A jaunt to Italy in the summer months isn’t complete without taking in a performance at the world-famous opera festival in Verona. Now in its 89th year, the Opera Festival of the Fondazione Arena di Verona will feature a total of 50 performances between June 17 and September 3. It’s not just thousands of music lovers who relish Verona’s spectacular seasonal event. The Opera Festival attracts its share of opera newbies who are dazzled and delighted. There are six different operas this year: Verdi’s La Traviata, Verdi's Aida, Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, Verdi’s Nabucco, Puccini’s La Boheme, and Gounod’s Romeo and Juliet.
Byblos Art Hotel—a magnificent luxury hotel occupying the 16th century Villa Amista—is welcoming guests with open arms for the festival. The hotel itself was conceived as a permanent collection of contemporary art, filled with pieces by artists who are revered around the world. (You’ll also find furniture designed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Aldo Ross.) The setting is positively magical. Sun-bathing by the pool, coupled with a massage at the spa Espace Byblos, is guaranteed to soothe the soul. Take advantage of the hotel’s “Arena di Verona” package and enjoy a pre-Opera dinner for two people at the Atelier restaurant, Opera tickets, private limousine service to the Opera, plus entry to the spa along with luxury accommodations for two nights. Priced from 604 euros per person, available June 17- September 3, 2011.
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