Friday 15th February 2013
In Spring 2013 the British Museum will present a major exhibition on the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. This is the first such exhibition in the museum’s history and it promises to be an important event in the exhibition calendar. Over 250 objects will be on display, and the main focus will be the Roman home and the people who lived in the two cities which were destroyed by the eruption of Mt Vesuvius within a period of 24 hours in AD 79. A preview of what’s in store is available from the museum’s website at www.britishmuseum.org.
The London show provides a wonderful opportunity for you to introduce the idea of a visit to the Bay of Naples to your group. The importance of the exhibition and the interest which it will no doubt generate acts as a perfect catalyst for a visit to southern Italy. Over the years we have arranged many group tours to this area, and our itineraries include visits not only to Pompeii and Herculaneum but also further afield to Capri, Amalfi, Ravello and of course the beautiful city of Naples itself with its superb museums, vibrant streets and spectacular vistas. Our tours are based in a family hotel in the charming town of Vico Equense close to all the points of interest, and as usual the key ingredient is the quality of our guide-lecturer who continues to receive the highest praise from all our groups. Naples is served by a variety of UK airports, so please do get in touch for a suggested itinerary for your group.
Wednesday 16th November 2011
During September we arranged a lecture and lunch in the fascinating surroundings of the recently renovated Museum of the Order of St John in London. Quite appropriately, the theme was Malta and its cultural and historical significance, and we are very grateful for the support of the Maltese Tourist Office in London in making this possible. We have long championed the cause of Malta as a destination for cultural group tours in the face of its popular image as a mass-market tourist destination. The event at The Museum of St John provided the perfect opportunity to showcase Malta’s cultural heritage and in order to do so we enlisted the services of Geoffrey Toms who lectures widely for many NADFAS and other groups and who knows Malta well. With over 7,000 years of history to explore Malta is a true treasure-trove of artistic, archaeological and historical delights. Its position in the heart of the Mediterranean has always been central to its importance as a trade route, and what makes the island unique is that so much of its past is visible today. The tours which we arrange take in the broad sweep of Maltese history through the island’s art and architecture whilst at the same time offer an insight into aristocratic life of the island by way of privileged access to some private homes with their fine collections of furniture, silverware and paintings. So if you thought that Malta was just another island in the sun, please, please think again!
Tuesday 15th March 2011
Although relatively untouched by visitors from Western Europe, Bulgaria is a country of astounding natural beauty with an astonishing wealth of historical monuments. Situated at the south eastern corner of Europe, the many and varied civilizations which once occupied this area all left cultural legacies which have turned modern-day Bulgaria into a living open-air museum. The country has known many rulers - Thracians, Romans, Byzantines and Ottoman Turks - resulting in an eclectic cultural mix all set against a backdrop of fine mountain scenery.
The country's well-preserved medieval monasteries are of particular significance. They form part of the Orthodox tradition of religious art and architecture in south eastern Europe that stems from Byzantium and were instrumental in keeping alive the country's values and traditions during Ottoman rule. The renowned monasteries at Rila,Troyan and Bachkovo are all set in beautifully wooded landscapes and reveal wonderfully vivid frescoes in an atmosphere of utmost serenity.
Our suggested itinerary offers a real insight into the culture and history of this fascinating nation, and also includes visits to Plovdiv, Bulgaria's second city which is home to a Roman theatre, cobbled streets and some delightful 19th century architecture; to the conservation village of Koprivshtica, rich in vernacular architecture and where the April Uprising of 1876 against the Ottoman regime began; and of course to Sofia, Bulgaria's capital city, where the National Historical Museum boasts an extensive collection of old Thracian treasures and presents the history of Bulgaria by means of an excellent array of artefacts from prehistoric times to the early
20th century. Local culture, as well as the tasting of some of Bulgaria's finest wines, is also an important feature of any tour to this fascinating country.
Please contact us for full details of this tour.
Wednesday 13th January 2010
Those who travel regularly with us know the importance which we attach to providing top class guides and lecturers. Mauricio Macarron, a resident of Madrid, continues to attract the highest praise from all our groups who visit the city due to his encyclopaedic knowledge and his ability to communicate with enthusiasm and flair.
Several of you have expressed an interest in returning to Madrid in order to explore sights not covered first time around, and with this in mind Mauricio has helped us put together a few suggestions for alternative visits. Such a tour would appeal to those who already have some knowledge of the city but who would like a more in-depth look in the company of someone who knows it intimately. Four small museums immediately come into the reckoning - the Sorolla, the Cerralbo, the Lazaro Galdiano and the Romántico. These are all intimate spaces which are often overlooked but where one finds superb collections in exquisite city mansions. A number of churches and convents also offer opportunities for rewarding visits – near the delightful convent of Las Descalzas Reales is the convent of La Encarnación, foundation of Margaret of Austria, spouse of Philip III. Meanwhile the church of San Antonio de la Florida contains wonderful Goya frescoes and the church of San Francisco el Grande, close to the Royal Palace and rarely visited, is arguably the most beautiful in Madrid.
A second visit to Madrid also offers the opportunity to explore further afield. Segovia, La Granja, Aranjuez, Chichon are all possibilities whilst a second visit to the Prado allows a more focused approach to viewing some of the vast collection. For the adventurous, the High Speed Train also provides a link to the south since the city of Cordoba can be reached in around 2 hours.
With flights available from a large number of regional airports Madrid is easily accessible for a short visit. Please contact us for a detailed itinerary and prices.
Friday 24th April 2009
We all have images of Florence, but beyond the familiar red rooftops, the famous collections of its state museums and the ecclesiastical shrines of its Renaissance heart the city has many other secrets. Join Heritage Group Travel this winter for some glimpses of hidden Florence in the company of a well-connected resident, without the crowds! The tours which we have designed include visits to places which are often overlooked and to which few people have access, making this a truly special opportunity for you and your group.
Please call us for a brochure and an itemised itinerary
Tuesday 17th February 2009
Many of you have already told us of your visit to the wonderful exhibition at The Royal Academy which traces 1,000 years of the splendours of Byzantium from 330-1453. Some 300 objects are on display, showcasing the artistic output of an Empire throughout its rise and its fall.
It closes on 22 March – so you still have time to go!
Byzantine Constantinople was fabulously wealthy with its legendary hippodrome, palaces and churches and much of this can still be seen in modern day Constantinople (Istanbul) which is European Capital of Culture 2010.
2010 is the perfect time to soak up more of this incredible period of history. The parks and gardens of the old city, the exquisite architecture of the sultans’ Topkapi Palace (housing treasures of the Ottoman Empire), and, of course, the famous Blue Mosque make this a special destination.
Istanbul offers a rich historical and artistic blend of the European and the Asian. The imposing Hagia Sophia, for example, began life as a Byzantine Cathedral, was later used as a mosque, and is now a museum. Other highlights which could be included in a tour are the Church of St Sergius & St Bacchus, Dolmabahçe Palace and the magnificent Mosaic Museum.
Call us for more ideas on a tour Istanbul 2010.