Our trusted study leaders and lecturers will introduce you to the world's artistic treasures.
With the Art Institute as your guide, embark on a voyage to uncover the globe's diverse cultural traditions.
Vienna and Beyond: A Cultural Journey through Austria and Slovenia
June 3–11, 2018
Central Europe is known for its stunning natural beauty as well as its vibrant cultural, musical, and artistic traditions. Join the Art Institute on this never-before-offered, custom-designed journey through the enchanting countries of Austria and Slovenia. Begin your journey in Slovenia’s capital city, Ljubljana. Take a walking tour of the old Baroque city center, stop by the grand St. Nicholas Cathedral, visit the home of famed national architect Jože Plečnik, and take a guided tour of the National Gallery of Slovenia. Gain a greater understanding of the current art scene with visits to local galleries and artists’ studios. In Vienna, learn of the historic treasures related to the Habsburg dynasty, with visits to legendary Belvedere Palace, the Albertina, and the State Hall of the Austrian National Library, and part of the grand Hofburg Palace. Examine the importance of Vienna’s most renowned artist Gustav Klimt at the Secession Building, the Leopold Museum, and the Bergtheatre. Visit an 1888 villa, designed by the great architect Otto Wagner, that is now the private home and gallery of a leading Viennese artist, and take in an opening of the priceless private collection of a Liechtenstein family, one of the wealthiest Viennese noble houses for centuries.
Step into a world of unparalleled artistic beauty, from the lauded works housed in the city’s world-renowned galleries to the little-known gems tucked into neighborhood churches and private homes. At the Uffizi Gallery, view masterpieces by Raphael, Botticelli, Caravaggio, da Vinci, Michelangelo, and Titian. Climb the staircase of the iconic Duomo—a Gothic masterpiece completed in 1436—with its famous Brunelleschi dome. Tour the Bargello, the former prison and headquarters of the Florentine police force that now houses one of the greatest collections of Renaissance sculpture. Visit the restoration labs of the city that have taken on the herculean task of restoring Europe’s great masterpieces. Take in the sun in the gardens of expansive villas and private palaces. Walk the path of the Palio, Siena’s legendary horse race, and discover the fraught history of the divisions of the city’s contrade, or neighborhoods. Immerse yourself in the wonders of Italy’s shining gem on the Arno. Finally, no trip to Florence would be complete without a visit to the prestigious Accademia, home of Michelangelo’s David.
Join the Art Institute on this journey through India, a complex and diverse country replete with luxurious palaces, sacred temples, ancient religions, customs, and dramatic landscapes.
Your journey begins in Chennai, the “Gateway to Southern India.” We will visit Mahabalipuram, the great temple city of the Pallava dynasty; the Dakshinachitra South Indian Cultural Center; take in a performance at the Kalashetra Dance Academy; and learn about the local life, ancient customs, and symbolism on a walk through the bustling neighborhood of Mylapore. In Puducherry, delight in the Immaculate Conception Cathedral, Sri Varadaraja Perumal Temple, the Pondicherry Museum, and the historic French Quarter.
In Darasuram, we will visit the 12th-century Airavateshvara Temple, dedicated to Lord Shiva. In Thanjavur, we will visit the magnificent Brihadeshwara Temple, the grandest architectural achievement of the Chola era and a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and take a tour of Tanjore Palace, which houses the Tamil University Museum, art gallery, and Saraswati Mahal Library.
In Madurai, visit the stunning Meenakshi Temple, take a walking tour of the old city with a local historian, and see the 17th-century Thirumalai Nayak Palace.
In Hyderabad, trek through Golconda Fort, visit the intricately carved Qutub Shahi royal tombs, view the vast holding of art and objects at the Salar Jung Museum, and take a private tour of our home for three nights, the breathtaking Taj Faluknama Palace.
As the 21st century evolves, Poland continues to emerge as a growing cultural hub within Europe. Few countries saw a more tragic 20th century than Poland, but as the country’s deepening economic and artistic ties to Germany and Western Europe continue to expand, the beautiful cities of Warsaw, Lodz, and Kraków are thriving. Despite this, few Americans have explored the cultural treasures of Poland. Our one-of-a-kind itinerary is primarily based in the great cities of Warsaw and Kraków, but we also go off the beaten path to the colorful city of Lodz and beautiful private estates in Tulowice and Lowicz. Learn about Poland’s rich aristocratic and artistic history through specialized lectures, and delve into the history of World War II, the difficulties of the Cold War, and the nation’s ongoing recovery. The program features centrally located hotels with plenty of historic character, a wide array of memorable meals, and the academic leadership of artist and popular Art Institute study leader Regina Mamou. We hope you will join your fellow members on this special journey in September.