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2011 Tentative Tour Program

posted Mar 14, 2011, 3:33 PM by Jen Hayes   [ updated Mar 14, 2011, 6:19 PM ]
Bells in Tuscany
July 9-16, 2011

09. Saturday – Arrivals and Rehearsal
Pick ups according to travel arrangements of individual passengers in Florence. All convene at the charming Villa Le Fonti (located 1km from to village of Grassina and just 10km from the heart of Florence) for our first rehearsal at 4.30 pm. Enjoy dinner at the Villa and some social time.

10. Sunday – The Hills of Florence
Sunday is a full day of rehearsal for the group. There will be plenty of time for music and relaxation. Those not ringing bells can take a short trip into town to explore, or might elect to head into the local hills to find some lovely hiking trails. Some might just prefer to curl up with a great book or a bottle of Tuscan wine. For dinner, we’ll head into Florence for an evening on the town. Enjoy an amazing trattoria and find a cool breeze on the Ponte Vecchio to admire the lights along the Arno. You can even find a gelateria open all night! 

11. Monday – San Gimignano and Siena (Concert - Bucine)
This day will be a day of towers. San Gimignano is known as “La Città delle Torre” and there’s no lack of spires reaching for the sky. Explore this medieval town, check out the pastry and chocolate shops and find your favorite door or window. Meet back for a short ride to a nearby agritourismo to sample wine and food of the Chianti region. An afternoon in Siena will allow you to explore the Piazza del Popolo and imagine il Palio, the pageantry of horses racing around the square. Be sure to meet the group to prepare for our first concert nearby.

12. Tuesday – Lucca and Pisa (Concert - Lucca)
Tuesday morning, we’ll head for western Tuscany, starting in Pisa. Do some shopping nel corso or visit La Giurisprudenza or just hang out on the Ponte di Mezzo. Be sure not to miss the main attraction, the Leaning Tower. After lunch at local favorite “Ristorante David,” a nap in the car will be in order on the way to Lucca. Circle the ancient walls or wander through piazzas and mercati to get familiar with Italian culture. Grab a light supper on your own and meet to set up for the concert. Return to Le Fonti for a good night’s sleep.

13. Wednesday – Florence
Since there is so much to do and see in Florence, we’ll get up early and head in. You’ll have a free day to discover markets and churches throughout the city center. Plan ahead to visit the David or the Uffizzi galleries. Lunch and dinner are on your own and you can meet the group transport in the evening to return to the villa. Return to Le Fonti at any time during the day by city bus or taxi. You might also consider extending your stay in Italy to return to Florence another day! Otherwise, help will be available to help you maximize your time in this phenomenal city.

14. Thursday – Orvieto, Todi, Deruta (Concert - Arezzo)
Heading south from Le Fonti into the region of Umbria, we encounter the famous Italian hill towns. We’ll make a loop through this amazing countryside. Our first stop is Orvieto, where the construction of the immense cathedral lasted almost three centuries. Next up is Todi, a
medieval hill town was named “Italy’s most livable city.” Our afternoon will include a stop in Deruta, famous for its distinctive fine ceramics, on our way to Arezzo where we’ll settle in for dinner and our final evening concert.

15. Friday – Flex Day!
During the week, we’ll find out if there’s a special interest of the group and have our transportation take us to visit. You may also choose to venture off on a train to a nearby destination to make your experience in Tuscany everything you’d hoped it would be. You could catch a bus into Florence to enjoy another museum or check out Via Tornabuoni for some high-end shopping or the Mercato San Lorenzo for the budget-conscious. Stick around for an evening dinner and piazza nightlife. Find a happening hotspot or even a discoteca if you have the energy! Remember the Le Fonti is only a 40-minute bus ride from the heart of Florence! Preplan this day or take it “come capita.”

16. Saturday - Departures
After breakfast on Saturday, we’ll pack up our stuff and head out. We’ll make connections to airports and train stations as necessary and bid farewell to our lovely Tuscan locale. Alla prossima!