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Voyages to Antiquity: Venice, Athens and the Adriatic Coast

Program Number: 19079RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/26/2014 - 7/9/2014; 5/8/2016 - 5/22/2016; 9/24/2016 - 10/8/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy/Croatia/Greece
Price starting at: $5,050.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 35; 12 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 12 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

The dramatic beauty of the Adriatic coast has long inspired writers, poets and artists. Experience sun-splashed islands, lofty mountains plunging into the sea, winding fjords and magnificent bays. Soak in manmade splendor from the Byzantine beauty of St. Mark’s to the classical elegance of Ancient Olympia and Epidaurus.

Activity Particulars

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

Itinerary At-a-Glance

Athens (Greece), 2 nights; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 9 nights; Venice (Italy), 2 nights.

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

Days 2-4: Arrival Athens (Greece) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Walk in the footsteps of Plato on the Acropolis of Athens and visit the outstanding new Acropolis Museum. Walk the labyrinthine streets of Plaka, the picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens. Lodging: Five-star hotel.

Day 5: Sparta and Mystras:

Learn how the ancient city-state of Sparta’s singular devotion to military excellence allowed it to become preeminent in the region. Continue to the breathtaking Byzantine town of Mystras.

Day 6: Katakolon and Ithaca

Journey to the site of Ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC. Examine the remains of the sports structures erected for the games. Continue to Ithaca and spend a leisurely evening in the picturesque port town of Vathy.

Day 7: Corfu & Sarande (Albania):

Examine the Venetian heritage of Corfu as you visit the Old Fortress, the red-domed Agios Spyrídon church and the famous Esplanade. Continue to Albania and the archaeological site of Butrint, inhabited since prehistoric times.

Days 8-9: Dubrovnik (Croatia):

Sail through the winding, fjord-like Bay of Kotor. On an expert-led excursion in Dubrovnik, discover this beautiful seaside city’s Old Town and the Baroque Church of St. Blaise.

Day 10: Split:

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

Days 11-12: Zadar and Ravenna (Italy):

Discover fascinating monuments left behind by Romans, Byzantines and Venetians in Zadar. Explore the superb Church of San Vitale and the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia in Ravenna, a Byzantine city famed for its early Christian monuments.

Days 13-15: Disembark Venice / Departures

On an expert-led city excursion, stroll the sprawling Piazza San Marco then walk the narrow streets and over the bridges of the Castello and Cannaregio districts. Enjoy some free time for independent exploration. Lodging: Five-star hotel..

Aegean Odyssey

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

Meals and Lodgings
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 10 nights
   Metropolitan Hotel
  Athens, Greece 2 nights
 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: 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 enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; 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. Internet: The Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, wireless available in reception area). PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Metropolitan Hotel
Type: Five-Star Hotel
  Description: The Metropolitan Hotel, with its unique cosmopolitan atmosphere, combines traditional hospitality and luxury in central Athens. With a view to both the Acropolis and the Aegean Sea, the fully renovated Metropolitan Hotel is ideally situated in front of the Faleron Olympic Coastal Park. It is only 10 minutes away from Syntagma square, the center of Athens and the port of Piraeus.
  Contact info: Leoforos Syngrou 385
Athens,  175-64 Greece
phone: +30 210 947 1000
  Room amenities: Each room has individually controlled air conditioning, satellite television, telephone, high speed Internet connection, radio, mini bar, hair dryer, safe box, and laptop and fax machine outlets.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, lounge, bar, gift shop, fitness center, marble steam bath, outdoor heated swimming pool, business center, free wireless Internet access in lobby, and a hairdresser.
  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. (800) 241-1404
  Check out time: 1:00 PM

Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Venice, Italy. Program begins at 5:00 PM in the Observation Lounge on board the ship. You will be staying at Aegean Odyssey that night.
  End of Program:
Athens, Greece. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Metropolitan Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Water bus, approx. 5 Euro.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
  Transportation to site: Option 1: From Marco Polo Airport, take the ATVO “Venezia Express” (6 euro) bus to Piazzale Roma—the trip takes roughly 25 minutes. From here, take the automated “Venice People Mover” tram from the Piazzale Roma to Marittima Cruise Terminal (1 Euro). Option 2: Marittima Cruise Terminal is a 15-20 minute cab ride from Venice’s Marco Polo Airport and costs 30-40 Euro.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Athens
  Transportation from site: You may take a taxi from the hotel to the airport, this will cost approximately $62-68 per car. Alternatively, take a shuttle bus from the hotel to Syntagma Square. From there take bus #95 to the airport.
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
(Thursday, June 26)
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome / Embarkation
(Friday, June 27)
 Morning: Arrival at Marco Polo Airport (VCE). Transfer to Venice.
 Afternoon: Embark on the Aegean Odyssey. Welcome orientation to the program at 5:00 PM in the Observation Lounge on board the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Venice, Italy
(Saturday, June 28)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning, enjoy a shipboard lecture before beginning a walking excursion of the magnificent sites of Venice. We will see the Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, and visit the Doge's Palace. From here we'll walk to the Ponte dell'Accademia and stray from Venice's highly touristed 'beaten path'.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, you are free to explore Venice on your own - walk to the Rialto or simply indulge in a Bellini at Harry's Bar.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: If there is one memory to take home with you, it is the sight of St. Mark's Basilica, and this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity the see this remarkable building at its very best - during a spectacular evening light show. Evening departure for Zadar.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Zadar, Croatia / Kornati Islands
(Sunday, June 29)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader as the ship winds its way through the Kornati Islands. This group of 89 stone islands, islets and reefs in the southern part of the Zadar archipelago has been inhabited since Neolithic times. The Romans used the islands as a resort and built many villas with fishponds. Later, they were a base for Venetian sea power. The Kornati were declared a National Park in 1980 and the best way to experience their mysterious beauty, spectacular chalk cliffs and clear blue waters is from the sea. See why George Bernard Shaw, wrote “God desired to crown his work and thus created the Kornati Islands” as we wind through these breathtaking islands.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In 1409, King Ladislaus of Hungary sold his Dalmatian islands and cities, Zadar among them, to Venice for 100,000 ducats. This town has changed hands frequently since the first Neolithic settlement: the 9th century BC Liburni were followed in the 4th century BC by Greeks and in the 1st century BC by the Romans, who called the area Zadara. As a result of so many rulers, Zadar has a wealth of monuments contained within the walls of its magnificent Old Town.

Explore the 1st century Roman Forum, now the site of several of Zadar's most beautiful churches. Visit the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, the largest church in Croatia and a superb example of Romanesque architecture with two rose windows. This basilica was constructed in the 12th and 13th centuries, but its origins as a shrine go back centuries earlier. Inside, a stone sarcophagus contains the remains of St. Anastasia of Syrmia, martyred during Diocletian’s persecution. The walk takes you past the 9th century Church of St. Donatus, a Byzantine masterpiece with three naves that incorporate fragments of the town's original Roman Forum. Visit the Church of St. Mary, where architectural elements range from a 12th century bell tower built by the Hungarian-Croatian King Koloman to a beautiful 16th century Renaissance façade. The convent next door is home to the Museum of Sacred Art, recently opened to the public, a showcase of Zadar's sacred treasures, including sculptures, paintings and such relics as the arm of St. Isidore encased in a 12th century casket.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy an evening departure for Split. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Split, Croatia
(Monday, June 30)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: When Emperor Diocletian shook up the Roman Empire by abdicating in 305AD, he had his retirement residence ready: a lavish palace he had just built in Salona, now Split, in his native Dalmatia.

Visit this amazing palace complex that, when completed, held three temples, a massive mausoleum, and could accommodate 9,000 people. For an intimate perspective on how life was organized, this outing includes a walk through the palace cellars. The city of Split grew inside and around this palace, with the population retreating behind its walls when under attack, and then spilling out beyond them in times of peace.

Today the Palace of Diocletian is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, but don’t expect a deserted ruin. Discover instead a vibrant warren of museums, galleries, shops and restaurants mingled with medieval fortifications, pre-Romanesque churches and Gothic chapels. Renaissance palaces testify to a time when Split was a key port of the Venetian Republic. The excursion visits Diocletian’s massive octagonal mausoleum, converted into a cathedral in the 7th century and named after a Christian martyred during that emperor’s persecutions. You’ll also visit the city museum where 15th century furnishings recapture aristocratic life in that period. Other sights include the palace’s monumental Golden and Silver Gates and the columned Peristyle Square. Following the excursion, there will be free time to visit the colorful local market or explore Split on your own.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time for further exploration on your own. Alternatively, the ship will offer an optional excursion to Salona & Trogir (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Late evening departure for Korcula.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Korcula, Croatia / Cruising Hvar & Brac, Croatia
(Tuesday, July 1)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The pine-forested island of Korcula, with its rich maritime history, is the reputed birthplace of Marco Polo. This morning’s walking excursion will include visits to the impressive Cathedral of St. Mark where a Tintoretto presides over the alter as well as to the Bishop’s Palace whose 14th century Treasury holds a small but amazing art collection including works by Carpaccio, Raphael and Leondardo da Vinci. Next, visit the City Museum which boasts an impressive collection of Greek and Roman artifacts and is housed within the walls of a 16th century palace before walking past Marco Polo’s presumed family home en route to the ship.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At lunchtime, the Aegean Odyssey departs for an afternoon cruise past the islands of Hvar and Brac. Attend a late afternoon Road Scholar cocktail party in the Observation Lounge.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Arrive in Dubrovnik in the early evening. You are free to stroll around the charming old town.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Dubrovnik, Croatia / Kotor Bay
(Wednesday, July 2)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Lord Byron called this majestic walled city “the Pearl of the Adriatic,” and it is easy to see why. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is held to be the best-preserved walled city in the Mediterranean with a seafront setting and dramatic mountain backdrop. The city skyline is a medley of bell towers, copper domes and massive 10th century walls.

Dubrovnik was founded in the 7th century AD and was a powerful independent republic from 1358 to 1808, when Napoleon conquered the city. Today the city is an inspiration in self-resurrection. Despite a destructive earthquake in 1667, Dubrovnik has managed to preserve its beautiful Gothic, Baroque and Renaissance churches, monasteries, palaces and fountains. This morning’s walk through the Old Town takes you along the city’s main street, the Stradun or Placa, once a sea channel connecting two ancient settlements. Visit the Dominican Monastery, home to a beautiful 15th century Gothic cloister and the city’s finest collection of Renaissance paintings. Next, the Franciscan Monastery is home to Europe’s oldest pharmacy, founded in 1318 and still in existence.

Your walk continues past such landmarks as the Sponza Palace with its elaborate stone exterior, the Baroque Church of St. Blaise and Onofriou’s Fountain. Visit the Cathedral of Our Lady, originally built in the 12th century, destroyed in the 1667 earthquake and triumphantly rebuilt. View Titian’s Assumption over the main altar and, in the Treasury, one of Europe’s finest collections of gold and silver, including the bejeweled skull of St. Blaise. Following the walk there will be free time to explore the nooks and crannies of the Old Town.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. This afternoon the ship cruises through one of the finest natural harbors in Europe. Kotor Bay is sometimes referred to as Europe's southernmost fjord, but the winding bay is actually a submarine river canyon. At one time Kotor Bay was rival to Venice and Dubrovnik for sea power. Stretching between Croatia and Montenegro, the bay offers picturesque vistas of fortified towns and mountains dotted with castles.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Corfu, Greece
(Thursday, July 3)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: You can thank Venice for the thickly wooded headland of Corfu. During the Republic's four centuries of rule on this Ionian island (from 1386 to 1797), it was decreed that an olive tree be planted at each birth and a cypress at each death. Early admirers included the Greek poet, Homer, who sang the island's praises. Octavian brought his fleet to the island's harbor before the battle at Actium.

Today's sightseeing starts with a drive to Corfu Town and a visit to the Old Fortress rising majestically from a large cliff and surrounded by a fairytale moat that has its sinister side as the last resort of the lovelorn. Built on the remains of a Byzantine castle, the fort was completed over four centuries, first by the Venetians who gave it the moat and then by the British who erected the fort's church of St George. The fort proved a formidable bulwark against the Turks. From the fort, enjoy a stroll along the Venetian-built Esplanade past the colonnade of the Liston Café, built during French rule. The café takes is name from a time when the promenade was limited to Venetian nobility that appeared on a list in the Libro d'Oro (Golden Book). Today this path provides an excellent view of the town's cricket pitch, a legacy from British rule, and the start of our walk. Discover Old Town's narrow stepped streets, Georgian mansions and red-domed Agios Spyridon church, built in 1589, containing the remains of Corfu's patron saint. Alternatively, if you are interested in seeing Byzantine art in Corfu, the ship will offer this choice of excursion as well (a detailed description of this option can be found at the Shore Excursions desk).
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, you are free to continue enjoying Corfu Town. A drink at the Liston Café is a must.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Night-time departure for Préveza. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Préveza, Greece
(Friday, July 4)
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After an early morning arrival in Préveza, depart for Arta to discover this former Byzantine capital and its glorious 13th and 14th century churches. After the fall of Constantinople to the Crusaders in 1204, Arta was established as the Byzantine despotate of Epirus. The city is built on the foundations of an ancient city called Ambrakia and was once the capital of King Pyrrhus (318BC-272BC), the legendary general. From the ship, a scenic one hour drive winds through the lovely countryside of northwest Greece.

Arriving in Arta we drive by the famous bridge over the Arachthos River, haunted by a mythical story of an engineer who sacrificed his wife for the sake of a successful bridge by building her into it. The bridge was completed in 1612, but rests on the foundations of an earlier bridge that dates to classical times. In 1881 the borders of Greece and Turkey met in the center of Arta's bridge.

Arta is dominated by a towering medieval fortress, but its pride are its Byzantine churches, and of these, Panagia Paregoretissa (Mother of the Swiftly Consoling) is the most striking. The church was built in the 13th century by a husband-and-wife team, and features an impressive array of architectural innovations. The central cupola is considered unique in the world of ecclesiastical architecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, the ship will cruise the delightful Ionian islands on the way to Ithaca.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Spend the evening ashore in the attractive seaside town of Vathy, Ithaca. Late departure for Katakolon.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Katakolon, Greece / Olympia
(Saturday, July 5)

Note: The excursion to Olympia includes heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The small fishing village of Katakolon is approximately an hour from the mystical site of Ancient Olympia, sacred ground to the people of the Peloponnese Peninsula as early as the 10th century BC. Olympia is most familiar as the site where the first Olympic Games were held in 776BC in honor of Olympian Zeus. The origin of the word Olympic comes from the ancient Greek Olympiad – meaning every four years.

The setting could not be more idyllic: prominently located in the middle of a fertile valley with the rivers of Alfeios and Kladhios flowing past. The site was a religious sanctuary even before the Stadium was built and the games took place in the sacred area called Altis. The most imposing monument in the area was the outstanding Temple of Zeus housing the gold-and-ivory statue of Zeus, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

The Temple of Hera, the Prytaneion, and the Philippeion were also monuments standing in the sacred grove. The famous Stadium, the largest of its day with a capacity of 45,000 spectators, was entered through a long, tunnel-like passage, constructed in Roman times. The stadium was restored in 2004 for the historic return of the modern Olympics to Athens.

After your exploration of the famous grounds, visit the archaeological museum which is a short 5-minute walk from the site. Among the great finds of the area that are displayed are the Head of Hera and ornaments from the Temple of Zeus, the famous statue of Hermes created by Praxiteles and the helmet of Miltiades, the Athenian general during Athens' 'Golden Age'.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Relax on board as you continue to sail toward Nauplia.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Nauplia, Greece
(Sunday, July 6)

Note: There is moderate to heavy walking over uneven surfaces in Mycenae and Epidaurus.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a full day Road Scholar exclusive field trip. Anchor off the port of Nauplia in time for breakfast. From the pier, enjoy an hour-long scenic drive across the Peloponnesian peninsula to the Isthmus of Corinth to survey the ruins of this ancient and historic city. From Corinth, journey to the city of Mycenae, reputedly the capital of Agamemnon and the "well-built citadel" of Homer's Iliad.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch, explore the elegant town of Nauplia during a brief walking excursion. Next, discover Epidaurus -- sacred to Asclepios, the god of medicine -- and once the most acclaimed healing center of the classical world. Visit its theatre, one of the best preserved of all ancient Greek theatres.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Evening departure for Athens.
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Athens, Greece / Disembark
(Monday, July 7)

Note: Heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments.

 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: After disembarking the ship, we will explore the long anticipated $200-million, 226,000-square-foot Acropolis Museum. In the dramatic Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis, ascending floors of glass literally “float” you above the excavations for an extraordinary perspective of the layers of Greek history that lie below.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in Plaka.
 Afternoon: A guided excursion through 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.
 Dinner: Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Athens, Greece
(Tuesday, July 8)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: A guided walk through Plaka - the picturesque old historical neighborhood of Athens, clustered around the northern and eastern slopes of the Acropolis, and incorporating labyrinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore on your own or join your Group Leader for further exploration of Athens. Individual return to the hotel via hotel shuttle.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in the hotel dining room.
Accommodations: Metropolitan Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Athens / Departures
(Wednesday, July 9)
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Athens International Airport (ATH) for departures.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Athens Benaki Museum
The Benaki Museum is made up of many buildings, which offer an in-depth look into Greek history and culture. An array of artwork and artifacts illustrate the character of the Greek world from ancient times to the 20th century. For additional information, visit
  Museum of Cycladic Art
The Museum of Cycladic Art illustrates the ancient cultures of the Aegean and Cyprus. The three major subjects on display are Cycladic Art, Ancient Greek Art, and Ancient Cypriot Art. For additional information, visit
  Venice Ca’ Rezzonico
A museum of eighteenth century art. The palace on the Grand Canal was designed by a Baroque architect of Venice, Baldassare Longhena, for the aristocratic Bon family. For additional information, visit
  Galleria Belle Arti
Spanning five centuries, the Galleria Belle Arti's matchless collection of paintings provides a complete spectrum of the Venetian school, from the Byzantine period through the Renaissance to the Baroque and later. Masterpieces of Titian, Veronese, Bellini, Tintoretto, Tiepolo and more all await you here.
  Glass Museum of Murano
A museum of Venetian glassmaking. The Murano Glass Museum was founded in 1861 when the darkest period in the history of Murano glassmaking had been overcome, following the fall of the Republic of San Marco (1797) and the subsequent years of foreign rule. The museum’s collection was expanded by the addition of the Correr, Cicogna and Molin Collections which include, among other things, the most beautiful Renaissance pieces in the museum. For additional information, visit
  Peggy Guggenheim Collection
A modern art collection in an 18th century Venetian palace, the Peggy Guggenheim Collection is the most important museum in Italy for European and American art from the first half of the 20th century. It is located in Peggy Guggenheim's former home, Palazzo Venier dei Leoni, on the Grand Canal in Venice. The museum was inaugurated in 1980 and it presents Peggy Guggenheim's personal collection of 20th century art, masterpieces from the Gianni Mattioli Collection, the Nasher Sculpture Garden, as well as temporary exhibitions. The Peggy Guggenheim Collection is owned and operated by the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which also operates the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York, the Guggenheim Museum Bilbao, the Deutsche Guggenheim, Berlin, and the Guggenheim-Hermitage, Las Vegas. For additional information, visit
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.

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Helen of Troy, The Story Behind the Most Beautiful Woman in the World

Author: Bettany Hughes

Description: In her investigation into the life of Helen of Troy, one of the most enigmatic and notorious figures of all time, Hughes reconstructs life in Bronze Age Greece through Homer’s accounts, ancient literature and art. A well-researched and engaging portrait about one of the world's most famous women.

Homer the Classic

Author: Gregory Nagy

Description: Harvard classics scholar Nagy considers how Homer’s poetry was greeted in its own day and in the centuries immediately following the great bard.

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.

Mediterranean Explorer Map

Author: Ocean Explorer Maps

Description: This handy color map of the Mediterranean from Spain to the Black Sea and the Levant puts ancient sites and historic ports into context. With notable people, a timeline and descriptions of dozens of places.

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.

Territorial Rights

Author: Muriel Spark

Description: Wheels spin within wheels in Spark's wicked comedy of betrayals, youth murders, spy-craft and much more, set in her beloved Venice.

The Balkans, A Short History

Author: Mark Mazower

Description: With eloquence and clarity, Mazower addresses the issues of geography, nationalism and nation in this indispensable survey.

The Bridge on the Drina

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

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

The 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 Hemlock Cup, Socrates, Athens and the Search for the Good Life

Author: Bettany Hughes

Description: An illuminating portrait of Socrates and the Golden Age of Athens. The award-winning scholar re-creates the streets, red-light district, gymnasia, religious festivals and the teeming marketplace in the heart of ancient Athens where Socrates engaged in philosophical dialogue and where he would be condemned to death.

The Middle Sea

Author: John Julius Norwich

Description: A marvelous writer who has already written on Byzantium, Venice and the Sahara, Norwich spins his magic in this story of culture, trade and politics, royalty and rulers, wars and religion in the Mediterranean.

The Parthenon

Author: Mary Beard

Description: A lively tale of the construction, significance and uses of the 2,500-year-old architectural marvel.

The Way of Herodotus, Travels with the Man Who Invented History

Author: Justin Marozzi

Description: A Penguin Classics edition of The Histories in hand, Marozzi journeys from Herodotus' home town of Helicarnassus, now known as Bodrum, to Baghdad, Babylon, Egypt and Athens, weaving tales of his hero with erudite and entertaining modern travel.

The World of Venice

Author: Jan Morris

Description: If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.

Travels With Epicurus

Author: Daniel Klein

Description: Daniel Klein's witty meditation on the ancients, life in the Greek Islands, his favorite philosophers -- and growing old gracefully -- is also a delightful romp through the Aegean.

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