Artists in Tuscany:
The Pleasure of Looking
Here is our daily itinerary. We will travel to sites within Tuscany that are seldom included in tours and that I believe are of special visual interest. I have enlisted local experts, whom I know, to guide us in Florence and through Tuscany’s landscape of vineyards, olive groves, and cypress.
Day 1 | settling in
Transfer from Florence to our villa, La Casa Gialla. Unpack, unwind, relax, and enjoy the villa! Prior to dinner a guest lecturer will bring Tuscany’s history alive for us, setting the stage for our coming week’s adventures.
day 2 | culinary tour
Today we embark on a culinary tour of the region. We’ll meet farmers and food artisans, stop in ancient villages to sample oil, wine, and other unique Tuscan products.
day 3 | il duomo
To Florence where our expert guide will lead us through the newly refurbished Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, the museum that best displays the golden age of art in Florence. We’ll focus on the exquisite work of three masters there: Brunelleschi, Ghiberti, and Donatello. We’ll then stop in the Bapistery, the oldest building in Florence to see the magnificent mosaics on the ceiling, walls, and floors.
day 4 | Piero della Francesca Trail
Today we embark with our guide on the Piero della Francesca Trail, an experience that many say is the most rewarding art itinerary in Italy. We will see paintings by this 15th c. master first in Arezzo, then in the farming village of Monterchi, and on to the artist’s birthplace in Sansepolcro.
day 5 | Florence
To Florence’s Convent of San Marco where we will see the exquisite art of Fra Angelico while our guide offers insights into Medici patronage. We’ll cross the street to the Cenacolo di Sant’Apollonia to see Andrea del Castagno’s Last Supper, perhaps the most unusual version of the event painted during the Renaissance. Following a lunch break we’ll head into the botteghe of the Oltrarno visiting studios of several Florentine artisans, including a unique presentation given by a restoration specialist on the secrets of art restoration. Later, at La Casa Gialla, we will enjoy an evening presentation given by a contemporary artist.
day 6 | wine tasting
Free morning at villa, with time for painting, sketching, swimming, relaxing. Afternoon excursion to a Chianti Classico Consortium tasting room in a beautifully restored ancient monastery. Later we’ll stop in the village of Radda for touring and shopping. Upon our return to La Casa Gialla an Italian chef will teach us how to prepare a homemade pasta feast.
day 7 | Siena
Today we visit Siena, Florence’s rival and a World Heritage medieval city. We’ll begin with a walking tour through the city’s medieval center to Piazza del Campo. We will visit the fascinating city archive collection at Museo delle Tavolette di Biccherna, stop to see the Duomo’s exquisite black and white pavement and to see the Libreria Piccolomini’s frescoes. We finish with the fresco treasures and Etruscan collection in Santa Maria della Scala.