At the head of the Adriatic, floating on the ephemeral islets of the lagoon, is the city of Venice. We explore both the great churches, palaces and museums, and the lesser-known hidden gems too.
In a city famed for its Renaissance architecture, elaborate bridges and iconic canals, there is no better place to become inspired than in the very home of Canaletto.
We explore the once-mighty republic on-foot and by boat and uncover the heart and soul of it with a visit to the traditional Dorsoduro boatyard. These carefully crafted Gondolas are synonymous with this beautiful floating city. We cross the water to the island of Torcello, a tiny island that is home to some impressive sights that include Venetian-Byzantine mosaics and a beautifully decorated cathedral.
We touch down in Venice in time for lunch and then head for the Accademia, where a viewing of Giorgione’s masterpiece, The Tempest, helps us put Venetian art history in the picture. Tonight we enjoy our first dinner as a group.
Time stands still today, as we paint amid the boatyard of Dorsoduro. Here boat builders continue to craft the city’s gondolas, creating endlessly captivating tableaus. A brilliant opportunity to capture a unique Venetian tradition.
Following breakfast we cross to Torcello, a former home to Hemingway, and the setting for Du Maurier’s ghostly novel, “Don’t Look Now.” After lunch here and a morning painting, we travel across the lagoon to Burano and Murano.
The fourth day of our trip is entirely free for us to explore Venice independently. Drink in some of the city’s wonderful galleries, shop for souvenirs at bustling local markets, delve in to some glorious churches, or pick up your pencils and sketch the hurly-burly of St. Mark’s Square.
We begin our penultimate day at the world-renowned Guggenheim Museum, where we set up on the terrace and paint the Grand Canal. After lunch at a famous family-run restaurant, Trattoria Altanella, we spend our afternoon at the Geoffrey Humphries Studio, a well-known centre for music and art, which attracts painters from all over the world.
After a relaxed last morning we board for our return flight home.
Susanna Bailey first travelled as an artist when she won the Nancy Balfour Scholarship during her postgraduate years at the Slade School. Her love of drawing and painting has taken her all over the world as a tutor, and as a working artist. A colourist, specialising in watercolour, she is popular, charismatic and fun. She enjoys sharing her love of art history and believes that careful teaching of sketching, colour, composition and the best use of materials, gives confidence and wonderful results. She delivers a structured week through demonstration and one-to-one tuition.