Painting, frescoes, sculpture, architecture, stained glass and manuscript illumination are all featured on this tour. Our lectures and excursions are stimulating and rewarding, helping you to both feel what the artist felt and understand the processes and techniques through which they expressed themselves.
We also discuss the society that the artists lived in, the political, social and religious climate, the rediscovery of classical antiquity, patronage and the world around them at this very dynamic time, for all of these profoundly influenced their work. There is a high level of educational content and our tutors have been chosen for their skill and approachable manner and will make your week interesting, stimulating, rewarding and enjoyable.
Finally, let’s not forget that there is another very important Italian form of art – Food! Each day you will be introduced to new and different tastes; fresh pasta and sauces, fine wine, pecorino cheese, truffles, wild boar: A delicious palate of local specialties to be enjoyed both at our enchanting accommodations and in local restaurants. There is even a musical soiree for you to relax and enjoy at our home. A journey is a precious moment and we are sure you will go home with memories to treasure forever.
We meet you between 14.00 and 16.00 at Terontola (Cortona) station, easily reached from Rome, Milan and Florence. Relax and settle in in your accommodations. Enjoy a welcome cocktail party.
Presentation: Giotto 1266-1337 and contemporaries
Perugia, Assisi & Montefalco
Perugia is Umbria’s great artistic capital and the birthplace of the great Umbrian artist Il Perugino (Pietro Vannucci). The Corso Vannucci sports some of the most important medieval buildings in Italy. Guided tour of the art works in the Galleria Nazionale & Collegio del Cambio. In the afternoon we visit the Basilica di S.Francesco in Assisi to see Giotto’s masterpiece frescoes about the life of St. Francis and works by many others such as Cimabue & Lorenzetti. The range and quality of these worksof art gives the basilica a unique importance in demonstrating the development of Italian art of this period. After some leisure time we make our way to Montefalco, the balcony of Umbria, to discover some hidden treasures Benozzo Gozzoli and enjoy a wine tasting in the square.
Presentation: Piero della Francesca 1415-1492
Arezzo & San Sepolcro
Arezzo is a delight to stroll through with a beautifully preserved medieval square, Piazza Grande (where the film Life is Beautiful was filmed). Our main focus is the famous cycle of frescoes ‘The Legend of the True Cross’ by Piero della Francesca in the Basilica of San Francesco. We also visit the splendid Gothic cathedral. After lunch we continue our trail stopping in Monterchi to see the Madonna del Parto. Our last call is at San Sepolcro where there are many works such as the Resurrection and the Madonna della Misericordia polyptych.
Presentation: Luca Signorelli 1445-1523
Monte Oliveto & Cortona
Perched in the midst of spectacularly eroded landscape, the Crete Senese, we find the 13c Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore and a fine cycle of Renaissance frescoes by Il Sodoma & Luca Signorelli depicting the life of St Benedict. The afternoon is dedicated to Signorelli's birthplace Cortona with a 13th century hermitage Le Celle and the Sanctuary of Santa Margherita, where the mummified body of St. Margaret is on view, and an overall look at the ancient city, gates, walls and medieval houses. Works by Fra Angelico & Luca Signorelli are featured in the Museo Diocesano and San Nicolò.
Etruscan Orvieto sits spectacularly on a tabletop of volcanic tufa whose sheer sides drop to 325m. We begin our tour at the famous Pozzo di San Patrizio (1527) with its fascinating double helix staircase 248 steps down and 62m deep designed by architect Antonio da Sangallo. From here we make our way through the narrow streets of the medieval town to Lorenzo Maitani’s Duomo, one of the greatest gothic buildings in Italy to take a closer look at the breathtaking bas relief sculpted on the façade. Once inside we enter the side chapel of S.Brizio, to feast our eyes on the amazing frescoes of The Last Judgement by Fra Angelico & Luca Signorelli.
Presentation: The Sienese school 13th-15th centruries
Siena is the best preserved Gothic City in Italy. We visit the Duomo with masterpieces by Duccio, Pisano, Lorenzetti, Donatello and Michelangelo and frescoes by Pinturicchio in the Piccolomini library, the visual impact of which is stunning. After a break for lunch we continue with a visit to the Pinacoteca Nazionale Gallery and to the Palazzo Pubblico with the fresco of "Good & Bad Government" by Ambrogio Lorenzetti. Our visit to the city of Siena ends in Piazza del Campo, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy.
Free day & Culinary afternoon
Free day to relax, return to Cortona, buy last minute souvenirs and have lunch independently in Cortona. Optional srop off at train station for those wishing to go to Florence. In the late afternoon a chef prepares Tuscan dinner - join in if you wish.
We say 'arrivederci'. Departure from Terontola train station at about 9.00
Dates for 2013 :-
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Europe Italy Artistry Painting Archeology/History