Opera, Concerts & Special Events

Northern Italy

A Night at the Arena
Live a music weekend in Verona: let the city of Romeo and Juliet fascinate you. If you wish to assist to a live concert or ballet at the famous Verona arena, Essence of Italy can organize your weekend in this eternal city in order to make your stay extraordinary. You will get to know Verona and learn about the tragic love story between Romeo and Juliet and discover some hidden beauties of the city centre: enjoy a private walking tour of Giardino Giusti, a wonderful example of an Italian style garden, moulded upon the model followed by Boboli Gardens in Florence. You will have the possibility of having dinner at the famous restaurant La Bottega del Vino, former haunt of artists and writers, one of the oldest and finest establishments in Verona and Italy, boasting a famous wine cellar and one of the most extensive wine lists in Italy. Last but not least, assist to your favourite show in the breathtaking atmosphere of the Arena. The tour includes one or two overnight stays in Verona, tickets for opera, ballet or concertsat the Arena, guided walking tour with visit to Giardino Giusti and dinner at La Bottega del Vino.
A Night at the Opera
The opera season at La Scala theatre is always characterized by an excellent repertoire: choose your favourite masterpiece and spend a special weekend in Milan assisting to the show. Discover the history and the cultural attractions of the city, through a guided walking tour that will lead you to admire the most important monuments such as the Cathedral and the Sforza Castle, and that will end with a reservation for the visit of the Leonardo Da Vinci Last Supper masterpiece. Enjoy a delicious dinner at the famous restaurant by Carlo Cracco. The Cracco Restaurant was born on 1st July 2007; the kitchen run by the chef Carlo Cracco offers an innovative cuisine combining the Milanese tradition with the now-days tastes for a always more simple and light food. Have your favourite opera show reserved and listen to one of the most famous music masterpieces in the magical scenario of La Scala theatre.

Central Italy

Ceri Festival in Gubbio
If you want to get in touch with Italian folklore and explore the wonderful Umbria region, the Ceri festival in Gubbio represents an opportunity you can not miss. It is not easy to “tell the story” of the Festival of the Ceri (wax candles). It is one of the oldest, if not the oldest Italian folklore display: a solemn act of devotion on the part of the Eugubini towards their Bishop Ubaldo Baldassini which started in 1160, the year of his death. Since then, every 15th May, the eve of the day of mourning, the devotional offering to the patron Saint is a fixed appointment for the people of Gubbio who are said to have taken part in a great mystical procession, carrying candles all around the town. The wax candles, offered by the Arts and Crafts corporations, probably became difficult to transport with the passing of time, and towards the end of the 16th century were substituted by three wooden structures. The whole festival lasts more than one day, with solemn blessings, religious and mystical ceremonies: you will take a journey back in time and learn the secrets of this ancestral tradition. The tour includes two days in Gubbio, the presence of a specialized guide that will help you understand the secrets of the Ceri ceremony, and a dinner in the local Restaurant “Picchio Verde”, serving you the best specialties of Umbrian cuisine.
Palio Horse Race
Siena’ Palio is simply an amazing event that everybody has to see once in a life. Enjoy our program, that includes the whole experience, from the Palio’s Eve to the final race.
Each and every person in Siena belongs to the so-called “Contrade”: the town boroughs, of which there are 17. The contrada form a colorful and lively picture of Siena, and proudly bear their medieval names, such as Turtle, Porcupine, Wave, Dragon and many others.
On August 15th, the day before the race, every contrada organizes a dinner along streets and squares for its comrades… a huge culinary festival based on delicious Tuscan dishes, where you can perceive how each contrada is like a loving family for its members. In the meantime, the horse running for every contrada is blessed by a priest during a solemn ceremony; it may seem funny, but it is, in fact, a ancestral tradition that considers the horse equal to a divinity.
The morning of the race, Piazza del Campo will be completely crowded. You can choose wheter to assist to the Palio together with the people in the main square or sitting in a stand in one of the main buildings surrounding the circuit. Before the competition you will assist to a folkloristic parade that evokes the ancient, late-Medieval Siena Republic, with more than 600 people in traditional costumes recreating a glorious atmosphere and the Contrade history. Afterwards, the race will begin: 10 Contrade furiously running three times around Piazza del Campo with jockeys screaming and pushing their horses to go as fastest as they could.
The service provided will include: accommodation in Siena, tickets for the Palio with different seat options, Contrada dinner and horse’s blessing, a 2 h walking tour with a specialized guide to learn more about the competition’s origins and rules.

Southern Italy

Amalfi Coast with Concert at Villa Rufolo
If in summer you want to spend some days on the Amalfi coast with a special touch of elegance and prestige, do not hesitate to contact us for a customized experience at the Ravello Festival, one of the oldest and most renowned festivals in Italy. The connection between Villa Rufolo, the delightful venue made impressive and welcoming by the Scottish philanthropist Francis Neville Reid, and Richard Wagner was too alluring to pass up the idea of holding concerts in a place consecrated by the visit of the composer himself. This is way the festival has been created, in the incredible framework of the elegant Vills Rufolo, directly overlooking the blue sea. Join one of the several shows taking place in Ravello along the summer season and spend an unforgettable weekend on the Amalfi coast. You will have the opportunity of visiting the area with a private guide that will help you discover the other pearls of the coast such as Positano and Amalfi, and you will have a special dinner at the famous restaurant “Don Alfonso”, serving you Mediterranean cuisine delicious dishes.
Greek Tragedies in Siracusa
Are you in Sicily in May? Do you want to deepen the origins of this magical island and plunge into ancient Greek culture? Come to Siracusa and assist to the yearly Greek festival, that shows several ancient works on a very special stage: the Greek open-air amphitheatre in Siracusa, one of the best-preserved examples of Hellenic architecture. To help you understand the secrets of ancient civilizations, a specialized guide will lead you to a walking tour of Siracusa and will tell you the story of the local archaeological sites, leading you through a journey back in time you will not forget.
The Night of Tarantula in Apulia
Are you in Apulia from 6th to 24th August 2013? Then join one of the most popular Italian musical festival, the Night of Tarantula, the music fest of Pizzica dance which takes place in various municipalities in the Grecian part of Apulia, Salento. This sort of music tour culminates with the great final concert of Melpignano, which lasts until late at night, attended by tens of thousands of spectators. This music festival has a capital importance in the folk music panorama worldwide and hosts famous musicians every year. While in Salento, you will participate to other food and wine festivals taking place in the whole area and offering you the possibility of tasting the best specialties of Mediterranean and Apulian cuisine. Last but not least, you will get the opportunity of sleeping in a very special accommodation option: the famous trulli, ancient dwellings restored. The Italian term il trullo refers to a house whose internal space is covered by a dry stone corbelled or keystone vault. The trullo is essentially a rural building type. In the countryside, trullo domes were built singly or in groups of up to five, or sometimes in large farmyard clusters of a dozen or two dozen, but never for the occupancy of more than a single rural family. Sleeping in a trullo and exploring the beauty of Albereobello will be a truly magical experience. The tour includes: participation to the Night of Tarantula, to a local food and wine festival, in the special trullo accommodation option.