All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Historic Brescia – a little-known gem of Roman and Renaissance delights
The hilltop city of Bergamo – a treasure trove of art and architecture
Monza’s glorious cathedral
Lorenzo Lotto frescoes at the Suardi Oratorio
Atmospheric five-star hotel in the heart of Brescia
The three northern Italian cities of Brescia, Bergamo and Monza are usually overlooked in favour of their neighbours of Milan, Turin and Verona, but offer a rich artistic and architectural legacy, explored in detail on this wonderful tour, in the company of renowned art historian Clare Ford-Wille. From a host of magnificent churches to acclaimed galleries, this tour will open up a treasure trove of artistic wonders little known to the usual tourist. Add to that a distinctive northern cuisine and a charming, traditional hotel in the heart of Brescia and this adds up to a tour to relish.
DAY 1: Fly from London Heathrow to Milan Linate.
On arrival, transfer to Trescore Balneario with time for lunch before a visit to the Suardi Oratorio to view the Lorenzo Lotto frescoes. Continue to Brescia for check-in to the hotel for a three-night stay. Welcome drink, lecture ‘The Art and Architecture of Brescia’ and dinner with wine at the hotel.
DAY 2: Today is a full day in Brescia.
Visit a host of churches, piazzas and exhibitions including San Francesco d’Assisi, Santa Maria dei Miracoli, SS Nazaro e Celso, Piazza della Vittoria, Duomo Vecchio and Nuovo, the Capitolium Archaeological Area, the impressive complex of buildings at Santa Giulia and the Pinacoteca Tosio Martinengro. Evening talk ‘The Art and Architecture of Bergamo’ followed by dinner in the hotel restaurant.
DAY 3: A full day visit to the delightful hill-top town of Bergamo.
Divided into two ‘high’ and ‘low’ sectors. Visits include the churches of the lower and upper towns – San Bartolomeo, San Bernardino and San Michele al Pozzo Bianco, Santa Maria Maggiore, Capella Colleoni and the Galleria dell’Accademia Carrara. There will be plenty of time allowed for a leisurely lunch and stroll to admire the city’s architecture and setting. Evening free in Brescia.
DAY 4: Morning visit to Monza.
Now absorbed into Milan’s metropolitan sprawl but an important town historically. Famed as the base for the Grand Prix, our visit will concentrate on the cathedral and its museum with plenty of time for a farewell lunch before late afternoon transfer back to Milan Linate for the flight back to London Heathrow.
NB: Exact order of excursions may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Hotel Vittoria, Brescia
Traditional and atmospheric, the five-star Vittoria dates back to the 18th century but was totally renovated in 2010 to leave a hotel for the modern traveller to savour. A stylish restaurant, lounge and bar add to its appeal as does its superb location right in the heart of the city in a quiet pedestrianized zone. Room facilities include private bathroom, TV, minibar, safe and hairdryer.
Hotel Vittoria, Brescia
Your Lecturer - Clare Ford-Wille
Clare has lectured in most areas of art history for over thirty-five years. She still teaches at the University of London, where she obtained her degree at Birkbeck, but also lectures regularly for Morley College, the City Literary Institue, the Victoria and Albert Museum and Branches of The Arts Society throughout Britain, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Every year since 1978 Clare has led art study tours to places of artistic importance throughout Europe and the USA, including Amsterdam, Padova and Vicenza.
A very good trip with Claire & Tess again. But I do wonder if the very early flights are such a good thing and the late return flight anywhere on Sunday is awful these days. I appreciate you try and appeal to people beside us retirees but we only had one working person on the trip and I think most of us found the timing completely knackering. The hotel was great in it's position. I was fortunate with a wonderful 4th floor room with a view. I gather others suffered a bit from exuberant other guests. It was a bit early season i think some of the staff were new but learning. I loved Brescia and Monza both were completely knew to me. Claire's knowledge of such places is invaluable. I wasn't so sure about Bergamo getting around was hard on the feet. I've now done the Mantua, Urbino and Brescia trips I look forward to other new gems of Northern Italy.
Review by Stanley who travelled 19-April-2018
A very informative and enjoyable trip. It was our first time with Travel Editions and it will not be our last. We are already looking at the 2018/9 brochure.
Review by Barnett who travelled 19-April-2018
The tour was a little too intense for us leaving too short a time in which to enjoy the places in which we were staying or visiting. The sites visited could not be faulted and we enjoyed the lecturer's input. The hotel was very good BUT in spite of the Tour Manager informing the kitchen that my partner had a serious allergy to crustaceans a pasta was given to her with what the manager had been told was a fish sauce but, clearly from the aroma coming from the plate, included crustaceans. This is a life-threatening situation and I did not think anyone took this error seriously enough. It was only my keen sense of smell that prevented a possible tragedy. The flights were less than satisfactory because we were not able to sit together. It was explained that this was down to the airline who just allocate a block of seats but you would think that in 2018 a little effort could have been made to organise the seating better. The tour manager was excellent throughout being friendly and very well organised and we both would be happy to travel with her again.
Review by Cocks who travelled 19-April-2018
Review by Ms Wendy Roberts who travelled 27-April-2017
Both the tour manager and guide were really excellent - Tessa instilled complete confidence in her ability to make the tour run smoothly and went out of her way to ensure our individual needs were met without fuss. She was particularly helpful in sorting out my onward travel arrangements to Milan and finding out about museums that were open on the public holiday. Clare was a most knowledgeable and pleasant guide. I learnt so much from her and would certainly book for other tours she may be on in the future. My only criticism was the arrangements for the last day in Monza. Three and a half hours on our own was far too long in a town with very little to see apart from shops and a pleasant river side walk. It would have been helpful to have been given a map.
Review by Mrs Valerie Ferguson who travelled 27-April-2017
Never disappointed with these holidays and particularly with the Art Historian, Claire!
Review by Mr Brian Mcwilliams who travelled 27-April-2017
Clare and Tessa are a wonderful team, and we are looking forward to booking another trip next year.
Review by Mrs Penelope Robinson who travelled 27-April-2017
Review by who travelled 27-April-2017
Barbara is a wonderful tour manager and Clare a fount of knowledge.
Review by Mr David Evans who travelled 31-March-2016
Flight was before crack of dawn! I would have paid extra for later. All of the expected high standard otherwise.
Review by Mr Jeffrey Cotton who travelled 31-March-2016
Review by who travelled 31-March-2016
Superb everything finishing with the amazing Theodolinda frescoes and treasures.
Review by Mr Ian Campbell who travelled 31-March-2016
Although the best hotel in Brescia it was far from 5*. The meals were just OK and the hotel was under staffed. Luckily there was one very efficient,hard working and friendly young lady in the restaurant. This of course is no reflection on Travel Editions.
Review by Mr John Abrook who travelled 31-March-2016
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