Scenic view of Bolzano
Scenic view of Bolzano

Archaeological Tours

NEW FOR 2020

Italian Alps: Romans, Rock Art & the Iceman

Starting out in historic Brescia, not far from Milan, explore a range of sites both well-known and lesser-visited that shine a spotlight on its rich Roman past. Ruined villas replete with in situ mosaics, subterranean traces of ancient roads, and rock art that dates from the Neolithic period to the Iron Age will be ours to discover. This part of Italy is also home to the celebrated Valpolicella wine region, which we acknowledge with an indulgent tasting experience over lunch.

Moving on to Bolzano, we experience a close encounter with our early ancestors and pay a special visit to Ötzi, the world-renowned Iceman. Stored in a cold cell, his incredible mummified remains can be observed here at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology, and he is thought to have lived between 3400 and 3100 BCE.

What's included?

  •  Expert scholar & tour manager
  •  Accommodation
  •  A/C coach
  •  Entries & tips
  •  Meals - as per the itinerary
  •  Three lectures from your expert scholar
  •  A study guide, reading list, and other useful tour documentation compiled by your expert scholar and your Archaeological Tours team
  •  A name badge, luggage strap and bag tag

Led by...

Professor Caroline Malone

Professor Caroline Malone Expert Scholar

Caroline Malone is Professor of Prehistory at the Queen’s University Belfast, where she has taught for 12 years. Educated at New Hall Cambridge, she completed her degree in Archaeology and Anthropology.

Full Price
$6,495

Today's Price
$6,425

Saving
$70

Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,100

Tour highlights:

  • Go underground in Trento to discover the remains of a Roman road, parts of the city wall, and several ruined houses and workshops
  • Discover the cultural and historic delights of Verona, such as the Roman amphitheater that was constructed in 30 CE
  • Come face to face with the mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman at the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology
  • Take a walking tour of the lesser-visited historic city of Brescia, home to some of northern Italy’s best-preserved Roman remains
  • Journey to the ‘pearl’ of Lake Garda, Sirmione, and explore the ruins of the Villa of Catullus

Tour details

Dates June 18 2020 - June 30 2020
Duration 13 days
Cost
Full Price
$6,495
Today's Price
$6,425
Saving
$70
Deposit: $1,250 Single supplement: $1,100 Balance due by March 26 2020
Activity Level
Tour code A20ALP

Book Now or call 866-740-5130 if you have any questions

June 18 2020: Itinerary

Upon arrival in Milan, we transfer from Malpensa airport to our hotel in historic Brescia, situated at the foot of the Alps.

Meals include: Dinner

Hotel: Hotel Vittoria, Brescia

Our touring begins at the Roman Forum in the city. Here, we go underground to visit the remains of the Basilica and our time here offers a great introduction to some of the best-preserved Roman structures in northern Italy. After, we continue on to the Santa Giulia Museum, which includes a selection of important Lombard remains, as well as Roman in situ mosaics. In the afternoon, we visit the Archaeological Park of Roman Brescia. Here, we explore a Republican temple, a Temple to Capitoline Jupiter, and Roman theater. It also contains a stretch of the Decumanus Maximus, a Roman road.

All meals included

Hotel: Hotel Vittoria, Brescia

Our exploration of Brescia continues this morning. We start with little-known excavations – including those situated beneath the Palazzo Martinego – that date from 3,000 years ago to the medieval period. Following lunch, we visit the Castle of Brescia. Known locally as “the Falcon of Italy” because of its hilltop position, the castle is one of the largest fortified complexes in the country and boasts a monumental Roman gateway. We also discover the Romanesque Duomo Vecchio, recognizable for its characteristic circular shape, and visit the Paleochristian remains below it.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel Vittoria, Brescia

We head out this morning to Sirmione, where we pay a visit to the Villa of Catullus, a Roman republican villa that lies at the end of this enchanting peninsula. In the afternoon, we visit the Roman villa at Desenzano, which was discovered in 1921 and whose remains include magnificent mosaic floors. Scenes depicted range from cupids gathering grapes to chariot racing and even wild animals. This site offers amazing archaeological evidence of northern Italy’s antique villas. After, on the shores of Lake Garda, we explore the Roman villa of the Nonii Arrii at Toscolano Maderno. This was one of the area’s most important residential buildings in the Roman period and we spend time here exploring it.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel Vittoria, Brescia

Today we have a more relaxed day ahead of us. We start with a visit to the gorgeous medieval church of San Giorgio in Sant’Ambrogio di Valpolicella, which offers stunning views over Lake Garda. Next, we are treated to a delicious wine-tasting experience over lunch in Valpolicella, one of Italy’s most celebrated wine-growing regions From here, we continue with a short drive to the Cave of Fumane, which has remains that date from the upper and middle Paleolithic, offering crucial evidence of Neanderthals, as well as anatomically modern humans.

All meals included

Hotel: Hotel Vittoria, Brescia

The sites and sights of fair Verona await us today and start with the Roman amphitheater. The largest of its kind still in use and constructed in 30 CE, this incredible structure is 100 feet in height and could seat up to 30,000 spectators in antiquity. From here, we take a walk to a Roman Gate – the Porta Borsari – and then our morning city tour ends at the Roman Forum, which is today’s Piazza delle Erbe. In the afternoon, we see the city from a different perspective on an unusual underground tour. The area we explore is part of the Capitoline complex. Here, we can see a temple dedicated to Jupiter and a storage area hidden beneath later buildings. We end our day at Juliet’s House, which is home to a statue of Shakespeare’s female protagonist that – according to legend – bestows great luck in love to anyone who touches its right breast.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel Vittoria, Brescia

This morning, we explore the Archaeological Museum and Park Rocca Manerba del Garda, which is part of the UNESCO World Heritage for Prehistoric Sites in the Alps. In the afternoon, we tour the Roman remains at Cividate Archaeological Park, which include an amphitheater, theater and bath complex. Next, we drive a short distance to the town of Breno, where we visit the Roman Sanctuary of Minerva. Situated on the banks of the River Oglio, it dates from the 5th century and the main hall was once home to a statue of Minerva. The statue, however, was beheaded and can now be seen at the National Museum of Valcamonica, and a replica replaces it here at the sanctuary.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel Brescia

The fascinating rock engravings at the Naquane Archaeological Park of Valcamonica await our discovery this morning. There are around 100 engraved rocks in this wooded environment and the rock art ranges from Neolithic to Iron Age. Engravings on display include symbols, a village scene, animal hunting, and even divine images. We also drive on to the Archaeological Park of Massi di Cemmo, situated in a glacial valley and home to Copper Age rock art that depicts weaponry, carriage transport, and animals. Our afternoon will be spent at the National Museum of Prehistory in Valcamonica. Here, we can pore over exhibits that showcase the heritage of the area’s rock-engraved figures as well as see archaeological artifacts uncovered locally. We also stop at a reconstructed Bronze Age House in Pescarzo before the day comes to an end.

All meals included

Hotel: Hotel Brescia

A day of rock art awaits and we begin at the Archaeological Park of Seradina-Bedonlina. Here, over 150 engravings can be seen that cover thousands of years of history, although most are from the Iron Age. In the afternoon, we visit the Archaeological Park of Foppe di Nadro, which presents a selection of petroglyphs that date from the 5th millennium BCE to the late Middle Ages. We also stop at the Museo Didattico di Foppa di Nadro, which includes a reconstructed Neolithic hut and a Rhaetian Iron Age house.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel Brescia

Today we make our way to Lago di Ledro, considered among Italy’s most beautiful lakes. This area is known for an archaeological discovery made in 1929, when the lake’s water levels were brought down and well-preserved dwellings from the Bronze Age were uncovered. In the afternoon, we visit Museo alto Garda in Riva del Garda and we also see the Bronze Age tumuli at Gardolo di Mezzo. This area was occupied from the early to the late Bronze Age, and evidence of grinding stones found here suggest that it was a hive of activity for copper smelting.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Hotel America, Trento

We make our way to Bolzano, a center of commercial exchange between Italy and Austria, and visit the National Archaeological Museum. Here, we encounter Ötzi, the world-renowned Iceman. Stored in a special cold cell, the mummy – known affectionately as Ötzi – can be viewed through a window. His remains, along with numerous artifacts, have been on display here since 1998. In the afternoon, we return to Trento to visit the Castello di Buonconsiglio Museum, a medieval castle and renaissance palace, which houses a collection of art and manuscripts that date back to the 15th century. Upon arriving at our hotel, we will enjoy a lovely farewell dinner.

All meals included

Hotel: Hotel America, Trento

An interesting morning is ours as we explore the Spazio Archeologico Sotteraneo del SAS Tridentium – a city beneath a city. Hidden below Trento is this exceptional archaeological area, which is home to the remains of a street, complete with houses that boast mosaics. Gaze upon local red stone slabs, sewer pipes and the remains of a tower on this unique subterranean tour. After visiting Trento’s 13th century cathedral, we will have free time to explore this Italian mountain town before taking a scenic ride onto Milan. It is here where we will check into our airport hotel for the evening.

Meals include: Breakfast, Lunch

Hotel: Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel

We transfer to Malpensa airport for our flights home or for onward travel.

Meals include: Breakfast

June 18 2020: Additional Info

June 18 2020: Accommodation

This sophisticated hotel is a 2-minute walk from Piazza della Loggia, a 7-minute walk from the Palazzo Martinengo Cesaresco Novarino museum and 4 km from the Castle of Brescia.

This family-run hotel is set in a classically decorated 19th-century palazzo, centered in a zone renowned for its thermal baths.

A 5-minute walk from Trento train station, this casual hotel is also a 13-minute walk from the landmark 13th-century Buonconsiglio Castle and 0.6 km from the Romanesque-style Trento Cathedral.

Sheraton Milan Malpensa Airport Hotel & Conference Centre Hotel in Malpensa

June 18 2020: Enquiries

Enquiry Form

Contact Us