The Rome Experience: 5 Grecian Wonders
Date Published: Oct. 13, 2016
As our Romers return from their traditional 10-day Greece trip as part of our acclaimed
sophomore Rome Program, we’re reminded again of the beauty inherent in the “rosy-fingered dawn” of a Greek
sunrise — like the ones Homer described in The Odyssey — or the pleasure of eating your first authentic gyro from Athens’ marketplace. Immersed
in the history and culture of the western world by visiting more than a dozen cities
and historic archaeological sites, Romers are forever changed.
For freshmen or prospective Crusaders who haven’t yet experienced this pilgrimage
to the “Cradle of Western Civilization,” here are five captivating sights in Greece,
in no particular order, to prepare you and entice you to travel to Greece with UD’s
Archaeological Site of Epidauros
Among Greece’s most important archaeological sites, Epidauros features the great theater
of Epidaurus, the most beautifully preserved theater of the ancient world. With acoustics
perfect for reenacting a Greek drama, the amphitheatre of Epidaurus is unlike any
other theatrical experience, making this a top destination and sight among Romers.
“It was amazing to physically be in this space, where before we could have only dreamed
of what Epidauros looked like,” said fall 2015 Romer Samuel Pate, BA ’18.
Towering above the city of Delphi, which was one of the first stops for Romers, Mount
Parnassus is one of Greece’s tallest mountains. To this day the ancient city of Delphi,
once an ancient religious sanctuary sacred to the god Apollo, was built atop the slopes
of Mount Parnassus. Delphi is considered one of the most important archaeological
sites in Greece.
“For me, Mount Parnassus is a piece of heaven,” said fall 2011 Romer Vallery Bergez,
BA ’14, who spent nearly two years as a residence coordinator at UD’s Due Santi campus
Archaeological Site of Olympia
Where the Olympic Games were born, and here once vibrant, roaring rivers sustained
one of the most influential Greek sanctuaries of the ancient world. Where you can
see the Temple of Zeus, inside of which one of the Seven Wonders of Word once stood
— the giant gold and ivory statue of Zeus, constructed by the famous Athenian sculptor
Phidias. Olympia is one of the 10-day Greece trip’s last and most popular stops.
“The foot race was such an amazing experience because we got to compete against not
only our classmates, but also our professors and resident coordinators,” recalled
spring 2016 Romer Andrew Gochuico, BA ’18, of racing on the original Olympic track.
The Acropolis of Athens
The Acropolis of Athens — the most famous citadel of ancient Greece — was built over
2,500 years ago on a rocky, steep hill overlooking Athens. Having survived centuries
of war, bombardments, earthquakes and harsh weather, the Acropolis of Athens is an
architectural marvel of the ancient world. The Parthenon, dedicated to the patron-goddess
Athena, has had many uses since its creation: Byzantine Christians converted it into
a church; the Ottomans used it as a garrison; and the Latin Duchy of Athens turned
it into a cathedral.
“The view of Athens from the Acropolis is absolutely breathtaking and the temples
there are so magnificent,” said Gochuico. “One week we were learning about the Parthenon
and then a few weeks later we were actually in Athens staring up at the Parthenon.”
The Agora of Athens
A favorite for Romers, and perhaps the most important archaeological site of the Greek
capital: the Agora of Athens. It was once the mighty heart of this eternal city, where
Greek democracy was first developed and practiced. Politicians gathered, and juries
voted. Once surrounded by public buildings and grand temples — dedicated to the Greek
gods Zeus, Athena, Apollo and Ares — the Agora of Athens stayed in use for more than
“The color and the culture and the sheer size of the city, ancient and modern coexisting,
was wonderful to witness,” said spring 2001 Romer Callie Ewing, BA ’03.
For those who've already traveled to Greece and experienced the ancient ruins of the
Western world with UD’s Rome Program, what are some of your favorite sights? Share
your memories on UD’s Facebook and Twitter accounts.