14th – 17th September 2020 – Fully Booked

21st – 24th September 2020 – Spaces Available

How many of you have recently remarked on how wonderful it would be to see Venice now without the tour groups and cruise ships? I have been longing to see the crystal clear canals (possibly with a dolphin thrown in for good measure) and have the finest ‘drawing room of Europe’, Piazza San Marco, to myself – instead of avoiding it as I usually would do. Encouraged by the fact that our remaining places for our South of Italy trip sold out the same evening we have decided to organise a flash trip to Venice. We will stay in grandeur on the Grand Canal, making the most of the unusual out of season prices, visit the normally popular sites peacefully and include several off the beaten track places for those of you who know Venice well. We have now run two successful trips to Italy in August and are comfortable with the new regulations. The Italians are more welcoming than ever, even in normally harassed cities such as Venice.

The course will concentrate on Venetian painters and their remarkable use of colour and light. We will pay particular attention to Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto and Veronese. The majority of the works we visit are still in the churches for which they were commissioned, allowing one to have a better understanding of the meaning and power of the paintings. We will also delve into the unique environment of Venice which influenced the painters so deeply.


Monday 21st September
Our flight lands at midday and we will set off across the lagoon in private water taxis to the Island of Torcello. We will put all the stresses of the terrafirma behind us with a delicious lunch in the beautiful garden of Cipriani’s. After lunch we will discover the origins of Venice and discuss how the seemingly impossible was made possible with the history of this fascinating city and how it came to be. We will pop into the Cathedral of Torcello to see the wonderful mosaics before taking our water taxis to the hotel. There will be time for an aperitivo on our hotel’s stunning terrace before supper at a good trattoria near the hotel.

Tuesday 22nd September
In the morning will look at the buildings which make up the most theatrical square in Europe, Piazza San Marco, with the added treat of no crowds. Tucked away slightly beyond the Piazza is one of my favourite paintings, a Bellini in San Zaccaria. Seeing Bellini’s paintings in sitù in the dim light of a church is unbeatable. Here we can also peek into the flooded crypt where the marble columns rise out of the water. Nearby at San Giovanni in Bragora is found another remarkable painting, this time by the lesser known artist Cima da Conegliano. We shall have lunch alfresco in a small piazza.

In the afternoon we will visit the Frari which arguably contains one of Italy’s best collections of paintings and sculpture still in sitù, including some stunning Titians and a Bellini. Next-door at the Scuola di San Rocco we can indulge ourselves in a feast of Tintorettos. Supper at an excellent restaurant famed for its fresh seafood.

Wednesday 23rd September
In the morning we will have the opportunity of a private tour of the Bevilaqua workshop, we thought this would be a fun and fascinating opportunity to see how Venice’s traditions of trade and colour, which so influenced her art, are still powerful today in the textile industry (they also have a small and rather dangerous shop on site!). We will then continue on by boat to the church of San Giorgio Maggiore and study how Palladio used the Venetian light to create effect. Here the view from the campanile is also far better than that of any other.

We have decided to make the afternoon flexible. There may be your favourite sites that you wish to see without the crowds or you could join Richard on a church crawl to include the places such as the hidden jewel-like church of Santa Maria dei Miracoli. Or, you may simply wish to explore the canals and shops unhindered by large groups. Supper near to the hotel.

Thursday 17th September
We will have a leisurely breakfast on the terrace before spending the morning in the Academia. After lunch on the Zattere we will return to the hotel to take our water taxi to the airport for our flight home.

Further Details

Tutors – The trip will be led by Dr Richard Stemp, one of our most experienced tutors who knows Venice extremely well.

Hotel – We will stay at the five-star Bauer Palazzo on the Grand Canal. We have chosen this hotel for its fabulous outside space – a roof terrace with views over Santa Maria della Salute and a terrace over the canal for breakfast. Part of the hotel is a gothic palazzo while part is a modern addition. We have booked standard rooms with side views, however if you would like to upgrade please let me know and I can give you the options.

Transport – There will be a private water taxi from and to the airport for the group catching the recommended flight and for those arriving at Venice airport by 12.00. We will mostly travel by private water taxi but we will also catch public boats if necessary when connected with tours.

Flights – We do not book the flights for you allowing you to travel to suit your budget, use airmiles, travel between different airports or on different dates. We recommend the following flights with British Airways:
21st September London Heathrow 08.50 – 12.05 Venice BA0578
24th September Venice 15.45 – 17.00 London Heathrow BA2587
NB The flights are very reasonable at the moment

Cost – The fees are £1430. The price includes accommodation and breakfast, all lunches including Cipriani’s, entrance fees and private visits, tuition, private water taxis when connecting with the recommend flights, all transport within Venice connected to teaching and all entry fees. The single room supplement is £150. Please note on your registration form whether you would like to share if possible. Flights, dinners and insurance are not included.

Registration Form

Terms & Conditions

If you have any queries please email charlie@arthistoryabroad or call 01379 871800 (302)
Please note you must buy your own flights