22361
Italy
Italy at a Slower Pace: Florence and the Riviera
Learn about the genius of Michelangelo in Florence. Explore seaside towns on the Riviera and follow your own path to some of the world’s best art, food and more.
Rating (5)
Program No. 22361RJ
Length
10 days
Starts at
3,499
Flights start at
800
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10 days
9 nights
17 meals
8 B 3 L 6 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
D
Grand Hotel Adriatico

Activity note: Hotel check in is available from 2:00 p.m.

Morning: Upon arriving at the hotel, check in and get your room assignment. The Group Leader will be on hand to provide assistance as needed.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: At a late afternoon Orientation Session in the meeting room of the hotel the Group Leader will greet everyone warmly and review the most updated program schedule and point out any changes that may have occurred since the date of this printing, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Meet your fellow Road Scholars at a Welcome Reception at the hotel before setting out on foot for dinner at a neighborhood restaurant. A further note relating to meals: Breakfast is a buffet with hot and cold items; unless otherwise specified lunches and dinners will be a set menu, plated and served by restaurant waitstaff. 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. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration during the program. 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 for free time activities.

Dinner: At a neighborhood restaurant, Water and a glass of wine are included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: Continue getting to know your fellow Road Scholars, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
The Medici, Piazzale Michelangelo. Lunch With a View
Florence
B,D
Grand Hotel Adriatico

Activity note: The Medici Chapels are 1/2 mile from the hotel. Extended standing during the guided visit. Coach or van to the Piazzale Michelangelo. From the Piazzale Michelangelo there are frequent public buses to the train station. If you enjoy walking along a country lane you can walk downhill from the Piazzale Michelangelo to the Ponte Vecchio (8/10 mile). To continue to the hotel on foot is an additional 7/10 mile.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel consists of an egg dish, Italian bacon or sausage, fresh fruit, yogurt, pastries, breads, cereal assortment, jams, honey, sliced cold cuts and cheeses, selection of hot and cold beverages.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room a local historian presents Welcome to Florence as background for Renaissance Florence and the Medici Family. After a short break set out on foot for an expert-led visit of the Medici Chapels. Michelangelo enhanced marble tombs of prominent members of the Medici family with allegorical figures. The visit concludes at the San Lorenzo market.

Lunch: On your own. The fruit and produce market of San Lorenzo has a lively food court with fresh farm to table offerings.

Afternoon: Late afternoon. Van to Piazzale Michelangelo located on a hill just above the city. Take in the view of the Arno River, the Palazzo Vecchio and the giant cupola of the Duomo nestled in the valley.

Dinner: At a restaurant on the Piazzale Michelangelo.

Evening: At leisure. Instead of taking the van with the group back to the hotel you can opt to walk back to the hotel.

DAY
4
The Genius of Michelangelo, Wine Tasting
Florence
B,D
Grand Hotel Adriatico

Activity note: The walk from the hotel to the Accademia is 1 mile.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: In the hotel meeting room an art historian presents The Genius of Michelangelo. After a short break set out on foot for a reserved entrance of the Accademia (La Galleria dell’Accademia di Firenze). The Galleria is most famous for Michelangelo’s imposing marble statue of David, and other unfinished sculptures by the Florentine artist. At the conclusion of the expert-led visit, you will have some time to explore at your own pace the gallery of paintings and the small but impressive collection of musical instruments with masterpieces by Stradivari and Cristofori, inventor of the piano.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Late afternoon join the group leader for a wine tasting in the heart of Florence. A sommelier describes the types of Chianti and white wines produced in Tuscany.

Dinner: Enjoy a light supper at the wine bar,

Evening: Join the group leader for a walk to the Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio

DAY
5
Learn to Make a Tuscan Dish
Florence
B,L
Grand Hotel Adriatico

Activity note: The walk from the hotel to the Mercato is .6 mile.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Set out on foot for the Mercato di San Lorenzo. In a commercial kitchen at the product market we follow the instructions of a professional chef in the preparation of a regional dish.

Lunch: Enjoy the fruits of your labor at the chef's table at the cooking class venue.

Afternoon: Free Time. See and do what interests you most as you explore Florence at your own pace.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions for cafés, trattorias and full service restaurants.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
6
Transfer to Santa Margherita, Lunch at a Lunigiana Winery
Santa Margherita Ligure
B,L,D
Hotel Regina Elena

Activity note: Coach ride to the winery (80 miles) takes 1.5 hours. After lunch the coach ride continues to Santa Margherita Ligure (50 miles) and takes about an hour.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Check out of the hotel. We board the coach and set out for the Lunigiana, historic and scenic area on the border of Tuscany and Liguria.

Lunch: Lunch and wine tasting at a characteristic restaurant in the foothills of the Apuan Alps.

Afternoon: We'll continue the coach ride to Santa Margherita Ligure, welcoming town on the Italian Riviera south of Genoa. Check in to the hotel. After getting your room assignment, take some time to freshen up and relax before dinner.

Dinner: At the hotel.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Boat ride to Portofino
Santa Margherita Ligure
B,D
Hotel Regina Elena

Activity note: The walk to the tourist boat dock is .5 mile. The boat ride to Portofino takes 15 minutes. The boat has covered and open deck seating. Minimal walking in the small village of Portofino. The more adventurous can walk up a path to a fortress for panoramic views of the port. The distance is .3 mile but the ascent is steep.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel offers an egg dish, fresh fruit, yogurt, pastries, bread and focaccia, cereal, jams, honey, sliced cold cuts and cheeses, and a selection of hot and cold beverages.

Morning: Meet the local expert for a walk exploring the heart of Santa Margherita to learn about the history of the fishing village that became a destination for Romantic English writers and musicians. Our walk takes us past charming Liberty Style houses and buildings, each in a different palette of color. Our walk concludes at the docks where we board a boat for a scenic ride from Santa Margherita to the resort town of Portofino. Expert-led walk in Portofino. Some free time to explore Portofino at your own pace. Possibility to visit Castello Brown, a medieval castle restored by the British consul in Genoa as his private residence. Return to S. Margherita by boat with your individual return ticket.

Lunch: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own. The Group Leader will be happy to offer suggestions from snack bars, cafés, and trattorias to full service restaurants.

Afternoon: Free Afternoon.

Dinner: At a restaurant in the heart of Santa Margherita, enjoy a set menu plated meal including water and wine; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Rapallo, Musical entertainment
Santa Margherita Ligure
B,L
Hotel Regina Elena

Activity note: Rapallo is 5 miles from Santa Margherita. The ride takes 20 minutes.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Transportation to Rapallo, charming town on the coast for a cable car ride to the top of Monte Allegro. The ride takes 10 minutes to reach a height of 2,000 ft. above sea level. Some free time to enjoy a stroll and visit a sanctuary or just enjoy the view of the sea below. Ride back down to Rapallo at your leisure with your return ticket. The group leader designates a time and place to meet around noon.

Lunch: At a restaurant in Rapallo.

Afternoon: Transportation back to the hotel. In the late afternoon enjoy an aperitif with young musicians. After the performance the musicians will mingle with the participants to answer questions about their life in Italy today.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Explore Sestri Levante, Hands On Pesto Making Session
Santa Margherita Ligure
B,D
Hotel Regina Elena

Activity note: The coach ride to Sestri Levante is 30 minutes. Walking up to a mile in the pedestrian only town.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Board the motor coach with a local expert who leads the exploration of Sestri Levante, charming town situated on a promontory with a marina and a quiet bay. Learn from a local chef how to make authentic Pesto alla Genovese. Take home a jar to pack in your checked bag.

Lunch: On your own. There are many cafés and trattorias in town. The group leader and local guide will have suggestions.

Afternoon: Some free time. The group leader will establish a meeting time and place. Coach back to Santa Margherita Ligure.

Dinner: Farewell dinner at a characteristic trattoria in Santa Margherita that specializes in Ligurian dishes. Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with fellow participants. Wine is included with this meal to toast new friendships.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Program Concludes
Santa Margherita Ligure
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 11:00 am.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. If your transfer is before the buffet opens the hotel will provide a sack with a fruit, fruit juice and croissant or roll.






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