Saturday, June 8 ~ Departure from the US (book your own flights – consider coming early!)
Sunday, June 9 ~ Arrival to Venice, Getting Settled, Ombre e Cichetti!
We will greet your flights at the airport and take you by private water taxi across the lagoon to our hotels in Venice. You will have time to shower and rest a bit before hitting the town.
This afternoon, Diana and Dana will show you some of their favorite spots in Venice
Bags unpacked for our week-long stay, we will get acclimated to Venice with a walk around our neighborhood with Diana and Dana. We will help you locate important shops and understand how to negotiate this unique city of 117 islands and countless campi.
Welcome cocktails and cichetti
Venetians have a particular way to eat and drink in this fabulous city in which one walks or boats to dinner – un ombra (a glass of wine) with some cichetti (little snacks, like tapas). We partake of this tradition tonight to celebrate our upcoming week together in true Venetian style. Cocktails and light bites are included tonight. (C) *On this itinerary B=breakfast, L=lunch, C=cocktails, D=dinner included
Visconti reflections; Southern lagoon with Palazzo Ducale, Palladio’s Santa Maria Maggiore, and Adriatic in distance; Gondola seahorses
Monday, June 10 ~ Contemporary and Modern Art in Venice with Dana Friis-Hansen
The Biennale is closed today, so we will start with a guided visit with Dana of François Pinault’s collections at the Customs House (renovated by Tadao Ando), and this afternoon, of the Palazzo Grassi. Along the way, we will visit the Peggy Guggenheim Museum on the Grand Canal and enjoy lunch together. This evening, we head to the Cannaregio, an evocative neighborhood on the northern edge of Venice that Titian, Tintoretto, and Marco Polo all called home. We will visit the tiny home of artist, author, and historian, Sally Spector, a Renaissance woman who holds a degree in art history from the University of Chicago and has been a resident of Venice for 26 years. We then enjoy a garden dinner at a local trattoria. (BLCD)
Tuesday, June 11 ~ 55th Venice Biennale – Giardini with Dana Friis-Hansen
We will enjoy a full day exploring the main Giardini location of the Biennale, which was designed on a World’s Fair plan with 30 permanent national pavilions. The Italian pavilion is always a highlight, as it will house the works of a mix of important artists from all over the world. In the past, Barbara Kruger’s work has graced the façade, while inside the work of Cy Twombly, William Kentridge, Louise Bourgeois, Sophie Calle, Felix Gonzales Torres, Gerhard Richter, Kara Walker, and many, many others awaited the viewer. We will make a special visit to the American pavilion, whose featured artist will be announced in the coming months. A number of pavilions are themselves architectural treats: Finland’s was designed by Alvar Aalto, and Venezuela’s by Carlo Scarpa. (B)
Wednesday, June 12 ~ Exploring the Northern Lagoon and the Fish Market
We travel by private historic boat into the northern lagoon with Sally Spector, who will bring these special islands alive for us today. On the way to rendezvous with our boat, we will pass by the historic fish market, to see what the fishermen have caught today. Once on our boat, our first stop will be Murano, where we will visit one of the glass factories and see how glass has been made on that spot for centuries. There are two wonderful churches to see on Murano, too. After that, we hop on our boat again for the short voyage to the Torcello, the first civilized spot in the lagoon and a quiet, somewhat wild island that is barely inhabited today. The Torcello has a very ancient church (from 683 AD) with a Last Judgment mosaic like you’ve never seen. Finally, we end our island-hopping on Burano, whose colorful houses will make fabulous compositions for your photographs. Burano is rightly famous for risotto buranello, most recently immortalized by Anthony Bourdain. We will try this classic dish at lunch before returning to Venice on our private speed boat. (BL)
The colorful houses of Burano and our historic boat in the lagoon.
Thursday, June 13 ~ 55th Venice Biennale – Arsenale with Dana Friis-Hansen
Dana leads the way today, as we head to the Arsenale location of the Biennale. The Arsenale, a complex of shipyards and armories, was constructed starting in 1104, and by 1450, was responsible for building and maintaining the Venetian fleet of over 3000 ships. What this means for us art lovers nowadays is that these very large buildings will accommodate enormous art installations. After exploring the Arsenale, we will venture to any interesting outlying locations. A past highlight was Pipilotti Rist’s video, Homo Sapiens Sapiens, projected on the ceiling of a Baroque church on the Grand Canal, with large velvet seed pods and vines for the viewer to lay on while watching the video, a reworking of the Garden of Eden narrative. After a full day at the Biennale, you will have the evening on your own to explore or rest. (B)
Friday, June 14 ~ A Visit to Vicenza and Padova with Franca Faccioli
Today we board the train and venture onto terraferma for a visit of the historic centres of Vicenza and Padova. First stop will be Vicenza, remade during the Renaissance by architect Andrea Palladio. The beauty and gravitas of Vicenza is magically infused with the lightness one associates with Venice, and one feels transported to the time of the Renaissance here. In Vicenza, we will meet guide extraordinaire, Franca Faccioli, for a guided visit of the most important sites: the fabulous Teatro Olimpico, the Basilica and Loggia del Capitaniato, and number of Palladian palazzi. We will have lunch today in Vicenza before training to Padova with Franca for a visit of the Scrovegni Chapel with frescoes by Giotto. Two more must-sees in Padova are the university and the botanical gardens. Franca was born and raised in Padova, and she has special access to the university, which was founded in 1222. It is the second oldest university in Italy, after Bologna. Galileo and Copernicus were on the faculty here. One of the highlights is the anatomical theatre where human dissections took place, with music during the breaks to calm the students’ nerves. Still in its original location from 1545, the botanical gardens have a unique design – in the round – and the first potatoes and sunflowers in Italy were grown here. After a stroll through the abundant Piazza della Frutta and the Piazza delle Erbe, we head back to Venice on the train. (BL)
Ascension, Anish Kapoor, 2011, in Palladio’s Santa Maria Maggiore; Untitled, Julie Mehretu, 2011, at the Punta della Dogana
Saturday, June 15 ~ Boating to the Brenta Canal and into the southern Venetian Lagoon
Our last day in Venice will be a grand day of travel by private boat to Fusina, where the Brenta Canal meets the lagoon. We will retrace the steps (the wakes?) of Venetians over the centuries, who would repair to their villas on the Brenta during the hot summer months. We will venture a short way up the Brenta to Palladio’s Villa Foscari, better known as the Malcontenta, for a visit. Then we hop back in our boat, following Ruskin’s advice that the best way to enter Venice is from Fusina. We venture across the lagoon to the lido island of Pellestrina for a fabulous fish lunch, before boating to Venice and our final night celebration together. (BLD)
Sunday, June 16 ~ Arrivederci Italia!
Diana will accompany you to the Venice airport by private water taxi for flights to the US. (B)
Dana taking a photo on the Grand Canal; the fabulous result at right and another collage image by Dana from the lagoon
This beautiful palace is a wonderful combination of traditional Venetian Gothic style and modern design with strong colours and rich detailing. Situated in the quiet and art-filled Dorsoduro neighborhood, the palace is perfectly located between the Peggy Guggenheim Museum and the Punta della Dogana. The hotel is in the historic Palazzo Genovese, but was given its new name from a magnificent discovery during the recent renovation of a Roman coin from the time of the emperor Hadrian! In the entry, a spectacular chandelier made of glass crystal cubes flowing in the shape of a gondola hull beckons you. The New York Times notes, “From its attentive service to its sleek, elegant styling to its sought-after address, the Centurion Palace is not just another nice hotel, but an experience.” www.centurionpalacevenezia.com
Locanda Ca’ del Brocchi
Located on the Rio Terà San Vio, a wide quiet street in the Dorsoduro neighborhood, Locanda Ca’ del Brocchi is a hidden gem. The building dates from the 16th century, but has been renovated in the typical Venetian 18thcentury style of damasks, gold leaf and Murano glass. The hotel is quite small and intimate, with only seven rooms, and the owner, Nicola Masinelli, provides personal service for his guests. Each room has private bath, air conditioning, television, minibar and internet connectivity. Nicola also provides a big Apple desktop in the lobby for guests to use. The official Venetian classification for this hotel is “Town House Suites First Category,” and it is the equivalent of a three-star hotel. www.cadelbrocchi.com
5 star: Centurion Palace ~ $5795 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $1695)
3 star: Locanda Ca’ del Brocchi ~ $4495 per person, double occupancy (single supplement $795)
7 nights hotel accommodation
All breakfasts, four lunches, two cocktails, and two dinners (B,L,C,D on itinerary)
All special events and entrance fees for museums and the Biennale, as noted in itinerary
All transportation from rendezvous to drop-off, as noted in itinerary
All gratuities for baggage and hotel service
Services of all guides and experts
© d*lux travel 2012, 2013
* itinerary subject to change to accommodate unforeseen circumstances and/or serendipitous opportunities