Classics School Trips to Rome, Italy
One of the most ancient cities in Europe, Rome has over 3,000 years of history, culture and architecture. Steeped with intrigue and drama, a visit to the Eternal City is an excellent way of introducing your students to the delicate link between Roman culture as it is written in drama and play, and the expression of this culture still demonstrated today in its architecture. As well as a Classics Trip destination, it can also bring a context to studying the influence of Rome on Britain and Western Europe. In essence, Rome is truly an enriching experience for Classics students of all ages and can develop an understanding of the social and cultural contexts of Roman society.
“If I was marking the experience I have had with Rayburn it will make other companies struggle to match let alone beat!”
Did you know?
On the day the Colosseum officially was opened, 5,000 animals were killed and during its history, it has been estimated that over 500,000 people and over a million animals have been killed there.
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Rome Classics Recommended Visits
Rome’s diverse classical visits make it the ideal destination to enhance your student’s understanding of a range of topics on the Classics syllabus. Here you can discover just some of the excursions we can build into your bespoke school trip itinerary.
The beauty of the Colosseum works in harsh contrast with the events that happened within its walls. Standing as a monument to Roman Imperial power and cruelty, students visiting these magnificent ruins will get a real sense of what life would have been like for the slaves and gladiators who fought there and the crowd, from peasants to Emperors, that witnessed the deadly combat. Optional expert local guides can navigate your group around this great feat of Roman architecture allowing students to get a greater understanding of the complex political history behind the ancient remains.
The Roman Forum
Central to the development of Rome, the Forum was at the heart of business, commerce and the administration of justice. It also served as an important set of buildings where speeches were made, victories were toasted and the growing Roman Empire was celebrated with beautiful statues and architecture. Students can explore the Forum answering many questions related to Roman life at the height of the Empire’s power and throughout its subsequent decline, along with the social and political implications of living in the capital.
Gladiator Training School
Located just outside of Rome in stunning surroundings, the Roman Army Training Camp and Gladiator school allows you and your students to get a ‘hands on’ experience which introduces you to the life of a gladiator, their historical importance, where they came from and their use of different weapons. Students will get to feel the emotion of being a Roman soldier and become immersed in the history and evolution of the Roman army and all that goes with it – weaponry, equipment, tactics and strategy, religion and customs. Following instructors, students will handle replica weaponry and wear authentic armoury and clothing, then take part in gladiator training and, for those deemed worthy enough to appear in the arena, a final battle! The opportunity to learn, train and fight as a Roman Legionary is learning outside the classroom at its best, providing a deeper understanding and a new and unforgettable dimension to your students’ learning experience in Rome.
One of the Seven Hills of Rome and the prime residence of the ancient city’s wealthiest residents, the Palatine Hill offers spectacular views of the Circus Maximus, Trajan’s Column and the Roman Forum. The Capitoline Museums house an extensive collection of ancient Roman statues, inscriptions and artefacts. It is also home to famous works of Medieval and Renaissance art, making it an ideal inclusion for a cross curricular tour. An optional expert local guide can take students through the ruins, bringing them to life with tales of how and why such importance was placed on the monuments and the power and cruelty that everyday Roman citizens endured. The guide will also help your students make comparisons to the riches and splendor of the wealthiest on Palatine Hill.
Ostia Antica Archaeological site
The ancient Roman town of Ostia, once Rome’s principal trading port, played a vital role in the commercial development of the Empire. Much of this working town had been excavated to reveal clear similarities with the site of Pompeii. The Roman Theatre, Forum and large baths complex all give a powerful sense of the past. However, it is the smaller domestic details such as the fishmonger’s marble slab, the bar with its wares illustrated on the wall and the communal public toilets, which make Ostia a true hidden gem.
One of the best preserved of all the ancient Roman buildings, the Pantheon was once described by Michelangelo as being of “angelic and not human design”. Originally designed as a temple to the ancient Roman Gods, it was later consecrated as a Catholic Church. The large oculus embedded in its huge domed roof permits the only natural light into the building and it symbolises the union between earth and sky that allows prayer to ascend to the heavens unimpeded.
Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Steps)
When visiting Rome, a popular tourist attraction and one not to be missed by your students, is the Piazza di Spagna (the Spanish Steps). Whether you are interested in the impressive architecture and the 135 steps that link the Spanish Embassy and the Trinitá dei Monti church or want to pass the night away people watching or have an eye for designer fashion, this is the place to be!
The Vatican Museums
The museums of the Vatican City are located within the boundary walls of the city and are home to an immense collection of classical sculptures and the most important masterpieces of Renaissance art in the world. The most famous of these being the Sistine Chapel decorated by Michelangelo and the Stanze della Segnatura decorated by Raphael. Either guided or unguided (we recommend guided due to the overwhelming size of the museum), students can take a journey through the rich history, art and faith. Walking through the most famous sections of the Vatican Museums from the Ancient Art of the Pio Clementine Museum to the Renaissance of the Raphael Rooms – not to mention the two most sacred sights of the Vatican, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica.
The Tiber River Cruise and Ostia Antica
Students can take a more leisurely approach to Ostia Antica by choosing to arrive by river cruise. After a two hour cruise down the Tiber River, you will arrive at the ruins of Ostia Antica. This 6th Century city still has the remains of its buildings, villas, thermal baths, temples of all religions and even public toilets, each telling a tale of everyday Roman life.
Rome Sample Itineraries
Your bespoke itinerary will include the appropriate balance of educational visits and leisure excursions to fill your chosen duration and meet your aims and objectives. Your dedicated School Tour Coordinator will offer advice and recommendations with the sole aim of creating the perfect itinerary for your group, but just to get you inspired, we have outlined the itinerary created for one of our clients below.
Dates: 9th – 13th July
Passengers: 45 students and 5 teachers
Accommodation: Hotel Center
Board Basis: Half Board
Overview of visits: ‘Rome by Night’ guided coach tour, the Colosseum, Forum, Palatine Hill, Ostia Antica, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps, Vatican City, Sistine Chapel, Catacombs of Saint Callixtus
After arriving at school, the group excitedly began their tour by making the short transfer to Birmingham airport for their flight to Rome. On arrival in Rome the group were met by a representative who escorted them to the coach. The group arrived in the evening, unloaded their luggage, checked in and settled down for their evening meal at a local restaurant. For the remainder of the evening the group went on a two hour ‘Rome by Night’ guided coach tour which included discovering some of the main monuments of the Eternal City. They travelled down Via Cavour arriving at the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore and saw the Imperial and Roman Forum the political, commercial and religious centre of ancient Rome and the Colosseum. The group then passed through Piazza Venezia to see the Victor Emanuel Monument and the Unknown Soldier, ‘Il Vittoriano’.View the full day-by-day itinerary
After breakfast the group set off on foot for a full day exploring the Colosseum and the surrounding area. Once the group had arrived at the Colosseum, they met with their guide for the day and collected headsets before they started the tour of the Colosseum, Forum and Palatine Hill. The expert local guide skilfully guided them through the ruins, bringing them to life with tales of how and why such importance was placed on the monuments and the power and cruelty that everyday Roman citizens endured, along with comparisons to the riches and splendour of the wealthiest living on the Palatine Hill. The group also saw the Arco’di Costantino, Capitoline Hill and Museum and Trajan’s Column. After a full day, the group made their way on foot back to the hotel where they freshened up before heading out to the Restaurant Terme del Colosseo for their evening meal; a pizza party with ‘Roman Fantasy’ Show.
Day three started with breakfast before the group boarded the coach and made their way to their first visit on the day, Ostia Antica. Founded in the 7th Century, walking around this ancient Roman town the group got an insight into its past. Similar to Pompeii, the town has a Roman Theatre, Forum and large baths complex. The group got to see the fishmongers’ marble slab and the communal public toilets that gave the group a real sense of the past. A well-earned break for lunch was taken at the café before the group boarded the coach again for departure for their second visit of the day, sightseeing in Rome. The group were dropped off in the centre of Rome close to the Trevi Fountain where everyone indulged in the tradition of throwing a coin into the fountain to hopefully return one day. The group then moved on to further explore the city including stops at the Campo de’Fiori and Piazza Navona followed by the Spanish Steps, taking in the steps, the boat-shaped fountain, the famous Caffe Greco and the Via Condotti one of Rome’s most elegant shopping streets. The evening meal was at a local restaurant where the group were entertained with live traditional music before they took public transport back to the hotel.
The group once again tucked into another hearty breakfast before heading out using the public transport system to get to their visit of the day, the Vatican City. Here they met their guide for the day and commenced their tour. The group started with the Vatican Museums, where the group saw some of the extraordinary collections of fine art and treasures that have been collected by various papal leaders. They then moved onto what was the highlight of the day for many, the Sistine Chapel. The group stood in wonder looking up at the world famous fresco. St Peter’s Basilica was the next stop as the group were guided around this impressive Basilica with its tombs, statues and monuments and then it was onto St Peters Sqaure. After a full day, the group’s evening meal was at the Hard Rock Café before they made their way on the underground back to the hotel.
The group had a slightly earlier start to the day as they checked out of the hotel and loaded their luggage onto the coach ready for their departure back to the UK later in the day. The groups’ only visit of the day was to the Catacombs of Saint Callixtus, the greatest and most important of Rome. The group had time to explore some of the complexes 90 acre area and 12 mile long network of tunnels before they met the coach and made their way to the airport for their flight back to the UK.
We have a number of hotels in and around Rome which are perfectly suited to school groups. Here are just a couple of our favourites:
Hotel Portamaggiore, Rome
The Hotel Portamaggiore has a splendid location in Rome’s historic centre, facing the monumental Porta Maggiore (1st century A.D). Its classic air, courteous and traditional hospitality, enhanced by the surrounding archaeological treasures, have added to its popularity.
The Hotel has 215 rooms spread over 5 floors that can be accessed by 2 lifts. Each room has a TV, telephone, air conditioning, a safe and private bathroom facilities. The Hotel benefits from two restaurants, meeting rooms, two bars, a garden terrace and TV room. For peace of mind the reception is 24 hours and there is free Wi-Fi in the lobby area.
Hotel Villa Rosa, Rome
This Italian 3* hotel is in an excellent location, in the Trastevere area of Rome, to the South West of the City. The hotel itself is situated approximately 300 metres from the Trastevere Station. The Hotel has 53 rooms, from singles to quadruples, each decorated in a classic, warm style. There is also a restaurant, conference room and meeting room along with 24 hour reception.
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