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Great Connections in Greece and Italy

Below is a picture of the lagoon on Lesbos where Aristotle started the world’s first systematic research project, studying myriad species of animals and plants, and laid the foundations of biology and politics. It’s only an hour from Erressos and Mytilene, where Sappho, one of the world’s greatest poets, strolled the sands of the Aegean.


Would you like to see that lagoon for yourself? Discuss Sappho’s poetry with us on those beaches?

Would you like to see the site of the ancient Olympics, and the town of Jason and the Argonauts? Or explore Mycenae, while reading The Illiad? Mycenae was the home of King Agamemnon whose runaway sister-in-law Helen triggered the Trojan War.

Or read Plato while visiting The Academia? Or walk and discuss questions about how we know and how we should live, as Aristotle and his Peripatetics did, at The Lyceum.

Or fly across the Adriatic, following the explorations of the ancient Greeks to the colony of Syracusa, Sikelia (Sicily) where we’ll study one of the world’s greatest and most creative mathematicians, physicists and inventors, Archimedes. The founder of hydrostatics, one of the masters of geometry, and the inventor of a death ray that decimated Roman ships, he’s well-known for declaring “Eureka!”

Do you want to revel in Greece and Italy’s history, ideas, great natural beauty — and art, capping off our trip by viewing the magnificent Riace Bronzes and other treasures of Magna Graecia (larger Greece) at the Museo Reggio Calabria?

Greek Thought Mingled with Greek Beaches

Join us for a special Great Connections program next summer in Greece and Italy.

We’ll study Greek myths and the works of Homer, Euripides, Sappho, Plato, Aristotle, Archimedes and others while we visit the places they worked and lived. If you’ve attended one of our programs, you already know what an empowering and enlightening experience you will have at The Great Connections—you’ll get it only more so in these legendary places.

We’ll visit archeological sites and museums, enjoy beautiful Greek artwork, partake of stunningly fresh seafood and other Greek specialties, and their nightlife. All while discussing magnificent works of the ancients.


PRICE: $1,710 - $3,675 (depending on length of trip and accommodation choice)
DOWNPAYMENT: $445 - $750 (depending on length of trip and accommodation choice)
LIMITED TO: 30 participants

The 2-week program costs $2,875 for 3 star accommodations or $3,850 for 4 star accommodations. Included:

  • All hotels and breakfast
  • Roundtrip air to Lesvos
  • One-way air to Catania
  • Private coach transportation in Greece and Italy
  • All instruction

You can also opt for a 1-week trip (Greece only) for $2110 (June 16-23) which includes all instruction. Single occupancy is available for $400 more for two weeks/$250 for one week.


  • Meet us in Athens on Saturday, June 16th, where we’ll enjoy the city in the evening.
  • On Sunday morning, we’ll fly to the island of Lesvos to explore its riches. 
  • We'll return to the mainland Tuesday, to Athens where we’ll visit the sites of Plato’s Academy and Aristotle’s Lyceum, explore the Acropolis and its museum among other sights.
  • On Thursday evening, we’ll travel by private coach to Corinth, and, over the next few days, visit Mycenae, Argos, and Olympia.
  • On the following Tuesday, June 26th, we’ll get back to Athens and fly to Sicily (Magna Graecia) for the finish. During the trip, we'll enjoy many Aegean beaches and cap it off with fabulous Taormina beach in Sicily!

You will need to meet us in Athens on Saturday, June 16th, and plan to return home from Catania, Sicily, on June 30. Your best bet for airfare is online websites like Kayak and Momondo; the phone app Hopper is great for watching and predicting the best time to buy your ticket. You can see the entire itinerary including what we’ll read, watch, and do, here.

Here is an example of the 3-star hotel, here is an example of the four-star hotel.

  • After your initial payment, we will send you a link to all of the readings, so you can read in advance and print your reading book.
  • In May, we will send you the exact itinerary, including hotels, Lesvos and Catania flights, and activities.

If you wish to register after February 1st, please contact us at info (at) for your payment amounts.

You can send payments by check to:

The RIF Institute
9400 S. Damen Avenue
Chicago, IL 60643

Or call us at (773) 677-6418 with your registration and credit card information.

There is a strict limit of 20 people on this trip, please register soon.

Contact the trip leader, Marsha Familaro Enright at (773) 677-6418 with any questions. And get your passports ready!