THE SOUL OF VENETO

  • Duration: 8 NIGHTS/9 DAYS
  • Countries Visited:Italy
  • Highlights:Venice, Padua, Vicenza, Castelfranco, Tiepolo in the Veneto Hills
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Airfare NYC/Venice/ NYC
    • Accommodations in fine four star hotels
    • Continental breakfast daily
    • Lunch and dinner as indicated in the itinerary
    • Sightseeing and visits as shown
    • Services of a professional Tour Escort
    • Transportation by a private deluxe coach
    • Porterage for one suitcase per person
    • Epicurean Tours travel portfolio

 

Impalpable, unique and mysterious. “La Serenissima” is magical theater on water. Venice inspires and amplifies all sensations. The shimmering canals, music of Vivaldi, paintings by Titian, Tiepolo and Tintoretto, the Palladian villas, Caffe del Florian Piazza San Marco and cocktails at Harry’s Bar in the Ciprianie; all of these are unforgettable. We recommend a visit in the winter, when the city breathes, swirling fog hangs over the Grand Canal and Venice regains its soul. The canals are sweet-smelling and there is no wait for a table at Florian’s. The pleasure of seeing art where it is meant to be, where in this country you can just about wander into a corner church, a square or a villa and find museum quality Madonna and Child. But nowhere will you find that experience more concentrated than in Venice. Academia’s Titians and Bellinis, Peggy Guggenheim’s Palazzo filled with Jackson Pollocks and Max Earnst, the Scula di San Rocco’s 50 odd Tintorettos, and Pallazzo Ducalo no line? Wander uninterrupted though Palladio’s wander works, gaze of misty hills and sample the best grappa in the world. These are just a few of the delights that await you in our winter Venetoland.

 

DAY 1: DEPART USA

Depart on an overnight flight to Venice.

 

DAY 2: VENICE

Upon arrival in Venice, you are greeted by our English-speaking tour escort and transferred to the hotel. Today you will have the opportunity to explore the city with its maze of streets and canals and countless arches, and become acclimated to a new time zone. Overnight (D.)

 

DAY 3: VENICE

This museum of a town was built to impress. Everyone, including locals and visitors alike, and everything is constantly on display. Venice is beautiful bathed in the summer light, but even more so when there is a little nip in the air, for nothing creates mystery like a swirl of fog can. Winter in Venice offers us another city, a new experience, and one without the crowds and the lines that summer weather draws. For the people who actually live here, cultural events are designed for the sophisticated tastes of the locals rather than for the masses of tourists. We enjoy a first full day in Venice, with a walking tour in the morning, and afternoon for you to discover Venice on your own. Overnight Venice. (B.)

 

DAY 4: VENICE

We travel by private motor-launch to the island of Murano, where glass blowers demonstrate their art. We then visit the cathedral in Torcello and have lunch at the lovely country inn. Then we stop at the island of Burano renowned for its lace-making. Back in Venice we cross the lagoon to explore Palladio’s Church of San Giorgio Maggiore and visit the adjacent Cini Foundation which exhibits Old Master drawings. Overnight Venice. (B.L.)

 

DAY 5: PADUA

Admire the interior of San Anthony’s Basilica and the glorious frescoes by Giotto lining the Scrovegni Chapel. Visit Palazzo del Bo, at Padua’s ancient university, and have lunch at famed Caffe Pedrocchi. Today our visit includes Villa Pisani, considered the Versailles of Italy, remarkable for its magnificent architecture, beautiful park with sculptures and precious work of art which decorate its interior.Then we visit Villa Foscari (also known as Malcontenta) considered one of Palladio’s most beautiful and decorated villas. We continue along the gently rolling hills from Padua to Vincenza embossed with magnificent villas, built by Palladio and his followers, to please the vanity and whims of Venetian aristocracy. Overnight Vicenza. (B.L.)

 

DAY 6: VICENZA

Start with a walking tour of Vicenza. The home of the great architect which was transformed with his imposing civic buildings, basilica and aristocratic residences. The highlight of our time in Vicenza will be a visit to Palladio’s Teatro Olimpico, considered to be one of the purest creations of Renaissance architecture, and Pallazo della Ragione, Palladio’s first grand commission. We also see Palazzo Chiericati and the famous Basilica. We visit the Villa Rotonda, the most famous Palladian Villa in Veneto and the inspiration for Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. Dinner tonight is a special occasion, a four course Palladio dinner at Molin Vecio, which cooks authentic 16th-century meals. Overnight in a villa outside of Vicenza. (B.D.)

 

DAY 7: CASTELFRANCO

Enter Castelfranco through its well-preserved walls en route Villa Barbaro which is also famous for its Veronese frescoes, and secondly, the Villa Emo with frescoes by Zellotti. Then, visit Bassano del Grappa which is famous for itsаAlpine bridge designed by Palladio and Grappa “the firewater of the mountains”. Also, while we are in Bassano,а we will have a chance to view Villa Angarano. Bassano is a shopper’s paradise, along with grappa, the town is also famous for its porcini mushrooms, white asparagus, ceramics and many other specialty stores. Our host this afternoon is Italy’s outstanding maker of eau-de-vie and grappa. We have a taste among more than 40 varieties of eua-de-vie and 10 of grappa. Overnight Vicenza area. (B.)

 

DAY 8: TIEPOLO IN VENETO HILLS

Palladio is not just named after this region’s only celebrated son, it is also the birthplace of his contemporary Giambattista Tiepolo (1669-1770), the artist credited for depicting the splendor and grandeur of patrician Venice. Fine works of his art can be seen at Villa Valamarana, Villa Zileri and Villa Cordellina. We visit these villas today and marvel at Tiepolo’s ability to paint his frescoes while the construction was going on, which allowed the painter to bend the structure to his artistic will. Tiepolo’s allegorical figures are a contrast to the rather solemn and stern classic facades of the region’s villas which were undoubtedly influenced by Palladio.Tonight we have a farewell dinner as we feast on local delicacies. Overnight Vicenza area. (B.D.)

 

 

 

DAY 9: RETURN TO USA

We are transferred to the airport for our flight home. (B)

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