Summer Half Term News Letter – A Welcome, an Apologia and a lot of caveats….

We trust you have all returned to the fray well rested and fully prepared for the final push! Good Luck!

Welcome to Dr Cora Beth Fraser – the latest addition to Hellene. If you are very lucky she may just be your Guide on your next Hadrian’s Wall Trip! Read all about her on our Team Page

Dr Cora Beth Fraser
Arbeia Roman Fort

“Had a great time with these guys @ArbeiaRomanFort yesterday – what a lovely group!” / Twitter 

Apologia….you’ve inundated us with emails, ‘phone calls and enquiries and as a result, we are taking a little longer than usual to respond.

Giuseppe Sciuti

Recent scenes outside the Hellene Officeswith apologies to Giuseppe Sciuti and Timoleon

Thank you to those who have sent alternative offers from alternative School Tour Operators – although more from frustration at not hearing back from your preferred Company or to query why our Itinerary content and £ppp differ, than from the kindness of your hearts!

Doubtless you have read of Airport and Airline staff shortages. Similarly, we are sure that this, WFH, techno glitches and sheer volume of enquiries accounts for some Companies not replying nor answering the ‘phone. No, they’ve not gone out of business as one teacher asked us; just give them time, everything will settle soon enough. 

Now to the Caveats. It’s worth reiterating why our Itineraries and costs differ –   

– We are no longer part of the EU & thus Entrance Fees apply, albeit with Official School Letter 

ii – Greece has a blanket charge of 50% for schools, to be paid in situ. Some schools have not been charged, but that’s luck, not policy 

New Akropolis Museum

 Athens New Akropolis Museum Photo credits to Duncan Hull via Flickr (CC BY 2.0)  

iii – Whispering Guide Headsets are mandatory for Guiding and must be hired. Some schools have not been challenged; again, luck not policy. You can take a risk, we cannot advocate one.

II – Italy does not have a blanket policy, each venue differs.

– Most Sites must be booked in advance to ensure entry. Accompanying adults will be charged, ‘free’ student places incur a Booking Fee by not only the Site/Museum but also by our Agents who have the unenviable task of reserving your timed entry …..unless you prefer to book yourself, online, often only 36hrs beforehand.

ii – Vatican Museums entrance must be paid in situ, but there is also a booking fee

Entrance Fees

iii – We clearly state Entry Fees, to enable you to ‘prune’ if necessary, for budgeting.

iv – Whispering Guide Headsets are mandatory at some sites – there is a charge.  The Vatican insists you hire their own sets.

III – Flights

i – Prices have increased and our quotes are based on realistic estimates, but we always refund if flights come in underestimate.

ii – Our Itineraries work around stated flight times so you know exactly when & for how long you will visit

IV – Some Opening hours, ticketing & access have changed. Whilst Naples Archaeological MuseumOplontis Pozzuoli remain closed on Tuesdays, Herculaneum is now closed on Wednesdays, Massimo Museum on Mondays, last entrance at 1700hrs. The Houses of Livia and Augustus have not yet reopened. Domus Aurea only opens on weekends. Augustus’ Mausoleum to close for further renovation. Colosseo, Forum and Palatine must be visited on the same day unless you buy a more expensive Super Ticket, but with E-Tickets you can now enter the Palatine & Forum without first checking in at the Colosseo – so there are improvements! No firm decision as to the reopening of Solfatara, maybe, maybe not. The big news is the possible alteration of access to Amalfi.

Amalfi Coaches

The Wildest Ride in Italy | Ciao Amalfi

In order to solve the horrendous overcrowding, it is being mooted that coaches will drop off at Amalfi but park at Maiori, necessitating your catching a ferry to reconnect with the coach. The increased cost will probably make an Amalfi stop untenable, thus a visit to Paestum will be via RTN motorway route. However, it’s good news for nearby Minori and its oft ignored little villa a mere 30mins walk away!

Minori Villa
Minori Villa

With luck, these additional restrictions and costs will lift. We will always update you and refund as appropriate. We’d rather do this than under charge and issue supplements. 

What else is happening in the Classical World? 

Schliemann is hitting the headlines in his Bicentennial 


i – The American School of Classical Studies at Athens is hosting an online Exhibition “The Stuff of Legend: Heinrich Schliemann’s Life and Work, Celebrating the Bicentennial of His Birth

ii – They have also made three Hesperia articles open access on Project MUSE and JSTOR!

David A. Traill, “How Schliemann Smuggled ‘Priam’s Treasure’ from the Troad to Athens,”

Oliver Dickinson, “The ‘Face of Agamemnon,’”

Stefanie A. H. Kennell, “Schliemann and His Papers: A Tale from the Gennadeion Archives,”

iii – The Schliemann Furniture from the G.I. Katsigras Collection is in Berlin

iv – The Many Myths of the Man Who ‘Discovered’—and Nearly Destroyed—Troy

In GREECE – There’s disappointing news about the Faliron Skeltons, but great news about wheelchair access, new museums in Crete, the Palace at AigaiAmphipolisAegina, a new Parthenon Frieze Website, excellent new Delphi Web Site and more – see Attachment A   

Faliron Skeltons
Wheelchair Access

In ITALY – an exciting new excavation in Caesar’s Forum, new venue Horti Lamiani Nymphaeum and Museum della Cucini, Casa Romane del Celio reopons, Robot dogs and an Erotic Art Exhibition at Pompeii, a rethinking about the Motya Kothon in Sicily and more – see Attachment B 

Motya Kothon
Motya Kothon
Motya Kothon

In the UK – Hadrian’s Wall celebrations continue, London Museum closes,a new mosaic in Southwark, Dolaucothi Roman Gold Mines reopen, Eboracum controversy and more – see Attachment C  

Roman Gold Mines

In TURKEY – further developments in Troy, Pergamon and Istanbul  


and in CROATIA beautiful Mosaics emerge in Hvaar and Work continues apace at the small Roman theatre behind the Archaeological Museum in Pula – see Attachment D

Hvaar Mosaics
Roman Theatre Pula

RESOURCES AND TEACHING MATERIALS – lots of freebies on offer from British Schools at Athens and RomeDelphi the DreamerLatin Now!, Greek Myth Comix and more – see Attachment E

ADDITIONAL ARTICLES OF INTEREST on Ancient Magic and RitualRoman Glass, Ancient Roman coverts to Judaisim, Learning to spell in Linear B and Rome’s Female Merchants plus a variety of EXHIBITIONS AND LECTURES from Alexander the Great, Black Classicists and Michael Ventris are to be found in Attachment F 

Classical Association NI

So, as C-19 Travel, Museum and Archaeological restrictions abate (although Brexit hurdles remain) , check out your Passports without getting too stressed by the media hype  , plan out your route based on Roman roads with Omnes Viae and be thankful it no longer takes over 250 days to cross the Empire!

Omnes Viae

Best Wishes,

Sarah and John and the Hellene Team!