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Set against the devastating backdrop of the Black Death, Boccaccio’s masterpiece follows a band of young lords and ladies who escape to the countryside and occupy their days in beautiful gardens, singing, dancing... and telling stories.Our tour begins at the ancient church of Santa Maria Novella - the exact same spot in which Boccaccio’s “brigata,” or group, of storytellers gather prior to retreating into the countryside. After a brief introduction, we will be ferried to our own retreat, an agriturismo in the Tuscan hills that provides us with the lush gardens and quiet landscape from which we open our discussions of Boccaccio’s masterpiece. In addition to our daily discussions, you will have time to relax, explore the grounds, enjoy the local foods and wines available through the agriturismo. In this manner, we are able to closely recreate the ambience found in the Decameron - without, of course, sacrificing any of the luxurious amenities available to today’s Tuscan traveler. Our discussions will center on particular novellas and characters from the first four days of The Decameron, as a means to better understand the cultural and daily life of mid-fourteenth century Italy. This was a life that produced stories about religion, the ability to extricate oneself from difficult positions using a well-timed phrase, the shifting morals of a rapidly developing economy and, of course, love - all told with Boccaccio’s typical doses of irony and humor. Interspersed with the food, drink and accommodations provided by our hosts, these days represent a utopic beginning to your tour. Back to the City:
We return to Florence, as the city’s sights provide context for our discussions of civic life during the fourteenth century.As we depart the countryside - several days before our band of storytellers will do the same - we are greeted into the city with more stories regarding the details of urban life. The neighborhoods, buildings and markets of today’s Florence still contain glimpses of the protagonists of Boccaccio’s novellas, even those that are not set in Florence. Each day will give us more stories, and more sights and monuments, to consider during our discussions. Although we have left behind our first hosts, we believe that you will be equally impressed and happy with our Florentine accommodations, once again chosen in an effort to provide you with the opportunity to relax and delve into our book and the city itself. Whether you spend your free time reading or exploring, we are sure that our continuing discussions of the Decameron, together with our secondary text on Florentine history, will provide your mind with ample food for thought Leaders: Kyle Hall, Founder and Tour Manager "I began traveling to Italy over a decade ago, and since my first trip in 2002 have been immersed in studying the Italian language, history and culture. I received my M.A. in Italian Studies from Florida State University in 2006 and that fall began my doctoral program, always in Italian Studies, at Harvard University...Upon leaving the world of iron-gated campuses, I wanted a way to take this academic experience and replicate it for others, focusing on the places where these books and histories came into being. Scolastica Tours represents this attempt of striving to provide each of our clients with a better brand of tourism. As both the founder of the company and your tour manager, this is always in the forefront of my mind." Fees: 2014 tour dates, with prices from $4,965 All tours include fine lodging, many meals, books and other materials, qualified guides, and more. Each 7 night tour includes:
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