Road Scholar : Home
Voyages to Antiquity: Italy, Croatia and the French Riviera

Program Number: 20323RJ
Start and End Dates:
5/28/2013 - 6/12/2013; 5/17/2016 - 6/2/2016;
Duration: 15 nights
Location: Italy/Croatia/Greece/France
Price starting at: $5,945.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Voyages
Meals: 39; 14 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 14 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Salt; Low Fat; Vegetarian    

This educational voyage echoes the idea of the “Grand Tour,” a practice popular in the 17th and 18th centuries that introduced Europeans and Americans to the art and culture of ancient Greece, France and Italy. Absorb the splendor of Rome and Venice, the stunning cathedrals of Pisa or Florence, and the ruins of Pompeii. Sail on to France to experience the sparkling Côte d'Azur, the countryside of Provence and the mighty Papal Palace at Avignon.

Activity Particulars

Walking up and downhill, up to two miles per day. Standing up to four hours per day, with breaks; uneven terrain and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Venice (Italy), 2 nights, aboard Aegean Odyssey, 13 nights.

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

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

Enjoy an insider's excursion of Venice before enjoying a full day to explore the "world's most beauitful city." Lodging: Five-star hotel overlooking Guidecca Canal.

Day 5: Ancona:

Journey through the rolling hills and lush plains of Marche to the Renaissance town of Urbino. Its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Day 6: Split (Croatia):

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

Day 7: Dubrovnik:

Go ashore in Dubrovnik’s old town to find the Baroque Church of St. Blaise, the Cathedral of Dubrovnik and the Rector’s Palace. Sail the clear blue waters off the Dalmatian Coast, and into the Bay of Kotor, a remarkable fjord on the coast of Montenegro.

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.

Days 9-10: At Sea / Taormina (Italy):

On the island of Sicily, discover Taormina’s Greco-Roman theater with its mountainous backdrop and spectacular views of Mount Etna.

Day 11: Sorrento:

Experience Pompeii, engulfed by the ash and lava erupting from Vesuvius in 79AD, and examine the unique record of Roman life preserved here.

Days 12-13: Rome / Florence:

Full-day excursion encompassing the best of Rome's ancient, medieval and baroque treasures. Admire the awe-inspiring duomos of Pisa and Lucca or Florence.

Days 14-15: At Sea / Marseille (France):

Sail along the French Riviera, passing Monte Carlo and Saint Tropez. Venture to medieval Avignon and step inside its Papal Palace. Continue to Arles and the magnificent Roman arena.

Days 16-17: Nice / disembark / departure:

Enjoy the pleasures of Nice and Monte Carlo independently.

Aegean Odyssey

The Aegean Odyssey is a premium-class ship especially rebuilt for sailing along shallow coastlines, among remote islands and into small, uncrowded harbors that larger ocean liners can’t reach. Public areas include several gourmet restaurants, library, Internet center, sweeping sun decks, outdoor pool, gym and spa.

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

Born in Athens, Eleni Petroutsou has always been intrigued by the wider world — in school, she learned English, Italian, German and some Spanish. After studying archaeology and history at university, she graduated from the State School of Tour Guides. Her 36 years of experience as a group leader have taken her to Asia, the Middle East and beyond. She says leading Road Scholar programs gives her “the opportunity to share my knowledge with well-traveled, educated, polite and interesting people!”
Meals and Lodgings
   MV Aegean Odyssey
  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 14 nights
 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
  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:
Cannes, France. Program begins at 5:00 PM in the “Observation Lounge” on board the ship. You will be staying at MV Aegean Odyssey 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 Participant Information Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Train/bus available.
To Start of Program
  Location:  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
  Transportation to site: You may take a taxi from the airport in Nice to the ship in Cannes at Quay Max Laubeuf. It is 28 miles and approx. 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.
    (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: Departures
(Tuesday, May 28)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Wednesday, May 29)
 Morning: Arrival at Nice Airport (NCE). Transfer to Cannes.
 Afternoon: Embark on the MV Aegean Odyssey. Welcome orientation to the program at 5 PM in the "Observation Lounge" on board the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Cannes, France
(Thursday, May 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A day at leisure to enjoy the pleasures of the French Riviera. The ship is moored a short distance from La Croisette, the waterfront avenue with its palm trees, picturesque beaches, cafes, and boutiques.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or at a local restaurant on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue your day at leisure or choose one of the two optional excursions offered by the ship to Grasse & St Paul de Vence or Monaco & Monte Carlo (additional cost, bookable on board). Please see the Optional Excursions page for a full description.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Marseilles. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Marseilles, France
(Friday, May 31)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Explore the Provençal countryside and two ancient towns on this full-day excursion that visits Avignon with its papal legacies and Arles, once a crossroads of the Roman Empire. Your adventure starts with a 90- minute drive to Avignon which rose to glory in the Middle Ages, when a series of French-born Popes fled Rome and made the town a base from which they ruled Christendom until 1407. Enjoy views of the Rhone River and Avignon's much-sung-about bridge, Pont St Benezet. The highlight of your visit is a guided excursion of the Pope's Palace with its long, echoing Great Audience Hall, 14th-century wall paintings and Great Chapel. Also enjoy a walking excursion through Palace Square and Horloge Square.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant in Arles.
 Afternoon: After lunch, though a mere 25 miles from Avignon, the town of Arles seems centuries removed with its well-preserved Roman monuments. You'll see many of them on this afternoon's walking excursion which passes Cafe de Forum, Republic Square and the 17th-century Town Hall. Enjoy a brief stop at the Church of St Trophime, noted for its magnificent doors. See the Roman Theater and enjoy a guided excursion inside the Amphitheater, the largest in Roman Gaul. On your return, you'll understand why Vincent van Gogh spent two years in Arles, enraptured by the color and light of this amazing region.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Cruising the French Riviera
(Saturday, June 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: In the morning, as the ship makes its way from Marseilles, you will sail close to the beautiful coastline of the Cote d'Azur passing the Ile de Porquerolles, St. Tropez, Antibes, Nice, and Monte Carlo. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the Observation Deck if the weather is nice, or dive into a good book from the ship's library. Attend a talk led by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Livorno/Florence, Italy
(Sunday, June 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Discover the town that gave birth to the Italian Renaissance and view the period's outpouring of art in the renowned Uffizi Museum. From the port of Livorno, it is a about an hour and a half drive through the Tuscan hills to Florence where you begin an exploration through the history and art of this timeless city. A highlight of the morning is a visit to the Accademia, Europe's first school of drawing, where Michelangelo's colossal statue of David presides over a rich collection of paintings and sculptures. Enjoy a guided walking excursion past such landmarks as the 10th-century Ponte Vecchio spanning the River Arno. View the Duomo cathedral flanked by Giotto's Bell Tower. So dense is Florence with monuments, every step reveals new marvels. See the Baptistry, where Ghiberti and Donatello competed to design the bronze doors. Admire the Basilica di Santa Croce where Michelangelo and Machiavelli are interred. Pause in Piazza Signoria, in 1497 the site of Fra Savonarola's Bonfire of the Vanities.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: The centerpiece of this excursion is an afternoon visit to the world-renowned Uffizi Museum. The 16th-century palace, built when Cosimo Medici was the First Grand Duke of Tuscany, houses such Renaissance masterpieces as The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci, the exquisite Madonnas of Filippo Lippi, and an entire room of Botticellis, including The Birth of Venus. Foreign artists from Rembrandt to Rubens are also represented.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure to Civitavecchia and the Eternal City of Rome. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Civitavecchia/Rome, Italy
(Monday, June 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Immerse yourself in the sights of Rome on this full-day guided excursion highlighted by visits inside the Colosseum and St Peter's Basilica, as well as a stroll through some of the city's renowned piazzas. This comprehensive excursion starts with a drive from port to the Flavian Amphitheater, called the Colosseum. Beneath the arena, cells once held beasts brought from all over the Empire for gladiatorial combats. From our motorcoach, enjoy a panoramic view of the Forum, the hub of ancient Roman life, where sights include the Arch of Titus, the Holy Road and the Temple of Caesar, site of Mark Antony's famous funeral oration. Continue to Vatican City and St Peter's Basilica with its towering dome by Michelangelo. Step inside this most important church in Christendom, filled with art and historic masterpieces, a highlight to any visit to the Eternal City. Afterward, explore St Peter's Square at leisure; marvel at Bernini's colonnade.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Your afternoon walking excursion encompasses Rome's ancient, medieval and baroque delights, starting at the Trevi Fountain, an 18th-century landmark by Nicola Salvi. Legend holds that if you toss a coin just right, you will return to Rome. Stroll to Colonna Square where a 2nd-century marble column celebrates Rome's victory over the Germans. Pass the governmental area and Palazzo Montecitorio en route to the Pantheon, said to have the widest dome in the world. First built by Agrippa between 27 and 25BC, the pagan temple was dedicated "to all the gods," and later became a Catholic church. Your final stop is the pride of Baroque Rome: Piazza Navona, home to Bernini's Fountain of the Four Rivers and Fountain of the Moor, as well as the Fountain of Neptune, which the locals once used for washing their clothes. Enjoy a relaxing drive back to port as you contemplate the wondrous facets of Rome.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Sorrento, Italy / Pompeii
(Tuesday, June 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: An hour's drive along the Bay of Naples brings you to Pompeii, considered the world's finest example of an ancient Roman town. The city, buried for centuries by hot ashes in 79AD, is a virtual time capsule of that era. In the company of a professional guide, visit the patrician mansions, baths, and temples at the site. Step inside to admire the brilliant Pompeian Red walls, elaborate frescoes, and gardens adorned with sculptures. View the sobering ash replicas of the citizens caught in their final moments. These bring to life the words of Pliny the Younger, an eyewitness, who described the terror of the eruption with its "broad sheets of fire and leaping flames."
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: An afternoon at leisure to enjoy the delightful clifftop town of Sorrento and take in the spectacular views of the Bay of Naples.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Taormina, Sicily.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Taormina, Sicily
(Wednesday, June 5)

Note: The streets of Taormina are mostly cobbled and there are some steps to navigate at the Greek Theater.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: In the morning, the ship will cruise through the beautiful Lipari Islands - including volcanic Stromboli - and the Straits of Messina. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Nowhere is the beauty of Sicily more apparent than in the hilltop town of Taormina. This morning, we will tender ashore for a short, scenic drive to this idyllic spot with its mountainous backdrop, lemon blossom scented air and narrow, medieval “streets”. This walking excursion proceeds past the Cathedral and the 15th-century Palazzo Corvaja with its black and white lava decoration. The highlight is a guided excursion of the theater. Originally built by the Greeks in the 3rd century BC and rebuilt by the Romans in the 2nd century AD, the site offers heart-skipping views of the sea and Mount Etna. Your excursion concludes with a stroll along the pedestrian Corso Umberto. In the small lanes and twisting viuzze you can shop for colorful ceramics, seek out the wines that won the praise of Pliny or dine on the mullet favored by Ovid. Passengers wishing to linger in Taormina after the excursion can do so, as we have a later return shuttle to the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Sarande/Butrint, Albania / Corfu, Greece
(Thursday, June 6)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A relaxing morning at sea to enjoy the sunshine as the ship makes its way to Sarande. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 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: In the evening, Aegean Odyssey makes the short sail to Corfu. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Corfu, Greece
(Friday, June 7)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Journey to Corfu Town, where a 15th century church holds a surprise for all who venture inside: one of Greece's most extensive collections of Byzantine art. Northernmost of the Ionian Islands, Corfu is renowned for its natural beauty and as a crossroads of civilization. The island figured in The Odyssey of Homer and The Tempest of Shakespeare. Today's adventure starts with a scenic drive to Corfu Town's historic Campielo quarter, where the Byzantine Museum is located in the Panaghia Antivouniotissa (Our Lady Opposite the Mountain), a church that was restored by the Greek government and re-opened in 1984 as a museum. The collection exhibits a wide selection of Byzantine icons, a form of sacred art still used in the Eastern Orthodox religion and held to be an influence on Italian Renaissance artists. Highlights include an altar-cloth from Russia, the Noli Me Tangere icon (Touch Me Not) by Emmanuel Tzanes and the icon of Saints Sergius, Bacchus and Justina by Michael Damaskenos. After your field trip, a short walk takes you to the heart of Corfu Town. Visit the 16th century rococo church dedicated to St Spiridon, Corfu's patron saint, whose bones are preserved in a gleaming casket. Explore the maze of narrow, stepped streets where little has changed for centuries. Discover an array of past rulers reflected in the French boulevards, Georgian mansions, Venetian citadel and Greek temple.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: This afternoon, you are free to continue enjoying Corfu Town - a drink at the Liston Café is a must.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Kotor Bay and Dubrovnik. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Cruising Kotor Bay, Montenegro / Dubrovnik, Croatia
(Saturday, June 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning the ship cruises through one of the finest natural harbors in Europe. Kotor Bay is sometimes referred to as Europe's southernmost fjord, but the winding bay is actually a submarine river canyon. At one time Kotor Bay was rival to Venice and Dubrovnik for sea power. Stretching between Croatia and Montenegro, the bay offers picturesque vistas of fortified towns and mountains dotted with castles. Attend a late morning shipboard guest lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: 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.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Split. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Split, Croatia
(Sunday, June 9)
 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 explore local fare on your own.
 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: Free evening to enjoy Split before late departure for Zadar.
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Zadar, Croatia / Cruising the Kornati Islands and Losinj
(Monday, June 10)
 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 after lunch for Venice and winds its way through the breathtaking beauty of the Kornati Islands and the island of Losinj. 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 15: Venice, Italy
(Tuesday, June 11)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a morning walking excursion 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: In the afternoon, you are free to explore Venice on your own - walk to the Rialto or the Accademia or simply indulge in a Bellini in Harry's Bar. Enjoy some free time to take a gondola ride through ancient canals or explore the legendary Peggy Guggenheim collection. Or, if you'd like, choose one of the two optional excursions the ship will offer this morning to either the Rialto & Ghetto Nuevo or to Frari Church & Scuola di San Rocco (additional cost, bookable on board). Please see the Optional Excursions page for a full description. For those who wish to participate in the optional excursion or return to the ship, transportation will be arranged by your Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: 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 visit 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 16: Departures
(Wednesday, June 12)
 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
  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
  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
  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
  Cannes Centre d'art la Malmaison
The Centre d'art la Malmaison not only hosts three major exhibitions a year, but pays regular tribute to artists such as Matisse, Ozenfant and Picasso, for whom the French Riviera was an infinite source of inspiration, and 20th and 21st-century artists such as Miró and César. For additional information, visit
  Le Palais des Festivals
Experience a guided visit of Le Palais des Festivals, where the Cannes Film Festival is held. See the "Ambassadeurs" gala room, the different terraces with magnificent views of the city, the famous staircase, and handprints of the stars on the Esplanade Georges Pompidou. Tickets on sale the day of the visit. For additional information, visit
  Musée de la Castre
A series of small rooms surrounded by gardens, the Musée de la Castre houses art by local painters, items from Oceania, the Americas and the Himalayas, Mediterranean antiquities, and pre-Colombian ceramics. The museum is located in the hills of Old Cannes overlooking Boulevard de la Croisette. For additional information, visit
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.

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.

Blue Guide Sicily

Author: Ellen Grady

Description: This in-depth guide to Sicily's ancient history and archaeology features detailed maps and site plans.

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.

Eyewitness Guide Provence & the Cote D'Azur

Author: Roger Williams

Description: This is an illustrated, colorful guide to the art and architecture, literature, history and attractions of Provence. With photographs and site plans, maps and sections on the Riviera, the Var, Bouches-du-Rhones, Vaucluse and the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence.

Fodor's Rome's 25 Best

Author: Fodors

Description: This shirt-pocket guide includes a map of the city and essential information on its highlights.

Fodor's Venice's 25 Best

Author: Citypack

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

Ironfire, A Novel of the Knights of Malta and the Last Battle of the Crusades

Author: David Ball

Description: In this rousing historical novel the fates of a young boy, his sister, one of the Knights of Malta and an inquisitor play out against the backdrop of the 16th-century Ottoman assault on Malta, the formidable citadel of the Knights of St. John.

Mediterranean Explorer

Author: Ocean Explorer Maps

Description: This handy color map of the Mediterranean from Spain to the Black Sea and the Levant puts ancient sites and historic ports into context. With notable people, a timeline and descriptions of dozens of places across the classical world, this map serves equally well for Mediterranean and Black Sea cruises.

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.

On Persephone's Island

Author: Mary Taylor Simeti

Description: Strong on the delights of rural life, Simeti's portrait of Sicily takes the form of a yearlong journal, capturing the spirit of the people, daily life, traditions and the land.

Prospero's Cell

Author: Lawrence Durrell

Description: This classic tribute to Corfu, its long history, myths and resilient people, is drawn from the young Durrell's idyllic time as a newlywed on the island in the years before WWII.

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 Bridge on the Drina

Author: Ivo Andric, Lovette F. Edwards (Translator)

Description: These linked stories by the Nobel-prize winning author capture the history and complexity of Christian and Muslim relations during Ottoman occupation. Hewn of stone, the bridge dividing the town of Visegrad was Andric's inspiration.

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 House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall

Author: Christopher Hibbert

Description: A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.

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 Ruby in Her Navel, A Novel of Love and Intrigue in the 12th Century

Author: Barry Unsworth

Description: Unsworth transports the reader to the 12th century in this richly imagined novel of love and intrigue set in Norman Sicily, where Christian knights, Anatolian belly dancers, Jews and Arabs mix and mingle.

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.

Two Towns in Provence

Author: M. F. K. Fisher

Description: Celebrated food writer M.F.K. Fisher contrasts village life in Aix-en-Provence with bustling Marseilles, evoking these two favorite places with anecdote and loving description.

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.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2016 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768