Senior Women's Travel

WHY FLORENCE?

Most cite Florence’s history, art, architecture as the draw. Visiting Florence’s artist’s workshops Is another big draw.

And, yes, Florence is a favorite shopping city, better than Rome or Venice,in my opinion, Big designer names are now over-the-top expensive. Who is buying those $4,000 pocketbooks? Instead check out the Florence Zara, a gem, with lots of trendy fashion at a price.

Eatng preferences run to lots of small tastes. Roberto Cavalli’s tiny coffee bar is a favorite for the coffee and keeping an eye on the chic locals. And the best hot chocolate and chocolate stop and over- the- moon gelato.

Calander of 2014
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FLORENCE FOCUS

2016 TBD

Whether it’s your first visit to Florence or you’ve been there many times, Florence always dazzles.

Some of the reasons we love Florence…

…History & Art…The Medici, Michaelangelo, Dante & so many others
…The Vasari Corridor…one of my top 3 attractions anywhere in the world
…The story of the Duomo & the genius of its chief architect, Brunelleschi
…Its style and sophistication, the best in shopping with top honors in jewelry, fashion and leathers.
…The Food…from  crostini to bistecca alla fiorentina (Tuscan porterhouse)
…Fun…Joy as in the Teatro del Sale, a crazy combo of buffet and entertainment

Our tour, FLORENCE FOCUS, is guaranteed to give you new insights into what makes Florence a unique destination with super star power. You will come away feeling you are an “insider”.

Day 1
Arrive in Florence. Transfer on your own to our boutique hotel.

5:30PM…We meet our guide, Siro who leads us on a central city orientation tour that gives us a clear picture of all the most important squares and celebrated  monuments.
Group dinner

Day 2
The Duomo, the iconic symbol of Florence comes alive  with our in depth study of this architectural wonder.Recommended reading, Brunelleschi’s Dome  by Ross King,a fascinating account  that chronicles the decades of building the Duomo and the genius of its main architect, Brunelleschi.

‘INFERNO’ stops as featured by  Dan Brown: Palazzo Vecchio,  Santa Margherita Church plus a brief discussion of Dante’s Diving Comedy and its place in the novel.

Evening…A rowdy evening at the Teatro del Sale where we’ll enjoy a bounteous buffet followed by entertainment. A unique experience and lots of fun.

Day 3…The Vasari Corridor…my personal favorite. This mile long walk is built above the street and  stretches from the inside of the Uffizi Gallery to the Pitti Palace You pass over the Ponte Vecchio, homes and even a church. Finish with the unique self-portrait gallery with hundreds of pictures donated by the artists.
To make this visit affordable, we take a public tour that includes an overview of the Uffizi.

Day 4 …
Florence has a legendary heritage of artisanal workshops. Our walk through the Oltrano neighborhood crammed with workshops , gives us an excellent picture of the state of Florence’s craftsmen and their work.
Lunch at Obika, in the courtyard of a Renaissance palace, weather permitting. Feast on 4 different kinds of buffalo mozzarella from the Naples area. Unlike most mozzarella you will find in the states. Other regional food is available. Delightful ambiance.
Afternoon free…for shopping and perhaps a coffee break at the newish Gucci Museum with its exhibit of the best of Gucci luggage and jewelry. I was thrilled to see a replica of a buckle bracelet and Maltese cross I own.

Stylish Siro, our Florence guide, epitomizes male chic… Jeans, of course, a silk blazer and his beloved red shoes. Italian chic for women: a tousle of hair, dozens of bracelets (yes, worn together) and those towering heels and their cell phone pinned to their ear.
Mozzarella Tasting @ Obika

Day 5
The Medici Family, no trip to Florence would be complete without an in depth delving into the history of this powerful family that was so much a part of Renaissance Florence. Visit the unfinished San Lorenzo church with its Michaelangelo designed family chapel and the tomb of the patriarch of the family, Lorenzo d’Magnifico.
Lunch at the City Market…a bustling large market with an array of the best in meat, poultry, cheese, vegetables.  We will  enjoy great food at one of several casual eating spots in the market or just outside the market.
Afternoon free…
Optional visit to the Accademia to see Michaelangelo’s David. We can make a reservation for you so you don’t have to wait on line.

Day 6…
A cooking class with lunch. There are lots of good cooking classes in Florence but they have erratic schedules. I will choose one that fits our schedule.

Aftrernoon: Time for last minute walk around Florence, shopping or relaxing at a cafe.

Farewell …Meet at the rooftop bar of the Excelsior Hotel. Have a cocktail and enjoy the fabulous view. A fitting farewell to Florence celebrating the beauty of the city.

 

Overflow Seating @ Top Sandwich Shop Smart Car glides through Florence's narrow streets. Antique Street Fair

Day 7…
Leave for home or join us in Venice - Beyond St. Mark's Square

 

 
Dan Brown's Inferno
 

CAN DAN BROWN’S NEW THRILLER, INFERNO, LURE YOU TO FLORENCE?

If you love Bond movies, find the unbelievable believable, you will love Dan Brown’s newest tale for all its preposterous twists and turns. The fact that this thriller spotlights Dante and Florence makes it worth the read.

I have made dozens of trips to Florence and I have to admit I have never been tempted by Dante, even though I consider myself a literary tourism enthusiast. I do Proust in Paris tours every year or so. But now, Dan Brown tempts me to visit and add many  new Florence venues to our Florence Focus itinerary:

…The Vasari Corridor is already on our Florence Focus schedule.

…The Palazzo Vecchio : Dante’s death mask, the hidden door behind the Armenia map, the search for the words “cerca trova” on Vasari’s giant mural in the Hall of 500. You will need binoculars to find the words that are in the upper right hand corner.

…Church of Santa Margherita to see the basket beside Beatrice’s tomb. Even though she was married to another and died at age 24. Dante loved her throughout his lifetime and she was an inspiration in his writings. Now the custom of lovers leaving  notes of hope and despair pleading for Beatrice’s intervention, still exists.

See Day 2 of itinerary  for “INFERNO” VISITS…

 

Cost: $3500 - 6 nights, single room, your own private room with no extra cost, breakfast , first night dinner and dinner at Teatro del Sale; cooking class, orientation tour, Medici family, Duomo and artisanal workshop tour. Not included: airfare, airport transfers, lunch, coffee stops, wine and alcoholic beverages, personal expenses.