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24220
Greece/Croatia/Italy

Grand Odyssey: The Best of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy & More

From the beaches of Normandy to the museums of Athens, embark on the ultimate European voyage on board the Aegean Odyssey.
Rating (5)
Program No. 24220RJ
Length
46 days
Starts at
12,999
Greece/Croatia/Italy

Grand Odyssey: The Best of France, Spain, Portugal, Italy & More

From the beaches of Normandy to the museums of Athens, embark on the ultimate European voyage on board the Aegean Odyssey.
Length
46 days
Starts at
12,999
Length
46 days
Rating (5)
Starts at
12,999
Program No. 24220RJ

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At a Glance

Immerse yourself in the grand artworks, historic landmarks and iconic locales of Europe on this 44-night learning adventure on board the Aegean Odyssey. On an educational voyage that leads through England, France, Portugal, Spain, Italy, Greece, Croatia and more, experience capital cities and quiet islands, all filled with fascinating people and places to explore. Walk along Utah Beach in Normandy to delve into the events of D-Day in WWII, and take a field trip to the idyllic Mont St. Michel. Spend multiple days in cities like Barcelona and Venice to take in all their architecture, history and artistic masterpieces, and delight in opportunities to explore Tangier, Monte Carlo and Dubrovnik. Throughout your journey, enjoy the private ambiance of the Aegean Odyssey as you attend expert-led lectures and presentations, and enjoy the camaraderie of your fellow Road Scholars.

Best of all, you’ll…

  • Pay a visit to Utah Beach and Cherbourg to learn about the D-Day invasion sites of Normandy.
  • Explore the artworks and landmarks of Barcelona, including Gaudi’s La Sagrada Familia, Parque Guell, the Museum of Montserrat and the Picasso Museum.
  • Delight in three days to experience Venice, where you’ll explore St. Mark’s Basilica, the Doge’s Palace, the Scuola Grande di San Rocco and more with your expert instructor.

General Notes

We’ll have up to 350 Road Scholar participants on the ship, divided into groups of 35 for shore excursions.
Featured Expert
All Experts
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Ioanna Kopsiafti
Ioanna Kopsiafti is an art historian, professor and writer living in Athens for the past 20 years. She earned her master’s degree from St. Andrews University and her doctorate from Oxford. Ioanna currently lectures in Athens and Rome, primarily on ancient Greek and Roman art and civilization. Her publications include “Style City Athens” (Thames & Hudson 2006) and “Thinking Space, Advancing Art: Cassirer with Crowther” (Routledge 2015) on the philosophy of symbolic forms that explores language, myth, religion and art within the philosophy of culture.

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

Profile Image of Ioanna Kopsiafti
Ioanna Kopsiafti View biography
Ioanna Kopsiafti is an art historian, professor and writer living in Athens for the past 20 years. She earned her master’s degree from St. Andrews University and her doctorate from Oxford. Ioanna currently lectures in Athens and Rome, primarily on ancient Greek and Roman art and civilization. Her publications include “Style City Athens” (Thames & Hudson 2006) and “Thinking Space, Advancing Art: Cassirer with Crowther” (Routledge 2015) on the philosophy of symbolic forms that explores language, myth, religion and art within the philosophy of culture.
Profile Image of Sandy Primrose
Sandy Primrose View biography
Sandy Primrose is a biologist by training, undertaking research in Australia before returning to the UK to lecture at the Universities of Edinburgh and Warwick. In 1981, he made a career change to a pharmaceutical company and later in diagnostic, food, and environmental companies. Twenty years later, he started working as a biotechnology consultant and advisor to various UK governmental organizations. Sandy has written a number of very popular science textbooks and has a passion for gardening — particularly his half-acre garden.
Profile Image of Stella Grace Lyons
Stella Grace Lyons View biography
Stella Grace Lyons is an art history lecturer, speaker, and writer accredited with The Arts Society. She gained her degrees from the University of Bristol and University of Warwick. She studied Renaissance art in Italy at the British Institute of Florence and Venetian art in Venice. Her particular interests include 19th-century British art, the Renaissance, 20th century American figurative artists, and representations of the nude in art. Stella conducts art history lectures in-person and online. She enjoys traveling, theatre, classical music and discovering Scottish whiskeys.
Profile Image of Catherine Skokan
Catherine Skokan View biography
Dr. Catherine Skokan is a professor emerita at the Colorado School of Mines and the first woman to receive a graduate degree from that institution. Her technical interests include volcanoes, geothermal and energy resources, groundwater resources, and humanitarian engineering. Dr. Skokan has traveled extensively with student and adult groups and has led humanitarian engineering projects, visiting all seven continents and some 100 countries, sharing the beauties of this world with others.
Profile Image of John Cerone
John Cerone View biography
Professor John Cerone holds faculty appointments at The Fletcher School-Tufts University, American University-Washington College of Law, and the University of London. As a practicing international lawyer, he has worked for numerous IGOs and NGOs, served as Special Adviser to the first U.S. delegation to the U.N. Human Rights Council, and has extensive field experience in conflict and post-conflict environments. He has taught in more than 40 countries around the world and is the author of dozens of articles and book chapters on international law.
Profile Image of Dina Statha
Dina Statha View biography
Dina Statha been leading groups in Greece as a licensed professional for twenty years. She has worked extensively throughout Greece with individuals and groups, assisting in the coordination of traditional land programs, cruises, walking and hiking programs, as well as programs centered on the topics of history, culture, and religion. Always interested in expanding her knowledge, Dina continually attends seminars centering on ancient Greek art, diet, and sport. In her free time, she enjoys reading, hiking, as well as traditional Greek music and folk dancing.
Profile Image of Biserka Galjanic
Biserka Galjanic View biography
Biba Galjanic has a degree in Hotel and Tourism Management she received in Croatia, she has worked her whole life in tourism, working mostly with American groups. She particularly loves working with Road Scholars as they are intelligent, fun loving and curious enabling the learning process to be mutual. She is an avid food and wine lover, and enjoys sharing the knowledge of areas visited and exchanging energy with people. Biba has travelled most continents and believes there is no better job than traveling for work.
Profile Image of Ioanna Christoforaki
Ioanna Christoforaki View biography
Ioanna Christoforaki, born and raised on the island of Rhodes, has lived in Athens for the past 20 years. She studied history and archaeology at the University of Athens and holds a Master’s degree and a Doctorate from the University of Oxford. She has worked at the Greek Ministry of Culture, the Hellenic Open University, and the Academy of Athens. Her research interests focus on the visual and material culture of the Mediterranean during the Middle Ages and cultural interchanges among its people.
Profile Image of Luis Troconis
Luis Troconis View biography
Luis Troconis’s ancestors were from a little town called Trokoniz in the beautiful province of Álava, within the Basque Country of Spain. Born in Caracas, Venezuela in 1976, he is both Spanish and Venezuelan. In addition to being a Group Leader, Luis is an architect, an English teacher, and a soccer coach. What he loves most is travelling, meeting people, and experiencing new adventures together. He looks forward to helping every Road Scholar have the best educational travel experience of your life.
Profile Image of Sandra Velazquez
Sandra Velazquez View biography
Sandra Velazquez was born in Valladolid, a Spanish city full of history. At the age of 17, she moved to Madrid where she studied history and performing arts. She has always been passionate about history and culture and became a guide, spending many years traveling to many countries. Being a Group Leader for Road Scholar allows her to share her passions and also integrates her love of acting, using them to create fascinating and entertaining educational experiences.
Profile Image of Fran Valle
Fran Valle View biography
Fran Valle is Basque by origin. While born in Bilbao, he has spent most of his life traveling the world. As an Oxford-trained archaeologist, he directs research programs in several European countries and trains new generations of archaeologists. Fran enjoys traveling and combining his research with leading groups, which allows him to show history where it happened! He is an avid reader and has a very sharp sense of humor, believing that everything we do should include a good laugh.
Profile Image of Marco Minella
Marco Minella View biography
Marco Minella, born and raised in Rome, Italy, is happy and proud to share his passion with learning and discovery with Road Scholars.
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.
A Traveller's History of Athens
by Richard Stoneman
A brief history of Athens through the 1990's -- wide-ranging, accessible and effectively condensed. With a useful chronology and historical gazetteer, this book marches confidently through the centuries.
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.
Culture Smart! Portugal
by Sandy Guedes de Queiroz
A concise, well-illustrated and practical guide to local customs, etiquette and culture.
Brunelleschi's Dome: How a Renaissance Genius Reinvented Architecture
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.
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.
A Traveller's History of Greece
by Timothy Boatswain, Colin Nicolson
A nicely written survey from prehistory through the 1990s: wide-ranging, accessible and necessarily condensed.
Florence: The Paintings & Frescoes, 1250-1743
by Ross King & Anja Grebe
A magnificent, never-before-published collection of every painting and fresco on display in the Uffizi, the Galleria Palatina of the Pitti Palace, the Accademia, and the Duomo, and more -- nearly 2,000 works of art -- all presented in a beautiful slipcased package.
A Traveller's History of Croatia
by Benjamin Curtis
Curtis untangles with alacrity the complex history of this nation at the crossroads of Europe.
The Greeks, An Illustrated History
by Diane Harris Cline
This accessible photographic history of ancient Greece pays special attention to Greek innovations: great literature and architecture, war tactics, democracy, the Olympics, Socrates and much more. Cline laces the gripping story of the Greek empire with archaeological discoveries.
A Taste of Croatia
by Karen Evenden
This engaging memoir of a three-year sailing odyssey includes 100 enticing recipes.
Art and Life in Renaissance Venice
by Patricia Brown
This compact volume evokes the spirit of Renaissance Venice with authoritative essays and 120 full-color illustrations.
Life and Death in Pompeii and Herculaneum
by Paul Roberts
Drawing on sharp, full-color photographs of more than 200 objects excavated from Pompeii and Herculaneum, Roberts, a curator at the British Museum, discusses what life was like in the ancient cities. He covers everything from birth certificates to the prevalence of bakeries and taverns.
Lonely Planet Spanish Phrasebook & Dictionary
by Cristina Hernandez Montero
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Lonely Planet Portuguese Phrasebook
by Clara De MacEdo Vitorino
A handy pocket phrasebook for Portuguese basics, covering pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Journey to Portugal, In Pursuit of Portugal's History and Culture
by Jose Saramago
Jose Saramago's richly detailed account of his journey across Portugal in 1979. He combines his vivid impressions of the Portuguese landscape and people with a dose of history, fiction and meditations.
A Traveler's Guide to D-Day and the Battle for Normandy
by Carl Shilleto, Mike Tolhurst
A compact guide to Normandy's WWII battlefields, memorials, sites and cemeteries.
Lonely Planet French Phrasebook
by Marie-Helene Girard, Anny Monet
This handy phrasebook focuses on pronunciation, basic grammar and essential vocabulary for the traveler.
Antonio Gaudi, Master Architect
by Juan Bassegoda Nonell
This lavish little collection of Gaudi's work captures the evolution, imagination and exuberance of one of the most influential architects of the 20th century.
Barcelona
by Robert Hughes
A Longitude favorite, this big, thoroughly enjoyable cultural history of the city touches on architecture, art, religion and literature from Roman outpost to the present.
La Dolce Vita University: An Unconventional Guide to Italian Culture from A to Z
by Carla Gambescia
La Dolce Vita University (LDVU) is the perfect sampler for anyone curious about (or already in amore with) Italy and its remarkably rich cultural gifts, both past and present.
Venice: A New History
by Thomas Madden
Using long-buried archival material and a wealth of newly translated documents, Madden weaves a spellbinding story of a place and its people, tracing an arc from the city’s humble origins as a lagoon refuge to its apex as a vast maritime empire and Renaissance epicenter to its rebirth as a modern tourist hub.
Dubrovnik, A History
by Robin Harris
Harris, a journalist who writes frequently on the Balkans, presents a comprehensive portrait of the historically important maritime city-state in this nicely illustrated, scholarly and readable history of Dubrovnik.
The Stones of Florence
by Mary McCarthy
Renowned for her sharp literary style, essayist and fiction writer Mary McCarthy offers a unique history of Florence, from its inception to the dominant role it came to play in the world of art, architecture, and Italian culture, that captures the brilliant Florentine spirit and revisits the legendary figures—Dante, Michelangelo, Machiavelli, and others—who exemplify it so iconically. Her most cherished sights and experiences color this timeless, graceful portrait of a city that's as famous as it is alluring.
The Penguin Historical Atlas of Ancient Greece
by Robert Morkot
This pictorial survey of Greek antiquity, recording its culture and expansion, features dozens of full-color maps.
Homage to Catalonia
by George Orwell
Orwell's portrait of the Barcelona uprising and the spirit of a city at war is a classic, an observant and heartfelt report from the streets.





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