When crossing the narrow causeway to Venice from the Italian mainland, you quickly become aware that Venice is different from any other city. Built in the late Roman period on a foundation of millions of wooden beams driven deep into the marshy soil, Venice rose to become the greatest commercial and military power in the western world. For hundreds of years, its military might and cultural brilliance was unparalleled. While countless artists, writers and composers have romanticized Venice as a city doomed to slow decay, the glory days of 'La Serenissima' are remarkably well preserved today.
Beyond the high-traffic venues like the Doge?s Palace and Cathedral of San Marco, there are many of Venice?s greatest artistic treasures housed in modest churches and galleries, concealed in the maze of narrow, medieval streets that still pervade the city. Since the late 1990s, enormous resources have been poured into restoring the city?s infrastructure and preserving the artistic treasures. The continued success of the Art and Architecture Biennale exhibitions has helped Venice retain its standing as a leading centre of culture.
We will explore the artistic heritage of Venice and the surrounding region, from Giotto?s early Renaissance Scrovegni Chapel frescoes, through the High Renaissance altarpieces of Titian, Veronese and Tintoretto. Our trip will conclude with a full day visit to the Art Biennale, widely regarded as the most important contemporary art exhibition in the world.