Call 1-877-298-9677

Ancient Rome with Darius Arya

< Swipe >

Darius Arya is the Director of the American Institute for Roman Culture. He has led excavations, including at the Roman site of Ostia Antica, and taught university programs in Italy. He is also a Fulbright Scholar, a fellow of the American Academy in Rome, and a guest scholar of the Getty Conservation Institute. He has appeared on HISTORY, National Geographic, and Discovery, as well as BBC Radio 4 and CNN, and he hosted the PBS series Ancient Invisible Cities


    • Enjoy an insider’s perspective on some of Rome’s most intriguing ancient sites, including the Domus Aurea on Palatine Hill, the Baths of Diocletian, and the little-known Mithraeum built beneath the Circus Maximus.

    • Hear about Darius Arya’s experiences excavating the ancient harbor of Ostia Antica, and explore the ruins of private homes, businesses, and cafés that tell the story of everyday life nearly 2,000 years ago. 

    • Delve into the architecture of the World Heritage site of Villa Adriana on a guided tour, and discover how Hadrian’s summer retreat was designed as an “ideal city.”

    • Encounter a phenomenal array of Italian art in the galleries of Palazzo Colonna and the Centrale Montemartini, and dine in the studio of legendary sculptor Antonio Canova.


Starting at $6,790  per person 

8 Days, 7 Nights |  April 7-14, 2024 

Download a 

full-color catalog

Travel Brochure

Darius Arya

Throughout the bustling streets of modern-day Rome lie vivid reminders of one of history’s most far-reaching civilizations: the Roman Empire. Over five centuries, the likes of Trajan and Hadrian expanded Roman influence until it reached from Britannia to Egypt. At the same time, they transformed their capital city, building ports and palaces, vast arenas and elaborate baths—many of which still stand today. Join archaeologist and Wondrium expert Darius Arya to go beyond the popular tourist track, discovering lesser-known sites and gaining a comprehensive understanding of the history, culture, and scope of the Roman Empire. 

Following an itinerary inspired by Darius Arya’s book, Roma Antica, and his Wondrium course Traveling the Roman Empire, gather insights into ongoing excavations and preservation efforts as we travel from the port of Ostia Antica and the imperial villas of Tivoli to the very heart of Ancient Rome.


Arrive in Rome and transfer from the airport to our hotel in the city center. Late this afternoon, meet your fellow travelers and our Wondrium expert Darius Arya for a guided walking tour of the city center, including iconic sites such as the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, the Piazza Navona, and the Via del Corso. Gather for a welcome dinner tonight at one of Darius’s favorite Roman restaurants, Ristorante Da Pancrazio. Admire the remains of the theater of Pompey below ground level and dine on typical pasta dishes of Rome such as bucatini all’amatriciana or carbonara. 

Included Meals: Dinner 

Accommodations: Hotel Savoy 

Venture into the Roman Forum on a guided tour this morning, gaining insights into the historical significance of its temples and monuments and learning about the daily life of the ancient Romans. After lunch on your own and free time to explore, head to beautiful Palatine Hill, where Romulus is said to have established the city in 753 BC and where centuries of Roman emperors lived in decadent palaces. Explore the impressive ruins of imperial palaces, including the Domus Aurea, Nero’s architectural gem, which was lined in gold before being sacked by later emperors. 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Accommodations: Hotel Savoy

Journey toward the coast to Ostia Antica, an archaeological park where the ruins of Rome’s once-thriving ancient port city remain remarkably intact. Visit amphitheaters and private homes, meander through elaborate bathhouses and businesses still adorned with mosaics, and see the Thermopolium, an ancient café. After a seafood lunch, gain insight into middle-class life nearly 2,000 years ago at the necropolis on Isola Sacra, an island created by the two channels of the Tiber River. Continue to the Museum of Roman Ships to view ancient vessels uncovered during the construction of Rome’s airport. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Accommodations: Hotel Savoy

Join Darius Arya for a lecture after breakfast. Visit the Case Romane del Coelio (subject to confirmation) this morning. The 20 rooms below the fourth-century basilica, opened by special arrangement, are beautifully decorated with a unique mix of pagan and early Christian frescoes offering an insight into daily life in ancient Roman times. Cross over the river to Trastevere and explore this picturesque neighborhood. Several important Romans built villas here. The charming ambience, a maze of narrow and winding streets, dates from medieval times. Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere, one of the oldest churches in Rome. The 22 granite columns that separate the nave from the aisles come from the ruins of the Baths of Caracalla. After lunch in a local café, take the rest of the day to explore on your own: consider a guided visit to the Colosseum, a walking tour of the Jewish ghetto, or a visit to the Vatican.

Included meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodations: Hotel savoy

Begin today’s discoveries at the Circus Maximus, the site of an enormous stadium built for chariot races and gladiator games. Then venture underground, by special arrangement, to visit the Mithraeum, a temple built by a mysterious cult in the second century AD. After lunch at a local trattoria, visit the Baths of Diocletian, completed in AD 306 and exceptionally well- preserved. The largest bath complex in the Roman Empire, these baths cover 32 acres and once accommodated up to 3,000 people. Enjoy a guided visit of the complex and the church and Charterhouse of Santa Maria degli Angeli, which Michelangelo designed to incorporate the magnificent ruins of the baths. Enjoy an evening at leisure in the Eternal City.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Accommodations: Hotel Savoy

Travel east of Rome to the hilltop town of Tivoli, where Emperor Hadrian built a vast summer retreat known as Villa Adriana. Set off on a guided tour of this World Heritage site and discover the architectural and design elements that made it an “ideal city.” Enjoy lunch at a local country estate, sampling local wines, olive oils, and other delicacies that date back to the Ancient Romans. Return to Rome for an evening visit to the Centrale Montemartini museum, where an excellent collection of classical statues is displayed in a reimagined power station.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Accommodations: Hotel Savoy

This morning, enjoy a private tour of the Palazzo Colonna, an ornate palace that has been owned by the same family for more than 700 years. Stroll through halls and private apartments that rival Versailles in their grandeur, and visit the Roman baroque gallery, home to Renaissance masterpieces by Bronzino, Tintoretto, Caracci, and others. Wander the beautiful gardens with wonderful views across the city. Admire the water features and the ancient Roman sarcophagi and remains of the Temple of Severus that dominated this site before the Palazzo Colonna was built. Enjoy some time at leisure this afternoon. Tonight, celebrate our Roman sojourn amid stunning sculptures during a farewell dinner in the studio of Italian sculptors Canova and Tadolini.

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Accommodations: Hotel Savoy 

After breakfast, transfer to the airport for your flight home. 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Stuart Sutherland

Journey on The Jurassic Coast

The Savoy Hotel 

With This 4-star deluxe property, located on the elegant Via Veneto, is an easy walk to the Spanish steps or the Villa Borghese, close to fine dining, cafes and elegant boutiques. A sophisticated hotel in a former 19th-century palace that blends a classic style with some contemporary touches. The 120 rooms are furnished in neutral, welcoming tones with all modern comforts, including complimentary wi-fi, kettle, flat screen TV, minibar with free water on arrival, air conditioning, and a safe. The top floor offers a cozy restaurant and a roof garden with a magnificent view. 


The information imparted to us and the cultural experiences were both exciting and eye-popping. On this trip, we were able to completely relax and enjoy each day because The Great Courses planned and executed this tour so well.

–Mark & Rachel H.

The Great Courses delivers. If you're looking for an educational adventure with like-minded people, then this is a go-to.

–Karyn A.

Due to the well-planned pacing and cultural aspects, it wasn't just a canned touristy event but really showed a lot of the localities. The Great Courses really went all out to make this a great tour.

–Teresa L.

Stuart Sutherland 

Journey on the Jurassic Coast

What others are saying about their Wondrium Journeys experience

Find out when new Journeys are announced or when tours are getting close to filling up, so you don’t miss out.

Get updates and news right to your inbox.

Thank You for your interest in Wondrium Journeys!

Copyright 2023  The Teaching Company Sales, LLC. |   Terms & Conditions  |  Privacy Policy