Handcrafted Pottery and Porcelain in Italy

TIMES STAFF WRITER

For pottery and dinnerware fans, join the Collectors' Odyssey 15-night Exploring Porcelain in Italy trip beginning Oct. 4. Travelers will visit centers of production for majolica pottery, capo di monte sculptures and porcelain dinnerware during stops in Rome, Tivoli, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Pesaro, Bologna, Padua, Bassano del Grappa, Ravenna, Perugia, Lake Garda and Milan. This excursion includes gourmet meals and tours of Vatican City, the Colosseum and other historic sites.

Cost: $2,899 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, breakfast daily, 13 dinners including wine, private motor coach transportation between cities, baggage handling, hotel and restaurant tips and taxes, four seminars, entrance fees and city tours. Air fare is extra. Contact: Horizons Unlimited; telephone (914) 592-4316.

Peru's Incas

See important archeological sites of pre-Inca and Inca centers on a 16-day guided tour to Peru, departing from Miami Sept. 20 to Oct. 5. Travelers will visit Cuzco, Huaraz, Trujillo, Chiclayo and Lima. The itinerary includes pre-Inca kingdoms such as Wari, Chavin, Chimu, Mochica, Lambayeque and Rimac. Some sites visited include: ruins of Chinchero, salt mines of Maras, Sacred Valley of the Incas, Ollantaytambo, Machu Picchu, Laco, Lanlacuyo and Kussiluchayoc (temple of the snake). Participants will fly over the Lines of Nasca, and visit the Sechin ruins and the pyramids of El Sol y la Luna. Travelers will also attend local folkloric shows.

Cost: $4,280 per person, double occupancy, including air fare from Miami, hotels, daily breakfasts and most meals, and excursions. Add $250 per person for air fare from Los Angeles.

Additional dates are Oct. 25 to Nov. 9 and Dec. 6 to 21. Contact: Carlos Bernales at Carl Trade, 16722 Cooper Lane, Huntington Beach, CA 92647; tel. (800) 255-6025.

Wine and Dine

CPC Tours and wine consultant Peter D. Kerr are sponsoring Santa Barbara Wine Country tours Aug. 8 to 10, Sept. 5 to 7, Oct. 24 to 26 and Nov. 21 to 23. Via motor coach, participants will visit wineries, attend wine-tasting dinners and meet winemakers. Accommodations are in Solvang.

Cost: $395 per person, double occupancy, including two nights' accommodations in Solvang, two dinners with wine, a full-day of escorted winery visits, one winery luncheon and one pre-dinner wine reception. Contact: Travel Store, 11601 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90025; tel. (800) 826-3119.

Picture Ireland

Two 12-day photography trips to western Ireland leave Sept. 2 and Oct. 8. Home base is County Mayo, where participants travel south to Connemara and north to Achill Island. Days are spent photographing tiny villages, hidden beaches and ancient abbeys. The tour will be led by photographer Ron Rosenstock, who accommodates guests in his own home, Hillcrest House, which is registered by the Irish Tourist Board. The house is located in a lovely part of western Ireland with a view of Croagh Patrick (Ireland's sacred mountain) and the surrounding hills.

The house chef fixes breakfast every morning and serves dinner each evening. Lunch is at various restaurants and pubs along the way, or a stop is made in town to put together a picnic to take along into the field. Guests will visit the village pubs, where local musicians gather to play traditional Irish music. Transportation is by van, which can seat 12 people.

Each departure is limited to a maximum of 11 participants. The trip is intended for people of all levels of interest in photography, and all types of cameras and film are acceptable.

Cost: $1,995 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, breakfasts and dinners, and sightseeing. Air fare is not included. Contact: Irish and Cultural Excursions, P.O. Box 915, Ithaca, NY 14851; tel. (607) 257-3091.

Four Corners

The San Diego Natural History Museum will offer a two-week escorted motor coach expedition through the canyon country of the Four Corners area of Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico on a fall colors tour, Sept. 28 to Oct. 12. This trip is co-sponsored with the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County.

Participants visit six national parks, providing ample time for participants to explore park trails, view fall foliage, and learn about the geology, botany, wildlife and indigenous peoples of the region. Highlights will include: Zion's red sandstone cliffs; Bryce Canyon's intricate gables; Mesa Verde's cliff dwellings; Arches' natural stone spires, pinnacles and windows; Capitol Reef's great cliffs; and Grand Canyon's gorges and plateaus.

In addition, participants will take a scenic float trip down the Colorado River above Moab, Utah, and ride between Silverton and Durango, Colo., aboard a coal-fired, steam-operated narrow-gauge train.

Cost: $2,450 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip motor coach transportation from San Diego; 14 nights' motel accommodations and some meals. Contact: San Diego Natural History Museum Education Department, P.O. Box 1390, San Diego, CA 92112; tel. (619) 232-3821, Ext. 203.

India by Rail

Follow the trails of India's history on a journey via the Palace on Wheels train. The one-week trip begins in Delhi on various dates, beginning Sept. 4 through April 30. Passengers ride to the pink city of Jaipur, where a royal welcome with elephants and musicians greet passengers upon arrival. The next stops are the historic and legendary cities of Chittaurgarh and Udaipur to see their palaces, lakes, gardens and temples. Guests will visit the Tiger Game Reserve at Ranthambore and see the stone carvings in Jaisalmer. In Jodhpur, guests visit the Mehrangarh Fort, and in Bharatpur they will see the Ghana Bird Sanctuary with more than 300 species of birds. Final stop is the City of Eternal Love, Agra, famous for its Wonder of the World, the Taj Mahal.

Train accommodations include choice of twin or queen beds with private toilet and showers, lounge, two restaurants offering choice of continental and Indian cuisine, as well as stocked bar and library. Air-conditioned coach saloons are decorated with ornamental ceilings and walls of burnished teak, and furnishings are covered with velvets and brocades.

Cost: $2,100 per person, double occupancy, including accommodations, three meals daily, sightseeing tours, and evening receptions with music and dance shows. Children 5 to 12 years pay 50%. Air fare is not included. Contact: Palace on Wheels, 8125 San Fernando Road, Sun Valley, CA 92352; tel. (800) 500-5768.

Yellowstone in Winter

See Yellowstone National Park March 3 to 7, when the crowds are gone and the roads are closed by snow. Touring through the park is aboard heated snow coaches with driver/escorts and a picnic lunch. A farewell dinner is given at the Wort Hotel in Jackson, home of the Silver Dollar Bar.

Cost: $750 per person, double occupancy, including round-trip air fare, bus transportation, two nights' lodging in Jackson Hole and two nights inside the park at the Old Faithful Snowshoe Lodge. Contact: Main Street Tours, 1751 W. Torrance Blvd., Suite N. Torrance, CA 90501; tel. (800) 300-6246 or (310) 212-0791.

Artistic Chicago

Bryan International Travel is offering an art and architecture tour Nov. 4 to 10 to Chicago to see the retrospective of the French Impressionist painter, Edgar Degas, being shown at the Chicago Art Institute. "Degas: The Late Work" explores the themes of female portraiture and dancers. The show contains approximately 80 works, including paintings, drawings and pastels.

The tour will include an architectural tour to see new and old architecture of the city. A day is also devoted to the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, including a walking tour in a residential area of the suburb of Oak Park, where there are several Wright houses and the Unity Temple that he designed.

Guests have time for shopping on Michigan Avenue and will get two free afternoons to visit the Museum of Science and Industry, the Shedd Aquarium or the huge Field Museum of Natural History.

Cost: $1,795 per person, double occupancy, including hotels, some meals, guide and entrance fees. Air fare is extra. Contact: Bryan International Travel, 98 Battery St., Suite 302, San Francisco, CA 94111; tel. (800) 248-9061.

The Times is not responsible for changes in prices, dates or itineraries. These should be confirmed with cruise lines, travel agents or tour operators.

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