Tag Archive for Florence

Spotlight – Introducing The Tuscan Experience


Villa Casagrande

The Tuscan region of Italy is truly a celebration of the senses. Known for its scenic beauty, rich history, priceless art, culinary pleasures and fine wines, Tuscany reminds us that life is to be enjoyed. And there may be no better way to enjoy a visit to this region than with Sceptre Tours “Tuscan Experience,” a unique, yet affordable escorted tour ideal for small or large groups. In fact, because all departures are guaranteed, there’s no risk of this tour being cancelled; even for groups as small as 2!

villaCasagrande outdoor dining

Dining al fresco in Tuscany

Guests traveling with the Tuscan Experience Tour will be reminded of just how beautiful life can be when they allow their senses to be heightened by the tastes, aromas, beauty and laughter that await them on this magnificent adventure. Guests will spend 5 nights at Villa Casagrande, a 14th century villa located in the heart of Pienza, and where each glorious day on this adventure will begin. From wine tastings, Tuscan feasts, a 3-hour Tuscan cooking class and opportunities to sample some of the world’s finest hams, cheeses and salami, to strolls through ancient villages with their majestic squares, medieval and Renaissance architecture, cobblestone streets, beautiful fountains, and of course local artisans and shops, this itinerary delivers the full Tuscan experience. And because life is best enjoyed when we are rested, we’ve designed the itinerary to allow our guests plenty of free time to spend as they wish; whether that means shopping, dining, strolling or enjoying an afternoon nap.

Complete details about this tour – including dates, pricing and all terms & conditions can be found here.

Archaeological Dig Uncovers Lost Duomo Model in Florence

When Filippo Brunelleschi won the commission to design and build the dome of the cathedral in Florence in 1419, his idea was to build a dome that did not require scaffolding to build or an inner beam structure to support.  At the time he was thought to be mad but as no other design was deemed worthy, his was chosen.  Prior to beginning the construction on the dome, it was said he build a scale model on the grounds of the Duomo to demonstrate his design would work.  While the Duomo was built, the model was lost forever.  Or so it was believed.

Il Duomo Florence by night

During excavations on the side a 9 foot high model of the Duomo was discovered.  While there are still questions as to if this is the long lost model, the fact that nowhere else in Italy was such a design ever used before Brunelleschi’s design and the discovery was made in what would have been the work yard for the original construction, it is believed to be the missing model.   A full excavation of the model is under way and it will be placed on display as part of the Duomo museums at a later date.  Still, if you are planning a trip to Florence the dig that is going on should be on your to-do list.

Click here to read more.