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Study Holidays

Study Week in Florence: 12–18 November 2012

This will be the eighth Learn Italy study week in out-of-season Florence. We will be offering a mixture of group visits during the day and informal introductory lectures in the evening. The five full days will include some of the major museums in Florence, with one day devoted to the superb (but less well-known) High Renaissance frescoes in and around the city. In particular we shall see—


the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo (Ghiberti, Donatello and della Robbia)

the Bargello Museum (Donatello and della Robbia)

the sculpture at Or San Michele (Ghiberti, Nanni di Banco, Donatello)

the church of Santa Maria Novella (Alberti and Masaccio)

the Brancacci Chapel in the Church of the Carmine (Masaccio)

Castagno’s paintings collected and displayed in Sant’Apollonia

Andrea del Sarto’s frescoes in San Salvi and the Scalzo

High Renaissance painting in the Pitti palace


The programme will leave plenty of time to enjoy some of Florence’s other famous treasures—such as those in the Uffizi or Santa Croce—as well as less well-known masterpieces in churches and palaces. The principal monuments of Florence are all within walking distance of our hotel in the centre of the city. This is in a historic building (originally the guesthouse of the Servite Order) situated in one of Florence’s most beautiful squares, the Piazza Santissima Annunziata, a spectacular location which will allow us a special pleasure relevant to our particular interests: directly opposite the hotel entrance is Brunelleschi’s loggia for the Ospedale degli Innocenti, decorated with Andrea della Robbia’s roundels of swaddled babies.


November weather in Tuscany is unpredictable: it may be cold and wet, but it can also be dry and bright—this is the time of the olive harvest and St Martin’s summer. Come what may, we should avoid the shuffling throngs of tourists who crowd the streets and art galleries of Florence throughout most of the year. This will be a time when we may enjoy in tranquillity some of the most celebrated paintings, sculptures and buildings in the history of western art.


There are plenty of restaurants and cafes of all kinds in central Florence. As on other Learn Italy holidays, a number of group meals will be organised at cost price. It may be possible to make an arrangement for inexpensive evening meals at a local restaurant.


The tutor of this study week will be Patrick Doorly. Tour organiser will be Martin Gray.


Guideline prices, excluding flights:

Per person, single use of double room: £1,095

Per person, sharing a double room: £895

These prices include:

transfers by private coach between an Italian airport and Florence, for participants who use the chosen flight (see below);

six nights accommodation with breakfast in a central three-star hotel;

paid and timed entry to art galleries, preceded by lectures;

services of an expert art historian and tour guide.


These prices do not include your journey to Italy. As soon as a sufficient number of people have sent booking forms, the holiday will be confirmed as running and suitable flights will be chosen, paying due regard to convenience and price, probably by easyJet from Gatwick to Pisa. You will be able to buy tickets on these chosen flights over the Internet or by phone from Italia nel Mondo, an ABTA and ATOL registered travel agent. The sooner the holiday fills up, the cheaper these tickets are likely to be.


On former Learn Italy holidays some participants have chosen to travel by train to Florence, and help can be offered to those who wish to take up this option.


If you wish to join this study week, please send the completed booking form and a deposit of £100 per person to Learn Italy, 106 Eynsham Road, Oxford OX2 9BX. Places on the holiday will be first-come, first-served, based on receipt of the booking form. The holiday will run with a minimum of ten participants and a maximum of eighteen. The closing date for applications to join this study week is 30 April 2012.