We meet in Vicenza at 2.30pm to register and board our coach for the first destination.
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.
We begin with a country breakfast, Veneto style then it’s on the bus 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 includes morning refreshments, lunch and guided tour.
About 4:30 we’ll head back to the farm stay only minutes away for a rest before the optional visit to nearby Castelfranco Veneto with its grand medieval wall. Those who wish can remain at Ca’ de Memi and dine there at their own expense. Those who wish to go to Castelfranco will travel there on our coach, enjoy the traditional passeggiata around the town, dine at your choice of restaurants and perhaps finish with a gelato before returning to Ca’ de Memi on our coach. Dinner and drinks on this evening outing are not included in the tour price.
A repeat of Michela’s homemade pastries and fresh farm eggs for breakfast before we head off to the World Heritage listed Palladian Villa Emo. At villa Emo we are greeted by a qualified 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 and a chance to sample the Villa’s own wines before we head off to lunch.
Lunch is in the beautiful medieval hilltop town of Asolo at Due Mori where fine local cuisine is served in a most spectacular setting.
Asolo also offers a wealth of sketching possibilities where we could spend the whole afternoon exploring the alleyways and lookouts while populating the sketchbook. Here Liz will throw up a 1 hour sketching challenge using varying techniques of line first, colour later or colour first, line after.
For those who like to keep on the move, after Liz’s afternoon demonstration sketch, the coach will take us to the stunning Villa Sandi winery, renowned for its Prosecco and wines from the Valdobbiadene area as well as some very fine grappa for those who dare. The stunning Palladian style villa has a fascinating history which includes the rabbit warren of tunnels now used as cellars and offers plenty of opportunity for sketching.
Some may have preferred to remain in Asolo where we return for the night. The evening is free to explore Asolo’s sites, bars and restaurants.
Dinner on Day 3 is not included but we will offer suggestions on the night.
After breakfast at the hotel we pack our bags and head to Villa Barbaro in Maser, the most sumptuous though less characteristic of Palladio’s work. 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 take us through the villa. This morning Liz’s focus is on classical architecture with some instruction on capturing its essential elements through line exercises, followed by a relaxed session under the trees in adjacent the paddock.
This villa also has a wine cellar where those who wish can sample their wares. 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. The afternoon session will see us gathered on the riverbank to sketch the iconic view of Bassano and its Ponte.
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. Dinner on Day 4 is not included but we will offer suggestions on the night.
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 guidance on these techniques. For lunch grab a sandwich from any of the numerous bars and begin your exploration of the city. Liz and I will suggest a few locations where you can sketch and you will have time to ask specific questions about your sketching.
The afternoon session 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. Aperitifs and dinner are included on day 5.
Day 6. And so the tour ends
The next 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. Arrivederci. Hope to see you again and enjoy the rest of your travels.