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Rome Add-on Tour with Lior - Tour Overview

“Rome is the city of echoes, the city of illusions, and the city of yearning.”
Giotto di Bondone, Renaissance painter

“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.”
Augustus, Roman emperor

Only in Rome is it possible to understand Rome.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, German poet

Rome, the eternal city, is one of the beating hearts of Western art. In this tour with a distinct focus on art, we seek to provide you with a deeper understanding of the culture and art of this magnificent city.

We will walk through many periods of art history each adding its own value and artistic style to Rome's own story. This tour will take you to many of the lesser visited sites in Rome that include incredibly important masterpieces of Ancient Rome, the Renaissance and the Baroque periods. If you think you've "been there done that" before in Rome, you haven't seen it quite like this with Lior as your guide!

A lifetime is not enough time to fully explore and get to know the entire city. Therefore, our purpose during our few short days in Rome will be to get as much as we can from our time together by visiting some of the most treasured sites for art. We will gain crucial concepts concerning reading art, understanding important historical processes, and through all of that and our personal experience, we will be able to apply that knowledge in the future to get profound experiences in other places of art.

Explore Rome for four days with Lior Aviv as your personal guide!  During our tour, we will remind ourselves how to see and feel art. We will do that not only through knowledge, facts and anecdotes, but also through our hearts and minds.  Rediscovering this gift which is always within us will ensure that when you leave the beauty of Rome behind, you will take with you the beauty you have found within yourself and continue discovering beauty throughout the world.

Upon arrival to Rome, we'll provide an airport transfer to our hotel.  We'll stay at the Albergo Santa Chiara located directly behind the Pantheon in the heart of the city center. The hotel has been in the same family ownership for nearly a century.

We'll start our time together with a welcome drink at the hotel this evening. To help get into the Roman mood, Lior will give a quick Introduction to Rome talk highlighting everything we'll see and do on the tour. After, we'll begin our explorations from Ancient Rome to the Baroque with a walk through the city to explore the amazing monuments nearby, including the Pantheon and the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva.

For our first dinner together, we'll sit ringside in the lively and entertaining Piazza Navona with a view of Bernini's fountain

We'll start our walk through art history today with the Basilica di San Pietro in Vincoli, known especially for one of Michelangelo’s masterpieces, the Moses. Besides admiring the genius’ work, we shall see that this church is already giving us a great sense about the spirit of Rome of the Renaissance, the Papacy of that time and ego issues combined with all of that.

From there, we shall go backward in time and then forward again. Next, we will visit the exterior of the famous Colosseum, the huge monument which became to be one of the symbols of Rome. Besides adoring this genial architectonic masterpiece, we will try to read this building in its original context, notwithstanding the real content of what we admire now in front of our eyes.  Our next stop will be the wonderful and very important Capitoline Museums which will be a great arc for us to get a direct experience of Ancient Roman statues. In this same place, we shall get to the place which populates wonderful paintings from the Renaissance and Baroque art.

After lunch together at a traditional trattoria, the remainder of the day will be at your leisure.

After yesterday’s experience, today we will get deeper into the troubled and complicated period of the end of the 16th and through the 17th Century in Rome that produced fascinating and breath-taking works of art. Starting in the beautiful Santa Maria del Popolo Church we'll have the opportunity of looking at some traces of the Renaissance work, but much more than that, we will experience both Caravaggio’s and Bernini’s works. Looking at them in situ - in the place they were originally meant to be - we will have the pleasure of seeing these works in their intended context.  From here we will head over to the huge Palazzo Barberini. Here waiting for us are impressive paintings from the Renaissance to the Baroque period, various Baroque statues, and all of these in this elegant palace of the 17th Century.

After a lunch break, we will get to one of the jewels of the Baroque art, which is Galleria Borghese. Here we will be able to appreciate once again the greatness and creativity of Caravaggio’s life-like paintings, and Bernini’s early and later works that leave no doubt about him being a genius.  After our visit, you are free to walk back to the hotel at your leisure and the remainder of the day will be free time. Dinner on own.

On our last day together, after having experienced and seen the different artistic languages and styles from various angles, we shall taste another part of the city.  Starting our visit at the Trastevere, or "the other side of the Tiber River", we will visit a Franciscan church called San Francesco a Ripa. Here, on slabs of marble, lies the figure of Blessed Ludovica as Bernini imagined her on her death bed.  From there we shall continue to another nearby church, Basilica Santa Cecilia, looking for the precedent of Bernini’s work.  After that, we will take another step backwards in time, visiting the luxurious Villa Farnesina.

After a break for lunch on your own, we'll pick up where we left off this morning. We'll experience another masterpiece by Caravaggio in its original location at Chiesa di Sant’Agostino. From there we will continue to the wonderful Palazzo Altemps for another taste from grandeur of the Ancient Roman art where we'll explore some masterpieces and their meanings.

We'll say our farewells at a final-night dinner this evening.

This tour is meant to be an Add-on for our Best of Tuscany tours on May 17-25 or May 29-June 6, 2022.  Join us!

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Petaluma, CA 94953 USA


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