11 Days Malta, Sicily and Rome

Day 1: USA – MALTA. Meet at the airport for our overnight flight to Malta. Meals and entertainment provided on board.

Day 2: MALTA. Arrive at Malta International airport, meet our English speaking guide and transfer by coach to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 3: MALTA.  “Once safely on shore, we found that the island was called Malta.The islanders showed us unusual kindness. They built a fire and welcomed us all because it was raining and cold . . .” (Acts 28:1-2)   After breakfast, we depart for a full days excursion to Rabat and Mdina. First stop at Mosta, which today is a busy market town. At its center is the magnificent domed church called the “Mosta Rotunda”. On the way to Rabat, next stop will be at Ta’ Qali, where visitors are able to enjoy seeing the local craftsmen at work. Continue towards Rabat and stop to visit St. Paul Church (founded in 1575) and the Grotto. Beneath the church is Paul’s Grotto, where, according to tradition, the Apostle Paul was held captive by the Romans for three months following his shipwreck on the Islands in AD 60. Then we stop at a local restaurant for lunch. After lunch break, we will visit The Roman Domus. This museum houses remains of Malta’s roman period. Finally, we will walk through the streets of Mdina, Malta’s first capital. Today it is known as the Silent City. We will visit the Cathedral dedicated to Peter and Paul which is the masterpiece of the Maltese architect Lorenzo Gafà. We return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 4: MALTA – SICILY – POZZALLO – TAORMINA.  This morning we have some free time and then transfer to the ferry for our short cruise to Siciliy.  “After three months we put out to sea in a ship that had wintered on the island. It was on an Alexandrian ship with the figurehead of the twin gods Castor and Pollux.  We put in at Syracuse and stayed there for three days…..” (Acts 28:11)     Arrive in Pozzallo, east of Sicily. Upon arrival, we meet our motor coach and depart for a visit to the city of Siracusa, site of Paul’s arrival in Sicily en route from Malta to Rome. Today, Siracusa is the site of well preservedRoman ruins as well as a vibrant Italian seaport. Circumnavigating the base of Mt. Etna, we will continue to Taormina – a hillside sea resort on the Eastern coast of Sicily. Our escort will assist us to explore this beautiful destination. Dinner at hotel and overnight.

Day 5: AMALFI – SORRENTO.   From there we set sail and arrived at Rhegium, The next day the south wind came up, and on the following day we reached Puteoli…. There we found some brothers who invited us to spend a week with them ….” (Acts 28:13).    Early morning departure to cross the Straits of Messina via ferry for a trip north along the western coast of Italy, through the regions of Calabria and Campania. Enroute to Sorrento, stop for a visit at the beautiful city of Amalfi on the Amalfinata Coast. Arrive in Sorrento for dinner at hotel and overnight.

Day 6: NAPLES – POZZOULI – GAETA. Breakfast and departure towards Naples. Orientation tour of this picturesque city, sloped down from the hills towards the sea like an amphitheater. Bounded on one side by Vesuvius and on the other by the Phlegraean fields, the result is a scenario of extraordinary beauty, sung by poets and writers down through the ages: Virgil, Boccaccio, Milton, Shelley, Cervantes, Goethe, Byron…Free time to taste the best “pizza” and “espresso cafe” of the world.   Continue towards Pozzuoli.   “…and after one day the south wind blew, and we came the next day to Puteoli.” (Acts 28:13)   Stop at the old port where Paul landed on the ship from Alexandria by the Three Taverns. Continue north to the city of Gaeta. Dinner and overnight.

 Day 7: MINTURNO – APPIAN WAY – ROME.  “……and so we went toward Rome.” (Acts 28:14).    Breakfast and departure towards Rome. First stop will be in Minturno to visit the ruins of this well preserved roman village located along the Appian Way , which is the same that Paul would have seen during his trip to Rome. Continue north passing along the sites of Foro Appio and Tres Tabernaes, still on the Appian Way.    “……and so we went toward Rome.” (Acts 28:14) The brothers there had heard that we were coming and they traveled as far as the Forum of Appius and the Three Taverns to meet us… “(Acts 28:15).     Arrive in Rome in the late afternoon, for dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 8: ROME.   When we got to Rome. Paul as allowed to leave by himself with a soldier to guard him ……. “ (Acts 28:16). Breakfast at the hotel and board your bus and transfer to central Rome for a walk through the very core of Roman antiquity. We see Trajan’s Market, Nero’s Golden House, Trajan’s Forum and Column, Arch of Constantine, House of Knights of Rhodes. We visit the Mamertine Prisons, where Peter was held prisoner, and then continue our visit with the Roman Forum, the civic heart of Republican Rome. Proceed along Via Fori Imperiali to see Arch of Titus, the Emperor who destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70. We will also visit St. Peter in Vincoli – see the Michelangelo’s Moses and Coliseum. Then drive through the Ancient Appian Way and visit the St. Sebastian’s Catacombs where the bodies of Paul and Peter were laid before moving them to Peter’s and Paul’s churches. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 9: ROME.  Salutate Prisca and Aquila, my collaborators in Christ Jesus in order to save life to me they has risked their head 4 and to they I am not only pleasing, but all the Churches of the Kind ones… 5 greeted also the community that gathers in their house…. Letters to Romans 16, 3 – 5.   After breakfast, transfer to the Church of Paul within the walls to attend the Anglican Sunday ceremony. The tour continues with a visit to the church of Paul “Alla Regola” where Paul lived and worked as a “leather tanner” during his second stay in Rome or the “Mitreo” in the church of “Santa Prisca”, where Paul lived with his Greek friends Aquila and Prisca. After lunch, transfer to the Basilica of Paul outside the walls built on the remembered tomb of Paul. Rest of the day at leisure. Dinner and overnight at hotel.

Day 10: ROME. Morning breakfast at hotel and visit the Vatican Museums with Sistine Chapel and the Basilica of Peter. This afternoon with some time at leisure.  Then meet at the hotel and proceed to a local restaurant for a Farewell dinner.   Overnight at our hotel.

Day 11:  ROME – USA. Breakfast and departure towards the airport for our flight to return home—the end of a memorable journey.