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ITALY

Italy: Classic Tuscany and the Treasures of Florence

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Road Scholar
Program #19715RJ
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. There’s 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 5 — Oct 18, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Sunday, October 05 - Transatlantic flight.
In Transit: Flight to Pisa

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Historical building in the center of town overlooking a spacious tree lined piazza. Originally a private residence in the 16th century, it was converted into a hotel in 1857.

Contact info:
Piazza del Giglio 1
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583-493-678
web: www.universolucca.com

Room amenities: Private bath in every room, Satellite TV, mini-bar, climate control, direct dial telephone, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer. Individual safe boxes are not in the rooms but the reception will provide an envelope for you to seal and deposit small valuables in the hotel's safe.

Facility amenities: Recent renovations at the property retain the charm of the historic property with tasteful decor. Breakfast buffet, meeting room, complimentary wi-fi.

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.universolucca.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 consolidators such as hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, October 06 - Arrivals / Welcome and Program Overview
Note: Minimal exertion, a walk around town and classroom time for a lecture.

Arrive To: Transfer from airport to the hotel in Lucca.

Lunch: A voucher will be provided for a sandwich or small plate at a cafe close to the hotel.

Afternoon: Late afternoon, Lecture Introduction to Tuscany, Program overview and Welcome reception.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: Explore briefly the area around the hotel or stroll around the city.

Lodging: Hotel Universo

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

Description: Historical building in the center of town overlooking a spacious tree lined piazza. Originally a private residence in the 16th century, it was converted into a hotel in 1857.

Contact info:
Piazza del Giglio 1
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583-493-678
web: www.universolucca.com

Room amenities: Private bath in every room, Satellite TV, mini-bar, climate control, direct dial telephone, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer. Individual safe boxes are not in the rooms but the reception will provide an envelope for you to seal and deposit small valuables in the hotel's safe.

Facility amenities: Recent renovations at the property retain the charm of the historic property with tasteful decor. Breakfast buffet, meeting room, complimentary wi-fi.

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.universolucca.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 consolidators such as hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, October 07 - From Origins to the Present
Note: Not a strenuous day. Extended periods of standing during the expert-led walk in the heart of the pedestrian only small city.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Explore Lucca’s city planning from its origins in 180 BCE to the present. See the oval shaped piazza which conforms to the old Roman amphitheater. Stroll through the elegant shopping district on your walk back to the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Medieval Lucca and the Walls is the theme of today's walk of discovery. Visit the Basilica of S. Martino and 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.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Universo

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

Description: Historical building in the center of town overlooking a spacious tree lined piazza. Originally a private residence in the 16th century, it was converted into a hotel in 1857.

Contact info:
Piazza del Giglio 1
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583-493-678
web: www.universolucca.com

Room amenities: Private bath in every room, Satellite TV, mini-bar, climate control, direct dial telephone, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer. Individual safe boxes are not in the rooms but the reception will provide an envelope for you to seal and deposit small valuables in the hotel's safe.

Facility amenities: Recent renovations at the property retain the charm of the historic property with tasteful decor. Breakfast buffet, meeting room, complimentary wi-fi.

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.universolucca.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 consolidators such as hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, October 08 - From Calcium Carbonate to Art: Carrara Marble
Note: Coach one hour to Carrara and the quarries. Not a strenuous day. The expert led walk in Carrara might take 30 minutes to see the city center.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Visit 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 machines.

Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in the center of Carrara. Enjoy some local Tuscan dishes.

Afternoon: Learn about marble as the medium for artists. Working schedule permitting, visit an artists' workshop. Return to Lucca mid-afternoon.

Dinner: Opportunity to seek out a special place to eat.

Lodging: Hotel Universo

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

Description: Historical building in the center of town overlooking a spacious tree lined piazza. Originally a private residence in the 16th century, it was converted into a hotel in 1857.

Contact info:
Piazza del Giglio 1
Lucca, 55100 Italy
phone: +39 0583-493-678
web: www.universolucca.com

Room amenities: Private bath in every room, Satellite TV, mini-bar, climate control, direct dial telephone, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer. Individual safe boxes are not in the rooms but the reception will provide an envelope for you to seal and deposit small valuables in the hotel's safe.

Facility amenities: Recent renovations at the property retain the charm of the historic property with tasteful decor. Breakfast buffet, meeting room, complimentary wi-fi.

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.universolucca.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 consolidators such as hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, October 09 - Free Time in Lucca / Piazza dei Miracoli, Duomo, ...
Free Time in Lucca / Piazza dei Miracoli, Duomo, Baptistery, Leaning Tower of Pisa

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: Free time to explore Lucca on your own, suggestions will be available. The defensive walls surrounding Lucca date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The circumference is just over 3 miles and the lanes are wide enough for walkers and recreational bike riders. The high walls provide a wonderful panorama of the city.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Afternoon excursion to Pisa expert led visit of the Duomo complex (Baptistery, Campo Santo, and LeaningTower, which the group does not climb). Until the port of Pisa silted up, it 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. The Duomo is one of the few Romanesque churches to have a dome built over the apse. The double dome of the Baptistery provides excellent acoustics.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: Attend a performance of music by Puccini. The exact date will be determined close to departure date.

Lodging: Hotel Universo

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: 126 rooms with air-conditioning, telephone, television, room safe and mini-bar.

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 10 - Transfer to Siena / Medici Villa / Chianti Wine P...
Note: Coach travel and minimal walking.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: An expert leads a visit to the Villa of Lorenzo de'Medici at Poggio a Caiano. Designed by Giugliano da Sangallo, he incorporated elements of classical antiquity: an arched portico which served as a porch and a shaded area around the building; an entrance inspired by an Ionic temple flanked by grand staircases leading to the main entrance. The mail halls are decorated with frescoes by Pontormo and Andrea del Sarto.

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

Afternoon: Coach south to Siena through the Tuscan countryside and check into hotel located in the historical section of town, on top of the hill. After settling into your room meet for a city orientation walk that points out the location of banks, pharmacies, stores, major landmarks, etc.

Dinner: At hotel restaurant to sample a variation of typical Tuscan cuisine. Each area of the region prepares its own specialties.

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: 126 rooms with air-conditioning, telephone, television, room safe and mini-bar.

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 11 - Medieval Civic and Religious Pride
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: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Expert led visit: Campo, Palazzo Pubblico. The Campo is built over the original location of the Roman forum and the theater, which utilized the natural shell contours of converging hills. Not having a nearby river, the inhabitants of Siena paved the Campo as a way to direct rain water into city cisterns. The perimeter is the site where the famed Palio horse race takes place in July and August.The Palazzo Pubblico with its tall bell and observation tower offers a commanding view of the countryside and allowed the citizens to prepare for any approaching army. The Palazzo is still used as the town hall, and contains an important fresco cycle depicting an allegory of Good and Bad Government by Lorenzetti.

Lunch: Opportunity to sample Sienese cuisine on your own. Suggestions will be provided.

Afternoon: Some free time early afternoon before a lecture on authentic Tuscan cooking and a hands-on lesson on fresh pasta and a seasonal Sienese dish. Enjoy the fruits of your labor at dinner.

Dinner: At the cooking school

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: 126 rooms with air-conditioning, telephone, television, room safe and mini-bar.

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 12 - San Gimignano: The Manhattan of Tuscany
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: Breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Excursion by coach to San Gimignano for an expert-led visit to 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. Vernaccia di San Gimignano is a distinctive white Tuscan wine with full body and rich overtones was one of the first Italian wines to receive the DOC designation in 1966, indicating the Denominazione di Origine Controllata, i.e. that the area of origin of the grapes is controlled. In 1993 it obtained the DOCG designation guaranteeing its denomination.

Lunch: At a local winery or olive oil mill, the host explains the cultivation and production process. San Gimignano produces one of the few Tuscan white wines, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, imported to the USA.

Afternoon: Return to Siena. Lecture: Contemporary Italian and Tuscan Society. Like every country there are national and local concerns and this lecture focuses on regional aspects of Italian society.

Dinner: Enjoy the evening dinner at a restaurant of your choosing to try some of the local specialties. You will find menus posted at the door so that you can determine what you want to eat and how much you can anticipate spending.

Lodging: NH Excelsior

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
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: 126 rooms with air-conditioning, telephone, television, room safe and mini-bar.

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 13 - Medieval Rivals / The Palio: More Than a Horse Ra...
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: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: Expert-led visit of the Duomo complex.The Duomo floors are decorated with incised inlaid marble figures religious and allegorical scenes. Some free time late morning to explore Siena.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant

Afternoon: Illustrated Lecture: The Palio, More than a Horse Race. Learn about this centuries old tradition where each of the different 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. After the lecture, the group will then walk through the city noting the various symbols (Goose, Turtle, Tower, etc.) identifying the boundaries between the contrade.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

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: 126 rooms with air-conditioning, telephone, television, room safe and mini-bar.

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 14 - 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.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.

Morning: Coach excursion winds around Tuscan hills 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 renamed the town after himself. Short stroll to a terrace overlooking the hills and farms of the Val d'Orcia.

Lunch: Lunch on your own. In the small town of Pienza there are wine bars, cafes 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: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.

Lodging: NH Excelsior

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

Description: Centrally located on the fashionable Via dei Calzaiuoli, half way between the Duomo of Florence and Piazza della Signoria. One block away from Piazza della Repubblica. Convenient to all major sites and museums. Downtown Florence is closed to vehicular traffic, so enjoy a leisurely stroll at your pleasure.

Contact info:
Via dei Calzaiuoli 11
Florence, 50122 Italy
phone: +39 055 218 984
web: www.hotelaxial.it

Room amenities: Individual climate controls for AC or heat; mini bar; electronic safe, satellite TV; free Wi-Fi in rooms; hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Remodeled 19th century building features small inner courtyard, double pane insulated windows, individual AC and heat controls, free Wi-Fi, Internet point (2 computers) in the reading room, satellite TV, bar and continental breakfast buffet.

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.hotelaxial.it. 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 consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Eleven: Wednesday, October 15 - Coach to Florence / Medieval and Renaissance Art
Note: Transfer to Florence by coach, minimal exertion.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: Transfer to Florence through Chianti wine production area.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After checking into your room, discover Florence with an expert-led walk around the historical center. An illustrated lecture on Medieval and Renaissance Art, to prepare you for the self guided visit at the Uffizi Gallery the next day.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Axial

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

Description: Centrally located on the fashionable Via dei Calzaiuoli, half way between the Duomo of Florence and Piazza della Signoria. One block away from Piazza della Repubblica. Convenient to all major sites and museums. Downtown Florence is closed to vehicular traffic, so enjoy a leisurely stroll at your pleasure.

Contact info:
Via dei Calzaiuoli 11
Florence, 50122 Italy
phone: +39 055 218 984
web: www.hotelaxial.it

Room amenities: Individual climate controls for AC or heat; mini bar; electronic safe, satellite TV; free Wi-Fi in rooms; hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Remodeled 19th century building features small inner courtyard, double pane insulated windows, individual AC and heat controls, free Wi-Fi, Internet point (2 computers) in the reading room, satellite TV, bar and continental breakfast buffet.

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.hotelaxial.it. 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 consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Twelve: Thursday, October 16 - Market Walk / Uffizi Gallery
Note: Minimal exertion, the historical center if Florence is closed to traffic and the terrain is level.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining hall.

Morning: 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We reserve an entrance time to the Uffizi Gallery and allow each participant to walk through at his/her own pace. Stay as long as you like. There is a coffee shop at the end corridor that you can purchase refreshments and enjoy a commanding view of the bell tower of Palazzo Vecchio and the Cupola of the Duomo. It is located over the Loggia dei Lanzi at Piazza della Signoria. 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.

Dinner: Dinner on your own to explore local specialties. Suggestions will be made available

Lodging: Hotel Axial

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

Description: Centrally located on the fashionable Via dei Calzaiuoli, half way between the Duomo of Florence and Piazza della Signoria. One block away from Piazza della Repubblica. Convenient to all major sites and museums. Downtown Florence is closed to vehicular traffic, so enjoy a leisurely stroll at your pleasure.

Contact info:
Via dei Calzaiuoli 11
Florence, 50122 Italy
phone: +39 055 218 984
web: www.hotelaxial.it

Room amenities: Individual climate controls for AC or heat; mini bar; electronic safe, satellite TV; free Wi-Fi in rooms; hair dryer.

Facility amenities: Remodeled 19th century building features small inner courtyard, double pane insulated windows, individual AC and heat controls, free Wi-Fi, Internet point (2 computers) in the reading room, satellite TV, bar and continental breakfast buffet.

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.hotelaxial.it. 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 consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Thirteen: Friday, October 17 - Accademia Gallery / Bargello Museum
Note: Minimal exertion on walks to the museums. The Accademia gallery is at ground level; the Bargello has a flight of stone stairs to reach the upper floor. A small elevator is in service for the truly needy.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: Expert-led visit of the Bargello National Museum of Sculpture. The 13th c. palace itself served as the magistrate's headquarters and civic court. Now you will find 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. In the Chapel is a fresco by Giotto and his school; on the right side one can see what is considered to be an early portrait of Dante.

Lunch: Select from the many restaurants where you want to sample local specialties. Suggestions provided.

Afternoon: Meet at the appointed time to enter the Accademia delle Belle Arti to marvel at Michelangelo's David. Do not neglect his unfinished pieces called the Prisoners, because they seem to be still imprisoned in the Carrara marble. There are other collections in the museum, for example musicians will want to observe examples of early string instruments. The Accademia is part of the School of Fine Arts of the University of Florence and in a hall to the left of David are plaster casts of some of the most important sculptures of the western world. This affords the students an opportunity to observe them and become inspired.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Axial

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Fourteen: Saturday, October 18 - Departures
Note: Ability to handle luggage from drop-off point to the check-in counters.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel, continental breakfast for early departures.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Siena
Torre di MangiaFrom the Palazzo Pubblico rises the imposing Torre del Mangia, which dates back to the 1300s. If your legs are up to the climbing the 400 steps, there are spectacular views from the top of the city and surrounding countryside. Sorry, no elevator.
MarketEach Wednesday morning, the park near the Piazza Gramsci comes alive with vendors selling home goods, clothing, leather goods, and ceramics.
Florence
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 Stibbert Museum which houses a collection of weapons, armor and costumes from the 16th to the 20th century. The Marino Marini Museum exhibits works of the contemporary sculptor.
Lucca
Walk, bike the wallsLucca is surrounded by 2.5 miles of wide 16th-century walls. You can walk part or all of the path or rent a bicycle and ride with all age groups of locals. The flat path is shaded and very enjoyable to stroll or bike. To rent bikes, head to the tourist office in Piazza Santa Maria and rent from one of the two bike shops, Cicli Bizzarri or Antonio Poli's. They do have helmets available but you won't see local cyclists wearing them. Head up the ramp from the piazza to get up on to the walls. Many hotels in town also provide bicycles for guests.

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
28 meals: 12 breakfasts, 7 lunches, 9 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
20 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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