Delve into glorious Florence more intimately at an off-peak time of year on this seven-night, deluxe stay! Italy’s city of art shines with Renaissance jewels, from Michelangelo’s David and the towering Duomo to elegant palazzi and the Uffizi’s masterpieces. Take in the medieval grandeur of hill towns San Gimignano, Colle di Val d’Elsa and Siena, plus sample Chianti in the lovely Tuscan countryside.
Arrive at Florence Airport, Peretola. Your AHI Travel representative will meet you and take you to the Sina Villa Medici. After you’ve settled in, join your Travel Director for a short walk near the hotel to familiarize yourself with the neighborhood. At this evening’s Welcome Reception and Dinner, meet your fellow travelers and get acquainted.
Today, stroll through intimate streets and beautiful piazzas that evoke the glory of the Italian Renaissance. Admire the magnificent Duomo topped by Brunelleschi’s red-tiled dome. Marvel at Giotto’s bell tower and the Baptistery’s bronze doors sculpted by Ghiberti. Cross the iconic Ponte Vecchio over the Arno River, then linger in the Piazza della Signoria, Florence’s political heart since the 14th century. After lunch, strike off to explore more on your own this afternoon.
San Gimignano | Chianti
Head to San Gimignano, a picturesque Tuscan hill town, which boasts 14 wonderfully preserved medieval tower-houses. As you walk with your guide, imagine how the medieval city must have looked with its original 72 towers! At lunch today, watch and learn as a local chef demonstrates how to cook Tuscan-style. Journey next to the idyllic Chianti region to taste wines produced from handpicked Sangiovese, Canaiolo and other grapes at Castello di Monsanto.
Today, visit the celebrated Accademia, where Michelangelo’s awe-inspiring statue of David takes center stage. See Italian paintings and sculptures, along with an important collection of exquisite musical instruments. After your visit, relax at one of Florence’s oldest cafés. From a morning cappuccino to a midday caffe, nothing defines Italian daily life more than coffee rituals. Learn how favorite choices are prepared during a special discussion. Spend the afternoon exploring on your own. Later, a local expert will enlighten you on the evolution of Italian art during the Renaissance.
Trace the development of Italian art across the centuries in the Uffizi Gallery’s incomparably rich collections. After your visit, enjoy lunch on your own and the afternoon at leisure. This evening, delve into current national issues with an expert.
Colle di Val d’Elsa | Siena
Set off into rural Tuscany to Colle di Val d’Elsa and meander through the charming medieval old town with your guide. After lunch in the area, cap off your delightful day in stunning Siena, remarkably unchanged since the Middle Ages. Take in the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo with the Torre del Mangia looming overhead and visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, an outstanding example of the Italian Gothic style with an ornate sculptural façade.
The day is yours to plan! You might visit Pitti Palace to see the sumptuous Palatine Gallery and Royal Apartments where the Medici, Lorraine and Savoy families once lived. Perhaps you’ll discover the artistic treasures inside Florence’s many churches, such as the basilicas of San Lorenzo, Santa Maria Novella and Santa Croce. Tonight, sip an aperitif in the hotel’s garden and celebrate your wonderful sojourn with your fellow travelers, then enjoy a Farewell Dinner together.
Depart for home city
Bid Florence a fond farewell and head home.
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