A 5-night holiday to Tuscany with Art expert Mr Frank Milner formerly of the Walker Art Gallery. We shall be visiting the major points of interest in the region. Our base for 5 nights will be the Hotel Cisterna in the centre of San Gimignano. A charming hill top village in the centre of Tuscany in an ideal location for all of our planned excursions
- 5-night staying at Hotel Cisterna
- Pisa Cathedral
- Piazza del Campo
- Santa Maria Novella
Full Tour Details
Monday 11th September 2017
Our first call is Pisa Cathedral, started in 1093 in the Romanesque style. The entrance to the Duomo is in the south transept near the Leaning Tower, which is home to the original bronze Door of San Ranieri, cast by Bonnano Pisano in 1180 while he was working on the tower.
The Baptistry which is Italy’s largest baptistery (54.86m tall and 104m in circumference). The Camposanto (“Holy Field”) or Monumental Cemetery was constructed in 1278 around sacred dirt brought back from Golgotha during the Crusades. Later decorated with extensive frescoes, it was the burial place of the Pisan upper class for centuries.
The Sculpture Museum with interesting collections of impressive paintings and sculptures dating from between the 12th and 18th centuries. We then drive to San Gimignano and our hotel the 3* Hotel Cisterna. We stay in this charming town centre hotel for 5 nights.
Tuesday 12th September 2017
It can be found on Piazza del Campo where you can climb the clock tower (Torre del Mangia) and enjoy a fabulous view of the town and the surrounding Tuscan countryside.
The Maestà, or Maestà of Duccio is an altarpiece composed of many individual paintings commissioned by the city of Siena in 1308 from the artist Duccio di Buoninsegna. We then allow an hour for lunch after which visit the Duomo including Pisano Pulpit and the Piccolomoni Library which was built by Pope Pius II’s nephew, also a cardinal who also later became Pope Pius III.
The Baptistery with some great works of art by Ghiberti and Donatello. Nicola Pisano was an Italian sculptor whose work is noted for its classical Roman sculptural style. Pisano is sometimes considered to be the founder of modern sculpture.
Wednesday 13th September 2017
Today we visit Florence and the Santa Maria Novella, in 1219 twelve Dominican friars came from Bologna and two years later obtained as their Florentine dwelling the church of Santa Maria delle Vigne, outside the city walls.
In 1485 Giovanni Tornabuoni commissioned from Ghirlandaio frescoes and stained glass for the chapel of the high altar, with Scenes from the life of the Virgin and Scenes from the life of the Baptist, filled with figures from the upper-class Florentine society of the time. The Cappellone degli Spagnoli (Spanish Chapel) was erected around 1350 as the chapter house of the Dominican monastery of Santa Maria Novella.
The monumental complex of the cloister, considered an extraordinary example of Italian Gothic architecture, was begun around 1340. A short break for coffee and at 12.30-2.00pm we visit The Museo dell’Opera del Duomo in Florence, Italy is a museum containing many of the original works of art created for the Cattedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore, the cathedral of Florence.
We then have some free time and depart at 5.00pm.
Thursday 14th September 2017
The Duomo is dedicated to Saint Stephen, the first Christian martyr. It is one of the most ancient churches in the city, and was already in existence in the 10th century. It was built in several successive stages in the Romanesque style.
The church contains a number of notable works of art, in particular fine sculpture. The high chapel of Prato’s Duomo features beautifully detailed frescoes by Filippo Lippi depicting stories of Saint Stephen (Stefano) and Saint John the Baptist (Giovanni Battista). Pistoia was a smallish Roman town, notable mainly for a nearby battle in which Cicero’s great enemy the conspirator Catiline died an outcast and rebel.
It flourished in the Middle Ages, getting itself recognised as a pilgrimage site for the cult of Saint James and establishing a form of republican self-government. Our othr option is to visit Volterra, a town of great architectural interest located 1770 feet above the sea level, between the rivers Bra and Cecina The main features are two fine castles and numerous Etruscan remains.
Friday 15th September 2017
Today we stay in San Gimignano The Palazzo Comunale (Town Hall) stands on the central Piazza del Duomo. Inside there is the famous room “Sala di Dante” that is decorated with important collections of courtly frescoes and the Picture Gallery with its works dating back to the 13th and 17th centuries.
From Palazzo Comunale you can also go up to the top of the Torre Grossa, San Gimignano’s highest tower from where an amazing view will take your breath away. The Chiesa Collegiata is the main church of SanGimignano, situated in the Piazza del Duomo at the town’s heart.
It was once the Duomo (cathedral), but since San Gimignano no longer has a bishop it has reverted to the status of a collegiate church. The façade dates from 1239 and is remarkably plain. The Pisan Romanesque interior is famous for its lavish frescoes, which almost entirely cover the walls. After lunch we go at 3.30pm to The Church of St. Agostino, with a single nave in Romanesque style with Gothic elements, began in 1280.
Saturday 16th September 2017
Today after breakfast we bid our farewell to Tuscany and make our way to the airport for our return flight ( 2.00pm approx )to Manchester where we will be met by a coach to transfer us back to Washway Farm.
Location Map - Hotel la Cisterna, Italy
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