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Gaudí to Gehry: Visionary Architecture and Design in Modern Spain

October 18-26, 2019

Daily Itinerary (subject to change)

Day One - Friday, October 18

Depart the USA for your overnight flight to Barcelona.

Day Two - Saturday, October 19

Individual arrival into Barcelona. Morning at leisure to enjoy the neighborhood around our centrally located, stylish hotel. In the afternoon, meet your fellow travelers and Frank Lloyd Wright Trust trip leaders in the lobby. Start your journey with an introduction to the birth of Catalan Modernisme —or Catalan Art Nouveau—through several early works by its main proponents, Antoni Gaudí and his contemporaries. Board a motorcoach to view several buildings by Puig i Cadafalch, his student, Lluis Domènech i Montaner and others, including Casa Macaya and the Hospital di Sant Pau. A guided visit to Casa Vicens by Antoni Gaudí ends the day. Return to the hotel to freshen up before tonight’s welcome dinner. Get to know your fellow travelers over cocktails before experiencing your first taste of Catalan cuisine, which features sun-soaked Mediterranean vegetables and fresh seafood. October is mushroom season, and the mountains of Catalonia produce excellent pork dishes such as butifarra (spicy sausage).
Hotel Murmuri D

Day Three – Sunday, October 20

After breakfast at the hotel, continue your investigation of Catalan Art Nouveau with a walking tour of the Illa de la Discòrdia “Block of Discord,” so-named because it features buildings in sharply contrasting styles. Our first stop is the exquisite Casa Amatller (1875), a home with neo-Gothic elements and a geometric façade inspired by houses in the Netherlands, refurbished by Josep Puig i Cadafalch in 1898. Continue just next door to Gaudí’s Casa Batlló. Here, you can see the genius of Gaudi up close. Highlights of the ever-surprising and richly-detailed interior include the former residence of the Batlló family, including the loft, the roof terrace, and the fabulous building well, entrance hall and main staircase. After lunch at leisure, reconvene to visit another Gaudí masterpiece, Casa Milà (1906-1912), also known as La Pedrera “The Quarry” due to the façade’s curving, sinuous surfaces, evocative of an open quarry. We will have an in-depth, guided visit here including the Espai Gaudí, the Pedrera Apartment, the Provença and Passeig de Gràcia Courtyard, as well as the roof-terrace. In the evening, enjoy a private visit of the Palau della Música. Built between 1905 and 1908 by Lluís Domènech i Montaner, its curving shapes and ornamental features inspired by Hispano-Moorish architecture make it one of the most emblematic buildings of the Art Nouveau style, followed by dinner at leisure. Choices abound, from casual tapas bars to local eateries to elegant cuisine. 
Hotel Murmuri, Barcelona B

Day Four - Monday, October 21

After breakfast, depart for a tour of Gaudí’s most famous church, La Sagrada Familia. From its start in 1883 — when Gaudí was 31, to his death in 1926 — the design continually changed and evolved as the architect’s style matured. Even now a work in progress, it is Barcelona’s most important landmark and Gaudí’s most ambitious and iconic design. Next, enjoy lunch at the Santa Catarina market whose colorful undulating roof was designed in 2004 by Enric Miralles and Benedetta Tagliabue of EMBT. Next, walk to the the Barrì Gòtic “Gothic Quarter” (1298-1448) the central old city of Barcelona to its centerpiece, the Barcelona Cathedral, also known as La Seu, a celebrated example of Catalan Gothic architecture dating from the 14th century. Its graceful spires can be seen from throughout the quarter.

Transfer 15 minutes by coach for an architectural visit of the Mies van der Rohe Pavilion, an icon of modernism that enjoyed instant acclaim at the Spanish International Exhibition in 1929. It was faithfully re-built by the Barcelona City Council in 1981-1986 after having been demolished after the exhibition. Then view the stunning decorative arts collection at the Museo Nacional de Catalunya before returning to the hotel. Your evening is at leisure. 
Hotel Murmuri, Barcelona B L

Day Five - Tuesday, October 22

We bid farewell to Barcelona for a three-hour drive through the countryside (with stops along the way), arriving in Zaragoza before noon. Visit the 11th century Palacio de la Aljaferia (Regional Parliament of Aragon) a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace reflects the splendor of Spanish Islamic architecture, with its imposing, impenetrable exterior contrasting with its elegantly decorated interiors. After a traditional lunch, walk Zaragoza’s main square, including the Basilica del Pilar and the Catedral del Salvador. Continue our journey to our award-winning design hotel located near the natural preserve of the Bardenas of Navarra. The modern design takes advantage of its stunning desert location and features outdoor hot tubs. After drinks and dinner at the hotel’s restaurant, relax in your private hot tub under the desert night sky.
Aire de Bardenas B L D

Day Six - Wednesday, October 23

After breakfast, depart for Bilbao, stopping in the vineyards of La Rioja on the way. Here, enjoy a wine tasting amid stunning modern architecture, including buildings by Frank Gehry and Santiago Calatrava. Enjoy a gourmet tasting lunch at Bodegas Baigorrí, a new winery designed by Iñaki Aspiazu that is carved into a mountain. Arrive in Bilbao in the evening and check in to your centrally-located hotel. Dinner is at leisure this evening with plenty of suggestions for pintxos (Basque tapas) bars and restaurants within walking distance of the hotel.
Melia Hotel Bilbao B L

Day Seven – Thursday, October 24

Explore Bilbao; the largest city in Spain’s Basque country, immortalized by Ernest Hemingway in his 1926 novel, The Sun Also Rises. While the bullfights of Pamplona and tidy, red-roofed villages set among rich green hills still harken back to those days, Bilbao itself has undergone many changes. The city’s stunning transformation from a city of industry to an international powerhouse of modern architecture, design and art was sparked by its crowning jewel, the Guggenheim Museum, where we enjoy a special architectural tour. You will have time to explore the collections before having lunch at leisure. Also see the Museo de Bellas Artes and the Palacio Euskalduna Conference Center, by S&A Architects. After lunch, depart for an architectural tour of Bilbao’s modern buildings by boat and on foot. Highlights include the Campo Volantin Footbridge by Santiago Calatrava and Isozaki Atea by Arata Isozaki. On the way we will pass the artificial peninsula of Zorrozaurre. Created during the 1950s and 1960s in the estuary of the Nervión River, it is an area that will be redeveloped following a 2003 master plan designed by British Iraqi architect Zaha Hadid (2004 Pritzker Laureate.) The former port and industrial area will become home to nearly 15,000 new residents and will include offices, labs, studios and new industries, as well as recreational spaces. Disembark at the pier and return to the hotel for an evening at leisure.
Melia Hotel Bilbao, B

Day Eight - Friday, October 25

After breakfast, we set out for a 1.5 hour drive to the Cantabria region, stopping first in Comillas for a private tour of El Capricho (1883-1885) by Antoni Gaudí. The elegant and whimsical summer home for Máximo Díaz de Quijan—a wealthy businessman and amateur musicianis from Gaudí’s early career, when the architect was 31. The U-shaped floor plan protects against the north wind, while a south-facing open courtyard housed a greenhouse in which Máximo Díaz de Quijano raised plants he collected from America. Continue to Santander, Cantabria’s capital city for lunch at leisure, followed by a walking tour of the city highlights. Return to Bilbao. Then, toast the end of your spectacular adventure at a private farewell dinner at the highly-rated Porrue.
Melia Hotel Bilbao, B D

Day Nine - Saturday, October 26

The journey ends after breakfast. Transfers to Bilbao’s Sondika Airport (designed by Santiago Calatrava and built in 2000) can be arranged upon request.


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