Meet the Romans
Bloodthirsty Imperialists or the greatest Empire the world has ever known? At its peak, the Roman Empire covered a vast territory, ruled by powerful, often capricious Emperors, whose names remain familiar 2,000 years later. In this tour we contrast the grand marble monuments of Rome with the humbler, but exceptionally preserved cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum.
Led by passionate Roman specialists, we follow the path of the Roman elite, travelling between two great, contrasting ancient cities. In Rome, we get a feel for life in an Imperial capital; before we take the holiday route of wealthy Romans to the ordinary seaside Roman town of Pompeii.
- Visit both Rome and Pompeii
- Includes iconic Roman sites throughout - Tivoli, Herculaneum and more
- Stay in two excellent hand-picked 4* hotels
- Great Cities
- Cultural Excursion
- Special Access
- All Inclusive
We arrive in Rome.
Our busy day begins at the Church of San Clemente, before we move on to the infamous Colosseum where up to 50,000 spectators could come to watch the gladiatorial contests. We spend our afternoon in the heart of Roman power. We head to the Roman Forum, the political and commercial hub of the city. We visit the Via Sacra, and the beautifully situated palaces of the Emperor on the Palatine Hill. We continue to Trajan’s column, built to celebrate his military prowess.
We dine at the British School of Rome this evening and enjoy a lecture over dinner.
We go beyond the usual tourist trail to the ornately decorated Baths of Emperor Caracalla. Built as an act of “public relations”, they provided the city with a public library, shopping centre and bathing facilities. We pass through the great walls of the city, and travel down to the coast, to visit the port city of Ostia, where the riches of the Empire were transported to Rome.
We spend the morning on foot, walking between the monuments designed to “shock and awe” citizens, enemies and barbarians. We visit the Pantheon, rebuilt by the architecturally daring Emperor Hadrian with its wonderful domed roof. We gain insight into Augustus’ political outlook by viewing Ara Pacis, the Altar of Augustan Peace. The afternoon is free to explore Rome at your own pace or take an optional visit the Capitoline Museum with your Guide Lecturer.
We follow in the footsteps of Emperors, fleeing the hustle and bustle of the city, to travel into the countryside and to the Villa of the Emperor Hadrian at Tivoli. Set in the beautiful Sabine hills, the villa’s famous fountains and gardens have their own artificial island, only part of the opulence with which this magnificent complex was constructed. We return to Rome for some free time.
We travel along the same route that ancient pleasure seekers followed to the Roman holiday resorts of the Bay of Naples. We visit the Villa Quintilli, one of the luxury homes of the Roman elite. We visit Naples Museum in the afternoon, to meet the Roman inhabitants of Campania.
We enjoy a day at the exceptionally well-preserved Pompeii. The one-time seaside resort was devestated by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79AD. After years of excavations, we can now see houses, bars and brothels that filled this town- even to the graffiti scrawled on their walls.
We explore Herculaneum, smaller than Pompeii but much better preserved. This is one of only a few ancient cities that can be found in almost its original glory; burning mud of Vesuvius preserved roof tops, building beams and even food in some areas.
Time for final exploration before our transfer to the airport.
- 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
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