January Great Cities – City Information

You will be visiting 6 major cities on your program (Aix-en-Provence, Marseille, Rome, Paris, London and Prague). We’ve included information on each city below:

Rome – Also known as the “City of Seven Hills” or the “Eternal City,” Rome is famous not just for its historic and religious ties, but also for its beauty and fun lifestyle. Rome’s history spans over two and a half thousand years, as it was the center of the Roman Empire and continues to be the home of the Pope. It is also home to some of the most well-known ancient buildings and art museums in the world. Rome is the capital of Italy and is the third most-visited tourist destination in the European Union, attracting 26 million tourists every year. Read more from Lonely Planet here.

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Aix-en-Provence is located in the southern region of France. While the city offers access to traditional French culture in an intimate setting, it is still able to maintain the charm and elegance of a large metropolis. The quaint town is known for the beloved painter, Paul Cézanne, who painted the surrounding rolling landscape. Local excursions during both semester and summer programs provide students with an enhanced awareness of Provençal culture while giving them a unique and unparalleled French experience. This region gained much attention in 2013 as Marseille, Aix’s neighbor and France’s second largest city, was named the 2013 European Capital of Culture.

Marseille – The biggest French city on the Mediterranean has been a commercial center and port for hundreds of years. Once one of the most important cities in all of France, Marseille boasts history and culture at every turn. Today it is the capital of the Provence-Alpes-Cote d’Azur region and is a very popular tourist destination. Read more from Lonely Planet here.

Paris is the capital and largest city of France. It is situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region. The city of Paris, within its administrative limits (the 20 arrondissements) is largely unchanged since 1860 and is one of the most populated metropolitan areas in Europe. Today Paris is one of the world’s leading business and cultural centers, and its influences in politics, education, entertainment, media, fashion, science, and the arts all contribute to its status as one of the world’s major global cities. Paris is considered one of the greenest and most livable cities in Europe. Our hotel is located in the 4th arrondissement in the Marais. Read more from Lonely Planet here.


London is one of the largest and most dynamic cities in the world, with a strong international character and a diverse population of more than seven million people. A thriving cultural, financial, and political center, London is a vast city encompassing a variety of historic, commercial and residential areas, many of which remain distinct neighborhoods with a strong community feel. Traditional black cabs, the Tower of London, colorful street markets, the River Thames, chic Covent Garden, Tate Modern, Canary Wharf and the Docklands, and the expansive Hyde Park exemplify some of the contrasts that make London one of Europe’s most exciting and vibrant destinations. Read more from Lonely Planet here.


Prague is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe in terms of its setting on both banks of the Vltava River, its townscape of houses and palaces punctuated by towers, and its individual buildings. The Historic Centre represents a supreme manifestation of Medieval urbanism (the New Town of Emperor Charles IV built as the New Jerusalem). The Prague architectural works of the Gothic Period (14th and 15th centuries), of the High Baroque of the first half of the 18th century and of the rising modernism after the year 1900, influenced the development of Central Europe and perhaps even all European architecture. Prague belongs to the group of historic cities which have preserved the structure of their development until the present times; it has been saved from any large-scale urban renewal or massive demolitions and thus preserves its overall configuration, pattern and spatial composition. Read more from Lonely Planet here.