Francesco da Mosto's new BBC2 series Shakespeare in Italy (starting Thursday 3 May at 9.00 pm) is a two-part journey to several of Italy's most dazzling cities, unlocking the story of Shakespeare's love of Italy from Verona to Venice and Rome to Sicily.
Follow in his footsteps with a tailormade two-centre trip to the north of Italy that includes visits to Verona, Venice and Padua.
Stay at the 17th century Villa Cordevigo, a 5-star wine resort about 20 kms from Verona, in the heart of the Bardolino vineyards and on the eastern shores of Lake Garda. The hotel is situated in stunning parkland, with its own private chapel, and a poolside view across the vineyards and olive groves of the Cavaion Veronese hills.
Drive eastwards from Verona to Venice (110 kms), stopping en route at Padua (the setting for 'The Taming of the Shrew') which is so often overlooked by visitors to northern Italy but with its Renaissance squares, Roman ruins and medieval palaces, is well worth a visit.
From Padua, Venice is just a 20 minute drive. Check in to Bloom and Settimo Cielo, two very stylish B & B's in a traditional Venetian house, in which contemporary design meets extravagant 18th century Venetian decor. Bedrooms are lavish and extremely colourful, with heavy brocaded curtains, beamed ceilings and immaculately preserved wooden floors. The B & B's are in a great position, just a five minute walk from the Grand Canal and a little further to St. Mark's.