Coming Up in 2025
We’ve got new trips for you to enjoy in 2025. You can’t register for these yet, but you can be put on a list for the earliest announcement. For that, simply email Sheila Campbell and tell her which trip(s) you’re interested in.
Politics & Prose/Wild Blue Yonder Trips are always made up of small (maximum 18 people) groups of
congenial people. You’ll have two experienced trip leaders with you every day to make sure you’re having an experience of a lifetime. Come join us!
Barcelona and Madrid : History, Art and Architecture in the Spanish Sun
March 22 – April 2, 2025
Join us for springtime in two of Spain’s iconic cities: vibrant Barcelona and elegant Madrid.
We’ll begin in Barcelona, starting our first evening with a tapas tour leaving from our four-star Hotel Duquesa de Cardona, right on the edge of the Gothic Quarter. On another day, we’ll tour an iconic cava winery to taste the famous bubbly and learn howit’s made.
Of course we’ll stand in awe at the color-and light-filled interior of the Sagrada Familia, architect Gaudì’s still unfinished cathedral. We’ll visit one of the very original residences he designed as well.
We’ll begin one morning at the Palau Música Catalana, an art nouveau concert hall notable for its curved lines, colors and botanical motifs. At the Picasso Museum we’ll enjoy many of the Spanish artist’s early works, including a series of his takes on Las Meninas, which we’ll see in Madrid.
And we won’t want to miss the Míro Museum located above the city on Montjuic, and, a short walk away, the National Museum of Catalan art. We also love the Maritime Museum; it presents Barcelona’s history as a seafaring center beginning in medieval times.
Then we’ll board the high-speed AVE train to Madrid, where we’ll stay in the Las Lettras neighborhood, walking distance to most of the major museums. We’ll begin that evening with a dramatic flamenco show.
Next day, it’s a short stroll to the Prado and the Thyssen-Bornemisza museums.
One morning we’ll visit the enormous Royal Palace with its plethora of over-the-top furnishings and artworks, plus plenty of history. Then we’ll walk over to the Plaza Mayor, once the center of old Madrid. Here are restaurants, shopping, an enticing food market, and achance to try churros and chocolate at the historic San Ginés chocolateria. You’ll have time for a bit of shopping as well.
On our last day, we’ll visit two hidden gems of Madrid, the enchanting house and light-filled paintings of Joaquin Sorolla, followed by the recently opened to the public Palacio di Liria, the stunning 18th century official residence of the House of Alba.
Art, Light and Beauty on the French Côte d’Azur
April 24 - May 3, 2025
In the early years of the 20th century, many famous artists, including Matisse, Renoir, Picasso and Chagall, escaped to the small towns and cities along the Côte d’Azur (known to Americans as the French Riviera) and the hills that rose above the shoreline. They were attracted to the light and the stunning landscapes where sky met hills and hills met the sea.
On this trip, we’ll anchor ourselves on the tree-lined Boulevard Victor Hugo in Nice, just a few blocks from the famous Promenade Anglais along the beach. In Nice, we’ll visit the art museums dedicated to the works of Chagall and of Matisse, and we’ll enjoy sumptuous meals with an Italian influence and Mediterranean flavor (salade Niçoise, anyone?) and plenty of seafood.
On other days, we’ll journey to some of the most dramatic landscapes outside the city. One day, we’ll journey to St.Jean Cap Ferrat to visit the Villa Ephrussi de Rothschild, its lavish gardens suspended over a blue expanse dotted with white sailboats and yachts. On
another, we’ll travel into the hills to visit Renoir’s home, surrounded by olive groves.
Of course we won’t miss the justly famous Chapelle du Rosaire in Vence, one of the last creations by Matisse, beloved for its stained glass windows evoking the colors of the sea. In St. Paul de Vence, we’ll stroll through the Medieval streets, ducking into art galleries and shops selling tempting sweets.
In Grasse, famous for its perfumes, you might discover a new scent, or simply enjoy one of the several museums focused on scent, on local history, on the rich costumes of the past.
April is the perfect time for a visit to the Côte d’Azur. The summer heat hasn’t yet appeared, and the days are sunny and warm enough to eat outdoors for lunch and dinner.
Splendid Venice: Art and History with Eric Denker, Senior Lecturer Emeritus at the National Gallery of Art
October 20 – 27, 2025
Join Eric Denker, Ph.D., author, expert in Venetian art, and long a favorite lecturer at the National Gallery of Art, on this exploration of beautiful Venice. (Yay, Eric speaks Italian!) Among many other publications, he is co-author with his friend Judith Martin (better known as “Miss Manners”) of an etiquette guide to the city, No Vulgar Hotel: The Desire and Pursuit of Venice.
Eric will take us to his favorite sites, including the enormous and art-filed Palazzo Ducale, the Academia art museum, and the majestic Tintoretto’s at the Scuola Grande San Rocco (where Eric is the only American member).
We’ll wander to the Ca d’Oro historic house, and to Ca’ Rezzonico where Henry James stayed and John Singer Sargent painted. The views both inside and out of the Peggy Guggenheim Collection are stunning. We’ll pursue glass at the island of Murano, and visit Burano and Torcello in the Venetian lagoon as well.
One day we’ll walk into the Jewish Ghetto, the oldest ghetto in the world, established in 1516. We’ll experience the grand
Basilica San Marco in the sanctuary in the evening, as the lights are lowered and then suddenly rise to reveal the stunning mosaics surrounding us.