Visit the Sistine Chapel
Tour Members meet for our flight for Rome, Italy. After dinner is served, it’s time to sit back, relax, and enjoy the on-board entertainment to prepare for this exciting adventure of a lifetime. After we arrive at the Rome Airport, and have made our way through baggage claim area, we are met by our tour escort to begin our Italian adventure! We have a special visit to the Catacombs, where we explore tunnels and see the carvings on the walls from early Christians. Next, we walk a short distance along the Appian Way, the very road Paul walked as a prisoner entering Rome. We pass the Circus Maximus, where the great fire of AD 64 began, sparking the persecution of Christians for centuries. Check in, dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Rome. Our first visit today is to the ornate Vatican Museum and the famous Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo’s magnificent ceiling. Our next stop is the Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church in the world, which overlooks the enormous St. Peter’s Square, the site where Peter was crucified upside-down. This afternoon we have free time for shopping or exploring. Dinner and overnight are in Rome.
Take a Walking Tour Through Baroque Rome
We visit the Roman Forum and see the Arch of Titus, which boasts of Rome’s victory over Jerusalem. We’ll see the Basilica Julias, where Paul was likely condemned, and the Colosseum, where gladiators fought. We’ll also visit the Church of St. Peter in Chains, which houses Michelangelo’s statue of Moses, as well as the chains that may have bound Peter. The day continues with a walking tour through Baroque Rome, including: Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain, Pantheon and Piazza Navona. Transfer back to the Rome hotel for dinner and overnight. After breakfast, we transfer to the train station for the two hours and fifteen-minute train ride to Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance. We then meet our city guide who takes us on a tour of Florence: we will walk by and learn about Piazza della Signoria with its Neptune Fountain and Palazzo Vecchio, the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral which houses Michelangelo’s unfinished Pietà. Check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Florence.
Have Dinner in Venice
This morning is at leisure to explore additional treasures of Florence on your own. The outdoor Ponte Vecchio, covered since medieval times with goldsmiths’ shops, is a must for Florence’s other specialty – handcrafted gold jewelry. Then we transfer to the train station for two hours and twenty-minute train ride to Venice. Check in at the hotel. Dinner and overnight in Venice. After breakfast, we meet our city guide who takes us on a walking tour of Venice. More than 12 million visitors a year succumb to the magic of this improbable place where the streets are “made of water”. The Grand Canal winds through the city. We walk throughout the palaces lining the waterway, which were built over a span of five centuries and present a panoramic survey of the city’s history. Then we visit the Rialto Bridge which spans the canal in the very heart of the city. Then we finally see the Piazza San Marco, the Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Afternoon free optional visit a glass factory or for an unforgettable “Gondola ride”. Dinner and overnight in Venice. After breakfast we check out of our hotel and transfer to Venice Airport for our return flight back. We return home to the USA today with memories to last a lifetime!