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ITALY

Italy's a Blast: From Etna to Vesuvius - A Family Odyssey

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Road Scholar
Program #18207RJ
13 Days | 12 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active
While all of our learning adventures offer extraordinary value, our "Best Value" programs were rated by our participants themselves who thought their dollar went particularly far.
Love to learn in a small-group setting? This collection of programs has at most 10-24 participants.
See our Small Group programs.
EasyFor people looking to exercise their minds more than their bodies. There’s minimal walking and not too many stairs.
ModerateThese programs get you on your feet and include activities such as walking up to a mile in a day through a city and standing in a museum for a few hours.
ActiveFor people who enjoy walking as much as two miles a day, perhaps to explore historic neighborhoods or a nature trail.
Moderately ChallengingFor hardy explorers who enjoy a good physical challenge, spending most of their days on the go.
ChallengingGet ready to keep up with our highest-energy group. These demanding — and rewarding — programs are for seasoned outdoor enthusiasts.
Elevation Note
On Etna day, coach to 6500 ft above sea level

Equipment Requirements
sneakers with good traction for excursions to Mount Etna and Vesuvius

Itinerary for Jun 23 — Jul 5, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Monday, June 23 - Departures from points in North America
Depart From: Depart from points in North America

In Transit: Overnight flights across the Atlantic Ocean arrive in Sicily the following day.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment.


Day Two: Tuesday, June 24 - Welcome to Giardini Naxos
Lunch: Lunch at hotel restaurant.

Afternoon: Enjoy a welcome refreshment, meet the group leaders and your fellow travelers in an informal gathering in the hotel dining room.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment.


Day Three: Wednesday, June 25 - Orientation Walk/ Characters From Mythology
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Orientation Session gives practical information for the program. A classroom session on the mythological stories set in Sicily - from Ulysses and Polyphemus in the caves of Etna to Vulcan/Hephaestus who used the volcanoes as a forge to make Jupiter/Zeus's lightening bolts.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Relax by the pool or have a swim or walk on the small private beach of the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment.


Day Four: Thursday, June 26 - Mount Etna
Note: Uneven terrain on trails. For grotto exploration helmets and flashlights provided. Wear closed shoes, bring jacket or fleece. Weather can be much different at higher elevations.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Coach to the slopes of Mt. Etna to explore inactive craters. Weather and conditions permitting, expert-led walk along the edge of one of the side craters. Etna is typically snow capped 11 months of the year.

Lunch: Lunch at a trattoria on the slopes of Mt. Etna. Traditional menu with local fresh produce.

Afternoon: Excursion continues on Mt. Etna. A local guide leads the day's activities.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment.


Day Five: Friday, June 27 - Greeks and Romans in Sicily / Taormina
Note: Taormina is a located on a hill-top and the Greek theater is at the top. Uneven terrain and steps in the ancient theater.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Learn about the ancient Greek and Roman colonies in Sicily.

Lunch: At local restaurant.

Afternoon: Guided visit to the open air Greek theater which has as its backdrop the expansive slopes of the volcano Etna. Free time to wander around this charming world class attraction.

Dinner: At hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The Hellenia Yachting Hotel is not in Taormina proper, but seaside just a few miles to the south in the quiet beach community of Giardini-Naxos

Contact info:
Via Jannuzzo, 41
Giardini-Naxos, NA 98035 Italy
phone: +39 0942 51737
web: www.hotel-hellenia.it

Room amenities: Each room is equipped with private bath, a television set, mini bar, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, and safe box for valuables.

Facility amenities: The hotel has elegant and modern decor. Situated on the shore, a small private beach for hotel guests and swimming pool, open May to September. Large dining room, elevators to all floors, laundry service. Wi-Fi connectivity in the lobby and on the terrace (charges apply). For checking emails, an internet point is located in the lobby. Laundry service available.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights before: varies by season
To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotel-hellenia.it. Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment.


Day Six: Saturday, June 28 - Volcano in the classroom / Free time
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: With the supervision of the group leaders, the children present a volcanic eruption in the classroom.

Lunch: At local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore and prepare luggage for the next day's departure.

Dinner: At hotel restaurant.

Lodging: Hellenia Yachting Hotel

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Cabin

Description: The boat carries 75 cars and has a capacity for 950 passengers. Sitting lounge, restaurant and observation decks.

Ship Information: Built in 2002. Italian flag, 22 knot max speed. Length is 186.50 m, max width 26,60 mt, Capacity 950 passengers. Lounging chairs, 78 cabins, all with private bath and shower.

Contact info:
xxx
Catania, Italy
phone: +xxx
web: www.tttlines.it

Room amenities: cabins are small. Bunk beds and small desk.

Facility amenities: Restaurant, snack bar, lounge.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Bathroom: shower stall

Elevator: Yes


Day Seven: Sunday, June 29 - Explore Catania's coast / Overnight boat to Naple...
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at hotel.

Morning: Coach to Catania

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: Board the ferry for the overnight passage to Naples. Hope for clear skies to be able to see the smoke from the volcanoes on the island of Stromboli.

Dinner: Dinner on board ferry.

Evening: Sail through the Strait of Messina. Keep vigil as the ship passes the mythological vortex of Scilla.

Lodging: TTT Lines

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sorrento has been a mecca for illustrious visitors – writers, musicians, and royalty – since the 1700s. Exceptional for its cleanliness and safety in a region not often associated with these virtues, Sorrento is the ideal base for exploration of the bay’s resources, while offering a vibrant life of its own. Our programs reside at a comfortable four-star facility overlooking lemon and orange groves, and mere minutes on foot from the old town.

Contact info:
Viale degli Aranci, 108
Sorrento, NA 80067 Italy
phone: +39 081 8782700
web: www.hotelcesareaugusto.com

Room amenities: Each room has soundproof windows, small terrace, private bath, minibar, satellite TV, hair dryer, safe for valuables and individual temperature control (air conditioning in the summer; heat in the winter)

Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious lounge in the lobby. Enjoy a drink made by a professional barista in the lobby lounge. A rooftop pool with lounge, snack and bar service is open May-Sept. Free Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelcesareaugusto.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Eight: Monday, June 30 - Welcome to Naples / Phlegrean Fields
Note: Uneven terrain at the Phlegreian Fields

Breakfast: Continental breakfast on board the ferry

Morning: Sail past the island of Capri and observe Vesuvius rising in the distance. Disembark in Naples. Coach from the port of Naples to Cumae, the cave sanctuary of the mythological Sybil prophetess who predicted the future. She is depicted by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel ceiling.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: At the Phlegreian Fields, visit the caldaras of Solfatara, site of a collapsed volcano where pools of bubbling mud indicate fissures and steam vents spew forth an odor of sulfur, as the name of the Solfatara suggests. Following the visit, proceed to Sorrento and check in to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Cesare Augusto

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sorrento has been a mecca for illustrious visitors – writers, musicians, and royalty – since the 1700s. Exceptional for its cleanliness and safety in a region not often associated with these virtues, Sorrento is the ideal base for exploration of the bay’s resources, while offering a vibrant life of its own. Our programs reside at a comfortable four-star facility overlooking lemon and orange groves, and mere minutes on foot from the old town.

Contact info:
Viale degli Aranci, 108
Sorrento, NA 80067 Italy
phone: +39 081 8782700
web: www.hotelcesareaugusto.com

Room amenities: Each room has soundproof windows, small terrace, private bath, minibar, satellite TV, hair dryer, safe for valuables and individual temperature control (air conditioning in the summer; heat in the winter)

Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious lounge in the lobby. Enjoy a drink made by a professional barista in the lobby lounge. A rooftop pool with lounge, snack and bar service is open May-Sept. Free Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelcesareaugusto.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Nine: Tuesday, July 01 - Vesuvius Observatory Station
Note: uneven terrain on the slopes of Mt. Vesuvius.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Lecture on the Eruption of 79 CE.

Lunch: Lunch at hotel restaurant.

Afternoon: Coach to the slope of Mount Vesuvius. At the observatory, the local guide illustrates the seismic instruments. After ride up to the crest. Weather permitting, it is possible to walk around the crater for those wishing to do so.

Dinner: Dinner at a local Agriturismo or working farm on the slopes of the volcano. It will give you grounds of comparison between Etna's produce and Vesuvius' produce. At the conclusion, coach back to Sorrento.

Lodging: Hotel Cesare Augusto

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sorrento has been a mecca for illustrious visitors – writers, musicians, and royalty – since the 1700s. Exceptional for its cleanliness and safety in a region not often associated with these virtues, Sorrento is the ideal base for exploration of the bay’s resources, while offering a vibrant life of its own. Our programs reside at a comfortable four-star facility overlooking lemon and orange groves, and mere minutes on foot from the old town.

Contact info:
Viale degli Aranci, 108
Sorrento, NA 80067 Italy
phone: +39 081 8782700
web: www.hotelcesareaugusto.com

Room amenities: Each room has soundproof windows, small terrace, private bath, minibar, satellite TV, hair dryer, safe for valuables and individual temperature control (air conditioning in the summer; heat in the winter)

Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious lounge in the lobby. Enjoy a drink made by a professional barista in the lobby lounge. A rooftop pool with lounge, snack and bar service is open May-Sept. Free Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelcesareaugusto.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Ten: Wednesday, July 02 - Discover Pompeii
Note: Extensive walking and standing during the expert-led visit to the vast archaeological site of Pompeii.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Lecture on how Pompeii came to be destroyed in 79 CE and rediscovered in the 1700's.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Guided visit of Pompeii archaeological site. Wander the streets of the city frozen in time in August of 79 CE. Walk into the amphitheater, see where the gladiators trained, walk down Via Abbondanza, the main street, observe 1st century political grafitti. Notice the similarities between Pompeii, where bars, restaurants, shops and bakeries line the streets, and that in any modern city in Italy.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Cesare Augusto

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sorrento has been a mecca for illustrious visitors – writers, musicians, and royalty – since the 1700s. Exceptional for its cleanliness and safety in a region not often associated with these virtues, Sorrento is the ideal base for exploration of the bay’s resources, while offering a vibrant life of its own. Our programs reside at a comfortable four-star facility overlooking lemon and orange groves, and mere minutes on foot from the old town.

Contact info:
Viale degli Aranci, 108
Sorrento, NA 80067 Italy
phone: +39 081 8782700
web: www.hotelcesareaugusto.com

Room amenities: Each room has soundproof windows, small terrace, private bath, minibar, satellite TV, hair dryer, safe for valuables and individual temperature control (air conditioning in the summer; heat in the winter)

Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious lounge in the lobby. Enjoy a drink made by a professional barista in the lobby lounge. A rooftop pool with lounge, snack and bar service is open May-Sept. Free Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelcesareaugusto.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Eleven: Thursday, July 03 - Herculaneum / National Archeological Museum in Na...
Note: Extended walking and standing during the expert-led visit to the archaeological site of Herculaneum

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to Herculaneum, the upper class city destroyed by the intense pyroclastic mud flow from Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE. The Villa of the Papyri was discovered and was recreated for the Getty Museum in Malibu, California.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Visit the Archaeological Museum in Naples which houses treasures and artifacts found in Pompeii and Herculaneum, including the famed Alexander Mosaic and the Farnese Bull and dancing women from the Villa of the Papyri.

Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.

Lodging: Hotel Cesare Augusto

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: Sorrento has been a mecca for illustrious visitors – writers, musicians, and royalty – since the 1700s. Exceptional for its cleanliness and safety in a region not often associated with these virtues, Sorrento is the ideal base for exploration of the bay’s resources, while offering a vibrant life of its own. Our programs reside at a comfortable four-star facility overlooking lemon and orange groves, and mere minutes on foot from the old town.

Contact info:
Viale degli Aranci, 108
Sorrento, NA 80067 Italy
phone: +39 081 8782700
web: www.hotelcesareaugusto.com

Room amenities: Each room has soundproof windows, small terrace, private bath, minibar, satellite TV, hair dryer, safe for valuables and individual temperature control (air conditioning in the summer; heat in the winter)

Facility amenities: Relax in the spacious lounge in the lobby. Enjoy a drink made by a professional barista in the lobby lounge. A rooftop pool with lounge, snack and bar service is open May-Sept. Free Wi-Fi connection throughout the hotel.

Smoking policy: No
Smoking policies vary by facility. During all group events and activities, smoking is prohibited.

Elevator: Yes

Additional nights after: varies by season
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelcesareaugusto.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidator services such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check out time: 12:00 PM

Day Twelve: Friday, July 04 - Boat to the Island of Capri
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: A boat ride across the Bay of Naples to the island of Capri.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Boat returns to Sorrento late afternoon. Some free time to explore Sorrento, relax by the pool or pack.

Dinner: Farwell dinner at the hotel

Lodging: Hotel Cesare Augusto

Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Day Thirteen: Saturday, July 05 - Transfer to Naples Airport
Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel; continental style for participants with early morning departures.

Morning: Coach to and Depart from Naples airport

Meals Included: Breakfast

Important information about your itinerary:
Please know that while we do everything we can to finalize all aspects of our programs well in advance, there are logistics that occasionally must be altered. Our website will reflect the most recent information, and we are committed to providing you with final program details no later than eight weeks prior to the start of programs outside the U.S. and three weeks prior to the start of programs within the U.S. If you ever have questions about your program, please don't hesitate to contact us and we will be happy to assist you.

Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
11 nights of accommodations
33 meals: 11 breakfasts, 11 lunches, 11 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
11 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences

Ratings

4.6
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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