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Senior Grand Tour
“The world is a book, and those who do not travel, read only a page.”
— St. Augustine
At Rockbridge Academy we believe that the study of Western Civilization, the “Flower of Christianity,” is central to our students’ proper understanding of the world in which they live. However, to properly understand the grand achievements of Western culture, we also believe it is necessary to examine them firsthand. For this reason, as a capstone to our students’ educational experience at Rockbridge Academy, we take our rising seniors to Greece and Italy. Prior to departure, the students will research and prepare an oral presentation on some aspect of the trip that interests them, and then deliver that presentation on the ground. The course of the trip, during the first two weeks in June, follows carefully the flow of Western culture from Ancient Greece through to Ancient Rome. Following that, the students proceed to examine medieval culture in the cities of Assisi and Siena, and finish with an examination of the flowering of the Renaissance in Florence and Venice. As part of their rhetorical training, students are required to journal during their tour, and make a formal presentation of their experiences and impressions at the beginning of their senior year.
Cities & Sites Visited on the Grand Tour
Athens (National Archeological Museum, Acropolis Museum, Byzantine Museum, and Benake Museum), Corinth, Mycenae, Epidaurus, Delphi, and Olympia.
Rome (Catacombs, Roman Forum, Coliseum, Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon, Piazza Navona), Vatican City (St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museum), Assisi (Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Basilica of St. Francis), Siena (Duomo, Museo del Opera, Palazza Pubblico), Florence (Academia, Convent of San Marco, Church of Santa Croce, Churches of San Lorenzo and Santa Maria Novella), and Venice (Doge's Palace, Basilica of St. Mark).