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: $5,390 * Price includes special offer Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Panorama of Florence at dusk  The Florence Duomo at night  Palazzo Vecchio in the evening  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. Credit: Art Kowalsky / Alamy.com  Botticelli's <i>The Birth of Venus</i> in the Uffizi in Florence  The famous Ponte Vecchio spanning the Arno in Florence  Enjoying the moment in Florence   Enjoying the food market  Taking a break over gelato  Central market in Florence. Credit: LOOK Die Bildagentur der Fotografen Gmbh/Alamy  Freshly made pasta  Traditional foods of Tuscany  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 $5,390

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

brochure iconbrochure

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS SAY

Superb value. Smithsonian Journeys trips are well run and the guides are extremely knowledgeable and anxious to share their enthusiasm for their city. Pace is perfect for people with an active lifestyle. You cannot make a better choice in choosing a tour with Smithsonian. I am looking forward to choosing my next adventure with them.

- Naomi G.

This three week stay in Florence is a great opportunity to explore the art and culture of the city. Smithsonian did an excellent job of accomplishing this with a variety of experiences, excursions, great guides, good accommodations, friendly travel companions, and a memorable experience to treasure.

- Nancy R.

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.

This three week stay in Florence is a great opportunity to explore the art and culture of the city. Smithsonian did an excellent job of accomplishing this with a variety of experiences, excursions, great guides, good accommodations, friendly travel companions, and a memorable experience to treasure.

- Nancy R.

JOURNEYS DISPATCHES

See All Journeys Dispatches ››

Overview

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).

Superb value. Smithsonian Journeys trips are well run and the guides are extremely knowledgeable and anxious to share their enthusiasm for their city. Pace is perfect for people with an active lifestyle. You cannot make a better choice in choosing a tour with Smithsonian. I am looking forward to choosing my next adventure with them.

- Naomi G.

This three week stay in Florence is a great opportunity to explore the art and culture of the city. Smithsonian did an excellent job of accomplishing this with a variety of experiences, excursions, great guides, good accommodations, friendly travel companions, and a memorable experience to treasure.

- Nancy R.

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.

This three week stay in Florence is a great opportunity to explore the art and culture of the city. Smithsonian did an excellent job of accomplishing this with a variety of experiences, excursions, great guides, good accommodations, friendly travel companions, and a memorable experience to treasure.

- Nancy R.

Itinerary

Day 1 & Day 2— Depart the U.S. and arrive in Florence

Upon arrival at Florence’s Peretola Airport, transfer to the Hotel Palazzo Ricasoli apartment-hotel located in central Florence. Your Smithsonian Journeys Resident Director will be with you throughout your stay to handle all program logistics and will be available daily to assist with personal sightseeing arrangements, dinner reservations, shopping suggestions, and any other assistance you may require. Gather this evening for a welcome reception followed by dinner at the hotel. (R,D)

Day 3 — Florence

An American-style buffet breakfast is served each morning at the hotel. Set-out on a walking tour led by an expert Florentine guide. Your tour takes you through the neighborhood around the hotel to the famous Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, whose red dome is an iconic symbol of Florence, continue on and marvel at the bronze doors of the Baptistery. Walk along the Ponte Vecchio, the incredible bridge over the Arno River known for it's gold and jewelry shops. Visit the Piazza Della Signoria, the political and historic heart of the city, and admire the stately Palazzo Vecchio and a precise copy of Michelangelo’s David.

After seeing the sights, stop for lunch in a popular local trattoria. Later this afternoon get together in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner to enjoy lively conversation. (B,L)

Day 4 — Florence

For those who subscribed to the Track 1.1 Language Option, visit your Italian language school this morning for an orientation of the facilities, a placement review and your first language class.

The day is free of planned activities. Later this afternoon, attend an informative talk by a local speaker about the Art of the Renaissance. Dinner this evening is served at a popular local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 5 – Florence

Track 1.2 Language Option students depart the hotel for language instruction. If you subscribed to Track 3.1 Arts and Architecture program visit the interiors of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and the Baptistery, followed by an architectural walking tour through Florence. The balance of the day is free to explore on your own. (B)

Day 6 — Florence

This morning, for those on the Track 2.1 Culinary Option enjoy a market experience in the San Lorenzo Market located in the Oltarno district. Select locally sourced ingredients then learn how to prepare typical Italian dishes. Afterwards, enjoy the spread you prepared. Track 1.3 Language Option participants depart the hotel this afternoon for language lessons. (B)

Day 7 — Florence

For those who selected Track 1.4 Language Option, there’s morning language instruction. Gather for a delightful lunch at a local restaurant.

This afternoon all guests will visit the Accademia to see Michelangelo’s David and other remarkable museum collections. Later, join fellow travelers in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for camaraderie and lively conversation. (B,L)

Day 8 — Florence / Colle di Val d’Elsa / Siena

Depart on 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 and a cooking demonstration by a popular local chef. After 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. There’s free time in Siena to explore on your own. (B,L)

Day 9 — Florence

Make a morning visit to the centrally-located and elegant Caffe Gilli one of the oldest cafes in Florence dating from 1733. One of the directors will offer a short talk about coffee and how it is prepared and served the Italian way. Enjoy an espresso coffee, cappuccino, or caffe latte with pastry. The balance of the day is free of planned activities. Join fellow travelers for an al fresco dinner on the rooftop of the world-renowned Grand Hotel Baglioni overlooking the Duomo. (B,D)

Day 10 — Florence / Cortona

Depart for a day in the quintessential Tuscan town of Cortona and discover its many artistic and architectural highlights.

Visit the Romanesque Cathedral and the engaging Etruscan Museum to see its fascinating collection of artifacts. Lunch will be served in Cortona. (B,L)

Day 11 — Florence

For those who selected the Track 1.5 Language Option, there’s a morning language class. For those enrolled in the Track 3.2 the Art & Architecture Option, visit Santa Maria Novella to view its many different chapels and vivid frescoes as well as the famous wooden Crucifix made by Brunelleschi, then, visit the Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella, one of the oldest pharmacies in the world, set up by the Dominican friars shortly after 1221 and still in use today. (B)

Day 12 — Florence

For those who subscribed to Track 1.6 Language Option, there’s a morning language class. The day is at leisure so that you can explore on your own.

In the late afternoon gather for a presentation by a local expert on Contemporary Italy. This evening, enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. (B,D)

Day 13 — Florence

For those who selected Track 1.7 Language Option, there’s a morning language lesson.

For those taking the Track 2.2 Culinary Option, learn about different types of pasta and try your hand at making pasta and different types of sauces. (B)

Day 14 — Florence

Track 1.8 Language Option participants depart the hotel for morning language lessons.

This afternoon, visit the Uffizi Gallery home to some of the most beautiful art collections in the world. Highlights include “Madonna di Ognissanti” by Giotto di Bondone, the “Battle of San Romano” by Paolo Uccello, and “Birth of Venus” by Sandro Botticelli. This evening, get together with fellow travelers for dinner at a Florentine pizzeria. (B,D)

Day 15 — Florence / Chianti / San Gimignano

Between Florence and Siena, you’ll find quiet back roads, lovely hill towns, woodlands, and vineyards. This is home to Italy’s most famous red wine, Chianti. Travel to its heart to visit Castello di Monsanto built in 1750. Taste wines made from handpicked Sangiovese, Canaiolo and other varieties of grapes. Learn how the rooster became the symbol of the region and how the area got its name.

Enjoy lunch at a Tuscan restaurant. Later, explore the historic hill town of San Gimignano, a World Heritage site that boasts 14 stunning medieval towers. (B,L)

Day 16 — Florence

The day is free of planned activities, so let your interests be your guide and explore on your own. For those who subscribed to Track 3.3 Art & Architecture Option, visit Michelangelo Square for a beautiful view over Florence and the Arno River. Next, continue to the Archeological Museum in Fiesole with its Etruscan and Roman artifacts including an Etruscan temple and tombs as well as Roman baths and a very well preserved Roman theater. Enjoy lunch at a restaurant in Fiesole. (B)

Day 17 — Florence

Let your passions guide you and enjoy a day of personal discovery. Later, join friends in Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner for a drink and lively conversation. (B)

Day 18 — Florence / Lucca

For those who selected Track 1.9 Language Option, there’s a morning language class.

This afternoon travel to historic Lucca, once a fortress with enormous walls in the ancient Roman tradition and 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 popular restaurant in Lucca before returning to Florence. (B,D)

Day 19 — Florence

This morning there’s a Track 1.10 Language Option language class.

Afterward, enjoy the simple pleasure of an Italian lunch with friends.

For those subscribed to Track 3.4 Art & Architecture Option discover 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. (B,L)

Day 20 — Florence

For those who selected Track 1.11 Language Option, there’s a morning language lesson. If you enrolled in the Track 2.3 Culinary Option, you’ll learn how to make a traditional Italian four-course dinner or cena from antipasto to dolce or dessert. (B)

Day 21 — Florence

The day is free for independent activities. For those who selected Track 1.12 Language Option, there’s a morning language class and a Graduation ceremony at the school. This evening, gather in the Smithsonian Journeys Travelers Corner. (B)

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 at the hotel. (B,D)

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

Transfer to the Florence Peretola Airport for your return flight to the U.S. (B)

Note: Itinerary sequence and/or scheduled events may change due to operational considerations. All excursions involve an element of walking, standing and climbing steps.

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