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27 April 2020Art Treasures of Northern Italy

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Art Treasures of Northern Italy
Monday 27 April 2020

THIS VISIT IS NOW FULLY BOOKED.  However further applications will be put on a 'Waiting List' in case there are any withdrawals.

Description of visit.

Monday 27 April - Friday 01 May 2020

The breadth of art, architecture and cultural heritage in Italy is quite extraordinary. Although Rome and Venice are probably the most visited cities, each region boasts its own impressive collections, important churches and distinctive history. Our tour aims to bring to life the treasures that are to be found in the north of a country that has played such a central role in the development of Europe and beyond throughout history. 

We shall be based in Bologna for 4 nights, the region’s vibrant capital, which is home to a whole host of cultural treasures. 


Independent travel arrangements to the airport. We will depart on a flight with EasyJet from Bristol to Venice Marco Polo airport, due to depart at 14.55 and arrive in Venice at 18.10 local time. (Please note that flights are not included in the tour price). We will be met on arrival by our local specialist guide and local coach and transfer to the centre 
of Bologna. We will make a stop en-route and dinner will be served in a local restaurant. Upon our arrival in Bologna, we will check into the 4 star Hotel Internazionale for 4 nights’ bed and buffet breakfast accommodation. 


We will meet our local guide and depart the hotel on foot for a full day of visits in Bologna. We will begin with a 
walking tour of Bologna’s historic centre, to include the main square, Piazza Maggiore, one of the finest squares in Italy, and the monumental Fountain of Neptune. The bronze figure of Neptune is attributed to Giambologna and is believed to date back to the 16th century. We will also view the famous Due Torri Pendenti – two gigantic leaning towers, which were built by Bologna’s most important families during the 12th century (Asinelli and Garisenda), at which time there were almost 200 towers in the city. 

We will continue to the Basilica of San Petronio, purportedly the world’s fifth largest church and undoubtedly the city’s most important religious site. It has been described as 'one of the most remarkable brick buildings in existence'. The basilica is dedicated to the patron saint of the city of Bologna and was built in the late Gothic period, but left incomplete. If finished, it would have been the largest Catholic church in the world, even bigger than St Peter’s in Rome. The façade is famous for its superb carvings by Jacopo della Quercia, who ranks with Donatello as one of the greatest of the Renaissance sculptors. These carvings exerted a great influence on Michelangelo. The interior is richly decorated with paintings, and noted for its superb Renaissance stained glass. 

We will continue with a visit to the historic Archiginnasio, the heart of the old University of Bologna, and the fascinating wood-panelled Anatomy Theatre, which dates back to 1637 and forms part of the University’s Medical School. We will also visit the Basilica di Santo Stefano, otherwise known as the ‘Seven Churches’. It is a labyrinth of structures and their architectural styles span centuries of Bolognese history, incorporating Romanesque, Lombard and even ancient Roman elements. There will be free time for lunch. 

This afternoon we will continue to the Pinacoteca Nazionale. The collection of the Pinacoteca began in 1762 when Monsignor Francesco Zambeccari donated some 16th century paintings to the Accademia Clementina. 
Originally, these paintings were part of a collection belonging to the prestigious Accademia dei Desiderosi, 
created by the Carracci family in 1582. The collection includes works of art dating back to the 13th century, and 
also includes works spanning the Renaissance period. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure. 


Today we will travel out of Bologna towards the Adriatic Riviera to the city of Ravenna, in the company of our 
local guide. The city was once the capital of Byzantine Italy, famous for its wealth of art treasures and 
magnificent mosaics, which will be the main focus of today’s visits. Several of the monuments we will see are 
listed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. Our first visit of the day will be the octagonal Basilica of San Vitale, which dates back to 548 and was built by Giulianus Argentarius. The basilica houses fine examples of early Christian Italian art alongside many ornate mosaics with a noticeable Eastern influence. The basilica also boasts frescoes by Caféozzi and Gandolfi of Bologna. 

We will then continue to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, which contains the earliest wall mosaics in the city. Galla Placidia (386-452) was the sister of Roman Emperor Honorius, who moved the Western Empire from Milan to Ravenna. This Latin cross plan mausoleum was built in honour of his sister. The exterior is noticeably plain and sombre in stark comparison with the lavish and ornate interior, which is covered in exquisite mosaics representing the victory of life over death. 

Our final visit of the morning will be the extraordinary Domus of Stone Carpets (‘I Pavimenti’), which were recently discovered and are located 3 metres below the level of the road. This is a magnificent collection of 14 highly decorative 5th and 6th century mosaics from a Byzantine Palace. There will be free time for lunch. 

This afternoon we will continue our walking tour of the historic centre with a short visit to the 5th century Church of San Francesco, which houses interesting mosaics. Of particular interest is Dante’s Tomb, an adjoining modest neoclassical construction. The poet was exiled from Florence and died in Ravenna in 1321, and the tomb was erected in the 18th century by architect Camillo Morigia in order to house Dante’s sarcophagus. We will also visit Sant’Apollinare Nuovo. The basilica dates from the 6th century and has a magnificent marble portico, which was added in the 16th century. It also boasts a cylindrical bell tower, which is typical of Ravenna in the 9th and 10th centuries, and a magnificent collection of mosaics. Our day will also include the basilica of Sant’Apollinare in Classe. Located in Classe on the outskirts of Ravenna, the Basilica is also dedicated to St Apollinare, the patron saint of Ravenna and is characterised by its spacious nave and large windows which flood the interior with light. It is also renowned for its stunning mosaics which are to be found in the presbytery, and date primarily from the 6th century. At the end of the afternoon we will return to the hotel for an evening at leisure. 


This morning we will travel by coach to Parma, in the company of our local guide. We will begin with walking 
tour of the city, which will include visits of both the Duomo and Baptistery. The Romanesque cathedral was consecrated in 1106 and its cupola, decorated by the late Renaissance artist Antonio da Correggio, is the 
illusionistic fresco of the Assumption of the Virgin. The Baptistery marks a transition between the Romanesque 
and Gothic styles, and is considered to be among the most important Medieval monuments in Europe. 

Following our visit we will depart Parma and travel towards Langhirano for a visit to the Castello di Torrechiara. The enchanting castle dates back to the 15th century and was built by Pier Maria II de' Rossi. It is thought that the castle was built for the count's lover, Bianca Pellegrini. Its famous hall, the Camera d'Oro (Golden Chamber) is highly decorative with frescoes by Benedetto Bembo. Lunch will be served in a local restaurant. 

This afternoon we will continue to a local Prosciutto di Parma (Parma Ham) producer for a guided tour and tasting. At the end of the afternoon we will return to our hotel in Bologna for an evening at leisure. 

FRIDAY 01 MAY 2020 

We will check out of our hotel after breakfast and travel to Padua. The city’s artistic and architectural highlight is 
undoubtedly the Scrovegni Chapel, one of Giotto’s most famous works. Enrico Scrovegni, the Paduan sponsor of the artist, was extremely rich and ambitious, and in 1300 he acquired the area around the Arena in order to build a palace with a chapel. Giotto painted a series of frescoes, including Scenes from the Life of Joachim, Scenes from the Life of the Virgin and Scenes from the Life of Christ. On the back wall, the Florentine artist also painted a single grandiose scene, The Final Judgement. We will also enjoy a short walking tour of the central area prior to lunch, which will be served in a local restaurant. 

Late afternoon we will travel by coach to Venice Marco Polo Airport for our return flight with Ryanair to Bristol 
airport, due to depart at 20.40 and arrive in Bristol at 22.00 local time. (Please note that flights are not included 
in the tour price). Independent onward travel arrangements. 

During the tour there may be an opportunity to attend an opera performance. Details of the programme at the Teatro Comunale di Bologna will be forwarded once the schedule becomes available. 

Please note that as this tour has been planned many months in advance, the final itinerary may vary slightly from the above. 


£1050 per person sharing a twin/double room (excluding flights) 

£190 single supplement 


4 nights' bed and buffet breakfast accommodation in Bologna 

City tax 

Dinner on the first evening in a local restaurant 

2 lunches in local restaurants 

Guided tour and tasting at a Parma Ham producer 

The services of a local guide for five full days 

All local coaching in Italy as per the itinerary 

All booking and entrance fees as per the itinerary 

VOX audio guides 


It is a condition of booking that each tour participant carries full travel insurance and it is your responsibility to ensure that you have adequate insurance for this tour. We have arranged a scheme with specialists Travel & General Insurance Services Limited who are fully authorised and regulated by the FCA (firm reference number 304788) full details of which can be found on the FCA website Please call Travel 
& General on 0203 794 2954 for a quote. 


Hotel Internazionale (4 star) 

Via dell'Indipendenza, 60 



Our ATOL Number is 3707. All the flights and flight-inclusive tours in this brochure are financially protected by the 
ATOL scheme. When you pay you will be supplied with an ATOL Certificate. Please ask for it and check to ensure that everything you booked (flights, hotels and other services) is listed on it. Please see our booking conditions for further information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: 


The price of the tour is based on a minimum of 25 participants. 


EasyJet and Ryanair currently operate a convenient service between Bristol and Venice Marco Polo and it is our intention to use these flights next year assuming that schedules are similar. The tour price shown excludes airfares as these can vary on a daily basis. Heritage Group Travel can book flights on your behalf and will pass on the airfare at cost price plus an administration fee of £10 per person. In the unlikely event of booking exceed £250 per person, your deposit will be refunded in full. Please indicate on the booking form if you would prefer to make your own travel arrangements, but we would ask you not to book your flights until you have received written confirmation that your booking has been accepted and that the tour will be going ahead. 


To reserve your place on the tour, please send your completed booking form and deposit of £450 per person, to 
Heritage Group Travel, as soon as possible and no later than Friday 11 October 2019. You will receive a confirmation of your booking combined with an invoice for the final balance. The final travel details (itinerary, hotel details, flight ticket and luggage label) will be available approximately 10-14 days prior to travel. The final balance is due by Monday 03 February 2020. 


British Nationals should be in possession of a valid 10 year passport: visas are not required for travel to Italy. Other 
Nationals should contact the Italian Embassy to confirm current visa requirements. 

Charlotte House, 12 Charlotte Street 

Bath, BA1 2NE 

Tel: 01225 466620 

Art Treasures of Northern Italy