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Core 650 Tour to Italy with Dean of the College of Arts & Sciences John Pell

March 22-April 1, 2024

An Invitation from John Pell

"Through an exploration of art and architecture from the Classical Period through the Renaissance and early Baroque period, we will consider the notion of time or Kairos. Specifically, how do we understand the human condition – birth, life, death – through art? What can ancient masterpieces tell us about our current historical moment, where life moves at a frenetic pace, governed by technology and the growing shadow of artificial intelligence? Whether surveying the remains of the Roman Forum, losing a sense of time and space while gazing upon Michelangelo's David, or being swept away by the sheer audacity of Brunelleschi's Duomo, the art and architecture of Italy serve as powerful reminders that since the very beginning, humankind has been inspired and haunted by the notion of Kairos. We long for more time, yet every day we collect is a bittersweet reminder of the moments and memories from which we move further away. Our tour will provide ample opportunity to consider some of the most important, challenging, and beautiful works of the Western tradition, and will hopefully inspire thoughtful reflection on the timeless beauty present in our own lives."

Tour Itinerary (Daily Details Subject to Change)

March 23: Arrival & Introduction to Venice
Benvenuti! Following your arrival at the Venice Airport, your dedicated tour leader will meet you outside baggage claim to help collect your group and lead the way to your hotel for check in at your accommodations in Venice. Spend the afternoon exploring your new surroundings or relaxing at your hotel before enjoying a special welcome dinner with music to mark the start of your adventure in Italy.

March 24: A Deep Dive into the History and Architecture of Venice
Today embark on a guided walking tour of the highlights of Venice including St. Mark's Basilica and the Doge's Palace. Learn about the Byzantine and Eastern influences on the architecture, as well as the unique challenge of designing a city around a collection of small islands. After exploring on foot, spend some time aboard a private boat that offers a different view of the city from its many canals. During the day, enjoy a group lunch together of Venetian cuisine. After your tour, return to your hotel with time to relax and grab dinner on your own. 

March 25: Journey to Florence
After having breakfast at your hotel, climb aboard your private bus and journey to Florence. After arriving and checking into your hotel, enjoy an afternoon of free time to grab lunch, explore a bit (and maybe do some shopping). Then regroup in the evening for dinner together at a local restaurant as a welcome to Firenze.

March 26: The Accademia & Uffizi Galleries
Enjoy an inside look at the history of Italy through its art on a guided tour of two of its most iconic museums. Start in the morning with the Galleria dell'Accademia, featuring the timeless masterpiece, Michelangelo's sculpture of David. Then head over to the Galleria degli Uffizi, featuring a collection of priceless works from the Italian Renaissance. Then following lunch together at a local trattoria, enjoy the rest of the day to relax and explore on your own.

March 27: The Medici Chapels and Duomo di Firenze
After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, start your day following in the footsteps of the legendary Medici family. Visit the San Marco Monastery, the Palazzo Medici Riccardi (the family palace), and end at the San Lorenzo Church and the Medici Chapels where the Medici now rest. Then, grab lunch on your own before enjoying a guided tour of the Duomo, one of Florence's most enduring symbols. See the stunning mosaics of the baptistry and renaissance masterpieces in the museum, as well as Vasari's elaborate The Last Judgment frescoes high in the ceilings of Cathedral itself. At the end of the day, enjoy a group dinner together for a final bit of Florentine cuisine.

March 28: The Treasures of Siena En Route to Rome
After enjoying breakfast at your hotel, check out and climb aboard your private bus as you travel through the Tuscan countryside. Journey first to the Siena, a true gem of the Italian. Renaissance. You'll explore the treasures of the city on a tour spanning historic sites such as the Duomo, a gothic masterpiece; the Campo, Siena's central square where they hold the famed Palio horse race; and medieval architecture, statues, and beyond. After the tour, stop at a local winery in the Chianti region for a relaxing lunch paired with wine. Then continue your journey to Rome, where you will check into your hotel and spend the evening relaxing and getting dinner on your own.

March 29: Introduction to Rome and the Vatican
After breakfast at the hotel, explore Rome and some of its most popular attractions on an introductory walking tour. You'll spend the morning venturing to such sights as the Spanish steps, the Trevi fountain, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona, and some of the city's many beautiful churches. After getting to know Rome, enjoy a group lunch together before heading to the Vatican City where and expert local guide will help you explore the most interesting highlights of the museums (such as the Belvedere, Octagonal Court, Tapestries, Maps, Raphael Rooms and Sistine Chapel), along with St. Peter's Basilica and Square. At the end of the day, journey back to your hotel for an evening on your own.

March 30: A Dive into the Culinary and Ancient Traditions of Rome
Uncover the history and traditions of Rome through its food with a Culinary Walking Tour of Rome. Sample local delicacies as you taste your way through Campo de' Fiori, the Jewish Ghetto, and finishing in Trastevere. Savor Roman pasta, such as Amatriciana and Cacio e Pepe. Enjoy salumi, cheese, focaccia and pizza, and delight your taste buds with artichokes, a staple of Roman cuisine. In the afternoon, explore Ancient Rome by heading to the Colosseum, the famed amphitheater where gladiators once battled. Uncover centuries of history as you visit the Roman Forum and, time permitting, tour Michelangelo's Campidoglio Square. End the day relaxing at your hotel and getting dinner on your own.

March 31: Easter Sunday in Rome
On your final day in Rome, we'll organize a visit to celebrate an unforgettable Easter Mass at one of Rome's beautiful churches (as capacity allows, it might even be at the Vatican). After which you'll have a free day to explore and relax on your own. At the end of the day, enjoy a farewell dinner to mark an end to this special adventure.

April 1: Bid Farewell to Italy
After enjoying breakfast at the hotel, your tour leader will bid you buon viaggio as you make your way to the airport to head home. Arrivederci!


Venice – March 23-25 (2 nights):
Hotel Carlton on the Grand Canal: Classic Room
Florence – March 25-28 (3 nights):
Hotel Plaza Lucchesi: Premium Room
Rome – March 28-April 1 (4 nights):
Hotel Massimo d'Azeglio: Classic Room

Program Details

Cost of this educational program, including roundtrip airfare from Spokane, is $8,600 per person. Cost of this educational program, including roundtrip airfare from Seattle, is $8,100 per person. Price includes all transportation (air, coach, transfers), lodging (assumes double occupancy), tours, tickets, departure taxes, and most meals. Land rate (for those intending a different departure/return date or home airport other than Seattle or Spokane) is $6,600. Single-occupancy rate is an additional $1,100. All costs subject to change based on exchange rates at time of confirmation.

Academic credit is available upon request and is subject to additional costs.

A $2,000 deposit per person (refundable before Dec. 1, 2023) paid by check will hold your spot. Payment in full is due by Jan. 1, 2024. We regret that we cannot accept credit cards for tours. Spaces are limited, so please reserve yours now.  

What's Included

  • Nine nights stay in accommodations with daily breakfast and city taxes included
  • Dedicated tour leader with private transportation and daily excursions for the duration of your trip
  • One additional daily meal (either lunch or dinner, depending on the day's itinerary), including a special welcome dinner in Venice and farewell dinner in Rome
  • Private guided walking tour of Venice including admissions to Doge's Palace and St. Mark's Basilica, and private boat journey through the canals
  • Private guided walking tours of Florence including admissions to the Accademia, Uffizi museums, Medici Chapels, and Duomo
  • Half-day private guided walking tour of Siena including admissions
  • Half-day private guided Vatican City tour including admissions to the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica
  • Private guided walking tours of Rome including culinary tastings and admissions to the Roman Colosseum and Forum
  • Pickup at Venice Airport (VCE) and drop-off at Rome Airport (FCO)

Excludes personal expenditures, meals and transfers not specified, and guide gratuity (optional).

Send your reservation deposit check to:

Core 650 Italy 2024 
Office of Institutional Advancement 
Whitworth University 
300 W. Hawthorne Road 
Spokane, WA 99251


Please contact Tad Wisenor at 509.777.4401 or