Virtual Venice II: Treasures of Art and Architecture

10 week course: 1st October - 10th December 2021


We are delighted to announce our new 10-week course starting in October, combining lectures by specialist art historian and National Gallery lecturer Siân Walters, with guided walks and live museum visits in Venice with expert Venetian guide, Luisella Romeo. Both lectures and visits are live and interactive, allowing you to ask questions. The lectures and visits are all different from our first Virtual Venice course earlier this year so the course can be enjoyed by both newcomers to Art History in Focus as well as students who have attended the previous module. 

Both Siân and Luisella are known for their informative but informal approach, combining erudite commentary with an entertaining and approachable delivery.

The lessons, streamed on Zoom Webinar, will enable you to gain special access to sites and galleries in Venice which are either currently closed or difficult to visit, whilst at the same time providing a wonderful opportunity to travel virtually from home. Our visits will also support both galleries and individuals working in the cultural sector whose activities have been affected by the current pandemic. A percentage of the course price is also reserved for supporting other cultural institutions in the city in need of assistance.

You are welcome to join the course at any point however, please note that you will only be able to see the recording from the previous session if you join after the course start date.


Our lectures will explore the history and enduring appeal of La Serenissima or "the Most Serene" Venetian Republic through its art and architecture, from Bellini's altarpieces and Canaletto's vedute to the majestic portraits of Veronese, the palatial commissions of Giambattista Tiepolo and the refined sculptures of Antonio Canova. 

Our guided walks use the most up-to-date technology to provide you with the best possible virtual experience. You will feel as though you are exploring the city yourself with the running commentary given by our guide, with the possibility of admiring details of the artworks in high resolution as we move around the galleries.

We have also arranged special access to a number of museums and important art collections which will be opened for us even if closed to the public. You will visit, for example, the splendid Ca’ Pesaro, one of the grandest palaces overlooking the Grand Canal and now famous for its international art collection. Here we will admire paintings by Italian artists including Morandi and de Chirico as well as other highlights such as Sewing the Sail by the Spanish Impressionist Joaquín Sorolla. There will be a special trip to Murano where we enjoy a live visit to one of the city's most prestigious glass factories, and there will also be a number of walking tours of the city. On one of these we will gain special access to the little known Ateneo Veneto, once a scuola or confraternity, which boasts a magnificent yet rarely visited collection of works by Tintoretto, Veronese, Palma il Giovane and Pietro Longhi.  We will also gain specially arranged access to the recently restored Palazzo Grimani and its impressive museum. Please note - the museums visited will be different from those visited in recent and up-coming Cultural Travels from Home webinars, so there will be no cross-over if you wish to attend these in addition to this course).


Tune in from anywhere in the world or enjoy a recorded version if you cannot watch live. A link to the recording will be sent soon after the end of the session if you cannot watch live, enabling you to watch on catch up after the session any time until Monday at midnight.*  Each session will last approximately 1 hour 45 minutes including a short break and two question/answer sessions. Students will be provided with full course outline and a suggested reading list/online resources approximately one week in advance of the start date - these will be sent by email.  Students also receive an informal weekly newsletter with Venetian news, reading suggestions, recipes and website links.

* Recordings are only available to those who miss a live session.

Live streamed lectures are on Friday mornings and all sessions run from 11.00 - 12.45.(UK time). There is no session on 5th November (half-term). The cost includes museum entrance fees and donationsA full course outline will be emailed to all attendees one week before the first session.

Please refer to the Further Information panel below for booking details.


Here are just a few comments following our previous Virtual Venice course:

I just want to thank you for your brilliant course on Venice which I have enjoyed enormously. The combination of your fascinating lectures and Luisella’s wonderful tours has been so enlightening.  I feel that I have actually been to Venice!...

You and Luisella did a fantastic job, providing us with an excellent course which was rich in content and utterly absorbing in every way. It was a complete escape from the challenges of life and provided a much needed oasis of calm and beauty!...

Your course on Venice is splendid - the combination of lectures and virtual walks/visits works brilliantly....

Thank you again, Siân, for arranging these lovely sessions which we look forward to all week....

A big thank you for the very much enjoyed Virtual Venice ...  It is certainly the highlight of the week leaving us with so many happy memories and positive thoughts ....

Thank you for the most excellent 10 week course on Venice, I really looked forward to Friday mornings ... Between you and Luisella  you gave such an interesting mix of knowledge on this mysterious city, its people, its buildings, its great artists and more....

I absolutely love your courses Sian! I am learning so much about art, history and the world .. but above all it is your unique style that is so enchanting and keeps me coming back for more! As an expert in your subject you have great knowledge but also the gift of making your lectures accessible to a wide range of participants through your wonderful use of language and lovely sense of fun. Thank you!

During these challenging times the Friday lectures have provided an oasis of calm and an opportunity to enjoy the delights and the good things that life has to offer. It has been a very positive and mindful experience! 

I have learnt so much from you and your Italian colleagues. It has been a complete joy and privilege to have taken part ...

Please refer to the Further Information panel below for more details. 


Further Information


1. BOOK.

Click on the gold “Book This Course/Event” button on the right hand side now, fill in the online booking form and pay online. Please use a UK account/card (if you are paying using a non-UK account/card please email us to arrange alternative payment methods). You will be notified automatically by email once your booking has been accepted.

Please ensure you enter your email address correctly, as your Zoom link will be sent to this address, thank you.

The participation fee is £150 per person, if making bookings for a number of people please provide their email addresses when booking them as separate participants. The fee includes "virtual visit" fees to sites visited as well as donations to cultural institutions in Venice in need of support.


Download ZOOM once you have booked - please print/download the instructions in this downloadable link and read them carefully. 


You will receive an email approximately 24-48 hours in advance of the event asking you to register.** This is a privacy function enabling only registered participants to attend. After registering you will automatically receive the Zoom log in link - please keep this safe

** Please note that these details are sent out in office hours, so if you book on a weekend you may not receive them until Monday. You must register with the same name that you have booked under and at least 45 minutes before the event begins, otherwise you may not be able to watch. If you have not received your email confirmations, please check your ‘deleted items' and 'junk mail' folders.


Join the event at least ten minutes before it is scheduled to start, to ensure everything is working.

If you are not able to watch at the time it is live-streamed, you can still book online, as above. You do not need to advise us if you can't participate live, don't worry! You will be contacted after the event has been broadcast with instructions on how to watch on catch up (until Monday evening). Please note, the recording is only available to those who have not been able to participate live.

Please refer to our Terms and Conditions for booking this event. We regret that we are unable to offer technical support with Zoom but tips can be found in the attachment. If you would like to book more than one event, please book separately for each event that you would like to attend, thank you. If you are booking for more than one person, it is important that you include their email address so that we can send them the link too. We regret we are unable to offer refunds but don't worry if you are not able to attend, as we will send you the recording

I just want to thank you for your brilliant course on Venice which I have enjoyed enormously. The combination of your fascinating lectures and Luisella’s wonderful tours has been so enlightening. I feel that I have actually been to Venice! ...”

Mrs P Worksett

Read more testimonials and comments


  • Live, guided walking tours of Venice
  • Lectures with specialist art historian
  • Exclusive live access to some of Venice's most beautiful collections and galleries, included in price
  • Private openings
  • Interactive Q&A



To book, please complete our online booking form.

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