Vergilian Society Tours 2018

Monument lists are subject to change based on closings for restoration and other factors outside our control. Every attempt is made to see that we visit as many of the sites listed as possible.

Vergilian Society tours are designed to appeal to the needs of a wide range of travelers including high school and college students and instructors; they are particularly suitable for instructors bringing a group of students. We specifically welcome nonprofessionals interested in the ancient Mediterranean.

Renaissance and Baroque Art in Rome and Naples 

June 16 – 28, 2018
Director: Andrew Casper, Miami University

This tour will explore major achievements and developments in Renaissance and Baroque Art (1300-1700) in Rome and Naples. Focusing on these two cities will allow tour participants to study both major (and possibly familiar) works and monuments in Rome as well as some lesser known (but no less significant) sites in Naples. This will allow for an especially rich examination of key artistic developments in painting, sculpture, and architecture that fall both within and outside of the conventional canon, but all of which constitute some of the most celebrated, innovative, and influential artistic achievements in the Western world. The chosen cities of Rome and Naples also provide other notable advantages. First, their convenient proximity to each other will reduce the total travel time. Second, despite their differing political histories the two cities share mutual commonalities and influences in their respective artist cultures that will ensure some cohesion to the various sites and monuments that we will visit.
The itinerary will be sure balance visits to locations such as chapels and churches where individual works are in situ, and can thus be considered in their original physical context, as well as to museums and galleries that will allow for more comparative analyses among numerous works of art gathered in one place. But besides sites of direct interest to the topic of Renaissance and Baroque art, the study tour will also be garnished with experiences that will provide a more robust understanding of Italy’s cultural, culinary, and leisure offerings that for centuries have been and continue to be celebrated by residents and visitors alike.

Greece & Rome in Washington, DC: Classical Influences on Our Founding Fathers
July 8 - 13, 2018
Director: Elise Friedland, George Washington University
Our nation’s capital is revered for its urban design, public architecture, and civic sculpture—all of which are inspired by ancient Greece and Rome. Washington, DC presents an urban landscape that echoes—to some degree and in a way that no other American city does—the streets and public squares of the ancient world, where ancient Greeks and Romans once conducted business, politics, and religion.
18th and 19th century Americans lived in a classical world, and there is a large body of scholarship on classica Americana, how Greek and Roman culture influenced and was adopted and adapted by the Founding Fathers of the United States in nearly every area: government, law, higher education, art, and architecture. This five-day study tour will survey Greek and Roman influence on the Founding Fathers and early America from the late 1700s through the early twentieth century, focused on the art and architecture of DC. A study tour textbook will provide an intellectual history of early America that will serve as the backdrop for the major focus of the tour, the buildings, sculptures, and other works of art in DC that adopt and adapt Greek or Roman monuments as well as the ancient monuments on which they were based. Tour participants will become familiar with the ancient and early American symbols that permeate DC and gain a new appreciation for the role of the ancient world in our nation’s cultural, social, political, and educational history. Major sites will include the Capitol Building including Statue of Freedom, Pedimental sculpture, Apotheosis of George Washington in Rotunda dome, and Brumidi Corridors; Greek Revival buildings (Treasury Building, Old Patent Office, Old City Post Office, Frieze on Old Pension Building, now National Building Museum); National Archives, National Gallery of Art, Jefferson Monument, and many others.  Please contact the tour leader with any questions at

Ancient France: Gallic, Greek, and Roman
June 26 – July 8, 2018
Director: Raymond Capra, Montclair State University
This tour of Southern France will explore the interaction of three cultures: Gallic, Greek, and Roman, through a study in the archaeology and history of France beginning with the civilization of the iron age Gauls and the establishment of Greek cities at the end of the seventh century BC through the advent of Republican Roman colonization and the campaigns of Caesar to the end of Roman Hegemony. The archaeological sites, accompanying museums, and the grand Catholic cathedrals of the region we shall visit are located on the ancient trade routes that developed into the Roman road system in Gaul, most notably the Via Domitia.
This excursion will allow the participant to see many lovely cities in the south of France, as we shall stay two nights in Aix-en-Provence, three in Arles, three in Nîmes, and four nights in Montpellier. Other cities visited include Marseille, Vaison-la-Romaine, Orange, Avignon, and Les Baux. The south of France is one of Europe’s gems in terms of its culture and cuisine. This tour will provide an unforgettable experience of this region.

Comprehensible Input and the Latin Classroom: A Study Tour in Italy
July 10 – 21, 2018
Director: Keith Toda, Parkview High School, Lilburn, GA
This 12-day tour is designed to teach Comprehensible Input pedagogy to Latin teachers and to demonstrate how Comprehensible Input methodology can be applied to the teaching of Roman authors. The tour will include travel to sites relevant to Roman authors and textbook readings. Workshop sessions will alternate with visits to sites and museums such as the Colosseum, Capitoline Museums, Vatican City, Pompeii, and Capri. Workshop topics include an overview of Comprehensible Input theory, demonstration of Comprehensible Input techniques/strategies, such as Total Physical Response (TPR), Teaching Proficiency through Reading and Storytelling (TPRS), circling, dictations, Movie Talk, embedded readings, Personalized Questions and Answers (PQAs), and numerous activities related to pre-reading, reading, and post- reading activities. Other topics will include Sequencing and Scaffolding of a Comprehensible Input Lesson, Grammar in a Comprehensible Input classroom, and Teaching Upper Level Authors/the AP Syllabus with Comprehensible Input
. The program features 3 days in Rome and the remainder in Campania at the Harry Wilks Study Center at the Villa Vergiliana.  Please contact Mr. Toda for more information.

City of God, Barbarian Kingdoms: Italy in Late Antiquity

July 11 – 22, 2018
 Thomas Landvatter and Beth Platte, Reed College
We may think of the “Fall of the Roman Empire” as a disastrous time, when barbarians swept through the once-great Roman Empire and ushered in a dark age. And indeed, the city of Rome suffered greatly during the period of Late Antiquity, from 200-800 CE. In this tour, we will explore this history of Late Antique Italy through its urban centers and geography of power. We will begin in Rome with the magnificent displays of imperial power of the Severan Dynasty and the tetrarchy, and examine urban change through visits to the Forum and Rome's port of Ostia. We’ll explore the impact of Christianity through visits to Rome’s Constantinian churches; the Celian, a posh neighborhood that became a center of elite Christian display; and a day trip to the Benedictine monastery of Monte Cassino, founded in the 6th century. From Rome, we will travel to the Byzantine outpost of Ravenna, stopping in Spoleto, the 6th century capital of a Lombardic Duchy, and the Temple of Clitumnus, the site of an early church. In Ravenna, we will visit the 6th century mausoleum of Theoderic and other Ostrogothic and Byzantine monuments. The highlights of Ravenna will be the 6th-century churches of San Vitale and Sant’Apollinare and the 5th-century Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, which contain beautiful Byzantine mosaics, some of the best preserved in the world.  For more information:

Romans in Southern Spain--Andalusia and Merida
Dec 27, 2018-Jan 5, 2019
Director: Beverly Berg
This program focuses primarily on Andalusia in Southern Spain and features outstanding archaeological museums and the impressive ruins of the Roman era, including Emerita, Italica, and Baelo Claudia. We also visit some outstanding Moorish monuments, such as the palace at Granada and the mosque at Cordoba. The program ends in Madrid, and for those with time to spare the director can offer advice on easy extensions on your own to Madrid and Toledo. The program uses Spain's efficient public transportation system (trains and buses). Participants should be good walkers and light packers. Weather should be sunny and moderate (somewhat colder in Madrid with historic highs in the 50s) but of course cannot be guaranteed.