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

Connoisseurs’ venice

Patricians & Painters

Monday 11 - Saturday 16 November 2019 (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.

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.

Dutch & Spanish masters

REMBRANDT & Velázquez

Tuesday 7 - Friday 10 January 2020 (4 Days)
As part of 2019: The Year of Rembrandt, celebrating the 400th anniversary of his birth, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in conjunction with Madrid’s Prado, have organised an exhibition which will examine the work of both these painters in the company of their major contemporaries. Our visit will place them in their historic context with time spent in both The Hague and Amsterdam.

Dutch & Spanish masters

REMBRANDT & Velázquez

Monday 13 - Thursday 16 January 2020 (4 Days)
As part of 2019: The Year of Rembrandt, celebrating the 400th anniversary of his birth, the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, in conjunction with Madrid’s Prado, have organised an exhibition which will examine the work of both these painters in the company of their major contemporaries. Our visit will place them in their historic context with time spent in both The Hague and Amsterdam.
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.

beethoven in bonn

a symphonic revolution

Sunday 15 - Sunday 22 March 2020 (8 Days)
Beethoven was born in Bonn in 1770 and we celebrate the 250th anniversary of this occasion when we take a group to Bonn next March for a Festival Week when all his symphonies will be performed, supported by visits to Cologne, Aachen, Brühl and elsewhere.

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.
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.

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.

Houses & Gardens of 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, Carton 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.

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