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Decanting Italy’s Best: The Art and Wine of Tuscany and Rome

Trip Highlights

Travel with world-renowned art historian and sommelier, Dr. Liz Lev, on this specially crafted tour exclusively for Michigan alumni, family and friends. Throughout the week, Dr. Lev will share her expertise in art and architecture while strolling along the streets of Tuscany and Rome like a local. Dr. Lev has carefully selected the towns, sites, and food that she wants to share with you while on this journey.

  • Walk the streets of Florence and Rome, as well as other quaint cities.
  • See spectacular works of art by some of the great artists such as Michelangelo, de Vinci, and others.
  • Take part in a once-in-a-lifetime falconry class.
  • Sample and learn about the wines of the region — all while enjoying spectacular food and views.
  • Enjoy a private reception in the Vatican Museums.
  • Relax at local cafes and experience authentic Italian espresso while watching the day unfold in the quaint towns of Tuscany.

Exclusive departure: This departure is considered exclusive. The participants are U-M travelers, consisting of alumni, family, and friends.


Day 1 – Depart Gateway City

Depart on independent flights to Florence Italy.

Day 2 – Arrival in Florence

Arrive in Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, where great artists such as Michelangelo, Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, and da Vinci flourished. Their breathtaking sculptures, architecture, and paintings are displayed throughout the city to this day. Transfer independently to your city-center hotel where you will be greeted by your European tour manager as well as world-renowned art historian and guide, Dr. Elizabeth Lev, who will be with you throughout your tour. This afternoon, Dr. Lev will acquaint you with the city on a guided walking tour. Enjoy a guided visit to the Accademia, where Michelangelo’s David is displayed. End your first evening in Florence with a welcome reception and dinner.

Overnight in Florence.

Meals: Dinner

Day 3 – The Grandeur of Florence

After breakfast at your hotel, depart on a guided tour with Dr. Lev to Santa Croce, home of the stunning mausoleums of Michelangelo, Rossini, Machiavelli, and Galileo, as well as Dante’s memorial. Visit Santa Maria Novella to view Giotto’s famous crucifix and tour the Museo dell’Opera del Duomo. After enjoying some Italian espresso, travel to Santa Maria del Carmine to see the frescoes of its famous Brancacci Chapel. After lunch on your own, explore the Pitti Palace, home to countless treasured works of art and Florence’s largest museum complex. Enjoy the remainder of the evening and dinner at your leisure. Overnight in Florence.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 4 – Florence/Brunello Region

Today, depart Florence for the Brunello wine region in Tuscany, known for producing Brunello di Montalcino, one of Italy’s most famous wines. Tour the famous Piero della Francesco cycle in Arezzo with Dr. Lev before time on own for lunch. This afternoon, Dr. Lev will share her expertise as a sommelier during your winery tour and wine tasting overlooking Tuscany. Experience the flavors of Tuscany while dining on your own this evening.

Overnight in Tuscany.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 5 – Tuscany

Enjoy breakfast at your hotel before another day exploring the rich beauty of Tuscany. Depart with Dr. Lev on a guided tour of the famous Renaissance-style Piccolomini Palace in Siena. Continue on to the medieval town of Montepuliciano for a walking tour through the historic city. Montepuliciano is renowned for its Vino Nobile wine (widely regarded as one of Italy’s best), as well as its meats, cheeses, and honey. Enjoy time at leisure to explore and sample the tastes of this quaint city. Spend your final evening in Tuscany learning about birds of prey in a once in a lifetime falconry class. Your evening will be complete with a winery tour and specially prepared wine pairing dinner overlooking the majestic winery (weather permitting).

Overnight in Tuscany.

Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6 – Brunello/Orvieto/Rome

This morning bid arrivederci to Tuscany and travel with Dr. Lev south toward the Eternal City, Rome. En route, visit the scenic hilltop city of Orvieto. Ride the funicular up the hillside to the quaint city, where you will tour the Duomo di Orvieto and be in awe of its magnificent façade. Enjoy a wine tasting lunch while Dr. Lev shares more about the wines and culture of Italy. After appreciating the city’s breathtaking views and Umbrian charm, continue to Rome and check into your city-center hotel for the next three nights. Explore Italy’s capital city at your leisure this evening.

Overnight in Rome.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7 – Rome

Today begins with a guided Caravaggio walking tour with Dr. Lev, including Piazza Navona, Santa Maria della Pace, Sant’Agostino, and Santa Maria del Popolo. End your morning with a tour of the Galleria at Villa Borghese. The Galleria houses a substantial part of the Borghese collection of paintings, sculpture and antiquities, begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, the nephew of Pope Paul V. This afternoon depart for Trastevere, which means “across the river”, referencing its location on the west bank of the Tiber. Dr. Lev will guide you through one of her favorite neighborhoods and a unique area of Rome. Visit the beautiful Villa Farnesina, taking in the rich décor with frescoes by major artists such as Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, and Peruzzi. Enjoy dinner at one of many amazing restaurants in Trastevere before returning to your hotel for overnight.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 8 – Rome

Enjoy your last full day in the Eternal City at your leisure before experiencing a rare and exclusive private tour of the Vatican Museum’s Sistine Chapel led by Dr. Lev. Complete your decanting of Italy with a private farewell reception in the Vatican Museums.

Overnight in Rome.

Meals: Breakfast

Day 9 – Depart

Breakfast at your hotel and transfer independently to the Rome airport for return flights to USA.


Show Full Itinerary

By participating in an Alumni Association of the University of Michigan travel trip, you have stated that the Alumni Association has the exclusive right to use video and other visual/audio portrayals of You or Your likeness taken during Your trip in any medium of any nature whatsoever for any purpose, including advertising or promoting the services of the trip without any compensation being paid to You. Any such portrayal or likeness shall be the exclusive property of the Alumni Association of the University of Michigan.

(9 days)
Starting price: $5,449
Singles $6,899
Deposit per person: $950
Corporate Travel Service
Type: Land, Exclusive U-M Departure

You must be an Alumni Association member to travel with us. Questions? Call Michigan Alumni Travel at 855.764.0064.

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