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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.
9 days
Rating (5)
Activity Level
Starts at
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DATES & starting prices
Dec 27 - Jan 4, 2024
Starting at
DATES & starting prices
Dec 27 - Jan 4, 2024
Starting at

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
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Florence Map
by Berndtson & Berndtson
A detailed, plastic-covered city map of Florence at a scale of 1:7,000.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
3 Reviews
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(5) Review left 1/20/2019

This is a great way to experience Florence for the first time! I highly recommend it.

(5) Review left 1/13/2019

I had been to Florence a few years ago and what I mostly wanted from this trip was free time for independent exploring. I was not disappointed. As a group we hit the major attractions like the Duomo museum (closed the last time I was there, the Bargello, and the Uffizi. There were three afternoons with free time so my choices were St. Croce which most everyone else also went to, the Brancacci Chapel for its frescoes, and the National Archeology Museum for its Etruscan collection. Several people choose the Pitti palace. The hotel could not be in a better location. It is on a busy street with lots of shops and restaurants but just away from the large crowds, and it is walking distance to all the major attractions. As a single traveler I had no intention of staying in my room, so in the evening it was an easy 10 minute walk to go out and have a beer, watch the crowds, and enjoy the spectacular Christmas lighting. The provided dinners to me seemed more "gourmet" than authentic, so although they were excellent I enjoyed the chances to walk in a restaurant and just pick something off the menu. I did get up enough courage to have a Lampredotto sandwich, but you need a cast iron stomach or a bottle of Tums to handle it. Marco provided very informative lectures before going out. I had taken some art history courses before, but he gave me a new perspective on how the splitting of the Roman empire, divisions in the church, a rigid system of art, and the rise of the merchant class led to the art of the Renaissance. The New Years day trip to San Gimignano, lunch at a farm, and evening concert of opera selections added to the enjoyment of the trip. Oh, and this is my second Road Scholar trip, and I remain very impressed with the organization.

(5) Review left 1/05/2019

The combination of the most famous art works of the Italian Renaissance plus an amazingly learned and articulate group leader made this a 5-star experience. Throughout the trip, my friend and I kept saying “Weren’t we smart to choose this trip!” Definitely recommended if you love art and love to learn. Well-paced. Excellent food. Comfortable hotel in a safe area and the group leaders made sure we were oriented so we could explore on our own.

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.