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Course Description

For centuries, Italy has drawn travellers in search of culture and romance. Few countries can compete with its Classical origins, its art, architecture, literary traditions, scenery, or food and wine. Italy evokes splendor, bestowed with a continuously developing history that goes back 3,000 years. It has a rich artistic and cultural legacy with a timeline spanning all major periods from ancient Roman and Etruscan times through Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, the Risorgimento, 20th century and contemporary.  Our trip is designed to familiarize you with Italy’s key historical, cultural and artistic aspects with a special focus on its earliest beginnings in ancient Rome through to the flowering of the Italian Renaissance. 

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Course Details

Our 14-day Italian journey will focus on Italy’s most important and iconic cities: Rome, Florence, and Venice. We will relive Classical, Medieval and Renaissance cultures by exploring the three cities that embody these civilizations in all their grandeur. 

Our trip will also include planned excursions to Pompeii, Siena and the beautiful medieval Tuscan hill town of Montepulciano. We will follow the paths of legendary generals, artists, scientists, emperors and philosophers from the classical remnants of Rome to the preserved treasures of Florence and Venice.  In “Eternal” Rome, we will walk the cobblestone streets of the Caesars calling to mind tales of the Pantheon, Forum and Colosseum as well as bear witness to the majesty of Vatican City with all its awe-inspiring Renaissance masterpieces. We will marvel at the archaeological wonders at Pompeii, where an entire city is frozen in time. In Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, we will immerse ourselves in its thriving artistic tradition. Immersing ourselves in the works of Botticelli, Michelangelo and Raphael among others, we will wander the streets of Dante and Machiavelli and gaze out over Florence from the top of Brunelleschi’s famous dome. We will explore Siena, Italy’s best-preserved medieval city, complete with its incredible central square and one of the most beautiful Gothic cathedrals in all of Europe, the Duomo di Siena. In Venice, we will gaze at the magnificent Byzantine cathedral of St. Mark’s Basilica, listen for sad echoes of the past over the Bridge of Sighs, and relax on a Venetian cruise to the picturesque fishing village of Murano, known for its bright pastel-colored houses and world famous glassmaking.

This is an amazing opportunity to see Italy’s highlights and to stroll the streets where some of civilization’s most important ideas and changes — in art, culture, history and politics — took shape. Come join us as we eat in wonderful restaurants opening onto magnificent Piazzas and taste delicious regional foods and wines while looking up at architectural masterpieces from the glorious Italian periods long past.   

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