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

Spring Gardens of Ireland

Celtic Blossoms

Wednesday 24 April - Friday 3 May 2019 (10 Days)
For sheer theatrical impact, the massed ranks of rhododendrons, azaleas and magnolias found in Ireland’s spring gardens is hard to beat. Iconic gardens such as Mount Congreve, Fota, Birr Castle Demesne, Kilmacurragh, Powercourt and that jewel of jewels, Mount Stewart will all be included. Based at very comfortable hotels including the renowned Ballymaloe House, this may very well be the ultimate post-winter tonic?
Study Day


National Portrait Gallery

Wednesday 8 May 2019
Late spring will see the National Portrait Gallery host the first major exhibition on Tudor and Jacobean portrait miniatures for over thirty-five years. This irresistible opportunity will be the focus of our Study Day Elizabethan Treasures, led by Tom Duncan.

villas & gardens of lazio

popes & princes at rest

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.

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.

Discovering Northamptonshire

Competitive Baroque

Sunday 30 June - Friday 5 July 2019 (6 Days)
Northamptonshire contains a series of outstanding country estates, largely still owned by the families who created them. Housing rich art collections and fabulous baroque architecture, this tour will introduce you to intriguing characters and a sequence of masterpieces.

Edinburgh & its Hinterland

The Scottish Enlightenment

Sunday 14 - Friday 19 July 2019 (6 Days)
Edinburgh’s fame as the 'Athens of the North' rests on strong foundations reflected in works of the many intellectuals, architects and artists who lived and worked in the city. Through visits to the great museums, art galleries, the city’s famed Botanic Gardens and forays into the surrounding countryside when we visit a number of marvellous private houses, this will be an Edinburgh full of endless surprises.

Treasure Houses of the Tweed Valley

A Scottish Surprise

Sunday 21 - Friday 26 July 2019 (6 Days)
Organised for the Patrons & Friends of Banbury Museum. The handsome castles and houses, art collections and wonderful gardens of Scotland's 'Border' country are not widely known. Our visit will be an unrivalled introduction to magnificent treasures, many of which are not often seen by the public and where we shall be entertained privately in some style!

Music & Gardens in Sussex

The Glyndebourne Festival

Monday 5 - Friday 9 August 2019 (5 Days)
Glyndeboune 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.

Exploring ulster

Quis separabit

Sunday 1 - Sunday 8 September 2019 (8 Days)
Quis Separabit - ‘who shall separate’ is a motto much connected with Irish history, drawing attention to the many links between Britain and Ireland over the centuries. Discover how these links have shaped Ulster, ancient and modern, as we explore its remarkable history, its wonderful scenery and above all its private and hidden treasures in city and country.

Villas & Gardens on Como & Lugano

Lakeside Idyll

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.

Connoisseurs’ venice

Patricians & Painters

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.

Leonardo & the Court of Milan

The Universal Artist

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.

Christmas in St Petersburg

Sugar Plum Fairies

Sunday 22 - Friday 27 December 2019 (6 Days)
Tchaikovsky’s ballet, The Nutcracker, was premiered in St Petersburg at Christmas, 1882. So where better to celebrate next December than in Russia’s old Imperial capital, cosseted amidst the comfort of the historic 5* Astoria Hotel? Enjoy gently paced visits to the Hermitage, the Yusupov Palace, the Fabergé Museum and two of the great country palaces. And, then there is the ballet, opera and concert programme, including, of course, The Nutcracker!
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Tours & Study Days