Lombardy to Ljubljana

Italy / Slovenia

Join WMPA Traveling Friends and Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic Music Director Ulysses James as we celebrate his 38-year tenure while touring the musical, cultural and culinary highlights of northern Italy and Slovenia. This musical journey combines much loved cities and lesser known gems, with cultural and musical elements woven in, many of which are unique to this program and offer a privileged ‘behind the scenes’ experience.

Our time in and around Milan includes a rich array of musical and cultural experiences that will live long in the memory. Experience Teatro Alla Scala on a level rarely available with special access to the theatre workshop and a VIP welcome backstage prior to the performance. Enjoy the beauty of Lake Como and the gardens of Villa Melzi overlooking the waters off Bellagio. Visit the Swiss town of Lugano, savor the regional specialties of Lombardy, listen to a virtuoso perform on an original Stradivarius in Cremona and take in musical history at the birthplace of Ambrosian chant in Milan. In Verona we enjoy time to explore the lovely town and take in world class music at an evening concert, then travel to stunning Sirmione for breathtaking vistas across Lake Garda.

The road to Slovenia takes in stunning Roman mosaics and a delightful seaside lunch before reaching the musical city of Ljubljana. Discover its treasures on a guided visit, then head into the Lake region around Bled for the International Wildflower Festival and truly magical mountain scenes. Capping this memorable program is a private chamber concert in a unique underground setting, plus a performance in Ljubljana at the ballet or to hear the talented Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra.

What's Included

  • Expert Tour Manager
  • Private touring coach with facilities onboard
  • 4-star hotels in city center locations
    • Milan: Starhotel Rosa
    • Verona: Hotel Accademia
    • Ljubljana: Eurostars uHotel
  • Hotel porterage
  • Full buffet breakfast daily
  • Selected meals featuring regional cuisine
  • All necessary tipping included
  • Lake Como by boat
  • Gardens of Villa Melzi
  • Visit Bellagio & Lugano
  • Walking tour of Verona
  • Roman mosaics at Aquileia
  • Postojna Caves visit
  • International Wildflower Festival
  • Da Vinci’s ‘Last Supper’
  • Private visit to Ansaldo workshop of La Scala
  • VIP tour and reception at Teatro alla Scala
  • Giordano’s ‘Andrea Chénier’ at La Scala
  • Ambrosian Chant musical lecture
  • Private ‘Stradivarius’ Recital
  • Cremona Luthier visits
  • Chamber concert in Postojna Caves
  • Concert tickets in Verona
  • Concert tickets in Ljubljana


11 Days


Departure from the United States.


Arrive in Milan and meet your Tour Manager for the transfer in to town and your hotel, located just steps from the iconic Duomo. Later we will visit the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie to see Leonardo da Vinci's masterpiece, "The Last Supper." Enjoy a welcome dinner together featuring regional cuisine and wines. (D)


This morning we set the stage for Saturday's performance at Teatro alla Scala with a visit to their workshops. This huge 20,000-square-metre facility, set in the former industrial settlement of the Ansaldo steel plants, is divided in three. Most of the handmade works for the production are carried out here - set design, sculpture, thermoforming, carpentry works, mechanics workshop, set assembly, costume workshop, costume design, laundry. This experience gives fascinating insight into how La Scala became a world famous opera company. After time for lunch on your own, we enjoy a very different yet equally unique musical experience at the church of St Ambrogio, where you will enjoy an interactive presentation on Ambrosian chant. The evening is free to explore Milan at your leisure. (B)

Teatro alla Scala - Ansaldo Workshop


Drive to Lake Como and the lovely lakeside Villa Melzi for a visit of the palace and gardens. Stroll into the iconic town of Bellagio for lunch on your own, then board a ferry across the lake to Tremezzo from where you continue by bus to the Swiss town of Lugano for time to explore. Return to Milan for dinner together. (B,D)


This morning is yours to explore Milan at your own pace. Tonight, attend a performance of Umberto Giordano's Andrea Chenier at La Scala, preceded by a backstage visit and private champagne reception with notes on the production by a local critic and a private drinks reception during intermission. A once in a lifetime experience. (B)



Depart Milan mid-morning and head east to the city of Cremona for another very special musical experience hosted by the curator of the Museo del Violino. Here you'll witness some of the most precious string instruments of the past before a maestro will take several million dollars worth of Stradivari originals from their high security glass cases and perform a private recital just for you. Afterwards you may meet the modern luthiers in their workshops to discuss instrument making techniques and secrets and where accomplished players may be invited to audition a newly crafted instrument. Continue to Verona where we check in to our hotel in the historic center and enjoy an evening at leisure. (B)


Visit lovely Sirmione jutting out into Lake Garda and find lunch amongst the cobbled streets. This evening, return to Verona where tickets are inluded to a concert at venues such as the Teatro Filarmonico or Teatro Nuovo. (B)

Structure in Italy


Our longest travel day of the program will be punctuated with a delightful stop in the tiny town of Aquileia to marvel at stunning Roman mosaics before crossing the bridge to an island in the Gulf of Trieste for a fish lunch on the shore in the town of Grado. Later we drive across the border into Slovenia and check in to our hotel in Ljubljana for dinner. (B,L,D)


A local guide introduces us to the sights of Ljubljana this morning, then this afternoon we might venture to the stunning scenes around Lake Bled and Lake Bohinj, to take part in the Spring Wild Flower Festival. Return to Ljubljana for an evening of musical performance. (B)


Enjoy a morning at leisure in Ljubljana. After lunch on your own, drive to Postojna to explore its spectacular limestone caves and enjoy a private performance in this unique setting. Return to the city for a fabulous farewell dinner together. (B,D)


Transfer to the airport for your return to the US.(B)

on flight

Customize Your Tour

Are you ready to take your ensemble to new places? Get a quote from one of our tour consultants who will help you customize a trip to meet your goals.

Get A Quote

Protection Plans

Enjoy total peace of mind on your Encore Experience.

Learn More