Raphael and Michelangelo, the giants of the Renaissance

Raphael and Michelangelo are the two leading artists of the Renaissance and the personalities that most of all embody the values of this extraordinary cultural period. In order to follow in the footsteps of the two masters, both active between Florence and Rome, you have to start from Milan, the Pinacoteca di Brera, which contains “The Marriage of the Virgin” by Raphael, where you can still see the teachings of Perugino. The tour continues in Florence at the Gallery of Palazzo Pitti to see Agnolo Doni and the Madonna del Granduca. Many works of Raphael, though made for the city Medici, are preserved in museums around the world. Michelangelo did in the city of Giglio varied and extraordinary works as: ”the Battle of the Centaurs” at Casa Buonarroti,” Bacchus” to the National Museum, the “Pieta” in the Duomo, “the David and the Prison” at the Galleria dell’Accademia and the “Tondo Doni” in the Uffizi Gallery. In the New Sacristy, or Medici Chapel you can admire the Tomb of Giuliano de ‘Medici with the statues of Dawn, Day, Twilight and Night. The Laurentian Library, also in Florence, is an original architectural work of the great artist. From Florence you get to Urbino to see the house with ancient furnitures where Raphael lived. Sanzio and Michelangelo were both active in Rome and they were employed by the Pope. In the capital, you can contemplate the following paintings of Raphael: “the Lady with the Unicorn”, “the Baglioni Deposition” and “Fornarina” at the Galleria Borghese and “La Galatea” in the Villa Farnesina. In Rome Raphael devoted himself to a long project that involved the construction of the Vatican Rooms, a complex and extensive cycle of paintings, the famous School of Athens, in which the artist reached the peak of his mastery and full artistic maturity. Even Michelangelo was very active in Rome. The realization of the Sistine Chapel gave him immortal fame in the sixteenth century. Always in the Capital Michelangelo has realized the dome of St. Peter and the famous Pieta in the same basilica, the Tomb of Julius II and Moses in San Pietro in Vincoli. As architect, Michelangelo was involved in the development project of the Campidoglio Square. The tour ends in the capital, or you can make other trips.

Basic program (9 days – 8 nights)
The day: Milan
II day: Milan
III day: Milan – Florence
IV Day: Florence
V Day: Florence
VI day: Florence – Urbino – Rome
VII Day: Rome
VIII Day: Rome
IX Day: Rome – end of the tour, possibility to stay still in Rome, to make excursions to the Castelli Romani, the spa or the sea to the Pontine Islands.

The Villas of Palladio in Veneto

In the sixteenth century architect Andrea Palladio built many villas in Renaissance style masterfully interpreting the classical forms, and Vitruvian style anticipating even Neoclassicism. Andrea Palladio was active mainly in Veneto, where the following villas have to be visited: Villa Godi, Villa Zeno, Villa Cornaro and Villa Piovene at Lonedo near Vicenza, Villa Barbaro at Maser Unesco in the province of Treviso, Villa Trissino at Meledo. In Vicenza we will visit the “Palazzo della Ragione” renovated and renamed Palladian Basilica, Palazzo Chiericati, Palazzo Valmarana, Thien, Barbaran da Porto, Villa Rotonda and the Teatro Olimpico. In Venice, where the tour ends, Palladio made two churches, San Giorgio Maggiore and the Redeemer. Ability to customize the trip with bathing stays, spa and mountain and make excursions to neighboring cities.

Basic program (5 days – 4 nights)
The Day: Venice
II Day: Venice
III day: Venice – Vicenza
IV day: Vicenza
V Day: Vicenza – end of the tour or hiking possibilities in the surrounding area or to stay at sea, lakes or mountains.

Discovering Milan, Florence, Rome and Naples, the pearls of 1400

Donatello, Brunelleschi and Masaccio in 1400 founded a new artistic language, based on the scientific use of perspective, in this way the Renaissance starts, a period of history – artistic – cultural-economic involving all aspects of human life that after centuries of oblivion returned to being the center of everything. This real civilization spread to Italy and then in Europe and had as driving force Florence. This tour starts in Milan, a city that preserves palaces and Renaissance churches and in the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, where there’s one of the most famous works of the artistic genius of Leonardo da Vinci’s: “Last Dinner”. The journey continues in Florence, cradle of the Renaissance, to visit the Uffizi Gallery with the works of the greatest exponents of this period as Botticelli, Piero della Francesca and Beato Angelico. Through numerous walks you visit all the places of worship of the ‘400: the Ospedale degli Innocenti, the church of San Lorenzo, the church of Santa Croce, Palazzo Medici, Palazzo Pitti and more. The next stop for the tourist is the capital. In Rome you start from Palazzo Venezia before moving to Palazzo Riario and the church of Santa Maria in Aracoeli, to name a few monuments. Last stop of the tour is Naples with the beautiful Aragonese Arch in Castelnuovo, the monument Brancacci and Palazzo Sanseverino. The trip ends in the city itself, but can be extended with a side trip to the islands Capri, Ischia and Procida or the Amalfi coast or hiking in nearby Mount Vesuvius or the Royal Palace of Caserta with the beautiful UNESCO heritage.

Basic program (14 days – 13 nights)
The day: Milan
II day: Milan
III day: Milan – Florence
IV Day: Florence
V Day: Florence
VI Day: Florence
Seventh day: Florence – Rome
VIII Day: Rome
IX Day: Rome
X Day: Rome
XI Day: Rome – Naples
XII Day: Naples
XIII Day: Naples
XIV Day: Naples – end of the tour, a chance to go to the islands, in Amalfi coast, in Caserta or Mount Vesuvius.

Pienza the ideal Renaissance city and the frescoes by Mantegna in Mantua

The Renaissance was unique in each region. In Bergamo there was the architect Filarete, very active in Milan, who began the Cathedral. Another beautiful example of Renaissance art is the Colleoni Chapel. From Bergamo we go to Mantova to contemplate the frescoes in the Chapel Ovetari and works of the Ducal Palace of the great Andrea Mantegna. In Ferrara the Palazzo dei Diamanti is truly amazing, with stone diamond point and the church of San Francesco. We then reach Pienza, magnificent example of a city built according to the dictates of the Renaissance. Very interesting Piazza Duomo with the Palazzo Piccolomini and the Bishop. The last stop of the tour is Urbino, a treasure chest of valuable works from the Ducal Palace, the House of Raphael to the ex Monastery of St. Clare realized by the Martini. The tour ends in Urbino but can be extended with trips to the Republic of San Marino, in the surrounding area or to the sea.

Basic program (9 days – 8 nights)
The Day: Bergamo
II Day: Bergamo – Mantova
III day: Mantova
IV day: Mantova – Ferrara
V Day: Ferrara
VI Day: Ferrara – Pienza
VII Day: Pienza – Urbino
VIII Day: Urbino
IX Day: Urbino – end of the tour, chance to go to the Republic of San Marino or to the sea.