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The First Three Weeks in Venice

Since March 2020 all of us at John Hall Venice have been wrestling with questions and problems, hope and worry. Would be able to run the programme? Would COVID stop us in our tracks?

Well, we have made it so far!

What we have been so grateful for has been the fantastic enthusiasm from out students and their parents.

Arriving in Venice in the middle of July, missing the imposition of another quarantine period was such a fantastic boost and seemed like a great omen. What I'd like to start with is a series of photos of how the course has gone, so here we go with the first few weeks. As I get the hang of this I'll become a bit more adept and (hopefully) a bit more skilled.

If, like me, you've got a bit fed up with the commercial Social Media platforms where you know that it's just clicks, likes, algorithm counts and observation, then all you need to know about what we do is to inform you of what you and your young are up to, and obviously, encourage you to browse the website and sign your friends and families up to future courses.

This is a slightly weird one, in the past we ran summer courses, but the heat and (in previous pre-pandemic years) the masses of tourists has often made running the programme less fun.

Now you don't have to go to Instagram or Facebook (who, as we all know, are related, and exist for commercial purposes)

We've had an amazing three weeks, basking in the sun and travelling down to Ravenna to see the 5th century mosaics, we've been to the Palladian villas in the Veneto to Villa Barbaro and Villa Emo, we've taken the train to Padua to visit the extraordinary Scrovegni chapel and Giotto's frescoes, the rather sad (but nonetheless important) frescoes by Mantegna, Donatello's gilded bronze panels on the altar (we organised the extraordinary priveleged visit to behind the altar of the Basilica of St Anthony)

The lecturers that we've had are wonderful; Nigel McGilchrist speaking about marble, Marco Polo, the spice trade, and giving a practical demonstration of Egg Tempera painting, Patrick Craig on early choral music to Vivaldi and Benjamin Britten, with added treat of actually singing for us during our private night time visit to San Marco!!, the dynamic Andrew Hopkins on architecture, Gregory Dowling taking us through some of the major movements in Western Philosophy and then some of the great English poets who came in Italy...much much more!

And here are a few photos that might entertain you. Cookery class, hanging out, We went round the Giardini to see the Architecture Biennale, we've been to the Scuola di San Rocco, the amazing Toto Bergamo Rossi, director of Venetian Heritage, explained his project to restore the crumbling staircase at the Scuola Grande di San Giovanni Evangelista...much much more, and MUCH more to come!

Spread the word, this is now where to come for information....


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