Henry James and Venice


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To more than one generation, Henry James was the ideal traveller. In October 1863, when only six months old, he crossed the Atlantic for the first time with his family. Four more trips followed during his teenage years. In so doing, he became a familiar visitor to London, Paris and Geneva.

James loved Europe and his fervour for travel was most evident there. It was the place he loved to visit repeatedly, both as a man and as a writer. In his works, he preferred to deal with international themes, and Italy became his favourite location. The reason for this is made evident in a well-known passage from one of his famous books, dated 1879, and dedicated to Hawthorne: " The flower of art blossoms only where the soil is deep... [It] takes a great deal of history to produce a little literature ... [and] it takes a complex social machinery to set a writer in motion".

For James, Italy was the land of beauty and passion, of art and history, of longing and nostalgia, where the past is visible can be visited with almost every step. He visited Venice and its area on many occasions from 1869 to 1907, wandering around in towns, cities and islands. All the Venetian places he visited can be traced in his letters, notebooks, essays, stories, novels and prefaces. The tour is designed to visit the quays, squares, palaces, bridges, churches, museums and paintings to which he often referred. You do not necessarily have to have read all of his novels or know his literary works. This tour could be the starting point for a thorough reading of James's novels.

Let yourself be accompanied by his pages. It will be a unique experience to visit Venice with a distinguished guide like Henry James, a curious observer and a companion with a great deal of experience, extensive cultural knowledge and acute intelligence. He will lead us to discover the city and its art, as well as the genius loci that animates it. Our guide is not only interested in landscapes, streets, churches, but also in painting, theatre and the national, social and individual peculiarities of the people we meet along with it. Therefore, this will be a tour of sounds, views, intuitions and reflections... and walks.

The Arts Journey will create a tailor-made itinerary for you, taking into account the amount of time you are able to spend in the lagoon city. Italian Hours and the other novels by Henry James, as well as his stories set in Venice, will be our point of departure for discovering James's most favoured Venetian environs. A reading of his works will provide the verbal and visual background to our walks along streets and bridges in search of the places where the writer lived and spent his time, and the settings of his major works.

The options of this tour are various, and can be adapted to your wishes and interests. They might range from one-day walks to multy-day trips enriched by visits to churches, museums and some  typical Venetian places, without leaving out unique food and wine tastings. We can include meals, accomodation and any kind of transportation or transfers to fit your particular requirements. We have created a series of draft itineraries that can be easily adapted to your particular needs.

All of the various itineraries will be curated by Isabella Rizzato, a graduate in European Foreign Language and Literatures of the Ca' Foscari University of Venice. Tours can be conducted in the following languages: Italian, English, German, French and Spanish.

For more information, feel free to contact us at: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

In collaboration with Elite Viaggi - Vicenza



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