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

houses & gardens of Shropshire

sleeping beauties

Sunday 15 - Saturday 21 July 2018 (7 Days)
Shropshire remains delightfully old-fashioned, rural and mostly untouched by twentieth century modernisation. You will be amazed not only by the wonders we shall see but also by the warmth of the welcome from the owners of the private houses and gardens we shall visit – sleeping beauties of all sorts and kinds.
Study Day

Thomas Chippendale's Genius

And None Shall Compare

Friday 7 September 2018
Thomas Chippendale exercised astonishing influence on his contemporaries, partly through
The Gentleman and Cabinet-Maker’s Director, the first text of its kind solely devoted to the furniture and furnishings of eighteenth century interiors in England, resulting in his illustrious international reputation today. Where better to celebrate the 300th anniversary of Chippendale’s birth in 1718 than Firle Place, Sussex, home to the ‘Panshanger Cabinets’ - two of the finest pieces ever produced by his workshop.

Exploring Northern Portugal

The Douro Valley & the Minho

Thursday 20 - Friday 28 September 2018 (9 Days)
Most Portuguese will tell you that the most scenic and atmospheric regions of Portugal are the adjacent Douro Valley and the Minho, the focus of our gently paced visit. As an old saying puts ‘Coimbra studies, Braga Prays, Porto works and Lisbon plays…’ We shall discover if what they say about Porto and Braga is true, with much else to discover along the way.

The Dutch Golden Age

the art of describing

Friday 5 - Thursday 11 October 2018 (7 Days)
The seventeenth century is the Dutch ‘Golden Age’ a time of unprecedented prosperity and cultural vigour. Hals, Vermeer, Ruisdael and Rembrandt are the artists we all know and love from this period and our visit will place them in their historic and local context with time spent in both The Hague and Amsterdam with shorter visits to Delft, Haarlem and Rotterdam.

andalucia Revealed

Romans, Christians & Moors

Wednesday 17 - Wednesday 24 October 2018 (8 Days)
Sun-drenched mountain ranges, white-washed towns and villages – the setting through which Carthaginians, Romans, Christian Visigoths, Moors and Christian re-conquerors all paraded, creating one of the great repositories of visual culture, Andalucía. Based successively in Cordoba, Seville and Granada discover this remarkable part of Spain.

moscow & the birth of russia

kremlins & cathedrals

Thursday 8 - Monday 12 November 2018 (5 Days)
What can one say about a capital city both feared and envied? Moscow is both, a beacon for those who see Russia’s strength in its illustrious medieval past, but also a symbol of its unwillingness to accept the modern world at face value. This is the perfect opportunity to explore this ambiguity while exploring its Kremlin, its cathedrals and its mighty museums and musical life.

Connoisseurs' St Petersburg

Collecting the Best

Monday 12 - Sunday 18 November 2018 (7 Days)
Imagine St Petersburg without crowds, the Hermitage empty of groups interested only in ‘selfies’? Our visit will allow you to experience a radically different city from that of most visitors as we explore its great museums and palaces, with frequent access both ‘behind the scenes’ and on occasion, when closed to the public.

Turin & the House of Savoy

Elegance Personified

Monday 26 - Friday 30 November 2018 (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.

The life & times of Tintoretto

Turning darkness into light

Monday 3 - Friday 7 December 2018 (5 Days)
One of the greatest of all Venetian sixteenth century painters, Jacopo Robusti, known as ‘Tintoretto’, was born in Venice in 1518. To mark this date, later this year Venice will host three related exhibitions on the artist and his milieu and we have decided to offer our clients the opportunity to join us in Venice this December.

Rome & the Grand Tour

Et in Arcadia Ego

Saturday 23 February - Friday 1 March 2019 (7 Days)
For two millennia Rome has dominated the culture of Europe and has fascinated generations of intelligent travellers from the British Isles, Europe and beyond. Arriving in Italy on ‘The Grand Tour’, the climax of this great adventure was a period spent in Rome; a journey of discovery we shall recreate in miniature, giving participants the perspective of a ‘Grand Tourist’ of the eighteenth century.

art & music in Munich

Ludwig II & wagner

Wednesday 20 - Monday 25 March 2019 (6 Days)
Music lovers owe King Ludwig II of Bavaria thanks for supporting the ‘impossible’ Richard Wagner at a vital point in his life. This relationship will form part of the extraordinary story of the Wittlesbach Dukes, Electors and Kings of Bavaria as we explore their remarkable patronage, enlivened by three wonderful operas including Parsifal at the Bavarian State Opera.

Houses & Gardens of Cork


Sunday 23 - Friday 28 June 2019 (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