Art Tour of Europe

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Art Tour of Europe – day by day itinerary

Flight Johannesburg / Barcelona

Today we depart from ORT airport to Barcelona. Enjoy on-board meals and entertainment as we cross Africa on our way to Spain.

Day 1

Barcelona /La Rambla / Barri Gotic / Picasso Museum / Sagrada Familia

Arrive Paris and continue on a flight to Barcelona. On arrivalmeet our representative and start a half day tour of Barcelona. We will visit La Rambla, Berri Gotic, Museu Picasso and Sagrada Famila.

La Rambla – Five separate streets strung end to end, La Rambla (also called Las Ramblas) is a tree-lined pedestrian boulevard packed with buskers, living statues, mimes and itinerant salespeople selling everything from lottery tickets to jewellery. We visit the noisy bird market on the second block of La Rambla and the nearby Palau de la Virreina, a grand 18th-century rococo mansion, with arts and entertainment. Next door is La Rambla’s most colourful market, the Mercat de la Boqueria. Just south of the Boqueria the Mosaic de Miró punctuates the pavement, with one tile signed by the artist. The next section of La Rambla boasts the Gran Teatre del Liceu, the famous 19th-century opera house. La Rambla terminates at the lofty Monument a Colom (Monument to Columbus) and the harbor. Just west of the monument, on Avinguda de les Drassanes, stand the Reials Drassanes (Royal Shipyards), which house the fascinating Museu Marítim. It has more seafaring paraphernalia than you’d care to wag a sextant at – boats, models, maps, paintings, ships’ figureheads and 16th-century galleys.

Barri Gotic – The Barri Gotic contains a concentration of medieval Gothic buildings only a few blocks northeast of La Rambla, and is the nucleus of old Barcelona. Most of the buildings date from the 14th and 15th century. Around the Catedral, one of Spain’s greatest Gothic buildings, ancient walls incorporated into later structures. The quarter is centred around the Plaça de Sant Jaume, a spacious square, the site of a busy market and one of the venues for the weekly dancing of the sardana. Two of the city’s most significant buildings are here, the Ajuntament and the Palau de la Generalitat.

Museu Picasso – It’s housed in three strikingly beautiful stone mansions on the Carrer de Montcada, which was, in medieval times, an approach to the port. The museum shows numerous works that trace the artist’s early years, and is especially strong on his Blue Period with canvases like The Defenceless, ceramics and his early works from the 1890s. The second floor shows works from Barcelona and Paris from 1900-1904, with many of his impressionist-influenced works. The haunting Portrait of Senyora Canals (1905), from his Pink Period is also on display. Among the later works, all executed in Cannes, are a complex technical series (Las Meninas), which consists mostly of studies on Diego Velazquez’s masterpiece of the same name.

La Sagrada Familia – The life’s work of Barcelona’s favourite son, Antoni Gaudí, the magnificent spires of the unfinished cathedral imprint themselves boldly against the sky with swelling outlines inspired by the holy mountain Montserrat. They are encrusted with a tangle of sculptures that seem to breathe life into the stone. Gaudí died in 1926 before his masterwork was completed, and since then, controversy has continually dogged the building program.

Dinner at hotel.

Overnight in Barcelona (B,D)

Day 2

Barcelona / La Pedrera / ParkK Montjuich / Olympic Stadium / Tibidado Hill / Dali Museum

Continental breakfast at hotel. Depart for a half day excursion to Figueras to visit La Pedrera (Casa Mila), Park Montjuice, Tibidabo Hill and Dali Museum.

La Pedrera – Another Gaudí masterpiece, La Pedrera was built between 1905 and 1910 as a combined apartment and office block. Formerly called the Casa Milà, it’s better known now as La Pedrera (the quarry) because of its uneven grey stone facade that ripples around a street corner – it creates a wave effect that’s further emphasized by elaborate wrought-iron balconies. On summer weekend nights, the roof is eerily lit and open for spectacular views of Barcelona. One floor below the roof is a modest museum dedicated to Gaudí’s work, houses renaissance drawings and a collection of modern art paintings.
Park Montjuich – Montjuich, the hill overlooking the city centre from the southwest, is home to some fine art galleries, leisure attractions, soothing parks and the main group of 1992 Olympic sites. Behind it lies Parc Joan Miró, where stands Mir?’s highly phallic sculpture
Dona i Ocell (Woman and Bird). Nearby, the Palau Nacional houses the Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, which has an impressive collection of Romanesque art. Stretching up a series of terraces below the Palau Nacional are fountains, including
the biggest, La Font Màgica, which comes alive with a free lights and music show on summer evenings. In the northwest of Montjuic is the ‘Spanish Village’, Poble Espanyol. At first glance it’s a tacky tourist trap, but it also proves to be an intriguing scrapbook of Spanish architecture, with very convincing copies of buildings from all of Spain’s regions. The Anella Olímpica (Olympic Ring) is the group of sports installations where the main events of the 1992 games were held. Down the hill, visit masterpieces of another kind in the Fundacio Joan Miro, Barcelona’s gallery for the greatest Catalan artist of the 20th century. This is the largest single collection of the his work.
Tibidabo Hill – At 542m (1778ft), Tibidabo is the highest hill in the wooded range that forms the backdrop to Barcelona. If the air’s clear, it’s a great place for views over the city. As hair-raising as anything at the Parc, however, is the glass lift that goes 115m (126yd) up to a visitors’ observation area at Torre de Collserola telecommunications tower. The more sedate can find solace in Temple del Sagrat Cor, Barcelona’s answer to Paris’ Sacré Coeur; it’s even more vilified by aesthetes than its Paris equivalent. Looming above Tibidabo’s funicular station, it is actually two churches, one on top of the other. The top one is surmounted by a giant Christ and has a lift to the roof.
Dali Museum – The Dalí museum is not in Barcelona (1 hour 15 mins) in a small town called Figueres. Dalí museum is one of the most interesting and popular museums in Northern Spain. Once you arrive in Figueres you will have a 15 min walk to the museum. Figueres was Dalí’s home town and the museum is home to one of the largest collections of his work. Even the building itself is a work of art and like no other you would have seen before.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight: in Barcelona (B,D)

Day 3

Flight To Paris / Musee d’Orsay / Pompidou Centre

Continental breakfast at hotel. Transfer to the airport for a flight to Paris. On arrival we start our tour of Paris.
We visit Musee d’Orsay – collections paintings, decorative art and sculptures from 1848 (2nd Republic) to WWI.
And continue to Pompidou Centre that houses the Musée National d’Art Moderne

The museum is the French national modern art museum It has a major international collection of modern art by artists such as Kandinsky, Matisse, Miró, Picasso, etc. Some of the art movements represented are Fauvism, Cubism, Surrealism and Abstract Expressionism. It has 50,000 works of art (including painting, sculpture, drawing, and photography), of which 1,500 to 2,000 are on public display. Also located here is the Centre of Industrial Design. 20th century architecture and design are covered. The museum has a rolling program of important temporary exhibitions.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Paris (B,D)

Day 4

Paris / Sacre-Coer / Louvre / Centre Pompidou / Notre Dame / Tuileries
Gardens / Museum Rodin / City Tour / Seine Cruise

Continental breakfast at hotel. Today we go on a full day tour starting at Montmarte/Sacre-Coeur most beautiful basilica, followed by a visit to Musee du Louvre – Paris artistic soul may come from Within The Louvre lies a myriad of paintings and sculptures and not least, the world’s most famous painting – the Mona Lisa. We continue our tour to Centre Pompidou, Notre Dame Cathedral. We continue a visit to Jardin des Tuileries (gardens).
We will also visit Musée Rodins.

Musée Rodin displays works by the French sculptor Auguste Rodin. Rodin donated his entire collection of sculptures (along with paintings by Vincent van Gogh and Pierre-Auguste Renoir that he had acquired) to the French State on the condition that they turn the building into a museum dedicated to his works. The Musée Rodin contains most of Rodin’s significant creations, including The Thinker and The Kiss. Many of his sculptures are displayed in the museum’s extensive garden. The museum has also a room dedicated to works of Camille Claudel.

In the evening we will go on a city tour to visit the famous Eiffel Tower the symbol of Paris. At night from atop its viewing decks Paris sparkles and earns its name as the ‘City of Lights’. We will pass by Arc de Triomphe – Built to commemorate Napoleon’s victories, this impressive arch is a symbol of French pride. We walk the most fashionable boulevard in Paris Champs Elysees – Paris’ grand boulevard. We end the day by taking a one hour cruise on the River Seine.

Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Paris (B,D)

Day 5

Paris / Free Day / Flight To Rome

Continental breakfast at hotel. Today is free at leisure in Paris to explore the city on your own in small groups.
In the late afternoon, transfer to the airport for a flight to Rome. Transfer to hotel. No dinner is included today.

Overnight in Rome (B)

Day 6

Rome / Vatican / Sistine Chapel / St Peter’s Basilica / Sant Angelo
Castle / Piazza Di Spagna / Fontana Della Barcaccia

Cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Today we go on a full day tour of Rome by private coach with our tour guide.
Visit to the Vatican museums including Sistine Chapel. We continue a visit to St Peter’s Basilica and Sant Angelo Castle. In the evening we will visit Piazza di Spagna and Fontana della Barcaccia.
Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight in Rome (B,D)

Day 7

Romeroman Forum / Colosseum / Palantine Hill / Piazza Nova / Pantheon Church / Trevi Fountain

Cold buffet at hotel. Today we go on a half a day tour. We start at the archeological area Roman Forum and the breathtaking Colosseum, the most famous monument of Ancient Rome. Its original name was Flavian Amphitheatre. It was started by the Emperor Vespasian between 70 and 76 AD, because he wanted to build something for the people rather than for himself, and completed by his son Titus in 80 AD. The Colosseum was dedicated the year after Vespasian’s death by Titus and the opening was celebrated by holding 100 days of games. It got its popular name, the Colosseum, because it was built near the place where Nero had erected a huge statue, or colossus of himself. We stop for pictures taking at Palatine Hill and Piazza Nova. We also visit the Pantheon Church, and end the tour to Trevi Fountain. Don’t forget to throw a coin in the famous Trevi Fountain to ensure your speedy return.

Dinner at hotel.

Overnight in Rome (B,D)

Day 8

Rome / Siena / Plazzo Pubblico / Piazza Del Duomo / Drive To Florence / Duomo Santa Maria Del Fiore / Ponte Vecchio / Palazzo Petti / Boboli Gardens

Cold buffet breakfast at hotel. Today we drive through the picturesque Tuscan Chianti wine-producing region to Siena. We will have time to enjoy Siena on foot. and visit Plazzo Pubblico and Piazza del Duomo, famous for its Palio horse race around the Piazza del Campo. Set on three hills Siena is reputedly the best preserved walled city in the Tuscany region, with its pedestrian’s medieval centre. Visit the stunning marble Cathedral that was begun in the 12th century in the Romanesque style but was transformed in the 13th century into one of the finest examples of Italian Gothic.

We start our drive to Florence, arriving late afternoon. We will visit Duomo Santa Maria Del Fiore – This Italian Gothic cathedral was finished around 1367 and was originally completely covered with coloured marbles. The dome of the cathedral is an impressive sight on the Florentine skyline. We visit Ponte Vecchio and continue to Palazzo Petti – This grand palace was home to Florence’s most famous rulers – the Medici Family. The interior is filled with its treasures of Florentine art and history. We end our tour with a visit toBoboli Gardens.

Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Florence (B,D)

Day 9

Florence / Uffizi Gallery

Cold buffet breakfast at hotel. We go today for half day tour of Florence. We will visit Uffizi Gallery. Inside a rich collection of drawings, paintings by Cimabue, Giotto, Paolo Uccello, Lippi, Botticielli, Michelangelo, Raffaello, Toziano and other artists . Thereafter a free time to explore on your own places of your interest.

Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Florence (B,D)

Day 10

Florence / Galleria Dell’academia / Verona / Drive To Venice / Romeo and Juliet House

Cold buffet breakfast at hotel. We start today a half day tour of Galleria dell’Academia (Academy of Fine Arts) – one of the best known art museums in Florence, The Academy is home to sculptures by Michelangelo, including the “David”, “The four prisoners” and the “Pieta of Palestina”. Enjoy Verona by foot with a guide.
We start our drive to Venice. Venice is connected by 150-canals and 400-bridges. The Grand Canale is the most beautiful “street” in Venice and flows between opulent architecture.
The rest of the day is free at leisure.

Dinner at hotel.

Overnight in Venice Mastre (B,D)

Day 11

Venice / St. Mark’s Square / San Marco Basilica / Doge’s Palace / Bridge Of Sights / Bell Tower

Continental breakfast at hotel. Today we go on half day tour of Venice. We go to Tronchetto Piazza San Marco and take a canal cruise by private boat to St. Mark’s Square, filled with café’s, restaurants, pigeons and music – it’s no wonder Napoleon dubbed this central gathering place as the ‘finest drawing room in Europe’. We visit San Marco Basilica, one of the most spectacular churches in the world the Basilica is adorned with Byzantine domes and gilded mosaics. Built in honor of St. Mark the city’s patron saint, after his bones were kidnapped from Egypt in the 9th Century. Visit to Doges’ Palace, that housed Venice’s rulers for more than six centuries. It connects to the adjacent Prigioni Nuove (“New Prisons”) via the Bridge of Sighs made famous by Lord Byron. Inside there are paintings by Tintoretto, Veronese and works of Bosch. We will then pass by the Bell Tower and conclude our tour with a visit to Peggy Guggenheim Collection (art contemporary museum), collection of paintings and sculpture by best 20C artists.

Dinner at the hotel.

Overnight in Venice Mestre (B,D)

Day 12

Drive Assisi And To Rome / Flight Home Via Paris

Continental breakfast at hotel. We start our drive back to Rome airport, passing on the way through Assisi.

Assisi in Italy stretches out on the slopes of the Monte Subasio, above the plain where the Topino and Chiascio rivers flow.
Although it can boast Roman origins, its present-day appearance, because of the buildings and also the urban structure, is surely due to the city’s development during the Middle Ages. Assisi’s oldest nucleus, which is protected by a defensive apparatus made up of eight fortified entrance portals and a long belt of town walls, which are still perfectly preserved, is topped by two castles on peak of the mountain: the Major Castle, reconstructed by the Cardinal Albornoz in 1367 and the Minor Castle. Apart from religious buildings too important to not be considered solely the heritage of Assisi such as the basilica of St. Francis and the churches of St. Clare and St.Peter. All in all, Assisi is a very tranquil, charming place and is still a major pilgrimage place for Italian youths.

From here we continue our drive to Rome 180km away to take a connection flight to Paris on the way home.

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Price Includes
  • Return economy class airfare.
  • 2 nights Barcelona.
  • 2 nights Paris.
  • 3 nights Rome.
  • 2 nights Florence.
  • 2 nights Venice.
  • Daily breakfast and dinners.
  • Meeting and assistance at airport.
  • Private air-conditioned bus.
  • Professional registered English speaking tour guide.
  • Group travel insurance and entrance fees to all sites on scheduled tours.

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