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Voyages to Antiquity: The Jewels of the Mediterranean

Program Number: 21235RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/11/2013 - 7/7/2013;
Duration: 26 nights
Location: Italy/Croatia/Greece
Price starting at: $7,895.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 72; 25 Breakfasts, 22 Lunches, 25 Dinners    
Meal Options: Gluten Free; Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian    

Join us for an epic voyage reminiscent of the bygone “Grand Tour” beloved by English aristocrats, as you discover the roots of Western civilization in legendary ports and islands of the Mediterranean. Noted experts present to you a survey, in situ, of the great civilizations and their masterpieces from antiquity to the Renaissance, from Venice to Athens to Rome.




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

Arrival Venice (Italy), embark MV Aegean Odyssey, 24 nights, Rome, 1 night.



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


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

Walk through incomparable Venice to marvel at the Piazza San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge’s Palace.



Day 5: Zadar (Croatia):

Discover fascinating monuments left behind by Romans, Byzantines and Venetians in this port city. Sail through the Kornati Islands en route to Split.



Day 6: Split:

Learn about the magnificent Palace of Diocletian, today not a deserted ruin but a bustling warren of houses, shops and cafés.



Day 7: Korcula and Hvar:

Explore the pine-forested island of Korcula, said to be the birthplace of Marco Polo, and sail past the gorgeous island of Hvar off the Dalmatian Coast.



Day 8: Dubrovnik:

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



Day 9: Corfu (Greece):

Examine the Venetian heritage of Corfu as you learn about the Old Fortress, the red-domed Agios Spyrídon church and the famous Esplanade.



Day 10: Preveza:

Discover the fortress and 13th and 14th century churches in Arta, the former capital of the Byzantine province of Epirus.



Day 11: Katakolon:

Visit Ancient Olympia, where the first Olympic Games took place in 776 BC.



Day 12: Nauplia:

Explore the great Mycenaean culture that flourished in this area at the ancient city of Mycenae, reputedly the capital of Agamemnon and the citadel of Homer’s Iliad.



Days 13-15: Athens:

Discover the magnificent Acropolis of Athens and explore Plaka - the picturesque historical neighborhood of Athens with its labryinthine streets and neoclassical architecture.



Day 16: Nauplia:

Learn about Epidaurus, sacred to Asclepios, the god of medicine, and the site of the best preserved of all ancient Greek theaters.



Days 17-18: At Sea/Syracuse (Italy):

Learn about Syracuse's outstanding collection of Greek and Roman ruins including the 5th-century Greek theater where many of Aeschylus's tragedies were first staged.



Day 19: Trapani/Segesta:

From Trapani, discover the ancient city of Segesta with its majestic 36-columned, 5th-century BC temple and stunning Greek theater.



Days 20-21: Palermo:

In the Sicilian capital, walk through the old center to see its historic buildings. Experience Monreale Cathedral with its glorious 12th-century mosaics covering over 1.5 acres of wall space.



Days 22-23: Sorrento:

Discover the spectacular sites of Pompeii and Herculaneum, both buried for centuries after the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD.



Days 24: Bonifacio:

On the French Island of Corsica, learn about Bonifacio’s Haute Ville (upper city) and its imposing citadel.



Days 25: Florence:

Discover two of the world's greatest art galleries; the Accademia, home to Michelangelo's David, and the Uffizi with its remarkable collection including Botticelli's Birth of Venus.



Day 26-27: Rome / disembark / departure

Enjoy an expert-led excursion through Rome and a farewell dinner at a local trattoria.
Lodging: Four-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
   MV Aegean Odyssey
  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 24 nights
   Grand Hotel Beverly Hills
  Rome, Italy 1 night
 MV Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The MV Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
web: www.voyagestoantiquity.com
  Room amenities: All cabins are equipped with a flat screen TV, air-conditioning, and personal safe. Particular importance is placed on the standard of bedding in cabins. Luxury bedding, including fine duvets, covers and sheets, ample soft pillows and quality towels can be expected. Also, shampoo, bath and shower gel, soap, and shower cap are provided. Your cabin steward is always available. Cabins and suites feature outlets with 220 voltage, using the “European” two round pin plug. Hair dryers are provided in your cabin and electric rollers, curling irons, electric shavers and other small appliances can be used in your cabin. For safety reasons, travel irons are not allowed.
  Facility amenities: Dining: MV Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge. Or perhaps an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, no wireless available); beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Grand Hotel Beverly Hills
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: A spacious and elegant reception hall welcomes guests to the Hotel Beverly Hills Rome. This is a precursor to the expert hospitality and warm welcome which guests will find inside. The warmth of this welcome is continued into the guest rooms and suites with their classic interiors and modern comforts. The ristorante Mascagni and the Puccini Bar are both elegant and lovely. The hotel is located in the prestigious Parioli neighborhood with easy connections to the center of Rome, highways, and airports.
  Contact info: Largo Benedetto Marcello 220
Rome,  00198 Italy
phone: +39 06 85 42141
web: www.beverlyhotelrome.it
  Room amenities: Each room has a hair dryer, mini bar, safe box, telephone, television, and wireless Internet access (for a fee).
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a restaurant, bar, air conditioning, laundry services, business center, Internet access (30 minutes of free wireless Internet in the lobby, additional wireless Internet available for a fee), and safe box.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights 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: 12:00 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 MV Aegean Odyssey that night.
  End of Program:
Rome, Italy. The program will end after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Grand Hotel Beverly Hills the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. The Voyages to Antiquity Guest Registration Form is required.
  Parking availability:
N/A
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Water bus, approx. 5 Euro.
To Start of Program
  Location:  MV Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
  Transportation to site: Option 1: Take the Alilaguna Private Shuttle (water bus) Line Blu to the Zattere stop (approx. 45 minutes, 15 Euro). Walk approx. 10-15 minutes, across a couple bridges, to the San Basilio stop. Option 2: From the airport take either the private bus (ATVO Line, 5 Euro) or the public bus (Line 5, 1.20 Euro) to Piazzale Roma. From here, take the Vaporetto line 6 to the San Basilio stop (approx. 6.50 Euro).
  From End of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Transportation from site: Take a short walk to the bus stop on the corner of Via Po and Via Simeto. Take the bus number 86 that takes you to Termini central station. Enter the train station and take the train Leonardo Express to Fiumicino airport. If you wish to hire a private car (57 Euro), you may contact Italian Details at giorgia.zago@italiandetails.com or 011-39-06-89087926.
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
(Tuesday, June 11)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Wednesday, June 12)
   
 Morning: Arrival at Marco Polo Airport (VCE). Transfer to Venice.
 Afternoon: Embark on the MV Aegean Odyssey. Welcome orientation to the program at 5:00 PM in the "Observation Lounge" on board the ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Venice, Italy
(Thursday, June 13)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Program orientation and group introductions. There is no better way to begin our journey than with a morning 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.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Road Scholar walking excursion.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Venice, Italy
(Friday, June 14)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy some free time to take a gondola ride through ancient canals or explore the legendary Peggy Guggenheim collection.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or at a local restaurant on your own.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, you are free to explore Venice on your own - walk to the Rialto or the Accademia or simply indulge in a Bellini in Harry’s Bar.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Experience Venice and St. Mark's by night. Night-time departure for Zadar, Croatia.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Zadar, Croatia / Kornati Islands
(Saturday, June 15)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The ship winds its way through the breathtaking beauty of the Kornati Islands.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The Romans, Byzantines, and Venetians all coveted the port of Zadar and as a result it is rich in fascinating monuments. Our morning walking excursion of the town will include the Roman forum, the Romanesque jewel that is the Cathedral of St. Anastasia, and the Byzantine masterpiece, the Church of St. Donat.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Enjoy an evening departure for Split. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Split, Croatia / Trogir
(Sunday, June 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The morning will be spent at the Palace of Diocletian, including the Temple of Jupiter and Diocletian's mausoleum. Born in Salona, a town a few miles to the north of Split, Diocletian became Emperor of Rome in 284AD. To ensure a comfortable retirement, Diocletian commissioned the construction of a massive limestone and marble palace in the town of Split. When it was completed in 305AD, Diocletian abdicated, the first Roman Emperor to do so. His palace complex included three temples, Diocletian's massive mausoleum (now the Cathedral of St. Dominus), and could house around 9,000 people. Today the palace is no deserted ruin but a shell containing a bustling warren of houses, shops and cafés.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time. This afternoon you may choose to continue to explore Split on your own, or visit the delightful island of Trogir (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Late evening departure for Korcula.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: The Islands of Korcula and Hvar
(Monday, June 17)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The people of Dalmatia have long been known as intrepid travellers and great seamen. The pine-forested island of Korcula is said to be the birthplace of the most famous of these adventurers, Marco Polo. This morning will be spent walking in the Venetian fortified town of Korcula visiting Marco Polo's reputed birthplace, the 15th-century Cathedral of St. Mark, and the wonderful Venetian art in the Abbey Treasury.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At lunchtime, Aegean Odyssey departs for an afternoon cruise past the island of Hvar. Attend a late afternoon talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Arrive in Dubrovnik in the early evening. You are free to stroll around the charming old town.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Dubrovnik, Croatia
(Tuesday, June 18)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: On this morning's excursion see the highlights of Dubrovnik's Old Town. Marvel at the magnificent 10th-century city walls, the Baroque Church of St. Blaise and the Cathedral which boasts Titian's 'Assumption' over the main altar.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: The ship departs and cruises the stunning fjord of the Bay of Kotor before setting off for Corfu.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Corfu, Greece
(Wednesday, June 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At the height of their Empire, Corfu held a special place in the heart of the Venetians. The historian Jan Morris wrote: "The Greek Island of Corfu is made for pleasure and escape...Corfu was the most desirable station of the Venetian colonial service." Today, this Venetian heritage is still visible in Corfu Town as you will discover on this morning's excursion that takes in the Old Fortress built by the Venetians in between 1550-1559, the 16th century, red-domed Agios Spyridon church and famous Esplanade.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, you are free to continue enjoying Corfu Town. A drink at the Liston cafe is a must.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Night-time departure for Préveza. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Preveza, Greece
(Thursday, June 20)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Situated on the shore of the Channel of Cleopatra, you arrive in Préveza in the early morning and depart for the fortress and 13th and 14th century churches in Arta, the former capital of the Byzantine province of Epirus.
 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: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Katakolon, Greece / Olympia
(Friday, June 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Arrive in the early morning at the port of Katakolon for a morning's excursion of Ancient Olympia. The first Olympic Games took place here in 776BC when the top athletes for Greece's city-states met to compete in sprinting, wrestling, and boxing. The site was also an important religious center as Mount Olympus, after which the site was named, was believed to be the home of Zeus. Return to the ship for a lunchtime departure to Nauplia.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Relax on board as you continue to sail toward Nauplia. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader. Enjoy a late afternoon Road Scholar cocktail party.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Nauplia, Greece
(Saturday, June 22)

Note: There is moderate to heavy walking over uneven surfaces in Mycenae and Epidaurus, and moderate walking in Nauplia unless you choose to climb the fortress.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A full and very exciting day ahead. The morning will be dedicated to exploring the great Mycenaean culture that flourished in this area, known as the Argolid plain, between 1600-1300BC. At its heart is the ancient city of Mycenae, reputedly the capital of Agamemnon and the “well-built citadel” of Homer’s Iliad.
 Lunch: Road Scholar lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: This afternoon we visit Epidaurus, sacred to Asclepios, the god of medicine, and the site of the best preserved of all ancient Greek theaters.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture. Evening departure for Athens.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Athens, Greece
(Sunday, June 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: We will explore the recenty opened Acropolis Museum.
 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 on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Cape Sounion
(Monday, June 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark. Enjoy an excursion to Cape Sounion.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration in Athens.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 15: Athens, Greece
(Tuesday, June 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a guided excursion focusing on Byzantine Athens.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 16: Nauplia, Greece
(Wednesday, June 26)

Note: There is moderate to heavy walking on uneven surfaces in Nauplia, Mycenae and Epidaurus.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Anchor off the port of Nauplia in time for breakfast. The morning will be dedicated to exploring the great Mycenaean culture that flourished in this area, known as the Argolid plain, between 1600-1300BC. At its heart is the ancient city of Mycenae, reputedly the capital of Agamemnon and the “well-built citadel” of Homer’s Iliad.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or at a local restaurant on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the elegant town of Nauplia where you will find an excellent Archaeological Museum, housed in the impressive former Venetian Arsenal. This afternoon there is an option to visit Epidaurus, sacred to Asclepios, the god of medicine, and the site of the best preserved of all ancient Greek theaters (additional cost, bookable on board).
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 17: At sea.
(Thursday, June 27)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A chance to relax on deck and enjoy the shipboard guest lectures as the ship makes its way to Syracuse.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Enjoy the Observation Deck if the weather is nice, or dive into a good book from the ship's library.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 18: Syracuse, Sicily
(Friday, June 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Many a conqueror set his sights on Syracuse, one of the largest and wealthiest cities of ancient Europe that, at the height of its power, rivaled Athens, Carthage, and Rome. Enjoy a field trip to the city's outstanding collection of Greek and Roman ruins including the Roman Amphitheater of Augustus and the 2nd-century BC Altar of Hieron. The highlight of this excursion is a visit to the 5th-century Greek theater where many of Aeschylus's tragedies were first staged.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 19: Trapani, Sicily / Segesta
(Saturday, June 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Stretch your body and mind during early morning yoga before attending a stimulating lecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Arrive in Trapani. Travel inland to the ancient Greek city of Segesta with its majestic 36-columned, 5th-century BC temple and stunning Greek theater.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 20: Palermo, Sicily
(Sunday, June 30)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A gem of a day. The morning is centered on the Piazza della Vittoria, one of the city's major squares, where some of Palermo's most remarkable buildings are to be found. Visit the Norman Royal Palace and the Palatine Chapel, the perfect illustration of that miraculous Norman combination of Latin, Byzantine, and Arab culture. We will also have the opportunity to visit the Church of San Giovanni degli Eremiti, a Norman church decorated with Arabic domes and an exquisite Romanesque cloister. A short walk from here will take you to Palermo Cathedral and its fascinating mix of architectural styles.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Palermo on your own.
 Afternoon: Continue to explore Palermo on your own.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 21: Palermo, Sicily
(Monday, July 1)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Travel a small distance out of Palermo to experience the beauty and grace of Monreale Cathedral, with its glorious 12th-century mosaics covering over 1 1/2 acres of wall space and its cloister, perhaps the most magnificent in the world.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: A lunchtime sail takes the ship through the Lipari Islands where we will see the island of Stromboli. Its constantly active volcano is visible from the surrounding sea, giving rise to the island's nickname "Lighthouse of the Mediterranean."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture as the ship makes its way to Sorrento.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 22: Sorrento, Italy / Pompeii
(Tuesday, July 2)

Note: This excursion involves heavy walking for one or more hours over uneven terrain, with multiple uphill segments or where excursion features climbing in and out of local boats or small vehicles.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: The patricians who built their mansions in Pompeii and Herculaneum came to escape the turmoil in Rome, but a different sort of violence awaited them in their southern retreats. In 79AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted at 10am and, within three hours, extinguished these affluent communities even as it preserved their remains for our discovery. Begin with a scenic hour drive along the Bay of Naples to Pompeii. On the walking excursion, you will be guided expertly through this spectacular site. Places not to be missed include the aristocratic mansions, temples, theaters, markets and large forum. At every turn, inscriptions bring the hustle and bustle of this ancient city to life: there are notices of wine sales and apartment vacancies, upcoming gladiatorial events in the theater and political announcements.
 Lunch: Enjoy a typical Italian lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: In the afternoon, we head to Herculaneum which was engulfed by volcanic mud in the same eruption that claimed Pompeii. Fortunately for us, this mud sealed and protected entire buildings: today inlaid marble floors, paintings, mosaics and carbonized woods can all be seen. These range from the sculpture of the Drunken Hercules in the House of the Stags to mosaics of tritons in the city baths. Perhaps the most famous relic is the Villa of the Papyri. The villa was owned by Julius Caesar's father-in-law, Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus, a man with a keen interest in Epicurean philosophy. Following our visit, we will return to central Sorrento where you have the option of exploring independently or returning to the ship in the company of the guide.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Overnight in Sorrento. Attend a shipboard guest lecture
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 23: Sorrento, Italy / Amalfi Drive
(Wednesday, July 3)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a full-day field trip along the Amalfi Drive, considered by many to be the most beautiful drive in the world. During this journey along one of Europe's most striking coasts, you will experience breathtaking panoramas, picturesque fishing villages, secluded beaches, and Mediterranean scenery. Explore Amalfi, the town which gives its name to the entire Sorrentine Peninsula, a port since the 6th century and Italy’s first independent maritime republic.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Revisit the beauty of the Amalfi Coast on your return to Sorrento and your ship.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 24: Bonifacio, Corsica
(Thursday, July 4)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Attend a talk by your Road Scholar Group Leader.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Visit the cliff-top Haute Ville (Upper city) of Bonifacio. The citadel was built in the 9th century with the foundation of the city and is located on a limestone promontory overlooking the Mediterranean Sea to Sardinia: the view from the town is stunning.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 25: Livorno, Italy / Florence
(Friday, July 5)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A special day. In the morning, drive from Livorno to Florence for a morning visit to the Galleria dell'Accademia and explore one of the most famous art collections (including, of course, Michelangelo's David) in the world. This is followed by a walking excursion of this remarkable city including the Piazza del Duomo and the Ponte Vecchio.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: The afternoon is centered on a guided field trip to the Uffizi, Italy's greatest art gallery with its remarkable collection of masterpieces including Botticelli's "The Birth of Venus."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: MV Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 26: Rome, Italy / Disembark
(Saturday, July 6)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark in Civitavecchia and transfer to Rome. Morning panoramic sightseeing excursion through the fabulous city of Rome.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Rome on your own. You may wish to explore the Pantheon, or behold stunning views of the city from the top of the Spanish Steps.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a Roman trattoria.
   
Accommodations: Grand Hotel Beverly Hills
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 27: Departures
(Sunday, July 7)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to the Leonardo da Vinci International airport (FCO) 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 www.benaki.gr/index.asp
  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 www.cycladic.gr
  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 www.museiciviciveneziani.it
  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 www.museiciviciveneziani.it
  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 www.guggenheim-venice.it
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


A Traveller's History of Croatia


Author: Benjamin Curtis


Description: Curtis untangles with alacrity the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.



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.



Balkan Ghosts, A Journey through History


Author: Robert D. Kaplan


Description: Kaplan interweaves the history, art and culture of Yugoslavia, Bulgaria, Romania and Greece with his travels in this portrait of the region.



City of Fortune, How Venice Ruled the Seas


Author: Roger Crowley


Description: Crowley spins tales of three centuries of plunder and plague, imperial conquest and piracy in this riveting new history, chronicling the transformation of a tiny city of lagoon dwellers into the richest place on earth. City of Fortune is framed by two of the great collisions of world history: the ill-fated Fourth Crusade -- culminating in the sacking of Constantinople in 1204 -- and the Ottoman-Venetian War of 1499-1503.



Croatia, Through Writers' Eyes


Author: Barnaby Rogerson (Editor)


Description: This collection of stories, tales and travel narratives illuminates the history and culture of Croatia. Including contributions by Rebecca West, Lawrence Durrell and Fitzroy MacLean.



Greece, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Artemis Leontis (Editor)


Description: In this terrific anthology 24 modern Greek writers offer a flavor of their nation, its culture and people, its beautiful landscapes and rich history.



How We Survived Communism and Even Laughed


Author: Slavenka Drakulic


Description: These short essays capture the absurdity, struggle and day-to-day reality of being a woman in Yugoslavia under Communism. Drakulic is a Croatian journalist, novelist and contributing editor at The Nation.



Italy in Mind


Author: Alice Powers


Description: A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.



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.



La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


Author: Beppe Severgnini


Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.



Mediterranean Cruises Map


Author: Freytag & Berndt


Description: A double-sided, full-color map of the Mediterranean, including the Iberian Peninsula and Black Sea, North Africa and the Levant, at a scale of 1:2,000,000.



Mediterranean by Cruise Ship


Author: Anne Vipond


Description: The best-selling, compact guide, featuring excellent local maps, hundreds of color photographs, concise background information and recommended excursions for ports-of-call throughout the Mediterranean.



Midnight in Sicily, On Art, Food, History, Travel and La Cosa Nostra


Author: Peter Robb


Description: Combining interviews, research and essays on Sicilian history and culture, this vivid report by journalist Peter Robb is a superb introduction to Italy's glorious, corrupt and troubled south.



On Persephone's Island


Author: Mary Taylor Simeti


Description: Strong on the delights of rural life, Simeti's portrait of Sicily takes the form of a yearlong journal, capturing the spirit of the people, daily life, traditions and the land.



Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Rome


Author: Christopher Scarre


Description: A vivid overview of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire and its expansion throughout North Africa and the Mediterranean, illustrated with ingenious color maps on many topics (political borders, trade, defense, religion) and 80 color photographs.



Pompeii, A Novel


Author: Robert Harris


Description: In this fast-paced historical novel set in Pompeii, a young engineer sets out to repair the Roman aqueducts and discovers the imminent eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Full of suspense and period detail.



Sailing the Wine-Dark Sea, Why the Greeks Matter


Author: Thomas Cahill


Description: Cahill brings to life ancient Greek society and civilization through the lives and words of politicians, playwrights, a poet, philosopher and artist in this eloquent and absorbing tribute.



The Ancient Mediterranean


Author: Michael Grant


Description: Grant explores the realms of archaeology, geography, art and economics to sketch this classic portrait of the ancient world, from prehistory through the Roman Imperium, and the influence on western civilization.



The Balkans, A Short History


Author: Mark Mazower


Description: A brief, provocative survey of the complex and often contentious history of the Balkans. With eloquence and insight, Mazower addresses the issues of geography, nationalism and modern nation-building in the region.



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 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 Greek Myths, Complete Edition


Author: Robert Graves


Description: A new edition of Graves' classic collection illustrated by the comic book artist Ross MacDonald. This expert retelling by Graves, a poet, memoirist and the author of I, Claudius (ITL429), still remains the seminal modern translation of the mythologies of Ancient Greece.



The Leopard


Author: Giuseppe Di Lampedusa


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



The Middle Sea


Author: John Julius Norwich


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



The World of Venice


Author: Jan Morris


Description: Morris displays her talent for research, anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited history of a beloved city.



Venice Is a Fish


Author: Tiziano Scarpa


Description: The hugely popular Venetian novelist, poet and playwright makes his English-language debut with these marvelously digressive essays on the many moods and pleasures of La Serenissima.





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