Length of Trip: Three days and two nights
Accommodations: Four-star hotel in the center of Rome
Transportation: Private coach to Rome
Meals: Breakfast served daily at our hotel, special dinner at one of our favorite restaurants in Rome
Sites Visited: Rome: Colosseum, Roman Forum, Vatican City, Vatican Museums (including the Sistine Chapel), Pantheon, Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps. For more details, see below.
The power of Rome is evident in even the smallest ruin, the tiniest piece of brick, the shred of a single lost fragment of fresco. These pieces glow with the ideas of a civilization that ruled the known world for more than 900 years, from 509 BC to 476 AD. Walk down the very same streets as the Roman senators, Julius Caesar, and even the gladiators. In the central Roman Forum you will see the Arch of Titus, the Basilica of Maxentius, and the Temple of the deified Caesar (just to name a few of the monuments here), which will help you begin to build an idea of the greatest civilization the ancient world had ever known. Approach the Colosseum just as a Roman would have and witness the spectacle of man and beast fight for their very lives. Finally, make your way to Hadrian’s Pantheon, the single most complex architectural structure built in the ancient world.
Vatican City remains the spiritual epicenter of the world for Roman Catholics, but also acts as the caretaker of some of the greatest artistic masterpieces on earth. During the Renaissance, Michelangelo served as a papal artist and architect, leaving his indelible mark on the design of the church, its dome, and the famed Sistine Chapel. Although Michelangelo proclaimed that he wasn’t a painter, many revered his frescoed ceiling for its innovation while others reviled it for its indecency. At the exact same moment, Raphael was also working for the Pope. Witness his response to Michelangelo’s work in the “School of Athens” and other frescoes in the Pope’s private library. These frescoes are only two spaces in a labyrinth of paintings, sculptures, tapestries, and mosaics you will see in the Vatican. Not to be overlooked, St. Peter’s Basilica stands as one of the greatest feats of the Renaissance and Baroque eras.
The Baroque period was characterized by dramatic and exaggerated motion and detail that began in Rome around 1600. The Church and the surrounding aristocracy encouraged Baroque art and architecture as a device to impress visitors with opulence and grandeur. See one of the centers of Baroque Rome, Piazza Navona, home to Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s Fountain of the Four Rivers and Francesco Borromini’s Sant’Agnese in Agone. Hear about their heated battles to create the superior Baroque masterpiece. Then climb the monumental stairway of the Spanish Steps built only a century later.