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.
Fly to Rome, and then 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.
Return to magical, timeless Rome and discover the many wonders if 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.
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.
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.
Náfplio, our base for the next five days, is set on the eastern coast of the Peloponnese in the shadow of a cliff-top 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 Argos. 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.
Italy and Greece are visually stunning places, the people are spirited, and the food is amazing. Photographically, there are almost too many choices of subject!