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ITALY / GREECE / TURKEY

Uncovering the Origins of Western Civilization: Rome, Athens and Istanbul

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Program #21335RJ

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14 Days | 13 Nights
ACTIVITY LEVEL: Moderately Challenging
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.
If you’re looking for a more flexible schedule with ample independent time and several meals on your own, then our FLEX learning adventures are made for you.
Discussion Board

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Barbara Offner Apr 13, 2015 at 10:28 PM

Hi Keith. I failed to notice that your posting was from 2014. I'm sure I'll have questions and will use your experience to help me out. This is my first trip abroad. Bobbi


Barbara Offner Apr 13, 2015 at 02:14 PM

HI Keith. I saw where you live, and because I am considering the earlier trip, I thought I'd scope our your plans to see if meeting you in Seattle ( live in Kirkland) would be advantageous to me changing my dates. I have a daughter in Connnecticut, so I would fly east, probably several days before the departure. I haven't yet enrolled in the program or purchased a flight to NY. It would be helpful if we could chat, even through we may be on different dates.
Blessings,
Bobbi
Keith White Apr 13, 2015 at 04:13 PM

Greetings Barbara. I went on this tour last November (2014) so will not be going again this year. It was a wonderful trip. I had not been to any of the three cities, so the adventure was like a survey course for all three. The tour guide (Demitir) was very nice and very helpful. He was well organized and knew exactly what he was doing. The three local guides were equally good. They were all young men with outgoing youthful enthusiasm. The hotels ranged from OK in Rome, very good in Athens, to outstanding in Istanbul. We made use of public trasportation in all three cities. This helped to get to know the locale and to mix with people. The subways, light rail and buses were often very crowded but clean, safe and efficient. A joy compared to public trasport in the USA. Since this was not a completely guided tour, we had quite a bit of free time to wander on our own or with small groups of new friends. I liked that, but it did mean that some of our meals were on our own. Budget accordingly. Many of us enjoyed the opportunity to buy food a local grocery stores and have picnics. There was a good grocery in the main Rome train station very near our hotel in Rome and a small grocery/convenience store across the street in Istanbul. I had a wonderful time and did not want the trip to end. The only glitch involved Alitalia. When we checked in at JFK, the counter people initially had no idea who we were even though we all had printed itineraries. It took literally over an hour to sort out that we were there and were on the flight. None of us had the same seats that were listed on the printed itineraries provided by RS. This was an issue for some of us who really did want window or aisle seats. I had to wait until I got to the gate to get my middle seat changed to aisle. Your plan of flying east early is a good one as opposed to ticketing straight through. Some of our folks did that and their bags did not fly on the same Alitalia flight and we had to wait at the Rome airport for them to arrive. The return flight from Rome to JFK was a bit better, but there were still odd glitches for some of us. All and all, it was a superior trip! Let me know if I can give you more information.


Keith White Aug 12, 2014 at 12:02 PM

I'm on the November tour. I live in Port Townsend Washington. Would be happy to talk about preparations, etc. with anyone else who's planning to go.

Cheers,

Keith


Mary Dewolf Mar 30, 2014 at 12:38 PM

I will be on the tour beginning Nov 6. I am anxious to hear from those on earlier tours.


Michael Gettings Mar 19, 2014 at 01:04 PM

Daniel,
My wife and I are on this flight. I would think participants from the east are on this flight.
Mike G.
Daniel Gould Mar 19, 2014 at 02:23 PM

Hi Mike, When reading the booklet sent to us, I noticed that for Day is said "Afternoon flight arrives..." As we arrive at 6:30 I called and asked if there would be someone at the airport to pick us up at 6:30am. I was told, yes, there will be someone there. FYI Dan


Daniel Gould Mar 19, 2014 at 11:11 AM

Is anyone else flying to Rome on Alitalia flight AZ 609? It leaves JFK at 4:00 pm and arrives in Rome at 6:26 am.
Mary Dewolf Sep 15, 2014 at 04:07 PM

I am AZ609 but I was told it leaves at 4:35. I hope so as I only have three hours between flight from Cincinnati


Cheryl Merrell Mar 17, 2014 at 05:32 PM

Turkey Passport. Just received a letter from RS in snail mail. Turkey Passports have to be purchased in advance, and not at the airport. www.evisa.gov.tr/en. If you haven't already done this, it took less than 2 minutes.
Mary Dewolf Sep 15, 2014 at 04:08 PM

Be careful and make sure you are dealing with the Turkey government. There is a website that charges $55 for a visa.


Daniel Gould Mar 17, 2014 at 02:43 PM

Ok, for anyone interested I spoke with the RS travel people and was informed that the flight is handled by the provider. RS did not book it so its not on our flight schedule.

Dan G


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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

Included
at no additional cost on this date ...
12 nights of accommodations
27 meals: 12 breakfasts, 8 lunches, 7 dinners
9 Expert-led lectures
14 Field trips
2 Hands-on experiences
2 Flights during the program

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4.8
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