Tours & Study Days With
James Hill

James Hill is our long-standing Italian, US and Caribbean tours director. British born, he has been resident in Italy for over 25 years where he studied politics. An authority on travel and culture in Italy, he now lives near Lake Como and has a background in travel writing and television production where he worked on around sixty cultural programmes and documentaries on Italy.

Image above: Turin, La Venaria

Siena & the Gardens of Southern Tuscany

Merchants, Popes & English Peers

Italy
Tuesday 30 April - Saturday 4 May 2019 (5 Days)
Encircled by a magnificent set of medieval walls, Siena contains a remarkable array of buildings and art collections to which you will be introduced. Outside those walls we shall also discover some beautiful gardens scattered throughout southern Tuscany, enjoying remarkable levels of private access and hospitality, guided by some of the owners as our days unfold in this most heavenly of landscapes.

Villas & Gardens of Florence

Otium et Negotium

Italy
Tuesday 7 - Saturday 11 May 2019 (5 Days)
From our wonderful location at magical Fiesole, directly overlooking Florence, our visit will trace the development of the Florentine villa and garden: Poggio a Caiano, Castello and La Petraia from the Medici era; the modern ‘greats’ such as Le Balze, Fonte Lucente, La Pietra and above all Villa Gamberaia will all be visited and in some of which we shall be entertained to lunch.

villas & gardens of lazio

popes & princes at rest

Italy
Wednesday 22 - Monday 27 May 2019 (6 Days)
The villas and gardens of Lazio are without parallel in Italy: from Hadrian’s Imperial retreat near Tivoli to renaissance masterpieces at Villa d’Este, Bomarzo, Villa Lante and Caprarola; to the greatest of modern gardens at Ninfa and Landriana, every style and taste can be found. These oases of beauty, together with several private gardens not open to the public, will both stimulate and enchant.

Art & Architecture in Chicago

Look Up, Look Up!

USA
Tuesday 11 - Monday 17 June 2019 (7 Days)
Chicago stands at the crossroads of America, fusing the energy of big city ambition with the spirit of a midwest town. A sophisticated approach to architectural design created ‘The Chicago School of Architecture’ and Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright and Mies van der Rohe and their contemporaries were the men who built Chicago, their vision lives on today, via the city’s striking contemporary architecture.

verona & the valpolicella

operas, villas, gardens & wine

Italy
Sunday 7 - Friday 12 July 2019 (6 Days)
A warm July evening in Verona’s Roman great amphitheatre, enveloped by the operas of Verdi or Bizet is always memorable. Equally, our visit will embrace the summer delights of the country villas and gardens of the Valpolicella wine region and nearby Lake Garda, all tantalisingly close to the civic magnificence of one of northern Italy’s most delightful cities, Verona.

Villas & Gardens on Como & Lugano

Lakeside Idyll

Italy
Thursday 12 - Wednesday 18 September 2019 (7 Days)
Combine Alpine peaks with cool lake water, garlanded with stunning noble lakeside villas and exquisite gardens and what comes to mind – the Italian lakes? Our new tour of Lakes Como and Lugano includes not only some of the best known villas and gardens but most are completely new to our itineraries and three of these are quite exceptional private visits.

MONET & GIVERNY, PAINTED & PLANTED CANVASES

CULTIVATING IMPRESSIONISM

France
Tuesday 24 - Saturday 28 September 2019 (5 Days)
The landscapes and gardens along the Seine valley, meandering through Paris and on into Normandy, inspired the Impressionists. This exciting tour will allow us to see not only their sources of inspiration but how their art continues to work its magic today in these exciting gardens.

Aquileia, Ravenna & Torcello

Eternal Splendours

Italy
Tuesday 1 - Saturday 5 October 2019 (5 Days)
Italy underwent enormous changes as the Roman Empire collapsed: the capital moved from Milan to Ravenna, the ruler (and his religion) changed from a Roman to an Ostrogoth, the Byzantines invaded. The visual arts mirrored these rapid changes, leading in time to the emergence of the accepted visual shorthand of medieval religious art, brought vividly to life via the splendours of Ravenna, Torcello, Aquileia, Grado and Pomposa.

Antiquity & the Bay of Naples

Vases & Volcanoes

Italy
Tuesday 8 - Monday 14 October 2019 (7 Days)
Naples in the late eighteenth century was a hive of activity as the recently discovered ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum were excavated. Intelligent, sophisticated and highly acquisitive collectors such as Sir William Hamilton were to the fore and it is his world which we shall discover as we re-trace his steps enjoying, just as he did, privileged access.

music & art in cremona & parma

stradivarius to verdi

Italy
Wednesday 16 - Monday 21 October 2019 (6 Days)
As Parma is to Verdi and opera, so is Cremona to Stradivarius and violin making. Here is the ideal opportunity to discover these remarkable figures from musical history as we explore two of the most engaging of small cities in northern Italy. Parma’s history may be dominated by its Farnese Dukes but its annual Verdi Festival is the magnet which is irresistible, while in Cremona its fine heritage of instrument making carries on down to today.

Connoisseurs’ venice

Patricians & Painters

Italy
Monday 11 - Saturday 16 November 2019 (6 Days)
Be you a novice or seasoned visit to Venice, we offer a privileged introduction to this magical city: palaces that are not open to the public; St Mark’s and its mosaics, seen privately at night; magical Torcello, “a positive ecstasy of melancholia” as Jan Morris described it; art galleries for the connoisseur – all seen at a time when the city is at its most quiet and serene.

connoisseurs' versailles

behind the arras

France
Sunday 17 - Friday 22 November 2019 (6 Days)
Discover Versailles, the most famous palace in the world, as we explore not only its fabulous State Apartments, but also the more intimate and private spaces used by the French royal family which are not open to the public. Led by Rosalind Savill, an expert on French culture and the decorative arts, this will be a memorable ‘once in a lifetime’ opportunity.

Leonardo & the Court of Milan

The Universal Artist

Italy
Tuesday 3 - Saturday 7 December 2019 (5 Days)
Leonardo da Vinci has always been regarded as the towering artist of what we call the Renaissance. To his contemporaries he was THE innovator, the most original, inventive and curious of artists. Yet few realised the huge range of his questing intelligence. Discover this ‘universal man’ during our tour to Milan, coinciding with the city’s 500th anniversary celebrations.
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Tours & Study Days