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The Building Arts of Greece, Ancient and Modern

The Building Arts of Greece, Ancient and Modern

The Building Arts of Greece, Ancient and Modern

This two week journey will introduce you to the birthplace of Western Civilization as you visit Greece’s great archeological sites, meet craftsmen, and experience the beauty of the mountains, sea, and Greek culture.

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This two week journey will introduce you to the birthplace of Western Civilization as you visit Greece’s great archeological sites, meet craftsmen, and experience the beauty of the mountains, sea, and Greek culture.

Bronze Age Arts, Artisans, and the Development of Western Civilization

Beginning in Athens, your study abroad journey will balance an overview of the historical highlights of Greece while providing the context for the development of the arts. Together with your professors and local guide you will visit the Parthenon, Agora, Delphi, Olympia, Mycenae, and the ancient theater of Epidaurus. When not visiting historic sites you’ll meet with sculptors, stone masons, wood workers, traditional gunsmiths, and participate in the ancient art of ceramics.

When not strolling among the ruins of ancient temples, you’ll have time to draw, meet with local artisans, learn about the traditions of honey harvesting and olive oil, and have time to walk through town or immerse yourself in the beauty of Greece by swimming in the sea. This trip will provide a foundational experience of the humanities by drawing connections between the building arts, Greek mythology, architecture, nature, commerce, and the freedom of expression provided by democracy.

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Day 1

Welcome to Athens

Your study abroad program will begin with an orientation meeting and lunch where you will meet your Alithea guide for an introduction to Athens and traveling in Greece.

After checking into your hotel, your first stop will be a walking orientation through the historic center of Athens followed by a visit to the Acropolis and Parthenon where your guide will introduce you to the Athens relationship between art and architecture, politics, mythology, and the conditions of human flourishing.

This evening you’ll celebrate at the foot of the Acropolis with a traditional Greek dinner.

Day 2

The Architecture of Athens

After breakfast in your hotel, your study abroad will continue with a focus on Athenian architecture and art as you visit to the Acropolis Museum where you’ll have time to study the original relief sculptures of the Parthenon.

Mid-morning your study abroad will continue with a visit to the Agora, the birthplace of democracy and the temple of Hephaestus the Greek god of craftsmen. You’ll be free this afternoon to use your combination ticket to visit the Temple of Zeus, Hadrian’s Library, the Roman Forum, and the site of Aristotle's University.

Day 3

The National Archeological Museum

This morning you will visit the National Archeological Museum of Greece where your guide will focus on the development of perspective from the Bronze age and early cycladic art until the Roman statuary of the first and second century A.D. The greatest single collection of art in Greece, this museum illustrates the expression of human freedom and perspective through the history of Greece.

At the conclusion of this morning’s tour, you will be given time to draw or study your favorite piece of Greek art. This afternoon you’ll be free to explore Athens on your own.

Day 4

The Ancient Sanctuary of Delphi

After breakfast in the hotel, you’ll depart Athens early towards the ancient sanctuary of Delphi. Perhaps the most beautiful of all Greek archeological sites, this ancient center of knowing was dedicated to Apollo, the god of knowledge and the protector of the arts. It sits just below Mount Parnassus, the birthplace of the muses, was considered the center of the world, and was the site of the Delphic oracle and the imperative, know thyself.

Your study abroad will introduce you to the interplay between mythology, natural beauty, architecture, and aesthetics. After visiting the archaeological site you’ll visit the museum where you'll see the great marble statues of the sanctuary along with the bronze charioteer.

Following your visit to the ancient sanctuary, you’ll head over to the new town of Delphi for lunch overlooking the panorama of the valley below.

After lunch, you’ll continue towards Patra, checking into your hotel in the early evening, followed by a brief orientation and a free evening.

Day 5

The Architecture, Olive Oil, and Honey

After breakfast in your hotel, your study abroad will continue with an architectural tour through the old city of Patra.

The rest of your day will focus on the interplay between nature, culture, and the traditions of Greece as you visit a honey cultivator, an olive oil press, and learn the recipes of Greeks while cooking in a local home.

Day 6

Handmade guns and Cefalonia

This morning your study abroad journey will depart from Patra for a visit to a traditional gun maker in nearby Messolonghi where you’ll learn how the guns were made that were used in the Greek war of independence.

Following lunch, you will continue to the nearby island of Cefalonia. This evening after checking into our seaside hotel we’ll celebrate with a seaside dinner.

Day 7

Landscapes and swimming

Today is a free day with no scheduled activities. Swim in the nearby sea or take time to draw the landscapes that inspired the epic journeys of Homeric Greece.

Day 8

Ancient Olympia and a Sculpture Workshop

This morning your study abroad will return to the mainland of Greece for a visit to the ancient sanctuary of Olympia. Dedicated to the Olympia Zeus, his gold and ivory statue was one of the seven wonders of the ancient world. It was here that the Olympian games were held, once every four years, for almost twelve hundred years.

Your visit to the sanctuary will conclude with a tour of the archeological museum where you’ll be given time to study the temple relief’s, votive offerings, ceramics, and the bronze weaponry of the ancients.

After lunch your day will continue with a visit to the workshop of a sculptor before continuing your journey to the mountain town of Dimitsana where you’ll have dinner together after checking into your hotel.

Day 9

Blacksmith and Stone Masonry

Dimitsana is located in the mountains in central Greece and is famous for its unspoiled beauty. Today’s study abroad activities will be spent visiting the workshops of a local stone mason and a local black smith. In each of these visits, students will have an opportunity to observe the master craftsmen working their crafts.

The later part of the afternoon will be unscheduled with an opportunity to visit the gunpowder museum.

Day 10

Ancient Frescoes and Cliffside Monasteries

Pack your hiking shoes because this morning your study abroad activities will begin with a visit to the frescoed church of New Philosophy monastery followed by a hike across the Lousios gorge to the cliffside monastery of Prodromos with its seven hundred year old frescoes.

Weather depending, you’ll conclude your hike through the Lousios gorge at ancient Gortys, an Aesclypian center of healing, where you’ll have an opportunity to take a dip in the frigid waters of the river, followed by a picnic lunch.

Day 11

The Lions Gate and the Cyclops Walls

After breakfast this morning your study abroad will depart from Arcadia for Mycenae, the fifteenth century B.C. fortress and former palace of king Agamemnon, of Homer’s Iliad. Here you’ll see the oldest bronze age large relief sculpture in the massive Lion’s gate. These stone walls, now three and a half-thousand years old, were believed to have been built by the cyclops for their enormous size.

In addition to the fortress, you’ll see the tomb of Agamemnon, another architectural marvel of its time with its honeycomb design.

After freetime to explore the museum or draw the bronze age stone work, you’ll depart the archeological site, stopping for lunch before checking into your hotel in Nafplio. This evening you’ll be free to explore town on your own.

Day 12

Epidaurus, the Ancient Center of Healing

After breakfast in your hotel, your journey through the ancient archeological and architectural sites of Greece will continue with a guided tour of Epidaurus. This site was the center of healing for the ancient world and dedicated to the god Aesclepius.

After a visit to the sanctuary and museum, your tour will conclude in the ancient theater whose acoustic is so spectacular that even today it’s possible to hear a coin drop from every seat.

Early afternoon, you’ll return to Nafplio for an afternoon of sketching from the castle of Palamidi or the nearby sea.

Day 13

Ceramics and farewell

After a free morning in Nafplio, you will visit a local ceramic artist for an opportunity to put everything you’ve seen and learnt over your Greek journey into practice as you create your own ceramics following the traditional techniques of ancient Greece.

This evening your study abroad program will conclude with a farewell dinner with time for celebratory toasts to the ancient teachers who paved the way, not only for the craftsmen of Western Civilization, but also for the love of beauty and wisdom.

Day 14

Airport and Departure

After breakfast in your hotel or an early morning swim in the sea, you’ll say a dio to Greece as you head to the airport, making one last stop to see the canal of Corinth before heading to the airport and returning to Charleston.

Day 14
Day 15

Day 15
sample Itinerary
· Day 1  
Arrive in Rome, get settled into the Villa Lante, our beautiful convent residence. This afternoon we’ll stroll through the city visiting Santa Maria in Cosmedin, the Capitoline, and the Pantheon before celebrating our first night with a traditional Roman dinner.

· Day 2
This morning we’ll visit the Forum and Palatine, taking time to read excepts from Cicero, Plutarch, and Livy.

· Day 3
Today we’ll travel to Subiaco to visit the first Monastery of Saint Benedict. Returning to the city after lunch, we’ll stop to see Santa Costanza, Saint Agnese outside the walls, and the Catacombs of Priscilla.

· Day 4
This morning we’ll visit the Scavi of Saint Peters, tour the Basilica, then visit the Vatican Museum.

· Day 5
After breakfast this morning, we’ll depart for Pompeii, the ancient Roman city destroyed (and preserved) by the eruption of Vesuvius.  

· Day 6
Students who wish to attend Sunday services this morning may do so. In the later part of the day we’ll regroup to visit Saint Peter in Chains, San Clemente, and conclude the day with vespers.  

· Day 7
This morning we will visit the Borghese Gallery and make a tour of churches with the works of Caravaggio in Rome.

· Day 8
We’ll depart by train for Florence. After checking into our hotel, we’ll visit the central market for lunch, have a walking tour through Medieval and Renaissance Florence, and conclude with a visit to the Accademia and Michelangelo’s David.

· Day 9
This morning we’ll visit San Marco, visit the Baptistry and climb Bruneleschi’s dome. This afternoon we’ll be free to explore the city in small groups before regrouping for vespers in San Miniato.  

· Day 10
This morning we’ll visit the Uffizi Gallery followed by a free afternoon with small group visits to Dante’s house, the Bargello, and Santa Croce. This evening we’ll celebrate with a Tuscan feast.

· Day 11
Depart Florence, fly home.

12 Days In Turkey

· Istanbul, 3 days: Hagia Sophia, Hagai Irene, Chora, Patriarchate, underground cistern, Grand Bazaar, Topkapi Palace

· Cappadocia, 3 days: Gorem church, underground city and churches, open air monastery, Hittite Pottery lecture, and hot air balloon ride.

· Pergamon, 1 night: an ancient Roman city where Paul preached and one of the churches of Revelation.

· Sardis, stop only: One of the oldest synagogues, one of the churches of Revelation to whom it is written:  “If therefore thou shalt not watch, I will come on thee as a thief, and thou shalt not know what hour I will come upon thee.”

· Loadacia, (2 nights in Pamukkale): one of the churches of Revelation, to whom it is written: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.”

· Hierapolis: archeological site of the ancient city and the monument to the martyrdom of St. Phillip.

· Miletus: one of the stops on St. Paul’s third missionary journey.

· Ephesus, (3 nights Kusadisi): the Basilica of Saint John, Ephesus, House of Mary, and Basilica of Mary

· Tarsus, (possible extension): the birthplace of St. Paul, center of stoic philosophy, where paul trained at the gymnasium

· Antioch, (possible extension): the church of St. Peter (one of the oldest churches in the world), center of Paul’s missionary journeys, and first site where Christians took the name.


Guided by the image of the Incarnation, that “God was made flesh and dwelt among us” in order that we might become like Him, a pilgrimage is more than a trip to the places of the bible, to the sites of the early church, or to the homes of the saints, it is a journey that seeks to place the image of Christ in us that we might be made more like Him.


The antidote to consumer travel, the goal of pilgrimage is for travelers to stand as Moses before the burning bush, to be transformed, and to have their own lives taken up and changed by the spiritual realities they seek.

Each day will incorporate suggested readings from scripture and the writings of the early church, time for private or shared reflection and prayer, and meals that celebrate the joy of God in neighbor.

A prayerful understanding of place

For Christians, place is never just the created, natural order, nor is it pure, spiritual reality, it must always be both. A pilgrimage encounter with place must both seek God in place, in the finite and particular, through the lives and examples of the Saints and it must require travelers to take those footsteps themselves, each traveler must seek to move through place to God. From this perspective, pilgrimage is an image of prayer, it seeks to turn the body, the footsteps, the act of every traveler into the image of prayer.


The modern country is the geographic center of many of the events of the bible and early church. It is in in Turkey that Abraham circumcised Isaac, that Jacob wrestled the angel, that Paul and Peter founded the church of Antioch, that Byzantine Christianity thrived for more than thousand years, and to this day it is the home of the Armenian Apostolic tradition, the Assyrian church, and it is the only county where Aramaic, the language of Christ, is still spoken.


To challenge the apathy and aimlessness of our current cultural moment with mental discipline and rigorous training.


• Early morning workouts
• Rucking
• Pre-dawn Mount Kerkis hike
• Hike to Cave of Pythagoras
• Underwater rock hauling
• Megalo Seitani hike
• Ice baths
• Roasted lamb or goat on a spit
• Big meals with an abundance of food, roasted meats, wine, toasts, and a spirit of fellowship and conviviality
• Camaraderie, contemplation, and conversation
• Open-water swims and spearfishing (optional)


SQ4 coaches men to achieve a higher level of fitness and athletic excellence by blending the principles of ancient philosophy with the empirical depth of modern exercise science designed to permanently enhance their life, mindset, habits, and physique.


The key to a lasting fitness transformation is understanding the layered nature of man.  The SQ4 methodology is based on the ancient understanding of man and virtue that transcends cultures and epochs:

• Psyche – Life – Courage
• Nous – Mindset – Wisdom
• Pneuma – Habits – Temperance
• Soma – Physique – Justice


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• Daily pilates
• Biking the trans humana ancient shepherd paths
• Cooking lesson
• Winery and Olive Oil visits
• Castel del Monte of Frederick II
• Visits to locals towns
• Relaxing evenings of wine, food, and a spirit of celebration
• Practicing keeping the body young with age
• Meeting with local pottersSpa and self-care


More than a trip to Italy, this weeklong travel-retreat will focus on being healthy physically and mentally through activities that nourish and rejuvenate. Whether detoxing from cell phones, work, or other daily demands, this is an opportunity to be in the moment, to enjoy delicious Italian food, wine, and the fresh perspectives provided by a stunning Italian landscape.


Self care doesn’t just mean pampering, it means intentionality. Pilates trains your body to make intelligent movements that support your body all day, every day. Travel encourages a perspective of vulnerability, of stepping into the new and beautiful in order to rediscover the new and beautiful within yourself. From this perspective, an experience of the ‘importance of place’ in Puglia is equally to realize that connectedness within yourself.


All breakfasts and 11 lunches or dinners
All tour related transportation - Flights to and from Athens
13 nights accommodation
Alithea tour manager, local guide and all included study abroad activities and entrances
Your friendly Alithea tour manager for the duration of the tour.
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For further questions don't hesitate to reach out to us directly.



Pack Light

You will stay in centrally located hotels and historic palaces in the city centers which will often mean needing to walk between your train and hotels. Between destinations you will be required to carry your own luggage which may include significant stairs and no elevator. You are encouraged to take a simple carry-on size bag with a small backpack for outings. This principle of traveling light is also a metaphor for travel, it encourages travelers to live in the moment, to participate as locals, and to embrace a spirit of discovery and joy in each moment.

Come Prepared

While you will not be required to bring your hammer and chisel, you must bring your desire to learn, to be inspired, and to aspire to follow the example of the great monuments and examples of history. Just as the ACBA provides an antidote to a superficial approach to education; this trip has been created as a response to mass, consumer-style travel. Each experience emphasizes the transformative power of people and places. Come prepared to walk, to learn, to listen, and to have fun.

Bus and Travel Time

We will take the bus and high-speed train in order to arrive at the spectacular destinations we’ll be visiting. We’ll not only use this time to relax and enjoy the view but also to prepare with our Alithea guide for the sites we’ll visit next.


For further questions don't hesitate to reach out to us directly.

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Reserve Your Place

The Building Arts of Greece, Ancient and Modern

A $500 deposit is required to reserve your spot. All deposits and discounts (if applicable) will be applied to the total tour price. Deposits are refundable within 30 days of payment.

*Read our refund policy here
A Christian Classical Approach to Travel
Travel encourages a living experience of art, history, and ideas that transforms the classroom into an immersive experience of truth, beauty, and goodness. Museums, meals, archeological sites, and foreign languages are not merely artifacts that help students consider the world, they cultivate a love of wonder, moral imagination, and a rich understanding of the truth. More than a student trip, travel is an invitation to become a lifelong practitioner of the loves that shape the soul.
The Prayerful Traditions of Europe
Rather than treating churches and monasteries as defunct historical monuments, Alithea and Oakdale Academy invite students to approach them as places of prayer and worship