The Undiscovered Italy (waitlist only) April 14 - 23, 2020

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 Bent

A graduate of Oberlin College with a PhD in Art History from Stanford University, George came to Washington and Lee University in 1993 and has been a member of the faculty ever since. He teaches courses in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art history, and specializes in 13th- and 14th-century Italian art and culture. A two-time holder of Fulbright grants to Italy, he has written about artistic production, the function of liturgical images, and institutional patronage in early Renaissance Florence, and in 2006 published Monastic Art in Lorenzo Monaco's Florence. More recently, he completed the filming of a DVD lecture course on the art and life of Leonardo da Vinci for the Great Courses Company. He co-founded Washington and Lee's interdisciplinary program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, chaired it from 2000 to 2003, and served as Associate Dean of the College from 2003-2006. He has chaired the Department of Art and Art History twice, from 2001 to 2003 and from 2008 to the present.