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Shore excursions in Rome, Italy

Ostia Antica

Rome, Italy
Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hoursArchaeological SiteWalking over cobblestones, uneven or slippery surfaces
Buried for centuries, this well-preserved archaeological site is far less visited than Pompeii, yet in many ways provides a more complete picture of daily life in the Roman Empire. Ostia Antica was ancient Rome's main port on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Buried for centuries, this well-preserved archaeological site is far less visited than Pompeii, yet in many ways provides a more complete picture of daily life in the Roman Empire. Ostia Antica was ancient Rome's main port on the Tyrrhenian Sea.

Anco Marzio (640BC to 616BC), the fourth king of Rome, is traditionally named the founder of this city at the mouth "ostia" of the Tiber. At the city's peak, about 100,000 people from all classes and all parts of the Mediterranean lived here until decline began due to silting river, barbarian invasions and malaria. Excavations reveal a hard-working city with apartments, warehouses, bakeries, bars, plus public and religious buildings.

Your tour of the archaeological zone begins at Via delle Tombe, leading to the city gates. Stroll along the Decumanus Maximus, the main road. Visit the Baths of Neptune with beautiful black-and-white mosaics of the god's wife, Amphitrite. Walk to the theater, the Forum and such public buildings as the Capitolium and the Temple of Rome and Augustus. A variety of religious buildings include several temples dedicated to the cult of Mithras, Egyptian and Roman gods, plus a 1st century BC Jewish synagogue and a Christian basilica.

See the large thermal baths, the 20-hole public latrine and the living complex called the House of Diana. The Termopolium with its marble counter where ancient Romans could have a quick lunch features a fresco representing the food on sale. Round out your visit with a stop at the Museum Ostiense, displaying some of the wonderful sculptures and mosaics found at this remarkable site.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Exploring the Vatican

Rome, Italy
Half Day PM Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hoursSignificant StepsRespectful Dress
At the Vatican Museums, you will wander through the fascinating Candelabra Gallery, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps. Then pass through the magnificent Stanza of Raphael, where in the 16th century the young artist decorated the rooms of Pope Julius II's residence with his masterpieces, including the "School of Athens," depicting Aristotle, Plato and other philosophers.

Enjoy a dazzling visit to what is considered one of the world's most important art collections, the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel.

At the Vatican Museums, you will wander through the fascinating Candelabra Gallery, the Gallery of Tapestries and the Gallery of Maps. Then pass through the magnificent Stanza of Raphael, where in the 16th century the young artist decorated the rooms of Pope Julius II's residence with his masterpieces, including the "School of Athens," depicting Aristotle, Plato and other philosophers.

Your tour will then move to the Vatican's most celebrated building, the Sistine Chapel, where Michelangelo painted the chapel's extraordinary ceiling with nine scenes from Genesis, including the Creation of Man, the Expulsion of Adam and Eve, as well as The Flood.

On the wall behind the main altar, The Last Judgment, painted twenty years later, provides further testament to the artist's genius. Though working against his will and in a medium he disliked (he saw himself as a sculptor), Michelangelo managed to fill the room with masterpieces and left a legacy at which the world can only marvel.

Finally, there will be a visit to St Peter’s Basilica, the most important basilica in the Christian World, where inside an almost unimaginable wealth of art treasures await. The basilica is built on the site of the church where St Peter, the first Pope, is said to be buried. Fronting the basilica is one of Rome’s most famous squares, Bernini’s elliptical Piazza San Pietro, an extraordinary sight punctuated by an Egyptian obelisk and a graceful colonnade.

Please note: this optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

The price of this excursion already allows a credit for the unused half day excursion.

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Optional $ 79
Cruises with this tour

Rome: The Colosseum & Rome Panoramic

Rome, Italy
Half Day Walking over cobblestones, uneven or slippery surfaces
This tour begins at the Flavius Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum of Rome, the biggest and most imposing stadium of the ancient Roman world. Built with a series of arches, it remains an extraordinary feat of engineering.

This tour begins at the Flavius Amphitheatre, better known as the Colosseum of Rome, the biggest and most imposing stadium of the ancient Roman world. Built with a series of arches, it remains an extraordinary feat of engineering.

At its peak, the Colosseum could hold an average of 65,000 spectators and once featured a canvas roof to protect the crowds from the sun. First commissioned by Emperor Vespasian of the Flavia family, this huge elliptical amphitheatre was opened by his son Titus in 80AD, during a week-long celebration featuring combats between gladiators and beasts, mock sea battles and executions.

Next comes the Arch of Constantine. Built in 315AD to honour the first Christian Emperor, the arch is the largest of its kind in existence and spans the site of the ancient Via Triumphalis, the route used by emperors for entering the city in triumph.

From here you will then re-board your coach for the Colle Oppio and a drive to Via della Conciliazione for a glimpse of St Peter’s Basilica and Square.

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UNESCO World Heritage Site

Tivoli & the Villa d'Este

Rome, Italy
Half Day Extensive Walking 1 to 2 miles within a period of 2-3 hoursSignificant StepsUphill Sections
Among the world's most beautiful gardens, the grounds of the Villa d'Este embody Renaissance culture at its most refined and are a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Among the world's most beautiful gardens, the grounds of the Villa d'Este embody Renaissance culture at its most refined and are a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Your visit to this remarkable place starts with a drive to Tivoli, a small town in a lovely wooded area on the slopes of the Apennines. The region is rich in caves, waterfalls and legend (a local Sybil prophesied the birth of Jesus). In the hills, opulent villas date to a time when Tivoli was the resort of Roman emperors. Your destination is the 16thcentury Villa d'Este, famed for its spectacular gardens, which feature the Avenue of the Hundred Fountains, the Rotunda of Cypresses and an Organ Fountain that still makes music. With their grottoes, terraces and water displays, these gardens had a profound influence on European mannerist and baroque style garden design.

Originally a Benedictine convent, the palace was the residence of the exiled Cardinal Ippolito d'Este, governor of Tivoli from 1550. He envisioned a garden set amid hanging cliffs and enlisted the painter-architectarchaeologist Pirro Ligorio to design them. Their innovative construction and the series of terraces upon terraces call to mind the hanging gardens of Babylon. The Aniene River laces the property and the control of its waters, along with the gravity-powered fountains evoke the engineering skill of the Romans.

Following your visit, enjoy free time to wander through the colourful open air market offering souvenirs, fruit, and a variety of local products.

Please note: this optional excursion can be booked using the signup sheet and paid for on-board the ship (all prices for purchases on-board Aegean Odyssey are listed in US dollars).

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Optional $ 75
Cruises with this tour