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Italy

New Year's In Florence

Program No. 19221RJ
Ring in the New Year in Florence, enjoying traditions of cuisine, culture and art as you learn about Renaissance architecture and the region’s fascinating history.
Length
9 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
3,999
Flights start at
1,000

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DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 27 - Jan 4, 2024
Starting at
3,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Dec 27 - Jan 4, 2024
Starting at
4,599

At a Glance

Embrace the birth of a new year in the birthplace of the Italian Renaissance, Florence. Absorb the incredible wealth of artistic treasures in the city that Cimabue, Giotto, Donatello, Michelangelo and da Vinci called home. Delve into the Tuscan capital’s fascinating political history from its Roman origins to the Medici dynasty to Machiavelli. And celebrate the dawning of a new year in true Italian style.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to two miles at a moderate pace; some cobblestone streets and uneven terrain. Extended periods of standing on field trips.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Discover the collections of the Uffizi Gallery, one of the world’s finest museums boasting works by Titian, Michelangelo, da Vinci, Botticelli and many more.
  • Learn about genius of Michelangelo at the Accademia and admire the David.
  • Experience the Tuscan countryside on an excursion to where Chianti wine is produced.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Umberto Cattani
Umberto Cattani is a licensed group leader in Florence, Carrara and the Cinque Terre, and has been working with the Trinity College for 15 years. After completing his studies in accounting, Umberto worked in Parma as a sales manager for a clothing manufacturer. At the start of the new millennium, he discovered his real passion for guiding, 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.

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

Profile Image of Umberto Cattani
Umberto Cattani View biography
Umberto Cattani is a licensed group leader in Florence, Carrara and the Cinque Terre, and has been working with the Trinity College for 15 years. After completing his studies in accounting, Umberto worked in Parma as a sales manager for a clothing manufacturer. At the start of the new millennium, he discovered his real passion for guiding, 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.
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 Elena Cappelli
Elena Cappelli View biography
Elena Cappelli was born in Florence and studied at the Università degli Studi di Firenze where she completed her degree in foreign languages. She worked for a number of years as an event planner for a cultural association. A few years ago, she decided to follow in her mother’s footsteps to showcase her city to visitors, soon becoming a licensed expert in Florence. Elena lives in the Oltrarno neighborhood, an old residential district on the other side of the Arno River, with her teenage 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.
A Room with a View
by E.M. Forster
E.M. Forster's classic tale of love among the middle classes, set largely in Florence.
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.
Florence, The Paintings and Frescoes
by Anja Grebe, Ross King
This photographic journey through the world of Italian frescoes reproduces more than 2,000 artworks from 28 of Florence’s magnificent churches and galleries, including the Uffizi Gallery, The Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo.
Some Bitter Taste
by Magdalen Nabb
Number 12 in the series, a richly atmospheric tale set in Florence. Guarnaccia investiages the murder of Sara Hirsch, a spinster living alone at Villa L'Uliveto.
Architecture of the Renaissance, From Brunelleschi to Palladio
by Bertrand Jestaz
Originating in Florence, the flowering of architecture in 15th-century Italy revolutionized the look of European cities and the mindsets of their citizens. This lavishly illustrated pocket book presents the people, the time and its monuments in hundreds of color photographs and engravings.
Renaissance Florence, The Invention of a New Art
by A. Richard Turner
A cultural and social history of the city focusing on the great art and famous monuments, featuring vivid color pictures and illustrations.
Eyewitness Guide Florence & Tuscany
by Eyewitness Guides
Superbly illustrated, this compact guide shows the neighborhoods, museums, shops and sites of Florence and surroundings in full color.
Florentine, The True Cuisine of Florence
by Emiko Davies
Through 70 traditional recipes and evocative photographs, this cookbook is a lush tribute to the cuisine and history of Tuscany’s capital. Emiko Davies shares the gastronomic heritage of Florence and tells its story, dish by dish.
April Blood, Florence and the Plot Against the Medici
by Lauro Martines
An absorbing chronicle of corruption and murder in Renaissance Florence, brimming with details on double-dealings, greed and backstabbing among Italy's elite.
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 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.
The Birth of Venus, A Novel
by Sarah Dunant
A rich novel of art, passion and patronage, memorably set in late 15th-century Florence and prominently featuring the famously pious reformer Savonarola.
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.
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.
The Medici, Power, Money and Ambition in the Italian Renaissance
by Paul Strathern
This dramatic history traces the rise of the Medici family from their modest origins in Florence to their place as one of Europe’s most powerful dynastic families. A remarkable tale of power, money and ambition set against the backdrop of the Renaissance.
The Agony and the Ecstasy, A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo
by Irving Stone
An overheated, page-turning fictionalized account of the life of master painter and sculptor Michelangelo -- and a good introduction to Renaissance Florence and Rome.
Florence Map
by Berndtson & Berndtson
A detailed, plastic-covered city map of Florence at a scale of 1:7,000.
Toscanelli's Ray
by Wallis Wilde-Menozzi
Wilde-Menozzi’s critically acclaimed novel explores traditional themes of expatriation, immigration and evil within the microcosm of late-20th century Florence and within the span of 15 hours.
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9 days
8 nights
14 meals
7 B 2 L 5 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 about 2 miles, uneven terrain, stone pavement and cobblestones.

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 4:30 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 to explore Florence at your own pace.

DAY
3
History of Florence, Duomo & Museum, Free Time
Florence
B,D
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day with extended periods of standing during site visits; cobblestones, marble flooring, and some uneven urban stone sidewalks. Elevator available at the Opera del Duomo Museum. Some unavoidable stairs in the museums.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room a local expert presents Medieval Florence and the Medici family. We'll learn of the Roman origins of the city and how, by the end of the 15th century, the Medici family had established a powerful dynasty and went on to rule Florence, transforming it into a cradle of the Renaissance. The Medici rebuilt large areas of the city in Renaissance style; became patrons of the humanities, arts, and science; and collected art treasures. We will walk to the Duomo and meet a museum docent who will lead our exploration of Florence’s most famous landmark, officially known as the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore but known by everyone simply as the Duomo. It is the third-largest church in the world. The magnificent dome, designed by Filippo Brunelleschi and completed in 1434, was startlingly innovative at the time and is considered one of the wonders of the Renaissance. We will also explore the Duomo Museum complex, recently reopened after a major renovation and modernization. It includes more than 750 works of art covering more than seven centuries of history including medieval and Renaissance statues and reliefs in marble, bronze and silver by the leading artists of the day.

Lunch: On your own to sample the local fare.

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
4
Artisan Quarter, Free Time, Opera Concert
Florence
B,L
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 4 miles throughout the day with extended periods of standing during site visits; cobblestones and some uneven urban stone sidewalks.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We'll set out on foot with a local expert to explore the Oltrarno, the "left bank" of the Arno River. Along the narrow streets of the residential neighborhood we can observe artisans at their craft. Depending on what shops are open we may encounter potters, furniture restorers, leather workers or bookbinders.

Lunch: At a local restaurant.

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: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Evening: At a venue in the heart of the Oltrarno, we’ll attend a performance of opera arias by Giuseppe Verdi and Giacomo Puccini, native son of the nearby city of Lucca. The live performance is with a solo artist with piano accompaniment.

DAY
5
Renaissance Art Lecture, Uffizi Gallery, Free Time
Florence
B,D
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 4 miles total throughout the day with extended periods of standing during site visits; cobblestones and mostly level urban stone sidewalks and streets. Elevator available at the Uffizi.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: In the meeting room of the hotel, an art historian will join us and give an overview of Renaissance Art and, with an illustrated presentation, describe highlighted works of art in the collection of the Uffizi. We walk to the Uffizi and once inside, take in a self-directed visit of the many rooms of artistic treasures at your own pace. In the Uffizi, works are arranged in an order that illustrates the progression from the International Gothic style to Mannerist and examples of Baroque art with pieces by Caravaggio and Artemisia Gentilleschi. There is a coffee 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.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

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: Celebrate New Year's Eve at a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
San Gimignano, Organic Farm, Chianti
Florence
B,L
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Getting on/off motorcoach. Driving 80 miles, riding 2 hours. Walking up to 3 miles, uneven stone pavement, cobblestones, inclines, steps.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: Late morning we will board a motorcoach and head south of Florence to the hills where Chianti grapes are grown and the famous red wine is produced. A few miles outside of San Gimignano, we will drive to an organic farm where you can visit the farm and wine cellar. The host explains the production of extra virgin olive oil, wine, saffron, and the characteristics of Chianina cattle.

Lunch: Enjoy a farm-to-table lunch at an agriturismo.

Afternoon: We'll board the motorcoach and ride back to our hotel in Florence.

Dinner: On your own to sample the local fare.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Sculpture, Bargello, San Lorenzo, Santa Maria Novella
Florence
B,D
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 4 miles throughout the day with extended periods of standing during site visits; cobblestones and mostly level urban stone sidewalks.

Breakfast: At the hotel.

Morning: We begin the day in the hotel meeting room with a lecture on Florentine sculpture. The presentation by a local art historian examines the development of the art form from antiquity through the Renaissance with special emphasis on the works of Ghiberti, Donatello, and Michelangelo. We'll walk to the Bargello where an art historian will lead us through the museum and examine the development of sculpture from antiquity through the Renaissance with special emphasis on the works of Ghiberti, Donatello, and Michelangelo. Notable works include Donatello's David and bronzes by Cellini and Giambologna. Our local expert will then lead us back toward the market of San Lorenzo where we'll learn about this imposing structure. Inside the Liberty-style covered market vendors sell fruits, vegetables and all kinds of meat and fowl, gelato, pastries, and coffee.

Lunch: On your own to enjoy what you like.

Afternoon: We'll meet at an appointed time and place to walk to the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella complex, located near the city's main train station, to meet our local art historian. Santa Maria Novella is Florence's Dominican church, built on land assigned to the Order in the early 13th century. The present basilica was constructed in the early 15th century; its famous façade was designed by famed Renaissance man, Leon Battista Alberti in the 1470s. The interior of the basilica contains astounding works of 15th-century frescoes, including Masaccio's Trinity and Domenico Ghirlandaio's (and possibly young apprentice Michelangelo) Tornabuoni Chapel, not to mention works by Lorenzo Ghiberti, Giambologna, Bernardo Daddi, and Filippino Lippi.

Dinner: At a local restaurant.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Accademia, Free Time
Florence
B,D
Rivoli Boutique Hotel

Activity note: Walking up to 3 miles throughout the day with extended periods of standing during site visits; cobblestones and mostly level urban stone sidewalks. Sculptures at the Accademia are on the ground floor; elevator available to the paintings on the first floor.

Breakfast: At the hotel

Morning: Our day begins with a walk to the Accademia delle Belle Arti where we will marvel at Michelangelo's David. A local expert will lead the field trip through 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 musical instruments or the painting gallery with works from the Middle Ages, Renaissance, and early 17th century.

Lunch: On your own to sample the local fare.

Afternoon: Free time. Take this opportunity for personal independent exploration to see and do what interests you most.

Dinner: At the hotel restaurant. Share favorite experiences with new Road Scholar friends during our farewell dinner.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Program Concludes, In Transit From Program
Florence
B

Activity note: Hotel check-out 11:00 a.m. See your program’s “Getting There” information regarding transfers.

Breakfast: At the hotel. For those with early departures, the hotel will prepare a bag breakfast to take. This concludes our 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. Don’t forget to join our Facebook page and follow us on Instagram. 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.