Program photograph

Portrait of Italy: From the Amalfi Coast to Venice

August 26 - September 11, 2014
Faculty: Larry Goedde, Professor of Art History

Price: $4,595 per person, double occupancy, land only
$5,684 per person, double occupancy, air inclusive from NYC  (includes $689 airline taxes & departure fees)
Other gateway cities are available.

A limited number if single rooms are available for a suplement of $995 to the per person price.

 This trip is limited to 22 guests
registration

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Overview

This two-week tour of Italy will introduce you to Italy's marvels of both nature and man--everything from the breathtaking coastline of the Amalfi Coast to the eerily frozen city of Pompeii in the wake of Mt. Vesuvius' eruption to Rome's infamous 55,000-seat Colosseum and works of art by Michelangelo and other Renaissance masters. Our journey Portrait of Italy begins with an exploration of the southern Italian coast, including stops in Amalfi, the largest coastal town and one of endless charm, before visiting Ravello, described by André Gide as being "closer to the sky than the seashore," where you can behold the entire Coast. From the coast, we will journey to such historic cities as Pompeii, Montecassino and Rome. In Rome, you will have the opportunity to see renowned sites such as the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain, among hundreds of other historic spots. We will leave the bustle of Rome for the gentle rolling hills of Umbria, the "green heart of Italy," where we will also enjoy a cooking demonstration. From lush Umbria, we will make our way to the celebrated region of Tuscany, where we will enjoy beautiful gardens and traditional Tuscan fare. Our next stop will be Florence, the city of Renaissance artists and thinkers, unimaginable art treasures and splendid churches. This magical journey would not be complete without a visit to Venice and its drama and doges, canals and Canaletto.

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Program Highlights

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Accommodations

Marmorata Hotel

A former paper mill owned by the Camera d’Afflitto family, the Marmorata has been converted into a hotel overlooking the romantic Amalfi Coast.  It boasts a tranquil, secluded atmosphere just 1½ miles from the town of Amalfi.  Still owned and personally run by the d’Afflitto family, the hotel features a restaurant, bar, Internet access, laundry services, fitness center with Jacuzzi, outdoor swimming pool, and access to the sea.  Each air-conditioned room comes decorated with a navy theme and fully equipped with a private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.  Please note that you will need to negotiate a steep driveway down to the hotel.

Empire Palace Hotel

A well-located hotel just a two-minute walk from the Via Veneto, the 110-room Empire Palace is an actual palace, built in 1870 and completely refurbished and converted to a hotel that offers a restaurant and bar, fitness center, Internet access, and laundry and dry cleaning services.  Air-conditioned rooms feature private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, mini-bar, TV, and phone.  Please note that because of the unique nature of this hotel, room sizes vary. 

Grand Hotel Italia

Portrait of Italy

Located in Orvieto’s medieval town center, this refurbished 19th-century building with hanging gardens is close to some of Orvieto’s key points of interest, including the Palazzo del Popolo, Moro Tower, and the Duomo.  The intimate 46-room hotel also features a bar, rooftop terrace, library, Internet access, and laundry service.  Air-conditioned guest rooms have private bath with hair dryer, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

Villa Lecchi

An 18th-century villa set amid five acres of private and secluded gardens, this restored hotel is located in Poggibonsi, 11 miles (a 30-minute ride) from Siena, and close to the Chianti Classico region of Italy.    The hotel features a restaurant and bar, Internet access, laundry and dry cleaning services, gardens perfect for strolling, sauna and spa, Turkish bath, heated swimming pool with hydromassage, spa shower with hot and cold water, massage services, and an outdoor swimming pool.  Rooms have private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, TV, and phone.  There are no elevators.  Please note that because of the unique nature of this hotel, room sizes and views vary.

Carnival Palace Hotel (also used for Optional Post-Tour Extension)

Opened in August 2012, the contemporary Carnival Palace overlooks the Cannaregio Canal in the heart of historic downtown Venice.  Along with a garden and waterfront terrace bar, the 67-room hotel offers Internet access and laundry service.  Guest rooms have Venetian furnishings, private bath with hair dryer, mini-bar, in-room safe, TV, and phone.

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Meals

Most meals including 15 breakfasts, 9 dinners.

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Faculty

Larry Goedde

Larry Goedde, U.Va. Professor of Art History

Larry has taught at the University of Virginia since 1981 and served for 15 years as Chair of the McIntire Department of Art. He has lectured and written extensively on the topics of seascape, landscape and still life, with publications including his book Tempest and Shipwreck in Dutch and Flemish Art: Convention, Rhetoric and Interpretation and various exhibition catalogues and essays. He has led Cavalier Travels trips to Holland and Belgium, the Danube River, a Mediterranean cruise from Rome to Lisbon, Rhine/Moselle Rivers and Around the World By Private Jet.

 

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Itinerary

Day 1 -- August 26
Depart the U.S. for Naples
This evening, you depart the U.S. for Europe with a connecting flight to Naples.

Day 2 -- August 27
Arrive Naples / Transfer to Amalfi
You arrive in Naples this morning and transfer by motorcoach to our hotel just one-and-a-half miles from the town of Amalfi.  Along the way you get your first glimpse of the glorious southern Italian coast.  Amalfi has been noted as a seaside resort since Edwardian times when it was popularized by the British, and makes an ideal base for excursions along the coast.  Tonight we enjoy dinner together at our hotel.
Accommodations:  Marmorata Hotel
Meals:  Dinner

Day 3 -- August 28
Amalfi / Ravello
We begin our day with an exploration of Amalfi, the largest of the coastal towns (weather permitting, we’ll take a boat one way).  We pass by the Duomo, which dominates the main piazza, and then you are free to wander as you please through Amalfi’s atmospheric waterfront or browse in the small shops that surround the square.  Legend has it that the Greek demigod Hercules built this coastal town above the place where he buried Melphe, the nymph whom he loved.  In 830 CE, Amalfi became one of Italy’s four Maritime Republics, and which helped transform it into a wealthy trade center.  As the town gained notoriety, however, it became a target for pirates and neighboring states, and many locals were forced to vacate their homes.  It wasn’t until the mid-19th century that tourism helped to rebuild this once thriving town, and today its beauty inspires those that visit.  After lunch on your own, we continue on to hilltop Ravello, once described as being “closer to the sky than the seashore” by French author André Gide.  It’s widely agreed that, at 1,100 feet above sea level, the view from Ravello is stunning; you can see a splendid panorama of the entire Amalfi Coast.  We return to our hotel late this afternoon and dine there tonight.
Accommodations:  Marmorata Hotel
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Portrait of Italy

Day 4 -- August 29
Pompeii / Amalfi Coast / Sorrento
Today’s full-day excursion begins in Pompeii, the wonderfully preserved Roman town that tells a tale both tragic and fascinating.  Just before Mt. Vesuvius erupted in 79 CE, many citizens of Pompeii heeded the warning signs and fled the town.  But some 2,000 remained to be caught in the eruption’s wake, and became engulfed in volcanic ash.  The ash literally “froze” the town in time, leaving exquisite ruins that show us how these ancient Romans lived:  vivid frescoes, a forum, and one of the largest surviving Roman amphitheaters in existence.  After a 2 ½-hour walking tour of this incredible site, you enjoy lunch on your own.  Then we move on to another spot equally renowned:  the world-famous Amalfi Coast.  This 31-mile stretch of coastline from Sorrento to Salerno has inspired movies, music, and books; indeed, it is one of the most glorious drives in Europe – or anywhere, for that matter.  During our leisurely excursion, we make several photo stops along this spectacular, hair-raising coastline, and also stop in Sorrento. After this full day, we return to our hotel late this afternoon and dine there tonight.
Accommodations:  Marmorata Hotel
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5 -- August 30
Amalfi / Montecassino / Rome
A full-day transfer takes us to noble Rome. We pay a brief visit to the town of Montecassino, whose Abbey is the mother church of the Benedictine order and a center of medieval art.  A German stronghold during World War II, the hilltop Abbey was destroyed by Allied bombing then rebuilt as a replica of the 17th-century original.   After a tour of the Abbey we continue on to Rome, arriving mid-afternoon.  After we check in at our hotel, our tour director leads an informal walking tour of the surrounding neighborhood.  Dinner tonight is on your own in this sophisticated city with a multitude of restaurants.
Accommodations:  Empire Palace Hotel
Meals:  Breakfast

Day 6 -- August 31
Rome
From St. Peter’s Square to the Spanish Steps, the Forum to the Trevi Fountain, Rome is filled with some of the greatest monuments, museums, and ruins in Western civilization.  This morning’s half-day tour, which involves considerable walking, takes us to the ancient city to explore the 55,000-seat Colosseum, completed in 80 CE; and the temples of the Forum, once the seat of Rome’s political power.  This afternoon is free to do as you like:  perhaps visit the Spanish Steps or Trevi Fountain; walk through the ancient Jewish Ghetto, an interesting area of town with a wonderful synagogue that opened in 1904; or learn more about Rome’s ancient history at the Museo di Roma.  The choice is entirely yours, as is the selection of wonderful restaurants for lunch and dinner on your own today.
Accommodations:  Empire Palace Hotel
Meals:  Breakfast

Day 7 -- September 1
Rome
On this morning’s half-day tour we visit monumental St. Peter’s Basilica, where we see Michelangelo’s “Pieta,” considered one of the greatest sculptures of all time.  Another highlight is our visit to the Vatican Museums and the splendidly restored Sistine Chapel, whose ceiling is another Michelangelo masterpiece.  (For the best views, remember to bring your binoculars)!  The afternoon is free to experience Rome’s myriad of delights as you wish.  For solitude, the grounds of the Villa Borghese offer a brief respite from the bustle of the city.  For shopping, you’ll find fabulous designer stores (and great people watching!) on the famed Via Veneto or the Via del Corso.  And lovely Piazza Navona is the perfect spot to sit at a sidewalk café and soak up the vibrant atmosphere of this incredible city.  Lunch and dinner today are on your own.
Accommodations:  Empire Palace Hotel
Meals:  Breakfast

Portrait of Italy

Day 8 -- September 2
Rome / Umbria
Leaving Rome this morning, we travel through the gentle rolling hills of Umbria, known as the “green heart of Italy.”  Passing tiny hill towns and valleys en route, we reach Orvieto, perched atop a volcanic butte.  After checking in at our hotel in the heart of the city’s medieval quarter, our tour director leads us on an informal walking tour of the area.  Orvieto is home to one of Italy’s finest Gothic duomos, or cathedrals, which we see during our tour.  Lunch today is on your own.  Tonight we enjoy a small group highlight as we attend a cooking demonstration followed by dinner at Ristorante Zeppelin, a Culinary Art Institute in the heart of Orvieto’s historic district. 
Accommodations:  Grand Hotel Italia
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9 -- September 3
Orvieto
This morning we embark on a guided walking tour of this dramatically-set city.  We visit the medieval Duomo featuring a frescoed chapel by the “Angelic Painter” Fra Angelico and Luca Signorelli’s masterpiece, “The Last Judgment.”  The story about the Duomo goes that after the communion bread of a skeptical priest reportedly bled onto the altar cloth in a nearby town, the pope commissioned this magnificent cathedral to commemorate the 13th-century miracle.  Next we explore the formerly secret passages of Parco delle Grotte, a labyrinth of underground caves used since Etruscan times for such varied purposes as wine and olive oil storage, wells, and World War II bomb shelters.  Then the remainder of the day is free for independent exploration in this city known for its classic Orvieto white wine and its ceramics tradition dating back to the early medieval era.  Today you can sample Orvieto’s Umbrian cuisine with lunch and dinner on your own.
Accommodations:  Grand Hotel Italia
Meals:  Breakfast

Day 10 -- September 4
Orvieto / Assisi
Today’s full-day excursion travels through lovely scenery on our way to Assisi, the birthplace in 1182 of Saint Francis.  Though the town itself, with inviting plazas and narrow streets, is stunning, the highlight of our day is a tour of the famed Basilica of St. Francis, which has been fully restored after an earthquake caused serious damage to the upper church several years ago.  Fortunately the lower church and much of the art, including priceless frescoes by Giotto and Cavellini, were not damaged.  Most dazzling of all are a series of Giotto frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis.  We also visit the Church of St. Claire, displaying possibly the world's most famous cross.  You have the opportunity to explore Assisi on your own before we return to the hotel late this afternoon.  Lunch and dinner today are on your own.
Accommodations:  Grand Hotel Italia
Meals:  Breakfast

Day 11 -- September 5
Orvieto / Perugia / Siena, Tuscany
On today’s full-day transfer, we leave Umbria for the celebrated region of Tuscany.  En route we stop in Deruta for a demonstration of traditional ceramic decoration; and then in Perugia, a charming medieval town where there’s time for lunch on your own.  Late this afternoon we reach the outskirts of Siena and the Villa Lecchi, our base for touring Tuscany.  There’s time before dinner to explore the grounds and gardens of this restored 18th-century estate with beautiful views of the surrounding countryside.  This evening we enjoy the Villa Lecchi’s traditional Tuscan fare for dinner.
Accommodations:  Hotel Villa Lecchi
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Portrait of Italy

Day 12 -- September 6
Siena
Today we visit Siena, another gem of Tuscany with well-preserved city walls; splendid architecture; the lively Piazza del Campo, one of Europe’s greatest public squares; and an extraordinary duomo, featuring masterpieces by Donatello and Michelangelo.  After a walking tour visiting the highlights, you’re free for lunch on your own.  Following lunch, we enjoy a guided walking tour that includes an inside visit of the Duomo.  Then we return to Villa Lecchi where we dine together tonight.  (Please note that in Siena we must leave the bus outside the historic city center and walk into town then back to the bus).
Accommodations:  Hotel Villa Lecchi
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13 -- September 7
Siena / Florence
An hour’s drive this morning brings us to Florence, city of Renaissance artists and thinkers, filled with unimaginable art treasures, splendid churches, smart boutiques, and an incredibly storied history.  Since buses are not allowed in the historic city center, we are dropped off a short distance from the start of our walking tour, which includes Michelangelo’s masterpiece “The David” at the Galleria dell’Academia; the soaring Duomo with the dome by Brunelleschi; and the Piazza della Signoria, Florence’s ancient main square.  Then the afternoon is free for lunch and exploring on your own.  Shopping, of course, is a popular activity here; leather goods and gold jewelry count among Florence’s modern-day treasures.  Or you may prefer to continue admiring the city’s great art at various museums and churches.  We walk back to the bus for the return journey to Villa Lecchi.  (This is a longer walk than this morning’s, as buses must park in a designated area farther away than the point at which we were dropped off).  We dine tonight at Villa Lecchi.
Accommodations:  Hotel Villa Lecchi
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14 -- September 8
Tuscany / San Gimignano / Chianti Region
Wear your most comfortable shoes today – we are doing a lot of exploring and a great deal of it is on foot. This morning we depart for hilly San Gimignano, where you have free time to explore this well-preserved medieval town and enjoy lunch on your own.  Take note of the 13 remaining bell towers that have left the 8th-century skyline little changed since medieval times – on a clear day, you can even see them from the terrace of the Villa Lecchi.   (Please note that in San Gimignano we must leave the bus outside the historic city center and walk up considerable hills into the town then walk to meet the bus again later).
Following lunch, we drive to a local winery where we taste several vintages served with the appropriate hors d’oeuvres.  This region may be best known for the Vernaccia di San Gimignano, a white wine made from grapes grown around Tuscany, and for the most well known of all Italian wines, Chianti.  Tonight we dine at Villa Lecchi.
Accommodations:  Hotel Villa Lecchi
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 15 -- September 9
Tuscany / Venice
This morning we bid farewell to Tuscany as we travel through the Veneto region to Venice, city of drama and doges, canals and Canaletto.  After our early afternoon arrival, the remainder of the day and evening is free to begin your explorations of this wondrous city.  For dinner on your own tonight, you may wish to sample the seafood dishes for which Venice is known. 
Accommodations:  Carnival Palace Hotel
Meals:  Breakfast

Portrait of Italy

Day 16 -- September 10
Venice
This morning’s guided walking tour reveals a host of Venetian delights:  Piazza San Marco (St. Mark’s Square), with its fantastic Basilica; the romantic Bridge of Sighs; the Rialto district with its bustling market.  Your afternoon is at leisure to enjoy this timeless city as you wish.  This evening we gather at a local restaurant for a farewell dinner to bid “arrivederci” to Italy and to our fellow travelers.
Accommodations:  Carnival Palace Hotel
Meals:  Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17 -- September 11
Return to U.S.
Early this morning, you depart Venice for your connecting flight to the United States.
Meals:  Breakfast

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Program Fees

$4,595 per person, double occupancy, land only.  

$5,684 per person, double occupancy with economy-class roundtrip airfare from New York.  (Includes $698 for airline taxes and departure fees.) Other gateway cities are available.

A limited number of single rooms are available for a supplement of $995 to the per person, double occupancy rates.

Price includes:

Does not include:

Venice – On Your Own – Extension: $395 per person, double occupancy

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How To Register

Ready to register? The best way to do this is by phone so that we can ensure we are meeting all of your needs. Please call us at 866-765-2646 or, e-mail cavaliertravels@virginia.edu with your contact information and the best time to reach you.

A deposit of $500 per person is required to reserve your spot. Final payment is due 95 days prior to departure.

Deposits can be made via MasterCard, Visa, Discover or American Express, or by check made out to “Odysseys Unlimited, Inc.”

Early registration is encouraged as space is limited.

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General Terms & Conditions

Please read this information carefully, as a payment of a $500 deposit per person represents your acceptance of the following Terms and Conditions.

Payment Schedule: A deposit of $500 per person confirms your reservation. The balance of your invoice is due 95 days (May 23, 2014) before departure.

Not Included in Tour Price: Airfare when purchasing a land only package; costs of passports and visas; personal expenses such as beverages, laundry, room service, and meals not specified; airport transfers when purchasing a land only package; communication charges; optional sightseeing; gratuities to your Odysseys Unlimited Tour Director, which are at your discretion (suggested gratuity: $10-$15 per day per traveler); travel protection insurance. Additional baggage fees may apply and are subject to change at any time. You should confirm directly with your airline prior to departure.

Cancellation and Refunds: If you must cancel your trip, the effective date of cancellation will be upon our receipt of your written notification. Refunds for cancellations are subject to the following per person charges: Cancel 95 days or more before departure: $200 charge; Cancel 94-65 days before departure: 25% of tour price; Cancel 64-45 days before departure: 50% of tour price; Cancel 44-30 days before departure: 75% of tour price; Cancel 29-0 days before departure: No refund. If a guest makes any changes between 94 and 30 days prior to departure, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. will apply a $100 per person administrative fee, in addition to any fees or penalties imposed by third parties. Changes are subject to availability and cannot be guaranteed. If your reservation changes from double occupancy to single occupancy for any reason, you will be charged the single supplement. No changes are allowed within 30 days of departure.Upon reservation you must provide your full legal name as it appears on your passport, your date of birth and gender. In the event an airline ticket is issued with incorrect information you have provided, you will be responsible for charges associated with the ticket’s reissue. 

Responsibility: The liability of the University of Virginia, as sponsor, and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc., as tour operator, is strictly limited. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. purchase transportation, hotel accommodations, restaurant and other services from independent suppliers not under our control. We serve only as agents for these suppliers in securing tour arrangements, and therefore will not accept responsibility for wrongful, negligent, or arbitrary acts or omissions of these independent contractors, their employees, agents, servants or representatives. The University of Virginia and Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. are not liable for injury, damage, loss, accident, or delay that may be caused by events not within our control, including without limitation, acts of terrorism, war, strikes, the defect of any vehicle, or the negligence or default of any third party. All coupons, receipts, and tickets issued are subject to the terms and conditions specified by the air carriers, cruise line, and other independent suppliers. We will make every effort to operate our tours as planned, but we reserve the right to make itinerary changes as necessary. If unforeseen circumstances require us to change a hotel, we will select alternative accommodations of the same or better quality. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.

Health and Medical Issues: We request that you be in fairly good health to participate in an Odysseys Unlimited tour. There is a considerable amount of walking, and you must be able to get on and off motorcoaches on your own. If you require the use of a wheelchair or have other personal needs, you must be accompanied by a companion who will assist you. We reserve the right to remove anyone whose physical or mental condition, in our opinion, compromises the operation of the tour or detracts from the enjoyment or safety of the other passengers. In that event, Odysseys Unlimited and the University of Virginia assume no financial responsibility for any unused portion of the tour.

Air Transportation – Important Information: Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. includes in its tour price round-trip economy air from designated gateway cities and contracts with those airlines they feel provide the level of service, routings, and value necessary for your entire trip. While another airline may offer a more direct connection, it may be at a price unavailable at the lower group rates. You will receive your preliminary air scheduled approximately 2 ½ months prior to departure. Please note that seat assignments on your international flight are usually done at airport check-in. Odysseys Unlimited is unable to guarantee any seat assignments. Due to the nature of tour operator tickets, other restrictions apply, including but not limited to, frequent flyer mileage accrual, stopovers, alternate travel dates, upgrades, and airline taxes and departure fees. If you prefer to make your own travel arrangements, land only is available on most tours. Since international and domestic air schedules are subject to change at any time, we recommend that if you choose to make your own airline reservation, you do not purchase non-refundable tickets or those with high penalties for changes. If you choose to make your own air arrangements, Odysseys Unlimited, Inc. shall not have any liability for any loss resulting from cancellation of this tour or changes in this tour.

 

 

 

 

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