Viva Marconi! Viva L'Italia!

October 04, 2019 - October 13, 2019

Marconi in Italy – a private tour for the Members and Friends of Chatham Marconi Maritime Center

Guglielmo Marconi, the Italian scientist, inventor and Nobel Laureate, was born in Bologna in 1874 and died in Rome in 1937. He led an extraordinarily rich life which included establishing the first transatlantic radio transmitters on Cape Cod, and is universally renowned for his development of wireless telegraphy and radio.

On a private tour, specially designed for the Members & Friends of Chatham Marconi Maritime Center, we explore the places in Italy particularly associated with Marconi’s life and work, enjoying privileged access and expert lectures; meet with Marconi’s daughter, Princess Elettra Marconi; and visit some of the splendid monuments of Italy’s architectural heritage.  We stay in very comfortable and characterful hotels (one in Rome, one in Bologna) and our journey is enhanced by the fine wines and cuisine of central Italy.



Day 1         Friday 4 October 2019     

Overnight flights from Boston Logan airport with Alitalia (direct) or preferred carrier.

Day 2        Saturday 5 October 2019           D included

After meeting by midday at Rome Fiumicino airport, we have a private road transfer to our historic hotel in the heart of Rome’s historic centre, ideally located for exploring independently on foot. We settle into our rooms and have some time to rest before meeting for aperitivi and our introductory dinner.

River Palace Hotel or similar

Day 3         Sunday 6 October 2019         B, L included

This morning a guided walking tour of our immediate area introduces iconic sites such as the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the 2C Roman Pantheon. Lunch in a typical trattoria is followed by a free afternoon – the opportunity perhaps to check out the local food markets of the Campo d’Fiori, visit St Peter’s or the Colosseum, or simply soak up the atmosphere of Italy’s capital and sample an authentic gelato. 

Select where you dine tonight from one of the many traditional restaurants within a short stroll from our hotel.

River Palace Hotel or similar

Day 4        Monday 7 October 2019     B, L included

We set off after breakfast by private coach, heading for the elegant seaside resort of Santa Marinella, the birthplace of Princess Elettra Marconi. Professor Livio Spinelli, noted authority on Marconi’s scientific accomplishments, will give a talk highlighting the parallels between Chatham and Marconi’s experiments with radio from his yacht Elettra, which was moored offshore here in the 1920s. We visit the Marconi Science Park and the Castello Odescalchi before a seafood lunch and then a private transfer to Bologna (4.5hrs). Our hotel (for the next six nights) is perfectly located in the pedestrianized historic center of the city.

Art Hotel Orologio or similar

Day 5         Tuesday 8 October 2019                         B, L, D included

On a morning’s guided walking tour we visit Europe’s oldest University (founded in 1088) to see the frescoed library and the Anatomy Theatre, then explore the monuments and churches of the bustling Piazza Maggiore. On a free afternoon you can climb the medieval “leaning towers”, wander the famous porticoes lined with elegant shops, or visit the many museums of the city. We reconvene for a formal dinner showcasing the food of Emilia-Romagna, often considered the finest in Italy.

Art Hotel Orologio or similar

Day 6       Wednesday 9 October 2019                  B, L included

Today’s visit to Marconi’s ancestral estate and burial place is guided by both Princess Elettra and Prof. Spinelli. The Villa Griffone, a National Monument, and seat of the Marconi Foundation, is 10 miles outside Bologna and has been carefully restored, preserving the “Silkworm Room” as it would have been in 1895 when Maroni broadcasted the world’s first wireless signal; and also housing a recreation of the Marconi Wireless Room aboard the Titanic. The late afternoon and evening are left free for individual explorations in Bologna.

Art Hotel Orologio or similar

Day 7        Thursday 10 October 2019                                                               B, L, D included 

On a full day trip to Ravenna (1.5 hours each way by private coach), we discover the city’s late Roman and Byzantine architecture and have guided visits to a number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites, world-renowned for their glorious Byzantine mosaics. This evening we plan a reception, guided and hosted by Princess Elettra, in the 16C Palazzo Marconi (currently under restoration) in the historic heart of Bologna.

Art Hotel Orologio or similar

Day 8         Friday 11 October 2019                     B, L included

A day to indulge in a “foodie” tour! With private transport and private guiding throughout, we visit a Parmigiano Reggiano cheese producer for a tour and tasting; discover the secrets of authentic 12 and 25 year old Balsamic Vinegar (made in the traditional way in a family-owned farmhouse and known as Black Gold because of its scarcity and value); learn about the lengthy curing process for D.O.P. Prosciutto and taste the results with a glass of Lambrusco Grasparossa wine; and finally proceed to a special Italian lunch – unhurried, convivial and delicious – in a charming countryside setting.

Art Hotel Orologio or similar

Day 9         Saturday 12 October 2019               B, D included

Just for fun, today we take a local train for the one hour trip to Parma, then follow a guided walking tour of the historic center, taking in the octagonal pink marble Baptistery, the 12C Cathedral (one of the finest examples of Romanesque architecture in Italy) and masterpieces of art by Correggio, Tiepolo and Leonardo da Vinci in the Pilotta palace.  

We raise a toast to the incomparable legacy of Marconi at our farewell dinner together. 

Art Hotel Orologio or similar

Day 10        Sunday 13 October 2019                   B included

Private taxi transfers to Bologna airport are arranged to suit flight times of choice – and also to the railway station for those choosing to extend their tour in nearby cities such as Florence, Milan or Venice.



A $1500 per person deposit is required to hold your space.

Final payment due by August 1, 2019


Price includes

all accommodation for Days 1 to 10, on a twin shared basis

all meals (with wine at lunches and dinners) as listed in the daily notation

all land transportation in a private vehicle as described, except during free periods. (Arrival transfer will be departing within 1 hour of Alitalia's non-stop flight from Boston to Rome)

all entrance and sightseeing fees, except during free periods 

gratuities for bellhop and restaurant staff (appreciation for tour guides is discretionary)



Central Italy usually enjoys a period of golden weather in October, with daily temperatures varying between 54º and 71º F, generally with slightly cooler evenings.

Activity Level

City walking every day, with uneven cobblestones and sidewalks, steps and stairs – really comfortable footwear with shock-absorbing soles is essential.


Per Person Pricing
(Based on double occupancy)

Double Occupancy On request
Single Occupancy On Request

 If you are willing to share but no other suitable guest books on the trip, we regret that the supplement will be payable.

 Maximum 18 Guests.

You will be notified within 24 hours if the trip is sold out.

Price INCLUDES a $500 tax deductible donation to CMMC.

Contact Nomadic Travel Company, LLC for airfare quote. Guests are responsible for their own airfare, but this allows you to use your carrier-gateway of choice, utilize travel points and extend travel either at the start or end of the trip to your liking.