10. DA FIRENZE AI PANORAMI DELLA SARDEGNA
FIRENZE SAN GIMIGNANO MONTERIGGIONI CINQUE TERRE OLBIA ALGHERO CAGLIARI
Info - Alghero
Alghero is a town of about 44,000 inhabitants in Italy. It lies in the province of Sassari in northwestern Sardinia, next to the Mediterranean Sea.
The area of today's Alghero has been settled since pre-historic times. The so-called Ozieri culture was present here in the 4th millennium BCE while the Nuraghe civilization was present in the area around 1500 BCE, as traces of Phoenician buildings have been found not far from the city.
Due to its strategic position in the Mediterranean Sea, Alghero was built around a fortified port, founded around 1102 by the Genoese Doria family. In 1372, following several revolts, the indigenous population was expelled, and Alghero could later grow thanks to the arrival of Catalan colonists. In the early 16th century Alghero received the status of King's City (ciutat de l'Alguer) and developed economically.
The Catalano-Aragonese were followed by the Spanish Habsburgs, whose dominion, ending in 1702, brought some stylish elegance to the city. In 1720 Alghero and Sardinia were handed over to the Piedmont based House of Savoy. Around 1750 a wide channel was excavated to improve the defensive position of the peninsula. During World War II (1943) Alghero was bombed, and its historical centre suffered heavy damage.
Italian is the official language spoken in Alghero. A small proportion of people in Alghero speak a Catalan dialect, introduced when Catalan invaders repopulated the town after capturing the city from the Genoese in 1353 and subsequently expelling the indigenous population. Catalan was replaced as the official language by Spanish in the 17th century, then by Italian.
Info - Cagliari
Cagliari is the capital of the island of Sardinia, a region of Italy. Cagliari's Sardinian name Casteddu literally means castle. It has about 156,000 inhabitants, or about 480,000 including the outlying townships (metropolitan area): Elmas, Assemini, Capoterra, Selargius, Sestu, Monserrato, Quartucciu, Quartu Sant'Elena.
An ancient city with a long history, Cagliari has seen the rule of several civilizations. It was the capital of the Kingdom of Sardinia (which in the 1861 became the Kingdom of Italy) from 1324 to 1720 and from 1798 to 1815. Seat of the important University of Cagliari and the Primate Roman Catholic archdiocese of Sardinia, the city is an important regional cultural, educational, political and artistic centre, known for its diverse Art Nouveau architecture and several monuments. It is also Sardinia's economic and industrial hub, having one of the biggest ports in the Mediterranean sea, an international airport, and the 28th highest income rate in Italy, comparable to several Northern cities, such as Turin, Vicenza and Genoa.
From the 1870s, with the unification of Italy, the city experienced a century of rapid growth. Many outstanding buildings were erected by the end of the 19th century during the office of Mayor Ottone Bacaredda. Many of these buildings combined influences from Art Nouveau together with the traditional Sardinian taste for flower decoration: an example is the white marble City Hall near the port. Ottone Bacaredda is also famous for the violent repression of one of the earlier worker strikes in the beginning of the 20th century.
Info - Cinque Terre: Portovenere, Rio Maggiore, Manarola, Corniglia, Vernazza, Monterosso
The Cinque Terre is a rugged portion of coast on the Italian Riviera. It is in the Liguria region of Italy, to the west of the city of La Spezia. "The Five Lands" is composed of five villages: Monterosso al Mare, Vernazza, Corniglia, Manarola, and Riomaggiore. The coastline, the five villages, and the surrounding hillsides are all part of the Cinque Terre National Park and is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Over centuries, people have carefully built terraces on the rugged, steep landscape right up to the cliffs that overlook the sea. Part of its charm is the lack of visible corporate development. Paths, trains and boats connect the villages, and cars cannot reach them from the outside. The Cinque Terre is a very popular tourist destination.
In 1998 the Italian Ministry for the Environment set up the Protected natural marine area Cinque Terre to protect the natural environment and to promote socio-economical development compatible with the natural landscape of the area.
In 1999 the Parco Nazionale delle Cinque Terre was set up to conserve the ecological balance, protect the landscape, and safeguard the anthropological values of the location.Nevertheless, the dwindling interest in cultivation and maintenance of the terrace walls posed a long-term threat to the site, which was for this reason included in the 2000 and 2002 World Monuments Watch by the World Monuments Fund. The organization secured grants from American Express to support a study of the conservation of Cinque Terre. Following the study, a site management plan was created.
Info - Firenze
Firenze is the capital city of the Italian region of Tuscany and of the province of Firenze. It is the most populous city in Tuscany, with approximately 370,000 inhabitants.
It is famous for its history. A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Firenze is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, and has been called the Athens of the Middle Ages.
The historic centre of Firenze attracts millions of tourists each year, and Euromonitor International ranked the city as the world's 72nd most visited in 2009, with 1,685,000 visitors. It was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1982. Firenze's artistic and architectural heritage have led Forbes to rank it as one of the most beautiful cities in the world, and the city is noted for its history, culture, Renaissance art and architecture and monuments. The city also contains numerous museums and art galleries, such as the Uffizi Gallery and the Pitti Palace.
Firenze is also an important city in Italian fashion, being ranked within the top fifty fashion capitals of the world; furthermore, it is also a major national economic centre, being a tourist and industrial hub. In 2008, the city had the 17th highest average income in Italy.
Firenze is known as the "cradle of the Renaissance" (la culla del Rinascimento) for its monuments, churches and buildings.
The centre of the city is contained in medieval walls that were built in the 14th century to defend the city.
The layout and structure of Firenze in many ways harkens back to the Roman era, where it was designed as a garrison settlement. Nevertheless, the majority of the city was built during the Renaissance. Despite the strong presence of Renaissance architecture within the city, traces of medieval, Baroque, Neoclassical and modern architecture can be found.
The River Arno, which cuts through the old part of the city, is as much a character in Florentine history as many of the people who lived there.
Info - Livorno
Livorno is a port city on the Tyrrhenian Sea on the western coast of Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the Province of Livorno, having a population of approximately 161,000 residents in 2011.
Livorno was defined as an "ideal town" during the Italian Renaissance. Today, it reveals its history through the structure of its neighbourhoods, crossed by canals and surrounded by fortified town walls, through the tangle of its streets, which embroider the town's Venice district, and through the Medici Port characteristically overlooked by towers and fortresses leading to the town centre. Designed by the architect Bernardo Buontalenti at the end of the 16th century, Livorno underwent a period of great town planning expansion at the end of the 17th century. Near the defensive pile of the Old Fortress, a new fortress, together with the town-walls and the system of navigable canals, was then built. After Pisa's silting up, distance from the sea and loss of dominance, Livorno took over as the main port in Tuscany.
In the late 1580s, Ferdinando I of Tuscany declared Livorno a porto Franco, which meant that the goods traded here were duty free. The Leggi Livornine were laws in force between 1590 and 1603. These laws helped the trading activities of the merchant, freedom of religion and amnesty for some penance. Thanks to these laws, Livorno became a cosmopolitan city and one of the most important ports of the entire Mediterranean area.
Info - Monteriggioni
Monteriggioni is a comune in the Province of Siena in the Italian region Tuscany. It borders on the communes of Casole d'Elsa, Castellina in Chianti, Castelnuovo Berardenga, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Poggibonsi, Siena and Sovicille. The town is architecturally and culturally significant; it hosts several piazzas, and is referenced in Dante Alighieri's Divine Comedy.
The money Monteriggioni made went to making the town better. Both Monteriggioni's exterior walls and the buildings within are some the best preserved in all of Italy, attracting tourists, architects, medieval historians and archaeologists. "The town appears to float above the valley at night due to the hillside walls and towers being lit from below with light" tourists say.
The roughly circular walls, totalling a length of about 570 meters and following the natural contours of the hill, were built between 1213 and 1219. There are fourteen towers on square bases set at equidistance, and two portals or gates. One gate, the Porta Fiorentina opens toward Florence to the north, and the other, the Porta Romana, faces Rome to the south. The main street within the walls connects the two gates in a roughly straight line.
The main piazza, the Piazza Roma, is dominated by a Romanesque church with a simple, plain facade. Other houses, some in the Renaissance style (once owned by local nobles, gentry and wealthy merchants) facing into the piazza. Off the main piazza smaller streets give way to public gardens fronted by the other houses and small businesses of the town. In more hostile times, these gardens provided vital sustenance when enemies gathered without.
Info - San Gimignano
San Gimignano is a small walled medieval hill town in the province of Siena. It is mainly famous for its medieval architecture, especially its towers, which may be seen from several kilometres outside the town.
The town also is known for the white wine, Vernaccia di San Gimignano, produced from the Vernaccia grape which is grown in the area.
While in other cities, such as Bologna or Florence, most or all of their towers have been brought down due to wars, catastrophes, or urban renewal, San Gimignano has managed to conserve fourteen towers of varying height which have become its international symbol. There are many churches in the town: the two main ones are the Collegiata, formerly a cathedral, and Sant'Agostino, housing a many artworks from early Italian renaissance artists.
A centre of medieval European trade and finance and one of the wealthiest cities of the time, Florence is considered the birthplace of the Renaissance, Sardinia is the second largest island in the Mediterranean Sea.
Package price inclusions
- Departures from other cities will incurr additional add-on fee.
- Transfer from Airport to and from Hotel via private motorcoach
- Long distance transfer via private motorcoach
- Transportation within cities, via buses and trains and walking
- 8 nights: Three or four stars hotel based on hotel level.
(Supplement is $ 500 for single room, and $ 180 + $ 180 for double room).
- Breakfast and dinner is included daily (with water, other beverages NOT included).
- Entrance fees to museums specified in tour
- Specialized English local guides for entrance to specified museums. The guides are certified by the Association of Professional Guides
- School visits are free and offered on request
- Accompanying Tour Leader for duration of the tour 24/7.
- Basic travel insurance
Tour cost does NOT include:
- Room supplement for single or double
- Optional Trip Protection/Cancellation Insurance
- Excess baggage fee
- Lunch and beverages other than water
- Tips and gratuities. Suggested fees are listed in the final price quote.
- Personal expenses: purchases, phone cards, hotel minibar
Business class upgrades or flight deviations (from departure date/location or return date/location) must be requested and confirmed with the carrier. Any and ALL additional costs are the responsibility of the requesting participant/teacher.
Rome on the other hand, is quite mild.
Summer months are hot throughout the peninsula.
- Visits to cities of art usually require considerable walking as they offer much to explore, learn and enjoy. We recommend you pack comfortable walking shoes.
Museums and Churches, above all, require modest attire. Shorts and bare shoulder blouses or tops, are not permitted. We recommend carrying a light sweater, shirt, or shawl to cover the shoulders.
- Museums also require visitors to pass through a metal detector, and all backpacks and large bags must be stored. Your Tour facilitator will give the pertinent instructions daily for each of your stops.
- Tour buses are not permitted into the cities' historical center and groups will be required to use mass transit or to walk. Your Tour Facilitator will also address these issues daily.
Short program»Usefull Tips »Tour full program
Deaparture from New York
Arrival at FlorenceGalleria dell'Accademia
Full day trip to San Gimignano and Monteriggioni
David by Michelangelo
Cinque Terre full day trip
Transfer to Livorno for ferry boat to Sardegna, Olbia
Full day trip to visit the coast of Sardinia and small villages
From Alghero to Cagliari and stop in Barumini
Visit Cagliari and relax
Return to USA