July 1 – 13, 2017
Director: Beverly Berg
Cisalpine Gaul and Istria were beyond the pale when Vergil was born, but in the Augustan era both were integral parts of Italy, and in later Roman times the area included several of the empire’s largest and most thriving cities. We study the process of Romanization from earlier cities such as Verona, Brescia, Dalmatian Salona, and Istrian Pula, to late antique and early Christian sites such as Aquileia, Porec, and Split.
Highlights include Verona, a lovely city of pink marble with an amphitheater, theater, and three arches from Roman times, Split with Diocletian’s magnificent palace and tomb, one of the great architectural complexes of late antiquity, and Mantua, the birthplace of Vergil. There our day includes Roman-inspired Renaissance churches, the Palazzo Te with its frescoes picturing Ovidian themes, and the recently opened museum of San Sebastiano featuring finds from the Roman era. Inquire from the director about a pre-tour visit to Ravenna!
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Friday, June 30
Participants depart from the U.S. this day (or earlier).
Saturday, July 1
Participants arrive in Italy, disembarking in Milan, Florence, Venice, or even Rome, and take the train to Mantua (Mantova). Our hotel is visible from the train station. Those who arrive early enough may want to visit the Ducal Palace of Mantua (last entry 6 p.m., entries can be booked on line). The program officially begins with a welcome dinner.
Sunday, July 2
Day trip to Verona. In this lovely city of pink marble we will focus on the Roman remains, including the excellently preserve amphitheater, the arch of the Gavii, and the theater. Overnight in Mantua.
Monday, July 3
Day in Mantua, the birthplace of Vergil. Our day includes homage to statues of Vergil, Roman-inspired Renaissance churches, the Palazzo Te with its frescoes picturing Ovidian themes, and the museum of San Sebastiano.
Tuesday, July 4
Day trip to Brescia, ancient Brixia. Our walking tour of the city features the Roman Capitolium and the archeological museum.
Wednesday, July 5
Morning train from Mantua to Aquileia, one of Roman Italy’s five largest cities. We visit the many ancient remains of the city, and the 4th century Christian basilica with wonderful floor mosaics. Overnight in Aquileia.
Thursday, July 6
Morning at the museum of Aquileia, which includes an ancient ship, afternoon train to Trieste, overnight in Trieste.
Friday, July 7
Morning in Trieste to visit the Roman theater and forum, and the museum of antiquities, afternoon bus (probably public) to Pula in Croatia, overnight in Pula.
Saturday, July 8
Day visit to the town of Porec, which still has a Venetian ambiance, and its magnificent 6th century basilica with fine mosaics. Stroll out to the site of the temple of Neptune. Overnight in Pula.
Sunday, July 9
All day in Pula, anciently the Roman colony of Pola, with its substantial Roman remains, including forum, temple to Augustus, arch of the Sergii, acropolis, theater, and archeological museum.
Monday, July 10
Morning at the amphitheater (one of the best!) of Pula, with views of the Adriatic. After lunch we transfer to Pula airport for our Croatian Air flight (via Zagreb!) to Split.
Tuesday, July 11
All day in Split to see Diocletian’s magnificent palace and basilica. One of the great architectural complexes of late antiquity, the palace inspired English architect Robert Adam and 18th century Neoclassicism. Afternoon visit to the enchanting folk museum. Overnight in Split.
Wednesday, July 12
Day trip by local bus to nearby Salona, a Roman colony preserving remains of an amphitheater, baths, and early Christian basilica. Afternoon visit to the archeological museum of Split, with displays of Illyrian, Greek, and Roman finds. Overnight in Split.
Thursday, July 13
Although some may wish to depart early or spend a leisurely day, a morning visit to the Split city history museum is offered, and a visit to nearby Trogir, a medieval gem.
The director will help with transportation at the end of the program: there is a Thursday evening ferry to Ancona in Italy. There are frequent buses to Dubrovnik, and the director will provide aid to those buying bus tickets. Both Split and Dubrovnik have airports; Dubrovnik has a ferry to Bari.
The program includes hotels, breakfasts, three dinners, ground transportation on program, the Pula/Split flight, entry fees. It does not include lunches and nine dinners, checked baggage fees, initial transportation to Mantua, or transportation from Split. Please contact the Vergilian Secretary to sign up and pay, and also contact the director (email@example.com) at the time you decide to enroll. She will begin reserving rooms and flights as soon as group enrollment allows, so the sooner you get in the deposit the better. Beat the deadline for deposits of April 1, 2017; May 1, 2017 for the balance of payment. We will try to accommodate later joiners, but well-located hotels in Croatia are scarce and there’s but one flight per day out of Pula. Late joiners could find themselves in an outlying hotel, on the dread bus (12 hours) Pula/Split, or even out of luck altogether!
Electronic Payment Options
A surcharge will be assessed for electronic payment.