Road Scholar : Home
The Best of Italy: Rome, Florence and Venice

Program Number: 18206RJ
Start and End Dates:
9/17/2014 - 9/30/2014; 9/21/2014 - 10/4/2014; 9/30/2014 - 10/13/2014; 10/4/2014 - 10/17/2014; 10/8/2014 - 10/21/2014; 10/12/2014 - 10/25/2014; 10/19/2014 - 11/1/2014; 11/2/2014 - 11/15/2014; 3/14/2015 - 3/27/2015; 4/18/2015 - 5/1/2015; 4/25/2015 - 5/8/2015; 5/2/2015 - 5/15/2015; 5/9/2015 - 5/22/2015; 5/23/2015 - 6/5/2015; 5/30/2015 - 6/12/2015; 9/5/2015 - 9/18/2015; 9/12/2015 - 9/25/2015; 9/19/2015 - 10/2/2015; 10/3/2015 - 10/16/2015; 10/10/2015 - 10/23/2015; 10/24/2015 - 11/6/2015; 10/31/2015 - 11/13/2015; 11/7/2015 - 11/20/2015;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $4,758.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 30; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Experience the beauty of three historic capitals of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance acclaim as local experts lead you on a journey through some of Italy’s greatest cities. Follow the path of legendary artists, scientists and philosophers from the classical remnants of Rome to the preserved treasures of Florence and Venice.




Highlights

• Trace Roman history through the ages as you visit the Colosseum, the Pantheon, Borghese Museum and the Vatican Museum.
• Journey to Florence and Venice via a high speed EuroStar train, reaching speeds of over 120 mph.
• View the "David" — a Renaissance period masterpiece in Florence — and ride in a gondola through the canals of Venice, after visiting the Doge’s Palace.



Activity Particulars

Extensive walking in traffic-free urban centers which prevent tourist coaches from parking at attractions in tight neighborhoods such as the Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. The distances traversed on foot can reach 4 mi/day—always interspersed with rest time, typically at a meal. Standing for extended periods of time during site visits. Special attention needs to be paid to the uneven aspect of cobblestone streets. Elevator use in some historic buildings is restricted. Not all staircases have banisters. Venice is unique as a city with no vehicles besides public or private boats that run along the Grand Canal. Extensive walking in Venice includes crossing bridges that span minor canals. As with many things, the effort expended has its aesthetic reward.




Date Specific Information

9-17-2014, 9-21-2014, 10-4-2014, 10-8-2014, 10-12-2014, 10-19-2014, 3-14-2015, 4-18-2015, 4-25-2015, 5-2-2015, 5-9-2015, 5-23-2015, 5-30-2015, 9-5-2015, 9-19-2015, 10-3-2015, 10-10-2015, 10-31-2015, 11-7-2015

Moderately Challenging; walking up to 4 miles per day.



9-30-2014

Active Level. Exclusive off-hour visit to the Sistine Chapel as an art historian explains the art of Michelangelo and the art of Raphael in the Stanze. Enjoy a crowd-free stroll down the decorated corridors of a portion of the Vatican Library and the Corridor of the Maps.



11-2-2014

Active Level. Exclusive off-hours entrance to the Sistine Chapel and the Stanze of Raphael in the Vatican Museums to hear an art historian explain on-site the significance of these works of art. Enjoy the visit without the usual crowds of people.



Itinerary Summary

Arrival Rome, 4 nights; train to Florence, 4 nights; train to
Venice, 4 nights; departure.



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

Begin to unravel the multiple layers of Roman history as you examine some of the masterpieces preserved in the National Museum of Palazzo Massimo alle Terme. Lectures offer insight on various aspects of Roman culture, architecture and artists, such as Michelangelo and Bernini. Marvel at the stunning Ceiling and the imposing Last Judgment in the Sistine Chapel. Visit the Colosseum and the Roman Forum and delight in the art collection at the Borghese Gallery.



Train to Florence
4 nights

Considered the “cradle of the Renaissance,” Florence retains a treasure trove of works by Michaelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Verrocchio, Donatello and Botticelli. Learn from resident professors of art history the development of styles and feast your artistic senses during visits to the National Sculpture Gallery of the Bargello, the Uffizi Gallery and the Accademia — where the newly restored David is housed. See the original panels of the "Gates of Paradise" in the newly remodeled and expanded Duomo Museum. Savor the sights, smells and tastes of Florence as you stroll through traffic free streets, through markets and sample gelato just steps away from breathtaking churches.



Train to Venice
4 nights
Departure

Journey to Venice via train and then explore the city along its historic and scenic canals. Notice the grandeur of patrician palaces, with arches indicating near-Eastern influence before exploring St. Mark’s Cathedral and the Ducal Palace. On an excursion to the island of Murano observe a master-craftsman shape genuine Venetian glass in a workshop. Docents will illustrate and illuminate the richness of Venetian history, legends, personages, and of course the art. Venice invites you into its maze.




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 near the Piazza della Republica, the Termini train station, and the Rome Opera House. Florence: Four-star hotel was an ex-Franciscan convent from the 15th century and its modern restoration showcases the ancient frescoes, stone arches and vaulted ceilings. Venice: Four-star hotel with a terrace and private dock on the Grand Canal.

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

Marco Ceccarani holds a Ph.D. in humanities from the Università di Perugia (Italy). His field of expertise includes medieval and Renaissance Italian civilization and literature. He has taught for several American universities in the United States and currently teaches in Florence for American university study abroad programs. Marco lives in Assisi and his research has led him to travel to many countries around the globe.
 
Elaine Ruffolo

Elaine Ruffolo has been teaching art history in Florence since 1989 and is a popular instructor for students and adults alike. She graduated from the University of Wisconsin and earned a master’s in art history from Syracuse University. Elaine directs the field study programs for Syracuse University in Florence and lectures for various adult programs. She is the resident director of the Smithsonian Institute programs in Italy and is currently working on a travel book of Florence and Tuscany.
 
Monica Chojnacka

Monica Chojnacka lives in Venice. She earned her Ph.D. in European history from Stanford University and her bachelor's from the London School of Economics and Political Science. From 1994-2007 she was a professor of history at the University of Georgia, where she authored numerous articles and publications. She has published books relating to Venice on topics as diverse as women of the Renaissance and food and wine. Monica continues to teach in Venice, primarily for study abroad programs for U.S. universities, as well as on-line courses.
 
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 Diana
  Rome, Italy 4 nights
   Hotel Rivoli
  Florence, Italy 4 nights
   Hotel Principe
  Venice, Italy 4 nights
 Hotel Diana
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Your hotel in Rome is centrally located near the Piazza della Repubblica, Rome’s Opera House and the Termini train station. The breakfast buffet is served on the top floor with views of the rooftops of Rome and the cupola of St. Peter’s.
  Contact info: Via Principe Amedeo, 4
Rome, NA 00185 Italy
phone: +39 06 47 86 81
web: www.hoteldianaroma.com
  Room amenities: Satellite TV, hair dryer, complimentary toiletries, safe box for valuables, AC/heat with individual controls, and a mini-bar
  Facility amenities: Rooftop lounge affords a panoramic view of Rome. In the spacious lobby, meet for conversation, read an international newspaper or use the internet point. Free Wi-Fi for hotel guests; request the access code and password from the personnel at the reception desk.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: varies by season If you plan to book additional nights at the hotel, contact the hotel’s online reservation system directly www.hoteldianaroma.com. Note on the form that you are with the Road Scholar group and every effort will be made to ensure continuity of room assignment. Another option is to reserve through online hotel consolidators such as hotels.com or expedia.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Rivoli
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: The centrally located 4 star superior hotel is an ex Franciscan convent from the15th Century. The hotel has undergone a modern restoration that showcases the ancient frescoes, stone arches and vaulted ceilings.
  Contact info: Via della Scala 33
Florence, NA 50123 Italy
phone: +39 055 27 861
web: www.hotelrivoli.it
  Room amenities: mini-bar, air conditioning, complimentary toiletries, hair dryer, safe for valuables.
  Facility amenities: Hotel restaurant, patio and small garden, small pool open May - September. Complimentary wi-fi; request access code from the reception desk.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes

 Hotel Principe
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Overlooking the Grand Canal, with a splendid terrace on the water, the Hotel Principe, is one of the 4 star hotels in Venice in a perfect position for discovering the charm and beauty of Venice on foot, or for easily reaching the Rialto or St. Mark's Square with a vaporetto, which stops just steps from the hotel.The hotel has a private dock on the Grand Canal for gondola and water taxi access.
  Contact info: Lista di Spagna 146/147
Venice, NA 30121 Italy
phone: +39 041 220 4010
web: www.hotelprincipevenice.it
  Room amenities: Hair dryer, AC/heat individual controls, mini-bar, safe, satellite television, complimentary toiletries.
  Facility amenities: Restaurant and terrace overlook the Grand Canal, snack bar, complimentary internet point in the lobby and free wi-fi throughout the hotel.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights after: varies by season You can book additional nights directly through the hotel’s online reservation system www.hotelprincipevenice.it. 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: 10:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Lunch provided for morning arrivals. Hotel check in 2:00 pm. Meet in lobby at 4:00 pm for Neighborhood Walk. You will be staying at Hotel Diana that night.
  End of Program:
After breakfast. No activities other than transfer to airport. Hotel check out by 11 am. You will be staying at Hotel Principe the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
Transportation (For Independent Travelers)
  Train or bus availability: Train service from European and Italian points connects to Roma Termini, the main station. A separate line connects the airport to Roma Termini. The hotel is within walking distance from the station and a short taxi ride for luggage considerations.
To Start of Program
  Location:  Rome
  Nearest city or town:  Rome
  Nearest highway: autostrada
  Nearest airport:  Leonardo da Vinci/Fiumicino
  Transportation to site: To reach the hotel on your own, from the Rome airport terminal, you have three options: public transportation, shared ride shuttle service and taxi. Public transportation: The Leonardo Express train goes from the airport to Roma Termini, the main train station in the city center. In the airport terminal public area, follow the signs for the train, purchase tickets at the ticket counter on the station platform, stamp the ticket in the yellow box on the platform, and board the Leonardo Express to Roma Termini. Fare is EUR 14 pp. The ride takes 30 min. 10 minute walk from the train station to the Hotel Diana. For door to door service you have 2 options: shared ride shuttle van or taxi. You can book shuttle service online at www.rome.airport-shuttle.com. Fares are about EUR 27 for 1 person; discounts apply if you book for multiple passengers. Taxi fare for direct service from the airport to the hotel is set by the city at EUR 48. Max 4 persons per taxi.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Venice
  Nearest city or town:  Venice
  Nearest highway: autostrada
  Nearest airport:  Marco Polo
  Transportation from site: To reach the airport on your own, there is public transportation by bus from Piazzale Roma, the point that connects Venice to the mainland, to the Venice Airport. Piazzale Roma is a 10 min. walk from the Hotel Principe. Note that the walk from the hotel to the bus stop entails crossing a high bridge that has long shallow steps and no ramp. The bus (fare EUR 6, 25 min. ride) leaves you off directly in front of the airport terminal. For direct service from the hotel dock to the airport dock, it is possible to book a water taxi. Fare is approx. EUR 100. Supplemental fees apply for service before 8 am. Max 10 passengers per taxi boat. When the water taxi arrives at the airport dock you can get a cart for the 10 min. walk to the terminal along a covered path. If you are continuing your travels by train, from the hotel you can reach the Venice Santa Lucia train station on foot very easily from the hotel.
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: Flights depart from North America.
(Saturday, April 25)

Note: Suggest sleeping on transatlantic flight; makes adjusting to new time zone easier.



   
 In Transit: Overnight flight across the Atlantic Ocean. Arrivals in Rome the following day.

Day 2: Arrivals / Orientation / Welcome Reception
(Sunday, April 26)

Note: Ability to transport luggage from terminal to transfer coach. Leisurely neighborhood walk.



   
 Arrive To: Rome airport and clear customs, join others for transfer.
 Morning: Transfer to hotel. Check-in time is in the afternoon. Your room might not be ready for occupancy if you arrive early morning. The group leader will be at the reception desk to assist you with safekeeping your luggage after which you can explore the area around the hotel before lunch at 12:30.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel.
 Afternoon: A brief neighborhood walk to locate ATMs, banks, pharmacies, grocery stores, and eateries. Program overview and orientation, distribution of on-site materials. At the Welcome Reception a chance to meet your fellow Road Scholars.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel's rooftop restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Diana
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Welcome to Rome / Forum and Colosseum / Treasures of the Vatican
(Monday, April 27)

Note: Steep and uneven steps to reach the upper levels of the Colosseum. The walk around the Roman Forum is on uneven paths and original pavement of cobblestone.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Program Orientation and overview. Begin to unravel the multiple layers of Roman history through the sharp insight of a professor who will set the stage for your explorations. A local expert leads the visit to the Roman Colosseum. The Flavian Amphitheater or Colosseum was built in the year 80 CE.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant near entrance to the Forum.
 Afternoon: Guided visit continues to the Roman Forum. The forum dates back to the 7th century BCE and was the religious and civic center of the city. Later in the afternoon a classroom lecture explores the Treasures of the Vatican in preparation for a visit to view a portion of the Vatican's immense art collection.
 Dinner: Dinner at a characteristic Roman trattoria.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Diana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Vatican Museums / Sistine Chapel / St. Peter's Basilica / Free afternoon.
(Tuesday, April 28)

Note: Reserved entrance time at Vatican Museums diminishes the wait in line. The visit requires negotiating multiple flights of steps and walking the long corridor to the Sistine Chapel (distance is about 1/2 mile). Year round you can expect crowds; thousands of people visit the museums daily.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Expert-led visit of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter's Basilica. The extraordinary works of art in the museum collection will amaze you, notable are: Roman statuary (Laocoon, Belvedere Apollo, and gilded bronze Hercules), Raphael's Stanze, and of course Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel. If security permits, your guide will lead you out a back way which puts you at the entrance of St. Peter's Basilica, where you will see Michelangelo's Pietà and Bernini's bronze canopy over the main altar. Coach back to the hotel.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore the city on your own. Suggestions are given on site.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Diana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 5: Piazza Navona / Trevi Fountain / Pantheon / Spanish Steps/ Palazzo Massimo Antiquities
(Wednesday, April 29)

Note: The area that is home to the Piazza Navona and the Spanish Steps is in the heart of Rome's pedestrian only area. Palazzo Massimo is situated behind the hotel. Few stairs to reach the entrance, elevators inside.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: After breakfast, a local expert leads the walk in the heart of Rome to four landmarks: Piazza Navona, whose buildings are set on the seating of Domitian's stadium; the Pantheon, Roman temple built in 126 CE; the Trevi Fountain from the Baroque period and terminating at the Spanish Steps.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant just off the elegant square.
 Afternoon: Return to the hotel, after lunch, an expert-led visit of the collection of Roman Art at the Palazzo Massimo alle Terme, around the corner from the hotel. Notable is the seated bronze boxer and frescoes from Villa Livia, Augustus Caesar's wife's dining room.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Diana
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Borghese Gallery / Train to Florence / Neighborhood Walk
(Thursday, April 30)

Note: Stairs to reach second floor of the Gallery. Short walk from the hotel to the train station, comfortable ride on the train, short walk to hotel and city orientation in Florence.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Check out of hotel. Your bags will be delivered to the hotel in Florence. Coach to the Borghese Gallery, the private pleasure and reception palace of Cardinal Scipio Borghese, an avid art collector and patron of the young Bernini. On display in the Gallery are important paintings by Caravaggio, Raphael, Botticelli and Titian. However, most people go there to see the sculptures by Bernini which are emotionally charged, a true evocation of the Baroque. Coach back to restaurant for lunch prior to retrieving hand luggage and going to Florence
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transfer to Florence by train. Travel on the train with just your carry-on bag. Check in and settle into the hotel. Late afternoon neighborhood walk to orient you to the location of ATMs, pharmacies, stores and shops. Florence is much smaller than Rome and can easily be traversed in 30 minutes. On the walk, you may pass the Duomo, the main cathedral and Palazzo Vecchio, the 13th C. city hall, still used for that purpose.
 Dinner: Dinner at Ristorante Benedicta.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rivoli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Medieval Florence and the Medici Family / Bargello Sculpture Museum / Accademia
(Friday, May 1)

Note: Leisurely walk to the Bargello, one flight of steps. After lunch walk to the Accademia museum.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: A classroom session on Medieval Florence and the Medici family. Walk to Bargello for an on-site lecture of Florentine Renaissance sculpture. Break for lunch.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walk to the Accademia for an on-site lecture on Michelangelo's David. Remainder of day at your leisure.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rivoli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: S. Lorenzo Market / Original panels Gates of Paradise Duomo Museum / Renaissance Dinner and Entertainment
(Saturday, May 2)

Note: Leisurely walk through the Market area to the Duomo Museum. Free time until dinner.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: The Market of S. Lorenzo is the downtown historical fresh fruit and meat market. Along the road, "Bancarelle" vendor carts sell various Florentine specialties: leather, scarves, pottery and souvenirs. In the Duomo Museum the expert will expound on the original restored panels of the "Gates of Paradise" and Michelangelo's Pieta' which he began for his own tomb. Free time to maximize the cumulative ticket that allows entrance to the excavations of S. Reparata, original church under the Duomo. The hearty may choose to climb the 414 steps of the Bell Tower or the 463 to the top of Brunelleschi's Dome.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: After the Duomo Museum, feel free to visit the other venues with your cumulative ticket or return to the Market for some shopping. Meet back at hotel for next appointed time.
 Dinner: Imagine yourself attending dinner with Napoleon and his sister Pauline Borghese, (you will remember her from Canova's statue in the Galleria Borghese.) Her house was decorated in Imperial style in anticipation of his visit, but he did not make it. Now the Palazzo hosts a gala Renaissance dinner, with madrigal singers and musicians, court jester and dancers--all make for a lively entertaining evening. Dress attire is not required.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rivoli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Renaissance Art / Uffizi Gallery
(Sunday, May 3)

Note: A small elevator (cap. 3 persons) for disabled visitors may be accessible at the Uffizi Gallery. There is a long flight of stairs to reach the exhibition rooms of the gallery. Expect some crowding in the museum; it is a popular destination for art aficionados.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Morning lecture on medieval and Renaissance art in preparation for the visit to the Uffizi Gallery.
 Lunch: Enjoy some Tuscan dishes at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: A little free time before our appointed time for the Uffizi. For the self guided visit we will enter as a group, but you are free to spend as much time as you wish. This is the most extensive collection of art, tracing the development from Gothic to medieval to Renaissance to Mannerist paintings in the world. You will find many recognizable masterpieces, including DaVinci's Annunciation, Botticelli's Birth of Venus and the Primavera, some Titians, Michelangelo's Holy Family, and a few Caravaggios as well as Artemisia Gentileschi. There is a coffee bar at the end of the second corridor, on top of the Loggia, with a wonderful view of the watch tower and Duomo where you can get a refreshment and rest.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Rivoli
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Transfer to Venice
(Monday, May 4)

Note: High speed train to Venice, minimal walking around Venice on arrival day.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Train to Venice, short walk to the hotel. Your bags will be delivered by courier. Venice's public transportation system operates boats, called Vaporetto. All participants will be given a pass valid for the duration of the stay.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel restaurant.
 Afternoon: A resident of Venice will share insights into different aspects of Venetian culture. Topics vary according to their expertise; details will arrive with the final mailing. Neighborhood walk will indicate the location of ATMs, pharmacies, stores and shops.
 Dinner: Dinner at a neighborhood restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: St. Mark's Square: Basilica and Ducal Palace
(Tuesday, May 5)

Note: Leisurely vaporetto (public boat) ride to S. Mark's Square. The square is very often crowded. The walk through the many rooms of the Doge's Palace requires climbing a few flights of stairs.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Travel to Piazza S. Marco on the Vaporetto along Venice's famed Grand Canal. Notice the patrician palaces, with arches indicating near-Eastern influence. Some of the houses have names based on the prominent mosaic, e.g. Ca' d'Oro, the "Golden House." The ride takes about 45 minutes. The expert-led visit to S. Mark's Cathedral, built during the 13 C., highlights the Byzantine influence in the architecture and design. There are more than 45,000 sq. ft. of mosaics adorning the church, giving the impression of streets of gold.
 Lunch: Sample Venetian dishes at a trattoria.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit continues to the Ducal Palace, seat of civic and political power. Doges embellished the palace to demonstrate their wealth and importance. There are murals by Tintoretto and Veronese.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 12: Frari and Scuola Grande S. Rocco \ Gondola Ride \ Free Time
(Wednesday, May 6)

Note: Assistance offered getting in and out of the gondola.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: On-site lecture at the Frari for works by Titian and Bellin, and the Scuola Grande di S. Rocco. Scuole are lay charitable organizations whose meeting halls were decorated by the great Venetian painters. Learn about their activities and some of their illustrious members.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant in the Dorsoduro neighborhood.
 Afternoon: Experience the city from a different point of view as you enjoy a gondola ride along the canals of Venice. Some free time before your independent dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Glassmaking demonstration in Murano
(Thursday, May 7)

Note: Enjoyable boat ride to the island, minimal effort to walk around the streets of Murano.



   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.
 Morning: Vaporetto to the island of Murano for a glassblowing demonstration by master artisans. Some free time to stroll the narrow streets along the canals.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon. With your vaporetto pass you can easily take the boat from Murano to explore the island of Burano, whose leaning tower rivals that in Pisa. Here you can find Venetian lace and small shops where you can watch the crafters create their handiwork. Or return to the center of town.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant.
   
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 14: Departures
(Friday, May 8)

Note: Transfer to the airport may be by water taxi from the hotel's private dock on the Grand Canal. Your bags will be loaded onto and off the water taxi but at the airport imbarcadero there are some steps to the road. Under a covered path, the 8 min. walk to the terminal flanks the parking lot. If you have trouble managing your luggage on the flat path you can use a trolley (euro coin deposit) or engage a shuttle van that provides assistance from the dock to the terminal for a small per bag fee.



   
 Breakfast: Breakfast at hotel; continental style for participants with early morning departures.
 Morning: Departure transfer to Venice 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


Blue Guide Concise Italy


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Brunelleschi's Dome, How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture


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Description: The story of the design and construction of the dome in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a tale rife with politics, cut-throat competition and mighty inspiration.



Eyewitness Guide Italy


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Description: This superb guide features color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.



Italy Map


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Description: A handy, laminated map.



Italy in Mind


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



Italy, A Short History


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Description: Elegantly written, generous and informative, this compact book takes in the sweep of Italian history from the Roman Republic through the Renaissance, World War II and up to the present.



La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind


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



La Bella Lingua


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Description: Inebriated with the sounds of Italian, lovesick for its phrases and enamored of its earthy idioms, Hales, "a sensible woman of sturdy Polish stock," dives into the Italian of the piazza, literature, movies and streets in this charming memoir.



Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling


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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.



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 City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings


Author: R.W.B. Lewis


Description: A vivid tour of the city and its riches by the fine biographer of Edith Wharton and Henry James. Lewis has written what he calls "a partial biography of Florence," beautifully interweaving the personal and the historical.



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 House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall


Author: Christopher Hibbert


Description: A well-written, entertaining history of the Medicis in Renaissance Florence. Great to read before going to Florence, where the influence of the Medicis and the artists they supported is still very much in evidence.



The World of Venice


Author: Jan Morris


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





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