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Rome: The Eternal City

Program Number: 19688RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/19/2014 - 10/27/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/10/2014; 3/22/2015 - 3/30/2015; 4/12/2015 - 4/20/2015; 5/3/2015 - 5/11/2015; 5/17/2015 - 5/25/2015; 6/7/2015 - 6/15/2015; 9/13/2015 - 9/21/2015; 9/27/2015 - 10/5/2015; 10/4/2015 - 10/12/2015; 10/18/2015 - 10/26/2015; 11/1/2015 - 11/9/2015; 11/8/2015 - 11/16/2015;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,847.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type:
Meals: 17; 7 Breakfasts, 4 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

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




Highlights

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



Activity Particulars

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




Date Specific Information

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

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11-2-2014

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

Save money (off season hotel pricing) and time (less crowded museums.)
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



11-8-2015

Save money (off season hotel pricing) and time (fewer crowds in museums).
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome, 7 nights; departure.



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

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




Italy

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



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

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

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

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

Rachel Potts is a licensed excursion leader in Rome. She graduated from Manchester University (UK) with a bachelor's in philosophy and French, and later studied garden design at the London Gardening School. Having grown up in Rome, she chose to return to Italy and share her knowledge and love of Rome and surrounding areas.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Pace Helvezia
  Rome, Italy 7 nights
 Hotel Pace Helvezia
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The hotel is situated near Piazza Venezia in the center of Rome, well within walking distance of the Forum, Colosseum, monument to Victor Emanuel, and Trevi Fountain. The terrace lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from early spring to late autumn.
  Contact info: Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome,  00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
web: www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it
  Room amenities: All rooms have private bathroom, writing desk. Individual control heat/air conditioning, satellite TV, room safe, mini bar, hair dryer. Free Wi-Fi.
  Facility amenities: Reception desk is open 24 hours. Enjoy a coffee or drink at the bar in the lobby. Free Wi-Fi throughout the facility. Laundry service available.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.
  Check in time: 1:00 PM
  Additional nights after: varies by season You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelpacehelveziaroma.it or reservation@leonardihotels.com. Indicate to the hotel that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to use online hotel consolidators such as Hotels.com or Expedia.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for morning arrivals. Hotel check in 1:00 pm. Meet in the lobby at 4 pm for Orientation. You will be staying at Hotel Pace Helvezia that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast, transfers to airport. Hotel check out by 11 am. You will be staying at Hotel Pace Helvezia the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Trains come to the Rome station from all over Europe and Italy. From the main train station, Roma Termini, the best way to arrive at the hotel is by taxi (about EUR 20).
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Nearest city or town:  Rome
  Nearest highway: A1
  Nearest airport:  Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino
  Transportation to site: To reach the program site on your own from Rome Leonardo da Vinci (Fiumicino) Airport you can take public transportation (train and taxi) or taxi for airport to hotel service. Public transportation option: Leonardo Express trains depart twice an hour for Roma Termini, the main train station. Purchase tickets at the station attached to the airport terminal. Fare is EUR 14 pp. From Roma Termini take a taxi to the hotel - fare approx. EUR 20. For door to door service from the airport to the hotel, taxi fare is EUR 50. Max. 4 persons to a taxi. Proceed to the airport exit and look for the well marked TAXI stand where the authorized metered taxis await their fares in an orderly fashion. Do not accept a ride from anyone approaching you on foot offering taxi service. Share-a-ride shuttle van service (multiple passengers and multiple stops) can be booked at www.rome.airport-shuttle.com. You can also contact the Hotel Pace Helvezia for a private car and driver.
  From End of Program
  Location: Rome
  Transportation from site: To reach the airport on your own the hotel can arrange a private car and driver at a competitive price or you can take public transportation, starting with a taxi (fare EUR 20) to Roma Termini, the main train station. The Leonardo Express line trains depart twice an hour for Fiumicino Airport. Purchase tickets at the train station ticket windows or automated machines. Fare is c. EUR 14 pp. Taxi fare direct from the hotel to the airport is approx. EUR 50. Max. 4 persons to a taxi. Share a ride shuttle service can be booked at www.rome.airport-shuttle.com.
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Departure from points in North America
(Sunday, November 2)

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



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

Day 2: Orientation / Welcome Reception / Neighborhood Walk
(Monday, November 3)

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



   
 Arrive To: Arrival at hotel in Rome. As we wait for all program participants to arrive, feel free to explore the area of the hotel (Piazza Venezia, Trevi Fountain)
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: At the orientation meeting, the group leader distributes the most updated and detailed program schedule and goes over logistics. The session is followed by a neighborhood walk pointing out the location of ATMs, pharmacies, grocery stores, and nearby attractions.
 Dinner: Prior to dinner gather at the appointed time for a welcome reception to meet your fellow adventurers. The meal will be taken at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Roman History / Colosseum / Ancient Roman Art at the Capitoline
(Tuesday, November 4)

Note: Coaches are not allowed in the vicinity of the Colosseum. From the coach drop off point walk downhill to the entrance and once inside, climb the steep steps to reach the upper level of the Colosseum, or use the elevator. Stairs, extended walking and standing at the Capitoline Museum.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: An illustrated lecture on The History of Ancient Rome leads you from its foundation as a small village to its supremacy which lasted nearly 1000 years. Many of the ancient structures and institutions continue to the present. Expert-led visit to the Colosseum for reserved entrance time.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: At the Capitoline Museum the expert will comment on major pieces in the collection; The Etruscan She Wolf with the Renaissance addition of Romulus and Remus; the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius and the foundations of the temple of Jupiter Capitolinus. Cross to the other wing of the museum through the Tabularium, ancient Rome's archives. There is a commanding view of the Forum from that vantage point. Ascend at the Braccio Nuovo or new wing, this is home to the Dying Gaul and the Capitoline Venus.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Palatine / Roman Forum / Domus Romane / Exclusive off-hours visit to the Sistine Chapel and Stanze of Raphael
(Wednesday, November 5)

Note: Extended walking and standing in the vast area of the Roman Forum. Leisurely walk without crowds down the corridors of the Vatican Museums to the Sistine Chapel.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to the Palatine Hill for an expert-led visit of the Roman Forum. The word "palatial" is related to the Palatine because wealthy leaders of Rome built their palaces on the hill. Visit the Imperial palaces and the museum which shows evidence of the post holes used by the earliest settlers for dwelling huts. From the southern ledge (unless otherwise restricted), peer down to the Circus Maximus and over to the Aventine Hill. Descend and continue walking in the Roman Forum, the civic, religious and political hub of ancient Rome. The expert will build mental pictures of the walls now lacking from the foundations. See the two remaining arches, that of Septemius Severus and of Titus. The Arch of Constantine contains friezes and bas-relief sculptures recycled from other arches and monuments.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Short walk (2 blocks) to the Domus Romane at the Palazzo Valentini. The rooms of a noble family’s home come to life as laser projections recreate the rooms, furnishings and decorations of a home from Imperial Rome. Short walk to the hotel to rest up before the exclusive visit to the Vatican Museums.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant to enjoy Roman cuisine.
 Evening: Board coach for exclusive off-hours limited visit with an art historian to the Stanze of Raphael and the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy a crowd-free time in the presence of Michelangelo's and Raphael's frescoes. See what most people do not see, the beautiful Cosmati floor. Please note, other rooms and galleries are not open for this visit.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Aventine Hill / St. Peter's Basilica / Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain
(Thursday, November 6)

Note: Stand in security line prior to entering the Basilica. After lunch, less than a mile walk back to the hotel.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to the Aventine. Ascend the Aventine Hill, traditional homestead of Remus. Stroll the Orange Garden for a panoramic view of Rome. St. Dominic brought orange trees from Spain, their descendents still bloom and produce fruit. Coach to the Vatican. Expert-led visit of St. Peter's Basilica. In the first side chapel on the right, behind a protective glass, you can see the famous Pieta', Michelangelo's early work and only piece he signed. Above the altar stands Bernini's Baldacchino or canopy; it is over 100 feet high. There are countless historical references and events associated with this Basilica, once the largest in the world. Stepping out onto the front porch, you will admire the colonnade designed by Bernini.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: After lunch the expert leads a walk of discovery to the Spanish Steps, past Bernini's palace and on to the Trevi Fountain. Built to commemorate the restored aqueduct that brought water into Rome, the central figure of Neptune, god of the waters rides a conch shell and two Tritons hold bridled sea horses, one representing the calm seas, the other stormy seas. The famous scene from Fellini's La Dolce Vita was filmed there as well as Three Coins in a Fountain. Short walk to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dine at a restaurant of your choosing to try local specialties.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Viminal and Caelian Hills / Contemporary Italian Politics
(Friday, November 7)

Note: Short coach rides to the various sites visited this morning.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to the Viminal Hill to the site of first church built in honor of Mary. There are mosaics from the 5th to the 12th century. The coffered ceiling was decorated with gold leaf from the Americas. Bernini is buried near the main altar. The excursion continues to see Michelangelo's statue of Moses, part of the grandiose vision Pope Julius II had intended for his monument in S. Peter's (where he is actually buried). Coach continues to a site where excavations have revealed a 2nd-3rd c. CE Roman house. During the visit, the expert will offer interpretations suggested for the owners. Do the frescoes indicate pagan themes or early Christian themes? Still up for debate.
 Lunch: Coach back to the hotel. Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Short walk to the Quirinal to see Bernini's Ecstasy of St. Theresa, then compare two rival architects: Borromini's oval church of S. Carlo alle Quattro Fontane and Bernini's oval design of S. Andrea al Quirinale. Continue down the road to Piazza del Quirinale, formerly a papal palace turned king's palace and now the residence of the President of Italy. There is a commanding view of Rome from up there. Walk down the slight hill to reach the hotel. Before dinner, a lecture on Contemporary Italian Politics.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 7: Piazza Navona and the Pantheon / Baroque Music / Lecture on Rome's Legacy
(Saturday, November 8)

Note: Pedestrian only streets from the Pantheon to Piazza Navona. At the patrician palazzo stroll and stand while a guide describes the history of the family and their extensive art collection. A brief concert in the music room follows.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Transportation to Piazza Navona, once the "Agones" built by the Emperor Domitian (81-96) for track and field games, the stadium was a long oval. The buildings lining the piazza have the footprint of the bleachers. Now the quintessential Baroque piazza, it is home to artists and performers. Bernini's statue of the Four Rivers sits in the middle and Borromini's church of St. Agnes is on the west side. Cross the street toward the Pantheon, the temple/celestial observatory engineered by the Emperor Hadrian around 122 CE. The niches along the interior perimeter are illuminated by the sun at different times of the year and day. King Vittorio Emanuele II, his wife and son are buried there. The painter Raphael's tomb lines the far most left niche from the main entrance. The interior forms a sphere 142 feet in diameter and the oculus (opening in the roof) is 29 feet across. Enjoy a concert of Baroque Music in a patrician Roman palazzo.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Lecture on the Legacy of Rome is designed to pull together what we have learned and experienced.
 Dinner: Dinner at a characteristic Roman pizzeria.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Jewish Ghetto / Trastevere / Borghese Gallery / Farewell dinner
(Sunday, November 9)

Note: Fairly long walk and extended standing at the Jewish Ghetto. A few flights of stairs to the base of the Tiber Island, water levels permitting. A circular staircase leads to the top floor of the Borghese Gallery.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk of discovery to the Tiber Island and Jewish Ghetto. The area of the Ghetto was where the Jews were confined from the 16th-19th centuries; during free time one might select to visit the museum and synagogues. The Tiber Island was the original crossing point of the Tiber in antiquity, as it divided the width of the River. Geologically it is related to the Capitoline Hill and was formed by erosion. The Island was also used as a healing sanctuary to "isolate" the sick and there was a temple to Aesculapius on the aft end of the island. We will look at portions of the marble relief showing the intertwined serpents around the staff, symbol of the medical arts. From there you can see the oldest span of a Roman bridge, Pons Aemilius, dating to the 2rd century BCE. The tradition of healing continues on the island, the Fatebenefratelli Hospital is located on the prow end of the island. During the 10th century construction began on the church of St. Bartholomew, built above the ruins of the ancient sanctuary.
 Lunch: Select a place to have lunch from the many options available.
 Afternoon: Coach to the Galleria Borghese, for an expert-led visit of the collection of art amassed by Cardinal Scipio Borghese, nephew of the Pope Paul V. The villa which houses his collection was used as a retreat and reception hall for dignitaries visiting Rome. A connoisseur of art, he acquired through purchase or intrigue artworks that he fancied. His most impressive collection of sculptures were done by Bernini when he was in his early 20's. His paintings feature Caravaggio, Titian, Raphael, Botticelli, and others. The museum limits visits to two hours. Return to the hotel with time to pack prior to the farewell dinner.
 Dinner: Enjoy your farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Do not neglect to return to the Trevi Fountain and throw the customary coins in as you make your wish to return to the Eternal City.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Departure
(Monday, November 10)

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



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel or brown bag for those with early departures.
 Morning: Transfers to airport.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History


Author: Ada Gabucci (Editor)


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



Blue Guide Rome


Author: Alta MacAdam


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



Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling


Author: Ross King


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



Roman Art and Architecture


Author: Sir Mortimer Eric Wheeler


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



Rome Map


Author: Berndtson & Berndtson


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



Rome, A Cultural History


Author: Jonathan Boardman


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



St. Peter's


Author: Keith Miller, Mary Beard (Editor)


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



The Art of the Renaissance


Author: Peter Murray


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



The Colosseum


Author: Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard


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



The Italian Renaissance


Author: J. H. Plumb


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



The Oxford Illustrated History of the Roman World


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


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



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


Author: Grant Heiken


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



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


Author: Susan Cahill


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





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