Light Shines in Darkness A Church History Tour of Italy
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Available Year-round / Call For Group Pricing
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Price Includes: All motor coach and land transportation, sightseeing, admissions, services of tour director and driver, lodging, meals as specified in tour itinerary, taxes, gratuities to bellhops and waiters at included meals.
Not Included: Cost of obtaining passports or visas, laundry, meals, beverages or sightseeing not included in the itinerary, travel insurance, gratuity to guide, driver, communication charges, & excess baggage fees. Port charges and gratuities to crew are not included on cruises.
Day 1: Depart USA
Depart from USA to Rome on Swiss Air.
Day 2: Arrive Rome & Walking Tour
Arrive at Rome airport, meet motorcoach and tour manager. En route to the hotel, 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 traditional Hotel Bernini for check in and some relaxation time before dinner. There will be a welcome reception before dinner at a local restaurant, followed by a guided walking tour to discover Rome by night. The hotel is in a great location for your personal sightseeing pleasures.
Day 3: Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel & St. Peter Basilica
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, Luther's Holy Steps. Dinner will be at another local restaurant. Each day you will have the tremendous blessings of devotionals and meetings to summarize the day from the prospective of the Seminary tour leaders. The spiritual and historical insight gained from this tour will be invaluable to you, not only in your understanding and application of truths, but also in your daily walk with the Lord.
Day 4: Worship Service, Catacombs & Coliseum
Worship Service followed by free time for lunch. In the afternoon there will be a guided walking tour in the Antic Rome where you will see many marvels of this ancient city including a tour of the Roman Coliseum, the Catacombs where thousands of Christians were buried in a remarkable tiered series of galleries, and the Caracalla Baths dating back to the early AD 220s. Dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 5: Frescoes, Assisi & Florence
After breakfast you will say 'Arrivederci Roma' and board your coach and travel 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. Then, we travel on to Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance, for check in at the Westin Excelsior Hotel. Dinner will be in the hotel. The Westin is not only a beautiful 5 star hotel, but also in a great location for your evening stroll.
Day 6: Beautiful Florence, Michelangelo's David & Pisa
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 overlook across the river from Florence where we will take a panoramic group photo with the beautiful red-tiled roof cityscape in the background. After lunch on your own, board your coach to Pisa where you will visit the Baptistry, Duomo and the famous leaning tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli. Return to Florence, for a dinner in a local restaurant.
Day 7: Florence Art, Leather Goods Shopping & Free Time
After breakfast, enjoy a guided visit to the Galleria degli Uffizi, Italy's greatest art gallery. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy lunch, 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 8: Milan Last Supper & Beautiful Lake Sresa
After breakfast you will once again board your coach to travel to Milan for a guided tour of the city, which will include the famous Duomo, one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world and Leonardo Da Vinci's most famous fresco - The Last Supper. Then on to the beautiful internationally renown resort town of Stresa on Lake Maggiore for check in and dinner at the Grand Hotel et des Iles Borromees. From the hotel we have a wonderful view of the surrounding areas, rich with gardens, islands and the lovely town. You may choose to stroll along the waterfront or shop along the promenade during your free time.
Day 9: Church History - Waldensian Sites
Full day excursion to Waldensian sites - Torre Pellice, Chanforan and Angragna Valley. This beautiful remote region in northwestern Italy will bring to life the history of the Waldensian Christians and the struggles they encountered. We will visit the church, the rural museum, and for those who wish, a half hour walk to the cave where they hid for fear of martyrdom.
Day 10: Alpine Train & Lake Cruise
A special alpine mountain excursion is planned today beginning in the charming little town of Domodossoa where you will board your mountain train ride to the panoramic village of Locarno, Switzerland. You will enjoy the gorgeous scenery along the way, taking the vineyards and chestnut forests and have free time in Locarno. To top off our experience today, we will board a Hydrofoil for a relaxing cruise along Lake Maggiore to our hotel.
Day 11: Borromean Islands, Palace & Worship Service
The excursion to the Borromean Islands with a visit to Borromean Palace, will lead through a 17th-century palace with opulent displays of baroque architecture to fragrant-filled gardens, where the scent of jasmine lingers in the air. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to enjoy lunch, strolling along the lake promenade overlooking the Italian Alps or visiting some of the quaint shops. Your farewell dinner will be at the hotel.
Day 12: Home
After breakfast in your hotel you will travel back to Milan to board your plane and return to the USA.
2 or 3 Day Extension to Venice is available