We make our own way to London Gatwick Airport (North Terminal) for our direct scheduled British Airways flight to Venice. On arrival at Venice Airport, we are met by Peter Medhurst, our music lecturer, and Thomas Abbott, our art historian. We transfer by water taxi to the centrally located 4* Hotel Saturnia International 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. After we have had an included lunch, 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 how they impact on the music of Vivaldi and his contemporaries. A welcome dinner is served at the hotel’s La Caravella restaurant this evening.
After breakfast we have our first lecture by Peter entitled ‘Vivaldi and 18th century Venice’. The first visit of the day is to the Querini Stampalia Museum, home to one of the richest art collections in Venice. Here we explore works by Sebastiano Ricci, Pietro Longhi and Gabriel Bella – painters working in Venice during and just after the time of Vivaldi. We also enjoy an included light lunch in the excellent Querini Museum restaurant. In the 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 a recital of Venetian 17th and 18th century organ music. We continue to the Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo to make a connection with the composer Georg Frederick Handel, one of Vivaldi’s contemporaries. The Gothic church, built by the Dominicans in the 14th century and known locally as the ‘Pantheon of Venice’, houses monuments to 25 doges. This evening there is an optional Vivaldi orchestral concert at the San Vidal Church.
After breakfast we have a lecture from Peter entitled ‘Neo-classicism in the music of Stravinsky’. We then enjoy a full day private boat trip to some of the neighbouring islands of Venice. The first stop is Isola di San Michele, Venice’s cemetery, and here we see the graves of Diaghilev and Stravinsky whose ballet Pulcinella borrows large quantities of music from the trio sonatas of the 18th century Venetian composer Domenico Gallo. We also visit the graves of Olgar Rudge and Ezra Pound, a couple largely responsible for the ‘Vivaldi resurrection’ in the mid-20th century. We then visit Murano, the island famous for its glass making. We continue on to Torcello where we have an included light lunch, and finally we visit Burano, where the composer Baldesaro Galuppi was born in 1706. Here, in the church where Galuppi developed his musical skills as a young man, Peter will give a recital of organ music by Galuppi.
Today’s introductory talk is entitled ‘The musical style of Antonio Vivaldi’. This morning we visit the Vivaldi Museum at the Ospedale della Pietà, a convent and music school for orphaned girls where Vivaldi was employed on and off between 1703 and 1739. After we have explored the museum and chapel, Peter will give another organ recital, drawing on music by Vivaldi and other composers who worked at this foundation in the early 18th century. We continue to the San Giovanni Battista in Bragora, Vivaldi’s baptismal church, 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. After an included lunch, we visit the Ca’ Rezzonico Museum, a palazzo on the Grand Canal dedicated to the world of 18th century Venice. As well as viewing paintings by Vivaldi’s contemporaries, we have a chance to see 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. One source claims that Vivaldi was her teacher and that he wrote cantatas for her to perform. This evening there is an optional visit to hear an opera.
After our morning lecture at the hotel, we will visit Viva Vivaldi which tells the story and artistic personality of Vivaldi (the Red Priest) through music and images. We then make our way to the magnificent Palazzo Zeno for a private visit. Palazzo Zeno was built in the late 14th century by Carlo Zeno, ‘Capitano da mar’, a hero in the Chioggia’s war waged by Venezia against Genova. The Zeno family still live here and we will have an exclusive guided tour by one of the family. This is followed by an included lunch and an optional visit to the Correr Museum. The evening is at leisure.
After our morning lecture, we visit the Galleria dell’Accademia to explore some of the 18th century highlights from its wonderful collection of Venetian art. Our next stop is the musical instrument museum at the Chiesa di San Maurizio. The collection has a range of superb instruments – harpsichords, violins, viols, oboes and flutes – all stemming from Vivaldi’s time. The afternoon is spent at La Fenice and during the course of our visit we have a tour of the theatre as well as enjoying a private light lunch reception in one of La Fenice’s historic rooms. This evening we return to the Basilica of St Mark’s for a private viewing of the magnificent mosaics at night. Covering 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) and in the artificial light the glass gleams magnificently. We then return to the hotel for a farewell dinner in the La Caravella restaurant.
After checking out of our hotel, we have a final summing up lecture by Peter, after which, there will be a chance for some time at leisure in Venice. We then have an early afternoon transfer by water taxi to Venice Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways 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
Private organ recitals by Peter Medhurst in Venetian churches
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 1 to 6
Direct scheduled British Airways flights from Gatwick to Venice
Return water taxi transfers in Venice between the airport & hotel
Included Vaporetta ticket for the whole tour
Querini Stampalia Museum
Ospedale San Lazzero dei Mendicanti
Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo
Full day private boat trip to the Islands of the Venetian Lagoon – Isola di San Michele, Torcello,
Murano & Burano
Vivaldi Museum at the Ospedale della Pietà
San Giovanni Battista in Bragora
Ca’ Rezzonico Museum
Viva Vivaldi exhibition
Musical instrument museum at the Chiesa di San Maurizio
Guided tour of the La Fenice Theatre
Private evening viewing of the mosaics at St Mark’s Basilica
- Optional Vivaldi orchestral concert on Day 2
- Optional opera on Day 4
- Optional visit to the Correr Museum on Day 5
We stay for seven 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 last evenings and the remaining five nights are on bed and breakfast basis.
Single room supplement £199 (limited availability)
Double room for single use £299
Optional concert & opera
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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