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Canada Telephone (647) 382 1644 Fax (416) 925 2670 canada@mar tinrandall.ca

Telephone +44 (0)20 8742 3355 Fax +44 (0)20 8742 7766 info@mar tinrandall.co.uk www.martinrandall.com

Telephone 1300 55 95 95 New Zealand 0800 877 622 Fax +61 (0)7 3371 8288 anz@mar tinrandall.com.au

USA Telephone (connects to the London office) 1 800 988 6168

A RT • A R C H I T E C T U R E • G A S T R ONO M Y • A R C H A E OLO G Y • H I S TOR Y • M U S I C

2016

Martin Randall Australasia PO Box 1024 Indooroopilly QLD 4068, Australia

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

Martin Randall Travel Ltd Voysey House Bar ley Mow Passage London W4 4GF, United Kingdom

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 ONO M Y • A R C H A E OLO G Y • H I S TORY • M U S I C 5085

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

2016

& October–December 2015


Martin Randall Travel Ltd Voysey House Barley Mow Passage London W4 4GF, United Kingdom

Martin Randall Australasia PO Box 1024 Indooroopilly QLD 4068, Australia

Canada Telephone (647) 382 1644 Fax (416) 925 2670 canada@mar tinrandall.ca

Telephone +44 (0)20 8742 3355 Fax +44 (0)20 8742 7766 info@mar tinrandall.co.uk www.martinrandall.com

Telephone 1300 55 95 95 New Zealand 0800 877 622 Fax +61 (0)7 3371 8288 anz@mar tinrandall.com.au

USA Telephone (connects to the London office) 1 800 988 6168

Register your interest: Haydn in Eisenstadt......................................49 The Schubertiade...........................................49

NEW: Paintings in Paris..............................74 NEW: Art, Wine & Walking in Alsace......79 Music & Walking in the Saxon Hills..........91 NEW: Periklean Athens..............................98 NEW: Trieste & Ljubljana.........................104

october 2016 1– 7 Gastronomic Piedmont (md 885) Marc Millon...................................................102 2– 8 Art in the Netherlands (md 884) Dr Guus Sluiter.............................................146 2– 9 Courts of Northern Italy (md 881) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................116 3–9 Malta (md 883) Juliet Rix............................144 3–11 Roman Algeria (md 887) Anthony Sattin.185 3–11 NEW: Ancient & Islamic Tunisia (md 899) Prof. Roger Wilson........................................202 3–16 The Western Balkans (md 800) David Gowan..................................................55 5–20 Ethiopia (md 886)........................................189 9–16 Dark Age Brilliance (md 893) John McNeill..................................................118 9–18 Jordan Revisited (md 882) Jane Taylor.....195 11–16 Palladian Villas (md 896) Dr Sarah Pearson..........................................112 12–16 Siena & San Gimignano (md 900) Dr Antonia Whitley......................................127 13–22 New England Modern (md 901) Prof. Harry Charrington..............................216 16–22 A Festival of Music in Florence............................................126 17–23 NEW: History of Printing.........................117 17–25 Palestine (md 915) Felicity Cobbing...........201 17–29 Sicily (md 914) Prof. Roger Wilson.............139 18–31 Essential China (md 916) Dr Rose Kerr....203 19–23 Art in Madrid (md 917) Gail Turner.........165 21–27 Roman & Mediaeval Provence (md 920) Dr Alexandra Gajewski..................................76 24–30 Pompeii & Herculaneum (md 923) Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves..............................136 24–31 Gastronomic Sicily (md 924) Marc Millon...................................................142 24–31 Bilbao to Bayonne (md 922) Gijs van Hensbergen.....................................162 25–31 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur (md 925) Lydia Bauman.................................................78 31– 5 Walking in Madeira (md 929) Dr Gerald Luckhurst.....................................154

7–14 NEW: Gastronomic Valencia (md 940) Gijs van Hensbergen.....................................169 7–19 Sicily (md 939) Christopher Newall...........139 14–20 Art History of Venice (md 945) Dr Susan Steer...............................................114 22–26 Venetian Palaces (md 950) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................115

december 2016 4–17 NEW: Guatemala, Honduras, Belize (md 960) Prof. Norman Hammond............213 We will run six or seven tours over Christmas and New Year. Details will be available in May 2016. Please contact us to register your interest.

april 2017 12–18 The Ring in Berlin.........................................84

Dionysos (Bacchus), 18th-century French engraving.

TOURS BY DATE

2– 5 Poets & The Somme (md 820) Andrew Spooner..............................................67 2– 9 NEW: Kraków & Silesia (md 837) Sebastian Wormell........................................151 2–14 The Road to Santiago (md 821) John McNeill..................................................157 3–10 Franconia (md 823) Dr Jarl Kremeier..........92 4–11 Courts of Northern Italy (md 832) Prof. Fabrizio Nevola....................................116 5–11 Walking Hadrian’s Wall (md 825) Graeme Stobbs.................................................20 5–12 Bohemia (md 839) Michael Ivory.................59 5–13 The Heart of Portugal (md 824) Adam Hopkins...............................................152 6–12 Cave Art in Spain (md 828) Dr Paul Bahn.................................................176 6–16 Samarkand & Silk Road Cities (md 826) Dr Peter Webb...............................................212 7–10 Flemish Painting (md 827) Dr Sophie Oosterwijk......................................53 7–16 Californian Galleries (md 876) Gijs van Hensbergen.....................................218 11–22 Morocco (md 831) James Brown................197 11–27 Peru (md 834) Dr David Beresford-Jones.. 215 12–17 Pompeii & Herculaneum (md 833) Dr Mark Grahame........................................136 13–17 Connoisseur’s London (md 835) various lecturers & guides..............................41 13–19 Connoisseur’s Prague (md 841) Michael Ivory...................................................60 14–27 NEW: China’s Silk Road Cities (md 838) Dr Jamie Greenbaum....................................205 17–26 Classical Greece (md 842) Dr Andrew Farrington....................................98 18–22 Arts & Crafts in the Cotswolds (md 844) Janet Sinclair....................................................30 19–25 Walking a Royal River (md 847) Dr Paul Atterbury...........................................34 19–26 The Heart of Italy (md 846) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................129 19– 1 Sicily (md 845) Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves..139 19– 3 The Iron Curtain (md 849) Neil Taylor.......89 20–28 Connoisseur’s New York (md 851) Gijs van Hensbergen.....................................217 20–30 Samarkand & Silk Road Cities (md 848) Prof. Dominic Brookshaw.............................212 22–28 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes (md 854) Steven Desmond...........................106 22–30 Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden (md 840) Dr Jarl Kremeier..............................................86 24– 5 Frank Lloyd Wright (md 830) Tom Abbott....................................................219 26– 2 The Etruscans (md 873) Dr Nigel Spivey...135 26– 3 Footpaths of Umbria (md 874) Dr Antonia Whitley......................................130 26– 6 Essential Andalucía (md 875) Adam Hopkins...............................................171 27– 3 Istanbul (md 878) Jane Taylor....................177 28– 2 Ravenna & Urbino (md 877) Dr Luca Leoncini...........................................119 29– 6 NEW: Insider’s Istanbul (md 879) Barnaby Rogerson.........................................178

Register your interest: Opera in Cardiff............................................45 NEW: Dutch & Flemish Art.......................52 NEW: Connoisseur’s Paris..........................74 Beethoven in Bonn........................................95 Parma Verdi Festival...................................117 NEW: Sacred China...................................204

november 2016 1– 6 1– 7 2– 9 5–15

Connoisseur’s Rome (md 931) Dr Kevin Childs.............................................133 Essential Rome (md 932) Dr Thomas-Leo True....................................132 Florence & Venice (md 933) Dr Michael Douglas-Scott............................125 Oman (md 935) Prof. Dawn Chatty...........200

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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 • L I T E R AT U R E

Voysey House, Barley Mow Passage, London, United Kingdom W4 4GF T +44 (0)20 8742 3355 F +44 (0)20 8742 7766 info@martinrandall.co.uk www.martinrandall.com

Dear reader, Passion may be the distinguishing feature of MRT. Passion for what we do, passion for excellence, a determination to get it right, an obsession with pleasing our clients. Without passion for the subject matter, without sharing clients’ interests – and passions – it is simply not possible to do an adequate job in the special-interest travel world. The mountains of detail with which we have to wrestle, the innumerable judgements about artistic worth, historical significance and the quality of the content which need to be made, the negotiations and battles with caretakers, hoteliers, airlines and assorted gate-keepers of all the other ingredients – the sheer hard grind of trying to create an exceptional experience: unless there is passion, enthusiasm would soon fade. We promise to continue to attend assiduously to minutiae while not losing sight of the bigger picture. We still have many ideas to bring to fruition, ambitions to fulfil, projects to instigate. The end result might not be perfect but I’d like to think you wouldn’t find better. I hope you enjoy perusing this brochure.

Martin Randall June 2015

Contents About us............................................................................................... 4–5

Tours descriptions, by region:

List of tours by region and country................................................. 6–7

British Isles.......................................................................................16–45

Our lecturers.....................................................................................8–14

Mainland Europe...........................................................................46–175

More about our tours: What is included?.................................................................................... 7 Fitness requirements............................................................................. 15 Responsible tourism.............................................................................. 15 Financial protection.............................................................................. 15

Turkey...........................................................................................177–184 Middle East & North Africa.......................................................185–202 Asia................................................................................................203–212 The Americas...............................................................................213–221 Booking details: Making a booking............................................................................... 222

Front cover: detail from the Temple of Jupiter, Rome, engraving 1821 by J.A. Rolphe after E. Cresy and G.L. Taylor. Left: Hampton Court, Gothic Hall, engraving by W.J. Bennett after Charles Wild. Back cover: Aquileia, Basilica, early-20th-century watercolour.

Booking Conditions............................................................................ 222 Booking form...............................................................................223–224 List of tours by date....................................................................225–227

5085

Directors: Martin Randall (Chief Executive), Fiona Urquhart (Chief Operating Officer), Sir Vernon Ellis (Chairman), Ian Hutchinson, Neil Taylor, William Burton Registered office: Voysey House, Barley Mow Passage, London W4 4GF. Registered Company no. 2314294 England. VAT no. 527758803


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 currently available. 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 many civilizations around the world. For over two decades we have been the most influential organisation in the field of intellectual 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 respected travel companies in the world, among both travellers and within the tourism community.

First-rate lecturers 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. Their brief is to enlighten and stimulate, not merely to inform. And they also have to be good travelling companions. We select our lecturers through reputation, interview and audition, and provide them with guidance and training. Nearly all of our tours are also accompanied by a trained tour manager who unobtrusively attends to administrative matters.

Original itineraries, meticulously planned Rooted in knowledge of the destination and of the subject matter of the tour, the outcome of assiduous research and reconnaissance, and underpinned by twenty-seven years of thought and experience, our itineraries are second to none. 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. about us

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.

Travelling in comfort 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.

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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 also 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). book online at www.martinrandall.com

This brochure was produced in house. Much of the text was written originally by Martin Randall and all staff were involved in editing and proofing, as were Julia MacRae and Caroline Cuss. Lecturers also contributed. It was designed by Jo Murray.


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 ten and twenty 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 We aim for faultless administration from your first encounter with us to the end of the holiday, and beyond. Personal service is a feature. We won Best Holiday Company for Customer Service at the 2014 British Travel Awards. And 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.

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. The vast majority of illustrations in this brochure originate from the MRT collection.

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.

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 tour. On evenings when dinner is not included there is always the option of dining with the tour manager.

about us

(Note that bookings made after 7th July 2015 and paid for by credit card will have 2% added to cover processing charges. This brings us into line with standard travel industry practice. It does not apply to other forms of payment.)

Hotels usually charge a supplement for single occupancy of a room, but we never add anything to this – indeed, most 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.

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Tours by region and country British Isles Channel Islands NEW: Occupation in the Channel Islands............16

england NEW: Mediaeval Sussex & Hampshire..................17 The Cathedrals of England........................................18 The Age of Bede..........................................................19 Music in the Regions .................................................20 NEW: Ryedale Festival..............................................20 Walking Hadrian’s Wall.............................................20 Northumbria...............................................................21 NEW: A Festival of Music in Suffolk................................................22 Yorkshire Houses........................................................23 Walking to Derbyshire Houses.................................24 Buxton Festival............................................................25 Great Houses of the East...........................................25 Great Houses of the South West...............................27 The South Downs........................................................28 NEW: Tudor England...............................................29 Arts & Crafts in the Cotswolds................................30 NEW: ‘Capability’ Brown.........................................31 Royal Residences........................................................32 Walking a Royal River...............................................34 Literature & Walking in the Lake District..............35 Shakespeare & his World...........................................36 Stonehenge & Prehistoric Wessex............................36 The Victorian Achievement......................................37 The Industrial Revolution.........................................39 Turner & the Sea.........................................................40 Connoisseur’s London...............................................41 LONDON DAYS.........................................................42 The Year of Anniversaries........................44 Music Weekends: The Mozart Chamber Ensemble; The Wihan Quartet; The Chilingirian Quartet; The Aronowitz Ensemble .........................45

scotland East Neuk Festival......................................................45 Edinburgh Festival.....................................................45

wales Opera in Cardiff..........................................................45

tours by country & region 6

mainland europe armenia Armenia.......................................................................46

austria Mozart in Salzburg.....................................................47 Music in Vienna at Christmas..................................48 The Danube Festival of Song...................49 Salzburg Summer.......................................................49 Haydn in Eisenstadt...................................................49 The Schubertiade........................................................49 Connoisseur’s Vienna................................................50 Vienna’s Masterpieces................................................51 The Iron Curtain.........................................................89

belgium NEW: Bruges at Christmas......................................52

NEW: Dutch & Flemish Art....................................52 Flemish Painting.........................................................53 Flanders Fields............................................................54 The Western Front......................................................68

bosnia & herzegovina, croatia The Western Balkans..................................................55

czech republic Music in Prague & Dresden at Christmas..............57 Moravia........................................................................58 Bohemia.......................................................................59 Connoisseur’s Prague.................................................60 Prague Spring..............................................................61 Czech Modernism......................................................61 The Iron Curtain.........................................................89

denmark Vikings & Bog People................................................62 NEW: Opera in Copenhagen & Oslo.....................62

estonia The Baltic Countries..................................................63

finland Savonlinna Opera.......................................................64

france Mediaeval Normandy................................................65 French Gothic..............................................................66 Poets & The Somme...................................................67 The Western Front......................................................68 NEW: Great French Gardens...................................69 The Seine Music Festival..............................70 Versailles......................................................................71 A Festival of Impressionism.....................................72 Music in Paris..............................................................73 NEW: Paintings in Paris...........................................74 NEW: Connoisseur’s Paris.......................................74 Mediaeval Burgundy..................................................74 Provence & Languedoc..............................................75 Roman & Mediaeval Provence.................................76 Pilgrimage & Heresy..................................................77 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur...............................78 Opera in Nice & Montecarlo....................................79 NEW: Art, Wine & Walking in Alsace...................79 Gardens of the Riviera...............................................80 The Pyrenees..............................................................160 Bilbao to Bayonne....................................................162

germany The Danube Festival of Song...................49 Music in Prague & Dresden at Christmas................................................................57 Music in Berlin............................................................81 The Ring in Berlin......................................................83 NEW: Gardens & Palaces of Berlin & Potsdam...................................................84 Berlin: New Architecture..........................................85 Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden.........................................86 Cold War Berlin..........................................................88 The Iron Curtain.........................................................89 The Leipzig Bach Festival..........................................91 Opera in Leipzig & Dresden.....................................91 Music & Walking in the Saxon Hills.......................91 Franconia.....................................................................92

book online at www.martinrandall.com

NEW: A Festival of Music in Franconia.........................................93 German Romanesque................................................94 Beethoven in Bonn.....................................................95 German Gothic...........................................................95 NEW: Munich’s Masterpieces..................................96 Opera in Munich & Bregenz.....................................97

greece Classical Greece..........................................................98 NEW: Periklean Athens............................................98 Minoan Crete..............................................................99 Central Macedonia...................................................100 Athens & Rome.........................................................134

hungary The Danube Festival of Song...................49 The Iron Curtain.........................................................89 Budapest.....................................................................101

italy The Iron Curtain.........................................................89 Gastronomic Piedmont...........................................102 Genoa & Turin..........................................................103 Opera & Art in Turin & Milan...............................104 NEW: Trieste & Ljubljana......................................104 The Duchy of Milan..................................................104 Caravaggio.................................................................105 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes....................106 The Veneto.................................................................107 Friuli-Venezia Giulia................................................108 The Venetian Hills....................................................109 NEW: Gastronomic Veneto...................................110 Palladian Villas.........................................................112 Verona at Christmas.................................................113 Verona Opera............................................................113 Art History of Venice...............................................114 Venetian Palaces.......................................................115 Monteverdi in Venice.................................116 Courts of Northern Italy.........................................116 NEW: History of Printing......................................117 Parma Verdi Festival................................................117 Dark Age Brilliance..................................................118 Ravenna & Urbino....................................................119 Gastronomic Emilia-Romagna..............................120 NEW: The Grand Duchy of Tuscany....................121 Gardens of Tuscany..................................................122 Florence: Cradle of the Renaissance......................123 Florentine Palaces.....................................................124 Florence & Venice.....................................................125 A Festival of Music in Florence...........126 Siena & San Gimignano...........................................127 Lucca...........................................................................128 The Heart of Italy......................................................129 Footpaths of Umbria................................................130 The Duchy of Urbino...............................................131 Opera in Macerata & Pesaro...................................132 Trasimeno Music Festival........................................132 Essential Rome..........................................................132 Connoisseur’s Rome.................................................133 Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana..............134 Athens & Rome.........................................................134 The Etruscans............................................................135


Naples: Art, Antiquities, Opera.............................136 Pompeii & Herculaneum.........................................136 Normans in the South..............................................137 Sicily............................................................................139 Palermo Revealed.....................................................141 Gastronomic Sicily...................................................142 Walking in Eastern Sicily........................................143

latvia The Baltic Countries..................................................63 Riga Opera Festival..................................................144

lithuania The Baltic Countries..................................................63

malta Malta...........................................................................144 Valletta Baroque Festival.........................................145

montenegro The Western Balkans..................................................55

the netherlands

Essential Andalucía..................................................171 Granada & Córdoba.................................................172 Gastronomic Andalucía..........................................173 Eastern Andalucía....................................................174 Cave Art in Spain......................................................176

Bengal by River.........................................................208 Mughals & Rajputs...................................................209 Gastronomic Kerala.................................................209 Essential India...........................................................209 India 2016–17 season.......................................209

sweden

japan

Drottningholm & Confidencen..............................175

Art in Japan...............................................................210 NEW: The Heart of Japan.......................................211

switzerland Lucerne Festival........................................................175

turkey Istanbul.......................................................................177 NEW: Insider’s Istanbul.........................................178 Ottoman Turkey.......................................................179 Classical Turkey........................................................180 Central Anatolia.......................................................181 NEW: Lycia & Pamphylia.......................................183 North Eastern Turkey..............................................184

Art in the Netherlands.............................................146 Rijksmuseum & Mauritshuis..................................147 NEW: Dutch & Flemish Art..................................147 Historic Dutch Organs............................................148

algeria

norway

Roman Algeria..........................................................185

Norway: Art, Architecture, Landscape.................149 NEW: Opera in Copenhagen & Oslo...................150 Bergen Music Festival..............................................150

egypt

poland

ethiopia

NEW: Kraków & Silesia..........................................151

portugal The Heart of Portugal..............................................152 Gardens of Northern Portugal...............................153 Walking in Madeira..................................................154

russia St Petersburg..............................................................156

serbia The Western Balkans..................................................55

slovakia The Danube Festival of Song...................49 The Iron Curtain.........................................................89

slovenia

spain The Road to Santiago...............................................157 Walking to Santiago.................................................159 The Pyrenees..............................................................160 Bilbao to Bayonne....................................................162 Castile & León...........................................................163 Opera in Spain..........................................................164 NEW: Barcelona......................................................164 Art in Madrid............................................................165 NEW: Madrid Revisited.........................................166 Toledo & La Mancha................................................167 Valencia......................................................................168 NEW: Gastronomic Valencia................................169 Extremadura..............................................................170

Ancient Egypt............................................................187 Antiquities of Upper Egypt.....................................188 Ethiopia......................................................................189

iran Persia...........................................................................191

israel Israel & Palestine......................................................192

jordan Essential Jordan........................................................194 Jordan Revisited........................................................195

morocco Morocco.....................................................................197 Andalusian Morocco................................................198

oman Oman..........................................................................200

palestine Israel & Palestine......................................................192 Palestine.....................................................................201

tunisia NEW: Ancient & Islamic Tunisia..........................202

asia china Essential China.........................................................203 NEW: The Arts in China........................................204 NEW: Sacred China................................................204 NEW: China’s Silk Road Cities..............................205

india Architecture of the British Raj...............................206

Samarkand & Silk Road Cities...............................212

the americas belize, guatemala, honduras NEW: Guatemala, Honduras, Belize....................213

peru Peru.............................................................................215

usa New England Modern..............................................216 Connoisseur’s New York..........................................217 Californian Galleries................................................218 Frank Lloyd Wright..................................................219 East Coast Galleries.................................................220

What is included? Included in the price for every tour: • The services of the lecturer; often also a tour manager and sometimes local guides. • Hotel accommodation. Names and descriptions are provided under each tour in this brochure. • Admissions to museums, galleries and sites included in the itinerary. • If a music tour, good tickets to all performances listed on the itinerary (unless marked as optional). • For tours outside the UK, return travel between London and the destination – with occasional exceptions. • Travel by private coach for all included excursions included and, where applicable, airport transfers. • All breakfasts. • Most lunches and dinners including wine or beer, water, soft drinks and tea or coffee. • Gratuities for restaurant staff, porters, drivers and guides. • All state and airport taxes. • If a visa is required, this is often also included in the price – unless it is not possible for us to obtain it on your behalf. If you would like a complete list of components for any individual tour, please contact us or visit our website for fuller details (www.martinrandall.com). Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

tours by country & region

The Iron Curtain.........................................................89 NEW: Trieste & Ljubljana......................................104

middle east & north africa

uzbekistan

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Our lecturers Tom Abbott. Specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century with a particular interest in German and American modern. Studied Art History in the USA and Paris and has a wide knowledge of the performing arts. Since 1987 he has lived in Berlin. Professor James Allan. Expert in Islamic art and architecture. He read Arabic at Oxford, worked as a field archaeologist in Jerusalem and at Siraf, and spent most of his career in Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum, where he also lectured for the Faculty of Oriental Studies. He retired in 2011. Dr John Allison. Writer and music critic. He is Editor of Opera magazine, music critic for The Daily Telegraph and former critic for The Sunday Telegraph and the Times. He has written two books and has served on the juries of various international music competitions. ©Bill Knight

Dr Paul Atterbury. 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 exhibition Pugin & the Victorian Vision and is an expert on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. Helena Attlee. Writer and lecturer with an expert knowledge of Italian gardens. Among her books are Italian Gardens: A Cultural History and most recently The Land Where Lemons Grow. She was Writer in Residence at the University of Worcester from 2009–12 and is a Consultant Fellow of the Royal Literary Fund.

Dr Paul Bahn. Archaeologist and Britain’s foremost specialist in prehistoric art. He led the team which discovered Britain’s only known Ice Age cave art at Creswell in 2003 and his books include Prehistoric Rock Art, Journey Through the Ice Age and Images of the Ice Age. Richard Bassett. Journalist and historian. He was a foreign correspondent for the Times in the 1980s and early 90s, covering central and eastern Europe. His books include Austrians: Tales from the Vienna Woods, Hitler’s Spy Chief: The Wilhelm

Lydia Bauman. Art historian, artist, and lecturer at the National Gallery. Lydia studied at Newcastle University and the Courtauld, specialising in Matisse and 19th– 20th-century European and American art. She has lectured at the Tate, National Portrait Gallery, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and Arts Club of Chicago. Hugh Belsey mbe. Art historian, curator and lecturer. For 23 years he curated Gainsborough’s House in Sudbury where he formed one of the largest collections of the artist’s work. He is currently writing a catalogue of Thomas Gainsborough’s works for Yale University Press. He studied at Manchester and Birmingham Universities. Dr Amira Bennison. Reader in the History and Culture of the Maghrib and a Fellow of Magdalene College, Cambridge. She gained her doctorate in Moroccan history from SOAS and her publications include Jihad & its Interpretations in Precolonial Morocco, as well as numerous articles on the culture, society and politics of Islamic Spain and Morocco. 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, National Trust, NADFAS and at Christ Church, University of Oxford Summer Programme. She has acted as an expert on country houses for BBC television. Dr David Beresford-Jones. Fellow of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, Cambridge University. His research interests include the ancient south coast of Peru, the origins of agriculture, PreColombian textiles and the synthesis of archaeology and historical linguistics, particularly in the Andes. Raaja Bhasin. Author, historian and journalist. He has published several books on the Indian state of Himachal Pradesh and its capital Shimla and is a recognised authority on both. He is the state Co-convenor of the Indian National Trust for Art and Cultural Heritage. Professor Tim Blanning. Emeritus Professor of Modern European History at the University of Cambridge, Fellow of Sidney Sussex College and of the British Academy. Among his books are the awardwinning The Culture of Power & the Power of Culture, The Pursuit of Glory: Europe 1648–1815, and The Triumph of Music in the Modern World. His most recent book is The Romantic Revolution.

©LaFayette

our lecturers 8

Patrick Bade. Historian, writer and broadcaster. He studied at UCL and the Courtauld and was senior lecturer at Christies Education for many years. He has worked for the Art Fund, Royal Opera House, National Gallery and V&A. He has published on 19th- and early 20th-century painting and on historical vocal recordings. His latest book is Music Wars: 1937–1945.

Canaris Mystery, Balkan Hours and A History of the Habsburg Army.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Dr Flavio Boggi. Art historian specialising in mediaeval and Renaissance Italian art. He trained in Scotland and Italy and is now head of the department of Art History at University College Cork, Ireland. He has published on the artistic culture of Tuscany and has co-written two books on Lippo di Dalmasio. Monica Bohm-Duchen. Lecturer, writer and curator specialising in 20th-century art. She obtained her MA in Art History from the Courtauld and has lectured for the National Gallery, Tate, Royal Academy, Courtauld, Sotheby’s and Birkbeck College. Her latest book is Art & the Second World War. Dr Xavier Bray. Art historian specialising in Spain. He is Chief Curator of Dulwich Picture Gallery where his recent exhibitions include Murillo & Justino de Neve: The Art of Friendship. He was formerly at the National Gallery, London, where he curated Velázquez and The Sacred Made Real: Spanish Painting & Sculpture 1600–1700. Professor Dominic Brookshaw. Associate Professor of Persian Literature and Senior Research Fellow at Oxford University. He holds a DPhil in pre-modern Persian poetry and a BA in Arabic with Persian from Oxford. His latest book is Ruse & Wit: The Humorous in Arabic, Persian & Turkish Narrative. He has travelled widely in the Middle East and south west/central Asia. James Brown. Historian specialising in Morocco with a wider interest in the history of the Muslim world. He studied at Oxford, Cambridge and SOAS and has worked as a journalist and teacher. His current research is on the relations between Morocco and Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries. Professor John Bryan. Professor of Music and Head of Music and Drama at the University of Huddersfield. He regularly contributes to BBC Radio 3’s early music programmes and is artistic adviser to York Early Music Festival. He is a member of the Rose Consort of Viols and Musica Antiqua of London. Polly Buston. Art historian specialising in Venetian art. She obtained her MA from the Courtauld and lectured at their Summer School for several years. She works for art history publishers as editor and picture researcher and was co-author of Titian’s Venice, a multi-media project accompanying the 2003 National Gallery exhibition.


Sophie Campbell. As a travel writer, Sophie has worked for the Telegraph, Times, Guardian and Condé Nast Traveller among others. She lectures on travel writing and is a London Blue Badge Tourist Guide. Her book, The Season: A Summer Whirl Through the English Social Season, was published in 2013. Jon Cannon. Writer, lecturer and broadcaster, and specialist in historic religious architecture. He teaches in the Art History department at Bristol University and co-wrote and presented the BBC’s How to Build a Cathedral. He has also travelled extensively in China and has published on the country in the London Review of Books and in his The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces. ©Bill Knight

Professor Harry Charrington. Architect and Head of the Department of Architecture at the University of Westminster. He read architecture at Cambridge and obtained his PhD from the LSE. His research focuses on modernism, and his books include the award-winning Alvar Aalto: the Mark of the Hand. Professor Dawn Chatty. Professor of Anthropology and Forced Migration at the University of Oxford. She has long been involved with the Middle East as a university teacher, development practitioner, and advocate for indigenous rights. She has carried out research among Bedouin sheep herders in Syria and Lebanon and camel nomads in Oman.

Felicity Cobbing. Executive and Curator of the Palestine Exploration Fund in London. She has excavated in Jordan with the British Museum and has travelled throughout the Middle East. Widely published, she is coauthor of Beyond the River – Ottoman Transjordan in Original Photographs and Distant Views of the Holy Land. Dr R. T. Cobianchi. Art historian and lecturer. He completed his PhD at Warwick University, was a Rome Scholar at the British School in Rome and was fellow of both the Biblioteca Hertziana, Rome,

Dr Elizabeth Collingham. Food historian and writer. She obtained her PhD at Cambridge University. After teaching at the University of Warwick she became a Research Fellow at Jesus College, Cambridge. Her books include Imperial Bodies: the Physical Experience of the Raj. c. 1800–1947, and she is currently writing a history of food and the British Empire. 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, and leads a number of tours in the region. Peter Cormack. Art historian and curator. He is the Honorary Curator of William Morris’s Oxfordshire home, Kelmscott Manor, and was formerly Keeper of the William Morris Gallery, London. He is a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and VicePresident and Honorary Fellow of the British Society of Master Glass-Painters. Major Gordon Corrigan mbe. Military historian and former officer of the Royal Gurkha Rifles. The latest of his numerous books is Waterloo – A New History of the Battle & its Armies. He is a Fellow of the Royal Asiatic Society and a Member of the British Commission for Military History.

Imogen Corrigan. Specialist in Anglo-Saxon and mediaeval history. She spent 20 years in the army, retiring in the rank of Major, then obtained a degree in Medieval History from the University of Kent, and has been studying and lecturing ever since. Imogen is currently researching a PhD at the University of Birmingham. Steven Desmond. Landscape consultant, architectural historian and a specialist in the conservation of historic parks and gardens. He broadcasts for the BBC, advises the National Trust, writes for Country Life, lectures at Buckingham and Oxford universities and is a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture. Misha Donat. Writer, lecturer and senior music producer for BBC Radio 3 for more than 25 years. He writes programme notes for Wigmore Hall and other venues, and CD booklets for many labels. Currently he is working on a new edition of the Beethoven piano sonatas being published by Bärenreiter.

Dr Michael Douglas-Scott. 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. Dr Michael Downes. Director of Music at the University of St Andrews. He is a reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement and his publications include a study of British composer Jonathan Harvey. He has an interest in opera both as conductor and writer, and has lectured for companies including the Royal Opera and Glyndebourne.

Professor David Ekserdjian. Professor of the History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester and Trustee of the Public Catalogue Foundation. Author of Correggio, Parmigianino and Alle Origini della Natura Morta. He was the organiser of the exhibition Bronze at the Royal Academy in 2012. Professor Sir Richard J. Evans. Regius Professor of History and President of Wolfson College at the University of Cambridge. He is author of various books on Central European history and is currently working on The Pursuit of Power: Europe 1815–1914. His latest book is Altered Pasts: Counterfactuals in History. Dr Andrew Farrington. Assistant Professor in Ancient History at the Democritus University of Thrace, Komotini, northern Greece. He also teaches for the Greek Open University and previously held academic posts in Australia and New Zealand. His specialism is the sporting life of the ancient Greeks, especially under the Roman empire. Dr Frances Fowle. Senior Curator of French Art at the Scottish National Gallery where she has curated several exhibitions including American Impressionism. She is Reader in History of Art at the University of Edinburgh and her publications include Monet & French Landscape: Vetheuil & Normandy and Symbolist Landscape in Europe 1880–1910. Lucia Gahlin. Lecturer in Egyptology at Exeter and Bristol Universities and a Research Associate at UCL’s Institute of Archaeology. She is closely involved with the Petrie Museum of Egyptian Archaeology and has worked on excavations at Amarna in Egypt. Her publications include Egypt: Gods, Myths & Religion.

our lecturers

Dr Kevin Childs. Writer and lecturer on culture and the arts with a focus on the Italian Renaissance. He obtained his doctorate from the Courtauld and has been a Fellow of the Dutch Institute in Florence and the British School in Rome. He blogs for The Huffington Post and has published in The New Statesman.

and Villa I Tatti, Florence­. His research includes iconography and patronage of the late Middle Ages to the Baroque.

©Bill Knight

Professor John Butt obe. Lecturer, writer and musician, specialising in historical performance. Professor of Music at Glasgow University, Director of the Dunedin Consort, and guest-conductor with the Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment among others. He was awarded the OBE in 2013.

Dr Alexandra Gajewski. Architectural historian and lecturer specialising in the mediaeval. She obtained her PhD from the Courtauld and has lectured there and at Birkbeck College. She is currently in Madrid researching ‘The Roles of Women as Makers of Medieval Art and Architecture’.

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Our lecturers continued

Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves. Read Archaeology at Cambridge and obtained her PhD from Nottingham. Her special interest is in the Adriatic and she is the co-author of Retrieving the Record: A Century of Archaeology at Porec. She has lectured extensively in adult education, especially for the WEA, and for various extra-mural departments. Dr Garth Gilmour. Biblical archaeologist based at Oxford University. His interests include eastern Mediterranean trade in the Late Bronze Age and the archaeology of religion in ancient Israel. He has excavated at the Philistine sites of Ekron and Ashkelon and is currently researching the Palestine Exploration Fund’s excavation in Jerusalem in the 1920s. David Gowan. British Ambassador in Belgrade from 2003–6 and Minister and Deputy Head of Mission in Moscow from 2000–3. He was Kosovo War Crimes Co-ordinator in the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in 1999 and has published papers on Serbia and Kosovo. Dr Mark Grahame. Archaeologist and lecturer, whose research interests focus on Roman Pompeii. He has taught courses on the archaeology and history of the Roman Empire including for Cambridge University’s Institute of Continuing Education. Dr Jamie Greenbaum. Historian specialising in Ming dynasty cultural history. He is a Visiting Fellow in the School of Culture, History & Language at the Australian National University and lectures at the Renmin University, Beijing. He has published books on the late-Ming literary world and the early-20th-century political figure Qu Qiubai.

our lecturers 10

Dr David Griffiths. Specialist in Viking and early mediaeval archaeology. He is Reader and Associate Professor in Archaeology, University of Oxford, and Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford. Author of Vikings of the Irish Sea (2010). He also has extensive experience of fieldwork in Scandinavia. Sheila Hale. Writer and lecturer with a focus on the Italian Renaissance. Among her books are Titian: His Life & the Golden Age of Venice and Verona: An Architectural History. She has contributed to numerous newspapers in the UK and US including the New York Times and London Review of Books. Michael Hall. Historian and writer on British architecture and design. He was architectural editor of Country Life and his books include The Victorian Country House, Waddesdon Manor: The Biography of a Rothschild House and George Frederick Bodley & the Later Gothic Revival in Britain & America.

Professor Norman Hammond. Leading expert on Maya civilization. He is a Senior Fellow at Cambridge University and Emeritus Professor of Archaeology at Boston University. His many books include Ancient Maya Civilization and Cuello: an early Maya community in Belize. He is Archaeology Correspondent for the Times. Gijs van Hensbergen. Art historian and author specialising in Spain and the USA. His books include Gaudí, In the Kitchens of Castile and Guernica. He studied Art History at the Courtauld and is a Fellow of the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies at the LSE. Dr Monika Hinkel. Lecturer and curator specialising in Japanese woodblock prints and Research Associate of the Japan Research Centre at SOAS. She studied at Bonn University, was curator for Japanese art at the Museum of East Asian Art in Cologne, and a researcher at Gakushuin University, Tokyo. She has lectured at Birkbeck, the V&A and Morley College. Dr Frank Høifødt. Art historian, lecturer and writer. Former director of the Vigeland Museum and Associate Professor at the University of Oslo. He was also for years a curator at the Munch Museum in Oslo, and has published on the artist (Munch, 2012). Caroline Holmes. Garden historian, author and consultant. She lectures for Cambridge University’s ICE, NADFAS and the Landmark Trust and her books include Monet at Giverny, Follies of Europe – Architectural Extravaganzas and Impressionists in their Gardens. She is a regular contributor to BBC TV and radio. Adam Hopkins. Journalist and author, now living in a mountain village in Spain. He studied at King’s College, Cambridge, and has contributed extensively to national newspapers in Britain on Spanish culture and travel. Among his many books is Spanish Journeys: A Portrait of Spain. Professor Maurice Howard. Art historian and lecturer at the University of Sussex. His books include The Early Tudor Country House and The Building of Elizabethan & Jacobean England. He has worked for the V&A and National Portrait Gallery and is former President of the Society of Antiquaries of London and the Society of Architectural Historians of Great Britain.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Henry Hurst. Emeritus Reader in Classics at Cambridge University. His special interest is the archaeology of ancient cities and he has been an excavating archaeologist – working at Carthage for many years and more recently in Rome. He has travelled widely in Greece and Turkey. Michael Ivory. After studying modern languages at Oxford, Michael qualified as a town planner and landscape architect and taught these subjects at university level. He now works as a writer and translator, specialising in Central Europe. His publications include guides to Prague and the Czech Republic, including the Berlitz Czech Republic. James Johnstone. Organist specialising in the Baroque and Professor of early keyboards at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Trinity Laban. He has performed and recorded as a soloist, with the Gabrieli Consort & Players and with Florilegium and he re-formed the chamber group Trio Sonnerie. Dr Philippa Joseph. For 20 years, Philippa published journals and books for learned societies in the humanities. She is now an independent lecturer and researcher, and reviews editor for History Today. Her research looks at societies in Andalucía and Sicily where Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures flourished, each building on a Classical past. Professor Hugh Kennedy. Professor of Arabic at SOAS. He studied at the Middle East Centre for Arab Studies in Beirut, and read Arabic and Persian at Cambridge. He is author of The Early Abbasid Caliphate, The Prophet & the Age of the Caliphates, Crusader Castles and Muslim Spain & Portugal. Dr Rose Kerr. Honorary Associate of the Needham Research Institute in Cambridge, having retired as Keeper of the Far Eastern Department at the V&A. She graduated in Chinese studies and spent a year as a student in China during the last year of the Cultural Revolution, 1975–6. Professor Helen King. Professor of Classical Studies at The Open University and Visiting Professor at the Peninsula Medical and Dental School, and Vienna University. Books include Greek & Roman Medicine and Midwifery, Obstetrics & the Rise of Gynaecology: Uses of a 16th-century Medical Compendium. Dr Konstanze Knittler. Art historian and lecturer specialising in 19thand 20th-century Chinese art and ceramics. She studied in Vienna and at Sotheby’s Institute of Art. She obtained her PhD at the University of Glasgow. She lectures at Sotheby’s Institute and has run short courses on Asian art.


Dr Jarl Kremeier. Art historian specialising in 17th– 19th-century architecture and decorative arts. He teaches Art History at the Berlin College of Acting and Berlin’s Freie Universität. He is a contributor to the Macmillan Dictionary of Art and author of Die Hofkirche der Würzburger Residenz. Anthony Lambert. Historian, journalist and travel writer. He has worked for the National Trust for almost 30 years. His books include Victorian & Edwardian Country House Life and he writes regularly for the Historic Houses Association magazine as well as various other newspapers and magazines. Dr Helen Langdon. Art historian and author. She studied at Cambridge and the Courtauld and was a Research Fellow at the Getty Institute, LA, and Visiting Fellow at Yale. Her books include Claude Lorrain, Caravaggio: A Life and Vision & Ecstasy: Giovanni Benedetto Castiglione’s St Francis. Professor Richard Langham Smith. Music historian, broadcaster and writer specialising in early music and 19th- and 20th-century French music. He co-authored the Cambridge Opera Guide to Pelléas et Mélisande and has published widely on Debussy and Bizet. He is a Research Professor at the Royal College of Music. Dr Luca Leoncini. Art historian specialising in 15th-century Italian painting. His first degree and PhD were from Rome University followed by research at the Warburg Institute in London. He has contributed to the Macmillan Dictionary of Art and has written on Mantegna and Renaissance drawings. Dr Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones. Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh and a specialist in the history and culture of ancient Iran, the Near East and Greece. His books include Ctesias’ History of Persia, Creating a Hellenistic World and King & Court in Ancient Persia.

Rowena Loverance. Byzantine art historian specialising in sculpture, mosaics and icons. She studied History and Archaeology at Oxford and was Head of e-learning at the British Museum and a Visiting Research Fellow at King’s College, London. Her publications include the illustrated history Byzantium & Christian Art.

Barry Millington. Writer, lecturer and broadcaster specialising in Wagner. He is founder/editor of The Wagner Journal and author of eight books on Wagner including Richard Wagner: The Sorcerer of Bayreuth. He is Chief Critic for the Evening Standard and has acted as dramaturgical adviser at various international opera houses.

Dr Alexey Makhrov. Russian art historian and lecturer. He graduated from the St Petersburg Academy of Arts and obtained his PhD from the University of St Andrews followed by post-doctoral work as a Research Fellow at Exeter. He now lives in Switzerland where he teaches courses on Russian art.

Marc Millon. Wine, food and travel writer. Born in Mexico and raised in the USA, he studied English Literature at Exeter University. He owns a business importing Italian wines from family estates, and books include The Wine & Food of Europe, The Wine Roads of Italy and The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy.

Andrew Martin. Journalist, novelist, historian and author of Underground Overground: A Passenger’s History of the Tube (2012). During the 1990s he was ‘Tube Talk’ columnist for the Evening Standard.

Dr Anna-Maria Misra. Lecturer in Modern History at Oxford University and a specialist on Indian history and the British Empire. She has published widely including Vishnu’s Crowded Temple: India Since the Great Rebellion and she wrote and presented Channel 4 series An Indian Affair.

Dr David McGrath. Writer, translator and expert on Spanish literature and culture. He completed his PhD in Hispanic literature at Queen Mary, London University, and is a Visting Research Fellow at King’s College, London. He is currently workong on a translation of Jusepe Martínez’s 17th-century treatise, The Noble Art of Painting. John McNeill. Architectural historian and a specialist in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He lectures at Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education and is Honorary Secretary of the British Archaeological Association. Publications include the Blue Guides: Normandy and Loire Valley, and Romanesque & the Past. Professor Charles Melville. Professor of Persian History at Cambridge. He studied Arabic and Persian at Cambridge and Islamic History at SOAS. His main area of expertise is the history of Iran in the Mongol and Safavid periods. He is Director of the Cambridge Shahnama Project and has travelled extensively in Iran. Patrick Mercer obe. Military historian. He read History at Oxford followed by 25 years in the army, achieving the rank of colonel, and subsequently worked for BBC Radio 4 as Defence Correspondent and journalist. He was MP for Newark from 2001–14 and is author of two books on the Battle of Inkerman. Dr Jeffrey Miller. Art historian specialising in architecture of the Middle Ages. He obtained his MA from the Courtauld and his PhD from Columbia University where he now lectures. He has also lectured for New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art, and contributed to the forthcoming Cambridge History of Religious Architecture of the World.

David Mitchinson. Former Head of Collections and Exhibitions at the Henry Moore Foundation. He has curated exhibitions of, and written extensively on Moore’s life and work including Henry Moore: Unpublished Drawings, Celebrating Moore and most recently Henry Moore: Prints & Portfolios. Dr Andrew Moore. Writer and curator specialising in the study of country houses and their art collections. He is Keeper of Art at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery and recently co-authored a reassessment of Sir Robert Walpole’s art collection at Houghton Hall. Dr Oswyn Murray. Classics Fellow at Balliol College, Oxford, for 40 years, widely travelled in the Mediterranean and specialist on Greek drinking customs and the history of pleasure in general. Books include: Early Greece, The Greek City and In vino veritas. He also writes for the Times Literary Supplement. Professor Fabrizio Nevola. Chair and Professor of Art History and Visual Culture at the University of Exeter. His research focuses on the urban and architectural history of early modern Italy and he has published widely including Siena: Constructing the Renaissance City. He obtained his PhD at the Courtauld. Christopher Newall. Art historian, lecturer and writer. A specialist in 19th-century British art, he also has a deep interest in the architecture, politics and social history of southern Italy. 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. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

our lecturers

Dr Rosie Llewellyn-Jones mbe. Authority on colonial India. Her book Mutiny, The Great Uprising in India: Untold stories, Indian & British won critical praise. She lectures for the Asian Arts course at the V&A. She was awarded the mbe in 2015 for services to the British Association for Cemeteries in South Asia and to British Indian Studies.

Dr Gerald Luckhurst. Landscape architect and garden historian involved in both historic restoration and contemporary garden design. An expert on sub-tropical and Mediterranean garden flora, his books include The Gardens of Madeira & Sintra: A Landscape with Villas. His PhD thesis focusses on the gardens of Monserrate in Sintra, near Lisbon.

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Our lecturers continued

Dr Charles Nicholl. Honorary Professor of English at Sussex University and the author of several books of biography, history and travel. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and recipient of the Hawthornden prize, the James Tait Black prize for biography and the Crime Writers’ Association ‘Gold Dagger’ award for non-fiction.  Professor Geoffrey Norris. Writer and broadcaster on BBC Radio 3. For many years he was Chief Music Critic of The Daily Telegraph, for which he still writes. He is Emeritus Professor at the Rachmaninoff Music Academy in Russia and his publications include Rachmaninoff and contributions to the New Grove Dictionary of Music & Musicians. Dr Cathy Oakes. Lecturer in History of Art at Oxford University with a focus on the mediaeval. She worked previously in the Education Department at the V&A and ran the art history programme for the Department for Continuing Education at Bristol. She has published on French and English Romanesque and on Marian iconography. Dr Sophie Oosterwijk. Researcher and lecturer with degrees in Art History, Mediaeval Studies and English Literature. Her specialisms are the Middle Ages, Netherlandish and Dutch art. She has taught at the universities of Leicester, Manchester and St Andrews, and lectures at Cambridge. She is former editor of the journal Church Monuments.

our lecturers 12

Dr Sarah Pearson. Architectural historian, writer and lecturer specialising in Italy. Her MA focused on Andrea Palladio and her PhD investigated convent building in Northern Italy with particular reference to the Duchy of Urbino and the architect Francesco di Giorgio Martini. She currently lectures at Madingley Hall at the University of Cambridge. Dr Alan Peatfield. Archaeologist specialising in the Minoan Bronze Age Civilisation of Crete. He obtained his PhD from University College London. From 1984–90 he was Knossos Curator for the British School at Athens and has lectured at University College Dublin since 1991. He has excavated on Crete and he writes on Minoan religion and ancient Greek combat.

Mary Lynn Riley. Specialist in 19th- and 20th-century modern and contemporary art. She lives on the Côte d’Azur where she teaches art courses at the Musée Bonnard in Le Cannet and the Espace de l’Art Concret at Mouans-Sartoux. Previously she worked at the Smithsonian in Washington DC.

Lesley Pullen. Art historian and lecturer, specialising in south-east Asian art. She was born in Sumatra and has lived in Asia for 25 years. She gained a Postgraduate Diploma and Masters at SOAS, where she is now researching for a PhD on the representation of textiles on Indonesian sculpture.

Juliet Rix. Writer and broadcaster with a particular interest 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.

Christopher Purvis cbe. Former investment banker once based in Tokyo. He organised Japan 2001, a cultural festival in the UK and has served as Chairman of the Japan Society. He was appointed CBE in 2002 for services to UK–Japan relations, and has received the Order of the Rising Sun from the Emperor of Japan.

Barnaby Rogerson. Writer and publisher with a particular interest in North Africa. Among his works are North Africa, A Biography of the Prophet Muhammad and guide books to Morocco, Tunisia, Cyprus and Istanbul. He also runs Eland Books, home to over 100 great classic travel books of the world.

Phillida Purvis. Former diplomat who has spent the last 20 years working with the civil society sector in Japan. She studied Japanese at SOAS, University of London, and Japanese foreign policy at Tokyo University. She founded and runs Links Japan and is a trustee of several Japan-related and other international NGOs. Professor John Ray. Herbert Thompson Professor of Egyptology at the University of Cambridge, where he has taught since 1977. His publications concentrate on the Persian and Hellenistic periods of Egyptian history. He is a Fellow of Selwyn College Cambridge, of the Society of Antiquaries of London and of the British Academy. Professor Peter Rees. City Planning Officer for the City of London 1985–2014 and founder member and director of the British Council for Offices. He is currently Professor of Places and City Planning at UCL. He has an Honorary Fellowship from RIBA for his services to architecture and an Honorary Doctorate from London South Bank University. Simon Rees. Simon writes articles and surtitles for many British opera companies, and reviews for Opera, Opera Now, Musical Opinion, Early Music Today, Bachtrack and a range of other publications. A novelist, poet and librettist, from 1989 to 2012 he was dramaturg at Welsh National Opera. Julian Richards. Archaeologist, writer and broadcaster, best known for his BBC2 series Meet the Ancestors. He has been involved with the archaeology of Wessex for over 30 years and is the author of a series of English Heritage books on Stonehenge (including the current guide book).

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Sue Rollin. Archaeologist, interpreter and lecturer, widely travelled in the Middle East and India. She speaks three ancient Near-Eastern languages and several modern European ones. She has taught at UCL, SOAS and Cambridge, interprets for the EU and UN and is co-author of Blue Guide: Jordan and Istanbul: A Travellers’ Guide. Dr Paul Sanders. Associate Professor at NEOMA Business School (Reims, France). He obtained a PhD from Cambridge University and is Fellow of the Royal Historical Society. He specializes in the German occupation, his published works including The British Channel Islands under German Occupation 1940–1945. Anthony Sattin. Writer and journalist whose books include The Pharaoh’s Shadow, The Gates of Africa and Young Lawrence. He co-wrote Lonely Planet: Algeria and has contributed to numerous broadsheets. He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society, sits on the editorial board of Geographical Magazine and is contributing editor to Condé Nast Traveller.

©Jasmin Bell

Ian Page. Conductor and Artistic Director of Classical Opera, who appear regularly at Wigmore Hall, Cadogan Hall, the Barbican and Sadler’s Wells. He recently embarked on a new project to record all the Mozart operas and has been a professor at the Royal College of Music in London since 1993.

Asoka Pugal. Historian and lecturer. He studied at the University of Madras followed by Madras Law College. He has worked in the tourist industry for many years and has produced TV documentaries. In 2001, he joined the Board of studies in Ancient History and Archaeology at the University of Madras.

Professor Timon Screech. Professor of History of Art at SOAS, University of London. He is an expert on the art and culture of the Edo period, including its international dimension, and has published widely on the subject. His books include Sex & the Floating World and Obtaining Images. Janet Sinclair. Art historian, curator and lecturer. She studied at the Courtauld and the Barber Institute, Birmingham. She has held senior management posts at several heritage sites and is currently Curator at Stansted Park, Sussex. She is a panel member of the Sustainable Communities Fund in the South Downs National Park.


Dr József Sisa. Art historian specialising in the 19th century. He is Head of Department at the Research Institute for Art History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. A native Hungarian with fluent English, he lectures in the UK, across Europe and the USA and co-edited The Architecture of Historic Hungary. Dr Guus Sluiter. Art historian and Director of the Dutch Funeral Museum in Amsterdam. He has worked for the Mauritshuis in The Hague and the Royal Palace in Amsterdam. He has published widely and is a Research Fellow of the Dutch Institute for Art History in Florence. Professor Jan Smaczny. Hamilton Harty Chair of Music at Queen’s University, Belfast, and authority on Czech music. An author, broadcaster and journalist, he has published books on the Prague Provisional Theatre, Music in 19th-century Ireland and Bach’s B-minor Mass. He studied at the University of Oxford and the Charles University, Prague. Professor Antony Spawforth. Historian, broadcaster, lecturer and writer 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. He is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at Newcastle University. Dr Nigel Spivey. Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Cambridge and Fellow of Emmanuel College. Among his publications are Understanding Greek Sculpture, The Ancient Olympics and Songs on Bronze. He presented the BBC2/PBS series How Art Made the World.

Dr Susan Steer. Art historian and lecturer specialising in Venice. Her PhD focused on Venetian Renaissance altarpieces, followed by work as researcher and editor on the National Inventory of European

Professor Richard Stokes. Professor of Lieder at the Royal Academy of Music. His books include Complete Cantatas of J.S. Bach and The Book of Lieder. He has lectured at Edinburgh Festival, given masterclasses at Aldeburgh, and was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany for services to German culture. Jane Streetly. Co-author of Blue Guide: Jordan and Istanbul: A Traveller’s Guide. She studied French and Spanish and now works as a conference interpreter and travel writer. She is a Fellow of the Royal Geographic Society and has travelled throughout Europe, Latin America and the Middle East. Dr Joachim Strupp. Art historian and lecturer. He lived in Venice and Florence for several years and specialises in the sculpture of the Italian Renaissance, though his interests include German and Italian art of most ages. He lectures at the V&A and organises adult art history courses and tours. Jane Taylor. Writer, photographer, TV producer and resident of Amman. She studied Mediaeval History and Moral Philosophy at the University of St Andrews and her numerous books include Imperial Istanbul, Petra & the Lost Kingdom of the Nabataeans, Jordan Images from the Air and Beyond the Jordan (with Isabelle Ruben). 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 publications include Bradt Guides: Estonia, Tallinn and Baltic Cities, and A Footprints Guide to Berlin. Dr Lars Tharp. Specialist in ceramics, he appears regularly on BBC’s Antiques Roadshow. He was Director of the Foundling Museum and is now its Hogarth Curator as well as vicechairman of The Hogarth Trust. He is a member of the English Ceramics Circle and a Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London.

Dr Giles Tillotson. Writer and lecturer on Indian architecture, art and history. His books include Taj Mahal, Jaipur Nama: Tales from the Pink City, and the novel, Return to Bhanupur. He is a Fellow, and the former Director, of the Royal Asiatic Society and was Chair of Art & Archaeology at SOAS. Dr Thomas-Leo True. Art historian specialising in Renaissance and Baroque architecture. He obtained his PhD at Cambridge University and studied at the British School in Rome, where he was a Rome Scholar. He has lived in Le Marche and is writing his first book on the Marchigian Cardinals of Pope Sixtus V. Gail Turner. Art historian, lecturer and artist with a special interest in Spanish history and art. She read Modern History at Oxford and completed her MA at the Courtauld. She lectures for the National Trust and Art Fund, and teaches on courses at the V&A and the Courtauld Institute Summer School. Dr Geoffrey Tyack. Architectural historian with a particular interest in the 18th–20th centuries in Britain and Europe. He is Fellow of Kellogg College, University of Oxford, and is the author of John Nash: Architect of the Picturesque. He is also Editor of the Georgian Group Journal. Dr David Vickers. Author, journalist, broadcaster and lecturer. Co-editor of The Cambridge Handel Encyclopedia, he is preparing new editions of several of Handel’s music dramas. He is a critic for Gramophone and BBC Radio 3 and essayist for many record labels. He teaches at the Royal Northern College of Music. Dr Matthias Vollmer. Art historian and writer specialising in the Middle Ages and Renaissance in Germany. He read History of Art, Philosophy, and Orientalism and his PhD focused on book illustration of the Middle Ages. He lectures at the Freie Universität Berlin, for the Courtauld Summer School and at the Berlin University of the Arts. Professor Stephen Walsh. Music writer and broadcaster. He is the author of a major biography of Stravinsky, and of Musorgsky & his Circle. Former deputy music critic for The Observer, he remains a contributor to other broadsheet newspapers. He currently holds a personal chair in the School of Music at Cardiff University.

our lecturers

©Bill Knight

Professor Gavin Stamp. Architectural historian with an interest in 19th- and 20th-century British architecture. He has published on Alexander ‘Greek’ Thomson, the Gilbert Scott dynasty and Sir Edwin Lutyens. He is an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Incorporation of Architects in Scotland and RIBA, and Honorary Professor at Glasgow and Cambridge Universities.

Graeme Stobbs. Archaeologist with over 20 years experience in field archaeology and an expert on Hadrian’s Wall. He is Assistant Curator of Roman Collections of English Heritage’s Hadrian’s Wall Museums and until recently worked as Archaeological Project Officer for Tyne and Wear Archives and Museums.

©Bill Knight

Andrew Spooner. Military historian specialising in the Great War. He runs his own battlefield tours and organises study days for colleges and museums throughout the UK. He is a regular visiting lecturer at the Imperial War Museum Duxford and has appeared in documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4.

Painting, the UK’s online catalogue. She has taught History of Art for university programmes in the UK and Italy.

Giles Waterfield. Independent curator and writer, Director of Royal Collection Studies and Associate Lecturer at the Courtauld. He has curated exhibitions including The Artist’s Studio and his publications include Soane & After, Palaces of Art, Art for the People and Art Treasures of England.

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Our lecturers continued

Professor Charles Watkins. Professor of Rural Geography at the University of Nottingham. His recent books include Europe’s Changing Woods & Forests. He is Chair of the Society for Landscape Studies, Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries and trustee of the Sherwood Forest Trust and the VCH Herefordshire Trust. Dr Peter Webb. Arabist and historian, specialising in early and mediaeval Islam. He has travelled extensively in the Middle East and Central Asia and has taught at SOAS and the American University of Paris. He is currently a Fellow at the Forum Transregionale Studien, Berlin, researching Mamluk Cairo. Dr Adam White. Art historian and curator. He has worked at the Leeds Museums and Galleries since 1983. Since 1994 he has been based at Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam House. He is Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and has published widely on British art, particularly sculpture.

Dr Antonia Whitley. Art historian and lecturer specialising in the Italian Renaissance. She obtained her PhD from the Warburg Institute on Sienese society in the 15th century and has published on related topics. She has lectured for the National Gallery, organises adult education study sessions and has led many tours in Italy.

Professor Roger Wilson. Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire and Director of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Sicily at the University of British Columbia. Former posts include Professor of Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. His publications include Piazza Armerina and Sicily Under the Roman Empire.

Richard Wigmore. Music writer, lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3. He writes for BBC Music Magazine and Gramophone and and has taught classes in Lieder history and intepretation at Guildhall, Trinity Laban and Birkbeck College. His publications include Schubert: The Complete Song Texts and Pocket Guide to Haydn.

Dr Matthew Woodworth. Art historian specialising in mediaeval architectural history. He obtained his MA from the Courtauld and his PhD (on Beverley Minster) from Duke University, North Carolina. He has published on English Gothic architecture, French Gothic sculpture, and the re-use of Gothic in the post-mediaeval period.

Dr Sam Willis. A leading authority on naval and maritime history and author of numerous books. He has worked as maritime history consultant for Christies and the Discovery and the History Channels. He has appeared on BBC4 and his re-creation of the first ever voyage down the Grand Canyon was broadcast in 2014 on BBC2.

our lecturers 14

Tarascon, René d’Anjou’s château, lithograph c. 1880. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Sebastian Wormell. Art historian specialising in Central Europe and Byzantium. As translator and editor, he has prepared art-historical guidebooks to countries including Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Romania, Yemen and the Holy Land. He studied at Cambridge and the Courtauld Institute and has lectured for London University.


Responsible Tourism

Fitness

Self-assessment tests

Many of our tours feature visits to 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 visited than on conventional tours; this often means there are days without travel.

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.

A certain level of fitness is a requirement for participation on our tours. We ask that all participants take these quick and simple tests to ascertain whether they are fit enough.

Martin Randall Travel contributes to Beyond Carbon, a travel industry scheme that assists development projects that encourage carbon savings (beyond-carbon.com). We make a donation to offset all the carbon in flights every time a lecturer, tour manager or member of staff takes a flight for a tour or a prospecting trip. You can choose to donate too, when you book online or pay your final invoice. Our policy is published on our website: www.martinrandall.com/responsible-tourism.

Financial security The Association of Independent Tour Operators. Martin Randall Travel Ltd is a member of AITO, an association of specialist travel companies most of which are independent and owner-managed. 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. 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.

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 getting from one place to another, and getting on and off coaches several times a day. 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 are therefore asking that people wishing to join a tour 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 accepted this condition. 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.

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 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 three miles per hour for at least half an hour at a time, and to stand unsupported for at least fifteen minutes.

Tours do vary. Please refer to the How strenuous? paragraph in each tour description. Tours which are billed as walking tours, with hikes through countryside, usually hilly, of up to three hours, require a different scale of fitness and agility. Please attend to the descriptions of these tours carefully. On the other hand, it is not necessary to take the tests to attend chamber music weekends and symposia in the UK.

more about our tours

ATOL. Most 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 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 222) for further details. Financial protection for holidays that do not include a flight is provided by a bond held with ABTA.

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.

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From The Foreign Tour of Brown, Jones & Robinson, 1904. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Occupation in the Channel Islands Hitler’s ‘impregnable fortress’ channel islands

Day 2: Noirmont Point, St Ouen, Grosnez, St Brelades. The dramatic coastline on Jersey’s western and northern fronts were some of the most heavily defended parts of the island. The coastal artillery batteries protected German shipping between Cherbourg and Brest as well as providing all-round defence from the air and sea. The location of these batteries provide the opportunity to look inside these impressive outposts while enjoying some of Britain’s finest coastal scenery. St Ouen’s Bay, one of the island’s most picturesque bays, was one of the most vulnerable and is now the location of the privately owned Channel Islands Military Museum. Day 3: St Helier, St Peter Port. In 2011 the Jersey Occupation Collections held at Jersey Archive were inscribed on the unesco UK Memory of the World Register. Guided tour and lecture followed by free time in St Helier and a visit of the impressively located Elizabeth Castle. Short ferry ride to Guernsey for the first of two nights.

German military band marching past Lloyds Bank on The Pollet, St Peter Port. © IWM.

15–19 May 2016 (mc 677) 5 days • £1,970 Lecturer: Dr Paul Sanders In-depth look at a fascinating and relatively unknown portion of WWII history. Visits Jersey’s and Guernsey’s primary military sites including special appointments and talks by local experts. Features walks along striking coastlines. Excellent hotels on both islands. Led by historian Dr Paul Sanders.

BRITISH ISLES 16

The Channel Islands, the oldest possession of the British Crown, were the only part of the British Isles to be occupied by German forces during the Second World War. Following the fall of France in June 1940 the British government withdrew from the islands, their exposed position in the bay of Saint-Malo having rendered them strategically untenable. On 19 June 1940, the islands were demilitarised, and it was announced that those who wanted to be evacuated should register forthwith. German forces landed in Guernsey on 30 June 1940 and in Jersey the next day. There was no organised resistance movement against German forces – only acts by individuals or small groups. The occupying forces enforced a number of restrictions such as a nightly curfew and censorship of the press. In 1942 the deportation began of about 2,000 Britishborn Channel Islanders to internment camps in Germany. Other residents were deported to concentration camps. During the occupation the islands were heavily fortified as part of Hitler’s ‘Atlantic Wall’. Construction was overseen by the German Forces and the Organisation Todt – a paramilitary engineering outfit. Forced labourers were

imported to build the fortifications. This included Spanish Republican refugees from France who had been surrendered by the Vichy government, and people rounded up in Eastern Europe who were treated as work-slaves. Visitors to the islands are often struck by the scale of construction; a staggering 10% of German resources spent on the Atlantic Wall were used to fortify the Channel Islands, much of which remains visible today. This has been deliberately preserved by local volunteers, as a reminder of this chapter in Channel Islands history. The D-Day landings in June 1944 came as both a blessing and a curse. Whilst they marked the beginning of the end for the German occupiers who relied on supply lines from the continent, they also meant that food imports were cut. As supplies dwindled, islanders faced starvation. However, following trilateral negotiations involving the Foreign Office, the Germans and the Red Cross, the SS Vega was authorized to deliver food, saving the lives of many islanders. The islands were finally liberated on 9 May 1945, the day after VE Day. HMS Beagle and HMS Bulldog arrived in Jersey and Guernsey respectively, with on board British officers who finalised the unconditional surrender of German forces in the islands. This tour visits the two largest islands exploring a fascinating and little understood episode of Britain’s WW II history.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Jersey. Fly at c. 12.45pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Jersey. The vast complex of the Jersey War Tunnels provide an excellent introduction to the background of the Occupation of Jersey including individual wartime stories and award winning galleries. It also provides an idea of the scale and intent of the occupying forces in defending the Islands. First of two nights in Jersey.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Day 4: Fort Hommet, Pleinmont, St Peter Port. Guernsey, the first Channel Island to be occupied, has much in common with its sister Island but is distinctly different. The excellent German Occupation Museum displays an impressive collection of occupation memorabilia while Fort Hommet and Pleinmont Tower on the island’s western coast reveal the scale of German defences that contributed to Hitler’s Atlantic Wall. The afternoon is free to wander the charming streets of St Peter Port, considered one of the prettiest of Channel Island towns. Day 5: St Peter Port. The headquarters of the German Naval Commander Channel Islands handled all the important radio signals traffic for the German forces in the Channel with messages being transmitted and received by naval codes using the Enigma enciphering machines. Housed in the original bunker, the headquarters have been accurately restored providing a rare opportunity to see inside a German military operations centre. Fly c. 2.30pm (Aurigny) arriving Gatwick at approximately 3.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,970. Single supplement £240 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,810. Included meals: 1 lunch, 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Somerville Hotel, Jersey (dolanhotels.com): located above the picturesque St Aubin’s Bay, the hotel enjoys wonderful sea views and excellent facilities. Old Government House, Guernsey (theoghhotel.com): former Governor’s residence, this historic hotel is considered the best on the island and is located in the heart of St Peter Port. How strenuous? This tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking. Some of the sites visited are on exposed cliff paths; fitness and surefootedness are essential. Military bunkers often have numerous steps and low ceilings; sufferers of claustrophobia might struggle in some of the inner chambers. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.


Mediaeval Sussex & Hampshire Mediaeval art & architecture in the South East

a series of quirky set-pieces woven around an Anglo-Norman core, complete with retrochoir, eccentric cloister, and superb late mediaeval furnishings. First of four nights in Goodwood.

of St Mary’s Hospital, famed for its superb late-mediaeval choir stalls. The coach returns to Chichester railway station by 3.30pm.

Well-balanced survey of the outstanding mediaeval monuments of West Sussex and Hampshire.

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-cent. Sussex churches, Sompting and Steyning, before rounding off the day at mighty Arundel Castle.

Practicalities

Beautiful drives through the stunning scenery of the South Downs. Led by a mediaeval architectural historian John McNeill. Stay in one hotel throughout.

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 15th-century 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 church and royal castle, and continuing via two great monastic ruins, Cistercian Netley and 13th-cent. Titchfield. Lunch will be 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-mediaeval foundation

Price: £1,210. Single supplement £240 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Goodwood Hotel (goodwood.com/the-goodwood-hotel) is located on, and owned by, the Goodwood Estate. Housed in the old 7-acre walled garden and family inn, it retains many original features. Stylishly decorated, it has good amenities including spa facilities and an award-winning restaurant serving estate-reared produce. Bedrooms are comfortable and well appointed. How strenuous? This tour involves quite a lot of getting on and off coaches and standing. It should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Sicily, 4–16 April (page 139); Palladian Villas, 12–17 April (page 112); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 25–30 April (page 136).

John McNeill Architectural historian and a specialist in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He lectures at Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education and is Honorary Secretary of the British Archaeological Association. Publications include the Blue Guides: Normandy and Loire Valley, and Romanesque & the Past. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

New Shoreham Church, from Highways & Byways in Sussex, 1928.

BRITISH ISLES

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 mediaeval 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 mediaeval 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. However, 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 late-mediaeval tomb design.

england

18–22 April 2016 (mc 640) 5 days • £1,210 Lecturer: John McNeill

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, well-loved, comfortable fireside chair of a cathedral’, and a building best approached as

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The Cathedrals of England Ten of the greatest buildings in the country england

20–28 April 2016 (mc 641) 9 days • £2,610 Lecturer: Jon Cannon A study of ten of Britain’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. Led by Jon Cannon, writer, lecturer and broadcaster and author of Cathedral: The Great English Cathedrals & the World that Made Them. This is an architectural journey that would be hard to equal for intensity of aesthetic delight and 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 – north, south, east and west – to see some of the most glorious mediaeval architecture to be found anywhere. Connoisseurs may carp at the omissions, but logistics exclude only a couple of cathedrals of comparable beauty, magnificence and interest. With an average of little over one cathedral a day, there is plenty of time at each to really get to know, assimilate, appreciate and contemplate each one. All but one are mediaeval, Norman (as Romanesque is generally called in Britain) and

Gothic. It is easy to underestimate the length of time the Middle Ages encompasses: the span from the earliest work we see on the tour to the latest, from the Norman Conquest to the Reformation, equals that from the Reformation to the present day. There was huge variety in the building arts and historical circumstances during those 460 years. The one non-mediaeval cathedral on the itinerary is Coventry. Rebuilt after the Second World War, not only is it a treasure house of mid-twentieth-century 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. Organ recitals are organised for us 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. For centuries, British scholars and critics laboured under an inferiority complex, believing English Gothic to be a defective derivative of the thoroughbred French version, inferior according to the degree to which it departed from the soaring, clean-limbed and impeccably rational paradigms across the Channel. That cultural cringe has all but evaporated in the last couple of generations, not least because evidence has been piling up that masons and architects in England had entire confidence in their inventiveness and deliberately chose to shun French conventions in favour of England’s own distinctive and fascinating imaginative universe.

Itinerary Day 1: Ely. The coach leaves King’s Cross, 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 (c.

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. The steep streets of the ancient town are a delight. First of three nights in York. Day 3: Durham. By train to Durham (40 mins), where the topography and 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 churches. Overnight York. Day 4: York. York Minster is the largest of English mediaeval cathedrals. Above ground it is all Gothic, from Early English to Perpendicular but predominantly 14th-century, demonstrating an exceptional knowledge of the latest French Rayonnant ideas. It is a treasure trove of original stained glass, and the polygonal chapter house is without peer. The city retains its mediaeval walls and an exceptional quantity of historic buildings. Overnight York. Day 5: Coventry. Coventry Cathedral is perhaps internationally Britain’s best-known 20th-cent. building. Built to designs by Sir Basil Spence beside the ruins of its predecessor, destroyed in 1940, it is both a showcase for some of the best art of the time (Graham Sutherland, John Piper, Jacob Epstein). In the evening, a walk through Stratford-upon-Avon, which has retained many buildings Shakespeare would have known. Overnight Stratford.

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1110–30), with their thick walls, tiers of arches and clusters of shafts, leads to the crossing and its unique 14th-century octagonal lantern, a work of genius. The detatched Lady Chapel, also in the Decorated style, is the largest and perhaps the finest in the country; the Early English quire a ravishing setting for the lost shrine to St Etheldreda. Overnight Lincoln.

Durham Cathedral, engraving in The English Provinces, 1888. book online at www.martinrandall.com

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 appearance of Perpendicular architecture. The east window, which retains its mediaeval stained glass, is one of the largest in Europe. Bristol cathedral is a much-overlooked gem with fine 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-cent. buildings. First of two nights in Wells.


The Age of Bede Anglo-Saxon Northumbria 16–19 July 2016 (mc 760) 4 days • £930 Lecturer: Imogen Corrigan

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, 1220–58. To homogeneity are added lucidity of design and perfection of detail. Completed a century later, the spire at 404 feet is the tallest mediaeval structure in Britain. The close is the finest in the country, and the town beyond has an extensive expanse of historic fabric. Overnight Winchester.

Imogen Corrigan, a specialist in Anglo-Saxon and mediaeval history, leads the tour.

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 (1079), 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-cent. Bible. Return to Tothill Street in central London by 4.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,610. Single supplement £320 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 1 lunch and 6 dinners with wine.

How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking, with a lot of steps and uneven surfaces. Roof and tower visits are optional, but at Salisbury there are 332 stairs to climb. Two of the hotels do not have lifts. There are 3 days without any coach travel, but there is an average on the other 5 days of 73 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Walking in Eastern Sicily, 11–18 April (page 143); Ottoman Turkey, 29 April–7 May (page 179).

Jarrow, Monkwearmouth, Holy Island, Hexham and other Anglo-Saxon sites. Studies also Durham Cathedral, perhaps the greatest Romanesque building in Europe, with special arrangements.

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

Itinerary Day 1: Jarrow and Monkwearmouth. The tour begins with a lecture in the hotel in Durham (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. ‘Bede’s World’ is an excellent museum, with a living Anglo-Saxon farm adjacent. Day 2: 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 40-year building campaign begun in 1093. There is the opportunity to attend Evensong here. Day 3: 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. Left: section from an Anglo-Saxon cross, from Byzantine & Romanesque Architecture, 1920. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

BRITISH ISLES

Accommodation. The Castle Hotel, Lincoln (castlehotel.net): an historic building close to the cathedral. The Grange, York (grangehotel.co.uk): also in an historic building with a new wing, within walking distance of the city centre. The Stratford (Q Hotels), Stratford on Avon (qhotels. co.uk): a modern hotel, located on the edge of the historic centre of the town. The Swan, Wells (swanhotelwells.co.uk): in a building of 15th-cent. origin in a narrow street close to the cathedral. The Wessex, Winchester (mercure.com): excellently located overlooking the cathedral in a 1960s building. Rooms at all the hotels on this tour vary in size and outlook.

Examines the remarkable efflorescence of culture and learning in Anglo-Saxon northern England.

of civilization, 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, of 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, 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 massiveness and defensibility express the often tenuous hold on the region by institutions representing southern-based royal government.

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Day 7: Wells. An exceptionally unspoilt little city, Wells has a fortified bishop’s palace, 14thcent. houses of the Vicars Choral and much else of charm and interest. 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 experimental contrasted spaces of the Decorated east end, serene chapter house and Perpendicular cloisters all contribute to the cathedral’s exceptional allure. The strainer arches supporting the sagging tower are among the great creations of the Middle Ages. Overnight Wells.

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Walking Hadrian’s Wall

Roman civilization at the edge of an Empire england

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 mediaeval 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 and returns to Durham by 3.30pm.

Practicalities

Hadrian, engraving c. 1840.

Price: £930. Single supplement £70 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 1 lunch and 2 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Radisson Blu Hotel, Durham (radissonblu.co.uk/hotel-durham) is a modern hotel situated on the river and is about 15 minutes on foot from the town centre. How strenuous? This tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and who cannot stand for long periods of time. Average distance by coach per day: 55 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with German Gothic, 7–14 July (page 95).

Music in the Regions June 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Ryedale Festival July 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest BRITISH ISLES 20

Scarborough, watercolour by Gordon Home, publ. 1908.

9–15 May 2016 (mc 670) 7 days • £1,840 Lecturer: Graeme Stobbs 5–11 September 2016 (md 825) 7 days • £1,840 Lecturer: Graeme Stobbs The archaeology and history of the largest Roman construction in northern Europe. The most spectacular stretches accessible only on foot, this is also a walking tour through some of the most magnificent scenery in England. Excursions from coast to coast include all the major Roman sites and relevant museums. One hotel throughout, the best in the region. 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 willpower, Hadrian’s Wall ranks among the most extraordinary of all Roman achievements. Its story does not end with its completion within Hadrian’s reign because for the remaining three centuries of Roman control there were

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constant changes both to the fabric and to its administration and occupation. A study of the Wall leads to an examination of practically every aspect of Roman civilization, 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 most thrilling, and it is in this central section, furthest from centres of population, 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, and to appreciate the vastness of the Roman achievement, to view many of its details and to immerse fully in the scenic beauties, there is no substitute for leaving wheels behind and walking along its course. How strenuous are the walks? On each of the five full days there is a walk of between two and three hours, covering between two and four miles. The slow progress is in part due to stops to examine the archaeology and to take in the wonderful views. But also the terrain is often quite rough, and periodically there are rises and falls, sometimes quite steep, though rarely of more than 50 metres and often aided by roughhewn stone steps recently made for the Hadrian’s Wall Path. It is not a tough trek but nevertheless it should only be attempted by people whose regular country walks include some uphill elements. A coach takes you to the start of each walk and meets you at the end, eliminating the need to retrace steps or carry much except water and waterproofs. Each day has been planned to provide a balanced mix of archaeology, more general sight-seeing and cross-country trekking, and for this reason the walks do not constitute a linear progression. On most days you return to the hotel by 5.00pm, allowing plenty of time to relax before dinner.

Itinerary 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. The first walk is perhaps the most consistently rugged as it follows long, well-preserved stretches of the Wall through moorland above the cliffs of the Whinsill Crag; a thrilling walk (2¾ miles, up to 2½ hours). Pub lunch. Corbridge began as a fort in the chain built by Agricola c. ad 85 but left to the south by Hadrian’s Wall it became a supply depot and then a largely civilian town.


Nor thumbria

Countryside, castles, coast & comfort

Day 4: Vindolanda, Newcastle. 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. In Newcastle the Great North Museum has the best collection of objects excavated along the Wall. Day 5: walk Gilsland to Birdoswald; Chesters, Brocolitia. Walk through low-lying and pretty farmland with streams and wild flowers. The only mile with both milecastles and turrets visible, and good lengths of Wall (2 miles, 1 hour). Pub lunch followed by a couple of archaeological remains, the Mithraic temple at Brocolitia and the bridge abutments across the river from Chesters. Day 6: walk Walltown to Cawfields; Carlisle, Bowness-on-Solway. The final walk is spectacularly varied, from rocky hilltops to lowland pasture (3½ miles, 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.

15–23 June 2016 (mc 715) 9 days • £2,760 Lecturer: Christopher Newall Wide-ranging exploration of the natural and man-made beauties of one of the most interesting but least visited regions of England. Castles, country houses, villages, towns and cities and, above all, wonderful landscape. Includes a number of special arrangements, a private boat for a day and two exhilarating country walks (optional – alternative visits are provided for non-walkers). Good hotels: Jesmond Dene House in Newcastle and Waren House outside Bamburgh. Northumbria is border country in depth. The Romans had a bumpy ride in their attempts to fix the limits of their empire and pacify the populace, despite the extraordinary achievement of Hadrian’s Wall. After the Norman Conquest the region was supposedly within England but was subject to frequent Scottish incursions and effectively ruled by a handful of clans beyond the writ of the English Crown. To this day castles characterise the region more than country houses, and yet those houses that exist share an austere aesthetic.

But perhaps the most striking and alluring consequence of its buffer-zone heritage is the landscape. Remote and sparsely inhabited, ruffled by majestic undulations and etched with dry stone walls, rugged uplands mixing with picturesque farmland, Northumbria has some of the most enthralling scenery in all England. Such marginal land was a magnet to monastic foundations, and outstanding mediaeval church architecture is another feature. And yet, by extreme contrast, the region became one of the powerhouses of the industrial revolution. The Tyneside conurbation has some of the most fascinating cityscapes in Britain. Beyond the city, wealth and innovation led to the great Victorian country estate such as Norman Shaw’s Cragside. Northumbria was far larger than the (relatively) modern counties of Northumberland, Durham and Tyne and Wear. This tour presents a grand sweep of history, architecture and landscape by selecting the finest sights in an itinerary that is balanced in content and pace.

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Day 3: walk Housesteads to Steel Rigg; Chesters. Again for much of the route the Wall rides the crest of the faultline of dolerite crags, dipping and climbing. 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 (3½ miles, up to 2¾ hours). Pub lunch. Chesters, the most salubrious of the forts (lavish bath house), built for 500 Asturian cavalrymen, in enchanting river valley setting.

Itinerary Day 1: Newcastle-upon-Tyne, Durham. The coach leaves the hotel at 1.00pm and Newcastle Station at 1.30pm. Drive to Durham Cathedral, one of the great monuments of Romanesque Europe, enhanced by a hilltop site in one of

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. Drive to Newcastle railway station arriving by 2.30pm.

Practicalities BRITISH ISLES

Price: £1,840. Single supplement £120. English Heritage members will be refunded c. £20. Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Matfen Hall Hotel (matfenhall.com). A 19th-century Jacobean-style mansion, Matfen Hall is a fine country house hotel offering excellent service. How strenuous? Please read the final two paragraphs of the introduction. You should not consider this tour unless you possess a well-used pair of walking boots, are more than averagely fit, have good balance and a head for heights. Group size: between 10 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with Ottoman Turkey, 29 April–7 May (page 179); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 12–17 September (page 136); Connoisseur’s London, 13–17 September (page 41).

Warkworth Castle, wood engraving from The Saturday Magazine Vol.III, 1833. 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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Nor thumbria continued

“A thoroughly enjoyable tour thanks to the efficiency and friendliness of the tour manager and lecturer.”

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Christopher Newall Art historian, lecturer and writer. A specialist in 19thcentury British art, he also has a deep interest in the architecture, politics and social history of southern Italy. 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 pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. the loveliest little cities in England. Return via St Paul’s church in Jarrow, the home of the Venerable Bede. First of five nights in Newcastle. Day 2: Newcastle, an undulating site tumbling down to the Tyne through fine buildings and streets. Visit the Laing Art Gallery, home to a collection of paintings by north-eastern artist John Martin. Opened in 1825, the Literary and Philosophical Society is the largest independent library outside London, with over 150,000 books. See the library at the Mining Institute, built at the height of the English Gothic Revival. Planned and developed by Richard Grainger, Grey Street in the commercial centre is often described as one of the finest planned streets in England. Outstanding post-industrial regeneration on the quayside with

the Millennium Bridge (Wilkinson Eyre) and Foster’s Sage Gateshead. Day 3: Bywell, Hexham, Hadrian’s Wall. Nestled in the Tyne Valley, the village of Bywell has two fine churches, one with a Saxon tower. The delightful town of Hexham grew up around an abbey founded in ad 674; the grand 13thcentury church survives. An optional walk along Hadrian’s Wall from Housesteads (3½ miles), scenically and archaeologically perhaps the most spectacular stretch. Non-walkers visit Vindolanda, site of a Roman town; ongoing excavations are yielding exciting discoveries. Day 4: Alnwick, Edlingham, Cragside. Externally still a formidable mediaeval fortress, Alnwick Castle, seat of the Dukes of Northumberland, has sumptuous interiors and a superb painting collection. A beautiful drive via Edlingham to see the Norman church and remains of a 12th-cent. hall house. Cragside, built for Sir William Armstrong, is the masterpiece of Norman Shaw and the interiors form a wonderful sequence of late-Victorian taste and technology. Day 5: Warkworth, Woodhorn, Belsay. More palace than castle, 15th-century Warkworth Castle towers above the town. Woodhorn Colliery is one of the best surviving examples of a 19thcentury coal mine. 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 mediaeval castle.

A Festival of Music in Suffolk The Tallis Scholars & La Nuova Musica

13–16 June 2016 Details available in July 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Lavenham, St Peter and St Paul’s Church, engraving c. 1900.

BRITISH ISLES 22

Western Suffolk is only seventy miles from London but it seems another country, another age. Embedded in rolling rural English countryside are some exceptionally attractive villages and some of the finest parish churches in the kingdom. This festival is one of MRT’s own creations. There are concerts in five churches (Bury-StEdmunds, Lavenham, Long Melford, Cavendish, Kedington), in the rare Georgian theatre at Bury, and at Melford Hall, a Tudor and Stuart country house. The music is largely English and of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. Two of the earliest English operas feature – John Blow’s Venus and Adonis and Purcell’s Dido and Aeneas, as well as Purcell’s Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary. These are performed by La Nuova Musica, which under the leadership of David Bates is emerging as one of the most exciting early music ensembles in Britain. The other four concerts are performed by The Tallis Scholars, directed by Peter Phillips, who need no introduction as the world’s leading specialists in Renaissance polyphony.

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Day 6: Craster, Dunstanburgh. En route to Craster visit Tynemouth to see the impressive Collingwood Monument and the North and South piers at the mouth of the Tyne – astonishing pieces of engineering. Lunch in the pretty seaside town of Craster, kipper capital of the UK. A glorious coastal hillside walk to Dunstanburgh Castle (2½ miles round trip; optional), in splendid isolation on a rocky promontory. Non-walkers visit the gardens at Howick Hall. Drive to the hotel at Waren Mill two miles away. First of three nights here. Day 7: Berwick-upon-Tweed, Norham, Bamburgh. The border town of Berwick has been much fought over by England and Scotland in the past. It is protected by the most complete set of ramparts in England. Barracks, Cromwellian church and Royal Border Bridge. Drive into wild Northumberland to the ruins of Norham Castle, once one of the strongest border castles and finally defeated by James IV of Scotland. Some free time at the hotel or in Bamburgh. Day 8: Farne Islands, Holy Island. Drive to Holy Island to see Lindisfarne Priory and the Castle which was later converted by Lutyens into Edward Hudson’s country home. Sail by privately chartered boat to the Farne Islands and Inner Farne, famously the setting of Grace Darling’s heroism and home to some of England’s richest birdlife. St Aidan lived as a hermit here before establishing Lindisfarne Priory, as did St Cuthbert, later the patron saint of Durham. Day 9: Newcastle. 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. Drive south to Newcastle, dropping off at the station by 1.45pm and at Jesmond Dene House c. 2.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,760. Single supplement £270 (double for single occupancy). National Trust or English Heritage members will be refunded c. £45. Included meals: 1 lunch and 7 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Jesmond Dene House, Newcastle (jesmonddenehouse.co.uk): 19thcentury mansion in a quiet wooded suburb, awarded César City Hotel of the Year in 2013; stylish, very comfortable, exceptional service. Waren House Hotel, near Bamburgh (warenhousehotel.co.uk): Georgian country house with 13 rooms; furnished in a charmingly quirky way. It has a sitting room/library, dining room, patio, garden, and sea views. How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking, even without the optional country walks. Coaches can rarely park near sites and some places visited are extensive. Average coach travel per day: 47 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Tudor England, 8–13 June (page 29); Yorkshire Houses, 25 June–1 July (page 23); ‘Capability’ Brown, 27 June–1 July (page 31).


Yorkshire Houses

Historic houses in one of England’s most spectacular counties

The finest country houses and gardens in Yorkshire, several with special arrangements. Unhurried: there is plenty of time to rest, relax and absorb. Led by Dr Adam White, the Hon. Curator of Lotherton Hall.

Day 1: Lotherton Hall. The coach leaves York railway station at 2.00pm (or from the hotel at 1.40pm). Lotherton Hall is a charming Edwardian country home rich in collections of paintings, furniture, silver, china, costume and oriental art, set in beautiful grounds. Day 2: Sledmere, Scampston Hall. Designed and built in the mid- to late-18th century, mostly by Sir Christopher Sykes, Sledmere remains in the Sykes family today. It was badly damaged by fire in 1911 and has since been immaculately restored. Scampston Hall is a wonderful example of an English country house, combining fine architecture with a wealth of art treasures set in ‘Capability’ Brown parkland. The walled garden is a magnificent example of contemporary design. Day 3: Harewood House, Fairfax House. One of the grandest and most beautiful of English country houses, with architecture by John Carr (1772) and Charles Barry (1843), interiors by Adam, furniture by Chippendale and a park by ‘Capability’ Brown. There are excellent paintings, Italian Renaissance to modern. Private dinner at Fairfax House in York, built in 1745 and the best preserved and furnished such house in Britain. Day 4: Newby Hall, Markenfield Hall. Designed by Wren, beautifully augmented by Adam and filled with art over many generations, Newby Hall is utterly enchanting. The 25 acres of gardens are wonderful. Markenfield Hall is the best surviving mediaeval moated manor house in England. Parts date to c. 1290, while the crenellations were licensed in 1310. Day 5: Nostell Priory, Brodsworth Hall. Nostell Priory, an architectural treasure by James Paine, later modified by Robert Adam. The collection of Chippendale furniture is unequalled. A Victorian time capsule, Brodsworth Hall is a magnificent Italianate mansion built and furnished in the 1860s, and ‘conserved as found’ by English Heritage 20 years ago. By contrast, the gardens have been restored to their former splendour.

Day 6: Castle Howard. One of the great houses of Europe, Castle Howard was begun in 1699 to designs by the leading architect of the English Baroque, Sir John Vanbrugh. Fine collections, grand gardens and park, famous garden temple and mausoleum. Most of the day is spent here for exploration and time to immerse and absorb. Day 7: Temple Newsam. A fine Tudor-Jacobean mansion with restored interiors and outstanding collections of paintings, furniture, silver and decorative arts, and another ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. Return to York railway station by 3.00pm (the coach continues to the hotel).

Practicalities Price: £1,930. Single supplement £310 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Grange, York (grangehotel.co.uk): 10 minutes walk from the Minster, a beautifully-converted Georgian town house; the decoration and furnishings combine period and modern; very good restaurant. How strenuous? Unavoidably there is quite a lot of walking on this tour. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, many of the parks and gardens are extensive and most of the houses visited don’t have lifts (nor does the hotel). Average distance by coach per day: c. 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Walking to Derbyshire Houses, 19–24 June (page 24); Northumbria, 15–23 June (page 21); Stonehenge, 3–7 July (page 36). Castle Howard, engraving c. 1720.

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Yorkshire is England’s largest and one of its most beautiful counties, renowned for the spectacular countryside of the North York Moors and Yorkshire Dales. It is also a county blessed with an outstanding range of country houses. This tour provides the opportunity to explore the best. The visit will be based in York, the English city with the finest concentration of historic buildings outside Oxford and Cambridge. Though its celebrated mediaeval Minster is its crowning glory, Fairfax House, a beautifully restored Georgian town mansion, is a similarly periodperfect work. The story of the country house in Yorkshire begins in the Middle Ages and Markenfield Hall, near Ripon, is a remarkable survival from that time. The splendours of the Renaissance can be found at Temple Newsam while Castle Howard is one of the finest Baroque houses of its date, equal in magnificence to some of the European palaces of that period On an equally magnificent scale is Harewood House. This dazzling neo-classical chef d’oeuvre - ‘a St Petersburg palace on a Yorkshire ridge’ (Simon Jenkins) - is a perfectly balanced synthesis of the greatest talents of the age. The tour will focus on houses that were really homes, the creation and vision of powerful dynasties over centuries. Many (Castle Howard, Harewood, Newby Hall, Sledmere) are still in the hands of the families who originally built them, and participants on this tour have the opportunity for early admission and evening visits to some of houses. The majority are houses with museumquality treasures and, amongst the highlights, are the Gobelins tapestries at Newby Hall, the Burne-Jones stained glass in the chapel at Castle Howard, and one of England’s finest private art collections (with paintings by Bellini, Titian, El Greco, Turner and Gainsborough) at Harewood. But they are also places that reflect the serendipity of everyday life – if on a rather grand scale. From the dolls’ house at Nostell Priory (an exact miniature of the house itself) to Lotherton Hall, a gentleman’s country residence which evokes the comfort and sense of security enjoyed by the English upper classes in the years before the First World War, these were houses evidently lived in and enjoyed. The tour is led by Dr Adam White, Hon. Curator of Lotherton Hall, and will explore every aspect of country-house life, from architecture and interior design to conservation and custodianship. Guests stay at the award-winning boutique hotel The Grange in York, itself a grade II-listed Georgian townhouse.

Itinerary

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25 June–1 July 2016 (mc 738) 7 days • £1,930 Lecturer: Dr Adam White

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Walking to Derbyshire Houses & the Peak District england

19–24 June 2016 (mc 720) 6 days • £2,110 Lecturer: Dr Paul Atterbury Daily walks over hills and dales and landscaped parks followed by visits to country houses. A mixture of grand stately homes and smaller houses: Kedleston, Haddon, Tissington, Chatsworth, Sudbury and Hardwick. Stay throughout in a comfortable hotel on the Chatsworth Estate. One of the joys of a walk in the English countryside is glimpsing a great house in the distance. At first just dimly perceived chimneys and roofs, the rest screened by trees, but as the walk continues more is revealed, and beauty beckons. But after further progress along the path, foliage and land mass reassert themselves and the mansion passes from sight. Unless the house is the goal of the walk. Then it continues to grow in size, in detail, in magnificence, until one is examining it from the front lawn. Maybe next one mounts the steps and passes over the threshold; or peel away for refreshments or lunch – on this tour the more frequent course, given that arrival follows a country walk of an hour or two or three. This tour includes some of the greatest in the country, outstanding representatives of their period of architecture, laden with treasures –

Haddon, Hardwick, Chatsworth and Kedleston. Tissington also features, for contrast but also for its intrinsic delight. Famously, the Peak District offers wonderful walking country, and all but one of our walks are within the boundaries of this, the oldest National Park in Britain. Most consists of rumpled hills and their covering of little green fields, dry stone walls, deciduous trees, densely populated with cattle and sheep. There are only occasional hints of moorland. Landscaped parks are another feature, with their carefully composed arboreal clumps syncopated with grassy hillsides, serpentine lakes and grand avenues. River valleys provide another pleasure. Romantic poets delighted in Dovedale, for over two hundred years one of the most famous walks in the world. Wordsworth explored the valley as a young man and crystallised his recollections many years later in The Prelude: ‘In summer, making quest for works of art, / Or scenes renowned for beauty, I explored / That streamlet whose blue current works its way / Between romantic Dovedale’s spiry rocks’.

Itinerary Day 1: Derby, Kedleston Hall, Baslow. Leave Derby Station at 12.30pm for the 20-minute drive to Kedleston. Starting at the Doric gateway to

The Dove Holes, Dovedale, from Picturesque Europe: The British Isles, 1879.

the estate, walk through meadows, woodland and the ‘Capability’ Brown park to one of the supreme monuments of Classical architecture and decoration in England (40 minutes, cumulative elevation gain 15 metres). Inside and out Kedleston Hall has hardly changed since the 1760s. Continue to Baslow where all five nights are spent. Day 2: Bakewell, Haddon Hall. Drive to the lovely historic town of Bakewell. Walk out into fields and gradually up through farmland to the village of Over Haddon (c. 55/60 mins, elevation gain 125m). After refreshments, descend through fields, gently at first, with views of the hillsides beyond the Wye and Lathkill Valleys, with tantalising glimpses of Haddon Hall in the valley (60/70 mins). Late mediaeval and Tudor, and with exquisite terraced gardens, Haddon Hall is for some the most arrestingly beautiful and atmospheric house in England. Drive to Baslow. Day 3: Tissington, Parwich. Sir Richard FitzHerbert gives commentary during a walk through his estate (1½ hours, negligible elevation gain). The landscape is enchanting, quintessential Derbyshire, the hills gentle, trees plentiful, fields bounded by hedges or stone walls. Tissington is an extraordinarily pretty village, and the largely Jacobean Hall is a delight; Georgian interiors, family documents, terraced gardens. After lunch and time in the village there is an optional walk along an enchanting rural route to the village of Parwich (1 hour, elevation gain 50m). The coach to the hotel picks up at Tissington and Parwich. Day 4: Chatsworth House. Walk from the hotel through fields to the park, and climb steadily to an inhabited Elizabethan tower for views across the valley and down to the house (75 mins, elevation gain 105m). Dating largely from around 1700 and the 1840s, Chatsworth is not only one of the grandest country houses in Britain but also an extraordinary treasure-house of art and furnishings, brilliantly presented as refurbishment continues. A tour in the morning is followed by nearly four hours of free time, to revisit the house and to explore the gardens. Leave at 4.30pm for the half-hour walk along the valley bottom to the hotel.

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Day 5: Dovedale, Sudbury Hall. The River Dove has carved a spectacular limestone gorge which has delighted walkers for generations. Our route leads up Hall Dale and out into the open countryside where livestock graze and the views stretch for miles across Ilam and the Manifold Valley. The 3-hour (with stops) walk shows all the diversity of the White Peak (6.2 miles, elevation gain 170m). Rebuilt in the 17th century, Sudbury Hall features an English-made, richly decorated Great Staircase. It is now owned by the National Trust and houses the Museum of Childhood. Day 6: Hardwick Hall. The final walk is another which begins at the edge of an estate and winds through varied terrain to reach the house, which sits atop a high scarp. Features include two magnificent avenues and a woodland walk laid out by Lady Spencer, mother of Georgiana Duchess of Devonshire. (1½ hours, elevation gain 90m). Built in the 1590s by the richest woman

24 book online at www.martinrandall.com


Great Houses of the East Essex, Suffolk, Norfolk, Lincolnshire, Northamptonshire, Rutland

The best country houses in East Anglia and the East Midlands, outstanding examples from the end of the Middle Ages to the Victorian era. The Tudor and Stuart age is particularly well represented, as is the Palladian style. Great architecture, major works of art, spectacular gardens, landscaped parks, life both sides of the green baize door. Exceptionally attractive towns and villages and magnificent lowland landscape. Special arrangements and out-of-hours visits.

Haddon Hall, by Ernest W. Haslehurst, publ. 1910

in England, Hardwick Hall ranks among the greatest Elizabethan architecture and most memorable interiors in England. Return to Derby station by 5.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,110. Single supplement £390 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. The Cavendish Hotel, near Chatsworth (cavendish-hotel.net): located on the Chatsworth Estate it has been an inn for centuries. All bedrooms have good views and elegant décor with original artwork.

Itinerary Day 1: Layer Marney (Essex). The coach leaves London at 1.30pm. Layer Marney Tower is an apposite first visit: the seven-storey gatehouse is a final flamboyant fling of the Middle Ages, while its Renaissance ornament is harbinger of the classicism which dominated English architecture for the next 400 years. First of three nights in Lavenham (Suffolk). Day 2: Audley End, Lavenham (Essex, Suffolk). Audley End was the most ambitious house to be built in the reign of James I but was later

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How strenuous? This is a walking tour, with 8–10 (2 could be omitted) country walks of between 40 minutes and 3 hours. 2 are on fairly level terrain; others are moderately strenuous with cumulative elevation gain of up to 170 metres. Participants must be used to regular country walking with significant uphill element (see the itinerary for cumulative elevation gain). A feature of the Peak District are squeeze stiles, gaps in drystone walls too narrow for livestock. Some step stiles require walkers to raise the foot as high as their knee. Participants require fitness, stamina and agility.

Why is Britain 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 we pass through places key to the Agricultural Revolution of the eighteenth century which further enhanced what Nature provided. The financial benefits of Britain’s primacy in trade and industry seeped 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 this tour have been in the same family for several generations. The broad spread of this tour, East Anglia and the East Midlands, allows for the inclusion of some of the very finest country houses in England. If all you ever see of eighteenth-century England are Houghton and Holkham, they will suffice to shine in the

memory for ever as the epitome of restrained grandeur and elegant opulence. Burghley is the most elaborate and monumental of Elizabethan great houses, Blickling the most beautiful of Jacobean, Belton the most perfectly proportioned of the Restoration. There are also several brilliant if less mainstream masterpieces. Layer Marney Tower is little more than a Tudor gateway, but what a gateway, the highest such in Britain. Felbrigg is not much more than a large-scale manor house, albeit an exceptionally handsome one, but it is one element in an enchanting ensemble which includes walled gardens, Italian paintings and a remote location. The Queen’s private estate at Sandringham will impress with its quietly regal interiors despite pretensions to be unexceptional. Deene Park will captivate with the depth of its history and the authenticity of its atmosphere. A feature of the tour is the opportunity to spend a little time in some of the loveliest towns and villages in England – Lavenham, Norwich, Stamford. And then there is the ravishing countryside, East Anglia with its broad undulations, big skies, fens and bosky vistas, and the rolling farmland and magnificent trees of the ‘Dukeries’.

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12–20 May 2016 (mc 675) 9 days • £2,880 Lecturer: Dr Andrew Moore

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with A Festival of Music in Suffolk, 13–16 June (page 22); Turner & the Sea, 12–17 June (page 40); Yorkshire Houses, 25 June–1 July (page 23); Literature & Walking in the Lake District, 27 June–1 July (page 35).

Buxton Festival July 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

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Audley End, wood engraving c. 1890. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Great Houses of the East continued

“A brilliant itinerary with a wide range of houses and styles.”

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Houghton, entrance hall, after a drawing by F. G. Kitton in The Art Journal, 188

home of the Brudenells family. Full of good things, there is also an enchanting riverside garden. The grandest of Elizabethan houses, Burghley was built by the Queen’s chief minister and magnificently remodelled internally a hundred years later. The paintings and furniture are superb. Time is spent in Stamford, one of England’s best preserved historic towns. Overnight Rutland. Day 8: Belton, Harlaxton (Lincs, Rutland). A building of supreme and serene beauty, Belton is the classic Restoration house. Fine contents and formal gardens. Victorian Harlaxton Manor is Elizabethan revival on steroids, hallucinatory historicism, quite splendid (you might hate it). Overnight Rutland. Day 9: Rushton, Boughton (Northants). Rushton Triangular Lodge, an Elizabethan miniature, is laden with symbolism. Palatial in scale and sumptuously fitted out, Boughton House echoes Versailles (its builder was ambassador to the court of Louis XIV). It has scarcely changed since the end of the seventeenth century, and sits amid a great estate. Return to London at c. 4.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,880. Single supplement £310 (double room for single occupancy). National Trust: members (with cards) will be refunded c. £55. Included meals: 1 lunch and 7 dinners with wine.

reduced, altered and re-Jacobeanised, revealing both changes in taste and styles of country house living. Delicious Robert Adam rooms and park landscaped by ‘Capability’ Brown. In the later afternoon explore the abundance of mediaeval and Elizabethan houses in Lavenham and its superb parish church. Overnight Lavenham.

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Day 3: Ickworth, Melford (Suffolk). Ickworth is almost as eccentric as its builder, the 4th Earl of Bristol (a bishop), a glorious Neo-Classical rotunda attached to curving wings intended to accommodate art and antiquities acquired on his incessant travels. Visit Melford Hall, a house largely built in the 16th century, with beautiful Edwardian gardens and fountain. Overnight Lavenham. Day 4: Norwich, Holkham (Norfolk). Stop for a while at Norwich, an exceedingly attractive county town with castle and cathedral. 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. First of two nights in Norfolk.

Day 5: Felbrigg, Blickling (Norfolk). Felbrigg Hall is a lovely 17th-century house whose chief glory is the suite of rooms arranged in the 18th century to display paintings collected on the Grand Tour. Jacobean Blickling Hall is one of the loveliest of English country houses, red brick with stone dressings and mediaeval sprawl constrained by Renaissance symmetry. Among its treasures are a long gallery, library and a variety of art and furnishings, and the gardens are spectacular. Overnight Norfolk. Day 6: Houghton (subject to confirmation), Sandringham (Norfolk). 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. Sandringham was built for Edward VII when Prince of Wales and now belongs to the Queen. An attractive Jacobeanstyle mansion set in a landscaped garden, the principal rooms have the glittering opulence of a royal residence despite their intended informality. First of three nights in Rutland. Day 7: Deene Park, Burghley (Northants, Lincs). Though also largely 16th-century, Deene Park feels very different and is still very much the

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Accommodation. 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. Congham Hall Hotel, Congham (conghamhallhotel.co.uk). Rooms are airy and well appointed with a traditional country house décor; public rooms are pleasant and informal; attractive gardens. 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. 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, the houses visited don’t have lifts (nor do all the hotels). Average distance by coach per day: c. 87 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Gardens & Palaces of Berlin & Potsdam, 24–29 May (page 84).


Great Houses of the South West

Wiltshire, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon

Great country houses, historic gardens and parks in Wiltshire, Hampshire, Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset and Devon. Major examples of a huge range of styles from the twelfth century to the twentieth. Many houses contain outstanding picture collections and exceptional furniture. Special arrangements and out-of-hours visits. Hotels in former country houses. Led by country-house expert Anthony Lambert. The landscapes seen on this tour are immensely varied and endlessly alluring – the noble chalk downs of Wiltshire, the evocative Levels of Somerset, the enchanting patchwork fields of Devon, the verdant hidden valleys of Exmoor, the little hills of Dorset. The houses seen are equally varied. Lacock and Longleat and Montacute are among the finest of Henrician and Elizabethan mansions in England. The Stuart era is superbly represented by the incomparable Wilton House, star of the first phase of Palladian classicism in England, and by the Dutch classicism of Dyrham, while the eighteenth century is wonderfully exemplified at Stourhead and by the delicious Adam interiors at Saltram. Victoria’s reign has a magnificent ambassador in Tyntesfield, and the Edwardian continuation is beautifully if eccentrically demonstrated at Castle Drogo. Real castles are represented by the extraordinary Berkeley, still a family home, and, if now more picturesque than defensive, at Dunster.

A first-rate country house is more than a house. Clustering around are gardens, auxiliary buildings and a park – at Stourhead, perhaps the most influential one in the world – and beyond lie working farms and enterprises of all sorts. And of course inside the houses 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 Britain’s museums. Corsham and Kingston Lacy in particular are renowned for their picture collections. Word must be added about the hotels on this tour, all three of which are excellent, and two of which are former country houses.

Itinerary Day 1: Highclere. Leave London at 11.00am and drive (1h 40m) to Hampshire, arriving at Highclere in time for lunch. Begun in 1838 by Charles Barry (architect of the Houses of Parliament) for the Earl of Carnarvon, it is one of the grandest and most opulent houses of the age. (Now known to millions as Downton Abbey.) The Egyptian antiquities here are of international importance. First of three nights in a countryhouse hotel in Bishopstrow, Wiltshire. Day 2: Wilton, Kingston Lacy. Inigo Jones contributed to the design of Wilton House, the outstanding achievement of the first phase of Palladianism in England. The double-cube room, with paintings by Van Dyck, is the most sumptuous English interior of the Stuart period. Also of the 17th century, Kingston Lacy is

noted for its lavish interiors and outstanding art collection of Spanish, Italian and Flemish Old Masters. Both houses have important gardens and parkland. Day 3: Longleat, Corsham. Longleat was one of the largest and architecturally most progressive of Elizabethan houses, and is set in a ‘Capability’ Brown park. Corsham (Wiltshire) is an Elizabethan mansion enlarged in the 18th century and again in the 19th to display a collection of Old Master paintings, still in situ.

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30 August–6 September 2016 (mc 818) 8 days • £3,150 Lecturer: Anthony Lambert

Day 4: Stourhead, Montacute. Though built in two phases, 1720s and 1790s, Stourhead is the perfect classical villa. The landscaped park of the 1740s is the most important of its kind, with a lake, temples, careful planting and contrived, if seemingly natural, vistas. Montacute is a magnificent Elizabethan house with the longest long gallery in England. An outstation of the National Portrait Gallery, it is hung with 16th- and 17th-century pictures. Garden layout and architecture survive. First of two nights in Taunton. Day 5: Saltram, Castle Drogo. Drive across Devon to Saltram, a largely 18th-century house with lavish Robert Adam interiors and fine pictures and furnishings. There are dramatic views of the Plym Estuary. A rugged Dartmoor setting overlooking the Teign Gorge matches

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Montecute House, Somerset, lithograph 1842. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Great Houses of the South West continued

The South Downs Great houses & gardens

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Sir Edwin Lutyens’s imaginative exercise in mediaevalism at Castle Drogo, though inside there are all the latest in early 20th-century comforts. The castle is undergoing a 5-year restoration programme and whilst some rooms may be closed, it has meant the National Trust has opened rooms not normally available for public viewing. Fine Arts & Crafts garden. Day 6: Dunster, Tyntesfield. Drive between the Quantocks and Exmoor to the famously picturesque village of Dunster. Atop a wooded hillock, the castle of Norman origin long ago domesticated its defensive features, notably in the Carolean age. The great Gothic Revival mansion of Tyntesfield has hardly changed since the nineteenth century, caught in a time warp and stuffed with the authentic bric-a-brac of a Victorian country house. First of two nights in a country-house hotel in Colerne, Wiltshire. Day 7: Berkeley, Lacock. The keep of Berkeley Castle dates to 1117, the bulk of the rest to 1340–61. Little has been altered since, and yet it is still the private home of its builders, a family that served Edward the Confessor. The contents – tapestries, paintings, furniture – are magnificent. In one of the loveliest villages in England, Lacock Abbey retains a cloister from the nunnery dissolved by Henry VIII and given to a courtier. There are Georgian modifications and being the home of William Fox Talbot, a window which was the subject of the first ever photograph. Day 8: Dyrham. Transformed from a Tudor mansion at the end of the 17th century and scarcely changed since, Dyrham Park externally is mild Baroque in golden Bath stone, and inside exquisitely Anglo-Dutch with pictures and furnishings to match. Return to central London at c. 4.30pm. Please note that some appointments cannot be confirmed until November 2015.

Practicalities Price: £3,150. Single supplement £330 (double room for single occupancy). National Trust members (with cards) will be refunded c. £90. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. Bishopstrow House (bishopstrow.co.uk): dates from the early 19th century and has been a hotel for 35 years. The Castle Hotel, Taunton (the-castle-hotel.com): award-winning family-run hotel. Lucknam Park Hotel, Colerne (lucknampark.co.uk): this 5 star hotel is a fine example of a country-house hotel, set in 500 acres of parkland and with a Michelinstarred restaurant. How strenuous? Unavoidably, there is quite a lot of walking on this tour. 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 the hotels). Average distance by coach per day: c. 95 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Combine this tour with Flemish Painting, 7–10 September (page 53).

Arundel Castle, wood engraving c. 1880 from The Old Country.

22–27 April 2016 (mc 644) 6 days • £1,890 Lecturer: Janet Sinclair The stunningly beautiful landscape of the West Sussex Downs. Great country houses and parks, charming country towns, inspiring upland and lowland landscapes. Special arrangements and private openings. One hotel throughout. The chalk ridge of the South Downs runs eighty 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 flint-mining, charcoal burning and ironsmelting 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. 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

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collections of fine art in the care of the National Trust at Petworth and Uppark. Exquisite mediaeval 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 eighteenthcentury houses in Chichester at Pallant House.

Itinerary Day 1: Chichester, Stansted Park, Goodwood. The coach leaves the Goodwood Hotel at 1.30pm and Chichester railway station at 2.00pm. Stansted Park provides a fascinating insight into the social history of an English country house in its Edwardian heyday. Day 2: Arundel, Denmans Garden. Home to the Duke of Norfolk, England’s premier duke, Arundel Castle has Norman origins, later mediaeval 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. Denmans Garden is a beautiful, four-acre 20thcentury creation. Day 3: Goodwood, West Dean, Boxgrove. Goodwood House, seat of the Duke of Richmond, is a magnificent late Georgian country house


Tudor England

Monarchs & subjects, bridging mediaeval & modern

Day 4: Singleton, Cowdray Ruins, Parham House. The Weald and Downland Museum at Singleton is an assembly of rescued and reerected 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. 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. Day 5: Chichester, Uppark House. 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 awardwinning extension, which holds one of the best collections of 20th-century British art in the country. Uppark enjoys extraordinary views over rolling downland and to the Solent and the Isle of Wight. A perfect late-17th-century mansion with a splendid Grand Tour collection, it is also a masterpiece of restoration after a fire in 1989. Day 6: Pulborough, Petworth, Chichester. 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. The coach takes you to Chichester railway station by 3.30pm before returning to the Goodwood Hotel.

Practicalities Price: £1,890. Single supplement £290 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine.

How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour and it would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with this and stair-climbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, and gardens are extensive. Average distance by coach per day: c. 25 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Mediaeval Sussex & Hampshire, 18–22 April (page 17).

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. Professor Maurice Howard is a leading Tudor specialist, historian and art historian. Can be linked to A Festival of Music in Suffolk, 13–16 June 2016 – see page 22. 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 mediaeval aristocracy was joined by a prosperous new class of bureaucrats at court and a wealthy merchant class. 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 which 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 spending lavishly on churches. The ambition to demonstrate wealth through these buildings is clear from all levels of society down to even the 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 16th 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 late sixteenth 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.

Day 1: Hatfield, Leicester. Leave London at 10.15am. Henry VIII’s children spent much of their childhoods at Hatfield, and of the palace the great hall survives. The discovery of Richard III’s remains in a Leicester car park in 2012 was one of the most extraordinary archaeological events of recent times. The King was reinterred in Leicester Cathedral in March 2015, beneath a tomb of Swaledale Yorkshire stone. A visitor centre places the Plantagenet defeat into a wider historical context. First of three nights in Rutland. Day 2: 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. Day 3: 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. Kirby was completed with precocious classicism by Sir Christopher Hatton; though now partly ruined, it remains extraordinarily impressive. Magnificent Burghley House, perhaps the finest Elizabethan house in England, was

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Accommodation. The Goodwood Hotel (goodwood.com/the-goodwood-hotel) is located on, and owned by, the Goodwood Estate. Housed in the old seven-acre walled garden and family inn, it maintains many original features. Stylishly decorated, it has good amenities including spa facilities and an award-winning restaurant serving estate reared produce. Bedrooms are comfortable and well appointed.

8–13 June 2016 (mc 713) 6 days • £1,680 Lecturer: Professor Maurice Howard

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with excellent furniture and paintings by Stubbs, Canaletto and van Dyck. The Edward James Foundation at West Dean has extensive, beautifully-kept gardens. At mediaeval Boxgrove Priory, the remains include a vaulted Gothic choir of cathedral-like proportions.

Itinerary 7th June, Tudor London. There is a London Day which studies the Tudors through visits to Westminster Abbey (Henry VII’s Chapel and royal tombs), the National Portrait Gallery, Middle Temple Hall and Hampton Court. This is independent of Tudor England but participants may like to preface the tour with this day. Please contact us to register your interest.

Hampton Court, Great Hall, watercolour by E.W. Haslehurst, publ. 1930. 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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Tudor England continued

Ar ts & Crafts in the Cotswolds

Art & artefacts in the buildings they were designed for

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. 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 beam-work, 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 2.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,680. Single supplement £210 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. Barnsdale Lodge Hotel, Rutland (barnsdalelodge.co.uk): housed in an extended old farmhouse close to Rutland Water. Rooms are arranged around a courtyard and have a traditional, country style. 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. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, many of the parks and gardens are extensive and the houses visited do not have lifts. Average coach travel per day: c. 77 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Kelmscott Manor, from Thames Valley Villages, 1910.

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built by William Cecil in a palatial compound of mediaeval, classical and pseudo-classical styles. The handsome Cecil funerary monuments in St Martin’s Church, Stamford. Overnight Rutland.

Combine this tour with A Festival of Music in Suffolk, 13–16 June (page 22); Northumbria, 15–23 June (page 21).

18–22 September 2016 (md 844) 5 days • £1,310 Lecturer: Janet Sinclair Visits to see some of the finest output of the Arts and Crafts movement, including three private houses with work in situ. Includes Kelmscott Manor, Rodmarton Manor and Madresfield Court and workshops where the work was created. Some of the loveliest countryside in the world with the honey-coloured stone that marks the buildings from Oxford to the Severn Valley. Stay all four nights in the charming Cotswolds village of Broadway. Following the ideals of Pugin, amplified by Ruskin, the call for a return to a golden age of craftsmanship with respect for the individual became a moral as well as an aesthetic crusade in mid-century Britain. A number of idealistic artists, architects and thinkers found inspiration that was essentially mediaeval but went beyond the imitative aspect of the Gothic Revival. William Morris and his collaborators and followers, now collectively known as the Arts and Crafts movement, reacted against the worst byproducts of industrialisation, poverty and social injustice, and believed in a link between these ills and mass-manufactured, poorly designed goods and shoddy housing. Ironically perhaps, the railways, the most omnipresent sign of industrialisation, opened up unspoilt Cotswolds villages as an escape from sordid city life and provided easy access to its commercial markets. The villages of Daneway and Sapperton were colonised by craft workers who shared their wealthy patrons’ respect for past styles and high standards of craftsmanship. Inspired by Morris, their attitude towards historic buildings was based on conservation rather than ‘improvement’. Thus the past and the modern imperceptibly fuse at magical Owlpen Manor, while Rodmarton, begun as late as 1909, seems as if it has always been there.

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Ernest Gimson and the Barnsleys, who built and furnished Rodmarton, were not alone: in 1902 C.R. Ashbee had moved the entire Guild of Handicraft, workers and their families, from East London to rural Chipping Campden. Later exponents, like C.F. Voysey, turned towards a newer, more ascetic style, yet worked alongside their mediaevally-inspired colleagues. Nowhere is this better illustrated than at Madresfield where Ashbee and Voysey worked in the early twentieth century with Payne’s Birmingham Group who created the extraordinary chapel later immortalised in Waugh’s Brideshead Revisited.

Itinerary Day 1: Oxford, Broadway. The coach leaves Oxford Railway Station at 1.30pm. Oxford was the meeting place of William Morris and Edward Burne-Jones. Follow in their footsteps from Exeter College and its spectacular chapel by George Gilbert Scott, to the Ashmolean Museum – a treasure-house of art and artefacts from many civilizations. All four nights are spent in Broadway. Day 2: Rodmarton, Sapperton, Owlpen. The first commission for Morris and Co was from architect G.F. Bodley for stained glass for All Saints Church on the Cotswold hills, which therefore contains work by Burne-Jones, Rossetti, Madox Brown, Philip Webb and Morris himself. Owlpen Manor, untouched since the 17th century, was sympathetically restored for the Mander family by craftsmen with sensitive respect for the past vernacular. In contrast, Rodmarton is one of the last country houses to be built and furnished in a traditional style, by hand with local stone, local timber and local craftsmen. Nearby Sapperton became home to several members of the Cotswolds group including Gimson and the Barnsleys. Day 3: Chipping Campden, Madresfield. In 1902 C.R. Ashbee and his Guild of Handicraft arrived in the hitherto quiet village of Chipping Campden. Here they set up workshops, some of which survive to this day, and their lives and


‘Capability’ Brown

His best-surviving work in his anniversary year Art historian, curator and lecturer. She studied at the Courtauld and the Barber Institute, Birmingham. She has held senior management posts at several heritage sites and is currently Curator at Stansted Park, Sussex. She is a panel member of the Sustainable Communities Fund in the South Downs National Park. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. skills are celebrated in a small museum. The Guild’s most important commission was the library for Lord Beauchamp at Madresfield Court, an ancient moated manor house sympathetically extended in the 19th century. At the same time the Birmingham Group led by Henry Payne decorated and furnished Madresfield’s celebrated chapel that so enchanted Evelyn Waugh, a family friend. Day 4: Broadway, Cheltenham. Broadway now houses a branch of the Ashmolean Museum focusing on vernacular British decorative arts. The Gordon Russell museum showcases an arts and crafts-trained designer whose work is influential today. The Museum and Art Gallery in Cheltenham, self-styled ‘capital’ of the Cotswolds, contains a nationally important Arts and Crafts collection, and contemporary work by their artistic descendants. Day 5: Kelmscott, Oxford. Kelmscott is the most evocative and best known of the houses associated with William Morris. It looked to him as if it had ‘grown up out of the soil’, and became his spiritual as well as his family home. It holds an outstanding collection of his possessions and works: furniture, textiles, pictures, books, carpets, ceramics and metalwork. The coach takes you to Oxford Railway Station by 4.15pm.

27 June–1 July 2016 (mc 733) 5 days • £2,220 Lecturer: Professor Charles Watkins Celebrate 300 years since the birth of the great landscape gardener, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown. Includes Brown’s best-surviving work at Petworth, Hampton Court and Blenheim. Stay as guests at Weston Park, a 17th-century house set in 1,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. Professor Charles Watkins is a landscape expert. The year 2016 marks the tercentenary of the birth of Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown (1716–1783), by far the most significant and well-known English landscape gardener. His influence was felt throughout Europe and much of the world as the originator and most famous exponent of the English landscape tradition. Lancelot Brown was born at Kirkharle near Morpeth in Northumberland and worked on a local estate until he was twenty-four. After working in Lincolnshire and Oxfordshire he was employed by Lord Cobham at Stowe, Buckinghamshire, where he worked through the 1740s with William Kent and James Gibbs on the establishment of that influential landscape. It was said that he could grasp the ‘capabilities’ of an existing site after an hour’s examination on horseback. From the 1750s onwards he became the most famous professional landscape designer and gardener in England and worked on more than forty estates in the 1750s and nearly seventy in the 1760s. In 1764 he was appointed master gardener at Hampton Court and Richmond and also gardener at St James’s, living at Wilderness House at Hampton Court.

Key aspects of his style include the careful use of trees to form plantation screens around parks and clumps within them; the setting of the mansion, with a seemingly uninterrupted view of parkland, protected from grazing animals by a ha-ha; the careful design and positioning of lakes and garden buildings; and the removal of old-fashioned gardens including avenues and parterres. He is associated with around two hundred different sites and commissions and was working up to his death at the age of sixty-seven in 1783. His style of ‘natural’ garden, known on the Continent as ‘le jardin anglais’, has been a powerful influence across the world ever since.

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Janet Sinclair

Itinerary Day 1: Petworth, Hampton Court. Leave central London at 9.30am and drive (1h30) to West Sussex. Petworth House is one of Brown’s most important early commissions (1751). He screened Lord Egremont’s park from the main road to Guildford with a plantation belt and protected the wilderness from the park with a ha-ha. Brown was appointed Master Gardener at Hampton Court by George II in 1764 and lived with his wife at Wilderness House, Hampton Court for almost 20 years. He planted a ‘Black Hamburgh’ grape vine in 1768 and this survives as the Great Vine. Overnight in Egham. Day 2: Compton Verney, Charlecote. Brown started work at Compton Verney in 1768 when the remodelling of the house by Adam was complete. A ha-ha was built to open up views and formal avenues were made serpentine. Brown’s thatched ice house was built in 1772 and the mediaeval church was replaced by Brown’s Palladian-style chapel in 1776–9. At Charlecote from 1750–71, Brown widened the River Avon, smoothing its banks, replaced an old-fashioned formal water garden with a wilderness and

Practicalities Price: £1,310. Single supplement £100 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine.

BRITISH ISLES

Accommodation. The Lygon Arms, Broadway (thehotelcollection.co.uk): a 16th-century coaching inn; some parts date back to the 14th century. Situated in the high street of Broadway. 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 stair-climbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, and gardens are extensive. Average distance by coach per day: c. 64 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Connoisseur’s London, 13–17 September (page 41).

Blenheim, aquatint 1793 after Joseph Farington (1747–1821). 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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‘Capability’ Brown continued

Royal Residences

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established a new lawn of cedar trees. First of three nights at Weston Park.

Windsor Castle, wood engraving c. 1880.

Day 3: Croome Park, Berrington Hall. At Croome Park Brown designed both the house and the park from 1750 onwards. He designed the stables and the church (1758–63), the rotunda and the grotto. Lord Coventry erected a memorial to Brown in 1797 ‘who by the powers of his inimitable and creative genius formed this garden scene out of a morass.’ Thomas Harley employed Henry Holland to design his new house at Berrington between Leominster and Ludlow, and Brown to design the classic Brownian park with ha-ha, lake, screens and clumps of trees (from 1776). Day 4: Chillington, Weston Park. The river at Chillington Hall, about half a mile long, and the large pool, which may have included a duck decoy, were designed by Brown and the park improved c. 1760. At Weston the park was refashioned closely to Brown’s design in 1765–8. A new ha-ha was built to separate the gardens from the deer park and plantations were made. The Temple of Diana is by James Paine. Day 5: Blenheim. Brown worked at Blenheim Palace for the 4th Duke of Marlborough for many years (1763–73). The huge park of over 2,000 acres already boasted a bridge by Vanbrugh (c. 1710) and a Grand Avenue of elms planted by Henry Wise in 1716. Brown extended and improved the lake, planted clumps of trees and remodelled buildings such as High Lodge and Park Farm as Gothic landmarks. The tour ends in central London by 5.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,220. Single supplement £90 (double room for single occupancy). National Trust members (with cards) will be refunded c. £25. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. Great Fosters, Egham (greatfosters.co.uk): located between Windsor and Hampton Court, Great Fosters is a Grade I listed building of the 16th and 17th centuries, surrounded by acres of gardens and park. Bedrooms vary in size and décor; many are furnished with antiques and all are well equipped. Weston Park, Weston under Lizard (westonpark.com): set in 1,000 acres of ‘Capability’ Brown parkland, a country house, rather than a hotel, offering the experience of being a guest. 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. Average distance by coach per day: c. 90 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Combine this tour with Versailles, 20–23 June (page 71); Northumbria, 15–23 June (page 21); Stonehenge & Prehistoric Wessex, 3–7 July (page 36).

16–20 August 2016 (mc 801) 5 days • £2,220 Lecturer: Giles Waterfield Visits nine palaces and homes, several of which are still in use by the Royal Family. Up to four very special out-of-hours private tours, including Windsor Castle. Led by Giles Waterfield, distinguished art historian, curator and director of the annual Royal Collections course. As rich a theme as any that London and its environs has to offer, with outstanding art and architecture, with past and present brought alive. Good hotels near Windsor and in Whitehall. This tour studies some of the most splendid secular buildings in Britain: Buckingham Palace, Windsor Castle and Hampton Court are of a size and magnificence which are unrivalled. Other buildings visited are glorious fragments – the Banqueting House and the Queen’s House, surviving parts of the long-demolished palaces of Whitehall and Greenwich, and the Great Hall of Westminster Palace, rebuilt as the Houses of Parliament. The dominant role of royalty in building activity in England ended abruptly with the death of Henry VIII and did not revive until the

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late eighteenth century under George III and George IV. Subsequently, royal patronage was constrained by the parsimony of Parliament and a prevailing dislike of Continental-style absolutism – and, long before constitutional monarchy emerged as the established political order after 1688, shortage of cash. There is no Versailles in England, no Caserta, no Winter Palace. Nevertheless, decorum continued to demand that the official residences of the monarch be appointed with a decorative richness which set them apart from even the grandest apartments of the nobility. The gorgeous gilded interiors of Buckingham Palace need to be seen in this context, and the seemingly bombastic sequence of halls and chambers at Windsor and Hampton Court need to be read as symbolic of the might of the nation as well as of the aspirations of the sovereign. The taste and predilections of the inhabitants of these royal residences also contribute to their


“I was unprepared for the gobstopping brilliance of the buildings. It will remain with me for a long time.”

Itinerary Please note that appointments for private tours cannot be confirmed until January 2016. Day 1: Kensington Palace, Windsor. The coach leaves central London at 9.45am. Kensington Palace began modestly and was extended for William and Mary and the first two Georges by leading architects. Recently restored, it is thoughtfully presented to differentiate suites. Drive to Egham and settle into Great Fosters Hotel. There is a private evening tour of the state apartments of Windsor Castle, which was founded by William I – the Norman motte and bailey still dominates – and has been occupied by nearly every monarch since (the present Queen included). Centuries of embellishment has resulted in one of the most impressive palaces in the world. Overnight Egham.

Day 4: Greenwich, Buckingham Palace. By fast river bus down the Thames to Greenwich. Of the great palace, a Tudor favourite, only the Queen’s House remains, designed by Inigo Jones in 1616 and the first truly Classical building in Britain. The rest was replaced by the Royal Naval Hospital built by Wren, Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh, the finest ensemble of Baroque architecture in Britain. In the afternoon visit the state rooms of Buckingham Palace. A mansion of 1703 remains at its core, but periodic refurbishment and enlargement, most significantly by John Nash for George IV in the 1820s, led to today’s truly palatial experience. Overnight London. Day 5: Westminster, Whitehall. Edward the Confessor began building an abbey and adjacent palace at Westminster in 1050. The Great Hall, the largest in Europe when built by William II 50 years later, and spectacularly re-roofed c. 1400, is the main mediaeval survivor; fires in 1512 and 1834 erased the rest. The present Houses of Parliament, designed by Barry and Pugin and the most richly ornamented of Victorian buildings, rose in its place and still ranks as a royal palace. Whitehall was one of the largest palaces in Europe but was burnt in 1698; only the epoch-making Banqueting House by Inigo Jones and Peter Paul Rubens survives. The tour ends at lunchtime.

Practicalities Price: £2,220. Single supplement £360 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Great Fosters, Egham (greatfosters.co.uk). Located between Windsor and Hampton Court, Great Fosters is a Grade One listed building of the 16th and 17th centuries, sympathetically restored and surrounded by acres of gardens and park. Bedrooms vary in size and décor, but many are furnished with antiques and all are well equipped with modern conveniences. Royal Horseguards Hotel, London (guoman. com/royal-horseguards-hotel). Just off Whitehall and within walking distance of, or a short taxi ride to, most of the London palaces. The style is that of an international hotel and bedrooms are very comfortable with all mod cons. All have a bath and shower. How strenuous? Participants need to be good walkers and have stamina. On occasion there is a walk of 20 minutes or more between the coach (or water bus) and the palace, and some of the visits are of two hours or more without a break. Average distance by coach per day: 20 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with The Industrial Revolution, 8–13 August (page 39).

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Day 2: Hampton Court, Frogmore. Hampton Court was begun by Cardinal Wolsey, enlarged by Henry VIII and 150 years later partly rebuilt by Christopher Wren for William III and Mary II. The most sumptuous of surviving Tudor palaces is joined to the most magnificent of 17th-cent. buildings in Britain; great interiors, fine works of art, beautiful gardens, a formal park. There follows a private visit to rarely-open Frogmore House. A farmhouse bought and enlarged by George III, it was used by successive sovereigns as a country residence, and is still used for entertaining. Overnight Egham. Day 3: Windsor, Clarence House. Return to Windsor Castle to see more of this vast complex, including St George’s Chapel, one of England’s finest Gothic buildings, and the Albert Memorial Chapel. In the late afternoon there is a private visit to Clarence House, a Nash mansion which was home to William IV while king, Princess Elizabeth from 1947, the Queen Mother from 1952 and the Prince of Wales from 2002. After seeing the excellent collection of Tudor portraits at the National Portrait Gallery, stay for dinner at its roof top restaurant. Overnight London.

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appearance, of course. Some members of the Royal Family have been passionate about art and architecture and aspired to be enthroned amidst the latest style and in maximum magnificence, but many have been content with – or even yearned for – something more modest. So within the remit of this tour are some charming, fascinating but really rather modest mansions – Frogmore House in Windsor Great Park and Clarence House in St James’s. Modesty, however, is relative, and these rank among the finest historic houses of England. Architecture and decoration are not the sole subjects of the tour. The Royal Collection is one of the greatest in the world; the Queen’s palaces are replete with paintings, sculptures, furniture, porcelain and textiles of international importance. The unoccupied palaces are also amply furnished and adorned. Art, architecture, history, personalities: the theme of royal residences is one which is as rich and stimulating as any that London and her environs has to offer.

Buckingham Palace, drawing by Joseph Pennell from A London Reverie, 1928. 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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Walking a Royal River

Art, architecture & history from the source to Hampton Court england

mediaeval buildings in Oxfordshire, where St Birinus baptised King Cynegils of Wessex in 635. Continue to Ewelme, site of a Saxon palace, and today a unique complex of 15th-century church, almshouses and school, all still functioning. In the September departure, dinner is at the Michelin-starred Hand of Flowers restaurant. First of three nights in Marlow.

The Thames at Cookham, watercolour by E.W. Haslehurst, publ. 1910.

5–11 October 2015 (mc 497) 7 days • £2,310 Lecturer: Dr Paul Atterbury 19–25 September 2016 (md 847) 7 days • £2,410 Lecturer: Dr Paul Atterbury Walk between two and five miles a day from the source of the Thames to Hampton Court. Along the towpath and through the gentle hills which flank the valley. Visit villages, churches, country houses, gardens and palaces with regal connections from the Middle Ages to the present day.

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‘The Thames is no ordinary waterway. It is the golden thread of our nation’s history.’ It is not to disparage Churchill’s irresistibly orotund metaphor to assert nevertheless that, by comparison with the other great rivers of the world, the Thames is puny. But therein lies its enchantment. While in its lower reaches the river passed through what was for a couple of centuries the largest city in the world and host to its largest port, above the tidal limit at Teddington it was too narrow, too shallow and too meandering to contribute much to the industrial or commercial might of Britain in the early modern era. A vital channel of communication when oars and poles were the locomotive forces – not least to transport rulers and courtiers to their country retreats upstream of the capital – for much of its length the Thames is now a bucolic backwater. This tour selects some of the most attractive stretches of the river to walk along, but it does not follow a linear journey from one end to the other. While resorting regularly to the towpath (now a designated long-distance trail, the Thames Path), it also ranges through varied countryside and gentle hills, and includes a representative spread of the best of the buildings, artefacts and art in the region. As much as anything, this tour is an exploration of the English village. The numerous examples are as well-preserved as they are various. Parish churches and Iron Age forts, manor houses and major mansions, rapturous

gardens and leafy churchyards, mediaeval, classical and railway-era bridges, associations with artists and writers, and of course quintessential riverine landscapes: these are chief among the attractions of the tour. It omits the larger towns and the more frequented sights. As a travel writer put it in 1910, ‘You cannot rusticate at Reading’. Even Oxford is by-passed; to cram the city into an afternoon would be cruel.

Itinerary Day 1: Thames Head. Leave The Swan Hotel, Bibury, at 2.15pm or Kemble Railway Station at 3.00pm. The tour begins with the source of the Thames. A soaring rockface, a majestic spurt: an awesome spectacle. Actually, no. A damp patch, the trickle varying with yesterday’s weather, reached by walking across three fields. Total walk: 2 miles on grassy, level paths. First of three nights in Bibury. Day 2: Inglesham, Lechlade, Great Coxwell. Begin the day with Inglesham church, a beautifully isolated church dating to Saxon times. Continue on foot and walk c. 3 miles along the river to Lechlade-on-Thames, a vibrant small town with a fine Gothic church and a handsome bridge. Visit the masterful mediaeval barn at Great Coxwell, which King John gave to the Cistercian monks in 1203 as part of the Manor of Faringdon. Return to Bibury with a 2-mile walk along grassy paths and through woodland from Coln St Aldwyns. Day 3. Buscot, Kelmscott. Begin the walk at Buscot, whose church has a Burne Jones window, and continue c. 2½ miles on a level, grassy path beside the Thames. Visit Kelmscott Manor, the Tudor house acquired by William Morris, founder of the Arts and Crafts movement, then Buscot Park, a Palladian mansion with Burne Jones paintings and outstanding gardens. Day 4: Wittenham Clumps, Dorchester, Ewelme. Begin at the river at Shillingford and then walk up to Wittenham Clumps, a pair of hillocks with views over a particularly attractive stretch of the Thames Valley. Descend through woods and across farmland, passing an Iron Age fort, to Dorchester-on-Thames. Total walk: c. 4½ miles. Visit the abbey church here, one of the finest

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Day 5: Hardwick, Henley-on-Thames, Cliveden. Hardwick House is a grand, gabled Tudor residence: Elizabeth I and Charles I once stayed there. Now privately owned, it is open by special arrangement. See the River and Rowing Museum at Henley-on-Thames with its extensive collection of art, photographs and boats relating to river history. Cliveden’s magnificent formal gardens and woods beside the Thames have been admired for centuries. Cliveden was once the glittering hub of society, visited by virtually every British monarch since George I, home to Waldorf and Nancy Astor in the early 20th century and renowned for its parties and political gatherings. The visit to Hardwick House may not be possible due to renovation works. It will be confirmed in January 2016. Day 6: Cookham, Eton. Walk from the hotel beside the river (4½ miles on a level path along tarmac or grass) to Cookham, life-long home of painter Stanley Spencer (1891–1959); there is a gallery of his work and a fine parish church. Tour the buildings of Eton College (founded 1440 by King Henry VI). Eton College is currently undergoing extensive renovations and is unable to confirm a visit this far in advance. Day 7: Hampton Court Palace, London. Hampton Court was begun by Cardinal Wolsey, enlarged by Henry VIII and 150 years later partly rebuilt by Christopher Wren for William III and Mary II. The most sumptuous of surviving Tudor palaces is joined to the most magnificent of 17thcentury buildings in Britain; great interiors, fine works of art, beautiful gardens, a formal park. Drive to London, arriving by c. 3.00pm.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £2,310. Single supplement £320 (double room for single occupancy). Price in 2016: £2,410. Single supplement £290 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Swan, Bibury (cotswoldinns-hotels.co.uk): a former 17th-century coaching inn in the heart of the village. The Compleat Angler, Marlow (macdonaldhotels. co.uk): a very comfortable hotel, well-positioned beside the Thames with excellent views. How strenuous? There are 6 walks of 2–5 miles, usually on flat, well-trodden or paved paths or roads. Some include ascent and descent, climbing over stiles and on day 4, a climb of 230 feet. You should be accustomed to countryside walking. Average distance by coach per day: 38 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. In 2016, combine this tour with Connoisseur’s London, 13–17 September (page 41).


Literature & Walking in the Lake District Following Wordsworth & Ruskin in spectacular countryside

Wordsworth, Ruskin and Beatrix Potter, their homes and surrounding countryside, combined with five country walks. Led by acclaimed writer and biographer Dr Charles Nicholl. Stay all four nights in a country house hotel overlooking Lake Windermere. There is no single supplement.

Itinerary Day 1. The coach leaves Oxenholme Lake District Railway Station at 2.40pm (c. 2 hours 40

minutes from London on the West Coast line). Blackwell was designed by the Arts and Crafts architect, M. H. Baillie Scott, in 1898 as a holiday home for Manchester brewer, Sir Edward Holt. With spectacular views of Lake Windermere, it is a wonderful example of Arts and Crafts architecture. In 1999 it was saved by the Lakeland Arts Trust. Drive to Merewood Country House hotel where all four nights are spent. Day 2. A full day in the footsteps of Wordsworth. Beginning at Rydal Mount, the Wordsworth family home from 1813–50, this elegant house and fine gardens welcomed many literary visitors. Walk along the ‘Coffin Route’: coffin bearers used this path from Rydal to Grasmere before the main road was built and heavy flattened stone slabs still intermittently line the path. Following a lecture at the Jerwood Centre from an expert speaker, visit Dove Cottage, the Wordsworths’ first Lakes home which subsequently belonged to Thomas de Quincey. Walk to the thriving town of Grasmere for independent exploration, rich with literary connections. Return to Rydal Mount along Loughrigg Terrace, a raised footpath which traverses the slope of Loughrigg Fell above Rydal Water. Total for both walks along footpaths and country lanes of 5½ miles, moderate–strenuous in places with some uneven ground and two short climbs.

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For over two hundred years, tourism, agriculture and industry have enjoyed a synergy in the English Lakes thanks in part to its rich and diverse geology. The striking contrasts between fell and dale are apparent to all visitors, the result of glacial action during the last few thousand years, when the snow and ice melting around very hard rocks formed lakes in the valleys left below. This sheer natural splendour caught the attention of the wider world by two revolutions in the late 18th and early 19th centuries; firstly artistic, as learned English gentlemen travelled to the Lake District to see the ‘picturesque’ landscapes of European masters like Poussin, Lorraine and Rosa, and secondly industrial. A network of roads was built to improve communications, and by 1768 a road north through Westmorland and Cumberland had been built, providing open road to privatelyowned carriages. The idea of touring the Lakes for artistic purposes took hold – the poet Thomas Gray travelled between Keswick and Lancaster in late 1769, observing and commenting on the scenery. His account, published in 1775, was received to great acclaim and the region soon became a popular destination for the ‘touring’ classes, particularly as travelling to continental Europe was impossible. William and Dorothy Wordsworth returned to their childhood roots (he was born in Cockermouth and educated at Hawkshead) when they moved to Dove Cottage in Grasmere in 1799. From this modest two-storey house he spent many hours walking: to and from Rydal, to Ambleside and to Keswick, the home of Coleridge and Robert Southey. Dorothy recorded his many walks in her Journal; indeed the day that they first saw those daffodils on the shores of Ullswater Lake in April 1802 is immortalised with her diary entry: ‘I never saw daffodils so beautiful’. Wordsworth’s poetry and essays had a deep impact on other artists, notably John Ruskin. His long poem The Excursion, an essay on the virtues of mankind, and in particular Wordsworth’s social concern and eagerness to promote respect between humans and the rural landscape, chimed with Ruskin’s conservationist views. Ruskin had visited the Lakes many times before making his home at Brantwood on Coniston Water, from where he would observe the colour of the sky and bemoan changes to the rural idyll that he attributed to human intervention through the local quarrying industry. The arrival of the steam engine and the first

railway into the Lakes in 1847 vexed both men, and as the tourist numbers accumulated year on year, they became increasingly vocal about manmade structures damaging and destroying what they considered the delicate balance between man and nature that defined the Lake District. Beatrix Potter also championed traditional artisanship, and after settling in Hawkshead in the 1900s, used the proceeds from her books to buy properties and land to save them from development. A large part of her estate was left to the National Trust, which was co-founded by her friend H.D. Rawnsley in the 1880s. The Lake District became one of the UK’s first National Parks in 1951, after nearly a century of campaigning. Today its enduring beauty and rich history continue to attract many visitors, but the vast landscapes ensure there is space for reflection and rejuvenation for everyone. This short tour picks the region’s literary highlights and intersperses them with moderate walks, no more than four miles in distance, and with limited ascents, so that it can be enjoyed by everyone who is used to country walks of up to three hours.

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27 June–1 July 2016 (mc 739) 5 days • £1,390 Lecturer: Dr Charles Nicholl

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Ullswater, wood engraving from The English Provinces, 1888. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Literature & Walking in the Lake District continued

Stonehenge

& Prehistoric Wessex england

Day 3. Drive to the pier at Coniston for the passenger ferry across Lake Coniston, the setting for Arthur Ransome’s novel Swallows & Amazons, and the best way to arrive at John Ruskin’s home from 1872 to 1900. 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. An afternoon walk of 4 miles mostly level on footpaths and country tracks, easy underfoot, with a short ascent from Brantwood through Monks Coniston and the restored walled garden to Coniston. Day 4. Tarn Hows is a picturesque manmade lake built on land donated by Beatrix Potter. A moderate walk around the lake, with a refreshment break en route, before descending to Hawkshead. Visit Hill Top, Beatrix Potter’s 17th-century farmhouse, before driving to Hawkshead to see Wordsworth’s grammar school. There is also the opportunity to visit the Beatrix Potter gallery. Day 5. Set in 17 acres above Windermere, Holehird Gardens are some of the finest gardens in England and home to the national collections of Astilbe, Hydrangea and Polystichum Ferns. Walk a total of 2 miles along grassy paths through fields, with steep ascents in places up to Orrest Head, at 784 feet above sea level, with magnificent views of Lake Windermere. Return to Oxenholme train station by 2.15pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,390. There is no single supplement. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Merewood Country House Hotel (lakedistrictcountryhotels.co.uk/ merewood-hotel). An early 19th-century manor house, located to the east of Windermere lake in 20 acres of woodland and landscaped gardens.

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How strenuous? This is a walking tour: it is essential for participants to be in good physical condition and to be used to country walking. There are some short but steep uphill sections and terrain can be uneven and slippery in wet weather. There are four walks (two on one day) of no more than 4 miles or 2½ hours in length. Average distance by coach per day: 21 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Walking to Derbyshire Houses, 19–24 June (page 24); Stonehenge & Prehistoric Wessex, 3–7 July (page 36).

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June 2016 Details available in February 2016 Contact us to register your interest

Stonehenge, lithograph 1829.

3–7 July 2016 (mc 742) 5 days • £1,280 Lecturer: Julian Richards Includes many of Europe’s finest Neolithic, Bronze Age and Iron Age monuments. Special out-of-hours visit to Stonehenge (subject to confirmation). Ranges through Wiltshire, Hampshire and Dorset, though one hotel throughout. Features countryside walks of up to four miles to explore the sites in detail. The span of time between the earliest earthworks at Stonehenge and the final abandonment of the site is approximately equal to that between the abandonment of Britain by the Romans and the launch of the iPad. Time enough, therefore, not only for it to undergo major constructional changes but also for shifts in its use and in the understanding of its purpose. Beginning in c. 2900 bc with a circular earthwork 300 feet in diameter, it acquired in c. 2550 bc concentric rings of bluestone pillars and soon afterwards the huge sarsen stone structure, so familiar today, was erected. Modifications continued for another thousand years. The technological achievements beggar belief. The bluestones, with an average weight of four tons, were dragged 150 miles from the west of Wales. The sarsens, weighing up to forty tons, travelled a comparatively modest twenty miles but were placed upright on a plan hundreds of feet in extent within a margin of error of less than one percent. The top of the lintel of thirty giant stones deviated from the horizontal by only six inches; one could go on. So what was Stonehenge for? We shall never know with any certainty of course. Its layout is carefully aligned with major events in the solar calendar, but it was at times during its long history a place of burial. There is also the fascinating possibility that the bluestones may have been regarded as having healing powers. Uniquely spectacular and fascinating (and controversial) it may be, but Stonehenge is not alone. It stands amid one of the world’s greatest

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concentrations of Neolithic and Bronze Age constructions, burial mounds and earthwork enclosures of various shapes and sizes, a vast sacred area of exceptional potency. Study of this broader context is a distinguishing feature of this tour, which also ranges beyond the undulating chalk uplands of Salisbury Plain in Wiltshire into Dorset and Hampshire. A remarkably comprehensive overview of prehistoric Britain is the result. Walking is an integral part of this tour. It is not possible to dig deeply into the subject without straying far from roads and car parks. On the whole the terrain is fairly easy, steepness being confined to Iron Age hillforts, and while there are about five miles on one day, other days cover a lesser distance on foot.

Itinerary Day 1: Salisbury, Durrington, Woodhenge, Old Sarum. Leave the hotel by coach at 1.30pm and Salisbury railway station at 2.00pm. Winterbourne Stoke Barrows is one of the most impressive barrow cemeteries in Wiltshire. This group of burial mounds includes a Neolithic long barrow and several Bronze Age round barrows of different shapes. Durrington Walls and Woodhenge are contemporary with Stonehenge: one is a large earthwork enclosure with traces of massive circular buildings of wood, and the other a sacred site orientated towards the rising midsummer sun. Old Sarum is an Iron Age hillfort, though from ad 1066 to c. 1220 it flourished as a Norman stronghold with castle, palace and cathedral. There are fine views across Salisbury, the city which replaced it. Day 2: Stonehenge, Salisbury. There are two visits to Stonehenge, one in opening hours and one when closed to the public, allowing close encounter with the stones. The morning is spent walking around the vast sacred landscape of Salisbury Plain where in addition to Stonehenge there are the Avenue, its ceremonial approach: the cursus, a 3-km-long enclosure; and several spectacular cemeteries of Bronze Age round barrows. Return to Salisbury for lunch and in the early afternoon visit the South Wiltshire Museum for its excellent prehistoric displays. There is


The Victorian Achievement

Architecture, industry, art: Lancashire & Yorkshire Day 3: Rockbourne, Dorchester, Down Farm. Rockbourne Roman Villa spans from the Iron Age to the 5th century ad and houses living quarters, farm buildings, workshops and beautiful mosaics. Maiden Castle in Dorset, a Neolithic enclosure reoccupied and much extended in the 5th cent. bc, is the largest and most sophisticated Iron Age hillfort in Britain. Excavations revealed details of its conquest by Vespasian in ad 43. Nearby Maumbury Rings was in turn a Neolithic henge, a Roman amphitheatre and a Civil War fort. Martin Green of Down Farm is a farmer and amateur archaeologist whose private museum provides an excellent hands-on study of prehistoric tools. Day 4: Silbury, Avebury, Devizes. The Sanctuary, situated on Overton Hill, dates back to 3,000 bc. Originally composed of six concentric rings of timber uprights, these were replaced by two double stone circles of sarsen stones, before being destroyed in 1723. Silbury Hill is, at 37 metres, the highest prehistoric man-made mound in Europe. The henge at Avebury was built around 400 years after The Sancutuary. With huge earthwork banks and ditches a mile in circumference, it is the biggest in Britain, and one of its three circles of standing stones, with 98 megaliths, is Britain’s largest. A special evening opening at the Devizes Museum which has first-rate galleries covering the prehistory of Wiltshire.

15–22 August 2016 (mc 797) 8 days • £1,890 Lecturer: Dr Paul Atterbury Studies the social history, industrial archaeology, architecture and art of the reign of Queen Victoria, a period when Great Britain led the world in trade, industry and ideas. Includes some of the most beautiful architecture of the era and immensely impressive works of engineering – canals, railways, bridges. Painting and sculpture in all its manifold variety features; many of the country’s best collections of Victorian art are in the region. The historical, social and economic context is an important strand of the tour, with attention to the lives of some of the greatest Victorians. A subsidiary theme is the remarkable postindustrial regeneration of recent years. Led by Dr Paul Atterbury who specialises in the art, architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries. Athens, Florence, Manchester: there is no fourth. Another risible Victorian polemic? No. The essence of this proposition concerning

the paramount importance of Manchester in the history of civilization remains valid. The impact of the industrial cities of Victorian Britain in shaping the modern world cannot be overestimated. But the era still needs rescuing from twentieth-century disdain. Ignorance and misunderstanding remain deep and widespread. The truth is that nineteenth-century Britain was one of the most dynamic and innovative societies in history, and that Victorian cities, as the principal material manifestation of that great age – and their post-industrial reincarnation – are among the most fascinating features of the United Kingdom. In the earlier decades of the century Britain led the world in industrialisation and technology, dominated world trade and became the world’s wealthiest nation. It can also be claimed that Britain was a leader in the development of ideas, the extension of education, the practice of philanthropy and social amelioration and the advance (if haltingly) of political reform. Meanwhile the British Empire grew and grew, almost by accident, and became the most extensive the world has ever seen, and the best administered.

england

some free time before leaving for the evening visit (subject to confirmation).

Manchester, Town Hall, etching by Thomas Riley 1895.

Day 5: Danebury, Andover, Silchester. Developed and inhabited from the 7th century bc to c. ad 20, Danebury is the most completely investigated hillfort in England, providing a great deal of information about life in the Iron Age. Material from the excavation is excellently displayed in the Museum of the Iron Age in Andover. With the Roman invasion, Prehistory came to an end; the final visit is to Silchester, a rare case of a Roman town becoming completely abandoned with the result that the entire layout is known in detail. Excavations continue. Return to Salisbury railway station and the hotel by 4.30pm (or leave the tour at Basingstoke station c. 3.30pm).

Practicalities BRITISH ISLES

Price: £1,280. Single supplement £110 (double room for single occupancy). English Heritage members (with cards) will be refunded c. £20. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The White Hart (Google ‘White Hart Salisbury’): a short walk from the cathedral, it occupies a 17th-century building. Public areas have been recently refurbished and bedrooms are comfortable and well equipped. How strenuous? Country walking is an integral part of this tour, with between 2 and 5 miles per day. Average coach travel per day: 61 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Yorkshire Houses, 25 June–1 July (page 23); Literature & Walking in the Lake District, 27 June–1 July (page 35); Vikings & Bog People, 12–19 July (page 62).

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The Victorian Achievement continued

“What an eye opener this tour was! What unexpected riches in these cities.”

england

Day 5: Leeds, Liverpool. Among the sights today are the 1830s Parish Church, a key monument in the history of the Gothic Revival, an amazing Venetian Gothic warehouse disrupting the Georgian serenity of Park Square and the Municipal Buildings complex with the Art Gallery, Library and Tiled Hall. By coach from Leeds to Liverpool. First of three nights here. Day 6: Liverpool. The Albert Docks (1843) are among the most impressive constructions of the century, ruggedly functional but perfectly proportioned. Time for exploration, lunch and a museum or two (Tate Liverpool is here). See other waterside buildings, including the enormous Tobacco Warehouse. To the salubrious suburb of Sefton Park and two fine late Victorian churches, St Agnes (JL Pearson 1883) and St Clare (Leonard Stokes 1899). Liverpool, St George’s Hall and Lime Street Station, 19th-century lithograph by Charles Wilkinson.

BRITISH ISLES 38

London might have been the world’s biggest city and the seat of government of the Empire, but the crucible of progress did not lie beside the Thames. The great inventors were mainly from the north, railways were at first a northern phenomenon and the north was the source of many of the great ideas of the age, free trade among them. The arts, too, particularly architecture, were less Londoncentric than they became subsequently; a very large proportion of the great buildings of Victorian England are in the northern counties. (Liverpool has more listed buildings than any city outside London.) For variety, vigour, muscularity, ambition, technological boldness, ingenuity, symbolism and, yes, beauty, Victorian architecture has few peers in all history. Much of the interest of this tour lies in the built environment: palatial town halls, Pirenesian warehouses, fabulously embellished churches, noble Philosophical Institutes, mansions for the rich and tenements for the poor. But of no less interest are the stunningly impressive engineering accomplishments – canals, railways, bridges – whether their aesthetic power arises from raw functionalism or historicist adornment. Victorian painting and sculpture is an important part of the tour; a good proportion of the country’s finest collections are in the North West. The best is world-class, the Pre-Raphaelites in particular, but irrespective of artistic merit the art is fascinating for what it reveals of Victorian attitudes and mores as well as for what it purports to depict. A week’s holiday in Manchester, Leeds and Liverpool is an unusual proposition, and this itinerary is probably unique. We might not have risked it ten years ago but recent regeneration has reversed decline and dramatically assisted the transformation to the post-industrial era. As a trio of cities to visit they should be considered to rank with, say, Bologna, Parma and Verona, or Augsburg, Nuremberg and Regensburg: there is as much of artistic and architectural interest to see, and arguably the historical significance is greater.

Itinerary Day 1: Manchester. Assemble at the Midland Hotel in Manchester and leave at 2.15pm for a walk to see many of the great Victorian buildings which still predominate in the city centre. The City Art Gallery has a superb collection of Victorian paintings, particularly Pre-Raphaelites. First of two nights in Manchester. Day 2: Manchester. The industrial landscape of Castlefield encompasses the world’s first passenger railway station (1830), the nodal point of England’s most important canal network and other monuments of the industrial revolution. A palatial manifestation of municipal pride, Alfred Waterhouse’s Town Hall (1867–77) is one of the most splendid buildings of the era, an imaginative Gothic design with glorious interiors and murals by Ford Madox Brown. An afternoon by coach includes the soaring beauty of Bodley’s St Augustine at Pendlebury. Day 3: Manchester, Saltaire, Leeds. The John Rylands Library (Basil Champneys) is late Victorian architecture at its most refined. In 1853 Titus Salt consolidated his five cloth factories into one, added a model town and named it Saltaire. It survives intact, a monument to Victorian ameliorism and to 21st-century regeneration. Arriving in Leeds, visit the stupendous Classical town hall (Cuthbert Broderick 1853) and the Corn Exchange (also Broderick), a masterpiece of Victorian commercial architecture. First of two nights in Leeds. Day 4: Leeds, Bradford. The industrial heritage of Leeds: a vast 1840s mill, an Egyptian-style mill and factory chimneys imitating mediaeval Italian towers. The retail and commercial district is the most extensive and unspoilt area of Victoriana in Britain, with dazzlingly elaborate arcades and endlessly inventive façades. An afternoon in Bradford (20 minutes by train), source in the 1850s of two-thirds of Britain’s woollen cloth. Retaining a mediaeval street pattern on a sloping site, the centre has a magnificent set of Gothic Revival buildings.

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Day 7: Liverpool. St George’s Hall is the most magnificent of a group of buildings which are unequalled as a display of potential for variety of classical architecture. Another is the Walker Art Gallery with an outstanding collection of Victorian painting. Explore the architectural riches of the central business district including the former Bank of England (Cockerell 1845) and cast iron Oriel Chambers (1864). Finally Giles Gilbert Scott’s Anglican Cathedral, begun in 1904 so not quite Victorian but the superb, sublime culmination of the Gothic Revival. Day 8: Port Sunlight. Cross the Mersey to Port Sunlight, the exceedingly pretty and superbly appointed township started in 1888 for workers at Lord Leverhulme’s adjacent soap factory. The Lady Lever Art Gallery is outstanding for English painting of the 18th and 19th centuries with masterpieces by Millais, Leighton, Burne Jones and others. Drive to Manchester, reaching Piccadilly Station by 3.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,890. Single supplement £320. Included meals: 6 dinners with wine. Accommodation. All hotels are located within walking distance of much that is seen on the tour and are among the more comfortable hotels in each city. The Midland, Manchester (qhotels. co.uk): a large elaborately adorned Victorian hotel, recent refurbishment blending something of its original character with modern comforts. Queen’s Hotel, Leeds (qhotels.co.uk): a very comfortable 1930s establishment which has retained Art Deco interiors. Hope Street Hotel, Liverpool (hopestreethotel.co.uk): in a salubrious area between the cathedrals, it brings good modern design and comforts into a 19th-century factory and adjacent 1960s police station. How strenuous? This tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and who cannot stand for long periods of time. Average distance by coach per day: 25 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with The Industrial Revolution, 8–13 August (page 39).


The Industrial Revolution

Invention, manufacture & design in 18th-century England england

8–13 August 2016 (mc 796) 6 days • £1,510 Lecturer: Dr Paul Atterbury The 18th-century Industrial Revolution when Britain led the world in technology, invention, manufacture and commerce. Highly significant industrial archaeology. Fine and applied arts, created with the wealth generated by industrialisation or which was the outcome of new factory processes. Led by Dr Paul Atterbury who specialises in the art, architecture and design of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Itinerary Day 1: Birmingham. The coach leaves from New Street Railway Station at 11.45am and there follows a walk around a nexus of canals – Birmingham famously has more than Venice. Soho House, excellently restored and presented,

Ironbridge, etching and engraving c. 1800.

was the home of Matthew Boulton and a meeting place of the Lunar Society, a group of progressive thinkers, scientists and manufacturers who played key roles in the Industrial Revolution. Continue to Telford for the first of two nights. Day 2: Ironbridge Gorge. By the end of the 18th century this short stretch of the upper River Severn (a unesco Heritage Site) was the most heavily industrialised location in the world. The blast furnace at Coalbrookdale, where in 1709 Abraham Darby I achieved the smelting of iron with coke, and thus ushered in the modern world, survives as part of a fascinating Museum of Iron. Abraham Darby III was largely responsible for the Iron Bridge of 1779, an epoch-making structure of powerful beauty as well as an icon of the Industrial Revolution. Two mansions lived in by the Darby family overlooking the works retain original furnishings. Day 3: Dudley, Barlaston. The Black Country is a contender for the title ‘birthplace of industry’, being named after the smoke from the unequalled density of mines, workshops and factories. An outstanding museum shows historic industrial installations, many in working order, including a replica of a Newcomen steam engine of c. 1717, and rescued houses, shops and other buildings furnished as 100 years ago. Josiah Wedgwood was a genius of the Industrial Revolution, dedicated equally to improvements in design and technology, to natural philosophy and commerce, and to social amelioration and progressive politics. The Wedgwood Museum, one of the finest ceramics museums in the world, well documents the development of an iconic English brand. First of three nights in Stoke-on-Trent. Day 4: Stoke-on-Trent. Stoke-on-Trent remains the world’s foremost pottery city despite the loss of much mainstream production. The Gladstone Pottery Museum is the only complete Victorian pottery factory: original workshops, bottle ovens, historic products. See the wonderfully archaic production processes at Burleigh Pottery and the Potteries Museum & Art Gallery in Hanley, which excellently displays Staffordshire wares and other ceramics; another outstanding museum.

Day 5: Derwent Valley, Derby, Cheadle. A stretch of the River Derwent in Derbyshire is the birthplace of the modern textile industry (and another unesco Heritage Site). The world’s first water-powered cotton-spinning mill, built by Richard Arkwright in 1771, survives at Cromford, and his 1783 Masson Mills are equipped with 19th-cent. machinery. The Derby Museum displays many paintings by Joseph Wright, one of Britain’s finest 18th-cent. painters, who excelled at innovatory scenes of industry and scientific experiment and portraits of industrialists. The Church of St Giles at Cheadle, 1841–7, A.W. Pugin’s masterpiece, has been called ‘the outstanding English church of the 19th century’. Day 6: Birmingham. Established in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter in 1881, J.W. Evans is an exceptional survival of a historic factory where little has changed for a century. Birmingham Museum & Art Gallery has the largest public collection of Pre-Raphaelite paintings in the world. The tour ends at New Street Station by 4.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,510. Single supplement £160 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 1 lunch, 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Telford Golf & Spa Hotel (qhotels.co.uk-golf-course): a modern hotel in a quiet location on the edge of town. Swimming pool, fitness centre, spa. The Best Western Moat House (website: Google ‘Best Western Moat House’), though incorporating the shell of Etruria Hall, Josiah Wedgwood’s home, is also a new hotel, adequately comfortable, lively. Of both it can be said that the rooms are comfortable, the restaurants not bad, the service willing, and that they are the best in their localities.

BRITISH ISLES

In a putative ‘Concise History of World Civilization’, Britain might garner a few mentions (Magna Carta, Parliamentary democracy) but would probably be awarded only one substantial passage. This would be an account of the Industrial Revolution of the eighteenth century. The modern world began in the English Midlands. It is difficult to overestimate the global impact of the technological developments which took place in this relatively out-of-the-way region of Europe (there were few roads in pre-modern Shropshire and Staffordshire). Enabled by the abundance of accessible mineral resources, propelled by an Enlightenment spirit of enquiry and experiment, and forged by the enterprise and ambition of a few exceptional individuals, Britain came to lead the world in manufacturing, commerce and science through to the middle of the nineteenth century. Places have been chosen to show most of the main constituents of the Industrial Revolution: water power and steam, coal and iron, textiles and pottery, the factory system and urbanisation, canals and roads. Sights include the visible remains of early industrial enterprise of the highest importance. The subsequent two centuries are not ignored. Indeed, much of the industrial archaeology and the art we see takes us well into the twentieth century. The tour concentrates on five centres. Two are the upper reaches of fast-moving rivers, the Severn in Shropshire (now dubbed Ironbridge Gorge) and the Derwent in Derbyshire. (Both, incidentally, are now tranquil and fairly rural, the Derwent Valley in particular being a place of outstanding natural beauty.) The six towns of the Potteries in Staffordshire were a unique concentration of the ceramic industry – as indeed they still are. The fourth is the group of towns in the West Midlands known as The Black Country, and the fifth is Birmingham, ‘workshop of the world’.

How strenuous? Some walking is unavoidable on this tour. Average coach travel per day: 42 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with The Victorian Achievement, 15–22 August (page 37); Royal Residences, 16–20 August (page 32). 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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Turner & the Sea

Marine painting & Nelson’s navy england

12–17 June 2016 (mc 712) 6 days • £1,780 Lecturer: Dr Sam Willis A study of historic ships and dockyards – Turner’s favourite subjects – and of the maritime history of his and Nelson’s time. A study also of marine paintings and drawings by J.M.W. Turner, Britain’s greatest artist. Includes the National Maritime Museum and Turner Contemporary, the exciting contemporary arts centre in Margate. Led by distinguished maritime historian and archaeologist, Dr Sam Willis. More than one third of Turner’s prolific output was devoted to ships and the sea, and to river estuary and harbour scenes. His sketchbooks contain hundreds of drawings of fishing boats, beach scenes, breaking waves, and studies for paintings such as Calais Pier and The Shipwreck. He was inspired by, and painted a number of pictures as homage to, the seventeenth-century Dutch painters who pioneered the seapiece. In The Bridgewater Seapiece he successfully challenged van de Velde, the acknowledged master of marine art, in a picture designed to hang alongside his Dutch Boats in a Gale. From these beginnings he went on to develop a unique style which conveyed a sense of water and light with an intensity which has never been surpassed.

Itinerary Day 1: London, Greenwich. Meet in central London at 10.00am and visit the Clore Gallery. A wing of Tate Britain, this was built to display the Turner Collection, bequeathed to the nation by the artist on his death in 1852 and by far the largest holding of his works. Drive to Greenwich to see the paintings of the National Maritime Museum, now displayed in Inigo Jones’s exquisite Queen’s House. Turner’s huge painting of Trafalgar is here. See also the splendid hall and chapel of the former Royal Naval College. First of three nights in Greenwich. Day 2: London, Greenwich. Return to central London by fast ferry along the Thames. Visit the Courtauld Gallery in Somerset House – location of the Navy Board in Turner’s time. Walk through Maiden Lane where Turner was born and visit the National Gallery which possesses some of his major sea pieces. Return to Greenwich by waterbus for the Nelson collections in the National Maritime Museum. Overnight Greenwich.

BRITISH ISLES 40

He was equally adept at stormy seas and tranquil calms. Dordrecht, his painting of a Dutch packet boat becalmed, was described by John Constable as ‘the most complete work of genius I ever saw’. Many of Turner’s paintings reflect Britain’s conflict with Napoleonic France and the part played in that long-running war by Nelson’s navy. As did most Englishmen and women of his day, Turner followed closely the exploits of Britain’s warships. With an invasion by Napoleon’s army a constant threat, the Royal Navy was crucial to the defence of the realm. News of Nelson’s victories at the Nile, Copenhagen and Trafalgar produced rejoicing across the country with church bells ringing and bonfires in the streets, while Nelson’s death and funeral were the occasion of grief and mourning on an unprecedented scale. Turner painted two controversial pictures of the Battle of Trafalgar, and many fine watercolours of warships at Spithead. The most popular of all his paintings is The Fighting Temeraire, the superannuated hulk of a first-rater being towed to her last berth, an evocative view of the ship which had fought alongside Nelson’s Victory. This tour follows two interweaving themes: places associated with Nelson’s navy; and places where Turner painted and where his pictures can be seen.

Day 3: Margate, Chatham. Drive east along the Kent coast. Turner first saw the open sea at Margate and he continued to visit throughout his life. Visit Turner Contemporary, the acclaimed contemporary arts centre which opened in 2011 and was designed by David Chipperfield. At Chatham is the most perfectly preserved example of an 18th-century royal dockyard, with a ropewalk, sail loft, building slips and much else. Many of Nelson’s ships were built and maintained here. Overnight Greenwich. Detail of an engraving after J.M.W. Turner.

Day 4: Petworth, Portsmouth. Petworth House in Sussex is one of the finest country houses in England. The home of Lord Egremont, Turner’s

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Dr Sam Willis Leading authority on naval and maritime history and author of numerous books. He has worked as maritime history consultant for Christies and the Discovery and the History Channels. He has appeared on BBC4 and his re-creation of the first ever voyage down the Grand Canyon was broadcast in 2014 on BBC2. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

best patron, it houses his paintings of Chichester harbour and of the beautiful park of Petworth, a ‘Capability’ Brown masterpiece. In Portsmouth, make the first visit to the incomparable Historic Dockyard. Here see the excellent Royal Naval Museum, vital for Nelson studies, and HMS Victory, Nelson’s flagship at Trafalgar. First of two nights in Southsea. Day 5: the Solent, Bucklers Hard. Drive to the New Forest and to Bucklers Hard, an enchanting 18th-century village which was dedicated to ship building. Nelson’s Agamemnon was built here. In the afternoon there is a trip by privately chartered boat along the Solent to see the anchorage at Spithead (once swarming with Nelson’s ships) and the entrance to Portsmouth harbour (much painted by Turner). Overnight Southsea. Day 6: Portsmouth, London. Return to the Historic Dockyard. Here see the remarkably wellpreserved artefacts from Henry VIII’s flagship the Mary Rose in the new state of the art museum, opened in 2013. Also see HMS Warrior, an ironclad of 1860, which represents a technological development chronicled in Turner’s paintings. Return to London by c. 3.30pm when there is the choice of spending more time in the Tate’s Turner collection or of leaving the tour; Tate visitors are taken to Tothill Street at c. 5.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,780. Single supplement £220 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Devonport House, Greenwich (De Vere Venues): modern conference hotel in an historic building. Bedrooms are bland but well equipped. The Queens Hotel, Southsea (queenshotelportsmouth.com): 3-star hotel, the best available near central Portsmouth. Public rooms are opulent though bedrooms feel tired and décor is dated. How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking and standing around in museums and galleries. Average distance by coach per day: 70 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Rijksmuseum & Mauritshuis, 5–8 or 19–22 June (page 147); Walking to Derbyshire Houses, 19–24 June (page 24); Norway: Art, Architecture, Landscape, 20–28 June (page 149).


Connoisseur’s London

Less accessible & lesser known treasures england

Somerset House, copper engraving 1797.

13–17 September 2016 (md 835) 5 days • £1,830 Lecturers & guides: various specialists Great art and architecture and places of interest off the beaten track, not generally accessible or simply overlooked amid London’s vast riches. Several different lecturers and specialist guides and many special arrangements. Most evenings are free. Participants are offered theatre or concert tickets. Very centrally located 5-star hotel.

Itinerary Day 1: Whitehall, Strand. Leave the hotel at 11.00am for a two-hour walk around

Day 2: Westminster, Syon Park. Westminster Abbey is not only one of Britain’s greatest mediaeval churches, displaying all the arts of the era as well as architecture, but also burial place of 17 monarchs and other great names in British history. As a museum of sculpture it has no parallel. Drive out to Syon Park, situated beside the Thames on the western outskirts of the city, whose remodelling by Robert Adam bequeathed some of the finest 18th-cent. interiors in England. Day 3: Dulwich, Chelsea. Opened in a building designed for it by Sir John Soane in 1817, Dulwich Picture Gallery was Britain’s first public art gallery. The Old Master collection remains one of the best in the country. Chelsea Physic Garden, an enchanting oasis, was established for medicinal purposes in 1673. Also in Chelsea, the Royal Hospital was instituted by Charles II as a home for retired soldiers, a function which continues. Sir Christopher Wren designed the splendid buildings on a site beside the Thames. Day 4: The City. London’s Roman and mediaeval core has become a major financial centre, resulting in a fascinating mix of narrow streets and alleys, historic parish churches and livery halls, ornamented Victorian office and warehouse façades and a dazzling array of recent architecture. Details of the day will be announced nearer the time (August closures are decided closer to the time) but the itinerary will include a range of art and architecture both old and new, with some special access.

Day 5: Greenwich. Take the river bus downstream to Greenwich. The Old Royal Naval College, founded by Queen Mary in 1692, is claimed by unesco to be the ‘finest and most dramatically sited architectural and landscape ensemble in the British Isles’. Wren is again one of the architects, others include Inigo Jones, Hawksmoor and Vanbrugh. The Queen’s House, a brilliant remnant of the royal palace (1616), houses the picture collection of the National Maritime Museum. Among other sights are the Cutty Sark, a tea clipper, and the Royal Observatory. The tour finishes at the Whitehall hotel by 4.00pm. Note that appointments for some visits cannot be confirmed until January 2016.

Practicalities Price: £1,380. Single supplement £380 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 3 lunches, 1 dinner, with wine. Accommodation. The Royal Horseguards, London (guoman.com): 5-star hotel in the heart of Whitehall. The style is that of an international hotel. Comfortable and well equipped bedrooms. How strenuous? Participants need to be good walkers and have stamina.

BRITISH ISLES

London’s riches of art and architecture are both multitudinous and widely dispersed. Has even the most assiduous of Londoners seen everything that merits a visit? Surely not, so the good news for visitors and short-term residents is that there are plenty of delights awaiting discovery. This tour is intended for those who have some familiarity with the main sights and museums but have seen fewer of the innumerable lesserknown or out-of-the-way treasures. One major item is included – in this case Westminster Abbey – but special arrangements lift the visit above the ordinary. During planning, themes emerged and the recurring feature of this itinerary is proximity to the Thames, the river Winston Churchill described as ‘a golden thread in the national tapestry’. Most days are over between 4.30 and 5.30pm, giving opportunity to attend a concert or play. We will buy a few tickets for choice events as they come on sale and offer them to participants.

Whitehall and Strand. After lunch there is a tour of Somerset House, a magnificent classical building designed by Sir William Chambers in 1776 to house civil servants and learned societies. It is now the home of the Courtauld Gallery, an amazing collection renowned for its Impressionists and Post-Impressionists but also including Old Masters and decorative arts.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Walking Hadrian’s Wall, 5–11 September (page 20); Arts & Crafts in the Cotswolds, 18–22 September (page 30); Walking a Royal River, 19–25 September (page 34).

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LONDON DAYS

Non-residential events to inform & inspire england

Visit www.martinrandall.com for a full current list • please contact us to register your interest in future London Days. These London Days explore the art, architecture and history of the most varied and exciting city in the world. They are led by carefully chosen experts who provide informative and enlightening commentary. Meticulously planned with special arrangements and privileged access being significant features. Radio guides enable lecturers to talk in a normal conversational voice while participants can hear without difficulty. All are accompanied by an assistant to ensure arrangements run smoothly.

The Thames with St Paul’s in the background, watercolour by E.W. Haslehurst, publ. 1924.

John Nash – the man who transformed London Thursday 6 August 2015 (lb 425) Lecturer: Dr Geoffrey Tyack

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While London at the beginning of the nineteenth century was the largest and most prosperous city in the world, it fell far behind many other capitals in the magnificence of its government buildings and the grandeur of its street layout. This was a direct outcome of the limits put on British monarchical authority – and spending power – after the Glorious Revolution, and the concomitant resistence to central authority of any kind. It is no coincidence that the monarch most widely despised by his subjects since 1688 was the one who encouraged the greatest episode of town planning and large-scale beautification in the history of London, George IV, Regent from 1811 – the year the leases of Regent’s Park fell in. But the person most responsible for the park’s incomparable architectural rim, and for the great sequence of thoroughfares leading south to Whitehall, was John Nash. Nash’s star is now in the ascendant again, but for much of the last two hundred years his detractors predominated, with mutterings about his shady dealings as a developer, his (or rather his wife’s) improper relationship with his royal patron, his sloppiness as a designer and the shoddiness of his stucco-wrapped buildings. As an architect he was sometimes somewhat broadbrush, but he was master of effects both grand and picturesque. Simply turning his Regent Street masterplan into reality in only ten years was an extraordinary achievement. Nearly all his surviving buildings, urban improvements and park landscaping in central London are seen on this day, beginning with Regent’s Park and finishing with his Buckingham

palace interiors, unquestionably the most regal in the realm. Dr Tyack is an architectural historian whose book John Nash: Architect of the Picturesque was published in 2013. Start: 9.30am, Camden Town Underground Station. Finish: c. 6.00pm, Buckingham Palace. The visit to Buckingham Palace is by special arrangement, but is by no means exclusive and clients should be warned that access requires some queuing and that the rooms will be busy. There is one journey by bus, otherwise the day is spent on foot. Price: £210, including lunch, refreshments, admission charges and donations. Group size: maximum 16.

Sculpture in London – ar t in streets, squares & parks Wednesday 19 August 2015 (lb 418) Lecturer: David Mitchinson Thousands of tons of bronze and stone adorn London’s streets and open spaces in the form of memorials and works of art. Many aspire to be both, with varying degrees of success. Only a small minority are sculptural masterpieces. Artistic worth determines the selection for this day, and months of diligent sifting has resulted in twenty-five or so major works scattered across central London, from Hyde Park corner in the West End to Bishopsgate in the City. The day is led by David Mitchinson, writer, lecturer and former director of the Henry Moore Foundation. The focus is the twentieth century, with a little spillage into adjacent decades at both ends. Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Jacob Epstein, Eric Gill, Elizabeth Frink, Charles Sargeant Jagger and

book online at www.martinrandall.com

These are active days, often with a lot of walking and standing. Travel is mainly by Underground, sometimes taxi, and occasionally by private coach or bus.

Fernando Botero are among the sculptors whose works are studied. Many Londoners and visitors will have seen at least some of them; not many, we venture to suggest, have really looked at them long and hard and felt their power and their beauty. Most are on display in public places but one, a Reclining Woman by Henry Moore, is accessible only by special arrangement. Travel is by Underground and taxi. Participants need to be able to cope with quite a lot of time on foot, standing or walking. Lunch in a good restaurant and morning and afternoon refreshments are included. Start: 9.00am, The Wellington Arch, Hyde Park Corner. Finish: c. 5.15pm at Oxford Circus. Price: £170. Group size: maximum 18 participants.

The London Backstreet Walk – from Hyde Park to The Tower Wednesday 16 September 2015 (lc 504) Lecturer: Prof. Gavin Stamp Wednesday 23 September 2015 (lc 511) Lecturer: Barnaby Rogerson Thursday 8 October 2015 (lc 505) Lecturer: Giles Waterfield This walk is predicated on two beliefs. The first, platitudinous if rarely put to the test, is that the centre of London is not so large that people of ordinary fitness couldn’t walk everywhere. The second would perhaps be greeted in some quarters with scepticism: that one can traverse the capital from Hyde Park Corner to the Tower


“I thoroughly enjoyed the day – informative and pitched at just the right level.” “It was a most stimulating, well organised day – a real treat.”

Start: 9.00am, Hyde Park Corner, Wellington Arch. Finish: c. 5.40pm, Tower Hill Station. Fitness: this is a serious hike, so please don’t attempt it unless you are able to walk at about 3 mph for at least an hour at a time and have the stamina for 9 miles (though there are 4 refreshment breaks). The terrain is fairly flat but there are steps (one flight has 57). Stout shoes are of course advisable – but no trainers please: they are specifically forbidden at the lunch venue. Price: £190, including refreshments and lunch, admission charges and donations. Group size: maximum 18.

Seven Churches and a Synagogue – some of London’s finest historic buildings Thursday 17 September 2015 (lc 510) Lecturer: Giles Waterfield As the most populous metropolis in the west until well into the twentieth century, and as capital of a nation notorious for its multitudinous shades of churchmanship, it is not surprising that London possesses the largest number of churches and the greatest variety of ecclesiastical architecture to be found in any single city. Subjectivity must play a role in selecting these seven, as do logistics, but it is fair to claim that they are among the best of their kind. This is an extraordinarily fascinating day, enriching aesthetically, historically and spiritually. There are two mediaeval buildings, the imposing Romanesque remnant of the abbey church of St Bartholomew the Great and the glorious Gothic of the Knights Templars’ church. Wren’s ingenious domed church of St Stephen Walbrook, the faultless St Mary-le-Strand by Gibbs and the magnificent Anglican Baroque of Christ Church Spitalfields by Hawksmoor are outstanding examples of the classical phase of architecture – as is the Bevis Marks Synagogue of 1699, one of the City’s little-known treasures. Butterfield’s All Saints Margaret Street is a seminal masterpiece of the Gothic Revival, of which the sublimely lovely St Cyprian’s, Clarence Gate, by Sir John Ninian Comper, is one of the last great examples.

The speaker concentrates on the essentials, highlighting what is distinctive and significant about the architecture and decoration and pointing out only the most distinguished artworks and furnishings. Time at each building does not allow for detail that is of merely local interest. Thus the day provides immersion in the beauty of greater things.

england

of London without walking along main roads for more than a couple of hundred yards in total. This is London seen from parks, gardens, alleys, backstreets and pedestrian zones. As the crow flies, it is exactly 3⅓ miles, but as avoiding traffic requires some circuitous deviations the distance walked is 8 or 9 miles. The route – which is far from obvious, as may be understood – is laced with delights and surprises. Many famous buildings are passed or glimpsed, but largely the interest lies in unexpected clusters of pre-20th-century architecture, picturesque vistas and intriguing alleys, patches of parkland and well-tended gardens, recent architectural behemoths and mediaeval street patterns. Some special arrangements have been made to enter a few buildings en route. Champagne at the Savoy and lunch in the grandest Elizabethan hall in England (but at the 19th-century Great Hall, Lincoln’s Inn on 8th October) are among the treats. But the main point of the day is to provide the satisfaction of accomplishing a unique and fascinating journey through the heart of the most vibrant, varied and fascinating city in Europe.

Start: 9.15am, St-Bartholomew-the-Great in the City (tube station: Barbican). Finish: c. 5.45pm, Baker Street Station. Fitness: travel is by private coach, but there is quite a lot of walking. Price: £205, including lunch (at Middle Temple Hall, the finest Elizabethan interior in London), refreshments, admission charges and donations. Group size: maximum 24.

St Bartholomew the Great, from Some London Churches, publ. 1911.

Other current & future London Days The Poetic Landscape Great Railway Termini 24th September 2015 London’s Underground Railway The South Bank Walk Stained Glass The Genius of Titian 12th November 2015 Memorials of the Great War Wellington & Waterloo ‘Wren’ in the City For more information on any of the above titles, or to register your interest, please contact us.

Please contact us with: •

Your name(s), address, telephone number and e-mail address.

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

Special 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, expiry date and 3-digit CVV code. Confirmation will be sent to you upon receipt of payment. An itinerary 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. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5

BRITISH ISLES

Robert Adam’s Country Houses Ancient Greece in the British Museum 9th September & 3rd December 2015 Arts & Crafts Arts of India Caravaggio & Rembrandt Dixon Jones The Ever Changing City Skyline Great Halls Handel in London Hawksmoor 13th October 2015 Hogarth Islamic Art in London The Italian Renaissance 10th November 2015 Mediaeval Art in London

Booking a London Day

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The Year of Anniversaries

Magna Carta, Parliament, Agincourt, Waterloo, Gallipoli, Yalta & Potsdam england Speakers (left–right): Dr Juliet Barker, Professor Jeremy Black, Dr Jonathan Foyle, Keith Lowe, Dr Marc Morris, Professor Nigel Saul, Professor Gary Sheffield, chair Paul Lay.

6–8 November 2015 (mc 516) Price from £420 The Year of Anniversaries is a residential weekend of lectures held in Lincoln’s County Assembly Rooms and run in conjunction with the UK’s most authoritative history magazine, History Today, whose editor, Paul Lay, chairs the event. Between 3.15pm on Friday and 3.15pm on Sunday, seven outstanding scholars give between them thirteen talks on this year’s anniversary topics. There are also discussion sessions as well as opportunities for informal interchange during breaks for refreshments and meals. There is a choice of four hotels to suit different budgets. Also included is a drinks reception in the Chapter House of Lincoln Cathedral.

Speakers & talk titles Dr Juliet Barker, an internationally recognised authority on medieval history. A new, expanded edition of her best-selling Agincourt: The King, The Campaign, The Battle is published this year to mark the 600th anniversary of the battle. Talks: Agincourt: Myth and Reality and Agincourt: English Victory or French Defeat? Professor Jeremy Black, Professor of History at the University of Exeter. As author of over 110 books, he has been described as the most prolific historical scholar of our age. He graduated from Cambridge, went on to Oxford for graduate work and then taught at Durham. Talks: Remembering the Past and The Global History of Waterloo.

Dr Jonathan Foyle, Visiting Professor at the University of Lincoln specialising in medieval and early modern architecture and related arts. He has held positions at Hampton Court, Kew Palace and Canterbury Cathedral and is CEO of World Monuments Fund Britain. Talk: Lincoln Cathedral: Building a Paradise for the Virgin Mary Keith Lowe. Historian, writer, speaker and expert on the Second World War. His books include Inferno: The Devastation of Hamburg 1943, and the international bestseller Savage Continent, which won the Hessell Tiltman Prize for history and Italy’s prestigious Cherasco History Prize. Talks: 1945: the reality and 1945: the myth. Dr Marc Morris. Historian and broadcaster with a specialisation in the Middle Ages. He presented the highly acclaimed television series Castle and wrote its accompanying book. His other books include The Norman Conquest and A Great and Terrible King: Edward I and the Forging of Britain. Talks: King John and Magna Carta and Simon de Montfort and the Battle of Evesham. Professor Nigel Saul, Professor of Medieval History at Royal Holloway, University of London. He has written books on the political, religious and cultural history of medieval England, and is a member of the Magna Carta 800 Anniversary Committee. Talks: Magna Carta: Making and Meaning and Magna Carta and the Puzzle of English history.

Professor Gary Sheffield, Professor of War Studies at the University of Wolverhampton. His publications include Command and Morale: The British Army on the Western Front. He is a Fellow of the Royal Historical Society, President of the International Guild of Battlefield Guides, and a Vice-President of the Western Front Association. Talks: Gallipoli: Masterstroke or Folly? and 1915: the Emergence of Total War. Chair: Paul Lay, Editor of History Today. Senior research fellow at the University of Buckingham and sits on the advisory boards of the History and Policy unit at King’s College London and the Centre for Public History at Royal Holloway University of London. He is currently writing a book on Oliver Cromwell and the Crown.

Practicalities Prices vary according to hotel and room category and all include bed and breakfast for 2 nights, admission to talks, refreshments, 2 buffet lunches, drinks reception and 1 dinner. No hotel is further than 10 minutes’ walk from the Assemby Rooms. A. Economy: The Lincoln Hotel. Large, no frills, 3-star in a 1960s building opposite the Cathedral. Standard double/twin (two sharing): £420 Cathedral view double/twin (two sharing): £460 Double room for single occupancy: £430 Cathedral view double for single occupancy: £470 B. Comfortable: White Hart. 3-star former coaching inn. Décor is classic yet modern; rooms are well appointed. Standard double/twin (two sharing): £560 Superior double/twin (two sharing): £580 Double room for single occupancy: £560

BRITISH ISLES

C. Superior: The Old Palace. Grade I listed, former bishop’s palace in the grounds of Lincoln Cathedral. Standard double/twin (two sharing): £680 Superior double/twin (two sharing): £710 Double room for single occupancy: £680 Single room: £680 D. Luxury: The Castle. Historic, Grade II listed building. Please note that there is no lift. Standard double/twin (two sharing): £670 Courtyard double room (two sharing): £670 Superior double/twin (two sharing): £690 Junior suite (two sharing): £720 Double room for single occupancy: £670

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Lincoln, etching by Wilfred Ball, 1906. book online at www.martinrandall.com

For more detailed information about the hotels used, please visit www.martinrandall.com, or contact us for the dedicated brochure.


Music Weekends

Scotland

The Castle Hotel, Taunton: its 40th season

The Chilingirian Quartet 26–28 February 2016 Pre-concert talks by Richard Wigmore Contact us to register your interest.

The Aronowitz Ensemble 8–10 April 2016 Talks given by the musicians Contact us to register your interest.

Edinburgh Festival August 2016 Details available in March 2016 Contact us to register your interest Edinburgh, Canongate Tolbooth, late-19th-century wood engraving.

20–22 November 2015 (mc 531) 2 nights • 4 concerts Price: £720 The Mozart Chamber Ensemble’s début weekend at The Castle Hotel – though not for its leader violinist Wolfgang Redik (formerly of the Vienna Piano Trio). Each concert includes a work for string quartet and voice, for which the ensemble are joined by soprano Joan Rodgers. All of the music performed is from the ensemble’s native repertoire – Mozart, Beethoven, Schumann (both Robert and Clara), Schubert, Webern, Haydn and Schönberg are all represented.

The Programme Concert 1: Friday 20 November 2015, 6.15pm Mozart, String Quartet in D Minor, K.421; Beethoven, ‘Grosse Fuge’ in B flat for String Quartet, Op.133; one work to be confirmed (for soprano and string quartet). Concert 2: Saturday 21 November 2015, 11.00am Mozart, Divertimento in F, K.138; Clara Schumann, Six Songs Op.13 (arranged for soprano and string quartet by Jörg Waschinski); Mendelssohn, String Quartet in E flat, Op.12. Concert 3: Saturday 21 November 2015, 6.15pm Webern, Langsamer Satz for String Quartet; Schönberg, String Quartet No.2 in F sharp Minor, Op.10 with soprano; Schubert, String Quartet in A Minor, D804 ‘Rosamunde’.

Wales

Opera in Cardiff October 2016 Details available in December 2015 Contact us to register your interest BRITISH ISLES

15–17 January 2016 Pre-concert talks by Richard Wigmore Contact us to register your interest.

July 2016 Details available in August 2015 Contact us to register your interest

england, scotland, wales

The Wihan Quartet

The Mozart Chamber Ensemble with Joan Rodgers Music for quar tet & voice ©Rose Daniel

A music weekend arranged by Martin Randall Music Management is a very special experience. There is the pleasure, first, of hearing music performed by artists of the highest calibre, and who are all among the very best in their fields. Second, the music is performed in an intimate setting, a small hall little bigger than a large drawing room – just the sort of size which composers used to have in mind for chamber music. The audience is rarely more than a hundred, and consists mainly of those who stay throughout the weekend and attend all concerts. Third, the weekends take place in an excellent hotel; The Castle Hotel in Taunton is among the most agreeable and comfortable in England. We often have exclusive use during these music weekends, and there is the added opportunity for artists and audience to mingle. While these events are undeniably indulgent and leisurely retreats, they are also intended to stimulate the mind and enchant the aesthetic sensibilities. Within an over-arching theme, the music is carefully chosen and programmed to provide an illuminating sequence – while each concert is satisfyingly self-sufficient. Some weekends include pre-concert talks. 2015–16 is particularly special because it will be The Castle Hotel’s 40th season. For this, we have assembled a selection of our (and we hope our audience’s) favourite artists – some of who have appeared at the Castle numerous times. The price for each weekend covers almost everything, from the concerts and talks to interval drinks, via luxurious accommodation, extravagant afternoon teas and memorable dinners. Even gratuities for the hotel staff are included. Tickets to individual concerts are also available to purchase for those who live locally, and are sold directly by the hotel (contact their box office on 01823 328 303 or visit www.thecastle-hotel.com to book online). The first weekend, with the Mozart Chamber Ensemble, is available to book now. Others will follow during the summer for which dates and artists are given below – please contact us to register your interest.

East Neuk Festival

Concert 4: Sunday 22 November 2015, 11.00am Schubert, Quartettsatz in C minor D703; Schumann, Six Songs, Op.107 (arranged for string quartet and soprano by Aribert Reimann); Haydn, String Quartet Op.76 No.3, ‘Emperor’.

Practicalities Price: £720. Garden Room £860. As well as two night’s accommodation and four concerts, breakfasts, two dinners, two afternoon teas, interval drinks and gratuities are included. Accommodation. The Castle Hotel, Taunton (the-castle-hotel.com): award-winning familyrun hotel, pleasingly decorated, excellent service.

Wales Millenium Centre, Cardiff. 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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Armenia

Early Christian Monasteries & modern-day Yerevan ARMENIA

At the National Art Gallery see collections from Armenia, Russia and Western Europe. 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. Day 4: Amberd, Dzoraget. The ruins of Amberd Fortress, dramatically located on the southern slopes of Mount Ararat, date back to the twelfth 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 thirteenth-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. Yerevan, copper engraving c. 1750.

23–30 June 2016 (mc 734) 8 days • £2,840 Lecturer: Ian Colvin 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.

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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 new, both Asian and European, both a melting-pot and defiantly individual, is fully deserving of the description. Its long and tenacious history is one of frequent tragedy and renewal. 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, Armenia 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 empires on either hand 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 Armenian 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 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 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.

Day 6: Lake Sevan, Yerevan. Drive to Lake Sevan, and the peerlessly situated Sevanavank monastery that overlooks it. The Hellenic temple at Garni is the last remaining pre-Christian building in Armenia. Much of the monastery at nearby Geghard is carved out of the cliffside. Return to Yerevan for the next two nights. 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. Day 8. The morning flight from Yerevan arrives Heathrow at c. 1.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,840. Single supplement £370 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,310. Included meals: all lunches, all dinners and wine. Visas: British nationals no longer require a visa. Other nationalities need to obtain a visa on arrival at the airport (c. £5). Accommodation. The Armenia Marriott Hotel, Yerevan (marriottarmenia.am) 5-star hotel on the central square, impersonal but with excellent facilities. The Avan Dzoraget (tufenkianheritage. com): a small and stylish hotel, equivalent to a 4-star. Located on a riverside.

Day 1. Fly at c. 9.50am from London Heathrow to Yerevan via Paris (Air France), where there is a 55 minute-stop, arriving c. 8.00pm. Transfer to the hotel in Yerevan for the first of three nights.

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 four coach journeys of over two hours (average distance by coach per day: 72 miles).

Day 2: Yerevan. A leisurely start. The day begins with a visit to the comprehensive and fascinating State Museum of Armenian History.

Combine this tour with Moravia, 13–20 June (page 58).

Itinerary

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.


Mozar t in Salzburg The annual winter festival

Daily attendance at the Mozartwoche, the annual festival celebrating the composer’s work in the town of his birth. An outstanding programme, primarily Mozart, 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. Led by Richard Wigmore, music writer, lecturer and broadcaster for BBC Radio 3.

Day 3: Bad Ischl, Salzburg. Drive through the ravishing landscapes of the Salzkammergut to Bad Ischl, with lunch here. Return to Salzburg for a free afternoon and late afternoon lecture. Concert at the Mozarteum with the Mahler Chamber Orchestra, Mitsuko Uchida (piano): Mozart, Piano Concerto No.17 in G; Divertimento in B flat, Piano Concerto No.25 in C. Day 4. Concert at the Mozarteum with Les Musiciens du Louvre Grenoble, Marc Minkowski (cond.), Christoph Koncz (violin), Nils Mönkemeyer (viola): Mendelssohn, Symphony No.1; Mozart, Sinfonia Concertante in E flat; Mendelssohn, Symphony No.5, ‘Reformation’. Visit Mozart’s birthplace, followed by a private guided tour of the Mozarteum’s Autograph Vault, containing original letters and manuscripts. Concert at the Haus für Mozart with Camerata Salzburg, Pablo Heras-Casado (conductor), Christiane Karg (sop.), Alice Coote (mez.), Werner Güra (ten.), Christopher Maltman (bar.), Salzburg Bach Choir: Mendelssohn, ‘Elijah’ Oratorio. Day 5. Concert at the Mozarteum with the Mozarteum Orchestra Salzburg, Giovanni Antonini (cond.): Mozart, Symphony No.31, ‘Paris’; No.36, ‘Linz’; No.38, ‘Prague’. Optional visit to the Alte Residenz, a complex dating back to the 16th century, housing a sequence of a dozen impressive

state rooms, of which several were redesigned in the Baroque style by Erlach and Hildebrandt. The adjoining Residenzgalerie contains a collection of 16th–19th-century European painting, including Rembrandt and Rubens. Concert at the Großes Festspielhaus with the Vienna Philharmonic, Tugan Sokhiev (cond.), Renaud Capuçon (violin): Mozart, Symphony No.35, ‘Haffner’; Dutilleux, ‘L’Arbre des songes’; Mendelssohn, Symphony No.4. Day 6. The flight from Salzburg arrives at London Gatwick c. 12.00 noon.

Practicalities Price: £3,160. Single supplement £260 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,010. Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Music: tickets (top category) for 7 performances are included, costing c. £810. Accommodation. Hotel Bristol (hotel.bristolsalzburg.at): 5-star family-run hotel two minutes walk from the Mozarteum and just across the river from the Festspielhaus (600m). How strenuous? A fair amount of walking is unavoidable, including to and from concert venues. Average coach travel per day: 16 miles. Group size: between 12 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Music in Paris, 30 January–4 February (page 73).

MAINLAND EUROPE

Salzburg is that rare thing, a tiny city with world-class standards in nearly everything the discerning visitor – and resident – would want. It is miraculous that such charm, and such grandeur, and, above all, such unparalleled weight of musical achievement, should be concentrated in so small a place. A virtually independent city-state from its origins in the early Middle Ages until its absorption into the Habsburg Empire in the nineteenth century, Salzburg’s days of glory had all but slipped into the past by the time Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born there. He became the unwitting instigator, post-mortem, of Salzburg’s transformation from minor ecclesiastical seat to the world’s foremost city of music festivals. There are five of them. The Mozartwoche (Mozart Week) held in January every year celebrates Salzburg’s most famous son with musicians famed worldwide for their Mozart interpretations. Our tour allows the concerts to be interspersed with a gentle programme of walks and excursions to see some of the finest art and architecture and scenic beauty in the region. But there is also plenty of free time to relax and gather energies for the performances, and for individual exploration of the city. The city has several museums – a recent addition is a Museum of Contemporary Art in a cliff-top location overlooking the city, and the city’s principal museum has been re-established in a part of the Archbishop’s palace known as the Neue Residenz.

songs; Beethoven, 7 variations from ‘Bei Männern, welche Liebe fühlen’; Mendelssohn, Variations Concertantes in D and ‘oder soll es Tod bedeuten?’

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.45am from London Gatwick to Salzburg (British Airways). Introductory lecture and early dinner before a concert at the Großes Festspielhaus with the Vienna Philharmonic, Marc Minkowski (cond.): Mozart, Symphony No.40; Mendelssohn ‘Lobesgesang’, Op.52. Day 2. Morning walk through the heart of the old city with a local guide; visit the museum in the Mozart family home. Free time before a concert at the Mozarteum with Anna Prohaska (sop.),Vilde Frang (violin), Esther Hoppe (violin), Nicolas Altstaedt (cello), Alexander Lonquich (piano): Mozart, Piano Trio in C, K.548; Mendelssohn,

austria

23–28 January 2016 (mc 564) 6 days • £3,160 (including tickets to 7 performances) Lecturer: Richard Wigmore

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Mozart, wood engraving c. 1870. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Music in Vienna at Christmas Art, architecture & music in the Habsburg Capital austria

21–28 December 2015 (mc 548) 8 days • £3,320 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier Comprehensive overview of Vienna’s art and architecture, including a day dedicated to the Secession movement. Led by Dr Jarl Kremeier, an art historian specialising in 17th- to 19th-century architecture and decorative arts. Perfectly located 5-star heritage hotel. Four performances: Peter Grimes (Britten) at the Theater an der Wien, The Makropulos Affair (Janáček) and La Cenerentola (Rossini) at the Staatsoper, and Hänsel and Gretel (Humperdinck) at the Volksoper. Vienna was once the seat of the Habsburgs, the centre of the Holy Roman Empire and capital of a multinational agglomeration of territories which encompassed much of Central and Eastern Europe. Today she is an imperial city without an empire. She is a relic, but a glorious relic, and one of the world’s foremost centres of art, architecture and music. The Kunsthistorisches Museum ranks with the best of Europe’s art collections, and the Court Treasury is without peer for its display of historic regalia and objets d’art. The great Gothic cathedral bears witness to the city’s status in the Middle Ages as the most important city in Danubian Europe; the Church of St Charles and numerous Baroque palaces demonstrate that by the beginning of the eighteenth century Austria had become one of the great powers.

During the nineteenth century, when the Empire reached a peak of extent and prestige, a splendid range of historicist buildings was added, notably on the Ringstrasse, the grand boulevard which encircles the mediaeval core. Around the turn of the century there was an explosion of artistic and intellectual activity which placed Vienna in the forefront of Art Nouveau – here known as Secession – and the development of modernism. Not all is on a grand scale. Tucked behind the imposing palaces and public buildings are narrow alleys and ancient courtyards which survive from the mediaeval and Renaissance city. In Vienna the magnificent mixes with the unpretentiously charming, imperial display with the Gemütlichkeit of the coffee houses. As home for Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms, Mahler and countless other composers, Vienna is pre-eminent in the history of music. Musical activity of the highest order continues and we hope to include four performances (tickets have been requested and are due to be confirmed late summer 2015). As with all our tours, careful planning to take account of seasonal closures enables us to provide a full programme of visits. There will be some special arrangements to see places not generally accessible.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.00am from London Heathrow to Vienna (Austrian Airlines). Drive to the city centre and check in to the hotel. After lunch the lecturer leads a walk in and around the Hofburg, the Habsburg winter palace, a vast agglomeration from six centuries of building activity. Within the complex are the Great Hall of the library, one

of the greatest of Baroque secular interiors, and the collection of precious regalia in the Treasury. Adjacent is the court church of St Augustine. Day 2. 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 most beautiful example of Secessionist art and architecture. After lunch visit the decommissioned railway station pavilions by Wagner and Olbrich and the Secession building, built in 1898 as an exhibition hall for avant-garde artists, with Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze. Opera at the Theater an der Wien: Peter Grimes (Britten), Cornelius Meister (cond.), Kurt Streit (Peter), Agneta Eichenholz (Ellen Orford), Hanna Schwarz (Auntie), Klandra Howarth (Niece 1), Frederikke Kampmann (Niece 2), Andrew Foster-Williams (Balstrode), Rosalind Plowright (Mrs Sedley), Stefan Cerny (Swallow), Andreas Conrad (Bob Boles), Erik Årman (Rev. Horace Adams), Tobias Greenhalgh (Ned Keene), Lukas Jakobski (Hobson). Day 3. Morning visit to the recently opened winter palace of Prince Eugene, begun in 1696 by Fischer von Erlach and expanded into one of the finest Baroque aristocratic palaces in Vienna by Lukas von Hildebrandt. The Museum of Applied Arts has international and Viennese collections, which are strikingly displayed. A visit to the Baroque Jesuit church follows, with it’s outstanding illusionistic ceiling paintings. At the Staatsoper: The Makropulos Affair (Janáček): Jakub Hrůša (cond.), Laura Aikin (Emilia Marty), Rainer Trost (Albert Gregor), Margaraita Gritskova (Krista), Markus Marquardt (Jaroslav Prus), Norbert Ernst (Janek Prus), Wolfgang Bankl (Dr. Kolenaty), Heinz Zednik (Hauk-Sendorf).

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Vienna, Am Hof, lithograph c. 1850. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Opera in Munich & Bregenz, 26 July–1 August 2016 with Dr David Vickers & Tom Abbott: see page 97.


The Danube Festival of Song Recitals in historic venues along the Danube

austria

Day 4, Christmas Eve. Spend the morning in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the world’s most important art collections, particularly rich in Italian, Flemish and Dutch pictures. An afternoon walk through some of the loveliest of Vienna’s streets and squares passes various imposing palaces and, on the Ringstrasse, the Gothic Revival Town Hall and the Neo-Classical Parliament. Christmas dinner. There are several musically embellished midnight masses. Day 5, Christmas Day. Free morning, though Mass at St Augustine’s is recommended and some museums are open. Spend the afternoon in the Museumsquartier, a recently developed arts centre in the former imperial stables, whose most interesting museum is the Leopold Collection of Secessionist art. At the Volksoper: Hänsel & Gretel (Humperdinck): Kark Dönch (cond.). Day 6. Visit the Church of St Charles, the Baroque masterpiece of Fischer von Erlach. See 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. Visit the Stephansdom, the magnificent Gothic cathedral adorned with fine paintings and sculpture. At the Staatsoper: La Cenerentola (Rossini): Michael Güttler (cond.), Antonino Siragusa (Don Ramiro), Alessio Arudini (Dandini), Alessandro Frenkel (Angelina), Michele Pertusi (Alidoro). Day 7. Free morning: a visit to the Albertina is recommended. Afternoon coach excursion to Klosterneuburg Abbey, once the seat of the Babenbergs. Largely Romanesque and Gothic, the church contains an altarpiece by Nicholas of Verdun, one of the greatest surviving metalworks of the middle ages. Return to Vienna for dinner. Day 8. Private visit to the magnificent Liechtenstein Palace which was built at the turn of the 17th and 18th centuries by the richest family in the Habsburg Empire and houses the princely art collection. A leisurely lunch before the flight to Heathrow, arriving at c. 6.45pm.

Practicalities

Included meals: 3 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Music: tickets to 4 performances are included, costing c. £570. To be confirmed summer 2015. Accommodation. Hotel Bristol (bristolvienna. com): a 5-star hotel in a superb location on the Ringstrasse near the opera house, traditionally furnished and decorated. How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking, standing around and navigation of metro and tram systems. Average coach travel per day: 20 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

5–12 July 2016 Details available in August 2015 Contact us to register your interest Ten or eleven Lieder and song recitals in historic palaces, abbeys, theatres, manor houses and concert halls. Singers so far confirmed: Susan Bullock, Mary Bevan, Véronique Gens, Elizabeth Watts, Katarina Karnéus, Christoph Prégardien, Benjamin Appl, André Schuen and Roderick Williams. Pianists: Julius Drake, Roger Vignoles. Richard Stokes is artistic director. The concerts are private, admission being exclusive to the hundred or so who participate fully in the festival. The audience has the further pleasure of the comfort of a first-class river cruiser which is both hotel and principal means of travel. This festival combines music and architecture in a singularly beguiling way. The palaces, country houses, concert halls and theatres in which the concerts take place are among the most magnificent or delightful buildings along the Danube. But the value of the juxtaposition goes deeper than visual attraction. The buildings are generally of the same period as the pieces performed in them, and in some places there are specific historical associations between the two. Matching music and place – that is the governing principle of this festival. 2016 will be its twentythird year. The 2016 edition will be the second time that the Festival has been devoted primarily to song. At the time of writing (May 2015) some arrangements have yet to be confirmed but full

details will be published in August 2015. The audience is small – no more than 140 – which, when taken with the relatively intimate size of most of the venues, results in a rare intensity of musical experience. To this exceptional artistic experience is added a further pleasure, the comfort and convenience of a first-class river cruiser which is both hotel and principal means of travel. There is also the option for up to 18 participants to stay in hotels along the route, attending concerts and taking country walks through countryside overlooking the Danube.

Salzburg Summer August 2016 Details available in December 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Haydn in Eisenstadt September 2016 Details available in October 2015 Contact us to register your interest

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Price: £3,320. Single supplement £350 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,130.

Dürnstein, 1820s aquatint by Jacob Alt (1789–1872).

The Schuber tiade June & September 2016 Details available in July 2015 Contact us to register your interest 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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Connoisseur’s Vienna

Art, architecture, music & private visits austria

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 Baroque palace is perhaps the finest private one in private hands in Europe, currently not open to the public. 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 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. At the Staatsoper: The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) with Cornelius Meister (cond.), Luca Pisaroni (Count Almaviva), Rachel Willis-Sorensen (Countess Almaviva), Valentina Nafornita (Susanna), Alessio Arduini (Figaro), Marianne Crebassa (Cherubino). Day 5. Visit 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. Free afternoon.

National (formerly Court) Library, lithograph c. 1950.

22–28 June 2016 (mc 727) 7 days • £2,860 (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 performances at the world class Staatsoper: The Marriage of Figaro (Mozart) and Manon Lescaut (Puccini).

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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 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 two operas 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. 9.30am, London Heathrow to Vienna (Austrian Airlines). An afternoon walk in and around the Hofburg, the Habsburg winter palace, a vast agglomeration from six centuries of building activity. See the 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. Visit to and dinner at the Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the world’s greatest art collections, particularly rich in Italian, Flemish and Dutch pictures.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

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, including the Leopold Collection of Secessionist art. At the Staatsoper: Manon Lescaut (Puccini) with Marco Armiliato (cond.), Anna Netrebko (Manon Lescaut), David Pershall (Lescaut), Marcello Giordani (Chevalier des Grieux). 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. 6.30pm. 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: £2,860. Single supplement £390 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,660. Accommodation. Hotel Bristol (bristolvienna. com): 5-star hotel in a located near the opera house; traditionally furnished and decorated. Music: tickets to 2 operas are included, costing c. £385. To be confirmed autumn 2015. How strenuous? This tour involves a lot of walking in the city and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with climbing stairs. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Moravia, 13–20 June (page 58); The Leipzig Bach Festival, 14–20 June (page 91); Great French Gardens, 29 June–1 July (page 69).


Vienna’s Masterpieces

The art collections of an imperial capital

Focuses on the best of the art in the city – painting, sculpture and decorative arts. Also the key architectural monuments and characteristic streetscape. Perfectly located 5-star heritage hotel. Can be combined with The Danube Festival of Song, 5–12 July 2016 – see page 49. 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 civilizations, 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.

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 arts from the turn of the nineteenth century. The afternoon is spent 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 5. Take a tram around the Ringstrasse, a boulevard encircling the inner city lined with magnificent palaces and institutions of the later nineteenth century. Visit the Museum of Applied Arts, an outstanding collection from all eras and places, well displayed. Walk back to the hotel through further enchanting streetscape. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 6.45pm.

Professor David Ekserdjian Professor of the History of Art and Film at the University of Leicester and Trustee of the Public Catalogue Foundation. Author of Correggio, Parmigianino and Alle Origini della Natura Morta. He was the organiser of the exhibition Bronze at the Royal Academy in 2012.

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1–5 July 2016 (mc 741) 5 days • £1,980 Lecturer: Professor David Ekserdjian

See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Practicalities Price: £1,980. Single supplement £260 (double for sole occupancy). Price without flights £1,770. Included meals: 1 lunch and 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.

Vienna, the Cathedral of St Stephen, copper engraving c.1700.

Combine this tour with Norway: Art, Architecture, Landscape, 20–28 June (page 149); Connoisseur’s Vienna, 22–28 June (page 50); German Gothic, 7–14 July (page 95).

Itinerary

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Day 1. Fly at c. 9.15am from London Heathrow to Vienna (Austrian Airlines) and drive to the hotel in the heart of the city. After a light lunch, walk to the 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. 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 Gothic building in the Danubian lands, distinguished for its latemediaeval sculpture, and the Hofburg, sprawling winter palace of the Habsburgs. The precious regalia and objets d’art in the Schatzkammer (Treasury) are the best of their kind. 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.

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Bruges

& the ancient cities of Flanders at Christmas belgium

22–27 December 2015 (mc 549) This tour is currently full Immersion in the paintings of the Flemish Golden Age in the beautiful, unspoilt cities in which they were created. The main centres of Flemish art: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels. First-class rail travel, 5-star hotel. Towards the end of the Middle Ages, the cities of Flanders (an area now divided between France, Belgium and Holland) were the most prosperous and progressive in northern Europe. Though ruled successively by two of the most illustrious of European dynasties – the Valois Dukes of Burgundy and the House of Habsburg – these great cities were virtually independent states. Each was able to sustain a cultural life which

taken together comprise one of the most brilliant episodes in the history of art. Now, with their enchanting dark brick buildings, cobbled streets and network of canals, their great squares formed by splendid guild houses and town halls, their soaring Gothic churches and richly filled museums, they are among the most beautiful of the smaller cities of Europe. Centuries of stagnation and decline subsequent to their period of greatness has resulted in the preservation of much of their ancient fabric. We have chosen Bruges as the base for this tour. With its very extensive unspoilt streetscape, and as the scene of the leading Early Netherlandish school of painting, it is the loveliest city of them all. In December, in the absence of the high-season crowds, Bruges regains some of the affecting tranquillity immortalised in the art of its heyday. The Golden Age of Flemish painting was inaugurated at the beginning of the fifteenth century by the brothers Hubert and Jan van Eyck, whose consummate skill with the new art of oil painting resulted in pictures which have never been surpassed for their jewel-like brilliance and breathtaking naturalism. Among their successors were Hans Memling and Dirk Bouts, while an alternative tradition with greater emotional power was pursued by Rogier van der Weyden and Hugo van der Goes. Jerome Bosch was an individualist who specialized in the depiction of diabolical nastiness. The sixteenth century saw Mannerist displays of virtuoso skill and spiritual tension, though the outstanding painter of the century was another individualist, Pieter Brueghel. A magnificent culmination was reached in the seventeenth century with Peter Paul Rubens, the greatest painter of the Baroque age, consummate master of bravura technique, vitality, passion and tenderness.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Tournai, Bruges. Leave by Eurostar from London St Pancras at c. 11.00am for Lille. Drive to Tournai, whose cathedral is not only one of the seminal buildings of 12th-century Europe, but also preserves one of the masterpieces of mediaeval reliquary art. See also the Musée des Beaux Arts. Continue to Bruges. Day 2: Bruges. A walk passes the market square, soaring civic belfry, exquisite Gothic town hall, guild houses and palaces of some of the most prosperous merchants of mediaeval Europe. The mediaeval Hospital of St John is now a museum devoted to Hans Memling and contains many of his best paintings. In the afternoon visit the Groeningemuseum Museum with a wonderful collection of paintings by Van Eyck and other Bruges painters. The Church of Our Lady houses tombs of the Valois dukes and Michelangelo’s marble Madonna and Child. Day 3: Antwerp. The great port on the Scheldt has an abundance of historic buildings in the old centre, and possesses museums and churches of the highest interest. The Royal Museum of Fine Arts is closed for renovation until 2017. However, book online at www.martinrandall.com

highlights of its impressive collection are on display in the vast Gothic cathedral, in addition to three of Rubens’s most powerful paintings. Visit also the house and studio Rubens built for himself and the Mayer van der Bergh Museum, which has a small but outstanding collection including works by Brueghel. Day 4, Christmas Day: Bruges, Lissewege, Damme. Free morning; the opportunity to attend a church service or for independent exploration. In the afternoon visit two lovely villages in the evocative polder countryside around Bruges. Lissewege has a fine church with a tall tower and a huge Gothic barn while Damme, strategically sited on the canal between Bruges and the sea, has a delightful late-mediaeval town hall. Day 5: Ghent. Walk around the attractive centre passing churches, canals, magnificent guild halls and fairytale castle. The altarpiece in the cathedral of St. Bavo, The Adoration of the Mystic Lamb by the van Eyck brothers, is one of the outstanding achievements of western art, and the first and greatest masterpiece of the Netherlandish school (some panels are undergoing restoration). The Museum of Fine Arts has a representative collection of Flemish paintings to the present day, including Bosch’s Carrying the Cross and the Mystic Lamb panels being restored. Day 6: Brussels. Having risen to prominence later than the other cities and thriving in the 19th and 20th centuries, Brussels nevertheless retains splendid palaces and guildhouses around the Grand Place. The Fine Arts Museum is one of the best in Europe, and presents the most comprehensive of all collections of Netherlandish painting as well as international works. Eurostar from Brussels, arriving at St Pancras at c. 7.15pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,240. Single supplement £420 (double room for single occupancy). Price without rail travel by Eurostar £2,060. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Dukes Palace (hoteldukespalace.com): central, 5-star hotel. How strenuous? A lot of walking and standing in museums. Average coach travel per day: 53 miles. Weather: crisp, cold weather is to be expected, with rain or even snow not out of the question. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants.

Dutch & Flemish Ar t October 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest Illustration: Bruges, house in the Rue des Tonneliers, late-19th-century engraving.


Flemish Painting

From van Eyck to Rubens: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels belgium

7–10 September 2016 (md 827) 4 days • £1,420 Lecturer: Dr Sophie Oosterwijk Immersion in the highlights of Flemish painting in the unspoilt cities in which they were created. The main centres of Flemish art: Bruges, Ghent, Antwerp, Brussels and Louvain. 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. Check into the hotel before visiting the cathedral to see the Adoration of the Mystic Lamb polyptych by Hubert and Jan van Eyck, one of the greatest masterpieces of Netherlandish painting. Visit briefly the Museum of Fine Arts, principally to see a work by Hieronymus Bosch.

The Virgin & Child with Canon van der Paele, wood engraving after J. Van Eyck, c. 1870.

Day 2: 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 mediaeval Hospital of St John contains major paintings by Hans Memling. Also seen are the market place with its soaring belfry, the Gothic town hall and the Church of Our Lady, where Michelangelo’s marvellous marble Madonna and Child is located. 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 since 1799 by a dozen major altarpieces dispersed by Napoleon. 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: Louvain, Brussels. The attractive university city of Louvain has a splendid Gothic town hall and the Triptych of the Holy by Dieric Bouts, still in the chapel for which it was painted. Thriving in the 19th and 20th centuries, Brussels nevertheless retains splendid historic townhouses and guildhouses around the Grand Place. The Fine Arts Museum 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.

Dr Sophie Oosterwijk Researcher and lecturer with degrees in Art History, Mediaeval Studies and English Literature. Her specialisms are the Middle Ages, Netherlandish and Dutch art. She has taught at the universities of Leicester, Manchester and St Andrews, and lectures at Cambridge. She is former editor of the journal Church Monuments. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Practicalities Price: £1,420. Single supplement £150 (double room for single occupancy). Price without rail travel by Eurostar £1,260. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel NH Gent Belfort (nh-hotels.com): a 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: 60 miles.

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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.

Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. Combine this tour with Poets & the Somme, 2–5 September (page 67); Connoisseur’s London, 13–17 September (page 41); Connoisseur’s Prague, 13–19 September (page 60). 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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Flanders Fields

Walking the battlefields of World War I belgium British troops on the Western Front, photograph 1916.

10–13 June 2016 (mc 710) 4 days • £1,180 Lecturer: Andrew Spooner In depth look at one of The Great War’s most infamous battlegrounds. Tracing personal wartime tales and exploring lesser known events. Opportunity to research personal family histories in advance. Led by military expert Andrew Spooner.

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There were four major battles at Ypres between October 1914 and April 1918. The first was a powerful German offensive to take the town during the last week of October and the first week of November 1914 in an attempt to thrust towards the channel ports. The Second Battle of Ypres began on 12th April 1915 with a strong German attack to the north; the British replied with an attack successfully capturing Hill 60. On 22nd April the Germans used poisonous gas for the first time on the Western Front. The lull between June 1915 and June 1917 was in fact an artillery duel, with both sides attempting to destroy the other’s defensive positions. The consequence was the almost total destruction of the magnificent town, in the Middle Ages a leading centre of cloth manufacture. On June 7th 1917 the Third Battle of Ypres commenced. Known today as ‘Passchendaele’, this series of limited objective attacks on the German positions, using lessons learned from the attacks on the Somme in 1916, saw Ypres finally being relieved from threat. The Battle of Messines started this offensive with the exploding of nineteen huge mines under the German lines. On November 6th the

Passchendaele Ridge was finally cleared by British and Canadian troops. The cost of victory was extremely high as visits to Tyne Cot Cemetery, Langemark and the Menin Gate will illustrate. In 1918 the Germans, in one last effort to achieve victory, swept through this area in a matter of days, and although they advanced as far as Kemmel, Ypres managed to hold out. This tour studies trench warfare and follows the fronts of both Allied and German forces. Through walking the scarred landscape of Ypres, personal and moving stories of individuals caught up in the war, whether as soldiers or civilians, are uncovered and expertly recounted by Andrew Spooner, a military historian with over twenty years experience of leading tours to the region.

Itinerary Day 1: Spanbroekmoelen, Bayernwald. Travel by coach at 7.30am from central London to Folkestone for the 35-minute Eurotunnel crossing to Calais. Walk the battlefield, including Spanbroekmoelen and Bayernwald, for an introduction to the landscape and environment. Continue to Ypres for the first of three nights. Day 2: Zonnebeke, Potijze, Zillebeke. Early visit of the museum at Zonnebeke followed by Hussar Farm, a former 19th-century farmhouse concreted over by the Royal Engineers and used as an artillery post. The rest of the morning is spent at Hell Fire Corner on the Menin Road, and walking the original frontline from Spoilbank Cemetery towards the Bluff. After lunch continue the walk towards Caterpillar, Hill 60 and Larch Wood. Day 3: Zonnebeke, Broodseinde, Langemark, Boezinge, Ypres. Walk from Zonnebeke Railway Station to the Tyne Cot Military Cemetery observing examples of the change from rigid trench warfare to defence by following an

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Australian Battalion along the former railway line. Experience the direct contrast of the German Cemetery at Langemark before visiting Essex Farm and exploring the medical and evacuation services. Return late afternoon to the hotel in order to attend the Menin Gate Ceremony (there will be an opportunity to lay a wreath of poppies). Final night in Ypres. Day 4: Kemmel, Poperinge. Morning visit of Kemmel to investigate the practice of execution of deserters before visiting Talbot House, the sanctuary established by Gilbert and Neville Talbot for soldiers seeking peace and rest from the Great War. Drive to Calais for the Eurotunnel journey to London, arriving c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,180. Single supplement £140 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 3 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Novotel Centrum, Ypres (accorhotels.com): a 3-star hotel located near the Menin Gate. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking, most of it over rough ground and standing for long periods of time. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Cold War Berlin, 5–9 June (page 88); Rijksmuseum & Mauritshuis, 5–8 June (page 147).

The Western Front, 26–30 July 2016 with Major Gordon Corrigan: see page 68.


The Western Balkans

Croatia, Serbia, Bosnia-Herzegovina & Montenegro

9–22 May 2016 (mc 665) 14 days • £4,210 Lecturer: David Gowan 3–16 October 2016 (md 800) 14 days • £4,210 Lecturer: David Gowan A ground-breaking journey through one of the most politically complex and fissiparous yet fundamentally similar regions of Europe. A political and historical tour, led by a former British ambassador in Belgrade, David Gowan. 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.

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. 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.

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 ad 295 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 Mostar, from Balkan Sketches, 1926.

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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 Nemjana 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 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. 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 summer departures will show the magnificent countryside at its best.

bosnia & herzegovina, croatia

5–18 October 2015 (mc 474) This tour is currently full

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The Western Balkans continued

“My memory of this tour will be that of a wonderful thought provoking experience to which the excellence of the lecturer contributed enormously.”

bosnia & herzegovina, croatia

H U N G A RY S L OV E N I A Virovitica

Zagreb

RO M A N I A Osijek

C ro a t i a

Ilok

Novi Sad Belgrade

Bosnia & Herzegovina Sarajevo

Serbia Višegrad

Stolac Dubrovnik

M o n t e n e g ro

Trebinje Perast Cetinje

I TA LY

record for the number of times it has changed hands between hostile powers. The bulk of its architecture dates from the late 19th century onwards. Liveliness is provided by the café culture typical of the Balkans. 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. 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.

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Day 8: Višegrad, Sarajevo. Cross from Serbia to Bosnia-Herzegovina. Stop at the beautiful late 16th-century Višegrad bridge before continuing to the capital, Sarajevo. First of two nights here. 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. Final night in Sarajevo.

c. 100 km

under Ottoman rule in 1482, this is BosniaHerzegovina’s 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, Kotor. 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 BosniaHerzegovina. 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 Kotor (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. Day 13: Cetinje, Budva. A mountain drive to the 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 andformer embassies. In the afternoon visit the historic old town of Budva on Montenegro’s Adriatic coast. Final night in Kotor. Day 14: Kotor. Fly from Dubrovnik, arriving London Gatwick at approximately 1.00pm.

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 book online at www.martinrandall.com

Sopoćani

Kosovo

Kotor

Kotor, watercolour by W. Tyndale, publ. 1925.

Kraljevo Studenica

Mostar

Adriatic Sea

Manasija

ALBANIA

M AC E D O N I A

Practicalities Price in 2016: £4,210. Single supplement £390 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £3,980. Included meals: 9 lunches, 10 dinners, with wine. Visas: not required for British citizens. Citizens of Australia and the USA do not require visas for tourist stays of up to 90 days. 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): a modern and comfortable high-rise hotel on the bank of the river Drava. Hotel Moskva, Belgrade (hotelmoskva.rs): a well-located and comfortable hotel built in 1926 with a great deal of character, recently renovated. Hotel Crystal, Kraljevo (hotelcrystal.rs): simple but adequate and with welcoming service, the only acceptable hotel in a region with little tourism. Hotel Europe, Sarajevo (hoteleurope.ba): centrally located 5-star hotel, the best in the city, built in the late 19th century but comprehensively renovated. Hotel Bristol, Mostar (bristol.ba/en): modern business hotel within walking distance of the historic centre. Hotel Cattaro, Kotor (cattarohotel. com): located within the old city walls, this hotel provides an excellent base from which to explore. How strenuous? 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. Frequent border crossings may entail delays at check points. There are 6 hotel changes. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour, in May 2016, with Courts of Northern Italy, 8–15 May (page 116); in October 2016: Ravenna & Urbino, 28 September–2 October (page 119).


Music in Prague & Dresden At New Year

In Prague: The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček) and The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky) at the National Theatre, and Slavonic Dances (Dvořák) performed by the Prague Symphony Orchestra at the Obecní dům. In Dresden: Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss) and La Bohème (Puccini) at the Semperoper. Musicologist Professor Jan Smaczny gives talks on the music throughout, while art historian Dr Jarl Kremeier leads walks to see the fine 18th- & 19th-century architecture and outstanding art collections in Dresden.

threading through a succession of arcades which takes in some outstanding turn-of-the-century architecture, decoration and early modernist masterpieces. Evening opera at the National Theatre: The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček). Cast to be confirmed.

Wallenstein Palace, a rare example of a 1630s residence (now the Senate), and St Nicholas, one of the greatest of Baroque churches in Central Europe. Evening concert at the Obecni dům with the Prague Symphony Orchestra, Jan Kučera (cond.): Dvořák, Slavonic Dances Op.46 and 72.

Day 3: Prague. Visit the mediaeval Royal Palace with amazing late-Gothic vaulting and the Cathedral of St Vitus, a pioneering monument of High Gothic, richly embellished with chapels, tombs, altarpieces and stained glass. Afternoon ballet performance at the National Theatre: The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky). Cast to be confirmed.

Day 5: Dresden. Cross into Germany and drive beside the Elbe through forested hills to Dresden. After lunch walk through the Old Town and visit the Zwinger, a unique Baroque combination of pleasure palace and arena for festivities also housing the Old Masters Gallery, one of Europe’s finest collections. First of three nights in Dresden.

Day 4: Prague, New Year’s Day. The Klementinum is a vast Jesuit complex with library halls and chapels. See also in the Old Town the church of St James, a Gothic carcass encrusted with Baroque finery after a fire in 1689. Walk across 14th-century Charles Bridge, the greatest such structure in Europe, wonderfully adorned with sculptures. Visit the infrequently opened

Day 6: 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. Late afternoon opera at the Semperoper: Die Fledermaus (J. Strauss) with the Saxony State Orchestra, Saxony State Choir, Martin Gantner (Gabriel von Eisenstein), Simone Schneider

czech republic

29 December 2015–5 January 2016 (mc 547) 8 days • £3,210 (including tickets to 5 performances) Lecturers: Professor Jan Smazcny & Dr Jarl Kremeier

Two historic 5-star hotels in both Old Towns.

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Dresden, capital of Saxony, was Prague’s nearest metropolitan neighbour (Vienna is twice the distance), and so the corridor of cultural exchange between the two cities was crucial to the history of both. From early in the seventeenth century Dresden has been one of the most important operatic centres north of the Alps. Performing in the magnificent 19th-century theatre designed by Gottfried Semper, the modern company has built upon the long-standing tradition of high standards of musicianship and visually exciting (if not avant-garde) productions to ensure a consistently high standard of performance. Prague has three opera houses in regular use, two of which are visited on this tour, although we only attend performances at the National Theatre. The oldest, and one of Europe’s most regularly functioning eighteenth-century theatres – Don Giovanni had its première here – is the Estates Theatre. Mozart operas still continue to be performed there frequently. The other two were added in the second half of the nineteenth century, serving the Czech and German communities respectively. This tour is led by a musicologist whose main contribution will be to give talks on the performances and on Prague as a musical city. The programme of walks and excursions will be led by an art historian in Dresden and local guides in Prague.

Itinerary Day 1: Prague. Fly at c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Prague (British Airways). Visit the Obecni dům (‘Municipal House’) to see the glorious suite of assembly rooms created 1904–12. Dinner in the hotel­. First of four nights in Prague. Day 2: Prague. A guided tour of the Estates Theatre, where Don Giovanni had its première in 1786. Walk through the Old Town, a dense maze of streets and squares with buildings of all ages and an exceptionally lovely main square. In the afternoon, walk in and around Wenceslas Square,

Prague, St Nicholas and the Lesser Town, etching by Vladimir Pukl 1935. 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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Music in Prague & Dresden at New Year continued

Moravia

Town & country czech republic

(Rosalinde), Merto Sungu (Alfred), Christina Bock (Prinz Orlofsky), Emily Dorn (Adele), Sebastian Wartig (Dr. Falke), Oliver Zwarg (Frank), Tom Martinsen (Dr. Blind), Wolfgang Stumph (Frosch). Day 7: Dresden, Meissen. Drive to Meissen, ancient capital of Dukes of Saxony and location of the discovery of hard-paste porcelain. The largely 15th-century castle overlooking the Elbe, the Albrechtsburg, is one of the first to be more residential than defensive; within the complex is a fine Gothic cathedral. Return to Dresden in the afternoon and visit the great domed Frauenkirche, whose restoration is now complete. At the Semperoper: La Bohème (Puccini) with the Saxony State Orchestra, Saxony State Choir, Giampaolo Bisanti (cond.), Angel Blue (Mimì), Carolina Ullrich (Musetta), Arnold Rutkowski (Rodolfo), Christoph Pohl (Marcello), Evan Hughes (Schaunard), Matthias Henneberg (Colline). Day 8: Dresden, Berlin. Drive north to Berlin. Fly from Tegel Airport, arriving at London Heathrow at c.3.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,210. Single supplement £380 (double for sole occupancy). Price without flights £3,040. Included meals: 1 lunch and 6 dinners with wine. Music: tickets to 5 performances are included, costing c. £275; first category tickets for the Semperoper (Dresden) and the Prague Symphony Orchestra are confirmed. The tickets for the other performances in Prague, as well as the cast, are due to be confirmed in the summer. Accommodation. Hotel Paris, Prague (hotelparis.cz): 5-star hotel built in 1904. The hotel retains an Art Nouveau theme throughout. Hotel Taschenbergpalais Kempinski, Dresden (kempinski.com): 5-star hotel in the heart of the Old Town, 2 minutes walk from the Semperoper and the Zwinger. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking, some of it over steep and roughly paved streets which can be tricky when wet or frozen. The drive from Prague to Dresden is approximately 2.5 hours long. Average distance by coach per day: 33 miles.

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Weather: cold, often below freezing at least at the beginning of the day, though buildings are well heated. Snow is possible. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Brno, 1930s coloured etching.

13–20 June 2016 (mc 707) 8 days • £2,690 Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier A little-known corner of Europe with a fascinating architectural patrimony. Unspoilt historic towns, Renaissance palaces, extraordinary Baroque churches. Led by Dr Jarl Kremeier, specialist in 17th- to 19th-century architecture and decorative arts. Enchanting landscape and historic gardens. For a couple of decades in the ninth century the Great Moravian Empire encompassed not only Czech and Slovak lands but also parts of what are now Austria, Hungary and Poland. This agglomeration of territories rapidly disintegrated, and neighbouring Bohemia began to take shape and take priority. Ever since then Moravia has been the lesser member in an enduring partnership with Bohemia. Yoked together, they fell together under Habsburg suzerainty in 1526, emerged together in 1920 to form (with Slovakia) the new Czechoslovakia, and stayed together in 1993 to form the Czech Republic (shorn of Slovakia). It may have been politically provincial but it was a prosperous area and quite close to the chief metropolis of Central Europe, Vienna. Its rich architectural and artistic patrimony includes fine Renaissance country houses, outstanding Baroque palaces and churches, bizarre buildings by Jan Santini-Aichel, historic gardens both formal and landscaped, galleries of fine and

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decorative art, much beautiful streetscape in towns and villages, and rolling landscape. Moravia gets better every year. Architectural conservation proceeds apace, towns are smartened up, hotels and restaurants are improving, and more and more museums and historic buildings are refurbished and better presented. In spite of these developments Moravia is much less on the tourist track than Bohemia and remains fairly unspoilt.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.45am from London Heathrow to Prague and drive south into Moravia. Telč is a tiny town with the loveliest square in the Czech Lands, lined with Renaissance and Baroque façades above a meandering Gothic arcade. First of two nights in Telč. Day 2: Vranov nad Dyji, Jaromerice. Perched high above a gorge close to the Austrian border, the great oval Hall of Ancestors at Vranov is one of the most impressive Baroque creations in Central Europe, the creation of the greatest architect and greatest painter in the region at the time. The splendid mansion at Jaromerice sprawls irregularly, but contains some wonderful 18thcentury interiors and an enormous chapel. Day 3: Telč, Naměst nad Oslavou. The castle in Telč was extended in stages during the 16th century with a series of halls of brilliant, eccentric decoration around elegant, arcaded courtyards; a jewel of the Northern Renaissance. Dramatically sited above a little town in the valley below, the fabric of the castle at Naměst nad Oslavou dates largely to the later 16th century. There is a large


Bohemia

Art, architecture, history & landscape

Day 4: Slavkov, Lednice. Alias Austerlitz, Slavkov gave its name to Napoleon’s 1805 victory against Austro-Russian armies. After surveying the battlefield, visit the imposing Baroque mansion with its fine art collection. On a vast estate straddling the Austrian border once owned by the Liechtensteins, Lednice has a superbly crafted Gothic Revival mansion, magnificent Baroque stables and a landscaped park dotted with architectural follies. Day 5: Brno. The present capital of Moravia, and the second largest Czech city, Brno has a wealth of Gothic and Baroque churches and fine architecture of the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries. A walk includes the mediaeval town hall, the fine Gothic church of St James and the Baroque Minorite church, among other treasures. Villa Tugendhadt is a superb house by modernist architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. Day 6: Bucovice, Kromeriz. Bucovice has a splendid Renaissance mansion with arcaded courtyard and stucco interiors of a quality virtually without equal in northern Europe. The Bishop’s Palace at Kromeriz with magnificent Rococo hall and fine art collection (Titian, van Dyck, Brueghel). The 17th-century walled garden with pavilion and immense colonnade is an astounding survival. Day 7: Plumlov, Olomouc. The rumbustious 17th-century mansion at Plumlov has probably the richest façade columnation of any building in Europe. Olomouc, former capital of Moravia, has many fine churches, a Romanesque episcopal palace and Renaissance town hall. Several magnificently sculpted fountains are spread through a large tract of highly attractive historic townscape, surely the loveliest little city in Europe which is not yet on the tourist trail. Day 8: Zd’ár nad Sázavou­. Drive to the pilgrimage church at Zd’ár nad Sázavou, a Baroque-Gothic creation by maverick architect Santini-Aichel and among the most bizarre and fascinating buildings of the 18th century. Fly from Prague to Heathrow, arriving c. 9.15pm.

Practicalities

Included meals: 4 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel U Hraběnky, Telč (hotel-uhrabenky.cz/en): the only usable hotel for miles around, this 4-star is fairly old-fashioned, if adequately equipped. Grandezza Hotel, Brno (grandezzahotelbrno.com): newly opened luxurious boutique hotel in the historic center. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour, some of it up slopes or up steps. Fitness is essential. There is also a fair amout of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 121 miles.

A selection of the finest places with the most densely packed heritage in Central Europe. Beautiful historic town centres, architecture from Gothic to Art Nouveau, distinctive Bohemian schools of painting and sculpture. Lecturer Michael Ivory, is a landscape architect and writer specialising in the Czech Republic. Passes through enchanting, rolling countryside. Can be combined with Connoisseur’s Prague, 13–19 September 2016 (see overleaf). Draw two lines across a map of Europe, from Inverness to Istanbul and from Málaga to Moscow: the place where they cross is Bohemia. The heart of Europe thus crudely determined turns out to be a region whose exact whereabouts and current political description may challenge not a few of you, and which is synonymous with a decorously dissolute lifestyle. Yet there were times when Bohemia was a significant European power, enjoyed a thriving economy and marched in the vanguard of political, social and cultural developments. (In one of these expansionist moments, over three hundred years before A Winter’s Tale, it acquired a coast.) But Fate seems to have decreed that each rise was soon to be followed by a fall. The most recent was a double fall – dismemberment and desecration by the Nazis was followed by a fortyyear incarceration behind the Iron Curtain. Paradoxically, Communist rule helped to preserve a wonderful architectural patrimony, the most abundant in Central Europe. Ideologically inspired contempt for and neglect of its heritage was constrained by lack of means to modernise, rebuild or demolish (thanks to a baleful economic model), a mixture that acted like a mildly corrosive aspic: there was deterioration but little destruction. But since the Velvet Revolution of 1989, a surge of restoration and rehabilitation has transformed both the architectural set pieces and the humbler buildings. The built environment and the art of Bohemia have never looked better. There are towns with streets and squares with façades from every century from the fifteenth to the early twentieth; a remarkable variety of castles and country houses, most retaining fine furnishings and pictures; magnificent churches and abbeys, mediaeval and Baroque; distinctive works of art in excellent galleries. And the landscape is enchanting, mostly gently hilly, sometimes rugged, much of it wooded interspersed with fertile fields of pasture or arable, large tracts surprisingly empty. The River Vltava is a recurring feature, cutting a curvaceous course from south to north, and so are the many small lakes, most formed in the Middle Ages for the cultivation of fish.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Itinerary

Combine this tour with Connoisseur’s Vienna, 22–28 June (page 58).

Day 1. Fly at c. 9.45am from London Heathrow to Prague. Drive to Zámek Mělník before settling in

at a country house hotel near Liblice in time for an introductory talk before dinner. First of three nights in Liblice. Day 2: Kutná Hora, Kačina. In the Middle Ages, the silver mines at Kutná Hora made the city wealthy. Now a small provincial town of great charm, it possesses a wonderful cathedral, perhaps the greatest Gothic building in Central Europe, the creation sequentially of Bohemia’s two finest mediaeval architects. Set in a landscaped park, the country house at Kačina is a marvellous classical design of the early 19th century with a circular library, theatre, and a sequence of fine rooms. Day 3: Nelahozeves, Troja. Nelahozeves is a magnificent house of the mid-16th century, externally retaining the aspect of a fortress but internally embodying Italianate Renaissance elegance. Restituted to the Lobkowicz family, the furnishings and works of art are excellent. Dvořák’s birthplace museum is in the village. Built as a riverside retreat, Villa Troja is a fine 17th-century Italianate mansion with painted hall and delightful formal French garden. Day 4: Karlštejn, Zvíkov. Drive to South Bohemia via two castles. Karlštejn was built by Emperor Charles IV, whose reign (1346–78) saw Bohemia reach its apogee. A chapel embedded in the impregnable keep, with its walls of semi-precious stones, gilded vault and 130 panel paintings is the most opulent surviving mediaeval interior. Above the confluence of two gorges, Zvíkov has a unique two-storey, 13th-century arcaded courtyard. First of three nights in Hluboká nad Vltavou. Day 5: Hluboká, Český Krumlov. Summer home of the Schwarzenbergs, dominant dynasty of South Bohemia, the Gothic Revival mansion of Hluboká is sumptuously furnished. The adjacent regional art collection has good mediaeval and

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Price: £2,690. Single supplement £260 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,510.

5–12 September 2016 (md 839) 8 days • £2,760 Lecturer: Michael Ivory

czech republic

Baroque hall with frescoes by Carpoforo Tencalla, 1670–73. First of five nights in Brno.

Kačina, aquatint c. 1930 by Tavik Frantisek Simon. 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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Bohemia continued

Connoisseur’s Prague

Art, architecture & design, with privileged access czech republic

20th-century Czech works. Clustered around a bend in the upper reaches of the Vltava, Český Krumlov is a highly picturesque little town. The hilltop castle was largely rebuilt in the 16th and 18th centuries; among its treasures are a hall painted with masked revellers, an excellently preserved theatre and a formal garden.

13–19 September 2016 (md 841) 7 days • £2,690 Lecturer: Michael Ivory

Day 6: Jindřichův Hradec, Třeboň. Jindřichův Hradec is a pretty little town whose extensive aristocratic residence is notable for its Renaissance parts, in particular a beautiful rotunda. At the heart of a district of lakes formed in the Middle Ages to cultivate fish, Třeboň is another delightful little town, still partly walled.

Special arrangements and private visits are major features. Also museum tours with curators.

Day 7: Kratochvíle, Plzeň, Kladruby. Secluded within a walled garden amid particularly lovely countryside, Kratochvíle is the finest Renaissance villa in the country. Continue to West Bohemia. The centre of the city of Plzeň adheres to its 13thcentury grid plan; Gothic cathedral, the world’s third largest synagogue (1880s) and varied street frontages. The Baroque-Gothic monastery church at Kladruby (1720s) is a masterpiece by Bohemia’s most original architect, Giovanni Santini. Overnight Mariánské Lázně.

The lecturer, Michael Ivory, has led many tours to the Czech Republic.

Day 8: Mariánské Lázně (Marienbad). For most of the 19th century and into the 20th, Marienbad was one of Europe’s most fashionable spas, with patronage from monarchs (Edward VII) to mavericks (Marx, Chopin, Wagner). White, yellow and ochre, from serene classicism to riotous ‘Renaissance’, the hotels and spas gather around a lovely landscaped park. Fly from Prague Airport, arriving Heathrow c. 6.15pm.

Includes inaccessible and hidden glories as well as the main sights of this endlessly fascinating city.

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.

Can be combined with Bohemia, 5–12 September 2016 (see previous pages). 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 Prague Castle, woodcut by Karel Vik, 1930.

Practicalities Price: £2,760. Single supplement £110. Price without flights £2,560. Combining this tour with Connoisseur’s Prague: see opposite for details. Included meals: 3 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine.

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Accommodation. Hotel Château Liblice, near Liblice (chateau-liblice.com): 4-star hotel and conference centre converted from an 18th-cent. country house. Hotel Stekl in Hluboká nad Vltavou (hotelstekl.cz): 4-star hotel converted from an auxiliary building belonging to the neighbouring mansion. Hotel Villa Butterfly, Mariánské Lazně (villabutterfly-hotel.com): modern hotel in the centre of town. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour, some of it up slopes or up steps (250 steps are climbed during the visit to Karlstejn, for example). To be able to enjoy the tour it would be essential to manage daily walking and stair-climbing without any difficulties. Average distance by coach per day: 104 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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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 well-known 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 make 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


“The privileged access and special visits enhanced this trip tremendously.”

Itinerary Day 1. Fly from London Heathrow to Prague at c. 9.45am. 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.

Day 3. 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). Walk through a sequence of delightful gardens on the south slope down to the Lesser Town.

Day 5. The Klementinum is a vast Jesuit complex with library halls and chapels. See also in the Old Town the church of St James, a Gothic carcass encrusted with Baroque finery after a fire in 1689. Walk across 14th-century Charles Bridge, the greatest such structure in Europe, wonderfully adorned with sculptures. In the Lesser Town visit the Wallenstein Palace, a rare example of a 1630s residence (now the Senate), and St Nicholas, one of the finest of Baroque churches in Central Europe. Free afternoon. Day 6. Sunday morning traffic enables efficient mopping up by coach of treasures south of the centre, among them St John Nepomuk ‘on the Rock’, a Baroque masterpiece (rarely accessible), the bizarre phenomenon of Cubist houses and the fortress of Vysehrad, high above the river with a cemetery containing graves of many great Czechs. A special tour of the National Theatre (1869–83), to which all the leading Czech artists of the time contributed, and 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, for some free time at the Castle. There is an excellent museum of Czech 19th-century art, the Lobkowicz Palace with Canaletto’s paintings of London, and the Treasury of St Vitus. The flight arrives at London Heathrow at c. 6.15pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,690. Single supplement £330 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,490. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Although elsewhere in Europe unlikely to be rated more than a 4-star, the Grand Hotel Bohemia (worldhotels.com/en) is a 5-star hotel very well located in the Old Town.

Michael Ivory After studying modern languages at Oxford, Michael qualified as a town planner and landscape architect and taught these subjects at university level. He now works as a writer and translator, specialising in Central Europe. His publications include guides to Prague and the Czech Republic, including the Berlitz Czech Republic. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Combining this tour with Bohemia 12th September. At the end of Bohemia, the coach continues to Prague with anyone who is continuing onwards with Connoisseur’s Prague, which begins the following day (13th September). The rest of the day is free. Overnight Prague. 13th September. Morning walking tour with a local guide. Connoisseur’s Prague begins at c. 3.45pm at the hotel. Price for combining the two tours. You pay the price of Bohemia with flights (£2,760) and the price of Connoisseur’s Prague without flights (£2,490), unless you are arranging your own flights. To these figures you need to add the single supplements if you are booking a double room for single occupancy. Price of the additional night in Prague: £120 per person sharing a room, or £140 for a double room for single use. This includes the walking tour on the morning of 13th September. Please let us know on your booking form if you would like to take up this option.

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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 stair-climbing. Fitness is essential.

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Day 2. Continue the tour of the Old Town with the Gothic Týn church, at the heart not only of Prague but also of Czech history. There follows the 13th-century Convent of St Agnes, where one of the world’s greatest collections of mediaeval painting is brilliantly installed. A walk in and around Wenceslas Square, threading through a succession of arcades, takes in some outstanding turn-of-the-century architecture and decoration and early modernist masterpieces.

Day 4. Begin with the Moorish style Jubilee Synagogue of 1908 and the rare Rondo-Cubist Legion’s Bank of the 1920s. The Veletržni (Trade Fair) Palace of 1928 houses Czech art of the 19th and 20th centuries, a remarkable holding of modern French art, and Alphons Mucha’s 20 vast canvases of his Slav Epic, which ranks as the concluding episode in the 400-year European tradition of history painting. Return to the Castle District to see the Belvedere in the Royal Gardens, the finest Renaissance building in Prague, and the cathedral of St Vitus, a pioneering monument of High Gothic, richly embellished with chapels, tombs, altarpieces and stained glass.

czech republic

innovatory directions and pioneered some radical and unique features at the dawn of modernism. 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.

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Group size: between 10 and 19 participants. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Vikings & Bog People Ancient Denmark denmark

12–19 July 2016 (mc 754) 8 days • £3,310 Lecturer: Dr David Griffiths The most important Viking sites in Denmark including Roskilde, Copenhagen and Jelling. See some of the best-preserved ‘bog bodies’: Tollund Man and Grauballe Man. Stay in central Copenhagen, the charming mediaeval town of Ribe and the important regional city of Aarhus. Journey through idyllic countryside and visit the environmentally precious wilderness of the Wadden Sea. Led by Dr David Griffiths, a leading expert in Viking and early mediaeval archaeology. A country with a fierce and proud national history, but which today is renowned for its excellent food, world-class museums and high standards of art, architecture and design, Denmark is a pleasure to visit. Its archaeological treasures include the collections of the National Museum in Copenhagen, the Viking ships at Roskilde and the exceptionally well-preserved Iron Age ‘bog bodies’ known as Tollund Man and Grauballe Man. The peaceful and prosperous image of modern Denmark belies its roots as northern Europe’s first, and most aggressive, nation state. Between the eighth and the eleventh centuries ad, Danes attacked, conquered and colonised a wide swath of Europe. Bands of well-armed warriors spread out from its fjords and islands in ships of unrivalled quality and effectiveness. They travelled the northern seas, wreaking terror on indigenous populations and causing political chaos. Treaties and buy-offs, such as ‘Danegeld’ Watercolour by A.R. Hope Moncrieff, publ. 1920.

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paid by the English under Æthelred ‘The Unready’, consolidated their power. The keys to understanding Denmark’s rise as a centralised state are its compact geography and the ease of communication across its waterways and gently contoured landscape. Emerging from warring Iron Age tribes, a succession of ambitious and successful rulers established national defences, roads, bridges, canals and a network of towns. Trade and the new religion of Christianity prospered. The high-point of the Viking Age occurred under the Jelling dynasty, which began with the reign of Gorm the Old in the early decades of the tenth century. Gorm’s son Harold Bluetooth, his grandson Svein Forkbeard and his greatgrandson Cnut the Great presided over a ‘golden age’ of Danish achievement, marked by the construction of spectacular dynastic monuments and accompanied by astonishing artistic endeavour. Under Cnut, Denmark’s conquests extended to parts of Norway, Sweden, Germany and, its greatest prize, the Kingdom of England.

Itinerary Day 1: Copenhagen. Fly at c. 10.00am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Copenhagen. Much of the surviving artistic finery of Denmark’s Viking Age, in metal, wood, bone and semi-precious stone, can be found in the National Museum, Copenhagen. One of the great museums of the world, it hosted the first stage of the Vikings: Life and Legend exhibition, which subsequently went on to the British Museum and Berlin. The National Museum’s prehistoric exhibits are also exceptional, and it has played a key role in the history of European Archaeology. First of two nights in Copenhagen. Day 2: Roskilde. Excursion to the small historic city of Roskilde to see the extraordinary Viking Ship Museum, where several original vessels and many reconstructions are housed. There is an opportunity sail a reconstructed Viking long ship, as part of the crew, into the Roskilde Fjord. Day 3: Trelleborg, Ribe. The well-preserved circular military fortress at Trelleborg is part of a network of similar ‘command and control’ sites across Denmark. Picturesque mediaeval Ribe is Denmark’s oldest town, and one of the earliest in post-Roman Europe. First of two nights in Ribe. Day 4: Wadden Sea, Ribe. Spend the morning at the environmentally precious wilderness of the Wadden Sea. In the afternoon visit the excellent Viking Museum in Ribe. Some free time. Day 5: Ravning, Jelling, Silkeborg. There is a short walk to Ravning, the site of the Viking bridge built by Harold Bluetooth across the Vejle valley, 760 metres long and over five metres wide. The small eastern Jutland town of Jelling, now a World Heritage Site, preserves a vast stone shipsetting, two immense burial mounds and the rune-stones of Gorm and Harold which record the early history of their dynasty. These stand outside a stone church, emblematic of the rise of Christianity. In Silkeborg see the best-preserved Iron Age bog body known as Tollund Man. The final three nights are spent in Aarhus.

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Day 6: Moesgaard, Aarhus. In a charming countryside setting, the state-of-the-art museum at Moesgaard, designed by Henning Larsen Architects, opened in 2014. It houses exhibitions on prehistory, including Grauballe Man who was discovered in a peat bog in 1952 and dates to the 3rd century bc. Return to Aarhus; some free time. Day 7: Lindholm Høje, Aalborg, Fyrkat. Head north to Lindholm Høje, a major late-Viking burial site. Rare ship monuments (burial sites demarcated by stones in the shape of ships) are found as well as hundreds of burial sites marked with stones or mounds. Stop in the pleasant market town of Aalborg for lunch before visiting the Viking fortress of Fyrkat. Day 8: Ladby, Copenhagen. The only ship burial discovered in Denmark, the Ladby boat is a Viking chieftain’s burial vessel. The wood of the 22-metre ship has long since rotted away but left a perfect impression in the earth. Buried with 11 horses and many valuables and possessions, the skeletal remnants of the animals are all that remain of the contents. Fly from Copenhagen to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,310. Single supplement £410 (double room for single occupancy; small double in Ribe). Price without flights £3,060. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. 71 Nyhavn, Copenhagen (71nyhavnhotel.com): traditional 4-star hotel in the Nyhavn district, close to some of the museums and the Amalienborg Palace. Rooms are small but comfortable. The Dagmar Hotel, Ribe (hoteldagmar.dk): characterful 3-star hotel on the town square with views of the cathedral. Single occupancy rooms have small double beds. Hotel Royal, Aarhus (hotelroyal.dk): 4-star hotel in the centre. Public rooms are opulent and luxurious; bedrooms classic and comfortable. How strenuous? There is uneven terrain at the Viking sites and quite a lot of standing in museums. The optional boat trip in Roskilde involves manning the oars. Average distance by coach per day: 92 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Stonehenge & Prehistoric Wessex, 3–7 July (page 36).

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The Baltic Countries Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania

estonia

and late 19th-century Russian cathedral and the 15th-century town hall (visit subject to confirmation). 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 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. 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. Drive to the shores of Lake Peipsi and visit Alatskivi, Raja, Kolkja and Varnja, all villages which provided refuge for the Old Believers, persecuted for their disaffection with the Orthodox Church. Overnight Tartu.

Tallinn, view from Castle Hill, 20th-century etching.

24 July–6 August 2016 (mc 778) 14 days • £3,560 Lecturer: Neil Taylor Three countries with different languages, diverse histories and distinct cultural identities. An extensive legacy from German, Polish, Russian and Swedish occupations. The focus of the tour is history, politics and general culture, rather than art and architecture.

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

Itinerary Day 1: Tallinn (Estonia). Fly at c. 10.15am (Finnair, Flybe) 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

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 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. 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 (Lithuania). A diverse historic town with a wealth of architecture. Near the central square are a number of churches and the Town Museum. The Ciurlionis Art Museum 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 lecturer, Neil Taylor, is a leading expert on the Baltic countries.

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 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. Its manor house Ungurmuiza (about 10 miles out of town) is constructed in wood with a Baroque façade and interior. First of three nights in Riga.

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The Baltic Countries continued

estonia, finland

Vilnius, wood engraving from Russian Pictures, 1889.

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 publications include Bradt Guides: Estonia, Tallinn and Baltic Cities, and A Footprints Guide to Berlin. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

“Our lecturer’s briefings were masterly and gave a very thorough coverage of the Baltic States’ recent history.” “Another splendid trip; I hope to come back for more.” has works of Lithuania’s most famous composer and artist. Other afternoon visits include the Resurrection Church and the neo-Baroque Synagogue.

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.

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

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.

Tallinn

Lahemaa National Park

Baltic Sea La

ke

Estonia

Pe i psi

Tartu

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 c. 3.15pm.

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Practicalities Cesis Riga

Price: £3,560. Single supplement £410. Price without flights £3,280.

Latvia

Included meals: 5 lunches, 8 dinners, with wine.

Rundale

Lithuania Kaunas

Pazaislis Vilnius

c. 50 km

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Accommodation. Hotel Palace, Tallinn (tallinnhotels.ee/hotel-palace-tallinn): a comfortable 4-star hotel on the edge of the old town, recently reopened after a smart refurbishment. London Hotel, Tartu (londonhotel.ee): a modern, centrally located 4-star hotel with a good restaurant; decor is quite bright. Radisson Blu Ridzene, Riga (radissonblu. com): a 5-star hotel though more akin to a 4-star, well-located with views over the park. Hotel Daugirdas, Kaunas (daugirdas.lt): a 19th-century mansion with modern features. Novotel Centre, Vilnius (novotel.com): a plain but comfortable

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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. Combine this tour with Mediaeval Normandy, 15–22 July (page 64); The Industrial Revolution, 8–13 August (page 39).

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Mediaeval Normandy Romanesque, Gothic, Renaissance

Superb examples of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. A mediaeval architectural history tour, with due attention to other periods. Led by Dr Cathy Oakes, lecturer in art history at Oxford University. First-class rail travel on Eurostar. Based in Rouen and Bayeux in 4-star hotels.

Day 1: Les Andelys, Château Gaillard. By Eurostar at c. 10.30am from London St Pancras to Paris, and by coach to Les Andelys. From the ruins of the Château Gaillard, a 12th-century fortification, there are fine views of the River Seine. Below in Grand Andely is the church of Notre-Dame (16th- and 17th-century). First of three nights in Rouen. Day 2: Rouen. Unquestionably the greatest city of Normandy, and one which retains enough 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, 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. Continue to the mighty abbey 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. The transition from Romanesque to Gothic in Norman architecture is most apparent at Evreux cathedral. The church of Evreux St Taurin houses one of the most celebrated mediaeval reliquaries. Conches-en-Ouche displays one the finest sequences of late mediaeval and early Renaissance stained glass. Bernay Abbey is the essential starting point for an understanding of Norman Romanesque. First of four nights in Bayeux. Day 5: Bayeux. The Bayeux tapestry, subject of much scholarly attention and an object whose splendour and importance can scarcely be overstated, one of those rare ‘marvels’ which exceeds expectations. Bayeux cathedral is an exceptional building whose piecemeal 13thcentury rebuilding programme had the effect of producing an essentially Gothicised Romanesque interior. Free afternoon.

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During the late ninth century, Norse raiding parties first pillaged, 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, Wrolf the Gangler, was granted the lordship of all lands north of the rivers Epte and Andelle in 911, the duchy was set on expansion. With feudalism came Christianity, the adoption of the French language and the emergence of one of the most far-reaching and influential schools of architecture to grace mediaeval Europe. It is no exaggeration to see in the events of 1066 something quite central to the English sense of self-identity, events which are relayed in the Bayeux tapestry. But the most visible reminders of William’s success at Hastings are the great Norman castles and churches which are such familiar landmarks of English towns. Their origins lie in the pioneering eleventhcentury buildings of Jumièges, Rouen and Caen. This 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 development of the integrated and articulate church on a colossal scale. This alone would be justification for the tour, but while Normandy’s Romanesque buildings have often been the subject of lavish praise, that distinctive late twelfth- and early thirteenthcentury architecture, of polished surfaces, giddying spires, and inventive geometry, remains less widely appreciated. It is also the case that the buildings undertaken in the aftermath of the Hundred Years War have been sadly overlooked by historians of the period. And yet these are characterised by an extraordinarily welldeveloped interest in the picturesque and the fantastical, by myriad angles, flickering tracery, and twisted, slate-hung roofs. They number among the most accomplished buildings of late mediaeval Europe.

Itinerary

france

15–22 July 2016 (mc 757) 8 days • £2,610 Lecturer: Dr Cathy Oakes

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Caen, Abbaye aux Dames, wood engraving c. 1880. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Mediaeval Normandy continued

French Gothic

Cathedrals of Northern France france

Dr Cathy Oakes

Amiens, cathedral, lithograph c. 1840 by De Langlume.

Lecturer in History of Art at Oxford University with a focus on the mediaeval. She worked previously in the Education Department at the V&A and ran the art history programme for the Department for Continuing Education at Bristol. She has published on French and English Romanesque and on Marian iconography. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Day 6: Caen, Rucqueville. Caen, capital of Basse-Normandie, offers a feast of celebrated Romanesque buildings, the great abbey churches of St-Etienne and La Trinité and Henry I’s great castle hall, all buildings of the first rank and all built c. 1065 to c. 1140. The church of St Pierre at Rucqueville is a little known Romanesque treasure in which a remarkable collection of sculpted capitals. Day 7: Lessay, Coutances, Cerisy-la-Forêt. An excursion into the granite country of the Cotentin peninsula. Lessay has a hauntingly beautiful Romanesque abbey while the cathedral at Coutances is a superb example of Norman 13th-century Gothic. In the afternoon drive to Cerisy-la-Forêt to visit the stunning Romanesque abbey church. Day 8: Falaise. The castle at Falaise is the birthplace of William the Conqueror, though the present building was started by his son Henry I and enlarged and altered by subsequent generations of English kings. Drive to Paris and return by Eurostar to London, arriving c. 6.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,610. Single supplement £420 (double room for single occupancy). Price without travel by Eurostar 2,410. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. Mercure Centre Cathédrale, Rouen (accorhotels.com): modern 4–star hotel in the historic centre of Rouen, a few minutes walk from the Cathedral. Hotel Villa Lara, Bayeux (hotel-villalara.com): small, 4-star hotel in the historic centre of town. Rooms are spacious. 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: 85 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Combine this tour with The Danube Festival of Song, 5–12 July (page 49); German Gothic, 7–14 July (page 95); The Baltic Countries, 24 July–6 August (page 63); The Western Front, 26–30 July (page 68).

1–7 July 2016 (mc 740) 7 days • £2,110 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. Led by architectural historian Dr Matthew Woodworth. Combine this tour with The Seine Music Festival, 23–30 June 2016 (details available in September). 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

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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.

Itinerary Participants combining this tour with The Seine Music Festival spend the night of 30th June in a 4-star hotel in Paris and take a taxi to the Gare du Nord on 1st July to meet the rest of the group travelling from London. Day 1. Travel by Eurostar at c. 1.00pm from St Pancras to Paris. 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 thin-walled 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: Reims, Soissons. 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 sculpture. At the church of St Rémi the heavy Romanesque nave contrasts with the light Early Gothic choir. Soissons Cathedral is a fine example of the rapid changes which took place in architecture at the end of the 12th century.


Poets & The Somme

Poetry of the Great War in battlefield context

Day 5: Chartres. Chartres cathedral, 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 Mantesla-Jolie. Beauvais Cathedral, begun 1225, with a vault height in the choir of 157 feet, was 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. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,110. Single supplement £190 (double room for single occupancy). Price without Eurostar £1,970. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hôtel du Golf de l’Ailette, Chamouille (ailette.fr): comfortable 3-star hotel, a short drive from Laon in an attractive position by a lake. Hotel Le Grand Monarque, Chartres (legrandmonarque.com): a centrally located 4-star hotel. Hotel Mercure Amiens (mercure. com): modern 3-star hotel close to the cathedral.

2–5 September 2016 (md 820) 4 days • £1,390 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. 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.

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 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, Eric Chilman, Eleanor Farjeon, Wilfred Gibson, Sir Alan P. Herbert, William Noel Hodgson, Roland Leighton, Frederick Manning, Lucy Gertrude Moberley, Wilfred Owen, Margaret Postgate Cole, John Edgell Rickwood, Isaac Rosenberg, Siegfried Sassoon, Alan Seeger, Charles Sorley, Hugh Steward Smith, John William Streets, Edward Thomas, Alec Waugh, May Wedderburn Cannan.

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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.

Itinerary Day 1: Foncquevillers, Pozières. 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, and the first poem is read; Alec Waugh’s Albert to Bapaume Road. Visit preserved trenches and a military cemetery. Continue to the hotel in Arras. Day 2: Serre, Mesnil, Thiepval. Explore to the north of the Albert to Bapaume Road. Start at

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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 coach travel per day: 89 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with The Seine Music Festival, 23–30 June (page 70); Armenia, 23–30 June (page 46); German Gothic, 7–14 July (page 95).

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Wayside crosses, photograph 1916. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Poets & The Somme continued

The Western Front

WWI’s theatre of war 100 years on france

the village of Serre, site of the left flank of the main attack on 1st July where many of the assault battalions were known as ‘pals’, reflecting their recruiting centres based in the large urban cities of the Midlands and the North. 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 A Soldier’s Funeral by John William Streets, read at his graveside, Binyon’s For the Fallen and, at Thiepval, Charles Sorley’s When they see the millions of the mouthless dead / Across your dreams in pale battalions go. Day 3: Péronne, Longueval, Mametz. Start at the ‘Historial de la Grande Guerre’ museum at Péronne, then to 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.’

26–30 July 2016 (mc 777) 5 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Major Gordon Corrigan Concise but comprehensive study of the main scenes of action by British and Empire forces in 1914–1918. Military history in its broadest sense, from study of the details of the terrain to the broad strategic and political background. Led by a military historian, ex-soldier and author of acclaimed Mud, Blood & Poppycock. The First World War was the first and only conflict in modern British history when nearly all of the British army was fighting the main

viewed solely through Anglo-centric eyes, but makes complete sense when looked at in the context of the war as a whole. It is only possible to understand the Somme when one comprehends what was happening at Verdun 120 miles to the south, and Haig’s insistence on continuing the Third Battle of Ypres (Passchendaele) is fully justified only when the state of the French armies is taken into consideration, with the absolute necessity of drawing the Germans onto the British front and away from the French. There is probably more myth and legend surrounding the Great War than any other aspect of Britain’s long military history: an unnecessary war (so why was pre-war Germany furiously building a blue-water navy?); bungling generals sitting safely in châteaux far behind the lines (so why were so many killed in action?); the loss of

Day 4: Agny, Contay, Louvencourt. Stray behind the lines, visiting areas associated with the Casualty Clearing Stations. The village of Agny for Edward Thomas and Eleanor Farjeon, 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.

Practicalities Price: £1,390. Single supplement £150 (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: all lunches & dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. Hôtel de l’Univers, Arras (univers.najeti.fr) a traditional 3-star hotel in Arras, installed in a 16th-century building, with a 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: 127 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Drawing by Muirhead Bone from The Western Front Vol.I, 1917.

enemy (Germany) in the main theatre (the Western Front) for the whole of the war. Unlike the armies of France and Germany the pre-war British army was composed of long service professionals – compulsory military service on the European pattern would have been regarded as an unacceptable infringement of the rights of a free born Briton – but it was very small. Having made the decision to declare war in support of France on land as well as at sea, the British had to create a mass army, which grew from just four infantry divisions and a cavalry division in 1914 to seventy divisions in 1918, from 100,000 men to two and a half million, initially from volunteers and then, from the middle of 1916, from conscripts. As the junior partner on land it was not for British politicians or British generals to dictate the course of the war, and until at least the spring of 1917 it was the French who directed operations on the Western Front. Thus, the rationale of much of what the British army did may be difficult to understand when

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a generation (but 74% of all the men who went over the top in the Battle of the Somme came out without a scratch) and there are many more. But for all that, the war cost Britain 700,000 dead. This tour visits the battlefields and examines not only what happened but why; it will consider the performance of generals and privates, British (and the empire forces of India, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa), French, American and German, and will ask whether there was another way, or was a series of long, slogging, bloody battles of attrition the only way to prevent a German Europe?

Itinerary Day 1: Lille, Loos. Eurostar at c. 11.00am from London St Pancras to Lille (light lunch on board). The Battle of Loos in September 1915 involved the largest number of British troops yet deployed in this war. It saw the first use of poison gas by the British, with mixed results, and amongst


Great French Gardens Historic & contemporary Versailles, fountain of Neptune, engraving c. 1880.

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the British dead were three major generals commanding divisions. Some free time before the first evening lecture. First of two nights in Lille. Day 2: Ypres. Full day visiting the Ypres Salient or ‘Wipers’ to the British who held it for most of the war, and to examine the battles of 1914 and 1915 when the Germans were trying to break through to the Channel Ports. In the evening we attend the Last Post ceremony at the Menin Gate, where the British dead have been regularly remembered ever since 1928. Overnight Lille. Day 3: Ypres, Neuve Chapelle. The second day in Ypres examines the highly successful capture of Messines Ridge by British, Australian and New Zealand troops in 1917, followed by the Third Battle of Ypres, the results of which are still controversial. Then travel south, visiting Neuve Chapelle, where in March 1915 the Indians and Gurkhas were the first to break the German line. First of two nights in Arras. Day 4: The Somme. A day spent studying the opening of the Somme offensive on 1st July 1916, considered one of the most traumatic days in modern British history. Overnight Arras. Day 5: The Somme, Amiens, Vimy Ridge. Continue the tour of the Somme battlefields, this time looking at the later operations and the end of the battle in November 1916. Visit the scene of the August 1918 Battle of Amiens, the beginning of the final Allied offensive which three months later brought the war to an end. On the return to Lille, pause at Vimy Ridge, scene of the significant Canadian advance of 1917. The Eurostar arrives London St Pancras at c. 5.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,790. Single supplement £210 (double room for single occupancy). Price without Eurostar £1,650. Included meals: 4 lunches, 4 dinners with wine.

How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking and standing for long periods of time, often over uneven ground and in open fields. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Trains can be crowded and there is often little room for luggage, even on the Eurostar. You will need to be able to carry (wheel) your own luggage on and off the train and within stations. Average distance by coach per day: 78 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Mediaeval Normandy, 15–22 July (page 65).

A selection of the finest gardens in northern France, from the Renaissance to the present day. Selected for visual impact, horticultural interest and historical importance. Led by Steven Desmond, landscape consultant and architectural historian, specialist in the conservation of historic parks and gardens. Unrushed: sixteen gardens in ten days. Four hotels, two of which are converted châteaux. This tour presents a selection of the finest and most famous gardens in France – which means some of the best in the world. Variety, visual impact, horticultural interest and historical importance are among the criteria for inclusion. They range from Renaissance to contemporary, and include flower gardens, woodland gardens, walled potagers, landscaped parks, arboreta and, of course, a French speciality, formal gardens. This last category, reaching a climax in the seventeenth century, is impressively expressive of Ancien Régime absolutism, symbolic of the of royal and aristocratic dominance of both the body politic and of Nature. Avenues of lime and plane, hedges of yew and hornbeam, broderie parterres of box, vast expanses of water and the hydraulic wonders of cascades and fountains: they were intended to delight and overawe both subjects and foreign visitors, as indeed they still do. It is not all axiality and gigantism; there are subtleties and surprises and many breathtaking beauties. André Le Nôtre might have been the greatest and most influential of Baroque garden designers, but another hero of the tour is Achille Duchêne, who restored many of these gardens in the early years of the twentieth century. Reaction against overbearing formality set in during the eighteenth century; two of the most important manifestations of this are Marie Antoinette’s faux-rustic Hameau, and the park at Ermenonville, one of the most enchanting of all English-style landscaped parks on the continent.

Renaissance gardens of the sixteenth century are also a very important part of France’s horticultural patrimony, even if most of them are recreations, as at Villandry and Chenonceau. But Renaissance ingredients – box-hedge compartments and broderie, filled with coloured gravel or flowers – are a recurrent ingredient of modern and contemporary gardens. Modern informality, however, is beautifully done, with curvaceous beds and winding paths an inducement to find hidden dells and pleasing surprises. Le Jardin d’Atmosphère and Le Vasterival are among the most brilliant examples. For floral abundance, it would be hard to do better than among the poppies and water lilies at Monet’s garden at Giverny, at the exquisite Lutyens and Jekyll garden at Bois des Moutiers, at the contemporary Jardin Plume outside Rouen and at the Renaissance hybrid at Villandry.

Itinerary Day 1: Versailles. Leave London St Pancras by train for Paris at c. 10.30am. Drive to Versailles and settle into the hotel before visiting the Potager du Roi, the walled produce garden of the royal palace. Vast and with multiple divisions, it is still a working enterprise, and a staggering array of fruit and vegetables are grown here, many of them historical cultivars. First of four nights in Versailles. Day 2: Versailles. Intended to express the virtually divine status of Louis XIV (1660–1714), the sheer scale of both palace and garden is overwhelming. The park is the masterpiece of the most influential garden designer of the Baroque era, André Le Nôtre, with 1.5km lakes, broad avenues, hidden groves and a multitude of sculptures. Marie Antoinette’s Hameau, a retreat from mainstream court life, has a faux-rustic farmstead, naturalistic landscaped park and a delightful little formal garden. Some free time – an opportunity for an independent visit to the state apartments of the main château. Day 3: Vaux-le-Vicomte, Courances. Vaux-leVicomte preceded Versailles; Louis XIV was so piqued by the magnificence of his finance minister’s residence that he imprisoned its patron and transferred its creators, who 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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Accommodation. Hôtel Hermitage Gantois, Lille (hotelhermitagegantois.com): 5-star hotel in a converted 15th-century hospice. Décor is traditional with a modern twist. Hôtel de l’Univers, Arras (univers.najeti.fr): traditional 3-star hotel in Arras, installed in a 16th-century building. Rooms vary in size and decoration. There is a good restaurant.

29 June–8 July 2016 (mc 731) 10 days • £3,390 Lecturer: Steven Desmond

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Great French Gardens continued

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Day 8: Auzouville-sur-Ry, Giverny. Starting work on Le Jardin Plume at Auzouville in 1996, Patrick and Sylvie Quibel have created one of the finest contemporary gardens in France, with a modern blend of grasses and wild-style perennials in a design rooted in the French traditions of formality, parterres and potagers. Claude Monet’s garden at Giverny is probably unique for its intersection of art history with horticultural achievement. The artist lived here from 1883 until his death in 1926, designing and tending his gardens which grew in size as his prosperity increased. Day 9: Rouen, Ermenonville. Free morning in Rouen, architecturally and scenically one of the finest cities in France, with a celebrated cathedral and an impressive group of Late-Gothic churches. The Château d’Ermenonville has an enchanting English-style landscape garden, created from 1762, the Enlightenment antithesis of French formality (Jean-Jacques Rousseau spent his last weeks here, 1778). ‘Natural’ hillocks, composed stands of trees, lakes and streams, symbolical buildings and monuments, Arcadian meadow, meandering paths. Overnight Ermenonville.

Versailles, palace and gardens, engraving 1850s.

Le Nôtre, into royal employment. Both house and garden rank as among the most influential creations of early modern Europe. Courances is even earlier; slabs of green – broad lawns, high box hedges, lofty plane trees, parterre de broderie – and great expanses of water; an extraordinarily lovely place, with a Japanese garden too. Day 4: Versailles, Chèvreloup, Saint-Jeande-Beauregard. Choose between a free morning (another opportunity to visit the state apartments) or an excursion to the Arboretum Chèvreloup. Converted from hunting forest to a scientific plantation in 1759, there are 2,500 species spread across 200 hectares. Domaine de Saint-Jean-de-Beauregard is a privately owned potager, 2 ha within 17th-century walls, a lovingly tended profusion of fruit, vegetables and ornamental plants, reared for historical importance and gustatory value. First of two nights near Tours.

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Day 5: Villandry, Chenonceau. The 1530s Château de Villandry is equipped with one of most spectacular gardens in the world, created in the early 20th century in accordance with 16th-century designs and principles. Tiers of terraces, brilliant planting, impeccable maintenance, and the startling visual effects and amorous symbolism of the vegetable parterres. Famously straddling the River Cher, the Château de Chenonceau was progressively enlarged and beautified during the 16th century for Diane de Poitiers and Cathérine de Medici. The plantings in the walled gardens are a modern interpretation of Renaissance design. Day 6: Sassy, Saint Biez en Belin. Leave the Loire and drive north. Le Jardin d’Atmosphère du Petit Bordeaux is a wonderfully inventive modern garden, an informal and seductive succession of spaces with broad borders, irregular lawns, narrow paths, mature trees, clipped hedges and water – and 3,600 species and varietals. The second stop is at the 18th-century Château de

Sassy: on a hillside site in a rural location, there is a 1920s version of a 17th-century garden by Achille Duchêne. Reach Normandy for the first of three nights in Rouen. Day 7: Le Bois des Moutiers, Le Vasterival. Two gardens on the Normandy coast. Le Bois des Moutiers is a fine example of the English partnership of Edwin Lutyens and Gertrude Jekyll, a sequence of ‘rooms’ with breathtakingly beautiful planting between walls of masonry or yew. Spread across a clutch of little valleys, the woodland garden of Le Vasterival was established by a Norwegian princess in 1955. Colour coordination of leaves, bark and blossom, and a unique system of ‘transparent’ pruning contribute its extraordinary beauty.

The Seine Music Festival 23–30 June 2016 Details available in August 2015 Contact us to register your interest Eight private concerts in châteaux, churches and abbeys along the Seine, admission to which is exclusive to those who take a package including transport, accommodation and all meals. Musicians of the highest calibre include the Orlando Consort performing a soundtrack of Mediaeval music to a screening of La Passion de Jeanne d’Arc in Rouen, where she perished. The audience lives on a comfortable river cruiser, the MS Amadeus Diamond, which sails from the centre of Paris to Rouen and back again. Talks on the music by Richard Langham-Smith and on the buildings by John McNeill.

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Day 10: Paris. Founded in 1626, the Jardin des Plantes is the principal botanical garden in France, and occupies 28 hectares on the left bank of the Seine in the 5th arrondissement. There is a huge range of plants, European and exotic, and fine horticultural displays. Return to London St Pancras c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,390. Single supplement £560 (double for single use). Price without Eurostar £3,210. Included meals: 2 lunches, 7 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Pullman Château de Versailles (pullmanhotels.com): modern 4-star hotel within walking distance of the Château. Château de Pray, Chargé (chateaudepray.fr): 4-star hotel in a converted château on the river Loire with an excellent restaurant. Mercure Rouen Centre Cathédrale (mercure.com): modern and functional 4-star hotel in the historic centre. Château d’Ermenonville (chateauermenonville.com): traditional 4-star hotel in a château with views over Parc Rousseau. How strenuous? Some of the gardens are very large; the tour is not suitable for people unable to walk a couple of miles at a time. Paths are often uneven and there are steps and inclines, so surefootedness and sturdy footwear are essential. You need to lift your luggage on and off the train and wheel it within stations. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average coach travel per day: 85 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Versailles, 20–23 June (page 71); Walking to Derbyshire House, 19–24 June (page 24); Connoisseur’s Vienna, 22–28 June (page 50); Norway: Art Architecture, Landscape, 20–28 June (page 149).


Versailles

The greatest palace & garden

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 in the Château’s Royal Chapel with Collegium Vocale Gent. Led by Professor Antony Spawforth, author of Versailles: A Biography of a Palace. Available as a self-sufficient four-day break or as a prelude to The Seine Music Festival.

Day 3: Versailles. Returning to the palace, 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. In the afternoon visit apartments from the time of Louis XV, characterised by lightness and delicacy and frivolity. Further excursions into the gardens take in the extraordinary King’s vegetable garden (Potager du Roi). Evening concert in the Chapelle Royale of the Château: Requiem for the Funeral of Louis XV (Jean Gilles) with Skip Sempé (conductor), Cappricio Stravagante, Collegium Vocale Gent, Judith van Wanroij (soprano), Robert Getchell (counter-tenor), Fernando Guimarães (tenor), Lisandro Abadie (bass-baritone). Day 4: Versailles, Marly-le-Roi, Paris. Morning walk around Versailles town including the Cathédrale St Louis, for which Louis XV laid the first stone, and the ex-ministries of War and Foreign Affairs. 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, either to embark the ship for The Seine Music Festival which starts today or to travel back to London by Eurostar arriving at St Pancras at c. 5.45pm.

Professor Antony Spawforth Historian, broadcaster, lecturer and writer 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. He is Emeritus Professor of Ancient History at Newcastle University. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Practicalities Price: £1,630. Single supplement £170. Price without rail travel by Eurostar £1,450. Included meals: 1 lunch and 2 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Pullman Château de Versailles (pullmanhotels.com). A modern 4-star hotel within walking distance of the Château. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking and standing around. The gardens are large and paths often uneven; sure-footedness is essential. You should be able to lift and wheel your luggage. There is very little time spent in the coach. Group size: between 10 to 22 participants. Combine this tour with Great French Gardens, 29 June–8 July (page 69); Yorkshire Houses, 25 June–1 July (page 23); ‘Capability’ Brown, 27 June–1 July (page 31).

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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. Versailles is several palaces. This is well disguised by its overwhelming homogeneity and symmetry, but even during Louis XIV’s reign elements changed constantly, reflecting not so much 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 de Vaux-le-Vicomte, in many ways its inspiration, the Louvre, principal royal palace before and after Louis XIV’s reign, and to the grounds of Marly-le-Roi, a demolished palace constructed to allow the Sun King to retreat from the formality of Versailles Particular attention is paid to the park and gardens at Versailles, with a visit to the extraordinary vegetable garden, and the tour is timed to coincide with the occasional functioning of the fountains with musical accompaniment.

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. Then visit the family retreats of Grand Trianon, Petit Trianon and Domaine Marie Antoinette.

Itinerary Day 1: Vaux-le-Vicomte. Leave London St Pancras at c. 9.30am by Eurostar for Paris. The greatest country house and garden complex of its time (1656–61), Vaux-le-Vicomte was built by Nicholas Fouquet, Louis XIV’s chief minister. It is in every way the predecessor of Versailles, for impelled by envy and greed the King imprisoned Fouquet, confiscated the property and later employed most of its designers and craftsmen at Versailles. Drive to Versailles where all four nights are spent.

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20–23 June 2016 (mc 736) 4 days • £1,630 Lecturer: Professor Antony Spawforth

Versailles, steel engraving 1839 by C. Mottram after F. Mackenzie. 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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A Festival of Impressionism Paintings & places in Paris & Normandy france

17–22 April 2016 (mc 638) 6 days • £2,270 Lecturer: Dr Frances Fowle The finest collections of Impressionism in France and places associated with the artists. Coincides with an Impressionist festival in Normandy, featuring major exhibitions in Rouen, Le Havre and Giverny. Led by Dr Frances Fowle, Senior Curator of French Art at the National Gallery of Scotland. First-class rail travel by Eurostar from London and good hotels in Paris and Rouen. 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 to their eyes 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. This can be illustrated by the case of Claude Monet, the major exponent of Impressionism. He was born in Paris in 1840 and was brought up from 1845 in Le Havre on the Normandy coast before returning to Paris to study painting. He made frequent painting expeditions to river and sea, and from 1871 he made his homes in the suburbs, progressively further downstream at Argenteuil, Vétheuil, Poissy and finally, in 1883, at Giverny. Impressionism was developing at the same time as seaside tourism on France’s northern coast and the relationship between the two is fascinating. Water, fresh or salt, was an important ingredient of Impressionist pictures, its fleeting, changing, evanescent qualities similar to the characteristics 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 easel particularly rewarding. For its third edition, the Normandie Impressionist Festival has chosen Portraits as its theme. The Impressionists were also masters of figure painting and renewed the genre of portraiture in their depictions of the face and body, the family, circles of friends, and the representation of society. Renoir liked to paint the delicate faces of young girls in their prime, Dégas chose milliners and washerwomen and Pissarro country girls. These artists painted the society of their time: from political to intimate portraits, offering a description of history at all levels, one contemporary with the development of photography.

Itinerary

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Day 1: Paris. Leave London St Pancras at c. 10.30am by Eurostar. In 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.

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Etching by Renoir.

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. As part of the 2016 festival it will host the exhibition The Studio of Light: Portrait of Eugène Boudin, focussing on his depiction of natural light but also the link between his paintings and letter writing.

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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 Impressionismes and the exhibition Gustave Caillebotte, Painter & Gardener. 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 at the exhibition entitled Scenes from Impressionist Life. A collection of c. 100 paintings intends to shed light on the personal lives of Impressionist artists and by extension comment on the developments of French society in the 19th century, particularly the status of women and children. 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. 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 under-appreciated collection for which space has recently been expanded. Overnight Paris. 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. Exhibitions were not yet confirmed at the time of printing.

Practicalities Price: £2,270. Single supplement £270 (double for single use). Price without Eurostar £2,110. 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 Westminster, Paris (warwickwestminsteropera. com): comfortable 4-star hotel near the Opéra Garnier with traditional décor. 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. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.


Music in Paris

Prokofiev, Massenet, Rossini, Strauss

At the new Philharmonie de Paris, designed by Jean Nouvel: Prokofiev with the Orchestre National de L’Ile-de-France. At the Opera Bastille: Massenet’s Werther and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville with Pretty Yende and Lawrence Brownlee; at the Opera Garnier: Capriccio by Richard Strauss. Led by Patrick Bade, lecturer on the history of opera for Christie’s. First-class rail travel to Paris.

Firebird for Diaghilev, but did compose a small number of delightful short orchestral pieces in a late-Romantic idiom, including the tone poem Kikimora. In addition to the performances, visit other sites associated with the rich musical and operatic history of Paris, including the Palais Garnier and the Music Museum.

Itinerary Day 1. Eurostar at c. 1.30pm from London St Pancras to Paris. Evening lecture before dinner. Day 2. Free morning. Afternoon visit and concert at the Philharmonie de Paris. The Music Museum within Christian de Portzamparc’s building (previously Cité de la Musique) features the temporary exhibition: Chagall: the Triumph of Music. Concert with the Orchestre National de L’Ile de France, Stanislav Kochanovsky (cond.), Alissa Margulis (violin): Liadov, ‘Kikimora’, Prokofiev, Violin Concerto No.1 and Romeo & Juliet Suite No.2. Dinner in the Philharmonie’s panoramic restaurant (due to open Sept. 2015). Day 3. Lecture followed by a visit of the Palais Garnier and lunch. Free afternoon. Opera at the Bastille: Werther (Massenet). Orchestra of the Paris National Opera, Alain Lombard (cond.), Piotr Beczala (Werther), Stéphane Degout (Albert), Elīna Garanča (Charlotte), Elena Tsallagova (Sophie), Paul Gay (The Bailiff).

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For much of the nineteenth century Paris was the opera capital of the world. It was where the most famous singers appeared and some of the most spectacular productions were staged. This was the home of grand opera, the city to which Bellini, Donizetti, Rossini, Verdi and Wagner came knowing that success in Paris was essential. In the mid-nineteenth century some French composers fared less well than visitors, though even Wagner was not much welcomed at first. Gounod was successful, while Berlioz’s operas were largely ignored. Even Bizet’s Carmen only gained success after it was performed in Vienna. Yet, the opening of the Palais Garnier in the 1870s heralded a golden age of French music in general and opera in particular. Paris was once again an operatic city to be reckoned with, hosting the operas of Dukas, Massenet, Chabrier, Debussy and others. This tour features three operatic masterpieces; Werther, The Barber of Seville and Capriccio, which allow us to explore contrasting aspects of Romanticism. They are perfectly placed in two of the city’s most famous opera houses: the airy modern space of the Opéra Bastille and the Opulent Palais Garnier. Werther, based on Goethe’s autobiographical novel The Sufferings of Young Werther, has overtaken Manon to become Massenet’s most loved and widely performed opera, thanks to the marvellous title role that every red-blooded tenor longs to sing. The handsome Polish tenor Piotr Beczala, who has been a major star of New York’s Metropolitan Opera since 2006, will look as well as sound perfect in the part of the tormented, love-struck poet. Dramatic verisimilitude will also be proved by the beautiful and extraordinarily gifted Latvian mezzo Elīna Garanča, who sings Charlotte to Beczala’s Werther under the experienced baton of veteran conductor Alain Lombard. Rossini’s sparkling, heartfelt comedy The Barber of Seville, based on Beauamarchais’ subversive play, dates from 1816 when the Romantic movement was at its height, but in many ways harks back to the elegance and wit of the pre-romantic Ancien Regime. This performance showcases the talents of the young South African soprano Pretty Yende, who debuted in 2013 at the Met, and Lawrence Brownlee, who is widely credited with possessing

one of the most beautiful tenor voices currently to be heard in the Bel Canto repertoire. In a composing career that lasted more than seventy years, Richard Strauss went from wunderkind to geriatric prodigy. His final opera Capriccio was not only his own swansong but that of German Romantic opera. First performed in Munich towards the end of 1942 as the decisive battles of Stalingrad and El Alamein reached their climax, this gentle opera maybe seen as a quiet assertion of civilized values in the face of barbarism and violence. The role of the countess will allow Adrianne Pieczonka to display her gorgeous voice in ravishing flights of Straussian melody. The tour also includes a concert of music by Prokoviev and Liadov at the new Philharmonie de Paris, designed by Jean Nouvel and inaugurated in January 2015. While its exterior is angular and shimmering thanks to the 340,000 birdshaped sheets of aluminium that cover it, the 2400-seat Grande Salle is warm and curvaceous with floating balconies, earning high praise for its acoustics. Prokofiev followed a similar trajectory to Strauss, from Enfant Terrible to the backwardlooking Neo-Romantic. The ballet Romeo & Juliet, composed after Prokofiev returned to Soviet Russia in the 1930s, harks back to the yearning emotionalism of his great nineteenthcentury predecessor Tchaikovsky. Liadov is unjustly best remembered for not composing The

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30 January–4 February 2016 (mc 567) 6 days • £2,770 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturer: Patrick Bade

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Palais Garnier, grand staircase, wood engraving c. 1880. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Music in Paris continued

Mediaeval Burgundy

Abbeys & churches of the high Middle Ages france

Day 4. Morning lecture and optional architectural walk, led by the lecturer. See the area of the Grands Boulevards, including the Théâtre des Varietés where Offenbach premiered La Belle Hélène in 1864, and the Opéra Comique. Explore also the fascinating passages, early 19th-century arcades full of specialist collectors’ shops, and the area of galleries and antique shops around Paris’s most venerable auction house, the Hôtel Drouot. Free afternoon before an opera at the Bastille: The Barber of Seville (Rossini), Giacomo Sagripanti (cond.), Lawrence Brownlee (Count Almaviva), Nicola Alaimo (Bartolo), Pretty Yende (Rosina), Alessio Arduini (Figaro), Ildar Abdrazakov (Basilio), Anaïs Constans (Berta). Day 5. Morning lecture then a free day. We buy advance tickets to the Louvre to minimise queuing time. Early dinner followed by opera at the Palais Garnier: Capriccio (R. Strauss). Orchestra of the Paris National Opera, Ingo Metzmacher (conductor), Robert Carsen (director), Adrianne Pieczonka (The Countess), Wolfgang Koch (The Count), Benjamin Bernheim (Flamand), Lauri Vasar (Olivier), Lars Woldt (La Roche), Daniela Sindram (Clairon), Chaira Skerath (Italian soprano), Juan José De León (Italian tenor), Graham Clark (Monsieur Taupe). Day 6. Coach transfer to the Gare du Nord. The Eurostar to St Pancras arrives c. 2.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,770. Single supplement £390 (double room for single occupancy). Price without Eurostar £2,600. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Music: top category tickets to 4 performances are included, costing c. £340. Accommodation. Hotel Westminster, Paris (warwickwestminsteropera.com): comfortable 4-star near the Opéra Garnier; traditional décor. How strenuous? One of the performances is reached on foot. Visits require a fair amount of walking and standing around. Some late nights. You need to be able to lift your luggage (trains). Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Combine this tour with Mozart in Salzburg, 23–28 January (page 47); Valletta Baroque Festival, 19–26 January (page 145).

Paintings in Paris September 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Connoisseur’s Paris 74

October 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Beaune, Hôtel-Dieu, engraving 1887.

4–11 June 2016 (mc 702) 8 days • £2,520 Lecturer: John McNeill Superb collection of Romanesque and early Gothic buildings. Exceptionally well-preserved historic towns. Rural drives through beautiful landscapes. First-class rail travel. 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

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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, ranking 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


“Action packed. We saw several super places off the beaten track which we knew nothing about. We never got bored! A really wonderful holiday.”

Day 5: Dijon. A day dedicated to Burgundy’s capital and one of the most attractive of French cities with many fine buildings from 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 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 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 12thcentury churches for both its architecture and its sculpture. First of two nights in Auxerre. 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.

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.

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

Practicalities Price: £2,520. Single supplement £350 (double room for single occupancy). Price without Eurostar and TGV £2,260. Included meals: 6 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hôtel Le Rempart, Tournus (lerempart.com): a 4-star hotel formerly a 15thcentury guard house, located on the ramparts of the town. Hostellerie du Chapeau Rouge, Dijon (chapeau-rouge.fr): a centrally located, comfortable 4-star hotel furnished to a high standard. Hôtel Le Parc des Maréchaux, Auxerre (leparcdesmarechaux.com): a 4-star hotel in a delightful 18th-century hôtel particulier. 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: 72 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Turner & the Sea, 12–17 June (page 40); Moravia, 13–20 June (page 58); Northumbria, 15–23 June (page 21).

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

Provence & Languedoc Art & architecture

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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-laVille 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 11thcentury monastery.

collection of Roman and mediaeval antiquities. Take the Eurostar from Paris arriving at London St Pancras c. 6.30pm.

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has a 13th-cent. 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 wellpreserved monastic precinct.

1–10 October 2015 (mc 486) This tour is currently full – contact us for details or visit www.martinrandall.com Fine Roman remains that had a decisive impact on mediaeval architecture and sculpture.

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.

Truly great secular buildings, including the papal palace at Avignon, and pre-eminent Romanesque churches.

Day 4: St Thibault, Semur-en-Auxois, Fontenay. The church of the market town of St Thibault

Dr Alexandra Gajewski specialises in mediaeval architecture and is a resident of the Languedoc.

Modern art at the Musée Granet in Aix-enProvence and at the Fine Arts Museum in Marseille. A natural setting of exceptional attractiveness.

Right: Aix-en-Provence, Cathedral of St Sauveur, watercolour by A.H. Hallam Murray, publ. 1904. 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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Roman & Mediaeval Provence The south of France in the Middle Ages france

21–27 October 2016 (md 920) 7 days • £2,110 Lecturer: Dr Alexandra Gajewski The many fine Roman remains had a decisive impact on mediaeval architecture and sculpture. Truly great secular buildings, including the papal palace at Avignon, and pre-eminent Romanesque churches. Led by Dr Alexandra Gajewski, specialist in mediaeval architecture. Based throughout at a 4-star hotel in Avignon. A natural setting of exceptional attractiveness. Famed for its natural beauty, its wealth of Augustan and second-century monuments, and the quality and ambition of its mediaeval work, Provence can seem the very essence of Mediterranean France. But its settlement was – historically – surprisingly concentrated, and the major Roman and mediaeval centres are clustered within the valleys of the Durance and Rhône. This is the area which was marked out for development in the first and second centuries ad, and the range and quantity of Roman work which survives at Orange, St-Rémy and Arles is impressive. Indeed, as one moves into the Late Antique period it is precisely this triangle which blossoms – and in Arles one is witness to the most significant Early Christian city of Mediterranean Gaul. This Roman infrastructure is fundamental, and the pre-eminent Romanesque churches of

Provence may come as something of a surprise, being notable both for a predilection for sheer wall surfaces and an indebtedness to earlier architectural norms. But it is above all the sculpture which is most susceptible to this sort of historicising impulse. The Romanesque sculpture of Provence is more skilfully and self-consciously antique than any outside central Italy, and is often organised in a manner designed to evoke either fourth-century sarcophagi, or Roman theatres and triumphal arches. The façade of St-Trophime at Arles is a well-known example of this, but it is a theme we also encounter in many of the smaller churches – places such as Pernes-les-Fontaines and Montmajour – where exquisite friezes of acanthus and vinescroll are used to both elaborate and articulate exteriors of stunning delicacy. For once the truly great late mediaeval building we see is secular: the mighty papal palace at Avignon.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 1.15pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Marseille. Drive to Avignon, where all six nights are spent. Day 2: Avignon. The Palais des Papes is the principal monument of the Avignon papacy, one-time site of the papal curia and by far the most significant 14th-century building to survive in southern France. The collections of late Gothic sculpture and painting in the Petit-Palais act as a splendid foil to the work at the papal palace, while the cathedral houses the magnificent tomb of Pope John XXII.

Day 3: Pernes-les-Fontaines, Vaison, Venasque. Gentle stroll through Pernes, a delightful fortified river town with an important Romanesque church and 13th-century frescoed tower. At Vaison-la-Romaine the sublime late Romanesque cathedral is attached to a northern cloister. Drive in the late afternoon over the Dentelles de Montmirail to the stunning early mediaeval baptistery at Venasque. Day 4: Villeneuve, Orange, Pont-du-Gard. A day spent mostly within sight of the Rhône, beginning with Pope Innocent VI’s now ruined Charterhouse at Villeneuve-lez-Avignon. The day’s real star is Orange, site of the greatest of all Roman theatres to survive in the West. In the afternoon visit that astonishing feat of engineering that brought water over the River Gardon at the Pont-du-Gard. Day 5: St-Rémy-de-Provence. Drive along the northern flank of the Alpilles to St-Rémy-deProvence, 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. Free time. Day 6: Montmajour, Arles. Explore the superlative complex of churches, cemeteries and conventual buildings that once constituted the abbey of Montmajour. In Arles the amphitheatre is a justly famous early 2nd-century structure of a type developed from the Colosseum. The Romanesque Cathedral of St-Trophime is home to one of the greatest cloisters of 12th-century Europe. The Musée Départmental Arles Antique houses a quite spellbinding collection of classical and early Christian art. Day 7: Silvacane, Aix-en-Provence. At Silvacane, a major late-12th-century Cistercian abbey, the monastic buildings descend a series of terraces down to the River Durance. Finally visit Aix, where the cathedral provides an enthralling end to the tour, with its extraordinary juxtaposition of Merovingian baptistery, Romanesque cloister, 13th-century chancel and late mediaeval west front. Fly from Marseille, arriving at London Heathrow at c. 5.45pm.

Practicalities MAINLAND EUROPE

Price: £2,110. Single supplement £320 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,950. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Hôtel Cloître Saint Louis (cloitre-saint-louis.com) is a 4-star hotel in Avignon in a converted 16th-century convent. Some rooms are in a modern extension. 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 stairclimbing. There are some long days and coach journeys. Average distance by coach per day: 32 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Arc d’Orange, 18thcentury engraving by M. Mignard. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Combine this tour with Dark Age Brilliance, 9–16 October (page 118).


Pilgrimage & Heresy Mediaeval Auvergne & Languedoc

All the building arts – architecture, sculpture, stained glass, woodwork, painting and in particular precious metals. A section of the route to Santiago intersects with the story of the Albigensian heresy. Enchanting landscapes.

Day 2: Ennezat, Montaigut-le-Blanc, StNectaire, Orcival. In Ennezat see the earliest surviving Auvergnat nave. Lunch at Montaigutle-Blanc. In St-Nectaire see the wooden Virgin and Child and a magnificent bust reliquary. In Orcival see the golden Virgin in Majesty, a remarkable survival. Day 3: Mozac, Clermont-Ferrand. The church at Mozac has good sculpture and the largest Limoges enamel shrine. Clermont-Ferrand cathedral is a remarkable example of the Parisian rayonnant Gothic style. See Notre Dame du Port, Romanesque with sculpted portal and capitals.

Day 4: Brioude, Rodez, Conques. Brioude has sculptured capitals in a variety of styles, extensive murals and Romanesque door knockers signed by the artist. Rodez cathedral, a symbol of North European dominance and orthodoxy, built after the Albigensian Crusade, is attributed to Jean des Champs. Overnight Conques. Day 5: Conques, Albi, Toulouse. Conques is off the beaten track but was one of the great churches on the pilgrimage road to Compostela, with a tympanum depicting the last judgement, one of the most beautiful and sophisticated works of Romanesque art, and a treasury containing many fine works, especially the shrine of Ste Foy. Albi Cathedral is a potent symbol of the crushing of the Cathars, the building almost as much fortress church. First of five nights in Toulouse.

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In the remote and largely rural centre and south of France, two aspects of popular religion were of decisive influence in shaping the art and architecture of the Middle Ages: the cult of relics and the consequent passion for pilgrimage; and the Albigensian heresy and its subsequent suppression. The cult of relics – the physical remains of saints – was on the whole encouraged as an aid to religious devotion and supported by the Church. Ideas travelled quickly along the pilgrimage routes; churches were designed to accommodate pilgrims, and imagery in sculpture, painting and stained glass was made to encourage devotion to the saints. Some saints are of purely local significance, and yet they often inspired remarkable works of art, such as the reliquaries at Mozac and St Nectaire. Other relics attracted the faithful from all over Europe. Catering for both the physical and spiritual needs of pilgrims was a lucrative business, and shrines such as those at Conques and Toulouse were intended to attract the pilgrims on their way to Santiago de Compostela in Spain, one of the most important goals of mediaeval pilgrimage. Looking back from later centuries, the universal faith of the Romanesque era seemed a golden age for Christianity. But then came a revival of an old heresy which was not only in opposition to the orthodox teachings of the church, but even challenged its very existence. The heresy of Cathars, or Albigenses, had an intense and popular following, particularly in Toulouse. The murder of the papal legate in 1208 provoked the so-called Albigensian Crusade and gave the knights of northern France an excuse to conquer Languedoc. The victory of the North and of orthodoxy is reflected in the great cathedrals of Rodez and Toulouse, modelled on the rayonnant Gothic of the royal domain. That the cathedral at Albi is also fortified allows alternative interpretations of Gothic: as a symbol of the triumph of the established Church, or of the oppression of the true faith of the people. The post-mediaeval upheavals of France touched this area less destructively than elsewhere. Exceedingly rare gold shrines and cultfigures in particular constitute a thrilling aspect of this tour.

of central France and a wonderful foil to the earlier architecture we will see in the Auvergne. Continue to the hotel outside Clermont Ferrand for three nights.

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16–25 May 2016 (mc 682) 10 days • £3,040 Lecturer: Dr Alexandra Gajewski

Itinerary Day 1: Lyon. Fly at c. 8.30am from London Heathrow to Lyon Saint-Exupéry (British Airways). The early afternoon is devoted to Lyon cathedral, one of the great Gothic cathedrals

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Rodez, cathedral, steel engraving c. 1850. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Pilgrimage & Heresy continued

Modern Ar t on the Côte d’Azur

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Day 6: Toulouse. Spend the whole day in Toulouse. Visit St Sernin, one of the principal monuments of Romanesque architecture, an important stop on the road to Santiago de Compostela. The buildings of the Augustinians survive as a museum with a splendid collection of Romanesque sculpture. Day 7: Toulouse. Visit the cathedral. The eastern arm, perhaps by Jean des Champs, is joined to a nave of local workmanship on a much smaller scale with bizarre effect. Visit the Jacobin, a Dominican church, like a monastic refectory on a vast scale. The rest of the day is free. Day 8: Moissac, Cahors. In Moissac, there is an extensive programme of Romanesque sculpture and an awe-inspiring judgement portal. Visit the stunning mediaeval bridge at Cahors.

17–23 March 2016 (mc 600) 7 days • £2,480 Lecturer: Monica Bohm-Duchen

Day 9: Carcassonne, Rieux-Minervois. Carcassonne is a spectacular walled town in the valley of the Aude. Its walled circuit was famously restored by Violet-le-Duc. Visit the exquisite church of St-Nazaire. In the afternoon drive to Rieux-Minervois, an evocative testimony to the symbolic power of Marian devotion.

25–31 October 2016 (md 925) 7 days • £2,480 Lecturer: Lydia Bauman

Day 10: St-Lizier, St-Girons. Visit an important early Romanesque painted church with an exquisite cloister at St-Lizier. Break for lunch in St-Girons. Fly from Toulouse to London Heathrow arriving at c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,040. Single supplement £430 (double room for single occupancy, except for one night in Conques). Price without flights £2,830. Included meals: 1 lunch, 7 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hôtel Le Radio, Clermont Ferrand (hotel-radio.fr): a 3-star located just outside the city, decorated in Art Déco style with a good restaurant. Hôtel Sainte-Foy, Conques (hotelsaintefoy.com): 3-star hotel, dating back to the 17th century. Grand Hôtel de l’Opéra, Toulouse (grand-hotel-opera.com): 4-star hotel in the historic centre of town. How strenuous? A fairly long tour with a lot of coach travel and walking. Average distance by coach per day: 94 miles.

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Group size: between 10 to 22 participants. Combine this tour with The Pyrenees, 3–12 May (page 160); Courts of Northern Italy, 8–15 May (page 116); Central Macedonia, 8–15 May (page 100).

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. Led by experts on 19th- and 20th-century art. Visits to the coastal towns and villages which inspired the artists. Stay in Nice throughout. 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 – has 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.)

book online at www.martinrandall.com

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.

Itinerary Day 1: Nice. Fly at c. 11.40am from London Heathrow to Nice. There is an afternoon visit to the Musée des Beaux Arts Jules Cheret, concentrating on their 19th- and early 20thcentury holdings. 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 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.


“An enjoyable itinerary with an excellent lecturer. A very happy group. Thank you.”

france Nice, 20th-century etching.

Day 4: 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.

Day 6: 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. Day 7: Le Cannet, Nice airport. The first museum dedicated to the works of Bonnard opened in Le

Recently, 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: £2,480. Single supplement £270. Price without flights £2,290. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel La Pérouse, Nice (leshotelsduroy.com): a stylish 4-star hotel partially built into the cliff overlooking the Promenade des Anglais. Rooms are furnished in modern Provençal style. Rooms are at the back of the hotel. Contact us for a price for a sea view. How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking and standing around in museums. Average distance by coach per day: 40 miles

Opera in Nice & Montecarlo April 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Ar t, Wine & Walking in Alsace Autumn 2016 Details available in October 2015 Contact us to register your interest

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Day 5: 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 afternoon visit Chapelle du Rosaire, a Dominican chapel by Matisse.

Cannet in 2011. Fly from Nice arriving at London Heathrow at c. 4.30pm.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with History of Printing, 17–23 October (page 117); Art in Madrid, 19–23 October (page 165).

The Pyrenees, 3–12 May 2016 with John McNeill: see page 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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Gardens of the Riviera In & around Menton & Nice france

6–12 April 2016 (mc 625) 7 days • £2,160 Lecturer: Caroline Holmes Inspiring historic gardens in spectacular settings, with exceptional growing conditions. Includes visits to some gardens not normally open to the public. Led by gardens historian Caroline Holmes. 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, looking out over the wooded hills near Grasse.

Itinerary Day 1: Cagnes-sur-Mer, Menton. Fly at c. 12.00 noon from London Gatwick 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 little garden. Transfer by coach to Menton where all six nights are spent.

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Day 2: 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. 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.

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Day 3: St Jean-Cap-Ferrat. Les Cèdres is a great forest of exotic planting around a luxurious house built for Leopold III of Belgium and landscaped by Harold Peto. Four generations of the present owner’s family have brought the garden to its state of magnificent maturity. Still a secluded haven for the fortunate, the gardens at the Villa Ephrussi Rothschild, established by Beatrice de Rothschild, are rich and varied, and take full advantage of the exceptional position. The house contains a varied art collection.

Menton, watercolour by A.H. Hallam Murray, publ. 1904.

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

book online at www.martinrandall.com

their establishment in the 19th century. An unparalleled 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. Perched on the hillside villa quarter of Garavan, Val Rahmeh is an early 20th-century villa surrounded by gardens of exceptional richness created by Maybud Campbell in the 1950s. Optional visit to nearby 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. Alternatively spend some independent time in Menton; a chance to see the Musée Cocteau or his Salle des Mariages. Dinner is at 2-Michelin star restaurant, Mirazur. Day 6: St-Paul-de-Vence, Grasse. The Fondation Maeght near St-Paul provides a rare opportunity to view modernism in a garden context. There is a remarkable collection of paintings and sculpture. 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. Day 7: Menton, Nice. Visit a private garden in Menton, not normally open to the public (details will be provided). Transfer to Nice for some free time in the old town before the flight to London Gatwick, arriving at c. 5.00pm. Some of the gardens are visited by special arrangement – therefore the order may vary and a couple are subject to confirmation.

Practicalities Price: £2,160. Upgrade to sea view £110 per room (shared room). Single supplement £260 (double room for single occupancy), with sea view £360. Price without flights £2,050. Included meals: 1 lunch, 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The 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. 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 Gastronomic EmiliaRomagna, 16–22 April (page 120).


Music in Berlin

Art, architecture & music in the German capital germany

Berlin, Staatsoper, early-19th-century engraving.

New Year departure: 28 December 2015–3 January 2016 (mc 550) 7 days • £3,540 (including tickets to 5 performances) Lecturer: Tom Abbott 3–6 March 2016 (mc 601) 4 days • £2,210 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturers: Professor Jan Smaczny & Tom Abbott Opera only departure: 1–6 May 2016 (mc 667) 6 days • £2,780 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturers: Dr John Allison & Tom Abbott

In March 2016: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bellini) with Joyce DiDonato, Rienzi (Wagner), the Berlin Philharmonic conducted by Mariss Jansons, and a concert with Daniel Barenboim, Lisa Bathiashvili and Wolfram Brandl. In May 2016: La Traviata (Verdi) with Diana Damrau, Madame Butterfly (Puccini), Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), and Simon Boccanegra (Verdi) with Plácido Domingo and Daniel Barenboim. Numerous excellent collections of fine and decorative arts and first-rate architecture. Day excursion to Charlottenburg and Potsdam.

Itinerary 1: New Year Day 1. Fly at c. 12.30pm from London Heathrow (British Airways) to Berlin. Take an orientation tour by coach: Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz and Unter den Linden. Visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. Day 2. A morning walk passes some fine 18thcentury buildings including the arsenal, opera house, royal palaces and cathedrals, en route to the ‘Museums Island’, a group of major museum buildings. Visit the Alte Nationalgalerie which superbly displays European painting of the 19th century including the finest collection of German Romantics. Then walk through the oldest part of the city, the Nikolaiviertel. Free afternoon. At the Staatsoper: Don Giovanni (Mozart), Massimo Zanetti (cond.), Christopher Maltman (Don Giovanni), Anna Samuil (Donna Anna), Peter Sonn (Don Ottavio), Jan Martiník (Commendatore), Dorothea Röschmann (Donna Elvira), Luca Pisaroni (Leporello). Day 3. Schloss Charlottenburg, the earliest major building in Berlin, is an outstanding Baroque and Rococo palace with splendid interiors. Some free time followed by a concert at the Philharmonie with the Berlin Philharmonic, Sir Simon Rattle (cond.), Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin): Chabrier, Overture ‘L’étoile’; Saint-Saëns, Introduction & Rondo Capriccioso in A minor, Op.28; Massenet, Suite from Le Cid; Ravel, ‘Tzigane’; Poulenc, pieces from ‘Les Biches’; Ravel, ‘La Valse’. Day 4 (New Years Eve). Excursion to Potsdam which in the 18th century developed into Brandenburg-Prussia’s second capital and acquired fine buildings, parks and gardens. Sanssouci, created as a retreat from the affairs of state by Frederick the Great, is among the finest 18th-century complexes of gardens, palaces and pavilions to be found anywhere. Visit his single-storey palace atop terraces of fruit trees, the Chinese Tea House and the orangery, and see the city centre with its Dutch Quarter 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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At New Year: Don Giovanni (Mozart); La Traviata (Verdi), conducted by Daniel Barenboim; The Magic Flute (Mozart); The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky); concert with the Berlin Philharmonic and Anne-Sophie Mutter (violin), conducted by Sir Simon Rattle.

Berlin possesses some of the finest art galleries and museums in the world and offers the highest standards of music and opera performance. It is endowed with a range of historic architecture and is also the site of Europe’s greatest concentration of first-rate contemporary architecture. Once again a national capital, it is also one of the most exciting cities on the Continent, recent and rapid changes pushing through a transformation without peacetime parallel. One of the grandest capitals in Europe for the first forty years of the last century, it then suffered appallingly from aerial bombardment and Soviet artillery. For the next forty years it was cruelly divided into two parts and became the focus of Cold War antagonism, a bizarre confrontation between an enclave of western libertarianism and hard-line Communism. Since the Wall was breached in 1989 the city has been transformed beyond recognition. From being a largely charmless urban expanse still bearing the scars of war, it has become a vibrant, liveable city, the very model of a modern major metropolis. The two halves have been knitted together and cleaning and repair have revealed the patrimony of historic architecture to be among the finest in Central Europe. The art collections, formerly split, dispersed and often housed in temporary premises, are now coming together in magnificently restored or newly-built galleries. Berlin possesses international art and antiquities of the highest importance, as well as incomparable collections of German art. The number and variety of museums and the quality of their holdings make Berlin among the world’s most desired destinations for art lovers. With three major opera houses and several orchestras, Berlin is a city where truly outstanding performances can be guaranteed.

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germany

Music in Berlin continued

“The evening at the Philharmonic was heaven on earth. Just for this the trip would have been worthwhile.”

Neo-Classical buildings. Return to Berlin for some free time before the evening performance at the Staatsoper: La Traviata (Verdi), Daniel Barenboim (cond.), Sonya Yoncheva (Violetta Valéry), Cristina Damian (Flora Bervoix), Katharina Kammerloher (Annina), Abdellah Lasri (Alfredo), Simone Piazzola (Germont), Florian Hoffmann (Gaston), Dominic Philip Barbieri (Baron Douphol), Jan Martiník (Marquis D’Obigny), Grigory Shkarupa (Doctor Grenvil).

Day 3. 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. Performance at the Deutsche Oper: Rienzi (Wagner): Evan Rogister (cond.), Torsten Kerl (Rienzi), Martina Welschenbach (Irene), Tobias Kehrer (Steffano), Daniela Sindram (Adriano), Thomas Lehman (Paolo Orsini).

Day 5 (New Year’s Day). Visit the Jewish Museum in the celebrated and expressive building by Daniel Libeskind. Ballet at the Deutsche Oper: The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky). Cast to be confirmed.

Day 4. Leave the hotel after a lecture for a concert at the Staatsoper with Daniel Barenboim (piano), Lisa Bathiashvili and Wolfram Brandl (violin), Claudius Popp (cello): Debussy, Violin Sonata in G minor, 4 Préludes; Dutilleux, ‘Ainsi la nuit’; Franck: Violin Sonata in A. Visit the Reichstag dome before lunch at the roofgarden restaurant. Fly to Heathrow arriving at c. 7.00pm.

Day 6. Return to Museum Island to visit the Neues Museum, the stunning new home to the Egyptian Museum (among others), restored and recreated by British architect David Chipperfield. Also visit the Bode Museum, home to a splendid, comprehensive collection of European sculpture, including works by Riemenschneider, as well as Byzantine art. Dinner in the rooftop restaurant in the Reichstag, with the opportunity (without queuing) to walk around Foster’s dome before a performance at the Deutsche Oper: The Magic Flute (Mozart), Nicholas Carter (cond.), Ante Jerkunica (Sarastro), Thomas Blondelle (Tamino), Hulkar Sabirova (Queen of the night), Siobhan Stagg (Pamina), Alexandra Hutton (Papagena), Simon Pauly (Papageno). Day 7. Explore the ‘Kulturforum’, developed before 1989 on wasteland close to the Wall as the site for several major museums, the State Library and Philharmonie (concert hall by Hans Scharoun). Visit the Gemäldegalerie, one of Europe’s major collections of Old Masters. Potsdamer Platz, for 50 years an even greater expanse of wasteland, became in the 1990s Europe’s greatest building project with an array of international architects participating. Fly to Heathrow, arriving at c. 5.30pm.

Itinerary 2: March 2016

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Day 1. Fly at c. 10.15am from London Heathrow to Berlin (British Airways). Take an orientation tour by coach: the New Embassy quarter, Reichstag, Brandenburg Gate, Pariser Platz and Unter den Linden. Lecture and dinner before a performance at the Deutsche Oper: I Capuleti e i Montecchi (Bellini), Paolo Arrivabeni (cond.), Joyce DiDonato (Romeo), Venera Gimadieva (Giulietta), Celso Albelo (Tebaldo), Ante Jerkunica (Lorenzo), Marko Mimica (Capellio).

Itinerary 3: May 2016 – opera only Day 1. Fly at c. 1.15pm 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. Day 2. Start with a music lecture as on most mornings. Then walk through the oldest part of the city to ‘Museums Island’, a group of major museum buildings. Visit the Neues Museum, the stunning new home to the Egyptian Museum, restored and recreated by British architect David Chipperfield. Some free time before a performance at the Deutsche Oper: La Traviata (Verdi), Ivan Repušić (cond.), Diana Damrau (Violetta Valéry), Saimir Pirgu (Alfredo Germont), Thomas Hampson (Giorgio Germont), Rebecca Jo Loeb (Annina), Attilio Glaser (Gastone), Stephen Bronk (Barone Douphol, Michael Adams (Marchese D’Obigny), Dong-Hwan Lee (Dottore Grenvil), Paul Kaufmann (Giuseppe). Day 3. 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. Performance

Day 2. Walk through the oldest part of the city to ‘Museums Island’, a group of major museum buildings. 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 before a concert at the Berlin Philharmonie: Berlin Philharmonic, Mariss Jansons (cond.), Truls Mørk (cello): Berlioz, ‘Le Carnaval Romain’, ‘Ouverture Caractéristique’ Op.9; Dutilleux, ‘Tout un monde lointain’; Shostakovich, Symphony No.10. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Satue of Frederick The Great, engraving c. 1850.

at the Staatsoper: Madame Butterfly (Puccini), Stefano Ranzani (cond.), Ermonela Jaho (Cio Cio San), Stefano La Colla (Pinkerton), Katharina Kammerloher (Suzuki), Alfredo Daza (Sharpless), Arttu Kataja (Yamadori), Dennis Wilgenhof (uncle Bonze), Jürgen Sacher (Goro). Day 4. Europe’s greatest building project in the 1990s, Potsdamer Platz showcases an international array of architects (Piano, Isozaki, Rogers, Moneo). Scattered around the nearby ‘Kulturforum’ are museums, the State Library and the Philharmonie (Hans Scharoun 1956–63). The Gemäldegalerie houses one of Europe’s major collections of Old Masters. Free afternoon, an opportunity to visit the Museum of Musical Instruments. Performance at the Deutsche Oper: Lucia di Lammermoor (Donizetti), Daniel Cohen (cond.), Dalibor Jenis (Enrico), Hulkar Sabirova (Lucia), Ismael Jordi (Edgardo), Matthew Newlin (Arturo), Nicolas Testé (Raimondo), Annika Schlicht (Alisa), Jörg Schörner (Normanno). Day 5. Return to Museums’ Island to visit the Alte Nationalgalerie which superbly displays European painting of the 19th century including the finest collection of German Romantics. Optional visit to the Bode Museum (sculpture and paintings). Evening performance at the Staatsoper: Simon Boccanegra (Verdi), Daniel Barenboim (cond.), Plácido Domingo (Simon Boccanegra), Krassimira Stoyanova (Maria Boccanegra), Ferruccio Furlanetto (Jacopo Fiesco), Gaston Rivero (Gabriele Adorno), Alfredo Daza (Paolo Albiani), Dominic Philip Barbieri (Pietro). Day 6. Return to Heathrow arriving at c. 1.15pm.

Practicalities Price, New Year: £3,540. Single supplement £420 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £3,330. Price, March 2016: £2,210. Single supplement £210 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,030. Price, May 2016: £2,780. Single supplement £340 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,620. Included meals: at New Year, 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine; in March, 1 lunch and 2 dinners with wine; in May, 4 dinners with wine. Music: tickets to 5 performances are included at New Year, costing c. £550. In March, tickets to 4 performances, costing c. £370. In May, tickets to 4 performances, costing c. £500. First category tickets are confirmed for the Deutsche Opera; the Staatsoper and Philharmonie will confirm later in the summer (Staatsoper confirmed for New Year). Accommodation. The Regent Berlin (theregentberlin.de): an elegant hotel decorated in Regency style, close to Unter den Linden. Rooms are of a good size and excellent standard. How strenuous? There is a reasonable amount of walking and standing around in art galleries. Average distance by coach per day: 12 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.


The Ring in Berlin Wagner in the German capital

A unique opportunity to experience Wagner’s monumental Ring tetralogy performed by the world’s leading artists, conducted by Barenboim. Visits on most days to study the art, architecture and history of Berlin, especially more recent developments. Talks on the operas by Barry Millington, chief music critic for London’s Evening Standard and editor of The Wagner Journal. Walks and gallery visits with Dr Matthias Vollmer, a Berlin-based art historian. Widely regarded as the greatest living Wagner conductor, Daniel Barenboim returns to the helm of the Berlin Staatsoper for a revival of the company’s celebrated production of the Ring: a co-production with La Scala, Milan. It is performed in the Schillertheater in the Charlottenburg district of Berlin, where the Staatsoper has taken up residence during the closure of its own house. Barenboim has assembled a truly stellar cast including Michael Volle as Wotan, Iréne Theorin as Brünnhilde and Simon O’Neill as Siegmund. The hero Siegfried will be sung by Andreas Schager, whose meteoric rise from substitute in 2013 to most-sought-after Heldentenor of today has been noted by the international media. The production, by the Belgian director Guy Cassiers, has been acclaimed for its inventive multimedia approach. Video projections and expressive choreography combine to complement the exhilarating potency of the music with theatrical magic, thus fulfilling Wagner’s own wishes by means of modern technology. There are daily talks and discussions with the accompanying musicologist and walks or excursions on most days with a Berlin-based cultural historian. However, plenty of time is allowed to rest and to prepare for experiencing the greatest achievement of music drama.

Itinerary

Day 2. A morning lecture on the music before an introductory morning walk, finishing at the ‘Museums Island’, a group of major museum buildings. A brief visit to the portico of the neoclassical style Altes Museum before exploring the Neues Museum, home to the Egyptian Museum and restored by British Architect David Chipperfield. Free time and dinner. At the Staatsoper: Das Rheingold: Daniel Barenboim (cond.), Michael Volle (Wotan), Roman Trekel (Donner), Andrew Staples (Froh), Matti Salminen (Fasolt), Falk Struckmann (Fafner), Stephan Rügamer (Loge), Jochen Schmeckenbecher (Alberich), Wolfgang Ablinger-Sperrhacke (Mime),

Day 3. Start the morning in Potsdamer Platz, Europe’s greatest building project in the 1990s with several buildings by star architects. Continue to the nearby ‘Kulturforum’. Pass the Philharmonie (Hans Scharoun) and visit the Gemäldegalerie, one of Europe’s major collections of Old Masters. Some free time before a pre-opera lecture. At the Staatsoper: Die Walküre: Michael Volle (Wotan), Falk Struckmann (Hunding), Simon O’Neill (Siegmund), Ekaterina Gubanova (Fricka), Iréne Theorin (Brünnhilde).

Schmeckenbecher (Alberich), Falk Stuckmann (Hagen), Iréne Theorin (Brünnhilde), Ann Petersen (Gutrune), Ekaterina Gubanova (Waltraute), Ekaterina Gubanova (1st Norn), Ann Petersen (2nd Norn), Evelin Novak (Woglinde), Anna Danik (Wellgunde), Anna Lapkovskaja (Flosshilde). Day 11. Fly to Heathrow, arriving at c. 1.30pm.

Practicalities Price in 2016: £3,970. Single supplement £610 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £3,660. Included meals: 2 lunches, 2 dinners, with wine.

Day 4. Morning walk focusing on 20th-century Berlin, followed by a visit to Libeskind’s extraordinary Jewish Museum. Free evening. Day 5. Wörlitz. 120 km to the south, Wörlitz was the creation of Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau, his libertarian idealism contrasting with Frederick the Great’s expansionism. An extravagant homage to the Enlightenment, he created this earliest of English parks on the continent as the centrepiece of his new social order. His models in this great enterprise were Palladio, Brown and Rousseau, and the magnificent park is studded with mementos of Stourhead, Coalbrookdale and the idea of the ferme ornée. Even Vesuvius is here, overlooking its own Bay of Naples. Return to Berlin for an independent evening. Day 6. After a morning lecture, return to the Museums Island to visit the Alte Nationalgalerie, which superbly displays European painting of the 19th century and German Romantics. At the Staatsoper: Siegfried: Andreas Schager (Siegfried), Stephan Rügamer (Mime), Michael Volle (Wotan), Falk Stuckmann (Fafner), Anna Larsson (Erda), Iréne Theorin (Brünnhilde). Day 7. Visit Schloss Charlottenburg, the earliest major building in Berlin, an outstanding Baroque and Rococo summer palace with fine interiors, paintings (Watteau especially) and extensive gardens. Optional visit to the recently extended Berggruen Collection of Picasso and classic modern art. Free evening. Day 8. 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 other buildings. Visit his relatively modest single-storey palace atop terraces of fruit trees and the exquisite Chinese teahouse. Lunch in Potsdam followed by a drive through the town centre with its Dutch quarter and cathedral by Schinkel. Free evening.

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Day 1. Fly at c. 1.15pm from London Heathrow to Berlin Tegel (British Airways). Digress to see some of the main sights of Berlin before settling into the hotel.

Ekaterina Gubanova (Fricka), Anna Samuil (Freia), Anna Larsson (Erda), Evelin Novak (Woglinde), Anna Danik (Wellgunde), Anna Lapkovskaja (Flosshilde).

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10–20 June 2016 (mc 711) 11 days • £3,970 Lecturers: Barry Millington & Dr Matthias Vollmer

Day 9. A day exploring Berlin’s modern architecture and most innovative buildings both by coach and on foot with a local guide. Day 10. Free morning; perhaps visit the Pergamon Museum, one of the world’s finest collections of Middle Eastern antiquities. Reconvene before 1.00pm to visit the Reichstag dome before lunch at the roofgarden restaurant. A pre-opera lecture. Final performance at the Staatsoper: Götterdämmerung: Andreas Schager (Siegfried), Roman Trekel (Gunther), Jochen

Rhine Maidens, lithograph by Henri Fantin-Latour, 1886. 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 Ring in Berlin continued

Gardens & Palaces of Berlin & Potsdam

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Music: tickets (second category, stalls) for 4 performances are included, costing c. £370. Accommodation. The Regent Berlin (theregentberlin.de): an elegant hotel decorated in Regency style. Rooms are of a good size and excellent standard. Located within walking distance of the major museums and a 30 minute drive from the Staatsoper (depending on traffic). How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing around in art galleries and museums. Average coach travel per day: 22 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Connoisseur’s Vienna, 22–28 June (page 50).

The Ring in Berlin 2017

12–18 April 2017 Details available in August 2015 Contact us to register your interest or pay an advance deposit to ensure a space Götz Friedrich’s internationally acclaimed production, set in a ‘time tunnel’ that links past, present and future, has become a classic, and Deutsche Oper Berlin is offering a last chance to experience the production, under the baton of its distinguished Music Director, Donald Runnicles. With a fine cast including Eva-Maria Westbroek as Sieglinde and Stefan Vinke as Siegfried, with Evelyn Herlitzius and Ricarda Merbeth sharing the role of Brünnhilde, this promises to be a memorable experience.

Programme

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Das Rheingold: Donald Runnicles (cond.), Götz Freidrich (dir.), Burkhard Ulrich (Loge), Werner Van Mechelen (Alberich), Peter Maus (Mime), Albert Pesendorfer (Fasolt), Tobias Kehrer (Fafner), Daniela Sindram (Fricka), Dana Beth Miller (Erda). Die Walküre: Brandon Jovanovich (Siegmund), Tobias Kehrer (Hunding), Thomas Johannes Mayer (Wotan), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Sieglinde), Evelyn Herlitzius (Brünnhilde), Daniela Sindram (Fricka). Siegfried: Stefan Vinke (Siegfried), Burkhard Ulrich (Mime), Samuel Youn (Der Wanderer), Werner Van Mechelen (Alberich), Tobias Kehrer (Fafner), Ricarda Merbeth (Brünnhilde). Götterdämmerung: Stefan Vinke (Siegfried), Seth Carico (Gunther), Albert Pesendorfer (Hagen), Evelyn Herlitzius (Brünnhilde), Ricarda Merbeth (Gutrune), Daniela Sindram (Waltraute). We anticipate that this tour will attract a lot of interest. It is possible to reserve a space by calling and making an advance deposit of £300, which is refundable should you choose not to go ahead once full details are published in August 2015.

Berlin, Schloss Charlottenburg, wood engraving c. 1880.

24–29 May 2016 (mc 686) 6 days • £2,120 Lecturer: Steven Desmond Surveys one of Europe’s finest concentrations of palaces, historic gardens, parks and pavilions. Led by Steven Desmond, landscape consultant and architectural historian, specialist in the conservation of historic parks and gardens. Includes an excursion to Wörlitz, a key early landscape garden in Germany. Perhaps in compensation for nature’s parsimony, one of the greatest concentrations of landscape gardens in continental Europe is to be found in an area of unproductive sandy heathland, scrub forests and marshy plains. Poorly endowed with natural resources, Brandenburg was a minor German state when in the seventeenth century it acquired the much bigger and more prosperous state, which was then known as Prussia. But by dint of ruthless and energetic rule, backed by military prowess for which it became a byword, Brandenburg-Prussia became one of the most powerful states 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. Before the landscape movement came Baroque formality, the perfect expression of the absolutism of the time. Most of the innumerable princes of the highly disunited Germany had aspirations to magnificence manifested in the building of

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palaces and the creation of gardens – regarded as an indispensable extension of the other. As the most ambitious of all dynasties, with most to prove, the Kings of Prussia bestowed on posterity some of the grandest schemes in Europe. As well as being one of the most able of rulers and soldiers, Frederick was also a lover of art, music and gardening. Sanssouci, his retreat from the affairs of state at Potsdam, is a uniquely extensive and well-preserved complex of gardens and palaces, extended and embellished by his successors. Sanssouci is the Mecca for all lovers of historic gardens, but there are also other outstanding parks, gardens and palaces close by. Based for all five nights in Potsdam, this tour surveys the superb and elaborate gardens and palaces from Baroque to Romanticism created by the Hohenzollern royal family. There is also a day in the neighbouring state of Sachsen-Anhalt to see Wörlitz, the first and most important landscape garden in Germany.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 8.45am from London Heathrow to Berlin (British Airways). Spend the afternoon at Schloss Charlottenburg, the earliest major secular building in the Berlin area, an outstanding Baroque and Rococo summer palace with excellent interiors of the 1690s and 1750s (with Frederick II’s collection of paintings by Watteau). The first French-style formal garden in Germany extends into landscaped areas with a villa and mausoleum by Schinkel. Continue to Potsdam.


Berlin: New Architecture The unification of a capital 28 June–2 July 2016 (mc 735) 5 days • £1,720 Lecturer: Tom Abbott

Day 3. Wörlitz. 90 km to the south, Wörlitz was the creation of Prince Franz of Anhalt-Dessau, his libertarian idealism contrasting with Frederick the Great’s expansionism. An extravagant homage to the Enlightenment, he created this earliest of English parks on the continent as the centrepiece of his new social order. His models in this great enterprise were Palladio, Brown and Rousseau, and the magnificent park is studded with mementos of Stourhead, Coalbrookdale and the idea of the ferme ornée.

The list of architects virtually comprises a roll-call of the world’s leading architectural practices.

Day 4: Today we explore the parks which gather around the River Havel and dependent lakes between Potsdam and Berlin which, though created independently, took into account views of the other gardens. The great landscape designer Peter Josef Lenné (1789–1866) had a hand in all of them; Peacock Island, with its ‘ruined’ castle folly, is ‘the most peaceful and enchanted landscape… in the whole of Germany’; the gloriously Gothic garden of Babelsberg, where Lenné collaborated with Prince Pückler, evolved around a WindsorCastle style Schloss and is as different as can be imagined from Sanssouci; the villa of KleinGlienicke is a dream of Italy, its gardens strewn with Neoclassical garden buildings. Day 5. The Neuer Garten, laid out from 1786 by Friedrich Wilhelm II, embraces the artfully informal, English landscaped style, while the lakeside Marble Palace at its centre is modest, playful and interestingly furnished. The Elizabethan-style Schloss Cecilienhof (1913–17) was site of the Potsdam Conference 1945. Free afternoon; perhaps explore the town of Potsdam with its Dutch Quarter and Schinkel cathedral. Day 6. Walk once more though Park Sanssouci to the Neo-Classical retreat of Charlottenhof and the adjoining Roman Baths. A sequence of Roman and Renaissance style rooms, patios and baths, this part was once a separate estate and was laid out by Lenné and Schinkel. Depart for Berlin Airport at midday, arriving Heathrow c. 5.45pm.

Price: £2,120. Single supplement £130 (double for sole occupancy). Price without flights £1,840. Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel am Luisenplatz, Potsdam (hotel-luisenplatz.de): comfortable 4-star hotel on the edge of Sanssouci park. How strenuous? This tour would be unsuitable for anyone who has difficulties with walking. Average distance by coach per day: 26 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Great Houses of the East, 12–20 May (page 25).

Access to private places, and time for some of the standard sights. Leading architectural historian, Tom Abbott.

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. Day 1. Fly at c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Berlin (British Airways). The Catholic parish church of St Canisius is based on strictly geometrical patterns enlivened through light. Foster’s library at the Free University is inspired by the human brain. Continue to the hotel, located on Unter den Linden.

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.

Day 2. Post-War and post-Wall Berlin has been all about melding old with new, and ‘Mediaspree’, was established to house the media industries along the banks of the River 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. 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 highfashion galleries, bars, and cafés. Elsewhere, antique and modern sit easily side by side. Highlights include: the German Centre for Architecture, classic Jugendstil reworked with Mies-inspired additions; the L40 or Black-Maze Building, a minimalist sculpture in black-tapered cubes by Roger Bundschuh and Philipp Baumhauer and artist Cosima von Bonin; the New Apartment, a sinuous contemporary interpretation of the Berliner Wohnhaus, by J. Mayer H. Architects. Berlin’s renewal has involved some of the greatest names in postWar architecture. We visit I.M. Pei’s dazzling glass-fronted addition to the German Historical Museum; 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, glassroofed 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. 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, but not glorify. Berlin

Berlin, Stock Exchange.

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. 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 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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Practicalities

Europe’s biggest concentration of contemporary architecture.

architect Ursula Wilms and landscape Heinz W. Hallmann responded with The Documentation Centre, a stark grey metal box contained within low concrete walls and an unkempt landscape. Later political scars are addressed in Bernauer Strasse (the street which the Wall ran along) 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 19thcentury church cleansed from the former ‘death strip’, provides an aetherial monument in pressed clay and wooden rods (by Berlin architects Peter Sassenroth and Rudolf Reitermann and Austrian clay artist Martin Rauch).

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Day 2. Intimacy and opulence jostle for space in Sanssouci. A full day is devoted to the 300 ha site which was developed from 1744–1913. A string of contrasting palaces, the famous terrace garden and a series of ornamental buildings reflecting Italian, Chinese, Greek, Roman and Rococo tastes follow one another in this huge park.

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Berlin: New Architecture continued

Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden

Art & architecture in Brandenburg & Saxony germany

Tom Abbott Specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century with a particular interest in German and American modern. Studied Art History in the USA and Paris and has a wide knowledge of the performing arts. Since 1987 he has lived in Berlin. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. of individuality and distinction have arisen including the chirpy British Embassy by Michael Wilford, the DG Bank by Frank Gehry and the French Embassy by Christiande Portzamparc. 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. 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.

22–30 September 2016 (md 840) 9 days • £2,840 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. Led by Dr Jarl Kremeier, an art historian specialising in 17th- to 19th-century architecture and decorative arts.

Day 5. 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 modern-movement New National Gallery and Hans Scharoun’s original and organic Philharmonie (concert hall); the last building to be added was the Gemäldegalerie by Hilmer & Sattler which superbly displays one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Masters. Fly to London, arriving Heathrow c. 3.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,720 .Single supplement £180. Price without flights £1,400. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. The Westin Grand (westingrandberlin.com): a stylish but traditional hotel close to Unter den Linden. Rooms are of good size and excellent standard. 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. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with The Danube Festival of Song, 5–12 July (page 49).

Dresden , lithograph after Samuel Prout 1839. book online at www.martinrandall.com

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 BrandenburgPrussia 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


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 four nights in Dresden. Day 2: Dresden. A morning walk around the old centre of Dresden. Visit the great domed Frauenkirche, the Protestant cathedral. The Zwinger is a unique Baroque confection, part pleasure palace, part 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.

Romanticism. After lunch travel to Berlin by coach. Survey the historic architecture along and around Unter den Linden: the Arsenal, Schinkel’s Guardhouse, Frederick the Great’s Opera House, the Gendarmenmarkt with twin churches and concert hall. First of four nights in Berlin. Day 6: Berlin. Spend the morning on ‘Museums Island’: the Altes Museum, a major Neo-Classical building by Schinkel, displays the collection of Classical antiquities; the Alte Nationalgalerie houses an excellent collection of 19th-century paintings and sculptures; the Neues Museum (elaborately restored under the direction of British architect David Chipperfield) is the new home of the Egyptian Museum (famous for the bust of Nefertiti); the Bode Museum houses a splendid, comprehensive collection of European sculpture, including works by Riemenschneider, as well as Byzantine art. Day 7: 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 buildings. In the afternoon visit his relatively modest single-storey palace atop terraces of fruit trees, the exquisite Chinese teahouse and the large and imposing Neues Palais. Drive through Potsdam town centre with its Dutch quarter and cathedral by Schinkel. 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. In the evening visit Norman Foster’s glass dome capping the Reichstag and have dinner in the roof-top restaurant.

Day 9: Berlin. Europe’s greatest building project in the 1990s, Potsdamer Platz showcases an international array of architects (Piano, Isozaki, Rogers, Moneo). 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. Choose between the Neue Nationalgalerie (changing exhibitions in a Mies van der Rohe building) or the Museum of Musical Instruments. Fly from Berlin to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 3.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,840. Single supplement £370 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,660. Included meals: 2 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Gewandhaus Hotel, Dresden (gewandhaus-hotel.de): a traditional 5-star hotel in a reconstructed Baroque building. Regent Hotel, Berlin (theregentberlin.de): an 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. Combine this tour with Art in the Netherlands, 2–8 October (page 146); Courts of Northern Italy, 2–9 October (page 116).

Music in Prague & Dresden at New Year, 29 December 2015–5 January 2016 with Professor Jan Smaczny & Dr Jarl Kremeier: see page 57.

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Day 3: Dresden. Start at the Hofkirche, the Catholic church commissioned by Frederick Augustus II, Elector of Saxony and King of Poland, to counterbalance the building of the Frauenkirche. The Green Vault of the Residenzschloss displays one of the world’s finest princely treasuries. Some free time for independent exploration before an afternoon visit to the New Masters Gallery in the Albertinum. Day 4: Dresden, Pillnitz. Take a boat trip to Pillnitz, a summer palace in Chinese Rococo style, with park, gardens and collections of decorative art. Drive back to Dresden for an afternoon visit of the Palais im Großen Garten, the first major Baroque building in the city. Day 5: Dresden, Berlin. Stroll in DresdenNeustadt on the right bank of the Elbe, little damaged in the War, taking in amongst others the Baroque Quarter around Königsstrasse, a Japanese Palace and the Dresden Museum for

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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.

Berlin, Unter den Linden, watercolour by E. Harrison Compton, publ. 1912. 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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Cold War Berlin

Clash of ideologies, clinch of superpowers germany

5–9 June 2016 (mc 706) 5 days • £1,770 Lecturer: Patrick Mercer obe Historical examination of the divided city where East and West confronted each other for 44 years. Politics global and local, life in the DDR and in the western enclave. Led by a military historian and former politician who served as an army officer in Berlin. For nearly forty years after World War Two the world lived with the incessant anxiety of annihilation through the doctrine of ‘Mutually Assured Destruction’. There seemed little likelihood of compromise and none of conciliation between the two great geopolitical blocs, and many of the wars around the globe were superpower conflicts by proxy. But there was nothing vicarious about the confrontation in Berlin. Here military personnel on both sides looked each other in the eye from a few feet away. Here, it was widely believed, the Third World War was most likely to begin. Though only a few traces remain, the Wall is the most striking memorial of that bizarre and frightening era. Staggering in its brazenness and cruelty, it was erected in 1961 as the culmination of attempts by the eastern sector to stop its citizens fleeing to the West, and was continually refined until its sudden breach in 1989. That is but one thread in an extraordinary and multi-faceted story which began in Year Zero, 1945. Concentrated bombardments had reduced Berlin to ruins with most of the houses flattened or uninhabitable (it took twelve years to clear the rubble), thousands starved to death each day, there was an almost complete breakdown of law and order and rape by Soviet soldiery was on a horrific scale.

Cold War Berlin is also a story of global politics, of visits by Kennedy, Khrushchev, Gorbachev and Reagan, of appeasement and resistance, of the 462-day Blockade (1948–9) and of how a devastated and deeply unstable city became a heroic beacon of western values. There is also the story of the manipulation of democratic processes to impose a tyrannical regime in the Soviet sector; a proper historical analysis overturns the currently fashionable nostalgia for the DDR. Berlin was also of course the spy capital of the world, the peculiarities of its administration allowing for clandestine meetings and exchanges of information. This is the world of John Le Carré and Len Deighton, though fiction should not be taken as fact. Some of what went on is still officially secret.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly from London Heathrow at c. 10.45am to Berlin Tegel (British Airways). Drive around the city to Karl-Marx Allee (Stalinallee until 1956), a showpiece boulevard of socialist monumentalism. The Berlin Wall Memorial on Bernauer Strasse retains one of the few complete sections with double wall and death strip. Alexanderplatz and the Marx-Engels Forum are open spaces at the heart of the Soviet sector, dominated by the Television Tower. Day 2: Berlin, Kunersdorf. Drive east of Berlin to the Cold War Museum, whose permanent exhibition is housed close to a nuclear bunker. In the afternoon drive to Treptow to visit the Soviet War Memorial where 300,000 are buried, a salutary reminder of another side of the story. Some free time for the DDR Museum or one of the great art museums.

Patrick Mercer obe Military historian. He read History at Oxford followed by 25 years in the army, achieving the rank of colonel, and subsequently worked for BBC Radio 4 as Defence Correspondent and journalist. He was MP for Newark from 2001–14 and is author of two books on the Battle of Inkerman. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Day 3: Berlin. Visit the Gedenkstätte Hohenschönhausen, a Soviet then Stasi (secret police) prison for political deviants, and the Stasi HQ at Normannenstrasse, largely left as it was in 1990 and revealing the extraordinary scale of surveillance of DDR citizens. Checkpoint Charlie was the infamous crossing point between American and Soviet sectors (marked by a replica hut and museum); Zimmerstrasse was the site of the Fechter shooting which shocked the world. Day 4: Berlin, Potsdam. Drive to Potsdam and visit Cecilienhof, the English-style mansion built for the Crown Prince in 1913 and scene in 1945 of the Potsdam Conference (where Atlee replaced Churchill midway). Then there is a special walk along the site of the Wall to the Glienicke Bridge on the south-western edge of Berlin. Straddling the border, it was used for the exchange of prisoners. The Allied Museum in Zehlendorf well illustrates the western occupation. Day 5: Berlin. Recently restored, Schloss Schönhausen contains the residence of Wilhelm Pieck, President of the DDR. Pariser Platz and around: the Brandenburg Gate, the most potent symbol of tragedy and triumph, the Russian (formerly Soviet) embassy, the Soviet War Memorial in the British sector. At the Reichstag the Cold War symbolically came to an end with the reunification ceremony in 1990. Lunch is here in the restaurant under its great glass dome. On the way to the airport stop at Schöneberg Town Hall, seat of Berlin city government of the western sectors and site of Kennedy’s speech: ‘Ich bin ein Berliner’. Return to Heathrow c. 5.45pm.

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Practicalities Price: £1,770. Single supplement £190 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,590. Included meals: 2 lunches 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. The Westin Grand Berlin (westingrandberlin.com): a stylish but traditional hotel close to Unter den Linden. How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking is required and standing around is unavoidable. Average distance by coach per day: 32 miles (primarily on on two days of the tour.) Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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GDR soldier Conrad Schumann escapes to West Berlin, 15 August 1961. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Combine this tour with Flanders Fields, 10–13 June (page 54).


The Iron Cur tain The Cold War & after

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19 September–3 October 2016 (md 849) 15 days • £4,420 Lecturer: Neil Taylor A unique and exciting journey from the Baltic to the Adriatic. Criss-crosses between west and east, assessing the impact of the Iron Curtain on both sides. Allows time to see the many pre-20th-century buildings and museums and art galleries along the route, often with local guides. Led by Neil Taylor, a historian, writer and leading expert on the former communist world.

Weimar, lithograph 1920 by Ellen Torngrist.

Itinerary The designation after place names (W) or (E) refers to their location west or east of the Iron Curtain. Day 1: Lübeck. Fly at c. 1.30pm from London Heathrow to Hamburg (British Airways). Drive to Lübeck (W), the great port on the Baltic, leader of the Hanseatic League and home of Thomas Mann. One of the loveliest cities in Germany, there are mediaeval gateways, Gothic churches and splendid merchants’ houses. First of three nights in Lübeck. Day 2: Lübeck. A leisurely morning exploration of the city includes St Mary, the largest of brick Gothic churches, and the town hall. Afternoon at leisure to explore the mediaeval town, with the St Annen Museum of mediaeval art and furnishings, and the Buddenbrooks House. Overnight Lübeck. Day 3: Wismar. In GDR times the neglect of Wismar became increasingly obvious, despite its worldwide international shipping links. Now its former vitality has returned, as a glimpse at its market square will show. It was, in the 14th century, as important as Lübeck in the Hanseatic League and in the 18th century became Sweden’s most important port on the southern Baltic coast. Overnight Lübeck.

of the Fachwerk style from the 14th to the 19th century. The Romanesque church at Quedlinburg possesses a marvellous treasury, key pieces of which had been purloined by a Texan soldier who kept them at home until his death in 1980. They were returned in 1993. Overnight Quedlinburg. Day 6: Weimar. Remote from warring factions in the big cities and redolent of the great names of German culture (Bach, Goethe, Schiller, Liszt), Weimar (E) gave its name to the constitution which ineffectively governed Germany for 14 years after the First World War. There is free time in the afternoon: select from the ducal palace (with picture collection), the ‘Herder’ church, the Bauhaus Museum and Goethe’s house. Continue south from Thuringia (E) to Bavaria (W). Overnight Coburg. Day 7: Coburg, Cheb. The ducal house of SaxeCoburg-Gotha supplied an amazing number of consorts to royal houses throughout Europe. In Coburg (W) see the Ehrenburg, home of Prince Albert. In the afternoon cross into the former Kingdom of Bohemia, now in the Czech Republic, and visit the charming town of Cheb (E). First of two nights in Mariánské Lázne.

Day 4: Marienborn. Drive to Marienborn for a guided tour of the zonal border, here the marshalling yard of East-West traffic; though abandoned to weeds, it retains the extensive installations of border control and there is now also a fascinating border museum. Overnight Quedlinburg (E).

Day 8: Mariánské Lázne. Spend a leisurely day in Mariánské Lázne (E), once (as Marienbad) one of the most fashionable spa towns in Europe. With opulent 19th-century hotels, apartments and parks, and set among pine-clad hills, it exudes a melancholy grandeur. Now in the former Habsburg Empire, there is a new range of historical perspectives to consider, including the impact of the 1938 German occupation of the Sudetenland. Overnight Mariánské Lázne.

Day 5: Quedlinburg. Two thousand timber houses in Quedlinburg’s ‘new’ town, all fortunately spared from WWII, show the best

Day 9: Plzeň, Cesky Krumlov. Continue through South Bohemia, a region of rolling hills, woods and lakes. Since the Middle Ages there had been 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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The shape of post-war Europe was determined at the Yalta and Potsdam conferences in 1945 – unwittingly, to some extent, because the reality of division between East and West was much more profound, more brutal and more permanent than had been envisaged by the western leaders. A year later, when the Soviet Union was officially and popularly still the heroic ally in the victorious war against Hitler, Winston Churchill in his Fulton speech stated that an ‘Iron Curtain’ had descended across Europe; rarely has a statesman bestowed on language a phrase which was to have such widespread and potent use. Quite suddenly, and to most observers quite unexpectedly, the Iron Curtain vanished in the autumn of 1989. The barbed wire came down, minefields were cleared, watchtowers disarmed. But this removal of the physical barrier was merely symptomatic of profound changes in the lands behind the Iron Curtain, where governments and institutions collapsed and the lives of tens of millions of people were fundamentally changed. Soon free elections were held, Germany was united and market economics prevailed, binding ‘East’ Europe – which we have now learnt again to call Central Europe – to the rest of the free world. This tour is a study of one of the most fascinating and bizarre episodes in recent European history in the form of a thousand-mile journey through the heart of Europe from Lübeck on the Baltic to Trieste on the Adriatic, more or less along the line of the Iron Curtain. Of the divide itself scarcely a trace remains, but we visit places affected by the division and by its ending, and those in which the history expressed by the Iron Curtain was made. There are side expeditions to places significant in the history and life of this great swathe of Europe. The principal themes of the tour are history and contemporary affairs, and it is on these that the lecturer’s discourse will concentrate. But the tour does nevertheless provide an extraordinary range of visual pleasures. Passing through seven countries, there is much to see in a variety of towns, cities and villages. Having been on the road to nowhere for most of the post-war period, many places escaped disfiguring overdevelopment, and now energetic restoration is doing wonders to the areas formerly in the East. Moreover, the journey for most of the way is scenically enthralling. The obvious concomitant are long coach journeys, an average of 100 miles per day.

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The Iron Cur tain continued

“The itinerary was well-balanced and interesting – nicely paced.”

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German-speaking majority in the area until they were expelled after the War. Visit the recently opened General Patton Museum in Plzen, which examines the final days of WWII in the area, and then the Baroque theatre in Cesky Krumlov (E). Overnight Cesky Krumlov. Day 10: Vienna, Bratislava. Enter Austria and cross the Danube for one of the briefest visits to Vienna (W) in the history of tourism. Visit the splendid Belvedere Palace, scene of the 1955 treaty which saw the withdrawal of the Soviets from Austria, and now home to the national collection of Austrian art: mediaeval, Baroque, Biedermeier and Secessionist, Klimt and Schiele. An afternoon walk takes in buildings most significant to postWar Vienna, ending at The Third Man Museum. Drive to Bratislava (E) in Slovakia, the ‘youngest’ capital city in Europe. Overnight Bratislava. Day 11: Bratislava, Sopron. Bratislava (Pressburg), has a sequence of restored streets and squares but has also retained something of a pre-1989 feel. Continue to Hungary and visit the Andau bridge, the escape route for over 70,000 Hungarian refugees in October 1956. Visit the site of the August 1989 pan-European picnic, used by several thousand East Germany holidaymakers then in Hungary to escape to the West.Overnight Sopron (E). Day 12: Sopron, Ják, Köszeg. See the Gothic Goat Church, the 17th century fire tower and the Storno collection of 19th century art and furniture in Sopron. The rest of the is spent driving through Hungary close to the border, scene of the flight of 200,000 refugees after the 1956 uprising. Stop to visit the Romanesque church at Ják (E), and small town of Köszeg.

Cross into the Austrian province of Styria from where Cossack troops were forcibly repatriated in 1945. Overnight Graz (W). Day 13: Graz, Udine. An enchanting streetscape with outstanding buildings across undulating terrain makes Graz one of the loveliest towns in Central Europe. A morning walk reveals the splendour of the Gründerzeit architecture from the late 19th century, when Graz was at its most prosperous. Many earlier sacred buildings and contemporary public architecture will be seen as well, including the 15th century cathedral and the double-spiral staircase at the regional parliament building. In the afternoon drive through Slovenia towards the Adriatic and cross into Italy. First of two nights in Udine (W).

c. 50 miles

Lübeck

Wismar

Hamburg

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POLAND Marienborn Quedlinburg

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Weimar Coburg Cheb Mariánské Lázne Plzeň

Czech Republic Cesky Krumlov

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Vienna Bratislava

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Graz

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Kobarid Gorizia

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Graz, photograph by G.F. Randall.

Day 14: Kobarid, Gorizia. Most of the day is spent in Slovenia (E), until 1918 known as the Duchy of Carniola and until 1991 the most progressive and independent part of Yugoslavia. The Italian front in WWI hardly features in histories of that era, but the trench warfare in the mountainous area close to Kobarid (Caporetto) was as brutal as that in France. Visit the battlefields and adjoining museum, then drive to Gorizia, a town now divided between Italy and Slovenia. Overnight Udine. Day 15: Trieste. During six hundred years of Austrian rule, Trieste (W) became the largest seaport in the Mediterranean, and was bitterly disputed between Italy and Yugoslavia in the immediate post-war years. Overlooking city and sea, the citadel has Roman remains, fortress and Byzantine mosaics. Grand streets and squares with Neo-Classical buildings give rise to the epithet ‘Vienna-on-Sea’. Return to London Gatwick from Venice at c. 7.00pm.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Practicalities Price: £4,420. Single supplement £420. Price without flights £4,280. Included meals: 1 lunch, 11 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Radisson Blu Senator Hotel, Lübeck (senatorhotel.de): modern 4-star hotel just outside the old city gates. Romantik Hotel am Brühl, Quedlinburg (hotelambruehl.de): restored heritage building near the historical centre, comfortably furnished. Romantik Hotel Goldene Traube, Coburg (goldenetraube. com): comfortable 4-star historic hotel. The Falkensteiner Grand Spa Hotel, Mariánské Lázne (falkensteiner.com): modern, town centre hotel. Hotel Růže, Cesky Krumlov (janhotels. cz): characterful 5-star hotel in a converted 16thcent. Jesuit Monastery. Radisson Blu Carlton, Bratislava (radissonblu.com): modern, 4-star hotel on one of the old town squares. Hotel Wollner, Sopron (wollner.hu): established central hotel, some rooms furnished with antiques. Hotel zum Dom, Graz (domhotel.co.at): 4-star hotel in a 16th-cent. building. Hotel Astoria, Udine (hotelastoria.udine.it): well established, central 4-star hotel in one of the a main squares. How strenuous? Very long drives and frequent changes of hotel (eight) are a feature of this tour. Days begin at 8.30 or 9.00am; arrival at the hotel twice is after 7.00pm. However, there are three relatively restful days. There is a lot of walking. Average distance by coach per day: 101 miles. Group size: between 12 and 22 participants.


The Leipzig Bach Festival

Music by Johann Sebastian Bach, his sons & contemporaries Chailly (conductor): J.S. Bach, St Matthew Passion (BWV 244, F. Mendelssohn Bartholdy arrangement). Day 6: Leipzig. Evening concert at the Nikolaikirche with the Balthasar-Neumann-Choir and Ensemble, Olof Boman (director): J.S. Bach, Bringet dem Herrn Ehre seines Namens (BWV 148); Ich elender Mensch, wer wird mich erlösen (BWV 48); O Ewigkeit, du Donnerwort (BWV 60); Herr, gehe nicht ins Gericht (BWV 105).

Full details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest Over eighty members of the Bach family are listed in the New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians. For two centuries the Bachs, Johann Sebastian among them, plied their trade in the employ of courts, churches and free cities in Thuringia, Sachsen-Anhalt and Saxony. Though geographically in the heart of Germany, these places were not among the major political or cultural centres of Europe. And their location on the other side of the Iron Curtain in the later twentieth century enveloped them further in obscurity. There was no star system in the Bachs’ time; genius was an alien concept. The tradition the family worked in was one of sheer dogged professionalism, with ability generally recognised and rewarded. Actually, Johann Sebastian was the third choice of the city fathers for the post of Cantor at St Thomas’s Church in Leipzig. And, astonishingly, until 1999 Leipzig had never mounted a fully-fledged annual festival devoted to their most famous employee. Happily, the event has quickly established itself as one of the major items in the calendar of European festivals, and tickets are becoming hard to get. The musical history of Leipzig encompasses not only J.S. Bach and his sons but also Telemann, Händel, Haydn and Vivaldi. Morning walks and visits investigate this heritage, and also take in the art and architecture of the city. Plenty of time is left for individual exploration or simply resting between concerts. Leipzig is now, again, a handsome and lively city, following an almost miraculous transformation during the 1990s and beyond. Cleaning, restoration and rebuilding went hand in hand with the emergence of cafés, smart shops and good restaurants. There are excellent museums, including the Fine Arts Museum in spectacular new premises, the radically refurbished Museum of Musical Instruments and, of course, the Bach Museum.

Day 4: Leipzig. Evening concert at the Thomaskirche with the Monteverdi Choir, English Baroque Soloists and Sir John Eliot Gardiner (director): J.S. Bach, St Matthew Passion (BWV 244b, 1729 arrangement).

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14–20 June 2016 7 days • Price c. £3,000, to be confirmed Lecturer: Professor John Butt obe

Day 7: Leipzig. Afternoon concert at the Universitätskirche St Pauli with the Berliner Barock Soloisten, Dorothee Oberlinger (recorder), Jacques Zoon (flute): Vivaldi, Recorder Concerto in C (RV443); Telemann, Concerto for Recorder and Flute in E minor (TWV 52:e1), Sonata in B minor (TWV 40: 105); J.S. Bach, Orchestral Suite No. 2 in B minor (BWV 1067). Early evening concert at the Thomaskirche with Les Arts Florissants, Katherine Watson (soprano), Emmanuelle de Negri (soprano), Tim Mead (countertenor), Reinoud van Mechelen (tenor), André Morsch (bass), and William Christie (director); J.S. Bach, Mass in B minor (BWV 232). Day 8. Fly from Dresden to London City Airport, arriving c. 2.00pm.

Day 5: Leipzig. Evening concert at the Gewandhaus with the MDR Rundfunkchor, the Gewandhausorchestra Leipzig, and Riccardo

The full programme is due to be published at the end of summer 2015, and will include additional concerts in towns neighbouring Leipzig.

Opera in Leipzig & Dresden

Music & Walking in the Saxon Hills

May 2016 Contact us for the full details or visit www.martinrandall.com

September 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

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Preliminary itinerary Day 1: London to Leipzig. Fly at c. 9.30am from London City to Dresden (Cityjet). Drive to Leipzig (c. 90 minutes), arriving at the hotel in time for an introductory talk before dinner. Day 2: Leipzig. Evening concert at the Thomaskirche with Christian Tetzlaff (violin): J.S. Bach, Partitas and Sonatas (BWV 1001–1003). Day 3: Leipzig. Evening concert at the Nikolaikirche with the RIAS Kammerchor, Die Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Bremen, conducted by Sir Roger Norrington: Händel, Ode for St Cecilia’s Day (HWV 76); Haydn, Mass in B-flat (Hob. XXII: 14); J.S. Bach, Sanctus in D (BWV 232III). Dresden, Hoftheater, by Paul Hey c. 1908.

Saxony, etching c. 1920. 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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Franconia

Little known gems of Southern Germany germany

3–10 September 2016 (md 823) 8 days • £2,530 Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier A neglected region of southern Germany which has an exceptional heritage of art and architecture, enchanting streetscape and natural beauty. 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. 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 around the largely post-war reconstruction of the old centre, with its vast and sombre Romanesque cathedral, delicate Gothic church and flamboyant Baroque churches. First of two nights in Würzburg. 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 across one of the oldest mediaeval bridges 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.

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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 Pommersfelden, an early 18th-century country house with one of the grandest of Baroque staircases. Continue through lovely landscape to Bamberg. First of four nights here.

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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. Nuremberg, St Sebaldus’ tomb (in the church of the same name), wood engraving 1893. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Day 5: Bayreuth. All-day excursion. Bayreuth developed as a minor court city in the 18th century, and a varietal of Rococo decoration


A Festival of Music in Franconia Concerts along the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal

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evolved in the town palace and at the Hermitage, a complex of gardens, palaces and pavilions, 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 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: £2,530. Single supplement £280. Price without flights £2,270. Included meals: 1 lunch, 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Rebstock, Würzburg (rebstock.com): well-located, comfortable 4-star hotel. Hotel Villa Geyerswörth, Bamberg (villageyerswoerth.de): elegant and quiet 4-star hotel located close to the old town. Le Méridien Grand Hotel, Nuremberg (lemeridiennuernberg. com): modern 4-star hotel in a late 19th-cent. building, 10 minutes’ walk from the centre. How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking on this tour, as vehicular access in town centres is restricted. It would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair climbing. There are a few long drives. Average distance by coach per day: 55 miles. Combine this tour with Pompeii & Herculaneum, 12–17 September (page 136); Connoisseur’s London, 13–17 September (page 41); Connoisseur’s Prague, 13–19 September (page 60).

16–23 August 2016 Details available late-August 2015 Contact us to register your interest This new MRT music festival follows the highly successful model we have pioneered since 1994: a succession of concerts in beautiful and appropriate historic buildings, with the audience accommodated on board a comfortable river cruiser where they dine, sleep, relax and listen to lectures while sailing or moored. In this case, there are two rivers and a canal: the Danube, the Main and the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal. The attempt to link the two greatest rivers of Europe via an artificial waterway, and hence the North Sea with the Black Sea, was first attempted by Charlemagne, the first Holy Roman Emperor, in the eighth century. The canal finally opened to traffic in 1992, passing through a region which is one of the scenically most alluring and artistically best endowed in Germany, particularly with great houses (see opposite for elaboration). In mediaeval and early modern times Franconia was at the heart, geographically and culturally, of the German-speaking world, but by the time it was added to the Electorate of Bavaria in 1803 it was already slipping into backwater status. Strictly speaking, the festival is more than Franconia: Regensburg lies elsewhere in Bavaria, but we hope readers (and Bavarians) will allow us to stretch a point for the sake of simplicity of nomenclature. Plans for the festival are well advanced if not quite complete. The music will be predominantly eighteenth-century, reflecting the buildings in which it is performed, with a few excursions into other centuries.

In Regensburg, there will be concerts in a magnificent seventeenth-century warehouse of timber construction beside the Danube, in an impressive Baroque church and in the exquisite ballroom of Schloss Thurn and Taxis. In Bamberg, the venues are the Baroque episcopal palace, in a hall entirely covered in frescoes which overlooks one of the most beautiful urban spaces in Europe, and in a delightful Rococo hall in the bishop’s summer residence just outside Bamberg the city. There is the great Festsaal in the princely Residenz in Ansbach, childhood home of Queen Caroline of Great Britain, and the hall of Schloss Pommersfelden, one of the most magnificent country houses in all Germany. In Nürnberg there is a concert in the splendid mediaeval town hall and a Lieder recital in the Schloss FaberCastell, a Jugendstil treasure in the outskirts. The musicians are from Germany, Austria, Britain and Italy, all leading exponents of their chosen repertoire. The lecturer is Misha Donat, who has been such a success on the Danube. We are expecting there to be considerable interest among those who have attended our other river festivals – along the Danube, Rhine, Seine and Rhône – so we recommend putting yourselves on the list to receive information in advance of publication.

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Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Nuremberg, watercolour by William Callow (1812–1908).

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German Romanesque

With Carolingian & Ottonian preludes germany

26 June–2 July 2016 (mc 732) 7 days • £2,220 Lecturer: Dr Jeffrey Miller The Rhineland produced some of the most adventurous and sophisticated architecture of the Romanesque era. Small parish churches, great cathedrals, city and country, buildings, paintings and metalwork. Intensive and wonderfully rich study tour. Led by Dr Jeffrey Miller, art historian and expert in the architecture of the Middle Ages. 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 the Franks and self-proclaimed 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 and a half 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: Maria Laach. Depart at c. 9.00am from London St Pancras by Eurostar to Brussels and on to Cologne. Continue to Maria Laach, an active Benedictine monastery with a Romanesque church in an unspoilt lakeside setting. There is time for a preliminary survey of one of the most homogenous and complete of early Romanesque churches and its beautifully sculpted narthex. First of two nights in Maria Laach. Day 2: Aachen, Schwarz-Rheindorf. Drive to Aachen (Aix-la-Chapelle), Charlemagne’s favourite capital. The cathedral, a most precious survival of early mediaeval architecture, has a remarkable rotunda based on one in Ravenna (last capital of the Roman Empire) 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.

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Day 3: 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 the Porta Nigra (city gate), and the Aula Palatina, Emperor Constantine’s throne hall. Romanesque churches incorporating Roman masonry include the cathedral and the Basilica of St Matthias. Continue to Speyer, a charming town beside the Rhine. First of two nights in Speyer.

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Mainz cathedral, steel engraving c. 1840. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Day 4: Speyer, Lorsch, Worms. Speyer, second of the imperial cathedrals, is the mausoleum 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. The museum has regalia from the imperial tombs. A precious


German Gothic

Glories of the later Middle Ages germany

and beautiful remnant of Carolingian Europe, the gateway of Lorsch Abbey is crudely classicizing. One of the three ‘imperial’ cathedrals and the least changed, Worms was rebuilt and richly ornamented around 1200. Day 5: Speyer, Mainz, Limburg, Cologne. The busy, picturesque city of Mainz is the site of the third of the imperial cathedrals, elaborate outside (with six towers) and sombre within. The abbey church at Limburg an der Lahn enjoys a striking situation on a hilltop, the effect enhanced by a full complement of seven spires. First of two nights in Cologne. Day 6: Cologne. 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, Gross St Martin, with huge crossing tower, St Gereon, with unique dome and arcaded decoration, and St Pantaleon, with a liturgically interesting east end. There is also time for the Gothic cathedral and the Cathedral Treasury. Day 7: Cologne.­The Schnütgen Museum has an excellent collection, superbly displayed, of mediaeval decorative arts. Some free time: there are fine collections in the Wallraf-Richartz Museum (paintings), Diocesan Museum (mediaeval art) and Romano-Germanic Museum. The train via Brussels arrives at London St Pancras at c. 6.30pm.

Erfurt cathedral, wood engraving c. 1880.

7–14 July 2016 (mc 744) 8 days • £2,360 Lecturer: Dr Jeffrey Miller

Practicalities

Some of Europe’s finest mediaeval buildings in rural and small town Germany.

Price: £2,220. Single supplement £210 (double for single use). Price without train travel £1,870.

A comprehensive survey of architectural masterpieces covering a wide geographical spread. Sculpture and other arts in abundance.

Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Seehotel, Maria Laach (seehotel-maria-laach.de): quiet, comfortable 4-star hotel next to the secluded monastery. Hotel Domhof, Speyer (domhof.de): small traditional hotel set around a courtyard, near the cathedral­. Mondial am Dom, Cologne (mgallery.com/gb): modern hotel, a short walk from the cathedral and train station. Comfortable, well-equipped.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with The Danube Festival of Song, 5–12 July (page 49); German Gothic, 7–14 July (page 95).

Beethoven in Bonn October 2016 Details available in October 2015 Contact us to register your interest

This unique tour quarries one of the richest seams of creativity in the Middle Ages – one which is familiar at first hand to few. Gothic architecture was late to take root in German-speaking lands but, once established, architects there became exceptionally accomplished and innovative, and produced some of the more outstanding buildings in Europe of the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. This tour provides a comprehensive survey of their achievement. By including key buildings of the thirteenth century, and illustrating the demise of the influence of French High Gothic, the genius and originality of distinctly German styles will become all the more evident. Considering the beauty and importance of these buildings, it is astonishing that so few Britons have visited them. Some, indeed, until a generation ago were difficult to access, located as they were in the depths of rural East Germany. Many of the churches visited are located in some of the least spoiled towns in the country, and the tour passes through enchanting countryside. Architecture is not the only subject of the tour. A great deal of very fine sculpture, painting and furnishing survives in Germany, much of it in situ in the churches for which it was made.

Day 1: Marburg. Fly at c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Frankfurt (British Airways). Drive northwards across forested uplands to Marburg, a lovely university town with a wealth of halftimbered buildings. The Elisabethkirche is a pioneering hall church (side aisles and nave of equal height) of remarkable homogeneity, and is one of the first major churches to embody specifically German characteristics. The gold shrine of St Elisabeth is very fine. Continue to Erfurt for the first of three nights. Day 2: Erfurt, Naumburg. Erfurt is an attractive town famous for its mediaeval bridge crowned with houses. The cathedral has a soaring High Gothic choir and a Late Gothic hall-church nave. Adjacent is the Severikirche, another fine hallchurch with excellent sculpture. Some free time before the afternoon excursion to Naumburg. The imposing Early Gothic cathedral is known for the astonishingly naturalistic life-size statues of the twelve founders (c. 1250), among the greatest treasures of the Middle Ages. Overnight Erfurt. Day 3: Annaberg-Buchholz. Remote in lovely countryside, Annaberg-Buchholz has a parish church (1499–1522) which is one of the finest of late Gothic churches, with vaulting of great complexity, fascinating sculpture and superb furnishings. Linger in the charming town in the afternoon for a while. Overnight Erfurt. Day 4: Bamberg, Dinkelsbühl. Built on seven hills and intersected by rivers, Bamberg is one of the loveliest towns in Europe. The majestic double-ended, four-towered cathedral is particularly outstanding for its Early Gothic sculpture, including the Bamberg Rider, a potent embodiment of knightly values. Continue to Dinkelsbühl, a highly attractive walled town, for the remaining four nights. 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 quite a lot of walking on this tour; coaches usually have to park at some distance from the places visited. Participants have to carry their own luggage at railway stations. There is quite a lot of coach travel; average distance by coach per day: 90 miles.

Led by an art historian and expert in architecture of the Middle Ages.

Itinerary

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German Gothic continued

Munich’s Masterpieces

Art & architecture in the capital of Bavaria germany

Day 5: Dinkelsbühl, Nördlingen. The morning is spent in Dinkelsbühl. St George is one of the most beautiful of mediaeval churches, with outstanding net vaults (architect Nicholas Eseler). Drive to nearby Nördlingen, a picturesque town with mediaeval city walls intact. Visit the Late Gothic hall church of Saint George with its 90 metre steeple. Overnight Dinkelsbühl.

The accompanying lecturer, Patrick Bade, is an art historian with a wide range of knowledge and a deep understanding of contemporary Germany.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.00am from London Heathrow to Munich. An afternoon walk passes through the core of the historic city. See the vast Gothic cathedral, the 19th-century city hall and the little Baroque church of St John Nepomuk created by the Asam brothers.

Day 6: Schwäbisch-Gmünd, Ulm. The Church of Holy Cross at Schwäbisch-Gmünd is one of the most beautiful of Late Gothic churches; the first major undertaking by the Parler family, it was seminal for future stylistic development in Central Europe. Parlers also worked on the enormous minster of complicated building history at Ulm, which has the world’s tallest Gothic spire (162m), and remarkable choir stalls. The museum has good mediaeval painting and sculpture. Overnight Dinkelsbühl.

Day 2. By coach along some of the principal streets and boulevards of the city to see architecture of the 19th and 20th centuries. Disembark in the vicinity of the main art galleries and visit the Alte Pinakothek, one of the world’s greatest collections of Old Masters. 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 7: Nuremberg. Despite wartime damage, Nuremberg remains one of the finest historic towns in Germany. The church of St Lorenz, with a magnificent choir by Konrad Heinzelmann (begun 1439), is remarkable for an abundance of first-rate painting, sculpture and furnishings (Veit Stoss, Annunciation), as is its rival across the river, St Sebald. The German National Museum houses the country’s biggest collection of German art. Overnight Dinkelsbühl. Day 8: Ingolstadt. The Frauenkirche at Ingolstadt has remarkable vaulting with branch-like freestanding ribs. Fly from Munich, arriving Heathrow at c. 5.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,360. Single supplement £190 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,180. Included meals: 6 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Radisson Blu, Erfurt (radisson-erfurt.de): modern hotel in the historic town centre. Hotel Hezelhof, Dinkelsbühl (hezelhof.com): 4 star hotel, furnished in a traditional Bavarian style.

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How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking within towns (most are pedestrian zones). There is a lot of driving on this tour; the average distance per day is 151 miles – the highest of all our tours. But the coach is comfortable, and most roads are well built and maintained. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with German Romanesque, 26 June–2 July (page 94); Budapest, 1–5 July (page 101); French Gothic, 1–7 July (page 66); Mediaeval Normandy, 15–22 July (page 65).

Munich, Frauenkirche, watercolour by E. Harrison Compton, publ. 1912.

12–16 August 2016 (mc 802) 5 days • £1,660 Lecturer: Patrick Bade A short and sharp study of the art and architecture of the Bavarian capital. Also the key architectural monuments and characteristic streetscape. Led by Patrick Bade, art historian and writer. Can be combined with A Festival of Music in Franconia, 16–23 August 2016 – see page 93. Munich is everyone’s favourite German city. Not only is it the most prosperous in the country, but the attractiveness of the cityscape, the abundance of cultural activity, the relatively relaxed lifestyle and generally amenable ambience make it the most sought-after place to live and work in Germany. The seat of the Wittelsbachs, who ruled Bavaria from 1255 until 1918 as Counts, Dukes, Electors and, from 1806, as Kings, Munich was a city which grew up around a court, not one spawned by trade or industry. Consequently, artistically and architecturally it is still one of the best-endowed centres in Europe. There are fine buildings of every period, and it is also a city of museums. The Alte Pinakothek has one of the finest collections of Old Masters in the world, and the Treasury in the Residenz and the classical sculpture in the Glyptothek are among the best collections of their kind.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Day 3. 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 art-historical importance from Renaissance to Romantic, and a marvellous Rococo theatre. After lunch visit the excellent collections of sculpture and decorative arts at the Bavarian National Museum. Day 4. On the edge of Munich, Nymphenburg is one of the finest palace complexes of the 17th and 18th centuries, with main palace, park, gardens and pavilions. The delightful Amalienburg represents the apogee of secular Rococo interiors, and the carriage museum has sleighs made for King Ludwig II. Return to the centre of Munich and visit the Neue Pinakothek, which houses paintings from the 18th to the early 20th centuries. Day 5. A morning walk includes the vast Gothic cathedral and the Town Museum which displays among many other artworks the famous Gothic Morris dancers, created by Erasmus Grasser for the festival hall of the Altes Rathaus. Some free time. After lunch a guided tour of the Villa Stuck, a museum and historic Art Nouveau house dedicated to the works of the Bavarian painter, Franz Stuck. Fly from Munich to London Heathrow arriving at c. 5.15pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,660. Single supplement £260 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,470. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Torbräu (torbraeu.de): a friendly, family-run, 4-star hotel in the centre. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing around in galleries. Participants need to be able to keep up with a group of averagely fit people. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.


Opera in Munich & Bregenz Mozart, Puccini, Verdi, Wagner

germany

26 July–1 August 2016 (mc 779) 7 days • £3,210 (including tickets to 4 performances) Lecturers: Dr David Vickers & Tom Abbott Three operas at the Bayerische Staatsoper, Munich, one of the world’s most dependable houses: Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi), Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner) and Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart). Bregenz offers perhaps the most spectacular productions of any open-air festival – in 2016 it is Turandot (Puccini). Accompanied by two lecturers – musicologist Dr David Vickers and art historian Tom Abbott.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Munich. 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: Neo-Classical Königsplatz, historicist Ludwigstrasse, Jugendstil houses and the modern Gasteig Arts Centre. The first of four nights in Munich. Day 2: Munich. In the morning there is a walk to see more of the city’s treasures, including the vast Gothic cathedral and the Asamkirche, a Baroque gem. Free time in the afternoon. Opera at the Nationaltheater: Un Ballo in Maschera (Verdi):

Bregenz, mid-19th-century steel engraving after Myles Birket Foster.

Daniele Callegari (cond.), Piotr Beczala (Riccardo), Simon Keenlyside (Renato), Anja Harteros (Amelia), Okka von der Damerau (Ulrica), Sofia Fomina (Oscar), Andrea Borghini (Silvano), Anatoly Sivko (Samuel), Scott Conner (Tom).

the Vorarlberg region of Austria. Break the journey at the little town of Ottobeuren to see the magnificent monastery, one of the greatest achievements of German Baroque. Arrive at Bregenz where two nights are spent.

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. Early evening opera at the Nationaltheater: Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (Wagner): Kirill Petrenko (cond.), Sara Jakubiak (Eva), Okka von der Damerau (Magdalena), Jonas Kaufmann (Walther von Stolzing), Benjamin Bruns (David), Wolfgang Koch (Hans Sachs), Christof Fischesser (Veit Pogner), Martin Kränzle (Sixtus Beckmesser), Kevin Conners (Kunz Vogelgesang), Christian Rieger (Konrad Nachtigall), Johannes Oliver Zwarg (Fritz Kothner), Ulrich Reß (Balthasar Zorn), Stefan Heibach (Ulrich Eißlinger), Francesco Petrozzi (Augustin Moser), Friedemann Röhlig (Hermann Ortel), Peter Lobert (Hans Schwarz), Christoph Stephinger (Hans Foltz).

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 begins in the historic Upper Town and then descends to the lake and the museum. The afternoon is free before an evening opera on the lake stage: Turandot (Puccini), cast to be confirmed.

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 Residenz with its exquisite Rococo Theatre by Cuvillies is recommended. Opera at the Nationaltheater: Die Entführung aus dem Serail (Mozart): Christopher Moulds (cond.), Albina Shagimuratova (Konstanze), Sofia Fomina (Blonde), Pavol Breslik (Belmonte), Matthew Grills (Pedrillo), Franz-Josef Selig (Osmin), Bernd Schmidt (Bassa Selim). Final night in Munich. Day 5: Ottobeuren, Bregenz. Journey by coach through the lovely landscape of Upper Bavaria, skirting the Alpine foothills before entering

Day 7: Zurich to London. Drive to Zurich and fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 2.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,210. Single supplement £370 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,070. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Music: tickets (top category) for 4 operas are included, costing c. £780. In the event of bad weather in Bregenz, the performance takes place indoors at a nearby theatre. Accommodation. Hotel Torbräu, Munich (torbraeu.de): family run 4-star hotel, c. 15 minutes walk from the Nationaltheater. Hotel Germania, Bregenz (hotel-germania.at): spacious and characterful 4-star hotel in the centre of Bregenz, 15 minutes’ walk from the stage.

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Munich is perhaps the most attractive of Germany’s cities, and has always been a major centre for opera. The Nationaltheater is at the moment enjoying a reputation as one of the finest houses in Europe: ‘La Scala may be grander…, Vienna more stately, the Metropolitan more prestigious… but for all-round excellence in pretty well every department, Munich’s Nationaltheater has the edge, both in matters of creature comforts and sheer dedication to the art’. Opera apart, Munich is widely considered to be the most agreeable city in Germany in which to live, and rivals Berlin for wealth of art and historic architecture. The thrilling eccentricity of the Bregenz Opera Festival is that the main stage, the Seebühne, sits on an island a few yards from the shore of one of Europe’s largest lakes. From a seat in Austria, the mise-en-scène is framed by the vast expanse of Lake Constance from which rise hills in Germany and Switzerland as well as Austria. Even though night gradually shrouds this backdrop, it requires performances of exceptional potency to compete with nature’s spectacle. In recent years this requirement has been amply fulfilled, for Bregenz has developed a tradition of immensely exciting productions unconstrained by the conventional limitations of walls and roof. Musical quality is not sacrificed to visual effects, however. Indeed Bregenz has been the summer venue of the Vienna Symphony Orchestra since 1946. The investment necessitates that each production runs for two successive seasons. The 2016 offering is the second year of Turandot.

How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in town centres where vehicular access is restricted, and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Average distance by coach per day: 37 miles, primarily on 3 days of the tour. 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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Classical Greece

The Peloponnese, Attica & Athens greece

7–16 May 2016 (mc 666) 10 days • £3,290 Lecturer: Professor Antony Spawforth 17–26 September 2016 (md 842) 10 days • £3,290 Lecturer: Dr Andrew Farrington A comprehensive survey of the principal Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic sites in mainland Greece. Highlights include Mycenae, Olympia, Delphi. In Athens, a full day on the Acropolis and in the ancient Agora. The Ancient Greeks had far greater influence on western civilization 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 knowledge 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 civilization 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.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly late morning (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Athens. The little port of Nauplion is one of the most attractive towns in mainland Greece. Arrive here in time for dinner. First of three nights in Nauplion. Olympia, 20th-century pen drawing of fragments in the ancient sanctuary.

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). There are spectacular views from the 18thcentury Venetian Fortress of Palamidi. 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’ cures were dispensed, remains here and includes the best-preserved of all Greek theatres. Day 4: Arcadia, Bassae. 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.

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Periklean Athens Autumn 2016 Details available in November 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Athens & Rome, 3–10 October 2015 with Professor Roger Wilson: see page 134.

98 book online at www.martinrandall.com


Minoan Crete History & archaeology

Day 8: Athens. The Acropolis is the foremost site of Classical Greece. The Parthenon (built 447–438 bc) is indubitably the supreme achievement 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 Acropolis museum has superb Archaic and Classical sculpture, including some by Phidias and his assistants. The Agora (market place) was the centre of civic life in ancient Athens, with the small Doric Hephaisteion, the best-preserved of Greek temples. Day 9: Athens. Kerameikos Cemetery was where Athenians were buried beyond the ancient city walls. 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. Some free time. Day 10: Athens. Drive to the 5th-century 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 c. 3.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,290. Single supplement £330 (double for sole occupancy). Price without flights £3,010. Included meals: 2 lunches, 7 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Grand Bretagne, Nauplion (grandebretagne.com.gr): small, comfortable hotel near the harbour. Best Western Hotel Europa, Olympia (bestwestern. com): characterful hotel outside the town. Hotel Amalia, Delphi (amalia.gr/delphi-hotel): modern hotel a short drive from the archaeological site. Electra Palace Hotel, Athens (electrahotels.gr): smart hotel near the picturesque Plaka quarter.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with, in May: Lycia & Pamphylia, 28 April–5 May (page 183); Samarkand & Silk Road Cities, 17–27 May (page 212). In September: Samarkand & Silk Road Cities, 6–16 September (page 212); Istanbul, 27 September–3 October (page 177); Ravenna & Urbino, 28 September–2 October (page 119); Insider’s Istanbul, 29 September–6 October (page 178).

Crete, engraving from Greek Pictures, 1890.

28 March–6 April 2016 (mc 615) 10 days • £2,690 Lecturer: Dr Alan Peatfield

bookshelf. And yet throughout these millennia of foreign occupation and domination, Crete remained strong and proud and retained its own unique and captivating character.

Concentrates on the extraordinary civilization of the Minoans, but also pays due attention to Classical and later cultures.

Itinerary

Dr Alan Peatfield is an archaeologist specialising in the Minoan Bronze Age civilisation of Crete. Plenty of time for Knossos and the main sites and includes many remote and little-visited ones. Wonderful, contrasting landscapes at a beautiful time in the island’s calendar. ‘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 Iràklion 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 civilization of the Minoans. Flourishing in the second millennium bc, the Minoans created the first great palace civilization of Europe. Their art is wonderfully expressive, and its influence spread throughout Greece, Egypt and the Near East. Pottery, sealstones, frescoes and architecture reached peaks of excellence unforeseen in the prehistoric Aegean. Mycenaean, Hellenistic, Classical Greek, Roman, Byzantine, Venetian and Turkish domination followed. The books written on the island’s World War II history alone fill a

Day 1. Fly at c. 12.15pm from London Heathrow to Iràklion via Athens (Aegean Airlines). First of four nights in Iràklion. Day 2: Knossos, Iràklion. 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 civilization. Visit the Archaeological Museum which houses the island’s largest collection of Minoan art. Overnight Iràklion. 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 Iràklion. Day 4: Arhanes, Vathypetro, Iràklion. 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. Another ‘villa’ site, Vathypetro is situated in verdant farmland overlooking the Pediadha district of Central Crete. Some free time in Iràklion. Overnight Iràklion. 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 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? This is a long tour with 3 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: 70 miles.

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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. Walk in the Plaka district of Athens. First of three nights in Athens.

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Central Macedonia Thessaloniki & northern Greece

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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.

Thessaloniki, engraving from Byzantine & Romanesque Architecture, 1920.

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, Petras. Visit Agia Photia, a collection of early Bronze Age sites including a cemetery and a small settlement. Continue to the Minoan Palace at Petras. Overnight Sitia. Day 8: Knossos, Hania. Second visit to Knossos and a private visit of outer-lying buildings. Drive to Hania, the spiritual capital of Crete, a beautiful town with delightful restaurants and good craft shops. First of two nights in Hania. Day 9: Aptera, Hania. 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 Hania was founded in 1630 by Venetian nobles and has some of the finest monastic architecture on the island. Overnight Hania. Day 10. Fly to London Heathrow via Athens, arriving c. 3.30pm. Opening of sites on Crete is arbitrary and can be influenced by the politics at the time. This may mean that not all sites listed can be visited.

Practicalities Price: £2,690. Single supplement £180 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,460. Included meals: 4 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine.

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Accommodation. Lato Boutique Hotel, Iràklion (lato.gr): family-run 3-star hotel with small but well-appointed rooms; located by the Venetian port. Sitia Beach Hotel, Sitia (sitiabeach.com): large, 4-star resort hotel on the edge of the town. Kydon Hotel, Hania (kydon-hotel.com): 4-star hotel close to the old town and port. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking over archaeological sites. Sure-footedness and agility are essential. Average distance by coach per day: 56 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Walking in Eastern Sicily, 11–18 April (page 143); Classical Turkey, 11–20 April (page 180).

8–15 May 2016 (mc 679) 8 days • £2,680 Lecturer: Dr Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones Hellenistic and Roman architecture, art and archaeological sites in the home territory of Alexander the Great. Byzantine churches and artefacts of the highest importance in Thessaloniki, second only to Constantinople. Agricultural and mountainous landscapes in a little-visited part of Greece. To the Classical Greeks the Macedonians were barbarians. Hailing from beyond Mount Olympos, only relatively recently had they abandoned nomadism for settled agriculture and life in cities, and they persisted with the ‘primitive’ political system of hereditary kingship. But it served the Macedonians well, with territorial expansion proceeding steadily under a succession of Temenid kings, accelerating dramatically under Philip II (who conquered most of Greece) and achieving legendary scale under his son, Alexander the Great, conqueror of the known world. Meanwhile, mainstream Classical Greece gained several footholds on the islands and coastal areas in the form of colonies, before succumbing to the Macedonians in the fourth century bc, and in the second century the whole region became part of the Roman Empire. Athenian snobbishness not withstanding, the Macedonians became thoroughly Hellenised (Euripides and Aristotle, among others, graced the royal court). The treasures from the Royal Tombs at Vergina and elsewhere are among the most startlingly accomplished and beautiful artefacts to have survived from the ancient world. St Paul established the first Christian community in Europe in Macedonia, at Philippi, and later Thessaloniki (Salonica) became a major cultural and religious centre in the Byzantine empire, second only to Constantinople. Several impressive churches from the fifth century to the fifteenth centuries survive, with frescoes, furnishings and mosaics, despite earthquake, sack and billeting.

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Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 8.00am 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. Depending on ferry times, there may be a visit the archaeological museum. Day 3: Philippi, Amphipolis. Philippi is known (courtesy of Shakespeare) for the battles in 42 bc which led to the victory of Octavian and Anthony over Brutus and Cassius, and as the place where St Paul established the first Christian community in Europe. Striking ruins of a theatre, agora 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 century. The 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 early Byzantine mosaics. Visit three great churches: the Archeiropoietos, an extraordinarily well preserved 5th-century basilica; Agios Demetrios, a centre of pilgrimage since the 6th century; and 8th-century Agia Sophia with beautiful wind-blown capitals. Among the smaller places seen is the exquisite little monastery church of Agios Nikolaos Orphanos with 14th-century wall paintings. Day 5: Pella, Lefkadia, Vergina. From the 5th century 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 good floor mosaics, and there are excellent finds in the little museum. A


Budapest

Art & architecture in Hungary’s capital greece, hungary

Dr Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones Senior Lecturer in Ancient History at the University of Edinburgh and a specialist in the history and culture of ancient Iran, the Near East and Greece. His books include Ctesias’ History of Persia, Creating a Hellenistic World and King & Court in Ancient Persia. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Macedonian tomb at Lefkadia has extremely rare high-quality 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. Day 6: Olynthos. The most important of the Greek colonies on the fertile peninsula of Chalkidiki, Olynthos never recovered after destruction by Philip II (348 bc). The ruins, set in rolling farmland, provide a rare chance to walk the residential streets of a Classical Greek city and provides the best evidence there is for Greek houses of the late 5th and early 4th century. Day 7: Thessaloniki. Most of the significant Roman remains date to the time of 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. It was later converted into the Church of St George and contains superb mosaics. The Archaeological Museum is an excellent, extensive and well presented collection. Day 8: Thessaloniki. The excellent Museum of Byzantine Culture, winner of a European prize in 2005, well presents outstanding material. Drive to the airport and fly to Gatwick, arriving c. 3.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,680. Single supplement £300 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,420. Included meals: 5 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine.

How strenuous? You will be on your feet for long stretches, often on exposed sites with 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 Lycia & Pamphylia, 28 April–6 May (page 183); Ottoman Turkey, 29 April–7 May (page 179); Pilgrimage & Heresy, 16–25 May (page 77); Samarkand & Silk Road Cities, 17–27 May (page 212).

1–5 July 2016 (mc 749) 5 days • £1,670 Lecturer: Dr József Sisa Explore the cultural riches of Budapest - painting, architecture and decorative arts. Led by a native art historian with excellent English; walks and visits with a local guide. Includes a visit to the Danube Bend. Can be combined with The Danube Festival of Song, 5–12 July 2016 – see page 49. In the heart of Buda a rock outcrop rises abruptly beside the Danube. This was an impregnable citadel around which the city on the right bank developed. Adorning the site is the Royal Palace, now housing a number of museums, the Gothic Matthias Church, the key Hungarian national shrine, and an enclave of picturesque little streets. Across the river lies Pest, extending with Parisian elegance over less encumbered terrain, a rival and independent city until 1872 when it was formally united with Buda. Now Budapest is the principal metropolis of East-Central Europe, its vitality and splendour emerging again after the post-war period of Soviet domination. The fortunes of Hungary have been very mixed since the establishment of the country in the tenth century by the Magyars. At the end of the Middle Ages Hungary was one of the most

powerful and prosperous kingdoms in Europe, and the most precocious in importing the new Renaissance style of art and architecture. But these achievements were wrecked by a devastating two-hundred-year occupation by the Turks; little survives from before this period. Much of what was built and created during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries stems from the desire to rival Vienna or to express Hungarian cultural difference and yearnings for independence. Emulation of western models on the one hand, and cultivation of distinctiveness and originality on the other, are in large part responsible for the allure of Budapest.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 8.45am from London Heathrow to Budapest (British Airways). After a light lunch cross the Danube on the 19th century Chain Bridge (built by Scotsman Adam Clark) to the hill-top Castle District of Buda. Within the 18th& 19th-century Royal Palace are the remains of its mediaeval and Renaissance predecessors. The National Gallery housed here has a marvellous collection of Hungarian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. Day 2. Begin at parliament where the Crown Jewels are displayed. Walk to Vörösmarty Square, heart of the inner city of Pest; thence by underground railway (the first on the continent) 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. 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 sea.

Budapest, Parliament House, early-20th-century watercolour.

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Gastronomic Piedmont

Budapest continued

Some of the finest food & wine in Italy hungary, italy

From The Foreign Tour of Brown, Jones & Robinson 1904.

Dr József Sisa Art historian specialising in the 19th century. He is Head of Department at the Research Institute for Art History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. A native Hungarian with fluent English, he lectures in the UK, across Europe and the USA and co-edited The Architecture of Historic Hungary. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. to Heroes Square and the Millennary Monument (celebrating the founding of the Hungarian state ad 896). In the afternoon visit the Hungarian National Museum, a major Neo-Classical structure with an interesting permanent collection on the history of Hungary from the earliest times to 1990. Day 3. Morning walk to see architecture and decoration from the turn of the 19th century and from the Bauhaus. In the afternoon a guided tour of the magnificent 1880s State Opera House. Day 4. All-day excursion. Travel by coach along the course of the Danube to Esztergom. Visit Hungary’s first cathedral, the Bakócz chapel and the Christian Museum, one of the finest in the country. Day 5. The Museum of Applied Arts (1893–6) is one of Ödön Lechner’s most radical and memorable buildings, elaborated with forms from Hungarian folk art and Asia with symbolic references to Attila the Hun in a determined attempt to create a national style. Fly from Budapest to Heathrow, arriving c. 3.00pm.

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1–7 October 2016 (md 885) 7 days • £2,790 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.

Practicalities

Beautiful landscapes: upland pasture, rolling hills, sloping vineyards and hazelnut woods.

Price: £1,670. Single supplement £260 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,400.

Marc Millon is a wine, food and travel writer, and author of The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine.

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.

Accommodation. Intercontinental Hotel, Budapest (budapest.intercontinental.com): modern, international 5-star hotel excellently situated beside the Danube in Pest and close to the Chain Bridge. How strenuous? Quite a lot of walking on the excursions, some on uneven or cobbled ground. Average distance by coach per day: 10 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Other than The Danube Festival of Song, combine this tour with Connoisseur’s Vienna, 22–28 June (page 50).

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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.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.30am from London Gatwick to Genoa (British Airways). Drive north to Bra, an attractive market town with some fine architecture, where four nights are spent. 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


Genoa & Turin

Palaces & galleries in northwest Italy

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 restaurant in Serralunga d’Alba at a Michelin-starred restaurant. In the castle at Manta there are some marvellous mediaeval frescos. Continue to Cuneo where the next two nights are spent. Day 6: Castelmagno, Sampeyre. The steepsided 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. 5.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,790. Single supplement £180 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,650. Included meals: 6 lunches and 4 dinners with wine; 3 wine tastings with the option of a possible 4th and all food tastings.

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 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes, 22–28 September (page 106); Dark Age Brilliance, 9–16 October (page 118).

Two cities, often unaccountably overlooked. One, a leading republic of mediaeval Italy and birthplace of Columbus; the other developed on a grand scale in the 17th and 18th centuries. Magnificent palaces and churches, from mediaeval to Baroque. Led by Dr Luca Leoncini, expert art historian specialising in 15th to 17th-century northern Italian paintings. Exceptional picture collections with particularly fine examples of Van Dyck and Rubens. ‘Secret cities’ would have been an absurd subtitle for two such major places, but did seem to suggest itself because of the rarity with which Britons find themselves there. But every art lover should go. The prevailing images are perhaps still predominantly commercial and industrial, but not only do both Genoa and Turin have highly attractive centres but both are distinguished by the preservation of a large number of magnificent palaces and picture collections. Genoa lays claim to the largest historic centre of any European city. It was one of the leading maritime republics of mediaeval Italy (with Marseilles it remains the largest port in the Mediterranean), and enjoyed a golden age during the seventeenth century. In the 1990s civic improvements and building restorations were undertaken to prepare the city for celebrations connected with the quincentenary of Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas, and the cultural momentum has continued. In the earlier seventeenth century, Genoa was artistically the equal of almost anywhere in Italy except for Rome and Naples. More than any other Italian school of painting, the Genoese was indebted to the Flemish school: Rubens made a prolonged visit to Genoa in 1605 and Anthony Van Dyck was based there from 1621 to 1627. Many of his paintings remain here. Turin, the leading city of Piedmont, was formerly capital of Savoy and later of the kingdom of Sardinia. Developed on a grand scale in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the historic centre is laid out on a regular plan with broad avenues and spacious piazzas. Architecture is mainly Baroque and classical. Guarino Guarini and Filippo Juvarra, among the best architects of their time, worked here for much of their lives.

Day 3: Genoa. Visit the church of S. Luca with its beautifully decorated interior. Palazzo Spinola has good pictures, Van Dycks in particular, and Palazzo Rosso has fine furnishings and excellent pictures. See also the adjacent church of the Annunciation and the Piazza S. Matteo, formed by the imposing palaces of the Doria family, which overshadow the small family church of S. Matteo. Day 4: Cherasco, Venaria. Leave Genoa and take a cross-country route through the beautiful countryside and wine-producing area of Le Langhe. Stop in Cherasco which has a 14thcentury Visconti castle for a typical Piedmontese lunch. En route to Turin is the magnificent royal palace of Venaria (Amedeo Castellamonte, 1659) reopened in 2007 following extensive renovation work. First of three nights in Turin. Day 5: Turin. A walk through the beautiful Piazza S. Carlo, with arcades and 18th-century

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Accommodation. Albergo Cantine Ascheri, Bra (ascherihotel.it): 4-star hotel refurbished in a modern design using locally made materials as much as possible. Service is enthusiastic and rooms are comfortable. Hotel Palazzo Lovera, Cuneo (palazzolovera.com): 4-star hotel just off the ancient Via Roma. Decor is traditional with dark wood and faux-Rococo wall paintings.

3–9 April 2016 (mc 624) 7 days • £2,330 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini

Itinerary Day 1: Genoa. Fly at c. 9.15am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan. Upon arrival visit the Villa del Principe with Perin del Vaga frescoes. First of three nights in Genoa. Day 2: Genoa. Visit the Palazzo Reale which has a magnificent stairway, splendidly furnished rooms and a fine collection of pictures. The Cathedral of S. Lorenzo, built 12th–16th centuries, possesses many works of art and a fine treasury. See the Via Garibaldi, lined with 16th-century palazzi.

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simulated) this morning in the woods around Piozzo, then a wine tasting and lunch at a small, family-run estate.

Turin, Palazzo Madama, wood engraving c. 1880. 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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Genoa & Turin continued

The Duchy of Milan Territory of Visconti & Sforza

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churches, is followed by a visit to the Royal Palace, built 1660, with wonderful interiors from the 17th–19th centuries. The Galleria Sabauda, housed in the Palace, has an excellent picture collection. In the afternoon visit the cathedral, with Guarini’s Chapel of the Holy Shroud.

Certosa di Pavia, from A Dawdle in Lombardy & Venice, 1928.

Day 6: Turin. Morning visit to the Palazzo Madama in the centre of Piazza Castello, now housing the City Art Museum, and the little church of S. Lorenzo, a Guarini masterpiece. Some free time in Turin. Day 7: Superga, Turin Lingotto. Visit the votive church of Superga, a magnificent hilltop structure by Juvarra, and the Pinacoteca Giovanni and Marella Agnelli at Lingotto which has a small but excellent quality collection in a building designed by Renzo Piano. Fly from Milan Malpensa, returning to London Heathrow c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,330. Single supplement £340 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,040. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Savoia, Genoa (grandhotelsavoiagenova.it): 5-star hotel close to the Palazzo Reale. Grand Hotel Sitea, Turin (grandhotelsitea.com): 4-star hotel; comfortable, elegantly furnished and very central. How strenuous? This tour involves a lot of walking in town centres where vehicular access is restricted and standing in museums. The transfer days between Milan’s airports and the hotels and between Genoa and Turin involve long drives. Average distance by coach per day: 51 miles.

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16–23 May 2016 (mc 681) 8 days • £2,890 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini Palaces, castles, abbeys – the heritage of some of the richest and most powerful rulers in late mediaeval Europe.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Great fresco paintings a major feature.

Combine this tour with Walking in Eastern Sicily, 11–18 April (page 143); Palladian Villas, 12–17 April (page 112).

Based in Milan and the attractive small town of Cremona.

Opera & Ar t in Turin & Milan

Passes through some beautiful Lombard countryside and little-visited historic towns.

Fabruary 2016 Details available in July 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Trieste & Ljubljana September 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

The lecturer is Dr Luca Leoncini, art historian specialising in 15th-century Italian painting.

A telling indication of the esteem that Milan enjoyed is that Leonardo da Vinci chose to spend much of his working life there rather than in other Italian cities which are now more commonly associated with artistic endeavour. It is often forgotten that the wealthiest and most powerful territory in mediaeval and Renaissance Italy was the Duchy of Milan, and its eponymous metropolis was probably the largest city in Europe. The ruling dynasties here were the Visconti and after their extinction in 1450, the Sforza. They produced a succession of the most feared tyrants in Italy – but also created around them the most glittering court in the peninsula, the rival of any in Europe. Artists, musicians and men of letters flocked here to participate in the unending spectacle of court life, and to compete for the unparalleled opportunities for the exercise of their genius. It was not only in the metropolis that the Visconti and Sforza and men of talent left their

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mark. Throughout their Duchy – approximately coterminous with modern-day Lombardy – there is an abundance of beautiful old cities, buildings and works of art. It is an additional pleasure, moreover, to discover an area of Italy little frequented by tourists. One of the most distinctive features of the region is the quantity of very fine Romanesque churches. Gothic buildings demonstrate the Duchy’s close connections with northern Europe. With the presence of Leonardo and Bramante, the Duchy was a cradle of the High Renaissance and Lombard builders exported the Italian style all over Europe. A fascinating feature is the series of Visconti and Sforza strongholds; the fierce and functional forms, tempered by the region’s principal building material, a lustrous red brick, can achieve great beauty. The fertile plains with their centuries-old farmsteads and villages are most alluring, and are surprisingly unspoilt by industrial development. Much of the countryside through which you pass is designated a National Park.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. midday (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan. First of three nights in Cremona. Day 2: Cremona. The birthplace of Monteverdi, Stradivarius and Guarini, Cremona has one of the finest squares in Italy, composed of the cathedral, Italy’s tallest mediaeval campanile, baptistery and Gothic civic buildings. The Romanesque cathedral here is magnificent, and richly embellished with 16th-century paintings. Other visits include S. Agostino where there is a Perugino, and the civic museum.


Caravaggio

From Lombardy to Naples, via Rome a springboard to enhance the appreciation of the arts of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Italy.

Itinerary Day 1: Caravaggio. Fly at c. 10.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan. Drive to the town of Caravaggio for an introductory walk. First of two nights in Milan.

Day 4: Pavia, Certosa di Pavia. Drive along the border of Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna to Pavia, the most illustrious Lombard city after Milan. Outstanding here are the Romanesque church of S. Michele and the brick-built Renaissance cathedral. In the afternoon visit the Certosa di Pavia, perhaps the most richly endowed monastic foundation in Italy, and mausoleum of both the Visconti and the Sforza. First of four nights in Milan. Day 5: Milan. Visit the spectacular marble Gothic cathedral and surrounding area, site of the headquarters of the rival powers of municipality, bishop, duke and commune. Then S. Ambrogio, a most important early mediaeval church with a very rich treasury and S. Satiro, a jewel of the early Renaissance. In the afternoon visit the Brera, one of Italy’s finest art galleries with most of the greatest Italian artists represented. Day 6: Vigevano. Another surprisingly attractive little town, Vigevano has at its heart one of the largest castles in Italy, a major Sforza palace and stables. Adjacent is a beautiful arcaded square and several churches of interest. Day 7: Milan. Visit the Renaissance church of Sta Maria delle Grazie, in whose refectory is Leonardo’s Last Supper. Then the Castello Sforzesco, the vast fortified palace of Leonardo’s ducal patrons, which has room decorations attributed to him and houses a wonderful variety of works of art and artefacts including Michelangelo’s Rondanini Pietà. Free afternoon. Day 8: Castiglione Olona. The last morning is spent in the tiny hill town of Castiglione Olona with wonderful frescoes by Masolino in the Collegiata. Fly from Milan, arriving London Heathrow at c. 4.45pm.

Practicalities

Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel delle Arti, Cremona (dellearti.com/en): small 4-star hotel close to the main square. Very modern design. Hotel de la Ville, Milan (delavillemilano.com): smart, traditional 4-star hotel close to the Duomo. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing in churches and galleries. There is quite a lot of coach travel. Average distance by coach per day: 47 miles Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Courts of Northern Italy, 8–15 May (page 116); Central Macedonia, 8–15 May (page 100); Gardens & Palaces of Berlin & Potsdam, 24–29 May (page 84).

Day 2: Milan. Visit the Brera, one of the premier art collections in Italy, which includes the Supper at Emmaus. The Pinacoteca Ambrosiana houses Caravaggio’s Still Life: Basket of Fruit. Day 3: Milan, Rome. Free time in Milan. In the afternoon travel by train to Rome, a journey of less than 4 hours. Stay five nights in Rome.

12–19 October 2015 (mc 482) 8 days • £3,360 Lecturer: Dr Helen Langdon Unhurried appreciation of the finest painter of the Italian Baroque, in the company of his foremost biographer. 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. First class rail travel within Italy. When Caravaggio died in 1610 aged thirty-eight 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 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

Day 4: Rome. Walk in the street where Caravaggio rented rooms near the Corso, and see 3 churches containing major religious paintings. Visit the Galleria Doria-Pamphilj to see Caravaggio’s Rest on the Flight into Egypt and Penitent Magdalene. Day 5: Rome. The Palazzo Barberini holds several important works. Continue to the Villa Ludovisi, which houses Caravaggio’s early ceiling painting Jupiter, Neptune & Pluto (special arrangement). Day 6: Rome. Cross the river into Trastevere for the gallery in Palazzo Corsini (St. John the Baptist). More paintings by Caravaggio and his peers are seen in the Capitoline Museums, which also house a breathtaking and recently-renovated collection of Ancient Roman statuary. Visit the Villa Borghese, which contains Sick Bacchus and Boy with a Basket of Fruit among others. Day 7: Naples. Travel by train from Rome to Naples. Here see two works by Caravaggio: Martyrdom of St Ursula in a bank and Seven Acts of Mercy in the chapel for which it was commissioned. Drive into the hilly suburbs to the palace of Capodimonte, originally a giant hunting lodge. Here is located one of Italy’s greatest art galleries, with a magnificent range of art from the Middle Ages onwards, including The Flagellation of Christ by Caravaggio. Return to Rome by train. Day 8: Vatican City. Visit the Vatican’s painting gallery, including Caravaggio’s Entombment of Christ. Some free time here. Fly from Rome arriving at London Heathrow at c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,360. Single supplement £510 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,100. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel De La Ville, Milan (delavillemilano.com): 4-star Belle Epoque style hotel. Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome (berninibristol.com): luxurious 5-star hotel.

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Price: £2,890. Single supplement £380 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,580.

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Day 3: Soncino, Lodi. Morning visit to the little walled town of Soncino, which has one of the finest of Sforza fortresses. Then on to Lodi, another highly attractive town, with the Tempio dell’Incoronata, a richly decorated Renaissance church, and nearby at Lodi Vecchio, an impressive Gothic church.

How strenuous? There is a lot of walking on this tour. The historic city centres are vast, and vehicular access is restricted. Fitness is essential. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Illustration: Caravaggio, late-18th-century engraving. 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 & Villas of the Italian Lakes Como & Maggiore italy

1–7 October 2015 (mc 471) 7 days • £2,960 Lecturer: Steven Desmond 21–27 April 2016 (mc 645) 7 days • £3,040 Lecturer: Steven Desmond 22–28 September 2016 (md 854) 7 days • £3,040 Lecturer: Steven Desmond Among the loveliest and most romantic spots on earth – 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. Led by Steven Desmond, landscape consultant and architectural historian, specialist in the conservation of historic parks and gardens. Sublime mountain scenery, the inspiration of Bellini and Stendhal. Historic lakeside hotels. 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 1: Bellagio. Fly at midday (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan. Drive to Bellagio on Lake Como. First of three nights here. 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’. 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 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: 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.

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Itinerary

Day 6: Pallanza, Stresa. 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, visit either the Giardino Botanico Alpinia (spring) or the Villa Pallavicino (autumn). Day 7. Fly from Milan to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 5.00pm. Lake Maggiore, aquatint c. 1830. book online at www.martinrandall.com


The Veneto

A spectrum of Italy’s finest art & architecture Landscape consultant, architectural historian and a specialist in the conservation of historic parks and gardens. He broadcasts for the BBC, advises the National Trust, writes for Country Life, lectures at Buckingham and Oxford universities and is a Fellow of the Institute of Horticulture.

Verona, church of San Zeno, from Hope’s Essays on Architecture, 1835.

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Steven Desmond

See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Practicalities Price, 2015: £2,960. Single supplement £280 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,640. Price, 2016: £3,040. Single supplement £280 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,730. 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 (vary in size). Rooms with a lake view here 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 participants will have lake views. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking as some of the gardens are extensive, and all have uneven ground. Participants need to be fit and agile. Average coach travel per day: 23 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with, in April 2016: Palladian Villas, 12–17 April (page 112); Walking in Eastern Sicily, 11–18 April (page 143); in September 2016: Gastronomic Piedmont, 1–7 October (page 102); Courts of Northern Italy, 2–9 October (page 116).

Mediaeval frescoes (Giotto), Renaissance paintings (Titian), 18th-century interiors (Tiepolo), Neoclassical sculpture (Canova). Rich artistic and architectural centres from the Adriatic to Lake Garda: Padua, Verona, Vicenza, Treviso, and many others. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, specialist in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. For centuries the Veneto comprised the heartland of Venice’s terra ferma empire, stretching from the Adriatic to Lake Garda, and from the plain of the Po to the foothills of the Dolomites. But the Veneto is no mere subordinate appendage to La Serenissima, culturally or politically. The region is too large and varied for such relegation, and has a history which is far longer than that of the upstart maritime republic. The towns and cities on this tour are among the most illustrious and art-historically important places in Italy, as well as being some of the most attractive. Most have Roman or preRoman origins; at many the mediaeval circuit of walls is still intact. In the fields of painting and sculpture the Trecento (fourteenth century) is particularly well represented, with Giotto’s finest fresco cycle heading the list. From the fifteenth century are masterpieces by Pisanello, Donatello, Mantegna and Bellini; great paintings by Titian, Giorgione and Veronese show the High Renaissance to advantage, and the eighteenth century is represented by Tiepolo, the consummate master of the age.

Architecture ranges from Roman through Romanesque to Gothic, and on to Renaissance and Neoclassical. There are some great buildings here, but the appeal of the tour lies as much in the vernacular and the streetscape as in monumental set pieces. A recurring theme is the genius of Andrea Palladio. To this one man is owed the appearance of most of the villas in the countryside, and indeed of much of eighteenth-century England, for he became the most internationally influential of all Italian architects. Work by another Italian architect also makes repeated appearances: Carlo Scarpa created some of the most affecting designs of the twentieth century, blending old with new.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 2.00pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice and drive to Vicenza, where all seven nights are spent. Day 2: Vicenza. The beautiful little city of Vicenza is architecturally the noblest and most homogenous in northern Italy, much of the fabric consisting of Renaissance palaces. Andrea Palladio spent most of his life there, and his buildings include the town hall (Basilica Palladiana), an epoch-making theatre (Teatro Olimpico) and several aristocratic residences, one of which, the Palazzo Chiericati, houses an excellent art gallery. Day 3: Verona. A major Roman settlement, Verona also flourished in the Middle Ages under the tyrannical rule of the Scaligeri dynasty. A sequence of interconnecting squares lie at the heart of the city, lined with magnificent mediaeval palazzi. The vast Gothic church of Sant’Anastasia has a fresco by Pisanello and San Zeno is a splendid Romanesque church with an 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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Bellagio from Villa Melzi, watercolour publ. 1905.

4–11 June 2016 (mc 708) 8 days • £2,580 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

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Friuli-Venezia Giulia

The border lands of northeast Italy italy

altarpiece by Mantegna. The elegant red-brick castle contains a very fine art gallery. Day 4: San Vito, Asolo, Possagno. The Brion cemetery complex at San Vito by Carlo Scarpa is 20th-century architecture at its most beautiful and moving. There is a lunch break at Asolo, a lovely hilltop town with a Lorenzo Lotto altarpiece in the cathedral. Possagno was birthplace of the leading Neoclassical sculptor Antonio Canova and he rebuilt the church as his memorial, a cross between the Pantheon and Parthenon. Full-scale models for many of his sculptures have been assembled in a museum.

Cividale, bridge over the Natisone, from The Shores of the Adriatic, 1906.

Day 5: Padua. Giotto’s fresco cycle in the Arena Chapel is one of the greatest achievements in the history of art and marks the beginning of the modern era in painting. Further outstanding 14th-century fresco cycles are by Giusto de’ Menabuoi in the Baptistry and by Altichieri in the vast multi-domed Basilica of St Anthony. The Renaissance is represented by Donatello’s altar panels here and the bronze equestrian statue outside, the Gattamelata. The mediaeval town hall and surrounding squares are among the finest of such ensembles in Italy. Day 6: Vicenza, Vicentine villas. In the morning, some free time in Vicenza. In the afternoon, visit places just outside the city: ‘La Rotonda’, the most famous of all Palladian villas, and the adjacent Villa Valmarana ‘ai Nani’, with superb frescoes by Giambattista Tiepolo and his son. Day 7: Treviso. Once an important fortress city, Treviso has a fine historic centre with imposing public buildings and painted façades. The cathedral has a Titian Annunciation, but the hero of the day is 14th-century painter Tommaso da Modena: his frescoes of learned monks in the chapter house of St Nicholas are extraordinary, as is the St Ursula cycle in Sta Caterina. Day 8: Castelfranco Veneto. Drive to the delightful little walled town of Castelfranco. The cathedral has Giorgione’s wonderful Madonna Enthroned and a museum in his house next door. Fly from Venice, arriving at Gatwick at c. 7.00pm.

Combine this tour with The Venetian Hills, 1–5 October 2015 – see opposite.

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Practicalities

A wide variety of art and architecture: Roman, Byzantine, Gothic, Renaissance, Palladian.

Price: £2,580. Single supplement £330 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,400.

Tiepolo is a recurrent theme and the tour is based in Udine where he worked early in his career.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Campo Marzio, Vicenza (hotelcampomarzio.com): just outside a city gate, 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. The coach can rarely enter town centres. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Average distance by coach per day: 50 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Moravia, 13–20 June (page 58).

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5–10 October 2015 (mc 481) 6 days • £1,680 Lecturer: Dr Joachim Strupp

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

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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 lesserknown 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.

Itinerary 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


The Venetian Hills

Renaissance art in the foothills of the Dolomites

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. Day 4: Trieste. 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. This is demonstrated through grand seafront architecture and the Museo Revoltella, the wellstocked mansion of a 19th-century financier. 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. Day 5: San Daniele, Spilimbergo, Pordenone. Three towns in the broad valley of the River Tagliamento. 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. Snaking through Pordenone an arcaded street widens towards the town hall and cathedral, which contains fine paintings including some by G.A. Sacchis, called Il Pordenone.

1–5 October 2015 (mc 479) 5 days • £1,780 Lecturer: Dr Joachim Strupp Ravishingly beautiful landscapes from vine-clad foothills to the peaks of the Dolomites. Altarpieces and frescoes by Venetian masters, mediaeval to Rococo. Some of the loveliest hill towns in Italy, including the birthplace of Titian. Combine this tour with Friuli-Venezia Giulia, 5–10 October 2015 – see opposite. ‘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 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 pine-clad 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 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.

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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 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.

Itinerary 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. 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).

Day 6: 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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Practicalities Price: £1,680. Single supplement £120 (double for single occupancy). Price without flights £1,420. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Astoria Hotel Italia, Udine (hotelastoria.udine.it): well established 4-star hotel in one of the principal central squares. How strenuous? The tour involves quite a lot of walking, some of which is uphill. Vehicular access is restricted in some town centres and streets are often cobbled. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 53 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

The Dolomites, drawing from The Magazine of Art, 1893.

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Gastronomic Veneto From the Adriatic to Lake Garda, the Po Valley to the Dolomites

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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 Titian and 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, Feltre. 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 art gallery. Stacked up along the ridge of a hill, Feltre is another architectural outpost of Venice with striking buildings in various styles. See the Rizzarda collection of early 20th-century arts and crafts and the 1802 theatre in the town hall. Day 5: San Fior. 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-century painter Tommaso da Modena. Fly from Venice, arriving at Gatwick c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,780. Single supplement £70 (double for single occupancy). Price without flights £1,600. Included meals: 2 lunches, 2 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel dei Chiostri, Follina (hoteldeichiostri.com): 4-star hotel installed in former abbey buildings. How strenuous? The tour involves quite a lot of walking, some of which is uphill. Vehicular access is restricted in some town centres and streets are often cobbled. Many of the historical buildings are sprawling and vast. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average coach travel per day: 62 miles.

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Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Asolo, engraving from The Magazine of Art, 1887.

11–18 May 2016 (mc 678) 8 days • £3,240 Lecturer: Marc Millon One of Italy’s most varied regions, both gastronomically and geographically. Some of Italy’s greatest and best-known wines including Amarone and Prosecco at their absolute best in historic wineries and Michelinstarred restaurants. Artistic riches are not ignored, with time spent in the dazzlingly picturesque Verona, architecturally spectacular Vicenza and charming smaller towns such as Bassano del Grappa and Asolo. Marc Millon is a wine, food and travel writer, and author of The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy. While the opulence of the Doges and the abundant feasts depicted in the paintings of Veronese may be less evident today, Venice’s influence still extends over a vast region, from Padova, Vicenza and Verona, all the way to the banks of Lake Garda; and to the north, over vine-covered foothills leading up to the jagged peaks of the Dolomites. This region, known as the Veneto, later came under the influence of the Austro-Hungarians, who similarly left their mark on a cucina with middle-European accents and a coffee culture that rivals Vienna. La Serenissima’s enduring influence is evident in a love of fish and shellfish from the lagoon and the Adriatic, while, even though transport and refrigeration renders the process unecessary, baccalà – air-dried (not salted) cod – remains a favourite today. Mountain traditions, meanwhile, are steadfastly safeguarded through cheeses produced from fragrant alpine milk, smoked meats, and the art of distillation. Corn was first introduced into the Italian diet some five hundred years ago and polenta

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remains the staple. Vialone nano rice, cultivated near Verona, is the favoured variety for making deliciously soupy risotti. Fruits and vegetables abound: asparagus from Bassano del Grappa, radicchio from Treviso and Castelfranco Veneto, cherries from Marostica, and tiny violet artichokes from Sant’Erasmo. Grapes grow almost everywhere, producing some of the country’s greatest wines, as well as more accessible if no less satisfying everyday ones. Our tour begins in Verona with visits to churches and Roman monuments, small producers and outstanding restaurants. We discover Palladian villas and travel through the wine hills of Breganze to Asolo, striking out in search of outstanding mountain cheese, gorgeous sparkling wines, fiery grappa. And we end on the Venetian lagoon with lunch on a private island with its own vineyard.

Itinerary Day 1: Verona. Fly at c. 3.15pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Verona. Dinner at an historic restaurant and first of three nights here. Day 2: Verona, Villa di Serego Alighieri, Lake Garda. A major Roman settlement, Verona also flourished in the Middle Ages under the tyrannical rule of the Scaligeri dynasty. A sequence of interconnecting squares lie at the heart of the city, lined with magnificent mediaeval palazzi. Outside Verona, visit the atmospheric Villa di Serego Alighieri, surrounded by Valpolicella vineyards, for a private wine tasting and lunch. 21 generations after Dante Alighieri’s son bought the estate, the house and surrounding land still belong to his direct descendants, the Counts Serego Alighieri. There is a late-afternoon passeggiata by Lake Garda before returning to Verona. Day 3: Isola della Scala, Verona. Drive south to the rice fields near Isola della Scala to visit the


Day 4: Vicenza, Breganze. Leave Verona for the beautiful little city of Vicenza, architecturally the noblest and most homogenous in northern Italy, much of its fabric consisting of Renaissance palaces. Andrea Palladio spent most of his life here, and his buildings include the town hall (Basilica Palladiana) and an epoch-making theatre (Teatro Olimpico). Just north of Vicenza is the prestigious wine-making region of Breganze, where there is a vertical wine tasting at the top winery in the area. Continue to the hilltop town of Asolo where the next four nights are spent. Day 5: Valdobbiadene. Spend the morning at the renowned Bisol winery in the Cartizze hills, family-run for over 500 years. Visit the cellars and have a Prosecco tasting here, before a rustic lunch nearby overlooking the vineyards, each hill’s contours finely etched by parallel lines of vines. Some free time in Asolo. Day 6: Canove di Roana, Bassano del Grappa. Drive into the mountains to a cheese-maker on the Altopiano, a high Alpine plain on the northern edge of the Veneto, past brightlycoloured houses, pines and meadows. Taste Asiago cheese and see where it is produced. Return to the plain to visit the charming town of

Bassano del Grappa for a lunch of the celebrated local asparagus. Grappa tasting in the most eminent distillery in town, overlooking the bridge designed by Palladio. Day 7: Treviso, Castelfranco Veneto. Once an important fortress city, Treviso has a fine historical centre with imposing public buildings and many painted façades. The cathedral has a Titian Annunciation, but the hero of the day is the 14th-century painter Tommaso da Modena: his frescoes of learned monks in the chapter house of S. Nicola are extraordinary. Return to Asolo. In the evening drive to Castelfranco Veneto for the final dinner of the tour (1-star Michelin). Day 8: Mazzorbo. Drive to the coast and cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water taxi) to the island of Mazzorbo, with wide vistas of breathtaking stillness. Visit the beautiful orti (kitchen gardens) of the acclaimed Venissa restaurant (1-star Michelin), taste wine produced from grapes grown here, and lunch. Fly from Venice, returning to Gatwick at c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,240. Single supplement £360 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,040.

Marc Millon Wine, food and travel writer. Born in Mexico, he was raised in the USA and then studied English Literature at the University of Exeter. He owns a business importing Italian wines from family estates and is author of The Wine & Food of Europe, The Wine Roads of Italy and The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy.

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historic rice mill at Riseria Ferron, which dates to 1650. There is a cooking demonstration here of typical rice dishes, and lunch. In the afternoon visit an olive oil producer near Verona, which uses artisanal harvesting methods to create only the highest-quality oils, tasted during the visit.

See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Hotel Al Sole, Asolo (albergoalsoleasolo.com): small 5-star hotel, full of charm, with wonderful views from the terrace and a good restaurant. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking, sometimes uphill and over unevenly paved ground. The coach can rarely enter town centres. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 45 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Madrid Revisited, 20–27 May (page 166).

Included meals: 4 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Due Torri, Verona (hotelduetorri.duetorrihotels.com): luxurious 5-star, excellently located near Piazza delle Erbe.

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Verona, engraving from Picturesque Europe Vo.IV, 1872. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Palladian Villas

The greatest house builder in history italy

12–17 April 2016 (mc 632) 6 days • £1,990 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott 11–16 October 2016 (md 896) 6 days • £1,990 Lecturer: Dr Sarah Pearson A survey of various surviving villas and palaces designed by Andrea Palladio (1508–80), the world’s most influential architect. Stay throughout in Vicenza, Palladio’s home town and site of many of his buildings. Led by expert art and archaeological historians. With many special appointments, this itinerary would be impossible for independent travellers. 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. 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.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.30pm (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Venice. Drive to Vicenza where all five nights are spent. Day 2. 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. Day 3. 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 Pojana, another early work, has restrained but noble proportions and contains models of Palladio’s works. 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. Day 4. The hilltop ‘La Rotonda’, a ten-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. 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

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The Villa Foscari ‘La Malcontenta’, from an 18th-century etching. book online at www.martinrandall.com

typically and beautifully combines the utilitarian with the monumental. Day 6. 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 are privately owned and require special permission to visit. Selection and order may therefore vary a little from the description above.

Practicalities Price: £1,990. Single supplement £270 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,810. 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: 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour, in April, with: Lucca, 18–24 April (page 128); Ravenna & Urbino, 20–24 April (page 119); Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes, 21–27 April (page 106); in October: Courts of Northern Italy, 2–9 October (page 116); Malta, 3–9 October (page 144); A Festival of Music in Florence, 16–22 October (page 126).


Verona at Christmas with Mantua & Padua

Itinerary

A new Christmas tour for 2015.

Day 2: Verona. Walk through some of the streets and squares at the heart of the city. The Piazza delle Erbe (still the produce market) and Piazza dei Signori are surrounded by magnificent medieval palazzi and an exquisite Renaissance loggia. See elaborately sculpted della Scala tombs and frescoes by Pisanello in the Gothic churches of S. Anastasia and S. Fermo Maggiore. Visit the church of S. Zeno, a major Romanesque church with sculpted portal and a Mantegna altarpiece. The Castelvecchio, with its swallowtail merlons and fortified bridge, is a beautiful example of mediaeval military architecture, and now houses Verona’s excellent art museum.

See the grand Roman amphitheatre, excellent art gallery and exquisite churches in Verona. Also, excursions to nearby Mantua and Padua, both with a wealth of stunning art and architecture. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, specialist in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. Luxurious 5-star hotel in the centre of Verona.

Day 1. Fly at c. 1.15pm from London Gatwick to Verona (British Airways).

Day 3: Verona. The Roman amphitheatre once seated 30,000 (and today seats 15,000 during the summer opera festival).­The Romanesque cathedral has a fine sculpted portal and an Early Christian church within. Free afternoon. Day 4: Padua. Of Roman origins and with a subsequent history similar to Verona, Padua ranks as the other leading city of the Veneto terra ferma. Giotto’s fresco cycle in the Scrovegni Chapel is a landmark in the history of art, marking the beginning of the modern era in painting. Other important 14th-century frescoes are by Giusto de’ Menabuoi in the baptistery and by Altichiero in the cathedral, the vast multi-domed Basilica di S. Antonio. The Renaissance is represented by Donatello’s equestrian statue, Gattamelata. Day 5 (Christmas Day). Free morning, and the possibility of attending a church service. Christmas lunch in a good restaurant with views over the city. Optional afternoon walk, including the church of S. Giorgio in Braida.

Dr Michael Douglas-Scott 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 pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour; it is not suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair climbing. Average coach travel per day: 27 miles Weather: cold but probably not freezing. Some clear sunny days can be expected; rain is possible. Group size: between 10 and 23 participants.

Day 7. Fly to London Gatwick, arriving c. 1.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,460. Single supplement £240 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,190. Included meals: 1 lunch (Christmas Day) and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Due Torri, Verona (hotelduetorri.duetorrihotels.com): luxurious 5-star in the historic centre, a former 18thcentury palace. Bedrooms are richly decorated.

Verona Opera

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Day 6: Mantua. With mediaeval and Renaissance arcades lining the streets and squares, Mantua is a place of immense beauty, and contains some of the foremost art and architecture of the Renaissance. Visit the Ducal Palace, 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). At the time of print, the Camera degli Sposi is closed due to the earthquake in 2012, and may not have reopened by the end of 2015. The extraordinary Palazzo Te, built and decorated by Giulio Romano, is the major monument of Italian Mannerism.

The Arena, engraving from The Art Journal, 1887.

©Bill Knight

Beyond the fictional details of character and action in Romeo and Juliet there lies a historical truth. The picture of turbulence and factional strife bears a much closer resemblance to the actuality of mediaeval Verona than to Shakespeare’s own Elizabethan London. Passion and violence and the fierce rivalries of class and clan are vividly expressed by the architecture of Verona – though shorn now of the stark realities of struggle and power-play, it is the magnitude of ambition and beauty of design which shine through. Verona’s sequence of ancient squares and dense web of streets and alleys are as impressive and enthrallingly picturesque as any in Italy. The great civic buildings and many of the churches were erected during the era of relatively democratic communal government, which coincided with the age of Romanesque. Here the austere nobility of bulk and line is softened by the pinks and creams of the building stone, and enlivened by some of the finest sculpture of the time. The debilitating struggle between the reallife counterparts of Capulets and Montagues allowed the commune to be usurped by one of the most tyrannical of Italian city-state dynasties, the della Scala. By then, Gothic had become prevalent. Even the most intimidatingly defensible dwellings were blessed by an ineffable grace with delicate mullions, swallowtail battlements and crimson brickwork. After incorporation in the Venetian Empire, artistic embellishment continued. Pisanello, Mantegna, Titian and of course Veronese, a native of the city, have left paintings here, and Renaissance architecture makes many pleasing appearances. But Verona is far older than the upstart of the lagoon. The presence of the second-largest surviving amphitheatre of the ancient world – and excellently preserved roman theatre, bridge and city gates – demonstrate the importance of the colonia in the Roman world. The River Adige, draining waters from the Dolomites, scours an S-bend through the city and affords pleasing prospects, as do the bluffs on the eastern rim. Looking across the towers and terracotta roofs from up here it is difficult to imagine that Verona was ever other than a haven of peace and civilized values.

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21–27 December 2015 (mc 545) 7 days • £2,460 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

July & August 2016 Details available in August 2015 Contact us to register your interest 113 Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Ar t History of Venice

Painting, sculpture & architecture in the world’s most beautiful city italy

26 October–1 November 2015 (mc 514) This tour is currently full 14–20 November 2016 (md 945) 7 days • £2,490 Lecturer: Dr Susan Steer Wide-ranging survey of art and architecture with an emphasis on the Renaissance. Led by Dr Susan Steer, resident of Venice whose MA and doctorate both focussed on the city. Includes a private, after-hours visit to the Basilica di San Marco to see the transcendental splendour of the Byzantine mosaics.

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

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 San Rocco, with dramatic paintings by Tintoretto. In the afternoon see the incomparably beautiful Doge’s Palace with pink Gothic revetment and rich Renaissance interiors. Day 4. Cross the lagoon 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. Continue to the pretty glass-making island of Murano. Day 5. Visit the vast Gothic church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo and the early Renaissance Sta. Maria dei Miracoli with its multicoloured stone veneer. Cross the Grand Canal to Dorsoduro, to visit the church of S. Sebastiano with decoration by Veronese. 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 6. Free morning. Spend the afternoon in the Accademia, Venice’s major art gallery, where all the Venetian painters are well represented. Day 7. The Ca’ Rezzonico is a magnificent palace on the Grand Canal, now a museum of 18thcentury art. Take a motoscafo to the airport and fly to London Gatwick, arriving c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price in 2016: £2,490. Single supplement £580 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,370. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine.

Sta Maria dei Miracoli, aquatint c. 1840.

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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

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. A morning walk includes S. Zaccaria and S. Giovanni in Bragora, with outstanding Renaissance altarpieces by Vivarini, Bellini and Cima. The Scuola di S. Giorgio degli Schiavoni has a wonderful cycle by Carpaccio. Cross the bacino to Palladio’s beautiful island church of S. Giorgio Maggiore and visit the tranquil Giudecca to see his best church, Il Redentore.

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Accommodation. Hotel Splendid, Venice (starhotels.com/en/our-hotels/splendid-venicevenice): delightful 4-star hotel situated half-way between Piazza San Marco and the Rialto bridge. Despite the central location the hotel is quiet. Rooms overlook side canals or a central courtyard and are attractively decorated in a light, contemporary style. There is a good restaurant. 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, including over bridges. Standing around in museums and churches is also unavoidable. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. In 2016, combine this tour with Venetian Palaces, 22–26 November (page 115).


Venetian Palaces

The greatest & best-preserved palaces of La Serenissima

15–19 March 2016 (mc 598) 5 days • £2,340 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott 22–26 November 2016 (md 950) 5 days • £2,340 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott Explores many of the finest and best-preserved palaces, once homes to the wealthiest nobles and merchants in Venice. Access to many by special arrangement, including some which are still in private hands. Also a private after-hours visit to St Mark’s Basilica. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, specialist in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. Stay in a 4-star hotel on the Grand Canal.

Day 5. Visit the privately-owned 17th-century Palazzo Albrizzi which has some of the finest stucco decoration in Venice (by special arrangement). Return to Venice airport and fly to Gatwick, arriving c. 5.30pm. The tour is dependent on the kindness of many individuals and organizations, some of whom are reluctant to make arrangements far in advance, therefore the order of visits may change and there may be substitutions for some palaces mentioned.

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. Take an introductory walk in Piazza San Marco. Day 2. Visit the Palazzo Ducale, supremely beautiful with its 14th-century pink and white revetment outside, late Renaissance gilded halls and paintings by Tintoretto and Veronese inside. See the palazzi on the Grand Canal from the viewpoint of a gondola. The former Casino Venier (by special arrangement) is a uniquely Venetian establishment that was part private members’ bar, part literary salon, part brothel. There is an afterhours 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 3. 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, one of the most richly decorated Baroque halls in Venice (by special arrangement). In the afternoon visit the Palazzo Corner Spinelli, a 16th-century palace on the Grand Canal that now houses the Rubelli fabrics archive (by special arrangement). Visit the Palazzo Grimani at Santa Maria Formosa, the purpose-built site of the family collection of antiquities, which were later bequeathed to the Venetian Republic. 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 two privately-owned palaces: the 16thcentury Palazzo Corner Gheltoff Alverà remains the residence of the Countess Alverà and the marble-faced renaissance Palazzo Contarini dal Zaffo-Polignac on the Grand Canal is still owned by the descendents of the early-twentieth-century patron of music, the Princesse de Polignac (both by special arrangement).

Florence & Venice, 2–9 November 2016 with Dr Michael DouglasScott: see page 125.

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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 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 are considered along 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 organization, 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.

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17–21 November 2015 (mc 530) This tour is currently full

A Venetian palace, wood engraving c. 1880. 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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Venetian Palaces continued

Cour ts of Nor thern Italy Princely art of the Renaissance

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Practicalities Price in 2016: £2,340. Single supplement £310 (double for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,230. Included meals: 3 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. 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, including over bridges. Standing around in museums and churches is also unavoidable. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants.

4–11 October 2015 (mc 476) 8 days • £2,190 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott 8–15 May 2016 (mc 663) 8 days • £2,260 Lecturer: Professor Fabrizio Nevola 4–11 September 2016 (md 832) 8 days • £2,260 Lecturer: Professor Fabrizio Nevola 2–9 October 2016 (md 881) 8 days • £2,260 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. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, specialist in 16th-century Italian art and architecture, and Professor Fabrizio Nevola, specialist in the urban and architectural history of Early Modern Italy. Highlights include the most glorious concentration of Byzantine mosaics and important work by Alberti, Mantegna, Piero della Francesca and Correggio.

Monteverdi in Venice 2–7 November 2015 Contact us for the full details or visit www.martinrandall.com

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A festival devoted to the operas of Claudio Monteverdi: Il ritorno d’Ulisse in patria performed by La Venexiana, L’incoronazione di Poppea with the Academy of Ancient Music and Iestyn Davies, L’Orfeo with I Fagiolini and L’Arianna, the world première of a reconstruction by Claudio Cavina. There are also three concerts exploring his other music, with the Monteverdi String Band, Odhecaton and La Compagnia del Madrigale. Historic venues include the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista and Ateneo Veneto. Access to the concerts is exclusive to those who take an all-inclusive arrangement which includes hotel, flights, meals, travel and much else besides.

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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.

Currently there is availability still in the Hotel Luna Baglioni and the Gritti Palace. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Itinerary Day 1: Mantua. Fly at c. 8.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna. Drive to Mantua where the first four nights are spent. After a late lunch, visit the Ducal Palace, 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 Sant’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 13thcentury castle in Fontanellato, seeing frescoes by Parmigianino. Day 4: Mantua. After a free 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, designed and with lavish frescoes by Giulio Romano. Day 5: Ferrara was the centre of the city-state 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 15th-century stronghold, and the cathedral. The Palazzo Schifanoia is an Este retreat with elaborate astrological frescoes. First of three nights in Ravenna. This day is subject to change as the Palazzo Schifanoia may be closed for restoration from the beginning of 2016. 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 splendid centrally planned church of S. Vitale with 6th-century mosaics of Emperor Justinian and Empress Theodora.


“We had access to towns with absolutely spectacular and beautiful, unforgettable cathedrals, churches, palaces and art.”

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Parma, theatre in the ducal palace, lithograph 1822.

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 Heathrow at c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £2,190. Single supplement £230 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,020. Price in 2016: £2,260. Single supplement £230 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,080.

Combine this tour with, in May 2016: The Duchy of Milan, 16–23 May (page 104); in September 2016: Pompeii & Herculaneum, 12–17 September (page 136); The Heart of Italy, 19–26 September (page 129); Sicily, 19 September–1 October (page 139); in October 2016: Palladian Villas, 11–16 October (page 112); Siena & San Gimignano, 12–16 October (page 127).

Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Casa Poli, Mantua (hotelcasapoli.it): 4-star hotel close to the historic centre. Hotel Bisanzio, Ravenna (bisanziohotel. com): a bland modern façade hides a small, welcoming but relatively basic 4-star hotel. 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 historic centres. Many of the historical buildings are sprawling and vast. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 88 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

History of Printing 17–23 October 2016 Details available in July 2015 Contact us to register your interest

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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).

Parma Verdi Festival October 2016 Details available in July 2016 Contact us to register your interest 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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Dark Age Brilliance Late Antique & Pre-Romanesque italy Ravenna, Mausoleum of Theodoric, engraving from Agincourt’s History of Art by its Monuments, 1847.

9–16 October 2016 (md 893) 8 days • £2,210 Lecturer: John McNeill

Itinerary

A journey through north-east Italy to Croatia, via Ravenna, Torcello and Cividale.

Day 2: Ravenna. Begin with an exploration of 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 Sant’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 San Giovanni Evangelista.

Private evening visit to San Vitale, Ravenna’s finest church, and the adjacent Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, to see the magnificent mosaics. 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.

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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.

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 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 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.

Day 1. Fly at c. 3.00pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna. Drive to Ravenna for the first of three nights.

Day 3: Ravenna, Classe. 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 Sant’Apollinare. Private evening visit to the church of San 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. Stay 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 the 8th-century work which has survived here. See the superb ‘Tempietto’ of Santa Maria in Valle, Longobardic work in the cathedral museum and spectacular early mediaeval collections in the archaeological museum. The afternoon is free in Cividale.

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John McNeill Architectural historian and a specialist in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. He lectures at Oxford University’s Department of Continuing Education and is Honorary Secretary of the British Archaeological Association. Publications include the Blue Guides: Normandy and Loire Valley, and Romanesque & the Past. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. 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 11th-century 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, Santa Maria della Grazie and the cathedral, also have outstanding mosaics. Day 8: Torcello. Drive to the Adriatic and take a water taxi to the island of Torcello in the Venetian lagoon, a major city while Venice was little more than a fishing village. Visit the largely 11thcentury cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta and adjacent Greek-cross reliquary church of Santa Fosca. Continue to Venice Airport and fly to London Gatwick, arriving at c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,210. Single supplement £170 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,880. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Palazzo Bezzi, Ravenna (palazzobezzi.it): new 4-star superior hotel, located on the edge of the historic centre of town. Hotel Roma, Cividale (hotelroma-cividale. it): simple, functional and friendly 3-star hotel, 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. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 76 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Gastronomic Piedmont, 1–7 October (page 102); A Festival of Music in Florence, 16–22 October (page 126); Sicily, 17–29 October (page 139).


Ravenna & Urbino

Byzantine capital, Renaissance court

20–24 April 2016 (mc 643) 5 days • £1,490 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini 28 September–2 October 2016 (md 877) 5 days • £1,490 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini

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 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.

Itinerary

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.

Day 1: Ravenna. Fly at c. 3.00pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna. Drive to Ravenna, where all four nights are spent.

In Ravenna, some of the greatest buildings of late antiquity with the finest Byzantine mosaics.

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.

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. Led by art historian Dr Luca Leoncini. Why combine them? Both are somewhat out of the way, yet near to each other. First run almost thirty years ago and still a firm favourite. 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 the late antique and 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.

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14–18 October 2015 (mc 491) 5 days • £1,430 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini

Day 3: Ravenna. The Cathedral Museum houses fine objects including an ivory throne. Visit the Cooperativa Mosaicista, a laboratory for the restoration of mosaics (by appointment, subject to confirmation) and the Mausoleum of Theodoric. Free afternoon. 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

Urbino, Ducal Palace, watercolour c. 1900.

della Francesca, sculpture by Agostino Duccio). Drive on to Bologna airport for a late-afternoon flight arriving at Heathrow at c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £1,430. Single supplement £140 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £1,200. Price in 2016: £1,490. Single supplement £160 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £1,290. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Palazzo Bezzi, Ravenna (palazzobezzi.it): a 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 in 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. Combine this tour, in April 2016, with: Sicily, 4–16 April (page 139); Palladian Villas, 12–17 April (page 112); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 25–30 April (page 136); in September 2016: The Heart of Italy, 19–26 September (page 129); Malta, 3–9 October (page 144).

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Engraving c. 1850 after a mosaic in Sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Ravenna. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Gastronomic Emilia-Romagna Food & art along the Via Emilia italy Parma, woodcut c. 1550.

16–22 April 2016 (mc 635) 7 days • £2,940 Lecturers: Marc Millon & Dr R. T. Cobianchi One of the world’s most famous food-producing regions, and a food-lover’s paradise: source of the best ham, cheese, vinegar, fresh pasta. See how they are made and meet their producers. New for 2016: lunch in Modena at the Osteria Francescana, currently the 2nd best restaurant in the world, with three Michelin stars.

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Two lecturers: an art historian and a gastronomic specialist, author of The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy. Emilia-Romagna, shaped like a wedge of its renowned Parmesan cheese, is rich in every way – artistically, culturally, economically and, by no means least, gastronomically. To journey along the Via Emilia, the long, straight Roman road from Milan to the Adriatic coast, is to immerse oneself in a gloriously hedonistic garden of Eden that is the source of some of the greatest foods in the world. The lovely cities of Parma and Bologna are the ideal bases from which to explore some of the masterpieces of Italian gastronomy, including the two jewels in the region’s crown; sweet Prosciutto di Parma, air-cured by dry mountain winds that sweep down from the Apennines, and

Parmigiano-Reggiano, the king of cheeses. Here, within their strictly defined areas of origin, you have a rare opportunity to see the production of these protected foods and to taste them in the company of the producers themselves. We also visit a family-run acetaia to discover the mysterious art of producing traditional balsamic vinegar, the rich, complex condiment that must be aged for a minimum of twelve years. Vast oceans of inferior imitations may be found on tables all around the world, but the real thing, aged in batteries of wood, unctuous and thick, is known as ‘black gold’, an incredibly concentrated elixir that is part of the region’s great gastronomic patrimony. The trademark of Bologna is its hand-made egg pasta, which appears in many guises from filled tortellini to rich, luscious lasagne. A visit to Bologna’s food market with its vast array of fresh pasta, mortadella and salami, breads, cakes and ice cream explains why this city is known as la grassa (the fat one). Wine, too, is an important feature throughout. We discover expressions of the grape that may not be as exalted as the region’s foods but which are perfect accompaniments, made from ancient grapes such as Malvasia, Trebbiano and Sangiovese. We also discover the real Lambrusco, foaming wildly, raspingly dry and rich in acidity. Although the main focus of this tour is gastronomy, both Parma and Bologna have a wealth of artistic treasures and time is allowed to explore these in the expert company of an art

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historian. Feeding the body, feeding the mind: this is the gastronomy of Emilia-Romagna.

Itinerary Day 1: Parma. Fly at c. 10.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Milan. Drive to Parma and in the late afternoon see the astonishingly vital and illusionistic frescoes by Correggio, Parma’s finest painter, in the cathedral and the church of S. Giovanni Evangelista. The first four nights are spent in Parma. Day 2: Parma, Polesine Parmense. Parma is of great importance in particular for its High Renaissance school of painting. See the good art collection in the Palazzo della Pilotta, and also the exquisite Camera di S. Paolo. At the 13thcentury Corte Pallavicina in Polesine Parmense discover the rare and prestigious culatello di Zibello, made from the rump of a specially bred pig and cured for over a year in cellars to a nearunbelievable intensity of flavour and sweetness. Lunch is in the family-run restaurant here. In the afternoon visit the nearby Villa Verdi, which the composer built for himself. Dinner is at a Michelin-starred restaurant in Parma. Day 3: Parma and surroundings. ParmigianoReggiano has been made in the area around Parma using the same methods for over 700 years. Watch the process at a modern caseificio, with tasting. Visit a family-run acetaia to see the hand production of traditional balsamic vinegar


The Grand Duchy of Tuscany Art, architecture & streetscape in smaller towns & cities

Day 4: Torrechiara, Langhirano. In the morning visit the 15th-century castle in Torrechiara. Continue to a producer of Prosciutto di Parma and see the age-old process of curing and drying, before tasting it later with wines and lunch at a good winery. Day 5: Modena. In Modena visit the cathedral, among the finest Romanesque buildings in the region, and also the market. Lunch is at the Osteria Francescana, currently the 2nd best restaurant in the world, with three Michelin stars. Continue to Bologna for a visit to the vast Gothic church of S. Petronio, with sculpture by Jacopo della Quercia. The last two nights of this tour are spent in Bologna. Day 6: Bologna, Dozza, Imola. The famous food market in Bologna sprawls through a maze of streets where shops and stalls display an overwhelming array of fresh pasta, artisanal mortadella, hams and salamis, cheeses, fresh fruit and vegetables, and an irresistible variety of bread and pastries. Taste these products in some of the city’s historic food shops. See also the enchanting early mediaeval church complex of S. Stefano. In the evening drive to Dozza for a tasting of wines from Romagna, before continuing to Imola for dinner at another of the finest restaurants in Italy (two Michelin stars). Day 7: Forlimpopoli. Forlimpopoli is the birthplace of Pellegrino Artusi, the author of the original Italian national cookbook. A demonstration of fresh pasta-making is followed by lunch. To see pasta being made by hand is to witness a near miraculous transformation of the simplest ingredients, flour and eggs, into the most ingenious collection of shapes and forms. Fly from Bologna, arriving Heathrow at c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,940. Single supplement £290 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,640. Included meals: 3 lunches and 5 dinners with wine, plus tastings.

How strenuous? There is a lot of walking and standing on this tour, and it would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking or stair-climbing. Coaches can not enter some of the historical town centres. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 65 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Gardens of the Riviera, 6–12 April (page 80); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 25–30 April (page 136).

Ten-day immersion in a region which is of exceptional artistic and architectural richness. Major centres include Pisa, Lucca and Siena, but many smaller places are included. Led by Dr Flavio Boggi, an art historian specialising in mediaeval and renaissance Italian art, who has published widely on the artistic culture of Tuscany. Were Florence to tumble into the Arno and disappear for ever, Tuscany would continue to be one of Europe’s most alluring destinations for the culture-seeking traveller. Such is the profusion of great art and architecture in the surrounding region. The Renaissance is brilliantly represented, with major works by leading quattrocento artists – Masaccio, Donatello, Ghiberti, Filippo Lippi, Michelozzo, Gozzoli, Ghirlandaio, Pinturicchio and others. But in terms of quantity, spectacularity and variety, the Middle Ages predominate – unsurprisingly, as the term encompasses many hundreds of years of creative ferment. Buildings of magnificence and beauty and astonishing immensity abound, while in the field of painting Siennese artists such as Duccio and the Lorenzetti brothers have no equals. Sculpture is particularly important here, with the Pisani family creating some of the greatest works of the Gothic era. The region is also famous for its landscape, which is among the most beautiful in Europe. Richly textured, consistently undulating, subtly various though invariably punctuated by the black-green uprights of cypress trees, the greygreen bobbles of olive trees and the gold-green striations of vineyards. Present-day Tuscany is more or less the territory put together by Duke Cosimo I, who achieved absolute power in 1537 and ruled for the next 37 years. Under him and his successors the territory became one of the most significant of the second-tier states in Europe, though despite relentless canvassing of pope and emperor Cosimo failed to be awarded the status of king and had to make do with the title of Grand Duke. There are two bases for this tour, both utterly lovely and characteristic. Lucca is a small valleyfloor city of Roman origin hemmed in by hills, girded by red-brick ramparts and consisting of a succession of enchanting streets and squares. San Gimignano is a little country town which has one of the most extraordinary streetscapes – and certainly the most bizarre skyline – of any comparable place in Europe.

preserved circuit of Renaissance ramparts lies one of the loveliest stretches of urban scene in Italy. First of four nights in Lucca. Day 2: Lucca. The morning walk takes in enchanting streets and major buildings, including the Romanesque cathedral of S. Martino, home of the extraordinarily beautiful Gothic tomb of Ilaria del Carretto. Walk out to the Villa Guinigi, a rare survival of a 14thcentury villa and now a museum housing a choice collection of mediaeval paintings. Day 3: Pistoia, Collodi. The exceptionally attractive town of Pistoia has important art and architecture including an octagonal baptistry, a Renaissance hospital with a ceramic frieze by the della Robbia workshop and a pulpit crowded with expressive figures carved by Giovanni Pisano. In the cathedral there is a unique silver altarpiece which took 150 years to complete. Villa Garzoni at Collodi has one of the finest surviving examples of 17th-century gardens, with terraces excavated out of a steep hillside. Day 4: Pisa. In the Middle Ages Pisa was one of the most powerful maritime city-states in the Mediterranean, the rival of Venice and Genoa, deriving great wealth from its trade with the Levant. The ‘Campo dei Miracoli’ is a magnificent ensemble of cathedral, burial ground, campanile (‘Leaning Tower’) and baptistery, all of gleaming white marble.

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Accommodation. Hotel Stendhal, Parma (hotelstendhal.it): quiet 4-star hotel, the best located in the middle of the historic centre, run by the Mercure group. Hotel Corona d’Oro, Bologna (hco.it): elegant 4-star hotel in the heart of the city.

1–10 September 2016 (md 829) 10 days • £2,630 Lecturer: Dr Flavio Boggi

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and to have a rustic lunch. In the early evening the lecturer leads a wine tasting in the hotel.

Itinerary Day 1: San Piero a Grado. Fly at c. 11.30am (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Pisa. Isolated on the coastal plain, the Romanesque basilica of San Piero a Grado has one of the finest sets of mediaeval frescoes to be found anywhere. Continue to Lucca. Within the perfectly

Lucca, San Michele in Foro by John Ruskin, c. 1900. 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 Grand Duchy of Tuscany continued

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Day 5: Volterra. A wonderful drive through Tuscan hills leads to Volterra, a rugged mediaeval hilltop town with an art gallery and a Romanesque cathedral, which again has fine Renaissance sculpture. Continue to San Gimignano, which with its fourteen 13th-century, hundred-foot tower houses is an amazing sight. First of five nights in San Gimignano. Day 6: San Gimignano. Visit the collegiate church which contains two great cycles of trecento frescoes depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The town hall also has 14th-century frescoes and houses a small art gallery. Study the development of the city in the streets, alleys and squares, and walk along a stretch of the walls. Day 7: Siena. The largest of the hilltop towns of Tuscany, Siena is distinguished by architecture and art of exquisite elegance. The scallop-shaped piazza is one of the most beautiful urban spaces

Gardens of Tuscany May 2016 Details available in July 2015 Contact us to register your interest

in the world; Duccio’s Maestà, housed in the cathedral museum, is the finest of all mediaeval altarpieces. The cathedral is an imposing construction of white and green marble with mediaeval and Renaissance artworks of the highest quality. Day 8: Certaldo, Monteriggioni. The point of visiting these little towns is not to see great art, though there are fascinating buildings and pictures, but to relish the picturesque delights of ancient, and still thriving, hilltop communities. Certaldo, birthplace of the 14th-century writer Boccaccio, has a redoubtable little governor’s palace and a small art gallery; Monteriggioni has an exceptionally intact circuit of walls and towers. Day 9: Montepulciano, Pienza. Montepulciano is distinguished among hill towns for its number of grand buildings of the 16th century, including the cathedral, though excellent works of art inside survive from its predecessor. The Tempio di S. Biagio (Antonio da Sangallo, 1518) is a major work of the High Renaissance. Pienza provides wonderful views of inimitable rolling countryside; its centre – piazza, palace, town hall, cathedral – was built in the 1460s in accordance with Renaissance principles at the behest of a local boy who made good: Pope Pius II. Day 10: Prato. Prato built its wealth on clothworking. The cathedral has outstanding

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Pistoia, baptistery, reproduction of an 1830s copper engraving. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Renaissance sculpture and painting, notably Donatello’s pulpit with dancing putti and frescoes by Filippo Lippi. Visit also the 13th-century Hohenstaufen castle and the Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, recently reopened after restoration, housing works by Filippo and Filippini Lippi among others. Continue to Pisa for the flight to Gatwick, arriving c. 8.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,630. Single supplement £340 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,500. Included meals: 6 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Ilaria, Lucca (hotelilaria.com): excellently situated 4-star hotel, within the city walls. Friendly staff. Hotel Leon Bianco, San Gimignano (leonbianco.com): 3-star hotel in the central square with fine views. As with all historic conversions, rooms vary in size and outlook. How strenuous? A lot of walking, much of it on steep ground and roughly paved streets, as well as standing around in churches and galleries. Average distance by coach per day: 52 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Pompeii & Herculaneum, 12–17 September (page 136).


Florence

Cradle of the Renaissance Tomb of Lorenzo de Medici, by Michelangelo, in the Basilica of San Lorenzo, engraving 1888.

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Christmas departure: 21–28 December 2015 (mc 546) 8 days • £2,810 Lecturer: Dr R. T. Cobianchi 15–21 February 2016 (mc 575) 7 days • £2,280 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 an astonishingly dense concentration of great works of art. The Renaissance is centre stage, but mediaeval and other periods also feature prominently. Led by specialists in Italian Renassiance art. Avoids the crowds of busier months, and a smaller group than usual, 8–18 participants.

Itinerary: Christmas 2015 Day 1. Fly at c. 11.15am (British Airways) from London City to Florence. In the late afternoon, study the buildings and sculpture in the Piazza della Signoria, civic centre of Florence with masterpieces of public sculpture. Day 2. Visit the Bargello, housing Florence’s finest sculpture collection with works by Donatello, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and others. The granary-cum-church of Orsanmichele has sculpture by Donatello, Ghiberti and Verrocchio.

See the Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance sculpture in the cathedral baptistry in the afternoon, and visit a private palazzo. Day 3. See Brunelleschi’s Foundling Hospital (1419), the first building wholly in Renaissance style. The Early Renaissance is wonderfully and colourfully represented by the enchanting paintings by Fra Angelico in the Friary of San Marco. See Michelangelo’s David and the ‘Slaves’ sculpture in the Accademia. Visit the Uffizi, which has masterpieces by every major Florentine painter as well as international Old Masters. Day 4: Siena. Day trip by coach to Siena, the most beautiful of Italian hill towns. Walk through exquisite streets to Il Campo, the main scallopshaped ‘square’, and visit the Palazzo Pubblico, the elegant 14th-century town hall, with frescoes by Simone Martini, Ambrogio Lorenzetti and others. Visit the splendid cathedral of white and green marble, many times enlarged, and the baptistry. In the cathedral museum see Duccio’s Maestà, the finest mediaeval painted altarpiece to be found anywhere. Visit the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, which has a rich collection of 15th-century frescoes. Day 5 (Christmas Day). Free morning, with a range of options for a church service, followed by Christmas lunch. Day 6. In Santa Trìnita there are fine frescoes by Ghirlandaio. See the Masaccio/Masolino fresco cycle in the Brancacci Chapel, a highly influential work of art which influenced all subsequent generations of Renaissance artists. Visit Santo Spirito, Brunelleschi’s last great church, and the extensive Boboli Gardens, at the top of which is an 18th-century ballroom and garden overlooking olive groves. In the afternoon visit the redoubtable Palazzo Pitti, which houses several museums including the Galleria Palatina, outstanding particularly for High Renaissance and Baroque paintings.

Day 7. A Michelangelo morning: visit his Laurentian Library, whose architectural components would herald the onset of Mannerism, and the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo, burial chapel of the Medici family and Michelangelo’s enigmatic sculptural ensemble. See the exquisite frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli in the chapel of the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi. In the afternoon visit Santa Maria Novella, a Dominican church with many works of art. Day 8. In the morning, visit the vast Franciscan church of Santa Croce, favoured burial place for leading Florentines and abundantly furnished with sculpted tombs, painted altarpieces and frescoes. Fly from Florence airport to London City, arriving at c. 4.15pm.

Itinerary: February 2016 Day 1. Fly at c. 11.15am (British Airways) from London City to Florence. In the late afternoon visit the Piazza della Signoria, civic centre of Florence with masterpieces of public sculpture. Day 2. 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 San Marco. In the afternoon see the Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance sculpture in the cathedral baptistry, and the cathedral museum (many parts of the museum are closed for restoration at the time of printing). Day 3. In the morning visit Santa Maria Novella, the Dominican church with many works of art (Masaccio’s Trinità, Ghirlandaio’s frescoed sanctuary). See Renaissance statuary at the church-cum-granary of Orsanmichele. The afternoon is devoted to the Uffizi which has masterpieces by every major Florentine painter as well as international Old Masters. 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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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 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 visitors to Florence have increased 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.

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Florence continued

Florentine Palaces

Defence, humanism, magnificence & beauty italy

Day 4. A Medici morning includes San Lorenzo, the family parish church designed by Brunelleschi, their burial chapel in the contiguous New Sacristy with Michelangelo’s enigmatic sculptural ensemble, and the chapel in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi which has exquisite frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli. Visit Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library, whose architectural components would herald the onset of Mannerism. 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 Santa 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 San Miniato al Monte, the Romanesque abbey church with panoramic views of the city. Day 6. In Santa Trìnita there are fine frescoes by Ghirlandaio. See the Masaccio/Masolino fresco cycle in the Brancacci Chapel, a highly influential work of art which influenced all subsequent generations of Renaissance artists. Visit Santo Spirito, Brunelleschi’s last great church, with many 15th-century altarpieces, and the extensive Boboli Gardens, at the top of which is an 18thcentury ballroom and garden overlooking olive groves. In the afternoon visit the redoubtable Palazzo Pitti, housing several museums including the Galleria Palatina, outstanding particularly for High Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Day 7. In the morning visit the Palazzo Vecchio, fortified civic centre of the republic, which has several rooms designed by Vasari and contains works by Michelangelo, Donatello and Bronzino. There is some free time, and a second, selective visit to the Uffizi. Fly from Florence Airport, arriving at London City at c. 9.00pm.

Practicalities Price at Christmas 2015: £2,810. Single supplement £320 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,690. Price in February 2016: £2,280. Single supplement £240 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,100.

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Included meals: At Christmas, 1 lunch (Christmas Day) and 5 dinners with wine; in February, 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Santa Maria Novella (hotelsantamarianovella.it): delightful, recently 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. Fitness is essential. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour, in February, with: Connoisseur’s Rome, 23–28 February (page 133).

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Palazzo Strozzi, copper engraving c. 1770.

11–15 November 2015 (mc 523) 5 days • £2,120 Lecturer: Dr Joachim Strupp One of the most fascinating aspects of the Florentine Renaissance, the private palace. Mediaeval, Baroque, Neo-Classical and 19thcentury examples as well. Several special arrangements to see palaces not usually open to the public. Renaissance Florence experienced one of the most spectacular property booms of all time. From the second half of the fourteenth to the beginning of the sixteenth century as many as 100 private palazzi were built throughout the city. The period was also one of the pivotal moments of western architecture, witnessing a design revolution that was to have an impact on the rest of Europe and the Americas for five hundred years. In the preceding couple of centuries, intense clan and class rivalries required palazzi to be highly defensible structures. Like many Italian cities, Florence bristled with tower houses, of which several stubs can still be seen, and the massive Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall, retains its fortress-like aesthetic. While an intimidating monumentality remained a design feature of the Renaissance palace, decreasing lawlessness and increasing wealth fortuitously combined with new humanist concepts of ‘magnificence’ and ‘virtue’ by which the elite were required to demonstrate their greatness with ‘fitting expenditure’. Constructed on a magnificent scale, three times the height of a three-storey building today, its spread was equally expansive, frequently swallowing up a multitude of smaller dwellings. And the design of these high-fashion mansions

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represented a dramatic shift in architectural language. The credit for their creation, however, remained the patron rather than the architect. A Renaissance palazzo was intended as a statement of dynastic ambition, its facade emblazoned with coats of arms, its interior trumpeting the family name in every visual detail. Fortunes were spent – and lost – keeping up with the Medici. Many palaces remained unfinished through lack of funds (neither the Gondi nor the Rucellai were complete at the time of their founder’s death); and even more – including the Pitti and the Davanzati – changed hands through financial necessity within a generation. By the end of the sixteenth century, the Florentine palazzo was being adapted to accommodate more elaborate households and lifestyles, but splendour remained their defining characteristic. Certainly no Renaissance patron would have felt embarrassed by the endeavours of his seventeenth- and eighteenth-century successors, such as Alessandro Capponi or the Corsini family.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.15am (British Airways) from London City Airport to Florence. Visit the Palazzo Vecchio, a sturdy fortress at the civic heart with outstanding interiors and lavish frescoes by Ghirlandaio in the sala dei gigli and by Bronzino in the Chapel of Eleanor of Toledo. Day 2. Visit Palazzo Davanzati, built in the second half of the fourteenth century in one of the oldest quarters of Florence. See Palazzo Strozzi, a late-15th-century construction of formidable proportions. In the afternoon visit the privately-owned Palazzo Corsini (by special arrangement), a vast Baroque palazzo with


Florence & Venice The finest & best-known art & architecture in the Western world

Day 3. Visit the Bargello, a mediaeval palazzo housing Florence’s finest sculpture collection with works by Donatello, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and others. Following this see Palazzo Capponi all’Annunziata (by special arrangement), built in the early 18th century for one of the most distinguished of Florence’s ancient families and designed by the most fashionable architect of the day, Carlo Fontana. In the afternoon visit the Palazzo Corsini al Prato (by special arrangement), begun in 1591 to designs by Bernardo Buontalenti, the palazzo was acquired in 1621 by Filippo Corsini and most of the palace and gardens date to his refurbishment.

2–9 November 2016 (md 933) 8 days • £2,840 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott Wide-ranging survey with Renaissance emphasis. Includes a private, after-hours visit to the Basilica di San Marco to see the transcendental splendour of the Byzantine mosaics. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, specialist in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. Off-peak dates, smaller group than usual (maximum 18 participants). To achieve a proper appreciation of Italian art and civilization, there can be no better way than immersion in the incomparable cities of Venice

and Florence. There are similarities between the two city-states: the simultaneity of their periods of greatness (with consequent rivalry); the extraordinary wealth generated by pioneering commercial and manufacturing enterprise; republican and democratic political systems; and, above all, the brilliance of their material culture, both bequeathing a corpus of painting, sculpture and architecture of incomparable quantity, quality and influence. And there are differences. Florence, an inland city, is largely built of local rough-hewn pietra forte, a tough brown stone, with columns and arches of pietra serena, grey and severe. Venice, the greatest maritime power of its time, imported coloured marbles and white limestone from around the Mediterranean and brick from its hinterland. Florentine art is tough, linear and monumental, while in Venice primacy is given to

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views over the Arno. See the exterior of Palazzo Lanfredini, built by a member of an important Republican family during the Medicis’ absence from Florence in the early sixteenth century with handsome sgraffiti on the façade. Visit also the chapel in the Palazzo Medici-Riccardi which has exquisite frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli.

Day 4. Begin at 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 (by special arrangement) from the Uffizi to the Pitti Palace, viewing the Medici collection of artists’ self-portraits. In the afternoon, visit the privatelyowned Palazzo Gondi (by special arrangement), designed in 1490 by Giuliano da Sangallo, the favourite architect of Lorenzo de Medici. There are remarkable views of the city from the terrace. Day 5. Visit the redoubtable Palazzo Pitti, which houses several museums including the Galleria Palatina, outstanding particularly for High Renaissance and Baroque paintings. The visit includes rooms not generally open to the public. The afternoon is free. Fly from Florence to London City Airport, arriving at c. 9.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,120. Single supplement £170 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,930. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Santa Maria Novella (hotelsantamarianovella.it): a delightful 4-star hotel in a very central location.

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How strenuous? There is a lot of walking on this tour in the city centre and it would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Fitness is essential. The first and last days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 21 miles Group size: between 8 and 18 participants.

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Florence, tribune of the Ufizzi, aquatint c. 1830. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Florence & Venice continued

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colour, gorgeous and evanescent. Venice’s lagoon location and its myriad canals is beyond different, it is unique. Florence was, of course, the cradle of the Renaissance. Giotto, Brunelleschi, Donatello, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Raphael and Leonardo are some of the great names studied on this tour. Today Florence is a vibrant, contemporary city, but the past is omnipresent: from the mediaeval city walls and distant vistas of olive groves to the narrow alleyways, expansive piazzas and imposing palazzi, all reminders of the vast banking wealth which drove its artistic preeminence. Trade with the East was the source of Venice’s wealth, and the eastern connection has left its indelible stamp, with western styles tempered by a richness of effect and delicacy of pattern redolent of oriental opulence. Seeing the highlights of these two cities in succession, with enough time in each to enable some depth of experience, provides one of the great aesthetic journeys the world has to offer.

Itinerary Day 1: Florence. Fly at c. 11.15am (British Airways) from London City Airport to Florence. The Dominican church of Sta. Maria Novella has many works of art (Masaccio’s Trinità, Ghirlandaio’s frescoed sanctuary). First of four nights in Florence. Day 2: Florence. Visit the Bargello, a mediaeval palazzo housing Florence’s finest sculpture collection with works by Donatello, Verrocchio and Michelangelo. The cluster of cathedral buildings occupies the afternoon; the baptistery with its Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance sculpture, the polychromatic marble Duomo itself, capped by Brunelleschi’s massive dome, and the excellent collections in the cathedral museum (at the time of printing the cathedral museum is almost entirely closed for restoration but is due to reopen in 2015).

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Day 3: Florence. A Medici morning includes S. Lorenzo, the family parish church designed by Brunelleschi, their burial chapel in the contiguous New Sacristy with Michelangelo’s largest sculptural ensemble, and Michelangelo’s Laurentian Library. The afternoon is devoted to the Uffizi, Italy’s most important art gallery, which has masterpieces by every major Florentine painter as well as international Old Masters. Day 4: Florence. Walk to the vast Franciscan church of Sta. Croce, favoured burial place for leading Florentines and abundantly furnished with sculpted tombs, altarpieces and frescoes, via the church-cum-granary of Orsanmichele, adorned with important Renaissance statuary. Some free time. Day 5: Florence, Venice. See Michelangelo’s David and the ‘Slaves’ in the Accademia. Travel by rail to Venice (first class) for the first of three nights there. Take an introductory walk in the Piazza S. Marco and visit the incomparably beautiful Doge’s Palace with pink Gothic revetment and rich Renaissance interiors.

Day 6: Venice. The Accademia is Venice’s major art gallery, where all the Venetian painters are represented. 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. In the evening there is a private after-hours visit to the Basilica of S. Marco, an 11th-century Byzantine church enriched over the centuries with mosaics, sculpture and precious objects. Day 7: Venice. 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 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. Day 8: Venice. Some free time. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water taxi) to the airport. Fly from Venice to London Gatwick, arriving c. 5.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,840. Single supplement £420 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,660. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Santa Maria Novella (hotelsantamarianovella.it): a delightful 4-star hotel in a very central location. Westin Europa & Regina, Venice (westineuropareginavenice.com): an elegant and historic 5-star hotel on the Grand Canal, opposite the Salute. How strenuous? The nature of both Florence and Venice 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 and churches is also unavoidable. Group size: between 8 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with Gastonomic Sicily, 24–31 October (page 142); Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur, 25–31 October (page 78).

A Festival of Music in Florence 16–22 October 2016 (to be confirmed) Details available in November 2015 Contact us to register your interest Universally known as the crucible of change in the field of the visual arts, the ‘cradle of the Renaissance’ was also a highly important centre for the development of music from the end of the Middle Ages until the Age of Baroque, and the heart of much of our tradition of Western music. Florence has a fascinating musical history, from the thirteenth century where civic music was used as a symbol of the city’s cultural achievements, and carnival was celebrated twice a year with processions, singing and revelry. During the following century, the Trecento, it was one of the main centres of Italian Ars Nova and home of Francesco Landini, one of the most prolific and revered composers of that century. And it was here in the sixteenth century that the Florentine Camerata was established – an association of musicians, scholars and intellectuals who met in the salon of Count Giovanni de’ Bardi to discuss and experiment with settings of Greek drama, as well as other topics such as poetry and the sciences, from which the art form of opera was born. Throughout these periods and beyond, the city’s huge cultural and political prestige attracted musicians of the first rank from all over Europe. The performers we are selecting are musicians of the highest calibre, leading specialists in their genre, both Italian and British. All the concerts are private, access being exclusive to those who purchase a package which includes hotel accommodation, coach travel, lectures, many meals and other services.

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Venice Campanile, by R. Barratt, publ. 1907.


Siena & San Gimignano Hilltop towns of Tuscany

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12–16 October 2016 (md 900) 5 days • £1,530 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley Based in one of the most extraordinary of Italian hill towns, San Gimignano. Visits to nearby places – Volterra, San Miniato and Siena (two visits). Led by art historian Dr Antonia Whitley, whose PhD is on Sienese society in the 15th century. Beautiful landscape, wonderful streetscape, outstanding mediaeval and Renaissance painting, great buildings.

Siena, engraving c. 1760.

history. Mediaeval sculpture and painting is its main subject matter because of the exceptional quality and quantity, but Renaissance and Mannerist painters such as Pinturicchio, Sodoma and Beccafumi are also surveyed. There is also good representation of Florentine masters from Ghiberti to Michelangelo.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.30am (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Pisa. All four nights are spent in San Gimignano. Day 2: San Gimignano. In San Gimignano visit the Romanesque collegiate church containing two great cycles of trecento frescoes depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments. The town hall also has 14th-century frescoes and houses a small art gallery. Among the Renaissance works of art seen today are frescoes by Benozzo Gozzoli and an altarpiece by Pollaiuolo in the church of Sant’Agostino. Study the development of the city in the streets, alleys and squares, and walk along a stretch of the walls. Day 3: Siena. Siena is the largest of hilltop towns in Tuscany (it is in fact a hilltop city), distinguished by red brick and architectural and artistic design of an exquisite elegance. The cathedral museum contains Duccio’s Maestà, the finest of all mediaeval altarpieces. The 14th-century Palazzo Pubblico has frescoes by Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers. Visit also the cathedral, an imposing Romanesque and Gothic construction of white and green marble with outstanding Renaissance sculpture and painting including Pinturicchio’s brilliant frescoes in the Piccolomini Library and the font by Ghiberti, Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia.

Day 4: Volterra, Siena. A wonderful morning drive through Tuscan hills to the episcopal seat of Volterra (which in the early Middle Ages claimed suzerainty over San Gimignano), a rugged mediaeval hilltop town. Visit the art gallery and the Romanesque cathedral, which has fine Renaissance sculpture. Return to Siena to visit the hospital of Santa Maria della Scala, with its exceptional collection of Renaissance frescoes. Day 5: San Miniato. San Miniato’s strategic location on both the Via Francigena and the main route between Pisa and Florence meant that it was one of the most important imperial centres in Tuscany in the 12th and 13th centuries. See the church of San Domenico, before driving to Pisa for the flight to Gatwick, arriving c. 7.15pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,530. Single supplement £160 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,400. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Leon Bianco, San Gimignano (leonbianco.com): 3-star hotel in the central square, with fine views. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking, some of it on uneven ground and much of it uphill. Coaches are not allowed inside the walls of any of the towns. Some days involve a lot of driving. Average distance by coach per day: 51 miles

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Towards the end of an autumn afternoon, when the last of the day trippers have departed and the shutters have clattered down on the souvenir shops, an ineffable timelessness descends. While dusk begins to obscure the hills and darken the streets, the inhabitants get on with their lives – shopping, socialising, doing business – amidst the most extraordinary streetscape in Europe. The ordinary within the quite extraordinary – that is the charm of Italy. San Gimignano is not a museum but a living country town. It is also so improbable a phenomenon, with fourteen thirteenth-century hundred-foot stone tower houses, that a day trip does not always suffice to eradicate incredulity, let alone allow the visitor to feel the austere magic of the place. Scarcely changed in appearance for six hundred years, and looking like a balding porcupine in a searingly beautiful Tuscan landscape, the town provides a microcosm of life and art in mediaeval Italy. The towers and circuit of walls were built not only in response to hostilities with neighbouring city-states but also to the incessant conflict between the swaggering, belligerent nobility and the emergent merchants and tradesmen. Nevertheless, the little city flourished. A nodal point on the main north-south road to Rome, hospices and friaries swelled to serve pilgrims, officials and traders. Wealth, pride and piety conspired to attract some of the best artistic talent to embellish the churches. But San Gimignano never recovered from the double blow of the Black Death of 1348 and submission to Florence shortly after. Extending the theme of hilltop towns, visits are made to two of the greatest: Volterra, rugged and dour, and Siena, the largest and the most beautiful of them all. Spilling across three converging hilltops, Siena contains perhaps the most extensive spread of mediaeval townscape in Europe. Culturally the city reached its peak in the late thirteenth and early fourteenth centuries. There is plenty of excellent Renaissance art here, but it is mediaeval painting for which the city is best known. Duccio, Simone Martini and the Lorenzetti brothers were among a host of brilliant artists who created the distinctive Sienese style: exquisite delicacy of design, detail and colour, and images which are godly yet humane, numinous yet naturalistic. This tour provides a concentrated study of Siena, not only its art and architecture but also its

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Courts of Northern Italy, 2–9 October (page 116); A Festival of Music in Florence, 16–22 October (page 126); Sicily, 17–29 October (page 139). 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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Lucca

Sculpture & architecture in northern Tuscany italy

18–24 April 2016 (mc 636) 7 days • £2,180 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley A leisurely exploration of one of the most beautiful and engaging of Tuscan cities. Exceptional ramparts enclosing a city rich in sculpture, painting, and Romanesque architecture. Led by art historian Dr Antonia Whitley, expert in the Italian Renaissance. Excursions to Prato, Pistoia, Pisa and Barga. Work by renowned masters, including Filippo Lippi, Donatello and Jacopo della Quercia. Nowhere in Tuscany can claim to be undiscovered. Some places are more undiscovered than others, however, and for no good reason Lucca is one of the most underrated of ancient Tuscan cities. Many know of its exceptional attractions, but few allow themselves the opportunity of getting to know it properly. Only by staying for several nights, and by allowing time to absorb, observe and reflect can real familiarity develop – not only with its historic fabric and works of art but also with the rhythm of life of its current inhabitants. For

Lucca is not a museum but an agreeable and vital lived-in city. To the approaching visitor, Lucca immediately announces its distinctiveness and its historical importance, while at the same time secreting the true extent and glory of its built heritage. The perfectly preserved circumvallation of pink brick, ringed by the green sward of the grass glacis, is one of the most complete and formidable set of ramparts in Italy. Unlike many Tuscan cities, Lucca sits on the valley floor. This feature and the traces of the grid-like street pattern – albeit given a mediaeval inflection – betray its Roman origin. Within the walls, the city is a compelling masonry document of the Middle Ages. There is a superb collection of Romanesque churches with the distinctive feature of tiers of arcades applied to the façades. There is good sculpture, too, including the exquisite tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, and some quite exceptional (and exceptionally early) panel paintings. Looming over the dense net of narrow streets are the imposing palazzi of the mercantile elite, including some grand ones from the age of Baroque. The Romanesque theme of the tour is continued on the excursions to the nearby cities of Prato, Pistoia and Pisa, where the style has its greatest manifestation in Tuscany in the ensemble of cathedral, baptistery and campanile (the now not-quite-so-leaning tower) at Pisa. Likewise, mediaeval sculpture features prominently in all these places. The Renaissance is represented by some of the best loved works of the Florentine masters – by Filippo Lippi and Donatello at Prato cathedral, for example, and by the della Robbia workshop in Pistoia. There are also visits to small towns and to a country villa of the eighteenth century.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Pisa and drive to Lucca. On the way visit the Romanesque basilica of San Piero a Grado.

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Day 2: Lucca. Visit San Michele in Foro and the cathedral of San Martino, Romanesque churches with important sculptures (tomb of Ilaria del Carretto) and paintings, and the Villa Guinigi, a rare survival of a 14th-century suburban villa and now a museum with outstanding mediaeval panel paintings. In the afternoon drive to the Villa Torrigiani which has a 19th-century landscaped garden with a sunken garden from the 1750s. Return to Lucca to visit Torre Guinigi.

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Day 3: Prato. Drive inland to Prato, a city that built its wealth on cloth-working. The mediaeval cathedral has outstanding Renaissance sculpture and painting, notably Donatello’s pulpit with dancing putti and the Filippo Lippi frescoes. Visit also the Museo di Palazzo Pretorio, recently reopened after a long period of restoration, housing works by both Lippis, among others. Lucca, arch from the façade of San Michele, by John Ruskin, publ. 1901.

Day 4: Barga, Lucca. Drive up through forested hills to Barga, a delightful little town with a fine Romanesque cathedral at its summit. The afternoon in Lucca is free.

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Dr Antonia Whitley Art historian and lecturer specialising in the Italian Renaissance. She obtained her PhD from the Warburg Institute on Sienese society in the 15th century and has published on related topics. She has lectured for the National Gallery, organises adult education study sessions and has led many tours in Italy. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Day 5: Pistoia. The exceptionally attractive town of Pistoia has important art and architecture. Buildings include the octagonal baptistry and the cathedral, both at one end of the main square, and the Renaissance hospital, Ospedale del Ceppo. Sculpture includes the pulpit in Sant’Andrea carved by Giovanni Pisano, one of the finest Gothic sculptures south of the Alps, and a unique silver altarpiece in the cathedral, the product of 150 years’ workmanship. Day 6: Pisa. In the High Middle Ages Pisa was one of the most powerful maritime city-states in the Mediterranean, the rival of Venice and Genoa, deriving great wealth from its trade with the Levant. The ‘Campo dei Miracoli’ is a magnificent Romanesque ensemble of cathedral, monumental burial ground, campanile (‘Leaning Tower’) and baptistery, all of gleaming white marble. Among the major artworks here are the pulpit by Nicola Pisano (1260) and the 14thcentury Triumph of Death fresco. Day 7: Lucca. Visit the Romanesque church of San Frediano, one of the finest in Lucca, with façade mosaics and chapel tombs sculpted by Jacopo della Quercia. The flight from Pisa arrives into London Heathrow at c. 4.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,180. Single supplement £220 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,970. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Ilaria, Lucca (hotelilaria.com): an excellently situated 4-star, within the city walls, with friendly staff. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking, much of it on roughly paved streets. There is a lot of standing in churches and galleries. The tour is not ­suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 39 miles Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Sicily, 4–16 April (page 139); Palladian Villas, 12–17 April (page 112); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 25–30 April (page 136).


The Hear t of Italy

Umbria’s finest art & architecture

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. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, specialist in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. Perugia, Spoleto, Assisi and significant smaller towns away from the main tourist centres.

auditorium towards the cathedral façade with its mosaics and rose windows; inside there are frescoes by Pinturicchio and Filippo Lippi. In the afternoon see the Rocca Albornoziana, the 14thcentury fortress built at the command of Cardinal Albornoz to secure the city for the papacy. The museum within has an outstanding collection of mediaeval art.

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 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.

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: Spoleto. A morning walk in Spoleto includes the Roman theatre and Casa Romana, and finishes at the cathedral square. One of the most imposing in Italy, it slopes like an

Day 8. Drive to Rome Fiumicino for a lateafternoon flight arriving Heathrow at c. 7.00pm

Practicalities Price: £2,320. Single supplement £160 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,130. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel La Bastiglia, Spello (labastiglia.com): well-appointed 4-star hotel with wonderful views from the terrace. How strenuous? Many visits take place in hill towns, with steep, uneven inclines leading from the coach park. Agility and sure-footedness are particularly essential. A lot of driving; average distance by coach per day: 72 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Pompeii & Herculaneum, 12–17 September (page 136); Ravenna & Urbino, 28 September–2 October (page 119).

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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.

Renaissance church influenced by Bramante’s ideas. See also the cathedral and the church of S. Fortunato, with richly decorated central doorway and frescoes by Masolino. Return in the afternoon to the hilltop town of Spello, with fine Roman remains and richly coloured Renaissance frescoes by Pinturicchio in the church of Sta. Maria Maggiore.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino (British Airways). 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, 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

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19–26 September 2016 (md 846) 8 days • £2,320 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott

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Todi, engraving from The Magazine of Art, 1886. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Footpaths of Umbria

Walks, art & wine between Arezzo & Assisi italy

26 October–2 November 2015 (mc 507) This tour is currently full 9–16 May 2016 (mc 668) 8 days • £2,490 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley 26 September–3 October 2016 (md 874) 8 days • £2,490 Lecturer: Dr Antonia Whitley Six walks of between 3 and 6 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. Led by Dr Antonia Whitley, art historian and lecturer specialising in the Italian Renaissance. 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 crisscrossed 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 civilization. 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. Appropriately, this tour begins in Arezzo with the quiet power and subtle beauty of The Legend of the True Cross. Our Piero trail also includes The Resurrection, dubbed by Aldous Huxley ‘the best picture’, remarkably still in the building for which it was painted.

Itinerary Day 1: Monterchi. Fly at c. 8.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bologna and drive to Monterchi. Piero della Francesca’s beautiful Madonna del Parto has its own museum in the village. Spend the first of four nights in Città di Castello.

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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 6 km to Montecasale, a high-level walk on paths, tracks and exposed ground, and through woodland. Lunch in Sansepolcro, followed by afternoon visits including Piero della Francesca’s Resurrection and other works in the museum.

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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. Picnic lunch in Citerna, before a 5.5 km afternoon walk to Monterchi on gently undulating farm tracks and country roads. Assisi, Church of St Francis, watercolour by Frank Fox c. 1900.

Day 4: Le Celle, Cortona. Begin the morning’s walk from the immaculately kept Eremo Le Celle, which Francis visited in 1226. Starting gently

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downhill from the Eremo, this walk (5 km) begins 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: Collepino, Spello. Drive to Collepino, a restored mediaeval borgo with views of Monte Subasio and, on a fine day, the Monti Sibillini. Walk 6 km downhill and on a level track to Spello, through olive groves running alongside the Roman aqueduct built to supply the ‘splendissima colonia Julia’. Time to enjoy Spello’s harmonious architecture and the richly coloured Renaissance frescoes by Pinturicchio in the church of Sta. Maria Maggiore. First of three nights in Spello. Day 6: Assisi. A 6 km walk on strada bianca (rough farm tracks), minor roads and woodland paths to Assisi. The path predominantly descends, although the last section is uphill through the Bosco Francescano. It 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 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: Bevagna, Montefalco. Known as the ‘Balcony of Umbria’, Montefalco’s mediaeval church houses 15th-century frescoes of the Florentine and Umbrian school. The town is well known for its inky and full-bodied Sagrantino wines. Walk (3 km) around Montefalco to Montepennino on lanes and country roads. Drive to Bevagna, the Roman Mevania, home to one of Italy’s most harmonious squares. Day 8. Drive to Rome with a break in the journey en route. Fly from Rome Fiumicino to Heathrow, arriving c. 8.45pm.

Practicalities Price in 2016: £2,490. Single supplement £170 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,300. Included meals: 6 lunches (including 1 picnic) and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Tiferno, Città di Castello (hoteltiferno.it): central, 4-star hotel, renovated respecting the original architecture. Hotel La Bastiglia, Spello (labastiglia.com): new, well-appointed 4-star hotel at the apex of Spello, with wonderful views from the terrace. How strenuous? This tour should only be considered by those who are used to regular country walking, with uphill content. There are 6 moderate to strenuous walks of between 3 and 6 km. Strong knees and ankles are essential, as are a pair of well-worn hiking boots with good ankle support. Walks have been carefully selected but some steep paths are unavoidable (both uphill and downhill). Terrain can be loose underfoot, particularly in wet weather. Average distance by coach per day: c. 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 18 participants.


The Duchy of Urbino The Renaissance in the Marches

Trawls through the little-visited hills and valleys of the Marches, and along its coast. Some world-class items, but for the most part the pleasures of this tour arise from the lesser treasures in remote and unspoilt communities in a kaleidoscope of breathtaking scenery. Dr Thomas-Leo True specialises in Renaissance and Baroque architecture of the Papal States, and is a past resident of the Marches. By inheritance lord of a marginal patch of mountainous territory, by profession a mercenary soldier, by scale of expenditure the most important Maecenas of his day: Federico da Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino, was one of the most fascinating and influential characters of Renaissance Italy. His palace at Urbino is the finest Early Renaissance courtly residence in existence, a sequence of interiors of serene beauty. He was also the paymaster for many other buildings, civil and military, throughout the duchy. Even more important for the subsequent history of civilization than the architecture was what took place within these buildings, for his court attracted humanists, artists and young noblemen from all over Italy and beyond. Two examples: Raphael spent his first twelve years here (his father was court painter), and for centuries the manners and demeanour in the upper echelons of European society were under the influence of Urbino court life as described by Baldassare Castiglione in The Courtier. The Duchy of Urbino is located in the north of Le Marche, the Italian Marches, the name

deriving from its tenth-century status as the borderlands between the Ottonian empire to the north and the papal lands to the south. Remoteness from the centre led to the emergence of local warlords, territorial fragmentation and de facto independence. The Buonconte dynasty had controlled Montefeltro for two hundred years before Federico II succeeded in 1444 at the age of twenty-two. During his thirty-eight-year tenure he expanded his domains at the expense of his Malatesta and Sforza neighbours, but the source of his fortune was his generalship of the armies of the great powers of Italy, the Duchy of Milan, the Republic of Venice and the Kingdom of Naples, switching sides without scruple, and accepting tribute from lesser powers just to stay away. He was made a duke by the pope in 1474. His son Guidobaldo and his Delle Rovere successors continued artistic patronage though on a much reduced scale. Stagnation set in after the duchy reverted to the Church in 1631. One recurrent feature of this tour is military architecture, castles and city walls of huge variety and sometimes extraordinary beauty. There are also many fine paintings, in galleries and original settings.

Itinerary

Day 2: Sassocorvaro, Urbino. Mountain drives lead to the castle of Sassocorvaro and another staggeringly beautiful hill road climbs to Urbino, Duke Federico’s principal residence and one of Italy’s loveliest hilltop towns. An afternoon walk takes in the outstanding International Gothic frescoes by the Salimbeni brothers, cathedral and Diocesan Museum. First of five nights in Urbino.

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4–10 June 2016 (mc 703) 7 days • £2,390 Lecturer: Dr Thomas-Leo True

Day 3: Mondavio, Senigallia, Fano. See two of the most extraordinary and beautiful examples of Renaissance fortifications: the multifaceted brick castle at Mondavio and, in the coastal town of Senigallia, the sedate quadrangular fort and palace within. Also in Senigallia are a Neoclassical market place and arcaded waterfront. In Fano see an altarpiece by Perugino. Day 4: Sant’Angelo in Vado, Mercatello sul Metauro, Urbania. Drop down to the Metauro river and follow the valley to the foothills of the Apennines. The small towns of Mercatello sul Metauro and Sant’Angelo in Vado retain well preserved mediaeval and Renaissance centres and paintings from the 13th to 17th centuries. Urbania is a charming town with a fortified palace built for Federico and modified for the last Duke of Urbino, whose tomb is in the town.

Day 1: San Leo. Fly at c. 8.30am from London Heathrow to Bologna. Drive along the Via Emilia and turn into the hills marking the northern border of the Duchy of Urbino and constituting the Montefeltro heart lands, guarded by the famously impregnable castle of San Leo. Introductory walk in this tiny mountain town, which has a marvellously unspoilt Romanesque church and, atop a limestone cliff, one of the most dramatically sited castles in all Europe. Overnight San Leo.

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Urbino, early-20th-century etching. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


The Duchy of Urbino continued

Essential Rome

The complete spectrum of art, architecture & antiquities italy

Day 5: Urbino. Unravel the building history and examine the interior of the finest Renaissance palace in Italy, built over half a century from the 1450s for the dukes of Urbino, with the loveliest of all arcaded courtyards, serene halls of state, beautifully carved ornament and exquisite study. The art collection includes paintings by Piero della Francesca, Raphael and Titian. Day 6: Gubbio is one of the most beautiful hill towns in Umbria, with a hillside piazza overlooking the lower town, formidable mediaeval palaces and the Ducal Palace, bestpreserved of Federico da Montefeltro’s residences outside Urbino. Day 7: Pesaro. A prosperous port and centre of ceramic production, Pesaro was won successively by the Malatesta, Sforza and Delle Rovere dynasties before returning to papal rule in 1631. The art gallery contains Bellini’s great Coronation of the Virgin, perhaps his masterpiece. Fly from Bologna, arriving London Heathrow at c. 8.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,390. Single supplement £240 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,080. Included meals: 1 lunch, 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Castello, San Leo (hotelristorantecastellosanleo.com): small 2-star hotel, simple but adequately comfortable, the lack of luxury more than compensated for by its location in the heart of this beautiful hill village. Hotel San Domenico, Urbino (viphotels.it/eng): 4-star hotel converted from a monastery building and the best to be found right in the centre of the city, opposite the ducal palace. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking, much of it uphill and on rough-hewn cobbles. There is also quite a lot of driving along minor hill roads. Average distance by coach per day: 63 miles

3–9 November 2015 (mc 521) 7 days • £2,690 Lecturer: Christopher Newall 1–7 November 2016 (md 932) 7 days • £2,770 Lecturer: Dr Thomas-Leo True Major buildings, monuments and works of art, a representative selection of all periods from Ancient Rome onwards.

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Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Led by Dr Thomas-Leo True and Christopher Newall, art historians specialising in Renaissance and Baroque architecture in Rome.

Opera in Macerata & Pesaro

Private visit to the Sistine Chapel, shared with participants travelling on Connoisseur’s Rome.

August 2016 Details available in February 2016 Contact us to register your interest

Trasimeno Music Festival July 2016 Details available in January 2016 Contact us to register your interest

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The Pantheon, wood engraving c. 1890.

Rome presents three major challenges to the cultural traveller. First, it is big. Items of major importance – many of which on their own would make any town in the world worth visiting – are generously strewn through an area that is approximately four miles in diameter. The second problem is that there are hundreds of such places in the city. The third is that these items are from such a wide span of time, well over two millennia, for much of which Rome was the pre-eminent city in its sphere – as capital of the Roman Republic and Empire, as centre of western Christianity, a role regained with consequent splendour with the triumph of the Catholic Reformation and finally, from 1871, as capital of a united Italy. Over the years MRT has devised many tours to Rome, but apart from at Christmas hitherto they have all attempted only a single episode or theme – Ancient, Mediaeval, Baroque;

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Caravaggio, Michelangelo, Raphael, music. This is our only tour that selects from the whole range of Rome’s heritage. The key has been generally to give preference to geography over chronology, proximity over theme. Meandering walks explore a particular district, picking out the most significant buildings and works of art, enjoying alluring vistas as they arise, glimpsing minor treasures – whatever period they belong to. It is fair to say that the itinerary includes most of the most important places and works of art in Rome. There is a lot of walking, though regular use is made of minibuses and taxis (rarely of cumbersome coaches, which are highly restricted in the city centre). Not every place seen is mentioned in the description below, and the order may differ. There is, incidentally, almost no overlap with the items on Connoisseurs’ Rome except for the private visit to the Sistine Chapel.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.00am (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Rome. The tour starts with the glorious Byzantine mosaics in the churches of Sta. Maria Maggiore and Sta. Prassede. Day 2. 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 5th-century 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.


Connoisseur’s Rome

With private visits including the Sistine Chapel

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 5. Drive in the morning 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. The afternoon is free. Day 6. The day 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 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 Gatwick at c. 5.15pm.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £2,690. Single supplement £380 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,530.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Residenza di Ripetta (residenzadiripetta.com): recently renovated 4-star hotel in a former 17th-century convent just south of Piazza del Popolo, with spacious rooms. How strenuous? There is unavoidably a lot of walking. The historic area is vast, and vehicular access is restricted. Minibuses are used on some occasions but otherwise the city is traversed on foot. Fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 9 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

23–28 February 2016 (mc 578) 6 days • £2,740 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott 1–6 November 2016 (md 931) 6 days • £2,740 Lecturer: Dr Kevin Childs

Day 3. Visit the stunning collection of sculpture and painting in the Villa Borghese and 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.

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. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott and Dr Kevin Childs, both specialists in Renaissance Italian art. 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 of access or 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.

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Price in 2016: £2,770. Single supplement £510 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,550.

3–8 November 2015 (mc 519) 6 days • £2,670 Lecturer: Dr Kevin Childs

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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.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino. Day 2. 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. Michelangelo’s unfinished tomb of Pope Julius is in the church of S. Pietro in Vincoli.

The Vatican Library, wood engraving c. 1880. 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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Connoisseur’s Rome continued

Athens & Rome

Two most influential civilizations of the Western World italy

Day 4. Cisit the 16th-century Villa Medici (by special arrangement), now the seat of the French Academy. The Villa Madama (now used for diplomatic receptions), designed by Raphael and Antonio da Sangallo the Younger for Cardinal Giulio de’ Medici, is one of the most important, as well as most beautiful, of Italian Renaissance villas. The delightful Villa La Farnesina has frescoes by Raphael. Day 5. The 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 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.

Practicalities

3–10 October 2015 (mc 487) 8 days • £3,070 Lecturer: Professor Roger Wilson

Price in 2015: £2,670. Single supplement £330 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,460.

Two full days exploring Athens – the Acropolis, Agora and the city’s finest museums; and an excursion to the temple at Sounion.

Price in 2016: £2,740. Single supplement £330 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,560.

Three full days in and around Rome, and half a day in the city’s port, Ostia, almost as well preserved as Pompeii.

Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine.

Led by Professor Roger Wilson, Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire at the University of British Columbia.

Accommodation. Hotel Bernini Bristol (berninibristol.com): 5-star hotel excellently located on the Piazza Barberini. How strenuous? There is unavoidably a lot of walking. The historic area is vast, and vehicular access is restricted. Minibuses are used on some occasions but otherwise the city is traversed on foot. Fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 9 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Rome, Arch of Titus, watercolour by Alberto Pisa, publ. 1905.

Combine this tour, in February, with: Florence, 15–21 February (page 123); in November: Sicily, 7–19 November (page 139).

Gardens & Villas of Campagna Romana April 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

The civilizations of ancient Greece and Rome had an enormous impact on the shaping of modern Europe: this tour will focus on two key sites that remarkably preserve outstanding ancient remains that enable us still to appreciate today both the astonishing sophistication of ancient Greece and Rome and our continuing debt to them today. Athens has been the ‘capital’ of Greece only since 1834. In the fifth century bc this city enjoyed under the enlightened leadership of Pericles a cultural flourishing of incredible intensity, extraordinary versatility, superlative skill and remarkable originality. We will be looking in detail at three iconic fifth-century bc buildings on the Athenian acropolis, the Propylaea, the Parthenon and the Erechtheum, asking ourselves what makes these buildings so very special and why their impact has been so profound. Visits to the museum of the Athenian Acropolis and to the National Museum will enable us to appreciate the full gamut of Greek visual culture from its beginnings in the tenth century bc down into the Roman period. We will also visit the Theatre of Dionysus and in the Athenian marketplace (the Agora) we will be visiting the very birthplace of democracy, and seeing in its museum in the reconstructed Stoa

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of Attalus precious archaeological documents of that democracy in action. Rome, by contrast, from humble origins, grew to be a capital city of a million inhabitants at the centre of a far-flung empire. It too was blessed by architects and artists of genius, and inside another iconic building, the Pantheon, we will see how radically different from the Greek was the Roman approach to building, with an emphasis on an architecture of interior space and on the use of new materials. In the Forum Romanum and nearby we shall see monuments associated with some of the greatest figures of Roman history, such as Julius Caesar, Augustus and Constantine, while our visits to the emperors’ palace on the Palatine and Hadrian’s self-indulgent rural retreat in the countryside near Tivoli provide a glimpse of the luxurious lifestyles of the imperial family itself. The tour concludes with a visit to Rome’s harbour town of Ostia near the mouth of the Tiber, which better than anywhere else allows us to imagine what an entire Roman town in central Italy would have looked like in the second and third centuries ad.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Athens. Three nights here. Day 2: Athens. The Acropolis is the foremost site of Classical Greece. The Parthenon (built 447–438 bc) is indubitably the supreme achievement 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 3: Athens. The Agora was centre of civic life in ancient Athens, with the small Doric Hephaisteion, best-preserved of Greek temples. The 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. Day 4: Athens to Rome. Drive to the 5th-century Temple of Poseidon at Sounion, overlooking the sea at the southernmost tip of the Attic peninsula, visited by Byron in 1810. Fly at c. 3.30pm from Athens to Rome (Aegean Airlines), where four nights are spent. Day 5: Rome. Visit the Colosseum, the 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 visit the Capitoline Museums, which have important collections of ancient sculpture, and see the Pantheon, the most complete of Roman buildings to survive. Day 6: Tivoli, Rome. Drive to Tivoli to see Hadrian’s Villa, designed entirely by him and inspired by sites he visited during his travels in the Empire, undoubtedly the largest and most


The Etruscans Italy before Rome Professor of the Archaeology of the Roman Empire and Director of the Centre for the Study of Ancient Sicily at the University of British Columbia. Former posts include Professor of Archaeology at the University of Nottingham. His publications include Piazza Armerina and Sicily Under the Roman Empire.

26 September–2 October 2016 (md 873) 7 days • £2,020 Lecturer: Dr Nigel Spivey Visits some of the most important and bestpreserved Etruscan sites in Lazio, Tuscany and Umbria. Led by Dr Nigel Spivey, Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Cambridge.

See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Explores a remote part of Italy’s history, and areas of Italy’s heartland which few tourists reach.

lavish Roman country retreat anywhere in the Roman Empire. Lunch is in a good restaurant. In the afternoon, see the awesome bulk of the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla, the best preserved of the several bath complexes that Roman emperors constructed in Rome for the enjoyment of the Roman people.

‘The mysterious Etruscans’: for several centuries they flourished in the area between Rome and Florence, creating a federation of twelve cities and living in notorious splendour. Then, as the little village of Rome expanded into an empirebuilding Republic, the Etruscans succumbed, and were almost obliterated from history. Only since the nineteenth century has the extent of Etruscan civilization been brought to light, and the Etruscans restored as ‘true ancestors’ of modern Italy. Our route is an exploration of the best archaeological sites and museums in northern Lazio, southern Tuscany and along the Tyrrhenian coast. By burying their dead with care and extravagance in cemeteries laid out with urban grandeur, the Etruscans left many clues as to their existence. We follow their trail, which leads to tombs cut from cliffs and rocks amid rich agricultural land, museums in mediaeval castles and a ‘city of the dead’ shaped in volcanic stone. Brightly-painted scenes of feasting and dancing

Day 7: Rome. Morning visit to the church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, built on the site of the Baths of Diocletian. Palazzo Massimo, home to the majority of the National Roman Museum’s collection, contains wonderful Roman frescoes and stuccoes. In the afternoon, visit the Forum Romanum, the civic, religious and social centre of Ancient Rome, which has the remains of many structures famed throughout the Empire. Day 8: Ostia. Drive to Ostia, the ancient port of Rome, comparable to Pompeii for its state of preservation. Fly from Rome Fiumicino to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities

have been revealed on subterranean walls. This is a landscape riddled with tombs (about half a million of them), but the atmosphere is far from morbid. The tour offers an opportunity to visit a series of fascinating places on an itinerary that would challenge the independent traveller, journeying through beautiful countryside via some of the most charming and under-visited towns in Lazio and Tuscany. Dr Nigel Spivey has excavated at the sites of Cerveteri and Tuscania, both visited by the group, and studied Etruscology at Rome, Cambridge and Pisa for a dissertation on Etruscan vases.

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Professor Roger Wilson

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Rome Fiumicino. Drive to near Viterbo, where the first five nights are spent. Day 2: Tarquinia. The unesco site of the Necropoli dei Monterozzi, part of a once-thriving Etruscan city, has outstanding examples of painted tombs depicting everyday life and scenes of the journey to the next world. The charming but rarely visited town of Tarquinia has possibly the best Etruscan museum in Italy, housed in the splendid 15th-century Palazzo Vitelleschi. Its extensive collection of pottery, jewellery and carved sarcophagi is testament to the prosperity attained by Tarquinia over the course of the 7th and 6th centuries bc. In the afternoon visit Castel D’Asso, which has examples of cube tombs dating from the 4th century bc. Day 3: Tuscania. Prosperous and powerful in Etruscan times, Tuscania is now a pretty hill

Paintings from Cerveteri, wood engraving from Cities & Cemeteries of Etruria, 1878.

Price: £3,070. Single supplement £490 (double room for single occupancy). Price without international flights £2,890. Included meals: 2 lunches, 6 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Electra Palace Hotel, Athens (electrahotels.gr): smart hotel near the picturesque Plaka quarter. Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome (berninibristol.com): 5-star hotel excellently located on the Piazza Barberini.

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How strenuous? There is unavoidably a lot of walking, some of it over rough ground on archaeological sites, and there is quite a lot of standing in museums and archaeological sites. The historic areas of both cities are vast, and vehicular access is increasingly restricted. Minibuses or a coach are used on some occasions but otherwise the cities are traversed on foot. Average distance by coach per day: 26 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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The Etruscans continued

Pompeii & Herculaneum Antiquities of the Bay of Naples

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town. Visit an underground funerary complex in the surrounding countryside, then see articles found here and in other tombs in the area in the archaeological museum in Tuscania. In the afternoon visit the Etruscan museum in Viterbo. Day 4: Sovana. In the archaeological park at Sovana walk along one of the Etruscan roads, flanked by towering walls of tufaceous rock, and see several noteworthy tombs, including the Tomba della Sirena, decorated with a sculpture of the mythological Scylla. Continue to picturesque Pitigliano for lunch. Day 5: Orvieto. Drive inland to Orvieto, a major centre of Etruscan civilization until destroyed by the Romans in 264 bc. The inscriptions above the tomb doorways in the necropolis are some of the most important in Etruria for deciphering Etruscan writings. Much of the pottery found here is displayed in the town’s two archaeological museums. Day 6: Cerveteri, Rome. In the morning drive down the coast to the unesco site at Cerveteri, a city of necropoleis ranging from the hut-like to the sumptuous, based on the homes of the city’s wealthy inhabitants. Continue to Rome to the Villa Giulia; home to many treasures found in Etruscan tombs, including the Sarcophagus of the Spouses. Overnight Rome.

12–17 October 2015 (mc 484) 6 days • £2,040 Lecturer: Professor Roger Wilson

Day 7: Rome. Some free time. Fly from Rome, arriving London Heathrow at c. 5.00pm.

12–17 September 2016 (md 833) 6 days • £1,920 – flights not included Lecturer: Dr Mark Grahame

Practicalities Price: £2,020. Single supplement £160 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,810. Included meals: 5 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Alla Corte delle Terme, near Viterbo (allacortedelleterme.it): charming 4-star hotel in the countryside. All rooms are suites. Hotel Bernini Bristol, Rome (berninibristol. com): luxurious 5-star hotel at the bottom of the Via Veneto, on Piazza Barberini.

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Articles excavated at Pompeii, engravings from The Graphic, 1882.

How strenuous? Unavoidably there is a lot of walking on this tour, much of it over uneven ground. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Coaches cannot always park near the sites, many of which are vast. Average distance by coach per day: 65 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Malta, 3–9 October (page 144); Roman Algeria, 3–11 October (page 185); Ancient & Islamic Tunisia, 3–11 October (page 202).

Naples – Ar t, Antiquities, Opera March 2016 Details available in October 2015 Contact us to register your interest

25–30 April 2016 (mc 646) 6 days • £1,920 – flights not included Lecturer: Dr Mark Grahame

24–30 October 2016 (md 923) 7 days • £2,130 – flights not included Lecturer: Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves 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. New for October 2016 only: an extra day to spend more time exploring the vast site of Pompeii. 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.

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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 civilization is startling and unique.

Itinerary Day 1. In 2015, fly at c. 3.00pm from London Gatwick to Naples (British Airways). In 2016 flights are not included – see ‘Practicalities’. The coach departs Naples Airport following the arrival of the flight from London Gatwick at c. 3.00pm (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 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 exciting 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


Normans in the South

Castles & cathedrals in Puglia, Basilicata & Campania

Day 5: Herculaneum, Oplontis. At Herculaneum, engulfed by mud rather than ash, 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, replanted garden and swimming pool. Day 6 (October 2016 only): Pompeii. Return to the archaeological site for further exploration, including visits to some lesser-visited parts. The afternoon is free; an opportunity to visit Sorrento or the island of Capri. Final day: Naples. Naples Archaeological Museum 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. In 2015, fly from Naples to Gatwick, arriving c. 9.00pm. In 2016, drive to Naples Airport in time for the flight to London Gatwick, currently departing c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £2,040. Single supplement £220 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £1,800. Price in 2016: £1,920 (Apr/Sep), £2,130 (Oct). Single supplement £240 (Apr/Sep), £290 (Oct) (double room for single occupancy). Included meals: 2 picnic lunches and 3 dinners (4 in October 2016) with wine.

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. Led by John McNeill, a mediaevalist who has become an expert on the region. 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 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 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 pan-Mediterranean cultural history.

Trani, cathedral, from The Shores of the Adriatic: the Italian Side, 1906.

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Flights are not included in the price in 2016 as the only direct flights between London and Naples are with British Airways, who have refused to take group bookings on this route, or Easyjet, with whom we cannot make group bookings. We can book individual seats, quoting the fare at the time, or you can book independently. A transfer will be provided to link with the British Airways flights mentioned in the Itinerary; if you plan to arrive or depart at other times you would need to make your own way between the airport and the hotel and vice versa.

15–23 March 2016 (mc 599) 9 days • £2,590 Lecturer: John McNeill

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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.

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? A lot of walking, some of it over rough ground on archaeological sites, and a lot of standing. Sure-footedness is essential. The day(s) spent in Pompeii can be tiring. Average distance by coach per day: 70 miles.

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Normans in the South continued

“I loved every minute. Even though we visited many places we did not seem rushed – the pace was perfect.”

italy Castelmonte, lithograph after Edward Lear c. 1850.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.30am (Alitalia) from London City to Brindisi, via Rome, 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.

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Day 3: 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. Some free time. 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 of 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.

Practicalities

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.

Accommodation. Patria Palace Hotel, Lecce (patriapalacelecce.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 15th-century convent, although service and maintenance are not always up to North European standards. Grand Hotel Angiolieri, Seiano (grandhotelangiolieri.it): modern 5-star hotel in the village of Seiano, close to the town of Vico Equense.

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 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. Day 9: Sant’Angelo in Formis. The Basilica of S. Angelo in Formis has outstanding 11th-century frescoes. Fly from Rome to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.15pm.

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Price: £2,590. Single supplement £300 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,320. Included meals: 1 lunch and 5 dinners with wine.

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 Palermo Revealed, 8–13 March (page 141); Toledo & La Mancha, 7–13 March (page 167).


Sicily

Centre of Mediterranean civilizations

2–14 November 2015 (mc 518) 13 days • £4,130 Lecturer: Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves 4–16 April 2016 (mc 627) 13 days • £4,320 Lecturer: Dr Philippa Joseph 19 September–1 October 2016 (md 845) 13 days • £4,320 Lecturer: Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves 17–29 October 2016 (md 914) 13 days • £4,320 Lecturer: Professor Roger Wilson 7–19 November 2016 (md 939) 13 days • £4,240 Lecturer: Christopher Newall Covers all the island, showcasing the main sights and many lesser-known ones. The whole gamut – Ancient Greek, Roman, mediaeval (particularly Norman), Renaissance, Baroque and nineteenth-century. A full tour but carefully paced. Hotel changes kept to a minimum – only three hotels during the entire tour. Combine the September 2016 departure of this tour with Malta, 3–9 October 2016 (page 144).

cathedral with outstanding mosaics and an art gallery with a painting by Antonello da Messina. Day 4: Segesta, Selinunte. With its magnificently sited temple and theatre, Segesta is one of the most evocative of Greek sites. Selinunte, founded c. 650 bc, is a vast archaeological site, renowned for its picturesque temples and acropolis. Day 5: Agrigento. Spend a full day in Agrigento to see the ‘Valley of the Temples’, one of the finest of all ancient Greek sites with the virtually complete Temple of Concord, other ruins and a good museum. Day 6: Palermo. 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. Private visit to the Palatine Chapel, in the 12th-century Palace of the Normans. Day 7: Palermo, Piazza Armerina. In Palermo visit Castello della Zisa, an Arab-Norman Palace. Drive through the interior of Sicily. At Piazza Armerina are the remains of one of the most sumptuous villas of the late-Roman Empire, whose floor mosaics comprise the most vital and colourful manifestation of Roman figurative art in Europe. Continue across the island for the first of four nights in Taormina. Day 8: Taormina. Visit the famed Roman theatre, with spectacular views over the sea to Calabria and inland to Mount Etna, an active volcano. The rest of the day free: one of the earliest and still one of the most attractive of Mediterranean resorts, Taormina has an area of secluded beaches joined by cable car to the delightful hilltop town.

Itinerary Day 1: Palermo. November departures: fly at c. 7.30am from London Heathrow, via Milan or Rome, to Palermo (Alitalia). All other departures: fly at c. 2.45pm from London Gatwick to Catania, and drive across the island to Palermo (British Airways). The largest and by far the most interesting city on the island, Palermo has been 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 six nights in Palermo.

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By virtue of both size and location, Sicily is the pre-eminent island in the Mediterranean. It is the largest, and it is also close to the sea’s centre, a stepping stone between Europe and Africa and a refuge between the Levant and the Atlantic. The result is that throughout history Sicily has been 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 civilizations than any other of the world’s seas, the island has acquired an exceptionally rich encrustation of art, architecture and archaeological remains. For the Phoenicians, Sicily was an irresistible objective in the extension of their trading empire in the central Mediterranean, and from the eighth century bc exchanges of population took place between bases in the western and northern part of the island and Carthage. From about the same period Greeks from various points of origin in the Hellenic world established themselves in the east of the island and along the south coast. Competition for territory and trading rights between Phoenicians and Greeks, as well as cultural and commercial exchanges, took place for centuries until finally the Romans drove the Phoenicians off the island in the course of the Punic Wars in the late third century bc. The remnants of remarkable Doric temples, as well as military fortifications, built by the

Greek colonists survive in Selinunte, Agrigento and Syracuse, including in the two last places buildings which are extraordinarily intact. Great wealth accrued under Roman rule when the island was clothed in fields of corn, and endless oak forests and abundant fauna provided sport for grandees and emperors. One of them has bequeathed to us on the floor of his luxurious villa the most splendid Roman mosaics to have survived. Overrun by Germanic barbarians in the fifth century, Sicily was wrested back for the twilight of classical civilization by the Byzantines, but at the cost of military campaigns which devastated the island. Byzantine rule was in turn supplanted from the ninth century by Muslim Arabs, and a period of prosperity and advanced civilization ensued. Two hundred years later Arab rule was swept aside by conquering Normans, who, by succumbing to the luxuriant sophistication of their predecessors, distanced themselves as far as is imaginable from their rugged northern roots. The unique artistic blend of this golden age survives in the Romanesque churches with details of Norman, Saracenic, Levantine and classical origin. Byzantine mosaicists were much employed. The wealth and power of Sicily began to wane again from the later Middle Ages as a succession of German, French and Spanish dynasties exploited the island with colonial disregard for long-term interests, but pockets of wealth and creativity remained as Gothic and Renaissance masterpieces demonstrate. Artistically, however, a final flourish was reached in the Age of Baroque which saw the erection of churches and palaces as splendid and exuberant as anywhere in Europe. The raw beauty of the landscape changes continually across the island. The Sicilians can be as welcoming as Italians anywhere, but the island continues to retain its enigmas, and differences with the mainland sometimes seem profound.

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5–17 October 2015 (mc 475) 13 days • £4,320 Lecturer: Dr Philippa Joseph

Day 2: Palermo. Morning walk through the old centre includes a visit to several oratories and outstanding Norman buildings including La Martorana with fine mosaics. Drinks at a private palace, by special arrangement. In the afternoon see the collection of pictures in the 15th-century Palazzo Abatellis. Day 3: Monreale, Cefalù. 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. Cefalù, a charming coastal town, has a massive Norman

Palermo, Palatine Chapel, watercolour by Frank Fox, publ. c. 1910. 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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Sicily continued

“Excellent, very well thought out, a rich combination of the obvious places where people would want to go, combined with the unexpected.”

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Day 9: Messina, Reggio di Calabria. Drive north to Messina to see the art gallery with paintings by Caravaggio and Antonello da Messina. Cross by ferry to Reggio di Calabria on the mainland of Italy, and see the Riace Bronzes – over-life-size male nudes associated with Phidias and Polyclitus, among the finest Greek sculpture to survive.

(hotelromasiracusa.it): a somewhat basic but friendly 4-star hotel, excellently situated in the middle of the island of Ortygia OR Des Etrangers Hotel, Syracuse (all other departures) (desetrangers.com): an elegant 5-star hotel on the island of Ortygia. All rooms have sea views. How strenuous? 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. Some long coach journeys; average distance per day: 73 miles.

Day 10: Catania. Catania, along the coast from Taormina, has a fine Baroque centre. Here there are special visits to a private palazzo and a Byzantine chapel, where there is a light lunch. See also the cathedral and the Roman Theatre, where Alkibiades addressed the men of Catania to incite them to win the cause of Athens.

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 lowcost 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 April to October (these flights are also subject to confirmation).

Day 11: Syracuse. Founded as a Greek colony in 733 bc, Syracuse became the most important city of Magna Græcia. Afternoon walk on the island of Ortygia, the picturesque and densely built original centre of Syracuse, and see the Caravaggio painting in the church of Sta. Lucia alla Badia. First of two nights in Syracuse. Day 12: Noto, Syracuse. Rebuilt after an earthquake in 1693, Noto is one of the loveliest and most homogenous Baroque towns in Italy. Visit the 5th-century bc Greek theatre in Syracuse, the largest of its type to survive, as well as the stone quarries and the Roman amphitheatre. There is also time to visit the excellent museum of antiquities in Syracuse. Day 13. November departures: fly from Catania to London Heathrow, via Milan or Rome, arriving at c. 7.15pm. All other departures: fly from Catania, arriving London Gatwick at c. 11.00pm.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £4,320 (Oct.), £4,130 (Nov.). Single supplement £510 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £3,990 (Oct.), £3,900 (Nov.).

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Syracuse, engraving c. 1840.

Price in 2016: £4,320 (Apr., Sept. & Oct.), £4,240 (Nov.). Single supplement £560 (Apr., Sept. & Oct.), £520 (Nov.) (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £4,110 (Apr., Sept. & Oct.), £4,030 (Nov.). 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 familyrun hotel in the old town, with its own garden (rooms vary in size and outlook). Antico Hotel Roma 1880, Syracuse (November departures)

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Selinunte, steel engraving c. 1820 after a drawing by J. Woods. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Combine this tour, in April 2016, with: Gardens of Northern Portugal, 18–23 April (page 153); Lucca, 18–24 April (page 128); Granada & Córdoba, 18–25 April (page 172); Ancient & Islamic Tunisia, 18–26 April (page 202); Ravenna & Urbino, 20–24 April (page 119); in September 2016: Pompeii & Herculaneum, 12–17 September (page 136); Courts of Northern Italy, 2–9 October (page 116); Malta, 3–9 October (page 144); Roman Algeria, 3–11 October (page 185); Ancient & Islamic Tunisia, 3–11 October (page 202); The Western Balkans, 3–16 October (page 55); in October 2016: The Western Balkans, 3–16 October (page 55); Dark Age Brilliance, 9–16 October (page 118); Walking in Madeira, 31 October–5 November (page 154); in November 2016: Connoisseur’s Rome, 1–6 November (page 133); Venetian Palaces, 22–26 November (page 115).


Palermo Revealed

Art, archaeology & architecture in & around Sicily’s most fascinating city italy

8–13 March 2016 (mc 592) 6 days • £2,140 Lecturer: Dr Philippa Joseph A captivating city, richly encrusted with the art and architecture of many periods. Exclusive visits: dinner at one private palazzo and drinks at another, and see the outstanding Palatine Chapel in Palermo in the evening, outside public opening hours. Excursions to several other towns and sites in western Sicily, including the spectacular mosaics at Monreale and the monumental Norman cathedral in Cefalù. Led by Dr Philippa Joseph, whose current research examines late mediaeval and early modern society in Sicily.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.00am (Alitalia) from London City Airport to Palermo, via Milan. Overnight Palermo where all five nights are spent. Day 2: Palermo. A morning walk through the old centre includes a visit to several oratories. Visit

Palermo, detail from the mosaics in the Palatine Chapel, engraving c. 1880.

the Chiesa del Gesù, an extraordinary example of Palermitan Baroque with a profusion of marble inlay, stucco and sculpture. 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 San Cataldo, two outstanding Norman buildings. Dinner in a private palace. Day 3: Cefalù, a charming coastal town, has a massive Norman cathedral with outstanding mosaics and an art gallery with a painting by Antonello da Messina. 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 in Visconti’s The Leopard). Day 4: Monreale, Palermo. Monreale dominates a verdant valley southwest of Palermo, and its cathedral is one of the finest Norman churches with the largest scheme of mosaic direction to survive from the Middle Ages. In the afternoon visit Castello della Zisa, an Arab-Norman palace. Day 5: Palermo. Visit the 12th-century Palace of the Normans, containing the Hall of King Roger which has outstanding mosaics (sometimes subject to last-minute closure). 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. Return to the Palace of the Normans for a private visit to the Palatine Chapel. Day 6. Fly from Palermo to London Heathrow, via Rome, arriving c. 7.15pm. Please note that the tour departs from London City Airport and returns to London Heathrow.

Practicalities Price: £2,140. Single supplement £230 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,950. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine.

Dr Philippa Joseph For 20 years, Philippa published journals and books for learned societies in the humanities. She is now an independent lecturer and researcher, and reviews editor for History Today. Her research looks at societies in Andalucía and Sicily where Christian, Jewish, and Muslim cultures flourished, each building on a Classical past. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Flights. The flights offered on this tour are indirect via Milan and Rome with Alitalia as at the time of going to press there is no airline other than Ryanair that offers direct flights between London to Palermo at this time of year. Low-cost airlines do not offer viable booking conditions for tour operators arranging group travel. If you wish to fly directly we suggest that you book this independently. There are flights on Monday 7 March, London Stansted–Palermo (arriving the night before the tour starts), and on Sunday 13 March, Palermo–London Stansted. Please contact us for more information, or if you would like a quote for an extra hotel night before the tour and transfers to and from the airport. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa (piazzaborsa.it): a centrally located 4-star hotel housed in an assortment of historical buildings.

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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 island’s patrimony 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 themselves as far as is imaginable from their rugged northern roots. From a Palermo-based cosmopolitan court they ruled with efficiency and tolerance an affluent and cultured nation. 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 cathedrals at Cefalù and 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, enlightened local government has made Palermo cleaner, safer, and altogether more enjoyable than even a few years ago.

How strenuous? There is a lot of walking on this tour, and it would not be suitable for anyone who would difficulty with this, or with stairs. Average distance by coach per day: 24 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Venetian Palaces, 15–19 March (page 115); Normans in the South, 15–23 March (page 137). 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 Sicily

Food & wine in the west of Italy’s most fascinating island italy

19–25 October 2015 (mc 499) 7 days • £2,770 Lecturer: Marc Millon 24–31 October 2016 (md 924) 8 days • £2,930 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 traditional methods rather than haute cuisine. Led by Marc Millon, wine, food and travel writer, author of The Food Lover’s Companion to Italy. If Sicily’s history is a layer-cake of the different cultures that have colonised the island through the centuries, its food is no less complex. Citrus fruits and ices were brought there by the Arabs before the Middle Ages. Winemaking was introduced by the Phoenicians, and during the Roman era wheat turned the inland hillsides to gold. The magnificent landscape remains a key Monreale, Cathedral, German engraving c. 1870.

source of agricultural richness for the island: Trapani is today Europe’s most productive grapegrowing province. What Sicily offers more than any other Italian region is an unrivalled cornucopia of sun-ripened vegetables and fruits, many grown on volcanic soils for added intensity of flavour. The Sicilians cook these products in myriad, colourful ways: sweet and sour, hot and spicy, fresh and nutritious – Sicilian food is arguably more exciting than its northern counterparts. It is also a mix of old and new cultures. Pasta is handmade in unique shapes to accommodate vegetables, capers, herbs and the varied seafood that make up the Sicilian diet. Dessert lovers will be rewarded with some of the most delicious sweetmeats Italy has to offer: from the hollow cannolo filled with fresh ewe’s milk ricotta to elaborately decorated cassata cakes. As the tour travels across the Western part of the island we visit small producers of artisan foods, winemakers, home cooks and chefs alike, and do not ignore cultural sites that determine its key historical importance. Sample street food from market stalls in Palermo, the freshest seafood in the Mediterranean, and homeprepared dinners whose hospitable cooks will share their secrets with us. Walk in vineyards and olive groves, and around some of the finest archaeological sites on this ever-fascinating island. In Marsala, we’ll be the guests of one of Italy’s pioneer winemakers, who were responsible for relaunching the great wines of the south.

Itinerary in 2016 For the 2015 itinerary (which is one day shorter), contact us or visit www.martinrandall.com. 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.

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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. Day 4: Segesta. With its magnificently sited temple and theatre, Segesta is one of the most evocative of Greek sites. Stop for lunch and a wine-tasting at a superb winery nearby before returning to Palermo.

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Day 5: Erice. Depart Palermo for Erice, a mediaeval town perched on a high hill, which book online at www.martinrandall.com

boasts spectacular views on a fine day 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, Samperi. A morning tour of Marsala, including a visit to 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. In the afternoon visit the De Bartoli wine estate, famous for the revival and revaluation of traditional Marsala wine made by age-old traditional methods. 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. Day 8. Fly from Palermo to London City Airport, via Milan, arriving at c. 7.15pm. 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. Alternatively, choose to take the tour without flights and book independently with Easyjet or Ryanair, both of whom fly 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.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £2,770. Single supplement £220 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,470. Price in 2016: £2,930. Single supplement £260 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,710. Included meals: 4 lunches and 5 dinners (or 4 dinners in 2015) with wine. Accommodation. Grand Hotel Piazza Borsa, Palermo (piazzaborsa.it): centrally located 4-star hotel housed in an assortment of historical buildings. Hotel Carmine, Marsala (hotelcarmine.it): small and charming 3-star hotel, with occasionally erratic service. 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. In 2016, combine this tour with Connoisseur’s Rome, 1–6 November (page 133); Essential Rome, 1–7 November (page 132); Florence & Venice, 2–9 November (page 125).


Walking in Eastern Sicily Crater & coast: in the footsteps of history

Six walks of between 3 and 8 km through immensely varied scenery, from the lava fields of Etna to salt lake flats along the coast. Much of archaeological interest, as well as visits to Syracuse, the greatest of western Greek cities, and to the Baroque city of Noto. Led by Christopher Newall, who is is an art historian and expert on Sicily.

punctuate this landscape, highlighting the importance of sea-faring trade in this part of Sicily. Fifteenth-century merchants in Noto shipped carob, grain and almonds from the port of Vendicari, and until the 1940s tuna was caught and tinned here. These walks have been chosen to make the most of the protected parks in Sicily, thus helping efforts to restore, waymark and maintain the paths in this remarkably unspoilt land on the edge of Europe.

Itinerary Day 1. Leave from Catania airport following the arrival of the flight from London Gatwick (British Airways), currently c. 6.45pm (flights are not included – see Practicalities). Drive to Syracuse in time for a late light supper. First of three nights on the island of Ortygia. Day 2: Vendicari Nature Reserve, Syracuse. Drive south to the salt lagoons and nature reserve at Vendicari for a level walk along the sandy paths, c. 5 km. Visit the Villa Romana del Tellaro, where a small but superb set of Roman mosaics depicting scenes of hunting has been beautifully restored at this former masseria. Return to Syracuse to see some of the highlights of sculpture and ceramics from Sicily’s Greek colonies in the excellent Archaeological Museum.

Christopher Newall Art historian, lecturer and writer. A specialist in 19thcentury British art, he also has a deep interest in the architecture, politics and social history of southern Italy. 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 pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Drive north to Taormina, where the next four nights are spent. Day 5: Taormina, Castello Saraceno. A moderate circular walk of 5 km starts from the hotel on a paved path, and continues uphill to near the Castello Saraceno on steps. Perched on the hilltop at 400m above sea level, and thought to be the site of the lower part of Tauromenion’s Acropolis, the apex of the walk offers spectacular views of the town and Ionic coast. Visit Taormina’s GreekRoman theatre and the small Roman Odeon.

Day 3: Syracuse, Noto. Visit the 5th-century bc Greek theatre, stone quarries and Roman amphitheatre in Syracuse’s Archaeological Park. Then a short walk (c. 3 km) exploring the Greek ruins at Palazzolo Acreide. Visit Noto, one of the loveliest and most harmonious Baroque towns.

Day 6: Mount Etna, Piano Provenzana. Lessvisited and less-well known than the southern slopes, Etna’s northern flank nonetheless provides plenty of interest and atmosphere. A moderate circular walk (c. 5 km) on the lava fields from the great eruptions of 2002 with a local volcanologist allows time to appreciate what was known as Mongibello, mountain of mountains. Lunch at a rustic restaurant, before returning to Taormina.

Day 4: Pantalica Nature Reserve. Today’s walk of c. 8 km takes place in Pantalica, where a series of paths within this spectacular reserve follow the Anapo river bed and former railway lines, or meander high along the plateaux; water levels in the river and local conditions determine the exact length of the walk. There is a challenging downhill section which requires sure-footedness.

Day 7: Forza d’Agrò. An unspoilt village with panoramic views of the Peloritani mountains and Etna, Forza d’Agrò is the starting point for a 8 km countryside walk, reaching 547m above sea level. It follows shepherds’ tracks through olive groves and terraces; some terrain is very uneven on this path and requires sure-footedness. Return to Taormina for a tasting of some Sicilian wines. 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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Sicily, the Mediterranean’s largest island, is well chronicled in history and literature as one of the most fascinating destinations in Europe. Her archaeological and historical sites delight visitors, but fortunately few of them explore the hugely varied landscapes on foot. Locals rarely indulge in country walking, and shepherds met on mountain paths are aghast that people choose to walk for a holiday. Yet walking can provide the key to understanding and appreciating this intoxicating island. We have included walks that are relatively unknown and countryside that is not easily accessible, but keeping in mind the principles of travelling less and seeing more, we hope to have designed an itinerary giving a fuller flavour of what Sicily can really offer. Mount Etna, peaking as Europe’s highest active volcano at nearly 11,000 feet, and sitting within a designated regional park covering 224 square miles, demands attention but also respect. Volcanologists venture perilously close to the crater’s lip in the name of research, but for hikers there are remarkably varied and interesting paths to explore on the northern flank. The distinctive climate and volcanic soils nurture a plethora of wild flowers, with orchids flourishing in both spring and late autumn. On the lower slopes, areas that were once covered with holm oak are now cultivated for citrus fruits and for wine, intensely flavoured reds and whites that are garnering approval throughout Italy and beyond. Above these, at 6,500 feet, Europe’s southernmost beech trees are thriving, as are birch, considered an endemic species. Another thousand feet and the thorny shrub known locally as spino santo (Astragalus siculus) covers the ground, and mountain flowers such as senecio, violets and cerastium flourish. Twenty miles inland from Syracuse is the ten-square-mile Pantalica Nature Reserve, set on a plateau with gorges plunging through the limestone to the Anapo and Calcinara river valleys. It contains what is thought to be Europe’s most extensive open-air necropolis, where the earliest rock tombs can be dated to the thirteenth century bc. Later civilisations have also left their mark; the faint frescoed walls in an almosthidden cave church have lasted remarkably well in this somewhat harsh environment. A coastal walk alongside the salt-water lagoons of the Vendicari Nature Reserve provides another category of experience. The pantani are a haven for birds, and with luck flamingos can be spotted in all seasons. Mediaeval watchtowers, an old tonnaro (tuna cannery) and a fishery

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Tourists inspecting Mount Etna, engraving c. 1830.

11–18 April 2016 (mc 630) 8 days • £2,340 – flights not included Lecturer: Christopher Newall

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Walking in Eastern Sicily continued

Malta

World heritage Malta, from Neolithic to now italy, latvia, lithuania, malta

Day 8: Catania. Free morning in Taormina. Drive along the coast to Catania, with a fine Baroque centre. Visit the cathedral, Roman theatre and a private palazzo. Drive to Catania Airport in time for the flight to London Gatwick, currently departing c. 7.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,340. Single supplement £390 (double room for single occupancy). Flights are not included in the cost of the tour as the only direct routes between London and Sicily in this period are with British Airways, who have refused to sell seats for groups on this route. However we can book flights individually, quoting the fare at the time of booking, or you can make the booking yourself. Various low-cost airlines also offer direct flights, which we can also book on your behalf but you would have to make your own way from and back to the airport. Included meals: 3 lunches (of which two are picnics) and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Des Etrangers Hotel, Syracuse (desetrangers.com): elegant 5-star hotel on the island of Ortygia. Rooms have sea views. Hotel Villa Belvedere, Taormina (villabelvedere.it): 4-star, charming, family-run hotel in the old town with a garden (rooms vary in size and outlook). How strenuous? This tour should only be considered by those who are used to country walking with some uphill content. Strong knees and ankles are essential, as are a pair of well-worn hiking boots with good ankle support. Walks have been carefully selected but some steep rises are unavoidable and terrain can be loose underfoot, particularly in wet weather. One walk has a challenging downhill section requiring sure-footedness and good balance. The walk on Etna involves walking at an altitude of c. 1,800 metres above sea level for c. 5 km. There are six walks of between 3 and 8 km. Average distance by coach per day: 34 miles. Group size: between 10 and 18 participants. Combine this tour with Andalusian Morocco, 1–9 April (page 198); Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes, 21–27 April (page 106); Ravenna & Urbino, 20–24 April (page 119).

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Latvia

Riga Opera Festival June 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest The Baltic Countries, 24 July–6 August 2016 with Neil Taylor: see page 63.

Valletta, the marina, steel engraving c. 1850.

5–11 October 2015 (mc 490) This tour is currently full 3–9 October 2016 (md 883) 7 days • £2,290 Lecturer: Juliet Rix A wonderful exploration of this fascinating, diverse island. A visit to some of the world’s earliest stone temples, amongst a concentration of other astonishing major historic sites. Led by award winning journalist Juliet Rix, author of the definitive guide to Malta (Bradt Guide: Malta & Gozo) and expert on the area. Visit the rural and picturesque Gozo Island, with stunning natural features. Malta has an extraordinary 7000-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 temples were built between 3600 and 2500 bc – they are megalithic architecture constructed 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. 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.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Each occupier has left its mark from RomanByzantine catacombs to British red letter boxes. The Knights of St John Hospitaller, commonly referred to as ‘The Knights of Malta’ have, of course, left the greatest impression. 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 nearimpregnable 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 twenty–first century 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.

Itinerary Day 1: Valletta. Fly at c. 11.00am 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. Day 2: Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Ghar Lapsi. Drive through attractive countryside to the prehistoric temples overlooking the sea, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. In the afternoon, see the ancient trackworks, Clapham Junction cart ruts. Day 3: Valletta. The morning is spent in the National Museum of Archaeology, home of the unique ‘Fat Ladies of Malta’ and other original


Valletta Baroque Festival

Music & art in the heart of the Mediterranean 19–26 January 2016 (mc 560) 8 days • £2,580 (including tickets to 5 performances) Lecturer: Juliet Rix

Day 4: Paola, Valletta. In Paola, the Hal Saflieni Hypogeum (2016 only) 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.

Guided tours of Malta’s principal archaeological and architectural treasures.

Baroque music in one of the most complete and compact of Baroque cities. World-class musicians include La Serenissima, Mahan Esfahani and Collegium Vocale Gent.

Practicalities

Itinerary

Price: £2,290. Single supplement £320 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,110.

Day 1: Valletta. Fly at c. 11.30am (Air Malta), London Heathrow to Malta, and drive to Valletta.

Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine.

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 Neolithic Temples. Free time and dinner. Concert at the Teatru Manoel with the Malta Philharmonic Orchestra and Mahan Esfahani (harpsichord): music by Poulenc and Gorecki.

Day 6: Mdina, Rabat, Mosta. 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. Afternoon drive to Mosta with the third largest dome in Europe.

Accommodation. Hotel Phoenicia, Valletta (phoeniciamalta.com): deluxe 5-star hotel, furnished with style and character, the best in the town. Situated 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 itself is also relatively hilly. Average distance by coach per day: 15 miles. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants. In 2016, combine this tour with Sicily, 19 September–1 October (page 139); The Etruscans, 26 October–2 November (page 135); Ravenna & Urbino, 28 September–2 October (page 119); Palladian Villas, 11–16 October (page 112).

Illustration top right: angel by Vittore Carpaccio (c. 1455/65–1526).

cathedral and Sicilo-Norman houses. Lunch in the citadel with homemade Gozitan food. Day 5: Valletta, Ta’ Qali. Some free time in the morning followed by a concert with the Valletta International Baroque ensemble. Visit a Maltese wine estate and try a selection of local wines. Day 6: Hagar Qim, Mnajdra, Marsaxlokk, Valletta. Drive through attractive countryside to the prehistoric temples overlooking the sea, Hagar Qim and Mnajdra. Lunch in the picturesque fishing village of Marsaxlokk. Evening concert at the Teatru Manoel with La Serenissima: Vivaldi, ‘The Four Seasons’. Day 7: Valletta. Guided tours of the Manoel Theatre and the Co-Cathedral of St John, with lavish carved wall decoration, ceiling paintings, magnificent tombs and two paintings by Caravaggio. Private tour of the Casa Rocca Piccola, 16th-century palazzo owned by the Marquis de Piro. Concert with Collegium Vocale Gent, Phillipe Herreweghe (conductor): Cantatas by Bach and Buxtehude. Day 8: Vittoriosa. Cross the Grand Harbour by boat (weather permitting) to see churches, forts, and the World War II museum in Vittoriosa. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,580. Single supplement £180 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,420. Included meals: 4 dinners, 5 lunches, with wine. Music: 5 tickets are included, costing c. £200.

Day 3: 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. Some free time. Concert with La Compagnia del Madrigale: a Gesualdo 450th Anniversary Concert (madrigals).

Accommodation. Hotel Phoenicia, Valletta (phoeniciamalta.com): deluxe 5-star hotel just outside the city gates. Furnished with style and character, it is the best in Valletta.

Day 4: Gozo. Cross by ferry to the more rural 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,

Combine this tour with: The Wihan Quartet, 15–17 January (page 45); Music in Paris, 30 January–4 February (page 73).

How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour, some of it over rough ground. Valletta itself is also relatively hilly. Average distance by coach per day: 12 miles.

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Day 7: Vittoriosa. Cross the Grand Harbour by boat, to see churches, forts, and the World War II museum in Vittoriosa. Fly to London Heathrow arriving at 7.30pm.

Malta is a highly apposite setting for the performance of Baroque music. During the Baroque 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, Piccini and Galuppi. Other buildings hosting concerts 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 position on one of the world’s greatest natural harbours, and the fine buildings which still dominate the city, make it a splendid location in which to hear the music of Bach, Vivaldi and their contemporaries.

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, amongst the oldest of Malta’s prehistoric monuments. The chief town is Victoria, which has a citadel, cathedral, museum and Sicilo-Norman houses. Fungus Rock, Gharb and Ramla Bay are all of geological, historical and mythical interest respectively.

malta

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.

Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

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Ar t in the Netherlands Rembrandt, Vermeer, Van Gogh montenegro, the netherlands

4–10 October 2015 (mc 488) This tour is currently full 8–14 May 2016 (mc 672) 7 days • £2,570 Lecturer: Dr Sophie Oosterwijk 2–8 October 2016 (md 884) 7 days • £2,570 Lecturer: Dr Guus Sluiter A study of Dutch art, following the re-opening of the Rijksmuseum, the Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art. Features artists of the seventeenth-century Golden Age (Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer), Van Gogh and other major figures. Led by art historians specialising in Netherlandish and Dutch art. Also architecture and design from mediaeval to modern, and several highly picturesque historic town centres. The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, one of the world’s great museums, closed for major refurbishment for over ten years, reopening in 2013 and finally allowing us to offer comprehensive art history tours to the Netherlands once again. The Van Gogh Museum and the Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art have also recently re-opened, to great acclaim. 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.

Itinerary Day 1: Haarlem. Fly at midday (British Airways) from London Heathrow Airport to Amsterdam Schiphol. 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, where all six nights are spent. 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 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.

Vermeer, ‘The Music Maker’ (detail), wood engraving c. 1880.

Day 3: The Hague. The Mauritshuis at Den Haag contains a superb collection of paintings including masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. Exhibited in the Gemeentemuseum are 19th-century Hague School paintings, the realist milieu from which Van Gogh emerged, and works by the pioneer abstractionist Mondriaan. Visit the illusionistic Mesdag panorama and the centre of the city, seat of the court and parliament. 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: Gouda, Utrecht. Gouda is an exceptionally pretty town with an elaborate town hall of c. 1450 and a large Gothic church, Sint-Janskerk, with 16th-century stained glass, the finest of its era. Utrecht is one of the best-preserved historic cities in the Netherlands, with 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 6: Amsterdam. Return to Amsterdam. The Museum Willet-Holthuysen is a canalside patrician’s house furnished as in the 18th century, while the Hermitage Museum has an excellent exhibition on group portraits of the Golden Age until the end of 2016. There is free time in the afternoon 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 Schiphol and return to Heathrow at c. 4.30pm. We sometimes change the visits on this itinerary to take advantage of temporary exhibitions.

Practicalities MAINLAND EUROPE

Price in 2016: £2,570. Single supplement £380. Price without flights £2,420. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. The Grand Hotel Karel V, Utrecht (karelv.nl): quiet 5-star hotel converted from a 19th-cent. hospital 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 stairs. Average distance by coach per day: 70 miles. Group size: between 10 and 20 participants.

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In Montenegro: The Western Balkans, departures in October & May with David Gowan: see page 55. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Combine this tour, in May 2016, with: Opera in Berlin, 1–6 May (page 81); in October 2016: Berlin, Potsdam, Dresden, 22–30 September (page 86).


Rijksmuseum & Mauritshuis Art in Amsterdam, Haarlem & The Hague

19–22 June 2016 (mc 721) 4 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Dr Guus Sluiter Painting of the Dutch Golden Age – Frans Hals, Rembrandt, Vermeer and contemporaries – as well as art of other eras.

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 the Museum WilletHolthuysen, a patrician’s house and garden furnished as in the 18th century, 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.

Practicalities Price: £1,790. Single supplement £290 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,630. Supplement for combining with The Seine Music Festival: £250 (per person, two sharing), £370 (double for single use). This includes 1st class rail ticket, Amsterdam to Paris, a transfer to the hotel and one night in the hotel in Paris.

the netherlands

5–8 June 2016 (mc 709) 4 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Dr Sophie Oosterwijk

Plenty of time for the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam which reopened in 2013 as Europe’s best-displayed national gallery. 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 19–22 June departure can be combined with The Seine Music Festival – see page 70.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.00 midday (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Amsterdam. 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. Day 2. With its concentric rings of canals and 17th-century merchants’ mansions, Amsterdam

Amsterdam, Town Hall, engraving 1809.

Day 3. The Hermitage has an excellent exhibition, The Portrait Gallery of the Golden Age, until the end of 2016. The Royal Palace, formerly the town hall, was decorated by the 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. Day 4. Opened in June 2014 after long closure for refurbishment, the Mauritshuis at The Hague ‘looks set to become northern Europe’s most alluring small museum’ (Jackie Wullschlager, Financial Times). The superb collection includes masterpieces by Rembrandt and Vermeer. The Gemeentemuseum has 19th-century Hague School paintings, the realist milieu from which Van Gogh emerged, and works by the pioneer abstractionist Mondriaan. Fly from Amsterdam to Heathrow, arriving at c. 6.00pm. Those combining the second departure of this tour with The Seine Music Festival can opt to take the train from Amsterdam to Paris on 22nd June, and spend one extra night in Paris before the start of the festival on 23rd June.

Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Estheréa (estherea.nl): centrally located 4-star hotel in a historic building with colourful, comfortable rooms. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing in museums, and the 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 the first departure with Turner & the Sea, 12–17 June (page 40); second departure: The Seine Music Festival, 23–30 June (page 70); A Festival of Music in Suffolk, 13–16 June (page 22).

Dutch & Flemish Ar t

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The Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam is one of the world’s great museums, but it was largely closed for ten years until 2013. Planned extension and refurbishment hit a number of unexpected snags, but the new Rijksmuseum 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, and significant international collections as well. There are two visits to the museum, and Amsterdam’s other main galleries and historic buildings are included as well as city centre walks through the enchanting streetscape and beside the canals. To enlarge upon the theme, two key galleries in other towns are 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 benefitting from brilliant re-display, form one of the richest small collections anywhere.

October 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest 147

We sometimes change the visits on this itinerary to take advantage of temporary exhibitions. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Historic Dutch Organs

Three centuries of outstanding instruments the netherlands

4–9 July 2016 (mc 745) 6 days • £2,310 Lecturers: James Johnstone & Dr Sophie Oosterwijk Private recitals and demonstrations on fifteen outstanding historic instruments of the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. Performances and explanations by James Johnstone in collaboration with local organists. Co-led by Dr Sophie Oosterwijk, an expert on the Middle Ages, Netherlandish and Dutch art. Most of the organs are in magnificent Gothic churches in highly attractive towns and villages. Perhaps something is lost in translation, but ‘Land of Organs’ is not the most alluring of epithets. It’s what the Dutch (or a fairly specific segment of the Dutch population) call their own country. The fact is that there is probably a greater density of top quality historic organs here than anywhere else. Moreover, in the last few decades the Dutch have probably been world leaders in the restoration of historic instruments, as well as in the building of new ones. The consequence is that there is an impressive number of sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth-century instruments which are in good working order and whose sound is probably very close to the original.

This tour is an organ-lover’s paradise. Fifteen instruments (give or take: a chamber organ might be added, a funeral might take away another) are seen and heard and explained. A leading specialist in performance on early instruments, James Johnstone, who studied in the Netherlands, leads the tour, and a number of Dutch organists contribute as well. Participants hear the styles and capabilities of three hundred years of musical enterprise and ambition, and are exposed to various regional and personal styles of organ building. The instruments are located in mediaeval churches which are mostly voluminous, often architecturally very fine indeed and are all distinctly Dutch in a way that is familiar from the paintings of Saenredam and De Witte. The characteristic chasteness of decoration, however, ceases with the glorious burst of sculpture and architectonic joinery of the organ cases covering the west wall. The cities, towns and villages in which the churches are located are, at the very least, charming, and often much more. Dating in large part from the period of greatest prosperity, with characteristic gabled brick buildings alongside the ubiquitous canals, their descent into backwater status until relatively recently preserved them wonderfully. Striking is the absence of unsightly industrial or high-rise suburbs. Countryside is properly rural, despite the high density of population, and intensely alluring despite the lack of elevation.

Alkmaar, Market Place, engraving c. 1880.

Itinerary At the time of going to print not all organ recitals were confirmed. Day 1: Leiden. Fly at midday from London Heathrow to Amsterdam Schiphol (British Airways). Drive to Leiden, one of the best preserved and most appealing old cities in Holland (the birthplace of Rembrandt). The vast Gothic Pieterskerk (Church of St Peter) has a Hagerbeer organ of 1643, enormous for its date and fulsome in sound. Continue to Haarlem where the first two nights are spent. Day 2: Alkmaar, Haarlem. Morning excursion to Alkmaar in North Holland. The Grote Kerk Sint Laurens has two important organs. That of 1511 is one of the oldest functioning organs in the world, the other is another by Hagerbeer (1637). Back in Haarlem, hear the instrument in the small, architecturally classical Nieuwe Kerk. The church of St Bavo (1370–1538) is one of the grandest in the Netherlands and retains many pre-Reformation furnishings. For a while the organ by Christian Müller (1738) was the world’s largest, and it remains one of the most soughtafter historic instruments. Day 3: Oosthuizen, Edam, Harlingen. The organ in the church in the village of Oosthuizen is an exceptional survival from the beginning of the sixteenth century and earlier. The former port of nearby Edam, stunted by the silting of the Zuiderzee, is a delightful little town with an outsize church in which there is a 1663 organ by Barent Smidt (known as ‘Father Smith’ when he emigrated to England). Cross the 1930s causeway between North Holland and Friesland to hear the organ in the Grote Kerk at Harlingen, built by the great Dutch master A. A. Hinsz in 1781. First of two nights in Groningen.

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Day 4: Leens, Uithuizen, Groningen. Towards the north coast of the province of Groningen there are two fine organs. Leens is but a village but possesses a fully-vaulted Romanesque church with a well-preserved instrument by Hinsz of 1734. The slightly larger community of Uithuizen has an organ of 1700 by Arp Schnitger from Hamburg, one of the most influential and productive of organ builders. Free afternoon in Groningen, a lively university city. Public evening recital (subject to confirmation of the summer recital series) in the Martinikerk on a magnificent Schnitger instrument of 1692, modified by his son Frans Casper and the young Hinsz 40 years later. Day 5: Kampen, Zutphen. Kampen is a delightful little town beside the River Ijssel. The very fine, and very large, Gothic Bovenkerk has an outstanding organ by Hinsz of 1743. Break for lunch in the nearby Zwolle, equally historic and attractive. Zutphen has one of the loveliest and best preserved old city centres in the country. The Gothic church of St Walburga has one of the three remaining chained libraries in Europe and a organ by Heinrich Bader of 1639, famous for its brilliant sound and one of the largest of its time. Overnight Utrecht.

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Norway: Ar t, Architecture, Landscape the netherlands, norway

James Johnstone Organist specialising in the Baroque and Professor of early keyboards at Guildhall School of Music & Drama and Trinity Laban. He has performed and recorded as a soloist, with the Gabrieli Consort & Players and with Florilegium and he re-formed the chamber group Trio Sonnerie. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

“It was great fun to share the tour and holiday atmosphere with several like-minded individuals; a memorable occasion.” Day 6: Amsterdam. Travel to the capital where the Nieuwe Kerk houses two organs, one 16thand one 17th-century, and hear the Müller organ in the Waalse Kerk. Fly from Schiphol, arriving London Heathrow c. 7.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,310. Single supplement £290 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,130. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Amrâth Grand Hotel Frans Hals, Haarlem (amrathhotels.nl/franshals): modern 4-star hotel, comfortable, unpretentious, welcoming and located 200m from St Bavo. Prinsenhof Hotel, Groningen (prinsenhofgroningen.nl): 4-star hotel close to the main church, opened in 2012 in a sequence of historic buildings converted with taste and restraint. Excellent restaurant. Hotel Karel V, Utrecht (karelv.nl): 5-star hotel converted from a 19thcentury hospital in a quiet location within the city walls.

Group size: between 18 and 32 participants.

20–28 June 2016 (mc 724) 9 days • £3,870 Lecturer: Dr Frank Høifødt A tour which ties together the drama of the landscape with the architecture, art and design. A great tradition of Norwegian modernism with buildings by Sverre Fehn, Arne Korsmo, Snøhetta and Lund & Slaatto. Wide range of museums and galleries from the Viking Ship Museum in Oslo to the glacier museum in Mundal; Fine Arts in Bergen and the Hedmark in Hamar. Journeys of immense beauty by rail and boat. Special arrangements include visits to private villas, a ferry chartered for our group and a talk by the curator of the National Museum of Architecture. For most of the twentieth century, the legend of Scandinavian art, design and architecture grew and grew; an austerely simple yet humane design effortlessly in harmony with nature. Yet somehow Norway was never part of this. Facing the North Atlantic it seemed distant, more attuned to the brilliant melancholy of Grieg, Ibsen and Munch. But that is only a part of the story, and this tour combines landscape, art and design to give a fuller sense of Norway’s extraordinary beauty and creativity. In the folds of the fjords there have always been some of the most remarkable wooden buildings and towns – and boats – in Europe, while already in the 1930s Arne Korsmo’s

beautiful villas above Oslofjord showed a particular Norwegian modernism. In the last two generations, bolstered by the extraordinary, well-invested wealth of their oil reserves, the Norwegians have set about designing a society to match the beauty of their setting, and place them at the forefront of contemporary design. We begin in Oslo, which in the last few years has become one of Europe’s most civilized and elegant cities, now crowned by Snøhetta’s astonishing Opera House. Its sheltered location and wide bourgeois streets could not contrast more than with the drama of Bergen and its dense wooden Hansa Bryggen where we end. However, both cities host great collections of paintings that show the fine eye and great skill with which Norwegians have observed their milieu. As with everywhere else in Norway, water dominates. In fact the story of Norwegian design really begins with our visit to the Viking longboats and continues at the Urnes stave church which overlooks the bucolic Sognefjord two hundred miles inland. We travel there from Oslo on one of the most beautiful train journeys imaginable, and then sail across the fjord to the beguiling timber Hotel Mundal. We leave for Bergen again by boat, following the fjord to the Atlantic. It is in the tiny town of Mundal, lying in the shadow of Norway’s largest glacier, that Sverre Fehn built his ‘Bremuseum’ (glacier museum). Fehn, who died in 2009, produced an architecture of intelligence and poetry that has made him the subject of veneration unmatched since Alvar Aalto. His Hedmark museum in Hamar, one of the most significant interpretations of an historic site in Europe, is simply extraordinary. 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? Unavoidably, there is quite a lot of walking involved, and the tour would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Coaches cannot get close to many of the churches. Average distance by coach per day: 59 miles.

Norwegian landscape, after an early-20th-century painting.

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Norway: Ar t, Architecture, Landscape continued

norway

Day 6: Mundal, Urnes. Mundal is a pretty village tucked between glacier, mountain and water. Here, sitting as if a terminal moraine, is Fehn’s glacier museum (1991), a complex building responding to the dramatic landscape. Drive to the village of Solvorn, from where we embark to Urnes. Walk up to the stave church, among the oldest and most celebrated in Norway, with carvings dating to the 12th century. Its beautiful orchard setting is on a promontory above Lustrafjord (a branch of the Sognefjord) with views north and south. Day 7: Mundal to Bergen. The morning is free to visit Mundal’s church and Hay-on-Wye-style bookstalls, or to walk or cycle round the fjord. Lunch in the hotel before boarding the ferry to Balestrand (1 hour 30 minutes) connecting then to the boat along Sognefjord to the Atlantic and Bergen, a route taken by many a British tourist in the 19th century (c. 3 hours 45 minutes). Arrive at the hotel in Bergen c. 9.00pm.

Oslo, lithograph c. 1890 after a drawing by Gotorbe.

Itinerary Day 1: Oslo. Fly at c. 10.15am from London Heathrow to Oslo (British Airways). Lateafternoon walk through the city (Royal Palace, University, Parliament) to the new waterfront developments by Niels Torp and others. The latest addition here is Renzo Piano’s contemporary art gallery. First of four nights in Oslo. Day 2: Oslo. Begin with the National Gallery, a small but fine collection of Norwegian art including a room dedicated to Edvard Munch. Walk to two buildings by Sverre Fehn: Gyldendal

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Opera in Copenhagen & Oslo June 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

Bergen Music Festival May 2016 Details available in January 2016 Contact us to register your interest

publishing house (2007) and the National Museum of Architecture (2008). Talk here by the senior curator. Continue by coach to Snøhetta’s glacial waterfront opera house (2008). End on Bygdøy – museum island – at the magnificent Viking Ship Museum. Day 3: Hamar, Oslo. Drive north to the ancient city of Hamar, beautifully sited on the shores of Lake Mjøsa. Here is Fehn’s greatest work, the Hedmark Museum and Bishop’s Palace (1967–79). See also the adjacent ruins of Hamar Cathedral, now housed in a ‘crystal palace’ by Lund & Slaatto (1998). Back in Oslo, visit the chthonic church of St Hallvard with its inverted dome and rugged brickwork – an earlier work by Lund & Slaatto. Day 4: Oslo. Residential Oslo is represented today with visits (by special arrangement) to two exquisite modernist villas by Arne Korsmo: the Villa Stenersen (1938) and the Villa Dammann (Korsmo with Sverre Aasland, 1932). High above the city the Holmenkollen ski jump is a new landmark (JDS, 2010) with magnificent views. Return to the centre for some free time. Suggestions include taking the ferry to Bygdøy, home to Kon-Tiki, or visiting the Åkerhus (fortress) and Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art. Day 5: Oslo to Mundal. Spend the day travelling into the Western Fjords – a journey of considerable drama and beauty. Train at c. 8.30am train from Oslo, disembarking at Myrdal, a remote junction high above the Raundal Valley (journey time: c. 4 hours 45 minutes). Here join the famed Flåm railway, a spectacular fiftyminute descent to the shores of the Aurlandsfjord. The final leg is by boat (private charter) from Flåm to Mundal at the very end of Fjaerlandfjord. Walk to our hotel, a handsome villa built 1891 by Peter Blix. Two nights in Mundal.

book online at www.martinrandall.com

Day 8: Bergen. A lively port of immense charm flanked by wooded hills. Walk along the boardwalks of the Bryggen, the colourful mediaeval merchants’ quarter and home to the Hanseatic Museum. Ride the funicular train up Mount Fløyen for spectacular views. Continue to the heart of the modern city, including the museum quarter laid out from the 1920s around a lake. The Fine Arts Museum is superb for modern and Norwegian art. Day 9: Bergen. Free morning. Suggestions include the fish market, the Bryggen Museum or the Decorative Arts Museum. In the afternoon depart for Troldhaugen, the idyllic summer home of Edvard Grieg. See his villa and waterside studio, and also his tomb. Private recital in the concert hall here (to be confirmed). Continue to Bergen airport and fly to Heathrow arriving c. 9.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,870. Single supplement £520. Price without flights £3,750. Included meals: 3 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Continental, Oslo (hotelcontinental.no): family-run 5-star in the heart of the city, a short walk from the National Gallery. Hotel Mundal (hotelmundal.no): small, historic hotel on the waterfront; charming, eccentric and reminiscent of a private home; rooms vary in size. Clarion Hotel, Bergen (choicehotels.com): attractive 4-star hotel on the waterfront in the Bryggen; bedrooms are smartly furnished with rich colour schemes. How strenuous? This is a long tour with a lot of travelling – by coach, boat and train. You need to be fit and able to carry or wheel your own luggage. Walking is often on uneven ground and uphill. Average coach travel per day: 32 miles. Group size: between 12 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Turner & the Sea, 12–17 June (page 40); Great French Gardens, 29 June–8 July (page 69); Vienna’s Masterpieces, 1–5 July (page 51); Budapest, 1–5 July (page 101).


Kraków & Silesia

Art, architecture & history in southern Poland

Wrocław and Kraków, two of the most fascinating cities in Central Europe. Bohemian, Prussian and Polish, the region of Silesia is of outstanding interest, historically and architecturally. Led by Polish expert and architectural historian Sebastian Wormell.

Day 3: Kraków. Wawel Castle was rebuilt by Italian designers in the 16th century to become one of the earliest Renaissance palaces north of the Alps, with arcaded courtyard and splendid interiors. Works of art include Leonardo’s Lady with an Ermine. The cathedral is also situated on Wawel Hill; essentially a Gothic structure, it has tombs of 41 monarchs and national heroes. In the afternoon an architectural walk includes a number of churches, picturesque streets and other buildings. Overnight Kraków. Day 4: Kraków, Wrocław. 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 ghetto, a place of beauty and poignancy. Drive west to Wrocław. The Racławice Panorama is an cycloramic painting (120m x 15m) commemorating the centenary of the defeat of the Russian army in 1794 during the Kościuszko Insurrection. First of four nights in Wrocław. Day 5: Wrocław. Slav by origin, for centuries Wrocław, alias Breslau, was predominently German. The main square is dominated by the Gothic town hall and lined by a colourful assortment of Renaissance and Baroque mansions. In the vast Collegium Maximum, the Aula Leopoldina is an ornate Baroque hall. Cross the Piaskowy Bridge to Cathedral Island. Among the highlights of the National Museum are Matejko’s Vows of King Jan Kazimierz and mediaeval sculpture. Overnight Wrocław.

Day 6: Kzreszów, Świdnica. The magnificent Baroque abbey at Krzeszów is remarkably well preserved, with Polish nuns expelled from Ukraine after the War. The huge ‘Peace Church’ at Świdnica is an extraordinary building, brilliantly exploiting the constraints of the terms imposed on Lutherans in Catholic Silesia after the 1648 Treaty of Munster. Overnight Wrocław. Day 7: Lubiąż, Ząbkowicki. Overlooking the river Oder, the Cistercian abbey of Lubiąż is one of the largest monastic complexes in the world, and a masterpiece of Silesian Baroque, partially restored after war damage. Kamieniec Ząbkowicki, a huge neo-Gothic country residence, was Schinkel’s last major project (1838). Day 8: Wrocław to London. Drive to Kraków, arrive Heathrow c. 5.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,530. Single supplement £310. Price without flights £2,360. Included meals: 2 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine. Music: it might be possible to attend an opera or concert performance. Details will be sent to participants nearer the time. Accommodation. Hotel Pod Roza, Krakow (podroza.hotel.com): a 4-star hotel housed in a Renaissance palace just off the main square. Art Hotel, Wroclaw (arthotel.pl): a comfortable 4-star hotel in the old town. 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.

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Kraków is one of the treasures of Europe, an unspoilt cityscape of the highest architectural importance. 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 in the eighteenth century the city was subsumed within the 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, Kraków acquired the status of cultural capital, and its literary and artistic life continues. It largely escaped war-time destruction, but suffered neglect under Communism. In recent years it has been restored, and is once again prosperous. Cafés, shops, restaurants and enterprises of all sorts now fill the historic centre. Wrocław is the capital of Silesia, in the early modern period one of the wealthiest regions in 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 from territory lost in the east. Since the end of Communism Wroclaw has come to terms with its multi-layered past and the glories of its artistic heritage, now painstakingly restored. 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.

greatest of all late mediaeval German sculpted altarpieces, by Veit Stoss. The 15th-century university complex includes cloister, Collegium Maius and St Anne’s Church, a major work of Polish Baroque. Visit the City History Museum.

Itinerary Day 1: London to Kraków. Fly at c. 11.30am from London Heathrow to Kraków (British Airways). Settle in the hotel before a lecture and dinner. First of three nights in Kraków. Day 2: Kraków. The mediaeval market square (the largest in Europe) has fine façades of many styles. At its centre is the arcaded Cloth Hall, still a covered market below with a gallery of magnificent 19th-century Polish art above. The soaring Gothic church of St Mary contains the

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2–9 September 2016 (md 837) 8 days • £2,530 Lecturer: Sebastian Wormell

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Krakow, University, lithograph c. 1820. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


The Hear t of Por tugal History, architecture, landscapes portugal

5–13 September 2016 (md 824) 9 days • £2,390 Lecturer: Adam Hopkins Central Portugal, cradle of a tiny nation which struggled mightily for independence. Rich in Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Some beautiful scenery, hilltop castles and charming towns with numerous examples of decorative tiles. The lecturer Adam Hopkins is a journalist and author, specialist in Spanish and Portuguese history and culture. Portugal’s status as an agreeable member of the European minor league, now struggling financially, runs contrary to her huge place in world history and impressive mediaeval antecedents. The nascent country’s advance against the Moors in the Iberian far west and then its courageous self-defence against the might of a neighbouring Castile revealed a nation that would be perpetually in arms, and perpetually in thrall to the Christian cause, however interpreted. Sea discovery and empire, with its ensuing riches, gold and slave trade, followed logically. The groundwork for all of this is visible to the eye in central Portugal.

Here, our concern is with the land stretching onwards from the Douro to the Tagus, hilly and tightly bunched by the western seaboard then stretching out into the broad and exhilarating sweeps of the Alentejo in the east; wheat and cork oak country of deep rusticity. The first king of an independent Portugal pushed down through this land and endowed it in glorious style. It was King Afonso Henriques himself, in celebration of the capture from the Moors of Santarém, a key town on the Tagus, in 1147, who brought in the Cistercians to build the sensational ‘pure’ Gothic abbey of Alcobaça. On August 14 1385, with the aid of English archers, João I, first king of the new House of Avis, defeated the Castilians so heavily in central Portugal that this particular threat was over for a while. Close to the battlefield, João established another thrilling monastery, Batalha, or Battle – a cry of triumph. Here João is buried with Philippa of Lancaster, his wife. She bore him five sons, all also buried here. This extraordinary brood were to carry Portugal to the threshold of the modern. One of them was Prince Henry the Navigator whose ambitions set in motion the exploration of the African coast and led in turn, less than a century later, to Vasco da Gama’s arrival in India. Imperial wealth flowed into Portugal at the start of the sixteenth century. Under the royal beneficiary, Manuel the Fortunate, there

developed the hyper-decorative style now known as ‘Manueline’ Gothic architecture. Batalha abbey is fourteenth/fifteenth-century ‘pure’ Gothic, massively decorated with sixteenth-century Manueline pinnacles and every imaginable foible stone could be worked into. All so far, symbolically speaking, is concentrated here. There came, of course, in 1580, the evil hour in which Castile finally did accomplish a takeover of Portugal. Two generations later it was yet another new dynasty, the House of Braganza, which won back independence. The Braganza family palace is in the Alentejo and we visit it on this trip. We go to Coimbra, too, where a later Braganza, recipient of gold and diamonds from Brazil, constructed the gilded library of the ancient University in the early eighteenth century, a second age of imperial splendour. Other delights include the Templar headquarters at Tomar (Romanesque with later additions of extraordinary maritime-inspired effusion), the extremely decorative World Heritage city of Évora, charming villages and hilltop castles in the remotest of remote country – looking out over that traditional enemy, Castile. The heart of Portugal: today a republic, a democracy, a member of the EU, a deeply historic country struggling to be modern.

Itinerary Day 1: Buçaco. Fly at c. 12.00 midday from London Gatwick to Porto (TAP Portugal). Drive south into the Buçaco forest. Our hotel was built as a wild neo-Manueline Gothic fantasy at the turn of the 20th century; a retreat for the Portuguese royal family. First of two nights here. Day 2: Coimbra. Capital of Portugal from 1139 to 1385, Coimbra’s reputation outweighs its beauty though monuments are rich. The church of Santa Clara a Nova is the burial place of Sta Isabel, 14th-century Queen of Portugal. Cross the River Mondego to the Old Town for the densely historic church of Santa Cruz with fine azulejos (decorative tiles), the Old University with 18th-century gilded library and the impressive Romanesque cathedral.

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Day 3: Alcobaça, Batalha, Tomar. Drive south to two extraordinary monasteries of the greatest beauty and historical significance. Alcobaça, founded in 1153, is a building of breathtaking Gothic purity. Nearby Batalha, built by order of King João I, mixes French Gothic and Manueline in an intoxicating display. The drive east becomes increasingly rural. First of two nights in the small town of Tomar.

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Day 4: Tomar. Crowning a hill above the town, the military-religious complex of the Convento de Cristo is one of Portugal’s most important and beautiful sites. The octagonal Templar church survives, Romanesque, with fine Manueline extension. The west window, utterly exuberant, is regarded as the chief Manueline masterwork. Free time in the grid-built mediaeval town.

Évora, Temple of Diana, wood engraving c. 1880. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Day 5: Castelo de Vide, Marvão, Évora. Drive eastwards into the wonderfully rural Alentejo which borders Spain: mountainous in the north, wide and sweeping in the south. Visit two


Gardens of Nor thern Por tugal Porto & the Minho Valley

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delightful hill villages dominated by mediaeval castles: Castelo de Vide and Marvão. Continue to Évora, regional capital of the greatest charm, for the first of four nights. Day 6: Évora, Arraiolos. A morning walk in Évora includes Portugal’s best preserved Roman temple, 2nd or 3rd century ad; the cathedral, battlemented, mainly Gothic on a Romanesque plan; 16th-century Jesuit university and the ‘royal’ church of São Francisco. Optional afternoon in Arraiolos, a charming village with castle and lavender-coloured trim on many houses. Here carpets have been stitched since the 17th century. Day 7: Vila Viçosa, Olivença. The Braganza family’s main palace is in the marble-quarrying town of Vila Viçosa. It preserves the memory of King Dom Carlos who left home one February morning in 1908 only to be assassinated in Lisbon that afternoon. Cross the Spanish border to lunch in Olivença (Olivenza), a delightful Portuguese town with Manueline monuments, which fell into Spanish hands after the War of the Oranges in 1801. Porto, aquatint c. 1830.

Day 8: Évora, Elvas. In Évora begin at the church of São João Evangelista, once serving the monastery where we are staying, with some of the finest azulejos in Portugal. The city museum houses the 13 famous Flemish paintings of the Life of the Virgin. Afternoon in Elvas, border town of great individuality within a huge and critically important fortress. Visit the cathedral, castle and English cemetery dating from the Peninsular War, beautiful and moving.

18–23 April 2016 (mc 637) 6 days • £1,660 Lecturer: Dr Gerald Luckhurst

Day 9. Drive to Lisbon Airport for the flight arriving London Gatwick at c. 3.30pm.

Includes visits to gardens not normally open to the public.

Practicalities

The lecturer is Dr Gerald Luckhurst, landscape architect and garden historian based in Lisbon.

Price: £2,390. Single supplement £330 (double room for single occupancy). Suite supplement £180 (room rate for two sharing, in Évora only). Price without flights £2,220.

How strenuous? There are steep streets, cobbles and steps, and coach access is difficult; good mobility and sure-footedness are essential. Daily coach travel; average distance per day 87 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Classical Greece, 17–26 September (page 98).

Four nights in the delightful mediaeval town of Guimarães, one night in Porto. The northern provinces of Portugal are lush and green with an intensely cultivated landscape of exceptional beauty. The mild Atlantic climate provides exceptional growing conditions for camellias, rhododendrons and azaleas which reach enormous proportions and afford impressive displays amidst the oak and chestnut woods that fill the valleys of the Minho and Douro. The countryside is made up of small farms and vegetable gardens with vines everywhere. Two of Portugal’s most famous wines are produced here: the light and spritely vinho verde is grown from vines trained on tall trellises, whilst the port wine is grown on mountain terraces. This is an ancient landscape, inhabited since before the Bronze Age, and in the eleventh century the birthplace of Portugal. The cities of Braga, Guimarães and Ponte de Lima all have castles, city walls and elaborate churches. Their mediaeval centres are filled with narrow streets and immaculately cared for public gardens that are a joy to explore. There is a great civic pride in these towns and the people are exceptionally welcoming. The food is renowned throughout Portugal.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.50am (TAP Portugal) from London Gatwick to Porto. Drive to Guimarães for the first of four nights. Day 2: Vila Real, Celorico de Basto. The Palácio de Mateus at Vila Real, designed by the painterarchitect Nicolau Nasoni and made familiar by the rosé wine label, is a fine 18th-century manor house, well furnished and with gardens including a box tree avenue and impressive broderie parterre. Continue in the afternoon to Casa do Campo, not open to the general public, with impressive 19th-century camellia topiary. Day 3: Guimarães, Ponte de Lima. Morning visits in Guimarães. The imposing castle was originally constructed in the 10th century to defend the town from the Moors and Vikings; the Burgundian ducal palace houses an extensive collection of portraits, tapestries and porcelain. In the afternoon drive north to the 17th-century 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. Buçaco Palace Hotel (almeidahotels.com): grandiose hotel in a former royal hunting lodge with gardens; rooms vary; rated as 5-star though more like a 4-star. Hotel dos Templários, Tomar (hoteldostemplarios. com): 4-star hotel a few minutes walk from the mediaeval town; rooms are unremarkable but well-equipped; indoor and outdoor pools. Pousada dos Loios, Évora (pousadas.pt): small 4-star hotel (pousada) installed in a 15th-century monastery, retaining much of the original building; excellent location, attractively furnished but rooms are small.

Historic gardens in the beautiful setting of the Minho and Douro Valleys.

The country houses of the region had their origin as small fortified manors, known as solares, but as Portugal grew rich from overseas discoveries they were transformed into Baroque paços and quintas, their gardens filled with plants from Africa and Asia. At first the style of gardening was strongly influenced by Italy, but in the nineteenth century, with the exuberant growth of exotic vegetation brought back by adventurers from Brazil, a romantic atmosphere prevailed and the gardens were filled with naturalistic pools with winding paths, archaeological follies and model farms. In the twentieth century the elite of Porto looked to Paris for their inspiration and the Art Deco was taken as the model. The gardens of Serralves are a rare example of an intact Modernist layout impeccably conserved.

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Gardens of Nor thern Por tugal continued

Walking in Madeira Garden of the Atlantic

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Paço de Calheiros, whose 19th-century garden enjoys spectacular views of the Lima valley. Day 4: Braga. Drive north to Braga, Portugal’s religious centre with a magisterial archbishop’s palace. Climb the lavishly Baroque penitential staircase of Bom Jesus do Monte (c. 600 steps), adorned with religious figures and surrounded by camellia and box topiary. The 18th-century gardens of the Casa dos Biscainhos are decorated with granite, rococo-style statues and fountains and elaborate parterres inspired by Arabic design. There is time also to see the principally Romanesque cathedral with two splendid Baroque organs.

31 October–5 November 2016 (md 929) 6 days • £2,440 Lecturer: Dr Gerald Luckhurst Four moderate walks of a maximum of four miles through Madeira’s magnificent landscapes: coastal, woodland and mountainous. A focus on both Madeira’s formal gardens and its natural flora and wildlife. The lecturer is Dr Gerald Luckhurst, landscape architect and author on Madeira’s gardens. Stay in Madeira’s most famous hotel.

Day 5: Penafiel, Porto. Drive to the Quinta da Aveleda, home to the largest producer of vinho verde in Portugal, whose woodland gardens are famous for their follies, camellias and azaleas. Lunch here overlooking the vineyards. Continue to Porto where the 19th-century romantic gardens of the Quinta de Vilar d’Allen are home to a rare collection of plants and trees imported from all continents. Overnight in Porto. Day 6: Porto. Morning walk in Porto’s old town, dense with historic architecture. The cathedral is basically 13th-century with later embellishments, many by Nasoni. The Clerigos Church with its wonderful Baroque tower is also by Nasoni, the church of the Misericordia has good Flemish paintings and São Francisco has an amazingly rich carved and gilded interior. In great contrast, Jacques Gréber’s modernist garden at the Fundação de Serralves compliments the clean lines of the pink Art Deco house, built in 1935, and features a water staircase. Elsewhere are a wisteria pergola and remains of the pre-existing 19th-cent. garden. Fly from Porto, returning to Gatwick at c. 9.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,660. Single supplement £180 (double for single use). Price without flights: £1,510. Included meals: 1 lunch and 4 dinners with wine.

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Accommodation. Hotel da Oliveira, Guimarães (hoteldaoliveira.com): boutique hotel in the historic centre of Guimarães with contemporary décor and a good restaurant. Pousada do Porto Palácio do Freixo (pousadas.pt): 4-star hotel. Public areas are located in the 18th-century palace with bedrooms in a modern extension. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. How strenuous? A lot of walking and standing. Paths in gardens are often uneven so surefootedness is essential. Coach access to gardens and small towns is often difficult. The ascent of Bom Jesus do Monte involves c. 600 steps; we walk up and take a funicular back down. Daily coach travel; average distance per day 55 miles. Combine this tour with Palladian Villas, 12–17 April (page 112); Sicily, 4–16 April (page 139); Pompeii & Herculaneum, 25–30 April (page 136).

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Madeiran countryside, wood engraving c. 1880. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Sitting in the sub-tropical Atlantic, closer to Morocco than to Portugal, Madeira is a startling island, rising high and steep from the ocean. Consisting overwhelmingly of basalt rock, which started spewing from the earth’s core around 130 million years ago, the land of Madeira itself is probably two-and-a-half-million years old. The volcanic nature of this island produces not only steep gorges radiating from the rugged central mountains – the highest of which, Pico Ruivo, stands at 1,861 metres above sea level – but also accounts for the spectacular coastal scenery. This tour explores both settings. A hugely varied number of plants and flowers enjoy this dynamic combination of fertile soil and


newest gardens, located on Ponta da Cruz, the southernmost point of Madeira. This is the warmest and sunniest spot on the island which makes for an extraordinarily colourful garden. The rest of the day is free. Day 5. In the cool hills above Funchal is the unesco Biosphere site at Ribeiro Frio, where a botanical garden and trout hatchery sit among quiet glades. Walk along the path to Balcões and back (3 km), with views of the craggy valleys below, followed by a picnic lunch. Afternoon walk (moderate, 5.6 km, a stoney path with some steep sections) to Madeira’s highest peak, Pico Ruivo, with wonderful 360° views stretching to the horizon, and a dramatic vista down to the small town of Curral das Freiras.

Dr Gerald Luckhurst Landscape architect and garden historian involved in both historic restoration and contemporary garden design. An expert on sub-tropical and Mediterranean garden flora, his books include The Gardens of Madeira & Sintra: A Landscape with Villas. His PhD thesis focusses on the gardens of Monserrate in Sintra, near Lisbon.

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warm temperatures. Bananas and vines, two of Madeira’s major exports, flourish on the coastal plains, while lush deciduous vegetation covers the higher mountain slopes. As is standard on remote islands, there has been considerable speciation, and more than seven hundred plant species are indigenous to Madeira. Of particular interest are the laurisilva woodlands, the large house leeks, woody sow-thistles and marguerites, the beautiful shrubby Echium species and the curious Dragon tree. By exploring the terrain on foot we examine these species and their setting in greater and more rewarding detail. Aside from the ecological and horticultural aspects of this tour, there is also the opportunity to study the history of the island’s greatest export, Madeira wine. Although established as a Portuguese colony since Prince Henry the Navigator’s expedition landed in the early fifteenth century, it was during the period of Spanish ownership that a commercial treaty was established with the British in 1660. This marked the beginning of the wine trade, which has been significant ever since. We have organised a private tasting and visit to a winery that has been operating on the island for over two hundred years.

See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm from London Gatwick to Funchal (Monarch Airlines). Introductory lecture and dinner in the hotel. First of five nights in Funchal. Day 2. Morning walk (level and easy walk along the levada, narrow in places with a descent onto the road to finish, c. 5 km) along the Levada dos Tornos. Starting in the hills above Funchal, we walk to the Blandy family estate at Palheiro for lunch and a guided visit. The extensive subtropical gardens, first acquired by John Blandy in 1885, have been continually developed by the family. Some free time to enjoy the camellias, centennial trees, rose garden and myriad other flowers and climbers. Private evening visit to the Blandy Wine Lodge with a Madeira wine tasting.

Day 4. A morning visit to the Boa Vista orchid gardens which houses the rarest and most unusual collection of orchids on the island. The Jardim Botánico located in the Quinta of Bom Sucesso is home to over 100 species of indigenous plants, as well as tropical and sub-tropical fruit trees and coffee trees, sugar cane and popular medicinal plants. Visit one of the island’s

Price: £2,440. Single supplement £440 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,180.

How strenuous? Walking is an integral part of this tour and if you cannot complete a 3-mile country walk with ascents and descents, do not consider booking. There are four walks of between 2 and 4 miles. These walks can be rated as easy to moderate though strong knees and ankles are essential, as are a pair of well-worn hiking boots with good ankle support. Walks have been carefully selected but some steep rises and falls are unavoidable and terrain can be loose under foot, particularly in wet weather. This tour is not suitable for people who suffer from vertigo. Please contact us if you would like to discuss the walks in further detail. Average distance by coach per day: 39 miles.

Included meals: 2 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine.

Group size: between 10 and 18 participants.

Accommodation. Reid’s Palace Hotel, Funchal (belmond.com): arguably the best hotel on the island, this famous 5-star luxury hotel is set in subtropical gardens overlooking the Atlantic. Rooms are elegant in décor with sea or garden views. There are three excellent restaurants to choose from. Service here is second to none.

Combine this tour with Pompeii & Herculaneum, 24–30 October (page 136); Sicily, 17–29 October or 7–19 November (page 139); Gastronomic Valencia, 7–14 November (page 169).

Day 6. Drive to Funchal airport for the flight to London Gatwick, via Lisbon, arriving at c. 3.40pm (TAP Airlines). Although we have chosen the walks on this itinerary with due care and consideration, Madeira is subject to high winds which may mean that walks have to be changed or modified at short notice. We follow the advice of local walking guides.

Practicalities

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Day 3. A guided tour of Funchal’s centre focusing on its city gardens and historic monuments. The Mercado dos Lavadores (farmers’ market) is a brilliantly vibrant showcase of the island’s produce. Visit the Gothic Cathedral of Our Lady of the Assumption, with its whitewashed walls and mudéjar-inspired ceiling, and the Jesuit collegiate church. Drive to Madeira’s easternmost peninsular, Ponta do São Lourenço, for an afternoon walk (c. 6 km, with steep ascents and descents on stepped paths; the length of the walk is subject to weather conditions) in a rugged, almost lunar landscape, home to fossils, cacti and the odd flash of desert flowers.

Mid-19th-century steel engraving.

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St Petersburg Pictures & palaces russia

6–12 May 2016 (mc 662) 7 days • £2,790 Lecturer: Dr Alexey Makhrov St Petersburg is perhaps the grandest city in Europe, and one of the most beautiful. Magnificent architecture of the 18th and 19th centuries, especially the palaces of the Romanovs, nobility and merchants. Outstanding art collections, the Hermitage being the largest art museum in the world. Led by Dr Alexey Makhrov, a Russian Art Historian and graduate of the St Petersburg Academy of Arts.

Founded by Peter the Great in 1703, the city of St Petersburg was intended to demonstrate to the world not only that Russia was a European rather than an Asian nation, but also that it was an immensely powerful one. This ‘window on the West’ became the capital of the Russian Empire until the government moved back to Moscow in 1918. Peter’s wish was amply fulfilled: with the assistance of Dutch, Italian and French architects – Russians were to take over later in the century once they had mastered the mysteries of Western art and architecture – St Petersburg was laid out as the grandest city in Europe, with buildings on a monumental scale. The palaces of the imperial family and of the fabulously wealthy magnates vied with each other, and with the military

establishments and government institutions to dominate the river front, the broad avenues and the vast squares. Although one of the newest of Europe’s great cities, St Petersburg is the one least affected by twentieth-century building. Despite the wellpublicised economic and political troubles Russia has undergone in recent years, there has been a surge of cleaning and restoration which has accentuated the beauty of the city. As impressive as the architecture of St Petersburg are the contents of the museums and art galleries. The Hermitage is one of the world’s greatest art museums, with an immensely rich collection of paintings, sculpture, antiquities and decorative arts filling the enormous Winter Palace of the Romanovs. The Russian Museum comes as a revelation to most visitors, for apart from icons (and there is a wonderful collection) the great achievements of Russian painters, particularly during the nineteenth century, are scarcely known outside the country.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.15am from London Heathrow to St Petersburg (British Airways; time in the air: c. 3 hours 15 minutes). Time to settle in before a short walk in the vicinity of hotel and dinner. Day 2. Explore the north bank of the Neva and Vasilyevsky Island which, as the original intended site of the city, has some of St Petersburg’s earliest buildings including the Twelve Colleges and the Peter-Paul Fortress. Visit the Menshikov Palace, an early 18th-century residence with impressive Petrine decoration. Drive via the Kazan Cathedral with colonnaded forecourt to the Alexander Nevsky Monastery, an extensive Baroque layout and cemetery with graves of many famous Russians.

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Day 3. Walk to the remarkable Neo-Classical buildings of the Synod, Senate and Admiralty. The first visit to the Hermitage, one of the world’s greatest art collections, housed in Rastrelli’s Winter Palace and contiguous buildings; walk around to understand the layout and to see the magnificent interiors. An afternoon by coach taking in the sumptuous Marble Palace (exterior), designed by Rinaldi in Baroque and Neo-Classical style and the wonderful group of Smolny Convent and Cathedral, also by Rastrelli.

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Day 4. A full-day excursion to two of the summer palaces about 20 miles from St Petersburg, both set in extensive landscaped parks with lakes and pavilions. At Tsarskoye Selo, formerly Pushkin, the main building is the out sized Rococo Catherine Palace by Rastrelli, its richly ornamented interiors painstakingly restored after war damage. At Pavlovsk, also well restored, the graceful Neo-Classical Great Palace with encircling wings was in part built by Scotsman Charles Cameron.

St Petersburg, Nevsky Prospekt towards the Admirality, lithograph by André Durand c. 1840. book online at www.martinrandall.com

Day 5. The Russian Museum, in the imposing Mikhailovsky Palace, has Russian painting from mediaeval icons to the vast canvases of the Romantics and Realists of the 19th century. An afternoon excursion to Peterhof (by hydrofoil,


The Road to Santiago

The pilgrimage route through Northern Spain

Day 6. Drive through the city. The Baroque Cathedral of St Nicholas, with its gilded domes, is a memorial to Russian navy sailors who perished at sea. Visit the late 19th-century Yusupov Palace, one of the finest in the city and scene of Rasputin’s murder. A second visit to the Hermitage to concentrate on specific aspects of the collections and to pursue individual passions. Day 7. Some free time for independent exploration: perhaps the Hermitage again, or places not yet visited such as the Dostoyevsky Museum, Academy of Arts, or Church of the Saviour on Spilled Blood. Alternatively an optional visit to the world’s largest collection of Fabergé works, displayed in the Shuvalov Palace. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 5.30pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,790. Single supplement £300 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,450. Music: details of opera and ballet performances will be sent to participants about one month before the tour and tickets can be requested. Visas: British citizens and most other foreign nationals require a tourist visa. The current cost for UK nationals is around £90, including service charge. This is not included in the price of the tour because you have to procure it yourself. You will need to complete an online application in the 2 month period before departure, and submit this along with your passport. As of 10th December 2014, it is obligatory for UK residents of all nationalities to attend one of two application centres, in London or Edinburgh, in order to submit biometric data (fingerprints) as part of the visa application process. Visa issuing times vary from country to country but UK residents should expect to be without their passport for approximately 1 week.

2–14 September 2016 (md 821) 13 days • £3,560 Lecturer: John McNeill One of the great historic journeys of the world. Includes all the major sites and deviates to many lesser-known ones. An architectural pilgrimage by coach – not a spiritual one on foot – for lovers of Romanesque and Gothic. Led by architectural historian John McNeill. ‘By land it is the greatest journey an Englishman may go.’ So wrote Andrew Boorde, physician and former bishop of Chichester in his 1542 First Book of the Introduction of Knowledge. The road to Santiago has rarely been without plaudits, from Godescalc, bishop of Le Puy in 950, to Paula Gerson, scholar and sceptic in 1993. What was claimed to be the tomb of St James was discovered in 813 in the wilds of Galicia and soon began to attract pilgrims. Roads and bridges were built along the approaches which soon coalesced into a standard route. Hospices and monasteries were founded and secondary shrines became established. Variously described as the Camino Francés, the Milky Way and the Road Beneath the Stars, the route exerted a pull which was pre-Christian, but the discovery of an Apostolic tomb and the renewal of the infrastructure conspired to make Santiago the most celebrated of all mediaeval journeys – a byword for Chaucer’s pilgrims, a destination to vie with Jerusalem and Rome.

The funds poured into such an enterprise were immense, resulting in an incomparable range of mediaeval – particularly Romanesque – and Renaissance monuments. With cathedrals such as Burgos, León and Santiago, monasteries of the calibre of San Millán de la Cogolla, Silos and Leyre, the paintings of Jaca and Miraflores, the metalwork of San Isidoro, the textiles of Las Huelgas, the road to Santiago does not want for masterpieces. But equally impressive is the landscape, a memorial backdrop through which all must pass – the limestone cliffs and tumbling watercourses of Aragón and Navarra, the forests of chestnut, oak and acacia of the Rioja, the vast wheat fields of Castile and the green, slate-divided fields of Galicia. We have two itineraries in 2016: The Road to Santiago – travelling by coach – and Walking to Santiago (overleaf). They are markedly different in focus; the former is very much an architectural tour, and the latter a walking tour. But both are journeys in which you are conscious always of participating in a thousand-year-old flow of humankind which constitutes one of the most powerfully felt shared experiences in the spiritual and aesthetic history of Europe.

russia, serbia, slovenia, spain

weather permitting), the magnificent palace on the Gulf of Finland with cascades and fountains.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 4.00pm (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bilbao. Drive to Argómaniz (80 km), arriving at c. 9.15pm. One night here. Day 2: Pamplona, Roncesvalles. A day in the foothills of the Pyrenees. Reflecting its proximity to France, Pamplona cathedral has a cloister

Burgos, engraving c. 1880 by Rev. Samuel Manning, in Spanish Pictures.

Accommodation. Hotel Angleterre (angleterrehotel.com): excellently located 5-star hotel in the city centre, within easy walking distance of the Hermitage.

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How strenuous? A fair amount of standing in galleries and walking. Traffic congestion means coach journeys can be long and frustrating. Average coach travel per day: 13 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.

Serbia: The Western Balkans, departures in May & October with David Gowan: see page 55. Slovenia: Trieste & Ljubljana, September 2016: see page 104.

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The Road to Santiago continued

“Everything we hoped it would be. Tremendous variety of landscape and historic buildings. We saw pilgrims on every part of the route and were aware of the tremendous infrastructure of such a journey.”

spain Pamplona, etching by Francis Dodd, 1928.

which constitutes perhaps the finest achievement of High Gothic in Spain. Roncesvalles Pass was scene of the famed rearguard action of Charlemagne’s paladin Roland, and has a renowned pilgrims’ church and hospice. Drive through the spectacular gorge of the Urrobi river. First of two nights in Sos del Rey Católico. Day 3: Sos del Rey Católico, Sangüesa, Leyre, Jaca. Stroll through the picturesque town of Sos to the church of San Esteban. Sta María la Real in the little town of Sangüesa has superb architectural sculpture, including some by a craftsman from Burgundy. The monastery of San Salvador de Leyre maintains Gregorian offices in a fascinating church with a good crypt and western portal. Jaca, below the Somport pass, has a Romanesque cathedral with a magnificent collection of mediaeval wall paintings.

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Day 4: Eunate, Puente la Reina, Estella. At Eunate a mysterious round chapel with encircling arcade rises from the midst of a cornfield. Puente la Reina is the point where pilgrim roads from France converged, and is equipped with hospices, churches and an amazing bridge. Estella, once a largely French-speaking, new town with an important collection of churches including the magnificent San Miguel. Overnight Sto Domingo de la Calzada. Day 5: Nájera, Sto Domingo de la Calzada, Burgos. See the Royal tombs at Santa María la Real in Nájera. Sto Domingo cathedral has Renaissance and Baroque accretions, and a cockerel still crows over the shrine of the saint. Arrive at Burgos, which grew up at the foot of the fortress of the Kings of Castile. The magnificent cathedral is crowned by a multitude of pinnacles and open-work spires and combines French and German styles; remarkable vaults, 16th-cent. choir stalls and a wealth of sculpture. First of two nights in Burgos. Day 6: Burgos, Quintanilla de las Viñas, Sto Domingo de Silos. Free morning in Burgos. In the afternoon drive to the Visigothic chapel at

Quintanilla de las Viñas. Sto Domingo de Silos is the largest and finest Romanesque monastery in Spain, and has an epoch-making 12th-cent. cloister with magnificent sculpture. Day 7: Burgos, San Miguel de la Escalada. The Carthusian monastery and royal mausoleum of Miraflores has superb 15th-cent. sculpture by Gil de Siloé. Just outside Burgos is the Early Gothic convent of Las Huelgas Reales, a place of royal burial. Pressing westwards, we stop at San Miguel de la Escalada, an elegant Mozarabic gem. First of two nights in León. Day 8: León. Former capital of the ancient kingdom of León, the city has many outstanding mediaeval buildings. The royal pantheon of San Isidoro is one of the first, and finest, Romanesque buildings in Spain, with important sculptures. The cathedral is truly superb: Rayonnant Gothic, with impressive stained glass. The monastery of San Marcos (our hotel) has a splendidly exuberant Plateresque façade. Day 9: Lena, Orbigo, Villafranca del Bierzo. Drive through the Puerto de Pájares (mountain pass) to Sta Cristina de Lena, an exquisite 9thcent. church. Return to the camino via the valley of the Luna. Puente de Orbigo is a 13th-cent. bridge which carried pilgrims over the River Orbigo. Villafranca del Bierzo was an ancient haunt of hermits and anchorites and subsequently studded with churches and hospices. Overnight Villafranca del Bierzo. Day 10: Villafranca to Santiago. Three churches punctuate the final stretch of the journey: O Cebreiro, site of a great Eucharistic miracle, Portomarín, a Templar foundation guarding the bridge over the Miño and Vilar de Donas, decayed and evocative knights’ church. Finally: Santiago de Compostela, goal of the pilgrimage. Three nights in Santiago. Day 11: Santiago de Compostela. The morning is dedicated to the great pilgrimage church, the shrine of St James, one of the most impressive

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of all Romanesque churches; also outstanding treasuries. Explore the university quarter and the narrow picturesque streets and visit Sta María del Sar, where walls splayed and buttressed support a charming Romanesque church against its cloister. Day 12: Santiago de Compostela. Free day. Day 13: Santiago de Compostela. Drive around midday to La Coruña. The flight (Vueling) arrives in London Heathrow at c. 4.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,560. Single supplement £410 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,360. Included meals: 2 lunches, 9 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Parador de Argómaniz (parador.es): 4-star hotel with simple rooms. Parador de Sos del Rey Católico (parador. es): 4-star parador with views of surrounding countryside. Parador de Sto Domingo de la Calzada (parador.es): 4-star parador in the heart of town. NH Palacio de Burgos (nhhotels.com): 4-star hotel in the centre of town. Parador de León (parador.es): 5-star parador in grandiose Plateresque pilgrim hostel. Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo (parador.es): 4-star parador in a contemporary building. Parador de Santiago de Compostela (parador.es): 5-star parador, for centuries abode of grander pilgrims. How strenuous? We stress that this is a long tour with a lot of coach travel, seven hotels and a lot of walking, often on uneven ground. The tour would not be suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stair climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 85 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Classical Greece, 17–26 September (page 98).


Walking to Santiago

On foot for selected sections of the pilgrims’ way

The last great pilgrimage route in Christendom which still attracts walkers; scenically wonderful with much fine architecture. Selected sections from the Pyrenees through northern Spain to Santiago de Compostela. Walking in comfort: good hotels; luggage transferred separately. The lecturer is Adam Hopkins, journalist and author, specialist in Spanish history and culture.

Itinerary Day 1: Biarritz to Roncesvalles. Depart Biarritz Airport following the arrival of a flight from London Stansted (Ryanair, currently 2.05pm) (flights not included – see ‘Practicalities’ overleaf). Drive to Roncesvalles for the night. Day 2: Roncesvalles to Lintzoaín/Erro, total walk 14.7 km. Weather permitting, we start at the summit of the pass and drop down on foot to Roncesvalles, traditional starting point of the pilgrimage in Spain. It has a fine collegiate church preserving memories of Sancho the Strong of Navarre. From here, walk downward through

Day 3: Nájera to Sto Domingo de la Calzada, total walk 21 km. Drive to Nájera, another burial place of the royal house of Navarre. Climb through red sandstone with vines in rocky corners, through varied irrigated crops and out into rolling wheat country with mountains lying north and south – this is a good day for striding out. Lunch in a village café. Afternoon walkers continue to Sto Domingo de la Calzada with time to visit the cathedral there. Stay for one night. Day 4: Villafranca Montes de Oca to Agés, total walk 15.8 km. Begin with an hour’s walk uphill into mildly mountainous country, passing a disturbing monument to victims of Civil War assassination. Cross a plateau and continue through pine and oak forest to a beautiful valley enclosing the monastery of San Juan de Ortega (fine Gothic church). Picnic in the woods. Afternoon walkers continue to the village of Agés. Drive to Burgos for the first of two nights. Day 5: Burgos, rest day. Rest, nurse feet and loiter in this Castilian city rich in memories of El Cid and mediaeval pilgrimage, Wellington and Franco. There is time to see the magnificent cathedral, the charterhouse of Miraflores (superb sculpture by Gil de Siloé), and the monastery of Las Huelgas (fine architecture and images relevant to the camino). Overnight Burgos.

and ancient church. The walk starts low and climbs through Galician-green valley and into country of tiny hamlets where cows chew the cud in dark mediaeval sheds. Sunken tracks, ferns and ivy abound and there is later a fine upland feel. After a picnic lunch we begin a slow descent to Sarriá. Overnight Sarriá. Day 10. Phase 1: Sarriá to Ferreiros. Phase 2: Monte del Gozo to Santiago de Compostela. Total walk 18.2 km. Walk 13.2 km from Sarriá to Ferreiros and take a picnic lunch before driving on to Monte del Gozo. Here pilgrims once fell to their knees at the first view of the cathedral spires of Santiago (harder to see now through eucalyptus). Walk a further 5 km through suburbs into increasingly ancient city centre and right into the Parador, another important and beautiful historic building. First of two nights in Santiago de Compostela. Day 11: Santiago. The cathedral is a Romanesque masterpiece with a magnificent carved portal. Guided tour of the cathedral roof and those who wish may attend Pilgrim’s mass at midday. The rest of the day is free. Day 12. Drive to Santiago Airport in time for the flight to London Gatwick (Easyjet, currently departing at 10.15am).

Day 6: Castrojeriz to Boadilla del Camino, total walk 18.9 km. After an uphill start continuing over high ground, the walk then descends to a river and lush irrigated land. It then climbs again more gently and drops to the dovecote country of Boadilla where the plains of León begin. Picnic lunch here before driving to León with its fine Gothic cathedral and Spain’s finest stained glass. The Parador of S. Marcos, our hotel, is one of the major historic buildings of the pilgrim route. Overnight León. Day 7: Puente de Orbigo to Astorga, total walk 16.4 km. c. 1 hour into the walk, we make a modest ascent and suddenly the plains are over. There are 2–3 small climbs this morning through remote-feeling countryside and wheat fields ending in shady corners under small oaks. Picnic with views down to the cathedral of Astorga. Stalwarts continue the walk into town. Here, the bishop’s palace was designed by Gaudí and there is a charming town hall. Overnight Astorga.

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Still one of the most splendid walking routes in Europe, the Camino de Santiago runs almost five hundred miles across northern Spain to the supposed tomb of St James, Sant Iago. Normally, the journey takes a month on foot. We are setting out to walk the highlights in twelve days, taking in the most historically charged and beautiful sections. For earlier pilgrims, the lure was a reduction of the soul’s time in Purgatory; now the motives are more usually historical and cultural, and sometimes also deeply personal. Religious commitment is less in evidence. But for many who undertake the magnificent walk there is also a spiritual dimension. Asceticism is not a necessary ingredient. Instead of staying in bunk beds in pilgrim hostels we repose in hotels, ranging from workaday to some of Spain’s finest. Instead of carrying huge packs with all our necessities, we carry only our own day sacks while the luggage moves by road. Our vehicles intersect with walkers every two or three hours, allowing respite to anyone who needs to ride. We eat well, often picnicking in deep country, and try some of the fine wines grown along the route. But as with all pilgrimages this is a linear walk, involving a new hotel each night except on two rest days. We are like pilgrims, rather than tourists, visiting monuments along the route and what time and tiredness allow at the end of the day’s walking. There will be commentary by the lecturer and introductions to the major buildings. But the experience of walking the camino is what is essentially on offer, along a route which has for centuries compelled the imagination.

rustic, gentle sub-Pyrenean landscape and stately stone-built villages. After a picnic lunch, drive to Haro. Overnight Haro.

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7–18 June 2016 (mc 704) 12 days • £3,420 – flights not included Leaders: Adam Hopkins & Gaby Macphedran

Day 8: Astorga to Rabanal del Camino, total walk 20.6 km. Walk out through Astorga’s old town. An hour and a half brings us to wellpreserved Castrillo de Polvazares, former centre of the interesting Maragatos tribe, obscure in its origins but throughout history Northern Spain’s muleteers. A mix of path and lane leads slowly upwards with views opening into the Mountains of León. After a picnic lunch continue walking to Rabanal del Camino. Drive from here to Villafranca del Bierzo for the night. Day 9: Triacastela to Sarriá, total walk 18.5 km. Drive to Triacastela via O Cebreiro, first port of call in Galicia for pilgrims, with Celtic buildings

Santiago de Compostela, cathedral, drawing by Muirhead Bone, publ. 1938. 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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Walking to Santiago continued

The Pyrenees

Catalonia, Rousillon & the Comte de Foix spain

Adam Hopkins Journalist and author, now living in a mountain village in Spain. He studied at King’s College, Cambridge, and has contributed extensively to national newspapers in Britain on Spanish culture and travel. Among his many books is Spanish Journeys: A Portrait of Spain. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies.

Practicalities Price: £3,420. Single supplement £350 (double room for single occupancy). Flights are not included in the price as the most convenient are with Ryanair and Easyjet and we cannot make a booking without knowing the passenger name. We can book flights on your behalf, quoting the fare at the time of booking, or you can make the bookings yourself. Full details are provided with your confirmation of booking. Included meals: 8 lunches (7 are picnics) and 8 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Roncesvalles (hotelroncesvalles.com): 3-star hotel in an 18th-cent. building. Hotel Los Agustinos, Haro (hotellosagustinos.com): 4-star hotel in a converted convent. Parador de Sto Domingo la Calzada (parador.es): 4-star parador, former mediaeval pilgrim hospital. NH Palacio de la Merced, Burgos (nh-hotels.com): 4-star hotel in a converted palace. Parador de León (parador. es): 5-star parador in grandiose Plateresque pilgrim hostel. Hotel Spa Ciudad de Astorga (hotelciudaddeastorga.com): 3-star, modern hotel in the centre. Parador de Villafranca del Bierzo (parador.es): 4-star parador in a contemporary building. Hotel Alfonso IX, Sarriá (alfonsoix. com): modern hotel near the river. Parador de Santiago de Compostela (parador.es): 5-star parador, in the former pilgrims’ hospital.

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How strenuous? We cover up to 82 miles of the full 500-mile route with an average of 10–12 miles of walking per day. Participants should be used to walking cross-country, uphill and down, and be able to walk pleasurably for several hours at a time. Fitness is essential. Please do not book this tour in order to get fit. Safety and comfort are our main concern and there are opportunities to retire but the vehicles are intended as back-up rather than an alternative means of transport. Group size: between 7 and 14 participants. Combine this tour with Walking to Country Houses in Derbyshire, 19–24 June (page 24); Norway: Art, Architecture, Landscape, 20–28 June (page 149).

Monastery of Poblet, late-18th-century engraving.

3–12 May 2016 (mc 660) 10 days • £2,940 Lecturer: John McNeill Thorough survey of Romanesque and Gothic architecture. Delves deep into the Pyrenees but also takes in low-lying and coastal Catalonia. Led by architectural historian John McNeill. Scenically and architecturally stunning. During the Middle Ages the Pyrenees supported two very distinct ways of life: the fundamentally urban civilisation of the coastal reaches, mercantile in ambition and Mediterranean in outlook, and that unsung, tireless village culture which flourished in the high places and valleys inland. Here in the remote mountains a rural and essentially feudal Christianity emerged, consecrated in innumerable small Romanesque churches and largely immune to news from elsewhere. The mediator was monasticism, introduced uncertainly at first but becoming in

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fact a vehicle of political will under the mighty Oliba of Cerdagne. Oliba’s early foundations, at Ripoll, Cuxa and Canigou, embody this ambition and are among the seminal essays of Romanesque architecture in Europe. They found a reflection in the parish churches of the High Pyrenees and, moderated by the vernacular of Catalonia, resulted in some of the most serene and beautiful buildings of twelfth-century Europe. Even more remarkably, these churches were largely spared the calamities of the post–Renaissance period, leaving their glorious marble sculpture intact and preserving, albeit often in museums, the finest of their paintings. These early achievements were enhanced by the arrival of the Cistercians, invited by Count Ramón Berenguer to fill the void left by the expulsion of the Moors from south– western Catalonia, and their monasteries at Poblet and Santes Creus remain even more complete than Fontenay or Fossanova. Neither were the cities neglected: ever more responsive to distant developments, Girona, Barcelona and Lérida were provided with cathedrals of the first rank. Shortly after came that extraordinary


Day 4: Girona, St Pedro de Roda. Back into Spain to visit Girona. The Gothic Cathedral, perhaps the finest in Catalonia, houses important illuminated manuscripts and tapestries in the chapterhouse. The early Romanesque abbey of San Pedro de Roda has wonderful views of the coast. Day 5: St Martin de Fenollar, Elne. The Romanesque chapel at Fenollar has tiny spaces that carry the most complete cycle of mediaeval wall paintings to have survived in French Catalonia. See also the fortified cathedral at Elne and fine Pyrenean marble sculpture at St Genis des Fontaines. Free time in Collioure.

Practicalities

Day 6: Montségur, Foix. Drive in the morning beneath the northern flank of the Pyrenees to Montségur, the great Cathar redoubt and scene of the virtual obliteration of the Albigensian cause. There is an arresting three-towered feudal castle at Foix and a spacious late mediaeval preaching church at St Volusien. Overnight St Girons.

Included meals: 1 lunch, 7 dinners, with wine.

Day 7: St Lizier, St Bertrand de Comminges, Arties, Vielha. The Cathedral of St Lizier has a Romanesque cloister and a 14th-cent. brick tower. St Bertrand de Comminges is aisleless and majestic and perhaps the most accomplished late mediaeval building in the High Pyrenees. Drive via the secluded Aran Valley to Arties. Walk over the bridge to the 12th-cent. Sta Maria with a fine sculpted north door and baptismal font. Overnight in nearby Vielha.

flowering of late mediaeval mercantile culture which transformed the previously neglected market towns of the north, St-Girons, Foix and St-Bertrand-de-Comminges.

Itinerary

Day 2: Ripoll, San Juan de Las Abadesas, Arles-sur-Tech, Collioure. Oliba’s astonishing monastery of Sta Maria at Ripoll has one of the greatest libraries of early mediaeval Europe. San Juan de las Abadesas is a Romanesque church founded in 887 by Count Wilfred the Hairy as a Benedictine nunnery. Cross into France to Arlessur-Tech, famed for its tranquil cloister and 12thcent. sculpture. Continue to the pretty seaside town of Collioure for the first of four nights.

Day 8: Vielha, Taull, Val de Boí. See remote Romanesque churches of the high mountains. Vielha is abundant with Romanesque sculpture. Taull has a superb pair of 12th-cent. churches: San Climent, with columnar nave and slender bell-tower and Sta Maria has a bell-tower to outdo even that of its great neighbour. San Joan de Boí has a small and beautifully proportioned singleapsed church. First of two nights in Lérida.

Price: £2,940. Supplement for a superior room in Collioure £175 (per room, two sharing). Single supplement £280 or £455 (double room for single occupancy; the higher price is for a superior room in Collioure). Price without flights £2,750. Accommodation. Parador de Vic (parador.es): excellent 4-star Parador. Relais des trois Mas, Collioure (relaisdestroismas.com): comfortable 4-star hotel overlooking the bay. Superior doubles have a balcony or terrace. Superior singles are larger rooms. Hotel Eychenne, St Girons (hoteleychenne.com): splendid 3-star French coaching house with good restaurant. Parador de Vielha (parador.es): 4-star Parador in the Arán Valley. NH Pirineos, Lérida (nh-hoteles. es): centrally located 4-star, member of a reliable Spanish chain. How strenuous? A fairly full tour with a lot of driving, at times on minor roads, and walking, sometimes over steep terrain. Several hotel changes. Average coach travel per day: 96 miles. Group size: between 12 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Pilgrimage & Heresy, 16–25 May (page 77).

Day 9: Lérida, Poblet, Santes Creus. Lérida Cathedral is a sprawling complex of Gothic architecture, painting and sculpture. Poblet has a breathtaking Cistercian church containing tombs of the mediaeval monarchs of Aragón and a magnificent group of conventual buildings. Santes Creus has a slightly later Cistercian abbey with a superbly sculpted cloister and chapter house.

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Day 1: Terrassa, Vic. Fly at c. 11.15am from London Heathrow to Barcelona. Drive to Terrassa, a stunning and largely early medieval precinct arranged around three churches. Continue to Vic for the night.

“For me this tour was the perfect mix of an in-depth survey of Romanesque architecture and absolutely stunning scenery. We had it all from the soaring peaks of the Pyrenees across to the beautiful Mediterranean coastline around Collioure.”

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abbey church has a magnificent 12th-cent. carved choral tribune in pink marble. The extraordinary Benedictine monastery of St Martin du Canigou is pinned against a steep spur of Mont Canigou. St Michel de Cuxa, important early mediaeval foundation, was gloriously refurbished by Abbot Oliba during the early 11th cent. Overnight Collioure.

Day 10: Barcelona. Drive to Barcelona and visit the Museum of Catalan Art; a superb collection of mediaeval painting and sculpture from many of the churches visited on the tour. The mid afternoon flight from Barcelona arrives at Heathrow at c. 5.30pm.

Day 3: Serrabonne, St Martin de Canigou, St Michel de Cuxa. Drive in the morning into the foothills of the Canigou Massif. Serrabonne

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Bilbao to Bayonne

Food, art & architecture in the Basque lands Bilbao, wood engraving from The Graphic, 1873.

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24–31 October 2016 (md 922) 8 days • £3,140 Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen Long, lazy lunches including two in restaurants with three Michelin stars. Excellent wines of La Rioja-Alavesa. Architecture by Gehry, Calatrava, Moneo, and varied landscapes of coast, plain and mountain. Led by Gijs van Hensbergen, art historian and author of books on Spanish art and food. Three bases: Bilbao, Laguardia and Vera de Bidasoa in the Spanish Pyrenees.

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Straddling the Pyrenees and divided between France and Spain, the Basque Country has wonderful and varied scenery, a magnificent range of art and architecture and a culinary tradition which ranks with the best in the world. It is a land of abundance in many things, though there is one striking exception: tourists are in short supply. The landscape reaches from the Atlantic coast, indented with natural harbours and the fishing communities from which the wealth of the region has derived since ancient times, to the hills and mountains majestically clothed with broadleaf forests. Both the highlands and the fertile rolling lowlands provide the raw ingredients which supplement the seafood and inspire gastronomic greatness. The best of Basque cooking mixes a strong sense of tradition with startling innovation. From the all-male dining clubs, where friends cook for each other, to the indoor markets spilling over with smoked idiazabal cheeses and gleaming fresh fish, from the rustic cider clubs to the chic new bars vying for the ‘tapas of the year’ prize, Basques remain obsessed with the quality and provenance of their food. Juan-Marie Arzak is the most famous restaurateur in Spain. As godfather to New Basque Cuisine, he has inspired an entire generation of chefs including Martín Berasategui, Pedro Subijana and Hilario Arbelaitz. Together they share no fewer than ten Michelin stars. Today Juan-Marie cooks alongside his daughter,

Elena, voted best Female Chef in the World in 2012; their restaurant ranks in the world’s top ten. From Bilbao we drive a loop through the Rioja Alavesa, the northern rim of the most prestigious wine-making area in Spain and up to the Pyrenees. Between visits to restaurants, wineries and specialist food shops, we linger in mediaeval villages, Gothic churches and Baroque interiors. There is here some fine contemporary architecture by Gehry, Calatrava and Moneo, while nestling in the upland valleys and clamped to hillsides is a doughty vernacular of remarkable distinctiveness and beauty. San Sebastian, arguably the most gastronomic city in the world, has a swathe of flamboyant turn-of-the-century buildings and has been named European Capital of Culture in 2016.

Itinerary Day 1: Bilbao. Fly at c. 8.30am (British Airways) from London Heathrow to Bilbao, Calatrava’s spectacular airport. In the afternoon, visit the Fine Arts Museum. Overnight Bilbao. Day 2: Bilbao, Laguardia. The morning is spent studying Gehry’s extraordinary titaniumclad Guggenheim Museum. Lunch is at the restaurant here run by innovative chef Josean Alija who learned his trade at El Bulli. Leave city and industry behind and drive south through increasingly attractive countryside to the undulating plains of the wine-growing region of La Rioja-Alavesa and the mediaeval village of Laguardia. Introductory tasting in the hotel cellar. First of two nights in Laguardia. Day 3: Laguardia, Granja de Remelluri. Laguardia is the most picturesque of Riojan villages, perched on a hillock within fortified walls. Walk the ramparts and see the outstanding 14th-century portal of Sta Maria de los Reyes. A tasting at Bodega El Fabulista, where 32,000 litres of wine are produced annually by treading the grapes. Lunch and vineyard walk at the bodegas of Nuestra Señora de Remelluri, installed in 14thcentury monastic buildings in countryside. Day 4: Marqués de Riscal, Lasarte-Oria, Vera de Bidasoa. The Ysios winery below Laguardia is a magnificent building by Calatrava. The bodegas of

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Marqués de Riscal are among the most venerable in the region. The visit includes tasting and the cellars of their Gehry-designed hotel (subject to confirmation). Lunch at Martín Berasategui’s 3 Michelin-star restaurant in Lasarte-Oria. Vera de Bidasoa nestles in the Pyrenean foothills close to the French border. First of four nights in Vera. Day 5: France: Ainhoa, Espelette, Bayonne. Cross into the French Pyrenees to the spick and span villages of Ainhoa and Espelette with their red and white timbered houses sporting clusters of red peppers, a local speciality. Sample ewe’s milk cheese with cherry compote. Encircled by formidable Vauban ramparts and straddling the River Nive, Bayonne is a colourful town with Gothic cathedral, arcaded streets, riverside markets and famed for fish, ham and chocolate. Day 6: San Sebastian. This is the gastronomic capital of Spain, sweeping elegantly around one of the finest beaches on the northern coast. Behind the ancient fisherman’s quarter is the compact grid of the old town with a wonderfully harmonious arcaded square at the centre and traffic-free streets lined with bars. A tapas trawl is followed by lunch in a private dining club, a rare privilege (subject to confirmation). Some free time to see the elaborate historicist architecture of the 19th-century extension and Moneo’s arts centre. Day 7: Hondarribia, San Sebastian. Hondarribia is a superbly preserved fortified town on an outcrop overlooking the sea with narrow streets, balconied palaces, a 14th-century castle and a Gothic church. Return to San Sebastian for lunch at the most famous restaurant in Spain, Arzak. Despite its 3 Michelin stars and status as the 8th best restaurant in the world, it remains very much a family business. Day 8. Drive to Bilbao for the flight arriving London Heathrow at c. 2.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,140. Suite supplement in Vera £100 (2 sharing). Single supplement £240 (double for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,990. Included meals: 6 lunches and 4 dinners (3 of which are light) with wine. Accommodation. Silken Gran Domine, Bilbao (hoteles-silken.com): 5-star hotel opposite the Guggenheim; contemporary in style. Hotel Villa de Laguardia (hotelvilladelaguardia.com): 4-star hotel on the outskirts of the town; comfortable rooms and attractive public areas. Hotel Churrut, Vera de Bidasoa (hotelchurrut.com): 3-star hotel installed in an 18th-century military building; family owned with 17 spacious, well decorated rooms and comfortable sitting areas. How strenuous? Evening meals tend to begin at 9.00pm and some late nights are inevitable. There is a fair amount of walking on this tour, some of it uphill or on roughly paved streets. Daily coach travel; average distance per day: 60 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Art in Madrid, 19–23 October (page 165).


Castile & León

Ancient kingdoms in the heart of Spain

9–18 May 2016 (mc 669) 10 days • £2,690 Lecturer: Adam Hopkins Led by Adam Hopkins, journalist and author, specialist in Spanish history and culture. Spain’s most beautiful cities: Salamanca, Segovia and Ávila. Architectural magnificence throughout including the cathedrals of Burgos and León. Much fine sculpture as well. Walled villages, grand monasteries, hilltop castles and a backdrop of vast, undulating landscape. Includes the 16th-century Palace of El Escorial. Good food: suckling pig, slow-roast lamb and kid; good wine of the Ribera de Duero.

Day 3: Zamora, León. On the Roman road that connected Astorga to Mérida, Zamora rose to importance during the Reconquista as a bastion on the Duero front. Much of its Romanesque architecture survives, including the cathedral of Byzantine influence. Drive to León, former capital of the ancient kingdom and visit the monastery of San Marcos (our hotel) with an exuberant Plateresque façade, magnificent lateGothic church, Renaissance chapels and fine choir-stalls. First of two nights in León. Day 4: León. A morning walk to some of the outstanding mediaeval buildings of the city. The royal pantheon of San Isidoro is one of the first, and finest, Romanesque buildings in Spain, with important sculptures. The cathedral is truly superb Rayonnant Gothic with impressive stained glass. The afternoon is free to visit the archaeological or contemporary art museums. Day 5: San Miguel de Escalada, Lerma, Santo Domingo de Silos. The beautiful, remote church at San Miguel de Escalada displays a fusion of Visigothic and Islamic building traditions. The village of Lerma has a wealth of buildings from the early 17th cent. including an arcaded main square with ducal palace and the Collegiate church of San Pedro. Drive in the late afternoon to Santo Domingo de Silos, which has the finest Romanesque monastery in Spain, outstanding

for the sculpture of the 12th-cent. cloister. First of two nights in Lerma. Day 6: Burgos, Quintanilla de las Viñas, Covarrubias. Drive to Burgos, the early capital of Castile, whose cathedral combines French and German Gothic styles and has remarkable vaults and 16th-cent. choir stalls. On the outskirts is the convent of Las Huelgas Reales with its important early Gothic church. Visit the Visigothic chapel at Quintanilla de las Viñas. Covarrubias is an attractive walled village with a mediaeval Colegiata containing fine tombs. Day 7: El Burgo de Osma, San Esteban de Gormaz, Segovia. El Burgo de Osma is a walled town with arcaded streets and one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Spain. At San Esteban de Gormaz see the 12th-cent. churches of San Miguel and Del Rivero with exterior galleries. Built on a steep-sided hill, Segovia is one of the loveliest cities in Spain and architecturally one of the most richly endowed. Spend three nights here. Day 8: Segovia. Straddling the town, the remarkable Roman aqueduct is one of the biggest in Europe. See the outstanding Romanesque exteriors of San Martín, San Millán and San Esteban and the circular Templar church of La Vera Cruz. An afternoon walk includes the cathedral, a soaring Gothic structure, and the restored Alcázar (castle), dramatically perched at the prow of the hill. Day 9: Segovia, La Granja. Free morning; suggestions include the contemporary art museum of Esteban Vicente and the Museum of Segovia. Drive to La Granja de San Ildefonso, the palace constructed for Philip V in the early 18th century, with magnificent formal gardens. Day 10: El Escorial. This vast retreat-cum-palacecum-monastery-cum-pantheon was built from 1563 to 1584 for Philip II, successfully embodying

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Since their fusion under one crown in the eleventh century, the ancient kingdoms of Castile and León have been responsible for some of the most emblematic periods of Spanish history. These former rival territories established themselves as the heart of Spain and exerted great influence over language, religion and culture far across the mediaeval map. Innumerable castles were built here (hence ‘Castile’) for this was the principal battleground of the Reconquista, the five-hundred-year war of attrition against the Moors which reclaimed Spain for Christendom. The region occupies much of the Meseta, the vast and austere plateau in the centre of the Iberian peninsula. Here are many of Spain’s finest cities, buildings and works of art. Lovers of Romanesque will feel particularly satisfied for there are many excellent examples of the style. Great Gothic churches are another magnificent feature, the cathedrals at León, Burgos, Segovia and Salamanca among them. French, German and English influences are to be found, though the end result is always unmistakably Spanish. Another striking aspect of the tour is the wealth of brilliant sculpture, especially of the late-mediaeval and Renaissance periods. Castles, of course, abound, and some of the defensive curtain of frontier cities such as Ávila are remarkably well preserved. As well as the prominent cities, we include a number of lesser-known places, all strikingly attractive, many with outstanding buildings or works of art, all barely visited by tourists.

most attractive cities in Spain and home to its most prestigious university. See the magnificent 16th-century Gothic ‘New Cathedral’ and austere Romanesque ‘Old Cathedral’, the 18th-century Plaza Mayor and superb, elaborate Plateresque sculpture on the façades of the university and church of San Esteban. The University has 15thand 16th-cent. quadrangles, arcaded courtyards and original lecture halls. The Convento de las Dueñas has a Plateresque portal and an irregular, two-tiered cloister.

Itinerary Day 1: Ávila, Salamanca. Fly at c. 9.15am from London Heathrow to Madrid (Iberia Airlines). Drive to Ávila: a fortress town built during the Reconquista, it retains its entire circuit of 11thcentury walls complete with battlements and 88 turrets. The 12th-cent. Basilica of San Vicente has fine sculpture. First of two nights in Salamanca. Day 2: Salamanca. Distinguished by the honeycoloured hue of its stone, Salamanca is one of the

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19–28 October 2015 (mc 500) 10 days • £2,630 Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen

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Segovia, lithograph 1838. Te l e p h o n e + 4 4 ( 0 ) 2 0 8 7 4 2 3 3 5 5


Castile & León continued

Barcelona

Mediaeval to Modernista spain

Opera in Spain April 2016 Details available in September 2015 Contact us to register your interest

his instructions for ‘nobility without arrogance, majesty without ostentation, severity in the whole’. Fly from Madrid, arriving at London Heathrow at c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price in 2015: £2,630. Single supplement £300 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,470. Price in 2016: £2,690. Single supplement £260 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,510. Included meals: 7 dinners with wine. Accommodation. NH Palacio de Castellanos, Salamanca (nh-hotels.com): attractive 4-star hotel in a converted palace, close to the key sites. Parador de León (parador.es): 5-star Parador in a grandiose Plateresque building with impressive public areas. Parador de Lerma (parador.es): 4-star Parador in the Ducal Palace. Palacio San Facundo, Segovia (hotelpalaciosanfacundo. com): 4-star hotel in a converted 16th-cent. casapalacio. Rooms vary in size but are well-equipped. How strenuous? This is a long tour with a lot of walking, some of it on cobbled streets and uphill. Average distance by coach per day: 73 miles. Dinners tend to be at 8.30 or 9.00pm in Spain, so you might get to bed later than you would usually. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Madrid Revisited, 20–27 May (page 166).

Barcelona cathedral, lithograph c. 1840.

5–9 April 2016 (mc 622) 5 days • £1,810 Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen A short and sharp immersion in the art and architecture of the capital of Catalonia.

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Contrasting the mediaeval treasures of the Gothic quarter with the flamboyant Modernista buildings of Gaudí and his contemporaries.

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Led by Gaudí biographer, Gijs van Hensbergen.

La Granja, watercolour by M. Nixon, publ. 1916.

To its inhabitants, Barcelona is not so much Spain’s second city as the capital of Catalonia, a European metropolis rather than a Spanish one. The more independence it wins, the more it flourishes. Barcelona was Iberia’s leading maritime power before the discovery of America. It is not therefore surprising that it possesses one of the most extensive and best-preserved mediaeval quarters in Europe, with some marvellous Gothic churches and palaces. A highlight of the tour will be the museum of Catalonian art which displays the world’s best collection of Romanesque painting.

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But Barcelona is also a centre of modernity. After centuries of repression exercised by Madrid, the city took the lead in Spanish industrial development, becoming a centre of art and design of European importance and nurturing such modernists as Gaudí, Nonells, Picasso and Miró. There developed around the turn of the century designs which are unique to Barcelona, having more in common with their counterparts in other great capitals than with their Spanish peers. Gaudí’s creations took the possibilities of Art Nouveau to an unparalleled extreme, and he is now one of the most popular and most influential of architects and the first creative artist since Fra Angelico to be officially beatified by the Vatican. With the establishment of democracy in the 1970s, the shackles were again removed, and Barcelona became once more a leading world centre of fashion and design and remains to this day one of the most exciting European cities.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at 10.15am from London Heathrow to Barcelona (British Airways). Explore Las Ramblas and neighbouring streets, squares and churches: Richard Meier’s sleek Museum of Contemporary


Ar t in Madrid The Great Galleries

Day 2: Mediaeval Barcelona. The Barri Gòtic is a marvellously well-preserved mediaeval quarter. Visit the magnificent and richly adorned cathedral, with a superb Flamboyant cloister. Soaring Santa Maria del Mar is the finest Gothic church in Catalonia. The Museum of the City of Barcelona is housed in the Chapel of St Agatha and Royal Palace with fascinating Roman and Visigothic remains. In the afternoon walk to the Picasso Museum which, installed in neighbouring mansions, ranks second only to Paris for the size and quality of its collection. Day 3: Modernista Barcelona. Walk to some outstanding modernist buildings and decoration starting with Domènech i Montaner’s sumptuous Palau de la Música Catalana (concert hall). The grid-plan 19th-century Eixample is lined with houses and offices of unusual and disputable beauty such as Gaudí’s Casa Battló, Palau Montaner and La Pedrera with rooftop walk. In the afternoon drive to the Sagrada Familia, Gaudí’s extraordinary church, still years from completion, and Park Güell with its fine views of the city. Visit the house Gaudí lived in for 20 years, now a museum. Day 4: Montjuïc. On the Montjuïc hill visit the Miró Foundation, a huge collection of works by the Barcelona artist. The National Museum of Catalan Art, with altarpieces and detached frescoes from all over the region, is one of the finest collections of mediaeval art anywhere. Free afternoon for independent exploration. Day 5: Pedralbes. Drive to Pedralbes via the Gaudí pavilions of the Colònia Güell. The Monestir de Pedralbes is a 14th-cent. monastery complex with exquisite cloister arcades and frescoes. End the tour at the crypt of the Colònia Güell, Gaudí’s greatest work. Take the lateafternoon flight to Heathrow, arriving c. 7.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,810. Single supplement £240 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,620. Included meals: 1 lunch and 3 dinners with wine.

How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking in Barcelona – some of it over uneven paving – where vehicular access is restricted, and should not be attempted by anyone who has difficulty with everyday walking and stair– climbing. There is also use of the Metro. Average distance by coach per day: 7 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. In 2016, combine this tour with Madrid Revisited, 20–27 May (page 166).

19–23 October 2016 (md 917) 5 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Gail Turner Two visits to the Prado plus the ThyssenBornemisza Collection and the Reina Sofía, home to Picasso’s Guernica. Lesser-known places include the Sorolla Museum, Archaeological Museum and Goya frescoes at San Antonio de la Florida. Gail Turner and Dr Xavier Bray are both art historians specialising in Spain. While the Museo del Prado alone might justify a visit to Madrid – and this tour has two sessions there – the city has other excellent collections which reinforce its reputation as one of the great art centres of Europe. This city of Velázquez and Goya has been enormously enhanced over the years by the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection and the Reina Sofía Museum. Both these and the Prado boast superb facilities and exhibiting spaces thanks to the work of architects Jean Nouvel (Reina Sofía), Manuel Baquero and Francesc Plá (Thyssen) and Rafael Moneo (Prado) converting them into world-class galleries. Our stints at the ‘big three’ are interspersed with less-visited collections. The great Spanish painters – including El Greco, Murillo, Velázquez, Goya and Picasso – are magnificently represented on the tour, but the collecting mania of the Habsburgs and Bourbons and their subjects has resulted in a wide range of artistic riches which will surprise and delight. There is a large number of outstanding paintings by Titian and Rubens, for example, and the Prado has by far the largest holding of the bizarre creations of Hieronymus Bosch.

Day 4. Travel by coach to the church of San Antonio de la Florida, with fine Goya frescoes, and then to the Sorolla Museum, in the charming house of the eponymous Impressionist painter. Continue to the arcaded, balconied Plaza Mayor, centrepiece of Habsburg town planning. In the afternoon return to the Prado, this time primarily to see the Italian and Netherlandish schools. Day 5. Walk via Herzog & de Meuron’s Caixaforum (visit dependent on the exhibition at the time) to the Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, one of the greatest modern art museums and home to Picasso’s Guernica plus works by Miró, Dalí and Tàpies. Fly to Heathrow, arriving at c. 6.00pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,790. Single supplement £290 (double for single use). Price without flights: £1,580. Included meals: 3 dinners with wine. Accommodation. NH Palacio de Tepa, Madrid (nh-hoteles.com): small, excellently located 5-star hotel. Comfortable rooms. Contemporary décor. How strenuous? The tour involves a lot of walking and standing around in museums. Participants need to be able to cope with everyday walking and stair-climbing without difficulty. Group size: between 9 and 19 participants. Combine the tour, in March, with: Toledo & La Mancha, 7–13 March (page 167); in October: Bilbao to Bayonne, 24–31 October (page 162); Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur, 25–31 October (page 78). Madrid, The Prado, after a drawing by Joseph Pennell 1903.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.15am (Iberia Airlines) from London Heathrow to Madrid. Start with a first visit to the Prado Museum, one of the world’s greatest art galleries, concentrating on the Spanish school.

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Accommodation. Hotel Condes de Barcelona (condesdebarcelona.com): 4-star hotel, very well placed for buildings by Gaudí; rooms are modern and comfortable.

2–6 March 2016 (mc 586) 5 days • £1,790 Lecturer: Dr Xavier Bray

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Art, jewels of the Modernista-Art Nouveau style including La Boquería, the most beautiful market in the world, and the arcaded Plaça Reial.

Day 2. Morning visits include the Royal Academy of Fine Arts, home to works by Goya, Zurbarán, Ribera and Murillo, and the Museum of Decorative Arts, with an 18th-century tiled Valencian kitchen. The afternoon is spent at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, housed in the 18th-century Palacio de Villahermosa until its purchase by the Spanish state in 1993 one of the world’s largest private art collections. Day 3. Begin at the recently renovated Archaeological Museum, good on ancient Iberian civilization and Roman Spain. Continue to the Lázaro Galdiano Museum with works by El Greco, Goya and Murillo. Free afternoon; time for temporary exhibitions (details nearer the time) or a visit to the 18th-century Royal Palace.

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Madrid Revisited

The new, the established, the lesser-known spain

including a series of Rubens tapestries. Break for lunch near the arcaded, balconied Plaza Mayor, centrepiece of Habsburg town planning. The afternoon is dedicated to the Thyssen-Bornemisza Collection, an excellent overview of art and one of the world’s largest private collections until bought by the Spanish state in 1993.

‘La Maja’ (Duchess of Alba), engraving c. 1890 after the painting by Goya.

20–27 May 2016 (mc 685) 8 days • £2,890 Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen Covers the well-known and lesser-known museums and a private collection. Comprehensive survey of art and architecture, balanced by gastronomy and literature. Led by Gijs van Hensbergen, art historian and author of books on Spanish art and food. Special access is a feature. A day is spent in Toledo, one of the most architecturally varied cities in Spain.

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Once a truly Spanish capital, proudly referred to as a town, the Villa de Madrid, or even a pueblo, Madrid attached its identity to the neighbourhood barrio, and still does. But the early twenty-first century saw Madrid seize the cultural initiative with spectacular results. From the hotel, set in the heart of the Barrio de los Literatos – where Lope de Vega and Cervantes created and dissected the Golden Age – a five minute walk in any direction brings you face-to-face with the products of a grand urban rejuvenation. Rafael Moneo, Spain’s most prestigious architect, was at the heart of the plan. He created tropical gardens – stocked with parakeets and turtles – that fill the belle époque Atocha railway station; remodelled the Thyssen collection; and designed a brilliant Prado extension that swallows up an entire sixteenth cloister. The best foreign architects were also called in to help: Richard Rogers, designer of the awardwinning Terminal 4; Jean Nouvel, creator of the spectacular plaza-in-the-sky extension to the Reina Sofia, where Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica is housed; Herzog & de Meuron’s brutalist Caixaforum, sensitively softened by Patrick Blanc’s miraculous sixty-foot vertical garden wall, housing two hundred different species. These are just some of the novelties. As Spain plunged into recession, work ground to a halt but now all eyes are returning to Madrid as Europe’s most contemporary and cosmopolitan city. Exiled workers are bringing back global trends and the city is enjoying

renewed investment. New museums and arts centres have opened while existing ones have been revived, meaning the cultural and culinary scenes are once again buzzing with life. However, Madrid never lost the energy and ambition of a frontier town that, sitting at the heart of an empire, boasts many of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Built on a Celto-Iberian Bronze Age encampment, the recently renovated National Museum of Archaeology displays the wealth of influences that have created the city of today: from Phoenician, through Roman, Visigothic, and Arab, to Christian. In the world of art, the genius of Velázquez, El Greco and Goya of course take pride of place, but artists and artistry in Madrid come in many forms. The vast majority of Madrileños still find their identity in shared ritual: from the traditional fiestas illustrated in Goya’s frescoes above his tomb at San Antonio de la Florida, to the sackcloth austerity of the Barefoot Carmelites. Madrid Revisited is an opportunity to examine the city’s varied architectural styles, sample remarkable cuisine and view worldfamous collections of art alongside the littlevisited. It includes privileged access to the Royal Palace and a visit to the Palacio San Bernardino, which houses a private collection of works by Vicente Lopez, Madrazo, Sorolla and Goya.

Day 4. Visit the 18th-century Royal Palace with varied collections of art and furnishings including frescoes by Mengs, Tiepolo and Giaquinto, and areas not normally open to the public. Continue to Palacio San Bernardino, ancestral home of Don Álvaro de Bazán, hero of the battle of Lepanto, for a private viewing of the art collection and lunch. The church of San Antonio de la Florida is filled with joyous, impressionistic frescoes and canvases by Goya, and the artist is buried here. In the evening there is the option to attend a flamenco show. Day 5: Toledo. Excursion to Toledo, capital of Visigothic, Islamic and (from 1085) Christian Spain and long-term home to El Greco. Start early for a private view of his Burial of Count Orgaz. Visit the Visigothic museum, Mosque of Bab al Mamdoun dating from 999, Synagogue of El Tránsito and Cathedral with its excellent collection of painting. See also the royal mausoleum of Ferdinand and Isabella. Day 6. The morning is free. In the afternoon return to the Prado; see the Italian and Netherlandish schools, as well as Moneo’s architectural additions. Dinner takes the form of a tapas walk, beginning at the Café Gijón, literary haunt of Lorca et al. Day 7. The day includes the Lazaro Galdiano Museum with works by El Greco, Goya and Murillo, and the newly opened Fundación Carlos de Amberes, which celebrates Spain’s link with the Low Countries. In the afternoon visit Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, an outstanding collection of modern art and home to Picasso’s Guernica. Day 8. Morning visit to the Sorolla Museum, in the charming house of the eponymous Valencian Impressionist. The afternoon flight arrives London Heathrow at c. 5.45pm.

Itinerary

Practicalities

Day 1. Fly at c. 9.15am from London Heathrow to Madrid. Afternoon visit to the National Museum of Archaeology, good on ancient Iberian civilisation and Roman Spain.

Price: £2,890. Single supplement £420 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,610.

Day 2. Begin at the home of Lope de Vega, a masterly restoration of the Golden Age, followed by a first visit to the Prado, one of the greatest art galleries in the world, concentrating on the magnificent collection of Spanish art. An afternoon walk takes in the architectural masterpieces of Moneo and Herzog & de Meuron. Dinner is at Club Allard (2-star Michelin), where chef Maria Marte shows her delicate creativity in a listed modernist building. Day 3. The Royal Academy of Fine Arts is home to more works by the Spanish greats. Continue to the Monasterio de las Descalzas Reales (Barefoot Carmelites), a complex rich in masterpieces

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Included meals: 2 lunches and 4 dinners (including 1 tapas walk), with wine. Accommodation. NH Palacio de Tepa (nhhoteles.com): small, excellently located 5-star hotel. Comfortable rooms; contemporary décor. How strenuous? A lot of standing in museums and a fair amount of walking. Average distance by coach per day: 17 miles (though driving is largely confined to the day trip to Toledo). Group size: between 8 and 19 participants. Combine this tour with Castile & León, 9–18 May (page 163); Gastronomic Veneto, 11–18 May (page 110).


Toledo & La Mancha Land of El Greco

Toledo is one of the most architecturally varied cities with Moorish, Jewish and Christian monuments. Works of El Greco a major theme, alongside Spanish masters. Also stay in Cuenca: monumental, in a spectacular setting, way off the tourist track. Led by Dr David McGrath, expert in Spanish history and culture. Crammed onto the crown of a river-girt promontory, Toledo displays the masonry residue of a greater mix of peoples and civilizations than perhaps any other city in the world. Capital of Visigothic, Islamic and (from 1085) Christian states, it was a wealthy, sophisticated and tolerant centre which attracted a large and cosmopolitan population. The Jewish community here was one of the most important in Europe. Nowadays the countryside begins at the foot of the mighty circuit of city walls, the current population being a quarter of that in the Middle Ages. It is the combination of major architecture and great works of art with the unspoilt and almost deserted backstreets and byways that make a stay here so rewarding. (Day trippers from Madrid only clog up a limited area, and only for a few hours in the middle of the day.) El Greco (1541–1614) arrived here in about 1575 (from Crete by way of Venice and Rome), shortly after its capital status had been lost to Madrid, and during his forty years here he would have witnessed the wilful impoverishment of the city by the expulsion of the Converso Jews and Moriscos. But there were still innumerable commissions to fulfil, and there remain sufficient of his incandescent and spiritually charged paintings for them to comprise a main theme of the tour. The tour begins in Cuenca which, suspended over a gorge, is topographically even more dramatic than Toledo. Between the cities lies the green, undulating plain of La Mancha, playground of Don Quixote.

housed in a 15th-century building overhanging the gorge, has an important collection of Saura, Tàpies, Chillida and others. Day 3: Segobriga, Aranjuez, Toledo. The Roman city of Segobriga reached its peak in the 1st century ad and was abandoned during the Islamic conquest of Spain. Ruins of the theatre, forum and baths remain in a pleasingly remote setting. See also Aranjuez with its 18th-century royal landscaped park and elaborately decorated little palaces. Continue to Toledo for the first of four nights. Day 4: Toledo. San Roman is a 13th-century Mudéjar church with Romanesque paintings and a Visigothic Museu. The Cristo de la Luz mosque dates from 999 and is one of the earliest surviving examples of Moorish architecture in Spain. See also Toledo’s two main synagogues, El Tránsito and Santa María la Blanca. Founded by the Catholic Kings Ferdinand and Isabella as their mausoleum, the monastery of San Juan de los Reyes has outstanding Late Gothic decoration. Day 5: Toledo: El Greco. Visit the church of Santo Tomé with El Greco’s Burial of Count Orgaz, his greatest work (private view). See more of his work and his burial place at the convent of Sto Domingo. The Gothic cathedral is Spain’s largest and the most richly endowed with paintings (El Greco, Velázquez, Titian) and also has furnishings and sculpture of the highest quality. El Greco’s house and museum contains his finest series of apostles and View of Toledo. End at the 13th-century bridge of Alcántara. Day 6: Toledo. Further works by El Greco and excellent Spanish ceramics are in the Museum of Santa Cruz, a fine Plateresque building. Beyond the city gates is the 16th-century Hospital de Tavera, now a museum containing El Greco’s final work, Baptism of Christ. Free afternoon in Toledo.

Dr David McGrath Writer, translator and expert on Spanish literature and culture. He completed his PhD in Hispanic literature at Queen Mary, London University, and is a Visting Research Fellow at King’s College, London. He is currently workong on a translation of Jusepe Martínez’s 17th-century treatise, The Noble Art of Painting.

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7–13 March 2016 (mc 587) 7 days • £2,010 Lecturer: Dr David McGrath

See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. Day 7: Illescas. El Greco spent two years in the undistinguished town of Illescas and the Hospital de Caridad contains five of his works. Fly to Heathrow arriving at c. 7.45 pm.

Practicalities Price: £2,010. Single supplement £280 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,870. Included meals: 4 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Parador de Cuenca (parador. es): 4-star hotel in a converted 16th-cent. convent. Hotel Fontecruz, Toledo (fontecruzhoteles.com): 4-star hotel in the Jewish Quarter with smart but small rooms, dinners are in good restaurants. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking over unevenly paved ground, fitness is essential, average distance by coach per day: 42 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Art in Madrid, 2–6 March (page 16); Venetian Palaces, 15–19 March (page 115); Normans in the South, 15–23 March (page 137).

Toledo, wood engraving c. 1880 from Leaves From a Sketch Book.

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Itinerary Day 1: Chinchón, Cuenca. Fly at c. 9.15 am from London Heathrow to Madrid (Iberia Airlines) drive south to Chinchón, which has a delightfully irregular main square with balconied timber houses. Continue across La Mancha to Cuenca through countryside which progresses from gently picturesque to dramatic. First of two nights in Cuenca. Day 2: Cuenca. The old town sits high on a narrow ridge bound by rivers, the castle ramparts at the top affording spectacular views. The predominantly Gothic cathedral has Plateresque portals and carved wooden ceilings. One museum has two works by El Greco, another has Roman remains and the Museum of Abstract Art,

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Valencia

Art & architecture, Mediaeval to modern spain

Day 2. The cathedral, a mix of Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque, has a splendid chapter house and paintings by Goya. There is a fine Modernista market – and produce. Great examples of secular 15th-cent. Gothic include the Silk Exchange with its magnificent hall of pillars and the Generalitat with a sequence of richly decorated rooms (subject to confirmation). Housed in its exuberantly Churrigueresque palace, the collections of the National Ceramics Museum range from Moorish lustre ware to Picasso. Day 3. The complex of the Colegio del Patriarca has a Renaissance courtyard and a museum with Flemish and Spanish paintings. The church of Corpus Cristi has 16th-cent. frescoes and a Last Supper by Ribalta. Santo Domingo, a Gothic friary, has a Royal Chapel with ribless vault and an outstanding 14th-cent. chapter house (visit by special arrangement). Cross the 16th-cent. Royal Bridge to the Fine Arts Museum, one of the best in Spain, with works by Valencian, Spanish and Flemish masters.

Valencia, Quart Towers, engraving c. 1840.

10–14 November 2015 (mc 522) 5 days • £1,370 Lecturer: Adam Hopkins A handsome, vibrant city on the Mediterranean seaboard, excellent for its variety of art and architecture, good food and wine. The lecturer is Adam Hopkins, journalist and author, specialist in Spanish history and culture. Gothic highlights include the Silk Exchange and Royal Chapel at Santo Domingo. Possibility of attending an opera or concert at Calatrava’s striking Palau de les Arts Reina Sofia. One of Spain’s greatest fine arts museums, and its first modern art gallery, Impressionist collections and Arabic ceramics.

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Valencia, Spain’s third city, is elegant and openspirited, filled with Mediterranean light – though you only glimpse the sea when you go down to the beach to sample a paella, Valencia’s great contribution to gastronomic pleasure. From Arab times until today, Valencia has meant and still means rice – and oranges. Valencia’s architecture reflects the city’s exuberant success in Gothic days and the newly-thrusting, ultra-modern regionalism which has brought the America’s Cup here twice in recent years. Santiago Calatrava’s vast, fantastical and gleaming showpiece, the City of Arts and Sciences, set in the bed of a diverted river as the culmination of fourteen kilometres of park, is undoubtedly its supreme expression. Calatrava, Valencian-born engineer-architect supreme, has always had his critics: today voices are raised about operating cost and maintenance now rising to crisis level, and the general sense of grandeur. But few could deny the beauty of the

cascading glass, the gleaming steel and dazzling concrete, the acrobatic forms of his assemblage of outsize buildings – opera house, science museum, sports stadium, arboretum-walkway along with an oceanarium by the older but also interesting architect Felix Candela. The complex and indeed the whole city should not be missed by anyone who wants an overview of modern Spain. Evidence of the vigour of the city’s culture over the centuries is everywhere. The Fine Arts Museum is one of the most important in Spain, excellent in particular for Gothic and Renaissance painting – Valencia was Spain’s first port of call for many Renaissance ideas. The city’s luminous nineteenth-century painting, increasingly appreciated today, is also much in evidence. The IVAM was Spain’s first major gallery of modern art with an impressive permanent collection and important temporary exhibitions. The presence of the National Ceramics Museum, in a lush rococo palace, reflects continuous production of top-class ceramics from the thirteenth century onwards – Moorish in technique and design, its best elements perpetuated in what came after. The Moors made mediaeval Valencia. Christians from Aragón reconquered it in 1238. The new masters built on Arab civilisation to achieve Mediterranean prominence and their own Gothic splendours. In an exuberant nineteenth-century city-centre, Art Nouveau (Modernista) and Art Deco flourished, as Santiago Calatrava does today in the Turia riverbed.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow to Madrid (Iberia) and connect on a flight to Valencia (Air Nostrum). Arrive in time for an introductory talk.

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Day 4. Drive via the Quart Towers, a massive 14th-cent. city gateway, to IVAM (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno): a collection of international painting, sculpture and photography with good temporary exhibitions. The home and studio of the Benlliure family of Impressionist painters has a large art collection and a romantic garden. Drive to the seafront for a paella lunch overlooking the Mediterranean. Take an optional excursion to Manises, centre of ceramic production since Arab times, with an excellently presented ceramics museum. Day 5. Spanning the dry bed of the diverted River Turia is a Calatrava trademark, the ‘Peineta’ bridge, and, below it, a metro station he designed. Further along is his Ciudad de las Artes y las Ciencias consisting inter alia of an arboretum, a soaring edifice that houses the science museum and the nearby opera house (exteriors only). Fly in the early afternoon to London via Madrid, arriving London Heathrow at c. 5.15pm.

Practicalities Price: £1,370. Single supplement £120 (double for single use). Price without flights £1,130. Included meals: 1 lunch, 3 dinners, with wine. Music: we hope to be able to offer tickets to an opera or concert at the Palau de les Arts. Accommodation. SH Hotel Inglés (inglesboutique.com): 4-star hotel installed in an 18th-cent. palace in a very central location next to the National Ceramics Museum. How strenuous? Coach access is restricted in the historic centre and there is a lot of walking and standing around in museums. Dinners tend to be at 8.30 or 9.00pm in Spain, so you might get to bed later than you usually would. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants.


Gastronomic Valencia Food & art in south-east Spain

From the sea to the mountains of south-east Spain, a conspectus of Valencian cuisine. A myriad of historical influences (Phoenician, Arab, Jewish) as well as current cuttingedge chefs, such as 3-star Michelin chef Quique Dacosta, make this an incredibly rich gastronomic region to explore. Led by Gijs van Hensbergen, art historian and author of books on Spanish art and food. Based in the handsome, vibrant city of Valencia, excellent for its variety of art and architecture, and in the small charming seaside town of Dénia.

Itinerary Day 1: Valencia. Fly at c. 10.45am from London Heathrow to Valencia, via Madrid (Iberia, Air Nostrum). First of three nights in Valencia. Day 2: Valencia. Peruse the produce in the fine modernista-style Mercado Central with

Day 3: Valencia. Visit the Museum of Fine Arts, one of the best in Spain, with works by Valencian, Spanish and Flemish masters; and the National Ceramics Museum, housed in its exuberantly Churrigueresque palace. Paella originates from La Albufera, a freshwater lagoon nearby on the Gulf of Valencia. Taste this authentic rice dish, cooked over a wood fire, before a sunset cruise on a traditional fishing boat. Day 4: Fontanars dels Alforins, Cocentaina. Leave Valencia and drive south, stopping at Fontanars dels Alforins for a wine tasting at the prestigious Casa los Frailes. Continue to Cocentaina, located between the Sierra de Mariola and Serpis river, for lunch at the familyrun L’escalata restaurant (1-star Michelin). Drive to the coast for the first of four nights in Dénia. Day 5: Gandia. Dating from the 14th century and home to the Borgias, the Palacio Ducal de Gandia displays Gothic architecture, with Renaissance and Baroque additions. Gandia is also where the dish fideuà originated, a noodle dish usually cooked with seafood. Return to Dénia in time for the arrival of the fishing boats and exclusive access to the fish auction.

Gijs van Hensbergen Art historian and author specialising in Spain and the USA. His books include Gaudí, In the Kitchens of Castile and Guernica. He studied Art History at the Courtauld and is a Fellow of the Cañada Blanch Centre for Contemporary Spanish Studies at the LSE. See pages 8–14 for all lecturers’ biographies. How strenuous? Coach access is restricted in historical centres and there is a fair amount of walking and standing around in museums, vineyards and at cooking demonstrations. Dinners tend to be at 8.30 or 9.00pm in Spain, so you might get to bed later than you usually would. Average distance by coach per day: 40 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Connoisseur’s Rome, 1–6 November (page 133).

Valencia, tower of Santa Catalina, wood engraving c. 1880 from Granada & the East of Spain.

Day 6: Dénia, Parcent. A morning walk takes in the historical centre of Dénia, including the 11th-century Moorish Castle. Ascend into the mountains through orange and almond groves to Parcent for a wine tasting, cooking demonstration and lunch at Bodegas Gutiérrez de la Vega, a family-run business famous for their sweet Moscatel wine. Day 7: Dénia. The morning is free. Take a walk before lunch along the impressive coastline of Las Rotas before continuing to Quique Dacosta’s restaurant (3-star Michelin). Dacosta combines local, seasonal produce with cutting-edge creativity and technique.

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From market to plate there is nothing fresher or more vibrant than Valencian cuisine. The legendary huertas – market gardens, orange groves, paddy fields and Mediterranean orchards – are the city’s larder. Valencian markets are some of the most beautiful in the world; the Gothic silk market is a World Heritage Site. The tour includes experiences such as market shopping with a Michelin-starred chef, exclusive backroom access to the fish auction at La Lonja in Dénia, and tasting unctuous goat’s milk cheeses dribbled with thyme honey in the mountains. There is hospitality at great bodegas like Casa los Frailes, source of wines served to visiting heads of state at Madrid’s Palacio Real. There are also low-key everyday experiences – a refreshing horchata, a tiger nut milk pick-youup; an Aqua de Valencia, a fresh orange-based cocktail; and rifling the wine cellar, feasting on organic potatoes and nibbling at a perfectly burnt brandade at Casa Montaña, arguably the best bar in the world.   Valencian cuisine is both ancient and new. Wind-dried octopus prepared to a 3,000-year-old Phoenician recipe is a revelation, as are the sweet luxury of almond biscuits accompanied by an ice cold Moscatel. The Moors held the Levante for 400 years and the phantom flavours live on. We feel the weight of Borgia rule and the Naples connection, and taste history with alioli-steeped fideuà – Europe’s first pasta dish? There are Baroque splendours, shimmering Valencian tiles and the hedonistic sun-drenched canvases of Joaquín Sorolla. There are back streets and museums and hideaway cafés to be explored: the Jewish call, the Almohad Arab walls, the twelfthcentury Christian settlement. Dénia’s museum contains artefacts from the Romans and the Iberians, who were pressing wine 5,000 years ago. The final lunch is provided by 3-star Michelin chef Quique Dacosta, a whirlwind of inventive brilliance, theatre and caprice.

a Michelin-starred chef, to learn his zerokilometre philosophy. Mercado Colón is home to the Ricard Camarena cooking laboratory, where there is a cooking demonstration followed by lunch. Evening brings a private visit to the IVAM (Instituto Valenciano de Arte Moderno) with its superb collection of cubist sculpture by Julio González. Dinner is in the excellent restaurant connected to the gallery, La Sucursal (1-star Michelin).

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7–14 November 2016 (md 940) 8 days • £3,260 Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen

Day 8. Drive north to Valencia for the earlyafternoon flight to London Heathrow, via Madrid, arriving at c. 5.15pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,260. Single supplement £300 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,070. Included meals: 6 lunches, 3 dinners, with wine. Accommodation. SH Hotel Inglés, Valencia (inglesboutique.com): 4-star hotel installed in an 18th-century palace in a very central location next to the National Ceramics Museum. Rooms for single occupancy have queen-size beds. La Posada del Mar, Dénia (laposadadelmar.com): 4-star hotel located near the historic centre and overlooking the harbour.

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Extremadura

Landscape, architecture, rural life spain ‘A Village in Spain’, etching and drypoint c. 1920 by Isabel Codrington.

29 March–6 April 2016 (mc 616) 9 days • £2,380 Lecturer: Adam Hopkins Remote and unspoilt: one of the most consistently beautiful regions in Europe. Monumental cities of the Conquistadors: Trujillo, Cáceres, Plasencia, packed with palaces and churches. Mérida has excellent Roman remains. Monasteries of Guadalupe and Yuste, both in splendid isolation in the hills. Other visits include a livestock farm with tractor ride, opportunity to walk in the hills. The lecturer is Adam Hopkins, journalist and author, specialist in Spanish history and culture.

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Extremadura means ‘beyond the Duero’, a designation coined by the conquering Christians as they bludgeoned their way southwards against the Moors. The Moors were finally defeated; but much of the countryside of Extremadura remains unsubjugated. Together with the adjoining Alentejo in Portugal, this, though tawny as a lion’s pelt in sweltering midsummer, is the largest ‘green’ region in western Europe. Monfragüe in the Tagus gorge has a colony of griffon vultures, the Iberian lynx is still a resident in these parts, hawks and other birds of prey abound. The Sierra de Gata in the north, the Sierra de Guadalupe in the centre and the wild country of the south-west around Jerez de los Caballeros all remain rough and uncultivated. Equally, Extremadura is cattle country, with fighting bulls and the local Retinta breed making the most of some of the gentler lands. In the autumn, when there are acorns to be eaten, the black-foot pig, source of the finest of mountain hams, comes on the scene. The landscape has a

mixed array of well-spaced trees, mainly holm oak and cork oak, which together with the wild grasses constitute the habitat known as dehesa. The river valleys, notably the Tiétar and Guadiana, are now well-irrigated and grow fruit and vegetables: apricots, cherries and peppers. From the south comes wine, much improved of late. There is virtually no industry which is not based on agriculture. This tour offers a walk in the Guadalupe mountains, hoping to come close to the spirit of a countryside where many ancient ways survive. However, the history and architecture are as rewarding as the landscape. Before the Visigoths and Moors, this was a major Roman centre, with Mérida – Augusta Emerita – the capital of the western province of Lusitania. It remains the major Roman site in Spain. Above all, this is conquistador country. An astonishing proportion of the leaders of the rough bands which savaged South and Central America, in the names of king and queen and Christianity, came from Extremadura. Trujillo and Cáceres are well-known for the rich monumentality of palaces assembled by conquistadors returning with their ill-gotten gains. The spiritual centre was and remains the shrine of Guadalupe. Here a rich and beautiful Hieronymite monastery grew up, with swirling Moorish-Gothic tracery and a suite of paintings by Zurbarán. The little mountain town which formed beneath the monastery is balconied and full of geraniums, one element of a varied vernacular architecture which is a particular Extremeñan pleasure. Zafra, in the south, is a white town, intermediate between Andalucía and the stony sobriety of Old Castile. Most curious is Plasencia in the north, where seven roads lead out of the arcaded plaza and two cathedrals stand back to back. The most moving is Yuste, the monastery to

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which the Emperor Charles V retired, gout-ridden and exhausted. He chose it, he said, because of its climate of continual springtime. In its deep rurality and concentration of human monuments, Extremadura is a far cry from ‘ordinary’ Europe.

Itinerary Day 1: Zafra. Fly at c. 1.30pm (TAP Portugal) from London Heathrow to Lisbon. Drive to the small town of Zafra (c. 4 hours, stops are made en route). The towered castle where Hernán Cortés was received by the Count of Feria en route for the conquest of Mexico is now the parador. First of two nights in Zafra. Day 2: Zafra, Jerez de Los Caballeros. In Zafra begin with the two adjacent squares, the Plaza Grande and the smaller Plaza Chica, and the Collegiate Church (altarpiece by Zurbarán). Lunch in a rural restaurant. Spend an afternoon in Jerez de los Caballeros, once a Templar town, with famously ornate Baroque church towers. Day 3: Mérida, Guadalupe. The Roman legacy of Mérida includes architecture both grand and domestic: theatre, villas, temples, fortresses. See also Moneo’s outstanding National Museum of Roman Art. The tiny town of Guadalupe is hidden in hills. Columbus prayed here and gave its name to a Caribbean island. First of two nights in Guadalupe. Day 4: Guadalupe. There is the choice of a walk in the Guadalupe mountains, or time to stroll at leisure through the village. In the afternoon see the monastery, with splendid church, Mudéjar cloister and sacristy with Zurbarán’s paintings. The museum contains exceptional vestments.


Essential Andalucía Spain’s southern province

Day 6: Cáceres. The historic town centre is enclosed within almost perfectly preserved Moorish walls and is a myriad of narrow streets and squares lined with Renaissance mansions. Visit the Provincial Museum housed in the 17thcentury Casa de las Valetas, built over an 11thcentury Arabic cistern. Free afternoon. Day 7: Arroyo de la Luz, Alcántara, El Vaqueril. The 16th-century church at Arroyo de la Luz has a remarkable altarpiece by Luís de Morales. At Alcántara, the Roman bridge spanning the Tagus dates to 106 ad. Finca el Vaqueril is an Extremaduran ranch with Retinta cattle and pata negra pigs. Our visit includes lunch, a tour of the ranch on a tractor-trailer and an optional walk. Day 8: Monfragüe, Plasencia, Yuste, Jarandilla de la Vera. Pause in Monfragüe National Park to see colony of griffon vultures at Salto de Gitano on the Tagus. At Plasencia, start in the arcaded Plaza Mayor and then visit the two cathedrals, Renaissance and Gothic backing into one another, also a fine ethnographic museum of traditional rural life and handicraft. Drive into the hills to the monastery of Yuste to which the Emperor Charles V retired in 1556, building a gent’s des. res. right up against the fabric of the Gothic monastery. Get a moving insight into the last days of the man who once ruled most of Europe and Latin America. Spend the final night in the Parador at nearby Jarandilla de la Vera. Day 9: leaving Extremadura. Drive to Madrid (c. 4 hours) for a lunchtime flight (Iberia) which arrives at London Heathrow c. 4.15pm.

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19–29 October 2015 (mc 501) This tour is currently full 26 September–6 October 2016 (md 875) 11 days • £3,190 Lecturer: Adam Hopkins Three nights in each of the major cities: Granada, Córdoba and Seville. The lecturer is Adam Hopkins, journalist and author, specialist in Spanish history and culture. The tour begins in Málaga with the Picasso Museum and Carmen Thyssen collection (a Centre Pompidou is due to open in 2015), and also visits the lesser-known towns of Baeza and Úbeda. Varied itinerary covering the great Moorish sites, mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque architecture, fine art collections and gardens. Andalucía is Spain’s most fascinating and varied region. Varied geographically: stretching southwards from the Sierra Morena to the Mediterranean, it encompasses the permanent snow of the Sierra Nevada as well as the sunscorched interior. And varied culturally: here it is possible to see great art and architecture of both Islamic and Christian traditions side by side – even, at Córdoba, one within the other. For Spain is unique in Western Europe in having been conquered by an Islamic power. The Moors first crossed from Africa in ad 711, and in the south of the country they stayed for nearly eight centuries. The Moorish civilization of the cities of Andalucía was one of the most sophisticated of the Middle Ages.

There are also tantalising glimpses of the preceding Visigothic kingdom, and remains of the still earlier Roman occupation – the province of Baetica was one of the most highly favoured in the Roman Empire. Later, both Jews and gypsies made their influence felt, but overwhelmingly the dominant contribution to man-made Andalucian heritage has been created by and for unwavering adherents to Catholicism. The Christian religion does not get much more intense than in southern Spain, and its artistic manifestations rarely more spiritually charged. The unification of Spain which was ensured by the marriage in 1469 of the ‘Catholic Kings’, Ferdinand and Isabella, ushered in the period when Spain became the dominant power in Europe. This also coincided with the discovery of the Americas. The cities of the south, particularly Seville, were the immediate beneficiaries of the subsequent colonisation and inflow of huge quantities of bullion and of boundless opportunities for trade and wealth creation. The result was a boom in building and a cultural renaissance, a Golden Age which lasted into the eighteenth century, long after the economy had cooled and real Spanish power had waned. The poverty and torpor of subsequent centuries allowed much of the beauty of the glory days to survive to the present time, when a revival of prosperity has enabled extensive restoration and proper care of the immense artistic patrimony.

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Day 5: Trujillo. Drive down the mountains to Trujillo, a hilltop conquistador town (birthplace of Pizarro). The magnificent, irregular main square is surrounded by conquistador mansions and the grand church of S. Martín. Climb up to the Gothic church of Sta María and the castle with fine views of the surrounding countryside. Continue to Cáceres for the first of three nights.

Itinerary Day 1: Fly at c. 9.45am (British Airways) from London Gatwick to Málaga. Arrive in time for an introductory walk and lecture in the hotel. Overnight in Málaga.

Seville cathedral, copper engraving c. 1800.

Price: £2,380. Single supplement £240 (double for single use). Price without flights £2,160. Included meals: 2 lunches, 6 dinners, with wine.

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Accommodation. Parador de Zafra (parador. es): 4-star parador in the 15th-century castle. Parador de Guadalupe (parador.es): 4-star Parador in the converted 15th-century pilgrims’ hospital of St John the Baptist. NH Palacio de Oquendo (nh-hotels.com): 4-star hotel in the historic centre of town. Parador de Jarandilla (parador.es): 4-star Parador with historic connections to Charles V. How strenuous? There is a lot of walking in town centres, sometimes on uneven ground; sure-footedness is essential. The optional walk in the Sierra de Guadalupe requires a greater level of fitness. Dinners tend to be at 8.30 or 9.00pm in Spain, so you might get to bed later than you would usually. There is a lot of coach travel; average distance per day: 78 miles.

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Essential Andalucía continued

Granada & Córdoba With Úbeda & Baeza

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Days 2–7: see Granada & Córdoba for this part of the itinerary, which is the same. Day 8: Ecija, Seville. The many church towers of Ecija are visible from afar across the surrounding plain. Of the numerous Baroque mansions see the Palacio de Peñaflor and Palacio del Marqués de Benameji, and visit the Gothic-Mudéjar church of Santiago. Drive to Seville; three night here. Day 9: Seville. Walk to the church and hospital of the Caridad, Seville’s most striking 17th-century building, with paintings by Murillo and Valdés Leal. The cathedral is one of the largest Gothic churches anywhere (‘Let us build a cathedral so immense that everyone... will take us for madmen’). The Capilla Mayor, treasury and sanctuary are of particular interest. Free afternoon. Day 10: Seville. The Alcázar, the fortified royal palace, is one of Spain’s greatest buildings; built by Moorish architects for Castilian kings, it consists of a sequence of apartments and magnificent reception rooms around courtyards and gardens. Walk­through the Barrio de Santa Cruz, a maze of whitewashed alleys and flowerfilled patios, to the Casa de Pilatos, the best of the Mudéjar style palaces, with patios and azulejos. Afternoon at the Fine Arts Museum, the best in Spain after the Prado. Day 11. Free day in Seville. Fly from Seville to London Gatwick arriving c. 8.45pm.

Practicalities Price: £3,190. Single supplement £460 (double for single use). Price without flights £3,010. Included meals: 1 lunch and 7 dinners with wine. Accommodation. Hotel Molina Lario, Málaga (hotelmolinalario.com): functional 4-star hotel in the centre. AC Palacio de Santa Paula, Granada (marriott.com): comfortable, contemporary hotel in the centre, comparable to a 4-star. NH Amistad, Córdoba (nh-hotels.com): 4-star hotel in an 18th-century mansion, a short walk from the mosque. Hotel Las Casas de la Judería, Seville (casasypalacios.com): charming 4-star hotel in the Barrio Sta Cruz consisting of several buildings connected by open-air patios.

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How strenuous? This is a lengthy tour with four hotel changes. There is a lot of walking, often on uneven streets and uphill. Fitness is essential. Average distance by coach per day: 33 miles. Group size: between 10 and 22 participants. Combine this tour with Morocco, 11–22 September (page 197); Dark Age Brilliance, 9–16 October (page 118).

Granada, the Alhambra, steel engraving c. 1840.

18–25 April 2016 (mc 639) 8 days • £2,420 Lecturer: Adam Hopkins Ample time at the key sites of Moorish Spain: the Alhambra in Granada and the Mosque in Córdoba, with time also for the lesser-known. Visits the Picasso Museum, Carmen Thyssen collection and recently opened Centre Pompidou in Málaga and the small Renaissance towns of Úbeda and Baeza. Led by Adam Hopkins, expert on Spanish history and culture. Southern Spain – savage peaks soar over passes that are snow-bound in winter, while plains below are well-watered by spring rivers, hot, harsh and arid in summer, mellow in late autumn and winter. The cities reveal the magnitude of past achievements through the greatness of the architecture and the brilliant elaboration of decoration. Andalucía was a bountiful Roman province, in Arab times the scene of highly sophisticated Umayyad and Nasrid princedoms and a major province of the most powerful kingdom in (Christian) Europe’s sixteenth century. The artistic riches are immensely varied, though the unique distinguishing mark is the heritage from eight hundred years of rule by Muslims from North Africa and Arabia. Arab Córdoba became the capital of alAndalus and the largest city in Europe, market for all the luxuries of East and West and scene of Europe’s most splendid court until its fall to the Reconquistadors in 1236. The mosque, La Mezquita, was one of the largest anywhere, and arguably the most beautiful; Christian possession in the sixteenth century created within it a totally contrasting cathedral. Granada was the last Islamic princedom in Spain, only falling to the Christians in 1492. The concatenation of palaces and gardens of the Alhambra, with its cascading domes and gilded

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decoration like frozen fireworks, is one of Spain’s most enthralling sights. Although millions of tourists pour through Málaga Airport every year en route to the Costa del Sol, comparatively few set foot in the old town. The narrow streets, palm-lined squares and seafront promenades conserve Phoenician, Roman, Moorish, Gothic, Baroque and lateninteenth-century monuments. Birthplace and childhood home of Pablo Picasso, the city boasts a major collection of his works, joined recently by a huge influx of art. The eponymous museum of Carmen Thyssen-Bornemisza opened in 2011 and includes some excellent nineteenth-century Spanish art with Andalusian themes, while a Centre Pompidou opened in March 2015.

Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.45am from London City Airport to Málaga. Arrive in time for an introductory walk and lecture. Overnight Málaga. Day 2: Málaga. Begin at Picasso’s birthplace, which houses a small collection of his belongings. The Picasso Museum is magnificent, both the 16th-century building and the collection, which places emphasis on his earlier works. The Carmen Thyssen museum has a fine collection of old masters and 19th-century Spanish painting while the Centre Pompidou holds some 80 works from its Parisian headquarters. In the afternoon drive north to Granada. First of three nights here. Day 3: Granada. The 13th-century Arab palaces of the Alhambra ride high above the city. They are often reckoned to be the greatest expression of Moorish art in Spain, with exquisite decoration and a succession of intimate courtyards. Adjacent are the 16th-century Palace of Charles V and the Generalife, summer palace of the sultans, with gardens and fountains. Day 4: Granada. Morning walk through the Albaycín, the oldest quarter in town, including El Bañuelo (Arab baths). Climb up to San Nicolás from where there are fine views of the Alhambra.


Gastronomic Andalucía Food, wine, art & architecture 22–29 April 2016 (mc 642) 8 days • £2,980 Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen

Day 5: Baeza, Úbeda. Drive to Baeza, once