Michelangelo Travel Program

Programs in Italy

May 31, 2019

 -  June 8, 2019




Friday, May 31st to Thursday, June 6th


Our primary historians will be William Wallace and Ross King.

Friday, May 31st

Guests arrive at the Westin Excelsior Hotel in Florence.

Welcome session in the early afternoon, followed by an overview lecture and visit to the Friends of Florence’s restoration of Michelangelo’s Pietà, in the Opera del Duomo Cathedral Museum.

Cocktails and dinner at the private Villa Medici with a visit to view the unique gardens and architecture of this special estate overlooking Florence, once home to many of the Medici’s prime artists and philosophers.

Saturday, June 1st

During the day explore Florence looking at various sites pertaining to Michelangelo and his work and life, including the Medici Chapels, the Laurentian Library and Bargello Museum with a commemoration at Michelangelo’s Tomb in Santa Croce Luncheon Evening cocktails and dinner at the National Archeological Museum of Florence to celebrate Friends of Florence’s 20th anniversary, together with our Florence Chapter

Sunday, June 2nd

Visit the Carrara Caves and Pietrasanta in the later morning to explore the quarries where Michelangelo selected marble for his many sculptures and architectural projects.

Luncheon in a private home or studio, returning to Florence in the late afternoon.

An informal dinner at a historic Florentine trattoria.

Monday, June 3rd

During the morning, privately view a selection of Michelangelo

drawings in the Gabinetto Disegni & Stampe of the Uffizi, in the recently unveiled

Study Room and Library, a major restoration project by Friends of Florence.

A private visit to the Uffizi Gallery to view Michelangelo’s

Tondo Doni and other works.

Following lunch, depart for Rome by fast train. Luggage

will be sent ahead to the Hotel Eden.

Rooms at the Hotel Eden are included in the Program fee

In the later afternoon, our historians will deliver a lecture at the Hotel Eden

providing an overview of Michelangelo’s life and world

during his time in Rome during his more mature years.

Cocktails and dinner on the Eden’s rooftop panoramic terraces

overlooking the beautiful city of Rome.

Tuesday, June 4th

Our day in Rome will be dedicated to Michelangelo’s more mature years.

At the Vatican we will visit several private areas not open to the public.

Overview of Michelangelo’s architectural designs and models followed by a special visit to the Pauline Chapel and other sites.


In the later afternoon, visit St. Peter’s Basilica for a private

visit to the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel.

Dinner at a local Roman restaurant.

Wednesday, June 5th

Our visits will include an overview of Michelangelo’s works,

including the Capitoline Hill, the Tomb of Julius in San Pietro in Vincoli,

the exterior of the Farnese Palace and Villa Giulia,

as well as the Sforza Chapel in S Maria Maggiore.

In the afternoon, we will gather for a private visit to the Galleria Colonna.

Cocktails and dinner in a private Roman palace

Thursday June 6th



William Wallace

William E. Wallace is the Barbara Murphy Bryant Distinguished Professor of Art History at Washington University in St. Louis. In addition to being an extremely popular teacher, Professor Wallace is an internationally recognized authority on the great Renaissance artist, Michelangelo Buonarroti.

He was one of a select group of scholars, curators, and conservators from around the world invited to confer with the Vatican about the restoration of Michelangelo’s frescos in the Sistine Chapel.

Professor Wallace has published extensively on Renaissance art:  in addition to more than 90 articles and essays (including two short works of fiction), he is the author and editor of seven different books on Michelangelo, including the award winning, Michelangelo: The Complete Sculpture, Painting and Architecture (1998), Discovering Michelangelo (Rizzoli, 2012), and a biography of the artist, Michelangelo:  The Artist, the Man and his Times. He also authored an audio-visual course, The Genius of Michelangelo, for “The Teaching Company.”

His most recent book, tentatively entitled Michelangelo, God’s Architect (Princeton University Press, 2019) concerns the artist’s late life and career when the artist – in his 70s and 80s — was busier and more creative than ever.

He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including years spent at Villa I Tatti, Harvard University’s Center for Renaissance Studies in Florence and at the American Academy in Rome. He has been a principal consultant for two BBC television programs on Michelangelo, and has taped a 36-lecture audio-visual course, “The Genius of Michelangelo” for “The Teaching Company.” He was recently a Visiting Professor at Villa I Tatti where he was completing his book on Michelangelo’s late life and art.

Prof. Wallace is a member of the Academic Advisory Board for Friends of Florence.

Ross King

Dr. Ross King is the bestselling author of several books on Italian, French and Canadian art and history. He has also published two historical novels, Domino (1995) and Ex-Libris (1998), edited a collection of Leonardo da Vinci’s fables, jokes and riddles and wrote a biography on Niccolò Machiavelli. In October 2012, Leonardo and the Last Supper was published He is the co-author with Anja Grebe of Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes 1250-1743 (2015) the most comprehensive book ever undertaken on the art of Florence.

Translated into more than a dozen languages, his books have been nominated for a National Book Critics’ Circle Award, the Charles Taylor Prize, and the National Award for arts writing. He has won both the Governor General’s Award in Canada (for The Judgment of Paris) and the BookSense Non-Fiction Book of the Year  in the United States (for Brunelleschi’s Dome).

Ross King’s latest book published in 2016, Mad Enchantment: Claude Monet and the Painting of the Water Lilies has won the 2017 RBC Taylor Prize and he will be leading a Friends of Florence program on Monet and the Impressionists in Spring of 2020.

Born and raised in Canada, Dr. King has lived in England since moving to London for post-doctoral studies in 1992. He has lectured widely in both Europe and North America, including numerous programs and events with Friends of Florence, at the Art Institute of Chicago, the Smithsonian, the National Gallery, the Aspen Institute and the Frick Collection. He lives near Oxford with his wife Melanie, also a writer and historian.

Dr. Ross King is a member of the Academic Advisory Board of Friends of Florence.