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18206
Italy

The Best of Italy: Rome, Florence and Venice

Learn about three great Italian cities as you visit Rome’s preserved ruins, explore Renaissance architecture in Florence and discover renowned cathedrals and cuisine of Venice.
Rating (4.85)
Program No. 18206RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,999
Flights start at
775
Italy

The Best of Italy: Rome, Florence and Venice

Learn about three great Italian cities as you visit Rome’s preserved ruins, explore Renaissance architecture in Florence and discover renowned cathedrals and cuisine of Venice.
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,999
Flights start at
775
Program No. 18206 RJ
Prefer to enroll or inquire by phone? 800-454-5768
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Select your type of room
Price will update based on selection
Prices displayed below are based on per person,doubleoccupancy.
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 10 - Apr 23, 2021
Small group
Starting at
4,999
May 1 - May 14, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
May 8 - May 21, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
May 15 - May 28, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
May 29 - Jun 11, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Aug 28 - Sep 10, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Sep 4 - Sep 17, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Sep 11 - Sep 24, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Sep 18 - Oct 1, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Oct 2 - Oct 15, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Oct 9 - Oct 22, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Oct 16 - Oct 29, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,149
Oct 23 - Nov 5, 2021
Starting at
5,149
Nov 6 - Nov 19, 2021
Starting at
4,999
DATES & starting prices
PRICES
Apr 10 - Apr 23, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,799
May 1 - May 14, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
May 8 - May 21, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
May 15 - May 28, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
May 29 - Jun 11, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Aug 28 - Sep 10, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Sep 4 - Sep 17, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Sep 11 - Sep 24, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Sep 18 - Oct 1, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Oct 2 - Oct 15, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Oct 9 - Oct 22, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Oct 16 - Oct 29, 2021
Small group
Starting at
5,899
Oct 23 - Nov 5, 2021
Starting at
5,899
Nov 6 - Nov 19, 2021
Starting at
5,799

At a Glance

Experience the beauty of three historic capitals of Classical, Medieval and Renaissance acclaim as local experts lead you on a journey through some of Italy’s greatest cities. Follow the path of legendary artists, scientists and philosophers from the classical remnants of Rome to the preserved treasures of Florence and Venice.
Activity Level
Let's Go!
Extensive walking in traffic-free urban centers which prevent tourist coaches from parking or loading passengers at sites. The distances traversed on foot can reach 5-6 miles per day—always interspersed with rest time, typically at a meal. Standing for extended periods of time during site visits. Special attention needs to be paid to the uneven aspect of cobblestone streets. Elevator use in some historic buildings is restricted. Not all staircases have banisters. Venice is unique as a city with no vehicles besides public or private boats that run along the Grand Canal. Extensive walking in Venice includes crossing bridges that span minor canals. As with many things, the effort expended has its aesthetic reward.

Best of all, you'll ...

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

General Notes

Select dates are designated for small groups and are limited to 24 participants or less.
Featured Expert
All Experts
Profile Image
Elaine Ruffolo
Elaine Ruffolo has been teaching art history in Florence since 1989. Her special interests include the history of art and patronage in Renaissance Florence. Elaine currently lectures for Syracuse University and Stanford University in Florence. She is also the resident director for the Smithsonian Associate’s programs in Italy, and has developed art history programs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Yale University Alumni, College of William and Mary and the Patrons of the Vatican Museums.

Please note: This expert may not be available for every date of this program.

Profile Image of Julieta Seme
Julieta Seme View biography
Julieta is a passionate student of history, specializing in the history and culture of her native city of Rome. She studied at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma with a concentration in painting before earning a degree in classical archaeology and art history from the Università degli Studi di Roma "La Sapienza." Outside of history, Julieta enjoys hiking beautiful nature trails by the seaside or in the mountains of Italy.
Profile Image of J Michael Broderick
J Michael Broderick View biography
Michael Broderick obtained his degree in international relations from Tulane University in 1985. After moving to Venice in 1992, he studied the Venetian government and, in particular, its impact on civic thought in 17th-century England and colonial America. Since then, the scope of the research has broadened to embrace virtually all aspects of Venetian history with a particular focus on the manifestation of political philosophy as State propaganda in the 16th-century iconographic programs of Venetian public buildings. Since 2011, he has lectured for Road Scholar.
Profile Image of Fabio Sottili
Fabio Sottili View biography
Fabio Sottili was born in Mantova, Lombardy and recently returned to Italy after having worked for 31 years in Florida, Colorado and New York as a manager for the luxury brands Tod's and Salvatore Ferragamo. He is a graduate of the prestigious School of the Performing Arts in Bologna. Fabio lives in Ferrara, a Renaissance city between Bologna and Venice.
Profile Image of Jane Zaloga
Jane Zaloga View biography
Jane Zaloga holds degrees in architecture and business administration from the University of Notre Dame, an MA from Syracuse University, and has done further graduate study at Harvard University. She has received several fellowships to study in Rome and in Florence, including the prestigious Fulbright Fellowship. She now lives in Florence and teaches with several American university programs, including Syracuse University and New York University.
Profile Image of Elaine Ruffolo
Elaine Ruffolo View biography
Elaine Ruffolo has been teaching art history in Florence since 1989. Her special interests include the history of art and patronage in Renaissance Florence. Elaine currently lectures for Syracuse University and Stanford University in Florence. She is also the resident director for the Smithsonian Associate’s programs in Italy, and has developed art history programs for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, Yale University Alumni, College of William and Mary and the Patrons of the Vatican Museums.
Profile Image of Elisabetta Interdonato
Elisabetta Interdonato View biography
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.
Profile Image of Rachel Potts
Rachel Potts View biography
Rachel Potts is a licensed excursion leader in Rome. She graduated from Manchester University 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 the surrounding areas.
Profile Image of Rosanna Giannotti
Rosanna Giannotti View biography
Rosanna Giannotti is a Senior Authorized Venice Guide Lecturer who has devoted her life to studying the art and history of her home city. She is fluent in English, French, and Spanish, and she has always had a penchant for traveling and cosmopolitanism, in order to expand her knowledge and connect Venetian history with the world context. Rosanna is a member of the most prestigious Italian and European Associations of Guide Lecturers and has cooperated with Road Scholar programs in Venice for over 30 years.
Profile Image of Linda O'Brien
Linda O'Brien View biography
Linda O'Brien taught art history for the European Division of the University of Maryland and lectures in Road Scholar programs in Florence and Sorrento. She began her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto, and then moved to Brussels, Belgium to continue her studies. She was awarded an advanced degree in art history and archaeology with honors from the Université Libre de Bruxelles. She completed post-graduate work in symbolic anthropology at Stanford University and the Sorbonne.
Profile Image of Daniela Sarghini
Daniela Sarghini View biography
Daniela is a licensed travel leader for the city and province of Rome. She studied and worked in other countries in Europe, in China and Morocco. Daniela defines travel as learning about and appreciating different cultures. With a young family, her most recent adventures have been traveling in time, rediscovering ancient sites and historic curiosities in sites off the beaten path in Rome, the city she considers the most beautiful in the world.
Profile Image of Richard Bowen
Richard Bowen View biography
A native of London, Richard Bowen has lived in Rome for most of his adult life. He was awarded a BA in humanities from Middlesex University and a MA in history from University College in London. As a young graduate he worked as an archaeologist for the Museum of London. Richard is a licensed group leader for the Province of Rome and has led groups in Italy and in other parts of Europe. He has a keen interest in political, social and art history.
Profile Image of Umberto Cattani
Umberto Cattani View biography
Umberto Cattani is a licensed group leader in Florence, Carrara and the Cinque Terre, and has been working with the Trinity College for 15 years. After completing his studies in accounting, Umberto worked in Parma as a sales manager for a clothing manufacturer. At the start of the new millennium, he discovered his real passion for guiding, and completed the required courses in art history, archaeology and history to achieve his new goal. Umberto lives in Carrara with his wife and daughter.
Profile Image of Livio Pestilli
Livio Pestilli View biography
Livio Pestilli is a professor of Renaissance and Baroque art at Trinity College's Rome Campus. He has a master’s in English literature and a PhD in art history. He has published on a wide range of artists and authors including Michelangelo, Cavallini, Pliny and Lord Shaftesbury. He has also written a number of essays on an often overlooked theme in Italian art: The representation of the orthopedically-impaired body. Livio is working on a volume entitled “In Bernini’s Shadow: Sculpture and Sculptors in Late Baroque Rome.”
Profile Image of Cristina Davanzo
Cristina Davanzo View biography
Cristina Davanzo is a native of Treviso (a city just north of Venice) and has an advanced degree in foreign languages and literature from the Università Ca' Foscari in Venice. She has taught at the primary school level and has studied and worked in Spain, England and Italy as an interpreter, group leader and administrative assistant. When she returned to Italy, she began managing educational travel programs as well as leading Road Scholar groups since 2005. She is fluent in Italian, Spanish, English and Portuguese.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
La Bella Lingua
by Dianne Hales
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.
Italian Venice, A History
by R. J. B. Bosworth
An elegant history of Venice after the loss of its statehood in 1789 at the hands of Napoleon. Bosworth introduces Venice's political unrests since that time, how Venice has modernized and the mal-effects of Global Climate Change and "Disneylandification."
Frommer's EasyGuide to Rome, Florence and Venice
by Frommer's
EasyGuides are full of practical, easy-to-absorb information and emphasize authentic experiences. This lightweight guide highlights important attractions with expert advice on accommodations and meals.
The Colosseum
by Keith Hopkins, Mary Beard
This engaging overview of the history of the Colosseum deconstructs Hollywood-perpetrated misconceptions of gladiator-eating lions, Nero fiddling and other myths.
La Bella Figura, A Field Guide to the Italian Mind
by Beppe Severgnini
Italians themselves love this guide to the Italian character, which addresses their never-ending passion for beauty, disorder and high emotion. The book opens with a snapshot of Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
Four Seasons in Rome
by Anthony Doerr
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."
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
by Ross King
King's colorful chronicle of the world's most famous ceiling paints a maniacal pope, a budding artist and a "who's who" of other 16th-century Italians (Raphael, Machiavelli, Leonardo da Vinci). Presented with flair and backed by a wealth of research.
The House of Medici, Its Rise and Fall
by Christopher Hibbert
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.
Not Built in a Day, Exploring Rome and its Architecture
by George H. Sullivan
These 12 detailed walking tours celebrate Rome's buildings, fountains, piazzas, streets and archaeology with insight and enthusiasm.
Ancient Rome: Art, Architecture, and History
by Ada Gabucci (Editor)
This lively, illustrated survey of Ancient Rome's monuments, history and art is a terrific introduction.
An Artist in Venice
by Adam Van Doren
In this informative and charming memoir, Adam Van Doren, grandson of the Pulitzer-prize-winning poet Mark Van Doren, provides a personal and detailed account of his love affair with Venice. With 21 full-color drawings by the author, this is a must-have for anyone interested in Venice's rich aesthetic heritage.
Cabal
by Michael Dibdin
Zen is called to the Vatican to investigate the death of Prince Ludovico Ruspanti, who plunged from the roof of St. Peter's Basilica.
Venice: An Illustrated Miscellany
by Philippe Sollers
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.
The World of Venice
by Jan Morris
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.
Italy in Mind
by Alice Powers
A terrific collection of some of the best literary writing on Italy, including pieces by Melville, Lawrence, Henry James, Mary McCarthy and many others.
Venice from the Ground Up
by James H. S. McGregor
A walking tour, history and celebration, this masterly, personal guide to Venice includes a short account of McGregor's favorite sites, 10 maps and suggested walks (and boat rides).
The City of Florence, Historical Vistas and Personal Sightings
by R.W.B. Lewis
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 Art of the Renaissance
by Peter Murray
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.
Brunelleschi's Dome
by Ross King
The story of the design and construction of the dome in the cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, a tale rife with politics, cut-throat competition and mighty inspiration.
Eyewitness Guide Italy
by Eyewitness Guides
Another gem in the Eyewitness series, this superb guide is handsome, convenient and up-to-date. Featuring color photography, dozens of excellent local maps and a region-by-region synopsis of the country's attractions.
Italy Map
by Borch Maps
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.
Rome from the Ground Up
by James H. S. McGregor
A wonderfully erudite, in-depth guide to the architecture and history of Rome. With 88 color and 34 black-and-white photographs and 20 maps.





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