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

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Road Scholar
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. 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.
Frederica from Laurel, MD Number of programs attended: 4
Date attended: 10/22/15 - 11/04/15
This was my 4th Road Scholar trip. Best ever travel companions. The lectures were stimulating and the sites were amazing. The free time was great. I look forward to another voyage. Frederica from Laurel, MD

Tamera from Lewiston, ME Number of programs attended: 3
Date attended: 10/22/15 - 11/04/15
This trip exceeded my expectations! Very well organized. Good guides. Wonderful travel companions! And PERFECT weather! The flex time is a perfect combination of learning, exploring and free time. My one disappointment was the crowd in the Vatican. I looked forward to exploring the art in that vast collection but felt like I was in the middle of a cattle stampede. Apparently it is worse most of the year. C'est la vive. At least with the "whispers" I was able to hear our guide's explanations and stories. October was a very good time to take this trip. I highly recommend this tour!

Mary Kay from Denver, CO Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 10/22/15 - 11/04/15
An enriching, enjoyable program to three cities whose history and culture has impacted the development of Western Civilization. Excellent program.

Shirley from Delafield, WI Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/19/14
I’ve enjoyed some great travel experiences, but this RS excursion into the past was the best yet! For anyone who is fascinated by the changing cultures of civilizations and empires long ago, this trip is a must. We learned about a mosaic of religions, conquests, exotic foods and customs from expert guides and lecturers. I especially appreciated learning about the ways the past has impacted our present day political situations in this epicenter of civilization. By utilizing the audio technology of radio headsets, we all could hear our guides and avoid getting lost too! The present day peoples of these amazing cities are friendly and welcoming…I loved riding the public transports together with the locals. Our chief travel guide, Demeter, was awesome, shepherding us through the entire 2 weeks without a mishap, and our group of 23 travel companions was delightful…I’ll remember you all forever!

Keith from Port Townsend, WA Number of programs attended: 17
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/19/14
What a delightful program! Everyday I felt as if I crawled inside a history book and pulled the covers over me! We used public transport for all our movements and that added to the experience and enjoyment. The light rail, buses and subways in each city allowed us to mingle with the locals and experience the cities as the locals experience them. Even getting crushed on subways was enjoyable! Seeing places that are different from home is always better when you become part of the locale. This is much better than riding in a tour bus or returning to sleep on a cruise ship each night. Our guide was great. He kept us together, happy and well informed. My other travel companions made the trip even more enjoyable. What fun to visit exciting places with other people who share your enjoyment. Some of us even smoked a hooka (water pipe)! Thank you RS and thank you to all my new friends!

Mary from Sun Prairie, WI Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/19/14
I just returned home from Istanbul and the Origins of Western Civilization trip. What an exciting and informative trip it was. Our tour director was tops, he was there when we needed him and not when we had free time. He was a font of knowledge as were the guides in each of the cities. We did use public transportation which was unlike any in the USA but it brought us closer to the people in the cities, in more ways than one. If you are debating about this tour, try it you'll love it!

Rose from Huntsville, AL Number of programs attended: 1
Date attended: 11/06/14 - 11/19/14
Origins of Western Civilization trip to Rome, Athens, and Istanbul was excellent. I was particularly impressed with the quality of the guides, especially the guide who was with us for the whole trip, but also all of the local guides who took us to sights in the three cities. One of the highlights was having a food historian lecture and then take us to a wonderful lunch on our first day in Istanbul. The amount of information was a little overwhelming, since it covered centuries of history, and I would have been smart to do more background reading before the trip, but I definitely enjoyed the trip and felt I got a lot more out of it than if I had traveled on my own, as I usually do. Group size was also pretty good (23, max was 24 but there was a cancellation), and all of us were experienced travelers. This was my first Road Scholar trip, so I don't know how typical that group of travelers was, but they were good people to travel with, and I suspect that is often the case with people drawn to this company.

Cheryl from Nicholasville, KY Number of programs attended: 2
Date attended: 04/03/14 - 04/16/14
Wonderful program. I learned so much. If you are considering this trip, don't underestimate your ability. Public transportation is used (subways, city buses, trams/street cars.) You have to be able to get on and off very quickly, or you will be left at the station or on the transport. Also the formal tour portions require you to be on your feet about a half day, walking as well as standing. Obviously free time will be your closing and at your own pace.

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"Hagia Sophia in Istanbul" Uploaded By: Shirley
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Our Value Promise To You

You won't find a better value.

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


Ratings are determined by participant evaluations.

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