The Glory of Venice

500 years of music & the arts

with Peter Medhurst & Tom Abbott

21 January 2021  | 7 days from £2,449


INTRODUCTION

With its huge variety of cultural influences from Southern Italy, Northern Europe and from the East, Venice was designed by its citizens to be a place of exceptional vibrancy and beauty. Its music, art and architecture are exceptionally vibrant and beautiful too, and this tour with its many exclusive visits to locations off the beaten track, private organ recitals, and carefully constructed itinerary, explores one of the richest moments in the history of European culture. The programme is newly devised for 2021.

Press to hear Laudate, pueri Dominum a 8 from Vespers 1610 by Monteverdi


ITINERARY


Day 1

Our tour begins with a late morning flight from London Gatwick to Venice, where we meet Peter and Tom who will escort us in private water taxis to the Hotel Saturnia, a 14th century Palazzo, right in the heart of the city. We stay here for six nights. After a little time to freshen up we take a stroll around the immediate environs of the hotel, viewing La Fenice, St Mark’s Square, the astronomical clock of the Torre dell’ Orologio, the Doges Palace, and enjoy the views across St Mark’s Basin (below) to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Following a private drinks reception, we have dinner together in the Caravella Restaurant in the hotel.


Day 2

After our morning lecture at the hotel, our first full day is spent visiting by private boat some of the remoter islands of Venice and our first port of call is a private visit to San Francesco del Deserto to view the Franciscan monastery, founded in 1230 (below).

We then make our way to the Mekhitarist monastery on San Lazzaro where Peter gives the first of his organ recitals. Lunch is on Burano, after which there is another organ recital, this time in the Baroque church of San Martino. The rest of the afternoon is spent exploring Murano and listening to Peter play his last recital of the day in the church of San Donato. We then pay a visit to the Farnaci Glass Factory before returning to our hotel and an evening at leisure.


Day 3

After a morning lecture at the hotel, we take a vaporetto to the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore (below). Here we explore the famous Palladian church and make an ascent of the bell tower to enjoy the panoramic views over to Venice. During our visit, Peter will play some pieces on the magnificent Nacchini organ, built in 1750.

After a brief trip on the vaporetto, we make our way to the church of San Sebastiano, one of Venice’s five votive churches, each one built after the passing of a plague through the city. The church is famous for the fine Veronese paintings and frescoes which decorate the ceiling, nave, altar walls, parts of the sacristy and choir, as well as the organ case. While in the building we also visit Veronese’s tomb.

After a light lunch, and by way of contrast, we spend the afternoon in the Peggy Guggenheim Collection which is among the most important museums in Italy for European and American art of the first half of the 20th century.  The collection includes the above work by Kandinsky. After our visit we walk to the Church of Santa Maria della Saluta, another votive church and one of the most iconic buildings in Venice. One stop on the Vaporetto brings us back to our hotel.


Day 4

Today we have a special study morning at the hotel discussing and listening to the great choral works associated with St Mark’s Basilica. Music includes key works by Willaert, the Gabrielis, Monteverdi and Lotti. Coffee and biscuits are provided during our break. Following this, we make our way down the Grand Canal for a private visit of the magnificent Ca Zeno. Our guide is Count Zeno himself, the present owner. During our visit, Peter will perform some Venetian arias on the splendid piano, appropriately positioned in the ‘piano nobile’. After a late lunch, we head off to the Frari church, one of the great buildings of Venice and famous for the tombs of the sculptor Canova (below and where his heart rests) and the composer Monteverdi. (above)

Peter will play music by Giovanni Gabrieli on one of the two historic organs in the choir. We then make our way back up the Grand Canal to the Hotel Monaco for the last treat of the day, a private viewing of the Ridotto (below) public gaming rooms where Casanova famously made his conquests. Optional concert or opera this evening.


Day 5

After the morning lecture, we go on foot through St Mark’s Square and through the medieval streets beyond to have coffee at the Querini Stampalia Museum prior to our private visit to Palazzo Grimani, former residence of Antonio Grimani, Doge of Venice in the 1520s. The Palace is famous for the exceptional decoration of the rooms which cont

ain fine stuccowork and frescoes reflecting the unconventional taste of the family. We follow this with lunch and a visit to the church and museum of the Ospedale Santa Maria della Pietà, Vivaldi’s church. Here Peter plays and demonstrates the organ (below) and presents a range of 18th century music by Vivaldi, Bach and Gasperini.

The Pietà visit is followed by an optional tour of the Naval Museum. In the evening we have a private visit to St Mark’s to view the interior lit by arch lights and showing the mosaics off to magnificent effect.


Day 6

Today we go to explore the Rialto (below) which was established in the 9th century and is therefore one of the oldest quarters of Venice. Over the years it became the financial and commercial heart of the city (‘Signor Antonio, many a time and oft in the Rialto you have rated me about my moneys and my usances’).

We stroll around the area, taking in the famous bridge, the churches of San Giovanni Elemosinario, San Giacomo di Rialto, the market, as well as the church of San Stae where Peter will play the organ (below). We also walk along the Riva del Vin where many of the building reveal signs of their Romanesque origins. After a viewing of the city from the roof terrace of T Fondaco we assemble for lunch at a nearby restaurant. The afternoon is spent at the Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo, a fascinating assembly of period rooms, paintings, furniture, fabrics and costumes. Our farewell dinner is at the Antico Martini in the Vino Vino Restaurant close to our hotel.


Day 7

Before checking out of the Hotel Saturnia, we have a final summing up lecture by Peter, followed by free time or an optional visit to the Gallerie dell’Accademia, the famous gallery of pre 19th century Venetian art. Lunch today is at the Correr Museum in St Mark’s Square. In the early afternoon, we transfer by private water taxi to Venice Airport for our direct flight back to London Gatwick Airport.


Features

Tour limited to 24 passengers
Lectures by Peter Medhurst each morning
7 private organ recitals by Peter Medhurst in Venetian churches
Thomas Abbott – professional tour manager & art historian
All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities included
Centrally located 4* hotel
Welcome & farewell dinners included
Included light lunches on days 2 to 7
Direct scheduled flights from Gatwick to Venice
Return water taxi transfers in Venice between the airport & hotel
Included Vaporetta ticket for the whole tour


What we will see

Cruise the remoter islands of Venice – San Francesco del Deserto, Mekhitarist monastery on San Lazzaro, Burano & the Farnaci Glass Factory
Island of San Giorgio Maggiore
Church of San Sebastiano
Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Church of Santa Maria della Saluta
Private visit of Ca Zeno with Count Zeno
Frari church
Private viewing of the Ridotto public gaming rooms
Palazzo Grimani
Church & museum of the Ospedale Santa Maria della Pietà
Private evening viewing of the mosaics at St Mark’s Basilica
Tour of the Rialto – Rialto bridge, the churches of
San Giovanni Elemosinario, San Giacomo di Rialto,
the market & church of San Stae
Viewing of the city from the roof terrace of T Fondaco
Museum of Palazzo Mocenigo
Farewell dinner at the Antico Martini in the Vino Vino
Restaurant


Optional

Optional opera on Day 4

Tour of the Naval Museum

Visit to the Gallerie dell’Accademia


The Hotel Saturnia

We stay for six nights at the 4* Hotel Saturnia (www.hotelsaturnia.it) which has a wonderful old world grandeur about it.  The hotel, dating from the 14th century, is one of the great palazzos of Venice and is located in the heart of the city and is just a short stroll from St Mark’s Square and La Fenice.  The hotel has a restaurant and bar and all rooms are en suite.

Dinner is included at the hotel’s La Caravella restaurant on the first and and at the Vivo Vino on the last night and the remaining four nights are on bed and breakfast basis.


Extras to the tour

Insurance £51
Single room supplement £199 (limited availability)
Double room for single use £299
Optional excursions
Local accommodation tax to be paid directly to the
hotel (approximately €4.50 per person per night)
Flight details may be subject to change.

Price based on twin share.

Normal booking conditions apply.

Bookings through Tailored Travel:

Tel: 020 7064 4970     Email  info@tailored-travel.co.uk


The Music and Art Experts

Peter Medhurst (above) is an expert on the music and art of Venice, and has presented numerous lectures and study days on the subject at venues which include the National Gallery, the V&A, the Royal Festival Hall, and the Barbican. He has lectured extensively on the music of Vivaldi – especially concerning the relationship of Vivaldi to his native Venice – and is well-known for his presentations discussing the impact of 18th century Venetian artists, in the broadest sense of the word, on English culture during the reigns of the four Georges. Over the years, Peter has  given rectials on all the major historic organs in Venice.  Tom Abbott (below), has also made a name for himself as an authority on Venetian art and architecture and specialises in presenting talks on the Accademia, Ca Rezzonico and Querini Stampalia collections.  His understanding of the complexities of Venetian history is second to none.

Together with Tom, Peter has taken 100s of visitors to Venice to explore its riches, and this new tour The Glory of Venice, once again, combines their unrivalled knowledge and understanding of the city.


Peter and Tom have worked together for 15 years and have taken art and music enthusiasts to Berlin, Leipzig, Vienna, Munich, Salzburg, Delft, The Hague, Venice, and Rome.  Future plans include Berlin, Vienna, Naples and Madrid.  A traveller – after the April 2016 Vienna tour – wrote ‘How you and Tom keep up that momentum is a wonder.  What a full-on visit packed with passing on your love for your individual specialities to those of us lucky enough to be with you’ .