On this tour, many cultures and peoples meet and mix. For a time, Trieste marked the limit of the Roman Republic, later the border between the Ostrogoths and the Byzantines. For much of its history between 1381 and 1918 it was the principal port of the Holy Roman and Austrian Emperors - indeed, it could have been Shakespeare’s much-mocked ‘sea-coast of Bohemia’ of The Winter’s Tale. These are not its only Imperial ghosts; the castle of Miramare was built by the Austrian Archduke Maximilian, before he met his tragic end as Emperor of Mexico. Literary ghosts include two of the four great 20th century modernists, James Joyce and Italo Svevo.
As well as this liminal city we shall visit Aquileia, with fine Roman remains and especially mosaics, Palmanova, a 16th century Venetian fortress-city designed to be a Utopia, and Ljubljana, capital of Slovenia, and another outpost of Middle Europe. We will be staying at the fabulous Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta (www.grandhotelduchidaosta.com) Our last night will be in Venice, that bridge between East and West, where we will stay in the famous Pensione Seguso (www.pensionesegusovenice.com) patronised by Ruskin. We will eat in local specially chosen restaurants
Monday 23rd - Travel to Trieste via Venice
Depart on BA flight from Heathrow at 0855; arrive Venice at 1205
Transfer to the Grand Hotel Duchi d’Aosta. Tea and talk by Huon, followed by stroll through historic centre to waterfront for dinner.
Tuesday 24th - Old city of Trieste
Visit the Roman amphitheatre, cathedral and castle. Afternoon, visit to Museum Revoltella.
Wednesday 25th - Miramare and Udine
Morning: visit Miramare Castle and gardens on the outskirts of Trieste followed by lunch in medieval Sistiana. Afternoon: coach to Udine with its attractively arcaded squares, cathedral and palazzo patriarchale, home to some of Tiepolo’s finest work.
Thursday 26th - Aquilea and Palmanova
Coach to Aquilea, one of the most important cities of the Roman world and later of medieval Lombardy. Superb 4th century mosaics, basilicas and ancient port of Grado in the lagoon. After lunch, return to Trieste via Palmanova, a star-shaped Venetian fortress.
Friday 27th Ljubljana
Only 1hr 15 mins by coach from Trieste, we cannot miss the opportunity to visit the capital of Slovenia. Enjoy a leisurely walk taking in the highlights of historic city and lunch by the river, before returning to Trieste with time to relax or shop before dinner.
Saturday 28th Venice
Transfer by coach to Venice. Check in to the delightful Pensione Seguso. Late lunch and afternoon tour of Venice. Lighthearted quiz and dinner at a local restaurant.
Sunday 29th Return home
10.30 Waterbus to airport
12.50 BA flight Venice - LHR arrive 14.15
PRICE PER PERSON: £1,795 for those sharing a double/twin room, including everything apart from flights and drinks before and after lunch and dinner. We need to charge a single supplement of £300.
Do book with Katherine to guarantee a place on firstname.lastname@example.org. Her number is 01225 427311. She will require a non-refundable deposit of £500. Final payment will be due by July 23rd, 2017.