|JOURNEYS OF DISCOVERY
Treasures of Tuscany plus Rome, Umbria and Florence
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Italy, a country that captures the imagination! For history there’s Rome, for art, there’s Florence and for wine, all of
Tuscany; and for food, well, there’s simply Italy! Stylish, cultured, good humored and volatile – Italy, with its golden
light, stunning landscapes and rich cultural heritage, has inspired poets and painters for centuries. Join me and a small
group of fabulous women as we explore central Italy. We’ll stay in the heart of Tuscany in the magical town of Cortona
as we explore Rome, Umbria, Florence and many other quaint hill towns and sacred sites on day trips. Immerse yourself
in the sights, tastes and scents of Italy, relax and renew your spirit under the Tuscan sun!
Tour land cost: $3,499.00 based on 10 travelers Single supplement: $750.00
DAY 1 – Thursday Sept. 18, 2008 Depart USA for Rome
DAY 2 – Fri. Sept. 19 Rome / Ancient Rome Tour. Welcome Dinner tonight!
Morning arrival in The Eternal City, Rome. Transfer to your centrally located 4 star hotel. Time to rest and have a light
lunch before our private bus tour of Rome highlights, the Forum & Coliseum, Pizza Venezia, Repubblica and Barberini.
We end at the exquisite Trevi fountain, the most famous fountain in Rome, a masterpiece of both architecture and
sculpture. Then what we've been waiting for, our first official dinner in Italy! Scrumptious authentic Italian cuisine and
yes, you will be enjoying fine local wines with all tour meals!
DAY 3 – Sat. Sept. 20 Rome B, L
This morning enjoy a guided tour of the Vatican Museum including the Sistine Chapel
and St. Peters Basilica. You could spend years exploring the museum, but your guide
will lead you to the most important highlights. You begin by taking the beautiful Spiral
stairway and continuing through the Gallery of the Tapestries and the Gallery of the
Geographical Maps before arriving at the famous Sistine Chapel with its magnificent
fresco of the Last Judgement by Michelangelo. Then it’s time for more fabulous Italian
food with lunch at a popular Rome restaurant. The afternoon is free to shop, experience and explore other important
roman sites and monuments on your own.
DAY 4 – Sun. Sept. 21 Orvieto and Cortona B, L
Orvieto, perched on a plateau of tufa rock, with the outline of its world famous Duomo visible for miles around is not
accessible by car. Access to the city is either via the funicular that runs from the railway station below or up the system
of escalators dug into the cliffside. The exceptional views commanded by the city, as well as the beautiful skyline of
Orvieto itself,can be fully appreciated by looking out from the top of the 13th century Torre del Moro, the highest
vantage point in town. But the heart of Orvieto is undoubtedly Piazza del Duomo, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture
with its polychrome marble inlays and dazzling mosaics. The interior of the cathedral contains, among other important
works of art, Luca Signorelli’s fresco cycles depicting the Antichrist, Armageddon, the Resurrection of the Flesh, the
Chosen and the Reprobates, along with a spectacular Last Judgement in the San Brizio Chapel.
Another great artist, Beato Angelico, completed the angels in the vaults of the ceiling. At the corner of Via Del Duomo
there still survives the mechanical clock tower that chimed the moments of work and rest for the workmen in the building
site over the centuries. Beneath Orvieto, there are underground passages which almost form another city in itself. The
passages are open to the public. The city’s public art collections are also well worth a visit, and are divided between the
Museo Claudio Faina, the Museo Archeologico and the Museo dell’Opera Del Duomo.
Today we eat lunch at a casual Trattoria, wine tasting and plentiful food! After lunch enjoy the beautiful drive to Cortona
inTuscany and your lovely Villa/Hotel, home for the next 5 nights.
DAY 5 – Mon. Sept. 22 Cortona B, D
Rich in art, Cortona is among the crown jewels of Tuscan hill towns and sits peacefully on a green mountainside above
terraced olive groves. Home of the ancient Etruscans it is rich in archaelogical wonders of the Etruscan, medieval, and
Renaissance eras.Traffic is restricted, which accentuates the sense of hilltop peacefulness and nighttime offers an
amazing view of the villages of southern Tuscany glittering in the distance. Cortona has become more widely known as
the delightful Italian town where the movie, “Under the Tuscan Sun” was filmed.
On our walking tour admire the many artistic and architectural treasures in the amazing
hilltop city. Delight in its exceptional Etruscan features as you stroll past historic palazi and
through charming piazzas. Enter the stunning Romanesque cathedral, visit the renowned
Diocesan Museum for its extraordinary collection of paintings from the medieval Sienese
school, including The Annunciation by Beato Angelico. Lunch on your own and afternoon
free to shop, hike up the mountain or explore the hidden treasures of Cortona as you weave
your way through side streets to chat with the local olive farmers, wrinkled from sunny days
in the vineyards. Take time to rest beside the beautiful fountain as you gaze upon the sculpted
dolphins and water nymphs playing.
DAY 6 – Tues. Sept. 23 WINE TASTING AND LUNCH IN THE TUSCAN COUNTRYSIDE B, L
This morning we will explore the Tuscan countryside and visit one of the local wine-making families. We will enjoy a
delicious lunch at the vineyards and be able to sample their fine regional wines. This is a day to truly experience the local
culture and get a glimpse into the life of a working vineyard and the family tradition of Italian wine making.
DAY 7 – Wed. Sept. 24 FULL DAY IN FLORENCE B, L
Embrace the heart of Tuscany and the Cradle of the Renaissance with a full day in fabulous Florence! Here we will see
Michelangelo’s David and admire the cupola of the Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, a symbol of Tuscany. After we view
the spectacular bronze doors of the Baptistry we’ll enjoy a special lunch at one of Florences charming restaurants. The
afternoon is free to stroll over the fabled Arno River on the Ponte Vecchio packed with gold shops or sip espresso at a
café on the Piazza della Signoria. Florence is a dynamic testimony to humanity’s creative genius one that never fails to
DAY 8 – Thursday Sept. 25 SIENA and MONTERIGGIONI B, L
Like a crown atop 3 converging hills, the magical city of Siena has remained unchanged throughout the centuries. Bathed
in a rose-pink glow, Siena’s narrow streets wind through a spectacle of resplendent cathedrals, rich museums and finely
preserved Gothic buildings. All roads lead to the renowned Piazza Del Campo, one of the most beautiful medieval
squares in Italy and home to the famous summer horse race, the II Palio. See the imposing 14th century Torre Del
Mangia that rises in the distance. Visit the Basilica of San Domenico, now devoted to Saint Catherine but originally built
on the site of an ancient temple to Minerva. At the Joyous Fountain hear about the forward thinking citizens who
brought water to these hills with engineering even the Romans would admire and also visit the black and gold striped
Lunch will be in the tiny “walled” Tuscan hill town, Monteriggioni, which offers a spectacular view of the Tuscan
countryside. Here you can experience and taste other Chianti and Tuscan wines where most of the local wineries still
harvest their grapes by hand. Late afternoon we return to Cortona.
DAY 9 – Friday Sept. 26 ASSISI: Footsteps of St. Francis B, D
Today we visit the magnificent walled city of Assisi, a famous pilgrimage destination inextricably linked in legend with its
native son, St. Francis who founded the Franciscan order and shares honours with St. Catherine of Sienna as the patron
saint of Italy. He is known as a lover of nature and his preaching to an audience of birds is one of the legends of his life.
The peace and serene nature of this gentle Saint is still felt as you walk the streets of Assisi, talking with local craftsmen
and as you observe women embroidering the Franciscan cross stitch originated by the nuns years ago.
Experience Assisi’s time honored treasures including the glorious Basilica of
Santa Maria degli Angeli and the serene Basilica of St. Francis which houses the body
of St. Francis. An impressive sight as it stands against the towering backdrop of
Mt. Subasio. The churches of the Basilica complex were decorated by the greatest
painters of the 13 and 14 C: Cimabue, Giotto, the Lorenzetti brothers
and Simone Martini. The stained glass windows are especially beautiful.
The Upper Basilica is adorned by Giotto's frescoes illustrating the life of St. Francis.
There are also works by Cimabue, Cavallini and Torriti. The monastery houses a remarkable "Treasury" composed of rare
After a delicious lunch in Assisi, we’ll go “off the beaten path” to visit The Hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri), an oasis of
peace and tranquility in the midst of the woods of Mt. Subasio. Much of the main complex was here six hundred years
before Francis was born. We will visit the tiny cave where Francis spent time meditating, praying and sleeping in a niche
in the bare rock. Outside the cave, there is an old tree carefully propped up, reputed to be the very tree holding the
birds St. Francis preached to. We’ll visit areas inside the hermitage that are usually not open to tourists and have the
opportunity to talk with one of the Franciscian friers who will answer our questions and share a more intimate look at life
in the hermitage. This will be a highlight of our time in Italy regardless of one’s spiritual beliefs, the aura of sacredness
and peace here is a universal language of the heart.
Our afternoon drive back to Rome, gives you a last look at the beauty of the Italian countryside as we drive through the
hills and southern part of Umbria. Check into your 4 star hotel and tonight enjoy a special farewell dinner at a local
restaurant. Say Arrivederci to your travel companions and new Italian friends..
DAY 10 – Sat. Sept. 27 After breakfast transfer to the airport for your flight home, late afternoon arrival in USA.
8 nights accommodations at indicated first Class hotels or similar with private bath or shower
Continental or buffet breakfast daily (depending upon hotel's service)
3 Dinners at hotels including wine (1/4 bottle pp), mineral water (1/2 bottle pp) and coffee:
5 lunches al local restaurants including wine (1/4 bottle pp), mineral water (1/2 bottle pp) and coffee
Touring by private Deluxe minibus
Professional English speaking tour director/driver.
Tour of Rome Classical and Ancient Rome
Half day guided tour Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter’s basilica
Guided tour of Florence including Accademia Museum
Tour of Siena, visit Monteriggioni
Guided tour of Assisi
Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person throughout
Entrance fees included (Vatican Museums, Cortona, Accademia & Museum Florence)
Hotel taxes and service charges
International flight to Rome – group airfare will be arranged.
Meals not specified in itinerary / drinks, laundry, personal items
Local guides suggested: 2 euro per person
Tour director/driver suggested: 6 euro per person per day
|To reserve your space for this trip
Contact: Gayle Lawrence
Journeys of Discovery
ITALY, TREASURES OF TUSCANY plus Rome, Umbria and Florence