Venice, Padua Belluna, Magenta,
Lake Como, Dolomitic Alps
May 10 - 23, 2015
- An Ecotour: People within nature!
- Examine and experience the connection between people and nature. How geography and ecology determine where people settle, earn a living, and create their environments.
- Our price includes city tours, transfers, hotels, two meals daily, and our own private guide and bus.
Day 1: Sunday, May 10
Fly to Venice’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport on airline of your choice. On arrival, you will be taken to your hotel by motorboat taxi, passing through the Venetian Lagoon, where you will see a variety of birds. Our group will meet in the hotel lobby at 6:00 p.m. for orientation and welcome dinner. Overnight in Venice.
Day 2: Monday, May 11
Tour of Venice: See the sights from an ecologist’s perspective. St. Mark’s Square: At this central meeting place, we’ll talk about the winter aqua-altas, ocean storms that flood the Square; we will explain the causes, and what might be done to control them. Walk to the Grand Canal. See the church La Salute. A boat tour of the Grand Canal. In addition to seeing wonderful sights, we’ll talk about how a city was built in a marsh and what it has always done with its wastes. Lunch on your own. Afternoon boat ride to the island of Murano, where the famous Murano glassware is made. Walking tour guided by Architetto Piero Mainardis de Campo, one of Venice's leading architects. Group dinner at a Venetian restaurant. Overnight in Venice.
Day-3 Tuesday, May 12
Tour the Venice open market where fish caught in the lagoon and Adriatic, as well as vegetables and fruit are brought in from the mainland and sold fresh. We talk about how Venice makes use of its fishery resource and how it gets the rest of its food from the mainland. From the market, we walk to nearby Rialto Bridge and from there take a boat. Boat tour of the Venetian Lagoon, out to the Lido, famous as a beach resort, and to the entrance to the Adriatic Sea. Arrive at the Lido for a group lunch, tour, and a swim. Visit with an Italian fisherman. Learn to fish Venetian-style. Return to downtown Venice for personal wanderings in the city. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Venice.
Day 5 Wednesday, May 13
Bus to Padua. We’ll compare this city built on solid ground with Venice of the marshes.
Day 6 Thursday, May 14
Morning drive from Padua to Vicenza. This charming "city of Palladio" is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Group lunch. Two rivers pass through this small city. We talk about people and rivers. Dinner and overnight in Padua.
Day 7: Friday, May 15
Drive from Padua to the Italian Alps. Visit a Venetian winery in the plains below the mountains. View fields farmed for thousands of years, yet still sustainable. Reaching the mountains, we take in the views and talk about the origin of the mountains and their ecological importance. Arrive in Belluno, a small city in the Alps with grand views of the mountains. We’ll discuss the Alps and their ecology. Group dinner and overnight in Belluno.
Day 8: Saturday, May 16
Visit Parco Nazionale Dolomiti Bellunesi in the Alps, a United Nations (UNESCO) World Heritage Site. Then drive to see Vajont Dam, the dam that failed. Group dinner and overnight in Belluno.
Day 9: Sunday, May 17
Individual day for group members to walk in the Alps or relax at the hotel, enjoying the views, or stroll around this mountain city. Group dinner and overnight in Belluno.
Day 10: Monday, May 18
Travel by bus from the Alps through Lombardy to Valle del Ticino Park, the first Italian regional park, considered a treasure chest of biodiversity. Dinner and overnight in Magenta, a small town near the park.
Day 11-13: Tuesday to Thursday, May 19-21
Bus from Valle del Ticino Park to the city of Como at the southern shore of Lake Como. The lake sits below the Alps from which it gets its waters. Tour Lake Como in a motorboat ferry, going to several villages and towns. Compare towns, cities, and nature on lake shores with Venice of the marshes Visit the Rockefeller Bellagio Institute on a peninsular jutting into the lake. See the institute’s beautiful Italian gardens in the Roman and Greek style. Stroll through the romantic English gardens. Dinners and overnights in Como.
Day 13: Friday – May 22
Bus from Lake Como to Venice A chance to compare this city built on mud with the mountains and uplands we have seen. Afternoon free, followed by our evening farewell dinner.
Day 14: Saturday May 23
Drive to Leonardo da Vinci Airport, Venice, for your return home.
About Daniel Botkin
Daniel B. Botkin, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Santa Barbara, has been a pioneer in the science of ecology, with decades of scientific research and work to solve some major environmental problems. These give him a unique perspective, important in these days of so many voices saying so many different, confusing things. He has done research in wilderness, advised cities and states about water use, planting vegetation, saving salmon, whales, elephants, and special places. He worked 3 years to help Venice attempt to establish an international center for environmental studies. He is also an experienced speaker who has spoken at most of the major universities in the United States and in many abroad, as well as before many environmental organizations, corporations, and government agencies. He has led ecotours in Europe and North America.
about water use, planting vegetation, saving salmon, whales, elephants, and special places. He worked 3 years to help Venice attempt to establish an international center for environmental studies.
Land Only: $5,995 app.
Please send a registration deposit of $200 per person, along with the name, address phone number and email for each person in your party.
Single supplement: $895 app.
Hotel taxes and service charges: $85.
Gratuities not included.
Program subject to change without notice. Cancellations 30 to 45 days prior to departure: Refund 50% of total price. Cancellations less than 30 days: No refund. Travel insurance recommended.
Total balance due February 1, 2015.
Make checks payable to: Jim Gold International, Inc.
497 Cumberland Avenue
Teaneck, NJ 07666 USA
Phone (201) 836-0362