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Christmas in Rome

Program Number: 19115RJ
Start and End Dates:
12/20/2014 - 12/28/2014;
Duration: 8 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $2,459.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Holidays
Meals: 19; 7 Breakfasts, 6 Lunches, 6 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

The Eternal City of Rome has a certain feeling and energy during the Christmas season. From your program site hotel, it is a twenty minute walk to the lively Piazza Navona, where numerous stalls selling confections, handicrafts and toys line the baroque square. Families converge there and children fill out their wish list, while many churches arrange beautiful nativity scenes. Come discover the many ways Romans celebrate this special time of the year. Experience the culture and history of Rome and learn about some of the world’s most famous artistic masterpieces, including an expert-led field trip to the Vatican Museums and the Basilica of St. Peter. Opportunity is given to attend a midnight mass at one of the nearby churches.




Highlights

• Reserved entrance to the Vatican Museums (Sistine Chapel) and the Borghese Gallery minimize wait time.
• Through an on-site lecture in the Capitoline Museum learn about Roman history, art and fashion; visit the Jewish Synagogue and Museum in the Ghetto with a docent.
• An expert leads an exclusive field trip to an underground Mithraeum and talks about Roman mystery religions.



Activity Particulars

Walking and standing for up to three hours throughout the day. Mostly cobblestone streets, some uneven terrain.




Date Specific Information

12-20-2014

Trinity College is not able to obtain tickets to attend Midnight Mass in St. Peter`s Basilica. Contact one`s local dioceses or the Vatican website. Public transportation stops running at 9PM, taxis are scarce, expect to walk to and from St. Peter`s. Suggest selecting another church.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome, 7 nights; departure.



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

An expert lecture on Roman art prepares you to appreciate the techniques of temple construction and discern the symbols in marble bust portraiture. Apply newly acquired knowledge at the Capitoline Museum. With an expert, visit underground Roman excavations and learn about Mithras, a mystery religion popular with Roman soldiers. On expert-led walks in Rome, see an elaborate nativity scene as well as the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and more.







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
Rome: Four-star hotel located within walking distance to historic sites such as the Colosseum and the 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. Check in 2:00 pm. Meet in lobby at 4:00 for neighborhood walk. You will be staying at Hotel Pace Helvezia that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast, early morning transfers to airport 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 train station the best way to arrive at the hotel is by taxi (about € 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 you have 2 options: public transportation (train and taxi) or door to door service with shared ride shuttle. Public transportation option: From Rome Fiumicino Airport trains depart twice an hour for Roma Termini, the main train station. The line is called "Leonardo Express." Purchase tickets at the station attached to the airport terminal. Fare is €14 pp. From Roma Termini take a taxi to the hotel - fare approx. € 18. Door to door service by taxi direct from the airport to the hotel is set by the city at €48. Max. 4 persons to a taxi. Share-a-ride shuttle service can be booked at www.rome.airport-shuttle.com. Fare is about €27; discounts apply for other passengers in your party. You can also contact the Hotel Pace Helvezia for a private car and driver. Upon request the hotel will quote you the exact charge for the service, but expect to pay about EUR 50.
  From End of Program
  Location: Rome
  Transportation from site: Transfer provided for group travelers departing on group departure day. Independent travelers to Rome Airport can request to join a courtesy transfer by completing the Participant Information Form. To reach the airport on your own you have 2 options: public transportation (train and taxi) or door to door service with shared ride van. Public transportation option: Take a taxi from the hotel (fare € 20) to Termini, Rome's main train station. From there, take the Leonardo Express train direct to Fiumicino Airport. Trains depart twice an hour. Fare is €14 pp. Door to door service by taxi direct from the hotel to the airport is €48. Max. 4 persons to a taxi. Shared ride shuttle service can be booked at www.rome.airport-shuttle.com. Fare is about €27; discounts apply for other passengers in your party. You can also ask the Hotel Pace Helvezia to arrange a private car and driver. The charge is about €50.
    (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:
(Saturday, December 20)
   
 Depart From: Flight departs from US

Day 2: Neighborhood Walk / Welcome Reception
(Sunday, December 21)

Note: Leisure walk pointing out banks, pharmacies and stores.



   
 Arrive To: Arrival at hotel in Rome
 Lunch: Lunch at a trattoria in the vicinity of the hotel.
 Afternoon: A short walk in the neighborhood of the hotel points out the location of practical places such as bank ATMs, supermarket and pharmacy and leads to the Piazza Venezia. An informal gathering with a welcome reception followed by dinner.
 Dinner: Sample traditional Roman dishes at an area restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Appreciating Ancient Roman Art \ Capitoline Museum \ Piazza Walk
(Monday, December 22)

Note: Easy walk to Capitoline Hill, ability to walk up hill and a few flights of steps. Expect uneven pavement in Piazza Navona and surrounding streets which are paved in cobblestones.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: In the classroom, a classical art historian lectures on examples of Roman Art from the Capitoline Museum collection. Expert guide leads the visit at the Capitoline Museum whose collection includes the Dying Gaul and the original equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit of the Pantheon and a walk around Piazza Navona.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Enjoy a musical performance in an area church or fine aristocratic palazzo.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 4: Foundations of Rome / Colosseum and Forum
(Tuesday, December 23)

Note: Uneven and graded pavement in archaeological sites. Steep steps in the Colosseum to reach the upper level.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: An archaeologist presents the historical background of the foundations of Rome. An on-site lecture follows at the Roman Forum. With the expert guide, explore the remains of the triumphal arches, temples and basilicas of Imperial Rome in the Forum.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant near Via dei Fori Imperiali.
 Afternoon: The visit continues to the Colosseum, the Empire's largest amphitheatre that held 50,000 spectators.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel
(Wednesday, December 24)

Note: In the Vatican Museums crowded conditions and long corridors to pass through afford few opportunities to sit.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: An illustrated lecture on Michelangelo and the Sistine Chapel. Coach to the Vatican.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit of the museums and the Sistine Chapel, foremost collection of artifacts and commissioned art.
 Dinner: Sample pizza Roman style at a characteristic pizzeria.
 Evening: Opportunity to attend a Midnight Mass (10 PM start) on your own (not a group activity) at a nearby church: S. Maria Sopra Minerva; Il Gesu'; S. Andrea della Valle; S. Ignatius, all less than a 10 min. walk. Mass in S. Peter's Basilica is broadcast in S. Peter's Square onto large TV screens, free and open to the public and very crowded. Tickets for places inside the Basilica or chairs in S. Peter's Square are free but hard to obtain--try through your local parish church or www.vatican.va. Arriving to and returning from the Vatican is difficult given the scarcity of taxis and crowded buses. Best to walk, but be cognizant of the late hour. Calculate 35 minute walk from/to the hotel (1.2 mile each way).
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Jewish Museum and Synagogue / Trastevere District
(Thursday, December 25)

Note: Walking at leisurely pace. Walking on sidewalks and traffic-free streets may be on uneven and cobblestone pavement.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Expert-led visit to the Jewish Museum and Synagogue in the Ghetto. A walk in the picturesque Trastevere District follows.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant. Transportation back to the hotel.
 Afternoon: In the hotel classroom learn about holiday traditions in Italy.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Art in Palazzo \ Borghese Gallery
(Friday, December 26)

Note: The Borghese Gallery visit requires climbing two flights of stairs.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: An art historian leads the visit of the elegant Barberini Palace, or similar, where original works of Renaissance and Baroque art are on display.
 Lunch: Lunch at a trattoria near Piazza Barberini.
 Afternoon: Coach for reserved entrance to the Borghese Gallery to see statues by young Bernini and a fine collection of paintings including: Botticelli, Raphael, Titian and Caravaggio. Coach back to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Underground Mithraeum
(Saturday, December 27)

Note: Ability to ascend and descend steps, uneven pavement in the historic site.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: An archaeologist leads an excursion to an underground Mithraeum and expounds on ancient Roman mystery religions.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: In a classroom session learn about ancient traditions and modern counterpoint. Some free time late afternoon.
 Dinner: Farewell Dinner at a restaurant in the heart of Rome.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Departures
(Sunday, December 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at the hotel. For early morning departures, continental box breakfast only.
 Morning: Coach to Rome Leonardo da Vinci Airport (Fiumicino).
   
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
 
  Rome General Overview
The free time options are too numerous to name; the Church Jubilee of 2000 precipitated the opening of several new attractions, and the re-opening, often after decades of closure, of many more old ones. These include Palazzo Altemps, Palazzo Massimo, Centro Monte Martini, the Golden House of Nero, and the Tomb of Balbo. Even for seasoned visitors there is now much that is new to see.
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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