Lifestyles Explorations in Italy

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JUN. 26 - JUL. 25, 2015 $5,595
Florence, Lucca, San Gimignano, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Siena, Cortona
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Overview

Lifestyles Explorations in Italy

JUN. 26 - JUL. 25, 2015
Florence, Lucca, San Gimignano, Colle di Val d'Elsa, Siena, Cortona

UPDATE: The new date for this trip is June 26 – July 25; previously July 24 – Aug. 22. 

Considered one of the top destinations for people who want to retire or move abroad, Italy has it all: sundrenched beaches, peaceful countrysides and vibrant cities, all enriched by a fascinating history and culture. This tour provides an authentic four-week introduction to living abroad. Reside in your own apartment in Florence and develop the skills you need to pursue independent living in Italy. Enjoy language instruction combined with an immersion in the lifestyle, customs, history and cuisine of the country, all courtesy of your accomplished and experienced lifestyle guide. Included excursions take you to the Chianti region, San Gimignano, Siena, Colle Val d’Elsa, Lucca and Carrara.

Cost: $5,595
AHI Travel
Activity Level: Moderate Activity
COVID-19 Information:
  • Groups are limited to 36 travelers to maximize your travel experience
  • Enjoy four weeks’ fully furnished accommodations in a historic palace that has been renovated to offer modern amenities, including a kitchenette, cable television and free Wi-Fi, situated near the heart of Florence
  • Learn Italian and explore Tuscan culture, history, art and cuisine with your Lifestyle Guide, an instructor from your language school in Florence
  • Attend an Italian cooking demonstration, as well as a tour and tasting at a Tuscan winery
  • Additional cooking classes are available
  • Embark on included group excursions to two Florence museums, the Castello di Monsanto winery in Chianti and the historic Tuscan towns of Siena, Colle di Val d’Elsa, Cortona, Carrara, Lucca and San Gimignano
  • Every week, gather with your fellow travelers for dinner and camaraderie
  • Meet local Florentines to learn more about the Italian lifestyle
  • Try life abroad as you equip yourself to live independently in Italy

 

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (3.8 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • The amount of time in one place gave me the chance to experience being a part of the local culture. I felt at home."
    Jan Owens-Martinez ’64, Traveler
  • There is no such thing as justly describing the fine things that we have seen [in Florence] today... Art has here brought fiction so near upon the verge of reality, that the line between them is too nice to be drawn by words."
    J.P. Cobbett, British Writer
  • An amazing travel adventure that covers everything, including art, literature, architecture and beautiful scenery, and I became part of it all."
    Gay Zide ’68, Traveler

Details

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Itinerary
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DAY 1 | June 26. Depart for Florence, Italy.

DAY 2 | June 27
Upon arrival in Florence, transfer and check in to the Hotel & Residence Palazzo Ricasoli. Attend a welcome briefing with your AHI travel director at which you will be given an Italian cell phone to use throughout your stay. Then join your fellow travelers for a Welcome Reception and Dinner.

DAY 3 | June 28
At the start of each day, enjoy a delicious buffet breakfast at your hotel. After breakfast, get to know your new home. Explore the highlights of Florence, a UNESCO World Heritage site, on a guided walking tour. See Il Duomo and Ponte Vecchio, among other highlights. Enjoy lunch at a Florence restaurant.

DAY 4 | June 29
Tour the language school, take your language placement test and attend your first Italian class. Visit a local market and hone your grocery-shopping skills with your Lifestyle Guide. Dinner is served at a restaurant.

DAYS 5-7 | June 30 – July 2
Experience Florence through your language lessons and excursions with your Lifestyle Guide and on your own. After your Tuesday lesson, attend a lecture on Renaissance Art. On Wednesday, visit the Accademia, home to Michelangelo’s “David.”

DAY 8 | July 3
Enjoy an entire day at leisure to explore Florence on your own.

DAYS 9-10 | July 4
On Saturday, discover an incredible wealth of medieval relics in the lovely town of Lucca. Then visit Carrara, famous for its marble. Lunch is at a local restaurant. Join your fellow travelers for dinner, wine and camaraderie on Sunday.

DAYS 11-14 | July 5-8
On Monday, attend a lecture on Contemporary Italy. On Wednesday, savor local specialties during lunch at a restaurant. Then visit the Uffizi Gallery, home to one of the most illuminating art collections in the world. On Thursday, join your fellow travelers for dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 15 | July 9
Travel to Castello di Monsanto in the heart of Chianti for a tasting of the region’s distinctive wines and olive oils. Afterward, learn about Tuscan cuisine during a cooking demonstration followed by lunch. Then visit the historic hill town of San Gimignano, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

DAYS 16-17 | July 10-11
On Sunday, admire the artistic and architectural treasures of the hilltop Tuscan town of Cortona. Enjoy a visit to the Etruscan Museum. Savor lunch at a restaurant in town.

DAYS 18-21 | July 12-15
Through your lessons, continue your immersion into the language and culture of Florence. Relish dinner on Monday and lunch on Wednesday at local restaurants with your new friends.

DAY 22-24 | July 16-18
On Friday, venture to the well-preserved medieval town of Colle di Val d’Elsa. Savor a delicious lunch at a restaurant in town. Continue to the UNESCO World Heritage town of Siena for a walking tour and some free time to explore on your own. On Saturday, trade stories of your week with your fellow travelers during dinner at a restaurant.

DAY 25-28 | July 19-22
Continue your immersion into the language and culture. On Tuesday, enjoy lunch at a local restaurant. On Thursday, celebrate your journey at a Graduation Ceremony.

DAY 29 | July 23
Visit your favorite spots one last time during your final day in Florence. This evening join your fellow travelers for a festive Farewell Dinner.

DAY 30 | July 24
After breakfast, transfer to the Florence airport for the return flights to your gateway city.

Accommodations
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Hotel & Residence Palazzo Ricasoli
After a day exploring Tuscany, retire to the tranquility of your apartment-style accommodations. The elegant Hotel & Residence Palazzo Ricasoli is housed in the 16th-century palace of the Ricasoli family on quiet Via delle Mantellate, just a short walk from the historic center of Florence. The palaceturned- residence is also close to boutiques, restaurants, galleries, grocery stores and a laundromat. Each bright, spacious, soundproofed flat features a kitchenette, a sitting area and a bathroom with shower/tub, as well as free Wi-Fi and air conditioning. Relax and enjoy your international living experience in the hotel bar, café, the breakfast room or the charming courtyard. The hotel takes care of linen changes, and the friendly, engaging staff will ensure you are fully informed about local attractions, museums, theaters and transportation. The Residence Palazzo Ricasoli also offers an indoor garage, should you choose to rent a vehicle during your stay.

Pricing

Pricing: from $5,595
AHI Travel

What’s Included

  • Four weeks in Florence, Italy, at the first-class Hotel & Residence Palazzo Ricasoli
  • Enjoy 28 breakfasts, seven lunches and seven dinners; tea or coffee with all meals, plus wine with dinner
  • Sample authentic regional specialties during select meals at featured local restaurants
  • Take advantage of leisure time to try the local cuisine independently
  • Informative educational programs, presented by local experts, enhance your insight into the region
  • Sixteen three-hour Italian lessons. A Lifestyle Guide provides small-group instruction tailored to your needs
  • All excursions as outlined in your program itinerary
  • Attend a Welcome Reception and a Welcome Dinner
  • Gather for a Graduation Ceremony and Farewell Dinner.

Included Extras

  • Consultation services of a dedicated Passenger Service Representative prior to departure
  • Services of an experienced travel director throughout your stay
  • Tipping of excursion guides and drivers
  • Detailed travel and destination information to assist in your planning
  • Complimentary travel wallet
  • Stay connected with friends, family and AHI Travel staff with a complimentary Italian cell phone
Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (3.8 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • The amount of time in one place gave me the chance to experience being a part of the local culture. I felt at home."
    Jan Owens-Martinez ’64, Traveler
  • There is no such thing as justly describing the fine things that we have seen [in Florence] today... Art has here brought fiction so near upon the verge of reality, that the line between them is too nice to be drawn by words."
    J.P. Cobbett, British Writer
  • An amazing travel adventure that covers everything, including art, literature, architecture and beautiful scenery, and I became part of it all."
    Gay Zide ’68, Traveler

Book this Tour

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How to Book

STEP 1
Download the tour Reservation Form here. This tour is booked quickly, so sign up early to reserve space.

STEP 2
Enclose a check or provide credit card information for $600 per person, per tour, as a deposit for the selected tour. Make check payable to AHI Travel. Deposits are provisional and fully refundable pending your acceptance of final brochure terms.

STEP 3
Mail completed reservation form and your deposit to:
UCLA Alumni Association
Attn: Alumni Travel
James West Alumni Center
Los Angeles, CA 90095-1397

A brochure will be mailed to you as soon as it is available.

Terms & Conditions

Written cancellations from time of booking up to 90 days prior to departure will be assessed a minimum administrative fee of approximately $250; within 90 days of departure, refunds vary according to the policies of each tour operator. Please download brochure for this tour here.

CST 2028271-20

Travel Insurance

We strongly recommend you purchase travel insurance to cover the possibility of trip cancellation or interruption, emergency medical evacuation, medical expenses and baggage loss incurred while traveling. All confirmed passengers will receive travel insurance information in your confirmation packet. It’s one of our many membership benefits! For information about travel insurance, visit alumni.ucla.edu/travel-insurance. Coverage for pre-existing medical conditions, terrorist incidents and travel supplier financial insolvencies will be provided if the insurance is purchased within 15 days of your trip deposit. Please read the insurance brochure carefully.

Download Reservation Form Download Brochure (3.8 MB) Request Brochure In Mail
310.206.0613 (P)
310.209.4271 (F)
travel@alumni.ucla.edu
  • The amount of time in one place gave me the chance to experience being a part of the local culture. I felt at home."
    Jan Owens-Martinez ’64, Traveler
  • There is no such thing as justly describing the fine things that we have seen [in Florence] today... Art has here brought fiction so near upon the verge of reality, that the line between them is too nice to be drawn by words."
    J.P. Cobbett, British Writer
  • An amazing travel adventure that covers everything, including art, literature, architecture and beautiful scenery, and I became part of it all."
    Gay Zide ’68, Traveler