with Mascarade Festivalino at La Fenice

2nd – 6th May 2023

Padua is the sort of place that people only visit from Venice, rather than stay. As a result, they only skim the surface of this fabulously rich cultural city. UNESCO have just recognised the skill and beauty of Padua’s 14th Century fresco cycles by adding them to the list of World Heritage Sites and we will celebrate this achievement during the trip. The Scrovegni Chapel, painted by Giotto, is one of the greatest works of Italian art. But elsewhere, there are wonderful frescoes in the Palazzo della Ragione. Furthermore, the Basilica Sant’ Antonio is amongst the most popular pilgrimage sites in Italy.

We will also explore the greater Veneto, which again is an area much overlooked. Here you will find Palladian villas, the wonderful architecture of Carlo Scarpa and the home of Antonio Canova, arguably the greatest sculptor of the Regency period.
The last night will be spent in Venice as we have timed our trip to coincide with the last night of the Mascarade Festivalino at La Fenice with a sumptuous dinner at the theatre afterwards. Finally, for those who wish, we have organised a Coronation Celebration at our hotel on the last day. It will be fun to watch the events together with a glass of something sparkling.


Tuesday 2nd May
We will arrive at Venice Airport at midday and drive directly to Treviso for a good lunch. The town, with its frescoed facades and maze of canals, forms a charming backdrop for an introduction to the Venetian Empire and her power in the Veneto. There are also two beautiful things to see, which mainly focus on the frescoes of Giovanni da Modena. We will then drive to the Villa Albrizzi, arriving in time to settle in before aperitivi and dinner.

Wednesday 3rd May
Before the pilgrim rush, we should get to Sant’ Antonio in Padua, which has some wonderful sculptures by Donatello, the sculptor who towers above the artistic community in the period 1420 – 1450. Next to Sant’ Antonio are two chapels, one painted by Titian.

After lunch we will go to the Scrovegni Chapel painted by Giotto. We have managed to book a double turn and will have the chapel all to ourselves. We will visit the town hall, the Palazzo della Ragione where ‘il Salone’ is coated in frescoes. Last of all, we will drop in on the Duomo, or Cathedral, where there are more wonderful frescos in the Baptistery. Supper at the Villa.

Thursday 4th May
This is going to be a day that embodies the enduring power of Classicism from the 16th century right up to the 19th century and on to the 1960’s. First, we will visit the wonderful Villa Maser which is opening specially for us. It is a masterpiece of design by Palladio and decorated by Veronese. We will then go on north to the home and studio of Antonio Canova, who was the Michelangelo of his day, beloved of Napoleon.

After lunch we will see the Brion Tomb by Carlo Scarpa. This cemetery is a mesmerizing combination of architecture, sculpture and landscape design. Supper at the Villa.

Friday 5th May
In the morning we will visit the Villa Barbarigo Pizzoni Ardemani. A perfect example of a baroque garden with the added pleasure of being in excellent condition. The garden tells a wonderful story through the fountains and sculptures, maze and rabbit island (complete with rabbits), coming to a finale with a beautiful inscription on the steps leading up to the villa. Once we have climbed the steps, hopefully avoiding the ‘water jokes’, we will be received with
a refreshing glass of prosecco in front of the villa. The present owner, Armando Pizzoni Ardemani is passionate about this garden and looks after it so beautifully, he is hoping to show us around himself.

We will continue on to lunch on the banks of the Brenta Canal before driving to Venice. We will be met by water taxis which will take us on to the hotel. There will be time for a rest before we meet up again to walk to La Fenice for The Mascarade Opera Studio Showcase with orchestra. There will be staged opera scenes performed by their 2022-3 studio artists, conducted by Maestro Jonathan Santagada and directed by Jean-Romain Vesperini. This will be followed by a spectacular dinner in La Fenice’s Sala Apollinea Grande.

Saturday 6th May
After a leisurely breakfast there will be the opportunity to watch the Coronation of King Charles III together with a few drinks and nibbles in a room the hotel have provided for us. The timings for the morning have not yet been published by the Palace and so we will amend our plans accordingly once we know more. There will be an alternative plan for anyone wishing to explore Venice instead. After a celebratory lunch our water taxis will take us across the lagoon to the airport for the flight home.

Further Details


The trip will be led by Charlie Winton and Frankie Dytor. Charlie has lived in Italy and studied in Venice. Frankie is a keen pianist and singer. She was a choral scholar at Trinity Hall, Cambridge. She has now returned to Cambridge to research 19th century European cultural history.


We will stay at the Villa Albrizzi, a beautiful family run private villa surrounded by extensive gardens complete with tennis courts and a pool. The villa is fully staffed and we will eat together each evening in the dining room. The small town of Este is only a five minute walk away. Six rooms are ensuite and the remaining rooms share a bathroom with one other room. The different rooms are reflected in the price chart below and will be allocated in order of registration forms received. Please note that the villa is of a very high standard but will not have all of the services of an equivalent class of hotel. In Venice we will stay in the Palazzo Paruta, a beautiful decorated 17th century palazzo within a very short walking distance of La Fenice.

Villa Albrizzi Website

Palazzo Paruta Website

Mascarade Festivalino

We will have drinks at La Fenice followed by the Showcase. There will then be a three-course dinner with auction of promises at the theatre. Formal Dress (but Black Tie not necessary). Organised by the Mascarade Opera Studio who held the fabulous New Generation Festivals in Florence.  We have been to many of their festivals and they are beautifully organised and a real experience to be part of. We support their mission to provide a platform, integrated into The New Generation Festival network, for emerging world-class talent to display their skills and to enter the music profession at the highest possible level. Please visit their website to find out more.


We do not book the flights thus allowing you to travel to suit your budget, use airmiles, travel between different airports or on different dates. However, we recommend buying the following flights with British Airways:

Tuesday 2nd May London Heathrow 08:45 – 12:00 Venice BA0578

Saturday 6th May Venice 17:30- 18.45 London Heathrow BA0469


We will travel in comfort in a coach with air-conditioning and take water-taxis in Venice.


The fees includes accommodation and breakfast, all lunches and all dinners, opera and dinner at La Fenice, transfers for the recommended flight, transport when connected with teaching, entrance fees, tuition, reading lists and local advice. Not included are the flights and travel insurance.

Room type                                             Full Fees pp if sharing a room                  Full fees for single occupancy
Double ensuite                                               £2460                                                           £2745
Double shared bathroom                            £2260                                                           £2520
Small double shared bathroom               £2180                                                           £2470
Single bed shared bathroom                    –                                                                     £2420
Small single bed shared bathroom          –                                                                     £2370

To register
Please complete the online registration form, having read our terms and conditions and pay a depoist of £600 via bank transfer.

If you have any queries please email charlie@arthistoryabroad or call 01379 871800 (302)

NB you must buy your own flights.

Registration Form

Terms & Conditions