Off the Beaten Path in Italy’s Veneto Region

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Italy’s Veneto and the Venice Biennale

October 20th - 27th , 2019

Often overshadowed by its regional capital, Venice, the Veneto is an area filled with enchanted towns and inspired landscapes. This one-week tour offers an “insider’s view” of the art, architecture, cuisine and traditions of this distinctive region.

Robin Trento, associate director and co-founder of Art Muse LA, custom designed and will lead the trip. A Los Angeles native and fourth- generation Californian, Robin earned her BA in Italian and Art History at the University of California, Santa Barbara, after having studied at the University of Padua (Italy) and the University of California, Los Angeles. Many years of international travel while raising a bi-cultural (Italian-American) family have familiarized Robin with the art and history of Italy, in particular, the Veneto.

Charmed hotels in Bassano del Grappa and Padua will be home base while visiting the nearby towns of Marostica, Possagno, Asolo, Valdobbiadene, Cittadella, Castelfranco Veneto and more. The trip concludes with two nights at the elegant Hotel Danieli in Venice, where the Biennale, the art world’s global extravaganza, will be in full throttle.

Daily Itinerary

Sunday, October 20th:

Individual arrivals at Marco Polo Airport, Venice. Once the group has gathered at the airport, we transfer to Bassano del Grappa where we’ll reside for three nights. After settling in to our hotel, a stroll through Bassano del Grappa takes us to the Palladio-designed Alpine Bridge. Welcome Dinner will be enjoyed at a local restaurant. (D)

Monday, October 21st:

Our first full day in the Veneto includes a visit to the Bassano Museum to view works by Jacopo Bassano (1510-1599), Alessandro Magnasco (1667-1749), and Antonio Canova (1757-1822). A walk through town takes us around the piazzas and to the Tempio Ossario honoring WWI veterans. Lunch will be enjoyed at a local osteria. In the afternoon we drive to the nearby town of Marostica to roam the cobbled streets; optional walk through the hillside to the castle is possible. Dinner will be enjoyed at a rustic inn in Marostica. (B, L, D)

Tuesday, October 22nd:

After breakfast at our hotel, we drive to the nearby town of Possagno, home of the 18th- century sculptor Antonio Canova. Two private visits to Gipsoteca Museum of Antonio Canova and Tempio Canoviano feature the artist’s life and work in the context of his hometown. Our second stop is at the nearby town of Asolo, a summer vacation area of the Venetian nobility, where lunch will be served at the Cipriani Hotel. The hotel’s garden offers commanding views overlooking the Veneto plains and a view of Venice in the distance. After lunch we’ll take a walk through Asolo and visit the town’s castle. In the afternoon we visit the town of Valdobbiadene in the heart of Italy’s finest prosecco-production region. A private wine-tasting and winery tour of Cantine Bortolotti cap off the day. Dinner will be at a nearby agriturismo. (B, L, D)

Wednesday, October 23rd:

After breakfast at our hotel, we’ll check-out of the hotel to depart Bassano del Grappa. Before arriving in the afternoon at our next hotel, the morning will be devoted to visits to two distinctive walled cities. The first stop is at Cittadella which lays claim to be the most intact walled-in medieval town in Europe. A walk along the ramparts gives us a chance to visit two history museums situated in the fortified wall. Our next stop is Castelfranco Veneto, a walled medieval town and home of the important Renaissance painter Giorgione (1470-1510). We’ll see the artist’s paintings in his native home as we visit the Giorgione Museum and the Cathedral with his altarpiece Madonna and Saints (1505). Lunch will be enjoyed at a local restaurant in Castelfranco Veneto. In the afternoon, we visit Villa Emo, built in 1509 by Andrea Palladio for a Venetian nobleman, with frescoes by Battista Zelotti. The driving day concludes as we arrive in Padua to settle in our hotel. An evening walking tour takes us through three main piazzas of Padua: Piazza della Signoria, Piazza della Frutta, Piazza delle Erbe. Dinner at a restaurant in the Ghetto section of Padua concludes the day. (B, L, D)

Thursday, October 24th:

After breakfast at the hotel our day in Padua begins. Morning visits include the Scrovegni Chapel with frescoes by Giotto di Bondone (1267-1337), the Church of the Erimitani with frescoes by Andrea Mantegna (1431-1506), and the University of Padua, Palazzo Bo (the anatomical theater) where Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) and Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) taught. An informal lunch will be enjoyed at a local pizzeria. Afternoon visits include St. Anthony’s Basilica (“Il Santo”), Santa Giustina to view an altarpiece by Paolo Veronese (1528-1588), and Prato della Valle. Our day of cultural visits concludes at the University of Padua Botanical Gardens, established in the 16th century for botanical studies of specimens newly gathered from the Americas. Dinner will be enjoyed in Padua. (D)

Friday, October 25th:

Today we rise early to check-out of our hotel after breakfast. A short bus ride will deposit us at 8 am near the Brenta River where we board the Burchiello boat. The day-long trip takes us along the Brenta River to the Venice lagoon. As we make our way, we’ll visit Palladian villas and enjoy lunch while cruising on the Brenta. Around 4 pm the Burchiello deposits us at the Piazza San Marco in Venice. After transfer and check-in to the hotel, we’ll commence on an afternoon walking tour of Venetian inns for “cicchetti” (local appetizers) and “ombre” (local wine)— a smooth introduction to the serene city of Venice. Dinner will be enjoyed at a local Venetian restaurant. (B, L, D)

Saturday, October 26th:

Our final day begins with breakfast at the hotel. The day will be devoted to previews of the Venice Biennale, starting with a visit to the Giardini to see a selection of International Pavilions. Lunch will be enjoyed at a restaurant near the Arsenale. The afternoon will be devoted to the biennale’s art installations at the Arsenale. The farewell dinner on the roof of the Danieli Hotel will offer grand views of Venice and out towards the distant Veneto plains. (B, L, D)

Monday, October 27th:

Individual departures. (B)

Trip Cost 

$5,800 per person, based on double occupancy.  Single supplement, add $1,200.

Trip Cost Includes:

  • Four-star hotel accommodations for eight nights

  • Breakfast daily (B) / 6 lunches (L) / 7 dinners (D) including wine

  • Transportation throughout by luxury mini-coach

  • All sightseeing entrance fees and guided visits

  • Art Muse LA hosts and coordination

Not Included:

  • Airfare to and from Venice

  • Personal expenses

  • Gratuities for drivers

  • Trip cancellation insurance