Immerse yourself into the life and times of the world’s most famous artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti on this week-long tour to Florence and Rome. Trace the artist’s work as a young boy in Florence under Lorenzo the Magnificent to the baroque fantasies of his old age, working for the Papacy in Rome.

Starting at: $5,695 Make a Reservation Ask Us A Question or Call 855-330-1542
 Michelangelo’s early <i>Pieta</i> in St. Peter’s Basilica, the Vatican  Michelangelo's <i>David</i> in the Accademia in Florence  Michelangelo's iconic Sistine Chapel ceiling painting.  The vast interior of St. Peter’s Basilica   View of St. Peter's Basilica

The Genius of Michelangelo

Artist, Architect, and Renaissance Master

9 days from $5,695

Immerse yourself into the life and times of the world’s most famous artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti on this week-long tour to Florence and Rome. Trace the artist’s work as a young boy in Florence under Lorenzo the Magnificent to the baroque fantasies of his old age, working for the Papacy in Rome.

or Call 855-330-1542


Consider Michelangelo’s masterpieces in their social, political, and religious context and deepen your understanding of how his works influenced other leading artists and architects of the day, including Leonardo, Raphael, and Bramante. Private behind-the-scenes visits allow you to see works not normally visible to the general public and to appreciate how Michelangelo created his masterpieces. See where the sculptor would spend hours deciding on the perfect piece of Carrara marble, then admire the monumental sculpture of David and the Medici Tombs in Florence before experiencing his magnificently frescoed Sistine Chapel ceiling during a private visit while in Rome. Ross King, well-known author of Michelangelo and the Pope’s Ceiling, and popular local expert, Elaine Ruffolo will be your guide for this unique trip full of great art, architecture, and unforgettable landscapes.

Highlights Include

  • Discover Michelangelo’s artistic genius, from artist to sculptor to architect.
  • Examine the intricate sculptural masterpieces including the monumental statue of David.
  • Receive a Director’s welcome at Casa Buonarroti, Michelangelo’s former home, and view some of his original drawings following an introduction by the Director.
  • Along the Tuscan coast, see the marble quarries of Carrara where Michelangelo chose his favorite blocks of marble.
  • Admire Michelangelo’s magnificent frescoes in the Sistine Chapel during a private visit.
  • View the dome of St Peter’s Basilica, designed by Michelangelo, during a private tour of the Vatican gardens.
  • Gain in-depth knowledge of the life and times of Michelangelo through insightful talks by Renaissance scholar, Ross King.
  • Savor delicious meals in specially-selected restaurants.


Day 1 – Depart the U.S for Florence

Depart the US on individual flights for Florence.

Day 2 – Florence

Arrive in Florence and transfer to the Hotel Brunelleschi, located in the heart of Florence. Meet your Smithsonian Journeys Experts Ross King and local guide Elaine Ruffolo for a walking tour of the center of Florence including the Palazzo Medici where Michelangelo lived during the golden age of Florence under Lorenzo il Magnifico. Gather for a welcome reception followed by dinner at the hotel. (R, D)

Day 3 – Florence

Gather this morning for an illustrated lecture by Ross King, outlining the life and times of Michelangelo. Visit the Casa Buonarroti, where you will be greeted by Director Alessandra Cecchi, and view Michelangelo’s earliest works. Next explore the Bargello (the National Sculpture Museum of Florence) to discover works by Michelangelo and his contemporaries including Verrocchio, Giambologna, and Cellini. Enjoy a lunch of Florentine specialties at a local osteria, before heading to the Accademia Galleries. Marvel at Michelangelo’s greatest sculpture, David, and also see The Prisoners, created for the Tomb of Pope Julius II. Tonight is at leisure. (B,L)

Day 4 – Carrara and Pietrasanta

Depart for an unforgettable excursion up the Tuscan Coast to explore the marble quarries of Carrara. Travel by special mountain jeeps up stark white paths into the quarries where Michelangelo chose his favorite blocks of marble, where he often labored for months over the perfect block for his next project. See how the marble is cut, polished, and finished. Participate in a marble carving demonstration by a master stone carver still using the same 16th-century techniques as Michelangelo. Head to nearby Pietrasanta, a fashionable seaside village filled with art galleries. Enjoy lunch of local specialties and some free time to explore before returning to Florence. (B, L)

Day 5 – Michelangelo and the Medici

This morning learn about Michelangelo’s passion-filled relationships with the Medici. By special arrangement, visit the Laurentian Library at San Lorenzo, designed by Michelangelo, and see the Medici Tombs, with the famed Dawn and Dusk and Night and Day sculptures. Also, see the sketch-filled walls of Michelangelo’s hiding place during the siege of Florence. After an independent lunch, spend the afternoon at the Uffizi Galleries and learn about Michelangelo’s art in relation to his contemporaries Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, and Raphael. (B)

Day 6 – Late Michelangelo and Rome

Visit the newly refurbished Museum of the Cathedral which houses some fine Renaissance sculpture including Michelangelo’s poignant Pietà, completed when the artist was in his 80s. This afternoon journey south through the beautiful Italian countryside via fast train to Rome. After checking into the Hotel Ponte Sisto, located next to the lively Campo dei Fiori, enjoy an early evening walking tour. Explore the neighborhood, view the classical façade of Palazzo Farnese, designed by Michelangelo, and understand Michelangelo’s genius in his use of the controposto of the Risen Christ statue at Santa Maria sopra Minerva church. Enjoy a traditional Roman dinner featuring bucatini all’ amatriciana at the iconic Osteria Costanza (where Julius Caesar was assassinated). (B, D)

Day 7 – The Sistine Chapel

Today, visit the world’s smallest city-state, the Vatican. By special permission, stroll through the Pope’s verdant gardens on a private guided tour and enjoy an unencumbered view of Michelangelo’s dome atop St. Peter’s Basilica. Inside St. Peter’s Basilica view its treasures as well as Michelangelo’s moving statue, Pietà. Enjoy lunch on your own in a typical trattoria in the Trastevere neighborhood. Later this afternoon, transfer to the Vatican Museums and enjoy an exclusive private entrance to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy a private guided tour through Raphael’s splendidly decorated papal apartments, and of course, the Sistine Chapel with its frescoed ceiling by Michelangelo. Enjoy time to admire the intricate details and vibrant colors of this artistic masterpiece during our private visit. (B)

Day 8 – Michelangelo in Rome

Today climb the steps to Michelangelo’s magnificent Piazza del Campidoglio. Admire the perspective and balance of the piazza with its geometric paving and the buildings that surround the square (built between 1538-64). From here on Capitoline Hill, citadel of Ancient Rome and home to modern Rome’s City Hall, enjoy a magnificent panoramic view over the Roman Forum. Head up Esquiline Hill to visit the church of San Pietro in Vincoli with Julius II’s tomb and Michelangelo’s colossal sculpture Moses. Enjoy some free time this afternoon to explore the Eternal City on your own before gathering for a festive farewell dinner tonight. (B, D)

Day 9 – Depart Rome for Home

Transfer to Rome Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport for individual flights home. (B)

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