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Voysey House,
Barley Mow Passage
London W4 4GF
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Telephone: +44 (0)20 8742 3355

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Genoa & Turin - Palaces & galleries in Northwest Italy

    • Two cities, often unaccountably overlooked. One, a leading republic of mediaeval Italy and birthplace of Columbus; the other developed on a grand scale in the 17th and 18th centuries.
    • Magnificent palaces and churches, from mediaeval to Baroque.
    • Led by Dr Luca Leoncini, art historian specialising in 15th–17th-century Northern Italian paintings.
    • Exceptional picture collections with particularly fine examples of Van Dyck and Rubens.
Church Of Superga, Outside Turin, Late-19th-century Wood Engraving.
Church of Superga, outside Turin, late-19th-century wood engraving.

‘Secret cities’ would have been an absurd subtitle for two such major places, but did seem to suggest itself because of the rarity with which Britons find themselves there. But every art lover should go.

The prevailing images are perhaps still predominantly commercial and industrial, but not only do both Genoa and Turin have highly attractive centres but both are distinguished by the preservation of a large number of magnificent palaces and picture collections.

Genoa lays claim to the largest historic centre of any European city. It was one of the leading maritime republics of mediaeval Italy (with Marseilles it remains the largest port in the Mediterranean), and enjoyed a golden age during the seventeenth century. In the 1990s civic improvements and building restorations were undertaken to prepare the city for celebrations connected with the quincentenary of Columbus’s first voyage to the Americas, and the cultural momentum has continued.

In the earlier seventeenth century, Genoa was artistically the equal of almost anywhere in Italy except for Rome and Naples. More than any other Italian school of painting, the Genoese was indebted to the Flemish school: Rubens made a prolonged visit to Genoa in 1605 and Anthony Van Dyck was based there from 1621 to 1627. Many of his paintings remain here.

Turin, the leading city of Piedmont, was formerly capital of Savoy and later of the kingdom of Sardinia. Developed on a grand scale in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the historic centre is laid out on a regular plan with broad avenues and spacious piazzas. Architecture is mainly Baroque and classical. Guarino Guarini and Filippo Juvarra, among the best architects of their time, worked here for much of their lives.

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from £2,330
3–9 Apr 2016
Both hotels excellent. I was particularly impressed with the hotel in Turin, well located, large rooms, very good food, outstanding service.
Our lecturer was exemplary in all aspects of the role–this was one of the most enjoyable tours overall I have done with you.
Varied with a good balance between palaces and art. It was good to have an evening at the opera.
My first experience with Martin Randall – a first class experience.
Overall a stimulating experience and one we would recommend to others 

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