Renaissance Venice

Accademia – Miracle of the Holy Cross at Rialto by Vittore Carpaccio

Immerse yourself in the beauty and innovation of Renaissance Venice through its architecture, art, and music. Our “slow travel” approach offers you full week of exploration: Visit famous and lesser-known sites at a pace that allows you to fully benefit from the expertise of our guides and leave with a rich understanding of what made the Venetian Renaissance unique.

Start with the Basilica of San Marco and its own version of the Gothic, with touches of the Byzantine. With our local guide, trace the architectural history of the city from the exquisite Ca’ d’Oro (Palazzo Santa Sofia) to the top of the towering Campanile. And then to the grand classicism of Palladio, whose influence is still felt throughout the Western world. Feel the resonance of Palladio’s great churches — San Giorgio Maggiore and Il Redentore.

We’ll have other wonderful guides, too. Writings by Goethe, Ruskin and Palladio himself will offer the perceptions and responses of fine eyes and minds.

Move on to experience the beauty of Venetian painting, from the charming style of Carpaccio to the enigmatic artistry of Giorgione, from Titan’s graceful figures to the dark power of Tintoretto. Venetian artists, more than Florentine ones, used brilliant colour and strong contrasts of light and dark. The lavish colours available to Venetian artists came from the republic’s maritime trade with the Eastern Mediterranean and the Far East.

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Finally, listen to the marvelous music being written and performed. Like his fellow artists and architects, Claudio Monteverdi looked to classical sources when he created Orfeo, the first great opera. Monteverdi used tone painting to create colour and drama in his music. He has an emotional affinity with Titian, a topic we will explore in our seminar discussions.

Venice is a city unique in the world: stone emerging from water, winding canals and winding streets. A city of reality, of illusion, of East and West, of domes and towers, sparkling sunlight, and strange mists. An inspiration for so many writers, artists, and travellers over the centuries. An inspiration for you.


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Venice, Italy

March 28–April 3, 2023

Ruzzini Palace

Approx. US$5995
Single supplement approx. US$1000

12 to 16 participants

Sean Forester is an artist and lecturer based in the Bay Area. He lived in Italy for 10 years and trained as a classical painter at the Florence Academy of Art. Sean is Director of Art History, Humanities, and Composition at the Golden Gate Atelier. He loves to share his passion for art and has led tours in Europe for Classical Pursuits and Context Travel. A Rotary scholar, Sean has a BA from the Great Books Program at St. John’s College and an MA in English literature from Cambridge University.

Works by Goethe, Ruskin and Palladio; Monteverdi's Orfeo; presentations on Titian, Tintoretto, Veronese and more.

Cost includes guides, readings, accommodation in double occupancy, two meals a day, discussions, ground transportation, walking tours, talks, excursions, admissions, and taxes and gratuities.

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