Arrive Rome and drive to hotel near Gaeta.
Terracina was an important Roman town on the Via Appia, main roadway to the rich southern lands of Campania. This still runs through the centre of the modern town, and the forum survives under the Piazza del Municipio. The hilltop sanctuary of Jupiter Anxur overlooks the walls and the town, and there are wonderful coastal views from here. After lunch we visit the Villa of Tiberius at Sperlonga, including the Emperor’s extraordinary dining room set into a large cave on the beach as described by Suetonius: ‘Tiberius was dining in a palace called Speluncae near Terracina, when several huge rocks fell accidentally from above, killing several fellow-diners and servants. He himself was lucky to escape.’ (Life of Tiberius 39).
Visit the famous gardens at Ninfa, which overlie a former medieval town. The ruins were landscaped into botanical gardens during the 1920s, and it is now one of the best gardens in Europe, as well as having impressive medieval remains. Follow the road which climbs from the Pontine plain to the Roman colony at Norba where the views are magnificent.
Roman colony of Minturnae, where we see the well-preserved aqueduct, a section of the Via Appia, theatre, and other features of Roman urbanism. As well as having impressive Roman ruins, it is an attractive town today. Fregellae, destroyed by Rome in 125 BC and the site of three decades of recent excavations.
A number of Roman houses are now visible and the finds are in the nearby museum. We also visit Alatri, city of the Hernici, who, as loyal allies of Rome, had a relatively quiet life.
Hadrian’s so-called 'villa' near Tivoli is carefully set in the beautiful foothills of the Sabine Hills which have, throughout history, been a favourite retreat for Romans seeking to escape the oppressively unpleasant climate of a Roman summer. This is really an innovative and extravagant architectural complex of buildings which reflected the Emperor’s interests in travel and culture, and which in turn influenced later architects.
‘He built up his villa at Tibur in a marvellous manner, and even went so far as to apply the highly renowned names of provinces and places to the different parts of it, such as the Lyceum, the Acadamy, the Prytaneum, the Poikile and Tempe. And, in order that he should omit nothing, he even made ‘infernal regions’. (Historia Augusta, Hadrian 26,5)
Afternoon free in Tivoli, where you may visit the Villa d’Este, residence of the Cardinal Ippolito d’Este, built in an old convent, and famous for its gardens.
Sanctuary and 2nd century BC temple of Juno at Gabii. It lay on the shore of a lake, now dry, and was an important settlement from the 9th century BC until the Roman period.
Palestrina, ancient Praeneste, was dominated by the huge Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia. It is most famous for a huge mosaic depicting scenes of life beside and on the Nile, removed from the site to a nearby palazzo in the 17th century, which is now a museum.
Into the mountains to Alba Fucens, built over three hills and blocking the main route to the Adriatic. The large site stretches over a hill with three spurs, and this journey into the hills is often mentioned as a highlight by guests on this tour.
Morning visit to Ostia Antica, the harbour city at the mouth of the Tiber - a classic site to rival even Pompeii. Huge structures such as multistorey accommodation blocks, and the headquarters of the various trade consortia have been preserved by encroaching river silt after the abandonment of the city. Continue to the airport for flight home.
- Flights - Scheduled flights from London to Rome
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Guide Lecturer - Richard Wallace. Not to be confused with "guest lecturers"! The guide lecturer will be with you from breakfast to supper, and probably even a drink in the bar afterwards. There is the occasional site where they may not be allowed to guide because of local regulations but otherwise the guides are just that.·They will have been chosen because of specialist knowledge and their ability to communicate and interest you. After 29 years of making tours worldwide, we are highly appreciative of the attributes of a good guide, and intensely critical of people who do not possess them
- Tour Manager - Clare Tuffin (Oct 13). We never know how best to call the very special people whom we choose to accompany you on your tour. They are usually employed in this capacity only by us, and have been trained to do things in the Andante way - unobtrusive, friendly and quietly efficient
- Meals - All meals included (dinners with wine) except lunch days 1, 5 & 8; dinner day 6
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
3 nights in a lovely hotel in Gaeta, built on the site of a 1st century villa, situated on a headland
overlooking the sea;
4 nights in a delightful historic villa, with private gardens, in the centre of Frascati
|Sun 6th - Sun 13th Oct 2013 with Richard Wallace
||Singles: Last one
|Sun 25th May - sun 1st Jun 2014 with Richard Wallace
|| Singles: Available
|Sun 5th - Sun 12th Oct 2014 with Richard Wallace