28. FIRENZE SIENA ROMA
The warmth of history and its people
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 - 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 - Roma
Rome is a city and special comune ("Roma Capitale") in Italy. Rome is the capital of Italy and the capital of Lazio. With 2.8 million residents in 1,285.3 km2, it is also the country's largest and most populated comune and fourth-most populous city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.
Rome's history spans two and a half thousand years. It was the capital city of the Roman Kingdom, the Roman Republic and the Roman Empire, which was the dominant power in Western Europe and the lands bordering the Mediterranean for over seven hundred years from the 1st century BCE until the 7th century CE and the city is regarded as one of the birthplaces of western civilization. Since the 1st century CE Rome has been the seat of the Papacy and, after the end of Byzantine domination, in the 8th century it became the capital of the Papal States, which lasted until 1870. In 1871 Rome became the capital of the Kingdom of Italy, and in 1946 that of the Italian Republic.
After the Middle Ages, Rome was ruled by popes such as Alexander VI and Leo X, who transformed the city into one of the major centers of the Italian Renaissance, along with Florence. The current version of St Peter's Basilica was built and the Sistine Chapel was painted by Michelangelo. Famous artists and architects, such as Bramante, Bernini and Raphael resided for some time in Rome, contributing to its Renaissance and Baroque architecture.
Its historic centre is listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Monuments and museums such as the Vatican Museums and the Colosseum are amongst the world's 50 most visited tourist destinations (the Vatican Museums receiving 4.2 million tourists and the Colosseum receiving 4 million tourists every year). Rome hosted the 1960 Summer Olympics.
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.
Info - Siena
Siena is an important city in Tuscany, Italy. It is the capital of the province of Siena.
The historic centre of Siena has been declared by UNESCO a World Heritage Site. It is one of the nation's most visited tourist attractions, with over 163,000 international arrivals in 2008. Siena is famous for its cuisine, art, museums, medieval cityscape and the Palio, a horse race held twice a year.
Siena, like other Tuscan hill towns, was first settled in the time of the Etruscans (c. 900–400 BC). During the early 13th century that the majority of the construction of the Siena Cathedral (Duomo) was completed. During the same period the Piazza del Campo grew in importance as the centre of secular life. New streets were constructed leading to it. A wall was constructed in 1194 at the current site of the Palazzo Pubblico to stop soil erosion, an indication of how important the area was becoming as a civic space.
Siena's university, founded in 1240 and famed for its faculties of law and medicine, is still among the most important Italian universities. In 1472 the Republic founded the Monte dei Paschi, a bank that is still active today and is the oldest surviving bank in the world.
Centers of art, history and culture with captivating monuments which are testaments of a glorious past and a present which is full of life: truly timeless.
Package price inclusions
Package price inclusions
- Flight New York – Italy – New York
- 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.
(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.
- Northern Italian climate is cold in the winter months, and February can be snowy.
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
DAY 1: DEPARTURE
DAY 2: ARRIVAL IN FLORENCE
A first look at the city and its wonders
DAY 3: ACCADEMIA GALLERY AND CITY TOUR
David by Michelangelo and The Reinassance time in FlorenceGalleria dell'Accademia
DAY 4: THE UFFIZI GALLERY
The Uffizi Gallery and its masterpieces
DAY 5: MEDIEVAL TIME IN FLORENCE
In the heart of Medieval time: history, art and traditions of the old city
DAY 6: TRANSFER TO ROME
Transfer to Rome and stop in San Gimignano and Siena
DAY 7: THE VATICAN CITY
St. Peters and the Vaticans museum
DAY 8: THE RENAISSANCE IN ROME
Walking among the fountains
DAY 9: THE ANCIENT ROME
In the heart of ancient Rome: Coliseum and Forum
DAY 10: DEPARTURE