Rome, The Arch of Constantine, a mid 17th Century engraving by Israel
• Remarkable recreation of a “Grand Tour” in miniature
• Superb antiquities bringing ancient Rome to life
• Exceptional insight into the world of Caravaggio, Bernini & their Contemporaries
• Private visits to both the Villa Borghese and the Sistine Chapel
For two millennia Rome has dominated the culture of Europe and has fascinated generations of intelligent travellers from the British Isles and Europe. Arriving in Italy on a “Grand Tour”, the climax of this adventure was a period spent in Rome, a journey of discovery we will recreate in miniature, giving participants the perspective of a “Grand Tourist” of the 18th century.
The first of the Roman Emperors, Augustus, is said to have found Rome a city of brick and left it one of marble. From his time onwards, buildings of unprecedented size and splendour amply demonstrate the might of Imperial patronage. However, this splendid vision of antiquity was not the only focus of attention for the intelligent traveller.
There was also the marvellous range of churches, palaces and works of art that had been created from the fifteenth century when a revitalized papacy sought to recapture for the Church splendours based on those of the secular Emperors of the past. Just as the Forum dominated Imperial Rome, the Vatican came to dominate Papal Rome. From the decorations created by Michelangelo and Raphael within the Vatican’s Palace to the creation of the new St Peter’s Basilica, culminating in the triumphant work of Bernini, Papal patronage dominated Rome for three centuries. Allied to this process was the rise of the great Papal families: della Rovere, Medici, Farnese and Chigi to name a few. We will visit their key buildings and collections and just as they enjoyed private access, so too will you.
We will stay at the comfortable 4* Albergo del Senato, centrally situated in the Piazza della Rotunda, directly overlooking the Pantheon, the finest monument of Roman antiquity. This respected hotel will be the perfect base for our visit.
|Day 1: Sat 3 Nov We fly from London Heathrow at 1235 on BA560 arriving in Rome Fiumicino airport at 1600. We then drive into Rome and once checked into the 4* Hotel del Senato we will enjoy an introductory walk amidst the splendid monuments packed within the streets adjoining our hotel, not least The Pantheon. We will have our first group meal in a local restaurant.|
|Day 2: Sun 4 Nov We will spend our time in the ancient Roman Forum and on the Palatine Hill. Here all the great events which shaped the history of Rome took place and here too, the Roman Emperors held court: temples, basilicas, triumphal arches and the Colosseum will all be visited. |
|Day 3: Mon 5 Nov Our third day will begin with a walk on the Quirinal Hill, dominated by the old Papal Palace, now the official residence of the President of Italy. Nearby are some marvellous churches by Bernini and Borromini, the two most important of the founding geniuses of the Baroque. That afternoon, we will have the great privilege of a private visit to Galleria Borghese, the finest collection of works of art in the city, with masterpieces by Raphael, Titian, Caravaggio and above all, the most famous Bernini sculptures in existence.|
|Day 4: Tue 6 Nov Today we will visit a number of centrally located churches to consider the world of Caravaggio and his rivals, the Carracci family, their talented assistants and followers. These were the painters who shaped taste for decades to come. Churches we will visit include San Luigi dei Franchesi, with Caravaggio’s St Matthew cycle, San Agostino with another fine Caravaggio and we will also spend time in and around Piazza Navona, dominated by great monuments by both Bernini and Borromini. You will then have a free afternoon. |
|Day 5: Wed 7 Nov We will return to our antique theme when we visit the two greatest antiquities museums in the city, that on the Capitoline Hill and after lunch, the new Roman Museum which has a magnificent array of ancient Roman painted and stuccoed Roman interiors, including the Dining Room of Livia, wife of Augustus, removed from the ruins of her villa at Prima Porta.|
|Day 6: Thu 8 Nov The rediscovery of ancient Roman interior decoration inspired Raphael and his contemporaries to recreate this style in a number of important locations. We will spend Thursday morning looking at the Villa Farnesina, one of the finest of these interpretations. The afternoon will be free, a necessary rest before the highlight of our week when we will spend a couple of hours in the Vatican Museums when closed to the public. This will allow us to contemplate Raphael’s Stanze and Michelangelo’s work in the Sistine Chapel without the public being present. After the visit we will have our second group meal in a local restaurant.|
|Day 7: Fri 9 Nov On our final morning, we then return to the Vatican for an in-depth tour of St Peter’s, beginning in the monumental Piazza laid out by Bernini, continuing into the Basilica itself, possibly the most monumental church in the Christian world. It contains a marvellous selection of works of art including Michelangelo’s early Pieta and some of Bernini’s greatest religious sculptures. After some free time for lunch, we then depart for the airport for our BA557 flight to London Heathrow arriving at 2030.|
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||Lecturer: Tom Duncan
Saturday 3 - Friday 9 November 2012 (7 Days)
Price: £2245 (Deposit £250)
Price without flights: £2070
Single Supplement: £245 (Single) £495 (Double for Sole Use)
Optional Supplements: Pantheon View Supplement £210 per room
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Holiday valid to
09 November 2012
Price Includes Scheduled flights with British Airways from Heathrow to Rome, 6 nights at the 4* Hotel del Senato, 2 dinners with water, wine & coffee, private visits to the Sistine Chapel & Villa Borghese, all local transfers, entry fees & gratuities.
Price Excludes Travel to & from Heathrow, 4 Dinners & 6 Lunches