3 nights starting from
Palazzo Ducale, Urbino – arguably Italy’s most beautiful Renaissance palace
Exquisite Oratorio di San Giovanni Baptista, Urbino
Full day in lovely Gubbio
Visit to seaside Pesaro, home to composer, Rossini
Clare Ford-Wille takes us to the Le Marche and Umbria regions of Italy and two Renaissance gems that just beg to be explored in depth, with superb ecclesiastical and ducal architecture, extensive art collections and a wonderfully “simpatico” ambience that one only gets in Italy. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Urbino is a delightful gem and a wonderful place to be based for a few days with an unspoilt, medieval centre, dominated by its impressive 15th century Ducal Palace, arguably the most beautiful in the whole of Italy. Elsewhere, we head into Umbria to savour lovely Gubbio’s charming medieval streets and piazzas, and to the lovely seaside town of Pesaro, renowned as the birthplace of the composer, Rossini.
|05 - May - 2022||Sold Out||Travel Info On Request||booking-journey/#/start/URB/05 May 2022/|
Departing: 05th May 2022 at 07:40
Returning: 08th May 2022 at 16:35
Day 1: Oratorio di San Bernardino.
Fly from London Heathrow to Bologna. On arrival, transfer to Urbino (approx. two hours) and visit the Oratorio di San Bernardino - a gorgeous church dating from the late 15th century, which contains several important works of art - before checking in to the hotel. Welcome reception, lecture ‘The Patronage of Federico di Montefeltro, Duke of Urbino’ and dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Day 2: Urbino - Palazzo Ducale and more.
Today is a full day in Urbino, a World Heritage site, concentrating this morning on the splendour of the Palazzo Ducale, arguably Italy’s most beautiful Renaissance palace, built in the 15th century for Duke Federico di Montefeltro, which contains superb decorations and works of art. Afternoon visits to the exquisite Oratorio di San Giovanni Baptista, with its superb 15th century frescoes and Accademia Raffaello, home to the city’s most famous son, Raphael in the late 15th century. Evening lecture, ‘Art and Architecture of Gubbio and Pesaro’ and dinner with wine at a local restaurant.
Day 3: Full day Gubbio.
A full day visit into Umbria, to the lovely medieval city of Gubbio. The beauty of its twisting streets and terracotta-tiled houses are framed by the forest-clad Apennines. Sights to be explored include the 15th century Palazzo Ducale, 13th century Duomo and a wealth of glorious churches, but much of the town’s appeal is its picturesque streets and piazzas.
Day 4: Pesaro and home.
Morning departure for the lovely seaside town of Pesaro, home to the composer Rossini, whose medieval centre is well worth exploring. Sights here include the Civic Museum that contains works by Bellini and others as well as several interesting churches. Time for a seaside lunch before heading back to Bologna Airport for the return flight to London Heathrow.
NB: Exact order of itinerary may vary according to local conditions and tour manager's discretion.
Please note the maximum group size on this tour is 25 passengers.
Albergo San Domenico Hotel, Urbino
An old Renaissance convent, the four-star Albergo San Domenico is located opposite the Ducal Palace in a very central location on the main square of the town. Hotel facilities include a restaurant, library, courtyard and wellness centre. Rooms all have private bathroom with shower or bath, TV, telephone, wi-fi, safe, air-conditioning and hairdryer.
Albergo San Domenico Hotel Website
Your expert lecturer – Clare Ford-Wille
Clare has lectured in most areas of art history for over thirty-five years. She still teaches at the University of London, where she obtained her degree at Birkbeck, but also lectures regularly for Morley College, the City Literary Institue, the Victoria and Albert Museum and NADFAS societies throughout Britain, Europe, Australia and New Zealand. Every year since 1978 Clare has led art study tours to places of artistic importance throughout Europe and the USA, including Amsterdam, Padova and Vicenza. Clare has led tours for us for many years now and her tours are packed full of historic and artistic appreciation, illuminated by her vast experience and enthusiasm for her subject.
The hotel in Urbino was in a superb position and very comfortable, with excellent breakfasts! Our guide and tour manager were excllent - knowledgeable and entertaining - and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip.
Review by Hitchcock who travelled 28-May-2019
It was a very enjoyable three days in which we learned a great deal from Clare whose knowledge and explanations were perfect. Eating twice at the same somewhat indifferent restaurant in Urbino is something you might consider changing for future tours.
Review by Garai who travelled 28-May-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 28-May-2019
We thought the trip to Urbino, with excursions to Gubbio and Pesaro, was passionately guided by Clare and superbly managed by Tessa. The hotel was perfectly located for exploration of the Palazzo Ducale and Urbino's byways. We now look forward to details of future trips under the combined management and incomparable art history expertise of Tessa and Clare Ford-Wille.
Review by Best who travelled 28-May-2019
Review by Anonymous who travelled 28-May-2019
The hotel was poor, albeit that it may be that there is little choice in Urbino. The set meals were also not good - there are better restaurants in Urbino, as we found on the free night. Clare F-W was spendid, as always; as was Tessa, who never stopped working
Review by Thomas who travelled 28-May-2019
Very well organised. The tour manager was very helpful to those, including me, who couldn't walk so well, providing taxis where necessary. Visually and intellectually the tour was all I hoped it would be, and more!
Review by Beaumont who travelled 28-May-2019
Clare was a marvel of in-depth knowledge and admirable opinion of the marvellous sights we visited. And Tessa used her skill and experience to get us all to the right place at the right time. As a lacto-vegetarian, I found the catered meals a bit disappointing while, as ever in Italy, a la carte meals in local restaurants were excellent. Frankly, I found the pace a bit much and longed for an afternoon to wander the town, shop, read or nap!
Review by Anonymous who travelled 28-May-2019
Excellent and informative time in Italy
Review by shepherd who travelled 28-May-2019
Clare and Tessa are the best tour leaders. Clare is knowledgeable and also passionate about her subject and communicates this in an engaging manner. Tessa is super-efficient and cheerful and friendly at all times. I am already planning my next tour with them.
Review by Lewis who travelled 28-May-2019
Pre-departure information clear and unambiguous. Travel arrangements all went smoothly. Accommodation very good and could not have been better situated. Evening meals a bit rustic. Guide -lecturer was again excellent; knowledgeable and enthusiastic, but kept a clear focus on main area of interest. Tour manager excellent also; efficient and constantly supportive in coping with eventualities. I look forward to another tour with the same team next year.
Review by Workman who travelled 03-May-2018
The Lecturer Clare Ford-Wille was excellent as was our tour manager Tessa.
Review by Bogle who travelled 03-May-2018
Review by Preston who travelled 03-May-2018
Review by Graham who travelled 03-May-2018
The trip was really good, and Claire and Tessa were excellent. The disappointment was with British Airways. We had the Gate furthest from everyone els, and then we had to go down steps, across the tarmac to a bus, and then up steps again to get into the plane. The same on the way back. Treated like 2nd Class citizens. Next time I'm going by rail!
Review by Turner who travelled 03-May-2018
As before, Clare and Tessa make a splendid team. All the timings were beautifully managed. Spacious rooms in the very central hotel a real plus.
Review by Robinson who travelled 03-May-2018
Review by who travelled 03-May-2018
My first organised trip and extremely well managed and organised. The tour manager and guide (Tessa and Clare) worked so well together. They were continually upbeat, knowledgeable and concerned for each and everyone of us. The pieces of art and architecture selected for us to view were very good and discerning. I really enjoyed myself and was pleased my sister had invited me to join her on this occasion.
Review by Rook who travelled 03-May-2018
Tessa Say was a splendid tour manager, pleasant, unobtrusive and totally efficient. Clare Ford Wille was a superb lecturer - well- informed, highly articulate and very good at pointing out aspects of pictures and buildings which we would otherwise have missed. It was a thoroughly satisfactory tour in every way.
Review by Thomas who travelled 03-May-2018
The only negative impression was given by the airline. I don't remember and was not interested in their explanation for such a poor selection of food on the return flight but never has a food trolley been awaited for so long and caused so much disappointment upon its arrival. British Airways seems to be a shadow of its former self.
Review by Mr Trevor Davis who travelled 04-May-2017
Review by Mrs Susan Bolsom-Morris who travelled 04-May-2017
9 nights from £4995View
4 nights from £999View
7 nights from £1199View
7 nights from £1145View