June 14-18, 2018

Each year in June, the International Choral Festival in Tuscany, Italy attracts choirs from all corners of the globe. The festival is set in the picturesque Tuscan spa town of Montecatini Terme, nestled between the rolling hills of Pistoia.

The festivities begin on Thursday night as choirs form a procession and walk to the Torretto Spa for the Opening Ceremony. Guests enjoy a traditional Tuscan Flag Throwing Ceremony and performances by local choirs.

As part of the festival, choirs perform three concerts: First at Tettuccio Spa; then in the town’s main plaza, Piazza del Popolo, and finally for a church congregation on Sunday morning. Between performances, choirs visit the nearby towns of Florence, Pisa, or Lucca.

The Festival’s closing ceremony takes place at the stunning Villa Medici, founded by Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany. Guests enjoy a traditional four course Tuscan dinner. The evening culminates with a group sing under the stars in the Villa’s gardens.

ITINERARY

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2018 | DEPART FOR ITALY

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 13, 2018 | DEPART FOR ITALY

Depart from North America on a flight bound for Italy. Select meals and snacks will be served on the flight.
THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018 | ARRIVE IN ITALY | OPENING CEREMONY

THURSDAY, JUNE 14, 2018 | ARRIVE IN ITALY | OPENING CEREMONY

Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival, your Music Contact International Tour Manager will meet your group at the airport. Together, travel by private motor coach to Montecatini Terme, located in a peaceful valley of olive groves and vineyards. Gather first impressions of this picturesque spa town, have your first taste of gelato, and do some window shopping. Tonight, a welcome dinner is served in the hotel dining room.

After dinner, attend the Tuscany International Choral Festival Opening Ceremony, which begins with a traditional flag throwing exhibition. All participating choirs are greeted by local dignitaries and festival organizers. A local choir extends Italian hospitality with musical entertainment.
FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018 | FESTIVAL CONCERTS

FRIDAY, JUNE 15, 2018 | FESTIVAL CONCERTS

Following breakfast, choirs perform concerts under the magnificent dome at Tettuccio Spa for a large, appreciative audience. Arrive early and listen to other participating choirs.

The afternoon is free to enjoy Montecatini Terme. Perhaps explore the quaint outdoor marketplace or ride the funicular to the ancient hilltop town of Montecatini Alto for spectacular views of the city below.

This evening, dinner is served at the hotel and music fills the air as choirs perform public concerts in Piazza del Popolo. Locals eagerly anticipate these summertime concerts, and guarantee an enthusiastic turnout each year.
SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018 | FLORENCE | TUSCAN DINNER | CLOSING CEREMONY

SATURDAY, JUNE 16, 2018 | FLORENCE | TUSCAN DINNER | CLOSING CEREMONY

Today, travel to Florence, a city rich in Italian artistic and intellectual genius. On your tour, discover the city’s treasures including the impressive Duomo, Lorenzo Ghiberti's Gates of Paradise, and the historic Ponte Vecchio laden with gold sellers. Afterwards, enjoy time in Florence to explore at leisure. Perhaps, visit a magnificent museum or shop in the crafts markets for leather goods, pottery, jewelry, and scarves. Late afternoon, return to Montecatini Terme and prepare for evening activities.

Tonight, choirs are treated to a festive Tuscan Dinner in a country villa that once belonged to the Medici family. Welcome drinks and hors d’oeuvres are served in the garden followed by a classic Italian meal. Afterwards, choirs participate in the Festival Closing Ceremony, where ensembles are officially recognized and thanked for their musical achievements. A shared choral piece rounds out the evening followed by joyful impromptu singing.
SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018 | CHURCH SERVICE | PISA OR LUCCA

SUNDAY, JUNE 17, 2018 | CHURCH SERVICE | PISA OR LUCCA

After breakfast, visit a local church, where your choir has been invited to celebrate as part of a worship service. Sing during Mass and delight the welcoming congregation with your music.

This afternoon, visit Pisa or Lucca.

In Pisa, see the city’s most curious landmark, the Leaning Tower. Construction on the tower began in 1173 on a foundation that began to tilt well before completion. Today, the sloping tower is one of Italy's most recognizable landmarks.

Lucca is a wonderful town to explore, with peaceful squares and churches enclosed by Renaissance walls. The great Italian composer Puccini was born in Lucca and the city remains a haven of classical music and culture.

After your exciting day, a group dinner is arranged back at the hotel. Enjoy recounting the many highlights of your tour!
MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018 | DEPART ITALY

MONDAY, JUNE 18, 2018 | DEPART ITALY

This morning, check out of the hotel and depart for your next destination or flight home.

PACKAGE

  • Accommodations
    •4 nights in Montecatini Terme hotels, double occupancy

    Transportation
    A private, modern, air conditioned motor coach with a professional driver is provided for all transportation as described in the itinerary, including round-trip transfer between the airport and hotel.

    Meals
    •Continental breakfast buffet each morning
    •Three multi-course dinners served at the hotel
    •Festive Tuscan dinner at Italian villa with other participating guest choirs

    Tour Manager
    •Full-time Music Contact International Tour Manager from arrival to departure

    Performance Opportunities
    Three performance opportunities
    •Concert under the dome at Tettuccio Spa
    •Open-air concert in Piazza del Popolo
    •Sing sacred selections at a Catholic Mass

    Local Guides, Tours and Special Events
    •Full-time Italian guide to assist with festival related activities and events
    •Opening Ceremony with a performance by an Italian choir
    •Visit to Florence with guided walking tour
    •Visit to Pisa or Lucca
    •Closing Ceremony with acknowledgements and shared choral piece

    Complimentary Places
    •Two complimentary land packages for every 30 paying travelers (31st & 32nd travelers are complimentary), based on single occupancy accommodations
  • March 2 - 5, 2018

    The Orientation Trip for the International Choral Festival in Tuscany, is a 4 day excursion from March 2 - 5, 2018 (departing North America on March 1). Participants are flown to Italy and treated to a highly enjoyable, informative visit of Montecatini Terme, Florence and greater Tuscany. The trip includes previews of performance venues, hotels, restaurants and attractions that are part of the annual Festival program.

    Upon arrival in Italy, a Music Contact International representative will greet and escort you to Montecatini Terme, site of the Festival, to settle into a hotel in the quaint spa town. In the evening, guest directors are brought to Villa Medici, the site of the Closing Ceremony and Gala Festival Dinner. A traditional dinner, mimicking the meal in June will be served with delicious food and ample time for meeting and mingling with participants and Festival organizers.

    The following morning, travel by train to the nearby Tuscan capital of Florence. Enjoy a guided walking tour of this magnificent city and have time for shopping in the open air markets and leather shops. In the evening, dinner is served in the hotel as your choir will experience it in June.

    Sunday morning is dedicated to visiting the two main Festival venues in Montecatini Terme, and in the afternoon, a visit to Lucca is planned. Lucca is a charming Tuscan city with beautiful churches, lively cafes and unique shops. Dinner is served back in Montecatini, and the following morning, the Orientation Trip ends at the airport with flights home.

    Your travel to Tuscany for this Orientation Program, is complimentary including airfare from New York’s JFK Airport, accommodations, transportation, guides and most meals. This very special opportunity is extended to the director or representative of each choir registered for the June event. Participation is encouraged, not required, and Music Contact International is committed to keeping even those who cannot attend, well informed of Festival details.
  • If your choir is interested in staying in Italy or Europe for a longer time, please inquire with us. We can work with you to create and plan an itinerary according to the choir’s interests. The magnificent cities of Rome, Venice, Assisi, Milan, and more are only a short drive away.

EXTENSIONS

  • A Spend two days in Rome, Italy’s capital, after the Tuscany Festival and experience Roman culture, history and music at its best. Rome is a city famous for its lively nightlife, charming cafes, and friendly inhabitants and for its numerous museums, ruins and other sights of historic interest. When traveling to Rome, you may enjoy the city’s cultural offerings, and also share your musical background and passion with the locals. A post-extension to Rome is the perfect way to end your stay in Italy!

    Day One

    Mid-day arrival in Rome. Enjoy a guided tour of Vatican City with a local English-speaking guide. Tour the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. See St. Peter’s Square and St. Peter’s Basilica. After, check in to the hotel. Dinner is on your own tonight.

    A Day Two

    Following breakfast, the day is free for independent exploration and sightseeing. In the evening, perform a concert at a local church such as Basilica Santa Maria degli Angeli. After the concert, a Festive Farewell Dinner will be arranged at a local restaurant.

    Day Three

    After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Rome Airport and your return flight to North America. Welcome home!
  • A Spend two days at Villa Sabolini, situated in the Chianti hills, after the Tuscany Festival and experience more Tuscan culture, history and music at its best. Just outside the city of Siena sits Villa Sabolini, a former haven of peace and inspiration of the archpriest Amerigo Sabolini, who worked on the construction of the Cathedral of Colle Val d’Elsa. Spend two days exploring more of what Tuscany has to offer as you visit the medieval town of San Gimignano and then share your voices in the historic city center of Siena. A post-extension to Villa Sabolini is the perfect way to end your trip to Italy!

    Day One

    Visit the medieval town of San Gimignano this morning. Late afternoon transfer to Villa Sabolini and check in. Enjoy a sumptuous dinner at Villa Sabolini this evening.

    A Day Two

    Following breakfast, full day excursion to Siena. Arrive and enjoy a guided walking tour with a local guide. Spend the afternoon at leisure. In the evening, perform a friendship concert with a local Siena choir. After the concert, a Festive Farewell Dinner will be arranged at a Siena restaurant.

    Day Three

    After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Florence Airport for your return flight to North America. Welcome home!
  • A One of the most beautiful cities in Europe, Venice will provide a stunning backdrop to your final days in Italy. Spend two days exploring all that Venice has to offer. From the Grand Canal and Doge’s Palace to the twisting alleyways filled with Murano glass, Venice, in itself, is a work of art. A city with charm unlike any other, Venice will enchant you with its ambiance and rich culture. A performance in historic St. Mark’s Basilica will delight your group members and is sure to be a memorable experience at the end of an already memorable and rewarding tour!

    Day One

    Mid-day arrival in Venice. Hotel check-in Venice Mestre. In the afternoon, take the ferry to Venice Island and enjoy a guided tour of Venice, see famous sights such as Piazza San Marco, the Canal Grande, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.

    A Day Two

    Following breakfast, take the ferry to Venice Island and enjoy a day of independent exploration. You may want to visit the Accademia, Venice’s impressive art museum, or take an enchanting Gondola ride down the Grand Canal. In the evening, perform as part of the Mass at St. Mark’s Cathedral. Following the service, a Festive Farewell Dinner will be arranged at a local restaurant.

    Day Three

    After breakfast, check out of the hotel and transfer to the Venice Airport and your return flight to North America. Welcome home!

YOUR TOUR INCLUDES

Traveler's Resource Website

Traveler's Resource Website
The site is customized exclusively for your group, and is full of exciting and interactive features that you will find informative and helpful before, during, and after the tour.

•Current tour itinerary with full descriptions of each day
•Detailed maps of the places you will visit
•Blog platform to communicate with group members
•Recommended books, movies, websites, and videos

Online Payment System

Online Payment System
Group leaders have the option to use our Online Payment System, which enables you to effortlessly collect payments for your trip. Group leaders receive weekly automated reports with traveler balances and due dates.

Travelers can log in to our secure website to review the cost of their trip and all payment deadlines, register for the trip, and make credit card payments. All travelers receive automated reminders when payments are coming due.

Additional Materials

Additional Materials
•Customized handbook for each person traveling with your choir, including a detailed program and travel information.
•Electrical adapters*
•Luggage tags
•Passport holder*

*for international travelers