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

Program Number: 20856RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/27/2015 - 7/10/2015; 12/21/2015 - 1/2/2016; 6/18/2016 - 7/1/2016; 6/22/2016 - 7/5/2016; 7/4/2016 - 7/17/2016; 7/8/2016 - 7/21/2016; 7/20/2016 - 8/2/2016; 7/24/2016 - 8/6/2016; 12/21/2016 - 1/2/2017;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $4,051.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Family Programs; Intergenerational
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 30; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 10 - 17 years of age.

Share the essence of Italy with your family as you immerse yourselves in Roman history, Florentine art and Venetian traditions. Walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in the Forum, see where Gladiators fought in the Colosseum, and try your hand at creating frescoes. Create your own Murano glass memento and thrill in a dragon boat race along a canal with the Venetian Crew Club. Along the way, sample delicious Italian cuisine and take in some of the greatest masterpieces in the world.


• Embark on an exclusive underground exploration of Roman ruins.
• Take high-speed trains to Florence and Venice, where you discover masterpieces by artists likes Michelangelo and Titian.
• Create your own Venetian glass artwork at a glass-working school and be part of a dragon boat race on the canals.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to four miles per day; some dirt paths, cobblestone streets and other uneven terrain.

Date Specific Information

6-27-2015, 7-4-2016

The glass school is unable to offer the glass bead workshop the first two weeks of July. As a substitute activity, enjoy another Venetian tradition. Learn about the 800 year old practice of mask making and the symbolism of the forms and shapes at a workshop. Details from famous period paintings depict Venetians wearing masks in every day life. Decorate your own papier mâché mask as a memento.

12-21-2015, 12-21-2016

Enjoy Christmas in Rome and ring in the New Year in Venice, where fireworks illuminate the Giudecca Canal. Given the wintery conditions and our short time in Venice, the Dragon Boat Race will not take place and we won’t be making the glass memento. This departure is one night shorter and follows this itinerary: Arrival Rome, 4 nights; train to Florence, 4 nights; train to Venice, 3 nights; departure.


Please note inverted itinerary, arrive and begin in Venice end in and depart from Rome. All elements are the same.

7-8-2016, 7-20-2016

Please note the inverted itinerary; arrive and begin in Venice; end in and depart from Rome. All elements are the same as the other itinerary.

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

Explore underground ancient Roman buildings and walk around the area where Julius Caesar was cremated. Thrill at the sight of Michelangelo’s “Pieta” and works by Bernini during a day at St. Peter’s Basilica and enjoy a visit to the Vatican Museums. Create your own Mosaic memento at an art school. Hear the stories of the ancient Forum and the majestic Colosseum. Examine masterpieces at the Capitoline Museum and learn about chariot racing at the Circus Maximus.

Train to Florence
4 nights

After journeying by high-speed train to Florence, try your hand at learning fresco painting techniques with an art instructor. With a local expert, view the artwork at Palazzo Vecchio — Florence’s city hall — and see Machiavelli’s study. Spend an afternoon at the Uffizi Gallery taking in masterpieces by Titian, Botticelli, da Vinci and more and view Michelangelo's “David” at the Accademia. Learn about the scientific revolution at the Galileo Museum.

Train to Venice
4 nights

Journey to the island of Murano to create your own work in glass. Marvel at the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica. Team up with the Venetian Crew Club for a dragon boat race along the canals before joining an expert to view the Peggy Guggenheim Collection of Modern Art. Spend a final day in Venice exploring the Rialto Bridge Marketplace and visiting the workshop of a gondola artisan.


“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.

Centrally located four star hotels in Rome, Florence and Venice on the Grand Canal.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Pace Helvezia
  Rome, Italy 4 nights
   Hotel Adriatico
  Florence, Italy 4 nights
   Hotel Principe
  Venice, Italy 4 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 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
  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 or 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 or Expedia.
  Check in time: 2:00 PM

 Hotel Adriatico
Type: Four-Star Hotel
  Description: Hotel Adriatico is located between the church of S.M.Novella and the Arno River, a short walk from the city’s sites and neighborhoods of interest. The classroom and breakfast room are on the ground floor; elevators access all guest rooms.
  Contact info: Via Maso Finiguerra, 9
Florence,  50123 Italy
phone: +39 055 279 31
  Room amenities: Air conditioning, satellite television, hair dryer, minibar, in-room safe, upgraded furniture and linens.
  Facility amenities: Modern newly renovated business class hotel. 24 hr. reception desk; Wi-Fi in common areas; comfortable lounges and sitting areas. American bar serving drinks, and Italian bar serving caffe' and cappuccino. Rich breakfast buffet.
  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
  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. Laundry service available.
  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 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 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 Orientation. You will be staying at Hotel Pace Helvezia that night.
  End of Program:
Hotel check out by 10:00 am, morning transfers to airport. You will be staying at Hotel Principe the night before.
  Required documents:
The Participant Information 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 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 option is train and taxi: 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, the central station in Rome. Fare is EUR 14 pp. The ride takes 35 min. When you exit the Roma Termini train station take a taxi to the hotel. For door to door service you have 2 options: shared ride shuttle van or taxi. You can book shuttle service online at Fares are about EUR 30 for 1 person; discounts apply if you book for multiple passengers, no guarantee that your group will be the first to be dropped off. Taxi fare for direct service from the airport to the hotel is . EUR 50. Max 3-4 persons per taxi and luggage. Write the Hotel Pace Helvezia with your flight details and ask that they send a driver to meet you at the airport. Look for your name as you exit into the public terminal area. Cost EUR 50 for the car. Hotel staff will only send car upon your confirmation.
  From End of Program
  Location:  Venice
  Nearest city or town:  Venice
  Nearest airport:  Venice 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 and a 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 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: Transatlantic overnight flight to Rome
(Saturday, June 27)

Note: To ease the transition to the European time zone, it is a good idea to sleep or rest on the overnight flight. Adjust your watch or phone right away to the local time.

 In Transit: Overnight Flight to Rome.

Day 2: Check-in \ Orientation \ Welcome Reception
(Sunday, June 28)

Note: Minimum exertion on arrival day, neighborhood walk.

 Arrive To: Rome airport next morning, transfer to hotel.
 Morning: A light walk will be organized for those with early morning arrivals while waiting for lunch and hotel check-in.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant with a fixed menu. Water is included at this and every group meal during the program. Soft drinks or wine at your own expense.
 Afternoon: Settle in room, meet at appointed time for Orientation and Welcome Reception. Brief neighborhood walk points out banks, pharmacies and stores.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. Plated table service with a fixed menu. In Italy, restaurants open for dinner service at 7:30 pm.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: History of Rome \ Trevi Fountain \ Roman Forum and Colosseum
(Monday, June 29)

Note: 1/4 mile walk to Piazza di Trevi. The walk through the Forum is on original cobble paving stones, uneven dirt path, a gentle incline. For an authentic experience at the Colosseum, climb the 4 flights of steep stairs to the top level. There is an elevator at one end of the Colosseum for the truly needy. If you take the elevator down, you will have to retrace your steps to reach the exit at the opposite end of the arena. The walk from the Colosseum to the hotel is about 1/4 mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. Each day the buffet in this and other program site hotels will have an egg dish, sliced meat and cheese platter, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, cakes, breads, jams, juice, coffee, tea, and water.
 Morning: Illustrated lecture on the History of Rome prepares you for your explorations. Short walk (1/4 mile) to the Trevi Fountain.The famous fountain is currently drained and under scaffolding as it undergoes a cleaning and restoration, but the city has set up a cat walk so you can see some of the details of the public artwork and a small pool for the traditional coin toss.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant near Piazza di Trevi. The meal is served buffet style.
 Afternoon: Coach from the hotel to the closest point for buses to drop off. Continue to the Forum, Rome's ancient religious and civic downtown--walk along the Via Sacra, starting point for "all roads lead to Rome" and where triumphal processions passed. The expert will try to paint a picture to complete the images of the activities that took place in the remains of the buildings. See remains of the temple built over the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated. Reserved entrance to the Flavian Amphitheater, or Colosseum, with its capacity centuries ago of up to 50,000 people. Imagine watching gladiatorial games and the pageantry. Walk down the Via dei Fori Imperiali past Trajan's Market to a characteristic restaurant for dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant on the Via dei Fori Imperiali. Short walk back to the hotel (about 250 yards).
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Vatican Museums \ Sistine Chapel \ S. Peter's Basilica
(Tuesday, June 30)

Note: Expect crowds at the Vatican Museums. Walk a few flights of stairs to visit the various galleries and art filled rooms. Steps along the path to the Sistine Chapel.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: At the hotel meeting room, an art historian presents the artistry of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Museums.Transfer to the Vatican by coach.
 Lunch: At a restaurant within the walls of Vatican City with plated table service with a first course, second course, side dish, dessert and water.
 Afternoon: Short walk - 2 blocks - to the entrance of the Vatican Museums. Meet the local expert who will lead us through a number of galleries of the Vatican Museums. We have a reserved entrance time. You will learn about singular pieces, such as the Laocoon; Apollo Belvedere; gilded Hercules; and the rooms by Raphael including the "School of Athens", and of course, the Sistine Chapel. The visit continues to the "new" S. Peter's Basilica (only 500 years old) to see Michelangelo's Pieta' and works by Bernini. Once inside S. Peter's Basilica, you learned that all the "paintings" are actually micro-mosaics and that mosaics decorate much of the interior. Cross St. Peter's square to board the coach back to the hotel.
 Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel (fixed menu of multiple courses with plated table service as is the local custom.
 Evening: Enjoy a stroll to the Spanish Steps. The walk there and back is a mile and a half.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Mosaic Workshop \ Site of Ancient Roman Home
(Wednesday, July 1)

Note: Extensive walking and standing in the heart of Rome's pedestrian only area around Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Coach to the mosaic workshop of an art school. Come to appreciate the art form of mosaics as you participate in creating your own mosaic with the instructors. Keep your decorated piece as a memento.
 Lunch: Lunch at the mosaic studio cafe is served buffet style. Coach to the heart of Rome.
 Afternoon: In the lower levels of the Palazzo Valentini, excavations reveal the ruins of ancient Roman houses. A multimedia presentation brings the 2,000 year old ruins to life. Walk (about 1/2 mile) to the Pantheon, the celestial observatory dating back to the 2nd century. The walk continues a few blocks over to Piazza Navona. Learn how an ancient stadium of Domitian (81-96) was transformed into the quintessential Baroque Piazza Navona, at the center of which is Bernini's famous Fountain of the Four Rivers.
 Dinner: On your own. Around Piazza Navona there are a variety of restaurants and cafes, some al fresco. The group leader will point out some informal trattorias and more formal restaurants.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Capitoline Museum \ Train to Florence \ Neigborhrood walk
(Thursday, July 2)

Note: The incline of 20 steps to the Campidoglio, the entrance to the Capitoline Museum, is facilitated by very long tread steps with very low rise. Coach to the train station. Sit in first class comfort on a high speed train to Florence.The walk from the station to the hotel in Florence is about 1/4 mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Check out of your room. Bring your luggage and bulky carry on bags to the lobby where they will be loaded onto a van and delivered to the hotel in Florence. Walk past the Vittoriano, the giant white travertine stone monument that has become a symbol of Rome, to the Capitoline for an expert-led visit of the Museum of Roman antiquities. See the busts of various consuls, emperors and women who figured in Roman history. See the She Wolf, symbol of Rome; the equestrian statue of Marcus Aurelius, the foundations of the most important temple--Jupiter Capitolinus; the Dying Gaul, and the Capitoline Venus. From the Tabullarium, ancient Rome's archives, there is a commanding view of the Forum. After exiting the museum, you may wish to walk up the steps behind the last gallery to reach the balcony of the Monument to Victor Emanuel II, king of Unified Italy. The large white memorial you see from your hotel. Great panoramic views of the city. Coach to Roma Termini, the main train station.
 Lunch: At a self-service restaurant at Rome's Termini station. Choose from wraps, sandwiches, salad, fruit and bottled water. High speed train to Florence departs 1:20 pm, arriving 2:50 pm.
 Afternoon: Walk to the hotel. Check in and settle into your room. Meet in the lobby at 4:00 pm for the late afternoon reserved entrance to the Accademia Museum. Admire Michelangelo's David and other marble sculptures. The walk to the Accademia is about one mile.
 Dinner: Walk to the Duomo and dinner at a nearby restaurant that features a multiple course fixed menu with plated table service.
 Evening: With the group leader, stroll the historical section of Florence as you make your way back to the hotel. Learn the layout of the city, locate landmarks, find ATM's and pharmacies.
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Fresco Workshop \ Renaissance Art
(Friday, July 3)

Note: The walk from the hotel to the Piazza della Signoria is about 3/4 of a mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk to the Piazza della Signoria. At the Palazzo Vecchio learn from an art teacher the steps required to paint using the fresco technique; from creating the lines with a sack of coal dust, to spreading the fresh plaster and mixing the pigments. After the 6" x 9" tile dries, you may choose to keep it, otherwise it is recycled. Expert-led visit of stately rooms of the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's city hall, to see original pieces of art, including Donatello's Judith and Holofernes and sculptures by Michelangelo. See Machiavelli's study when he was Secretary of State for the Republic.
 Lunch: On your own. In and around the Piazza della Signoria there are numerous snack bars, coffee shops, cafés and sit down restaurants to choose from.
 Afternoon: Some free time to explore the heart of Florence at your own pace. (The Ponte Vecchio is a few blocks from the Piazza della Signoria). At 4:30 pm back at the hotel, an art historian gives an Illustrated lecture at the hotel on Renaissance Art in preparation for the self-guided visit of the Uffizi Gallery.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. Plated table service consists of multiple courses (fixed menu).
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: S. Maria Novella \ San Lorenzo \ Mercato Centrale / Uffizi
(Saturday, July 4)

Note: The Uffizi Gallery has multiple floors with very high ceilings. A grand staircase leads to the 3rd floor where the painting collections are situated. A small elevator (max capacity 4 persons) for disabled visitors may be available. A separate staircase at the end of the gallery's long corridor leads back down to the ground floor. The restrooms are located between floors 3 and 2 and in the level below ground floor as you exit the museum.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk to Piazza Santa Maria Novella (1/4 mile). With your new found knowledge of fresco painting, an expert expounds on the frescoes by Masaccio and Ghirlandaio found in the church of Santa Maria Novella. A few blocks away is San Lorenzo, Florence's central food and soft goods market, and the parish church of the Medici family. The plain brick facade belies the harmonious beauty of its interior. A local expert takes you to the Medici Chapels.
 Lunch: On your own. A variety of options at the farm to table food court of the Mercato Centrale.
 Afternoon: Meet at the appointed time at the place in San Lorenzo designated by the group leader. Walk to the Piazza degli Uffizi is about 1/2 mile. For the self guided visit we will enter the Uffizi as a group, but you are free to spend as much time as you wish. This museum holds a most extensive collection of art, tracing the development from Gothic to medieval to Renaissance to Mannerist paintings. 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. Walk back to the hotel or, if you are weary, take a taxi. Coaches cannot enter the historical center of Florence.
 Dinner: At the hotel (plated table service, fixed menu).
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Learn about Florence \ Galileo Museum of Science \ Free Afternoon
(Sunday, July 5)

Note: The walk from the hotel to the Galileo Museum is about 3/4 of a mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: In the hotel's meeting room, a local expert gives some background of the city of Florence and the region of Tuscany. After a short break, set out on foot for the Galileo Museum (about 3/4 of a mile). Learn about the scientific revolution and see Galileo's telescope which aided in his studies of celestial orbits. The docent will talk about the wooden conceptual models of the planets and their orbits, some 10 feet tall, which were used to argue whether the solar system was geocentric or heliocentric. Many interactive exhibits.
 Lunch: At a restaurant in the heart of Florence very close to the Uffizi Gallery entrance. Fixed menu, plated table service.
 Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Florence at your own pace.
 Dinner: On your own. Stay on in the heart of Florence or choose a restaurant in the neighborhood of the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Train to Venice \ History of Venice, the Serenissima
(Monday, July 6)

Note: The walk from the hotel to the train station in Florence with your carry-on luggage is about 1/4 mile.Once in Venice, short walk (230 yards) to the hotel. Although the hotel is situated near the train station, there is no noise of trains. The station is a terminal station and not a pass through, so there are no whistles or horns.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Check out of the hotel. Your checked luggage will be sent by van and delivered to the hotel in Venice; keep your hand bag with you. Walk to the train station to board a high speed train to Venice; the trip is 2 hours.
 Lunch: Lunch at the Venice hotel restaurant - fixed menu, multiple courses, plated table service). The group leader will distribute the room keys just as lunch finishes. Settle into your room.
 Afternoon: In the hotel meeting room, a local expert presents Welcome to Venice and introduces you to the Serenissima. Neighborhood walk follows.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant (fixed menu, multiple courses) to savor Venetian cuisine.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: S. Mark's Basilica \ Venetian Tradition of Masks
(Tuesday, July 7)

Note: Vaporetto vessels are the sole public transportation of Venice; no bicycles or scooters are allowed. As the only alternative to walking, the vaporettos are crowded with tourists and locals.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: The group leader distributes your 3 day vaporetto pass. Together ride the vaporetto to Piazza S. Marco for an expert-led visit to the Byzantine style S. Mark's Cathedral, built during the 13 C. There are more than 45,000 sq. ft. of mosaics adorning the church, giving the impression of streets of gold. On the second floor is the original "quadriga" a team of four gilded bronze horses that was looted from Constantinople. Replicas now stand in the elements above the entrance to the Basilica. See illuminated manuscripts and other documents related to the church.
 Lunch: On your own. The group leader will offer suggestions for cafés and restaurants.
 Afternoon: Vaporetto to another district of Venice along the Grand Canal to a mask workshop. Learn about the tradition of masks in Venice and then create your own mask.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant. Multiple course menu with plated table service.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Dragon Boat Race \ Doge's Palace
(Wednesday, July 8)

Note: Row, row, row your dragon boat hard if you want to win; otherwise sit at the stern and enjoy the ride.Two flights of stairs to reach the upper floors of the Doge's Palace. Narrow passages through the rooms of the Prisons and over the Bridge of Sighs.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Team up with the Venetian Crew Club for a dragon boat race along the canal. Vaporetto back to the hotel.
 Lunch: At a restaurant near the hotel is served buffet style with multiple dishes to choose from.
 Afternoon: Vaporetto to San Marco for an expert-led visit of the Palazzo Ducale or Doge's Palace. Walk through the many rooms of the palace, seat of civic and political power. Doges embellished the Palazzo to demonstrate their wealth and importance. From the grand halls of the palace, the visit concludes with a walk through the narrow passages over the Bridge of Sighs to the Prisons. It is said that those condemned sighed at knowing it would be their last sight of the sky.
 Dinner: On your own. With your vaporetto pass you can explore a district of Venice.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 13: Rialto \ Guggenheim Collection
(Thursday, July 9)

Note: Walks in Venice involve crossing multiple bridges that span the canals. The permanent collection of the Guggenheim museum is displated on a single floor of the Palazzo Venier with a few steps at the entrance and leading to the wing with special exhibitions.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Excursion to an artisan's workshop to learn about the carving techniques of making gondola oars and oar locks. Explore the area of the Rialto famous for its lively fish and produce market at the foot of the elaborate white stone bridge that spans the Grand Canal.
 Lunch: At a characteristic trattoria (fixed menu with plated table service).
 Afternoon: Having been surrounded by ancient and Renaissance masterpieces and structures, enjoy the modern art at the Peggy Guggenheim Collection. Relax in the courtyard of the Palazzo Venier on the Grand Canal while the docent introduces the life and times of the wealthy American collector. The group splits in two with a docent for the adults and another for young visitors who will be making general discoveries of form and expression in modern art.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Departure day
(Friday, July 10)

Note: Board water taxi at the hotel's dock to the airport; once at the airport dock, gather your luggage and follow the covered path to the terminal, about a 10 min. walk. With a euro coin for deposit, you can pick up a cart for your luggage. The coin is returned once you clip the chain to the carts in deposit inside the terminal.

 Depart From: Transfer from the hotel to the Venice Marco Polo airport for departure.
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. Sack breakfast for those with early departure times.
Meals Included: Breakfast

Free Time Opportunities
  Florence Boboli Gardens
At the Boboli Gardens which extend behind the Pitti Palace enjoy a stroll along the stone and dirt paths paths lined with shrubs and copies of statues from the Medici collection and take in a unique view of Florence from the hill. Green lawns are artfully placed among the geometric walking paths of this peaceful Renaissance garden.
  Botanical Gardens
extensive gardens and greenhouses where the Univiversity of Florence maintains 4 million botanical specimens in a wooded urban park, the "Giardino dei Semplici"
Visit other museums in Florence such as the Palazzo Pitti, residence of the Grand Dukes of Tuscany. The museum complex includes collections of silver and porcelain, period dress and decorative arts, and an impressive collection of paintings by Perugino, Tiziano, Bronzino, and Rubens.
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

Biba's Italy

Author: Biba Caggiano

Description: Caggiano focuses on regional, seasonal food in this omnibus cookbook (featuring 100 recipes), menu planner and travel guide to Rome, Florence, Bologna, Milan and Venice. Nicely produced, this handsome sepia-toned book includes recommended restaurants, cafes and markets in each city.

Cathedral, The Story of its Construction

Author: David MacAulay

Description: In this illuminating book for middle readers, master draughtsman MacAulay presents text and innovative drawings that detail the planning and construction of a 13th-century Gothic cathedral. It's a masterpiece.

City, A Story of Roman Planning and Construction

Author: David MacAulay

Description: With innovative charts, drawings, text and a glossary, master draughtsman Macaulay tackles the planning and building of a typical Roman city, circa 25 BC, creating a fascinating portrait of Roman engineering for the whole family.

Death at La Fenice

Author: Donna Leon

Description: The first of the tremendously good Guido Brunetti mysteries, all set in the author's beloved Venice, in which a famous conductor is found dead at the celebrated La Fenice theater.

Eyewitness: Ancient Rome

Author: Simon James, Nick Nichols (Photographer)

Description: A visually rich survey of ancient Rome, this book in the excellent Eyewitness series explores daily life and history in the city and the outlying empire.

Four Seasons in Rome

Author: Anthony Doerr

Description: Doerr captures the romance and challenge of living abroad in this lyrical memoir, invitingly subtitled "On Twins, Insomnia, and the Biggest Funeral in the History of the World."

Italian Days

Author: Barbara Grizzuti Harrison

Description: Grizzuti Harrison writes with warmth and depth of her journey from Milan south to Calabria in this sprightly account of Italy and the Italians.

Italy Map

Author: Borch Maps

Description: A convenient laminated map of Italy at a scale of 1:800,000 with excellent topographic detail, an index and large maps of Sicily and Sardinia.

Italy, A Traveler's Literary Companion

Author: Lawrence Venuti (Editor)

Description: Not just a literary companion, this anthology is also a who's who of contemporary Italian writers who capture the spirit, history and allure of the country.

Italy, Monuments Past and Present

Author: R.A. Staccioli

Description: This informative volume shows Italy's most important monuments as they look today and, via overlaid illustrations, as they were once upon a time. The book surveys the history and archeological highlights of Pompeii, Rome and Sicily.

Kids Italian Picture Dictionary

Author: Inc. Berlitz International

Description: 1,000 words central to a child's everyday life -- animals, flowers, people, colors, numbers and activities -- teach even the youngest readers Italian. Each word is illustrated and accompanied by a phonetic transcription and phrase.

La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind

Author: Beppe Severgnini

Description: Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their 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.

Leonardo Da Vinci

Author: Kathleen Krull

Description: Beginning with a vivid description of superstition and squalor in the Middle Ages, Krull sets Da Vinci's extraordinary life in the context of his extraordinary time. A volume in the Giants of Science series, geared for grades 4-8.


Author: Michael Dibdin

Description: Venetian crime investigator Aurelio Zen goes after the kidnappers of a Perugian industrialist in this enjoyable thriller, winner of the Gold Dagger Award (and first book in the series).

Renaissance Florence on 5 Florins a Day

Author: Charles Fitzroy

Description: This fun guide leads visitors of all ages (and budgets!) on a tour of 15th century Florence and the surrounding countryside, including cathedrals, museums, festivals and elaborate feasts.

Rome Antics

Author: David MacAulay

Description: The incomparable MacAulay depicts Rome, ancient and modern, in this illustrated book told from the point of view of a wayward pigeon. For readers of all ages.

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.

The Adventures of Pinocchio

Author: Carlo Collodi, Geoffrey Brock (Translator)

Description: A work that is at once adventure, satire, and a powerful enchantment, this adult translation captures Collodi's bold mix of the picaresque, of street theater, and of folk and fairy tale.

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 World of Venice

Author: Jan Morris

Description: Morris displays her talent for research, telling anecdote and well-wrought prose in this spirited portrait of a beloved city, its history and inhabitants. If you are going to read one book on Venice, we recommend this favorite.

This Is Rome

Author: Miroslav Sasek

Description: Sasek navigates Rome's busy, winding streets to show us visit well-known landmarks and the eccentricities of modern Roman life. A reprint of the classic, first published in 1960.

Under the Tuscan Sun

Author: Frances Mayes

Description: In this best-selling memoir of buying, renovating and living in an abandoned villa in Tuscany, Mayes reveals the sensual pleasures found in rural Italy.

Venice: An Illustrated Miscellany

Author: Philippe Sollers

Description: An illustrated literary stroll through the cultural heritage of Italy’s most romantic city that leads from Shakespeare through Henry James, Simone de Beauvoir and Antonio Vivaldi.

You can't find a better value than Road Scholar.

As a not-for-profit organization, we are dedicated to providing all-inclusive educational programs at great value. From lectures to gratuities to field trips to accommodations - the tuition you pay up front is all that you pay.

Specifically, this program includes:

Plus these special experiences...

View the Daily Schedule to see more

And included with all Road Scholar programs:

© Road Scholar 2015 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768