Answers to Frequently asked questions
What is included?
Six nights double occupancy lodging, six Continental breakfasts, comprehensive learning program including services of study leaders and local experts, all cultural activities listed for the trip, wine at wine tastings, food and meal in cooking class, two dinners, four lunches, museum entrances listed for the trip, pre-trip notes and guidelines, advice on travel plans before and after the trip.
What isn't included?
Airfare and other transportation costs; passport fees, photos and processing where applicable; transfers to and from airports; meals other than those described above; personal items such as individual journaling and art supplies, wines, liquors, valet/laundry charges, and other items not specifically mentioned as included; optional activities, if any; supplement for single room; additional nights lodging.
How do I register?
Each page describing a trip has a link to a registration form for that trip. Print out the form, fill it in and send along with your deposit. Make the check payable to Steiner Studio LLC.
How do I pay?
You can pay with check or we can send you an invoice via PayPal that allows you to pay with a credit card.
How big are the groups?
Groups range in size from 6 - 12. Occasionally they will be a little larger. We believe small group travel is more enjoyable, intimate, and fun. Kristin and/or Bill is with each group ensuring that this is the exceptional trip you expect it to be.
How do I get to Orvieto?
We provide extensive travel information to you via a travel guide with directions and images of everything. We coordinate schedules enabling you to gather in Rome to get to Orvieto together. You will take a train directly in front of the airport to the train station in Rome. From there another train whisks you to Orvieto. The cost is about $25. To a person, we have been told our directions are perfect. No one has been lost!!
Once in Orvieto, how do I get to the convent?
A funicular in front of the train station takes you up onto the “rock” upon which medieval Orvieto sits. Exit the station and get on minibus "C" for a winding ride through medieval streets that drops you near our convent B&B. Ticket for the funicular is good on the bus and costs about $2. The travel guide we provide has pictures to show you the way. We send you maps, directions, and pictures before you leave showing all you need.
Are the trips physical?
We suggest that you be physically fit. Our trips require some walking and standing, and we do go up and down in a variety of places. Elevators are less prevalent than in the United States, and you will likely have to go up and down stairs to navigate trains throughout Italy. Orvieto is a relatively flat town. Still, you will have a much more enjoyable trip if you get yourself in shape!!
What about language barriers, finding my way, getting lost?
We all have travel fears. Even those of us who travel often experience worries and concerns when we venture overseas. It comes with the territory. Here is some of what we have discovered about these fears.
Why a convent?
Located in a former palace, the convent operates as a Bed and Breakfast, and adds immeasurably to your experience. The three nuns are incredibly hospitable. They love and care for the place like you do your home. Indeed, it is their home. It provides a glimpse into Italian life that an institutional hotel simply can not. Most rooms are recently completed, all have modern bathrooms, and are immaculately clean. There is space to spread out, places for contemplation and reading. The building sits over Etruscan caves, has 14th and 15th century frescoes, and placid views. The convent becomes your home in our small group travel environment, one you will not want to leave at week's end!
"Gordon enjoyed buying cheese in Rome as he learned to do watching Bill. This was our first time to travel in a foreign country unescorted. We learned so much by being in Orvieto with you first."
"I have my travel packet. Great information...I am very impressed with your directions regarding airport to train to train to Orvieto! Makes Rick Steves look like a slacker!"