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Voyages to Antiquity: Venice, Athens and the Adriatic Coast

Program Number: 19079RJ
Start and End Dates:
4/23/2013 - 5/7/2013; 7/4/2015 - 7/18/2015; 8/14/2015 - 8/28/2015;
Duration: 14 nights
Location: Italy/Croatia/Greece
Price starting at: $5,290.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 38; 13 Breakfasts, 12 Lunches, 13 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

The dramatic beauty of the Adriatic Sea has long inspired writers, poets and artists. Experience its sun-splashed islands, lofty mountains plunging into the sea, winding fjords and magnificent bays. Plus soak in manmade splendor from the sanctuary of Ancient Olympia to the seaside palace of the Emperor Diocletian.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day and standing for up to four hours per day, with breaks. Some hilly and uneven terrain and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Venice (Italy), 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 9 nights; Athens (Greece), 2 nights.



Day 1: Overnight flight from the U.S.A.


Days 2-4: Arrival Venice (Italy) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

On an expert-led city excursion, stroll the sprawling Piazza San Marco then walk the narrow streets and over the bridges of the Castello and Cannaregio districts. Enjoy some free time for independent exploration. Lodging: Five-star hotel.



Day 5: Split (Croatia):

Step inside the magnificent Palace of the Roman Emperor Diocletian, today not a deserted ruin but a bustling warren of houses, shops and cafés.



Day 6: Korcula:

Explore the pine-forested island of Korcula, said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo, then sail past the gorgeous islands of Hvar and Brac off the Dalmatian Coast.



Day 7: Dubrovnik:

On an expert-led excursion in Dubrovnik, discover this beautiful seaside city’s Old Town and the Baroque Church of St. Blaise. Sail through the winding, fjord-like Bay of Kotor.



Day 8: Corfu (Greece):

Examine the Venetian heritage of Corfu as you visit the Old Fortress, the red-domed Agios Spyrídon church and the famous Esplanade.



Day 9: Préveza & Ithaca:

Discover the fortress as well as 13th and 14th century churches in Arta, the former capital of the Byzantine province of Epirus. Continue to Ithaca and spend a leisurely evening in the picturesque port town of Vathy.



Day 10: Katakolon:

Journey to the site of Ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. Examine the remains of the sports structures erected for the games.



Day 11: Pylos:

Learn about the classical city-state of Messene, whose substantial ruins include an odeon used for singing performances and an asclepeion, or healing temple.



Day 12: Monemvasia & Hydra:

Take a walking excursion through Monemvasia’s lower town, which includes the 13th century Christós Elkómenos cathedral. Enjoy free time in the lovely port town of Hydra.



Days 13-15: Athens / disembark / departure:

Walk in the footsteps of Plato on the Acropolis of Athens and visit the outstanding new Acropolis Museum. Walk the labyrinthine streets of Plaka, the picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens. Lodging: Five-star hotel.



Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium class ship especially rebuilt to allow for a unique combination of ocean and river cruising, whether amongst the islands of the Mediterranean or on the great rivers of Asia. These journeys take you from uncrowded Mediterranean harbors to the African savannah, the Mughal monuments of India to the jungle temples of Southeast Asia. Public areas include Mediterranean-influenced restaurants, a library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.


Meals and Lodgings
   Metropolitan Hotel
  Athens, Greece 1 night
   MV Aegean Odyssey
  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 12 nights
 Metropolitan Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Metropolitan Hotel, with its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere, combines traditional hospitality and luxury in central Athens. With a view to both the Acropolis and the Aegean Sea, the fully renovated Metropolitan Hotel is ideally situated in front of the Faleron Olympic Coastal Park. It is only 10 minutes away from Syntagma square, the center of Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  Contact info: Leoforos Syngrou 385
Athens,  175-64 Greece
phone: +30 210 947 1000
web: www.chandris.gr
  Room amenities: Each room has individually controlled air conditioning, satellite television, telephone, high speed Internet connection, radio, mini bar, hair dryer, safe box, and laptop and fax machine outlets.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lounge, bar, gift shop, fitness center, marble steam bath, outdoor heated swimming pool, business center, free wireless Internet access in lobby, and a hairdresser.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. (800) 241-1404
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 MV Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The MV Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
web: www.voyagestoantiquity.com
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: MV Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge. Or perhaps an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, no wireless available); beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Athens, Greece. Meet at 6:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Metropolitan Hotel that night.
  End of Program:
Venice, Italy. Program ends after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at MV Aegean Odyssey the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Water bus, approx. 5 Euro.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation to site: Take a taxi from exit 3 of the arrivals level at the airport. Cost is approx. 35-40 Euros, after midnight the cost increases to 60 Euros.
  From End of Program
  Location:  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
  Transportation from site: Option 1: Walk approx. 10-15 minutes, across a couple bridges, to the Zattere stop and take Alilaguna Private Shuttle (water bus) Line Blu to the airport (approx. 45 minutes, 15 Euro). Option 2: Walk approx. 5-10 minutes to the San Basilio stop and take Vaporetto line 6 to Piazzale Roma (approx. 6.50 Euro). From Piazzale Roma take either the private bus (ATVO Line, 5 Euro) or the public bus (Line 5, 1.20 Euro) to the airport.
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: Departures
(Tuesday, April 23)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Wednesday, April 24)
   
 Morning: Arrival in Athens International Airport (ATH). Meet group outside of customs. Transfer to hotel.
 Afternoon: Settle in at the hotel. We gather in the hotel lobby at 6:00 PM for a welcome orientation to the program.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Athens, Greece / Embark the MV Aegean Odyssey
(Thursday, April 25)

Note: The excursion to the Acropolis includes heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Explore the recently opened Acropolis Museum.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Plaka.
 Afternoon: A guided excursion through the ancient citadel of Athens, the Acropolis. Built during the "Golden Age" of Athens between 447-438BC under the orders of the great statesman Pericles, the Acropolis represents the magnificent achievements of Athenian culture during this remarkable era. We transfer to Piraeus where we will embark the MV Aegean Odyssey at 4:00 PM. Early evening Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Cape Sounion
(Friday, April 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy an excursion to Cape Sounion famous for its 5th-century B.C. temple dedicated to Poseidon, the god of the sea. The temple stands at a rocky promontory guarding the maritime route from Athens to the Aegean Islands. The spot is superb! It offers magnificent views of the blue Aegean Sea and the hundreds of islands that emerge from its waters. When British poet Lord Byron visited Sounion, he immortalized his visit by inscribing his name on one of the ancient pillars of the temple.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration in Athens.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Night-time sailing to Nauplia. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Nauplia, Greece
(Saturday, April 27)

Note: There is moderate to heavy walking over uneven surfaces in Mycenae and Epidaurus, and moderate walking in Nauplia unless you choose to climb the fortress.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A full and very exciting day ahead. The morning will be dedicated to exploring the great Mycenaean culture that flourished in this area, known as the Argolid Plain, between 1600-1300BC. At its heart is the ancient city of Mycenae, reputedly the capital of Agamemnon and the “well-built citadel” of Homer’s Iliad.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon we continue to Epidaurus via the charming and elegant town of Nauplia and its excellent Archaeological Museum, housed in the impressive former Venetian arsenal. Epidaurus was sacred to Asclepios, the god of medicine, and is the site of the best preserved of all ancient Greek theaters.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Midnight departure for Monemvasía.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Monemvasía, Greece
(Sunday, April 28)

Note: The excursion to Monemvasía involves a 90-minute walk that ranges from moderate to strenuous. Guests may of course choose not to walk up to Agia Sofia.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A massive rock rising from the sea and joined to the mainland by a causeway built in the 6th century, it is easy to see how Monemvasía got its nickname "the Gibraltar of Greece." After breakfast, the morning will be spent on a walking excursion of the beautiful lower town, which includes the 13th-century Christos Elkomenos cathedral with its Venetian belfry. For those who feel energetic there is a path leading to the upper town to see the Byzantine Agía Sofia church.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Early afternoon departure for Katakolon and a relaxing afternoon at sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner on board. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Katakolon, Greece / Olympia / Ithaca
(Monday, April 29)

Note: The excursion to Olympia includes heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, wtih multiple uphill segments.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The small fishing village of Katakolon is approximately an hour from the mystical site of Ancient Olympia, sacred ground to the people of the Peloponnese Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC. Olympia is most familiar as the site where the first Olympic Games were held in 776BC in honor of Olympian Zeus. The origin of the word Olympic comes from the ancient Greek Olympiad – meaning every four years. The setting could not be more idyllic: prominently located in the middle of a fertile valley with the rivers of Alfeios and Kladhios flowing past. The site was a religious sanctuary even before the Stadium was built and the games took place in the sacred area called Altis. The most imposing monument in the area was the outstanding Temple of Zeus housing the gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. The Temple of Hera, the Prytaneion, and the Philippeion were also monuments standing in the sacred grove. The famous Stadium, the largest of its day with a capacity of 45,000 spectators, was entered through a long, tunnel-like passage, constructed in Roman times. The stadium was restored in 2004 for the historic return of the modern Olympics to Athens. After your exploration of the famous grounds, visit the archaeological museum which is a short 5-minute walk from the site. Among the great finds of the area that are displayed are the Head of Hera and ornaments from the Temple of Zeus, the famous statue of Hermes created by Praxiteles and the helmet of Miltiades, the Athenian general during Athens' 'Golden Age'. You will make a brief stop in the modern village of Olympia before returning to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Cruise the Ionian Islands en route to Ithaca. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: An evening arrival in Ithaca offers the perfect opportunity to explore the attractive port of Vathy. Late night departure for Corfu.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Corfu, Greece & Sarande / Butrint, Albania
(Tuesday, April 30)

Note: The excursions to Corfu and Butrint include medium to heavy walking on cobblestone or slippery surfaces and some stair climbing.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: You can thank Venice for the thickly wooded headland of Corfu. During the Republic's four centuries of rule on this Ionian island (from 1386 to 1797), it was decreed that an olive tree be planted at each birth and a cypress at each death. Early admirers included the Greek poet, Homer, who sang the island's praises. Octavian brought his fleet to the island's harbor before the battle at Actium. Today's sightseeing starts with a drive to Corfu Town and a visit to the Old Fortress rising majestically from a large cliff and surrounded by a fairytale moat that has its sinister side as the last resort of the lovelorn. Built on the remains of a Byzantine castle, the fort was completed over four centuries, first by the Venetians who gave it the moat and then by the British who erected the fort's church of St George. The fort proved a formidable bulwark against the Turks. From the fort, enjoy a stroll along the Venetian-built Esplanade past the colonnade of the Liston Cafe, built during French rule. The cafe takes is name from a time when the promenade was limited to Venetian nobility that appeared on a list in the Libro d'Oro (Golden Book). Today this path provides an excellent view of the town's cricket pitch, a legacy from British rule, and the start of our walking excursion. Discover Old Town's narrow stepped streets, Georgian mansions and red-domed Agios Spyridon church, built in 1589, containing the remains of Corfu's patron saint.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Surrounded by a picturesque lagoon, Butrint is one of the Ionian's most remarkable archaeological sites and one of Albania's most beautiful national parks. Inhabited since prehistoric times, Butrint, in antiquity Buthrotum, was successively the site of a 6th-century Greek colony, a Roman city and a bishopric. The city prospered under Byzantine administration, was occupied in the 14th century by the Venetians, then by the French, and then the Ottomans. The Ottomans built a fortress for private entertaining and one of their regular visitors was Lord Byron who wrote a poem dedicated to Butrint. Butrint began to be abandoned in the late Middle Ages due to marshes forming in the area. Wars, earthquakes and new cities hastened the city's decline. Today the site is a rich repository of the past and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. From the pier, a 45-minute drive takes us to Butrint, where the visit begins. The word Butrint is related to Aeneas, the Trojan hero who sailed to this area and sacrificed an ox to gain safe entrance to the region. The ox swam to shore, the site of Butrint, thus giving the area its name, "wounded ox." The idyllic wooded setting has inspired writers from Virgil to Racine. An Italian archaeological team headed by Luigi Ugolini supervised three excavations here from 1928 to 1939. Following the war, Albania continued the excavations. Since 1994, archaeologists of the University of East Anglia have made further excavations. Today, the approximately 50 square mile site (86 sq. kilometers) is an Albanian National Park and is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1993. Walk along the winding paths to discover layers of civilization: Hellenistic, Roman, Byzantine and Venetian. Complete the excursion with a view from Butrint's acropolis and a short visit to the museum.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Evening departure for Dubrovnik.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Kotor Bay / Dubrovnik, Croatia
(Wednesday, May 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Continue sailing to Dubrovnik. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In the early afternoon, the ship cruises the stunning fjord of Kotor Bay in Montenegro. With arrival in Dubrovnik in the early evening you will be able to have a drink or dine out in this most charming of ports.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or on your own at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Overnight in Dubrovnik. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Dubrovnik, Croatia
(Thursday, May 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Lord Byron called this majestic walled city “the pearl of the Adriatic,” and it is easy to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is held to be the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean with a seafront setting and dramatic mountain backdrop. The city skyline is a medley of bell towers, copper domes and massive 10th-century walls. Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century AD and was a powerful independent republic from 1358 to 1808, when Napoleon conquered the city. Today the city is an inspiration in self-resurrection. Despite a destructive earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik has managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. This morning’s walking excursion of the Old Town takes you along the city’s main street, the Stradun or Placa, once a sea channel connecting two ancient settlements. Visit the Dominican Monastery, home to a beautiful 15th-century Gothic cloister and the city’s finest collection of Renaissance paintings. Next, the Franciscan Monastery is home to Europe’s oldest pharmacy, founded in 1318 and still in existence. Your walk continues past such landmarks as the Sponza Palace with its elaborate stone exterior, the Baroque Church of St Blaise and Onofriou’s Fountain. Admire the Cathedral of Our Lady, originally built in the 12th century, destroyed in the 1667 earthquake and triumphantly rebuilt. View Titian’s Assumption over the main altar and, in the Treasury, one of Europe’s finest collections of gold and silver, including the bejeweled skull of St Blaise. Following the excursion there will be free time to explore the nooks and crannies of the Old Town.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, you are free to continue exploring the many sites of Dubrovnik.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Overnight sail to Split. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Split, Croatia
(Friday, May 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: When Emperor Diocletian shook up the Roman Empire by abdicating in 305AD, he had his retirement residence ready: a lavish palace he had just built in Salona, now Split, in his native Dalmatia. Admire this amazing palace complex that, when completed, held three temples, a massive mausoleum, and could accommodate 9,000 people. For an intimate perspective on how life was organized, this excursion includes a walk through the palace cellars. The city of Split grew inside and around this palace, with the population retreating behind its walls when under attack, and then spilling out beyond them in times of peace. Today the Palace of Diocletian is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but don’t expect a deserted ruin. Discover instead a vibrant warren of museums, galleries, shops and restaurants mingled with medieval fortifications, pre-Romanesque churches and Gothic chapels. Renaissance palaces testify to a time when Split was a key port of the Venetian Republic. The excursion visits Diocletian’s massive octagonal mausoleum, converted into a cathedral in the 7th century and named after a Christian martyred during that emperor’s persecutions. You’ll also excursion the city museum where 15th-century furnishings recapture aristocratic life in that period. Other sights include the palace’s monumental Golden and Silver Gates and the columned Peristyle Square. Following the excursion, there will be free time to visit the colorful local market or explore Split on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time. This afternoon you may choose to continue to explore Split on your own, or visit the delightful Island of Trogir (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Late night departure for Zadar.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Zadar, Croatia
(Saturday, May 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: In 1409, King Ladislaus of Hungary sold his Dalmatian islands and cities, Zadar among them, to Venice for 100,000 ducats. This town has changed hands frequently since the first Neolithic settlement: the 9th-century BC Liburni were followed in the 4th century BC by Greeks and in the 1st century BC by the Romans, who called the area Zadara. As a result of so many rulers, Zadar has a wealth of monuments contained within the walls of its magnificent Old Town. We will visit the 1st century Roman Forum, now the site of several of Zadar's most beautiful churches. Admire the Cathedral of St Anastasia, the largest church in Croatia and a superb example of Romanesque architecture with two rose windows. This basilica was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries, but its origins as a shrine go back centuries earlier. Inside, a stone sarcophagus contains the remains of St Anastasia of Syrmia, martyred during Diocletian’s persecution. The walk takes you past the 9th-century Church of St Donatus, a Byzantine masterpiece with three naves that incorporate fragments of the town's original Roman Forum. Admire the Church of St Mary, where architectural elements range from a 12th-century bell tower built by the Hungarian-Croatian King Koloman to a beautiful 16th-century Renaissance façade. The convent next door is home to the Museum of Sacred Art, recently opened to the public, a showcase of Zadar's sacred treasures, including sculptures, paintings and such relics as the arm of St Isidore encased in a 12th-century casket.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The ship departs in early afternoon and winds it way through the breathtaking beauty of the Kornati Islands and past Losinj on its way to Venice. Enjoy a late afternoon Road Scholar cocktail party.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Venice, Italy
(Sunday, May 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning walking excursion with your fellow Road Scholar participants of the magnificent sites of Venice. We will see the Piazza San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs, and visit the Doge's Palace.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore Venice on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: In the evening, there is an exclusive visit to St. Mark's. If there is one memory to take home with you, it is the sight of St Mark’s Basilica, the cathedral of Venice, and this is a once-in-a- lifetime opportunity the see this remarkable building at its very best. This evening, St Mark’s will be reserved for Voyages to Antiquity guests who will be treated to a private excursion and the breathtaking sight of the famous mosaics illuminated in a spectacular light show. The church was built in 828 as a tomb for Saint Mark, whose body was spirited out of Alexandria hidden in a casket of pork, a bit of intrigue you can see memorialized in the mosaics above the church door. After a 976 fire, the church was rebuilt and served as the Doge’s private chapel. As such, it was a place of immense wealth and power that it became known as the Golden Church, or Chiesa d’Oro. For example, the Four Horses of St Mark in front are replicas of the Roman sculptures inside, brought back by the Venetians after the sacking of Constantinople. These horses originally had giant rubies in their eye sockets. The interior reinforces the jewel-encrusted Byzantine effect with its galleries high above the naves, massive chandeliers and over 40,000 square feet of mosaics. Works by Tintoretto, Bellini and Mantegna – to mention a few – adorn the walls. The Treasury brims with wealth from centuries of conquest. A visit here is an unforgettable glimpse into the heights reached by La Serenissima, as The Most Serene Republic of Venice was called.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Venice, Italy
(Monday, May 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy some free time to take a gondola ride through ancient canals or explore the legendary Peggy Guggenheim collection. (Optional excursion to Murano, Burano & Torcello at an additional cost, bookable on board).
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, you are free to explore Venice on your own - walk to the Accademia or simply indulge in a Bellini in Harry's Bar. (Optional exursion to Frari Church & Scuola di San Rocco or Rialto & Ghetto Nuovo at an additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Disembark / Departures
(Tuesday, May 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark and transfer to the Venice Marco-Polo Airport (VCE) for the flight home.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Athens Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum is made up of many buildings, which offer an in-depth look into Greek history and culture. An array of artwork and artifacts illustrate the character of the Greek world from ancient times to the 20th century. For additional information, visit www.benaki.gr/index.asp
  Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art illustrates the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus. The three major subjects on display are Cycladic Art, Ancient Greek Art, and Ancient Cypriot Art. For additional information, visit www.cycladic.gr
  Venice Ca’ Rezzonico
A museum of eighteenth century art. The palace on the Grand Canal was designed by a Baroque architect of Venice, Baldassare Longhena, for the aristocratic Bon family. For additional information, visit www.museiciviciveneziani.it
  Galleria Belle Arti
Spanning five centuries, the Galleria Belle Arti's matchless collection of paintings provides a complete spectrum of the Venetian school, from the Byzantine period through the Renaissance to the Baroque and later. Masterpieces of Titian, Veronese, Bellini, Tintoretto, Tiepolo and more all await you here.
  Glass Museum of Murano
A museum of Venetian glassmaking. The Murano Glass Museum was founded in 1861 when the darkest period in the history of Murano glassmaking had been overcome, following the fall of the Republic of San Marco (1797) and the subsequent years of foreign rule. The museum’s collection was expanded by the addition of the Correr, Cicogna and Molin Collections which include, among other things, the most beautiful Renaissance pieces in the museum. For additional information, visit www.museiciviciveneziani.it
  Peggy Guggenheim Collection
A modern art collection in an 18th century Venetian palace, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is the most important museum in Italy for European and American art from the first half of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The museum was inaugurated in 1980 and it presents Peggy Guggenheim's personal collection of 20th century art, masterpieces from the Gianni Mattioli Collection, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, as well as temporary exhibitions. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is owned and operated by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which also operates the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, and the Guggenheim-Hermitage, Las Vegas. For additional information, visit www.guggenheim-venice.it
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Suggested Reading List


A Traveller's History of Croatia


Author: Benjamin Curtis


Description: Curtis untangles with alacrity the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.



Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History


Author: Robert D. Kaplan


Description: Kaplan interweaves the history, art and culture of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece with his travels in this portrait of the region.



Bradt Mini Guide Dubrovnik


Author: Piers Letcher


Description: A helpful, condensed guide to the city in the popular Bradt series.



City of Fortune, How Venice Ruled the Seas


Author: Roger Crowley


Description: Crowley spins tales of three centuries of plunder and plague, imperial conquest and piracy in this riveting new history, chronicling the transformation of a tiny city of lagoon dwellers into the richest place on earth. City of Fortune is framed by two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade -- culminating in the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 -- and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499-1503.



Death at La Fenice


Author: Donna Leon


Description: The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated theater of the title.



Dubrovnik, A History


Author: Robin Harris


Description: Harris, a journalist who writes frequently on the Balkans, presents a comprehensive portrait of the historically important maritime city-state in this nicely illustrated, scholarly and readable history of Dubrovnik.



Fodor's Venice's 25 Best


Author: Citypack


Description: This shirt-pocket guide includes an excellent map of the city center and essential information.



Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Artemis Leontis (Editor)


Description: In this terrific anthology 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, its beautiful landscapes and rich history.



How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed


Author: Slavenka Drakulic


Description: These short essays capture the absurdity, struggle and day-to-day reality of being a woman in Yugoslavia under Communism. Drakulic is a Croatian journalist, novelist and contributing editor at The Nation.



Mediterranean Cruises Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula and Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.



Mediterranean by Cruise Ship


Author: Anne Vipond


Description: The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.



Montenegro, A Novel


Author: Starling Lawrence


Description: Steeped in atmosphere, this compelling tale of intrigue set in turn-of-the-century Montenegro evokes the tangled politics of the region -- Muslim, Turk and British. Lawrence follows the adventures of a reluctant British spy, Harwell Auberon, from the Adriatic to mountain villages, capturing the essence of the people and the land.



Pocket Rough Guide Athens


Author: John Fisher


Description: By the savvy editors at Rough Guide, these just-right guides are bundled with a pullout map.



Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter


Author: Thomas Cahill


Description: Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, philosopher and artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.



The Ancient Guide to Modern Life


Author: Natalie Haynes


Description: In this light-hearted frolic through antiquity, Haynes considers modern life from the point of view of the ancients, musing on such questions as what Athenian democracy might teach present politics and the impact of Greek and Roman drama, literature and philosophy on the contemporary world.



The Ancient Mediterranean


Author: Michael Grant


Description: Grant explores the realms of archaeology, geography, art and economics to sketch this classic portrait of the ancient world, from prehistory through the Roman Imperium, and the influence on western civilization.



The Balkans, A Short History


Author: Mark Mazower


Description: A brief, provocative survey of the complex and often contentious history of the Balkans. With eloquence and insight, Mazower addresses the issues of geography, nationalism and modern nation-building in the region.



The Colossus of Maroussi


Author: Henry Miller


Description: Miller captures the spirit and warmth of the resilient Greek people in this inspired tale of a wartime journey from Athens to Crete, Corfu and Delphi with his friend Lawrence Durrell.



The Greek Myths, Complete Edition


Author: Robert Graves


Description: A new edition of Graves' classic collection illustrated by the comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius (ITL429), still remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.



The Middle Sea


Author: John Julius Norwich


Description: A marvelous writer who has already tackled Byzantium, the Normans in Sicily and Venice, Norwich spins his magic in this story of culture, trade and politics, royalty and rulers, wars and religion in the Mediterranean.



The Parthenon


Author: Mary Beard


Description: A lively tale of the construction, significance and many uses of the 2,500-year-old architectural marvel.



The Way of Herodotus, Travels with the Man Who Invented History


Author: Justin Marozzi


Description: A Penguin Classics edition of The Histories in hand, Marozzi journeys from Herodotus' home town of Heliacarnassus, now known as Bodrum, to Baghdad, Babylon, Egypt and Athens, weaving tales of his hero with erudite and entertaining modern travel.



The World of Venice


Author: Jan Morris


Description: Morris displays her talent for research, anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited history of a beloved city.



Venice Is a Fish


Author: Tiziano Scarpa


Description: The hugely popular Venetian novelist, poet and playwright makes his English-language debut with these marvelously digressive essays on the many moods and pleasures of La Serenissima.





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