Rome: 11th -15th March 2019

 Glory at the  End of Empire

This  is not yet another tramp around the  usual suspects but a chance to explore a  Rome that many tourists miss. This is  the Rome of the Late Empire when  the  old classical world started to give way  to a new civilisation which looked forward to  the Christian world of the  middle ages.  The years that followed the reign of the Emperor Constantine are some of the most dramatic and mysterious in European History.The city of Rome underwent  dramatic changes as monuments of the old order were transformed into representatives of the new  ,adorned  with a complementary  form of art,which emerges  to articulate the  vibrancy of a new  civilisation. This study tour will explore this process of transformation by focussing on the changing image of Europe’s first world city from its last days as capital of the Roman Empire, through to its emergence as the spiritual heart of Western Christendom.

These dramatic changes in the city’s role and function will be traced through its architecture and its public art via a  series of visits to emblematic sites around the city. These will include  the Forum, the medieval centre and early Christian sanctuaries, such as S Sabina on the Aventine, the Mausoleum of S Constanza, S Cosmo and Damian, with their outstanding  sixth century mosaics, and the multi level church of S Clemente. We will also visit S Maria Antiqua,(“the Sistine Chapel of the middle  ages”)  open to the public for the first time for many years with its stunning array  of Byzantine frescoes, and the buried  ancient Roman houses with their enigmatic cult frescoes on the Caelian Hill. It is hoped that a visit can be arranged  to the  early cemetery underneath St Peter Basilica-the  supposed burial place of St Peter.

Hotel Accommodation  will be just off the Piazza Navona in the heart of the medieval quarter.

The cost will include: four nights bed and breakfast, transfers to and from the airport and journeys to non-central sites within Rome. The cost (exclusive of flights) for two people sharing a twin room is £438 per person . Single person supplement of £157. Afternoon  flight  from Bristol.Predicted flight cost: £160.

If you wish to  join this tour please complete the booking form. You can view and print a booking form by clicking here.