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A Journey for the Soul

Florence, Tuscany, and  Venice
July 24th - 31st, 2022

Waiting List~ no spots available
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This is a fully guided, women-only, small-group tour. No buses, no roommates, and no mass-produced meals! I will be with you for the duration of the tour, from arrival at the airport to the day we depart. In each place we visit, we will be joined by local guides who will lead us on tours, and our private driver is a Florence native!

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Day 1: Arrive in Florence

When you arrive in Florence and get checked in to the hotel, we will begin our trip with a walking tour designed to help you orient yourself and gain an understanding of the rich history of this Renaissance city.  You will learn about famous attractions like the Duomo and the Piazza Della Signoria, as well as visit charming neighborhoods like Oltrarno.  

 

This evening, the group will have dinner together at a local restaurant in Florence. 

Inclusions: 

  • Private car transfer from Florence airport to hotel

  • Guided walking tour

Day 2: An Adventure in Tuscany

This morning, you will have time to sleep in or explore the streets of Florence after breakfast. 

 

We will depart late in the morning for our guided tour of the Chianti region. We begin our tour with a visit to the Florence American WWII memorial. Next, we will visit quaint Tuscan towns, then stop at a family-owned vineyard for an olive oil and wine tasting. After lunch, we will spend the afternoon in San Gimignano. 

 

To complete our day, we will visit another small production vineyard that overlooks the town of San Gimignano. There, we will tour the vineyard and its cellar, meeting the family and learning about their craft. Next, we will participate in a cooking class, preparing traditional Tuscan foods.  Afterward, we will enjoy the delicious dinner we helped prepare, paired with the vineyard’s wines, while the sun sets over the Tuscan hills.

Inclusions: 

  • Private car and driver 

  • Guided outing to Tuscany

  • Wine and olive oil tasting

  • Cooking class

  • Private cellar tour and wine tasting

  • Dinner 

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Day 3: Ciao, Venice! 

This morning we will take the high-speed train from Florence to Venice, where we will step into the magical world of canals, bridges, and hidden alleyways. 

 

We will meet our local guide for a walking tour that will introduce you to Venice’s history and some of its secrets. 

In the evening you can take a gondola ride, explore the alleyways and take pictures, or enjoy an aperitivo in Piazza San Marco and people watch Italian style!  

 

You will have the option to meet as a group for dinner.

Inclusions: 

  • High-speed train tickets from Florence to Venice

  • Guided walking tour of Venice

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Day 4: A Visit to Murano

Today we will visit the island of Murano, famous for magnificent glass creations. Our guide will take us to visit local glass workshops and share with us the history of this amazing island. 

After free time and lunch, we will meet at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum, located on the Grand Canal. The Guggenheim is a Palazzo on the Grand Canal that houses a modern art exhibit. It is a lovely interlude in the midst of all the Venetian architecture and history.

This evening, you will have the option to meet for a group dinner.

Inclusions: 

  • Guided tour of Murano including boat transfer

  • Vaporetto tickets

  • Entrance to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection

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Day 5: Teatro del Silenzio
and Bocelli

This morning, we will take the high-speed train back to Florence, where you will have the early afternoon free. This is a perfect day to explore a museum you don’t want to miss, buy street art from an artist in Palazzo Vecchio, or just wander around the city. 

 

Our driver will pick us up in the late afternoon and take us to Lajatico for a once-in-a-lifetime experience. There, we will ascend to a Tuscan hilltop where the Teatro del Silenzio, or Theater of Silence, is located. This amphitheater, built for Andrea Bocelli in his hometown, hosts two concerts per year and we will be attending one of them. We will begin our evening with a picnic dinner on a hillside overlooking the town of Volterra. When Bocelli takes the stage as the sun sets over the Tuscan countryside, it is magical! His orchestra, dancers, his family, and guest singers all join together to create this unique, intimate experience: Bocelli’s hometown concert. 

Inclusions: 

  • High-speed train tickets from Venice to Florence

  • Private car and driver from Florence to Lajatico

  • Tickets to the Bocelli Concert

  • A picnic dinner 

Day 6:  A Day in Florence

This morning, we will visit Santo Spirito, where we will see a beautiful masterpiece created by Michelangelo when he was only 17. Next, we will visit an artist’s workshop and see how this artisan has created unique metalworks for designers, celebrities, and politicians all over the world.

 

After free time for lunch, we will spend the early afternoon at the Uffizi gallery with a guide who will give us insight into the famous pieces housed in this building that was once inhabited by the infamous Medicis. 

 

You have the evening free to enjoy the city! 

Inclusions: 

  • Entrance into Santo Spirito 

  • Visit to an artist's workshop

  • Entry tickets to the Uffizi Gallery

  • Guided tour of the Uffizi

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Day 7: Italian Villas and the David

Today, we will visit a 15th-century villa in Sesto Fiorentina and work with an artist in a tempera painting workshop. You will create your own masterpiece to take home! Next, we will have a light lunch on the loggia of the villa before we head back to Florence for a guided tour of the ​​Galleria dell'Accademia, where we will see examples of classic tempera painting, as well as Michelangelo’s David. 

 

This evening, we have a reservation at an amazing restaurant in Fiesole. Our driver will take us to this hilltop town where Davinci first attempted flight. Home to a Roman amphitheater and Etruscan ruins, this lovely town overlooks the city of Florence. After a sunset dinner, we will return to Florence.

Inclusions: 

  • Private car and driver to Sesto Fiorentina

  • Private art lesson with a Florentine artist using tempera paints

  • Entry tickets to the Galleria dell'Accademia

  • Guided tour of the Galleria dell'Accademia

  • Private car and driver to take us to dinner in Fiesole

Day 8: Depart for Home

Today, we return home. A car to the airport will be arranged, and Arrivederci!! 

Inclusions: 

  • Car transfer to Florence airport from hotel

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Trip Cost: 
$4000 

Waiting List~ no spots available

Inclusions

The Journey for the Soul Tour includes the following:

  • Airport transfer, to and from the Florence airport

  • Accommodations: 4-star luxury hotels located in the historic city centers of Florence and Venice for 7 nights.

  • Breakfast each day

  • High-speed train tickets to Venice and Florence

  • A private car and driver for outings to Tuscany, Lajatico, Santo Spirito, and Fiesole

  • Walking tours with local guides in Florence and Venice

  • Guided museum tour and entry tickets for the Uffizi Gallery in Florence

  • Wine and olive oil tasting at a family-owned, small production vineyard in Chianti

  • A cooking class, private cellar tour, and dinner at a family-owned vineyard and olive farm in San Gimignano

  • A guided day tour of Tuscany

  • A visit to the island of Murano, off the coast of Venice, with boat transport and a guided tour of  Murano glass workshops

  • Museum entry tickets to the Peggy Guggenheim Collection in Venice

  • An evening under the stars in Lajatico with Andrea Bocelli, including a picnic dinner

  • Tempera painting workshop with an artist at a 15th-century Italian villa, followed by a light lunch on the loggia

Exclusions

Travelers are responsible for:

  • Travel to and from Florence. I am happy to assist with planning or offer advice

  • Travel insurance REQUIRED (Allianz Global offers great plans for around $100 per person)

  • Lunches and dinners (with the exception of the day tour to Chianti and the Bocelli Concert)

  • Optional activities not included in the program

  • COVID Vaccinations Pre-arrival (Required)

  • Souvenirs

  • Tips for Drivers and Guides (at your discretion)

  • Departure COVID Testing. (If required we can help organize)

Payment 

COVID Peace of Mind Policy:

 

As a result of the changing nature of this pandemic, trips for the Summer of 2022 will operate under the following guidelines:

  • $400 deposit to secure your spot. Because of the small size of these trips, it is advisable to secure a spot early. In the event that travel is not possible due to COVID restrictions, or the minimum number of required travelers is not met, the $400 deposit is fully refundable. We will make this determination on February 1st, 2022. 

  • 30% of trip cost due 120 days out from departure (March 26th, 2022) 

  • Balance of trip cost due 60 days out from departure (May 25th, 2022)