Road Scholar : Home
Intergenerational Italian Classics: Rome, Florence and Venice

Program Number: 20211RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/20/2015 - 7/3/2015; 6/22/2016 - 7/5/2016; 6/26/2016 - 7/9/2016; 7/8/2016 - 7/21/2016; 7/16/2016 - 7/29/2016; 7/20/2016 - 8/2/2016;
Duration: 13 nights
Location: Italy
Price starting at: $3,999.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Intergenerational
Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 30; 12 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 9 Dinners    
Meal Options: Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Program intended for grandchildren from 14 - 17 years of age.

Share the essence of Italy with your grandchild as you immerse yourselves in Roman history, Florentine art and Venetian traditions. With local experts, walk in the footsteps of ancient Romans in the Forum and look down where Gladiators fought in the Colosseum, and try your hand at creating a mosaic based on ancient patterns, fresco painting in Florence. In Venice, create your own Venetian memento and thrill in a dragon boat race along a canal with the Venetian Crew Club. Along the way, sample local cuisine and take in some of the greatest masterpieces in the world.


• Go on an exclusive underground exploration of Roman ruins.
• Spend an afternoon at the Uffizi Gallery and delight in the masterpieces of Titian, Botticelli, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci.
• Create your own Venetian memento with authentic materials.

Activity Particulars

Walking up to four miles a day, mostly level terrain. Dirt paths and cobblestone streets in archaeological zones. Rest periods break up the longer walks.

Program is for grandchildren ages 14-17.

Date Specific Information

6-20-2015, 6-22-2016, 6-26-2016, 7-16-2016, 7-20-2016

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


July 19 is the Feast of the Redeemer, commemorating the end of the plague of 1576. Saturday night fireworks illuminate S. Mark`s basin and people find good vantage points to watch the 45 minute+ display. On Sunday, a floating bridge of boats and pontoons stretch across to the Giudecca Island and is a way for people to walk across to the island and worship at the church designed by Palladio. Expect additional crowd and transportation disruptions.
Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.

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

Experience a multi-media presentation of an underground ancient Roman palaces; and walk around the area where Julius Caesar was assassinated. Thrill at the sight of Michelangelo's Pieta' and works by Bernini at St. Peter’s Basilica, and enjoy an opportunity to visit the Vatican Museums and create your own mosaic memento at an art school. With a local expert, walk through the ancient Forum and see 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, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and more. Join an expert for an excursion to view Michelangelo's “David” and learn about the scientific revolution at the Galileo Museum.

Train to Venice
4 nights

Try your hand at creating traditional Venetian mementos at various workshops. With your Vaporetto pass, ride to the island of Murano, where the famed glass is made. In the company of an expert marvel at the mosaics of St. Mark’s Basilica. Team up with the Venetian Crew Club for a dragon boat race along the canal 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 visit 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.

Rome: A historic hotel in the heart of Rome. The top floor balcony affords a view from the Colosseum to the south to S. Peter's Basilica to the west, and the top of the Spanish Steps to the north. Florence: Conveniently located four-star hotel in proximity to all major sites. Venice: Great hotels near the Grand Canal and major attractions.
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 lounge with panoramic views of the city is open from early spring to late autumn.
  Contact info: Via 4 Novembre, 104
Rome,  00187 Italy
phone: +39 06 679 5105
  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: 1:00 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. If you want the Hotel Pace Helvezia to book you a car and driver, you can email them 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 will be about 50 for the car. Once you confirm the service, hotel staff will send a car to the airport.
  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 20)

Note: Suggest sleeping on overnight flight and adjusting your watch or phone right away to European time; it will ease your transition to the local time zone.

 In Transit: Overnight Flight to Rome.

Day 2: Check-in \ Orientation \ Welcome Reception
(Sunday, June 21)

Note: Minimum exertion on arrival day, neighborhood walk.

 Arrive To: Rome airport next morning. A Road Scholar representative will lead you to the coach for the transfer to hotel. The ride is about an hour, allowing for city traffic congestion.
 Morning: The group leader will be at the hotel to welcome arriving travelers and show them where to store their bags until check-in time. A light walk will be organized for those with early morning arrivals while waiting for lunch and hotel check-in
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant a block from the hotel 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 at 7:30. Plated table service with a fixed menu. In keeping with the local customs, restaurants open for dinner at 7:30 pm. Only snack bars and cafés are open all day.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: History of Rome \ Forum and Colosseum
(Monday, June 22)

Note: 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 oval stadium.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. Each day the buffet choices in this and other program site hotels will include an egg dish, sliced meat and cheese platter, fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, pastries, cakes, breads, jams, juice, coffee, tea.
 Morning: Illustrated lecture on the History of Rome at the hotel meeting room prepares you for your exploration in the Eternal City.
 Lunch: Short walk to a restaurant near the Piazza di Trevi. Choose various dishes and desserts at the self-service restaurant.
 Afternoon: Walk to the Forum is less than half a mile. Reserved entrance for expert-led visit 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 of the walls and images of the activities that took place in the remains of the buildings (basilicas). See remains of the temple built over the spot where Julius Caesar was cremated. Continue to the Flavian Amphitheater, commonly known as the Colosseum, capable seating up to 50,000 people and imagine watching gladiatorial games and the pageantry.
 Dinner: Short walk along the historic Via dei Fori Imperiali. Dinner at a restaurant on the Via. Fixed menu, plated table service. Short walk back to the hotel (about 250 yards).
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Treasures of the Vatican \ Sistine Chapel \ S. Peter's Basilica \ Trevi Fountain \ Spanish Steps
(Tuesday, June 23)

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: In the hotel meeting room an expert on art restoration brings his take on the artistry of Michelangelo and his own personal experience with the recent restoration of the frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. Transfer to the Vatican by coach.
 Lunch: At a restaurant within the walls of Vatican City, enjoy lunch Roman style - plated table service presenting a first course, second course, side dish, dessert and water. Water will be included at every meal during your program. Likewise, at all meals you can order soft drinks (beer or wine for adults) and pay for them on your own.
 Afternoon: 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 guide will leave you at the exit but the visit continues to the "new" S. Peter's Basilica (only 500 years old) where you can admire 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. Meet at the point and time designated by the group leader to board the coach 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 Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. The Trevi Fountain is currently drained and under scaffolding as it is being cleaned and restored, but there will be a small pool for the traditional coin toss.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Mosaic Workshop \ Piazza Walk \ Underground Roman Palace
(Wednesday, June 24)

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

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Come to appreciate the art form of mosaics as you participate in creating your own mosaic with instructors at a local art school. 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: Visit an excavated Roman patrician house to learn what we can about life in ancient Rome among the wealthy. Transportation to Piazza Navona where our local expert will discuss how an ancient stadium of Domitian (81-96) was transformed into the quintessential Baroque piazza, at the center of which is Bernini's famous Fountain of the Four Rivers. Pass on toward the Pantheon, the celestial observatory dating back to the 2nd century.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6: Capitoline Museum \ Train to Florence \ Neighborhood walk
(Thursday, June 25)

Note: Stairs to reach to top of the Capitoline Hill and within the museum. Sit in first class comfort on a high speed train to Florence. Leisurely walk to and around the neighborhood of the hotel

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Check out of your room bring your luggage to the lobby where the driver of the van will bring it to Florence; leave your hand luggage in the deposit area of the hotel. Before heading to the train station, we will stop at the hotel to retrieve the carry on bags. Meet our expert at the Capitoline Museum where you can examine up close masterpieces of ancient art, portrait busts of famous men and women, the famous bronze She Wolf, Marcus Aurelius and remains of the Constantine's colossal statue. Passing through the Tabularium, you reach the Palazzo Nuovo wing where the Dying Gaul and Capitoline Venus are on display. After exiting the museum (if time allows), ascend the stairs behind the last wing to reach the balcony of the monument to Victor Emanuel II, for a splendid panoramic view of Rome.
 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: Coach to the train station. Experience travel on a high speed train at speeds reaching 120 mph. Arrive in Florence 95 minutes later. Check into the hotel, at the appointed time, meet in the lobby for a neighborhood walk. Late afternoon reserved entrance to the Accademia Museum to admire Michelangelo's David and other marble sculptures.
 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 to orient yourself on the layout of the city, locate landmarks, find ATM's and pharmacies.
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7: Fresco Workshop \ Welcome to Florence
(Friday, June 26)

Note: The walk from the hotel to the Palazzo Vecchio in Piazza della Signoria is about three quarters of a mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk to the Piazza della Signoria in the very heart of the city. 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 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: A local expert gives some background of the city of Florence and the region of Tuscany.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant near the hotel. Plated table service consists of multiple courses (fixed menu).
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 8: S. Maria Novella \ San Lorenzo
(Saturday, June 27)

Note: The walk from the hotel to the market is about half a mile.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: 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. Walk through Florence's central food and soft goods market to San Lorenzo, parish church of the Medici family. The plain brick facade belies the harmonious beauty of its interior. An art historian leads the visit of the Medici Chapels.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: Free Afternoon
 Dinner: At the hotel (plated table service, fixed menu).
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: Renaissance Art \ The Galileo Museum of Science \ Uffizi Gallery
(Sunday, June 28)

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: Illustrated lecture at the hotel meeting room on Renaissance Art in preparation for the self-guided visit of the Uffizi Gallery. Walk to the Galileo Museum on the bank of the Arno River. Learn about the scientific revolution in the Museum of science. 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. Surgeons will see early instruments and notice quite a similarity between early and present day versions. 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: For the self guided visit of the Uffizi we will enter 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: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10: Train to Venice \ History of Venice, the Serenissima
(Monday, June 29)

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: Welcome to Venice introduces you to the Serenissima. Neighborhood walk follows.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant (fixed menu, multiple courses with plated table service try some typical Venetian dishes.
 Evening: At leisure.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 11: Murano Glass Making Workshop \ S. Mark's Basilica
(Tuesday, June 30)

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 residents.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Receive Vaporetto pass and ride the boat to the island of Murano. Learn about glass making and create your own glass tile decoration under the supervision of an instructor at a glass working school. The tile you create will be fused in the kiln and delivered to your hotel.
 Lunch: At a characteristic trattoria in Murano. Plated table service with fixed menu.
 Afternoon: Travel to Piazza S. Marco on the Vaporetto 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
 Dinner: On your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 12: Free Morning \ Doge's Palace \ Gondola Ride
(Wednesday, July 1)

Note: 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. Assistance is offered getting on and off the gondola.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Take advantage of your vaporetto pass and explore Venice at your own pace with the free morning.
 Lunch: On your own.
 Afternoon: Expert-led visit of the Palazzo Ducale or Doge's Palace. The chambers of the palazzo were embellished with artwork to demonstrate the wealth and importance of the seat of civic and political power. From the grand halls of the palace, the visit concludes with a visit to the Secret Itineraries, 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. Get a different perspective of the canals with a gondola ride.
 Dinner: Short walk from San Marco to the Rialto - about a third of a mile. Dinner at a characteristic restaurant at the foot of the Rialto Bridge. Plated table service and fixed menu. Ride the vaporetto 6 stops or take a scenic stroll (about a mile) back to the hotel.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 13: Rialto Bridge \ Guggenheim Collection
(Thursday, July 2)

Note: Leisurely walk around the market area, up and over numerous bridges in the Rialto district.

 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 Bridge, Venice's original market area. Stroll the colorful carts of the food and fruit market.
 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. Plated table service with a fixed menu and special dessert.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Program concludes
(Friday, July 3)

Note: Board taxi to the airport; once at the dock where the taxi stops, gather your luggage and follow the covered path to the terminal, about a 10 min. walk. Often there are carts for your luggage. A coin deposit is returned once you clip the chain to the other carts at the terminal.

 Depart From: At the hotel dock, water taxis are arranged for transfers to the Venice Marco Polo airport dock.
 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

Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History

Author: Ada Gabucci (Editor)

Description: This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.

Brunelleschi's Dome

Author: Ross King

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: 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.

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 in Mind

Author: Alice Powers

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 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.

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.

La Bella Lingua

Author: Dianne Hales

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.

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.

Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling

Author: Ross King

Description: Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research, King's captivating chronicle of Michelangelo's painting on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel tells the story of its conception and creation.

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.

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 Raphael Affair

Author: Iain Pears

Description: In the first of the popular Jonathan Argyll art mysteries, Argyll sneaks into a small church near Campo dei Fiori identify an undiscovered Raphael -- unfortunately for him, the painting has disappeared.

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.

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 2016 | Call toll-free: 1-800-454-5768