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

Program Number: 20211RJ
Start and End Dates:
6/20/2015 - 7/3/2015; 7/1/2015 - 7/14/2015; 7/8/2015 - 7/21/2015; 7/15/2015 - 7/28/2015; 7/22/2015 - 8/4/2015;
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.

Date Specific Information

6-20-2015, 7-1-2015, 7-15-2015, 7-22-2015

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


Sunday, 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.

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

Laura Johnson earned a master’s in art history from Northern Illinois University, with an emphasis in early Christian and Byzantine art, and her M.L.S. from the University of Oklahoma. The director of education for the Rockford (Ill.) Art Museum for over 10 years, Laura moved in 1999 to Florence, where she has done extensive work for the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and the National Endowment for the Arts.
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.
Elisabetta Interdonato

Dr. Elisabetta Interdonato is a native Roman who earned her doctorate in classical archaeology at the University of Rome "La Sapienza." She did further post-doctoral studies at the University of Basilicata and at the Universite' de Haute Bretagne where she also taught as a visiting professor. She currently teaches at the Pantheon Institute. In addition to her teaching, she enjoys leading visitors on explorations of Rome.
Rachel Potts

Rachel Potts is a licensed excursion leader in Rome. She graduated from Manchester University (UK) with a bachelor's in philosophy and French, and later studied garden design at the London Gardening School. Having grown up in Rome, she chose to return to Italy and share her knowledge and love of Rome and surrounding areas.
Meals and Lodgings
   Hotel Pace Helvezia
  Rome, Italy 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 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 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 c. E 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 20)

Note: Suggest sleeping on overnight flight; it will make adjusting to the new time zone easier.

 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, transfer to hotel.
 Morning: Transfers to the hotel. 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 eatery. Try your first gelato.
 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 local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: History of Rome \ Piazza Walks \ Treasures of the Vatican
(Monday, June 22)

Note: The walk through the back streets of Rome to find major landmarks is just over one 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.
 Morning: Illustrated lecture on the History of Rome prepares you for your explorations.
 Lunch: At a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: Transport to Piazza Navona where our 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 c.; on to the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. A fitting introduction to the Eternal City. After a rest time, meet in the classroom for a lecture on the artistry of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel of the Vatican Museums.
 Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in the Trastevere neighborhood.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Treasures of the Vatican \ Sistine Chapel \ S. Peter's Basilica \ Mosaic Workshop
(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: Transfer to the Vatican Museums and meet the local expert who will lead us through a number of galleries. 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.
 Lunch: Short coach ride to the Mosaic School for lunch.
 Afternoon: Once inside S. Peter's Basilica, you learned that all the "paintings" are actually micro-mosaics and that mosaics decorate much of the interior. Come to appreciate this art form as you participate in creating your own mosaic with instructors at a local art school. Keep your decorated piece as a memento. Coach to the hotel.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5: Forum and Colosseum \ Underground Roman Palace
(Wednesday, June 24)

Note: Walk through the Forum is on original cobble paving stones, uneven dirt path, a little incline. For an authentic reenactment, climb the 4 flights of stairs to the top of the Colosseum, or ride the elevator.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: 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.
 Lunch: Select your own dining establishment.
 Afternoon: Hypogea is the word used to describe buildings that have since been covered over with dirt or other building materials. Visit an excavated Roman patrician house with an expert to learn what we can about life in ancient Rome among the wealthy.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Pace Helvezia
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 6: Capitoline Museum \ Train to Florence \ Neigborhrood 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. Pick it up when you go to the train station. 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: Lunch at a local restaurant. Meet at the appointed time to transfer to the train station.
 Afternoon: 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.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
 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: Renaissance Art \ Uffizi Gallery
(Friday, June 26)

Note: Ascend four flights of stairs to reach the paintings

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Illustrated lecture on Renaissance Art in preparation for the self-guided visit of the Uffizi Gallery. Some free time before lunch.
 Lunch: At a restaurant near the Piazza della Signoria.
 Afternoon: Reserved entrance to the Uffizi Gallery for self-directed visit, stay as long as you want. At the end of the second corridor is a refreshment bar for snacks. The balcony has a wonderful view of Brunelleschi's Dome and the watch tower of Palazzo Vecchio. Some free time before dinner.
 Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant.
 Evening: Walk of discovery after dinner, perhaps cross Ponte Vecchio to explore the "Oltrarno" district.
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 8: S. Maria Novella \ San Lorenzo Market \ Original Gates of Paradise in the Duomo Museum
(Saturday, June 27)
 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Walk through Florence's central food and soft goods market toward S. Maria Novella. With your new found knowledge of fresco painting, an expert expounds on the frescoes by Masaccio and Ghirlandaio found in the church. Some free time late morning.
 Lunch: Lunch on your own.
 Afternoon: In the Piazza del Duomo, the expert-led visit continues to the Duomo Museum. The highlight of the collection is a Pieta' by Michelangelo and the original (newly restored) panels of the Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Adriatico
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 9: The David \ The Galileo Museum of Science \ Fresco Technique
(Sunday, June 28)

Note: Ascend three flights of stairs to reach the main rooms of Palazzo Vecchio and Science Museum

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Expert-led visit to see Michelangelo's David and Learn about the scientific revolutions of the XVI and XVII centuries at the Galileo Museum.
 Lunch: Lunch at a restaurant near the Piazza del Duomo.
 Afternoon: 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.
 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: Walk from hotel to train station in Florence with your carry-on luggage, once in Venice walk to hotel. Short neighborhood walk to acquaint you with the area around the hotel.

 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 hotel restaurant and check-in to the rooms.
 Afternoon: Welcome to Venice introduces you to the Serenissima. Neighborhood walk follows.
 Dinner: At a local restaurant to savor Venetian cuisine.
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 often crowded.

 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: Lunch on your own.
 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: At a local restaurant.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Dinner

Day 12: Dragon Boat Race \ Doge's Palace
(Wednesday, July 1)

Note: Row, row, row your boat hard if you want to win; otherwise sit at the stern and enjoy the ride.Visiting the Doge's Palace requires going up two flights of stairs.

 Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.
 Morning: Team up with the Venetian Crew Club for a dragon boat race along the canal.
 Lunch: Lunch at a local restaurant.
 Afternoon: 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 the Prisons. It is said that those condemned sighed at knowing it would be their last sight of the sky.
 Dinner: Dinner on your own.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch

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: 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.
 Lunch: Lunch at a characteristic trattoria.
 Afternoon: 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. Find many souvenir booths, food and fruit market. Some free time before dinner.
 Dinner: Farewell dinner at the hotel restaurant. Your glass mementos will be available for you to gingerly pack.
Accommodations: Hotel Principe
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 14: Departure day
(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: 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

Ancient Rome, Archaeology Unlocks the Secrets of Rome's Past

Author: Zilah Deckker

Description: Readers of all ages will enjoy this thoroughly illustrated guide to the history, discovery and excavation of Ancient Rome -- from ancient writing tablets and beautiful mosaics to the scientists who continue to piece together the archaeological puzzle.

Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History

Author: Ada Gabucci (Editor)

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

Blue Guide Concise Italy

Author: Paul Blanchard

Description: The first ever guide to all of Italy by the venerable Blue Guides (which publishes individual guides to Northern, Southern, Central, Rome, Tuscany, Sicily et al), this lavishly illustrated, handy and compact guide covers key sights, museums, churches, art, dining and accommodations throughout Italy.

Brunelleschi's Dome, How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture

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.

Dante's Daughter

Author: Kimberley Heuston

Description: In this richly drawn historical novel for young adults, the daughter of the famed poet must forge her own destiny in patriarchal 14th-century Florence, where her artistic talent and intelligence are often overlooked.

Italy Map

Author: Borch Maps

Description: A handy, laminated map.

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 Short History

Author: Harry Hearder

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

Author: Beppe Severgnini

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

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.

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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