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M A RT I N R A N D A L L T R AV E L

M A RT I N R A N D A L L T R AV E L A RT • A R C H I T E C T U R E • G A S T R O N O M Y • A R C H A E O L O G Y • H I S T O R Y • M U S I C

2019: 2nd edition

Martin Randall Travel Ltd Voysey House Barley Mow Passage London W4 4GF United Kingdom Tel +44 (0)20 8742 3355 info@martinrandall.co.uk www.martinrandall.com

Martin Randall Australasia PO Box 1024 Indooroopilly QLD 4068, Australia Telephone 1300 55 95 95 New Zealand 0800 877 622 Fax +61 (0)7 3371 8288 anz@martinrandall.com.au

North America Martin Randall Travel Ltd 1155 Connecticut Avenue NW Suite 300 Washington DC 20036, USA Telephone 1 800 988 6168 usa@martinrandall.com

Directors: Martin Randall (CEO), Fiona Charrington (COO), Alexa Berger (CFO), Sir Vernon Ellis (Chairman), Ian Hutchinson, Neil Taylor, William Burton. Registered office: Voysey House, Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4GF, United Kingdom. Registered Company no. 2314294. VAT no. 527758803. All staff were involved in writing and editing this brochure, and it was designed in-house by Jo Murray and Rosanna Reade. It went to print on 7 November 2018. Illustration: London, Paddington Station, hand-coloured copper engraving by Francis Hall after a painting by William Powell Frith RA, publ. 1866.

5085

Second edition


Britain’s leading provider of cultural tours

Leaders in the field At Martin Randall Travel we are committed to providing the best planned, the best led and altogether the most fulfilling and enjoyable cultural tours available.

 artin Randall Travel is M Britain’s leading specialist in cultural travel. The focus is on art, architecture, music, archaeology, history, gardens or gastronomy. We operate in around fifty countries in Europe, Asia, the Americas and the Middle East. All tours are accompanied by expert speakers.

Excellent hotels and restaurants and comfortable travelling arrangements. We provide personal service and aim for faultless administration.

For thirty years we have been the most influential organisation in the field of cultural travel. Pioneering and innovative, we have led the way with ideas and itineraries and by setting the benchmarks for customer service and administration. Martin Randall Travel is one of the most trusted and respected travel companies in the world, among both travellers and within the tourism community.

Opposite, from top: Freiburg, 16th-century engraving; Beneath: engraving 1851 by Henry Winkles.

They are original and imaginative, well-paced and carefully balanced. Meticulous attention to practical matters ensures a smooth-running as well as an enriching experience. Special arrangements feature on nearly all our tours – for admission to places not generally open to travellers, for access outside public hours, for private concerts and extraordinary events. In innumerable ways, large and small, we lift our clients’ experience far above standards which are regarded as normal for tourists.

First-rate lecturers

Travelling in comfort

Expert speakers are a key ingredient in our tours and events. Academics, curators, writers, broadcasters and researchers, they are selected not only for their knowledge but also for their ability to communicate clearly and engagingly to a lay audience.

We select our hotels with great care. Not only have nearly all been inspected by members of our staff, but we have stayed in most of them. Hundreds of others have been seen and rejected.

Their brief is to enlighten and stimulate, not merely to inform – and they also have to be good travelling companions.

Illustration, above: engraving 1874, from a set of ethnographic studies of Peru.

Rooted in knowledge of the destination and of the subject matter of the tour, the outcome of assiduous research and reconnaissance, and underpinned by many years of thought and experience, our itineraries are second to none.

We select our lecturers through reputation, interview and audition, and provide them with guidance and training. Most of our tours are also accompanied by a trained tour manager who unobtrusively attends to administrative matters.

Obviously, comfort ranks high among our criteria, together with good service and warmth of welcome. We also set high priority on charm and style, and location is an important consideration. Most of the hotels we use are rated as 4-star, with some 5-star and a few 3-star (one is 2-star, but pleases every time).

19–27 Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden (mf 730) Dr Jarl Kremeier............................................... 92 Ancient Egypt at the British Museum 20 (lf 737) Lucia Gahlin..................................... 36 21–26 The Renaissance in Castile & León (mf 731) Dr Xavier Bray............................... 191 21–30 Classical Greece (mf 734) Dr Andrew Farrington.................................. 109 23–27 Dorset Churches (mf 736) Imogen Corrigan.............................................. 13 23–27 Country Houses of Kent (mf 746) Anthony Lambert............................................. 25 24–27 Food & Wine Archaeology (mf 735) Prof. Andrew Wallace-Hadrill...................... 154 25–29 Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo (mf 733) Major Gordon Corrigan.................................. 54 26– 2 SACRED MUSIC IN SANTIAGO (mf 760)............................. 186 27– 2 Bauhaus Centenary (mf 762) Tom Abbott.. 95 29– 7 Gastronomic Crete (mf 767) Rosemary Barron .......................................... 110 30– 4 Arts & Crafts in the Lake District (mf 765) Janet Sinclair.................................................... 31 30– 5 Pompeii & Herculaneum (mf 768) Dr Nigel Spivey............................................... 153 30– 6 World Heritage Malta (mf 800) Juliet Rix.165 30– 6 Istanbul Revealed (mf 757) Jeremy Seal.... 206 30– 8 Aragón: Hidden Spain (mf 769) Dr Zahira Bomford........................................ 192

OCTOBER 2019 1– 6 Palladian Villas (mf 771) Dr Sarah Pearson........................................... 124 2– 6 Art in Madrid (mf 772) Gail Turner.......... 195 2–11 Albania: Crossroads of Antiquity (mf 770) Carolyn Perry................................................... 46 3– 7 The Venetian Hills (mf 774) Dr Carlo Corsato........................................... 122 4–11 Ancient & Islamic Tunisia (mf 777) Henry Hurst.................................................... 215 4–15 Samarkand & Silk Road Cities (mf 797).. 239 7–12 Friuli-Venezia Giulia (mf 775) Dr Carlo Corsato........................................... 123 7–14 Walking in Southern Tuscany (mf 776) Dr Antonia Whitley....................................... 140 8 Interwar Interiors (lf 784) Paul Atterbury.36 8–13 Bauhaus Centenary (mf 785) Tom Abbott . 95 8–21 Sacred China (mf 786) Jon Cannon........... 218 12–19 Romantic Agony: English Poets in Italy (mf 793) Dr Thomas Marks......................... 130 12–20 Moldavia & Transylvania (mf 787) Alan Ogden..................................................... 176 13–20 Courts of Northern Italy (mf 791) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................. 132 14–20 Romans in Western Iberia (mf 788) Prof. Simon Esmonde Cleary........................ 197 14–21 Bilbao to Bayonne (mf 792) Gijs van Hensbergen...................................... 189 14–22 Palestine, Past & Present (mf 789) Felicity Cobbing.............................................. 214 14–26 Civilisations of Sicily (mf 799) John McNeill................................................... 161 14–27 The Western Balkans (mf 790) Elizabeth Roberts............................................. 56 15–18 Houghton & Holkham (mf 805) Dr Andrew Moore............................................ 24 15–22 Mediaeval Alsace (mf 794) Dr Matthew Woodworth................................. 78

16–18 SYMPOSIUM: Medieval History, Art & Architecture........ 35 17–23 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur (mf 816) Lydia Bauman.................................................. 83 17–26 New England Modern (mf 820) Prof. Harry Charrington............................... 254 17–29 China’s Silk Road Cities (mf 802) Dr Jamie Greenbaum..................................... 220 19–27 Le Corbusier (mf 806) Dr Richard Plant..... 75 20–26 Art in the Netherlands (mf 840) Dr Guus Sluiter.............................................. 167 21–26 Classic Catalan Wines (mf 807) Linda Hanks................................................... 193 21–31 Essential Andalucía (mf 848) Dr Philippa Joseph......................................... 198 23–27 Ravenna & Urbino (mf 809) Dr Luca Leoncini........................................... 131 24– 4 Myanmar: Ancient to Modern (mf 859) Dr John Clarke............................................... 237 24– 6 The Making of Argentina (mf 860) Chris Moss...................................................... 242 26– 1 Gastronomic Piedmont (mf 864) Marc Millon.................................................... 119 26– 3 Essential Jordan (mf 868) Sue Rollin & Jane Streetly............................. 209 26– 5 Oman, Landscapes & Peoples (mf 865) Dr Peter Webb................................................ 212 29– 4 Leonardo 500 (mf 766) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................. 138 30 Ancient Greece (lf 866) Prof. Antony Spawforth................................... 36 Art in Paris...................................................... 73 Verdi in Parma & Busseto........................... 135

NOVEMBER 2019 1– 3 THE THOMAS TALLIS TRAIL (mf 875).. 29 1– 4 Historic Musical Instruments (mf 873) Prof. Robert Adelson...................................... 120 4 Japanese Art in London (lf 874) Dr Monika Hinkel............................................ 36 5– 9 Venetian Palaces (mf 878) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................. 127 5–11 OPERA IN SOUTHERN SICILY (mf 876)................... 162 6–16 Californian Galleries (mf 881) Gijs van Hensbergen...................................... 251 8 Caravaggio & Rembrandt (lf 884) Dr Helen Langdon........................................... 36 10–22 Bengal by River (mf 880) Dr Anna-Maria Misra................................... 226 11–17 Art History of Venice (mf 882) Dr Susan Steer................................................ 126 11–17 Florence Revisited (mf 883) Dr David Rosenthal....................................... 138 11–18 Gastronomic Sicily (mf 885) Marc Millon.................................................... 163 12 The Italian Renaissance (lf 886) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................... 36 12–17 Palermo Revealed (mf 888) Christopher Newall........................................ 164 15 Islamic Art in London (lf 899) Prof. James Allen.............................................. 36 16–28 Mughals & Rajputs (mf 900) Dr Giles Tillotson........................................... 224 18–23 Palaces & Villas of Rome (mf 901) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................. 148 18–29 Art in Japan (mf 902) Dr Monika Hinkel.......................................... 234

19 The Golden Age of British Painting (lf 903) Patrick Bade...................................... 36 20–24 Ruskin’s Venice (mf 904) Christopher Newall........................................ 129 20– 3 Vietnam: History, People, Food (mf 906) Dr Dana Healy............................................... 240 21 The Genius of Titian (lf 907) Lucy Whitaker.................................................. 36 22 Ancient Egypt at the British Museum (lf 905) Lucia Gahlin..................................... 36 27 London’s Underground Railway (lf 910) Andrew Martin................................................ 36

DECEMBER 2019 The Golden Age of British Painting (lf 924) Patrick Bade...................................... 36 4 Caravaggio & Rembrandt (lf 925) Dr Helen Langdon........................................... 36 5 The Italian Renaissance (lf 355) Dr Antonia Whitley......................................... 36 5 Ancient Greece (lf 926) Prof. Antony Spawforth................................... 36 We usually offer eight or nine tours over Christmas and New Year. Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk

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JANUARY 2020 4–14 Oman, Landscapes & Peoples.................... 212

FEBRUARY 2020 1–12 Architecture of the British Raj (mg 988) Anthony Peers................................................ 232 8–24 Lands of the Maya (mg 100) David Drew. 247 16–25 Gastronomic Kerala (mg 105) Dr Elizabeth Collingham.............................. 231

MARCH 2020 15–28 Sacred India (mg 130) Asoka Pugal........... 229

APRIL 2020 19–26 The Ring in Chicago (mg 169) Barry Millington & Tom Abbott................... 258 24– 4 Baroque Music in the Bolivian Missions (mg 185) Jeffrey Skidmore............................ 245 New Orleans to Natchitoches .................... 255

MAY 2020

East Coast Galleries..................................... 259

JUNE 2020

Frank Lloyd Wright..................................... 256

JULY 2020 21–27 Oberammergau (mg 315) Tom Abbott...... 103

AUGUST 2020 18–24 Oberammergau (mg 340) Tom Abbott...... 103

SEPTEMBER 2020

Frank Lloyd Wright..................................... 256 West Coast Architecture ............................ 259

OCTOBER 2020 31–12 Textile Arts of Japan with HALI Alan Kennedy & Ben Evans.......................... 235 The American Revolution........................... 252

NOVEMBER 2020 16–27 Bengal by River (mg 580) Dr Anna-Maria Misra................................... 226 Art in Texas................................................... 252 Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

273

TOURS BY DATE

Meticulously-planned itineraries with special arrangements and privileged access.

We offer an unequalled range of tours and events focusing on art, architecture, music, archaeology, history, gardens and gastronomy. Our mission is to deepen your understanding and enhance your appreciation of the achievements of civilisations around the world.

Original itineraries, meticulously planned

Tours by date


We invest similar efforts in the selection of restaurants, menus and wines, aided by staff with a specialist knowledge of these areas. For flights and trains we try to choose the most convenient departure times. Rail journeys are usually in first-class seats. We can provide a holiday without international travel if you prefer, allowing you to make your own arrangements. It is also usually possible to make other variations to the package.

Small groups, and congenial company Most of our tours run with between 10 and 20 participants. We strictly limit numbers, specifying the applicable maximum in each tour description. The higher costs of smaller numbers are outweighed by the benefits of manoeuvrability, social cohesion and access to the lecturer. The small-group principle is diluted when there are private concerts or several speakers exclusively for our clients. Not the least attractive aspect of travelling with MRT is that you are highly likely to find yourself in congenial company, self-selected by common interests and endorsement of the company’s ethos.

Care for our clients, suppliers and employees We aim for faultless administration from your first encounter with us to the end of the holiday, and beyond. Personal service is a feature.

If anything does go wrong, we will put it right or compensate appropriately. We want you to come back again and again – as most of our clients do. We are a fair, inclusive company and we trust everyone who has dealings with Martin Randall Travel to treat our clients, suppliers and employees with courtesy, empathy and respect.

Travelling solo We welcome people travelling on their own, for whom our tours are ideal, as many of our clients testify. There are usually several solo travellers on a tour. On evenings when dinner is not included there is always the option of dining with the tour manager. Hotels usually charge a supplement for single occupancy of a room, but we never add anything to this – indeed, some of the supplements we charge are subsidised by ourselves, sometimes by hundreds of pounds. Where we are able to, we assign those travelling on their own to rooms which are normally sold as doubles. Tours exclusively for solo travellers. We have five departures in 2019 dedicated to people travelling on their own: Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur (March, p.83), Civilisations of Sicily (March, p.161), St Petersburg (September, p.179), Essential Jordan (October, p.209), Samarkand & Silk Road Cities (April, p.239). The price includes a contribution to what would usually be charged as a single supplement; some of it being absorbed by us. Of course, solo travellers are welcome on all other departures of these tours too.

Value for money, and no surcharges The price includes nearly everything, not only the major ingredients such as hotel, transport and the costs of the lecturer and manager but also tips, drinks with meals and airport taxes. We do not levy surcharges for fuel price increases, exchange rate changes, additional taxes or for any other reason. The price published here is the price you pay.


Tours A–Z by country

Britain & Ireland.............................................10–45 Mainland Europe..........................................46–208 Middle East & Africa..................................209–216 Asia..............................................................217–241 The Americas..............................................242–259

ALBANIA Albania: Crossroads of Antiquity............................ 46

ARGENTINA The Making of Argentina....................................... 242

ARMENIA Sacred Armenia......................................................... 47

AUSTRIA Connoisseur’s Vienna............................................... 49 MUSIC ALONG THE DANUBE............................ 50 Mozart in Salzburg.................................................... 53 Opera in Munich & Bregenz ................................. 108 Opera in Vienna........................................................ 51 The Schubertiade....................................................... 52 Vienna’s Masterpieces............................................... 50

BELGIUM Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo.................................. 54 Flemish Painting........................................................ 55

BELIZE Guatemala, Honduras, Belize................................ 243

BOLIVIA Baroque Music in the Bolivian Missions.............. 245

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA The Western Balkans................................................. 56

CHINA China’s Silk Road Cities.......................................... 220 Essential China........................................................ 217 Sacred China............................................................ 218

TOURS A–Z BY COUNTRY

CROATIA The Imperial Riviera............................................... 121 Sailing the Dalmatian Coast ................................... 58 The Western Balkans................................................. 56

CZECH REPUBLIC Connoisseur’s Prague................................................ 60 Great Houses of the Czech Lands........................... 62 Prague Spring............................................................. 61 Walking in Southern Bohemia................................ 63

DENMARK Danish Castles & Gardens........................................ 65 Puccini in Copenhagen............................................ 66

ENGLAND The Age of Bede......................................................... 15 AGE OF VICTORIA................................................. 34 Architecture of Bath.................................................. 33 Arts & Crafts in the Lake District........................... 31 At home at Weston Park........................................... 23 The Cathedrals of England....................................... 10 4

Country Houses of Kent........................................... 25 Country Houses of the North West........................ 21 Country Houses of the South West......................... 22 Dorset Churches........................................................ 13 Gastronomic West Country..................................... 30 Glyndebourne & Garsington .................................. 28 Great Houses of the North....................................... 20 Houghton & Holkham.............................................. 24 Literary England........................................................ 27 LONDON DAYS....................................................... 36 London Choral Day.................................................. 37 MEDIEVAL HISTORY, ART & ARCHITECTURE....................................... 35 Mediaeval Sussex & Hampshire.............................. 12 MID-WEEK & WEEKEND CHAMBER MUSIC.................................................. 35 Roman Southern Britain.......................................... 16 Shakespeare & his World.......................................... 12 The South Downs...................................................... 32 THE THOMAS TALLIS TRAIL.............................. 29 Tudor England........................................................... 26 Walking Hadrian’s Wall............................................ 18 The Welsh Marches................................................... 39 WEST COUNTRY CHORAL FESTIVAL.............. 29 Yorkshire Churches & Cathedrals........................... 14

ESTONIA Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania...................................... 67

FINLAND Opera & Ballet in Helsinki....................................... 68 Savonlinna Opera...................................................... 69 The Sibelius Festival.................................................. 69

FRANCE Art in Paris................................................................. 73 Cave Art of France.................................................... 82 Champagne: Vines, Cellars & Cuvées..................... 72 Châteaux of the Loire................................................ 80 Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo.................................. 54 French Gothic............................................................ 77 Gastronomic Provence............................................. 84 Gardens of the Riviera.............................................. 85 Mediaeval Alsace....................................................... 78 Mediaeval Burgundy................................................. 81 Mediaeval Upper Normandy................................... 71 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur.............................. 83 Monet & Impressionism........................................... 73 Music & Ballet in Paris............................................. 75 Le Corbusier............................................................... 75 Leonardo 500........................................................... 138 Poets & The Somme.................................................. 70 Romans in the Rhône Valley.................................... 86 Versailles: Seat of the Sun King............................... 74 Wine, Walks & Art in Alsace................................... 79

GEORGIA Georgia Uncovered................................................... 88

GERMANY Bauhaus Centenary................................................... 95 Berlin: New Architecture.......................................... 94

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Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden........................................ 92 Dresden Music Festival............................................. 97 Franconia.................................................................. 106 Hamburg: Opera & ‘Elphi’....................................... 91 Handel in Halle.......................................................... 98 The Hanseatic League............................................... 90 THE J.S. BACH JOURNEY.................................... 101 King Ludwig II......................................................... 107 Mediaeval Alsace..................................................... 105 Mediaeval Saxony...................................................... 95 Mitteldeutschland...................................................... 99 MUSIC ALONG THE DANUBE............................ 50 Music in Berlin.......................................................... 93 Oberammergau........................................................ 103 Opera in Munich & Bregenz.................................. 108 Organs of Bach’s Time............................................ 102 The Ring in Leipzig................................................... 96 Rhineland Masterpieces......................................... 105 Rhineland Romanesque.......................................... 104 Walking the Danube................................................. 50 When Bach went AWOL........................................ 100

GREECE Classical Greece....................................................... 109 Gastronomic Crete.................................................. 110 In Search of Alexander........................................... 113 Minoan Crete........................................................... 112

GUATEMALA Guatemala, Honduras, Belize................................ 243 Lands of the Maya................................................... 247

HONDURAS Guatemala, Honduras, Belize................................ 243

ICELAND Iceland’s Story.......................................................... 114

INDIA Architecture of the British Raj............................... 232 Bengal by River........................................................ 226 Essential India.......................................................... 221 Gastronomic Kerala................................................ 231 Indian Summer........................................................ 223 Mughals & Rajputs.................................................. 224 Sacred India.............................................................. 229 Textile Arts of India with HALI ............................ 228

ISRAEL Israel & Palestine..................................................... 209

IRELAND ‘A terrible beauty’....................................................... 42 Great Irish Houses..................................................... 41 West Cork Chamber Music Festival....................... 45 Western Ireland......................................................... 43

ITALY Art History of Venice.............................................. 126 Basilicata................................................................... 159 The Birth of Mannerism......................................... 137 Caravaggio................................................................ 115 Civilisations of Sicily............................................... 161


Tours A–Z by country

JAPAN

MALTA

SPAIN

Valletta Baroque Festival ....................................... 166 World Heritage Malta............................................. 165

Ancient Kingdoms of Castile & León................... 190 Aragón: Hidden Spain............................................ 192 Art in Madrid........................................................... 195 Barcelona.................................................................. 194 Bilbao to Bayonne................................................... 189 Classic Catalan Wines............................................. 193 Essential Andalucía................................................. 198 Gastronomic Andalucía.......................................... 200 Gastronomic Galicia............................................... 188 Granada & Córdoba................................................ 201 The Road to Santiago.............................................. 185 Romans in Western Iberia...................................... 197 The Renaissance in Castile & León....................... 191 SACRED MUSIC IN SANTIAGO........................ 186 A Schubertiade in Catalonia.................................. 193 Toledo & La Mancha............................................... 196 Walking to Santiago................................................ 187

MEXICO Lands of the Maya................................................... 247

MONTENEGRO The Western Balkans................................................. 56

MOROCCO Morocco.................................................................... 211

MYANMAR Myanmar: Ancient to Modern.............................. 237

NETHERLANDS Art in the Netherlands............................................ 167 Dutch Modern......................................................... 168 Dutch Painting......................................................... 168 Gardens & Landscapes of the Dutch Wave ......... 169

NORWAY Lofoten Chamber Music Festival.......................... 170

OMAN Oman, Landscapes & Peoples................................ 212

PALESTINE Israel & Palestine..................................................... 209 Palestine, Past & Present......................................... 214

PERU Peru: the Andean Heartland.................................. 248

POLAND Eastern Pomerania.................................................. 171 Kraków & Silesia...................................................... 172

PORTUGAL The Douro................................................................ 174 Gardens of Sintra..................................................... 175 Romans in Western Iberia...................................... 197

ROMANIA Enescu Festival Bucharest...................................... 178 Moldavia & Transylvania........................................ 176

RUSSIA

Art in Japan.............................................................. 234 Japanese Gardens..................................................... 236 Textile Arts of Japan................................................ 235 Understanding Japan.............................................. 235

Ballet in St Petersburg............................................. 180 Moscow & the Golden Ring................................... 181 Moscow & St Petersburg......................................... 183 St Petersburg............................................................ 179

JORDAN

SCOTLAND

Essential Jordan....................................................... 209

Orkney: 5000 years of culture.................................. 38

LATVIA, LITHUANIA

SERBIA

Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania...................................... 67

The Western Balkans................................................. 56

SLOVAKIA

SWEDEN Drottningholm & Confidencen............................. 204 Gastronomic Sweden.............................................. 203

SWITZERLAND Le Corbusier............................................................... 75 The Lucerne Festival............................................... 205

TURKEY Classical Turkey....................................................... 207 Istanbul Revealed.................................................... 206

TUNISIA Ancient & Islamic Tunisia...................................... 215

UZBEKISTAN Samarkand & Silk Road Cities............................... 239

VIETNAM Vietnam: History, People, Food............................. 240

WALES The Welsh Marches................................................... 39 Welsh National Opera............................................... 40

U.S.A The American Revolution...................................... 252 Art in Texas.............................................................. 252 The Boston Early Music Festival........................... 250 Californian Galleries............................................... 251 East Coast Galleries................................................. 259 Frank Lloyd Wright................................................. 256 New England Modern............................................. 254 New Orleans to Natchitoches................................ 255 The Ring in Chicago................................................ 258 West Coast Architecture......................................... 259 Our lecturers...............................................260–267 Booking details...........................................268–270 Tours by date...............................................271–273

Journey through Slovakia....................................... 184 Illustrations. Above left: L’Academie des Sciences et des Beaux Arts, mid-18th-century copper engraving. Above right: Japanese men aboard a ship, Japanese woodblock.

SLOVENIA The Imperial Riviera............................................... 121 Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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TOURS A–Z BY COUNTRY

Connoisseur’s Rome................................................ 150 Courts of Northern Italy......................................... 132 Dark Age Brilliance................................................. 133 Essential Puglia........................................................ 155 Essential Rome......................................................... 149 Florence.................................................................... 136 Florence Revisited................................................... 138 Food & Wine Archaeology.................................... 154 Footpaths of Umbria............................................... 145 Friuli-Venezia Giulia............................................... 123 Gardens of the Bay of Naples................................. 152 Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana.............. 146 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes.................... 117 Gastronomic Le Marche......................................... 142 Gastronomic Piedmont.......................................... 119 Gastronomic Puglia................................................ 158 Gastronomic Sicily.................................................. 163 The Heart of Italy..................................................... 143 Historic Musical Instruments................................ 120 The Imperial Riviera............................................... 121 Jonathan Keates’s Venice ........................................ 128 Leonardo 500........................................................... 138 Lombardy: Gastronomy & Opera......................... 116 Normans in the South............................................. 156 OPERA IN SOUTHERN SICILY.......................... 162 Palaces of Piedmont................................................ 118 Palaces & Villas of Rome........................................ 148 Palermo Revealed.................................................... 164 Palladian Villas........................................................ 124 Pompeii & Herculaneum........................................ 153 The Printing Revolution......................................... 151 Ravenna & Urbino................................................... 131 Roman Italy.............................................................. 147 Romantic Agony: English Poets in Italy............... 130 Ruskin’s Venice......................................................... 129 Trasimeno Music Festival....................................... 144 Tuscan Gardens....................................................... 139 The Venetian Hills................................................... 122 Verona Opera .......................................................... 125 Venetian Palaces...................................................... 127 Verdi in Parma & Busseto...................................... 135 The Via Emilia......................................................... 134 Walking in Southern Tuscany ............................... 140 Wines of Tuscany..................................................... 141


Tours by theme

Included in our prices —— The services of the lecturer and a tour manager – sometimes also local guides. —— Hotel accommodation. —— All admissions to museums, galleries and sites visited in the itinerary. —— If it is a music tour, good tickets to all included performances. —— Return air or rail travel between London and the destination for tours outside the UK (there are some exceptions – if flights are not included, this is always stated). —— Travel by private coach for all included excursions, and airport or railway station transfers (if we include flights or trains). —— All breakfasts. —— Most dinners and some lunches including wine or beer, water, soft drinks, tea or coffee. —— All tips for waiters, porters, drivers, and local guides. —— All state and airport taxes.

Amendments There is an amendment fee for changes to the basic package, such as moving the dates of flights, organising flight upgrades, or booking additional hotel nights.

ART & ARCHITECTURE

TOURS BY THEME

AGE OF VICTORIA................................................. 34 Albania: Crossroads of Antiquity............................ 46 Ancient Kingdoms of Castile & León................... 190 Aragón: Hidden Spain............................................ 192 Architecture of Bath.................................................. 33 Architecture of the British Raj............................... 232 Art History of Venice.............................................. 126 Art in Japan.............................................................. 234 Art in Madrid........................................................... 195 Art in the Netherlands............................................ 167 Art in Paris................................................................. 73 Art in Texas.............................................................. 252 Arts & Crafts in the Lake District........................... 31 At home at Weston Park........................................... 23 Barcelona.................................................................. 194 Basilicata................................................................... 159 Bauhaus Centenary................................................... 95 Berlin: New Architecture.......................................... 94 Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden........................................ 92 Bilbao to Bayonne................................................... 189 The Birth of Mannerism......................................... 137 Californian Galleries............................................... 251 Caravaggio................................................................ 115 6

The Cathedrals of England....................................... 10 Châteaux of the Loire................................................ 80 China’s Silk Road Cities.......................................... 220 Civilisations of Sicily............................................... 161 Connoisseur’s Prague................................................ 60 Connoisseur’s Rome................................................ 150 Connoisseur’s Vienna............................................... 49 Country Houses of Kent........................................... 25 Country Houses of the North West........................ 21 Country Houses of the South West......................... 22 Courts of Northern Italy......................................... 132 Danish Castles & Gardens........................................ 65 Dark Age Brilliance................................................. 133 Dorset Churches........................................................ 13 The Douro................................................................ 174 Dutch Modern......................................................... 168 Dutch Painting......................................................... 168 East Coast Galleries................................................. 259 Eastern Pomerania.................................................. 171 Essential Andalucía................................................. 198 Essential China........................................................ 217 Essential India.......................................................... 221 Essential Puglia........................................................ 155 Essential Rome......................................................... 149 Flemish Painting........................................................ 55 Florence.................................................................... 136 Florence Revisited................................................... 138 Franconia.................................................................. 106 Frank Lloyd Wright................................................. 256 French Gothic............................................................ 77 Friuli-Venezia Giulia............................................... 123 Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana.............. 146 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes.................... 117 Georgia Uncovered................................................... 88 Granada & Córdoba................................................ 201 Great Houses of the Czech Lands........................... 62 Great Houses of the North....................................... 20 Great Irish Houses..................................................... 41 The Hanseatic League............................................... 90 The Heart of Italy..................................................... 143 Houghton & Holkham.............................................. 24 Indian Summer........................................................ 223

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Jonathan Keates’s Venice ........................................ 128 Journey through Slovakia....................................... 184 King Ludwig II......................................................... 107 Kraków & Silesia...................................................... 172 Lands of the Maya................................................... 247 Le Corbusier............................................................... 75 Leonardo 500............................................................. 73 The Making of Argentina....................................... 242 Mediaeval Alsace....................................................... 78 Mediaeval Burgundy................................................. 81 MEDIEVAL HISTORY, ART & ARCHITECTURE....................................... 35 Mediaeval Saxony...................................................... 95 Mediaeval Sussex & Hampshire.............................. 12 Mediaeval Upper Normandy................................... 71 Mitteldeutschland...................................................... 99 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur.............................. 83 Moldavia & Transylvania........................................ 176 Monet & Impressionism........................................... 73 Morocco.................................................................... 211 Moscow & the Golden Ring................................... 181 Moscow & St Petersburg......................................... 183 Mughals & Rajputs.................................................. 224 Myanmar: Ancient to Modern.............................. 237 New England Modern............................................. 254 New Orleans to Natchitoches................................ 255 Normans in the South............................................. 156 Palaces of Piedmont................................................ 118 Palaces & Villas of Rome........................................ 148 Palermo Revealed.................................................... 164 Palladian Villas........................................................ 124 The Printing Revolution......................................... 151 Ravenna & Urbino................................................... 131 The Renaissance in Castile & León....................... 191 Rhineland Masterpieces......................................... 105 Rhineland Romanesque.......................................... 104 Ruskin’s Venice......................................................... 129 Sacred Armenia......................................................... 47 Sacred China............................................................ 218 Sacred India.............................................................. 229 Sailing the Dalmatian Coast ................................... 58 Samarkand & Silk Road Cities............................... 239 The South Downs...................................................... 32 St Petersburg............................................................ 179 Textile Arts of India with HALI ............................ 228 Textile Arts of Japan................................................ 235 Toledo & La Mancha............................................... 196 Tudor England........................................................... 26 Understanding Japan.............................................. 235 The Venetian Hills................................................... 122 Venetian Palaces...................................................... 127 Versailles: Seat of the Sun King............................... 74 The Via Emilia......................................................... 134 Vienna’s Masterpieces............................................... 50 Vietnam: History, People, Food............................. 240 Walking in Southern Bohemia................................ 63 The Welsh Marches................................................... 39 West Coast Architecture......................................... 259 Wine, Walks & Art in Alsace................................... 79 Yorkshire Churches & Cathedrals........................... 14


Tours by theme

GARDENS

ARCHAEOLOGY

Danish Castles & Gardens........................................ 65 Japanese Gardens..................................................... 236 Gardens of the Bay of Naples................................. 152 Gardens & Landscapes of the Dutch Wave ......... 169 Gardens of the Riviera.............................................. 85 Gardens of Sintra..................................................... 175 Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana.............. 146 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes.................... 117 Tuscan Gardens....................................................... 139

Ancient & Islamic Tunisia...................................... 215 Basilicata................................................................... 159 Cave Art of France.................................................... 82 Civilisations of Sicily............................................... 161 Classical Greece....................................................... 109 Classical Turkey....................................................... 207 Essential Jordan....................................................... 209 Food & Wine Archaeology.................................... 154 Guatemala, Honduras, Belize................................ 243 In Search of Alexander........................................... 113 Israel & Palestine..................................................... 209 Istanbul Revealed.................................................... 206 Lands of the Maya................................................... 247 Minoan Crete........................................................... 112 Morocco.................................................................... 211 Myanmar: Ancient to Modern.............................. 237 Oman, Landscapes & Peoples................................ 212 Orkney: 5000 years of culture.................................. 38 Palestine, Past & Present......................................... 214 Peru: the Andean Heartland.................................. 248 Pompeii & Herculaneum........................................ 153 Roman Italy.............................................................. 147 Roman Southern Britain.......................................... 16 Romans in the Rhône Valley.................................... 86 Romans in Western Iberia...................................... 175 Samarkand & Silk Road Cities............................... 239 Walking Hadrian’s Wall............................................ 18 Western Ireland......................................................... 43 World Heritage Malta............................................. 165

GASTRONOMY & WINE Bilbao to Bayonne................................................... 189 Champagne: Vines, Cellars & Cuvées..................... 72 Classic Catalan Wines............................................. 193 Food & Wine Archaeology.................................... 154 Gastronomic Andalucía.......................................... 200 Gastronomic Crete.................................................. 110 Gastronomic Galicia............................................... 188 Gastronomic Kerala................................................ 231 Gastronomic Le Marche......................................... 142 Gastronomic Piedmont.......................................... 119 Gastronomic Provence............................................. 84 Gastronomic Puglia................................................ 158 Gastronomic Sicily.................................................. 163 Gastronomic Sweden.............................................. 203 Gastronomic West Country..................................... 30 Lombardy: Gastronomy & Opera......................... 116 Vietnam: History, People, Food............................. 240 Wine, Walks & Art in Alsace................................... 79 Wines of Tuscany..................................................... 141

LITERATURE & DRAMA

20TH-CENTURY & MODERN Art in Texas.............................................................. 252 Bauhaus Centenary................................................... 95 Berlin: New Architecture.......................................... 94 Californian Galleries............................................... 251 Dutch Modern......................................................... 168 Frank Lloyd Wright................................................. 256 Gardens & Landscapes of the Dutch Wave ......... 169 Le Corbusier............................................................... 75 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur.............................. 83 New England Modern............................................. 254 West Coast Architecture......................................... 259

‘A terrible beauty’....................................................... 42 The Age of Bede......................................................... 15 AGE OF VICTORIA................................................. 34 Albania: Crossroads of Antiquity............................ 46 The American Revolution...................................... 252 Bengal by River........................................................ 226 Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo.................................. 54 Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania...................................... 67 Georgia Uncovered................................................... 88 Iceland’s Story.......................................................... 114 The Imperial Riviera............................................... 121 In Search of Alexander........................................... 113 King Ludwig II......................................................... 107 The Making of Argentina....................................... 242 MEDIEVAL HISTORY, ART & ARCHITECTURE....................................... 35 Myanmar: Ancient to Modern.............................. 237 New Orleans to Natchitoches................................ 255 Palestine, Past & Present......................................... 214 Poets & The Somme.................................................. 70 Tudor England........................................................... 26 The Western Balkans................................................. 56 Western Ireland......................................................... 43 Vietnam: History, People, Food............................. 240

Many of our tours can be combined, usually with a day or two in between. In some cases we publish a price for the combined arrangements, including any additional hotel and transport costs (see the list below). The arrangements are pre-booked by us and we give you full details of these before departure, but you are unescorted. Where we have not published a combined price, we can still advise on the best way of linking two tours together. Please see the individual tour descriptions for recommendations and contact us for more information. The Cathedrals of England...................................... 10 with Mediaeval Saxony............................................ 95 Dorset Churches....................................................... 13 with Dark Age Brilliance....................................... 133 Châteaux of the Loire............................................... 80 with Tuscan Gardens.............................................. 139 Berlin: New Architecture........................................ 94 with Dutch Modern................................................ 168 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes.................. 117 with Roman Italy................................................... 147 The Venetian Hills.................................................. 122 with Friuli-Venezia Giulia..................................... 123 Courts of Northern Italy....................................... 132 with Gastronomic Le Marche............................... 142 Civilisations of Sicily.............................................. 161 with World Heritage Malta................................... 165 Ballet in St Petersburg........................................... 180 with Moscow & the Golden Ring......................... 181

Tours for private groups A growing part of our activities is tours for private groups – for university alumni, supporters and friends of museums and for various associations and institutions. We welcome enquiries. With our knowledge of a wide range of destinations, our unparalleled skills at designing tours and our long experience of working with private clients, Martin Randall Travel is well qualified to be the partner for a travel venture. The manager of our private client business is Hannah Wrigley. Please get in touch with her if you would like to discuss a travel possibility: hannah.wrigley@martinrandall.co.uk.

Illustrations along top, left to right: ‘Le Concert á Madame La Comtesse de Saint Brison’, 18th-century engraving; Turkish design, from ‘The Grammar of Ornament’ by Owen Jones, 1865. Left: Kithograph of a cornice (partial) from a drawing by S. Burchell.

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TOURS BY THEME

Iceland’s Story.......................................................... 114 Literary England........................................................ 27 Oberammergau........................................................ 103 Poets & The Somme.................................................. 70 Romantic Agony: English Poets in Italy............... 130 Ruskin’s Venice......................................................... 129 Shakespeare & his World.......................................... 12

HISTORY

Combine our tours


Tours by theme

ADDED SINCE THE 1ST EDITION

Walking tours Tours which are billed as walking tours, with hikes through hilly countryside, require a different scale of fitness and agility. Please attend to the descriptions of these tours carefully. We use the following grading system to describe individual walks and also the tours as a whole: Easy. A short and mostly flat walk lasting 1–2 hours, on well maintained footpaths or roads, perhaps with short periods of gentle ascent or descent. An ‘easy’ tour will consist of mostly ‘easy’ walks, perhaps with a couple of ‘moderate’ ones. There might not be a walk every day. Moderate. A walk of 2–3 hours’ duration, with significant elevation gain, or stretches of rocky, gravelly or slippery paths. A ‘moderate’ tour will consist mostly of moderate walks, perhaps with a couple of easy or challenging ones too. There is likely to be a walk every day. Challenging. A walk that is longer than 3 hours, has steeper, longer or more frequent episodes of ascent and descent, or is tricky under foot. Tours graded as ‘challenging’ will consist mostly or entirely of this level of walk, perhaps with some moderate or easier walks too. Please see www.martinrandall.com/about-us for more detailed information.

WALKING Walking tours are graded from ‘easy’ to ‘challenging’ – see above:

TOURS BY THEME

Challenging: Walking to Santiago................................................ 187 Moderate (listed from most strenuous to least): Footpaths of Umbria............................................... 145 Walking in Southern Tuscany ............................... 140 The Schubertiade....................................................... 52 Walking Hadrian’s Wall............................................ 18 Walking the Danube................................................. 50 Wine, Walks & Art in Alsace................................... 79 When Bach went AWOL........................................ 100 Easy: Walking in Southern Bohemia................................ 63

BRITAIN & IRELAND WEST COUNTRY CHORAL FESTIVAL.... 29 THE THOMAS TALLIS TRAIL.................... 29 MID-WEEK & WEEKEND CHAMBER MUSIC......................................... 35 MUSIC ALONG THE DANUBE.................. 50 THE J.S. BACH JOURNEY.......................... 101 OPERA IN SOUTHERN SICILY................ 162 SACRED MUSIC IN SANTIAGO.............. 186

MUSIC & BALLET Ballet in St Petersburg............................................. 180 Baroque Music in the Bolivian Missions.............. 245 The Boston Early Music Festival........................... 250 Dresden Music Festival............................................. 97 Enescu Festival Bucharest...................................... 178 Glyndebourne & Garsington .................................. 28 Hamburg: Opera & ‘Elphi’....................................... 91 Handel in Halle.......................................................... 98 Historic Musical Instruments................................ 120 Lofoten Chamber Music Festival.......................... 170 Lombardy: Gastronomy & Opera......................... 116 London Choral Day.................................................. 37 The Lucerne Festival............................................... 205 Mozart in Salzburg.................................................... 53 Music & Ballet in Paris............................................. 75 Music in Berlin.......................................................... 93 Oberammergau........................................................ 103 Opera & Ballet in Helsinki....................................... 68 Opera in Munich & Bregenz ................................... 53 Opera in Vienna........................................................ 51 Organs of Bach’s Time............................................ 102 Prague Spring............................................................. 61 Puccini in Copenhagen............................................ 66 The Ring in Chicago................................................ 258 The Ring in Leipzig................................................... 96 Savonlinna Opera...................................................... 69 A Schubertiade in Catalonia.................................. 193 The Schubertiade....................................................... 52 The Sibelius Festival.................................................. 69 Trasimeno Music Festival....................................... 144 Valletta Baroque Festival ....................................... 166 Verdi in Parma & Busseto...................................... 135 Verona Opera........................................................... 125 Walking the Danube................................................. 50 West Cork Chamber Music Festival....................... 45 When Bach went AWOL........................................ 100

Country Houses of the North West..................... 21 Country Houses of the South West...................... 22 At home at Weston Park....................................... 23 Literary England................................................... 27 Glyndebourne & Garsington ............................... 28 Architecture of Bath............................................. 33 AGE OF VICTORIA............................................. 34

MAINLAND EUROPE Walking the Danube............................................. 50 The Schubertiade.................................................. 52 Prague Spring........................................................ 61 Savonlinna Opera................................................. 69 Hamburg: Opera & ‘Elphi’................................... 91 Dresden Music Festival......................................... 97 Handel in Halle..................................................... 98 When Bach went AWOL..................................... 100 Lombardy: Gastronomy & Opera...................... 116 Historic Musical Instruments............................ 120 Verona Opera...................................................... 125 Romantic Agony: English Poets in Italy............ 130 Palermo Revealed............................................... 164 Eastern Pomerania.............................................. 171 Enescu Festival Bucharest.................................. 178 Ballet in St Petersburg........................................ 180 Moscow & St Petersburg..................................... 183 Gastronomic Sweden additional departure........................................ 203 The Lucerne Festival........................................... 205 Istanbul Revealed................................................ 206

ASIA Bengal by River................................................... 226 Sacred India........................................................ 229 Gastronomic Kerala............................................ 231 Architecture of the British Raj........................... 232 Understanding Japan.......................................... 235 Samarkand & Silk Road Cities additional departure........................................ 239 Vietnam: History, People, Food additional departure........................................ 240

THE AMERICAS Lands of the Maya............................................... 247 The Boston Early Music Festival........................ 250 The Ring in Chicago........................................... 258 Illustration, along top: Florence, Piazza della Santissima Annunziata, copper engraving c. 1750.

What our clients say ‘This is the fourth trip I have done with Martin Randall and once again the whole experience has been first class. I hope to be a regular over the coming years.’ 8

‘Really, really excellent... an amazing number of activities were included. The balance and timing of free time was excellent. A stunning tour – I’m telling this to everyone who will listen to me!’

book online at www.martinrandall.com

‘The tour far exceeded our expectations and gave us much greater insight than we expected.’ Read more at www.martinrandall.com/testimonials


More about our tours Fitness Ours are active holidays. Walking, stair-climbing and standing around for lengthy periods are unavoidable aspects of every tour. They should not present problems for anyone of normal fitness but they are not suitable for those who are slow, need support or are low on stamina. On many tours there is a lot of walking on streets that may be steep or poorly paved. On others you may need to scramble over fallen masonry and very uneven ground. More usually it is just a case of moving from one place to another, and getting on and off coaches several times a day. If you have a medical condition or a disability which may affect your holiday or necessitate special arrangements being made for you, please discuss these with us before booking – or, if the condition develops or changes subsequently, as soon as possible before departure. The tours are also group events. The presence of even one person who is not fit enough to cope can spoil the experience for everyone else. We therefore ask people wishing to join a tour to take the quick and simple self-assessment tests described here to ascertain whether they have an adequate level of fitness. By signing the booking form you are stating that you have passed these tests. (It is not necessary to take the tests to attend our music weekends and symposia in the UK.)

1. Chair stands. Sit in a dining chair, with arms folded and hands on opposite shoulders. Stand up and sit down at least eight times in thirty seconds.

 2. Step test. Mark a wall at a height that is halfway between your knee and your hip bone. Raise each knee in turn to the mark at least sixty times in two minutes.

 3. Agility test. Place an object 3 yards from the edge of a chair, sit, and record the time it takes to stand up, walk to the object and sit back down.
You should be able to do this in under seven seconds. An additional indication of the fitness required, though we are not asking you to measure this, is that you should be able to walk unaided at a pace of 3 miles per hour for at least half an hour at a time, and to stand unsupported for at least 15 minutes. Walking tours are graded easy to challenging. Please see opposite for more information.

Gastronomy tours On a tour that focuses on food, wine and cooking traditions, we regret that participants with special diets may not have the same gastronomic experience as those with no restrictions. Please discuss your requirements with us before booking.

If during the tour it transpires you are not adequately fit, you may be asked to opt out of certain visits, or invited to leave the tour altogether. This would be at your own expense. Tours do vary, so please refer to the How strenuous? paragraph of each tour description.

Illustration: detail from ‘Departure from the Island of Cythera’ (1717), engraving by Nicolas-Henri Tardieu after the painting by Jean-Antoine Watteau.

Financial security

Many of our tours visit towns and villages off the beaten tourist trail, enabling you to experience local traditions and practices. We also strive to limit our impact on the environment. Our itineraries are designed to spend more time in places than on conventional tours; this often means there are days without travel.

AITO. Martin Randall Travel Ltd is a member of AITO, an association of specialist travel companies most of which are independent and ownermanaged. Admission is selective, and members are subject to a code of practice which prescribes high standards of professionalism and customer care. To contact the Association visit www.aito.com or call 020 8744 9280.

more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to www.caa.co.uk/ ATOLCertificate. In the unlikely event of our insolvency, the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA) will ensure that you are not stranded abroad and will arrange to refund any money you have paid us for an advance booking. See our booking conditions (page 268) for further details.

ABTA – The Travel Association. Martin Randall Travel Ltd is a Member of the Association of British Travel Agents (membership number Y6050). ABTA and ABTA members help holidaymakers to get the most from their travel and assist them when things do not go according to plan. We are obliged to maintain a high standard of service to you by ABTA’s Code of Conduct. For further information about ABTA, the Code of Conduct and the arbitration scheme available to you if you have a complaint, contact ABTA, 30 Park Street, London SE1 9EQ. www.abta.com.

Financial protection for holidays that do not include a flight is provided by a bond held with ABTA.

Martin Randall Travel offers you the option to pay a carbon offset donation every time you book a tour with us that includes flights. We also make a donation for every lecturer, tour manager or member of office staff travelling by air on company business. Through these donations, we support the India Solar Water Heating project, which provides in-house hot water supplies fuelled by renewable energy to homes, community buildings and small to medium-sized businesses throughout India. We are also proud to support the UK charity Action for Conservation, who work to inspire young people to become the next generation of nature conservationists, through workshops in deprived inner-city schools and on residential camps. www. actionforconservation.org Our full sustainable tourism policy is published on our website: www.martinrandall.com/ sustainable-tourism.

ATOL. All of the flight-inclusive holidays in this brochure are financially protected by the ATOL (Air Transport Operators’ Licence) scheme. When you make your first payment you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please check it to know what is covered in your booking. For Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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MORE ABOUT OUR TOURS

Sustainable Tourism


The Cathedrals of England Ely, Lincoln, Durham, York, Coventry, Gloucester, Bristol, Wells, Salisbury, Winchester 8–16 May 2019 (mf 505) 9 days • £2,790 Lecturer: Jon Cannon 18–26 September 2019 (mf 727) 9 days • £2,790 Lecturer: Jon Cannon A study of ten of England’s greatest buildings – their history, architecture, sculpture, stained glass and current life. Built between the Norman Conquest and Henry VIII’s Reformation, with Coventry Cathedral a moving exception. Organ recitals exclusively for us, and many other special arrangements. Five hotels and quite a lot of driving, but an uncrowded itinerary includes time for rest and independent exploration. Combine this tour with Medieval Saxony, 29 April–7 May 2019 (see page 95).

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

This is an architectural journey that would be hard to equal for intensity of aesthetic delight. As a way into the minds and lives of the people of the Middle Ages, it would be difficult to surpass. Personalities of extraordinary capability and vision will be discovered, and the thought processes and techniques used by craftsmen of genius revealed and decoded. The tour ranges across England to see some of the most glorious medieval architecture to be found anywhere. Connoisseurs may carp at the omissions, but logistics exclude only a couple of cathedrals of comparable magnificence and interest. With an average of little over one cathedral a day, there is plenty of time to really assimilate, appreciate and contemplate each one. All but one are medieval, though there is huge variety in the building arts and historical circumstances encompassed by that long period. The time span between the earliest work we see to the latest, Norman Conquest to the Reformation, equals that from the Reformation to the present day. The one non-medieval cathedral is Coventry. Rebuilt after the Second World War, not only is it a treasure house of mid-twentiethcentury art but it is a moving monument to rebirth and reconciliation. There are many special arrangements to enable you to see more than most visitors, and organ recitals are organised for you at some cathedrals. There are also opportunities to hear some excellent choirs at Evensong. Cathedrals come with cities, and many of these were relatively little changed during the era of industrialisation and now rank among the loveliest in England. Much beautiful countryside is traversed as well. Left: York Minster, Archbishop Bowett’s Monument engraving c. 1815. Right: Lincoln, etching by Wilfred Ball, 1906.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 10

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Itinerary If combining this tour with Medieval Saxony, transfer from London Heathrow to the Ambassador Hotel in London by taxi. There is a taxi transfer to the start of The Cathedrals of England tour on day 1. Day 1: Ely. The coach leaves London at 9.30am for Ely, a surprisingly remote and rural location for one of England’s greatest cathedrals. The mighty Norman nave and transepts, with their thick walls, tiers of arches and clusters of shafts, lead to the crossing and its unique 14th-century octagonal lantern, a work of genius. The Lady Chapel in the Decorated style is the largest and perhaps the finest in the country; the Early English quire is a ravishing setting for the lost shrine to St Etheldreda. Overnight Lincoln. Day 2: Lincoln. Also largely by-passed by modern urban development, Lincoln’s hilltop site above the broad Witham valley renders this enormous cathedral even more imposing. Largely rebuilt from 1192, it has always been revered as one of the finest of Gothic cathedrals, its fascinations enhanced by myriad minor inconsistencies and variations which reveal the struggle for solutions at the frontiers of artistic fashion and technological capability. First of three nights in York. Day 3: Durham. By train to Durham, where topography and the riverside walk provide the most exciting approach to any English cathedral. Massive towers rise above the trees which cling to the steep embankment, a defensible bulwark in the frequently hostile North. Largely completed in the decades from 1093 and little altered since, the nave and quire with their great cylindrical pillars, distinguished by their engraved patterns, constitute one of the world’s greatest Romanesque designs. Overnight York. Day 4: York. York Minster is the largest of English medieval cathedrals. Above ground it is all Gothic, from Early English to Perpendicular but predominantly 14th-century, and demonstrating an exceptional knowledge of the latest French Rayonnant ideas. It is a treasure trove of stained glass, and the polygonal chapter house is without peer. The city retains its medieval walls and an exceptional quantity of historic buildings. Overnight York. Day 5: Coventry. Perhaps internationally Britain’s best-known 20th-century building, Coventry Cathedral was built to designs by Sir Basil Spence beside the ruins of its predecessor, destroyed in 1940. It is a showcase for some of the best art of the time (Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Jacob Epstein). A night is spent at Stratford-upon-Avon, which has retained many buildings Shakespeare would have known. Overnight Stratford. Day 6: Gloucester, Bristol. The procession of tall cylindrical pillars in Gloucester’s nave is unadulterated Norman, but, following the burial of Edward II in 1327, the eastern parts are exquisitely veiled in the first large-scale manifestation of Perpendicular architecture. The east window is one of the largest in Europe. Bristol cathedral is a much-overlooked gem with fine


'Jon Cannon was an exceptional guide, setting the scene for the building of our magnificent Cathedrals. He wore his extensive knowledge lightly. He was charismatic, very interesting and a joy to listen to.' C.D., participant on The Cathedrals of England in 2018.

work of every era, from the lavishly patterned walls of the Romanesque chapter house to G. E. Street’s great Victorian nave. But its highlight is the east end, among the most innovative and beautiful of early 14th-century buildings. First of two nights in Wells.

Day 8: Salisbury. One of the most uplifting experiences in English architecture, Salisbury is unique among the Gothic cathedrals in England in that it was built on a virgin site and largely in a single campaign. To homogeneity are added lucidity of design and perfection of detail. At 404 feet, the spire is the tallest medieval structure in Britain. The close is the finest in the country, and the town beyond has an extensive expanse of historic fabric. Overnight Winchester.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,790. Single occupancy: £3,140. Included meals: 1 lunch and 6 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Castle Hotel, Lincoln (castlehotel.net): a 4-star, historic building close to the cathedral. The Grange, York (grangehotel. co.uk): 4-star, also in an historic building with a new wing, within walking distance of the city centre. The DoubleTree by Hilton, Stratfordupon-Avon (doubletree3.hilton.com): a 4-star hotel, located on the edge of the historic centre of the town. The Swan, Wells (swanhotelwells.

co.uk): 3-star, in a building of 15th-cent. origin in a narrow street close to the cathedral. The Wessex, Winchester (mercure.com): 4-star, excellently located overlooking the cathedral in a 1960s building. Rooms at all the hotels, being city-centre historic properties, vary in size and outlook. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on the tour and a lot of steps and uneven surfaces. You ought to be able to walk at about three miles an hour for up to half an hour. Roof and tower visits are optional of course, but at Salisbury there are 332 stairs to climb. Two of the hotels do not have lifts. There are three days without any coach travel, but there is an average on the remaining five days of 73 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Medieval Saxony and The Cathedrals of England combined (May 2019 only). Two sharing: £5,720 or £5,600 without flights. Single occupancy: £6,420 or £6,300 without flights. This includes extra accommodation in London (1 night) and a taxi transfer from Heathrow to the hotel, and again the next morning to the start of The Cathedrals of England tour. These arrangements are pre-booked but are unescorted. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

Day 7: Wells. Wells has much of charm and interest including a fortified bishop’s palace and 14th-century houses of the Vicars Choral. The cathedral was one of the first in England to be built entirely in Gothic style. Its screened west front, eastward march of the nave, sequence of contrasted spaces of the Decorated east end and Perpendicular cloisters all contribute to its exceptional allure. The arches supporting the sagging tower are among the great creations of the Middle Ages. Overnight Wells.

Day 9: Winchester. Winchester Cathedral is one of Europe’s longest churches, reflecting the city’s status intermittently from the 9th to the 17th centuries as a seat of English government. The transepts are unembellished early Norman, raw architecture of brute power, whereas the mighty nave was dressed 300 years later in suave Perpendicular garb. The profusion of chantry chapels constitutes an enchanting collection of Gothic micro-architecture. Wall paintings, floor tiles, the finest 12th-century Bible. Return to central London by 4.00pm.


Mediaeval Sussex & Hampshire Mediaeval art and architecture in the South East That said, the tour develops around three overlapping themes. The first concerns the effects of the Norman Conquest – the creation of great fortifications at Portchester and Arundel, the move of the See of Sussex from Selsey to Chichester, and the establishment of a new type of great church architecture in Chichester and Winchester cathedrals. The second of these themes is aesthetic and concerned with the type of architecture that developed towards the end of the twelfth century. As with much of south-east England, Hampshire and West Sussex experienced largescale rebuilding during the period c. 1150–1220, the greatest evidence for which is to be found at Steyning, Bosham, New Shoreham and Boxgrove. Distinctive approaches to the late Romanesque and early Gothic interior are a great feature of Sussex churches, immeasurably enhanced by the subtle juxtaposition of creamy limestone and polished dark marble colonettes. The last of the tour’s main themes is commemorative. At around the date that the first of Winchester cathedral’s chantry chapels was created, the chancel of the parish church at Arundel was made collegiate, and effectively brought within the castle wall. The result was to turn the east end of Arundel into an aristocratic mausoleum, while Winchester developed the most impressive series of episcopal chantries to survive in Europe. Taken together, the two afford an exceptional insight into English latemedieval tomb design.

Itinerary Day 1: Chichester. Leave Chichester railway station on foot at 2.15pm for the short walk to Chichester cathedral, Ian Nairn’s ‘well-worn, wellloved, comfortable fireside chair of a cathedral’, and a building best approached as a series of quirky set-pieces woven around an Anglo-Norman core, complete with retrochoir, eccentric cloister, and superb late medieval furnishings.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

29 April–3 May 2019 (mf 501) 5 days • £1,540 Lecturer: Dr James Cameron Well-balanced survey of the outstanding medieval monuments of West Sussex and Hampshire. Beautiful drives through the stunning scenery of the South Downs. Stay in one hotel throughout. Famed for its seaside churches and the quality and virtuosity of its Romanesque architecture, the area at the western end of the South Downs, essentially West Sussex and East Hampshire, boasts one of the richest collections of medieval churches to survive in southern England. It is also, unusually, an area where one might pick out examples from every important phase of church building in medieval England – from the early Anglo-Saxon tower at St Peter’s, Titchfield, to Richard Fox’s magnificent early-sixteenth-century remodelling of the presbytery at Winchester cathedral. 12

Day 2: Shoreham, Sompting, Steyning, Arundel. A gentle drive west beneath the South Downs to Old and New Shoreham, whose juxtaposition of an aisleless cruciform church on high ground (Old Shoreham), and a magnificent early 13thcentury quayside aisled parochial chancel (New Shoreham), should open the day. Thence to a great pair of 11th- and 12th-century Sussex churches, Sompting and Steyning, before rounding off the day at mighty Arundel Castle. Day 3: Winchester, Romsey. A perfect opportunity to slip west into Hampshire, with Winchester cathedral the day’s principal objective; library, monastic precinct, chantry chapels, crypt and all. An afternoon walk through the flood meadows to the great hospital of St Cross, whose 15thcentury almshouses and hall survive more or less intact, and on to the former royal nunnery at Romsey Abbey, possessor of the best preserved Romanesque east end in England. Day 4: Portchester, Netley, Titchfield, Boxgrove. A day of local horizons, starting with the extraordinary late-Roman Saxon shore fort at Portchester, home to an important Augustinian

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church and royal castle, and progressing via two great monastic ruins, Cistercian Netley and 13th-century Titchfield. Lunch is included in Titchfield, after which we will continue to its stunning little parish church and the magnificent former priory at Boxgrove. Day 5: Bosham, Fishbourne, Chichester. Begin with the loveliest of the harbour churches at Bosham. A gentle drive along the northern shore of Chichester Harbour to Fishbourne, site of perhaps the greatest Roman villa to have been constructed in England and one of the greatest north of the Alps. Then back into Chichester for a visit to the important late medieval foundation of St Mary’s Hospital, famed for its superb late-medieval choir stalls. The coach returns to Chichester railway station by 3.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,540. Single occupancy: £1,780. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Harbour Hotel, Chichester (chichester-harbour-hotel.co.uk): smart boutique hotel in the centre of town. This 4-star hotel is within walking distance of the Cathedral and Pallant Gallery. How strenuous? This tour involves quite a lot of getting on and off coaches and standing around and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 49 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Ravenna & Urbino, 24–28 April 2019 (p.131); Classical Greece, 4–13 May 2019 (p.109). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and travel.

Shakespeare & his World July 2019 Full details available in January 2019 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267

Illustration: Tower of Ambulatory, Hospital of St Cross, Winchester, watercolour by W. Ball, publ. 1909.


Dorset Churches Parish churches, abbeys and minsters 23–27 September 2019 (mf 736) 5 days • £1,270 Lecturer: Imogen Corrigan A range of architectural interest, including murals, fonts and memorials. Almost exclusively exquisite parish churches. Beautiful drives through idyllic English countryside. Stay in Blandford Forum throughout, a charming market town. Option to combine this tour with Dark Age Brilliance, 15–22 September 2019 (see page 133).

Itinerary If combining this tour with Dark Age Brilliance, return to London on the group flight, overnight at Sofitel London Heathrow. Taxi to London Waterloo and train to meet the group in Salisbury. Day 1: Salisbury, Cranborne, Tarrant Hinton, Blandford Forum. The coach leaves Salisbury railway station at 2.00pm for the drive across the Dorset border to the church of St Mary and St Bartholomew in Cranborne. This sets the tone

Day 2: Bere Regis, Wareham, Studland. Head for the coast, stopping at Bere Regis to admire an outstanding hammerbeam roof. Wareham has two churches of great antiquity and charm. One of them, St Martin’s-on-the-walls, contains an effigy of TE Lawrence by Eric Kennington, originally destined for St Paul’s Cathedral. Free time in Wareham precedes a visit to the beautifully preserved Norman church of St Nicholas at Studland, which has some remarkable, explicit stone carvings.

Price, Dark Age Brilliance and Dorset Churches combined. Two sharing: £3,750 or £3,550 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,210 or £4,010 without flights. This includes accommodation at Heathrow (1 night), taxi to London Waterloo and a train to Salisbury. These arrangements are prebooked but unescorted. Other possible combinations: Walking Hadrian's Wall, 16–22 September 2019 (p.18); Gastronomic Crete, 29 September–7 October 2019 (p.110). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and travel. Illustration: Sherborne Abbey, wood engraving c. 1880.

Day 3: Winterbourne Whitechurch, Puddletown, Dorchester, Upwey, Toller Fratrum. A day of quintessential Wessex villages, each with a church of distinction, punctuated by free time in the county town of Dorchester. St Mary’s at Winterbourne Whitechurch has a fine fifteenthcentury font carved with a vine scroll ornament. The church at Puddletown has strong Thomas Hardy connections. St Lawrence’s at Upwey features two painted Tudor roses. The tiny church with the unusual dedication of St Basil at Toller Fratrum has a Norman relief of Mary Magdalene washing Christ’s feet. Day 4: Melbury Bubb, Sherborne, Bradford Abbas, Trent. Explore Sherborne Abbey and the north of the county, with private time in Sherborne itself. The Abbey, among its many splendours, has England’s earliest fan-vaulted roof and arguably its finest. St Mary’s at Melbury Bubb has an Anglo-Saxon font carved from the base of a cross, St Mary’s, Bradford Abbas is notable for its fourstorey Perpendicular tower and St Andrew’s, Trent for its medieval spire, one of only three in Dorset. Day 5. Wimborne, Salisbury. With two towers, one Norman and one Perpendicular, Wimborne Minster was originally a Saxon nunnery. It has a fine Norman font, a Gothic east end and Decorated aisles. The tour finishes at Salisbury Railway Station by 2.00pm.

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Yorkshire, says Pevsner, is known for the ‘Norman exuberance’ of its churches, Somerset for its church towers. Dorset churches have not been considered in the first rank. ‘Yet when one sets down all one has seen of [them] … one suddenly realises how much one has enjoyed.’ Not just enjoyed but admired, been surprised by, one might further aver. What the county’s churches lack in scale and self-importance they make up for in character, charm and exquisite detail, enhanced in many cases by their setting in conserved villages of honeyed limestone and reed thatching. Sherborne Abbey steals all their thunder – ‘the largest Anglo-Saxon church we know,’ says Pevsner. Founded by St Aldhelm, new bishop of the West Saxons, in the early eighth century, it served as a Benedictine house until the Reformation and retains early features such as the Saxon doorway in the north-west corner and long-and-short-Saxon quoining. This latter detail is also found at St Martin’s-on-the-walls in Wareham, said to be Dorset’s most complete Anglo-Saxon church. Wareham’s other historic church, of Lady St Mary, has a greater number of Saxon inscriptions than any other English building – five in all, dating from the seventh to the ninth centuries. Intriguing examples of medieval wall paintings and decorative wooden carvings are other notable features of the county’s churches. St Mary’s and St Bartholomew’s in Cranborne has a rare depiction of a Tree of the Seven Virtues. Red stars painted on one wall of St Martin’s-on-the-walls are said to represent plague victims. The twelve protruding roof beams at St John the Baptist, Bere Regis are carved into robed figures that may represent the apostles, while in St Andrew’s at Trent the sixteenth-century bench ends are carved in a variety of figures, animals and flowers.

for our tour – an unspoilt village and a delightful church of Norman origin with striking features that include fourteenth-century wall paintings. Our next church, St Mary’s at Tarrant Hinton, has a rare sixteenth-century Easter Sepulchre.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,270. Single occupancy: £1,410. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Crown, Blandford Forum (crownhotelblandford.co.uk): 4-star hotel located in a market town. Rooms are comfortable with a traditional décor, in keeping with the nature of the 18th-century building. There is a bar and restaurant well-used by the local community. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in churches. Uneven ground and irregular paving are standard. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. Average distance by coach per day: 52 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Yorkshire Churches & Cathedrals Abbeys, cathedrals and parish churches

10–14 June 2019 (mf 572) 5 days • £1,530 Lecturer: Jon Cannon Short but comprehensive survey of medieval ecclesiastical building in Yorkshire. Based in York throughout. Monastic ruins across the North Yorkshire Moors at Lastingham, Rievaulx and Byland.

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Famed for its Cistercian ruins and the quality and virtuosity of its fourteenth-century architecture, Yorkshire boasts the richest collection of medieval churches to survive in northern England. Unusually, it is also an area where one might pick out examples from every important phase of church building in medieval northern England – from the early Anglo-Saxon crypt surviving from Wilfrid’s Ripon to Marmaduke Huby’s magnificent early sixteenth-century tower at Fountains Abbey. That said, the tour develops around two overlapping themes. The first is monasticism, or at least the type of monasticism that was re-established in northern England, at Lastingham, following the Norman Conquest. This monasticism took a dramatic turn in the twelfth century with the establishment of the great Cistercian houses of Yorkshire. We visit the three most significant abbeys, Rievaulx, Byland and Fountains. The second tour theme is aesthetic and concerned with the type of architecture that developed in the later Middle Ages. As with much of eastern England, Yorkshire experienced a large-scale rebuilding during the period c. 1290–c. 1420, the greatest evidence for which is to be found in the churches of York, Beverley, Howden and Selby. Distinctive approaches to the ‘Decorated’ interior are a great feature of Yorkshire 14

churches, immeasurably enhanced by the survival of considerable quantities of stained glass. Good examples of glass are encountered in profusion at York Minster and survive in a number of the smaller parish churches.

Itinerary Day 1: York. The coach leaves at 1.30pm from York railway station for the short drive to York Minster, the largest of English medieval cathedrals. Above ground it is all Gothic, from Early English to Perpendicular but predominantly 14th-century, and demonstrating an exceptional knowledge of the latest French Rayonnant ideas. It is a treasure trove of stained glass, and the polygonal chapter house is without peer. Day 2: Lastingham, Rievaulx, Byland. Venture up into the North Yorkshire Moors to Lastingham, and an exquisitely sited small monastery with a tiny early Romanesque crypt. In Rievaulx, see the major Cistercian monastery whose choir still rises majestically above the River Rye. The second of the day’s Cistercian ruins, in Byland, has enthralling remnants of an early Gothic choir and west front. Day 3: Howden, Selby, York. Howden is an important late thirteenth-century collegiate church and Selby, a wonderfully rangy and ramshackle Benedictine abbey church. As befits a major medieval city, York played host to a plethora of monasteries and parish churches over and above its Minster. Two of these form the afternoon: Holy Trinity, Goodramgate and All Saints, North Street. Day 4: Beverley. Beverley Minster’s magnificent marble-enriched choir acts as a superb foil for the extravagances of the later Middle Ages. See the Percy Tomb, stalls and famously historicising nave. St Mary’s, Beverley, is an ambitious giant of a parish church – some free time in York.

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Day 5: Fountains Abbey. A morning to the west of York at Fountains Abbey, a monastery originally founded by a dissident community of monks from St Mary’s, York. By the Dissolution, it had grown to become the richest Cistercian house in Britain – quite simply the greatest of all English medieval ruins – the coach returns to York station by 3.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,530. Single occupancy: £1,760. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Grange Hotel, York (grangehotel.co.uk): 4-star hotel in a converted Regency townhouse a short walk from the Minster and just outside the medieval walls. Rooms are elegantly decorated, but some are not large. Some rooms are noisy from passing traffic and there is no lift. Dinners are in the hotel restaurant or at good restaurants within walking distance. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in churches. Uneven ground and irregular paving are standard. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. Average distance by coach per day: 47 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Palaces of Piedmont, 4–9 June 2019 (p.118); Connoisseur’s Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: York Minster Chapter House, engraving from 'Britton's Cathedral Antiquities', c. 1830.


The Age of Bede Anglo-Saxon Northumbria 14–17 September 2019 (mf 712) 4 days • £1,040 Lecturer: Imogen Corrigan Examines the remarkable efflorescence of culture and learning in Anglo-Saxon northern England. Jarrow, Monkwearmouth, Holy Island, Hexham and other Anglo-Saxon sites. Studies Durham Cathedral, perhaps the greatest Romanesque building in Europe, with private visits by special arrangement.

Itinerary Day 1: Jarrow and Monkwearmouth. The tour begins with a lecture in the hotel in Newcastle (where all three nights are spent) at 1.30pm. The monasteries at Monkwearmouth and Jarrow, ten miles apart but one institution, were founded in 674 and 681 by Benedict Biscop, whose five journeys to Rome resulted in a unique network of international contacts and awareness of European artistry. Parts of the original chapels survive, with stained glass and stone carvings. Day 2: Yeavering, Holy Island. On the journey to Lindisfarne the tour visits Yeavering, evocative site of a royal settlement. The monastery on the little island of Lindisfarne (later ‘Holy Island’) was founded in ad 635 by an Irish monk from Iona, St. Aidan, and became an important centre for scholarship and missionary activity. A place of

remarkable charm and tranquillity, there are Anglo-Saxon fragments, ruins of the Norman priory, and a castle, turned into a home by Edwin Lutyens.

Practicalities

Day 3: Durham. All day is spent in and around Durham Cathedral, one of the greatest Romanesque churches in Europe and one of the most impressive of English cathedrals. Mighty towers rise above the encircling river Wear, while the interior cannot but move with its power and piety. The bulk of the building is little altered since the forty-year building campaign begun in 1093. There is the opportunity to attend Evensong or Evenprayer here.

Included meals: 2 dinners with wine.

Day 4: Escomb, Hexham. The tiny Saxon church at Escomb was built c. ad 675, a rare survival. A lovely market town on a bluff above the Tyne, Hexham grew around a monastery founded in 671 by St Wilfrid. The magnificent medieval church is post-Conquest except for the crypt, the largest surviving expanse of Anglo-Saxon architecture in England. The coach sets down at Newcastle Central Railway station by 3.00pm.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,040. Single occupancy: £1,210. Accommodation. The Crowne Plaza, Newcastle (crowneplaza.com): new, stylish, comfortable 4-star hotel overlooking Newcastle railway station. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking, where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in churches and on site. Uneven ground and irregular paving are standard. A good level of fitness is essential. Unless you enjoy entirely unimpaired mobility, cope with everyday walking and stair-climbing without difficulty and are reliably sure-footed, this tour is not for you. Average distance by coach per day: 64 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Sacred Armenia, 5–13 September 2019 (p. 47); The Cathedrals of England, 18–26 September 2019 (p.10). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Lindisfarne, Holy Island, engraving c. 1880.

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For a few decades around ad 700, a handful of monasteries in Northumbria became beacons of culture and learning in a Britain that was largely tribal, warlike and unstable. Within a century Viking raiders extinguished these fragile flickers of civilisation, and destruction and division again ruled the land. England – as it can now be called – steadily recovered, and on the eve of the Norman Conquest had become one of the best-governed and most prosperous territories in Europe. The tour visits some of the most significant Anglo-Saxon remains in the area – Jarrow and Monkwearmouth, the two-campus monastery to which Bede was given as a child oblate and where he became a monk; church architecture at Escomb and Hexham; and sites of powerful resonance – the royal court at Yeavering and Lindisfarne, now known as Holy Island. The tour introduces a cast of remarkable men – Benedict Biscop, Aiden, Cuthbert, Wilfrid and Bede, characters of extraordinary tenacity, learning, piety and courage. One of the great intellectuals of the Middle Ages, the Venerable Bede (c. 673–735) wrote on science and the measurement of time and on languages and literature as well as compiling a work of inestimable value, The Ecclesiastical History of the English People. Durham Cathedral is the last resting place of Cuthbert and Bede. In the opinion of some the finest Romanesque church in Europe, its massive size and defensibility express the often tenuous hold on the region by institutions representing southern-based royal government.


Roman Southern Britain A most wealthy island 14–21 May 2019 (mf 522) 8 days • £2,560 Lecturer: Professor Simon Esmonde Cleary A testament to the extraordinary level of civilisation and culture attained in the South and East of Roman Britain. Rich villas of Chedworth, Fishbourne and North Leigh with fine mosaics. Impressive military architecture; forts that secured the coasts at Pevensey, Portchester and Richborough, defensive walls at Caerwent and Silchester. Some of Britain’s most historic towns and beautiful rural settings. ‘A most wealthy island’ (opulentissima insula), is a view of Roman Britain which contrasts strongly with the more usual image of a land on the margins of empire, beset by enemies and dominated by the efforts of the Roman army to subdue and defend it. Over the four centuries that Britain was part of the Roman empire many features of Mediterranean civilisation took hold in the province, especially in the southern part of the island. Cities above all displayed the impact of Roman ways in Britain. As well as being centres for administration and taxation they were also places where local aristocrats demonstrated their loyalty

and showed off their wealth by paying for typically ‘Roman’ monuments such as forums, public baths, amphitheatres and theatres. They were economic centres where goods from across the empire such as wine or olive oil were brought to market, where craftsmen and specialists could be found and where the local farming population could obtain goods and services. Verulamium or St Albans was destroyed by Boudicca but grew to be one of the most important cities of Britain and the site of the execution of the first martyr of Britain, Alban. Like Verulamium, the cities of Caerwent in south Wales and Silchester in Hampshire were important local centres but were both abandoned by later generations, leaving their impressive city walls. The rich also displayed their wealth in their country residences, the villas. Absolutely exceptional for its early date, its size and its luxury was the villa or ‘palace’ at Fishbourne outside Chichester with its extraordinary suite of mosaics of the late first century. It was the Cotswolds that saw many of the greatest villas of later Roman Britain, the fourth century, including Chedworth, with one of the largest collections of Roman mosaics from Britain on display, and North Leigh, another major country residence. The agricultural wealth which paid for these villas and for the public buildings and monuments of the cities was important for sustaining the armies in Britain and on the Rhine. To ensure its safety as threats from across the North Sea grew, the Roman authorities constructed a chain of

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fortifications around the south-eastern coasts of the island, from the Wash to Portsmouth Harbour. Some of these remain amongst the best examples of late Roman military architecture anywhere, with the walls at sites such as Pevensey, Portchester and Richborough still standing up to thirty feet high. Richborough might well also have been the beachhead for the invasion under Claudius in ad 43, the one site witnessing the entire four hundred years of Roman rule in Britain.

Itinerary Day 1: London. The tour begins at 1.00pm in central London with a visit to the Mithraeum, a temple dedicated to one of the most mysterious Roman cult figures, Mithras the bull-slayer. Exhibits include a wooden tablet with the oldest record of a financial transaction from Britain. Further artefacts from the original excavations of the site in the 1950s are on display at the Museum of London. Drive to Canterbury for the first of two nights. Day 2: Richborough, Dover. Massive walls survive from the principal Roman port of Richborough, whose amphitheatre formed part of the civilian town. Dover (Dubris) was the leading naval base and gateway to Roman Britannia and Dover Castle is home to one of the best preserved Roman lighthouses in Europe. Dover Roman Painted House, whose murals depict scenes relating to Bacchus, formed part of a large mansio or official hotel for travellers crossing the English Channel.


Day 3: Pevensey, Chichester. Pevensey Castle was one of the last and strongest of the Roman Saxon Shore forts, where two-thirds of the original towered walls still stand. The Novium Museum contains the remains of Chichester’s Roman bath house. First of two nights in Chichester. Day 4: Fishbourne, Bignor. Fishbourne Roman Palace is perhaps the greatest Roman villa to have been constructed in England, whose floor mosaics rank among the finest in Europe. Further intricate mosaics are found at Bignor Roman Villa, likely home to a wealthy farming family. End the day at Portchester Castle, the best preserved Roman fort north of the Alps occupying a commanding position at the head of Portsmouth’s huge harbour. Day 5: Silchester, Bath. Morning visit to Silchester, a rare case of a Roman town becoming completely abandoned with the result that the plan is known in detail. Continue to Bath and its huge Roman bathing complex that developed around natural springs, named after the Celtic-Romano goddess of the springs, Sulis Minerva. First of two nights in Burford, a picturesque town in the heart of the Cotswolds. Day 6: Chedworth, Caerleon, Caerwent. Ongoing excavations at Chedworth Roman Villa have revealed extensive mosaic floors, hypocaust systems and bathhouse rooms. Cross the Welsh border and on to Caerleon, the site of Isca, a legionary fortress where substantial remains of the military amphitheatre as well as barracks can be seen. The living quarters are reconstructed in the National Roman Legion Museum. Caerwent, named Venta Silurum following the defeat of the Silures tribe, was the neighbouring civilian town.

Day 8: London. The tour culminates at the British Museum where a wealth of objects and artworks illustrates the merging of Roman and Iron Age cultures to form a Romano-British identity. Explore also artefacts from the Empire as a whole. Finish here at c. 2.00pm after an included lunch.

Practicalities Price per person. Two sharing: £2,560. Single occupancy: £3,020. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Abode Hotel, Canterbury (abodecanterbury.co.uk): luxury hotel on the pedestrianised high street. Harbour Hotel, Chichester (chichester-harbour-hotel.co.uk): smart, boutique hotel in the centre of town. The Lamb, Burford (cotswold-inns-hotels.

co.uk): comfortable and charming village hotel. St Michael’s Manor Hotel, St Albans (stmichaelsmanor.com): country manor style hotel with gardens and smart rooms. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in town centres on the rough ground of archaeological sites, and a lot of standing in museums. Average distance by coach per day: 90 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Classical Greece, 4–13 May 2019 (p.109); Toledo & La Mancha, 6–13 May 2019 (p.196); Footpaths of Umbria, 6–13 May 2019 (p.145); Tudor England, 8–13 May 2019 (p.26). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

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Day 7: North Leigh, St Albans. Drive from the Cotswolds to Oxfordshire, where a 3rd-century mosaic tiled floor survives at North Leigh Roman Villa. Continue to St Albans, the third largest town in Roman Britain. The collection of the Verulamium museum includes coins from the Sandridge Hoard, one of the largest collections of Roman gold coins found in the UK, dating from the late 4th to early 5th cents. They would have been used for large transactions such as buying land or goods by the shipload. Overnight in St Albans.

Professor Simon Esmonde Cleary Archaeologist specialising in the western Roman Empire and Emeritus Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Birmingham. He remains an active researcher and has conducted fieldwork in the UK and France and written books on Gaul and Spain in late antiquity and on Roman Britain. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies. Illustration, left: Pevensey Castle, engraving 1737. Above: Julius Caesar, engraving c. 1780.

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Walking Hadrian’s Wall Roman civilisation at the edge of an Empire power, Hadrian’s Wall ranks among the most extraordinary of all Roman achievements. A study of the Wall leads to an examination of practically every aspect of Roman civilisation, from senatorial politics in Rome to the mundanities of life for ordinary Romans – and Britons – who lived in its shadow. But the Wall itself remains the fascinating focus, and the subject of endless academic debate. For the modern-day visitor the Wall has the further, inestimable attraction of passing some of the most magnificent and unspoilt countryside in England. Happily, archaeological interest is greatest where the landscape is at its best, and it is on this central section that the tour concentrates. The principal excavated sites can be visited with no more exertion than on an average sightseeing outing, but to see the best surviving stretches of the Wall there is no substitute for leaving wheels behind and walking along its course.

Itinerary

14–20 May 2019 (mf 538) 7 days • £2,060 Lecturer: Graeme Stobbs 16–22 September 2019 (mf 683) 7 days • £2,060 Lecturer: Graeme Stobbs The archaeology and history of the largest Roman construction in northern Europe. As the most spectacular stretches are accessible only on foot, this is of necessity a walking tour.

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Coach excursions enable the inclusion of all the major Roman sites and relevant museums. The lecturer is Graeme Stobbs, curator for the Hadrian’s Wall Museums. Traversing England from the Tyne estuary to the Solway Firth, the Wall was conceived and ordered by Emperor Hadrian in ad 122 to mark and control the northernmost limit of the Roman Empire. The ambition was extraordinary, its fulfilment – far from the pool of skills and prosperity in the Mediterranean heartlands of the Empire – astonishing: a fifteen-foot-high wall 73 miles long through harsh, undulating terrain, with 80 milecastles, 161 intermediate turrets and flanking earthwork ditches and ramparts. Fifteen or sixteen forts, many straddling the Wall, housed a garrison of 12–15,000 soldiers from radically different climes elsewhere in the Empire, including Syria, Libya, Dalmatia, Spain and Belgium. A populous penumbra of supply bases and civilian settlements grew up nearby. As a feat of organisation, engineering and will18

Day 1: Housesteads. The coach leaves Newcastle Central Station at 2.15pm (or from the hotel, Matfen Hall, at 1.30pm) and takes you straight out to Housesteads. With standing remains of up to 10 feet, this is the best preserved of the Wall’s forts and evocatively reveals the usual panoply of perimeter walls and gateways, headquarters building, commander’s palatial residence, granaries, hospital, latrines. Remote and rugged, there are superb views. Day 2: walk Steel Rigg to Cawfields; Corbridge. A thrilling but challenging walk, c. 3 miles, c. 3 hours. Terrain is perhaps the most consistently rugged and undulating, sometimes quite steeply. It follows long, well-preserved stretches of the Wall through moorland above the cliffs of the Whinsill Crag, the Wall’s highest point. Pub lunch. Corbridge began as a fort in the chain built in c. ad 85 but left to the south by Hadrian’s Wall it became a large civilian town. Day 3: walk Housesteads to Steel Rigg; Chesters. Another challenging walk that, for much of the route, rides the crest of the faultline of dolerite crags, dipping and climbing: c. 3 miles, c. 3 hours. There are spectacular stretches, excellently preserved milecastles, staggering views: moorland, lakes, conifer forests to the north, richly variegated greens, plentiful livestock, distant vistas to the south. Pub lunch. Chesters, the most salubrious of the forts (lavish bath house), built for 500 Asturian cavalrymen, in enchanting river valley setting. Day 4: Vindolanda; Brocolitia, Chesters. The fort and town of Vindolanda is the site of ongoing excavations which are revealing everyday artefacts including, famously, the ‘postcard’ writing tablets which uniquely document details of everyday life. Drive to a couple of archaeological remains, the Mithraic temple at Brocolitia and the bridge abutments across the river from Chesters. Day 5: walk Gilsland to Birdoswald; Newcastle. An easy walk through low-lying and pretty farmland with streams and wild flowers: c. 2 miles, c. 2 hours. Included is the only mile with both milecastles and turrets visible, and good lengths

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of Wall. In Newcastle, the Great North Museum has the best collection ofobjects excavated along the Wall. Day 6: walk Walltown to Cawfields; Carlisle, Bowness-on-Solway. The final walk is graded moderate and is spectacularly varied, from rocky hilltops to lowland pasture: c. 5 miles, c. 2½ hours. Great Chesters fort has good remains of gates and other structures, with lengths of the Wall up to two metres high. Drive to Carlisle to see the Wall collections in the Tullie House Museum, and continue to the evocative estuarial landscape of the Solway Firth. The Wall ended at the remote village of Bowness-on-Solway. Day 7: South Shields, Wallsend. At South Shields, Arbeia is a fine reconstruction of a fort gateway, as well as reconstructions of a soldier’s barrack block and an opulent house belonging to the Commanding Officer. At aptly named Wallsend and now engulfed in the Tyneside conurbation, Segedunum was the most easterly of the forts, the layout clearly seen from a viewing platform. The coach takes you to Newcastle railway station by 2.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,060. Single occupancy: £2,200. English Heritage members (with cards) will be refunded c. £28. Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Matfen Hall Hotel (matfenhall. com): 19th-century Jacobean-style mansion, Matfen Hall is a fine country house hotel offering excellent service. How strenuous? This is a walking tour, graded moderate (see page 8). There are 4 walks over 5 days, lasting between 2 and 3 hours and covering up to 5 miles. Terrain is rough and there are periodic rises and falls, sometimes quite steep. It is essential for participants to be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking with uphill and downhill content. Strong knees are essential, as are a pair of well-worn hiking boots with good ankle support. Average distance by coach per day: 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. In May, combine this tour with: Classical Greece, 4–13 May 2019 (p.109); Footpaths of Umbria, 6–13 May 2019 (p.145); Tudor England, 8–13 May 2019 (p.26). Or in September, with: Country Houses of Kent, 23–27 September 2019 (p.25); Dorset Churches, 23–27 September 2019 (p.13). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Hadrian’s Wall near Housesteads, engraving 1888.

What else is included in the price? See page 6


ENGLISH COUNTRY HOUSES The country house is England’s most distinctive contribution to the world’s cultural heritage. Other countries have them of course, but none in such profusion, such variety, and in such a state of completion and preservation. A first-rate country house is more than a house. Clustering around are gardens, auxiliary buildings and a park, and beyond lie working farms and enterprises of all sorts. And of course inside the house there are furnishings and works of art and gadgets and utensils and curios: in many of the houses on this tour these moveables are of a quality and a quantity which surpass the collections of all but a couple of dozen of England’s museums. Why is England the locus classicus of the country house? Wealth is a precondition of their erection in the first place, and by and large there was a sufficiency; geography has been kind in allowing agricultural prosperity, and Britain’s precocious primacy in trade and industry fed into stately piles. Relative peace and absence of foreign occupation, preference for primogeniture, a reluctance to revolt, a fruitful balance between the power of the monarch and the rights of the nobles: all these have been factors in the creation and maintenance of country house culture. Many of the houses on our tours have been in the same family for several generations.

One feature of the English country house is that it usually resides in the country; on the Continent the town often presses around the forecourt. Some of the countryside through which thes tours pass has a bleak and rugged beauty – the moorland of the Peak District and the uplands of Northumberland. But most is gently rolling farmland with green fields, ancient hedges, majestic trees and contented livestock, remote from urban sprawl and seemingly remote in time. Many of the houses have brilliant gardens; space precludes mentioning them in the tour descriptions, but there is usually plenty of time for enjoying them. The pace of our tours is fairly leisurely, a distinctive feature which sets them apart from many others. Time is allowed for relaxation and reflection and exploring on ones own. Special arrangements comprise another significant feature, including out-ofhours opening, access to parts not normally seen by visitors and, not infrequently, tours with the owner.

OUR COUNTRY HOUSE TOURS: Great Houses of the North Page 20 Country Houses of the North West Page 21 Country Houses of the South West Page 22 At home at Weston Park Page 23 Houghton & Holkham Page 24 Country Houses of Kent Page 25 Illustration: Castle Howard, engraving from Colen Cambell’s 'Vitruvius Britannicus', 1720s.

'I was very impressed and also touched by the way all the local guides identified so strongly with the houses they talked about. They weren't just repeating facts – they wanted us to know about the history and greatness of the houses and to see them through enlightened eyes.' D.J., participant on Country Houses of Kent in 2017.

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Great Houses of the North Derbyshire, Yorkshire, Co. Durham, Northumberland House was rebuilt in the 1690s with the scale and sumptuousness of a palace and further augmented in the 1820s. The steady acquisition of fine furniture, sculpture and pictures created one of the finest private art collections in the world. ‘The most perfect English house to survive from the Middle Ages’, Haddon Hall evolved from c. 1370 to the 17th century after which nearly 300 years of disuse preserved it from alteration. The gardens are exceptionally lovely. Day 3: Hardwick, Bolsover (Derbys). Hardwick Hall (1590) is the finest of all Elizabethan great houses, a highpoint of the English Renaissance, the façade famously more glass than stone. The unaltered interiors are decorated with stucco reliefs and filled with contemporary textiles and furniture. Bolsover Castle is an elaborate Jacobean folly, a splendid late-Renaissance sequence of rooms in medieval fancy dress. Day 4: Harewood (W Yorks). Harewood House is one of the grandest, most beautiful of English country houses, architecture by John Carr (1772) and Charles Barry (1843), interiors by Adam, furniture by Chippendale, park by ‘Capability’ Brown, excellent paintings – Italian Renaissance to modern. First of three nights in York.

21–30 June 2019 (mf 588) 10 days • £3,590 Lecturer: Gail Bent The finest country houses and gardens in northern England, from medieval to Victorian, with an emphasis on the eighteenth century. All aspects of the country house are studied – architecture, furniture, decoration, works of art; gardens and parks; historical context and daily life; conservation and custodianship. Unrushed: there is plenty of time to rest, relax and absorb. Only two hotel changes.

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Some of the most glorious countryside in England, plus a few items other than houses.

Itinerary Day 1: Kedleston (Derbys). The coach leaves Derby railway station at 1.45pm. One of the supreme monuments of Classical architecture and decoration in England, recreating the glories of Ancient Rome in the foothills of the Peak District, Kedleston Hall (1759–65) was the creation of Sir Nathaniel Curzon and, initially, three architects, of whom Robert Adam emerged the victor. The sequence of grand rooms for entertainment and show are homogeneous and complete (with furnishings designed by Adam), an impeccable manifestation of aristocratic wealth, education and taste. Spend the first of three nights near Chatsworth. Day 2: Chatsworth, Haddon (Derbys). The home of the Duke of Devonshire, Chatsworth 20

Day 5: Burton Agnes (E Yorks), Castle Howard (N Yorks). Burton Agnes Hall is a final flourish of the Elizabethan age, red brick and cream stone, topiary, marvellous carving and plasterwork, Impressionist and modern paintings: ‘the perfect English house’. Designed by John Vanbrugh in 1699, Castle Howard is one of the few major Baroque buildings in England and the most palatial house on the tour. Excellent works of art and park with famous temples and follies. Day 6: Newby, York (N Yorks). A William-andMary house (1693), Newby Hall was subject for the next two centuries to refurbishment and extension of the highest quality, one set of rooms (by Adam) designed to house a collection of Roman sculpture. 25 acres of fine gardens. Some free time in York. Private dinner at Fairfax House in York, a Georgian town house (to be confirmed). Day 7: Raby, Bowes Museum, Rokeby Park (Co. Durham). Within the formidable 14th-century fortifications of Raby Castle are suites of rooms of the 18th and 19th centuries. There are good paintings, furniture and Meissen animals and a deer park. Excellent art collections in a vast building in the guise of a French château make the Bowes Museum one of the surprises of the north. Built in 1725, Rokeby Park’s exterior remains virtually unaltered. A variation on a formal Palladian theme, the towers are borrowed from Pliny’s Tuscan villa and unique in England. First of three nights in Newcastle. Day 8: Belsay, Wallington (Nthumb). After Sir Charles Monck’s return from Greece in 1805 he built Belsay Hall in a severely Grecian style. Delightful woodland gardens lead to a medieval castle. Wallington Hall dates to 1688 but was refurbished in the mid-18th and mid-19th centuries, the latter resulting in an arcaded twostorey hall with scenes of Northumbrian history painted by William Bell Scott.

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Gail Bent Expert on British architectural history and historic interiors. She studied at Toronto and Leeds universities, where she has also taught, and Edinburgh College of Art. She lectures for The Art Fund, The National Trust, The Arts Society and at Christ Church, University of Oxford Summer Programme. She has acted as an expert on country houses for the BBC. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies. Day 9: Seaton Delaval, Cragside (Nthumb). On a cliff-top site outside Newcastle, Seaton Delaval was the last of Vanbrugh’s magnificent mansions. Innovatory management has followed its acquisition by the National Trust in 2009. A wonderful sequence of late-Victorian taste and technology, Cragside is a romantic Tudor-style pile (1869–84) designed by Norman Shaw for William Armstrong, inventor and manufacturer. Day 10: Alnwick (Nthumb), Newcastle. Since 1309 the seat of the Percys, Dukes of Northumberland, Alnwick Castle externally remains a striking medieval fortress while the interiors are a lavish exercise in Victorian medievalism. There is a superb painting collection and a new 12-acre garden. The coach takes you to Newcastle railway station by 3.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,590. Single occupancy: £4,070. National Trust members with cards will be refunded c. £53. English Heritage members with cards will be refunded c. £21. Included meals: 7 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Cavendish Hotel, near Chatsworth (cavendish-hotel.net): located on the Chatsworth Estate it has been an inn for centuries. The Grange, York (grangehotel. co.uk): ten minutes on foot from the Minster, it has been beautifully converted from a Georgian town house. Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle (jesmonddenehouse.co.uk): 19th-century mansion in a quiet wooded suburb. How strenuous? Unavoidably there is quite a lot of walking; the tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, many of the parks and gardens are extensive, the houses visited don’t have lifts (nor do all hotels). Average coach travel per day: c. 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Hawksmoor, 20 June 2019; Danish Castles & Gardens, 1–7 July 2019 (p.65); Western Ireland, 1–7 July 2019 (p.43). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transoport. Illustration: Haddon Hall, painted by E.W. Haslehurst, c. 1910.


Country Houses of the North West Tudor and Stuart architecture in Cheshire, Lancashire and Cumbria 29 July–3 August 2019 (mf 635) 6 days • £2,180 Lecturer: Gail Bent Some medieval parts and a few 18th and 19thcentury extensions and embellishments, but Tudor and Stuart architecture predominates. The craftsmanship of masons and carpenters, gardens and parks, spectacular landscape, fascinating collections, charm and beauty. Most remain private homes, and there are several special arrangements including owner-led visits and lunch in one of the houses.

Itinerary Day 1: Manchester, Lyme. The tour leaves Manchester Piccadilly Railway Station at 2.00pm. Located in the Peak District and the largest country house in Cheshire, Lyme Park is fundamentally Elizabethan but Classical grandeur was added in the 1720s by Giacomo Leoni in a style between Baroque and Palladian. Continue to Nantwich for the first of two nights. Day 2: Little Moreton Hall, Capesthorne Hall. Half-timbered and moated, and so enchantingly pretty as to strain credibility, Little Moreton Hall was built in stages over a hundred years from the beginning of the 16th century. It has hardly been touched since and sits in a recreation of an Elizabethan garden. Capesthorne Hall keeps to the theme of the tour in being Jacobean, but in a historicist revival of the style, created by the architects Blore in the 1830s and Salvin in the 1860s.

Day 3: Speke Hall, Browsholme Hall. Speke ranks with Moreton as one of the best wood-framed Tudor mansions in the country, and again is little altered. The Parker family has lived at Browsholme Hall in Ribble Valley since 1507, when the house was begun. A wing was added during the Regency. A remarkable collection of works of art and artefacts has been accumulated over fourteen generations. Overnight Mitten Hall.

coach continues to Carlisle train station where the tour ends by 2.45pm.

Day 4: Stonyhurst, Hoghton Tower. Stonyhurst College is a Jesuit school which was founded in 1593 and moved 200 years later into the present site, a country house built largely in the 17th century. There are important collections. On a hilltop site with magnificent Lancashire countryside all round, Hoghton Tower dates to the 12th century but was largely rebuilt in 1565 while retaining the appearance of a medieval fortress. First of two nights in Ambleside.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine.

Day 5: Sizergh Castle, Levens Hall. Sizergh is a Tudor house incorporating a medieval tower and additions from the 17th century, still lived in by the Strickland family though recently ceded to the National Trust. There are fine paintings, outstanding original panelling and gardens. Levens Hall is an exceptionally attractive house which was first occupied in 1350 though most is Elizabethan. The gardens have a wonderful display of topiary. The Bagot family has lived here for over 400 years. Day 6: Naworth Castle, Carlisle. The tour slips back to the Middle Ages for the final visit: Naworth Castle is a 14th-century castle in Cumbria, restored and made comfortable in the 17th and sensitively refurbished in the 19th. A branch of the Howard family has occupied it for 400 years. The

Some appointments cannot be confirmed until January 2019.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,180. Single occupancy: £2,480 Accommodation. Rookery Hall Hotel & Spa (handpickedhotels.co.uk): 4-star country house hotel in the Cheshire countryside. Our rooms are in the Old Hall which retains some period charm. Mitton Hall (mittonhallhotel.co.uk): small 4-star country house hotel in the Ribble Valley countryside. Rooms vary widely in size and design. Waterhead, Ambleside (englishlakes.co.uk/ hotels): 4-star modern, comfortable hotel on the shore of Lake Windermere. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking around historical houses and gardens. Uneven ground, irregular paving, steps and hills are standard. A good level of fitness is necessary. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. There are two hotel changes and some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 66 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: Little Moreton Hall, engraving 1835.

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Country Houses of the South West Great houses in Somerset and Devon

4–7 July 2019 (mf 613) 4 days • £1,240 Lecturer: Anthony Lambert Country houses, historic gardens and parks in Somerset and Devon. Many houses contain outstanding picture collections and exceptional furniture.

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Special arrangements and out-of-hours visits. Option to combine this tour with West Country Choral Festival, 7–11 July 2019 (see page 29). The landscapes on this tour range from the enchanting patchwork fields and wild moors of Devon to the verdant hidden valleys of Exmoor. The houses and their families reflect deep attachment to place: eighteen generations of the Luttrell family have clung to their castle turned country house at Dunster; Montacute was home to the Phelips family for three centuries. The beautifully situated house at Crowcombe combines Baroque and Palladian influences, while the eighteenth century is also wonderfully exemplified by the delicious Adam interiors at Saltram. The severe Palladianism of Claverton is home to a unique collection of American interiors, and Edwardian eccentricity is demonstrated by Lutyens’s faux fortress at Castle Drogo. 22

Itinerary Day 1: Montacute. The coach leaves The Castle Hotel at 1.10pm and Taunton Railway Station at 1.30pm. Drive to Montacute, one of the loveliest and least changed of Elizabethan country houses, with the longest long gallery in England. An outstation of the National Portrait Gallery, it is hung with 16th- and 17th-century pictures. Day 2: Saltram, Castle Drogo. Drive across Devon to Saltram, a largely 18th-century house with lavish Robert Adam interiors, rooms of fine Chinese wallpapers and pictures, books and furnishings. Among the paintings are works by Reynolds, Stubbs, Rubens, Brueghel, and Pieter de Hough. A rugged Dartmoor setting matches Sir Edwin Lutyens’s imaginative exercise in medievalism at Castle Drogo, which is nearing the end of a six-year restoration programme. Though equipped with a working portcullis, the castle incorporates all the latest early 20th-century comforts. Day 3: Crowcombe Court, Dunster Castle. Crowcombe is a beautiful 18th-century house with fine Italian plasterwork. Edward Barry added a ballroom in exuberant Victorian style. Drive between the Quantocks and Exmoor to the picturesque village of Dunster. Atop a wooded hillock, the defensive features of the Norman castle were long ago domesticated, notably in the Carolean and Victorian ages.

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Day 4: Claverton Manor. Built in 1819–20, this Neo-classical villa was designed by Jeffry Wyatt. Today it houses a remarkable collection of rooms transported from America, including Shaker and Mexican Indian examples. Part of the garden is a copy of Mount Vernon outside Washington. The tour ends at the festival hotels in Bath by 2.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,240. Single occupancy: £1,400. Included meals: 2 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Castle Hotel, Taunton (the-castle-hotel.com): award-winning family-run 4-star hotel with excellent service. How strenuous? Unavoidably, there is quite a lot of walking; the tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, some of the parks and gardens are extensive, the houses visited don’t have lifts. Average distance by coach per day: c. 75 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: West Country Choral Festival, 7–11 July 2019 (p.29); Interwar Interiors, 8 July 2019. We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Montacute House, Somerset, lithograph 1842.


At home at Weston Park Historic houses in Herefordshire, Worcestershire, Staffordshire and Shropshire 25–30 June 2019 (mf 602) 6 days • £2,960 Lecturer: Anthony Lambert Stay in a 16th-century coaching inn and then as guests at Weston Park, a 17th-century house set in 1,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. Country houses, gardens and parks in four counties in the West of England. Important examples of a range of styles from the twelfth to twentieth centuries, many with fine pictures, furniture, silver and porcelain. Special arrangements and out-of-hours visits.

Itinerary Day 1: Eastnor Castle. The coach leaves Gloucester Railway Station at 12.00 noon. Spectacularly situated above a lake, early-19thcentury Eastnor is a splendid example of the Norman and Gothic revival, with a drawing room by Pugin. The sumptuous and beautifully restored interiors are hung with paintings by Van Dyck, Reynolds, Romney and Watts. First of two nights in Broadway.

Day 2: Hellens, Madresfield Court. Transformed from a monastery into a fortress in 1292 by Mortimer, Earl of March, Hellens has been lived in ever since by his descendants. Edward the Black Prince dined in the stone-flagged hall and the Tudor, Jacobean and Stuart additions contain paintings and heirlooms from the Civil War, fine 17th-century woodwork and Cordoba leather wall hangings. The novelist, Evelyn Waugh, was a frequent guest at Madresfield, where the oldest part is the 12th-century Great Hall. Rebuilt in the 16th, 19th and 20th centuries, the house is famous for its Arts & Crafts chapel and library. Day 3: Ragley Hall, Hanbury Hall. Of several great houses designed by the scientist and architect Robert Hooke, Ragley is the sole survivor, though it was not completed until long after his death with additions by James Gibbs and James Wyatt. Described as ‘every Englishman’s idea of a substantial squire’s red brick home of the age of Wren’, Hanbury was built c. 1700 and decorated with wall- and ceiling-paintings by Sir James Thornhill. The garden and orangery were designed by George London. First of three nights at Weston Park. Day 4: Weston Park. Today is spent at Weston Park with its curator, Gareth Williams. The predominantly 17th-century house has an excellent picture collection, outstanding furniture, including choice pieces by Chippendale. An indepth tour includes items not usually on display. There is time also to explore at leisure and walk in the ‘Capability’ Brown park. Day 5: Wightwick Manor, Shugborough. Wightwick Manor is one of the finest examples of the Victorian penchant for an ‘Old English’ amalgam of stone, brick, half-timbering and tile-hanging, but it is also distinguished by its collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings and William Morris furnishings. Shugborough has all the elements of a substantial country estate: a magnificent Georgian house with a fine collection of paintings, silver and ceramics; Grade I-listed

parkland peppered with classical monuments; a working model farm; and a lively family history. Day 6: Attingham Park. Set in parkland designed by Humphry Repton, Attingham has magnificent Regency interiors and one of the first picture galleries to be built in a country house. It is filled with the collection of Italian furniture, paintings and silver formed by the diplomatist 3rd Lord Berwick. The tour ends at Shrewsbury Railway Station by 3.20pm and at Wolverhampton Railway Station by 4.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,960. Single occupancy: £3,120. Included meals: 3 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine, Accommodation. The Lygon Arms, Broadway (lygonarmshotel.co.uk): 16th-century coaching inn; some parts date back to the 14th century. Situated in the high street of Broadway. Weston Park, Weston-under-Lizard (weston-park.com): set in 1,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown parkland. A country house where one may stay, rather than a hotel, offering the experience of being a guest while the family is away. How strenuous? Unavoidably, there is quite a lot of walking; this tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, many of the parks and gardens are extensive and the houses visited don’t have lifts. Average distance by coach per day: c. 47 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Connoisseur's Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49); Danish Castles & Gardens, 1–7 July 2019 (p.65); French Gothic, 1–7 July 2019 (p.77); Western Ireland, 1–7 July 2019 (p.43). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Eastnor Castle, chromolithograph c. 1880.

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Along the Welsh borders are some of the most enchanting landscapes in Britain, largely unspoilt thanks to being beyond the reach of metropolitan commuters. Its agriculture remains small in scale, family farms and artisan food producers maintaining earlier field systems with hedges and an abundance of trees. The houses visited illustrate the evolution of taste over many centuries. Hellens perfectly demonstrates the adaptation of a small monastery into one of Britain’s most atmospheric houses, deeply rural yet playing its part in national affairs. Ragley is the only surviving example of a country house designed by the polymath Robert Hooke, colleague of Sir Christopher Wren. Classicism shaped Hanbury, Shugborough and Attingham. Eastnor combines Norman and Gothic Revival elements while Madresfield’s many reconstructions have produced a house resembling a moated Elizabethan mansion but, like Wightwick, it is celebrated for its Arts & Crafts interiors. Important parks surround some of the houses: Weston Park has one of the few remaining ‘Capability’ Brown pleasure grounds, several are by Repton and the magnificent group of mostly Greek-inspired monuments in the park at Shugborough is a landmark in eighteenth century architecture. A very special feature of this tour is that participants stay for three of the five nights in one of these houses. Weston is in essence a late seventeenth-century mansion filled with fine paintings – Holbein, Van Dyck, Gainsborough, Reynolds, Stubbs – and furniture and other arts. Formerly the property of the Earls of Bradford, it belongs to a private charitable trust. It is not a hotel, but caters for high-end special events. Our group has exclusive access, and while there this great country house is your home. You are free to wander through the house and grounds at leisure.


Houghton & Holkham Four great Norfolk Whig houses 15–18 October 2019 (mf 805) 4 days • £1,470 Lecturer: Dr Andrew Moore Examining the social and political impact of Sir Robert Walpole’s country palace, Houghton Hall, upon Norfolk and the wider national landscape. Private visits of four of the finest country houses and gardens in East Anglia, all still in private ownership. Led by Dr Andrew Moore, a specialist in the study of the country house and author of A Capital Collection, a work dedicated to the paintings in Walpole’s collection. ‘Taste, expense, state and parade’ Lord Hervey to the Prince of Wales, 14 July, 1731. The story of the building of Sir Robert Walpole’s palace in the countryside in the 1720s was the cause of celebration, and some notoriety, due to the extraordinary cost of creating both the house and the collection of Old Master paintings. These were gathered first at 10 Downing Street in London and then shipped to Houghton Hall on Walpole’s retirement. House and collection

together provided a powerful statement of taste and prestige for Walpole, England’s first ‘prime’ minister. Some thirty years after his death, his grandson notoriously sold the collection to Catherine the Great for display in her Hermitage in 1779. Today the house is once again filled with magnificent works of art and remains in private ownership. All four houses are near neighbours. Raynham Hall was renovated in the 1720s by Charles Townshend, 2nd Viscount Townshend and Sir Robert’s brother-in-law, and Secretary of State for the Northern Department (Foreign Affairs) and is still in the ownership of the Townshend family; Holkham Hall and Park, was developed over some thirty years by Walpole’s Postmaster General, Thomas Coke, later 1 st Earl of Leicester. Together with Houghton these houses feature the key influence of William Kent: as interior designer at Houghton and Raynham; as architect, landscape and interior designer at Holkham. The comparatively little known Wolterton Hall was built on behalf of Robert Walpole’s brother Horatio, who served as Minister Plenipotentiary to The Hague. Horatio’s architect was Thomas Ripley, who also was responsible for modernising Raynham and completing Houghton.

This is an astonishing group of early eighteenth-century, Whig-dominated powerhouses of taste and parade, a little visited group of great Norfolk neighbouring houses. All four houses present some of the most important intact NeoPalladian architectural ensembles in Britain and feature original furnishings and collections, while bringing their architectural heritage triumphantly into the 21st century.

Itinerary Day 1: Wolterton Hall. The coach leaves Norwich railway station at 2.00pm. Built in the 1720s for Sir Robert Walpole’s brother, Horatio, Wolterton is arguably Ripley’s finest creation, its Neo-Palladian architecture admirably answering the modern requirement for ‘commodious’ architecture. Day 2: Houghton. The grandest monument of English Palladianism, Houghton Hall was built for Sir Robert Walpole. There are outstanding artworks, a spectacular walled garden and an extensive park. Day 3: Holkham. With Holkham Hall (1730s) the English country house reached a moment of perfection, the serene Palladian edifice contrasting with the ‘natural’ layout of the deer park. Within are magnificent classical halls and a collection of paintings, sculpture and furniture of staggering richness. Day 4: Raynham. One of the finest houses in Norfolk, Raynham Hall is still very much a private home with a wonderful collection of a family with strong historical links with Britain and the USA. The coach takes you to Norwich railway station by 2.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,470. Single occupancy: £1,590. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. The Hoste Arms, Burnham Market (thehoste.com): located in an attractive village in north Norfolk, and housed in a former coaching inn and assorted outbuildings. Bedrooms have a largely traditional décor with contemporary twists and contain all mod cons. There is an excellent restaurant and a spa. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour and it would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, and gardens are extensive. Average distance by coach per day: c. 41 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Walking in Southern Tuscany, 7–14 October 2019 (p.140); Le Corbusier, 19–27 October 2019 (p.75).

Illustration: Houghton, entrance hall, after a drawing by F. G. Kitton in ‘The Art Journal’ 1887.

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Country Houses of Kent Medieval, Tudor, Stuart and more 23–27 September 2019 (mf 746) 5 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Anthony Lambert A wonderfully varied selection of country houses, from the 12th to the 20th centuries. Inhabited medieval castles, Tudor palaces, Stuart manor houses and properties improved in the last great age of country house building. Among the special arrangements are two dinners and a lunch in houses visited. ‘The Garden of England’, known for orchards, hops and oast houses, still has remarkably unspoilt landscapes and villages. One hotel throughout, a characterful 17th-century country house in 22 acres of parkland.

Itinerary Day 1: St Clere. Leave central London by coach at 11.15am. St Clere, influenced by Inigo Jones though with two rather anomalous Jacobean octagonal turrets, was built 1628–33 for the Parliamentarian Sir John Sedley. It has been in the current family since 1878 when acquired by the Governor of the Bank of England. Lunch precedes a tour of the house and garden which provides insight into the challenge of making a country house earn its keep. Day 2: Knole, Ightham Mote, Boughton Monchelsea Place. Knole sprawls around halfa-dozen courtyards. Built by an Archbishop of Canterbury, it was briefly one of Henry VIII’s palaces before being granted to the Sackville family who have lived here ever since. One of England’s most picturesque moated medieval manor houses, the rooms of Ightham Mote range from the Great Hall with stained glass to the drawing room with Chinese wallpaper. Dinner is at Boughton Monchelsea Place, largely Tudor but a perfect example of the delights of gradual accretions and alterations to a medieval core.

Day 4: Leeds Castle, Squerryes Court. One of Britain’s most idyllically sited houses, Leeds Castle was the strategic fortress of medieval queens and palatial enough to host the Holy Roman Emperor. The Anglo-American heiress Olive, Lady Baillie, employed French designers and introduced Flemish tapestries and Impressionist paintings. Squerryes Court is a fine brickwork William and Mary mansion containing artworks collected by the family since 1731. The estate produces wine, and there is a visit to the vineyard. Dinner here.

Historian, journalist and travel writer, he has worked for the National Trust for many years. His books include Victorian & Edwardian Country House Life, he writes regularly for the Historic Houses Association’s magazine, and he has written several travel and guide books, including over 20 on railway history and travel. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies. Day 5: Chilham Castle. The foundations of Chilham date from the 11th century, while the red-brick Jacobean house now on the site has the peculiar plan of five sides of a hexagon. The tour visits the garden as well as the principal rooms. There is some free time in the highly attractive village before returning to central London by 4.30pm. Illustration: The Great Hall at Penshurst, engraving from 'Famous Great Homes of Britain', 1900.

Practicalities Prices, per person. Two sharing £1,790. Single occupancy: £1,950. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Chilston Park Hotel, Lenham (handpickedhotels.co.uk/chilstonpark): an extended 17th-century manor house set in 22 acres of parkland. Each bedroom is decorated in an individual style; public rooms have an elegant, country house ambiance. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking, where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in houses. A good level of fitness is essential. Unless you enjoy entirely unimpaired mobility, cope with everyday walking and stairclimbing without difficulty and are reliably surefooted, this tour is not for you. Average distance by coach per day: c. 80 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Dark Age Brilliance, 15–22 September 2019 (p.133); Walking Hadrian's Wall, 16–22 September 2019 (p.18). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Day 3: Hever Castle, Penshurst Place. The castle where Henry VIII wooed Anne Boleyn had become a decrepit farm by the time William Waldorf Astor applied his fortune to its renovation. Now it has sumptuous interiors, outstanding tapestries, Tudor portraits and a mock-Tudor village for guests. For Nikolaus Pevsner, ‘there is no finer or more complete 14th-century manor house than Penshurst Place’. The ancestral home of the Sidney family has fine contents and a garden restored in the 1860s to its appearance around 1700.

Anthony Lambert


Tudor England Monarchs and subjects, bridging medieval and modern medieval, classical and pseudo-classical styles. Kirby was completed with precocious classicism by Sir Christopher Hatton; though now partly ruined, it remains extraordinarily impressive. The handsome Cecil funerary monuments are in St Martin’s Church, Stamford. Overnight Rutland. Day 3: Gainsborough Old Hall, Ellys Manor. Dating from the mid-15th century, Gainsborough Old Hall played host to Richard III in 1483 before the owner, Sir Thomas Burgh, switched allegiance to Henry Tudor. Sources suggest that Henry VIII may also have spent a night here. In addition to the formal rooms a remarkably intact suite of service interiors has survived. Built by an international wool merchant in the late-15th century, Ellys Manor has continental influences throughout and exceptional 16th-century wall paintings, ‘a rare English interpretation of French verdure tapestries’ (Pevsner). Overnight Rutland.

8–13 May 2019 (mf 515) 6 days • £1,810 Lecturer: Professor Maurice Howard obe Tudor England studied through a variety of architecture, artefacts and artworks. Dynastic houses and rustic cottages, seats of learning and merchants’ mansions, artisan plasterwork and world-beating stained glass. Accompanied by a leading Tudor specialist, historian and art historian Professor Maurice Howard.

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The defeat of Richard III by Henry Tudor in a Leicestershire field on August 22, 1485, heralded a glorious age over which the Tudor monarchs would preside for the next 118 years. Out of the turmoil of the Wars of the Roses a new social and economic order emerged: an age of discovery, trade and commerce, in which the old medieval aristocracy was joined by a prosperous new class of bureaucrats at court and a wealthy merchant class in towns and cities. This tour explores the legacy and interests of the Tudor gentry and nobility through the prism of some of their finest surviving monuments in the south-eastern counties. Many of them owe their existence to the flourishing wool trade. Under Henry VIII vast estates of the monasteries passed into new hands; housebuilding was now dominant rather than lavish spending on churches. The ambition to demonstrate wealth through these buildings is clear from all levels of society down to even the 26

lesser gentry. Gainsborough Old Hall is one of the largest and most complete brick and timberframed manor houses in England; Ellys Manor House contains rare survivals of sixteenth-century interior decoration; the immense gatehouse at Layer Marney has delicate Renaissance ornament in the form of its windows. The list goes on. The visual arts were complemented by a great flourishing of the musical and literary arts that have made some of the great works of the latesixteenth century stand out as the quintessential products of the Elizabethan age. The achievements of John Caius at Cambridge, manifest in a series of gateways to his college, mark the absorption of new approaches to classical learning into English education, while the great house at Burghley, completed by William Cecil, uses tradition and innovation in design and ornament fit for Elizabeth’s first minister and ready to receive the Queen herself.

Itinerary Day 1: Hatfield. Leave London at 10.15am. Henry VIII’s three children spent much of their childhoods at Hatfield, and of the palace the great hall survives. A collection of Tudor portraits reveals the creation of a dynasty. First of three nights in Rutland. Day 2: Kirby Hall, Burghley House. In taste and ambition these great houses, owned by two of Elizabeth I’s closest and most powerful courtiers, epitomise the standing achieved by the Queen’s favourites. Magnificent Burghley House, perhaps the finest Elizabethan house in England, was built by William Cecil in a palatial compound of

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Day 4: Cambridge. Though begun in 1446 by Henry VI, King’s College Chapel acquired its present form during the reign of Henry VIII. Combining the very best of Tudor era architecture, stained glass, sculpture and furnishings, this is one of the world’s greatest buildings. The three splendid gateways created in the 1550s–70s at Gonville & Caius College are remarkable for their Renaissance design and symbolism. Trinity was founded by Henry VIII in 1546; the university’s largest and wealthiest college was endowed with land from dissolved monasteries. (Visits on this day are subject to change as Cambridge colleges may close to the public at short notice). First of two nights in Lavenham. Day 5: Coggeshall, Paycocke’s House, Layer Marney. The village of Coggeshall, Essex, has many fine Tudor buildings of which Paycocke’s House (1509–10) is the most impressive; fine beamwork, panelling and other rare survivals. The abbey was granted to Sir Thomas Seymour, brother to Jane, by Henry VIII, and the 16thcentury manor house incorporates elements of the monastic complex. Had it been completed, Layer Marney would have rivalled Hampton Court in splendour. The spectacular Tudor gatehouse with its Italianate decoration is the tallest in England. Henry VIII and Elizabeth both visited. Overnight Lavenham. Day 6: Otley Hall. Beautiful, moated Otley Hall was the seat of Bartholomew Gosnold, who rallied support to plant an English colony in north Virginia; in 1602 he landed on Cape Cod and Martha’s Vineyard, named after his deceased daughter. Set in 10 acres of gardens, Otley’s exterior has splendid chimneys, brickwork and vine leaf pargetting. Inside, wall paintings commemorate a marriage of 1559, and the Great Hall and Linenfold Parlour are unequalled in Suffolk. The tour finishes at Ipswich Railway Station by 1.00pm.

Illustration: Cambridge, Trinity College, etching 1879 by H Toussaint.


Literary England Where writers lived and worked Professor Maurice Howard obe Professor Emeritus of Art History at the University of Sussex. His books include The Building of Elizabethan & Jacobean England. He has worked for the V&A and the National Portrait Gallery, is a former President of both the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain and the Society of Antiquaries of London. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,810. Single occupancy: £2,100. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, Rutland (barnsdalelodge.co.uk): housed in an extended old farmhouse close to Rutland Water. Public rooms and bedrooms are arranged around a courtyard and have a traditional, country décor. The Swan, Lavenham (theswanatlavenham. co.uk): dating from the 15th century, The Swan has been an inn since 1667; rooms have been recently renovated yet retain their historical character; excellent restaurant. How strenuous? Unavoidably, there is quite a lot of walking on this tour and it would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, many of the parks and gardens are extensive and the houses visited don’t have lifts. Average distance by coach per day: c. 77 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

8–16 September 2019 (mf 684) 9 days • £3,030 Lecturer: Professor Andrew Sanders Dig deeper into English Literature by visiting the homes, schools and formative environments of some of our greatest writers. From workers’ cottages to stately homes, several of the best-preserved and most illuminating places are included. Many special arrangements including out-of-hours visits and places not usually accessible. An itinerary that is as comprehensive as is possible within nine days, while allowing ample time at each place visited.

Itinerary Day 1: Lancashire. The coach leaves Piccadilly Station, Manchester at 2.00pm. Elizabeth Gaskell lived with her family in a Regency villa in Plymouth Grove for the last fifteen years of her life, 1850–65, and wrote most of her books here. The house re-opened in 2014 after comprehensive restoration and is fully furnished as a home of the period with some of Gaskell’s belongings. Overnight Halifax. Day 2: Yorkshire, Derbyshire. The Brontë family came to live in Haworth parsonage in 1820. The austere gritstone building in a moody moorland setting became the scene for the literary outpourings of Charlotte, Emily and Anne. As a backdrop to a trio of creative siblings, Renishaw Hall could hardly be more different: a large and colourfully opulent country house with extensive gardens. Edith, Osbert and Sacheverell Sitwell were brought up here and considered it home for the rest of their lives. First of two nights in Nottingham.

Day 5: Buckinghamshire, Berkshire. John Milton rented a cottage in Chalfont Saint Giles in 1665 to escape the plague ravaging London; here he completed Paradise Lost and began Paradise Regained. It houses an important Milton collection of rare books, prints and paintings. Eton College was founded by Henry VI in 1440, and the library has accumulated extraordinary collections relating to some of its more talented pupils, such as Shelley and Orwell, and to English literature generally. First of three nights in Winchester.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267

Day 4: Warwickshire, Hertfordshire. During the headmastership of Thomas Arnold 1828–41, Rugby became the model for the English public school. Our visit focuses on alumni Matthew Arnold (son of the headmaster), Thomas Hughes and Rupert Brooke. George Bernard Shaw lived in an Arts and Crafts rectory in Ayot St Lawrence 1906–50; it remains as he left it. He wrote in the garden in a hut which swivelled to face the sun. Overnight St Albans.

Illustration, top: Lord Byron on his 19th birthday, engraving by E. Shuler c. 1808. Above: George Bernard Shaw, from 'Ye Madde Designer', c. 1935.

Day 6: Hampshire. Jane Austen lived in a house in Chawton with her mother and sister Cassandra 1809–17. The few alterations since have been reversed. Here she revised Sense & Sensibility and Pride & Prejudice and wrote Mansfield Park, Emma and Persuasion. Cassandra lived here until 1845 and the house became a museum in the 1940s. Visit Winchester to see the house where Austen died and her tomb in the cathedral. Free time in the afternoon. Overnight Winchester. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

Combine this tour with: The Tudors, 7 May 2019; The South Bank Walk, 14 May 2019; The Fitzwilliam String Quartet, 14–16 May 2019 (p.35); Roman Southern Britain, 14–21 May 2019 (p.16); Barcelona, 14–18 May 2019 (p.194); In Search of Alexander, 14–20 May 2019 (p.113); Walking Hadrian's Wall, 14–20 May 2019 (p.18). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Day 3: Nottinghamshire. Newstead Abbey became the Byron family home in 1540, but when it was inherited by George Gordon, 6th Lord Byron, it was dilapidated and denuded. The poet patched it up and lived here for six years, but after he left England he sold it to a school friend – to whom he also left many of his belongings. The son of a coal miner, D.H. Lawrence was born in a tiny terraced house in Eastwood, now furnished as in 1885, with museum adjacent.


Literary England continued

Glyndebourne & Garsington Le damnation de Faust, Il barbiere di Siviglia, Don Giovanni

Day 7: Dorset. The cottage at Higher Brockhampton in which Thomas Hardy was born had been built by his grandfather; the writer was descended from a line of stonemasons. He trained as an architect, and when literary success enabled him, in 1885, to build a house outside Dorchester, named Max Gate, he irked the builders – his family – with his obsessive attention to detail. Here he wrote the majority of his novels and poems until his death in 1928. Overnight Winchester.

fabulous international stars Allan Clayton (Faust) and Christopher Purves (Méphistophélès), with Glyndebourne’s musical director Robin Ticciati conducting, this scenic roller-coaster certainly promises to be a fantastic start to our tour. Smaller scale but equally heady, Rossini’s Commedia, Il barbiere di Siviglia, is the world’s most popular comic opera. This colourful and modern 2016 production by Annabel Arden received enthusiastic reviews for its lightness and fun, and we have the bonus of the great baritone Alessandro Corbelli in the role of Dr Bartolo, Rosina’s jealous guardian who tries to thwart the Barber’s wiles. We shall then continue to Garsington to see their new version of Don Giovanni. It will be fascinating to see a brand new take on another of the top ten great operas by Michael Boyd, former artistic director of the Royal Shakespeare Company. Garsington has received glowing plaudits for its recent Mozart productions so this is certainly something to look forward to. Accompanied by musician and writer, Amanda Holden, there are daily talks on all three operas.

Day 8: Hampshire, Sussex. Charles Dickens was born in Portsmouth in 1812 and spent his early years in this maritime city. The birthplace is now a museum. In 1919 Leonard and Virginia Woolf bought Monk’s House, a weatherboarded cottage in the South Downs. They created a garden and built a shed in which Virginia wrote. She walked from here to her death in 1941; Leonard remained until he died in 1969. The ashes of both are buried in the garden. Overnight near Uckfield. Day 9: Sussex. Rudyard Kipling bought the substantial Jacobean manor house in the Sussex Weald, Bateman’s, in 1902 as a sanctuary from the intrusions which come with fame. Most of his works from Kim onwards were written here. The house has been in the care of the National Trust since the author’s death in 1937, and the rooms, with plentiful Indian artefacts, have scarcely changed. The tour ends in central London by 4.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,030. Single occupancy: £3,330. Included meals: 2 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

Accommodation. Holdsworth House, Halifax (holdsworthhouse.co.uk): 4-star, a small Jacobean manor hotel, rooms vary in size due to the historic nature of the building. Hart’s Hotel, Nottingham (hartsnottingham.co.uk): 4-star, centrally located with contemporary rooms. The Wessex, Winchester (mercure.com): 4-star, excellently located overlooking the cathedral in a 1960s building. St Michael’s Manor Hotel, St Albans (stmichaelsmanor.com): country manor-style hotel with gardens and smart rooms. Horsted Place, Uckfield (horstedplace.co.uk): 4-star, traditional hotel in the countryside. Rooms vary in size. How strenuous? The tour involves various hotel changes and days with lots of driving. There is a lot of standing in museums and churches. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. Average distance by coach per day: 83 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019 (p.50); The Cathedrals of England, 18–26 September 2019 (p.10). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

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Itinerary 27–30 June 2019 (mf 604) 4 days • £2,710 (Including tickets to 3 performances) Lecturer: Amanda Holden Three operas at two of England’s highest quality country-house opera festivals – Glyndebourne and Garsington. La damnation de Faust (Berlioz), Don Giovanni (Mozart), and Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini). Staying on the banks of the Thames in Marlow and in a quiet country house hotel set in beautiful gardens. When landowner John Christie built a small opera house for his professional soprano wife in the rolling Sussex Downs, he unwittingly founded Country House Opera. The Glyndebourne Festival started there in 1934 with two Mozart operas, and since then its popularity has inexorably grown. Today, Glyndebourne epitomises the English summertime. Several other venues have followed Glyndebourne’s example and Garsington, now celebrating its 30th anniversary, has also established a sterling reputation for the worldclass standard of its opera festival. Founded in 1989 by the owner of Garsington Manor, an estate near Oxford where the Bloomsbury Group often congregated during the 1920s, the Festival moved in 2011 to a purpose-built theatre at nearby Wormsley Park, the home of Mark Getty in Buckinghamshire. The tour begins at Glyndebourne with this year’s must-see new production – it’s first ever staging of Berlioz’s La damnation de Faust. Based on Goethe’s classic play, Faust was designated a légende dramatique rather than an opera and stagings are still comparatively rare. But in the hands of the great director Richard Jones, and with

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Day 1: Horsted, Glyndebourne. The coach leaves Lewes station at 1.30pm for the short drive to the hotel. After a talk, leave in the afternoon for Glyndebourne; La damnation de Faust (Berlioz): Robin Ticciati (conductor), Richard Jones (director), Allan Clayton (Faust), Christopher Purves (Méphistophélès), Julie Boulianne (Marguerite), Ashley Riches (Brander). The performance begins at 5.00pm. Dinner is served during the long interval. First of two nights in Horsted. Day 2: Horsted, Glyndebourne. In the morning there is a guided walk around Lewes. In the afternoon, attend a talk and drive to Glyndebourne. Martin Randall Travel has arranged a drinks reception before the performance of Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini): Rafael Payare (conductor) Annabel Arden (director), Andrey Zhilikhovsky (Figaro), Hyesang Park (Rosina), Alessandro Corbelli (Bartolo), Levy Segkapane (Count Almaviva), Janis Kelly (Berta), Adam Palka (Basilio). The performance begins at 5.00pm. A picnic dinner is served during the long interval. Second of two nights in Horsted. Day 3: Horsted, Cliveden, Garsington. By coach from Horsted to Cliveden. Cliveden’s magnificent formal gardens and woods beside the Thames have been admired for centuries. A lecture in the afternoon is followed by Don Giovanni (Mozart): Douglas Boyd (conductor) Michael Boyd (director), Garsington Opera Orchestra & Chorus. Jonathon McGovern (Don Giovanni). Dinner is served in the interval. Overnight in Marlow. Day 4. Leave when you wish. Taxis to Marlow railway station are provided.

Illustrations. Above left: courtesy of Glyndebourne, 'Glyndebourne Gardens' ©Charlotte Boulton. Right: from ‘The Foreign Tour of Messrs Brown, Jones & Robinson’ by Richard Doyle, Publ. 1854.


Amanda Holden Musician and writer. She has written over 60 translations for the musical stage. Those recently heard at ENO include Partenope, Don Giovanni and La Bohème; her Castor & Pollux by Rameau received an Oliver nomination. Amanda is founding editor of the Penguin Opera Guides. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,710. Single occupancy: £2,970. Included meals: 3 dinners (including one picnic dinner) with wine. Music: three tickets are included costing c. £705. Accommodation. Horsted Place, Little Horsted (horstedplace.co.uk): a fine country house hotel in a Victorian Gothic revival mansion offering very good service. (4-star). The Compleat Angler, Marlow (macdonaldhotels.co.uk): comfortable hotel, well-positioned beside the Thames with excellent views (4-star).

The Thomas

Tallis Trail

1–3 NOVEMBER 2019 CELEBRATING MUSIC AND PLACE Three days of performances by The Tallis Scholars, directed by founder Peter Phillips.

Accommodation for two nights in Canterbury is also included in the price, as are coach travel, most meals, and talks.

Five concerts, all at places where Thomas Tallis (c. 1505–85) is known to have worked: Waltham Abbey, St-Mary-atHill (London), Dover Priory, Canterbury Cathedral and Hampton Court.

Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com/festivals

How strenuous? The tour would be a struggle for anyone whose walking is impaired. There is a short walk from the coach park to the opera house. Average distance by coach per day: 35 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Danish Castles & Gardens, 1–7 July 2019 (p.65); French Gothic, 1–7 July 2019 (p.77); Western Ireland, 1–7 July 2019 (p.43). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

West Country

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

Choral

Festival

7–11 JULY 2019 CELEBRATING MUSIC AND PLACE Cathedrals and churches in Gloucestershire, Somerset and Devon – eight concerts, eight outstanding choirs.

The audience is based in a selection of hotels in Bath, location of three of the concerts.

Some of Britain’s leading vocal ensembles performing in some of the greatest cathedrals and churches in the land.

What else is included in the price? See page 6

Repertoire from the Renaissance to the present day, from England to Italy, Estonia Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com/festivals to Spain. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Gastronomic West Country ‘The best larder in all of Europe’ Day 3: Quicke’s Cheese, Pipers Farm. Cheese masterclass and tasting at Quicke’s, awardwinning producer of cloth-wrapped traditional farmhouse cheddar. Visit to Pipers Farm to meet the animals, then lunch on hay bales around the fire pits. Dinner at The Pig at Combe, with a menu of foods sourced locally within a 25-mile radius. Day 4: Haytor, St Austell. A walk on Dartmoor to Haytor Rocks is followed by a picnic lunch of local food and drink. Continue to Padstow, where the next three nights are spent. Dinner at Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant. The well-known TV chef’s acclaimed restaurant is considered one of the best in the country for seafood. Day 5: Tregothnan Estate, Padstow. Tregothnan Estate is home to one of the UK’s only tea plantations. See how tea is grown in sub-tropical conditions and enjoy a masterclass in tea tasting. Lunch at a nearby restaurant on the Roseland peninsula, overlooking the south Cornish coast. Return to Padstow for an early-evening seafood cooking demonstration and tasting at Rick Stein’s Cookery School.

8–14 July 2019 (mf 616) 7 days • £3,230 Lecturer: Marc Millon Most visits possible by special arrangement only and the lecturer’s personal contacts. Encompasses both a study of artisan food and drink production and outstanding restaurants. Takes place amid some of the loveliest landscapes in Britain.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

The gastronomic renaissance that has been taking place all over the United Kingdom has profound roots in the West Country, notably in the counties of Devon and Cornwall. Climatically the mildest areas of the country (Devon’s so-called English Riviera boasts palm trees, while south Cornwall features foliage and plantings that are positively sub-tropical), this region has long been the source of some of the finest things to eat and drink: organic vegetables from the South Hams; rich dairy products such as traditional farmhouse cheeses, clotted cream, farm ice cream; an outstanding catch of fish and shellfish landed at Exmouth, Brixham, Newlyn and Padstow; meats from local breeds such as Red Ruby cattle and Exmoor sheep; English wines, regional and craft beers, and farmhouse ciders; and much more. A supportive and virtuous circle of farmers, fishermen, cheesemakers, artisan producers, some of the country’s most talented and high-profile chefs, and appreciative and knowledgeable consumers and diners has resulted in a food scene that is squarely local, varied and at all levels, never less than deliciously vibrant. Gastronomic West Country goes direct to the source to discover, learn, taste and enjoy. We meet some of the inspirational people who work so hard to produce such good things to eat and drink. We enjoy a lunch of just-picked organic vegetables and local meat in a ‘field kitchen’. We dine, seated 30

on hay bales, on a feast of the best meat you will ever eat, expertly cooked over fire pits by the farmer himself. We learn about the mysteries of tea at a sub-tropical plantation that has climatic conditions similar to Darjeeling. And we visit the National Lobster Hatchery to understand how this delicious crustacean can be sustainably raised. A cream tea is obligatory of course – but does the cream or the jam go on first? Other highlights include a picnic on Dartmoor, pub lunches, a visit to a vineyard, a cheese tasting masterclass, and a splendid seafood feast in the most famous fish restaurant in the country, Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant. ‘The West Country has the best larder not just in the UK but in all of Europe,’ says Michael Caines, the inspirational and highly acclaimed two-star Michelin chef. The tour concludes with lunch at Lympstone Manor, Michael’s newly-opened country house hotel overlooking the Exe estuary.

Itinerary Day 1: Topsham. The coach leaves Exeter St David’s Railway Station at 12.30pm. Take a boat on the Exe estuary from Topsham to the Turf Hotel (accessible only by boat, walking or cycling) for a simple lunch. Transfer to the Deer Park Country House Hotel near Honiton for the first of three nights. Day 2: Riverford Farm, Sharpham Vineyard. Guy Watson’s Riverford Farm is the source of organic vegetables delivered in ‘boxes’ all around the country. Farm visit followed by lunch of organic vegetables and local organic meats in the ‘field kitchen’. Visit and tasting at the Sharpham Vineyard, beautifully situated above a sharp bend in the River Dart, where award-winning wines and cheeses made from rich Jersey milk are produced. Dinner includes a tasting of housesmoked foods and beer from the local Otter Brewery at The Holt, Honiton.

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Day 6: Padstow. Learn about the life cycle of lobsters and what can be done to help them to reproduce sustainably at the National Lobster Hatchery. Free afternoon in the utterly charming port town of Padstow, with an optional ferry trip to Rock and a walk to St Enodoc Church, where the poet laureate Sir John Betjeman is buried. Day 7: Lympstone Manor. Michael Caines held two Michelin stars at Gidleigh Park for 18 years. His country house hotel which opened in 2017 won a Michelin star only six months after opening. Michael has devised a special lunch menu for us to highlight and showcase places and producers visited during the week. Finish at Exeter St David’s Railway Station by 4.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,230. Single occupancy: £3,640. Included meals: 6 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Deer Park Country House Hotel, near Honiton (deerparkcountryhotel. co.uk): charming country house hotel set in beautiful grounds in the Devon countryside. The Metropole, Padstow (the-metropole.co.uk): friendly 4-star hotel, every room reserved for this tour has an excellent view over the estuary. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking on tracks in vineyards and farms; you must be steady on your feet and able to walk unaided over rough ground in order to fully enjoy the tour. There is quite a lot of driving, often in two minibuses as access is limited at many of the special sites visited. Average distance by coach per day: 75 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Country Houses of the South West, 4–7 July 2019 (p.22); Architecture of Bath, 6–7 July 2019 (p.33). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Cornwall, watercolour by D. Maxwell, publ. 1930.


Arts & Crafts in the Lake District Churches, houses and museums 30 September–4 October 2019 (mf 765) 5 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Janet Sinclair Fine examples of the Arts & Crafts movement in situ. Includes visits to Naworth Castle, Blackwell and Brantwood. See some of the most striking and unspoilt landscape in the country. Stay all four nights in one hotel on the shore of Lake Windermere. A century after the aesthetic ‘discovery’ of the English Lakes by an elite generation of Romantic travellers, its beauty and cultural history became a magnet and an escape from the effects of industrialisation for a wider cohort of tourists, creators and patrons carried by railway, bicycle and lake steamers. Hitherto hidden hamlets developed into resort towns catering for this wealthy leisured class, who both delighted in the quaint crafts and culture of a remote and unspoilt region, and raised concerns for their conservation that remain today. These concerns became moral imperatives, rooted in Wordsworth’s influence on John Ruskin’s belief in the importance of nature and the arts for the social well-being of mankind. Ruskin’s philosophy was central to early exponents of the Arts & Crafts movement, whose work articulated

a celebration of the rural vernacular, reverence for traditional crafts and methods, and respect for ‘honest’ making. Ruskin, inspiration to William Morris, Philip Webb and a generation of architects, designers and artists, bought Brantwood by Coniston in 1871. Morris’s ‘Firm’ supplied stained glass and decoration in great houses and numerous churches for landowners such as George Howard, who commissioned remarkable work from Webb and Burne-Jones at Brampton. According to tradition, Morris came to the Lakes on a fishing holiday with Ford Madox Brown while BurneJones was working on the East Window of Troutbeck Church, and contributed to the creation of this minor masterpiece. Northern industry, not land, provided wealth to newer patrons whose Lakeland holiday houses were created by a younger generation of cuttingedge designers such as Voysey and Baillie Scott. Their joy in local materials, craftsmanship and landscape is seen spectacularly at Broad Leys, and Blackwell on Windermere built for brewery magnate Sir Robert Holt. The Lake District saw the foundation of the National Trust in the 1890s by Canon Rawnsley, founder of the Keswick School of Industrial Arts and mentor of naturalist and author Beatrix Heelis, née Potter. It became Britain’s first National Park in 1951 as the Festival of Britain celebrated national creativity and consciousness. This tour presents the Arts & Crafts through houses, churches and museums within the incomparable landscape that survives thanks to conservationists of many generations.

Itinerary Day 1: Penrith, Hutton in the Forest. The coach leaves Penrith Railway station at 1.30pm. Hutton in the Forest is a fascinating family home with medieval origins, encompassing the changing aspirations and fortunes of the region in its architecture and decoration, including Arts and Crafts interiors of the 1870s. Day 2: Warwick Bridge, Carlisle, Naworth. Our Lady & St Wilfrids is Pugin’s only church in Cumbria, and in the words of Pevsner: ‘it is here and more or less precisely in 1841 that archaeological accuracy begins in English church design’. Carlisle’s Tullie House museum holds a significant collection of Pre-Raphaelite art. Philip Webb worked at Naworth Castle which is still a private ancestral home of the Howard family. Nearby St Martin’s Church, designed by Webb with windows by Burne-Jones, is a magnificent outcome of this relationship. Day 3: Troutbeck, Staveley, Wreay, Keswick. Two small Cumbrian churches at Troutbeck and Staveley contain beautiful windows designed by Burne-Jones, and made by Morris and Co. In contrast, the church of St Mary’s, Wreay is an eccentric forerunner of many Arts & Crafts principles in its inspiration from nature and use

Illustration: Ruskin’s house at Brantwood, wood engraving c. 1880 after a drawing by L.J. Hilliard.

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Arts & Crafts in the Lake District continued

The South Downs Great houses and gardens

of the local vernacular. Keswick Museum & Art Gallery celebrates the Keswick School of Industrial Art set up by Canon and Mrs Hardwicke Rawnsley, as a social enterprise that also marketed local craftsmanship to growing numbers of middleclass tourist. Resort towns developed to serve these visitors, some of whom commissioned holiday houses along the shores of Lake Windermere.

Changing attitudes to conservation are illustrated by the contrasting fortunes of Midhurst’s Cowdray Ruins, magnificently restored Uppark, and rebuilt Stansted House – each destroyed a century apart by disastrous fires and reborn in a new context. Two thousand years of history, taste and politics survive, including the most important collections of fine art in the care of the National Trust at Petworth and Uppark. Exquisite medieval sculpture at Boxgrove and Chichester, the unique Stansted Chapel and High Victorian Gothic at Arundel are highlights of religious patronage. Splendid historic houses that are still private homes reflect the tastes and fortunes of royal Dukes, Earls and Lords of church and country. The story of the English country house would not be complete without an exploration of life ‘downstairs’. At both Petworth and Stansted these stories are vividly brought to life. Contemporary patronage can be enjoyed in Chichester Cathedral and in England’s oldest continuously occupied castle at Arundel, where the seventeenth-century Collector Earl was recently commemorated in a wonderful modern garden commission by the Duke of Norfolk. Modern art sits in a striking contemporary setting alongside one of the finest eighteenth-century houses in Chichester at Pallant House.

Day 4: Urswick, Barrow in Furness, Bowness, Broad Leys, Blackwell. Urswick’s church of St Mary and St Michael is unusual in containing work by Alec Miller, of the Guild of Handicraft based in the Cotswolds. Nearby Abbey House by Lutyens was built in 1914 for Vickers Ltd as a residence for their Managing Director to entertain ministers and heads of state for the purpose of selling warships and armaments. The ancient parish church of St Martin’s in Bowness on Windermere has a fine collection of medieval glass in its east window, set off by a unique Arts & Crafts decorative scheme from the 1870s. Along the lake and commanding spectacular views is Broad Leys, a superb example of domestic design by Voysey. Its contemporary and neighbour, Blackwell by Baillie Scott, has been recently restored to a high standard. Day 5: Coniston, Brantwood, Oxenholme. Drive to the pier at Coniston for the passenger ferry across Lake Coniston, the setting for Arthur Ransome’s novel Swallows and Amazons, and the best way to arrive at John Ruskin’s home from 1872 to 1900, Brantwood. The house has an extensive literary history and a major collection of Ruskin’s drawings, paintings, and scientific collections; it also contains his original furniture and his boat and Brougham carriage are displayed in outhouses. Return to Oxenholme train station by 2.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,790. Single occupancy: £2,030. Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

Accommodation. Waterhead, Ambleside (englishlakes.co.uk/hotels): 4-star, modern, comfortable hotel on the shore of Lake How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in museums, houses and churches. Uneven ground and irregular paving are standard. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. Average distance by coach per day: 73 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Country Houses of Kent, 23–27 September 2019 (p.25); Dorset Churches, 23–27 September 2019 (p.13); Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo, 25–29 September 2019 (p.54). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

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16–21 May 2019 (mf 542) 6 days • £2,040 Lecturer: Janet Sinclair The stunningly beautiful landscape of the West Sussex Downs. Great country houses and landscaped parks, charming country towns, inspiring upland and lowland countryside. Special arrangements and private openings are a feature. One hotel throughout. The chalk ridge of the South Downs runs 80 miles from Hampshire to meet the sea at Eastbourne. With spectacular viewpoints, unique natural history and ease of access, it also contains a glittering string of great stately homes, housing personal collections that reflect changing national fortunes as well as personal tastes and triumphs. For successive generations of settlers and great builders, the strategic importance of the South Downs overlooking the Channel was gradually replaced by the attraction of their spectacular beauty. Be inspired by histories of fortifications and pleasure palaces: repositories of treasured collections as symbols of power, and places of leisure and entertainment. Exploitation of natural resources, from flintmining, charcoal burning and iron-smelting to sheep-farming and forestry, shaped the Downland landscape. The great family estates helped to create and conserve this area of outstanding natural beauty, now protected and sustainably managed as Britain’s newest National Park.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Itinerary Day 1: Chichester, Stansted Park. The coach leaves Chichester railway station at 2.00pm. Chichester Cathedral houses an extraordinary range of modern religious commissions, as well as nationally important Tudor panel paintings. Pallant House is a unique combination of a Queen Anne townhouse with a recent award-winning extension, which holds one of the best collections of 20th-century British art in the country. Day 2: Pulborough, Petworth, Woolbeding. Bignor Roman Villa in Pulborough has fine mosaic floors in a beautiful Downland setting. In one of ‘Capability’ Brown’s most poetic landscapes, immortalised by Turner, Petworth is an impressive ducal palace of the 17th century. It contains major works by Turner, van Dyck and Blake. Woolbeding Gardens are one of the South Down’s hidden gems. A horticultural haven, the 26-acre garden was created by Simon Sainsbury and Stewart Grimshaw with garden designers Lanning Roper in the 1980s and the Bannermans in the late 1990s. Day 3: Arundel, Boxgrove. Home to the Duke of Norfolk, England’s premier duke, Arundel Castle has Norman origins, later medieval parts and 18th- and 19th-century embellishments. The totality is splendid, the art collection outstanding. The picturesque and unspoilt little town of Arundel is capped by a soaring 1870s Catholic cathedral in Gothic style. At medieval Boxgrove Priory, the remains include a vaulted Gothic choir of cathedral-like proportions. Day 4: Goodwood, West Dean, Uppark. Goodwood House, seat of the Duke of Richmond, is a magnificent late Georgian country house with excellent furniture and paintings by Stubbs, Canaletto and van Dyck. The Edward


Architecture of Bath Queen of Georgian cities Janet Sinclair Art historian, curator and lecturer. She studied at the Courtauld and the Barber Institute, Birmingham. She has held senior management posts at significant heritage sites including Petworth House, Sussex. She she is a tutor on the MA Collections Care & Conservation Management course at West Dean (University of Sussex). See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies. James Foundation at West Dean has extensive, beautifully-kept gardens. Uppark enjoys extraordinary views over rolling Downland and to the Solent and the Isle of Wight. A perfect late17th-century mansion with a splendid Grand Tour collection, it is also a masterpiece of restoration after a fire in 1989. Day 5: Weald and Downland, Cowdray, Stansted. The Weald and Downland Museum at Singleton is an assembly of rescued and re-erected vernacular buildings from the 14th to the 19th centuries, including two hall-houses. Cowdray Ruins are the dramatic remains of a noble and extensive Tudor palace. Stansted Park provides a fascinating insight into the social history of an English country house in its Edwardian heyday. Day 6: Parham, Chichester. One of the loveliest of Elizabethan buildings, Parham House has an extensive collection of 16th- and 17thcentury portraits and tapestries, and a clutch of award-winning gardens. The coach takes you to Chichester railway station by 3.30pm before returning to the hotel.

Practicalities

6–7 July 2019 (mf 614) 2 days • £420 Lecturer: Dr Geoffrey Tyack A survey of Bath’s architectural landmarks and some lesser-known gems. Led by architectural historian, Dr Geoffrey Tyack. The tour can be combined with our West Country Choral Festival, 7–11 July 2019 (see page 29). Bath first became a resort town in Roman times, but its modern reincarnation dates from the eighteenth century. It was then that a succession of architects and entrepreneurs, most of them from the city itself, succeeded in creating one of the supreme achievements of European architecture and urban design, inspired by the memory of the Roman past but adapted to satisfy the taste and desires of the Georgian aristocracy and merchant classes. The city owes much of its character to its riverside situation, within a bowl of limestone hills from which the honey-coloured stone of its eighteenth-century buildings was quarried. Several of the finest of these buildings will be visited Queen Square, the Circus and the Royal Crescent; Great Pulteney Street with the recently-expanded Holburne Museum at its far end; the Pump Room and Assembly Rooms – and we will also explore some of the lesser-known but equally attractive corners of this most fascinating of cities.

Itinerary Day 1. Meet outside Bath Abbey at 1.30pm. Bath Abbey is one of the handful of great late-medieval religious buildings completed in the first thirty years of the 16th century. Visit the Abbey focusing particularly on its 18th-century monuments. No.1 Royal Crescent (interior), then the Circus and

Assembly Rooms (interior: Ballroom, Card Room and Tea Room). Walk via Great Pulteney Street and Pulteney Bridge to the hotel. Day 2. Walk through Sydney Gardens, the only remaining 18th-century pleasure gardens in the country. Visit the Holburne Museum home to Sir William Holburne’s excellent 18th-century collection of fine and decorative arts. Continue to the Circus, glancing briefly at the restored garden of one of the houses here. Walk through Victoria Gardens to Queen Square then the Theatre Royal (exterior) and the Cross Bath (exterior) via Kingsmead Square. Finish at the Guildhall at c. 1.30pm. The rest of the day is free before the festival begins in the Assembly Rooms at 3.30pm. Notes that some appointments cannot be confirmed until early 2019.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £420. Single occupancy: £480. Included meals: 1 dinner with wine. Accommodation. Macdonald Bath Spa (macdonaldhotels.co.uk): attractive amalgam of Georgian, Victorian and modern buildings set in an expansive landscaped grounds with views across the city. The hotel is a picturesque 20-minute walk to the city centre through the grounds of the Holburne Museum. Rooms are spacious and recently renovated. Good restaurant, bar, lounges, swimming pool, spa facilities. How strenuous? Most of the tour is spent outside and on foot, both standing and walking. Unless you enjoy entirely unimpaired mobility, cope with everyday walking and stair-climbing without difficulty and are reliably sure-footed, this tour is not for you. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,040. Single occupancy: £2,310. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

Accommodation. Harbour Hotel, Chichester (chichester-harbour-hotel.co.uk): smart, boutique hotel in the centre of town. This 4-star hotel is within walking distance of the Cathedral and Pallant Gallery. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in town centres, where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in museums and churches. Uneven ground and irregular paving are standard. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. Average distance by coach per day: c. 25 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Great Railway Termini, 22 May 2019. We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustrations. Left: Chichester Cathedral, engraving from 'The English Provinces' 1888. Right: Bath, watercolour by E.W. Haslehurst, publ. c. 1920.

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Age of Victoria A weekend symposium in Taunton Itinerary Friday 8th February Afternoon (session 1) 3.00pm–6.00pm. Paul Atterbury A Victorian Vision – the Painters’ View of Society and Social Change in 19th-century Britain. Professor Kathryn Hughes George Eliot’s Hand: or why you can always tell a lady by the size of her gloves. Refreshment break. Christopher Newall John Ruskin 200 Years On. Drinks reception and dinner.

Saturday 9th February Morning (session 2) 9.30am–1.00pm. Dr Steven Brindle Sir William Armstrong at Newcastle and Cragside. Paul Atterbury The Great Exhibition of 1851 – Myth or Masterpiece. Refreshment break. Dr Roland Quinault Gladstone and Disraeli, a reappraisal of their relationship. Plenary. Afternoon (session 3) 2.45pm–6.30pm. Dr Ruth Richardson Charles Dickens and the Workhouse. Dr Steven Brindle Brunel and the Great Western Railway. Refreshment break.

8–10 February 2019 (mf 417) From £760 per person

Professor Kathryn Hughes Charles Darwin’s Beard: or the secrets of Victorian facial hair. Rosemary Hill ‘Part and Parcel of the Intellect of the Age’: Pugin and the Palace of Westminster.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

Fourteen 40-minute talks, question and answer sessions and a panel discussion.

Dinner.

Esteemed historians speak on Victorian art, technology, literature, politics and society.

Sunday 10th February

Based at the ever-welcoming Castle Hotel in Taunton. The latest in our renowned series of symposia celebrates the achievements of the Victorian age and marks Queen Victoria’s bicentenary in 2019 – an anniversary that is also shared with Prince Albert, George Eliot and John Ruskin. Indeed the latter’s birthday falls on 8th February and will be duly honoured. Bringing together leading historians of the 19th century, the symposium will explore themes and subjects through the prism of several eminent Victorians. Over the weekend the respected scholars will each give two talks that are designed both to entertain and inform. The venue is the perennially charming Castle Hotel in Taunton, with a well-equipped meeting room and an excellent restaurant. 34

Morning (session 4) 9.30am–1.00pm. Dr Roland Quinault Victorian Prime Ministers and Ireland. Dr Ruth Richardson Victoria, Albert and Tennyson. Refreshment break. Christopher Newall Edward Burne-Jones and the Victorian Renaissance. Rosemary Hill ‘One hardly knows whether to laugh or shudder’: Lytton Strachey and the Victorians. Finish 1.00pm.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Speakers Paul Atterbury is a lecturer, writer and broadcaster specialising in the art, architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries. He has published widely on pottery, porcelain, canals, railways and the Thames. He curated the V&A exhibitions Pugin and Victorian Vision and is an expert on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Dr Steven Brindle is Senior Properties Historian for English Heritage. His publications include Paddington Station, its History and Architecture (2004, 2013) and Brunel, the Man who built the World (2005). He was formerly Inspector of Ancient Monuments for Greater London and his latest book is Windsor Castle: a Thousand Years of a Royal Palace (2018). Rosemary Hill is a writer and historian specialising in the history of art and ideas in the long 19th century. Her biography of A.W.N Pugin, God’s Architect (2007), won the Wolfson History Prize and the James Tait Black Award. She is a contributing editor at the London Review of Books, sits on English Heritage’s Blue Plaques Panel and is a Quondam fellow of All Souls College Oxford. Professor Kathryn Hughes is a historian and critic specialising in the 19th century. Educated at Oxford, she holds a PhD in Victorian Studies and is currently Professor of Life Writing at the University of East Anglia. She is author of prizewinning biographies of Mrs Beeton and George Eliot, both of which were filmed by the BBC. Her most recent book, Victorians Undone, explores five famous Victorians through their striking body parts. She is a critic and columnist for the Guardian and a regular broadcaster for BBC radio and television. Christopher Newall is a specialist in 19th-century British art. A graduate of the Courtauld Institute, he has organised various exhibitions including Pre-Raphaelite Vision: Truth to Nature (Tate Britain 2004), John Ruskin: Artist & Observer at the National Gallery of Canada and Scottish National Portrait Gallery (2014) and Pre-­Raphaelites: Beauty and Rebellion at the Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool (2016). His interest in John Ruskin led to our tour, Ruskin’s Venice. Dr Roland Quinault was educated at Oxford where he was a scholar at Magdalen and a research fellow at Merton. He was subsequently Honorary Secretary of the Royal Historical Society and is currently a Senior Research Fellow at the Institute of Historical Research, University of London. His main area of research is British political leadership in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Dr Ruth Richardson is Senior Research Fellow at the Centre for Life-Writing Research, King’s College London and a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. She has been a Research Fellow at the Wellcome Unit for the History of Medicine at University College London and is a Past President of the Dickens Society. Her books include Death, Dissection & the Destitute (1987); The Making of Mr Gray’s Anatomy (2008) and Dickens & the Workhouse (2012).


'Thank you for organising such an outstanding event. I feel so lucky to have been part of the audience to heat so many thought provoking talks.' R.S., participant on Scotland: History & Identity (a UK Symposium) in 2017.

Practicalities Prices, per person. Two sharing: standard double or twin £760; garden room £840. Single occupancy: single room (single bed) £760. Depending upon availability, we may be able to offer double rooms for sole use at around 10 weeks prior to the weekend at £810 – please let us know on your booking form if you would be interested in upgrading should the opportunity arise. Included meals: 2 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Castle Hotel, Taunton (the-castle-hotel.com): family-run hotel renowned for its excellent service, for comforts traditional and modern and for its superb catering. It has been owned and run by the Chapman family for over 60 years. The hotel’s 44 bedrooms are individually and charmingly decorated and well equipped. The largest – the Garden Rooms – are in the remains of the 12th-century castle overlooking the garden, and are the equivalent of Junior Suites, with a sitting area and separate dressing room. Doubles and twins are mainly of a good size and vary in outlook. Single rooms, while comfortable, are small and generally less well appointed with single beds – for this reason we do not charge a single supplement for them. The majority of rooms have a bath with a shower fitment. The hotel has a lift, though some bedrooms do then involve some step access. There are no bedrooms on the ground floor. The Music Room is on a mezzanine level, which can only be reached via a flight of stairs from the lobby – there is provision for wheelchair users (if you think you will need this, please let us know in advance). Group size: maximum 76 resident participants

Talks only

Medieval History, Art & Architecture A midweek symposium in Suffolk 16–18 October 2019 At the Swan Hotel in Lavenham A series of talks by eight expert speakers, two dinners and two nights bed and breakfast.

Chamber Music

JANUARY–MAY 2019 Hear great Classical music performed by outstanding musicians and ensembles of international repute.

THE FITZWILLIAM STRING QUARTET 14–16 May 2019 at The Swan Hotel, Lavenham Optional extension with excursions starting 13 May 2019 Alan George viola Sally Pendlebury cello Lucy Russel violin Marcus Barcham Stevens violin

Enjoy the intimacy and intensity of a recital hall little bigger than a large drawing room. Mingle with the musicians and with like-minded fellow music lovers. Listen to pre-concert talks by a musicologist or by the musicians. Stay in comfotable hotels and enjoy great food. Our package includes accommodation, sumptuous afternoon teas and dinners, and admission to all concerts and talks.

The Fitzwilliam Quartet is one of the longest established string quartets in the world – it celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018. Optional excursions to outstandingly attractive nearby towns and villages

with medievalist Dr James Cameron (part of a package that includes an extra night). Exclusive use of the historic Swan Hotel in Lavenham – concerts and dinners take place in its half-timbered hall, which seats 90.

Tickets for individual concerts are also available.

Please contact us for full details, or visit www.martinrandall.com/ music-and-history-weekends

RISING STARS

THE NASH ENSEMBLE

THE HEATH QUARTET

25–27 January 2019 The Castle Hotel, Taunton

1–3 March 2019 The Castle Hotel, Taunton

5–7 April 2019 The Castle Hotel, Taunton

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

If you wish to participate in the talks only, without accommodation, tickets are priced at £30 for session 1; £40 each for sessions 2, 3 and 4, or £150 for all four sessions combined. Refreshments during breaks are included, but not lunches or dinners.

Midweek & weekend

Full details available in Spring 2019 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk Illustration: Queen Victoria, wood engraving 1887.

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LONDON DAYS ‘Dear, damn’d, distracting town’ – Alexander Pope To receive our fortnightly e-mail updates on the latest range of London Days. Send an e-mail to info@martinrandall. co.uk, or call 020 8742 3355

London Days are all-inclusive, non-residential tours opening doors in the capital to its wonderful art, architecture and history. They are led by carefully-chosen experts who enthuse, interpret and inspire, bringing to life each specialist theme. Radio guides enable lecturers to talk in a normal conversational voice while participants can hear without difficulty whether in a museum or on a main road. The itinerary is detailed and meticulously planned with special arrangements and privileged access significant features. Refreshments and lunches are included and planned in appropriate settings for sustenance, conversation and reflection. These are active, fulfilling days, often with a lot of walking and standing. Travel is mainly by Underground, sometimes taxi, occasionally by private coach or bus.

Making a booking There is no booking form for London Days. You can book over the phone, or online at www.martinrandall.com. If booking by phone, we will need to know: •

Name and date of the London Day(s) you are booking.

• •

London Days by date Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com/london-days December 2018

July 2019

4: Japanese Art in London

2: The Ever Changing City Skyline

5: Ancient Greece at the British Museum

8: Interwar Interiors

6: Roses and Nightingales

September 2019

10: Mantegna & Bellini

3: London's Underground Railway

11: Golden Age of British Painting

20: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum

January 2019

October 2019

10: Venetian Art in London

8: Interwar Interiors

23: Ancient Greece at the British Museum

30: Ancient Greece at the British Museum

30: The Genius of Titian 31: Islamic Art in London

4: Japanese Art in London

BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

February 2019

8: Caravaggio & Rembrandt

Your name(s), as you would like it/them to appear to other participants.

6: Ashurbanipal: King of the World

12: The Italian Renaissance

7: The Golden Age of British Painting

Your address, telephone number and email address (if you have one).

15: Islamic Art in London

8: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum

19: The Golden Age of British Painting

14: The Golden Age of Dutch Painting

21: The Genius of Titian

15: London's Underground Railway

22: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum

22: The Italian Renaissance

27: London's Underground Railway

March 2019

December 2019

6: Japanese Art in London

3: The Golden Age of British Painting

11: Arts of India

4: Caravaggio & Rembrandt

12: Spanish Art in London

5: The Italian Renaissance

13: Ancient Greece at the British Museum

5: Ancient Greece at the British Museum

Any special dietary requirements and your contact details for the night prior to the day. Payment. If by credit or debit card, give the card number, start date and expiry date (but for security not in an e-mail). There is no charge for using either a credit or debit card. Confirmation will be sent to you upon receipt of payment. Further details including joining instructions will be sent about two weeks before the day. Cancellation. We will return the full amount if you notify us 22 or more days before the event. We will retain 50% if cancellation is made within three weeks and 100% if within three days. Please put your cancellation in writing to info@martinrandall. co.uk. We advise taking out insurance in case of cancellation and recommend that overseas clients are also covered for possible medical and repatriation costs.

19: The Italian Renaissance 20: The Golden Age of British Painting

London Days gift vouchers

21: Roses and Nightingales

Since its inception in 2012 our London Days programme has opened doors and minds to the wonders of the capital, and has continued to grow in breadth and popularity. The launch of our London Days gift vouchers offers the opportunity to share the experience of a cultural day out in the capital and are an ideal gift for occasions, from birthdays to anniversaries. Gift vouchers can be purchased to any value, or for a specified London Day. Please contact us for more information.

29: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum April 2019 2: Ever Changing City Skyline 8: Interwar Interiors 9: London's Underground Railway May 2019 7: The Tudors

Photograph: The City from Tate Modern, ©Rosanna Reade.

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November 2019

10: The London Backstreet Walk

book online at www.martinrandall.com


London Choral Day Lambeth Palace and Westminster Friday 7 June 2019 (lf 566) Price: from £215 Our London Choral Days put outstanding and exciting choral ensembles in some of the most beautiful buildings in the capital. They take the form of a day-long sequence of performances, talks, lunch and refreshments, the audience moving between the venues on foot. The days are conceived not as three discrete concerts but as an integrated, overarching musical experience in which the individual parts illumine and enlarge upon what has gone before. Usually there is some connection between the venues and the music performed in them, which may be chronological – music of the same period as the building – or associational: a specific historical link between music and building. After the great successes of Chelsea and Marylebone, the next London Choral Day begins in the shadow of Westminster Abbey and progresses across the river to Lambeth. Here, beside the Thames and enclosed within high brick walls, lies a clutch of highly important historic buildings: Lambeth Palace, residence, offices and library of the Archbishop of Canterbury. As both home and workplace, access is restricted; perhaps this is the least visited of London’s major architectural precincts, and we are grateful to have been accorded the privilege of presenting two concerts and a lecture in three different spaces within the complex.

The Programme St Margaret's Westminster Choir of St Margaret's Beginning life in the twelfth century as the parish church of Westminster, St Margaret’s stands on a site which once lay within the precincts of Westminster Abbey; the formidable bulk of the abbey church rises only a few yards to the south. One of the very few pre-Reformation churches to survive in London, its current form dates largely to a rebuilding completed in 1523, though there have been frequent interventions for restoration and embellishment. The stained glass is of particular interest. The superb professional choir of St Margaret’s is one of the finest liturgical choirs in the country. Aidan Oliver, Director of Music at St Margaret’s since 2003, is one of the UK’s leading choral directors, working across the whole spectrum of symphonic, liturgical, operatic and contemporary music. Today’s programme juxtaposes works from the period following the church’s rebuilding in 1523, including Gibbons, Weelkes, Tomkins and Byrd. To this is added 20th-century and contemporary works showcasing the current Illustration: St Margaret's, Westminster after a drawing by G M Elmwood, publ. 1911 in 'Some London Churches'.

vibrant musical tradition of St Margaret’s – Dove, Macmillan, Grier and others. Lambeth Palace, the Chapel Gesualdo Six The beautiful chapel, Early Gothic in style, dates to c. 1230, though a combination of Puritanism and World War Two bombing has necessitated fairly extensive (if sympathetic) restoration. Its small size requires the concert here to be repeated; the other half of the audience attends a talk in the Guard Room, which has a fourteenth-century roof with braces of traceried timber. The Gesualdo Six comprises some of the UK’s finest young consort singers, most of whom cut their chorister teeth in the cathedral or college systems. Formed in 2014, they have rapidly established themselves as an exceptional ensemble, travelling widely abroad as well as in the UK. The director is Owain Park, who is also a prominent composer. Lambeth Palace, Great Hall Choir of Royal Holloway ‘Londoners and strangers do not usually appreciate the fact that London possesses in the palace a complex of domestic buildings largely medieval and wholly picturesque which is of the greatest interest and merit.’ This verdict remains as true today as when Nikolaus Pevsner wrote it seventy years ago. The magnificent Great Hall was rebuilt 1660–3, the style deliberately archaic to assert continuity after the turmoil of the Interregnum; it can plausibly be designated as the first instance of the Gothic Revival. Recently restored and emptied, this is a spectacular space for the final concert.

Practicalities Start: 11.30am at St Margaret’s Westminster. Doors open at 11.10am. Finish: c. 5.45pm at Lambeth Palace. Walking: for those who do not choose the vehicular option, there are walks at a leisurely pace of, at most, 20 minutes, (waiting at pedestrian crossings included). There is the option of signing up in advance for taxis to avoid the walks at a cost of £20 per person. Price: £215 (with taxis £235). This includes lunch and afternoon refreshments as well as exclusive admission to the three concerts and the lecture. Lunch and refreshments: lunch in good restaurants; the audience is split between several. Refreshments are served in the afternoon between the concerts. Audience size: c. 100–160. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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BRITAIN & IRELAND: England

The Choir of Royal Holloway, under their director Rupert Gough, is considered one of the finest mixed-voice collegiate choirs in the country. The 24 choral scholars undertake a busy schedule of services, concerts and tours and have recorded for Hyperion Records. Their programme includes early Tudor music from the Lambeth Choirbook, one of the palace’s greatest treasures, through to Tallis and Byrd and on to Blow and Purcell.


Orkney: 5000 years of culture Neolithic, Iron Age, Viking, present day Day 4: Rousay. Board the morning ferry to the island of Rousay. From here view a series of Neolithic chambered cairns including the double-decker Taversoe Tuick. It is a short walk from the road down to the coast to view Midhowe Cairn, one of the largest tombs in Orkney and the impressive Iron Age Midhowe Broch with its immense defensive walls. Day 5: Stromness. View the Stromness museum before walking through Stromness to the Pier Arts Centre, home to Margaret Gardiner’s collection of art that includes works by Barbara Hepworth, Terry Frost and Naum Gabo, as well as contemporary works by Anish Kapoor. After some free time in Stromness proceed to the Ness of Brodgar, a working archaeological site, which is unearthing some surprising insights into Neolithic ceremonial life. Tour the site with Nick Card, the director of the dig.

27 July–2 August 2019 (mf 636) Very few spaces remaining 7 days • £1,890 • Flights not included Lecturer: Caroline Wickham-Jones Study the ‘Heart of Neolithic Orkney’, a unesco World Heritage Site. Includes a private tour of the Ness of Brodgar dig with Nick Card, director of the dig. Neolithic, Iron Age, Viking and twentiethcentury sites with plenty of time to explore picturesque Kirkwall.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: SCOTland

The archipelago of Orkney has been inhabited for 10,000 years. Down the millennia, the mild climate and fertile soils have nurtured a creative community here. The collection of 67 islands is home to some of the best preserved archaeological sites in the United Kingdom, conserving an unusual amount of detail, to provide a rare and intimate glimpse of life in the past. Central to Orkney’s archaeological significance is the unesco World Heritage Site, Heart of Neolithic Orkney, comprising four locations that give a unique insight into life on the islands for the first farming communities, 5,000 years ago. They are among the most important Neolithic sites in Western Europe and include Skara Brae – a wellpreserved village of prehistoric houses, the great stone circles of the Ring of Brodgar and Stones of Stenness, and the newly discovered ceremonial site of Ness of Brodgar. Neolithic chambered tombs can be found across the archipelago and are striking features punctuating the windswept rolling hills and dramatic sea cliffs. The islands came under Viking rule in the ninth century and remained a Scandinavian settlement and, indeed, part of Norway, until the end of the fifteenth century. The Vikings left their distinctive mark on Orkney: the magnificent cathedral of St Magnus was built by Earl (later Saint) Rognvald and the Neolithic tomb of Maeshowe features the largest collection of Viking runes outside of Scandinavia. Orkney is unique in Scotland in having its own Icelandic saga, 38

documenting the semi-mythical history of the islands and the earls who ruled them. Twentieth-century Orkney felt the significant impact of both World Wars, when thousands of troops were stationed on the islands, as well as many Prisoners of War. The remains of this period form a new addition to the long history of archaeology here. Post-war, the collector and artist Margaret Gardiner had a long-standing connection with the islands and several of her works and those of her friends, including Barbara Hepworth, can be seen in Stromness, a town that is home to a thriving artistic community. From vast standing circles that predate Stonehenge and the evocative poetry of the Viking earls, to the scars of modern-era conflict and the rich cultural tapestry of the twentieth century, Orkney’s history and stunning natural landscape offers much to stimulate the intellect and stir the soul.

Itinerary Day 1: Kirkwall. Arrive at Kirkwall independently (see ‘Practicalities’). Hotel rooms are available to check in from 2.00pm. Leave the hotel at 3.45pm for a visit to the Orkney Museum in Kirkwall and an overview of the history of the islands. Day 2: Heart of Neolithic Orkney. Visit the sites that make up the unesco World Heritage ‘Heart of Orkney’. Skara Brae, the stone-built Neolithic village, followed by the impressive Standing Stones of Stenness and the Ring of Brodgar and the incredible chambered Cairn of Maeshowe. Day 3: Tomb of the Eagles, Italian Chapel, Churchill Barriers. Drive through Mainland across the Churchill Barriers to Burray and down to the tip of South Ronaldsay where The Tomb of the Eagles, a well-preserved Neolithic chambered cairn perches on the clifftops. Return to Mainland via the tiny, beautiful Italian Chapel, erected in two Nissen huts by Italian Prisoners of War in 1943. Also view the Churchill Barriers, built to prevent any further attacks on the fleet stationed in Orkney after the sinking of HMS Royal Oak in 1939.

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Day 6: Birsay. Cross the tidal causeway from Mainland to Birsay to explore Pictish, Norse and medieval remains on this dramatic, uninhabited island. Visit the 16th-century Earl’s Palace in Birsay, and Kirbuster Museum, a small farm museum that houses the only surviving unaltered ‘firehoose’ in Northern Europe. Broch of Gurness is an Iron Age complex on the edge of Eynhallow Sound, affording beautiful views of Rousay. Day 7: Kirkwall. Visit the 17th-century Earl’s and Bishop’s Palaces in Kirkwall. The tour ends at the hotel at c.11.00am. From here the coach takes you to Kirkwall Airport by 2.45pm and Stromness ferry terminal by 3.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,890. Single occupancy: £2,010 Included meals: 4 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. The Ayre Hotel, Kirkwall (ayrehotel.co.uk): 3-star hotel located in the centre of town. Comfortable rooms, and willing service. It is the best available in the locality. Transport to Orkney is not included in the price of the tour. It is possible to fly to Kirkwall from London with LoganAir via Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Glasgow or Manchester. It is also possible to get the ferry from Aberdeen to Kirkwall or Scrabness to Stromness. We will send the recommended flight and ferry options when they are available to book, by September 2018, and ask that you make your own reservation. Transfers will be provided for these recommended flights and ferries. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking or scrambling over archaeological sites. This tour should not be undertaken by anyone who is not sure-footed. You are outside on exposed sites for much of the time. Average distance by coach per day: 25 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: Kirkwall, Orkney, steel engraving c. 1850.


The Welsh Marches Castles, abbeys and parish churches 24–28 June 2019 (mf 600) 5 days • £1,340 Lecturer: John McNeill Well-balanced survey of the outstanding medieval monuments of the Welsh Marches. Churches and castles from Norman to late Perpendicular. Beautiful drives through rolling verdant landscapes. Led by John McNeill, architectural historian and specialist in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. The Welsh Marches possess one of the richest collections of medieval monuments to survive in England – an area where one can pick out examples from every important post-Conquest phase of castle and church building, from the exceptionally early great hall at Chepstow castle to Sir William Herbert’s stunning late fifteenthcentury remodelling of Raglan. As conceived by William the Conqueror, the March consisted of three earldoms – Herefordshire, Shropshire and Cheshire – with William Fitz-Osbern, Earl of Hereford and Roger de Montgomerie in Shropshire being initially the most active of the earls. The Normans settled this land by creating an interlocking series of castles, markets and churches, exemplified in

the great new towns such as Chepstow, along with a complementary network of monasteries at sites such as Monmouth, Brecon and Abergavenny. By the early twelfth century, smaller castellans – sub-tenants like Hugh the Forester at Kilpeck and the Lacy family at Kempley – were beginning to build stone parish churches, the survival of which constitutes one of the great glories of Herefordshire. The tour concentrates on the southern March – namely Herefordshire, Monmouthshire and the Severn Valley – though a significant element of the tour is aesthetic, and concerned with the type of architecture developed by the new Norman settlers. As with much of southern England, the Welsh Marches experienced a largescale rebuilding during the period c. 1080–c. 1200 – but the evidence is much stronger here than in, say, East Anglia. Indeed, the monastic churches of Gloucester and Tewkesbury, along with Hereford cathedral, constitute some of the most inventive buildings of medieval England, immeasurably enhanced by the remarkable survival of their secular counterparts in the castles and manor houses of Chepstow, Goodrich, Raglan and Tretower.

Itinerary Day 1: Gloucester, Abergavenny. The tour leaves from Gloucester railway station at 1.40pm. The procession of tall cylindrical pillars in Gloucester

Cathedral’s nave is unadulterated Norman, but, following the burial of Edward II in 1327, the eastern parts are exquisitely veiled in the first large-scale appearance of Perpendicular architecture. The east window, which retains its medieval stained glass, is one of the largest in Europe. Day 2: Monmouth, Chepstow, Tintern, Raglan. A day along the river Wye beginning with Monmouth before moving on to mighty Chepstow whose planning crystallises the classic pattern of Norman conquest and settlement – a magnificently fortified castle towering over the priory and town. The afternoon juxtaposes Tintern – a dazzling amalgam of piers, tracery, dwarf walls and dispersed stonework – and Raglan, the most enthralling of late medieval Welsh castles. Day 3: Tretower, Brecon, Abbey Dore, Rowlstone. Drive towards the Black Mountains to the delightful castle and manor house at Tretower Court. Thence to Brecon Priory (now cathedral), Bernard of Newmarch’s western bulwark and the first of the Norman Welsh churches. Return via the stunning choir at the Cistercian abbey at Abbey Dore and end the day with the tiny jewel-like Romanesque parish church at Rowlstone. Day 4: Kilpeck, Hereford, Castle Frome, Dymock, Kempley. A great day for Herefordshire Romanesque, starting with perhaps the best known of all English Romanesque parish churches

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The Welsh Marches continued

Welsh National Opera Roberto Devereux and The Magic Flute

John McNeill Architectural historian of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He lectures for Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education and is Honorary Secretary of the British Archaeological Association. Publications include articles in learned journals and guidebooks to Normandy and the Loire Valley. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

at Kilpeck. Hereford Cathedral was substantially remodelled in the 13th and 14th centuries, during which time it acquired its famous Mappa Mundi. An afternoon of contrasts, with the greatest of the Herefordshire fonts at Castle Frome a wonderful foil to the Romanesque wall paintings and sculpture at Dymock and Kempley. Day 5: Goodrich, Tewkesbury. Start with the arrestingly-sited sandstone castle at Goodrich before winding down to the Severn at Tewkesbury. Long recognised as Gloucester’s architectural twin, Tewkesbury is a fitting finale. Its stunning Norman nave and transept ravishingly transformed by 14th-century vaults. End at Gloucester railway station by 3.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,340. Single occupancy: £1,540. Members of English Heritage (with cards) will be refunded c. £33. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Angel Hotel, Abergavenny (angelabergavenny.com): former Georgian coaching-inn, now a 4-star hotel with comfortable rooms and excellent restaurant.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: Wales

How strenuous? A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. The tour involves a lot of walking, sometimes where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in churches. Uneven ground and irregular paving are standard. There is also a lot of driving on narrow lanes; average distance per day: 69 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Walking to Santiago, 11–22 June 2019 (p.187); Connoisseur's Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration, previous page: Hereford Cathedral, wood engraving from 'Picturesque England' 1891.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 40

27 February–1 March 2019 (mf 423) 3 days • £820 (Including tickets to 2 performances) Lecturer: Simon Rees The Welsh National Opera in their home theatre, the acoustically and architecturally excellent Wales Millennium Centre. Excursions and talks with Simon Rees, writer, lecturer and former dramaturg of Welsh National Opera. Stay in a 5-star hotel 15 minutes on foot from the opera house, and see some of the highlights of Cardiff ’s arts and heritage. In its programming and productions WNO strives to combine adventurousness with accessibility, and commitment to developing new audiences with musical and dramatic integrity. The company punches far above its weight and it is one of the most admired centres of operatic excellence in Europe. In 2019, Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux tells the story of the love between the elderly Queen Elizabeth and the young courtier Robert Devereux, Earl of Essex, and its tragic end as the Queen loses trust in Robert and does not intervene to prevent his execution for treason. Directed by Alessandro Talevi and designed by Madeleine Boyd, the production fuses Tudor references with contemporary imagery on a sparse, menacing set with costumes of great imaginative power and wit. The Magic Flute was Mozart’s last opera, written for a small theatre in the Viennese suburbs. Dominic Cooke’s production refers to Magritte’s paintings as an effective way of finding a truly magic location for Mozart’s enchanting comedy. In 2004 WNO moved into their current home, the Wales Millennium Centre. The architectural brief was to build something ‘unmistakably Welsh and internationally outstanding.’ The winning firm, Percy Thomas, came up with a monumental yet accessible structure of slate, glass, steel and timber built to withstand the lashings of the elements on its coastal location.

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Itinerary Day 1. The tour begins at 4.00pm with a short walk from the hotel across the Cardiff Bay development to the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC) for a lecture, pre-opera dinner and opera. The Magic Flute (Mozart). Day 2. Take the boat from Cardiff Bay to the National Museum of Wales which has one of the finest collections of Impressionist paintings in the UK. Return to the WMC for a lecture, pre-opera dinner and opera: Roberto Devereux (Donizetti). Day 3. A guided tour of the Wales Millennium Centre is followed by Cardiff Castle – a medieval keep, a Victorian recreation of the perimeter wall of the Roman Fort and a residence with wonderful Gothic Revival interiors created by Burgess for the Marquess of Bute. The tour finishes at Cardiff Central Station by 2.30pm and at the hotel shortly after that.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £820. Single occupancy: £930. Included meals: 2 dinners with wine. Accommodation. St David’s Hotel & Spa, Cardiff (thestdavidshotel.com): a striking building on the waterfront at Cardiff Bay, 15 minutes on foot from the opera house. The AA gives it a 5-star rating, rooms are pleasingly contemporary in design and service is excellent. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour. A good level of fitness is necessary. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: Cardiff Castle, wood engraving from ‘Historic Houses of the United Kingdom’, 1892.


Great Irish Houses Country houses both sides of the border 27 May–4 June 2019 (mf 553) 9 days • £3,870 • Flights not included Lecturer: Anthony Lambert Includes many of the finest country houses in Ireland, both north and south of the border, selected with a bias towards the Georgian era. Outstanding architecture and decoration, excellent furniture and pictures, fine gardens and fascinating historical context. Special arrangements at nearly every house (several are still private homes), from out-of-hours openings to dinners in state rooms. Exceptional countryside accommodation including two nights at a stately home. An itinerary that is full, but with time to absorb, rest or explore independently.

Itinerary Day 1: Marino Casino. The coach leaves Dublin Airport at 2.15pm. As many flights are available from the UK and elsewhere, we do not include them. Designed by Sir William Chambers in 1757, the Casino at Marino is one of the most intriguing and beautiful houses of its time, Europe-wide. The hotel for the first three nights is Cliff at Lyons, a refurbished estate village in rural Co. Kildare. Day 2: Russborough, Castletown. Both are among the finest and best-preserved Palladian houses in the British Isles, with the classic composition of central range linked to lower side pavilions by quadrant colonnades. Both are encrusted internally with magnificent stucco sculpture, and both, having suffered denuding and neglect, are again well stocked with excellent and appropriate furniture and paintings. Castletown is the larger, with a façade more Roman Baroque than Palladian, a breathtaking double-height hall, brass balustrade and a splendid long gallery.

Day 4: Anonymous, Beaulieu. We hope to see a major house that is currently unoccupied; another property has been lined up for Plan B. Beaulieu is an utterly charming house from the beginning of the 18th century, hipped roof, carved red brick window surrounds and a walled garden which runs down to the fields beside the Boyne estuary. Inside there is the lived-in patina unique to family homes and a couple of outstanding paintings. Cross into Northern Ireland for the first of three nights at Belle Isle Castle, Co. Fermanagh.

Day 6: Castle Coole, Crom. A superb 1790s NeoClassical house, Castle Coole is the masterpiece of English architect James Wyatt, and has scarcely changed since its completion for a royal visit in 1821. After a few hours of free time at Belle Isle, drive to Crom Castle, where we stay for a dinner hosted by Lord Erne. Splendidly sited overlooking Lough Erne, and again in the same family as its original patron, Crom was begun in 1834 in a Gothic Revival style by Edward Blore. The interiors include a cathedral-like stair hall. Day 7: Hillsborough, Ballywalter. Hillsborough Castle is the Northern Ireland base for the Secretary of State and visiting royalty. Largely 18th-century, the handsome two-storey L-plan building has pictures from the Royal Collection and 96 acres of magnificent gardens. We continue to the Ards Peninsula in Co. Down and reach Ballywalter Park for tea and a tour. For the next two nights we stay here as guests of Lord and Lady Dunleath. Ballywalter has a 1730s core but was enlarged in a final flourish of grand Italianate classicism in the 1840s. Dinner at Ballywalter. Day 8: Mount Stewart, Castle Ward. The National Trust has invested heavily in Mount Stewart, an early 19th-century mansion which is amply furnished, has good paintings and extensive formal and woodland gardens. Castle Ward, begun 1762, is distinguished by being conventional Classical one side and rather risqué Gothick the other, internally as well as on the façade; marital disagreement resolved by innovative compromise. The charming result is enhanced by an excellent site on Strangford Lough. Dinner and second night at Ballywalter. Day 9: Grey Abbey. Grey Abbey House, also built in 1762, remains in the family which has owned the estate since 1607. The temperate climate in the environs of Strangford Lough allows a wide variety of flora to flourish in the gardens. We have lunch here before driving to Belfast City Airport, arriving by 3.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,870. Single occupancy: £4,230. Included meals: 3 lunches, 7 dinners, with wine (of these, 3 lunches and 3 dinners take place in private houses). Flights. Several airlines link Dublin and Belfast with the UK and elsewhere. You are free to choose flights which are the most convenient for you. Accommodation. Cliff at Lyons (cliffatlyons.ie) is a hotel installed in the disparate buildings of an estate village. There are between two and six bedrooms and sitting areas in each house, and a restaurant, spa and other facilities are scattered through well-tended grounds. Belle Isle Castle (belle-isle.com) is a pair of adjoining houses dating to c. 1900 and earlier on the shore of Lough Erne. It is not a hotel but has been beautifully converted for private hire and features very comfortable bedrooms, lounges and dining room. Ballywalter Park (ballywalterpark.com) is a stately home (see above), and our residence here is as guests of the resident owners – it is very much not a hotel! Bedrooms are very comfortable and have en suite facilities (bath, not shower). Being historic properties, none of the accommodation on this tour has lifts. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour – walking from drop-off points, touring the houses and enjoying the gardens. Stairs are unavoidable as only one of the places visited has a lift. Average distance by coach per day: 70 miles.

What else is included in the price? See page 6

Group size: between 10 and 21 participants.

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267 Illustration: Castle Coole, chromolithograph c. 1880.

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Day 3: Emo Court, Abbey Leix, Carton. James Gandon and Lewis Vulliamy were the architects in the 1790s and 1830s of Emo Court, a Neo-Classical masterpiece with a spectacular circular salon. Abbey Leix is an enchanting mid-size Palladian mansion which has undergone exemplary reinstatement as a family home and been filled with choice pictures and furniture. Visit by kind permission of the owner, Sir David Davies, with lunch in the dining room. Dinner is at Carton House, now a hotel, which has superbly decorated state rooms with figurative plasterwork by the Lafranchini brothers (subject to confirmation).

Day 5: Baronscourt. Deep in County Tyrone, Baronscourt is perhaps as remote as any major house in the UK. Still occupied by the family who commissioned it in 1779, the leisurely visit is by kind permission of the Duke and Duchess of Abercorn. There are talks by estate managers, and lunch is in the salon. The sequence of superb rooms was brilliantly redecorated by David Hicks in the 1970s, and the picture collection is among the finest of any house in Ireland (Lawrence, Reynolds, Van Dyck).


‘A terrible beauty’ Ireland and the Troubles 1916–1998 9–14 July 2019 (mf 620) 6 days • £1,810 • Flights not included Lecturer: Patrick Mercer obe In Dublin, an in-depth study of the struggle for Home Rule and the early years of the Republic. In the North, examine The Troubles in Belfast, Londonderry, rural areas and the border. Led by Patrick Mercer obe, historian, former soldier and politician who served in the North. Contributions from people with special insight into the troubled past and the febrile present. This is a history tour of exceptional vividness, potency and contemporary relevance. The Good Friday Agreement is only twenty years old; for most people who lived in Britain or Ireland for any significant span of the preceding thirty years, ‘The Troubles’ were probably felt as the dominant issue of the day, an ever-present source of anxiety, bewilderment and distress. Only by duration and impact on the mainland, however, was this an exceptional period in Irish history. During the ‘Ascendancy’ following the seventeenth-century conquest, and throughout the nineteenth century, after the Act of Union of

1800, relations between the English and the Irish, and Protestants and Catholics, were at best sultry and were frequently hostile. Recrudescence of the cycle of protest, insurrection and oppression was a regular occurrence. The tour takes you to the sites of flash points and political and sectarian confrontations of the last hundred years. In the North, you go to places where only a few years ago civilians would not have dared to visit; this is not a tour for the faint-hearted. Nevertheless, you will find warmth, welcome and courtesy on both sides of the border which put some parts of the UK to shame. Starting in Dublin, the tour first focuses on Home Rule and the events leading up to the Easter Rising of 1916. Subsequent writing tends to emphasise the romanticism of the Rising, never better than in Yeats’s line, ‘A terrible beauty is born’. Yet that was not how it was seen at the time. While Britons bled on the Western Front, rebels rose up and delivered what many regarded as an unforgivable stab in the back, and the Crown reacted bloodily. That clumsy cruelty not only caused sympathy to turn but led to a chaotic Partition in 1922, a shocking civil war and dreadful brutality by all sides. The raw emotions of those years will be stripped bare by this tour: the links between Eire’s agony and modern Ulster’s political

turmoil will be explained by people who were – and still are – involved in the convolutions that dominate Ireland today. As the tour moves to Northern Ireland, so the tensions that caused resentment to bubble over in 1969 will be examined. The tour acquires particular edge from the fact that the speakers were participants in the Troubles one way or another. Patrick Mercer, a historian steeped in Ireland’s past is a former politician and soldier whose regiment was foremost in 1916 and who himself served during the most harrowing times of the conflict. He is joined at various points by individuals from different sides of the sectarian divide with very different views. The blame is often laid solely at the feet of either the IRA or the British Government but of course the situation was complex and nuanced. The speakers trace the simmering resentment between Republicans and Loyalists, the political and social impasse, the role of the police and soldiers who tried to keep order – and their intermittent bloody blunders – and the anguish of the people caught in the middle.

Itinerary Day 1: Dublin. The tour begins at 3.00pm with an exploration of the key sights of the 1916 Rising, beginning around the General Post Office in O’Connell Street, the rebel headquarters and site of the Provisional Government’s surrender, and continuing across the Liffey to various places including St Stephen’s Green, Countess Markievitz’s last stand, and Boland’s Mill, where Eamon de Valera was captured. First of two nights in Dublin.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: Ireland

Day 2: Dublin. Visit Collins Barracks, built in 1702 and now a museum dedicated to Easter 1916. Here is the Asgard, which Erskine Childers used to smuggle guns from Germany, and a poignant cemetery. Kilmainham Gaol opened in 1796 and leaders of the rebellions of 1798, 1803, 1848, 1867 and 1916 were detained here. We see the extraordinary museum and Stonebreakers’ Yard where 14 Rebels were executed and the embers of The Troubles that beset the rest of the century were fanned. Day 3: South Armagh. Cross the Border (currently unmarked) near Newry. Now the tone of the tour changes as we are taken through the fabled ‘Bandit Country’. We’ll be shown where Thatcher’s new government was rocked by events at Warrenpoint, where Capt. Robert Nairac was abducted and won his George Cross, and the villages of Forkhill and Crossmaglen which still bear the marks of the twentieth century’s most protracted guerrilla campaign. The border was always lawless, and there are also sites of the conflict 1920–21. First of three nights in Belfast at the Europa Hotel, during the Troubles home of the press corps. Day 4: Derry-Londonderry, Omagh. (12th July: day of Protestant celebration of William of Orange’s victory at the Battle of the Boyne 1690.) Drive two hours through strikingly beautiful countryside to Londonderry, and explore Bogside and the Creggan Estate. Within sight of the 42

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Western Ireland Archaeology, history and landscape Apprentice Boys’ defence of the City Walls in 1690, the shocking events of January 30th 1972 – ‘Bloody Sunday’ – will be examined; the British Government stood on the brink of success until the disaster of that day gave the IRA the coup it needed to rejuvenate its campaign. Then a small village on the border where there are stories to be told, and Omagh, site of the deadliest but last of the Republican bombings. Day 5: Belfast. Start at Belfast Castle to view the city and its districts laid out below, then visit some of the most famous sites of confrontation: the so-called ‘peace-line’ which still divides the communities, Holy Cross School, the Ardoyne where the IRA split into its different factions, the Republican plot in Milltown Cemetery and the hardline Ballymurphy with its louring security forces’ base. Study also several of the famous murals, Loyalist and Republican. Day 6: Belfast. The tour is rounded off by a visit to the rarely seen Police Service of Northern Ireland’s Museum of The Troubles. The tour is over by 11.30am, which may allow you time to see more of Belfast before your flight.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,810. Single occupancy: £2,070. Flights. Several airlines link Dublin and Belfast with many UK and other airports, so flights are not included in the tour. You are free to choose flights which are the most convenient for you. Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Riu Plaza, The Gresham, Dublin (riu.com): historic 4-star hotel located on the famous O’Connell street in central Dublin. It has recently been fully refurbished. Europa Hotel, Belfast (hastingshotels.com): 1960s 12-storey tower of historical significance, recently refurbished, comfortable and with excellent service.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Western Ireland, 1–7 July 2019 (p.43). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration, left: political mural in Bogside, Derry-Londonderry, Photo ©Tourism Northern Ireland. Right: The Tara Brooch, wood engraving c. 1880.

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267

Prehistoric and historical sites, monastic and early Christian sites, country houses and museums. The marvellous landscape of the west coast of Ireland is still largely unspoilt. The Dingle Peninsula, the Burren, the Aran Islands. The west coast of Ireland is one of the richest archaeological landscapes in Europe with its surviving, though much threatened, Gaelic culture. There is a mixture of prehistoric and historical sites (for there are no Roman or Saxon remains in Ireland), monastic and early Christian sites, country houses, small museums and other treats strung out along one of the most beautiful coastlines in Europe. Irish archaeology and history offer a wealth of information, due partly to the extraordinary amount of survey and excavation carried out in the last two decades. From 10,000 years ago, the first hunter-gatherers moved across the island, exploiting the rich land and sea life of the western seaboard. From 6,000 years ago, complex societies were established and the development of a series of tombs bears out the structure of society at this time. From 4,000 years ago, Bronze Age and Iron Age Ireland produces incredible gold torcs, wonderful jewellery and fascinating evidence of

religious beliefs and rituals, contact with people overseas, and an increasingly stratified society. With the introduction of Christianity, many aspects of pagan practices were absorbed into the new belief. The arrival of the Vikings in 795 (Dublin became one of the largest Viking settlements outside of Scandinavia) brought new challenges and the beginnings of urbanisation. Ongoing conquest and colonisation from the east continued piecemeal to the end of the seventeenth century. Closer to our time rising rural populations led to a catastrophic famine and the deaths of one million people, the single largest loss of life in nineteenth-century Europe. Mass emigration to Britain and North America followed, and with it, ironically, a rising awareness of the cultural importance of this disappearing Gaelic world. This awareness provided inspiration for the remarkable cultural literary revival at the end of the nineteenth century, and is something which remains to this day. Ireland has emerged from a period of intense economic, social and political change with an increasing population – a large influx of returning Irish emigrants together with thousands of non-nationals – and a radical transformation of the major cities and towns of the island. The countryside, however, has escaped the impact and worst excesses of this intensive growth. Explore the incredibly rich rural landscapes, studded with small towns and villages, of the south and west coasts. The vast bulk of the country is still beautiful, unspoilt and offers a happy balance Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking, where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing at sites. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. There’s rather more time spent outside than indoors on this tour. Average distance by coach per day: 58 miles.

1–7 July 2019 (mf 610) 7 days • £2,390 Lecturer: Professor Muiris O’Sullivan


Western Ireland continued

'Muiris O'Sullivan was outstanding. An exceptional authority on the topic, a warm personality and the ability to bring the content to life with appropriate story-telling made him a delightful, engaging and most authoritative lecturer.' W.P., participant on Western Ireland in 2018.

between fantastic archaeological sites and scenery, superb accommodation and relative peace and quiet. Our extensive itinerary is planned to take in parts of the country which show the cultural legacy of the island, specifically outside of the major cities. In addition, the food on the west coast is of the highest standard, and the daily fresh catch can bring in all sorts of delights.

Itinerary Day 1. The coach leaves Cork airport at midday or meet in the hotel. The beautiful coastal town of Kinsale has a rich maritime history: the battle in 1601 was a turning point in Irish history. Visit the 17th-century, star-shaped Charles Fort. Overnight in Kinsale. Day 2: Killarney, Dingle. Leave west Cork for Killarney. Visit the 19th-century Muckross House and gardens, Killarney’s National Park and see the earliest Bronze Age copper mine in northwest Europe. Drive along the dramatic south coast of the Dingle peninsula passing Inch and Anascaul, a landscape of mountain and sandy beach. First of two nights in Dingle. Day 3: the Dingle Peninsula. Drive around Slea Head (the westernmost point of Europe) to Dunquin and associated sites. The area is dotted with beehive huts, standing stones, and early monastic sites. Visit the Blasket Islands’ Visitor Centre and Ferriter’s Cove, the earliest Mesolithic site in the southwest of Ireland. Continue to the monastic sites of 10th-century Riasc, the perfectly preserved 8th-century Gallarus Oratory, and the 12th-century Kilmalkedar church. Visit the region’s museum in the village of Ballyferriter.

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Day 4: County Clare. Visit the 15th-century castle at Listowel, once occupied by the Firzmaurice lords of Kerry and occupying the location of the original 13th-century castle which fronted on to the river Feale. Cross the Shannon by ferry and pass through the spectacular landscape of the Burren in north County Clare. Visit the 12thcentury Kilfenora cathedral, with its high crosses and glass-roofed chancel. First of three nights near Ballyvaughan. Day 5: the Aran Islands. The Aran Islands have captivated visitors for hundreds of years; distinctive geology and landscape alone make it a memorable trip, and the archaeology makes it unforgettable. Earliest occupation dates from the 8th century bc, and it was here in the 1890s that J.M. Synge came to record the islands’ folklore and traditions which inspired his dramatic writings. By ferry to Inishmore, with views back on the Cliffs of Moher, for a full day on the island exploring ring forts, churches, and grave sites. Day 6: the Burren. Visit Ailwee Cave, the largest and most spectacular cave in Ireland. Surrounding Leamaneh castle, 15th-century, is a medieval landscape of ancient roads and ruins. Continue north through the Burren to view prehistoric Poulnabrone dolmen.

Day 7: Kilmacduagh, Shannon. The 11th-century slightly leaning 100ft tower at Kilmacduagh is on a monastic site with four ruined churches. Continue to Shannon airport by 11.00am where the tour ends.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,390. Single occupancy: £2,730. Included meals: 2 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Acton’s Hotel, Kinsale (actonshotelkinsale.com): excellently located on the waterfront, a business-orientated 4-star hotel in five converted Georgian town houses. The Dingle Skellig Hotel (dingleskellig.com): 4-star functional hotel, out-of-town overlooking Dingle bay. Gregans Castle Hotel, Ballyvaughan (gregans.ie): 4-star country house hotel set in gardens and woodland. Flights. Flights from London to Cork and Shannon to London are not included in the price of the tour. We will send the recommended flight options when they are available to book and ask that you make your own flight reservation. The cost of an economy seat at the time of going to press is c. £250 and will be available to book in August 2019. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking on archaeological sites. Uneven ground, irregular paving, steps and hills are standard. A good level of fitness is essential. Unless you enjoy entirely unimpaired mobility, cope with everyday walking and stair-climbing without difficulty and are reliably sure-footed, this tour is not for you. Average distance by coach per day: 61 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Glyndebourne & Garsington, 27–30 June 2019 (p.28); Interwar Interiors, 8 July 2019; Gastronomic West Country, 8–14 July 2019 (p.30); 'A terrible beauty', 9–14 July 2019 (p.42). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Professor Muiris O’Sullivan Emeritus Professor of Archaeology and former Head of School at the UCD School of Archaeology, Dublin. He has conducted research at some of the more famous sites in Ireland, at Tara, Knowth and Newgrange. His publications include The Mound of the Hostages, Tara: From the Past to the Future and Archaeology 2020. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 Illustration: The Cliffs of Moher, wood engraving c. 1880.

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West Cork Chamber Music Festival Concerts on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way July 2019 Lecturer: Stephen Johnson Full details available in December 2018 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk Concerts featuring national and international artists; Barry Douglas, Borusan Quartet, Delta Piano Trio, Johannes Moser and Finghin Collins. Grounded in artistic collaboration, the festival is an intensive musical experience, often comprising three or four short concerts a day. Set in the picturesque town of Bantry on Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way. Now entering its 24th year, the firmly established West Cork Chamber Music Festival attracts world-class international artists to the small town of Bantry on the west coast of Ireland with the promise of ten days of musical collaboration. Through an adventurous approach to programming, the festival juxtaposes the challenging and the unknown with the beloved and the familiar.

The 2019 programme boasts chamber musicians from all over the world – Germany, France, Turkey, Sweden and Russia to name but a few - as well as showcasing local Irish talent including rising star, Mairéad Hickey. The collaborative approach to music-making nurtured by the festival facilitates the coming together of skilled soloists, working and rehearsing together to create unique and creative performances from Mozart to Szervánszky. The festival’s home is the small, charming harbour town of Bantry, renowned for its brightly decorated houses and views across Bantry Bay. Coupling vistas of the wild Atlantic sea and the surrounding mountains, the allure of rugged Irish coast and unspoiled countryside serves only to enhance the performances. Many of the concerts are staged in the eighteenth-century Bantry House, in the intimate library overlooking the gardens. The audience sits on three sides, encircling the artists, with intervals allowing time to enjoy the view across the bay from the beautiful Italian gardens. In addition, late night concerts are performed by candlelight, creating a wholly enchanting musical experience.

Practicalities Accommodation. The Maritime Hotel, Bantry (themaritime.ie): comfortable 4-star hotel. How strenuous? Access to performances would be difficult with impaired walking. Little coach travel, other than the journey to and from the airport. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Stephen Johnson Writer, broadcaster and composer. For 15 years he presented BBC Radio 3’s Discovering Music. His books include Bruckner Remembered, studies of Wagner and Mahler, and How Shostakovich Changed My Mind, which examines the effect of music on mental health. His orchestral piece Behemoth Dances had its première by the Moscow State Symphony Orchestra in 2016. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Photograph: Bantry House, ©Lizzy Holsgrove 2018.

BRITAIN & IRELAND: Ireland

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Albania: Crossroads of Antiquity Archaeology, history, art and landscape Romans, and a vital link on the route from Europe to Asia. We visit its amphitheatre, the largest in the Balkans, as well as the Roman forum, the ancient city walls and the archaeological museum. First of two nights in Berat. Day 3: Berat. A unesco world heritage site, Berat is one of Albania’s oldest and most attractive cities, with many Ottoman houses scattered across the hills above the river. A walking tour of the lower town includes the 15th-century mosque and the 18th-century Halvati Teqe. Meanwhile, the Byzantine citadel above shelters the Church of St Mary – home to the dazzling Onufri Icon Museum where 16th- and 17th-century Christian art and a beautiful iconostasis are displayed. Overnight in Berat.

2–11 October 2019 (mf 770) 10 days • £2,760 Lecturer: Carolyn Perry Discover a forgotten history of conflict, culture and economic power. Explore the remains of once-flourishing Greek, Roman and Ottoman cities. Stay in the unesco World Heritage towns of Berat and Gjirokastra.

MAINLAND EUROPE: ALBANIA

It may seem a backwater now. But Albania’s importance in the ancient world is writ large in the historical sources. Greek historian Thucydides describes how a dispute over the city of Epidamnus (modern Durrës) helped ignite the Peloponnesian War of 431–404 bc. Nearly 400 years later, much of Rome’s civil war between Caesar and Pompey was played out along the Albanian coast. And it was in the city of Apollonia that Octavian learned of the assassination of his great-uncle Caesar – and launched a bid for power that ultimately made him emperor. Why was Albania so important? One look at its geography will tell you. This is a country blessed with natural harbours, and a short sea crossing to the Italian port of Brindisi. It is also the start of the most direct overland route from the Adriatic to Istanbul, which in Roman times was traced by the Via Egnatia. A natural staging post between the eastern and western Mediterranean, Albania flourished under Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans. It is this rich and forgotten history that forms the backbone of our tour. We visit ancient cities that once had glittering reputations, but have since fallen into ruin and have only ever been partially excavated. Meanwhile, the unesco World Heritage towns of Berat and Gjirokastra shine a light onto 46

the civilisation that developed under five centuries of Ottoman rule. Berat, known as ‘the town of a thousand windows’, is home to the museum of the sixteenth-century iconographer Onufri, while Gjirokastra, birthplace of the novelist Ismail Kadare, is believed to be the setting for his celebrated Chronicle in Stone. Not all the sites are easy to access: but that just adds to the sense of exploration and discovery. The drive to Labova e Kryqit (Labova of the Cross), for example, involves venturing off the beaten track, to be rewarded by an exquisite Byzantine church, complete with dazzling icons and exceptional frescoes. To reach Saranda, we travel through the pristine landscapes of the Llogara National Park and along the undeveloped Ionic coast. Albania wriggled free of the Ottomans on 28 November 1912, but since then has endured occupation by the Austro-Hungarians, Italians and Germans, among others – as well as a repressive Communist regime that outlasted all others in Europe. Thankfully, the past two decades have seen great changes, and the country is now a candidate for entry to the European Union. Tirana is modernising at breakneck speed: the tour culminates with a two-night sojourn amid its bustle and optimism.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 5.00pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Tirana. Drive to Kruja. Overnight in Kruja. Day 2: Kruja, Durrës, Berat. We start the day in Kruja, Albania’s medieval capital, clustered around its restored bazaar, above which sits a ruined citadel and castle. It is also home to an excellent Ethnographic Museum and a modern museum dedicated to the life of Gjergj Kastrioti (aka Skanderbeg). The afternoon is spent in Durrës, a key port for both the Greeks and the

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Day 4: Byllis, Vlora. Once the largest city in southern Illyria, Byllis is a vast and atmospheric archaeological site, perched on a hilltop and commanding spectacular views. In Late Antiquity Byllis became an important Christian centre, and several basilicas were built. Vlora is the country’s second port; the first parliament convened here following the declaration of independence in 1912. Here, we see the Muradie Mosque; built in 1537 by the greatest of Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan. Overnight in Vlora. Day 5: Himara, Saranda. The day is spent travelling through Llogara National Park and along the breathtaking Ionic coast. The journey is broken in the bay of Porto Palermo, a few kilometres from the small town of Himara, where we visit a Venetian fort and castle. Arrive in Saranda for a panoramic view of the bay before continuing to the hotel for a one-night stay. Day 6: Butrint, Gjirokastra. Situated by a lake close to the Greek border, Butrint (Buthrotum) was settled by Greeks from nearby Corfu in the 6th century bc. It became an important Roman colony, declined in Late Antiquity and was abandoned in the Middle Ages. Lords Sainsbury and Rothschild set up the Butrint Foundation in 1991 to protect and examine the site. Excavation has revealed substantial elements of the late Roman and Byzantine town including a basilica, baptistery and a palace. First of two nights in Gjirokastra. Day 7: Gjirokastra, Labova e Kryqit. The steep cobbled streets and stone-roofed Ottoman houses of Gjirokastra are best appreciated from the castle. We visit the Old Bazaar, a traditional Ottoman house and the former home of dictator Enver Hoxha, now an ethnographic museum. In the afternoon, the remote village of Labova e Kryqit (Labova of the Cross) is our destination – to see one of the oldest Byzantine churches in Albania, dating back to the 6th century. Overnight in Gjirokastra. Day 8: Apollonia, Ardenica, Tirana. Drive north to Apollonia. Founded by colonists from Corinth around 600 bc, it was later home to a famous Academy, where Octavian was studying in 44 bc. Finds are displayed in the cloisters of a 13th-century Byzantine monastery. En route to Tirana visit the monastery of Ardenica, built in 1282 by Byzantine Emperor, Andronikos II Palaiologos and famous as the site of the wedding


Sacred Armenia Early Christian Monasteries and modern-day Yerevan in 1451 of Albania’s national hero, Skanderbeg. First of two nights in Tirana. Day 9: Tirana. A morning tour of Tirana includes some of the city’s grand central boulevards, lined with relics of its Ottoman, Italian and Communist past. There is also a visit to the National Art Gallery. The afternoon is spent in the vast National Historical Museum where displays span from antiquity to the Communist regime of Enver Hoxha. Overnight in Tirana. Day 10: Tirana. A morning visit to Bunk’Art in the outskirts of Tirana. Explore one of the many bunkers still standing after the fall of Enver Hoxha’s communist regime, which has recently opened to the public as a history and contemporary art museum. Fly from Tirana, arriving at London Gatwick at c. 3.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,760 or £2,450 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,980 or £2,670 without flights.

5–13 September 2019 (mf 729) 9 days • £3,510 Lecturer: Andrew Spira Monasteries and other sacred buildings from as early as the seventh century. Outstanding mountainous landscape. Time to get to know Yerevan, with its squares, cafés and street-life. Comfortable hotels and surprisingly good food. Of all the lands straddling east and west, the nation of Armenia is perhaps least like a gateway and most like a frontier. ‘Unique’ is a lazy and unenlightening epithet with which to characterise distant lands, but Armenia, both ancient and modern, Asian and European, melting-pot and defiantly individual, is fully deserving of the description. Its long and tenacious history is one of tragedy and renewal. The heralding this spring of

a ‘New Armenia’, following a peaceful uprising led by Nikol Pashinyan against corruption and singleparty rule, signals the latest upward curve. At its apogee in the first century bc, Armenia stretched from the Mediterranean to the Caspian, and almost to the Black Sea. For the next three centuries, however, it would suffer conquest and reconquest as the Romans and the Parthians traded blows in the southern Caucasus, with intermittent periods of self-rule keeping the flame of independence alive. It was in large part to keep themselves distinct from the two vast surrounding empires that the Armenians adopted the new religion of Christianity in ad 301, developing a new alphabet a hundred years after that. These two markers of identity survived domination by Byzantines, Arabs, Mongols, Turks and Russians, as did many spectacular religious buildings, which were built to withstand not just invasions but earthquakes too. Armenia’s sacred architecture was a greater influence on mediaeval Europe than is commonly assumed, after its round towers and cross-plans

Included meals: 8 lunches, 8 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Panorama, Kruja (hotelpanoramakruje.com): modern hotel built into the hillside offering panoramic views. Hotel Mangalemi, Berat (mangalemihotel.com): small, traditional, family-run hotel in several converted Ottoman townhouses with a central courtyard and roof terrace. Room sizes and furnishings vary. Hotel Partner, Vlora (hotelpartner.al): large, modern hotel in a central location. Santa Quaranta, Saranda (santaquaranta.al): uxury resort hotel away from the main centre with seaviews. Hotel Argjiro, Gjirokastra (hotelargjiro.al): recently-opened hotel in the the historical centre. Hotel Kotoni, Tirana (hotelkotoni.com): boutique hotel in a restored government building located on a quiet side-street off the main boulevard.

MAINLAND EUROPE: ALBANIA, Armenia

How strenuous? This is a fairly demanding tour and a good level of fitness is essential. Unless you enjoy entirely unimpaired mobility, cope with everyday walking and stair-climbing without difficulty and are reliably sure-footed, this tour is not for you. There are some long coach journeys, sometimes on uneven terrain. On one occasion a steep ascent by jeep is necessary to reach a site. There are several hotel changes. Average distance by coach per day: 59 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Classical Greece, 21–30 September 2019 (p.109); Moldavia & Transylvania, 12–20 October 2019 (p.176); Courts of Northern Italy, 13–20 October 2019 (p.132). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Berat, lithograph 1851 by Edward Lear.

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Sacred Armenia continued

were noted by returning crusaders. Thick-walled, built from local tuff or basalt, and housing a particularly severe strain of eastern Christianity, there is a resplendent austerity about these churches which is only heightened by their frequently spectacular natural surroundings. Many of the finest, including the rock-hewn Geghard and the unesco world heritage site of Echmiadzin, are easily visited from the capital, Yerevan. And while calling Yerevan the most sensitively-remodelled of all former Soviet cities may sound like damnation with the faintest praise imaginable, today it is attractive and confident, its proliferation of cafés, galleries and public spaces making it a truly pleasant place to spend time. In the north of the country are two more unesco-listed monasteries, at Sanahin and Haghpat; both tell the story of Armenian religion and cultural endurance. Meanwhile Yerevanis live, work and socialise in the literal and metaphorical shadow of Ararat, still Armenia’s most emotive symbol despite now being on Turkish land.

A few hundred yards from the border, the monastery of Khor Virap, which proudly boasts the dungeon where St Gregory the Illuminator was incarcerated, defiantly advertises the indomitable Armenian Christian tradition.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.00am from London Heathrow to Yerevan via Paris (Air France), arriving c. 8.25pm. Transfer to the hotel in the heart of the city. Day 2: Yerevan. A leisurely start this morning. The day begins with a visit to the comprehensive and fascinating State Museum of Armenian History. At the National Art Gallery see collections from Armenia, Russia and Western Europe. Overnight Yerevan. Day 3: Echmiadzin, Yerevan. In the morning, visit the Matenadaran, a repository of 17,000 illuminated manuscripts. The Museum of the Armenian Genocide is all the more powerful for its simplicity. After lunch, drive to Echmiadzin, the seat of the Armenian Apostolic Church, also a unesco world heritage site. The vast ruined cathedral at neighbouring Zvartnots tells of the extraordinary ambition of early architects. Overnight Yerevan. Day 4: Amberd, Dzoraget. The ruins of Amberd Fortress, dramatically located on the southern slopes of Mount Ararat, date back to the 12th century, although it has been a stronghold since the seventh. In the afternoon, drive to Dzoraget. First of two nights here. Day 5: Akhtala, Alaverdi. The 13th-century frescoes in Akhtala are strongly influenced by Byzantium. The monasteries at Haghpat and Sanahin, both unesco-listed sites, are both fine examples of Armenian sacred architecture. Overnight Dzoraget.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Armenia

Day 6: Vanadzor, Dilijan, Lake Sevan. Visit a stone-carver who continues the tradition of cutting khachkars (cross-stones), characteristic of Medieval Christian Armenian art. Drive to Lake Sevan, and the peerlessly situated Sevanavank monastery that overlooks it. Overnight Yerevan. Day 7: Khor Virap, Noravank, Yerevan. Visit the Khor Virap monastery in the foothills of Mount Ararat, where St Gregory the Illuminator was imprisoned. Hidden from view in a remote valley, Noravank, the masterwork of the architect and sculptor Momik, is perhaps the most beautiful of Armenia’s 13th-century monasteries. Overnight Yerevan.

Andrew Spira Formerly a specialist in Russian and Byzantine icons at the Temple Gallery in London, curator at the V&A and Programme Director at Christie’s Education. He studied at the Courtauld Institute, and is author of The Avant-Garde Icon: Russian Avant-Garde Art & the Icon Painting Tradition. He has led many cultural tours to Armenia, Georgia, Romania, Crete and Russia. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,510 or £2,850 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,980 or £3,320 without flights. Included meals: all lunches and all dinners with wine. Visas: British, EU, US, Australian and New Zealand nationals no longer require a visa. Passports must be valid for at least six months after the tour ends. Accommodation. Grand Hotel, Yerevan (grandhotelyerevan.com): in a 1920s NeoClassical-style building, close to Republic Square, this luxury hotel was fully renovated in 2015. It has spa facilities and a roof-top swimming pool with panoramic views. The Avan Dzoraget (tufenkianheritage.com): small and stylish hotel in a wonderful riverside location, equivalent to a 4-star. How strenuous? You will be on your feet for long periods. Many of the sites are reached by steep, uneven steps often without handrails. There are 220 steps to a monastery. The tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stairclimbing. There are 4 coach journeys of over 2 hours (average distance by coach per day: 72 miles). Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Georgia Uncovered, 14–23 September 2019 (p.88); The Age of Bede, 14–17 September 2019 (p.15); Dark Age Brilliance, 15–22 September 2019 (p.133). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Day 8: Geghard, Garni. Much of the monastery at Geghard is carved out of the cliffside. There is a performance here of the Armenian Divine Lithurgy by the Garni Choir. The Hellenic temple at Garni is the last remaining pre-Christian building in Armenia. Day 9. The morning flight from Yerevan arrives Heathrow at c. 1.45pm.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 Illustration: Yerevan, copper engraving c. 1750.

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Connoisseur’s Vienna Art, architecture, music and private visits 17–23 June 2019 (mf 590) 7 days • £2,960 (including tickets to 2 performances) Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier Art, architecture, music: the main sites as well as lesser-known ones. Several special arrangements for out-of-hours visits or private buildings. Perfectly located heritage hotel. Two included musical performances: Bach’s Mass in B Minor at the Musikverein with Collegium Vocale Gent, and Verdi's Aida at the Staatsoper.

Itinerary This is only a summary of the visits; there are many more which are not mentioned here. Day 1. Fly at c.10.00am from London Heathrow to Vienna (British Airways). An afternoon walk in and around the Hofburg, the Habsburg winter palace, a vast agglomeration from six centuries of building activity. See the incomparable collection of precious regalia and objets d’art in the Treasury, and the glorious library hall by Fischer von Erlach. Day 2. Walk through the Roman and mediaeval core to see a cross-section of architecture

including Gothic and Baroque churches and some of Vienna’s most enchanting streetscapes. Guided tour of the Synagogue (Josef Kornhäusel, 1824), followed by a visit to a private chapel. Another special arrangement to see a grand 18thcentury hall. The Jesuit church was spectacularly refurbished c. 1700 by the master of illusionist painting, Andrea Pozzo. Evening concert at the Musikverein with the Collegium Vocale Gent and Phillippe Herreweghe (conductor): Bach, Mass in B minor (BWV 232). Day 3. Drive to the outskirts to see buildings by Otto Wagner; the richly decorated apartment blocks in the Linke Wienzeile, the emperor’s personal railway station at Schönbrunn and the hospital church ‘Am Steinhof’, the finest manifestation of Viennese Secessionism. The Liechtenstein collection in the family’s great Baroque palace (Gartenpalais) is perhaps the finest in private hands in Europe, currently not open to the public. An evening at the Staatsoper: Aida (Verdi) with Marco Armiliato (conductor), Elena Guseva (Aida), Ekaterina Gubanova (Amneris), Gregory Kunde (Radames). Day 4. Drive around the Ringstrasse, the boulevard which encircles the old centre and is the locus classicus of historicist architecture. The magnificent Liechtenstein Palace (Stadtpalais) was built at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries by the richest family in the Habsburg Empire and has magnificent Rococo interiors and original furnishings. Visit to and dinner at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the world’s greatest art collections, particularly rich in Italian, Flemish and Dutch pictures. Day 5. Visit the palace and garden of Schloss Belvedere, built on sloping ground overlooking Vienna for Prince Eugene of Savoy, which constitutes one of the finest residential complexes of the 18th century. It now houses the Museum of Austrian Art with paintings by Klimt and Schiele. Day 6. A tour of the Parliament building, a splendid example of enriched Neo-Classicism,

and visit a late-19th-century town house on the Ringstrasse. Afternoon at the Museumsquartier, an art centre in the imperial stables. Day 7. The Secession building, built in 1898 as an exhibition hall for avant-garde artists, contains Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze. Visit the great hall of the Academy of Art and the Church of St Charles, the Baroque masterpiece of Fischer von Erlach. The flight arrives at Heathrow at c. 5.00pm. Please note: because the itinerary is dependent on a number of appointments with private owners, the order and even the content of the tour may vary.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,960 or £2,820 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,380 or £3,240 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Bristol (bristolvienna. com): 5-star hotel in a superb location on the Ringstrasse near the opera house, traditionally furnished and decorated. Music: tickets (first category) to 2 performances are included, costing c. £350. How strenuous? This tour involves a lot of walking in the town centre, and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Public transport (metro or tram), is used on some occasions. Average distance covered by coach per day: 6 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: The Imperial Riviera, 10–16 June 2019 (p.121); Rhineland Romanesque, 10–16 June 2019 (p.104); Berlin: New Architecture, 25–29 June 2019 (p.94). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Vienna, National (formerly court) Library, lithograph c. 1950.

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MAINLAND EUROPE: Austria

With visits to the chief sights as well as lesser ones and little-visited treasures, with privileged access to places not normally accessible and two musical evenings, this tour provides an exceptionally rich and rounded cultural experience. Whether or not you have been to the city before, it will present Vienna in a truly memorable way. Grandiloquent palaces and labyrinthine mediaeval streets; broad boulevards and quiet courtyards; at times embattled on the frontier of Christendom, yet a treasury containing some of the greatest of European works of art; an imperial city without an empire: Vienna is a fascinating mix, a quintessentially Central European paradox. The seat of the Habsburgs, pre-eminent city of the Holy Roman Empire and capital of a vast multinational agglomeration of territories, Vienna is magnificently equipped with buildings which were created by imperial and aristocratic patronage. But the history of Vienna is shot through with diversity, difference and dissent, and some of the choicest items we see were created in defiance of mainstream orthodoxy. A feature of this tour is the number of specially arranged visits to private palaces or institutions which are not generally open to the public or are off the beaten track. Because of the privileged nature of these visits we can only name a few of them here, but they include Baroque palaces, nineteenth-century halls, pioneers of modernism, churches and a synagogue. And then there is the music. As home for Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler and countless other composers, Vienna is pre-eminent in the history of music. We have chosen to include a concert at the Musikverein and a performance at the Staatsoper.


Vienna’s Masterpieces The art collections of an imperial capital

27–31 August 2019 (mf 664) 5 days • £1,980 Lecturer: Patrick Bade Focuses on the best of the art in the city – painting, sculpture and decorative arts. Also the key architectural monuments and characteristic streetscape.

Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum), one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Masters. For this first visit concentrate on the northern schools, especially the early Netherlandish school, the famous Bruegels, Rubens, Rembrandt and Vermeer.

arts from the turn of the nineteenth century. An afternoon in the Kunsthistorisches Museum again, this time concentrating mainly on Italian pictures – Bellini, Titian, Bellotto. There is also the recently re-displayed Kunstkammer here, an outstanding collection of metalwork and sculpture.

Day 2. The splendid Belvedere Palace now houses the national collection of Austrian art, mediaeval, Baroque, Biedermeier and Secessionist – Klimt and Schiele. An afternoon walk around the Roman and mediaeval core of the city takes in the Cathedral, the greatest of Gothic buildings in the Danubian lands, distinguished for its late mediaeval sculpture, and the Hofburg, the sprawling winter palace of the Habsburgs. The precious regalia and objets d’art in the Schatzkammer (Treasury) are the best of their kind.

Day 5. Visit the Museum of Applied Arts, an outstanding collection from all eras and places, well displayed. Return to Heathrow c. 3.40pm.

Day 3. In a park a few minutes from the hotel see the Art Nouveau former metro stations by Otto Wagner and the great Baroque Church of St Charles. The excellent Vienna Museum traces the city’s history through art and artefacts. In the afternoon visit the Secession Building which contains Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze, the magnificent Great Hall of the Court Library and the excellent if small gallery of the Academy of Fine Arts. Among its holdings is a masterpiece by Hieronymus Bosch. Day 4. Another walk through picturesque streets and squares passes private palaces and public buildings such as the Gothic Revival city hall and the Neo-Classical Parliament. The Leopold Collection comprises excellent examples of the

Perfectly located 5-star heritage hotel.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Austria

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.00am from London Heathrow to Vienna (Austrian Airlines) and drive to the hotel in the heart of the city. Walk to the 50

Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,980 or £1,770 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,250 or £2,040 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Bristol (bristolvienna. com): 5-star hotel in a superb location on the Ringstrasse near the opera house, traditionally furnished and decorated. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour and standing around in galleries. Tram is used on some occasions. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019 (a transfer is provided); Enescu Festival Bucharest, 1–7 September 2019 (p.178); Moscow & St Petersburg, 2–10 September 2019 (p.183). Illustration: Vienna, Josefsplatz, engraving c. 1810.

CELEBRATING MUSIC AND PLACE

Can be combined with Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019. Vienna possesses one of the most significant concentrations of great art to be found anywhere in the world. There are Old Master paintings of the highest quality, indigenous early-modern art and design of the highest importance, furnishings and decorative arts from many civilisations, precious regalia and goldwork without peer – and much else besides. This tour includes all of the main art museums and many of the smaller or less-visited ones. There is also more than a passing glance at the most important works of architecture, and the lecturer’s input touches on the fascinating and turbulent history of Austria and her empire. The seat of the Habsburgs, pre-eminent city of the Holy Roman Empire and capital of a vast multinational agglomeration of territories, Vienna is appropriately equipped with magnificent buildings and broad boulevards. But cheek by jowl with grandiloquent palaces and trumpeting churches are narrow alleys and ancient courtyards which survive from the mediaeval city. In Vienna the magnificent mixes with the unpretentiously charming, imperial display with the Gemütlichkeit of the coffee houses. Diversity and delight.

Practicalities

31 AUGUST–7 SEPTEMBER 2019 Nine private concerts of music from the Austro-Hungarian Empire in beautiful and appropriate historic buildings, culminating with Mozart’s last three symphonies. Accommodation is on a comfortable modern ship which has been chartered exclusively for the festival audience. London Winds, Michael Collins, Haydn Philharmonic, Stuart Jackson, Julius Drake, Kristian Bezuidenhout, Wiener Kammerchor, Wihan Quartet, Martin Kasík, Gabrieli, Consone Quartet.

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Daily talks by Stephen Johnson and Professor Sir Richard J. Evans. Opportunity to see some of the loveliest towns and cities in the region and to savour its art and architecture. Alternatively, stay in hotels and combine seven of the concerts with country walks through ravishing scenery, with daily talks by Richard Wigmore. Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com/festivals


Opera in Vienna Beethoven, Wagner, Strauss, Handel

23–28 April 2019 (mf 495) 6 days • £3,270 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturers: Barry Millington & Tom Abbott At the Staatsoper: Fidelio (Beethoven), Parsifal (Wagner) and Salome (Strauss) with the Vienna Philharmonic. A concert performance of Rinaldo (Handel) at the historic Theater an der Wien.

Based at a venerable and very comfortable hotel perfectly located beside the Staatsoper.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.30am from London Heathrow to Vienna (British Airways). Day 2. A talk on the music is followed by a visit to the Hofburg, the sprawling Habsburg palace where we see inter alia the splendid library hall and the imperial apartments. Free afternoon. Evening opera at the Staatsoper: Parsifal (Wagner), Valery Gergiev (conductor), Matthias Goerne (Amfortas), René Pape (Gurnemanz), Simon O`Neill (Parsifal), Boaz Daniel (Klingsor), Elena Zhidkova (Kundry). Day 3. The daily talk precedes a visit to the Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the world’s greatest art galleries. Then walk through a series

Practicalities

Day 4. A morning walk through the centre of the inner city includes the Stephansdom, the great Gothic cathedral, the Baroque church of St Peter and an apartment where Mozart lived. There is some free time before a lateafternoon talk and an early dinner. Evening at the Staatsoper: Fidelio (Beethoven), Adam Fischer (conductor), Thomas Johannes Mayer (Don Pizarro), Brandon Jovanovich (Florestan), Anne Schwanewilms (Leonore), Lars Woldt (Rocco), Chen Reiss (Marzelline).

Music: tickets (first category) for 4 operas are included, costing c. £740. Tickets are due to be confirmed in Autumn 2018.

Day 5. The daily talk is followed by a visit to the excellent Museum of Applied Arts, especially rewarding for Secessionist (Art Nouveau) furniture and design. Free time is followed by dinner and an evening at the theatre which was built by Emanuel Schikenader in 1801. Opera at the Theater an der Wien: Rinaldo (Handel), Jean-Christophe Spinosi (conductor), Filippo Mineccia (Rinaldo), Dara Savinova (Goffredo), Ekaterina Bakanova (Almirena), Eric Jurenas (Eustazio), Riccardo Novaro (Argante), Emilie Rose Bry (Armida), Ensemble Matheus (orchestra). Day 6. Some free time in the morning before the journey to the airport. The flight to Heathrow arrives at c. 1.30pm.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,270 or £2,960 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,610 or £3,300 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine.

Accommodation. Hotel Bristol (bristolvienna. com): 5-star hotel in a superb location on the Ringstrasse near the opera house, traditionally furnished and decorated. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour, mainly through the town centre where vehicular access is limited. Average distance by coach per day: 5 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music in Berlin, 17–22 April 2019 (p.93); Mediaeval Sussex & Hampshire, 29 April–3 May 2019 (p.12); Mediaeval Saxony, 29 April–7 May 2019 (p.95). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Vienna, Theater an der Wien, a late 19th-century wood engraving after an 1826 copper engraving.

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Productions of the highest quality which tend more towards traditional than innovatory.

of gardens to a restaurant for lunch. Free time afterwards. An evening at the Staatsoper: Salome (Richard Strauss), Michael Boder (conductor), Herwig Pecoraro (Herodes), Jane Henschel (Herodias), Gun-Brit Barkmin (Salome), Markus Marquardt (Jochanaan).


The Schubertiade Music and mountains in the Vorarlberg Day 4. Optional excursion to Hohenhems, a small town nestled under the Schlossberg ‘castle mountain’. A guided tour includes the Renaissance Palace (exterior only) and the former Jewish quarter. Some free time before returning to Mellau for an afternoon lecture. Drive to Schwarzenberg for an afternoon concert with Baiba Skride (violin), Lise Berthaud (viola), Harriet Krijgh (cello), Lauma Skride (piano): Schubert, Adagio & Rondo Concertante for Piano Quartet in F, D487; Suk, Piano Quartet in A minor, Op.1; Brahms, Piano Quartet in A, Op.26. Dinner in Schwarzenberg before an evening concert with Julia Kleiter (soprano), Tara Erraught (mezzo-soprano), Pavol Breslik (tenor), Andrè Schuen (baritone) and Igor Levit (piano): Rossini, Petite Messe Solennelle. Day 5. Morning excursion to Bregenz, the capital of the Vorarlberg on Lake Constance. Begin in the upper town, the picturesque older part, and then continue down to the lower town for a lakeside walk and visit to the local history museum. Return to Mellau in the early afternoon in time to refresh before an afternoon concert with Igor Levit (piano) and Ning Feng (violin): Schubert, Sonata in D, D384, Sonata in A minor, D385 ‘Erlkönig’, Allegretto in C minor, D915, Sonata in G minor, D408. Independent evening in Mellau.

26 August–1 September 2019 (mf 662) 7 days • £3,710 (including tickets to 9 performances) Lecturer: Misha Donat Nine performances; artists include Artemis Quartet, Igor Levit (piano), Ning Feng (violin), Vienna Piano Trio, Helmut Deutsch (piano), André Schuen (baritone), Violeta Urmana (mezzo-soprano). Excursions to surrounding towns and an optional walk led by a local guide.

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The combination of music-making of the highest quality with a pre-Alpine mountain setting is a heady mix. Devotees of the Schubertiade return year after year; addiction is a distinct possibility. Add guided walks and visits in the surrounding area and top up with relaxation among ravishing upland scenery and this begins to sound like the recipe for the perfect holiday. The annual Schubertiade in the Vorarlberg, the westernmost province of Austria, is one of the most prestigious and enjoyable music festivals in Europe. It attracts artists of the highest calibre, while the rural setting and the predominance of Schubertian music create an endearing informality and intimacy. But the festival’s success has not stifled a constant desire for change and experiment, as its periodic peregrinations demonstrate. Having started in the village of Hohenems, it migrated a few years later up the valley to the little town of Feldkirch, which in 2001 it abandoned in favour of mountain villages amidst the beautiful scenery of the Bregenzerwald. The hill village setting has been further refined by confining all the concerts 52

to Schwarzenberg, described by Herder as ‘the prettiest village in Europe’. Our tour is based in the neighbouring village of Mellau, seven miles away.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.15pm from London Heathrow to Zurich (British Airways). Drive through Switzerland and into Austria, arriving early evening at Mellau in the lovely upland landscape of the Bregenzerwald. Day 2. Drive down the valley to Feldkirch, a little town built at a narrowing of the valley of the River Ill, with historic buildings, arcaded streets and a network of alleys nestling beneath high limestone cliffs. A guided tour includes medieval defences, town hall and Gothic cathedral (altarpiece by Wolf Huber). Drive to Schwarzenberg for a concert with Artemis Quartet: Tchaikovsky, String Quartet in F, Op.22; Schubert, String Quartet in D minor, D810 ‘Death & the Maiden’. Dinner in Schwarzenberg before an evening Lieder recital with Martin Mitterrutzner (tenor) and Gerold Huber (piano); Schubert, Die Schöne Müllerin. Day 3. Optional morning panoramic walk: Baumgartner Höhe, c. 4km, c.2½ hours and altitude gain is c. 200m. A moderate walk with inclines and terrific views. Take a funicular at the start and end of the walk. There is some free time in Mellau. Drive to Schwarzenberg for an afternoon piano recital with Francesco Piemontesi: Schubert, Four Impromptus, D899; Sonata in D, D850. Dinner in Schwarzenberg before an evening Lieder recital with Violeta Urmana (mezzosoprano) and Helmut Deutsch (piano): selected works by Schubert, Mahler and Strauss.

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Day 6. Morning lecture before driving to Schwarzenberg for a concert with the Vienna Piano Trio: Beethoven, Piano Trio in B, Op.97, ErzherzogTrio; Schubert, Piano Trio in B, D898. Return to Mellau for a free afternoon and dinner in the hotel. Drive to Schwarzenberg for an evening piano recital with Igor Levit: Mendelssohn, Six Songs Without Words; Mahler, Adagio from Symphony No.10; Schubert, Sonata in B, D960. Day 7. Fly from Zurich arriving at London Heathrow c. 4.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,710 or £3,530 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,900 or £3,720 without flights. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Music: tickets (top category) to 9 performances are included, costing c. £580. Accommodation. Hotel Sonne, Mellau (sonnemellau.com): 4-star hotel, modern and functional with a pleasant atmosphere and very helpful staff. There is a swimming pool and restaurant. All rooms are doubles. How strenuous? There is some walking through towns and over uneven ground. The optional walk is rated 'moderate' (see page 8) and participants wishing to take part should bring appropriate walking footwear. Average distance by coach per day: 55 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Moscow & St Petersburg, 2–10 September 2019 (p.181); Footpaths of Umbria, 2–9 September 2019 (p.145). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: The Vorarlberg (Feldkirch), lithograph c. 1850.


The Schubertiade The music festival with mountain walks 23–29 June 2019 (mf 581) 7 days • £3,590 (includes tickets to 8 performances) Lecturer: Richard Wigmore

Schwarzenberg. Afternoon concert with Apollon Musagète Quartet: Schubert, String Quartet No.1, D18, String Quartet in C, D46, String Quartet in G, D887. Return to Mellau for dinner in the hotel.

Eight performances; artists include Christoph Prégardien (tenor), Renaud Capuçon (violin), Christiane Karg (soprano) and Andrè Schuen (baritone).

Practicalities

Day 7. Free morning, then fly from Zurich arriving at London Heathrow c. 4.30pm.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,590 or £3,450 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,780 or £3,640 without flights.

Five country walks in the surrounding mountains, led by an experienced walking guide.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine.

Itinerary

Music: tickets (top category) to 8 performances are included, costing c. £520.

Day 1. Fly at c. 9.30am from London Heathrow to Zurich (British Airways). Stop at Winterthur (Switzerland) to see the Old Master and Impressionist paintings of the Oskar Reinhart Collection, beautifully displayed in the collector’s home in woods outside the city. Drive through Switzerland and into Austria, arriving early evening at Mellau in the lovely upland landscape of the Bregenzerwald. Dinner in the hotel restaurant. Day 2. Morning walk to Edelweißhütte, 6 km, 2½ hours. The funicular transports us to 1400m where the morning walk begins. Gentle but persistent climbs with no shade make this a moderately strenuous route, with spectacular views. Midafternoon lecture­before driving to Schwarzenberg. Afternoon Lieder recital with Christoph Prégardien (tenor) and Michael Gees (piano). Selected Lieder by Schumann and Schubert. Dinner in Schwarzenberg. Evening concert with Gabriel Le Magadure (violin), Raphaël Merlin (cello) and Shani Diluka (piano): Schumann, Adagio & Allegro in A flat, Op.70; Grieg, Violin Sonata in C minor, Op.45; Schubert, Piano Trio in E flat, D897 ‘Notturno’, Piano Trio in E flat, D929.

Day 4. Morning walk: Barfußweg in Bizau, c. 4 km, c. 1½ hours. This is an easy marshland walk along a stream without any height gain. Late afternoon lecture. Evening concert with Renaud Capuçon (violin), Guillaume Chilemme (violin), Adrien La Marca (viola), Edgar Moreau (cello): Brahms, String Quartet in C minor, Op.51 No.1, String Quartet in A minor, Op.51 No.2. Day 5. Morning walk: Auer Ried, c. 6 km, c. 2½ hours. A challenging walk that begins with an ascent of about 45 minutes before continuing through deciduous forest and emerging on to high pasture for wonderful views of the Kanisfluh

mountains and the Argenschlucht waterfall. Return to Mellau for lunch and a lecture­before driving to Schwarzenberg. Afternoon Lieder recital with Andrè Schuen (baritone) and Daniel Heide (piano): selected Lieder by Schubert. Dinner in Schwarzenberg. Evening concert with Till Fellner (piano): Schubert, Sonata in C minor, D958, Sonata in A, D959, Sonata in B flat, D960. Day 6. Morning panoramic walk: Baumgartner Höhe, c. 4 km, c.2½ hours. A moderate walk with inclines and terrific views. Take a funicular at the start and end of the walk. Return to Mellau for lunch and a lecture­before driving to

How strenuous? This is a walking tour, graded moderate (see page 8). There are 5 walks, 1 easy, 3 moderate and 1 challenging. It is essential for participants to have appropriate walking footwear, be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking with uphill and downhill content and some walking at altitude. Average distance by coach per day: 55 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Connoisseur's Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: From ‘The Foreign Tour of Messrs Brown, Jones & Robinson’ by Richard Doyle, Publ. 1854.

Opera in Munich & Bregenz See page 108

Mozart in Salzburg 28 January–3 February 2019 (mf 415) Very few spaces remaining 7 days • £3,765 (including tickets to 8 performances) Lecturer: Richard Wigmore Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com Daily attendance at the Mozartwoche, the annual festival celebrating the composer’s work in the town of his birth. An outstanding programme, performed by leading orchestras, chamber groups and soloists. The best-preserved Baroque city in northern Europe in a wonderful alpine setting. Five-star hotel close to the Mozarteum. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Day 3. Morning walk from Mellau to Dösvorsäß: c. 4.5 km, c. 1½ hours. A moderate, low level walk from the hotel along the Mellen stream that later climbs to enjoy views of the surrounding mountains. Mid-afternoon lecture­before driving to Schwarzenberg. Afternoon concert with Renaud Capuçon (violin) and David Fray (piano): J.S. Bach, Violin Sonata in E, BWV1016, Violin Sonata in C minor, BWV1017, Violin Sonata in F, BWV1018; Beethoven, Violin Sonata in A, Op.47. Dinner in Schwarzenberg. Evening Lieder recital with Christiane Karg (soprano), Sophie Rennert (mezzosoprano), Mauro Peter (tenor), Andrè Schuen (baritone), Helmut Deutsch (piano) Julius Drake (piano): selected Lieder by Brahms.

Accommodation. Hotel Sonne, Mellau (sonnemellau.com): 4-star hotel, modern and functional with a pleasant atmosphere and very helpful staff. There is a swimming pool and restaurant. All rooms are doubles.


Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo History, context and battlefield exploration Day 3: Quatre Bras, Ligny. The Wellington Museum is in the inn where the Duke spent the nights before and after the battle. During the day of 16th June some of the scattered allied contingents converged at Quatre Bras, but numerical inferiority led to a well fought defensive engagement and, on the 17th June, an orderly withdrawal admirably screened by cavalry. At the same time a much bigger battle was taking place 7 miles to the East at Ligny where the Prussians were badly defeated by Napoleon; this proved to be his last victory. Day 4: Waterloo. All day is spent walking the battlefield, with stops for talks at key positions. Among the highlights are the farmstead of Hougoumont, held by the Guards throughout the day during the fiercest fighting, and the sweep of terrain across which the British cavalry drove back the advance of the French but exhausted themselves in the process. Also visit the panoramic painting of the battle (1912) and climb the Lion Mound. Finish the day by walking the course taken by Napoleon’s Guards towards the allied lines before they turned and fled in the face of deadly fire and bayonet charges.

25–29 September 2019 (mf 733) 5 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Major Gordon Corrigan A study of three of the most written-about battles in British history, and their remarkably wellpreserved battlefields. Prefaced by visits to Crécy and Agincourt. Led by an outstanding military historian who has published on both periods.

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The Battle of Waterloo in 1815 terminated twentythree years of fighting and ushered in ninety-nine years of relative peace and political equilibrium. Waterloo can also be seen as marking Great Britain’s coming of age as a superpower. The event became absolutely key for British self-identity, epitomising the championship of liberty over tyranny, victory of the weaker over the stronger, and the value of the virtues of courage, composure, discipline and perseverance. Despite its far-reaching consequences, Waterloo was far from being the biggest battle of the Napoleonic Wars, or the bloodiest, or even, in terms of imbalance of casualties, the most decisive. It was not even a particularly British victory – two-thirds of the allied army was German, Dutch and Belgian, and that is without including the Prussians, whose intervention late in the day ensured victory. Much of the enduring fascination of the battle – probably the most written-about in history – derives from these controversies and because it was ‘the nearest run thing you ever saw in your life’. Wellington’s ‘infamous army’, though of similar size to Napoleon’s, contained a high proportion of inexperienced troops and citizen militia, and some who only a year previously had been marching under the imperial eagle. But they 54

stood their ground tenaciously and finished the day in triumph. This was Wellington’s ultimate test, his chance to measure his abilities against Napoleon, whom he had never met in battle before. His generalship proved to be the superior. Amazingly, fortuitously, all three battlefields are very well preserved. Crécy (1346) and Agincourt (1415) were also scenes of British victories over superior French forces and are major ingredients in the fading national myth. But it is not jingoism which brings these three battles together in this tour, but the contingency of geographical proximity – that and their fame. As a trio of events in British (pre-Victorian) history, their combined resonance is unsurpassed. A proper study of the battlefields leaves little room for partiality; ‘Nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won.’

Itinerary Day 1: Crécy. Take the Eurostar at 11.00am from St Pancras to Lille. Drive south through rolling countryside to the village of Crécy-en-Ponthieu. It was here in August 1346 that an English army commanded by Edward III and the Black Prince inflicted a crushing defeat on a numerically superior French and international force, victory of the longbow over knights in armour. The battlefield has changed little in topography and planting in 650 years. Overnight Montreuil. Day 2: Agincourt. Similarly remote and rural, the little-altered terrain helps explain how Henry V and his exhausted followers brought catastrophe to the much larger French army. However, the traditional national myth and Shakespearean spin veils a more complex and controversial reality. After a brief visit to the visitors’ centre, have lunch in the vicinity before driving across Flemish France and Walloon Belgium to Waterloo. First of three nights in Waterloo.

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Day 5: Plancenoit, Waterloo. Prussian troops entered the village of Plancenoit south of the battlefield and soaked up Napoleon’s reserves; the fighting was so fierce that little of the village survives. Visit the Napoleon museum in the house where he spent the night before the fateful battle. Return to London by Eurostar from Brussels arriving St Pancras c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,790 or £1,600 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,020 or £1,830 without Eurostar. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Hermitage, Montreuilsur-Mer (hermitage-montreuil.com): 19th-century building converted into a 3-star hotel. Superior bedrooms are of a good size, the décor is modern. Martin’s Grand Hotel, Waterloo (martins-hotels. com): located close to the battlefield, this 4-star hotel is in a converted 19th-century sugar refinery. How strenuous? There is a lot of standing on exposed sites for extended periods of time. There is quite a lot of walking, the Waterloo day having about five miles on foot along country lanes, footpaths and fields. There is a long drive from Agincourt to Waterloo. Average distance by coach per day: 115 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Arts & Crafts, 24 September 2019; Arts & Crafts in the Lake District, 30 September–4 October 2019 (p.31); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 30 September–5 October 2019 (p.153); World Heritage Malta, 30 September–6 October 2019 (p.165); Aragón: Hidden Spain, 30 September–8 October 2019 (p.192). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: watercolour after Sir John Gilbert publ. 1920.


Flemish Painting From van Eyck to Rubens: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels 4–8 September 2019 (mf 678) 5 days • £1,870 Lecturer: Dr Sophie Oosterwijk Immersion in the highlights of Flemish painting in the beautiful, unspoilt cities in which they were created. The main centres of Flemish art: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp and Brussels. Based in Ghent, which is equidistant to the other places on the itinerary. First-class train travel from London.

Itinerary Day 1: Ghent. Depart at c. 11.00am from London St Pancras by Eurostar for Lille, and from there drive to Ghent. Visit Ghent cathedral to see the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb polyptych by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, one of the greatest masterpieces of Netherlandish painting (undergoing restoration, not all panels are visible at once).

Day 3: Antwerp. The great port on the Scheldt has an abundance of historic buildings and museums and churches of the highest interest. Four of Rubens’s most powerful paintings are in the vast Gothic cathedral, joined for the first time for the first time since dispersal by the French in 1799. The house and studio Rubens built for himself are fascinating and well stocked with good pictures, and the Mayer van der Bergh Museum has a small but outstanding collection including works by Bruegel. Day 4: Bruges. Return to Bruges to see the mediaeval Hospital of St John, now a museum devoted to Hans Memling and contains many of

Dr Sophie Oosterwijk Researcher and lecturer with degrees in Art History, Medieval Studies and English Literature. Her specialisms are the Middle Ages, and the art and culture of the Netherlands. She has taught at the universities of Leicester, Manchester and St Andrews, and lectures at Cambridge. She is co-editor of the journal Church Monuments. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

his best paintings. See the market place with its soaring belfry, Gothic town hall and Basilica of the Holy Blood. Back in Ghent visit the Museum of Fine Arts, principally to see a work by a follower of Hieronymus Bosch. Day 5: Brussels. The Fine Arts Museum in Brussels is one of the best in Europe, and presents a comprehensive collection of Netherlandish painting as well as international works. Take the Eurostar from Brussels to London St Pancras, arriving c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,870 or £1,670 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,110 or £1,910 without Eurostar. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel NH Gent Belfort (nhhotels.com): comfortable 4-star hotel, excellently located beside the town hall. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of standing in museums and walking on this tour, often on cobbled or roughly paved streets. It should not

be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair–climbing. You will need to be able to carry (wheel) your own luggage on and off the train and within stations. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 55 miles. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. Combine this tour with: The Heart of Italy, 9–16 September 2019 (p.143); Roman Italy, 9–18 September 2019 (p.147). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: 'The Virgin & Child with Canon van der Paele', wood engraving 1871 after a painting by J. van Eyck.

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One might argue that Western art began in the southern Netherlands. In the context of 40,000 years of human artistic endeavour, painting which gives primacy to the naturalistic depiction of the visible world was an eccentric digression. Yet the illusionistic triad of solidity, space and texture first came together early in the fifteenth century in what is now Belgium, and dominated European art for the next five hundred years. The Flemish cities of Bruges and Ghent were among the most prosperous and progressive in mediaeval Europe. Brussels and Antwerp peaked later, the latter becoming Europe’s largest port in the sixteenth century. All retain tracts of unspoilt streetscape which place them among the most attractive destinations in northern Europe. Jan van Eyck and his brother Hubert stand at the head of the artistic revolution in the fifteenth century. Their consummate skill with the hitherto unexploited technique of oil painting resulted in pictures which have rarely been equalled for their jewel-like brilliance and breathtaking naturalism. The tradition of exquisite workmanship was continued with the same tranquillity of spirit by such masters as Hans Memling in Bruges and with greater emotionalism by Rogier van der Weyden in Brussels and Hugo van der Goes in Ghent, while Hieronymus Bosch was an individualist who specialised in the depiction of human sin and hellish retribution. The sixteenth century saw a greater focus on landscape and a shift towards mannerist displays of virtuoso skill and spiritual tension, although the outstanding painter of the century was another individualist, Pieter Bruegel. A magnificent culmination was reached in the seventeenth century with Peter Paul Rubens, the greatest painter of the Baroque age. His works are of an unsurpassed vigour and vitality, and are painted with a breadth and bravura which took the potential of oil painting to new heights. This tour presents one of the most glorious episodes in the history of art.

Day 2: Ghent, Bruges. With its canals, melancholic hues and highly picturesque streetscape, Bruges is one of the loveliest cities in northern Europe. A major manufacturing and trading city in the Middle Ages, decline had already set in before the end of the 15th century. The Groeninge Museum has an excellent collection by Flemish masters including Jan van Eyck and the Church of Our Lady is home to Michelangelo’s marvellous marble Madonna & Child. St Salvator’s cathedral contains a triptych by Dirk Bouts.


The Western Balkans Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina and Montenegro: history past and present The smaller Bosnian towns on our route (Višegrad, Mostar and Trebinje) have great charm. Kotor – in Montenegro – is a small fortified Venetian port city with a Romanesque cathedral on the shore of a fjord. Visits to the old capital, Cetinje, and the coast will offer insights into Montenegro’s history and strongly independent national character. One particular feature of this journey is that it takes in remote and functioning Serbian Orthodox monasteries that are of exceptional architectural and artistic interest, and include unesco World Heritage sites. This tour is emphatically a journey, with some long days and much driving through hilly terrain. The late-spring and autumn departures will show the magnificent countryside at its best.

Itinerary Day 1: Zagreb. Fly at c. 8.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Zagreb. Lunch is served upon arrival followed by an orientation walk, including a visit to the State Archives. First of two nights in Zagreb (Croatia). Day 2: Zagreb. The westernmost place on this tour, the capital of Croatia ranks with the loveliest cities of Central Europe. Visit the Meštrović Atelier displaying the works of the renowned Croatian sculptor, private viewing of the Golden Hall, the Gothic Cathedral of the Assumption. Walk to the upper town, the Kaptol district, via the bustling market. After lunch there is free time to visit the Modern Art Gallery and Museum of Arts and Crafts. Overnight Zagreb.

13–26 May 2019 (mf 535) 14 days • £4,940 Lecturer: Elizabeth Roberts 14–27 October 2019 (mf 790) 14 days • £4,940 Lecturer: Elizabeth Roberts MAINLAND EUROPE: Bosnia & Herzegovina

A ground-breaking journey through one of the most politically complex and fissiparous yet fundamentally similar regions of Europe. Rural villages, little-visited towns, imposing capitals; magnificent mountainous landscapes; little tourism. Exquisite Byzantine wall paintings in the fortresslike monasteries of Southern Serbia, Ottoman mosques, Art Nouveau architecture. This journey takes us to borderlands where, for much of their history, the South Slavs have been divided by competing empires and cultures. In Serbia, the Nemanjić dynasty flourished from the twelfth until the fourteenth centuries and built monasteries that combined Byzantine and Romanesque influences. But from the early fifteenth century (following the defeat of Prince Lazar in 1389) until the mid-nineteenth century, the Ottoman Turks ruled Serbia, Bosnia and much 56

of Slavonia. Meanwhile, the Habsburg Empire reached south into Croatia, and Venice dominated the cities of the Adriatic coast. The modern politics and structure of the Western Balkans were defined by the Congress of Berlin in 1878; the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, which created the first Yugoslavia; the Second World War, which ravaged the region and gave birth to Tito’s Yugoslavia; and, most recently, the maelstrom of the 1990s and the emergence of the present seven independent states. What are the Western Balkans like now? There has been a major change in the past decade. The capitals and main cities that we shall visit are all lively and welcoming, but each retains a distinct character. Croatia is prosperous and joined the EU in the summer of 2013. Its historic links to Vienna and Budapest can be seen clearly in Zagreb and Osijek. Our other destinations are more complex and multi-layered. Belgrade is historically the extension of a strategic Ottoman citadel overlooking the Danube and Sava. It has fine and varied architecture (including some from the Art Nouveau period) and a cosmopolitan feel. Sarajevo combines mosques, Orthodox churches, squares and kafanas in a mountainous setting. Its troubled history is not far below the surface. Illustration: Kotor, watercolour by W. Tyndale, publ. 1925.

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Day 3: Zagreb, Osijek. Drive through Croatia’s rustic north-eastern region of Slavonia, via lunch at a vineyard, to Osijek. Located on the River Drava amid gently undulating countryside, Osijek is the administrative centre of Slavonia. There is a remarkably unspoilt 18th-century quarter built by the Austrians as their military and administrative headquarters when they pushed back the Turks, with cobbled alleys and fortress walls. Overnight Osijek (Croatia). Day 4: Ilok, Novi Sad. Pass through Vukovar, the Croatian town worst damaged by the 1991 war. Stop near Ilok, a picturesque fortified settlement on a bluff high above the Danube. Cross the river into Serbia and spend the afternoon in Novi Sad. This has a picturesque core with buildings from the 18th century. Onwards and, across the Danube, the massive fortress of Petrovaradin which was pivotal in Prince Eugene’s wars with the Turks. First of two nights in Belgrade (Serbia). Day 5: Belgrade. With its broad avenues and imposing public buildings, Belgrade is unmistakably a capital and instantly recognisable as a Balkan one. After Diocletian divided the Roman Empire in the late third century ad, it became the westernmost stronghold of the eastern portion. Its kernel is a citadel on a hill above the meeting of the Danube and Sava rivers, which holds the record for the number of times it has changed hands between hostile powers. Most of the city’s architecture dates from the late 19th century onwards. Liveliness is


'I could not have hoped for a more informative and erudite lecturer. I learnt so much from her lectures and experience of the countries we visited.' S.T., participant on The Western Balkans in 2018.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £4,940 or £4,750 without flights. Single occupancy: £5,520 or £5,330 without flights.

H U N G A RY S LO V E N I A Zagreb

Virovitica Osijek

CROATIA

ROMANIA Ilok

Novi Sad

Visas: not required for British citizens. Citizens of Australia and the US do not require visas for tourist stays of up to 90 days.

Belgrade

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

SERBIA

Sarajevo Višegrad

Kraljevo

Sopoćani

Stolac Trebinje Dubrovnik

c. 100 km

provided by the café culture typical of the Balkans. Overnight in Belgrade. Day 6: Belgrade, Manasija. Free morning in Belgrade. Then begin three days visiting what Serbia does best, mediaeval Orthodox monasteries. Tucked in a wooded valley, Manasija is ringed by surely the highest and stoutest walls of any monastery anywhere, built in the early 15th century in expectation of the inevitable Turkish assault. Frescoes of the highest quality – a late flowering of Byzantine art – survive well. First of two nights in Kraljevo (Serbia). Day 7: Studenica, Sopoćani. This includes a drive through spectacular mountain scenery. We visit two more superb mediaeval monasteries, Studenica and Sopoćani. Both are located in remote and beautiful valleys; both have amongst the finest 13th- and 14th-century Byzantine frescoes to survive anywhere. We stop briefly near the Bosniak town of Novi Pazar in the Sandžak. Overnight Kraljevo.

Day 9: Sarajevo. Famously squeezed by high treeclad hills at the head of a river valley, Sarajevo was founded in the 15th century by the Ottoman Turks in the wake of their steady conquest of the Balkan Peninsula. The various assorted mosques, churches and synagogues highlight the pluralist nature of the city. It is possible to stand where Gavrilo Princip assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand; in the adjacent museum it is strangely moving to see the trousers of the man who started the First World War. Overnight in Sarajevo. Day 10: Mostar. Driving over the mountains that encircle Sarajevo and following the Neretva river, we arrive in Mostar in the late morning. A thriving trading town since Herzegovina came under Ottoman rule in 1482, this is Bosnia-Herzegovina’s

MONTENEGRO Perast Tivat Cetinje ALBANIA

KOSOVO

MACEDONIA

most picturesque town, an open-air museum with narrow cobbled streets and original Ottoman architecture. At its heart is the Old Bridge, shelled until it collapsed in 1993 and rebuilt in 2004. Overnight Mostar (Bosnia-Herzegovina). Day 11: Stolac, Trebinje, Tivat. This is wine country, and after a stop in the quiet Ottoman town of Stolac, lunch is at a winery in Trebinje, the southernmost city of Bosnia-Herzegovina. Walk around the historic walled town and a country market. In the afternoon cross from Bosnia-Herzegovina to Montenegro and descend into the Bay of Kotor. First of three nights in Tivat (Montenegro). Day 12: Kotor, Perast. Kotor nestles at the foot of high hills, a harbour on a sheltered fjord off the Adriatic. This diminutive city retains its fearsome ramparts, much unspoilt streetscape and an astonishing Romanesque cathedral incorporating Roman columns. In the later afternoon drive around the fjord to Perast, perched between towering mountains and the water, with large mansions, mediaeval to Baroque. A short boat ride allows a visit to an island church, Our Lady of the Rock, before lunch on the water’s edge. Overnight Tivat. Day 13: Cetinje, Budva. A mountain drive to Cetinje, which until the end of the First World War was the capital of Montenegro and still retains the echo of uniforms, a royal court and Balkan diplomacy. Visit the Palace of King Nikola, the Art and History Museum and former embassies. In the afternoon visit the historic old town of Budva on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast. Final night in Tivat. Day 14: Tivat. Fly from Dubrovnik, arriving London Gatwick at approximately 1.00pm. Please note that this tour departs from London Heathrow and returns to London Gatwick.

Accommodation. The Regent Esplanade Hotel, Zagreb (esplanade.hr): grand 5-star hotel within walking distance of the city centre. Hotel Osijek, Osijek (hotelosijek.hr/en): modern, comfortable 4-star high-rise hotel on the bank of the river Drava. Hotel Moskva, Belgrade (hotelmoskva. rs): well-located, comfortable hotel built in 1926 with a great deal of character; recently renovated. Hotel Crystal, Kraljevo (hotelcrystal.rs): simple but adequate 4-star with welcoming service; the only acceptable hotel in a region with little tourism. Hotel Europe, Sarajevo (hoteleurope.ba):

Elizabeth Roberts Historian, writer and lecturer, specialising in the Balkans. She is Academic Advisor for the WeidenfeldHoffmann Scholarships Programme, University of Oxford, and former expert witness for the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Committee on Kosovo and Montenegro. Her books include Realm of the Black Mountain: A History of Montenegro and The Sandžak: A History. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies. centrally-located 5-star hotel, the best in the city; built in the late 19th century but comprehensively-renovated. Hotel Mepas, Mostar (mepas-hotel.ba/en): comfortable, modern business hotel just a short drive from the historic centre. Regent Porto Montenegro, Tivat (regenthotels.com/regent-portomontenegro): luxurious 5-star hotel located on the shores of the unesco-protected Bay of Kotor. How strenuous? Fitness is essential. There is a lot of walking in the city centres, some of it on uneven ground and up and down steep flights of steps. Though the average distance by coach per day is 65 miles, many roads are slow and mountainous and some travelling days are long. Border crossings may entail minor delays. There are 6 hotel changes. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. In May, combine this tour with: Tuscan Gardens, 6–11 May 2019 (p.139); Rhineland Masterpieces, 7–12 May 2019 (p.105). Or in October, with: Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 7–12 October 2019 (p.123). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

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MAINLAND EUROPE: Croatia

Day 8: Višegrad, Sarajevo. Cross from Serbia to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Stop at the beautiful late16th-century Višegrad bridge before continuing to the capital, Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina). First of two nights here.

Manasija

Studenica

Mostar

Adriatic Sea

Included meals: 9 lunches, 10 dinners, with wine.


Sailing the Dalmatian Coast Maritime beauty, natural and architectural

20–30 April 2019 (mf 494) 11 days • from £3,740 Lecturer: Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves 30 April–10 May 2019 (mf 509) 11 days • from £3,740 Lecturer: Richard Bassett MAINLAND EUROPE: Croatia

One of the most beautiful of Mediterranean coastlines with clear blue water and innumerable islands and inlets. Exclusive charter of a small ship to explore the string of beautiful, unspoilt historic towns. Half each day is spent sailing, the rest is ashore.

Itinerary | 20–30 April Day 1: Split. Fly 9.00am from London Heathrow to Split via Vienna (Austrian Airlines). Board the MS Desire before an introductory walk around Split’s city walls. First of a series of lectures on board before dinner. Moor overnight in Split. Day 2: Šibenik. Early morning departure from Split. Sail northwest to Šibenik, an attractive mediaeval maritime town, with a GothicRenaissance cathedral. The rest of the afternoon is free with the option of a riverboat tour to the Franciscan monastery on the island of Visovac. Moor overnight in Šibenik. 58

Day 3: Zadar. The morning and early afternoon is spent sailing through enchanting coastal scenery to Zadar. Sometime capital of Croatia, the town is well endowed with architecture including a Romanesque cathedral and a circular preRomanesque church. The Museum of Church Art has important Romanesque, Renaissance and Baroque exhibits. Moor overnight in Zadar. Day 4: Trogir. Sail back down the coast and arrive mid-afternoon in Trogir, a delightful little island city with a delightfully restored Old Town and Romanesque cathedral with exceptionally fine sculpture (c. 1240). The 15th-century clock tower and loggia, with its large Meštrović bas-relief, complete the square. Moor overnight in Trogir. Day 5: Split. The core of Split consists of the vast quadrangular palace built by Emperor Diocletian ad 295–305 for his retirement. Particularly well preserved are the colonnaded central court, Temple of Jupiter (now a church), Diocletian’s mausoleum (the cathedral) and the halls of the palace’s substructure. Visit the home and studio of Ivan Meštrović, the great Croatian sculptor (1883–1962), and the Archaeological Museum, with an excellent collection of Roman antiquities. Moor in Split. Day 6: Salona. The once great Roman city of Salona (now Solin, 5km north of Split) affords a unique insight into the last stages of urban life, its walls now encircling a complete ecclesiastical

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quarter. Just outside, the funerary basilica of Manastirine illustrates the emergence of Christian architecture, authority and artistic style after the age of martyrdoms under Diocletian. The afternoon is spent sailing to the island of Hvar. Moor overnight in Hvar. Day 7: Hvar, Vis. Visit the mediaeval walled town of Hvar: narrow streets with Gothic palaces, 15thcentury Franciscan monastery and beautiful 17thcentury arsenal. Some free time before departure in the early afternoon. Arrive in Vis, Croatia’s farthest flung possession and its oldest recorded settlement. Visit the Archaeological Museum with its famous 4th-century bc bronze head of a Greek goddess. Moor overnight in Vis. Day 8: Korčula. Most of the day is spent sailing south-east to the island of Korčula whose history stretches back as far as anywhere in Croatia. Moor in the old town for a guided walk including the magnificent Gothic-Renaissance Cathedral of St Mark with two paintings by Tintoretto. Moor overnight in Korčula. Day 9: Korčula, Slano, Ston. The morning is free for independent exploration of Korčula town. Sail before lunch to Slano, a quiet town on the Pelješac Peninsula, 35km north of Dubrovnik. Travel by coach to Ston, which is surrounded by a series of remarkably well-preserved 14th-century walls, built to protect the saltpans, among the oldest in the Mediterranean. Stay in town for dinner to


sample Croatia’s best oysters and mussels. Drive back to Ston and moor overnight here. Day 10: Dubrovnik. Arrive in Dubrovnik and take the wall walk along the fortifications which are among the most complete, daunting and handsome of any in Europe, rising and falling with the terrain and affording prospects across the rooftops and out to sea. Then explore the city; while a pleasing uniformity was imposed on the façades after the earthquake of 1667, fine mediaeval monastic cloisters survive and two major palaces are Gothic. Moor overnight in Dubrovnik. Day 11: Dubrovnik. Second visit to Dubrovnik: the cathedral, a delightful exercise in Venetian Baroque, possesses an altarpiece by Titian, while the Dominican convent has an excellent collection of Croatian and Italian Renaissance paintings. Free time and independent lunch before leaving for the airport. The flight from Dubrovnik via Vienna (Austrian Airlines)arrives London Heathrow at c. 6.40pm. Please note that weather conditions can be unpredictable and the itinerary is dependent on them. Changes to moorings may need to be made at short notice.

Itinerary | 30 April–10 May The sites and visits are the same as the other sailing, though the order is different. Flights are as follows: Day 1. Fly at c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Dubrovnik via Munich (Lufthansa).

BOSNIA & HERZEGOVINA

Zadar

CROATIA Šibenik Trogir Split Adriatic Sea

Hvar Vis Korčula

c. 50 km

How strenuous? There is a lot of walking in the city centres, some of it on uneven ground, and there are steep flights of steps to be climbed.

Ston

MONTENEGRO

Dubrovnik

What else is included in the price? See page 6

Group size: between 20 and 30 participants.

Illustration, left: Dubrovnik, wood engraving c. 1880. Below: Šibenik, cathedral, watercolour by Walter Tyndale, publ. 1925.

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267

Day 11. Fly from Split to London Heathrow via Vienna (Austrian Airlines) arriving c. 6.40 pm.

Practicalities

MAINLAND EUROPE: Croatia

Accommodation. The MS Desire: a first-rate, 20-cabin vessel, launched in 2017. Cabins and bathrooms are finished to a high standard. There is an air-conditioned dining room and a bar. Cabins vary in size according not only to deck but also according to position within the outer curves of the ship’s deck plan. Lower deck cabins: have porthole windows that cannot be opened. There is little difference in size between lower and middle deck cabins. Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,740 or £3,460 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,300 or £4,020 without flights. Main deck cabins: fully opening windows. Price, per person. Two sharing: £4,130 or £3,850 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,300 or £4,020 without flights. Upper deck cabins: spacious with large opening windows. Price, per person. Two sharing: £4,660 or £4,380 without flights. Suite: stands alone on the sundeck, with panoramic views. Price, per person. Two sharing: £5,230 or £4,950 without flights. Included meals: 9 lunches (on board) and 7 dinners (of which six are ashore) with wine.

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Connoisseur’s Prague Art, architecture and design, with privileged access 10–16 September 2019 (mf 691) 7 days • £2,970 Lecturer: Richard Bassett Includes inaccessible and hidden glories as well as the main sights of this endlessly fascinating city. Special arrangements and private visits are major features. Also museum tours with curators. Museums and galleries have been transformed in recent years, and new ones added. Particular focus on art and architecture around the turn of the 19th century. This is an experience of Prague like no other. The capital of Bohemia needs no introduction as the most beautiful city in Central Europe, with plenty to delight the cultural traveller for a week or more. Yet many a façade screens halls and rooms and works of art of the highest interest which can scarcely ever be seen except by insiders. Other fine places are open to visitors but hard to get to. Gaining access to the inaccessible is a major strand of this tour.

Pursuing the private and straying off the beaten track will not be at the expense of the wellknown sights, among which are some of the most fascinating buildings and artworks. But here participants are enabled to focus on the essentials and as far as possible to visit when crowds have subsided. Prague enjoys an unequalled density of great architecture, from Romanesque to modern, but it is the fabric of the city as a whole rather than individual masterpieces which makes it so special. The city has the advantage of a splendid site, a crescent of hills rising from one side of a majestic bend in the River Vltava with gently inclined terrain on the other bank. A carapace of red roofs, green domes and gilded spires spreads across the slopes and levels, sheltering marvellously unspoilt streets and alleys and magically picturesque squares. Though the whole gamut of Czech art and architecture is viewed, the tour has an emphasis on the period from the 1870s to the 1920s. The spirit of national revival and the achievement of independence (in 1918) inspired a ferment of creativity among artists, writers and composers. A bewildering variety of styles drew on earlier Bohemian traditions, led Art Nouveau into highly innovatory directions and pioneered some radical and unique features at the dawn of modernism. Illustration: Prague, Old Town, lithograph by S. Prout 1839.

Another high point in Prague’s history was the fourteenth century, when Kings of Bohemia were also Holy Roman Emperors and the city became one of the largest in the western world. The Gothic cathedral rising from within the precincts of the hilltop Royal Castle is one of the many monuments of that golden age, and the exquisite panel paintings from this era, now excellently displayed in the Convent of St Agnes, are among the chief glories of the city. Subordination within the Habsburg Empire from the sixteenth century curtailed Bohemia’s power but not its wealth or architectural achievements: some of the finest Renaissance buildings in Central Europe arose here. In the eighteenth century, some of the richest landowners of the Baroque age built palaces here. In the city where Mozart had his most enthusiastic audiences and where Smetana and Dvořák reached fulfilment, there is still a rich musical life in a range of beautiful historic opera houses and concert halls. There will be the opportunity to attend performances. The itinerary given below does not list by any means all that you see. Nor does it indicate all the slots for free time, which is necessarily a feature of a tour of such richness and variety.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly from London Heathrow to Prague at c. 9.45am (British Airways). After settling into the hotel, there is a first exploration of the ancient core of the city on the right bank of the Vltava. A dense maze of dazzlingly picturesque streets and alleys converges on Old Town Square, surely the prettiest urban space in Europe, with shimmeringly beautiful façades – mediaeval, Renaissance, Baroque and Art Nouveau. Then a special visit to the Obecní dům (‘Municipal House’) to see the glorious suite of assembly rooms created 1904–12, a unique and very Czech mélange of murals and ornament.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Czech Republic

Day 2. Drive up to Prague Castle for a first visit to this extensive and fascinating hilltop citadel, residence of Dukes and Kings of Bohemia from the 10th century and now of the President. The Old Royal Palace rises from Romanesque through Gothic to Renaissance, the chief glory being the largest stone hall in Europe and its extraordinary vaulting. There follows privileged access to a wonderful sequence of halls not open to the public, dating from the 1570s to the 1930s (state occasions permitting). Visit the cathedral of St Vitus, a pioneering monument of High Gothic, richly embellished with chapels, tombs, altarpieces and stained glass. Return to the Castle District to see the delicately arcaded Belvedere in the Royal Gardens, the finest Renaissance building in Prague. Day 3. Continue the tour of the Old Town Visit the Church of St. James, a Gothic carcass encrusted with Baroque finery after a fire in 1689 and the Gothic Týn church, at the heart not only of Prague but also of Czech history. There follows the 13thcentury Convent of St Agnes, where one of the world’s greatest collections of mediaeval painting is brilliantly installed. A walk in and around 60

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Prague Spring The International Music Festival in Bohemia's capital incredible late-Gothic vaulting, and the Cathedral of St Vitus, a pioneering monument of High Gothic, richly embellished with chapels, tombs, altarpieces and stained glass. Evening opera at the Estates Theatre: Le Nozze di Figaro (Mozart).

Wenceslas Square, threading through a succession of arcades, takes in some outstanding turn-ofthe-century architecture and decoration and early modernist masterpieces. Day 4. See highlights of the New Town by coach. There is a special tour of the National Theatre (1869–83) to which all the leading Czech artists of the time contributed, and a visit to the Schwarzenberg Palace to see a new exhibition of the Czech and European Baroque. Visit the Veletržni (Trade Fair) Palace of 1928 which this year hosts a new exhibition commemorating the 100th anniversary of the founding of the first Czechoslovak Republic. .

Day 4. Visit the Veletržni (Trade Fair) Palace of 1928 which now houses fascinating Czech art of the 19th and 20th centuries and a remarkable holding of modern French art. Free afternoon. Evening concert at the Obecní dům: Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, John Nelson (conductor): works by Berlioz. Day 5. Walk across the 14th-century Charles Bridge, the greatest such structure in Europe, wonderfully adorned with sculptures. In the Lesser Town visit St Nicholas, one of the finest Baroque churches in Central Europe and the Czech Museum of Music, which houses an interesting collection of musical instruments. Evening concert at the Rudolfinum: Boston Symphony Chamber Players, Garrick Ohlsson (piano): works by Haydn, Barber, Brahms.

Day 5. Walk across 14th-century Charles Bridge, the greatest such structure in Europe, wonderfully adorned with sculptures. In the Lesser Town visit St Nicholas, one of the finest of Baroque churches in Central Europe. Walk through a sequence of delightful gardens on the south slope, followed by a visit to the infrequently opened Wallenstein Palace, a rare example of a 1630s residence (now the Senate). Day 6. See the treasures south of the centre by coach, among them St John Nepomuk ‘on the Rock’, a little Baroque masterpiece (rarely accessible), the bizarre phenomenon of Cubist houses and the fortress of Vysehrad, rising high above the river and enclosing a cemetery with the graves of many great Czechs. There is a quick visit to the Prague City Museum to see the extraordinarily detailed model of the city made in the 1830s. A riverside country retreat, Villa Troja is a 17th-century Italianate mansion with a French formal garden. Day 7. Strahov Monastery has commanding views over Prague and two magnificent library halls, which by special arrangement we enter. Then walk down the hill, passing the formidable bulk of the Černín Palace and the delightful façade of the Loreto Church. Drive to the airport for the flight to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 2.45pm.

Practicalities

Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Paris, Prague (hotelparis.cz): 5-star hotel built in 1904 that retains the Art Nouveau theme throughout. Comfortable and elegant but not fussy with a good restaurant and café­. Very well located in the Old Town close to Obecní dům (Municipal House). How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking, much of it on roughly paved streets, some on inclines. The tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Fitness is essential. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. Combine this tour with: Poets & the Somme, 6–9 September 2019 (p.70). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

A varied programme including performances by the Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, Boston Symphony Chamber Players and Garrick Ohlsson, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia with Antonio Pappano, as well as one opera: Mozart’s Le Nozze di Figaro. Stay in the Hotel Paris, comfortable and very wellpositioned in the Old Town. Prague’s celebrated Spring Festival remains one of the most illustrious in Europe and has the added attraction of being set at a time of year when the city is at its loveliest.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.45am from London Heathrow to Prague (British Airways). After settling in to the hotel, a private guided tour of the Estates Theatre, where Don Giovanni had its première in 1786. Day 2. Morning walk through the Old Town, a dense maze of streets and squares with buildings of all ages and an exceptionally lovely main square. A visit to the Obecní dům (‘Municipal House’) to see the glorious suite of assembly rooms created 1904–12. Evening concert at the Obecní dům: Bamberg Symphony Orchestra, Jakub Hrůša (conductor): Smetana, Má vlast. Day 3. Drive up to Prague Castle, the extensive hilltop complex, long-time residence of the Dukes and Kings of Bohemia and now the home of the President. Visit the medieval Old Royal Palace, within it the largest stone hall in Europe with

Day 7. Strahov Monastery has commanding views over Prague and two magnificent library halls, which by special arrangement we enter. Then walk down the hill, passing the formidable bulk of the Černín Palace and the delightful façade of the Loreto Church. The flight returns to London Heathrow at c. 2.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,110 or £2,970 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,580 or £3,440 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Music: tickets (top category) to 4 concerts and 1 opera are included, costing c. £450. Tickets are confirmed in January 2019. Accommodation. Hotel Paris, Prague (hotelparis.cz): 5-star hotel built in 1904 that retains the Art Nouveau theme throughout. Comfortable and elegant but not fussy with a good restaurant and café­. Very well located in the Old Town close to Obecní dům (Municipal House). How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking, much of it over rough paveing, some on inclines. The tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Group size: between 10 and 21 participants. Combine this tour with: Tuscan Gardens, 6–11 May 2019 (p.139). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Prague, Cathedral of St Vitus, watercolour by B. Granville Baker, publ. 1923.

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,970 or £2,770 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,510 or £3,310 without flights.

12–18 May 2019 (mf 523) 7 days • £3,110 (including tickets to 5 performances) Lecturer: Professor Jan Smaczny

Day 6. A morning walk in and around Wenceslas Square, threading through a succession of arcades which takes in some outstanding turnof-the-century architecture, decoration and early modernist masterpieces. Free afternoon. Evening concert at the Obecní dům: Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Antonio Pappano (conductor).


Great Houses of the Czech Lands Country houses and town palaces in Bohemia and Moravia Itinerary Day 1: Prague. Fly at c. 10.00am from London Heathrow to Prague and drive to Mělník. Situated on a bluff above the River Vltava and surrounded by vineyards, Zámek Mělník is a charming country house of several periods. The rooms with unrestored 18th-century decoration are outstanding. First of two nights near Liblice. Day 2: Veltrusy, Nelahozeves. Veltrusy is a delightful 18th-century house on an unusual X–plan. Chinoiserie interiors, and one of the Continent’s earliest ‘English’ landscaped parks. The formidable and apparently defensible bulk of Nelahozeves melts in the courtyard into a graceful Italianate dwelling with classical arcades, revealing itself as one of the first monumental Renaissance buildings in the region. A property of the Lobkowitz family, there is a fine collection of pictures and furniture. Overnight Liblice. Day 3: Chlumec, Kačina. Karlova Koruna (‘Charles’s Crown’) at Chlumec nad Cidlinou is a fascinating design by the brilliant if eccentric Baroque architect Santini-Aichel. It was built for the the Kinsky family, to which it was restituted after the collapse of the communist regime. Dating to the early 19th century, Kačina is a fine synthesis of English Palladianism and Continental Neo-Classicism. Fine rooms, remarkable cylindrical library, landscaped park. First of three nights in Brno.

23–31 August 2019 (mf 660) 9 days • £3,090 Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier A selection from one of the densest collections of country houses and town palaces in Europe.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Czech Republic

Prosperous and progressive for most of their history, Bohemia and Moravia were favoured territories for aristocratic estates. Renaissance houses and decoration of the 16th century are a particular delight, Baroque is brilliantly represented, Neo-Classical and Gothic Revival not far behind. The tour can be combined with Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019 (page 50). With an exceptional density of great houses, the Czech Republic, comprising the historic provinces of Bohemia and Moravia, is an essential destination for anyone who cares for country houses and town palaces. With variety also being as much a feature as profusion, visitors are invariably surprised and delighted by the riches that are to be seen in the relatively undiscovered countryside beyond Prague. The Middle Ages had an impact on the appearance of some of the houses where incorporation of the masonry of a castellar 62

predecessor affected the present plan or appearance. Reception of Italian Renaissance architecture was precocious, and there are arcaded courtyards of an elegance and scale which are unparalleled elsewhere in Europe. There is also some outstanding decoration of the sixteenth century. Around the turn of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, a period of renewal after a time of troubles, there was a veritable mania for building. Houses in rumbustious Baroque styles arose, sometimes sophisticated, often provincial, usually delightful, always impressive. The Age of Neo-Classicism is also handsomely represented. Many parks and gardens succumbed at this time to the fashion for the English landscaped style. Also partly of British inspiration was the Gothic Revival, and the nineteenth century produced a large number of mansions shaped by the spirit of Romanticism. Nearly all the houses retain first-rate furnishings and works of art. On the whole state custodianship has been adequately caring, but since the collapse of Communism a number of properties have been returned to their pre-1948 owners. Every year there are improvements to be seen as growing prosperity allows for restoration and more enlightened curatorship. Natural beauty is also a feature of the tour, with ravishing countryside and a deep rurality which has vanished from much of the rest of Europe.

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Day 4: Valtice, Lednice. Adjoining the Austrian border are two great houses which were the property of the Liechtenstein family from the 13th century to 1945. The redoubtable residence at Valtice is largely of the 17th and 18th centuries, while the house at Lednice is a magnificent Gothic Revival building with outstanding woodwork interiors. Here also are monumental Baroque stables designed by Fischer von Erlach and an extensive park with large-scale follies and pavilions. Overnight Brno. Day 5: Bučovice, Kroměříž. Bučovice is a Renaissance treasure, with a splendid tripletiered arcaded courtyard and stucco interiors of a quality virtually without equal in northern Europe. Kroměříž is a lovely small town which was an episcopal seat. The Bishop’s Palace has a magnificent Rococo hall and other fine rooms as well as an outstanding art collection (Titian’s The Flaying of Marsyas). The 17th-century walled garden with pavilion and immense colonnade is an astounding survival. Overnight Brno. Day 6: Vranov, Jaroměřice. The great house at Vranov, perched above a ravine, was transformed in the 1690s by Fischer von Erlach, greatest of 18th-century Austrian architects. The oval Hall of Ancestors, with frescoes by Johann Rottmayr and views across hills, is one of the finest creations of the Baroque Age. Vast and rambling, the Baroque palace at Jaroměřice has an enormous chapel and fine gardens. Overnight Telč. Day 7: Telč, Jindřichův Hradec, Hluboká. The tiny town of Telč has the loveliest square in Central Europe. The aristocratic residence was rebuilt in phases in the 16th century with arcaded


Walking in Southern Bohemia Castles, country houses and country walking courtyards and a series of halls with richly carved ceilings and decoration which verge on the bizarre. More Renaissance arcades follow at the castle at Jindřichův Hradec; we limit our visit to the interiors of the beautiful garden rotonda. Drive to Hluboká nad Vltavou, our base for two nights. Its white tower visible from afar, Hluboká had mediaeval and Baroque incarnations before the lavish Gothic Revival refurbishment inspired by visits to Britain. Splendid carved wood interiors and a profusion of furniture and works of art. Day 8: Český Krumlov, Kratochvíle. Built up around a bend in the River Vltava, Český Krumlov is an exceedingly picturesque and well-preserved town. The castle looms above –mediaeval in origin, in large part 16th-century, endowed in the 18th century with a hall painted with scenes of a masked ball and a theatre which has survived fully equipped with scenery and costumes. Secluded within a walled garden amid particularly lovely countryside, Kratochvíle is the finest Renaissance villa in the country. Overnight Hluboká. Day 9: Hluboká. Drive to Prague for the flight to London, arriving Heathrow c. 2.50pm. Some of the places on this itinerary require special permission to visit. The order may therefore vary a little from the description above.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,090 or £2,850 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,370 or £3,130 without flights. Included meals: 6 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine.

How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking, some of it up slopes or up steps. To be able to enjoy the tour it would be essential to manage daily walking and stair-climbing without any difficulties. There is also a fair amout of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 87 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019 (p.50; we provide a private transfer to Passau, where the festival begins); Enescu Festival Bucharest, 1–7 September 2019 (p.178) – we are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration, left: Kačina, aquatint c. 1930 by Tavik Frantisek Simon.

Country walking and architectural history. Undulating countryside, some uphill walks, through woodland of oak, lime and conifer and across meadows and arable land. A variety of castles and country houses and extremely pretty towns and villages. Led by Dr Jana Gajdošová, art historian and lecturer at Cambridge, specialising in the architecture of Central Europe. The beauty of Bohemia is two-fold: exquisite towns and villages, and countryside as beguiling as any in Central Europe. In its southernmost reaches low-lying pastures give way to the foothills of the Šumava mountains on the Austrian border. Walking here delves deep into a gentle landscape, much of it farmland, predominantly arable, even more of it woodland and coniferous forest. Water is a constant with innumerable man-made lakes dating from the Middle Ages and the mighty River Vltava. There are no mountain peaks to scale or deep valleys to traverse. Some views are panoramic, others are snatched in forest clearings, some stretches are enclosed with no vistas at all. Nevertheless, walking here offers an intense experience with its own set of charms. Firstly, solitude: a careful construction of waymarked paths is woefully neglected by walkers, with just the occasional cyclist or mushroompicker to sidestep. Then there is ever-changing texture and colour, through dry and practically alpine forest to low-lying, damp, dark woods;

across maize and wheat farmland to fallow fields and meadows: a paint chart of greens, soft and musty or intense and clean. Finally, the chief focus of the tour: walks into (or away from) buildings and built environments of beauty, charm or magnificence, a sequence of country houses, monasteries, town palaces and castles. The tour is co-led by an art historian and a Czech guide who talks about the recent past. For much of its history, but especially in the sixteenth century, Bohemia was one of the most prosperous regions in Europe. Many of the great magnates of the Habsburg Empire established summer residences here, constantly rebuilding, extending and refurbishing. Reception of Italian Renaissance architecture was precocious, and in the era of Baroque there was a veritable mania for building. Many parks and gardens later succumbed to the fashion for the English landscaped style, and also partly of British inspiration was the nineteenth-century Gothic Revival.

Itinerary Day 1: Hluboká. Fly at c. 9.45am from London Heathrow to Prague. Drive southwards to the Gothic Revival castle at Hluboká, summer home of the Schwarzenbergs, wealthiest landowners in South Bohemia, and richly furnished and decorated. Continue to our neighbouring hotel for the first of three nights. Day 2: Staré Město to Slavonice. A moderate morning walk is mostly flat and begins with wonderful views of unspoiled, hilly countryside marking the boundary of the Czech Republic and Austria: 8 km, c. 2½ hours. Continue through forests of fir and pine, passing defences which the Czech army was obliged to relinquish as a Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Accommodation. Hotel Château Liblice, Liblice (chateau-liblice.com): 4-star hotel and conference centre converted from an 18thcent. country house. Grandezza Hotel, Brno (hotelgrandezza.cz): a newly opened luxury boutique hotel, located in the heart of Brno’s historic centre Green Market. Hotel U Hraběnky, Telč (hotel-uhrabenky.cz): the only usable hotel for many miles around, this 4-star hotel is fairly old-fashioned, if adequately equipped. Hotel Stekl, Hluboká nad Vltavou (hotelstekl.cz): 4-star hotel converted from an auxiliary building belonging to the neighbouring mansion.

18–23 August 2019 (mf 654) 6 days • £2,310 Lecturer: Dr Jana Gajdošová


Walking in Southern Bohemia continued

'Jana was lovely. She is knowledgeable and clearly interested in her specialist subject.' Participant on another of Dr Jana Gajdošová's tours in 2018.

Dr Jana Gajdošová Art historian and lecturer at the University of Cambridge and at Christie’s Education. She obtained her MA at the Courtauld Institute and her PhD at Birkbeck College. Her research interests include late medieval art and architecture, especially in Central Europe, England, Germany and Italy. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies. consequence of Chamberlain’s acquiescence to Hitler’s demands in 1938. Drive to Samosoly for an easy afternoon walk to the raspberry-pink castle of Cervena Lhota set in the middle of a lake and surrounded by a landscaped park, 3 km, c. 1 hour. Day 3: Jindřichův Hradec, Spolí, Třeboň. Morning visit to Jindřichův Hradec castle with arcades and an exquisite Renaissance rotunda. There is an easy afternoon walk from Spolí to Lake Svet, c. 7 km, c. 2 hours. From the village of Spolí we ascend gently, affording views of the surrounding diverse landscape before entering a pine tree forest to Lake Svet. Visit the Schwarzenberg mausoleum on the edge of the delightful small town of Třeboň and remain here for dinner before returning to Hluboká. Day 4: Krtely, Kratochvíle, Kladné, Český Krumlov. Morning walk from Krtely to Kratochvíle: 3 km, c. 1 hour. An easy walk through

meadows and forest until the Renaissance castle of Kratochvíle gradually appears in the distance. After a visit and lunch, drive to Kladné for an afternoon walk into Český Krumlov: 6 km, c. 2 hours. This is a varied and picturesque, moderate walk of forested hills, carpeted with blueberries and hayfields, through the decaying remains of a Baroque estate into the formal gardens of the castle, from where we capture a first and glorious view of this exceedingly pretty town. First of two nights in Český Krumlov. Day 5: Český Krumlov, Vyssí Brod. Return to the castle on a hilltop above Cesky Krumlov, Mediaeval in origin, with Renaissance and Baroque additions. See the hall, painted with a masked ball. Drive to Vyssí Brod, once a major Cistercian monastery with a 13th-century church. Moderate, circular walk from Vyssí Brod: 6 km, c. 2¼ hours. Skirting the monastery complex, we follow an extremely scenic route via the waterfalls of Menší Vltavice and a neo-Romanesque chapel with lovely views of the Šumava foothills. Day 6: Český Krumlov, Prague. Morning visit of Český Krumlov’s castle theatre, one of the few intact 18th-century theatres to have survived, and the Gothic church of St Vitus. Drive to Prague for the afternoon flight arriving at London Heathrow at c. 6.30pm. Some of the places on this itinerary require special permission to visit. The order may therefore vary a little from the description here. Illustration: Ceský Krumlov, wood engraving c. 1880.

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book online at www.martinrandall.com

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,310 or £2,150 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,450 or £2,290 without flights. Included meals: 4 lunches (including 1 packed lunch) and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Štekl, Hluboká nad Vltavou (hotelstekl.cz): 4-star hotel converted from an auxiliary building belonging to the neighbouring mansion. Hotel Latrán Český Krumlov (latran.hotely-krumlov.cz): small, 4-star hotel near the castle. How strenuous? This is a walking tour, graded easy (see page 8). Of the 6 walks, 3 are easy and 3 are moderate, mostly for their length rather than the terrain. It is essential for participants to have appropriate walking footwear, be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking with uphill and downhill content. Average distance by coach per day: 82 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: King Ludwig II, 26–31 August 2019 (p.107); The Schubertiade, 26 August–1 September 2019 (p.52). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

What else is included in the price? See page 6


Danish Castles & Gardens North Sealand and the Danish Riviera 1–7 July 2019 (mf 607) 7 days • £3,140 Lecturer: Dr Margrethe Floryan Privileged access to royal residences and gardens, some not generally open to the public. Based in Copenhagen and Elsinore (of Hamlet fame), with an excursion by ship to Sweden. Lectures by garden historian Dr Margrethe Floryan, curator at the Thorvaldsen Museum.

Our lecturer, Margrethe Floryan, is curator of Copenhagen’s Thorvaldsen Museum, the creation of the Neo-Classical sculptor Bertel Thorvaldsen (1770-1844), and has written books on gardens and garden history.

Itinerary Day 1: Copenhagen. Fly at c. 10.00am from London Heathrow to Copenhagen (British Airways). Walk to Rosenborg Palace, royal residence from the early 17th to the late 18th century in the heart of Copenhagen. It is set in the King’s Garden and contains original furnishings as well as the Crown Jewels and the royal regalia. The garden features lime alleys, historic pavilions and a sunken rose garden. First of three nights in Copenhagen. Day 2: Copenhagen. Walk via Frederiksstaden, a waterfront district built by Frederick V in 1748 to commemorate the tercentenary of his family’s ascent to the throne. Home to many Danish monarchs since the 1760s, Amalienborg is an exceptional complex of four matching Rococo palaces around a public square, the finest of its kind outside France. Christiansborg Palace, on the site of Copenhagen Castle, is seat of the Danish Parliament and is used today for Queen Margrethe’s public audiences and other state events. Overnight Copenhagen. Day 3: Copenhagen outskirts. Situated on the waterfront, the gardens at Hellerup are renowned for their roses and reflect the adoption of British planting schemes of the early 20th century.

Bernstorff Palace is an exquisite mid-18th-century French-inspired manor house, later acquired by the Royal family. Accompanied by the head gardener, we explore the extensive landscaped grounds, with orchards, vines and a historic rose garden, before lunch. Visit the Hermitage in Jægersborg Deer Park, recently restored to its 17thcentury glory, and still used by the Danish court. Overnight Copenhagen. Day 4: Elsinore. Drive along the coast from Copenhagen to Elsinore. Visit the commanding Renaissance castle of Kronborg, long a symbol of Danish power due to its position on the narrow strait between Denmark and Sweden. The newly restored Baroque gardens at Fredensborg Palace (the present royal couple’s favourite) represent the summit of the French tradition in Denmark. The private garden, orangery and kitchen garden are at their peak in July, and we meet the head gardener. First of three nights in Elsinore. Day 5: North Sealand. The Renaissance Frederiksborg Castle was restored after a fire in 1859 and now houses the National Museum of History (500 years of paintings, portraits and furniture). Italian and French influences lie behind the cascades and richly ornamented parterres of the gardens. The Marienlyst Palace and Garden trace their history to the 16th century. Optional visit to the famously beautiful Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in Humlebæk. Overnight Elsinore.

Illustration: Copenhagen, Rosenborg Palace, lithograph c. 1850.

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This is an opportunity to appreciate North Sealand’s natural environment and its architectural highlights, in particular where the two artfully combine in a series of beautiful gardens. A special ingredient of the tour is the opportunity to meet some of those involved in their planning, planting and conservation. Stretching from Copenhagen to Elsinore, thirty-five miles to the westernmost shore of Øresund, the Danish Riviera is celebrated for the quality of its produce (it is also known as ‘Denmark’s kitchen garden’) as well as for its beaches, woodlands and attractive fishing harbours. The region is also home to the country’s greatest royal residences. Their interiors and art collections are as impressive and fascinating as the landscapes and gardens in which they are set. An outward looking attitude is traceable in both Danish architecture and horticulture. Dutch Renaissance, Italian Baroque and French Classicist styles are easily detectable influences in the properties visited. Kronborg, Frederiksborg and Rosenborg castles, built under the patronage of King Christian IV (r. 1588-1648), are cases in point. Scandinavia’s longest reigning monarch pushed through an extensive civic programme that reflected his cosmopolitan outlook and economic aspirations for Denmark, and included the foundation of new towns and ports and the enlargement of the royal shipyards as well as monumental residences for himself. Rosenborg Palace was begun in 1606 as a summer pavilion and stylistically is Dutch in inspiration. A plan of 1649 shows how Renaissance principles also governed the design of the gardens, created both for pleasure and for provisioning the royal household with vegetables, fruit, fish and flowers. Large-scale conservation projects have recently been implemented here, and also at Frederiksborg and Fredensborg, respectively palace and hunting lodge built for Frederik IV (r. 1699–1730). Mile-long lime alleys have been renewed, parterres replanted with historically accurate specimens, fountains and pavilions restored and pathways returned to their original tracery. In contrast to these grandiose schemes, there are more modest and modern gardens too. Given to Copenhagen in 1983 by the shipping magnate A.P. Møller, Amaliehaven is on the site of a shipyard and faces the opera house across the water. Strandpark Hellerup is a public park laid out in 1912 to the pioneering design of G.N.Brandt, Denmark’s leading landscape architect and gardener of the time.


Danish Castles & Gardens continued

Puccini in Copenhagen Turandot and Tosca

Dr Margrethe Floryan Art historian and curator with a PhD in garden history. Studied at the University of Aarhus and the École du Louvre. Author of Great European Gardens: An Atlas of Historic Plans. She has published extensively on art, architecture and landscape design and is Honorary member of the Danish Horticultural Society. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies. Day 6: Sofiero (Sweden), North Sealand. Take the ferry between Elsinore and Helsingborg to visit Sofiero Palace, which for more than a century was one of the Swedish Royal family’s country mansions. The garden has more than 500 rhododendron varieties. Free afternoon in Elsinore, which became rich from taxes on shipping, as the medieval churches and convents testify. Opened in 2014, the shipyard has been transformed by Bjarke Ingels Group as a cultural complex including a Maritime Museum. Overnight Elsinore. Day 7: Copenhagen. Drive back to Copenhagen. The view from Frederiksberg Palace stretches over the sea. Italian Mannerist villas are the source of inspiration for the layout of this early 18th-century royal palace, but a century later the scheme also accommodated winding waters, meandering paths and Classical and Chinese garden pavilions, to which we have special access. Some free time in the afternoon, perhaps to explore the garden of the Royal Danish Horticultural Society. Return to Heathrow c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,140 or £2,950 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,600 or £3,410 without flights.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Denmark

Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Phoenix Copenhagen (phoenixcopenhagen.dk): traditional 4-star hotel close to the Amalienborg Palace. Beach Hotel Marienlyst (marienlyst.dk): comfortable and contemporary 4-star hotel. Rooms have sea views. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing in historic properties and gardens. Average distance by coach per day: 21 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Dutch Painting, 26–29 June 2019 (p.168); Glyndebourne & Garsington, 27–30 June 2019 (p.28); Interwar Interiors, 8 July 2019; Gastronomic West Country, 8–14 July 2019 (p.30). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

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30 May–2 June 2019 (mf 555) 4 days • £2,160 (including tickets for 2 performances) Lecturer: Dr John Allison Two performances at Copenhagen’s extraordinary new opera house: Puccini’s Turandot and Tosca. Private tour of the opera house and a walk in the historic centre with a local guide. Free time for rest before the performances or to sample the city’s outstanding museums.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 2.05pm from London Heathrow to Copenhagen (Scandinavian Airlines). There is time to settle into the hotel before dinner. Day 2. Start with a lecture on this evening’s performance. A walk passes the Amalienborg, an ensemble of 1750s palaces, the English church, Gefion Fountain, the Little Mermaid, bastions of the Kastellet and the opera house. In the afternoon travel by coach for the opportunity to visit one of the city’s finest art collections (self-guided): the Statens Museum for Kunst, the National Gallery of Denmark, which holds an extensive selection of Danish art from the Golden Age to the present day and a fine collection of European Old Masters. Evening performance at the Copenhagen Opera House: Turandot (Puccini), Alexander Vedernikov (conductor), Lorenzo Fioroni (director), Ann Petersen/Katrin Kapplusch (Turandot), Sung Kyu Park (Prince Calàf), Sine Bundgaard (Liù), Sten Byriel (Timur), Palle Knudsen (Ping), Gert Henning-Jensen (Pang), Jens Christian Tvilum (Pong), Simon Duus (A Mandarin).

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Day 3. Lecture on the evening’s opera. Cross the water by boat for a private tour of the opera house. Free afternoon. The National Museum is recommended or one of the city’s many other museums and galleries. Evening opera: Tosca (Puccini), Jun Märkl/Robert Houssart (conductor), Peter Langdal (director), Maria Pia Piscitelli (Floria Tosca), Niels Jørgen Riis (Mario Cavaradossi), Jens Søndergaard (Baron Scarpia), Kyungil Ko (Cesare Angelotti), Sten Byriel (A Sacristan), Jens Christian Tvilum (Spoletta), Martin Vilbrand (Sciarrione). Day 4. In the morning we suggest a visit to the Rosenborg Palace, royal residence from the 17th century, or one of the city’s many museums. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 5.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,160 or £1,990 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,470 or £2,300 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Music: tickets for 2 operas are included in the tour price, costing c. £215. Accommodation. Phoenix Copenhagen (phoenixcopenhagen.dk): traditional 4-star hotel close to the Amalienborg Palace. How strenuous? We reach the opera house on foot and by boat. Participants need to be fit enough to manage this, as well as the city walks, and to cope easily with stair-climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 5 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Photograph: Copenhagen Opera House,©Royal Danish Opera.


Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania History of the Baltic nations 21 July–3 August 2019 (mf 628) 14 days • £4,170 Lecturer: Neil Taylor Three countries with different languages, diverse histories and distinct cultural identities. An extensive legacy from eras under German, Polish, Swedish, Russian and Soviet rule. The focus of the tour is history, politics and general culture, rather than art and architecture.

Day 4: Tartu (Estonia). Drive through a gently undulating mix of woodland and fertile fields, with traditional vernacular farmsteads. Tartu is in some ways the cultural capital of Estonia, the university having been founded in 1632. There are fine 18th- and 19th-century buildings, especially the town hall and university, and there is a visit to the restored Jaani church. First of two nights in Tartu. Day 5: Lake Peipsi (Estonia). Drive to the shores of Lake Peipsi and visit Alatskivi, Raja and Kolkja, all villages which provided refuge for the Old Believers, persecuted for their disaffection with the Orthodox Church. Return to Tartu via the recently re-opened Estonian National Museum. Day 6: Cesis (Latvia). Enter Latvia travelling through hilly landscape renowned for its beauty. Cesis is an historic and well-preserved small town with church and ruined castle. First of three nights in Riga. Day 7: Riga (Latvia). Explore Latvia’s capital on foot. The Art Nouveau district is a residential quarter of grand boulevards, with classical, historicist and outstanding façades. Within the extensive Old Town there are mediaeval streets, Hanseatic warehouses, Gothic and Baroque churches and 19th-century civic buildings. There are visits to the Menzendorff House, a restored merchant’s house and now a museum, Gothic St Peter with its distinctive tall spire and the cathedral, which is the largest mediaeval church in the Baltic countries.

Day 9: Rundale (Latvia), Kaunas (Lithuania). Rundale was one of the most splendid palaces in the Russian Empire, built from 1736 by Rastrelli for a favourite of Empress Anna. Lunch is in the palace restaurant. Lithuania is entered via the town of Bauska and there is a stop in Kedainiai to visit the regional museum. First of two nights in Kaunas. Day 10: Kaunas. A diverse historic town with a wealth of architecture. Near the central square are a number of churches and a museum dedicated to Lithuanian folk instruments. The Ciurlionis Art Museum has works of Lithuania’s most famous composer and artist. Other afternoon visits include the Resurrection Church and the neoBaroque Synagogue. Day 11: Pazaislis, Vilnius (Lithuania). At Pazaislis is a magnificent Baroque nunnery and pilgrimage church, one of the architectural gems of Eastern Europe. Continue to Vilnius which, far from the sea, has the feel of a Central European metropolis, with Baroque the predominant style. Afternoon walk to the bishop’s palace (now the Presidential Palace), the university, and the Church of St John. First of three nights in Vilnius.

Illustration: Tallinn, from Castle Hill, 20th-century etching.

Tallinn

Lahemaa National Park

La

Pe i

ESTONIA

MAINLAND EUROPE: Estonia

Baltic Sea

psi

Itinerary

Tartu

Day 1: Tallinn (Estonia). Fly at c. 10.15am (Finnair, Nordic Regional Airlines) from Heathrow to Tallinn via Helsinki. First of three nights in Tallinn. Day 2: Tallinn. The upper town has a striking situation on a steep-sided hill overlooking the Baltic Sea with views over the city. Among the mediaeval and classical buildings are the Toompea Palace (Parliament), Gothic cathedral and late 19th-century Russian cathedral and the 15thcentury town hall (subject to closure in case of state functions). Continue through the unspoilt streets of the lower town with its mediaeval walls, churches and gabled merchants’ houses and see the church of the Holy Ghost and the City Museum. Visit St Nicholas, a Gothic basilica with a museum of mediaeval art.

Day 8: Riga. A drive via the market, formerly Europe’s largest, situated in five 1920s Zeppelin hangars, followed by a visit to the fascinating outdoor museum of vernacular buildings. Free afternoon in Riga; possibilities include the Occupation Museum­or the Jewish Museum.

ke

Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania: the regaining of independence in 1991 by these three countries was a happy outcome of the demise of the Soviet Union. Of all the fragments of that former superpower, the Baltic countries have perhaps the brightest future and the least clouded present. Though geographical proximity leads the countries to be conventionally thought of together as a single entity, the degree of difference between them is surprisingly great in terms of ethnicity, language, historical development and religion. The Estonians are of Finno-Ugric origin and their language has nothing in common with their Latvian or Russian neighbours. Lithuanian history has for much of the post-mediaeval era been linked with Catholic Poland, whereas Estonia and Latvia were early recipients of Protestantism. In the eighteenth century these states succumbed to the bear-hug of the Russian Empire – and only after the First World War did they achieve full independence. In 1940, with the annexation by the Soviet Union, they once more fell under Russian rule. Between 1941 and 1944 they had the additional suffering of the German Occupation. Yet the Baltic States were always among the most prosperous and liberal of the Soviet republics, and among the most independent-minded. Surprise ranks high among the responses of the visitor now – surprise that there is so much of interest and beauty, and surprise that the Iron Curtain was indeed so opaque a veil that most of us in the West could remain so ignorant of these countries and their heritage. Surprise, perhaps, that on the whole the region functions with considerable efficiency and sophistication.

Day 3: Lahemaa National Park (Estonia). Drive east into an area now designated as a national park. The charming manor houses of Palmse and Sagadi have full 18th-century classical dress disguising the timber structure. Lunch is in a roadside inn, with wooden buildings – a former postal service station on the road to St Petersburg.

Cesis Riga

LATVIA

Rundale

LITHUANIA Kaunas c. 50 km

Pazaislis

BELARUS

Vilnius

POLAND

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Estonia, Latvia & Lithuania continued

Opera & Ballet in Helsinki Massenet and Delibes

Neil Taylor Leading expert on the former Communist world. He read Chinese at Cambridge and has worked in tourism in China, the USSR and many developing countries. His latest publication is Estonia: A Modern History. Others include The Bradt Guide: Estonia,The Bradt Guide: Baltic Cities and A Footprints Guide to Berlin. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Day 12: Vilnius. Walk to the Gates of Dawn, the Carmelite church of St Theresa, the former Jewish ghetto, the cathedral and the exquisite little Late-Gothic church of St Anne. Visit the church of Saints Peter and Paul with outstanding stucco sculptural decoration and the newly restored Grand Dukes’ Palace. Day 13: Vilnius. Visit the Church Heritage Museum and Kazys Varnelis House Museum, an eclectic private collection of art and maps. In the afternoon visit the Vytautas Kasiulis Museum and there is some free time; suggestions include the Genocide Museum, Vilnius Picture Gallery or the Theatre and Music Museum. Day 14: Vilnius. Fly from Vilnius to London Heathrow, via Helsinki, arriving at c. 3.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £4,170 or £3,690 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,590 or £4,110 without flights. Included meals: 5 lunches, 8 dinners, with wine.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Estonia, Finland

Accommodation. Hotel Palace, Tallinn (tallinnhotels.ee/hotel-palace-tallinn): comfortable 4-star hotel on the edge of the old town. London Hotel, Tartu (london.tartuhotels.ee): modern, centrally located 4-star hotel with a good restaurant; décor is quite bright. Radisson Blu Ridzene, Riga (radissonblu.com): 5-star hotel though more akin to a 4-star, well-located with views over the park. Hotel Daugirdas, Kaunas (daugirdas.lt): 4-star 19th-century mansion with modern features. Novotel Vilnius Centre (novotel. com): plain but comfortable 4-star chain hotel in a good location on the edge of the old town. How strenuous? This is a long tour with four hotel changes and some long coach journeys. There is a lot of walking, some of it on cobbled or roughly paved ground. Average distance by coach per day: 56 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 68

27 February–2 March 2019 (mf 461) 4 days • £1,810 (including tickets to 2 performances) Lecturer: Dr Michael Downes Two performances in Helsinki’s magnificent bayside opera house. Massenet’s fin de siècle love story in a production described as ‘a luxurious visual feast.’ One of the greatest nineteenth-century ballets, Delibes’ Sylvia, with the spectacular choreography of John Neumeier. We include a private tour of the opera house and a city walk with a local guide. Time is allowed for Helsinki’s outstanding museums.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.20am (Finnair) from London Heathrow to Helsinki. A guided tour of Aalto’s Finlandia Hall (1961–75), a concert and event space celebrating nature and light. There is time to settle into the hotel before dinner. Day 2. Morning lecture on this evening’s performance, followed by a walk through the Neo-Classical heart of the city: Senate Square, the domed cathedral and the colourful Market Square by the old harbour. Free afternoon; recommended is the Kiasma Museum of Contemporary Art. Dinner before the performance at the Finnish National Opera: Thaïs (Massenet), Patrick Fournillier (conductor), Nicola Raab (director), Marianne Fiset (Thaïs), Warwick Fyfe (Athanaël), Mika Pohjonen (Nicias), Iida Antola (Crobyle), Elli Vallinoja (Myrtale), Jyrki Korhonen (Palémon), Jeni Packalen (Albine).

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Day 3. The day is free until an afternoon lecture. Drive to the Finnish National Opera for a private guided tour followed by dinner and an evening ballet: Sylvia (music by Delibes), John Neumeier (choreographer), Garrett Keast (conductor). Day 4. In the morning visit the Ateneum, Finland’s foremost art museum, which houses a collection of brilliant National Romantic pictures. Continue by coach to the airport and fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 3.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,810 or £1,680 without flights. Single occupancy: £1,990 or £1,860 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Music and ballet: first-category tickets to 2 performances are included, costing c. £230 in total. Accommodation. Hotel Haven, Helsinki (hotelhaven.fi): boutique hotel near the harbour. How strenuous? Participants need to be fit enough to manage the city walk and to cope easily with stair-climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 13 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Civlisations of Sicily, 4–16 March 2019 (p.161). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Helsinki, steel engraving c. 1850.


Savonlinna Opera Rossini and Mozart

The Sibelius Festival

22–25 July 2019 (mf 629) 4 days • £2,160 (including tickets to 2 performances) Lecturer: Dr John Allison

August 2019 Full details available in November 2018 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk

Two operas at the renowned Savonlinna Opera Festival: Rossini’s Il barbiere di Siviglia and Mozart’s Die Entführung aus dem Serail.

Begin in Helsinki with a night at the Hotel Kamp before moving to the lakeside town of Lahti. Concerts are interspersed with visits associated with Sibelius and National Romanticism.

Productions here are musically and dramatically first-rate, in the incomparable setting of a mediaeval castle on an island. Savonlinna is a pleasant, small town amidst the unassertive beauty of lakeland Finland.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.20am from London Heathrow to Helsinki (Finnair) and drive on to Savonlinna. Day 2. After a morning lecture, take a boat through beautiful lakeland scenery. In the afternoon, visit the castle of St Olaf at Savonlinna by guided tour. Evening opera: Il barbiere di Siviglia (Rossini), Frédéric Chaslin (conductor); soloists include Laura Verrecchia, Ville Rusanen, Alexey Tatarintsev, Raffaele Raffio, Shavleg Armasi, Päivi Pylvänäinen, Joonas Asikainen.

Day 3. Visit the Punkaharju nature reserve and the Finnish Forest Museum. In the afternoon, drive to Kerimäki, the largest wooden church in the world (1840s). Evening opera: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart), Kalle Kuusava (conductor); soloists include Elena Gorshunova, Claire de Sévigné, Jussi Myllys, Jonathan Winell, Petri Lindroos, Sebastian Wirnitzer. Day 4. Drive from Savonlinna to Helsinki and fly to London, arriving at Heathrow at c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,160 or £1,950 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,440 or £2,230 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine.

MAINLAND EUROPE: FINLAND

A massive structure of rough-hewn granite rising from a rocky islet, the castle at Savonlinna is the largest in Scandinavia. It was built in 1475 and frequently re-fortified during the next three centuries, for this was border country: Nordic occupancy alternated with Russian until modern times. Opera has been performed here in the courtyard since 1912, so it even pre-dates Verona as a festival in a spectacular historic setting. During the last couple of decades its artistic achievements have placed this festival among the best in the world, yet its unlikely and rather inaccessible location keeps the number of international visitors well below what it deserves. The courtyard is backed by a starkly beautiful wall of rough mediaeval masonry: its huge gateway and precipitous staircase make a wonderful setting for productions of operas. Musically, the acoustically-designed temporary roof allows both intimate scenes and vast choral ensembles to sound at their best. In all three performances, the Savonlinna Festival Orchestra and Choir – picked from among the best instrumentalists and singers in Scandinavia – will have the greatest opportunities to show their strength. The lake district of eastern Finland is an area of gently beguiling beauty. Thousands of interconnected lakes meet forests of birch and pine at an incredibly convoluted shoreline, the pattern varied with scattered patches of pasture and arable land neatly arranged around timber farmsteads. The scenery and pure air provide a restful and refreshing foil to nights at the opera. Visits include a guided tour of the castle at Savonlinna; a boat trip through beautiful lakeland scenery; a visit to the Punkaharju nature reserve and the Finnish Forest Museum; and the largest wooden church in the world (1840s) in Kerimäki.

Sibelius’s compositions are among the greatest and most universally appreciated achievements of western music. While displaying a range of stylistic influences, they are nevertheless highly original and distinctive, and are rooted in a passion for nature and a sense of the endurance of the human spirit. Sibelius was also one of the most place-specific of composers. His main literary influences were Nordic, particularly the Kalevala, the great Finnish national epic, and the landscapes which moved him so intensely are the forests and lakes of central Finland. He lived through and gave expression to the period of National Romanticism when Finland rebelled against Russian poli/ cal and cultural dominance and emerged as an independent nation in 1917. The small lakeside city of Lahti has hosted the festival annually since 2000 with performances taking place in the stunning timber concert hall, renowned for both design and acoustics. Our nights there are preceded by a night in Helsinki, staying at Sibelius’s preferred Hotel Kamp, in order to set the National Romantic scene.

Music: tickets for 2 performance are included, costing c. £315. Accommodation. Sokos Hotel Seurahuone (sokoshotels.fi): located by the lake in Savonlinna, this functional hotel is the best in town. It is basic but adequately equipped and with modern facilities. All rooms (including rooms for single occupancy) have twin beds. How strenuous? Access to the castle and the forest walk would be difficult with impaired walking. Average distance by coach per day: 14 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Opera in Munich & Bregenz, 28 July–3 August 2019 (p.108). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Savonlinna, St Olav, 18th-century engraving.

Illustration: Jean Sibelius, lithograph c. 1900.

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Poets & The Somme Poetry of the Great War in battlefield context Day 2: Beaumont Hamel, Mesnil, Thiepval. Explore to the north of the Albert to Bapaume Road. Start at Beaumont Hamel and visit Newfoundland Park for an introduction to the trenches through the poetry of Richard Aldington, Robert Graves and John Edgell Rickwood. Move along the line through Auchonvillers, along the Ancre Valley, with Edmund Blunden, Wilfred Owen and A. P. Herbert. At Thiepval is the Memorial to the Missing, the most monumental of the many Great War memorials, which bears over 72,000 names. Today’s poems include Dulce et Decorum est by Wilfred Owen, Binyon’s For the Fallen and, at Thiepval, Charles Sorley’s When you see the millions of the mouthless dead / Across your dreams in pale battalions go.

6–9 September 2019 (mf 673) 4 days • £1,480 Lecturer: Andrew Spooner First World War poetry in the context of the Battle of the Somme. A presentation of the poetry through a study of events, landscapes and the wartime lives of individual poets. An actor reads the poems. Led by military historian Andrew Spooner.

MAINLAND EUROPE: France

Blending history and poetry, this tour reveals the true landscape of war: locations, topography, events, but also hope, fear, anger, pain and love, all viscerally manifest in the poetry of the First World War. The opening day of the Battle of the Somme, 1st July 1916, is taken as the starting point for the tour, with an exploration of the front line area and a study of the events of that day and subsequent weeks. A sprinkling of poetry from 1914 and 1915 adds to the modern contextual understanding of the enormous sense of loss. During 1917 and 1918, other war poets became embroiled in later battles and their poetry will be placed into context on ‘the old 1916 battlefield’. This leads on to a wider examination of the nature of trench warfare and of the course of the war as a whole. Much has survived: trenches, shell holes and mine craters. The tangible remains of warfare and the pattern of cemeteries are now woven into the fabric of the modern landscape. What sets this tour apart is the parallel exploration of the lives of those regular soldiers, volunteers and civilians who bequeathed to us the most emotionally potent body of poetry in English literature. This is not an exercise in literary analysis, however, but poems are placed in the context of the battlefield and of the lives (and deaths) of the many and varied individuals who wrote them. 70

Led by the military historian who devised the tour, Andrew Spooner, it is also accompanied by an actor who reads the poems – sometimes at the site where they were composed (often identifiable to within a few yards), sometimes at the scene of the poet’s grave, sometimes at the place of his death or disappearance. The tour is very much ‘in the field’ with a series of short walks on each day, averaging from a few hundred metres to a maximum distance of 1.5 miles, and set to follow the events on particular sections of the front line. The fourteen miles of front line are neatly divided by the Roman road from Albert to Bapaume. Poets whose works are included are (in alphabetical order) Richard Aldington, Lawrence Binyon, Edmund Blunden, Vera Brittain, Richard Budworth, Eleanor Farjeon, Wilfrid Gibson, Robert Graves, Sir Alan P. Herbert, William Noel Hodgson, Roland Leighton, Wilfred Owen, Margaret Postgate Cole, John Edgell Rickwood, Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, Alan Seeger, Charles Sorley, Edward Thomas, May Wedderburn Cannan, Arthur Graeme West.

Day 3: Longueval, Mametz, Fricourt. Visit the area south of the Albert to Bapaume Road where some battalions were more successful and gained their objectives on the first day, before the arduous struggle of attrition moved into the ‘Horseshoe of Woods’. The site of Siegfried Sassoon’s HQ dugout is near the village of Fricourt, ‘while time ticks blank and busy on their wrists’. At Mametz, on William Noel Hodgson’s ‘familiar hill’, read Before Action: ‘Must say goodbye to all of this / By all delights that I shall miss, / Help me to die, O Lord.’ Day 4: Contay, Louvencourt, La Boisselle. Stray behind the lines, visiting areas associated with the Casualty Clearing Stations. Louvencourt for Vera Brittain and Roland Leighton, and Contay as an appropriate location for the choice of women’s poetry, May Wedderburn Cannan and Margaret Postgate Cole. At La Boisselle, astride the Roman road, follow the fortunes of two battalions of the 34th Division. The poetry of Wilfred Owen, Edward Thomas and Alan Seeger features (I have a rendezvous with death). Final lunch before driving to Calais for the Eurotunnel journey home, arriving in central London at c. 7.30pm. Eurotunnel crossings are subject to confirmation a few months in advance. If we are unable to secure a space on our preferred crossings, we may need to take a ferry between Dover and Calais instead.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,480. Single occupancy: £1,630.

Itinerary

Included meals: all meals, with wine.

Day 1: Pozières, Agny. Travel by coach at 9.00am from central London to Folkestone for the 35-minute Eurotunnel crossing. Continue by coach, arriving in the field mid-afternoon. Drive the length of the front line for an initial orientation of the Somme battlefield, identifying the exact positions of the opposing trenches. The lecturer gives an introduction at the windmill site at Pozières, the highest part of the battlefield. Visit Agny Military Cemetery for poetry by Edward Thomas and Eleanor Farjeon. Continue to the hotel in Arras.

Accommodation. Hôtel de l’Univers, Arras (univers.najeti.fr): traditional 4-star hotel, installed in a 17th-century building; good restaurant. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of standing around and walking on this tour, most of it over rough ground. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 143 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Connoisseur's Prague, 10–16 September 2019 (p.60). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo See page 54

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Illustration: wayside crosses, photograph 1916.


Mediaeval Upper Normandy Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance 20–27 May 2019 (mf 540) 8 days • £2,460 Lecturer: John McNeill

Day 5: Varengeville, Dieppe, Pays de Bray. Drive out to the Channel coast, starting with the rangy parish church at Varengeville, arrestingly sited on a cliff overlooking the Côte d’Albâtre, then descending into Dieppe, home to one of the really great parish churches of northern France. Gentle afternoon winding our way through the Pays de Bray via the luminous and beautiful Renaissance church at Arques-La-Bataille, Bures and Neufchatel-en-Bray.

Superb examples of Romanesque and Gothic. Architecture, together with mediaeval sculpture and stained glass. Leisurely drives through the beautiful landscapes of the Seine Valley.

Itinerary Day 1: Mantes, Rouen. Travel by Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 10.30am from London St Pancras to Paris, and by coach to Mantes, home to the French royal collegiate church of NotreDame. Transfer by coach to Rouen where all seven nights are spent. Day 2: Rouen. Unquestionably the greatest city of Normandy, and one which retains enough

Day 7: Saint-Germer-de-Fly, Beauvais. Drive to St-Germer-de-Fly, a Benedictine abbey with an early Gothic church to which a delightful quasi-freestanding Lady Chapel was added in the manner of the Sainte Chapelle. Rest of the day in Beauvais, whose breathtakingly audacious cathedral choir has lost little of its power to thrill. Indeed, no description of French Gothic is complete without it. Day 8: Écouis, Gisors. Brief stop at Écouis to see the stunning 14th-century sculpture that still embellishes the church, before continuing to Gisors, the old capital of the Normandy Vexin. Visit the magnificent castle and 16th-century church. Drive on to Paris and return by Eurostar to London St Pancras arriving at c. 7.45pm.

Practicalities of its historic fabric to rank among the most architecturally enthralling cities of northern Europe. Visits include the wonderfully inventive cathedral, the Palais de Justice, the Musée des Antiquités and the important late Gothic churches of St-Ouen and St-Maclou. Day 3: Caudebec-en-Caux, Fécamp, Jumièges, Boscherville. Drive along the Seine to Caudebecen-Caux to see the virtuosic parish church of Notre-Dame and on to the great ducal monastery of La Trinité at Fécamp. The afternoon is spent at the peerless ruined abbey of Jumièges, one of a handful of buildings which might be said to mark the arrival of mature Romanesque architecture in Europe and finally, the altogether more intimate spaces of St-Martin-de-Boscherville. Day 4: Evreux, Conches-en-Ouche, Bernay. Evreux’s diocesan museum was recently beautifully refurbished and now houses both the exquisite 13th-century shrine of St-Taurin and the English alabaster retable of St George from La Celle. We will follow this with visits to Evreux’s variously Romanesque and Gothic cathedral along with the gloriously ramshackle monastic church of St Taurin. The afternoon will take in Conches-en-Ouche, famed for its late mediaeval and early Renaissance stained glass and Bernay the essential starting point for an understanding of Norman Romanesque.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,460 or £2,320 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,820 or £2,680 without Eurostar. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Mercure Centre Cathédrale, Rouen (accorhotels.com): modern 4–star hotel in the historic centre of Rouen, a few minutes walk from the cathedral. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking, some on roughly paved streets, and a fair amount of standing around. You need to be able to carry your luggage on and off the train and within the stations. On some days there is a lot of coach travel; average distance per day: 80 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Courts of Northern Italy, 12–19 May 2019 (p.132); The J.S. Bach Journey, 13–19 May 2019 (p.101); Barcelona, 14–18 May 2019 (p.194). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Rouen, oiliograph (detail) c. 1870.

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Beginning in the middle of the ninth century, raiding parties from Scandinavia first pillaged, and then occupied, the coastal reaches of northern France. The effect on Carolingian France was catastrophic, and as its governmental systems collapsed, France disintegrated into a patchwork of small feudal domains. Normandy was one of the most significant of these, and after the old Norse chieftain, Rollo, was granted the lordship of the lands north of the rivers Epte and Andelle, he took the title ‘Duke’ and set his embryonic duchy on a course of expansion. Rouen was Rollo’s chosen capital, and this tour concentrates on the eastern part of the duchy along with the adjoining Beauvaisis, combining sites which are otherwise difficult to access with the great monuments of Rouen, Evreux and the Seine Valley. It is no exaggeration to see in the events of 1066 something central to a Norman, and English, sense of identity. The most obvious reminders of this are the great Norman castles and churches which are such familiar landmarks of English towns. Their origins lie in the pioneering eleventh-century buildings of Jumièges, Rouen and Bernay. This early, and exceptionally inventive, development of a mature Romanesque architecture places Normandy at the forefront of an initiative which was to have profound consequences for later mediaeval Europe – the creation of integrated and highly articulated churches on a colossal scale – the effects of which are readily seen. Normandy’s Romanesque buildings have often been the subject of lavish praise, however. That distinctive late twelfth- and thirteenth-century architecture, of polished surfaces, detached shaftwork, giddying spires and sumptuous colour remains less widely appreciated. It is also the case that the buildings undertaken in the aftermath of the Hundred Years War have been overlooked by historians of the period. Yet these are characterised by an extraordinarily well-developed interest in the picturesque and the fantastical, by myriad angles, flickering tracery, and twisted slate-hung roofs. Taken individually they number among the most ravishing buildings of late mediaeval Europe.

Day 6: Les Andelys, Rouen. From the ruins of the Château Gaillard, Richard I’s mighty castle defending the approaches into Normandy, there are spectacular views of the Seine valley. Below is Grand Andely, centred around the church of Notre-Dame (13th and 15th century), while in Petit Andely is the 13th-century church of StSauveur. The afternoon is free in Rouen.


Champagne: Vines, Cellars & Cuvées Reims, Épernay, Côte des Blancs

23–27 April 2019 (mf 496) 5 days • £2,190 Lecturer: Giles MacDonogh Private arrangements at most of the champagne houses visited. Visits a selection of independent and multinational producers in Reims, Épernay and surrounding villages. Stay in a four-star hotel in central Reims.

MAINLAND EUROPE: France

Champagne is the wine of kings and oligarchs, demand way outstrips production and prices are merciless; but it wasn’t always so. Planted by the Romans like so many other parts of France, the Champagne region produced weedy wines before the seventeenth century as the area was too far north to guarantee ripe grapes. Only in very hot summers would the Pinot Noir, Pinot Meunier and Chardonnay grapes of the Montagne, Marne and the Côte des Blancs visited on the tour achieve levels of colour and alcohol that would have rendered champagne comparable to the great wines of Burgundy to the south, where the cocktail of grape varieties was largely the same. In those years a still, red Bouzy is a proper wine, but in others it is more likely to land in the blending vats where sparkling wines are made. Although champagne was the wine of coronations in Reims, where we are based, it was not until the seventeenth century that it found an international vocation. Pierre Pérignon, a Benedictine monk at the Abbey of Hautvillers in the Marne Valley and English merchants doctoring shipments of new wines, struck on a way of giving the wine a fresh twist. Laced with sugar and run into strong bottles before the spring, champagne underwent a second fermentation which not only resulted in more acceptable alcohol levels but it sparkled as well. 72

Sparkling champagne was an instant success. It was the fizz of Charles II’s court and the louche days of the French Regency following the death of Louis XIV. While still champagne continued to be made the sparkling stuff was always in demand when people were in the mood for fun. It had become the favourite of poets and painters, even before the widows and German book-keepers of the nineteenth century resolved the final technical problems and transformed champagne into one of the world’s greatest wines.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Reims. Leave London St Pancras by Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 10.30am for Paris, and continue by coach to Reims. Arriving at c. 4.00pm, there is time to settle into the hotel before an introductory talk, tasting and dinner. All four nights are spent in Reims. Day 2: Épernay. Travel by coach through the Montagne de Reims to the small, but important champagne town of Épernay. Morning lecture at the Comité Champagne, the trade association representing independent growers and houses. Afternoon private visit of the cellars at Moët followed by a tasting of Dom Pérignon. Day 3: Côte des Blancs, Montagne de Reims. South through an expansive landscape of vineyards to Vertus and the family-owned Fourny & Fils, where expression of the terroir and Chardonnay reigns supreme. After lunch, back north for the afternoon to the impressive cooperative installations in the premier cru village of Mailly. Visit and tasting of four champagnes. Day 4: Reims. Morning visit to Charles Heidsieck on the outskirts of the city, followed by time for an independent lunch and free afternoon. A late-afternoon visit to Pommery and the crayères followed by dinner in the champagne house.

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Day 5. Leave Reims at c. 10.30am by coach for Paris and continue by Eurostar to London St Pancras, arriving c. 3.30pm. The tour is dependent on the kindness of many individuals and organisations, some of whom are reluctant to make arrangements far in advance, so the order of visits outlined above may change and there may be substitutions for some of the wineries mentioned.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,190 or £1,980 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,360 or £2,150 without Eurostar. Included meals: 2 lunches, 2 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hôtel de la Paix, Reims (bestwestern-lapaix-reims.com): comfortable, modern and central 4-star hotel, originally three separate buildings. Bedrooms are bright and well-equipped. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing in possibly muddy vineyards and cool, damp cellars (stairs to the crayères can be steep and numerous) as well as tasting an average of 5 champagnes per day. The first and last days involve a long drive but there is little coach travel in between. Average distance by coach per day: 57 miles. Group size: between 10 to 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music in Berlin, 17–22 April 2019 (p.93); Monet & Impressionism, 28 April–3 May 2019 (p.73); Gastronomic Puglia, 28 April–5 May 2019 (p.158). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Reims, cathedral, wood engraving c. 1890.


Monet & Impressionism Paintings and places in Paris and Normandy 28 April–3 May 2019 (mf 502) 6 days • £2,270 Lecturer: Dr Frances Fowle The finest collections of Impressionism in France and places associated with the artists. First-class rail travel by Eurostar from London and good hotels in Paris and Rouen.

Day 1: Paris. Travel from London St Pancras at c. 10.30am by Eurostar (Standard Premier) to Paris. Visit the Musée Marmottan which, through a donation by Monet’s son, has one of the world’s largest collections of Impressionists including Impression: Sunrise. Continue to Rouen in Normandy where four nights are spent. Day 2: Honfleur, Le Havre. Honfleur is an utterly delightful fishing village at the mouth of the Seine, now crammed with art galleries and antique shops. In the museum are many works by Eugène Boudin, a major influence on the Impressionists. Cross the Seine estuary to Le Havre. After a recent donation and refurbishment, the Musée André Malraux has become the second largest collection of Impressionists in France. Day 3: Giverny. The morning is devoted to the premier site in the history of Impressionism, Monet’s house and garden at Giverny where he lived from 1883 until his death in 1926, designing and tending the gardens which grew in size as his prosperity increased. Also at Giverny is the newly reconstituted Musée des Impressionnismes. Return mid-afternoon for some free time in Rouen, perhaps to study the cathedral, the subject of over 30 of Monet’s paintings. Day 4: Rouen, Étretat. Spend the morning in Rouen at the Musée des Beaux Arts, a collection of painting, sculpture, drawing and decorative art, which date from the Renaissance to present day. Impressionist works are in the François Depeaux gallery, named after the local donor. Either spend a free afternoon in Rouen, architecturally and scenically one of France’s finest cities, or join an excursion to Étretat, a little seaside town flanked by dramatic chalk promontories scooped into arches by wind and sea, painted by Monet and many others.

Practicalities

Day 5: Auvers, Paris. Auvers-sur-Oise was a popular artists’ colony, frequented by Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. See sites associated with Van Gogh, who spent the last few weeks of his life here, and the studio of Daubigny. Return to Paris for an optional visit of the Musée des Beaux Arts in the Petit Palais, an underappreciated collection for which space has recently been expanded. (We sometimes change the visit to the Petit Palais in order to take advantage of a temporary exhibition elsewhere.) Overnight Paris.

How strenuous? This is a fair amount of walking as well as standing in the art galleries. You need to be able to lift your luggage on and off the train and wheel it at stations.

Day 6: Paris. Walk through the Tuileries Gardens to the Orangerie where an excellent collection of Impressionists, Monet’s famous water-lilies and 20th-century paintings are housed. Cross the river to the Musée d’Orsay; here are displayed not only the world’s finest collection of Impressionism but also masterpieces by important precursors such as Courbet and Millet. Return to London by Eurostar, arriving St Pancras at c. 5.30pm.

Art in Paris

Leonardo 500 – see page 138

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,270 or £2,060 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,600 or £2,390 without Eurostar. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Mercure Rouen Centre Cathédrale (mercure.com): modern, functional 4-star hotel in the historic centre. Hotel Édouard 7, Paris (hoteledouard7-paris.com): comfortable 4-star, 5 minutes on foot from the Opéra Garnier.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Champagne: Vines, Cellars & Cuvées, 23–27 April 2019 (p.72); Classical Greece, 4–13 May 2019 (p.109). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Special autumn exhibitions October 2019 Full details available in December 2018 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk

Illustration: Étretat, wood engraving c. 1880 after Claude Monet.

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Far more Impressionist pictures can be seen in the region covered by this tour than in any other territory of comparable size. This should be no surprise, as this is the region where Impressionism was born and where it was most practised, and the tour visits some of the key sites in that development. Attention is also paid to the precursors – pre-Impressionists such as Eugène Boudin and Jongkind – and to some PostImpressionist successors. As it was for mainstream artists, so it was for rebels and innovators: throughout the nineteenth century and into the twentieth, Paris was the centre of the art world. All the French Impressionists spent time here, many lived here for most of their lives. Yet the essence of their art – the recording of the world about them as it presented itself in its immediate, transitory aspect – required them to spend time in the countryside. And the countryside they frequented most was in the north and north-west of Paris, the broad valley of the meandering Seine and of its tributaries the Oise and the Epte, and on to the coast with its vast skies and dramatic limestone cliffs. The focus of this tour is Claude Monet, the major exponent of Impressionism. He was born in Paris in 1840 and was brought up in Le Havre on the Normandy coast, where he was encouraged by Boudin to paint out of doors. Returning to Paris in 1859, he encountered the artists who would form the Impressionist group. From 1871 he made his home in the suburbs, often working from his studio boat and progressing downstream from Argenteuil to Vétheuil and Poissy, before settling in Giverny in 1883. Monet made frequent trips to the Normandy coas, where Impressionism was developing in tandem with tourism and the new fashion for sea bathing. Water, fresh or salt, was an important ingredient of Impressionist pictures, its fleeting, changing, evanescent qualities similar to the transient effects of light they sought to capture on canvas. The Impressionist emphasis on the importance of painting en plein air makes a tour that includes sites where painters set up their easels particularly rewarding. The Impressionists were also masters of figure painting and invigorated the genre of portraiture in their depictions of family, friends, and the wider Parisian circle. While Degas recorded the women of the city – dancers, milliners and washerwomen– Pissarro preferred to focus on rural workers. Influenced by photography and Japanese art these artists recorded the society of their time: from critics and political figures to singers at the café concert, capturing a snapshot of life in France at the end of the nineteenth century.

Itinerary


Versailles: Seat of the Sun King The greatest palace and garden 28 June–1 July 2019 (mf 591) 4 days • £1,910 Lecturer: Professor Antony Spawforth Focused tour examining the most influential of European palaces and related buildings. A study not only of art, architecture and gardens but also of history and statecraft. Includes a concert of Berlioz’s Messe solennelle and Martini’s Requiem for Louis XVI in the Château’s Chapelle Royale, with Hervé Niquet and Le Concert Spirituel.

Versailles was the grandest and most influential palace and garden complex in Europe, and arguably the most lavish and luxurious and most beautifully embellished too. It was much more than a building to house the monarch, his family and his court. It was conceived as the seat of government when France was at the apogee of her power, and as a structure to demonstrate and magnify the power of Louis XIV, to subdue his subjects and to overawe foreigners. A study of Versailles encompasses not only architectural history and garden history but also political science and the psychology of power. Built and altered by five French kings, Versailles is several palaces. Even during Louis XIV’s reign

elements changed constantly, reflecting not only changes of taste but also political realities as they changed from decade to decade. Indeed, at its core remains a small-scale hunting lodge built by his father (surely meant to be demolished in due course), and apartments were refurbished and parts added right up until the Revolution. Enlarging the understanding of Versailles and to set it in context there are also visits to the château of Vaux-le-Vicomte, in many ways its inspiration, and to the grounds of Marly-le-Roi, a demolished palace constructed to allow the Sun King to retreat from the formality of Versailles. Attention is paid to the town of Versailles, first laid out by Louis XIV, as well as to the park and gardens at Versailles.

Itinerary Day 1: Versailles. Leave London St Pancras at c. 9.15am by Eurostar (Standard Premier) for Paris. Drive to Versailles where all four nights are spent. Afternoon walk to view grand approach to the palace and some of the palace’s dependencies in Versailles town. Day 2: Versailles. After circumnavigating the vast palace, spend the morning immersed in the grandeur, the beauty and the symbolism of the King’s and Queen’s apartments, which culminate in the Hall of Mirrors. Explore the gardens, which remain largely as Le Nôtre created them, the parterres, basins and sculpture around the palace and the avenues and canal which seem to stretch to infinity. Then visit the family retreats of Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and the Domaine de Marie Antoinette. Evening concert in the Royal Chapel of the Château with Le Concert Spirituel, Hervé Niquet (conductor): Berlioz, Messe solennelle; Martini, Requiem à la mémoire de Louis XVI.

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Day 3: Vaux le Vicomte. The greatest country house and garden complex of its time (1656–61), Vaux-le-Vicomte was built by Nicholas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s finance minister. It is in many ways the predecessor of Versailles, for Louis XIV, after arresting Fouquet for corruption, plundered the property and later employed its chief designers and craftsmen at Versailles. Return to the palace for a guided tour of apartments from the time of Louis XV, characterised by lightness and delicacy and frivolity. Day 4: Versailles, Marly-le-Roi, Paris. Drive to Marly-le-Roi, Louis XIV’s retreat from the formality of Versailles, which became his favourite residence. No building survives, but the terraced park is evocative. Continue to Paris for the Eurostar arriving at St Pancras at c. 5.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,910 or £1,730 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,270 or £2,090 without Eurostar. Included meals: 1 lunch and 2 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hôtel Le Louis Versailles Château (sofitel.com): recently-refurbished, modern, 4-star hotel within walking distance of the château. 74

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Le Corbusier Through France and Switzerland How strenuous? There is a lot of walking and standing around. The gardens cover a large area and paths are often uneven so sure-footedness is essential. You need to lift your luggage on and off the train and wheel it within stations. Group size: between 10 to 22 participants. Combine this tour with: The Ever-Changing City Skyline, 2 July 2019; Country Houses of the South West, 4–7 July 2019 (p.22). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Professor Antony Spawforth Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at Newcastle University. A historian and broadcaster specialising in Greek and Roman antiquity and in rulers’ courts. Books include The Complete Greek Temples, Greece: An Oxford Archaeological Guide (with C. Mee), and Versailles: A Biography of a Palace.

19–27 October 2019 (mf 806) 9 days • £3,480 Lecturer: Dr Richard Plant A wide survey of works by one of the greatest architects of all time. From Paris through the east of France and the Swiss Jura to Lyon and Marseille. Le Corbusier has left later generations of architects a problem. It sometimes seems that whatever design solutions they may dream up, Corb arrived there before. And that is without conscious imitation of the master, though no architect has been more imitated. Photograph: Ronchamp, Nôtre-Dame-du-Haut (used under license from shutterstock.com).

His energy, his gimlet intelligence and his ambition would have made him master of whatever profession he had chosen, but the fertility of his artistic genius and joy in creation turned him into one of the greatest architects of all time, and the most influential of the twentieth century. The exploration of the origins of the look of the modern world is a fascinating aspect of this tour, but it is likely that the dominant impression will be of the sheer beauty of Le Corbusier’s buildings. There is far more of subtlety, nuance, sophistication and variety than might be expected of someone often simplistically classed as one of the instigators of International Modernism. He was an individual, not merely a representative of a style or movement. His impact was felt not only through his buildings – which are scattered across four continents – but also through numerous unexecuted projects, voluminous writings, and lecture tours.

See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Music & Ballet in Paris 6–10 February 2019 (mf 418) Very few spaces remaining 5 days • £2,670 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturer: Dr Michael Downes Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com A new production of Berlioz’s Les Troyens marking the 350th anniversary of the Paris Opéra.

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Four of Diaghilev’s most famous ballets in a theatre where the Ballets Russes performed. René Jacobs conducts Scarlatti’s version of the story of Cain and Abel at the Palais Garnier. Karita Mattila sings in Dvořák’s Rusalka at the Opéra Bastille.

Illustration: Chateau de Versailles, Hall of Mirrors, wood engraving c. 1880.

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Le Corbusier continued

with the master’s involvement and the site became the largest ensemble of his buildings outside Chandigarh. Also designed by Corbusier are the Maison de la Culture, with its dramatically canted side wall, the sports stadium, and the Unité d’Habitation. The astonishing church of St Pierre was finally completed in 2007, and there is a revelatory Le Corbusier museum. Free afternoon in Lyon to explore the historic centre or some of Lyon’s striking modern buildings (Tony Garnier, Renzo Piano) or the Jean Nouvel opera house. Overnight Lyon. Day 8: Marseille. Travel south by TGV. All his life Corbusier had been concerned with issues of housing, urbanism and community, and the fruits of his thinking are to be found in the ‘Unité d’Habitation’ apartment blocks. The one at Marseille (1945–52), though dogged by opposition and delays, is the most monumental embodiment of these theories. Overnight in Marseille. Day 9: Marseille. Some free time in Marseille or join the lecturer for a walk through the old town. Return home by plane (British Airways), arriving at London Heathrow at c. 5.45pm. This tour concentrates on the rich seam of his works to be quarried in Paris and in an arc out to the east of France, through the Swiss Jura and down through Lyon to Marseille – much of it passing fine natural scenery. It covers a considerable distance, but does give as complete a picture of Le Corbusier’s architecture as can be expected in a tour of this duration. Begin in Paris where Le Corbusier settled when he was thirty and emerged as a central figure in what became the intellectual capital of Europe in the inter-war years. End in Marseille where Le Corbusier finally realised his collectivist vision of the Mediterranean good life. Some buildings are in private hands and we see them from the outside, others are public and accessible and a few will be entered by special arrangement.

Itinerary

International Modernism. The Pavillon Brésilien (1959) attempts an expression of national style while the Atelier Ozenfant (1922, exterior) was the studio-residence of painter-critic and fellow purist. Take the TGV (high speed train) from Paris to Besançon. First of three nights in Besançon.

Practicalities

Day 4: La Chaux-de-Fonds (Switzerland). The son of a watchmaker, Le Corbusier’s home town for thirty years was La Chaux-de-Fonds, and here he built his first houses. See exteriors of The Villa Fallet (1908), a commission obtained by Le Corbusier when he was only 18, and the Villas Stotzer and Jacquemet when he was still under the influence of the Arts and Crafts movement and Ruskin. Classicism, rationalism and modern building techniques began to prevail in the Villas Jeanneret (1912, for his own family, enter by special arrangement) and Schwob (1916, exterior). Overnight Besançon.

Accommodation. Hotel Édouard 7, Paris (hoteledouard7-paris.com): comfortable 4-star hotel, five minutes on foot from the Opéra Garnier. Hotel de Paris, Besançon (besanconhoteldeparis. com): 3-star hotel in the historic centre. Hotel Carlton, Lyon (accorhotels.com): boutique 4-star hotel, well-situated on the Presqu’île. Hotel la Résidence du Vieux-Port, Marseille (hotelresidence-marseille.com): 4-star hotel in a 1950s building overlooking the harbour, with bright, modernist décor.

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Day 1: Paris. Travel by Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 11.00am from London St Pancras to Paris. Paris is the site of Corb’s purest statements and of his first large commissions. Visit Villa la Roche-Jeanneret which now houses the Fondation Le Corbusier, and the Immeuble Molitor (1934) in which Le Corbusier created the top floor apartment for himself. First of two nights in Paris.

Day 5: Ronchamp, Besançon. Drive into the countryside to the Benedictine monastery at Ronchamp, whose hill-top chapel, Nôtre-Damedu-Haut (1950), resulted in charges of treachery from hard-line modernists but has proved prophetic in embracing organic, sculptural values. Some free time in Besançon, a lovely hill town dominated by a massive citadel. Overnight Besançon.

Day 2: Paris. On the western outskirts, at Poissy, is Le Corbusier’s lyrically beautiful Villa Savoye (1929), one of the icons of the 20th century. Back in central Paris see Jean Nouvel’s Institut du Monde Arabe, a remarkable building with splendid views of the city. Walk through the Quartier Masséna, home to the Bibliothèque National de France (Dominique Perrault, 1996) and a development that includes the Jardin des Grands-Moulins, created in 2011. Overnight Paris.

Day 6: Arc et Senans, L’Arbresle. The route turns southwest, with a break at La Saline Royale, the remarkable industrial complex in romantic Neo-Classical style (1775) by Ledoux, one of Le Corbusier’s inspirations. His second monastic commission, the hillside Couvent de La Tourette at l’Arbresle, was obtained because his agnosticism was regarded as of less significance than the sacred values of his architecture. Continue south to Lyon. First of two nights in Lyon.

Day 3: Paris, Besançon. At the Cité Universitaire, the Pavillon Suisse (hall of residence, 1930) became one of the most influential buildings of

Day 7: Lyon, Firminy-Vert. The new town at Firminy-Vert (1956–70) was one of the few pieces of Corbusian town planning actually executed

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,480 or £3,320 without international travel. Single occupancy: £3,950 or £3,790 without international travel. Included meals: 6 dinners with wine.

How strenuous? This is a tiring tour with a lot of travel and several hotel changes. There is also quite a lot of walking within the cities visited. For the train journeys you will need to be able to carry your luggage on and off the train and within the stations. Average distance by coach per day: 38 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Houghton & Holkham, 15–18 October 2019 (p.24). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Marseilles, rue Cannebière, engraving c. 1875.

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267


French Gothic The great cathedrals of northern France 1–7 July 2019 (mf 608) 7 days • £2,330 Lecturer: Dr Matthew Woodworth The cradle of Gothic, northern Europe’s most significant contribution to world architecture. Nearly all the most important buildings in the development of Early and High Gothic, with an entire day at Chartres. Unparalleled examples of stained glass, sculpture and metalwork. Gothic was the only architectural style which had its origins in northern Europe. It was in the north of France that the first Gothic buildings arose, it was here that the style attained its classic maturity, and it is here that its greatest manifestations still stand. From the middle of the twelfth century the region was the scene of unparalleled building activity, with dozens of cathedrals, churches and abbeys under construction. Architects stretched their imaginations and masons extended their skills to devise more daring ways of enclosing greater volumes of space, with increasingly slender structural supports, and larger areas of window. But Gothic is not only an architectural phenomenon. Windows were filled with brilliant coloured glass. Sculpture, more life-like than for nearly a thousand years yet increasingly integrated with its architectural setting, was abundant. The art of metalwork thrived, and paint was everywhere. All the arts were coordinated to interpret and present elaborate theological programmes to congregations which included both the illiterate lay people and sophisticated clerics. Nearly all the most important buildings in the development of the Early and High phases of Gothic are included, and the order of visits even follows this development chronologically, as far as geography allows. A whole day is dedicated to the cathedral at Chartres, the premier site of the building arts of the mediaeval world.

Day 1. Travel by Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 1.00pm from St Pancras to Lille. Continue by coach to Laon and the hotel, in an attractive lakeside setting. First of three nights near Laon. Day 2: Noyon, Laon. One of the earliest Gothic cathedrals (c. 1150), Noyon’s four-storey internal elevation marks the transition from the thickwalled architecture of the Romanesque to the thinwalled verticality of Gothic. Laon is spectacularly sited on a rock outcrop. Begun c. 1160, the cathedral is the most complete of Early-Gothic churches and one of the most impressive, with five soaring towers. Day 3: Soissons, Reims. Soissons Cathedral is a fine example of the rapid changes which took place in architecture at the end of the 12th century. Reims Cathedral, the coronation church of the French monarchy, begun 1211, is a landmark in the development of High Gothic with the first appearance of bar tracery and classicising portal

Day 4: St-Denis. On the outskirts of Paris, the burial place of French kings, St-Denis was an abbey of the highest significance in politics and in the history of architecture. In the 1140s the choir was rebuilt, and the pointed arches, rib vaulting and skeletal structure warrant the claim that this was the first Gothic building. 100 years later the new nave inaugurated the Rayonnant style of Gothic with windows occupying the maximum possible area. First of two nights in Chartres. Day 5: Chartres. The cathedral at Chartres, begun in 1145 and recommenced in 1195 after a fire, is the finest synthesis of Gothic art and architecture. Sculpture and stained glass are incorporated into an elaborate theological programme. The full day here provides time for unhurried exploration of the building and space to reflect and absorb. See also the church of St Pierre. Day 6: Mantes-la-Jolie, Beauvais, Amiens. Visit the 12th-century collegiate church at Mantes-la-Jolie. Beauvais Cathedral, begun 1225, was, with a vault height in the choir of 157 feet, the climax in France of upwardly aspiring Gothic architecture and the highest vault of mediaeval Europe. Overnight Amiens. Day 7: Amiens. The cathedral in Amiens is the classic High-Gothic structure, its thrilling verticality balanced by measured horizontal movement. Drive to Lille for the Eurostar to London St Pancras, arriving c. 7.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,330 or £2,190 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £2,560 or £2,420 without Eurostar. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hôtel du Golf de l’Ailette, Chamouille (ailette.fr): comfortable 3-star located a short drive from Laon in an attractive position by a lake. Hotel Le Grand Monarque, Chartres (legrandmonarque.com): centrally located 4-star hotel. Hotel Mercure Amiens (mercure.com): modern 3-star hotel near the cathedral.

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Itinerary

sculpture. At the church of St Rémi the heavy Romanesque nave contrasts with the light EarlyGothic choir.

How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking and standing around. Some long coach journeys. You should be able to lift your luggage on and off the train and wheel it within the station. Average distance by coach per day: 89 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Great Houses of the North, 21–30 June 2019 (p.20); At home at Weston Park, 25–30 June 2019 (p.23); Berlin: New Architecture, 25–29 June 2019 (p.94); Dutch Painting, 26–29 June 2019 (p.168); Glyndebourne & Garsington, 27–30 June 2019 (p.28); Interwar Interiors, 8 July 2019; Gastronomic West Country, 8–14 July 2019 (p.30). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Chartres Cathedral, engraving c. 1900.

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Mediaeval Alsace Both sides of the Rhine in France and Germany a Carthusian monastery. The chapel of St Ulrich in Avolsheim was built in the 10th century and contains 13th-century frescoes. In Obernai, visit the Romanesque church of St Pierre. Rosheim possesses a number unspoilt mediaeval houses and the 12th-century church of St Pierre et Paul. In the heart of wine-producing countryside, Obernai is partly surrounded by fine ramparts. Day 5: Kaysersberg, Murbach. Kaysersberg is a remarkably unchanged mediaeval village with delightful houses, castle, bridge, and a church with a very fine carved altarpiece. In the afternoon drive south through the lovely hill scenery of the Massif du Ballon d’Alsace. Nestling in wooded hills, the Romanesque abbey at Murbach was the most important in the region, and its Romanesque church is correspondingly magnificent.

15–22 October 2019 (mf 794) 8 days • £3,140 Lecturer: Dr Matthew Woodworth Architecture, art and history around the Upper Rhine in France and Germany. Exceedingly lovely towns and villages, amid lush landscapes of vineyards, rolling farmland and wooded hills. Stay in one hotel throughout, a beautifully restored, 16th-century Alsatian Inn.

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It is one of the oddities of modern Europe that Alsace belongs to France. Historically, culturally and linguistically, the region has had more in common with its German neighbour to the east of the Rhine. Alsace is a hybrid. The region was settled by Teutonic tribes in the fifth century. In the Middle Ages most of the region, along with a chunk of Switzerland, formed part of the German duchy of Swabia, which owed allegiance to the Holy Roman Empire. Two of the imperial families, the Hohenstaufen and the Habsburgs, had their principal domains in the region, on both sides of the Rhine. The major cities – Strasbourg, Colmar and Freiburg – were among the greatest of the independent free cities of the Rhineland, the economic powerhouse of transalpine Europe. Only in relatively recent history has the Upper Rhine become a disputed border between antagonistic powers. In the Middle Ages and for long after the river was not a divisive factor but a unifying highway, the meeting place for goods, peoples and ideas from both sides. The acquisition by France in 1648 of the left bank – modern-day Alsace – paid no heed to linguistic, religious or cultural considerations. Indeed, it reverted to the German Empire for 47 years after the FrancoPrussian war of 1871. 78

This tour ignores modern national boundaries. This way the immensely rich artistic and cultural heritage can be fully appreciated, and stylistic variations be seen as regional inflections rather than national differences. Among the highlights of the tour are Romanesque churches, the Gothic cathedral and an exceptionally rich collection of late mediaeval altarpieces. Alsace is also rich in mediaeval church architecture, both Romanesque and Gothic.

Itinerary Day 1. Leave London St Pancras by Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 9.30am for Paris, and continue by TGV (high-speed train; 1st class) to Strasbourg. There is plenty of time to settle into the hotel, for an introductory talk and dinner. All seven nights are spent in Strasbourg. Day 2: Strasbourg. Since the High Middle Ages, Strasbourg has been one of the most important intellectual and cultural centres of Europe, and is now seat of the European parliament. The cathedral, constructed and adorned over several centuries, is one of the greatest monuments of Gothic art and architecture in Europe. Visit also the cathedral museum and the church of St Thomas (extravagant tomb of Maréchal de Saxe) and enjoy the picturesque streets and canals. Day 3: Colmar. Colmar is an attractive mediaeval town with richly ornamented halftimbered and stone buildings lining the streets and canals. The Gothic church of St Martin contains the Virgin of the Rose Garden, an altarpiece by Schongauer (1473). The Musée d’Unterlinden has an outstanding collection of 15th- and 16th-century pictures, chief of which is Grünewald’s Issenheim altarpiece, the most searing of all images of the Crucifixion. Day 4: Molsheim, Rosheim, Obernai. A day of small places. Molsheim has a Jesuit church and

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Day 6: Niederrotweil, Freiburg, Breisach. Cross the Rhine to Germany. The parish churches at Breisach and Niederrotweil each have a most beautiful late Gothic altarpiece carved by the socalled Master HL with an extraordinary swirling design. Freiburg im Breisgau is one of the best preserved old towns in Germany. At its centre is the minster, a magnificent Gothic construction with the tallest spire completed in the Middle Ages. The excellent city museum has recently reopened after major restoration. Day 7: Strasbourg. Free morning followed by a visit to the Palais Rohan and its museums of fine and decorative arts in the afternoon. Day 8. Leave Strasbourg at c. 10.30am by TGV for Paris and continue by Eurostar to London St Pancras, arriving c. 4.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,140 or £2,830 without Eurostar & TGV. Single occupancy: £3,760 or £3,450 without Eurostar & TGV. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Cour du Corbeau, Strasbourg (cour-corbeau.com): beautifullyrestored 4-star hotel, located close to the cathedral and the Palais Rohan. Rooms maintain many of the original features of the building, though décor is contemporary. How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking and standing around within the towns. Many town centres are only accessible on foot, and paving may be cobbled or uneven. You need to be able to lift your luggage on and off the train and wheel it within stations. Average distance by coach per day: 55 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Walking in Southern Tuscany, 7–14 October 2019 (p.140); Ravenna & Urbino, 23–27 October 2019 (p.131). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Strasbourg, watercolour by E. Harrison Compton, publ. 1912


Wine, Walks & Art in Alsace France’s prettiest wine region 6–12 September 2019 (mf 690) 7 days • £3,260 Lecturer: Marc Millon Four walks of between 5 and 9.5 km in the lush landscapes of vineyards, rolling farmland and wooded hills. Stay in one hotel throughout, a charming listed building in the centre of Colmar. Marc Millon is a wine, food and travel writer, and author of The Wine & Food of Europe.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 8.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Basel. Drive to Colmar, an attractive town with richly ornamented halftimbered and stone buildings lining the streets and canals, it’s position in the foothills of the Vosges makes an ideal base for walking tours. Lunch is followed by an introductory tasting at the Domaine Viticole de Colmar. Dinner in Colmar where all five nights are spent. Day 2: Colmar, Wintzenheim. A tour of Colmar with a local guide, including two of the city’s splendid churches, ends at the Musée d’Unterlinden, with an outstanding collection of 15th- and 16th-century pictures, chief of which is Grünewald’s Issenheim altarpiece. In the afternoon drive to Wintzenheim for a wine tasting at Josmeyer. Day 3: Bergheim, Ribeauvillé, Colmar. Drive to Bergheim to begin an easy walk along part of the Alsace wine route: 5 km, c. 1½ hours. The path is mostly level through fields and on grass through the vineyards, though there is little shade. After lunch drive to Rorschwihr for a tasting at Rolly Gassmann. Return to Colmar for some free time.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,260 or £3,140 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,750 or £3,630 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Maison des Têtes, Colmar (la-maison-des-tetes.com): charming, independent 5-star hotel located in the historic centre of Colmar. Rooms are traditional in style. How strenuous? This is a walking tour, graded moderate (see page 8). Of the 4 walks, 2 are easy and 2 are challenging. It is essential for participants to have appropriate walking footwear, be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking with uphill and downhill content. Average distance by coach per day: 22 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: St Petersburg (for solo travellers), 13–20 September 2019 (p.179). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Colmar, rue des Marchands, etching by Charles Pinet (1867–1932).

Day 4: Munster, Ammerschwihr. A challenging walk in the foothills of the Vosges. Beginning with a steep climb from Munster Haut-Rhin, this is a circular route on country lanes, farm tracks and woodland paths, which passes through picturesque villages and farms: c. 9.5 km, c. 3 hours. Lunch, to taste tarte flambée made with Munster cheese and a tasting at the JB Adam winery in Ammerschwihr before returning to Colmar. Day 5: Kaysersberg. Drive to near Kaysersberg to begin a challenging walk across the First World War battlegrounds east and south of the highly strategic Tête des Faux mountain peak, where French and German troops fought with heavy losses between the end of 1914 and the beginning of 1915. Starting at 940m we begin with a climb to reach 1,130m at the Roche du Corbeau in the woods before making our way back through pastures and farmlands: 6 km, c. 3½ hours. Lunch is in Kayserberg where there is a chance to see this remarkably unchanged mediaeval village with delightful houses, castle, bridge and a church with a very fine carved altarpiece. In Colmar, an evening tasting of a range of eaux de vie.

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Alsace, arguably the prettiest wine region in France, is also one of the best to explore on foot. Footpaths lead across a carpet of vineyards that extends over the lower slopes of the Vosges mountains. Tall pointed steeples, often topped with storks’ nests, peek out from above the rolling slopes; visible markers connect villages filled with sandstone buildings and charming half-timbered mediaeval houses with window boxes overflowing with colourful geraniums. Undoubtedly the best time to visit is September, when there is a buzz of activity as the grapes are being brought in to wine cellars and the heady smell of pressed grape must, fermentation and new wine is in the air. Wine producers take time off from their exertions to warmly welcome visitors, happy to explain the intricacies of their terroir, their style and range of wines, and to offer generous samples to taste. In historic towns and villages along the way, Winstubs offer further opportunities simply to enjoy the distinctive wines of Alsace, served in delicate green-stemmed goblets. And what wines! Alsace’s turbulent past – annexed by Germany after the Franco-Prussian war in 1871, retaken by the French after World War I, once again occupied by the Germans during World War II – has resulted in a range of varietal wines that reflect a mixed heritage. Teutonicsounding grapes such as Riesling, Sylvaner, Gewürztraminer and others are vinified in the Gallic style to result in a range of wines that are archetypically and undoubtedly French: classic (mainly) dry, forceful white wines that are meant to be enjoyed with meals. If the wines of Alsace reflect the region’s historic past, so does its renowned gastronomy. German sauerkraut here translates into choucroute; French culinary expertise raising the mundane to the sublime: the lightly fermented cabbage simmered with spices in Riesling wine to accompany a veritable mountain of outstanding sausages and cured meats of the region. Foie gras from the fattened livers of ducks and geese is a longstanding speciality here, while, in addition to charcuterie, magnificent picnic foods include tarte à l’oignon, local cheeses such as Munster, and, of course, delectable and colourful pâtisseries made from the abundance of local and seasonal fruits (many of these same fruits are distilled into clean and powerful eaux de vie). Restaurants range from the humble and simple to refined and famous temples of gastronomy. While the main focus of the tour is the wine and walking, there is also time to appreciate the immensely rich artistic and cultural heritage of

Alsace. A leitmotif of the tour is the collection of late mediaeval altarpieces and mediaeval church architecture, both Romanesque and Gothic.

Day 6: Rosheim, Obernai. A day of small places, beginning in Rosheim which possesses a number of unspoilt mediaeval houses and the 12th-century church of Saints Pierre et Paul. The easy morning walk ascends to vineyards before levelling off over fields to Obernai which is partly surrounded by fine ramparts: 5 km, c. 1¾ hours. Wine tasting at Robert Blanck and a tour of the Romanesque church of St Pierre before returning to Colmar where dinner is at a Michelin-starred restaurant. Day 7. Return to Basel and fly to London Heathrow arriving at c. 12.30pm. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Châteaux of the Loire The Renaissance in France angle turrets, elaborate gables, classicising pilasters and evocative interiors. With its formidable defensive towers Langeais, reconstructed from the 1470s, is scarcely affected by Renaissance taste and has a good collection of mediaeval furniture and tapestries.Villandry is an excellent 1530s château with three arcaded wings but its chief glories are the tiers of formal gardens, recreated in the 20th century according to 16thcentury designs and principles. We visit in the late afternoon, when the crowds have subsided, and return to the hotel at c. 7.00pm. Day 3: Beauregard, Blois, Chambord. Beauregard has a unique 17th-century gallery lined with 327 portraits of historical persons. The three wings of the castle at Blois were built in the latest fashion respectively for Louis XII from 1498, François I from 1515 and, the brother of Louis XIII (by Mansart) from 1635. There is time in the delightful town of Blois to see its gardens, churches and museums. The creation of François I and the most ambitious of the Loire châteaux, Chambord startles by its vast size. Outstanding are the double helix stairway and the fantastical roofscape of cones, wedges, elaborate gables and chimney stacks.

2–5 May 2019 (mf 514) 4 days • £1,710 Lecturer: Dr Sarah Pearson Includes only the best of the houses and gardens in the region. Stay at a château hotel in the centre of the area. Option to combine this tour with Tuscan Gardens, 6–11 May 2019 (see page 139).

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The region around the lower reaches of the Loire was exceptional in a country still dominated by over-mighty French monarchs and riven by factionalism until well into the seventeenth century. The relative stability of a territory submissive to royal writ, the prosperity arising from highly productive agricultural land and river-borne trade, and the excellent hunting, all provided the conditions for a building boom. Especially towards the end of the fifteenth century and during the first half of the sixteenth, a plethora of palaces, hunting lodges and country retreats were erected at the behest of members of the royal family, their mistresses and their loyal followers. These beautiful residential buildings have become paradigmatic in popular culture for furnishing the world-wide image of a fairy-tale palace. More importantly they were seminal in architectural history by constituting the first significant ultramontane manifestation of the Italian Renaissance. The sudden and whole-hearted admiration for all things Italian documented by the châteaux of the Loire was stimulated, ironically, by French invasions of Italy which began under Charles VIII in 1494 and came to an end under François I thirty years later. 80

The distinctive and affecting feature of these buildings was that Italianate motifs were grafted onto what were essentially Flamboyant Gothic forms. Round-headed arches, square-headed windows, classical pilasters and ancient Roman candelabra decoration blend with cylindrical towers and turrets, conical spires, high-pitched roofs and elaborate dormers to produce an effect which is Italianate but unmistakably French. It was not a case of importing wholesale the principles of Brunelleschi and Bramante but the creation of an original – and highly influential – synthesis. Most of the châteaux are well furnished and much decoration survives or has been well recreated (contrary to the widespread myth that French châteaux are empty). Several of them have gardens, among which are some extraordinarily fine recreations of the original Renaissance design. This itinerary provides a balanced and varied selection, and aims to side-step the crowds.

Itinerary Day 1: Chenonceau. Travel by Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 9.30am from London St Pancras to Paris. Continue south by coach to Chenonceau. Of surpassing beauty and surmounting a bridge across the River Cher, the Château of Chenonceau (‘des Dames’) is deservedly one of France’s most treasured sights. Transformation of the castle began in 1515 and continued intermittently for much of the 16th century.Stylistically it leads from an embellished castle keep to the supremely successful Mannerism of the long galleries across the river. Continue to the hotel in Chargé where all three nights are spent. Day 2: Azay-le-Rideau, Langeais, Villandry. Lapped by the River Indre, Azay-le-Rideau is a jewel of the French Renaissance, replete with

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Day 4: Cheverny. Built in the 1630s, Cheverny is as elegant and restrained as Baroque can get and is unmistakably French with its chiselled façade and dramatic roofline, and sumptuously decorated and furnished interiors. Drive to Paris and then continue by Eurostar to London St Pancras, arriving c. 8.00pm. If combining this tour with Tuscan Gardens, fly at c. 8.45pm from Paris Charles de Gaulle Airport to Florence (Air France), transfer by taxi to the hotel in Fiesole and stay overnight.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,710 or £1,540 without Eurostar. Single occupancy: £1,940 or £1,770 without Eurostar. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Château de Pray, Chargé (chateaudepray.fr): 4-star hotel in a converted château on the river Loire; excellent restaurant. How strenuous? Although a short tour there is quite a lot of standing around and walking. You need to be able to lift your luggage on and off the train. Average distance by coach per day: 119 miles (most driving is on days 1 and 4). Group size: between 12 and 22 participants. Price, Châteaux of the Loire and Tuscan Gardens combined. Two sharing: £4,430 or £4,260 without international travel. Single occupancy: £5,120 or £4,950 without international travel. This includes the one-way flight from Paris to Florence (Air France), airport transfers and the extra accommodation in Fiesole (1 night). These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted.

Illustration: Château de Chenonceau, watercolour by A.H. Hallam Murray, publ. 1904.


Mediaeval Burgundy Abbeys and churches of the high Middle Ages 8–15 June 2019 (mf 570) 8 days • £2,840 Lecturer: John McNeill A superb collection of Romanesque and early Gothic buildings. Exceptionally well-preserved historic towns. Rural drives through beautiful landscapes.

Day 1. Take the Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 11.00am from London St Pancras to Paris and then onwards by TGV (high-speed train; 1st class) to Mâcon. Continue by coach to Tournus where two nights are spent.

Day 3: Beaune, Autun, Dijon. The 15thcentury Hôtel-Dieu in Beaune houses Rogier van der Weyden’s Last Judgement. The stalwart Romanesque church of Notre-Dame has fine tapestries. At Autun the cathedral of St Lazare is celebrated for its sublime sequence of Romanesque capitals and relief sculptures by Gislebertus. First of three nights in Dijon.

Day 2: Cluny, Berzé-la-Ville, Tournus. Cluny is the site of the largest church and most powerful monastery in mediaeval France. Study the magnificent remains of the church and monastic buildings. The tiny chapel at Berzé-la-Ville was perhaps built as the abbot of Cluny’s private retreat, and is embellished with superb wall paintings of c. 1100. At Tournus see the striking and immensely influential early 11th-century monastery.

Day 4: St Thibault, Semur-en-Auxois, Fontenay. The church of the market town of St Thibault has a 13th-century choir that is the most graceful Burgundian construction of the period. The fortified hill town of Semur-en-Auxois has a splendid Gothic collegiate church. The tranquil abbey of Fontenay is the earliest Cistercian church to survive and has an exceptionally well-preserved monastic precinct.

Illustration: Vézelay, Abbey of La Madaleine, after a drawing by René Piot, c. 1920.

Day 5: Dijon. A day dedicated to Burgundy’s capital and one of the most attractive of French

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The key to understanding mediaeval Burgundy is its situation, a cradle of wooded hills drained by three great river systems flowing, respectively, to the north, south and west. Not only did this lend the area the status of a lieu de passage, but it guaranteed its importance, ensuring that the mediaeval duchy was open to the forms and traditions of far-flung regions. Remarkably, much of Burgundy’s mediaeval infrastructure survives. Even extending back as far as the ninth century, for in the interlocking spaces of the lower church at St-Germain d’Auxerre one might catch a glimpse of western Carolingian architecture and painting, a glimpse that presents this most distant of periods at its most inventive and personal. It is equally the case that while the great early Romanesque basilicas which once studded the underbelly of the Ile-de-France are now reduced to a ghost of their former selves, what survives in Burgundy is sublimely impressive, as one might see in that great quartet of crypts at Dijon, Auxerre, Flavigny and Tournus. As elsewhere, the twelfth century is well represented, though the depth of exploratory work undertaken here cannot fail to impress. The fundamental Romanesque research was probably conducted to the south, at Cluny and in the Brionnais, but the take-up in central Burgundy was immediate, and in the naves of Vézelay and Autun one might see two of the most compelling essays on the interaction of sculpture and architecture twelfth-century Europe has produced. Nor were Cistercians slow to tailor Burgundian architecture to suit their needs, and though her great early monasteries have now perished at least Fontenay survives – among the most breathtaking monastic sites of mediaeval France. Gothic also arrived early, and there began a second wave of experimentation, tentative at first but blossoming in the centre (where the new choir at Vézelay is the first intimation we have that Gothic architecture had a future outside northern France) into perhaps the most lucid of all architectural styles. It is thus no surprise that the thirteenth century saw the region at the cutting edge of Europe. At Auxerre a definitive account of space as illusion took shape, and at Semur-en-Auxois a theatre of stone clambered aboard the church. Moreover, the patrons invested heavily in glass. No thirteenth-century church was without it – and most have retained it, blazing the interior with a heady combination of light, meaning and colour. This sublime vigour even continued into the later middle ages, where under the Valois dukes of Burgundy, Dijon became a major artistic centre, attracting artists of the calibre of Rogier van der Weyden and Claus Sluter.

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Mediaeval Burgundy continued

Cave Art of France Prehistory in the Dordogne Ice Age excavation site looks like, while the small museum next door still has a carving on its ceiling. Font-de-Gaume is one of the greatest of all Ice Age decorated caves, with remarkable polychrome bison and other animals, skilfully placed to take full advantage of the rock shapes.

cities with many fine buildings from the 11th to 18th centuries. St Bénigne has an ambitious early Romanesque crypt. Notre-Dame is a quite stunning early Gothic parish church. The palace of the Valois dukes now houses a museum with extensive collections of work from the period of their rule (1364–1477).

Day 4: Lascaux. Two fascimiles are now the public’s only chance to see the wonders of Lascaux, the most famous and most beautiful of all decorated caves. Visit the new, enlarged and more complete replica, Lascaux IV, opening to the public in December 2016. Lascaux II was the world’s first cave facsimile, opened in 1983. The park at Le Thot contains many of the animal species which were familiar to Ice Age people: aurochs, bison, horses, deer and ibex, as well as a robotic mammoth.

Day 6: Saulieu, Avallon, Vézelay. Visit the Basilique St-Andoche in Saulieu, with carved capitals depicting flora, fauna and biblical stories. Drive north to Avallon, whose fine Romanesque church is spectacularly situated above the river Cousin. Vézelay, a picturesque hill town whose summit is occupied by the abbey of La Madeleine, was one of the great pilgrimage centres of the Middle Ages, and has one of the most impressive of all 12th-century churches for both its architecture and its sculpture. First of two nights in Auxerre.

Day 5: Rouffignac, Cougnac. Rouffignac is a unique experience; a decorated tunnel-like cave so vast that one travels around it in a train. Its art is hugely dominated by drawings of mammoths. The Grotte de Cougnac is one of the most beautiful of all decorated caves, not only for its art, but also and especially for its natural formations of stalagmites and stalactites. Cap Blanc is the greatest sculpted frieze from the Ice Age that is open to the public.

Day 7: Auxerre. The morning includes the magnificent Carolingian crypt of St Germain and the cathedral, a pioneering 13th-century building with exceptional glass and sculpture. The afternoon is free. Day 8: Sens. The striking cathedral of Sens is among the earliest Gothic churches of Europe, housing important glass and an exquisitely carved 12th- and 13th-century west front. The diocesan museum also houses an extensive collection of Roman and mediaeval antiquities. Take the Eurostar from Paris arriving at London St Pancras c. 6.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,840 or £2,630 without Eurostar and TGV. Single occupancy: £3,200 or £2,990 without Eurostar and TGV. Included meals: 6 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. Hôtel Le Rempart, Tournus (lerempart.com): 4-star hotel formerly a 15thcentury guard house, located on the ramparts of the town. Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge, Dijon (chapeau-rouge.fr): centrally located, comfortable 4-star hotel furnished to a high standard. Hôtel Le Parc des Maréchaux, Auxerre (leparcdesmarechaux.com): 3-star hotel in a delightful 18th-century hôtel particulier. There are no twin rooms at the Hôtel Le Parc des Maréchaux. Please contact us for a quote if you require two single rooms at this hotel instead. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking, some of it on steep hillsides, and standing around. There is plenty of coach travel and you stay in three hotels. You will need to be able to lift your luggage on and off the train and wheel it within stations. Average distance by coach per day: 71 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Gastronomic Sweden, 31 May–7 June 2019 (p.203); London Choral Day, 7 June 2019 (p.37); Connoisseur's Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

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17–24 June 2019 (mf 599) Very few spaces remaining 8 days • £2,880 Lecturer: Dr Paul Bahn Encompasses some of the most important Prehistoric caves in Europe including the new facsimile Lascaux IV, Pech Merle and Niaux. Great art, whatever its function or the ‘artist’s’ intention, in an area of outstanding natural beauty and charming villages. Lecturer, Dr Paul Bahn, is Britain’s leading specialist in Prehistoric art.

Itinerary Day 1. Take the Eurostar (Standard Premier) at c. 10.30am from London St Pancras to Paris and then onwards by TGV (high-speed train; 1st class) to Bordeaux. Overnight Bordeaux. Day 2: Bordeaux, Pair-non-Pair. The Musée d’Aquitaine provides a perfect introduction to the archaeology and art of the Ice Age in southwest France; a particular highlight is the ‘Venus of Laussel’ bas-relief carving. The cave of Pair-nonPair is small but filled with wonderfully deep engravings of animals – and with no electrical installations provides a more authentic experience. Continue to Les Eyzies for the first of four nights. Day 3: Les Eyzies. The National Prehistory Museum, now housed in an ultra-modern building at the foot of the cliffs, has one of the world’s greatest collections of Ice Age material. The Abri Pataud is the best possible way to see what a major

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Day 6: Pech Merle, Cahors, Toulouse. Pech Merle is among the greatest of the decorated caves. It is huge and has spectacular natural formations and a wide variety of artistic techniques, including the famous spotted horse panel. Some free time is spent in Cahors en route to Toulouse, where two nights are spent. Day 7: Niaux, Toulouse. The tour ends with Niaux, a fitting climax as the long walk into this Pyrenean mountain leads one to the ‘Salon Noir’ with its stunning drawings of bison, horses and ibex, and its extraordinary acoustics. The afternoon is free in Toulouse; suggestions include the Musée SaintRaymond and the cathedral. Day 8. Catch the late morning flight to London Heathrow, arriving c. 12.15pm. Please note this tour departs from London St Pancras station and returns to Heathrow airport.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,880 or £2,690 without international travel. Single occupancy: £3,240 or £3,050 without international travel. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Best Western Etche-Ona, Bordeaux (bordeaux-hotel.com). Hotel Le Centenaire, Les Eyzies (hotelducentenaire.fr). Grand Hotel de l’Opéra, Toulouse (grand-hotelopera.com). How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking on uneven and sometimes steep, slippery ground, so sure-footedness is essential. Caves are not well lit and can be very damp and cold; this tour is not suitable for people who suffer from claustrophobia. Average distance by coach per day: 69 miles. Group size: between 10 and 18 participants. Illustration: Pyrenées, wood engraving c. 1890.


Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur Picasso, Matisse, Chagall and their contemporaries 21–27 March 2019 (mf 462) Exclusively for solo travellers 7 days • £2,910 Lecturer: Mary Lynn Riley 17–23 October 2019 (mf 816) 7 days • £2,630 Lecturer: Lydia Bauman Europe’s greatest concentration of classic modern art in the idyllic Mediterranean setting where it was created. Old and new collections, with outstanding work by Renoir, Bonnard, Braque, Léger, Miró, Giacometti, Cocteau, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso. Visits to the coastal towns and villages which inspired the artists. Stay in Nice throughout.

Itinerary Day 1: Nice. Fly at c. 11.30am from London Heathrow to Nice. There is an afternoon visit to the

Musée des Beaux Arts Jules Chéret, concentrating on their 19th- and early 20th-century holdings.

afternoon visit Chapelle du Rosaire, a Dominican chapel designed by Matisse.

Day 2: Nice. The Musée Matisse unites a wide range of the artist’s work; sculpture, ceramics, stained glass as well as painting. In the afternoon, visit the Marc Chagall Museum which has the largest collection of the artist’s works: notably the seventeen canvases of the Biblical Message, set in a peaceful garden in a salubrious Nice suburb.

Day 7: Le Cannet. The first museum dedicated to the works of Bonnard opened in Le Cannet in 2011. Fly from Nice arriving at London Heathrow at c. 4.30pm.

Day 3: Antibes, Vallauris, Cagnes-sur-Mer. Most of the paintings Picasso produced in his studio in the Château Grimaldi in 1946 have been donated to the town of Antibes. Vallauris is a centre of contemporary pottery revived by Picasso, whose masterpiece War and Peace is here. Renoir’s house in Cagnes-sur-Mer is set amidst olive groves, a memorial to the only major Impressionist to settle in the south. Day 4: St-Tropez, Biot. Drive west to St-Tropez, which has been popular with artists since Paul Signac settled here in 1892. The Musée de l’Annonciade is one of France’s finest collections of modern art (Signac, Maillol, Matisse, Bonnard, Vlaminck, Braque). Continue to Biot and visit the Musée National Fernand Léger, built to house the artist’s works bequeathed to his wife.

In recent years, renovation work has led to museum closures. At the moment all visits listed are possible but we cannot rule out the possibility of changes.

Practicalities Price in March 2019 (exclusively for solo travellers). Classic room: £2,910 or £2,790 without flights. Superior sea view room: £3,260 or £3,140 without flights. Price, per person in October 2019. Two sharing, superior garden view room: £2,630 or £2,500 without flights. Two sharing, superior sea view room: £2,900 or £2,770 without flights. Single occupancy, classic room: £2,970 or £2,840 without flights. Single occupancy, superior sea view room: £3,420 or £3,290 without flights. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine.

Day 5: Villefranche-sur-Mer, St Jean Cap Ferrat, Nice. In Villefranche is the small Chapelle St-Pierre, decorated by Cocteau. Continue to St-Jean-Cap-Ferrat to see the paintings, sculpture and furniture of the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, a mansion set in attractive gardens. The afternoon is free in Nice or there is an optional visit to the Musée d’Art Moderne et d’Art Contemporain with its excellent collection of post-war art.

Accommodation. Hotel La Pérouse, Nice (leshotelsduroy.com): stylish 4-star hotel partially built into the cliff and overlooking the Promenade des Anglais. Rooms are furnished in modern Provençal style.

Day 6: St-Paul-de-Vence, Vence. The Maeght Foundation at St-Paul-de-Vence is renowned for its collections (Picasso, Hepworth, Miró, Arp, Giacometti, but not all works are shown at once) and for its architecture and setting. In the

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking and standing around in museums. Average distance by coach per day: 40 miles

Illustration: Antibes, oiliograph c. 1870.

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Natural resources and climate have drawn invaders and visitors to Nice and its surroundings from the Greek colonists of classical times to the jet-set of today. But from the late nineteenth century a special category of visitor – and settler – transformed the Côte d’Azur into the greatest concentration of modern art in Europe. Monet first visited Antibes in 1883; Signac bought a house in the fishing village of St-Tropez in 1892. Matisse’s first visit to the Midi in 1904 transformed his art, and from 1918 he spent more time on the Côte d’Azur than in Paris. Matisse, Chagall and Picasso are merely among the most illustrious of the artists who chose to live in the South of France. Many of their fellow modernisers followed suit: Braque, Bonnard, Dufy, Picabia. This tour is an extraordinary opportunity to see how modernity relates to the past as well as the present, and how gallery displays can be centred on the art, the location or the patron/collector. In Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire at Vence, traditional arts and crafts have been revived by a modern genius, as in the monumental mosaic and glass designs of Léger which can be seen at Biot. There are also echoes of collecting habits of earlier eras in the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. The mixture of past and present and the juxtaposition of the Goût Rothschild with the beauty of its location are breathtaking. (Graham Sutherland drew exotic flowers and plants in the extraordinary gardens.) At Antibes the Picasso Museum is housed in the Château Grimaldi, lent to Picasso as studio space in 1946 where he produced lifeaffirming paintings. Old and new galleries abound, such as the Fondation Maeght, St-Paul-de-Vence, whose building (designed by José Luis Sert, 1963) makes it a work of outstanding sympathy to its natural surroundings, in gardens enlivened by Miró’s Labyrinthe and other sculptures.


Gastronomic Provence La cuisine du soleil, history and art in the South of France 9–16 April 2019 (mf 482) 8 days • £3,570 Lecturer: Marc Millon Sample the most abundant, colourful and delicious larder in France, from street food to Michelin-starred. Wines from simple Provençal rosé to prestigious Châteauneuf-du-Pape. Journey from fruitful sea and river to dramatic plains and mountains. Provence is the France of our imagination, where the sun always shines, the food tastes more vivid than anywhere else, and the wine is rich and plentiful. It is the landscape of a painting by Paul Cézanne or the words of a novel by Marcel Pagnol; it is that languid dreamy place where pastis is drunk in the shade of plane trees, where cypresses bend with the force of the mistral, and where the sun, that huge, throbbing yellow orb that Vincent van Gogh painted so intensely, shines some three hundred days of the year from a deep azure sky. From the rugged uplands of Les Alpilles to the glistening sea of the Côte d’Azur; from the windswept Camargue to the stony wine hills of Châteauneuf-du-Pape; and from Nice to Avignon - our two bases for this tour - Provence is a region of great contrasts, artistically, historically and gastronomically. What unites it above all is a sense of warmth, generosity and abundance. The gastronomy of Provence is truly cuisine du soleil – 'cuisine of the sun'. Stroll through markets in Nice, Aigues-Mortes or Avignon, and you will be assaulted with colourful visions and scents: huge, pregnant aubergines, piles of fine haricots verts, and at least a dozen types of lettuce laid out in the morning light slanting through canopies lining the broad avenues.

Such seasonal abundance has traditionally required preserving methods for leaner times. Fish may be salted, pork transformed into charcuterie, milk from the goats that graze on the scrubby garrigues made into discs of cheese, sometimes covered in fines herbes de Provence. And the seasonal glut of fruits for which Provence is so famous is still, in a few traditional places only, transformed by slow poaching in sugar syrup into fruits confits that are virtually works of art in themselves. Both land and sea yield so many good things and this is reflected in a generous cuisine that is rarely over-complicated. Fishing villages along the fabled Côte d’Azur are the source of an extraordinary Mediterranean catch, while typical inland dishes reflect the harsher terrain of Provence, where meat is scarce and everything must be utilised. La gardiane is a rich stew made from the meat of bulls raised on the Camargue and the petits farcis of Nice stretch out abundant fresh vegetables with delicious morsels of ground meat. A discovery of the wines of Provence is an equally important part of our pursuit. The pretty, pale rosés are a delightful theme, but there are also less frequently encountered vintages to slake the thirst; Cassis, a forceful white from vineyards above the eponymous fishing village, is the perfect accompaniment to the equally full-flavoured bouillabaisse. We dip into the Rhône’s southern flanks at Châteauneuf-du-Pape, as well as for the lighter vins de sable produced from prephylloxera grapes planted in the sandy dunes of the Camargue. For the Romans, this corner of France, the province of Gallia Narbonensis, was one of the most important and strategic in the Empire. The Aurelian Way leading from Rome to Arles left notable Roman remains including the ancient Glanum at St-Rémy and the triumphal theatre at Orange. However, perhaps the greatest Roman

legacy is found not in bricks and mortar, but in the values of Roman civilisation, which remained after the fall of the Empire and had a profound effect on present-day Provençal attitudes to food, wine, and easy good living.

Itinerary Day 1: Nice. Fly at c.11.30am from London Heathrow to Nice (British Airways). An afternoon walk to a ruined citadel strategically positioned at the highest point of Old Nice with spectacular views of the city. An introductory lecture precedes dinner at two Michelin-starred Flaveur. The chefs, brothers Mickaël and Gaël Tourteaux, who earned their second star in 2018, create characterful, delicate dishes. First of three nights in Nice. Day 2: Nice, Mougins. A guided food walk through Nice is an opportunity to sample local delicacies such as socca, chickpea batter baked in a ferociously hot oven, and pissaladière, a sort of Provençal pizza. In the afternoon visit the Musée Matisse, which unites a wide range of the artist’s work; sculpture, ceramics and stained glass as well as painting. In the steep wine hills above the city, the urban appellation of Bellet produces a rare wine in the tiniest quantities. A tasting here before continuing to dinner. Second of three nights in Nice. Day 3: Cagnes-sur-Mer, Vence, St-Paul-de-Vence. Drive to Renoir’s house set amidst olive groves; a memorial to the only major Impressionist to settle in the south. The group is joined by MRT lecturer, Mary Lynn Riley, resident of the Côte d’Azur and specialist in modern art. Continue to the Chapelle du Rosaire, a Dominican chapel designed by Matisse, before lunch at La Colombe d’Or in StPaul-de-Vence, long famous for the artistic crowd that it attracts as well as its fresh regional cuisine. In the afternoon visit the Maeght Foundation, renowned for its collections (Picasso, Hepworth, Miró, Arp, Giacometti, but not all works are shown at once) and for its architecture and setting. Final night in Nice.

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Day 4: Cassis, Avignon. An early departure from Nice for the pretty port of Cassis. Accessible only by boat, visit the hidden bays of the calanques that are home to the bony rock fish traditionally thrown into the fisherman’s pot. Afterwards, overlooking the water, feast on that amazing festival of the sea, la bouillabaisse. Continue to Avignon, where the following four nights are spent. An evening wine tasting in the hotel (situated in a former 16th-century residence) celebrates the wines of the Rhône, a mighty river of wine since the times of the Greeks and Romans. Day 5: Avignon, Orange, Châteauneuf-du-Pape. A morning guided tour of Palais des Papes, principal monument of the Avignon papacy, one-time site of the papal curia and the most significant 14th-century building to survive in southern France. Drive to Orange, site of the greatest of all Roman theatres to survive in the West, before continuing to Châteauneuf-du-Pape for a tour and wine-tasting at a respected familyrun vineyard. Return to Avignon for dinner at La Vieille Fontaine within the hotel. Young chef 84

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Gardens of the Riviera In and around Menton and Nice Mathieu Desmarest creates modern and enticing cuisine rooted in its terroir. Day 6: Les Baux, St-Rémy-de-Provence. In the morning drive to an olive oil producer in the heart of the Alpilles. The mill, dating to the 12th century, has been run by the same family for ten generations. A wine-tasting at a vineyard immortalised by Van Gogh in 1889 precedes a visit to the delightful mediaeval and Renaissance town of Les Baux, whose citadel sits on top of a rocky spur. We are joined here by MRT lecturer, Dr Alexandra Gajewski, specialist in mediaeval architecture and resident of the Languedoc. Continue to St-Rémy, Glanum of old, and proud possessor of one of the truly great funerary memorials of the Roman world. Visit a traditional producer of prized fruits confits before returning to Avignon. Day 7: Aigues-Mortes, Avignon. An excursion to the Camargue, where wild horses and pink flamingos make their home. Visit the salt flats, which have been harvested in this region for thousands of years, before lunch within the mediaeval city walls of Aigues-Mortes. Return to Avignon for a final dinner at Michelin-starred Maison Christian Étienne. Chef Guilhem Sevin, who worked with Étienne for nearly two decades before taking over the restaurant in 2016, creates modern menus in a striking historical setting in the shadow of the Palais des Papes. Day 8: Avignon. An early departure from Avignon for Marseille airport. Fly to London Heathrow arriving c. 12.00 noon.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing, superior garden view room in Nice: £3,570 or £3,460 without flights. Two sharing, superior sea view room in Nice: £3,640 or £3,530 without flights. Single occupancy, classic room in Nice: £3,990 or £3,880 without flights. Single occupancy, superior sea view room in Nice: £4,100 or £3,990 without flights. Accommodation. Hotel La Pérouse, Nice (leshotelsduroy.com): 4-star hotel partially built into the cliff and overlooking the Promenade des Anglais. Rooms are furnished in modern Provençal style. Hôtel d’Europe, Avignon (heurope.com): central 5-star hotel in a former 16th-century residence close to the river Rhône with a pleasant courtyard. Rooms are classic rooms both for two sharing and for single occupancy. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking and standing on this tour (some of it over uneven ground), and it would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking or stair-climbing. One day involves a lot of driving. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music in Berlin, 17–22 April 2019 (p.93). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Avignon, cathedral, lithograph c. 1850.

22–28 March 2019 (mf 456) 7 days • £2,290 Lecturer: Steven Desmond Inspiring historic gardens in spectacular settings, with exceptional growing conditions. Includes visits to some gardens not normally open to the public. Based in Menton throughout. When Tobias Smollett arrived on the Riviera in 1763, he found himself ‘enchanted’ by a landscape ‘all cultivated like a garden’. A century later Dr Bennett’s discovery of the miraculous winter climate at Menton established the town as a haven for prosperous foreigners in need of climatic therapy. By 1900 this narrow strip of land between the Maritime Alps and the Mediterranean had been transformed into a paradise of villas, palatial hotels, seafront promenades and exotic vegetation. The migratory nature of the moneyed population meant that the region developed a character quite separate from local cultural traditions. In a landscape of olive and lemon groves, the villa gardens seem an eclectic collection, disconcerting for those who look for patterns of continuity, but best viewed as separate incidents taking advantage of the exceptional growing conditions. The Hanbury family famously made the steep Italian cliffs of La Mortola a garden of beauty and experiment. Lawrence Johnston, the maker of Hidcote, established himself in the hills above Menton where his romantically sited garden at La Serre de la Madone provided a home for his huge collection of exotics. The gardens of the villas in Garavan continue to evince the private pleasures of past and present owners of many nationalities and design persuasions. The French have added their own distinctive contribution to this artificial enclave. Renoir found new inspiration, as well as some relief from pain, in his garden at Cagnes-sur-Mer. Marguerite

and Aimé Maeght established a magnificent modern art collection in a garden setting at St-Paul-de-Vence. Art of a different character adorns the rooms of the Villa Ephrussi Rothschild at St Jean-Cap-Ferrat where the gardens take advantage of an incomparable setting, viewing the Mediterranean through a filter of pines, palms and cypresses. Charles, Vicomte de Noailles, made a garden drawing together a rich variety of cultural influences at the Villa Noailles, Grasse, providing inspiration for the most recent English horticultural creations at nearby La Mouissone.

Itinerary Day 1: Cagnes-sur-Mer, Menton. Fly at c. 11.30am from London Heathrow to Nice (British Airways). Renoir spent his last years in the farmhouse at Les Collettes near Cagnes-sur-Mer, painting and sculpting from the olive terraces around the garden. Transfer by coach to Menton where all six nights are spent. Day 2: Menton. Visit a private garden in Menton, not normally open to the public (details will be provided). The garden at Clos du Peyronnet is still owned by an Englishman who continues to develop it, blending plants from around the world in a setting of terraces, pools and pergolas. Day 3: Grasse. To the west of Grasse the gardens of the Villa Noailles were made during the postwar years in a distinctive style blending English, classical and other influences in a refreshing rural setting. Drawing on its inspiration, to the east lies La Mouissone, a former olive grove, where the terraces are being developed, rooted in the scents of Grasse’s history but planted with contemporary verve. Day 4: Monaco, La Mortola (Italy). The astonishing outdoor collection of cacti and succulents at the Jardin Exotique in Monaco overlooks the Principality and the sea from its clifftop walks. The Hanbury Botanic Gardens at La Mortola have been famous since their establishment in the 19th century. An unparalleled Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Included meals: 4 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine.

Illustration: Monaco, wood engraving c. 1880.


Gardens of the Riviera continued

Romans in the Rhône Valley Spectacular remains of Provincia Romana

collection of specimens festoon the steep site. Curtains of plumbago and bougainvillea, perfumed parterres, pergolas, exotic pavilions and citrus orchards adorn this garden paradise on a private headland. Day 5: Menton. Lawrence Johnston’s great garden La Serre de la Madone was made between the wars, and though much of the detail has gone, a romantic atmosphere still pervades the dramatic layout. Opportunity for independent time in Menton; a chance to see the Musée Cocteau or his Salle des Mariages. Afternoon tour of Fontana Rosa whose tiled benches still evoke the ‘Writers’ Garden’ created in 1921 by Vicente Blasco Ibaňez, successful playwright and novelist of Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse fame. Literary threads are drawn in from across the world, the surviving rotunda decorated with 100 tiles illustrating Cervantes’s Don Quixote encapsulates the mood perfectly. Dinner is at 2-Michelin star restaurant, Mirazur. Day 6: St Paul de Vence, Menton. The Fondation Maeght near St-Paul provides a rare opportunity to view modernism in a garden context. Return to Garavan, the hillside quarter of Menton to visit Val Rahmeh, an early early 20th-century villa surrounded by gardens of exceptional richness created by Maybud Campbell in the 1950s. Day 7: St Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Sited in an exceptional position on Cap Ferrat, the gardens at the Villa Ephrussi Rothschild, established by Beatrice de Rothschild, are rich and varied. Her Palazzo contains an eclectic, wealthy art collection. Transfer to Nice airport for the flight to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 4.30pm. Some of the gardens can only be visited by special arrangement and are subject to confirmation.

Practicalities

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Price, per person. Rear-view room, two sharing: £2,290 or £2,180 without flights. Sea view room, two sharing: £2,340 or £2,230 without flights. Single occupancy, rear-view room: £2,590 or £2,480 without flights. Single occupancy, sea-view room: £2,500 or £2,390 without flights. Included meals: 2 picnic lunches and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Napoléon, Menton (napoleon-menton.com): modern, comfortable 4-star hotel­located near the border with Italy, looking back on Vieux Menton. Sea view rooms have balconies but suffer some noise from the busy coastal road and availability is limited. Rooms at the rear are quieter. How strenuous? A lot of walking and standing. Several gardens are on steep sites and paths are often slippery and uneven, without handrails. Sure-footedness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 42 miles. Group size: between 10 to 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Gardens of the Bay of Naples, 31 March–7 April 2019 (p.152). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. 86

9–15 April 2019 (mf 476) 7 days • £2,570 Lecturer: Professor Simon Esmonde Cleary A group of the finest Roman monuments surviving anywhere in the empire, with some of the most famous examples of Roman architecture and engineering. The theatres, amphitheatres and temples of Arles, Lyon, Orange and Vienne are spectacular survivals, with the Pont du Gard near Nîmes the most renowned Roman aqueduct of all. Beautiful Provençal landscapes, towns, colours and scents. ‘More like Italy than a province’ was the verdict of the elder Pliny in the middle of the first century AD, speaking of Provence. Two thousand years later his words still hold true. The Rhône valley between Lyon and the Mediterranean was the part of Gaul where Roman influence was most deeply felt. Nature had endowed the region with agricultural riches (grain, vines, olives – the ‘Mediterranean triad’) and the Rhône corridor was the main trade route from Mediterranean lands into Gaul. This wealth allowed the construction of great cities and monuments in the Roman style. Arles, Nîmes and Orange form a tight group of cities at the southern end of the valley, all of them Roman coloniae (privileged cities) with exceptional series of monuments. Nîmes houses perhaps two of the best-preserved structures in the Roman world: the ‘Maison Carrée,’ a classical temple built under the first Roman emperor Augustus, and a late 1st-century ad amphitheatre.Most famously, Nîmes was supplied by a long aqueduct which included the world-famous, triple-tiered Pont du Gard aqueduct. Arles rivalled Nîmes, with an amphitheatre of similar dimensions, a theatre and a great circus for chariot-racing.

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Orange is famous for its theatre with a huge 37m-high stage wall and the exceptionally complete, early 1st-century ad triumphal arch. Further north, the coloniae of Vienne and Lyon also housed great theatres, and at Lyon there is a rare odeon, or covered theatre. Vienne is second only to Nîmes in the quality of its surviving Roman temple and, like Arles and Lyon, boasted a circus. St-Rémy near Arles and Vaison near Orange show how local communities reacted to the examples set by the neighbouring Roman cities. At St-Rémy, the narrow valley in the Alpilles shows Mediterranean influence before the arrival of Rome, with buildings clearly derived from the Hellenistic city of Marseille. In the Roman period construction of amenities such as a forum and public baths, along with a triumphal arch and a splendid family tomb on the main road, were public benefactions by local wealthy families, some of whom had become Roman citizens. A similar pattern can be seen at Vaison, where there is also exceptional evidence of how these Gaulish aristocrats adopted houses that would not have looked out of place at Pompeii. In the late Roman period Arles became one of the most important cities of Roman Europe and a fine set of baths built under the first Christian emperor Constantine I (306–37) survives along with evidence for the growth of Christianity in its churches and cemeteries. With the fall of the western Roman empire in the fifth century and the troubled times that followed, what had been great public monuments, such as the amphitheatres of Arles and Nîmes or the theatre at Orange, became instead fortified redoubts, filled with houses and churches sheltering within their massive Roman walls. As well as the monuments there are museums, some recently created to the highest international standards, housing the sculptures, mosaics, carved marble sarcophagi and humbler items of daily life recovered from excavations in and around the cities.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 2.00pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Lyon. Overnight Lyon. Day 2: Lyon, Vienne. The theatre and odeon on Lyon’s Fourvière hill are accompanied by a museum where highlights include an impressive mosaic depicting a circus race. After free time for lunch in Lyon’s old town, continue to Vienne and its stunning temple as well as other Roman remains. Overnight in Vienne. Day 3: Vienne, Arles. Morning visit to Vienne’s Gallo-Roman museum, where remains include domestic and commercial buildings as well as the intriguing wrestlers’ baths. Lunch at the museum’s restaurant before continuing to Arles via Orange, site of the greatest of all Roman theatres to survive in the West. First of four nights in Arles. Day 4: Arles. At Arles the amphitheatre is a justly famous, early 2nd-century structure of a type developed from the Colosseum. See also Constantine’s baths, walls and a cryptoporticus built as foundation for the forum and possibly to


house slaves. In the afternoon visit the Alyscamps Roman necropolis and the Musée de l’Arles et de la Provence Antiques’ spellbinding collection of classical and early Christian art.

Day 6: Pont du Gard, Arles. Spend the morning at the Pont du Gard, an astonishing feat of engineering over the River Gardon. Return to Arles for a free afternoon, perhaps to visit the Van Gogh foundation with temporary exhibitions, or the Romanesque Cathedral of St-Trophime with one of the greatest cloisters of 12th-century Europe. Day 7: Saint-Rémy-de-Provence. Drive to St-Rémy-de-Provence, Glanum of old, and proud possessor of one of the truly great funerary memorials of the Roman world, the cenotaph erected by three Julii brothers in honour of their forebears. Continue to Marseille airport for the afternoon flight landing at London Heathrow at c. 6.00pm.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,570 or £2,390 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,930 or £2,750 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Le Royal, Lyon (lyonhotel-leroyal.com): ideally located on the Place Bellecour, the main square of the Presqu’île. Elegant and welcoming with a restaurant and bar. Locally rated as 5-star but more comparable to a good 4-star. Hotel La Pyramide, Vienne (lapyramide.com): 4-star hotel situated a short walk from the centre of town, renovated in 2015. Rooms are contemporary with modern furnishings. There are two restaurants and a boutique, though one will be closed during the dates of the group stay. Arles, Hotel Jules César (hotel-julescesar.fr): former-17th-century Carmelite Convent, now a 5-star boutique hotel. Rooms have been recently refurbished and have modern fittings. Has a pool, bar, and restaurant. How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking is involved, particularly in the town centres. The tour is not suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. There are some long days and coach journeys. Average distance by coach per day: 29 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Professor Simon Esmonde Cleary Archaeologist specialising in the western Roman Empire and Emeritus Professor of Roman Archaeology at the University of Birmingham. He remains an active researcher and has conducted fieldwork in the UK and France and written books on Gaul and Spain in late antiquity and on Roman Britain.

MAINLAND EUROPE: France

Day 5: Nîmes. See first the perfectly preserved Roman monuments in Nîmes: La Maison Carrée and amphitheatre. Continue to the Jardin de la Fontaine, once a Roman spring sanctuary and now a beautiful 18th-century garden around the terminus of an aqueduct – the water brought here across the Pont du Gard. Nestled here are the Temple of Diana, part of the Roman sacred complex, possibly used as a library, and the Tour Magne watchtower, at the highest point of the city.

Practicalities

See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Illustration: looking out over the junction of the Rhône and the Saône from the Roman ruins in Lyon, lithograph c. 1830.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Georgia Uncovered Treasures of the Southern Caucasus 14–23 September 2019 (mf 707) 10 days • £3,510 Lecturer: Ian Colvin Churches and monasteries dating from the sixth century and earlier. Exquisite jewellery and metalwork from the Bronze Age and Antiquity. Spectacular mountain landscapes. A delicious and varied regional cuisine in a land that is the cradle of wine. Georgia is a country that evokes many mythical and historical associations and yet, paradoxically, is little known in the West. This is partly geopolitical circumstance. For centuries Georgia was cut off from Europe, first by the Islamic caliphate and the Ottoman Turks, and then by Imperial Russia and the USSR. Opportunities for travel there were few. Set on the borders of Europe and Asia, a Christian country surrounded by Muslim neighbours, it is an heir to the civilisations of both continents, and at the same time preserves its own language and a rich cultural heritage that is peculiar to the South Caucasus. Illustration: Tbilisi, wood engraving c. 1880.

An ancient land, its past, like that of neighbouring Armenia, is deeply intertwined with the history of the empires and civilisations that surround it. Georgia appears in the stories of the earliest peoples of the Fertile Crescent and Anatolia. It is linked closely with the Iranian empires to the southeast. They fought the Greeks, Macedonians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottomans to the west for hegemony in this borderland. And the Georgian kings, called in aid from the nomads to the north, or laboured to bar the mountain passes to them: Scythians, Sarmatians, Alans, Huns, Khazars, Turks, Mongols and Timurids – and finally their geographical heirs, the Russians. Even today, Russia, America, Turkey, Iran and the EU play a complex game in the South Caucasus, competing for political and economic influence in a region of vital oil wealth. Georgia has frequently found itself in the vanguard of global history. The metal ages came early in the South Caucasus, and the exquisite archaeological finds displayed in the gold rooms of the Tbilisi Museum confirm the reputation of its ancient smiths. It adopted Christianity early in the fourth century ad; and its beautiful and unique alphabet was created in the early fifth century to help evangelize the people. Georgian and Armenian architects evolved a distinctive South Caucasian religious architecture in the sixth and seventh centuries, even as their churches fell out over Christological differences.

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In the eleventh and twelfth centuries the Bagratid kings unified Georgia and built a multiethnic empire that extended from the Caspian to the Black Sea, and from the Armenian highlands to the North Caucasus. It was demolished by the Mongols and Timurids and the country was again divided into a series of fractious principalities, preyed on by Ottoman Turks, Safavid Persians and Lezgi raiders from the north Caucasus. Georgians greeted the Russians as their Christian saviours on their first arrival at the end of the eighteenth century, but soon fell out with their colonial masters. The Tsars’ viceroys brought European fashions to Tbilisi, remodelling the city with a European quarter to stand alongside the Asiatic Old Town. At the beginning of the oil age, English, international and local investors, including Rothschilds, Nobels, Gulbenkians and Mantashevs built fortunes investing heavily in the Transcaucasus to bring Baku’s oil to world markets. The Art Nouveau palaces of this first age of globalisation still adorn Tbilisi and Batumi. In the same period, Stalin first impressed Lenin with his organising of the workers of Batumi, Tiflis and Baku and with the notorious Tiflis bank robbery of 1907. When war and the Bolsheviks brought the whole edifice crashing down, it was Stalin who built it up again at huge human cost. Nationalism and a longing for ‘freedom’ brought the end of the Soviet Union. It brought


'A most interesting tour and a good introduction to a diverse and complex country. The mountain scenery and insights into the rural economy were intriguing, and the Chavchavadze House, Stalin Museum, and museums were fascinating.' C.M., participant on Georgia Uncovered in 2018.

civil war too, economic collapse and stagnation, finally ended in 2003 by the first of the ‘colour revolutions’ and a new oil boom. Georgia’s new confidence is conspicuous, its promise great, its challenges evident.

c. 50 km

RUSSIA

Itinerary Day 1: London to Tbilisi. Fly at c. 12.00 midday from London Gatwick to Tbilisi via Istanbul (Turkish Airlines). Arriving at c. 10.30pm. Transfer to hotel in the heart of the city. First of four nights in Tbilisi. Day 2: Tbilisi. The Asiatic Old Town set beneath the Narikala fortress remains a twisting maze of streets, caravanserais and ancient churches, adding contrast to the subsequent architecture erected by the tsars’ viceroys, by merchant princes, Bolsheviks and post-Soviet presidents’ favourite modern architects (the vast post-Soviet Sameba – Holy Trinity – Cathedral, rivals the ambition of the great cathedrals of the Middle Ages). Past the ancient bath district built on Tbilisi’s thermal springs, the church at Metekhi is set on cliffs above the Mtkvari River. Day 3: Kakheti. Drive over the scenic Gomburi mountains to Tsinandali in fertile Kakheti, the country estate of the princely Chavchavadze family. Built by Alexandre (1786-1846) diplomat, poet and general, raised at the court of Catherine the Great – and one of the first to introduce enlightenment ideas and modern agricultural methods to Georgia – in 1854 the house was the scene of a notorious raid by the Imam Shamil’s Daghestani fighters. Today it is a small museum affording a glimpse of 19th-century Georgian noble life.

Day 5: Mtskheta, Gudauri. Just north of Tbilisi is the old capital, Mtskheta, scene of the country’s 4th-century conversion and still the religious heart of this strongly Christian country. Its spiritual landmarks include: the sixth-century Jvari Church, perched high above the town; the tiny 5th-century Antioch church; and the 11thcentury Cathedral of Svetitskhoveli, symbol of Georgia’s Conversion. We follow the Georgian Military Highway, the route the Russians constructed at the turn of the 19th century to secure their hold on their Transcaucasian possessions. First of two nights at Gudauri in the high Caucasus Mountains. Day 6: Gudauri. Drive over the Jvari pass to Stepantsminda on the headwaters of the Terek.

Kutaisi Black Sea

Gori

GEORGIA

Mtskheta

Kakheti

Tblisi

Batumi

TURKEY

The 14th-century Gergeti Sameba Church on the slopes of volcanic Mount Kazbek is in perhaps the most dramatic setting in Georgia. Then to the Darial Gates, a natural gorge, where the Terek cuts a narrow passage beneath cliffs that tower nearly 1,000 metres above. Legend has it that Alexander the Great set iron gates here to protect the settled lands of the Near East from the rapacious nomads beyond. Day 7: Gori, Kutaisi. The cult of Joseph Stalin, Georgia’s most famous son, was officially abolished by Khrushchev in 1956, but at his birthplace in Gori the Stalin Museum continues to operate. Although Stalin is a source of embarrassment to many modern Georgians, this museum has been preserved as it was at the fall of the Soviet Union, a fascinating museum of the museum built by his henchman Beria. At Kutaisi we visit the world heritage sites of the 12th-century academy and monastery of Gelati, with its frescoed interiors, and the controversially restored 11th-century Bagrat Cathedral. Overnight Kutaisi. Day 8: Nokalakevi, Batumi. The imposing ruins at Nokalakevi are the remains of the ancient capital of the kingdoms of Colchis and EgrisiLazika, whose massive fortifications date to a period when the region was a focus of ByzantineSasanian rivalry, but the site overlooking the Colchian plain, the ‘Land of the Golden Fleece’, has a much longer history. Excavations have been on-going since the 1970s and have uncovered buried remains through the Hellenistic period to the Late Bronze Age. Since 2001 our lecturer, Ian Colvin, has led an international team in a joint project with the Georgian National Museum. First of two nights at Batumi. Day 9: Batumi. The Bathus Limen, or deep water port, of Greek settlers of the 6th to 5th centuries bc was a sleepy provincial backwater under the Ottomans, until the Russians annexed it in 1878. Subsequently international investment brought a railway and pipelines to bring Baku oil to an eager European market. While Nobels, Rothschilds and Mantashev’s invested in Batumi’s oil infrastructure, Stalin cut his teeth organizing their oil workers’ strikes. The elegant 19th-century seafront boulevard is undergoing an investment boom, but the architecture of the first great period of globalization pre-First World War remains, alongside the post-Soviet towers.

Ian Colvin Historian and Byzantinist specialising in Late Antiquity and the South Caucasus. Trained at Oxford, he is now a researcher at Cambridge. He has directed an ongoing archaeological expedition to ancient Archaeopolis in the South Caucasus since 2001. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Day 10: Batumi to London. Fly at c. 10.30am from Batumi Airport to London, via Istanbul, arriving at Gatwick at c. 4.00pm (Turkish Airlines).

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,510 or £3,160 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,030 or £3,680 without flights. Included meals: 8 lunches, 8 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Marriott Tbilisi (marriott. co.uk/hotels): 5-star hotel behind a 19th-century facade that is within walking distance of Tbilisi’s central attractions. Carpe Diem Hotel, Gudauri (carpediem.ge): functional, modern hotel designed for skiers. It has spectacular views of the mountains. Best Western, Kudaisi (bestwestern. co.uk): new, 3-star, contemporary hotel in a good central location. Radisson Blu, Batumi (radissonblu.com/Batumi): large hotel with good amenities and views of the Black Sea. How strenuous? You will be on your feet for long periods. Many of the sites are reached by steep, uneven steps sometimes without handrails. The tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stairclimbing. There are some long coach journeys (average distance by coach per day: 56 miles). Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Sacred Armenia, 5–13 September 2019 (p.47); Food & Wine Archaeology, 24–27 September 2019 (p.154). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Day 4: Tbilisi. Tbilisi’s Ethnographic open air House Museum displays examples of the architecture and ethnographic traditions of Georgia’s 14 different regions in a hillside park above the city. The National History Museum preserves its archaeological treasures, while its subterranean treasury is a highlight, demonstrating the remarkable skill of its smiths from the Bronze Age through to Antiquity. There is free time to explore Tbilisi’s pleasures: the enamels and icons of the Fine Art Gallery, the modern paintings of the Art Gallery, or perhaps Prospero’s Books, Tbilisi’s English language bookstore.

Gudauri

Nokalakevi


The Hanseatic League Germany’s Baltic Coast 4–11 September 2019 (mf 671) 8 days • £2,810 Lecturer: Andreas Puth Picturesque towns, spectacular mediaeval buildings, a transformative historical phenomenon – yet little known outside Germany. Monumental brick Gothic, a major feature in the plurality of mediaeval architecture, and many unesco-listed sites. Swedish suzerainty and Communist rule add to the historical fascination of the area. For three hundred years from the middle of the twelfth century, the Hanseatic League was a major power in northern Europe. It began with the cooperation of trading guilds in a few Baltic ports to protect their seafaring and riparian trade (‘Hansa’ means convoy), and grew to become a loose federation of over two hundred cities, stretching from the Gulf of Finland to the Southern Netherlands. Though never a state, and with few of the members enjoying the independence of Free Cities elsewhere in Germany and Italy, the League had the cohesion and might to wage and win a war against the kingdom of Denmark.

The prosperity that resulted from judicious exercise of their power ushered in an explosion of civic pride expressed in art and architecture. Great churches were constructed in imitation of French Gothic cathedrals, town halls received extensions and decorative gables, and merchants’ houses were magnificently rebuilt. In decline from about 1450, a combination of political and economic factors broke their monopoly. England was partly to blame. Only nine delegates attended the last Hanse meeting in 1669. This tour traces the growth of this great merchant empire and explores the remarkable building traditions which arose in its wake. In particular, the development of North German Brick Gothic architecture is a remarkable and – outside Germany – little known phenomenon. One of the reasons most of these remarkable towns have not been visited more – and part of their attraction – is that for forty years they were locked behind the Iron Curtain. That barrier collapsed nearly thirty years ago, and in the meantime huge resources have been devoted to the restoration of the region’s heritage and to the embellishment of the towns. Much of the damage done during the Second World War, and the consequences of neglect during the Communist era, have now been made good.

Illustration: Lübeck, Town Hall, after a drawing in 'Leaves from a Sketchbook', publ. c. 1890.

Itinerary Day 1: Ratzeburg. Fly at c. 10.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Hamburg. Drive to Ratzeburg, a charming town picturesquely located on an island in a lake. The Romanesque cathedral was founded by Henry the Lion, Duke of Saxony and of Bavaria, who conquered the area in 1159. Continue to Lübeck for the first of three nights. Days 2 & 3: Lübeck. Lübeck was the first, the richest and the most powerful of all Hansa cities. Tremendous prosperity in the 13th and 14th centuries led to the construction on a grand scale of civic and charitable buildings, churches and monasteries, mansions and fortifications. Of the brick-built churches, the Romanesque cathedral was founded by Henry the Lion, but the greatest is St Mary, a soaring Gothic construction. St Catherine (1300, now a museum) houses Tintoretto’s Raising of Lazarus, and St Jacob (1334) retains its box pews and historic organ. The St Annen Museum, in a former priory, shows art of the 13th–16th centuries including an altarpiece by Hans Memling. Walks also take in massive city gates and walls, the town hall, market place and picturesque backstreets. A free afternoon allows a visit the European Hansemuseum, opened in 2015, and the Buddenbrookhaus, former home of Thomas Mann’s family. Day 4: Wismar, Bad Doberan. The rest of the tour is in territory which until 1989 lay behind the Iron Curtain. The port city of Wismar has two massive late Gothic churches (Nikolaikirche, Georgenkirche), a mediaeval hospital and wellpreserved cityscape of Gothic and early modern merchants’ houses. Between 1848 and 1903 it was technically Swedish territory. Continuing eastwards, visit Bad Doberan Abbey, perhaps the crowning achievement of ecclesiastical Gothic architecture in the Baltic. Overnight Rostock.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Germany

Day 5: Rostock, Stralsund. On the banks of the Warnow River, Rostock joined the Hanseatic League in 1253, and in the next century took over the fishing village of Warnemünde 12km away on the Baltic coast. It became the largest city in the Duchy of Mecklenburg. The Church of St Mary was modelled on Lübeck’s church of the same name, the town hall is mediaeval with 18th-century Baroque embellishments. The City Museum, located in the historic Convent of the Holy Cross, houses an extensive collection of art and cultural history. Continue to Stralsund for the first of three nights. Day 6: Stralsund, Greifswald. Unspoiled and undamaged, Stralsund commands the Baltic Straits to the Island of Rügen, and was second only to Lübeck during its 14th-century golden age. The legacy is a unesco-listed gabled streetscape where Gothic showpieces are interspersed with Baroque monuments from two centuries of Swedish rule. The Alter Markt is a unique mediaeval panorama combining the church of St Nicholas with the spectacular town hall. Greifswald has a superb hall church and many merchants’ houses with enormous gables, and a university founded in 1456. Close by are the romantic abbey ruins at 90

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Hamburg: Opera & 'Elphi' Music, art and architecture in Germany's second city Eldena, immortalised by Caspar David Friedrich. Overnight Stralsund. Day 7: Stralsund. The Catherine Cloister Museum displays Gothic altars and sculptures alongside objects illustrating the life of Hanseatic merchants; mediaeval ecclesiastical textiles are a highlight. The restored chandler’s house dates to the 14th century, and the still-functioning elevator wheel in the attic is one of the oldest of its kind in Northern Europe. The afternoon is free. You may wish to visit the island of Rügen, renowned for its chalk cliffs, silver sands and beautiful, deciduous woodland. Day 8: Chorin. Drive south into Brandenburg to Chorin. The former Cistercian abbey was founded 1258 and secularised in 1542 and allowed to decay until the early 19th century, when the ruins were restored and the building partly rebuilt under the direction of Karl Friedrich Schinkel. It is now an archetypal example of the Brick Gothic style. Break for lunch here before continiung to the airport. Fly from Berlin Tegel, arriving London Heathrow c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,810 or £2,610 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,160 or £2,960 without flights. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Radisson Blu Senator Hotel, Lübeck (radissonblu.com): 4-star hotel located on the banks of the river Trave. Radisson Blu Hotel, Rostock (radissonblu.com): large 4-star conference hotel on the edge of the old town with views of the harbour. Hotel Scheelehof, Stralsund (scheelehof. de): characterful 4-star hotel in converted historic townhouses.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: London's Underground Railway, 3 September 2019; St Petersburg (for solo travellers), 13–20 September 2019 (p.179). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267

The Hamburg Philharmonic play Beethoven, Mendelssohn and Shostakovich at the newly opened, much awaited Elbphilharmonie. La Fanciulla del West (Puccini) and La Belle Hélène (Offenbach) at the Staatsoper Hamburg. Based at an historic hotel, beautifully situated on the Aussenalster lake.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 1.30pm from London Heathrow to Hamburg (British Airways). Arrive at the hotel in time to settle in before dinner. Day 2. A morning walk through the city highlights its musical history, including a visit to the Komponistenquartier, a charming row of small museums commemorating composers including Brahms, Mendelssohn, and Mahler. There is some free time before a late-afternoon talk and early dinner. Evening performance at the Staatsoper: La Fanciulla del West (Puccini): Josep Caballé Domenech (conductor), Anja Kampe (Minnie), Marco Berti (Dick Johnson), Claudio Sgura (Jack Rance), Jürgen Sacher (Nick), Tigran Martirossian (Ashby), Kartal Karagedik (Sonora), Ziad Nehme (Trin), Alexey Bogdanchikov (Sid). Day 3. A morning walk through the Speicherstadt, the old warehouse district and centre of Hamburg’s industrial past. Continue to HafenCity, the commercial and cultural development surrounding the harbour by the river Elbe. Free time before an afternoon talk and early dinner. Evening performance at the Elbphilharmonie with the Hamburg Philharmonic Orchestra, Dennis

Russell Davies (conductor), Konradin Seitzer (violin): Beethoven, Leonore Overture No.2, Op.72a; Mendelssohn, Violin Concerto, Op.64; Shostakovich, Symphony No.12, 'The Year 1917'. Day 4. Visit the Kunsthalle, Hamburg’s largest art museum, established in 1869 with an excellent collection of Old Masters and 19th- century paintings. The afternoon is free for independent exploration; a visit to the Museum of Applied Arts is recommended. Afternoon talk and dinner. Evening performance at the Staatsoper: La Belle Hélène (Offenbach): Nathan Brock (conductor), Oleksiy Palchykov (Pâris), Peter Galliard (Ménélas), Kate Aldrich (Hélène), Viktor Rud (Agamemnon), Max Emanuel Cencic (Oreste), Ziad Nehme (Achille), Christian Miedl (Calchas). Day 5. Free morning before driving to the airport. The flight to Heathrow arrives at c. 3.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,460 or £2,350 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,810 or £2,700 without flights. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Music: tickets (first category) for 3 performances are included, costing c.£230. Accommodation: Hotel Atlantic Kempinski (kempinski.com): 5-star hotel in a beautiful location on the Aussenalster lake. Traditionally furnished and decorated. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour, and a reasonable amount of standing around in museums. Average distance by coach per day: 5 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Photograph: Hamburg Elbphilharmonie, ©Malte Flechner, courtesy of Hamburg Tourism.

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How strenuous? Fitness is essential. You will be on your feet a lot, walking and standing around. The tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair climbing. Some days involve a lot of driving, particularly the final day. There are also several days with no coaching. Average distance by coach per day: 60 miles.

18–22 May 2019 (mf 539) 5 days • £2,460 (including tickets to 3 performances) Lecturer: Dr John Allison


Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden Art and architecture in Brandenburg and Saxony 19–27 September 2019 (mf 730) 9 days • £3,170 Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier Chief cities of Brandenburg-Prussia and Saxony, rich in fine and decorative arts. Internationally important historic and contemporary architecture. Rebuilding and restoration continues to transform the cities.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Germany

Berlin is an upstart among European cities. Until the seventeenth century it was a small town of little importance, but by dint of ruthless and energetic rule, backed by the military prowess for which it became a byword, the hitherto unimportant state of Brandenburg-Prussia became one of the most powerful in Germany. By the middle of the eighteenth century, with Frederick the Great at the helm, it was successfully challenging the great powers of Europe. Ambitious campaigns were instituted to endow the capital with grandeur appropriate to its new status. Palaces, public buildings and new districts were planned and constructed. At nearby Potsdam, Frederick’s second capital, he created the park of Sanssouci, among the finest ensembles of gardens, palaces and pavilions to be found anywhere. Early in the nineteenth century Berlin became of international importance architecturally when Karl Friedrich Schinkel, the greatest of Neo-Classical architects, designed several buildings there. Berlin has museums of art and antiquities of the highest importance. The Bode Museum and Gemäldegalerie are among the best of their kind and the recently opened Neues Museum, designed by David Chipperfield, provides an excellent setting for the Egyptian collection. The reunited city is now one of the most exciting in Europe. A huge amount of work has been done to knit together the two halves of the city and to rebuild and restore monuments which had been neglected for decades. Dresden was the capital of the Electorate of Saxony. Though it suffered terrible destruction during the War, rebuilding and restoration allow the visitor to appreciate once again something of its former beauty. The great domed Frauenkirche has now been triumphantly reconstructed. Moreover, the collections of fine and applied arts are magnificent. The Old Masters Gallery in Dresden is of legendary richness, the Green Vault is the finest surviving treasury of goldwork and objets d’art, and the Albertinum reopened in 2010 to display a fine collection of nineteenth- and twentieth-century art.

arena for festivities and part museum for cherished collections. Visit the excellent porcelain museum and the fabulously rich Old Masters Gallery, particularly strong on Italian and Netherlandish painting. The Green Vault of the Residenzschloss displays one of the world’s finest princely treasuries. Day 3: Dresden, Pillnitz. Visit the great domed Frauenkirche, the Protestant cathedral. Drive to Pillnitz, a summer palace in Chinese Rococo style, with park, gardens and collections of decorative art. Take a boat trip back along the Elbe to Dresden for an optional afternoon visit of the New Masters Gallery in the Albertinum. Day 4: Dresden, Potsdam. In the morning drive on to Potsdam. The enclosed park of Sanssouci was created as a retreat from the affairs of state by Frederick the Great. It consists of gardens, parkland, palaces, pavilions and auxiliary

Itinerary Day 1: Dresden. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow to Berlin (British Airways) and drive to Dresden. Introductory lecture before dinner. First of three nights in Dresden. Day 2: Dresden. The Zwinger is a unique Baroque confection, part pleasure palace, part 92

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buildings. In the afternoon visit his relatively modest single-storey palace atop terraces of fruit trees and the exquisite Chinese teahouse. Overnight in Potsdam. Day 5: Potsdam, Berlin. Spend the morning on the Alter Markt, seeing the Nikolaikirche, a Classiciststyle, Lutheran church. The Museum Barberini was built on the site of the original Barberini Palace, which was largely destroyed by bombing in 1945 and then demolished three years later. Walk through the city’s historical Dutch Quarter. After lunch travel to Berlin by coach. The villa of Klein-Glienicke is a dream of Italy; visit its gardens strewn with Neoclassical garden buildings. First of four nights in Berlin.

Illustration: Dresden, entrance to the Zwinger Palace, lithograph c. 1850 after Samuel Prout.


Music in Berlin Art, architecture and music in the German capital Day 3: Berlin, Charlottenburg. Schloss Charlottenburg, the earliest major building in Berlin, is an outstanding Baroque and Rococo palace with splendid interiors. The Berggruen Collection of Picasso and classic modern art is also here. Evening concert at the Philharmonie: Verdi, Quattro Pezzi Sacri. Daniel Barenboim (conductor), Anna Netrebko (soprano), Rundfunkchor Berlin and Staatskapelle Berlin.

Day 6: Berlin. A walk to see a selection of the historic and new architecture of Berlin, passing Bebelplatz, the Gendarmenmarkt with its twin churches and concert hall, and the HumboldtForum, a new museum project on the site of the former City Palace, due for completion in 2019. Spend the afternoon on ‘Museum Island’: the Bode Museum houses a splendid, comprehensive collection of European sculpture, including works by Riemenschneider, as well as Byzantine art, and the Alte Nationalgalerie houses an excellent collection of 19th-century paintings and sculptures. Day 7: Berlin. A morning walk includes Unter den Linden, Peter Eisenmann’s controversial Holocaust Memorial and the unmistakeable symbol of the city, the Brandenburg Gate. End at the Reichstag, a ponderous 1880s structure scarred by the vicissitudes of the 20th century, the shell now brilliantly rehabilitated by Norman Foster and topped by the famous glass dome. Lunch is at the rooftop restaurant.Visit the Kunstgewerbemuseum, the Museum of Decorative Arts, one of the many museums scattered around the ‘Kulturforum’. The Gemäldegalerie houses one of Europe’s major collections of Old Masters. Day 8: Berlin. Drive to Schloss Charlottenburg, the earliest major building in Berlin, an outstanding summer palace built with a Baroque core and Rococo wings, fine interiors, paintings by Watteau, extensive gardens, pavilions and a mausoleum. The Berggruen Collection of Picasso and classic modern art is also here and has recently reopened after extensive renovation works. Day 9: Berlin. Take a coach to Kreuzberg, passing Cold War related landmarks such as the Oberbaumbrücke and Karl-Marx Allee. Pass also the Jewish Museum, Daniel Libeskind’s jagged, lacerated, powerfully emotive extension to a Baroque palace. Pause at the Prussian National Monument for the Liberation Wars, designed by Karl Friedrich Schinkel in 1821. Fly from Berlin to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 3.30pm.

Practicalities

Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine Accommodation. Gewandhaus Hotel, Dresden (gewandhaus-hotel.de): traditional 5-star hotel in a reconstructed Baroque building. Steigenberger Hotel Sanssouci, Potsdam (steigenberger.com): 4-star hotel on the edge of Potsdam’s old town, very close to Sanssouci Palace. Regent Hotel, Berlin (theregentberlin.de): elegant 5-star hotel decorated in Regency style, located close to Unter den Linden. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking required and standing around in museums. Average distance by coach per day: 44 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

17–22 April 2019 (mf 487) 6 days • £3,320 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturer: Dr John Allison Deutsche Oper Berlin: Rienzi (Wagner) and Tosca (Puccini). Staatsoper Unter den Linden: Die Meistersinger (Wagner), Daniel Barenboim (conductor). At the Philharmonie: Quattro Pezzi Sacri (Verdi), conducted by Barenboim, with Anna Netrebko (soprano). Walks, museum and gallery visits with a Berlinbased local guide, including excursions to Potsdam and Charlottenburg.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.55pm from London Heathrow to Berlin Tegel (British Airways). Take an orientation tour by coach: the New Embassy quarter, Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz and Unter den Linden. Dinner in the hotel. Day 2. Walk through the oldest part of the city to ‘Museums Island’. Visit the Neues Museum, the stunning new home to the Egyptian Museum, restored and recreated by British architect David Chipperfield and the Alte Nationalgalerie which superbly displays European painting of the 19th century including the finest collection of German Romantics. Some free time. Evening performance at the Deutsche Oper: Rienzi (Wagner). Evan Rogister (conductor), Philipp Stölzl (director), Torsten Kerl (Rienzi), Martina Welschenbach (Irene), Andrew Harris (Steffano Colonna), Annika Schlicht (Adriano), Dong-Hwan Lee (Paolo Orsini), Derek Welton (Kardinal Orvieto), Clemens Bieber (Baroncelli), Stephen Bronk (Cecco del Vecchio). Illustration: Die Meistersinger, 1890.

Day 5: Berlin, Potsdam. Excursion to Potsdam which in the 18th century developed into Brandenburg-Prussia’s second capital. Sanssouci, created as a retreat from the affairs of state by Frederick the Great, is among the finest 18thcentury complexes of gardens, palaces and pavilions to be found anywhere. Return to Berlin. Early evening performance at the Staatsoper: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner). Daniel Barenboim (conductor), Andrea Moses (director), Wolfgang Koch (Hans Sachs), Kwangchul Youn (Veit Pogner), Julia Kleiter (Eva), Burkhard Fritz (Walther von Stolzing), Stephan Rügamer (David), Natalia Skrycka (Magdalene), Graham Clark (Kunz Vogelgesang), Gyula Orendt (Konrad Nachtigall), Johannes Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Jürgen Linn (Fritz Kothner), Siegfried Jerusalem (Balthasar Zorn), Reiner Goldberg (Ulrich Eisslinger), Florian Hoffmann (Augustin Moser), David Oštrek (Hermann Ortel), Franz Mazura (Hans Schwarz), Olaf Bär (Hans Foltz). Day 6. Homeward journey. Return to London Heathrow from Berlin Tegel landing at c. 1.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,320 or £3,180 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,710 or £3,570 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Music: tickets to 4 performances are included, costing c. £760. Accommodation. The Regent Berlin (theregentberlin.de): elegant 5-star hotel decorated in Regency style, close to Unter den Linden. How strenuous? There is a reasonable amount of walking and standing around in art galleries. Average distance by coach per day: 9 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Opera in Vienna, 23–28 April 2019 (p.51). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,170 or £3,000 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,610 or £3,440 without flights.

Day 4. Europe’s greatest building project in the 1990s, Potsdamer Platz showcases an international array of architects. Scattered around the nearby ‘Kulturforum’ are museums, the State Library and the Philharmonie concert hall (Hans Scharoun 1956–63). The Gemäldegalerie houses one of Europe’s major collections of Old Masters. Free afternoon. Evening performance at the Deutsche Oper: Tosca (Puccini). Ivan Repusic (conductor), Boleslaw Barlog (director), Carmen Giannattasio (Tosca), Jorge de León (Mario Cavaradossi), Zeljko Lucic (Scarpia), Derek Welton (Angelotti), Seth Carico (Sacristan), Jörg Schörner (Spoletta), PaullAnthony Keightley (Sciarrone).


Berlin: New Architecture The unification of a capital cleansed from the former ‘death strip’, provides an ethereal monument in pressed clay and wooden rods (by Berlin architects Peter Sassenroth and Rudolf Reitermann and Austrian clay artist Martin Rauch). Berlin has become a European hub of science and technology and contemporary architectural contributions reflect this dominance, with an exciting use of materials and technologies. Visits to the Otto Bock Science Center, whose whiteribboned facade represents human muscle fibre in 3D; Bothe Richter Teherani’s renewable-energypowered EnergieForum; and The Sony Center, German-American firm Jahn’s powerful essay in glass and light. The controversial Holocaust Memorial by Peter Eisenmann is nearby­. Visit the Jewish Museum, Daniel Libeskind’s jagged, lacerated, powerfully emotive extension to a Baroque palace. Potsdamer Platz, before the war a nodal point in the city centre but subsequently virtually open wasteland. Now it is at the centre of a 50-acre development and a conspectus of international contemporary architecture with contributions from Renzo Piano, Richard Rogers, Helmut Jahn, Hans Kollhoff, Rafael Moneo and Arata Isozaki. Buildings of a wide range of use and design, interconnected with public atria, fill the segments and step up to the towers which front the Platz itself.

25–29 June 2019 (mf 578) 5 days • £1,970 Lecturer: Tom Abbott

Spree. The devastated 19th- and early 20th-century industrial landscape has been reborn, with striking contemporary additions, including a hotel, its dramatic arm cantilevered over the water.

Berlin contains Europe’s biggest concentration of contemporary architecture.

Day 2. Post-War and post-Wall Berlin has been all about melding old with new. The art scene in Berlin began its renaissance in the mid-90s with a migration to the Scheunenviertel (Barn Quarter) in the old East, now home to a multitude of high-fashion galleries, bars, and cafés. Elsewhere, antique and modern sit easily side by side. Berlin’s renewal has involved some of the greatest names in post-War architecture. We visit David Chipperfield’s Neues Museum, a mediation on damage, with fragments of fresco, carving and old brick work exposed alongside new construction; the Jakob-and-Wilhelm Grimm university library, the great, glass-roofed reading room, a dramatic, porous space; Harris + Kurrle’s cuboid Archaeological Centre citing Egyptian temple architecture at the National Museum of Berlin’s cluster of archaeological museums. After lunch, drive out to Foster’s library at the Free University, inspired by the human brain. The Catholic parish church of St Canisius is based on strictly geometrical patterns enlivened through light.

The list of architects virtually comprises a roll-call of the world’s leading architectural practices. Access to private places, and time for some of the standard sights. Option to combine this tour with Dutch Modern, 20–24 June 2019 (see page 168).

MAINLAND EUROPE: Germany

Itinerary Because this itinerary is dependent on a number of appointments and special arrangements, the order and even the content of the tour may vary. If combining this tour with Dutch Modern: fly from Amsterdam Schiphol to Berlin Schönefeld (EasyJet) at c. 7.30pm on 24th June and transfer by taxi to the hotel. Overnight Berlin. Day 1. Fly at c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Berlin (British Airways). Travel by coach to central Berlin via the Felleshus, or pan-Nordic building. The complex houses five embassies, each of which were designed quite distinctively by architects of the respective countries. The houses are arranged according to their location on the map. Even the North and Baltic Seas are represented by three water basins between the buildings. Drive to Hans Scharoun’s original and organic Philharmonie (concert hall) for a guided tour. Continue to the hotel, passing the Mediaspree, established to house the media industries along the banks of the River 94

Day 3: Memory. Germany has engaged with its troubled history with as much energy as its dynamic present. The Topography of Terror sits on a site that once housed the SS and Gestapo headquarters. Here, the brief was to commemorate and educate. Later political scars are addressed in Bernauer Strasse (the street along which the Wall ran) where the Berlin Wall Memorial, by Stuttgart architects Kohlhoff & Kohlhoff, uses two six-meter-high corroded steel walls as symbols of the ‘Iron Curtain’. The Chapel of Reconciliation, replacing a 19th-century church

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Day 4: Triumph, defeat, unity. Perhaps no other building is imbued with such mixed associations while remaining the unmistakable symbol of a city: isolated since the war, politically and architecturally, the Brandenburg Gate again is integrated into a stately square, Pariser Platz. Despite strict planning regulations, buildings of individuality and distinction have arisen including the chirpy British Embassy by Michael Wilford and the DG Bank by Frank Gehry. Planned by Axel Schultes and Charlotte Frank, the ‘Band des Bundes’ is a long rectangle of government buildings including the Chancellery which twice crosses the meandering River Spree. The main railway station by Gerkan, Marg & Partners, which opened in June 2006, celebrates unification through its form and transparent appearance. Examine the converted bunker which now houses the Sammlung Boros contemporary art collection. Another potent Berlin symbol is the Reichstag, a ponderous 1880s structure scarred by the vicissitudes of the 20th century, the shell now brilliantly rehabilitated by Norman Foster and topped by the famous glass dome. Dinner is at the rooftop restaurant. Day 5. Visit the Museum for Architectural Drawing run by the Tchoban Foundation. The ‘Kulturforum’ was planned in the 1960s by the West as an area for cultural institutions and became a site for Mies van der Rohe’s modernmovement New National Gallery. En route to the airport visit and break for lunch in the Bikinihaus, Germany’s first ‘concept mall’ – part of a listed building complex in the zoological garden area of Berlin. Fly from Berlin to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 3.30pm.


Mediaeval Saxony Carolingian, Ottonian, Romanesque Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,970 or £1,810 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,250 or £2,090 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Regent Berlin (theregentberlin.de): elegant 5-star hotel decorated in Regency style, close to Unter den Linden. Rooms are of a good size and excellent standard.

29 April–7 May 2019 (mf 500) 9 days • £2,780 Lecturer: Dr Ulrike Ziegler One of the most fascinating areas of early mediaeval art and architecture. Straddling the former border between East and West Germany and still relatively unfrequented. Some delightful landscape and attractive towns.

How strenuous? This is a short but tiring tour. There is a lot of walking and very little free time. Average distance by coach per day: 10 miles.

Option to combine this tour with The Cathedrals of England, 8–16 May 2019 (see page 10).

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

In amassing territory which stretched from the Atlantic to Bohemia and from the Baltic to central Italy, Charlemagne believed that he was recreating the ancient Roman Empire. Vivid expression was given to this belief by the attempts to emulate Roman forms by the builders and artists who worked on his innumerable projects of construction and embellishment. Few of these

Price, Dutch Modern and Berlin: New Architecture combined. Two sharing: £4,070 or £3,930 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,660 (standard room in Utrecht) or £4,720 (deluxe); £4,520 or £4,580 without flights. This includes extra accommodation in Berlin (1 night), flight and airport transfers between the two. These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted. (Please note that, at the time of printing, Dutch Modern has very few spaces remaining.)

survive, but some of the most enlightening are to be seen in Saxony. The election of Henry of Saxony in 919 to the royal throne of Germany brought to an end a century of disunity and baronial misrule and ushered in a period during which the Saxon kings – two Henrys and three Ottos – achieved a partial reconstitution of Charlemagne’s empire and brought about the emergence of a nation state, arguably the first in Europe. ‘Old’ Saxony, which comprised the Harz mountains and the undulating plains to the north, became the most powerful of the German duchies as well as forming the kernel of the German nation. Subsequently the region gradually lost its pivotal role in national and international affairs; even the name slid across the map to denominate another part of Germany. A consequence of the region’s central importance in the early Middle Ages is that Old Saxony has no peers in northern Europe for the wealth of Ottonian and early Romanesque architecture, sculpture, precious metalwork and

Other possible combinations: Connoisseur's Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49); Danish Castles & Gardens, 1–7 July 2019 (p.65); French Gothic, 1–7 July 2019 (p.77). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Bauhaus Centenary 27 September–2 October 2019 (mf 762) Very few spaces remaining 6 days • £2,310 Lecturer: Tom Abbott 8–13 October 2019 (mf 785) Very few spaces remaining 6 days • £2,310 Lecturer: Tom Abbott MAINLAND EUROPE: Germany

A one-off tour to mark the centenary of last century’s most influential art school. Visits special commemorative exhibitions as well as permanent collections and buildings. Includes the Bauhaus college buildings and several pioneering examples of modernism.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267 Photograph: Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin, Architect: Peter Eisenmann. Copyright: visitBerlin, Photo ©Wolfgang Scholvien.

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Mediaeval Saxony continued

'Ulrike Ziegler was very personable – and a font of historical knowledge.' L.H. & R.H., participants on Mediaeval Saxony in 2018.

Day 4: Hildesheim, Goslar. Goslar is a lovely little town with outstanding Ottonian art and architecture, of which the palace is a rare secular survival. Works of art including a bronze altar are in the museum. First of five nights in Quedlinburg.

Practicalities

Day 5: Quedlinburg, Gernrode. Quedlinburg is not only a wonderfully preserved mediaeval town but has the authentic feel of a place not spruced up for the tourist trade. The castle hill is crowned by the collegiate church of St Servatius, begun 1070, and contains another of Germany’s finest treasuries. The Wipertikirche has a 10thcentury crypt. St Cyriakus at Gernrode is a church of exceptional beauty; begun 961, it is the oldest large-scale Ottonian building surviving. Overnight Quedlinburg.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine.

Day 6: Halberstadt, Hamersleben. Halberstadt was a major city in the Middle Ages. The Romanesque Church of Our Lady contains life-size reliefs of apostles. The cathedral is the largest French-style Gothic church in Germany after Cologne, and has a very rich treasury, which is particularly good for mediaeval textiles. Visit the Monastery and church of St Pankratius in Hamersleben, a hidden gem of Romanesque architecture. Overnight Quedlinburg.

other arts. A consequence of subsequent decline is that much of this heritage is situated in some amazingly lovely and unspoilt little towns amidst a largely rural landscape of wooded hills and rolling farmland. Split after the war between West and East, the region is still far from recovering the popularity it had with travellers in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Paderborn. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow to Düsseldorf (British Airways). Overnight in Paderborn.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Germany

Day 2: Paderborn, Corvey. At Paderborn are the fascinating archaeological remains of Charlemagne’s palace and a modern reconstruction of the Ottonian replacement. The 13th-century cathedral has a western tower and spire similar to its pre-Romanesque predecessor. Also see the treasury in the Diocesan Museum. The westwork of the Abbey at Corvey is among the most important of surviving Carolingian buildings. Drive to Hildesheim for the first of two nights. Day 3: Hildesheim. Hildesheim is of enormous importance in the history of Romanesque art and architecture. The cathedral has some of the earliest and best bronze sculpture of that era and the treasury is one of the finest in Germany; both reopened in August 2014 after extensive renovations. A pinnacle of Ottonian achievement embodying many influential innovations, the sixtowered church of St Michael was begun in 1010. Overnight Hildesheim. 96

Day 7: Magdeburg, Königslutter. Magdeburg was the favoured residence of Otto the Great. The cathedral, standing on a bluff above the River Elbe, is the first Gothic building in Germany and a veritable museum of mediaeval sculpture. Königslutter am Elm has a very fine church and cloister from the abbey founded in 1135 and built by Lombard masons; the sculpture is superb. Overnight Quedlinburg. Day 8: Merseburg, Naumburg. Drive south to Merseburg on the river Saale with its cathedral, begun in 1015 and dating mainly from the 13th and 16th centuries. Architecturally, Naumburg Cathedral is an outstanding embodiment of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic, but its great importance lies in its 13th-century sculpture, including statues of the founders, among the most powerful and realistic of the Middle Ages. Day 9: Braunschweig. Braunschweig (Brunswick) was residence of Henry the Lion, one of the most powerful princes in 12th-century Europe. The Romanesque cathedral has extensive frescoes of c. 1220, a rare survival. Opposite stands Henry’s castle; now a museum, it displays the Lion Monument, the first free-standing monumental bronze sculpture since Roman times. Fly from Hanover and arrive at Heathrow at c. 9.00pm. If combining this tour with The Cathedrals of England: fly back with the group to London Heathrow (British Airways). Transfer by taxi to the Ambassdor Hotel in London and spend the night there. Transfer by taxi in the morning to the start of The Cathedrals of England.

Illustration, previous page: Quedlinburg Schloss, after a drawing 1920. Above left: Magdeburg, pulpit of the cathedral, wood engraving c. 1880.

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,780 or £2,660 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,020 or £2,900 without flights. Accommodation. Hotel zur Mühle, Paderborn (hotelzurmuehle.de): modern 3-star hotel in the city centre. Van der Valk Hotel, Hildesheim (hildesheim.vandervalk.de): modern 4-star hotel with a historical facade looking onto the market square. Romantik Hotel am Brühl, Quedlinburg (hotelambruehl.de): comfortably-furnished 4-star hotel in a restored heritage building near the historical heart. How strenuous? This tour involves a lot of walking in the town centres where vehicular access is restricted, and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 91 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Mediaeval Saxony and The Cathedrals of England combined. Two sharing: £5,720 or £5,600 without flights. Single occupancy: £6,420 or £6,300 without flights. This includes extra accommodation in London (1 night) and a taxi transfer from Heathrow to the hotel, and again the next morning to the start of the tour. These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted. Other possible combinations: Opera in Vienna, 23–28 April 2019 (p.51); Ravenna & Urbino, 24–28 April 2019 (p.131); Organs of Bach’s Time, 8–13 May 2019 (p.102); Tudor England, 8–13 May 2019 (p.26). The Cathedrals of England, 8–16 May 2019 (p.10). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

The Ring in Leipzig 30 April–6 May 2019 (mf 504) Very few spaces remaining 7 days • £2,980 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturer: Barry Millington Wagner’s monumental Ring of the Nibelung cycle in the composer’s birthplace. Talks on the operas by Barry Millington, chief music critic for London’s Evening Standard and editor of The Wagner Journal. Guided walks with local guides to explore the architecture and museums of this historic and lively city. Day excursion to Halle, birthplace of Handel.


Dresden Music Festival Art and music in the Saxon capital 16–22 May 2019 (mf 532) 7 days • £3,010 (including tickets to 5 performances) Lecturer: Professor John Holloway Five performances in three venues including the Staatskapelle Berlin and Daniel Barenboim at the Semperoper. Walks to see the fine 18th- & 19th-century architecture and outstanding art collections, and excursions to the surrounding area. Rebuilding, restoration and refurbishment has wrought wonders in this once shattered city.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow Airport (British Airways) to Berlin. An evening lecture is followed by dinner. Day 2: Dresden. Morning visit of the Residenzschloss to see the wonderful Green Vault and its content, one of the world’s finest princely treasuries, once again displayed in their original venue. Evening concert at the Kulturpalast with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla (conductor), Yujia Wang (piano): Ligeti, Romanian Concerto; Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No.5 in G, Op.55; Brahms, Symphony No.2 in D, Op.73. Day 3: Meissen, Dresden. Drive downstream to Meissen, ancient capital of Dukes of Saxony and location of the discovery of hard-paste porcelain. The largely 15th-century hilltop castle overlooking the Elbe, the Albrechtsburg, is one of the first to be more residential than defensive, and within the complex is a fine Gothic cathedral. Return to Dresden for some free time. Evening concert at the Kulturpalast with the Cologne Radio Symphony Orchestra, Cristian Măcelaru (conductor), Jan Vogler (cello): Muhly, Helbig & Long, Cello Concerto (world première); Beethoven, Symphony No.3 in E flat, Op.55 ‘Eroica’. Day 4: Dresden. In the morning visit the Zwinger, a unique Baroque confection, a pleasure palace, arena for festivities and museum for cherished collections. See the Old Masters Gallery, one of the finest collections in Europe, particularly strong on Italian and Netherlandish painting. Free afternoon. Evening concert at the Semperoper with the Staatskapelle Berlin, Daniel Barenboim (conductor): Brahms, Symphony No3. in F, Op.90, Symphony No.4 in E minor, Op.98. Day 5: Pillnitz, Dresden. Travel by boat upstream to Pillnitz, a summer palace in Chinese Rococo style, with collections of decorative art and a riverside park. After lunch return to Dresden for some free time. Evening concert at the Kulturpalast with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Sir Antonio Pappano (conductor), Lisa Batiashvili (violin): Mussorgsky, Night on the Bald Mountain; Bartók, Violin Concerto No.1; Rimsky-Korsakov, ‘Scheherazade’, Op.35. Day 6: Dresden. Visit the New Masters Gallery in the Albertinum, reopened in 2010 after extensive renovations following flood damage and home to the New Masters Gallery. Some free time. Evening concert at the Frauenkirche with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Sir Antonio Pappano (conductor): Mahler, Symphony No.6 in A minor. Day 7. Fly from Berlin to London Heathrow airport, arriving c. 3.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,010 or £2,900 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,390 or £3,280 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Music: tickets (top category) for 5 performances are included costing c. £420. Accommodation. Taschenbergpalais, Dresden (kempinski.com): 5-star hotel in the heart of the Old Town, 2 minutes’ walk from the Semperoper and the Zwinger. How strenuous? Vehicular access is restricted in the city centre. Participants are expected to walk to the concert venues and there is a substantial amount of walking and standing around in art galleries and museums. Average distance by coach per day: 45 miles (predominantly on the first and last days of the tour). Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: Dresden, Hoftheater, by Paul Hey c. 1908.

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Dresden’s greatness as a city of the arts was very much the creation of two electors in the 18th century: Frederick Augustus I (‘the Strong’, 16941733) and his son Frederick Augustus II. (17331763). Though founded at the beginning of the thirteenth century, for its first five hundred years it was a minor city of little distinction. This despite having been selected as residence in 1485 by the branch of the dukes of Saxony that gained the electorate in 1547. Augustus the Strong’s pillaging of the state treasury to feed his reckless extravagance was both symbol and to some extent the cause of his dismal record in most areas of statecraft, but his achievements as builder, patron and collector rank him among the most munificent of European rulers. Great architecture, a picture collection of legendary richness, magnificent accumulations of precious metalwork and ceramics (porcelain was manufactured here for the first time in Europe) and a glorious musical life transformed Dresden into one of the most admired and visited cities in Europe and a major destination on the Grand Tour. If to a somewhat lesser degree, subsequent rulers of Saxony continued the tradition of cultural embellishment (and political ineptitude: they had a tiresome habit of joining the losing side). In the nineteenth century, ‘the Florence on the Elbe’ acquired buildings by Schinkel and Semper, and Weber and Wagner were directors of the opera house. In the twentieth century, Richard Strauss added to its illustrious musical history. Then in February 1945 a tragically propitious set of circumstances conspired to make the air raid on Dresden the most ‘successful’ of Allied bombing missions. Most of the art collections had been removed to safety but 80 percent of the old centre was destroyed. Under the Communist regime a few of the chief monuments were grudgingly restored, but since unification the painstaking process of rebuilding and restoration has accelerated. The great dome of the Protestant Cathedral, the Frauenkirche, again dominates the skyline, and the Green Vault in the royal palace again displays the unequalled magnificence of the treasury. Significantly, rank and file buildings are steadily being recreated; the glory of Dresden lay as much in the lesser buildings as in the major ones. Some striking new architecture is being added, notably the all-glass car factory in the historic centre and the Foster & Partners railway station.

The Dresdner Musikfestspiele is generally of an appropriate standing, but 2019 is again of high musical standards. The venues, too, are varied – the Frauenkirche, a magnificent nineteenthcentury opera house and the city’s newly restored Bauhaus cultural complex (Kulturpalast) with its modern 1,800 capacity concert hall.


Handel in Halle Music festival in the composer’s birthplace Day 3: Naumburg, Halle. Drive out to Naumburg, a well preserved town with a major Romanesque and Early Gothic cathedral which contains some of the finest of mediaeval sculptures including astounding pseudo-portraits of the founders­. Return to Halle for some free time. Concert at the Händel Halle with the Kammerorchester Basel and MDR Rundfunkchor, Paul McCreesh (conductor), soloists: Mary Bevan, Rupert Enticknap, David Soar, Thomas Walker: Susanna, HWV 66. Day 4: Leipzig, Halle. Leipzig, the largest free city in Saxony and always a major centre of trade and industry, especially publishing. A guided walking tour includes the Markt, the large square with the arcaded town hall on one side, the maze of alleys and courtyards behind the streetfronts and the Thomaskirche, the mediaeval church where J. S. Bach was director of music for 26 years. Some free time, opportunity to visit the Bach Museum or the Museum of Fine Arts in its new premises, before returning to Halle mid afternoon. Evening concert at the Dom zu Halle with Academy of Ancient Music, Tenebrae, Nigel Short (conductor), soloists: Katie Trethewey, Martha McLorinan, Nicholas Madden, Stephen Kennedy: Messiah, HWV 56.

12–17 June 2019 (mf 579) 6 days • £2,240 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturer: Dr David Vickers Four performances including one opera: Alcina. Internationally renowned artists including: The King’s Consort, Academy of Ancient Music and the Tenebrae choir with Paul McCreesh.

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Excursions to Leipzig, Wörlitz and Naumburg with its astounding thirteenth-century cathedral. Britain’s greatest composer was not, of course, born in Britain but in Saxony, in the city of Halle an der Saale. Its prosperity founded on salt and trade, the city reached its apogee in the sixteenth century. But the seeds of its international reputation were sown in the following century with the founding of the university and the birth of George Frideric Handel (or Georg Friedrich Händel), the son of a barbersurgeon, in 1685. While hearing music in the composer’s home town has a special frisson, a visit to the Handel Festival in Halle is justified by infinitely more than historical association. Now in its sixtyseventh season, it is in the forefront of Handelian endeavour, and no longer need defer to the slightly more senior and rival festival at Göttingen, which for much of the Halle festival’s history was across the border in West Germany. 98

Since German unification, federal funding has been generous, the range of performers makes the festival truly international and their quality puts the festival on a par with some of the best in Europe. Equally striking is the rapidity with which the resident orchestra, from the Halle Opera House, has embraced period performing styles, switching to authentic instruments for the festival. As with all our music tours, there are excurisons to places of beauty or architectural interest in the vicinity, while allowing plenty of free time in Halle itself. The city survived the war without much damage, and the effects of pollution and neglect during the years of communism have been largely reversed.

Itinerary

Day 5: Halle, Bad Lauchstädt. In the morning visit the Moritzburg, a once formidable but partly ruined 15th-century castle; a 19th-cent. range houses an excellent art gallery. Drive the few miles to Bad Lauchstädt, a fashionable resort in the early 19th century with a delightful theatre built for the annual visit by Goethe and his troupe of actors from Weimar. Afternoon opera at the Goethe-Theater: Alcina (Handel) with the Lautten Compagney Berlin, Nigel Short (conductor) and soloists to be confirmed. Return to Halle for dinner. Day 6: Wörlitz. Visit the park of Schloss Wörlitz, one of the first and most successful of English-style landscaped gardens on the Continent, a delightful ensemble with artfully planned lake, Classical pavilions and Romantic follies. Fly from Berlin Tegel to Heathrow, arriving c. 5.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,240 or £2,020 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,480 or £2,260 without flights. Music: top category tickets to 4 performances are included, costing c. £220. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine.

Day 1: Halle. Fly at c. 10.50am from London Heathrow Airport to Berlin (British Airways). Drive to Halle (c. 3 hours), with a stop en route.

Accommodation. Hotel Rotes Ross, Halle (dormero-hotel-rotes-ross.de): 4-star hotel in the centre, comfortable and furnished in a classic style.

Day 2: Halle. An introductory walk in Halle includes the 16th-century Marktkirche, an outstanding example of the very last phase of Gothic with coevil paintings and furnishings, and the Gothic and Baroque cathedral. In the afternoon, visit the excellent Handel Museum in the historic centre, once believed to be his birthplace but well furnished with Handeliana and furniture of the time. Evening concert at the Ulrichskirche with The King’s Consort, Neil Brough (trumpet), Robert King (conductor) and Carolyn Sampson (soprano): ‘Handel’s Heroines’.

How strenuous? The tour involves walking in town centres where vehicular access is restricted. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Average coach travel per day: 65 miles.

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Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: G.F. Handel, engraving 1800s.


Mitteldeutschland Weimar and the towns of Thuringia and Sachsen-Anhalt 21–29 July 2019 (mf 627) 9 days • £2,660 Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier A trawl through little-known and largely unspoilt towns at the heart of Germany. Great mediaeval churches, Baroque and NeoClassical palaces, enchanting streetscape, fine art collections, beautiful countryside.

is dominated by Schloss Friedenstein, which has fine interiors, a picture collection and a Baroque theatre. Walk down a processional way to the Hauptmarkt with its Renaissance town hall. Arnstadt, the oldest town in eastern Germany, has fine streetscape on a sloping site with the church where Bach was organist 1703–7; the Early Gothic Church of Our Lady and a palace which illustrates social hierarchy from the court’s perspective. First of four nights in Weimar.

Day 3: Blankenburg, Halberstadt. Blankenburg is an idyllic little spa town in the foothills of the Harz mountains with two Baroque palaces, the creation of a younger son of the Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel dynasty who made Blankenburg his capital. Halberstadt was a major city in the Middle Ages, and the cathedral is the largest French-style Gothic church in Germany after Cologne; the treasury is exceptional. Overnight Quedlinburg.

Day 6: Weimar. 200 years of enlightened patronage by members of the ducal family enabled the city-state of Weimar to be home to many great writers, philosophers, composers and artists. Visit the Stadtkirche, the main church with altarpiece by Cranach; Goethe’s house, a beautifullypreserved sequence of interiors and garden; the ducal Schloss with Neo-Classical interiors and fine art museum, and an English-style landscaped park with Goethe’s summer house.

Day 4: Mühlhausen. Drive in the morning across the Harz mountains to Thuringia, passing forested vistas, half-timbered hamlets and patches of pasturage. Mühlhausen is astonishing, one of the most delightful and evocative towns in northern Europe, preserving its complete mediaeval wall, an abundance of half-timbered buildings and six Gothic churches. Walk along a section of the wall, visit the soaring, five-aisled church of St Mary, and St Blasius, the church where Bach was organist 1707–08. Overnight Mühlhausen. Day 5: Gotha, Arnstadt. A Residenzstadt within the principality of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, Gotha

Day 7: Erfurt. Capital of Thuringia, Erfurt well preserves its pre-20th-century appearance with a variety of streetscape and architecture from mediaeval to Jugendstil. Outstanding are the Krämerbrücke, a 14th-century bridge piled with houses and shops, and the cathedral, framing Germany’s largest set of mediaeval stained glass. See also the Severikirche, the friary of St Augustine where Luther was a monk, the Predigerkirche which retains its late mediaeval appearance intact, and the 17th-century hilltop citadel.

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Sachsen-Anhalt and Thuringia, the Länder in the middle of Germany, are predominantly rural, with rolling hills, deciduous woodland, compact red-roofed villages and ancient small-scale cities. Only patchily affected by the ravages of war and industrialisation, much of the historic architecture remained intact throughout the twentieth century. Forty years in the chill embrace of the East German state further impeded ‘progress’. The result is that at the heart of Europe’s richest and most modern nation is a region which feels strangely provincial and archaic. Thuringia was one of the five major states of early mediaeval Germany, but by the end of the Middle Ages it had fragmented into numerous little statelets and free cities. The history of Sachsen-Anhalt was similar: during the tenth century ‘Old’ Saxony was the most powerful of the German duchies and formed the kernel of the German nation, but loss of pre-eminence was followed by subdivision. From the sixteenth century both Länder consisted of innumerable principalities and independent cities, and were political and economic backwaters – though in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the Bach family dominated music making here. And one small dukedom in particular made a quite exceptional contribution to art and thought. Weimar played host to J.S. Bach, Goethe, Schiller, Herder, Liszt, Nietzsche, Richard Strauss, Walter Gropius and many other great names. For those who knew East Germany before 1991, the subsequent changes appear little short of miraculous – major upgrading of the infrastructure, transformation of the built environment through cleaning, painting and wholesale restoration, recrudescence of commercial and social life. But those who come to the territory for the first time might be less enamoured. It is as if the region hasn’t fully awoken from a half-century sleep, a corrosive slumber which allowed much of the historic fabric of the towns and villages to slide into desuetude and dereliction. Yet in an odd sort of way the dilapidation contributes to a powerful sense of the past, and an air of authenticity which can be lost in places more thoroughly spruced up emanates from this fascinating, constantly surprising, frequently beautiful and richly-endowed region.

Day 2: Quedlinburg, Gernrode. Quedlinburg is a wonderfully preserved mediaeval town. The castle hill is crowned by the church of St Servatius, begun 1070, and contains one of Germany’s finest treasuries. See also the Gothic church of St Benedict in the market square and the Wipertikirche with its tenth century crypt. At nearby Gernrode is one of the oldest churches in Germany, and one of the most beautiful, St Cyriakus, begun ad 961. Overnight Quedlinburg.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Quedlinburg. Fly at c.10.45am from London Heathrow to Berlin (British Airways). Drive to Quedlinburg. First of three nights in Quedlinburg. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Mitteldeutschland continued

When Bach went AWOL A walking tour from Lübeck to Arnstadt

Day 8: Weimar. A walk includes Haus am Horn and Van de Velde’s School of Arts and Crafts from which the Bauhaus emerged. Free afternoon in this beautiful little city. Among the many other museums to choose from are the Bauhaus Museum, the 18th-century Wittumspalais and the Schiller House­. An excursion to Buchenwald concentration camp can be arranged. Day 9: Naumburg. Architecturally, Naumburg Cathedral is an outstanding embodiment of the transition from Romanesque to Gothic, but its great importance lies in its 13th-century sculpture, including statues of the founders, among the most powerful and realistic of the Middle Ages. Fly from Berlin, arriving Heathrow at c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,660 or £2,530 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,900 or £2,770 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Romantik Hotel am Brühl, Quedlinburg (hotelambruehl.de): restored 4-star hotel in a heritage building near the historical heart, comfortably furnished. Brauhaus 'Zum Löwen', Mühlhausen (brauhaus-zum-loewen.de): 3-star converted brewery in the centre of the town; characterfully rustic dining area and bar, simple but spacious rooms. Dorint Am Goethepark, Weimar (hotel-weimar.dorint.com): modern 4-star hotel, situated by the park and on the edge of the town centre. How strenuous? This tour is fairly long and there is quite a lot of walking in the town centres where vehicular access is restricted. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. There are long transfers between each hotel and the airport, otherwise coach travel is limited to short excursions. Average distance by coach per day: 56 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Illustration, previous page: Weimar, ducal schloss, lithograph c. 1830.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267 100

7–13 May 2019 (mf 528) 7 days • £2,460 Lecturer: Lindsay Kemp A pilgrimage of walks through pine forests, open countryside and medieval townscapes. Daily lectures from Lindsay Kemp, musicologist and BBC Radio 3 producer, whose 2017 miniseries Bach Walks inspired the tour. Designed for participants joining The J.S. Bach Journey, 13–19 May 2019 (see opposite). Johann Sebastian’s time in Arnstadt 1703–7 as church organist and choir director, his first appointment in that role, was not a stress-free period, for either employee or employer. For example, there was the little matter of the brawl with a bassoonist, though a tribunal grudgingly exonerated Bach. As context it is worth noting that he was 20 at the time while his (university educated) assailant, member of a band Bach was contracted to conduct, was 23. Then there was the episode when he went AWOL. He wanted to further his musical education by travelling to Lübeck to consort with Dieterich Buxtehude, the greatest German musician of his time and, at the Church of St Mary, master of one of the finest organs in the world. The Arnstadt authorities granted him four weeks’ leave; he took four months. This is a journey of 500km which Bach would have undertaken on foot, perhaps occasionally cadging a lift from a passing cart or boat. All this shows that while Bach may have been the most divinely inspired

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composer of all time, he was also tough, ambitious, obstreperous and, above all, dedicated to his art. This tour covers the ground of his return journey – not the exact same route because that is unknown, but this approximation is sufficient to give a flavour of the topography and landscapes of that heroic hike. This is a walking tour, though the stretches actually walked are a small proportion of the total distance, with six walks of between 45 minutes and 2½ hours. Most of the journey, however, is done by coach. For the drives, we have chosen lesser roads where the countryside is most attractive. The towns we have selected are likely to be ones he visited; in one, Lüneburg, he had spent two years as a teenager.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Lübeck. Fly at c. 10.30am (British Airways) from Heathrow to Hamburg. Drive to Lübeck and walk from the medieval city gate to the soaring Gothic Marienkirche, the sight of which was surely an uplifting moment for the travel-weary J.S. Bach. Buxtehude was organist here 1668–1707. Short organ recital (subject to confirmation). Overnight Lübeck. Day 2: Lübeck, Mölln, Lüneburg. The St Annen Museum, in a former priory, shows art of the 13th–16th centuries including an altarpiece by Memling. Some free time to explore the picturesque streets, or the home of Thomas Mann’s family. After lunch drive south to Mölln, a charming and well-preserved medieval town on the the Elbe-Lübeck canal, part of the old salt route. From here, an easy semi-circular walk


through fields and woodland: c. 4.5km, 1½ hours. Continue to. Overnight Lüneburg. Day 3: Lüneburg, Medingen, Celle. The architecture of Lüneburg reflects its prosperous past as a key trading post. Bach boarded here at the prestigious Michaelisschule 1700–2, and sang in the Mettenchor. Drive to Bad Bevensen and walk through a park and along a woodland trail above the Ilmenau river; 5km, 2 hours. Emerge from the trees at Kloster Medingen, a convent and girls’ school. Drive to the lovely town of Celle and visit the wonderfully decorated Renaissance chapel in the Schloss. It is assumed the young Bach attended concerts here, encountering French music played by the duke’s band. Overnight Hildesheim. Day 4: Hildesheim, Quedlinburg. A pinnacle of Ottonian achievement, embodying many influential innovations, the six-towered church of St Michael at Hildesheim is important in the history of Romanesque art and architecture. Quedlinburg is not only a wonderfully preserved medieval town but has the authentic feel of a place not spruced up for the tourist trade. The castle hill is crowned by the Romanesque church of St Servatius, and contains one of Germany’s finest treasuries. First of two nights in Quedlinburg.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,460 or £2,260 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,640 or £2,440 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Flights are included in the price of this tour, therefore the J.S. Bach Journey will be charged at the ‘without flights’ price. Accommodation. Radisson Blu Senator Hotel, Lübeck (radissonblu.com): 4-star hotel located on the banks of the river Trave. Hotel Bergström, Lüneburg (bergstroem.de): charming 4-star hotel on the banks of the River Ilmenau in the heart of town. Van der Valk Hotel, Hildesheim (hildesheim.vandervalk.de): modern 4-star hotel with a historical façade looking onto the market square. Romantik Hotel am Brühl, Quedlinburg

(hotelambruehl.de): comfortably-furnished 4-star hotel in a restored heritage building. Hotelpark Stadtbrauerei, Arnstadt (hotelpark-arnstadt.de) comfortable 4-star hotel with on-site brewery on the outskirts of town. How strenuous? This is a walking tour, graded moderate (see page 8). There are 4 country walks, of which 3 are easy and 1 is challenging. There are also 2 easy town walks. It is essential for participants to have appropriate walking footwear, be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking with uphill and downhill content. If you are used to them you may find walking poles useful. The distance covered necessitates several hotel changes and some long drives. Average distance by coach per day: 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Day 5: Brocken, Quedlinburg. Bach would have saved himself days and blisters by traversing rather than circumventing the Harz mountain range. Walk on rocky paths through thick pine forest and on a paved road to the summit, the Brocken, which is steeped in German folklore: c. 7 km, 2½ hours (ascent: 500m). The Brocken is often shrouded in mist, though on a clear day there are panoramic views. Lunch at the summit before travelling down by steam train. Free time in Quedlinburg. Second and final night here.

Day 7, first day of The J.S. Bach Journey: Arnstadt, Eisenach. Drive to Schloss Wartburg which rides the crest of a steep hill above Eisenach. One of the best-preserved secular constructions of the 12th century in Germany, it was here that Martin Luther translated the New Testament into German. Lunch here before transferring to your festival hotel in Eisenach or Mühlhausen. The rest of the afternoon is free until you join the other festival participants for dinner. Sunday 19th May, final day of The J.S. Bach Journey. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving there at c. 5.40pm.

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Day 6: Arnstadt, Dornheim. Drive through unspoilt countryside to Arnstadt, a lovely ancient town on a sloping site where Bach was organist 1703–7 at the New Church, now named the Bach Church. From here there is a pleasant walk (3.5km, 1 hour) to Dornheim, which follows the presumed route Bach would have taken in 1707 to his wedding to Maria Barbara at the Church of St Bartholomäus. This makes a charming ensemble with the cemetery and gate house. Overnight in Arnstadt.

CELEBRATING MUSIC AND PLACE 13–19 MAY 2019 Ten private concerts in the places where Johann Sebastian Bach lived and worked. Among the music is the St John Passion and the B-Minor Mass. Performances by the Dunedin Consort, Rachel Podger, Brecon Baroque, Vox Luminis, Mahan Esfahani and Freiburg Baroque Orchestra. Daily talks by Sir Nicholas Kenyon.

Four packages to suit different budgets with accommodation in 3-, 4- and 5-star hotels. Free time to explore Mühlhausen, Eisenach, Weimar, Leipzig and other historic towns.

Contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com/festivals

Illustration: Arnstadt, steel engraving c. 1850.

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Organs of Bach’s Time Silbermann and Baroque organs in Saxony and Thuringia 8–13 May 2019 (mf 518) 6 days • £2,120 Lecturers: James Johnstone & Dr Matthew Woodworth Recitals on the finest Baroque organs to survive, some of them instruments which Bach and Handel knew. Accompanied by organist James Johnstone, a Bach specialist, who gives recitals and demonstrations in association with the local organists, and by art historian, Matthew Woodworth. Visits towns and villages off the beaten track. For a maximum of 28 participants, the format of this tour is a hybrid between MRT Festivals and our tours for small groups. The tour can be combined with The J.S. Bach Journey, 13–19 May 2019 (see page 101).

Itinerary Day 1: London to Merseburg. Fly at c. 8.45am from London Heathrow to Berlin (British Airways) and continue by coach (c. 2 hours) to Merseburg, a cathedral town on the river Saale; first of three nights here. Day 2: Pomßen, Naumburg. The village of Pomßen has a church with an organ of the 1660s, a delightful instrument which is more Renaissance than Baroque, set in a painted wood ensemble of gallery, chest and panelled ceiling. The church of St Wenceslas in Naumburg has a major Hildebrandt organ of 1748. There is also time for the cathedral with its exceptional 13th-century sculpture. Second of three nights Merseburg. Day 3: Zschortau, Störmthal, Rötha. Visit three small towns outside Leipzig with outstanding organs. The Scheibe organ in the church of St Nicholas, Zschortau was tested by J.S. Bach in 1746 who found it to be ‘efficiently and painstakingly

well-built’. Störmthal has an organ by Hildebrandt which was inspected and approved by Bach in 1723 and is still in its original condition. In the fine mediaeval church of St George in Rötha there is a Silbermann organ tested in 1721 by Johann Kuhnau, Bach’s predecessor in Leipzig. Final night in Merseburg. Day 4: Altenburg, Ponitz, Freiberg. Travel from Merseburg to Freiberg via Altenburg and Ponitz. The court city of Altenburg is one of the rarely visited jewels of the former DDR, with a hilltop ducal residence featuring mediaeval fortifications, Baroque apartments and a quite remarkable collection of Italian Renaissance paintings. The chapel has a fine organ by Trost of 1739. After free time for lunch and independent exploration in Altenburg, travel on to Ponitz. Gottfried Silbermann began building an organ for the Friedenskirche in Ponitz in 1734, before the construction of the church itself had ended. Continue to Freiberg. Before dinner, there is an opportunity to hear the Silbermann in St. Peter’s Church. First of two nights in Freiberg. Day 5: Freiberg, Helbigsdorf. The morning is free in Freiberg. In the afternoon drive out to Helbigsdorf, whose church is home to Silbermann’s smallest, double-manual instrument (1726–28). Freiberg cathedral is one of the most beautiful of Late Gothic buildings in Germany and has retained an exceptional panoply of furnishings. The organ by Silbermann (1711–1714) is one of the world’s finest instruments; three manuals, 44 stops, largely unaltered. Dinner and final night in Freiberg. Day 6: Freiberg to London. Drive to Prague and fly to London Heathrow, arriving c. 3.30pm. Note that all recitals are subject to confirmation from the relevant churches – changes are possible.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,120 or £1,890 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,250 or £2,020 without flights.

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Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Radisson Blu, Merseburg (merseburg-radissonblu.com): situated in the historic centre of the town, within walking distance of the cathedral, this modern 4-star hotel is housed in the former Zech’sche Palace. Hotel Freyhof, Freiberg (hotel-freyhof.de): opened in 2016, this traditional hotel is situated in a reconstructed monastery, within walking distance of the cathedral. How strenuous? There is a lot of coach travel with some long journeys. Average distance by coach per day: 95 miles. Group size: maximum 28 participants. Combine this tour with: The J.S. Bach Journey, 13–19 May 2019 (p.101; transfer from Cologne to your festival hotel is included).

Illustration: Copper engraving c. 1730.

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Oberammergau The decennial Passion play in Bavaria 21–27 July 2020 (mg 315) 18–24 August 2020 (mg 340) 7 days • £3,140 Lecturer: Tom Abbott This unique and moving event has taken place nearly every ten years since 1634. Best seats and best available hotel nearby. Preceded by several days based in Munich seeing some of Bavaria’s finest art and architecture, towns and villages of Germany’s most beautiful state.

Itinerary Day 1: Munich. Fly at c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Munich (Lufthansa). An afternoon walk passes through the core of the historic city. See the Marienplatz, dominated by the 19th-

century city hall, and the little Baroque church of St John Nepomuk created by the Asam brothers. First of four nights in Munich. Day 2: Munich. The morning is spent in the Residenz, rambling palace of the Wittelsbach dynasty, Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria, with sumptuous interiors of the highest arthistorical importance from Renaissance to Romantic, and a marvellous Rococo theatre. After lunch continue to Königsplatz, a noble assembly of Neoclassical museums, and visit the Glyptothek, an outstanding collection of Greek and Roman sculpture. The Lenbachhaus has an outstanding collection of German Expressionist paintings. Day 3: Munich. Drive out to Nymphenburg, summer retreat of the ruling Wittelsbachs. Set in an extensive park there is a Baroque palace and several delightful garden pavilions, the apogee of Rococo. In the afternoon there is an opportunity to visit more of Munich’s many outstanding art collections. Day 4: Landshut. Drive out to Landshut, an earlier capital of Bavaria.The broad main street is composed of Renaissance and Baroque house fronts, the Gothic church of St Martin has Europe’s tallest brick tower and the ducal palace is one of the earliest examples of the Italian Renaissance north of the Alps. Return to Munich and visit the Alte Pinakothek, one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Master paintings. Day 5: Ludwig II’s Castles. King Ludwig II of Bavaria almost bankrupted the state by his patronage of the composer Richard Wagner and his mania for building elaborate palaces evoking past eras. Visit Schloss Neuschwanstein, the famous fairytale turreted castle ordered by Ludwig II in homage to Wagner though never completed. 1870s Linderhof was reputed to have been the King’s favourite castle; it draws on

French influences, lavish interiors in Renaissance and Baroque styles, extravagant terrace gardens and Oriental adornments. First of two nights near Oberammergau. Day 6: Oberammergau. Free time in the morning, with the option of a visit to the museum which documents the passion play – the performance is in two parts, each of two-and-a-half hours, beginning at 2.30pm and 8.00pm. Dinner is provided in the three-hour interval. Day 7: Wies. On the way back to Munich Airport, stop at the astoundingly beautiful 18th-century pilgrimage church of Wies, whose success, like the passion play, derives from its integration of high art and local, peasant tradition. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 3.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,140 or £2,970 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,520 or £3,350 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Performance: top category tickets to the Passion Play are included and have been confirmed. Accommodation. Hotel Torbräu, Munich (torbraeu.de): friendly, family-run, 4-star hotel in the city centre. Oberammergau: 4-star hotel, to be confirmed in 2019. How strenuous? This is a fairly strenuous tour with some long coach journeys and a lot of walking and standing around in churches and galleries. A good level of fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 53 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Illustration: Oberammergau, wood engraving c. 1880.

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Theatrical spectacle or religious ritual? Living drama or a 376-year-old tradition? High art of international significance or a community-based amateur production? A world-famous tourist attraction or a sincerely felt devotional act of real local importance? The Oberammergau Passion Play is all of these. Moreover, in each of the categories suggested, it towers above most or all of its fellows. Oberammergau is unique; it is rare (miss this and wait until 2030); and it is an exceptional and moving experience. The drama has its origins in the Plague, coupled with the Thirty Years’ War (1618–48), a protracted and devastating series of conflicts during which the population of much of Germany was reduced by half and many of the survivors reduced to penury. The people of the village of Oberammergau in the foothills of the Bavarian Alps vowed that, were they to be spared, they would perform every ten years a play portraying the last days of Christ’s life on earth, his suffering, crucifixion and resurrection. This they did for the first time in 1634, and, excepting the odd wobble and a preference for round numbers (since 1680 it has been in the first year of the decade), the tradition has continued ever since. Over 2000 people take part, almost half the inhabitants of Oberammergau (only those born in the village qualify for participation), and they rehearse for ten months. Media rumours of conflict between traditionalists and modernisers flourish every time; some of the dramatic power does arise from the blend of continuity and novelty. Of course, the raw material is the most potently moving story in Christendom, whatever ones beliefs. Dramatisation of Christ’s life and contemplation of his suffering was a crucial ingredient in Christianity in the late Middle Ages and Baroque eras and resulted in some of the finest works of art and music in the western cannon. JS Bach’s St John and St Matthew Passions can be ranked alongside the Oberammergau Passion Play, though the latter, being specific to time and place, and evolving, retains a sense of occasion and of passionate engagement which comparable artworks can never yield in the 21st century.


Rhineland Romanesque With Carolingian and Ottonian preludes 10–16 June 2019 (mf 575) 7 days • £2,260 Lecturer: Dr Richard Plant The Rhineland produced some of the most adventurous and sophisticated architecture of the Romanesque era. Parish churches, great cathedrals, monasteries, city and country, buildings, paintings and metalwork. Intensive and wonderfully rich study tour. To a percipient observer of Europe in the eleventh century, it might have seemed that the Kingdom of Germany was poised to become the dominant power in Europe. By all the indicators of economic development, demography and governance, the region was outpacing other embryonic nation states. Such a view would have been lent weight by a survey of the construction industry. Not only was the number of projects remarkable, but some of the most ambitious and innovative architecture

in Europe was being created in the German lands, especially in the Rhineland. Wealthy abbeys, burgeoning cities and ambitious princes and emperors were instigating buildings of unprecedented size and magnificence. Romanesque architecture is distinguished by massiveness of construction and noble simplicity of form, but these characteristics often mask a high degree of structural adventurousness and very considerable sophistication of design, symbolism and iconography. Nowhere was this more so than in Germany, where many churches have high towers and spires, complex ground plans and evidence of bold experiments in engineering. So keen were German builders to develop the full potential of round-arched architecture that they were not attracted to the new forms and techniques of Gothic until well into the thirteenth century, nearly a hundred years after their appearance in France. A subsidiary theme of the tour – and an essential prelude to Romanesque – is the art and architecture of the Carolingian era. By the time of his death in ad 814, Charlemagne, King of

Illustration: Cologne, St Apostolen, engraving from 'Hope's Essay on Architecture', publ. 1835.

the Franks and Roman Emperor, had amassed territory that stretched from the Atlantic to Bohemia, and from the Baltic Sea to Central Italy. Charlemagne had a passionate interest in the culture and institutions of ancient Rome and his belief that he was reviving the Roman Empire found expression in his attempts to emulate its literature and art. The Dark Ages soon closed in again on the Carolingian Empire and its visible remains are few but fascinating. The Ottonian revival of the Empire a century later was a more immediate precursor of Romanesque. The Rhine with its tributary the Mosel was the busiest river in mediaeval Europe, a major highway for people, goods and ideas, and a source of wealth for both cities and feudal lords. The abundance of Romanesque architecture in the region is matched by its variety, and in museums and cathedral treasuries outstanding examples of the other arts survive.

Itinerary Day 1: Cologne. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow to Düsseldorf (British Airways). One of the largest cities in mediaeval Europe, Cologne has the greatest concentration of Romanesque churches to be found anywhere. Among those visited are St Maria im Kapitol, which introduced clover-leaf apse clusters, St Gereon, with a unique dome and arcaded decoration and St Pantaleon, with a liturgically interesting west end. First of two nights in Cologne. Day 2: Cologne.­The morning is spent in more of Cologne’s Romanesque churches, including St Aposteln and Santa Maria in Lyskirchen. Free afternoon: Cologne has several fine museums displaying the wealth of the Roman and Mediaeval city. There is also time for the Gothic cathedral and the Cathedral Treasury.

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Day 3: Aachen, Schwarzrheindorf, Maria Laach. Drive to Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), Charlemagne’s favourite residence. The cathedral, a most precious survival of early mediaeval architecture, has a remarkable rotunda with the emperor’s throne in situ. The treasury has outstanding mediaeval metalwork. The small lovely late Romanesque church at Schwarzrheindorf is unusual in having two storeys, and has important wall paintings. Continue to Maria Laach, an active Benedictine monastery with a Romanesque church in an unspoilt lakeside setting. First of two nights in Maria Laach. Day 4: Limburg, Maria Laach. The abbey cathedral at Limburg an der Lahn enjoys a striking situation on a hilltop, the effect enhanced by a full complement of seven spires. On our return to Maria Laach, there is time to visit one of the most homogenous and complete Romanesque churches and its beautifully sculpted narthex, as well as the opportunity to attend a service. Day 5: Trier. The Roman city of Trier was for a while capital of the Western Empire and an important early centre of Christianity. Its surviving Roman buildings, still the most impressive group in northern Europe, were a major influence on German Romanesque. Visit 104

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Rhineland Masterpieces Exceptional art and architecture, medieval to modern the Porta Nigra (city gate), and the Aula Palatina, Emperor Constantine’s throne hall. The cathedral is a romanesque church incorporating Roman masonry. Continue to Speyer, a charming town beside the Rhine. First of two nights in Speyer.

to the Von der Heydt-Museum in Wuppertal, a collection of international importance from the 16th century to contemporary, strong on Dutch and Flemish, German Romantics, French Impressionists and Expressionism.

Day 6: Speyer, Lorsch, Worms. Speyer, second of the imperial cathedrals, is the burial place of the Salian emperors and the largest of Rhenish Romanesque churches. With its parkland setting, vast vaulted nave and well preserved eastern parts, it is immensely impressive. A precious and beautiful remnant of Carolingian Europe, the gateway of Lorsch Abbey is crudely classicizing. The second of the three ‘imperial’ cathedrals, Worms, was rebuilt in the twelfth century, with an extraordinary late-Romanesque western choir.

Day 4: Cologne, Brühl. Drive upstream from Düsseldorf to Cologne, which under the Romans and during the Middle Ages was the largest city in northern Europe. Its collection of Romanesque churches is without parallel, and we visit one of the grandest, Gross St Martin. The Wallraf Richarz Museum is one of Germany’s finest art galleries, the collections embracing much of western art. Drive out to Brühl and Schloss Augustusburg, a splendid Baroque palace with magnificent gardens. First of two nights in Bonn.

Day 7: Mainz. The busy and picturesque city of Mainz is the site of the third of the imperial cathedrals, elaborate outside (with six towers) and containing jewels of Gothic sculpture. Fly from Frankfurt arriving at London Heathrow c. 7.25pm.

Day 5: Bonn. The day begins with a walking tour of the attractive historic centre (Baroque episcopal palace, Romanesque cloister). ends The Beethoven House, where the composer spent his early years, is one of the best composer museums anywhere. Travel by U-Bahn in the afternoon to the Museums Mile, a string of modern museums including the Kunstmuseum, another fine art collection, especially good for Expressionists. An alternative would be the Haus der Geschichte, an excellent historical museum covering the period after 1945.

Practicalities

7–12 May 2019 (mf 506) 6 days • £2,330 Lecturer: Patrick Bade

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,260 or £2,100 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,500 or £2,340 without flights.

An exceptionally rich seam of art museums – amazing collections stunningly displayed, and galleries largely empty of people.

Included meals: 5 dinners with wine.

Superb German Expressionists, Impressionists, Post-Impressionists, Old Master paintings from all Europe and outstanding decorative arts.

Accommodation. Mondial am Dom, Cologne (mgallery.com): modern hotel located a very short walk from the cathedral and main railway station. Rooms are comfortable and well-equipped. Seehotel, Maria Laach (seehotel-maria-laach. de): quiet and comfortable 4-star hotel next to the secluded monastery. Hotel Domhof, Speyer (domhof.de): small traditional hotel in an old building around a courtyard close to the cathedral­. How strenuous? A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. The tour involves a lot of walking in town centres, where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in museums and churches. There are some long coach journeys; average distance per day: 90 miles. Combine this tour with: Palaces of Piedmont, 4–9 June 2019 (p.118); Connoisseur's Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration, above right: engraving after Stefan Lochner's 'Adoration of the Magi' in Cologne Cathedral.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 Mediaeval Alsace – see page 78

Choice selection of architectural treats, from Romanesque churches to modern museums. The tour can be combined with The J.S. Bach Journey, 13–19 May 2019 (see page 101).

Itinerary Day 1: Düsseldorf. Fly c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Düsseldorf and settle into the hotel. Behind the polished black marble facade of the Nordrhein-Westfalen Gallery, most of the leading European painters of the earlier 20th century are represented by high quality works, a quite remarkable collection as good as any in Europe. First of three nights in Düsseldorf. Day 2: Essen. The wooded valley of the River Ruhr was at the heart of Germany’s industrial revolution, and Essen was its chief city. The cathedral possesses a dazzling medieval treasury, particularly rich in rare 10th and 11th-century bejewelled goldwork, among the best in the world. Since 2010 occupying David Chipperfield’s serene and spacious building, the Museum Folkwang has outstanding collections of Romantics and Expressionists as well as French 19th-century and Post-Impressionist paintings (five Van Goghs). Day 3: Düsseldorf, Wuppertal. A walking tour of Düsseldorf finishes at the Kunstpalast (Palace of the Arts), a cultural forum of the 1920s. The Glass Museum here is one of the finest in the world; the paintings range from mediaeval to modern, with Rubens and the 19th-century Düsseldorf school among the highlights. Another Ruhr excursion,

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,330 or £2,160 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,650 or £2,480 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Steigenberger Parkhotel, Düsseldorf (steigenberger.com): 5-star hotel excellently located next to the Hofgarten and Altstadt; traditional décor with contemporary furnishings. Hotel Königshof, Bonn (ameronhotels.com/en): traditional 4-star hotel overlooking the Rhine. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in historic centres, where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in museums and churches. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time and there is a significant amount of travel by coach (although distances are relatively short). Average distance by coach per day: 25 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: The Johann Sebastian Bach Journey, 13–19 May 2019 (p.101; transfer from Cologne to your festival hotel is included). Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Some of the finest precious metal artefacts to survive from the Middle Ages.

Day 6: Cologne. The second visit to Cologne starts in the Kolumba Museum, an innovatory display of diocesan treasures in a captivating new building by Peter Zumthor. A converted Romanesque church is the setting for the Schnütgen Museum, a large collection of mediaeval sulpture. Cologne Cathedral is one of Europe’s greatest Gothic buildings, and it houses the Adoration tryptych by Stephan Lochner and the Shrine of the Three Kings (c. 1180–1225), the largest reliquary in the world. Fly from Düsseldorf to London City Airport, arriving at c. 6.15pm.


Franconia Art and architecture in Germany’s mediaeval heartland The end of the Middle Ages was artistically one of the most creative in Franconia, with Tilman Riemenschneider and Veit Stoss, perhaps Germany’s greatest sculptors, evoking the fraught spirituality of the age in works of remarkable virtuosity. The Romanesque sculpture in Bamberg’s cathedral is also of the highest importance. The eighteenth century also bequeathed much artistic wealth. The Prince-Bishop’s palace in Würzburg and the pilgrimage church of Vierzehnheiligen (both designed by Balthasar Neumann) are consummate achievements of Baroque and Rococo art and architecture. Moreover, the greatest achievement of eighteenthcentury Venetian painting is here: Tiepolo’s ceiling fresco in the Würzburg Residenz.

Itinerary Day 1: Würzburg. Fly at c. 9.30am from London Heathrow to Frankfurt (Lufthansa). Drive to Würzburg, and check in to the hotel. An afternoon walk to the oldest mediaeval bridge to survive and visit the Marienburg, the formidable fortress dominating the city from across the River Main. Visit the vast museum within, with its sizeable collection of Riemenschneider sculpture. First of two nights in Würzburg.

7–14 September 2019 (mf 677) 8 days • £2,840 Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier A neglected region of southern Germany which has an exceptional heritage of art and architecture, enchanting streetscape and natural beauty.

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Mediaeval art including Romanesque sculpture (the Bamberg Rider) and late mediaeval wood carving by Tilman Riemenschneider. Baroque and Rococo palaces, churches and paintings – including Tiepolo’s masterpiece. Once the very heart of the mediaeval German kingdom, Franconia possesses some of the loveliest towns and villages in Germany, beautiful countryside and a variety of art and architecture of the highest quality. Yet remarkably few Britons find their way here – or could even point to the region on a map. Würzburg, with its vine-clad riverbanks and Baroque palaces, is a delight. The tour stays here for two nights. One of the loveliest and least spoilt of German towns, Bamberg has fine streetscape, riverside walks and picturesque upper town around the Romanesque cathedral. Nuremberg, the home of Dürer, was one of the great cities of the Middle Ages, and its churches and museums are filled with outstanding sculpture and painting. Bayreuth was a centre of Rococo culture and a mecca for Wagnerians. 106

Day 2: Würzburg. The Residenz (Prince-Bishop’s Palace), designed partly by Balthasar Neumann and extended over time, is one of the finest 18thcentury palaces in Europe, with magnificent halls, state apartments, exquisite chapel and ceiling frescoes which are the masterpieces of the Venetian painter Tiepolo. In the afternoon walk around the largely post-war reconstruction of the old centre, with its vast and sombre Romanesque cathedral, delicate Gothic church and flamboyant Baroque churches. Day 3: Creglingen, Rothenburg, Pommersfelden, Bamberg. Drive through gently undulating countryside to the little pilgrimage church near Creglingen; here see The Assumption by Riemenschneider, his finest work. Rothenburgob-der-Tauber is an exceedingly picturesque little town scarcely changed in appearance for hundreds of years; the church of St James has Riemenschneider’s Last Supper. Visit Schloss Weissenstein in Pommersfelden, an early 18thcentury country house with one of the grandest of Baroque staircases. Continue through lovely landscape to Bamberg. First of four nights here. Day 4: Bamberg. Morning walk taking in the riverside town. Visit the Gothic Church of our Lady with its Tintoretto altarpiece and the splendid Romanesque cathedral with some of Germany’s finest mediaeval sculpture, including the Bamberg Rider, a potent image of knightly values. The Diocesan Museum has outstanding mediaeval textiles. In the afternoon visit the Neue Residenz, palace of the Prince-Bishops. Day 5: Bayreuth. All-day excursion. Bayreuth developed as a minor court city in the 18th century, and a varietal of Rococo decoration evolved in the town palace and at the Hermitage, a complex of gardens, palaces and pavilions,

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under the patronage of the Markgraf. Visit Wagner’s Festspielhaus, built to the composer’s specifications on a hill outside the town. Day 6: Coburg, Vierzehnheiligen. At Coburg visit the formidable fortress above the city, now a museum with good paintings and furnishings. Schloss Ehrenburg, in the centre of town was the home of Prince Albert. Across the valley, the pilgrimage church of Vierzehnheiligen by Balthasar Neumann is perhaps the greatest of all Rococo churches. Day 7: Nuremberg. An immensely rich trading and manufacturing city in the Middle Ages, Nuremberg is girt by massive walls and possesses much art and architecture of the 15th and 16th centuries. A walk through the old town includes the church of St Sebaldus, which contains outstanding sculpture by Veit Stoss and others, and the Albrecht Dürer House. St Lorenz is the city’s other great church, and is likewise laden with major artworks including Veit Stoss’s Annunciation (1517/18). Day 8: Nuremberg. Visit the German National Museum, home to the finest collection of German mediaeval and Renaissance art in the country. Fly from Munich, arriving Heathrow at c. 5.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,840 or £2,700 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,120 or £2,980 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Rebstock, Würzburg (rebstock.com): well-located, comfortable 4-star hotel. Hotel Villa Geyerswörth, Bamberg (villageyerswoerth.de): elegant, quiet 4-star hotel, conveniently located close to the old town. Le Méridien Grand Hotel, Nuremberg (lemeridiennuernberg.com): modern 4-star hotel in a late 19th-century building, a 10-minute walk from the centre. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in town centres, where coach access is restricted, and a lot of standing in museums and churches. A good level of fitness is necessary. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. There are several long drives. Average distance by coach per day: 55 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019 (p.50); Dark Age Brilliance, 15–22 September 2019 (p.133). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and travel.

Illustration: Bamberg, Rathaus, watercolour by E. Harrison Compton, publ. 1912.

Music Along the Danube See page 50


King Ludwig II and the Wittelsbach palaces of Bavaria 26–31 August 2019 (mf 663) 6 days • £2,480 Lecturer: Tom Abbott Explore eight royal palaces and castles set against the breathtaking backdrop of Germany’s most beautiful state. Learn about the lives, loves and legacies of King Ludwig II and the House of Wittelsbach, rulers of Bavaria for over 700 years. Art and architecture from the Renaissance through to Late Romanticism, much of it opulent and theatrical. This tour can be combined with Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019 (page 50.)

Day 2: Munich. The Residenz in the centre of the city was the principal Wittelsbach palace and seat of government; a magnificent sprawl of buildings, courtyards, state apartments and museums of every period from Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. There are fine works of art and sumptuous interiors of the highest importance, especially the Rococo interiors and the Cuvilliés Theatre (subject to confirmation as the theatre can close for rehearsals at short notice). Free afternoon. Day 3: Nymphenburg, Linderhof, Murnau. Drive to the city’s outskirts and the palace and park of Nymphenburg, birthplace of Ludwig II. An extensive complex including bathhouses and the Rococo Amalienburg lodge. After lunch drive to Ettal, site of the only one of Ludwig II’s commissioned castles to have been completed. 1870s Linderhof was reputed to have been the King’s favourite castle; it draws, like Herrenchiemsee, on French influences, lavish interiors in Renaissance and Baroque styles, extravagant terrace gardens and Oriental adornments (the Venus grotto is closed for renovations until 2020). First of three nights in Murnau am Staffelsee. Day 4: Hohenschwangau, Neuschwanstein. Drive south to Hohenschwangau castle, site of Ludwig II’s childhood, owned by his parents Maximilian II of Bavaria and Princess Marie of Prussia. Majestic lakeside Alpine location, frescoes featuring medieval Swan-Knight Lohengrin which led to Ludwig II’s obsession with Wagner. Then continue to Neuschwanstein, the famous fairytale turreted castle ordered by Ludwig II in homage to Wagner though never completed.

Day 5: Herrenchiemsee. In the countryside southeast of Munich and surrounded by a park, woodland and a great lake, Schloss Herrenchiemsee is a copy of Versailles. Ludwig II’s megalomaniac hymn of homage to the absolutism of Louis XIV, his final folly, brought the Bavarian state to the brink of bankruptcy. Day 6: Berg, Starnberg. Leave Murnau, drive to Berg and the mock Gothic castle to which Ludwig II retreated from his ministers, and where he was placed under house arrest after his forced abdication in 1886 on grounds of insanity. Lake Starnberg surrounds the castle and is the scene of Ludwig II’s death and that of his doctor, officially by drowning. Visit the Memorial Chapel and have lunch in Starnberg. Fly from Munich, returning to London Heathrow at c. 5.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,480 or £2,310 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,820 or £2,650 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Torbräu, Munich (torbraeu.de): well-located 4-star, traditional in style and décor. Hotel Alpenhof, Murnau (alpenhof-murnau.com): rambling 5-star hotel on the outskirts of Murnau with a country house feel. How strenuous? This is a strenuous tour with long coach journeys and a lot of walking and standing around in the castles and gardens. Average distance by coach per day: 65 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Music Along the Danube, 31 August–7 September 2019 (p.50; a coach transfer to Passau is provided, except for those joining Walking the Danube who fly to Vienna instead – additional cost: £100 per person).

Illustration: Linderhof, wood engraving from 'The Magazine of Art', 1887.

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Germany’s large and beautiful south-eastern state of Bavaria is an established destination for Martin Randall Travel, with a number of tours over the years dedicated to a variety of themes. This tour has a different focus, that of the legendary ‘Swan King’ Ludwig II and the House of Wittelsbach from which he hailed, and his extraordinary architectural and cultural legacy. Architecturally and artistically, the tour encompasses outstanding examples of Renaissance, Baroque, Rococo, Neo-Classical and Romantic styles as well as Ludwig’s fairytale follies. Historically it examines the eccentric world of one of Europe’s most controversial monarchs and the story of what, until German unification, counted as one of the continent’s most important little states. It is true that Ludwig II’s predilection for aesthetic absorption over political and legal leadership gained him fierce opposition and criticism, but this handsome young king and his elaborate castles are responsible for a considerable proportion of Bavaria’s appeal today. Ironically, the dream world into which the sovereign retreated in order to escape the responsibilities of state now benefits Ludwig’s former kingdom in a way it never did when he inhabited it. Was he, to quote one of his more defamatory labels, insane? Or simply weak, of solitary disposition, and therefore tragically unsuited to the role imposed upon him at a time of Bavaria’s considerable political fragility and conflict with Prussia, Austria and France? Once deposed in 1886, what was the cause of his untimely death? Was it suicide, or did it take place at the hand of murderous detractors? Or was it mere accident? Was he an impotent and irresponsible sybarite or a luminous benefactor of the arts?

Rococo period. There is a gallery of Baroque art, sculpted stucco of exceptional quality in the state apartments, Hofgarten (Court Garden) and a collection of Meissen porcelain in Schloss Lustheim. First of two nights in Munich.

Itinerary Day 1: Schleissheim, Munich. Fly at c. 9.00am from London Heathrow to Munich (British Airways). Between airport and city, the palace and garden at Schleissheim form a rare ensemble of Baroque taste from an early 17th-century retreat, through the 1684 Lustheim pavilion at the far end of a canal of absolutist straightness, to the magnificent Neues Schloss, begun 1701 but whose progress continued haltingly into the Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Opera in Munich & Bregenz Puccini, Handel, Wagner, Verdi 28 July–3 August 2019 (mf 637) 7 days • £3,860 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturer: Patrick Bade Four opera productions – La Fanciulla del West, Agrippina, Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Munich) and Rigoletto (Bregenz). The Nationaltheater in Munich is one of the world’s most dependable houses, and the Prinzregententheater has Jugendstil charm. The city is the most enjoyable in Germany, and walks and visits are led by the lecturer who is an art and opera historian. Bregenz offers the most spectacular productions of any open-air festival, with a lakeside setting to match.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm from London Heathrow to Munich. Tour the city by coach to see much of the best of Munich’s historic architecture: NeoClassical Königsplatz, historicist Ludwigstrasse, Jugendstil houses and the modern Gasteig Arts Centre. The first of four nights in Munich. Day 2: Munich. After the daily talk, there is a walk to see more of the city’s treasures, including the vast Gothic cathedral and the Asamkirche, a Baroque masterpiece. Free time in the afternoon.

At the Nationaltheater: La Fanciulla del West (Puccini). James Gaffigan (conductor), Andreas Dresen (director), Anja Kampe (Minnie), John Lundgren (Jack Rance), Brandon Jovanovich (Dick Johnson), Kevin Conners (Nick), Alexander Milev (Ashby), Tim Kuypers (Sonora), Manuel Günther (Trin), Bálint Szabó (Sid), Milan Siljanov (Bello), Galeano Salas (Harry), Freddie De Tommaso (Joe), Christian Rieger (Happy), Andrea Borghini (Larkens), Oleg Davydov (Billy Jackrabbit), Noa Beinart (Wowkle), Sean Michael Plumb (Jake Wallace), Oğulcan Yılmaz (José Castro). Day 3: Munich. Drive out to Nymphenburg, summer retreat of the ruling Wittelsbachs. Set in an extensive park, there is a spreading Baroque palace and several delightful garden pavilions, the apogee of Rococo. Free time in the afternoon, opportunity to visit more of Munich’s many outstanding art collections. At the Prinzregententheater: Agrippina (Handel). Ivor Bolton (conductor), Barrie Kosky (director), Gianluca Buratto (Claudio), Alice Coote (Agrippina), Franco Fagioli (Nerone), Elsa Benoit (Poppea), Iestyn Davies (Ottone), Andrea Mastroni (Pallante), Eric Jurenas (Narciso), Katarina Bradić (Giunone). Day 4: Munich. In the morning a second walking tour which culminates in a visit to the Alte Pinakothek, one of the world’s greatest Old Master galleries. The afternoon is again free, though a visit to the Residenz with its exquisite Rococo Theatre by Cuvilliés is recommended.

At the Nationaltheater: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner). Kirill Petrenko (conductor), David Bösch (director), Sara Jakubiak (Eva), Okka von der Damerau (Magdalena), Jonas Kaufmann (Walther von Stolzing), Allan Clayton (David), Wolfgang Koch (Hans Sachs), Christof Fischesser (Veit Pogner), Martin Gantner (Sixtus Beckmesser), Kevin Conners (Kunz Vogelgesang), Christian Rieger (Konrad Nachtigall), Michael KupferRadecky (Fritz Kothner), Ulrich Reß (Balthasar Zorn), Dean Power (Ulrich Eißlinger), Thorsten Scharnke (Augustin Moser), Levente Páll (Hermann Ortel), Peter Lobert (Hans Schwarz), Kristof Klorek (Hans Foltz). Day 5: Ottobeuren, Bregenz. Leave Munich and journey by coach through the lovely landscape of Upper Bavaria, skirting the Alpine foothills before entering the Vorarlberg region of Austria. Break the journey at the little town of Ottobeuren to see the magnificent monastery, whose church is one of the greatest achievements of German Baroque. Arrive in Lochau, (4 km from the centre of Bregenz) where two nights are spent. Day 6: Bregenz. Strung out along the edge of Lake Constance, Bregenz is the attractive little capital of the Vorarlberg, the western-most province of Austria. A guided walking tour in the morning begins in the historic Upper Town and then descends to the lake and the museum. The afternoon is free. At the Seebühne, the open-air opera house with a stage on the lake and with seats from which hills in three countries can be seen: Rigoletto (Verdi) – cast to be confirmed. Day 7: Zurich to London. Drive to Zurich and fly to Heathrow, arriving at c. 2.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,860 or £3,710 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,370 or £4,220 without flights. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine.

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Music: tickets (top category) for 4 operas are included, costing c. £860. In the event of bad weather in Bregenz, the performance will take place indoors in a nearby theatre. Accommodation. Platzl Hotel, Munich (platzl. de): 4-star hotel located in the heart of the old city, a 5-minute walk from the opera house. See Hotel am Kaiserstrand, Lochau (seehotel-kaiserstrand. com): spacious 4-star hotel on the shores of Lake Constance, 4 km from the centre of Bregenz, and a short boat journey to the Festival stage. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in the town centres where vehicular access is restricted, and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair–climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 37 miles, primarily on 3 days of the tour. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: Munich, Cuvilliés theatre (note: not the location of any of the tour performances, but possible to visit independently), wood engraving c. 1880.

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Classical Greece The Peloponnese, Attica and Athens 4–13 May 2019 (mf 550) 10 days • £3,410 Lecturer: Professor Antony Spawforth 21–30 September 2019 (mf 734) 10 days • £3,410 Lecturer: Dr Andrew Farrington A comprehensive survey of the principal Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic sites in mainland Greece. Highlights include Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi. The lecturers both have expert knowledge of ancient Greece. In Athens, a full day on the Acropolis and in the ancient Agora.

Illustration: Temple of Corinth, copper engraving c. 1750.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly early afternoon from London Heathrow to Athens. The little port of Nauplion is one of the most attractive towns in mainland Greece; arrive in time for dinner. First of three nights here. Day 2: Nauplion, Tiryns, Mycenae. Today’s theme is the Mycenaean civilisation of the Argolid Plain, the Greece of Homer’s heroes (16th–13th centuries bc). Visit Tiryns, a citadel with massive Cyclopean walls of enormous blocks of masonry, and Mycenae, reputedly Agamemnon’s capital, with Treasury of Atreus (finest of beehive tombs) and Acropolis (Lion Gate). Day 3: Corinth, Epidauros. The site of Ancient Corinth has the earliest standing Doric temple on mainland Greece, and a fine museum with evidence of Greece’s first large-scale pottery industry. Epidauros, centre for the worship of Asclepios, god of medicine, where popular magical dream cures were dispensed, includes the bestpreserved of all Greek theatres. Day 4: Arcadia, Bassae. There are spectacular views of Nauplion from the 18th-century Venetian Fortress of Palamidi. Drive across the middle of the Peloponnese, through the beautiful plateau of Arcadia and past impressive mountain scenery. A stunning road leads to the innovatory and well-preserved 5th-century Temple of Apollo (in a tent for protection) on the mountain top at Bassae (3,700 feet) and through further breathtaking scenery to Olympia. Overnight Olympia.

Day 5: Olympia. Nestling in a verdant valley, Olympia is one of the most evocative of ancient sites; never a town, but the principal sanctuary of Zeus and site of the quadrennial pan-Hellenic athletics competitions. Many fascinating structures remain, including the temples of Hera and Zeus, the workshop of Phidias and the stadium. The museum contains fragments of pediment sculpture, among the most important survivals of Classical Greek art. First of two nights in Delphi. Day 6: Delphi. Clinging to the lower slopes of Mount Parnassos, Delphi is the most spectacularly evocative of ancient Greek sites. Of incalculable religious and political importance, the Delphic oracle attracted pilgrims from all over the Hellenic world. The Sanctuary of Pythian Apollo has a theatre and Athenian Treasury, and the Sanctuary of Athena has a circular temple. The museum is especially rich in Archaic sculpture. Some free time amidst the austere beauty of the valley. Day 7: Hosios Loukas, Athens. Visit the Byzantine monastery of Hosios Loukas in a beautiful setting in a remote valley, one of the finest buildings of mediaeval Greece with remarkable mosaics. The Agora (market place) was the centre of civic life in ancient Athens, with the small Doric Hephaisteion, the best-preserved of Greek temples. First of three nights in Athens. Day 8: Athens. The Acropolis is the foremost site of Classical Greece. The Parthenon (built 447–438 bc) is indubitably the supreme achievement Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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The Ancient Greeks had far greater influence on western civilisation than any other people or nation. For two and a half millennia, philosophy and ethics, the fundamentals of science and mathematics, prevailing notions of government and citizenship, literature and the visual arts have derived their seeds, and a large amount of their substance, from the Greeks. In the words of H.D.F. Kitto ‘there gradually emerged a people not very numerous, not very powerful, not very well organized, who had a totally new conception of what human life was for, and showed for the first time what the human mind was for.’ Whatever the depth of our Classical education, there is a deep-seated sense in all of us that the places visited on this tour are of the greatest significance for our identity and way of life. A journey to Greece is like a journey to our homeland, a voyage in which a search for our roots is fulfilled. In no field is the Greek contribution to the modern world more immediately evident than in architecture. The grip upon the imagination that the Greek temple has exerted is astonishing, and in one way or another – ranging from straightforward imitation of the whole to decorative use of distorted details – has dominated nearly all monumental or aspirational building ever since. A striking and salutary conclusion, however, which inevitably emerges from participation on this tour, is that the originals are unquestionably superior. This is also true of sculpture. This tour includes nearly all of the most important archaeological sites, architectural remains ­and museums of antiquities on mainland Greece. It presents a complete picture of ancient Greek civilisation beginning with the Mycenaeans, the Greek Bronze Age, and continuing through Archaic, Classical and, to a lesser extent, Hellenistic and Roman Greece. It also provides a glimpse of the spiritual splendour of Byzantine art and architecture. It is a full itinerary, but the pace is manageable. Plenty of time is available on the sites and in the museums, allowing opportunity both for adequate exposition by the lecturer and time for further exploration on your own.


Classical Greece continued

Gastronomic Crete Ambrosia and díaita, from land to table

of Greek architecture. Other architectural masterpieces are the Propylaia (monumental gateway), Temple of Athena Nike and the Erechtheion. At the Theatre of Dionysos plays by Aeschylus, Sophocles and Euripides were first performed. The new Acropolis museum has superb Archaic and Classical sculpture, including some by Phidias and his assistants. Day 9: Athens. The refurbished National Archaeological Museum has the finest collection of Greek art and artefacts to be found anywhere. The vast Corinthian Temple of Olympian Zeus was completed by Hadrian 700 years after its inception. Kerameikos Cemetery was where Athenians were buried beyond the ancient city walls. Some free time. Day 10: Athens. Drive to the Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, overlooking the sea at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula, visited by Byron in 1810. Fly from Athens, arriving Heathrow at c. 3.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,410 or £3,230 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,770 or £3,590 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 7 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Ippoliti, Nauplion (ippoliti.gr): small, comfortable hotel in a converted 19th-century mansion situated close to the harbour. Hotel Europa, Olympia (hoteleuropa.gr): characterful hotel outside the town. Hotel Amalia, Delphi (amaliahoteldelphi. gr): modern hotel, a short coach ride from the archaeological site. Electra Palace Hotel, Athens (electrahotels.gr): smart hotel near the picturesque Plaka quarter. How strenuous? A long tour with three hotel changes and some long journeys. You will be on your feet for long stretches of time, in some cases on exposed sites and walking over rough terrain; sure-footedness and agility are essential. Average distance by coach per day: 75 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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In May, combine this tour with: In Search of Alexander, 14–20 May 2019 (p.113); Roman Southern Britain, 14–21 May 2019 (p.16); Walking Hadrian's Wall, 14–20 May 2019 (p.18). Or in September: Ancient Egypt at the British Museum, 20 September 2019; Palladian Villas, 1–6 October 2019 (p.124); Albania: Crossroads of Antiquity, 2–11 October 2019 (p.46). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and travel.

29 September–7 October 2019 (mf 767) 9 days • £3,530 Lecturer: Rosemary Barron A tour celebrating Cretan gastronomy, from ancient to modern, country simplicity to epicurean sophistication. Feast in the mountain foothills, taste wine at a vineyard overlooking ancient Gortyn and meet restaurateurs championing new Cretan cooking. Visit some of the archaeological highlights of the island with a local guide.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267 110

Gastronomically-speaking, the Greek island of Crete is a place like no other. The Greek word gastronomia, the art and science of good eating and drinking, has its roots in Linear B, the language of the Minoans. With their knowledge of the natural world and their advanced farming and artistic skills, these early Cretans and their diet, or díaita (Greek, meaning ‘way of life’), became a source of myth and legend for the classical Greeks.

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Crete’s honeys, herbs, olive oil, fruits, cheeses and wines were renowned, and traded, throughout the empire – North Africa, Sicily, Asia Minor – in Byzantine and Ottoman Constantinople, and medieval Venice. Five hundred years later, Cretans are still celebrating their magnificent foods and we are beginning to understand the true meanings of gastronomy and diet. Surrounded by coral seas rich in maritime life, and endowed with snow-capped mountains and natural springs, Crete has fabulous sea food and more indigenous plants than any other European island. Today, herb-covered foothills, olive groves and ancient terraced hillsides covered in vines define the landscape just as they did in the past. Carob trees offer summer shade (and ‘chocolate’ and syrup in the kitchen) and abundant almond blossom promises luscious, honey-soaked nut cakes and pastries. There is no gentle pasture here, nor spare grain; livestock and Cretans alike forage for wild greens (horta), herbs and fruits. These nutrient-dense plants provide rich grazing for the sheep and goats whose milk, in turn, makes exquisite fresh cheeses


'Rosemary was a wonderful lecturer. She is warm and has a great sense of humour, definitely knows her Cretan cuisine, was highly informative and above all, clearly loves Crete, its people, its traditions and food.' G.W., participant on Gastronomic Crete in 2018.

– myzithra, anthotyro – aged graviera (mountain sheep cheese), the best yogurt made anywhere, fine-flavoured meats and game and memorable glyko tou koutaliou – ‘spoon sweets’ of cherries, citrus blossom, quince or tiny figs. The supreme quality of Cretan olive oil is well-known to connoisseurs, so too is the sweet richness of the island’s thyme honey and sunkissed sultanas and raisins. Curious wine-lovers are in for a treat. Grape varietals in Crete date back to antiquity, and we shall be tasting the finest. A new generation of wine-makers is bringing alive the old flavours, including Cretan malmsey, the favourite tipple of Shakespearean England. As we travel from Heraklion south, through the central mountains, then west to Chania, we shall meet many Cretans – home-cooks, wine producers, bakers and farmers, visit street markets, kafenio (cafés serving coffee the traditional way), tavernas – dedicated to fish, meats, mezes or grills – and restaurants using local ingredients that would make any chef elsewhere envious. Cretan hospitality is reflected on the table and there will be a lot of food! Meanwhile, the renowned sites of Knossos and Phaestos provide the focus for appreciating the significance and legacy of Minoan civilisation. Immersion in Crete’s unique historical and modern traditions, brings home a deeper understanding of how and where history and gastronomy, diet and culture meet.

Itinerary Day 1: Heraklion. Fly at c.12.15pm from London Heathrow to Heraklion via Athens (Aegean Airlines). Arrive at the hotel in time for a meze supper. First of three nights in Heraklion.

Day 3: Heraklion. Explore Heraklion market on foot. At its heart, a family bakery has deep roots in the Cretan baking tradition. The superb Archaeology Museum, has an exceptional collection of Minoan artefacts. An olive oil tasting precedes dinner at Peskesi, a restaurant specialising in modern Cretan cooking. Final night Heraklion. Day 4: Heraklion to Zaros. Heading southwest into the glorious rural hinterland, visit a sophisticated, family-owned winery cultivating island grape varietals. In contrast, the hospitable and sometimes boisterous inhabitants of the mountain settlement of Zaros welcome us into the fold, affording an insight into Cretan village life today. The next two nights are spent here. Day 5: Zaros, Phaestos. Phaestos is the second largest Minoan palace and its setting is perhaps the most evocative. After a coastal lunch, sample more

Practicalities

Day 6: Zaros, Chania. Cross the Psiloritis mountains to Chania. In the Venetian harbour town, we bring together myriad threads of the Cretan food story while surrounded by a vibrant past. The Minoan remains of Kastelli lie under the Venetian walls embedded with re-used Greek columns. Down by the harbour are both the Turkish mosque and the synagogue. We focus on Crete’s gastronomic life in Venetian and Byzantine times. First of three nights in Chania.

Included meals: 5 lunches, 7 dinners, with wine.

Day 7: Chania. Start with a visit to the market and an opportunity to explore the specialist foods shops and local delicacies to be found in the small streets and alleys around the harbour. Free time to continue at leisure, or to visit one of the numerous museums (these include archaeology, Byzantine and Maritime histories). Day 8: Chania. Etz Hayyim Synagogue is a fitting location in which to discuss the history of Jews in Crete, as well as the Jewish/Cretan dishes for which its former spiritual director Nikos Stavroulakis was well known. A seaside lunch of local specialities precedes a visit to a familyowned olive mill producing organic olive oil using millstones and presses. Our final appointment is dinner at a pioneering restaurant near Souda Bay.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,530 or £3,090 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,730 or £3,290 without flights. Accommodation. Lato Boutique Hotel, Heraklion (lato.gr): family-run 3-star hotel in a backstreet close to the Venetian port, mildly quirky modernist décor, rooms well-appointed. Hotel Keramos, Zaros: family-run rural guest house with few pretensions in a busy working village. If you prize luxury over authenticity, this tour is not for you. Rooms are spacious but décor old fashioned, showers not baths, no toiletries, good wifi. Kydon Hotel, Chania (kydon-hotel. com): 4-star hotel, spacious rooms, well situated close to the old town and port. How strenuous? There is a fair amount of standing and walking on this tour. Meals can be long and large and so expect some late nights. If you have dietary requirements it is advisable to contact us before booking. Average coach travel per day: 38 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Food & Wine Archaeology, 24–27 September 2019 (p.154). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Day 9. Fly to London Heathrow via Athens arriving c.3.30pm. The opening of sites on Crete can be influenced by local or national politics at the time of the tour. This may mean that at short notice not all sites listed can be visited.

Illustration, centre: Cretan backstreet (exact location unknown), etching; above: Crete, wood engraving c. 1890.

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Day 2: Heraklion, Knossos. After an introduction to Cretan gastronomy, we drive inland to a country homestead. Pies, from tiny parcels to the magnificently huge, and stuffed with savoury or sweet fillings, are a feature of Cretan cuisine. A fine, local cook demonstrates her pie-making skills, before entertaining us to lunch at her home. Return to Heraklion via Knossos. The excavations and reconstructions at the former capital of Minoan Crete enrich our understanding of early civilisation and Cretan díaita.

native varietal wines at a beautifully-sited winery on the rocky, calciferous slopes of Orthi Petri. Overlooking parts of ancient Gortyn, organicallycultivated grapes are grown here at an altitude of 500m. Overnight Zaros.


Minoan Crete History and archaeology 18–27 March 2019 (mf 450) 10 days • £3,130 Lecturer: Dr Alan Peatfield Concentrates on the extraordinary civilisation of the Minoans, but also pays due attention to Classical and later cultures.

Mycenaean, Hellenistic, Classical Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish domination followed. The books written on the island’s Second World War history alone fill a bookshelf. And yet throughout these millennia of foreign occupation and domination, Crete remained strong and proud and retained its own unique and captivating character.

Plenty of time for Knossos and the main sites, but also many remote and little-visited ones.

Itinerary

Wonderful, contrasting landscapes at a beautiful time in the island’s calendar.

Day 1. Fly at c. 12.15pm from London Heathrow to Heraklion via Athens (Aegean Airlines). First of four nights in Heraklion.

‘Land of contrasts’ is the king of clichés, but for Crete it is difficult to avoid, not only because of the variety of natural environments but also because of the influence these have had on the built environment and the history of the island. The contrasts in the landscape, vegetation and people are dramatic. Crete has its ‘deserts and jungles, its arctic and its tropics’. The high mountains and upland plains are bleak and remote; the gorges in the highly erosive limestone are lush. The west provides a retreat from the more developed stretch of north coast between Heraklion and Agios Nikolaos. The south is difficult of access, scored by gorges and with the Asterousia mountains dropping sharply to the sea. The Sphakia region further west on the south coast is one of the most culturally distinct regions. Lying between Europe, Africa and the Near East, variety also marks the island’s cultural legacy. The tour will focus primarily on the Bronze Age civilisation of the Minoans, the first great palace civilisation of Europe, which flourished in the second millennium bc. Wonderfully expressive, the art and influence of the Minoans spread throughout Greece, Egypt and the Near East. Pottery, sealstones, frescoes and architecture reached peaks of excellence unforeseen in the prehistoric Aegean.

Day 2: Knossos, Heraklion. The capital of Minoan Crete and centre of the Bronze Age Aegean, Knossos is shrouded in myth both ancient and modern. At its peak it comprised a magnificent palace with courts, religious buildings and mansions. Excavated by Sir Arthur Evans at the turn of the century, his reconstructions not only protect the excavated remains but grandly illustrate the splendour of palatial civilisation. Visit the Archaeological Museum which houses the island’s largest collection of Minoan art. Overnight Heraklion. Day 3: Gortyn, Phaestos, Agia Triada, Matala. A day in the Mesara, a rich agricultural plain along the south coast. Gortyn was the Roman capital of Crete; a famous 5th-century bc inscription has details of Greek law. On a ridge Phaestos is the second largest Minoan palace. Agia Triada, interpreted as the summer resort for Phaestos, has beautifully sited and architecturally elaborate villas. Visit the charming town of Matala, a harbour of Roman Gortyn, with rock-cut tombs in a cliff nearby. Overnight Heraklion. Day 4: Arhanes, Heraklion. Another pretty town, Arhanes possesses remarkable archaeological remains and one of the best excavated cemeteries on Crete, Phourni (this is a closed site and

permission for access can be withdrawn). The town also has a beautiful museum. Some free time in Heraklion. Overnight Heraklion. Day 5: Malia, Agios Nikolaos, Gournia. At Malia visit the Minoan Palace and houses belonging to the Minoan town. The Archaeological Museum at Agios Nikolaos houses a fine collection of Minoan art. The largest excavated Minoan town, Gournia’s over seventy cramped houses lie dotted about the hillside with a mini-palace at the top. First of three nights in Sitia. Day 6: Sitia, Toplou, Zákros. The museum at Sitia has a good collection of artefacts from eastern sites of the island. Positioned in the barren low hills of east Crete, Toplou monastery has a history of fierce resistance to the island’s various invaders. Káto Zákros, at the foot of the Gorge of the Dead, is an excavated Minoan palace. Overnight Sitia. Day 7: Agia Photia. Visit Agia Photia, a collection of early Bronze Age sites including a cemetery and a small settlement. Overnight Sitia. Day 8: Knossos, Chania. Second visit to Knossos and a private visit of outer-lying buildings. Drive to Chania, the spiritual capital of Crete, a beautiful town with delightful restaurants and good craft shops. First of two nights in Chania. Day 9: Aptera, Chania. One of the most powerful Graeco-Roman city states, Aptera is a huge site with Roman ruins, a theatre and a Turkish fort. See the British war cemetery at Souda Bay. Moni Agias Triadas on the Akrotiri peninsula above Chania was founded in 1630 by Venetian nobles and has some of the finest monastic architecture on the island. Overnight Chania. Day 10. Fly to London Heathrow via Athens, arriving c. 3.30pm. The opening of sites on Crete is arbitrary and can be influenced by the politics at the time of the tour. This may mean that at short notice not all sites listed can be visited.

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,130 or £2,830 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,350 or £3,050 without flights. Included meals: 5 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Lato Boutique Hotel, Heraklion (lato.gr): family-run 3-star hotel with small but well-appointed rooms. Good location by the Venetian port. Sitia Beach Hotel, Sitia (sitiabeach.com): large, 4-star resort hotel on the edge of the town. Kydon Hotel, Chania (kydonhotel.com): 4-star hotel well located close to the old town and port. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and scrambling over archaeological sites and this tour is not suitable for anyone who is not sure-footed. Average distance by coach per day: 56 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Illustration: Bull's head from Knossos, after a drawing by John Duncan ARSA, publ. 1917.

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In Search of Alexander Classical sites in northern Greece 14–20 May 2019 (mf 534) 7 days • £2,670 Lecturer: Professor Antony Spawforth Classical, Hellenistic and Roman archaeology, architecture and art in the ancestral home of Alexander the Great. The history of ancient Macedonia and the rule of the great Temenid kings. Fertile pastures and mountainous landscapes in a culturally rich, little-visited part of Greece.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.00am from London Gatwick to Thessaloniki (British Airways). From there drive eastwards via the newly constructed Egnatia motorway to the harbour town of Kavala. First of two nights in Kavala. Day 2: Thasos, Kavala. Reached by ferry, Thasos is a very attractive island, rugged and densely forested. The remains of the ancient city include one of the best-preserved agora complexes in Greece. The old part of Kavala, crowned by a Byzantine castle, sits on a promontory above the port joined to hills behind by a massive Ottoman aqueduct. Overnight Kavala. Day 3: Philippi, Amphipolis. Philippi is known for the battles in 42 bc that led to the victory of Octavian and Antony over Brutus and Cassius, and as the place where St Paul established the first

Christian community in Europe. Striking ruins of a theatre, forum and Early Christian basilicas are situated in an attractive valley. Amphipolis was an important and prosperous city from its founding as an Athenian colony in 437 bc until its demise in the 8th–9th centuries. The Hellenistic gymnasium is the best preserved in Greece. First of five nights in Thessaloniki. Day 4: Thessaloniki. Start the day with a walk in the upper town along the ramparts, the Vlattadon Monastery and the little church of Hosios David with its early-Byzantine mosaics. The Archaeological Museum is an excellent, extensive and well presented collection. Free afternoon or an optional visit to three great Byzantine churches. Overnight Thessaloniki. Day 5: Pella, Lefkadia, Vergina. Pella was the luxurious capital of Macedonia, birthplace of Philip II and his son Alexander the Great. The extensive but only partly excavated site has outstanding floor mosaics, and there are excellent finds in the attractive new museum. A Macedonian tomb at Lefkadia has rare, highquality paintings. Vergina is the site of the tombs of Philip II and members of his family. Only fairly recently discovered, the astonishing grave goods are among the finest survivals from the ancient world. Overnight Thessaloniki. Day 6: Olynthos. The most important of the Greek settlements on the fertile peninsula of Chalkidiki, Olynthos never recovered after destruction by Philip II (348 bc). The ruins, set in rolling farmland, provide the best evidence of Greek town-planning and a chance to walk residential streets of a Classical Greek city. Back in Thessaloniki, most of the significant Roman remains date to the city’s time as an Imperial

capital under Emperor Galerius (ad 305–311): parts of his palace, the Arch of Galerius and the impressive bulk of the Rotonda, which was probably built as his mausoleum. The awardingwinning Museum of Byzantine Culture displays artworks and artefacts dating from the 2nd to the 20th centuries. Overnight Thessaloniki. Day 7: Thessaloniki. Free morning. Drive from here to the airport and return to Gatwick c. 2.20pm (British Airways).

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,670 or £2,360 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,010 or £2,700 without flights. Included meals: 5 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Egnatia Hotel, Kavala (egnatiahotel.gr): modern hotel, well located with fine views. Electra Palace Hotel, Thessaloniki (electrahotels.gr): traditional 5-star hotel with views of Aristotelous Square and the Mediterranean. How strenuous? You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time in some cases on exposed sites and walking over rough terrain. Sure-footedness and agility are essential. Average distance by coach per day: 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Classical Greece, 4–13 May 2019 (p.109); Tudor England, 8–13 May 2019 (p.26). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Thessaloniki, wood engraving c. 1880.

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To many Classical Greeks the Macedonians were barbarians. Hailing from beyond Mount Olympos, they had only relatively recently abandoned nomadism for settled agriculture and life in cities, and they persisted with the system of hereditary kingship that city-state Greeks considered politically primitive. But military monarchy served the Macedonians well. In three dramatic decades that changed the ancient world, Philip II subdued most of the southern Balkans, followed by his son, Alexander the Great, legendary conqueror of the East. Meanwhile, mainstream Greece had gained several footholds on the islands and coastline in order to exploit the region’s rich natural resources, before these settlements succumbed to the Macedonians in the fourth century bc. After Alexander, Macedonian kings based at Pella maintained a flourishing kingdom until they were toppled by the legions in the second century bc, when the whole area became part of the Roman Empire. Athenian snobbishness notwithstanding, the Macedonians embraced Greek culture (Euripides and Aristotle, among others, graced the royal court). The treasures from the Royal Tombs at Vergina and elsewhere are among the most accomplished and beautiful artefacts to have survived from the ancient world. Macedonia flourished under the Pax Romana, with important centres at Philippi and Thessalonica (Salonica). This last went on to become a cultural and religious bastion of the mediaeval Byzantine empire, second only to Constantinople itself.


Iceland’s Story Natural marvels, saints and sagas

15–22 May 2019 (mf 536) 8 days • £3,440 Lecturer: Dr Siân Grønlie Geographical drama, variety and spectacle in volcanic landscapes, from the Golden Circle to the west coast. Iceland’s history, explored through the scenery, sagas and the manuscripts that recorded them. Traverse the majestic Snæfellsnes peninsula, a setting of Jules Verne’s Journey to the Centre of the Earth. Time to explore Reykjavík’s museums, galleries and its architectural daring.

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‘Here let the citizen, then, find natural marvels... the student of prose and conduct places to visit, / the site of a church where a bishop was put in a bag, / the bath of a great historian, the fort where / an outlaw dreaded the dark, / remember the doomed man thrown by his horse and crying / Beautiful is the hillside...’ Figures from the past are part of the landscape and intrigue of Iceland. Immortalised in the mediaeval sagas, they also live on in place-names and landmarks that have inspired literary and artistic figures for centuries. The lines above, from W. H. Auden’s ‘Journey to Iceland’, appeared in Letters From Iceland, the collection of poetry and prose that Auden published with Louis MacNeice after the pair visited in 1936. William Morris was an earlier ‘saga pilgrim’, while Jules Verne eternally popularised the formidable glacier-capped mountain Snæfellsjökull on the Snæfellsnes peninsula, when he imagined it as the site of a hidden passage to the centre of the earth in his famous 1864 novel. Recorded anonymously, in the thirteenth and fourteenth centuries, the sagas are foundation legends that describe how Iceland was settled from mainland Scandinavia – in some cases via Norse settlements in the British Isles from ad 871. 114

Iceland had no monarchy or aristocracy until it came under Norwegian rule in the 1260s. Instead, the sagas are inhabited with warrior-farmers and chieftains, influential women, martial champions, poets, outlaws and the walking dead. The real and half-real people and quasihistorical events they depict reflect the challenges of creating a new society in a previously unoccupied and hostile environment. This was a world characterised by violent and sometimes deadly disputes over honour and natural resources, but one that was also swiftly regulated – to a greater or lesser degree – by the laws adopted by the early republic. Running through the sagas and integral to the tour, is the remarkable story of Icelandic Christianisation. The clash between ancient beliefs and the new religion in tenth-century Iceland has parallels elsewhere in the Viking world but the resolution adopted in Iceland was unique, and sheds light on many aspects of early Icelandic culture, society and law. Iceland’s landscapes remain much more than a mere backdrop to the saga action. Exploring these phenomenal feats of nature is a powerful, even emotional experience. Nearly 30 years after his first visit, Auden wrote: ‘In my childhood dreams Iceland was holy ground; when, at the age of twenty-nine, I saw it for the first time, the reality verified my dream; at fifty-seven it was holy ground still, with the most magical light of anywhere on earth.’

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 1.10pm (Icelandair) from London Heathrow to Keflavík International Airport. An introductory evening lecture precedes dinner at the hotel. First of three nights in Reykjavík. Day 2: Reykjavík. A morning walking tour of the city’s architectural highlights with a local guide including Hallgrímskirkja (Hallgrímur’s church) and the Harpa Concert Hall. An afternoon visit to Safnahúsið (Culture House), the original home

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of the National Library and Archives of Iceland. The exhibition Sjónarhorn presents examples of Icelandic visual art from the earliest times to the present, and includes a selection of mediaeval and post-mediaeval Icelandic manuscripts. Day 3: Golden Circle, Reykjavík. An all-day excursion to visit the classic sites of Geysir, a geothermal attraction since the early 19th century, spectacular Gullfoss (Golden Waterfall), and Þingvellir (Assembly Plains) the astonishing site of Iceland’s early parliament. Stop at Skálholt, which became an important centre of learning and manuscript production after the first Icelandic bishopric was established there in 1056. Final night in Reykjavík. Day 4: Reykjavík to Stykkishólmur. At the Reykjavík 871 +/-2 Museum, see the excavated remains of a Viking longhouse. The National Museum gives a good overview of the history of the country from settlement to the present. Our route to the west runs beneath the Hvalfjörður fjord and follows the coast. Helgafell, on the northern shore of the Snæfellsnes peninsula, was home to the chieftain Snorri goði, who features in several sagas, and to Guðrún Ósvífursdóttir, heroine of the romantic Laxdæla saga. An Augustinian monastery also stood here from the 1180s until the Reformation. Overnight Stykkishólmur. Day 5: Stykkishólmur, Snæfellsjökull, Hellnar, Arnarstapi, Búðir. Stykkishólmur has been an important centre of commerce in the west of the country since the 19th century. Today’s route circumnavigates the Snæfellsjökull glacier. Setting for the Bárðar saga Snæfellsáss, the Snæfellsnes peninsula is famous for its dramatic coastal scenery. Búðir, where our hotel stands in the midst of a lava-field, was another trading post and fishing site until the early 20th century. Day 6: Búðir to Húsafell. The museum at Borgarnes, with its exhibits on the settlement of Iceland, is one of several sites around the town to highlight Egil’s saga, a narrative


Caravaggio From Lombardy to Naples, via Rome chronicling the 9th-century farmer and warriorpoet: the burial mound of Egil’s father and son is situated in a small memorial garden near the museum. En route to Húsafell, subterranean water emerges mysteriously from beneath the surface of the plain into the Hvítá river at Hraunfossar, an extraordinary lava fall. First of two nights in Húsafell.

25 March–1 April 2019 (mf 465) Very few spaces remaining 8 days • £3,730 Lecturer: Dr Xavier Bray

Day 7: Húsafell, Reykholt. There is much to explore at Húsafell, including the work of the contemporary sculptor and artist Páll Guðmundsson. Eastwards, the fringes of the central highlands are lava fields and woodland, beyond; the glaciers of Langjökull and Eiríksjökull. At Reykholt, visit the exhibition dedicated to Snorri Sturluson (d. 1241), the famous mediaeval chieftain-historian, and his role in 13thcentury politics and culture. Remains from his time include Snorralaug (the hot pool), in which he is said to have bathed, an underground tunnel and the foundations of a mediaeval farmstead and hall. There is evidence of early Christian settlement here and today, a striking modern church sits beside its 19th-century timber forerunner.

Unhurried appreciation of the finest painter of the Italian Baroque, in the company of art historian Xavier Bray, director of the Wallace Collection in London.

Day 8: Húsafell. Drive to Reykjavík for some free time to explore the city’s galleries and museums. Fly to London Heathrow arriving c.8.10pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,440 or £3,290 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,980 or £3,830 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine.

Almost twenty of Caravaggio’s works in all: most in Italy’s greatest art museums, some in their original chapels, and one in private ownership. Travel first class by rail between Milan, Rome and Naples. When Caravaggio died in 1610 aged 38 he was the most famous painter in Italy, and the most influential. His reputation slumped in subsequent centuries but in recent decades his stock has risen steadily to a new peak. His works are now widely regarded as the most immediately compelling and dramatically charged in the whole history of Italian art. With unflinching realism, stark contrasts of light and shade and intense emotional power, his art burst upon the tired, febrile artistic scene of fin-de-siècle Italy like a Damascene conversion. His paintings were radically innovatory, even shocking; his personality was arrogant, tempestuous and violent. Accused of murder, he fled Rome and sought exile successively in Naples, Malta and Sicily, time and again obliged by further conflict to make a fresh start. Nevertheless, in his own lifetime connoisseurs clamoured for works. His patrons and protectors were among the richest and most powerful of cardinals, bankers and aristocrats. Though paintings by him now hang in museums around

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,730 or £3,430 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,190 or £3,890 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Rosa Grand Hotel, Milan (starhotels.com): smart 4-star hotel excellently located directly behind the Duomo. Rooms are well appointed in a clean, modern style. Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome (berninibristol.com): luxurious 5-star hotel at the bottom of the Via Veneto, on Piazza Barberini. How strenuous? Despite the central location of the hotels there is unavoidably a lot of walking. In both cities, the historic area is vast, and vehicular access is increasingly restricted. On many occasions we get about on foot or occasionally by metro and even when a minibus is used there may often be a walk of several hundred metres due to traffic restrictions. Participants need to be able to lift their own luggage onto and off trains. Average distance by coach per day: 14 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Illustration: detail from 'The Entombment of Christ', engraving after Caravaggio’s, published in 'The Art Journal', 1862.

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Accommodation. Hotel Holt, Reykjavík (holt.is): 4-star centrally located boutique hotel in a historic building. Houses the largest privately owned art collection in Iceland. Fransiskus, Stykkishólmur (fransiskus.is): built in a former nunnery, the hotel still has an active chapel. Rooms are basic but comfortable. Hótel Búðir, Búðir (hotelbudir. is): beautifully-located boutique hotel. Rooms are comfortable with very good views. Hótel Húsafell (hotelhusafell.com): modern hotel in extensive grounds with geothermal baths, showcasing work by local artist Páll Guðmundsson.

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the world, many remain in the cities where he produced them, some still in the chapels for which they were made. This tour begins in Lombardy, including the small town from which the artist took his name. It ends in Rome, where he established both his reputation and his notoriety, with a day in Naples where he was received with acclaim. Throughout it allows unhurried viewing of many of his finest paintings. The focus on a single artist provides not just a thematic stringency, but also a springboard to enhance the appreciation of the arts of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italy.

How strenuous? Fitness is essential. This is a long tour with four hotel changes and some long journeys. You will be on your feet for long stretches of time, in some cases on exposed sites and walking over rough terrain and therefore surefootedness and agility are essential.Average coach travel per day: 69 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: near Reykjavik, wood engraving c. 1880. Photograph: Snæfellsnes Peninsula, photo ©Lizzy Holsgrove.

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Lombardy: Gastronomy & Opera Food, music, wine, art and architecture in northern Italy Day 4: Bergamo. Leave Bellagio to travel to an exceptional family-run trattoria near Bergamo. With its own herb garden, vegetables and fruit, this restaurant is beloved for the freshness of its flavours and fidelity to local food traditions. Continue to Bergamo, birthplace of Gaetano Donizetti, and visit the Basilica, founded in 1137. The Cappella Colleoni was built on the orders of Bartolomeo Colleoni, who destroyed the sacristy of S. Maria Maggiore in order to use the site as a personal shrine to himself and his daughter Medea. Travel onwards to Milan for the first of three nights. Day 5: Cremona. This glorious town in the Po Valley gave the world Claudio Monteverdi, the first great opera composer, as well as the Stradivari, Amati and other families of luthiers whose stringed instruments have been the world’s best for more than 300 years. Learn about the violin and Monteverdi in situ and then discover another Cremona speciality, torrone, the city’s famous nougat.

5–11 September 2019 (mf 685) 7 days • £3,830 Lecturer: Fred Plotkin A spectacular range of geography yields diverse, superb food and wine. Includes a top category ticket to L’Elisir d’Amore at the renowned Teatro alla Scala in Milan. Visit the charming cities of Bergamo and Cremona, as well as Leonardo’s Last Supper in Milan. Lecturer Fred Plotkin is a world-famous Italy expert, author of Italy for the Gourmet Traveller and former director at the Teatro alla Scala.

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Lombardy – Lombardia – is the region of Italian excellence, the place that sets modern standards for much of what Italy is admired for around the world. It is one of the country’s most geographically diverse areas and with that comes a remarkable variety of food and wines that make its cucina among the most sophisticated in Italy. The region contains the famous Lake District, including Lake Como, the deep blue jewel that is the most beautiful of them all, as well as the nearby Valtellina, a glorious and undiscovered swath of the Italian Alps that produces the region’s best wines and rustic mountain food. Noble cities such as Milan, Cremona and Bergamo each have their own rich traditions, and in Lombardy one also finds hill towns and broad fertile plains. Its southern border is the Po, the largest river in Italy. Such geographic diversity provides a feast of ingredients to cook with. They include wild mushrooms; berries; rice; corn for polenta; wheat for pasta and baking; fish from lakes and rivers; prized cattle; and more cow’s milk cheeses than any other region of Italy, including Parmesan, Stracchino, Taleggio, Bitto and Gorgonzola. Lombardy has known its share of geniuses. Leonardo da Vinci lived in Milan, the region’s capital, for 25 years and introduced engineering, 116

design, canals and modern irrigation for agriculture. He also wrote his codexes here, those precious volumes that reflect his restless imagination and contain his innovative inventions. And he painted, including the world-famous Last Supper in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie. Claudio Monteverdi, the first great opera composer, was born in Cremona, and Giuseppe Verdi, Italy’s titan of opera, lived much of his life in Milan. Gaetano Donizetti, whose operas often depicted royals and nobles from the United Kingdom, was from Bergamo. This tour is a unique combination of the very best elements the region has to offer, whether musical, gastronomic or artistic. To savour Lombardy is to experience all the pleasures of life, gratifying the eye, ear, nose, palate and soul. It is the region of cultivated sensuality.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 3.00pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan Malpensa. Drive to Bellagio, among the loveliest and most romantic spots on earth. First of three nights in Bellagio. Day 2: Lake Como. Spend the day on land and water, travelling exclusively by boat. Visit Como and the city’s grand cathedral, and see a glorious lakeside villa. Built as a summer residence for a Milanese aristocrat on the western shore of Lake Como, the Villa Carlotta combines dramatic terracing, parterre and grottoes with an extensive landscape park and arboretum. The house contains notable collections from the Napoleonic period. Day 3: The Valtellina. Just north of the lake is the Valtellina, a valley that opens to Lombardy’s alps. Some of Italy’s top red wines come from here, and there is a tasting with delicious local cheeses at one of the region’s best producers. This zone is famous for numerous local foods, among them pizzoccheri, a buckwheat pasta served with cheese, greens, potatoes and garlic – ideal paired with local red wine.

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Day 6: Milan. Morning lecture by Fred Plotkin on Donizetti’s L’Elisir d’Amore, followed by a visit to La Scala’s remarkable museum. Lunch at one of Milan’s temples of gastronomy, situated inside the opera house. Some free time in Milan. Evening opera at the Teatro alla Scala: L’Elisir d’Amore (Donizetti). Day 7: Milan. Visit Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper, one of the greatest achievements in the history of art. Fly from Milan Malpensa, arriving London Heathrow at c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,830 or £3,620 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,390 or £4,180 without flights. Included meals: 4 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Music: one opera ticket (top category) is included, costing c. £350. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio (villaserbelloni.com): excellently situated on the edge of the lake, a historic 5-star hotel with lavishly decorated public rooms and wellappointed bedrooms (they vary in size). Rooms with a lake view are available on request and for a supplement. Rosa Grand Hotel, Milan (starhotels. com): smart 4-star hotel excellently located directly behind the Duomo. Rooms are well appointed in a clean, modern style. How strenuous? Visits require a fair amount of walking and standing around. There is one late night after the opera but the start is leisurely the following day. Some days involve a lot of coach travel. Average distance by coach per day: 58 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Illustration: Cremona, the cathedral, steel engraving c. 1850.


Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes Como and Maggiore 25 April–1 May 2019 (mf 499) 7 days • £3,160 Lecturer: Steven Desmond 19–25 September 2019 (mf 732) 7 days • £3,160 Lecturer: Steven Desmond Among the loveliest and most romantic spots on earth – the summer retreat of the wealthy, aristocratic and intellectual since the time of Pliny. Some of the finest gardens in Europe, glorious in their design and range. Sublime mountain scenery, the inspiration of Bellini and Stendhal. Historic lakeside hotels. In September, the option to combine this tour with Roman Italy, 9–18 September 2019 (see page 147).

Itinerary If combining this tour with Roman Italy: travel by train from Naples to Milan on 18th September, then by car transfer to Bellagio. Spend and one extra night at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni. Day 1: Bellagio. Fly at midday (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan. Drive to Bellagio on Lake Como. First of three nights in Bellagio.

Day 3: Lake Como. Villa Carlotta on the western shore of Lake Como, built as a summer residence for a Milanese aristocrat, combines dramatic terracing, parterre and grottoes with an extensive landscape park and arboretum. The house contains notable collections from the Napoleonic period. The Villa Balbianello occupies its own headland projecting into the middle of Lake Como. This glorious site is terraced to provide sites for lawns, trees, shrubs and a chorus of statuary. The villa stands among groves of oak and pine. Day 4: Renaissance villa gardens. At the Villa Cicogna Mozzoni at Bisuschio, north of Varese, the 16th-century house and garden are thoroughly intertwined; the courtyard of pools and parterres leads to a water staircase, grottoes and giochi d’acqua. Lunch is served at the villa. The Villa della Porta Bozzolo, tucked away in a mountain valley near Lake Maggiore, is a hidden treasure of a garden, shooting straight up a dramatic hillside from the village street of Casalzuigno. The beautiful 17th-century villa is unexpectedly set to one side to increase the visual drama. First of three nights in Pallanza. Day 5: The Borromean Islands. Isola Bella is one of the world’s great gardens (and correspondingly popular), a wedding cake of terraces and greenery floating improbably in Lake Maggiore. The sense of surrealism is enhanced by the symbolic statuary and the flock of white peacocks. Isola Madre is the ideal dessert to follow Isola Bella: a relaxed, informal landscape garden around a charmingly domestic villa. Visual entertainments include the marvellous plant collection, revitalized by Henry Cocker in the 1950s, the chapel garden, puppet theatre and ambulant aviary. Day 6: Pallanza, Brissago. The Villa Taranto at Pallanza is an extravagant piece of 20th-century kitsch created by Henry Cocker for his patron, the enigmatic Neil McEacharn. The alarmingly gauche design is superbly planted and maintained with loving zeal by the present staff. In the afternoon cross to the Swiss part of Lake Maggiore to visit the extensive botanical gardens on the island of San Pancrazio, home to c. 1700 different plant species. Day 7. Fly from Milan to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 5.00pm.

Illustration: Como, watercolour by Ella du Cane, publ. 1905.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,160 or £3,020 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,580 or £3,440 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni, Bellagio (villaserbelloni.com): excellently situated on the edge of the lake, a historic 5-star hotel with lavishly decorated public rooms and wellappointed bedrooms (they vary in size). Rooms with a lake view are available on request and for a supplement. Grand Hotel Majestic, Pallanza (grandhotelmajestic.it): recently renovated, privately owned 4-star Belle Epoque hotel with lakeside gardens; bedrooms vary in size and all have lake views. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking as some of the gardens are extensive, and all have uneven ground. A good level of fitness is essential. You will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. Average distance by coach per day: 23 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Roman Italy and Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes and combined. Two sharing: £7,160 or £7,010 without flights. Single occupancy: £8,370 or £8,220 without flights. This includes accommodation (1 night), first-class rail travel and a car transfer between the two. These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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The gardens of the Italian lakes fall into two categories: formal, terraced, parterred, allegoried and enclosed summer residences of native landowners, and the expansive, landscaped villa grounds of the rich and splendid. Some are small, others huge; some ostentatious, others retiring; some immaculate, others picturesquely mouldering. Many are the former homes of Austrian aristocrats, Napoleonic grandees, bel canto composers or British seasonal emigrants. All respond to the setting, gazing out across bays and peninsulas, or up to mountain scenery of heroic dimensions. The tour is divided between Lake Como and Lake Maggiore. Lake Como, the home of Pliny, is intensely romantic: Shelley, Bellini and Stendhal found inspiration here on the shores of a long and slender lake divided in three parts. The little town of Bellagio surveys all three from its glittering headland, and provides a convenient (and luxurious) base for visiting the lakeside villa gardens. Lake Maggiore is altogether broader and more open, extending northwards into Switzerland, with the air of an inland sea. The great western bay includes the famous Borromean Islands, among them the contrasting garden retreats of Isola Bella and Isola Madre. As early as 1686 Bishop Burnet gushed that these were ‘certainly the loveliest spots of ground in the World, there is nothing in all Italy that can be compared to them’. Our tours are scheduled at times of the year when there is the possibility of clear, brilliant sunshine. Each lake, each shore, each promontory and island, has its own character, but everywhere is pervaded by the abundance of light, perfume and natural beauty.

Day 2: Bellagio. The neoclassical Villa Melzi at Bellagio was built in 1810 for Francesco Melzi d’Eril, vice-president of Napoleon’s Italian Republic. It overlooks the lake in an undulating English landscape park, richly planted and decorated with ornamental buildings. The Villa Serbelloni, probably built on the site of one of Pliny the Younger’s two villas on Lake Como, occupies the high ground above Bellagio. The woods offer magnificent views to all parts of the lake. The mediaeval remnants, 16th-century villa and later terraces are the setting for planting schemes in a backdrop described by Stendhal as ‘a sublime and enchanting spectacle’.


Palaces of Piedmont Courtly splendour in and around Turin Day 3: Staffarda, Manta, Racconigi. Drive south to the Abbey of Staffarda which retains an impressive Romanesque church with cloister and chapter house. Continue to the castle of Manta which has an early 15th-cent. fresco cycle, an important and beautiful example of secular International Gothic painting. The Castello di Racconigi was one of the summer residences of the Savoys; the front overlooking the park is by Guarini (1676). Day 4: Superga, Turin. The basilica of Superga (1731), a votive church and burial place of the royal family with a magnificent hilltop location just outside the city, is Juvarra’s finest work. Though altered in the 18th cent., the Villa della Regina (1620) is a good example of an early Baroque residence. The afternoon is free; there is plenty to do and see in Turin, equally it is a good place in which to relax. Day 5: Agliè, Masino, Albugnano. The Castello di Agliè to the north of Turin was rebuilt as a ducal palace in 1646 and further refurbished in the 18th and early 19th cents. With a similarly long history of embellishment, but with the 18th cent. predominant, the Castello di Masino is one of the best-preserved royal residences in Piedmont. Nestling in an isolated rural setting, the small Romanesque Abbey of Vezzolano is outstanding for its architecture, stone carvings and frescoes.

4–9 June 2019 (mf 560) 6 days • £2,340 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini Based in Turin, a lively city developed on a grand scale in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Magnificent castles and royal residences, with other treats such as Romanesque abbeys, Gothic frescoes and outstanding paintings.

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First emerging as an independent territory in the eleventh century, Savoy from the middle of the sixteenth century to the middle of the nineteenth grew from a minor duchy to a prosperous and powerful little kingdom. Straddling Alpine territory in what is now France, Switzerland and Italy, and adding Sardinia in 1720, it became larger than modern Belgium and was a significant player in European affairs. The capital moved from Chambéry to Turin in 1563, enabling extensions to be built on relatively unencumbered terrain, planned in accordance with Renaissance and, later, Baroque principles. Italy has little else to match the grandeur and homogeneity of its sequence of squares, boulevards and palaces dating to this period. The city looks, and is, as much French and Central European as Italian, and has always impressed visitors with its orderliness, regularity and magnificence. The capital was not the only material manifestation of Baroque culture in Piedmont. The House of Savoy and their courtiers created a constellation of residences and hunting lodges, gardens and parks around their capital which constitute as fine a group as is to be f ound anywhere in Europe. The patrons were fortunate in their choice of architects, especially 118

Guarino Guarini (1624–83) and Filippo Juvarra (1678–1736). Guarini was a priest, a mathematician and creator of the some of the most original and beguiling architectural forms of the Baroque era. Juvarra trained in Rome and developed an international practice but his best works are in Piedmont, perfecting the easeful magnificence characteristic of the dying decades of the Age of Absolutism. Despite its cultural and linguistic orientation towards its western and northern neighbours, Savoy became the vanguard of the unification of Italy and the expulsion of foreign rulers, providing the firepower and diplomatic clout which facilitated the success of the Risorgimento in 1861. It also provided the kings of a newly united Italy. Shorn of the territories west of the Alps, France’s reward for assistance, the Italian residue of Savoy came to constitute the region of Piedmont, one of Italy’s most progressive and prosperous but unaccountably neglected by tourists.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 1.15pm from London Gatwick (British Airways) to Turin and reach the hotel late afternoon. All five nights are spent in Turin. Day 2: Turin. Begin with a walk through the beautiful, arcaded Piazza San Carlo. The Palazzo Carignano has a remarkable curvaceous façade by Guarini. Piazza Castello is splendid, the greatest of the buildings being Palazzo Madama by Filippo Juvarra (1721), now housing the art gallery. Palazzo Reale, the principal royal residence, is largely of the late 17th cent. but has interiors of the 18th and 19th cents. and the Chapel of the Holy Shroud, Guarini’s masterpiece (1694). Housed here are masterpieces from the Galleria Sabauda.

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Day 6: Stupinigi, Venaria. The Palazzina di Caccia di Stupinigi is a royal hunting lodge built to a fascinating ground plan by Filippo Juvarra in 1730. Lavish interiors, fine gardens. The Venaria Reale (Amedeo Castellamonte 1660, Juvarra 1714–28) is the largest of the suburban palaces, a magnificent complex which reopened in 2007 after comprehensive renovation. Drive from here the short distance to the airport; return to Gatwick at c. 6.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,340 or £2,120 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,600 or £2,380 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Sitea, Turin (grandhotelsitea.it): 4-star hotel, comfortable, elegantly furnished and very central. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in the town centres where vehicular access is restricted and standing in museums, and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 20 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Moscow & the Golden Ring, 25 May–3 June 2019 (p.181); The Imperial Riviera, 10–16 June 2019 (p.121); Rhineland Romanesque, 10–16 June 2019 (p.104); Walking to Santiago, 11–22 June 2019 (p.187). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Turin, Palazzo Madama and Palazzo Reale, wood engraving c. 1880.


Gastronomic Piedmont Some of the finest food and wine in Italy 26 October–1 November 2019 (mf 864) 7 days • £3,170 Lecturer: Marc Millon One of the most celebrated gastronomic regions in Italy, centre of the ‘Slow Food’ revolution. Wine and food production studied at source, including visits to Alba, white truffle capital of the world, and a number of Barolo wineries. Superb restaurants, from simple trattorias to the Michelin starred. Beautiful landscapes: upland pasture, rolling hills, sloping vineyards and hazelnut woods.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.30am from London Gatwick to Genoa (British Airways) and drive north to Bra, an attractive market town with some fine architecture, where the first four nights are spent.

Wine, food and travel writer. Born in Mexico, he was raised in the USA and then studied at the University of Exeter. He lives in Devon where he is closely involved with the West Country food scene. He is author of The Wine Roads of France, The Wine Roads of Italy, The Food Lover’s Companion to France, The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy and The Taste of Britain. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

In the evening study the local wine-making process at the Ascheri winery adjacent to the hotel. Day 2: Alba, Grinzane Cavour. Drive to Alba, chief town of the Langhe, for a truffle seminar and lunch. In the afternoon there is a wine tasting in the Castle of Grinzane Cavour, a spectacularly situated unesco heritage site, home of the first regional enoteca to open in Piedmont, now almost 50 years old. Dinner is at a Slow Food restaurant. Day 3: Piozzo, Monforte d’Alba. The landscape between Dogliani and Murazzano is a patchwork of vineyards and rumpled hills, woods and pasturage. There is a truffle hunt (real, not simulated) this morning in the woods around Piozzo, then a wine tasting and lunch at a small, family-run estate. Day 4: Bra or surrounding countryside, Asti. Choose from two options this morning: either a wine tasting in the Ascheri winery and visit to a traditional sausage maker, or take a guided walk through orchards, vineyards and hazelnut groves, for the entire morning (c. 3 hours). Reconvene for lunch and a cooking demonstration at an outstanding restaurant. In the afternoon visit the lovely little city of Asti, centre of another famous wine and food area, set amidst the gently undulating Monferrato hills. Day 5: Pollenzo, Serralunga d’Alba. In the morning there is a visit and wine tasting at the fascinating wine bank in nearby Pollenzo, which stores and ages wines from all over Italy in order to keep a historical record of the very best vintages. Lunch is at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Serralunga d’Alba. In the castle at Manta there are some marvellous mediaeval frescos. Continue to Cuneo where the last two nights are spent. Day 6: Castelmagno, Sampeyre. The steep-sided valley of the river Grana is the sole source of one of Italy’s finest cheeses, Castelmagno. Visit a farm to see aspects of its production. Continue to Sampeyre in the mountains for lunch and a cooking demonstration with one of Italy’s rising stars. Day 7: Rivoli. Drive to Castello di Rivoli, one of the palaces of the royal house of Savoy established in hunting grounds around Turin. Rebuilt in the 18th century, though never finished, a museum of contemporary art has been installed here. Lunch

here at one of the best restaurants in Piedmont, Combal Zero. Fly from Turin, arriving London Gatwick at c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,170 or £2,980 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,360 or £3,170 without flights. Included meals: 6 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Albergo Cantine Ascheri, Bra (ascherihotel.it): 4-star hotel refurbished in a very modern but enjoyable design using locally made materials as much as possible. Service is enthusiastic and rooms are comfortable. Hotel Palazzo Lovera, Cuneo (palazzolovera.com): excellently situated 4-star hotel just off the ancient arcaded Via Roma. Traditional, tasteful décor with dark wood and faux-Rococo wall paintings. How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking involved. Participants need to be used to walking unaided on uneven terrain, and surefootedness is also essential for truffle hunting in the woods. Participants on the optional walk on Day 4 need to be used to hiking up and down hills. Average distance by coach per day: 65 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Modern Art on the Côte d'Azur, 17–23 October 2019 (p.83); Venetian Palaces, 5–9 November 2019 (p.127); Opera in Southern Sicily, 5–11 November 2019 (p.162).

Illustration: ‘A Valley in Piedmont’ by Frank Fox, publ. 1913.

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Gastronomically, Piedmont is undoubtedly one of Italy’s most interesting regions. Its wines are superb, the food produced there is varied and the delicious cooking ranges from traditional country fare to creatively modern cuisine. Moreover, the region is the centre of the Slow Food revolution, which is transforming gastronomy in Italy and beyond. There is also another winning feature: many Piedmontese in the food and wine business have a desire to share their passion, and welcome interested visitors with generous amounts of their time and produce. In part this may be because visitors are relatively few, despite the high reputation which Piedmont enjoys. For this tour we have bypassed Turin in favour of spending time in the countryside, seeing the origins of the food and wine and meeting the producers. This bucolic exile is not at the expense of culinary excellence; you will find superb restaurants, from simple rustic trattorias where Granny’s recipes are still gospel, to Michelinstarred and innovative establishments, all serving some of Italy’s finest food. The study and enjoyment of wines is a large part of the tour. Barolo is the dominant wine – noble, austere and complex; the Nebbiolo grape is used for the elegant, tarry Barbaresco, and various other DOCs. We meet makers, chosen as much for their charm and communicativeness as for their wines, in some cases study their vines and the wine-making process, and taste the results. Among the foods we investigate, truffles are significant – Alba is something of a truffle capital – but the mountain cheeses such as Tomino and Castelmagno make an equally powerful impression. Landscape is another of the great pleasures of the tour. As its name suggests, Piedmont reaches from high pastures to alluvial plains, and much of it is used for agriculture (or small family-run farms). The Langhe hills are among the most beautiful in Italy, the flanks almost entirely carpeted with vineyards, the summits sporting castles, little mediaeval towns or ancient farmsteads.

Marc Millon


Historic Musical Instruments Museums and private collections in northern Italy, with recitals instruments have been the world’s best for more than 300 years. Learn about the violin in situ at the Museo del Violino (with a performance on a historic violin), and visit a violin-maker’s workshop. Cremona has a splendid central square formed of cathedral, campanile (Italy’s tallest), baptistry and civic palaces, and there is some free time to explore these. Overnight in Cremona. Day 4: Bologna. Continue to Bologna. The Museo della Musica houses a rich collection of scores, portraits and instruments. The private collection of the late-Bolognese scholar Luigi Ferdinando Tagliavini, long-admired by specialists, has recently been made available to the public. It is housed in one of Bologna’s oldest churches and traces the history of keyboard instruments from the 16th to the 19th centuries. Fly from Bologna to London Heathrow, arriving c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,840 or £1,730 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,040 or £1,930 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine.

1–4 November 2019 (mf 873) 4 days • £1,840 Lecturer: Professor Robert Adelson

Recitals on period instruments and the opportunity to meet the collectors.

Milan was the centre of the violin family’s early development, but both Milan and Bologna were also famous for their lutes. As early as the thirteenth century Bologna was renowned for the quality of its wind instruments; the ensemble of cornets and sackbuts at the church of San Petronio was admired throughout Italy. Northern Italy is home to some of Europe’s most important collections of historic instruments, many of which are in playable condition, making it possible to explore the evolution of the principal instrumental families – keyboards (harpsichords, clavichords, organs and pianos), bowed and plucked strings, woodwind and brass.

Option to combine this tour with Opera in Southern Sicily, 5–11 November 2019 (page 162).

Itinerary

Some of Italy’s finest collections of musical instruments, some in private properties and viewed only by special arrangement. Based in Milan and Cremona, with some free time to explore these historic cities, and excursions to Briosco and Bologna.

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An instrument is the sole and precious witness to music that was performed in the past. Many years after the musicians and the sounds they produced have disappeared, a few rare instruments remain, in museums and private collections. Thanks to their preservation, we can today hear appropriate music played with more colourful timbres and more authentic performance styles, and better understand the stylistic choices made by composers. This tour brings musical history to life by visiting some of the most influential centres of instrument making. No city can surpass Cremona for its tradition of bowed strings, dating to the early sixteenth century when the mellifluous tone of the Amati family’s instruments transformed the violin from a folk instrument to one capable of expressing the noblest musical sentiments of the Baroque period. Probably it was Nicolò Amati who taught both Antonio Stradivari and Andrea Guarneri, whose instruments have become legendary and whose tradition is continued today among Cremonese luthiers. 120

Day 1: Milan. Fly at c. 10.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan. Visit the Musical Instruments Museum at the Castello Sforzesco, which has a vast collection of over 800 instruments, including a rare double virginal by Ruckers (Antwerp c. 1600), numerous examples from the Lombard lute and viol tradition and many African and Asian instruments. In the evening, visit a collection in a private palazzo where there is a harpsichord recital and dinner. First of two nights in Milan. Day 2: Milan, Briosco. Drive to Briosco to visit Villa Medici-Giulini, a 17th-century stately residence which houses one of the most important private collections of European keyboard instruments and harps, many of which have been restored to playable condition. There are demonstrations and performances on the instruments, followed by lunch in the villa. There is some free time in Milan in the afternoon. Day 3: Cremona. This glorious town in the Po Valley was home to the Stradivari, Amati and other families of luthiers whose stringed

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Accommodation. Hotel Rosa Grand, Milan (starhotels.com): smart 4-star hotel excellently located directly behind the Duomo. Rooms are well appointed in a clean, modern style. Dellearti Design Hotel, Cremona (dellearti.com): small, modern boutique hotel, conveniently located just metres from Piazza del Duomo. Rooms are large and bright with modern fittings. How strenuous? There is inevitably quite a lot of walking and standing in museums on this tour. Some of the walking is uphill or over cobbles. The coach cannot be used within the town centres. Average distance by coach per day: 53 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Opera in Southern Sicily, 5–11 November 2019 (p.162); Venetian Palaces, 5–9 November 2019 (p.127).

Professor Robert Adelson Professor of Music History and Organology at the Conservatoire de Nice. From 2005–16 he curated the collection of historical musical instruments in the Musée du Palais Lascaris. He has published widely; his latest book is The History of the Erard Piano & Harp in Letters & Documents, 1785–1959. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Illustration: early-18th-century copper engraving.


The Imperial Riviera Trieste, Ljubljana and the Istrian Peninsula 10–16 June 2019 (mf 573) 7 days • £2,360 Lecturer: Richard Bassett Follow in the footsteps of the Habsburgs, Europe’s leading imperial dynasty. Explore three countries from one hotel, crossing between Italy, Slovenia and Croatia. All six nights are spent in Trieste.

Day 2: Trieste. The morning in Trieste is spent climbing the cathedral hill through the old Venetian town and visiting the grave of the 19th-century scholar of Neoclassicism, Johann Joachim Winckelmann, who is buried in a picturesque lapidarium beyond the former English church. In the afternoon visit the Miramar castle, the dream of the ill-fated Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, whose last moments alive were devoted to planning the atmospheric gardens of the castle’s park. Day 3: Ljubljana. The capital of Slovenia, Ljubljana is a city formed in the Imperial Austrian tradition, but following the collapse of the Habsburg empire it was vigorously reconstructed by the architect Jože Plečnik. See the fine Baroque churches which are the city’s older glories; Neo-Renaissance government buildings; and the enchantingly picturesque riverside with its incomparable nexus of Plečnik’s bridges. Walk in the Tivoli park where Marshal Radetzky had his summer residence. Day 4: Hrastovlje, Opatija, Piran. A trip across the limestone carso of Istria, taking in the beautiful mediaeval church of Hrastovlje before reaching Opatija (Abbazia), the jewel of the old Austrian Riviera with its fin-de-siècle hotels, rocky promenade and views across the Quarnero. Visit also Piran, a formerly Venetian coastal town, with a fine campanile and view across the lagoons towards Venice. The Istrian coastal towns were established first as fishing villages before, in early mediaeval times, Venice developed them into centres of civilisation which have contributed such composers as Tartini and other notable figures. Day 5: Trieste. In the Museo Revoltella the importance of the city’s trade with the orient is underlined by a special section devoted to the opening of the Suez Canal, an event with profound consequences for the development of Trieste. Free afternoon. Day 6: Pola, Brioni. Return to the picturesque Istrian peninsula. At the tip lies Pula (Pola), the former headquarters of the Imperial Habsburg Navy and a city rich in spectacular Roman remains including the magnificent 3rd-century Arena built of white Istrian stone. From Pola, a boat takes 45 minutes to the charming island of Brioni where the Archduke Franz Ferdinand spent his last family holiday before his assassination in 1914. Full of pleasant promenades, this once malarial islet was transformed by the Rothschilds 120 years ago into an Adriatic paradise. Day 7. Fly from Venice to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,360 or £2,240 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,710 or £2,590 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Savoia Excelsior Palace, Trieste (starhotels.com): majestic 4-star hotel overlooking the Bay of Trieste, set in a historic building with 19th-century architecture. How strenuous? The tour involves quite a lot of walking, some of which is uphill and some of which is in the town centres, where vehicular access is restricted. Streets are often cobbled, and the tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 78 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Palaces of Piedmont, 4–9 June 2019 (p.118); Connoisseur’s Vienna, 17–23 June 2019 (p.49). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Itinerary Day 1: Trieste. Fly at c. 9.00am from London Heathrow to Venice (British Airways). Drive to Trieste, where all six nights are spent. Afternoon walk through the quarters of the Borgo Teresiano where the great Empress Maria Theresa established the foundations of Austria’s greatest seaport,

Illustration: Trieste, Miramar castle and gardens, watercolour by Mima Nixon, publ. 1916.

What else is included in the price? See page 6

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267 Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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The Habsburg Empire vanished barely a hundred years ago but nowhere is its legacy more apparent than in the once great seaport of Trieste, its hinterland and the adjoining coastline. The region was once a progressive and prosperous international melting pot, but in the twentieth century it was riven by borders, often contested. The result was that the territory became peripheral and dropped from mainstream tourist itineraries – despite the hoard of extraordinarily handsome cities and settlements, sensationally interesting history and outstanding natural beauty. This tour evokes the memory of a multinational and multi-confessional empire. Under Vienna’s tutelage, Trieste became not only the third-largest city of the Austrian Empire but also one of the greatest ports of the world. Through it came most of central Europe’s coffee, fruit and colonial wares. A multi-national plutocracy took advantage of light regulation and low taxation to establish fortunes in Trieste which have survived well into our times. To the east of Trieste, the Adriatic coast was developed to accommodate the wishes of a newly prosperous imperial middle-class who sought refuge from metropolitan life; the coastline rejoiced in the name Imperial and Royal Riviera. The thermal springs and bathing facilities of Opatija (Abbazia) along the Quarnero peninsula were one such attraction. With its turn-of-thecentury villas and hotels the town still exudes the atmosphere of Edwardian elegance. Inland from these charming resorts lies the Slovene capital Ljubljana. Here the architectural heritage is stamped by imperial Austrian tradition but also by the unique stylistic vocabulary of the greatest of all Slovene architects, Jože Plečnik, a pupil of Otto Wagner in Vienna but a man determined to express the culture of the newly emerging southern Slavs in a vivid and original language. The result is one of the most enchanting of European capitals, if one of the smallest. The tour also explores the relatively unknown interior of nearby Istria. Here crumbling villages marked by beautiful limestone churches punctuate a karst landscape which, ravaged in winter by the fierce north-easterly Bora wind, remains one of the wildest and least known in Europe.

ending on the Molo Audace from where in the 19th and 20th centuries several Habsburgs sailed to violent deaths in faraway lands.


The Venetian Hills Renaissance art in the foothills of the Dolomites of Asolo was home to three exceptional women: Queen Caterina Corner, the actress Eleonora Duse and the writer and traveller Freya Stark. Visit the cathedral where the Assumption of the Virgin by Lorenzo Lotto has been treasured in the past 500 years. Day 5: San Fior, Treviso. Descend to San Fior, a little town on the densely populated plain at the foot of the hills. Riven by canals and streams, San Fior has an altarpiece by Cima. Once an important fortress city, Treviso has a fine historic centre with imposing public buildings and many painted façades. Selective visits here include the extraordinary frescoes of learned monks in the chapter house of St Nicholas by 14th-cent. painter Tommaso da Modena. Fly from Venice airport, arriving at Gatwick c. 7.00pm. If combining this tour with Friuli-Venezia Giulia: there is a refreshment break at Venice airport before the coach continues to Udine. with fine buildings and arcaded streets which give protection from mountain downpours and summer sun. The ostensible theme of this tour is painting of the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries, but other aspects of the art and history of the region will not be ignored. The base is Follina, a tiny community which grew up around a monastery in the mountains.

Practicalities

Some of the loveliest hill towns in Italy, including the birthplace of Titian.

Itinerary

Option to combine this tour with Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 7–12 October 2019 (see opposite).

Day 1. Fly at c. 1.00pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice. Drive through the hills to Follina where all four nights are spent.

‘Hills’ and ‘Venice’ are not accustomed to finding themselves in the same sentence; sited on (and sometimes under) an estuarial lagoon, elevation above (or below) sea level in Venice is measured in centimetres. But on a clear day a range of hills can be seen rising to the north. On a very clear day the snowy peaks of the Dolomites come into view. Towards the end of the Middle Ages the proud little communities which populated these hills one by one submitted to the rule of La Serenissima, as did much of northern Italy. Political hegemony was followed by cultural influence, clearly manifested still in the disorientating sight of Venetian-style Renaissance palazzi set against precipitous pineclad hillsides. But the cultural forces did not flow only in one direction. As is often the case with an artistically flourishing metropolis, many of the creators were outsiders. Titian was born in the rugged Cadore mountains, Cima from the gentler hillside town of Conegliano, Marco Ricci from hilltop Belluno. These and many other artists enjoyed successful careers in Venice; but most kept in contact with their natal towns, accepting commissions for, or donating paintings to, their parish church. These hill towns are among the loveliest in Italy, and they are set in ravishing landscapes which range from vine-clad foothills to soaring limestone peaks. Most of them are quite small, but the architectural ambitions of their inhabitants were otherwise: the historic centres are dense

Day 2: Vittorio Veneto, Conegliano. The tiny city of Serravalle (now joined with Cèneda to form Vittorio Veneto), occupying a gorge scoured by the River Meschio, has a fine group of mediaeval and Renaissance buildings, 15th-century frescoes in the chapel of S. Lorenzo and a Titian in the cathedral. In the church of Santa Maria in Cèneda there is an exquisite Annunciation by Previtali. Drive to the birthplace of Giambattista Cima del Conegliano, the lovely town from which the artist took his name, that spreads down a hillside below the remains of a castle. Visit Cima’s house and the cathedral to see one of his greatest works (1492).

How strenuous? The tour involves quite a lot of walking, some of which is uphill or in the town centres where vehicular access is restricted. Streets are often cobbled, and the tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Agility, stamina and sure-footedness are essential. Many of the historical buildings visited are sprawling and vast. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 62 miles.

3–7 October 2019 (mf 774) 5 days • £1,880 Lecturer: Dr Carlo Corsato Ravishingly beautiful landscapes from vine-clad foothills to the peaks of the Dolomites. Altarpieces and frescoes by Venetian masters, mediaeval to Rococo.

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Day 3: Pieve di Cadore, Belluno. Titian was born in the little town of Pieve di Cadore; see here the family home and the parish church with paintings by him and his family. In the afternoon drive north along the valley of the Piave into an ever-more dramatic mountain landscape. Sitting athwart a promontory looped by the Piave, Belluno is a beautiful little city with a Renaissance cathedral and Venetian-style palaces. Among the fine paintings is an exquisite Madonna & Child by Cima in the Museo Civico. Day 4: Bassano, Asolo. Bassano del Grappa is a highly attractive town in the foothills of the Dolomites with a series of picturesque squares with painted façades. Home of the prolific Bassano family of painters, there are several of their works in the civic museum. The lovely hilltop town

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,880 or £1,700 without flights. Single occupancy: £1,980 or £1,800 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel dei Chiostri (hoteldeichiostri.com): 4-star hotel in the hill town of Follina, installed in former abbey buildings.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, The Venetian Hills and Friuli-Venezia Giulia combined. Two sharing: £3,570 or £3,390 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,800 or £3,620 without flights.

Dr Carlo Corsato Expert in early modern art and architecture and lecturer at Morley College, London. In the past 15 years he has contributed to many journals and exhibition catalogues, as well as lecturing extensively in higher and adult education. His research reconstructs how 14th to 17th-century art documented religion, economy and society in Italy. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Illustration: Pieve di Cadore, Titian’s house, wood engraving from 'The Magazine of Art' 1883.


Friuli-Venezia Giulia The border lands of northeast Italy 7–12 October 2019 (mf 775) 6 days • £1,880 Lecturer: Dr Carlo Corsato A wide variety of art and architecture: Roman, Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Palladian. Tiepolo is a recurrent theme and the tour is based in Udine where he worked early in his career. Option to combine this tour with The Venetian Hills, 3–7 October 2019 (see opposite).

Itinerary If combining this tour with The Venetian Hills, travel to Venice airport where you wait for the rest of the group before continuing to Udine. Day 1. Fly at c. 2.00pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice. Drive to Udine where all five nights are spent. Day 2: Udine. In Udine, visit the main piazza with its Gothic and Renaissance loggias, and the cathedral, basically Gothic but much augmented later. The main theme is Tiepolo, the greatest painter of the 18th century, who created several major works in the cathedral, the Oratorio della Purità and the Archbishop’s Palace. A hillock at the centre is the site of the castle, an imposing

Day 3: Aquileia, Grado. See two of Italy’s best early mediaeval churches, the Basilica at Aquileia, rebuilt in the 11th century but retaining a 4thcentury mosaic floor, and S. Eufemia at Grado with mosaics, pulpit and silver altar frontal. Aquileia was a major Roman city and seat of the patriarchate while Grado was its outer port.

Price, The Venetian Hills and Friuli-Venezia Giulia combined. Two sharing: £3,570 or £3,390 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,800 or £3,620 without flights.

Illustration: Villa Manin, pen drawing c. 1950.

Day 4: Trieste. On the way to Trieste, visit Miramare Castle. Completed in 1860 by Archduke Maximilian of Habsburg for his wife Charlotte of Belgium, it preserves their memory and identity. Before 1919 Trieste was the principal seaport of the Habsburg Empire and the busiest port in the Mediterranean, and its broad straight streets and 19th-century buildings have a distinctly Viennese cast. After a troubled 20th century its fortunes have revived since 1989, demonstrated through grand seafront architecture. Towering above, the ancient Capitol has remains of the Roman forum, castle and the cathedral of S. Giusto, an agglomeration of buildings from the 5th century onwards with Byzantine mosaics. Also see ceramics dating from the middle ages to the nineteenth century in the Museo Sartorio, as well as the civic museum of history and art. Day 5: San Daniele, Spilimbergo, Sacile. In the morning visit Villa Manin, residence of the last Doge of Venice, Ludovico Manin. The Renaissance frescoes by Pellegrino di San Daniele in the church of Sant’Antonio at San Daniele are the finest in the region. Spilimbergo has a Gothic cathedral with 14th-century frescoes, and a castle courtyard with painted façades. The cathedral of Sacile perfectly reflects the influence of the Republic of Venice in its architecture and interior decorations. Day 6: Cividale. Cividale is in the hills bordering Slovenia. Founded by Julius Caesar and capital of the first Lombard duchy in Italy, the Tempietto Longobardo possesses the finest 8th-century sculpture to survive in Europe. Fly from Venice, arriving at London Gatwick at c. 6.30pm.

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Cumbersome by name, complex by history, the region of Friuli-Venezia Giulia is tucked within the north-eastern borders of Italy and bound by Austria, Slovenia, the Veneto and the Adriatic. Much of the region was ceded to Italy by Austria only after the First World War; a border dispute with Yugoslavia rumbled into the 1970s. Understandably, it is marked by variety – ethnic, linguistic, cultural, gastronomic and topographical. The south and centre consist of a broad alluvial plain whose glistening fecundity is fed by rivers descending from the Julian Alps and the Dolomites. The mediating foothills produce some of the finest white wines in the world. Populous and prosperous, there are many towns with historic kernels where virtually every period of Italian art and architecture is represented, from Roman to modern. Some of the early mediaeval buildings are particularly striking and important – Aquileia, Grado and Cividale. There is much fine Renaissance painting and architecture: Palladianism was the dominant creed for a couple of centuries after Palladio’s death, and in addition to painters who established themselves in Venice there are several figures of talent who are not well known outside the region. Painting reached another climax in the eighteenth century as Tiepolo spent the years of his early maturity in Udine. Udine is the base for the tour. A lively city, it has an extensive historic centre with a succession of enchantingly picturesque streets and squares and a central piazza as fine as almost any in Italy. The other big city visited is Trieste, for centuries the principal Austro-Hungarian outlet to the sea and one of the most important ports in the Mediterranean.

16th-century residence housing the art gallery, a fine collection of paintings by artists from the region. See also S. Maria di Castello, the oldest church in Udine, and S. Giacomo with its Renaissance façade.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,880 or £1,690 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,010 or £1,820 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Astoria Hotel Italia, Udine (hotelastoria.udine.it): well-established 4-star hotel located on one of the principal squares. How strenuous? The tour involves quite a lot of walking, some of which is uphill and some of which is in the town centres where vehicular access is restricted. Streets are often cobbled, and the tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 53 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Palladian Villas The greatest house builder in history Day 4: Vicenza, Lugo di Vicenza. The hilltop ‘La Rotonda’, a 10-minute drive from Vicenza, is the most famous of Palladio’s buildings, domed and with four porticoes. In the foothills of the Dolomites, Villa Godi Malinverni is an austere cuboid design with lavish frescoes inside. Some free time in Vicenza. Day 5: Bassano del Grappa, Maser, Fanzolo. At the lovely town of Bassano there is a wooden bridge designed by Palladio. The Villa Barbaro at Maser, built by Palladio for two highly cultivated Venetian brothers, has superb frescoes by Veronese, while the Villa Emo at Fanzolo typically and beautifully combines the utilitarian with the monumental. Day 6: Piombino Dese, Malcontenta. Drive along a stretch of the canal between Padua and the Venetian Lagoon, which is lined with the summer retreats of Venetian patricians. The Villa Foscari, ‘La Malcontenta’, is one of Palladio’s best known and most enchanting creations. Explore one of Palladio’s most evolved, most beautiful and most influential buildings, the Villa Cornaro at Piombino Dese. Fly from Venice to London Gatwick, arriving c. 6.30pm. Many of the villas on this itinerary are privately owned and require special permission to visit. The selection and order may therefore vary a little from the description above.

26–31 March 2019 (mf 459) 6 days • £2,270 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

A survey of various surviving villas and palaces designed by Andrea Palladio (1508–80), the world’s most influential architect.

But the beauty of his villas was not solely a matter of applied ornament. As can be seen particularly in his low-budget, pared-down villas and auxiliary buildings, there is a geometric order which arises from sophisticated systems of proportion and an unerring intuitive sense of design. It is little wonder that Andrea Palladio became the most influential architect the western world has ever known. Many of his finest surviving villas and palaces are included on this tour, as well as some of the lesser-known and less accessible ones.

Stay throughout in Vicenza, Palladio’s home town and site of many of his buildings.

Itinerary

1–6 October 2019 (mf 771) 6 days • £2,270 Lecturer: Dr Sarah Pearson

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With many special appointments, this itinerary would be impossible for independent travellers.

Day 1. Fly at c. 12.35pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice. Drive to Vicenza where all five nights are spent.

Utility is the key to understanding Palladio’s villas. In sixteenth-century Italy a villa was a farm, and in the Veneto agriculture had become a serious business for the city-based mercantile aristocracy. As the Venetian maritime empire gradually crumbled before the advancing Ottoman Turks, Venetians compensated by investing in the terra ferma of their hinterland. But beauty was equally the determinant of form, though beauty of a special kind. Palladio was designing buildings for a clientele who, whether princes of commerce, traditional soldieraristocrats or gentlemen of leisure, shared an intense admiration for ancient Rome. They were children of the High Renaissance and steeped in humanist learning. Palladio was the first architect regularly to apply the colonnaded temple fronts to secular buildings.

Day 2: Vicenza. See in Vicenza several palaces by Palladio including the Palazzo Thiene and the colonnaded Palazzo Chiericati. His chief civic works here are the Basilica – the mediaeval town hall nobly encased in classical guise – and the Teatro Olimpico, the earliest theatre of modern times.

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Day 3: Bagnolo di Lonigo, Poiana Maggiore, Fratta Polesine. The Villa Pisani at Bagnolo di Lonigo, small but of majestic proportions, is considered by many scholars to be Palladio’s first masterpiece. The Villa Poiana, another early work, has restrained but noble proportions. The Villa Badoer at Fratta Polesine, from the middle of his career, is a perfect example of Palladian hierarchy, a raised residence connected by curved colonnades to auxiliary buildings.

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Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,270 or £2,130 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,570 or £2,430 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Campo Marzio, Vicenza (hotelcampomarzio.com): just outside a city gate of Vicenza, this 4-star hotel is well located and comfortable, with decent-sized rooms. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking, sometimes uphill and over unevenly paved ground, as the coach can rarely get close to the villas or enter town centres. There is a lot of standing outside and inside villas. Fitness is essential. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 58 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. In March, combine this tour with: Jonathan Keates’s Venice, 18–24 March 2019 (p.128); The Birth of Mannerism, 20–24 March 2019 (p.137); Civilisations of Sicily, 1–13 April 2019 (p.161); Normans in the South, 2–10 April 2019 (p.156). Or in October: Walking in Southern Tuscany, 7–14 October 2019 (p.140); Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 7–12 October 2019 (p.123). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Vicenza, Villa Rotunda, drawing by Keith Mackness (an MRT client).


Verona Opera Lyric spectacle in the Veneto 22–26 July 2019 (mf 630) 5 days • £2,740 Carmen, Aida, La Traviata Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott 15–19 August 2019 (mf 647) 5 days • £2,740 Tosca, La Traviata, Aida Lecturer: Dr R.T. Cobianchi Includes tickets to three operas, performed on consecutive evenings, in the setting of a Roman amphitheatre, the most famous of open-air opera festivals. Accommodation is a 5-star hotel in the historic centre, with an optional minibus to the operas. Both tours are accompanied by art historians who lead walks and visits during the day.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 8.00am (July) or c. 3.30pm (August) from London Gatwick to Verona (British Airways). Overnight Verona where all four nights are spent. Day 2. Visit the church of Sant’Anastasia with its Pisanello frescoes, and the spectacular medieval tombs of the ruling della Scala family. Take an introductory walk in Verona, passing through the beautiful streets and squares at the heart of the city, and visit the Romanesque church of San Fermo. Some free time. Evening opera in the Arena. (July: Carmen; August: Tosca). Day 3. A walk leads to the Romanesque cathedral, then across the River Adige to the well-preserved Roman theatre. Alternatively, there are bus and train services offering the opportunity to see more of the region, perhaps Lake Garda or Venice. In the afternoon, visit the church of San Zeno, a major Romanesque church with sculpted portal and a Mantegna altarpiece. Evening opera in the Arena (July: Aida (1913 production); August: La Traviata). Day 4. The morning walk includes the Castelvecchio, a graceful medieval castle and fortified bridge, now housing an art museum.

Lunch is at a privately owned villa in the countryside (by special arrangement). There is some free time. Evening opera in the Arena (July: La Traviata; August: Aida (1913 production). Day 5. Fly from Verona, arriving London Gatwick, arriving c. 12.30pm (July) or c. 1.00pm (August).

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,740 or £2,480 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,100 or £2,840 without flights. Supplement for poltronissime gold seats: £275 (please request at the time of booking). Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Music: 3 tickets are included, costing c. £300. Accommodation. Due Torri Hotel, Verona (hotelduetorri.duetorrihotels.com): luxurious 5-star situated a c. 20-minute walk from the Arena (a shuttle is provided to and from the operas). How strenuous? To participate fully in the itinerary, a fair amount of walking is involved. It is often very hot in Italy at this time of year. Average distance by coach per day: 18 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. In July, combine this tour with: Opera in Munich & Bregenz, 28 July–3 August 2019 (p.108). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Verona, Arena, engraving 1887.

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The first magic moment comes well before the conductor raises his baton. Unless you have led a team onto the pitch at Wembley, or won the New Hampshire primaries, you are unlikely to have experienced anything quite like the wall of heady high spirits which hits you as you emerge from the entrance tunnel into the arena. Filling the vast ellipse of the almost twothousand-year-old Roman amphitheatre are fourteen thousand happy people, bubbling with joyous expectation of the spectacle to follow. Even the most dour of dusty-hearted opera purists cannot help but be uplifted. Then the floodlights go down, the chaotic chatter quietens to a reverential whisper, and the enveloping dusk is pierced only by flickering candle flames as uncountable as the stars above. Magic again; for these special moments the Verona Festival remains without rival. The list of unique assets continues. There is the inestimable advantage of the stage and auditorium, one of the largest of ancient amphitheatres which, though built for rather less refined spectacles (‘arena’ is Latin for sand, used in quantity after the slaughter of animals and gladiators) provides miraculously sympathetic acoustics. The elliptical form also seems to instil a sense which can best be described as resembling an embrace, bonding the audience however distant or disparate the individual members might be. Then there is the benefit of being at the heart of one of the most beautiful of Italian cities. Verona is crammed with magnificent architecture and dazzlingly picturesque streets and squares. Surprisingly, the city seems scarcely deflected from a typically Italian dedication to living well and stylishly by the annual influx of festival visitors. Enough of the spectacle, what of the music? Most performances reach high standards, with patches of stunning singing. For the (largely Italian) casts, to perform at Verona is still a special event. Besides, the younger singers know that they will be judged by more agents, casting directors and peers in one performance than usually would see them in a season. Opinions vary concerning the best place to sit. All the seats we have booked are numbered and reserved (no queuing for hours and elbowing to

seize the best of what remains), and a proportion are poltronissime gold, cushioned stalls seats, which we offer for a supplement. The rest are on the lowest tiers, the gradinate numerate, with clear sight lines, while plastic seating is mercifully interposed between you and the marble. Drawbacks are reduced leg room and distance from the stage.

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Art History of Venice Painting, sculpture and architecture in the world’s most beautiful city 11–17 November 2019 (mf 882) 7 days • £2,830 Lecturer: Dr Susan Steer Wide-ranging survey of art and architecture with an emphasis on the Renaissance. Off-peak dates and a smaller group than usual (maximum 18 participants). Includes a private, after-hours visit to the Basilica di San Marco to see the transcendental splendour of the Byzantine mosaics.

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For the world’s most beautiful city, Venice had an inauspicious start. The site was once merely a collection of mudbanks, and the first settlers came as refugees fleeing the barbarian destroyers of the Roman Empire. They sought to escape to terrain so inhospitable that no foe would follow. The success of the community which arose on the site would have been beyond the wildest imaginings of the first Venetians. By the end of the Middle Ages Venice had become the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean and possibly the wealthiest city in Europe. The shallow waters of the lagoon had indeed kept her safe from malign incursions and she kept her independence until the end of the eighteenth century. ‘Once did she hold the gorgeous East in fee, and was the safeguard of the West, Venice, eldest child of liberty.’ Trade with the East was the source of that wealth and power, and the eastern connection has left its indelible stamp upon Venetian art and architecture. Western styles are here tempered by a richness of effect and delicacy of pattern which is redolent of oriental opulence. It is above all by its colour that Venetian painting is distinguished. And whether sonorous or poetic, from Bellini through Titian to Tiepolo, there remain echoes of the transcendental splendour of the Byzantine mosaics of St Mark’s. That Venice survives so comprehensively from the days of its greatness, so little ruffled by modern intrusions, would suffice to make it the goal of everyone who is curious about the man-made world. Thoroughfares being water and cars nonexistent, the imagination traverses the centuries with ease. And while picturesque qualities are all-pervasive – shimmering Istrian limestone, crumbling stucco, variegated brickwork, mournful vistas with exquisitely sculpted details – there are not half-a-dozen cities in the world which surpass Venice for the sheer number of major works of architecture, sculpture and painting.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.30pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water-taxi) to the hotel. Day 2. The morning walk includes S. Zaccaria and S. Giovanni in Bragora, two churches with outstanding Renaissance altarpieces by Vivarini, Bellini and Cima. The Scuola di S. Giorgio degli Schiavoni has a wonderful cycle of painting by Carpaccio. In the afternoon see the incomparably 126

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beautiful Doge’s Palace with pink Gothic revetment and rich Renaissance interiors. In the evening there is a special after-hours private visit to the Basilica di S. Marco, an 11th-century Byzantine church enriched over the centuries with mosaics, sculpture and various precious objects. Day 3. Cross the Grand Canal to the San Polo district, location of the great Franciscan church of Sta. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, which has outstanding artworks including Titian’s Assumption, and the Scuola Grande di S. Rocco, with dramatic paintings by Tintoretto. In the afternoon visit the church of S. Sebastiano with decoration by Veronese and the Scuola Grande dei Carmini with fine ceiling paintings by Tiepolo. Day 4. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo to the island of Torcello, once the rival of Venice but now scarcely inhabited. Virtually all that remains of the city is the magnificent Veneto-Byzantine cathedral with its 12th-century mosaics. Lunch is at the celebrated Locanda Cipriani. Continue to the pretty glass-making island of Murano. Day 5. In the morning visit the vast Gothic church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo and the early Renaissance Sta. Maria dei Miracoli with its multicoloured stone veneer. In the afternoon cross the bacino to Palladio’s beautiful island church of S. Giorgio Maggiore and then to the tranquil Giudecca to see his best church, Il Redentore. Day 6. Spend the morning in the Accademia, Venice’s major art gallery, where all the Venetian painters are well represented. The afternoon is free. Day 7. The Ca’ Rezzonico is a magnificent palace on the Grand Canal, now a museum of 18thcentury art. Travel by motoscafo to Venice airport. Fly to London Gatwick, arriving c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,830 or £2,650 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,420 or £3,240 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Splendid, Venice (starhotels.com): 4-star hotel situated half-way between Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge. How strenuous? The nature of Venice means that the city is more often than not traversed on foot. Although part of her charm, there is a lot of walking along the flat and up and down bridges; standing around in museums and churches is also unavoidable. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: Venetian Palaces, 5–9 November 2019 (opposite); Palaces & Villas of Rome, 18–23 November 2019 (p.148); Ruskin’s Venice, 20–24 November 2019 (p.129). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: detail from 'The Assumption', a steel engraving c. 1870 after the painting by Titian in S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, Venice.


Venetian Palaces The greatest and best-preserved palaces of La Serenissima 12–16 March 2019 (mf 446) 5 days • £2,560 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott 5–9 November 2019 (mf 878) 5 days • £2,560 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott Explores many of the finest and best-preserved palaces, once homes to the wealthiest nobles and merchants in Venice (some of which are still in private hands). Access is mainly by special arrangement, including a private after-hours visit to St Mark’s Basilica. Stay in a 4-star hotel on the Grand Canal.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.30pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water-taxi) and travel up the Grand Canal to the doors of the hotel. Luggage is transported separately to the hotel by porters. There is an evening visit to a privately owned palace, the 16th-century Palazzo Corner Gheltoff Alverà (by special arrangement). Day 2. See the palazzi on the Grand Canal from the viewpoint of a gondola. The former Casino Venier is a uniquely Venetian establishment that was part private members’ bar, part literary salon, part brothel (by special arrangement). Designed by Longhena (c. 1667) and Giorgio Massari (c. 1751), the Ca’ Rezzonico is perhaps the most magnificent of Grand Canal palaces, and contains frescoes by Tiepolo; it is now a museum of 18th-century art. Visit the grand ballroom of late 17th-century Palazzo Zenobio (by special arrangement). Day 3. Visit the Palazzo Ducale, supremely beautiful with its 14th-century pink and white revetment, late Renaissance gilded halls and paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese. The Palazzo Grimani at Santa Maria Formosa became in the mid-16th century the purpose-built site of the family collection of antiquities, which were then bequeathed to the Venetian Republic. There is an after-hours private visit to the Basilica di San Marco, an 11th-century Byzantine-style church enriched over the centuries with mosaics, sculpture and various precious objects. Day 4. With its elegant tracery and abundant ornamentation, the Ca’ d’Oro, also on the Grand Canal, is the most gorgeous of Venetian Gothic palaces; it now houses the Galleria Franchetti. The 13th-century Fondaco dei Turchi is a unique survival from the era; today it is the natural history museum. In the afternoon visit a privately owned palace, the Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo-Polignac (by special arrangement). Day 5. Visit the privately owned 17th-century Palazzo Albrizzi which has some of the finest stucco decoration in Venice (by special arrangement). Travel by motoscafo to Venice airport. Fly to Gatwick, arriving at c. 6.15pm. This tour is dependent on the kindness of many individuals and organisations, some of whom are reluctant to make arrangements far in advance; the order of visits outlined above may change and there may be substitutions for some palaces mentioned.

Accommodation. Hotel Palazzo Sant’Angelo, Venice (palazzosantangelo.com): 4-star hotel in an excellent location on the Grand Canal near Campo Sant’Angelo and the Rialto Bridge. How strenuous? The nature of Venice means that the city is more often than not traversed on foot. Although part of her charm, there is a lot of walking along the flat and up and down bridges; standing around in museums and palaces is also unavoidable. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Fitness is essential. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. In March, combine this tour with: Jonathan Keates’s Venice, 18–24 March 2019 (p.128); Minoan Crete, 18–27 March 2019 (p.112); Civilisations of Sicily (solo travellers), 18–30 March 2019 (p.161); The Birth of Mannerism, 20–24 March 2019 (p.137). Or in November: Florence Revisited, 11–17 November 2019 (p.138); Art History of Venice, 11–17 November 2019 (opposite). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,560 or £2,450 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,910 or £2,800 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine.

Illustration: wood engraving c. 1880 (a palace we do not visit, but it is typical of those seen on the tour).

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Just as Venice possesses but a single piazza among dozens of campi, it has only one building correctly called a ‘palazzo’. The singularity is important: the Doge’s Palace (Palazzo Ducale), like the Piazza San Marco, was the locus of the Serenissima’s public identity and seat of her republican government. Unlike her rivals in Florence and Milan she had no ruling dynasties to dictate polity, by contrast developing a deep aversion to individual aggrandizement and over-concentrated power. While the person and Palazzo of the Doge embodied their municipal identity, it was in their private houses that Venice’s mercantile oligarchs expressed their own family wealth and status. These case (in Venetian parlance ca’) were built throughout the city. In the absence of primogeniture, many branches sprung from the two hundred-odd noble families, leading to several edifices of the same name – an obstacle for would-be visitors. These houses were unlike any other domestic buildings elsewhere in the world: erected over wooden piles driven into the mud flats of the lagoon, they remained remarkably uniform over the centuries in their basic design, combining the functions of mercantile emporium (ground level) and magnificent residence (upper floors). They were however built in a fantastic variety of styles, Veneto-Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Baroque and Rococo. Sometimes there is a touch of Islamic decoration. As new families bought their way into the aristocracy during the long period of the Republic’s economic and political decline, they had their residences refurbished in Rococo splendour by master artists such as Giambattista Tiepolo. Many of these palaces have survived the virtual extinction of the Venetian aristocracy and retain their original, if faded, glory. Palaces for nobles will be considered in conjunction with those for the non-noble cittadino (wealthy merchant) class and the housing projects for ordinary Venetian popolani, which rise cheek by jowl in the dense urban fabric. Some of the places visited are familiar and readily accessible to the public. Others are opened only by special arrangement with the owners, whether a charitable organisation, branch of local government or descendants of the original occupants. Some of these cannot be confirmed until nearer the time.

A private, after-hours visit to the Basilica di San Marco, the mosaic interior illuminated for your benefit, is a highlight of this tour. As is an opportunity to see up close ‘the most beautiful street in the world’, the Grand Canal, from that most Venetian of vantage-points, a gondola.


Jonathan Keates’s Venice History, literature, art and architecture in La Serenissima Day 4: Castello. Two palaces tell contrasting stories: Querini Stampalia offers a patrician art collection in its original setting above a modern ground floor by Carlo Scarpa, while Palazzo Grimani, a Renaissance connoisseur’s Romanstyle house with enchanting ‘natural history’ frescoes and magnificent Tribuna, has recently been recovered from its ruinous state. The Scuola di San Giorgio has the delightful cycle of paintings by Carpaccio, and San Francesco della Vigna an innovative façade by Palladio and works by Veronese and Bellini. The Basilica of San Giovanni e Paolo, the pantheon of Venetian doges, brings the afternoon to a close.

18–24 March 2019 (mf 449) 7 days • £3,040 Lecturer: Jonathan Keates Unique itinerary which reaches parts rarely visited as well as seeing major items. Led by Jonathan Keates, historian, writer and Chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund. Experience ‘village Venice’: every sestiere is examined through a personalised lens. Includes a donation to the Venice in Peril Fund.

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For all its abiding grandeur, Venice is a small city. A walk from Piazzale Roma in the west to Sant’Elena on its eastern edge takes barely an hour. Yet each of its districts, the six sestieri represented by the prongs of the metal forcola on a gondola’s prow, has its own indelible character and identity. Such robust individuality is mirrored by Venice’s history as a place of cultural ‘firsts’ in everything from the invention of the portable printed book and opera as a public art form to the use of forks at the dining table. This distinctive world of ‘village Venice’, a unique urban narrative with the sestieri as its chapters, fascinates Jonathan Keates, a noted expert on matters Venetian and currently chairman of the Venice in Peril Fund – and a companion of remarkable erudition on many matters historical, literary and artistic. As a walker in the city he loves to share his passion for the deeper townscape beyond Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace and the Rialto. In this quieter, less crowded world, mapped out by fifty-odd parish churches, he focuses on the wealth of detail which personalizes each cluster of campi and calli. We learn how to read the mesmerising Venetian text amid cloisters, courts and boatyards, in decorated well-heads, Byzantine paterae, Baroque ceilings and the essential physicality of brick and marble. 128

Fortunate indeed would be a participant on this tour who was a first-time visitor to Venice, given the mix of major masterpieces and rarelyseen crannies, all with the commentary of so distinguished a Venetianist. Equally it would suit people who already have some familiarity with the city. With this in mind, we would consider requests for this tour without accommodation for a reduction in price.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.30pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water-taxi) to the hotel. Day 2: Dorsoduro. Smallest and smartest of the sestieri. Starting from the great Baroque church of Santa Maria della Salute, visit the church of the Gesuati (Tiepolo ceiling), its Renaissance neighbour the Visitazione, San Trovaso (Tintoretto’s Last Supper and Michele Giambono’s St Chrysogonus) and a gondola boatyard. Campo Santa Margherita offers the complete story of Venice in buildings from the 12th to 20th centuries; Veronese adorned the church of San Sebastiano. Finally, Sant’Angelo Raffaele and San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, set in what was traditionally Venice’s poorest quarter. Day 3: San Polo, Santa Croce. Antonio Fumiani’s astonishing ceiling at San Pantalon, the world’s biggest painted canvas, begins the day. Then study the magnificent works by Tintoretto in the Scuola Grande di San Rocco before visiting the Franciscan basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari with its masterpieces by Titian, Bellini and Donatello. In the Scuola di San Giovanni examine the work of Renaissance sculptor-architects Mauro Codussi and Pietro Lombardo. Continue to San Giacomo dell’Orio, one of Venice’s oldest churches, and finish with the Baroque saloni in Palazzo Mocenigo. Illustration: watercolour by R. Barratt, publ. 1907.

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Day 5: Cannaregio. The flamboyant Gesuiti church, with its mock-brocade marble draperies, is the prelude to a walk in the quiet Cannaregio district and a visit to Venice’s Jewish ghetto. At the Madonna dell’Orto we admire epic Tintoretto canvases and enjoy the contrast, at Sant’Alvise, between works by Tiepolo and oddly moving 16thcentury panels by primitive painters. The buildings of the Ghetto tell their own story of Jewish life in Venice over seven centuries. End at Ca’ d’Oro, the florid Gothic palace on the Grand Canal containing an important art collection. Day 6: San Marco. In Campo Santo Stefano we look at the making of a Venetian ‘square’; the eponymous church has a roof like an upturned boat. Detour to Museo Fortuny for a Venice of early 20th-century art and fashion, and climb the unique Scala Contarini del Bovolo for a stunning roofscape. San Salvador offers outstanding High Renaissance architecture, while little San Lio contains beautiful sculpture of the same period. Explore the area around the home of Marco Polo and Teatro Malibran, and at San Giovanni Grisostomo see two of the city’s finest altarpieces, by Sebastiano del Piombo and Giovanni Bellini. Day 7. Free morning. Travel by motoscafo to the airport and fly to Gatwick, arriving c. 5.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,040 or £2,890 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,520 or £3,370 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Palazzo Sant’Angelo (palazzosantangelo.com): 4-star hotel in an excellent location on the Grand Canal near Campo Sant’Angelo and the Rialto Bridge. How strenuous? Most of Venice is traversed on foot. Unavoidably, there is a lot of walking – frequently up and down bridges. Standing around in churches, museums and palaces is also inevitable. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has any difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Fitness is essential. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: Civilisations of Sicily, 4–16 March 2019 (p.161); Venetian Palaces, 12–16 March 2019 (p.127); Wines of Tuscany, 25–30 March 2019 (p.141); Granada & Córdoba, 25 March–1 April 2019 (p.201). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.


Ruskin’s Venice Through 19th-century writers and artists 20–24 November 2019 (mf 904) 5 days • £2,410 Lecturer: Christopher Newall 2019 marks the bicentenary of the birth of the enormously influential critic and philosopher John Ruskin, author of The Stones of Venice. Visits a selection of buildings and paintings which were significant to him: Byzantine, Gothic and Renaissance. The views and visions of other 19th-century writers and artists are also considered.

Day 3. Visit the Gothic church of Madonna dell’Orto with paintings by Tintoretto. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo to the island of Torcello, movingly desolate in Ruskin’s day and not much changed now; the Byzantine church and mosaics induced him to ecstasy. Continue by vaporetto (water-bus) to the island of Murano to visit S. Donato; see the inlaid floor and mosaic of the Madonna above the altar (for Ruskin, seeing this building was ‘a hard day’s work’). In the evening there is a special after-hours private visit to the Basilica of S. Marco. Day 4. As a Gothic structure, the great Franciscan church of S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari aroused Ruskin’s approbation (he detected Arabic influence in the apse). Of the paintings in the adjacent Scuola di San Rocco he wrote ‘I never was so utterly crushed to the earth before any human intellect as I was today, before Tintoret’. In the afternoon visit the Accademia, Venice’s principal art gallery, to study the painters of most interest to Ruskin: Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto. Ruskin was obsessively interested in the works of Carpaccio, identifying

Rose La Touche, with whom he had been hopelessly in love, with the figure of St Ursula. Day 5. The morning is free. Motoscafo to the airport. Fly to Gatwick, arriving at c. 5.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,410 or £2,230 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,790 or £2,610 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Splendid, Venice (starhotels.com): 4-star hotel situated half-way between Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge. How strenuous? The nature of Venice means that the city is more often than not traversed on foot – there is a lot of walking along the flat and up and down bridges; standing around in museums and churches is also unavoidable. Fitness is essential. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: Art History of Venice, 11–17 November 2019 (p.126); Florence Revisited, 11–17 November 2019 (p.138). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: engraving from a 1900s edition of John Ruskin's 'The Stones of Venice'.

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John Ruskin’s The Stones of Venice, published 1851–53, was an enormously influential book. It is not an exaggeration to say that the book changed the way people looked at Venice, and that to this day we still see the city with eyes and minds infused with Ruskin’s vision. Before Ruskin, Venetian Byzantine and Gothic architecture, mosaic and painting were ignored as representing a barbarous interlude before civilisation returned with the Renaissance. St Mark’s was abhorred as a monstrous blot; weathered stone was a defect to be put right, funds permitting, with mechanically cut replacements; Grand Tourists learnt that painting began with Titian and architecture with Palladio. Ruskin’s views, passionately articulated – his idealistic adoration for the Middle Ages, his love of decoration and richness of surface, his belief that the decline of Venice dated from 1418 – were a radical departure from the accepted norms of the past. Underlying his aesthetic preferences were highly original socio-political ideas and the belief that art and architecture were a barometer of the spiritual and moral health of a society. It was this philosophical cogency which gave his writings such impact. Ruskin’s brilliant polemics taught his readers to look at Venice the way he did, to love the city as he did. He was the first to make a cool-headed appraisal of the problems of Venice – political, physical, and sociological – and as one of the first modern conservationists he instituted a campaign to protect the fabric from ‘improving’ restoration and reconstruction. The tour also looks at the responses to Venice by other writers, including Wordsworth, Shelley and Byron, and to British and American artists, particularly Turner, whom Ruskin championed, and Whistler, whom he reviled.

Ruskin and reviled by others. Visit the Doge’s Palace, of which Ruskin wrote that it ‘contains the three elements in exactly equal proportions: the Roman, Lombard, and Arab. It is the central building in the world’. See also the Scuola di San Giorgio degli Schiavoni with the cycle of paintings by Carpaccio which he studied deeply and analysed symbolically.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.30pm from London Gatwick to Venice. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water taxi) to the hotel. There is an introductory walk in Piazza San Marco. Day 2. See a Carpaccio painting of noblewomen in the Museo Correr which Ruskin gloriously misinterpreted, and S. Maria dei Miracoli, whose sculptures ‘should be examined with great care, as the best possible examples of a bad style’. SS. Giovanni e Paolo contains various funerary monuments, some of which were admired by Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Romantic Agony: English Poets in Italy Byron, Shelley and Keats in the ‘paradise of exiles’ Itinerary Day 1: Venice. Fly at c. 1.30pm from London Gatwick to Venice (British Airways). Cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water-taxi) and travel up the Grand Canal to the doors of the hotel. First of two nights in Venice. Day 2: Venice, Lido, San Lazzaro. Visit the Doge’s Palace, which is connected to its adjoining prison by the imposing stone ‘Bridge of Sighs’, named so by Byron. Travel by boat to the Lido, where both Byron and Shelley liked to go riding and swimming; Byron also loved the old Jewish cemetery. Shelley wrote ‘Julian and Maddalo’ based on their conversations here. In pursuit of intellectual stimulation, Byron spent time at the island monastery of San Lazarro degli Armeni, where he worked with the monks on an ArmenianEnglish dictionary. In the small museum, a room is dedicated to him. Day 3: Venice, Florence. Between 1816 and 1819, Byron lived at Palazzo Mocenigo, along with 14 servants, 2 monkeys, a fox, a wolf, an eagle and two mastiff dogs. See the palazzi of the Grand Canal from the viewpoint of a gondola. Travel by rail to Florence (first class). An afternoon walk explores locations connected with Shelley, including Cascine Park, where he wrote ‘Ode to the West Wind’ while sheltering from a rainstorm. The walk ends with a visit to Casa Guidi, whose piano nobile was inhabited by the Brownings between 1847 and 1861. First of three nights in Florence.

12–19 October 2019 (mf 793) 8 days • £3,680 Lecturer: Dr Thomas Marks Literature, history and art in Venice, Florence and Rome.

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Special arrangements in several places on the poets’ Grand Tour. Travel by first-class rail between cities. Lord Byron left England in 1816, aged 28, scandalridden and debt-stricken – never to return. After time in the Swiss Alps where he befriended the Shelleys, he settled in Venice, later spending time in Rome, Ravenna, Genoa and Pisa. Shelley, his wife Mary Godwin and her stepsister Claire Clairemont were wanderers, living in various Italian cities in their own bittersweet version of the Grand Tour. Eventually they set up home in Pisa, where Byron joined them in 1821. Byron and Shelley both became proficient in Italian and engaged deeply with the heritage, politics and literature of the country that Shelley called “a paradise of exiles”. They were in thrall to the Renaissance ideals of beauty in art and literature, and also believed that the country offered greater tolerance and freedom than their English homeland, from which they were all, in their own way, social outcasts. 130

Byron dabbled in politics, tried to learn Armenian and conducted several affairs, most lastingly with the (married) Contessa Teresa Guiccioli. Shelley remained more detached, seeing himself as a permanent expatriate. Together with the poet and editor Leigh Hunt they produced a radical journal, The Liberal. Death was pervasive. Both lost children: the Shelleys a daughter and a son; Byron the five-year old Allegra, who was previously in his care but had been sent to a convent. Shelley was not yet 30 when a sudden storm wrecked his sailing boat and he drowned in the Gulf of La Spezia. He was preceded in 1821 by John Keats, who succumbed to tuberculosis in Rome at the age of 25. Byron died in 1824, a hero of the Greek War of Independence. Among the better known works by Byron from this productive period are ‘Childe Harolde’s Pilgrimage’, ‘The Lament of Tasso’, ‘Mazeppa’, ‘Don Juan’, ‘So we’ll no more go a-roving’ and ‘Beppo’. Shelley composed ‘The Cenci’, ‘Julian and Maddalo’, ‘Prometheus Unbound’, ‘The Masque of Anarchy’ and ‘Ode to the West Wind’. ‘Adonais’ he wrote as an elegy to Keats. This tour explores their experiences in Italy and the poetry that resulted; the poets’ relationships with each other; and the art and events that fuelled their imaginations. It looks at where they lived and the places associated with their poems, both littleand well-known.

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Day 4: Florence. Byron dismissed Florence as being full of “gossip-loving English”, but he did express the feeling of being “drunk with beauty” as he took in the great artworks in the city’s galleries (especially Titian’s ‘Venus of Urbino’ in the Uffizi). Shelley also relished wandering in the Uffizi and wrote detailed, original notes on the Medici sculpture collection. Lunch is at a restaurant on the Piazzale Michelangelo before a visit to S. Miniato al Monte, the Romanesque abbey church with panoramic views of the city. Day 5: Pisa, Bay of Poets. Drive to Pisa, where the Shelleys rented the top floor of the Tre Palazzo di Chiesa and Byron lodged opposite in Palazzo Lanfranchi, now a graphics museum. Visit the Baptistry, as the Shelleys did on their first trip to Pisa in May 1818, and the Palazzo dell’Orologio, the inspiration for Shelley’s ‘The Tower of Famine’. Continue to Lerici and the Bay of Poets, where the Shelleys’ rented house still stands and bears a plaque to them. On 8th July 1822, Shelley drowned sailing to Lerici from Livorno. Byron also used to stay across the bay at Portovenere and swim across; do this journey in reverse by boat (weather permitting). Day 6: Florence, Rome. Travel by rail to Rome (first class). In Canto IV of ‘Childe Harolde’s Pilgrimage’, Byron records his impressions of Rome. Explore some of the Classical sites that excited the poets, including the Roman Forum and the Arch of Titus, the ancient frieze of which inspired Shelley as he wrote ‘Prometheus Unbound’ and ‘The Triumph of Life’. See also the Baths of Caracalla, where Shelley composed


Ravenna & Urbino Byzantine capital, Renaissance court wants to go but which are relatively inaccessible from the main art-historical centres of Italy, yet are close to each other. For many years this has been one of our most popular tours.

‘Prometheus Unbound’: “never was any desolation more sublime and lovely”. Day 7: Rome. Visit Palazzo Barberini, Rome’s National Gallery, which houses a painting by Guido Reni of Beatrice Cenci (subject of Shelley’s verse drama ‘The Cenci’). A walk takes in various places associated with the poets. Keats arrived in Rome terminally ill with tuberculosis, and died months later aged only 25. He spent his last days lovingly tended by his friend, the artist Joseph Severn. Their quarters are now a delightful and moving museum housing a collection of letters, paintings and manuscripts associated with Keats and Shelley. Private evening visit to the museum, with a talk from the Director. Day 8: Rome. Visit the Protestant cemetery, the serene final resting place of Keats and Shelley. Guided visit with historian Nicholas Stanley-Price, author of The Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome. Fly from Rome Fiumicino to London Gatwick, arriving c. 2.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,680 or £3,540 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,350 or £4,210 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Palazzo Sant’Angelo, Venice (palazzosantangelo.com): 4-star hotel in an excellent location on the Grand Canal near Campo Sant’Angelo and the Rialto Bridge. Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Florence (hotelsantamarianovella. it): delightful, renovated 4-star hotel in a very central location. Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome (berninibristol.com): 5-star hotel excellently located on the Piazza Barberini.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 7–12 October 2019 (p.123); Art in the Netherlands, 20–26 October 2019 (p.167); Essential Andalucía, 21–31 October 2019 (p.198). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Rome, Arch of Titus, etching by Benvenuto Disertori.

What else is included in the price? See page 6

Day 1. Fly at c. 3.00pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna. Drive to Ravenna, where all four nights are spent.

24–28 April 2019 (mf 498) 5 days • £1,670 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini 23–27 October 2019 (mf 809) 5 days • £1,670 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini A study in contrasts: one a city with origins as a major Roman seaport, the other an enchanting little Renaissance settlement high in the hills. In Ravenna, some of the greatest buildings of late antiquity with the finest Byzantine mosaics. In Urbino the Ducal Palace, the greatest secular building of the Early Renaissance. Private evening visit to San Vitale, Ravenna’s finest church, and the adjacent Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, to see the magnificent mosaics. Ravenna was once one of the most important cities in the western world. The last capital of the Roman Empire in the West, she subsequently became capital of the Gothic kingdoms of Italy and of Byzantine Italy. Then history passed her by. Marooned in obscurity, some of the greatest buildings and decorative schemes of late antiquity and the early mediaeval era were allowed to survive unmolested until the modern age recognised in them not the onset of decadence and the barbarity of the Dark Ages but an art of the highest aesthetic and spiritual power. The Early Christian and Byzantine mosaics at Ravenna are the finest in the world. Urbino, by contrast, is a compact hilltop stronghold with a very different history and an influence on Renaissance culture out of all proportion to her size. The Ducal Palace, built by the Montefeltro dynasty over several decades, is perhaps the finest secular building of its period. Piero della Francesca, Raphael and Baldassare Castiglione were among those who passed through its exquisite halls. The justification for joining in one short tour these two centres of diverse artistic traditions is simple. They are places to which every art lover

Day 2: Ravenna. In the morning see the outstanding National Museum, with excellent Byzantine ivory carvings. The Orthodox baptistry has superlative Early Christian mosaics and S. Apollinare Nuovo has a mosaic procession of martyrs marching along the nave. In the evening there is a private visit to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, lined with 5th-century mosaics, and the splendid centrally planned church of S. Vitale with 6th-century mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora. Day 3: Ravenna. The Cathedral Museum possesses fine objects, including an ivory throne. Visit the Cooperativa Mosaicista, a laboratory for the restoration of mosaics (by appointment only and subject to confirmation) and the Mausoleum of Theodoric. The afternoon is free. Day 4: Urbino. The Palazzo Ducale grew during 30 years of Montefeltro patronage into the perfect Early Renaissance secular environment, of the highest importance for both architecture and architectural sculpture. The picture collection in the palace includes works by Piero della Francesca, Raphael and Titian. There are exquisite International Gothic frescoes by Salimbeni in the Oratory of St John. Day 5: Classe, Rimini. Drive to Classe, Ravenna’s port, which was one of the largest in the Roman Empire. Virtually all that is left is the great Basilica of S. Apollinare. Continue to Rimini and visit the Tempio Malatestiano, church and mausoleum of the Renaissance tyrant Sigismondo Malatesta (designed by Alberti, fresco by Piero della Francesca, sculpture by Agostino Duccio). Drive on to Bologna airport for a late-afternoon flight arriving at Heathrow at c. 8.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,670 or £1,500 without flights. Single occupancy: £1,880 or £1,710 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Palazzo Bezzi, Ravenna (palazzobezzi.com): new 4-star superior hotel, located on the edge of the historic centre of town. How strenuous? There is inevitably quite a lot of walking and standing in museums on this tour. Some of the walking is uphill or over cobbles. The coach cannot be used within the town centres. Average distance by coach per day: 65 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Illustration: Ravenna, S. Apollinare Nuovo, watercolour (detail) by W.W. Collins, publ. 1911.

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How strenuous? The nature of Venice, Florence and Rome means that the cities are more often than not traversed on foot. Although part of their charm, there is a lot of walking along the flat (and up and down bridges in Venice); standing around in museums is also unavoidable. The historic area of Rome is vast, and vehicular access is increasingly restricted. Minibuses are used on some occasions. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Fitness is essential.

Itinerary


Courts of Northern Italy Princely art of the Renaissance Itinerary Day 1: Mantua. Fly at c. 8.00am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna. Drive to Mantua where the first four nights are spent. After a late lunch, visit the Palazzo Ducale, a vast rambling complex, the aggregate of 300 years of extravagant patronage by the Gonzaga dynasty (Mantegna’s frescoes in the Camera degli Sposi, Pisanello frescoes, Rubens altarpiece). Day 2: Mantua, Sabbioneta. In the morning visit Alberti’s highly influential Early Renaissance church of S. Andrea, the Romanesque Rotonda of S. Lorenzo and Giulio Romano’s uncharacteristically restrained cathedral. In the afternoon, drive to Sabbioneta, an ideal Renaissance city on an almost miniature scale, built for Vespasiano Gonzaga in the 1550s; visit the ducal palace, theatre, and one of the world’s first picture galleries. Day 3: Parma, Fontanellato. Parma is a beautiful city; the vast Palazzo della Pilotta houses an art gallery (Correggio, Parmigianino) and an important Renaissance theatre (first proscenium arch). Visit the splendid Romanesque cathedral with illusionistic frescoes of a tumultuous heavenly host by Correggio. Also by Correggio is a sophisticated set of allegorical lunettes in grisaille surrounding a celebration of Diana as the goddess of chastity and the hunt in the Camera di S. Paolo. In the afternoon, visit the moated 13th-century castle in Fontanellato, seeing frescoes by Parmigianino.

12–19 May 2019 (mf 529) 8 days • £2,410 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

MAINLAND EUROPE: Italy

8–15 September 2019 (mf 682) 8 days • £2,410 Lecturer: Professor Fabrizio Nevola 13–20 October 2019 (mf 791) 8 days • £2,410 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott Northern Italy’s independent city states: Mantua, Ferrara, Parma, Ravenna and Urbino. Some of the greatest Renaissance art and architecture, commissioned by the powerful ruling dynasties: Gonzaga, Este, Sforza, Farnese, Montefeltro and others. Highlights include the most glorious concentration of Byzantine mosaics and important works by Alberti, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca and Correggio. Option to combine the May departure with Gastronomic Le Marche, 20–27 May 2019 (see page 142). 132

After the collapse of the Roman Empire, Italy gradually fragmented into numerous little territories. The city states became fiercely independent and were governed with some degree of democracy. But a debilitating violence all too often ensued as the leading families fought with fellow citizens for dominance of the city council and the offices of state. A common outcome from the thirteenth century onwards was the imposition of autocratic rule by a single prince, and the suspension of democratic structures: but such tyranny was not infrequently welcomed with relief and gratitude by a war-weary citizenry. Their rule may have been tyrannical, and warfare their principal occupation, but the Montefeltro, Malatesta, d’Este and Gonzaga dynasties brought into being through their patronage some of the finest buildings and works of art of the Renaissance. Many of the leading artists in fifteenth- and sixteenth- century Italy worked in the service of princely courts. As for court art of earlier epochs, little survives, though a glimpse of the oriental splendour of the Byzantine court of Emperor Justinian can be had in the mosaic depiction of him, his wife and their retinue in the church of San Vitale in Ravenna. It is not until the fifteenth century, in Mantegna’s Camera degli Sposi at Mantua, that we are again allowed an unhindered gaze into court life.

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Day 4: Mantua. After a second visit to the Palazzo Ducale and some free time in the morning, an afternoon walk takes in the exteriors of Alberti’s centrally planned church of S. Sebastiano, and the houses that court artists Mantegna and Giulio Romano built for themselves. Also visit Palazzo Te, the Gonzaga summer residence and the major monument of Italian Mannerism, with lavish frescoes by Giulio Romano. Day 5: Ferrara. Ferrara was the centre of the citystate ruled by the d’Este dynasty, whose court was one of the most lavish and cultured in Renaissance Italy. Pass the Castello Estense, a moated 15thcentury stronghold, and the cathedral. The Palazzo Schifanoia (currently closed for restoration work) is an Este retreat with elaborate astrological frescoes. Should the Palazzo Schifanoia still be closed in 2019, the excursion to Ferrara will be replaced with an excursion to Modena, an important seat of the Este dukedom. Galleria Estense houses an important collection of art with works by Boticelli, Guercino and Correggio. First of three nights in Ravenna. Day 6: Ravenna, Classe. The last capital of the western Roman Empire and subsequently capital of Ostrogothic and Byzantine Italy, Ravenna possesses the world’s most glorious concentration of Early Christian and Byzantine mosaics. Visit the Basilica of S. Apollinare Nuovo with its mosaic Procession of Martyrs. Drive to Classe, Ravenna’s port, which was once one of the largest in the Roman world; virtually all that is left is the great Basilica di S. Apollinare. In the evening, there is a private visit to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, lined with 5th-century mosaics, and the


Dark Age Brilliance Late Antique and Pre-Romanesque splendid centrally planned church of S. Vitale with 6th-century mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora.

of unique range and richness. Given the intensity with which Ravenna developed between 402, when Honorius chose it as his capital, and 751, when the last of the Exarchs returned to Constantinople, it makes a fitting introduction to Early Christian and early mediaeval culture in north-eastern Italy. Arising from the need to cater for the spiritual requirements of newly emancipated Christianity, the clarity and humanism of the classical tradition were superseded by images and decoration designed to instil a kind of sacred dread, and to intimate the glories of the world to come. Mosaic was the key element in creating church interiors of awesome splendour and intense spirituality. Early Christian forms were endorsed throughout the whole of the Adriatic seaboard, and the second half of the tour embraces Aquileia, Grado, Poreč (Parenzo) in Croatia and Concordia Sagittaria. The theme is rounded off with the astonishing little eighth-century church in Cividale in the foothills of the Julian Alps which preserves the earliest monumental sculpture of the Middle Ages.

Day 7: Urbino. Drive into the hills to Urbino, the beautiful little city of the Montefeltro dynasty. See the exquisite Gothic frescoes in the Oratorio di S. Giovanni. In the afternoon, visit the Palazzo Ducale, a masterpiece of architecture which grew over 30 years into the perfect Renaissance secular environment. See the beautiful studiolo of Federico of Montefeltro and excellent picture collection here (Piero, Raphael, Titian). Day 8: Cesena, Rimini. The Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena is a perfectly preserved Renaissance library established by Malatesta Novello, and contains over 300 valuable manuscripts. In Rimini visit the outstanding Tempio Malatestiano, designed by Leon Battista Alberti for the tyrant Sigismondo Malatesta, which contains superb decoration by Agostino di Duccio and particularly fine sculptural detail. Fly from Bologna, arriving at London Heathrow c. 8.15pm. If combining this tour with Gastronomic Le Marche: transfer by car from Bologna Airport to Ascoli Piceno on 19th May and stay overnight at Palazzo Guiderocchi.

15–22 September 2019 (mf 714) 8 days • £2,340 Lecturer: Rowena Loverance

Practicalities

A journey through north-east Italy to Croatia, via Ravenna, Torcello and Cividale.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,410 or £2,250 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,680 or £2,520 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Casa Poli, Mantua (hotelcasapoli.it): 4-star hotel a short walk from the historic centre. Hotel Palazzo Bezzi, Ravenna (palazzobezzi.it): new 4-star superior hotel, located on the edge of the historic centre.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Courts of Northern Italy and Gastronomic Le Marche combined. Two sharing: £5,740 or £5,580 without flights. Single occupancy: £6,510 or £6,350 without flights. This includes accommodation (1 night) and a car transfer between the two. These arrangements are prebooked but unescorted. Other possible combinations in 2019: there are too many to list here, but please contact us for suggestions. We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Ferrara, Castello Estense, engraving c. 1880.

Includes some of the finest art and architecture of the Early Middle Ages to be found anywhere. Byzantine heritage of unique range and richness, with exceptional mosaics. Option to combine this tour with Dorset Churches, 23–27 September 2019 (see page 13). It is now commonplace to believe, contrary to the assumptions of centuries, that the Dark Ages which succeeded the glories of the Roman Empire were not so dark, and that the later history of the Empire was not so glorious. A concomitant reappraisal has led to the acceptance of Early Christian and Byzantine art not as a regression to primitivism – an aspect of the decline and fall – but as one of the most brilliant chapters in the history of Western art. But it remains true that in the territories of the Western Empire from the fifth to the ninth century there was little in the way of monumental building or large-scale artistic production. Only in a few dispersed pockets was the flame of ambitious artistic and intellectual endeavour kept alive. A string of such pockets are gathered around the northern end of the Adriatic and northeast Italy, the last redoubt of the Empire in the West. Born of an Umbrian past and raised in Imperial retreat, Ravenna remains anchored in the Adriatic marshes, humbled by the rise of her great neighbours, Bologna and Venice, and unhindered by later political commerce. The effect of this marginal status has been to spare her Early Christian buildings and leave a Byzantine heritage

Day 1: Ravenna. Fly at c. 3.00pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna. Drive to Ravenna for the first of three nights. Day 2: Ravenna. Explore the 5th-century forms at the cathedral and Orthodox Baptistery, and the superlative 6th-century ivory throne of Maximian in the Museo Arcivescovile. In the afternoon study Arian Ravenna at the Arian Baptistery and Theodoric’s great Palatine church of S. Apollinare Nuovo. Investigate the 5th-century basilica design which provided Theodoric’s court with its most immediate models, and Galla Placidia’s splendid ex-voto basilica of S. Giovanni Evangelista. Day 3: Ravenna, Classe. In the morning see the outstanding National Museum, with excellent Byzantine ivory carvings. Travel by coach to Theodoric’s superb Mausoleum and to the ancient port of Classe for the great 6th-century basilica of S. Apollinare. Private evening visit to the church of S. Vitale, the greatest 6th-century building of the West; the invention with which form, colour, space and narrative meaning are combined is breathtaking. The Mausoleum of Galla Placidia is the earliest Christian structure in Europe to retain its mosaic decoration in its entirety. Day 4: Pomposa, Concordia Sagittaria. Drive north to the Po delta. Pomposa is an important 8th-century Benedictine abbey, richly extended by Abbot Guido’s magnificent 11th-century porch and campanile. Lunch in Chioggia. The Roman road station at Concordia Sagittaria, whose modest mediaeval cathedral was built alongside a 4th-century basilica and martyrium, is splendidly revealed through archaeological excavation. First of four nights in Cividale. Day 5: Cividale. Although founded as Forum Julii in the 1st century bc, Cividale is best known to historians as the site of the earliest Longobard settlement in northern Italy, and most celebrated by art historians for the astonishing quality and quantity of 8th-century work which has survived Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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How strenuous? There is a lot of walking, much of it on steep and roughly paved streets: agility, stamina and sure-footedness are essential. Coaches are not allowed into the historic centres. Many of the historical buildings visited are sprawling and vast. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 88 miles.

Private evening visit to San Vitale, Ravenna’s finest church, and the adjacent Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, to see the magnificent mosaics.

Itinerary


Dark Age Brilliance continued

The Via Emilia Parma, Bologna and Emilia-Romagna

here. See the superb ‘Tempietto’ of Sta. Maria in Valle, Longobardic work in the cathedral museum and spectacular early mediaeval collections in the archaeological museum. Free afternoon. Day 6: Poreč (Croatia). Drive south, cross Slovenia and enter the part of Croatia formerly known as Istria. The sole object of the excursion is to visit Poreč (Parenzo), a longish journey justified by the existence of an unusually complete 6th-century cathedral complex: basilican church, baptistery and bishop’s palace. The church proper was built above an earlier basilica c. 540 by Bishop Euphrasius, whose complete episcopal throne is set within an apse which, for once, has retained its full complement of furnishings and fittings. Day 7: Aquileia, Grado. Aquileia was a major Roman city whose influential cathedral was complete by 319. Sections of walls and mosaic pavements were preserved within the present 11thcentury cathedral, a rather wonderful survival. The Longobard sack of 568 resulted in the removal of the see to the more defensible position on the coast at Grado, whose two great 6th-century churches, Sta. Maria della Grazie and the cathedral, also have outstanding floor mosaics. Day 8: Torcello. Drive to the Adriatic to visit the island of Torcello in the Venetian lagoon, a major city while Venice was little more than a fishing village. Visit the largely 11th-century cathedral of Sta. Maria Assunta and Greek-cross reliquary church of Sta. Fosca. Continue to Venice Airport and fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.00pm.

8–14 April 2019 (mf 481) 7 days • £2,120 Lecturer: Dr R. T. Cobianchi

If combining this tour with Dorset Churches: return to London and stay overnight at Sofitel London Heathrow. Take a taxi to London Waterloo the next day to catch the train to Salisbury.

Art and architecture in major cities and lesserknown treasures strung along the Roman road from Milan to the Adriatic.

Practicalities

Particularly strong on 16th-century painting and Romanesque architecture.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Italy

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,340 or £2,140 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,570 or £2,370 without flights.

Based in the utterly charming ducal city of Parma and in the university city of Bologna.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine.

Bound by the River Po to the north and the Apennines to the south, this wedge of Italy is replete with fascinating cities and great works of art, yet is still undeservedly neglected by cultural travellers. With probably not one hundredth of the visitors which Florence and Venice receive and many fewer than, say, Verona or Siena, one can view great architecture and world-class art works without the dispiriting intrusions of a large-scale tourist industry. Across this undulating plain, one of the most fertile in Italy, the Romans founded a large number of prosperous towns and linked them by the Via Emilia which ran from Milan to the Adriatic coast. In the Middle Ages the region fragmented into a number of independent city states which, whether under a communal or despotic form of government, constructed mighty town halls, vast churches and splendid palaces, and caused great works of art to be created. At the beginning of the modern era, they were parcelled out between a motley collection of usually foreign and invariably unenlightened rulers, and they slumped into a torpor from which they did not recover until the Risorgimento.

Accommodation. Palazzo Bezzi, Ravenna (palazzobezzi.it): new 4-star hotel, located on the edge of the historic centre. Hotel Roma, Cividale (hotelroma-cividale.it): simple, functional and friendly 3-star, located in the centre of town. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in town centres where vehicular access is restricted and a lot of standing in museums and churches. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 76 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Dark Age Brilliance and Dorset Churches combined. Two sharing: £3,750 or £3,550 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,210 or £4,010 without flights. This includes hotel at Heathrow (1 night), taxi to Waterloo and train to Salisbury. These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted. Illustration: Aquileia, Basilica, early-20th-century watercolour.

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Nevertheless, a succession of great artists continued to appear, particularly in sixteenthcentury Parma and seventeenth-century Bologna, while the relative lack of prosperity resulted in the preservation of the city centres. One aspect of the allure of Bologna and other towns here is that they successfully reconcile the often incompatible features of economic well-being and ancient, unspoilt and enchantingly picturesque streetscape. The cities now enjoy an envied reputation within Italy for quality of life and gastronomic excellence. Parma, one of the loveliest of the smaller cities in Italy, has been chosen as the first base for this tour; and Bologna as the second, whose allure lies in the successful reconciliation of features of economic wellbeing and ancient, unspoilt and enchantingly picturesque streetscape.

Itinerary Day 1: Piacenza, Parma. Fly at c. 10.30am from London Heathrow to Milan Linate. Drive to Piacenza which, situated on the border of Lombardy, has many mediaeval buildings on its Roman grid plan, among them an outstanding town hall and Romanesque cathedral (exterior only) – from the Renaissance is the equestrian statue of Alessandro Farnese is a masterpiece of Baroque sculpture. First of three nights in Parma. Day 2: Parma. Parma is of great importance in particular for its High Renaissance school of painting – the cathedral and baptistry are outstanding for their Romanesque architecture and sculpture. By Correggio, we see the astonishingly vital and illusionistic frescoes in the cathedral, the church of S. Giovanni and the Camera di S. Paolo. In the ducal palace is a good art collection and a rare Renaissance theatre.


Day 3: Fontanellato, Castell’Arquato, Fidenza. Fontanellato is a little town with an enchanting moated castle containing wonderful frescoes by Parmigianino. Drive to Castell’Arquato, a lovely town in the Apennine foothills with a clutch of mediaeval buildings in the central piazza. Continue to Fidenza, which has a beautiful Romanesque cathedral, with excellent sculpture. Day 4: Torrechiara, Modena. The castle in Torrechiara has 16th-cent. frescoes. Modena has been capital since the 16th cent. of the Este dukedom. The Romanesque cathedral is one of the best in the region, and has marvellous 12th-cent. sculpture by Wiligelmo. Continue to Bologna for the first of three nights. Day 5: Bologna. One of the most attractive of the larger cities in Italy, with Renaissance arcades flanking the streets. At the mediaeval heart are massive civic buildings and the vast Gothic church of S. Petronio, with sculpture by Jacopo della Quercia, and S. Stefano, a complex of early mediaeval buildings. Free afternoon or optional visits to the Pinacoteca Nazionale, one of Italy’s finest picture galleries (Raphael, Carracci family, Guido Reni) and S. Domenico, with the tomb of St Dominic. Day 6: Rimini, Cesena, Faenza. In Rimini visit the outstanding Tempio Malatestiano, designed by Leon Battista Alberti for the tyrant Sigismondo Malatesta, and containing superb decoration by Agostino di Duccio and particularly fine sculptural detail. The Biblioteca Malatestiana in Cesena is a perfectly preserved Renaissance library

established by Malatesta Novello, and contains over 300 valuable manuscripts. Return to Bologna via Faenza, to see the neo-classical Palazzo Milzetti, now a regional museum. Day 7: Bologna. Special arrangement to see the Carracci frescoes in former Palazzo Magnani Salem (subject to confirmation). Fly from Bologna, arriving Heathrow at c. 1.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,120 or £2,010 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,460 or £2,350 without flights. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Stendhal, Parma (hotelstendhal.it): quiet 4-star hotel, the best located in the middle of the historic centre, run by Mercure. Hotel Corona d’Oro, Bologna (hco.it): elegant 4-star hotel in the heart of Bologna. How strenuous? A demanding tour with a lot of walking and a considerable amount of coach travel. It would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking or stairclimbing. Average coach travel per day: 50 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Gardens of the Bay of Naples, 31 March–7 April 2019 (p.152); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 1–6 April 2019 (p.153). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration, above: Parma, watercolour by W.W. Collins, publ. 1911. Left: Bologna, Basilica di San Petronio, engraving 1883. Below: Verdi's Villa in Sant'Agata, wood engraving c. 1880.

Verdi in Parma & Busseto MAINLAND EUROPE: Italy

October 2019 Full details available in January 2019 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk The Festival Verdi takes place on the stretch of country where the composer was born, schooled, learnt his trade, and, despite youthful resentments, where he bought a farm and built a villa as a haven and retreat for the last 50 years of his life. Lying then within the Duchy of Parma, it remains predominantly rural, with the attraction of a kind of unchanging, authentic ordinariness. This was the mise-en-scène which gave rise to an artistic oeuvre displaying a range of tumultuous passions and human empathy equalled perhaps only by Shakespeare. The performances are very likely to be in two theatres which are of the highest historical importance and beauty. The Teatro Regio in Parma was built in 1829 by ex-Empress MariaLuisa, modelled on La Scala in Milan. The small horse-shoe Teatro Verdi at Busseto dates to 1856 and was built within what had been the local magnate’s residence. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Florence Cradle of the Renaissance sculpture, then continue to the Uffizi which has masterpieces by every major Florentine painter as well as international Old Masters. Day 4. In the morning see the Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance sculpture in the cathedral baptistry, and the superbly renovated cathedral museum. See the Rucellai Chapel in the deconsecrated church of S. Pancrazio, now part of the Museo Marino Marini. Free afternoon. Day 5. Visit the Bargello, housing Florence’s finest sculpture collection with works by Donatello, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and others. Walk to the vast Franciscan church of S. Croce, favoured burial place for leading Florentines and abundantly furnished with sculpted tombs, altarpieces and frescoes. Lunch is at a restaurant on the Piazzale Michelangelo before a visit to S. Miniato al Monte, the Romanesque abbey church with panoramic views of the city.

4–10 February 2019 (mf 416) 7 days • £2,490 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley The world’s best location for an art history tour: here were laid the foundations of the next 500 years of western art. Still retains a dense concentration of great works. The Renaissance is centre stage, but mediaeval and other periods also feature. Avoids the crowds of busier months, and a smaller group than usual, 8–18 participants.

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A first visit to Florence can be an overwhelming experience, and it seems that no amount of revisiting can exhaust her riches, or stem the growth of affection and awe which the city inspires in regular visitors. For hundreds of years the city nurtured an unceasing succession of great artists. No other place can rival Florence for the quantity of first-rate, locally produced works of art, many still in the sites for which they were created or in museums a few hundred yards away. Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Masaccio, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael, Leonardo – these are some of the artists and architects whose works will be studied on the tour, fully justifying Florence’s epithet as the cradle of the Renaissance. Florence is, moreover, one of the loveliest cities in the world, ringed by the foothills of the Apennines and sliced in two by the River Arno. Narrow alleys lead between the expansive piazze and supremely graceful Renaissance arcades abound, while the massive scale of the buildings 136

impressively demonstrates the wealth once generated by its precocious economy. It is now a substantial, vibrant city, yet the past is omnipresent, and, from sections of the mediaeval city walls, one can still look out over olive groves. Though the number of visitors to Florence has swelled hugely in recent years, it is still possible during winter, and with careful planning, to explore the city and enjoy its art in relative tranquillity.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.15am (British Airways) from London City to Florence. In the late afternoon visit the chapel in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi which has exquisite frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli. Day 2. Visit Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library, whose architectural components would herald the onset of Mannerism. A Medici morning includes S. Lorenzo, the family parish church designed by Brunelleschi and their burial chapel in the contiguous New Sacristy with Michelangelo’s enigmatic sculptural ensemble. In the afternoon visit S. Maria Novella, the Dominican church with many works of art (Masaccio’s Trinità, Ghirlandaio’s frescoed sanctuary). Day 3. Brunelleschi’s Foundling Hospital, begun in 1419, was the first building to embody stylistic elements indisputably identifiable as Renaissance. See Michelangelo’s David, the ‘Slaves’ in the Accademia and the frescoes and panels of pious simplicity by Fra Angelico in the Friary of S. Marco. In the afternoon visit Piazza della Signoria, civic centre of Florence with masterpieces of public

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Day 6. In the morning visit the redoubtable Palazzo Pitti, which houses several museums including the Galleria Palatina, outstanding particularly for High Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Visit S. Spirito, Brunelleschi’s last great church, with many 15th-century altarpieces, and the extensive Boboli Gardens, at the top of which is an 18th-century ballroom and garden overlooking olive groves. See the Masaccio/Masolino fresco cycle in the Brancacci Chapel, a highly influential work of art which guided all subsequent generations of Renaissance artists. Day 7. See the Renaissance statuary at the churchcum-granary of Orsanmichele, and there is a second, selective visit to the Uffizi. Fly to London City Airport, arriving at c. 9.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,490 or £2,360 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,820 or £2,690 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch, 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Florence (hotelsantamarianovella.it): delightful, renovated 4-star hotel in a very central location. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in the city centre where the ground is sometimes uneven and pavements are narrow. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing, and fitness is essential. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: The Printing Revolution, 27 January–3 February 2019 (p.151). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Basilica of San Lorenzo, engraving c. 1850

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267


The Birth of Mannerism Painting and sculpture between Renaissance and Baroque 20–24 March 2019 (mf 455) 5 days • £2,030 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley Examines the fascinating style of art which followed the High Renaissance. Complex, ultra-sophisticated and supremely elegant, yet the brilliance of Mannerism is not always easy to see; elucidation is needed. Arising in Florence, it quickly spread around Europe, but many of its masterpieces remain in cities, towns and villages in Tuscany. One hotel throughout, in Florence, with some free time there.

Itinerary Day 1: Pieve San Michele. Fly at 11.15am (British Airways) from London City to Florence. The first visit is to the church of San Michele e San Francesco in Carmignano to see the gorgeous Visitation by Pontormo. Day 2: Florence. The eponymous basilica that graces the arcaded Piazza Santissima Annunziata contains important frescoes by Andrea del Sarto, Pontormo and Rosso Fiorentino. Next comes one of del Sarto’s most striking works, a set of grisaille

Day 3: Florence, Volterra. San Salvi contains Andrea del Sarto’s great Last Supper, which Giorgio Vasari described as having an ‘endless majesty with its absolute grace of all the painted figures.’ Drive to Volterra, an exceptionally attractive hilltop town bound by Etruscan walls. The municipal art gallery is installed in a 15thcentury palazzo; among the masterpieces is the Deposition by Rosso. Return to Florence. Day 4: Florence. Brunelleschi’s church of San Lorenzo has altarpieces by Rosso and Bronzino and is part of a complex that includes Michelangelo’s Medici tombs in the New Sacristy and his Laurentian Library, which were, respectively for sulpture and architecture, highly influential early manifestations of Mannerism. The Bargello, the great museum of sculpture, contains major works by Giambologna, Cellini and other Mannerist masters, who are also well represented in the nearby Piazza della Signoria. Finally, the Uffizi, to revel in the recently refurbished galleries with superb Mannerist paintings. Day 5: Florence, Poggio a Caiano. Visit the Galleria Palatina in the Palazzo Pitti, Florence’s main assembly of High Renaissance, Mannerist and Baroque paintings. A chapel in Santa Felicità is adorned by Pontorno’s great Annunciation and Deposition from the Cross. Drive to Poggio a Caiano to see the Medici Villa, begun in 1485 and in the next century filled with frescoes, notably by Pontormo in the main salon. Fly from Florence Airport, arriving at London City at c. 9.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,030 or £1,830 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,270 or £2,070 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Florence (hotelsantamarianovella.it): a delightful, renovated 4-star hotel in a very central location.

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By the early sixteenth century, Italian masters such as Leonardo, Raphael and the young Michelangelo had reached such a peak of perfection that succeeding artists felt they could not improve on their achievements. Some attempted shallow imitation, in the style or ‘manner’ of these inimitable geniuses. Others reacted against that style – and a movement was born that would evolve in different ways and in different places across Europe as the century progressed. The roots of Mannerism, as it became known, are firmly in and around Florence, where practitioners such as Andrea del Sarto, Jacopo Pontormo, Rosso Fiorentino and Parmigianino developed a highly stylized technique in both paintings and frescoes, which was a marked departure from what had gone before. Reacting to the consummate poise, balance, classicism and perfection of ideals associated with their illustrious predecessors, their work is characterised by complicated compositions, arcane references, an acid palette and psychological tension, not to mention strangely elongated human forms. Rosso Fiorentino would subsequently become one of the artists responsible for transforming the Palace of Fontainebleau under François I. In Venice the Mannerist style was finessed by Tintoretto, while El Greco brought his distinctive interpretation to the courts of Italy and Spain. But it is Florence that first nurtured the stylistic bridge between the High Renaissance and the Baroque. Parmigianino’s Madonna with the Long Neck, with its strange composition and perspective (and long neck), exemplifies the method in the madness of Mannerism. It resides in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence and features on our tour, which is based in the city with excursions to the towns of Poggio a Caiano, Carmignano and Volterra.

frescoes at the Chiostro dello Scalzo, The Life of St John the Baptist. In the afternoon visit the Franciscan church of Santa Croce, favoured burial place for leading Florentines, to view altarpieces by Mannerist artists, now beyond the Sacristy.

How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in the city centre where the ground is sometimes uneven and pavements are narrow. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Fitness is essential. Average coach travel per day: 32 miles. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: Civilisations of Sicily, 4–16 March 2019 (p.161); Venetian Palaces, 12–16 March 2019 (p.127); Wines of Tuscany, 25–30 March 2019 (p.141); Granada & Córdoba, 25 March–1 April 2019 (p.201); Palladian Villas, 26–31 March 2019 (p.124). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Mercury by Giambologna, which is housed in the Bargello, Florence, wood engraving c. 1880.

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Florence Revisited Art off the beaten track and in private collections Day 5. The Cenacolo di Sant’Apollonia has a Last Supper by Andrea del Castagno, and there is another by Perugino’s workshop at the Cenacolo di Fuligno. Private backstage tour of the Teatro della Pergola, an historic opera house. Free afternoon. Day 6. Poggio a Caiano was the country retreat of Lorenzo il Magnifico, and a highly important monument in the history of grand country houses. At Carmignano is the exquisite Annunciation by Pontormo. There is another Medici villa at Artimino, viewed briefly from the outside before lunch nearby. The Carthusian monastery at Galluzzo has beautiful cloisters and paintings by Pontormo. Day 7. Visit the tiny Museo del Bigallo, a lateGothic structure which houses a small collection of paintings with a religious theme. Fly from Florence to London City, arriving c. 9.15pm.

Practicalities 11–17 November 2019 (mf 883) 7 days • £2,510 Lecturer: Dr David Rosenthal Designed for those already familiar with the main sites, concentrating on places privately owned or not easy to access. A medley of pleasures, from mediaeval to modern, pursuing a number of key themes. A few places outside Florence – Fiesole, Poggio a Caiano, Carmignano, Artimino, Galluzzo. The B list? An A list by the standards of nearly everywhere else in the world.

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So abundant are Florence’s artistic riches that some masterpieces elude all but the most regular visitors. And those that are in private ownership, or for which access is only by special arrangement, are beyond the reach of all but the well-connected resident – unless you join this tour, which has been designed specially for those who are familiar with the main sights. As an introduction to Florence, it would be decidedly eccentric. As a week spent in pursuit of great art and architecture in one of the most beautiful cities in the world, it will be a delight. In quality and importance, the art seen far exceeds that on many of our tours to regions which have been less creative. But in Florence, even the second division is a world-beater. One of the reasons why many of the items on this itinerary are usually missed is simply because they are, geographically, peripheral, being located in the suburbs, or, even if within walking distance of the centre, they are away from the main clusters of monuments and museums. Subsidiary themes will emerge, such as depictions of the Last Supper, and the brief but brilliant episode of Mannerist painting. But the tour is a medley of pleasures, from medieval to (nearly) modern, from the famous to the little known, from the hard-to-find to the (nearly) impossible to get into. And then there is the beauty of Florence itself, and the charm of its surroundings. There will also be free time 138

in which you could re-visit some of the major museums and monuments. Many of the visits are by special arrangement and are dependent on the generosity of owners or institutions. There is the chance that one or two visits may have to be withdrawn, but suitable alternatives will be arranged.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.15am from London City to Florence. See Lippi’s Apparition of the Virgin to St. Bernard in the Badia Fiorentina, an abbey and church now home to the Fraternity of Jerusalem. Day 2. Visit Ghirlandaio’s Last Supper at Ognissanti and the Opificio delle Pietre Dure to see exquisite furniture and ornaments made from semi-precious stones. Palazzo Corsini al Prato was begun in 1591 to designs by Bernardo Buontalenti; it was acquired in 1621 by Filippo Corsini and refurbished by him. Lunch here, hosted by the owner. In the afternoon, see Villa La Pietra, once the property of Sir Harold Acton, and originally built by Francesco Sassetti, general manager of the Medici Bank in the 15th century. Day 3. The morning starts with a selective tour of the Uffizi, Italy’s most important art gallery, which has masterpieces by every major Florentine painter as well as international Old Masters. Walk through the Vasari Corridor from the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace, viewing the Medici collection of artists’ self-portraits. In the afternoon there is a private visit to parts of the redoubtable Palazzo Pitti not usually open to the public. Day 4. The Last Supper by Andrea del Sarto at San Salvi is the greatest 16th-century picture in Florence. Visit the Badia Fiesolana near Fiesole, a 15th-century church with a Romanesque façade. In Fiesole visit the cathedral and Roman theatre; also the Villa Medici, the first of its genre to provide a stunning view over Florence. Built by Michelozzo in the 15th century, it became home to Sibyl Cutting and her daughter Iris Origo. Aperitivo at Palazzo Gondi, designed in 1490 by Giuliano da Sangallo, favourite architect of Lorenzo de Medici.

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,510 or £2,370 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,890 or £2,750 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Santa Maria Novella, Florence (hotelsantamarianovella.it): a delightful, renovated 4-star hotel in a very central location. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking. This tour would not be suitable for anyone who has any difficulties with everyday walking or stairclimbing, or standing for long periods of time in museums. Average coach travel per day: 24 miles Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: Venetian Palaces, 5–9 November 2019 (p.127); Palaces & Villas of Rome, 18–23 November 2019 (p.148); Ruskin’s Venice, 23–23 November 2019 (p.129). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Leonardo 500 29 October–4 November 2019 (mf 766) Very few spaces remaining 7 days • £3,140 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott Works by the artist and places associated with his life in Vinci, Florence, Milan, Amboise and Paris. Vinci, his birthplace, has a museum dedicated to Leonardo’s scientific achievements. An extended itinerary with two days in France, where Leonardo spent his final years. 2019 marks the 500th anniversary of the artist’s death – visit a blockbuster exhibition at the Louvre in Paris, among others.

Illustration: Florence, Villa Medicea, Artimino, engraving from 'Country Walks about Florence', 1926.


Tuscan Gardens The pick of Tuscan gardens and villas 6–11 May 2019 (mf 516) 6 days • £2,380 Lecturer: Dr Katie Campbell Some of Europe’s finest historic gardens, Renaissance to twentieth-century. Selected for historical importance, horticultural interest and visual impact. A constant backdrop of supremely beautiful Tuscan landscapes. Most visits are by special arrangement. Option to combine this tour with Châteaux of the Loire, 2–5 May 2019 (see page 80).

Illustration: Villa Petraia, watercolour by M. Nixon, publ. 1916.

If combining this tour with Châteaux of the Loire: travel by coach to Paris Charles de Gaulle airport on 5th May and fly to Florence (Air France). Car transfer to Fiesole, overnight at Hotel Villa Fiesole. Car transfer to Villa Gamberaia the following day. Day 1: Fiesole, Gamberaia. Fly at c. 8.30am from London Heathrow to Pisa (British Airways). On the way to Fiesole visit Villa Gamberaia near Settignano, one of the loveliest gardens in Italy; it achieved its present form during the ownership of a Romanian princess from 1896 and an American heiress after 1924. First of three nights in Fiesole. Day 2: Fiesole, Castello. Enter the enchanting world of Anglo-American gardens of the early 20th century at Villa Le Balze. Designed by Pinsent and Scott for the American philosopher Charles Augustus Strong (with Rockefeller money), it comprises a sequence of terraces, enclosed within walls or open to a spectacular view of Florence. The Villa Medicea at Castello, created from 1537 for Grand Duke Cosimo I by Tribolo and Buontalenti, is important historically – the least altered of major 16thcentury gardens – and fascinating horticulturally. Nearby Petraia was made for another Medici from 1576 and later remodelled. Day 3: Pratolino, near Florence. The once celebrated Medici garden at Pratolino was largely lost to English-style landscaping in 1819, but the colossal sculpture Appennino by Giambologna survives. The largest of the AngloAmerican gardens, La Pietra was created by Arthur Acton (father of Harold); 57 acres, ‘rooms’, vistas, a green theatre, 180 statues and much else. The afternoon is free; Fiesole is a very attractive hill-top town with Romanesque cathedral and Roman theatre; alternatively, the centre of Florence is half an hour by bus.

is also an Art Deco Spanish garden, a water theatre and a lemon garden with over 200 vases of citrus plants. The final visit is to the Baroque garden at Villa Torrigiani, the most attractive of the group of 17th-century villas around Lucca. Fly from Pisa to Heathrow, arriving c. 9.00pm.

Practicalities

Day 4: Fiesole, San Casciano in Val di Pesa, Pienza. Though altered subsequently, the broad terraces around the villa in Fiesole built for Giovanni de Medici in the 1450s are of huge importance for the primacy attached to leisure and for embracing magnificent views. Villa Poggio Torselli has undergone a recent award-winning restoration; a magnificent avenue, a grand 17thcentury house and an unexpected burst of floral and citrus abundance, surrounded by Chianti countryside. Continue south to Pienza for the first of two nights.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,380 or £2,280 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,750 or £2,650 without flights.

Day 5: Sovicille, La Foce. In the morning visit the Castello di Celsa, an old castle converted to a palatial villa in the 16th century, with stunning gardens built in the 17th century. La Foce was a social and agricultural project as much as a villa and garden, but here Pinsent designed for the redoubtable Iris Origo one of the last, and some say the greatest, of the Anglo-Florentine gardens.

How strenuous? A good level of fitness is essential. Some gardens are very large, many are on sloping ground and the coach will often not be able to set down at the entrance to the sites. Average distance by coach per day: 40 miles.

Day 6: Marlia, Camigliano. Drive north to the Villa Reale di Marlia, once the residence of the first King of Italy Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy, to see its extensive gardens. The Green Theatre, made up of yew hedges, was planted in 1652 and is where Paganini would sometimes perform. There

Included meals: 2 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Villa Fiesole, Fiesole (villafiesole.it): an excellently located 4-star hotel with beautiful views of Florence. Relais Il Chiostro, Pienza (relaisilchiostrodipienza.com): comfortable 4-star hotel, formerly a friary dating to the 15th century and excellently situated off the main square of the town.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Châteaux of the Loire and Tuscan Gardens combined. Two sharing: £4,430 or £4,260 without Eurostar or the tour flights. Single occupancy: £5,120 or £4,950 without Eurostar or the tour flights. This includes the one-way flight from Paris to Florence (Air France), airport transfers and the extra accommodation in Fiesole (1 night). These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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As for lovers of art, so also for lovers of gardens: the allure of Tuscany is irresistible, consisting of a dense concentration of historically important and magically beautiful examples which are ensconced in landscapes and urban settings of exceptional attractiveness. Some of the world’s earliest surviving gardens are here; a couple on this tour date to the fifteenth century. There’s a clutch of immensely influential gardens of the sixteenth century, creations of the ruling Medici dynasty, and fine examples from the next couple of centuries are also present. Most of the planting has periodically been renewed of course, but modern curatorship and conservation practices have brought these historic gardens closer to their original appearance than they have been for a very long time. Some of the most attractive gardens in the region do not pretend to be historicist recreations, however, but are twentieth-century variations on the ‘Italian’ style. Some have French or English ingredients, some elements are entirely original, but nevertheless they remain quintessentially Tuscan. A prime mover here was the ex-pat community in and around Florence in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. It was numerous, generally inclined towards matters aesthetic and not infrequently very rich. Their patronage, and the genius of English garden designer Cecil Pincent, gave rise to the Anglo-American Renaissance Revival which incorporated traditional forms and ingredients into innovative and enchanting designs. The famously distinctive Tuscan landscape, with its terraced hillsides, complex textures and subtle variety of greens – olives, cypress trees, vines, oak and pasture – not only provides a constant backdrop to these gardens but, in many cases, played a role in the designer’s scheme. The tilting topography necessitated the terraces from which the surrounding countryside and the valley settlements can be viewed. The Renaissance revival of Classical learning quickened the development of the villa as a place of retreat and as a resort for intellectual and horticultural pastimes. Allied to this was the transformation of the mediaeval, antagonistic attitude towards nature towards one of joy in the sight of nearby farmland and distant vistas.

Itinerary


Walking in Southern Tuscany Art, architecture and landscapes in the Val d’Orcia and Chianti end of a morning’s walk, sometimes during a half day spent in leisurely exploration of one of the enchanting little cities or settlements. All are seen in the enlightening company of an art historian. And while the walks are taxing enough to ensure that hearty evening meals are fully deserved, they are not so strenuous as to detract from enjoying the ever-changing views and natural, agricultural and constructed sights. We take trouble to ensure that much of what you eat is produced from fine local ingredients, including Pecorino cheese (whose pungent flavour is due to the herbs grazed by ewes on the unique clay soils south of Siena) and the prized salami of the cinta senese pigs. The food is often perfectly complemented by a glass of one of the world’s finest red wines. As this tour is based for three nights in Radda in Chianti, today still the nucleus of Tuscan viticulture and where the noble Sangiovese vine is most prevalent, opportunity is allowed for tastings of these robust reds. We also visit a producer of some of the finest Chianti Classico, in a former monastery where thirsty monks made a wine similar to the sophisticated Chianti produced today.

Itinerary

7–14 October 2019 (mf 776) 8 days • £2,770 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley Five walks of between 4 and 10 kilometres through exquisite landscape of soaring cypress, olives and vines. Art history away from the tourist throngs – mediaeval fortress towns, Romanesque churches, Renaissance palazzi, Sienese painting. Based in two tiny towns in topographically diverse areas of Tuscany.

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Includes two wine tastings – in Montalcino and Badia a Coltibuono. To walk through quintessentially Tuscan landscapes, along chalky tracks lined with soaring cypress trees and flanked by neat rows of vines and well-kept olive trees, must surely be one of life’s great pleasures. The walks selected here pass through farmland and woodland, where primrose, violet and cyclamen nestle below chestnut, holm oak and beech. Pine trees grace the higher terrain. Walking is conducive to observing at close quarters the variations of plant, animal and birdlife in this enchanting countryside. But if seeing the artistic and architectural delights in these parts of Tuscany is your aim, this tour also offers opportunity to do so. We avoid the tourist throngs in the larger towns and cities and concentrate on the smaller and less-visited places. Mediaeval fortress towns, Romanesque churches, Renaissance palazzi and paintings of the Sienese school are particularly in evidence here. Sometimes these are seen at the beginning or the 140

Day 1. Fly at c. 8.30am from London Heathrow to Pisa (British Airways). Drive to Pienza, a gem of Renaissance architecture created by Pope Pius II as a tribute to his place of birth, which is the base for four nights. Day 2: San Quirico, Pienza. Drive to the little walled town of San Quirico d’Orcia. Visit the Collegiata with its splendid portals and the Horti Leonini, public gardens dating to the 17th century. A moderate walk back to Pienza through rolling, open farmland of rare beauty, visiting the Romanesque church of Corsignano before the steady climb to Pienza: c. 6 km, 2½ hours. In the afternoon, explore this little city where at the centre the cathedral, episcopal palace and Pius’s own palazzo form a harmonious group. Day 3: Sant’Antimo, Montalcino. An easy walk from near Montalcino, downhill through a pretty valley, part vineyard, partially wooded, punctuated by farmsteads, and arrive at the remote and serene monastery of Sant’Antimo: c. 7 km, 2 hours. This most beautiful of Romanesque churches is in part constructed of luminous alabaster. Once an impregnable fortress and now centre of Brunello wines, Montalcino is a hilltop community with magnificent views and a collection of Sienese paintings in the civic museum. There is a wine tasting here. Return by coach to Pienza. Day 4: Monticchiello, Montepulciano. The mediaeval hamlet of Monticchiello, with views across Val d’Orcia, is the starting point for a moderate morning walk through a valley, before continuing uphill to Pienza: c. 6 km, 2½ hours. Montepulciano is one of the most picturesque of Tuscan hill towns, with grey stone palaces piled up towards the main square at the apex. The cathedral here is rich in Renaissance works of art, while outside the walls is a centrally planned church, a Renaissance masterpiece.

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Day 5: Monte Oliveto Maggiore, Asciano. The monastery of Monte Oliveto Maggiore is a fine complex of Early Renaissance art and architecture, the cloister having 36 frescoes by Signorelli (1445–1523) and Sodoma (1477–1549). Break the journey in Asciano, a delightful town sitting in the heart of the Crete Senesi, a name referring to the clay crags typical of this area. Radda in Chianti, once the capital of the Chianti League established in 1250, is one of the most attractive of the region’s settlements. Stay three nights in Radda. Day 6: Gaiole in Chianti, Badia a Coltibuono. From Gaiole, walk a pleasantly varied, challenging route through Chianti countryside with woodland, vineyards and breath-taking vistas: c. 10 km, 3½ hours. Badia a Coltibuono, a former abbey founded by Vallombrosan monks, has an important history of viticulture. Lunch and wine tasting at the estate restaurant before a visit to the abbey’s 16th-century frescoed refectory, gardens and wine cellars. Day 7: Badiaccia Montemuro, Volpaia. An optional, moderate morning walk through variegated woods including oak and silver birch to the well-preserved hamlet of Volpaia: c. 6 km, 2½ hours. The village is dedicated to the arts and wine-making, ensuring its original architectural features remain intact. A further moderate, optional walk in the afternoon descends through the estate’s impressively maintained vineyards to the valley floor before climbing to Radda: c. 4.5 km, 2 hours. Day 8. Fly, Pisa to Heathrow, arriving at c. 2.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,770 or £2,650 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,100 or £2,980 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches (two including wine tastings) and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Relais Il Chiostro, Pienza (anghelhotels.it): 4-star former friary dating to the 15th century close to the main square. Relais Vignale, Radda in Chianti (vignale.it): 4-star 17th-century manor house with historical links to Chianti wine production. How strenuous? This is a walking tour, graded moderate (see page 8). There are 6 walks, 1 is easy, 3 are moderate (of which 2 are optional) and 1 is challenging. It is essential for participants to have appropriate walking footwear, be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking with uphill and downhill content. If you are used to them you may find walking poles useful. Average distance by coach per day: 44 miles Group size: between 10 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: Pompeii & Herculaneum, 30 September–5 October 2019 (p.153); World Heritage Malta, 30 September–6 October 2019 (p.165); Palladian Villas, 1–6 October 2019 (p.124); Art in Madrid, 2–6 October 2019 (p.195); Mediaeval Alsace, 15–22 October 2019 (p.78). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Monte Oliveto, after a drawing 1904.


Wines of Tuscany Traditional and modern in spectacular surroundings 25–30 March 2019 (mf 463) 6 days • £2,930 Lecturer: Michelle Cherutti-Kowal mw Visits and tutored-tastings at top producers, mainly by special arrangement. Traditional and modern wineries in spectacular settings. Accompanied throughout by a Master of Wine, expert in Tuscan wines. Stay in a five-star hotel in central Siena.

Day 3: Bolgheri. Today’s journey is westwards to the coast and its vineyards of Bordeaux grape varieties. Le Macchiole was one of five wineries to initiate experimental winemaking in this part of Tuscany. A private visit and tasting of three of their complex and elegant wines. Lunch at the Osteria Enoteca San Guido, where we taste Sassicaia. The afternoon is spent at Ornellaia, which has passed through the famous hands of Antinori and Mondavi and is now owned by the Frescobaldi family. Day 4: Montalcino. Free morning in Siena, whose treasures and beauties can scarcely be exhausted in a lifetime of visits. In the afternoon, travel to the Casanova di Neri estate for a Brunello di Montalcino. Varied microclimates across the 63 hectares of vines have allowed for the production of eight diverse wines. Sample a selection of these paired with local cheeses. Return to Siena for an evening lecture and tasting at the hotel. Day 5: Chianti Classico. Some free time in Siena before a mid-morning departure to the rustic Isole e Olena, surrounded by neat vineyards and spectacular views. The afternoon and early evening is spent in the hamlet of San Felice; despite its ownership by a multi-national company, the welcome is personal, and tradition and innovation are successfully combined. A light supper in the winery before returning to Siena.

Day 6: Chianti Classico. Drive north to Chianti Classico for a tour and tasting at the familial state-of-the-art Antinori winery, whose influence is felt across the region. Fly from Pisa, returning to London Heathrow at c. 4.30pm. The tour is dependent on the kindness of many individuals and organisations, some of whom are reluctant to make arrangements far in advance. The order of visits may change and there may be substitutions for some of the wineries mentioned.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,930 or £2,820 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,340 or £3,230 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Continental, Siena (starhotelscollezione.com): elegant, welcoming 5-star, city-centre hotel housed in a former 17th-century palazzo. Rooms vary in style. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing in possibly muddy vineyards and cool, damp cellars. Coach journeys can be long via winding roads. Average number of wines tasted per day: 8. Average coach travel per day: 94 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Jonathan Keates’s Venice, 18–24 March 2019 (p.128); The Birth of Mannerism, 20–24 March 2019 (p.137); Gardens of the Bay of Naples, 31 March–7 April 2019 (p.152). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Siena, by Sir Alfred East RA, publ. 1914.

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Tuscan viticulture was once dominated by the monasteries and local aristocracy, with some names such as Antinori having played an important role since the 14th century. But whereas large estates were once farmed by tenants, the region generally now comprises smallholdings, very often owned and worked by investors from outside the region, frequently from abroad. In some parts of Chianti Classico, vines grow at altitudes of 500 metres where day and night-time temperatures vary sufficiently to allow longer and finer ripening of Tuscany’s indigenous Sangiovese. Wines made here from the best Sangiovese clones can be dark but balanced, developing complex farmyard aromas over time. High yields and white grape varieties once permitted under the DOCG labelling are now banned and instead, classic Syrah, Merlot or Cabernet Sauvignon can form a small percentage of the blend. Vino Nobile di Montepulciano also allows foreign red grapes into its blend, and the white grapes grown here produce the deliciously sweet Vin Santo. Brunello is a local strain of Sangiovese around the town of Montalcino, the high prices commanded by its wines testament to its equally high quality. Though the soils are poor, the climate is kind, a winning combination for beautifully concentrated wines of considerable longevity, best first approached in their middle age. But the biggest Tuscan-wine success story at the end of the last century was at sea-level surrounding the small town of Bolgheri. Because vines were not traditionally grown there, there were no restrictions in using foreign grape varieties and thus the world-class Cabernet Sauvignon, Sassicaia, was born. Ornellaia came into being some twenty years later and so the rush began to emulate Bordeaux in this maritime amphitheatre whose backdrop is formed by the Metallifere hills. Mediaeval Siena forms a hub for our chosen itinerary and the group stays here throughout.

introduced organic and biodynamic methods to the estate. Visit the vineyards, Vinsantaia and Barricaia, followed by a tasting of wines and olive oil. After lunch, continue on to nearby family-owned Poliziano, the local Sangiovese or Prugnolo Gentile vineyards and modern installations where international style wines still reflect the local terroir.

Itinerary Day 1: Siena. Fly at c. 11.00am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Pisa. Drive to the city of Siena, the largest of hilltop towns in Tuscany, distinguished by an architectural and artistic legacy of an exquisite elegance. Upon arrival, enjoy a private tasting with the lecturer in the hotel’s indoor courtyard. Day 2: Montepulciano. Drive south to the considerable house of Avignonesi, taken over in 2009 by the current Belgian owner, who Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Gastronomic Le Marche Food, wine, art and hilltop towns in undiscovered Italy 20–27 May 2019 (mf 543) 8 days • £3,270 Lecturers: Marc Millon & Dr Thomas-Leo True Unspoilt and exceedingly picturesque – one of the least-visited and most compelling regions of Italy. A gastronomy that reflects a varied geology, along ancient byways from the Apennines to the Adriatic. Explores the masterpieces of Lorenzo Lotto, subject of a major exhibition at the National Gallery in London from November 2018. Two lecturers accompany the tour: an art historian and a gastronomic specialist. Option to combine this tour with Courts of Northern Italy, 12–19 May 2019 (see page 132). Located on the Adriatic coast in the centre of Italy, Le Marche is one of Italy’s still-to-be-discovered regions. Its wonderful cuisine and wines, which display influences from mountain and sea and range from sophisticated flavours in the north to more robust tastes in the south, are a well-kept and delicious secret. Illustration: Urbino, after a drawing by Joseph Pennell 1886.

The region’s history dates back to ancient times. Vitally strategic Roman roads passed through: Via Salaria, the salt road that ran from Rome to the Adriatic through Ascoli Piceno; Via Flaminia, which reached the sea at Fanum Fortunae (present-day Fano), and from there linked up with Via Emilia to the north. Gastronomically there is splendid variety: hearty mountain stews contrast with fresh seaside dishes; the refined foods of northern Italy melding with the more robust and sometimes piccante flavours of the Mezzogiorno. Here coniglio – rabbit – is stuffed with fennel, garlic and chilli ‘in porchetta’, while mussels – moscioli in local dialect – are served over spaghetti. Vincisgrassi is the local baked pasta, a fulsome concoction made with lasagna, ragù, chicken livers, prosciutto, béchamel and sometimes black truffles from Acqualagna. These are foods to satisfy the appetites of hunters, country folk and fishermen. Yet, notwithstanding the simple pleasures of cibo della strada (street food) such as the fried olive ascolane or piadina hot off the griddle, Le Marche is also home to one of Italy’s greatest temples of gastronomy: at Ristorante Uliassi we’ll experience modern seaside dining at its most sophisticated. Le Marche’s cuisine is pleasurably washed down with some of Italy’s most undervalued wines. The Verdicchio grape, once used to produce indifferent wines bottled in the distinctive lollobrigida (the ‘sexy bottle’ was supposed to

suggest a Greek amphora), has become one of Italy’s most characterful white grapes, producing wines of concentration and elegance. Little-known Pecorino can be equally delightful. Red wines, notably Rosso Piceno and Rosso Conero, are simply outstanding. The region has plenty to delight and much of great merit in terms of art and architecture. Two painters in particular are associated with the area, Carlo Crivelli and Lorenzo Lotto, and we see some of the best of the pictures by these wayward geniuses. The latter is subject of a major exhibition at London’s National Gallery from November 2018 to February 2019.

Itinerary If combining this tour with Courts of Northern Italy: take a car transfer from Bologna Airport to Ascoli Piceno on 19th May and stay overnight at Palazzo Guiderocchi. Day 1: Ascoli Piceno. Fly at c. 10.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome. Drive to Ascoli Piceno, an exceptionally attractive little city, ringed by rivers and wooded hills, where the first three nights are spent. Day 2: Ascoli Piceno. Explore the centre of Ascoli, an unspoilt agglomeration of mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque buildings around arcaded squares and narrow streets. The walk ends at a producer of the delicate olive ascolane: sweet and juicy green olives stuffed with aromatised meat and fried in breadcrumbs. Watch how they are made and taste them here. In the afternoon visit a family-run distillery of anisetta on the outskirts of the town. Evening aperitivo at the distillery’s town-centre seat, a historic café in Piazza del Popolo.

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Day 3: Piattoni, San Savino di Ripatransone. Visit the Borgo Storico Seghetti Panichi, a bioenergetic garden and park. Tour of the garden with the Principessa Giulia Panichi Pignatelli followed by a cooking demonstration and lunch in the restaurant. North-east of Ascoli lies the Piceno wine region, a landscape characterised by vineyards interspersed with olive groves and farms. Visit the Cocci Grifoni winery and vineyards, a historic estate whose owner’s vision and tenacity facilitated the revival and success of Pecorino wine. Day 4: Monte S. Giusto, Castelfidardo, Recanati. At Monte San Giusto see the great Crucifixion by Lorenzo Lotto, described by Berenson as the finest of the 16th century. Continue to Portonovo, home to the pescatori dei moscioli (designated a Slow Food Presidio product). Meet the fishermen and taste the mussels over lunch. Drive to Garofoli, Le Marche’s oldest wine producer, for a tour and vertical tasting. Continue to Recanati, where the following two nights are spent. Day 5: Recanati, Tolentino, Colmurano. A charming town, Recanati spreads along the ridge of a neighbouring hill; four of Lotto’s paintings are in the museum, including the famous Annunciation. Now something of a backwater, the shrine of S. Nicola da Tolentino once made the town a major pilgrimage destination and the 142

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The Heart of Italy Umbria’s finest art and architecture sumptuous church has fine mediaeval frescoes. Continue to an agriturismo for a visit to the orto (vegetable garden) a tasting of local beer, salami and cheese and a traditional Marchegiano lunch. Day 6: Loreto, Senigallia, Urbino. Spend the morning in Loreto, where some of the finest artists and architects of Renaissance Italy worked, including Bramante, Signorelli, Melozzo da Forli and Lotto. Continue to Senigallia for lunch at Uliassi, one of the best restaurants in Italy, with two Michelin stars. Continue to Urbino, Duke Federico da Montefeltro’s principal residence and one of Italy’s loveliest towns, where the following two nights are spent. See the exquisite Gothic frescoes in the Oratorio di S. Giovanni. Day 7: Acqualagna, Urbino. Some consider Acqualagna to be Italy’s truffle capital. There is a truffle hunt near here this morning, then a visit to a truffle-processing plant. Sample the truffles over lunch in a nearby restaurant. Return to Urbino to visit the Palazzo Ducale, a masterpiece of architecture which evolved over 30 years as the perfect Renaissance secular environment. Day 8: Cartoceto. Visit Gastronomia Beltrami, a cheesemaker and vendor, and see the formaggio di fossa, Pecorino cheese aged in wells. Olive oil and cheese-tasting before a light lunch. Continue to Bologna airport and fly to London Heathrow, arriving c. 8.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,270 or £3,080 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,590 or £3,400 without flights. Included meals: 6 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine.

How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking involved. Participants need to be used to walking unaided on uneven terrain, and surefootedness is also essential for truffle hunting in the woods. The tour also involves walking in town centres, sometimes uphill and over unevenly paved ground. Some days involve a lot of driving through hilly terrain. Average distance by coach per day: 78 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Courts of Northern Italy and Gastronomic Le Marche combined. Two sharing: £5,740 or £5,580 without flights. Single occupancy: £6,510 or £6,350 without flights. This includes accommodation (1 night) and a car transfer between the two. These arrangements are prebooked but unescorted.

An excellent survey of the art and architecture of Umbria, heartland of the Renaissance. Based throughout in the hilltop town of Spello, amidst ageless undulating countryside. Perugia, Spoleto, Assisi and significant smaller towns away from the main tourist centres. Also known as the ‘green heart of Italy’, Umbria contains a vast and varied array of what visitors most love about central Italy: ancient streetscapes crammed onto hilltops, exquisitely undulating countryside of olive, cypress and vine, and an abundance of wonderful art. Rarely can the spirit of the Middle Ages be so potently felt as in the hill towns of central Italy. That such small communities could have built each dwelling so massively, raised churches and public buildings of such magnificence and created works of art of such monumentality inspires awe bordering on disbelief among today’s visitors. This is also the heartland of the Renaissance, and several of the leading artists of the era were natives who worked here before being inveigled to the great metropolises of Florence and Rome. Many of the most important and beautiful of Italy’s incomparable patrimony of paintings and frescoes are included on this tour. The great Giottesque cycle at Assisi stands at the beginning of the modern era of art, and the Last Judgement frescoes by Signorelli in Orvieto are on the cusp of the High Renaissance. While

in the field of architecture Romanesque and Gothic predominate, there are many major Renaissance buildings, including the centrally planned church at Todi. The man-made environment melds with the natural in a picturesque union of intense beauty. It is a landscape of rumpled hills, sometimes rugged and forested, sometimes tamed in the struggle to cultivate, always speckled with ancient farmsteads, fortified villages and isolated churches. Even from the central piazze of many of these towns there are views of countryside which seems scarcely to have changed for centuries.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino. Drive to Spello, the small, quiet town which is the base for this tour. Day 2: Assisi. Drive the short distance to Assisi and spend much of the morning at S. Francesco, mother church of the Franciscan Order. Here is one of the greatest assemblages of mediaeval fresco painting, including the controversial cycle of the Life of St Francis. In the afternoon, walk through the austere mediaeval streets and visit the church of Sta. Chiara and the Romanesque cathedral. Day 3: Todi, Spello. Visit Sta. Maria della Consolazione in Todi, a centrally planned Renaissance church influenced by Bramante’s ideas. Walk through the town, seeing the cathedral and the church of S. Fortunato, with its richly decorated central doorway and frescoes by Masolino. Return in the afternoon to the small hilltop town of Spello, which has fine Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Accommodation. Palazzo Guiderocchi, Ascoli Piceno (palazzoguiderocchi.com): converted Renaissance palace in the heart of the city, which retains many original features. Gallery Hotel, Recanati (ghr.it): former private palazzo, the rooms are furnished and decorated in a contemporary style. Hotel San Domenico, Urbino (viphotels.it): converted from a monastery building and the most centrally located hotel, opposite the Ducal Palace.

9–16 September 2019 (mf 687) 8 days • £2,480 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott


The Heart of Italy continued

'Michael has a wonderful way of bringing to life centuries old sights. Never boring or dull, and always witty and on point.' J.M. & K.M., participants on The Heart of Italy in 2018.

Roman remains and richly coloured Renaissance frescoes by Pinturicchio in the church of Sta. Maria Maggiore. Day 4: Perugia, capital of Umbria, is one of the largest and loveliest of Italian hill towns and has both major works of art and architecture and the authentic, age-old liveliness of a prosperous market town. Morning visits include the Palazzo dei Priori, the mediaeval town hall now housing the National Gallery of Umbria, and a merchants’ hall. An afternoon walk includes an impressive Etruscan city gateway, the mediaeval walls and the richly carved façade of the Renaissance church of S. Bernardino. Day 5: Foligno, Montefalco. Known to the Romans as Fulginium, Foligno lies on the banks of the river Topino. It offers a range of exceptional attractions and yet is little known to tourists. See the restored palace of the Trinci family, lords of Foligno, and home to extensive frescoes now known to be the work of the greatest Italian master of International Gothic, Gentile da Fabriano. Continue to Montefalco, a delightful hilltop community with magnificent views of the valley below and hills around. In the deconsecrated church of S. Francesco are frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli. Return to Spello for some free time.

Day 6: Gubbio. Spilling down a hillside and offering sensational views across Umbrian countryside, Gubbio is one of the most beautiful and well preserved ancient towns in Italy. The Palazzo dei Consoli is an austerely magnificent mediaeval town hall located beside a square with one side open to the view; it houses the art gallery of the Museo Civico. Higher up, the Palazzo Ducale was built by warlord Federico da Montefeltro, one of the greatest patrons of the arts in the Early Renaissance.

Practicalities

Day 7: Orvieto. Spend the day in this entrancing hilltop town, with its glistening marble Gothic cathedral. Among its treasures are the low relief sculptures by Maitani and the apocalyptic Last Judgement frescoes by Signorelli (1505). Visit also the cathedral museum, richly endowed with art, sculpture and religious artefacts.

How strenuous? Many visits take place in hill towns, with very steep, uneven inclines leading from the coach park. Agility and sure-footedness are particularly essential. There is a lot of coach travel. Average distance by coach per day: 72 miles.

Day 8: Spoleto. A morning walk in Spoleto includes the Ponte delle Torri, a mediaeval aqueduct famously painted by Turner, and finishes at the cathedral square. One of the most imposing in Italy, it slopes like an auditorium towards the cathedral façade with its mosaics and rose windows; inside there are frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi. Drive to Rome Fiumicino airport for an evening flight arriving at London Heathrow at c. 8.30pm.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,480 or £2,260 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,640 or £2,420 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel La Bastiglia, Spello (labastiglia.com): well-appointed 4-star hotel at the apex of Spello, with wonderful views from the terrace.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Flemish Painting, 4–8 September 2019 (p.55); Walking to Santiago, 17–27 September 2019 (p.187); The Cathedrals of England, 18–26 September 2019 (p.10); Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes, 19–25 September 2019 (p.117). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration, previous page: Orvieto, low relief sculpture from the cathedral façade, wood engraving c. 1880. Below left: Perugia cathedral, lithograph by V. Faini c. 1930.

Trasimeno Music Festival 28 June–6 July 2019 Full details available in January 2019 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk The fifteenth anniversary of the festival created by pianist Angela Hewitt, who traditionally appears in six of the seven performances.

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Approximately seven concerts in beautiful settings, among others usually a castle near Lake Trasimeno, the Basilica di San Pietro in Perugia and the Teatro Signorelli in Cortona. Based in Perugia, one of the largest and loveliest of Italian hill towns. One of the most acclaimed pianists of today, Angela Hewitt inaugurated her own music festival in the heart of Italy in 2005. She bought land overlooking Lake Trasimeno, and built a house as a retreat from her gruelling concert tours. The idea of a festival in the vicinity emerged and with characteristic energy Hewitt made it a reality, charming local officials into giving the necessary permissions and enlisting their enthusiastic support. For her festival, she gathers around her artists of international standing, and as they make music together the atmosphere created is one of complete enjoyment for performers and audience alike. 144

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Footpaths of Umbria Walks, art and wine between Arezzo and Assisi 6–13 May 2019 (mf 512) 8 days • £2,730 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley 2–9 September 2019 (mf 670) 8 days • £2,730 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley Six walks of 5–7.5 km between Arezzo and Assisi through the inimitable Umbrian countryside. Enjoy the art of Piero della Francesca, Luca Signorelli and Giotto. Visit isolated hermitages, churches and cathedrals associated with St Francis.

Illustration: Assisi, Church of St Francis, watercolour by Frank Fox c. 1900.

Day 1: Città di Castello. Fly at c. 8.15am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna. Spend the first of four nights in Città di Castello. Day 2: Montecasale, Sansepolcro. St Francis passed through the Convent of Montecasale in 1213 on his journey to the Adriatic and Jerusalem, and a small community of friars have continued to provide pilgrim accommodation since then. Walk from Montecasale to La Montagna: c. 7.5 km, c. 2 hours. A high-level walk on paths, tracks and exposed ground, and through woodland. It is graded as challenging given the uneven nature of the paths and a long downhill section at the end. Lunch in Sansepolcro, then visit the museum in the former town hall, where Piero della Francesca’s early masterpiece, Madonna della Misericordia and the marvellous Resurrection fresco are housed. Day 3: Arezzo, Monterchi. Drive to Arezzo to see Piero della Francesca’s great fresco cycle, The Legend of the True Cross, painted for the Franciscan order and executed over a 20-year period. After lunch walk from Monteautello to Monterchi: c. 5.5 km, c. 1½ hours. This is an easy, gently undulating walk on farm tracks and country roads. Piero della Francesca’s beautiful Madonna del Parto has its own museum in the village. Day 4: Le Celle, Cortona. Begin the morning’s walk from the immaculately kept Eremo Le Celle, which Francis visited in 1226: c. 5 km, c. 2 hours. This is a moderate walk that starts gently downhill, on woodland tracks outside Cortona, before joining a cobbled Roman path that leads uphill to the town centre. Cortona is highly attractive and has a good art gallery, notable for paintings by Fra Angelico and Signorelli. Day 5: Montefalco, Bevagna, Trevi (May) or Spello (September). Known as the ‘Balcony of Umbria’, Montefalco’s mediaeval church houses 15th-century frescoes of the Florentine and Umbrian school; the town is also well known for its inky and full-bodied Sagrantino wines. An easy walk on country trails and lanes from Montefalco to Fabbri: c. 5 km, c. 1½ hours. Drive to Bevagna, the Roman Mevania, home to one of Italy’s most harmonious squares. First of three nights in Trevi (May) or Spello (September). Day 6: Assisi. Morning walk from Pieve San Nicolò to Assisi: c. 6 km, c. 2 hours. This is a moderate walk on a strada bianca (rough farm track), minor roads and woodland paths. The path predominantly descends, although the last section is uphill through the Bosco Francescano. The walk ends through the city gate which leads directly to the Basilica. Here we see one of the greatest assemblages of mediaeval fresco painting, including the cycle of the Life of St Francis which some attribute to Giotto. There is time to walk through the austere mediaeval streets and visit the church of Sta. Chiara. Day 7: Collepino, Spello. Drive to Collepino, a restored mediaeval borgo with views of Monte Subasio and, on a fine day, the Monti Sibillini. Walk from Collepino to Spello: 6 km, c. 2 hours. This is an easy route is downhill and on a level

track to Spello, through olive groves running alongside the Roman aqueduct built to supply the ‘splendissima colonia Julia’. There is time to enjoy Spello’s harmonious architecture and the richly coloured Renaissance frescoes by Pinturicchio in the church of Sta. Maria Maggiore. Day 8. Drive to Rome with a break in Montegiove en route. Fly from Rome Fiumicino to Heathrow, arriving c. 8.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,730 or £2,520 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,920 or £2,710 without flights. Included meals: 5 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Tiferno, Città di Castello (hoteltiferno.it): central, 4-star hotel, renovated respecting the original architecture. Antica Dimora alla Rocca, Trevi (May) (hotelallarocca. it): historical 4-star hotel on top of the Trevi Hillside, with wonderful views of the mediaeval centre of the town. Hotel La Bastiglia, Spello (September) (labastiglia.com): well-appointed 4-star hotel at the apex of Spello, with wonderful views from the terrace. How strenuous? This is a walking tour, graded moderate (see page 8). There are 6 walks, 3 are easy, 2 are moderate and 1 challenging. It is essential for participants to have appropriate walking footwear, be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking with uphill and downhill content. If you are used to them you may find walking poles useful. Average distance by coach per day: c. 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 18 participants. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Umbria brings together art and architecture of the highest importance, unspoilt countryside of breath-taking beauty and pockets of rare tranquillity. Land-locked, and located more or less in the centre of the peninsula, the region is criss-crossed by ancient paths, used for millennia by myriad travellers, traders, pilgrims and preachers. Two itinerant denizens in particular are encountered time and again on this tour, St Francis of Assisi and Piero della Francesca. Stimulated by the movement of people, goods and ideas along the Via Flaminia, the main route from Rome to Ravenna, the economic and artistic life of Umbria began to flourish in the Middle Ages. Ideas absorbed from Byzantium were encountered and transformed by stylistic novelties from Rome, Florence and Siena. In the early thirteenth century, the son of a rich cloth merchant in Assisi, one Francis, came to prominence in the region; he shunned the material excess and increasing secularization around him and embraced humility, simplicity and harmony with nature as an alternative Christian approach. Perambulating throughout Umbria and central Italy he preached with fervour, touched the hearts of thousands and attracted devoted disciples. Out of this movement the Franciscan Order grew. Building work on the Basilica di San Francesco began two years after Francis’s death in Assisi in 1226; the fresco cycles here are some of the most art historically important in Italy. Cimabue, Giotto, Cavallini, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini are all thought to have been involved in the work and, despite varying degrees of restoration and preservation, they constitute one of the great achievements of western civilisation. The early Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca is also associated with the region. Born c. 1412 in Sansepolcro, which lies just over the border in Tuscany, like all artists of his time he led a peripatetic existence, travelling wherever work took him. In many ways, he stands like a lone star, one who did not leave an obvious trail in terms of followers, but one so bright as still to shine today. Our Piero trail also includes The Resurrection, dubbed by Aldous Huxley ‘the best picture’, and the quiet power and subtle beauty of The Legend of the True Cross in Arezzo’s Basilica di San Francesco.

Itinerary


Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana From formal to frivolous in spectacular settings Day 3: Bomarzo, Vignanello. Vicino Orsini created a Renaissance ‘theme park’ at Bomarzo of extraordinary grotesque animals and statues based on figures from Ariosto’s Orlando Furioso. Visit the Renaissance Castello Ruspoli and its enchanting gardens (by special arrangement). First of three nights in Grottaferrata, near Frascati. Day 4: Tivoli. Spend the morning at Hadrian’s Villa, designed entirely by him and inspired by sites he visited during his travels in the Empire, undoubtedly the richest building project in the Roman Empire. Lunch is in a good restaurant with astonishing views. The vast garden at Villa d’Este became one of the classic visits on the Grand Tour. Day 5: Ninfa, Torrecchia Vecchia. Drive to Ninfa, one of the most famous and best-loved English gardens abroad, where the ruined buildings of a mediaeval town have been transformed into a place so extraordinarily beautiful that it has long been a place of pilgrimage for gardeners. Continue to Torrecchia Vecchia, a 15-acre Romantic garden also within the crumbling walls of a mediaeval hilltop village, designed by Dan Pearson. Day 6: Castel Gandolfo. Visit the Pope’s gardens, overlooking the lake of Castel Gandolfo and only recently opened to the public (by special arrangement). Fly from Rome, arriving Heathrow at c. 5.00pm. Some of the gardens can only be visited by special arrangement and it is possible that the order of visits will change from that listed here.

Practicalities 8–13 April 2019 (mf 477) 6 days • £2,480 Lecturer: Dr Katie Campbell Renaissance villas and gardens, many accessible only by special arrangement. Ideal time of year to see the gardens in bloom.

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Beguiling scenery of tufa hills and ‘classical’ compositions. The countryside around Rome has long been the playground of the privileged, but it was in the sixteenth century that the region of Lazio took the lead in garden design. The wealthy families of popes and cardinals such as the Farnese and Este commissioned villas and gardens in the campagna romana to escape from the noise and worldly cares of the capital to places of tranquillity and repose. Vasari wrote of Caprarola in the sixteenth century that it was ‘marvellously situated for one who wishes to withdraw from the worries and tumult of the city’. But Renaissance gardens developed to offer more than a haven of peace and a chance for contemplation; they also provided the patron with the opportunity to vaunt his knowledge of the antique world. Garden design and ornamentation were steeped in references to classical mythology. Gardens also became places of entertainment, whether formal or frivolous. The use of water 146

tricks or giochi d’acqua – allowing the owner to ‘drown’ an unsuspecting visitor at the pull of a hidden lever – is a prime example of the latter. The towns, villas and gardens to the north of Rome are set against a backdrop of an almost fantasy, surreal landscape: villages perch high on volcanic outcrops, villas and gardens are carved out of purple tufa. To the west and south of Rome this often extraordinary scenery gives way to more classically pastoral scenes, offering glimpses of Claude Lorrain’s inspiration for many of his depictions of the campagna romana, which in turn became the foundation of the landscape style of gardens in eighteenth-century England.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino. Drive to the countryside near Viterbo where the first two nights are spent. Day 2: Bagnaia, Caprarola. The Villa Lante at Bagnaia, designed by Vignola, has been universally admired since its creation: the twin casinos are subordinate to the design of the delightful terraced gardens with restored giochi d’acqua and fountain by Giambologna. On a hilltop at Caprarola, Cardinal Alessandro Farnese had an imposing pentagonal villa built by Vignola, with an extensive park adorned with fountains, walled gardens and a casino.

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,480 or £2,210 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,720 or £2,450 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Alla Corte delle Terme, near Viterbo (allacortedelleterme.it): comfortable 4-star in the countryside outside Viterbo. All rooms are suites. Park Hotel Villa Grazioli, Grottaferrata (villagrazioli.com): 4-star hotel overlooking Frascati and Rome, in a 16th-century villa containing frescoes by Ciampelli, Carracci and Pannini. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking, much of it on rough, uneven ground in the gardens. The tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 60 miles Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Gardens of the Bay of Naples, 31 March–7 April 2019 (p.152); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 1–6 April 2019 (p.153). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Villa d’Este, after a watercolour by Walter Tyndale c. 1910


Roman Italy Major monuments, daily details 9–18 September 2019 (mf 689) 10 days • £3,670 Lecturer: Dr Mark Grahame Explore the most influential of all ancient civilisations through physical remains both in Rome itself and in Umbria and Campania. Great monuments and details of daily life, the highest achievements of art, architecture and engineering as well as everyday ephemera. A study of history, society and literary culture as well as of the built environment. Option to combine this tour with Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes, 19–25 September 2019 (see page 117).

Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome. Drive to Spoleto, where the first of two nights are spent. Day 2: Spoleto, Carsulae. Drive out to the Parco Archaeologico at Carsulae, one of the most impressive archaeological ruins in Italy. An afternoon walk in Spoleto includes the Roman theatre and triumphal arch. There is some free time to see something of mediaeval and Renaissance Spoleto. Day 3: Tivoli, Rome. Hadrian’s extraordinarily lavish villa at Tivoli was designed by the emperor himself, drawing inspiration from the sites he saw during his travels. Continue to Rome. Visit the Baths of Caracalla, the best preserved of the several such complexes that emperors constructed in the capital for general enjoyment. First of four nights in Rome. Day 4: Rome. Among today’s highlights are the Pantheon, best preserved of Roman buildings, the Ara Pacis, Augustus’s beautifully sculpted altar, and Trajan’s Markets, remarkably complete and evocative. See also the Capitoline Museums, which have some of the best ancient sculpture in Rome and provide access to the administrative heart of Republican Rome. Day 5: Ostia, Rome. Drive to Ostia, the ancient port of Rome at the mouth of the Tiber. Silt led to its decline and abandonment. In the preservation of everyday details it is comparable to Pompeii – though without the crowds. Free time in Rome.

Day 6: Rome. The Forum Romanum, the civic, religious and social centre of Ancient Rome, has the remains of many structures famed throughout the Empire. See also Monte Testaccio, a hill formed entirely of fragments of broken amphorae. Outstanding among the displays in the National Roman Museum are the frescoes and stucco work. Day 7: Rome, Seiano. Visit the Colosseum, largest of ancient amphitheatres, and the Arch of Constantine, sculpturally the richest of triumphal arches. The Palatine Hill was the site of the luxurious palaces of successive emperors. In the afternoon travel by first-class rail to Naples, then coach to the hotel. First of three nights in Seiano. Day 8: Pompeii. Since its discovery in the 18th century, ancient Pompeii has been the world’s most famous archaeological excavation. It’s fascination lies not only in the public buildings such as theatre, temples and forum but also in the numerous dwellings, from cramped apartments to luxurious houses with mosaic pavements and gaudily frescoed walls. Day 9: Herculaneum, Oplontis. At Herculaneum, fragile artefacts have been preserved by the unique conditions of burial. In the small part of the town that has been excavated, private dwellings predominate, many with wonderful decoration. The lavish villa at Torre Annunziata (ancient Oplontis), one of the loveliest of ancient sites, may have been the home of Poppaea, wife of Nero. Day 10: Naples. The Archaeological Museum in Naples is the principal repository for both the small finds and the best-preserved mosaics and

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The remains of Roman Italy continue to fascinate and astound, nowhere more so than in Rome itself. From the beating heart of the Republic in the Roman Forum to the seat of the emperors on the Palatine Hill, the monuments of Rome chart its history as it was transformed from a plucky little city-state to the magnificent capital of an empire of unprecedented size. The Colosseum, the Baths of Caracalla, Hadrian’s sprawling Villa at Tivoli – these are among the many stunningly impressive structures which bear silent testimony to political, social and cultural upheavals. But not all survivals were creations of the elite. Rome still retains traces of the quotidien, workaday city with which every Roman was familiar. Water flowed into the city through the aqueducts and goods came up from the port at Ostia via the Tiber. The piles of broken amphorae at the Monte Testaccio contrast with the luxury goods on display in museums. Spiritual life is present too, in the many temples, Augustus’s Altar of Peace or at the Temple of Fortuna at Praeneste. Many of the most intriguing and beautiful remains of Roman Italy lie outside the capital. To the north, amid the green lands of Umbria, the imprint of Rome is still present in the hilltown of Spoleto and at Carsulae, almost unknown but one of the most enthralling archaeological sites in Italy. To the south, Campania had a particularly strong bond with Rome because the wealthy, seeking refuge from city summer heat, built villas around the Bay of Naples. Campania became a playground for the rich and powerful, emperors among them. It is in this region that two of the world’s most evocative archaeological sites are to be found, courtesy of the eruption of Mount Vesuivus in ad 79. There is a paradox here: the same volcanic ash which brutally terminated many thousands of lives in Pompeii and Herculaneum also preserved the fabric of these towns down to the minutest details of daily life to an extent unparalled anywhere else. It is these ephemera of everyday life which provide unique insight into the lives of people who lived two thousand years ago. The empathy provoked is potent and moving, and counterpoints eloquently with the grander achievements of Roman architects, engineers, soldiers and statesmen.

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Roman Italy continued

Palaces & Villas of Rome From Empire to Papacy: the power of magnificence Day 4. The Villa Ludovisi houses Caravaggio’s early ceiling painting Jupiter, Neptune & Pluto. The Camerino of the Casino here was often a place for debates among Cardinal del Monte’s most learned acquaintances, including Galileo Galilei. Further up the Pincian Hill is the 16th-century Villa Medici, the seat of the French Academy. Return to the vicinity of the hotel; Palazzo Barberini is Rome’s National Gallery, with paintings by most of the Italian Old Masters. In the evening there is a private visit to the Vatican Palace. With Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, his Last Judgement and the quattrocento wall frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, together with Raphael’s frescoes in the Stanze, this is the most precious assemblage of painting in the western world.

frescoes discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Fly from Naples to Gatwick, arriving c. 8.45pm. If combining this tour with Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes: continue by train from Naples to Milan, take a car transfer to Bellagio and stay one extra night at Grand Hotel Villa Serbelloni.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,670 or £3,520 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,310 or £4,160 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches (including 1 picnic) and 6 dinners with wine. Flights: this tour departs from London Heathrow airport and returns to London Gatwick. There are no flights from Naples to London Heathrow, so it is not possible to fly return from Heathrow. It is possible to fly from Gatwick to Rome, but the current flight schedule would mean a very late arrival at the hotel in Spoleto. If British Airways changes its schedule we will endeavour to secure outbound flights from Gatwick so that the tour begins and ends at the same London airport. Accommodation. Hotel San Luca, Spoleto (hotelsanluca.com): a comfortable 4-star hotel, located in an elegantly converted former tannery. It is situated conveniently just within the city walls. Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome (berninibristol. com): 5-star hotel excellently located on the Piazza Barberini. Grand Hotel Angiolieri, Seiano (grandhotelangiolieri.it): a modern 5-star hotel on the hill-top above the town of Vico Equense. Rooms with a sea view in Seiano are available on request and for a supplement.

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How strenuous? There is unavoidably a lot of walking, some of it over very rough ground and there is a lot of standing in museums and on archaeological sites. The day spent in Pompeii can be tiring. The historic area in Rome is vast, and vehicular access is increasingly restricted. Minibuses are used on some occasions but otherwise the city is traversed on foot. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 43 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Roman Italy and Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes and combined. Two sharing: £7,160 or £7,010 without flights. Single occupancy: £8,370 or £8,220 without flights. This includes accommodation (1 night), first-class rail travel and a car transfer between the two. These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted. Other possible combinations: Flemish Painting, 4–8 September 2019 (p.55); Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, 19–27 September 2019 (p.92); Classical Greece, 21–30 September 2019 (p.109). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration, previous page: Rome, ceiling in the Baths of Caracalla, engraving c. 1800

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18–23 November 2019 (mf 901) 6 days • £2,770 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott The home to the origin of the word palazzo is the perfect place to study its history. Buildings that span the millennia, from the imperial residences of the Roman empire to princely Baroque splendour. A spectrum of edifices: political headquarters, papal residences, embassies, royal apartments. Many visits by special arrangement, including an out-of-hours private opening of the Vatican.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino. Day 2. Explore the origins of the palazzo on the Palatine Hill. Visit the Domus Augusti, the House of Augustus, which forms part of the vast Palace of Domitian. The present appearance of the Capitol, first centre of ancient Rome, was designed by Michelangelo, and the surrounding palazzi are museums with outstanding ancient sculpture. Nearby Palazzo Venezia is a mediaeval house that was converted to a papal palace; it contains an art collection. By contrast, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is Rome’s largest noble palace; the picture collection includes paintings by Caravaggio, Titian and Velázquez. Day 3. Palazzo Corsini is a late-Baroque palace which houses a gallery of antiquities, while the delightful Villa La Farnesina (opposite) has frescoes by Raphael in the Loggia of Cupid and Psyche. Next, discover Palazzo Spada, which accommodates a large art collection and the famous trompe-l’oeil gallery by Borromini.

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Day 5. Palazzo Colonna is an agglomeration of the building and decoration of many centuries, and has a collection that includes works by Bronzino, Titian, Veronese and Guercino. The 17th-century Great Hall is surely one of the most magnificent secular rooms in Europe. Continue to the magnificent Palazzo Pamphilj, the Brazilian embassy overlooking Piazza Navona, followed by Palazzo della Cancelleria, begun in 1485 by Cardinal Raffaele Riario. The latter is a masterpiece of Early Renaissance secular architecture and has frescoes by Vasari of the life of Pope Paul III. Day 6. In the morning visit the Villa Borghese, which holds Rome’s finest collection of paintings and sculptures. Some free time before driving to the airport, via the Domus Aurea, Nero’s vast landscaped ‘golden house’. Fly from Rome Fiumicino, arriving at Heathrow at c. 8.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,770 or £2,660 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,140 or £3,030 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel de la Minerve, Rome (grandhoteldelaminerve.com): 5-star hotel in a former 17th-century palace overlooking the Pantheon. How strenuous? Unavoidably, there is a lot of walking on this tour. The historic area is vast, and vehicular access is increasingly restricted. Minibuses are used on some occasions but otherwise the city is traversed on foot. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Fitness is essential. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Art History of Venice, 11–17 November 2019 (p.126); Florence Revisited, 11–17 November 2019 (p.138). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration, Rome, gardens of the Villa Borghese, watercolour by Alberto Pisa, publ. 1905.


Essential Rome The complete spectrum of art, architecture and antiquities 26 February–4 March 2019 (mf 428) 7 days • £2,780 Lecturer: Dr Thomas-Leo True Major buildings, monuments and works of art, a representative selection of all periods from Ancient Rome onwards. Led by Dr Thomas-Leo True, Assistant Director of the British School at Rome. Private visit to the Sistine Chapel, shared with participants travelling on Connoisseur’s Rome (see page 150) – otherwise there is almost no overlap between the two tours.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome. The tour starts with the glorious Byzantine mosaics in the churches of Sta. Maria Maggiore (one of the four patriarchal basilicas) and Sta. Prassede. Evening lecture and drinks reception at the British School at Rome. Day 2. The tour starts at the very beginning: today is largely devoted to Ancient Rome, beginning with the Colosseum, largest of all amphitheatres, completed ad 80. The Forum has evocative remains of the key temples and civic buildings at the heart of the Roman Empire. The present appearance of the Capitol, first centre of ancient Rome, was designed by Michelangelo, and the surrounding palazzi are museums with outstanding ancient sculpture and a collection of paintings. Day 3. The Basilica of St Peter in the Vatican was the outcome of the greatest architects of several generations – Bramante, Raphael, Sangallo, Michelangelo – and contains major sculpture. Originally Emperor Hadrian’s mausoleum, Castel S. Angelo became a fortress in the Middle Ages and a residence in the Renaissance. After some free time, return to the Vatican in the evening for a private visit to see Michelangelo’s frescoes in the Sistine Chapel in peace, together with Raphael’s frescoes in the adjacent Stanze.

Day 5. Among today’s highlights are the Pantheon, the best preserved of Roman monuments (whose span was only twice exceeded in the next 1,750 years); the lively and wonderfully adorned Piazza Navona, which retains the shape of the Roman hippodrome on which it was built; and the 5thcentury church of Sta. Sabina, as perfect an Early Christian basilica as survives anywhere. See also S. Ivo, a masterpiece of Baroque architecture with a cupola designed by Borromini, and two Roman temples, of Vesta and Fortuna Virile.

Day 7. Before departing for the airport, visit two churches to see paintings by Caravaggio, S. Agostino (Loreto Madonna) and S. Luigi dei Francesi (St Matthew series). Return to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 4.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,780 or £2,670 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,230 or £3,120 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel de la Minerve, Rome (grandhoteldelaminerve.com): 5-star hotel in a former 17th-century palace overlooking the Pantheon.

How strenuous? There is unavoidably a lot of walking. The historic area is vast, and vehicular access is increasingly restricted. Minibuses are used on some occasions but otherwise the city is traversed on foot. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 9 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Civilisations of Sicily, 4–16 March 2019 (p.161). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Rome, view of the San Lorenzo Gate, copper engraving by Luigi Rossini c. 1820.

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Day 4. The morning includes the superb sculpture of the Altar of Peace (Ara Pacis) erected by Augustus, paintings by Pinturicchio and Caravaggio in Sta. Maria del Popolo, and a walk in the Pincio Gardens (good views across Rome) to the Spanish Steps. The Palazzo Barberini is a great palace which became Rome’s National Gallery, with paintings by most of the Italian Old Masters. The Galleria Borghese is Rome’s finest collection of painting and sculpture.

Day 6. The morning is free. Drive in the afternoon to three contrasting churches largely or partly dating to the early Middle Ages: the 6th-century circular Mausoleum of Sta. Costanza, the historically complex but exceptionally beautiful Basilica of S. Clemente, and St John Lateran, the cathedral of Rome.


Connoisseur’s Rome With private visits including the Sistine Chapel 26 February–3 March 2019 (mf 427) 6 days • £2,810 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott Artistic riches which are difficult to access or are rarely open to the public, including an out-ofhours visit to the Sistine Chapel. Highlights of the Renaissance and Baroque. As appealing for those new to the city as for frequent visitors. Many of Rome’s artistic riches are not easily accessible to the visitor. The emphasis of this tour is on places which are difficult to access or which are rarely open to the public – on treasures which lie beyond normally impenetrable portals. Privileged access also takes the form of visits to places outside their normal opening hours. Instead of sharing the Sistine Chapel with hundreds of others, around forty Martin Randall Travel clients, from two tours which do not otherwise meet, will have the place to themselves for a couple of hours. The two tours overlap so that the high cost of private admission to the Vatican museums is spread between the two. What we manage to include varies each time we run the tour. Though it is likely that most of the places mentioned in the itinerary given below will be visited, arrangements depend on the generosity of owners and institutions and are occasionally subject to cancellation, but our network of contacts and know-how would enable us to arrange alternatives.

Some better-known and generally accessible places are included in the itinerary as well, so the tour should appeal both to those who are unfamiliar with the city as well as to those who have been many times before.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino. Day 2. Visit the 16th-century Villa Medici, now the seat of the French Academy. Palazzo della Cancelleria, begun in 1485 by Cardinal Raffaele Riario, is a masterpiece of Early Renaissance secular architecture and has frescoes by Vasari of the life of Pope Paul III. The delightful Villa La Farnesina has frescoes by Raphael. Also see San Giovanni Battista Decollato, a 16th-century confraternity church containing the best cycle of Mannerist frescoes in Rome. Day 3. In the morning visit the stunning collection of sculpture and painting in the Villa Borghese. Continue to the Villa Ludovisi, which houses Caravaggio’s early ceiling painting Jupiter, Neptune & Pluto. In the evening there is a private visit to the Vatican to see the Sistine Chapel and the adjacent Stanze. With Michelangelo’s ceiling fresco, his Last Judgement on the end wall and the quattrocento wall frescoes, together with Raphael’s frescoes in the Stanze, this is the most precious assemblage of painting in the western world. Illustration:Rome, Trevi Fountain, watercolour by C.T.G. Fornilli, publ.1927

Dr Michael DouglasScott Associate Lecturer in History of Art at Birkbeck College, specialising in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. He studied at the Courtauld and lived in Rome for several years. He has written articles for Arte Veneta, Burlington Magazine and the Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Day 4. See Bernini’s oval church of S. Andrea, and in the attached monastery the rooms of St Stanislav Kostka with sculpture by Pierre Legros. The ceiling fresco by Guido Reni in the Casino dell’Aurora in the garden of the Palazzo Pallavicini Rospigliosi is one of the greatest works of 17th-century classicism. In the afternoon visit the Sancta Sanctorum, adjacent to St John Lateran, part of the mediaeval papal residence and decorated with Cosmati mosaics dating to 1278. Day 5. Palazzo Colonna is an agglomeration of building and decoration of many centuries, and has a collection which includes works by Bronzino, Titian, Veronese and Guercino. The 17th-century Great Hall is surely one of the most magnificent secular rooms in Europe. Palazzo Doria Pamphilj holds a famous picture collection (Caravaggio, Velasquez), and S. Ignazio has an illusionistic ceiling painting by Andrea del Pozzo. Day 6. Some free time. Fly from Rome Fiumicino, arriving at London Heathrow at c. 7.00pm. This gives a fair picture of the tour, but there may be substitutes for some places mentioned and the order of visits will probably differ.

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Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,810 or £2,700 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,150 or £3,040 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Bernini Bristol (berninibristol.com): 5-star hotel excellently located on the Piazza Barberini. How strenuous? Unavoidably, there is a lot of walking on this tour. The historic area is vast, and vehicular access is increasingly restricted. Minibuses are used on some occasions but otherwise the city is traversed on foot. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 9 miles Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Civilisations of Sicily, 4–16 March 2019 (p.161). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. 150

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The Printing Revolution Renaissance print culture in Rome and Venice 27 January–3 February 2019 (mf 414) 8 days • £3,910 Lecturers: Stephen Parkin & Dr Michael Douglas-Scott The arrival and impact of printing in Renaissance Italy: manuscripts, printed books and the visual arts 1450–1600. Special displays of manuscripts and books and privileged access to spaces not usually seen by the public. Led by a British Library curator, and an art historian specialising in the Italian Renaissance. No more than 18 participants.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino (British Airways). Evening lecture and first of four nights in Rome. Day 2: Rome. To set the scene, the tour begins with a printing demonstration at the Istituto Nazionale per la Grafica in Palazzo Poli, which abuts the Trevi fountain. Continue to the Biblioteca Angelica, the first public library in Europe. In the afternoon there is an out-of-hours visit to see Raphael’s frescoes in Villa La Farnesina, where there was once a printing press. Day 3: Subiaco. Drive to the Roman countryside to visit the Benedictine monasteries at Subiaco,

Day 4: Rome. The Biblioteca Casanatense belonged to the Dominicans, who were in charge of attempts to control printing by means of the Index of Prohibited Books. The Biblioteca dell’Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei e Corsiniana holds the private collection of the Corsini family together with that of the Accademia dei Lincei, founded in 1603 and still Italy’s leading scientific and cultural academy. Spend the afternoon in the Vatican, visiting the Pope’s own library, the ‘Biblioteca Apostolica’. Day 5: Rome, Venice. Travel from Rome to Venice by first class rail (c. 4 hours). After settling into the hotel, visit the Biblioteca Correr, the library attached to the museum of the history of Venice, which contains many fine manuscripts and incunabula. Cross the bacino to the island of S. Giorgio Maggiore, where Palladio’s monastery has a library, now part of the Fondazione Cini, which has one of the greatest collections of 16th-century illustrated books, broadsheets and pamphlets. First of three nights in Venice.

How strenuous? There is unavoidably a lot of walking in both cities: the historic area in Rome is vast and vehicular access is restricted, and in Venice there is a lot of walking along the flat and up and down bridges. Standing around in museums and churches in both cities is also unavoidable. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with: Florence, 4–10 February 2019 (p.136). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Rome, Vatican Library, wood engraving c. 1880.

Day 6: Venice. The beautiful Biblioteca Marciana, in Piazzetta S. Marco, was begun in 1536 by Sansovino and finished by Scamozzi in 1591. Among its collections are many sculptures, Fra Mauro’s 1459 world map and important manuscripts and books. The small monastic library attached to the church of S. Francesco della Vigna is the repository for all Franciscan libraries in northern Italy and houses the only copy of the first printed edition of the Koran (1537). Day 7: Cornuda. Travel to Tronchetto by vaporetto and from there drive to Cornuda, a small town in the foothills beyond Treviso. Visit the delightful Museo Tipoteca – the only museum of ‘type’ in the world. The site holds more than 180 printing presses and typecasting machines. Lunch in the restaurant here before returning to Venice for some free time. Evening visit to the Biblioteca della Fondazione Querini Stampaglia, one of the most beautiful public libraries in the city, where there is a private dinner.

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This tour explores the culture of Renaissance Rome and Venice from a new and unusual perspective – the history of printing. The arrival of printing in Rome in the 1460s, followed by the exponential growth of publishing in Venice, had far-reaching and profound consequences. It was nothing less than an information revolution. Beginning in Rome and continuing to the first site of printing in Italy, the Benedictine monastery at Subiaco, the tour introduces the new technology and what this entailed for the way books were made, bought, collected and read. It shows how the transition from manuscript to print took place, and presents the leading personalities involved in the advancement of printing – cardinals, aristocrats, scholars, printers and booksellers. Many of the great collections of manuscript codices and printed books which were built at the time survive intact today in splendidly decorated libraries. Foremost among them was the Pope’s own library, the ‘Biblioteca Apostolica’, buried within the great Vatican complex. The story continues in Venice, which in the sixteenth century became the European centre of the publishing and bookselling trades. The monumental libraries here, places of architectural beauty themselves, house some of the greatest collections of illustrated books and manuscripts. The focus of this tour leads not only to an understanding of the role of printing in Renaissance culture but also to an enhanced appreciation of the art of the period, and an understanding of the place of the book in early modern history.

the first site of printing in Italy. In the library of Sta. Scolastica there are copies of the first books printed there, including Lactantius’ De divinis institutionibus, printed in 1465.

Day 8. Travel by motoscafo to Venice airport and fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 2.15pm. The tour is dependent on the kindness of many individuals and organisations, so although this gives a fair picture of the itinerary, there may be substitutes for some places mentioned.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,910 or £3,790 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,370 or £4,250 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome (berninibristol.com): 5-star hotel excellently located on the Piazza Barberini. Hotel Splendid, Venice (starhotels.com): delightful, quiet 4-star hotel situated halfway between Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Gardens of the Bay of Naples With Ischia, Capri and the Amalfi Coast 31 March–7 April 2019 (mf 466) 8 days • £3,270 Lecturer: Steven Desmond Wide historical range, from the first-century gardens of Pompeii to Susana Walton’s subtropical La Mortella on Ischia. Visit a family-owned lemon grove on the Sorrento peninsula, with tastings, and two villagardens at Ravello. See the Villa Porfidia, where Emma Hamilton turned garden adviser. Many foreign visitors have left accounts of their first sight of the Bay of Naples – all have been overwhelmed. The footprints of ancient craters have left crumbled cones, semicircular inlets, islands, thermal pools and fumaroles, all presided over by the silhouette of the most famous volcano in the world. Perhaps it is this sense of foreboding which has brought so many aesthetes here to set aside their work and bask instead in the glory of the here and now. The flanks of every volcano gradually yield deep and fertile soil. This, combined with an excellent climate, has led to a landscape covered in vines, lemons, olives and figs. From the midnineteenth century onwards, expatriate settlers began to use this soil to make pleasure gardens as a foreground to the dramatic views along the Amalfi Coast. Some were earnest philanthropists, others roués with money to burn, still others refugees from social attitudes back home. Their feelings are summed up in Tchaikovsky’s Capriccio Italien. The sybarites began their work here early. Though we may only imagine the seaside villas of holidaying Roman emperors, we can actually stand in the gardens of their patrician citizens at Pompeii. The best examples of artefacts from those gardens are on view in the great Archaeological Museum in Naples. And on a larger scale,

the cascade at Caserta made for the Bourbon monarchs will give some idea of Baroque ambition. Sailing to the fabled islands of Ischia and Capri will keep us in touch with the litany of lotus-eaters who made their homes and gardens there over the centuries. The reasons they all came are still here, waiting to be explored.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 4.00pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Naples. First of three nights in Naples. Day 2: Naples. Visit the National Archaeological Museum, one of the world’s greatest collections of Greek and Roman antiquities. Original garden artefacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum are superbly presented here, including statues, frescoes and mosaics of startling and moving beauty. Day 3: Ischia. Travel by hydrofoil to the volcanic island of Ischia. Developed since 1956 by the late Susana Walton and overseen by Russell Page, La Mortella is one of Italy’s outstanding private gardens, a clever fusion of art and exceptional planting. Lunch at leisure before returning to Naples by boat. Day 4: Gardens of Pompeii, Sorrento. Drive to Sorrento via Pompeii. Since its first exploration during the 18th century, the site has been one of the world’s most famous archaeological excavations. The numerous dwellings offer insight into the planting schemes and garden layouts with their peristyle courtyards, water features, mosaics and frescoes. First of four nights in Sorrento. Day 5: Massa Lubrense, Capri. In the morning, visit a family-owned lemon grove followed by lunch on the estate. Free afternoon in Sorrento.

Day 6: Ravello. Drive across the Sorrento peninsula to Amalfi, where a coach completes the climb to Ravello, situated in the hills with thrilling views of the coastline. Visit the evocative garden of Villa Rufolo, a wonderful 13th-century palace. Also see Lord Grimthorpe’s vast Anglo-Italian garden at Villa Cimbrone, a charming muddle of the classical, Gothic and the Edwardian under a vast pergola. Return to Sorrento by Hydrofoil. Day 7: Capri. Travel by hydrofoil to the island of Capri to visit Villa San Michele, Axel Munthe’s visionary house and garden high on the mountain. It is a place of singular atmosphere, ideally arranged for serene contemplation. Day 8: Caserta. Situated a few miles outside Naples, the delightful gardens at Villa Porfidia, laid out in the second half of the 18th century, retain their period charm. The nearby royal palace at Caserta, begun 1751, is Italy’s most magnificent and accomplished emulation of Versailles. An awesome absolutist statement, it is set within parkland and gardens equally magnificent in scale. Lunch is in a private villa.Fly from Naples, arriving at London Gatwick at c. 10.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,270 or £3,050 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,780 or £3,560 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches (including 1 picnic) and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Excelsior, Naples (eurostarsexcelsior.com): 4-star hotel on the waterfront with spectacular views of Mount Vesuvius and the island of Capri. Sea views are available on request and for a supplement. Imperial Hotel Tramontano, Sorrento (hoteltramontano.com): 4-star, 19th-cent. grand hotel situated on Sorrento’s clifftop with a garden and good access to the town centre.

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How strenuous? There is a lot of walking. Pavements in Naples are often uneven, some roads are steep, traffic can be unpredictable. Some of the gardens are extensive with uneven ground. Participants need to be fit and sure-footed. Hydrofoil journeys can be affected by conditions at sea. Average distance by coach per day: 30 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Gardens of the Riviera, 22–28 March 2019 (p.85); Wines of Tuscany, 25–30 March 2019 (p.141); Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana, 8–13 April 2019 (p.146); Gardens of Sintra, 8–13 April 2019 (p.175); The Via Emilia, 8–14 April 2019 (p.134); Romans in the Rhône Valley, 9–15 April 2019 (p.86); Gastronomic Provence, 9–16 April 2019 (p.84). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: Capri, etching 1851. Vianelly.

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267 152

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Pompeii & Herculaneum Antiquities of the Bay of Naples 1–6 April 2019 (mf 471) 6 days • £2,260 Lecturer: Dr Mark Grahame 30 September–5 October 2019 (mf 768) 6 days • £2,260 Lecturer: Dr Nigel Spivey One of the most exciting tours possible dealing with Roman archaeology. A unique insight into everyday life in the Roman Empire. Two principal sites, both buried by the eruption of Vesuvius in ad 79 and preserved with unparalleled completeness. Important early Greek settlements, including Paestum, Cumae and Pozzuoli.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 3.15pm from London Gatwick to Naples (British Airways). Drive to the hotel in the hamlet of Seiano, above the town of Vico Equense, where all five nights are spent. Day 2: Paestum. Paestum was a major Greek settlement and is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Italy. Three outstanding Greek Doric temples stand in a remarkable state of preservation. Visit also the excellent museum which contains a very rare ancient Greek painted tomb and fascinating sculptured panels (metopes) of the 6th-century bc, among the earliest anywhere.

Day 3: Cumae, Baia, Pozzuoli. Spend the day around the Bay of Naples at some little-visited but fascinating sites. Cumae was the first Greek settlement on mainland Italy, and material from here and other sites visited during the tour can be seen in the archaeological museum of the Phlegraean fields in the spectacularly situated castle at Baia. The port of Pozzuoli has a wellpreserved amphitheatre and market. Day 4: Pompeii. Since its first exploration during the 18th century, ancient Pompeii has been one of the world’s most famous archaeological excavations. The fascination of the site lies not only in the major public buildings such as the theatre, temples and the forum but also in the numerous domestic dwellings, from cramped apartments to luxurious houses with their mosaic pavements and gaudily frescoed walls. Day 5: Herculaneum, Oplontis. At Herculaneum, buried by the first pyroclastic surge which was cooler, timber and other fragile artefacts that normally do not survive have been preserved by the unique conditions of burial. Less than a quarter of this town has been excavated, and in the part preserved the emphasis is on private dwellings and their decoration. Visit the lavish villa at Torre Annunziata (ancient Oplontis), which may have been the home of Poppaea, wife of Nero. It is one of the loveliest of ancient sites, with rich wall paintings, a replanted garden and a swimming pool. Day 6: Naples. The Archaeological Museum in Naples has one of the finest collections in the world, and is the principal repository for both the small finds and the best-preserved mosaics and frescoes discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. Fly to London Gatwick, arriving at c. 9.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,260 or £2,050 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,540 or £2,330 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches (including 1 picnic) and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Angiolieri (grandhotelangiolieri.it): modern 5-star hotel on the hill-top above the town of Vico Equense. Rooms with a sea view are available on request and for a supplement. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking on this tour, some of it over rough ground on archaeological sites and there is a lot of standing in museums and on archaeological sites. Sure-footedness is essential. The day spent in Pompeii can be tiring. Average distance by coach per day: 70 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine the April departure with: Civilisations of Sicily (for solo travellers), 18–30 March 2019 (p.161); Wines of Tuscany, 25–30 March 2019 (p.141); Palladian Villas, 26–31 March 2019 (p.124); The Via Emilia, 8–14 April 2019 (p.134); Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana, 8–13 April 2019 (p.146). Or the September departure with: Civilisations of Sicily, 16–28 September 2019 (p.161); Walking to Santiago, 17–28 September 2019 (p.187); Classical Greece, 21–30 September 2019 (p.109); Walking in Southern Tuscany, 7–14 October 2019 (p.140); Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 7–12 October 2019 (p.123). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: Pompeii, steel engraving c. 1850.

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Campania’s favourable climate, fertile soils and natural harbours were attractive to the Greeks looking to trade and for places to settle. They founded their earliest colony at Cumae and others soon followed with Naples and Paestum (Posidonia) among them. The prosperity enjoyed by the Greek colonies is best seen at Paestum where three of the most complete Doric temples anywhere still stand. After falling under Roman dominion, Campania continued to prosper with wealth generated by agriculture and trade. Towns like Pompeii and Herculaneum thrived and wealthy Romans seeking to escape from the summer heat of Rome built villas along its coast. Campania became an imperial playground with the emperor among the most famous and notorious of all villa owners on the Bay of Naples. However, life on the Bay of Naples was struck by tragedy when Mount Vesuvius erupted in ad 79 and buried Pompeii and Herculaneum with volcanic ash. Paradoxically, this sudden obliteration preserved the towns with a level of completeness which has no parallel with any other archaeological site in the world. Excavation has revealed them almost in their entirety, providing a unique insight into everyday life in the Roman Empire. Even the smallest and most fragile objects of daily use have survived, along with wall paintings, floor mosaics, precious jewellery and household utensils. The immediacy and vividness with which the imagination is able to grasp a past civilisation is startling and unique.


Food & Wine Archaeology Gastronomy, oenology and archaeology in the Bay of Naples Stags, decorated with images of fruit, nuts and dates. It was a busy fishing port in antiquity, and a fishing boat is preserved in the museum. The heat of the eruption carbonised foodstuffs – see loaves, as well as grains, figs, lentils and much else. Lunch is at a modern winery on the slopes of Vesuvius. The villa at nearby Boscoreale has an antiquarium which is dedicated to the theme of agriculture, food and wine. Day 3: Pompeii, Altripalda. Since its first exploration during the 18th century, Pompeii has been one of the world’s most celebrated archaeological excavations. It is famous for its bakeries, bars and inns, and its houses with richly decorated dining rooms. See also the villa of the Mysteries, which shows both the wine-making process and the celebration of wine in the great frieze of the mysteries of Dionysus. Attached to the villa there were also vineyards, which have been excavated and reconstructed, and replanted by a leading Campanian wine-maker. Visit these before driving to the wine-maker’s enoteca for a tasting. Day 4: Naples. The Archaeological Museum in Naples has one of the finest collections in the world, and is the principal repository for both the small finds and the best-preserved relics discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum. It contains numerous frescoes and mosaics (excavated before the 20th century), and a wide range of the objects of daily life, from the pots in which they cooked to the elaborate silver vessels which graced the best dinner parties. Fly from Naples to London Gatwick, arriving c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities

24–27 September 2019 (mf 735) 4 days • £1,570 Lecturer: Professor Andrew Wallace-Hadrill

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Visit the major sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but with a focus on how the Romans ate and drank. Special arrangements to see inside some houses and shops not usually open to the public. Two tastings of Vesuvian wines, including ancient grape varieties still grown in Pompeii. Food and wine were at the heart of Roman life. In the Bay of Naples we can follow every step of the process: the vineyards where grapes were grown and pressed; the bakeries in which bread was baked; the corner shops where food and drink were sold; the kitchens where feasts were prepared; the dining rooms where the food was consumed; not forgetting the latrines in which waste was disposed of. And as if that were not already enough, the Romans loved to decorate their walls with images of feasting and of the varied foodstuffs. It was an experience that verged on the religious, and images of Dionysus or Bacchus, the god of wine and intoxication, encouraged them as they drank. 154

There are plenty of standard tours of Pompeii and Herculaneum, but this one aims to follow the theme of food and drink, from antiquity to the present. We see how an ancient vineyard worked, and then compare it to a modern vineyard on the slopes of Vesuvius. We look at villas not just as museums of fine art, but places where the richness of the soil was exploited. We look at frescoes and vessels in the Naples archaeological museum, not just to admire their art, but to re-imagine their use in the great banquets which formed the culmination of a Roman day. We visit both town and country. Both Pompeii and Herculaneum open up a world of shops, bars and inns as well as grand houses with fine dining rooms. But the country villas, especially the villa at Boscoreale and the Villa of the Mysteries, take us back to how the wine was produced. And the continued tradition of wine and food production in the area means that we can ourselves eat and drink like Romans.

Itinerary

Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,570 or £1,360 without flights. Single occupancy: £1,650 or £1,440 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches (including 1 picnic) and 2 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Miglio D’Oro Park Hotel, Herculaneum (migliodoroparkhotel.it): 4-star hotel in a renovated 18th-century Vesuvian villa, within walking distance of Herculaneum’s ruins. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking on this tour, some of it over rough ground or through vineyards, or up and down steps in wine-cellars. There is a lot of standing in museums and on archaeological sites. Sure-footedness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 34 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Dark Age Brilliance, 15–22 September 2019 (p.133); Essential Puglia, 16–23 September 2019 (p.155); Gastronomic Crete, 29 September–7 October 2019 (p.110); World Heritage Malta, 30 September–6 October 2019 (p.165). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Day 1. Fly at c. 3.15pm from London Gatwick to Naples (British Airways). Drive to the hotel in Herculaneum, where all three nights are spent. Day 2: Herculaneum. Herculaneum has spectacular town houses, such as the house of the

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Illustration: Naples and Vesuvius, early-20th-century watercolour by Donald Maxwell.


Essential Puglia Art and architecture in the heel of Italy 16–23 September 2019 (mf 717) 8 days • £2,530 Lecturer: Dr Richard Plant Fascinating architecture, especially Norman and Baroque. Exceptionally attractive streetscapes in hilltop towns and coastal cities. Distinctive, dramatic limestone landscapes.

Day 2: Trani, Castel del Monte. A walk along the harbour of the small city of Trani includes the 12th-century church of Ognissanti and the magically beautiful Romanesque cathedral perched on the waterfront. In the afternoon drive out to Castel del Monte. Situated on an isolated peak, Frederick II’s extraordinary octagonal hunting lodge of c. 1240 is one of the most intriguing secular buildings of the Middle Ages. Day 3: Monte Sant’Angelo, San Giovanni Rotondo. High on the southern slopes of Monte Gargano sits Monte Sant’Angelo, where the apparition of the Archangel Michael in the 5th century has made the grotto sanctuary a popular destination for pilgrims. The massive castle was started by the Normans and extended by the Swabians, Aragonese and Bourbons. The Tomba di Rotari is a baptistery with 12th-century decorations and a domed roof. One of the most visited pilgrimage sites in the world, the complex of San Giovanni Rotondo includes San Pio’s new church designed by Renzo Piano.

Day 4: Bari. Capital of Puglia, Bari has a wonderful walled mediaeval quarter beside the sea, extensive and unspoilt. The Basilica of San Nicola, begun in 1087, is not only the first but also the greatest of Puglian Romanesque churches; the episcopal throne here is remarkable. Also visit the cathedral (1170) and the later mediaeval Angevin castle. Drive to Martina Franca for an overnight stay. Day 5: Martina Franca, Taranto. Before leaving Martina Franca, see the 17th-century Palazzo Ducale with its fine Baroque façade and the cathedral of San Martino. The National Archaeological Museum of Taranto houses one of Italy’s most important archeological collections, from Prehistoric times to the Middle Ages. It includes the Ori di Taranto (Golden Treasure of Taranto), a stunning collection of Hellenic-era golden artwork. Drive to Lecce where the final three nights are spent. Day 6: Lecce, Brindisi. Lecce is distinguished by an elaborate style of Baroque and Rococo decoration wrought in the soft, honey-coloured tufa of the region. The outstanding examples are the cathedral and the church of Santa Croce. See also the well preserved Roman theatre. Possessing the safest natural harbour on the Adriatic, Brindisi has been of intermittent strategic importance for over 24 centuries. Visit San Giovanni al Sepolcro with a splendid portal decorated with reliefs. Return to Lecce where there is some fee time. Day 7: Galatina, Gallipoli, Otranto. Explore the Salentine Peninsula, the southernmost tip of the heel of Italy. Drive out to the pretty little town of Galatina to see the remarkable frescoes from the first half of the 15th century in the Franciscan church of St Catherine. Gallipoli was the centre of Byzantine Italy until conquered by the Normans in 1071. The highly picturesque old town is on an off-shore island protruding into the Ionian Sea. The ancient city of Otranto, the easternmost in Italy, has a Norman cathedral with outstanding 12th-century floor mosaics. Illustration: Bari, San Nicola, engraving c. 1890.

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The heel and spur of boot-shaped Italy, Puglia is now returning to the limelight after being ignored or disparaged for centuries. While the sobriquet ‘the new Tuscany’ is a lazy cliché and dangerously misleading (with its raw limestone landscape Puglia looks and feels like a different country), it is the case that only in the last couple of decades have Italophiles and discerning travellers been taking the region seriously. Its strategic position meant that it was repeatedly invaded and conquered, and each dynasty left its mark. Roman remains are frequent but tend to have been all but eradicated by later prosperity – or warfare. The many magnificent Romanesque cathedrals bear witness to the Norman conquest of southern Italy, one of the most notable episodes in mediaeval history. Churches and castles from the subsequent Hohenstaufen and Angevin eras abound and exhibit French, Lombard, Byzantine and Saracenic influences. Much later there was another artistic outburst, appropriately international but characteristically idiosyncratic, a highly elaborate version of Baroque architecture and decoration. Lecce is a glorious example: churches and palaces with intricately embellished façades carved from the local stone line the streets and squares of this lively town, the regional capital of the Salento. A journey from the north to the south of Puglia, this tour takes in the most important mediaeval and Baroque sites and well as the noteworthy items from other eras. Particularly memorable are the unspoilt centres of ancient cities and villages built up around narrow twisting alleys, some tumbling down hillsides, most whitewashed, all full of picturesque incident. Waterfronts with ancient harbours are another feature. There is scenic variety from rolling hills to open plains, in parts enlivened by trulli, conical stone houses which are a unique vernacular phenomenon. In the autumnal light and cooler temperatures Puglia’s charms can now be enjoyed with comfort and ease. While including some of the major items visited on our nine-day Normans in the South tour, this itinerary differs by lessening the focus on that era and encompassing a wider range of architecture, art and history.

an Early Christian lower church. Continue to Trani, where the first three nights are spent.

Itinerary Day 1: Bitonto. Fly at c. 9.00am from London City to Bari via Milan Linate (Alitalia). Drive to Bitonto, which has one of the finest of Romanesque cathedrals in the region, with good sculpture and Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Normans in the South Castles and cathedrals in Puglia, Basilicata and Campania

Dr Richard Plant Architectural historian and lecturer specialising in the Middle Ages with a strong interest in the modern. He studied at Cambridge, followed by the Courtauld, where he obtained his PhD. He was Deputy Academic Director at Christie’s Education and has published on English and German architecture. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Day 8: Ostuni. Ostuni is another delightful whitewashed hilltop town with bemusingly winding streets. At its centre is a late Gothic cathedral with three fine rose windows. Fly from Bari via Milan Linate, arriving at London Heathrow at c. 8.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,530 or £2,270 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,820 or £2,560 without flights. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accomodation. Hotel San Paolo al Convento, Trani (hotelsanpaoloalconventotrani.it): charming 4-star hotel converted from a 15th-century convent, although service and maintenance are not always quite up to standard. Relais Villa San Martino, Near Martina Franca (relaisvillasanmartino.it): converted villa 3 km outside the town. Rooms are tastefully and individually decorated but vary in size. Patria Palace Hotel, Lecce (patriapalace.com): a stylish 5-star hotel in an excellent location near the church of Santa Croce. Rooms are spacious and elegantly furnished. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking, some of it uphill as the coach cannot enter the historic centres. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 70 miles

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Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Courts of Northern Italy, 8–15 September 2019 (p.132); Food & Wine Archaeology, 24–27 September 2019 (p.154); Crécy, Agincourt & Waterloo, 25–29 September 2019 (p.54). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

2–10 April 2019 (mf 475) 9 days • £2,780 Lecturer: John McNeill An architectural tour of one of the most sophisticated kingdoms in mediaeval Europe. Splendid Norman legacy of Romanesque, with churches of unprecedented size and grandeur. Later architecture of equal magnificence, in particular an elaborate flowering of Baroque. Attractive, well preserved town centres and a dramatic landscape of raw limestone. The Norman conquest of southern Italy was one of the most remarkable episodes in mediaeval history. Whereas England was subjugated by a sizeable and highly organised Norman army, the ‘Kingdom in the Sun’ was won by small bands of soldiers of fortune. They trickled in during the eleventh century when the tangled political situation and incessant feuding made the area ripe for exploitation by ambitious knights in search of adventure and personal gain. By the end of the century they had expelled the Byzantines from the mainland and the

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Saracens from Sicily, and by 1127 all Sicily and southern Italy was ruled by one Norman king. This cosmopolitan kingdom was one of the best administered and most culturally sophisticated in Europe. As in England, in the wake of conquest there arose splendid new churches of unprecedented size and grandeur. A mixture of French, Lombard, Byzantine, Saracenic and ancient Roman elements, south Italian Romanesque is one of the most distinct and beautiful of the variants of this truly international style. Prosperity and creativity continued after the extinction of the Norman dynasty in 1194 by the Hohenstaufen from Germany. In the first half of the thirteenth century the region was dominated by the extraordinary Emperor Frederick II, ‘Stupor Mundi’, ‘Wonder of the World’. He was as courageous and ambitious in artistic and intellectual spheres as he was in administration, diplomacy and war. Much later there was another artistic outburst, appropriately international but characteristically idiosyncratic: a highly elaborate version of Baroque architecture and decoration. The heel and spur of boot-shaped Italy, Puglia is remote from the better-known parts of the peninsula, and its raw limestone landscape wholly


'Outstandingly excellent. John McNeill has an awesome breadth of knowledge but is always approachable, never intimidating. His enthusiasm for his subjects is infectious. Nothing is ever too much trouble for him.' Participant on another of John McNeill's tours.

Day 4: Brindisi, Bitonto. Possessing the safest natural harbour on the Adriatic, the provincial capital of Brindisi has been of intermittent strategic importance for over 24 centuries. Visit S. Benedetto, with its Romanesque bell tower. Bitonto has one of the finest of Romanesque cathedrals with good sculpture and an early Christian lower church. Continue to Trani where the next four nights are spent. Day 5: Bari, Trani. Bari, capital of Puglia, has an extensive and unspoilt mediaeval quarter beside the sea. The Basilica di S. Nicola, begun in 1087, is not only the first but also the greatest of Puglian Romanesque churches; the episcopal throne here is remarkable. Also visit the cathedral (1170) and later mediaeval Angevin castle. Back in Trani, visit the magically beautiful Romanesque cathedral on the waterfront. Day 6: Castel del Monte, Barletta. Castel del Monte, situated on an isolated peak, is Frederick II’s extraordinarily sophisticated hunting lodge and one of the most intriguing secular buildings of the Middle Ages. The castle at Barletta houses a bust of Frederick II. Day 7: Canosa, Melfi, Venosa. Canosa di Puglia has an 11th-century cathedral. Continue to the hilltop town of Melfi in Basilicata, which was for a while the main centre of Norman power in Italy. The impressive but unfinished Abbazia della SS. Trinità at Venosa was built from the 12th-century over an early Christian church. Return to Puglia for the final night in Trani.

Day 9: Sant’Angelo in Formis. The Basilica di S. Angelo in Formis has outstanding 11th-century frescoes. Fly from Rome to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.15pm.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.00am (Alitalia) from London City to Brindisi, via Milan, and drive on to Lecce where the first three nights are spent. Day 2: Squinzano, Gallipoli, Otranto. Explore the Salentine Peninsula, the southernmost tip of the heel of Italy. Visit the Abbey of Sta. Maria di Cerrate, a 12th-century Romanesque complex. Gallipoli was the centre of Byzantine Italy until conquered by the Normans in 1071; the old town is on an off-shore island. Otranto, captured by Normans in 1068, has a cathedral with outstanding 12th-century floor mosaics. Day 3: Lecce. Lecce is distinguished by an elaborate style of Baroque and Rococo decoration wrought in the soft, honey-coloured tufa of the region, an outstanding example being the church of Sta. Croce. See also the Norman church of SS. Niccolò e Cataldo, founded by Tancred. Free time.

Architectural historian of the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He lectures for Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education and is Honorary Secretary of the British Archaeological Association. Publications include articles in learned journals and guidebooks to Normandy and the Loire Valley. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,780 or £2,580 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,120 or £2,920 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Patria Palace Hotel, Lecce (patriapalace.com): stylish 5-star hotel in an excellent location near the church of Sta. Croce in the historic centre. Hotel San Paolo al Convento, Trani (hotelsanpaoloalconventotrani. it): charming 4-star hotel converted from a 15thcentury convent. Grand Hotel Angiolieri, Seiano (grandhotelangiolieri.it): modern 5-star hotel in the village of Seiano, close to the town of Vico Equense. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking on uneven pavement in archaeological sites as well as in the town centres where vehicular access is restricted. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Fitness is essential. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 99 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Civilisations of Sicily (for solo travellers), 18–30 March 2019 (p.161); Wines of Tuscany, 25–30 March 2019 (p.141); Granada & Córdoba, 25 March–1 April 2019 (p.201); Palladian Villas, 26–31 March 2019 (p.124). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267

Illustration: Castel del Monte, lithograph after Edward Lear c. 1850.

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different from the silky richness of central and northern Italy. The last day of the tour is spent across the Apennines in Campania. This region presents another face of Italy, distinctly southern but with an equally cosmopolitan and panMediterranean cultural history.

Day 8: Benevento, Salerno. Cross the Apennines to Campania. Benevento was a strategic Roman colonia, Lombard Duchy and Norman from 1081. The Arch of Trajan is one of the finest surviving Roman triumphal arches. Sta. Sofia has a magnificent 12th-century cloister. The seaport of Salerno has an 11th-century cathedral with a fine sculpted portal and a 12th-century ivory altarpiece. Overnight in Seiano.

John McNeill


Gastronomic Puglia ‘L’orto d’Italia’: food and wine in the vegetable garden of Italy 28 April–5 May 2019 (mf 503) 8 days • £3,240 Lecturers: Christine Smallwood & Dr R. T. Cobianchi The ‘heel’ of Italy is one of Europe’s most bountiful agricultural areas. The staples of Italian cuisine – bread, pasta, oil and cheese – in their primitive perfection. A spectrum of traditions from family-run trattorie to Michelin-starred restaurants. Sample the architecture of one of the most sophisticated kingdoms in mediaeval Europe. Led by two lecturers: a cultural historian and a gastronomic specialist. The Pugliesi don’t just want you to eat their food, they want you to savour their territorio; and they produce a lot to savour. The long, southern region known as l’orto d’Italia (the vegetable garden of Italy) is predominantly level; and blessed with fertile soil and a benign climate of mild winters

and long, hot summers. Vast acreage is used for the cultivation of grains and the brilliant sun gives an intense flavour and fragrance to the profusion of fruit and vegetables. Readily available flat land facilitates grazing and animal husbandry, with excellent cheese-making. The long coastline provides abundant fish and shellfish, and Puglia proudly produces more olive oil than any other Italian region, using it generously. Many consider the food here to be a prime example of the Mediterranean diet. Most of the region faces east across the Adriatic, a gateway to eastern Europe, Greece, Croatia, Albania and Turkey. It is where Greek influence is felt most strongly in Italy, from the indigenous grape – Nero di Troia – to the fish soups that recall Hellenistic recipes. The influence of Frederick II, the extraordinary emperor of the Hohenstaufen dynasty that ruled the region from 1194, persists in and beyond the kitchen: his Castel del Monte is a striking physical reference point and in its environs we visit an organic farmer at a Napoleonic castle and a chef with an extraordinary kitchen garden. We see the celebrated loaves of Altamura being made (some of the best bakers in Italy are of Puglian descent), visit a traditional

Illustration: Trani cathedral, engraving 1906.

salumi producer and explore the culinary culture with the help of copious and renowned antipasti. Wines range from pale (Locorotondo white) through the best rosato in Italy, to the deepest, darkest fullest reds of the more internationally celebrated Primitivo and Negroamaro grapes – as well as lesser-known indigenous varieties, such as the sweet Moscato di Trani. We have selected authentic establishments where the warmth of welcome and genuine readiness to please is as much a part of the experience as the appetising food and wine they serve. The Milanesi have been quietly relishing Puglia for a long time, and although the famous burrata cheese is now shipped around the world daily, there is nothing like eating it fresh from the maker. In fact, there is nothing like eating in Puglia, undoubtedly one of the most colourful, generous and exuberant of all regional Italian kitchens.

Itinerary Day 1: Trani. Fly at c. 10.50am from London Heathrow to Bari, via Munich. Drive to the small city of Trani, stopping on the way to visit a producer of Moscato di Trani, a sweet wine whose history dates back to the 13th century, when the merchants of the Republic of Venice made it famous throughout much of Europe. First of three nights in Trani. Day 2: Trani, near Andria. A walk along the harbour includes the 12th-century church of Ognissanti and the magically beautiful Romanesque cathedral perched on the waterfront. Drive to the countryside near Andria to visit Giancarlo Ceci’s family-run organic and biodynamic farm and winery. Visit the vineyards, the farm and the cantina, as well as the wine cellars in the castle where the Ceci family still lives. There is a wine tasting and a simple but plentiful lunch of fresh produce from the farm.

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Day 3: Andria, Montegrosso. Nearby Andria is the home of burrata, the now world-famous mozzarella stuffed with stracciatella – an oozing mixture of cream and mozzarella scraps. Visit an artisan producer, where there is the opportunity to try your hand at making it. Also in Andria is the Museo del Confetto (sugared almonds). Continue to the small town of Montegrosso for lunch at Pietro Zito’s Antichi Sapori. A self-styled ‘chefcontadino’ (farmer chef), Zito gives a guided tour of his extensive orto – a fitting introduction to one of the best lunches in Puglia. Day 4: Castel del Monte, Altamura, near Monopoli. Castel del Monte: Frederick II’s extraordinary octagonal hunting lodge of c. 1240 is one of the most intriguing secular buildings of the Middle Ages. Continue to Altamura, where the cathedral, one of four palatine churches in Puglia, is another Frederick II legacy. Lunch is at a local restaurant with an orecchiette-making demonstration (ear-shaped pasta), and is followed by a visit to a bakery that produces Altamura’s unique bread. Continue to a converted masseria near Monopoli, where the following four nights are spent. 158

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Basilicata Italy’s undiscovered south Day 5: Martina Franca, near Locorotondo, Carovigno. The gastronomic speciality of Martina Franca is capocollo, a cold cut marinated in spiced red wine and smoked with oak and almond husk. Visit a family-run producer and taste the meat with wine. Continue through the Itria Valley to Martina Franca, a beautiful hill town of winding streets, sudden vistas and Baroque and Rococo houses and churches. In the afternoon, visit a producer of Locorotondo white wine. Dinner is at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Carovigno. Day 6: Monopoli, near Alberobello, Ceglie Messapica. Some free time in Monopoli. Visit an award-winning oleificio near Alberobello to learn the art of tasting olive oil. Ceglie Messapica is a delightful town containing a Norman castle and several churches. It has made a name for itself in recent years as a centre of gastronomy, relying on the produce of the local area where agriculture is the largest employer. Lunch is at an outstanding restaurant. Discover biscotti cegliesi, local biscuits made from almonds and cherry jam. Day 7: Lecce, Salice Salentino, Conversano. Lecce is distinguished by an elaborate style of Baroque and Rococo decoration wrought in the soft, honey-coloured tufa of the region. The outstanding examples are the cathedral and the church of Santa Croce. See also the well preserved Roman theatre. The wines of the Salento are the best-known in Puglia; visit a highly rated dynamic winery just outside Lecce. In the evening, drive to the congenial town of Conversano for a passeggiata and a final Michelin-starred dinner. Day 8. Fly from Bari to London Heathrow, via Munich, arriving c. 5.00pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,240 or £3,000 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,700 or £3,460 without flights. Included meals: 6 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine.

How strenuous? There is a lot of walking, some of it over rough ground and uneven paving. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. The tour should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Some days involve a lot of driving, and the coach often cannot reach town centres. There is a lot of driving on this tour; Puglia is a very long region and we have decided to keep hotel changes to a minimum. Average distance by coach per day: 77 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Toledo & La Mancha, 6–13 May 2019 (p.196); Tuscan Gardens, 6–11 May 2019 (p.139). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

A region rich in archaeological collections and Norman and Romanesque architecture. Unknown and unspoilt – a chance to explore the countryside and small towns of southern Italy with few other tourists. Based throughout in Matera, a unesco World Heritage Site and a 2019 European Capital of Culture, staying in a cave hotel. While it may be tendentious to claim that anywhere in Italy remains ‘unknown’, the region of Basilicata does seem to offer one of the few remaining opportunities to experience an unspoilt and unfamiliar region. As in-step to the heel of Puglia and the toe of Calabria, Basilicata has always missed out on the flow of visitors and the concomitant income that its neighbours have attracted as springboards to the eastern Mediterranean and to Sicily. This also partially explains its historic reputation as one of the poorest regions of Italy. But while undeniably without the more spectacular or influential cultural achievements other Italian regions may boast, humble Basilicata has sufficient fascinating sites and a varied cultural heritage to enthral the visitor. Matera is the cultural capital of Basilicata – and a 2019 European Capital of Culture. Most impressive are the Sassi, the hundreds of caves attractively tiered along the two ravines that

thrust into the heart of the town. Developed, enhanced and inhabited for over a thousand years, the caves were cleared as slums in the 1950s but are now being thoughtfully and sympathetically re-developed. Equally surprising is the rest of Matera, which feels more like a vibrant historic town located in say Emilia-Romagna or the Veneto than in one of the allegedly least developed parts of Italy. This energetic if provincial atmosphere is heightened by the improvements that have recently transformed the town. But the tour enjoys the whole of Basilicata. Passing through verdant and rolling hills, there are visits to Melfi and Venosa, both of which possess mighty Norman fortresses and evocative Romanesque churches, and lovely Montescaglioso to the south, sprawling across the hills and whose imposing Benedictine abbey flourished under the Norman lords. On the coast, there are the important Ancient Greek settlements of Metaponto and Policoro. Basilicata seems set to become a major destination for discerning visitors. We would recommend this tour to those who would like to experience it before this happens.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.00am from London City to Bari via Milan Linate (Alitalia). Drive to Matera where the tour is based throughout. Day 2: Matera. The morning walk includes the church of San Giovanni Battista (1220), the Baroque church of San Francesco d’Assisi and the archaeological museum. The cathedral, a fine example of southern Italian Romanesque, Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Accommodation. Hotel San Paolo al Convento, Trani (hotelsanpaoloalconvento.it): charming 4-star hotel converted from a 15th-century convent, although service and maintenance are not always quite up to standard. Il Melograno, near Monopoli (melograno.com): very comfortable 5-star hotel in a converted masseria; traditionalstyle rooms are furnished with antiques.

16–21 March 2019 (mf 448) 6 days • £2,070 Lecturer: John McNeill


Basilicata continued

dominates the city. In the afternoon, walk down the Sasso Caveoso to see a handful of cave churches, many of them with frescoes. Day 3: Venosa, Melfi. Drive to Venosa to visit the impressive but unfinished monastery of La Trinità, built over an early Christian church. Walk through the charming town centre and see the archaeological collection in the late 15th-century castle. Continue to Melfi, where the impressive Norman castle hosts a good archaeological museum. The Norman origins of the cathedral, rebuilt in the late 17th century, are still visible in the splendid bell tower. Day 4: Matera, Montescaglioso. The Crypt of Original Sin outside Matera is known as the ‘Sistine chapel’ of cave wall paintings; it is not only an outstanding discovery for the history of early mediaeval art but is also an example of the most advanced conservation techniques. Drive to the hilltop town of Montescaglioso, overlooking the Bradano valley, to visit the Benedictine abbey of St Michael the Archangel, one of the largest and most impressive abbeys in southern Italy. The afternoon is free. Day 5: Metaponto, Santa Maria d’Anglona, Policoro. The ancient city of Metaponto was one of the most important Greek settlements in the West; though its site is ruinous the museum display charts most of its history. Isolated in countryside, Santa Maria d’Anglona is a lovely church, rich in late 12th-century frescoes. There is a picnic lunch here. Visit the Museo Archeologico della Siritide in Policoro which has exhibits from the former Greek colonies of Siris and Heraclea. Day 6: Matera. On the way to the airport, visit Altamura, whose Cathedral was built in 1232 by Emperor Frederick II. Fly from Bari to London City, via Linate, arriving c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,070 or £1,910 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,290 or £2,130 without flights.

SICILY As much part of the experience as these masterpieces, however, are the picturesque hill towns, coastal settlements lapped by a gentle sea, and haphazard alleys and vibrant city boulevards ornamented with wrought iron balconies. In every town there are buildings of unexpected magnificence and a plenitude of modest structures of ineffable charm. Some are well preserved, some are crumbling – witness to a deeper malaise.

Sicily is the pre-eminent island in the Mediterranean – the largest, and the most eventful historically. It is also more or less in the middle, a stepping stone between Europe and Africa and a refuge between the Levant and the Atlantic. Throughout history Sicily was viewed as a fortuitous landfall by migrating peoples and a prized possession by ambitious adventurers and expansionist princes. And as the Mediterranean has been catalyst and disseminator of a greater variety of civilisations than any other of the world’s seas, the island has accumulated an exceptionally rich and incomparably varied inventory of art, architecture and archaeological remains.

For much of its history, Sicily was regularly one of the most prosperous of European territories, but political mismanagement and social dislocation led to a long, deep slump. Into the space vacated by absentee landlords and self-serving authorities, the ‘Honoured Society’ inserted itself as protector – though it has been even more exploitative and malign than the worst of earlier tyrants. And the region remains low in the tables of prosperity.

Here are to be found some of the finest surviving ancient Greek temples and theatres; Roman floor mosaics which have no peer in Europe; and wall and vault mosaics by Byzantine craftsmen which are unequalled anywhere. Mediaeval churches and Baroque palaces abound, and there are many memorable paintings, sculptures and other works of art.

Matters are improving, however. Conservation and curatorship have made great strides in recent years, the Mafia has lost its dominance, poverty has lessened, and other indicators of well-being – the high quality of cuisine among them – are more evident as each year goes by. Sicily has been a part of a unified Italy since 1861 and ethnically and culturally it is unmistakably Italian. But it is also distinctly Sicilian, a world apart. Forming the backdrop to all this are some ineluctable landscapes, the formidable stark hills of the interior and the glittering greens of intensely farmed valleys. The smoking bulk of Mount Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, is visible from much of the eastern part of the island. OUR TOURS IN SICILY Civilisations of Sicily Page 161 Opera in Southern Sicily Page 162 Gastronomic Sicily Page 163 Palermo Revealed Page 164

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Included meals: 3 lunches (including 1 picnic) and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Sant’Angelo Luxury Resort, Matera (santangeloresort.it): stylish 5-star hotel in the Sasso Caveoso, overlooking the ravine. How strenuous? Matera’s topography and the hotel’s location mean that there is a lot of walking up and down hills and cobbled steps which can be slippery. Coaches cannot be used within the town centres. Good mobility, surefootedness and agility are essential. Average distance by coach per day: 66 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Civilisations of Sicily, 4–16 March 2019 (p.161); Gastronomic Andalucía, 8–15 March 2019 (p.200); Venetian Palaces, 12–16 March 2019 (p.127); Gardens of the Riviera, 22–28 March 2019 (p.85). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration, previous page: 18th-century engraving.

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Messina

Palermo Monreale

Trapani

Reggio di Calabria

Cefalù

Segesta Taormina

Marsala Selinunte

Sicily

Catania

Agrigento

Syracuse Mediterranean Sea Noto


Civilisations of Sicily Mediterranean crossroads: three thousand years of creativity 4–16 March 2019 (mf 435) 13 days • £4,570 Lecturer: Dr Philippa Joseph 18–30 March 2019 (mf 460) Exclusively for solo travellers 13 days • £5,280 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini 1–13 April 2019 (mf 469) 13 days • £4,780 Lecturer: Christopher Newall 16–28 September 2019 (mf 750) 13 days • £4,860 Lecturer: Eireann Marshall 14–26 October 2019 (mf 799) 13 days • £4,860 Lecturer: John McNeill Covers all the island, showcasing the main s ights and many lesser-known ones. The whole gamut – Greek, Roman, Norman, Renaissance, Baroque and nineteenth century. Full but carefully paced and with only three hotels. Cross the Straits of Messina to Reggio di Calabria to see the Riace Bronzes. Several special arrangements to visit places not normally open to the public.

and an art gallery with a painting by the 15thcentury artist Antonello da Messina. Day 4: Segesta, Selinunte. Set in an unspoilt hilly landscape, the almost complete but fascinatingly unfinished 5th-century temple at Segesta was built by indigenous if thoroughly Hellenised Sicilians. On an adjacent hill is a spectacularly sited theatre with views to the sea. Selinunte, founded by Greeks from the Attic city of Megara c. 650 bc, is a vast archaeological site, renowned for its many temples and acropolis. Day 5: Agrigento. The remains of the Greek colony of Akragas at modern-day Agrigento constitute one of the greatest sites bequeathed by the ancient world. A relatively late foundation (580 bc), it rose rapidly to riches and constructed eight peripteral temples, the most numerous group in the Greek world. That dedicated to Olympian Zeus was the largest of all Doric temples before being felled by Carthaginians and earthquakes, while the Temple ‘of Concord’ is the best preserved. Day 6: Palermo. San Giovanni degli Eremiti is a Norman church with five cupolas and a charming garden. The cathedral, a building of many periods though largely mediaeval, has grand royal and imperial tombs. Visit the archaeological museum (reopened in 2017) and displays one of the richest collections of Punic and Ancient Greek art in Italy. Illustration: Syracuse, Temple of Minerva, 18th-century copper engraving.

Day 7: Palermo, Piazza Armerina. Visit Castello della Zisa, an Arab-Norman Palace. Then leave Palermo and drive through the hilly interior of Sicily. At Piazza Armerina are the remains of one of the finest villas of the late-Roman Empire, whose floor mosaics comprise the most vital and colourful manifestation of Roman figurative art in Europe. Continue to the east coast for the first of three nights in Taormina. Day 8: Taormina. Free day in this extremely pretty town. The Teatro Greco (actually largely Roman) is incomparably sited with far-reaching views encompassing smouldering Mount Etna, the Ionian sea and the Calabrian coast of mainland Italy. The town itself, clinging to a hillside with beaches far below, has buildings from five centuries as well as further Roman structures. A smart resort since the 19th century, our hotel has shaded gardens which spill down a series of terraces. (Also a swimming pool which is usually open between March and October). Day 9: Messina, Reggio di Calabria. Drive along the coast to Messina. The city was one of Caravaggio’s Sicilian refuges, and in the art gallery there are two paintings by him and the best surviving work by the 15th-century painter Antonello da Messina. Cross the Straits of Messina by hydrofoil to Reggio di Calabria on mainland Italy to see the Riace Bronzes, over-life-size male nudes associated with Phidias and Polyclitus, among the finest Greek sculpture to survive.

Option to combine the September departure of this tour with World Heritage Malta, 30 September–6 October 2019 (see page 165).

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Day 1: Palermo. March: fly at c. 9.00am from London City, via Milan or Rome, to Palermo (Alitalia). April, September & October: fly at c. 3.00pm from London Gatwick to Catania (British Airways) and drive across the island to Palermo. The largest and most interesting city on the island, Palermo has been capital of Sicily since the period of Saracenic occupation in the 9th century. It reached a peak under the Normans and again during the Age of Baroque. First of six nights here. Day 2: Palermo. A morning walk through the old centre includes visits to several oratories and outstanding Norman buildings including La Martorana with fine mosaics. Lunch is at a private palace, by special arrangement. In the afternoon see the collection of pictures in the 15th-century Palazzo Abatellis. In the evening there is an out-of-hours visit to the Palatine Chapel in the palace of the Norman kings. Entirely encrusted with Byzantine mosaics, this is perhaps the finest assembly of Byzantine art to survive anywhere. Day 3: Monreale, Cefalù. The small town of Monreale dominates a verdant valley southwest of Palermo. Its cathedral is one of the finest Norman churches on the island and possesses the largest scheme of Byzantine mosaic decoration to survive anywhere. Cefalù, a charming coastal town, has another massive Norman cathedral, also with outstanding mosaics, Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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'One reason we enjoy travelling with Martin Randall is for the special access an individual tourist could not have. A major highlight for the trip was the private viewing of the Palatine Chapel in Palermo. It was an unforgettable experience.' S.B. & E.B., participants on Civilisations of Sicily in 2018.

Day 10: Catania, Siracusa. Sicily’s second city, Catania was largely rebuilt after the earthquake of 1693 with long straight streets lined with Baroque palaces. Special arrangements to see a magnificent private palazzo and a Byzantine chapel, and visits to the enormous monastery of St Nicola and harmonious cathedral square. Continue to Syracuse, founded as a Greek colony in 733 bc, became the most important city of Magna Græcia. Late-afternoon visit to the 5th-century bc theatre, the largest of its type to survive, and the Roman amphitheatre. First of three nights in Syracuse. Day 11: Syracuse. The Island of Ortygia, the ancient heart of Syracuse, is densely packed with structures from ancient Greek to Stile Liberty, one of the largest areas of unremittingly picturesque townscape to be found anywhere. The day’s walks thread through meandering alleys, little piazze and seaside promenades, lingering at buildings such as the cathedral, unique in incorporating a Doric temple of c. 480 bc, and the mediaeval Catalan-style Palazzo Bellomo. Great paintings include Antonello’s Annunciation and Caravaggio’s Burial of St Lucy. Day 12: Noto, Syracuse. Rebuilt after an earthquake in 1693, the hill town of Noto is one of the loveliest and most homogenous Baroque towns in Italy. All of honey-coloured stone, vistas are enlivened with carved stone balconies with elaborate ironwork. Visit the cathedral, a convent and a suite of Empire-style rooms in a palazzo. Return to Syracuse in the late afternoon and visit the excellent Museum of Antiquities. Day 13: Syracuse. March: fly from Catania, via Milan or Rome, arriving London Heathrow at c. 7.15pm. April, September & October: fly from Catania, arriving London Gatwick at c. 11.15pm. In September, if combining this tour with World Heritage Malta: fly from Catania to Malta (Ryanair or Air Malta) and take a taxi to the hotel. Two extra nights in Valletta.

Practicalities MAINLAND EUROPE: Italy

Prices, per person: 4–16 March 2019. Two sharing: £4,570 or £4,410 without flights. Single occupancy: £5,350 or £5,190 without flights. 18–30 March 2019 (exclusively for solo travellers): £5,280 or £5,120 without flights. 1–13 April 2019. Two sharing: £4,780 or £4,470 without flights. Single occupancy: £5,650 or £5,340 without flights. 16–28 September & 14–26 October 2019. Two sharing: £4,860 or £4,550 without flights. Single occupancy: £5,760 or £5,450 without flights. Included meals: 5 lunches (including one picnic) and 7 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Palermo (piazzaborsa.it): centrally-located 4-star hotel housed in an assortment of historical buildings. Hotel Villa Belvedere, Taormina (villabelvedere.it): charming 4-star family-run hotel in the old town, with its own garden (rooms 162

5–11 NOVEMBER 2019 CELEBRATING MUSIC AND PLACE A new and unprecedented private festival in southeastern Sicily. Half a dozen Baroque and Classical operas (concert performances and semi-staged).

A choice of hotels on the island of Ortigia in Syracuse, amid utterly charming townscape and sea views. Operas here and in Noto, Modica and other picturesque small towns.

Top rank opera ensembles and soloists: Classical Opera, La Nuova Musica, Odhecaton, the Early Opera Company and Hampstead Garden Opera. Wonderful historic theatres, which have been beautifully restored.

vary in size and outlook). Algilà Ortigia Charme Hotel, Syracuse (algila.it): charming seafront 4-star hotel on the island of Ortygia. How strenuous? This tour involves a lot of walking, some of it over rough ground at archaeological sites and cobbled or uneven paving in town centres. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. There are also some long coach journeys. Average distance by coach per day: 73 miles. Flights. We opt to travel to and from Sicily indirect with Alitalia in March because the only direct flights to the island in this period are with low-cost airlines, with whom it is not currently viable for us to make a group booking. British Airways only flies directly from London Gatwick to Catania from late-April to October (these flights are also subject to confirmation). Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Price, Civilisations of Sicily (September departure) and World Heritage Malta combined. Two sharing: £8,030 or £7,720 without the tour flights. Single occupancy: £9,680 or £9,370 without the tour flights. This includes accommodation in Valletta (2 nights), one-way flight Catania to Malta and airport transfers. These arrangements are prebooked but unescorted.

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Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com/festivals

Other possible combinations: Combine the 4–16 March departure with: Connoisseur’s Rome, 26 February–3 March 2019 (p.150); Essential Rome, 26 February–4 March 2019 (p.149); Basilicata, 16–21 March 2019 (p.159); Minoan Crete, 18–27 March 2019 (p.112). Or the 18–30 March departure with: Venetian Palaces, 12–16 March 2019 (p.127); Gardens of the Bay of Naples, 30 March–5 March 2019 (p.152); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 1–6 April 2019 (p.153); Classical Turkey, 1–10 April 2019 (p.207); Normans in the South, 2–10 April 2019 (p.156). Or the 1–13 April departure with: Wines of Tuscany, 25–30 March 2019 (p.141); Granada & Córdoba, 25 March–1 April 2019 (p.201); Palladian Villas, 26–31 March 2019 (p.124). Or the 16–28 September departure with: Courts of Northern Italy, 8–15 September 2019 (p.132); The Heart of Italy, 9–16 September 2019 (p.143); Gastronomic Crete, 29 September–7 October 2019 (p.110); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 30 September–5 October 2019 (p.153); Aragón: Hidden Spain, 30 September–8 October 2019 (p.192); Palladian Villas, 1–6 October 2019 (p.124). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.


Gastronomic Sicily Food and wine in the west 11–18 November 2019 (mf 885) 8 days • £3,060 Lecturer: Marc Millon Colourful Palermo street markets, authentic salt flats near Trapani, historic cellars in Marsala. Learn about making wine, olive oil and artisan foods from the craftsmen and women who carry on these age-old traditions. Spectrum of culinary experiences from street food in Palermo to dinner in a palazzo. Emphasis on authentic methods rather than haute cuisine. Option to combine this tour with Opera in Southern Sicily, 5–11 November 2019 (opposite).

Itinerary Day 1: Palermo. Fly at c. 9.00am from London City to Palermo, via Milan (Alitalia). Palermo is the largest and most interesting city on the island: capital of Sicily from the period of Saracenic occupation in the 9th century, it reached a peak under the Normans and again during the Age of Baroque. First of four nights in Palermo. Day 2: Palermo. A morning walk to the city’s best market, sampling authentic street food. See also key cultural sites such as the cathedral, a building of many periods, and the church of S. Cataldo. In the afternoon see outstanding mosaics at the 12th-century Palace of the Normans, including the Palatine Chapel. Dinner at a private palazzo. Day 3: Monreale, Mondello. Monreale dominates a verdant valley southwest of Palermo, and its cathedral is one of the finest Norman churches with the largest scheme of mosaic decoration to survive from the Middle Ages. Lunch is at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Mondello, a charming seaside town known for its Art Nouveau villas, once the seat of the Palermitano high bourgeoisie and aristocracy. In the early evening the lecturer leads a wine tasting in the hotel.

Day 5: Erice. Depart Palermo, stopping for lunch and a wine-tasting at a superb winery. Continue to Erice, a mediaeval town perched on top of a hill, which boasts spectacular views of the coast and surrounding area. Demonstration and tasting of traditional pastries here, before continuing on to the charming port town of Marsala where the following three nights are spent. Day 6: Marsala, Mazara del Vallo, Menfi. A tour of Marsala in the morning includes the archaeological museum, most of which is taken up by an extremely well-preserved Punic warship. Visit Il Museo del Satiro Danzante in Mazara del Vallo after a couscous cooking demonstration and lunch. The afternoon is spent at an award-winning olive oil estate, which includes an oil tasting.

Day 8. Fly from Palermo to London City Airport, via Milan, arriving at c. 3.45pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,060 or £2,780 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,300 or £3,020 without flights.

Included meals: 4 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Eurostars Centrale Palace, Palermo (eurostarshotels.co.uk): centrally located 4-star hotel housed in a historical building with recently renovated rooms. Hotel Carmine, Marsala (hotelcarmine.it): small, charming 3-star hotel, with occasionally erratic service. Flights. We opt to travel to and from Sicily with Alitalia because the only direct flights to Palermo are with low-cost airlines, with whom it is not currently viable for us to make a group booking. It is possible to choose our ‘without flights’ option and book your own flights with Ryanair, which usually flies directly to Palermo in this period (Easyjet’s flights only run until around the end of October). Please contact us for advice or further information about this. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking, some of it over rough ground and cobbled or uneven paving. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 47 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Opera in Southern Sicily, 5–11 November 2019 (see opposite); Venetian Palaces, 5–9 November 2019 (p.127); Palaces & Villas of Rome, 18–23 November 2019 (p.148); Ruskin’s Venice, 20–24 November 2019 (p.129). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Marc Millon Wine, food and travel writer. Born in Mexico, he was raised in the USA and then studied at the University of Exeter. He lives in Devon where he is closely involved with the West Country food scene. He is author of The Wine Roads of France, The Wine Roads of Italy, The Food Lover’s Companion to France, The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy and The Taste of Britain. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Illustration: Monreale, Cathedral, German engraving c. 1870.

What else is included in the price? See page 6 For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267 Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Day 4: Segesta, Partinico. With its magnificently sited temple and theatre, Segesta is one of the most evocative of Greek sites. Travel on to visit Mary Taylor-Simeti’s organic farm in Partinico, one of the earliest of its kind in Sicily, to have a simple and abundant lunch with the freshest produce from the farm and local area.

Day 7: Mozia. Drive north of Marsala to see the saltpans that have been in use since Phoenician times, and take a boat across the lagoon to visit the ancient ruins of Mozia. Visit the small Whitaker Museum which houses the 5th-century bc Auriga (charioteer), one of the most exquisite of surviving Greek sculptures. The afternoon is free in Marsala. Private dinner, visit and tasting at the cellars of a historic Marsala producer.


Palermo Revealed Art, archaeology, architecture and gastronomy themselves as far as is imaginable from their rugged northern roots. From a Palermo-based cosmopolitan court they ruled an affluent and cultured nation with efficiency and tolerance. The unique artistic blend of this golden age survives in Romanesque churches with details of Norman, Saracenic, Levantine and classical origin. Byzantine mosaicists were extensively employed, and more wall and vault mosaics survive here than in all of Byzantium. The tour includes not only the Norman buildings in Palermo but also the cathedral at Monreale. The prosperity and power of Sicily began to wane from the later Middle Ages, but pockets of wealth and creativity remained, as Gothic and Renaissance creations demonstrate. Artistically, however, a final flourish was reached in the Age of Baroque when churches and palaces were erected in Palermo and throughout the island which are as splendid and exuberant as anywhere in Europe. Always a seething, vibrant city, an enlightened local government has made Palermo cleaner, safer, and altogether more enjoyable in recent years.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.00am from London City via Milan or Rome to Palermo (Alitalia). Overnight Palermo where all five nights are spent. Day 2: Palermo. A morning walk through the old centre includes a visit to several oratories. The afternoon is spent at the Galleria Regionale della Sicilia (Palazzo Abatellis), which has an excellent collection of 15th-century pictures­, and at La Martorana and S. Cataldo, two outstanding Norman buildings. Dinner at a private palazzo.

12–17 November 2019 (mf 888) 6 days • £2,360 Lecturer: Christopher Newall A captivating city, richly encrusted with the art and architecture of many periods.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Italy, Latvia, Lithuania

Exclusive visits: meals at two private palazzi and drinks at another; see the outstanding Palatine Chapel outside public opening hours. Includes an excursion to see the spectacular mosaics at Monreale. Option to combine this tour with Opera in Southern Sicily, 5–11 November 2019 (page 162). Sicily’s heritage of art, architecture and archaeological remains is exceptionally rich and varied, and Palermo is by far the most interesting of the island’s cities. Staying here for all six days, the tour also has excursions to some of the best of the area’s patrimony just outside the city. In the ninth century ad, when Byzantine rule was supplanted by that of Muslim Arabs, Palermo became the leading city on the island and famous throughout Europe for the beauty of its hillside position, its tradition of craftsmanship and its enlightened administration. In the eleventh century Arab rule was swept aside by conquering Normans. By succumbing to the luxuriant sophistication of their predecessors they distanced 164

Day 3: Monreale, Palermo. Monreale dominates a verdant valley southwest of Palermo; its cathedral is one of the finest Norman churches with the largest scheme of mosaic direction to survive from the Middle Ages. Free afternoon before a private evening visit to the Palatine Chapel. Day 4: Palermo. Visit the Chiesa del Gesù, an extraordinary example of Palermitan Baroque with a profusion of marble inlay, stucco and sculpture. S. Giovanni degli Eremiti is a Norman church with five cupolas and a charming garden. The cathedral, a building of many periods, has grand royal and imperial tombs. Free afternoon. In the evening, there is a visit and reception by special arrangement to an otherwise inaccessible palazzo, with astonishing Rococo interiors and many original furnishings (used as a set in Visconti’s film of The Leopard). Day 5: Palermo. Spend most of the day with the Duchess of Palma in an 18th-century palazzo facing the Bay of Palermo. The palace is the former residence of Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, author of The Leopard, now the home of his adoptive son. Visit the city’s best market with the Duchess herself to select fresh seasonal produce, before returning to the palazzo for a cooking class, lunch in the grand dining room and a tour with the Duke and Duchess. Illustration: Palermo, Palatine Chapel, watercolour by F. Fox, publ. 1913.

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Christopher Newall Art historian, lecturer and writer. A specialist in 19th-century British art he also has a deep interest in southern Italy, its architecture, politics and social history. He studied at the Courtauld and has curated various exhibitions including John Ruskin: Artist & Observer at the National Gallery of Canada and Scottish National Portrait Gallery. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Day 6: Palermo. Visit the Castello della Zisa, an Arab-Norman palace. Fly from Palermo via Milan or Rome to London City, arriving c. 7.15pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,360 or £2,180 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,700 or £2,520 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Palermo (piazzaborsa.it): centrally-located 4-star hotel housed in several historical buildings. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking on this tour, and it would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking or stairclimbing. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Average distance by coach per day: 10 miles. Flights. We opt to travel to and from Sicily with Alitalia in November because the only direct flights to the island in this period are with low-cost airlines, with whom it is not currently viable for us to make a group booking. British Airways only flies directly from London Heathrow to Palermo from late March to October. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Opera in Southern Sicily, 5–11 November 2019 (p.162); Palaces & Villas of Rome, 18–23 November 2019 (p.148).

What else is included in the price? See page 6 See page 67 for Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania.


World Heritage Malta From Neolithic to now 30 September–6 October 2019 (mf 800) 7 days • £2,960 Lecturer: Juliet Rix A wonderful exploration of this fascinating, diverse island. Some of the world’s earliest stone temples, among a concentration of major historic sites. Rural and picturesque Gozo Island, with its stunning natural features. Option to combine thist tour with Civlisations of Sicily, 16–28 September 2019 (see page 161).

Day 3: Valletta. The morning is spent in the National Museum of Archaeology, home of the unique ‘Fat Ladies of Malta’ and other original carvings from the Neolithic Temples. Visit the charming Manoel Theatre, a rare survival of the early 18th century and the Co-Cathedral of St John, one of the most interesting of Baroque buildings, which has lavish carved wall decoration, ceiling paintings by Mattia Preti, magnificently carved tombs and two paintings by Caravaggio. Finally, a private visit of the Casa Rocca Piccola, providing unique historical evidence into the customs and traditions of the Maltese nobility over the last 400 years. Day 4: Paola, Valletta. In Paola, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is a unesco World Heritage Site and the only prehistoric underground temple in the world. The Tarxien Temple site is the most complex in Malta and would have been the most decorative. The afternoon is free in Valletta. Day 5: Gozo. A 30-minute ferry crossing to the island of Gozo, which is more rural and less populated than Malta. See the temple of Ggantija, one of the oldest of Malta’s prehistoric monuments. The chief town is Victoria, which has a cathedral, museum and Sicilo-Norman houses. Fungus Rock, Gharb and Ramla Bay are all of geological, historical and mythical interest, respectively. Day 6: Mdina, Rabat. Mdina, Malta’s ancient capital, is an unspoilt citadel of great beauty, centre of the indigenous aristocracy, with mediaeval walls, grand palazzos and Baroque cathedral. Spreading below is the town of Rabat, with Early Christian catacombs.

Day 7: Vittoriosa. Cross the Grand Harbour by boat, to see churches, forts, and the Second World War museum in Vittoriosa. Fly to London Heathrow arriving at c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,960 or £2,760 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,540 or £3,340 without flights. Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Phoenicia, Valletta (phoeniciamalta.com): 5-star hotel in Valletta, recently refurbished and furnished with style and character, the best in Valletta and just outside the city gates. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour, some of it over the rough ground of sites. Valletta is relatively hilly so you will need to be comfortable with everyday walking and stair climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 15 miles. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. Price, Civilisations of Sicily and World Heritage Malta combined. Two sharing: £8,030 or £7,720 without the tour flights. Single occupancy: £9,680 or £9,370 without the tour flights. This includes accommodation in Valletta (2 nights), one-way flight Catania to Malta and airport transfers. These arrangements are pre-booked but unescorted. You can also combine this tour with: Walking in Southern Tuscany, 7–14 October 2019 (p.140). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

Illustration: part of the prehistoric complex at Hagar Qim, wood engraving from ‘The Illustrated London News’, 1868.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Malta

Malta has an extraordinary 7,000-year history beginning with the arrival of a little-known people from Sicily who became the creators of Malta’s unique Neolithic temples. Older than the Great Pyramids and the famous standing stones at Stonehenge, Malta’s megalithic temples were built between 3600 and 2500 bc – a millennium before Mycenae. All the temples are unesco World Heritage Sites, as is the unique Hal Saflieni Hypogeum, the extraordinary triple-layered tomb complex cut from solid rock where the ‘Temple People’ buried their dead. The complex was recently restored and re-opened to the public. And this is just the start of the story. Malta, with its perfect natural harbours, was desired by every trading or invading nation in the Mediterranean from the Phoenicians and Romans to both sides in the Second World War. Each occupier has left its mark, be it Roman-Byzantine catacombs or British red letter boxes The greatest impression is perhaps that made by the Knights of St John Hospitaller, commonly referred to as ‘The Knights of Malta’. Ousted from Jerusalem and then Rhodes, this order of maritime warrior monks arrived in Malta in 1530 and ruled until 1798. After nearly losing the country to the Ottoman Turks in The Great Siege of 1565, the Knights built a near-impregnable new city on a rocky peninsula between two harbours: Malta’s delightful diminutive capital, Valletta. Despite the ravages of the Second World War, Valletta remains fundamentally the Knights’ city although one area has just received a very 21stcentury makeover. Badly bombed and minimally restored, the City Gate area has been redesigned by the architect of the Pompidou Centre and the London Shard, Renzo Piano.

Day 2: Qrendi, Marsaxlokk, Dingli. Drive through attractive countryside to the prehistoric temples overlooking the sea, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. After some free time for lunch in the picturesque, traditional fishing village of Marsaxlokk, see the ancient track works, Clapham Junction cart ruts in Dingli.

Itinerary If combining this tour with Civilisations of Sicily: fly from Catania to Malta on 28th September (Ryanair or Air Malta) and take a taxi to the hotel. First of two extra nights in Valletta. Day 1: Valletta. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow to Malta. Drive to Valletta, a peninsula flanked by fine natural harbours and once the most strongly fortified city in Christendom. Here, survey the massive fortifications protecting the landward approach and view the Grand Harbour from the ramparts. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Valletta Baroque Festival Music and art in the heart of the Mediterranean Juliet Rix Award-winning journalist, writer and broadcaster specialising in the history of Malta. She studied History of Art at Cambridge and is the author of the Bradt Guide: Malta & Gozo. Her career in journalism has involved working for the BBC and writing for British national newspapers, magazines and online media. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Trionfo del Tempo e del Disinganno, performed by Armonia Atenea and George Petrou. Day 6: Gozo. 30-minute ferry crossing to the island of Gozo. See the temple of Ggantija, among the oldest of Malta’s prehistoric monuments. The chief town is Victoria, which has a citadel, cathedral and Sicilo-Norman houses; stop here for lunch to try homemade Gozitan food.

20–27 January 2019 (mf 401) 8 days • £3,020 (including tickets to 5 performances) Lecturer: Juliet Rix Baroque music in one of the most complete and compact of Baroque cities. World-class musicians include The Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment and Charlie Siem. Guided tours of Malta’s principal archaeological and architectural treasures.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Malta, Montenegro

Malta is a highly apposite setting for the performance of Baroque music. During this period the island was ruled by the Knights of Malta or Knights Hospitaller, Valletta was completely rebuilt and the knights themselves were vigorous patrons of the arts, including music and architecture. One of Europe’s oldest working theatres is the Teatru Manoel, built in 1731 at the behest of the Grand Master of the order, Fra António Manoel de Vilhena. With only 600 seats, the theatre is a masterpiece of carpentry, with three tiers of wooden boxes, gilded and painted, and a trompel’oeil ceiling. Opera companies visited Malta regularly, performing works by Hasse, Piccinni and Galuppi. Other buildings hosting concerts during the festival include the President’s (formerly Grandmaster’s) Palace; St John’s Co-Cathedral, begun in 1573 and gradually embellished to become a great ensemble of Baroque art; and the Church of St Catherine d’Italie (1713). Valletta’s beautiful position on one of the world’s greatest natural harbours, and the fine buildings that still dominate the city, make it a splendid location in which to hear the music of Bach, Handel and their contemporaries. 166

Itinerary Day 1: Valletta. Fly at c. 11.30am (Air Malta) from London Heathrow to Malta. Drive to Valletta. Day 2: Valletta. Survey the massive fortifications protecting the landward approach and view the Grand Harbour from the ramparts. Visit the National Museum of Archaeology, home of the unique ‘Fat Ladies of Malta’ and other carvings from the Neolithic Temples. A guided tour of the Manoel Theatre, followed by some free time and dinner. Evening concert: ‘Charlie’s Baroque Angels’ performed by Charlie Siem. Day 3: Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Marsaxlokk, Valletta. Drive through attractive countryside to the prehistoric temples overlooking the sea, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. Return to Valletta after lunch in the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Evening concert: Bach, St Matthew Passion, with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment. Day 4: Paola, Tarxien. In Paola, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum is a unesco World Heritage Site and the only prehistoric underground temple in the world. The Tarxien Temples site is the most complex in Malta and would have been the most decorative. It was rediscovered by farmers in 191314 and is the source of outstanding carved reliefs and statues. Evening concert: Niccolò Jommelli, Dixit Dominus; Pergolesi, Mass in D; performed by Coro e Orchestra Ghislieri and Giulio Prandi. Day 5: Mdina, Rabat. Mdina, Malta’s ancient capital and centre of the indigenous aristocracy, is an unspoilt citadel of great beauty, with mediaeval walls, grand palazzos and Baroque cathedral. Visit Palazzo Falson, a 13th-century private residence and the second oldest building in Mdina. Spreading below is the town of Rabat, with Early Christian catacombs. Evening concert: Handel, Il

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Day 7: Valletta. Guided tours of the Grand Master’s Palace and Armoury and the CoCathedral of St John, with lavish carved wall decoration, ceiling paintings, magnificent tombs and two paintings by Caravaggio. A private tour of the Casa Rocca Piccola, a 16th-century palazzo owned by the Marquis de Piro. Evening concert: Bach, Brandenburg Concertos, performed by Les Passions de l’Ame and Meret Lüthi. Day 8: Vittoriosa. Cross the Grand Harbour by boat (weather permitting) to see churches, forts, and the Second World War museum in Vittoriosa. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £3,020 or £2,830 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,360 or £3,170 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 4 dinners, with wine. Music: five first category concert tickets are included, costing c. £300. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Excelsior, Valletta (excelsior.com.mt): 5-star just outside the city gates of Valletta. It is surrounded by 16th-century fortifications and the interior is a balance of modern and traditional décor. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour, some of it over the rough ground of sites. Valletta is relatively hilly so you will need to be comfortable with everyday walking and stair climbing. Average coach travel per day: 12 miles. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. Illustration: Valetta, steel engraving c. 1850.

Looking for Montenegro? See page 56 for The Western Balkans.


Art in the Netherlands A spectrum of the finest 20–26 October 2019 (mf 840) 7 days • £2,770 Lecturer: Dr Guus Sluiter A study of Dutch art in some of the finest museums of the Netherlands. Features artists of the seventeenth-century Golden Age (Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer), Van Gogh and other major figures. Also architecture and design from mediaeval to modern, and several highly picturesque historic town centres.

Day 3: Utrecht. One of the best-preserved historic cities in the Netherlands, Utrecht features canals flanked by unbroken stretches of Golden Age houses. The excellent art museum has a major collection of paintings of the 17th-century Utrecht School. See also the Rietveld House (1924), a landmark of 20th-century architecture. Day 4: Otterlo. Located in gardens and surrounded by an extensive heath, the KröllerMüller Museum has the second great collection of works by Van Gogh as well as an eclectic holding of paintings, furniture and sculpture. A leisurely visit here allows time to explore the 75-acre park with its outdoor sculptures. Day 5: The Hague. The Mauritshuis at Den Haag contains a superb collection of paintings including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Exhibited in the Gemeentemuseum are 19thcentury Hague School paintings, the realist milieu from which Van Gogh emerged, and works by the pioneer abstractionist Mondriaan. Visit also the illusionistic Mesdag panorama and the centre of the city, seat of the court and parliament. Day 6: Amsterdam. Return to Amsterdam. Visit the Hermitage Museum, which celebrates the historical ties between Amsterdam and St Petersburg. The afternoon is free for revisiting the Rijksmuseum (there is much to see other than the Golden Age paintings), the Van Gogh Museum, or the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art.

Day 7: Rotterdam. Rotterdam is a thriving city and a centre of contemporary architecture. The Boijmans van Beuningen Museum is the second largest art gallery in the Netherlands and has many important Dutch paintings and good decorative arts. Fly from Amsterdam to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 4.30pm. We sometimes change the visits on this itinerary to take advantage of temporary exhibitions.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,770 or £2,590 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,130 or £2,950 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Grand Hotel Karel V, Utrecht (karelv.nl): 5-star hotel converted from a 19th-century hospital in a quiet location within the city walls. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing around, and the tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 70 miles. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. Combine this tour with: Romantic Agony: English Poets in Italy, 12–19 October 2019 (p.130). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. Illustration: ‘Self-portrait with Saskia’, after Rembrandt's 1636 etching.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Netherlands

The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, one of the world’s great museums, closed for major refurbishment for over ten years. It reopened in 2013, allowing us to offer comprehensive art history tours to the Netherlands once again. In the last few years the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art have also reopened to great acclaim after periods of closure. The seventeenth century was the Golden Age in the history and art history of the northern Netherlands. (Much of this activity was concentrated in Holland, though that was but one of seven provinces which constituted the United Provinces, now the Kingdom of the Netherlands.) This was the time of Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer and innumerable other great masters. The Dutch School is of universal appeal, with its mix of realism, painterliness and potency, though it is best appreciated in the excellent art galleries of their native country – and against the background of the well preserved and wonderfully picturesque towns and cities. With their canals, cobbled alleys and gabled mansions, many have changed little in three hundred years. There is also focus on Vincent Van Gogh, the bulk of whose output is in the Netherlands. Painters of the Hague School of the nineteenth century have a presence, as do pioneers of modernism in painting and architecture, the architects Van der Velde and Gerrit Rietveld for example, and the abstract painter Piet Mondriaan. More recent art and architecture also features. The base for the tour is a five-star hotel in Utrecht, whose central location means relatively short journeys to all places visited.

and four Vermeers among them. The house where Rembrandt lived and worked for nearly 20 years is well restored and has a display of prints. Also newly extended, the Van Gogh Museum houses the biggest holding (over 200) of the artist’s works, largely from his brother Theo’s collection.

Itinerary Day 1: Haarlem. Fly at c. midday from London Heathrow to Amsterdam (British Airways). Haarlem was the chief artistic centre in the northern Netherlands in the 16th century and home of the first of the great masters of the Golden Age, Frans Hals, whose finest works are in the excellent museum here. Drive to Utrecht. Timing is tight on this day, and the visit may have to be cut short if the flight is delayed. Day 2: Amsterdam. With its rings of canals lined with merchants’ mansions, Amsterdam is one of the loveliest capitals in the world. Our visit to the brilliantly refurbished Rijksmuseum concentrates on the major works in its unrivalled collection of 17th-century paintings, Rembrandt’s Night Watch Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

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Dutch Painting Art in Amsterdam, Haarlem and The Hague 26–29 June 2019 (mf 601) 4 days • £1,940 Lecturer: Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

Day 4. Opened in June 2014 after long closure for refurbishment, the Mauritshuis at The Hague houses a superb collection of paintings includes masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Visit also the illusionistic Mesdag panorama before driving to the airport. Fly from Amsterdam and return to London Heathrow at c. 6.00pm.

Painting of the Dutch Golden Age – Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer and contemporaries – as well as art of other eras.

We sometimes change the visits on this itinerary to take advantage of temporary exhibitions.

Plenty of time for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam which reopened in 2013 as Europe’s best-displayed national gallery.

Practicalities

The Mauritshuis in The Hague also reopened in 2014 after complete refurbishment and ‘looks set to become northern Europe’s most alluring small museum’ (Financial Times). The refurbished Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam has been greeted with universal praise. Much extra space has been quarried from within the footprint of the 1885 building, and while some of the original decoration has been revealed and restored, the latest museum technology has been adopted and the artworks are beautifully lit. Paintings, sculpture, drawings, tapestries, ceramics, gold and silver – the whole gamut of fine and decorative arts are on display, often in meaningful juxtaposition. Though the gallery has the finest collection by far of the Dutch Golden Age (the seventeenth century, the age of Rembrandt and Vermeer), it has much else besides, including significant international collections. There are two visits to the museum, and visits to a number of Amsterdam’s other main galleries and historic buildings, as well as city centre walks through the enchanting streetscape and along the canals. To enlarge upon the theme, two key galleries in other towns are also visited. The Frans Hals Museum in Haarlem, housed in the almshouse where the eponymous artist spent his last years, provides a perfect introduction to Golden Age art, while the paintings in the Mauritshuis, also benefiting from brilliant re-display, form one of the richest small collections anywhere.

Price, per person. Two sharing: £1,940 or £1,810 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,250 or £2,120 without flights. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Estheréa, Amsterdam (estherea.nl): centrally located 4-star hotel in an historic building with comfortable rooms. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing; this tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking. Average distance by coach per day: 23 miles. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. Combine this tour with: Danish Castles & Gardens, 1–7 July 2018 (p.65); French Gothic, 1–7 July 2019 (p.77). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

leading Dutch painters of the 17th century (subject to closure for royal functions). Return to the Rijksmuseum for a second visit. There is some free time to visit two other major art museums nearby which have also recently been refurbished and extended, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.

Itinerary MAINLAND EUROPE: Netherlands

Day 1. Fly at c. midday from London Heathrow to Amsterdam (British Airways). Haarlem was the chief artistic centre in the northern Netherlands in the 16th century and home of the first of the great masters of the Golden Age, Frans Hals, whose finest works are in the excellent small museum here. Drive to Amsterdam, where all three nights are spent. Timing is tight on this day, and the visit may have to be cut short if the flight is delayed. Day 2. With its concentric rings of canals and 17th-century merchants’ mansions, Amsterdam is one of the loveliest capitals in the world. Our first visit to the brilliantly refurbished Rijksmuseum concentrates on Rembrandt, Vermeer and their contemporaries. In the afternoon walk to Museum Van Loon, a private residence built in 1672, and to the house where Rembrandt lived and worked for nearly 20 years. Walk back to the hotel through some of Amsterdam’s most attractive streets. Day 3. Visit the Hermitage, followed by the Royal Palace, formerly the town hall, decorated by the 168

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Illustration: Amsterdam, Jewish Quarter, engraving c. 1890 by Bellanger after Ph. Zilken. Photograph below: Hilversum’s Town Hall, Dudok 1930 ©Fiona Charrington.

For lecturers' biographies See pages 260–267

Dutch Modern 20–24 June 2019 (mf 595) Very few spaces remaining 5 days • £2,030 Lecturer: Professor Harry Charrington Please contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com An immersion in the last one hundred years of Dutch urban design. Highlights of early modernism include the Rietveld Schröder House in Utrecht, Hilversum Town Hall and the Van Nelle Tobacco Factory in Rotterdam. City centres are balanced by the Hoge Veluwe National Park, the Voorlinden estate and the docklands of Amsterdam. Stay throughout in beautiful Utrecht. Option to combine this tour with Berlin: New Architecture, 25–29 June 2019 (see page 94).


Gardens & Landscapes of the Dutch Wave Piet Oudolf and modern garden design

7–12 September 2019 (mf 679) 6 days • £2,310 Lecturer: Amanda Patton Garden and landscape designs of internationallyrenowned Piet Oudolf and the Dutch Wave. Beautiful new-perennial planting that is at its best in September. Privileged access to private gardens and meetings with key designers are a feature. Utrecht is one of the best-preserved historic cities in the Netherlands; Zwolle’s moated medieval centre is charming.

Itinerary Day 1: Amstelveen, Utrecht. Fly at c. 11.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol. Visit the Jac P Thijssepark, a suburban oasis of water and woodland, beautifully designed with native plants in the 1930s to create one of the first examples of a stylised natural landscape. Drive to the hotel in Utrecht for the first of three nights. Day 2: Utrecht, Vianen. The Vlinderhof, a large new garden (2014) within Utrecht’s Maxima Park designed by Piet Oudolf, originated from an initiative by local residents and is maintained by them. The landscape surrounding the Miele Inspiration Centre in Vianen (2008) has been designed with grasses and late-season perennials adjoining large pools for rain water harvesting, and fountains for noise abatement. Free time for lunch in the small historic town of Vianen before a visit to a private garden (subject to permission). Day 3: Rotterdam, Utrecht. Largely destroyed in the Second World War, Rotterdam has emerged as a centre of post-modern architecture. Piet Oudolf has been responsible for designing three very different public spaces within the city. The Leuvehoofd features Oudolf’s painterly planting in triangular beds that step down to the river; the Westerkade forms part of the revitalisation of the quays with a new cobblestone tree-lined esplanade; the Ichtushof is a magical wooded courtyard space created on a pedestrian route in an urban setting. The afternoon is free to explore Utrecht.

Piet Oudolf's plan for the garden at Vlinderhof (reproduced here with the kind permission of the Piet).

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MAINLAND EUROPE: Netherlands

Since the beginning of the twentieth century, the Netherlands has been at the forefront of a new direction in planting design, in which a more naturalistic approach to planting, using perennials and ornamental grasses and known as The Dutch Wave (and latterly the New Perennial Movement), has quietly been gathering momentum. Two significant Netherlanders have been at the heart of this movement; Mien Ruys and Piet Oudolf. Oudolf, inspired by Mien’s earlier work, has become the most significant and acclaimed landscape designer working within this genre, and a private visit to his own garden and nursery, along with visits to several of his designed public spaces and private gardens, is a major feature of this tour. The English origins of the naturalistic planting movement flourished in the form of the Victorian plantsman William Robinson whose book, the Wild Garden, is still in print 135 years after first being published. His friend, Gertrude Jekyll, shared his ideas and added colour theories learnt from the Impressionist painters in her

acquaintance. These ideas proved to be highly influential to a young Dutchwoman, Wilhelmina (Mien) Ruys, who was raised at the famous Moorheim nursery in Dedemsvaart. Here, her father experimented with propagating new forms of perennial plants, making these available to the wider public as demand increased through the writings of Robinson and Jekyll. Mien’s interest however lay not in producing plants but in using them. After meeting Jekyll in England, she studied at the Bauhaus in Germany before embarking on a lifetime of experimentation with perennials, mixing the naturalism of Robinson, the painterly qualities of Jekyll and the clean lines she had learnt from Modernism to create something that was not only original but has also proved to be a continuing inspiration for designers today. 'It all begins with Mien' says Piet Oudolf of the influence Mien Ruys has had on contemporary planting design. Oudolf, now in his early seventies, began creating gardens in the 1970s and, frustrated at the difficulty of acquiring enough plant material for his work, started a nursery to grow the plants he needed to meet his own demand. Through a small group of like-minded artists and growers, ideas began to emerge around the appeal of seedheads and ornamental grasses, extending the season of interest in a flower border beyond the traditional 6-week flowering period, into a style where form takes precedence over flowers and colours. Resulting in a more naturalistic planting, the style complements both contemporary urban spaces and country gardens. Piet’s work has spread far beyond his native Dutch borders in the creation of the High Line in New York and the Lurie Garden in Chicago, but more importantly, has opened a wider debate on the value of naturalistic planting within garden and urban settings.


Gardens & Landscapes of the Dutch Wave continued

Lofoten Chamber Music Festival Concerts and walks in the Arctic archipelago

Day 4: Hummelo, Deventer, Zwolle. The morning is dedicated to the private garden of Piet Oudolf and his wife Anja (by special arrangement) where Oudolf’s experiments offer an insight into his personal development and current thinking. Free time for lunch in the attractive medieval market town of Deventer. In the afternoon, visit the Mien Ruys Experimental Gardens. From 1924 until her death in 1999, Ruys created a series of 30 gardens trialling different planting schemes and architectural ideas. Ahead of her time, the gardens are still as fresh and inspirational as when she first conceived them. First of two nights in Zwolle. Day 5: de Wilp, Eestrum (Friesland). Our two gardens today show the latest development of the Dutch Wave, including the influence of the American prairies, whose native plants formed the basis of the Dutch Wave palette. Lianne’s Siergrassen (by special arrangement) is a private nursery with parterre garden created solely using grasses, and a large experimental prairie garden. Jacobstuin (by special arrangement) is a private modern garden designed in a naturalistic planting style with late season perennials and pale grasses creating a painterly feel. Day 6: Hoorn. Spectacular drive over the 20 mile long Houtribdijk which spans the IJsselmeer lake separating Flevoland from North Holland, home to numerous sea birds. Visit a private garden designed by Piet Oudolf in 1999 (by special arrangement) on reclaimed land (polder). Some free time for lunch in Hoorn, one of the main ports of the Dutch East India Company, before continuing to the airport. Fly from Amsterdam Schiphol and return to Heathrow at c. 6.00pm

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,310 or £2,150 without flights. Single occupancy: £2,620 or £2,460 without flights. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Netherlands, Norway

Accommodation. The Grand Hotel Karel V, Utrecht (karelv.nl): 5-star hotel converted from a 19th-century hospital in a quiet location within the city walls. Grand Hotel Wientjes, Zwolle (bilderberg.nl): 4-star hotel, formerly a mansion, close to historic city centre. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and some of the gardens are extensive with uneven ground. The tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. There are some long coach journeys but facilities are good. Average distance by coach per day: 75 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: St Petersburg (for solo travellers), 13–20 September 2019 (p.179); Georgia Uncovered, 14–23 September 2019 (p.88); The Age of Bede, 14–17 September 2019 (p.15). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport.

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July 2019 Lecturer: Dr Michael Downes Full details available in January 2019 Please call us to register your interest, or e-mail alerts@martinrandall.co.uk Concerts featuring national and international artists; András Schiff and the Doric String Quartet among them. The Lofoten islands are an area of outstanding natural beauty, experienced under the majesty of the midnight sun. A number of walks against a backdrop of dramatic mountains, lakes, fjords and coast. In the fifteen years since its foundation, the Lofoten International Chamber Music Festival has quickly acquired an enviable reputation for the quality of its programmes, which juxtapose the very best Scandinavian performers with eminent musicians from throughout the world, attracted by the unique environment for music-making that the festival offers. The 2019 line-up is particularly impressive. Sir András Schiff, doyen of the Viennese classical tradition, leads an enticing roster of pianists that also includes the hugely talented young Frenchwoman, Lise de la Salle, and the even younger Canadian Jan Lisiecki, still in his midtwenties but attracting attention throughout the world for his recordings of Chopin. Chamber groups include the euphoniously named Trio con Brio from Copenhagen, whose debut CD was praised by the American Record

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Guide as ‘one of the greatest performances of chamber music I’ve ever encountered’, the Doric String Quartet, one of Britain’s most exciting young groups, and the Engegård Quartet, formed in Lofoten itself. Meanwhile the tango-influenced sounds of Per Arne Glorvigen, born in Norway and one of the world’s greatest exponents of the bandoneon, will add both variety and atmosphere to this beguiling festival. Concert venues include intimate churches (many with their own Steinway Grands), and the Lofoten ‘Cathedral,’ the largest wooden building north of Trondheim. Most days feature two or three concerts across the islands, between an hour and an hour and a half in length, a musical intensity amplified by the winding coastal journeys themselves; on more than one occasion, late night concerts take advantage of the wonder of the midnight sun. Our itinerary starts with a night in Oslo before flying north to the Lofoten islands, and a private tour of the opera house, a glacial construction of marble and glass dominating the Oslo Fjord. Based in Svolvær throughout thereafter, the tour returns to London via Oslo on the final day. The tour includes several walks in areas of outstanding natural beauty, led by an experienced guide. Lying within the Arctic circle, distinctive scenery of deep fjords and dramatic mountains make up the landscape of the Lofoten archipelago and the islands boast archaeological finds from the Iron and Viking Ages.

Photograph: Hauklandssanden in the Lofoten Islands, ©Baard Loeken and courtesy of the Lofoten Islands Festival.


Eastern Pomerania Gdańsk and Toruń, with Warsaw 19–26 August 2019 (mf 655) 8 days • £2,970 Lecturer: Dr Agata Gomólka Some of the finest achievements of medieval architecture in Northern Europe. Several unesco world heritage sites, among them Toruń and Malbork Castle. Examine the legacy left by the Teutonic Order and the Hanseatic League. Gdańsk and the region of eastern Pomerania possess a fascinating history and a complex identity. Power shifted variously over the last millennium between the Piast dynasty, the Teutonic Order, the Hanseatic League, the Kingdom of Poland and the strange phenomenon of Prussia. Each left behind an eclectic group of remarkable monuments: castles, churches and monasteries, palaces, urban spaces and town houses. Gdańsk (Danzig), the great Hanseatic port on the Baltic, is one of the finest sights in Northern Europe. Its fortunes bear witness to the fiercely contested history of these lands. First mentioned in the tenth century, the settlement became a stronghold of the Polish Piast rulers. In the fourteenth century the Teutonic Order took over the town and its hinterland and began the Germanisation of the region. They constructed a fortress and a number of Brick Gothic buildings (among them the world’s secondlargest brick church), and made the city a member of the Hanseatic League.

The following centuries saw a continuous struggle between the Polish and Prussian rulers for control of the city. Gdańsk suffered extensive damage during the Second World War, but was painstakingly rebuilt to rescue the former historic beauty of the old town and the harbour. Today, Gdańsk is at once a monument to its maritime and international past as well as a bustling and ambitious modern city with much to see, explore, and savour. The city of Toruń (Thorn), once a rich military stronghold and thriving cultural and economic centre, offers a fine assembly of medieval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture. It came to prominence when the early medieval settlement was turned into a fortress by the Teutonic Knights, who were brought to Poland to assist in the subjugation of the Pomeranian pagans. The Knights were followed by the mendicant orders, who continued to expand the city and built vast churches in the Brick Gothic style. A member of the Hanseatic League, Toruń soon established itself as an important trading post and centre of manufacturing, which is reflected in the surviving fabric of the city. Though geographically removed from the tour’s primary focus, it would be remiss not to include a sojourn in Warsaw, Poland’s vibrant capital. A fascinating blend of turbulent history and cultural treasures, it provides counterpoint and context, as well as the magnificent collection of medieval art in the National Museum, an essential ingredient in this tour.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.15am (LOT Polish Airlines) from London Heathrow to Warsaw. Drive north to Toruń. Dinner and first of two nights here. Day 2: Toruń. Picturesquely located on the banks of the Vistula River, Toruń is one of the most attractive and least spoilt of Europe’s medieval towns. Visit the ruins of the first Teutonic castle to be built in Poland and the church of St James, with its monumental, five-storey tower crowned with a pair of hip roofs. The Old Town Hall is an outstanding achievement of medieval civic architecture. Overnight Toruń. Day 3: Chełmno, Gniew, Gdańsk. Downstream along the Vistula lies Chełmno, the first political and administrative centre of the Teutonic Order. On a hilltop site, the town is very well preserved, with medieval walls, fine Gothic churches and a splendid Renaissance town hall. Continue to the commanding castle at Gniew, one of Poland’s first privatised monuments. Arrive in Gdańsk early evening. First of three nights here. Day 4: Gdańsk, Oliwa. Morning walk in and around the Long Market (Długi Targ): the imposing Gothic-Renaissance Town Hall, the Artus Court – with its magnificent 16thcentury Renaissance stove – and the vast Brick Gothic Church of St Mary (1343). After lunch visit the National Museum’s branch for early art, which houses Hans Memling’s Last Judgement altarpiece. Drive to the medieval cathedral in the suburb of Oliwa and hear its famous organ. Overnight Gdańsk.

Illustration: Gdańsk, early-18th-century copper engraving.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Poland

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Eastern Pomerania continued

Kraków & Silesia Art, architecture and history in southern Poland

Day 5: Malbork, Pelpin. Drive to Malbork Castle, an awesome structure of three linked castles comprising the largest medieval fortress in Europe. Cross the Vistula to Pelpin – an outstanding Cistercian abbey boasting portal structure and spectacular vaults. Final night in Gdańsk. Day 6: Gdańsk, Warsaw. Walk along the picturesque waterfront to the Crane (1442), a defining symbol of Gdańsk and a relic of the city’s great trading age. After the war it was rebuilt and donated to the Polish Maritime Museum, of which it remains a part today. Fly at c.2.55pm from Gdańsk to Warsaw (LOT Polish Airlines). First of two nights in Warsaw. Day 7: Warsaw. The Royal Castle is a Renaissance and later building whose magnificent interiors have been scrupulously reconstructed and enhanced with original furnishings and paintings. After lunch visit the National Museum, a magnificent collection of Polish art which is particularly strong on the medieval and Romantic period. The rest of the day is free; there are many museums, galleries and historic buildings to chose from. Day 8: Warsaw, Wilanów. With its spreading layout and splendid Baroque interiors, the country palace of Wilanów was built by King Jan Sobieski in the 1680s, though during the next two centuries fine furnishings, pictures and an English park were added. Drive to Warsaw airport for the return flight to London Heathrow arriving c. 5.20pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,970 or £2,640 without all flights. Single occupancy: £3,400 or £3,070 without all flights. Internal flight, Gdańsk to Warsaw. The internal flight on day 6 is not included in the price if you take our ‘without flights’ option. We can book this on your behalf, quoting the price at the time, or you can choose to book this independently. The average cost of this flight is currently c. £60. Included meals: 2 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Poland

Music: we hope to be able to offer an optional performance as part of the Chopin festival in Warsaw. Details available in January 2019. Accommodation. Hotel Bulwar, Toruń (hotelbulwar.pl): 4-star hotel in a converted building with modern interiors by the Vistula river. Radisson Blu Hotel, Gdańsk (radissonblu. com): 5-star hotel on the Long Market. Hotel Bristol, Warsaw (hotelbristolwarsaw.pl): elegant 5-star in an art deco building, 10-minutes' walk from the Royal Castle. How strenuous? This tour involves a lot of walking in the historic centres so you will be on your feet for lengthy stretches of time. There is also a lot of standing in museums and churches. A good level of fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 45 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with: Vienna’s Masterpieces, 27–31 August 2019 (p.50). We are happy to advise on linking accommodation and transport. 172

14–21 June 2019 (mf 577) 8 days • £2,830 Lecturer: Dr Agata Gomółka Wrocław and Kraków, two of the most impressive and fascinating historic cities in Central Europe. Passed between Bohemia, Prussia and Poland, the multi-layered region of Silesia is of outstanding interest, historically and architecturally. Wrocław and Silesia are surprisingly little visited. Wrocław is the capital of Silesia, in the early modern period one of the wealthiest regions of Central Europe. Prosperity has returned to Wrocław (it has the fastest growing economy of any Polish city), but otherwise contrasts outweigh similarities with Kraków. The mediaeval origins of Silesia were Polish, but under Bohemian, Austrian and Prussian rule, and as an integral part of a united Germany until 1945, German culture came to dominate (Wrocław was known as Breslau). When Silesia was added to Poland after World War II the German-speaking population was replaced by Polish settlers – many of them displaced from territory lost in the east. There ensued ambivalence about its status: much was made of Wrocław’s Polish origins, but a veil was drawn over its later history. It is only since the end of Communism that Wrocław has really come to terms with its multilayered past and the glories of its artistic heritage, now painstakingly restored: the imposing Gothic churches, magnificent Baroque sculpture and pioneering modernist architecture. The impressive old town centre is one of the grandest in Central Europe – evidence of the city’s status as a great metropolis in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries. It was to remain an important place of cultural interchange between the German west and the Slavic east, and between the Protestant north and the Catholic south.

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Kraków is one of the treasures of Europe, an unspoilt cityscape of the highest architectural importance. Famed for its royal castle, university, great churches and art collections, it was for centuries Poland’s capital, at a time when the country was one of the major kingdoms of Europe. After the dismemberment of Poland at the end of the eighteenth century, the city was subsumed within the Austrian Habsburg Empire and reduced to provincial impotence. Its independent spirit and intellectual life continued undimmed, however. After the revival of Poland as an independent nation in 1918, and during the tribulations it sustained during much of the twentieth century, Kraków acquired the status of cultural capital, and its literary and artistic life continues to thrive. Miraculously, it largely escaped war-time destruction, but its fabric suffered neglect under Communism. In recent years it has undergone another transformation, restored, cleaned, and once again prosperous. Cafés, shops, restaurants and enterprises of all sorts now fill the historic centre, and it has become a popular city-break destination.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Wrocław. Fly at c. 2.00pm from London Heathrow to Kraków (British Airways). Drive to Wrocław with a break for dinner en route. First of four nights in Wrocław. Day 2: Wrocław. Slav by origin, for centuries Wrocław was predominently German (Breslau). The main square is dominated by the elaborate Gothic town hall and lined by a colourful assortment of Renaissance and Baroque mansions. In the academic quarter, and inside the 171mlong Collegium Maximum, the Aula Leopoldina is an ornate Baroque hall with illusionistic ceiling frescoes. Cross the Piaskowy Bridge to Cathedral Island. Among the highlights of the National Museum are Matejko’s Vows of King Jan Kazimierz Waza and an important collection of mediaeval sculpture.


Day 3: Brzeg, Małujowice, Kamieniec Ząbkowicki. A second excursion into the Silesian countryside. The Renaissance castle at Brzeg has a remarkable sculptured entrance gateway, and there are extensive 15th-century wall paintings in the nearby village church of Małujowice. Kamieniec Ząbkowicki, a huge neo-Gothic country residence, was the last major project by Prussian architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel (1838). Day 4: Kzreszów, Świdnica. The magnificent Baroque abbey at Krzeszów, with imposing interiors, sculpture and paintings, is remarkably well preserved. Polish nuns expelled from Ukraine settled here after the War. The huge ‘Peace Church’ at Świdnica is an extraordinary building, constructed of timber and brilliantly exploiting the tight constraints of the terms under which Lutherans were permitted to build three churches in Catholic Silesia after the 1648 Treaty of Munster. Day 5: Wrocław, Kraków. Before departing for Kraków visit the Racławice Panorama, an enormous cycloramic painting (120m x 15m) commemorating the centenary of the defeat of the Russian army in 1794 during the Kościuszko Insurrection. Upon arrival in Kraków lunch is followed by an introductory walk. In the heart of the old town, the enormous mediaeval market square (the largest in Europe) has fine façades of many styles. The soaring Gothic church of St Mary contains the greatest of all late-mediaeval German sculpted altarpieces, by Veit Stoss. First of three nights in Kraków. Day 6: Kraków. A walking tour of the Old Town includes the St Florian Gate and the Furrier’s

Dr Agata Gomółka Art historian, lecturer and researcher specialising in Romanesque architectural sculpture. She obtained her MA at the University of Warwick and her PhD at the University of East Anglia. Her research interests include medieval art and architecture, pre-modern building methods, sculptural techniques, and representation of the human body in art. See page 260 for all lecturers' biographies.

Tower above it, constructed (1300–07) as part of the city’s fortifications. See also the 15thcentury university complex including the cloister, Collegium Maius and St Anne’s Church, a major work of Polish Baroque. In the afternoon visit the City History Museum and the Cloth Hall, still a covered market below and with a gallery of magnificent 19th-century Polish art above. Day 7: Kraków. Wawel Castle was rebuilt by Italian designers in the 16th century to become one of the earliest and greatest of Renaissance palaces north of the Alps, with arcaded courtyard and splendid interiors. Works of art include an excellent tapestry collection. The cathedral is also situated on Wawel Hill; essentially a Gothic structure, it is a Polish pantheon, with tombs of 41 monarchs and national heroes. Adjacent to Kraków but across a branch of the Vistula, Kazimierz was an

independent town until the 19th century. Here the Jewish population was concentrated, but there are fine churches as well as synagogues and the former ghetto. It is a place of beauty as well as poignancy. Day 8: Kraków to London. In the morning visit the main building of National Museum whose collection includes Leonardo’s Lady with an Ermine. After lunch visit the National Museum’s branch of 12th–18th-century sacred art, in an early Renaissance Palace. St Andrew’s church is possibly the best preserved example of early Romanesque architecture in Poland. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.50pm.

Practicalities Price, per person. Two sharing: £2,830 or £2,650 without flights. Single occupancy: £3,270 or £3,090 without flights. Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Sofitel, Wroclaw (sofitel.com): a comfortable 5-star hotel in the old town. Stary Hotel, Krakow (stary.hotel.com.pl): boutique 5-star hotel in a 14th-century towhouse located close to the mediaeval main square. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking, much of it on roughly paved streets. There are long drives on four of the days. Average distance by coach per day: 109 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Illustration, opposite: Wrocław, town hall, watercolour by E.T. Harrison Compton, publ. 1912. Below: Krakow, University, lithograph c. 1820.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Poland

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The Douro From Porto to Pinhão Day 5: São João de Tarouca, Lamego. In the church of São João de Tarouca there are paintings by Grão Vasco (1506–42) and Gaspar Vaz (1490–1569) beside which are the ruins of the first Cistercian abbey in Portugal (1169). Continue to the busy little town of Lamego, replete with Baroque mansions and dominated by the pilgrimage church of Nossa Senhora dos Remédios atop a ceremonial stairway. The town museum in the former episcopal palace contains a series of panels by Grão Vasco. See also the cathedral, largely Renaissance behind a Romanesque belfry. Day 6: Vale do Côa. Up the Douro is the small town of Vila Nova Foz Côa with church with Manueline doorway. Close to the border with Spain the River Côa valley holds one of the greatest archaeological finds of recent years, an extensive array of outdoor Paleolithic art, the largest in Europe. There are well-preserved engravings of auroch, horse, deer and goat along a long stretch of steeply slate-banked river. Visit one of the key sites by 4WD, then continue on foot. Return to Pinhão on the train beside the Douro.

2–9 September 2019 (mf 674) 8 days • £2,960 Lecturer: Martin Symington One of the most remote and picturesque corners of Europe.

This is not a tour in pursuit of masterpieces, rather an exploration of delicious scenery and ancient townscapes in a most beautiful but often overlooked corner of Europe. The port wine industry is a subsidiary theme, along with the excellent red wines now produced here. The pace on this tour is slower than on many.

Visit the major museums of Porto as well as some fine mediaeval and Baroque architecture.

Itinerary

Further highlights include palace gardens, Paleolithic art and wine tastings. Journeys of immense beauty by rail and boat along the Douro valley.

MAINLAND EUROPE: Portugal

The upper reaches of the Douro in Portugal present a landscape of extraordinary beauty and tranquillity. The banks rise steeply into the surrounding hills which are clothed with terraced vineyards, patches of woodland, little villages and quintas. Until recently one of the remotest clefts in western Europe, the region remains remarkably unspoilt and difficult of access. It is best approached by train; a journey into mountains that begins at the mouth of the river in Porto (Oporto). The capital of northern Portugal, Porto is synonymous with the port wine trade, which since time immemorial has been dominated by the British. Hence an architectural peculiarity of Porto: the serene Neo-Palladianism of buildings by John Carr of York and his imitators cheekby-jowl with the highly wrought, startlingly pigmented and lavishly gilded Baroque style of churches and public buildings. Baroque was vir