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Italian Extravaganza: Rome, Florence and Venice at Their Finest

With top instructors and ample time, discover Italy’s incredible art, architecture, history, food and more in three of the world’s most spectacular cities – Rome, Florence and Venice.
Rating (4.93)
Program No. 22221RJ
14 days
Starts at

Italian Extravaganza: Rome, Florence and Venice at Their Finest

With top instructors and ample time, discover Italy’s incredible art, architecture, history, food and more in three of the world’s most spectacular cities – Rome, Florence and Venice.
14 days
Starts at
Program No. 22221 RJ
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At a Glance

Italy must be savored like a fine wine — and there’s no better way to sample its many flavors than by exploring three of its most famous cities: Rome, Florence and Venice. With local experts to introduce you to the very best of each city’s historic treasures and cultural wonders, you’ll enjoy reserved entrance times to major museums and attend a special, after-hours private exploration of the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel with your group leader. Walk in the footsteps of the Romans at the Colosseum and navigate the canals of Venice by gondola. Along the way, enjoy ample free-time opportunities to explore charming piazzas, sample local delicacies at a farm in the countryside and get a first-hand view into what locals call “bella vita” — the good life.
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 ...

  • Enjoy reserved entrance times to major museums including the Borghese Gallery, the Uffizi and Galleria dell’Accademia, the Doge’s Palace and a special, private field trip to the Sistine Chapel.
  • Delight in the musical offerings of Venice during an evening concert.
  • Savor a vineyard lunch and learn about fine wines in Chianti in the Tuscan countryside.

General Notes

Program includes independent time to explore the city and several meals on your own. Group Leaders will provide directions for self-directed excursions. Suggestions for free-time activities provided in preparatory materials. The off-hour visits in the Sistine Chapel follows a two hour prescribed route. Those wishing to explore the museum more fully are encouraged to make independent reservations during the flexible free time. Instructions will be included in the second mailing.
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.
The Raphael Affair
by Iain Pears
In the first of the popular Jonathan Argyll art mysteries, Argyll sneaks into a small church near Campo dei Fiori identify an undiscovered Raphael -- unfortunately for him, the painting has disappeared.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
Michelangelo and the Pope's Ceiling
by Ross King
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.
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. Severgnini opens the book with a snapshot of the hubbub at Malpensa Airport, then moves on to Tuscany, Rome, Naples and Sardinia.
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 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 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.
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.
City of Fortune: How Venice Ruled the Seas
by Roger Crowley
An enticing read on the rise and decline of the Venice, from the Crusades to the 18th century.
Blue Guide Concise Italy
by Paul Blanchard
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.
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.
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.
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.

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