Day 1: Depart USA
Overnight flight to Rome.
Day 2: Arrive Rome
We arrive at the Rome airport where meet our tour manager. Those
arriving this morning will enjoy a stop at the ruins of Ostia Antica, which provides
an idea of life in classical times. You will also see the Ostian Gate,
today called the Gate of St. Paul, before arriving at the hotel for
check in and some relaxation time before dinner.
Day 3: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter Basilica, Scala
Forum, Mamertine Prison,
After breakfast you will begin a full day of site seeing. First visit
Vatican City where you will see the Basilica at St. Peter, the Sistine
Chapel and the Vatican Museums with stunning works of art at every turn.
After some free time for lunch, you will visit the 4th century Basilica
of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the traditional site of Paul’s tomb, and
the Scala Santa, where Martin Luther made his stand against the practice
of indulgences. This fascinating museum houses the Steps from Pilot's
Judgment Hall in Jerusalem brought to Rome by Helena, the mother of
Constantine. The practice today is to climb the steps on your knees,
stopping to pray on each step. Additional sights include the
Arches of Constantine and Titus, Circus Maximus and the beautiful marble
monument called the Wedding Cake.
We begin our walking tour at the
ancient Roman Forum, where our guide will divulge its secrets. We will
visit the Arch of Titus which commemorated the sack of Jerusalem by
Titus in AD 70. We will step inside the Mamertine Prison, where
tradition says the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. The Roman church would
say that Peter was imprisoned here as well, but there is no imperial
evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. Next, we visit the Coliseum, where
thousands of people and animals perished during gladiatorial games. The
Coliseum first opened in AD 80 and within 100 days of its opening, 5000
wild beasts perished here. The slaughter of both humans and animals
continued for three more centuries. Historians believe the Coliseum
could hold between 40,000 and 80,000 people depending on how close the
seating was. The floor has recently had a plank placed over the middle
making it accessible for people to walk over the labyrinth of brick
cells, ramps, and elevators used to transport animals and gladiators
into the arena. Hear the stories of the games that have fascinated
people for years. We conclude our day at the Catacombs where thousands
of Christians were buried in a remarkable tiered series of galleries.
Day 5: Frescoes, Assisi, Montecatini
After breakfast you will say “Arrivederci Roma” and board your coach and
travel through scenic Umbria to the ancient walled hillside village of
Assisi. After lunch on your own, you will enjoy a guided tour of this
beautiful, medieval town, which will include the Basilica San Francesco,
decorated with some of the most renowned frescoes in the world. This
afternoon, we travel on to the spa village of Montecatini Terme, our
place of lodging for the next two nights in the heart of Tuscany.
Day 6: Beautiful Florence, Michelangelo’s David
& Free Time
After breakfast, you will spend the morning enjoying a guided tour of
Florence, one of the world’s greatest artistic capitals, which will
include the Piazza della Signoria, Duomo, Baptistry and a visit to the
Accademia Galley, home of Michelangelo’s David. A stop will also be made
on the hillside overlook across the river from Florence where we will
enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful red-tiled roof cityscape. This
afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy shopping, visiting more galleries
or strolling on the famous Pont Vecchio, the old bridge which spans the
Arno River. Remember that Florence leather shops are the best in the
world and bargains on excellent quality goods are abundant. It may be
the time to purchase those special Christmas gifts.
Day 7: Pisa & Verona
We begin our day with a tour of Pisa where you will visit the Baptistry,
Duomo and the famous leaning tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli, followed
by free time for lunch. This afternoon, we travel northward through
colorful Tuscan countryside, past Bologna and on to romantic Verona,
medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, for dinner and
Day 8: Day trip to Venice
Start morning sightseeing in style as your guide takes you by private
boat along the Giudecca canal to meet your resident expert. Highlights
of your walking tour are St. Mark’s Square and the Byzantine splendor of
St. Mark’s Basilica, lavish Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs.
Afterwards enjoy Venice at your own pace, or join an optional gondola
ride. Tonight is your chance to sample the city’s fine restaurants with
dinner on your own, before returning to Verona.
Day 9: Verona,
This morning we depart and head north, towards the towering alps. Take a
picture enroute to
Brenner Pass, the spectacular road across the mighty barrier of the
Tyrolean Alps. We arrive in Innsbruck, capital of Austrian Tyrol. We are
free this afternoon for shopping through the quaint medieval lanes and
enjoying dinner at our hotel.
Innsbruck Walking Tour, Neuschwanstein, Oberammergau
A walking tour today will include the Triumphal Arch commemorating the
wedding of the Duke of Tuscany, Saint Anna’s Column and Swarovski
Kristallwelten, a wonderland of crystal works of art by artists past and
present. This afternoon we stop at the Rococo-style chapel in the Meadow
and Ludwig II’s most luxurious former residence, the Neuschwanstein
Castle. We continue to the charming town of Oberammergau, site of our
Passion Play tomorrow.
Your morning is free to enjoy the delightful village of Oberammergau with
outstanding opportunities for photos and shopping. Lunch is provided by
the Oberammergau Committee. This afternoon and evening we enjoy the
Passion Play production. The play depicts the story of Christ's Passion,
beginning with the entry into Jerusalem and ending with the resurrection
and transfiguration, a moving and spectacular experience. Each
performance starts at 2:30 pm and ends approximately 10:30 pm, with a
three-hour dinner break/intermission from 5:00 to 8:00 pm.
This morning, we travel north to the ancient city of Augsburg, the place where the Augsburg Confession was presented. Our morning drive will allow for time to rehearse this important document and digest the tremendous meaning it has as the basis for much of our doctrine today. It
was also here in 1518 at St. Anne's Church that Luther met the papal legate,
Cardinal Cajetan, who demanded that Luther submit to the pope. Augsburg
was also the site of another Imperial Diet (1530). Our lodging and dinner this evening will be
Day 13: Romantic Road, Rothenburg,Heidelburg, Worms,
this morning we travel the panoramic "Romantic Road" and visit
the best preserved medieval town in all of Europe, Rothenburg. We
see the quaint Rathaus (town
hall) with its tower, have free time for coffe and shopping in the many delightful shops. You may choose to visit on your own the Kriminal-museum, housing all manner of
Medieval instruments of torture. Next, we travel on to one of the most charming cities in all of
the world - Heidelberg, ancient capital of the Palatinate and home of
Germany's oldest university. But most importantly, it was a stronghold
of German Reformed Protestants beginning in 1560. One of the great
confessional statements of the Reformation, the Heidelberg Catechism was
produced here in 1563. Heidelberg Castle, a most impressive historic
landmark of Germany, stands majestically overlooking the Neckar River.
The structure, now largely in ruins, preserves numerous examples of
Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque German architecture. Our next stop is
in Worms. It was here, during the Imperial Diet in 1521, that Martin Luther challenged the entire Roman Catholic
establishment by his refusal to recant the great doctrines of
Protestantism. It was also here that William Tyndale completed the printing of his English version of the New Testament in
1525 which he had begun in Cologne. After seeing St. Peter's Church and
the symbolic Luther memorial near the town square, we will return to our
lodging for dinner and the evening in Frankfurt.
Day 14: Depart for home
We have an early morning departure for our flight arriving home the same day.
Price Per Person
Single Supplement - $600 (limited basis at some properties)
Call for availability.
Tourist class and moderate first class accommodations,
breakfast daily, 7 dinners, Passion Play tickets (Including
play tickets, housing, breakfast, lunch & dinner, admission
ticket to the Oberammergau Museum, playbook), luggage
handling in hotels (1 piece per person), expert guide
throughout, entrances and transportation as appear on
itinerary, modern transportation.
Oberammergau Hotel Choices:
Hotels will be assigned on a space available basis. Special upgrade
tickets may be available. Please contact Pilgrim
Tours for details.
Rheinischer Hof, Garmisch (Package Price)
Dates still available: September
Gratuities, meals not listed, airfare, optional travel
Special rates for airfare will be available 10-11 months
prior to departure.