20211
Italy
Italian Classics: Rome, Florence & Venice With Your Grandchild
Share the wonders of three classic Italian cities with your grandchild as you taste renowned cuisine, enjoy a gondola ride, create your own fresco and explore ancient ruins.
Rating (4.89)
Program No. 20211RJ
Length
14 days
Starts at
4,599
Flights start at
1,075
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14 days
13 nights
30 meals
12 B 9 L 9 D
Getting There
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DAY
1
In Transit to Program
In Flight
DAY
2
Arrival and Check-in, Orientation, Welcome Reception, Dinner
Venice
L,D
Don Orione Artigianelli Hotel

Activity note: The hotel check is at 3:00 pm.

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: At the hotel restaurant for those with morning arrivals. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Check in and settle in. The Group Leader will review the up-to-date program schedule and any changes, discuss roles and responsibilities, logistics, safety guidelines, emergency procedures, and answer any questions you may have. Please note that the order of events may be different from this preliminary itinerary. Except breakfast, meals will be plated (each dish served to guests by a wait staff) from a set menu unless otherwise specified. Water is included with all meals and other beverages such as soft drinks, wine, tea and coffee will be available for purchase unless otherwise specified. In Rome, transportation will primarily be provided by motor coach; in Venice by vaporetto, or public boat. Free time is reserved for your personal independent exploration. Please note 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. Evenings at leisure offer opportunities to make the program more meaningful and memorable through personal independent exploration, attending performances or other events, or simply relaxing and making new friends among fellow participants. The Group Leader will always be happy to offer suggestions. Before dinner, the group leader will greet everyone and lead introductions with a Welcome Cocktail (or fruit juice).

Dinner: Dinner at a local restaurant. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

DAY
3
Venetian Craft Workshop, St. Mark's Basilica
Venice
B,D
Don Orione Artigianelli Hotel

Activity 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 both tourists and locals.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. Each day the dining room is set up buffet style with fresh fruit, cereals, muesli, pastries, cakes, breads, a sliced meat and cheese platter, yogurt, jam and honey, juice, coffee, tea, whole milk, and water.

Morning: The Group Leader will distribute a vaporetto pass that is valid for our stay in Venice. Especially for the kids: Ride the vaporetto down the Grand Canal to a workshop to learn about a craft tradition and make your own item. It may be a mask or a glass bead project. Details will be made available closer to departure date.

Lunch: Lunch on your own. The Group Leader will have suggestions for a light lunch or sit down meal.

Afternoon: Meet at the appointed time at the vaporetto stop. 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. The loggia has display cases with illuminated manuscripts and other documents related to the church.

Dinner: At a local restaurant that specializes in Venetian fare. Multiple course fixed menu with plated table service. Water is included; other beverages and soft drinks available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
4
Doge's Palace. Gondola Ride
Venice
B,L
Don Orione Artigianelli Hotel

Activity note: Ride the public vaporetto to St. Mark's Square. Walks in Venice involve crossing multiple bridges that span the canals. The visit through the many rooms of the Ducal Palace requires climbing a few flights of stairs, one of which is a monumental staircase with walls and ceilings with decorative stucco moldings and frescoes. Low narrow passages through the cells of the Prisons and over the Bridge of Sighs. Assistance is offered getting on and off the gondola.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Vaporetto to St. Mark's Square. 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 to the Prisons. It is said that those condemned sighed at knowing it would be their last sight of the sky.

Lunch: At a local restaurant. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Short visit to an artisan's workshop to learn about the carving techniques of making gondola oars and oar locks. Experience the city from another point of view as you enjoy a gondola ride through back canals of Venice.

Dinner: This meal has been excluded from the program cost and is on your own to enjoy the food and restaurant/trattoria/café of your choice. The group leader will be happy to offer suggestions and give directions.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
5
Rialto, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Venice
B,L,D
Don Orione Artigianelli Hotel

Activity note: Walks in Venice involve crossing multiple bridges that span the canals. The permanent collection of the Guggenheim museum is displayed on a single floor of the Palazzo Venier with a few steps at the entrance and leading to the wing with special exhibitions. The museum is a short walk (.3 mile) from the hotel.

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 adults will have a guided visit led by a museum docent. Especially for the kids: young visitors will have their own docent who facilitates the discovery of form and expression in modern art.

Lunch: At a characteristic trattoria. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free time to explore Venice at your own pace. Use your vaporetto pass to check out the white sandy beaches of the Lido.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
6
The Building of Venice, High Speed Train to Florence
Florence
B,L,D
Kraft Hotel Firenze

Activity note: We ride the vaporetto from the hotel to the train station. High speed train to Florence. Short walk to the Florence program site hotel. Leisurely walk to and around the neighborhood of the hotel.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Check out of your room. Our luggage will be delivered directly to the hotel in Florence by boat/van. A classroom session at the hotel on The Building of Venice ties in with what you have observed about the logistics of living on an island. A local expert presents the material and answers your questions.

Lunch: Ride the vaporetto to the train station. Lunch at a local restaurant. Plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase. Short walk to the train station.

Afternoon: We board our high speed train to Florence with speeds reaching 120 mph. The ride to Florence takes 95 minutes. Short walk to the hotel. Settle in and perhaps enjoy a refreshing swim in the hotel's outdoor pool.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Sample some typical Tuscan dishes. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

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.

DAY
7
The David, The Galileo Museum of Science, Fresco Technique
Florence
B,L
Kraft Hotel Firenze

Activity note: The distance from the hotel to the Accademia is about 1 mile; .8 mile from the Accademia to the Galileo Museum. The Galileo Museum is 100 yards from the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria. Three flights of stairs to reach the main rooms of Palazzo Vecchio.

Breakfast: The buffet breakfast at the hotel offers an egg dish, cereal, bread, pastries and cakes, cheese and cold cut platter, yogurt, fresh fruit and a selection of hot and cold beverages.

Morning: We board a coach or van for the Accademia in time for our reserved entrance. Along the way we pass by stately late Renaissance palazzi. At the museum we meet our expert who enhances our appreciation of Michelangelo's David, who stands steadfast under his own cupola. Some free time to visit the small musical instrument collection or browse the bookshop before we regroup and set out again for the Piazza dei Giudici near the Arno River. At the Galileo Museum a docent brings to life the centuries old globes and scientific instruments with stories about the scientific revolutions of the XVI and XVII centuries.

Lunch: At a restaurant on the way to the Piazza della Signoria. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Especially for the kids: At the Palazzo Vecchio in the Piazza della Signoria we learn from an art teacher the steps required to paint a fresco; from creating the lines with a sack of coal dust, to spreading the fresh plaster, mixing the pigments and applying the watery colors. The 6"x 9" tile is yours to keep; otherwise it is recycled. Next we begin an expert-led visit of Palazzo Vecchio, Florence's city hall and Medici residence, to see original pieces of art by Donatello and Michelangelo. The expert will have stories of the Medici family and rulers that lived there centuries ago. Walk back to the hotel with the group leader or stay on to have dinner in the heart of Florence.

Dinner: Dinner on your own.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
8
Mercato di San Lorenzo, Gates of Paradise
Florence
B,D
Kraft Hotel Firenze

Activity note: The walk from the hotel to San Lorenzo is .8 mile. The walk from the Mercato di San Lorenzo to the Duomo is .3 mile. The walk back to the hotel .8 mile.

Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel.

Morning: Our morning exploration of Florence with a local expert begins with a walk to the Mercato, Florence's colorful fresh produce market. A lively food court specializes in farm to table menus. The walk continues to the newly renovated Duomo Museum where a local expert leads the visit of part of the collection, the highlight of which is a Pieta' by Michelangelo and the original (newly restored) panels of the Gates of Paradise by Lorenzo Ghiberti. Make your own way back to the hotel or stay on in the historic center to explore Florence at your own pace.

Lunch: Lunch on your own. At the Mercato di San Lorenzo experience fast food Italian style with strictly farm to table menus.

Afternoon: Free time to visit sites in Florence or relax by the hotel pool.

Dinner: At a local restaurant. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
9
Renaissance Art, Uffizi Gallery
Florence
B,L,D
Kraft Hotel Firenze

Activity note: The Uffizi Gallery has multiple floors with high stately 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.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Some free time before a late morning presentation on Renaissance Art in preparation for the self-guided visit of the Uffizi Gallery.

Lunch: At a restaurant in the heart of the city. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

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 or a refreshing drink. The balcony has a wonderful view of Brunelleschi's Dome and the watch tower of Palazzo Vecchio. Some free time before dinner.

Dinner: At a restaurant near the hotel. Fixed menu with Tuscan specialties, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for the next day's departure for Rome.

DAY
10
High Speed Train to Rome, Welcome to Rome
Venice
B,L,D
Hotel Pace Helvezia

Activity note: The walk to the Florence train station is less than half a mile. High speed train to Rome. When we arrive in Rome a short van or coach ride to the hotel. A neighborhood walk to acquaint you with the area around the hotel covers about .6 mile.

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 Rome; keep your carry on bag with you. We set out on foot for the train station to board a high speed train to Rome; the trip is 1.5 hours. Coach or van to the hotel.

Lunch: At a nearby restaurant a set menu with plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Check in and settle in. At the hotel meeting room a presentation Welcome to Rome introduces you to the Eternal City. Neighborhood walk follows.

Dinner: At a local restaurant to sample Roman cuisine. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
11
Piazza Walk
Rome
B,L
Hotel Pace Helvezia

Activity note: We will be on our feet most of the morning on the Piazza Walk along uneven paths and original pavement of cobblestone. For the evening laser show the walk to the Augustus Forum is .5 mile.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel. Each day the buffet will have fresh fruit, cereal, sliced meat and cheese platter, deviled eggs or boiled eggs, yogurt, pastries, cakes, breads, jams, juice, coffee, tea, whole milk and water.

Morning: Walk to Piazza Navona situated in an area of the city that is totally traffic free. Meet our local expert who 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.

Lunch: At a local restaurant. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Free afternoon to explore Rome at your own pace.

Dinner: On your own.

Evening: Especially for the kids but adults will enjoy the show as well: Walk to the Forum of Augustus. Learn about daily life in ancient times through a spectacular laser light show with English narration. The show begins at sunset and lasts about an hour. During the show we sit on bleachers in front of the suggestive ruins of the Forum. Walk back to the hotel.

DAY
12
Forum and Colosseum, Capitoline Museum
Rome
B,D
Hotel Pace Helvezia

Activity note: We will be on our feet most of the morning as we explore Rome along uneven paths and original pavement of cobblestone. Good walking shoes are a must for the visit to the Colosseum, especially for the steep and uneven steps to reach the upper level. Elevator near the entrance of the Colosseum.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Coach to the nearest drop off point to the Colosseum. Reserved entrance for expert-led visit of the Flavian Amphitheater, commonly known as the Colosseum, capable seating up to 50,000 people. Imagine watching gladiatorial games and the pageantry. Guided visit continues to Via dei Fori Imperiali. With the temples and columns as a backdrop, the local expert's description will bring to life the Forum as the center of the commercial, civic and religious activity of Rome. Make your own way back to the hotel passing by the Monument to Victor Emanuel where the eternal flame and tomb of the unknown soldier is guarded round the clock.

Lunch: On your own.

Afternoon: Meet at the designated time and place and set out on foot for Piazza Venezia and the Capitoline Hill. Meet our expert at the Capitoline Museum where we get a chance to view up close masterpieces of ancient art, portrait busts of prominent Romans, and the famous bronze She Wolf that has become the symbol of Rome. Great photo op in front of the giant feet and hands of the remains of Constantine's colossal statue. Passing through the Tabularium, we reach the Palazzo Nuovo wing where the emotionally charged Dying Gaul and Capitoline Venus marble statues are on display. Walk back to the hotel. Walk back to the hotel.

Dinner: Dinner at a restaurant in the neighborhood of the hotel. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Evening: At leisure.

DAY
13
Sistine Chapel, St. Peter's Basilica, Mosaic Workshop
Rome
B,L,D
Hotel Pace Helvezia

Activity note: Coach drop off point is a few blocks from and an uphill walk to the Vatican Museum entrance. Reserved entrance time diminishes the wait in line. The visit requires climbing multiple flights of stairs and walking the long corridor to the Sistine Chapel (distance is about 1/2 mile). Please note that even with a reserved entrance you can expect crowds as thousands of people visit the museum collections and Sistine Chapel every day of the year.

Breakfast: Buffet at the hotel.

Morning: Transfer to the Vatican Museums for our reserved entrance time. Meet the local expert who will lead us through some of the galleries in the vast collection where we will learn about singular artworks such as the Laocoon, Apollo Belvedere, and gilded Hercules. We walk down long corridors surrounded by precious artwork as we make our way to the main attraction, 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 Workshop for a light buffet lunch. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase.

Afternoon: Especially for the kids: Inside S. Peter's Basilica, we learned this morning that what appear as paintings are actually micro-mosaics. Come to appreciate this art form as we create our own mosaic with instructors at a mosaic workshop. Keep your decorated piece as a memento. Coach back to the hotel.

Dinner: Recap your adventures and share your favorite memories with your fellow participants at a nearby restaurant. Fixed menu, plated table service. Water is included; other beverages available for purchase. A glass of wine is offered to the adults to bid arrivederci a Roma.

Evening: At leisure. Be sure to prepare for check out and departure in the morning.

DAY
14
Program Concludes
In Flight
B

Activity note: Hotel check out by 10:00 a.m.

Breakfast: Breakfast buffet at the hotel. Sack breakfast for those with early departure times. This concludes the program. 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!






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