The two great medieval cities of Istanbul and Venice, straddling East and West, are indissolubly linked through their shared history, mercantile culture, art and outstanding physical beauty. Explore the links between these two powerful civilisations in depth, on our 15-day journey. We begin in Istanbul, imperial capital of both the Byzantines and the Ottoman Turks, Venice’s implacable enemy. We then fly to Italy, spending two nights in Ravenna, Byzantium’s capital in the West, before spending six nights in Venice, whose unique art and culture is profoundly influenced by its links to the East.
Days 1–6: In Istanbul, survey the mosaics in Hagia Sophia and the Great Palace Museum, cruise the mighty Bosphorus and admire Ottoman architecture and decorative arts at the Blue Mosque and Topkapı.
Days 7–8: Fly to Venice, travelling first to Ravenna for its stunning mosaics.
Days 9–15: Return to Venice via Padua’s extraordinary Scrovegni Chapel. In Venice, examine the extensive connections with the East at St Mark’s Basilica, the Correr, Jewish Ghetto and Accademia gallery. Explore the island monasteries of San Lazzaro and San Giorgio and cruise the Venetian lagoon, visiting Burano and Torcello.
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