Artists’ Tour – October 2016

10 Day Artists’ Tour in Tuscany
October 6 – 16, 2016
$1750 dbl. occupancy
5 places

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 theree 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

Day 1

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

Sleep late

Light lunch

Santo SpiritoStroll through Santo Spirito and Old City/Sketching

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.

alcide10:00  Alcedo pastry




cypress10:30  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

ruins3:30 Etruscan/ Roman Ruins and Museum

Back to Florence 

Dinner on your own – (Suggestion: Casalinga +39 055 218 624)


Day 4 – City Center

pieta9:30 – 11:30 Museo dell’Opera

11:30 Coffee break at Cafe Robiglio



FT Bapt12:00 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

S. Maria Nov9:30 We will walk through downtown to Santa Maria Novella where Cimabue, Masaccio, Ghirlandaio and others make this  beautiful monastery ground zero of renaissance art history.

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

s. Marco angel9:00  San Marco Convent Museum

11:00  Bus to Villa Gamberaia in nearby Settignano

**2:00  Lunch at Osteria Osvaldo


I Tatti Settignano, Italy Bernard Berenson4:00 – 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

botticelli9:00 – 11:00 The Uffizi -One of the most famous art collections in the world. We will spend a few hours (or more) at the Ufizzi Gallery and meet at its rooftop cafe at 11:00 for our coffee break.

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

Bargello Florence Italy sculpture9:30  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


SAn Mon out4:00 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


{ 3 comments… read them below or add one }

Robin March 13, 2015 at 7:27 pm

your web site looks superb! I’m dreaming of Florence……. Big sigh! Love to you, r

Marsha Winsryg March 14, 2015 at 2:21 pm

I have already rented an apartment for March 2016, for a more informal trip. Maybe?

Robin March 14, 2015 at 2:41 pm


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