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Uncovering the Origins of Western Civilization: Rome, Athens and Istanbul

Program Number: 21335RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/20/2014 - 3/5/2014; 10/23/2014 - 11/5/2014; 11/6/2014 - 11/19/2014;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy/Greece/Turkey
Price starting at: $3,995.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 27; 12 Breakfasts, 8 Lunches, 7 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

The ideas and discoveries of ancient scholars built the foundation for Western civilization — and the cities that were once home to these thinkers remain today, ripe for discovery. With historians and local experts, explore the modern hubs and ancient wonders of Rome, Athens and Istanbul, and gain new perspective into the industry of ancient Romans, the theories of Greek philosophers, and influence of the Ottoman Empire on our modern lives.




Highlights

• Consider the lives of ancient Romans as you explore the Colosseum and Roman Forum, and take in the collections of the Musei Capitolini.
• See the birthplace of democracy during an expert-led field trip to the Ancient Agora of Athens.
• Join a well-known chef and food historian in Istanbul for a culinary experience that illustrates the reach of the Ottoman Empire.



Activity Particulars

Walking up to 3 miles a day over uneven terrain; stairs without railings; standing for an hour at a time.




Date Specific Information

2-20-2014, 10-23-2014, 11-6-2014

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



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome (Italy), 4 nights; flight to Athens (Greece), 4 nights; flight to Istanbul (Turkey), 4 nights; departure.



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

As the “Eternal City” — and capital of Italy — Rome is a treasure trove of archaeological, artistic and cultural wonders. Delve into Roman history as you join a local historian for an exploration of the Colosseum and Roman Forum. Discover the collections of the Musei Capitolini, the most ancient public museum in the world, and view its Roman Garden and statue of Marcus Aurelius. At the Vatican Museums, make your way through the Pio Clementino Museum, the Gallery of the Candelabras, the Sistine Chapel and more with an expert. Free afternoons offer ample time to explore Rome on your own.



Flight to Athens
4 nights

Athens is one of the oldest cities in the world, and as such, is home to an array of incredible archaeological sites. Expert-led field trips to the Acropolis Museum and the National Archaeological Museum — considered one of the finest museums in the world — offer an educated look into the city’s ancient history. Enjoy independent opportunities to explore the Acropolis and its many treasures, including the Parthenon, Propylaia, Erechtheion and the Temple of Athena Nike. Get expert insight into the history of democracy during an excursion to the Ancient Agora of Athens, where democracy was born.



Flight to Istanbul
4 nights
Departure

Byzantine and Ottoman history come to life as you join a historian for an exploration of Istanbul by coach. Take a field trip to Topkapi Palace, where Ottoman sultans resided for nearly 400 years, and admire the Byzantine architecture of the Haghia Sophia and Basilica Cistern. Ferry to the Asian side of the Bosporus for a culinary study of the Ottoman Empire with a well-known chef and historian. Make your way through the Grand Bazaar on your own or with a local expert, and enjoy time to explore Istanbul on your own.




Accommodations
Rome: Centrally located hotel. Athens: Four-star hotel; Istanbul. Comfortable hotel located in the historic district.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
  Rome, Italy 4 nights
   Titania Hotel
  Athens, Greece 4 nights
   Barcelo Saray Hotel
  Istanbul, Turkey 4 nights
 Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: In the heart of Rome, where history is dominant, you feel tradition and innovation. In a building erected at the turn of the century, the Hotel Nord embraces a pioneering style based on essential lines and furniture design to accommodate its guests. The Hotel Nord is a short walk to the center of Rome, and is connected to the main Roman monuments, train station, airport and main roads. Within a short walking distance are many famous monuments immersed in centuries of Roman history: the Colosseum, Trevi Fountain, Opera House, and Diocletian’s Baths.
  Contact info: Via G. Amendola, 3
Rome,  00185 Italy
phone: +39 06 4817163
web: http://www.romehotelnord.it/
  Room amenities: Easy, elegant, spacious and cozy. All 157 rooms of the Hotel Nord are soundproof and some are non-smoking. The ambience is comfortable thanks to antique wooden furniture, but is also young and dynamic with a great care and service details: air conditioning, direct dial telephone, minibar, colour TV with international channels, and safety deposit box. The lovely and spacious bathrooms are equipped with every comfort, with shower or bathtub and hairdryer. Internet access and free WI-FI in all the guest rooms.
  Facility amenities: Room service is available from 6.30 am till midnight. From 6.30 am to 10.30 am you can order breakfast. During the opening hours of the restaurant you can have starters or main courses available on the menu of the day. In addition, throughout the day, you can request drinks, sandwiches or cold dishes such as salads, cold meats and cheeses. A modern equipped gym is available to guests. Massage also available at extra cost. Free Wi-Fi Internet is available. If needed they do have computers with printers for boarding passes, etc.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: TBD Please contact the provider for most current pricing for this progrma.

 Titania Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: This classically designed modern hotel is an urban oasis conveniently nestled in the historic and commercial center of Athens, between Syntagma and Omonia, the city's major squares. Reflecting the ancient atmosphere of its location, the hotel features a typically decorated interior with traditional touches that evoke images of the city’s historic heritage. There are also artistic antique-style elements which decorate the rooms, creating the perfect atmosphere for your stay in this wonderful city. The Titania Athens hotel is surrounded by the most important monuments of the Grecian History, such as the Acropolis, the New Museum of Acropolis, the Parliament, the Archaeological Museum, and the National Library. It is located within short distance to theaters, modern commercial shops and city malls, offering its guests a wide variety of sightseeing and entertainment choices.
  Contact info: Panepistimiou 52
Athens,  106 78 Greece
phone: +00302103326000
web: www.titania.gr
  Room amenities: All rooms have sound-isolation and offer an up-to-date integrated communication and entertainment system with high-speed Internet access and a wide variety of digital movies and music, instant PC connection, fax modems and Satellite TV. Each room has its own private safe deposit box with a personal security password, a fully-stocked mini bar, and an independent cool/heating system. The spacious bathrooms in the deluxe suites include a Jacuzzi, whereas all bathrooms are equipped with a luxury brand of amenities
  Facility amenities: Titania Hotel features 2 restaurants - La Brasserie, and its reknowned rooftop restuarant called the Olive Garden. The property provides 24-hour room service. Meeting facilities include conference rooms, exhibit space, banquet facilities, and meeting rooms for small groups. Titania Hotel also offers a bar/lounge, a business center, a gym, and a coffee shop/café. The property has a 24-hour front desk.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Barcelo Saray Hotel
Type: Full Service Hotel
  Description: The hotel Barceló Saray is an urban hotel , in a modern, minimalist style situated in the historic centre of Istanbul. Located only 200 yards from the entrance to the Gran Bazaar and a few minutes walk from the city's main tourist attractions: Santa Sofía, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace and the Sunken Chapel, making it the ideal starting point to discover Istanbul. The hotel Barceló Saray offers the opportunity to relax after a tour of the city in the Saray Health Club, where you can enjoy beauty treatments and a traditional Turkish bath (hammam). In the Vista Restaurant you'll find extensive culinary offers, with spectacular views of the Beyazit Mosque, a menu and buffet service, and special events organised by the hotel Chef. The hotel also has 3 meeting rooms with a capacity for up to 96 people. A complete hotel in the heart of Istanbul
  Contact info: Yeniceriler Caddesi 77. Beyazit
Istanbul,  34126 Turkey
phone: +90 212 458 98 00
web: http://www.barcelo.com/BarceloHotels/en_GB/hotels/Turkey/Istanbul/hotel-barcelo-saray/general-description.aspx
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, heating, minibar, 24 hour room service, safe, suelos de parquet, telephone, 32" LCD satellite TV, Wi-Fi internet connection (free), fully equipped bathroom, shower, magnifying mirror, hairdryer in room.
  Facility amenities: Vista Restaurant: Situated on the upper floor, the restaurant has a fantastic view of the Beyazit Mosque and Istanbul University, with a-la-carte and buffet menus offering a splendid choice of Turkish and international dishes. Piano bar: The piano bar is the perfect place to sit and relax with live music after sightseeing in the city. Saray Café: Situated in the hotel entrance, this is the ideal spot to enjoy light snacks or sweet pastries with a large variety of teas and coffees Heath services include a sauna, Turkish Bath (Hammam), steam room, massage service and body treatments and hair salon. The Internet connection facilities include Free Wi-Fi and a Cyber Corner for guests who do not have their own computers. Additional facilities include a bureau de change, laundry service, luggage service, a bank, and an on-site ATM.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: TBD Please contact the provider for the most current post program rates.


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
The program starts with the Orientation at the hotel in Rome at 5 PM You will be staying at Hotel Nord Nuova Roma that night.
  End of Program:
The program ends after dinner on the departure day You will be staying at Barcelo Saray Hotel the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required. Turkey requires a visa for all travelers entering the country. Participants must purchase a 90-day sticker visa at the port of entry for USD $20 cash (subject to change). This amount is not included in your program cost.
  Parking availability:
We do not recommend driving to this program.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Nearest airport:  Rome International Airport - Fiumicino
  Transportation to site: A group arrival transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and arrive on the group date. Other participants are encouraged to take the group transfer if their flights arrive in time.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Istanbul
  Nearest airport:  IST - Atatürk/Yesilköy International
  Transportation from site: A group departure transfer is organized for all participants who purchased an air inclusive program and depart on the group date. Other participants may take the group transfer as long as their flights depart at or around the same time as the group flights. Participants who took advantage of the Free Air option through Road Scholar Travel Services will receive a free overnight in Rome at the end of the program.
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: US Departure
(Thursday, February 20)
   
 Depart From: Departures from the US. Overnight flights to Rome.

Day 2: In Flight/Arrivals in Rome
(Friday, February 21)
   
 Arrive To: Afternoon flights arrive in Rome. Meet your group leader and transfer to the hotel for check in.
 Afternoon: Join your group leader for an orientation to your program before dinner.
 Dinner: Get to know your fellow participants over a welcome dinner at the hotel.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Rome
(Saturday, February 22)

Note: Be prepared for walking through museums, and standing for up to an hour.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field trip: "Archaeological Excavations in the Roman Garden" (inside the Palazzo dei Conservatori) Field Trip: Discover Musei Capitolini, the most ancient public museum in the world which houses a considerable quantity of archaeological examples in addition to a significant collection of medieval and modern works. Recently, a large glass-walled room was built out of the covering of the Roman Garden to exhibit the original of the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, previously located in Piazza del Campidoglio. Join with your study leader for a lecture entitled "Rome, Athens and Istanbul, the rise of Western Thought".
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch as a group at a lcoal restaurant.
 Afternoon: Take the afternoon at leisure to explore this treasured city.
 Dinner: Explore the culinary options of Rome on your own this evening.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4: Ancient Rome
(Sunday, February 23)

Note: This day involves walking around historic sites such as the Colosseum and the Roman Forum. There will also be a short walk to the lunch restaurant.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: Learn about Ancient Rome, the classical period and the birth of merchant exchange (Mercati Traianei) and the birth of law (Roman Forums) Field Trip: Explore the famous archaological wonders of Colosseum, the Roman Forum, and learn about life in ancient Rome.
 Lunch: Walk to lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Take the afternoon at leisure to explore Rome.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner on your own in Rome.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: The Vatican
(Monday, February 24)

Note: This day will include walking around historic sites and through museums. Be prepared to stand for up to an hour at a time.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Join your study leader for a morning Lecture: Examine the history and rise of the Christian churches with a focus on the vatican. Field Trip: Discover the Vatican Museums The tour follows an itinerary which includes: the Pio Clementino Museum, the Gallery of the Candelabras, the Gallery of the Geographical Maps, and the Gallery of the Tapestries (Renaissance art), the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. Duration of the tour is about 2 hours.
 Lunch: Enjoy a lunch on your own to explore local options.
 Afternoon: Enjoy a leisurely afternoon to explore Rome.
 Dinner: Rejoin your group leader this evening for your last dinner in Rome at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Take this evening to pack up for the trip to Athens.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Nord Nuova Roma
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Rome to Athens
(Tuesday, February 25)

Note: This day includes a flight. You should be able to carry your own bags through the airport.



   
 Breakfast: Take an early breakfast at the hotel before your flight.
 Morning: Depart the hotel for a morning flight to Athens.
 Lunch: Upon arrival in Athens, enjoy a light lunch typically enjoyed by the Greeks.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Discover Athens. See the sites of Athens as you make your way from the airport to the Hotel. Check in to the hotel. Presentation: Join your study leader for an introductory presentation about Athens.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Titania Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Athens
(Wednesday, February 26)

Note: This day will include a walk from the Acropolis Museum to the Acropolis. This walk may be uphill over uneven ground.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Field Trip: Discover the new Acropolis Museum. The Gallery of the Slopes of the Acropolis houses treasures from the sanctuaries that were found on the slopes of the Acropolis, as well as objects that Athenians used in everyday life from all historic periods. In antiquity, the slopes of the Sacred Rock constituted the transition zone between the city and its most famous sanctuary. This was the area where official and popular cults, as well as large and small sanctuaries existed alongside private houses.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Field Trip: Discover the Acropolis. This ancient citadel is home to the remains of many of Athens' most famous landmarks, including the Parthenon, the Propylaia, the Erechtheion, and the temple of Athena Nike.
 Dinner: Enjoy dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Titania Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: Athens
(Thursday, February 27)

Note: This day includes taking public transit lines. Be prepared to walk to public transit lines, and walk up and down stairs. You will be walking around a museum, and may be asked to stand for up to an hour at a time.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel
 Morning: Join your study leader for a lecture: Learn about the Byzantine period and modern Greek history. Field Trip: The National Archaeological Museum is the largest museum in Greece and one of the world's great museums. Although its original purpose was to secure all the finds from the nineteenth century excavations in and around Athens, it gradually became the central National Archaeological Museum and was enriched with finds from all over Greece. Its abundant collections, with more than 11,000 exhibits, provide a panorama of Greek civilization from the beginnings of Prehistory to Late Antiquity.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch on your own in Athens.
 Afternoon: Free time to explore the city on your own, or you may wish to continue exploring the museum.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Titania Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Athens
(Friday, February 28)

Note: Public transit lines will be used to travel between sites. Participants must be able to use public transit lines.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: Learn about DEMOS - Classical Athenian Democracy and the Rise of Democratic Thought. Field Trip: Discover the ancient Agora where democracy was born. The Agora was the heart of ancient Athens, the focus of political, commercial, administrative and social activity, the religious and cultural centre, and the seat of justice. The site was occupied without interruption in all periods of the city's history. It was used as a residential and burial area as early as the Late Neolithic period (3000 B.C.). Early in the 6th century, in the time of Solon, the Agora became a public area.
 Lunch: Enjoy a lunch on your own in Athens.
 Afternoon: Take an afternoon to explore your favorite side of Athens. Your study leader and guide will provide suggestions for your last afternoon in Athens.
 Dinner: Enjoy a relaxing dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: Take this evening to repack and prepare for the trip to Istanbul.
   
Accommodations: Titania Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 10: Athens to Istanbul
(Saturday, March 1)

Note: This day includes a flight. Participants should be able to carry their own bags in the airport.



   
 Breakfast: Take an early breakfast at the hotel before heading to the airport.
 Morning: Transfer to the airport for your flights to Istanbul. Fly to Istanbul and meet up with your local guide. Check in to your program hotel before heading to lunch.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch in Istanbul.
 Afternoon: Discover Istanbul: See the sites of Istanbul on a city tour by coach. Lecture: Learn about Daily life at Byzantine Empire & Monophysitism Issue of Early Christianity
 Dinner: Enjoy a leisurely dinner at the hotel.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Barcelo Saray Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Istanbul
(Sunday, March 2)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Ferry across the famous Bosporus to the Asian side, and walk the narrow lanes in Kadýköy. Participate in a Lecture: Learn from a reknowned chef about the formation of Turkish cuisine - a blend of Mediterranean and Asian flavors with strong ties to the country's history and culture.
 Lunch: The local restaurant we visit is a Garden of Lost Cultures and Forgotten Tastes, the Chef will take you on a journey built on passion, keen desire, research and love through the world of food. His cooking is rich in "dishes from a broad geographical space, spanning from Mesopotamia to the Ottomans, from the Balkans to the Caucasus and from Asia to the Arabian Peninsula."
 Afternoon: Return by ferry and tram to the Sultan Ahmet Area. Free time: Continue to explore Sultan Ahmet area on your own or visit the archeological museum on your own. Our Expert guide will also offer to take you on a off the beaten path discovery.
 Dinner: Go informed as you explore the unique tastes of Istanbul on your own.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Barcelo Saray Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Istanbul
(Monday, March 3)

Note: This day requires taking public transportation between sites.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Lecture: Learn about the Ottomans - The peak of the Turco-Islamic Culture. Field Trip: Discover Topkapi Palace of Istanbul. This large palace was home to the Ottoman Sultans for nearly 400 years.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Field trip: Continue to uncover Turkish culture at the Turkish Islamic Art Museum and the beautiful Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. The first level of this breathtaking structure is a mosaic pattern made of over 20,000 handmade tiles.
 Dinner: Explore the flavors of Istanbul on your own this evening.
 Evening: At leisure.
   
Accommodations: Barcelo Saray Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Istanbul
(Tuesday, March 4)

Note: This day requires taking public transportation between sites.



   
 Breakfast: At the hotel
 Morning: Field Trip: Discover Haghia Sophia and Basilica Cistern. Haghia Sophia is both rich in religious history, and architectural significance. Famous in particular for its massive dome, the structure is said to be the epitome of Byzantine architecture.
 Lunch: Enjoy a farewell lunch at a local Turkish Restaurant
 Afternoon: Discover the Grand Bazaar on your own or explore with your Study Leader
 Dinner: Take this evening to enjoy a final dinner on your own in Istanbul.
 Evening: Repack this evening for a your flights home.
   
Accommodations: Barcelo Saray Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 14: Istanbul return to North America
(Wednesday, March 5)
   
 Breakfast: Enjoy breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Time to pack, and a morning at leisure. Perhaps take this free time to visit the Mosaic Museum.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Turkey.
 Afternoon: Transfer to the airport for flights. Due to a very late arrival, participants who took advantage of the Free Air offered through Road Scholar Travel Services will receive a free overnight in Rome before transferring on to flights home.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own at the airport.
 Evening: Participants who took advantage of the Free Air offered through Road Scholar Travel Services will be transferred to the hotel for time to relax before return flights.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 15: Flights arrive home.
(Thursday, March 6)
   
 Arrive To: Arrivals to the U.S.
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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