23339
Italy

Winter in Italy: Venetian History, Culture & Canals

Explore vibrant Venice, from its grand architecture to its masterful paintings, when the crowds have gone home to gain a deeper understanding of its rich culture and history.
Rating (5)
Program No. 23339RJ
Length
8 days
Starts at
2,449
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8 days
7 nights
12 meals
6 B 3 L 3 D
DAY
1
In Transit To Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Venice, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Venice
D
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Activity note: Hotel check-in from 2:00 p.m. Walking up to 2 miles.

Afternoon: After hotel check-in, take some time to freshen up and relax. We will meet in the lobby at 4:30 p.m. for an introduction to the program and orientation to Venice. Orientation, 4:30 p.m. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. Periods in the schedule designated as “Free time” and “At leisure” offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. We will receive the Venice Card for entrance to some of the major museums and churches in Venice as well as a public transportation pass for the vaporetto/waterbus and boats to the islands. For self-led visits, we will receive a booklet with detailed suggested itineraries. All walks in Venice involve crossing multiple bridges that span the canals. Breakfasts will be buffets, offering a variety of items including an egg dish, fresh fruit, yogurt, breads, pastries, cereal, jams and jellies, juices, water, and a selection of hot and cold beverages. Other included meals will be plated and served from a set menu, unless indicated otherwise, with water and wine included; other beverages will be available for purchase. Following Orientation, we will have a welcome reception and enjoy a glass of sparkling wine or juice with some crackers or chips.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant, we will have a plated and served meal from a set menu featuring regional foods; water and a glass of wine included, other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night's rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Introduction to Venice History, Doge's Palace
Venice
B,L
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles along narrow streets with stone pavers, crossing bridges with no railing. Extended standing during visit of Doge's Palace. If you choose to option of visiting the Jewish Ghetto, walking an additional 2 miles.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, our Study Leader will present an introduction to the history of Venice. We’ll learn how 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. We’ll enjoy special emphasis on the golden era of Venice. After a short break we set out on foot with our local expert for the Doge's Palace, seat of civic and political power. Doge in the Venetian dialect was equivalent to duke but the Doges of Venice served as head of state for more than a thousand years. They embellished the residential quarters and ceremonial chambers of the Great Council with lavish artwork, including murals by Tintoretto and Veronese. We will see the spacious courtrooms and the Prisons, connected by the Bridge of Sighs. Those convicted of crimes walked from the courtroom to prison across the infamous bridge, so called because of prisoners’ reaction knowing it was their last glimpse of light and air.

Lunch: At a local restaurant. Set menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time. The Group Leader will lead an optional walk to the Jewish Ghetto.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy what you like. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Titian Lecture, Accademia, Free Time, Vivaldi Concert
Venice
B,D
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Activity note: Getting on/off vaporetto. Walking up to 3 miles along narrow streets with stone pavers, crossing multiple bridges that span minor canals. Unavoidable steps on bridges; some have no hand rails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, our local expert will present the era of Venetian painter Titian. The 16th century was the most successful time for Venetian painters, like Titian, Veronese, and Jacopo Tintoretto, who ruled the art scene. We’ll learn how these artists created a new style of painting with striking, luminous colors After a short break we set out on foot with our local expert for a self-guided visit of the Accademia, a fine collection of Venetian paintings from the 14th to the 18th century. We will admire works by Bellini, Titian, and Canaletto.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: Free time. This period of time has been set aside for your personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a wine bar we enjoy a quick and light supper at the bar - Venetian style where we sample a variety of canapés, bruschette and seafood snacks with a glass of wine.

Evening: We will set out on foot with our Group Leader to enjoy a Vivaldi concert, performed by a Venetian chamber ensemble. Antonio Vivaldi (1678-1741) composed hundreds of concertos for violin, viola d’amore, cello, mandolin, flute, oboe, bassoon, trumpet, cornet and string orchestra.

DAY
5
Glass & Mosaics, Night Visit St. Mark’s
Venice
B,L
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Activity note: Getting on/off vaporetto. Unavoidable steps in San Marco. Walking 3 miles along narrow streets with stone pavers, crossing bridges with unavoidable steps.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, our Study Leader will present a lecture on Murano glassmaking and mosaics. The Murano Islands are famous for their glassmaking technique and design, first appearing on the islands in the 8th century. Despite a turbulent history, the craft has endured here ever since.

Lunch: At a local restaurant. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Some free time on your own to see and do what interests you most

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: We will meet our Group Leader and set out together from the hotel for St. Mark's where we will enjoy a special expert-led night visit of the Basilica, the mosaic-clad symbol of Venice that points to its Byzantine origins. The Basilica will be open exclusively for our Road Scholar group. We’ll visit the crypt that sits under sea level. Special lights create a magical atmosphere and bring alive the shimmering mosaics laid in 1071 by artists from Constantinople.

DAY
6
Velvet Manufacturer Bevilacqua, Free Time
Venice
B,L
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Activity note: Getting on/off vaporetto. Extended periods of standing at the velvet manufacturer. Walking up to 4 miles along narrow streets with stone pavers, unavoidable steps on bridges. Some bridges have no hand rails.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, our Study Leader present the intriguing world of Venetian handcraft, the world of small botteghe and the tools and centuries-old machines. After a short break we will walk to the Rialto and take the vaporetto to visit Bevilacqua Velvet Manufacturer. The company’s fabrics are still hand-produced on original 18th and 19th century looms and all the phases of manufacture are manual. Its archives store more than 3,500 original patterns.

Lunch: At a characteristic restaurant that specializes in fresh seafood.

Afternoon: Free time on your own to see and do what interests you most.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Italy Today, Chocolate Tasting; Free Time
Venice
B,D
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Activity note: Getting on/off vaporetto. Walking up to 3 miles with group activities.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet.

Morning: In a classroom session at the hotel led by our study leader, we will explore the regional aspects of Italian society and the national institutions that shape the lives of residents today. After a short break set out with the Group Leader on foot to a chocolate workshop where we sample the sweet confections.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Free time to explore neighborhoods of Venice at your own pace.

Dinner: At a local restaurant, we can enjoy our farewell dinner, plated and served from a set menu, with wine included to toast new Road Scholar friendships. Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare for check-out and departure in the morning.

DAY
8
Program Concludes
Venice
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out by 11:00 a.m. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers.

Breakfast: Hotel buffet. This concludes our program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on another rewarding program in the future. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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