30. ITALIAN CITIES: OPEN AIR MUSEUMS
VENEZIA VERONA FIRENZE PISA CINQUE TERRE SIENA ROMA
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 - Mestre
Mestre is the center and the most populated urban area of the mainland of Venice, part of the territory of the city of Venice, in Veneto, northern Italy.
Administratively speaking, Mestre forms (together with the nearby urban area of Carpenedo) the Municipalità di Mestre-Carpenedo, one of the six boroughs of the commune (Comune) of Venice. Sometimes considered as frazione, it is the most populated one of Italy, counting around 170,000 inhabitants.
Cathedral of St. Lawrence (17th century) - Palazzo da Re - Torre dell'Orologio (Watchtower, 1108) - Palazzo podestarile.
Info - Murano
Murano is a series of islands linked by bridges in the Venetian Lagoon, northern Italy. It lies about 1.5 km north of Venice and measures about 1.5 km (0.93 mi) across with a population of just over 5,000 (2004 figures). It is famous for its glass making, particularly lampworking. It was once an independent comune, but is now a frazione of the comune of Venice.
Murano’s reputation as a center for glassmaking was born when the Venetian Republic, fearing fire and the destruction of the city’s mostly wooden buildings, ordered glassmakers to move their foundries to Murano in 1291. Murano glass is still associated with Venetian glass.
Murano’s glassmakers held a monopoly on high-quality glassmaking for centuries, developing or refining many technologies including crystalline glass, enameled glass (smalto), glass with threads of gold (aventurine), multicolored glass (millefiori), milk glass (lattimo), and imitation gemstones made of glass. Today, the artisans of Murano still employ these centuries-old techniques, crafting everything from contemporary art glass and glass jewelry to Murano glass chandeliers and wine stoppers.
Today, Murano is home to the Museo del Vetro or Murano Glass Museum in the Palazzo Giustinian, which holds displays on the history of glassmaking as well as glass samples ranging from Egyptian times through the present day.
The oldest Murano glass factory that is still active today is that of Pauly & C. – Compagnia Venezia Murano, founded in 1866.
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 - Venezia
Venice is a city in northeast Italy sited on a group of 118 small islands separated by canals and linked by bridges. It is located in the marshy Venetian Lagoon which stretches along the shoreline between the mouths of the Po and the Piave Rivers. Venice is renowned for the beauty of its setting, its architecture and its artworks. The city in its entirety is listed as World Heritage Site, along with its lagoon.
Venice is the capital of the Veneto region.
The name is derived from the ancient Veneti people who inhabited the region by the 10th century BCE. The city historically was the capital of the Venetian Republic. Venice has been known as the "La Dominante", "Serenissima", "Queen of the Adriatic", "City of Water", "City of Masks", "City of Bridges", "The Floating City", and "City of Canals". Luigi Barzini described it in The New York Times as "undoubtedly the most beautiful city built by man". Venice has also been described by the Times Online as being one of Europe's most romantic cities.
Info - Verona
Because of the value and importance of its many historical buildings, Verona has been named a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Verona preserved many ancient Roman monuments, no longer in use, in the early Middle Ages. The Carolingian period Versus de Verona contains an important description of Verona in the early medieval era.
The city became important because it was at the intersection of several roads. Stilicho defeated Alaric and his Visigoths here in 403. But, after Verona was conquered in (489 AD) the Gothic domination of Italy began; Theodoric built his palace there, and according to Irish legends that's what Verona was named after.
In 569, it was taken by Alboin, King of the Lombards, in whose kingdom it was, in a sense, the second most important city. There, Alboin himself was killed by his own wife in 572.
Guglielmo (1404), natural son of Cangrande II, was more fortunate; with the support of the people, he drove out the Milanese, but he died ten days after, and Verona then submitted to Venice (1405). The last representatives of the Scaligeri lived at the imperial court and repeatedly attempted to recover Verona by the aid of popular risings.
Centers of art, history and culture with captivating monuments which are testaments of a glorious past and a present. The eternal city of Rome, Venice the city in the water, Florence the cradle of the Renaissance, Verona the city of Giulietta and Romeo...
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 four stars hotel.
(Supplement is $ 500 for single 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.
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
Departure from New York
Arrival at Venice. Enjoy the fairytale city!
Murano and Burano islands and the City on the Water
Transfer from Venice to Florence with stop in Verona
Full day trip to Cinque Terre and stop in Pisa
Transfer to Rome and stop in Siena
In the heart of ancient RomeColosseo e Fori Romani
Vatican city and Sistine ChappelMusei Vaticani: Cappella Sistina
Departure from Italy