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Rome: The Eternal City

Program Number: 19688RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/27/2012 - 11/4/2012; 9/27/2015 - 10/5/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/12/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/26/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/9/2015; 11/8/2015 - 11/16/2015; 3/6/2016 - 3/14/2016; 4/3/2016 - 4/11/2016; 4/17/2016 - 4/25/2016; 5/1/2016 - 5/9/2016; 5/8/2016 - 5/16/2016; 5/15/2016 - 5/23/2016; 5/22/2016 - 5/30/2016; 9/4/2016 - 9/12/2016; 9/18/2016 - 9/26/2016; 9/25/2016 - 10/3/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/17/2016; 11/6/2016 - 11/14/2016;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,699.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian    

Rome is famously built on seven hills (which you will explore during this program), but the heights reached by its art, architecture and influence are much higher than its summits. Venture beyond the popular icons of Rome to seek out its hidden treasures with local experts who lead you to enlightening experiences without the crowds. Captivating lectures and illustrated presentations delve into the Eternal City from before Caesar to modern Roman identity.


• Witness great masterpieces at the Vatican Museums, the Sistine Chapel and the Galleria Borghese.
• Examine stunning frescoes, mosaics and sculptures in buildings such as: Basilica of St. Mary Major, a 3rd c. Roman house, Capitoline museum.
• Local experts illuminate the history of Rome through lively presentations on topics like the art of Michelangelo and Bernini.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven terrain and cobblestone streets. There may be extended periods of standing for expert explanations at historic sites.

Date Specific Information


Experience Rome as the Romans do in the off season. Days are shorter but far fewer crowds at the major sites.

9-27-2015, 10-4-2015, 10-18-2015, 3-6-2016, 4-3-2016, 5-1-2016, 5-8-2016, 5-15-2016, 5-22-2016, 9-4-2016, 9-18-2016, 9-25-2016, 10-9-2016, 11-6-2016

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


Save money (off season hotel pricing) and time (less crowded museums.)
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


Save money (off season hotel pricing) and time (fewer crowds in museums).
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


April 21 is the legendary date for the founding of Rome in 753 BCE. Be there to see how Romans celebrate this anniversary.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome, 7 nights; departure.

Overnight flight from the U.S.A.
1 night
Arrival Rome
7 nights

Delve into the history of Ancient Rome through an expert lecture then explore Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum and the Colosseum. Discover Aventine Hill and the Circus Maximus then continue to Capitoline Hill and the Capitoline Museum to view many of the priceless Roman artifacts in its collection. With reserved entrances to the Borghese Gallery and the Vatican Museums, inspect some of the world’s greatest masterpieces. Explore residential life in two unique parts of Rome, the Tiber Island and the Roman Jewish Ghetto. Walk through the picturesque Trastevere district and enjoy dinner in a neighborhood trattoria.


“Dolce far niente,” the “sweetness of doing nothing.” This ode to leisure is a distinctly Italian phrase, and yet the expression does not do justice to the hard-work ethos of the nation’s inhabitants. The monuments, art and civilization bequeathed to the people of modern Italy are a testament to the industry of their forebearers, and the legacy lives on in today’s Italians, who work hard to better enjoy the sweetness of repose.

Four-star hotel within walking distance to Piazza Venezia, Forum and Trevi Fountain.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Elisabetta Interdonato

Dr. Elisabetta Interdonato is a native Roman who earned her doctorate in classical archaeology at the University of Rome "La Sapienza." She did further post-doctoral studies at the University of Basilicata and at the Universite' de Haute Bretagne where she also taught as a visiting professor. She currently teaches at the Pantheon Institute. In addition to her teaching, she enjoys leading visitors on explorations of Rome.
Paolo Alei

Dr. Paolo Alei is an art historian with a specialization and publications on Renaissance and Baroque art in Rome and also in Venice. However, this does not mean that he has neglected Classical art, another of his passions. He earned his M.A. from Columbia University in art history and archaeology. Paolo teaches full time at the University of California System Rome program, and enjoys Italian cinema from the Neorealism period through the 70’s.
Rachel Potts

Rachel Potts is a licensed excursion leader in Rome. She graduated from Manchester University (UK) with a bachelor's in philosophy and French, and later studied garden design at the London Gardening School. Having grown up in Rome, she chose to return to Italy and share her knowledge and love of Rome and surrounding areas.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Tiziano
  Rome, Italy 7 nights
 Hotel Tiziano
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Your program site hotel is in the heart of historical Rome and is within walking distance of Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, Capitoline Hill, Roman Forum, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and Piazza di Spagna. The hotel was once the palace of a noble Roman family. It is situated at the intersection of two busy streets, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II (named after the first king of unified Italy) and Largo Argentina.
  Contact info: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 110
Rome, NA 00186 Italy
phone: +39 06 686 5019
  Room amenities: Private bath in all rooms, hair dryer, safe box for valuables in room or front desk, touch tone phone, satellite TV, Wi-Fi, individual controls for heat and air conditioning, sound proof windows, mini bar
  Facility amenities: Breakfast served daily, all rooms have private bath. Sound proof windows. 24 hour concierge. Free wi-fi throughout the facility and internet point in the lobby. Lobby and breakfast room 6 steps from sidewalk entrance level.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, contact the hotel's online reservation system directly through the hotel website, or, contact Lavinia Tour, Trinity College's partnering agency in Rome: 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.
  Additional nights after: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, contact the hotel's online reservation system directly through the hotel website, or, contact Lavinia Tour, Trinity College's partnering agency in Rome: 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.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for morning arrivals. Check in 2:00 pm. Meet in lobby at 4:00 for neighborhood walk You will be staying at Hotel Tiziano that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast, transfers to airport. Check out 11:00 am You will be staying at Hotel Tiziano the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains come to the Rome station from all over Europe and Italy. From the main train station, Roma Termini, the best way to arrive at the hotel is by taxi (about €20).
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Nearest city or town:  Rome
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino
  Transportation to site: Transfer provided for group travelers arriving on group arrival day. Independent travelers can request to join a courtesy transfer. To reach the program site on your own you have 2 options: public transportation (train and taxi) or door to door service with shared ride shuttle. Public transportation option: From Rome Fiumicino Airport trains depart twice an hour for Roma Termini, the main train station. The line is called "Leonardo Express." Purchase tickets at the station attached to the airport terminal. Fare is €14 pp. From Roma Termini take a taxi to the hotel - fare approx. € 20. Door to door service by taxi direct from the airport to the hotel is approx. €50. Max. 4 persons to a taxi. Share-a-ride shuttle service can be booked at Fare is €27; discounts apply for other passengers in your party. You can also contact the Hotel Tiziano for a private car and driver. Charge is about €55 for the service.
  From End of Program
  Location: Rome
  Transportation from site: Transfer provided for group travelers departing on group departure day. Independent travelers can request to join a courtesy transfer. To reach the airport on your own you have 2 options: public transportation (train and taxi) or door to door service with shared shuttle van. Public transportation option: Take a taxi from the hotel (fare € 20) to Termini, Rome's main train station. From there take the Leonardo Express train direct to Fiumicino Airport. Trains depart twice an hour. Fare is €14 pp. Door to door service by taxi direct from the hotel to the airport is approx. €50. Max. 4 persons to a taxi. Share-a-rride shuttle service can be booked at Fare is €27; discounts apply for other passengers in your party. You can also ask the Hotel Tiziano to arrange a private car and driver. The charge is about €55.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure from points in North America.
(Saturday, October 27)
 In Transit: Overnight flight crossing the Atlantic Ocean with arrivals the following day.

Day 2: Welcome Reception / Neighborhood Walk.
(Sunday, October 28)

Note: Transfer to the hotel for check-in. Minimal exertion on neighborhood walk.

 Arrive To: Arrival at hotel in Rome. Early arrivals might make it to St. Peter's Square for the Pope's noon blessing; or go to Rome's Porta Portese Flea Market in Trastevere (closes at 2). As we wait for all to arrive, feel free to explore the area just around the corner at Largo Argentina, where Julius Caesar was assassinated. The temples date from 4th to 2nd c. BCE.
 Lunch: Lunch at Angoletto Romano, near the hotel.
 Afternoon: An orientation session in the hotel meeting room is followed by a neighborhood walk pointing out the location of ATMs, pharmacies, grocery stores, and nearby attractions.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Grotte del Teatro di Pomepo near the Campo de' Fiori.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Orientation/ Lecture on Roman History / Palatine, Forum and Colosseum
(Monday, October 29)

Note: Walking on uneven cobble stone 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.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: An illustrated lecture on The History of Ancient Rome leads you from its geologic formation to its foundation as a small village to its supremacy which lasted nearly 1000 years. Many of the ancient institutions continue to the present.
 Lunch: Lunch at Ristorante Angelino ai Fori on the Via dei Fori Imperiali.
 Afternoon: Expert led visit 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. 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. Once in the Colosseum imagine 50,000 spectators watching drama unfold.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Sant'Anna, a characteristic trattoria near the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Capitoline Hill and Museum/Renaissance and Baroque art lecture / Picturesque Trastevere district
(Tuesday, October 30)

Note: Pretty taxing, the two mile walk includes ascent of the Capitoline hills and visit through two branches of the Capitoline Museum. Descend the back side toward the Cattle Market and Jewish Ghetto

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Visit the Capitoline Hill and Museum where the expert will comment on major pieces in the collection, including the Dying Gaul;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. Descend the back side to make our way to the old cattle market and the Mouth of Truth, walk back to the hotel through the Jewish Ghetto.
 Lunch: Lunch at Taverna Cairoli, a modern style eatery that serves savory Roman dishes.
 Afternoon: A lecture on Renaissance and Baroque art will prepare you for the visit to the collection of art in the Vatican Museums, including the Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and a visit of St. Peter's Basilica. Stretch your legs with a visit to the Pantheon, the temple/celestial observatory engineered by the Emperor Hadrian around 122 CE. The painter Raphael's tomb lines the far most left niche from the main entrance. The walk continues to Largo Argentina and the Republican era temples discovered there. Julius Caesar was assassinated as he exited the portico for the Theater of Pompey which opened up to this temple complex.
 Dinner: Enjoy pizza Roman style at a local pizzeria.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Free morning / Aventine Hill / Borghese Gallery / Spanish Steps
(Wednesday, October 31)

Note: Coach to destinations, Borghese Gallery is small and occupies two floors, ascend/descend by spiral staircase.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Free morning, suggest St. Peter's Square for Papal Audience; Caravaggio walk or Farnesina for Raphael fresco cycle of Love and Psyche.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Expert led visit to the Aventine, the southern most hill. It was a populist area, now upscale with a number of foreign embassies. St. Dominic resided at S. Sabina and brought oranges from Spain as a gift to his patron, Pope Honorius III. The Orange Garden adjacent to the church is now a park offering a splendid morning view of the city. Proceed by coach to the Borghese Gallery for an expert led visit of the collection begun by Cardinal Scipione Borghese, nephew of the Pope. In addition to being the patron of young Bernini, he collected paintings by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and Botticelli.
 Dinner: Dinner at Trattoria della Torre Argentina.
 Evening: After dinner an optional stroll to the Spanish Steps.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Esquiline Hill / Life in Italy Today
(Thursday, November 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Starting at S. Mary Major on the Esquiline, your expert will talk about the wonderfully preserved mosaics that span 800 years of workmanship. The artist Bernini is entombed near the main altar. In the church of S. Peter in Chains to see the cenotaph (funerary monument) of Pope Julius II by Michelangelo. The central statue of Moses is the main attraction. The activities continue to the Ancient Roman House museum, that is decorated with frescoes dating to the 3-4th centuries.
 Lunch: Lunch at Trattoria da Luigi.
 Afternoon: Lecture on Contemporary Italian and Roman Society by a resident professor.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Vatican Museums, St. Peter's Basilica
(Friday, November 2)

Note: The museum is crowded and requires being able to walk up 3-4 flights of stairs. We schedule a reserved entrance time. The time in the museum will be spent standing while listening to an explanation or walking. There are few opportunities to sit and rest.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Coach to the the Vatican. The Museum complex is comprised of a number of collections starting from Egypt and Mesopotamia, Greek, Etruscan and Roman. In the Pinacoteca gallery paintings by DaVinci, Raphael, Caravaggio, Reni adorn the walls. Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling with scenes from the book of Genesis and the Last Judgment behind the main altar are the greatest draw. The led visit continues into the Basilica of St. Peter. In the first chapel on the right you can see Michelangelo's early work, the only piece he signed. There are countless historical references and events associated with this Basilica, once the largest in the world. Stepping out onto the front porch, you will admire the colonnade designed by Bernini, evocative of the welcoming embracing arms of church.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Coach to the hotel. Free time after your visit of the basilica to remain in and around the area of St. Peter's or take leisurely walk to Castel Sant'Angelo, cross the Angel Bridge and work your way to the hotel passing by the Piazza Navona along Via dei Coronari, noted for the antique shops.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Angoletto Romano.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Rome in Summation / Quirinal Hill / Trevi Fountain
(Saturday, November 3)

Note: Leisurely walk along level ground, descend the Quirinal Hill to the Trevi Fountain.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Lecture will pull together all the themes of the program and illuminate Rome's lasting influence on western civilization. Visit the Quirinal, the last of the hills, see Bernini's famed oval design in the church of S. Andrea al Quirinale and his rival, Borromini's oval S. Carlo. Culminate the walk at the famous Trevi Fountain.
 Lunch: Select a place to have lunch from the many options available.
 Afternoon: Unscheduled free time will allow you to search for mementos, re-visit a special place, begin packing or simply relax with a gelato.
 Dinner: Bid 'arrivederci Roma' and to fellow travelers at the farewell dinner at the Hotel Tiziano.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Departure
(Sunday, November 4)

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: Departure back to USA from Rome.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Rome General Overview
The 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: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History

Author: Ada Gabucci (Editor)

Description: This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.

Blue Guide Rome

Author: Alta MacAdam

Description: The 10th edition of Macadam's ultimate guide to Rome, with full color street maps, dozens of site plans, suggested walks and extensive commentary on the history and significance of every church, monument and district.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Author: Ross King

Description: Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research, King's captivating chronicle of Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tells the story of its conception and creation.

Roman Art and Architecture

Author: Sir Mortimer Eric Wheeler

Description: Sir Mortimer Wheeler describes Roman art, architecture and town planning in this abundantly illustrated book in the World of Art series.

Rome Map

Author: Berndtson & Berndtson

Description: A handy map at a scale of 1:11,000, with a more detailed overview of the city center.

Rome, A Cultural History

Author: Jonathan Boardman

Description: Not a comprehensive history, but a good, easy-to-read introduction to the city and its landmarks that will appeal both to first time visitors and those who know and love the city.

St. Peter's

Author: Keith Miller, Mary Beard (Editor)

Description: Miller traces the evolution of St. Peter's from its original incarnation, built on the orders of Emperor Constantine, to its medieval rebirth and additions by Michelangelo, Bernini, and Maderno in this history, guide and celebration of the great baroque basilica.

The Art of the Renaissance

Author: Peter Murray

Description: A classic, illustrated survey of the world of the Renaissance and its art. With chapters on Florence and its artists, the Netherlands, early illustrated books and many individual artists.

The Colosseum

Author: Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard

Description: This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.

The Italian Renaissance

Author: J. H. Plumb

Description: A well-written history of the Renaissance, its artists and thinkers, with chapters on Florence, Milan, Rome and Venice, Michelangelo, Da Vinci and Women of the Renaissance.

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World

Author: Jasper Griffin (Editor), Oswyn Murray (Editor), John Boardman (Editor)

Description: Diverse scholars contribute chapters to this authoritative, illuminating overview of history, art, society and life of Roman and the Roman world. With maps, drawings and illustrations throughout.

The Seven Hills of Rome, A Geological Tour of the Eternal City

Author: Grant Heiken

Description: With a timeline, chapters on each of the seven hills, Tiber Floodplain and overview of geology, this accessible guide, written by experts in geology, culture and history of Rome, shows the importance of the geological setting to the history of the city over the millennia.

The Smiles of Rome, A Literary Companion for Readers and Travelers

Author: Susan Cahill

Description: A wonderfully inspired anthology featuring excerpts from 29 writers and artists interspersed with practical suggestions for travelers.

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