The first full day of our tour begins with a guided excursion in three vehicles around ancient and Renaissance Rome, highlighting its geographical layout, earliest foundations and religious history, main basilicas and Renaissance sites, with an informative commentary from our local guide.
Along the way we will stop at the Church of San Pietro in Montorio to see Bramante’s Tempietto. This small centrally planned martyrium is considered a masterpiece of High Renaissance architecture.
We will then visit the ancient Pantheon, with its pedimented portico supported by monolithic granite Corinthian columns and a massive unreinforced concrete domed rotunda with an open oculus. The height to the oculus and the diameter of the interior circle are the same at 43 metres. The Pantheon was very influential to Renaissance architects who strove to emulate its grand scale, and marvelled at its harmony and technical expertise.
After a break for lunch (at your own expense) we will visit Castel Sant’Angelo. This was Hadrian's mausoleum and a Renaissance era fortress, castle and prison. Here we will learn about Renaissance papal history and ‘grotesque’ art.
The day ends with a visit to the church of San Pietro in Vincoli to view Michelangelo's unfinished tomb for Pope Julius II.
Accommodation: 2nd night at Hotel Capo d’Africa, Rome
Meals included: Breakfast