Latium - the Roman Rich
The picturesque hills and plains were an ideal retreat for the great and good of Imperial Rome, who came to escape the oppressive summer heat of the Eternal City. Emperor Hadrian himself built a villa complex here in the beautiful setting of Tivoli - his opulent and extravagant creation is one of the ‘blockbuster’ sites.
It is often the smaller, lesser-known places which enchant guests; the acres of landscaped botanical gardens at Ninfa, or the dining room of the reclusive emperor Tiberius in a cave at Sperlonga, and Alba Fucens, a hidden gem in the Apennine mountains.
- See extravagant villas built by Hadrian and Tiberius
- Private visit to the lesser known Roman town of Tusculum
- Visit Tiberius’ seaside villa at Sperlonga
- See Ninfa and its wonderful garden
- Walk through ancient Rome’s main port of Ostia Antica
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We fly from London to Rome and transfer to our hotel in Gaeta.
We begin in Terracina, a significant Roman town on the Via Appia. Here we find the ancient remains of the hilltop sanctuary of Jupiter Anxur, visit the Roman ruins and Archaeological Museum. This afternoon, a short drive takes us to Sperlonga. Emperor Tiberius’s seashore villa is found here, with its remarkable outdoor dining room at the mouth of a cave with gigantic sculptures of mythological events.
We have special access to the famous gardens at Ninfa, which overlie a former medieval town. The ruins were landscaped into botanical gardens in the 1920s and are now recognised as some of Europe’s finest. In the afternoon we follow the road which climbs from the Pontine plain to the Latin town and Roman colony at Norba. From here, we can appreciate some magnificent views over the Pontine Marshes. During the 20th century, the people who lived here practiced agriculture, and subsequent archaeological work on the marsh has been extensive, including many surveys and excavations.
This morning we drive to Cassino, where we explore the classical Roman site, with remains of the theatre, amphitheatre and a range of tombs. We then visit the National Archaeological Museum, before ascending Monte Cassino (by coach) to discover the renowned monastery. This afternoon, we continue to Alatri, a city of the Hernici tribe. Here we enjoy a tour of the tetrahedral and polygonal wall. We finish the day with a drive to our next hotel, located in Frascati, an attractive hilltown near Rome.
We visit Hadrian’s Villa which sprawls across the rolling countryside at the foot of the hills below the town of Tivoli. This afternoon, we visit the town of Tivoli and pay a visit to the grandiose 16th Century Villa D’Este, built by Cardinal Ippolito D’Este, the son of Lucrezia Borgia.
Today we travel to Tusculum, one of the largest Roman cities in the Alban Hills. We have arranged special access to explore the lesser-known Roman town and its well preserved theatre. We continue to Palestrina, ancient Praeneste, and after lunch we visit the Palestrina Archaeological Museum, housed within the Colonna-Barberini Palace.
We head for the hills today, to visit Alba Fucens, strategically positioned on the main route to the Adriatic. The large site stretches over a hill with three spurs. This spectacularly situated city hosts more than sufficient riches to warrant a full day of exploration.
We finish our tour with a visit to Ostia Antica, the harbour city at the mouth of the Tiber which provides us with a unique insight into Roman trading practices and urban dwellings. We fly home this afternoon.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - Most meals included with wine at dinner
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
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Many of our tours can be linked together to form longer programmes. We are happy to arrange connecting flights and hotels, allowing you to spend as long as you wish exploring the ancient world... See suggestions below: