Tuscany 2020 Itinerary
DAY 1 Sat. Oct. 17th Arrive in TUSCANY
Buongiorno! Welcome to Florence, the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’.
Today we gather at the Wall Art Hotel in Prato just outside Florence to greet each other, meet our Tour Guide, and get settled in our spacious hotel rooms. Later in the evening we join for a memorable Welcome Dinner in the hotel to officially kick off our adventure and enjoy some fun activities to learn more about the trip and each other.
About Our Daily Itinerary:
We stay at the same hotel for the entire week, and every morning we follow the same schedule (except for departure day).
At 8:00 a.m. we enjoy the option of joining a gentle morning yoga class for an hour led by the compassionate and joyous Kate Marshall Flaherty. (Please note: if you’ve been on an Inkslingers trip before, yoga is an hour later this trip. You requested and we listened!) The complimentary buffet breakfast is available in the hotel quite early. We gather with our fellow travelers at 10:00 a.m. for the group writing workshop until 12:30.
Participants are responsible for lunches, so we provide the time to enjoy lunch in the immediate area or provide locations to share a repast once we’ve arrived at the first museum or other exciting location for the day. Each afternoon we provide optional opportunities for sightseeing and travelling. We have our own bus and driver/guide to take us to the sites, restaurants and hotel.
It is your writing/yoga retreat. Feel free to select the activity, or opportunity to relax that suits you best. If you prefer to be alone any day, just let us know. Our hotel is close to local shops and restaurants. It is also near the train station if you would prefer to explore Florence and Tuscany on your own.
DAY 2 Sun., Sat. Oct. 18th Afternoon in FLORENCE
After lunch, we meet our Local Specialist for a stroll through the markets of Florence before admiring the scenic view on the Ponte Vecchio straddling the Arno River.
Later we visit the San Marco Museum, This consists of the former Dominican convent restored by Cosimo the Elder de’ Medici. The museum also has a very beautiful Last Supper frescoed by Domenico Ghirlandaio, and features the oldest library in Florence.
This evening we encourage participants to explore the old parts of the city, walking the same streets where D.H.Lawrence ambled as he wrote Lady Chatterley’s Lover, and enjoy a scrumptious Italian dinner at one of the many fabulous Italian restaurants.
DAY 3 Mon., Sat. Oct. 19th Afternoon/Evening in SIENA & SAN GIMIGNANO
This afternoon we visit the beautifully preserved medieval city of Siena to see the 13th-century marble Cathedral and the shell-shaped Piazza del Campo which hosts the biannual Palio horse race.
We later venture to the walled medieval town of San Gimignano, renowned for the dozen Medieval towers that remain of the 72 constructed by feuding families at the height of the Renaissance. This location was the setting of E. M. Forster’s 1905 novel, Where Angels Fear to Tread, and The Broker by John Grisham.
We enjoy a group dinner here tonight in a local restaurant before returning to the hotel.
DAY 4 Tues., Sat. Oct. 20th Afternoon in FIESOLE & FLORENCE
Today we start the afternoon in the village of Fiesole for a visit to a beautiful town which boasts one of the best views of the Arne River valley and the city of Florence.
Later we enjoy a demonstration revealing the centuries-old Florentine trade of leatherwork, followed by some shopping, before returning to the hotel.
This evening dinner is at our leisure.
DAY 5 Wed., Sat. Oct. 21st Free Afternoon
Wednesday is always our FREE DAY. We can journey about in the company of fellow participants, wander alone, or relax in our rooms.
The coach is available should we decide to organize a shopping excursion or a short sight-seeing excursion. Our Tour Guide may have some suggestions that we could consider.
DAY 6 Thurs., Sat. Oct. 22nd Afternoon/Evening in LUCCA & PISA
Today we explore the beautiful city of Lucca, birthplace of composer Giacomo Puccini.
Later we journey to the nearby town of Pisa where we view the famous Leaning Tower, the finely sculpted marble Cathedral and the ornate Baptistery, said to be the largest in Italy.
We continue through Tuscany, arriving in Vinci where we ‘Dive Into Culture’ at Museo Leonardiano and gain a deeper understanding of the life of this talented master. Models of Leonardo da Vinci’s many machines and inventions, his sketches and handwritten notes, as well as interactive exhibits, are featured during our visit.
Tonight we ‘Connect With Locals’ at the Agriturismo Borgo Vigna Vecchia where we will enjoy an exclusive ‘Be My Guest’ group dinner surrounded by vineyards and olive groves.
DAY 7 Fri. Sat. Oct. 23rd The great FLORENCE Museums
This afternoon we visit the masterpieces of Michelangelo, Botticelli and Da Vinci in Florence’s showcase museums, the Uffizi Gallery and the Academy of Fine Arts.
Here we’ll learn all about the life and works of these immortal Renaissance artists through the expert commentary of our Local Specialist for the afternoon.
Dinner follows in the city at our leisure.
DAY 8 Sat. Sat. Oct. 24th The Duomo & The Bargello
Our Local Specialist today reveals the history of Renaissance Florence during our walking tour.
We visit the magnificent Duomo and the Bargello Museum.
Our love affair with Italy’s great Renaissance comes to an end this evening as we enjoy a Farewell Dinner in the hotel, followed by a selection of short readings. Each one of us is encouraged to share a piece of writing created during this fabulous week.
DAY 9 Sun. Sat. Oct. 25th Depart FLORENCE
This morning our memorable encounter with one of Italy’s most inspiring regions comes to an end.
Since most flights to North America leave in the early afternoon, we board our coach to the Florence airport right after breakfast. It’s arriverderci, but not farewell forever as we say goodbye.