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The Stones of Ancient Latium

Inscriptions, Archaeological Remains, and the Geographic Contexts of Latium Vetus

Program Details

Epigraphy and Archaeology Program in Italy:

May 25 to July 1, 2011


The program will run from the morning of May 25 to the afternoon of June 31, 2011. Students should plan to arrive in Rome by May 24 and depart no earlier than July 2, 2011.

The total cost for the 2011 Latium Vetus Program was $4,400, which included:

  • Housing from May 24, 2011 through July 1, 2011
  • travel to archaeological sites and museums within Italy
  • admission to museums and sites

The program fee does not include food, personal expenses, or discretionary travel on weekends.  For students based in Europe, who do not require accommodations in Rome or who have other special circumstances, it may be possible  to arrange a reduced program fee.


I. Student Housing and Dining

II. Student Requirements

III. Travel Information

IV. Travel Advice

V. Personal Safety


This program will be based at the campus of the Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata” and will have the use of the new and modern dormitory and dining facilities: Campus Tor Vergata. These facilities offer suite-style accommodations with a central living area with refrigerator, microwave, gas stove, dining table, and couch, adjoined to a pair of single-bed bedrooms.  Wireless internet is available on the campus of “Tor Vergata” and in the dormitories, and it is included in the program fee.  The use of the dining facilities of “Tor Vergata” have also been made available at a highly competitive rate of seven (7) Euro per lunch or dinner.  The Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata” is conveniently connected to Rome and its environs by bus and subway, and has made the use of its private bus service available to the program.  In sum, these factors allow the program to offer students unique access to the sites and remains of Ancient Latium, while fostering a close scholarly collaboration between the students and instructors of Tufts University and the Università degli Studi di Roma “Tor Vergata”.


These facilities offer suite-style accommodations with a central living area with refrigerator, microwave, gas stove, dining table, and couch, adjoined to a pair of single-bed bedrooms. Wireless internet access in the individual rooms is included.


The use of the dining facilities of “Tor Vergata” have also been made available at a highly competitive rate of seven (7) Euro per lunch or dinner.  A grocery store is located beside the dormitories that will allow the students to purchase food for lunches on-site and for cooking, if they so desire.


The following are requirements for participation in the program:


All American students must have a U.S. passport valid until at least October 2011 to be allowed into Italy.  You will not require a visa so long as you do not remain in Italy for more than three months.  It is advisable to leave a photocopy of your passport behind with someone at home and to file your travel information online with the U.S. Department of State.


Each student will need to bring a Wi-Fi capable laptop computer (either Apple or PC). Each participant should acquire and install a copy of Oxygen XML editor ( ) for encoding inscriptions in XML *and* either an educational licence ($48) or a 30-day trial licence (free). Don’t worry if you don’t know how to use it!  Course readings and materials will be distributed as .PFD files.

  • i.Adapter plugs for European sockets are available through Apple Computer, Best Buy, and other stores.


Although, emergency medical services are covered by the government in Italy,  students should arrange for additional medical or evacuation insurance for travel abroad: e.g. through their own insurance or through STA travel or similar companies.

d.Cell phone capable of operation in Europe

Students must either purchase a pay-as-you-go European cell phone, when they arrive.  (The Program will assist students in purchasing such phones in the first days of the program.)  This is the less expensive alternative.  Alternately, students may have their USA cell phone enabled for operation in Europe: e.g. ATT offers international service on many of their phones.)

  • i.USA phones must usually be enabled for European roaming before departing from the USA.
  • ii.If students do bring a smartphone (e.g. an iPhone), they should make sure that its data features are not set to automatically check mail or otherwise access data, as this could result in large fees.


All students must submit the following information in digital format (.pdf) to the program by May 1, 2011:

  • i.copy (scan) of student’s passport.
  • ii.copy of complete flight itinerary
  • iii.list of any medical conditions and allergies to drugs or foods
  • iv.full contact information for parents, spouse, or other responsible relatives remaining in the USA
  • v.medical insurance policy numbers and information


The following are general guidelines that students should keep in mind while preparing for their time in Italy.

a.International Flights

Airline tickets at significantly reduced student rates can be purchased online through Student Universe, STA Travel, and other student travel operators.

b.Arriving from the USA

Students arriving by air should plan to arrive at Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport (airport code is FCO), aka Fiumicino Airport, near Rome on May 24, 2011 by 12:00 pm (noon); this means departing from the U.S. on the 23rd of May.  After passing through customs, they should gather at the wooden sculpture of the Vitruvian Man by Leonardo (Uomo Vitruviano) at the center of the terminal, where a member of the program will collect arriving students.  When all students have arrived, we will proceed to the Università of Roma “Tor Vergata” by bus.

  • i.International Flights – Plan to arrive at the airport at least three hours before the flight.  Make sure to not attempt to carry on any forbidden items: e.g. liquids over a certain volume, fingernail clippers, etc.  Check such items.  Once past security, you may want to buy some water for the flight.  Stay hydrated and stretch your legs.  Cat nap all that you can.
  • ii.Students Arriving by Ground Transportation – If not arriving by air, students should make their way to Termini station (the main train station of Rome) on May 24, 2011 by noon.  Termini station is well connected to all of the major Italian cites.  In addition, there is overnight (sleeper car) service from many major cites to Termini: e.g. Paris.  Purchase such tickets well ahead of time, since their numbers are limited.  From Termini Station, take the RED metro line east to Anagnina station (the last stop).  At Anagnina station, take the bus to the Università of Roma “Tor Vergata”.

c.Travel Groups

When we are visiting archaeological sites in Latium and Campania, we will travel in a group with half of the students assigned to each professor.  Students will also be assigned to groups of three to four students in order to watch out for each other and prevent anyone from becoming separated from the main group.  Before visiting each site, we will designate rendezvous points on the map of the site, in the unlikely event that any sub-group happened to become separated.  In addition, both professors will have cell phones at all times, as will all students.

  • i.Travel on Weekends – It is required that students inform the Program by email of their travel plans, and it is recommended that students travel in groups and seek the advice of the professors concerning the optimal way to independently see particular cities or sites.

d.Departing from Italy

For students directly returning to the USA after the program, the professors will lead a group to the Leonardo Express platform at Termini Station in Roma for the train to Leonardo Da Vinci International Airport, aka Fiumicino Airport, on July 2, 2011.  It is recommended that students attempt to avoid flights that depart early in the morning.


The following are general guidelines that students should keep in mind while preparing for their time in Italy.

a.Prescription Drugs

Be sure to come to Italy with an adequate supply of any prescription medication.  It is also wise to carry these on your person and in the original pharmacy containers when clearing customs and to have a copy of the prescription.  There are many pharmacies in Italy, but they may not stock the same brands.


Sunblock – with a high SPF rating (40+) – is strongly recommended.  Sunblock tends to be much more expensive and have lower SPF in Europe; bring some from the USA.  Although we will endeavor to give lectures and hold discussions in the shade when possible, students should be prepared to spend several hours at a time in strong sunlight, while exploring archaeological sites.

c.Clothing and Sundries

Clothing that is loose-fitting (at least as an upper layer) and that blocks the sun as much as possible is best.  You must plan to dress tastefully while at archaeological sites, museums, and churches.  Long pants are advisable, as well as t-shirts, rather than shorts and tank-tops.  Washing machines in Europe are frequently less than gentle with clothing, so plan to hand wash anything delicate.  Bring the following articles:

  • high-quality sunglasses (must block UVA and UVB)
  • a wide-brimmed hat
  • at lease one pair of long, but cool, pants
  • shoes with ankle support
  • hiking sandals (e.g. Teva)
  • swimming attire (there will be opportunities to swim)
  • nicer clothing for dining or weekend travel
  • light jacket (e.g. polartech)
  • packable umbrella or rain jacket
  • small backpack for food, water, or clothes (NOT for valuables or money)
  • security wallet for passport, cash, cards, documents
  • small flashlight (e.g. AA Maglight)
  • small English-Italian dictionary/phrasebook

d. Personal Items

If there are particular brands or types of toiletries and personal hygiene items that you strongly prefer, come adequately supplied, as you will be unlikely to find identical brands, etc. in Italy.

e.Additional Funds

Although the program fee covers lodging and some meals, students will need to purchase most meals at the “Tor Vergata” dining hall (7 Euro), restaurants, or grocery stores, and will likely want to have additional funds for travel and admissions on the weekends.  The rate of exchange between the U.S. dollar and the Euro is somewhat variable, but is usually near 1.4 Dollars per Euro.  Visa or Mastercard are widely accepted.  Debit cards are usually the best way of exchanging money.  It is important to keep track of the rates of exchange. Some general sample prices are given below:

  • McDonald’s Meal6-7 euro
  • Low-end Restaurant meal (no wine)13 euro
  • Hostel (1 person)25 euro
  • Cheap Hotel (2 persons)60 euro
  • Middle range Cheap Hotel (2 persons)80 euro
  • Load of laundry8 euro
  • Admission to Pompeii10 euro
  • Ferry to Capri (one way)13 euro
  • Slow Train (Regionale) from Rome to Florence (one way)20 euro
  • Faster Train (IC+) from Rome to Florence (one way)35 euro

If you plan to travel in Italy or Europe before or after the field program, consider doing so beforehand.  Many Europeans travel in July and August, making the rates higher and the sites more crowded.


There are multiple levels of train service in Italy, varying in speed, luxury, and price.  CANCEL YOUR TICKET BEFORE YOU BOARD THE TRAIN at the yellow ticket machines at the start of the platforms.  There is a large fine for not canceling your ticket before travel.


Italy is, in general, as safe a country to visit as the United States, if not safer; however, there are many pickpockets in certain areas and a certain degree of due diligence and discretion is always wise, no matter where one happens to be.  If there happened to be an emergency, one of the professors is Italian, and there will often be other Italian students and experts on hand to assist with negotiating the Italian system.

a.Money, Credit Cards, and Travel Documents

You should keep your money, cards, and travel documents (passport, airline tickets) in a security wallet under your shirt or on your belt.  It is best to keep the money that you will spend in a day in a separate secured pouch from the one that contains your cards and documents.  A pocket is not a secure place to carry money.


If you do not need it, do not bring it.  Leave expensive watches and jewelry at home.  If you bring an SLR camera, it might be wise to wear the strap over the head and one arm while in urban areas.  It would be safest to leave your laptop in your room at “Tor Vergata”, when traveling on the weekends.  Hotels do not usually safes for valuables.


Street traffic in Italy can be chaotic.  DO NOT assume that it is safe to cross a street if the light is green or the street is one-way.  Always use extra caution, and particularly watch for motorcycles, especially motorini.

d.Italian Law

Generally speaking, similar laws prevail in Italy as in the USA.  Students should maintain composure and self-control, and they should not engage in any illicit activities.

  • i.Artifacts – Do not pick up any artifacts at archaeological sites.  Under no conditions should any student attempt to take any item that might be construed as an artifact to the USA.
  • ii.Antiquities – Antiquities, e.g. Roman coins or pottery, that might be legally sold in Europe may not be exported to the USA without complete paperwork.  It is best to avoid purchasing anything but modern souvenirs.

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