Living in Italy: Three Weeks in Florence
Live your Tuscan dream on our 22-day program in Florence, and enjoy independent living in a fully furnished apartment located within walking distance to historic sites, museums, restaurants, markets, and your Italian language center.
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Offering endless opportunities to explore Italy's arts, history, and culture, Florence is still small enough that you can feel at home in a very short time. Live your Tuscan dream on our three-week immersion program in Florence— designed with the right balance between scheduled activities and language lessons and time to pursue personal interests.
Enjoy independent living in a fully furnished apartment that's within walking distance to historic sites, activities, and markets, and feel confident about getting around on your own by attending language lessons four times a week. Get to know fellow travelers during several scheduled excursions or activities each week that highlight the cultural wealth of the city, such as Michelangelo's work at the Accademia and San Lorenzo Church, masterpieces of the Uffizi, the Boboli gardens and a cooking class. Plus, a planned day trip to Venice, and a guided excursion to Siena, take you beyond Florence. Meanwhile, your Tour Manager provides you with support and advice to help tailor your time with optional activities such as wine tastings, hiking, painting, small cooking lessons, and more.
Enjoy independent living in a fully furnished apartment with modern amenities. Apartments are within walking distance to historic sites, activities, and markets. You’ll feel confident about getting around on your own by attending language lessons (12 hours a week) held in classrooms, museums, and cafés. Get to know fellow travelers during scheduled excursions or activities each week. For example, you’ll see Michelangelo’s work at the Accademia and San Lorenzo church, view masterpieces at the Uffizi, stroll through the Boboli Gardens, meet with artisans in their workshops, and attend market visits and a cooking class. Plus, planned day-trips to Siena and Bologna take you beyond Florence. Our resident tour manager provides you with support to help tailor your time with optional activities, such as wine tastings, hiking, painting or cooking lessons, and more.
Days 1 & 2 — U.S., Florence, Italy
Depart the U.S. on independent overnight flights. Upon arrival in Florence, transfer to the city center. Settle into your apartment and meet your Travel Director, a Florentine local who will handle all program logistics and will be available daily to assist with sightseeing arrangements, dinner reservations, shopping suggestions, and any other assistance you may require. Gather for a briefing to ensure you are fully informed about the program and all the latest news in Florence, followed by a welcome reception and dinner. (D)
Day 3 — Florence: Orientation
Enjoy an orientation tour of Florence this morning, to locate the CET center, shops, pharmacies, and other essential locations. At the CET center begin your language classes.
Days 4-6 — Florence: Language Lessons and Cultural Visits
Continue with your language classes each morning, taking your knowledge out into real life settings to put your Italian to the test. On two afternoons there will be guided cultural visits arranged.
Day 7 — Siena
Take the public bus from Florence down to Siena. A local expert will introduce you to this picturesque hill-town on a walking tour featuring the ornate duomo, baptistery, and the unique shell-shaped campo at the heart of the city. There will be time to wander the medieval streets and alleys on your own before returning to Florence. If you wish to linger in Siena at the end of the day, return at your leisure on a later bus.
Days 8-9 — Free Weekend
This weekend is free for independent exploration. Your Travel Director will be able to offer advice and suggestions of things to see and do in Florence or beyond.
Days 10-13 — Florence: Language Lessons and Cultural Visits
Language lessons continue Monday to Thursday with two afternoon guided visits.
Day 14, 2014 — Venice
Take the fast train to Venice (a two hour journey). Spend the day in the magical city of Venice. On arrival at the Santa Lucia train station, you will be welcomed by our local expert. As you step out onto the Grand Canal, enjoy a vaporetto (public waterbus) ride passing the magnificent palazzi that line the Grand Canal, glide under the Rialto Bridge and admire the domes of the Salute Church. Take a guided tour of the Doge’s Palace and delve into the masters of Venetian Renaissance art. Enjoy some time at leisure to escape the crowds and discover your own favorite bridge over a canal in this beautiful city.
Day 14, 2015 — Bologna
Take the fast train to Bologna (approximately half an hour) and spend the day in this magical city. On arrival at the Bologna Centrale train station, make your way through the well designed and extensive porticoes towards Piazza Maggiore and the centrally located Due Torri. Get lost wandering down Via Zamboni, which is home to the University of Bologna, founded in 1088 and is the second oldest existing University in the world. Make your way up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna di San Luca, which sits on a hill overlooking the city center below for a picturesque view. Of course, no trip to Bologna is complete without sampling its world renowned food – tagliatelle al ragu, prosciutto, mortadella, and lasagna, to name a few. There will be some time at leisure to explore the city on your own.
Day 15-16 — Free Weekend
Enjoy another free weekend in Florence to pursue your own interests, or venture outside of the city. Your Travel Director will be on-hand to help you plan activities.
Days 17-21 — Florence: Language Lessons and Cultural Visits
Language lessons continue Monday to Thursday with two afternoon guided visits. Celebrate your Italian adventure with a farewell reception and dinner. (D)
Day 22 — Florence, U.S.
Transfer to Florence airport for individual flights back to the U.S.