Italy's a Blast: From Etna to Vesuvius - A Family Odyssey
Explore a world frozen in time as you visit the ancient city of Pompeii, learning about classical mythology, modern science and the story of Mount Etna and Mt. Vesuvius.
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Program No. 18207RJ
11 days
Starts at
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Getting There
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At a Glance

With a treasure trove of archaeological sites and the incomparable Pompeii, the Italian coastal region of Campania and the island of Sicily offer the perfect combination of adventure and history. Mount Etna is the backdrop for the mythology of the Cyclops, Polyphemus, who captured Ulysses and his men; Etna was also the forge of the Roman god Vulcanus. From classical mythology to modern science at seismological centers, join an expert at the ancient city of Pompeii to learn what happened that fateful day in August 79 AD when Vesuvius erupted. See the city literally frozen in time for a unique glimpse of life in ancient times.
Activity Level
Keep the Pace
Elevation 5,000-10,000 feet in volcanic areas; walk on tended path incline with flowerbed-size lava pebbles. At archaeological sites, walk about two miles a day on uneven cobblestone pavement.
Small Group
Small Group
Love to learn and explore in a small-group setting? These adventures offer small, personal experiences with groups of 10 to 24 participants.

Best of all, you'll ...

  • A ride to a vent rim of Sicily’s Mount Etna, a hike on a portion of Mt. Vesuvius' crater and a visit to a seismology center are just the “tip of the volcano” in this active learning adventure.
  • In Cumae, the first Greek settlement near Naples, visit the cave sanctuary of the mythological prophetess Sibyl. See also the Solfatara Caldera, an alien landscape of bubbling mud pits and spewing steam vents.
  • Learn about life in Roman times as you explore the archaeological site of Pompeii buried by the eruption in August of 79 AD.
Featured Expert
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Enrico Nucci
Enrico Nucci has been leading Road Scholar programs in Sicily and the Bay of Naples for more than a decade. He also serves as an Italian guide for the United Service Organizations (USO). Enrico graduated from the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Psychology and has worked at the Embassy of Italy in Washington, D.C. He has a special interest in volcanoes, developed early as a young boy who went to school in the shadow of Mount Vesuvius in Naples.
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Angelo Fanara
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Enrico Nucci
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