Trip Highlights

Trip Highlights

  • Capture the sunset over Rome’s iconic Colosseum with guidance from a National Geographic photographer.
  • Wander iconic archaeological sites such as the Acropolis, and craft fictional narratives on life in these ancient cities.
  • Gaze up at Michelangelo’s masterful Sistine Chapel, and ponder the storytelling power of centuries-old art and architecture.
  • Document your friends hiking across Hydra or swimming off the coast of Capri through photography or writing.
Though we’ve all seen images of the Parthenon, standing in the shadows of those incredible columns is an entirely different experience—the very history of Western civilization oozes from the stones.
William Saturno, National Geographic Expert



More than 2,000 years ago, the ancient Greeks laid the foundations for Western civilization, including democracy, philosophy, science, and medicine. Close on their heels, the Romans established the ancient world’s greatest empire. Experience the living legacy of the Greek and Roman Empires against a backdrop of magnificent temples, rich mythology, and stunning seascapes.

Days 1-5: Pompeii, Capri, and Salerno, Italy

Fly to Naples, and head to Pompeii and Herculaneum, cities that were blanketed by thick layers of scorching ash and volcanic mud when Mount Vesuvius erupted in A.D. 79. Set out with your On Assignment team, stepping into the past in palaces still adorned with original frescoes, and see the haunting figures of townspeople frozen in time. From our base in the small city of Salerno, travel by hydrofoil to Capri. Explore the island’s Roman palaces and extraordinary scenery, and take a refreshing swim from the rocky shoreline.

Days 6-8: Rome

Return to magical, timeless Rome and discover the many wonders of this great city. Walk through the Roman Forum, where Julius Caesar was assassinated by conspirators. Imagine crowds cheering on the gladiators in the grand Colosseum and the chariot races in the Circus Maximus. Take in some of the world’s greatest classical sculpture at the Vatican Museums and the Villa Borghese. Examine Michelangelo’s masterpiece: the frescoed ceiling of the Sistine Chapel.

Explore the streets and alleyways of this vibrant city with your team, finding hidden parks and ruins. Peer into the gaping Bocca della Verità, a sculpted mouth reputed to bite off the hand of anyone who doesn’t tell the truth. Interact with street performers and local shopkeepers, sample delicious gelato near the Spanish Steps, and take in the contemporary music scene in one of Rome’s many historic piazzas.

Days 9-10: Delphi, Greece

Fly to Athens, Greece, and continue to Delphi, perched on the shoulder of Mount Parnassus. Settle into this tiny, picturesque village, just a short walk from the Temple of Apollo. Wander through the well-preserved ruins of theaters, treasuries, altars, and stadiums while taking in amazing views of the mountains and the turquoise sea. Through photography or writing, tell the stories of the stone statues that immortalize the history and mythos of ancient athletes.

Days 11-12: Athens

Return to Athens and spend two days exploring the Acropolis and Parthenon, the ancient Agora, and the National Archaeological Museum. Visit iconic works of art at the National Gallery and learn the stories of their excavation. Experience the modern city’s bustling street life, markets, and cuisine. Capture the intersection of ancient and modern life with your pen and camera.

Days 13-17: Náfplio

Náfplio, our base for the next five days, is set on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese in the shadow of a clifftop castle. The town’s pedestrian streets wind down the hillside to a tiny beach. During our time here, get to know the locals, join in a pickup game of soccer, attend a street fair, or stroll down to the beach for a swim in the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Argolís. On day trips, discover the legendary home of Agamemnon at Mycenae; view one of the world’s best preserved Greek theaters at Epidaurus; and hike the slopes of Hydra, a starkly beautiful island where cars are forbidden. In Náfplio’s idyllic setting, we present our On Assignment projects to the group. Return to Athens for our flight home.