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Grand tour of italy Naples-ROME-Assisi-SienaFlorence-Venice

September 17 - October 6, 2012 Tour leader: Carolyn Andrew Guest lecturers: Dr Estelle Lazer, judy harris & david willey


Grand Tour of Italy

Naples-ROME-Assisi-Siena-Florence-Venice

Overview This 18-day tour encompasses the highlights of Italy from the splendour of ancient Pompeii, the atmospheric medieval and Renaissance towns of central Italy to the remarkable art and architecture of Venice. In Rome you will be among the privileged few to make a private, after hours visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Travelling in a small group, this journey also takes you to some lesser known gems of the Italian countryside, away from the tourist crowds. The tour is suited to those wanting an overview of Italy’s remarkable history and culture, but also wanting the personalised service of small-group travel and a relaxed pace. The journey progresses in a broadly historical sequence, commencing with the world of the Roman Empire then moving to the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. We have sought to offer a range of experiences, with visits to archaeological sites, galleries, museums and churches balanced with time to observe everyday life and relax. Flexibility is built in to the daily program, so you can rest between site visits and easily take ‘time out’ to relax or undertake individual sightseeing. Our carefully selected hotels include good 3 and 4-star establishments in central locations in Florence and Rome, a panoramic location on the Bay of Naples, and a converted 14th-century monastery in Umbria. Some highlights  Four nights in a small seaside town on the Sorrento Peninsula  A full day at Pompeii  Drive along the spectacular Amalfi coast to Greek temples at Paestum  Three nights in Rome, with walking tours of the historic districts  Private evening visit to the Sistine Chapel – limited to 20 visitors  The Borghese Gallery in Rome, home to magnificent sculptures by Gianlorenzo Bernini  Four nights in a medieval town in Umbria, visiting Assisi and other small hill towns  Day trip to Siena to view this fine medieval hill town  Three nights in Florence, visiting major galleries and learning about the city’s dynamic medieval and Renaissance history  The superb 6th-8th century mosaics of Ravenna  Three nights in Venice, visiting major sites and also relaxing in the unrivalled scenery of the canal city  Illustrated background talks on Italian history and culture and extensive tour notes.

Left: A section of the Roman Forum, viewed from the Palatine Hill. The development and changing shape of the Forum tells the social history of Rome, with structures from the Republican Period right through to the 19th century


Tour Price The tour price is $6,500 per person, twin share (land content only). The supplement for the sole use of a single room is $1,700 per person. A nonrefundable deposit of $500 per person is required to secure a place on the tour.

We are pleased to again be able to offer this perennially popular tour – now in its ninth big year! Our previous Grand Tours were sold out and very positively evaluated by participants.

Included in the tour price  All accommodation in selected three and four star hotels  All breakfasts and selected lunches and dinners in hotels and local restaurants as indicated in the itinerary.  Land travel in Italy by air-conditioned coach  Extensive tour notes  Services of an Australian tour leader throughout the tour  All entrance fees to sites mentioned on itinerary  Local guides for most cities and sites  Porterage of one piece of luggage at all hotels  Tips to local guides and drivers Not included in the tour price     

International air fares, taxes and surcharges (see below) Airport transfers if not coordinating with Emirates flights Travel insurance Meals not stated as included in this itinerary Items of a personal nature such as laundry, phone calls or internet use

Air travel OPTIONS The tour price quoted is for land content only. For this tour we recommend Emirates which offers flights into Rome and out of Venice from most Australian ports. Transfers will coincide with Emirates flight schedules. Please contact us for further information on competitive Economy, Business or First Class airfares with Emirates or other airlines.

Enquiries and bookings For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact Christina Boeswirth at Academy Travel, on 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699 (outside Sydney) or email christina@academytravel.com.au

Tour Leader Tour leader Carolyn Andrew lived in Italy for 16 years and has many years experience escorting tours throughout Europe. She speaks fluent Italian and has a thorough knowledge of local history and traditions. Carolyn has accompanied many of our tours to Sicily and this is her second Grand Tour. Her commentary throughout the tour will be complemented by guest lectures from Dr Estelle Lazer in Pompeii, Judy Harris and David Willey in Rome. The stunning limestone cliffs of the Amalfi coastline (below)


Grand Tour of Italy

Naples-ROME-Assisi-Siena-Florence-Venice

Detailed ItinerARY All breakfasts included. Included lunches and dinners are indicated by the letters (L) and (D).

Want to arrive relaxed?

OK, so there’s more to Italy than monuments and museums! As well as the formal program there will be time to relax and enjoy a broader range of cultural activities, such as gelato-eating

The flight from Australia to Italy is long and can be tiring. To regain your energy and get the most from the tour you might like to consider breaking the journey with a stopover en route, or arriving in Rome a few days before the tour commences. Please contact us to discuss the options available.

Monday 17 September Departure

Scheduled flights depart Australian ports for Italy this evening. Tuesday 18 September Bay of Naples

Tour leader Carolyn Andrew will meet the group arriving at Rome Airport on early afternoon flights and we then transfer by coach directly from the airport to the Bay of Naples. Our trip south passes the medieval abbey of Montecassino and Mount Vesuvius. We continue to Sorrento, a resort town on the Bay of Naples. Light dinner and overnight at Sorrento. (D) Wednesday 19 September Herculaneum and Sorrento

This morning we visit the very well-preserved ruins of the ancient seaside town of Herculaneum, destroyed in the earthquake of 79 AD. Less visited than neighbouring Pompeii, Herculaneum contains frescoes and mosaics in situ as well as well-preserved atrium houses and baths. We then head back to Sorrento for our welcome lunch at a local restaurant. The remainder of the day is at leisure. Overnight Sorrento. (B, L) Above and Below: Shops of all kinds lined the once bustling main streets of Pompeii; and our journey along the Amalfi Coast, dotted with charming villages and towns along the way

Thursday 20 September Pompeii

This morning we travel by local train (20 minute trip) to the ruins of Pompeii. We tour the forum, theatres, amphitheatre, temples, shops and houses which make Pompeii such a compelling window on everyday life in the ancient world, and perhaps the most famous archaeological site in the world. After an extended guided visit, you are free to remain at the archaeological site for individual sightseeing or enjoy a free afternoon. Overnight Sorrento. (B) Friday 21 September Amalfi coast and Paestum

Today we follow the spectacular Amalfi coast which runs from Sorrento


south towards Salerno. Steep limestone cliffs meet a crystal clear sea, providing an unforgettable experience. From the Amalfi Coast we continue south to Paestum, a wonderful example of a Greek Colony dating from the 6th century BC. As well as the archaeological site, there is an excellent small museum with finds from the ancient Greek world in southern Italy. We return to Sorrento in the afternoon. Overnight Sorrento (B) Saturday 22 September Naples – travel to Rome

We head for Naples early this morning and on arrival make our way to the National Archaeological Museum, home to an outstanding collection of Roman antiquities, including sculptures, paintings, mosaics and everyday items found at Pompeii and Herculaneum. We then head north to Rome, our base for the next few days. Tonight there is dinner at a local restaurant close to our hotel. Overnight Rome. (B, D) Sunday 23 September Classical Rome

We begin our time in Rome exploring the ancient heart of the Roman Empire, with a walking tour through the Colosseum, Forum and on to the Capitoline Hill. After lunch there is the choice of visiting the excellent Capitoline Museums, containing a collection of ancient sculpture as well as Renaissance paintings, or of having a free afternoon. Overnight Rome (B) Monday 24 September Renaissance Rome – Vatican museums

This morning our walking tour begins in the atmospheric Campo dei Fiori. From here we continue to the Piazza Navona, adorned with Bernini’s Four Rivers fountain, before heading to the Pantheon, a Roman temple intact from the 2nd century AD. The afternoon is free before we meet for an early dinner in a local restaurant prior to heading to the Vatican for a private viewing of the Sistine Chapel. Free from the hordes which usually crowd the chapel, we will have two hours inside the Vatican Museums and plenty of time to contemplate Michelangelo’s masterpiece. There is also the opportunity to meet for a drink after the visit – an excellent opportunity to discuss we have seen. Overnight Rome. (B, D) Tuesday 25 September Galleria Borghese – travel to Umbria

The morning is free. In the early afternoon we check out of our hotel and then visit the Villa Borghese Gallery, where we make use of the Gallery’s excellent audioguides for our tour. The gallery, dating from the 17th century, contains the collection of the aristocratic Borghese family. As well as superb classical works and fine paintings by Titian, Caravaggio and many others, the gallery is renowned for its baroque sculptures by Gianlorenzo Bernini, such as the astounding Apollo and Daphne. In the mid-afternoon we travel north to Bevagna, arriving in the early evening. There is dinner in our hotel, provided by our hosts Fabio and Stefania. Overnight Bevagna. (B, D)

Four years in the making, with sibyls, prophets, the Creation, the Last Judgement, putti, nudes, garlands, painted and real architecture – Michelangelo’s ceiling of the Sistine Chapel is a complex masterpiece that deserves quiet contemplation, not the whistle-stop treatment allowed most visitors Below: Bernini’s exquisite baroque marble sculpture of Apollo and Daphne housed in the superb Gallery Borghese


Grand Tour of Italy

Naples-ROME-Assisi-Siena-Florence-Venice

Wednesday 26 September Spoleto and the Nera Valley

This morning we visit the nearby town of Spoleto. The town’s heritage goes back to Roman times, and includes a Roman theatre, a spectacular medieval aqueduct and fortress as well as superb Romanesque churches. We’ll tour the town with our local guide then head for the nearby valley of the Nera River. Nestled in the foothills of the Apennines, this quiet valley is a long way from the tourist beat. Here we stop at the picturesque riverside town of Scheggino and visit the nearby 8th-century church of San Pietro in Valle. Lunch in an excellent local restaurant is included today. Overnight Bevagna. (B, L) Thursday 27 September Montefalco

This morning we explore nearby Montefalco. A highlight of the town is the medieval church of St Francis, housing a cycle of frescoes by the Renaissance master Benozzo Gozzoli. The town is also known for its Sagrantino red wine, and there are a number of cellars in the town. We then enjoy lunch at L’alchemista, a friendly restaurant in Montefalco well known for its Umbrian specialities. The late afternoon is free to explore Bevagna. Overnight Bevagna. (B, L)

Above: Benozzo Gozzoli’s frescoes of St Francis in the Montefalco museum Below: View over the town of Assisi from the Rocca Maggiore, a large medieval castle which overlooks the town and whose presence once served to intimidate potential invaders

Friday 28 September Assisi

In spite of its fame, Assisi retains a strongly spiritual atmosphere which gives it a special place among medieval Italian hill towns. In Assisi we tour the basilica of St Francis, a masterpiece of Gothic architecture with frescoes, some of which are attributed to Giotto and others by the Sienese artists Lorenzetti and Martini. We also view some other highlights of the town, such as the 1st-century AD Roman temple in the main square and the ancient Roman forum. You might also like to take the steep walk to the Rocca, the defensive fortress above the town, to enjoy the fine views over the valley. The late afternoon is free. Overnight Bevagna. (B) Saturday 29 September Siena - travel to Florence

We depart Umbria this morning, heading for Tuscany. Most of the day is spent in Siena, a once prosperous medieval city. Devastated by the plague of 1348 and little changed since then, Siena is an outstanding example of a medieval city-state. We tour the Palazzo Pubblico, and the overwhelming cathedral, where every available space is decorated with sculptures, floor mosaics and fine frescoes. There will also be time to stroll the winding streets of the town. In the late afternoon we arrive in Florence, our base for the next four days. Dinner is at a local restaurant. Overnight Florence. (B, D) Sunday 30 September Florence fine arts and the medici

This morning we visit the Accademia in Florence, home to Michelangelo’s David. This is a starting point for considering the role of civic pride and


private patronage in Florence’s art. Near to the Accademia is the district associated with the Medici family, and we visit the family palace, the monastery of San Marco and the church of San Lorenzo, before heading to the grand Piazza della Signoria for a lunch break. In the late afternoon we visit the Uffizi Galleries, with their world-famous collection of Italian paintings, including major works by Botticelli and other Florentine masters of the golden age of the 1400s. Overnight Florence. (B) Monday 1 October Streetscapes and the oltrarno

This morning we view some of the fine public and religious buildings of Florence, home to some great art. This includes the massive cathedral, baptistery and campanile. We then venture to the western side of the Arno, crossing the Ponte Vecchio and strolling through the quiet streets of this lovely neighbourhood. The afternoon is free to stroll through the Boboli Gardens, visit the Bargello sculpture museum or just relax. Overnight Florence. (B) Tuesday 2 October Ravenna – travel to Venice

Early this morning we cross the Apennines to northern Italy. Most of the day is spent visiting Ravenna, capital of the Byzantine Empire in Italy from the 5th to the 8th century AD. The churches and baptisteries of this town are decorated with the very finest medieval mosaics, gorgeous compositions reflecting a variety of religious and imperial themes. We continue to Venice in the late afternoon, arriving at our hotel by private launch. Overnight Venice. (B) Wednesday 3 October Venice

This morning we have a guided visit of the principal historic quarter of Venice, around St Mark’s Square. Here we tour the magnificent Basilica of St Mark’s, constructed in the 10th century and decorated with 7,000 square metres of mosaics and a dazzling array of columns, screens and sculptures plundered from the east. We also visit sites nearby, such as the Gothic church of San Zaccaria. This afternoon we explore the Giudecca canal by ferry, site of many fine monuments, including Renaissance architect Palladio’s two Venetian churches. Overnight Venice. (B) Thursday 4 October Venetian decorative and fine arts

This morning we take the ferry across to the island of Murano, home to glass-making since the 10th century. The island's glass workshops provide an excellent living example of how Venice's medieval artisans' workshops ('botteghe') functioned. We also visit the museum of glass and the ancient church of St Maria and Donato with its Byzantine-style apse and floor mosaics. We then make our way back to the Rialto where we have a break for lunch. In the afternoon we visit the Galleria dell'Accademia, displaying important works by Bellini, Carpaccio, Giorgione, Titian, Tintoretto, Tiepolo and others. This evening we meet for our farewell dinner at La Corte Sconta, a small restaurant specialising in Venetian cuisine. Overnight Venice. (B, D)

Above: A view of the Florentine skyline, dominated by the Duomo crowned by Brunelleschi’s famous Dome Below: With over 7,000 square metres of gold leaf mosaics, St Mark’s epitomises the importation of the luxurious Eastern style


Grand Tour of Italy

Naples-ROME-Assisi-Siena-Florence-Venice

Friday 5 October Depart Italy

This morning is free to undertake some individual sightseeing. In the early afternoon there is a water taxi transfer to Venice airport for those joining the departing Emirates flight to Dubai and on to other ports. Saturday 6 October

Scheduled flights arrive in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in the evening.

Not ready to go home yet? Additional travel AND stopovers

We are more than happy to arrange additional travel either before or after the tour dates. Stopovers on the outbound or return flight are also possible for those wishing to break their journey. Please contact Hannah Kleboe on (02) 9235 0023 to discuss your requirements.

Physical fitness for this tour ‘The best way to see a place is on foot’. This often-repeated statement underscores the importance of a moderate level of fitness for any form of travel. In order to fully enjoy this tour you should be able to:  walk for around two hours at a moderate pace and be able to negotiate hills and cobbled pavements  walk for up to four or five kilometres each day  stand for extended periods of time in museums and galleries  climb on and off the bus without assistance  negotiate slopes and steps without handrails on archaeological sites  board and disembark local ferries and water taxis in Venice  carry your suitcase a short distance if necessary We are happy to accommodate the needs of any traveller with a physical disability as far as reasonably possible, but it may not be possible to undertake all activities on the tour. We encourage you to think carefully about the physical demands of the tour and to contact us if you wish to discuss your situation. Left: Beautiful Venice Top to Bottom: The view from the Piazzetta across to the island of San Giorgio Maggiore, with its Palladian church; The colourful houses of Murano; and the Grand Canal viewed from the window of the Ca d’Oro


Hotel information sorrento - Hotel Carlton (4 nights) This 4-star hotel is located in the historical centre of Sorrento and close to the main square Piazza Tasso. The hotel offers beautiful views of Mt Vesuvius and the Bay of Naples, surrounded by a flowered garden with a large pool and sun terrace. All rooms are well-sized, with a private balcony. www.hotelcarltonsorrento.com Rome, Hotel Adriano (3 nights) Housed in an elegant 17th century building in the historic centre of Rome, Hotel Adriano is situated close to the Pantheon, Piazza Navona and Spanish Steps. It is just a few steps away from the Trevi fountain and great shopping, a good starting point to visit the wonderful eternal city. www.hoteladriano.com

Above: The orange gargen of the Hotel Carlton, Sorrento, offers quiet corners to sit and unwind in the shade Below: A standard room at the Hotel Adriano, Rome

Bevagna – Il Chiostro di bEvagna (4 nights) This 14-room hotel is set around the cloister of a medieval convent, complete with frescoes and the tranquillity one expects. Rooms are simple, but the atmosphere is divine. www.ilchiostrodibevagna.com Florence - BERCHIELLI Hotel (3 nights) The 4-star Berchielli is a modern luxury hotel overlooking the Ponte Vecchio on the banks of the Arno with many museums, restaurants and shops an easy walk away. Rooms are well-sized and elegantly furnished with all modern inclusions including air conditioning, satellite TV, minibar, internet access and a safe. www.berchielli.it/eng Venice, Hotel Al codEgA (3 nights) This lovely 4-star hotel is owned and run by the Dal Borgo family. Tucked away in a tranquil courtyard near San Marco it is within easy walking distance of most of Venice’s major galleries and museums. www.hotelalcodega.com

Weather on tour September into October is a very pleasant time to travel in Italy. Autumn has arrived but it is still not too cool. Expect average maximum temperatures of 20º – 23ºC during the day, and minimums of 12º - 15ºC at night. It is reasonable to expect passing showers or rain on a few days, but it is usually a sunny time of year.

Our hotel in Florence, Hotel Berchielli (above), is a stone’s thrown from the Ponte Vecchio (below)


About Academy Travel

Academy Travel Each year Academy Travel organizes around 30 journeys to Europe, the Mediterranean, Asia and the Americas, each focusing on a distinctive historical, artistic or cultural theme. There is a maximum of 20 participants on our tours. The aim of every Academy Travel journey is to combine the pleasures of independent travel with the benefits and shared enjoyment of a group. Expert tour leaders, carefully selected accommodation and carefully paced itineraries are the key ingredients of our planning. Our activities includes our open-age tour program, international summer schools for the University of Sydney, the Australian National University and other tertiary institutions, tours for the Association of Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Societies (ADFAS) and specialist tours for senior secondary school history students. Academy Travel is an Australian-owned travel company, founded in 2004. The company’s staff includes both academic experts with knowledge of history, archaeology, art and architecture and travel professionals with over two decades’ industry experience. Our Australian office is based in a heritage-listed building in the Sydney CBD. We also have our own office in Rome which organises all our programs in Western Europe. This means we have direct control over the selection of hotels, restaurants, coaches and local guides, guaranteeing superior quality. Clockwise from above: Greek temple at Segesta, Sicily. Sharing lunch in a Renaissance villa outside Florence. Private viewing at the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Sicily.

Expert tour leaders

What makes our tours different?

Who participates in our tours?

> Outstanding tour leaders. All our leaders possess extensive knowledge of the places visited on a journey, skills in communicating this knowledge to an interested audience and practical skills in managing a group journey. Most of all our leaders have a love and enthusiasm for the places you visit!

Academy Travel’s tours are open to everyone, but they are not for everyone. They appeal to those who want to move beyond mass tourism, either because they have considerable travel experience or have a strong interest in a particular place or period. Very often participants are regular independent travellers, but have chosen to join the group because of the special attraction of the itinerary or the expertise of the group leader. The opportunity to travel with like-minded people is one of the main appeals of our program.

> Itineraries planned around carefully thought-out historical and cultural themes, rather than superficial ‘panoramic’ tours. You have time to build up an in-depth understanding and appreciation of what you see, not just a check-list of famous sites. > Extended stays in most destinations, rather than one- or two-night hops. This allows you the chance to get to know the places you visit, time to pursue individual sightseeing and the opportunity to simply relax and watch the world go by. It also means you can attend to practical matters, such as laundry and emails, with ease.

There is no minimum or maximum age limit for tour members. All we ask for is a reasonable level of fitness, interest and enthusiasm.

> Background talks before you visit sites, museums and galleries. This leaves you free to spend your time actually looking at the things you’ve travelled to see, rather than straining to listen to a local tour guide. Through the background talks you’ll also build up a coherent understanding of the country you’re visiting, not just a fragmented set of facts. > Extensive tour notes, reading lists and pre-departure notes. For every tour we provide detailed tour notes on the specific sites we visit, a general historical and social background of the countries you visit and practical information about travel arrangements.

Maximum 20 in a group

Carefully-planned itineraries


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If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply: More than 60 days before departure: $500* 60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due 44-15 days before tour start: 50 % of total amount due 14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due *This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.

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grand tour italie  

Naples-ROME-Assisi-Siena- Florence-Venice September 17 - October 6, 2012 Tour leader: Carolyn Andrew Guest lecturers: Dr Estelle Lazer, judy...

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