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 to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore. Following a private drinks reception, we have dinner together in the Caravella Restaurant in the hotel.
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. 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.
After a morning lecture at the hotel, we take a vaporetto to the Island of San Giorgio Maggiore. 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. 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.
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 (where his heart rests) and the composer Monteverdi. 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 public gaming rooms where Casanova famously made his conquests. Optional concert or opera this evening.
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 contain 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 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.
Today we go to explore the Rialto 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. 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.
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.
NB:- Please note we reserve the right to alter the above itinerary if required for operational reasons. Given the historic nature of the places visited, a certain degree of walking will be involved, and this holiday may not be suitable for those with mobility problems. This holiday and the flights are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority. Tailored Travel's ATOL number is 5605.
Tour limited to 24 passengers
Lectures by Peter Medhurst each morning
7 private organ recitals by Peter in Venetian churches
Piano recital by Peter at Ca Zeno
Thomas Abbott - professional tour manager & art historian
All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities for hotel & restaurant staff 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
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
Private viewing of the Ridotto public gaming rooms
Querini Stampalia Museum
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
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 evening and at the Antico Martini in the Vino Vino Restaurant close to our hotel on the last evening. The remaining four nights are on bed and breakfast basis.
Single room supplement £199 (limited availability)
Double room for single use £299
Local accommodation tax to be paid directly to the hotel (approximately €4.50 per person per night)
Click Here to download the Brochure and Booking Form and then post the completed Booking Form with your deposit payment as instructed on the Booking Form. Please note that you cannot book this holiday online. Once you receive a Confirmation & Invoice from us as confirmation of your booking, you can pay the final balance by following the instructions set out in your Confirmation & Invoice.
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