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Overview

A truly unforgettable adventure

There is no better way to visit Tuscany and Rome than by taking advantage of Stanford contacts forged over 50 years of the University’s landmark Bing Overseas Studies Program in Florence. Gain insider access to monuments and museums, led by outstanding guides and faculty leader Emanuele Lugli.

Experience traditional Tuscan life firsthand during a four-night stay at a 13th-century castello in the fortified village of Gargonza, lovingly restored by our hosts, the Guicciardini family. Take your trackside seat at the legendary Palio in Siena—an unforgettable, once-in-a-lifetime experience. Bookend this time in Tuscany with stays in Rome and Florence, exploring ancient sites and viewing Renaissance masterpieces.

Dates

June 26–July 5, 2023

Duration

10 days

Price

From $10,995 per person

Minimum age

18 years
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Faculty leader

A different kind of classroom

With renowned Stanford faculty and scholars leading the way, every Travel/Study trip is a one-of-a-kind educational experience.

Emanuele Lugli

Department of Art and Art History

Professor Lugli teaches and writes about late medieval and early modern art, with a particular emphasis on Italian painting, trade, urban culture and the history of fashion.

Itinerary

From ancient Rome to the sun-soaked Tuscan countryside

Begin in Rome, with its ancient city and the treasure-filled Vatican. Then travel to the Tuscan countryside, where we stay in a restored and privately owned, 13th-century walled village. During our time there, we’ll explore two magnificent Tuscan hill towns, Cortona and Siena, as well as attend the Palio. End with two nights in Florence for an overview of Renaissance art and architecture.

  • Rome, Italy

    Arrive in Rome and transfer to our deluxe hotel, conveniently located in the heart of the city’s historic district, which is closed to traffic. Meet fellow participants at this evening’s welcome reception.

    Accommodations:

    Palazzo Ripetta

  • Rome

    Begin the day with a walking tour of Rome’s historic city center, visiting renowned monuments including the Pantheon and the baroque Trevi Fountain, immortalized in such films as Roman Holiday and Fellini’s La Dolce Vita. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, then gather for dinner this evening.

    Accommodations:

    Palazzo Ripetta

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Rome

    Explore the Eternal City’s ancient side this morning on a walking tour to visit the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum. After an afternoon at leisure, gather for a special after-hours visit to the Vatican Museums. Free from the crowds, view room after room of masterpieces by Giotto, Botticelli, Caravaggio and Raphael, culminating in the masterfully restored Sistine Chapel.

    Accommodations:

    Palazzo Ripetta

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Rome / Gargonza

    This morning, head to the Borghese Gallery, an outstanding museum that houses paintings by Titian, Tintoretto, Botticelli and others, as well as a stunning array of sculpture, including Canova’s once-scandalous Venus Victorius. After lunch on our own, drive north to the Tuscan countryside and the tiny medieval hamlet of Gargonza, our home for the next four days.

    Accommodations:

    Castello di Gargonza

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Siena

    Devote the morning to Tuscany’s medieval landmark, the remarkable hill town of Siena with its incomparable art and architecture. This exquisitely preserved city, whose historic center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is closed to traffic and lined with lively cafés and shops, retains its ancient grandeur and captures the essence of what Tuscany was like in the Middle Ages. On our walking tour, marvel at the famous shell-shaped Piazza del Campo, the Palazzo Pubblico with its stunning frescoes, and the Cathedral with its brilliant marble façade. After lunch on our own at one of Siena’s many delightful trattorie, return to Gorgonza for an afternoon of relaxation.

    Accommodations:

    Castello di Gargonza

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Cortona

    Enjoy an easygoing day in the archetypal Tuscan hill town of Cortona, setting for Elizabeth Romer’s memorable book, Under the Tuscan Sun. Delve into the mysterious world of the ancient Etruscan civilization with a visit to the Museum of the Etruscan Academy and of the City of Cortona to see its extraordinary archaeological finds and appreciate the Annunciazione di Cortona by Fra Angelico in the Diocesan Museum. Enjoy lunch independently, then return to Gargonza in the mid-afternoon.

    Accommodations:

    Castello di Gargonza

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Siena

    After a cooking demonstration in the morning, travel back to Siena to witness one of the world’s most spectacular medieval pageants: the Palio. We arrive after lunch, in time to stroll the feverishly busy piazzas and streets, as members of the city’s competing districts known as contrade make their final preparations. Later, we take our trackside seats above the crowd of 50,000 for the magnificent Historic Procession, with its exquisite costumes and master flag throwers—all culminating in a wild, bareback horse race around the Piazza del Campo.

    Accommodations:

    Castello di Gargonza

    Included meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner
  • Gargonza / Florence

    Bid farewell to Gargonza and drive north to Florence, stopping en route for a memorable lunch set against the scenic backdrop of Chianti’s rolling hills at the Badia a Coltibuono, an 11th-century abbey, vineyard and cooking school famous for its fine wines, flavorful olive oil and outstanding cuisine. Arrive in Florence in the late afternoon and take a brief walking tour of the city’s historic center.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel St. Regis

    Included meals: Breakfast and lunch
  • Florence

    Rise early for a walking tour to explore Florence through the centuries. Stroll along narrow streets, past the fortified houses and towers that marked the medieval town. Then emerge onto the Piazza della Signoria, political center of the city since the Renaissance. Conclude at the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, whose collection includes a Pietà by Michelangelo along with many of the tools and machines created to construct the cathedral’s massive dome. After lunch on our own, encounter Michelangelo’s peerless David and the evocative Prisoners at the Galleria dell’Accademia.

    Accommodations:

    Hotel St. Regis

    Included meals: Breakfast and dinner
  • Florence / Home

    Depart Florence on return flights headed home.

    Included meal: Breakfast

Trip details

Start preparing for the trip of a lifetime

From top to bottom, we’ve taken care of all the details, so you can enjoy a no-stress, worry-free travel experience.

Pricing

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The price of your trip covers a comprehensive educational program in addition to meals, accommodations, tours and excursions. Continue reading for a full list of what’s included.

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