The Renaissance in Florence & Tuscany

10 Sep – 24 Sep 2019

  • Region:
    • Arts Hub
    • Europe
    • Italy
  • Status: open
  • Code: 21935

Tour Highlights

  • Travel with Emeritus Professor Bernard Hoffert, art historian and artist, former World President of the International Association of Art-UNESCO, and Associate Dean of the Faculty of Art Design and Architecture at Monash University.
  • While based in Florence for 7 nights, visit some of the lesser-known masterpieces of the Renaissance including Benozzo Gozzoli’s jewel-like frescoes in the Chapel of the Magi; frescoes by Andrea di Bonaiuto in the Spanish Chapel of Santa Maria Novella; ‘Beato’ Angelico’s master paintings in the monastery of San Marco; and the Romanesque church of San Miniato al Monte with works by Della Robbia and Michelozzo.
  • Enjoy an evening reception at Palazzo Corsini al Prato; tour the palazzo and its gardens.
  • Study Renaissance masterpieces with Bernard in the Uffizi Gallery.
  • Visit the Dominican Pharmacy, active since the thirteenth century in the production of perfumes and medications.
  • By special appointment explore some of the most beautiful historic gardens in Tuscany including Villa Gamberaia, whose gardens inspired Edith Wharton; the exquisite gardens of Villa La Foce, home of Iris Origo, author of the famous Merchant of Prato; and Villa Geggiano, a family-run winery serving Tuscan cuisine accompanied by the villa’s Chianti Classico.
  • Explore the lesser-known Tuscan communes of Pienza, Volterra (home to Rosso Fiorentino’s moving Deposition from the Cross) and Pistoia – crucial centres of medieval and Renaissance art.
  • In Prato’s cathedral view the recently restored Lippi frescoes.
  • View Piero della Francesca’s masterpieces in Arezzo, Sansepolcro and Monterchi.
  • Visit Pienza’s Palazzo Piccolomini, summer residence of Pope Pius II.
  • Stay 4 nights in the medieval city of Siena; view the wonderful series of 13th-century frescoes in the uncovered crypt of Siena’s cathedral.
  • Stay 3 nights in the glorious walled city of Lucca, with its magnificent Romanesque churches and streetscape still defined by its Roman plan.
  • Enjoy a classical concert of works by Lucca’s greatest composer, Giacomo Puccini.


The tour revealed the extraordinary wealth and breathtaking glories of Italian Renaissance architecture, sculpture and painting – not to be missed by anyone wanting to explore and appreciate the foundations of European art – but also interspersed with visits to some beautiful villas and gardens in the Tuscan countryside.  Ron, VIC.

If, like me, you have never studied art history, this has to be the best way to do it.  Pauline, VIC.

15-day Cultural Tour of Florence & Tuscany

Overnight Florence (7 nights) • Siena (4 nights) • Lucca (3 nights)


ASA Facebook Articles – Italy


The following itinerary describes a range of museums, villas and palaces which we plan to visit. Many are accessible to the public, but others require special permission which may only be confirmed closer to the tour’s departure. The daily activities described in this itinerary may change or be rotated and/or modified in order to accommodate alterations in opening hours, flight schedules and confirmation of private visits. Participants will receive a final itinerary together with their tour documents prior to departure. The tour includes breakfast daily, lunches & evening meals indicated in the detailed itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=evening meal.

Florence - 7 nights

Day 1: Tuesday 10 September, Arrive Florence
  • Welcome Meeting & Welcome Drinks
  • Orientation Walk

On arrival at Florence’s airport, participants taking the ASA ‘designated’ flight transfer by private vehicle to our hotel in Florence. If you are travelling independently, please meet the group at the Grand Hotel Adriatico. Note: private transfers from the airport to the hotel can be arranged through the hotel’s concierge, please contact ASA for further information. In the early evening there will be a Welcome Meeting with Welcome Drinks in the hotel bar, followed by a short orientation walk in the area around the hotel. The remainder of the evening is at leisure to relax or take a stroll. (Overnight Florence)

Day 2: Wednesday 11 September, Florence
  • Palazzo Davanzati (Museum of the Ancient Florentine House) incl. special access to 2nd & 3rd floor apartments
  • Piazza della Signoria
  • Orsanmichele
  • Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore & Baptistery of San Giovanni
  • Time at leisure (optional visit to the Cathedral’s cupola)
  • Welcome Dinner at Ristorante Benedicta

Florence: The Structure of Power
Underpinning every creative period is a civic structure, embracing community, government, religion and wealth. We walk among the palaces of the city, examining their scale and prominence, reflecting upon the status and wealth of their owners; we walk through the courtyard of the great Palazzo Strozzi and are given special access to the upper floors of the Palazzo Davanzati to see how wealthy merchants lived. We visit the guild church Orsanmichele, which was where the merchants who made Florence’s wealth worshipped. We take in the Piazza della Signoria, overlooked by the stern, fortified Palazzo Vecchio, town hall and seat of Florence’s government since the 13th century. We explore the Cathedral, the symbol of Florence’s power and aspirations, with its celebrated dome by Brunelleschi, and view the magnificent mosaics in the Baptistery, Florence’s most important religious building. Our program concludes mid-afternoon. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure. In the evening we dine together at one of Florence’s local restaurants. (Overnight Florence) BD

Day 3: Thursday 12 September, Florence
  • Monastery of San Marco
  • San Lorenzo (Medici Chapels, New & Old Sacristy, Laurentian Library)
  • Palazzo Medici Riccardi: The Chapel of the Magi
  • Palazzo Corsini: Guided tour of the palazzo & gardens, and refreshments

The Medici Court: An Intimate Commitment to Culture
This morning we visit the Monastery of San Marco where Dominican monks contemplated the faith in images by Fra Angelico. Here, Cosimo de’Medici had his own cell for religious retreats, and commissioned Michelozzo to design the monks’ cloister and the reading library for his manuscripts.

We take a leisurely walk to nearby San Lorenzo. The Basilica of San Lorenzo was remodelled by Brunelleschi for the Medici and his Old Sacristy, built to house the Medici tombs, is one of the earliest and finest gems of the Renaissance. In the Medici Chapel we explore Michelangelo’s masterpieces of 16th-century sculpture, which show a transition from classical High Renaissance values to a Mannerist mode, and in the Laurentian Library we see the drama and power of his architectural genius in the great sculptural forms of his flowing staircase.

We also visit the Palazzo Medici Riccardi to view Benozzo Gozzoli’s jewel-like frescoes of the Procession of the Magi in the Medici’s private chapel. The sumptuous procession, which includes Medici family members, is set in an ideal Tuscan landscape and forms a fascinating comparison to the gardens we visit and countryside through which we drive.

In the early evening we visit the magnificent Palazzo Corsini. Alessandro Acciaioli, a passionate 16th-century botanist, commissioned Bernardo Buontalenti to design the residence; the villa and garden were completed by Gherardo Silvani when the property was sold to the Corsini family in the following century. Princess Giorgiana Corsini has kindly arranged for us to take a tour of her palace, followed by refreshments. We finish our visit with a brief tour of the garden. We then take a short stroll back to our hotel, which is only a 10-minute walk from the Palazzo. The remainder of the evening is at leisure. (Overnight Florence) B

Day 4: Friday 13 September, Florence – Poggio a Caiano – Prato – Florence
  • Medici Villa, Poggio a Caiano – incl. Monumental apartments
  • Cathedral of Santo Stefano
  • Castello dell’Imperatore (Emperor’s Castle) (exterior)
  • Basilica of Santa Maria delle Carceri

Prato and the Pursuit of Wealth
In the morning we make the short journey to Poggio a Caiano, the country retreat of Lorenzo il Magnifico, designed by Giuliano da Sangallo in 1485. A highly important monument in the history of grand country houses, it presents many features of the new Renaissance architectural ideal, with its classical inspiration.

We continue to Prato, a textile city near Florence, famous for its wool trade developed in the 14th century by Francesco Datini, ‘the Merchant of Prato’, who left the greatest archive of medieval business through his letters. Prato and its textile wealth was the envy of Florence until the mid-1300s when Florence took control of the city. It then embellished the monuments of Prato with the imprint of Renaissance culture through the architecture and sculpture of Giovanni Pisano, the delicate carving of Donatello, the reliefs of the Della Robbia workshop and the fresco cycle by Agnolo Gaddi narrating the story of the girdle of Mary, the city’s greatest treasure. Prato houses two of the great masterpieces of the Renaissance, Sangallo’s architectural triumph in the church of Santa Maria Delle Carceri and the little-known fresco cycles by Filippo Lippi, recently reopened after years of restoration. (Overnight Florence) B

Day 5: Saturday 14 September, Florence
  • Bargello National Museum
  • Basilica di Santa Croce incl. Pazzi Chapel
  • Afternoon at leisure

Politics and Patronage: The Influence of Art
The greatest embodiment of the Renaissance ideal is found in its painting and sculpture. Donatello, Ghiberti, Della Robbia and other masters set the standards of sculptural perfection in their revival of classicism based on the ideal human form. Their work transcended the majesty of the Gothic world, shaping a standard of beauty which still dominates aesthetics today. Their work also reflected the human condition, the inner life and the dramas of emotion. The Bargello demonstrates this spectacle and its impact in the work of Michelangelo, Cellini, Giambologna and the great masters of the 16th century. At Santa Croce we view the the 14th-century masterpieces by Giotto and Taddeo Gaddi, and Brunelleschi’s Pazzi Chapel. (Overnight Florence) B

Day 6: Sunday 15 September, Florence
  • Uffizi Gallery
  • Afternoon at leisure

Painting: The most perfect expression of the Renaissance
This morning we visit the Uffizi Gallery and begin our study of the development of Florentine painting. One of the finest extant collections of Italian painting, the Uffizi collection includes work by Piero della Francesca, Leonardo Da Vinci, Uccello, Fra Filippo Lippi, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Michelangelo, Raphael and the Mannerists Parmigianino, Bronzino, Rosso Fiorentino and Caravaggio. Today’s program will finish in the early afternoon and we shall then enjoy time at leisure. You may wish to remain in the Uffizi to explore its extensive collection further, at your own pace. (Overnight Florence) B

Day 7: Monday 16 September, Florence
  • Old Pharmacy of Santa Maria Novella
  • Basilica of Santa Maria Novella
  • Museum and Monumental Cloisters of Santa Maria Novella, including the Spanish Chapel
  • Walking tour of the Oltrarno, including visits to the Brancacci Chapel and Santa Trinita
  • San Miniato al Monte

Florence: A Centre of Faith
We begin today’s program in the neighbourhood of Santa Maria Novella. We visit Santa Maria Novella Pharmacy, one of the oldest shops in the world still operating. Already active in Dante’s time, its perfumes and medications came from its garden and laboratory for medicinal plants to cure the sick and to supply pilgrims.

The Basilica of Santa Maria Novella contains some of the high points of Florentine painting, from the first demonstration of one-point perspective in Masaccio’s Holy Trinity to the ideal human types in Ghirlandaio’s frescoes.

We next cross the river on the famous Ponte Vecchio to explore the Oltrarno. After taking a walk past Palazzo Pitti, we visit the church of Santa Trinita before a visit of the Early Renaissance Brancacci chapel, designed by Brunelleschi in the 14th century. Here we admire superb frescoes by Masolino, Masaccio and Filippino Lippi.

Today’s program concludes with a visit to San Miniato al Monte (St Minias on the Mountain), located atop one of the highest points of Florence. One of the finest Romanesque structures in Italy, its nave is dominated by the beautiful Chapel of the Crucifix, designed by Michelozzo in 1448. It also features terracotta decorations by Luca della Robbia and frescoes by Taddeo Gaddi. (Overnight Florence) B

Siena - 4 nights

Day 8: Tuesday 17 September, Florence – Settignano – Pianella – Siena
  • Villa Gamberaia, Settignano, incl. special access to ground floor of villa. (By special appointment)
  • Villa di Geggiano, Pianella (buffet lunch and guided tour of the villa and winery)

The Intimate Landscapes of Tuscany
Today we drive from Florence to Siena via two famous Tuscan villas. At Settignano we visit the Villa Gamberaia, with arguably the most famous of Florentine villa gardens. The Capponi family initiated the present garden in 1718. In 1896, Princess Ghika of Serbia created the main water parterres in front of the villa. The Marchi family has recently restored the garden. It features magnificent topiary, two fine grottoes, and wonderful old cypresses and pines. By special arrangement, we also tour the interiors of the villa, which combines interesting architectural features of both an urban palazzo and suburban villa.

At lunchtime we cross to the opposite side of the Sienese hills to the enchanting Villa Geggiano. Here, centuries-old cypress, potted lemons and clipped box hedges adorn a garden boasting a unique ‘greenery theatre’, late Baroque sculptures, a kitchen garden with topiary art and a semi-circular fishpond that forms an elegant terrace overlooking Siena. The villa itself contains original 13th-century furnishings. A small chapel faces out to the garden. At Villa Geggiano we will enjoy a buffet lunch of local specialities and will sample the villa’s own highly regarded Chianti Classico. The proposed menu features crostini with porcini mushrooms and truffles, pasta, a variety of types of locally cured meat and Pecorino cheese to be followed by plum jam tart. These will be washed down with Villa di Geggiano Chianti Classico, mineral water and coffee.

In the afternoon we continue to our hotel on the outskirts of Siena. The hotel is housed in a villa and surrounded by gardens. (Overnight Siena) BL

Day 9: Wednesday 18 September, Siena – Chianciano Terme – Pienza – Siena
  • Villa La Foce, Chianciano Terme (by special appointment; to be confirmed)
  • Lunch at Dopolavoro La Foce
  • Palazzo Piccolomini, Pienza

The Power of Churchmen: The Piccolomini Popes
Today we celebrate the beauty of Tuscany, as we drive south through rolling hills to the Renaissance villa, La Foce, home of Iris Origo, author of the famous Merchant of Prato. La Foce overlooks the Orcia valley and Amiata Mountains, maintaining a distinctive harmony between its spectacular landscape setting and the formal style of surrounding gardens. Terraces with cherries, pines, cypress and wild herbs gently climb its hillside setting.

After sampling local Tuscan fare for lunch, we spend the afternoon exploring the town of Pienza. Pienza was made famous by the Piccolomini family, whose most renowned son, humanist poet, diplomat and theologian, Aenius Sylvius, became Pope Pius II. Its central square was the first to be organised by Renaissance principles of design, providing a model for countless public spaces throughout the western world. The Piccolomini Palace was built in 1459 by famed architect Bernardo Rossellino, student of Leon Battista Alberti. Recent major renovation has restored its utmost splendour, both internally and externally. The true architectural theme of Palazzo Piccolomini is its relationship with nature and the landscape. From the portico on the rear unfolds an extraordinary view of the Valdorcia and Monte Amiata. Inserted into this panorama, on the ground floor of the palazzo, a square-shaped garden bound by walls with a well in the middle, is the first hanging garden of the Renaissance. (Overnight Siena) BL

Day 10: Thursday 19 September, Siena
  • Walking tour of Siena, including Palazzo Pubblico, Piccolomini Library, Baptistery, Cathedral & Museum
  • Time at leisure

Siena, Nemesis of Florence: Conflict and Expansion
Siena is the quintessential medieval city; its rivalry with Florence for political and artistic supremacy has left a legacy of artistic brilliance seldom matched. Lorenzetti’s brilliant interpretation of the rule of law and its impact on society in his frescoes of Good and Bad Government in the Palazzo Pubblico are the most important secular paintings of their time, providing a visual philosophical discourse on the nature of government. Duccio’s masterpiece, the Maestà, originally the centre of the cathedral altar and now in the Cathedral Museum, demonstrates the jewel-like quality of Sienese art, its colour brilliance and its delicacy of line. We examine Giovanni Pisano’s great pulpit in Siena Cathedral, visit the newly reopened crypt and visit the Piccolomini Library with its spectacle of paintings by Pintoricchio and magnificent manuscripts. We also visit the Baptistry, the medieval quarters (contrade) dominated by palaces still occupied by the families who built them. The contrade compete in the famous palio horse race twice a year. The afternoon will include some time at leisure to further explore Siena’s many monuments and museums. (Overnight Siena) B

Day 11: Friday 20 September, Siena – Arezzo – Monterchi – Sansepolcro – Siena
  • Basilica di San Francesco, Arezzo
  • Museo Madonna del Parto, Monterchi
  • Museo Civico, Sansepolcro

Piero della Francesca and the Impact of Genius
Today we explore the landscapes that inspired Piero della Francesca, who incorporated stylistic elements of the Florentine and Northern Renaissance in his work. Driving south east to Arezzo, we shall study Piero’s magnificent Story of the True Cross in San Francesco; built around a narrative from the collected story of the saints, the Golden Legend, it recounts the events surrounding the growth and fate of the cross on which Christ died. In the small communal museum of Sansepolcro, Piero’s birthplace and where he held public office, we see his spectacular painting of the Resurrection, in his view his finest work, and his Misericordia Madonna. The Romanesque cathedral in Sansepolcro had a special meaning for Piero, inspiring his painting with its imagery and its commemoration of the Holy Sepulchre at Jerusalem, as the town’s name suggests. In the neighbouring commune of Monterchi we view the Madonna del Parto (Madonna of Pregnancy), painted by Piero around 1460. This is an iconic depiction of the Virgin Mary shown as pregnant, which was developed in Italy, mainly in Tuscany in the 14th century. It is thought to be a very personal work for Piero, which he painted after his mother’s funeral. (Overnight Siena) BD

Lucca - 3 nights

Day 12: Saturday 21 September, Siena – San Gimignano – Volterra  – Lucca
  • Medieval aristocratic towers, San Gimignano
  • Collegiate Church of Santa Maria Assunta, San Gimignano
  • Etruscan Walls, Theatre & City Gate, Volterra
  • Art Gallery & Civic Museum, Volterra

The Roman Origins of Tuscany
We depart Siena this morning by private coach for a full day drive to Lucca via San Gimignano and Volterra. San Gimignano is one of the few communes in Italy which retains intact a number of its medieval tower houses. They are reminders of the period between c.1150 and c.1250, when factional violence virtually turned Tuscany’s towns into armed camps, and neighbourhood relations were determined by jealous rivalries between large militaristic clans called consorterie. San Gimignano is also renowned for its delicious, astringent white wine, called Vernaccia.

We spend the afternoon exploring Volterra, which is noted for its Etruscan walls, Roman theatre and city gate and the fact that in the Middle Ages it became one of the earliest independent Tuscan communes. It therefore has one of Tuscany’s oldest communal palaces. This bears an interesting spatial relationship to Volterra’s Romanesque cathedral, the second focus of the city’s early communal life (currently under restoration). We shall visit Volterra’s Civic Museum and Art Gallery, which is housed in a 15th-century palace designed by Antonio Sangallo the Elder. This museum holds a wonderful collection, of which the masterpiece is Rosso Fiorentino’s extraordinary Deposition from the Cross. Volterra is also known for its craftwork in alabaster, for which it has been famous for millennia. You will encounter small alabaster workshops in the streets of the city.

In the late afternoon we continue to Lucca and check in to the Hotel Ilaria, which occupies the restored stables of the Villa Bottini inside the city walls. (Overnight Lucca) B

Day 13: Sunday 22 September, Lucca
  • Orientation tour of Lucca, incl. Cathedral of San Martino, San Michele, San Frediano and the Piazza del Mercato
  • Palazzo Pfanner
  • Afternoon at leisure
  • Evening concert of works by Puccini and others, Church of San Giovanni

Lucca: Exploring the Planned City
Lucca is one of the most beautiful of all Italian cities, with city walls graced by grand plantations of trees and one of the finest sets of Romanesque churches in Italy. We visit the Cathedral of San Martino, with a lovely Jacopo della Quercia tomb. The church of San Michele has a spectacular façade made up of complex blind galleries with capricious sculptures of beasts. It was built in the ancient forum of the city; Lucca’s medieval street plan follows the original Roman plan. The oval Piazza del Mercato’s medieval palaces were built into the structure of Lucca’s Roman amphitheatre. San Frediano, meanwhile, has a distinctive façade mosaic and a unique baptismal font that was once a medieval fountain. Our morning concludes with a tour of the privately owned 17th-century Palazzo Pfanner, where parts of Portrait of a Lady (1996) were filmed. The palace’s owner, Dario Pfanner, will introduce his palace and its Baroque garden, a fine example of an urban garden that includes various statues of Olympian deities and a fountain pond. Inside, the palace’s piano nobile (main reception room) features Pietro Paolo Scorsini frescoes (c.1720).

The afternoon is at leisure. You may wish to walk a section of Lucca’s 17th-century city walls, the best preserved in Italy. The Lucchesi planted trees atop these walls to form a promenade enlivened by small gardens and lawns. We attend an evening concert with a selection of works by well-known classical composers including Giacomo Puccini (1858-1924), a native of Lucca, in the church of San Giovanni. (Overnight Lucca) B

Day 14: Monday 23 September, Lucca – Pistoia – Lucca
  • Cathedral of San Zeno and Silver Altar
  • Churches of Sant’ Andrea, San Giovanni Fuorcivitas & San Bartolomeo in Pantano
  • Palazzo Comunale & Tribunale of Pistoia (exteriors)
  • Della Robbia frieze, Ospedale del Ceppo (Hospital of the Tree Trunk)
  • Farewell Dinner at Gli Orti di Via Elisa Restaurant

Pistoia and its Medieval Legacy
Today we visit the well-preserved and charming medieval city of Pistoia. Located in the foothills of the Apennines, halfway between rivals Pisa and Florence, it inherited Romanesque architecture and Gothic sculpture through the influence of the former, and the best of the Renaissance from its proximity, and eventual conquest by the latter. Inside the old walls lie many beautiful secular and religious buildings including Sant’Andrea, housing Giovanni Pisano’s pulpit of St Andrew; San Giovanni Fuorcivitas, with its magnificent façade and medieval pulpit, forerunner and inspiration for Pisano’s work; San Bartolomeo in Pantano; and the Ospedale del Ceppo, where we view the 16th-century polychrome terracotta frieze by Giovanni della Robbia. The Cathedral of San Zeno, with a beautiful Pisan-Romanesque façade, safeguards a lunette of the Madonna and Child between two angels by Andrea della Robbia. Inside, the right aisle was once occupied by the Chapel of St. James, built in the mid-12th century to house the relics of Saint James brought from Santiago de Compostela. The silver altar of the saint, one of the few complete examples of medieval silver work, can be seen today in the Crucifix Chapel. In the evening we dine together at Gli Orti di Via Elisa Restaurant, located near the hotel. (Overnight Lucca) BD

Day 15: Tuesday 24 September, Depart Lucca for Pisa Airport
  • Airport transfer for participants departing on the ASA ‘designated’ flight

Participants departing on the ASA ‘designated’ flight will be transferred to Pisa Airport for their return flight to Australia. B


15-day Cultural Tour of Florence & Tuscany

All hotels are rated 4-star locally and are comfortable and conveniently situated. All hotels provide rooms with en suite bathroom. Double/twin rooms (for single use) may be requested – and are subject to availability and payment of the Single Supplement. Further information on hotels will be provided in the ‘Tour Hotel List’ given to tour members prior to their departure.

  • Florence (7 nights): 4-star Grand Hotel Adriatico – a modern hotel located between the Santa Maria Novella Square and the Arno River and within easy walking distance of all major monuments & museums.
  • Siena (4 nights): 4-star Hotel Garden – housed in a villa perched on a hill with vineyards and olive groves overlooking Siena. It stands at the end of a park of ilex trees, flower beds and shrubs.
  • Lucca (3 nights): 4-star Hotel Ilaria – located within the walls of the old city, close to the cathedral. It is flanked by the centuries-old garden of the Villa Bottini – it occupies the villa’s restored stables – and the medieval city gate, Porta San Gervasio.

Note: hotels are subject to change, in which case a hotel of similar standard will be provided.

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double (or twin) room for single occupancy throughout the tour. The number of rooms available for single occupancy is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

How to book

Make a Reservation


Please complete the ASA RESERVATION APPLICATION and send it to Australians Studying Abroad together with your non-refundable deposit of AUD $500.00 per person payable to Australians Studying Abroad.

Passport Details

All participants must provide no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the program a photocopy of the front page of their current passport.

Single Supplement

Payment of this supplement will ensure accommodation in a double (or twin) room for single occupancy throughout the tour. The number of rooms available for single occupancy is extremely limited. People wishing to take this supplement are therefore advised to book well in advance.

Gallery Tour Map
Physical Endurance & Practical Information
Physical Rating

The number of flags is a guide to the degree of difficulty of ASA tours relative to each other (not to those of other tour companies). It is neither absolute nor literal. One flag is given to the least taxing tours, seven to the most. Flags are allocated, above all, according to the amount of walking and standing each tour involves. Nevertheless, all ASA tours require that participants have a good degree of fitness enabling 2-3 hours walking or 1-1.5 hours standing still on any given site visit or excursion. Many sites are accessed by climbing slopes or steps and have uneven terrain.

This 15-day Cultural tour of Florence & Tuscany involves:

  • Extensive walking and standing during museum/site visits.
  • Walking tours may include steep slopes, flights of stairs, cobbled streets, visits to hilltop towns and uneven ground during garden visits.
  • Moderate travel by air-conditioned coach, including winding Tuscan roads.
  • Visiting a range of towns and villages on foot, walks uphill from bus parks to historic town centres and other sites (eg. Volterra).
  • The use of audio headsets, which amplify the voice of your guide (despite noisy surroundings). This technology also allows you to move freely during site visits without missing any information.
  • 4-star hotels with two hotel changes.
  • You must be able to carry your own hand luggage. Hotel porterage includes 1 piece of luggage per person.

It is important to remember that ASA programs are group tours, and slow walkers affect everyone in the group. As the group must move at the speed of the slowest member, the amount of time spent at a site may be reduced if group members cannot maintain a moderate walking pace. ASA tours should not present any problem for active people who can manage day-to-day walking and stair-climbing. However, if you have any doubts about your ability to manage on a program, please ask your ASA travel consultant whether this is a suitable tour for you.

Please note: it is a condition of travel that all participants agree to accept ASA’s directions in relation to their suitability to participate in activities undertaken on the tour, and that ASA retains the sole discretion to direct a tour participant to refrain from a particular activity on part of the tour. For further information please refer to the ASA Reservation Application Form.

Practical Information

Prior to departure, tour members will receive practical notes which include information on visa requirements, health, photography, weather, clothing and what to pack, custom regulations, bank hours, currency regulations, electrical appliances and food. The Department of Foreign Affairs & Trade website has advice for travellers:

Tour Price & Inclusions

AUD $6980.00 Land Content Only – Early-Bird Special: Book before 30 September 2018

AUD $7180.00 Land Content Only

AUD $1490.00 Single Supplement

For competitive Economy, Business or First Class airfares and/or group airfares please contact ASA for further information.

Tour Price (Land Content Only) includes:
  • Accommodation in twin-share rooms with private facilities in locally rated 4-star hotels
  • Breakfast daily, lunches and evening meals as indicated in the itinerary where: B=breakfast, L=lunch and D=evening meal
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included.
  • Transportation by air-conditioned coach between cities
  • Airport-hotel transfers if travelling on ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Lecture and site-visit program
  • Porterage of one piece of luggage per person at hotels (not at airports)
  • Tour reference book
  • Entrance fees
  • Use of audio headsets during site visits
  • Tips for the coach driver, local guides and restaurants for included meals
Tour Price (Land Content Only) does not include:
  • Airfare: Australia-Florence, Pisa-Australia
  • Personal spending money
  • Airport-hotel transfers if not travelling on the ASA ‘designated’ flights
  • Luggage in excess of 20kg (44lbs)
  • Travel insurance
Terms & Conditions

A deposit of $500.00 AUD per person is required to reserve a place on an ASA tour.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 75 days before departure: $500.00**
  • 75-46 days prior 25% of total amount due
  • 45-31 days prior 50% of total amount due
  • 30-15 days prior 75% of total amount due
  • 14-0 days prior 100% of total amount due

**This amount may be credited to another ASA tour departing within 12 months of the original tour you booked. We regret, in this case early-bird discounts will not apply. We take the day on which you cancel as being that on which we receive written confirmation of cancellation.

Unused Portions of the Tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Will the Tour Price or Itinerary Change?

If the number of participants on a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates ASA reserves the right to amend the advertised price. We shall, however, do all in our power to maintain the published price. If an ASA tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all tour monies paid. Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of ASA make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes in due course.

Travel Insurance

ASA requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. A copy of your travel insurance certificate and the reverse charge emergency contact phone number must be received by ASA no later than 75 days prior to the commencement of the tour.

Final Payment

The balance of the tour price will be due 75 days prior to the tour commencement date.

Limitation of Liability

ASA is not a carrier, event or tourist attraction host, accommodation or dining service provider. All bookings made and tickets or coupons issued by ASA for transport, event, accommodation, dining and the like are issued as an agent for various service providers and are subject to the terms and conditions and limitations of liability imposed by each service provider. ASA is not responsible for their products or services. If a service provider does not deliver the product or service for which you have contracted, your remedy lies with the service provider, not ASA. ASA will not be liable for any claim (eg. sickness, injury, death, damage or loss) arising from any change, delay, detention, breakdown, cancellation, failure, accident, act, omission or negligence of any such service provider however caused (contingencies). You must take out adequate travel insurance against such contingencies. ASA’s liability in respect of any tour will be limited to the refund of amounts received from you less all non-refundable costs and charges and the costs of any substituted event or alternate services provided. The terms and conditions of the relevant service provider from time to time comprise the sole agreement between you and that service provider. ASA reserves the sole discretion to cancel any tour or to modify itineraries in any way it considers appropriate. Tour costs may be revised, subject to unexpected price increases or exchange rate fluctuations.

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