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ITALY

Rome: The Eternal City

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Road Scholar
Program #19688RJ
9 Days | 8 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Active (Variable by Program Date)
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.

Itinerary for Mar 16 — Mar 24, 2014

Expand all
Day One: Sunday, March 16 - Departure from points in North America
Note: Suggest sleeping on the plane; makes adjusting to jet lag easier if you remain awake on arrival day and go to bed early.

In Transit: Overnight flight crossing the Atlantic Ocean with arrivals the following day.

Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.

Contact info:
Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome, 00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.

Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 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
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.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 consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Two: Monday, March 17 - Orientation \ Welcome Reception \ Neighborhood Wa...
Note: Handle luggage from the terminal to the coach. Transfer to the hotel for check-in. Minimal exertion.

Arrive To: Arrival at hotel in Rome. As we wait for all program participants to arrive, feel free to explore the area of the hotel (Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain)

Lunch: Lunch at the hotel or local restaurant.

Afternoon: At the orientation meeting, the group leader distributes the most updated and detailed program schedule and goes over logistics. The session is followed by a neighborhood walk pointing out the location of ATMs, pharmacies, grocery stores, and nearby attractions.

Dinner: Prior to dinner gather at the appointed time for a welcome reception to meet your fellow adventurers. The meal will be taken at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Pace Helvezia

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

Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.

Contact info:
Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome, 00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.

Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 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
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.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 consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Three: Tuesday, March 18 - Roman History \ Palatine Hill \ Forum and Colosse...
Note: Walking on uneven cobblestone paths and a low hill requires stamina for a one and a half hour outing. To reach the upper level of the Colosseum there is an elevator. Feel free to take the stairs for a more authentic experience. The entrance fee to the Palatine, Forum and Colosseum is all inclusive, so this field trip takes place during a half day. The visit is typically divided by lunch at a local restaurant, to allow some rest time.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.

Morning: An illustrated lecture on The History of Ancient Rome leads you from its foundation as a small village to its supremacy which lasted nearly 1000 years. Many of the ancient structures and institutions continue to the present.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Capitoline Hill and Museum. The expert will comment on major pieces in the collection; The Etruscan She Wolf with the Renaissance addition of Romulus and Remus; the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius and the foundations of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. Cross to the other wing of the museum through the Tabularium, ancient Rome's archives. There is a commanding view of the Forum from that vantage point. Ascend at the Braccio Nuovo or new wing, this is home to the Dying Gaul and the Capitoline Venus.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Pace Helvezia

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

Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.

Contact info:
Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome, 00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.

Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 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
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.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 consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Four: Wednesday, March 19 - Free Morning / Aventine and Capitoline Hills \ Re...
Free Morning / Aventine and Capitoline Hills \ Renaissance and Baroque Art

Note: Pretty taxing, the two mile walk includes ascent of two low hills and visit through two branches of the Capitoline Museum.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.

Morning: Expert-led visit to the Colosseum for reserved entrance time. Visit continues to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. The word "palatial" is related to the Palatine, because wealthy leaders of Rome built their palaces there. Visit the Imperial palaces and the museum which shows evidence of the post holes used by the earliest settlers for dwelling huts. From the southern ledge (unless otherwise restricted), peer down to the Circus Maximus and over to the Aventine Hill. Descend and continue walking in the Roman Forum, the civic, religious and political hub of ancient Rome. The expert will build mental pictures of the walls now lacking from the foundations. See the two remaining arches, that of Septemius Severus and of Titus. The Arch of Constantine contains friezes and bas-relief sculptures recycled from other arches and monuments.

Lunch: Lunch on your own to sample some local cuisine. Suggestions will be indicated.

Afternoon: Return to the hotel for a late afternoon lecture on Michelangelo and the Art of the Sistine Chapel, in preparation for next day's visit.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant to enjoy Roman cuisine.

Lodging: Hotel Pace Helvezia

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

Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.

Contact info:
Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome, 00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.

Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 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
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.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 consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Five: Thursday, March 20 - Vatican Museums / S. Peter's Basilica / Spanish S...
Vatican Museums / S. Peter's Basilica / Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain

Note: Ability to climb a few flights of stairs; the Museums are very crowded, little opportunity to sit and rest until in the Sistine Chapel. After lunch, less than a mile walk back to the hotel.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.

Morning: Board coach for Vatican Museums, reserved entrance. Over 18,000 people visit each day, expect crowds. The Vatican Museums is comprised of a number of collections: Egypt and Mesopotamia; Greek, Etruscan, Rome; a picture gallery. There are unannounced closings of galleries, so our expert will maximize the time and discuss the most significant pieces available. Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, with scenes from the book of Genesis and the Last Judgment behind the main altar are the main attraction. From the Sistine Chapel, the guide will lead the group through the back door down to the Basilica of St. Peter. In a side chapel, behind a protective glass, you can see the famous Pieta', Michelangelo's early work and only piece he signed. Above the altar stands Bernini's Baldacchino or canopy; it is over 100 feet high. There are countless historical references and events associated with this Basilica, once the largest in the world. Stepping our onto the front porch, you will admire the colonnade designed by Bernini, evocative of the welcoming embracing arms of the church.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch the expert leads a walk of discovery to the Spanish Steps, past Bernini's palace and on to the Trevi Fountain. Built to commemorate the restored aqueduct that brought water into Rome, the central figure of Neptune, god of the waters rides a conch shell and two Tritons hold bridled sea horses, one representing the calm seas, the other stormy seas. The famous scene from Fellini's La Dolce Vita was filmed there as well as Three Coins in a Fountain. Return to hotel.

Dinner: Dine at a restaurant of your choosing to try local specialties.

Lodging: Hotel Pace Helvezia

Meals Included: Breakfast
Type: Four-Star Hotel

Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.

Contact info:
Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome, 00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.

Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 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
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.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 consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Six: Friday, March 21 - Aventine, Esquiline and Caelian Hills / Piazza Na...
Aventine, Esquiline and Caelian Hills / Piazza Navona and Pantheon / Lecture on Contemporary Italian Politics

Note: Coach to Aventine, walk up hill; board coach to see Michelangelo's Moses; board coach to the Caelian Hill for an underground Roman house. Board coach to Piazza Navona for lunch. Walk are short, some places to rest.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.

Morning: Ascend the Aventine, according to traditions Remus' homestead, in the Orange Garden there is a panoramic view of Rome, S. Dominic brought orange trees from Spain, their descendents still bloom and produce fruit. Michelangelo's statue of Moses is part of the grandiose vision Pope Julius II had intended for his monument in S. Peter's (where he is actually buried), but the statue is in his titular church. Excavations have revealed a 2nd-3rd c. CE Roman house. During the visit, the expert will offer interpretations suggested for the owners. Do the frescoes indicate pagan themes or early Christian themes? Still up for debate. Board coach for lunch near Piazza Navona.

Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.

Afternoon: After lunch an expert visit to Piazza Navona, once the "Agones" built by the Emperor Domitian (81-96) for track and field games, the stadium was a long oval. The buildings lining the piazza have the footprint of the bleachers. Now the quintessential Baroque piazza, it is home to artists and performers. Bernini's statue of the Four Rivers sits in the middle and Borromini's church of St. Agnes is on the west side. Cross the street toward the Pantheon, the temple/celestial observatory engineered by the Emperor Hadrian around 122 CE. The niches along the interior perimeter are illuminated by the sun at different times of the year and day. King Vittorio Emanuele II, his wife and son are buried there. The painter Raphael's tomb lines the far most left niche from the main entrance. The interior forms a sphere 142 feet in diameter and the oculus (opening in the roof) is 29 feet across. Free time prior to a lecture by a professor and journalist on Contemporary Italian Politics back at the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Pace Helvezia

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

Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.

Contact info:
Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome, 00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.

Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 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
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.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 consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Seven: Saturday, March 22 - Viminal and Quirinal Hills / Lecture on Rome's Le...
Viminal and Quirinal Hills / Lecture on Rome's Legacy / Trastevere district

Note: These are short walks with places to sit during the explanations. The group will walk down and back up a couple flights of stairs to the base of the Island, water levels permitting.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.

Morning: Coach to the Viminal Hill to the site of first church built in honor of Mary. There are mosaics from the 5th to the 12th century. The coffered ceiling was decorated with gold leaf from the Americas. Bernini is buried near the main altar. Coach to see Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa, then compare two rival architects: Borromini's oval church of S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Bernini's oval design of S. Andrea al Quirinale. Which do you prefer? Continue down the road to Piazza del Quirinale, formerly a papal palace turned king's palace and now the residence of the President of Italy. There is a commanding view of Rome from up there. Be sure to notice the statues of Castor and Pollux, moved from their temple in the Forum. Walk down the slight hill and reach the hotel.

Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Lecture on the Legacy of Rome is designed to pull together what we have learned and experienced. After a short break, we will take a walk of discovery to the Tiber Island and Jewish Ghetto. The area of the Ghetto was where the Jews were confined from the 16th-19th centuries; during free time one might select to visit the museum and synagogues. The Tiber Island was the original crossing point of the Tiber in antiquity, as it divided the width of the River. Geologically it is related to the Capitoline Hill and was formed by erosion. The Island was also used as a healing sanctuary to "isolate" the sick and there was a temple to Aesculapius on the aft end of the island. We will look at portions of the marble relief showing the intertwined serpents around the staff, symbol of the medical arts. From there you can see the oldest span of a Roman bridge, Pons Aemilius, dating to the 2rd century BCE. The tradition of healing continues on the island, the Fatebenefratelli Hospital is located on the prow end of the island. During the 10th century construction began on the church of St. Bartholomew, built above the ruins of the ancient sanctuary. Cross over to Trastevere for dinner.

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.

Lodging: Hotel Pace Helvezia

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

Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.

Contact info:
Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome, 00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it

Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.

Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. 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
You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.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 consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.

Check in time: 1:00 PM


Day Eight: Sunday, March 23 - Free Morning / Borghese Gallery / Farewell dinner
Note: Light day of exertion, depending on your destination during free time. A circular staircase leads to the top floor of the Borghese Gallery.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.

Morning: Free morning to explore your special destination. Suggestions will be provided. The Papal blessing is offered at noon in St. Peter's Square. Rome's "flee market" is in Trastevere, consult site information. "Caveat Emptor" as the saying goes.

Lunch: Select a place to have lunch from the many options available.

Afternoon: Coach to the Galleria Borghese, for an expert-led visit of the collection of art amassed by Cardinal Scipio Borghese, nephew of the Pope Paul V. The villa which houses his collection was used as a retreat and reception hall for dignitaries visiting Rome. A connoisseur of art, he acquired through purchase or intrigue art that he fancied. His most impressive collection of sculptures were done by Bernini when he was in his early 20's. His paintings feature Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, and others. The museum limits visits to two hours. Return to the hotel with time to pack prior to the farewell dinner.

Dinner: Enjoy your farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Do not neglect to return to the Trevi Fountain and throw the customary coins in as you make your wish to return to the Eternal City.

Lodging: Hotel Pace Helvezia

Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner
Day Nine: Monday, March 24 - Departure
Note: Coach to airport and check in with airline and clear security.

Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel or packed meal for those that depart early.

Morning: Transfers to airport.

Meals Included: Breakfast


Free Time Opportunities


Rome
General OverviewThe free time options are numerous; the Church Jubilee of 2000 precipitated the opening of several new attractions, and the re-opening, often after decades of closure, of many more old ones. These include Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Centro Monte Martini, the Golden House of Nero, and the Tomb of Balbo. The Protestant Cemetery where Keats and other notables are buried. Even for seasoned visitors there is now much that is new to see.

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 ...
7 nights of accommodations
17 meals: 7 breakfasts, 4 lunches, 6 dinners
5 Expert-led lectures
9 Field trips

Ratings

4.8
Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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