Patrons, Artists, and Private Palazzi: an on-site art and culture seminar in Rome, Italy, with Giulia Bernardini

  • The Eternal City has beckoned visitors for millennia, from pharaohs and queens to pilgrims, merchants, diplomats, Grand Tourists, and modern-day travelers. It is a city filled with wonder at every turn and Giulia’s beloved home town. Let her guide you through it, from famous sites to hidden gems, and lose yourself in its fascinating history and vibrant present. Highlights include: the multi-layered church of San Clemente with its ancient Roman foundations, the awe-inspiring ruins of the Palatine Hill, sculptures, jewelry, and Roman frescoes in the little-known Palazzo Massimo museum, a market visit, cooking class, and lunch in a private home, an out-of town jaunt by chartered bus to the medieval Castello Orsini-Odescalchi, a private tour and lunch with the fellows at the stunning American Academy, and the Sistine Chapel and other wonders of the Vatican Museums before it opens, far from the madding crowd. All this and more is part of the mouth-watering itinerary.
  • Stay at the award-winning boutique Palazzo Navona Hotel in the heart of Rome’s centro storico.
  • Enjoy ample free time with the help of Giulia’s Inside Scoop: a hand-picked selection of Rome’s best food, shopping, gelato, artistic and cultural sites.
  • Explore optional literary selections culled by Giulia to expand your understanding of what you’ll see.
  • Share the experience with a small group of like-minded explorers (maximum of ten people).
  • Prices and dates forthcoming.

Seminar cost includes: 8 days of art history tuition, accommodations and breakfast (unless opting out), entry tickets to scheduled museums and galleries, five meals (3 lunches, 2 dinners), taxis to select destinations, ground transportation to and from countryside, gratuities. Does not include airfare, remaining lunches and dinners, ground transportation to and from airport in Rome. Seminar itinerary subject to change at any time.

Patrons, Artists, and Private Palazzi

For one indulgent week, we will feast on the art, architecture, food, and dolce vita (sweet life) of my enchanting native city and beyond. We’ll begin our exploration by considering the impact Rome’s imperial past had on the papal power brokers of central Italy from the fifteenth through the seventeenth centuries. As we discover palaces and squares, churches and monuments, we’ll see how Rome’s Renaissance and Baroque rulers harkened back to the glory of the ancient Roman empire to consolidate their dominion over one another, the city, the region, and all of Europe.

We’ll learn about the famous – and infamous – papal families of Rome as we take in ceiling frescoes and private collections in opulent, sprawling palazzi in the city proper and in picturesque country towns. We will gain an invaluable understanding of these vibrant periods of art patronage and architectural expansion all while exploring the roles played by artists such as Raphael, Michelangelo, Annibale Carracci, Bernini, and Caravaggio, among countless others, as we stand before their breath-taking works. All this will take place not only in the city’s numerous world-class museums but also in the many churches, private galleries, and elegant suburban villas where the works of art have stood since their creation.

Following the sound advice to “do as the Romans do,” we will punctuate our fascinating art historical explorations with leisurely walks through lively piazze, drinks in cafés on Rome’s most delightful streets, dinners in local osterie, and a leisurely full-day outing to two blissfully under-explored countryside palaces.

Join us for this unmissable experience. Contact Giulia to book your place and for more information at [email protected] or click ‘Contact Us’ below.

I look forward to seeing you at the banquet!


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