Travel Podcasts

Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Piazza San Marco show

Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Piazza San MarcoJoin Now to Follow

Piazza San Marco is as overwhelming as it is exhilarating; overwhelming for its size and the hordes of tourists it holds, and exhilarating because as squares go this one is nearly perfect in its shape and architectural details. Grandiose buildings and monuments define its boundaries, on its western side stands St. Mark’s Basilica, a uniquely Venetian Byzantium-Gothic building that was completed in 1094. Next to the Basilica stands the luxurious Doge Palace constructed in 1419. At the end of the square towers the tallest structure in Venice the Bell Tower. Several museums also are found on the Piazza, including the Library of Sansoviniana, and the Correr Museum. The symmetry and beauty of St. Mark’s and its Bell Tower can leave even the most callused traveler dumbstruck. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Ca' d'Oro Palace Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Ca' d'Oro Palace Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Great Discoveries Audio Tour of the Golden Palace provides today’s tourist with the most entertaining and informative way to visit this splendid 15th century, late Gothic edifice. It is one of the older palaces on the Grand Canal and one of the most striking examples of the uniqueness of Venetian architecture. The Ca d'Oro houses the Giorgio Franchetti Art Gallery, which contains an impressive collection of important Venetian paintings by artists who were active between the 15th and 16th centuries, including "Saint Sebastian" by Mantegna and "Venus at the Mirror" by Titian. The Gallery also contains sculptures, furniture, 16th century Flemish tapestries, an impressive collection of 12th through 16th century bronzes, some Greek and Roman archeological pieces, medals, and a small collection of old Venetian ceramics. This carefully researched tour guides you through this majestic palace, pointing out and describing the most important pieces, by the most prominent artists of their time. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com

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Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Ca' Rezzonico Palace Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Ca' Rezzonico Palace Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Great Discoveries audio tour of Ca Rezzonico provides today’s tourist with the most entertaining and informative way to visit this majestic 17th century palace. It is one of the few palaces in Venice permitting public insight into what lies behind the ornamental facades of the exquisite buildings lining the Grand Canal. To have a palace on the Grand Canal was in itself prestigious, but to have such a splendid and unusually large one constructed by Giorgio Massari and decorated by Giambattista Tiepolo was certainly distinctive. Today it is one of the finest museums in Venice, housing a wonderful collection of 18th century Venetian art. Because objects designed for great palaces are displayed in a palace setting, the contents and the building harmonize in a way impossible to duplicate in a purposely-built museum. Our carefully researched tour identifies and locates the most relevant works of art to ensure that you do not miss the important pieces and that you clearly understand each items artistic and historic significance. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Basilica of Santa Maria della Salute Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Great Discoveries audio tour provides today’s tourist with the best way to visit Santa Maria della Salute, a soaring baroque structure unlike any other. She sits at the entrance to Venice, at the terminus of the Grand Canal, like some great lady on the threshold of her salon. In 1630, a plague had struck Venice taking over a quarter of its citizens to early graves. In the midst of this horror, the Venetian Senate made a pact with God, “Stop the plague and we will build a church to honor the Virgin.” The plague came to a sudden end, and the Senate set about honoring its promise by awarding a construction contract to an unknown 26-year-old architect, Baldassare Longhena. Longhena’s stunning interior contains many glorious works of art, including two of Titian's greatest paintings, "the Pentecost” and “St. Mark Enthroned with Other Saints.” The Sacristy houses an additional wealth of Titian paintings as well as the work of other artists, including one of Tintoretto’s most famous paintings, the “Wedding at Cana.” This carefully researched tour guides you through the basilica pointing out and describing the most significant artworks and other historic treasures. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Venice - Basilica of Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Step back in history as you listen to enchanting tales of the Frari, the mother church of Venice’s Franciscan Order and one of the city’s most important monuments. The plain exterior belies the magnificence of the interior and the grandness of its architecture. Twelve mighty columns hold up the sky of the Frari, which is composed of beams, ribbing, keystones, webs and ogives, all harmoniously intermingling. The aisles are lined with spectacular tombs to Venice's rich and famous citizens. The grandeur of its architecture, the magnificent monuments along the walls, the stained-glass windows shining above, seem to move ones eye towards a single point, “the Assumption” by Titian, the most precious of all of the Frari’s masterpieces. Titian is buried here in a rather simple tomb designed by Canova. The Frari contains many other masterpieces by some of the greatest Venetian Renaissance artists. Throw down your guidebook and venture off to see and hear the stories behind this resplendent church, the lives of the great Italians buried here, and the illustrious Renaissance artists who constructed this unique edifice. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Piazza della Signoria Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Piazza della Signoria Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Great Discoveries self-guided audio tour provides today’s tourist with the most enjoyable and informative way to visit the Piazza della Signoria. While the Piazza del Duomo has historically provided the focus for the city’s religious obsession, Piazza della Signoria has always been the civic heart of Florence. Facing directly on the square are the Loggia della Signoria, with its three arches, and the dominant Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace), the seat of the city’s governments since 1302. Close by lies the entrance to the most exalted of Florence’s spectacular museums, the Uffizi Gallery. Piazza della Signoria houses several notable pieces of public sculpture and is a meeting place for the city’s thousands of annual visitors and Florentines alike. This magnificent square unfolds like an open-air gallery in which even the statues allude to episodes of the city’s civil history. Our carefully researched tour guides you along and identifies the Piazza’s most important buildings and statues, insuring that you will clearly understand each item’s historic and artistic significance. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Pitti Palace Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Pitti Palace Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Great Discoveries self-guided audio tour of the Pitti Palace provides today’s tourist with the most enjoyable and informative way to visit the most majestic of the Renaissance palaces. Lavishly decorated and fully furnished, it remains one of the most extraordinary residences in the world. From the 16th century on, the Pitti Palace has been home to all of the ruling families of Florence, Tuscany, and Italy; including the Medici’s, Lorraine’s, Bourbon's, Bonaparte’s, and the Savoy’s. Today its countless rambling rooms house several museums, the most important of which is the Palatine Gallery, whose beautiful salons are filled from floor to ceiling with paintings from the private collections of the Medici and Savoy’s. It is one of the largest and most important museums in the world containing works of Michelangelo, Raphael, Titian, Botticelli, Lippi, Tintoretto, Peter Paul Rubins, and others. Our carefully researched tour guides you through the Palatine Galleries and the Royal Apartments pointing out and describing the most significant artworks by some of the most hallowed names in Italian and European art. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Uffizi Gallery Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Uffizi Gallery Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Great Discoveries audio tour of the Uffizi provides today’s tourist with the most entertaining and enlightening way to visit one of the world’s truly magnificent art galleries. This incomparable museum is home to a collection of Medieval and Renaissance paintings, by some of the most hallowed names in Italian and European art. The exhibition area is composed of over 45 rooms that contain 1,700 paintings, 300 sculptures, 46 tapestries, and 14 pieces of furniture and ceramics. Here you will find paintings by the early masters like Cimabue and Giotto and magnificent Renaissance works by Uccello, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Lippi, Botticelli, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, and many others. Two of the world’s most famous paintings, Botticelli’s “Birth of Venus” and “La Primavera” are displayed here. Our carefully researched tour guides you through the Uffizi’s many rooms, pointing out and describing the most significant artworks by the most prominent European artists of their time. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Galleria dell'Accademia Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Galleria dell'Accademia Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Great Discoveries Audio Tours offer today’s tourist the most enjoyable and informative way to visit Florence’s Galleria dell’ Accademia. Famous sculptures by Michelangelo Buonarroti, including his Four Prisoners, the St. Matthew, the Pieta di Palestrina and his renowned statue of David are displayed here. The Galleria contains paintings by the great Florentine maestro’s of the early 16th century, Fra' Bartolommeo, Andrea del Sarto, Perugino and others. This eclectic collection also consists of works from the Byzantine era dated to around the 13th century, but overall it consists mostly of 14th and 15th century Renaissance art. This carefully researched tour guides you through the Galleria as a professional narrator, accompanied by historically appropriate background music, points out and describes its most significant works. Step back in history as you listen to enchanting tales of the Galleria and the great maestros who created this incomparable art. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the complete tour, visit www.tourcaster.com.

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Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Palazzo Vecchio Audio Tour show

Tourcaster - Italy - Florence - Palazzo Vecchio Audio TourJoin Now to Follow

Although the Palazzo Vecchio (Old Palace) today contains the offices of Florence’s Mayor and City Council, much of it is open to the public including the Hall of the 500, the little Study of Francesco I and two of its three spectacular apartments. The vast halls and state apartments are ornately decorated in the style of the late Renaissance. Major attractions inside Palazzo Vecchio include the Room of the Lilies, Eleanora di Toledo's apartments, the Courtyard of Honor with the Putto Fountain, and Michelangelo's statue the Victory. The Quarters of Pope Leo X are being used to house Florence’s City Council and as reception rooms for the mayor and are not open to the public. This is track one of a multi-track tour, to download the entire tour, visit www.tourcaster.com

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