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The Villa Medici Giulini Collection

Italian Lakes 4 nights Price from £2,489 per person
Departs: 03 Sep 2024
Departs: 03 Sep 2024

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This is a very special and unusual opportunity to join a private house party for Kirker clients, hosted by Fernanda Giulini whose private villa is the base for our visit. It is also an opportunity to get to know the pianist Melvyn Tan who will bring the beautiful collection of keyboard instruments to life in three concerts and talks at both the Villa and Signora Giulini’s apartment in Milan. The development of the piano is vividly explained in the three included recitals.


Villa Medici Giulini

We return to the Villa Medici Giulini, the home of Fernanda Giulini, in the village of Briosco between Milan and Como. The internationally known pianist, Melvyn Tan, introduced us to Fernanda Giulini and her matchless collection of historic pianos a couple of years ago. It’s a wonderful experience to hear the instruments played by a pianist of Melvyn’s stature in the magnificent rooms of the 17th century villa, simultaneously both grand and intimate. Three dinners are taken at the Villa and one in her apartment in the heart of Milan where her collection of virginals, harpsichords and harps are kept. Wines from the Giulini vineyards are served with every dinner. After dinner, postprandial drinks will be served in a different room each evening. The Villa is very much a private home, not a hotel and our clients are looked after by Signora Giulini’s own staff.


Melvyn Tan

One of the world’s best known pianists, Melvyn Tan came to the UK from Singapore as a small boy and studied at the Yehudi Menuhin School and the Royal College of Music. He has played in concert halls around the globe. Melvyn writes: ‘Although I have been performing from the collection for the best part of 30 years, I am still discovering new musical miracles. With the instruments from Mozart and Haydn’s time we hear a brittle, glass-like sound which was very much the kind the composers heard, and was reflected in the music they wrote. Beethoven, of course, when he became the toast of Vienna a few decades later, disliked these instruments and encouraged piano-makers to strive for a fuller sound, so the player could achieve a ‘cantabile’, a singing quality to imitate the singers and string players of the day. The rest, as they say, is history, and the concept of the piano as we know it today was born.’


What's included

...when you travel with Kirker

  • Return flights with British Airways from Heathrow to Milan Linate
  • Four nights' accommodation with breakfast
  • Four dinners and two lunches
  • Talks and concerts as described
  • A copy of the illustrated souvenir guide to Villa Medici Giulini
  • All sightseeing, entrance fees and gratuities
  • The services of the Kirker Tour Leader and local guide


  • Day 1 - Arrival and Introduction by Melvyn Tan

    We fly to Milan Linate and transfer to the Villa Medici Giulini, a journey of 40 minutes. There will be a drinks reception when we will be introduced to Melvyn and Signora Giulini, followed by dinner.
  • Day 2 - Monza Cathedral

    Melvyn will play a series of works on a selection of pianos that Bach, Haydn and Mozart would have known. We will then have lunch and shortly afterwards drive to Monza to visit one of Italy’s most important and historic churches. We will see the chapel of Queen Teodelinda and the famous Iron Cross in the Treasury before continuing to Milan where we will discover the exquisitely decorated keyboard instruments on display in Fernanda Giulini’s own apartment. After dinner here we will return to Briosco.
  • Day 3 - Lake Como & Villa Balbianello

    We drive to Lake Como and board a private boat to Villa Balbianello, romantically sited on its own promontory. After lunch overlooking the lake, we shall return to Briosco. This evening, Melvyn will play works by Beethoven and Schubert on the forte piano by Conrad Graf.
  • Day 4 - Velate

    After breakfast we will drive to the home of Fernanda’s brother, Vittorio. His villa is in the village of Velate, north of Varese. An English landscaped park stretches away from the villa. Much fine topiary, parterres and specimen trees and shrubs create a cool, green veil which surrounds the villa. We will stay for lunch with Signor Giulini who is the President of the Association of Historic Houses of Lombardy. Melvyn’s concluding recital is on a Pleyel piano.
  • Day 5 - Return flight

    After breakfast we will return to Milan Linate airport.

Flight Details

Flights with British Airways:
Depart London Heathrow at 10.30 arrive Milan (Linate) at 13.30
Depart Milan (Linate) at 14.00 arrive London Heathrow at 15.00

Departure Dates and Prices

03 Sep 2024

Status Available

Price from£2489

Single Supp.No single supplement

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Barry Cheeseman

Barry Cheeseman

Cultural Tours Senior Executive


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Melvyn Tan


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Music Programme

The recitals will be planned chronologically so that Melvyn will take you on a musical journey in which the development of the piano comes alive, in a setting of the utmost grandeur and intimacy.

Concert 1 on the five octave piano
Beethoven: Sonata in Op.10 No.1
Mozart: Sonata K. 576
And a sonata by Haydn

Concert 2 on the six octave piano
Two sonatas by Beethoven including Sonata in C op.53 ‘Waldstein’
Schubert: Sonata in A Op.120 D. 664

Concert 3 on the six and a half octave piano and the Birth of the Modern Piano as we know it today
Schumann: Sonata in G minor Op.22
Chopin: A selection of nocturnes and scherzos
Liszt: A selection of pieces


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

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