12 Days / 10 Nights
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And the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou has testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome (The Acts 23:11).

Far more than just experiencing a new land or seeing new sights, as our Christian tour to Italy takes us through the spiritually rich and beautiful countryside of Italy, we will reflect, come closer to God, and gratefully consider the sacrifices and dedication of those who have gone before. As we follow in the footsteps of Paul, experiencing some of the same sights and sounds and feelings he would have experienced, and as we behold holy shrines and timeless works of art regarded as the most awe-inspiring and important of the world – we will renew our commitment to the roots of our Christian faith. The worship services and meditations we celebrate along the way will draw us together as a community. They will remind us of our blessings and the call to stewardship as followers of Jesus Christ.


Tour Itinerary

Day 1 Depart via scheduled air service. The destination is Palermo, Italy

Day 2: Palermo Arrive in Palermo Meet your Faith Journeys Tour Manager who will assist the group to an awaiting chartered motorcoach for a transfer to the hotel for check-in Afternoon at leisure for relaxation, sightseeing, shopping, or other activities Evening Welcome Dinner and overnight

Day 3 Palermo / Monreale Breakfast at the hotel Palermo is Sicily’s cultural capital is a city rich in history, spirit, art, and diversity. Our tour this morning will include San Giovanni delgi Eremiti (St. John of the Hermits Church), Quattro Canti, Palatine Chapel, and the Cathedral Lunch, on own Drive to the small town of Monreale whose name means Royal Mountain. There we will explore the Benedictine Abbey with its splendid mosaics depicting scenes from the Old and New Testaments Return to Palermo for evening dinner and overnight

Day 4 Agrigento Breakfast at the hotel This morning, we will transfer to Agrigento, an ancient city on the southern coast of Sicily. Here we visit the Valle dei Templi (Valley of the Temples), where seven monumental Greek temples were constructed during the 5th and 6th centuries B.C. Visit the largest Doric temple in the world, the Temple of Jupiter Lunch, on own Explore Santa Maria della Catena. As with much of the architecture of Sicily, we’ll notice the presence of a multitude of styles including Renaissance and Gothic. The interior includes a canvas of Nativity with Adoration of the Shepherds (17th century) from an unknown master Evening dinner and overnight

Day 5 Syracuse / Taormina Breakfast at the hotel We will drive along the breathtakingly beautiful Mediterranean coast to Syracuse located in the southeast corner of the island of Sicily. Syracuse is a 2,700 year-old city which played a key role in ancient times and the place where Paul entered Sicily en route to Rome. Visit the Cathedral which houses a statue of the Madonna della Neve (“Madonna of the Snow”) sculpted by Antonello Gaginia in 1512. Lunch, on own Visit the Roman Amphitheatre with the famous Ear of Dionysius and continue circumnavigating the base of Mt. Etna, Europe’s largest active volcano, to Taormina, a small town perched on a cliff overlooking the Ionian Sea Enjoy time at leisure for additional sightseeing, shopping, or other activities Evening dinner and overnight

Day 6: Taormina Breakfast at the hotel We will begin the day by visiting the most remarkable monument remaining at Taormina and one of the chief glories of Sicily, the ancient Greek Theatre (Teatro Greco). From the still existing fragments of architectural decorations, we learn that this theatre was of the Corinthian order and richly ornamented Lunch, on own Afternoon at leisure for additional sightseeing, shopping, or other activities Evening dinner and overnight

Day 7: Paestum / Sorrento Breakfast at the hotel We will take the ferry across the narrow passage between Sicily and the southern tip of Calabria, called the Strait of Messina. We will stop for a visit of Paestum, known as the “Lost City” perhaps because it is renowned for its painted tombs and Greek Temples Lunch, on own Continue to Salerno, a small city located on the Tyrrhenian Sea, which became a great center of learning and culture before suffering several catastrophic earthquakes. During World War II, Salerno was the site of the Allied invasion of Italy in 1943. We complete our days travel with our arrival in Sorrento, a town overlooking the Bay of Naples Evening dinner and overnight

Day 8: Pompeii Breakfast at the hotel Travel to Pompeii to witness the ruins of one of the most devastating volcanic eruptions in the history of the region. What is left of the city, including some beautiful frescoes and mosaic floors, will give us a glimpse into that era and an idea of what was going on in the lives of Pompeii’s inhabitants moments before that catastrophic eruption. Lunch, on own Walking the streets of this ‘frozen city’ helps us experience what Paul must have experienced as he walked through similar streets in his time. We will also visit houses, shops, temples, the “Lupanare” (house of prostitues) and “Subarbane Therm” with their lurid frescoes. We can understand Paul’s anger and loud chastisement regarding the corruption and perdition of the ancient Romans. Return to Sorrento for evening dinner and overnight

Day 9: Naples / Puteoli Breakfast at the hotel We will head north past the city of Naples to Pozzuoli, known as Puteoli meaning ‘little wells’, where Paul stayed for seven days before making his way to Rome via the Appian Way. We will continue north past the city of Gaeta to visit Minturno, which also sits along the Appian Way and is known for well-preserved Roman ruins including an amphitheater and aqueduct Lunch, on own As we pass the Foro Roman posta (a place where travelers could rest and change their horses), it is worth reminding ourselves that Paul would have taken this same route to Rome. We will continue to the day’s final destination of Rome Evening dinner and overnight

Day 10: Rome Breakfast at the hotel This morning, we will visit Vatican City and explore the Vatican Museum which houses what can be described as the most important collections of art in the world. Highlights include the Tapestry Gallery, the Raphael Rooms, and the Sistine Chapel where we will gaze on Michelangelo’s incredible masterpiece. We will also enter St. Peter’s Basilica which has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world Lunch, on own This afternoon we will visit two of the most important churches of Rome – St. John Lateran and the Holy Cross of Jerusalem. At St. John Lateran we will also see the Santa Scala or the Holy Steps which reputedly are the steps that Christ climbed to meet Pontius Pilate Time at leisure for relaxation, sightseeing, shopping, or other activities Evening dinner and overnight

Day 11: Rome Breakfast at the hotel We will explore what is left of ancient Rome’s glorious past and see all about us remnants of its prideful emperors. We will see Trajan’s Column with its artistic depiction of wars, travel the Via dei Fori Imperiali, Capitoline Hill, and the Roman Forum Lunch, on own Visit Palatine Hill, centermost of the Seven Hills of Rome and site of the earliest history including its famous legend of Romulus and Remus. We see the ruins of the Imperial Palaces and the Arch of Constantine, then cap our incredible experience with ancient Rome by seeing the magnificent Roman Colosseum. We can’t argue that it is still the ultimate iconic symbol of Imperial Rome Evening Farewell Dinner and overnight

Day 12: Depart for home Breakfast at the hotel Transfer to Rome’s airport for return flight

© Faith Journeys

A pilgrimage to the Holy Land is a rare and privileged event. Every person of faith should make such a trip a priority in one's life. However, great care is needed to make sure the experience reflects the intent of the traveler. Without careful planning, advanced preparation and attention to details while in the Holy Land, the pilgrimage can fall short of expectations. Faith Journey's is a trusted, experienced partner who can make sure your journey is a critical step towards a deeper communion with Our Savior and his people.
Deacon Bill Garrett, Archdiocese of Atlanta and President Cristo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School