The Undiscovered Italy
The Undiscovered Italy
April 15 - 24, 2021
From $4,295 from Washington, D.C
The gentle breezes off the Mediterranean in southern Italy are balmy and fragrant in April. Beyond its sensual allure, southern Italy is a treasure trove of art and history. With their abundant sun and hospitality, Puglia and Calabria offer enchanted landscapes as well as towns and cities rich in history and distinctive cultural traditions. Romanesque and Baroque cathedrals and monuments dominate town squares, while venerable palaces, rusticated by the centuries, offer clues to southern Italy's storied past.
Our itinerary begins in Reggio, Calabria, at the rocky tip of the Italian peninsula. Here, among several highlights, we'll behold the renowned Riace Bronzes, two magnificent bronze statues of Greek warriors dating from the mid-fifth century BCE discovered off the coast in 1972. Today they stand as one of the most eloquent expressions of the ancient Mediterranean. From Reggio we'll move on to several picturesque towns in the Apennines-beautiful Locri and Gerace-as well as the vineyards of Aspromonte. After a charming interlude in Matera, a UNESCO Heritage site, we'll spend our first night in Puglia in the little baroque gem of Martina Franca. Our visits in Apulia include Ostuni, with its sea of silvery olive groves, and then we move on to the luscious agriculture of Trulli Valley and Alberobello, another UNESCO site. Lecce, Puglia's Florence of the South well known for its stunning Palazzo Tamborino, and historic Bari, the capital of Puglia, will complete our tour.
This exceptional Traveller program will be an introduction - and, inevitably a celebration - of an Italy not yet on the beaten path. With breathtaking natural beauty, delicious cuisine, friendly people and fascinating historical sites, the Undiscovered Italy will both astonish and delight. Please note that this all-inclusive package includes roundtrip air from the U.S.
Traveling With You
George R. Bent is the Sidney Gause Childress Professor of the Arts at Washington and Lee University. Bent received his B.A. in European History from Oberlin College in 1985 and his Ph.D. in Art History from Stanford University in 1993. He came to Washington and Lee University in that year and has been a member of the faculty ever since. In addition to serving the university as Associate Dean of the College from 2003 to 2006, Bent co-founded W&L's interdisciplinary program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies and chaired the Department of Art and Art History from 2001 to 2003 and again from 2008 to 2014. He has written about artistic production in Italy from 1250 to 1420, the function of liturgical images, the economics of art, paintings in secular settings for common people (and their reception of those images), and institutional patronage in early Renaissance Florence. His two books – Monastic Art in Lorenzo Monaco’s Florence and Public Painting and Visual Culture in Early Republican Florence – address these subjects in detail, as do his current studies on late fourteenth-century Manuscript Painting in Florence. Prof. Bent is also Director of Florence As It Was, a digital project that uses 3D modeling, digitized transcriptions of documents, translations of early modern chronicles and mid twentieth-century art historical texts, and original content to capture the appearance of the city ca. 1500 (visit the site at http://florenceasitwas.wlu.edu). His wife, Lorri Olan, serves as Associate Director of Career Planning at W&L, and their three grown children think the world of her.