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Photo by John Rawlings

Venice Through the Eyes of an Artist

April 2 – 16, 2016

$4000 per person, double occupancy, land only

Saturday April 2nd

DAY 1……    “The Back Door”

Arrive at Marco Polo Airport…Venice….John and his assistant will meet travelers and facilitate transport to water taxis which will take us across the lagoon to our hotel. Check into Hotel Sant’ Elena, our home for the next 14 days, rest and recuperate.

2.00pm….Intro talk in Hotel bar with just a little prosecco….distribute vap/waterbus passes

3.00pm….We put our Vap passes to work and take a water bus around the ‘back’ of Venice to Fondamente Nuove……We will walk along this waterfront to Sacca della Misericordia where we will discuss the physical elements that make Venice …the Lagoon…the water…tides…the reclamation of land.

Then a short walk to workshop of bookmaker Marina De Grandis where we will pick up individual hand- made journals. We will return to Sant’Elena to a favorite local pizzeria Vecia Gina for a group dinner.

Sunday April 3rd

DAY 2…….    “Ancient Beginnings and Modern Meddling”

We will ride a vaporetto over to the island of Torcello, walk along the fondamente and into the church of Santa Maria Assunta. Here in this 11th century church we will discuss the earliest settlement of the Lagoon and the history of Assunta.

A short vaporetto ride will find us in Burano where we will walk through its magnificently colored backstreets.

You will be left to choose from the many trattorias for your lunch. After an afternoon on your own in this wonderfully picturesque village we will meet at the wharf and ride a Vaporetto back to Lido. As we cross the Bocca (the mouth of the Lido) we will discuss the giant engineering project designed to control the flood waters of Venice called the MOSE. Dinner is Traveler’s Choice (not included).

Monday April 4th

DAY 3…. “The Front Door”

Ride a Vaporetto to San Zaccaria where we will change boats and go over to San Giorgio Maggiore. We will enter the grand church and take an elevator to the top of its campanile. From its top we will be able to look out over the entire Lagoon and the city. Back down in the church is the perfect place to introduce travelers to the great architect Andrea Palladio and outside we will look down the Guidecca at two more of his creations;  Zittelle and Redentore.

We will then vap back to S.Zaccaria and walk into Piazza San Marco. Our discussion there will explain all of the elements of the city center. After a lunch of your choosing we will enter the Basilica San Marco and go upstairs to Museum to discuss the Greco/Roman bronze horses and overview the Piazza. The rest of the afternoon is for personal exploration.  We will meet for group dinner at a local trattoria.

Tuesday April 5th

DAY 4…… “Palazzi and Patricians”Venice-5

We ride a vaporetto up Canal Giudecca to Piazzale Roma….and change to a #1 vap and ride down the Canale Grande…John has a technique where we get on first and commandeer the outside seats at the stern of the boat. From here we have an unobstructed view of the entire Grand Canal…We will discuss the Palazzi and Ponti….and everything else!!!

Disembark at San Zaccaria and walk through to the Rialto…after a lunch of your choosing we catch a #1 vap back down to Ca’ Rezzonico… a remarkable museum that allows us to visit one of the most splendid palaces on the Grand Canal preserved in its 16th century magnificence.  Frescoes by Tiepolo, paintings by Cannaletto. Dinner is of your choosing (not included).

Wednesday April 6th

DAY 5…… “Ultimate Dominion”

We Vap down to San Zaccaria and walk to the Palazzo Ducale and take the 10 a.m. ‘Secret Tour’ of Doge’s Palace..this tour takes visitors back behind the façade of opulence that is presented to other visitors and allows us to wander in the maze of offices, court rooms, dungeons and torture chambers that were hidden from the public view. Lunch is of your choosing…and then we meet in Piazza San Marco and take a tour of the Torre di Orologio…one of the most famous clocks in the world. The rest of the afternoon is for your personal exploration. Tonight we will have a group dinner at a local trattoria…you will be given a handout (a little light reading to prepare you for Thursday’s tour)

Thursday April 7th 
DAY 6…… “The Great Painters”

Photo by John Rawlings

Please bring the handout from the previous evening. We will Vap to Accademia , disembark and enter one of the world’s finest museums. The Museo Accademia houses one of the most highly regarded collections of works in the world, and we will attempt to view and discuss some of the most important pieces in the collection.  Artists include:  Titan, Tintoretto, Veronese, Giorgione, Bellini, Carpaccio. Lunch is of your choosing and the afternoon is free for personal exploration. Dinner is on your own as well.

Friday April 8th

DAY 7…… “Churches”

We will ride a Vap to Fondamente Nuove and then walk to the Campo Zanipoli….there we will look at the monument to Colleon and tell its story…we will then enter Zanipoli (S Giovanni and Paolo) and discover its stories…..we will then walk to the church of Miracoli and explore its exquisite architecture. After a lunch of your choosing we will meet at San Zaccaria and Vap to San Toma…we will walk to Santa Maria Glorioso da Frari and explore its wonders culminating in Titian’s famous “Assunta”. Dinner is of your choosing.


Saturday April 9th 

DAY 8….. “The Veneto”

First a Vap to Ferrovia and then a train to Vicenza. We will walk to the Palladio sculpture in the City Center, and after that walk to his Teatro Olimpico where we will sit in  the seats of this famous theater and discuss its features. Boarding a private coach we ride to a local winery/restaurant where we share a group lunch of regional food and wine. Our coach will return us to the station and we will ride the train back to Venice. Dinner is of your choosing.

Sunday April 10th 

DAY 9….. “Revolution”

We ride a vap to Accademia, cross the bridge, and walk across to Campo San Stefano and the monument to Tomasseo where we will tell the story of the Venetian Revolution of 1848. We will then vap to San Marcuola and walk to Ghetto where we will tell its story. Lunch is of your choosing and the afternoon is free. Dinner is of your choosing.

Monday April 11th

DAY 10….“Glass and Ghosts”

We catch a Vap to Museo in Murano and walk to the 10th century church of Sante Maria and Donato then walk to Faro and visit a glass blowing academy where we will watch a glass blowing exhibition. Lunch is of your choosing and then we will Vap to the island of San Michele where we will walk through its cemeteries. Dinner is of your choosing.

Tuesday April 12th

DAY 11……“Cucina Veneziana”

A special day! We ride a vap to Rialto where we meet Anna Santini  who will take us shopping in the Fish and Vegetable market for ingredients for a dinner that we will cook in her cooking class at the Istituto Venezia in the evening….We will walk back to the Istituto Venezia buying  wine along the way. It is a short distance to the Scuola San Rocco where we will view some of the finest examples of Tintoretto’s paintings. Lunch is of your choosing and the afternoon is free for personal exploration. At 6.00pm we return to Istituto Venezia for a Venetian Cooking class and group dinner.

Wednesday April 13th

DAY 12…. “La Musica”

We will vap to Santa Maria del Giglio and walk to one of the world’s most famous opera houses, La Fenice where will take a tour of its magnificent features. Lunch is of your choosing and the afternoon is free. We meet at 7.00pm and ride a vap to Zattere and walk to San Trovaso for group Cicchetti (Venetian “tapas”) and wine. Then walk across the Accademia bridge to San Vidal for an 8.30pm Vivaldi concert. Late dinner is of your choosing.

Thursday April 14th

DAY 13…. “Venezia Moderna”

Walk down the fondamente to Giardini where we will look at the international pavilions and discuss the Venice Biennale….We will then catch a vap and ride it to San Stae where we will visit Ca’ Pesaro and its 20th century collection of art. Artists include: Boccioni, Chagall, Klimt. Lunch is of your choosing and then we will meet at Salute and walk to the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and complete our day of “Modern Art” to include:  Calder, Picasso, Klee, Ernst, Braque, Pollock, Brancusi. Group dinner at a local trattoria. 

Friday April 15th

DAY 14…. “Messing About in Boats”

We ride a vap to Arsenale stop and walk to the Maritime Museum and after touring its remarkable collection we walk along the canal to the Arsenale to tell its story. We will continue on to the workshop of Paolo Brandolisio one of Venice’s last Remiers or oar makers. This workshop dates back to the 1300’s and is the perfect place to discuss the oars and forcole (oar locks) of the gondolas that are such an important part of this city. Lunch is of your choosing and the afternoon is your final one in Venice…and your last chance to explore. We meet at 6.00pm at Canal San Lorenzo where we take a special gondola ride. Final group dinner in a local trattoria.

Saturday April 16th

DAY 15…… “Arrivederci”

Water taxis pick us up from the canal beside Hotel Sant’ Elena and we ride back across the Lagoon and say farewell at the airport.

End of services.


  • Accommodations based on bed and breakfast, sharing double at the Hotel Sant ‘Elena in Venice
  • English speaking guide and lecturer/art historian throughout the entire tour
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Vaparetto passes, coach and taxi as indicated in the itinerary
  • Entrance fees to the museums and other sites

Not Included:

  • Air fare
  • Trip insurance
  • Single supplement (please call for single pricing)
  • Tips at hotel, restaurant, for guides, taxis, etc
  • Personal expenses, optional tours, anything not listed in the itinerary

Space is limited so please contact us right away to reserve your space!




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