Road Scholar : Home
Independent Venice: Power and Beauty

Program Number: 19400RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/22/2015 - 10/30/2015; 3/3/2016 - 3/11/2016; 4/7/2016 - 4/15/2016; 5/5/2016 - 5/13/2016; 10/13/2016 - 10/21/2016; 11/3/2016 - 11/11/2016;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,799.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Independent City Discoveries
Meals: 9; 7 Breakfasts, 0 Lunches, 2 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Reflected in the canals of Venice you can see splendid palazzi and grand opera houses, red-scarfed gondoliers standing confidently aboard their crafts, the Rialto, Accademia and Scalzi bridges and so much more. Absorb and reflect on this utterly unique city as you explore independently and learn from local experts about the artists, architects and musicians that contributed (and continue to add to) its beauty.


• An exceptional opportunity to visit St. Mark’s Basilica at night, when its beauty can be experienced without crowds.
• Cristina Gregorin, author of “Venice Master Artisans,” gives you a fascinating look at traditional Venetian crafts including Carnival masks.
• Revel in a Vivaldi concert performed on prestigious original instruments by the chamber music ensemble Interpreti Veneziani.

Activity Particulars

Walking on cobblestone streets; uneven steps up and down bridges. Use of public “vaporetto” waterbus for transportation.

Included in the Program Only Price: Seven nights hotel accommodation, breakfasts during the program, two dinners, five lectures by local experts, two special events, detailed outlines for self-directed excursions, substantial free time. The program also includes the Venice Card, which gives you access to museums and churches, and a public transportation pass (for the vaporetto/waterbus and boats to the islands). Not included: Airport transfers.

Date Specific Information

10-22-2015, 3-3-2016, 4-7-2016, 5-5-2016, 10-13-2016, 11-3-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Venice, 7 nights; departure

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Venice
7 nights

Local experts introduce you to the history, art, architecture and music of Venice and fully prepare you for self-guided exploration of this fascinating city. Venture to the island of Murano, world famous for its colorful, expertly blown glass. With a morning lecture on the Venetian painters fresh in your mind, set off to the Frari basilica to examine Titian’s “Assumption” and works by Donatello and Bellini. At a celebratory farewell dinner, share your experiences over fresh fish, Italian wine and a sampling of delicious “cicchetti,” typical Venetian side dishes.


“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.

Historic four-star hotel near St. Mark's Square.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Bonvecchiati
  Venice, Italy 7 nights
 Hotel Bonvecchiati
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Venice, the four-star Hotel Bonvecchiati has been welcoming guests since 1790. It is only a 5-minute walk from St. Mark's Square, the Rialto Bridge, and the Rialto waterbus stop on the Grand Canal. If you cross the bridge in front of the hotel and walk along the Fondamenta Orseolo, you pass the Orseolo basin, a picturesque gondola station that holds scores of boats creating one of Venice's most characteristic sights. Then pass under the portico and the magnificent St. Mark's Square opens up before you.
  Contact info: Calle Goldoni 4488, San Marco District
Venice,  30124 Italy
phone: +39 041 528 50 17
  Room amenities: Each room has satellite and pay television, telephone, mini bar, safe, individually controlled air conditioning, bathrobe and hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a 24-hour front desk, restaurant with terrace, bar, water landing, lobby, wireless Internet access (for a fee), computer in lobby, laundry service, fax, fitness and wellness center and international newspapers.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 11:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Venice, Italy. 3:45 PM Meet in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Hotel Bonvecchiati that night.
  End of Program:
Venice, Italy. After breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Hotel Bonvecchiati the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Venice can be reached by train/bus.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Venice
  Nearest city or town:  Venice/Mestre
  Nearest highway: Highway A4 to Trieste and Milano
  Nearest airport:  Marco Polo Airport
  Transportation to site: Considering the fact that Venice is built on an archipelago of 117 islands formed by 177 canals in a shallow lagoon, connected by 409 bridges, you will understand that traveling is more complicated than in other cities. We suggest the following routes. Water Roads Take the shuttle from the airport to the wet dock, where you can take a private water taxi to the hotel (takes 40 minutes, costs approx. 120 Euro, water taxi can load 6 to 8 persons with luggage), or get a motorboat from the Alilaguna line to Rialto. After docking, please see the detailed route to the hotel on the map provided toward the end of this packet. Land Roads Take the ATVO shuttle to Venice - Piazzale Roma (approx. 3 Euro), and from there you can continue via water taxi (takes 15 minutes and costs approx. 6 Euro), or lines 1 and 2 of the public steamboat service that get to Ponte di Rialto (takes 15 minutes, costs approx. 7 Euro), from where you can get on foot to the hotel in about 3 minutes. After docking, please see the detailed route to the hotel on the map provided toward the end of this packet.
  From End of Program
  Location: Venice
  Transportation from site: Water roads: Take a water taxi from the hotel directly to the airport (from the water taxi dock you must take a shuttle bus to the departure area). You can share the taxi with 6 to 8 persons. Walk to Rialto and take the Alilaguna airport line directly to the airport. Land road: Walk to Rialto water boat station line 1 and take the boat to Piazzale Roma Station. Take the shuttle bus to the airport.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: In Transit
(Thursday, October 22)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Arrival and Orientation
(Friday, October 23)
 Afternoon: 3:45 PM Meet in the conference room for an introduction to the program and orientation to Venice. You will receive the Venice Card for entrance to some of the major museums and churches for the duration of your stay. You will also receive a public transportation pass (for the vaporetto/waterbus and boats to the islands). For your self-guided excursions, you will receive a booklet with detailed suggested itineraries for exploring Venice on your own. Then take a short orientation walk led by Cristina Gregorin.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in a local restaurant close to St. Mark's Square.
Accommodations: Hotel Bonvecchiati
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Introduction to Venetian History
(Saturday, October 24)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Introduction to the History of Venice." The republic enjoyed remarkable political stability for more than a millennium, resisting both external forces and internal turbulence. With this background, one can understand its attraction to artists and architects - La Serenissima has been shaped by them for centuries. Emphasis on the golden era of the town.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Self-guided excursion. For self-guided excursions, you will receive a booklet with very detailed descriptions of 12 different walks, some of which take you off of the beaten path. Optional: Join your Group Leader on a walk to the Rialto area with the fish and vegetable market. In the late afternoon, meet your Road Scholar group for a drink and chat.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Bonvecchiati
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Glass and Mosaics, Night Visit of St. Mark's
(Sunday, October 25)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Glassmaking and Mosaics." The art of making glass has never been quite as entrenched in a place as on the Murano islands, which are famous for blowing techniques and design. Murano glass first made its appearance in the 8th century, and despite various ups and downs, has managed to not only endure but also flourish in our modern times.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Self-guided excursion. Optional: Join your Group Leader on a walk to the old Venetian Jewish ghetto area.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Enjoy a special guided night visit of St. Mark's Cathedral, the mosaic-clad emblem of Venice's Byzantine origins. Visit the crypt under sea level. Special lights create a magic atmosphere and bring alive the unique mosaics which were first executed in 1071 by artists from Constantinople. The Basilica opens just for the Road Scholar group.
Accommodations: Hotel Bonvecchiati
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 5: Lecture: The Historical Era of Titian / Vivaldi Concert
(Monday, October 26)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "The Historical Era of Titian." For Venetian painting, the 16th century was the most successful. Titian, Veronese and Jacopo Tintoretto dominated the Venetian art scene, winning most of the public and religious commissions. They created a new style of painting with striking luminous colors.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Self-guided excursion. Optional: Join your Group Leader on a walk to the San Polo district with the Frari Church to see Titian's famous painting.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Attend a Vivaldi Concert by Interpreti Veneziani. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) gave over 500 concerts to his hometown, performing for violin, viola d'amore, cello, mandolin, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, cornet and string orchestra. Enjoy this concert performed by the chamber music ensemble Interpreti Veneziani, played on prestigious original instruments.
Accommodations: Hotel Bonvecchiati
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Venetian Lagoon
(Tuesday, October 27)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Take a full day to discover the Venetian Lagoon on your own. The Group Leader will assist you in planning your time according to your interests. You can visit Murano, the island of glass-working with its museum of glass making; Burano, the island of lace makers and fishermen; or Torcello, with its great basilica in Venetian-Byzantine style, which is famous for its marvelous mosaics.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue your exploration of the Venetian Lagoon.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Bonvecchiati
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 7: Velvet Manufacturer Bevilacqua
(Wednesday, October 28)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "The Fascinating World of Venetian Handcraft." Cristina Gregorin, author of the book "Venice Master Artisans," introduces us to the intriguing world of small "botteghe" and its tools and centuries-old machines. Then, visit the velvet manufacturer Bevilacqua. The company's fabrics are still hand-produced on original 18th and 19th-century looms and all the phases of manufacture are manual. The company's famous historical archives hold more than 3,500 pattern designs, all of which are Bevilacqua originals.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Self-guided excursion.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Meet for a drink with your Road Scholar group in the hotel lobby.
Accommodations: Hotel Bonvecchiati
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 8: Architecture of Andrea Palladio
(Thursday, October 29)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Lecture: "Introduction to the Architecture of Andrea Palladio." The Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio shaped the world that surrounds us today. Some of his most influential villas and churches survive in the Veneto region around Venice and in the city itself. Palladio's designs are based on three principals: dramatic exterior motifs, economical materials and internal harmony and balance.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a final free afternoon of exploring the Venetian districts on your own. You may want to visit a Palladio Church on Giudecca Island.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Bonvecchiati
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Departures
(Friday, October 30)
 Breakfast: Hotel dining room.
 Morning: Depart for the airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Venice Ca’ Rezzonico
A museum of eighteenth century art, the palace on the Grand Canal was designed by a Baroque architect of Venice, Baldassare Longhena, for the aristocratic Bon family. The museum shows works of art, furniture and interior furnishings by master artists such as Guardi, Canaletto, Tiepolo and Longhi, and important Venetian school paintings from the 15th-20th centuries which are a part of the Martini Collection. For additional information, visit
  Doge’s Palace
Doge's Palace is a former governmental palace and a masterpiece of Venetian gothic. The Ducal Palace was the residence of the Doge up to the fall of the Venetian Republic in 1797 and was a public palace and seat of the administration of justice. The palace is the highest and richest symbol of Venetian civilization and of Venice's cultural, military, political and economic history. All historic periods are represented in an extraordinary stratification of structural and decorative elements: from the antique foundations of the original Gothic complex, to the great halls dedicated to political life and decorated by the canvases of Veronese, Tintoretto and the great masters of the Renaissance, from the precious rooms of the Doges apartment, to the dark prisons and places of torture and the luminous loggias on the Piazza and the Lagoon. For additional information, visit
  Gallerie dell' Accademia
Spanning five centuries, the Galleria Belle Arti's matchless collection of paintings provides a complete spectrum of the Venetian school, from the Byzantine period through the Renaissance to the Baroque and later. Masterpieces of Titian, Veronese, Bellini, Tintoretto, Tiepolo and more all await you here. For additional information, visit
  Glass Museum of Murano
A museum of Venetian glassmaking, the Murano Glass Museum was founded in 1861 when the darkest period in the history of Murano glassmaking had been overcome, following the fall of the Republic of San Marco (1797) and the subsequent years of foreign rule. The museum’s collection was expanded by the addition of the Correr, Cicogna and Molin Collections which include, among other things, the most beautiful Renaissance pieces in the museum. The museum also has samples of glass from Egyptian times through the present day, and the displays show the art and manufacturing of glass that has developed over the centuries. For additional information, visit
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Art and Life in Renaissance Venice

Author: Patricia Brown

Description: This compact volume evokes the spirit of Renaissance Venice with authoritative essays and 120 full-color illustrations.

Death at La Fenice

Author: Donna Leon

Description: The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated theater of the title.

Eyewitness Guide Venice & the Veneto

Author: Eyewitness Guides

Description: Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent maps and a synopsis of the region's attractions. With a pullout map.

Eyewitness Top Ten Venice

Author: Gillian Price

Description: A compact, illustrated guide in the popular series, featuring favorite attractions in Venice.

In the Company of the Courtesan

Author: Sarah Dunant

Description: Dunant paints a vivid, earthy portrait of Renaissance Venice in this absorbing novel of intrigue, ambition and love -- cleverly narrated by the wily dwarf Bucino Teodoldo, loyal companion of the courtesan.

Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook

Author: Lonely Planet

Description: A handy palm-size phrasebook for the traveler.

Piazza San Marco

Author: Iain Fenlon

Description: Fenlon reveals the dynamic, colorful, and noisy history of this grand square at the heart of Venetian civic life in this sophisticated pocket guide.

The World of Venice

Author: Jan Morris

Description: If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.

Venice 697-1797: A City, a Republic, an Empire

Author: Aluise Zorzi

Description: Zorzi reveals the growth of Venice from a small fishing village to a bustling metropolis whose cultural, political and economic dominance extended over the entire Mediterranean world with this sumptuous collection of 340 color paintings, photographs and drawings.

Venice Is a Fish

Author: Tiziano Scarpa

Description: The hugely popular Venetian novelist, poet and playwright makes his English-language debut with these marvelously digressive essays on the many moods and pleasures of La Serenissima.

Venice Map

Author: Berndtson & Berndtson

Description: A colorful, detailed city map of Venice, perfect for finding your way around the famously labyrinthine streets and canals.

Venice from the Ground Up

Author: James H. S. McGregor

Description: A walking tour, history and celebration, this masterly, personal guide to Venice includes a short account of McGregor's favorite sites, 10 maps and suggested walks (and boat rides).

Venice, A New History

Author: Thomas F. Madden

Description: Madden tackles the history of the celebrated city from Roman times onward with authority.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2016 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768