Incorporate your favorite hobby into your vacation. His name is “Leisure Day” and it's one of the fastest growing travel trends in recent months. In other words, we no longer leave with the simple aim of relaxing in a distant place. On the contrary, travel is transformed into an opportunity to live authentic experiences, to rediscover yourself and to share your passions with the people you love.

The trend, set to take off in 2024, arises from the ever-increasing attention to the well-being of the mind and spirit, and the constant search for valuable experiences in one's free time. Even when you are away from home, whatever your interests.

In Verona for an evening of classical music

For opera lovers, for example, the ideal destination is Verona. Between June and September, in fact, it is at the Arena that some of the most important masterpieces of the genre are presented, but not only that: concerts and ballets take place in a unique setting in the world.

The season opens June 7 The Italian Grand Opera, listed as a world heritage site, an event promoted by the Ministry of Culture and the Arena di Verona Foundation which aims precisely to celebrate the different works of Bel Paese. Then, the Turandot by Giacomo Puccini (June 8, 15, 22 and 29),Aida by Giuseppe Verdi (June 14, 20, 23 and 28; July 7, 11, 18, 21 and 26; August 1), Barber of Seville by Gioachino Rossini (June 21 and 27; July 6 and 12; August 24 and 31; September 6), the Carmen by Georges Bizet (July 5, 13, 20 and 25; August 3, 8, 17 and 23; September 7), the Bohemian (July 19 and 27) and Tosca (August 2, 9, 16 and 30), both by Giacomo Puccini and theAida 1913 by Giuseppe Verdi (August 10, 18, 22, 29 and September 5).

Aida by Giuseppe Verdi on stage at the Verona Arena (Ennevi)

To the rich calendar are added two ballet shows – the Roberto Bolle and his friends (July 23 and 24) e Zorba the Greek (August 27 and 28) and various concerts, from the one dedicated to IX Symphony by Ludwig van Beethoven (August 11) to the one with Placido Domingo (August 21) until Carmina Burana (September 1st). Finally, don't miss the Long live Vivaldi. The immersive concert of the Four Seasonsan immersive show that celebrates The four Seasons by Vivaldi combining classical music and cutting-edge technology (August 28).

A night between landscape frescoes and opera

The passion for classical music becomes not only the inspiration for packing your bags but the common thread of your entire vacation if you stay inHotel Indigo Verona – Grand Hotel des Arts, a refined 4-star boutique hotel in the heart of the Venetian city, a stone's throw from the Arena. Installed inside an Art Nouveau building from the early 1920s, it was restored with the idea of ​​maintaining a strong link with the region. A promise kept, first of all, with the choice to install inside the hotel a collection of works of art inspired by the museum project of Carlo Scarpa of the Gipsoteca Canoviana in Possagno (TV).

And if at first glance the main inspiration is William Shakespeare who placed his famous tragedy in Verona, the visitor's attentive gaze will also recognize the arches of the Arena and Juliet's balcony which accompanies his entry into the historic building. The link with the territory is not lacking even in the rooms, where the headboards recall the heart-shaped battlements of the Castelvecchio bridge or the landscape frescoes of Veronese.

The nod to the opera, protagonist of the film, is inevitable Arena Opera Festival 2024 Package. The offer includes, in addition to the stay and breakfast, the Opera Kit, a city map and a thematic aperitif inspired by the opera season, to be sipped atArya Bar & Mixologyor perhaps in the hotel's renovated interior garden, humming in your mind a song from the show you are about to see (it is also possible to reserve the Verona Discovery Packageincluding, among other things, a walking tour of the city with a local guide).

In Venice between suggestive streets, ancient bridges and the Biennale

From Verona it takes just over an hour by train to reach Venice. Obviously, there is never a shortage of ideas for visiting it. In particular, until November 24, the Arte Biennale 2024among the most important international art exhibitions in the world, organized this year by Adriano Pedrosa, the first Latin American to hold this role.

With 90 countries and 332 artists as protagonists, this year's edition – the sixtieth in the history of the event – highlights the concept of diversity, examining the different processes that lead to defining the other as “foreign “. Hence the title chosen by Pedrosa: “Foreigners everywhere. Foreigners Everywhere” and the focus: immigrants, expatriates, diasporans, exiles or refugees, with a particular focus on those who move between the South and the North of the world.

Between April and November, there's one more reason to visit Venice: the Biennale (iStock)

And if the transformation of the lagoon city, in this period more electric and lively than ever, would be enough to justify a weekend in Venice, to this are added the countless official exhibitions – around thirty, those chosen by the curator of the Biennale – in addition to countless project exhibitions organized by major Venetian museum institutions.

We particularly highlight the paintings of the Ethiopian artist Julie Mehretu at the Palazzo Grassi and the embroidered works of Francesco Vezzoli at the Correr Museum. The fictitious bankrupt pawnbroker Christoph Buchelat the Prada Foundation, with objects referring to stories of suffering, wars and illnesses and to the works of Robert Indiana, icon of Pop Art, in the rooms of Procuratie Vecchie. And again: the exhibition dedicated to Marco Polo at the Palazzo Ducale, the street art of Graffiti bridges at Arterminal, the bark paintings of the aboriginal artist Naminapu Maymuru-White. Masterpieces of all kinds to admire during a weekend rich in culture, with the Arsenal and the Gardens as a backdrop.

In the hotel that tells the history of the city

And the hotel is located about ten minutes on foot from the Jardins de la Biennale. Indigo Venice – Sant' Elena, former convent from the 1930s surrounded by greenery and now transformed into a refined and modern boutique hotel. Also in this case, the restyling was inspired by local history and art as well as the strong link with the territory. In particular, with the Byzantine culture, evident in the plates and cushions which recall the decorations and palettes of the ancient civilization.

One of the Premium rooms at the Indigo Venice – Sant’ Elena hotel

But the homage to the city is also found in the blown glass chandeliers that light the lobby – glass, among other things, which returns in the handcrafted brooches worn by the staff and representing the famous Murano rosettes – and in the lanterns with shades of gray. , green and ocher, ideal for recreating the atmosphere of a nighttime walk through the streets. Common thread that never breaks in the hotel restaurant, the Savor Restaurant Bar & Gardenwhere is the saor, the ancient Venetian culinary technique of preserving sardines and shrimp becomes a source of inspiration in the creation of typical dishes of the lagoon tradition.

And if in the standard rooms warm tones mingle with golden elements, inspired by the Byzantine color palette, in the suites the colors of the lagoon predominate, with the bathrooms decorated with tiles made using the Venetian terrazzo technique. The prints therefore recall the surrounding parks and gardens while the shiny black details are the typical material for gondolas.

The structure is immersed in the quiet neighborhood of Sant'Elena, one of the few remaining authentic places in Venice

The link with contemporary Venice, however, materializes in Biennial Art Package 2024offered to customers by the hotel Indigo Venice – Sant’Elena. The offer includes, in addition to the stay and the copious and delicious buffet breakfast, a kit with shopper and bottle of water and, among other things, a 10% discount at the Savor Restaurant & Bar, a 20% discount for the purchase of standard products. tickets for the 2024 Art Biennale (to be requested at the hotel reception) and a welcome aperitif.

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Those who prefer to learn more about Venetian craftsmanship can opt for the Venice Discovery Package. Inside, in addition to the welcome aperitif, two vaporetto tickets valid for 24 hours and a 15% discount at Savor Restaurant & Bar, there is the possibility of learning how to create glass beads of Murano thanks to the “Beads in the Lamp” experience. A unique opportunity to truly “breathe” a place, with its history and traditions.

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