Music and Art in Secret Venice


Peter Medhurst  &  Thomas Abbott

8 days from £1,879, departing 23rd – 30th  January 2015.   BOOKING NOW OPEN

Bookings through Tailored Travel

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TTM2327 Peter Medhurst Music & Art Venice 23 Jan lo

Tel: 020 7064 4970     Email:

Day 1

The Ca’ d’Oro and Venetian aesthetics

We meet at Gatwick Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways flight to Venice. On arrival we are met by Tom Abbott, our tour manager, and transfer by water taxi to the centrally located 3* Hotel Ala in Venice, where we stay for seven nights. 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.

Day 2

Ospedale San Lazzero dei Mendicanti and the Querini Stampalia Museum

After breakfast we have an introductory talk entitled ‘Introduction to the world of Venice and its music’ by Peter. We first visit the Ospedale San Lazzero dei Mendicanti, one of several churches in Venice that provided musical education for impoverished young girls. Here (subject to authorisation) we enjoy an organ recital by Peter.

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 afternoon we visit 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 evening (subject to the timings and opera programme which has not yet been finalised for the 2015 season) there may be the option of attending an opera at La Fenice or the Malibran Theatre.

Day 3

Boat trip to the Islands, including San Michele, Murano and Burano

After breakfast we have an introductory talk entitled ‘Island of San Michele and its musical connections’. Today we enjoy a full day private boat trip to the neighbouring islands just off Venice. We visit Murano, the island famous for its glass making.  Then on to Burano, the most colourful of the islands with brightly coloured houses, lining the waterways. 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:,-21.74,70.0

A light lunch is included at Murano. We continue to Torcello, a complete contrast; barely inhabited, the central piazza and its ancient buildings are a haunting reminder of a bygone era. We also visit Isola di San Michele, Venice’s cemetery where we see the graves of Diaghilev, Stravinsky Luigi Nono and Ezra pound.

Day 4

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.

Faustina Bordoni by Rosalba CarrieraWe 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 we visit the Basilica of St Mark’s to view 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.

Day 5

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 (subject to the timings and opera programme which has not yet been finalised for the 2014 season) there may be the option of attending an opera at Teatro La Fenice.

Day 6

A tour of La Fenice Theatre, Music Museum and the Accademia

After our introductory talk, we visit the Music Museum at the Neo-Classical Chiesa di San Maurizio. Rebuilt twice during its history, the standing structure dates back to the early 19th century, and is a fine example of Neo-Classical architecture. We then take an included guided tour of the historical La Fenice Opera Theatre, dating back to 1789. After our tour we enjoy an included light buffet lunch in one of the historic rooms at La Fenice Opera Theatre.

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.

Day 7

A day in Vicenza to include the Olimpico Theatre and Palazzo Thiene

 We travel by coach to Vicenza where we have an included coffee break on arrival. We then visit the Teatro Olimpico, Europe’s oldest surviving indoor theatre designed by Palladio in 1579, and the Basilica Palladiana.

After an included light lunch we visit the Santa Corona, a Gothic church built in 1261 to house a thorn donated by Louis IX of France and said to be from Christ’s Crown of Thorns. Here we enjoy the last of the organ recitals given by Peter. This afternoon we visit Palazzo Thiene, designed for Marcantonio and Adriano Thiene by Giulio Romano in 1542 and revised during construction by Andrea Palladio. A farewell dinner is served at the Osteria Doge Morosini restaurant this evening..

Day 8

Leisure time in Venice and return to London

After a final summing up lecture by Peter Medhurst, there will be a chance for some time at leisure in Venice. We then transfer by boat to Venice Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways flight back to Gatwick.

End of the Tour


The above video is of Peter and Tom on the the Grand Canal passing under the Rialto Bridge en route to the Ca’ d’Oro Palazzo.  The video takes a moment to load.

NB:- Please note we reserve the right to alter the above itinerary if required for operational reasons


The music and art specialists

VeniceTom Abbott (left) and Peter Medhurst (right) in the Teatro Olimpico, Vicenza

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, and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has worked for a number of companies including Travel Editions, Cox and Kings, Heritage Travel and Tailored Travel.

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.



All excursions, entrance fees & guided tours included

Centrally located hotel

Welcome & farewell dinners included

Introductory talks by Peter Medhurst on days 1-8

Included light lunches on Days 3, 6 & 7

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

Ca’ d’Oro

Ospedale San Lazzero dei Mendicanti

Basilca of San Giovanni e Paolo

Querini Stampalia Museum – guided tour

Boat trip to the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon

Vivaldi Museum

Ospedale della Pieta

San Giovanni Battista in Bragora

Ca’ Rezzonico Museum

Mosaics at the Basilica of St Mark’s

St Mark’s Square & the Basilica

Palazzo Ducale

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



We stay seven nights at the centrally located 3* Ala Hotel in Venice ( 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

Insurance £44

Single supplement £199


Opera performances on Days 2 & 5

Local accommodation tax to be paid (approximately 4 Euros per person per night)



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


Booking now open

Click on the  following PDF to download booking form:

TTM2327 Peter Medhurst Music & Art Venice 23 Jan lo