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Voyages to Antiquity: The Rise and Fall of Empires in Italy, Spain and Africa

Program Number: 21662RJ
Start and End Dates:
10/14/2015 - 10/31/2015;
Duration: 17 nights
Location: Italy/Malta/Tunisia/Spain/Morocco
Price starting at: $6,095.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Adventure Afloat Study Cruise; Ocean Cruises
Meals: 42; 16 Breakfasts, 11 Lunches, 15 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Low Fat; Gluten Free; Low Salt    

From the Ancient Greeks and Romans to the Norman kingdom of Sicily and the Moors of Iberia, delve into stories of invasion, imperial rule and Reconquista in Italy, Northern Africa and Spain. Explore the diverse wealth of temples, theaters, cathedrals, palaces, and more.




Activity Particulars

Walking up to two miles per day and standing for up to four hours per day. Some uneven terrain, hills and steep stairs without railings at historic sites.



Itinerary At-a-Glance

Rome (Italy), 1 night; aboard Aegean Odyssey, 11 nights; Seville (Spain), 2 nights; Madrid, 2 nights.



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


Days 2-3: Arrival Rome (Italy) / embark Aegean Odyssey:

Experience ancient treasures including the Colosseum and Roman Forum. En route to the ship, enjoy a farmhouse lunch in the countryside. Lodging: Modern, centrally located hotel.



Days 4-5: Palermo:

Sail to Sicily. Discover Palermo’s Norman Royal Palace and the Palatine Chapel’s stunning mix of Byzantine and Arab architecture. Journey past orange and olive groves to the town of Monreale with its 12th-century Norman cathedral.



Day 6: Trapani:

Venture to the Ancient Greek seaside city of Selinunte, one of the most powerful on Sicily.



Day 7: Valletta (Malta):

In the 16th century, the Holy Roman Emperor gave this island to the Knights of Saint John. Marvel at the cathedral and palace built by the knights.



Day 8: Tunis (Tunisia):

In Northern Africa, find the remarkably well-preserved ruins of Dougga, a small Roman town on the fringes of the empire, including a theater and baths.



Days 9-10: At Sea / Cartagena (Spain):

In ancient times, “New Carthage” was the capital of a Roman province. Examine the city’s recently unearthed theater.



Day 11: Málaga:

Journey through Andalusian countryside to the Alhambra, an opulent palace-fortress built by the Moors.



Day 12: Tangier (Morocco):

Navigate into the Strait of Gibraltar and go ashore in Tangier on the North African coast.



Day 13: Jerez (Spain):

Explore the old quarter including the Alcazar, a Moorish fortress that is a public park today. Enjoy a tasting of Sherry, the fortified wine that’s named after the city.



Days 14-15: Seville / disembark:

Sail up the Guadalquivir River to Seville, where an expert-led excursion includes the imposing Gothic Cathedral and the Moorish Alcázar palace. Take a field trip to Córdoba to find the Great Mosque-Cathedral and the old Jewish quarter. Lodging: Stylish, centrally located hotel.



Days 16-18: Train to Madrid / departure:

A high-speed train zips you 300 miles to Spain’s capital in 2.5 hours. Discover the sprawling Plaza Mayor, the bustling Puerta del Sol and more. Savor two staples of Spanish culture: a tapas dinner and a flamenco show. Lodging: Centrally located, 4-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
   Hotel Genova
  Rome, Italy 1 night
   Aegean Odyssey
  Aegean Odyssey - At Sea, At Sea 11 nights
   Meliá Central Hotel
  Seville, Spain 2 nights
   Meliá Galgos
  Madrid, Spain 2 nights
 Hotel Genova
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The Hotel Genova is an elegant and modern structure that was completely renovated in 2008. It is centrally located just a short drive from the Colosseum and Roman Forum, and within walking distance from the Termini Railway Station.
  Contact info: Via Cavour 25
Rome,  00187 Italy
phone: +39 06476951
web: www.hotel-genova-rome.com
  Room amenities: Each room has a satellite television, safe box, air conditioning, mini bar, telephone, room service, hair dryer, high speed cable Internet connection (for a fee), and a vanity set (shampoo, soap, shower cap, bath foam).
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers a bar, lobby, 24-hour reception, breakfast room, meeting rooms, terrace, air conditioning, laundry services, wireless Internet access in the lobby (for a fee), fax machine and pay phones.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: 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 in time: 2:00 PM

 Aegean Odyssey
Type: Cruise Ship
  Description: The Aegean Odyssey offers boutique-style cruising at its best. In contrast to the massive vessels cruising to and from major ports, it is a midsized ship adapted for island and coastal cruising. The Aegean Odyssey can visit smaller, less crowded harbors and sail closer to the coast enabling you to really appreciate the magical views.
  Ship Information: Ship’s Tonnage: 11,563 Length: 461 feet Beam: 67 feet Draft: 20.5 feet Cruising Speed: 18 knots Passenger Decks: 7 Stabilizers: 2 Passenger Staterooms/Cabins: 198 Passengers – lower beds: 378 Classification: Lloyd’s Register Society London Ship’s Registration: Malta
  Contact info: Voyages to Antiquity
1800 SE 10th Avenue, Suite 230
Ft. Lauderdale, FL 33316 USA
phone: 877-398-1460
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: Aegean Odyssey offers many dining facilities: The Marco Polo Restaurant is the ship's more formal restaurant, providing casual country-club elegance for lunch or dinner; The Terrace Cafe offers a combination of indoor and outdoor seating where you can indulge in breakfast, lunch and dinner from the grill or the sumptuous daily buffet. In the evenings, enjoy breathtaking views over dinner at Tapas on the Terrace. *There is a complimentary choice of wine, beer, or soft drinks with your evening meal. There will be a string trio, pianist and casual dancing before and after dinner. You may also wish to partake in afternoon tea, served in the Observation Lounge or enjoy an evening snack and cocktail, available in the Lido and Rendezvous bars. A limited room service menu is available. Special Diets: Please advise us at the time of booking of any special dietary requirements. The ship can usually meet most general requests such as those made with an air carrier; however, this cannot always be guaranteed. Services: Library; outdoor pool; spa; health center, saunas, massage and beauty treatment rooms and early morning yoga on the Lido Deck; elevators; beauty salon; medical center; laundry and pressing services (order form and laundry bag is provided in cabin); lecture theater and cinema and on board shop. Internet: The Internet center (open 24 hours and a charge of $18 for 4 non-consecutive hours is applied, wireless available in reception area). PLEASE NOTE: Due to the nature of satellite connectivity on board a ship, the internet connection is slow, erratic and may be unavailable at times.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Meliá Central Hotel
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the heart of Seville opposite the Parque de Maria Luisa and Plaza España and very close to the University (Old Tobacco Factory), the Alcazar, the Barrio de Santa Cruz district, the Cathedral and the Archive of the Indies, the new Meliá Sevilla is the perfect choice for your business and leisure trips, thanks to its excellent location in the city centre, its fully equipped and comfortable facilities and the quality of its services.
  Contact info: Dr. Pedro de Castro, 1
Seville 41004,   Spain
phone: +34 95 4421511
web: www.melia-sevilla.com/en
  Room amenities: Each room has 24 hour room service, individually controlled air conditioning, luxury bedding, satellite television, telephone, free high speed WiFi Internet, mini bar, laundry service, an iron and ironing board (on request), safe box, and a hair dryer.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers 24-hour front desk service, two restaurants and a bar, lobby, free high speed WiFi Internet, laundry service, outdoor pool with poolside bar, spa and gym, and a lounge.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes

 Meliá Galgos
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Located in the chic Barrio Salamanca, close to the main Paseo de la Castellana, the Meliá Galgos is a recently renovated 4-star hotel. It is surrounded by a wide variety of restaurants, cafés and shops, and there are two metro stations nearby providing easy access to all areas of the city.
  Contact info: Calle de Claudio Coello, 139
28006 Madrid,   Spain
phone: +34 915 62 66 00
web: www.melia.com/en/hotels/spain/madrid/melia-galgos
  Room amenities: Each room has a full bathroom with a make-up mirror, toiletries set, and a hairdryer, flat screen television, telephone, pillow menu, safe box, minibar, and complimentary WIFI.
  Facility amenities: The hotel offers 24-hour reception, lobby, bar, two restaurants, fitness center with sauna, hot tub and steam room, small roof terrace, meeting rooms and business facilities with printers (for a fee), complimentary WIFI, and air-conditioning.
  Smoking allowed: Yes
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after:  Please contact Road Scholar Travel Services if you would like assistance making hotel reservations for additional non-program nights. 1-800-241-1404
  Check out time: 12:00 PM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Rome, Italy. The program will begin at 5:00 PM in the hotel lobby. You will be staying at Hotel Genova that night.
  End of Program:
Madrid, Spain. Program ends after breakfast on the last day. You will be staying at Meliá Galgos 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)
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Transportation to site: From Leonardo da Vinci International Airport in Rome Fiumicino, reach Termini Station via the Leonardo Express train. From Termini Station, the Hotel Genova is just a short walk away, only 300 meters. From the station’s main exit, proceed to the left onto Via Cavour; the hotel is just 150 meters on the right. Alternatively, you can book a shared van transfer on world-airport-transfer.com for 16 Euro/person. This service runs from 7:00 AM to 8:00 PM. If you wish to hire a private car (57 Euro), you may contact Italian Details at simona.tulin@italiandetails.com or +39-06-8908-7927
  From End of Program
  Location:  Madrid
  Transportation from site: A taxi from central Madrid to the airport costs 30 Euro per taxi. Alternatively, take the Metro Line 10 from Alonso Martinez to Nuevos Ministerios station, changing there for the Line 8 which stops at all terminals. Tickets can be purchased at the station and cost 5 Euro.
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
(Wednesday, October 14)
   
 In Transit: Depart US/Canada on international overnight flight.

Day 2: Welcome
(Thursday, October 15)
   
 Morning: Arrival in Rome Leonardo da Vinci - Fiumicino Airport (FCO). Meet group inside the customs area. Transfer to hotel.
 Afternoon: Welcome orientation to the program at 5:00 PM in the hotel lobby.
 Dinner: Welcome dinner in the hotel dining room.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Genova
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 3: Rome, Italy / Embark the Aegean Odyssey
(Friday, October 16)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: During this morning's walking excursion, survey the Colosseum, the largest amphitheatre of the Roman Empire as well as the Roman Forum, the center of Roman civic life. Explore the Case Romane del Celio, homes dating from the turn of the millennium.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a charming farmhouse about 30 minutes from Civitavecchia. Dine on mouth watering regional cuisine while tasting local wines at a farmhouse in the Italian countryside.
 Afternoon: Embark on the Aegean Odyssey and settle in to your cabin. Late afternoon Road Scholar orientation to the ship in the "Observation Lounge."
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Palermo, Italy
(Saturday, October 17)

Note: .



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy the ship's wonderful amenities as it sails for Palermo.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: A gem of a day. The afternoon 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.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: The ship will overnight in Palermo. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Palermo, Italy
(Sunday, October 18)

Note: Please wear appropriate attire for religious sites -- no shorts or bare shoulders. Monreale Cathedral access is via steep steps; taxis are available for a small fee.



   
 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 or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Enjoy free time to explore Palermo on your own or sit, relax and people watch at the Piazza Verdi or the Piazza Castelnuovo, two of Palermo's main squares.
 Dinner: Dinner on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Evening: Evening departure for Trapani. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Trapani, Italy
(Monday, October 19)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a scenic drive through the Sicilian countryside to Selinunte. Upon arrival, explore the remains of a huge Greek city founded in 628BC -- one of the largest and most powerful in the world for over two centuries. The archaeological park of Selinunte is considered the biggest and most imposing of Europe; it includes numerous temples, altars and sanctuaries on a surface of 1,740 square kilometers. The visit includes the “Eastern Hill”, where there are the remains of three impressive temples dating to the sixth century BC.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon in Trapani.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Early evening departure for Valetta. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Valletta, Malta
(Tuesday, October 20)

Note: This excursion involves significant walking on flat surfaces and may be operated in reverse. As we will be visiting religious sites, please no shorts or sleeveless shirts. If the Palace or Cathedral are closed for an event, we will substitute a visit to the Palace Armory or the Museum of Archaeology.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: A morning excursion through the city of Valletta, including the Baroque St. John’s Cathedral and the magnificent Palace of the Grand Masters. We will also enjoy a field trip to the city's enchanting medieval town, or Mdina.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture or enjoy the live entertainment in the Charleston Lounge.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: Tunis, Tunisia
(Wednesday, October 21)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: During this full day field trip, journey to Dougga to explore the ruins of this ancient Roman city. This site is unique in its size – over 160 acres – and its completeness. Built on an elevated site and far from urban centers, it is remarkably well-preserved. Dougga is believed to have been the first capital of the Numidian kingdom and, despite its relative unimportance in the administrative structure of the Roman Province of Africa, its ruins are a breathtaking testimony to over 17 centuries of history.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continuation of the day's excursion.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: At Sea
(Thursday, October 22)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Treat yourself to one of many spa services offered by the ship. Or, simply relax poolside enjoying the autumn sunshine.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: At sea. Find your way to one of the ship's lounges for a conversation with fellow travelers.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture or enjoy the ship's live entertainment in the Charleston Lounge.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 10: Cartagena, Spain
(Friday, October 23)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: At sea. Enjoy the ocean views from the Observation Deck as the ship nears the southeast of Spain.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Survey the Roman Theater of Carthago Nova – the New Carthage – as Cartagena was known during the heyday of the Roman Empire. Built between 5 and 1 BC and dedicated to the grandsons of Augustus Caesar, its remains were first discovered in 1988 and the archaeological excavations and restorations were completed in 2003. Explore the remains of the Santa María la Vieja Cathedral, dating from the end of the 13th century and irreversibly destroyed during the Spanish Civil War. Situated on the hill of La Concepción in the Cartagena’s old town, the ruins are evocative of medieval Spain.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Málaga, Spain
(Saturday, October 24)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Enjoy a coach ride through the Andalucían countryside from the port of Málaga to Granada. Here you will experience the majesty of the Alhambra, a Moorish citadel and palace. It is the most renowned building of the Andalusian Islamic historical legacy. Together with the adjoining gardens and orchards of El Generalife, this remarkable site is considered an architectural culmination of Nasrid art undertaken in the 13th and 14th centuries and has been recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site since 1984.
 Lunch: Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Continuation of the full-day excursion to Granada.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Midnight departure for Tangier. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Tangier, Morocco
(Sunday, October 25)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: This morning discover Tangier, a city founded by Carthaginian colonists in the early 5th century BC. Visit Cape Spartel, the most north-western point of mainland Africa. Below, explore the cave of Hercules; legend has it that Hercules slept in this cave before performing his 11th labor. Enjoy the colorful markets of Tangier's old town and the ocean view from the kasbah.
 Lunch: Lunch on board or explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Tangier.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: Attend a shipboard guest lecture.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 13: Cadiz, Spain
(Monday, October 26)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: From the port of Cádiz, it is about 1/2 hour to Andalucia's 5th largest city: Jerez de la Frontera. Jerez is the world capital of sherry and the city where flamenco singing began. Wander its well-preserved old quarter dating from medieval times. Admire the Alcazar, a former Moorish fortress, and now a park. Nearby is the archaeological site of the ancient city Asta Regia, once a prominent Roman city. Enjoy a sherry tasting at a local bodega and learn about the manufacture of this celebrated fortifed wine.
 Lunch: Lunch on board.
 Afternoon: Cruise the Guadalquivir River, the second longest river with its entire length in Spain, to arrive in Seville by sunset.
 Dinner: Dinner on board.
 Evening: The ship overnights in Seville. Free evening to prepare belongings for disembarkation.
   
Accommodations: Aegean Odyssey
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Disembark / Seville, Spain
(Tuesday, October 27)

Note: The Barrio de Santa Cruz is largely cobbled.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast on board.
 Morning: Disembark the ship and enjoy a guided visit of Seville, the capital and largest city of Andalucía. Explore its oldest neighborhood, the Barrio Santa Cruz. Meander its labyrinth of narrow streets and alleys that open onto beautiful plazas. During medieval times, this neighborhood was the Jewish quarter and it is home to many of Seville's oldest churches. Visit its cathedral, the largest Gothic cathedral – and the third largest church – in the world. In 1898 it became the final resting place of Christopher Columbus. Next, visit the spectacular moorish Alcázar Royal Palace and gardens -- the oldest royal palace still in use in Europe. Originally a fort built by the Almohad Dynasty it is one of the best remaining examples of Mudéjar architecture.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Check-in to hotel and enjoy some time for relaxing before heading out with your Group Leader to explore nearby Maria Luisa Park and the impressive Plaza de España, built for the World Expo in 1929, and a fine example of typical Sevillan architecture and incoporating traditional Andalucían ceramic tile.
 Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast

Day 15: Seville, Spain / Córdoba
(Wednesday, October 28)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Enjoy the rolling plains of the Andalucían countryside during this morning's transfer to Córdoba. Today's full-day field trip will include the Mezquita, a medieval Islamic mosque that was converted into a Catholic cathedral. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is most notable for its arcaded hypostyle hall, with 856 columns of jasper, onyx, marble and granite. Next, explore Córdoba's Jewish quarter where this population flourished between from the 10th century until their expulsion from Spain in 1492. Its historic synagogue built in Mudéjar style is a memorial to the nearly 500 years of peaceful coexistance of Christians, Jews and Muslims in this city. There will also be time to visit the Alcázar, formerly a Visigoth fortress, then the Umayyads and much later – after its expansion – it served as one of the primary residences of Isabel I and Ferdinand II.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Visit Viana Palace, formerly housing nobility and now a National Historic Monument. It is oft referred to as the Museum of the Patios, for its twelve separate 'patios' or garden rooms, each with their own unique design. There will be some free time after this visit for independent exploration of Córdoba before meeting the coach for the transfer back to Seville.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Central Hotel
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 16: Train to Madrid, Spain
(Thursday, October 29)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: This morning we transfer to Seville's Santa Justa station to board a high-speed train to Madrid. The roughly 300 mile journey takes approximately 2 1/2 hours. Store luggage at the hotel and continue on to Old Madrid.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own in Old Madrid at the San Miguel Market.
 Afternoon: Walking excursion of majestic 17th century Plaza Major with its three-story residences and statue of Felipe III. Next, on to Puerta del Sol, one of the most well known landmarks in Madrid. Originally named for the gate in the city wall that surrounded Madrid in the 15th century, now the city's busiest plaza and the center of the Spanish road system, from which all distances are measured. Check-in to hotel before orienting to area with your Group Leader.
 Dinner: Enjoy an introduction to Flamenco with a brief lecture and demonstration followed by a tapas dinner and a Flamenco show.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Galgos
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 17: Madrid, Spain
(Friday, October 30)

Note: If the Royal Palace is closed to the public due to a royal event, a museum visit will be substituted in its place.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Morning panoramic sightseeing visit of Madrid including Paseo de la Castellana, Madrid's chic modern district, the Paseo del Prado, also known as the Triangle of Art, the Plaza de Cibeles and Town Hall, La Gran Vía, Madrid's theatre district, and Almudena Cathedral. Visit the stunning Royal Palace, the largest in Europe by floor area and containing a spectacular collection of artwork, as well as furnishings.
 Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.
 Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Madrid.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Meliá Galgos
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 18: Departures
(Saturday, October 31)
   
 Breakfast: Breakfast in the hotel dining room.
 Morning: Transfer to Madrid–Barajas Airport (MAD) for departures.
   
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.

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Rome in Africa


Author: Susan Raven


Description: Long the standard history of Roman influence in Northern Africa, this book is scholarly and comprehensive. It is a wonderfully written, illustrated introduction to the geographic setting, the rise of Carthage, historical personalities, individual trading centers and archaeological sites.



Spain, A Traveler's Literary Companion


Author: Peter R. Bush (Editor)


Description: This collection of 30 stories form a who’s who of contemporary Spanish literature, including writers from Galicia, Leon, the Basque Country, Madrid and Barcelona.



Spain, The Root and the Flower


Author: John A. Crow


Description: Take this book with you to Spain: it's an absorbing, well-written account of Spanish cultural history from prehistory to the Romans, Jews, Moors, Golden Age and on to Franco and his legacy in modern Spain.



The Alhambra


Author: Robert Irwin


Description: Irwin's brief, indispensable guide introduces the stunning Moorish palace and fortress complex, revealing its mysteries, myths and significance with wit and insight.



The Ancient Mediterranean


Author: Michael Grant


Description: Grant, a well-known classical scholar, provides this comprehensive history of the peoples and cultures of the Mediterranean, including Egypt, Israel, Crete, Greece, the Roman states and many others. A very well-researched account of Western history's roots.



The Face of Spain


Author: Gerald Brenan


Description: Brenan searches for Lorca's unmarked grave (and knows not if he has found it), travels to the great mosque in Cordoba, the Synagogue of Toledo and other touchstones of Spain's history, in this immensely pleasurable portrait of Spain in 1949, the wounds of the war still fresh.



Tunisian Mosaics, Treasures from Roman Africa


Author: Aicha Ben Abed Ben Khader


Description: Accompanied by 134 glorious color illustrations, this book includes a history of Roman Africa and the rise of Mediterranean mosaics, an overview of mosaic sites and museums and a chapter on preservation methods.





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