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Spring Update: May 2013 MRT Music Festivals
Lecturers’ news................................ 2 Staff announcements....................... 2 News from ‘Down Under’. .............. 3 MRT in Canada.............................. 3 Christmas 2013 & New Year
Vienna at Christmas.................... 4–5 Music in Berlin at New Year........... 5 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur at Christmas........... 6–7 Music in Dresden & Prague at Christmas................................ 7–8 Budapest at Christmas.............. 9–10
Venice at Christmas ............... 10–11 Rome at Christmas.................. 12–13 Florence at Christmas............. 13–14 Art in Switzerland at Christmas............................ 15–16 India 2013 & 2014
Article: India: Revisiting Nagaur by Dr Giles Tillotson..................... 16 Tour: Painted Palaces of Rajasthan............................. 17–18 India 2013 & 2014: full list of tours.............................. 18
Festivals in 2013, with the opportunity to register your interest now for 2014..................... 19 Newly launched: The Thomas Tallis Trail............ 20–21 Newly launched
Article: Sicily: the Ancient & the Appetizing by Lizzie Howard.......................... 22 Gastronomic Sicily.................. 23–24 Poets & The Somme................ 24–25 Cézanne, Van Gogh, Dufy............. 26 The Louvre at Lens....................... 27 Savonlinna Opera.......................... 28 Edinburgh Festival ....................... 29 Houghton Revisited................ 30–31 Opera in Cardiff .......................... 31 Yorkshire Houses..................... 32–33 Tours & exhibitions
Temporary exhibitions................... 33 Additional departures 2013
Walking Hadrian’s Wall................. 34 Sicily.............................................. 35 Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes...................... 36–27 St Petersburg................................. 37 Saxon Transylvania.................. 38–39 The Etruscans................................ 39 King Ludwig II ............................ 40
Illustration: Menton, wood engraving Picturesque Europe c. 1880.
Lecturers’ news James Brown published Crossing the Strait: Morocco, Gibraltar and Great Britain in the 18th and 19th Centuries, in 2012. He is leading Morocco, 14–25 September 2013, £3,960. Jon Cannon’s new book The Secret Language of Sacred Spaces will be published in the autumn, Duncan Baird Publishers. Jon will lead Cathedrals of England, 2–10 October 2013, £2,520. Congratulations to Dr Harry Charrington who won the prestigious RIBA architecture award for ‘outstanding research’ for his book, Alvar Aalto: The Mark of the Hand, (with Vezio Nava) Rakennustieto, published in 2011. Harry’s tours are: Finland: Aalto & Others, 29 June–6 July 2013, £2,470, and West Coast Architecture, 7–19 September 2013 (currently full), £4,740. Dr Felicity Cobbing will be appearing in Simon Schama’s forthcoming BBC TV series A History of the Jews. Felicity leads our Palestine tours. Major Gordon Corrigan’s latest book A Great and Glorious Cause – A Military History of the Hundred Years War is published in May this year, by Atlantic Books. He is leading The Indian Mutiny (not literally), 19 November–2 December 2013, £4,520, and The Narrow Sea, 26 June–7 July 2013, £3,640, together with his wife Major Imogen Corrigan. John Fritz and George Michell have published a new book PLACEHampi: Inhabiting the Panoramic Imaginary of Vijayanagara, published by Kehrer Verlag, 2012. Next
year John will lead Kingdoms of the Deccan again, 7–20 February 2014, £4,940, and Karnataka, 18–29 January 2014, £3,860. Dr Helen Langdon has published Caravaggio’s Cardsharps: Trickery and Illusion (Yale) and Liberation and Deliverance, Luca Giordano’s Liberation of St Peter (Matthieson), both last year, and has made The Modern Art Notes Podcast; Caravaggio. Helen is leading Caravaggio, 7–13 October 2013, £2,870. Dr Lloyd Llewellyn-Jones’s new monograph King and Court in Ancient Persia 559–331 BCE was published by Edinburgh University Press this year, where he is Lecturer in Ancient History. Lloyd led Eastern Turkey and Classical Turkey for MRT this year. Dennis Marks will publish a book about Sir Michael Tippett in 2015. Dennis is leading Operetta in Austria, 31 July–4 August 2013, £1,980. Marc Millon’s book Wine, a Global History was published in April this year by Reaktion Books. He is lecturer for Gastronomic Piedmont, 5–11 October 2013, £2,660. David Mitchinson’s book Calling, Cards and Cases was published by Patrick Cramer, Geneva, last year. David is leading our one-day London Sculpture Walk on 10 September 2013. Congratulations to Richard Stokes who has been awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany, for services to German culture. His tour this summer, Music in Scandinavia, 27 May–3 June, is now sold out. Amanda Patton won the Society of Garden Designers Planting Design Award 2012. Amanda leads our West Country Gardens tours.
Alan Ogden’s fourth and final history about SOE (Special Operations Executives) called Tigers Burning Bright is published this year, focusing on SOE in the Far East. His tours this year are Monasteries of Moldavia, 4–10 October, £1,920, and Armenia, 20–27 June, £2,780. Juliet Rix’s Bradt Guide to Malta & Gozo (second edition) is published this year. Juliet is leading our Malta tour, 14–20 October 2013, £2,100.
Dr Diane Silverthorne has been contributing to the South Bank Centre’s The Rest is Noise Festival, giving art history talks at their Paris, Berlin and America weekends. Her tour, Bauhaus & Expressionism, runs this year 11–16 June 2013, £2,060.
Staff announcements Peregrine Jeffrey Stephen Mercer was born on 28th February 2013 to Flora Varcoe (our Reservations Supervisor) and her partner James. Special Projects Manager, Hannah Wrigley, gave birth to Livia Isabella Cesari on 15th December 2012. She and partner Massimo will be married on 4th May 2013. A belated congratulations to Edward Lewis (Operations Executive) and Fanny Durville, on the birth of Amber Nour Durville-Lewis on 25th June 2012. Sarah Pullen (Operations Supervisor) is due to be married to Tom Lawless on 25th May 2013. Samantha Walls (née King), Operations Executive, married Christopher Walls on 29th September 2012. This brochure was designed inhouse by Jo Murray. All staff contributed to its content, as did some of our lecturers.
News from ‘Down Under’
MRT in Canada
By Kelly Ward, Director of the recently rebranded Martin Randall Australasia
Our Canadian outpost is open for business Dan McCaughey and his business partner Linda Heslegrave were selected by Martin Randall to represent us in Canada due to the increase in Canadian clients who have been signing up for MRT tours. The Toronto office provides the convenience of a local contact for Canadian customers and is a marketing centre and contact point for media enquiries. Dan and Linda also liaise with travel and business organizations interested in learning more about what MRT offers. ‘We are thrilled to have the opportunity to offer Canadian based services for travellers who are interested in MRT tours’, say Dan and Linda. ‘We have travelled with MRT so we know the exceptional quality of the tours and recommend them highly.’ We encourage clients – and friends of clients – in Canada to contact them. Dan McCaughey, Linda Heslegrave Email: Canada@martinrandall.ca Telephone: 647 382 1644 Fax: 416 925 2670
We would like to say a big thank you to all of you who attended our receptions hosted by Martin Randall last month in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne. Meeting in person many of you whom we have spoken to by phone or email – sometimes for many years – was a rare treat for us (though it was our Client Manager, Stephanie Bourgeois, who bore the standard for us in Sydney and Melbourne as looking after my three little boys precluded me from travel). Although Martin’s round-the-world itinerary was rather more gruelling than an MRT tour, (16 days, 3 continents, 13 receptions with 563 guests), it was nonetheless good to remind him of the hard slog all Australian and New Zealand clients have to go through to join an MRT tour! Understanding this and the many other practicalities that differentiate the needs of Australasian clients from those in the UK is a fundamental role of our Brisbane office. Our 13 years in business have seen numerous changes born from this understanding and I am delighted to announce that the option to pay in Australian dollars is being planned for 2014. Although we cannot offer NZ dollar payment at present, I can announce the more modest addition of a new toll-free telephone number for New Zealand. We are hoping to see more Kiwis on MRT’s tours and would love any suggestions you have on how to encourage this. There are one and
a half Kiwis in our office – myself being a full-blooded New Zealander though raised in England, and Stephanie born of a Kiwi mother – so this country is close to our heart, in a personal as well as professional sense. I came to feel last year that our name, Martin Randall Marketing, inadequately represented the entity our business has evolved into. So we have changed this to Martin Randall Australasia, and refreshed our visual image (as we explain further in the letter accompanying this brochure). Other news we would like to announce is that Martin Randall Australasia is proudly sponsoring the Medici Concerts’ multiaward-winning International Piano Series in Brisbane. I attended a sublime concert by Piers Lane in March and would encourage those of you who may be in Brisbane to check out the other concerts this year at www.mediciconcerts.com.au. Though thirteen is not a lucky number for some, for us our thirteenth year has seen record bookings, which signify a ten-fold growth over the life of our company. We would like to thank you for your support and loyalty, and, as always, we warmly invite you to tell us what we can do better. Kelly Ward, Stephanie Bourgeois Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Telephone (toll-free): 1300 55 95 95 From New Zealand (toll-free): 0800 877 622 Fax: +61 (0)7 3377 0142
Illustrations. Top left: Port Lincoln, South Australia, engraving after J.C. Armytage c. 1850; above: Niagara Falls, copper engraving 1804.
Christmas tours 2013
Vienna at Christmas Art, architecture & music in the Habsburg Capital
Vienna, Kohlmarkt, aquatint 1786.
20–27 December 2013 (ma 790) 8 days • £3,140 Lecturer: Dr Jarl Kremeier Comprehensive look at Vienna’s art and architecture. Day excursions outside the city to Melk and Schönbrunn. Four included performances at four world class venues: a concert in the Konzerthaus with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra and Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo soprano), Joel Prieto (tenor) and Luca Pisaroni (baritone); Bach’s Christmas Oratorio at the Musikverein; two operas: Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck) at the Volksoper and Fidelio (Beethoven) at the Staatsoper. The option of attending an additional opera at the Theater an der Wien: Lazarus (Schubert & C. Ives) with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra. 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. 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. Drive (25 minutes) to the city centre and check into the hotel. Take a mid-afternoon walk to the Stephansdom, the magnificent Gothic cathedral adorned with fine paintings and sculpture. Day 2. Study the Hof burg, the vast Habsburg winter palace, an agglomeration of six centuries of building. 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
Christmas tours 2013
Christmas 2013 & New Year St Augustine. Evening concert at the Wiener Konzerthaus with the Vienna Radio Symphony Orchestra, Wiener Singakademie, Erwin Ortner (conductor) and Anna Prohaska (coloratura soprano), Angelika Kirchschlager (mezzo soprano), Joel Prieto (tenor) and Luca Pisaroni (baritone): programme details to be confirmed. Day 3. Visit the hospital church ‘Am Steinhof ’, the most beautiful example of Secessionist art and architecture. Drive out to Schloss Schönbrunn, the 18th-century summer palace of the Habsburgs, one of the grandest in Europe with an unsurpassed set of Rococo interiors and extensive gardens. Return after lunch to the centre of Vienna for some free time. Evening concert at the Musikverein: Christmas Oratorio (J.S. Bach) with the Lautten Compagney, Arnold Schoenberg Choir, Erwin Ortner (conductor), Sunhae Im (soprano), Wiebke Lehmkuhl (alto), Werner Güra (tenor) and Florian Boesch (bass). Day 4. Private visit to the magnificent Liechtenstein Palace which was built at the turn of the 17th & 18th centuries by the richest family in the Habsburg Empire and houses the princely art collection. In the afternoon visit the great hall of the Academy of Art, a masterpiece of historicism, and the contrasting Secession Building with Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze. Optional evening opera at the Theater an der Wien: Lazarus (Schubert & C. Ives) with the with the Vienna Symphony Orchestra and Schoenberg Choir. Day 5. Spend the morning in the Kunsthistorisches Museum, one of the world’s most important art collections, particularly rich in Italian, Flemish and Dutch pictures. The afternoon walk takes in two churches: the Kirche Am Hof and the Baroque Jesuit church has outstanding illusionistic ceiling paintings. Christmas dinner. There are several musically embellished midnight masses. Day 6, Christmas Day. The morning is free, 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. Afternoon opera at the Volksoper: Hänsel und Gretel (Humperdinck) with Franz Karl Dönch (conductor). Day 7. All-day coach excursion to the west of Vienna. Perched on an outcrop overlooking the Danube, the Abbey of Melk is one of the greatest accomplishments of Baroque architecture. A series of state apartments
culminates in a church unsurpassed for richness of decoration. Late afternoon opera at the Wiener Staatsoper: Fidelio (Beethoven) with Franz Welser-Möst (conductor). Day 8. 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 Eugen 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. Drive from here to the airport for the flight to London Heathrow, arriving c. 6.30pm.
Lecturer Dr Jarl Kremeier. Art historian specialising in 17th- to 19th-century architecture and decorative arts. Teaches Art History at the Berlin College of Acting and the Senior Student’s Department of Berlin’s Freie Universität. He studied at the Universities of Würzburg, Berlin and the Courtauld, is a contributor to Macmillan’s Dictionary of Art, author of a book on the Würzburg Residenz, and of articles on Continental Baroque architecture and architectural theory.
Practicalities Price: £3,140 (deposit £300). This includes: flights (economy class) with Austrian Airways (Airbus 321); tickets to 4 performances costing £465; some coach travel and some travel by metro, tram and taxi; accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £360. Price without flights £2,930.
Vienna at Christmas.................. 4 Music in Berlin at New Year...... 5 Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur at Christmas .................. 6 Music in Dresden & Prague at Christmas............................... 7 Budapest at Christmas............... 9 Venice at Christmas................. 10 Rome at Christmas.................. 12 Florence at Christmas.............. 13 Art in Switzerland at Christmas............................. 15
Music in Berlin at New Year 27 December 2013–2 January 2014 La Bohème, Falstaff, Der Fliegende Holländer, a New Years Eve concert with Lang Lang (piano) and the Berlin Philharmonic under Sir Simon Rattle. Contact us for the full details now or visit www.martinrandall.com
Hotel: a 5-star hotel in a superb location next to the Staatsoper. All rooms are well equipped and most have a bath. There are two restaurants and a bar. Dinners are at the hotel and selected restaurants. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing around in museums, and navigation of metro and tram systems. Average distance by coach per day: 20 miles. Music tickets: are due to be confirmed in the autumn. Weather: temperatures may be below freezing on some days, especially in the morning, and snow is quite likely, but skies are likely to be clear for at least some of the time. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.
Berlin, the Staatsoper, detail from an 18th-century engraving.
Christmas tours 2013
Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur at Christmas 20–27 December 2013 (ma 789) 8 days • £2,970 Lecturer: Lydia Bauman Europe’s greatest concentration of classic modern art, in a setting of idyllic scenery and pretty towns. Bonnard, Braque, Léger, Miró, Giacometti, Cocteau, Chagall, Matisse, Picasso, Renoir. The lecturer is Lydia Bauman, art historian and writer specialising in 20th-century art. Stay in Nice throughout, in a comfortable 4-star hotel on the Promenade des Anglais; all rooms have a sea view. 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 1884; Signac bought a house in the fishing village of St-Tropez in 1892; Renoir moved to Cagnes-sur-Mer in 1895 and remained there for the rest of his life. Matisse’s first visit to the Midi in 1904 transformed his art, and from 1918 he spent more time on the Côte d’Azur than in Paris. Matisse, Chagall and Picasso are merely among the most illustrious of the artists who chose to live in the South of France. Many of their fellow modernisers followed suit: Braque, Bonnard, Dufy, Picabia.
This tour is an extraordinary opportunity to see how modernity relates to the past as well as the present, and how gallery displays can be centred on the art, the location or the patron/collector. In Matisse’s Chapelle du Rosaire at Vence, traditional arts and crafts have been revived by a modern genius, as in the monumental mosaic and glass designs of Léger which can be seen at Biot. There are also echoes of collecting habits of earlier eras in the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild. The mixture of past and present and the juxtaposition of the Goût Rothschild with the beauty of its location are breathtaking. (Graham Sutherland drew exotic flowers and plants in the extraordinary gardens.) At Antibes the Picasso Museum is housed in the Château Grimaldi, lent to Picasso as studio space in 1946 where he produced lifeaffirming paintings. Old and new galleries abound, such as the Fondation Maeght, St-Paul-de-Vence, whose building (designed by José Luis Sert, 1963) makes it a work of outstanding sympathy to its natural surroundings, in gardens enlivened by Miró’s Labyrinthe and other sculptures.
Itinerary Day 1: Nice. Fly at c. 12.15pm 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 (Monet, Renoir, Dufy, etc.). All seven nights are spent in Nice. Day 2: Nice, Vence. The Marc Chagall Museum has the largest collection of the artist’s works, notably the seventeen canvases
Nice, etching c. 1925 by Frederick Farrell.
of the Biblical Message, set in a peaceful garden in a salubrious Nice suburb. Vence, an artists’ colony, has the Chapel of the Rosary, designed and decorated by Matisse. Renoir’s house at Cagnes-sur-Mer is set amidst olive groves, a memorial to the only major Impressionist to settle in the south (currently closed for renovation, due to reopen July 2013). Day 3: Antibes, Vallauris. 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. Day 4: St-Tropez, Biot. Drive west to St-Tropez, which has been popular with artists since Paul Signac settled here in 1892. The Musée de l’Annonciade is one of France’s finest collections of modern art (Signac, Maillol, Matisse, Bonnard, Vlaminck, Braque). Continue to Biot and visit the renovated Musée National Fernand Léger, built to house the artist’s works bequeathed to his wife. Day 5: Le Cannet, Nice. The first museum dedicated to the works of Bonnard opened in Le Cannet in 2011. The afternoon is free in Nice; 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: Cap Ferrat, St-Paul-de-Vence. Drive east 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 Maeght Foundation
Christmas tours 2013
Music in Dresden & Prague at Christmas Prague, Estates Theatre, wood engraving c. 1890.
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. Day 7: Villefranche, Menton. In Villefranche is the small Chapelle St-Pierre, decorated by Cocteau. Along the coast to Menton, the last French town before Italy, is a new Cocteau museum (opened in 2011) and the Salle des Mariages, also painted by Cocteau. Day 8: Nice. The Musée Matisse unites a wide range of the artist’s work; sculpture, ceramics, stained glass as well as painting. Fly from Nice arriving at London Heathrow at c. 5.15pm.
Lecturer Lydia Bauman. Art historian, artist and lecturer at the National Gallery. Lydia studied at Newcastle University and the Courtauld Institute, specialising in Matisse. She has also lecturered at the Tate, National Portrait Gallery and for numerous adult education institutions in London.
Practicalities Price: £2,970 (deposit £300). This includes: air travel (economy class) on scheduled flights with British Airways (Airbus 319); private coach; accommodation as described below; breakfasts and 5 dinners with wine, water and coffee; all admissions; all tips for waiters and drivers; all taxes; the services of the lecturer; hire of radio guides for better audibility of the lecturer. Single supplement £390 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,790. Hotel: stylish four-star hotel partially built into the cliff and overlooking the Promenade des Anglais. Rooms are furnished in modern Provençal style and most have a balcony. All have a sea view. Dinners are at good restaurants. How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking and standing around in museums. Average distance by coach per day: 44 miles. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants. Weather: winter weather in Nice is usually mild, but low temperatures and rain cannot be ruled out.
20–27 December 2013 (ma 792) 8 days • £3,120 Lecturers: Professor Jan Smaczny & Tom Abbott (in Dresden only) In Dresden: The Christmas Story (Schütz) at the Frauenkirche and La Bohème (Puccini) at the Semperoper. In Prague: Rusalka (Dvořák) at the State Opera House and The Prague Baroque Ensemble at St Steven and Juda church. Talks by a musicologist, and a programme of walks and visits with an art historian (in Dresden) and Czech guides (in Prague). Two historic 5-star hotels in both Old Towns. 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 State Opera. The oldest, and one of Europe’s most regularly functioning eighteenthcentury 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. What is now called (misleadingly) the State Opera, with a wonderful interior of Bavarian Rococo inspiration, compensates for its lack of funding with enterprise and energy to achieve fine artistic results. 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. Fly at c. 10.00am from London Heathrow to Berlin and travel by coach onto Dresden. Dinner in the hotel. First of three nights in Dresden. Day 2: Dresden. Introductory walk of the Altstadt to include the Catholic Court Church, a splendid Italianate building. In
Christmas tours 2013 Music in Dresden & Prague at Christmas continued
Lecturers Professor Jan Smaczny. Hamilton Harty Chair of Music at Queen’s University, Belfast, and an authority on Czech music. An author, broadcaster and journalist, he has published books on the Prague Provisional Theatre, Dvořák’s Cello Concerto and music in 19th-century Ireland. He is a graduate of the University of Oxford, has studied at the Charles University in Prague and has worked extensively in university education. Tom Abbott. Specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century with a wide knowledge of the performing arts. He graduated in Psychology and Art History from Carleton College, Minnesota and studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. Since 1987 he has lived in Berlin and has organised and led many academic tours in Germany.
Dresden, steel engraving c. 1840.
the afternoon, visit the New Masters Gallery at the Albertinum which reopened in 2010. Early evening dinner before a recital at the Frauenkirche: The Christmas Story (Schütz) with Hans-Christoph Rademan (conductor), Dresden Chamber Choir, Dresden Baroque Orchestra, soloists to be confirmed. Day 3: Dresden. Walk to the Zwinger, a unique Baroque combination of pleasure palace, arena for festivities and showcase for cherished collections, and a visit to the Old Masters Gallery, one of Europe’s finest collections, particularly strong on the Italian and Netherlandish painting. Some free time in the afternoon or join an optional guided tour of the excellent Porcelain Collection, also housed in the Zwinger. Opera at the Semperoper: La Bohème (Puccini) with the Sächsische Staatskapelle Dresden, Saxon State Opera Choir, Serena Farnocchia (Mimí), Nadja Mchantaf (Musetta), Rame Lahaj (Rodolfo), Markus Butter (Marcello), Alexander Hajek (Schaunard), Peter Lobert (Benoît), Jun-Seok Bang (Parpignol), Andreas Heinze (Sergeant).
Day 4: Dresden, Prague. 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. Drive beside the Elbe through forested hills and cross into the Czech Republic. Arrive in time to settle into the hotel before dinner. First of four nights in Prague. Day 5: Prague. Walk through the Old Town, a dense maze of streets and squares with
buildings of all ages and an exceptionally lovely main square. A guided tour of the Estates Theatre, where Don Giovanni had its première in 1786, and a visit to the Obecni dům (‘Municipal House’) to see the glorious suite of assembly rooms created 1904–12. Optional midnight mass at St Vitus Cathedral.
Day 6: Prague, Christmas Day. An optional early drive to Prague Castle to attend mass in the Cathedral, or follow by coach midmorning. The Castle is an extensive complex with buildings of many centuries. 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. Opera at the State Opera House: Rusalka (Dvořák).
Day 7: Prague. Th e 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 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. Performance at St Steven and Juda church with the Prague Baroque Ensemble: Christmas Oratorio (J.S. Bach).
Day 8: Prague. Fly from Prague to Heathrow arriving at c.2.00pm.
Price: £3,120 (deposit £300). This includes: 1st category tickets for 2 operas and 2 concerts costing c. £200; flights (economy class) with British Airways (Airbus A319 & A320); private coach for excursions and airport transfers; hotel accommodation; breakfasts, 2 lunches, 5 dinners, with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturers and the Czech guide. Single supplement £280 (double for sole occupancy). Price without flights £2,910. Hotels: in Dresden (3 nights): 5-star hotel in a reconstructed Baroque building, tastefully decorated with a friendly, personal atmosphere. 20 minutes walk from the Semperoper. In Prague (4 nights): 5-star hotel built in 1904 that retains the Art Nouveau theme throughout. Comfortable and elegant but not fussy with a good restaurant and café, helpful staff and well-equipped rooms. Excellently located opposite the Obecni dum, a short walk from the Old Town Square. Music tickets: tickets for the Semperoper (Dresden) and Frauenkirche are confirmed. Tickets for the performances in Prague are due to be confirmed in the summer. How strenuous? A lot of walking, some over steep and roughly paved streets. One dinner is after the opera. Average distance by coach per day: 18 miles. Weather: cold, often below freezing at least at the beginning of the day, though buildings are well heated. Snow is possible. Small group: between 12 and 22 participants.
Christmas tours 2013
Budapest at Christmas Art, architecture & music 20–27 December 2013 (ma 797) 8 days • £2,670 Lecturer: Dr József Sisa This Christmas tour includes two operas at the Hungarian State Opera House: Die Fledermaus ( J. Strauss) and La Bohème (Puccini); and a ballet: The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky). Led by a native art historian with excellent English; walks and visits with a local guide. Includes a visit to the Danube Bend. 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-hundredyear 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. We have arranged a programme of walks and visits to familiarise participants with the city and its treasures, major and minor and there will be some time left free to explore independently.
Day 2. Cross the Danube 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. Evening opera at the Hungarian State Opera House: Die Fledermaus (J.Strauss). Day 3. Walk to Vörösmarty Square, heart of the inner city of Pest, thence by underground railway (the first on the continent) to Heroes Square and the Millennary Monument (celebrating the founding of the Hungarian state AD 896). The Museum of Fine Arts has an excellent collection of antiquities and European painting, particularly rich in Spanish and Italian works. Evening ballet at the Hungarian State Opera House: The Nutcracker (Tchaikovsky). Day 4. Visit the Neo-Gothic Parliament building, then travel by tram along the east Budapest Opera House, wood engraving c. 1895.
Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 1.50pm from London Heathrow to Budapest and some time in the hotel in Pest before dinner.
bank of the Danube to the Jewish Quarter. 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 5. Morning walk to see architecture and decoration from the turn of the 19th century and from the Bauhaus period. Free afternoon followed by dinner and optional midnight mass at St Stephen’s Basilica. Day 6, Christmas day. The morning is free, though there is the option of attending a church service. Lunch is followed by an afternoon walk around the old heart of Pest taking in the Inner City Parish Church and the vast 19th-century Basilica of St Stephen. Evening opera at the Hungarian State Opera House: La Bohème (Puccini). Day 7. Travel by coach along the course of the Danube to Esztergom. Visit Hungary’s
Christmas tours 2013 Budapest at Christmas continued
Venice at Christmas
first cathedral, its marble chapel and the Christian Museum, one of the finest in the country. Day 8. Fly to Heathrow, arriving c. 2.30pm.
Lecturer Dr József Sisa. Head of Department at the Research Institute for Art History at the Hungarian Academy of Sciences in Budapest. He specialises in the 19th century, in particular public buildings, country houses, Gothic revival and garden history. A native Hungarian with fluent English, he lectures in the UK, across Europe and the USA and co-edited The Architecture of Historic Hungary.
Practicalities Price: £2,670 (deposit £250). This includes: tickets to 2 operas and 1 ballet costing c. £240; flights (economy class) with British Airways (Airbus 319); coach travel for transfers and excursions and by Metro; accommodation as below; breakfasts, 4 lunches and 3 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips for waiters and drivers; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and local guide. Single supplement £320. Price without flights £2,460. Hotel: in Pest, excellently situated beside the Danube and close to the Chain Bridge. A modern international 5-star hotel. Included meals are at the hotel and selected restaurants. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on the excursions, some on uneven or cobbled ground. Average distance by coach per day: 16 miles. Weather: cold, quite possibly freezing. Small group: this tour will operate with between 12 and 22 participants.
20–27 December 2013 (ma 793) 8 days • £2,880 Lecturer: Dr Michael Douglas-Scott Wide-ranging survey of art and architecture with an emphasis on the Renaissance. Private after-hours visit to San Marco. Led by Dr Michael Douglas-Scott, Associate Lecturer in History of Art at Birkbeck College, and specialist in 16th-century Italian art and architecture. For the world’s most beautiful city, Venice had an inauspicious start. The site was once merely a collection of mudbanks, and the first settlers came as refugees fleeing the barbarian destroyers of the Roman Empire. They sought to escape to terrain so inhospitable that no foe would follow. The success of the community which arose on the site would have been beyond the wildest imaginings of the first Venetians. By the end of the Middle Ages Venice had become the leading maritime power in the Mediterranean and possibly the wealthiest city in Europe. The shallow waters of the lagoon had indeed kept her safe from malign incursions and she kept her independence until the end of the eighteenth century. ‘Once did she hold the gorgeous East in fee, and was the safeguard of the West, Venice, eldest child of liberty.’ Trade with the East was the source of that wealth and power, and the eastern connection has left its indelible stamp upon Venetian art and architecture. Western styles are here tempered by a richness of effect and delicacy of pattern which is redolent of oriental opulence. It is above all by its colour that Venetian painting is distinguished. And whether sonorous or poetic, from Bellini through Titian to Tiepolo, there remain echoes of the transcendental splendour of the Byzantine mosaics of St Mark’s. That Venice survives so comprehensively from the days of its greatness, so little ruffled by modern intrusions, would suffice to make it the goal of everyone who is curious about the man-made world. Thoroughfares being water and cars nonexistent, the imagination traverses the centuries with ease. And while picturesque qualities are all-pervasive – shimmering Istrian limestone, crumbling stucco, variegated brickwork, mournful vistas with exquisitely sculpted details – there are not half-a-dozen cities in the world which surpass Venice for the sheer number of major works of architecture, sculpture and painting. Venice in winter has one overwhelming advantage over other seasons: fewer tourists.
With most of the noisy, gaudy trappings of the tourist industry packed away, the beauties of the city are more readily appreciated, and the sense of her past greatness even more captivating. There may be rain, there will probably be morning mists and it will be overcast for at least some of the time, but equally likely are days of unbroken sunshine and brilliant blue skies, with a wonderful clarity in the air.
Itinerary Day 1. Fly at midday from London Gatwick to Venice. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo (water taxi) to the hotel. There is an introductory walk in Piazza San Marco. Day 2. The morning walk includes S. Zaccaria and S. Giovanni in Bragora, two churches with outstanding Renaissance altarpieces by Vivarini, Bellini and Cima. The Scuola di S. Giorgio degli Schiavoni has a wonderful cycle of painting by Carpaccio. In the afternoon 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 special after-hours private visit to the Basilica of S. Marco, an 11thcentury Byzantine church enriched over the centuries with mosaics, sculpture and various precious objects. Day 3. In the morning see the incomparably beautiful Doge’s Palace with pink Gothic revetment and rich Renaissance interiors. Visit the Ca’ Rezzonico, a magnificent palace on the Grand Canal, now a museum of 18th-century art. Cross the Grand Canal to the San Polo district, location of the great Franciscan church of S. Maria Gloriosa dei Frari which has outstanding artworks including Titian’s Assumption, and the Scuola Grande di San Rocco, with dramatic paintings by Tintoretto. Day 4. Cross the lagoon by motoscafo to the island of Torcello, once the rival of Venice but now scarcely inhabited. Virtually all that remains of the city is the magnificent VenetoByzantine baptistry and cathedral with its 12th-century mosaics. Continue by vaporetto (water bus) to the pretty glass-making island of Murano to see the churches of S. Pietro Martire and SS. Maria e Donato. Day 5: Padua. A day trip to Padua, among the most illustrious of Italian cities, and a leading centre of painting in the 14th century. The great fresco cycle by Giotto in the Scrovegni Chapel is a major landmark in the history of art. Colourful and lively works by Altichieri and Giusto de’ Menabuoi
Christmas tours 2013
Venice Lagoon, late 19th-century etching.
are in the vast multi-domed Basilica di S. Antonio, the Oratorio di S. Giorgio and the Baptistry. See also Donatello’s equestrian statue, Gattamelata. Day 6: Christmas Day. A free morning, opportunity perhaps to attend a service in S. Marco or the English church. Before lunch see the palaces on the Grand Canal from the most Venetian of vantage-points, a gondola. Day 7. In the morning, visit the vast gothic church of SS. Giovanni e Paolo, the early Renaissance S. Maria dei Miracoli with its multicoloured stone veneer, and S. Giovanni Crisostomo with its Bellini altarpiece. Spend the afternoon in the Accademia, Venice’s major art gallery, where all the Venetian painters are well represented. Visit a privately-owned palace for an earlyevening drink. Day 8. Free morning. Travel by motoscafo to Venice airport. Fly to London Gatwick, arriving c. 5.00pm.
Lecturer 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 Birkbeck College, University of London and lived in Rome for several years. He has written articles for Arte Veneta, Burlington Magazine and the Journal of the Warburg & Courtauld Institutes.
Practicalities Price: £2,880 (deposit £300). This includes: air travel (economy class) on British Airways flights (Boeing 737); travel between Venice Airport and hotel by private water-taxi, some journeys by vaporetto and one by gondola; accommodation as described below; breakfasts, two lunches and four dinners with wine, water and coffee; all admissions; all tips for waiters, porters; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £310 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,770.
Hotel: an elegant and historic hotel on the Grand Canal, opposite the Salute. It is maintained to a high standard and has a good restaurant. Rooms are elegantly furnished and decorated. 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 and crossing of bridges; standing around in museums and palaces is also unavoidable. This tour should not be undertaken by anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stairclimbing. Weather: not warm, snow is possible (if unlikely) and rain probable, though sunshine and blue skies are also likely. Acqua alta (high water) is possible. Small group: between 10 and 19 participants
Christmas tours 2013
Rome at Christmas Ancient, Mediaeval, Renaissance, Baroque
Full day in the Vatican including the Stanze and Logge and Sistine Chapel. Great art collections at the Galleria Borghese, Palazzo Doria Pamphilj and Palazzo Barberini. Mediaeval churches, the Pantheon, the Capitol and much else, including a full day in Tivoli. 5-star hotel close to the Spanish Steps. Rome was at the centre of the western world for nearly two and a half millennia. Her extraordinary history has endowed the city with a unique significance and provided her with an unparalleled range of art and architecture. As the metropolis of the Roman Empire, she was a city of a magnitude and influence quite without peer within the vast territory over which she ruled. The abundant evidence of this era is among the most striking aspect of Rome today, the surviving monuments being of a grandeur and sophistication which never fail to enthral the modern visitor. The decline of the Roman Empire coincided with the advent of Christianity, and Rome assumed a leading role in Europe as the seat of the papacy. Though incessantly strife-ridden, mediaeval Europe enjoyed a unity which was based on a common allegiance to the Roman Catholic Church and was expressed by the countless pilgrims who made their way here from every corner of the continent. The High Renaissance was another climax in the cultural history of the city, with Bramante, Michelangelo and Raphael creating their masterpieces here and establishing artistic norms which lasted hundreds of years. The seventeenth century saw Rome once more as the leading centre for the visual arts. The Baroque, a style of energy, drama and magnificence, was inaugurated in Rome before spreading throughout the world. With the nineteenth-century unification of Italy, Rome became the national capital, not an easy role
in a country which is so complex and regionalised and suspicious of central government. But even despite the recent economic troubles, the capital is growing in stature and sophistication. It is a much more civilized place in which to live and work than even a decade ago, and despite the enormous weight of its heritage it is not a mere museum city. Not that the museums and monuments have receded in importance: refurbishment and restoration continue apace, and the Eternal City has never looked better.
Sistine Chapel, detail of the east wall, late-18th-century engraving after Michelangelo
21–28 December 2013 (ma 796) 8 days • £3,240 Lecturer: Dr Luca Leoncini
Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 12.45pm from London Heathrow to Rome. Settle into the hotel before dinner. Day 2. Spend the day in the Vatican, since the 15th century the principal residence of the Pope and spiritual and administrative headquarters of the Catholic Church. The culmination of the enormous wealth of art which has accumulated in the museums and papal apartments are the Stanze and Logge with frescoes by Raphael, and the Sistine Chapel with frescoes by Michelangelo. Many of Rome’s great architects and artists contributed to the Basilica of St Peter, the foremost church in Catholic Christendom. Day 3. 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 Rome. Cross the Tiber to the unspoilt Trastevere neighbourhood. See Santa Maria in Trastevere, with its wonderful 12th- and 13th-century mosaics, Villa La Farnesina is one of the earliest of Renaissance retreats and, with frescoes by Raphael, one of the best decorated. In the afternoon visit the Pantheon, of all Roman buildings the one which survives most completely. The church of San Luigi dei Francesi contains one of the most striking paintings by Caravaggio, The Calling of St Matthew. Day 4: Tivoli. 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 richest building project in the Roman Empire. After lunch visit the vast garden at Villa d’Este that became one of the classic visits on the Grand Tour. Day 5: Christmas Day. Free morning, with the opportunity to attend a service; St Peter’s is a possibility. After a traditional Italian Christmas lunch take an afternoon walk via the Trevi Fountain, a Rococo creation loved by both tourists and Romans, and the Spanish Steps. Day 6. Visit the Scuderie del Quirinale (Papal Stables), a splendid 18th-century building restored to become a museum and only accessible to the public for just over a decade. See here the exhibition Augustus: The Vision of a New Era, which celebrates the bimillenial anniversary of the first Roman emperor’s death. Visit the Colosseum, the largest of ancient amphitheatres. In the afternoon visit the Capitol, the original citadel of the Roman republic, with buildings by Michelangelo. The Capitoline Museums have excellent collections of ancient sculpture including the Marcus Aurelius statue.
Christmas tours 2013
Florence at Christmas Cradle of the Renaissance Day 7. The Palazzo Barberini houses one of the finest picture collections in Italy. The great Jesuit church of Sant’Ignazio has a stunning illusionistic ceiling by Andrea del Pozzo. The Palazzo Doria Pamphilj is Rome’s largest noble palace; the picture collection includes paintings by Caravaggio, Titian and Velázquez. In the afternoon visit the Galleria Borghese, Rome’s finest collection of painting and sculpture. Day 8. The morning is spent on the Quirinal Hill seeing three beautiful but small-scale Baroque churches, Sant’Andrea al Quirinale (Bernini), San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane (Borromini) and Santa Maria della Vittoria, home to Bernini’s The Ecstasy of St Teresa. Fly to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.00pm.
Lecturer 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 published articles on the classical tradition in Italian art of the 15th century and contributed to the Macmillan Dictionary of Art.
Practicalities Price: £3,240 (deposit £300). This includes: flights (economy class) with British Airways (aircraft: Airbus A319); private coach or minibus travel; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 2 lunches (including Christmas Day) and 5 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all taxes; all tips; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £420 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,960. Hotel: a smart, recently refurbished 5-star hotel in an excellent location overlooking the gardens of the Villa Borghese and the Villa Ludovisi. Rooms are attractively decorated and service is professional and friendly. How strenuous? Rome is one of the most difficult Italian cities to navigate. There is a lot of walking as coach access in the centre is restricted, and fitness and agility are absolutely essential. Average distance by coach per day: 12 miles Music: there may be a concert or opera on during our stay. Programmes will be available nearer the time. Weather: fairly cold but often clear at this time of year, though rain is a possibility. Small group: between 10 and 20 participants.
Florence, the Medici Chapel in San Lorenzo, aquatint c. 1830.
20–27 December 2013 (ma 794) 8 days • £2,520 Lecturer: Dr R. T. Cobianchi The best place for an art-history tour – highly influential art, wonderful architecture. The Renaissance occupies centre stage; mediaeval and other periods are not ignored. Led by Dr R. T. Cobianchi, expert art historian. A smaller group than usual.
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
Christmas tours 2013 Florence at Christmas continued
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, 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 the number of visitors to Florence has swelled hugely in recent years, it is still possible during winter, and with careful planning, to explore the city and enjoy its art in relative tranquillity.
Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.45am from Heathrow to Pisa, then transfer by coach to Florence. In the late afternoon, study the buildings and sculpture in the Piazza della Signoria. Day 2. Visit the Bargello, a mediaeval palazzo housing Florence’s finest sculpture collection with works by Donatello, Verrocchio, Michelangelo and others. The granary-cum-church of Orsanmichele has sculpture by Donatello, Michelangelo, Ghiberti and Verrocchio. See the Byzantine mosaics and Renaissance sculpture in the baptistry in the afternoon, as well as the polychromatic marble cathedral capped by Brunelleschi’s massive dome, and the museum with works of art from the cathedral and baptistry.
most beautiful of Italian hill towns. Walk through exquisite streets to Il Campo, the main scallop-shaped ‘square’, 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 6, Christmas Day. Free morning, with a range of options for a church service. Christmas lunch in Piazzale Michelangelo followed by an afternoon visit to the Romanesque abbey church of San Miniato al Monte which affords panoramic views over Florence. Day 7. In Santa Trinita there are fine frescoes by Ghirlandaio. See the Masaccio fresco cycle in the Brancacci Chapel, which constitutes the most important work of painting of the Early Renaissance. 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 Gian Bologna’s Virtue Chaining Vice in the Barghello, engraving 1883.
afternoon visit the redoubtable Palazzo Pitti, which houses several museums including the Galleria Palatina, outstanding particularly for High Renaissance and Baroque paintings. 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. Travel by coach to Pisa and fly to Heathrow, arriving at c. 4.15pm.
Lecturer Dr R. T. Cobianchi. Art historian and lecturer. He completed his PhD at Warwick University and was a Rome Scholar at The British School in Rome and fellow of the Biblioteca Hertziana, Rome, and Villa I Tatti, Florence. His research includes iconography and patronage of the late Middle Ages to the Baroque.
Practicalities Price: £2,520 (deposit £250). This includes: air travel (economy class) on scheduled British Airways flights (aircraft: Airbus A319); private coach travel; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, one lunch (Christmas Day) and five dinners with wine, water and coffee; all admissions to museums, galleries, etc. visited with the group; all state, airport and tourist taxes; all gratuities for restaurant staff, drivers and guides; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £260 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,330. Hotel. A delightful, recently renovated 4-star hotel in a very central location. Rooms are stylishly decorated; singles are double rooms for single occupancy. Dinners are at selected restaurants nearby.
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, one of the world’s greatest art galleries, in the afternoon.
How strenuous? There is a lot of walking and it would not be suitable for anyone with difficulty in everyday walking and stair climbing. Average distance by coach per day: 25 miles
Day 4. A Michelangelo morning: visit the Laurentian Library, his most substantial building in Florence, and the New Sacristy of San Lorenzo, burial chapel of the Medici family and Michelangelo’s largest 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.
Weather. Fairly cold but often clear at this time of year. Rain should not be ruled out. Small group: between 10 and 18 participants
Day 5: Siena. Day trip by coach to Siena,
Christmas tours 2013
Art in Switzerland at christmas 20–26 December 2013 (ma 788) 7 days • £2,990 Lecturer: Dr Alexey Makhrov
Berne, wood engraving c. 1890 after Rev. Samuel Manning.
Fine and varied art collections of the highest standard, many displayed in the collectors’ homes or in excellent new buildings. Impressionism, Post-Impressionism and classic modernism figure prominently, but so do European Old Masters, decorative arts and Oriental art. Led by art historian Dr Alexey Makhrov, resident in Swizterland. Switzerland possesses some of the finest of the smaller art collections in Europe. There is no Louvre here and no Uffizi, but several Courtauld Institutes and Burrell Collections. More than in most countries the cultural map has been formed during the last hundred years by the devotion to art – and ultimately to the beneficence – of wealthy industrialists and men of commerce. There were no kings and princes in Switzerland to lay the foundations of the present-day collections. With a long tradition of relative autonomy and self-sufficiency the cities and cantons have also played a part in creating the current magnificent public art collections. While artists who were Swiss or who lived in Switzerland are of course amply represented (including Holbein, Fuseli, Hodler, Klee and Giacometti), the whole gamut of western art is to be seen here, with the French Impressionists and PostImpressionists particularly prominent. An added attraction is architectural: some of the collections remain in the collectors’ former homes and others have recently been rehoused in brilliant new buildings. And when aesthetic exhaustion sets in there are lakes and mountains and picturesque old cities to refresh the palate.
Itinerary Day 1. Fly to Basel at c. 8.50am. The Beyeler Foundation has a top quality collection of classic modern art in a stunning building by Renzo Piano. First of two nights in Basel. Day 2: Basel, Colmar. Drive into France to the attractive Alsacian town of Colmar. The Musée d’Unterlinden, occupying a former monastery, is one of the best art museums in France, the outstanding work being Grünewald’s great Crucifixion polyptych. Back in Basel, walk via the mediaeval minster to the Kunstmuseum, an excellent collection notable for paintings by one-time resident Hans Holbein. Some free time;
suggestions include exploration of the lovely old centre of the city, the Historical Museum (furniture, tapestries, silver), the Museum of Contemporary Art or the Tinguely Museum.
Another outstanding private collection, mainly of French and Swiss paintings, is displayed at the Villa Flora nearby. Optional Midnight Mass.
Day 3: Berne. With its promontory setting and arcaded streets, Berne is perhaps the most attractive city in Switzerland. The purpose-built Paul Klee Centre (Renzo Piano) houses a huge collection of the artist’s works, and the Kunstmuseum has a good and varied collection of western art. Some free time to explore the Christmas market before continuing to Zurich for the first of four nights.
Day 6, Christmas Day: Lucerne. Lucerne, at the juncture of mountains, rivers and lake, has a most attractive historic centre with mediaeval, Renaissance and Baroque buildings. The Sammlung Rosengart is an excellent collection, of 20th-century art, particularly strong on Picasso and Klee.
Day 4: Zurich. In the morning, visit two churches that have stained glass by Chagall and Alberto Giacometti. Then see the E.G. Bührle Foundation, an astonishingly rich collection of paintings crammed into a suburban mansion. Day 5: Winterthur. The Oskar Reinhart Collection ‘am Römerholz’ at the collector’s home in tranquil woodland above the city has marvellous Old Masters and Impressionists.
Day 7: Zürich. The Kunsthaus Zurich, Switzerland’s largest art gallery, has Swiss and international art from the Middle Ages to the present day, with a special exhibition of Edvard Munch prints. Fly from Zurich, arriving Heathrow c. 5.30pm.
Lecturer Dr Alexey Makhrov. Russian art historian and graduate of the St Petersburg Academy of Arts. Obtained his PhD from the University of St Andrews followed by post-
Christmas tours 2013, India Art in Switzerland at Christmas continued
India: Revisiting Nagaur By Dr Giles Tillotson
doctoral work as a Research Fellow at Exeter University. He is now studying International History and Politics at the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies in Geneva.
Practicalities Price: £2,990. This includes: air travel (economy class) on scheduled British Airways flights (aircraft Airbus A319 jet), private coach within Switzerland for all excursions and airport transfers, hotel accommodation as described below, breakfasts, one lunch and five dinners, with wine, water and coffee, all admissions to museums, all gratuities for waiters, drivers, etc., all state and airport taxes the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £320. Price without flights £2,830. Hotels: Basel (2 nights): a 4-star hotel situated in the historic heart; rooms vary in size. In Zurich (4 nights): 4-star hotel excellently located on Lake Zurich within walking distance of the old town; elegantly furnished rooms. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking and standing around in town centres and galleries. Average distance by coach per day: 60 miles. Weather: temperatures are likely to be below freezing on some days, especially in the morning, with a potential for snow and clear sky for at least some of the time. Small group: this tour will operate with between 12 and 22 participants.
Our Painted Palaces of Rajasthan tour includes a stay in the recently restored palace in the fort of Nagaur. The tour’s lecturer, Dr Giles Tillotson, has a long association with the site, and here explains his excitement at the prospect of revisiting it with Martin Randall travellers: Pools, parterres and painted halls make up a large part of the palace in the fort of Nagaur. It seems an unlikely venture, to depend so heavily on plants and water while creating a home in a desert region, but the patron was evidently trying to create something of an oasis. And if the desert has reclaimed it in part – for the pools are now dry – the wall paintings help us to picture it as it was in its days of splendour, with women playing in formal gardens and bathing in cooling streams. Built in the second quarter of the 18th century by Bakhat Singh, the younger brother of a maharaja of Jodhpur, the palace served as a seat of power for only one generation, as Bakhat Singh’s son reunited the kingdom and ruled from Jodhpur. But while it lasted, it was developed as one of the largest and most elaborate garden palaces of its time, and an exquisite example of Rajput court architecture in its finest period. In modern times, the place was all but forgotten. The city of Nagaur, though one of the oldest and at one time most prosperous places in northern India, had dwindled with changes in trade routes. After Independence, the fort was taken over by the Border Security Force, charged with protecting India’s border with the newly-founded Pakistan. It was only in the 1980s that the present Maharaja of Jodhpur was able to reclaim possession and hand it over to a protective trust. The story since then has been one
of careful and patient restoration of the buildings, gardens and paintings, informed by scholarly research, executed by expert professionals and generously funded (by the Getty Grant Program and the Lady Helen Hamlyn Trust among other bodies). In the early days the scholars and the conservators had to camp out, literally: staying under canvas in the yard formerly occupied by the fort’s garrison. The recent conversion of the Ranvas – the queens’ apartments – into a bijoux hotel has pleasantly transformed the experience of visiting and studying Nagaur. Having been involved in the restoration project, as a historian, I have long wanted to show visitors around the palace of Nagaur, and I am delighted that this is now possible. Apart from the pleasure of sharing with others a well-known, favourite group of buildings, there is at this site the additional delight that one often has the place to oneself. Staying in one portion, one is free to ramble at all hours and will encounter no jostling crowds. It is especially lovely in the cool of the evening, when the courtyards are quiet and dark, enlivened only by the flicker of lamp-wicks as the breeze plays through the old stone arcades. In the tourist industry, Nagaur was unheard of just a few years ago. It remains even now a little-known priceless gem. But no one who does venture there is disappointed. ‘Painted Palaces of Rajasthan’ includes many notable sites and magnificent buildings. But I suspect that Nagaur will linger longest in the memories of those who elect to take the tour. Dr Giles Tillotson leads Painted Palaces of Rajasthan, 4–15 November 2013 and Mughal & Nawabi Architecture, 5–15 February 2014.
Detail from a wood engraving of 1886.
Painted Palaces of Rajasthan Delhi, Jodhpur, Nagaur, Bikaner, Shekhawati 4–15 November 2013 (ma 765) 12 days • £5,170 Lecturer: Dr Giles Tillotson A chronological survey of the remarkable phenomenon of architectural paintings. Architecture of forts and palaces, from the grimly defensible to filigree finesse. Includes places rarely visited by tourists, and lingers longer in well-known places. Led by Dr Giles Tillotson, a leading expert in Rajput and Mughal history and architecture.
Itinerary Day 1: London to Delhi. Fly from London Heathrow to Delhi at c. 12 noon, and after a 51/2-hour time change reach the hotel in New Delhi c. 2.00am. Day 2: Delhi. Nothing is planned before a pre-lunch talk. In the afternoon visit the National Museum’s impressive and welldisplayed collection of miniature paintings, from both Mughal and Rajput traditions, studying their differences and similarities. The National Gallery of Modern Art houses a collection of ‘Company Paintings’ by Indian artists for European patrons. Overnight Delhi. Day 3: Delhi, Jodhpur. Fly from Delhi to Jodhpur in the morning. Presiding over the capital of one of the largest Rajput states in western
Rajasthan is the magnificent Mehrangarh Fort. Described by Kipling as the ‘work of angels, fairies and giants’, it was built in 1459 and has some of the most imposing fortifications in the world. The first of two visits focuses on its refined architecture. First of two nights in Jodhpur.
chambers; the Akbari Mahal, built to commemorate the visit of the Emperor Akbar in 1570, has some original floral murals, while the Hadi Rani Mahal houses some 16th-cent. murals in shades of green depicting daily and courtly scenes. The rest of the day is free.
Day 4: Jodhpur. Created in resplendent white marble, Jaswant Thada is the large 19th-cent. memorial of Jaswant Singh II and cremation ground of the Marwar rulers. The second visit to Mehrangarh examines the painting tradition of the Marwari Rajputs, with special admission to the gallery led by the curator. The buildings of the lively Old City are painted in a variety of blues, originally the colour denoting the homes of Brahmins.
Day 7: Nagaur, Bikaner. In the morning, drive to Bikaner for lunch at the Laxmi Vilas Palace, a masterpiece of Indo-Saracenic architecture designed by Sir Swinton Jacob (1902). The Jain Bhandasar Temple is said to be older than the city itself, although the current building dates from the 15th cent. and has fine paintings. First of two nights in Gajner, near Bikaner, in the former royal hunting lodge.
Day 5: Mandore, Nagaur. Mandore was the capital of the Marwari state until 1895 when it moved to Jodhpur. On the ancient cremation grounds, the royal cenotaphs are unique in Rajasthan as they resemble Hindu temples. In the afternoon, drive through the desert to Nagaur, one of the earliest Rajput settlements and an important Sufi centre. First of two nights in Nagaur.
Day 8: Bikaner. Unlike most Rajput strongholds, Junagadh Fort is not built on a hill. Founded in 1588, it displays a variety of painting styles, from traditional Rajput motifs to early 20th-cent. depictions of trains. The Monsoon Palace has some highly unusual paintings of rain clouds and lightning, while the Diwan-i-Khas, the hall of private audience, is profusely decorated with gold leaf. There is a special opening of the Phool Mahal, the oldest part of the palace. Options for the rest of the day include bird watching and a 4x4 excursion.
Day 6: Nagaur. Ahichhatragarh Fort (linked to the hotel by a corridor) was founded in the 4th cent. and developed and embellished in the 18th. Pre-Mughal and Mughal architecture is well preserved in the palace
Day 9: Bikaner, Mandawa (Shekhawati). The desert villages of the Shekhawati region of northern Rajasthan are celebrated for their painted havelis (merchants’ mansions), which go back to the 18th century. The Nand Lal Devra haveli in Fatehpur has some newly restored examples. A leisurely walk in Mandawa reveals some interesting depictions of flying machines and other modern appliances. First of two nights in Mandawa. The Fort at Jodhpur, from the north-west, after a drawing by C.W. Waddington 1933.
India Painted Palaces of Rajasthan continued
Day 10: Parasrampura, Nawalgarh. The simple 18th-cent. cenotaph of Sardur Singh possesses some of the earliest paintings in the region. The ochre monochromes are typical of the early period. The equally modest Gopinath temple nearby has unfinished medallions, which provide insight into the creative process. The Morarka and Podar havelis are two of the finest in Nawalgarh, with a clearly delineated pictorial programme.
Day 11: Jhunjhunu, Delhi. The controversial Rani Sati temple in Jhunjhunu celebrates both the goddess and the eponymous practice of self-immolation by widows on their husbands’ pyres. Drive in the afternoon to Gurgaon, a Delhi suburb, where the final night is spent. Day 12: Delhi to London. The direct flight is scheduled to arrive at Heathrow before noon.
Lecturer Dr Giles Tillotson is a Fellow (and former Director) of the Royal Asiatic Society, he has been Reader in History of Art and Chair of Art & Archaeology at SOAS. His specialisms include the history and architecture of the Rajput courts of Rajasthan and of the Mughal cities of Delhi and Agra, Indian architecture in the period of British rule and after Independence, and landscape painting in India. Books include The Tradition of Indian Architecture.
Practicalities Price: £5,170 (deposit £450). This includes: flights (economy class) with British Airways: return London to Delhi (Boeing 747–400) and with Jet Airways: Delhi to Jodhpur (Boeing 737); travel by private air-conditioned coach; accommodation as described below, breakfasts, 9 lunches and 8 dinners with wine or beer, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; airport taxes; the service of a lecturer. Single supplement £680. Price without international flights: £4,490. Hotels: New Delhi (2 nights): dating to the early 1900s, it retains colonial charm and is ideally situated in the heart of Lutyens’ Delhi. Jodhpur (2 nights): a boutique hotel located in the heart of the walled city beneath the Fort. Nagaur (2 nights): the former zenana, women’s quarter inside the fort-palace, has been converted into this highly comfortable hotel. Gajner (2 nights): a lake-side hunting lodge converted into a comfortable and quiet hotel. Mandawa (2 nights): this newly converted haveli combines the traditional painted decor of the region with modern furniture and
India 2013 & 2014 Painted Palaces of Rajasthan 4–15 November 2013 (ma 765) 12 days • £5,170 Lecturer: Dr Giles Tillotson
Karnataka 18–29 January 2014 (ma 805) 12 days • £3,860 Lecturer: John M. Fritz
Mughal & Nawabi Architecture
15–29 November 2013 (ma 771) 15 days • £5,550 Lecturer: Dr Anna-Maria Misra
5–15 February 2014 (ma 810) 11 days • £4,260 Lecturer: Dr Giles Tillotson
31 January–14 Feb. 2014 (ma 806) 15 days • £5,550 Lecturer: Sue Rollin
Kingdoms of the Deccan
The Indian Mutiny
7–20 February 2014 (ma 811) 14 days • £4,940 Lecturer: John M. Fritz
19 November–2 Dec. 2013 (ma 772) 14 days • £4,520 Lecturer: Major Gordon Corrigan
Sailing the Ganges
Bengal by River 8–21 December 2013 (ma 785) 14 days • £4,580 Lecturer: Dr Rosie Llewellyn–Jones 9–22 March 2014 (ma 829) 14 days • £4,890 Lecturer: Dr Anna-Maria Misra
The British Raj 4–16 January 2014 (ma 801) 13 days • £6,220 • Lecturers: David Gilmour & Prof. Gavin Stamp
amenities. Delhi-Gurgaon (1 night): ideally located near the international airport, this modern 4-star hotel has comfortable rooms. Visas: British citizens and most other foreign nationals require a tourist visa. The current cost for UK nationals is c. £45 including service fees. This is not included in the price of the tour because you must obtain it yourself. We will advise on the procedure but you will need to submit your passport to the India Visa Application Centre in your country of residence prior to departure.
18 Feb.–2 March 2014 (ma 817) 13 days • £5,140 Lecturer: John Keay
Indian Summer 24 March–5 April 2014 (ma 840) 13 days • £5,120 Lecturer: Raaja Bhasin
Contact us to receive a copy of our brochure, ‘India 2013 & 2014’, or visit www.martinrandall.com for full details of these and all other tours. How strenuous? A good level of fitness is essential. Unless you enjoy entirely unimpaired mobility, cope with everyday walking and stair-climbing without difficulty and are reliably sure-footed, this tour is not for you. Uneven ground and irregular paving are standard. There are a few fairly steep ascents to hilltop forts and temples. There are long coach journeys during which facilities are limited and may be of poor quality. Most sites have some shade but the Indian sun is strong, even in the cooler seasons. Average coach travel per day: 49 miles. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.
Martin Randall Music Festivals
Spaces still available in 2013 • Register your interest for next year
Some spaces are still available on our remaining festivals in 2013. Contact us for the latest availability, or for more information, or visit www.martinrandall.com
Please contact us now if you would like to receive details of any of our music festivals in 2014, as soon as bookings open.
The Johann Sebastian Bach Journey • 7–13 July 2013
Music in Palladian Villas • May 2014
The Danube Music Festival 16–23 August 2013
The Rhine Valley Festival of Song June 2014
There is also the option of paying an advance deposit for our two river festivals (the Rhine Valley and Danube music festivals), in order to secure a cabin – capacity on these festivals is limited to about 130, and there are very few single cabins. We recommend that you contact us before sending in the form below, to reserve a space provisionally.
English Music in Yorkshire 22–27 September 2013
The Danube Music Festival August 2014
The Rhône Music Festival 17–24 October 2013
A Festival of Music in Bologna October 2014
The Thomas Tallis Trail 1–3 November 2013
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The Rhine Valley Festival of Song
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The Thomas Tallis Trail
The Thomas Tallis Trail Celebrating The Tallis Scholars’ fortieth anniversary 1–3 November 2013 (ma 767) 3 days • from £980 per person A three-day festival celebrating the fortieth anniversary of The Tallis Scholars, who are still directed by founder Peter Phillips. Concerts at five places where Thomas Tallis (c. 1505–85) is known to have worked: Waltham Abbey, St Mary at Hill (London), Dover Priory, Canterbury Cathedral and Hampton Court. Accommodation in Canterbury for two nights, coach travel, most meals and talks. Limited to seventy participants. Also a the celebration of Martin Randall Travel’s twenty-fifth anniversary. Peter Phillips writes: ‘It is with great pleasure that I present the Tallis Trail, a whistle-stop, action-packed mini-tour which is designed both to celebrate The Tallis Scholars’ 40th anniversary and to revisit Tallis in some of the buildings he would have known. The actual anniversary of our first concert, given on the 3rd November 1973 in Oxford, will be marked in the Chapel Royal of Hampton Court. This will be preceded by a major event in Canterbury Cathedral the previous evening, featuring some of the master’s grandest compositions, including Gaude Gloriosa. Earlier we shall also have visited Waltham Abbey, where Tallis was employed until it was dissolved in 1540, St Mary at Hill in the City of London and Dover Priory, at both of which he worked as singer and organist. As far as possible I have chosen music suitable to Tallis’s association with these buildings, a choice I shall explain in situ. With the unmatched event-planning skills of Martin Randall and his team, the expert commentary of Dr David Skinner and our 40 years of devotion to Tallis’s writing, this should be a fascinating and moving few days.’ Day 1: Friday, 1st November 2013. Coaches leave central London at 10.15am for Waltham Abbey, Essex. Concert: Waltham Abbey, 11.30am. Tallis Loquebantur variis linguis; Tallis Suscipe quaeso; Tallis Miserere; Allegri Miserere; Pärt Magnificat; Philips Ave verum; Byrd Ave verum; Byrd Tribue domine. Drive from Waltham Abbey to the City of London for a buffet lunch at St Mary at Hill, followed by the second concert.
Concert: St Mary at Hill, 3.15pm. Tallis ‘Dorian’ Magnificat and Nunc dimittis; Tallis If ye love me; Tallis Hear the voice and prayer; Sheppard Lord’s Prayer; Pärt Tribute to Caesar; Tallis Miserere; Tallis Lamentations II; Tallis Tunes for Archbishop Parker. Drive from the City to Canterbury. In the evening, there is the option of dining with your fellow participants (for which there is an additional charge), or of eating elsewhere independently. Day 2: Saturday, 2nd November 2013. Coaches pick up from hotels in the morning, and drive from Canterbury to Dover College. Built in the 1130s, the refectory of Dover Priory is one of the most impressive nonecclesiastical buildings of its time. It is again a dining hall, having been incorporated into a school in 1868, and has excellent acoustics. Thomas Tallis was organist at Dover Priory 1530–31, his first recorded appointment. Concert: Dover College, Strangers Refectory, 11.30am. Tallis Mass for Four Voices; Tallis Lamentations I; Tallis Miserere; Whitacre Sainte Chapelle (new commission); Taverner Quemadmodum; Tallis O nata lux; Byrd Laudibus in sanctis.
Coaches return to central Canterbury after the concert. Lunch is independent today, and the afternoon is free. If you wished to, you could visit Dover Castle and return on your own by train back to Canterbury. There is a lecture in the evening. Dr David Skinner is a renowned scholar and choral director. He broadcasts regularly for BBC Radio 3 & 4 and is a fellow, tutor and Osborn Director of Music at Sidney Sussex College, Cambridge. The evening concert has been organised in association with the Canterbury Festival and is the only concert not exclusive to our own festival participants. Those booked onto The Thomas Tallis Trail have been allocated the highest category of seat. Interval drinks and dinner are provided at the Canterbury Cathedral Lodge (the starter served before the concert, and main course and dessert served afterwards). Concert: Canterbury Cathedral, 7.30pm. Taverner Magnificat (a 6); White Domine quis habitabit; White Christe qui lux III and IV; Byrd Magnificat from the Great Service; Sheppard Verbum caro; Sheppard Our father; Tallis Miserere; Tallis Te Deum ‘ for meanes’; Tallis Gaude gloriosa.
The Thomas Tallis Trail
Day 3: Sunday, 3rd November 2013. Drive from Canterbury to Hampton Court after breakfast. There is time for some independent exploration before the concert. Concert: Hampton Court, Chapel Royal, 1.00pm. Philips Ecce vicit leo; Philips Ave Jesu Christe; Gibbons O clap your hands; Gibbons ‘Short’ service Magnificat and Nunc dimittis; Pärt Nunc dimittis; Tallis Miserere; Tallis Salve intemerata. Lunch is provided at the Carlton Mitre Hotel and coaches return to central London at c. 4.00pm.
Accommodation options Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. Located inside the Cathedral walls, the Lodge began life as a study centre in 1998 and has since been converted into 4-star conference facilities. A huddle of many-sided buildings around a courtyard, it is contemporary in design inside. The hotel is decorated simply, but comfortably. Rooms vary in size, and all have showers (none have baths). Service is very friendly and helpful. There are a small amount of rooms in the Lodge’s ‘value’ accommodation (double occupancy only) – these rooms are only accessible via two flights of stairs, and do not have views of the Cathedral as others do. Downside: coaches do not fit through the Cathedral Precinct’s mediaeval gates and so have to stop at the coach station, a c. 5–7 minute walk away. The Abode Canterbury. Part of a chain of luxury hotels, the Abode is located on the pedestrianised High Street, about a 5 minute walk from the Cathedral. Furnishings and décor are contemporary in style and of a high standard. The original building was constructed in the twelfth century. Service is professional and friendly. The hotel has its own restaurant. There is a lift to all floors. Downside: rooms facing onto the High Street, whilst they have better views, can suffer from noise at night.
The Package The price includes: admission to all concerts; lecture by Dr David Skinner; accommodation for two nights in Canterbury; all breakfasts, 2 lunches and 1 dinner; interval drinks for the concert in Canterbury Cathedral; entrance to Canterbury Cathedral for an independent visit; coach transfers where stated; programme booklet; the assistance of the festival staff.
Prices Staying at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge. Single room (single bed): £1,200. Double room for single occupancy: £1,250. ‘Value’ double/twin (two sharing): £980. Standard double/twin (two sharing): £1,140. Staying at The Abode Canterbury. Double room for single occupancy: £1,440 Standard double/twin (two sharing): £1,310. Superior double (two sharing): £1,390. Suite (two sharing): £1,700.
Extra meal. There is the option of dining with your fellow participants on the first night of the festival. The extra charge for which includes three courses, with wine, water, coffee and gratuity. If staying at The Abode Hotel: £50 per person, at Deeson’s British Restaurant. If staying at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge: £45 per person, at Canterbury Cathedral Lodge.
Booking. We advise that you call us first to ascertain whether there is space in your chosen accommodation option. We will reserve a space provisionally for you, and you should then complete and send us the booking form below along with the deposit of £150 per person.
Conditions. If you cancel. Up to 57 days before departure: the deposit only is forfeited. After this, a percentage of the total cost of the festival package price would be due: between 56 and 29 days: 40%; between 28 and 15 days: 60%; between 14 and 3 days: 80%; within 48 hours: 100%. If MRT has to cancel (which is very unlikely), you would receive a full refund.
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Recent research trips
Sicily: the Ancient & the Appetizing By Lizzie Howard, Supervisor for MRT’s Italian tours In March 2013 Lizzie Howard and Maddy Anedda went prospecting in Sicily, to create a new Ancient Sicily tour and also to cover some of the ground of our Gastronomic Sicily tour (departing October 2013). This prospecting trip, more than any I have ever done, resembled a treasure hunt or detective novel. In order to make the new Ancient Sicily tour more than the (deservedly) incredible blockbuster sites of Agrigento and Syracuse, Segesta and Selinunte, all of which we already visit on our general Sicily tour, we really needed to find places that were new to us and still of interest. This meant that more often than not they were quite literally off the beaten track – down roads that our sat nav feared to tread, and that our maps claimed did not exist. There are usually few signs or none, major roads suddenly stop dead with no diversion signs, or loop you into the mountains for an hour before returning you to the road an infuriating 200m on… Every step closer to our goal (of the moment) felt like a minor victory and that a benign but capricious Sicilian deity was batting us around the island. If the Gods were against us, or at the very least the Sicilian infrastructure, what struck us strongly is that the people themselves were not. There is a particular kind of courteous and expansive hospitality in Sicily that extends further than that of the mainland, and without it our trip would have
been much more arduous. One of our most rewarding visits was to Monte Iato, which would have been impossible to find without a trail constructed slowly but steadily from kindness and coincidence. And so it was that we eventually found ourselves at the top of a mountain, surrounded by stony ruins and yellow wildflowers, with a panoramic view of the rocky and vivid green countryside. The director spent an hour over his lunchtime gently guiding us round each part of the site, a mix of Iron Age, Greek and mediaeval, before racking his brain for any other way he could be of service to us and finally writing down the names of his friends and colleagues, the directors of every important Sicilian site he could think of. The people we met were tremendously proud of their culture and where they worked, and in showing a genuine interest (and managing to actually find the places) we were greeted like pilgrims. This warmth seems very much to be part of daily life in Sicily. One of my favourite meals was in a simple trattoria on the sea front by Selinunte. During a buffet lunch of fresh antipasti (artichokes, olives, marinated mushrooms, ripe tomatoes, fresh bread), not only were we offered some fresh creamy ricotta from a large pot belonging to the people sitting next to us, but the older proprietor brought us juicy oranges still warm from the sun and placed them on our table without a word. The sweet almond pastry brought as a treat with our espressos rounded off a perfect meal, not only in culinary terms but in the sheer welcome we had felt there.
It is not difficult to eat well in Sicily, especially if you are happy to eat simply, as there are very few stages between the origins of an ingredient and the plate on which it ends up. The foundations of Sicilian cuisine were apparent everywhere we went, whether driving through bright groves of oranges and lemons or silvery olive trees, walking past slopes covered in wild fennel at Segesta or having a stand-off with more than one herd of sheep that make the ubiquitous ricotta. And, of course, the most obvious and plentiful source – the sea. The freshest seafood and grilled fish are not the only element prevalent in Sicilian cooking – we also visited the salt flats near Mozia, in use since Phoenician times and one of the most tranquil and unusually beautiful parts of the island. March was an ideal time to visit, as there were few tourists but a warmth and freshness that is hard to imagine from an England in the bitter throes of a late winter. If we hadn’t been trying to cover so much so quickly (as is usual for our prospecting trips), it would have felt like we were on the most wonderful holiday. Gastronomic Sicily, 21–27 October 2013 Lecturer: Marc Millon See opposite for full details Sicily, 11–22 November 2013 Lecturer: Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves See page 35 for full details Contact us now to register your interest in our tours to Sicily in 2014, including the new Ancient Sicily, for which we are planning departures in April and November. Left: Selinunte (taken by Lizzie Howard). Above: low-relief sculpture from Selinunte, engraving c. 1840.
Gastronomic Sicily Food & wine in the west 21–27 October 2013 (ma 757) 7 days • £2,620 Lecturer: Marc Millon Discover the colourful street markets of Palermo; visit authentic salt flats near Trapani and 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. A full spectrum of culinary experiences, from street food in Palermo to dinner in a private palazzo. 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 source of agricultural richness for the island: Trapani is today Europe’s most productive grape-growing 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 hand-made in unique shapes to accommodate vegetables, capers,
herbs and the varied seafood that make up the healthy 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 we travel across the Western part of the island we’ll visit small producers, winemakers and bakers, as well as cultural sites that determine its key historical importance. We’ll sample foods from street stalls in Palermo, the freshest seafood in the Mediterranean, and home-prepared dinners whose hospitable cooks will share their secrets with us. We’ll 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 was responsible for relaunching the great wines of the south.
Itinerary Day 1: Palermo. Fly at c. 9.30am from London Heathrow to Palermo (via Milan). 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 three nights in Palermo. Day 2: Palermo. A morning walk to the city’s best markets sampling authentic street food, but not missing the key cultural sites such as the cathedral, a building of many periods, and the church of San Cataldo. In
the afternoon see outstanding mosaics at the 12th-century Palace of the Normans, including the Palatine Chapel, and visit the best pasticceria in Palermo. Dinner at a private palazzo. Day 3: Monreale, Partinico. 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. Travel on to visit Mary Taylor-Simeti’s organic farm in Partinico, one of the earliest of its kind in Sicily, to have a simple and abundant lunch with the freshest produce from the farm and local area. Day 4: Segesta, Marsala. 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, before continuing to see the saltpans that have been in use since Phoenician times. First of three nights in Marsala. Day 5: Marsala, Mazara del Vallo, Samperi. There is a tour of the town in the morning, 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 cous cous 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. Palermo, S. Giovanni degli Eremiti, wood engraving 1882.
Newly launched Gastronomic Sicily continued
Poets & The Somme Poetry of the Great War in battlefield context
Day 6: Menfi, Selinunte, Marsala. The whole morning is spent at an award-winning olive oil estate, discovering their methods. There is a tasting here, and lunch. In the afternoon visit the vast archaeological site of Selinunte, founded c. 650 bc, renowned for its well-preserved temples on the eastern hill and the acropolis. The final dinner of the tour is held in the atmospheric cellars of one of Marsala’s most traditional wineries, after a private visit to the cantine and tasting. Day 7. Fly from Palermo to London Heathrow (via Milan), arriving at c. 6.00pm.
Lecturer Marc Millon. Wine, food and travel writer. Born in Mexico, he was raised in the USA before studying English Literature at the University of Exeter. Together with his wife, he has pioneered a series of illustrated winefood-travel books including The Wine and Food of Europe, The Wine Roads of Italy and The Food Lover’s Companion Italy. He also has his own wine company, importing Italian wines from small family estates.
Practicalities Price: £2,620 (deposit £250). This includes: air travel (economy class) on scheduled Alitalia flights (Airbus 319); travel by private coach; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 4 lunches and 4 dinners with wine, water, coffee; 3 wine tastings, one olive oil tasting and 1 tasting of local pastries; all admission charges to museums, sites, etc.; all tips for restaurant staff, drivers, guides; all state and airport taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £210 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,410. Hotels: in Palermo (3 nights): a 16th-century palazzo converted into a charming 4-star hotel in the centre. Rooms combine classical furnishings with modern comforts and the terrace has fine views over the city. In Marsala (3 nights): a small and welcoming 3-star hotel, whose star rating is misleading as it is by far the best hotel in the centre of town. How strenuous? A lot of walking, some over rough ground and cobbled or uneven paving. Fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Average distance by coach per day: 53 miles. Small group: between 12 and 22 participants Possible linking tours. Combine this tour with Malta, 14–20 October (ma 735); Ancient Rome, 13–19 October (ma 739); Walking in Madeira, 28 October–3 November (ma 760).
6–9 September 2013 (ma 679) 4 days • £1,320 Lecturer: Andrew Spooner First World War poetry in the context of the Battle of the Somme and the lives (and deaths) of the poets. Led by military historian Andrew Spooner. A presentation of the poetry through a study of events, landscapes and the wartime lives of individual poets. An actor reads the poems. 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
British troops on the Western Front, photograph 1916 from World War 1914–1918: A Pictured History.
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.
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 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.’ 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 Cannon 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.
Lecturer Andrew Spooner. Military historian specialising in the Great War and has operated his own battlefield tours since 1988. He organises specialist study days for colleges and museums throughout the country and is a regular visiting lecturer at the Imperial War Museum Duxford. He has appeared in documentaries for the BBC and Channel 4.
Practicalities Price: £1,320 (deposit £200). This includes: luxury coach travel from London and within France; return channel crossings with Eurotunnel from Folkestone to Calais; accommodation as described below; all meals with wine, water and coffee; all admissions; all tips for restaurant staff, drivers; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and poetry reader. Single supplement £120 (double room for single occupancy). Hotel: a traditional 3-star hotel in Arras, installed in a 16th-century building. Rooms vary in size and decoration. There is a good restaurant. How strenuous? There is a quite a lot of walking, most of it over rough ground. Average distance by coach per day: 127 miles. Small group: between 12 and 22 participants.
Newly launched Gastronomic Sicily................... 23 Poets & The Somme................ 24 Cézanne, Van Gogh, Dufy....... 26 The Louvre at Lens.................. 27 Savonlinna Opera.................... 28 Edinburgh Festival . ................ 29 Houghton Revisited................. 30 Opera in Cardiff ..................... 31 Yorkshire Houses..................... 32
Cézanne, Van Gogh, Dufy Special Exhibitions in Marseille, Aix-en-Provence & Martigues the renovated Palais Longchamp, home to the Musée des Beaux Arts and host to the exhibition Van Gogh to Bonnard. Day 3: Aix en Provence. Spend the morning at the Musée Granet, with a good permanent collection of French painting from the 16thcentury onwards, a room dedicated to works by native Cézanne as well as the exhibition Cézanne to Matisse. Cézanne’s studio remains as he left it on his death in 1906, and a short drive away is a fine view of the Mont Sainte-Victoire, subject of many of his paintings. There is some free time to visit the Cathedral of St Sauveur, the 18th-century Mazarin quarter, the Pavillon de Vendôme or the Archbishop’s Palace, which has a fine collection of Beauvais tapestries.
Marseille, steel engraving c. 1860.
26–29 September 2013 (ma 714) 4 days • £1,350 Lecturer: Monica Bohm-Duchen Marseille, European Capital of Culture 2013, brings three major exhibitions to the region. Van Gogh to Bonnard in the newly re-opened Musée des Beaux Arts, Cézanne to Matisse at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence, Raoul Dufy in Martigues. Led by Monica Bohm Duchen, lecturer, writer and curator of twentieth-century art. For many artists the flight to the south from the dreary industrial north was a liberating, vitalising and transforming experience. The intensity of the light, the brightness of the colours and the raw beauty of the countryside purified palettes, dissolved form and changed the course of Western art. Van Gogh and Gauguin sojourned in Arles in 1888, Signac discovered St Tropez in 1892, Matisse honeymooned in Corsica in 1898 and Cézanne returned to his birthplace, Aix-en-Provence, in 1886. Derain, Marquet, Camoin, Dufy, Bonnard and Braque also set up in productive propinquity in little fishing villages along the coast. It is no surprise, then, that a star attraction of Marseille’s spell in the limelight as European Capital of Culture 2013 is a bipartite exhibition entitled Le Grand Atelier du Midi. This brings together over 200 nineteenth- and twentieth-century works of art from French and international collections, both public and private, and pays tribute to the enduring attraction of the South of
France for visual artists. The first part, called From Van Gogh to Bonnard, is held at the Musée des Beaux Arts in Marseille, the second, From Cézanne to Matisse, at the Musée Granet in Aix-en-Provence. Marseille is handsome and vibrant, oscillating between small provincial town and big city, at times gritty, and by September should have scrubbed up nicely for its year in the cultural spotlight. Norman Foster, Frank Gehry and Zaha Hadid have all contributed to the civic improvements and architecturally striking new museums such as the Musée des Civilisations de l’Europe et de la Méditeranée and a C-shaped cultural centre named the Villa Méditeranée are due to open this spring. The Capital of Culture celebrations extend to nearby Martigues, a charming fishing village with narrow, colourful streets and canals that attracted Corot, Impressionist Félix Ziem and Raoul Dufy. One day is spent in Aix, the attractive old capital of Provence, graced with a profusion of 17th- and 18th-century mansions, lively squares, beautiful civic and religious buildings and a plethora of fountains.
Day 4: Marseille. Free morning in Marseille to explore the Capital of Culture independently. Suggestions include the modern and contemporary collections of the Musée Cantini or the new Musée des Civilisations d’Europe et de la Méditerranée (due to open June 2013), containing collections previously at the former Musée des Arts et Traditions Populaires in Paris. The late afternoon flight to London arrives at Heathrow at c. 6.00pm.
Lecturer Monica Bohm-Duchen. Lecturer, writer and curator specialising in 20th-century art. She studied at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem before graduating in English Literature and History of Art from UCL, and with an MA in Art History from the Courtauld. She has lectured for the National Gallery, Tate, Royal Academy, Courtauld, Sotheby’s and Birkbeck College.
Price: £1,350 (deposit £200). This includes: flights (economy class) with British Airways (Airbus 319 & 320); private coach travel; accommodation; breakfasts, and 3 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturer; hire of radio guides for better audibility of the lecturer. Single supplement £180 (double for sole use). Price without flights £1,210.
Day 1: Marseille. Fly from London Heathrow at c. 1.15pm to Marseilles, where all three nights are spent.
Hotels: a comfortable 4-star hotel with traditional décor, near the old port. Rooms have sea views.
Day 2: Martigues, Marseille. Drive to Martigues ‘the Venice of Provence’, whose Musée Ziem will be showing the exhibition Raoul Dufy, from Martigues to l’Estaque. Return in the afternoon to Marseille and
How strenuous? There is a fair amount of walking, particularly in the town centres. Average distance by coach per day: 29 miles.
Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.
The Louvre at Lens Ancient to Modern Art in & around Lille 7–10 November 2013 (ma 773) 4 days • £1,270 Lecturer: Mary Lynn Riley 12–15 June 2014 (ma 928) 4 days • £1,270 Lecturer: Mary Lynn Riley The new outpost of the Musée du Louvre at Lens, showcasing 200 works of art, ancient to modern. Also visited are the Matisse museum at Le Cateau Cambrésis and the Fine Arts museum in Lille. Three nights in Lille, a charming historic city with fine Flemish architecture. Led by art historian Mary Lynn Riley. First class rail travel.
Day 1: Lille. Take the Eurostar at c. 11.00am from London St Pancras to Lille (light lunch on board). A walk through Vieux Lille passes a wealth of Flemish architecture including the Vielle Bourse on the Grand’ Place. Finish at the Musée de l’Hospice Comtesse which has some fine 17th-century furniture and objets d’art and painting by Louis Watteau. Day 2: Lens, Le Cateau Cambrésis. The architecturally striking new Louvre at Lens (45 minutes from Lille) displays 205 works of art, from all the Paris departments, arranged chronologically from 3500 bc to the 19th century. The Matisse Museum in the artist’s native Cateau Cambrésis, now located in the renovated Fenelon Palace, is the third largest Matisse collection in France. The primary school has a stained glass window that he created for the Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence.
sculpture, fashion, decorative and applied arts. The Eurostar returns to London St Pancras at c. 5.00pm.
Lecturer Mary Lynn Riley. Specialist in 19th and20th century modern and contemporary art. Mary Lynn designs and teaches art courses for adults at the Musée Bonnard in Le Cannet and the Espace de l’Art Concret at Mouans-Sartoux. She completed her Master of Fine Arts at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, and previously worked at the Smithsonian in Washington.
Practicalities Price: £1,270 (deposit £200). This includes: return Eurostar travel (first class, Standard Premier); private coach within France; accommodation; breakfasts, 1 lunch and The Louvre at Lens, ©Julian Lanoo.
Following in the footsteps of the Tate in Liverpool and the Guggenheim in Bilbao, the Louvre-Lens, designed by Japanese architects SANAA, opened to the public at the end of 2012 and was instantly acknowledged as a tour de force. Built to help regenerate this former mining town it sits poised like a Phoenix on the embers of its harsh industrial landscape. Composed of five shimmering glass and aluminium buildings, the main exhibition space is the Galerie du Temps, a spectacular 120-metrelong gallery containing six millennia of art, from prehistory to the nineteenth century. All the works on display are from the Louvre in Paris, and among them are some of the mother museum’s most celebrated masterpieces. This tour includes other artistic delights in this little-visited north-east corner of France. Traditionally known for its textile industry and mining (and as the birthplace of Charles de Gaulle), Lille has in recent years repositioned itself as a cultural hub. In 2004 it became European Capital of Culture, a distinction which brought into focus its Musée des Beaux Arts, one of France’s finest, its Museum of Modern, Contemporary and Outsider Art, a treasure house of 20thand 21st-century work, and La Piscine de Roubaix, a converted Art Deco swimming pool now containing a collection of 19th- and 20th-century fine, decorative and applied arts. The Matisse Museum in Le CateauCambresis is a similarly impressive experience. Established by the artist in 1952 to show his work as he wished it to be seen, the original core has since been supplemented by a further 65 paintings.
Day 3: Lille. Spend the morning at the majestic Musée des Beaux Arts whose vast collection encompasses European painting from the 16th to the 20th centuries, international ceramics and the superb relief maps. Free afternoon, perhaps for a walk to Vauban’s citadel, the largest and finest of the 300 fortifications he designed to aid the Sun King’s attempts to consolidate his realm. Day 4: Roubaix, Villeneuve d’Asq. Visit two museums in Lille’s suburbs. The Musée de l’Art Moderne contains works by Modigliani, Leger, Picasso and Bracque as well as an extensive contemporary collection. La Piscine at Roubaix is a spectacular converted Art Déco swimming pool housing a collection of 19th and 20th-century painting and
3 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips for waiters, porters, drivers; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager; hire of radio guides for better audibility of the lecturer. Single supplement £150 (double for sole use). Price without Eurostar £1,110. Hotels: a 5-star hotel in a converted 15thcentury hospice. Décor is traditional with a modern twist. How strenuous? A fair amount of walking and standing in art galleries. The hotel is located c. 20 minutes walk from the Grand’ Place. Average coach travel per day: 37 miles. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.
Savonlinna Opera La Traviata, Macbeth & Lohengrin Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 10.15am from London Heathrow to Savonlinna via Helsinki. Day 2. After a morning lecture, take a boat through beautiful lakeland scenery to the Retretti Arts Centre, a remarkable complex with several changing exhibitions. Evening opera: La Traviata (Verdi). Paolo Olmi/ Stefano Romano (conductor), Mariusz Trelinski (director); soloists include Jennifer Rowley (Violetta Valéry), Nadia Stefanoff (Flora Bervoix), Daniel Sutin (Giorgio Germont). Day 3. The morning lecture is followed by a visit to the castle of St Olav at Savonlinna. The afternoon is free to explore the attractive old part of the town beside the lake, with its art galleries and museums. Evening opera: Macbeth (Verdi). Jan Latham-Koenig (conductor), Ralf Långbacka (director); soloists include Stephen Gaertner (Macbeth), Csilla Boross (Lady Macbeth), Carlo Colombara (Banquo), Warren Mok (Macduff), Hannu Jurmu (Malcolm). Savonlinna, Olavinlinna Castle, 18th-century engraving.
16–20 July 2013 (mz 637) 5 days • £2,420 Lecturer: Simon Rees Operas to mark the 200th anniversary of both composers’ births; La Traviata, Macbeth (Verdi) and Lohengrin (Wagner). Productions at Savonlinna are musically and dramatically first-rate, in the incomparable setting of a mediaeval castle on an island. A pleasant, small town amidst the unassertive beauty of lakeland Finland. Simon Rees, dramaturg of Welsh National Opera from 1989 to 2012, leads the tour and gives talks on the performances. A massive structure of rough-hewn granite rising from a rocky islet, the castle at Savonlinna is the largest in Scandinavia. It was built in 1475 and frequently re-fortified during the next three centuries, for this was border country: Nordic occupancy alternated with Russian until modern times. Opera has been performed here in the courtyard – under a temporary, acousticallydesigned roof – since 1912, so it even pre-dates Verona as a festival in a spectacular historic setting. During the last couple of decades its artistic achievements have placed this festival among the best in the world, yet its unlikely and rather inaccessible location
keeps the number of international visitors well below what it deserves. The castle yard at Olavinlinna Castle is a wonderfully atmospheric space in which to hear great operas, especially if they have a castellated setting to begin with. Lady Macbeth making her haunting, haunted entrance, sleepwalking as she sings; Elsa von Brabant singing of her dream about a knight in shining armour; Ortrud the pagan princess invoking the old gods against her Christian rivals – heard against the granite walls of the auditorium with its Piranesian staircases and arched gateways, all of these are quite unforgettable. The lake district of eastern Finland is an area of gently beguiling beauty. Thousands of inter-connected lakes meet forests of birch and pine at an incredibly convoluted shoreline, the pattern varied with scattered patches of pasture and arable land neatly arranged around timber farmsteads. The scenery and pure air provide a restful and refreshing foil to nights at the opera. Visits include a guided tour of the castle at Savonlinna; a boat trip through beautiful lakeland scenery to the Retretti Art Centre, a remarkable complex with several changing exhibitions; a visit the Punkaharju nature reserve and the Finnish Forest Museum; and the largest wooden church in the world (1840s) in Kerimäki.
Day 4. Visit the Punkaharju nature reserve and the Finnish Forest Museum. In the afternoon, drive to Kerimäki, the largest wooden church in the world (1840s). Evening opera: Lohengrin (Wagner). Jari Hämäläinen (conductor), Roman Hovenbitzer (director); soloists include Kirsten Chambers (Elsa von Brabant), Thomas Hall (Frederick Count Telramund), Mika Kares (King Heinrich). Day 5. Fly from Savonlinna to London via Helsinki, arriving at Heathrow c. 5.15pm.
Practicalities Price: £2,420 (deposit £250). This includes: music tickets costing c. £450; air travel (economy class) with Finnair (aircraft: Airbus 321 and ATR 72); private coach; accommodation as described below; breakfasts and 3 dinners with wine, water and coffee; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £280. Price without flights £2,160. Hotel: located by the lake in Savonlinna this functional hotel is the best in town. It is basic but adequately equipped and with modern facilities. All rooms (including rooms for single occupancy) have twin beds. How strenuous? Access to the castle and the forest walk would be difficult with impaired walking. Average distance by coach per day: 19 miles. Small group: between 12 and 22 participants
Edinburgh Festival 9–14 August 2013 (mz 654) 5 nights • £2,450 (including 9 performances) Lecturer: Geoffrey Norris A selection of the best concerts and operas the Edinburgh International Festival has to offer. Artists include Valery Gergiev, Mariss Jansons, Mitsuko Uchida, Bernarda Fink, Anthony Spiri and Nicola Boud. Talks daily by a music writer, broadcaster and critic, Geoffrey Norris, and guided walks with an art historian. Excellently located hotel on Princes Street. There are many for whom August would not be August without the Edinburgh Festival, where great cultural stars rub shoulders with talented aspirants in a fever of world-class performances and high art. This upright city hosts a feast for the senses where there is little time for repose, but instead encourages audiences and performers alike to indulge in a frenzy of activity. With such abundance it is often difficult for the novice, or indeed the initiated, to know where to start in choosing events, let alone to find a suitable place to rest a weary head. We have made some of those important choices for you, while allowing time for independent serendipitous exploration which is so much a part of the spirit of the festival. We have selected music, but you may choose to dip in to the book, theatre or film festival, or of course the Fringe. Edinburgh is enjoying something of a renaissance since the return of an elected devolved government after three hundred years of rule from Westminster. There are few cities with a more dramatic topography, with the great volcanic crags of Castle Rock and Arthur’s Seat marking the skyline, and the huge Castle dominating both the Old Town and the Georgian New Town. Princes Street runs down the ravine that divides them. Edinburgh is replete with castles and chapels, museums and galleries. There is some free time for independent visits, but in the mornings there are talks, concerts and visits (starting at c. 9.30am).
Itinerary Day 1. Leave the hotel on foot at 3.00pm for an exploration of the Old Town, a dense mass of narrow streets and alleys spreading either side of the Royal Mile which leads down from the Castle, led by Dr Shona Kallestrup, an art historian resident in
Edinburgh. Evening concert with the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Valery Gergiev, Yulia Mattochkina (mezzo-soprano), Daniil Trifonov (piano) and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus: Prokofiev, Piano Concerto No.3 and ‘Alexander Nevsky’. Day 2. Morning concert with Christian Gerhaher (baritone) and Gerold Huber (piano): songs by Schumann. New Town walk with Dr Shona Kallestrup. Begun in 1766, the New Town is a magnificent expanse of wide streets, squares, circuses, crescents and parks and terraces, and is one of the finest areas of Georgian architecture in Britain. Evening opera with Opéra de Lyon: Fidelio (Beethoven). Directed by Gary Hill and set in the future. Day 3. There is an excursion in the morning to Dalmeny House, a few miles outside Edinburgh overlooking the Firth of Forth. Property of the Earl of Rosebery, there are superb collections of fine and decorative art, in particular British paintings and 18thcentury French furniture of the highest quality. Evening concert with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mariss Jansons and Mitsuko Uchida: Beethoven, Piano Concerto No.4; Tchaikovsky, Symphony No.6 ‘Pathétique’.
Day 5. Morning concert with Bernarda Fink (mezzo-soprano) and Anthony Spiri (piano): songs by Schumann, Mahler, Debussy and de Falla. Visit the Raymond Russell and the Rodger Mirrey Collections of Early Keyboard Instruments where 50 of the world’s most important and best-preserved early keyboard instruments are on display. Evening concert with Mitsuko Uchida (piano): Bach, Prelude & Fugue in C, and Prelude & Fugue in F sharp minor; Schoenberg, Six Little Piano Pieces; Schumann, ‘Waldszenen’; Piano Sonata No.2 in G minor; ‘Gessänge der Frühe’. Day 6. Morning concert with Nicola Boud (clarinet), Sabine Devieilhe (soprano), Jane Gower (bassoon), Sophie Gent (violin) and Kris Bezuidenhout (piano): Mozart, Trio in E flat ‘Kegelstatt’; Schubert, ‘The Shepherd on the Rock’; Glinka, Trio Pathétique; Brahms, Sonata in E Flat. The tour ends by 1.00pm.
Lecturer Professor Geoffrey Norris. For many years Chief Music Critic of The Daily Telegraph having previously worked at The Times and as lecturer in music history at the Royal Northern College of Music. He still writes as a critic, and broadcasts on BBC Radio 3. He is Emeritus Professor at the Rachmaninoff Music Academy in Russia and lectures at the Gnesin Music Academy in Moscow.
Practicalities Price: £2,450 (deposit £250). This includes: good tickets to 8 concerts and 1 opera; accommodation as described below; breakfasts and 4 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; the services of the lecturer and art historian. Single supplement £440 (double for single use).
From The Foreign Tour of Brown, Jones & Robinson 1904.
Day 4. Morning concert with the Chiaroscuro Quartet: Mozart, String Quartet in F and String Quartet in E flat; Schubert, String Quartet in A minor ‘Rosamunde’. Free time in the afternoon; the National Gallery is suggested, one of the most important collections of Old Masters in Britain. There are also many exhibitions and Fringe performances to choose from. Evening concert with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, Mariss Jansons, Genia Kühmeier (soprano), Anna Larsson (contralto) and the Edinburgh Festival Chorus: Mahler, Symphony No.2.
Hotel: The Caledonian, a Waldorf Astoria hotel, sits at one end of Princes Street and is just ten minute’s walk from Usher Hall. Public areas are comfortable and décor is traditional. Bedrooms are more contemporary with a neutral décor. There is a restaurant and bar with a good selection of malts. How strenuous? Most visits are on foot, including walking to the Usher Hall from the hotel (c. 10 mins). To participate in the walks you will need to be able to walk at about 3 mph for at least half an hour at a time. Some of the performances finish late. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants. Possible linking tours. Combine this tour with Walking the Danube, 15–22 August; The Danube Music Festival, 16–23 August.
Houghton Revisited The Walpole Collection returns to Norfolk 5–7 August 2013 (mz 655) 3 days • £860 Lecturer: Dr Andrew Moore 19–21 August 2013 (mz 665) This tour is currently full Walpole’s collection, sold to Catherine the Great, returns to Houghton for the first time in 200 years. Private visit of this as well as Raynham Hall. Holkham and Oxburgh Hall also visited – among the finest country houses and gardens in East Anglia. Led by Dr Andrew Moore, a specialist in the study of the country house and author of A Capital Collection, a work dedicated to the paintings in Walpole’s collection.
‘Who could ever suspect any connection between painting and the wilds of Norfolk?’ – Horace Walpole, letter to Horace Mann, 1743. This summer sees one of the most extraordinary events in the history of the English Country House: the return of the Walpole Collection of Old Master paintings from Russia to Houghton Hall, Norfolk. The story of the building of Sir Robert Walpole’s palace in the countryside in the 1720s was the cause of celebration, and some notoriety, due to the extraordinary collection of Old Master paintings gathered first at 10 Downing Street and then shipped to Houghton Hall on Walpole’s retirement. House and collection together provided a powerful statement of taste and prestige for Walpole, England’s first ‘prime’ minister. Some thirty years after his death, his grandson notoriously sold the collection Houghton Hall, engraving 1887 after F.G. Kitton.
to Catherine the Great for display in her Hermitage, in 1779. The State Hermitage Museum is lending back the paintings for a once in a lifetime occasion. The original picture hangs in the principal parade rooms will be reinstated for the 2013 summer season only. Our tour is built around a private visit of the collection in the company of Dr Andrew Moore who has published on the works. We also visit important neighbouring houses, Raynham Hall, still in the ownership of the Townshend family and not open to the public, as well as Holkham Hall, built by Walpole’s Postmaster General, Thomas Coke, later Ist Earl of Leicester. These three houses feature the key influence of William Kent: as interior designer at Houghton and Raynham; as architect, landscape and interior designer at Holkham. And all three present some of the most important intact NeoPalladian architectural ensembles in Britain, still with original furnishings. One more romantic house in the vicinity is Tudor-Gothic Oxburgh Hall, an established Roman Catholic Recusant stronghold in this group of otherwise early eighteenth-century Whig-dominated powerhouses of taste and parade. A guided walk of ‘Walpole’s King’s Lynn’ will provide further perspectives to this little visited group of great houses in West Norfolk.
Itinerary Day 1: Holkham Hall. The coach leaves King’s Lynn railway station at 12.00 noon. With Holkham Hall (1730s) the English country house reached a moment of perfection, the serene Palladian edifice contrasting with the ‘natural’ layout of the deer park. Within are magnificent classical halls and a collection of paintings, sculpture and furniture of staggering richness. Day 2: Raynham, Houghton. One of the finest houses in Norfolk, Raynham Hall is still very much a private home with a wonderful collection of a family with strong historical links with Britain and the USA. The grandest monument of English Palladianism, Houghton Hall was built for Sir Robert Walpole. There are outstanding artworks, a spectacular walled garden and an extensive park. Day 3: King’s Lynn, Oxburgh. A guided walk of Walpole’s King’s Lynn by former Mayor, Dr Paul Richards. A 15th-century moated manor house, the Tudor-Gothic Oxburgh Hall was built by the Bedingfeld family who remain there today. Embroidery panels made by Mary Queen of Scots while
Opera in Cardiff Donizetti’s Tudor operas she was prisoner there can be seen. The coach takes you to King’s Lynn railway station by 3.45pm.
Day 3: the National Museum of Wales has one of the finest collections of Impressionist paintings in the UK. Visit Castell Coch, a Gothic Victorian castle on the outskirts of Cardiff. Opera at the Wales Millennium Centre: Roberto Devereux, Daniele Rustioni (conductor), Leonardo Capalbo, Alexandra Deshorties, Leah-Marian Jones, David Kempster, William Robert Allenby, Geraint Dodd.
Lecturer Dr Andrew Moore. For many years the Keeper of Art based at Norwich Castle Museum & Art Gallery. He has curated many loan exhibitions, including works of art drawn from the great houses of East Anglia. In partnership with the State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg, he has co-authored a reassessment of the collection of British and European works of art collected by Sir Robert Walpole for Houghton Hall: A Capital Collection. A specialist in the study of the country house and the history of collections, he is Associate Lecturer in the School of World Art Studies & Museology at the University of East Anglia. He is currently writing a book on the impact of Thomas Coke’s European Grand Tour on Holkham Hall, Norfolk.
Practicalities Price: £860 (deposit £100). This includes: hotel accommodation as described below; private coach throughout; breakfasts, 1 lunch and 2 dinners with wine, water, coffee; admission to houses; all tips for waiters, drivers, guides; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £140. Hotel: Located in the attractive village of Burnham Market in north Norfolk, The Hoste Arms is housed in a former coaching inn and assorted outbuildings. Bedrooms have a largely traditional décor with contemporary twists and contain all mod cons. There is an excellent restaurant and a spa. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking on this tour and it would not be suitable for anyone with difficulties with everyday walking and stair-climbing. Coaches can rarely park near the houses, and gardens are extensive. Average distance by coach per day: c. 41 miles. Small group: between 10 and 20 participants. Possible linking tours. Combine this tour with Salzburg Summer, 10–16 August or Art in Munich, 12–16 August.
Day 4: disperse after breakfast.
Donizetti, engraving c. 1880.
4–7 October 2013 (ma 748) 4 days • £990 (includes 3 performances) Lecturer: Simon Rees A rare opportunity to hear Donizetti’s Tudor operas: Anna Bolena, Maria Stuarda and Roberto Devereux with Christine Rice, Alastair Miles, Leonardo Capalbo, Gary Griffiths and Daniele Rustioni, Welsh National Opera. Excursions and talks with Simon Rees, writer, lecturer and former dramaturg of Welsh National Opera. Operas in the acoustically excellent Wales Millennium Centre, a massive structure of slate, glass and steel embodying the natural resources and industries of Wales. Stay in a 5-star hotel in the Cardiff Bay development, within walking distance of the Wales Millennium Centre.
Itinerary Day 1: assemble at the hotel at 3.45pm for an introductory lecture. Opera at the Wales Millennium Centre: Anna Bolena, Daniele Rustioni (conductor), Serena Farnocchia, Alastair Miles, Katharine Goeldner, Robert McPherson, Faith Sherman, Daniel Grice, Robert Lyn Evans.
Day 2: a guided tour of the Wales Millennium Centre is followed by the Cardiff Bay Barrage, a masterly piece of engineering across the Ely and Taff estuaries. Opera at the Wales Millennium Centre: Maria Stuarda, Graeme Jenkins (conductor), Judith Howarth, Christine Rice, Bruce Sledge, Alastair Miles, Gary Griffiths.
Simon Rees. Dramaturg of Welsh National Opera from 1989–2012. After studying English at Cambridge, he taught for two years in Italy and for three at Kyoto University. He has published novels, poetry, translations of works of art history and reviews of books on music, and has written libretti for children’s opera and oratorio with Welsh composer Mervyn Burtch.
Practicalities Price: £990 (deposit £100). This includes: 3 good opera tickets; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts and 3 pretheatre dinners with wine, water and coffee; all admissions; all tips for restaurant staff and drivers; the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £180 (double room for single occupancy). Hotel: 5-star hotel, in the new development at Cardiff Bay. Rooms are well-designed, comfortable and richly furnished. All have balconies with views. Facilities include a swimming pool and spa. Despite the high star rating, the service is sometimes slow, and the food does not always meet the 5-star standard of the rest of the hotel. How strenuous? Not very, but some visits are on foot, including walking to the opera house from the hotel, a leisurely 15 minutes away. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.
Yorkshire Houses The finest country houses & gardens in Yorkshire 17–22 September 2013 (ma 703) 6 days • £1,680 Lecturer: Dr Adam White Several houses and gardens are visited when closed to the public. An unhurried tour, with plenty of time to rest, relax and absorb. Led by Dr Adam White, curator of Lotherton Hall. Can be combined with English Music in Yorkshire, 22–27 September 2013. 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. But 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, beautifully restored Georgian town mansion, is a similarly period-perfect work. The Yorkshire country house came into its own with the advent of the Baroque, and Castle Howard, just 15 miles north of York, is one of the great masterpieces of the eighteenth century. The 3rd Earl of Carlisle met the playwright John Vanbrugh at his London club and invited him, with his assistant Nicholas Hawksmoor, to create a palatial residence which has haunted the literary and cinematic imagination ever since. On an equally magnificent scale is Harewood House. This dazzling neoclassical 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) 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 a number 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 the rooms crowded with British Empire memorabilia at Lotherton Hall, these were houses evidently lived in and enjoyed. The tour is led by Dr Adam White, 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 Day 1: Scampston Hall. The coach leaves York railway station at 2.00pm (or from the hotel at 1.40pm). 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 2: Temple Newsam, Nostell Priory. Temple Newsam is a fine Tudor-Jacobean mansion with restored interiors and outstanding collections of paintings, furniture, silver and decorative arts, and another ‘Capability’ Brown landscape. The afternoon is spent at Nostell Priory, an architectural treasure by James Paine, later modified by Robert Adam. The collection of Chippendale furniture is unequalled. Day 3: Newby Hall, Lotherton 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. 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 4: Harewood House, Fairfax House. One of the grandest and most beautiful of English country houses, architecture by John Carr (1772) and Charles Barry (1843), interiors by Adam, furniture by Chippendale and 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 5, 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 pavilions. Most of the day is spent here for an in-depth exploration and for leisure to immerse and absorb. (Though visited for a concert during English Music in Yorkshire, there is not much time then to see the house, and none for the gardens.) Day 6, Brodsworth Hall. A Victorian time capsule, a magnificent Italianate mansion built and furnished in the 1860s, and ‘conserved as found’ by English Heritage
Castle Howard, engraving based on Colen Cambell’s Vitruvius Britannicus, 1720s.
Tours with exhibitions Tours built around temporary exhibitions in 2013 twenty years ago. By contrast, the gardens have been restored to splendour. Return to York in time to change hotel (if applicable: see below) and join English Music in Yorkshire, which starts at 3.45pm.
Lecturer Dr Adam White. Art historian and museum curator who has worked at the Leeds Museums and Galleries since 1983. Since 1994 he has been based at Lotherton Hall and Temple Newsam House, two of the houses which we shall be visiting. He is Fellow of the Society of Antiquaries of London and has published widely on British art.
Practicalities Price: £1,680 (deposit £150). This includes: accommodation for five nights as described below; private coach throughout; breakfasts and 4 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £260. Hotel: The Grange has been beautifully converted from a Georgian town house and the decoration and furnishings combine period and modern; very good restaurant; no lift. Please note that if you are continuing onto the English Music in Yorkshire festival, you will have to change hotel unless you choose The Grange for the festival. How strenuous? Unavoidably 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, 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. Small group: between 12 and 22 participants.
Munch in Oslo 26–29 June 2013 (mz 622) 4 days • £1,660 Lecturer: Dr Frank Høifødt Two exhibitions form this major retrospective of Edvard Munch (1863–1944), in Norway’s National Gallery and in the Munch Museum. Only in 2013: these exhibitions run for a limited time. Visit also Munch’s summer home at Åsgårdstrand and his studio at Ekely. Special arrangements to see paintings beyond the galleries.
Led by the former curator of the Munch Museum. Contact us for full details or visit www.martinrandall.com
5–7 August 2013 (mz 655) 3 days • £860 Lecturer: Dr Andrew Moore 19–21 August 2013 Tour currently full
Illustration: from The Foreign Tour of Brown, Jones & Robinson, 1904.
See page 30 for full details.
Cézanne, Van Gogh, Dufy 26–29 Sept. 2013 (ma 714) 4 days • £1,350 Lecturer: Monica Bohm-Duchen See page 26 for full details.
Exhibitions related to tours Becoming Picasso: Paris 1901 The Courtauld Gallery Runs until 26 May 2013 www.courtauld.ac.uk/gallery
Tours relating to this exhibition: Modern Art on the Côte d’Azur 20–27 December 2013 (ma 789) Lecturer: Lydia Bauman
Life and Death in Pompeii & Herculaneum The British Museum Runs until 29 September 2013 www.britishmuseum.org
Tours relating to this exhibition:
Gastronomic Catalonia 16–22 September 2013 (ma 721) Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen
Pompeii & Herculaneum 21–26 October 2013 (ma 745) Currently full. However, we will run this tour in 2014 with details available this spring. Contact us to register your interest.
Granada and Córdoba 4–11 November (ma 768) Lecturer: Gijs van Hensbergen
Please contact us if you would like to receive full details of any of the tours mentioned, or visit www.martinrandall.com
Andalucía 14–24 October (ma 740) Lecturer: Adam Hopkins
Walking Hadrian’s Wall Roman civilization at the edge of an Empire Day 5: walk Gilsland to Birdoswald; Chesters, Brocolitia. Walk through lowlying 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 (31/2 miles, 21/2 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.
The Wall near Housesteads, wood engraving c. 1888.
16–22 September 2013 (ma 693) 7 days • £1,790 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, Assistant Curator of Roman Collections for the Hadrian’s Wall Museums.
Itinerary Day 1: Housesteads. The coach leaves Newcastle Central Station at 2.15pm (or from the hotel 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 Rig 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 (23/4 miles, up to 21/2 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. Day 3: walk Housesteads to Steel Rig; 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 (31/2 miles, up to 23/4 hours). Pub lunch. Chesters, the most salubrious of the forts (lavish bath house), built for 500 Asturian cavalrymen, in enchanting river valley setting. Day 4: Vindolanda, Hexham. 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. See the surviving Roman remains in local churches, including the fine 13th-century abbey church in Hexham.
Day 7: Newcastle, Wallsend. 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. In Newcastle the Great North Museum has the best collection of objects excavated along the Wall. The coach takes you to the Newcastle station by 2.30pm.
Practicalities Price: £1,790 (deposit £200). This includes: hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 3 lunches and 5 dinners with wine, beer, water, coffee; private coach; all admissions (English Heritage members will be refunded c. £20); all tips; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £120. Hotel: A 19th-century Jacobean-style mansion, Matfen Hall is a fine country house hotel offering excellent service. It has large, well equipped bedrooms, a variety of Victorian and contemporary public spaces, a very good restaurant, two bars for informal meals, spa facilities, a garden and an extensive landscaped park (now a golf course). How strenuous? Please read the last two paragraphs of the introduction above. 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. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.
Sicily Centre of Mediterranean Civilizations 11–22 November 2013 (ma 777) 12 days • £3,780 Lecturer: Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves Covers the whole island, including the main sights and many lesser-known ones. The whole gamut – Ancient Greek, Roman, mediaeval (particularly Norman), Renaissance, Baroque and later. Led by expert archaeologist Dr Ffiona Gilmore Eaves. A full tour but carefully paced. Hotel changes kept to a minimum.
Itinerary Day 1: Palermo. Fly at c. 4.30pm from London Heathrow, via Rome, to Palermo, the largest and by far the 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 six nights in Palermo.
Day 7: Palermo, Piazza Armerina. In Palermo visit the 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 three 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 funicular to the delightful hilltop town. Day 9: Taormina, Catania. Drive along the coast to Catania, with a fine Baroque centre. Here there are special visits to a Byzantine chapel (subject to confirmation), where there is a light lunch, and a private palazzo.
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 cathedral with outstanding mosaics and an art gallery with 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 site, renowned for its well-preserved temples on the eastern hill and the acropolis. Day 5: Agrigento. A full day in Agrigento to see the ‘Valley of the Temples’, one of the finest of all ancient Greek sites with two virtually complete Doric temples, other ruins and a good museum. Day 6: Palermo. Visit the 12th-cent. Palace of the Normans, containing the Palatine Chapel and Hall of King Roger, both with outstanding mosaics. S. Giovanni degli Eremiti is a Norman church with five cupolas and a charming garden. The cathedral, a
Day 11: Noto, Syracuse. Rebuilt after an earthquake in 1693, Noto is one of the loveliest and most homogenous Baroque towns in Italy. Day 12: Syracuse. Visit the museum of antiquities in Syracuse. Fly from Catania, via Rome, to Heathrow, arriving at c. 7.15pm.
Practicalities Price: £3,780 (deposit £350). This includes: air travel (economy class) on scheduled Alitalia flights (Airbus 319); travel by private coach; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, five lunches (including one picnic) and seven dinners with wine, water and coffee; all admission charges to museums, sites, etc.; all tips for restaurant staff, drivers, guides; all state and airport taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager. Single supplement £430. Price without flights £3,550. Hotels: Palermo (6 nights): a 16th-century palazzo renovated to become a 4-star hotel in the centre, furnished to a high standard. Taormina (3 nights): a 3-star, charming, Syracuse, engraving from The Picturesque Mediterranean, 1891.
Day 2: Palermo. Morning walk through the old centre includes a visit to several oratories and outstanding Norman buildings including San Cataldo. Drinks at a private palace, usually closed to the public. In the afternoon see the excellent collection of pictures in the 15th-century Palazzo Abatellis.
building of many periods, has grand royal and imperial tombs. Free afternoon.
Day 10: 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 Santa Lucia alla Badia. Visit the 5th-century bc Greek theatre, the largest of its type to survive, the stone quarries and the Roman amphitheatre. First of two nights in Syracuse.
family-run hotel, in the old town, with its own garden (rooms vary in size and outlook). Syracuse (2 nights): a 4-star hotel, centrally situated on the island of Ortygia. How strenuous? A lot of walking, some of it over rough ground at archaeological sites and cobbled or uneven paving. Fitness and surefootedness are essential. Some long journeys. Average distance by coach per day: 73 miles Small group: between 12 and 22 participants.
Gardens & Villas of the Italian Lakes Como & Maggiore 26 September–2 October 2013 (ma 723) 7 days • £2,560 Lecturer: Steven Desmond Among the loveliest and most romantic spots on earth – the summer retreat of the wealthy, aristocratic and intellectual since the time of Pliny. Some of the finest gardens in Europe, glorious in their design and range. Led by Steven Desmond, landscape consultant, specialist in the conservation of historic parks and gardens and architectural historian. Sublime mountain scenery, the inspiration of Shelley and Stendhal, and stay in 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.
Itinerary Day 1: Bellagio. Fly at midday from London Heathrow to Milan. Drive to Bellagio on Lake Como. First of three nights in Bellagio. 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, and can only be approached by boat. This glorious site is terraced to provide sites for lawns, trees, shrubs and a chorus of statuary. The villa stands among groves of oak and pine. Day 4: Renaissance villa gardens. At the Villa Cicogna Mozzoni at Bisuschio, north of Varese, the 16th-century house and garden are thoroughly intertwined; the courtyard of pools and parterres leads to a water staircase, grottoes and giochi d’acqua. Lunch 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 17thcentury villa is unexpectedly set to one side to increase the visual drama. First of three nights in Pallanza. Day 5: the Borromean Islands. Isola Bella is one of the world’s great gardens (and correspondingly popular), a wedding cake of terraces and greenery floating improbably in Lake Maggiore. The sense of surrealism is enhanced by the symbolic statuary and the flock of white peacocks. Isola Madre is the ideal dessert to follow Isola Bella: a relaxed, informal landscape garden around a charmingly domestic villa. Visual entertainments include the marvellous plant collection, revitalised by Henry Cocker in the 1950s, the
St Petersburg Pictures & palaces chapel garden, puppet theatre and ambulant aviary. Day 6: Pallanza. The Villa Taranto at Pallanza is an extravagant piece of 20thcentury kitsch created by Henry Cocker for his patron, the enigmatic Neil MacEachern. The alarmingly gauche design is superbly planted and maintained with loving zeal by the present staff. Day 7. Fly from Milan to London Heathrow, arriving at c. 5.00pm.
Practicalities Price: £2,560 (deposit £250). This includes: air travel (economy class) on scheduled British Airways flights (Airbus 319); travel by private coach, boat and public ferry; accommodation as described below; breakfasts, one lunch and four dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips for waiters and drivers; all taxes; the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £240 (double room for single occupancy). Price without flights £2,340. Hotels: Bellagio (3 nights): excellently situated on the edge of the lake, a historic 5-star hotel with lavishly decorated public rooms and well-appointed bedrooms (they vary in size). Pallanza (3 nights): a recently renovated, privately owned 4-star Belle Epoque hotel with lakeside gardens; bedrooms vary in size. Rooms with a lake view are available on request and for a supplement. 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 sure-footed. The average distance by coach per day is 23 miles. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants. Possible linking tours. Combine the this tour with The Venetian Hills, 3–7 October 2013.
Illustration: Lake Como, wood engraving c. 1880, from Picturesque Europe Vol.III.
29 September–5 Oct. 2013 (ma 720) 7 days • £3,320 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.
Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 9.30am from London Heathrow to St Petersburg (time in the air: c. 3 hours 15 minutes). There is time to settle into the hotel before dinner. Day 2. Explore the north bank of the Neva and Vasilevskiy 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 18thcentury 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. Day 3. Walk to the remarkable NeoClassical 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. 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 outsized 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.
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, weather permitting), the magnificent palace on the Gulf of Finland with cascades and fountains. 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 19thcentury Yusupov Palace, one of the finest in the city and scene of Rasputin’s murder. The 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, City Museum, Academy of Arts, or a boat ride on the Neva. Fly to Heathrow, arriving c. 5.30pm.
Practicalities Price: £3,320 (deposit £300). This includes: air travel (economy class) on British Airways flights (Airbus 321); travel by private coach; accommodation as described below; breakfasts and 5 dinners, with wine, water and coffee; all admissions; all tips for drivers, restaurant staff, guides; all state and airport taxes; the services of the lecturer and a local guide. Single supplement £410 (double for sole occupancy). Price without flights £3,010. Hotel: an excellently located superior hotel in the city centre, within easy walking distance of the Hermitage. Very comfortable, with good service and restaurant. Visas: British citizens and most foreign nationals require a visa (current cost c. £85 – not included in the price of the tour). We will advise on the procedure but you will need to send your passport to the Russian Consulate in the two month period before departure. Visa issuing times vary from country to country but UK residents should expect to be without their passport for approximately 2 weeks. Music: details of opera and ballet performances will be sent to participants about one month before the tour. How strenuous? There is a fair amount of standing in galleries and walking on this tour. Traffic congestion means journeys can be long. Average coach travel per day: 13 miles. Small group: 12–22 participants.
Saxon Transylvania Towns, villages & fortified churches on the edge of Europe artefacts from all Romania. The National Art Museum has a superb collection of mediaeval art as well as Romanian impressionists and masterpieces of European painting. Day 3: Sinaia, Viscri. The road north passes through the Transylvanian Alps and the royal summer resort of Sinaia. Here visit the beautiful series of Art Nouveau rooms in a little palace built 1899–1903 for the heir apparent Ferdinand and Queen Marie. Continuing north, see the first of that unique Transylvanian phenomenon, the fortified church. A spectacular eruction of walls and towers overlooks the remote, impoverished but well preserved Saxon village of Viscri. First of four nights in Sighisoara.
Fortified Transylvanian church, etching c. 1930.
11–19 October 2013 (ma 750) 9 days • £ 2,290 Lecturer: Bronwen Riley A region of Romania with enclaves of Hungarian and German culture. Led by Transylvania specialist and writer, Bronwen Riley. Gothic churches massively fortified against eastern incursions, a unique phenomenon. Towns emerging from Communistera depredations to rank with the most picturesque in central and eastern Europe. Exceedingly attractive countryside where traditional rural life continues. A tour of Transylvanian fortified churches: surely catering to a somewhat specialist taste? The case in favour: first, this unique phenomenon is visually astounding and historically enthralling. Second, of dozens of surviving examples, we have selected a choice few, each of which exhibits a feature which sets it apart from the others. Third, seeing these places necessitates seeing some extraordinarily unspoilt villages and a way of life you will not see anywhere else. And all this amidst enchanting countryside. Horses still pull carts and ploughs, chickens and ducks wander the unpaved streets, rows of handsome houses of identical design and layout follow a plan set out in the
Middle Ages. Many of these ‘Saxon’ villages date to the twelfth or thirteenth centuries when north Europeans, predominantly Germans, were recruited to migrate to Europe’s borderlands to farm, build, mine and trade. In due course they also became bulwarks against incursions from the East, first Tartars and then, beginning in the fifteenth century, the Ottomans, a more formidable foe. Hence the extraordinary fortifications around their village churches, constructed as citadels to protect the whole village, permanently stocked in expectation of a sudden siege. The time to see these villages is now. Congregations are tiny or nonexistent, the villages partially repopulated with people who care nothing about heritage. With the scant resources of the poorest member of the EU, their fate seems to be either irreversible decay or emasculation and Disneyfication for the tourist industry.
Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.00am from Heathrow to Bucharest where two nights are spent. Day 2: Bucharest. Ceausescu obliterated swathes of the capital’s historic architecture but good things remain. The Lipscani quarter was surprisingly little molested and is now undergoing comprehensive restoration. The Orthodox Stavropoleos Church (1720s) is splendid, and the Peasant Museum displays
Day 4: Sighisoara, Biertan. On top of a hill, natural defensiveness supplemented by impressive military engineering, Sighisoara is a highly picturesque little town. Buildings range from the 13th to the 19th centuries with a fine 15th-cent. church with good furnishings and a superb 1490 altarpiece. Located in an exceptionally lovely valley, hillsides striated with terraces for (now vanished) vines, the Gothic church of Biertan soars above its formidable fortifications and the charmingly modest village below. Day 5: Sibiu. One of the best preserved of the ‘Seven Towns’ of Saxon Transylvania, Sibiu has been only patchily restored but contains beautiful squares, fine architecture and picturesque streets, stairways and alleys. The remarkable art gallery in the Brukenthal Palace includes works by Van Eyck, Titian, Lotto and Brueghel. Nearby is an openair museum, one of the best of its kind in Europe, with a collection of 350 re-erected vernacular buildings from all over Romania. Day 6: Targu Mures, Malancrav. Targu Mures is endowed with an array of buildings in a Hungarian version of Arts & Crafts and Secessionist styles. The 1913 Palace of Culture – concert hall, art gallery, ceremonial halls – is as fine as any comparable building in Central Europe. Orthodox churches range from the timber and artisanal to the grand and splendidly painted. The village church at Malancrav is celebrated for the remarkably well preserved murals of 1421. Day 7: Sighisoara, Prejmer. Free time in the morning in Sighisoara. Possible activities include the Monastery Church and the History Museum. On the way to Brasov, stop at Prejmer for one more fortified church. The inner face of the 12m curtain wall is spectacularly encased with emergency accommodation and storage chambers. First of two nights in Brasov.
The Etruscans Italy before Rome Day 8. Brasov. With a wonderful jumble of facades from, principally, the 18th to the early 20th centuries, Brasov is as handsome a provincial city as anywhere in eastern Europe. The Black Church is the largest Gothic church in Romania, and the interior is enlivened with nearly 100 oriental carpets. Much of the day is free to enjoy the streetscape, the cafés, the museums (the Ethnographical collection is fascinating). Outside the walls, there is a cable car to the top of an adjacent hill. Day 9: Sinaia. Return to the mountain resort of Sinaia, this time to see Peles Castle, summer retreat of the Romanian royal family, built, extended and embellished 1875–1914. The sequence of sumptuous interiors, with astonishingly richly carved woodwork, is as fine as any of its sort in Europe, and the original contents are intact. Descend to the Wallachian plain and fly from Bucharest, returning to Heathrow c. 6.30pm.
Practicalities Price: £2,290 (deposit £250). This includes: flights (economy class) with British Airways (aircraft: Airbus 320); travel by private coach; accommodation as described below; 3 lunches and 6 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £240. Price without flights £2,020. Hotels. Bucharest (2 nights): a centrally located 5-star hotel with excellent service and facilities. Sighisoara (4 nights): a new hotel in the lower town. Decor tends to peasant chic, but it is comfortable and rooms are of a good size and standard. Brasov (2 nights): a large multi-storey slab conveniently (if shockingly) next to the historic centre. Adequately comfortable despite traces of its communistera genesis. Service in all these hotels is generally helpful, smiley and efficient. All locally rated as 5-star, though they would be 4-star or less in most other countries. How strenuous? There is quite a lot of walking in city centres and in villages over terrain that is often uneven, sometimes unpaved and not infrequently steep. Surefootedness is essential; if you regularly use a walking stick, this tour would be challenging. Participants ascend the higher parts of churches and fortifications entirely at their own risk! There is a lot of coach travel, including six journeys of around two hours, over roads of variable quality. Outside big towns, loos are nonexistent or dire. Average distance by coach per day: 130 km. Small group: between 10 and 22 participants.
16–22 September 2013 (ma 706) 7 days • £1,780 Lecturer: Dr Nigel Spivey Visits some of the most important and best-preserved Etruscan sites in Lazio and Tuscany. Led by Dr Nigel Spivey, Senior Lecturer in Classical Art and Archaeology at the University of Cambridge. Explores a remote part of Italy’s history, and areas of its heartland which few tourists reach.
Itinerary Day 1. Fly at c. 11.00am from Heathrow to Rome. Drive to Viterbo, where three nights are spent. Day 2: Tarquinia, Barbarano Romano. 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 the rock tombs of San Giuliano within the natural park at Barbarano Romano, and 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 town. Visit three tombs in the surrounding area, including the monumental Tomba del Dado, which provides fascinating insight into Etruscan residential architecture. Articles found in some of these tombs and others in the area are in the archaeological museum in Tuscania, visited this afternoon. Day 4: Vulci, Grosseto. The vast archaeological park in Vulci contains many Etruscan remains above ground, a startling contrast to the subterranean sites. The ruins of the Casa del Criptoportico (2nd–1st century bc) map out rooms with mosaic floors, and a long dromos leads to an underground covered portico. In the afternoon visit the archaeological museum inside the Castello della Badia and the vertiginous adjoining bridge. Drive to Grosseto where the next three nights are spent.
Day 5: Vetulonia, Sovana. In the morning visit the tombs surrounding the town of Vetulonia, including the Tomba della Pietrera (630–600 bc), a particularly large example of a tholos tomb topped with a mound of earth. Continue to picturesque Pitigliano for lunch before exploring the nearby 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. Day 6: Populonia. Drive to the coast to visit the archaeological park at Populonia. The burial grounds here date to the 9th century bc and the sculpted legs of stone funeral beds can be seen. The highest point of the park offers a spectacular view of the bay of Baratti and the Necropoli delle Grotte, with two storeys of tombs. Free afternoon in Grossetto. Day 7: Cerveteri. In the morning drive down the coast to the unesco site at Cerveteri, a city of necropolises ranging from the hut-like to the sumptuous based on the homes of the city’s wealthy inhabitants. Fly from Rome, arriving at London Heathrow c. 5.00pm.
Practicalities Price: £1,780 (deposit £200). This includes: flights (economy class) with British Airways (Airbus 319); travel by private coach; hotel accommodation as described below; breakfasts, two lunches (including one picnic) and four dinners with wine, water and coffee; all admission charges to museums, sites etc; all tips for restaurant staff and drivers; all state and airport taxes; the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £90. Price without flights £1,570. Hotels: Viterbo (3 nights): a comfortable 4-star in the countryside outside of Viterbo, all rooms are suites. Grosseto (3 nights): a comfortable 4-star hotel, excellently located within the city walls, elegantly furnished, and with friendly staff. How strenuous? Unavoidably there is a lot of walking on this tour, much of it over uneven ground. It is not suitable for anyone who has difficulties with everyday walking and stairclimbing, as fitness and sure-footedness are essential. Coaches cannot always park near the sites, many of which are vast. Average distance by coach per day: 92 miles. Small group: 10–22 participants.
King Ludwig II & the Wittelsbach palaces of Bavaria 28 August–2 September (mz 666) 6 days • £2,100 Lecturer: Tom Abbott Explore eight royal palaces and castles set against the breathtaking backdrop of Germany’s most beautiful state. Learn about the lives, loves and legacies of King Ludwig II and the House of Wittelsbach, rulers of Bavaria for over 700 years. Art and architecture from the Renaissance through to Late Romanticism, much of it opulent and theatrical. Led by Tom Abbott, specialist in architectural history from the Baroque to the 20th century with a wide knowledge of the performing arts.
Itinerary Day 1: Schleissheim, Munich. Fly at c. 9.30am from London Heathrow to Munich. Between airport and city, the palace and garden at Schleissheim form a rare ensemble of Baroque taste from an early 17th-cent. retreat, through the 1684 Lustheim pavilion at the far end of a canal of absolutist straightness, to the magnificent Neues Schloss, begun 1701 but whose progress continued haltingly into the Rococo period. There are a gallery of Baroque art, sculpted stucco in the state apartments of exceptional quality, Hofgarten (Court Garden) and a collection of Meissen porcelain in Schloss Lustheim. First of two nights in Munich. Day 2: Munich. The Residenz in the centre of the city was the principal Wittelsbach palace and seat of government, a magnificent sprawl of buildings, courtyards, state apartments and museums of every period from Renaissance to the end of the 19th century. There are fine works of art and sumptuous interiors of the highest importance, especially the Rococo interiors and the Cuvilliés Theatre (subject to confirmation as the theatre can close for rehearsals at short notice).
only one of Ludwig II’s commissioned castles to have been completed. 1870s Linderhof was reputed to have been the King’s favourite castle; draws, like Herrenchiemsee, on French influences, lavish interiors in Renaissance and Baroque styles, extravagant terrace gardens including grottos and Oriental adornments. First of three nights in Murnau am Staffelsee. Day 4: Hohenschwangau, Neuschwanstein. Drive south to Hohenschwangau castle, site of Ludwig II’s childhood, owned by his parents Maximilian II of Bavaria and Princess Marie of Prussia. Majestic lakeside Alpine location, frescoes featuring medieval Swan-Knight Lohengrin which led to Ludwig II’s obsession with Wagner. Then continue to Neuschwanstein, the famous fairytale turreted castle ordered by Ludwig II in homage to Wagner though never completed. Day 5: Herrenchiemsee. In the countryside southeast of Munich and surrounded by a park, woodland and a great lake, Schloss Herrenchiemsee is a copy of Versailles. Ludwig II’s megalomaniac hymn of homage to the absolutism of Louis XIV, his final folly, brought the Bavarian state to the brink of bankruptcy.
of Ludwig II’s death and that of his doctor, officially by drowning. Visit the Memorial Chapel and have lunch in Starnberg. Fly from Munich, returning to London Heathrow at c. 4.30pm.
Practicalities Price: £2,100 (deposit £200). This includes: flights (economy) with Lufthansa (Airbus 319); private coach travel; accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 1 lunch, 4 dinners with wine, water, coffee; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturer. Single supplement £160. Price without flights £1,940. Hotels: Munich (2 nights): friendly, familyrun hotel in a central location. Murnau (3 nights): rambling 5-star hotel on the outskirts of Murnau with a country house feel. How strenuous? This is a strenuous tour with long coach journeys and a lot of walking and standing around in the castles and gardens. Average distance by coach per day: 65 miles. Small group: 10–22 participants. Linderhof, wood engraving from The Magazine of Art 1887.
Day 6: Berg and Starnberg. Leave Murnau, drive to Berg and the mock Gothic castle to which Ludwig II retreated from his ministers, and where he was placed under house arrest after his forced abdication in 1886 on grounds of insanity. Lake Starnberg surrounds the castle and is the scene
Day 3: Nymphenburg, Linderhof, Murnau. Drive to the city’s outskirts and the palace and park of Nymphenburg, birthplace of Ludwig II. An extensive complex including bathhouses and the Rococo Amalienburg lodge. After lunch drive to Ettal, site of the M A RT I N R A N D A L L T R AV E L
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