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Explore the masterpieces of one of the world’s great painters during this fascinating five-day tour of the Italian capital with The Telegraph’s brilliant art critic

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The ancient city of Rome plays host to some of the most important art collections in the world. It was also where the painter Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio settled during his twenties, having left Milan under a cloud after wounding a police officer.

It wasn't the first time, and it wouldn't be the last, that the quick-tempered Caravaggio would find himself in trouble with the law. But from 1600 to 1606, the divisive figure was likely the most famous painter in Rome.

On this unforgettable five-day tour of the city, you will see many of the artist's great works and visit sites that played a key role in his life and career. You'll also be joined by art critic Andrew Graham- Dixon, author of the acclaimed biography Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane.

"Caravaggio's art is made from darkness and light," he writes. "His pictures present spot-lit moments of extreme and often agonised human experience. Caravaggio's life is like his art, a series of lightning flashes in the darkest of nights."

At the Chiesa di S. Luigi dei Francesi, you'll see the artist's trio of St Matthew paintings: The Calling of St Matthew; The Martyrdom of St Matthew; and St Matthew and the Angel. You'll see seven of his masterpieces at the Galleria Borghese and explore the Campo Marzio neighbourhood where he killed Ranuccio Tomassoni, causing him to flee the city.

"I'm really looking forward to this trip: Rome is one of my three favourite cities in the world, and we are going to be looking at pretty much all of the great paintings that Caravaggio created when he was at the peak of his powers. I can't wait (and the food is pretty amazing too)."

Andrew Graham-Dixon

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Your expert guide

Andrew Graham-Dixon
Art Historian
Author, presenter, lecturer, scholar and art critic; Andrew Graham-Dixon is renowned across many disciplines and is a trusted expert in the field of art history.

Educated at Westminster School, Andrew won a scholarship to Christ Church, Oxford University, where he studied English Language and Literature. A renowned art critic, Andrew is one of Britain's leading cultural commentators and has presented numerous TV programmes including the BBC's Sicily Unpacked and Italy Unpacked with Italian chef, Giorgio Locatelli, and The Art of Germany. He is also the author of books covering art history, including Renaissance, Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel, and Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane. A former judge of the Turner Prize, Andrew has also served on the Government Art Collection Committee and the Hayward Advisory Committee.

Price includes

  • Return flight to Rome
  • Exclusive events with Andrew Graham-Dixon
  • Airport transfers and taxis to sites where required
  • Four nights at the Hotel Santa Chiara or similar
  • Four breakfasts, three lunches, two dinners
  • Andante tour manager and local guide throughout
  • Visits to all sites as specified in the itinerary
  • Copy of Caravaggio: A Life Sacred and Profane (one per booking)


Call now to book 01723628033
Quote ref: TEL ROME ADG
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  1. Day
    Arrive in Rome
    Rome (Roma), Italy

    Fly from London to Rome and check into your hotel. There you'll enjoy an introductory talk from The Telegraph's art critic Andrew Graham-Dixon.

    Meals - Dinner
  2. Day
    Rome (Roma), Italy

    A short walk from the hotel is the Chiesa di S. Luigi dei Francesi, where you will view Caravaggio's three St Matthew paintings (The Calling of St Matthew, The Martyrdom of St Matthew and St Matthew and the Angel).

    You will then head to the Campo Marzio neighbourhood, where Caravaggio killed Ranuccio Tomassoni before fleeing the city under sentence of death. There you will visit Basilica di S. Agostino to enjoy the so-called Pilgrims' Madonna. In the Basilica de Sta Maria del Popolo, you'll see The Crucifixion of St Peter and The Conversion of St Paul. It's then on to the Ludovisi district for a trip to the Villa Ludovisi, home to Caravaggio's only oil wall painting Jupiter, Neptune and Pluto. At the Palazzo Barberini you will see St Francis in Meditation, Narcissus and Judith Beheading Holofernes before the day's conclusion at the Galleria Borghese. No fewer than seven Caravaggio masterpieces reside there, including David with the Head of Goliath

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  3. Day
    Rome touring
    Rome (Roma), Italy

    This morning you will head to the Palazzo Doria Pamphili to admire three Caravaggio works - Rest on the Flight to Egypt, Penitent Magdalene and John the Baptist. At the Chiesa da Sta Maria Immacolata you'll view the newest Caravaggio: Meditation of St Francis. This afternoon you will have time to yourself, perhaps to explore the Pantheon, just metres from the hotel. You are also near to the Capitoline Museum, where you can find Caravaggio's John the Baptist/Youth with Ram and The Fortune Teller.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch
  4. Day
    Exploring the Vatican
    Vatican City, Vatican City

    Crossing the Tiber, you will visit the Palazzo Corsini to view Caravaggio's John the Baptist, along with other fine late Renaissance and baroque works. You will then spend the remainder of the day exploring the Vatican - St Peter's Basilica, St Peter's Square and the extraordinary Vatican Museums, which are home to Caravaggio's Entombment of Christ amongst myriad other artistic treasures. You will conclude your day with a farewell meal.

    Meals - Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
  5. Day
    Return home
    Rome (Roma), Italy

    Enjoy a morning at leisure in Rome before beginning your journey back to the UK.

    Meals - Breakfast


Hotel Santa Chiara

Rome (Roma), Italy

Historic hotel behind the famous Pantheon

The Hotel Santa Chiara began life in 1839 as a wine shop before it became a small inn, growing into the 96-room hotel that exists on its spot today. Situated right behind the famous Pantheon, the Santa Chiara is at the historic centre of Rome with numerous attractions just minutes away on foot. Each room has an LCD TV, Wi-Fi connection, air conditioning and a minibar.

Brought to you by

Andante Travels
This tour is operated solely by Andante Travels
Andante Travels is one of the UK’s leading providers of cultural and archaeological tours, specialising in expert-led trips with small groups.

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Call now to book 01723628033
Quote ref: TEL ROME ADG