Victoria Frank, Inc.

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Arraiolos – The Needlepoint of Portugal

Not currently scheduled; contact me if you are interested.

City of Lisbon with Castle

Saturday – The trip begins with a private transfer based on your personal itinerary to The Ritz, Lisbon's beautiful Four Seasons Hotel (transfer time approximately 15 minutes). The group will convene at a reception followed by a welcome dinner at the hotel, an opportunity to meet your fellow travelers and learn details about your upcoming journey.

18th Century Carpet, Queluz Palace

Sunday – Our day will begin with a very special visit to the Ricardo Espirito Santo Silva Decorative Arts Museum (transfer time approximately 15 minutes) which includes a private tour led by the Museum's Director followed by a lecture for our group on the history and evolution of Arraiolos. We will enjoy lunch at the museum's café and then return to our hotel where we will be introduced to the technique by a faculty member of the highly acclaimed crafts school associated with the museum you visited this morning.

Queluz Garden Sculpture
Design example, Palacio des Setais Carpet

Monday – Today will be spent touring the area west of Lisbon, with a focus on Arraiolos rugs and their use in the 18th and 19th centuries. In the morning we will have a private tour of the extraordinary 18th century Queluz Palace (transfer time approximately 30 minutes). After touring the palace (which has one magnificent 18th century Arraiolos carpet after another) we will head up to Sintra for lunch at the beautiful, five-star Palácio de Seteais (transfer time from Queluz approximately 15 minutes) where we will share a lovely meal and tour their large collection of extraordinary carpets. (Their unique design has repeated geometric medallions separated by rows of laurel leaves and continues to inspire designers today.) After lunch, we will stop in Sintra where you will have time to shop for local specialties (Madeira embroidery, local pottery and the beautiful tiles of Portugal). We will return to the hotel in late afternoon.

Tapetes Arraiolos Trevo

Tuesday – This morning we will stitch throughout the morning with our teacher from the Decorative Arts Museum. At lunchtime we head out for lunch on the town, after which we will make our way to Tapetes Arraiolos Trevo, a Lisbon-based enterprise that has a large inventory of Arraiolos carpets in many sizes and designs which are available for sale. Or, should you wish to make a rug with your newly acquired skill, this store will sell you the necessary supplies (currently unavailable in the US). Or, should you wish to order a rug, professionals will work with you to customize a one-of-a-kind carpet.


Wednesday – This morning we will return to our workroom flooded with natural light at The Ritz where we will continue our exploration into the craft with our esteemed teacher. After lunch at the hotel, you will have the option to return to the Ricardo Espirito Santo Decorative Arts Museum for an afternoon in the school's passementerie workshop where you will create a tassel in the colors of your choice. (This is where Windsor Castle goes when they re-decorate or restore rooms; you will be learning a skill from the world's finest craftsmen using the finest materials.) Or, if you don't want to do that, you will have the afternoon on your own.

Working - Village of Arraiolos
Ruins of Roman Temple - Evora

Thursday – Today we will journey to the Alentejo countryside, East of Lisbon. We will visit the hilltop village of Arraiolos (transfer time approximately 1'30"), where you can wander through the numerous carpet shops in which ladies are busy stitching current commissions. You may opt to stay with the group or explore on your own as you will find this tiny little town safe, the streets smooth and the villagers enthusiastic about your interest in their native craft. After a morning in town, we will drive to Evora (transfer time approximately 30 minutes) a Unesco World Heritage site. The Roman, Gothic and Baroque architecture is stunning, especially because all of the sites are located close to one another. We will return to the hotel in the early evening.

18th century Carpet, Queluz Palace

Friday – This will be our last morning with the instructor. After lunch at the hotel you will be free to explore on your own (I will, of course, be there to assist in any way I can). The day will conclude with a celebratory farewell dinner at Michelin starred Restaurant Tavares which opened their doors in 1784 and continues a fine culinary tradition today in a grand, historic setting.

Saturday – The program concludes with breakfast at the hotel and a transfer to the airport in Lisbon, based on our personal travel itinerary.

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