Our itineraries are rich but not rushed. Savor each experience free from the logistical worries of travel, while enjoying comfortable, well-appointed inns, palazzi, castelli, villas, cloisters, and charming hotels – with enough time to discover each place on your own after the guided visits each day. Our tours are planned to minimize multiple hotel moves. On each tour we stay in a few carefully chosen accommodations to allow for a breadth of experience of each region without a lot of unnecessary packing and repacking.
In addition to our announced tours below, The Renaissance Company offers a wide range of programs custom designed for specific groups, educational institutions, businesses, and diverse organizations seeking itineraries and theme oriented travel. We are happy to speak with you about an offering tailored to the interests of your group.
The Renaissance in Florence:
From Medieval to Modern
September 30 – October 9, 2023
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. The city of Florence was the epicenter of this wave of transformative cultural energy. Through the 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 be ample free time for individual explorations. Our goal is to allow participants to experience almost all of the city's major artistic and historical sites in-depth, with expert guidance and without the haste that unfortunately characterizes mass tourism.
The tour leaders will be Francis J. Ambrosio, Professor of Philosophy at Georgetown University and Director of the Georgetown MyDante Project, and Deborah Ross 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 Florence Tour is $3,975.00 per person, exclusive of airfare. This price includes nine 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, and a celebratory group dinner on the final evening of the tour. No other meals are included. Airfare and ground transportation to and from the hotel in Florence are not included. Single occupancy rooms can be reserved, subject to availability at the hotel, at a supplementary cost of $750.00. Please read the Terms and Conditions carefully for complete details.
Saturday, September 30
Welcoming reception at the hotel beginning at 6:00 pm., followed by an introduction to the program.
Sunday, October 1
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 one of the two major museums associated with the Medici Grand Dukes of Florence, the Uffizi Gallery, where we will see the chronological display of the great masters of the Tuscan and, specifically, the Florentine Renaissance.
Monday, October 2
Today our program begins with a visit to the Cathedral complex, including the Baptistry, Giotto’ Campanile, and the Museum of the Opera del Duomo, where we shall find, among many riches, Donatello's sublime Mary Magdalene and Michelangelo's Florentine Pieta.
In the afternoon, we take a short excursion to one of the most scenic spots to view the city, the Church of San Miniato, the oldest and, many would say, the most striking of the city's great churches.
Tuesday, October 3
This morning, we visit the civic center of Florence, the Piazza Signoria, and the Palazzo Vecchio, the town hall and seat of the city's government for more than 800 years.
The afternoon is free in Florence for you to explore on your own and begin to make your own personal acquaintance with the city.
Wednesday, October 4
This morning is dedicated to visiting one of the two magnificent Basilicas in Florence that were home to two of the significant medieval Orders that played crucial formative roles in the development of the Florentine Renaissance, the Franciscans and the Dominicans. In the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, founded by the Dominicans in 1254, we find Masaccio's revolutionary fresco, The Holy Trinity, together with works by Giotto and Ghirlandaio. We then go on to visit the Bargello, the National Sculpture Museum. Later, we cross the town to see the Franciscans' Santa Croce, with its magnificent frescoes by Giotto and the tomb of Michelangelo.
In the afternoon, we visit the small but enormously important Brancacci Chapel with its frescoes by Masaccio. Masaccio's fresco cycle revolutionized western art with the artist'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 5
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 in the private chapel by Benozzo Gozzoli.
The afternoon is free to continue becoming familiar with the neighborhoods and markets of the city as well as some of its many fascinating attractions not on our itinerary.
Friday, October 6
This morning we tour 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. After visiting the Accademia, we will walk to the Medici parish church of the Chiesa di San Lorenzo begun by Brunelleschi in 1420. One of the earliest and most important examples of the master's architectural theory. Within the church are the dramatic pulpits by Donatello and Brunelleschi's masterpiece, the Old Sacristy, decorated with Donatello's adornment of reliefs of scenes from the life of St. John. During our visit, we will see the Laurentian Library commissioned by Lorenzo the Magnificent and later the funereal Medici Chapel, Michelangelo's first architectural work. Within the chapel are Michelangelo's haunting, extraordinary tomb sculptures, Dawn and Dusk, and Night and Day.
Saturday, October 7
We begin the day with a visit to the Basilica of Santa Croce, the home Church of the Franciscan Order in Florence, like the Dominicans, who played a central role in the cultural development of Florence. Among numerous masterworks, it contains the Pazzi Chapel, a textbook example of Florentine Renaissance architecture, the Tomb of Michelangelo, and the Cenotaph commemorating Dante Alighieri, whose body still today rests in Ravenna, his final refuge after his long exile from his beloved hometown.
The afternoon is again free to continue visiting some of the sites, which our itinerary cannot include.
Sunday, October 8
The day begins 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.
The remainder of the day is free for a last leisurely afternoon and evening, enjoying the dignified charm of Florence.
Monday, October 9
The tour concludes with individual departures from our hotel.
Air Travel: Participants are responsible for arranging their own transportation to and from Florence. Ideally, participants should plan to arrive at the hotel on Saturday, September 30, in time for the welcome reception at 6:00 pm. All arrangements for and costs of extended stays before and after the tour are the sole responsibility of participants.
Accommodations and Meals: The cost is based on double occupancy at the hotels; some single rooms may be available at an additional cost to the participant. Breakfast at the hotel each day is included, as well as the welcome reception and the Group dinner on the final evening of the tour. No other meals are included.
Level of Physical Activity: The nature of the tour schedule and the type of sites that the group will visit make for a moderately strenuous routine; those who have difficulty walking distances at a normal pace or otherwise need to limit their physical activity should consult with the tour leaders before reserving space. The Directors reserve the right to restrict individual participation in group activities in cases where the group's interests might be adversely affected.
Reservations: Places on the tour are strictly limited to no more than 18 to enhance the educational opportunity and enjoyment for all participants. Please use the Reservation Form on our website and mail it with a deposit to the address indicated.
Places on the tour will be reserved in the order in which deposits are received.
All itinerary details are subject to change based on the availability of accommodations, modifications 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 tour is $3,975.00. 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 are the welcome reception on the first evening of the tour and the Farewell dinner.
Airfare and ground transportation other than those listed in the itineraries are not included.
Registration: Enrollment is determined by the date of receipt of a $150.00 (One Hundred Fifty dollar) deposit per traveler for the tour. Deposits must be received by April 30, 2023, to guarantee a reservation. Registration after that date will be considered strictly on a space-available basis. Deposits for reserved spaces are non-refundable, except in the case of cancellation of the tour due to insufficient registration, as judged solely at the discretion of the Renaissance Company. Full payment of the remaining balance is required by August 31, 2023.
* Cancellation after August 31 or “no show” at the commencement of the tour will result in forfeiture of the total cost of the tour.
All tours are offered on the condition of sufficient enrollment. If the offer of a trip must be withdrawn at any time due to insufficient enrollment, all deposits made 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, as well as trip cancellation insurance, is strongly recommended.***
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. 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 services 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, 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.