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The Cinque Terre Floods 2011

After the sad news that several of the World Heritage Site villages of the Cinque Terre were devastated by floods in October 2011

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New Trip in Piemonte

In 1388 the County of Savoy fought its way to the coast at Nice and so established a maritime port for the first time. The Duchy that was to follow added this magnificent part of Europe to the Holy Roman Empire. Later this came to form the nucleus of modern Italy, with Turin as its capital.

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Palladio and the Veneto

Of all western architects one name stands alone for the extent of his influence over future generations. The career of Andrea Palladio had an immediate impact on the architecture of his day and this influence has, uniquely, remained undiminished by the passage of time.

Palladianism spread to the rest of the Mediterranean, northern and eastern Europe and is extremely visible in the Anglo-Saxon world. The great Inigo Jones returned to England from a visit to the Veneto and brought English Renaissance architecture to a new and sudden maturity; in the United States the young Thomas Jefferson worked from Palladio’s ideas to create his own house, Monticello, before going on to build the Virginia State Capitol and playing a leading part in planning the new capital in Washington DC.

Palladio’s own buildings are confined to the region known as the Veneto. In Venice itself he designed several churches, but it is in the area inland from the great city, around Vicenza, that his genius shines through most completely. This startlingly beautiful and romantic town contains most of Palladio’s civic urban architecture and around it lie the great villas, perhaps the buildings for which Palladio was

most famous. These gems of architecture are dotted through a countryside of immense variety and beauty in the plains and hills of northern Italy.

Our route will visit the glorious richness of the provinces of Vicenza and Treviso. In this delightful countryside we can begin to appreciate the beauty of the villa culture which permeated this region in the sixteenth and seventeenth century. Through the hills and vineyards of the Colli Berici we arrive at the villa Pisani at Lonigo and in the dramatic setting of the Asolo hills we will walk to Palladio’s Villa Maser, an almost perfect combination of architecture, painting and statuary. In the almost fantastically beautiful medieval town of Bassano we taste fiery spirit and cross the wooden bridge built to the master’s design on the road to the fabled castle of Marostica.

The countryside inland from Venice is both beautiful and serene. Superb northern Italian scenery, magical walking and the discovery of one of the world’s great artists is the basis for our walk. Add to this first class accommodation that reflects the theme of our walk as we stay in three delightful country villas. The mixture is complete with the food of the northeast which includes some of the best ingredients in Italian cuisine, porcini and other wild mushrooms, wonderful fish and game from the mountains and the best polenta.