life whilst exploring the history of the last 500 + years that made these great cities.


18 days

Day 1: Padua

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar

Group to make their own way to Padua.

Welcome dinner at the hotel.

Day 2: Padua

Morning guided tour of Padua, focused in the Venetian Republica sites, suck as the Winged Lion of St. Mark at Piazza dei Signori, Palazzo della Ragione, and visits to Sant Antonio Basilica and to Capella degli Scrovegni.

Afternoon visit continues to explore Padua and some early frescoes.

Day 3: Padua - Vincenza - Padua

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar

Morning train to Vicenza for a guided tour. The focus will be the sites related to the Venetian Republica.

Afternoon excursion to Chioggia. The Genoan’s took this city in battle from the Venetians in the 14th century after a lengthy siege so would be a different place to visit and add to the history of the tour. Return to Padua.

Return to Padua.

Day 4: Padua - Venice - Padua

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar

Full day excursion by train to Venice. Upon arrival to Venice Island train station, the group will take the Vaporetto to San Marco where they will meet a local guide for a full day walking tour to view the main sights, including a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace, St Marks and the Jewish Museum of Venice.

A visit to the island of Torcello will be possible if there is enough time before returning to Padua by train.

Day 5: Padua - Venice - Padua

Visit to the Guggenheim gallery. Guided tour on the history of the Palazzo and the art gallery.

This afternoon is at your leisure in Venice and we later return to Padua.

Evening meal in Padua at a local restaurant.

Day 6: Padua - Verona - Padu

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar

Travel to Verona. This morning the group starts with a guided walk to Juliet’s house, the Piazza and then the Museum of Verona. Walk Castelfranco Veneto for a guided tour of the walled city and a visit to the cathedral to view Castelfranco Madonna.

This afternoon the group visits Villa Chiminelli, a 16th century Venetian Villa with Veronese frescoes. This is an example of how the Venetian merchants spent there accumulated wealth.

Among the Venetian villas it regarded as one of the three leading villas of its kind.

Recent studies show that the original property, “already attributed to the Corner family,” belonged to Francesco Soranzo, a Venetian noble, parish priest in S. Andrea Oltre il Muson from 1563 to 1595. In 1614 it passed to the noble Piacentini family and, later, in 1852, to the Tiepolo family. During the Second World War, in 1944, the Villa was occupied by the German armed forces, who used it as a military hospital, and later, with the liberation, by the American allied command. It was in this last year of the war that the entire property was purchased by Francesco Chiminelli who began the restoration work.

The villa, a typical example of the so-called “villa civilization”, follows the classic scheme of the Venetian villas of the time with a large central hall, four side rooms and a loggia in the entrance which is accessed by a short staircase adorned with eighteenth-century statues that represent the four seasons. The building is entirely frescoed inside and out. The paintings are attributed to Benedetto Caliari, brother of the more famous Paolo Veronese, and to his school.The external decoration creates a painted architecture, with a Palladian flavor, where a false elevation of columns encloses and emphasizes the triple opening of the loggia and four columns fluted with Corinthian capitals frame the coat of arms of the Soranzo family.

The paintings continue inside where the musical theme frequently dominates with musician angels, notes and various instruments. Then there are allegorical figures, joyful cherubs, flowery festoons, bucolic and religious scenes. The Corner coat of arms is on the north wall.

In addition to the frescoed noble floor, the villa also includes a basement for use as cellars, a mezzanine floor, attics and servants’ rooms. Finally, a chapel with a valuable altar is attached to the villa and overlooks the portico.

Outside there is an Italian garden, enclosed by a frescoed wall, decorated with a central fountain, numerous stone sculptures and two arcaded barchesse on two floors.

Return to Padua. Dinner included tonight.

Day 7: Padua

Accommodation: Casa del Pellegrino or similar

Day at your leisure. Travellers might want to return to Venice, take an excursion to Lake Garda or any other surrounding areas.

Overnight in Padua.

Day 8: Milan

Accommodation: Milan Novotel or equivalent

Travel to Milan by train. On arrival, the group will have a guided tour of Milan to see the main sights of the city.

Group dinner this evening.

Day 9: Milan

Accommodation: Milan Novotel or equivalent

Today we have a second day in Milan with touring in the morning. We visit the Prada foundation gallery in the early afternoon.

The rest of the day is at your leisure.

Day 10: Genoa

Accommodation: Best Western Metropoli or similar

The group has an early start to travel the 100km by train from Milan to Genoa.

There is guided tour of Genoa to see the main attractions related with the Republica, including a visit to the Palazzo Reale, Palazzo Ducale, Strada Nuova Museums, Galata Museo del Mare

Day 11: Genoa

Accommodation: Best Western Metropoli or similar

Today the group continues to explore Genoa. We visit the merchant houses and galleries including the opportunity to view a Carravaggio and Genoa Lighthouse and Museum.

Through the medieval streets we enjoy a walking tour to learn more including the home of the Genoa’s famous son Christopher Columbus and the prison where Marco Polo ( a venetian) was held captive. And why is the Genoan flag the same as the English flag, or why is the English flag the same as the Genoan flag?

Day 12: Genoa

Accommodation: Best Western Metropoli or similar

Today the group will travel to Santa Margherita Ligure by train. From this seaside town, they will board a ferry to visit Portofino and San Fruttuoso, where they will visit the 11th century Abbey. Return to Santa Margherita Ligure by ferry for some free time to explore (time permitting), then onto Genoa by train. Dinner included tonight.

Day 13: Genoa

Accommodation: Best Western Metropoli or similar

Today is at your leisure, taking time to explore the city.

Day 14: Genoa

Today the group will visit the famous Cinque Terre. The group will first travel by train Riomaggiore, from where they will take the Cinque Terre Express Train to explore the villages of Riomaggiore, Manarola and Vernazza, before hopping on a train in Levanto to travel back to Genoa.

Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant.

Day 15: Genoa

Accommodation: Best Western Metropoli or similar

Travel by train to Viareggio, from where the group will then continue by train to Lucca and then Pisa. These two Republicas were very important in the times of the Genoan and Venetian Republicas. In Lucca, a local guide will take the group to see the main sites, and in Pisa, the knowledge of the local guide will give the group in insight on the Genoa-Pisa wars, ending with a visit to its Cathedral and Camposanto. Return to Genoa by train, via Viareggio.

Day 16: Genoa

Accommodation: Best Western Metropoli or similar

This morning we continue to explore Genoa. This afternoon is at your leisure

There is a farewell group dinner this evening.

Day 17: Genoa

This small group tour Ends after breakfast.

Includes / Excludes

What’s included in our Tour

  • 17 nights of hotel accommodation.
  • 17 breakfasts and 6 dinners.
  • Applicable entry fees and services of local guides.
  • Service charges and gratuities.
  • Touring by comfortable and modern coach.
  • Transport and field trips as indicated.
  • Services of a Tour Leader.
  • Detailed tour information booklet.

What’s not included in our Tour

  • Return international airfares and departure taxes.
  • Comprehensive travel insurance.
Level 2 - Moderate

Participants must be able to carry their own luggage, climb and descend stairs, be in good health, mobile and able to participate in 3-5 hours of physical activity per day, the equivalent of walking / hiking up to 8 kilometers per day on uneven ground.

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09 September 2024


Ends 26 September 2024 • 18 days

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$7,267 pp

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