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Travel – Adventure, History and Cultural Immersion

“Wisdom begins in wonder.” Socrates

Ελάτε! Περιπέτεια σας περιμένει! If you are interested in European history, philosophy, art, archeology, and mythology then prepare yourself for the ultimate academic adventure. It is nearly impossible to avoid the phrase “the trip of a lifetime” when thinking about our program itinerary. You’ll spend 6 nights each in Athens, Rome, Florence and Paris traveling and exploring alongside our staff of expert instructors, who specialize in European history from Ancient Greece to Revolutionary France. Just imagine, you will discuss Athenian daily life at the Ancient Agora right underneath the Acropolis in Athens, walk in Caesar’s footsteps in the Roman Forum, marvel at Michelangelo’s works in Florence’s Piazza della Signoria and contemplate Louis XIV’s idea of Absolutism while sitting in the gardens of Versailles.

A lot of the great parts of Western Civ had nothing to do with the teaching, the excursions, or the curriculum. To be sure, the lessons were fantastic – both informative and riveting. However, it was the people that made the experience.Charley G., Oregon

Daily Schedule

With four cultural capitals on our itinerary we have our work cut out for us. Lucky for you, we are expert professionals in the fields of travel and cultural immersion. We create a balanced daily schedule each day that gives you the opportunity to learn about, explore, and experience the local culture in many forms. Mornings include guided tours and on-site lessons at monuments and museums while afternoons and evenings are dedicated to optional cultural activities and excursions, free time for exploration, and nightly group meals. Whatever the historic theme scheduled for the day may be, we strive to balance structure and spontaneity to ensure you get to see the “popular” sites, lesser-known “local” spots, and pursue your personal interests.

During one of the first days we were in Athens we took a walk through the city from our hotel and took a short hike up to the beautiful Acropolis….our instructors,led by Oxford graduate John Landsdowne, taught us all about the history of this holy place.Jason Y., California

Itinerary

Athens (Week 1)
Our adventure begins in ancient Greece as you read important works by influential Greek thinkers, explore key monuments and discuss Athenian society and its greatest philosophers, artists and political leaders: Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Pericles and Alexander the Great of Macedonia. You will enjoy Athens’ thriving contemporary culture, comparing traditional Greek fare with Greek fusion during group dinners, shopping for hand-made sandals in the open-air markets and interacting with locals in our historic neighborhood of Plaka. A relaxing day trip to the private beach resort of Glyfada is an excellent end to this first week of travel!

Rome (Week 2)
Our journey continues with a visit to the 2,000 year-old town of Pompeii. A true snapshot of Roman society, preserved at the foothills of Mt. Vesuvius, it provides a perfect introduction to the Roman era. We then continue to the Eternal City, where you will learn about emperors from Augustus to Constantine, with excursions to the Colosseum, Pantheon, Vatican and visits to other relics of their legacies. Evenings provide ample opportunities to delight in the beauty of the city’s twinkling lights, and also to learn the idiosyncrasies of the culture that inspired the ever-so-popular phrase, “When in Rome…”

Florence (Week 3)
The home of the Italian Renaissance, magnificent Florence welcomes you with open arms for the third part of our program. Excursions to the Uffizi, Accademia (home of Michelangelo’s David) and celebrated cultural sites will give you access to some of the greatest masterpieces of Renaissance art in existence. You’ll soon discover that seeing these works in person will inspire a discussion on the evolution of politics and society from Donatello to the ruling Medici family.

Paris (Week 4)
We couldn’t imagine a better place to end our journey than in The City of Lights. Visits to the Bastille, Versailles, Notre Dame, Sainte Chapelle, Arc de Triomphe and other landmarks open up a discussion on the Middle Ages, the era of absolute monarchy, the French Revolution, and the French Enlightenment. If you are passionate about art history then you’ll surely enjoy our visits to the Louvre, Museé d’Orsay, and the Centre Pompidou. We’ll also stroll through the city’s many historic neighborhoods, indulging in the famous café culture and enjoying a picnic (and boat ride) on the Seine.

In addition to exploring the cultural sights, we participated in a wide range of leisure activities such as exploring Florence while on a photo scavenger hunt, dancing at a Discotheque, nightly excursions for gelato, watching the Eiffel Tower sparkle at night…Lindsay C., Maryland