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Voyages to Antiquity: Timeless Cities of Italy, Greece and Turkey

Program Number: 20721RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/3/2013 - 7/21/2013;
Duration: 18 nights
Location: Italy/Turkey/Greece
Price starting at: $6,390.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 48; 17 Breakfasts, 15 Lunches, 16 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

Legendary empires come alive on this voyage from Italy to Greece to Turkey. Grand cities, soaring theaters and beautiful artwork reveal what life was like in the eras when the Roman, Byzantine and Ottoman empires reigned.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day; some uneven and hilly terrain, steep stairs without railings.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Rome (Italy), 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 12 nights; Istanbul (Turkey), 3 nights.



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


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

Discover Vatican City on a special field trip. En route to the ship enjoy lunch at a farmhouse in the countryside. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Days 5-6: Pompeii & Sorrento:

Discover Pompeii and Herculaneum, cities frozen in time by the eruption of Vesuvius. Explore the seaside Roman colony of Sorrento.



Days 7-8: Palermo & Segesta:

On Sicily, find Palermo’s Palatine Chapel and the majestic Monreale Cathedral. Venture to ancient Segesta with its 36-columned temple.



Days 9-10: Taormina / At Sea:

Take a field trip to Taormina’s Greco-Roman theater, spectacularly located between Mount Etna and the sea.



Day 11: Nauplia (Greece):

Learn about the great Mycenaean civilization in the area where it flourished.



Day 12: Athens:

Survey the legendary Acropolis and discuss the remarkable achievements of the Athenian “Golden Age.”



Day 13: Delos & Mykonos:

Discover the islands of Delos, the paramount religious sanctuary of the ancients, and cosmopolitan Mykonos.



Day 14: Ephesus (Turkey):

Journey to this great site of the classical world to find the well-preserved ruins of temples, theaters and a library.



Day 15: Lemnos (Greece):

Explore this island stronghold that was fought for by the Byzantines, Venetians and Ottomans. Sail through the Dardanelles.



Days 16-19: Istanbul (Turkey) / disembark / departure:

Enjoy three days to experience Istanbul. Field trips include the Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and the Spice Bazaar. Lodging: Four-star hotel.



Days 17-19: Rome / disembark / departure:

Enjoy expert-led excursions through Rome and the Vatican as well as a farewell dinner at a local trattoria. Lodging: Four-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
   Grand Hotel Beverly Hills
  Rome, Italy 2 nights
   MV Aegean Odyssey
  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 12 nights
   Armada Hotel
  Istanbul, Turkey 3 nights
 Grand Hotel Beverly Hills
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: A spacious and elegant reception hall welcomes guests to the Hotel Beverly Hills Rome. This is a precursor to the expert hospitality and warm welcome which guests will find inside. The warmth of this welcome is continued into the guest rooms and suites with their classic interiors and modern comforts. The ristorante Mascagni and the Puccini Bar are both elegant and lovely. The hotel is located in the prestigious Parioli neighborhood with easy connections to the center of Rome, highways, and airports.
  Contact info: Largo Benedetto Marcello 220
Rome,  00198 Italy
phone: +39 06 85 42141
web: www.beverlyhotelrome.it
  Room amenities: Each room has a hair dryer, mini bar, safe box, telephone, television, and wireless Internet access (for a fee).
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, air conditioning, laundry services, business center, Internet access (30 minutes of free wireless Internet in the lobby, additional wireless Internet available for a fee), and safe box.
  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 and Jacuzzi; 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

 Armada Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The 4-star Armada Hotel is located in the historic peninsula of Istanbul, with views of two of the great masterpieces of world architecture; the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. The hotel offers modern comfort and convenience discreetly incorporated into the Turkish-inspired architecture, and period engravings throughout the hotel provide an insight into Istanbul's by-gone eras. The name of the Armada Hotel is a tribute to the memory of the renowned Ottoman Admiral Hayrettin Pasha Barbarossa. Located in the heart of the Old City, the hotel is within walking distance of museums, churches and other major attractions.
  Contact info: Ahirkapi Street 24
Sultanahmet, Istanbul,  34122 Turkey
phone: +90 212 455 44 55
web: www.armadahotel.com.tr
  Room amenities: Each room has a mini bar, hair dryer, bathrobes, telephone, LCD television, safe box, free wireless Internet, 24-hour room service and air conditioning.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers two restaurants, a bar, lounge, meeting rooms, business center with computers and printers, library, free WIFI Internet access throughout the hotel, laundry service and air conditioning. The rooftop restaurants offer magnificent views of the area.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: N/A Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Rome, Italy. The program will begin at 5:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Grand Hotel Beverly Hills that night.
  End of Program:
Istanbul, Turkey. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Armada Hotel 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: see above.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Transportation to site: From the Fiumincino Airport take the Leonardo Express train to the Termini central train station. Take bus number 86 to the bus stop on the corner of Via Po and Via Simeto. From here it is a short walk to the hotel. If you wish to hire a private car (57 Euro), you may contact Italian Details at giorgia.zago@italiandetails.com or 011-39-06-89087926.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Istanbul
  Nearest city or town:  In town
  Nearest airport:  Atatürk International Airport
  Transportation from site: The Armada Hotel is located about 10 miles from the airport. A taxi ride to the airport from the hotel costs approximately $30 USD and takes approximately 30 minutes. To book a private transfer, please contact info@baltactours.com.
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
(Wednesday, July 3)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Thursday, July 4)
   
 Morning: Arrival in Rome Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Meet group inside the customs area. Transfer to hotel.
 Afternoon: Welcome orientation to the program at 5:00 PM in the hotel lobby.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Beverly Hills
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Rome, Italy
(Friday, July 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided field trip to the Vatican.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Rome on your own. You may wish to explore the Pantheon, or behold stunning views of the city from the top of the Spanish Steps.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Beverly Hills
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 4: Rome, Italy / Embark on the MV Aegean Odyssey
(Saturday, July 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We will enjoy a guided excursion of Rome. Highlights include the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and the Trevi Fountain. Transfer to Civitavecchia.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a charming farmhouse about 30 minutes from Civitavecchia. Dine on mouth watering regional cuisine while tasting local wines at a farmhouse in the Italian countryside. Absolutely breathtaking!
 Afternoon: Embark on the MV Aegean Odyssey and settle in to your cabin. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Sorrento, Italy / Pompeii
(Sunday, July 7)
   
 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.
 Afternoon: Field trip to Herculaneum, the Greek settlement named after its patron, Hercules. The town also perished during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD and was engulfed in a sea of mud. A number of the buildings survived virtually intact including the famous Villa of the Papyri.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Overnight in Sorrento.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Sorrento, Italy
(Monday, July 8)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Free time to explore the streets of Sorrento.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the spectacular views as we spend the afternoon cruising the Amalfi Coast.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture as we sail towards Palermo.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Palermo, Sicily
(Tuesday, July 9)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A gem of a day. The morning is centered on the Piazza della Vittoria, one of the city's major squares, where some of Palermo's most remarkable buildings are to be found. Visit the Norman Royal Palace and the Palatine Chapel, the perfect illustration of that miraculous Norman combination of Latin, Byzantine, and Arab culture. We will also have the opportunity to visit the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, a Norman church decorated with Arabic domes and an exquisite Romanesque cloister. A short walk from here will take you to Palermo Cathedral and its fascinating mix of architectural styles.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Travel a small distance out of Palermo to experience the beauty and grace of Monreale Cathedral, with its glorious 12th-century mosaics covering over 1 1/2 acres of wall space and its cloister, perhaps the most magnificent in the world.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Overnight in Palermo.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Palermo, Sicily / Segesta
(Wednesday, July 10)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: In the morning, travel inland to the ancient Greek city of Segesta with its majestic 36-columned, 5th-century BC temple and stunning Greek theater.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Road Scholar exclusive field trip to the ancient hilltop town of Erice.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Evening departure for Taormina. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Taormina, Sicily
(Thursday, July 11)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: With its mountainous backdrop and spectacular views of Etna, the Greco-Roman theater will be our destination in the morning.
 Lunch: Try one of the many excellent restaurants and trattorias in Taormina on your own or alternatively return to the ship.
 Afternoon: A free afternoon to explore Taormina. The ship will offer an optional excursion to the active volcano Mount Etna (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: At sea
(Friday, July 12)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A relaxing morning at sea to enjoy the sunshine as the ship makes its way to Nauplia. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 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.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture as the ship makes its way to Nauplia.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Nauplia, Greece
(Saturday, July 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Anchor off the port of Nauplia in time for breakfast. 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: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the elegant town of Nauplia where you will find an excellent Archaeological Museum, housed in the impressive former Venetian Arsenal. This afternoon there is an option to visit Epidaurus, sacred to Asclepios, the god of medicine, and the site of the best preserved of all ancient Greek theaters (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture as the ship sails towards Athens.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Piraeus / Athens, Greece
(Sunday, July 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A full morning's guided excursion of 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. You will also visit the recently opened Acropolis Museum.
 Lunch: Lunch on board, or at a local restaurant on your own.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is free to return to the ship or continue your exploration of Athens, returning later by shuttle bus.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Late evening sail for Delos.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Delos / Mykonos, Greece
(Monday, July 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Delos is one of the most interesting archaeological sites in Greece and was the paramount religious sanctuary of the ancient Greek world. This morning's excursion explores the island's temples, buildings and, of course, its famous lions.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: A lunchtime departure to the nearby cosmopolitan island of Mykonos. Enjoy a guided walk with your Road Scholar Group Leader followed by free time.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Izmir, Turkey / Ephesus
(Tuesday, July 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The ship will arrive at Izmir, Turkey in the early morning. Upon arrival in Izmir, we will meet with our local guides and transfer south to arrive at the ancient city of Ephesus, one of the largest and best preserved ancient cities in the world. The cosmopolitan city of Ephesus was, in its heyday, on par with Athens and Rome. Once home to over 250,000 people, this site affords ancient snapshots of daily lives of the Greeks, and their conquerors, the Romans. We will also visit the newly excavated Terraced Houses in Ephesus, where the rich and the ruling class once lived in homes where they had running water and were decorated with wonderful works of art.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We will explore the Museum of Ephesus in Selcuk to see the artifacts excavated at the site. This field trip complements a visit to the ancient site to see the beautiful works of art unearthed at the site. Before returning to Izmir to board the ship, we will also stop at the remains of the Temple of Artemis, once one of the ancient Seven Wonders of the World.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Lemnos, Greece / Cruising the Dardenelles
(Wednesday, July 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: In the early morning, you arrive at Lemnos: this volcanic island controls the approaches to the Dardanelles and the morning's field trip will center on the capital Myrina, which is overlooked by the fortifications of the impressive kastro. This was a stronghold in turn fought over by the Byzantines, Venetians, and Ottomans.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, the ship cruises through the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmara. Enjoy a late afternoon Road Scholar cocktail party.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Disembark / Istanbul, Turkey
(Thursday, July 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning we disembark the MV Aegean Odyssey and begin the day with an excursion in the city of Istanbul. Start the day by visiting the amazing church of Hagia Sophia, possibly the most important architectural monument in the city, standing gracefully since 537 AD. Field trip to the Hippodrome, the civic center of ancient Constantinople, where chariot races were run between the four teams of Blues, Greens, Whites and Reds. Then visit the 17th century Blue Mosque, world renowned for its exquisite Iznik tiles surrounding the interior of this wonderful mosque.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Explore the beautiful Underground Cisterns, built by the illustrious Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 532 AD to store water underground. A visit to the award winning Archeology Museum will broaden your horizons as you will witness an outstanding collection of artifacts spanning across millennia including the magnificent Sarcophagus of Alexander the Great.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Armada Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: Istanbul, Turkey
(Friday, July 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We commence our second day in Istanbul at the the Topkapi Palace and the Harem. The Topkapi Palace was the seat of the Ottoman Sultans for 400 years and a great testimony to the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: An excursion to the Chora/Kariye Museum to witness its exquisite mosaics and frescoes from the 14th century, a period of Byzantine reawakening in the arts.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Armada Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Istanbul, Turkey
(Saturday, July 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: We embark on a private cruise on the Bosphorus to explore the stunning palaces, mansions, and fortresses dotted along the Asian and European shores of this marvelous strait.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: We visit the Rustem Pasha Mosque, built by the famous architect Sinan, a small but gem-like mosque demonstrating the most stunning examples of 16th century Iznik tiles. On to the Spice Bazaar, where exotic aromas immediately capture its visitors. We then continue on to the Grand Bazaar to discover its maze-like streets and alleys boasting over 4,000 shops!
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Armada Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Departures
(Sunday, July 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Istanbul Ataturk Airport (IST) for departures.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Rome Galleria Borghese
The Galleria Borghese is a wonderful museum within Villa Borgese Park. Dwelling within its walls are masterpieces from the 15th to 17th centuries, from such artists as Tiziano, Raffaello, Bernini and Caravaggio. For additional information, visit www.galleriaborghese.it
  Pantheon and Piazza Navona
Visit the Pantheon, an ancient temple dedicated to the gods, and the Piazza Navona, a lovely square boasting its famous fountain of the four Rivers.
  Spanish Steps
The entire area is rich with infamous fashion designer stores, including Valentino, YSL, Ferragamo, Gucci and more.
  Trastevere
Trastevere is characterized by its narrow streets full of restaurants, pizzerias and small stores. Located in the heart of Rome on the west bank of the Tiber River, an evening visit is recommended.
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


1453, The Holy War For Constantinople and the Clash of Islam and the West


Author: Roger Crowley


Description: In this well-paced history, Crowley recounts with drama the events surrounding the fall of Constantinople to the Ottoman Turks.



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.



Eyewitness Guide Greek Islands


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Color photography, excellent local maps and an island-by-island synopsis of attractions make this book the one to carry with you.



Eyewitness Guide Istanbul


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: This superb guide to Istanbul features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a district-by-district synopsis of the city's attractions. Handsome, convenient and up-to-date, this is the guide to carry.



Eyewitness Guide Italy


Author: Eyewitness Guides


Description: Another gem in the Eyewitness series, this superb guide is handsome, convenient and up-to-date. Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.



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.



Istanbul, Memories and the City


Author: Orhan Pamuk


Description: Nobel Prize-winner Pamuk writes with quiet grace of the city of his birth, celebrated in his many novels: a magical place of crumbling mansions and Ottoman riches, mingling Asian, Islamic, secular and European influences.



Italian Days


Author: Barbara Grizzuti Harrison


Description: Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.



Italy, A Short History


Author: Harry Hearder


Description: Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present.



Lords of the Horizons


Author: Jason Goodwin


Description: Goodwin artfully combines his modern travels with scholarship, history and reflection, capturing the outrageous personalities, events and vagaries of the 600-year-old Ottoman empire.



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.



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.



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.



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 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 Leopard


Author: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa


Description: Evoking a lost world of privilege and tradition, Giuseppe Di Lampedusa's memorable tale, set on a rural Sicilian estate during the days of independence, follows the world-weary Don Fabrizio, Prince of Salina. A classic, now in a 50th anniversary edition.



The Mediterranean in History


Author: David Abulafia (Editor)


Description: A professor at Cambridge, David Abulafia leads a team of eight historians in this engaging, richly illustrated overview of the civilizations, societies and grand themes in the history of this great sea at the heart of Europe. Published in conjunction with the J. Paul Getty Museum, the book features 150 well-integrated color and 150 black-and-white illustrations.



The Odyssey


Author: Homer, Robert Fagles (Translator)


Description: Translator Robert Fagles captures the poetry and power of the blind bard's epic in this translation, celebrated for its clarity and expressiveness.



The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece


Author: Robert Morkot


Description: This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.



The World of Odysseus


Author: Moses I. Finley


Description: A classic portrait of ancient Greek society based in large part on the author's ground-breaking interpretation of the Iliad and Odyssey.



Turkish Reflections, A Biography of a Place


Author: Mary Lee Settle


Description: Settle's captivating travelogue is a richly detailed portrait of contemporary Turkey, its people, monasteries, myths, archaeological treasures and living traditions. Exemplary.





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