8 days from £1,924, departing 22nd January 2016
Bookings through Tailored Travel
The Ca’ d’Oro and Venetian aesthetics
Taking our direct scheduled British Airways flight from London Gatwick Airport (North Terminal) to Venice, we are met on arrival at Venice Airport by Peter Medhurst, our music lecturer, and Thomas Abbott, our art historian. We transfer by water taxi to the centrally located 3* Hotel Ala in Venice. We are then given a seven day Vaporetto pass which we will be able to use throughout the week to explore the glories of Venice and the Grand Canal. This afternoon we visit the Ca’ d’Oro – the House of Gold, one of the most beautiful Gothic palaces on the Grand Canal and home to an excellent art collection including works by Titian and Francesco Guardi.
It is here, surrounded by the superb art and sculpture collection, that Peter and Tom will introduce and reveal the key aesthetics of Venetian music and art, and so lay the foundation for the week’s parallel themes.
A welcome dinner is served at a restaurant close to our hotel this evening.
Ospedale San Lazzero dei Mendicanti and the Querini Stampalia Museum
After breakfast we have our first lecture by Peter entitled ‘Introduction to the world of Venice and its music’. Our first visit of the day is to the Querini Stampalia Museum, home to one of the richest art collections in Venice. With over 400 paintings by Venetian, Italian and Flemish artists, our guided tour introduces us to works by artists such as Pietro Longhi, Gabriel Bella, Lorenzo di Credi and Luca Giordano. This afternoon we visit the Ospedale San Lazzero dei Mendicanti, one of several churches in Venice that provided musical education for impoverished young girls. Here Peter will give and organ recital of 16th and 17th century music. We continue to the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo, the city’s greatest Gothic church. Built by the Dominicans in the 14th century, and known locally as the ‘Pantheon of Venice’, it houses monuments to 25 doges. This evening there is the option of enjoying a classical music concert at the San Vidal Church.
Boat trip to the Islands, including San Michele, Murano and Burano
After breakfast we have a lecture entitled ‘The Island of San Michele and its musical connections’. We then enjoy a full day private boat trip to some of the neighbouring islands of Venice. Isola di San Michele is Venice’s cemetery and here we will see the graves of Diaghilev, Stravinsky Luigi Nono and Ezra pound. We then visit Murano, the island famous for its glass making. We continue on to Torcello, a complete contrast; barely inhabited, the central piazza and its ancient buildings are a haunting reminder of a bygone era. A light lunch is included on Torcello. Finally we visit Burano, which due to its brightly coloured houses lining the waterways is the most striking of all of the islands. We will visit the square where the composer Baldesaro Galuppi was born and where his commemorative statue can be seen.
Galuppi was born in 1706 and after after a period spent in and around his native Venice began to travel, and eventually, in 1741, settled in London for 18 months. It was at the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket that Galuppi directed 11 operas, of which three were his own works: Penelope, Scipion in Cartagen and Sirbace. Galuppi was also an admired keyboard player and composer, and his sonatas met with great success in London. The musicologist Charles Burney remarked “Galuppi had had more influence on English music than any other Italian composer”. This statue, erected in his memory, shows the composer holding a score of his Dixit Dominus. Follow this link to see a 360 degree view of the square in which the statue is situated: http://www.360cities.net/image/statue-of-galuppi-in-the-main-square-of-burano-the-piazza-galuppi-italy#-108.89,-21.74,70.0
The Vivaldi Museum and the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum
The introductory talk is entitled ‘The musical world of Antonio Vivaldi’. This morning we visit the Vivaldi Museum, focusing on the music and life of the composer Vivaldi. We visit the Ospedale della Pietà, a convent and music school for orphaned girls, where Vivaldi was a director of music in the early 18th century.
The photograph to the left shows the organ and choir gallery in the Ospedale della Pietà church, and it is here that Peter will give another organ recital, choosing music by the composers who worked at this foundation in the 18th century.
We continue to the San Giovanni Battista in Bragora for another organ recital. The church is essentially Gothic and the interior contains works of art that demonstrate the transition from Gothic to early Renaissance.
We visit the Ca’ Rezzonico this afternoon, a museum dedicated to 18th century Venice. One of the highlights to be seen here is the splendid pastel portrait by Rosalba Carriera of the singer Faustina Bordoni – a native of Venice and one of the great sopranos of the late Baroque period. Bordoni sang for Handel in his operas in London during the 1720s, and only blotted her copybook once when she famously had a fight on the stage of the King’s Theatre in the Haymarket with the rival soprano Cuzzoni. The scrap occurred in 1727 during a performance of Bononcini’s opera Astianatte. The whole story is told in a contemporary pamphlet, and still makes entertaining reading: A full and true ACCOUNT of a most horrid and bloody BATTLE between Madam FAUSTINA and Madam CUZZONI.
This evening, for those who opt to book, we enjoy a touring performance of La Traviata at the Palazzo Barbarigo Minott. The Venue is adjacent to our hotel.
St Mark’s Basilica and the Palazzo Ducale
Our after breakfast talk introduces us to Monteverdi and his connections with St Mark’s. This morning we explore St Mark’s Square, described by Napoleon as ‘the finest drawing room in Europe’. Here we visit the Basilica of St Marks which was built in the 10th century to house the body of St Mark the Evangelist.
From the 16th to the 17th century St Mark’s was the nerve centre of music making in Venice and managed to attract a long line of distinguished music directors which included Adrian Willaert, Andrea and Giovanni Gabrieli, as well as Giovanni Croce and Antonio Lotti. However, St Mark’s really raised its game when Claudio Monteverdi took up the post in 1613, ushering in an entirely new era in its musical history.
Monteverdi re-organised the liturgical music at St. Mark’s and composed a large amount of church music during the three decades of his time at the Basilica. Important published collections include Selva morale e spirituale (1640) and Messa a quattro e salmi (published posthumously in 1651).
This afternoon we visit Palazzo Ducale, founded in the 9th century and the official residence of each Venetian ruler. This evening we return to the Basilica of St Mark’s for a private viewing of the magnificent mosaics at night. Clothing the domes, walls and floors of the Basilica are over 4,000 square metres of gleaming golden mosaics. The earliest, dating from the 12th century, were the work of mosaicists from the East.
This evening we return to the Basilica of St Mark’s for a private viewing of the magnificent mosaics at night. Clothing the domes, walls and floors of the Basilica are over 4,000 square metres of gleaming golden mosaics. The earliest, dating from the 12th century, were the work of mosaicists from the East.
A tour of La Fenice Theatre, Music Museum and the Accademia
After this morning’s lecture, we visit the musical instrument museum at the Chiesa di San Maurizio. The collection has a range of superb instruments – harpsichords, violins, viols, oboes, flutes etc – all stemming from the 18th century. We then visit the Accademia Gallery for a guided tour of the wonderful collection of Venetian art from the 14th to 18th century including works by Titian, Carpaccio, Tintoretto and Veronese. It is here that Tom and Peter introduce 10 of their favourite paintings in the collection, including Gentile Bellini’s Procession in St. Mark’s Square, Giovanni Bellini’s Madonna and Child Enthroned between Saints Francis, John the Baptist, Job, Dominic, Sebastian, Louis and Angels, Veronese’s The Marriage of St Anne and Hayez’s Rinaldo and Armida. The early afternoon is spent at the historic La Fenice opera house, dating from 1789, and during the course of our visit we have a tour of the theatre as well as enjoy a private light lunch reception in one of La Fenice’s historic rooms.
A day in Vicenza to include the Olimpico Theatre and Palazzo Thiene
Today we travel by coach to Vicenza where we will have an included coffee break on arrival. Vicenza has a rich history and possesses many museums, art galleries, piazzas, villas, churches and elegant Renaissance palazzi. It also has fine examples of Andrea Palladio’s work, especially his remodelling of the old Town Hall. Our first visit is to the Teatro Olimpico, Europe’s oldest surviving indoor theatre designed by Palladio in 1579 (right), and to view the exterior of the Basilica Palladiana. After an included light lunch, we visit Santa Corona, a Gothic church built in 1261 to house a thorn from Christ’s Crown of Thorns donated by Louis IX of France. Here we enjoy the last of the organ recitals given by Peter (see left). This afternoon we visit Palazzo Thiene, designed for Marcantonio and Adriano Thiene by Giulio Romano in 1542 and revised during construction by Palladio. The palace is used as the historic headquarters of a bank, which occasionally hosts exhibitions and cultural events. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner at the Osteria Doge Morosini restaurant, in Campo Santo Stefano, near to our hotel.
Leisure time in Venice and return to London
After checking out of our hotel, we enjoy a summing up lecture by Peter followed by a final chance for time at leisure in Venice. We then transfer by boat to Venice Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways flight back to London Gatwick Airport (North Terminal).
End of the Tour
To see photographs of the 2015 tours to Venice, click on the camera
A video of Peter and Tom on the the Grand Canal passing under the Rialto Bridge en route to the Ca’ d’Oro Palazzo.
The music and art specialists
Peter Medhurst is well-known in the world of the arts as a singer, pianist, scholar and lecturer, who in addition to his appearances on the concert platform and in the lecture hall, sets aside time to devise and lead tours abroad for small groups of art and music connoisseurs. His particular interests are centred on the music, art and history of Vienna, Salzburg (with its strong Mozart link), Berlin, Halle (Handel’s birthplace), Dresden, Venice (Vivaldi’s birthplace), Rome, and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has been associated with a number of companies including Travel Editions, Cox and Kings, Success Tours, Heritage Travel, Tailored Travel, and Voyages to Antiquity.
Thomas Abbott graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. 1987 he moved to Berlin leading tours in Germany, specialising, of course, in the German capital. While in Berlin, Tom commenced and completed his graduate studies in the history of art and architecture, focusing particularly on the art of the Italian and German Baroque. He has recently led seminar tours to the United States exploring the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the School of Nancy, France, as well as tours focusing on the art of the Netherlands from the Golden Age to the Contemporary. Tom is associated with the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens.
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All excursions, entrance fees & guided tours included
Centrally located hotel
Welcome & farewell dinners included
Introductory talks by Peter Medhurst on days 1-8
3 private organ recitals by Peter Medhurst in the Vivaldi Churches in Venice
1 private organ recital by Peter Medhurst in the Santa Corona Church, Vicenza
Included light lunches on Days 3 & 7
Included light lunches on Day 3
Private lunch reception at La Fenice
7 day pass for use on the Vaporetti
Tom Abbott – professional tour manager and art historian
Direct scheduled British Airways flights from Gatwick to Venice
Return boat transfers in Venice between the airport & hotel
What we will see
Ospedale San Lazzero dei Mendicanti
Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo
Querini Stampalia Museum – guided tour
Boat trip to the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon
Ospedale della Pietà
San Giovanni Battista in Bragora
Ca’ Rezzonico Museum
Private evening viewing the Mosaics in the Basilica of St Mark’s
St Mark’s Square & the Basilica
Guided tour of the La Fenice Opera Theatre
Music Museum at Chiesa di San Maurizio
Accademia Gallery – guided tour
Vicenza – Teatro Olimpico, Santa Corona Church & Palazzo Thiene
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We stay seven nights at the centrally located 3* Ala Hotel in Venice (www.hotelala.it). Located only a short stroll from St. Mark’s Square, the hotel has a bar, whilst all rooms are en suite and feature air conditioning, television, telephone, hairdryer and a minibar. A welcome dinner is included at a carefully selected restaurant close to our hotel on the first and last evenings, and the remaining five nights are on bed and breakfast basis.
Extras to the tour
Single supplement £249
Opera performances on Days 2 & 5
Local accommodation tax to be paid (approximately 4 Euros per person per night)
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NB:- Please note we reserve the right to alter the above itinerary if required for operational reasons
For booking forms and further information contact Tailored Travel
Tel: 020 7064 4970
Any air holidays and flights are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Tailored Travel’s ATOL number is 5605
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