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Frequently Asked Questions

  • Program Overview
    The transition in Western Europe from the medieval to the Renaissance world both contributed to and was shaped by new modes of expression in art, literature, philosophy, and spirituality. Through a first-hand observation of some of the most important of these intellectual and artistic creations in their original historical settings, this tour will seek to give participants a rich and lively understanding of one of the most fascinating episodes in human history – the Florentine Renaissance. We will reside in a four-star hotel conveniently located near the center of the old city. Ordinarily, we shall visit the city in the morning and most afternoons, although there will ample time free for individual explorations. Our goal is to give participants the opportunity to experience all of the city’s major artistic and historical sites in depth, with expert guidance and without the haste that unfortunately characterizes mass tourism. For those who wish to extend their stay and experience another historic element of Florentine culture, we off a three-night supplemental itinerary immediately following the conclusion of the main tour. It includes a three night stay in a traditional four-star hotel in the Chianti wine region, a tour of the production facility and cellars of two of Chianti’s best known and respected vintners, as well a private luxury wine tasting meal hosted by the Consorzio del Gall Nero at its traditional home in Radda in Chianti. From Chianti we will also make a day visit to Florence’s great medieval rival, Siena to visit its spectacular cathedral and the Palazzo Pubblico. The tour leaders will be Francis J. Ambrosio, Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown MyDante Project, and Ms. Deborah Warin, Director, Renaissance Tours Company, LLC, former Director of Continuing Education and lecturer at Georgetown University, and author of the forthcoming book, Battista Sforza and the Court of Urbino. Together they have led more than 40 previous tours to Italy. The price of the main Florence Tour is $3,250.00 per person, exclusive of airfare. This price includes eight nights’ hotel accommodations (double occupancy) with breakfast, all entrance fees and guided tours by the tour leaders as indicated in the itinerary and subject to the specified conditions; also included are the welcome reception on the first evening of the tour. No other meals are included. Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully for full details. Airfare and ground transportation to and from the hotel in Florence are not included. Single occupancy rooms can be reserved, subject to availability at a supplementary cost of $650. The price of the supplemental three night Chianti/Siena itinerary is $1,350 per person. This includes hotel accommodations (double occupancy) with breakfast, all transfers and admissions, visits to two major Chianti wineries and a wine tasting. Also included is the private gourmet wine tasting meal. The supplementary itinerary concludes with a return transfer by bus to the Florence airport; no other meals or transportation are included. Single occupancy rooms can be reserved, subject to availability, at a supplementary cost of $240.
  • Detailed Itinerary
    Saturday, October 10 Welcoming reception at the hotel beginning at 6:30 pm., followed by an introduction to the program. Sunday, October 11 This morning we begin with a walking tour of Dante’s Florence, following the circuit of the walls of the medieval town. In the afternoon we visit the magnificent Uffizi Gallery tracing the development of Medieval and Renaissance art. Monday, October 12 Today is dedicated to visiting the churches of the two great medieval Orders that played crucial formative roles in the development of the Florentine Renaissance, the Franciscans and Dominicans. First, in the morning we visit Santa Maria Novella, founded by the Dominicans and the site of Masaccio’s revolutionary fresco, The Holy Trinity. Then, in the afternoon we cross the town to visit the Franciscans’ Santa Croce, with its magnificent frescoes by Giotto and the tomb of Michelangelo. Tuesday, October 13 In the morning, we visit the Convento San Marco to see its beautiful frescoes by Fra Angelico. From there, we walk to the Palazzo Medici to see the fabulously restored frescoes there in the private chapel by Benozzo Gozzoli. The afternoon is free to allow you some time to get acquainted (or reacquainted) with the magnificent city of Florence on your own. Wednesday, October 14 The day with a tour of the spectacular Palazzo Pitti and the Galaria Palatina, including famous works by Raphael, Titian, and Lippi to name but a few. In the afternoon, we visit the small but enormously important Brancacci Chapel with its frescoes by Masaccio – a fresco cycle that revolutionized western art with Masaccio’s use of the new principles of perspective and chiaroscuro as well as his unique ability to imbue his figures with human emotion. Thursday, October 15 In the morning we visit the National Sculpture Museum in the Bargello, where the work of Donatello, including his David, and the della Robbias is featured in an exceptionally evocative setting. From the Bargello, we go on to visit the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, where we shall find, among many riches, Donatello’s sublime Mary Magdalene and Michelangelo’s Florentine Pieta. The afternoon is free in Florence. Friday, October 16 This morning, we visit the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall and seat of government of Florence for more than 800 years. In the afternoon, we take a short excursion to one of the most scenic spots from which to view the city, the Church of San Miniato, the oldest and, many would say, the most striking of the city’s great Churches. Saturday, October 17 This morning we visit the most well-known sites associated with Michelangelo in the city of Florence: the Galleria dell’ Accademia to see the David and the Bound Slaves; the Church of San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapel with its extraordinarily powerful tomb sculptures, and the Laurentian library. The remainder of the day is free for a last leisurely afternoon and eveing enjoying the dignified charm of Florence Supplemental Itinerary, Chianti and Siena, October 18- 21, 2020 Sunday, October 18 Departing our hotel in Florence we our excursion through the Chianti wine district heading for the heart of the “Chianti Classico” territory where we spend three nights. On the first day we immerse ourselves in the rich traditions of Chianti production, including the origins of the DOCG designation which controls the use of appellation “Chianti Classico,” and a tour of the fattoria (production facility) and cantina (cellars) of one of Chianti’s most renowned producers. Monday, October 19 From our hotel we make a short trip to Siena, the famed home of the Palio horse-race, and visit the uniquely impressive twin icons of Sienese identity, its stunning Cathedral, together with its museum housing Duccio’s masterpiece, the Maesta`, and Palazzo Publico with its tower dominating the Campo (main city piazza) and its artistic treasury of works by Simone Martini and Piero and Ambrogio Lorenzetti. After free time in Siena, we then return to our hotel for an evening at leisure. Tuesday, October 20 Our morning is spent in the charming town of Castellina in Chianti including a visit to a second major producer. The afternoon is at leisure after our return to our hotel in anticipation of our culminating event, a gourmet Tuscan Feast with a pairing of exceptional wines that showcase the region at it very best. The meal will be preceded by a private tour of the converted Franciscan convent that is now the home of the Consorzio del Gallo Nero, the “league of the Black Rooster,” the official governing body charged with the responsibility of safeguarding and promoting the reputation of one of Italy’s most highly esteemed cultural products – Chianti Classico Wednesday, October 21 We leave our hotel in Chianti by bus traveling to the Florence Airport to accommodate those with flights from there and then to central Florence near the train station for those who need to make rail connections. The tour concludes upon our return to Florence.
  • Cost of the Tour and Program Notes
    Cost of the Tour: Air Travel: Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from Florence. Ideally, participants should plan to arrive at the hotel on October 6 in time for the welcome reception at 6:30 pm. All arrangements for and costs of extended stays before and after the tour, or the supplementary itinerary are the sole responsibility of participants. N.B. Our arrival at the Florence airport is estimated for mid to late morning on Wednesday, October 21. We cannot, however, guarantee a specific arrival time. Participants who wish to schedule a flight from Florence earlier than Tuesday afternoon, should be aware that they may need to make their own arrangement for an early departure from the hotel via private car service. Accommodations and Meals: Cost is based on double occupancy at the hotels; some single rooms may be available at a supplemental cost to the participant. Breakfast at the Hotel each day is included; the welcome reception, wine tasting and one group dinner in Chianti are also included. No other meals are included. Level of Physical Activity: The nature of the tour schedule and the type of sites which the group will visit make for a moderately strenuous routine; those who experience difficulty walking distances at a normal pace or otherwise need to limit their physical activity should consult with the tour leaders prior to reserving space. The Directors reserve the right to limit individual participation in group activities in cases where the group’s interests might be adversely affected. Reservations: To enhance the educational opportunity and enjoyment for all participants, places on the tour are strictly limited to no more than twenty. Places on the tour will be reserved in the order in which deposits are received. Please use the Reservation Form and mail it with deposit to the address indicated. All details of the itinerary subject to change based on availability of accommodations, changes in opening/closing schedules, acts of God and other conditions beyond the control of the tour directors. Be sure to read the Terms and Conditions carefully before submitting a deposit. Terms and Conditions The total cost of the primary tour is $3,250. Prices include hotel accommodations (double occupancy) with breakfast, all entrance fees and guided tours as indicated in the itinerary and subject to the specified conditions; also included is the welcome reception on the first evening of the tour. the wine tasting in Chianti and the final group dinner. No other meals are included. Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully for full details. Airfare and ground transportation are not included. The total cost of the supplementary itinerary is $1,325.00. This price includes hotel accommodations (double occupancy) with breakfast, ground transportation by air conditioned coach during the itinerary, all entrance fees and guided tours as indicated in the itinerary and subject to the specified conditions; also included is the wine tasting in Chianti and the final group dinner. No other meals are included. Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully for full details. Airfare and ground transportation other than listed in the itineraries are not included. Enrollment is determined by date of receipt of a deposit of $1,000 per traveler, which shall be refundable according to the conditions of the stated cancellation policy. Payment in full is due by September 1, 2020. Cancellation Policy * After receipt of the deposit, cancellation by the participant will be subject to a minimum $150 per person cancellation fee. * Cancellation after 90 days prior to the commencement of the tour will result in forfeiture of the full amount of the deposit ($1000.). * Cancellation after September 1 or “no show” at the commencement of the tour will result in forfeiture of the full cost of the trip per person. All tours are offered on condition of sufficient enrollment. If the offer of a tour must be withdrawn at any time due to insufficient enrollment, all deposits and additional payments will be refunded and this will constitute full satisfaction of all claims by participants on the Renaissance Company. Therefore the purchase of trip cancellation insurance through a third party vendor is strongly recommended. *** In view of the statutory or contractual limitations which may apply to personal injury or property damage losses, the purchase of accident and baggage insurance, is strongly recommended, as well as trip cancellation insurance, is strongly recommended.*** Responsibility The Renaissance Company, LLC, and its representatives act only as agents in making arrangements for hotels, transportation, sightseeing, restaurants or any other services in connection with the itinerary, and they will exercise reasonable care in making such arrangements. However, they do not assume any liability whatsoever for any injury, damage, loss, accident or delay to person and property due to any act of default of any hotel, carrier, restaurant, company or person rendering any of the services included in the tour. The tickets, coupons, tariffs, rules or contracts currently in use by any carrier, hotel, restaurant or other rendering service shall constitute the sole contract between such contractor and the tour member. Baggage and personal effects are the sole responsibility of the owners at all times. Further, the Renaissance Company and its representative agents accept no responsibility for any damage or delay due to sickness, pilferage, labor disputes, machinery breakdown, quarantine, government restraints, weather or any other cause beyond their personal control. The right is reserved to cancel or change itineraries or substitute services without notice, and to decline to accept any tour member at any time, when such action is determined to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or individual. No carrier shall be responsible for any act, omission or event during the time passengers are not on board its own conveyance. Finally, the Renaissance Company bears no responsibility whatsoever for any travel arrangements made by individual travelers that do not form part of the published itinerary. Extensions of stay, hotel accommodations beyond those indicated in the program, early arrivals or departures, hotel charges not included in the basic room rate including but not limited to telephone, beverages and meals, and hotel services, and all other arrangements undertaken at the initiative of individual participants are the sole responsibility of the individual. No change can be made in group plans or schedules to accommodate such arrangements.
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