Latium - the Roman Rich
The picturesque hills and plains were an ideal retreat for the great and good of Imperial Rome, who came to escape the oppressive summer heat of the Eternal City. Emperor Hadrian himself built a villa complex here in the beautiful setting of Tivoli - his opulent and extravagant creation is one of the ‘blockbuster’ sites you’ll see on this tour.
While visitors often come to see the justly famous Roman ruins at Ostia and Tivoli, it is often the smaller, lesser-known places which enchant them; such as the acres of landscaped botanical gardens at Ninfa, or the dining room of the reclusive emperor Tiberius in a cave at Sperlonga, and Alba Fucens, a hidden gem in the Apennine mountains.
- A holiday fit for a senator! Opulent Imperial villas, secluded hills and an ancient superhighway (the Via Appia)
- Sprawling and extravagant villas at Tivoli and Sperlonga, built by Hadrian and Tiberius as a retreat from the politics and pressures of Rome
- Rome’s fertile hinterland, from the coast to the foothills of the Apennines and the famous gardens at Ninfa
- Special Access
We arrive in Rome.
We begin in Terracina, an important Roman town on the Via Appia. We find the ancient remains of the hilltop sanctuary of Jupiter Anxur here. We continue to the remains of the amazing seashore villa built for Emperor Tiberius at Sperlonga. Its most remarkable feature is an outdoor dining room located at the mouth of a cave filled with gigantic sculptures of mythological scenes.
We have special access to the famous gardens at Ninfa, which overlie a former medieval town. The ruins were landscaped into botanical gardens in the 1920s. They are now recognized as some of Europe’s finest gardens.
In the afternoon we follow the road which climbs from the Pontine plain to the Latin town and Roman colony at Norba. The views over the Pontine Marshes are magnificent.
We travel to the remains of the Roman colony of Minturnae, where we find the well-preserved aqueduct, a section of the Via Appia, the theater, and other features of Roman urbanism. As well as having impressive Roman ruins, it is an attractive town today. We visit Alatri, a city of the Hernici tribe. As loyal allies of Rome, they enjoyed a relatively quiet life!
We visit Hadrian’s Villa which sprawls across the rolling countryside at the foot of the hills below the town of Tivoli. Beginning around AD 117 Hadrian took a small family villa owned by his wife and added on a whole series of grand pavilions, many of them modeled after places he had seen on his travels around the empire. The complex ended up larger than most Roman cities. We visit the town this afternoon and pay a visit to the great 16th century Villa D’Este. Built by Cardinal Ippolito D’Este, the son of Lucrezia Borgia and a major figure in the church politics of the era.
We travel to Tusculum, one of the largest Roman cities in the Alban Hills today. The stones of the walls were seized as spoils of war by Rome. After its destruction, the land became woodland and pasture lands.
We have arranged special access to see the lesser-known Roman town and its well preserved theater. Tusculum was Cicero’s local town and his suburban villa could be found nearby.
We continue to Palestrina, ancient Praeneste, once dominated by a magnificent Sanctuary of Fortuna Primigenia, the first example of ‘dynastic’ architecture in Roman Italy.
We head for the hills today, to visit Alba Fucens, strategically positioned on the main route to the Adriatic. The large site stretches over a hill with three spurs. This spectacularly situated city is often mentioned as a highlight by guests on this tour.
We finish our tour with a visit to Ostia Antica, the harbor city at the mouth of the Tiber, a classic site to rival even Pompeii. We transfer to the airport for flights to the US or onward travel.
- Expert Guide Lecturer
- Tour Manager
- Local Travel - Private a/c coach
- Meals - Most meals included - dinners with wine
- Entries & Tips - Entry to all sites in program; tips included
- Field Notes
- Hotels - 3 nights in a hotel which is made up of four restored buildings; a villa built in 1912, a convent dating from the 1930s, the nuns’ residence and the remains of a Roman villa. This hotel also has a swimming pool and a bar, 4 nights stay in a modern 4 star hotel which is set back from the main road with a private garden
3 nights in a hotel which is made up of four restored buildings; a villa built in 1912, a convent dating from the 1930s, the nuns’ residence and the remains of a Roman villa. This hotel also has a swimming pool and a bar
4 nights stay in a modern 4 star hotel which is set back from the main road with a private garden
For full information about Passport validity and Visa requirements as well as Health and Vaccination information please click here.
Many of our tours can be linked together to form longer programmes. We are happy to arrange connecting flights and hotels, allowing you to spend as long as you wish exploring the ancient world... See suggestions below: