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Online Program

Adventures Online: Discover the Hidden Treasures of Tuscany

Program No. 24333RJ
Whether you’d love to learn about Pisa’s leaning tower or get insight into Tuscan gastronomy, discover the best of Tuscany during an online learning adventure, live from Italy!

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At a Glance

In the intimate capitals and landscapes of Tuscany, ancient traditions are preserved in everyday life. Discover these traditions as you join a local expert for a look at the rich culture and idyllic landscapes of Tuscany during this online learning adventure, live from Italy! Get a first-hand look at the city of Pisa and the Tuscan countryside on virtual field trips, and observe the preparation of a local dish during a live cooking demonstration at a rural Tuscan home. Through daily lectures, learn about topics ranging from Italian history to women in winemaking, the traditions of Tuscan gastronomy and more. Go behind-the-scenes at Siena’s renowned “Palio,” a horse race dating from the Middle Ages. Get to know your fellow Road Scholars as you learn about local customs, traditions and folklore!

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Explore the city of Pisa during a virtual field trip that leads you to its famous leaning tower, Miracles Square and much more.
  • Join a local expert for a cooking class live from her rural Tuscan home and learn how to make a traditional Tuscan favorite dish.
  • Get a behind-the-scenes look at the Siena Palio horse race, a tradition dating from the Middle Ages, during a presentation by a local expert.

General Notes

You’ll enjoy 2-3 hours of daily instruction, discussion and/or field trips, which includes sufficient breaks throughout the program. Please review the daily itinerary for start and end times to ensure you won’t miss a minute of this live experience. This online program is through Zoom, an easy-to-use web video service that includes closed captioning. All you need is an Internet connection and your computer. We’ll provide a how-to guide to make sure you’ll have a hassle-free experience. This session is offered live only and will not be available on demand.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Saving Italy, The Race to Rescue a Nation's Treasures from the Nazis
by Robert M. Edsel
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.
Tea With Mussolini
by Franco Zeffirelli (Director)
Zeffirelli's enchanting autobiographical film about a boy in Florence in the years before World War II, with a cast of great English and American actresses.
The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall
by Christopher Hibbert
A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.
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 Renaissance, A Short History
by Paul Johnson
The history, background, literature, sculpture, paintings and architecture of the Renaissance in just over 200 lively, thought-provoking pages.
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.

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.