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Extension: Assisi, Orvieto and Umbria

Program Number: 21310RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/18/2014 - 5/24/2014;
Duration: 6 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $1,983.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 15; 6 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 4 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Known for its lush forests, agricultural plains and Apennine Mountains, Umbria is often referred to as the “Green Heart of Italy” due to its central position located north of Rome and south of Florence. Indigenous Umbran and Etruscans inhabitants left a record of their presence in the form of artifacts and cities, among which are the hill towns of Assisi and Orvieto. Experience the essence of Umbria’s medieval history and breathtaking countryside as you join experts for an exploration of Assisi, Orvieto and Florence.


• Trace the history of Saint Francis of Assisi as you explore the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• In Deruta — a town renowned for its ceramics — take in a pottery demonstration at a local artist’s workshop.
• At the Basilica of Santa Croce in Florence, stand before the tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and others.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles a day over uneven terrain.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Assisi, 3 nights; coach to Orvieto, 2 nights; coach to Florence, 1 night; departure.

Arrival Assisi
3 nights

Famous as the birthplace of St. Francis, Assisi is also home to the Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi, where he was buried. Join an expert for a field trip to this UNESCO World Heritage Site and learn about him and the massive restoration of Giotto’s frescoes in the Basilica following the devastating 1997 earthquake. Delve into the Roman legacy of Assisi as you discover excavations in front of the old Temple of Minerva, and learn about their significance with a historian. Enjoy ample free time to explore Assisi on your own.

Coach to Orvieto
2 nights

Journey via coach through the Umbrian hillside to the town of Deruta, a region famous for its ceramic industry dating back to the Middle Ages, and delight in a visit to a local potter’s shop. Enjoy a light lunch and sample local wines. Join an expert for an exploration of medieval Duomo, and study Signorelli’s fresco of the Last Judgment at the S. Brizio chapel.

Coach to Florence
1 night

The Basilica of Santa Croce was built in honor of Saint Francis by his followers. Giotto illustrated the death of this saint in the frescos of the Bardi chapel. 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.


“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.

Assisi: Historic four-star hotel. Orvieto: Centrally located four-star hotel. Florence: Centrally located hotel.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Giotto Assisi
  Assisi, Italy 3 nights
   Grand Hotel Italia
  Orvieto, Italy 2 nights
   Hotel B&B Novoli
  Florence, Italy 1 night
 Hotel Giotto Assisi
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: 1700's noble family home restructured as a hotel in 1899, recently updated and modernized as a 4 star hotel. Located 200 meters from the Basilica of St. Francis.
  Contact info: Via Fontebella 41
Assisi, NA 06081 Italy
phone: +39 075 812209
  Room amenities: Climate control; mini bar; safe; satellite TV; direct line telephone, hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Panoramic terrace and dining rooms overlooking the Tiber River valley. 24 hour reception; Ishtar Spa Club, open to hotel guests; complementary newspapers in lobby. Wi-Fi, obtain password from reception desk, hourly fees apply.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidation sites such as or Expedia.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Grand Hotel Italia
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Centrally located in the pedestrian zone of medieval Orvieto, near the Duomo, Palazzo del Capitano del Popolo and Palazzo dei Congressi. Housed in a 17 C. palace the structure was renovated in 2004 and maintains an antique elegance with modern comforts.
  Contact info: Via Piazza del Popolo, 13
Orvieto,  05018 Italy
phone: +39 0763-342-065
  Room amenities: Independent AC/Heat climate control; satellite TV, safe, hair dryer, direct line phone, modem connection.
  Facility amenities: 24 hour reception, restaurant, bar, free Wi-Fi in common areas and rooms, an Internet point in the lobby, two fire places in the lounge and lobby, panoramic terrace.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel B&B Novoli
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: Hotel located near Florence "Amerigo Vespucci" Airport.
  Contact info: Viale Guidoni, 101
Florence,  50127 Italy
phone: +39 055 437 8951
  Room amenities: Individual climate control; flat screen TV with satellite connection; free Wi-Fi in the room; hairdryer; direct dial telephone.
  Facility amenities: Modern business class hotel, free Wi-Fi throughout facility.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N.A. For additional nights, please contact Trinity College's agency in Rome: Lavinia Tour at: or the hotel's on-line reservation site.
  Check out time: 11:45 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Coach departs from Hotel Corona at 10:00 am for Assisi. You will be staying at Hotel Giotto Assisi 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 B&B Novoli the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. none
  Parking availability:
not applicable.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Regular public train and bus service to Florence from major cities in Italy.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Assisi
  Nearest city or town:  Assisi
  Nearest airport:  Rome Fiumicino
  Transportation to site: Florence is connected by air, trains and buses. Participants enrolled in Classic Tuscany 19715 and continuing on this Extension to Assisi, Orvieto, Umbria will leave the program hotel by coach and transfer to the first destination.
  From End of Program
  Location:  in flight
  Transportation from site: Shuttle or taxi from the hotel to the airport. .
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: Transfer to Assisi
(Sunday, May 18)

Note: Three hour coach ride to Assisi with stop en route. Assisi is traffic free, short walk from coach parking to hotel, somewhat uphill. Neighborhood walk after check-in.

 Morning: Coach departs at 10:00 am for Assisi.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Assisi
 Afternoon: An Orientation Session gives an overview of the itinerary. After a short break, a local historian welcomes you to Umbria with some interesting historical background of the region. Explore Assisi on foot.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Giotto Assisi
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Frescoes \ Legacy of St. Francis
(Monday, May 19)

Note: Short walk to the Basilica of St. Francis, some standing as the expert discusses the panels of Giotto's frescoes.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: 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.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: A expert-led visit to the lower and upper church dedicated to St. Francis. 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.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own at a local eatery to sample Umbrian cuisine.
Accommodations: Hotel Giotto Assisi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3: Explore Roman Assisi and other sites
(Tuesday, May 20)

Note: Extended periods of standing during the expert-led walk in the heart of the pedestrian-only small city. Some inclines and steps to reach the Roman theater.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: 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.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Giotto Assisi
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Transfer to Orvieto via Deruta center of ceramic maiolica pottery
(Wednesday, May 21)

Note: Light exertion in Orvieto, a small town center closed to traffic.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel.
 Morning: A 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. Enjoy a light lunch and tasting of fine locally produced wines.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Settle into the hotel in Orvieto and take a walk of discovery of the medieval town streets and piazzas.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Duomo of Orvieto \ Etruscan Artifacts
(Thursday, May 22)

Note: Some steps to and in the Archaeological museum, steps to reach underground Orvieto dating back to its foundation as an Etruscan city.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 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 restaurant in the center of Orvieto. Enjoy some typical Umbrian dishes.
 Afternoon: Orvieto was established and settled by the Etruscans and our expert will discuss the artifacts displayed in the Archaeological Museum. The visit continues to the underground areas of the city.
 Dinner: Opportunity to seek out a special place to eat.
 Evening: Seek out any of the scenic overlooks around the walls for spectacular vistas of the Umbrian countryside. Appreciate the strategic advantage of building a city on a tall volcanic rock plateau with steep walls for its defense.
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Transfer to Florence / Franciscan church of Santa Croce
(Friday, May 23)

Note: Three hour coach ride to Florence, with stop en route. Leisure walk to S. Croce and back to hotel.

 Breakfast: At the hotel.
 Morning: Some free time before the coach departs for Florence.
 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: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel B&B Novoli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Departures
(Saturday, May 24)

Note: Transfer to the Florence Airport. Manage luggage from drop off to the check-in counter.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel, continental breakfast for early departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Assisi Tuscan hill towns
A day trip to other hill towns in Tuscany - Siena, Cortona, or Arezzo
  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"
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.
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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