PAUL’S FINAL JOURNEY

  • Duration:13 NIGHTS/14 DAYS
  • Countries Visited:Italy, Malta
  • Highlights:Paul’s Missionary Journey in Malta, Sicily and Rome
  • Tour Inclusions:
    • Air NYC/MALTA-PALERMO/ROME/NYC
    • English speaking guide throughout
    • First class hotels
    • Transportation by private deluxe motorcoach
    • Sightseeing and admission as listed
    • Baggage handling
    • Select International portfolio

 

DAY 1: DEPART USA

Tonight we depart for an overnight flight to Malta.

DAY 2: MALTA

We arrive in Malta, are greeted by our guide and settle into the hotel. You have time for a stroll and to become acclimated to a new time zone. Overnight Valetta. (D)

“The most famous shipwreck in the history of Christianity”

DAY 3: MALTA- MDINA

We travel inland to Mdina, and see St. Paul’s Square, the Cathedral and the Museum. We continue to Rabat to see St. Paul’s Church and Grotto where the Apostle lived during his three-month stay on Malta. We visit St. Paul’s Catacombs and the Roman Villa to see the well-preserved mosaics. Driven by a strong wind from Crete, the ship, which carried Paul, Luke and Aristarchus, was shipwrecked here on its way to Rome. In the afternoon we return to the coast as we visit St. Paul’s Bay and take a short cruise to St. Paul’s Islands, where the shipwreck is thought to have occurred. Here we see the statue commemorating the great event. In Malta, Paul quickly became known as a healer because of the famous snake incident. When he left, a flourishing church was left behind and he added Malta to his network of Christian communities. As we drive back we are impressed with small wayside chapels which distinctly dot and mark the Maltese landscape. One of these chapels is San Pawl Milqi, or St. Paul Welcome where Paul baptized the Maltese. Overnight Valetta. (B.D.)

DAY 4:- MALTA-VALETTA

This morning inspect the tombs at St. John’s Co- Cathedral as we tour the capital of Malta, Valetta, and become acquainted with the fascinating history of this island, perhaps best known as the seat of the Knights of St. John, or more commonly known as the Knights of Malta. We also see the story of Paul’s shipwreck as told in paintings, found in the church of the same name. Afternoon is at leisure. Overnight Valetta. (B.)

DAY 5: MALTA- SICILY- TAORMINA

After the Claudian expulsion, Paul did not stay long in Malta as he was anxious to see what was left of Christians in Rome. They set off and landed in Syracuse, Sicily, less than seventy miles away. We follow a similar route by ferryboat, and disembark in the port city of Taormina. We explore this lovely city by foot, and have a closer look at Mt. Aetna, the largest active volcano in Europe. Overnight Taormina. (B.)

DAY 6: TAORMINA- SYRACUSE- TAORMINA

Here is what was once one of the greatest ports in central Mediterranean, and where Paul stayed after he departed Malta. You see the Greek and the Roman Theaters, the Viale Rizzo and the Catacombs of John, with its magnificent frescos and the crypt of Marziano, site of the first Christian Church on the Island. Today we enjoy a lunch of typical Sicilian delicacies in a rustic restaurant. Overnight Taormina. (B.D.)

DAY 7: PIAZZA ARMERINA-ENNA- PALERMO

We depart Sicily’s most famous resort and reach Piazza Armerina to visit Villa Casale, with its superb collection of mosaics, representing scenes from Roman life 1600 years ago. We then proceed to Enna, which at 3.000 feet above sea level marks the center of the island. From here, on a clear day you may see the entire island of Sicily. In the evening we arrive in Palermo for overnight. (B.D.)

DAY 8: PALERMO

Our tour includes the Palace of the Normans and the Palatine Chapel glittering with old mosaic, the Cathedral, the Church of St. John of the Hermits, the Quattro Canti (heart of the old City) and the Cappuccini Catacombs. Later depart for Monreale, with Sicily’s finest cathedral and the mosaic decorated cloister. We also visit the colorful Kapo market, for shopping and a sensory indulgence. Afternoon at leisure. Overnight Palermo. (B.)

DAY 9: PALERMO- SELINUNTE- AGRIGENTO- PALERMO

We depart for the lost city of Selinunte, where we tour the seafront Acropolis. Continue to Agrigento to visit Valley of the Temples dedicated to Olympian Zeus, and protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Here we marvel at the majesty of these well preserved Temples including the most impressive, the Temple of Concord. In the evening we return to Palermo. Overnight Palermo. (B.D.)

“For two years Paul lived in Rome. He welcomed all who came to see him. He told them about the Kingdom of God and about the Lord Jesus Christ, speaking with complete boldness and freedom.“

DAY 10: PALERMO- ROME

This morning we take a short flight back to the mainland. Afternoon tour of Ancient Rome highlights the magnificent structures of this city . You see the Roman Forum, the Coliseum, Piazza Venezia, Via Veneto, Aurelian Wall, Castle Sant’ Angelo, and more. Overnight Rome. (B.D.)

DAY 11:- ROAD TO ROME

This morning we retrace the route Paul took when he landed on the shores of Italy. This was a much-anticipated arrival, as Greece was the intellectual center, but Rome was the center of power. We start with the harbor of Puteoli, where Paul first landed, for his final journey. Here he spent about a week before embarking to the town of Formia, and the great Appian Way, which was the ancient Roman Road leading to Rome. Much as Paul did, we stop in Formia to taste local specialties. Continue along the Appain Way to the famous church of Quo Vadis, located on the spot where Christ appeared to Peter, and the Apostle asked “ Domine, quo vadis? “ (Where are you going, Lord?)  The Lord replied, “ I am going to Rome to be crucified for the second time”.  Peter understood the message and returned to face his martyrdom. We also stop at the Inn where Paul stopped for rest, before arriving at the seat of the former Holy Roman Empire. We visit the Catacombs where the early Christians hid, prayed and buried their dead. Of special interest are the Catacombs of St. Sebastian with remnants of the original basilica dedicated to Peter and Paul. In the afternoon we visit St. Paul’s Basilica, built over the burial place of the Saint. Nearby is the sight of Three Fountains, said to spring up as the Apostles head bounced three times, after his beheading. We see the Mamertine prison, where St. Peter and St. Paul were imprisoned. Overnight Rome. (B.D.)

DAY 12: CHRISTIAN ROME

Today you are at the center of Western civilization and the heart of modern Italy. The “Eternal City” where three millennia of Mediterranean civilization exist.  The city is full of larger than life monuments, which you see during the Christian Rome tour. You marvel at the treasures of the Vatican Museum including a tour of the Sistine Chapel. In the afternoon see thousands of years’ worth of history on the Christian Rome tour, with visits to the Basilicas of Sts. Peter, Mary Major, John Lateran and the Holy Stairs, as well as Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Overnight Rome (B.D.)

DAY 13: ROME

Day at leisure in the Eternal City, to visit one the many museums on your own or just relax with a gelatto in the beautiful square of Piazza Navone. Tonight we have a farewell dinner with wine and typical Italian music. Overnight in Rome. (B.D.)

Day 14: RETURN TO USA

Transfer to the airport and flight home (B)

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