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Rome: The Eternal City

Program Number: 19688RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/2/2013 - 6/10/2013; 3/6/2016 - 3/14/2016; 4/17/2016 - 4/25/2016; 5/1/2016 - 5/9/2016; 5/8/2016 - 5/16/2016; 5/15/2016 - 5/23/2016; 5/22/2016 - 5/30/2016; 9/4/2016 - 9/12/2016; 9/18/2016 - 9/26/2016; 9/25/2016 - 10/3/2016; 10/9/2016 - 10/17/2016; 11/6/2016 - 11/14/2016;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,787.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

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


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

Activity Particulars

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

Date Specific Information

6-2-2013, 5-1-2016, 5-8-2016, 5-15-2016, 5-22-2016, 9-4-2016, 9-18-2016, 9-25-2016, 10-9-2016

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


Travel and study with Road Scholar in Rome during low season means museums, other cultural attractions, and restaurants are less crowded, with more opportunities for relaxed “people watching” as we mix and mingle with the locals. The Sistine Chapel in particular will have less crowding in early March.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.


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


Travel and study with Road Scholar in Rome during low season means museums, other cultural attractions, and restaurants are less crowded, with more opportunities for relaxed “people watching” as we mix and mingle with the locals. The Sistine Chapel in particular will have less crowding in November.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome, 7 nights; departure.

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

Rachel Potts is a licensed excursion leader in Rome. She graduated from Manchester University (UK) with a bachelor's in philosophy and French, and later studied garden design at the London Gardening School. Having grown up in Rome, she chose to return to Italy and share her knowledge and love of Rome and surrounding areas.
Julieta Seme

Julieta Seme is a passionate student of history, specializing in the history and culture of her native city of Rome. She studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome with a concentration in painting before earning a degree in classical archaeology and art history from the University of Rome. Outside of history, Julieta enjoys hiking beautiful nature trails by the seaside or in the mountains of Italy.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Tiziano
  Rome, Italy 7 nights
 Hotel Tiziano
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Your program site hotel is in the heart of historical Rome and is within walking distance of Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, the Capitoline Hill, Roman Forum, Colosseum, Trevi Fountain and famous Piazza di Spagna. The hotel was once the palace of a noble Roman family. It is situated at the intersection of two busy streets, Corso Vittorio Emanuele II and Largo Argentina.
  Contact info: Corso Vittorio Emanuele II, 110
Rome,  00186 Italy
phone: +011-39-06-68-65-019
  Room amenities: Safe for valuables, individual controls for heat/air conditioning (in season), mini bar, telephone, satellite TV, hair dryer
  Facility amenities: Breakfast buffet served at the hotel. All four floors have elevator service; the classroom is on the ground floor and there is a sitting area in the lobby where guests can relax. The lobby has a public computer for internet access. Free Wi-Fi access in rooms and in the lobby. 24 hour reception, elevator, comfortable lounge, beverage bar in the lobby.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment
  Check in time: 3:00 PM
  Additional nights after: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system Indicate to the hotel or agency at the time of your booking that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment
  Check out time: 11:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for morning arrivals. Hotel check in 1:00 pm. Meet in the lobby at 4 pm for Orientation. You will be staying at Hotel Tiziano that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast, transfers to airport. Hotel check out by 11 am. You will be staying at Hotel Tiziano the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains come to the Rome station from all over Europe and Italy. From the main train station, Roma Termini, the best way to arrive at the hotel is by taxi (about EUR 20).
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Nearest city or town:  Rome
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino
  Transportation to site: To reach the program site on your own: From Rome Fiumicino Airport trains depart twice an hour for Roma Termini, the main train station. The line is called "Leonardo Express." Purchase tickets at the station attached to the airport terminal. Fare is EUR 14 pp. From Roma Termini take a taxi to the hotel - fare approx. EUR 20. Taxi fare direct from the airport to the hotel is approx. EUR 50. Max. 4 persons to a taxi. Share-a-ride shuttle service can be booked at You can also contact the Hotel Tiziano for a private car and driver at competitive prices.
  From End of Program
  Location: Rome
  Transportation from site: You have a few options to reach Rome Fiumicino Airport on your own. For door to door service the hotel can arrange a taxi for EUR 50 (EUR 5 supplement for very early morning fares). Max 4 persons to a taxi. Share-a-ride shuttle service can be booked at Public transportation options are taxi to the train station (fare approx. EUR 20) and Leonardo Express train to the airport (fare EUR 14 pp).
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure from points in North America
(Sunday, June 2)
 In Transit: Overnight flight crossing the Atlantic Ocean with arrivals the following day.

Day 2: Orientation \ Welcome Reception \ Neighborhood Walk
(Monday, June 3)

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

 Arrive To: Arrival at hotel in Rome. As we wait for all program participants to arrive, feel free to explore the area just around the corner at Largo Argentina, where Julius Caesar was assassinated. The temples date from 4th to 2nd c. BCE.
 Lunch: Lunch at a nearby restaurant.
 Afternoon: At the orientation meeting, the group leader distributes the most updated and detailed program schedule and goes over logistics. The session is followed by a neighborhood walk pointing out the location of ATMs, pharmacies, grocery stores, and nearby attractions. Behind is Campo de' Fiori, central Rome's open air fruit and vegetable market open Monday-Saturday. On Sundays small producers of organic honeys, wines, cheeses, fabrics etc. set up booths. A statue of Giordano Bruno stands in the middle, commemorating the place where he was burned at the stake in 1600. Around the Campo are numerous restaurants, fast food and other services. The roads leading into the Campo are lined with affordable boutiques and specialty stores.
 Dinner: Prior to dinner gather at the appointed time for a welcome reception to meet your fellow adventurers. The meal will be taken at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Roman History \ Palatine, Forum and Colosseum
(Tuesday, June 4)

Note: Walking on uneven cobblestone paths and a low hill requires stamina for a one and a half hour outing. To reach the upper level of the Colosseum there is an elevator. Feel free to take the stairs for a more authentic experience.The entrance fee to the Palatine, Forum and Colosseum is all inclusive, so this field trip takes place during a half day. The visit is typically divided by lunch at a local restaurant, to allow some rest time.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: An illustrated lecture on The History of Ancient Rome leads you from its foundation as a small village to its supremacy which lasted nearly 1000 years. Many of the ancient institutions continue to the present. Expert-led visit to the Colosseum for reserved entrance time.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Expert led visit to the Palatine Hill and Roman Forum. The word "palatial" is related to the Palatine, because wealthy leaders of Rome built their palaces there. Visit the Imperial palaces and the museum which shows evidence of the post holes used by the earliest settlers for dwelling huts. From the southern ledge, peer down to the Circus Maximus and the Aventine Hill. Descend and continue walking in the Roman Forum, the civic, religious and political hub of ancient Rome. The expert will build mental pictures of the walls now lacking from the foundations. See the two remaining arches, that of Septemius Severus and of Titus. The Arch of Constantine contains friezes and bas-relief sculptures recycled from other arches and monuments.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant with free time to walk around this section of Rome.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Aventine and Capitoline Hills \ Renaissance and Baroque Art
(Wednesday, June 5)

Note: Pretty taxing, the two mile walk includes ascent of two low hills and visit through two branches of the Capitoline Museum.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Visit the Aventine the southern most hill. It was a populist area, now upscale with a number of foreign embassies. St. Dominic resided at S. Sabina and brought oranges from Spain as a gift to his patron, Pope Honorius III. The Orange Garden adjacent to the church is now a park offering a splendid morning view of the city. The orange trees descend from those original plantings. Walking down the slope view the Circus Maximus and Palatine hill. The Circus, originally for chariot races, is used as a gathering place for concerts, political rallies and to celebrate sporting victories, when Italy won the World Cup, over 1.5 million people gathered there in honor of the team. Walk continues to the Capitoline Hill and Museum. The expert will comment on major pieces in the collection, including the Dying Gaul;The Etruscan She Wolf with the Renaissance addition of Romulus and Remus; the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius and the foundations of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. Cross to the other wing of the museum through the Tabularium, ancient Rome's archives. There is a commanding view of the Forum from that vantage point.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to sample some local cuisine. Suggestions will be indicated.
 Afternoon: A lecture on Renaissance and Baroque art will prepare you for the visit to the collection of art in the Vatican Museums, including the Michelangelo's frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and a visit of St. Peter's Basilica. Stretch your legs with an expert led visit to the Pantheon, the temple/celestial observatory engineered by the Emperor Hadrian around 122 CE. The niches along the interior perimeter are illuminated by the sun at different times of the year and day. King Vittorio Emanuele II, his wife and son are buried there. The painter Raphael's tomb lines the far most left niche from the main entrance. The interior forms a sphere 148 feet in diameter and the oculus is 29 feet across. The walk continues to Largo Argentina and the Republican era temples discovered there. Julius Caesar was assassinated as he exited the portico for the Theater of Pompey which opened up to this temple complex.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant to enjoy Roman cuisine.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Esquiline, Viminal and Caelian Hills \ High Renaissance Art
(Thursday, June 6)

Note: About a 1 mile walk. The Basilica of S. Mary Major is decorated with marvelous mosaics dating from the 5th -13th centuries. Walking down hill we reach the church where Michelangelo's Moses is placed. After another short walk we reach the Museum of an Ancient Roman House, a 3rd-4th century structure with frescoes decorating the walls.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Starting at S. Mary Major on the Esquiline, you can marvel at the wonderfully preserved mosaics that span 1500 years of workmanship. The artist Bernini is entombed near the main altar. Down hill lies the church of S. Peter in Chains where you can see the cenotaph (funerary monument) of Pope Julius II by Michelangelo. The central statue of Moses is the main attraction. On the Caelian Hill, there is an underground Roman house dating to the 2nd-3rd c. CE, with original frescoes which defy interpretation : are they pagan, Christian, or transitional?
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Lecture on High Renaissance and Baroque Art and Architecture. This lecture also introduces Bernini as a sculptor in preparation for the visit to the Galleria Borghese to see a number of his famous early works, most of which were completed in his mid-twenties.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: The Church of S. Ignazio often sponsors musical performances. If one is scheduled around the times we are there, it will be included. The Church is near the Pantheon.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) \ St. Peter's Basilica
(Friday, June 7)

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

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: The Vatican Museums is comprised of a number of collections: Egypt and Mesopotamia; Greek, Etruscan, Rome; a picture gallery. There are unannounced closings of galleries, so our expert will maximize the time and discuss the most significant pieces available. Michelangelo's frescoes on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, with scenes from the book of Genesis and the Last Judgment behind the main altar are the main attraction. From the Sistine Chapel, the guide will lead the group through the back door down to the Basilica of St. Peter. In a side chapel, behind a protective glass, you can see the famous Pieta', Michelangelo's early work and only piece he signed. Above the altar stands Bernini's Baldacchino or canopy; it is over 100 feet high. There are countless historical references and events associated with this Basilica, once the largest in the world. Stepping our onto the front porch, you will admire the colonnade designed by Bernini, evocative of the welcoming embracing arms of the church.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time after your visit, to remain in and around the area of St. Peter's or take leisurely walk to Castel Sant'Angelo, cross the Angel Bridge and work your way to Piazza Navona along Via dei Coronari, famous for the antique shops.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 7: Borghese Gallery \ Quirinal Hill \Trevi Fountain \ Italy Today \ Tiber Island
(Saturday, June 8)

Note: These are short walks. The group will walk down and back up a couple flights of stairs to the base of the Island, water levels permitting.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Self guided visit to the Galleria Borghese, the collection of art amassed by Cardinal Scipio Borghese, nephew of the Pope. The villa which houses his collection was used as a retreat and reception hall for dignitaries visiting Rome. A connoisseur of art, he acquired through purchase or intrigue art that he fancied. His most impressive collection of sculptures were done by Bernini when he was in his early 20's. His painting feature Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, and others. The museum limits visits to two hours. Following the visit the coach will take us to the Quirinal Hill to see Bernini's church of S. Andrea al Quirinale, an oval floor plan. The Palazzo Quirinale, once the residence of popes is now the residence of the President of Italy. Down the steps we reach the famous Trevi Fountain, which derives its name from the fact that tre (three) vi (vie-roads) converge there. The Allegory is of Neptune, god of the waters, was built in honor of the restoration of an aqueduct which brought water into down town Rome during the 18th century.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Lecture on Contemporary Italian and Roman Society. Excursion to the Tiber Island and Jewish Ghetto. The Tiber Island was the original crossing point of the Tiber in antiquity, since it divided the width of the River. Geologically it is related to the Capitoline Hill and was formed by erosion. The Island was also used as a healing sanctuary to "isolate" the sick and there was a temple to Aesculapius on the aft end of the island. We will look at portions of the the marble relief showing the intertwined serpents around the staff, symbol of the medical arts. From there you can see the oldest stand of a Roman bridge, Pons Aemilius, dating to the 2rd century BCE. The tradition of healing continues on the island, the Fatebenefratelli Hospital is located on the prow end of the island. During the 10th century construction began on the church of St. Bartholomew, built above the ruins of the ancient sanctuary. The area of the Ghetto was where the Jews were confined in the 17th century, during free time one might select to visit the museum and synagogues.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Why Rome Matters \ Free Afternoon
(Sunday, June 9)

Note: Light day of exertion, depending on your destination during free time.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Free morning to explore your special destination. Suggestions will be provided.
 Lunch: Select a place to have lunch from the many options available.
 Afternoon: Lecture, Why Rome Matters, in this illustrated presentation, your instructor will try to pull together the significant aspects of Rome's influence, past, present and future. You will recall that the United States Founding Fathers relied heavily on the examples of Roman history and modeled our republic on the ancient writers. Our laws and judicial structure have clear links back to Rome.
 Dinner: End your Roman adventure in Trastevere, the district across the River. This picturesque area is full of history and excellent restaurants. The church of Santa Maria in Trastevere has stunning mosaics dating from the 11-12 centuries. On the other side of the main Viale di Trastevere, there is a building utilized as a synagogue that dates to 1103, for there was a large Jewish population that lived here. Enjoy your farewell dinner in this traditional area of Rome.
Accommodations: Hotel Tiziano
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Departure
(Monday, June 10)

Note: Coach to airport and check in with airline and clear security.

 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel or packed meal for those that depart early.
 Morning: Transfers to airport.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Rome General Overview
The free time options are numerous; the Church Jubilee of 2000 precipitated the opening of several new attractions, and the re-opening, often after decades of closure, of many more old ones. These include Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Centro Monte Martini, the Golden House of Nero, and the Tomb of Balbo. The Protestant Cemetery where Keats and other notables are buried. Even for seasoned visitors there is now much that is new to see.
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List

Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History

Author: Ada Gabucci (Editor)

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

Blue Guide Rome

Author: Alta MacAdam

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

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Author: Ross King

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

Roman Art and Architecture

Author: Sir Mortimer Eric Wheeler

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

Rome Map

Author: Berndtson & Berndtson

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

Rome, A Cultural History

Author: Jonathan Boardman

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

St. Peter's

Author: Keith Miller, Mary Beard (Editor)

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

The Art of the Renaissance

Author: Peter Murray

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

The Colosseum

Author: Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard

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

The Italian Renaissance

Author: J. H. Plumb

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

The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World

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

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

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

Author: Grant Heiken

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

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

Author: Susan Cahill

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

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