$ 4, 888 per person in double occupancy.

$ 700 single supplement

Included in the price:

2 nights in Vicenza, 2 nights in Bassano del Grappa, 5 nights in Venice, breakfasts, 4 lunches, 5 dinners with wine, reference books,

Maps, entrances fees to all the visited sites, private guides, taxes & tips,

pick up at VENICE airport on arrival, transportation while with the tour, Accident/Medical Insurance



On the  of May, You will be picked up at the Venice airport or the Vicenza train station, depending how you decide to reach the beautiful and historic city of Vicenza, founded in the second century BC; a picturesque canvas for Palladio’s architectural genius. Vicenza was enlisted as UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1994.

Upon our arrival in Vicenza, you will go first to our hotel, and then have time to relax and explore the city on your own before we meet for dinner.

The next morning we will embark on a walking tour of the town center, and visit the Andrea Palladio-designed Teatro Olimpico, which was constructed between 1580-1585, making it the oldest, and only, surviving Renaissance theater in the world. In the  afternoon, we shall visit Palladio’s iconic villa La Rotonda, and Villa Valmarana. The Villa includes the Palazzina (1657), the Foresteria (Guest House) and Scuderia (Stables) built by Francesco Muttoni in 1720. It gets its name from the statues of the 17 dwarfs on the walls surrounding the house, most likely from the drawing by Giandomenico Tiepolo. The Palazzina and the Foresteria have frescoes by Giambattista and Giandomenico Tiepolo, hired in 1757 by Giustino Valmarana. His descendants still live in the Villa, which is universally considered the maximum expression of the painting of the eighteenth century and one of the highest examples of the Tiepolo’s genius.

We shall then walk up the hill to the Basilica di Monte Berico, where we will visit the Refectory, and also the Sanctuary, which houses the famous painting "Feast of St. Gregory the Great" by Veronese.

The following morning, the group will take in the Palladio Museum and also the Palladio-designed Palazzo Chiericati, with which we will conclude our time in Vicenza.


In the afternoon, we shall make our way to Bassano del Grappa, a very pretty little town with a bridge designed by Palladio by our own private bus, stopping en route to visit two more of Palladio’s famous villas:  Emo and Barbaro - the latter being home to frescos by Paolo Veronese and sculptures by Alessandro Vittoria. We will then spend the night in Bassano, and have dinner together.

The next morning there will be a tour of the medieval town of Bassano del Grappa, and a walk across the Palladio-designed covered wooden bridge that spans the Brenta river. The city itself was originally named Bassano Veneto, but later changed to honor the many thousands of lives lost in battle on Mount Grappa during WWI. Later that afternoon, we will visit the picturesque little town of Marostica,and then return to spend the night in Bassano.


Staying in a small boutique hotel by a canal, in a quiet but convenient neighborhood, we will have time to get settled in, before having dinner together. The next day, we will begin our exploration of the spectacular city of Venezia. As is customary in Italy, we are obliged to have an official guide and are very fortunate that ours is both a native Venetian and accredited sommelier, who knows not only the city as only a person born there can, but also as a specialist in the wines and foods of the region. To do justice to Venice, we will do most of our tours of the city on foot, or take vaporetti.

We will again stray away from the usual tourist haunts, and instead spend time seeking out charming secluded neighborhoods, intimate squares where we can pause at a café or gelateria, as well as some of the grandi palazzi.

We will have time to savor the music, art, food and rich culture of this historic metropolis, because we are there to breathe all that is Venice, and for that reason you will have plenty of free time, in-between our tours, to embrace the city on your own.

Over the next five days, we will spend part of each day with guided visits, and have at least one more dinner together. However, there will also be opportunities, if you so wish, to visit some more of Palladio’s magnificent works, such as The Chiesa del Santissimo Redentore, better known as Il Redentore, built to thank God for saving the city from a horrendous plague. Or, there is the 16th century Benedictine basilica, San Giorgio Maggiore, on the urban island of the same name, the model of which was designed by Palladio, who arrived in Venice in 1560, but not completed before his death. Among some of his other more notable Venetian projects are: the Carità convent, which is now the Gallerie dell’Accademia, where he designed part of the courtyard; the façade of San Francesco della Vigna; and the Zittelle church and hospice, which was the first building ever designed specifically for music.

But there is more, with the islands of Murano and Burano, both having their own particular charm. And the interesting Peggy Guggenheim Museum and evidently the Basilica and Doge Palace, both worth a visit which will not be the typical one experienced by most tourists. Venice has many interesting neighborhoods not always frequented by the people who tend to stick on Piazza San Marco and a few streets near-by loaded with souvenir shops.

Lastly, on May …, you will be flying out of Venice. The perfect end to what we hope will have been a great trip.


Villa Emo

trompe l’oeil Corinthian columns in

Villa Barbaro

May 2013. Palace of the Dodges, Venice. Sara, our guide ahead of the group.

Only 6 people are seen out of ten, the others are behind. Three people on this picture have traveled twice and two have traveled three times with me.

Villa Barbaro

The Lion of Venice, with the open book, under Saint Marc, on the facade of the basilica.

Vicenza and Palladio, the villas of Palladio, Bassano del Grappa, Venice

The Italian architect, Andrea Di Pietro della Gondola, better known simply as Palladio (1508-1580), is considered to have wielded “significant influence” on building design throughout the Western world.  He began his career as a stonecutter, but soon graduated to working as a stonemason and sculptor. As such, he caught the eye of the Humanist poet and scholar, Gian Georgia Tressino, who took him under his wing and is credited with introducing Palladio to the work of Vitruvius – the 1st century roman architect and author of De Architectura (known today as ‘The Ten Books on Architecture’), which is believed to have subsequently shaped Palladio’s view of, and approach to, classical architecture. You will have the opportunity to see just to what degree, as you travel to and between the magnificent cities of Vicenza, Bassano, and Venice, to seek out examples of his work, and that of some of the most treasured artists, architects, and sculptors of Italy.

Rotonda - Vicenza

Teatro Olimpico - Vicenza

Rotonda, Malcontenta, Barbaro, Emo, Villa Pisani a Stra, 5 nights in Venice,  8 participants

Dear Jean,

Thank you for making our trip so interesting, fun, gastronomic, and just amazing!

Caron and Gary Kelly,

Stuart, Florida

Gardens & stables of the Villa Pisani - 17th C.


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The final leg of our journey will begin the following day, as we travel in our bus towards Venice, with stops to visit a few of the many beautiful and historic villas on the way. We will see Palladio’s magnificent Villa Foscari - La Malcontenta (completed  in 1555), as well as others, such as the the late baroque Villa Pisani, built for the doge Pisani, by Francesco Maria Preti.

We shall then complete our drive to Venice, and subsequently be transported to our hotel by water taxi.   

Click on pictures to enlarge them

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JEAN RENOUX has organized tours worldwide for over thirty years. He discovered the fascinating out-of-the way places off the beaten tourist path and developed local relationships.



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