19220
Italy
Christmas in Assisi
‘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.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19220RJ
Length
9 days
Starts at
2,479
Flights start at
1,100
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9 days
8 nights
20 meals
7 B 6 L 7 D
Getting There
See travel details and required documents
DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrive Florence, Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Dinner
Florence
L,D
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Hotel check in 3:00 pm. Explore downtown Florence on a walk of discovery. Piazza Santa Maria Novella is 2/10 mile from the hotel. Farther down the road is the Piazza del Duomo, 1/2 mile from the hotel. In general the terrain in Florence is level; watch for uneven cobble stones on sidewalks and roads. Most of the historic center is pedestrian only.

Lunch: For morning arrivals, lunch provided at a restaurant near the hotel in Florence. Set menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: After lunch set out on foot for an expert-led visit of Santa Maria Novella, just a few blocks from the hotel. Some free time before meeting your fellow travelers at a Welcome Reception at the hotel. The Group Leader will greet everyone with a warm welcome and lead introductions.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant. Set menu, plated table service. Water and a glass of wine are included.

Evening: Free time to take a stroll in the quiet town center very close to the hotel.

DAY
3
Coach transfer to Assisi, explore Roman temple area
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Ride from the hotel to the coach drop off point is 4 miles and takes 15 minutes. The walk to and around the archaeological site covers about one mile. The streets in the hill town of Assisi will have inclines and there will be some steps at the small archaeological site.

Breakfast: At the hotel, the breakfast buffet offers choices including an egg dish, sliced cold cuts, an assortment of cheeses, cereals, muesli, yogurt, fresh fruit, breads and pastries, jams, honey, butter, and a selection of hot and cold beverages including juice and water.

Morning: Coach to Assisi. Check in and settle into the hotel. Meet in the lobby for an Orientation session in the hotel meeting room. During the Orientation the group leader will review the up-to-date program schedule and any last minute changes that may have occurred, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. After a short break the study leader will illustrate Assisi's early history. Except breakfast, meals will be plated and served from select menus unless otherwise specified. Water is included with all meals and other beverages will be available for purchase; coffee and tea are not included in any meals except breakfast. Unless indicated differently, transportation will primarily be provided by coach. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding. 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.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: 5 minute coach ride to the heart of Assisi for an expert-led visit to the Roman Forum. 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 in later centuries. Coach back to the hotel for a late afternoon presentation. A local expert gives insight on the Etruscans, ancient peoples who settled in Umbria before the time of the Romans.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant. Plated table service, set menu.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Perugia, National Gallery and Archaelogical Museum
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Perugia is 13 miles from Assisi; the ride takes about 35 minutes. The walk in Perugia will cover about 6/10 of a mile. Standing during the visit to the Archaeological Museum and National Gallery.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Perugia to admire the 15th c. frescoes by Perugino in the Collegio del Cambio--the money changer's guild hall; the local expert continues the visit to the National Art Gallery.

Lunch: Enjoy a sampler of Umbrian food at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Field trip continues in Perugia. Some free time to explore at your own pace. Late afternoon coach back to Assisi.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Basilica of St. Francis, Family Style Dinner
Assisi
B,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Assisi is a hill town; the road from the coach drop off point to the basilica (3/10 mile) follows the natural terrain. In the basilica, stone steps to reach the upper and lower levels.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room 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.

Lunch: Lunch on your own.

Afternoon: Coach to the heart of Assisi. Expert-led visit to the Basilica of St. Francis; see items belonging to the historic figure as well as his final resting place. Marvel in person at the narrative style and beauty of Giotto's composition and frescoes.

Dinner: In a local restaurant in Assisi enjoy a traditional Christmas Eve dinner served family style. Coach back to the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Christmas Day, Living Crèche
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Walks in the graded streets of the hill town of Assisi. The town with the living nativity scene is 6 miles from Assisi.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Free morning. Option to attend a service at one of the many churches in upper or lower Assisi.

Lunch: Enjoy a traditional holiday menu of food and wine at Taverna dei Consoli in the heart of Assisi.

Afternoon: Learn about Italy Today and local holiday traditions in the region of Umbria. Travel by coach to a small village that enacts a living nativity scene. Coach back to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Umbrian Hills and Deruta, Holiday Concert
Assisi
B,L,D
Dal Moro Gallery Hotel

Activity note: Deruta is 15 miles from Assisi. The panoramic ride through the Umbrian hills takes 20 minutes.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel

Morning: Coach ride through the countryside to Deruta to visit a ceramics studio and Museo del Vino where we will enjoy a wine tasting.

Lunch: Enjoy a sample of regional food products for lunch at a local osteria (wine bar and restaurant). Water and wine are included.

Afternoon: Afternoon coach returns to Assisi. Enjoy a concert of sacred music and holiday favorites in the Basilica of Santa Chiara. Note that at this writing the exact date and musical program have not yet been released. Details will be shared when they become available.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

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

Activity note: Coach to Florence; ride takes 2 hours and 15 minutes. The distance is 104 miles. Florence is a small city but the historic center is closed to traffic. The walk to the Ponte Vecchio and back to the hotel is a mile and 3/4.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Florence.

Lunch: Light lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Transfer to Florence hotel. Check in and after you have settled in, take an expert-led walk in the heart of Florence. Sites may include the Duomo, Piazza della Signoria or Ponte Vecchio.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants at the farewell dinner at Benedicta, the hotel's fine restaurant. Enjoy a set regional menu with plated table service. Wine is included to toast new friendships.

Evening: At leisure. Enjoy a stroll in the heart of Florence to bid arrivederci.

DAY
9
Program Concludes
Florence
B

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

Breakfast: Hotel buffet; for those with early departures, the hotel will prepare a bagged breakfast with a fruit, a roll or pastry, and fruit juice to take with you.

Morning: Transfer to airport. See your program’s travel details regarding transfers. This concludes our program. 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!






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