PALLADIAN ODYSSEY – VENETO INTINERARY
Monday – Day 1
We meet in Vicenza at 2.30pm to register and board our coach for the first destination. Our meeting place is in the hotel lobby where we will later stay (this will be confirmed by direct email to all guests upon finalisation of booking). From our meeting place in Vicenza we head by private coach to our farm stay in Ca’ de Memi in Piombino Dese about 40 minutes from Vicenza and home to the magnificent Villa Cornaro.
Arriving at Ca’ de Memi farm stay we’ll be greeted by our host Michela with refreshments. Liz will then introduce us to the workshop structure with some preliminary sketching concepts and some fun exercises.
The evening meal at Ca’ de Memi will feature the freshest seasonal ingredients from the farm as well as fine wines from selected boutique wineries of the region served around a grand banquet table for the whole group.
Included on Day 1:
- Coach trip to Ca’ de Memi
- Refreshments on arrival
- Introductory workshop by Liz
- Dinner with local wines, desert wine and coffee
Tuesday – Day 2
We begin with a country breakfast, Veneto style then it’s on the coach to the stately 16th century Ca’ Marcello for our first day of the sketching workshop. Our host, Count Jacopo Marcello will give us a guided tour of the villa and gardens owned by his family for five centuries then it’s down to work.
Here Liz will take us through her “architecture in lines and volumes” workshop using the elements of the villa as the subject. After a light banquet lunch including the Marcello family’s own wines and a strong black coffee to invigorate us (herb tea if you prefer), we spend the afternoon in the extensive gardens with Liz guiding us through her “using shapes” technique. The visit to Ca’ Marcello includes morning refreshments, lunch and guided tour.
About 4:00 we’ll head back to the farm stay only minutes away for a rest before a short evening stroll to the nearby Palladian Villa Cornaro characterised by its double order facade.
Later we visit nearby Castelfranco Veneto with its grand medieval wall. Those who prefer to relax or rest can remain at Ca’ de Memi and dine there. The visitors to Castelfranco will travel there on our coach, enjoy the traditional passeggiata around the town, enjoy a light dinner and perhaps finish with a gelato before returning to Ca’ de Memi on our coach.
Included on Day 2:
- Coach trip to Ca’ Marcello
- Guided tour of Ca’ Marcello
- Morning and afternoon workshops by Liz
- Morning tea or coffee with pastries
- Buffet Lunch with villa’s own wines
- Walking tour of Villa Cornaro
- Evening visit to Castelfranco Veneto with dinner.
Wednesday – Day 3
We begin with repeat of Michela’s homemade pastries and fresh farm eggs for breakfast before we head to Villa Barbaro in Maser. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, this Villa is possibly the most sumptuous though less characteristic of Palladio’s works. Set against the backdrop of the foothills of the Dolomites and with the nearby Tempietto, this site will have you breaking out the sketch book before you step off the coach but wait, our expert guide is there to introduce us to Palladio and take us through the villa. After the guided tour Liz’s workshop focuses on classical architecture with some instruction on capturing its essential elements through line exercises. A relaxed sketching session under the trees in the adjacent paddock with a view of the Tempietto takes us to the lunchtime degustation of a fine selection of wines from the Maser winery with cheeses and cured hams from the local region.
There’s a brief opportunity to shop for souvenirs before we board our coach and head to Asolo for an afternoon of relaxed sketching in amongst the winding streets of the unique hilltop medieval town. Here Liz will throw up a 1 hour sketching challenge using varying techniques of line first, colour later or colour first, line after and take the opportunity for some one one guidance as she moves around the group.
Our dinner venue, Due Mori, takes full advantage of the location and fine local produce – bringing to the table a delicious menu and some fine local wines in a most spectacular setting overlooking the plains beyond the rolling vineyards.
Included on Day 3:
- Coach trip to Villa Maser and guided tour
- Sketching workshop by Liz in grounds of Villa Maser
- light lunch and wine degustation
- Afternoon demonstration by Liz with rapid sketching exercise
Thursday – Day 4
After breakfast at the hotel we pack our bags and head to villa Emo. We are again greeted by our Palladian tour guide for a tour of the villa and it’s prized artworks. Here sketchers may need to make a choice as is often the case when travelling. Do I stay with the hour long tour of the villa or start sketching in the courtyard? Or perhaps sketch as I move around the Villa. Here Liz focuses on “how to tell a story of a building”. There’s still plenty of time to sketch in the grounds under Liz’s guidance after the guided tour.
Then it’s off to Bassano Del Grappa, famed for the Palladian bridge, Ponte degli Alpini. Lunch is at the riverfront restaurant where the creamy polenta is a must. After lunch we cross into the old city for a short exploration of the Castello degli Ezzelini and into the Piazza before we gather on the Brenta riverbank to sketch the iconic view of Bassano and its Ponte degli Alpini.
Our day ends back in Vicenza where we check in for two nights. The evening is free to explore this beautiful city and to enjoy the bustling night life or just to relax in the hotel and recharge for the busy day ahead.
Included on Day 4:
- Visit to Villa Emo with guided tour
- Sketching workshop by Liz in grounds of Villa Emo
- Gourmet lunch in Bassano del Grappa with wine and coffee
- Tour of Ponte degli Alpini, Castello and Piazza
- Afternoon workshop by Liz focussed on the Ponte (bridge).
- Coach transport to all venues
This is your night off so dinner is not included but we will offer suggestions on the night.
Friday – Day 5
We’ve saved the best till last and Vicenza will not disappoint. This stunning city of Palladian palazzi and vibrant street life is a thriving commercial and arts centre for the region. Our day begins as always with the hotel’s breakfast then we head to the Piazza dei Signori where Liz will demonstrate sketching the Loggia. The streets running away from the piazza also offer great opportunities for framing your composition and Liz will give a demonstration and guidance on these techniques. For lunch we savour a panino or a salad in the Piazza dei Signori.
The afternoon session is an informal one where you choose your preferred sketching location. It can be as long as you want it but we recommend a rest back at the hotel before we meet for aperitifs at the rooftop bar of the Basilica at 6:00pm. Dinner is then in the piazza at Angolo Palladio where tourist and locals queue for hours for the experience. We’ll have booked of course.
Included on Day 5:
- Walking tour of the historic centre of Vicenza
- Sketching workshop by Liz in Piazza dei Signori
- Light lunch in the piazza
- Supervised sketching through the afternoon at various locations in the historic center
- Evening rooftop aperitifs and tour of the Basilica Palladiana
- Final dinner at Angolo Palladio in the piazza
On the final morning we will have an informal gathering in the piazza after breakfast where you’ll have an opportunity to show you work and see that of your travel companions. Then it’s farewell from Liz and Mike as the Odyssey officially ends, but there is still plenty to explore in and around Vicenza. The Teatro Olimpico and the Villa Capra are not to be missed and we will be happy to give directions if not accompany you to some of these interesting places. So why not stay an extra night and explore Vicenza. It is also only a half hour train ride to Venice or Verona making for an unforgettable day trip to one of these romantic cities. There are endless possibilities to finish off this adventure so for now it’s arrivederci from Liz & Mike. Hope to see you again and enjoy the rest of your sketching travels.
Included on Day 6:
- Coffee in the Piazza
- Free time to explore Vicenza and surrounds