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Italian Renaissance in Poland (8 days)
Italy apart, Poland is the only country boasting so many prominent Renaissance monuments.The Italian architects, craftsmen and painters such as Domenico Merlini, Bernardo Morando, Bartolomeo Berrecci, Giovanni Mosca and Canaletti left in Poland pure examples of Renaissance style not to be found elsewhere in Europe.
Day 1. Warsaw
Arrival in Warsaw. Check in. Lunch and guided tour of the old town . In the afternoon, relaxing walk in the “Lazienki Park” with the royal residence of the last Polish king August Poniatowski. Next, a welcome private Chopin recital. A top pianist will execute the world-wide known Polonaises and Mazurkas. A glass of champagne will be served in the interval. Dinner at a local restaurant.
Day 2. Warsaw – Kazimierz (120 km)
In the morning, visit the Wilanow Palace, a former residence of the King Jan III Sobieski, housing a rich collection of paintings, some of them by Italian Renaissance masters. Lunch at a local restaurant. Departure for Kazimierz. Check in at hotel. Visit the town’s market square. Picturesquely located on the hills and the bank of Vistula river, Kazimierz is a major tourist venue in Poland. The market square, with the wealthy grain merchants’ houses decorated with Renaissance statues and ornaments is a unique combination of styles: late-Gothic, Renaissance and Mannerism. Visit the Renaissance granaries beautifully located along the banks of Vistua. Dinner.
Day 3. Kazimierz – Zamość (140 km)
Drive to Lublin. Guided tour of the old town. See the Renaissance houses, town hall and the Castle Chapel with the unique medieval frescoes. Lunch in the old town. Further drive to Zamość. The town of Zamość was founded in XVIth century by a Polish Renaissance man, chancellor Jan Zamoyski, who wished to build a perfect town. Zamość was designed as an ideal town-fortress and built by the Italian architect Bernardo Morando. Now Zamość is regarded as a perfect example of Renaissance architecture with open space, arcades, decorated facades and large walkways. The market square is dominated by a magnificent Town Hall. Visit the parish church designed by Morando and modelled on Italian churches’ interiors. Dinner at hotel.
Day 4. Zamość – Krasiczyn (140 km)
Visit the nearby majestic baroque Zamość castle erected in XVIe century by Morando, two centuries later reconstructed in the Baroque style. Visit the interiors of the palace with the paintings collection. Lunch at the palace restaurant. Arrival in Krasiczyn in the afternoon. Check in at the castle hotel. Krasiczyn Castle was built in the XVIth century for Krasicki Family by Italian architect Gallazzo Appiani. The castle is a pearl of Renaissance architecture in Poland. Dinner and night tour by torch-light through the castle’s interiors, caves and crypts.
Day 5. Krasiczyn – Łańcut – Kraków (240 km)
Morning drive to Kraków via Łańcut. Visit the famous Łańcut castle belonging the world largest castle palace complexes. The castle was built in XVIIth century in early Baroque style, conceived as the palazzo in fortezza. Guided tour through the palace rooms with art collections and the Carriage Museum including more then 50 horse-drawn carriages. Lunch at the palace restaurant . Departure for Kraków with stop for a cup of coffee in the Tarnów’s medieval Old Town. Visit the Gothic Cathedral with the Renaissance tombs made by Giovanni Maria Mosca. Arrival in Kraków for dinner & overnight.
Day 6. Kraków
Sightseeing tour of the Old Town including The Royal Way with its monuments. Visit the St Mary’s church with the majestic, wooden altar carved by Veit Stoss, and the Medieval cloth halls in the heart of the main square. Tour ends on the Wawel Hill with a guided visit to Royal Castle and Royal Cathedral with the Sigismund Chapel designed and built by the Italian architects Bartolomeo Berrecci and Giovanni Maria Mosca. The Sigismund Chapel is regarded as the most prominent example of Renaissance architecture in Central Europe. Lunch. Visit the Czartoryski Museum housing a rich collection of European paintings with Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine”. Dinner.
Day 7. Kraków
An excursion to the nearby salt mine in Wieliczka with the underground world of chambers, corridors, chapels and statues carved in salt by generations of miners – a unique tourist attraction in the world. Lunch. Afternoon at your leisure. In the evening farewell dinner with Renaissance music ensemble.
Day 8. Kraków