Artists’ Tour – October 2016
10 Day Artists’ Tour in Tuscany
October 6 – 16, 2016
$1750 dbl. occupancy
If you’d like to walk through the hillsides of Tuscany, get new perspectives on renaissance art and architecture from people who are consummate local experts, explore homes, gardens and collections while everyday making your own art and, of course, eating very, very well, you will surely enjoy this personalized tour.
October 6 – 16, 2016
Come with me to Florence to experience the visual richness of the city and surrounding hills, the vivid light and the finest medieval and renaissance art where it was created. At the same time you will be comfortably ensconced in the quiet Oltrarno section of town, minutes away from downtown but out of the hustle, eating at my favorite restaurants.
My good friend Fabrizio Gori, a 7th generation Florentine, artist and restauranteur, brings his unique and quiet perspective to the neighborhood rambles we can take with him looking at art and architecture. We’ll see small museums of perfectly restored medeival palazzi and private collections, like Bernard Berensen’s villa “I Tatti”. My friend Manuela welcomes us to draw in her lovely gardens. We’ll hike in Fiesole to the magical 350 year old “Queen Cypress”.
Each trip is modified to suit the interests of the people in the group of no more than seven.
Says Ruth Kirchmeier, who went on the first artists’ tour last October:
“You are in for a feast of the senses. When you travel to Florence with Marsha, you are going with someone who is at ease with the language and the labyrinthine streets, and whose connections there are like her family and so you are warmly welcomed into their lives. Her high card is the fabulous Fabrizio Gori, whose unusual insights on art, architecture, history and culture in Florence are belied by his gentle, wry tone. Did I mention his restaurant is one of the best in the city?”
These tours help raise money for the African Artists Community Development Project and are partially tax deductible.
Itinerary: Art Tour
Arrivals (I will meet you at the airport)
Settle in at apartment
Optional stroll in neighborhood
4:00 Gathering at my apartment- wine, cheese and fruit, for
discussion of site possibilities
6:30 Early dinner at Trattoria di Ginone
Day 2 – Jet Lag Day
7:00**Dinner Osteria Toscanella
Day 3 – Fiesole
9:00 A 15 minute walk to Piazza San Marco will take us to the #7 bus for a 20 minute spectacular ride up steep hills to the Etruscan city of Fiesole. We will walk in town and just outside, where the views are paradisiacal and the streets charming. I happen to know the best bakery in Tuscany where we’ll go for a cafe and a dolce.
10:30 Queen Cypress hike – paint/sketch – Heading out of town, an hour’s stroll down a little road ends in an a charming abandoned borgo, a group of old houses, beyond which grows the 350 year old “Queen Cypress’ surrounded by her many tall, straight offspring. The site is tranquil and powerful, and the nearby landscapes eminently paintable.
2:00** Vinandro for lunch
Back to Florence
Dinner on your own – (Suggestion: Casalinga +39 055 218 624)
Day 4 – City Center
11:30 Coffee break at Cafe Robiglio
12:00 Baptistery The Baptistery is the heart and soul of Florence and the oldest building, begun in the 5th century on top of a Roman temple. Brunelleschi’s Duomo may dwarf the little black and white structure but cannot compare with its powerful and strange geometry. The Duomo next door is an architectural fconfection on the outside and rather underwhelming within.
**2:00 – Lunch at Brac, a fabulous little restaurant within a bookstore with a truly creative vegetarian chef who works in the tiniest kitchen imaginable.
After lunch- free time
6:00– Ramble through Santo Spirito neighborhood and cathedral with Fabrizio Gori, artist, restauranteur, 7th generation Florentine.
8:00 Pasta dinner at my apartment
Day 5 – Santa Maria Novella
12 noon– Mercato Centrale for recommended lunch at Nerboni’s.
5:00 – 7 :00 Free
**7:30 Dinner at La Vecchia Bietola , a small restaurant with hearty Tuscan food masterfully prepared.
Day 6 – Free Day
Uffizi-Academia-Palazzo Vecchio-Shopping-Bargello- Santa Croce-Pitti Palace-Boboli Gardens?
Day 7 – Settignano
11:00 Bus to Villa Gamberaia in nearby Settignano
**2:00 Lunch at Osteria Osvaldo
4:00 – 5:30 I Tatti, the beautiful villa outside of Florence bequeathed to Harvard for Renaissance studies by the world famous expert on Italian Renaissance art, Bernard Berenson. A unique chance to see his personal collection in a private setting.
Dinner on your own
Day 8 The Uffizi
12:00 – Lunch is on your own
3:00 – 6:00 Plein air afternoon. By this time you may have some ideas about where you would like to go to work. I will take whoever wants to go with me to Monte Uliveto, where I used to live, unless the whole group decides on another location.
**7:30 – Dinner at Cafaggi– Our favorite fish restaurant
Day 9 The Bargello
9:30 The Bargello is the home of perhaps the largest collection of Tuscan renaissance sculpture in the world, including works by Michelangelo and Gianbologna. There is also a wonderful display of household articles from the wealthy Florentines of the 13th through 16th centuries on the upper floor.
**1:00 Lunch at Alle Murate
4:00 Optional walk to the 12th century Romanesque church San Miniato al Monte. The views are a pleasure. San Miniato is full of mosaic symbolism, both Christian and pagan, with a huge astrological chart embedded in the floor.
5:30 – Cafe break at Piazza Michelangelo, expensive coffee, priceless view.
6:30 Gregorian chant vespers at San Miniato
Day 10 – Free Day – or expedition of your choosing
**8:00– Festive wine tasting dinner at Osteria Toscanella
Day 11 – Departures