19519
Italy/Greece/Albania/Croatia
Voyages to Antiquity: Splendors of Italy and Croatia
Discover why the sun-warmed shores of the Mediterranean became the cradle of civilization as you explore architecture, art and history aboard an ocean liner.
Rating (5)
Program No. 19519RJ
Length
17 days
Starts at
5,695
Special Offer
Flights start at
FREE
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17 days
16 nights
41 meals
15 B 12 L 14 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
Departures
In Flight
DAY
2
Welcome to Rome!
Rome
D
Hotel Massimo D'Azeglio

Activity note: Check-in is available from 2:00 PM.

Afternoon: Upon arrival at the hotel, feel free to store your luggage before check in. The Group Leader will be on hand to provide assistance as needed. Then take some time to freshen up and relax before Orientation. At 5:00 PM, meet in the hotel lobby for the program orientation. The Group Leader will greet everyone and lead introductions. We will review the program theme, the up-to-date Daily Schedule and any changes, discuss safety guidelines, emergency procedures, roles and responsibilities, and answer any questions you may have. Please be aware that program activities, schedules, and personnel may need to change due to local circumstances. In the event of changes, we will alert you as quickly as possible. Thank you for your understanding.

Dinner: Enjoy a welcome three-course set menu dinner in the hotel dining room served with a glass of wine and inclusive of tea or coffee.

Evening: At leisure. Continue getting to know your fellow participants, settle in, and get a good night’s rest for the day ahead.

DAY
3
Rome, Italy; Embark the Aegean Odyssey
Rome
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room. On this program, breakfasts will be buffet-style with breads, cheeses, cold-cuts, yogurt, fruit, cereals, juice, milk, coffee and tea. Water will be served at every meal on this program.

Morning: Enjoy a panoramic overview by coach of Rome’s most significant sites. Traffic permitting, we will drive by Roman piazzas as well as the Vatican to admire some of the most famous buildings that have endured in Eternal Rome. Next, join a local expert to explore the archaeological wonders of the Rome. The Colosseum was the largest, most sophisticated arena in the known world when it opened in AD 80 with room for upwards of 50,000 spectators. About 2,000 years later and in grandiose ruins, it is the iconic symbol of Rome. The Forum was the heart of ancient Rome, with a concentration of temples and structures for public meetings and spectacles, religious ceremonies, courts of law, markets, business enterprises, and more.

Lunch: Enjoy regional cuisine and local wines at a charming farmhouse about 30 minutes from Civitavecchia in the Italian countryside.

Afternoon: Followign lunch, transfer to the ship in Civitavecchia for embarkation.

Dinner: Aboard the ship, you may choose from either the Marco Polo Restaurant or the Terrace Café. The former serves a variety of á là carte items while the café is buffet-style. Menus are inspired by fresh local ingredients. Wine is complimentary with dinner in both dining areas.

Evening: Most evenings aboard ship are free to enjoy as you like whether it’s attending a shipboard guest lecture or listening to live music in the Charleston Lounge.

DAY
4
Sorrento, Italy
Sorrento
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship, breakfast will be buffet-style and served in the Terrace Café.

Morning: We will coach along the Bay of Naples brings you to Pompeii, considered the world's finest example of an ancient Roman town. The city, buried for centuries by hot ashes in 79AD, is a virtual time capsule of that era. In the company of a professional guide, visit the patrician mansions, baths and temples at the site. Step inside to admire the brilliant Pompeian Red walls, elaborate frescoes and gardens adorned with sculptures. View the sobering ash replicas of the citizens caught in their final moments. These bring to life the words of Pliny the Younger, an eyewitness, who described the terror of the eruption with its "broad sheets of fire and leaping flames." Scientists once believed many victims died due to asphyxiation, but recent studies have concluded that most died instantly of extreme heat as waves of volcanic gases reached temperatures up to 570°F (300°C).

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration to see and do what interests you most. Please refer to the list of Free Time Opportunities provided in your first Information Packet.

Dinner: Aboard the ship or find a trattoria to sample 'gnocci alla sorrentina', a local specialty.

Evening: At leisure. The ship overnights in Sorrento so there is ample time to enjoy this charming port city.

DAY
5
Sorrento, Italy
Sorrento
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Visit Herculaneum, the Greek settlement named after its patron, Hercules. The town also perished during the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD and was engulfed in a sea of mud. Fortunately for us, this mud sealed and protected entire buildings: today inlaid marble floors, paintings, mosaics and carbonised woods can all be seen. These range from the sculpture of the Drunken Hercules in the House of the Stags to mosaics of tritons in the city baths. Herculaneum was a wealthier town than Pompeii with an extraordinary density of fine houses, with far more lavish use of coloured marble cladding. The discovery in recent years of some 300 skeletons along the sea shore came as a surprise since it was known that the town itself had been largely evacuated.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Explore this charming, cliff-straddling, port town on your own. Stroll along Marina Piccolo or find your way to the lift that will take you up to the city center, perched high above the sea. Enjoy the bustle along the Corso Italia and perhaps sample the famous local limoncello at the Piazza Tasso.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. The ship will again overnight in Sorrento.

DAY
6
Salerno, Italy
Salerno
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Savor the beauty of the Amalfi Coast with its rocky shores and iconic medieval cliffside fishing villages.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: From Salerno, travel to Paestum, one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Italy. Originally called Poseidonia by the Ancient Greeks who settled here in around 600BC, later it became the Roman city of Paestum in 273BC. The site is dominated by three temples in Doric style, dating from the first half of the 6th century BC. Additionally, the ruins of civic buildings, a forum and amphiteatre, paved roadways and even residential buildings dating from both Greek and Roman times have been excavated.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
7
Taormina, Sicily
Taormina
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Sail to the Amalfi Coast and en route the Aegean Odyssey will pass through the Straits of Messina and take you past the living volcano of Stromboli.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: From Salerno, travel to Paestum, one of the most important archaeological sites in all of Italy. Originally called Poseidonia by the Ancient Greeks who settled here in around 600BC, later it became the Roman city of Paestum in 273BC. The site is dominated by three temples in Doric style, dating from the first half of the 6th century BC. Additionally, the ruins of civic buildings, a forum and amphiteatre, paved roadways and even residential buildings dating from both Greek and Roman times have been excavated.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
At sea
Aegean Odyssey - At Sea
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: At sea. Stretch your body and mind during early morning yoga.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: At sea. Take advantage of the ship's well stocked library that has a wide selection of volumes covering classical history, literature, art, architecture, and philosophy. The frequently updated collection also includes an extensive reference section as well as modern and classic novels.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Attend a shipboard guest lecture.

DAY
9
Corfu, Greece / Sarande, Albania (Butrint)
Sarande
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Journey to Corfu Town’s historic Campielo quarter where a 15th-century church holds houses one of Greece's most extensive collections of Byzantine art. After enjoying of the museum, walk to Corfu’s center to visit 16th-century rococo church dedicated to St. Spiridon, Corfu's patron saint, whose bones are preserved in a gleaming casket. Explore the maze of narrow, stepped streets where little has changed for centuries. Discover an array of past rulers reflected in the French boulevards, Georgian mansions, Venetian citadel and Greek temple.

Lunch: Aboard the ship.

Afternoon: The Albanian archaeological site of Butrint has been occupied since at least the 8th century BC. The Roman Emperor Augustus founded a colony here, and Butrint remained a Roman port until the 6th century. Its later medieval history was turbulent as the town was involved in the power struggles between Byzantium and successive Norman, Angevin, and Venetian states. It is consequently a fascinating archaeological and historical site.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
10
Brindisi, Italy (Lecce)
Brindisi
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: From the port of Brindisi, it is a short coach ride to Lecce, an historic city of the Salentine Peninsula of Puglia. Enjoy a walking excursion that will take in some of the many baroque treasures that has earned the city its nickname “the Florence of the South”.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Dubrovnik, Croatia
Dubrovnik
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Dubrovnik was formerly known as Ragusa and gave us our English word "argosy." Lord Byron called it "the Pearl of the Adriatic." As we walk around the city this morning we will visit both the Dominican and Franciscan Monasteries, the former housing a fine collection of Renaissance paintings, as well as the Cathedral of our Lady which boasts Titian's Assumption over the main altar.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of this charming city.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
12
Split, Croatia
Split
B,L,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: The morning will be spent at the Palace of Diocletian, including the Temple of Jupiter and Diocletian's mausoleum. Born in Salona, a town a few miles to the north of Split, Diocletian became Emperor of Rome in 284AD. To ensure a comfortable retirement, Diocletian commissioned the construction of a massive limestone and marble palace in the town of Split. When it was completed in 305AD, Diocletian abdicated, the first Roman Emperor to do so. His palace complex included three temples as well as Diocletian’s massive mausoleum (now the Cathedral of St. Dominus), and could house around 9,000 people. Today the palace is not a deserted ruin but a shell containing a bustling warren of houses, shops and cafés.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of the Roman walls, squares and temples in Split’s historic center or stroll along the Riva waterfront promenade.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Ancona, Italy
Ancona
B,D
Aegean Odyssey

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: A gem of a day! From the port of Ancona, enjoy the rolling hills and lush plains of the Marche countryside en route to Urbino. Located at the foothills of the Apennines, Urbino’s clay earth still supports industrial brickworks, but its greatest incarnation is the Ducal Palace. Built during the 15th century, at the height of Urbino’s cultural importance, its presence helps to preserve the Renaissance spirit of this small hill town.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Continuation of the day's excursion to Urbino before returning to the ship in the late afternoon.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
14
Venice, Italy
Venice
B,L,D
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: In Venice, travel by boat down the beautiful Guidecca Canal to the heart of Venice, St. Mark's Square and disembark at the bustling Riva degli Schiavoni. The square includes many sites of significance: the 15th century clock tower where two huge bronze statues strike the hour, the Basilica itself - a masterpiece of Byzantine architctures - and the Doge's Palace, seat of the Venetian government for nearly 1,000 years. There will be free time to explore the shops and cafés around St. Mark's Square.

Lunch: Aboard the ship or explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration.

Dinner: Aboard the ship.

Evening: At leisure. Prepare belongings for disembarkation.

DAY
15
Disembark Venice, Italy
Venice
B,L
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Breakfast: Aboard the ship.

Morning: Enjoy a lecture on the history of Venice before venturing out to experience Venice as a Venetian. Breathe in a bit of every day life of this fragile city at a relaxed pace. From St. Mark’s square enter the Castello district and meander the narrow calli. Learn about the Venice of yesterday and today. Stop at Campo San Giovanni e Paolo, a most impressive open space dominated by the stunning Gothic basilica which is home to many monuments of Doges and sea captains. Continue to the densely populated district Cannaregio; explore Chiesa dei Miracoli, a little “jewel box” of a 15th century church to gain insight into Venetian beliefs and traditions.

Lunch: Enjoy a traditional Venetian lunch at a local restaurant.

Afternoon: Free time for independent exploration of Venice.

Dinner: Explore local fare on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
16
Venice, Italy
Venice
B,D
Hotel Bonvecchiati

Breakfast: In the hotel dining room.

Morning: Free day for independent exploration.

Lunch: Explore local fare on your own.

Afternoon: Continuation of free time.

Dinner: Enjoy a farewell dinner with your Road Scholar group in the hotel dining room.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
17
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Breakfast: In hotel dining room. This concludes our program.

Morning: Transfer to Venice Marco Polo Airport (VCE) for departures. If you are returning home, safe travels. If you are staying on independently, have a wonderful time. If you are transferring to another Road Scholar program, detailed instructions are included in your Information Packet for that program. We hope you enjoy Road Scholar learning adventures and look forward to having you on rewarding programs in the future. Please join our Facebook page and share photos of your program. Visit us at www.facebook.com/rsadventures. Best wishes for all your journeys!