When masked, socially distanced trips to the grocery store turn into eagerly anticipated adventures down the vegetable aisle, we know it's time to travel. Not real travel, of course. Not now. But virtual travel has become as popular as it will ever be, and we have an exciting opportunity to do some first class traveling with the best tour guide in Venice, Luisella Romeo. Enchanting as she is knowledgable, Luisella will guide us through several venues, most off the beaten path but each full of beauty and fascination. Each visit will begin at 9 a.m. (Eastern Standard Time) and end at 10:15 a.m. Visits will be recorded, so if you can't make it in real time you can still register and watch it later.

For more about Luisella, visit her fantastic website: .



                                                                            May 28-July 9, 2021 

I'm pleased to announce that we will continue with a new series with Luisella beginning on May 28.  As people are vaccinated and summer is upon us, we'll meet every other week beginning in mid-June.  Our first three visits, however, have been scheduled for awhile so they will take place weekly.

We have an incredibly rich and interesting array of venues, including a mask shop, a museum, a Scuola, and the Olivetti showroom in Venice.  We are truly fortunate to be able to explore Venice in such a deep way with such a knowledgeable and insightful guide!

I'm so happy to be able to "travel" to Italy with you each week and I'm pleased that we can continue this wonderful experience together!!

Scroll down for dates, descriptions, and individual registration options.  And don't forget, if you can't participate in real time, you can always view the recording later.

Carlo Scarpa: the Olivetti showroom and the Querini Stampalia Garden     May 28

Evidence that Venice is a modern and contemporary city can be found in even the most iconic places. We will visit the Olivetti Showroom designed by the brilliant 20th century architect Carlo Scarpa and experience a piece of modernity in the middle of St. Mark's Square, the famed piazza that carries the most historic significance for the city of Venice. We will then make the short walk to the Castello district to visit the garden planned within the Querini Stampalia palace of the 16th century. In both places, the architect Carlo Scarpa re-interpreted the ancient design tradition of Venice, revealing a strong bond with the past in terms of publishing, libraries and poetry.    NO LONGER AVAILABLE


A virtual tour in Castello including a visit to Papier Mache mask workshop     June 4

When in the late ‘70s Stefano Gottardo inquired about opening a workshop to make masks in papermaché, he was told there wasn’t anything like that in Venice. In these last fifty years, a lot of shops have opened and the tradition of the Venetian carnival has also become a very touristic and commercial event. The masks Stefano makes and Eliana and Emanuela paint, however,  distinguish themselves for their creativity, their link with the tradition and their innovative research both in materials and forms.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

A virtual museum tour at the Scuola Grande Carmini    June 11

The Brotherhood dedicated to the Virgin Mary of Mount Carmelo is a hidden jewel of the district of Dorsoduro. The elegant façade in Istrian limestones introduces you to the incredibly rich, gilded stuccoes of the 18th century and to the sensual painting by Giambattista Tiepolo. The treasures of this fraternity-  the carved wooden ceilings, the spectacular marble floors and the monochrome paintings of the Chapel Hall- are absolute masterpieces of the Venetian tradition, not to be missed!   NO LONGER AVAILABLE

A virtual museum tour at Ca’ Pesaro Palace   June 25

A majestic palace on the Grand Canal designed by Baldassarre Longhena and completed in the 17th century by another talented architect, Antonio Gaspari,  Ca’ Pesaro has been the city museum dedicated to Modern Art since 1898. Our visit will acquaint us with some of the most interesting of the early Italian modernists such as Carrà, Sironi, Campigli, Morandi, and De Chirico. We will also learn about the capesarini movement that is deeply connected to the museum itself as we observe the works by Felice Casorati, Gino Rossi, Arturo Martini, and Umberto Moggioli.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

A virtual walking tour of the district of Venice called Dorsoduro (part 2)    July 9

We will start our tour near the Church of San Nicolò dei Mendicoli, at one time a very popular district, where fishermen, boatyards and small hospices for needy people were once located.  We will see the University of Architecture, including the fascinating section housed in what was formerly a  cotton factory.  Then we will visit the well known squares of Campo San Barnaba and Campo Santa Margherita.  A bit distant from the monumental atmosphere of some other Venetian campos, these lively squares with their lovely cafes and artisans' workshops are often full of students and local residents.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Join Me In My Studio    April 9     FREE

I'm thrilled to have this opportunity to provide a glimpse into the working life of the artist I know best, myself!  After a short tour of my studio where you can see behind the scenes elements that comprise the lives of many working artists, I'll show you some of my own paintings.  I'll include preparatory drawings so you can see some of the thinking that goes into creating a finished work and I'll reference paintings from art history that have influenced and inspired me.   I'll explain some of the process of painting itself, and I'll describe the traditional training that led me to where I am today.


A Venetian Perspective: Selections from the Accademia Gallery in Venice,  delivered on Mar. 12  STILL AVAILABLE IN RECORDING

Slide lecture by Karen Warshal  (Luisella is off this week!)

Giovanni Bellini, Titian, Veronese, Tintoretto and Piazzetta are a few of the great artists whose paintings make up the rich collection of Venetian art in the Accademia Gallery.  As we explore the symbolism and meaning of selected masterpieces by these artists and others,  you'll also learn to "read" the narrative of a painting through the artist's uses of the art and science of perspective.


                                         COMPLETED TOURS

The Island of Giudecca    April 2

Lying just south of Venice, the island of Giudecca was once home to several convents and monasteries. By the beginning of the 1800s, these religious institutions were closed down and eventually replaced by factories.  The island, in fact, became a protagonist in the industrial revolution in Venice.  Today, almost none of these factories is active and the Giudecca has become a lively mix of industrial archeology, quiet corners, modern architecture and beautiful gardens.   NO LONGER AVAILABLE


Teatro Olimpico        April 16

Following a leisurely walk through the narrow streets of the ancient city of Vicenza, one of the cradles of the Italian Renaissance, we enter the fabulous Teatro Olimpico, the last work by Andrea Palladio.  Still in use for concerts and shows today, this unique Renaissance Theater still houses its original stage set noted for its innovative and dramatic use of perspective. We will listen to its fantastic story and learn how the theatre survived two world wars as well as fierce foreign dominations and revolutions.   NO LONGER AVAILABLE

The 1848 Revolution in Venice: a visit to the Ateneo Veneto     April 23

During the period of Hapsburg domination, Venice engaged in uprisings to gain its political independence. The Revolution of 1848 is associated with many iconic places in Venice, and the Ateneo Veneto is among the most important.  An active academic center since 1812, the Ateneo Veneto used to be the seat of the Brotherhood of St. Jerome and the Virgin Mary.  After strolling through Campo Santo Stefano and past the Fenice opera house, we will go inside the Ateneo to visit its beautiful interior and learn more about its place in history.   NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Walking tour of Vicenza      April 30

Art historian Francesca Marini will guide us on this walking tour of the charming town of Vicenza, birth place of the famed Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio.  Though Palladio's works are spread all over the Veneto region, he planned his most outstanding buildings for Vicenza and its surroundings.  We begin our tour at the famous Piazza dei Signori (Square of the Lords) and the imposing Basilica Palladiana.  We then move to Contra' Porti where the most important Palladian houses are located, including the Palladio Museum.  We finish in the eastern part of the city center where we see the exteriors of the medieval church of Santa Corona, the facade of Palazzo Chiericati, and the Teatro Olimpico.   NO LONGER AVAILABLE


A virtual walking tour of the district of Venice called Dorsoduro       

Starting at the Punta della Dogana and ranging all the way through the University area, the district of Dorsoduro is one of the richest “sestieri” in terms of art and architecture in Venice. During our virtual walk, we will see the Church of the Salute,  the Gesuati dome dedicated to St Mary of the Rosary, and the Palladian church of Redentore across the canal on the island of Giudecca. We will pass by the oldest gondola yard still active after 400 years as well as the typical “bacaros” of Venice with their well-known “cicchetti”.  Our final stop will be atop the Accademia bridge for a final view of the Grand Canal.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Library of San Francesco della Vigna       May 7

In the middle of the 13th century, the Franciscan order founded a monastery in the area of Castello where, according to legend, it had been predicted that St. Mark the Evangelist would come to rest. Important patrician families such as the Gritti and the Grimani then financed a church whose elegant Palladian façade stands next to the ancient cloisters.  The library of the monastery is particularly rich, and on this special private tour we will have the chance to discover many of its precious and rare manuscripts. Brother Rino Sgarbossa has taken care of the library for years and will help us appreciate the value of the ancient publishing tradition in Venice.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE


Virtual Tour of Murano, including a visit to Lino Tagliapietra's showroom, Feb. 19

The island of Murano has been known for its revolutionary and innovative concept of glassware since ancient times.  After the glass blowers transferred their furnaces to the island in 1291, the art of glass blowing developed, reaching international acclaim as they continued to research new methods and materials in their craft.  We'll explore the island's treasures together, and we'll end our visit in the marvelous showroom of one of the giants of the glass masters,  Lino Tagliapietra.    NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Virtual Walking Tour of the district of Venice called Cannaregio, Feb. 26

Starting at the Church of the Jesuits, we will move to the Fondamenta della Misericordia, pass by the old Brotherhood of Santa Maria Valverde, and reach the Madonna dell'Orto church.  We will then see the House of Tintoretto, the Campo dei Mori, and finally the Jewish ghetto.  Cannaregio, located in the northern part of Venice, is a popular area unknown to most tourists.  Our tour will show you a different side of Venice, rich in gardens and open spaces.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Virtual Museum Tour at Scuola Grande San Giovanni Evangelista, Mar. 5

The Scuola Grande or Confraternita'  of San Giovanni Evangelista is one of the most ancient brotherhoods in Venice, founded in 1261 as part of the flagellation movement, at that time particularly lively in the Italian peninsula.  Upon moving to the district of Santa Croce in Venice, the brotherhood's goals were to provide social assistance to its members and to manage bequests and donations as a financial institution would do. The investments in art and architecture paralleled a strong sense of religious devotion that always accompanied the decisions of the brethren.  Inside you will visit the Chapter hall, the room of the Holy Cross,  and you will view artworks by Domenico Tintoretto and other artists.  Moreover, you will visit the workshop for the restoration of the staircase designed by Mauro Codussi, one of the most extraordinary architectural works inspired by the Renaissance discovery of perspective.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE


Virtual Tour in Dorsoduro including a visit to Tramontin historical gondola yard, Mar. 19

While , at the Zattere, timber from the Alps reached the lagoon, just a few steps away there grew several boatyards, called "squero".   It was there that boats for private use would be built, maintained and also designed, always striving for the perfect balance of form and function.  We'll visit the Tramontin boatyard  to learn the secrets of the icon of Venice, the gondola, as well as to understand life in a Venetian "squero".  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Note: Beginning time is 10:00 a.m. EST since Italy has not yet gone on Daylight Savings Time.

Virtual Tour in Santa Croce including a visit to Bevilacqua Silk Weaving Mill, Mar. 26

Connecting to Asia via the Silk Road was, for Venice, the key to successful trade.  Importing silk, but also learning how to weave this precious material and combine it with gold and silver was possible thanks to the collaboration with experts from different parts of the Italian peninsula.  The Bevilacqua factory will open its doors for us to discover how ancient looms still function to create the most exquisite velvet used in upholstery and high-end fashion even in our present day.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Note:  Beginning time is 10:00 a.m. EST since Italy has not yet gone on Daylights Savings Time.

Doge's Palace, (Jan. 15)

The Doge’s Palace is the best-known museum in Venice. Once the political and judicial heart of the Venetian State, the interior of the palace was restructured at the end of the 1500s. You will climb the Golden Staircase and then admire the great art masterpieces by Titian, Paolo Veronese and Tintoretto. You will tour the rooms where the political propaganda and the myth of the Serenissima convincingly intertwined, such as the Major Council Hall as well as the room of court of the Council of Ten. A part of the tour will also be dedicated to the armory of the palace.    NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Ca’ d’Oro Palace.    (Jan. 22)

The Ca’ d’oro Palace stands on the Grand Canal directly opposite the Rialto market. Once covered in colorful paint and gold leaf, the house is a national Italian museum featuring the gorgeous art collection of Baron Giorgio Franchetti who acquired the palace in 1894 and turned into an art gallery. The collection features major masterpieces by Andrea Mantegna and Carpaccio, frescoes by Titian and Il Pordenone, a bronze statuary and bas-reliefs.  Franchetti, with the support of Gabriele D'Annunzio and Mariano Fortuny, designed and decorated the exquisite ground floor with ancient tesserae in marble of different colors, inspired by the mosaic floors of St. Mark’s Basilica.    NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Palazzo Grimani – Domus Grimani    (Jan. 29)

An extraordinary Venetian museum, Palazzo Grimani boasts stately architecture, wonderful frescoes and an impressive archeological collection that reflect the rich knowledge and vast interests of one of the protagonists of Venice in the late 1500s, the Patriarch of Aquileia Giovanni Grimani. The tour will uncover the complex relations between the Serenissima and the Papacy at the time of the Counter-reformation and heresy, the role of antiquities, and the nature of the art collections of the time. Be ready to dive into ancient Rome while surrounded by Venetian canals.  BEGINNING TIME IS 10:30 A.M., THIS WEEK ONLY.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Querini Stampalia Palace   (Feb. 5)

Located just a few minutes from St. Mark’s square, the palace was once home to one of the most influential aristocratic families in the history of Venice since the 14th century. The last owner, Conte Giovanni Querini, bequeathed the property to a Foundation dedicated to public use of the building and its important heritage. The palace is the only one in Venice where the archive, the library, the furniture and the art collection were not dispersed. As you view artworks by Giovanni Bellini, Pietro Longhi, Gabriel Bella and many more, you will truly discover a hidden Venetian jewel. Last but not least, on the ground floor of the palace, you can enjoy the intervention by Carlo Scarpa who, in 1959, reimagined an otherwise neglected space as an art exhibition area with a wonderful garden.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE

Ca’ Rezzonico Palace   (Feb. 12)

The Ca’ Rezzonico Palace stands with its baroque façade on the Grand Canal, not too far from Ca’ Foscari and the Accademia bridge. Inside its sumptuous premises, you will enter the age of the Serenissima when pleasure, extreme luxury and the Carnival were the leading forces of the Venetian aristocracy, both the old and the nouveau riche families. As you tour the ballroom and the alcove, you will delight in the rococo furniture and the beautiful art of the 18th century:  the sensual frescoes by Tiepolo, the delicate pastels by Rosalba Carriera, the theatrical representations of Venice by Canaletto, the whimsical scenes of daily life by Guardi and Pietro Longhi,  and the sarcasm of the Pulcinellas by Giandomenico Tiepolo.  NO LONGER AVAILABLE