Portrait of Italy 

From the breathtaking Amalfi Coast to eternal Rome, through the gentle Umbrian and Tuscan countryside to timeless Venice, this leisurely tour showcases ancient sites, contemporary life, priceless art, and beautiful natural scenery. You’ll especially appreciate the small size of your group, only 24 guests, as you stay in unique accommodations in the Tuscan countryside.

Begin your 17-day journey in Amalfi, where you stay for three nights. Touring here includes a cruise from the hotel to Amalfi Center, a visit to the ruins at Pompeii, and a breathtaking drive along the winding Amalfi Coast. Visit Montecassino and tour the hilltop Abbey that was destroyed during World War II, and rebuilt as a replica of the 17th-century original.

Continue to Rome and visit the Colosseum, the Forum, St. Peter’s Square and the Sistine Chapel. Spend three nights in pastoral Umbria, the “green heart” of Italy. Attend a cooking demonstration in Orvieto and explore the formerly secret passages of Parco delle Grotte, a labyrinth of underground caves used since Etruscan times.  

Visit Assisi, burial place of St. Francis, and stroll through the fountain-splashed piazzas. Visit Deruta, known for its prized hand-painted Majolica ceramics. Journey through Tuscany, touring walled Siena, Renaissance Florence, and the classic Tuscan town of San Gimignano, and enjoy a wine tasting at a local winery. Conclude in timeless Venice taking a guided walk through vast St. Mark’s Square and surroundings. Enjoy more time on your own in this wondrous city on an optional 3-day/2-night post-tour extension. 

UMW Professor of Art History Marjorie Och will accompany the group, offering expertise and insight at trip destinations. Dr. Och will also offer two formal lectures during the trip on topics to be determined. 

The Portrait of Italy trip will be October 19 – November 4, 2017. Price is $4,495 (plus airline taxes), which includes airfare from Washington, D.C. Please contact Mark Thaden at mark.thaden@umw.edu for more information or to reserve a space. 

Click here to view the full itinerary and accommodation information. 



Marjorie Och, Professor of Art History, has taught at Mary Washington since 1994. Her research and publications focus on the patronage of art by women in early modern Italy; the role of cities in Giorgio Vasari’s Lives of the Artists (1550, 1568); aligning technology with art history pedagogies; the intersection of conservation and art history; the Venice Biennale and contemporary art; and the collecting and exhibition of art. Dr. Och teaches courses in Renaissance and Baroque art history; museum studies; seminars on the city of Venice, Michelangelo, Bernini, and women and Western art; and the department’s survey courses on Western art.  Dr. Och has traveled throughout Italy and has lived and worked in Rome and Venice. She has also taken Mary Washington students on study abroad programs to London, Venice, and Croatia.