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Palladian Villas & The Art of the Veneto

Padua 6 nights Price from £2,360 per person
Departs: 15 Oct 2023, 28 Apr 2024, 29 Sep 2024
Departs: 15 Oct 2023

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Masters of Renaissance art and architecture designed classical buildings across the Veneto for the sophisticated gentry of the sixteenth century; the most famous of these architects was Andrea Palladio. As the wealth of the region spread from Venice inland across the countryside of the Veneto, educated patrons commissioned villas to be built on ancient principles of classical Roman architecture. Andrea Palladio became the master of this style; he wrote a landmark architectural work and his elegant villas are a testament to his brilliance. Our tour is based in Padua, where contemporaries of Palladio designed new buildings for the mediaeval university, including an anatomical theatre. Padua also features the work of the 14th century artistic genius, Giotto, whose innovative painting style influenced many Renaissance painters.


The Hotel

Set in the heart of Centro Storico, the old part of Padua, the Hotel Majestic Toscanelli is unique in its location, adjacent to the remarkable renaissance squares of Piazza Delle Erbe, Dei Signori and Della Frutta where the market is held. The 32 bedrooms are comfortably furnished in either Baroque Ventian or a more quaint 19th century English style. Breakfast is a lavish array of pastries, cakes, cured meats and cheese - a perfect start to a day's sightseeing.

What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights
  • Six nights’ accommodation with breakfast
  • Three dinners and two light lunches with wine tastings
  • All entrances fees and gratuities as described
  • The services of a Kirker Tour Lecturer


  • Day 1 - Fly to Venice

    On arrival we will transfer to our hotel in Padua. The family-run 4* Hotel Majestic Toscanelli in the historic heart of Padua is a central base for this tour.
  • Day 2 - Padua

    We explore the art and architecture of Padua, including the magnificent Scrovegni Chapel, with its moving and colourful frescoes by Giotto illustrating scenes from the life of Christ. We also see the Palazzo della Ragione, with a vast mediaeval hall, the Basilica of St Anthony and Donatello’s equestrian statue, Gattamelata.
  • Day 3 - University of Padua

    The University of Padua, established in 1222, is one of the oldest in the world and today we discover the rich academic heritage of the city. We visit the 16th century anatomical theatre in Palazzo del Bo and the first university botanical garden.
  • Day 4 - Vicenza

    Vicenza is associated with the work of 16th century architect, Andrea Palladio and we visit his best known villa, called ‘La Rotonda’, on the outskirts of the city. Built as a hilltop summer house, the villa is symmetrical in proportion with four porticoes and a central dome. We will walk through Vicenza’s elegant streets and piazzas, before visiting one of Palladio’s final works, the Teatro Olimpico, built for classical theatrical productions.
  • Day 5 - Castelfranco

    Today we travel through the countryside of the Veneto to visit the mediaeval town of Castelfranco, birthplace of Giogione, who painted the altarpiece in the Duomo. We continue to Palladio’s Villa Barbaro at Maser, with frescoes by Paolo Veronese. The villa is now a winery and we will have a winetasting and light lunch. 
  • Day 6 - Bassano del Grappa

    We drive to Bassano del Grappa to see Palladio’s Ponte Vecchio, a wooden bridge rebuilt many times to his original design. Palladio designed Villa Angarano for his friend Count Giacomo Angarano, although unfinished, this impressive building featured in Palladio’s Four Books of Architecture. We will have a wine-tasting and a light lunch before continuing to Villa Emo, one of Palladio's later designs.
  • Day 7 - Fly to London

    We will travel back to the airport for the flight to London.

Flight Details

Flights with British Airways:

Depart London Heathrow 12:55, arrive Venice 16:10

Depart Venice 12:50, arrive London Heathrow 14:10

Flight times subject to change – regional departures available on request.

Departure Dates and Prices


15 Oct 2023

Status Limited

Price from£2360

Single Supp.£240

Call 020 7593 2284


28 Apr 2024

Status Available

Price from£2547

Single Supp.£270

Book Now Enquire

29 Sep 2024

Status Available

Price from£2547

Single Supp.£270

Book Now Enquire

Included Hotels

Padua, Italy, Europe

Set in the heart of Centro Storico, the old part of Padua, this hotel is unique in its location, adjacent to the remarkable Renaissance squares of Piazza Delle Erbe, Dei Signori and Della Frutta where the market is held. 

Charlie Hall

Charlie Hall

Tour Leader

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Alexander Koller

Dr Alex Koller

Tour Leader

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To make an enquiry please speak to one of our experts on 020 7593 2288, or enquire online

Our expert reservations team regularly travel to a wide range of destinations to explore new cities, visit hotels and to research museums, galleries and restaurants so that we can offer the most up-to-date advice and recommendations.