Arrive at Rome Fiumicino airport and drive into the city centre.
Visit the Roman Forum, Palatine and Colosseum the very heart of ancient Rome where forum factions shouted for their patrons, Emperors schemed and the crowds were kept sated with ‘bread and circuses’. In later centuries new types of monumental buildings were erected - the great 5th century AD churches: San Pietro in Vincoli; Santa Maria Maggiore; Santa Prassede, the basilica built in the 9th century with its fantastic gold mosaic chapel of St. Zeno.
A day’s walk through the centre of Medieval and Renaissance Rome to see how the ancient urban landscape was moulded and incorporated into the bustling city of the Middle Ages. We will see the Capitoline Hill, Campo dei Fiori, the Piazza Navona/Stadium of Domitian, the Ara Pacis of Augustus and the Column of Marcus Aurelius.
A morning visit to Tivoli to see the sprawling villa of Emperor Hadrian. Even in its ruined state it remained a wonder for travellers and visitors through the Middle Ages and into the Enlightenment when modern investigation began. Along the Via Flaminia to the Roman municipium of Otricoli, then past Narni, an ancient Oscan city, to Spoleto.
Visit Spoleto, ancient Spoletum, and in the Dark Ages the seat of a powerful Lombard Duchy. Travelling onwards we pass briefly by Assisi, the centre of the cult of St. Francis, and a focus of pilgrimage for centuries.
Perugia, ancient ally of Rome, ultimately destroyed by Augustus. The city is a treasury of medieval architecture. Free time here.
Travel over the “Mountains of the Moon” to the Adriatic coast. Gubbio for the important Iguvine bronze tablets, recording priestly ceremonies, a rare survival of the pre-Roman Umbrian language. Ducal stronghold of Urbino, with its fine National Gallery of paintings.
Ravenna, the last capital of Roman Italy and Byzantine foothold in the West before becoming part of the Papal States. Church of San Vitale, with its mosaics depicting the Imperial court, the mausoleum of Galla Placidia and the Ostrogothic Church of San Apollinare Nuovo. Church of San Apollinare in Classe.
Ravenna for the rival Neonian and Arian baptisteries, built for the Catholic and Arian Christian communities under the Gothic Kings, the Cathedral and the 5th century AD Church of San Giovanni Evangelista. Glimpse of domestic life in late-antique Ravenna by visiting the excavated Domus dei Tappeti di Pietra. Free time to explore the substantial galleries of the National Museum.
Visit the Mausoleum of Theoderic the Great, the Ostrogothic King, before departing to Bologna airport.
- Flights - Scheduled flights with BA from London to Rome; Bologna to London
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Guide Lecturer - Dr Eireann Marshall (Sep 13), Oliver Gilkes (Sep 14). 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 - Johanna Flippent (Sep 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 & water) except lunch days 3, 6 & travelling days; dinner days 3 & 8
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in programme; tips included
- Field Notes
3 nights in a modern hotel in the centre of Rome, ideally situated for the sites and monuments;
1 night in a comfortable hotel in Spoleto with easy access to the winding streets of the historic centre;
2 nights in a very finely renovated late Medieval fortified house in the village of Ospedalicchio, outside Perugia;
3 nights in a modern hotel close to the churches of Ravenna
|Mon 16th - Wed 25th Sep 2013 with Dr Eireann Marshall
|Mon 15th - Wed 24th Sep 2014 with Oliver Gilkes