Caravaggio - A Turbulent Genius. His Life and Work

6 nights starting from

  • Rome’s superb Doria Pamphilj and Borghese Galleries

  • Vatican Pinacoteca Museum

  • A day in Naples – with a wealth of artistic treasures

  • Milan’s Pinacoteca Ambrosiana and Brera Gallery

  • Two lectures from expert, Dr Peter Higginson

This wonderful new tour looks at the life and work of Caravaggio, one of early modern Europe’s most colourful characters and influential artists, in the company of accomplished art historian, Dr Peter Higginson.  When he died in 1610 aged 38, he was one of most famous and influential painters in Italy. Whilst his reputation slumped in subsequent centuries, in more recent times his stock has risen steadily to a new peak. His works are now widely regarded as the most immediately compelling and dramatically charged in the whole history of Italian art and many of them remain on display in their original cities and even original settings, which adds a fascinating component to the telling of his dramatic story. Join Dr Peter Higginson on our tour which visits Rome, Naples and Milan to find out the truth of this most iconic of artists, whose paintings were radical and shocking and whose personality was arrogant, tempestuous and violent. It’s a heady mix of art and drama, brought to vivid life by your expert lecturer and guide, whose doctoral and later research has focused on the patronage, political, and the turbulent social context of Caravaggio’s formative years in Rome. The visits will consist of a host of galleries and churches, packed with masterpieces by the hero of this tour.

Available Departures


24 - April - 2023 Limited Availability Travel Info Please Call

Provisional Timings

London Heathrow

Departing: 24th April 2023 at 08:20

Returning: 30th April 2023 at 19:20

09 - October - 2023 £ 2195.00 Travel Info Book Now

Provisional Timings

London Heathrow

Departing: 09th October 2023 at 08:20

Returning: 15th October 2023 at 19:20


Day 1: Fly from London Heathrow to Rome.  
Our programme of visits commences this afternoon with a visit to the city’s Galleria Doria Pamphilj, where several of his paintings are displayed – “Rest on the Flight into Egypt”, “Penitent Magdalene”, and “St John the Baptist”. Housed in an historic palazzo, reputed to be the largest privately-owned in Rome, the outstanding collection has been collected since the 16th century by the powerful, wealthy and influiential Doria Pamphilj family and is one of Rome’s least-known but best art galleries. Evening welcome drink, lecture, ‘The Challenge of Mother Rome: Religion, Politics, Society, Patrons and Critics’ followed by dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

Day 2: Rome 
A packed day in Rome starts with the Augustinian church of Santa Maria del Popolo, which stands proudly on the north side of the Piaza del Popolo, one of the city’s most famous squares. Housed here are two Caravaggio works: “The Conversion of St Paul” and “The Crucifixion of St Peter.” We will continue on foot to the church of San Luigi dei Francesi (The Church of St Louis the French), near the Pantheon to see the “Calling, Inspiration”, and “Martyrdom of St Matthew”. It is a beautiful church in its own right and its austere exterior belies the splendour if its interior and its three Caravaggio masterpieces, painted in the first years of the 1600s and centred around the life of St. Matthew. Our last visit of the morning takes us to the church of Sant’Agostino to see the altarpiece for the Cavalletti chapel, depicting the “Madonna of Loreto”. After free time for lunch (not included) in the atmospheric and lively Piazza Navona area, we head to the Vatican Museum and the Pinacoteca Vaticana for “The Entombment of Christ”, one of the artist’s most celebrated works, followed by free time to explore the museum’s many other treasures including the peerless Sistine Chapel (time permitting). Evening free to explore one of Rome’s myriad of restaurants.

Day 3: Rome
Another day in Rome takes us first to the superb Galleria Borghese in the heart of the beautiful Borghese Gardens for the first two hour slot to allow us to savour “Boy with a Basket of Fruit”, “Sick Bacchus”, “David with Head of Goliath”, “St John the Baptist”, “St Jerome Writing” and “Madonna dei Palafrenieri” before the crowds descendNext to Santa Maria della Concezione dei Capuccini, for the “St Francis in Meditation.” A well-earned lunch break is taken now before an afternoon at the stunning Palazzo Barberino, which houses the Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Antica, one of the most important painting collections in Italy, that is home to Caravaggio’s “Judith Beheading Holofernes” and “Narcissus”, as well as works by Raphael and Holbein amongst many others. Evening lecture, ‘The Artist Takes Flight: An Itinerant Artist in Naples, Malta and Sicily’ and dinner with wine at a local restaurant.

Day 4: Naples 
An early start takes us to the station and the high-speed train to Naples ( journey time approx. 1.5 hours). A city like no other in Italy, or, indeed Europe, Naples is a bustling, crowded, noisy and inspiring city, that is home to some of the country’s most important art, starting with the church of Pio Monte della Misericordia for the “Madonna della Misericordia”.  From here we head to the Galleria di Palazzo Zevallos Stigliano, a Baroque palace in the heart of the city, whose collection includes Caravaggio’s most likely last painting the “Martyrdom of St Ursula”, which is part of a rich collection that includes works by Breughel, Reubens, Van Dyck and more. After free time for lunch (not included), our exploration continues to the Museo di Capodimonte, one of Italy’s foremost art galleries, this time housed in an historic 18th century Bourbon palace for Caravaggio’s “Flagellation of Christ”. A late afternoon train will whisk us back to Rome in time to freshen up for an evening at leisure.

Day 5: Rome
We start the day at the Palazzo dei Conservatori, dating back to the 14th century and the Musei Capitolini for “The Fortune Teller” and “St John the Baptist”.  From here we head across the river to the atmospheric Trastevere area of the city and the Baroque Palazzo Corsini, home to an art gallery of the same name which houses another painting of “St John the Baptist”. Trastevere is a great place to find an atmospheric and tasty place for lunch (not included) to restore us for our final afternoon in the city, where we will enjoy a guided tour of the Palazzo Farnese, one of the most important Renaissance palaces in Rome, which is home to the exceptional fresco paintings by Caravaggio’s arch rival, Annibale Carracci. This will afford us a crucial opportunity to further gauge the exact nature of Caravaggio’s position within the contemporary Roman art scene.

Day 6: Milan
This morning we head back to the station for the high-speed service (journey time approx. 3.5 hours) from the country’s capital city to its commercial heart, Milan, which, despite its reputation as an economic powerhouse, is also home to wonderful collections of art. Caravaggio was born here and it was here that he trained as a painter. Our first visit will be to the Pinacoteca Ambrosiana, will show us his “Still Life: Basket of Fruit”. From here we will continue to the Cathedral, Palazzo Reale, Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II area of the city. Evening free to explore Milan’s vibrant culinary scene.

Day 7:  Milan and home.
One of the world’s great art galleries occupies us on the last leg of this wonderful journey, as we head to the Brera Gallery to see the “Supper at Emmaus” (another version is in the National Gallery in London). The Brera’s collection is one of the finest anywhere, with a roll call of world-renowned masters featured from Mantegna and Raphael to Tintoretto and Titian.  Some free time to further explore the city before heading to the airport for the return flight to London Heathrow.

Please note: there is a considerable amount of walking included on this tour (as well as coach transfers between some sites) so the itinerary is not recommended for those with walking difficulties.

NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions, weather, garden openings and tour manager's discretion.

Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.


  • Return flights from London Heathrow to Rome, returning from Milan
  • Five nights' accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the three-star Medici Hotel Rome, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room 
  • One night’s accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at the three-star Genius Hotel Downtown, Milan (or similar) based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room 
  • Two dinners with wine at a local restaurant 
  • Two lectures at the hotel 
  • Airport transfers, trains, tours and all entrance fees 
  • Dr Peter Higginson throughout 


  • Double for sole use supplement
  • Holiday insurance
  • Meals other than those stated 
  • Items of a personal nature such as drinks, laundry, telephone calls etc
  • Porterage and gratuities


Medici hotel, Rome

Traditional three-star hotel in the city centre, with bar, lounge and comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.

Hotel Website

Genius Hotel Downtown (or similar), Milan

Modern three-star no frills hotel with comfortable bedrooms with all modern amenities.  The location in the heart of the city is unbeatable.


Your lecturer and tour guide - Dr Peter Higginson

Dr Peter Higginson specialises in the art and culture of early modern Europe, and the modern period.  He has taught numerous university courses abroad and has wide experience in leading cultural tours to different parts of Europe including Bilbao, Rome, Venice, Florence, Paris and further afield to Cuba. Caravaggio is probably his greatest artistic passion and formed the focus of his doctoral research.  His enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment have earned him rave reviews from the many clients who have travelled with him on a Travel Editions’ tour over the past seven years.

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