An arty excursion

Littleton resident sets up journey for 2014

Temple at Agrigento. Sicily. 6th Century B.C. is part of Sicily’s 10,000 years of recorded history. Photo courtesy of Christine Khorsand
Cloister at Monreale, Sicily, shows Norman, Byzantine and Arabic influences, reflecting Sicily’s long ancient history. Photo courtesy of Christine Khorsand

Aix-en-Provence, Arles, Luberon, Marseille, Orange, Palermo, Agrigento, Siracusa, Taormina and more … Travelers interested in art and architectural history will find “food for the soul” on a daily basis as they embark on a tour offered May 17 to June 4 by veteran traveler Christine Khorsand of Littleton.

Khorsand taught at Arapahoe Community College from 1991 to 2011 (French, Spanish, art history). And starting in 1993, she arranged summer art-related, faculty-led study trips to France and Italy for students and others. Tour members could paint, take photographs, study art history and French in various combinations, in various years — at various locations. When she retired, she started her own company: Christine’s Travels.

ACC art professor Susan Goggins, who was on many of those trips, will be the art history lecturer in 2013.

Many previous trips began, as this one does, with time in Aix-en-Provence, where Khorsand grew up — a city related to the others she plans to visit by reflecting thousands of years of accumulated layers of culture.

One finds Roman and Greek ruins (an ancient theater is retrofitted to host jazz concerts), Medieval and Renaissance, Classical and Baroque and the landscapes that attracted the famous painters: Van Gogh, Cezanne, Picasso and more…

Field trips by bus will visit surrounding points of interest, while travelers will stay in Aix for eight nights. Next, a flight from Marseille will carry travelers to Palermo in Sicily for touring from May 25 to June 4, with stays at several different towns — and travel again by private bus.

Sicily also has been home to dozens of civilizations, which have left a mark. Khorsand said she had not been there previously and she just returned from an extended visit, where she determined a route, visited ancient cultural sites, towns and prospective hotels and arranged for bus transportation — and built her level of excitement about its wonders.

The estimated cost is $3,300, based on double occupancy, assuming the price of the euro doesn’t change dramatically. A deposit of $1,000 will be due by Jan. 15, 2014, so she can reserve hotels and transportation.

That amount does not include round trip airfare from Denver to Marseille (probably about $1,000), but Khorsand will be happy to assist with the numerous choices. She thinks some people might want to spend some time in Paris before or after this excursion, for example, and she can help with arrangements.

The limit would be 20 travelers, she says, and a minimum of 12 is needed for it to work financially. It might be possible to do one segment or the other as long as the minimum is covered.

For more information, contact Khorsand at 720-261-8452,

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