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
Study Day

Art & Spectacle

George IV:

Wednesday 12 February 2020
Uniting the eye of a ‘connoisseur’ with the duties of a monarch has not been much in evidence over the centuries. However, one of the great exceptions was George IV who formed an unrivalled collection of art. We shall explore much of this, which remains in the Royal Collection, to be displayed in a landmark exhibition at the Queen’s Gallery.

Discover raphael's rome

painters & popes

Tuesday 24 - Saturday 28 March 2020 (5 Days)
This tour to Rome is timed to coincide with the 500th anniversary of Raphael’s death and we shall trace his life and work in the city over the twelve years of his Roman career - to include the exhibition which will take place in Rome early in 2020, when major works from all over the world will return to Rome, many of them for the first time since originally created.

petra, jerash & the treasures of jordan

arabia felix

Tuesday 14 - Thursday 23 April 2020 (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.

Lucca, Pisa & Their Treasures

prosperity's bounty

Saturday 25 - Thursday 30 April 2020 (6 Days)
The history of medieval Italy is a most colourful patchwork of clashing egos. Florence, Siena, Pisa and Lucca formed a bewildering series of alliances, engaging in endless betrayals of each other, yet leaving Tuscany the most extraordinary range of architectural and artistic delights including strongly walled cities, magnificent castles and the fortified palaces of each city’s noble families.
Study Day

Love, Desire, Death


Wednesday 13 May 2020
Five of Titian’s greatest works, his epic series of large-scale mythological paintings, the ‘poesie’, will be brought together for the first time since 1704 at the National Gallery next March. Join us for a Study Day with Tom Duncan to explore these visual interpretations of Classical myth of the early modern era - touchstone works in the history of European painting for their rich, expressive rendering.

Extremadura's Riches Revealed

Romans & Conquistadors

Saturday 16 - Saturday 23 May 2020 (8 Days)
Extremadura is a long series of endless contrasts and surprises – lush pastures, blossom covered hills, ancient towns built by the Romans, peaceful monasteries in hidden valleys, buildings reflecting connections with the conquistadors of the new world and the most fabulous gastronomy.

Church & State in North West Russia

Monasteries & Kremlins

Sunday 31 May - Monday 8 June 2020 (9 Days)
Mention the word ‘Kremlin’ and that great complex looming over Moscow is imprinted on all our memories, visual and literal. At many levels the history of Russian Orthodoxy is also the history of Russia itself. Our new tour will untangle this relationship between church and state as we explore the territory north and east of St Petersburg, ending in Moscow.
Study Day

Life & Art Confronted

Artemisia Gentileschi

Wednesday 24 June 2020
Infamous and talented, Artemisia Gentileschi (despite her torrid private life) enjoyed a long and successful career as a painter, spanning more than 40 years. Works from public and private collections around the world come together at the National Gallery to give a vivid overview of her career.

Houses & Gardens of Cork


Sunday 5 - Friday 10 July 2020 (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.

Connoisseurs' Yorkshire

Amidst the Hills & Dales

Sunday 19 - Friday 24 July 2020 (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

Monday 3 - Friday 7 August 2020 (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.

Lisbon & sintra

Explorers’ rewards

Saturday 12 - Thursday 17 September 2020 (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.

The Irish Country House & Garden

the harp & crown

Sunday 27 September - Friday 2 October 2020 (6 Days)
Dublin was the second city of the emerging British Empire for much of the Georgian period, its handsome architecture a testament to its prosperity. The surrounding counties hosted a series of extravagant country houses such as Castletown and Russborough. Visiting in Autumn we shall also include some stunning gardens including Jimi Blake’s Hunting Brook and Helen Dillon’s new Dublin garden.

andalucia & its golden age

Romans, Christians & Moors

Wednesday 14 - Wednesday 21 October 2020 (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.

Berlin & Potsdam

Prussia & the Rise of Germany

Sunday 25 - Friday 30 October 2020 (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.

Donizetti in Bergamo

A festive weekend

Wednesday 18 - Sunday 22 November 2020 (5 Days)
Bergamo is a most handsome small city. Each November it hosts an annual celebration of Gaetano Donizetti, one of Italy’s most engaging (and prolific) composers, and a Bergamo native. Our new tour will combine a weekend of music with the other delights of this lovely city, full of stunning churches, private palaces and one of Italy’s best smaller picture galleries.
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Tours & Study Days