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Italy: Classic Tuscany and the Treasures of Florence

Program Number: 19715RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/19/2015 - 5/2/2015; 4/17/2016 - 4/29/2016; 5/8/2016 - 5/20/2016; 5/22/2016 - 6/3/2016; 9/11/2016 - 9/23/2016; 9/18/2016 - 9/30/2016; 9/25/2016 - 10/7/2016; 10/2/2016 - 10/14/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/21/2016; 10/16/2016 - 10/28/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $3,889.00 - 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.


• 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

4-19-2015, 4-17-2016, 5-8-2016, 5-22-2016, 9-11-2016

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


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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Pisa, coach to Lucca, 4 nights; coach to Siena, 4 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
4 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

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


“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.

Lucca: Four-star hotel just across the street from city walls. Siena: Four-star hotel in city center convenient to notable sites. Florence: Four-star hotel steps down-river from Ponte Vecchio. Choice hotel of Picasso when he was in Florence.

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.
Linda Lorenzetti

Linda Lorenzetti is the president of a cooperative of art historians that leads explorations of the city of Lucca and the Tuscan countryside. She has been leading Road Scholar field trips in Lucca since 1987 and never fails to enthusiastically showcase her native town. Linda got her degree in English Literature from the University of Pisa and has worked with The Today Show, The Bachelor and other television programs as an interpreter and local expert for the crew.
Elaine Ruffolo

Elaine Ruffolo has been teaching art history in Florence since 1989 and is a popular instructor for students and adults alike. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin and earned a master’s in art history from Syracuse University. Elaine directs the field study programs for Syracuse University in Florence and lectures for various adult programs. She is the resident director of the Smithsonian Institute programs in Italy and is currently working on a travel book of Florence and Tuscany.
Linda O'Brien

Linda O'Brien pursued her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, where she was awarded an advanced degree in art history and archaeology with honors from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She completed post-graduate work in symbolic anthropology at Stanford University and is currently professor of art history for the European Division of the University of Maryland.
Bianca Obradovic

Bianca is originally from Yugoslavia, but after studying at the American Business School in Rome 30 years ago, she decided to make Italy her home. She is fluent in English, Italian, French and Arabic among other languages. Bianca has worked as the site coordinator and group leader for numerous educational travel companies in Italy and in the Mediterranean.
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
  Room amenities: satellite TV, mini bar, safe for valuables, free wifi, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries
  Facility amenities: Conference center, spacious terrace, bar, lounge and snack bar in the lobby. Internet point in the lobby, complimentary newspapers. Browse the lobby's collection of fine art and photography books. Free wifi connection. Bicycles on loan to explore Lucca along the scenic path on the wide wall that encloses the town.
  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: 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
  Room amenities: air-conditioning, telephone, satellite television, room safe and mini-bar. All rooms have private bathroom with hair dryer and complimentary toiletries.
  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
  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 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 reserve through online hotel consolidator services such as or expedia.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Hotel check in 1:00 pm. Meet in the lobby at 4 pm for Neighborhood Walk. 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 Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Regular public bus service to Lucca from Florence, Pisa and Pisa Airport. Train service from Lucca to Pisa and Florence. Check for timetables
To Start of Program
  Location:  in flight
  Transportation to site: To reach the program site in Lucca on your own you have two public transportation options: bus or train. At the information desk in the airport arrivals terminal you can get the most updated bus and train timetables and purchase your transportation ticket. Buses to Lucca depart every hour from the airport terminal. The ride takes 50 min.; fare is about EUR 4. A shuttle bus runs frequently from the airport to Pisa central train station. Trains depart for Lucca about every hour; fare is about EUR 4. 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. A taxi from the Pisa airport to Lucca (20 miles) will take about 25 min. Ask the driver before he/she begins the meter, but the fare will be approx. EUR 85.
  From End of Program
  Location: in flight
  Transportation from site: To reach the Florence airport on your own, taxis from the hotel to the airport are about EUR 25. A supplement may apply for night rides There is a public shuttle bus that runs twice an hour from the main train station in Florence to the airport. Tickets are EUR 6. The hotel is less than 500 yards from the train station. .
    (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: Transatlantic flight.
(Sunday, April 19)
 In Transit: Flight to Pisa

Day 2: Arrivals / Welcome and Program Overview
(Monday, April 20)

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

 Arrive To: Transfer from airport to the hotel in Lucca.
 Lunch: Lunch is served buffet style at the hotel for those with morning and early afternoon arrivals.
 Afternoon: Late afternoon, Program overview, neighborhood walk and Welcome reception.
 Dinner: Sample a Lucchese menu at a restaurant near the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: From Origins to the Present / Walk of Discovery
(Tuesday, April 21)

Note: Not a strenuous day. Extended periods of standing during the expert-led walk in the heart of the pedestrian only small city.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel.
 Morning: Explore the layers of Lucca’s urban planning from its origins in 180 BCE to the present. See the oval shaped piazza which conforms to the old Roman amphitheater. Stroll through the elegant shopping district. The defensive walls surrounding Lucca date back to the 16th and 17th centuries. The circumference is just over 3 miles and the lanes are wide enough for walkers and recreational bike riders. The hotel has bicycles you can borrow to explore the park during free time in Lucca.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in the heart of Lucca.
 Afternoon: A classroom session on Lucca through the centuries.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own. Your choice to have a light supper before or after the concert.
 Evening: Attend a live performance of music of Giacomo Puccini, native son of Lucca. The concert begins at 7 pm and lasts 1.5 hours.
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: From Calcium Carbonate to Art: Carrara Marble / Cucina Toscana
(Wednesday, April 22)

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: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to Carrara. Working schedule permitting, visit an artists' workshop. Continue to the marble quarries in the mountains that loom above the town. Learn how extraction of marble has evolved from the times of the Romans to the age of mechanized equipment.
 Lunch: Lunch at an wine bar/restaurant in the center of Carrara. Enjoy some local Tuscan dishes.
 Afternoon: Learn about the strenuous work of quarrymen and the toll it took on entire families on an expert-led walk through the small center of Carrara. Return to Lucca mid-afternoon for a lecture on Tuscan Cooking, Wine and Olive Oil.
 Dinner: Dinner at a characteristic trattoria in the heart of Lucca.
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Explore Lucca / Piazza dei Miracoli, Duomo, Baptistery, Leaning Tower of Pisa
(Thursday, April 23)

Note: Light exertion in Pisa for the visit to the Piazza dei Miracoli, the Duomo complex comprised of the famous Leaning Tower and Baptistery.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Expert-led walk in Lucca to the Basilica of S. Martino. Admire its marble facade decorated with Romanesque statues and motifs. In the Middle Ages the city was a destination of pilgrims traveling to view relics housed within the basilica.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Train to Pisa San Rossore station. Short walk to the Piazza dei Miracoli. Expert-led visit of the Duomo and Baptistery. See the exterior of the famous Leaning Tower, part of the same Duomo complex. The lacy white marble tiers of the buildings contrast with the wide green lawns, which is unusual for a city cathedral. Until the port of Pisa silted up, the city 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. Train back to Lucca late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner at a farm to table restaurant in Lucca.
Accommodations: Hotel Ilaria
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Transfer to Siena / Chianti Wine Production / Medieval Civic Pride
(Friday, April 24)

Note: Coach travel and minimal walking at the winery. The road from the hotel to the Campo is pedestrian only and has some inclines as you near the wide Campo which slopes down to the Town Hall.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to a winery along a scenic route through olive orchards and vineyards in the Chianti hills near Siena.
 Lunch: Enjoy a lunch in the Chianti region and sample the local red wine.
 Afternoon: Coach south to Siena through the Tuscan countryside. Check into the hotel located in the historical center of town. After settling into your room meet for a city orientation walk that ends up in the Piazza del Campo. The perimeter of the wide square is the site where the famed Palio horse race takes place in July and August.. Expert-led visit continues to the Palazzo Pubblico. The great hall of the medieval Palazzo, still serving today as the town hall, contains an important fresco cycle depicting an allegory of Good and Bad Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Of note is the fresco of Guidoriccio da Fogliano on horseback. Scholars have long attributed the work to the 1300s Sienese painter Simone Martini. The guide will explain the controversy that has arisen about re-attributing the fresco to a much later artist.
 Dinner: Sample some regional dishes (and enjoy the view) at a restaurant in the Piazza del Campo.
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Italy Today / Medieval Religious Pride
(Saturday, April 25)

Note: Siena is a hill town entirely closed to traffic. The walks may include steep inclines, steps, uneven stone or cobblestone pavement.

 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. The visit continues to the Museo dell'Opera del Duomo to admire Duccio di Buoninsegna's Maesta'.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit continues to a part of the collection of the museum complex at Santa Maria della Scala.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in the Piazza del Mercato.
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: San Gimignano: The Manhattan of Tuscany
(Sunday, April 26)

Note: Coach to San Gimignano and walk around the small hill town. Not a strenuous excursion but the town roads are inclined. 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 buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Mid morning departure by coach to San Gimignano At a local organic farm, the host explains the production of extra virgin olive oil, wine, saffron and the characteristics of Chianina cattle. Opportunity to sample Vernaccia di San Gimignano, one of the few Tuscan white wines produced in the area.
 Lunch: Lunch at the farmhouse restaurant.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit of medieval San Gimignano, an original Etruscan town, it 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. Some free time to visit the Duomo, explore the shops, or take in the view from the public park at the highest point of the town. Coach to Siena late afternoon.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9: The Palio: More Than a Race / Exclusive Visit to a Contrada
(Monday, April 27)

Note: Walks in the hill town may include steep inclines, steps, uneven stone or cobblestone pavement.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Illustrated Lecture: The Palio, More than a Horse Race. Learn about this centuries old tradition where each of the city's districts, called contrade, sponsor a horse to represent their neighborhood. The shame of losing is enough to encourage cheating. Even though there is one race in July and another in August, the competitive spirit between the contrade is manifest all year round.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own
 Afternoon: A local expert leads a walk through a contrada pointing out the various symbols (Goose, Turtle, Tower, etc.) identifying the boundaries between the contrade. Get an intimate look at the pride and sense of community during an exclusive visit to a contrada meeting hall, chapel and small museum.
 Dinner: Dinner at Rastrello, the restaurant of the hotel.
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Pienza and the Tuscan Hills
(Tuesday, April 28)

Note: One hour coach ride to Pienza and a coach ride through the Tuscan countryside on the return. Short walks in Pienza, a very small hill town.

 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach excursion 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. Stroll on the stone paved path along the walls of the town taking in the view of the rolling hills of the Val d'Orcia.
 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 and cypress trees.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Rastrello.
Accommodations: NH Excelsior
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Coach to Florence / Medici Villa / Accademia Gallery
(Wednesday, April 29)

Note: Transfer to Florence by coach, minimal exertion. Walk to the Accademia along narrow sidewalks. The sculpture gallery is at ground level; the picture gallery on the upper level.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the 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 flanked by grand staircases leading to the main entrance. The main halls are decorated with frescoes by Pontormo and Andrea del Sarto. Coach continues to the hotel in Florence.
 Lunch: Before settling into the hotel, a light lunch in the market area of Florence
 Afternoon: Walk to the Accademia delle Belle Arti to marvel at Michelangelo's David. A local expert leads the visit of the sculpture collection in the main hall which includes the David as well as the unfinished pieces called the Prisoners which seem to be still imprisoned in the block of Carrara marble. There are other small collections in the museum that you might want to browse on your own, such as the collection of early string instruments or the painting gallery with works from the Middle Ages, Renaissance and early 17th century.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant near the Duomo.
Accommodations: Hotel Corona d'Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Renaissance Art / Bargello / Uffizi Gallery
(Thursday, April 30)

Note: Walk to sites in the pedestrian only center of Florence. The Bargello has a flight of stone stairs to reach the upper floor. A small elevator is in service for the truly needy. Stroll the exhibition rooms at your own pace during the self-guided visit of the Uffizi Gallery.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the 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. After a break, set out on foot for the Bargello museum. The collection includes sculptures by Donatello (St. George, David), the competition pieces between Brunelleschi and Ghiberti for the north doors of the Baptistery and sculptures by Michelangelo, Giambologna and Cellini. In addition to sculpture there are rooms with fine examples of decorated pottery and armaments: swords, lances, early pistols, and suits of armor.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in the Piazza della Signoria.
 Afternoon: Reserved entrance time to the Uffizi eliminates waiting in line for tickets. Once inside, visit the rooms of art treasures at your own pace. In the Gallery works are arranged in an order that illustrates the progression from the International Gothic style to Mannerism and examples of Baroque art with pieces by Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentilleschi.There is a coffee/refreshment bar at the end of the corridor on the upper level where you can relax and purchase refreshments while enjoying a commanding view of the bell tower of Palazzo Vecchio and the Cupola of the Duomo.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Corona d'Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Walk of Discovery / Mercato di San Lorenzo / Free Afternoon
(Friday, May 1)

Note: Walks in the center of Florence may be along narrow and crowded sidewalks.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: A guided walk to major squares in Florence: Santa Maria Novella, Repubblica, della Signoria. Explore at your own pace the newly renovated Mercato di San Lorenzo.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a restaurant in the Piazza del Mercato.
Accommodations: Hotel Corona d'Italia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departures
(Saturday, May 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel, continental breakfast for early departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Siena General Overview
Explore Siena's numerous cultural icons during a free afternoon: the Pinacoteca (painting gallery), Bell Tower, Baptistery, and the Etruscan collection in the Santa Maria della Scala Museum. For additional information, visit
  Florence Boboli Gardens
At the Boboli Gardens which extend behind the Pitti Palace enjoy a stroll along the stone and dirt paths paths lined with shrubs and copies of statues from the Medici collection and take in a unique view of Florence from the hill. Green lawns are artfully placed among the geometric walking paths of this peaceful Renaissance garden.
  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 Palazzo Pitti, residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The museum complex includes collections of silver and porcelain, period dress and decorative arts, and an impressive collection of paintings by Perugino, Tiziano, Bronzino, and Rubens.
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

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Every Day in Tuscany, Seasons of an Italian Life

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Fodor's Florence's 25 Best

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Insight Guide Tuscany

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La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

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La Bella Lingua

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Seven Seasons in Siena

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

Siena: City of Secrets

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The Art of the Renaissance

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The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy

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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

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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 Raphael Affair

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The Renaissance, A Short History

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

The Stones of Florence

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Tuscany Map

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Description: This regional map is even better, now printed on water- and tear-proof paper. 1:200,000.

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