Cultural Travel to Italy Beckons This Fall

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Contemporary art enthusiasts have flocked to Venice all summer long for The Biennale. The 56th International Art Exhibition of La Biennale, to be exact. Exhibits and pavilions fill the park known as the Giardini as well as the medieval navy yard, the Arsenale

It can be a daunting experience for the visitor. 


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But the BAUERs Hotel Collection is offering a package to help guests navigate La Biennale like a local. 

bar canaleThe privately-owned BAUERs Hotel Collection consists of four properties. Villa F is a 16th-century former nobleman’s home. Located on the island of Giudecca, it faces the Grand Canal and St. Mark’s Square. Also on Giudecca is the Palladio Hotel & Spa, a former convent designed by the Renaissance master, Andrea Palladio. Il Palazzo is a restored 18th-century residence on the banks of the Grand Canal. And the art deco Bauer L’Hotel features a restaurant with gondola views. 

The BAUERs cultural package includes a personal art expert to guide guests through the Giardini, as well as select local galleries. Tours are customized according to guest interests. Art world neophytes are welcome.  

The two-day, one-night package includes private water taxi transportation; meals at the hotels and local restaurants and a night at Palladio Hotel & Spa. 

Italian entrepreneur Francesca Bortolotto Possati is the CEO of the collection. 

“The hotel has a long-standing tradition for hospitality that blends with culture. The Bauer’s cultural vocation prompted the decision to carry out art projects during the major international events hosted by the city, such as the Biennale exhibitions of art and architecture and the Film Festival,” Possati tells Travel Agent

The La Biennale cultural package is available through the end of November. 

For those interested in a more rustic cultural immersion, Tuscany may be a better fit. 

Borgo San Felice is the result of a vision associating genuine and authentic rural luxury to a territory offering extraordinary beauty,” Danilo Guerrini tells Travel Agent. 

Guerrini is the new hotel manager for Borgo San Felice. The Relais & Chateaux property in the Chianti Classico region occupies a former medieval hamlet. Guestrooms and suites are spread out over historic buildings. Grounds include a chapel, cellars, pool and wellness center. 


The estate is surrounded by 340 acres of vineyards and winding roads lined with olive trees. Sienna is ten miles away. Florence is an hour’s drive. Biking to nearby small villages is a favorite guest activity.

This fall, food and wine packages offer added incentive to visit. The hotel’s chef holds two Michelin stars, and autumn brings a bounty of locally-sourced ingredients.

If foraging for those ingredients seems like fun, consider the Villa Lena’s Truffle Hunting Package. It’s available at the Tuscan property during October and November.

Set on 235 acres of olive groves and vineyards, Villa Lena is an artist retreat and hotel. The weekend package highlights the white truffle, or trifola d'Alba Madonna. The delicacy grows within the oak, ash and white poplar tree roots on the estate. 

In addition to the truffle hunt with specially-trained dogs, guests can help the chef prepare dishes with them. The package also includes a concert, hosted cocktails and creative workshops conducted by the multi-disciplinary artists in residence. 

Villa Lena offers accommodations throughout the estate. They include apartments, houses and even rooms in converted stables. Facilities also include a screening room, game room and three pools.