Center for Arts & Letters Study Trip

Ireland scenery

Center for Arts and Letters Selects Italy for 2019 Destination

From the ancient, classical city of Florence to the quaint, picturesque hilltop and hill-hugging villages of central Italy, the Center for Arts and letters’ Italy excursion, April 24-May 3, 2019, promises treasured, lifelong memories.

En route to Florence, we will wend our way through Tuscany’s Val d”Orcia with a lunch stop in the medieval village of Pienza. While in Florence, one of Italy’s most beautiful cities and a treasure-trove of architectural and artistic gems, we will take a walking tour to see the Accademia and Michelangelo’s David, the Baptistry and its celebrated bronze doors, and the Uffizi Gallery where works of Leonardo, Botticelli and Michelangelo reside. The afternoon will be yours to explore Ponte Vecchio and other enticing city attractions.

We will travel to Puccini’s birthplace, Lucca, a pretty Romanesque town surrounded by massive red brick walls. After a walking tour and optional Mass, we will continue to La Spezia to enjoy the beauty of the Ligurian Sea and board a boat (weather permitting) to the hill-hugging villages of Cinque Terre. After dinner in Vernazza, we will return to La Spezia by train.  

Visits to Volterra and San Gimignano, two stony villages that dot northern Tuscany’s hills, will include explorations of Volterra’s 800-year-old town hall and San Gimignano’s famous medieval towers, cobbled streets and hidden squares. Next, we will head to Siena, a remarkably preserved medieval town and home to the Duomo, one of the finest Gothic cathedrals in Italy, and the Piazza del Campo, famous for its Palio horse race.

Leaving Siena, we will travel to Umbria’s most beautiful town—Assisi. A local guide will acquaint us with the life of Saint Francis and take us to the Basilica di San Francesco where St. Francis is buried. We will have time to explore Assisi on our own.

We end our trip in Tivoli where a local guide will take us through two of the city’s UNESCO World Heritage sights—Emperor Hadrian’s Villa and the majestic Renaissance Villa d’Este and its enchanting gardens and magnificent fountains. We will cap our tour with an unforgettable dinner at The Ancient Baths of Diana, a subterranean restaurant on the site of a Roman bath built 2,000 years ago.

For a trip brochure, contact the Center for Arts and Letters, 816-501-4607 or