Romans in Southern Spain–Andalusia and Merida


Directed by Beverly Berg

Dec 27, 2018-Jan 5, 2019

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.

Overview: 2 nights Granada, 1 night Cadiz, 4 nights Seville, 1 night Merida, 2 nights Madrid.

Wed Dec 26, 2018, departure from U.S. heading for Malaga.

Thu Dec 27, arrival in Malaga, take frequent light rail to train station and rendez-vous with director. There will be a visit to the ancient theater of Malaga and, when all are gathered, we take bus to Granada. Before welcome dinner we visit the Archaeological Museum. Overnight in Granada.

Fri Dec 28, all day at the Alhambra, the fairytale Moorish palace of Granada, second overnight Granada.

Sat Dec 29, our longest stretch of travel (5 hours) to Cadiz. We tour the intriguing archaeological museum and take a walking tour of this charming town founded by Phoenicians in the 8th century BCE, and home town of Caesar's friend Balbus. Overnight Cadiz.

Sun Dec 30, excursion to Baelo Claudia, dramatically located by the Atlantic Ocean, with its theater, forum of Trajan, and garum tanks. Afternoon train to Seville.

Mon Dec 31, in Seville we visit the cathedral with its famous Giralda tower, the Casa di Pilatas with a collection of ancient sculpture, and San Salvador, which incorporates some Roman remains.

Tue Jan 1, day excursion to Cordoba home town of the Senecas, by fast train (1 hour) where we visit the striking Mezquita, begun in the 8th century as a mosque, and later transformed into Cordoba's cathedral. One of the architectural wonders of the world. Walking tour and return to Seville.

Wed Jan 2, Excursion to Italica outside Seville, where the families of Trajan and Hadrian originated, including a theater, amphitheater, baths, and mosaic floors. Seville archaeological museum, final overnight in Seville.

Thu Jan 3, travel to Merida, ancient Emerita, once colonized by Roman veterans. We visit the 2 Roman bridges, the 2 aqueducts, and the Roman arch. Overnight Merida.

Fri Jan 4, continue viewing Emerita, including theater, amphitheater, villas with mosaic floors, and a stunning archaeological museum. In the afternoon we travel to Madrid, overnight Madrid.

Sat Jan 5, Madrid archaeological museum, and excursion to Segovia to see the astounding 166 arch Roman aqueduct and enjoy a walking tour of this most picturesque town. Overnight Madrid.

Sun Jan 6, depart Madrid. Advice freely given for extending your stay in Madrid and Toledo.

Cost: $2,095, $300 single supplement. Included: hotels, breakfasts, three dinners, entry fees, all ground transportation except transfer to Madrid airport.

Please contact the director at as soon as you develop an interest, and sign up through the Vergilian Society secretary. Because we use hotels in the holiday season, we will begin reservations as soon as the group reaches critical mass, so you should sign up and pay deposit as soon as possible. Beat the deposit deadline of Sept 15 (balance due Oct 15) to ensure your place.