Study Tour to Rome

 

I run a Study Tour to Rome in alternate years, taking about 20 students and showing them the principal sites and museums in Rome and its environs. The tour lasts one week and usually takes place in the second week of September (when the weather is still fairly good, the sea still warm enough for swimming, and after the football season has begun). Although there is a serious side to this trip, students are not obliged to follow the organised programme (though most do) and may arrange their own activities if they so wish. The trip is geared towards ancient Rome but you can't ignore all the following centuries of history, art and architecture, you literally trip over it whilst walking through the city, so there's also ample opportunity to study these too, with visits to the Vatican Museum and St. Peter's, churches and basilicas, and Piazzas with delightful baroque fountains or dinky little elephants carrying obelisks.

"Rome is a busy bustling city full of emphatic Italians gesticulating wildly and beeping their car horns at every opportunity.  In an Italian's philosophy, why restrain yourself from shouting up a deserted street at five o'clock in the morning to your friendly neighbourhood shopkeeper, who has just momentarily parked a large van in front of your Fiat?  I don't think that they have the same attitude to sleep as the average lazy student.  Most Italians are very friendly, especially I find if one is blonde." 
Harriett Type, Rome '97.

Here's an itinerary from a previous trip to give you an idea of the kind of things we did.

Arrive in Rome very late at night!
Day 1 Forum and Palatine; Colosseum
San Clemente - several layers of religious buildings, with a Mithraeum on the 'first' level and early Christian churches above
Day 2 Walking tour of: Campus Martius; the Ara Pacis and Mausoleum of Augustus; the Pantheon; Stadium of Domitian; Piazza Navona (pausing for some lunch).
Largo Argentina (Republican temples); Forum Boarium; Santa Maria in Cosmedin (if it's open when we get there). Baths of Caracalla.
Some serious walking here.
Day 3 Pompeii - day trip by coach to the Bay of Naples.
Day 4 Markets of Trajan; Trajan's Column, Aventine, Monte Testaccio, Pyramid of Cestius & Porta San Paolo.
Optional visit to Catacombs.
Museo Nazionale at the Palazzo Massimo.
Day 5 Free Day.
Suggestions and information available for anyone who wants to do something completely different (as long as it's not too outrageous).
Day 6
Sunday
Ostia Antica - day trip to Rome's redbrick harbour town with its spectacular remains.
Please note that Serie A football games are played on Sunday afternoons so if you want to go to one you have to miss the Ostia trip (possibly the highlight of the tour). Sorry about that, but Sunday is definitely the nicest day to go to Ostia
Day 7
Monday
Vatican Museums (please note that this is my morning off!!!).
St Peter's Basilica if you wish (great views of Rome from the top of the dome).
Check out of hotel.

Comments from students:

"I cannot begin to explain the affect the trip to Rome had on me.  Everything about the holiday was an extreme; it was the most interesting, exhausting, enlightening trip I have ever been on.  Every day I knew more than the day before and was more overwhelmed.  The trip taught me things about ancient history I didn't know, but also made what I did know come to life and make sense."
Gwen Lewis, Rome '95.

"The site that made the greatest impression on me was the Markets of Trajan.   The immense scale and its good condition really allowed my imagination to visualize Roman society.  One could actually sense how life in a Roman market worked."
Shane Teague, Rome '97

"The highlight of the trip for many including myself was rounding a street corner to see rising majestically in front of us the Pantheon.  Rebuilt by Hadrian and even now virtually intact, it is still a place of worship.  The skill of the Roman engineers was even more impressive on entering the Pantheon with its huge dome and marble encasing all parts of the interior."
Robert Rankin, Rome '97.

   

When in Rome...

Students celebrate the success of the first trip in 1995

 

 

 

How to contact me

Phone: +44 (0)29 20875631
Fax: +44 (0)29 2087 4929
E-mail: GilliverK@cardiff.ac.uk


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