Chasing Michelangelo Tour*

Follow in the steps of Michelangelo on an unforgettable journey to The Eternal City and the birthplace of the Renaissance with award-winning sculptor, Sarah Hempel Irani. *Tour has been postponed while Sarah recovers from cancer treatment. 


Born in 1475, Michelangelo Buonarroti created the most iconic images from the Italian Renaissance. From The Pietà and the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel at St. Peter's to the formidable David in Florence, Michelangelo's work defined the Renaissance. 

Why Michelangelo, when there are hundreds of amazing artists from the Italian Renaissance? There are thousands of group tours that travel to Italy each year and this is a unique approach to seeing Italy by focusing on the life and work of one particular artist.  

By "Chasing Michelangelo," as it were, we will capture all the great highlights of Rome and Florence.




During our stay in Italy, we will travel to Rome, Florence, and Pietrasanta, as trace the footsteps of Michelangelo!  In Rome, we will visit the Vatican where we will stand beneath the Dome of St. Peter's, marvel at the Pieta, and the Sistine Chapel. There, we will make our way through the Vatican Museum to catch a glimpse at the masterpieces of Classical Antiquity that inspired Michelangelo as well as the many treasures of the museum. We will travel to San Pietro in Vincoli to see the powerful Moses at the Tomb of Pope Julius II.

While in Florence, we will visit the Medici Palace, Florence Duomo & Baptistry, Museo dell’Opera del Duomo, Santa Croce, the Basilica of San Lorenzo,  Laurentian Library,  Accademia, Uffizi, Palazzo della Signoria, and, of course, the Casa Buonarroti! 

Then, we will take a day trip to Pietrasanta, where Michelangelo got his stone for his masterpieces. We will see a working marble studio and meet stone carvers!


Your Guide

Sarah Hempel Irani is figurative sculptor working near Washington, DC. She has traveled to Pietrasanta carving studio in Pietrasanta, Italy to create a larger-than-lifesize St. Joseph for Our Lady of Mercy in Potomac. In addition, she has a Master's degree in Renaissance and Medieval Studies. Sarah is a charismatic and enthusiastic speaker and will inspire you in your artistic journeys.  Join Sarah Hempel Irani for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy! 

Contact Sarah with any questions:

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Sarah Hempel Irani working on a marble sculpture of St. Joseph in Pietrasanta. 

Sarah Hempel Irani working on a marble sculpture of St. Joseph in Pietrasanta. 

When I was in Pietrasanta to work with Studio Antognazzi on the finishing touches on St. Joseph, the Master Carver made me a paper hat, per the tradition, and gave me a small chunk of marble. I had a pear in my lunch that I picked up at the market on the way to the studio. I used it as a model and spent the next several hours carving a marble pear. When I looked out of the window I could see the white-scarred Carrara mountains and I had been at the sea the day before. I closed my eyes and breathed it all in.

Michelangelo, centuries before, pulled marble from those very same mountains and he came to Pietrasanta to make deals on the marble that he would use for the Pieta, the David, and Lorenzo's Tomb. In fact, there is a plaque in the piazza noting where Michelangelo stood. Being in this very place has been life-changing for me and I want to share it with you.


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The Chasing Michelangelo Tour is a partnership between Hempel Studios and Teach by Travel. 

Teach by Travel is a leader in educational tours worldwide!