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: $4,990 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 The iconic Duomo of Florence  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 Ponte Vecchio, the renowned bridge in Florence crossing the Arno. Credit: Bart Parren  Enjoying the moment in Florence   Palazzo Vecchio in the evening  Panoramic view of Florence  Typical scene in the central market in Florence. Credit: LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen Gmbh/Alamy  Traditional foods of Tuscany  Freshly made pasta  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

23-30 days from $4,990

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

Overview

Special Air Rates & Services: As part of our special air program, FlexAir, available with this tour, you can choose from a wide variety of flight options. View Special Air Rates/Services to learn more.

Offering endless opportunities to explore Italy’s arts, history, and culture, Florence is also small enough that you can feel at home within a very short time.

Highlights Include

  • Excursions, Day Trips, Presentations: Enjoy an architectural walking tour of Florence and tours of the Uffizi and Accademia galleries. Go beyond Florence on day trips to Chianti, Lucca, Siena, Colle di Val d’Elsa, and Cortona. Plus, attend sessions on art and contemporary Italy.
  • Apart/Hotel: Reside in modern, spacious accommodations at PopArtment, located just outside the city’s historic center. Apartments feature all modern amenities, including WiFi, air-conditioning, and a well-equipped kitchenette, plus a friendly, helpful staff. 

To see itinerary, please click on an option below.

2017 Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on your overnight transatlantic flight to Florence, Italy.

Day 2 – Florence, Italy

Arrive Florence and transfer to the PopArtment apartment-hotel in central Florence. After quiet time to relax and unpack, join fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for a short welcome briefing. Each traveler will receive a one-month city bus pass to use when exploring on your own. This evening, meet new friends at a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner at a popular local restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 – Florence

A private breakfast is included this morning at the PopArtment. Begin exploring today with a walking tour led by an expert guide. Explore the cradle of the Renaissance with a full day in unforgettable Florence, a World Heritage Site. The tour begins with the façade of Il Duomo and includes churches, palazzi and libraries commissioned by Cosimo de Medici and highlights the city’s fine art and architecture. See the cupola of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and marvel at the spectacular bronze doors of the Baptistry. Walk to the fabled Arno River to visit the Ponte Vecchio, known for its many gold shops. People watch and have an espresso at a café on the Piazza della Signoria. After seeing the sights, stop for lunch in a popular local trattoria. Get together at the Smithsonian Journeys traveler’s corner this afternoon to visit with new friends and enjoy lively conversation at a café near the hotel. (B,L)

Day 4 – Florence

A private breakfast will be provided this morning. For those who subscribed to the Track #1 Language Option, visit your Italian language school this morning for an orientation of the facilities, placement review, and your first language class. Your resident director will be in the lobby each day to answer questions, make restaurant recommendations, and help with your personal plans.

This afternoon, attend an engaging presentation on the great masters of the Renaissance. Join fellow travelers for dinner this evening at a nearby restaurant. (B,D)

Day 5 – Florence

Track #1 Language Option students depart the hotel for language instruction. If you subscribed to the Track #3 Arts and Architecture, program visit the interior of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery, followed by an architectural walking tour through Florence. 

Day 6 – Florence

Track #1 Language Option participants depart the hotel for language lessons. This afternoon, for those on the Track #2 Culinary Option, enjoy a market experience and learn how to prepare Italian appetizers and pair them with local wines. 

Day 7 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s morning language instruction. Meet with fellow travelers for lunch at a popular ristorante. Continue to the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David and other remarkable museum collections. In late afternoon, meet in the Smithsonian traveler’s corner for friendly conversation at a cafe near the hotel. (L)

Day 8 – Florence

Today is free of planned activities so you can explore on your own. 

Day 9 – Carrara and Lucca

Explore the fabled town of Carrara known throughout the world for its quarries of luminous white marble Michelangelo favored for his sculptures. After lunch, continue to Lucca, a town whose Roman legacy is its massive city walls. Visit the 11th century Romanesque Cathedral, its medieval relics and a carving said to be an accurate portrait of Christ. Dinner this evening will be served in a select restaurant in Lucca. After dinner, return to Florence. (L,D)

Day 10 – Florence

Follow your own path today and spend it enjoying Florence at your leisure. 

Day 11 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language class. This afternoon, attend an engaging discussion focusing on Italy’s place in the European Union with a review of its modern-day political, economic and social position. This evening, gather for an aperitif before sitting down to dinner at a select restaurant. (D)

Day 12 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s morning instruction. This afternoon, explore the Uffizi Gallery, which showcases one of most brilliant art collections in the world. Follow the development of Florentine art from the Gothic era to the Renaissance. 

Day 13 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language lesson. If you enrolled in Track #2 Culinary Option, you’ll learn how to make traditional Italian pasta and sauces. 

Day 14 – Florence

Track # 1 Language Option participants depart the hotel for language lessons. Follow your own path today and spend it enjoying Florence. For those who subscribed to Track #3 Art & Architecture you’ll explore Medieval Florence and its Basilicas

Day 15 – Florence and Chianti

Travel to explore the World Heritage Site of San Gimignano, a small, walled medieval hill town. Continue to the town of Castellina for a lunch of Tuscan specialties. Later visit the 16th century Castello di Monsanto in the heart of Chianti where you’ll enjoy a sampling of the region’s distinctive wines and olive oil. (L)

Day 16 – Florence

The day is free of planned activities, so let your interests be your guide and explore on your own. This afternoon meet in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler's corner and enjoy a drink and lively discussion. 

Day 17 – Florence and Cortona

Learn about the history of the quintessential Tuscan town of Cortona and discover its many artistic and architectural highlights. Visit the Romanesque Cathedral and visit the engaging Etruscan Museum to see its fascinating collection of artifacts. (L)

Day 18 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language class. Get together with fellow travelers for dinner. (D)

Day 19 – Florence

This morning there’s a Track #1 Language Option language class. The day is free for independent activities. 

Day 20 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language lesson. If you enrolled in Track #2 Culinary Option, you’ll learn how to make a traditional Italian three-course dinner or Cena from antipasto to dolce or dessert. 

Day 21 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language class. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for dinner with wine at a local restaurant and share stories about your Tuscan adventure. (D)

Day 22 – Florence, Colle di Val d’Elsa and Siena

A field trip today will take you to the beautiful town of Colle di Val d’Elsa for a guided walking tour of the quaint Old Town. After a cooking demonstration that includes a delicious lunch, continue to the World Heritage Site of Siena. Like a crown atop three hills, the stunning city of Siena has remained remarkably unchanged throughout the centuries. Bathed in a rose-pink glow, Siena’s narrow streets wind through a city of majestic cathedrals, museums and wonderfully preserved Gothic buildings. See the renowned Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful medieval squares in Italy. Admire the 14th-century Torre del Mangia, the stunning bas-reliefs on the Gaia Fountain and the black and gold striped Duomo. (L)

Day 23 – Florence

The day is free of planned activities, so let your interests be your guide and explore on your own. This afternoon meet in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler's corner and enjoy a drink and lively conversation. 

Day 24 – Florence

If you subscribed to Track #3 Arts and Architecture program visit Michelangelo Square for a beautiful view overlooking Florence. Continue to the Archeological Museum in Fiesole that showcases remarkable Etruscan and Roman antiquities. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. 

Day 25 – Florence

For those who selected the Track #1 Language Option there’s morning language classes. This evening, gather with your fellow travelers for dinner at a popular restaurant. (D)

Day 26 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s morning language lessons. Gather for lunch at a local restaurant. For those engaged in Track #3 Art and Architecture visit the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens. See the Palatine Gallery displaying a wide range of Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Continue to the Royal Apartments, the residence of the Medici, Lorraine and Savoy families. The Boboli Gardens have recently been added to the list of World Heritage Sites. (L)

Day 27 – Florence

Morning language lessons are scheduled for those who selected the Track #1 Language Option. The day is free of planned activities so that you can relax and explore at your leisure. 

Day 28 – Florence

For Track #1 Language Option participants, attend your last language class followed by a graduation ceremony at the school. Meet in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler's corner for a drink and conversation at a cafe nearby. 

Day 29 – Florence

Spend the day at leisure. Celebrate with new friends, and all you have experienced and accomplished at this evening’s farewell reception and dinner at the hotel. (D)

Day 30 – Depart Florence for your U.S. Gateway City

At the appropriate time, transfer to the airport in Florence to begin your journey home. 

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)

2018 Itinerary

Day 1 – Depart the U.S.

Depart the U.S. on your overnight transatlantic flight to Florence, Italy.

Day 2 – Florence, Italy

Arrive Florence and transfer to the PopArtment apartment-hotel in central Florence. After quiet time to relax and unpack, join fellow Smithsonian Journeys travelers for a short welcome briefing. Each traveler will receive a one-month city bus pass to use when exploring on your own. This evening, meet new friends at a Smithsonian Journeys welcome reception and dinner at a popular local restaurant. (R,D)

Day 3 – Florence

A private breakfast is included this morning at the PopArtment. Begin exploring today with a walking tour led by an expert guide. Explore the cradle of the Renaissance with a full day in unforgettable Florence, a World Heritage Site. The tour begins with the façade of Il Duomo and includes churches, palazzi and libraries commissioned by Cosimo de Medici and highlights the city’s fine art and architecture. See the cupola of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and marvel at the spectacular bronze doors of the Baptistry. Walk to the fabled Arno River to visit the Ponte Vecchio, known for its many gold shops. People watch and have an espresso at a café on the Piazza della Signoria. After seeing the sights, stop for lunch in a popular local trattoria. Get together at the Smithsonian Journeys traveler’s corner this afternoon to visit with new friends and enjoy lively conversation at a café near the hotel. (B,L)

Day 4 – Florence

Breakfast will be served this morning in the hotel. For those who subscribed to the Track #1 Language Option visit to your Italian language school for an orientation of the facilities, a placement review and your first language class. Get together for lunch at a local restaurant. The day is free of planned activities. Your Smithsonian Journeys resident travel director will be in the lobby each day to answer questions, make restaurant recommendations and help with your personal plans. (B,L)

Day 5 – Florence

Track #1 Language Option students depart the hotel for language instruction. If you subscribed to Track #3 Arts and Architecture program visit the interior of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery, followed by an architectural walking tour through Florence. In late afternoon, attend an engaging lecture on the great masters of the Renaissance. Later, gather for dinner at a local restaurant. (D)

Day 6 – Florence

Track # 1 Language Option participants depart the hotel for language lessons. This afternoon visit the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David and other remarkable museum collections.

Day 7 – Florence

This morning, for those on the Track #2 Culinary Option enjoy a market experience and learn how to prepare Italian appetizers and pair them with local wines. For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s afternoon language instruction. In the late afternoon, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys travelers corner at a local cafe.

Day 8 – Florence

Today is free of planned activities so you can explore on your own. If you subscribed to Track #3 Arts and Architecture program visit Michelangelo Square for a beautiful view overlooking Florence. Continue to the Archeological Museum in Fiesole that showcases remarkable Etruscan and Roman antiquities.

Day 9 – Florence and Chianti

Drive out of Florence to visit the 16th-century Castello di Monsanto in the heart of Chianti where you’ll enjoy a sampling of the region’s distinctive wines and olive oil. After lunch at a local restaurant, drive to San Gimignano to explore this small, walled medieval hill town that’s been designated by UNESCO as a World Heritage site. (L)​

Day 10 – Florence

Follow your own path today and spend it enjoying Florence at your leisure. Enjoy an aperitif on the rooftop of the Grand Hotel Baglioni before having dinner overlooking the cityscape of Florence, the magnificent Duomo. (D)

Day 11 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language class. For those enrolled in the Track #2 Culinary Option, you’ll learn how to make traditional Italian pasta and prepare three different sauces.

Day 12 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s morning instruction. For those who subscribed to Track #3 Art & Architecture you’ll explore Medieval Florence and its most renowned Basilicas. Late this afternoon, a local expert will offer a talk on contemporary Italy, life in Florence, and Italy’s place in the European Union.

Day 13 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language lesson. This afternoon, Smithsonian Journeys Travelers will explore the Uffizi Gallery, which showcases one of most brilliant art collections in the world. Follow the development of Florentine art from the Gothic era to the Renaissance. This evening, gather with fellow travelers for dinner at a local restaurant to enjoy an evening of delicious food and wine. (D)

Day 14 – Florence

Track #1 Language Option participants depart the hotel for language lessons. For those subscribed to Track #3 Art & Architecture Option, visit the Pitti Palace and the Boboli Gardens. See the Palatine Gallery displaying a wide range of Renaissance and Baroque paintings. Continue to the Royal Apartments, the residence of the Medici, Lorraine and Savoy families. The Boboli Gardens have recently been added to the list of World Heritage sites.

Day 15 – Florence / Colle di Val d’Elsa and Siena

Take an excursion to the beautiful town of Colle di Val d’Elsa where you’ll have a guided walking tour of the quaint Old Town. After a cooking presentation that includes lunch, travel to the World Heritage site of Siena. Like a crown atop three hills, the stunning city of Siena has remained remarkably unchanged throughout the centuries. Its streets wind through a city of majestic cathedrals, museums, and wonderfully preserved Gothic buildings. See the renowned Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful medieval squares in Italy. Admire the 14th-century Torre del Mangia, the stunning bas-reliefs on the Gaia Fountain and the black and gold striped Duomo. (L)

Day 16 – Florence

The day is free of planned activities, so let your interests be your guide and explore on your own. This afternoon meet in the Smithsonian Journeys traveler's corner and enjoy a drink and lively discussion. 

Day 17 – Florence and Cortona

Learn about the history of the quintessential Tuscan town of Cortona and discover its many artistic and architectural highlights. Visit the Romanesque Cathedral and visit the engaging Etruscan Museum to see its fascinating collection of artifacts. (L)

Day 18 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language class. If you enrolled in Track #3 Culinary Option, you’ll learn how to make a traditional Italian three-course dinner or cena from antipasto to dolce or dessert.

Day 19 – Florence

This morning there’s a Track #1 Language Option language class. The day is free for independent activities. (D)

Day 20 – Florence and Lucca

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language lesson. On an afternoon excursion, travel to the city of Lucca, once a fortress with enormous walls and in ancient Roman tradition, very narrow streets. Visit the famous Romanesque cathedral dating from the 11th-century that showcases a carving, said to be the true portrait of Christ. Dinner will be served at a local restaurant in Lucca. (D)

Day 21 – Florence

For those who selected Track #1 Language Option there’s a morning language class and a Graduation ceremony at the school. Get together for lunch at a local restaurant. This evening, gather in the Smithsonian Journeys travelers corner. (L)

Day 22 – Florence

Spend the day at leisure. Celebrate with new friends and all you have experienced and accomplished at this evening’s Smithsonian Journeys farewell reception and dinner. (R, D)

Day 23 – Depart Florence for your U.S. Gateway City

At the appropriate time, transfer to the Florence Airport to begin your journey home.

Included meals are denoted as follows: Breakfast (B), Lunch (L), Reception (R), Dinner (D)