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Study Holidays

Study Week in Florence: 28 January–3 February 2013

This will be the ninth Learn Italy study week in out-of-season Florence. We will be offering the same mixture of group visits during the day and informal introductory lectures in the evening. There will be time to see Florence’s most celebrated treasures, in galleries like the Uffizi and Bargello, as well as less well-known masterpieces in churches and palaces. All these places are within easy walking distance of our hotel, which is in one of Florence’s most beautiful squares.

February in Tuscany is unpredictable: it may be very cold, but it can also be dry and bright. What is certain is that we will avoid the shuffling throngs of tourists who crowd the art galleries throughout most of the year. This is a time when it is possible to enjoy in tranquillity some of the most famous pictures and statues in western art.

The tutor to accompany this study week and introduce Florentine art and architecture will be Alice Foster. She is a frequent lecturer for the Oxford University Department for Continuing Education and for NADFAS, and has led many successful Learn Italy trips to Italian cities, including former visits to Florence. Tour organiser will be Martin Gray.

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.

Guideline prices, excluding flights:

Per person, single use of double room: £1,195

Per person, sharing a double room: £995

These prices include:

transfers by private coach between an Italian airport and Florence;

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

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

services of an art historian and a tour guide;

These prices do not include the flight to Italy. As soon as a sufficient number of people have signed up for the holiday, you will be able to buy tickets on a chosen flight, either over the Internet or by phone from Italia nel Mondo, an ABTA and ATOL registered travel agent.

Here are some of the major places that will be on our programme, with comments about what is to be enjoyed there:

The Uffizi. One of the world’s greatest art galleries. Paintings by early masters such as Simone Martini, Giotto and Duccio, as well as an unrivalled collection of Renaissance masterpieces by Botticelli, Michelangelo, and Leonardo, amongst many others.

The Opera del Duomo: exquisite sculptures by Donatello and Michelangelo.

The Bargello: superb sculpture museum, containing many of Donatello’s most famous works, including his haunting ‘David’.

The Brancacci Chapel in S. Maria del Carmine: moving frescoes here by Masaccio and Masolino which are considered to be pivotal works in the mastery of perspective.

The Accademia: the true version of Michelangelo’s ‘David’ is magnificently displayed here along with other works – versions of ‘David’ in the Piazza della Signoria and Piazza Michelangelo are copies.

Church of S. Maria Novella: Masaccio’s ‘Trinity’ is another seminal work of the early Renaissance; there are also wonderful frescoes by Ghirlandaio vividly depicting his contemporary Florentines in the midst of biblical stories.

San Marco convent: art gallery and cells frescoed by Fra Angelico.

Pitti Palace: another unrivalled collection of Renaissance art, on show in the enormous palazzo used by the Medici family for centuries as the power centre of the Grand Duchy of Tuscany.

NB: we will also have a free day.