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Rome: The Eternal City

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Road Scholar
Program #19688RJ
9 Days | 8 Nights
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.
Discussion Board

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Gerry O'Sullivan Jan 27, 2015 at 06:59 PM

I did this program in 2014 (March 30-April 7). I have no negative comment about the Hotel Pace Helvezia. The location could not be more convenient. I saw no evidence of a lack of cleanliness. The desk staff were helpful, gracious and fluent in English. I'm sorry that your experience was unsatisfactory.
William Sherman Jan 29, 2015 at 10:51 AM

Thanks for your note. Hopefully I can say positive things about this hotel lin October. Several days ago I emailed them about booking a few extra days with them before the RS trip - no response so far.

William Sherman Jan 17, 2015 at 05:20 PM

This is the response I received from RS.

Thank you for your recent service request concerning comments on Trip Advisor about the hotel used on "Rome: The Eternal City." (#19688)

Back in the Spring, someone reported a cockroach, and the hotel immediately addressed the issue. It had rained the two previous days, which may have driven bugs indoors but again, the issue has been taken care of by the hotel.

There are places where people’s luggage has scraped off some paint from the door jams, but that does not affect the comfort of the room, perhaps the aesthetics. No issues were found with the linens.

Our program manager spent two weeks at the Hotel Pace Helvezia and believes it is a fine hotel, ideally situated in downtown Rome. From the hotel, one can easily reach the Trevi Fountain in less than 10 minutes on foot. There is a spectacular panoramic view from the top floor terrace, over 180 degrees from the Colosseum to the top of the Spanish Steps. The hotel is adjacent to Trajan’s forum and column is just behind the structure.

Hmm.......great location, but other wise, not that good. RS response certainly differs in general from
Trip Advisor. After my recent experience with a RS hotel in Santiago, I tend to put more trust in Trip Advisor that RS. Still wondering if RS reads this discussion board.

Denise, think you are wise to put this trip of until 2016.
mary light Jan 18, 2015 at 08:06 AM

What was your experience in Santiago?
William Sherman Jan 18, 2015 at 09:24 AM

Fairly good location, nice public area, breakfast OK. Our room was tired and worn out. If carpets wern't dirty they sure looked that way. Electrical fixtures literally coming out of the walls. Lights that did not work. Mold in bathroom and laminate on bathroom door pealing becuse it got wet. Wall in front of heat vent black. Shower head leked bdly when turned on. I think
William Sherman Jan 18, 2015 at 09:28 AM

Shower head leaned badly when turned on. I think RS gave the hotel a 4 or 5 star; I would give it a two. I am not a five star person, but do expect room to be safe, clean and free of mechanical defects.
Joanne Snead Jan 18, 2015 at 08:22 PM

We are signed up for this the Rome trip for Sept.27 and am concerned too about the hotel. I also wrote RS in Dec. after reading many of these posts but have not had a response. I will be very interested in hearing reports from Jeri Kennear after the March trip and from anyone else who may be going soon. Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

Denise Root Jan 17, 2015 at 04:37 PM

We would like to go on this trip but will wait until 2016 and hope that Road Scholar will upgrade their hotel choice.

Jeri Kinnear Dec 21, 2014 at 11:05 AM

I am leaving on 23 March. I will be happy to report my findings. I would think since Road scholar has booked this hotel for the entire year for Rome: the eternal city they would have a great deal of influence.
mary light Jan 18, 2015 at 08:11 AM

I tend to agree as well, and the tripadvisor ratings offer a lot of good ones for this hotel. Most any hotel rating in tripadvisor seems to have some lows among the highs.

William Sherman Dec 21, 2014 at 09:38 AM

I wrote to Road Scholar about my concerns and they finally got back to me that they were looking into it and they will get back to me again. Not sure what that means.

Bill Sherman

Pamela Puleo Dec 11, 2014 at 03:59 PM

To William: It was only one roach - I didn't mean to discourage you from this program, there were many wonderful moments - the hotel wasn't one of them.. I do hope that RS reads these postings.

William Sherman Dec 11, 2014 at 02:42 PM

Thanks Pamela for your comments. I am not against a basic hotel room without a lot of "whistles and bells" but I do expect a room that is clean and without maintenance issues. A cockroach in the dining room and a bed that looked dirty...just not acceptable. What I assumed, until now, to be below Road Scholar standards. Guess I was wrong.

Does Road Scholar care and do they even read these posts. Guess I will have to check out their cancellation policy.
mary light Dec 11, 2014 at 03:24 PM

In response to Pamela Puleo ( " I just wish RC would organize trips for youthful (50 year old) people with shorter trips & longer days with less long lunch breaks.) I agree spot on!

Pamela Puleo Dec 11, 2014 at 01:19 PM

This is a reply to William Sherman regarding the Hotel Pace helvezia in Rome. My husband & I participated in the Rome program in September 2014. The pro's & con's of this hotel are as follows. I'll start with the positive. Location. the Hotel Pace Helvezia is perfectly located near almost everything. The staff is friendly & helpful, some of the staff speak a little of English, but with patience everyone understands each other. The wifi access is reliable & free. The roof top terrance offers a great view of the city & is easily accessible with a few flights of stairs. Now for the con's. The hotel is old, the rooms are not so clean. The sheets and towels are thin. The blankets on the bed look dirty. The furniture in our room was dusty, old & cheap The carpet was dirty. The A/C worked, but was very noisy. The shower did not drain properly. We saw a cockroach in the dinning room. With all of that said - the hotel is reasonable priced - I would compare it to a motel 6 (or 5.5.) Bring a bivysac and you will survive :-). I had a few complaints about the program, but now looking back there were some amazing highlights. I just wish RC would organize trips for youthful (50 year old) people with shorter trips & longer days with less long lunch breaks.
Steve Reagan Dec 11, 2014 at 02:32 PM

We were on this trip Sept 2013, it was absolutely wonderful. Yes, Hotel Tiziano, was much like you are describing, but location was fabulous. In fact, hotel was closing for a major remodel, which means the price is higher. When we travel in Europe, we try not to stress about the accommodations, knowing that they are not what we would use here in the States. But, what you see and learn on these trips more than make up for a complaint about accommodations.
William Sherman Dec 11, 2014 at 08:50 PM

Thanks Steven for your comments.. I understand that European hotel standards may be different than what we expect here. However , a road Scholar traveler should never have to stay in a dirty room..

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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


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