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Umbria: The Green Heart of Italy

Program Number: 7171RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/9/2013 - 9/21/2013;
Duration: 12 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $3,367.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 30; 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 10 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Medieval hill towns adorn the rugged bluffs and forests of Umbria, one of Italy’s central and distinctive regions. In the quintessential Umbrian towns of Assisi, Perugia and Orvieto, find a deeper appreciation of the heart of Italy and learn how the character, customs and cuisine reflect centuries of interaction between the people and the land.




Highlights

• Delve into the history and legends of the Etruscan civilization in Central Italy.
• Discover Umbrian traditions including La Corsa dei Ceri in Gubbio and the history behind fierce town rivalries.
• Examine the life and influence of St. Francis, Assisi’s native son.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles daily; cobbled streets and hills. Standing for extended periods.




Date Specific Information

9-9-2013

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



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Florence, 2 nights; coach to Assisi, 4 nights; coach to Perugia, 4 nights; coach to Florence, 1 night; departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Florence
2 nights

Enjoy a walk to the Ponte Vecchio and Piazza della Signoria in the center of Florence. Learn fresco painting techniques in a hands-on lesson. Visit the National Archaeological Museum of Florence to examine treasures including the Chimera of Arezzo.



Coach to Assisi
4 nights

En route to Assisi, experience the charming Tuscan hill town of Cortona and see the fine collection at its newly renovated Etruscan Museum. Walk through the winding cobblestone streets and intimate squares of Assisi to find a town seemingly unchanged since medieval times. In the Basilica of St. Francis, marvel at Giotto’s magnificent frescoes and learn about the ongoing restoration work following the 1997 earthquake. A literary expert reveals the folklore of Assisi and Umbria before leading field trips to the Basilica and the Roman excavations under the main square. Enjoy a concert of traditional Umbrian folk music. Make an excursion to the enchanting town of Gubbio, a holdover from the Middle Ages.



Coach to Perugia
4 nights
Coach to Florence
1 night
Departure

Perched high above the Tiber Valley, Perugia offers a wealth of medieval art and architecture along with spectacular ancient ruins. Delve into Etruscan history and Umbrian food, wines and traditions unique to this region. In the National Gallery, view works by Perugino, Raphael’s teacher. Examine the artistry of richly decorated majolica ceramics in Deruta and sample local specialties at a wine museum in Torgiano. Take a field trip to Orvieto, dramatically situated atop what was once an Etruscan acropolis. Enjoy an expert-led visit to Florence’s Basilica of Santa Croce, built in honor of Saint Francis of Assisi.




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
Florence: Four-star hotel on the Arno River. Assisi: Small family-run hotel in the old city. Perugia: Four-star hotel in the city’s historic center.
Meals and Lodgings
   Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
  Florence, Italy 2 nights
   Hotel Sole
  Assisi, Italy 4 nights
   San Gallo Palace
  Perugia, Italy 4 nights
   Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
  Florence, Italy 1 night
 Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The gracious hotel is located on the banks of the Arno River, a short walk to the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria and Santa Croce Church.
  Contact info: Lungarno della Zecca Vecchia, 38
Florence, NA 50122 Italy
phone: +39 055 26 236; fax
web: www.plazalucchesi.it
  Room amenities: Satellite TV, air conditioning, safe box, minibar
  Facility amenities: A fine restaurant, comfortable lounge and bar. Afternoon tea and coffee served in the lounge.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, contact the hotel’s directly by email: phl@plazalucchesi.it, or phone +39.055.2623579, or fax: +39.055.2480921. Or, contact Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome: info.reserv@laviniatour.it. 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
  Additional nights after: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, contact the hotel’s directly by email: phl@plazalucchesi.it, or phone +39.055.2623579, or fax: +39.055.2480921. Or, contact Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome: info.reserv@laviniatour.it. 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: 10:00 AM

 Hotel Sole
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Sole is a small family run hotel located within the walls of the old city next to the church of Santa Chiara, and about a 15 minute walk to the Basilica of San Francesco.
  Contact info: Corso Mazzini 35
Assisi (PG),  06081 Italy
phone: + 011-39-075-812-373
web: www.assisihotelsole.com
  Room amenities: television, hair dryer
  Facility amenities: Restaurant on the ground floor offers a typical Umbrian menu
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 San Gallo Palace
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Contact info: Via Masi, 9
Perugia,  06121 Italy
phone: + 011-39-075-5730-202
web: www.sangallo.it
  Room amenities: air conditioning, minibar, television, in-room safe, hair dryer. Complimentary wi-fi in the lobby; connection in the rooms for a fee (E. 2,50 for 1 hour, E. 6.50 for 24 hours).
  Facility amenities: Small gym with exercise equipment, indoor swimming pool. Complimentary wi-fi in the lobby; connection in the rooms for a fee (E. 2,50 for 1 hour, E. 6.50 for 24 hours).
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Check in 2:00 pm. 4:00 pm neighborhood walk followed by Welcome Reception and Dinner You will be staying at Plaza Hotel Lucchesi that night.
  End of Program:
after breakfast, transfer to airport. You will be staying at Plaza Hotel Lucchesi the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Not needed.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: The main station in Florence is Santa Maria Novella. Trains arrive from major points in Italy. SITA buses arrive in Florence from most cities and towns in Tuscany.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Florence
  Nearest city or town:  Florence
  Nearest highway: n/a
  Nearest airport:  Vespucci Airport, Florence
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Independent travelers can request to join a designated group transfer. This transfer is generally scheduled between 10:30 and 12:00 noon, but the time is subject to change. Fill out the independent travel information sheet and Trinity College will notify you about 3 weeks before the program start date to confirm the time of the courtesy transfer to which you have been assigned. To reach the program site on your own the most direct option is by taxi. Taxi fare from the airport to the hotel is approx. Euro 25 (max 4 persons with luggage to a taxi). A shuttle bus, Vola-in-Bus, runs every 30 minutes from the airport to the Santa Maria Novella train station in the center of Florence. Then you should take a taxi to the hotel. Shuttle bus tickets (E. 4.50) can be purchased in the terminal or on the bus. The taxi fare from the train station to the hotel is approx. Euro 15.
  From End of Program
  Location: Florence
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and depart on the group date. Independent travelers can request to join a designated group transfer. This transfer is generally scheduled early in the morning for flights departing Florence at 7:00 am (subject to change). Fill out the independent travel information sheet and Trinity College will notify you about 3 weeks before the program start date to confirm the time of the courtesy transfer to which you have been assigned. To reach the Florence Airport on your own the most direct option is by taxi. Taxi fare from the hotel to the airport is approx. Euro 25 (max 4 persons with luggage to a taxi). You can take a taxi (fare about E. 15) to the central train station and then a shuttle bus, Vola-in-Bus to the airport. The shuttle (fare E. 4.50) runs every 30 minutes from the Santa Maria Novella train station to the airport.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
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: Departure from North America. Overnight Flight
(Monday, September 9)
   
 Depart From: Flight departs from US

Day 2: Arrival Florence / Ponte Vecchio
(Tuesday, September 10)

Note: Leisurely walk around the neighborhood.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast served aboard plane prior to landing.
 Morning: Transfer to hotel from the Florence airport for check-in.
 Lunch: Light lunch buffet.
 Afternoon: Neighborhood walk around Piazza S. Croce, to Palazzo Vecchio and Ponte Vecchio, and to the area around the Duomo to see Brunelleschi's Dome. Welcome reception.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant. Early to bed or free time to walk around town.
   
Accommodations: Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Hands-on Fresco Technique / Palazzo Vecchio / Archaeological Museum
(Wednesday, September 11)

Note: Walk to Palazzo Vecchio and after lunch to the Archaeological Museum, about 2 miles for the day round trip.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Hands-on lesson on how to paint using the fresco technique (you may keep your 5" x 11" tile masterpiece). After, learn about Florence's city hall building from a docent-led visit of Palazzo Vecchio. See Donatello's "Judith" and Machiavelli's study.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to try out local eateries. Suggestions provided on site.
 Afternoon: Expert led lecture at the Archaeological Museum to begin discovery of the Etruscans, the people from whom Tuscany is named. See the famous "Chimera" of Arezzo and other artifacts from that civilization. The museum also contains items from Egypt.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Prepare bags for the morning's departure toward Assisi. Perhaps a walk along the Arno to Ponte Vecchio?
   
Accommodations: Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Lectures on St.Francis, Medieval and Renaissance Heritage, visit Roman excavations
(Thursday, September 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Coach to Assisi and enjoy gazing at the fabled Tuscan countryside. Stop in picturesque Cortona for an expert-led field trip to the Archaeological museum with an Etruscologist.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Check into hotel room and settle in. Gather for an illustrated lecture on the Basilica of St. Francis, its history and art (frescoes by Giotto and his workshop). Learn about the on-going restoration of the paintings following the damage caused by the 1997 earthquake. Prior to dinner at the hotel, a brief neighborhood walk to orient you to this charming town.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sole
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: St. Francis Basilica / Assisi in Roman times, explore the Temple of Minerva area and altar
(Friday, September 13)

Note: Traverse hill side to the Basilica, R/T about half a mile, walk up a couple of flights of stairs.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: A expert-led visit to the lower and upper church. See the Giotto frescoes and the place where St. Francis is buried as well as some of his personal possessions and important documents for the Franciscan Order.
 Lunch: Lunch at hotel restaurant.
 Afternoon: Roman era excavations under the main piazza, in front of the old Temple of Minerva, bring to light the area of the altar and surrounding structures. The temple, with its columns and pediments still intact, was converted into a church. After a little rest, learn about medieval and Renaissance Heritage through an illustrated lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sole
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Basilica of S. Clare / Free Afternoon
(Saturday, September 14)

Note: Light activities



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Lecture on the history and traditions of Umbria followed by an excursion to the Basilica of S. Clare.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Free time to explore upper Assisi and enjoy this singular town. Suggestions given on site.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sole
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Excursion to Deruta and Torgiano Wine Museum / Lecture on Gubbio's medieval traditions
(Sunday, September 15)

Note: Leisure walk to visit ceramic workshops and wine tasting



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: A private coach ride through the Umbrian hills to Deruta, a town famous for its hand painted ceramics, an industry dating back to the middle ages. A visit to a local potter's workshop demonstrates the process that turns a lump of clay into richly decorated dinnerware and objects d'art. In the city of Torgiano, visit a wine museum and learn about the history of viticulture in the region. Enjoy a light lunch and tasting of fine locally produced wines.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel for a lecture on the history and spirit of the hill towns of the region. Learn about the local festivals, including the "Corsa dei Ceri" in Gubbio, a competition that takes place every May among rival neighborhoods of the town. Runners carry heavy wooden structures resembling candles ("ceri") on their shoulders. They race up the hill to the church of S. Ubaldo. This religious/civic event dates back to the 12th century.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant
 Evening: Prepare luggage for morning's departure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Sole
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Transfer to Perugia via Gubbio / Neighborhood walk in Perugia
(Monday, September 16)

Note: Somewhat slow, steep walk up the hill to Gubbio's main piazza, be rewarded with a spectacular view of the Tiber river valley.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Board coach for a 2 hr. ride to Gubbio, a quintessential Umbrian hill-town, dating back millennia. In the archaeological museum see an example of the earliest written records in the native Umbrian language.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Board bus to Perugia. After checking into the hotel, a brief neighborhood walk and ride up the escalator to the upper city, return to the hotel for dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: San Gallo Palace
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Collegio del Cambio/ National Art Gallery / Renaissance Art and Literature
(Tuesday, September 17)

Note: Leisurely walk on Perugia's main streets and Art Museum led visit



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Guided visit to the Collegio del Cambio, the Money Changer's Guild hall, with richly decorated frescoes by Perugino. Visit continues to the adjacent National Gallery of Umbria, a collection of medieval and Renaissance art, including masterpieces by Perugino and Pinturicchio.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: An expert-led orientation walk in Perugia. An escalator near the hotel leads up to the upper city. Sites include the citadel Rocco San Paolina that dominates the town, and the imposing "Palazzo dei Priori." Enjoy a leisurely stroll back to the hotel along Corso Vanucci and take in the latest fashions in the elegant shops or stop for a caffe' or gelato.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: San Gallo Palace
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Orvieto excursion / Duomo and Museum
(Wednesday, September 18)

Note: Somewhat steep walk from terminal to main piazza.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: A local expert leads you through the stunning medieval Duomo where in the S. Brizio chapel you can study Signorelli's fresco of the Last Judgment.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Orvieto was established and settled by the Etruscans and our expert will discuss the artifacts displayed in the Archaeological Museum. After some free time, board coach and return to Perugia.
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: San Gallo Palace
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Etruscan Art and Civilization / Free Time
(Thursday, September 19)

Note: Leisurely day.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Historian lectures on Etruscan art and civilization. Learn about these people who excelled in almost everything: construction, metallurgy, art and commerce, but not literature. Their inscriptions are deciphered, but they left no written stories, although their frescoed tombs give an indication of their beliefs on the afterlife.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time in which you may go to the Archaeological Museum in Perugia on your own to solidify what you have learned or to explore the town more fully. Begin packing for the morning's transfer.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: San Gallo Palace
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Transfer to Florence / Santa Croce
(Friday, September 20)

Note: Leisurely coach ride.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Coach to Florence and check into hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Come full circle to the Basilica of Santa Croce, built in honor of S. Francis by his followers. In the Bardi chapel, learn from Giotto's fresco the sorrow at the death of the saint. While in the basilica notice the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and Rossini, as well as other funerary monuments to great Florentines, such as Dante and Leonardo da Vinci.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant. Free time to walk around Florence and pack for the next day's departure.
   
Accommodations: Plaza Hotel Lucchesi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Departure
(Saturday, September 21)
   
 Breakfast: Coach to and departures from Florence Vespucci Airport. Sack breakfast for early departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Assisi Umbrian hill towns
Out the back door of the hotel is the regional bus terminal with destinations to other small towns. Check for times and towns on site. The train station is down in the valley and best reached by taxi.
  Perugia Perugina Chocolate Factory
In San Sisto, a suburb of Perugia, tour the Perugina factory, where 'Baci', dark chocolate and hazelnut candies are manufactured. Small shop. Tours available Tues - Fri. Advisable to call from Perugia to make an appointment 075 527 6635.
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


A Traveller's History of Italy


Author: Valerio Lintner


Description: A brief history of Italy through the 1990s -- wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.



Cadogan Guide Tuscany, Umbria & the Marches


Author: Dana Facaros, Michael Pauls


Description: A comprehensive guide in the British series covering the entire region from Florence and Siena to Chianti, the Tuscan Coast, Umbria and the Marches in detail.



Canti


Author: Giacomo Leopardi


Description: An acclaimed new translation of Italy's greatest modern poet's work. Born in the Italian Marches in 1798, Leopardi lived in Rome, Central Italy, and Naples, where he died in 1837.



D.H. Lawrence and Italy


Author: D.H. Lawrence


Description: This omnibus Penguin Classics edition includes Lawrence's three travel tales, each very different in tone and all wonderful: Sea and Sardinia is a nostalgic look at traditional ways of life; Twilight in Italy, an evocation of Lawrence's memorable stay on Lake Garda; and Etruscan Places his musings on ancient sites, including the painted tombs of Tarquinia.



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.



Mysteries of the Middle Ages, And the Beginning of the Modern World


Author: Thomas Cahill


Description: Cahill deftly evokes the historic glories of the major medieval (and the places they frequented) in this illuminating overview of philosophy, art and literature.



On The Road with Francis of Assisi


Author: Linda Bird Francke


Description: Assisi wandered for 20 years, affording Newsweek editor Francke and her patient husband plenty to see and do in the piazzas, sanctuaries and chapels of Assisi, Siena, Bologna, Venice, Gubbio, Rome and other choice spots.



Reluctant Saint, The Life of Francis of Assisi


Author: Donald Spoto


Description: Spoto draws on fascinating new research to explore the travels, spirit and work of the beloved saint. This engaging portrait provides an excellent overview of the life of St. Francis.



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 Craftsman's Handbook: Il Libro dell' Arte


Author: Cennino d'Andrea Cennini, Daniel V. Thompson (Translator)


Description: A hands-on, how-to guide to the materials and techniques of 14th and 15-th century painting, both tempera and fresco, by a working artist of the day.



The Italian Renaissance


Author: J. H. Plumb


Description: A well-written history of the Renaissance, its artists and thinkers, with chapters on Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Women of the Renaissance.



The Lives of the Artists, Vol 1


Author: Giorgio Vasari, Julia Conway and Peter Bondanella (Translator)


Description: Written in the mid-16th century, Vasari starts with Giotto as painting's prophet and ends with Michelangelo as its messiah in these short, influential biographies.



Umbria Regional Map


Author: Touring Club Italiano


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





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