Rome, Assisi, Florence, and Venice! Are any of these on your bucket list? If so, come and join us for a cultural and historical trip to Italy this June! It’s open to ANYONE.
Our church has taken trips to the Holy Land and England with Imagine Tours and this summer’s trip will be outstanding. Our folks have described previous trips as moving, spectacular, joyful, educational, inspirational!
Churches, museums, worship experiences, cultural tours, and a winery will be part of the 10-day or 15-day (with the extension) tour.
Register Online: RegisterNow.ittworld.com
Tour Code: Hensarling19
Upon arrival to the Rome airport, we will meet our tour escort and begin touring. We will descend into the Catacombs of Santa Domitilla, a vast network of subterranean tunnels where early Christians were buried. Next, we visit St. Paul Outside the Walls, the Benedictine Abbey which shares its name, origins and centuries of history, both joyful and sorrowful, with the adjoining basilica. Entering the Basilica where the bones of Paul have recently been found, we will leave Rome with the real spirit of the first Christians in our minds and hearts. We continue to the Basilica of St. John Lateran (San Giovanni in Laterano), to see one of the most important Christians Churches of Rome. Across the street is the Scala Santa, the "Holy Stairs" believed to be from Pontius Pilate’s house, which Jesus descended after being condemned.
The next day, we discover the heart of Ancient Rome. We begin at the Basilica of Saint Peter in Chains, where we will find Michelangelo’s remarkable statue of Moses. From the Trajan's Column, jewel of architecture and sculpture made by Apollodorus of Damascus, our guide will show us along the Via dei Fori Imperiali (street of the Imperial Fora), the ruins of the fori that the great emperors built as lasting memory of their power. We see the Forum of Trajan, the biggest and most splendid of all, whose markets, true forerunners of the modern commercial centers, offered to the Roman citizen any goods to be found at that time. On foot, we will reach the Capitoline Hill, where the stairway will lead us to the Piazza del Campidoglio. Behind, we will find a natural terrace providing the best panoramic point over the valley of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill! Off the square, we will visit the Capitoline Museums to admire famous art work. We then enter the nearby Mamertine Prison to see the site traditionally believed to be where Peter was imprisoned in Rome and walk down into the valley of the Roman Forum. From the Forum, the guide will show us to the place linked to the fabulous origins of Rome: the Palatine. Here, Romulus founded the town in the year 753 B.C. We will then find the Arch of Constantine, erected to commemorate the victory of the emperor over Maxentius in the 4th century A.D.
We will then enjoy worship at All Saints’ Anglican Church before proceeding to St. Peter’s Square for the Angelus prayer (depending upon the Pope’s availabilıty). Afterwards, we visit the Borghese Gallery and proceed on a walking tour of Baroque Rome, visiting the most cherished fountains and squares of the Eternal City! We begin at Piazza Navona where we will admire the ornate Fountain of the Four Rivers by Bernini and continue to the Church of San Luigi dei Francesi that houses the incredible series of three St. Matthew paintings by Caravaggio. Next, we see the Pantheon, known for its gigantic dome and ‘oculum’ Our tour ends at Piazza di Spagna, where we will wonder at the famed Spanish Steps and the Barcaccia fountain.
On Day 5, we will explore the Vatican Museums. Passing through the Court of the Pigna, designed by Bramante in the 16th century, we will enter the Belvedere Palace to reach the heart of the museum, the Belvedere Courtyard. Proceeding with the visit, we will quickly pass the secondary galleries to reach the Greek Cross Room where the splendid Sarcophagi of St. Helene and St. Constance are housed. Walking through the Galleries of the Candelabra, of the Maps and of the Tapestries, we will reach the Apostolic Palace, the oldest section of the complex. Our guide will then show us the Apartments of Julius II, splendidly decorated by Raphael and his assistants, and then the Sistine Chapel, where we will admire one of the greatest masterpieces of art: the Genesis and the Last Judgement by Michelangelo, that have gained their original splendor after the latest restorations. Leaving the Sistine Chapel and going down the Royal Stairway, projected by Bernini, the guide will conduct us to the Basilica of St. Peter, the most important temple of Christianity, Depending on availability, we will then enjoy a Vatican Scavi Tour to see the excavations below Saint Peter’s Basilica. The visit ends at St. Peter’s Square, which is embraced by the colonnade, an architectural masterpiece by Bernini, under the symbolic protection of the "Cuppolone", as the Romans call Michelangelo's dome.
We then check-out of our Rome hotel and proceed to the Baths of Diocletian, which were commissioned in 298 AD, and had a capacity of over 3,000 people, making it the largest bath complex of ancient Rome. We then leave the Eternal City and head north passing verdant farmlands to visit Orvieto. Perched high above the surrounding valley on a bed of volcanic tufa, we will reach this charming medieval city by cable car, enjoying spectacular views of the lush Umbria region on the way. Here, we will stroll through the quaint streets and visit the beautiful Duomo, a gothic masterpiece adorned with stunning frescoes. We will then regain our bus and continue to Assisi.
The following day, first thing this morning, we will drive through beautiful olive groves to reach the Church of San Damiano. It is here that St. Francis first heard Christ speak to him from the Cross and where St. Clare died. We will then transfer back to the center and start an unforgettable walk through the narrow streets of the ancient town which sweeps the flanks of Monte Subasio. We will visit the Church of Santa Chiara, the site where St. Francis was born and then on to see the house where he spent the first years of his life. We will then reach the very heart of the town, the Piazza del Comune with its Roman and medieval buildings. Then, near the ancient city walls, we will visit the Basilica of St Francis, which houses the tomb of the Saint. We will have a private worship here before we board our bus and drive to the lower plain of Assisi to reach the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli to see the small Portiuncola chapel and the site where St. Francis died in 1226.
Next, it's on to Florence. Upon arrival, we will meet our local guide in the charming Oltrarno quarter and visit the Basilica di Santo Spirito to see Michelangelo’s Crucifix.
The extension tour includes three nights in Florence to explore the many and varied museums and churches in the city, to include a ticket to climb to the top of the Duomo, plus 2 days of touring in Venice before flying home.