Falco's Rome with Lindsey Davis
Rome is a concentrated blob of humanity, a city of monumental buildings, tall apartment blocks and narrow winding streets relieved by the occasional public spaces and kept moving by great highways and a port of entry on the coast. This is modern Rome, but the words are just as true of the ancient metropolis, seat of empire and mistress of the world from fog-bound northern Britain to the gritty Syrian Desert.
Such a city has a thousand stories hidden in its teeming streets, and during this special tour we will be guided by Lindsey Davis whose novels of the investigators Marcus Didius Falco and Flavia Alba have brought the city to life in all its glorious and nefarious splendour. We will follow in Falco’s footsteps and visit palaces, slums, ports and country estates as we trace the story of ancient Rome.
- Travel with Lindsey Davis as she takes you on a tour of Falco’s Rome
- Visit the Capitoline Museum and view its collections
- Explore both Portus and Ostia, the ports of Rome
- Great Cities
- Just One Hotel
We fly to Rome and transfer to our hotel. An optional stroll past the iconic monuments of the ancient city in the afternoon, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.
We walk up to the Aventine Hill. The hilltop was the setting for wealthy villas, and is now occupied by some of the most interesting churches of Rome. Descending below to the Tiber and explore the region of docks, warehouses and tenements where Falco and his family lived out their lives.
We will spend the afternoon exploring the incomparable collections of the Capitoline Museum.
We head eastwards out to the foot of the Sabine Hills. Here we will visit the vast villa constructed by emperor Hadrian around the core of an earlier Republican establishment. While decades after Falco’s time, the villa is the best place to appreciate the original intent behind the famous Domus Aurea.
In the afternoon we see how the other half lived by travelling east into the Sabine Hills to visit the Villa of Horace. The great poet’s ‘little Sabine Place’ actually constituted five farms and an entire valley, and after his death became an imperial ‘grace and favour’ property.
To end the day we drive to Subiaco. Here three mighty dams held back the mountain waters to provide a lake from which many of Rome’s aqueducts wound their way along the valley of the River Annio and then across the Romana Campania to feed the burgeoning city. Nero built a villa on its shores, which was later robbed when St. Benedict built his first monastery.
Today we go right to the core of Roman power and investigate the remains of the Roman Forum, the nerve centre of the empire and the sprawling complex of imperial palaces on the Palatine Hill. Here the modest house of Augustus was expanded by ever more ambitious and authoritarian rulers so that its name became synonymous with the idea of the palace. When the ambitious rulers ran out of hill they simply extended it with titanic brick piers and platforms.
The afternoon takes us deep underground, to see the underside of the ancient city by exploring the subterranean world below the churches of San Clemente and Santi Giovanni e Paolo. Here we will explore houses buried over time.
Getting to and from Rome could be an adventure in its own right and today we explore the ports of Rome. We begin with Portus, where emperors Claudius and Trajan created a huge sheltered anchorage, and ship basin with tiered warehouses to feed the burgeoning population of the city. We move on to the original port city at Ostia, a cosmopolitan community with magazines, temples, baths and civic monument existing cheek by jowl providing one of the best examples of a Roman city to be seen.
From there to the modern Fiumicino airport partly now under the runway of Fiumicino airport for our flight back to the UK.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - All meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
- Hotels - 4 nights accommodation at the Forum Hotel with stunning views over the heart of ancient Rome
Passport & Visa Information
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