When Americans recall their love affair with Italy, most are musing on the pastoral regions of the north. Who could forget a view across the Umbrian hills at twilight, a patchwork quilt of small fields rolling up to a rhyme of rectangles in the terracotta roofs of quaint hill towns skirted by olive groves? The art lover recalls as well the astonishing wealth of Florence and Venice, the gourmet the fragrant delectations of the Bolognese, the wine connoisseur the fruity vintages of Valpolicella. The historian smiles and admits that the Veneto is the best place for dreaming of the centuries. The world traveler looks for real estate.
We’re pleased to present an eight-day sampler of the flavors of Northern Italy. Our program will introduce travelers to the great cuisine and cultural treasures of the Veneto and the Emilia-Romagna regions, the colorful and deep history of Verona, the medieval charm of Bologna, as well as the lovely villages and villas that dot the rolling countryside south of Lago di Garda. In a well-paced itinerary, we’ll explore the region in a variety of daytrips, but always with eye to local food markets and specialties. This is a tour designed to help you appreciate the flavors of our destination, indeed—to savor the olive oils and cheeses of Lessinia, the balsamic vinegar of Modena, and the Amarone-infused risotto while gazing on the vineyards of Valpolicella. We’ll sit at the table with a tortellini maker from Valeggio sul Mincio, sample varietals in the mountainous Trentino region, then yield to a simple gelato in beautiful Borghetto. This is an itinerary for all of your senses.
To add to the relaxation of the tour, we’ll use only one accommodation, a spacious, family-owned villa on a working wineand olive oil-producing estate located just outside Verona. The Borgo San Donino will give us easy access to all of the sites on our itinerary. We’ll also enjoy some new friendships with Italian hosts through specially-arranged dinners, lunches, and wine-tastings. Our tour will be limited to 20 participants, so early reservations are encouraged.
A graduate of Oberlin College with a PhD in Art History from Stanford University, George came to Washington and Lee University in 1993 and has been a member of the faculty ever since. He teaches courses in Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque art history, and specializes in 13th- and 14th-century Italian art and culture. A two-time holder of Fulbright grants to Italy, he has written about artistic production, the function of liturgical images, and institutional patronage in early Renaissance Florence, and in 2006 published Monastic Art in Lorenzo Monaco's Florence. More recently, he completed the filming of a DVD lecture course on the art and life of Leonardo da Vinci for the Great Courses Company. He co-founded Washington and Lee's interdisciplinary program in Medieval and Renaissance Studies, chaired it from 2000 to 2003, and served as Associate Dean of the College from 2003-2006. He has chaired the Department of Art and Art History twice, from 2001 to 2003 and from 2008 to the present.