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The Hidden Treasures of Florence

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Road Scholar
Program #18647RJ
10 Days | 9 Nights
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.
Esther from Arlington Heights, IL Number of programs attended: 11
Date attended: 11/01/14 - 11/10/14
This was a fabulous experience and everything about it was perfect.  The Cellai Hotel is charming, their breakfasts are wonderful and the staff is accommodating and helpful; The program coordinator, Cristina Viti, her helper Elena, and the lecturers are excellent.   You don’t need to have a  background in art history to enjoy the program, just come with a willingness to learn, a small pair of binoculars (to see those high-up frescoes), and maybe a general Florence guidebook (Rick Steves  “Florence and Tuscany”is good) so you can prepare yourself a little more for the museums visited.    I hope the following suggestions will be helpful to those doing the program. 1. Bring two pairs of walking shoes.  The historical area of Florence is paved with huge stones.  You don’t want to feel every stone underfoot!   Also you  will be standing a lot at museums. 2. Bring a bar of your favorite soap. Though the hotel supplies bathroom amenities, I liked having a full-size bar of soap for the shower.   3. Consider arriving a day or so early to Florence so you can start the program with a fresh mind and not so jetlagged.  4. The day you visit the Uffizi, consider having lunch on the terrace overlooking Signoria Square, rather than the cafeteria.  It is slightly more expensive than the museum cafeteria,but the setting the views are majestic. 5. I especially enjoyed reading Dan Brown’s “Inferno” after the program was over as it is set mainly of the places we visited in Florence. It is also set in Venice.   This program was so good, that I would like to do it over again in a year or so!

Judith from Inman, SC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/01/14 - 11/10/14
Good to hear from Kenneth and Leslie. Think I have some good photos of you- better than your passport photo maybe! Just posted day 2 photographs which was kind of confusing because I don't think we followed the itinerary exactly. Also believe I figured out how to open the blog for your posts although I'm just learning how to do these things. Monday I'll post the day 3 photographs.

Sherry from Frankfort, IL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/10/14 - 10/19/14
This tour of Florence will be enjoyed just as much by people learning about Florentine art for the 1st time as those who have visited Florence before. It's also a good way to understand the Florentine lifestyle. Sign up for an extra day at the hotel to do some shopping at the end since this is a busy tour.

Kenneth from Grove City, OH Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/01/14 - 11/10/14
Leslie and Douglass are very correct. An excellent trip with a great Prof, Giovanni Guidetti, sharing his knowledge of the art of this time period. Douglass' blog is very worth seeing. Day 1 is up, more to come. I look forward to seeing the coming days.

Douglass from Inman, SC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/01/14 - 11/10/14
The trip exceeded our expectations in every way! Judy and I so very much appreciated the staff, the instructors, and our fellow participants. It was out first Road Scholars trip, but will not be our last. I have uploaded a "Hidden Treasures of Florence" photographic blog which is a very good review for me (and you). It can be found here- http://roadscholarflorence.blogspot.com/

LESLIE from Aiken, SC Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/01/14 - 11/10/14
This was an "intentional" trip in trying out traveling alone at 67 and it was perfect. The group was mixed with singles and couples, men and women...all smart and interested in the whole experience of travel in Florence. I can't wait to go on another trip! Leslie

Mary from San Antonio, TX Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/10/14 - 10/19/14
This tour is a great introduction to the Road Scholar Program. I thoroughly enjoyed the lectures, tours and special activities. Cristina and Elena are fantastic organizers, and Giovanni and Mario excellent guides. Florence is a magical city and this tour shows sights off the beaten path. Highly recommend this for art and history lovers.

Aroop from Albuquerque, NM Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 10/10/13 - 10/19/13
My trip to Florence was a pleasurable and educational experience thanks to the organization provided by Cristine. The hotel was clean, pleasant and located centrally to allow good access to many of the sights and the city in general. The staff were helpful. The art history professors who took us around were knowledgeable and explained the history and the art well. They were available to us to ask questions. The visits to the 3 villas were well planned and gave us a good insight into their history and the life of those who live there. The travel arrangements were well coordinated. We were kept informed of the schedule and plans for the day. Cristine and her helpers were available to help and also kept her "charges" moving. Thank you.

Patricia from San Diego, CA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/10/13 - 10/19/13
If you have even a modest interest in art history do this trip! Our historian/scholars were superb and a joy to be with. Plan to stay a day or two on your own to explore the hidden parts of this most wonderful city!

Mary from St Augustine, FL Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/10/13 - 10/19/13
Unless the program is upgraded to "Very Active" be aware that there was more walking and standing than indicated. This would be important for those with arthritis, any back issues, foot problems. About half of our program had difficulty keeping up.

William from Vienna, VA Number of programs attended: 32
Date attended: 10/10/13 - 10/19/13
This trip was truly the revelation of the "hidden" treasures of Florence. We chose this program to get to really know Florence although we had been there four times previously. We didn't learn everything, but that wasn't the fault of the good Drs. Giovanni and Mario. Mario, of my year(1928) was an instant brother. We echo the praises of Charlotte and Richard. Richard didn't mention his affinity for looking out for old people, Kathy and Bill Foster Vienna VA

Charlotte from Cologne, NJ Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/13/13 - 09/22/13
This was my first RS trip, and I am certain there will be more. The experts, Mario and Giovanni, were enthusiastic, very knowledgable, and eager to share their passion for the art of Florence. The other participants were charming, helpful, and seemed to be old friends very quickly. I could do this same trip ten more times and see new things each visit.

Richard from Saratoga Springs, NY Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/10/13 - 10/19/13
Florence in October, without the crowds and heat of summer, fantastic guides providing a clear perspective on the Renaissance and the role of Florentines in it, fabulous food and wine; this trip has it all. Bring your museum shoes and your curiosity, and fall in love with Florence!

Katherine from Yellow Springs, OH Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/13/13 - 09/22/13
Hidden Treasures of Florence was exceptional. If you only get one trip to Europe do this one!

Nancy from Baltimore, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 09/13/13 - 09/22/13
Wonderful experience; can't imagine how it could have been better. Guides are experienced, enthusiastic, and knowledgeable. Participants friendly and fun. My first Road Scholar trip; won't be my last!

Dolores from West Roxbury, MA Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 09/13/13 - 09/22/13
The lectures by Giovanni at the Uffizi and of the Ghirlandaio frescoes and other works were the highpoint of the trip. The other participants were friendly and always good company. Visits to the various palazzi and gardens had strong points such as gracious hosts or wonderful views or interesting guides. Some events seemed to go on a bit long and the time table seemed a tad lopsided, with sometimes overlong and somewhat tiring site visits and quite long free time. However, free time in Florence is never wasted and Christina gave some good suggestions for using it. Highly recommended for lovers of Renaissance art, for beautiful Florence, and sunny Italy -- excellent weather.

Thomas from Fort Myers, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/01/13 - 04/10/13
If you have an interest in Western art and culture, this program is an opportunity you do not want to miss. Our instructor, Mario Carniani, literally wrote the book on the Brancacci Chapel and visiting this site with his guidance was worth the trip in itself. Dr. Carniani's deep understanding of the history and art of this well-preserved Renaissance city adds context and perspective to everything you see there. The program we experienced included many sites that were not part of the written program. We stopped at Santa Maria Novella to see Giotto's crucifix, Masaccio's Trinity and other important works. We saw Ghirlandaio's last supper at Ognissanti and visited some of the most important Renaissance works in the Uffizi. Our outstanding group leader, Cristina Viti, made arrangements for us to see the marvelous Springtime of the Renaissance exhibit at the Strozzi palace which has been very favorably reviewed. If you've visited Florence, but never been to Bargello, the Brancacci Chapel, the Vasari Corridor and the other sites explored in this program, you've barely scratched the surface. If you have a special interest in the art, history or culture of the Italian Renaissance, you may want to add a few days to your stay at the end of the program. There's nothing that can bring you closer to this important era than walking the ancient streets of this beautiful city. This program gives you a street-level familiarity with the Florence and prepares you well to appreciate what you see.

Joan from Columbia, MD Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 05/09/13 - 05/18/13
Anyone who wants the CD of the Pics (Jpg's) I robert shot just send us just email us their mailing address. Will be happy to share rpagelsen@comcast.net

Barbara from Binghamton, NY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 05/09/13 - 05/18/13
I enjoyed this program and would highly recommend it for anyone interested in the art and architecture of Florence.

Elaine from Fort Myers, FL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 04/01/13 - 04/10/13
Hidden Treasures of Florence (18647) exceeded my expectations as a learning experience. Our group leader, Ms. Cristina Viti, managed the group very well with clear communications, promptness and flexibility. Our instructor, Mario Carniani, has an extraordinary knowledge of the artist Masaccio and all of Florence. He shared that knowledge freely and with great enthusiasm with our group. The other instructors that we experienced were equally generous in sharing information about their unique studies. I will recommend this program to my family and friends.

Lori from Normal, IL Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 04/01/13 - 04/10/13
If you love Italian Renaissance art do not hesitate to choose this program. It is an amazing, once-in-a lifetime experience. Be sure to be in good shape--they aren't kidding about the walking, but Florence is so beautiful it is worth every step!

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"Narrow medieval streets" Uploaded By: Mary
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"Road Scholars in Florence, with Cristina and Mario. May 9 - May 18, 2013" Uploaded By: Joan

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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

at no additional cost on this date ...
8 nights of accommodations
16 meals: 8 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 4 dinners
6 Expert-led lectures
10 Field trips


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