Two thousand years of history remains intertwined with faith as one travels the historic roads of Christianity. Italy, a land of pilgrimage, has been the center of religion, history, culture and art since antiquity. Travel through Italy and explore the roots of a world that has produced art, architecture, places of worship, and masterpieces of inestimable value.
Easily one of the greatest cities in the world, Rome is home to iconic landmarks of the fascinating history spanning over 28 centuries. It is also one of the oldest continuosly occupied cities in the world. The city of Rome is linked to the history of Christianity as indicated in the Book of Acts and Romans written by Paul and has a country within a city with Vatican City.
SITES: St. Peter’s Square, St. Peter’s Basilica, Trevi Fountain, Colosseum, The Spanish Steps, Roman Forum, Sistine, Chapel
Venice, the floating city, is located on one of a small group of 118 islands that are separated by canals and linked by bridges. Venice was a major power duding the Middle Ages and Renaissance as well as an important center of commerce from the 13 to 17th century. It is known for several artistic movements in the history of symphony and operatic music.
SITES:St. Mark’s Square, Doge’s Palace, Rialto Bridge, The Bridge of Sighs, The Piazza San Marco, Peggy Guggenheim Collection of Modern Art
Venice Grand Canal
Venice Grand Canal
Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, is in itself, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is filled with quaint cobblestone streets, monuments, fountains and breathtaking architecture. Florence is a must for art and history buffs as is home to the most spectacular art of the Renaissance period.
SITES: The Duomo, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi Gallery, Accademia Gallery, Basilica Santa Croce
Best of Italy
Every tour is custom-tailored for each group, but here is an example of the kind of tour we provide.
Depart for Rome, Italy
Overnight flight to Rome.
ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY
We arrive at the Rome airport where we are met and assisted with luggage and transportation to our hotel. This afternoon we will take a tour of the Catacombs where thousands of Christians were buried in a series of tiered galleries. We will explore the tunnels and see the carvings on the walls from the early Christians. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
After breakfast, we begin our full day in the“city of love.” Driving through the main streets of Rome, marvel at the monuments of this great capital. We will enjoy a visit to the Coliseum, where thousands of people and animals perished during gladiator games which continued over three centuries. We will enjoy seeing the Forum and the Arch of Titus, Circus Maximus and the Arch of Constantine and more of Rome’s most ancient neighborhood. Before day‘s end we will enjoy climbing the Spanish Steps and a stop at the Trevi Fountain. Following tradition, one must toss a coin into the fountain, promising a return to Rome! Dinner and overnight in Rome.
VATICAN / SISTINE CHAPEL / BASILICA OF ST. PETER / ST. PAUL OUTSIDE THE WALLS
Our first visit will be to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, the celebrated Chapel of the Popes and the venue of the Conclaves for Papal elections. It is one of the most splendid masterpieces in the history of world art and is well known around the world for its magnificent ceiling, beautifully decorated by Michelangelo. From here, we visit the Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church in the world overlooking the enormous Piazza San Pietro. We also visit the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the site of Paul’s tomb, and the Scala Santa, where Martin Luther made his stand against the practice of indulgences. We will have a stop to see Mamertine Prison where the Apostle Paul was imprisoned and St. Peter in Chains, a minor basilica that houses St. Peter’s chains. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Following breakfast and check-out, we travel through scenic Umbria to the ancient walled hillside village of Assisi. We will enjoy a guided tour of this lovely, medieval town which includes the Basilica San Francesco, decorated with some of the most renowned frescoes in the world. We will learn about the sacrificial life of St. Francis as we roam the Hill of Paradise. Dinner and overnight in Florence
We will spend the day touring the world’s greatest artistic capital as well as enjoying the beautiful gardens and open-air markets. We will see the Piazza della Signoria, Duomo, Baptistry and the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral which houses Michelangelo’s unfinished Pieta`. Dinner and overnight in Florence
This morning we visit the Accademia Gallery home of Michaelangelo’s David. The afternoon is at leisure to enjoy shopping, strolling the Pont Vecchio bridge spanning the Arno River or visiting more galleries on your own. Dinner and overnight in Florence.
PISA, VERONA, VENICE
Traveling today to Venice, we first enjoy a stop in Pisa to see the famous leaning tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Originally intended to be a straight bell tower, it began to lean during construction in 1173. We continue on to our next stop in Verona, the medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. We will enjoy a walk through the historic center to view the famed balcony of Juliet. Continue to Venice for dinner and overnight.
Rising between sea and sky, the fascinating city of Venice boasts waterways and boats instead of roads and cars. We will enjoy a walking tour of the city visiting St. Mark’s Square and the Basilica of St. Mark, one of the world’s most magnificent churches. We will walk the Bridge of Sighs and visit the charming pink and white Doges’ Palace. There will be time for enjoying Venice on your own- perhaps taking a Gondola ride along the Grand Canal, or wandering the bridges and canals, the shops and restaurants. Dinner and overnight in Venice.
Morning transfer to the Venice airport for return flight home.