We arrived and embarked on a Tour of Ancient Rome. The tour included the Roman
Forum, formerly the religious, political, and commercial center
of Rome, the House of the Vestal Virgins and the Basilica of Constantine. The site, left in
ruins following the decline of the empire and the rise of
Christianity, reveals much of ancient Rome through incredibly
massive remains and recent excavations. Next, the group visited the massive Colosseum, Rome's greatest
amphitheater, offering a breathtaking example of classical architecture.
While in Rome we had the opportunity to take a walking tour with a local guide who showed us noteworthy sights include the iconic Trevi Fountain, the
largest and most famous Baroque fountain in Rome; the Spanish Steps, a monumental stairway of 135 steps leading
to two prominent piazzas; and the Pantheon, an exquisitely
preserved temple to the gods of ancient Rome.
That evening the choir was invited to
participate in a Friendship Concert with a choir from Rome.
We Enjoyed singing together, exchanging culture and getting to
know each other through our shared love of music.
The following day we departed for a Vatican City and
Museum Tour. Highlights included the Sistine
Chapel, with its breathtaking frescoes by Michelangelo, and
the Raphael Rooms, featuring the works of Raphael that
established his reputation in Rome. Visiting St. Peter's Basilica,
Catholicism's most sacred shrine. St. Peter's Square, the largest part of the Vatican City.
The group then headed toward our next destination, a beautiful Tuscan Villa. En route to the villa, we stoppped in Orvieto, a
walled city situated on a large plateau of volcanic tuff. Set
upon nearly vertical cliff faces, Orvieto offers one of Europe's
most dramatic facades.
Next we were onto San Gimignano, a walled medieval hill town famous for its tower
houses that once served as symbols of the power and wealth of the city's elite.
After some free time for exploring in San Gimignano we left for Siena and one of Europe's greatest medieval squares. Built atop the convergence of three hills,
wonderful views of Tuscany can be found around every corner. We Joined a local Italian choir this
evening to perform a Friendship Concert at one of Siena's impressive venues. Everyone enjoyed performing for
each other and getting to know one another through our shared love of music.
Our next destination was the town of Montecatini Terme. From there we boarded a train bound for Florence, the capital
of the Tuscany region. Considered the birthplace of the Italian
Renaissance, Florence has a rich artistic and architectural
heritage. A guided tour of Florence was arranged for
The following day was spent in Lucca, a beautiful ancient city hidden behind
imposing Renaissance walls. We enjoyed free time to explore this
small city on our own. Then in ther late afternoon another Friendship Concert with a local choir
That evening, a festive Farewell Dinner was arranged for our
choir at a restaurant in Lucca.