All tours on this holiday have now departed. Future departure dates will be confirmed in due course.
Palazzo Ducale, Mantova – dating from the 14th century
The palaces and churches of Mantova
Ferrara, a beautiful, little known Renaissance gem with wonderful churches and palaces
Modena with its magnificent Romanesque cathedral
Two talks from art historian, Clare Ford-Wille
Mantua and Ferrara - both intellectual and artistic centres that attracted many leading lights of the Renaissance, both ruled over by great families that were rivals to the Medicis, and both gloriously overlooked destinations. Join Clare Ford-Wille to explore the art and architecture of two of Italy's Renaissance gems: Mantua, encircled by water, with its romantic skyline of domes and towers; and Ferrara, home to colossal palazzi and a wealth of wonderful art.
Day 1: Fly from London Heathrow to Bologna and transfer to Mantua to check-in to the hotel. This evening enjoy a welcome drink, lecture, 'The patronage of the Gonzaga in Mantua' by Clare Ford-Wille and dinner with wine at the hotel.
Day 2: Full day in Mantua.
This morning will be spent exploring Mantua's magnificent Palazzo Ducale which was built between the 14th and 17th centuries by the Gonzaga as the royal residency of their Duchy. A labyrinth over 500 rooms there is plenty to see. This afternoon, visit the Early Renaissance church of San Sebastiano, Renaissance artist Andrea Mantegna's House, which he designed himself, before spending time examining the mannerist architecture of the Palazzo Te. The masterpiece of Giulio Romano, the palazzo was built between 1524 and 1534 for Frederico II Gonzaga, the frescos painted by local painters are still the most striking feature. There will also be a visit to the Palazzo San Sebastiano.
Day 3: Full day in Ferrara.
This morning, visit the Cathedral and the Cathedral Museum which displays objects from the cathedral such as 13th century wall panels, a collection of illuminated hymnbooks and paintings. Next to the breath-taking Renaissance Palazzo dei Diamanti to visit collections of the Pinacoteca Nazionale di Ferrara for an overview of Ferrarese art from the 13th to 17th centuries. The first of this afternoon's visits will be Castello Estense, the moated medieval residence to the ruling Este family, followed by Palazzo Schifanoia, the Este pleasure palace which is home to Ferrara's most famous frescoes. This evening there will be an aperitif, lecture, 'The patronage of the Este in Ferrara and Mantua' and dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 4: Morning visit to Modena.
Here, amongst other sights, there will be time to explore the magnificent Romanesque cathedral and Galleria Estense with Clare’s guidance before an afternoon transfer to Bologna airport for the return flight 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.
Casa Poli, Mantua
Perfectly located a 10-minute walk from the centre of Mantua, the four-star Casa Poli is a sophisticated, modern design hotel set in a 19th century building. Facilities at the hotel include lounge bar and internal garden. Bedrooms are stylish and minimalist with en-suite bathroom with shower/bath, air-conditioning, TV, telephone, wifi, safe, minibar and hairdryer.
Casa Poli website
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 Scoiety 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.
Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-June-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 20-June-2019
The tour manager and art historian were both extremely efficient and knowledgeable. Extras outside the programme were organised - e.g. walk in Mantua on the first day, dinner for those who wished it on the second day. We were not the only people to find it awkward to be expected by Travel Editions to give tips to those who had been like friends during the four days, and were so knowledgeable and professional. The holiday would not have looked noticeably more expensive if this money had been added to the basic cost, and no tips required.
Review by Miss Thelma Wilson who travelled 08-October-2015
A wonderful trip, we saw an amazing amount in three days but were not rushed. Two small points: a list of fellow passengers would be helpful. And it is much easier if the company takes responsibility for tipping the driver.
Review by Mrs Caroline De Souza who travelled 08-October-2015
Lecturer Clare Ford-Wille was excellent
Review by Mrs D St-Pier who travelled 08-October-2015
While I wanted to see as much as possible, I found the programme exhausting, particularly the day in Mantua itself, having to go everywhere on foot. At least on the other days it was possible to have a nap on the coach after the visits! If we could have fitted in Modena on the first day on the way to Mantua from the airport, it would have done away with the problem of getting into the cathedral there on Sunday and would have given us an extra half day in Mantua.
Review by Dr Jean Sampson who travelled 08-October-2015
I thoroughly enjoyed this trip. Everything was first class. Barbara and Clare could not have been more helpful. Barbara organised everything very efficiently and Clare has an amazing knowledge of art history and the ability to share this with passion. The hotel was excellent and conveniently sited. I would certainly travel with this company again. A brilliant holiday .
Review by Mrs Helen Simmons who travelled 08-October-2015
An excellent short trip with so much packed into it. Clare Ford Willie as usual the most amazing fount of knowledge.
Review by Miss Linda Stanley who travelled 08-October-2015
A really interesting and memorable trip which was well organised and paced.
Review by Mrs Janette Lavan who travelled 27-March-2015
Wonderful holiday. Barbara and Claire fantastic. Lots of information to make trip enjoyable. it was so good, we've booked another for next year.
Review by Mr Ian Campbell who travelled 27-March-2015
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