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Italy

Christmas in Assisi

Program No. 19220RJ
'Tis the season for musical performances, great works of art, expert lectures, and traditional Umbrian cuisine on this holiday celebration in Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis.

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Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 13 - Dec 21, 2024
Starting at
3,599
Itinerary Note

For those participants on program #19220-121324 continuing onward to Road Scholar program Christmas in Rome (#19115-122024) or Christmas in Sorrento (#23713-122024), a high-speed train ticket to Rome or Sorrento is included at no additional cost. To avail yourself of the hotel transfer and train ticket, please contact Trinity College (cp-italy@trincoll.edu) by December 1, 2024, to make arrangements.

Dec 20 - Dec 28, 2024
Starting at
3,749
Itinerary Note

For those participants on program #19220-122024 continuing onward to Road Scholar program, New Year's in Sorrento (#22188-122724), a high-speed train ticket to Sorrento is included at no additional cost. To avail yourself of the hotel transfer and train ticket, please contact Trinity College (cp-italy@trincoll.edu) by December 1, 2024, to make arrangements.

DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 13 - Dec 21, 2024
Starting at
4,299
Itinerary Note

For those participants on program #19220-121324 continuing onward to Road Scholar program Christmas in Rome (#19115-122024) or Christmas in Sorrento (#23713-122024), a high-speed train ticket to Rome or Sorrento is included at no additional cost. To avail yourself of the hotel transfer and train ticket, please contact Trinity College (cp-italy@trincoll.edu) by December 1, 2024, to make arrangements.

Filling Fast!
Dec 20 - Dec 28, 2024
Starting at
4,449
Itinerary Note

For those participants on program #19220-122024 continuing onward to Road Scholar program, New Year's in Sorrento (#22188-122724), a high-speed train ticket to Sorrento is included at no additional cost. To avail yourself of the hotel transfer and train ticket, please contact Trinity College (cp-italy@trincoll.edu) by December 1, 2024, to make arrangements.

At a Glance

The holidays in Assisi and surrounding Umbria offer a unique blend of seasonal events, hill town festivities, and stunning landscapes, epitomizing Italy in place and spirit. Through expert lectures, archaeological analysis, and in-person encounters with some of history's greatest art masterpieces, get to know the home of St. Francis and trace its heritage back to Rome and beyond as you immerse yourself in the holiday ambiance of this fabled Italian region.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to three miles a day. Extended standing during site visits with limited or no public seating. Uneven terrain, limited public handrails, unavoidable stairs, marble and terracotta flooring, cobblestones, steep inclines, loose gravel. Elevator use is limited or restricted in historic sites. Expect crowded conditions in pedestrian centers and museums. Program-related travel and transfers will be via bus and minivan.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 13 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Study the life of Francis of Assisi through personal encounters with 700-year-old Giotto masterworks adorning St. Francis Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and Florence's Basilica of Santa Croce.
  • Examine the common cultural roots shared by the hill towns of Umbria on a visit to Perugia, a traffic-free city built on Etruscan foundations and embodying an elegant standard for comparison with Assisi.
  • Start your own holiday tradition based on those whose roots stretch back through the centuries by participating in a traditional Umbrian Christmas Eve family-style dinner and midnight vigil mass.

General Notes

Give us a call to combine select dates of this learning adventure with, "New Year's in Sorrento" (#22188) for even more learning in Italy! We'll even transfer you for free between locations.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Louise Maciejewski
Louise Maciejewski completed her B.A. at the Institute of Archaeology in London with a specialization in the Mediterranean area. Recently, she was awarded an M.A. from the University of Siena in the prehistory and history of Etruria. Originally from the U.K., Louise resides with her family in Cortona. She is passionate about her orchard of olive trees, and in November personally oversees the milling of the olives to make oil.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Louise Maciejewski
Louise Maciejewski View biography
Louise Maciejewski completed her B.A. at the Institute of Archaeology in London with a specialization in the Mediterranean area. Recently, she was awarded an M.A. from the University of Siena in the prehistory and history of Etruria. Originally from the U.K., Louise resides with her family in Cortona. She is passionate about her orchard of olive trees, and in November personally oversees the milling of the olives to make oil.
Profile Image of Bianca Obradovic
Bianca Obradovic View biography
Bianca is originally from the former 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.
Profile Image of Suzanne Myers
Suzanne Myers View biography
Suzanne Myers originally hails from Lincoln, Nebraska and has been living in Florence since 2011. She has a BA in art history from St. Olaf College in Northfield, Minnesota and an MA in art history from Syracuse University. She works as a lecturer for several study away programs in Florence and as a licensed group leader. Suzanne specializes in Italian Renaissance art, but also loves to lecture on a wide range of subjects from the Medici family to the Black Death to Florentine fashion.
Profile Image of Marco Ceccarani
Marco A. Ceccarani View biography
Marco Ceccarani, a native of Assisi, holds a PhD in humanities from the Università degli Studi di Perugia. His field of expertise includes medieval and Renaissance Italian civilization and literature. He has taught for several American universities in the United States and currently teaches in Florence for American university study away programs.
Profile Image of Claudia Sanvico
Claudia Sanvico View biography
Claudia Sanvico is a licensed guide in the region of Umbria. After graduating from a high school specializing in foreign languages and linguistics, she was awarded an advanced degree in the Economics of Tourism at the University of Assisi. She also served an internship in Atlanta, Georgia. Claudia lives in Perugia with her husband and two children.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Ratking
by Michael Dibdin
Venetian crime investigator Aurelio Zen goes after the kidnappers of a Perugian industrialist in this enjoyable thriller, winner of the Gold Dagger Award (and first book in the series).
Pocket Rough Guide Florence
by Rough Guides
Neither too big nor too slight, these handy guides include just the right amount of information on neighborhoods, shops, hotels, restaruants and sites (or should we say sights?) for a short visit. Well-organized and with an excellent pullout map.
A Valley in Italy, The Many Seasons of a Villa in Umbria
by Lisa St. Aubin de Teran
This short memoir chronicles a year in the small Umbrian village of San Orsola--especially the delights and frustrations of renovating a decayed villa. Taking in food, wine, local customs and landscapes, the book is an excellent introduction to the region
Eyewitness Guide Umbria
by Eyewitness Guides
A marvelously illustrated, compact guide to the culture, history and attractions of Umbria, organized geographically and especially helpful for its innovative site plans, building diagrams and local maps.
Songbirds, Truffles and Wolves, An American Naturalist in Italy
by Gary Paul Nabhan
The author, a poet and naturalist, heads along the Franciscan Way from Florence to Assisi. This most unusual travelogue combines natural history, spirituality and a lively appreciation of local food and food traditions. A print-on-demand paperback.
Brunelleschi's Dome
by Ross King
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.
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
by R.W.B. Lewis
A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls "a partial biography of Florence," beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
by Beppe Severgnini
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. The book opens with a snapshot of Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
Return to Umbria
by David P. Wagner
Filled with the nuances of Italian manners, mentality and preoccupation with food, this thriller is set in the picturesque Umbrian towns of Orvieto and Todi. Freelance translator Rick Montoya is pulled behind their beautiful facades into a world of tantalizing secrets.
After Hannibal
by Barry Unsworth
Unsworth's vivid novel takes in the history, landscape, pleasures and the other Americans and Europeans, like himself, who live in Umbria.
The Art of the Renaissance
by Peter Murray
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.
Italy for the Gourmet Traveler
by Fred Plotkin
Organized geographically, this encyclopedic guide features eating establishments, cooking schools, markets, shops and other gastronomic treasures in 500 cities and villages, perfect for the food-addled who can't be in the company of the irrepressible master himself.
On The Road with Francis of Assisi
by Linda Bird Francke
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.
Every Pilgrim's Guide to Assisi
by Judith Dean
With travel tips and an introduction for those wishing to discover more about Frances and Clare, this handy pocket guide covers not just Assisi and the Basilica of St. Francis but also easy excursions father afield, including The Hermitage (Carceri), Rivotorto, the sanctuaries of the Rieti Valley, Gubbio, Perugia and Cortona.
Reluctant Saint, The Life of Francis of Assisi
by Donald Spoto
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 Italians
by John Hooper
Italy correspondent for The Economist Hooper explores Italy -- its baffling contradictions, unique character and contemporary culture -- in this illuminating portrait.
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9 days
8 nights
19 meals
7 B 5 L 7 D
DAY
1
Departures
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Florence, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Florence
D
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check in from 3:00 pm. Walking up to 3 miles, uneven terrain, stone pavement, steps.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions. You can also consult your list of suggested restaurants in your program materials.

Afternoon: Check in and settle in. At 4:00 p.m. we gather in the meeting room for an Orientation session. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions. We will review COVID-19 protocols and will adhere to local COVID-19 guidelines and requirements throughout the program. Breakfasts will be buffets. Other included meals will be plated and served from a set menu unless indicated otherwise; water is included, other beverages will be available for purchase. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Periods in the schedule designated as "Free time" and "At leisure" offer opportunities to do what you like and make your experience even more meaningful and memorable according to your personal preferences. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions. Program activities, schedules, personnel, and indicated distances or times may change due to local circumstances/conditions. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. Next, we will join our Group Leader in a welcome cocktail (or fruit juice).

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
3
Etruscan Civilization, Transfer to Assisi
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Driving 2 hours, riding 110 miles. Walking up to 3 miles, uneven terrain, inclines, steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Bags will be picked up early morning outside rooms for secure storage in the hotel luggage room until it is loaded on our motorcoach in the afternoon. We gather in the hotel meeting room to meet a local historian who will present on the Etruscans who were early settlers of both Florence and Assisi.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We return to the hotel and board a motorcoach and head for Assisi Santa Maria degli Angeli, the neighborhood at the foot of Assisi where our hotel is located. After checking in and settling in to our rooms, we'll meet in the lobby and set out on foot to explore with our Group Leader the neighborhood: a modern residential and commercial center of town that lies in the plain just below the medieval center of Assisi. We see the richly decorated 16th-century basilica that was built around a small 13th-century church where Francis of Assisi founded the order of friars. The Group Leader will point out ATMs, grocery stores, and pharmacies before circling back to the hotel. In the meeting room the Group Leader will give a more detailed Orientation, reviewing the most up-to-date program schedule, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer questions.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Perugia, Collegio del Cambio, Archaeological Museum
Assisi
B,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach and van. Driving 36 miles, one hour riding time. Getting on/off escalator. Walking up to 3 miles, uneven terrain, cobblestones, inclines, steps. Extended standing during museum visits.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We'll board a motorcoach to Perugia where, with our local expert, we will begin exploring Perugia. In the Collegio del Cambio we will see the 15th-century frescoes by Perugino. The building served as the money changer's guild hall.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like in Perugia.

Afternoon: Our expert-led field trip continues in Perugia to the National Museum of Archaeology where we will see Etruscan and Roman artifacts found in the area. Once done, we will board our motorcoach and head back to Assisi. After a short break we will board taxis or vans to ride to Assisi city center for dinner.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Giotto Lecture, Basilica of St. Francis, Free Time
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off van. Driving 8 miles, riding 30 minutes. Walking up to 3 miles, inclines, uneven stone pavers and cobblestones, steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room our local expert will present a preparatory lecture illustrating Giotto's frescoes in the Basilica of St. Francis and a discussion on the ongoing restoration of damages incurred in the 1997 earthquake. After a short break we will gather in the lobby and board a van that will take us up the hill to the heart of Assisi. We will meet our docent who will lead the visit to the Gothic style Basilica of St. Francis. We will see items belonging to the historic figure as well as his final resting place. The upper and lower churches are decorated by prominent artists of past centuries such as Cimabue, Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti, and Giotto whose frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis are some of the most renowned works of art in Italy.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the heart of Assisi.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Free Time, Holiday Traditions, Living Crèche
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach and van. Driving 15 miles, riding time approximately 40 minutes. Walking up to 2 miles, stone pavement, inclines, steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Buon Natale! We will have free time this morning for those who wish to attend a Christmas service at a local church. Before noon, we will meet in the lobby to board vans and head to the centro storico of Assisi.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: We'll taxi back to the hotel. Then we will gather in the meeting room to learn about the local holiday traditions of Umbria. After a short break we will set out by taxis to a small village that enacts a living nativity scene. After our field trip, we will board a taxi back to the hotel.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Ceramics Studio, Museo del Vino, Roman Forum
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Driving about 30 miles, 1 hour riding time. Walking up to 2 miles, uneven stone and cobblestones, inclines, steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We will board a motorcoach to Deruta to visit a ceramics studio and Museo del Vino where we will enjoy a wine tasting.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

Afternoon: With our local expert, we will set out by taxi to explore Roman Assisi. In the Piazza del Comune, a Roman temple to Minerva was transformed into a church in later centuries. The modern square was built over the ancient site of the forum or marketplace. Today the perfectly preserved façade dating back to the 1st century BCE is one of the most important examples of Roman sacred architecture. We will visit the ruins of a Roman villa and in a residential courtyard the group leader will point out the outline of what was a Roman arena. Over the centuries the Roman structure fell into ruin and re-purposing the giant stones of the ancient arena, houses were constructed. We will have some free time in the heart of Assisi before dinner.

Dinner: In the hotel restaurant.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and transfer in the morning.

DAY
8
Transfer to Florence, Explore Florence, Farewell Dinner
Florence
B,L,D
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. 110 miles, 2 hour ride. Walking up to 4 miles, uneven stone pavement, steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Early morning, we will leave our bags outside our room to load onto our motorcoach heading to Florence.

Lunch: At the hotel restaurant.

Afternoon: We will set out on an expert-led walk in the heart of Florence. Sites included in the historic walk are Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo), Piazza della Signoria, and Ponte Vecchio. We will check in to our rooms and have some time to freshen up and relax.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check-out and departures in the morning.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
Florence
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 a.m.

Breakfast: At the hotel depending on departure time. This concludes the program.

Morning: If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!






Important registration tip:
If you want to attend the live lecture, please do not wait until the last minute to enroll.
If you enroll after a lecture is complete, we’ll send you a recording of the event.