Art, Food, Wine & Garden Tour – October 2017

Art, Food, Wine & Garden Tour

October 16 – 26,  2017


Day 1- Monday, October 16 – Arrival

Arrivals – I will meet you at the airport

Settle into apartments/Rest/Relax

Boboli Gardens?

6:30 Early Dinner at Tattoria di Ginone, traditional Tuscan cooking in a warm atmosphere.

Day 2 – Tuesday, October 17 – Jet Lag Day


Along the Arno

Sleep late

1:30 Light lunch at my apartment

3:00 Meet at Osteria Toscanella for tea with Fabrizio Gori, who has Florence’s history in his genes and is an artist, restauranteur and philosopher.

5:00 Stroll through Santo Spirito, then across the Ponte Trinita and make a slow tour of the heart of old downtown Florence, where every corner turned offers the visual delights of a city that has always honored her craftsmen.

Fabrizio Gori

Fabrizio Gori

**7:30  Dinner at Osteria Toscanella (** means this is the covered meal of the day)









Day 3 – Wednesday, October18 –  Castelvecchio


Manuela’s Castelvecchio

Free morning – We can decide the night before if you would rather schedule something.

 1:00  By taxi to Manuela Brofferrio’s for a picnic lunch in her garden high in the hills of Florence. She is a very big supporter of the AACDP.

4:00  Walk through the panoramic Pian di Jiulari to San Miniato– one of the oldest and most elaborately planned gothic basilicas in Florence, with every measurement made according to ancient aesthetic and ritual formulas, on a splendid hilltop overlooking all of Florence. 6:30 Plainsong service at San Miniato

**8:00Dinner at  Il Tranvai

 Day 4– Thursday, October 19 – Poggio di Caiano Or Day Trip to Chianti Vineyard


Villa Poggio di Caiano

9:00 Lorenzo the Magnificent created an unusual renaissance villas based on classical Greek architecture and art. Not a Madonna and Child in sight. Light and airy, elegant and serene, it is my favorite Medici villa, and there are at least 20 around Florence.

1:00 Drive to Carmagnano, a small town near Florence where one can see Pontormo’s “The Visitation” in the little church that commissioned it.

2:00 Lunch at Osteria Su Pe I Canto

Or Day Trip to Chianti Vineyard – TBD

**7:30 Dinner at Angelino’s

Day 5 – Friday, October 20 – Downtown

gates of paradise

Baptistery Gates of Paradise

10:00 Museo Dell’Opera -This newly renovated museum contains many of the original works from the Duomo and Baptistery, including the magnificent “Gates of Paradise” and Michelangelo’s last Pieta. The new space is airy and beautifully lit and there are well designed interactive videos strategically placed.

11:30 Cappuccino at Robiglio’s

12:00  The Baptistery is the breathing heart of Florence, and perhaps its oldest building, begun in the 5th century on top of a Roman temple. Brunelleschi’s Duomo may dwarf the little black and white Baptistery but cannot compare with its powerful and strange geometry. My personal favorite.

**1:00 Lunch at Il Porcellino


**Light dinner at my apartment

Day 6 – Saturday, October 21 – Downtown continued


9:30 Orsanmichele, the Duomo and excavation of Santa Repaprata – Orsanmichele is one of Florence’s oldest and most beloved buildings beginning as a grain storehouse and evolving into a unique church. Below ground inside the Duomo is a fascinating archeological site, years in the making, that reveals the footprint and remains of a fifth century Roman church, Santa Reparata, over which the Duomo was built. The interactive videos explain clearly the order of events and the shape of the original Roman city.

11:30  Open market of San Lorenzo then the Mercato Centrale – the largest food market in Florence with hundreds of stalls purveying prosciutto, cheeses, breads, vegetables and fruits of extraordinary quality and variety. And we get to eat lunch at the famous Nerbone’s. Here’s what my husband, Paul, has to say about Nerbone’s:

“The Market is, of course, one of the most remarkable spots in Florence. I recommend that you get there early and spend some time strolling and looking. Then at around 11:00, before the crowds descend, go to Nerbone’s and have a porcetta panino. Tell them to put it in the “bath”, the juices it was cooked in, and ask for the green sauce. Delectable.”


Nerboni’s in the Mercato Centrale


4:00  Stroll with Fabrizio Gori through Santo Spirito, Brunelleschi’s masterwork

**7:00 Dinner at La Vecchia Bettola






Day 7, Sunday, October 22 – Fiesole

10:00 – Fontelucente is an unassuming little church built over a small spring of reputed healing waters. It is only open on Sunday when Mass is celebrated with the small but devoted congregation. I have attended twice and feel it is the best way to experience this lovely space, even though I am not Catholic, or a member of any church. You could also opt to wait until the service is over to see the church. OR a hike through the hills of Fiesole to the Queen Cypress, a 350 year old tree registered in the city records, tucked away in the lovely countryside outside of town.

The Queen Cypress of Fiesole

12:00  Coffee break at Alcide, the best patisseria in the whole Florence/Fiesole area. It does not disappoint.

1:00 Roman and Etruscan Ruins and Museum

**2:00  Lunch at Vinandro – This cozy (read tiny) trattoria serves their playful version tuscan fare.

Dinner at Il Tranvai

Day 8, Monday, October 23

Pal Dav

Palazzo Davanzati

10:00 – Palazzo Davanzati

It took ten years to lovingly restore this medieval townhouse to it’s 13th century condition. It is unlike anything you have ever seen before because all of the other buildings of that era have been remodeled and repurposed.

12:00 Lunch/Cappucino Break at Giubbe Rosse


3:00 Santa Maria Novella – Masaccio, Giotto, Uccello, Ghirlandaio

5:00 Santa Maria Novella Farmacia – 400 years old and now a museum as well as an operating pharmacy

**7:30 Wine-tasting dinner at Osteria Toscanella

Day 9, Tuesday, October 24– Ufizzi


Botticelli’s Primavera

9:00 – 12:00 – Ufizzi

12:30 Lunch at Vini e Vecchi Sapori

2:00 Maybe an Expedition to Villa Gamberaia?

This nearby villa is a delightful example of Italian architecture united with ingenious landscaping. Here’s how Edith Wharton described it:

Probably the most perfect example of the art of producing a great effect on a small scale… because it combines in an astonishingly small space, yet without the least sense of overcrowding, almost every typical excellence of the old Italian garden: free circulation of sunlight and air about the house; abundance of water; easy access to dense shade; sheltered walks with different points of view.”  Italian Villas and Their Gardens (London, 1903)

**7:30 Dinner at I Raddi


Day 10 Wed. October 25-  Il Santuario di Madonna al Sasso

Madonna al Sasso

                                           Il Santuario di Madonna del Sasso

9:00  San Marco Museum – A perfectly preserved 15th century Dominican monastery based on Brunellescchi’s concepts of space and architectural rhythm, which Fabrizio can explain beautifully when we go to Santo Spirito. Every monk’s cell has an inspirational fresco for the inhabitant.

Angelica annunc

Fra Angelica’s Annunciation

11:00 Bus to Fiesole – Here we will meet Michela again, who will be our guide and chauffeur for the day, driving us through the hills to the Santuario of Madonna al Sasso.

**Lunch at Dino perched high in the hills with a panoramic view of Florence.

Dinner together at my apartment

Day 11, Thursday, October 26 – Departures