Tuscany and the Rise of the Renaissance April 21-29 (waitlist only) and May 1-9, 2017
Every year, it seems, we must return to Italy. By now, our affections have earned the active support of W&L's esteemed Italian Renaissance art historian George Bent, who will guide this special art and architectural tour of Siena, Arezzo, Pienza, the wine region of Chianti, and, as our post-tour option, Florence.
Siena is well known as Italy's loveliest medieval city and her most famous hill town. Blessed both by geography and centuries of art patronage, the city spans three hills and at least 2,000 years. Siena's heart is its central piazza, Il Campo, the location of the world's most famous and most riotous horse race, the Palio. Siena will be our base for an eight-day tour of Tuscany and the towns that gave birth to the Italian Renaissance. We'll have ample opportunity to view several of the masterpieces by Michelangelo, Donatello, Vasari, and Bernini as well as the culture and landscape that gave them inspiration. We'll enjoy guided visits to museums and private collections, but also private receptions, gardens, and the wineries of Chianti. Among these special visits will be a private luncheon and tour of the historic villa and gardens of a major Italian art collector. Our day trips will bring us to Arezzo, home of Piero della Francesca, and several of the small hill towns for which southern Tuscany is so beloved.
Our home in Siena will be the four-star Hotel Athena, conveniently located within the walls of the old town. We do recommend the optional three-day extension to Florence, the seat of the Renaissance, whose collections of Renaissance masters has no peer. Early interest has already indicated that this will be a very popular choice for our travelers.