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The Hidden Villages of Tuscany

Program Number: 20096RJ
Start and End Dates:
3/15/2014 - 3/24/2014; 9/22/2014 - 10/1/2014; 10/21/2014 - 10/30/2014; 4/7/2015 - 4/16/2015; 4/30/2015 - 5/9/2015; 9/3/2015 - 9/12/2015; 9/30/2015 - 10/9/2015;
Duration: 9 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,268.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 20; 7 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 8 Dinners    

The borghi (small villages) of Tuscany have their own pace, their own traditional meals, their own culture and, it sometimes seems, their own world apart from modernity and even from the flow of tourists into some parts of the region. Explore the piazzas, churches, fortresses and hilly landscapes of this smaller, timeless Italy. Interact with the people in markets and cafés, see the masterpieces that have long resided here and taste simple, ancient, delicious Tuscan cuisine.




Highlights

• Absorb the culture and day-to-day life of Tuscan villages on this thorough, in-depth journey.
• Observe artisans creating fine textiles using ancient methods including pre-treatment with olive oil and coloring with onions, sage and carrots.
• Learn how Tuscany’s chefs work with the fertile northern Italian land to create distinctive dishes.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to one mile and standing for up to one hour at a time; some uneven terrain and stairs without railings.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Florence; coach to Anghiari, 8 nights; coach to Florence for departure.



Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Florence
Coach to Anghiari
8 nights
Coach to Florence for departure

Upon reaching the small town of Anghiari, the mayor offers you a welcome cocktail before your first dinner made with local ingredients. Learn about the Battle of Anghiari, which pitted Florence against Milan in 1440, at the Museo della Battaglia. Meet the craftsmen and -women in some of the town’s ceramics and textile workshops. Learn about the Renaissance painter Piero della Francesca in the town of Monterchi and admire his masterpiece, the “Resurrection.” Discover the XI century fairy tale Castle of Galbino in the country of San Francesco. Venture to Arezzo, site of Italy’s largest antiques fair, a maze of furniture, sculptures, iron and copper items and much more. In Arezzo visit the Church of Saint Francis which boasts the fresco cycle "Legends of the True Cross" by Piero della Francesca. At the Castello di Sorci, take part in a seasonal activity such as harvesting and pressing grapes or hunting for mushrooms then take part in a cooking demonstration and dinner.




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
Anghiari: Family-owned inn overlooking the historic town piazza.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel La Meridiana
  Anghiari (AR), Italy 8 nights
 Hotel La Meridiana
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: “La Meridiana”in Anghiari close to Arezzo is a charming family-owned inn that has wanted to make your holidays excellent in a Tuscany medieval village since 1964. In a home and quiet environment you can lose yourself and discover the beauties of this land while you are a guest in a comfortable and renovated hotel offering you whatever you need. A few steps from the town theatre, hotel “La Meridiana” in Anghiari is in the town historic centre so you can move easily and without difficulty to discover everything around the place. Since our intentions are to always make your holidays perfect!
  Contact info: P.za IV Novembre 8
Anghiari (AR),  52031 Italy
phone: +39 0575 788102
web: www.hotellameridiana.it
  Room amenities: Hotel La Meridiana STANDARD ROOMS overlook the old square Piazza IV Novembre where stands the eighteenth-century Theatre. These rooms are spacious and functional and they can become triple and quadruple rooms. All standard rooms are equipped with private bathroom (shower, or bath), hairdryer, air conditioning, telephone, satellite TV, wi-fi service, wake-up service.
  Facility amenities: So we have furnished our inn with a lot of facilities that exceed our three stars: a private outdoor parking, a lift, a tv room, a coffee bar, a conference room, an internet point and wake up service while families on holiday can take advantage of a nursery service. You can also find private bathroom, english german usa tv channels, a hairdryer, air conditioning (2 and 3 floor rooms), wi fi …in all the hotel rooms and mini bar and safe security in the superior rooms. For a Tuscany passion touch, the hotel invites its guests to find its tasty restaurant where local cookery traditions are reworked through ability and culinary prowess to give you always the best.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: DBL € 75,00 BB, SGL € 50,00 BB Advanced reservation required and depending upon availability. Please send an e-mail to ffigliuolo@exploreitaly.net or call (781) 899-0900 City tax if applied it has to be paid locally: roughly cost: € 5,00 per person per night Please also check the hotel website for special offers
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: DBL € 75,00 BB, SGL € 50,00 BB Advanced reservation required and depending upon availability. Please send an e-mail to ffigliuolo@exploreitaly.net or call (781) 899-0900 City tax if applied it has to be paid locally: roughly cost: € 5,00 per person per night Please also check the hotel website for special offers
  Check out time: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Start Time: Hotel check in time 3:00 pm or 4:00 pm Program begins at 6:00 pm in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Hotel La Meridiana that night.
  End of Program:
End Time: 6:00 am in the lobby of the hotel. For later departures check out is at 11:00 or 12:00pm You will be staying at Hotel La Meridiana the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Passports are needed. No visa required for US citizens in Italy
  Parking availability:
Parking is free for the lenght of the program at the Hotel
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: No train or Bus are available to site.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Anghiari (AR)
  Nearest city or town:  Arezzo
  Nearest highway: A1 highway
  Nearest airport:  Florence airport
  Transportation to site: There will be a shuttle bus available to participants (with included air from Road Scholar) from the airport to the Hotel. Transfer service from the airport to your Hotel is provided on the day of the group arrival only
  From End of Program
  Location: Anghiari (AR)
  Transportation from site: There will be a shuttle bus available to participants (with included air from Road Scholar) from the Hotel to the airport. Transfer service from the Hotel to the hotel is provided on the day of the group departure only
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Elevation Note: There is no elevation above 3000 Feet.

Equipment Requirements: No equipment is required
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: in flight
(Saturday, March 15)
   
 In Transit: Overnight in transit

Day 2: Check in / orientation meeting
(Sunday, March 16)
   
 Afternoon: Check-in at the Hotel La Meridiana in Anghiari (AR). Orientation meeting/Presentation of the program
 Dinner: Welcome dinner at local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Anghiari / Misericordia Museum / The Battaglia Museum
(Monday, March 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Guided visit of Medieval Anghiari. Walk through the workshops of the historical center of Anghiari, the symbol of passion and tradition of the village: ceramics, textile, antiques. Visit to the “Museum della Misericordia” and the “ Museo Della Battaglia” which gathers all the material pertaining the Battle of Anghiari under the Historical-military and artistic-cultural profile. Welcome cocktail offered by the Mayor of Anghiari
 Lunch: Light lunch at the hotel restaurant
 Afternoon: Guided visit of Anghiari
 Dinner: Dinner at the local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Visit to "Scuola del restauro", Taglieschi Museum, Busatti textile factory, Caprese village
(Tuesday, March 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Guided visit to the “Scuola del restauro” old tradition of antiques furniture Visit to the Museo Taglieschi which contains an interesting collection of sculptures, paintings and household articles displayed in the 20 rooms of the fine fifteenth century building.
 Lunch: Wine & cheese tasting at “Giardini del Vicario
 Afternoon: Visit to Busatti Textile factory Transfer to Caprese village for a visit to the Michelangelo’s house museum Return to hotel
 Dinner: Dinner at the local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lecture, Monterchi, Madonna del parto museum, Sansepolcro, San Sepolcro museum, Aboca museum, Della Vetrata museum.
(Wednesday, March 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the Hotel
 Morning: Lecture by Prof. Mario Carniani “Piero della Francesca” Field trip to Monterchi Piero della Francesca’s mother native place. Visit to the Museo della Madonna Del Parto The Madonna del Parto is one of the Renaissance masterpieces but it is first and foremost a powerful religious symbol: it is the portrayal of the Virgin Mary. The mastery of Piero della Francesca has made this fresco into an immortal work.
 Lunch: Lunch at the local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Sansepolcro Visit of the Museo di San Sepolcro to admire some of Piero della Francesca’s works and above all the “Resurrection” considered one of the greatest paintings in the world. Visit to the Aboca Museum, the original and the only Herb Museum, housed in a renaissance building. The museum has rediscovered the history of the millenary relationship between Man and Herbs and is passing it down to future generations. It explores the ancient tradition of Medicinal Herbs through historic sources such as herbariums, pharmaceutical botanical books, ancient mortars, ceramics and glassware Visit to the “Museo della Vetrata” exceptionally opened to Road Scholar’s participants Return to hotel
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Visit to an oil mill, Monastero di Montecasale
(Thursday, March 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Visit to an oil mill with a lesson on olive oil recipes.
 Lunch: Light lunch at the oil mill
 Afternoon: Visit to the Monastero di Montecasale Return to hotel
 Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Free time in Anghiari, Sorci Castle
(Friday, March 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Morning free to enjoy the weekly street market of Anghiari
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Departure to Castello di Sorci Demonstration of ancient crafts
 Dinner: Dinner at the Castle with music and popular songs.
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Arezzo
(Saturday, March 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Excursion to Arezzo. Arezzo (Aritim in Etruscan) is believed to have been one of the twelve most important Etruscan cities—the so-called Dodecapolis, part of the Etruscan League. Arezzo is set on a steep hill rising from the floodplain of the River Arno. In the upper part of the town are the cathedral, the town hall and the Medici Fortress (Fortezza Medicea), from which the main streets branch off towards the lower part as far as the gates. The upper part of the town maintains its medieval appearance despite the addition of later structures. Visit to the Church of San Domenico and to the House of Vasari Guided visit of the Church of Saint Francis to admire the masterpieces of Piero della Francesca.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: Free time. Return to the hotel
 Dinner: Dinner at the local restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Pieve di Sovara / Pieve di Micciano / Castle of Gabino
(Sunday, March 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Visit to the Pieve di Sovara . Visit to the PIeve di Micciano. Transfer to the “Casolare”
 Lunch: Lunch with a family of Anghiari
 Afternoon: Excursion to the Castle of Galbino. Visit to the castle. Return to hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel restaurant
   
Accommodations: Hotel La Meridiana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Florence airport
(Monday, March 24)
   
 Depart From: Departure based on the flight schedule.
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


The Most Beautiful Country Towns of Tuscany (Most Beautiful Villages Series)


Author: James Bentley and Alex Ramsay


An Adventure In Tuscany: In & Around Medieval Anghiari


Author: Dawn Angela Seeley and Giuseppe Dini


A Vineyard in Tuscany: A Wine Lover's Dream


Author: Ferenc Mat




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