Italy

If you ever wanted to explore Italy’s famous places along with its special, lesser-known areas, you may want to consider the Insider’s Italy Tour. There a multiple tours from which to choose, including two this Fall — and all are organized by local professional artist, Elida Field, and guided by Catholic priest, Father Bruno Segatta, who ran Gonzaga University’s Study Abroad program for 25 years.

The September 20-27 tour includes stops in Venice, Cinque Terre, and Florence. In Venice, explore famous sites and experience some very special, lesser-known areas of the city that contain beautiful architecture, art, and an abundance of history. In Cinque Terre, you’ll get to hike and explore five towns via train or boat, and soak in the beaches and scenic coastline. As a bonus, Father Bruno and Elida will introduce you to Porto Venere. Florence includes a walk with Father Bruno as he highlights the city’s most amazing treasures and history. You’ll also experience a private tour of a leather shop, a visit to Fiesole, or a walk through the lesser-known parts of the city.

Tour Details

The cost of the September 20-27 tour is $2,795 per person (excluding airfare), which includes:

  • 8 days and 7 nights in Venice, Cinque Terra, and Florence
  • Accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Two meals per day
  • Transportation between cities
  • Walking tours and museum entrance fees
  • Painting and Sharpie sketching instruction and materials

To register, go to www.elidaart.com/tours

Italy

Leaning Tower of Pisa.

The second tour, which can be added to the first tour, or taken separately, runs from September 27-October 5, and includes stops in Florence, Rome, and the Italian countryside. In Florence, explore famous sights and unknown corners, enjoy majestic views of the city from Camp Michelangelo, climb the dome of the Duomo and sketch Michelangelo’s “David” at the Academy. Florence is Father Bruno’s old stomping grounds and he knows all the great stops, secret alleys, and best restaurants. In Cagli, you can escape the tourists, hike the countryside, and connect with locals.

Elida says they are often invited into someone’s home to enjoy their homemade wine, tour ancestral homes, or take a personal tour of historical areas. In Rome, you will be able to take in breathtaking views of the city, walk the ancient ruins and special sites, along with a semi-private tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel before it’s opened to the public.

Tour Details

The cost of the September 27-October 5 tour is $3,245 and includes:

  • 9 days and 8 nights in Florence, Cagli, and Rome
  • Accommodations (double occupancy)
  • Two meals per day
  • Transportation between cities
  • Walking tours and museum entrance fees
  • Semi-private tour of the Vatican and Sistine Chapel
  • Italian cooking class and artistic instruction

Each tour requires a $500 deposit, and final payments are due by July 15.

Elida said they started the tours in 2010, the year after she met Father Bruno, who is a fellow artist.

“We met while I was in California visiting my grandma,” said Elida. “I went to his art show, which was at a private home, and we just connected. I later invited him to my art, women and wine class in Washougal, and he suggested we take a tour of Italy. At first, I thought I had no business planning a trip to Italy, but here we are. We’ve gone on 20 tours already!”

She encourages people to learn more about these great experiences, and to consider traveling on one of the tours. She also offers tours during Spring Break.

”Each trip is different and we work hard to make sure each tour is filled with fun, leisure, and good company,” said Elida. “You’ll have a great time!”

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