When do we travel?
The JBS Italy Trip consumes most of the annual spring break. We typically depart on Monday or Tuesday of the first week, returning Friday or Saturday prior to the resumption of classes. The trip therefore lasts twelve or thirteen days (including days spent in transit).

Who is eligible for the trip?
Sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are enrolled in Latin II-V, and juniors and seniors enrolled in Greek I-II, are eligible to participate in the trip.

Faculty Leaders
The four members of the Classics Department accompany the students as chaperones and lecturers. Typically we are joined by a colleague from outside our department: in past years an English teacher has come along to share expertise in how poets (e.g. Keats) have reacted to Rome, and a biology teacher has lectured on the extremophiles discovered at Solfatara. Most recently a member of the fine arts department accompanied us to implement and direct sketching/drawing component for the trip.

Where do we go? What do we see?
We spend four or five days in Rome and environs; this includes a day-trip by train to the Etruscan hill-town of Orvieto, approximately mid-way between Rome and Florence. While in Rome itself, we take several walking tours that encompass most of the historic center. Among the sites visited are: St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, including a private tour of the scavi under the Basilica; Piazza Navona; Piazza del Populo and the Pincian Hill; the Spanish Steps; the Forum Romanum and Colosseum; the imperial fora and Trajan’s Column; the Circus Maximus and forum Boarum; the Jewish ghetto; sites in the Campus Martis (e.g., the Pantheon, the column of Marcus Aurelius, and the ara Pacis); the Capitoline hill and museums, along with the Mamertine Prison; the Tiber River, the Tiber Island, and bits of Trastevere.
We visit the archaeological site of Ostia Antica, the ancient port of Rome, on our way from Rome to the south. We then devote five full days to sites in and around Campania, including the acropolis at Cuma (the Sibyl’s cave); spots along the bays of Pozzuoli and Baia (Capo Miseno; the museum of the Phlegraean Fields in the Aragonese Castello di Baia; the piscina mirabilis); the crater at Solfatara; the National Archaeological Museum in Naples; Pompeii and Herculaneum; the Greek temples and site-museum at Paestum (Poseidonia). A day-trip to Capri offers an opportunity to read Pliny’s description of the eruption of Vesuvius as we gaze at the mountain from Monte Solaro.
In Rome we stay at the Hotel Navona, a two-minute walk from the eponymous piazza; from here we can access any point we like in the historic center on foot. When we travel to Campania, we stay at the Harry Wilks Study Center in the Villa Vergiliana, located in Baia. This historic building, dating from 1911 and recently restored, abuts the Cumean amphitheater and provides access, via Pullman coach, to all the sites we visit in the south.

Sketching & Journaling
To enhance our students’ experience on the trip, and to provide them with meaningful mementoes of their sojourn, we have added opportunities for sketching and keeping a journal as integral features of the trip. We take time almost every day to pause in our trekking long enough to see, quietly and intentionally, what lies before us; it could be the Castel Sant’Angelo or the Basilica of Maxentius in Rome; the belvedere near the duomo at Orvieto; the theatre and “Square of the Corporations” at Ostia; the ruins of the temple of Jupiter atop the acropolis at Cuma; Vesuvius beetling over Herculaneum; or i Faraglioni as seen from the Gardens of Augustus at Capri. Our time at the Villa Vergiliana provides an opportunity to gather nightly in the library so that students can share with one another their impressions, whether captured in words and sketches.