Treasures of Italy
From a Christian Perspective

10 Day First Class Package

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Day 1 - Depart USA
Overnight flight to Rome.

Day 2 - Arrive Rome
We are met by our host and transferred to our hotel for the next three nights.  The remainder of your day is free with many things to do and see.  Time will allow the opportunity to take a walk past the famous Spanish Steps, visit the amazing Pantheon and view the Trevi Fountain. Throw in a coin to ensure your return trip to Rome!  Dinner is included this evening.

Day 3 - Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter Basilica, Scala Santa and Church of Priscilla
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.  Our last stop today will be the Church of Prisca, where it is said that below the church are buried Priscilla, Aquilla and a number of other martyred saints. It has perfect acoustics for a hymn of the faith and scripture reading of Paul's tribute to his long-time friends of the ministry.  Additional sights include the Arches of Constantine and Titus, Circus Maximus and the beautiful marble monument called the Wedding Cake.

Day 4 - Forum, Mamertine Prison, Coliseum, Catacombs
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 & Venice
Being Sunday, we begin the day with a time of praise, worship and a challenge from God's Word. Later this morning, we enjoy free time for lunch and a tour of Pisa where you will visit the Baptistry, Duomo and the famous leaning tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli. This afternoon, we travel northward through colorful Tuscan countryside, past Bologna and on to romantic Venice where we overnight just outside the city for two nights in Venice Mestre. 

Day 8 - Venice
After breakfast, we'll begin sightseeing on a leisurely walking tour of Venice. We'll visit the city's most famous landmarks such as the Basilica of San Marco, St. Mark's Square, the Bridge of Sighs and the Doge's Palace. The remainder of the day is on our own to stroll through a labyrinth of criss-cross canals, arched bridges, palaces, charming waterside restaurants and little quiet piazzas.  For those who wish, your tour host may arrange a private glassblowing presentation at the famous Murano Venetian glass makers. Shoppers will enjoy the vast array of beautiful pieces of glass available in the city's many fine stores. During your free time, you may also choose to board a gondola for a relaxing canal cruise.

Day 9 - Milano
We travel to Milan with free time for lunch in city center. This afternoon we enjoy a guided tour of the city, which will include the famous Duomo, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals with free time for sightseeing on your own and some last minute shopping.

Day 10 - Home
This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to the USA.

Ask our agent about a 2-day extension to the Italian Lakes District.

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Attn. Groups:  Consider a 3-day extension to include  Waldensian Christian history and the beautiful Alpine lakes district.

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