Trade with the east made Venice great, and it was from the east that it first drew artistic inspiration. The glittering Byzantine mosaics of St Mark’s are the most stunning example of that cultural exchange, but there are many more, including the Islamicised Gothic arches of the Doge’s Palace. The city’s staggering wealth made it an important centre of the Renaissance: Bellini’s San Zaccaria altarpiece, Titian’s Assumption, Palladio’s church of Il Redentore – the triumphs of 16th-century art and architecture are thickly strewn. A final flourish came in the 18th century, with frescoes by Tiepolo and souvenirs for Grand Tourists by Canaletto.
Leave the hotel at 2.30pm for the Doge’s Palace. In addition to the painted and gilded halls, see the network of offices and cells which underpinned Venetian government. Dinner in a restaurant.
The churches of San Giovanni in Bragora and San Zaccaria house wonderful altarpieces by Vivarini, Bellini and Cima, while the Scuola degli Schiavoni has the superb cycle by Carpaccio. Cross the bacino to visit two important churches by Antonio Palladio.
The day starts at the magnificent, inimitable Santa Maria della Salute. We then step into the 18th century at Ca’Rezzonico. In the afternoon, the great art of the Accademia with works by all the significant Venetian painters. Dinner together.
We start with Titian’s Assumption at Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, followed by Tintoretto’s cycle of paintings in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco. After a free afternoon, a private tour of St Mark’s.
Walk to Santa Maria dei Miracoli to see its jewel-like interior; then, at the vast Santi Giovanni e Paolo, we inspect the tombs of 25 doges. Return to the hotel and end the trip by 1pm.
Dr Susan Steer
Susan is an art historian with a particular interest in Venice, whose doctoral thesis was on the city’s Renaissance altarpieces. She did her post-doctoral research at the University of Glasgow, and was Neil MacGregor scholar at the National Gallery. She also worked on the National Inventory of Continental European Painting, the online catalogue of pre-1900 European art in the UK’s public collections. For ten years, Susan has also taught History of Art for university programmes in both the UK and Italy.
£1,040 per person sharing in a double room or £1,170 for one person in a double room.
Accommodation and meals
The hotel: Hotel Santa Marina, Venice (4 star), or similar.
Included meals: daily breakfasts and two dinners (with wine).
We make our way around Venice on foot and by vaporetto. Expect a lot of walking on uneven surfaces. Steps and standing around are unavoidable.
There is no minimum number of clients required for this trip to run.
Joining and leaving the trip
Flights and trains are not included, you make your own way to and from the starting and finishing point of the trip. British Airways flies from London Heathrow to Venice Marco Polo Airport at 8.45am. There are also other European airlines flying from the UK to Venice with a connection in Europe. In addition, Ryanair flies to Treviso Airport from where you can take a bus and train to Venice Santa Lucia railway station. Please refer to the hotel’s website for directions from the airport or station to the hotel: www.hotelsantamarina.it/location. Please note The Cultural Travel Company does not arrange international or domestic travel.
Maximum group size
Please check www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice before you book to make sure you are happy with the advice for the places you are visiting.