12 Days Waldensian Journey
Day 1: Depart USA / EUROPE. Depart from USA to Rome. Dinner and breakfast will be served aboard flight.
Day 2: ROME. 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.
Day 3: ROME. 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 and overnight at our hotel.
Day 4: ROME. 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: 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 dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 6: FLORENCE / PISA. After breakfast, you will spend the morning on a city 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. 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 and overnight.
Day 7: FLORENCE. 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, leather shops or strolling on the famous Pont Vecchio, the old bridge which spans the Arno River. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 8: MILAN / STRESA. 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.
Day 9: STRESA / 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 – LOCARNO / STRESA. 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. 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: STRESA / MILAN / NORTH AMERICA. After breakfast you will return to Milan to board your plane and return to the USA – the end of a most enjoyable journey.