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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 13 — Oct 26, 2013

Expand all
Day One: Sunday, October 13 - 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
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.universolucca.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, October 14 - 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: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Check in and settle into your hotel room. Meet in the lobby at 4:00 pm for a brief orientation session. Meet your fellow participants at the Welcome Reception.

Dinner: Dinner at Trattoria Da Leo.

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
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.universolucca.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, October 15 - From Origins to the Present \ Welcome to Tuscany
Note: Not a strenuous day. Extended periods of standing during the expert-led walk in the heart of the pedestrian only small city. The pavement of the wide wall walk may be uneven in places.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.

Morning: 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.

Lunch: Lunch at Antica Locanda dell'Angelo.

Afternoon: Welcome to Tuscany lecture and presentation.

Dinner: Dinner on your own

Evening: Attend a recital of Puccini arias in the Church of San Giovanni.

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
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.universolucca.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, October 16 - Palazzo Pfanner / Duomo, Baptistery, Leaning Towe...
Note: The walk to the Lucca station and from the Pisa station is about 1 mile. Light exertion in Pisa for the visit to the Piazza dei Miracoli, the Duomo complex comprised of the Leaning Tower and Baptistery.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel.

Morning: With a local expert 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. Visit continues to Palazzo Pfanner and the defensive walls surrounding Lucca which 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. Stroll through the elegant shopping district on your walk back to the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Afternoon excursion by train to Pisa for an expert-led visit of the Duomo complex (Baptistery and Leaning Tower (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. Late afternoon train back to Lucca.

Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Stella Polare in Lucca

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
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.universolucca.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, October 17 - From Calcium Carbonate to Art: Carrara Marble
Note: Coach one hour to Carrara and the quarries. Minimal walking from the bus to the terraces overlooking the quarries high above the town. Bus back to Carrara for an expert-led walk in the historical center. Some walking and standing during guide explanations.

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 typical Tuscan fare.

Afternoon: Learn about marble as the medium for artists. Working schedule permitting, visit an artists' workshop. Return to Lucca mid-afternoon for a lecture and discussion on Cooking of Tuscany.

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

Lodging: Hotel Universo

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 Six: Friday, October 18 - Transfer to Siena / Chianti Wine Production / Pal...
Transfer to Siena / Chianti Wine Production / Palazzo Pubblico and Campo

Note: Coach travel and minimal walking at the working farm. In Siena the town center is restricted to car traffic, so that you can walk freely, but every walk is up or down an incline.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. Coach to a winery and olive orchards in the hills outside Siena.

Lunch: Enjoy a lunch at the working farm. Sample local wine, olive oil and farm produce.

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 the local guide who will lead the visit to Il Campo and 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.

Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant on the Piazza del Campo, Siena's magnificent main shell-shaped piazza.

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 19 - Italy Today / Duomo / Santa Maria Della Scala Mus...
Note: Negotiating the inclines and descents of the hill town of Siena will require more effort than the walks in the previous program sites. The historical town 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: 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 decorated with incised inlaid marble figures religious and allegorical scenes.

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

Afternoon: Guided visit continues of part of the collection of the museum complex Santa Maria della Scala.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant, Il Rastrello.

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 20 - San Gimignano: The Manhattan of Tuscany
Note: Coach to San Gimignano and walk around the small hill town. Not a strenuous excursion (less than a mile of walking) but the town roads are inclined and completely closed to traffic. 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: Free morning to explore a quarter of Siena at your own pace.

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.

Afternoon: 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.

Dinner: At a winery and olive farm, the host explains the cultivation and production process. Sample the Vernaccia white wine and olive oil produced at the 'tenuta' while enjoying dinner with a view.

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 Nine: Monday, October 21 - Medieval Rivals / The Palio: More Than a Horse Ra...
Note: Leisurely walk in Siena to visit the headquarters of a contrada, or district of the town. 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: 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.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: An exclusive expert-led visit of a contrada meeting hall and chapel. In the meeting hall note the cases displaying the historical trophies (palio) for the contrada's victories in the Palio race over the centuries. Later, at a cooking school, a hands-on lesson on fresh pasta and a seasonal Sienese dish. Enjoy the fruits of your labor at dinner.

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 Ten: Tuesday, October 22 - 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 through the Val D'Orcia 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.

Lunch: 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: Dinner at a characteristic trattoria in Siena.

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
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.coronaditalia.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Eleven: Wednesday, October 23 - Coach to Florence / Accademia delle Belle Arti
Note: Transfer to Florence by coach. Walk the flat streets of Florence about half a mile to the Accademia. The main gallery is on the ground floor.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.

Morning: 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 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: Before settling into the hotel, a light lunch in the market area of Florence

Afternoon: Discover Florence with an expert-led walk around the historical center. Late afternoon reserved entrance to the Accademia delle Belle Arti. Marvel at Michelangelo's David but do not neglect his unfinished pieces called the Prisoners, because they seem to be still imprisoned in the Carrara marble. 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: Dinner at a restaurant in the vicinity of San Lorenzo.

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
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.coronaditalia.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Twelve: Thursday, October 24 - Medieval and Renaissance Art / Uffizi Gallery
Note: Walk to the Uffizi is less than a mile from the hotel. An elevator 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 afficionados.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining hall.

Morning: 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 just off the Piazza della Signoria.

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 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
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.coronaditalia.com. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment

Check out time: 11:00 AM

Day Thirteen: Friday, October 25 - Walk of Discovery / Bargello Museum / Free Aftern...
Note: Minimal exertion on the walk to the Bargello - about a half mile from the hotel. 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: Free Afternoon

Dinner: Farewell dinner at Trattoria ZaZa in the Piazza del Mercato features Tuscan dishes.

Lodging: Hotel Corona d'Italia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Fourteen: Saturday, October 26 - Departures
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
6 Expert-led lectures
18 Field trips
1 Hands-on experiences
1 Performances

Ratings

4.9
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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