Road Scholar : Home
Italy: Classic Tuscany and the Treasures of Florence

Program Number: 19715RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/10/2013 - 11/23/2013; 10/19/2014 - 11/1/2014; 3/15/2015 - 3/28/2015; 4/19/2015 - 5/2/2015; 5/3/2015 - 5/16/2015; 5/17/2015 - 5/30/2015; 9/13/2015 - 9/26/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/10/2015; 10/11/2015 - 10/24/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/31/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $3,395.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 28; 12 Breakfasts, 7 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

For centuries, the verdant landscapes and medieval villages of Tuscany remained frozen in time. Scarcely changed in appearance, today the entire region is a living cultural treasure. In the hills of northern Tuscany and the plain of Florence, discover the unparalleled artistic genius that blossomed into masterpieces of marble, canvas and architecture whose brilliance transcends time and place.




Highlights

• Visit the famed quarries of Carrara to learn why this marble is the material of choice for great sculptors and architects.
• Explore the villa of Lorenzo de'Medici at Poggio a Caiano, and visit a winery in the Tuscan countryside to sample Tuscan wines.
• View the great masterpieces in Florence: works by Donatello, Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, Caravaggio, Cellini and Michelangelo’s iconic sculpture, “David.”



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day on uneven terrain. Towns and city centers have wide traffic-free areas. Expect inclines on walks in Siena.




Date Specific Information

11-10-2013, 10-19-2014, 4-19-2015, 5-3-2015, 5-17-2015, 9-27-2015, 10-18-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



3-15-2015

Consider this off peak time to avoid crowds at museums and city centers.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Pisa, coach to Lucca, 4 nights; coach to Siena, 5 nights; coach to Florence, 3 nights; departure



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Pisa, coach to Lucca
4 nights

Walk the streets of Medieval Lucca, tracing it nearly 2000-year history. Learn about the renowned white and blue-gray Carrara marble that was the medium of choice for Renaissance sculptors. Visit a quarry to see how the marble is extracted and an artist’s workshop (work schedule permitting) to view raw stone crafted into a work of art. Embark on a field trip to Pisa to explore the history of its famous leaning tower and baptistery and art in nearby museums.



Coach to Siena
5 nights

Begin to train your eye to discern the difference between work of art created by the Sienese and Florentine art schools, pay homage to the great Renaissance patron Lorenzo de'Medici at his villa. With an expert in Siena, view the Campo, Palazzo Pubblico and Duomo — the most famous in Italy. Learn about the incomparable Palio horse race and see why this centuries-old raucous tradition draws more than 100,000 spectators. Take field trips to the medieval city of San Gimignano and Renaissance Pienza. Sample great Tuscan wines.



Coach to Florence
3 nights
Departure

Illustrated lectures on Medieval and Renaissance art prepare you for independent explorations of the world-famous Uffizi Gallery and Bargello National Museum of Sculpture. At the Accademia delle Belle Arti marvel at Michelangelo's “David.”




Italy

“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.



Accommodations
Lucca: Four-star hotel in historic building near the Roman Amphitheater. Siena: Four-star hotel in city center convenient to notable sites. Florence: Three-star hotel built in 19th century at edge of Market of San Lorenzo.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Umberto Cattani

Umberto Cattani is a licensed educational excursion leader in Tuscany. After completing his studies in finance, Umberto worked in Milan as a sales manager for a clothing manufacturer. He discovered his real passion for teaching — and completed the required courses in art history, archaeology and history to achieve his new goal. Umberto lives in Carrara with his wife and daughter.
 
Donatella Grilli

Donatella Grilli enjoys sharing her energy and enthusiasm for Siena and San Gimignano. Donatella has been a part of Road Scholar programs in association with Trinity College for more than 10 years and especially enjoys sharing stories of Tuscany’s rich history with thoughtful participants.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Ilaria
  Lucca, Italy 4 nights
   NH Excelsior
  Siena, Italy 5 nights
   Hotel Corona d'Italia
  Florence, Italy 3 nights
 Hotel Ilaria
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.com
  Room amenities: satellite TV, safe for valuables
  Facility amenities: Conference center, spacious terrace, bar, lounge and snack bar in the lobby. Internet point in the lobby, complimentary newspapers. Wi-Fi. Bicycles on loan to explore Lucca
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 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.hotelilaria.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: 3:00 PM

 NH Excelsior
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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Corona d'Italia
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 allowed: No
  Elevators available: 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


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for those with morning arrivals. Hotel check in 1:00 pm. Meet in lobby at 4 pm for Orientation You will be staying at Hotel Ilaria that night.
  End of Program:
Check out of hotel by 11:00 am. No activities other than departure transfers to Florence airport You will be staying at Hotel Corona d'Italia the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: From the Pisa airport there is train and bus service to Lucca.
To Start of Program
  Location:  in flight
  Transportation to site: To reach the program site in Lucca on your own you have shared ride public transportation options (bus, train) or taxi. Inquire at the information desk in the Pisa airport arrivals terminal for the most updated bus and train timetables and purchase the train or bus ticket right at the information desk. Buses depart every hour from the airport terminal. Ride takes 50 min.; fare is about EUR 5. The train terminal is located just outside the airport terminal as well. Tickets are EUR 4. You must change trains in Pisa Centrale. If you have to change tracks and can't manage the stairs to the passageway connecting tracks, look for the elevator on the track platform. When you arrive in Lucca by train or bus it is advisable to take a taxi to the hotel (fare about EUR 12) especially if you have luggage in tow. Taxi fare direct from the Pisa airport to the hotel in Lucca (about 20 miles) will be approx. EUR 85.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Florence
  Nearest city or town:  Florence
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Florence Peretola
  Transportation from site: To reach the Florence airport on your own, taxis from the hotel to the airport are about EUR 30 depending on time of travel, number of persons and luggage. There is a public bus that runs twice an hour from the main train station in Florence to the airport. Tickets are EUR 4.50 pp. The hotel is within walking distance of the train station.
Elevation Note: Lucca and Florence are on a river plain, Siena is a hill town.

The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Transatlantic flight.
(Sunday, November 10)
   
 In Transit: Flight to Pisa

Day 2: Arrivals / Welcome and Program Overview
(Monday, November 11)

Note: Minimal exertion, a walk around town and class room time for a lecture.



   
 Arrive To: Transfer from airport to the hotel in Lucca
 Lunch: Lunch at La Locanda dell'Angelo.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon, a general introduction and orientation session in which the most updated and detailed schedule will be distributed. Meet your fellow participants at a Welcome Reception before dinner.
 Dinner: At a characteristic trattoria in the heart of Lucca.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: From Origins to the Present \ Welcome to Tuscany
(Tuesday, November 12)

Note: Not a strenuous day, transportation provided to the traffic free city center, which is not a large area.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: With the guidance of a local expert explore Lucca’s city planning from its origins in 180 BCE to the present. See the piazza which conforms to the old Roman amphitheater, the piazza that was once the Forum. Stroll through the elegant shopping district on the walk back to the hotel.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Learn about the region in a Welcome to Tuscany presentation. Some free time in the afternoon to explore Lucca on your own. The defensive walls surrounding Lucca date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The circumference is just over 3 miles and the lanes were once large enough for cars to drive upon. Today the wide path is perfect for strolls and leisurely bicycle rides for enjoyable views of the city. There are various places where one may start and end the walk, so do not feel compelled to complete the whole journey in one day.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
 Evening: Attend a recital of Puccini arias in the Church of San Giovanni.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Discover Lucca \ Train to Pisa
(Wednesday, November 13)

Note: The walks to and from the train stations are on flat terrain.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel.
 Morning: Expert-led visit to the Basilica of S. Martino. During the middle ages, Lucca was a destination for pilgrims. A noteworthy sculpture is the tomb of Ilaria del Carretto, executed by Jacopo della Quercia. The young female figure is represented resting on a pillow on her tomb and the artist's ability to "mold" marble had an influence on Michelangelo. The sides of the tomb are adorned with winged angels holding garlands of fruits and flowers.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Afternoon excursion (short train ride) to Pisa for an expert-led visit of the Duomo complex: Baptistery, Campo Santo, and Tower. Until the port silted up, Pisa 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 Baptistery has a double dome and one solo voice sounds like a choir. At times the custodian will sing the scale and the echo reverberates the whole chord. Late afternoon train to Lucca.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Il Giglio.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: From Calcium Carbonate to Art: Carrara Marble
(Thursday, November 14)

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: In the hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Visit the city of Carrara and quarries high above the town. Learn about marble as medium for ancient and modern works of art. Work schedule permitting, it may be possible to visit an artist workshop.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant specializing in Tuscan dishes.
 Afternoon: Return to Lucca late afternoon for a presentation on Tuscan Cuisine.
 Dinner: Opportunity to seek out a special place to eat.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Winery Visit \ Transfer to Siena
(Friday, November 15)

Note: Siena is a hill town whose core is entirely closed to traffic. Any walk involves inclines and descents.



   
 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 and wine tasting in the Chianti region. One of the winery's staff explains the process of wine making and/or olive oil pressing.
 Afternoon: Coach south to Siena through the Tuscan countryside and check into hotel located in the historical section of town, on top of one of Siena's hills. After settling into your room meet for a city orientation walk that ends up in the Piazza del Campo. Expert-led visit of the Campo and Palazzo Pubblico. The medieval Palazzo is still used as the town hall, and contains an important fresco cycle depicting an allegory of Good and Bad Government by Lorenzetti. Of note is Simone Martini's fresco of Guidoriccio da Folignano riding on horseback.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant on the Piazza del Campo.
 Evening: Leisurely walk from the Piazza del Campo back to the hotel.
   
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Medieval Civic and Religious Pride
(Saturday, November 16)

Note: The historical city center is restricted to car traffic, so that you can walk freely in the narrow medieval streets, but there are inclines and descents along the way.



   
 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 paved with inlaid marble depicting figures in 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: At Rastrello, the hotel's restaurant.
   
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: San Gimignano: The Manhattan of Tuscany
(Sunday, November 17)

Note: Coach to San Gimignano and walk around the small town. Some part is up hill. Not a strenuous excursion. 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.
 Lunch: At a local winery or olive mill, the host explains the cultivation and production process of extra virgin olive oil. Opportunity to sample Vernaccia di San Gimignano, one of the few Tuscan white wines produced in the area.
 Afternoon: Return to Siena late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Siena vs. Florence/ the Palio
(Monday, November 18)

Note: Leisurely walk around town to visit some of the Contrade, districts of the city. There will be inclines and descents along the walk in the hill town of Siena.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast in the hotel.
 Morning: The Palio: More Than a Horse Race. Even though there is one race in July and another in August, the competitive spirit between the Contrade is manifest all year round. In an unusual ceremony prior to the race, the horse is brought into the Contrada's church to be blessed by the priest.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to try out another local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, a local expert leads a walk through a few neighborhoods, or 'contrade'. 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.
   
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Pienza, urban planning in the Renaissance
(Tuesday, November 19)

Note: One hour coach ride to Pienza, a small hill town, not a difficult walk around the small town.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet 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 and 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: At a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Medici Villa \ Transfer to Florence \ Accademia
(Wednesday, November 20)

Note: Transfer to Florence by coach, minimal exertion. Some stairs at the Medici Villa. In Florence, the walk to the Accademia is along narrow medieval streets through the mercato area. The sidewalks are very narrow and paved with stone and it may be necessary to walk a few blocks in single file.



   
 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. Coach continues to the hotel in Florence.
 Lunch: Lunch in the market area of Florence.
 Afternoon: Settle into your room and set out late afternoon on foot for the 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 Ristorante Porcospino.
 Evening: Leisurely walk around the city, enjoy the traffic free pedestrian zone that stretches from the Duomo to Ponte Vecchio. Stroll past the designer shops on Via Tornabuoni, or through the markets of San Lorenzo Market and the Porcellino a.k.a. the Straw Market prior to reaching Ponte Vecchio.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Corona d'Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Renaissance Art \ Uffizi Gallery
(Thursday, November 21)

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.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel.
 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: Lunch at a local trattoria.
 Afternoon: Reserved entrance time to the Uffizi Gallery allows you to visit the works of art at your own pace. At the end of the corridor on the upper level you can relax with a refreshing soft drink or coffee and enjoy a commanding view of the bell tower of Palazzo Vecchio. In the Gallery works are arranged in an order that illustrates the progression from the International Gothic style to Mannerism (on the upper level) and examples of Baroque art with pieces by Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentilleschi on the ground level just before you exit the museum.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Corona d'Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Walk of Discovery \ Bargello \ Free Afternoon
(Friday, November 22)

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 in the hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Discover Florence with an expert-led walk from Santa Maria Novella to the Bargello National Museum of Sculpture. The 13th c. palace itself served as the magistrate's headquarters and civic court. The local expert will describe the major works of art including sculptures by Donatello (St. George, David), the competition pieces between Brunelleschi and Ghiberti for the north doors of the Baptistery. If you are interested in decorative art and arms you can continue the visit on your own to the rooms with fine examples of decorated pottery and armaments: swords, lances, early pistols, and suits of armor.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Florence at your own pace.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at Trattoria ZaZa in Piazza del Mercato.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Corona d'Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departure day
(Saturday, November 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel, continental breakfast for early departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Florence Botanical Gardens
extensive gardens and greenhouses where the Univiversity of Florence maintains 4 million botanical specimens in a wooded urban park, the "Giardino dei Semplici"
  Museums
Visit 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.
  Teatro della Pergola
Amici della Musica has a rich and varied program for concerts and recitals. Check the website below for further information. For additional information, visit www.amicimusica.fi.it/amuspro.htm
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Brunelleschi's Dome, How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture


Author: Ross King


Description: The story of the design and construction of the dome in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a tale rife with politics, cut-throat competition and mighty inspiration.



Every Day in Tuscany, Seasons of an Italian Life


Author: Frances Mayes


Description: Twenty years later Mayes is still besotted by Italy -- her house, the tumbling geraniums, the people and the food -- all lovingly documented in her best memoir yet. With interludes in Portofino, Assisi and Rome and a focus on Renaissance master artist Luca Signorelli.



Fodor's Florence's 25 Best


Author: Fodor's


Description: This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map and essential information on the city's highlights, including sightseeing, restaurants and shopping.



Insight Guide Tuscany


Author: Insight Guides


Description: An illustrated guide in the popular series, noteworthy for its maps and illuminating essays on history, art, food and culture.



La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


Author: Beppe Severgnini


Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses the apparently never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.



La Bella Lingua


Author: Dianne Hales


Description: Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir.



Renaissance Florence, The Invention of a New Art


Author: A. Richard Turner


Description: A cultural and social history of the city focusing on the great art and famous monuments, featuring vivid color pictures and illustrations.



Seven Seasons in Siena


Author: Robert Rodi


Description: Rodi chronicles with self-deprecating hilarity his increasingly desperate and finally successful efforts over seven years to belong in Siena.



The Art of the Renaissance


Author: Peter Murray


Description: A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.



The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy


Author: Hugh Johnson (Foreword), Nicholas Belfrage


Description: This astute guide to wine-making regions and villages in Tuscany includes a history of Tuscan grapes and culture, excellent color maps and profiles of select vintners and wines.



The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall


Author: Christopher Hibbert


Description: A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.



The Renaissance, A Short History


Author: Paul Johnson


Description: The history, background, literature, sculpture, paintings and architecture of the Renaissance in just over 200 lively, thought-provoking pages.



The Stones of Florence


Author: Mary McCarthy


Description: The classic history of the art, architecture and culture of Florence. Novelist McCarthy takes us on a quick and vivid tour of the history of the Medicis and the city of Florence, focusing on Renaissance art.



Tuscany Map


Author: Touring Club Italiano


Description: A detailed map at a scale of 1:200,000. Imported from Italy.





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