Providence’s upcoming seniors are provided the privilege of the Grand Tour in order to experience and encounter first-hand some of the most important cities, art, architecture and history of their western and Christian heritage.
Why do we offer it to juniors and not seniors? Juniors come back to Providence in the fall. This provides the juniors (now seniors) with further rhetorical training and experience for they are required to make a formal presentation to their schoolmates and parents during a school assembly, regaling them with their many marvelous and wonderful experiences from the tour. The seniors benefit by this opportunity by further honing their rhetorical skills and reinforcing the memories in their own minds, while at the same time inspiring their younger schoolmates with a greater love for scripture, history, literature, art, and of course, their own Grand Tour in due time.
From the end of the fifteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth, it was expected that all members of highborn families; aspiring artists, poets and historians; prospective members of the diplomatic corps; and young bon vivants would undertake an extended pilgrimage to the great cities of the western world. It was considered an essential part of a well-rounded education. Indeed, in many elite circles, it was believed to be the capstone of a true classical curriculum. Many of the most eminent people in history set out on what became known as the Grand Tour just before they entered public life. Traveling to the great centers of culture, history, and influence they sought to take in as much of the art music, literature, architectural sights, historical monuments, social revelries, and culinary delights as they possibly could. Taking anywhere from just a few weeks to several months, the Grand Tour was intended to help the next generation of leaders learn the languages, customs, and morals of far-flung lands and societies. They desired to broaden their horizons, test the practicality of their book learning, and to deepen their social and academic awareness. It was to enable them to eventually do all they were called to do and be all they were called to be.
– Dr. George Grant, from his travel primer Just Visiting
Example trip itinerary (12 days)
- Thursday. Depart Seattle-Tacoma airport to Athens
- Friday. Arrive Athens, Greece
- Saturday. Bus tour to Delphi. Visit site and museum all day
- Sunday. Morning – National Archeological Museum. Afternoon – Tour Acropolis, Mars Hill.
- Monday. Morning – Depart Athens for Rome. Afternoon – Tour Coliseum & Ancient Roman Forum.
- Wednesday. Morning – Walking tour – Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon. Afternoon – Walking tour of Paizza Navona, Campo di’ Fiori, free time.
- Thursday. Morning – Tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. Afternoon – Tour of Vatican Museum.
- Friday. Morning – Train to Florence. Afternoon – Accademia Museum, free time.
- Sunday. Morning – Uffizi Museum. Afternoon – Duomo, free time.
- Tuesday. Morning – Train to Venice. Afternoon – Basilica of St. Mark Basilica, Frari Church.
- Wednesday. Morning – Doge’s Palace. Afternoon – Free time to explore Venice.
- Thursday. Departure from Venice to Seattle.