Join us in Florence where art and architecture, past and present are interwoven. Leisurely walking tours plus visits to the Uffizi, Accademia, Medici Chapel, Sante Croce, Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, etc. Sidetrips to Siena, San Gimignano, Fiesole, and Pisa are also included. Savour Tuscan food and wine with a twist! With Michael Quinn.
Evening departure from Toronto to Paris with Air France. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
A brief walk and tour of the Dominican preaching church of Santa Maria Novella before an excursion - by city bus! - to nearby Fiesole, a small town set high above the Arno Valley, filled with Roman and Etruscan ruins, monasteries, villas, gardens, and wonderful views of Florence below... to be enjoyed over a late lunch! Individual return to Florence at any time in the afternoon but a visit to the Archeology Zone with its excellent Museum and Roman Theatre is well worth the time! Evening for individual activities and choices: possible opportunity to attend an optional concert of classical music, an opera, or a ballet performance in the prestigious Teatro Communale. (Details to be advised later.) Michael will be available for options including local Florentine dining venues.
Full day excursion into the Tuscan countryside where we begin our day with a stroll through the unique hilltop town of San Gimignano, whose skyline is dominated by a multitude of tall towers and its shops filled with art, artifacts and products of the community. As we leave and weather permitting, an alfresco tasting of Vernacchia- the region’s delicious white wine. On to Siena, the superb Tuscan city with an almost mystical atmosphere, featuring a magnificent black-and-white marble clad cathedral and one of the finest squares in all of Italy, the breathtaking Piazza del Campo. Late afternoon departure to our hotel via the Chianti wine country, stopping briefly (time permitting) in the medieval hilltop fortress of Monteriggioni, mentioned by Dante in his Divine Comedy, to taste a glass of that most famous of Italian wines. Evening at leisure.
We begin our day with a visit to the Ognissanti, the parish church of the Vespucci family. Here we find a family portrait that includes a young Amerigo, whose Christian name will be forever identified with America! Also close by in a side altar, the tomb of the great Renaissance painter, Botticelli. And in the adjoining Refectory a truly magnificent Ghirlandaio masterpiece, the superb Last Supper fresco. Later, a brief walk will take us to the 14thC Palazzo Davanzati. Built for the Davizzi family, it provides a rare example of the architectural shift from Mediaeval tower residence to Renaissance palace. The visit will give a very real glimpse into life in that time. After lunch, perhaps in the pied à terre cellar of the famous Antinori wine family we briefly visit the Strozzi home before entering the vibrant local shopping scene from the elegant Via Tornabuoni with its full spectrum of possibilities ranging from Gucci, Versace, Feragamo et al. to the market bargains of nearby San Lorenzo. Dinner at leisure.
After breakfast, coach transfer to Peretola Airport and our domestic flight to Paris in time to connect with the transatlantic flight to Toronto. Lunch and snack will be served before the late afternoon arrival at Pearson International.
Accommodation in an excellent, centrally located superior tourist-class (3-star) hotel, based on double occupancy (Single room supplement: $275.00). Airport transfers in Europe. Meals: buffet-style breakfast daily and a total of four full-course dinners or lunches. Sightseeing, visits, and excursions as indicated in the itinerary, including admission. Hotel taxes and gratuities.
Optional group airfare available for $298.00 + taxes $618.00 = $916.00 (Based on 10 minimum) All expenses of a personal nature. Coach driver gratuity approx. $15.00 CAD Travel insurance, please call for rates.
An history of the city:
Florence: A Portrait. Michael Levey.
Art and society of the Renaissance, in Italy in general and in Florence in particular:
The Civilization of the Renaissance in Italy. Jacob Burkhardt. A classic study
Renaissance in Florence. Gene Adam Brucker, Recent.
The House of Medici:
The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall. Christopher Hibbert
Travel guides to the city and the region:
The Michelin Green Guide, Tuscany.
A personal experience:
A Summer in Tuscany. Sandra J. Swanson
Movies set in Florence:
A Room with a View.
Tea with Mussolini.
January 19 - 27, 2021
$5,474 from Toronto based on double accommodation
March 02 - 19, 2021
$4,995 from Toronto based on double occupancy
April 13 - 26, 2021
$4,895 from Toronto, including air, based on double occupancy