Steal away to Italy and be dazzled by beauty as you enjoy private openings of major museums, churches, palaces, private homes, and historic gardens. Encounter the charisma of prestigious Italians in their own personal settings—a famed restorer in his laboratory, a garden historian on her private estate, an internationally-acclaimed artist on his Tuscan farm. Gaze out over the medieval skyline of Siena while unwinding with cocktails on the terrace of a beloved noble-woman's city home. See what tourists rarely see as you move from private villa to private villa in the romantic countryside of the Veneto, experiencing privileged views of Palladio, Veronese, Tiepolo, and other masters as you go. Expand your Italian horizons by going off the beaten track, sampling the great food and art of Emilia Romagna, the Greek-influenced landscapes and charms of Puglia, or the romantic castles and famous vineyards of Piedmont. Explore the rich variety of Italy’s inspired regional cuisines dining in divine company in fine restaurants, hidden osterias, and the charming homes of leading cooking instructors.
But other great Mediterranean destinations await as well on ISDI's custom-designed educational group travel programs. Be moved by the wistful strains of the fado in a tile-covered club in the heart of old Lisbon. Sample delicious port wine while being regaled with local legends and spectacular stories in the elegant country home of a former Portuguese ambassador. Examine the amazing new museum architecture of sunny Spain—from the Guggenheim Bilbao to soaring Calatrava buildings in Valencia to the new wing of the Prado in Madrid. Relive the glories of distant battles and royal courts at the incomparable Alhambra, where gates will open exclusively for you. Follow in the footsteps of Pablo Picasso, Julia Child, Henri Matisse, and Napoleon while meandering from village to village in Provence and the French Riviera. Explore art history in cosmopolitan Athens, where the sculptural and architectural relics of the ancients blend with world-renowned private modern art collections to create a thrilling synergy.
A stunning ivy-covered castle and its gardens in Italy
The awe-inspiring interior and dome of the Granada Cathedral in Spain