Discover the history of Rome, see original masterpieces in the Sistine Chapel, re-imagine Roman gladiators at the Colosseum, and perform at some of the world’s most renowned basilicas on an Italy performance tour.
For choirs, nothing can compare to performing in the breathtaking beauty of St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome with its dome towering 450 feet above the floor of the Cathedral. Throughout Rome, there are many lovely churches – large and small, such as St. Paul’s Within the Walls – an Episcopal Church and the first non-Roman Catholic church in Rome. Visitors enjoy an intimate environment and frequent choral and instrumental concerts.
St. Mark’s Basilica is the magnificent church built in the Byzantine-Gothic style and whose parts date back over 1,000 years. Gabrieli, Vivaldi and many others composed music for masses and special occasions to be performed here. Choirs may perform at Mass in St. Mark’s, and other churches may be used for choral and instrumental performances. On the mainland area of Venice, schools, universities and churches are popular performing sites for all types of performing groups.
The Santa Croce (Holy Cross) Church with the tombs and monuments of Michelangelo, Galileo, Rossini, Machiavelli, and Dante is a great choral venue. Other grand churches include the Basilica of Santa Spirito, the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella and St. Mark’s English Church.
Arts and architecture demonstrated the grandeur of the Roman Empire, and you will see the Roman Colosseum, the Forum, the Pantheon and more, such as the more modern-era architecture, including St. Peter’s Basilica (begun in 1506), and the many fountains and gardens that grace the ‘Eternal City.’
A cluster of islands just off the mainland of northern Italy make up Venice, which resemble a fish from an aerial view. Built in a swampy area to protect against marauders, Venice grew to be a mighty city-state, gaining its wealth mostly from trading all across the known world – as far as India and China. Unique in character with its canals and bridges, Venice holds a special romantic flavor enjoyed by visitors from all over the world.
The birthplace of the Renaissance is a pilgrimage site for art lovers. The Galleria Accademia houses the world famous “David” of Michelangelo, and a priceless set of string instruments by Stradivarius. The Pitti Palace and the Uffizi Museum of Medieval Art are just two of the well known galleries among the treasure trove of art and architecture that exploded during the 15th and 16th centuries in Florence. Great shopping abounds in Florence for leather goods of all kinds, gold jewelry and Venetian glass.
Home to the word’s most famous opera house – La Scala di Milano Opera House, the great Duomo (Cathedral), the rich Galleria shopping area and the church of Santa Maria delle Grazie (home of da Vinci’s “Last Supper”), Milan offers great scenic beauty with its lakes and mountains nearby, in addition to its fine art. Other “must see” sites in Italy include the Leaning Tower of Pisa, Siena’s black and white marble Cathedral, and the fan-shaped town square where the famed ‘Palio’ horse race occurs each year.
Visit the ruins of the town of Pompeii covered and preserved by volcanic ash after the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD.
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