Tours & Study Days With
Tom Duncan

Tom Duncan

Tom Duncan was educated at Trinity College, Dublin, where he studied, successively, Music and then History of Art with Ancient History and Archaeology. He moved to the United States in 1980 to research Late Antiquity and the Early Church. This formative experience brought him to Cambridge, England in 1984 to complete a Ph D on the influence of Early Christian Art on Baroque Painting in Rome. A period as a university lecturer followed, together with many invitations to lecture to organisations such as The Art Fund and The Arts Society (formerly NADFAS). Consequently, he began to lead tours over twenty years ago and in 1999, together with Stephen Brook, founded CICERONI Travel, now one of the UK's most respected independent cultural travel companies. When not lecturing or travelling, he devotes most of his time to gardening, music and opera, the other great interests in his life.

 

 

Image above: Dublin, The Old Library, Trinity College

Northumbria Illuminated

Northern Lights

UK
Sunday 27 June - Friday 2 July 2021 (6 Days)
Northumbria conjures up many and varied images: Hadrian's Wall, Christian missionaries such as St Cuthbert, fine houses and spectacular gardens, abundant natural resources. These are all aspects of a marvellous part of England which we shall explorie in leisurely detail.

Connoisseurs' Yorkshire

Amidst the Hills & Dales

UK
Sunday 18 - Friday 23 July 2021 (6 Days)
North and East Yorkshire shelter in their midst some of the finest examples of medieval architecture, country houses and wonderful gardens. Based in the estate village of Ripley, just outside Harrogate, this tour will include a mix of visits to some old favourites such as Harewood House and Newby Hall and some houses and gardens which are not open to the public on a regular basis.

The Glyndebourne Festival

Opera in the Country

UK
Sunday 8 - Thursday 12 August 2021 (5 Days)
Glyndebourne is synonymous with all that represents excellence in the musical traditions of Great Britain. Thus, it is with great pleasure that we offer members of our own list the opportunity to enjoy this unique Festival supported by a programme of visits to some os Sussex's most interesting houses and gardens.

Visiting Normandy

Medieval Might to Monet

France
Saturday 21 - Friday 27 August 2021 (7 Days)
The verdant landscapes of Normandy are an oasis of peace and tranquillity, masking a history full of incident. Its rural semi-obscurity attracted some of the finest painters of nineteenth century France, the precursors to and creators of Impressionism, above all Claude Monet.

William kent’s Norfolk

Arcadian bliss

UK
Sunday 5 - Saturday 11 September 2021 (7 Days)
North Norfolk's broad rolling acres have long been home to great estates and important country houses. A remarkable figure looms large over the best of these – William Kent! Kent dominated the visual arts of early Georgian England and our visit will include three spectacular houses where he worked, Houghton, Holkham and Raynham. The wealth which created these was two-fold: trade and agriculture, so we shall spend a day in Kings Lynn, with its membership of the Hanseatic League the key to understanding its wealth of buildings. Visits to other major houses and gardens will also be included.

Lisbon & sintra

Explorers’ rewards

Portugal
Thursday 16 - Tuesday 21 September 2021 (6 Days)
There are strong links between the British and Portuguese people, established via many centuries of trade, shared maritime history and royal dynastic links. We shall appreciate the remarkably beautiful city of Lisbon on the River Tagus and the country palaces of Sintra.

connoisseurs' rome

behind closed doors

Italy
Saturday 2 - Thursday 7 October 2021 (6 Days)
This is a remarkable opportunity to explore a Rome normally concealed behind closed doors. From our hotel located directly next to the Pantheon you will be taken to visit the city's most important palaces and art collections. There will be an evening private visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, and many lesser-known jewels in the city. There is no other visit to Rome of this quality.

Sicily Ancient & Modern

Complex Crossroads

Italy
Tuesday 12 - Thursday 21 October 2021 (10 Days)
Sicily has been a strategic prize fought over for millennia by competing cultures, all attracted by its location and natural resources. Their marks have been left via amazing Greek temples, Roman villas, Norman churches and mosaics and baroque palaces - all complemented by the excellent cuisine and wines.

Connoisseurs’ venice

Patricians & Painters

Italy
Wednesday 3 - Monday 8 November 2021 (6 Days)
Be you a novice or seasoned visitor 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.

Turin & the House of Savoy

Elegance Personified

Italy
Tuesday 30 November - Saturday 4 December 2021 (5 Days)
The House of Savoy was one of the most celebrated and well-connected dynasties in Europe. Turin, its capital, was upgraded in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries to reflect its new status as a kingdom and power broker in the diplomatic affairs of Europe. Turin just before Christmas is a most handsome city. Masterpieces of fine art and architecture in both the urban palaces and country hunting villas of the Savoy family we will visit will be complemented by superb food and wine during our festive few days.

Berlin & Potsdam

Prussia & the Rise of Germany

Germany
Monday 6 - Saturday 11 December 2021 (6 Days)
The re-unification of Germany in 1990 restored Berlin to its status as capital city. Previously, a long succession of German kings and emperors created many fine palaces but nowhere else in Europe was so much energy expended on building museums and art galleries for the public. Now almost all are fully restored and redisplayed and it is this cornucopia of the arts which we shall explore in Berlin and nearby Potsdam dressed for the festive season.

connoisseurs' rome

behind closed doors

Italy
Tuesday 1 - Sunday 6 March 2022 (6 Days)
This is a remarkable opportunity to explore a Rome normally concealed behind closed doors. From our hotel located directly next to the Pantheon you will be taken to visit the city's most important palaces and art collections. There will be an evening private visit to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, and many lesser-known jewels in the city. There is no other visit to Rome of this quality.

spring in galicia

Camellias & Pilgrims

Spain
Thursday 17 - Wednesday 23 March 2022 (7 Days)
This will be an exciting week spent exploring some of the very best camellia collections in Europe, as well as combining the best of horticultural, artistic and religious traditions as we encounter many sites associated with the famous pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela.

petra, jerash & the treasures of jordan

arabia felix

Jordan
Tuesday 5 - Thursday 14 April 2022 (10 Days)
Gold, Frankincense and Myrrh were highly prized in ancient times traded by the Nabateans of Arabia. Their wealth was expended on that most remarkable of cities, Petra, the centrepiece of this visit to Jordan. Equally impressive are the Roman remains at Jerash, the traces of Ummayad Arab rule and the sites associated with the Old and New Testaments, close by and at the River Jordan.

Houses & Gardens of Cork

Ballymaloe

Ireland
Sunday 22 - Friday 27 May 2022 (6 Days)
Co Cork has some of the most beautiful houses and gardens of south-west Ireland, many not open to the public. However, this visit will concern itself not just with food for the eye, mind and soul but with food for the body as we shall stay at the renowned Ballymaloe House Hotel.

Houses & Gardens of Cork

Ballymaloe

Ireland
Sunday 12 - Friday 17 June 2022 (6 Days)
Co Cork has some of the most beautiful houses and gardens of south-west Ireland, many not open to the public. However, this visit will concern itself not just with food for the eye, mind and soul but with food for the body as we shall stay at the renowned Ballymaloe House Hotel.

The Gardens of Ireland

Celtic Blossoms

Ireland
Tuesday 28 June - Thursday 7 July 2022 (10 Days)
Summer in Ireland is not just about seeing “Forty Shades of Green!”; it is the abundant display of blossom provided by flowering trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs which make this time of year so special for garden visitors. Iconic gardens such as Fota, Birr Castle Demesne, Powerscourt and that jewel of jewels, Mount Stewart will all be included. Based at very comfortable hotels including the renowned Ballymaloe House.

Houses & Gardens of Cork

Ballymaloe

Ireland
Sunday 4 - Friday 9 September 2022 (6 Days)
Co Cork has some of the most beautiful houses and gardens of south-west Ireland, many not open to the public. However, this visit will concern itself not just with food for the eye, mind and soul but with food for the body as we shall stay at the renowned Ballymaloe House Hotel.
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Tours & Study Days