Art and Architecture: Rome, Florence and Campania
This two-week adventure from Rome to Florence, Naples and the Amalfi Coast takes us to some of the world's greatest examples of Classical, Renaissance and Baroque art and architecture. We will spend three days exploring Rome, the "Eternal City," its ancient ruins, the Vatican, its Barroque architecture and the picturesque neighborhood of the Trastevere, then visit Florence, with its cathedral and baptistery, and the grand Renaissance masterpieces hanging in the Galleria degli Uffizi. We next head south, to some of the world's best preserved ancient Greek temples at Paestum, still standing from the time the Greeks were spreading their culture and ideas throughout the Mediterranean, see the vast ruins at Pompeii, in the shadow of Naples's Mount Vesuvius, and spend a day exploring the seaside village of Positano, on the cliffs above the Mediterranean Sea. Throughout the trip we will stay in tourist or superior-class hotels.
Tuesday, May 30, 2017
Participants from North America depart for Europe.
Wednesday, May 31, 2017
Flights arrive at Rome’s Fiumicino (Leonardo da Vinci) Airport (FCO). The tour conductor will meet participants and escort everyone to Rome’s city center, about 20 miles away. Your transportation to the hotel is included in the program cost.
We’ll spend the rest of the day relaxing. Italy is seven hours ahead of U.S. Central Time. You might want to join us on a walk to the Castel Sant’Angelo, the fortress that was originally the mausoleum of the Roman emperor Hadrian, but mostly served to protect the Vatican in the Christian era. We’ll walk across the seventeenth-century bridge that crosses the Tiber River, and walk to the Vatican. We’ll find dinner this evening close-by at a restaurant or trattoria.
Thursday, June 1, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel this morning and all mornings is included in program cost. We’ll take the subway to the Forum and the Colosseum for a four-hour guided tour in English of the ruins of Rome’s imperial era. Rest of the day free to explore on your own, or you may join the tour conductors to walk across the Tiber to the Trastevere, a neighborhood that maintains its narrow, winding streets from the Medieval period, and that now is full of apartments, restaurants and shops.
Friday, June 2, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel. We’ll walk to the Vatican, then take a half-day guided tour in English of the Vatican Museums and St. Peter’s Basilica. In the afternoon, we’ll take a guided tour of the Santa Maria Rotonda, a Catholic church since the seventh century but best known as the Pantheon, the Roman temple associated with multiple gods that was finished in the second century of the Common Era.
Saturday, June 3, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel. We’ll take public transportation to the large city park at the Villa Borghese for a 10 a.m. tour of the Galleria Borghese, one of the city’s premier museums of Renaissance and Baroque art. After lunch we’ll walk through the Piazza Navona (Navona Square), the Piazza di Spagna (the famous square with the “Spanish steps”), and the Trevi Fountain.
Sunday, June 4, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel. We’ll board a private minibus for Ostia Antica, the main port for Rome in the imperial era and one of Italy’s largest active archeological sites. Tour of most important parts of the site. After lunch, we’ll continue on our bus for the nearby beaches along the Lido di Ostia stretching to the south. Return to the hotel in the minibus in the early evening.
Monday, June 5, 2017
After breakfast, our twenty-passenger bus will pick us up for the trip north. We’ll arrive in Florence in the afternoon and check into the hotel. We’ll have time to explore part of the city in the late afternoon.
Tuesday, June 6, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel. For an orientation to the city, we’ll do a three-hour guided visit of the Piazza della Signoria, the Piazza della Repubblica, the Ponte Vecchio, and the exterior of the cathedral (Santa Maria del Fiore), the baptistery and the campanile (bell tower). After lunch we’ll climb to the top of the the cathedral’s dome, an engineering and Renaissance masterpiece designed by Filippo Brunelleschi, and look at the design and art treasures in the cathedral’s Museo dell’Opera.
Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Continental buffet breakfast at the hotel. We’ll visit the city’s principle art museums, both holding masterpieces of the Florentine Renaissance--the Galleria degli Uffizi, with works by Botticelli, Mantegna, Fra Angelico and Piero della Francesca, and the Galleria dell’Accademia, with sculptures by Michelangelo, including the original of his David. In the late afternoon we’ll take our bus to the Piazzale Michelangelo, for a panoramic view of the city.
Thursday, June 8, 2017
After breakfast at the hotel, our bus will take us to Pisa, once a powerful maritime republic and Florence’s rival near the Mediterranean coast, and the home of the richly decorated cathedral and adjacent baptistery and campanile, the “Leaning Tower.” We’ll see the Giovanni Pisano pulpit and climb the tower (included in the program price). On the way back to Florence, we’ll stop in Lucca, explore parts of this picturesque town and walk along the top of the sixteenth-century city walls.
Friday, June 9, 2017
After breakfast, we’ll drive south to the region of Campania in the southwest section of the Italian peninsula, to the regional capital and port city of Salerno. After checking into the hotel, we’ll talk a walk along the seaside park of the Lungomare Trieste.
Saturday, June 10, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel. We’ll drive this morning to Pompeii, the Roman town near Naples decimated by the 79 CE eruption of Mount Vesuvius, which killed the inhabitants but preserved parts of their art and their architecture, and even the forms of their bodies under ten feet or more of ash. Guided tour in English. Return to Salerno in the late afternoon.
Sunday, June 11, 2017
Breakfast at the hotel. We’ll take our bus to the town of Paestum, an important city built by Greece in the sixth and fifth centuries BCE, and the location of three extraordinarily well preserved Greek temples. Guided visit of the site and entrance into the archeological museum. We’ll return to Salerno in the late afternoon.
Monday, June 12, 2017
After breakfast at the hotel, we’ll take a ferry to the Amalfi Coast, and spend the day in the seaside village of Positano. We’ll explore cafés and shops along the town’s narrow streets, see the medieval church of Santa Maria Assunta, and walk along the seaside trail that links Positano to nearby towns. Return by ferry to the Salerno port in the late afternoon.
Tuesday, June 13, 2017
We’ll check out of the Salerno hotel this morning and drive into Naples for a walk through the large central historic district, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Naples is Italy’s third largest urban areas and one of the world’s oldest continuously inhabited cities, with a history of three thousand years. We’ll have lunch in Naples before reboarding the bus and continuing to Fiumicino, near the international airport.
Wednesday, June 14, 2017
The tour conductor will accompany participants back to the international airport at Rome-Fiumicino. Most flights to the U.S. arrive the same day.
Fees and payments
Costs for this fourteen-night program are 4500 U.S. dollars per person for a double-occupancy room, and 5000 U.S. dollars for a single occupancy room. Fee includes fourteen nights of tourist-class lodging with continental breakfast buffets, all local transportation in Italy as described in the itinerary, museum entrances as detailed, and accompaniment from arrival in Rome to departure from Rome by a multilingual guide. Fee does not include international airfare, lunches or dinners, travel insurance, or tips.
A deposit of 500 U.S. dollars is due on March 1, 2017. The balance is due on April 1, 2017. Fees are to be paid by check or interbank wire transfer to River Plate Seminars. Contact us by e-mail or phone at the address or telephone number below for more details.