New article published in 'The Oldie' Magazine

November 2017


Venice’s old Masters
In the Sixties, a Kent teacher set up one of the world’s finest cultural education experiences, a crash course in civilisation. He now runs it with his son. Charlotte Metcalf meets them


"Gondolas & Grapes" is a personal story. As founder of The John Hall Venice Pre-University Course, John Hall has lived and worked in Italy for half a lifetime. Few know Italy better or love it more wisely. He describes with self-depreciating charm and wit a life of lasting achievement. It is a deeply civilised and humane man's insight into a unique country, it's art, culture and way of life - that the author has made it his life's work to introduce to others.The book is now available at Blurb in Hardcover or as an E-Book


The course is a nine-week introduction for Pre-University students to some of the most thought-provoking achievements in the Western world, from the Classical Past to Today. Conducted through on-site visits and a series of lectures by a team of world-class experts chosen for their charisma and ability to communicate, the course includes not only art - painting, sculpture and architecture, but also music, world cinema, some global issues, literature, history. It is an exciting and enriching experience for everyone.


The Book
Now Updated to 2020

Were you part of The John Hall Pre-University Course in Venice between 1965 and 2020? Or planning to go in the future? Then here is the ultimate insiders' collection of special memories and reminiscences.
Published to celebrate the first 56 years, A VENICE RECORD captures the spirit of the course with contributions from students, art historians, artists, musicians, theatre and film people, scientists, historians, astrophysicists, philosophers and even vintners - all who have shared these ephemeral Venetian moments. The book is also a record of names of all alumni, and everyone who has taught on the course year by year. The book is now available at Blurb in Hardcover and Softcover or as an E-Book (iPad iBooks format).

Donata Grimani

With Donata as your hostess, you will never feel like a tourist in Venice. She will share with you her passion for the city as she would with a personal guest. She will bring a sense of excitement and purpose to your visit. She will create an atmosphere that is friendly and relaxed, and where things are done with courtesy and taste