Tuesday 11 March 2014
Main group flies from USA, early group arrives in Rome.
Wednesday 12 March
Arrive Rome (FCO). After picking up your luggage and clearing customs, you will be met by your driver holding a sign, BARKER’S GROUP. Call the hotel if you can’t find your driver. Transfer to Ludovisi Palace Hotel. (+39 06 42020396) Use the rest of the day for recovery from the long flight–shower, nap, explore the neighborhood, find an ATM (Bancomat in Italy). Dinner in nearby restaurant. Overnight in Rome, Ludovisi Palace Hotel.
Thursday 13 March
Breakfast at the hotel (every morning.) 9:00 departure from hotel to visit to the Villa Giulia, the best Etruscan Museum in the world. Afternoon free. Alessi and perhaps Bill Curtis will offer a walking tour of the city that will include the Pantheon. Public transportation tickets and entrance to the museum included. Dinner in nearby restaurant. Overnight in Rome, Ludovisi Palace Hotel.
Friday 14 March
8:00 Departure by coach to Siena, with stops at Cerveteri, a site with huge tumuli carved out of tufa and mounded, and at Tarquinia where there are exquisite tomb paintings. Lunch (independent) and museum (entrance provided) in Tarquinia before heading to Siena and the Hotel Palazzo Ravizza. (+39 0577 280462) Dinner at nearby Osteria da Cice. Overnight in Siena, Hotel Palazzo Ravizza.
Saturday 15 March
9:00 Excursion to Murlo (Poggio Civitate) to visit the site and excellent museum ( ca 25 kilometers from Siena). Return to Siena for a free afternoon in the city. Dinner at nearby Osteria Boccon Del Prete. Overnight in Siena, Hotel Palazzo Ravizza.
Sunday 16 March
Free morning in Siena. 10:00 AM departure for Volterra. En route, we are scheduled for a 11:00 tour of the Cantina Antinori, a stunningly beautiful Chianti winery. We will have a special lunch (Bifstecca alla Fiorentina) at the winery after the tour. Late afternoon arrival in Volterra and the Hotel La Locanda. (+39 0588 81547) Dinner at Ristorante Etruria, associated with the hotel. Overnight in Volterra, Hotel La Locanda.
Monday 17 March
Morning visit the archaeological museum and Roman site. Afternoon free for shopping. Alabaster is featured here and you can find it shaped in all kinds of interesting ways. Dinner again at Ristorante Etruria. Overnight in Volterra, Hotel La Locanda.
LAUNDRY ALERT: There is a laundromat in Volterra about five minutes from the hotel just off the piazza where we will have our dinners. There is also one in Florence right next door to our hotel. In Rome, there is one near Piazza Barberini. Budget around 9 euro to wash and dry a load.
Tuesday 18 March
9:00 departure for Firenze (Florence) and the Room Mate Hotel (+39 055 2645539) with a stop in Monteriggioni, a charming Tuscan hill town. After arrival in Florence and checking into the hotel, I will lead any of you who are interested on a introductory walking tour of the town. Dinner on your own since two meals were provided on Sunday. Overnight in Florence, Room Mate Hotel.
MUSEUM NOTE: Firenze is full of “must see” museums–The Uffizi (think Botticelli), Accademia, (the David of Michelangelo), Bargello (sculpture), Museum of Science, Medici Chapel, Museo del Duomo, and so on. Also, you will want to explore the Ponte Vecchio and the San Lorenzo markets. Since a number of you have already “been there, done that,” and others of you are new to Florence, I will ask you to make your own choices (and pay for) as to what to see and do. The one exception is the morning visit to the Etruscan museum:
Wednesday 19 March
Morning visit with Dr. Alessi to the Etruscan Museum. The rest of the day free to explore the riches of Florence. Dinner at La Cucina del Garga. Overnight in Florence, Room Mate Hotel.
Thursday 20 March
Free day in Florence. Dinner at the Accademia Restaurant. Overnight in Florence, Room Mate Hotel.
Friday 21 March
9:00 Departure for Rome with a stop in Chiusi. Dinner in nearby restaurant. Overnight in Rome, Ludovisi Palace Hotel.
Saturday 22 March
8:30 Departure for all day excursion to Tivoli including visits to Villa Adriana and Villa d’Este, and a blowout lunch at the Ristorante Sibilla. I realize that many of you have done this before, but I doubt seriously if I will hear any complaints about doing it again. Since lunch was included, dinner is on your own. Overnight in Rome, Ludovisi Palace Hotel.
Sunday 23 March
Airport transfer to FCO for those of you leaving today. For those of you staying on, Dr. Alessi will lead you to the important sites, such as the Roman Forum, Palatine, Capitoline Museum (Sunday), the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica (Monday), and National Museum and EUR (Tuesday) You will need to pay the entrance fees for the museums. Dinners are included.
Laurence Barker, Rose Baker, Joe Dondero, Jim Ernest
Paul Alessi & Bill Curtis, Carol Boyd & Mary Landers, Beverly Baucum & Maureen Nowotny, Carrol Smith & Sharon Budd
For Rome from 21 March: Beverly Baucum & Sharon Budd, Carrol Smith & Maureen Nowotny
Twin or double: Dale & Patsy Meyers, Roxie Montesao & George Beddingfield, Dale Fleishman & Ron Jenkins, George & Monica Auerbach, John Blue & Gary Behnke. Greg & Judy Parks, Claudia & Pete Murray