All Roads Lead to Rome: History, Culture and Religion
“I found Rome a city of bricks and left it a city of marble.” Augustus (Roman Emperor 27 BC – AD 14)
Rome – the Italian capital is an exciting destination for school groups. A vibrant centre of culture and history, it offers a chance to learn about a diverse array of subjects. Students of History and Classics, Art, Architecture, Politics, Philosophy, Religion and Culinary Arts will be in their element.
Evidence of Rome’s long and rich past, as well as its exciting present, is visible on every street corner. See students develop a better understanding of their subjects as their textbooks come to life. Rome is perhaps the most exciting destination for history and classics students. Most of the main historical attractions are located close together in the south east of the city. Therefore, you can spend hours transporting yourself back in time. Head over to where glorious chariot races were once held at Circus Maximus, and Emperors watched nobly from above. Now an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome, the Colosseum was once the site of public spectacles. Imagine jostling in a crowd, watching a gladiatorial contest. Furthermore, we can arrange a visit to gladiator school so you can experience history hands on!
From the Roman Pantheon and Vatican City, to the cafés, markets and culinary delights of ‘la dolce vita’, there is much to discover! Architectural gems are abundant in Rome, and even a leisurely spot of sightseeing is enriching. In this city, fountains are works of art and statues in squares are masterpieces. View the world’s most renowned classical sculptures and most important Renaissance art in the Vatican Museums. Just steps away from the historical centre, you can explore this artistic and religious haven.
Plunge your students into the history of the Vatican at the Artainment® show Guidizio Universale which uses a combination of immersive video projections, live action and special effects. New from March 2018, this show is sure to impress as its notable creative team guide you through the history of the Sistine Chapel, discussing the universality of art and exploring the bible scenes which unfold in Michelangelo’s masterpiece.
Rome’s abundance of attractions along with its rich and varied history make it a great destination for students, which provides many cross-curricular learning opportunities. Be sure to toss a coin in the Trevi Fountain before you leave!
Dates available on request
Travel to Rome
Depart from your local area and fly to Rome. Upon arrival, you will be met and transferred to your chosen hotel or hostel, perhaps enjoying a panoramic city tour en route.
If time permits, begin exploring this evening. Why not enjoy a walking tour taking in Rome’s iconic monuments such as the Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon? With elaborate sculptures and awe-inspiring architecture across the city, Rome hold as much history in its streets as any world-class museum.
The Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill
The Colosseum is the largest amphitheatre ever built and a must see for history enthusiasts. This incredible feat of architecture was built between 72 and 80 AD. It is estimated that the Colosseum could hold up to 80,000 spectators for gladiatorial shows and hunts of wild animals. Visitors can learn about the history of the amphitheatre through signs, guided tours and audio tours.
From here, continue your historical journey at the Roman forum. This rectangular forum, surrounded by the ruins of several important ancient government buildings, was once a centre of political and social activity. History students will be in their element with the ability to wander around the grounds learning about the different ancient Roman monuments including churches, temples and arches. Highlights include the Temple of Saturn, the Arch of Constantine and the Temple of Caesar, built on the site of Julius Caesar’s cremation. Tours are highly recommended to learn more about the fascinating history, with visitors travelling from all over the world to appreciate the rich cultural heritage and walk in footsteps of Emperors and kings.
The Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill are located in the same archaeological area and one admission provides you with the ability to walk freely between the two. The Palatine Hill, one of Rome’s Seven Hills, is located above the Roman Forum and is one of the most ancient parts of the city. The first settlers built their huts on the Palatine Hill, under the direction of Romulus. In later years, the hill became a residential district attracting the nobility and later imperial palaces.
Vatican City: St Peter’s Basilica and The Sistine Chapel
A history trip to Rome would be incomplete without exploring the Vatican City. It is not only a place of huge religious significance, being the centre of the Roman Catholic Church but it also holds huge political and historical significance as the Church maintains its influence across the world and has played a part in many historical events. The smallest country in the world is well set up for school groups as it can be explored on foot, covering only 0.17 square miles and is highly accessible, being located in North West Rome.
St Peter’s Basilica is the world’s largest church and renowned for its magnificent Renaissance architecture. Climb to the top of the dome for 360 degree views of St Peter’s Square and the city of Rome. Take a guided tour or use audio guides around the treasury containing ornaments, statues and impressive artworks. You can also visit the Vatican grottoes, a vast underground crypt where many Popes are buried. On Sundays at noon, when the Pope is in residence, he usually appears at the window to pray and bless the crowd in St Peter’s Square.
The Vatican Museums are an enormous complex, composed of more than two dozen artistic collections, any of which could be a self-sustaining gallery in themselves! The museums house many priceless works of art and galleries of sculpture, tapestries and frescoes, such as the Raphael Rooms. The Sistine Chapel, one of the most famous tourist attractions in the world, is also located here. When you walk into the Chapel you cannot help but be amazed by Michelangelo’s stunning, intricate and beautiful frescoes covering the walls and ceiling. Scenes from Genesis are depicted in dramatic and moving detail, while The Last Judgement on the end wall is striking and powerful. However, the Sistine Chapel is more than just an artistic marvel; it is a symbolic statement of Papal authority and the place in which Papal elections are held to this day.
Capitoline Hill and Italian Cuisine
The Capitoline Hill is the smallest yet most important of the Seven Hills of Rome and was an early Roman fortress. Rome’s kings built massive temples on the Capitoline Hill which came to symbolise Rome’s position as capital of the ancient world. The beautiful Piazza del Campidoglio, designed by Michelangelo, can be reached from the bottom of the hill by ascending the majestic Cordonata stairs. The square is bordered by three palazzos, all with facades designed by Michelangelo. At the centre is the Palazzo Senatorio, the city hall of Rome, whilst the Palazzo Nuovo and Palazzo dei Conservatori are home to the Capitoline Museums. After exploring the museums, school groups can soak up the atmosphere in the large piazza and visit the Caffè Capitolino, a hidden gem on the right side of the Palazzo dei Conservatori for covered outdoor dining and a large terrace with stunning views across the city’s skyline.
This afternoon, why not enjoy a cooking lesson? Italy is a land famed for its food and furthermore, the passion they have for food. Having absorbed so much history, it’s a great opportunity for the students to take home a new skill, having learnt to cook a classic Italian dish from scratch.
Depending on your flight time, you may be able to enjoy some more sightseeing today. Why not visit the beautiful and grand Villa Borghese, with stunning landscaped gardens, or potter around the Spanish Steps admiring the works of street artists, popping into little shops and enjoying gelato.
When it is time to leave, transfer to the airport for your return flight to the UK.
Giudizio Universale Artainment ®
Opened in March 2018, this immersive 4 act show explores the secrets of the Sistine Chapel. Beginning with the commission of the ceiling frescoes, this Artainment® experience allows viewers to see how the Sistine Chapel’s ceiling looked before Michelangelo’s creations. The universality of art is uncovered and the Bible stories behind Michelangelo’s paintings are explored. The audience is accompanied inside the Sistine Chapel to encounter a unique event: the papal conclave. With an impressive creative team, dazzling live performances and a soundtrack curated by the talented John Metcalfe, this will be an unforgettable spectacle.
This experience is perfect for Religious Studies groups or those seeking to delve deeper into the mysteries of the Vatican.
Hotel Medici ***
Just footsteps from the main attractions of the Eternal City, Hotel Medici offers its guests tastefully furnished rooms. It is well-served by transport links providing access to the main points of interest of the city and the Termini Station, which can also be reached on foot. Each room is equipped with air conditioning, WiFi, a safety deposit box, and also has a private bathroom.
Greatdays pride themselves on tailor-making all our tours to suit your school’s individual requirements and requests. Tours are based upon your preferred number of students and accompanying staff, travel options, package inclusions and most importantly budget. Our experienced product staff have a wealth of knowledge of the city and will produce an individualised package for your school.