Getting around Venice, which is closed entirely to motor vehicles, requires walking through narrow crowded alleys, over bridges, and along uneven pavement. No elevators in historic buildings. Climb the monumental staircase at the Scuola. There is a monumental staircase in the Doge's Palace. Assistance offered getting on and off the gondola. The walk from the concert venue to the hotel is less than a mile.
In the hotel, our breakfast buffet offers an egg dish, sliced meats and cheeses, fresh fruit, yogurt, bread and cereals, pastries, coffee and teas, juices and water.
Ride the vaporetto to a neighborhood up the Canal Grande for an expert-led visit of one of the seven major Scuole Grandi (great schools). These organizations combined religious and charitable functions for the laity and, unlike most other institutions in Venice, were not dominated by the aristocracy. Among the activities they organized, supervised, and supported were processions, festivities, aid to the poor, dowries for daughters of respectable families without means, burial of paupers, and supervision of hospitals. Some also developed into musical training grounds and commissioned famous artists to decorate their meeting rooms. Our expert will discuss the significance and artistry of the paintings and some of the famous members of the charity. You will also have time to explore on your own.
At a restaurant at the Rialto, a sampler of Venetian dishes.
Short walk from the Rialto to San Marco. A local expert will lead our exploration of the piazza and Palazzo Ducale. Doges were the leaders of Venice, elected for life from among an aristocratic elite, with substantial temporal power as chief magistrates. What became known as La Serenissima — the most Serene Republic of Venice — was in reality anything but unless you were among the aristocratic elite, and even then you were not safe from the network of official spies, the CIA of their day. The Doge’s official residence was the Palazzo Ducale, which included not only grand living quarters but also government offices, opulent ceremonial chambers for the Great Council, courtrooms, and a jail. Those convicted of crimes walked from the jail to prison across the Bridge of Sighs, so called because prisoners sighed knowing it was their last glimpse of light and air. Next, weather permitting, take a gondola ride through the back canals to see Venice from a different point of view.
On your own to enjoy what you like.
Gather for musical performance (concert or recital from current offerings). Specific information on the date and musical program will be included in preparatory materials sent closer to departure date.