Upon arrival in Rome, we meet our tour escort and driver and transfer by motor coach to our hotel. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Rome on your own, enjoy some local cuisine and walk along the streets from your hotel, with its many shops. Dinner and overnight are in Rome. After breakfast at our hotel, we enjoy a panoramic tour of Rome, including a visit to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, to see the Holy Steps where Luther received his insights into the meaning of faith. Then we visit the highlights of Christian Rome, including the Colosseum the largest amphitheater in the world, which symbolizes the eternity of the Roman civilization. We will also walk through the Forum that will take you to the Mamertine Prison, where St. Paul was incarcerated. Dinner and overnight are in Rome. Early this morning, after breakfast, we travel south to the Roman ruins of Pompeii, Italy’s most famous archaeological site, situated under Vesuvius for an extensive visit of the excavations. We have time to stroll through ‘new’ Pompeii. In the afternoon we will return to Rome, where you will have a few hours to explore the city on your own, before dinner. Overnight in Rome.
Take in the sights of Rome
We begin our sightseeing today with a tour of the Vatican City and the Basilica of St Peter. We then view the magnificent frescoes in the Sistine Chapel, well known around the world for its magnificent ceiling beautifully decorated by Michelangelo. Then we visit a catacomb complex on the Old Appian Way. We continue to the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls to see the tomb of the Apostle Paul and the Church of Three Fountains, the site of his execution. Dinner is on your own tonight and overnight is in Rome. This morning, we depart Rome for Assisi, a beautiful medieval town and home of St. Francis and Clare, who wished to return to the simplicity of the early Church. Later, we journey by motor coach down to the lower town to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli, the Church of St. Mary of the Angels, where the Porziuncola and the Transit chapels are preserved. We will continue to Florence for dinner and overnight. After breakfast, our first stop is the Accademia to view Michelangelo’s statue of David. Then we enjoy a guided tour of the Uffizi Gallery. After the lunchbreak we tour Florence and the Cathedral and Giotto’s bell tower. At the adjacent Baptistry, we admire Ghiberti’s bronze Gates of Paradise before walking to the church of Santa Croce via the Piazza della Signoria and the Palazzo Vecchio. Dinner is on your own, overnight in Florence.
Views of Venice
Today we take a small trip to a well-known town called Pisa, where we will visit the famous Leaning Tower, the freestanding bell tower of the Pisa Cathedral, which has drawn the attention of tourists since it was first built. We will explore the rest of Pisa’s Piazza del Duomo (Cathedral Square) before returning to Florence. Back in the city you have some free time to explore on your own. Dinner and overnight in Florence. This morning we depart Florence for Padua and visit the recently restored 14th century Scrovegni Chapel that houses Giotto’s frescoes depicting stories from the life of the Virgin and Christ. We continue to the beautiful city of Venice for dinner and overnight. Today we enjoy a walking tour of Venice, includes visits to the Byzantine St Mark’s Basilica and the Doges Palace. The rest of our day is at leisure. Dinner is on your own and overnight is in Venice.