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Rome: The Eternal City

Program Number: 19688RJ
Start and End Dates:
11/3/2013 - 11/11/2013; 10/19/2014 - 10/27/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/10/2014; 3/22/2015 - 3/30/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/20/2015; 5/3/2015 - 5/11/2015; 5/17/2015 - 5/25/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/15/2015; 9/13/2015 - 9/21/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/5/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/12/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/26/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/9/2015; 11/8/2015 - 11/16/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,597.00 - 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.




Highlights

• 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

11-3-2013, 10-19-2014, 3-22-2015, 4-12-2015, 5-3-2015, 5-17-2015, 6-7-2015, 9-13-2015, 9-27-2015, 10-4-2015, 10-18-2015

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11-2-2014

Enjoy an exclusive off-hour field trip to the Vatican Museums to experience the Stanze of Raphael and to admire the frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. Enhanced on-site lecture by experts will illuminate the artistry of these masters of the Renaissance. Increase in program cost reflects the higher price for the off-hour entrance reservation.
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11-1-2015

Save money (off season hotel pricing) and time (less crowded museums.)
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11-8-2015

Save money (off season hotel pricing) and time (fewer crowds in museums).
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Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome, 7 nights; departure.



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

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.




Italy

“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.



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

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

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

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

Rachel Potts is a licensed excursion leader in Rome. She graduated from Manchester University (UK) with a bachelor's in philosophy and French, and later studied garden design at the London Gardening School. Having grown up in Rome, she chose to return to Italy and share her knowledge and love of Rome and surrounding areas.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Pace Helvezia
  Rome, Italy 7 nights
 Hotel Pace Helvezia
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from late spring to late autumn.
  Contact info: Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome,  00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it
  Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.
  Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the lounge bar in the lobby. Open air terrace coffee bar/lounge is open when the weather warms up. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. Laundry service available.
  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, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it. 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: 1:00 PM
  Additional nights after: varies by season To book additional nights at the hotel, email Lavinia Tour, Trinity College’s partnering agency in Rome, info.reserv@laviniatour.it. Another option is to book directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it. 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 Pace Helvezia that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast, transfers to airport. Hotel check out by 11 am. You will be staying at Hotel Pace Helvezia the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
One's own car is not needed.
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 www.rome.airport-shuttle.com. You can also contact the Hotel Pace Helvezia for a private car and driver at competitive prices.
  From End of Program
  Location: Rome
  Transportation from site: To reach the airport on your own the hotel can arrange a private car and driver at a competitive price or you can take public transportation, starting with a taxi (fare EUR 20) to Roma Termini, the main train station. The Leonardo Express line trains depart twice an hour for Fiumicino Airport. Purchase tickets at the train station ticket windows or automated machines. Fare is c. EUR 14 pp. 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 www.rome.airport-shuttle.com. The hotel can also arrange a car and driver.
    (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, November 3)

Note: Suggest sleeping on the plane; makes adjusting to jet lag easier if you remain awake on arrival day and go to bed early.



   
 In Transit: Overnight flight crossing the Atlantic Ocean with arrivals the following day.

Day 2: Orientation \ Welcome Reception \ Neighborhood Walk
(Monday, November 4)

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 of the hotel (Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain)
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel or local 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.
 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 Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Roman History \ Palatine Hill \ Forum and Colosseum
(Tuesday, November 5)

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 structures and 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 continues 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 (unless otherwise restricted), peer down to the Circus Maximus and over to 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.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Aventine and Capitoline Hills \ Renaissance and Baroque Art
(Wednesday, November 6)

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: Free morning; some may choose the Papal Audience as S. Peter's Square, info in on-site materials, other suggestions: Palazzo Valentini for two Roman homes of the 2nd century CE, or Villa Farnesina for Raphael's fresco cycle on the myth of Love and Psyche.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own to sample some local cuisine. Suggestions will be indicated.
 Afternoon: Capitoline Hill and Museum. The expert will comment on major pieces in the collection; 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. Ascend at the Braccio Nuovo or new wing, this is home to the Dying Gaul and the Capitoline Venus. Return to the hotel for a late afternoon lecture on Michelangelo and the Art of the Sistine Chapel, in preparation for next day's visit.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant to enjoy Roman cuisine.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Vatican Museums / S. Peter's Basilica / Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain
(Thursday, November 7)

Note: Ability to climb a few flights of stairs; the Museums are very crowded, little opportunity to sit and rest until in the Sistine Chapel. After lunch, less than a mile walk back to the hotel.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Board coach for Vatican Museums, reserved entrance. Over 18,000 people visit each day, expect crowds. 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 a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch the expert leads a walk of discovery to the Spanish Steps, past Bernini's palace and on to the Trevi Fountain. Built to commemorate the restored aqueduct that brought water into Rome, the central figure of Neptune, god of the waters rides a conch shell and two Tritons hold bridled sea horses, one representing the calm seas, the other stormy seas. The famous scene from Fellini's La Dolce Vita was filmed there as well as Three Coins in a Fountain. Return to hotel.
 Dinner: Dine at a restaurant of your choosing to try local specialties.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 6: Aventine, Esquiline and Caelian Hills / Piazza Navona and Pantheon / Lecture on Contemporary Italian Politics
(Friday, November 8)

Note: Coach to Aventine, walk up hill; board coach to see Michelangelo's Moses; board coach to the Caelian Hill for an underground Roman house. Board coach to Piazza Navona for lunch. Walk are short, some places to rest.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Ascend the Aventine, according to traditions Remus' homestead, in the Orange Garden there is a panoramic view of Rome, S. Dominic brought orange trees from Spain, their descendents still bloom and produce fruit. Michelangelo's statue of Moses is part of the grandiose vision Pope Julius II had intended for his monument in S. Peter's (where he is actually buried), but the statue is in his titular church. Excavations have revealed a 2nd-3rd c. CE Roman house. During the visit, the expert will offer interpretations suggested for the owners. Do the frescoes indicate pagan themes or early Christian themes? Still up for debate. Board coach for lunch near Piazza Navona.
 Lunch: Lunch at local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch an expert visit to Piazza Navona, once the "Agones" built by the Emperor Domitian (81-96) for track and field games, the stadium was a long oval. The buildings lining the piazza have the footprint of the bleachers. Now the quintessential Baroque piazza, it is home to artists and performers. Bernini's statue of the Four Rivers sits in the middle and Borromini's church of St. Agnes is on the west side. Cross the street toward 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 142 feet in diameter and the oculus (opening in the roof) is 29 feet across. Free time prior to a lecture by a professor and journalist on Contemporary Italian Politics back at the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Viminal and Quirinal Hills / Lecture on Rome's Legacy / Trastevere district
(Saturday, November 9)

Note: These are short walks with places to sit during the explanations. 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: Coach to the Viminal Hill to the site of first church built in honor of Mary. There are mosaics from the 5th to the 12th century. The coffered ceiling was decorated with gold leaf from the Americas. Bernini is buried near the main altar. Coach to see Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa, then compare two rival architects: Borromini's oval church of S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Bernini's oval design of S. Andrea al Quirinale. Which do you prefer? Continue down the road to Piazza del Quirinale, formerly a papal palace turned king's palace and now the residence of the President of Italy. There is a commanding view of Rome from up there. Be sure to notice the statues of Castor and Pollux, moved from their temple in the Forum. Walk down the slight hill and reach the hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Lecture on the Legacy of Rome is designed to pull together what we have learned and experienced. After a short break, we will take a walk of discovery to the Tiber Island and Jewish Ghetto. The area of the Ghetto was where the Jews were confined from the 16th-19th centuries; during free time one might select to visit the museum and synagogues. The Tiber Island was the original crossing point of the Tiber in antiquity, as 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 marble relief showing the intertwined serpents around the staff, symbol of the medical arts. From there you can see the oldest span 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. Cross over to Trastevere for dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Free Morning / Borghese Gallery / Farewell dinner
(Sunday, November 10)

Note: Light day of exertion, depending on your destination during free time. A circular staircase leads to the top floor of the Borghese Gallery.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at hotel restaurant.
 Morning: Free morning to explore your special destination. Suggestions will be provided. The Papal blessing is offered at noon in St. Peter's Square. Rome's "flee market" is in Trastevere, consult site information. "Caveat Emptor" as the saying goes.
 Lunch: Select a place to have lunch from the many options available.
 Afternoon: Coach to the Galleria Borghese, for an expert-led visit of the collection of art amassed by Cardinal Scipio Borghese, nephew of the Pope Paul V. 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 paintings feature Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, and others. The museum limits visits to two hours. Return to the hotel with time to pack prior to the farewell dinner.
 Dinner: Enjoy your farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Do not neglect to return to the Trevi Fountain and throw the customary coins in as you make your wish to return to the Eternal City.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Departure
(Monday, November 11)

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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