Hidden Treasures of the Veneto

Professor Barry Goldsmith in Venice.
Professor Barry Goldsmith in Venice.

Hidden Treasures in the Veneto: A Journey with the Professor

By Devon Magoon

Everyone who has been to Italy knows about the Leaning Tower of Pisa and is familiar with gondolas. But who has visited the the Palazzo Rezzonico where Robert Browning lived after Elizabeth Barrett Browning died? Or Henry James’ Venetian home? Or how about the world’s oldest theater, the Teatro Olimpico? New York University Professor Barry Goldsmith has, and he knows these beauties well enough to lead a group of very lucky tourists on a personalized guided tour. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

Using the wit and extensive touring knowledge that comes with being a seasoned traveler, Prof. Goldsmith has formulated an exclusive trek through Italy’s Veneto region that you never knew you wanted to be a part of. Based on his book Been There Haven’t Done That, Prof. Goldsmith is getting the word out about those not so popular tourist destinations that deserve more attention.

If you think you’ve seen it all, it’s time to think again. This exclusive tour winds through sites in the Veneto and the area surrounding Venice, exploring some of the finer tourist destinations of Europe. Churches, museums, music theaters, and art galleries will all be explored with Prof. Goldsmith personally guiding the way.

Not only are many of these locations rarely visited by the standard American tourist, but many of them will be for Prof. Goldsmith’s and his travelers’ eyes only.

Behind Closed Doors is a new touring concept which explores those destinations closed to the general public. “For example,” he says, “A private illuminated tour of San Marco floodlit at night during after hours in which the mosaics glitter an other-worldly gold. We’ll also go to museums such as the Palazzo Rezzonico (the Museum of the 18th-century and home of Robert Browning). We’ll visit Paladian Villas in the Veneto and Palladio’s hometown of Vicenza.”

Street Market of the Veneto Photo by Cathy Arquilla
Street Market of the Veneto Photo by Cathy Arquilla

And if you like the idea of packing once and only once, then you’re on the right track. Those folks on the tour will be staying at one hotel for the entirety of the roughly eight day trip, with all other transport accommodations accounted for.

Prof. Goldsmith comes from a family of professors, so it’s no surprise that he grew into a professor himself. With a father working as a professor of European History at Rutgers and a mother as a music professor at Douglas College, Prof. Goldsmith grew up on the move. “I traveled with them around the world – since I was four years old. Therefore I don’t remember not traveling,” he says.

The transition into professional tour guide was an easy one. Prof. Goldsmith has experience writing comedy on staff for the Joan Rivers Show and the BBC, as well as teaching classes like Comedy Writing, Advanced Comedy Writing, The History of Comedy, and Humor in the Arts: Art, Architecture & Music.

In short, he knows exactly how to mold an otherwise educational excursion into a really good time. And as a professor of architecture teaching classes like Architecture: The Building of Society and Great Planned Cities, this Professor also knows his stuff.

“First, leisure travel should be fun – hence – humor and comedy,” states Prof. Goldsmith. “As for travel – to me travel is visiting cities around the world. And cities are the great repositories of architecture,” he adds. “Needless to say – beaches, nature, mountain climbing, and safaris are not my specialty.”

Professor Goldsmith at the Piazza at San Marco
Professor Goldsmith at the Piazza at San Marco

Prof. Barry Goldsmith has two books coming out in 2011. “One is a more academic tome called Hidden Art Deco – it’s about great Art Deco in cities that are not particularly known for Art Deco,” he says, “The other book is Been There, Haven’t Done That – recommending sites missed by most Americans around the world.” The up and coming Veneto tour itself is an ode of sorts to the book.

More Tours Coming

This tour will be the first in a series of Been There Haven’t Done That journeys. “It’s to Venice and the surrounding area — the Veneto,” says Prof. Goldsmith, “We will be repeating this tour in May, 2011 and there will be more departure dates in Italy in 2011.

We are also doing tours to India, France, Russia, the Baltics and other countries in 2011 — and more countries in 2012.” So if you miss your chance to check out Italy, don’t fret. There will be many more where this one came from.

This personally escorted tour set to take place on October 16th through the 23rd,will include a seven night stay at Villa Braida, travel transfers, a number of meals and also several entrance fees for a rate of 2,340$ per person with a single supplement of 490$. The traveler will explore the cities of Venice, Treviso, Padua, Vicenza, Verona, Mantova Montagnana, and more exciting destinations.

Devon Magoon.Devon Magoon is a former intern for GoNOMAD.


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