3328
Spain
Spanish Art: From the Golden Age to Gaudi and Beyond
Revel in traditions of art as you enjoy lectures on the Spanish Masters and Gaudi, visit iconic museums and set out on expert-led walks to the cathedrals and monuments of Spain today.
Rating (5)
Program No. 3328RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
3,799
Flights start at
675
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17 days
16 nights
37 meals
15 B 11 L 11 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival, Orientation
Madrid
D
Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía

Activity note: Check in at the hotel is available from 2 p.m.

Afternoon: Check in at the hotel and take some time to unpack and to relax. Afterward, enjoy an introductory walk with your Group Leader around the area as you get your first taste of Spain's capital. Later in the afternoon, we will gather in the hotel conference room where the Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions. In addition to the program theme and logistics, we will review the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss responsibilities, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that indicated times are approximate and that program activities and schedules could change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Socialize and meet your fellow participants at the welcome dinner served at a local restaurant. Some beverages will be included (water, wine or soft drink only.)

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
3
Intro. to Spanish Painting, San Antonio chapel, Prado Museum
Madrid
B,L,D
Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía

Activity note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles in Madrid. Please wear comfortable footwear. In the afternoon, we will walk from the hotel to the Prado Museum - which is 20 minutes (1 km) each way. For dinner, we will walk about 10 minutes each way to a local restaurant.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will begin with a lecture at the hotel focusing on the Golden Age: Great Masters of Spanish Painting given by our expert professor. Afterward, enjoy a guided panoramic drive of the major sites of Madrid, including a visit to the Real Ermita de San Antonio de La Florida chapel - Goya's final resting place. A hidden gem within the city, this church contains magnificent frescoes painted by Goya himself.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led field trip to the Prado Museum. This world-famous collection was assembled by the Hapsburg and Bourbon Spanish monarchs from the 16th to early 19th centuries. It has since been enhanced by works received from churches and convents, and by nine new galleries since 1950, including the Casón del Buen Retiro exhibition of 19th century art.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
The Royal Academy of Fine Arts, El Escorial Monastery
Madrid
B,L
Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía

Activity note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles. Please note that El Escorial Monastery and the town have areas with many steps, cobblestones, and uneven surfaces, including some without handrails.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will begin with a lecture at the hotel featuring the Lives, Works, and Styles of Great 17th Century Spanish Masters: Velázquez, Goya, El Greco, Zurbarán, and Murillo. Afterward, join your lecturer for a guided visit to the Royal Academy of Fine Arts. This is a 5-minute walk from the hotel.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: We will depart by coach for the magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site of El Escorial, the historical residence and burial place of Spanish monarchs. The church has a Greek-cross base and the chapel holds the funeral monuments of Charles V of Spain and Philip II. The library deserves special mention, with around 45,000 books dating back to the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Royal Palace, Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum
Madrid
B,D
Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía

Activity note: Walking approximately one mile from your hotel to the Royal Palace, through the streets of old Madrid, over cobble stones and uneven surfaces. Additional standing and walking, with some stairs, within the Palace and in the Thyssen Museum.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will continue on to the Royal Palace for a guided visit of the official residence of the Spanish Royal Family. The largest palace in Europe by floor area, the interior is notable for its wealth of art and the use of many types of fine materials in the construction and the decoration of its rooms. These include paintings by Caravaggio, Velázquez and Goya, as well as frescoes by Corrado Giaquinto, Juan de Flandes, Tiepolo, and Mengs. Other collections of great historical and artistic importance preserved in the building include the Royal Armoury, porcelain, watches, furniture, silverware, and the world's only complete Stradivarius string quintet. Please note that the Royal Palace is occasionally subject to closure and therefore may be substituted for an alternate visit.

Lunch: Lunch on your own. Your Group Leader will direct you to the best restaurants in the area.

Afternoon: Continue your exploration with a guided field trip to the Thyssen museum with your Group Leader.

Dinner: At the hotel or at a nearby restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
20th Century Art, The Reina Sofía Museum
Madrid
B,D
Hotel Catalonia Gran Vía

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will begin with a lecture at the hotel featuring an Introduction to 20th Century Spanish Painting: Picasso and Guernica. We will then depart by coach for a visit to the Reina Sofia Museum- Madrid's contemporary Art Centre. The Reina Sofía is an amazing glass building with external transparent elevators. Its most famous piece is “Guernica," a large painting by Picasso, which depicts the widespread suffering during the Spanish Civil War.

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine or take the coach back to the hotel.

Afternoon: After lunch, the early afternoon is at leisure to explore Madrid on your own. Gather again late this afternoon at the hotel and enjoy an expert lecture focusing on the Abstract Generation: A Powerful Artistic Movement of the 1950s-1960s. Works by Tapies, Torner, Zobel, Chillida, Chirino, Oteiza, and Serrano will be reviewed.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
El Greco in Toledo, Arrival in Cuenca
Cuenca
B,L,D
Posada San Jose

Activity note: Please be prepared for many cobblestone streets, some steep slopes, and uneven surfaces without handrails in Toledo. Please note that upon arrival in Cuenca, the motorcoach is unable to reach the hotel in the historic old town. Luggage will be transferred to your hotel by van and you will be required to walk around 1/3 mile to reach the accommodation. There is no elevator in the Posada and rooms in the historic building are of many different shapes and sizes.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will check out of the Madrid hotel and depart for Toledo, which is about a 90 minute drive. As we approach this historic World Heritage city, you will be treated to breathtaking panoramic views. Upon arrival, a local expert will lead a walk through the old walled city and discuss the melding of Christian, Jewish and Moorish cultures in this former capital of the Spanish Empire. El Greco spent the latter half of his life in this city and you will have the chance to view some of the artist's most well-known works at the cathedral, the Santo Tomé, El Greco's Museum, and the former "Sinagoga del Tránsito," which is now a museum.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will board the coach and continue on to Cuenca (about a two-hour drive) Upon arrival, your Group Leader will introduce you to this walled city during a panoramic drive overlooking the spectacular river gorges of the Júcar and Huecar rivers, as well as the famous 15th century "casas colgadas," or hanging houses. You will then check in at your hotel and have some time to settle in before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
The History of Cuenca,Museo Antonio Pérez, Abstract Art
Cuenca
B,L,D
Posada San Jose

Activity note: Please be prepared for many cobblestone streets, steep slopes, and uneven surfaces without hand rails all around the town of Cuenca during the walking visit.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy an expert-led walk around Cuenca's beautiful cobblestoned old town, including a guided visit to the cathedral and the Museo de Arte Abstracto, where you will examine one of the most extensive collections of abstract art in Spain, housed in one of the city's "casas colgadas." Discuss the "Generación Abstracta" movement and study works by artists such as Millares, Tàpies, Sempere, Torner, Rueda, Zóbel and Saura.

Lunch: At the hotel.

Afternoon: Join your Group Leader for a visit to the Museo Antonio Pérez, located in the old Convent of the Carmelitas Descalzas (the Barefoot Carmelites). In addition to the paintings, prints, and sculptures that Antonio Pérez collected, today the museum also contains works by many contemporary artists.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Burgos
Burgos
B,L
Hotel Silken Gran Teatro

Activity note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles in Burgos during your 2 1/2 hour exploration.

Breakfast: Due to the early departure, you will be provided with a boxed breakfast.

Morning: We will travel north to Burgos, former capital of the unified kingdom of Castille and Leon, and home to the impressive World Heritage-classed Gothic cathedral. This drive is about 4 1/2 hours.

Lunch: At the hotel in Burgos.

Afternoon: Enjoy an expert-led sightseeing walk of the old quarters of Burgos and the Gothic cathedral.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Coach Transfer to Bilbao, Guggenheim Museum
Bilbao
B,D
Hotel Silken Indautxu

Activity note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will board the coach for the 2-hour transfer from Burgos to Bilbao.

Lunch: On your own to explore local cuisine. Your Group Leader will be able to provide suggestions.

Afternoon: We will join an expert local guide on a visit to Bilbao's historic old town, before heading to the Guggenheim to enjoy a field trip of Bilbao's spectacular museum, designed by renowned contemporary architect, Frank Gehry. Afterward, we will check in at the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Bilbao Fine Arts Museum
Bilbao
B,L
Hotel Silken Indautxu

Activity note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles and standing.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will visit the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum today, led by a local expert. The Museum of Fine Arts comprises the original Bilbao Fine Arts Museum dating from 1908, and the Museum of Modern Art which opened in 1924. The combined center takes us on an artistic journey from the 12th century to the present day, and paintings are displayed in a surprisingly original way, with the frames perfectly aligned in a single row. The collection combines classical art (Goya, Murillo, Ribera), contemporary art (Bacon, Menz and Tàpies) and creations by Basque artists (Regoyos, Zuloaga and Echevarría), as well as a small display of applied arts. The exhibition is presented in chronological order, and contains over 6,000 works, including paintings, sculptures, drawings, engravings and decorative art.

Lunch: At a local restaurant featuring a Basque tasting menu.

Afternoon: Your afternoon is at leisure to explore on your own.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Barcelona via La Rioja Region
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Today will be a busy day with traveling and tightly scheduled explorations.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will depart the Bilbao hotel and head on a 90-minute drive to La Rioja region. Enjoy a visit to a winery (bodega) and sample some of the world-famous wines. Afterward, we will depart for El Ciego, 15 minutes away, for lunch.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will depart for Barcelona (six and a half hour ride). Upon arrival, check in at the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Barcelona,Modernist Movement,La Sagrada Familia,Park Güell
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Please be prepared for steps and uneven surfaces in Park Güell and at the Sagrada Familia church.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy some free time this morning or choose to join your Group Leader on an orientation walk around the hotel area. Later, our local Catalan expert will give a lecture featuring the Modernist Movement and the Concept of Total Art.

Lunch: Near the hotel.

Afternoon: Enjoy a panoramic tour by coach of Barcelona, which will include many of the city center neighborhoods influenced by modernist artists, as well as a guided visit to Gaudí's unfinished masterpiece- La Sagrada Familia. The visit will end with a study of Park Güell, Antoni Gaudí's residential project based on the English Garden City Movement and completed in 1914. Afterward, learn all about life today in Spain through a Question and Answer Session with local professionals.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Joan Miró
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestones and uneven surfaces, as well as use of the Metro system. Many metro stations do not have elevators and participants will be required to climb some stairs.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will begin with a lecture titled on the 20th Century Catalonian Artists: Pablo Picasso, Joan Miró, Salvador Dalí and Antoni Gaudí. Afterward, we will board the coach for a field trip to the Joan Miró Foundation, Centre for the Study of Contemporary Art, which displays over 14,000 works, including a large collection by Miró.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: A local expert will present a walking exploration of Barcelona's Barri Gòtic (Gothic Quarter). Afterwards, transfer by public transportation back to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: We will transfer to a local community center for a private performance that will provide and introduction to Catalunya Music and Dances by a school dedicated to preservng Catalan traditions.

DAY
15
Dalí in Figueres and Púbol: Dalí Theatre-Museum and Gala's Castle
Barcelona
B,L
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Please be prepared for steps without handrails and uneven surfaces around the Museums of Figueres and Púbol.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: We will depart Barcelona for a full-day field trip to Figueres, the birthplace of Salvador Dalí. Upon arrival, you will explore the Dalí Theatre-Museum, the world's largest surrealist art object. Built upon the remains of the former Figueres theatre, the museum collection spans over the artist's entire career.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We will arrive at the Gala Dalí Castle Museum-House for a private guided exploration. Dalí dedicated himself to furnishing and decorating this medieval castle as a retreat for his wife and muse, Gala. The castle collection includes paintings and drawings that Dalí gave as presents to Gala, as well as the elephant sculptures that adorn the garden, a collection of Gala's haute-couture dresses, and the furniture and many objects with which they decorated the house. We will return to Barcelona in the early evening.

Dinner: On your own to explore local cuisine.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Pablo Picasso's Years in Barcelona
Barcelona
B,L,D
Catalonia Eixample 1864

Activity note: Today's activities include walking up to two miles over cobblestones and uneven surfaces, as well as use of the Metro system. Many metro stations do not have elevators and participants will be required to climb some stairs.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Enjoy the final lecture focusing on the works of Picasso and his influences. Afterwards travel by public transportation to the Picasso Museum for a guided visit of his works.

Lunch: At a local tapas restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy some free time to explore Barcelona on your own and to pack for your journey home.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Say farewell to new Road Scholar friends and prepare for departure in the morning.

DAY
17
Departure from Barcelona
Barcelona
B

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel depending on flight time.

Morning: Transfer to the Barcelona airport for departure flights. If you are returning home, safe travels. I 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 rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






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