with the masterpieces of PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA

28 June - 7 July 2018

Our tenth visit to the Italian festival, established in a glorious Umbrian setting near her holiday home by the charismatic Canadian concert pianist Angela Hewitt OBE. Recitals are given in the courtyard of the Knights of Malta castle near Lake Trasimeno, in a delightful theatre in Cortona and a magnificent abbey church in Perugia. The pianist Gabriela Montero and rising soprano Ilona Domnich also appear.

We stay in a charming hotel right on the lake which makes a relaxing base with its swimming pool and adjoining pier for gentle boat trips to the islands. Even on an excursion day there is time in the afternoon to rest or swim before supper and the ten minute drive to the concert. Virginia Woolf wrote how she would far rather have stayed by the lake than in hot and steamy Perugia.

Excursions are made to Assisi (Giotto frescoes), Perugia, Cortona and Orvieto (Signorelli frescoes). We follow the Piero della Francesca trail to Arezzo (The True Cross frescoes and Mary Magdalene) - Monterchi (the Madonna del Parto) and Sansepolcro (Resurrection and Madonna della Misericordia). Art history tours of the major fresco cycles cover the same ground but without the concerts!

We have lunches at carefully selected restaurants on our excursions and suppers at our hotel and also three very special gala dinners with Angela Hewitt (wine and coffee included).

A short YouTube film about a recent festival can be viewed at YouTube.

Cost: £3580 to include return scheduled flights to Pisa, transfers, 9 nights accommodation, 7 concerts, 3 lunches, 9 suppers including Gala Dinners. Single supplement £280. Deposit £400.


Thursday 28 June
Flight Heathrow – Pisa (dep Heathrow Terminal 5 at 8.25). Coach through the Tuscan countryside, pausing for lunch in Monteriggioni – a small town ringed by high towers and mentioned by Dante - to hotel and supper.

Friday 29 June
Coach to PERUGIA - Collegio del Cambio and Umbrian National Gallery, lunch then free afternoon.
Gala dinner and Opening concert in the Basilica di San Pietro, Perugia :

Camerata Salzburg    Angela Hewitt, piano
Elgar: Serenade for Strings
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 12 in A major, K 414
Finzi: Eclogue for piano and strings, Op. 10
Mozart: Piano Concerto No. 15 in B-flat major, K 450

Saturday 30 June
Coach to CORTONA, popular Tuscan hill town. Gallery and Etruscan museum. Lunch. Back to hotel for free afternoon. Supper then coach back to Cortona for Recital at Teatro Signorelli

Camerata Salzburg   Angela Hewitt piano

Bach: Concerto for 2 keyboards in C minor, BWV 1060
Mozart: Concerto for 2 pianos in E flat major, K 365
Schubert: Symphony No. 5 in B flat major

Sunday 1 July
Boat to the Islands – where St Francis once spent Lent. Lunch. Free afternoon.
Coach departure to the Basilica di San Pietro, Perugia :

Angela Hewitt, piano

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book I

Gala dinner
Monday 2 July
Free morning (boat to Castiglione or train to Perugia)
14.30 Coach to Teatro della Concordia in Monte Castello di Vibio (tiny 1806 opera house in Umbrian hill town) – discussion with Sir Richard Eyre followed by buffet supper then to castle of the Knights of Malta

Royal String Quartet

W.A. Mozart: String Quartet No. 15 in D minor, K 421
H. Górecki: String Quartet No. 1, Op. 62
W.A. Mozart: String Quartet No. 19 in C major, K 465 “Dissonance”
P. Glass: String Quartet No. 3 “Mishima”

Tuesday 3 July
09.00 coach to ASSISI with Basilica and Giotto frescoes. Back to hotel for free afternoon.
Supper at hotel then to the Castle for Angela’s birthday concert :

Ilona Domnich, soprano Gabriela Montero and Angela Hewitt, piano
The Royal String Quartet
Programme to include:
Ravel: Shéhérazade
Satie: Trois Gymnopédies
Canteloube: Chants d’Auvergne (first book)
Wagner: Siegfried Idyll
Gabriela Montero: Improvisation for Angela

Wednesday 4 July
Free day then to Posta dei Domini outside Perugia for Gala Dinner and Recital

Angela Hewitt, piano    Andrea Oliva, flute    William Chiquito, violin

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Nos. 1-12
Bach: Sonata for flute and piano in G minor, BWV 1020
Bach: Trio Sonata from The Musical Offering, BWV 1079

Thursday 5 July Free day – boat to Castiglione sul Lago or train to Perugia.
Supper at hotel then to the Castle for closing concert :

Angela Hewitt, piano

Bach: The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book II, Nos. 13-24
Beethoven: Sonata in C major, Op. 53 “Waldstein”

Friday 6 July

PIERO DELLA FRANCESCA TRAIL: Arezzo (The True Cross frescoes) - Monterchi (the Madonna del Parto) - Sansepolcro (Resurrection and Madonna della Misericordia). Lunch. We see all the most important Piero frescoes and his birthplace. Final dinner at hotel.

Saturday 7 July
leave for PISA – visit the Certosa di Pisa then free time to explore the Campo dei Miracoli (Duomo, Baptistery and the Leaning Tower).
Then Pisa airport for BA flight dep 17.55 arr Heathrow 19.20

Meals in bold are included – with wine and water and coffee. Our hotel is a just short walk from the boat terminal so it is possible to go to the islands and back in a free hour or to sit by our private pool. The railway station is a few minutes away with a regular and easy journey into the heart or Perugia.

1 December 2017. Programme subject to alteration.


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