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: .


SEE VENICE with Luisella Romeo- PART II    beginning Feb. 19

I'm so excited to announce our second series of Virtual Tours of Venice with our spectacular tour guide, Luisella Romeo!!   If you participated in our first series then you know what a special experience it has been for everyone. Our upcoming tours  will be equally exciting and will offer us glimpses into the creative life of Venice today.  From the Murano studio of Lino Tagliapietra to the Bevilacqua Silk Weaving Mill to the Tramontin historic gondola yard, you'll  enjoy entry into private studios and workshops throughout the city.  You'll see hands-on restoration in progress on the splendid staircase in the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista.  And our walking tour of Cannaregio will take us to the Jewish Ghetto, still a center of Jewish life today.

The new series begins on Feb. 19, ends on March 26, and meets each Friday from 9:00 to 10:15 EST.  Luisella is not available on March 12, so I'm taking advantage of that time slot to present a slide lecture entitled "The Venetian Perspective:  Selected Paintings from the Accademia Gallery in Venice".

Since our first tour is now completed, it's no longer possible to register for the entire series, but you can easily sign up for individual tours.   The cost is $16 each and $10 for the lecture. You will receive a link in your email the night before each visit and the link will also be available on the website in the Downloads section of your account page.  All visits will be recorded, so if you can't view them in real time, you'll be able to watch later.

Scroll down for dates, descriptions, and individual registration options.

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.



A Venetian Perspective: Selections from the Accademia Gallery in Venice, Mar. 12

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.


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".

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.


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