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ITALY

Italy: Classic Tuscany and the Treasures of Florence

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Program #19715RJ

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14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. Minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding, and rewarding, programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.

Itinerary for Oct 18 — Oct 31, 2015

Expand all
Day One: Sunday, October 18 - In Transit to Program
In Transit: Flight to Pisa

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: A comfortable hotel on a quiet street in the heart of Lucca within the city walls

Contact info:
Via del Fosso, 26
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583 47615
web: www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org

Room amenities: satellite TV, mini bar, safe for valuables, free wifi, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries

Facility amenities: Conference center, spacious terrace, bar, lounge and snack bar in the lobby. Internet point in the lobby, complimentary newspapers. Browse the lobby's collection of fine art and photography books. Free wifi connection. Bicycles on loan to explore Lucca along the scenic path on the wide wall that encloses the town.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidation sites such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, October 19 - Arrival Transfer, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome ...
Note: Hotel check-in is available from 1:00 p.m. Pisa Airport is 20 km (12.5 miles) from Lucca. The road winds around a small mountain that separates the two cities.

Arrive To: Pisa airport and clear customs. In the first public area of the arrivals hall, meet the Road Scholar representative who will lead you to the coach. The group leader will be in the lobby of the hotel to greet arriving travelers.

Lunch: Light buffet lunch for those with arrivals before noon or soon thereafter. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After you settle into your room, freshen up and relax, meet back in the hotel lobby at 4:00 p.m. for an orientation walk in the neighborhood to identify ATMs, pharmacies, stores, restaurants, etc., The short walk circles back to the hotel where you will gather in the meeting room for a briefing session. The group leader will greet everyone and lead introductions with a Welcome Cocktail (or fruit juice). We will review the program theme, the up-to-date daily schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: At a local restaurant a set menu with samples of traditional Tuscan cooking. Plated table service; water is included. A glass of wine is included as well to welcome you to Tuscany.

Evening: Explore briefly the area around the hotel or stroll around the quiet town of Lucca.

Lodging: Hotel Ilaria

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: A comfortable hotel on a quiet street in the heart of Lucca within the city walls

Contact info:
Via del Fosso, 26
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583 47615
web: www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org

Room amenities: satellite TV, mini bar, safe for valuables, free wifi, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries

Facility amenities: Conference center, spacious terrace, bar, lounge and snack bar in the lobby. Internet point in the lobby, complimentary newspapers. Browse the lobby's collection of fine art and photography books. Free wifi connection. Bicycles on loan to explore Lucca along the scenic path on the wide wall that encloses the town.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidation sites such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, October 20 - From Origins to the Present, Puccini Opera Arias
Note: Extended periods of standing during the expert-led walk in the heart of the pedestrian only small city.

Breakfast: This day and for the next four mornings, the breakfast buffet at the hotel offers juice and water, an egg dish, sliced cold cuts, assortment of cheeses, cereal, muesli, yogurt, fresh fruit, breads and pastries, jams, honey and butter, and a selection of hot and cold beverages.

Morning: A local expert will lead a walk to discovery through Medieval Lucca with visits to the Basilica of S. Martino Admire its marble facade decorated with Romanesque statues and motifs. In the Middle Ages the city was a destination of pilgrims traveling to view relics housed within the basilica. Take a walk on a segment of the walls that surround Lucca. Continue your walk around the entire 2.5 mile path anytime you have free time during your stay in Lucca. The hotel has bicycles for guests to borrow.

Lunch: At a local restaurant enjoy a set menu with regional fare. Water is included; other beverages are available for purchase.

Afternoon: In the meeting room of the hotel learn about Lucca’s city planning from its origins in 180 BCE to the present.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the type of eatery that fits your budget and taste. The group leader will have suggestions where to go for small plates, or a full-course dinner.

Evening: Attend a performance of "Puccini's Women" arias by composer Giacomo Puccini, native son of Lucca. The program begins at 7:00 and lasts an hour and a half. Your choice whether to have supper before or after the musical program.

Lodging: Hotel Ilaria

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: A comfortable hotel on a quiet street in the heart of Lucca within the city walls

Contact info:
Via del Fosso, 26
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583 47615
web: www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org

Room amenities: satellite TV, mini bar, safe for valuables, free wifi, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries

Facility amenities: Conference center, spacious terrace, bar, lounge and snack bar in the lobby. Internet point in the lobby, complimentary newspapers. Browse the lobby's collection of fine art and photography books. Free wifi connection. Bicycles on loan to explore Lucca along the scenic path on the wide wall that encloses the town.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidation sites such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, October 21 - Piazza dei Miracoli, Duomo, Baptistery, Tower of ...
Note: Light exertion in Pisa for the visit to the Piazza dei Miracoli, the Duomo complex comprised of the famous Leaning Tower and Baptistery. In high season reservations are required to climb the tower. 10 min. walk on flat terrain due to the wide traffic free area surrounding the Duomo complex.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel.

Morning: A local expert leads a visit to the oval shaped piazza which conforms to the old Roman amphitheater. The walk concludes at Palazzo Pfanner with its elegant receiving rooms and formal gardens.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Train to Pisa and short walk to the Piazza dei Miracoli. Expert-led visit of the Duomo and Baptistery. See the exterior of the famous Leaning Tower, part of the same Duomo complex. The lacy white marble tiers of the buildings contrast with the wide green lawns, which is unusual for a city cathedral. Until the port of Pisa silted up, the city was a strong maritime republic (along with Genoa, Amalfi and Venice) and the wealth of the city is demonstrated by the civic and religious pride the inhabitants had by funding such a grandiose construction. Train back to Lucca late afternoon.

Dinner: At a characteristic trattoria in Lucca. Plated table service, set 3 course regional menu. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Lodging: Hotel Ilaria

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: A comfortable hotel on a quiet street in the heart of Lucca within the city walls

Contact info:
Via del Fosso, 26
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583 47615
web: www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org

Room amenities: satellite TV, mini bar, safe for valuables, free wifi, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries

Facility amenities: Conference center, spacious terrace, bar, lounge and snack bar in the lobby. Internet point in the lobby, complimentary newspapers. Browse the lobby's collection of fine art and photography books. Free wifi connection. Bicycles on loan to explore Lucca along the scenic path on the wide wall that encloses the town.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelilaria.villetoscane.org. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidation sites such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 3:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, October 22 - Calcium Carbonate to Art: Carrara Marble, Tuscan ...
Note: Coach one hour to Carrara and the quarries. Not a strenuous day in terms of distances covered on foot, but extended standing when the local expert stops to point out interesting sites in the quarries and in Carrara center. According to the ongoing projects, the artist workshop may be dusty and noisy with the power tools in action.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to the quarries above the town of Carrara. See the massive machinery used to extract the marble, then wonder how it was accomplished since antiquity prior to the invention of mechanized equipment.

Lunch: At an winebar/restaurant in the center of Carrara. Enjoy some local Tuscan dishes. Set menu with plated table service. Water and wine are included.

Afternoon: Learn about marble as the medium for artists. Working schedule permitting, visit a workshop where artists rent space and equipment for their creations with marble. Return to Lucca mid to late afternoon for a talk about the traditions of authentic Tuscan cooking.

Dinner: At a characteristic trattoria a 3 course set plated meal. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

Lodging: Hotel Ilaria

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Modern hotel with excellent central location overlooking the city's main park.

Contact info:
Piazza La Lizza 1
Siena, NA 53100 Italy
phone: +39 0577 38 211
web: www.nh-hotels.it

Room amenities: air-conditioning, telephone, satellite television, room safe and mini-bar. All rooms have private bathroom with hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, fitness center, complimentary wi-fi in the rooms and common areas, internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Six: Friday, October 23 - Siena, Chianti Wine Production, Medieval Civic Pr...
Note: Coach travel and minimal walking at the winery. The road from the hotel to the Campo is pedestrian only and has some inclines as you near the wide Campo which slopes down to the Town Hall.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. Bags will be loaded onto the coach. Ride to a winery (about an hour and a half) along a scenic route through olive orchards and vineyards in the Chianti hills near Siena.

Lunch: Enjoy a lunch in the Chianti region and sample the local red wine.

Afternoon: Coach ride (about 45 minutes) south to Siena through the Tuscan countryside. Check into the hotel located in the historical center of town. After settling into your room meet the local guide in the lobby to set out on a city orientation walk that ends up in the Piazza del Campo. The perimeter of the wide square is the site where the famed Palio horse race takes place in July and August.. Expert-led visit continues to the Palazzo Pubblico. The great hall of the medieval Palazzo, still serving today as the town hall, contains an important fresco cycle depicting an allegory of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Of note is Simone Martini's fresco of Guidoriccio da Fogliano on horseback.

Dinner: Sample some regional dishes (and enjoy the view) at a restaurant in the Campo. Set menu, glass of Chianti is included in addition to water. Plated table service.

Lodging: NH Excelsior

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Modern hotel with excellent central location overlooking the city's main park.

Contact info:
Piazza La Lizza 1
Siena, NA 53100 Italy
phone: +39 0577 38 211
web: www.nh-hotels.it

Room amenities: air-conditioning, telephone, satellite television, room safe and mini-bar. All rooms have private bathroom with hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, fitness center, complimentary wi-fi in the rooms and common areas, internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Saturday, October 24 - Italy Today, Duomo and Museum
Note: Leisurely walk around town to visit one or more contrade, or districts. Note that Siena was settled on 3 hills and the walking path may include steep inclines of the pedestrian only streets.

Breakfast: This day and for the next five mornings, the breakfast buffet at the hotel offers juice and water, an egg dish, sliced cold cuts, assortment of cheeses, cereal, muesli, yogurt, fresh fruit, breads and pastries, jams, honey and butter, and a selection of hot and cold beverages.

Morning: A classroom session explores the regional aspects of Italian society and the national institutions that shape the lives of residents today. After a break, an expert-led walk to and visit of Siena's elaborately decorated cathedral (il Duomo). The floors are paved with inlaid marble depicting figures in religious and allegorical scenes. The visit continues to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo to admire Duccio di Buoninsegna's Maesta'.

Lunch: On your own. The group leader and guide will have suggestions where to go for a light lunch or full course meal.

Afternoon: Meet at the designated point and time. The guided visit continues to part of the collection of the museum complex Santa Maria della Scala. At the conclusion of the guided visit, you can stay on at the museum della Scala to visit the section where Etruscan artifacts are displayed.

Dinner: At a characteristic restaurant in the market square enjoy a 3 course dinner with typical Tuscan dishes. Water and wine included.

Lodging: NH Excelsior

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Modern hotel with excellent central location overlooking the city's main park.

Contact info:
Piazza La Lizza 1
Siena, NA 53100 Italy
phone: +39 0577 38 211
web: www.nh-hotels.it

Room amenities: air-conditioning, telephone, satellite television, room safe and mini-bar. All rooms have private bathroom with hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, fitness center, complimentary wi-fi in the rooms and common areas, internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Eight: Sunday, October 25 - Free Morning, San Gimignano, Dinner at a Farm
Note: Coach to San Gimignano and walk around the small hill town. Not a strenuous excursion but the town roads are inclined. During free time, those with stamina may choose to climb one of the open towers to gain a commanding view of the countryside below.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Free morning to explore Siena at your own pace.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Coach ride to San Gimignano is about an hour. Enjoy an expert-led visit of the medieval city. An original Etruscan town, this town retains much of its medieval aspect. At one time 77 towers were standing in the city. They were used in family rivalries in order to attain the advantage of higher ground. In the Duomo there is a fresco cycle depicting scenes from Dante's Inferno as a way of visually entreating the people to repent from their evil ways.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the type of eatery that fits your budget and taste. The group leader will have suggestions where to go for small plates, or a full-course dinner.

Lodging: NH Excelsior

Meals Included: Breakfast
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Modern hotel with excellent central location overlooking the city's main park.

Contact info:
Piazza La Lizza 1
Siena, NA 53100 Italy
phone: +39 0577 38 211
web: www.nh-hotels.it

Room amenities: air-conditioning, telephone, satellite television, room safe and mini-bar. All rooms have private bathroom with hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, fitness center, complimentary wi-fi in the rooms and common areas, internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Nine: Monday, October 26 - The Palio: More Than a Horse Race
Note: Negotiating the inclines and descents of the hill town of Siena will require more effort than the walks in Lucca or Florence. The historical city center is restricted to car traffic so that you can walk freely, but every walk is up or down an incline.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room, an illustrated presentation on The Palio: More than a Horse Race. Learn about this centuries old tradition where each of the city's districts, called contrade, sponsor a horse to represent their neighborhood. The shame of losing is enough to encourage cheating. Even though there is one race in July and another in August, the competitive spirit between the contrade is manifest all year round.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: A local expert leads a walk through a contrada pointing out the various symbols (Goose, Turtle, Tower, etc.) identifying the boundaries between the contrade. Get an intimate look at the pride and sense of community during an exclusive visit to a contrada meeting hall, chapel and small museum.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant a 3 course set menu. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Lodging: NH Excelsior

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Modern hotel with excellent central location overlooking the city's main park.

Contact info:
Piazza La Lizza 1
Siena, NA 53100 Italy
phone: +39 0577 38 211
web: www.nh-hotels.it

Room amenities: air-conditioning, telephone, satellite television, room safe and mini-bar. All rooms have private bathroom with hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.

Facility amenities: Restaurant and bar, fitness center, complimentary wi-fi in the rooms and common areas, internet point in the lobby.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes


Day Ten: Tuesday, October 27 - Pienza and the Tuscan Hills
Note: One hour coach ride to Pienza and a coach ride through the Tuscan countryside on the return. Short walks in Pienza, a very small hill town, but there are inclines at every segment.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach excursion to the town of Pienza. Pope Pius II Piccolomini (1458-1464), a humanist scholar and poet, was born in the nearby village of Corsignano, and once he became pope he began a building project to transform his home town into an idealized Renaissance city. He built his palace near the main piazza and renamed the town after himself.

Lunch: On your own. In the small town of Pienza there are wine bars, cafés and restaurants from which to choose.

Afternoon: On the coach ride back to Siena, sit back and admire the rolling hills of vineyards dotted with isolated farmhouses

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant a fixed menu with plated table service. Water is included. You can select and pay for on your own wine from the list of local red and white wines.

Lodging: NH Excelsior

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated at the edge of the San Lorenzo market, the hotel is centrally located and convenient to the Santa Maria Novella train station, the Duomo and Accademia.

Contact info:
Via Nazionale 14
Florence, NA 50123 Italy
phone: +39 055 261 501
web: www.coronaditalia.com

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, individual AC/Heat controls, safe box for valuables, mini-bar, direct dial telephone, satellite TV, wi-fi access (hourly rate applies), hair dryer

Facility amenities: Spacious lobby, marble and terracotta floors, wi-fi accessibility (hourly rate applies), meeting room, bar in the lobby open afternoon and evenings.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.coronaditalia.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to reserve through online hotel consolidator services such as hotels.com or expedia.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Eleven: Wednesday, October 28 - Coach to Florence, Accademia Gallery
Note: Transfer to Poggio a Caiano by coach. The ride is about an hour and 45 minutes, depending on traffic. Some walking and standing at the Medici Villa visit. Walk to the Accademia along narrow sidewalks. The sculpture gallery is at ground level; the picture gallery on the upper level. The ride from the Medici Villa to Florence is about 45 minutes.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Bags are loaded onto the coach. Transfer to Florence with a stop in Poggio a Caiano for an expert-led visit of the Villa of Lorenzo de'Medici. The architect Sangallo incorporated elements of classical antiquity: an arched portico which served as a porch and a shaded area around the building; an entrance flanked by grand staircases leading to the main entrance. The main halls are decorated with frescoes by Pontormo and Andrea del Sarto. Coach continues to the hotel in Florence.

Lunch: Before settling into the hotel, a light lunch in the market area of Florence. Enjoy an individual salad and various types of pizza served family style. Water and a soft drink or glass of beer are included.

Afternoon: Walk to the Accademia delle Belle Arti to marvel at Michelangelo's David. A local expert leads the visit of the sculpture collection in the main hall which includes the David as well as the unfinished pieces called the Prisoners which seem to be still imprisoned in the block of Carrara marble. There are other small collections in the museum that you might want to browse on your own, such as the collection of early string instruments or the painting gallery with works from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early 17th century.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the Accademia and Duomo enjoy a 3 course set meal with plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Lodging: Hotel Corona d'Italia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated at the edge of the San Lorenzo market, the hotel is centrally located and convenient to the Santa Maria Novella train station, the Duomo and Accademia.

Contact info:
Via Nazionale 14
Florence, NA 50123 Italy
phone: +39 055 261 501
web: www.coronaditalia.com

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, individual AC/Heat controls, safe box for valuables, mini-bar, direct dial telephone, satellite TV, wi-fi access (hourly rate applies), hair dryer

Facility amenities: Spacious lobby, marble and terracotta floors, wi-fi accessibility (hourly rate applies), meeting room, bar in the lobby open afternoon and evenings.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.coronaditalia.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to reserve through online hotel consolidator services such as hotels.com or expedia.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Twelve: Thursday, October 29 - Market Walk, Uffizi Gallery
Note: The historical center if Florence is closed to traffic and the terrain is level, but the walk to the Uffizi is about 3/4 of a mile. A small elevator (cap. 3 persons) for disabled visitors may be accessible at the Uffizi Gallery. There is a long flight of stairs to reach the exhibition rooms of the gallery. Expect some crowding in the museum; it is a popular destination for art aficionados.

Breakfast: This day and for the next three mornings, the breakfast buffet at the hotel offers juice and water, an egg dish, sliced cold cuts, assortment of cheeses, cereal, muesli, yogurt, fresh fruit, breads and pastries, jams, honey and butter, and a selection of hot and cold beverages.

Morning: Some time in the morning for a Market Walk in the area of Brunelleschi's church of S. Lorenzo. Along the streets vendors set up carts with leather goods, pottery, scarves, souvenirs, etc. In the late 1800's the Central Market was built. Stalls display and sell fresh and cured meats, cheeses, breads, and other foods. In addition there is a fresh 'fast food' court where you can get sandwiches, pizza, focaccia, or hot dishes. You might want to try one of the eateries for an excluded lunch to have an idea of how some Florentines eat if they do not have time to go home. Mid morning in the hotel classroom an art historian gives an overview of Renaissance Art, and with an illustrated presentation, describes highlighted works of art of the collection of the Uffizi Gallery.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the Piazza della Signoria. Set menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Reserved entrance time to the Uffizi eliminates the wait to enter. Once inside, visit the rooms of art treasures at your own pace. In the Gallery works are arranged in an order that illustrates the progression from the International Gothic style to Mannerism and examples of Baroque art with pieces by Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentilleschi.There is a coffee/refreshment bar at the end of the corridor on the upper level where you can relax and purchase refreshments while enjoying a commanding view of the bell tower of Palazzo Vecchio and the Cupola of the Duomo.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the type of eatery that fits your budget and taste. The group leader will have suggestions where to go for small plates, or a full-course dinner.

Lodging: Hotel Corona d'Italia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Type: Hotel

Description: Situated at the edge of the San Lorenzo market, the hotel is centrally located and convenient to the Santa Maria Novella train station, the Duomo and Accademia.

Contact info:
Via Nazionale 14
Florence, NA 50123 Italy
phone: +39 055 261 501
web: www.coronaditalia.com

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, individual AC/Heat controls, safe box for valuables, mini-bar, direct dial telephone, satellite TV, wi-fi access (hourly rate applies), hair dryer

Facility amenities: Spacious lobby, marble and terracotta floors, wi-fi accessibility (hourly rate applies), meeting room, bar in the lobby open afternoon and evenings.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.coronaditalia.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to reserve through online hotel consolidator services such as hotels.com or expedia.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Thirteen: Friday, October 30 - Walk of Discovery, Bargello Museum
Note: The walk from the hotel to the Bargello is a little less than 3/4 of a mile. The Bargello has a flight of stone stairs to reach the upper floor. A small elevator is in service for the truly needy.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: A guided walk to major squares in Florence: Santa Maria Novella, Repubblica, Strozzi ends at the Bargello. Expert-led visit of the Bargello National Museum. The collection includes sculptures by Donatello (St. George, David), the competition pieces between Brunelleschi and Ghiberti for the north doors of the Baptistery and sculptures by Michelangelo, Giambologna and Cellini. In addition to sculpture there are rooms with fine examples of decorated pottery and armaments: swords, lances, early pistols, and suits of armor.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Florence at your own pace.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants at our farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Set 3 course regional menu, plated table service. Wine is included with this meal to toast new friendships and bid arrivederci Firenze.

Lodging: Hotel Corona d'Italia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Fourteen: Saturday, October 31 - Program Concludes
Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.Continental breakfast for early departures. This concludes the program.

Morning: Transfer to Florence Airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Siena
General OverviewExplore Siena's numerous cultural icons: the Painting gallery, bell tower, baptistery, or Santa Maria della Scala museum's Etruscan collection. The guide will have details on opening times and ticket information.
For additional information, visit: www.siena.turismo.toscana.it
Florence
Boboli GardensAt the Boboli Gardens which extend behind the Pitti Palace enjoy a stroll along the stone and dirt paths paths lined with shrubs and copies of statues from the Medici collection and take in a unique view of Florence from the hill. Green lawns are artfully placed among the geometric walking paths of this peaceful Renaissance garden.
Botanical Gardensextensive gardens and greenhouses where the Univiversity of Florence maintains 4 million botanical specimens in a wooded urban park, the "Giardino dei Semplici"
MuseumsVisit other museums in Florence such as the Palazzo Pitti, residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The museum complex includes collections of silver and porcelain, period dress and decorative arts, and an impressive collection of paintings by Perugino, Tiziano, Bronzino, and Rubens.

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
27 meals: 12 breakfasts, 6 lunches, 9 dinners
7 Expert-led lectures
21 Field trips
1 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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