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Italy

Independent Florence: From Medieval to Modern Culture

Program No. 22589RJ
Florence has served as an inspiration to residents from Leonardo da Vinci to Michelangelo. Experience its magic for yourself as you explore on your own and with experts.

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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
Filling Fast!
Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Filling Fast!
May 5 - May 12, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Sep 8 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2024
Starting at
2,899
Nov 10 - Nov 17, 2024
Starting at
2,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Filling Fast!
Apr 14 - Apr 21, 2024
Starting at
3,529
Filling Fast!
May 5 - May 12, 2024
Starting at
3,529
Sep 8 - Sep 15, 2024
Starting at
3,529
Sep 29 - Oct 6, 2024
Starting at
3,529
Oct 20 - Oct 27, 2024
Starting at
3,529
Nov 10 - Nov 17, 2024
Starting at
3,629

At a Glance

What kind of city could inspire the likes of Leonardo da Vinci, Dante Alighieri, or Michelangelo? There is only one answer: Florence. With its intrinsic passion for beauty, cuisine, architecture, and design, Florence has been a hub of creativity and achievement since its origin as a Roman military encampment. Discover the magic of Florence as you explore its piazzas and museums, study the legacy of the Renaissance, and marvel at its holy spaces and cathedrals. Throughout your adventure, enjoy the insight of experts as you explore the masterpieces of the Uffizi and Accademia, as well as ample time to experience the treasures of Florence on your own.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Walking up to five 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. Elevator use is limited or restricted in historic sites. Expect crowded conditions in pedestrian centers and museums. The extent of walking and other activities during free time according to personal choice.
Independent City Discoveries
Independent City Discoveries
Learn with a Group Leader and enjoy educational programming while also getting substantial independent time to explore on your own. Most Independent City Discoveries include lectures, self-guided excursions and passes for public transit and museums.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Marvel in the works of Michelangelo, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and others as you spend a morning at the renowned Uffizi.
  • Set out on foot to the Piazza del Duomo — the heart of historic Florence — and join a local expert to explore the Duomo Museum.
  • Explore Florence's Mercato Centrale to see and taste the flavors of Tuscany.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Linda O'Brien
Linda O'Brien taught art history for the European Division of the University of Maryland and lectures in Road Scholar programs in Florence and Sorrento. She began her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, and then moved to Brussels, Belgium to continue her studies. She was awarded an advanced degree in art history and archaeology with honors from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She completed post-graduate work in symbolic anthropology at Stanford University and the Sorbonne.

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

Profile Image of Linda O'Brien
Linda O'Brien View biography
Linda O'Brien taught art history for the European Division of the University of Maryland and lectures in Road Scholar programs in Florence and Sorrento. She began her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, and then moved to Brussels, Belgium to continue her studies. She was awarded an advanced degree in art history and archaeology with honors from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She completed post-graduate work in symbolic anthropology at Stanford University and the Sorbonne.
Profile Image of Emily Moloney
Emily Moloney View biography
Emily Moloney, who is originally from Buffalo, New York, first came to Italy over ten years ago. She holds a master's degree in Renaissance art history and is an officially licensed tour guide. In addition to working as a private guide, Emily lectures as a professor of art history and Italian culture at several study-abroad centers in Florence. In her free time, you can find Emily at the park with her growing family. 
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 House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall
by Christopher Hibbert
This well-researched and engaging book provides readers with a detailed chronicle of the Medici family's ascent to power in Florence during the 15th century. It explores the family's origins, their role as bankers, and the astute political maneuvers that allowed them to become the de facto rulers of Florence. The Medici's patronage of the arts, particularly their support for artists like Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo da Vinci, is a central theme in the book, highlighting their significant impact on the Renaissance. Hibbert also delves into the tumultuous political landscape of Renaissance Italy, marked by power struggles, alliances, and rivalries between various city-states and noble families.
The Passion of Artemisia: A Novel
by Susan Vreeland
This novel takes readers on a captivating journey through the life and artistry of Artemisia Gentileschi, a remarkable painter in 17th-century Italy. Set against the backdrop of a male-dominated art world and the tumultuous Baroque period, the story explores Artemisia's struggles and triumphs as a pioneering artist. Artemisia Gentileschi, known for her vivid and dramatic paintings, was one of the first recognized female painters of her time. Vreeland's novel delves into Artemisia's personal and artistic evolution, her complex relationships with other artists and patrons, and the challenges she faced as a woman pursuing her passion in a society that often marginalized and oppressed women. "The Passion of Artemisia" offers a compelling blend of art history, historical fiction, and feminist exploration.
Inferno
by Dan Brown
The adventures of renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon as he finds himself entangled in a deadly race against time. Set against the backdrop of Florence, Italy, Langdon must decipher a series of complex clues based on Dante Alighieri's "Divine Comedy" to prevent a global catastrophe. When Langdon wakes up in a Florence hospital with no memory of how he got there, he soon discovers that he is the target of a sinister plot. With the help of Sienna Brooks, a brilliant doctor, Langdon races through Florence's beautiful and historic streets, solving puzzles and unraveling a mystery that could change the course of human history.
A Room with a View
by E.M. Forster
A classic novel that explores the themes of social conventions, love, and personal awakening. The story follows the journey of Lucy Honeychurch, a young Englishwoman who embarks on a journey of self-discovery during a trip to Italy. While staying at a pension in Florence, Lucy encounters a cast of memorable characters who challenge traditional Victorian values and open her eyes to a world of passion and romance. Through misadventures and unexpected encounters, Lucy must navigate the complexities of her heart and the societal expectations that threaten to confine her. The novel is known for its witty social commentary and beautifully evoked settings, making it a timeless exploration of human emotions and the clash between individual desires and societal norms.
Saving Italy: The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis
by Robert M. Edsel
Focused on the period from 1943 to 1945, "Saving Italy" sheds light on the extensive looting and destruction perpetrated by the Nazis and their allies as they occupied Italy. Centered around the work of the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program, a group of art experts and military personnel, the book tells the story of their race against time to locate, recover, and safeguard Italy's artistic treasures. The book highlights the determination of individuals who risked their lives to rescue masterpieces, including iconic works by artists like Michelangelo and da Vinci, from the clutches of the Nazis.
Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man and his Times
by William E. Wallace
"Michelangelo: The Artist, the Man, and His Times" by William E. Wallace offers a comprehensive exploration of the life and work of one of the most iconic figures in art history, Michelangelo Buonarroti. This biography goes beyond the surface to delve into the complex psyche of the artist and the turbulent times in which he lived. Wallace paints a vivid portrait of Michelangelo's early years in Florence, his tumultuous relationships with patrons and fellow artists, and his enduring legacy as a sculptor, painter, and architect. The book delves into Michelangelo's creative process, shedding light on his masterpieces like the Sistine Chapel ceiling and the Statue of David. At the same time, Wallace provides historical context, detailing the political and social upheavals of the Renaissance period. Readers gain insight into how these events influenced Michelangelo's work and worldview. With meticulous research and engaging storytelling, "Michelangelo" is a compelling biography that offers a deeper understanding of the man behind the art.
Blue Guide Florence
by Alta Macadam and Annabel Barber
This guidebook provides in-depth insights into Florence's art, history, and culture. Written by experts, it offers detailed information about the city's renowned museums, churches, and architectural treasures, including the Uffizi, Florence Cathedral, and the Palazzo Vecchio. The guide also covers lesser-known gems, hidden courtyards, and local eateries.
The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World
by Paul Robert Walker
"The Feud That Sparked the Renaissance: How Brunelleschi and Ghiberti Changed the Art World" is a captivating exploration of the artistic rivalry that fueled the Renaissance in Florence. Walker delves into the lives and careers of two brilliant artists, Filippo Brunelleschi and Lorenzo Ghiberti, whose fierce competition shaped art history. With meticulous research and vivid storytelling, Walker takes readers on a journey through 15th-century Florence, highlighting the challenges, innovations, and groundbreaking achievements of these two masters. Their iconic works, including Brunelleschi's dome for the Florence Cathedral and Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, transformed the city's skyline and artistry. This book offers a compelling narrative of creativity, ambition, and the birth of the Renaissance.
The Birth of Venus
by Sarah Durant
A historical novel that transports readers to the vibrant and tumultuous world of 15th-century Florence. The story revolves around the life of Alessandra Cecchi, a young and talented artist living in a society that stifles women's ambitions and creativity. Alessandra's journey unfolds against the backdrop of the Italian Renaissance, a period of profound cultural, artistic, and political change. As she navigates the challenges of her time, Alessandra becomes embroiled in a web of forbidden love, political intrigue, and artistic passion. Dunant's novel skillfully weaves together art, history, and romance, offering a vivid portrayal of Renaissance Florence and the struggles faced by individuals who dared to defy societal norms.
Art in Renaissance Italy
by John T. Paoletti and Gary M. Radke
A comprehensive and insightful exploration of the art and culture that defined the Italian Renaissance. The book provides a rich and detailed overview of the period from the 13th to the 16th century, during which Italy witnessed a flourishing artistic achievement. Readers are guided through the major artistic centers of the Renaissance, including Florence, Rome, Venice, and Siena, as they delve into the works of renowned artists such as da Vinci, Michelangelo, Botticelli, and Raphael. The authors offer a deep analysis of the various artistic forms, including painting, sculpture, architecture, and decorative arts, while delving into the social, political, and religious contexts that shaped this remarkable period.
Meals
8 Meals
6 Breakfasts
0 Lunches
2 Dinners
The following choices may be available when requested in advance: Vegetarian, Pescatarian, Gluten Free
Lodging
Lodgings may differ by date. Select a date to see the lodgings specific to that date.
Display
Oct 20, 2024 - Oct 27, 2024
  • Oct 20, 2024 - Oct 27, 2024
  • Apr 14, 2024 - Apr 21, 2024
  • May 05, 2024 - May 12, 2024
  • Sep 08, 2024 - Sep 15, 2024
  • Sep 29, 2024 - Oct 06, 2024
  • Oct 20, 2024 - Oct 27, 2024
  • Nov 10, 2024 - Nov 17, 2024
6 nights
Florence
The Grand Hotel Adriatico in Florence offers a perfect blend of comfort, style, and convenience in the heart of this enchanting city. This elegant hotel near Firenze Santa Maria Novella station and the historical center provides easy access to Florence's iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Galleria degli Uffizi.
6 nights
Florence
The Grand Hotel Adriatico in Florence offers a perfect blend of comfort, style, and convenience in the heart of this enchanting city. This elegant hotel near Firenze Santa Maria Novella station and the historical center provides easy access to Florence's iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Galleria degli Uffizi.
6 nights
Florence
The Grand Hotel Adriatico in Florence offers a perfect blend of comfort, style, and convenience in the heart of this enchanting city. This elegant hotel near Firenze Santa Maria Novella station and the historical center provides easy access to Florence's iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Galleria degli Uffizi.
6 nights
Florence
The Grand Hotel Adriatico in Florence offers a perfect blend of comfort, style, and convenience in the heart of this enchanting city. This elegant hotel near Firenze Santa Maria Novella station and the historical center provides easy access to Florence's iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Galleria degli Uffizi.
6 nights
Florence
The Grand Hotel Adriatico in Florence offers a perfect blend of comfort, style, and convenience in the heart of this enchanting city. This elegant hotel near Firenze Santa Maria Novella station and the historical center provides easy access to Florence's iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Galleria degli Uffizi.
6 nights
Florence
The Grand Hotel Adriatico in Florence offers a perfect blend of comfort, style, and convenience in the heart of this enchanting city. This elegant hotel near Firenze Santa Maria Novella station and the historical center provides easy access to Florence's iconic landmarks, such as the Duomo, Ponte Vecchio, and Galleria degli Uffizi.





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