Gems of Italy tour - Summer 00

Countess Elizabeth Beaufort arranged a "Conte Guido's Toury of Italy for the Summer of 2000.  We took a group of 14 SCA folks and two other non-SCA folk on the tour.   Peter, Debbie, and Tarythe met the group in Rome the evening of 8 July.  

9 July: In the morning, a guided tour of ancient and medieval Rome, including ancient Roman ruins, and medieval to Renaissance basilicas and palaces. In the afternoon, an excursion to tour the ruins of Ostia Antica, once the seaport of Rome and often noted as being a better example of how the Roman Empire lived and worked than Pompeii is. 

10 July: A morning tour of the Vatican City, including the Vatican Museum, the Sistine Chapel, and St. Peter's Cathedral and Square. After lunch, we departed for the hilltop town of Orvieto, originally built by the Etruscans and still an almost perfectly preserved medieval fortified town. 

11 July: The morning was spent touring Orvieto - the Duomo, Palazzo Publico, Quartiere Vecchio, St. Patrick's Well. Then, on to Florence, birthplace of the Renaissance.  After we checked in to the hotel, we went on a "forced road march" deep into the heart of Florence to find the restaurant for dinner.  We strolled around central Florence a little bit and then hiked back to the bus to return to the hotel.

12 July: A morning guided tour of Florence, included the Academia and Michelangelo's "David," Duomo and Baptistry, the medieval Palazzo Vecchio, a tour of the Uffizi Gallery, the tombs of Italy's famous in Santa Croce, and more.  Some time in the afternoon in Florence to explore, shop, and to view the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza Signoria, Piazza Santa Croce, the Duomo and Campanile.   We stopped in on the Florentine Leather School inside Santa Croce for a demonstration of this Renaissance art, as well. 

13 July: A morning tour of the awesome medieval city of San Gimignano and then the Renaissance city of Siena.

14 July: We left early from Florence headed twoards Verona, but stopped for a few hours in Vinci, home of Leonardo -to see his home and museum and then a few hours in Pisa.

15 July: Too much time on the bus driving to Venice.  In Venice, we took the vaporetto to Piazza San Marco and toured the Duomo, the Doge's Palace, and then went to the Isle of Murano for a demonstration of glass-blowing, an art preserved from the medieval period.   We then rode the bus back to Verona. 

16 July: In the morning, we went to Milan and saw perhaps the best museum of the trip, the Castello Sforsesco.  We then went to Sta. Maria Delle Grazie and viewed Leonardo's "Last Supper." We did some walking and spent an hour or so in the area of the Duomo and then we went to Verona to see the coliseum and a fortress.  

17 July: Depart Verona for one of the world's smallest countries, medieval San Marino on the Adriatic coast.  We visited the historic medieval fortifications high upon Mount Titan, and wandered the narrow up-and-down streets of this lovely city.

18 July: Departed San Marino for Gubbio. On the way, we stopped at Fabriano to see medieval paper-making, spent a final evening in Gubbio, the medieval gem of Umbria. 

19 July: Left Gubbio for Assisi, and raced to tour the newly restored St. Francis Church and the quaint center of Assisi.  We departed for the Rome airport, arriving just in time for Debbie catch her train back to Germany and Tarythe and I to go to Naples.