AIA Tours: land

The Legacy of Ancient Rome

Tour Dates: October 6-17, 2019 (sold out) and in the planning stages for 2020 (12 days)

The 2019 departure for this tour is sold out. Our 2020 departure is in the planning stages, to add your name to the waiting list or to receive advance notice when the 2020 tour has been finalized, call 800-748-6262 or email aia@studytours.org.

In October, when the weather is typically perfect, discover the glorious legacy of ancient Rome with the AIA’s Dr. Al Leonard, recipient of many awards and a popular AIA Tours lecturer and host. With expert local guides plus a professional tour manager to handle all of the logistics, you can relax and immerse yourself in learning and experiencing ancient and Renaissance art and architecture, including numerous UNESCO World Heritage sites. Enjoy delicious food and wine, and excellent, 4-star hotels, perfectly located for exploring on your own during free time: five nights in central Rome, two nights in Naples overlooking the Bay of Naples, and three nights in Amalfi overlooking the Tyrrhenian Sea. Maximum of just 18 travelers.


Pricing per person (10 nights):
Double Occupancy (15-18 participants) $7,845
Double Occupancy (12-14 participants) $8,645
Single Supplement $2,195

Single room supplement will be charged when requested or required (limited availability). With fewer than 12 participants, a small group surcharge may be added.

A Private Departure is available for this tour.  Choose your travel companions, dates, and 3-, 4-, or 5-star accommodations! (12 days with expert local guides)

The Piazza Navona. Image © Intel Free Press

Sculpture gallery at the Capitoline Museums © Operator

The pool (Canopus) at Hadrian's Villa © Andy Hay

Capua's amphitheater © LaurenCummings

Mosaic floor at Pompeii © Lauren Cummings

Villa Poppea (Oplontis) © Kat Fulcher

Herculaneum © Lauren Cummings

The Amalfi Coast © Kat Fulcher

Paestum © Oliver Bonjoch

Hotel Marina Riviera, Amalfi © Lauren Cummings

Kolbe Hotel, Rome

Grand Hotel Santa Lucia, Naples

Itinerary


Sunday, October 6, 2019: Fly to Rome
Monday, October 7: Arrive in Rome | Private transfer to hotel | At leisure
Tuesday, October 8: Palatine Hill | House of Augustus | Imperial Forum | Temple of Antoninus & Faustina | Colosseum | Welcome dinner
Wednesday, October 9: Capitoline Museums | Borghese Gallery
Thursday, October 10: At leisure OR optional full day visit to Tivoli (Hadrian’s Villa & Villa d’Este)
Friday, October 11: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel | St. Peter’s Basilica | Piazza Navona | Pantheon
Saturday, October 12: Janiculum | Sperlonga | Capua | Naples
Sunday, October 13: Pompeii | Naples Archaeological Museum
Monday, October 14: Herculaneum | Oplontis | Winery lunch | Amalfi
Tuesday, October 15: Paestum | At leisure
Wednesday, October 16:  Capri & Villa Jovis | Farewell dinner
Thursday, October 17:  Private transfer to Naples Airport | Fly home

View Detailed Itinerary

Sunday, October 6, 2019: Fly to Rome

Monday, October 7: Arrive in Rome | Private transfer to hotel | At leisure
Upon arrival at Rome’s Fiumicino Airport (FCO) you are met for a private transfer to our hotel in the city center. The balance of the day is free to relax and perhaps stroll around this centrally located neighborhood. The evening is also at leisure. (Recommendations for dining independently will always be provided.) Overnight for five nights at the 4-star Kolbe Hotel.

Tuesday, October 8: Palatine Hill | House of Augustus | Imperial Forum | Temple of Antoninus & Faustina | Colosseum | Welcome dinner
Meet our AIA lecturer Al Leonard, tour manager, and Rome guide at breakfast. We begin with a visit to the Palatine Hill, centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome, standing above the Roman Forum on one side and the Circus Maximus on the other. From the time of Augustus, Rome’s first Emperor, imperial palaces were built here. Visit the House of Augustus, which reopened in 2008 after extensive restoration; its colorful wall paintings and mosaic floors are stunning. Continue with a walk through the Roman Forum, the public center of ancient Rome where the popular assembly and senate met. Here we enjoy a private visit to one of the best preserved buildings in the forum—the Temple of Antoninus and Faustina, which is closed to the public. Savor a traditional Italian lunch just a few steps from the Colosseum. Next view the splendid Arch of Constantine and enter the Colosseum, Rome’s amphitheater, the largest ever built, which accommodated 50,000 spectators. Enjoy a specially arranged visit to the upper levels. Return to our hotel and gather this evening for a welcome dinner hosted by Professor Leonard. (B,L,D)

Wednesday, October 9: Capitoline Museums | Borghese Gallery
Ascend the stairs of the Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo, overlooking the extensive ruins of the Roman Forum. Enter the Capitoline Museums, the world’s oldest public museums, and view magnificent and iconic Classical sculptures as well as paintings by Caravaggio, Rubens, Titian, Van Dyck, and other masters. After lunch, visit the Borghese Gallery, housed in a splendid, 17th-century villa with an exceptional art collection, including outstanding sculptures by Canova and Bernini plus paintings by Titian, Raphael, and Caravaggio. The evening is at leisure, or join an optional wine tasting with dinner (at additional cost). (B,L) (D with optional wine tasting)

Thursday, October 10: At leisure OR optional full day visit to Tivoli (Hadrian’s Villa & Villa d’Este)
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax and explore Rome on your own. Alternatively, join our optional, full day excursion (at additional cost) to Tivoli, a town hosting some of Italy’s top cultural treasures, less than one hour’s drive from Rome. Begin at the World Heritage site of Hadrian’s Villa, a 2nd-century A.D. complex of buildings featuring marvelous pools, baths, fountains, gardens, theaters, and the Imperial Palace. After an included lunch in Tivoli’s charming town center, continue on to another World Heritage site, the magnificent Villa d’Este, a superb Renaissance palace with an elaborate garden and dozens of fountains. Return to Rome for an evening at leisure. (B) (L with optional excursion)

Friday, October 11: Vatican Museums & Sistine Chapel | St. Peter’s Basilica |
Piazza Navona | Pantheon

Early this morning drive to the Vatican and enjoy breakfast within the Vatican Museums. Then enter the ornate Raphael Rooms and Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. Explore the sumptuously decorated St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world. Admire Michelangelo’s wonderful Pietà and the gigantic bronze canopy by Bernini. Enjoy some free time in the most important church in all Christendom; perhaps see the tombs of the Popes or ascend the dome for magnificent views of the entire city. After lunch, you may choose to be driven back to our hotel or join a splendid guided walk past the famous Castel Sant’Angelo (Castle of the Holy Angel), a towering cylindrical building built by Emperor Hadrian as his family’s mausoleum that was later used by the popes as a fortress and castle. Cross the Tiber River to the grand Piazza Navona, originally an ancient stadium, and gaze upon Bernini’s celebrated Fountain of the Four Rivers (with Egyptian obelisk). Continue to the awe-inspiring Pantheon, built in the 2nd century A.D. by Emperor Hadrian as a temple to all the gods. It remains the largest unreinforced concrete dome ever built and a testament to ancient Roman engineering. Return to our hotel with the balance of the day at leisure. Gather for dinner. (B,L,D)

Saturday, October 12: Janiculum | Sperlonga | Capua | Naples
Before departing Rome stop at Garibaldi Park on the Janiculum Hill for panoramic views of Rome’s domes and bell towers. Drive south to the cave of Emperor Tiberius at Sperlonga and the local museum with magnificent sculptures recounting the deeds of Odysseus that were carved by the same sculptors who produced the Laocoön and His Sons, which we saw in the Vatican Museums. Next stop is Capua to see the Flavian amphitheater, second largest in the world, and renowned because the gladiator and slave rebel Spartacus trained here. Visit briefly the adjacent, two-room Gladiator Museum. Continue to our lovely hotel right on the Bay of Naples and enjoy an evening at leisure. Overnight for two nights at the 4-star Grand Hotel Santa Lucia. (B,L)

Sunday, October 13: Pompeii | Naples Archaeological Museum
Explore Pompeii, one the world’s most fascinating archaeological sites. In A.D. 79, the catastrophic eruption of Mount Vesuvius buried and thus preserved the ancient city under tons of ash, pumice, and lapilli. Excavations have revealed life in this prosperous ancient Roman city beneath lofty Mount Vesuvius. Highlights may include the House of the Faun, Villa of the Mysteries, the brothel, Garden of Fugitives, and more. Enjoy acclaimed Napoli pizza for lunch. Then visit the Naples Archaeological Museum with one of the world’s finest collections of Greco-Roman art and artifacts. The Farnese Collection includes celebrated bronze and marble statues, as well as ancient paintings and important artifacts from Pompeii and Herculaneum. Highlights include the marble statue called the Farnese Hercules and the exquisite mosaic of Alexander the Great confronting the Persian King Darius III, which measures 8 ft. 11 in. × 16 ft. 10 in. Return to our hotel, freshen up, and then gather for a sumptuous dinner at a luxurious private villa on the Bay of Naples. (B,L,D)

Monday, October 14: Herculaneum | Oplontis | Winery lunch | Amalfi
Discover Herculaneum, where excavations reveal the customs, habits, and art of an ancient holiday resort for wealthy Romans. Among the most important buildings are the theater, the basilica adorned with marble and paintings, the spa with gym, and the House of Argos. Next visit Villa Poppea (Oplontis), an ancient villa with superb wall paintings that was probably owned by Emperor Nero. For lunch we drive to Mastroberardino Winery, which is known for replanting the vineyards at Herculaneum and Pompeii. Afterward, continue driving to the celebrated seaside town of Amalfi, where we check-in to our hotel, freshen up, and gather for dinner. Overnight for three nights at the 4-star Hotel Marina Riviera. (B,L,D)

Tuesday, October 15: Paestum | At leisure
Drive along the Mediterranean coast to the World Heritage site of Paestum, the most impressive Greek site in all of mainland Italy. Founded in the 7th century B.C., Paestum has three magnificent and massive Doric Greek temples. Also visit the onsite museum with artifacts and frescoes from nearby tombs such as the famous Tomb of the Diver. After lunch, return to our hotel. Enjoy the balance of the day at leisure in Amalfi. (B,L)

Wednesday, October 16:  Capri & Villa Jovis | Farewell dinner
This morning take a ferry ride to the fabled island of Capri, the favorite place of Emperor Tiberius. Explore the largest and most opulent of Tiberius’ twelve villas, Villa Jovis, a secluded spot of legendary debauchery. Completed in A.D. 27, the entire complex rises on many terraces atop Capri’s second highest peak, commanding lovely vistas. Villa Jovis is an astounding achievement of ancient Roman architecture and engineering. After lunch, return to our hotel and relax before our farewell dinner. (B,L,D)

Thursday, October 17:  Private transfer to Naples Airport | Fly home       
You are met at the hotel for a private transfer to Naples International Airport (NAP). Or, we can assist you with extending your stay in Amalfi. (B)


For reservations or questions, please email us at aia@studytours.org (and include your full name) or call us toll-free at (800) 748-6262 (toll: 603-756-2884).

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