On this trip, you will experience Italy beyond the obvious. Art Appreciation in Italy. What is common between the Sistine Chapel, the mosaics in Piazza Armerina or Ravenna, Coreggio’s masterpiece in Parma, and Milan’s Last Supper? The art is all on site, meaning it was created for a specific place. And lucky for us, it is still there. Art appreciation in Italy can be enhanced by understanding some context. So when you’re trying to decide which art to spend your time on, consider prioritizing art ON SITE. It is best to pay attention during the approach. This was the artist’s workplace. These are the streets they walked to get to work. He may have tied his horse to the iron ring on the wall you just walked past. They worked here every day for years: The art was created pre-electricity for this precise spot, and was designed to be lit by sunlight. So notice where the windows are, where the door is, whether the work is lit from below, above, the sides, or all three. Is the work high up, low down, or in the middle of the space. Michelangelo is known to have complained brutally about painting the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back, and when you visit it – and hear that it took 4 years – you can see why. Why did the artist choose to use fresco, or oil, or mosaic, or marble, or terracotta.
12 DAYS - SECRETS OF TURIN AND ROME - ITALY
Art Appreciation in Italy. What is common between the Sistine Chapel, the mosaics in Piazza Armerina or Ravenna, Coreggio’s masterpiece in Parma, and Milan’s Last Supper? The art is all on site, meaning it was created for a specific place. And lucky for us, it is still there. Art appreciation in Italy can be enhanced by understanding some context. So when you’re trying to decide which art to spend your time on, consider prioritizing art ON SITE. It is best to pay attention during the approach. This was the artist’s workplace. These are the streets they walked to get to work. He may have tied his horse to the iron ring on the wall you just walked past. They worked here every day for years: The art was created pre-electricity for this precise spot, and was designed to be lit by sunlight. So notice where the windows are, where the door is, whether the work is lit from below, above, the sides, or all three. Is the work high up, low down, or in the middle of the space. Michelangelo is known to have complained brutally about painting the Sistine Chapel while lying on his back, and when you visit it – and hear that it took 4 years – you can see why. Why did the artist choose to use fresco, or oil, or mosaic, or marble, or terracotta. On this trip, you will experience Italy beyond the obvious.
Day 01 Turin Arrival- Turin welcome’s you to Italy! Meet with your English-speaking tour escort at Turin airport and transfer to the Hotel (check in available from 3.00pm). Rest of the day at leisure, take your time to familiarize with the city and local people and prepare to experience the most unforgettable journey of your life! Overnight in Turin for 4 nights.
Day 02 - Turin walking tour & Egyptian Museum. (B, L) - Discover the city with your eyes and feet today. Enjoy a 3-hour walking tour of Turin’s classic sights, from the baroque palaces and porticoes of the old city center to its medieval Cathedral, home to the fabled Turin Shroud. The tour starts at Piazza Castello, and sets off to visit Palazzo Madama, the favorite residence of the Ladies of the Royal Court. The Next stop is the Palazzo Reale (Royal Court) where the Savoy kings held court. Spy the spire of the Cathedral, before getting up-close to its stern medieval façade. Debate still rages as to whether the piece of linen inside is the cloth that wrapped the body of Christ or not. Walk through Piazza San Carlo, one of the city’s most elegant squares that was once dubbed “Europe’s sitting room.” Admire the fine baroque architecture of Piazza Carignano, including the palazzo where King Vittorio Emanuele II was born.
After a light lunch at local restaurant, in the afternoon journey through more than 3,000 years of history. Get priority entrance to the museum and explore Ancient Egyptian civilizations through exquisite objects. Wander among objects of everyday life, along with colossal statues, Egyptian mummies and amulets. Learn about the religious beliefs, lifestyle and traditions of the Nile and land of the pharaohs. See highlights such as the Turin Papyrus of Kings, the Pre-Dynastic Mummy, Gebelein Canvas and Papyrus of the Strike. Marvel at the Tomb of Kha and of Merit, the Nefertari Kit and statuary and Temple of Ellesija.
Day 03 - Royal Venaria & Royal Palace. (B, L) This morning head to the outskirts of Turin and discover the Royal Palace of Venaria, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Admire this magnificent example of Baroque art in the beautiful setting of its namesake village and surrounded by stunning French-style gardens. At the end of the visit go back to Turin and enjoy your delicious lunch at local restaurant before visiting the Royal Palace. The Royal Palace of Turin, a World Heritage Site since 1997, is the flagship of the Savoy Residences, known as the seventeenthcentury Crown of Delights. It accounted, for the dynasty and the Kingdom, the symbol of their power and the place of the great court events: lunches, dances and diplomatic meetings that have marked both Italian and International history. The path winds through the different rooms to find decorations, furnishings, beautiful oriental porcelain, but also the use and the hidden meaning of small or large objects.
Day 04 - Turin undergrounds & black magic. (B, L) Turin, in the beautiful northwest of Italy, is a magical place with a rich culture and history. On this walking tour, you are able to experience this wonderful city and its expansive 2,000-year history from a unique perspective – the underground. The tour will lead you many meters below the surface of the city to discover a subterranean layer that is as interesting as it is mysterious. This is your chance to explore the ancient underworld of Turin. You will get to experience the eerie catacombs of the city’s oldest churches, discover the city’s many fascinating underground cellars, see the large ice depots that were once used in past times of war and famine, and much more. This tour is definitely a special opportunity for visitors to experience this amazing city in a whole different and memorable way. Come back on the ground floor and relax at your restaurant savoring your last lunch at Turin. After lunch experience one more special tour in Turin. Along your Magic Turin tour, you will explore the two souls of Turin: one linked to white magic, the other to evil, or black magic. Your guide will explain to you, starting at the Piazza Statuto, how this “darkness” came over the city. During Roman times, this ancient burial site became the center of scary stone monsters, sinister architecture and unusual statues that stand side by side some of the gentler giants, such as the Duomo and Holy Shroud.
Day 05 - Turin to Rome by train- Italian rail is known for its fast trains and views of the countryside. Today we take a 4-5 hours train ride south to Rome.
Day 06- Rome’s triumph Ancient Rome We follow the ancient Roman triumphal route: from Piazza della Bocca della Verità, past Circus Maximus, to the arch of Constantine (ca. 1.5 m), the Arch of Titus, the Via Sacra (inside the Roman Forum, prebooked tickets needed) – or alternatively, without entering the Roman Forum along Via dei Fori Imperiali – to Piazza Venezia (+ 1 km). Examples of the ancient sewer system (cloaca maxima), roads, aqueducts, engineering (arches and Roman concrete). 2-3 hrs. (more if we enter the Forum area)
After lunch continue our explorations- The Capitoline Hill, including Michelangelo’s Piazza, views of Forum Romanum, the splendid church Ara Coeli, and the modern monument to the first king of united Italy Victor Emmanuel II. Theatre of Marcellus: The magnificent well-preserved ruins of the theatre dedicated to Augustus’s son-in law (and nephew) gives an impression of the size and importance of the Roman entertainment industry without the masses of the Colosseum. Portico d’Ottavia (currently closed). Restorations at these Augustan ruins should be completed by June. (a very long day)
Day 07 Rome - Collapse, catastrophe, and transformation: The Christianization of Rome Late ancient and medieval Rome - Breakfast lecture: Why did Rome survive the fall of Rome? (45 mins) The Lateran (outside by the Oblisk) and the Lateran baptistery. Scala sancta? SS. Quattro Coronati’s S. Silvestro chapel with amazing 13th century frescoes showing the pope as the heir to the Roman Empire (10:00am – 11:45am / 4:00pm – 5:45pm – at 6:00pm) the cloistered nuns sing vespers which is quite lovely!). S. Clemente (9:00am – 12:30pm / 3:00pm – 6:00pm) and excavations under the church: We move down, layer upon layer, through some 2000 years of history.
-- lunch --
Visit to the Roman Houses beneath Palazzo Valentini, Rome’s magnificently presented newest excavation site (closed Tuesdays). Audiovisual presentation in English, without guide. Visit takes 1 ½ hrs. and / or Visit to marble workshop (Stella)
Day 08 Roman resilience: Rebirths of Rome The Carolingian Renaissance / The twelfth-century Renaissance / The ‘big’ Renaissance. Visit St. Maria Maggiore: 5th century splendors and a miraculous painting S. Prassede: 8th century mosaics: an unknown jewel from the middle ages St. Pietro in Vincoli: Michelangelo’s celebrated Moses, but why does he have horns? St. Maria in Trastevere: 12th century mosaics of otherworldly beauty and an incestuous marriage. The Trastevere area Gianicolo: Bramante’s Tempietto and the mystery of Peter’s death in Rome. Visit to AAR / DNIR-terrace
Day 09 - The secrets of the Vatican Breakfast lecture (LCE): Saints and sinners: History of the Papacy and the Vatican. Vatican Museums (with guide other than LCE?) Vatican Necropolis.
Day 10 - Pietro e Paolo feast day: Roman holiday. Forbidden thoughts and transgressive paintings. The Roman Baroque. St. Maria degli Angeli: This unique, spacious church is designed by Michelangelo, and built into the baths of Emperor Diocletian. S. Maria della Vittoria: A delightful Baroque church that houses Gianlorenzo Bernini’s daring portrait of St. Theresa of Avila’s ecstasy: Can this really be what we think it is? The Crypt of the Capuchins: a slightly disconcerting celebration of death. (ca. 2 km total). Caravaggio’s masterpieces in S. Luigi dei Francesi, S. Agostino, and S. Maria del Popolo. S. Maria sopra Minerva: the headquarters of the inquisition and the trial that shook the world, where Galileo Galilei abnegated his teaching, but also fabulous frescos and a medieval saint who starved herself to death. S. Ignazio Loyola: Only in Rome could this frescoed ceiling remain relatively unknown. Not hidden, but the greatest jewel of them all: Pantheon. (All of the above are close together, right around the Pantheon, except S. Maria del Popolo which is ca. 2 km away and could be skipped, but, on the other hand, it brings us past the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps so it’s a very nice walk).
Day 11- On the paths of intellectuals and grand tourists in Rome Library and Testaccio. Visit to Biblioteca Angelica, one of the world’s oldest public libraries (from 1604). It has a notable collection of manuscripts from the medieval and Renaissance periods.and/or Visit to the Vatican Library. This is much harder. The Vatican Library is closed to everyone but relevant scholars. In the Testaccio area we can visit: Rome’s ancient pyramid, built as a tomb for the magistrate Cestius in the 1st century BC when Rome was smitten with Egyptomania. The Monte Testaccio, or Monte dei cocci (Potsherd Hill), as the Romans say : an artificial hill entirely made out of fragments of amforae shipped in to the nearby ancient port of the Tiber River and discarded here. The non-Catholic cemetery, the graveyard ghetto for foreigners and non-Catholics who died in Rome and could not be buried in consecrated ground. Here lie the young English poets Percy Shelley and John Keats, as well as many painters, sculptors and authors, a number of scholars, several diplomats, Goethe’s only son, and Antonio Gramsci, a founding father of European Communism, to name only a few. Continue touring with major sights of Rome.
Day 12- transfer to the airport for flight home;
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