Italy Study Tour 2019

Join us for the 58th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

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Join us for 12 art-filled days in Veneto & Lombardy and the 58th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia.

Focusing on early modern to modern and contemporary art, architecture and culture in the Veneto and Lombardy regions of northeast and northwest Italy.

This twelve-day Italy study tour offers a stimulating excursion through the rich artistic, architectural and cultural histories of the Veneto and Lombardy regions, both past and present. Journeying from Venice to Verona, Mantua to Milan, tour participants will discover Byzantine and Moorish-inspired basilicas and palaces, Renaissance altarpieces, Palladian and Baroque architecture, Rococo frescoes in country villas, modern art and architecture, and engage in thought-provoking discussions of contemporary art and architecture at the celebrated Venice Biennale.


  • 3 - 14 September 2019
  • Tour Price: TBC
  • Single Supplement: TBC / person
  • Italy
  • Tour led by Elisha Masemann


Tour theme: Art ‘The Old & The New’

  • Venice, Italy

Benvenuto in Italia! Welcome to Italy, home to many of the world’s greatest works of art, architecture and gastronomy.

This morning starts with a visit to St Mark’s Basilica and Palazzo Ducale / Doge’s Palace. We’ll then walk to Fondaco dei Tedeschi –  a 13th century merchant trading post that underwent largescale renovations by OMA architects 2009-16, the top floor today has an public lookout with magnificent views over the Grand Canal! Before lunch a visit to the Rialto bridge and markets.

This afternoon we’ll visit Basilica dei Frari and Scuola Grande di San Rocco to view works by Bellini, Titian, Tintoretto and Tiepolo. Time allowing we’ll also visit Gallerie dell/Accademia (Dorsoduro) before returning to our accommodation.

Meals Included: Breakfast

  • Venice, Italy

After breakfast you’ll be treated to a presentation on the highlights of the Venice Biennale by your tour leader. Based in the quieter Castello and Giardini area of Venice, today includes a full day at the Venice Biennale Giardini with a lunch stop in Castello or one of the Biennale cafes.

This afternoon we’ll view the Arsenale exhibitions, including the New Zealand pavilion.

*Further details to come as 2019 Biennale schedule is released

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch

  • Venice, Italy

This morning visit the Palazzo Grimani, residence of former Venetian doge, Antonio Grimani, and Querini Stampalia, a unique ‘house museum’ since 1869; restored between 1959-63 by Venetian-born celebrated modern architect, Carlo Scarpa. We will stop into the unusual Libreria Acqua Alta / The Library of High Water.

After lunch, take a leisurely 40 minute boat trip to the island of Burano to view the colourful houses.

Meals Included: breakfast

  • Venice, Italy

This morning take a Vaporetto to San Giorgio di Maggiore (Palladio); back to Basilica Santa Maria della Salute (Longhena), then to Santa Maria dei Gesuati (Massari) in Dorsoduro to take in Renaissance and Venetian Baroque architecture.

This afternoon visit the Peggy Guggenheim collection.

This evening visit Scala Contarini del Bovolo to see recent architectural renovations on this extraordinary small palazzo off the beaten track. You’ll also have the opportunity to view the city from the top of the unique external spiral staircase!

Meals Included: breakfast

  • Padua, Italy

This morning we depart Venice. We’ll take a full day cruise down the Brenta Riviera to Padua stopping off for guided tours of formerly private Venetian villas such as the Villa Foscari (Malcontenta) designed by celebrated Renaissance architect, Andrea Palladio.

We arrive in Padua at approximatley 7pm this evening.

Meals included: breakfast

  • Vicenza, Italy

This morning we’ll walk to Scrovegni Chapel for a guided tour followed by a morning tea at the Pedrocchi café. Time allowing, we’ll also walk to view the Basilica di Sant’Antonio.

This afternoon train to Vicenza (approx. 1 hour). After checking into our accommodatioin join the group for some refreshments.

Meals Included: breakfast

  • Vicenza, Italy

After breakfast join your tour leader for a presentation on Palladian architecture and sites. Catch a shuttle to  Santuario di Monte Berico (Church of St. Mary of Mount Berico) where we’ll pause for gelato with splendid views over Vicenza. We’ll then head to Villa Valmarna ai Nani with frescoes by 18th century Venetian master Giambattista Tiepolo and garden statuary and visit the Villa la Rotonda designed by Palladio.

We’ll return to Vicenza this afternoon where the remainder of the day will be at leisure.

Meals Included: breakfast

  • Verona, Italy

This morning we’ll depart Vicenza and travel to Verona by train (approx 1 hour). Upon arrival in Verona, walk to San Zeno Maggiore and Museo di Castelvecchio.

In the late afternoon an optional walking tour to Piazzale Castel San Pietro for excellent views of Verona (this is a steep walk!).

In the evening perhaps join your tour group for a canal-side dinner.

Meals Included: breakfast, dinner

  • Verona, Italy

Today take a half day regional tour to Sirmione on Lake Garda before returning to Verona in the early afternoon.

This evening visit the Arena for an evening opera (if available).

Meals Included: breakfast

  • Milan, Italy

After breakfast we leave Verona and head to Mantua (approx 1 hour). Upon arrival in Mantua vsit the Ducal Palace and Camera degli Sposi to view Andrea Mantegna’s frescoes.

This afternoon we train to Milan (approx 2.5 hours). After checking into our accommodation, head out for dinner with your tour group.

Meals Included: breakfast, dinner

  • Milan, Itlay

This morning we visit Convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan to view Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. This afternoon we’ll walk through Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II and visit the Milan Cathedral.

Meals Included: breakfast

  • Milan, Italy

Today we take a day trip to Lake Como (approx 1hr 45). Enjoy a  2-hour boat cruise on the lake, stopping in Bellagio for lunch. A nice way to complete the tour and chat about everything you’ve have seen along the way!

We’ll retun to Milan in the evening and enjoy a final group dinner.

Meals Included: breakfast, lunch, dinner


Milan, Italy

Your guided tour ends this morning. There are no activities planned for today and you’re free to depart the accommodation at any time before check-out.

Meals Included: breakfast

Tour leader

Elisha Masemann

Elisha Masemann

Professional Teaching Fellow & Postdoctoral Fellow in Art History

Elisha recently completed her doctoral thesis in Art History at the University of Auckland. Her thesis analysed artistic responses to contentious urban conditions since the mid-twentieth century, tracing entanglements between diverse strands of contemporary art and powerful ideologies that organise cities as social, cultural, political and economic structures. Alongside academic research, Elisha is an experienced teaching assistant in Art History in courses ranging from early modern to modern art, contemporary art, theory and writing studies. In 2019 Elisha will begin a professional teaching fellowship at the University of Auckland while continuing to develop her own research through a postdoctoral fellowship funded by the Kate Edger Charitable Trust. In leading the Italy Study Tour 2019, Elisha is pursuing a long term goal to combine her passion for art history, travel and sharing knowledge with art enthusiasts of all ages.

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