Offering endless opportunities to explore Italy's arts, history, and culture, Florence is also small enough to feel at home during our three-week immersion program.

Starting at: $5,140 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Panorama of Florence at dusk  The iconic Duomo of Florence  Palazzo Vecchio in the evening  Michelangelo's <i>David</i>, the centerpiece of the Accademia. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  Visitors outside the renowned Uffizi Gallery. Credit: John Kellerman/Alamy  Art work at the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Credit: Art Kowalsky / Alamy.com  Botticelli's <i>The Birth of Venus</i> in the Uffizi in Florence  The historic Ponte Vecchio  Enjoying the moment in Florence   Enjoying the food market  Taking a break over gelato  Typical scene in the central market in Florence. Credit: LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen Gmbh/Alamy  Traditional foods of Tuscany  Freshly made pasta  Panoramic view of Florence  The Campo in Siena  The facade and distinctive belltower of Siena's cathedral  The hill town of San Gimignano, featuring its many medieval towers

Living in Italy

A Stay in Florence

23 days from $5,140

Offering endless opportunities to explore Italy's arts, history, and culture, Florence is also small enough to feel at home during our three-week immersion program.

or Call 855-330-1542

Tour Details

TOUR BROCHURE

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WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

A vacation of a lifetime, integrating travelers into Italian daily life. Kind and generous tour staff, very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise.

- Lynne, T.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

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Accommodations

* Click on hotel name to visit hotel web-site.

PopArtment

Florence, Italy

We chose the newly opened PopArtment for its fresh, modern, comfortable, and spacious accommodations, just perfect for a longer stay program like ours. Our aparthotel is located a little farther afield, just outside the city’s historic center, but within a 25 minute walk or a short bus or taxi from the Piazza del Duomo and the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. We’ll provide you with complimentary bus passes so you can quickly and easily travel to the historic center. Here at Popartment you can “live like a local” in your own bright and beautifully furnished studio or one-bedroom apartment, all with high ceilings, large windows, comfortable living and sleeping areas and convenient kitchenettes. Your apartment features a refrigerator, dishwasher, coffee/tea maker, stovetop, oven, microwave, dining table and chairs as well as contemporary kitchenware. Other amenities include complimentary WiFi, 24-hour Front Desk service and security, and convenient self-service laundry facilities. Shops, cafes and restaurants are just steps away. After a day of touring, relax in the hotel’s beautiful courtyard with a bottle of Tuscan wine or enjoy meeting new friends in the comfortable lounge.

Number of nights: 21

Popartment_Deluxe Studio


Hotel Palazzo Ricasoli

Florence, Italy

The comfortable Hotel & Residence Palazzo Ricasoli is housed in the 16th-century palace of the Ricasoli family on the quiet Via delle Mantellate, just a short walk from the historic center of Florence. The palace-turned-residence is also close to boutiques, restaurants, galleries, food shops and a laundromat. Each bright and comfortable air-conditioned apartment features a kitchenette, a sitting area, and bathroom with shower and tub. Relax and enjoy the hotel bar, café, breakfast room and the charming courtyard. The hotel takes care of linen changes, and the friendly, engaging staff will ensure you are fully informed about local attractions, museums, theater, and transportation. The Palazzo Ricasoli also offers an indoor garage, should you choose to rent an auto during your stay. Wi-Fi is complimentary.

The group block will be comprised of studios and one-bedroom apartments with twin or double beds. The hotel will use studios for single occupancy.

Number of nights: 21



Activity Levels

Activity Level 2: Moderate


Expectations: Three-week-long stay in Florence. This immersion stay features accommodations in an ideal apartment. 2018 aparthotel accommodations located just outside the city's historic center within a 25-minute walk or a short bus or taxi from the Piazza del Duomo. (You will be provided with complimentary bus passes so you can quickly and easily travel to the historic center.) 2019 aparthotel accommodations located in historic city center, just a short walk from many of the major sites. The program includes four excursions outside the city as well as walking tours and museum tours in Florence. In addition, each Cultural Track (optional) involves different walking tours and activities in and beyond the city. Walking tours may entail uneven terrain (e.g. cobblestones, city hills, stairs without handrails, the absence of elevators); archaeological sites; and some longer walks to get to city centers where coaches are prohibited. This program is geared for the independent traveler who will enjoy pursuing their own interests, making meal plans independently (either solo or with other travelers), and finding their way to activities independently. (A Resident Director is always available to assist with plans.) 

Appropriate for: Travelers who are physically fit and comfortable with longer days of touring (both walking tours and coach time).

Special Air Rates & Services

FlexAir is designed to provide you with the flexibility and choice you need to personalize your air travel experience. Explore a wide range of flight options in consultation with our experienced travel professionals to select the flights, routing, class of service, and dates of travel that most fit your needs. Our partner tour operator has negotiated contracts with a wide variety of carriers that allow them to hold flight reservations and then issue your ticket close to departure without additional fees. This protects you from the need to purchase published-fare tickets, which must be ticketed within 24 hours of purchase. FlexAir reservations provide the flexibility to adjust reservations without penalty and to accommodate extensions and upgrades right up until ticketing time, usually around 45 days before departure. We look forward to providing you with more choice and the best possible itinerary for your air travel plans.

Program Includes:

  • Guaranteed transfers between the airport and your overseas accommodations upon arrival and departure (in most cases). We will provide you with all of the details you need to guarantee your transfer.
  • Air schedule change and delay assistance. Book FlexAir to ensure assistance should schedule changes or delays impact your air travel plans.
  • Flight insurance worth up to $250,000, subject to policy terms, is automatically included.
  • Confirmed airline seat assignments at the time of booking (in most cases).
Testimonials

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

A vacation of a lifetime, integrating travelers into Italian daily life. Kind and generous tour staff, very knowledgeable in their areas of expertise.

- Lynne, T.
Reading List
The House of Medici: Its Rise and Fall
By: Christopher Hibbert
At its height Renaissance Florence was a centre of enormous wealth, power and influence. A republican city-state funded by trade and banking, its often bloody political scene was dominated by rich mercantile families, the most famous of which were the Medici. This enthralling book charts the family's huge influence on the political, economic and cultural history of Florence. Beginning in the early 1430s with the rise of the dynasty under the near-legendary Cosimo de Medici, it moves through their golden era as patrons of some of the most remarkable artists and architects of the Renaissance, to the era of the Medici Popes and Grand Dukes, Florence's slide into decay and bankruptcy, and the end, in 1737, of the Medici line.
A Culinary Traveller in Tuscany: Exploring and Eating off the Beaten Track
By: Beth Elon
Each of the ten itineraries in this cookbook/guidebook takes readers through parts of Tuscany that still remain largely undiscovered and into the kitchens of more than fifty superb but little-known restaurants specializing in regional cuisine–those that are for the most part overlooked by tourists and known only to the locals. Each regional section begins with illuminating and absorbing explanations of what makes Tuscan cooking so unique: location, location, location. You’ll read about a bean so beloved by a village that it’s been elevated to cult status–but unknown a few kilometers down the road; an aboriginal baby lamb that is almost unknown outside of the Zeri valley; the endless array of vegetable tarts found nowhere in Tuscany but Lunigiana and Garfagnana. With this guide in hand, you’ll not only know where to dine but what to order when you get there. In addition to 100 recipes, also included are nearby points of interest, descriptions and contact information for restaurants, trattorie, gourmet shops, wineries, olive oil producers, local markets, and regional food festivals, and how to find the monasteries, workshops, and artisans’ studios that offer local items ranging from herbal beauty products to traditional ceramics and handwoven linens.
The Most Beautiful Villages of Tuscany (The Most Beautiful Villages)
By: James Bentley
A celebration of one of the most rich and varied landscapes in Europe, here are thirty-six villages and towns from all over Tuscany chosen both for their intrinsic beauty and for the part they have played in Tuscan history.Stand at the edge of a Tuscan hill village and gaze across one of the most extraordinarily rich and varied landscapes in Europe. There are vineyards producing the finest wine, and miles of wild mountain scenery; almost any view will take in other villages, clustering around the upper reaches of some hill, or the russet roofs of a fortified town deep in a valley.Here are thirty-six villages and towns from all over Tuscany, chosen both for their intrinsic beauty and for the part they have played in Tuscan history and culture. The book opens with those communities clustered around the great towns of Lucca and Florence. As we move south through the Chianti region to the valley of the Orcia, we discover the unique characteristics of each area. Here is the small town of Pienza, once called the “pearl of the Renaissance” for its unique concentration of palaces and churches. Here too is San Gimignano, where the medieval towers loom over the town’s squares and streets. 288 color illustrations
DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Florence & Tuscany
By: DK Travel
Explore the busy streets of Florence and Tuscany, see history, and stroll through museums. Eat bread dipped in olive oil and stroll along cobbled streets in these beautiful cities.Discover DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Florence & Tuscany.   • Detailed itineraries and "don't-miss" destination highlights at a glance.    • Illustrated cutaway 3-D drawings of important sights.    • Floor plans and guided visitor information for major museums.    • Guided walking tours, local drink and dining specialties to try, things to do, and places to eat, drink, and shop by area.    • Area maps marked with sights.    • Detailed city maps include street finder indexes for easy navigation.    • Insights into history and culture to help you understand the stories behind the sights.    • Hotel and restaurant listings highlight DK Choice special recommendations. With hundreds of full-color photographs, hand-drawn illustrations, and custom maps that illuminate every page, DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Florence & Tuscany truly shows you this region as no one else can.Series Overview: For more than two decades, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides have helped travelers experience the world through the history, art, architecture, and culture of their destinations. Expert travel writers and researchers provide independent editorial advice, recommendations, and reviews. With guidebooks to hundreds of places around the globe available in print and digital formats, DK Eyewitness Travel Guides show travelers how they can discover more.DK Eyewitness Travel Guides: the most maps, photographs, and illustrations of any guide.
Streetwise Florence Map - Laminated City Center Street Map of Florence, Italy (Michelin Streetwise Maps)
By: Michelin
REVISED NOV 2017Streetwise Florence Map is a laminated city center map of Florence, Italy. The accordion-fold pocket size travel map includes train tracks & stations.Coverage includes:Main Florence, Italy Map 1:10,000Florence Area Map 1:150,000Central Florence Map 1:5,700Dimensions: 4" x 8.5" folded, 8.5" x 27" unfoldedFlorence is a city that should be discovered on foot. In order to cut down on the city center congestion, major sites are closed to car traffic (Santa Maria Novella and Duomo). Many of the major exhibits are in the outlying areas like Bagno a Ripoli, Fiescole, Figline and Scandicci. This has allowed visitors to discover less explored areas. Be sure to enjoy the Renaissance era through the beauty of the cathedrals, churches, museums, paintings, sculptures and frescoes of Florence. Not to be missed during your visit: Piazza del Duomo, the Uffizi Gallery, Palazzo Vecchio, Museo del Bargello, Chiesa di San Loreno and the Medici tombs, Galleria Palantina in the Palazzo Pitti, Museo di San Marco, and Frescoes by Ghirlandaio in Chiesa di Santa Maria Novella. STREETWISE® Florence Italy Map, complete with street, site and hotel index, enables you to explore each hidden corner of this city and to discover its historic importance and artistic richness on your own. The Regional map of Florence will guide you on your discovery to the hillside towns surrounding Florence, giving you greater freedom to discover the glory of Tuscany, Italy. The pocket size map of Florence is laminated for durability and accordion folding for effortless use. For more travel detail and to help make the most of your trip to Florence search for the Michelin Green Guide Tuscany or Green Guide to Italy. For a selection of the best hotels and restaurants in Florence, check out the MICHELIN Guide Main Cities of Europe. For driving outside the city center, pick up the Michelin Central Italy Map No. 563.
Tuscany (Toscana), Regional Road Map (1:200,000)
By: Touring Club Italiano
The road and tourist map of Tuscany is printed on waterproof and tear-resistant PolyArt paper.
Blue Guide Italy Food Companion (2nd edition): Phrasebook and Miscellany (2nd Edition) (Blue Guides)
By: Ellen Grady
New and expanded edition of this popular pocket glossary of Italian food and drink. Designed for both handy on-site use and pleasurable at-home browsing, this is an essential companion for all lovers of Italian food. Would you eat a spongata or choose puffo-flavoured gelato? This guide will help you with those tricky decisions. 30 B&W illustrations and maps
Italy - Culture Smart!: the essential guide to customs & culture
By: Charles Abbott
Culture Smart! provides essential information on attitudes, beliefs and behavior in different countries, ensuring that you arrive at your destination aware of basic manners, common courtesies, and sensitive issues. These concise guides tell you what to expect, how to behave, and how to establish a rapport with your hosts. This inside knowledge will enable you to steer clear of embarrassing gaffes and mistakes, feel confident in unfamiliar situations, and develop trust, friendships, and successful business relationships.Culture Smart! offers illuminating insights into the culture and society of a particular country. It will help you to turn your visit-whether on business or for pleasure-into a memorable and enriching experience. Contents include* customs, values, and traditions* historical, religious, and political background* life at home* leisure, social, and cultural life* eating and drinking* do's, don'ts, and taboos* business practices* communication, spoken and unspoken"Culture Smart has come to the rescue of hapless travellers." Sunday Times Travel"... the perfect introduction to the weird, wonderful and downright odd quirks and customs of various countries." Global Travel"...full of fascinating-as well as common-sense-tips to help you avoid embarrassing faux pas." Observer"...as useful as they are entertaining." Easyjet Magazine"...offer glimpses into the psyche of a faraway world." New York Times
Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary
By: Lonely Planet, Pietro Iagnocco, Anna Beltrami, Karina Coates, Susie Walker, Mirna Cicioni
Lonely Planet: The world's #1 phrasebook publisher*Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary is your handy passport to culturally enriching travels with the most relevant and useful Italian phrases and vocabulary for all your travel needs. Order an espresso like a local, ask shop keepers about the latest fashions and bargain for fresh produce at the market; all with your trusted travel companion. With language tools in your back pocket, you can truly get to the heart of wherever you go, so begin your journey now!Get More From Your Trip with Easy-to-Find Phrases for Every Travel Situation! Feel at ease with essential tips on culture, manners, idioms and multiple meanings Order with confidence, explain food allergies, and try new foods with the menu decoder Save time and hassles with vital phrases at your fingertips Never get stuck for words with the 3500-word two-way, quick-reference dictionary Be prepared for both common and emergency travel situations with practical phrases and terminology Meet friends with conversation starter phrases Get your message across with easy-to-use pronunciation guides Inside Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary: Full-colour throughout User-friendly layout organised by travel scenario categories Survival phrases inside front cover for at-a-glance on-the-fly cues Convenient features 5 Phrases to Learn Before You Go 10 Ways to Start a Sentence 10 Phrases to Sound like a Local Listen For - phrases you may hear Look For - phrases you may see on signs Shortcuts - easy-to-remember alternatives to the full phrases Q &A - suggested answers to questions asked Covers Basics - time, dates, numbers, amounts, pronunciation, reading tips, grammar rules Practical - travel with kids, disabled travellers, sightseeing, business, banking, post office, internet, phones, repairs, bargaining, accommodation, directions, border crossing, transport Social - meeting people, interests, feelings, opinions, going out, romance, culture, activities, weather Safe Travel - emergencies, police, doctor, chemist, dentist, symptoms, conditions Food - ordering, at the market, at the bar, dishes, ingredients The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Italian Phrasebook & Dictionary, a pocket-sized comprehensive language guide, provides on-the-go language assistance; great for language students and travellers looking to interact with locals and immerse themselves in local culture.About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves. The world awaits! *#1 phrasebook publisher. Source: Nielsen Bookscan UK, US & AUS
The Food Lover's Guide to Florence: With Culinary Excursions in Tuscany
By: Emily Wise Miller
More than a million English-speaking visitors descend on Florence annually, but few venture beyond the usual circuit of tourist restaurants to experience authentic Tuscan cuisine. This updated guide to the best gourmet restaurants and off-the-beaten-path locales offers in-depth profiles of the spots Florentines themselves treasure. Arranged by neighborhood for easy navigation, THE FOOD LOVER'S GUIDE TO FLORENCE is the single essential companion for travelers, students, and expats. The only travel guide devoted solely to the food of Florence and Tuscany, including 100 restaurant reviews and tips for everything from reading the menu to wine selection. Updated with the newest ristorantes, trattorias, enotecas, gelato shops, and open-air markets. Florence is the second most-visited city in the world.
Gusto: The Very Best of Italian Food and Cuisine
By: Armando Minuz, Cesare Casella
The first encyclopedia of Italian cuisine. Illustrated with 4,000 stunning photographs and featuring more than 140 recipes. Italian cooking now has a book worthy of its place at the head of the culinary table. A gorgeous and comprehensive reference guide and cookbook dedicated to Italian food and drink, Gusto beautifully illustrates the ingredients and cooking methods used in kitchens from Parma to Tuscany and beyond. The delicious photos represent a breathtaking array of the components that make up Italian dishes from the classic to the unfamiliar. Imagine every cut of beef, all varieties of mushrooms, fourteen different species of crustacean, twelve kinds of prosciutto, all vividly displayed and carefully explained in ravishing detail. Each chapter—on pasta, rice, fish, meat, bread (and yes, pizza), cheese, salami, vegetables, fruit and nuts, herbs and condiments, desserts, cookies and pastry, gelato, chocolate, coffee, and, of course, wine—describes essential ingredients and food preparation methods as well as presenting superb recipes from Italian kitchens. Equally at home on the coffee table or the countertop, Gusto will surprise the sophisticated connoisseur and amaze the lover of all things Italian.
The Finest Wines of Tuscany and Central Italy: A Regional and Village Guide to the Best Wines and Their Producers (The World's Finest Wines)
By: Nicholas Belfrage
The wines of Tuscany were famous long before Leonardo da Vinci described them as “bottled sunshine,” and they are at the forefront of the remarkable renaissance of Italian wine over the past 30 years. In this groundbreaking new book, Nicolas Belfrage shares his insider’s knowledge acquired as a specialist wine trader and writer. Mindful of the region’s fascinating past, Belfrage brings its story up to date, discussing such subjects as geology and geography, grape varieties, and the latest research into Sangiovese, the variety used in the top wines of Chianti Classico, Brunello di Montalcino, and Vino Nobile di Montepulciano. He also clarifies the regulatory framework and follows the recent controversial developments in viticulture and winemaking, including the rise of the Super-Tuscans and the ongoing “Brunellogate” scandal that broke in 2008. At the heart of the book are in-depth, illustrated profiles of more than 90 of the most interesting producers, large and small, with insightful notes on the essential character of their finest wines. The author also offers a comprehensive review of vintages and selects his top 100 wines in ten different categories, while wines of special quality or value are indicated throughout.
The Tuscan Sun Cookbook: Recipes from Our Italian Kitchen
By: Frances Mayes, Edward Mayes
“Tuscan food tastes like itself. Ingredients are left to shine. . . . So, if on your visit, I hand you an apron, your work will be easy. We’ll start with primo ingredients, a little flurry of activity, perhaps a glass of Vino Nobile di Montepulciano, and soon we’ll be carrying platters out the door. We’ll have as much fun setting the table as we have in the kitchen. Four double doors along the front of the house open to the outside—so handy for serving at a long table under the stars (or for cooling a scorched pan on the stone wall). Italian Philosophy 101: la casa aperta, the open house.” —from the Introduction   In all of Frances Mayes’s bestselling memoirs about Tuscany, food plays a starring role. This cuisine transports, comforts, entices, and speaks to the friendly, genuine, and improvisational spirit of Tuscan life. Both cooking and eating in Tuscany are natural pleasures. In her first-ever cookbook, Frances and her husband, Ed, share recipes that they have enjoyed over the years as honorary Tuscans: dishes prepared in a simple, traditional kitchen using robust, honest ingredients.             A toast to the experiences they’ve had over two decades at Bramasole, their home in Cortona, Italy, this cookbook evokes days spent roaming the countryside for chestnuts, green almonds, blackberries, and porcini; dinner parties stretching into the wee hours,  and garden baskets tumbling over with bright red tomatoes.             Lose yourself in the transporting photography of the food, the people, and the place, as Frances’s lyrical introductions and headnotes put you by her side in the kitchen and raising a glass at the table. From Antipasti (starters) to Dolci (desserts), this cookbook is organized like a traditional Italian dinner.             The more than 150 tempting recipes include: ·         Fried Zucchini Flowers ·         Red Peppers Melted with Balsamic Vinegar ·         Potato Ravioli with Zucchini, Speck, and Pecorino ·         Risotto Primavera ·         Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Sausage ·         Cannellini Bean Soup with Pancetta ·         Little Veal Meatballs with Artichokes and Cherry Tomatoes ·         Chicken Under a Brick ·         Short Ribs, Tuscan-Style ·         Domenica’s Rosemary Potatoes ·         Folded Fruit Tart with Mascarpone ·         Strawberry Semifreddo ·         Steamed Chocolate Cake with Vanilla Sauce   Frances and Ed also share their tips on stocking your pantry, pairing wines with dishes, and choosing the best olive oil. Learn their time-tested methods for hand rolling pasta and techniques for coaxing the best out of seasonal ingredients with little effort.             Throw on another handful of pasta, pull up a chair, and languish in the rustic Italian way of life.
La Bella Figura: A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
By: Beppe Severgnini
Join the bestselling author of Ciao, America! on a lively tour of modern Italy that takes you behind the seductive face it puts on for visitors—la bella figura—and highlights its maddening, paradoxical true self You won’t need luggage for this hypothetical and hilarious trip into the hearts and minds of Beppe Severgnini’s fellow Italians. In fact, Beppe would prefer if you left behind the baggage his crafty and elegant countrymen have smuggled into your subconscious. To get to his Italia, you’ll need to forget about your idealized notions of Italy. Although La Bella Figura will take you to legendary cities and scenic regions, your real destinations are the places where Italians are at their best, worst, and most authentic: The highway: in America, a red light has only one possible interpretation—Stop! An Italian red light doesn’t warn or order you as much as provide an invitation for reflection. The airport: where Italians prove that one of their virtues (an appreciation for beauty) is really a vice. Who cares if the beautiful girls hawking cell phones in airport kiosks stick you with an outdated model? That’s the price of gazing upon perfection.The small town: which demonstrates the Italian genius for pleasant living: “a congenial barber . . . a well-stocked newsstand . . . professionally made coffee and a proper pizza; bell towers we can recognize in the distance, and people with a kind word and a smile for everyone.”The chaos of the roads, the anarchy of the office, the theatrical spirit of the hypermarkets, and garrulous train journeys; the sensory reassurance of a church and the importance of the beach; the solitude of the soccer stadium and the crowded Italian bedroom; the vertical fixations of the apartment building and the horizontal democracy of the eat-in kitchen. As you venture to these and many other locations rooted in the Italian psyche, you realize that Beppe has become your Dante and shown you a country that “has too much style to be hell” but is “too disorderly to be heaven.” Ten days, thirty places. From north to south. From food to politics. From saintliness to sexuality. This ironic, methodical, and sentimental examination will help you understand why Italy—as Beppe says—“can have you fuming and then purring in the space of a hundred meters or ten minutes.”
Siena, City of the Virgin: Illustrated (Sacred Art in Tradition)
By: Titus Burckhardt
This beautifully illustrated book examines the history, culture, and spirituality of the Italian city of Siena, the City of the Virgin. Home of St. Catherine and St. Bernardino, Siena was equally renowned for its architectural beauty and its religious devotion. Through the use of color photographs, maps, and reproductions of original manuscripts, Burckhardt invites the reader to walk the streets of a city whose history mirrors the development of Christianity in Europe.
Siena: City of Secrets
By: Jane Tylus
NA
The City of Florence: Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
By: R.W.B. Lewis
A New York Times Notable BookIn this deeply personal and learned labor of love, R.W.B. Lewis provides a new look at the glories of Florence, the smallish Tuscan city which has been a prime source for modern Western culture and which has also been his second home for fifty years. With a scholar's eye and a lover's passion, he invites us to share his vision of a city and the way of life it has engendered and inspired.
The Italians
By: John Hooper
Washington Post bestsellerLos Angeles Times bestsellerA vivid and surprising portrait of the Italian people from an admired foreign correspondent How did a nation that spawned the Renaissance also produce the Mafia? And why does Italian have twelve words for coat hanger but none for hangover?   John Hooper’s entertaining and perceptive new book is the ideal companion for anyone seeking to understand contemporary Italy and the unique character of the Italians. Fifteen years as a foreign correspondent based in Rome have sharpened Hooper’s observations, and he looks at the facts that lie behind the stereotypes, shedding new light on everything from the Italians’ bewildering politics to their love of life and beauty. Hooper persuasively demonstrates the impact of geography, history, and tradition on many aspects of Italian life, including football and Freemasonry, sex, food, and opera. Brimming with the kind of fascinating—and often hilarious—insights unavailable in guidebooks, The Italians will surprise even the most die-hard Italophile.From the Hardcover edition.
Architecture of the Renaissance: From Brunelleschi to Palladio (New Horizons) by Bertrand Jestaz (1996-04-22)
By: Thames & Hudson
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
By: Ross King
On August 19, 1418, a competition concerning Florence's magnificent new cathedral, Santa Maria del Fiore--already under construction for more than a century--was announced: "Whoever desires to make any model or design for the vaulting of the main Dome....shall do so before the end of the month of September." The proposed dome was regarded far and wide as all but impossible to build: not only would it be enormous, but its original and sacrosanct design shunned the flying buttresses that supported cathedrals all over Europe. The dome would literally need to be erected over thin air.Of the many plans submitted, one stood out--a daring and unorthodox solution to vaulting what is still the largest dome (143 feet in diameter) in the world. It was offered not by a master mason or carpenter, but by a goldsmith and clockmaker named Filippo Brunelleschi, then forty-one, who would dedicate the next twenty-eight years to solving the puzzles of the dome's construction. In the process, he did nothing less than reinvent the field of architecture.Brunelleschi's Dome is the story of how a Renaissance genius bent men, materials, and the very forces of nature to build an architectural wonder we continue to marvel at today. Denounced at first as a madman, Brunelleschi was celebrated at the end as a genius. He engineered the perfect placement of brick and stone, built ingenious hoists and cranes (among some of the most renowned machines of the Renaissance) to carry an estimated 70 million pounds hundreds of feet into the air, and designed the workers' platforms and routines so carefully that only one man died during the decades of construction--all the while defying those who said the dome would surely collapse and his own personal obstacles that at times threatened to overwhelm him. This drama was played out amid plagues, wars, political feuds, and the intellectual ferments of Renaissance Florence-- events Ross King weaves into the story to great effect, from Brunelleschi's bitter, ongoing rivalry with the sculptor Lorenzo Ghiberti to the near catpure of Florence by the Duke of Milan. King also offers a wealth of fascinating detail that opens windows onto fifteenth-century life: the celebrated traditions of the brickmaker's art, the daily routine of the artisans laboring hundreds of feet above the ground as the dome grew ever higher, the problems of transportation, the power of the guilds.Even today, in an age of soaring skyscrapers, the cathedral dome of Santa Maria del Fiore retains a rare power to astonish. Ross King brings its creation to life in a fifteenth-century chronicle with twenty-first-century resonance.
The Art of the Renaissance (World of Art)
By: Peter Murray, Linda Lefevre Murray
The Renaissance began in Italy, but it grew out of European civilization, with roots in Antiquity, in Christian dogma, and in Byzantium. The artistic ferment which had taken hold of Florence by 1420 was also reflected in the regional schools of Siena, Umbria, Mantua and Rome; and the new ideas spread from Italy through France, the Netherlands, Austria, Spain and Portugal. The book includes artists as diverse as Piero della Francesca, Van Eyck, Durer, Mantegna and Bellini, as well as the High Renaissance masters Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo and Raphael. With superb illustrations of the artists' work and crucial historical information about the "rebirth" of arts and letters, the authors illuminate one of the most important periods of art history. 251 illus., 51 in color.
D. H. Lawrence and Italy: Sketches from Etruscan Places, Sea and Sardinia, Twilight in Italy (Penguin Classics)
By: D. H. Lawrence
In these impressions of the Italian countryside, Lawrence transforms ordinary incidents into passages of intense beauty. Twilight in Italy is a vibrant account of Lawrence's stay among the people of Lake Garda, whose decaying lemon gardens bear witness to the twilight of a way of life centuries old. In 'Sea and Sardinia', Lawrence brings to life the vigorous spontaneity of a society as yet untouched by the deadening effect of industrialization. And 'Etruscan Places' is a beautiful and delicate work of literary art, the record of 'a dying man drinking from the founts of a civilization dedicated to life.'For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Every Day in Tuscany: Seasons of an Italian Life
By: Frances Mayes
#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER AND A TIMELESS CLASSIC FROM THE AUTHOR OF UNDER MAGNOLIA Frances Mayes—widely published poet, gourmet cook, and travel writer—opnes the door to a wondrous new world when she buys and restores an abandoned villa in the spectacular Tuscan countryside. In evocative language, she brings the reader along as she discovers the beauty and simplicity of life in Italy. Mayes also creates dozens of delicious seasonal recipes from her traditional kitchen and simple garden, all of which she includes in the book. Doing for Tuscany what M.F.K. Fisher and Peter Mayle did for Provence, Mayes writes about the tastes and pleasures of a foreign country with gusto and passion.
Hidden Tuscany: Discovering Art, Culture, and Memories in a Well-Known Region's Unknown Places
By: John Keahey
In Hidden Tuscany, acclaimed author John Keahey takes the reader into a part of Tuscany beyond the usual tourist destinations of Chianti, Florence, and Siena. The often overlooked western portion of Tuscany is rich with history, cuisine, and scenery begging to be explored, and Keahey encourages travelers to abandon itineraries and let the grooves in the road and the curves of the coast guide your journey instead.Follow Keahey as he turns off the autostrada and takes roads barely two lanes wide to discover fishing villages along the Tuscan sea. Then move inland into rolling foothills adorned with cherry orchards, ancient olive groves, and sweeping vineyards that produce wines that challenge Chianti's best. Here it is still possible to follow the paths of Romans, Crusaders, and pilgrims from throughout the western world who were eager to reach Rome.Hidden Tuscany provides intriguing images of places such as Livorno, a port city with canals; Pietrasanta, Tuscany's Citta d'Arte; and Capraia, an island formed by volcanoes. Keahey engages with the inhabitants of these enchanting landscapes, whether sculptors who toil in marble studios or residents whose own memories and traditions illuminate major moments in world history.From coastal towns to vineyards farther inland to the Tuscan archipelago, Keahey reminds us that each village, city, and island has its own unique story to tell. For armchair travelers and vacation seekers alike, Hidden Tuscany brings a new side of this classic Italian region to life, and the result is mesmerizing.
Reluctant Saint: The Life of Francis of Assisi (Compass)
By: Donald Spoto
Acclaimed biographer Donald Spoto strips away the legends from the life of Francis of Assisi to reveal the true story of a man who has too often been obscured by pious iconography. Drawing on unprecedented access to unexplored archives, plus Francis's own letters, Spoto places Francis within the context of the multifaceted ecclesiastical, political, and social forces of medieval Italy, casting new light on Francis and showing how his emphasis on charity as the heart of the Gospel's message helped him pioneer a new social movement. This nuanced portrait reveals the multifaceted character of a man who can genuinely be said to have changed the course of history.
Too Much Tuscan Sun: Confessions Of A Chianti Tour Guide
By: Dario Castagno, Robert Rodi
Over the past several years, "the American in Tuscany" has become a literary subgenre. Launched by the phenomenal success of Frances Mayes's Under the Tuscan Sun, bookstores now burgeon with nimble, witty accounts of this clash in cultures-Americans trying to do American things in Italy and bumping against a brick wall of tradition.Before this subgenre exhausts itself, it's only fair that we hear the other side of the story-that of a native Tuscan and of dozens of Americans who have stormed through his life and homeland, determined to find in it whatever they are looking for, whether quaintness or wisdom, submission or direction.There is no one better to provide this view than Dario Castagno. A Tuscan guide whose client base is predominantly American, Dario has spent more than a decade taking individuals and small groups on customized tours through the Chianti region of Tuscany. Reared in Britain through early childhood, he speaks English fluently and is therefore capable of fully engaging his American clients and getting to know them. Too Much Tuscan Sun is Dario's account of some of his more remarkable customers, from the obsessive and the oblivious to the downright lunatic.It is also a primer on Tuscany--its charms and its culture. Structured around a typical Tuscan year, Dario takes us through the sights, smells, and sounds of Chianti during each of the twelve months, including the festivities and pageantry that accord with the season, most notable the Palio-the bareback horse race that consumes the social energies of the people of Siena for all of July and August.Dario also intersperses an account of his own life and times-that of a transplanted British "little lord" who learns to love the wilds of Chianti; of his discovery and adoption of abandoned peasant farmhouses; of his apprenticeship in the wine industry; and of his arduous transformation from bohemian layabout to thriving Tuscan guide.But the bulk of the book is devoted, with humor and affection, to the Americans he has met-the vain, the silly, the ignorant, the ambitious, the horny, the condescending, the charming, and the outright pathological. Some of them have made his life hell and live in his nightmares; others became lifelong friends.
Italy: A Traveler's Literary Companion (Traveler's Literary Companions)
By: Lawrence Venuti
Italy’s rising literary stars join some of its best-known writers — including Nobel-laureate Luigi Pirandello, Natalia Ginzburg, Alberto Moravia, and Antonio Tabucchi — to take the reader on a panoramic tour of both city and countryside, across the social spectrum, surveying the country’s rich cultural history. Explore Italy’s popular tourist destinations and out-of-the-way spots under the fresh and even startling light cast by these twenty-three diverse and exciting stories, most of which are available here in English for the first time. For those who wish to reach beyond the stereotypes and get an insider’s view to discover an Italy that’s off the beaten path, as well as new insights along familiar, well-traveled roads, these stories — arranged geographically for the traveler, armchair or otherwise — are an excellent place to start. Contributors include Barbara Alberti, Corrado Alvaro, Romano Bilenchi, Massimo Bontempelli, Dino Buzzati, Andrea Camilleri, Natalia Ginzburg, Claudio Magris, Marilia Mazzeo, Luigi Malerba, Dacia Maraini, Maria Messina, Alberto Moravia, Aldo Palazzeschi, Goffredo Parise, Luigi Pirandello, Domenico Rea, Mario Rigoni Stern, Lalla Romano, Alberto Savinio, Tiziano Scarpa, Antonio Tabucchi, and Federigo Tozzi.
The Agony and the Ecstasy: A Biographical Novel of Michelangelo
By: Irving Stone
Irving Stone’s classic biographical novel of Michelangelo—the #1 New York Times bestseller in which both the artist and the man are brought to vivid, captivating life. His time—the turbulent Renaissance, the years of poisoning princes, warring Popes, and the all-powerful de'Medici family... His loves—the frail and lovely daughter of Lorenzo de'Medici, the ardent mistress of Marco Aldovrandi, and his last love, his greatest love—the beautiful, unhappy Vittoria Colonna... His genius—a God-driven fury from which he wrested brilliant work that made a grasp for heaven unmatched in half a millennium... His name—Michelangelo Buonarroti. Creator of the David, painter of the ceiling in the Sistine Chapel, architect of the dome of St. Peter's, Michelangelo lives once more in the tempestuous, powerful pages of Irving Stone's towering triumph. A masterpiece in its own right, this biographical novel offers a compelling portrait of one of the greatest artists the world has ever known.
Tuscany in Mind: From Byron and the Brownings to Henry James, D. H. Lawrence, Robert Lowell, and Penelope Fitzgerald--Two Centuries of Great Writers Seduced by Tuscany
By: Brand: Vintage
In her fourth literary travel companion, Alice Leccese Powers explores one of the most seductive regions of the world through more than two centuries of fiction, poetry, essays, letters, and memoirs by English-speaking visitors to northern Italy.The poet Shelley called Tuscany “a paradise of exiles”; it has long been a magnet for literary travelers and expatriates. Here are writers who have made their home in Tuscan villas, castles, and farmhouses, from the Shelleys, Byron, and the Brownings to Frances Mayes. Here too are Charles Dickens, Edith Wharton, Henry James, and E. M. Forster on the glories of Florence, Pisa’s leaning tower, and the enchanting Tuscan countryside, alongside the tart wit of Mark Twain, Mary McCarthy, and Erica Jong. From James Boswell’s record of his romantic dalliances to Laura Fraser’s memoir An Italian Affair to Sarah Dunant’s novel The Birth of Venus, Tuscany in Mind assembles a glittering mosaic portrait of an unforgettable place.Kinta Beevor • James Boswell • Elizabeth Barrett Browning • Robert Browning • Lord Byron • Bruce Chatwin • Ann Cornelisen • Charles Dickens • Sarah Dunant • Lawrence Ferlinghetti • Penelope Fitzgerald • E. M. Forster • Laura Fraser • Paul Gervais • Barbara Grizzuti Harrison • Robert Hellenga • William Dean Howells • Henry James • Erica Jong • D. H. Lawrence • David Leavitt and Mark Mitchell • Robert Lowell • Frances Mayes • Mary McCarthy • H. V. Morton • Eric Newby • Iris Origo • John Ormond • Elizabeth Romer • John Ruskin • Mary Shelley • Percy Bysshe Shelley • Kate Simon • Tobias Smollett • Matthew Spender • Stephen Spender • Mark Twain • Edith Wharton
24x36 World Wall Map by Smithsonian Journeys - Tan Oceans Special Edition (24x36 Paper Folded)
By: Smithsonian Journeys
Swiftmaps is proud to partner with Smithsonian Journeys to bring a new and exciting World Map series to the American marketplace. Featuring eye-catching bold and vivid colors complemented with rich vintage tan ocean tones that will make this the perfect reference piece --- sure to stand-out and highlight any home or business wall. The precise detail and digital accuracy shows color-matching visual shaded 3D relief and other physical features without sacrificing the maps readability. Now printed on high-quality 80 lb. paper and professionally FOLDED in a compact 8x10 inch size. FEATURES: 1) Africa centered allowing viewers to see continents complete and intact 2) Clearly labeled country and city names for easy location 3) Latitude and longitude indications 4) Shaded relief of ocean and land topography 4) Desirable Miller Projection. The Smithsonian Journeys wall map series serve not only as a handy reference piece, but as an eye-catching accent for any room or office. NOTE: each map is professionally folded to 8x10 inches and when unfolded the map is 24 inches high and 36 inches wide.
Travel Insurance

For the convenience of our travelers, Smithsonian Journeys includes an on-tour Provided Insurance Plan through Travel Guard with the price of your tour. This travel insurance plan includes On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only, not including U.S. Territories). Travel must be more than 100 miles from the Insured’s primary residence.

In addition, you may want to consider purchasing travel insurance to protect your investment from unforeseen events, such as missed flight connections, lost luggage, and cancelled plans. There are many plans you can consider. For your convenience, you may visit www.TravelGuard.com/SmithsonianJourneys or call Travel Guard at 1.800.208.6142 to learn more.

Terms and conditions

Our Mission

Smithsonian Journeys engage travelers in the mission of the Smithsonian – “the increase and diffusion of knowledge.” Like the Institution, our tours enrich our guests’ lives and satisfy their curiosity about the world. Your participation benefits the work of Smithsonian’s 19 museums, National Zoo, and nine research centers, helping to preserve our national treasures and shape the future through science, research, and exhibitions.

What Is Included in the Tour Cost

  • The assistance of a Smithsonian Journeys Resident Travel Director, and local guides throughout the tour
  • All gratuities for your resident Travel Director, on tour guides, and drivers
  • On-tour medical evacuation insurance (up to $100,000), emergency medical expense coverage (up to $25,000), dental expense coverage (up to $500), travel medical assistance and worldwide travel assistance (U.S. Residents only excluding Puerto Rico)
  • Pre-tour information, including a reading list
  • All on-tour transportation, unless otherwise noted
  • All accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Meals, as noted in the itinerary (B-breakfast; L-lunch; D-dinner; R-reception)
  • All sightseeing and visits as noted in each itinerary
  • For tours that include  round-trip international airfare: Airfare to/from your departure city, airline taxes, fuel surcharges, and departure fees are included

What Is Not Included in the Tour Cost

  • Passport and all visa fees and photos; immunization(s); and any other travel documentation fees as required
  • Enrichment Tracks
  • Optional travel insurance, including cancellation/delay/lost baggage insurance
  • Personal items, unless otherwise stated, such as wine, liquors, a-la-carte orders
  • Expenses incurred by our tour operator in making any individual travel arrangements in conjunction with the tour
  • Airline baggage and other airline fees and associated taxes, unless noted in Tour description
  • Communication Charges (e.g.: phone, the internet, etc.)
  • Other items noted as optional or not specifically mentioned as included
  • Airfare to/from your departure city is not included. Optional airfare may be available at an additional cost.

Registration 

To submit a reservation request, please use our secure online system at SmithsonianJourneys.org or call 855-330-1542 to speak with a Reservations Specialist, Monday-Friday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Eastern Time). Submitting an online request does not guarantee space on a tour.  You will be notified by a Reservation Specialist of your status once your request has been received and processed. 

To complete your reservation, the following information is required.

In accordance with the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Secure Flight program, for all international tours, passport information is required, including the following:   Full name as it appears on your passport, Date of birth, and Gender (for further information, please visit www.tsa.gov).

For tours that include round-trip international airfare: If you provide incorrect information to the ticketing agent, or if you use a different passport than originally cited, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue.

Payments

A deposit of $500 per person for a land tour reservation or $1,000 for a cruise reservation, unless otherwise noted, is required to reserve a space on a tour.  All payments may be made by credit card or check to the tour operator.  Deposits are applied to final payment of the tour price.

Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure, unless otherwise noted.  Balance is due upon invoicing.  If full payment is not received by the final payment due date, your place cannot be guaranteed on the tour.

Late Registration

Any registration received within 95 days of departure is considered “on-request” and is subject to specific confirmation. Some tours are more restrictive. Payment in full must be made immediately by credit card, or by check sent by overnight mail to the tour operator, before confirmation is possible.

Once confirmed, cancellation penalties apply as set forth below. If confirmation is not possible, all payments made will be refunded in full. Late registration confirmation procedures apply to any participant who is transferred from the wait list to the tour within the designated late registration period for that tour.

For additional information, please contact a Reservations Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Monday - Friday 9 a.m. – 6 p.m. (Eastern Time), at SJReservations@si.edu or SmithsonianJourneys.org.

A Note About Costs

All prices are based on two persons sharing a room/cabin. All prices are quoted in U.S. dollars. Tour costs are based upon current airfares, tariffs, currency values, and on the basis of a presumptive minimum number of participants. While we will do everything possible to maintain the listed prices, they are subject to change.   Due to fluctuations in oil prices, a fuel surcharge may be added to your tour fee (e.g. internal flights, cruises, etc.).  Details and costs will be advised prior to departure.

Wait List

If the tour of your choice is fully subscribed, you may choose to be placed on a waitlist by contacting a Reservation Specialist at 1-855-330-1542 Mon-Fri 9 am - 7 pm; Sat 9 am – 4 pm (Eastern Time), or SJReservations@si.edu. Individuals on the wait list will be contacted if space becomes available and can inquire about tour status by contacting a Reservation Specialist. If you choose to withdraw from a wait list, please notify us.

Cancellation and Refund Policy

Following enrollment, a participant’s withdrawal from the tour for any reason, including, but not limited to, illness, injury, family engagements, work-related issues, or geopolitical concerns, etc., will be deemed a cancellation. Please understand that there will be no exceptions to our cancellation policy.

Per person cancellation fees are based on date of written notice to Smithsonian Journeys. Tour operator will refund on the following basis:

  • Cancellations within 7 days of booking:  Full Refund (unless it is within final payment date, 95 days before departure)
  • Cancellations after 7 days of booking:  Full Deposit Retained
  • Cancellations made within final payment date, 95 days before departure:  No Refund
  • Cancellation by Smithsonian Journeys:  Full Refund or Credit

Air Service

For tours that include round-trip international airfare, rates are based on economy class from designated departure cities as shown. Airfares from other cities are available upon request.  Airline upgrades at additional cost may be available on request for the international portion of your flight.  If an air schedule requires an overnight stay in a gateway city, the cost of the overnight will be at your expense.  For tours that include round-trip international airfare, we will be happy to help with arrangements.

Individual Arrivals and Group Transfers

A designated group flight is not included on most tours. Your first tour bulletin will thoroughly explain the details of the options available for your individual flights. Airport transfers (when applicable) are complimentary for both Flex Air participants and participants who are able to meet the scheduled group departure times. Reservations are required.

Air Service/Tickets Purchased Independently of the Tour

International and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time. If you make your own airline reservations, we recommend that you do not purchase nonrefundable tickets or tickets with high penalties for changes. 

We urge you to check airline cancellation penalties before purchasing airline tickets since international departure times and flights can change. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator accepts liability for cancellation penalties related to domestic or international airline tickets purchased independently in conjunction with a tour.

Travel Insurance- Cancellation/Delay/Lost Baggage

Smithsonian Journeys recommends that all participants purchase travel insurance

Travel Documents and Information

Participants are responsible for obtaining any documents required for their participation in the tour such as a valid passport, all visas, vaccination certificates, and any other documents. If your tour requires a visa or other entry documents, we will send you the appropriate information after you make a reservation.  Failure to obtain documents does not negate the terms and conditions, and any extra costs incurred for rerouting or delay due to travel without the necessary documents will be the participant’s responsibility. If you are not a U.S. citizen, please contact your embassy or consulate to ensure you obtain the proper documentation.

For all international departures, a passport valid for at least six months after the completion of your tour, and with at least six blank visa pages, is required for U.S. citizens on all tours. The U.S. Department of State will no longer add visa pages into U.S. passports beginning January 1, 2016. The decision to discontinue this service was made to enhance the security of the passport and to abide by international passport standards. Beginning January 1, 2016, applicants in need of additional pages in their valid passports must obtain a new passport. For more information on how or where to apply, please visit Travel.State.Gov/ApplyEarly or call the National Passport Information Center toll-free at 1-877-487-2778/1-888-874-7793 (TTY/TTD).

For more information about traveling to destinations abroad, we recommend the “Learn about your destination” section on the U.S. Department of State travel website www.travel.state.gov.  For medical information, we recommend contacting the Centers for Disease Control at (877) FYI-TRIP or www.cdc.gov/travel

Physical and Medical Considerations

To enjoy the travel experience, participants should be in good physical and mental health. All tours require an element of walking (up to two miles per day over uneven terrain) and of climbing stairs, often without handrails. Participants should have sufficient stamina to keep pace with an active group of participants on long days of touring. If you have any questions about your ability to participate in a tour, please call us at 855-330-1542. Any physical condition, diet, or special request for accommodation must be identified in writing on the Personal Information Form when the reservation is made. Some tours have additional information regarding physical and medical considerations, which may be discussed with the Reservation Specialist at 855-330-1542.

Please be aware that health care standards, facilities, and services abroad may be different or even inadequate for treating certain health conditions.  It is essential that you inform us in writing (on the provided Personal Information Form) of any existing condition for which you may require medical attention or accommodation during the tour. We will make reasonable efforts to accommodate the needs of our participants; however, services of a personal nature cannot be expected or guaranteed. By forwarding the deposit for pre-registration or registration in full, you affirm that you do not have any physical or other limitations that would create a hazard for yourself or other participants or would require adjustments to the tour for other participants.

Itinerary or Tour Modifications

Smithsonian Journeys strives to improve tour itineraries and their features. If improvements can be made, or unforeseen circumstances beyond our control make changes necessary, at our sole discretion, we reserve the right to vary itineraries and to substitute elements of the tour.  These elements include, but are not limited to:  hotels, staff, speakers, experts, and services for any stated in the itinerary.

Every effort will be made to carry out the tour as planned but alterations may still occur after the final itinerary has been sent to you. Please note that weather and other conditions may force changes to the advertised sailing schedule on cruise tours. The ship’s captain has the authority to change the ship’s schedule. Smithsonian Journeys and the tour operator reserve the right to substitute motorcoach transportation using hotels, inns or lodges for cruise accommodations if necessary due to weather, water conditions or levels, other events of force majeure, mechanical, or other conditions beyond their control.

Hotel Accommodations

Smithsonian Journeys chooses hotels based on a combination of location, service, atmosphere, and price. On adventure tours and tours in out-of-the-way places, best-available hotels are used.  Tour prices are based on two persons sharing a room with a bath.

Singles and Roommates

Hotel rooms are always reserved for single participants, however, the number of single rooms available on a tour may be limited. Therefore we recommend that you register early. Please note that a single supplement will most likely apply for a single room.  If you are traveling alone and wish to share a room/cabin, we will do our best to find someone of the same gender and smoking preference to share with you. If you are matched with a non-smoking roommate, it is mutually agreed that you cannot smoke in your hotel room/cabin. When a roommate cannot be found, a single supplement will be charged. Please note that the single rooms in many foreign hotels may be smaller than those to which you are accustomed.

Children

All tours except family journeys, are designed for adults. Some may be suitable for children 16 and older. Regardless of age, children must pay full price unless otherwise noted, moreover, a parent or guardian must accompany those under 18.

Special Travel Arrangements

Participants may wish to extend their stay in the group hotel either before or after the tour. Our tour operators will work with you on these arrangements, dependent upon space availability.  Your pre-tour bulletins will further explain all options.

Should you decide not to participate in certain parts of the tour or use certain goods included in the tour, no refunds will be made for those unused parts of the tour or goods.

Dispute Resolution

If a complaint arises, the participant should first inform a member of the on-tour staff, so that the staff can attempt to rectify the matter. If the issue remains unresolved, the individual should submit the complaint in writing to Smithsonian Journeys within 30 days of the completion of the tour.

The Smithsonian Journeys staff will make a good faith effort to resolve any dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to resolve the dispute, the parties may agree to use a method of non-binding Alternative Dispute Resolution to resolve the dispute.  In the event that the parties are unable to agree on the method of Alternative Dispute Resolution to use, or in the event that either party is dissatisfied with the outcome of that alternative dispute resolution method, such efforts shall not constitute a waiver by either party of the right to file suit.

Photography and Video

Participants on tour may be photographed or recorded (audio and video) for the educational and promotional purposes of the Smithsonian Institution and Smithsonian authorized third parties.  This content may be used in marketing publications and posted on websites to promote Smithsonian Journeys without compensation to the participant. Participants who prefer that their name, voice and/or image not be used must notify us in writing prior to the beginning of the tour.

Smoking Policy

 For the comfort of all participants, we ask that there be no smoking during all group activities, including excursions and meals. On certain cruises, there is no smoking aboard the ship. Your pre-tour bulletins will provide further information.

READ CAREFULLY: RESPONSIBILITY STATEMENT AND LIABILITY DISCLAIMER

Smithsonian Journeys tours are organized and administered by professional tour operators hired as independent contractors. The use of designated tour operators allows the Smithsonian to offer participants a wide array of educational travel opportunities. The tour operator acts only as an agent for the respective suppliers by making arrangements for transportation, accommodations, and other services. Neither the Smithsonian Institution nor the tour operator shall be held liable for personal injury, death, property damage or accident, delay or irregularity arising out of any act or omission of these suppliers. The Smithsonian Institution and the tour operator reserve the right, without penalty, to make changes in the published itinerary whenever, in their judgment, conditions warrant, or if they deem it necessary for the comfort, convenience, or safety of tour participants.

The Smithsonian Institution and its designated tour operator also reserve the right, without penalty, to withdraw the tour announced, to decline to accept any person as a participant in a tour, or to require any participant to withdraw from the tour at any time (including, but not limited for inappropriate, or offensive behavior) when such action is determined by tour staff to be in the best interests of the health, safety or general welfare of the tour group or the individual participant.

Dates, schedules, tour details, and costs, although provided in good faith based on information available at the time of publication on the website, in the brochure or catalog, are subject to change and revision.

AS A CONDITION OF ACCEPTANCE OF ANY APPLICATION, EACH APPLICANT MUST AGREE TO THE STATEMENT SET FORTH BELOW:

The undersigned has read carefully the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer set forth above, the schedule of activities for this tour, as well as the terms and conditions of application and participation as set forth in the tour materials, and recognizes and accepts any risk associated with the tour and the conditions, including the refund policy, set forth in the tour materials. The undersigned further acknowledges that there are many risks and uncertainties inherent in any travel tour, including but not limited to the hazards of various modes of transportation, forces of nature, acts or omissions of foreign governments, terrorism, war or insurrection, theft, illness, and damage to person or property due to the negligent acts or omissions of tour staff or others. In consideration of, and as part payment for, the right to participate in the tour, the undersigned, on behalf of himself, his dependents, heirs, executors, administrators and assigns, agrees to release the Smithsonian Institution, its Regents, officers, employees, representatives or agents, the United States, and the tour operator and its officers, employees and agents, from liability for personal injury, death, property damage or loss suffered by any person in connection with this tour, even if caused by the negligence (but not the reckless, willful, or fraudulent conduct) of tour staff or other related persons or entities. In addition, by registering for this tour, the applicant certifies that he or she is mentally and physically capable of full participation in this tour. By registering for a Smithsonian Journey, the participant agrees to the Responsibility Statement and Liability Disclaimer and the Terms and Conditions herein.