Tuesday, December 26 Depart from USA on overnight flight.
Day 1: Wednesday, December 27
After you arrive FCO and exit customs, find the ATM (called a Bancomat in Italy) which is about 50 meters to your left as you exit customs. Get yourself some euro and then follow the signs to the train station (stazione). When you get to the station, buy a ticket and take the next train to Roma Termini. Make sure that you board the train for Termini! When you get to the Termini station, follow everyone to the front of the station, exit left when you can and immediately turn right and continue in the same direction that you were heading when you left the train. Cross the street where it is safe and continue in the same direction. Eventually you will be in an arcade. When you come to the end of the arcade, turn left and at the second street, turn right on Via Principe Amadeo. You will see the centrally located Hotel Diana on the right near the end of the block. Click here for a map. After you check in, take time to shower, nap, and do whatever to start recovery after the long flight. At 4:00 p.m. I will lead an orientation “stretch your legs” walk to three nearby early churches, Santa Pudenziana (392 A.C.), Santa Prassede (822 A.C.) and Santa Maria Maggiore, originally a Roman basilica. We will meet in the hotel lobby at 7:25 to walk to dinner at Alfredo. Overnight at Hotel Diana (+390 64827541).
Day 2: Thursday, December 28
Buffet breakfast at the hotel (and every morning on the tour). At 8:45 we will leave the hotel to take Bus #64 (which is also known as the “Pickpocket Express” so be prepared) to St. Peter’s and the Vatican. I will provide bus tickets for you. We will first visit St. Peter’s and if it is a nice day, I will provide everyone with a ticket for the elevator to the top for a panoramic view of Rome. We will then go to the Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel. Plan on lunch (independent) in the cafeteria in the museum. Optional walk back via the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain. Or take the bus back to Termini and walk to the hotel. Meet in hotel lobby at 7:25 to walk to dinner La Gallina Bianca. Overnight at Hotel Diana.
Day 3: Friday, December 29
Depart hotel at 8:30 to take Metro to Colosseo to visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine. I will purchase a combination museum/transportation pass. We will have lunch together at the nearby restaurant, La Piazetta. (066991640) After lunch, visit the Imperial Forum and the Capitoline Museum. Dinner independent. Overnight at Hotel Diana.
Day 4: Saturday, December 30
Depart hotel at 9:00 to visit theVilla Giulia (Etruscan art and artifacts). Afterwards, we will stroll through the Borghesi Gardens (plenty of snack/lunch opportunities) on our way to the Borghesi Gallery. I have reservations for us at 1:00. If we miss our reservation, we miss seeing a very important museum. Independent return to the hotel. Meet in hotel lobby at 7:25 to walk to dinner at our favorite restaurant. Overnight at Hotel Diana.
Day 5: Sunday, December 31
Depart hotel at 8:30 to visit the Baths of Diocletian and the National Museum of Rome (Termini) in the Palazzo Massimo. Then we will take the Metro to the Baths of Caracalla. Lunch independent, The afternoon is free or you can choose to go with Dr. Alessi to the Forum Boarium area. I will schedule NYE dinner early (7:30) at La Amatriciana to allow people to either go to bed at a reasonable hour or go out on the town. Overnight at Hotel Diana.
Day 6: Monday, January 1
Check out of Hotel Diana. At 10:00 a.m depart via private coach to Sorrento via the beautiful Amalfi coast. We should arrive at the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori (+39 081 878 20 25) around 4:30. Dinner and overnight in the hotel..
Day 7: Tuesday, January 2
Depart hotel at 8:30 for half-day excursion to Pompeii, Villa of the Mysteries, Afternoon free in Sorrento. Dinner and overnight in the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori.
Day 8: Wednesday, January 3
Depart hotel at 8:30 for half-day excursion to Oplontis and Herculaneum. Return to Sorrento in the afternoon. Dinner either at the hotel or a local trattoria. Overnight in the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori
Day 9: Thursday, January 4
Depart hotel at 8:30 for half-day excursion to Naples Archaeological Museum, Cumae, and Baiae. Return to Sorrento in the afternoon. Dinner either at the hotel or a local trattoria. Overnight in the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori
Day 10: Friday, January 5
Check out of the Grand Hotel Ambasciatori. Depart at 8:00 a.m. for return to Rome with stops along the way at Anzio (WW II), the Temple of Jupiter at Terracina, and Sperlonga. Dinner nearby, overnight at Hotel Diana.
Day 11: Saturday, January 6
After breakfast, transfer (independent) to Rome FCO airport for return flights. You should leave the hotel about three hours before your flight–an hour to get to the airport and then two hours required for check-in.
Paul & Thu Alessi DL 70, 8:55; NA
Melissa Murata & Matthew Gomez, KLM 1597, 9:25A: 13:50
Katherine & Allyson Wyatt, NW/KLM 84, 12:25P; 21:45
Amber Collins, Lufthansa 8802, 17:25, 7:15 & Amanda Harris, AF 9838. 19:45, 21:40