This tour, following M16020's popular pattern, will immerse you in the best of the region's art, tastes, and places of cultural interest.
Day 1: Arrival in Venice. We'll await you at an elegantly restored palazzo hotel in Venice in the afternoon. Settle in to our comfortable home-for-the-week. If time allows, we'll enjoy an introductory walk in "our" neighborhood - with views nearly unchanged from those Canaletto canvases of the 17th and 18th centuries. In the evening we'll enjoy a superb dinner (included) - our introduction to the cuisine of northern Italy.
Day 2: Breakfast (all breakfasts are included). Get acquainted stroll in the morning, then we'll view the expansive Grand Canal views from atop the tower of the Palladian Church of San Giorgio Maggiore. After an abundant lunch at a welcoming trattoria (included), take time to relax or explore on your own. In the majestic Basilica dei Frari, with its glorious Assumption by Titian, we'll enjoy our first Venice concert.
Day 3: Today we'll explore the lagoon islands, stopping in the colorful islet of Burano - a photo-op at every turn - and calm green Torcello, a now nearly uninhabited island that was the earliest center of civilization in the Venetian lagoon. Dinner (included) this evening is at a warm and welcoming trattoria renowned for its vegetarian dishes, but with plenty of choices for any diner.
Day 4: Pack up to depart for Montegrotto Terme, settle in to our elegant spa hotel, then we’ll drive to Padova for lunch (included) and a walk around the historic center. In the afternoon we’ll visit the awe-inspriring frescoes of Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel.
This evening is the opening concert of the Incontri Internazionale di Musica di Camera (International Encounter of Chamber Music) in the quietly beautiful 12th-century church of San Martino in Este, begun by the Auryn Quartet in 2007 as a season of exquisite music making in a relaxed setting.
Day 5: Today we’ll visit three awe-inspiring Venetian villas along the Brenta Canal, beginning with Villa Foscari (also known as La Malcontenta) designed by Renaissance Architect Andrea Palladio. Then lavish Villa Widmann, after which we’ll stop for lunch (included) along the canal. We’ll complete our villa tour with the grandest and largest of all, Villa Pisani, with its glorious award-winning gardens and marvelously frescoed interiors. We’ll return to Montegrotto Terme, and then be on our way to charming little Este for another evening of music. Pianist Peter Orth joins the Auryn Quartet for tonight’s concert.
Day 6: We’ll head into the hills today, the storied Eugenean hills, visting the walled hilltop village of Monselice, with its medieval chateau, continuing on to Arqua Petrarcha, where Petrarch spent the last years of his life. We’ll enjoy a countryside lunch (included) with a valley view. The final concert of the festival this evening again includes Mr. Orth.
Day 7: Breakfast, then arriverderci to new-found friends before departing on your journey homeward. Note: A detailed final schedule will be sent to participants in April.
Price: The cost for the 7 day tour is $3850 USD per person double occupancy, $4250 USD per person single occupancy.
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