Lucca/Florence Handbell Experience
Everyone convenes at the charming Hotel Ilaria (located in the historic center of Lucca) for check in. There will be a Welcome Reception at 3:00 pm. We’ll set up our rehearsal space and have a short rehearsal, then enjoy our first group dinner at a local restaurant. After dinner, we’ll dig in for more music or just take an evening stroll and hang out.
The Walled City
Monday is a full day of rehearsal for the group, but there will still be opportunities to explore Lucca. Grab lunch on your own and meet the group for a historical walking tour of the city. We’ll learn more about Lucca’s place in Tuscan history and more about Italy overall. There will be time for sectionals in the afternoon. Dinner at a local restaurant will continue your understanding of your beautiful host country.
A Taste of Italy
Tuesday morning, we’ll reconvene for rehearsals and then, after lunch, we’ll head to the International Academy of Italian Cuisine where Chef Giancarlo will be waiting for us. Together we’ll prepare the perfect Tuscan dinner AND eat it too! Learn why Italian food is so popular all over the world. After dinner, you'll have time for leisurely stroll in the summer night air.
Music with Friends
Our morning will be occupied by more rehearsal time. After a quick break for lunch, we'll do a run-through of our concert ahead of the evening activities. During your free afternoon you can take a walk along the beautiful city walls or find a favorite piazza. Our collaborative concert with gospel choir Canticum Novum will be in one of the most prominent churches in Lucca. Expect a crowd!
Tuscany at Work
Eat a light breakfast today! First, we’ll visit the Piaggio museum and factory to learn more about the Italians’ most famous form of transportation: the Vespa. For lunch, we dine at our favorite Ristorante David where the food is amazing and abbondante! In the afternoon, we’ll visit Livorno, known for its port, canals and its post-war reconstruction, a juxtaposition of old and new. Then we’re off to our concert venue, a beautiful church in seaside Viareggio.
Tuscan Hills and Valleys
Pack your bags in the morning! Find your favorite locale lucchese and bid farewell to this amazing medieval town. Fret not: you're headed to Florence, queen of the Renaissance. We'll spend the afternoon in lovely Pistoia and play one of our perennial favorite venues in the Tuscan Hills: Gavinana.
Everything is an Art
Wake up in the heart of Florence and get ready to explore. Meet our local guide who will take us to visit various studios and workshops where local artisans still make their trade. From paper to leather, mosaics to gelato, Florence is famous for some of the most amazing handmade crafts in the world. An evening concert will be a nice opportunity to enjoy someone else performing!
An Englishman in Florence
Sunday morning, we will provide special music during the service at St. Mark's Episcopal Church just around the corner from our hotel. Immediately after, we've been invited to give a recital of additional music from our repertoire. Enjoy an afternoon of "choose your own adventures." You can choose from many activities in smaller groups. Reconvene for our final dinner and our last evening enjoying the beautiful weather in piazza.
After breakfast on Monday, we’ll pack up our stuff and head out. We’ll get everyone off to airports and train stations as necessary and bid farewell to our lovely Tuscan locale. Alla prossima!