Travel Program

Palladio’s Legacy: Venice, Italy

Sep 24 - Oct 5, 2024

Join us in celebrating the 250th Anniversary of Hammond-Harwood House by exploring architecture and garden design influenced by Andrea Palladio in the Veneto area of Italy.

Join a small group and HHH Curator, Lucinda Edinberg, on an 11 day tour to Italy for an exclusive, thoughtful, customized itinerary centered on Palladian architecture in the Veneto.


Beauty will result from the form and the correspondence of the whole, with respect to the several parts,…that the structure may appear an entire and complete body.

– Andrea Palladio (1508-1580), The Four Books of Architecture

Andrea Palladio’s design principles became standards of beauty in Europe and beyond over the course of hundreds of years. In the New World, Palladio’s work inspired the design of the 1774 Hammond-Harwood House, which is based on his drawings of Villa Pisani in Montagnana, Italy. To celebrate the 250th anniversary of the Hammond-Harwood House in 2024, we are launching a very special travel program for our members. Our first trip will be to the Veneto area of Italy, which holds a treasure trove of Palladian examples.

The itinerary for the trip has been customed designed by Adventures Abroad Worldwide Travel Ltd., a full-service travel agency that will handle all booking details for the trip. Included are no less than 13 Palladian sites to visit, as well as other masterworks of architecture and garden design in Venice and the Veneto region. This tour will be a feast for the senses, and for the mind as well, as we learn about and contemplate beauty in many different forms.

Accommodation will be at three- or four-star hotels, and all breakfasts are included. Two dinners will be with the group; the remainder of lunches and dinners will be unscheduled so that tour participants can explore the many restaurants representing the rich cuisine of the region.

This will be a small group trip with a minimum of 14 participants and a maximum of 30. At least one member of a pair travelling together must be a member of Hammond-Harwood House. Curator Lucinda Edinberg will be traveling with the group for the entire journey.


11 days door to door departing the US on Sep 24, 2024 & returning Oct 5, 2024

Day 1 - Sep 25 (Wednesday) Arrive in Venice

Arrive in Venice and transfer to the hotel. Enjoy a welcome dinner in a local Venetian restaurant.

Overnight in Venice. Included Meal: Dinner.

Day 2 - Sep 26 (Thursday) Venice: City Tour and Secret Gardens

The guided walking tour will concentrate on St. Mark’s Square, surrounded by elegant, historic buildings. Napoleon called Piazza San Marco “the drawing room of Europe.” First is a tour of the Doge’s Palace. This former seat of Venetian power has the second largest room in Europe. Of interest in the council rooms is Tintoretto’s Paradise over the Grand Council Chamber — alleged to be the largest oil painting in the world. The palace is connected to the old prison by the Bridge of Sighs. In the late 16th century, the decision was made to build new, airier prison cells to replace the original dark dungeons. It was from this new prison that Casanova made his daring escape across the rooftops in 1755.

The highlight of the square is St. Mark’s Basilica, a Byzantine masterpiece. This cathedral was begun in 830 C.E. to house the tomb of St. Mark, whose relics were stolen from Alexandria in Egypt. The inside walls are encrusted with precious art, rare marble, and magnificent mosaics. Behind the altar is the famous gold altarpiece, Pala d’Oro, which is one of the finest examples of gold craftsmanship.

Explore the secret gardens of Venice. Venture off the beaten track with a fascinating boat tour and learn about many of the city’s famous squares, which were once green spaces. Enjoy a glimpse over the high walls to view some of the elaborate palace parks that flourish in this floating city.

Hidden among dense alleyways and meandering canals, are some of the city’s natural treasures. Witness palace gardens that are part of private residences. Some of these residences are still inhabited by the Count and Countess and are not normally open to the public. As a member of the Venetian Gardens Association, the tour’s knowledgeable guide will share their knowledge of these special, exclusive spaces.

Hop back on the limo water taxi and explore the secret gardens of the Cannaregio area before ending the tour with a private visit to a real jewel – San Francesco della Vigna, the oldest urban vineyard in Venice. Here is also one of the two Franciscan churches on the island designed by Jacopo Sansovino. The splendid marble facade is by Andrea Palladio (Italian, 1508-1580). San Francesco della Vigna has three cloisters: two cloisters are used as a vegetable garden and vineyard, while the third cloister collects rainwater to irrigate the vineyards. Visit this secret garden and marvel at the enchanted hidden gems of the lagoon.

Overnight in Venice. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 3 - Sep 27 (Friday) Venice: Castello district and Jewish Ghetto

Tour the Castello district. Castello, the most authentic area in the city, an off-the-beaten-path neighborhood still almost entirely inhabited by Venetians.

First is Rio della Tana, right at the Arsenale entrance, and Rio dei Giardini, close to the Biennale. At the Arsenale is the 46-metre-long Enrico Dandolo submarine, part of the heritage of the Naval History Museum, and the 49 ft. high Lorenzo Quinn Building Bridges sculpture: six pairs of touching hands embracing and tracing a symbolic bridge, designed for the 2019 Venice Biennale. The sculptor has said of this work:“Venice is a world heritage city, and it is the city of bridges. It is the perfect location to spread a message of world unity and peace so that more of us around the world build bridges with others rather than walls and barriers.”

Next stop is San Giovanni and Paolo to admire one of the most impressive medieval and religious buildings in Venice and visit Libreria Acqua Alta, the most famous, almost floating bookstore of Venice.

Palazzo Grimani, a real jewel of frescoes, stuccoes, and gildings, is the final site of the morning.

A visit to the Jewish Ghetto

Embark on a private boat tour down the Grand Canal in Venice, called “the most beautiful avenue in the world” for its monuments, churches, and palaces. Equally fascinating are the people who inhabited it; nobles, artists, courtesans.
End the boat tour at Cannaregio, a hidden gem of the city. One-time tourists rarely take the opportunity to explore it, missing the chance to experience its local, peaceful and quiet vibe. Visit the majestic church of Madonna dell’ Orto, with its mullioned windows and its Greek marble columns supporting double-framed pointed arches. The interior includes paintings created by Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti, Italian 1518-1594), who is buried here. Walk along the Fondamenta della Misericordia and stop at a local bacato for a truly Venetian aperitivo in fondamenta. Taste a spritz or Prosecco accompanied by the famous cicchetti selection. After the aperitif the tour will reach the Jewish Ghetto, one of the settings of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice. Prior to Napoleon’s conquest in 1797, the Jewish population was segregated and compelled to live here by the government of the Venetian Republic. The Ghetto was connected to the rest of the city by two bridges that were open only during daylight and locked at night.

Overnight in Venice. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 4 - Sep 28 (Saturday) Venice to Vicenza

Transfer from the hotel to Tronchetto parking to board the private coach to Vicenza, the birthplace of Andrea Palladio, with several stops along the way including: Villa Badoer at Fratta Polesine , and Villa Poiana, all Palladian designs.

Along the way is the Villa Pisani Stra; the queen of the world-famous Venetian villas and one of the main tourist attractions in the Veneto Region. The fine villa of the noble Pisani family lies along the Riviera del Brenta, an ideal extension of Venetian Grand Canal on the land, 10 minutes away from Padua and 20 minutes from Venice. Doges, kings, and emperors were welcomed to the 144- roomrd villa. It is currently a national museum that conserves eighteenth and nineteenth century works of art and furniture. Gianbattista Tiepolo’s masterpiece, The Glory of the Pisani Family, a fresco on the ceiling of the ballroom may be viewed. An enthusiastic nineteenth-century traveler described the Villa Pisani gardens: “Every step is a new sight and a new beauty.” As in the past, the garden is enchanting with its flamboyant sights, original architecture, famous maze, valuable citrus fruit collection, and greenhouses with plants and flowers, “everything which gives pleasure to the sight and gratifies our taste,” as Almorò Pisani boasted.

Overnight in Vicenza. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 5 - Sep 29 (Sunday) Vicenza Area Tour

A drive to the hilltop La Rotonda, ten minutes from Vicenza, takes us to one of Palladio’s most famous buildings, domed with four porticoes.

While in Vicenza sights include several palaces by Palladio: the Palazzo Barbaran da Porto, which houses the Palladio Museum, the colonnaded Palazzo Chiericati and Villa Thiene and gardens. His chief civic works here are the Basilica – the medieval town hall nobly encased in classical guise – and the Teatro Olimpico, the earliest theatre of modern times.

Overnight in Vicenza. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 6 - Sep 30 (Monday) Montagnana Day trip

Today will be dedicated to Montagnana and the Villa Pisani.

A walk through the historic center of Montagnana leads through its four medieval doors to a town of history and traditions, including the Villa Poina. Tour includes a private visit to Villa Pisani, Montagnana. The drawings for this villa in Palladio’s Four Books of Architecture inspired William Buckland as a model for the Hammond-Harwood House.

Montagnana has the best-preserved medieval walls of Europe. Visit the splendid Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta Montagnana and climb the 131 ft/ 40 m high tower to enjoy a breathtaking view over the historic center and the surrounding countryside with the Euganean hills in the distance.

Overnight in Vicenza. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 7 - Oct 1 (Tuesday) Ponte Vecchio – Villa Maser – Asolo – Verona

Travel to Bassano to see the wooden bridge designed by Palladio, the Ponte Vecchio or Ponte degli Alpini. The bridge in Bassano del Grappa is the symbol of the city. The “Ponte Vecchio” or old bridge, crossing the river Brenta is the town’s main attraction and center of the old town. This 13th-century wood bridge has been redesigned and repaired multiple times throughout history. The current structure of the old bridge in Bassano (a newer one crosses the river in the south) carries the signature of Palladio. It is regarded as an engineering masterpiece difficult to replicate even with today’s technology. In recent years the structure has undergone many restorations and construction companies have faced difficulties in reproducing the original design.

The Bassano Bridge is also particularly relevant in Italian history, as it was crossed by the country’s Alpini Corp who specialized in mountain warfare against the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The Bassano bridge was destroyed during World War II by the local resistance.

Next visit Villa Barbaro di Maser, a prestigious venue for the agricultural estate of the noble Venetian brothers Daniele and Marcantonio Barbaro. The painter Paolo Veronese and sculptor Alessandro Vittoria were hired to provide the décor for the building. Its fortunate location on the hill, the elegance of its proportions, its harmony with the surrounding natural setting, and the beauty of the decoration make this villa one of the most admired of Palladio’s works.

Next stop is the charming village of Asolo. The Italian poet Giosuè Carducci defined Asolo the “city of one hundred horizons.” Asolo’s long history is evident in the Roman remains of the theatre, aqueduct, and baths. Of interest are the great medieval monuments: the Queen’s Castle, the 10th century Asolo Cathedral that houses a beautiful painting by Lorenzo Lotto –along with the Rocca on top of the hill, and the Venetian palaces with characteristic elements of the Renaissance.

The visit includes a tasting at a local prosecco house. As one of Italy’s two DOCG regions for prosecco, Asolo producers insist that the difference can be sensed in the “freshness” of an Asolo wine due to the Morainic soils in the high altitude Asolo vineyard hills.

Continue to Verona.

Overnight in Verona. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 8 - Oct 2 (Wednesday) Verona Tour

Verona became world famous for being the scene of the tragic love story of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. The story of the unfortunate couple draws thousands of people to Verona every year for its Shakespeare connection and its great Roman period monuments.

Morning stops in Verona will include: the Arena, the third largest Roman amphitheater of the world, Juliet’s House, Arche Scaligere, Piazza Bra, and Ponte Pietra.

Afternoon stops include San Fermo Maggiore, Veronetta and Palazzo Giusti. San Fermo is a rare example of the fusion of Romanesque and Gothic styles. On the other river bench, in the genuine part of the city called Veronetta, lie the beautiful palace and garden, owned by the same noble Guisti family for centuries.

Overnight in Verona. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 9 - Oct 3 (Thursday) Mantua Day Tour

The drive is to Mantua, nominated as a capital of gastronomy, a capital of culture, and one of the highest-ranked cities for its quality of life.

Mantua is known to local Italians as La Bella Addormentata, or “Sleeping Beauty”, and has remained largely untouched since the Middle Ages. Surrounded by lakes on three sides, the city is abundant in palaces and Renaissance architecture as well as natural beauty.

At first glance, Mantua seduces countless tourists with its imposing Castello di San Giorgio and the renowned Bridal Chamber by Andrea Mantegna. Visitors can’t help but remain in awe of this little Venice nestled in the heart of the Po River Valley, suggestively surrounded by the waters of the River Mincio, flowing down from Lake Garda.

The tiny city center offers many points of interest: Rigoletto’s House, Piazza Sordello, Palazzo Ducale, the splendid palace of the Gonzaga family, and the beautiful white façade of the Cathedral of San Pietro. Mantua is also home to numerous medieval buildings to be found around Piazza Broletto and Piazza delle Erbe. Also to be seen is The Church of Saint Andrew, a masterpiece of Renaissance architecture. Finally, the Teatro Scientifico is considered to be one of Italy’s most beautiful Baroque style theaters.

Afternoon sights include Borghetto sul Mincio: Borghetto is undoubtedly Valeggio sul Mincio’s best-known hamlet for its history, landscape, and monuments — making this a place so interesting that it has recently been included in the Club of “Borghi più belli d’italia.” This small village, built in harmony with the River Mincio, is characterized by historic fortifications dating back to the medieval ages. It owes its charm to the balanced relationship that history and nature have preserved almost intact over the centuries.

Today’s visit will include a visit to Palazzo Te, the Marquess of Mantua’s palace of leisure, and Teatro Bibiena, a Baroque masterpiece.

Overnight in Verona. Included Meal: Breakfast

Day 10 - Oct 4 (Friday) Verona – Padua – Venice

After a stop at Prato della Valle, the drive continues to Padua for a walking tour that includes the small Scrovegni Chapel, also known as the Arena Chapel, situated near the town center. Exquisite frescoes are by the 14th-century artist Giotto. The cycle of narrative frescoes inside the barrel-vaulted space are among the first examples of humanism and linear perspective.
Also in Padua is Europe’s oldest permanent Anatomical Theatre built in 1595 for medical dissections. The narrow viewing balconies were built to prevent students from falling if they should faint during a procedure. (The anatomy theatre is inside Palazzo Bo, part of the University of Padua. Visits can therefore be suspended by the university for academic reasons without warning.)

A short walk from the university is the Piazza Bo, the scene of one of the liveliest daily markets in Italy.
Another stop is at the University of Padua’s Botanical Garden, the oldest university garden in the world to have retained its original location and layout over the centuries.

The structure of the Garden (a square within a circle) was enclosed by a wall in 1552 to combat the continual theft of plants, targeted for the rarity of their vegetal properties and the value of the medicines obtained from them. The botanical stock continued to grow, with plants brought in from all parts of the globe, especially from those countries where the Venetian Republic had possessions or trade relations.

Since 1997 the Botanical Garden has been part of the UNESCO World Heritage List as a cultural landmark. The listing was justified by UNESCO: “The Botanical Garden of Padua is the original of all botanical gardens throughout the world, and represents the birth of science, of scientific exchanges, and understanding of the relationship between nature and culture. It has made a profound contribution to the development of many modern scientific disciplines, notably botany, medicine, chemistry, ecology, and pharmacy.”

On the return to Venice, sights include the summer retreats of Venetian patricians, for example Villa Foscari, ‘La Malcontena,’ one of Palladio’s most well-known and beautiful accomplishments. In Venice, check into the hotel and then gather for a lovely farewell dinner.

Overnight in Venice. Included Meals: Breakfast and Dinner

Day 11 - Oct 5 (Saturday) Depart

Transfer to the airport for flight home.

Included Meal: Breakfast


Here are some of the most asked questions. We hope you find the information you are looking for. If not, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Is membership in HHH required?

At least one member of a pair travelling together and sharing accommodations must be a member of the Hammond-Harwood House Association. We hope that this trip will attract new members as well as reward our current members for their support. We intend to offer at least one trip a year in the future and may require membership for every traveler. Become a member today.

Do I need to be vaccinated against COVID-19 to take the tour?

It is mandatory to be vaccinated against COVID-19 (including any recommended vaccine boosters) before joining the tour. You may be asked to provide evidence of your vaccination status on arrival. All tour directors and your fellow passengers will be vaccinated. As conditions change constantly, please consult your physician or local travelers’ health clinic for recommendations. You can also consult the CDC Website.

Do I need to take out travel insurance for my trip?

It is a condition of booking that you and all members of your party take out comprehensive travel insurance in order to participate on our tour. Please make sure your travel insurance is adequate for your needs. Your policy must include coverage for medical expenses, personal injury, and personal liability. We strongly recommend you also obtain coverage for loss of baggage, money, and valuables; delay or curtailment; missed departure; cancellation expenses and legal expenses. You may be asked to provide your travel insurer name, contact number and policy number prior to the tour. Some credit card companies provide trip insurance as a benefit, (for example, Chase Sapphire Preferred, Chase Sapphire Reserve, American Express Platinum, and Delta Sky Miles Reserve American Express). If you book your trip with one of these cards, that insurance benefit may meet this travel requirement.

What is the level of activity for this trip?

Our aim is for every participant to fully enjoy the sites and towns we visit. Please be aware that you will need to negotiate getting on and off a coach on a regular basis, walking on uneven surfaces, manage stairs in the hotels and showers over the bath. The nature of exploring the sites and historic towns we visit includes a reasonable amount of walking in our daily itineraries. Should participants wish to take a day off from the tour, they are perfectly entitled to do so if they are returning to the same hotel in the evening.

I am a single traveler. Is it possible to share a room? Why is there a single supplement?

We do not “match up” single travelers, but if you wish to share a room, we will notify Adventures Abroad to put you in touch with other single travelers interested in sharing accommodations. All hotels charge per room, which are often doubles, so that increases the price for a single traveler.

Is smoking allowed on the tour?

Smoking is not permitted on any transport, during sightseeing excursions, and all group meals.

What are the hotels selected for this trip?

At the time of the announcement, Adventures Abroad has not designated specific hotels. The final selection will depend on the size of our group (16-32 guests) which includes the Hammond-Harwood House curator and Adventures Abroad Tour Director. We are assured that the hotels will be three- or four-star in category of comfort. Unlike the United States star ratings are assigned and regulated by the Italian government based on their established criteria. Generally, hotels in Italy (alberghi) tend to be older (perhaps, you might call them old-fashioned) and are less likely to follow the formula of the large U.S. hotel chains. Italian hotels tend to be idiosyncratic, and more representative of the history, culture, and geography of their setting. All rooms are ensuite. Many hotels have leisure facilities. Please be aware that not all hotels have air-conditioning or elevators to every floor.

What is the luggage allowance?

The legal luggage allowance will be determined by the airline for your travel. However, please note that you will be expected to be able to handle all your own luggage at several points on the tour including transfers between hotels. Porterage is limited. We recommend limiting your luggage to one standard sized suitcase and one carry-on. The weight of the largest piece should not exceed 18kg/40lb per person.

Is there anything special I should pack?
  • Washcloths, because they are not supplied in Italian hotels.
  • Small umbrella. Rain showers are frequently a fact of daily life in the Veneto.
  • Electric converter and adapter plugs for smartphones, etc. Due to the antiquity, most Italian hotels do not have USB ports. Electric current is 220 volts AC, 50Hz, using a two-pin Continental European plug.
  • Sunscreen and pharmaceuticals are available locally but may be expensive.
What is the dress code?

Day wear is informal, and we recommend layers for variable temperatures, a waterproof jacket and appropriate footwear. In the evening we suggest “smart casual”, as Italians tend to dress up in the evening. Gentlemen are not required to wear jackets or tie.

Why aren’t more meals included in the tour price?

All breakfasts are included. It has been our experience that better meals, with more choices, at better prices, can be found if you approach lunch and dinner as a local. Dining as a local means eating solo, in pairs, or very small groups rather than in our larger group.

Would it be possible for me to talk to someone regarding their experience with Adventures Abroad?

Adventures Abroad have an extensive list of references and are happy to provide contact information for local travelers who participated in travel trips with Adventures Abroad. Additionally, their well-travelled staff can provide you with first-hand experience of their own tours with Adventures Abroad.

Tour Pricing

The cost of the trip is $5090 per person, based on double occupancy. A single supplement is $1280. A deposit of $500 is required at the time of booking. This deposit is nonrefundable. It may be recoverable under the terms of your trip insurance if you cancel for certain reasons. If the minimum number of 14 paying passengers is not booked by 60 days prior to departure, the trip will be cancelled and your deposit will be refunded. Final payment is due 60 days prior to departure.


The tour cost includes the following:

  • An exclusive, thoughtful, customized itinerary centered on Palladian architecture in the Veneto
  • Small group limit, from 16-32 participants, including the Tour Director and HHH curator
  • Accommodation in three- and four-star hotels in Venice, Verona and Vicenza
  • City taxes at each hotel
  • Breakfast daily
  • Welcome and Farewell dinners, with wine
  • Comfortable coach travel between sites
  • Entrance fees for all sites listed mentioned in the itinerary as “visited.”
  • Services of a professional Tour Director from arrival in Venice to departure
  • Professional, English-speaking local guides for guided visits
  • Transfers for Marco Polo airport in Venice when arriving and departing with the group
  • Gratuities for drivers, local guides, and the Tour Director
  • The pleasure of the company of Lucinda Edinberg, HHH curator, throughout the tour

The tour cost does not include the following:

  • Air fare
  • Any lunches and most dinners
  • Mandatory travel insurance
  • Gratuities for hotel service and porters
  • Personal expenses
  • Optional audio system
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