Art in Italy

Over the years, Amy has developed and operated trips to a variety of destinations including this one, but not all trips are offered every year. If you are interested in joining a scheduled departure of this trip in the future, please send us an email and let us know. Click to send us an email or use the form at the bottom of this page.

We can organize and operate this trip as a private group departure with a minimum group size of 8 persons.
Start organizing your private Italy Art adventure here.

Best time to travel: April, for springtime weather
Best gateway city: Florence

Immerse yourself in the Medieval and Renaissance splendor of Florence and Venice, the gem cities of Tuscany and the Veneto. Explore the renowned hill town of Siena. Experience the art of Donatello, Giotto, Michelangelo, Brunelleschi, Fra Angelico, Titian, Rubens, Raphael, and Piero della Francesca. Savor the great art repositories of the Uffizi, Bargello, Pitti Palace, and the Accademia. And throughout the trip, revel in the joys of being in Italy in the springtime. In addition to an unforgettable immersion into the art of Italy, images of the Ponte Vecchio reflected in the waters of the Arno River and gondolas on the canals of Venice add sparkle to this art adventure.

Day 1
Overnight in Florence
Begin your art feast at the symbol of Florence, the cathedral (Duomo) with its dome designed by Brunelleschi. Located in the centro storico (“historic center”) the cathedral (officially the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore) is the core of Renaissance and Medieval Florence. Climb up the stairs of the bell tower, visit the dome, and go inside the Baptistery (featuring Lorenzo Ghiberti’s Gates of Paradise) and the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (containing Donatello’s Mary Magdalene). This afternoon, continue exploring the art masterpieces of Florence. In the area of Florence’s central market, contemplate Michaelangelo’s mannerist Medici Chapel at Brunelleschi’s early Renaissance church of San Lorenzo. Succumb to the lure of Florence and find your favorite Italian ice cream (gelato), and shop on the Via de’ Tornabuoni.

Day 2
Overnight in Florence
You have an early-morning appointment at the Galleria degli Uffizi which contains the most celebrated collection of Florentine Renaissance art. Commisioned by Cosimo de Medici, the Duke of Florence, the Uffizi was built in 1560 to house the offices (uffizi) of the magistrates and guilds that governed the city. Linger in the newly renovated galleries and contemplate the masterpieces by Giotto, Raphael, Uccello, Cimabue, Leonardo da Vinci, Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Titian. Continue on to the Galleria dell’ Accademia to pay your respects to (and admire) Michelangelo’s great statue of David. Then continue through the gallery to view the other masterpieces on exhibit.

Day 3
Overnight in Florence
Study the works of Donatello and Michelangelo at Museo del Bargello, and recapture the spirit of the early Renaissance. Experience Florence’s most striking square, the Piazza della Signoria, where the famous “bonfire of the vanities” took place, and view the Palazzo Vecchio, an imposing fortress-palace. Continue on to the Franciscan church of Santa Croce with its frescoes by Giotto.

Day 4
Overnight in Florence
Take a day-trip into the countryside, and visit the famous hilltown of Siena. One of the loveliest and most perfectly preserved medieval towns in Tuscany, Siena retains its medieval architecture, including walls and gates that surround the city, the cathedral, and the Piazza del Campo, considered by many to be the finest public square in Italy. Explore in depth Siena’s fabulous Duomo and Battistero, featuring Donatello’s Feast of Herod, and the Pinacoteca Nazionale, housing a rich collection of Sienese painting dating from the twelfth to the seventeenth centuries. This is a walking town, and it is a joy to wander through Sienna’s narrow city streets which have changed very little since the Middle Ages.

Day 5
Overnight in Florence
Walk across the Ponte Vecchio and the Arno River to the colli (“hills”) of Florence. Enjoy the Italian gift for landscaping in the Giardino di Boboli (famous for its fountains and grottoes), and find a treasure trove of paintings (by Titian, Rubens, and Raphael) in the Pitti Palace. Home to the grand-dukes of Tuscany (i.e. the Medici family) and later the King of Italy, the Pitti Palace houses important collections of paintings and sculpture in the Palatine Gallery. The paintings, largely from the Medici family collections, are exhibited in the style of a seventeenth century picture gallery with sumptuous frames hung in a suite of richly decorated rooms. Explore the Royal Apartments—a collection of fourteen magnificent rooms which were the home of the Medici and Lorraine grand-ducal families, and from 1865, the king of Italy.

Day 6
Overnight in Venice
Depart Florence and travel to Venice. Arrive in Venice and settle into your hotel. Stroll with Amy on a walking tour through St. Mark’s square viewing the Basilica di San Marco (begun in 829 AD), the Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Then explore the narrow streets, bridges and canals of Venice perhaps sampling gelato as you go along. Watch the play of light on the buildings as sun sets across the lagoon between Venice and the Adriactic Sea.

Day 7
Overnight in Venice
Immerse yourself in the Galleria dell’Accademia with its masterpieces of Italian painting by Titian, Giorgione, Tintoretto, Veronese, Bellini, and Tiepolo. This afternoon visit Peggie Guggenheim’s palace museum, a villa on the Grand Canal where she lived for thirty years and exhibited her collection. Feast on twentieth century art works by Italian artists Boccioni, Severini, Giacometti, and Modigliani, as well as the art of Picasso, Braque, Duchamp, Leger, Brancusi, Mondrian, Kandinsky, Klee and Calder.

Day 8
Overnight in Venice
Enjoy a day on your own. Consider a visit to one of the islands in the lagoon—Murano famous for crystal and glass, or Burano known for its lace and painted houses. Alternatively, explore the buildings created for wealthy patrons by the Renaissance architect Andrea Palladio. Published in 1571, Palladio’s The Four Books of Architecture, drew upon his meticulous studies of classical Greek and Roman buildings. Two centuries later it became the foundation for Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello. In Venice, Palladio’s designs include the Chiesa del Redentore, San Giorgio Maggiore, and the Convento della Carita.

Resources for Further Learning

  • Read the article, “Virtuoso of the Villa” for a look at master architect Andrea Palladio. By Gully Wells in the March 2009 issue of Conde Nast Traveler.
  • From January to April 2009, the Royal Academy of Arts in London hosted an exhibition entitled, “Andrea Palladio: His Life and Legacy” in honor of the architect’s 500th birthday. Though the exhibition has closed, you can still visit the exhibition’s website to access information about Andrea Palladio’s life and works.

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