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Intergenerational Italian Classics: Rome, Florence and Venice

Program Number: 20211RJ
Start and End Dates:
7/13/2013 - 7/26/2013; 7/22/2015 - 8/4/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $3,878.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 30; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 14 - 17 years of age.

Share the essence of Italy with your grandchild as you immerse yourselves in Roman history, Florentine art and Venetian traditions. With local experts, walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in the Forum and look down where Gladiators fought in the Colosseum, and try your hand at creating a mosaic based on ancient patterns, fresco painting in Florence. In Venice, create your own Venetian memento and thrill in a dragon boat race along a canal with the Venetian Crew Club. Along the way, sample local cuisine and take in some of the greatest masterpieces in the world.


• Go on an exclusive underground exploration of Roman ruins.
• Spend an afternoon at the Uffizi Gallery and delight in the masterpieces of Titian, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
• Create your own Venetian memento with authentic materials.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to four miles a day, mostly level terrain. Dirt paths and cobblestone streets in archaeological zones. Rest periods break up the longer walks.

Date Specific Information


This program is for adults and youth age 14-17.


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

Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome, 4 nights; train to Florence, 4 nights; train to Venice, 4 nights; departure.

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

Experience a multi-media presentation of an underground ancient Roman palaces; and walk around the area where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Thrill at the sight of Michelangelo's Pieta' and works by Bernini at St. Peter’s Basilica, and enjoy an opportunity to visit the Vatican Museums and create your own mosaic memento at an art school. With a local expert, walk through the ancient Forum and see the majestic Colosseum. Examine masterpieces at the Capitoline Museum and learn about chariot racing at the Circus Maximus.

Train to Florence
4 nights

After journeying by high-speed train to Florence, try your hand at learning fresco painting techniques with an art instructor. With a local expert, view the artwork at Palazzo Vecchio — Florence's city hall — and see Machiavelli's study. Spend an afternoon at the Uffizi Gallery, taking in masterpieces by Titian, Botticelli, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and more. Join an expert for an excursion to view Michelangelo's “David” and learn about the scientific revolution at the Galileo Museum.

Train to Venice
4 nights

Try your hand at creating traditional Venetian mementos at various workshops. With your Vaporetto pass, ride to the island of Murano, where the famed glass is made. In the company of an expert marvel at the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica. Team up with the Venetian Crew Club for a dragon boat race along the canal before joining an expert to view the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of Modern Art. Spend a final day in Venice exploring the Rialto Bridge Marketplace, and visit the workshop of a gondola artisan.


“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.

Rome: A historic hotel in the heart of Rome. The top floor balcony affords a view from the Colosseum to the south to S. Peter's Basilica to the west, and the top of the Spanish Steps to the north. Florence: Conveniently located four-star hotel in proximity to all major sites. Venice: Great hotels near the Grand Canal and major attractions.
Meals and Lodgings
   Casa Santa Francesca Romana
  Rome, Italy 4 nights
   Hotel Axial
  Florence, Italy 4 nights
   Hotel Principe
  Venice, Italy 4 nights
 Casa Santa Francesca Romana
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is on the right bank of the Tiber River, in the quiet and charming Trastevere neighborhood. An easy walk on the bridges to Campo de' Fiori, the Portico housing the "Mouth of Truth" and Roman Forum in the heart of ancient Rome. The residents of Trastevere consider themselves the original Romans. In July the residents celebrate their own unique "block party" called the "Festa di no'antri", characterized by traditional foods, fresh fruits and snow cones kiosks.
  Contact info: Via dei Vascellari, 61
Rome,  00153 Italy
phone: +39 06 581 2125
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, hair dryer, phone, satellite TV, complimentary Wi-Fi.
  Facility amenities: Once a 16th residence and later a convent, the property has been renovated and modernized. The tiled floor halls and rooms are furnished in a clean and simple decor. Relax in the comfortable chairs in the shady inner courtyard patio. Wi-Fi throughout the property. Continental breakfast served daily in the dining room consists of juices, coffee, tea, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, rolls, jams, sliced meats and cheese.
  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: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Axial
Type: Three-Star Hotel
  Description: Centrally located on the fashionable Via dei Calzaiuoli, half way between the Duomo of Florence and Piazza della Signoria. One block away from Piazza della Repubblica. Convenient to all major sites and museums. Downtown Florence is closed to vehicular traffic, so enjoy a leisurely stroll at your pleasure.
  Contact info: Via dei Calzaiuoli 11
Florence,  50122 Italy
phone: +39 055 218 984
  Room amenities: Individual climate controls for AC or heat; mini bar; electronic safe, satellite TV; free Wi-Fi in rooms; hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: Remodeled 19th century building features small inner courtyard, double pane insulated windows, individual AC and heat controls, free Wi-Fi, Internet point (2 computers) in the reading room, satellite TV, bar and continental breakfast buffet.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Principe
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Overlooking the Grand Canal, with a splendid terrace on the water, the Hotel Principe, is one of the 4 star hotels in Venice in a perfect position for discovering the charm and beauty of Venice on foot, or for easily reaching the Rialto or St. Mark's Square with a vaporetto, which stops just steps from the hotel.The hotel has a private dock on the Grand Canal for gondola and water taxi access.
  Contact info: Lista di Spagna 146/147
Venice, NA 30121 Italy
phone: +041-220-4010
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, AC/heat individual controls, mini-bar, safe, satellite television, complimentary toiletries.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and terrace overlook the Grand Canal, snack bar, complimentary internet point in the lobby and free Wi-Fi throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  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: 10:00 AM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for morning arrivals. Hotel check in 2:00 pm. Meet in the courtyard garden at 4:00 for Orientation You will be staying at Casa Santa Francesca Romana that night.
  End of Program:
Morning transfers to airport. Check out of hotel by 11:00 am. No activities other than departure transfers to Venice airport You will be staying at Hotel Principe the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Train service from European and Italian points connects to Roma Termini, the main station. A separate line connects the airport to Roma Termini. From the station a short taxi ride to the hotel.
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 hotel on your own, from the Rome airport terminal, you have three options: public transportation, shared ride shuttle service and taxi. Public transportation option is train and taxi: In the airport terminal public area, follow the signs for the train, purchase tickets at the ticket counter on the station platform, stamp the ticket in the yellow box on the platform, and board the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini, the central station in Rome. Fare is EUR 14 pp. The ride takes 35 min. When you exit the Roma Termini train station take a taxi to the hotel. Fare will be about EUR 12. For door to door service you have two options: shared ride shuttle van or taxi. You can book shuttle service online at Fares are about EUR 30 for 1 person; discounts apply if you book for multiple passengers. Taxi fare for direct service from the airport to the hotel is approx. EUR 60. Max 4 persons per taxi.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Venice
  Nearest city or town:  Venice
  Nearest airport:  Venice Marco Polo
  Transportation from site: To reach the airport on your own, there is public transportation by bus from Piazzale Roma, the point that connects Venice to the mainland, to the Venice Airport. Piazzale Roma is a 10 min. walk from the Hotel Principe. Note that the walk from the hotel to the bus stop entails crossing a high bridge that has long shallow steps and no ramp. The bus (fare EUR 6 and a 25 min. ride) leaves you off directly in front of the airport terminal. For direct service by boat from the hotel dock to the airport dock, it is possible to book a water taxi. Fare is approx. EUR 100. Supplemental fees apply for service before 8 am. Max 10 passengers per taxi boat. When the water taxi arrives at the airport dock you can get a cart for the 10 min. walk to the terminal along a covered path. If you are continuing your travels by train, from the hotel you can reach the train station on foot very easily from the hotel.
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: Check-in \ Orientation \ Welcome Reception \ Neighborhood Walk
(Saturday, July 13)

Note: Light neighborhood walk

 Arrive To: Rome airport next morning, transfer to hotel.
 Morning: Transfers to the hotel. A light walk will be organized for those with early morning arrivals while waiting for lunch and hotel check-in
 Lunch: Lunch at a local trattoria.
 Afternoon: Settle in room, meet at appointed time for Orientation and Welcome to Rome session. Your group leader will take you on a neighborhood walk to point out banks, pharmacies and stores. Get to know your fellow participants at a Welcome Reception.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Casa Santa Francesca Romana
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 2: Colosseum and Roman Forum \ Treasures of the Vatican
(Sunday, July 14)

Note: The walk through the archaeological area of the Forum is over uneven paths, some with cobble stones; stairs to reach top floor of Colosseum.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Coach to Colosseum for reserved entrance the time; imagine watching gladiatorial games. Expert continues explanation of the Forum, painting an image of what the civic and religious center of Rome was like in antiquity. Walk along the Via Sacra where triumphal processions passed.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Meet in lecture room where an art historian gives an illustrated lecture on the artistic highlights of masterpieces in the Vatican Museum including Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and S. Peter's Basilica. Free time until dinner.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Walk of discovery on the Tiber Island, look for the sculptural relief of Aesculapius, the ancient god of healing.
Accommodations: Casa Santa Francesca Romana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Reserved entrance Vatican Museums \ S. Peter's Basilica \ Mosaic Laboratory
(Monday, July 15)

Note: Vatican Museums are very crowded, require ascending or descending a few flights of stairs. Very little opportunity to sit and rest. In the Sistine Chapel there are seats along the wall, simply stand by someone until they get up.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Transfer to the Vatican Museums for reserved entrance time, meet expert who will lead you through this singular museum. After exiting, enter S. Peter's Basilica to see Michelangelo's Pieta' and works by Bernini. If there is some free time, some may desire to climb the 450 steps of Michelangelo's Dome for panoramic views of Rome.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, learn the art of Mosaic at a laboratory/studio where we will create a memento using small tesserae (colored stones or glass tiles). Coach back to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Casa Santa Francesca Romana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Mithraeum underground site \ Capitoline Museum \ Free Time
(Tuesday, July 16)

Note: Walk to the area of the Circus Maximus, Mithraeum and Capitoline Museum, up a slight hill. Return on foot to the hotel.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel dining room.
 Morning: With an archaeologist descend a few flights of stairs to a recently discovered Mithraeum, a sacred area for the mystery cult of Mithra. Continue to the Capitoline museum where the expert will examine masterpieces from antiquity, including the bronze symbol of Rome, the She Wolf, the bronze equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, remnants of the colossus of Constantine. Pass through the Tabularium, ancient Rome's archives; emerge in the Palazzo Nuovo wing to find the Dying Gaul and the Capitoline Venus.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time. Suggest walking behind the Palazzo Nuovo to the roof top of the monument of Victor Emanuel II, for a spectacular panoramic view of Rome. Meet back at hotel at the appointed time for dinner.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: A leisurely stroll around Trastevere and pack for the morning's departure.
Accommodations: Casa Santa Francesca Romana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Spanish Steps \ Trevi Fountain \ Pantheon \ Piazza Navona \ Train to Florence
(Wednesday, July 17)

Note: About a 1.5 mile walk to the famous piazzas, coaches cannot pass through the narrow streets of Rome. When you arrive in Florence, walk to the hotel.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Bring down luggage at the appointed time, it will be transferred by van to the Florence hotel. Leave your hand luggage at the hotel for pick up after lunch. Transfer to the famous piazzas then walk to: Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Navona and learn from the expert about these most famous landmarks.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant. Return to hotel for transfer to the train station.
 Afternoon: Experience travel on a high speed train at speeds reaching 120 mph. Arrive in Florence 95 minutes after departure. Check into hotel, meet for lecture on Renaissance Florence to help contextualize stay.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 Evening: Excursion of the historical section of Florence to orient everyone on the layout of the city, locate landmarks, find ATM's and pharmacies.
Accommodations: Hotel Axial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Renaissance Art Lecture \ Exclusive visit to upper gallery of the Baptistery
(Thursday, July 18)

Note: The visit to the upper gallery of the Baptistery is reached by a narrow staircase, about 20 steep steps. One may remain below (resting in the church pews) but would miss the up-close view of the mosaics.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining hall.
 Morning: An art historian presents a preparatory lecture for Uffizi Gallery, the singular collection of early and high Renaissance art. After the lecture, some free time to climb Giotto's Bell Tower, or Brunelleschi's Dome.
 Lunch: At a restaurant in the heart of Florence.
 Afternoon: At the conference center in the Piazza del Duomo, an informative video about the origins of Florence's Duomo and Baptistery followed by exclusive access to the upper gallery with a docent.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Axial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Fresco Painting Workshop \ Palazzo Vecchio \ Uffizi Gallery
(Friday, July 19)

Note: Minimal exertion at the studio. Stairs to access the residential floors of the Palazzo Vecchio to reach the painting galleries of the Uffizi.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Learn from an art teacher the steps required to paint using the fresco technique; from creating the lines with a sack of coal dust, to spreading the fresh plaster and mixing the pigments. After the 6"x 9" tile dries, you may choose to keep it, otherwise it is recycled. Expert led visit of Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's city hall, to see original pieces of art, including Donatello's Judith and Holofernes and sculptures by Michelangelo. See Machiavelli's study when he was Secretary of State for the Republic.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Reserved entrance to the Uffizi Gallery for self-directed visit, stay as long as you want. Free time until dinner. At the end of the second corridor of the Uffizi Gallery is a refreshment bar for snacks. The balcony has a wonderful view of Brunelleschi's Dome and the watch tower of Palazzo Vecchio.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Axial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8: Michelangelo's David \ Archaeological Museum \ Ghirlandaio Frescoes
(Saturday, July 20)

Note: Leisurely walk to the Accademia and Archaeological Museum.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Expert led visit to see Michelangelo's David and the Archaeological museum to see the Chimera from Arezzo.
 Lunch: Select your eatery. Group leader will have suggestions for places to eat around the Mercato.
 Afternoon: Walk through Florence's soft goods market toward S. Maria Novella. With your new found knowledge of fresco painting, an expert expounds on the frescoes by Masaccio and Ghirlandaio found in the church. Free time for shopping at the San Lorenzo Market.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Axial
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Transfer to Venice \ Lecture on Venetian History
(Sunday, July 21)

Note: Walk to train station, 2 hr ride to Venice, short walk to hotel

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Transfer to Venice by high speed train. Travel with your carry on or back pack; your luggage will be delivered to the hotel in Venice.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel restaurant and check-in to the rooms.
 Afternoon: Lecture on Venetian history and neighborhood walk.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant to savor Venetian cuisine.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Murano Glass making activity \ S. Mark's Basilica
(Monday, July 22)

Note: Some walking and boat rides, minimal exertion. Vaporetto vessels are often crowded. Steep staircase to reach the outside terrace of the basilica.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Receive Vaporetto pass and ride the boat to the island of Murano. Learn about glass making and create your own glass tile decoration under the supervision of an instructor at a glass working school. The tile you create will later be fused in the kiln and delivered to your hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit of S. Mark's Basilica. Marvel at the mosaics decorating the walls and ceilings, over 60,000 square feet
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 11: Dragon Boat Race \ Ducal Palace
(Tuesday, July 23)

Note: Row, row, row your boat hard if you want to win; otherwise sit at the stern and enjoy the ride. At the Ducal palace, climb steps of a long staircase to reach the upper floors.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in the hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Team up with the Venetian Crew Club for a dragon boat race along the canal.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit of the Ducal (Doge's) Palace, Venice's government headquarters, decorated by Titian, Canaletto and Giorgione, just to mention a few.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Rialto Bridge and Market \ Artisan workshop
(Wednesday, July 24)

Note: Walks in Venice include going up and over bridges that span minor canals. The Rialto Bridge has many steps as it spans high over the Grand Canal.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel dining hall.
 Morning: Learn the Venetian manner of shopping at the market around the Rialto Bridge. Excursion to an artisan's workshop to learn about the carving techniques of making gondola oars and oar locks.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local pizzeria.
 Afternoon: Having been surrounded by ancient and Renaissance masterpieces and structures, enjoy the modern art collection at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum. Relax in the courtyard of the palazzo on the Grand Canal while the docents introduce the life and times of the wealthy American collector. The group splits in two for the visit of the collection housed in the small rooms of the gallery. The docent leading the students elicits their reactions to the form and expression they see in the works of modern art.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant. Your glass mementos will be available for you to gingerly pack them.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Departure day
(Thursday, July 25)

Note: Transfer of people and luggage to the airport by water taxi. From the dock it is about a 10 minute walk on a canopy covered path. Near the dock often there are luggage carts that require a coin to release (refunded once clipped at the terminal.)

 Depart From: Transfer from the hotel to the Venice Marco Polo airport for departure.
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet in hotel dining hall. Sack breakfast for those with early departure times.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Florence Botanical Gardens
extensive gardens and greenhouses where the Univiversity of Florence maintains 4 million botanical specimens in a wooded urban park, the "Giardino dei Semplici"
Visit other museums in Florence such as the Stibbert Museum which houses a collection of weapons, armor and costumes from the 16th to the 20th century. The Marino Marini Museum exhibits works of the contemporary sculptor.
  Teatro della Pergola
Amici della Musica has a rich and varied program for concerts and recitals. Check the website below for further information. 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

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Brunelleschi's Dome, How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

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La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

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The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings

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The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall

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The World of Venice

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