18. SAPORI E PROFUMI DI TOSCANA E UMBRIA
FIRENZE SAN GIMIGNANO SIENA AREZZO ASSISI GUALDO TADINO GUBBIO PERUGIA
Info - Arezzo
Arezzo is a city and comune in Central Italy, capital of the province of the same name, located in Tuscany. Arezzo is about 80 km southeast of Florence, at an elevation of 296 m above sea level. In 2011 the population was about 100,000.
The Piazza Grande is the most noteworthy medieval square in the city, opening behind the 13th century Romanesque apse of Santa Maria della Pieve. Once the main marketplace of the city, it is currently the site of the Giostra del Saracino ("Joust of the Saracen"). It has a sloping pavement in red brick with limestone geometrical lines. Aside from the apse of the church, other landmarks of the square include:
The Palace of the Lay Fraternity (Fraternita dei Laici): 14th-15th century palazzo, with a Gothic ground floor and a quattrocento second floor by Bernardo Rossellino.
The Vasari Loggia along the north side, a flat Mannerist façade designed by Giorgio Vasari.
Episcopal Palace, seat of the bishops, rebuilt in the mid-13th century. The interior has frescoes by Salvi Castellucci, Teofilo Torri, and Pietro Benvenuti. In front of the Palace is the Monument to Grand Duke Ferdinando I de' Medici (1595), by Pietro Francavilla, following a design of Giambologna.
Info - Assisi
Assisi is a town and comune of Italy in the province of Perugia in the Umbria region, on the western flank of Monte Subasio. It was the birthplace of St. Francis, who founded the Franciscan religious order in the town in 1208, and St. Clare (Chiara d'Offreducci), the founder of the Poor Sisters, which later became the Order of Poor Clares after her death.
The Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi (St. Francis) is a World Heritage Site. The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, and the lower and upper church (Basilica inferiore e superiore) of St Francis were begun immediately after his canonization in 1228, and completed in 1253. The lower church has frescos by renowned late-medieval artists Cimabue and Giotto; in the upper church are frescos of scenes in the life of St. Francis previously ascribed to Giotto and now thought to be by artists of the circle of Pietro Cavallini of Rome. The Basilica was badly damaged by an earthquake of 26 September 1997 – during which part of the vault collapsed, killing four people inside the church and carrying with it a fresco by Cimabue. The edifice was closed for two years for restoration.
Santa Maria Maggiore (St. Mary the Greater), the earliest extant church in Assisi.
The Cathedral of San Rufino (St. Rufinus), with a Romanesque façade with three rose windows and a 16th-century interior; part of it is built on a Roman cistern.
Basilica of Santa Chiara (St Clare) with its massive lateral buttresses, rose window, and simple Gothic interior, begun in 1257, contains the tomb of the saint and 13th-century frescoes and paintings.
Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli (St. Mary of the Angels), which houses the Porziuncola.
Chiesa Nuova, built over the presumed parental home of St. Francis
Eremo delle Carceri, a small monastery with church at a canyon above Assisi, where S. Francis retreated and preached to birds.
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 - Gualdo Tadino
Gualdo Tadino, an ancient town of Italy, in the province of Perugia in northeastern Umbria, on the lower flanks of Mt. Penna, a mountain of the Apennines. It is 47 km NE of Perugia and 30 km SE of Gubbio.
The city was famous in the Middle Ages for the manufacture of ceramic ware; in the late 20th century, the ceramic industry was revived, and Gualdo is now an important center for the manufacture of industrial ceramics and bathroom fittings.
Gualdo has a long history and was originally an Umbrian village known as Tarsina. Conquered by the Romans in 266 BC and re-christened Tadinum, it was a station on the Via Flaminia. In 217 BC it was destroyed by Hannibal's troops. A similar defeat was inflicted on it in 47 BC by Julius Caesar and in 410 AD by Alaric's Visigoths.
In 552, the Byzantine general Narses briefly restored Italy to the empire by defeating the Ostrogoth king Baduila in what is now known as the Battle of Taginae, the exact site of which is not known, but thought by most scholars to be a few kilometers from the town, in the plain to the west at a place called Taino. This suspicion may have received confirmation in 2004.
The ancient city survived that war, only to be destroyed in a later war at the instigation of the Holy Roman Emperor Otto III in 966. It was later rebuilt, only to be destroyed a second time by fire in 1237. Finally, the Emperor Frederick II ordered the city rebuilt for a third time in 1239, and it is this incarnation which survives today.
Info - Gubbio
Gubbio is a town and comune in the far northeastern part of the Italian province of Perugia (Umbria). It is located on the lowest slope of Mt. Ingino, a small mountain of the Apennines. See also Mount Ingino Christmas Tree.
The historical centre of Gubbio is of decidedly medieval aspect: the town is austere in appearance because of the dark grey stone, narrow streets, and Gothic architecture.
The historical centre of Gubbio is of decidedly medieval aspect: the town is austere in appearance because of the dark grey stone, narrow streets, and Gothic architecture. A fair number of the houses in Gubbio date to the 14th and 15th centuries, and were originally the dwellings of wealthy merchants; they often have a second door fronting on the street, usually just a few inches from the main entrance. This secondary entrance is narrower, and a foot or so above the actual street level. This type of door is called a porta dei morti (door of the dead) because it is commonly stated that it was used only for removing the bodies of any who might have died inside the house.
This is almost certainly false, but there is no firm agreement on the true purpose of the secondary doors. One of the most likely theories is that the door was used by the owners to protect themselves when opening to unknown persons, leaving them in a dominating position.
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 - Perugia
Perugia is the capital city of the region of Umbria in central Italy, near the River Tiber, and the capital of the province of Perugia. The city is located about 164 kilometres (102 mi) north of Rome. It covers a high hilltop and part of the valleys around the area.
The history of Perugia goes back to the Etruscan period. The city is also known as a university town, with the University of Perugia (about 34,000 students), the University for Foreigners (5,000 students), and some smaller colleges, also. There are annual festivals and events: the Eurochocolate Festival (October), the Umbria Jazz Festival, and the International Journalism Festival (in April).
Perugia is a well-known artistic centre of Italy. The famous painter Pietro Vannucci, nicknamed Perugino, was a native of Città della Pieve near Perugia. He decorated the local Sala del Cambio with a beautiful series of frescoes; eight of his pictures can also be admired in the National Gallery of Umbria. Perugino was the teacher of Raphael, the great Renaissance artist who produced five paintings in Perugia (today no longer in the city) and one fresco. Another famous painter, Pinturicchio, lived in Perugia. Galeazzo Alessi is the most famous architect from Perugia. The city symbol is the griffin, which can be seen in the form of plaques and statues on buildings around the city.
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.
Follow your palate to a culinary feast of the senses. Discover the bounty of the sea and lands of the regions whose culture greatly influenced its cuisine.
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
Accademia gallery and city tour
DAY 3: FLORENCE
Uffizi gallery and city tourCity Tour with english local guide
DAY 4: SAN GIMIGNANO AND SIENA
Full day trip in San Giminiano, Monteriggioni and a special tasting in the vineyards and Siena
DAY 5: AREZZO
Full day trip to Arezzo
DAY 6: TRANSFER IN AGRITURISMO IN THE COUNTRYSIDE
Relax in agriturismo
DAY 7: ASSISI AND SAN FRANCESCO
DAY 8: DISCOVER UMBRIA REGION
Full day trip to Gubbio and Gualdo Tadino
DAY 9: PERUGIA
Full day trip to Perugia
DAY 10: DEPARTURE