Rome • Assisi • Florence • Verona • Pisa • Venice
HIGHLIGHTS OF YOUR TOUR
- Roundtrip airfare from New York or a city of your choice from the list below
- First Class Hotels, Full Buffet Breakfast and Dinner Daily
- Deluxe, air-conditioned Motor coaches
- Visits to Sites as mentioned below
- Comprehensive Sightseeing per the Itinerary
- Professional Tour Manager
- Gratuities to Guide, Driver and Restaurant staff
- Airport taxes & airline fuel surcharges
DAY 1 — Depart USA
Depart USA on an overnight flight to Rome, Italy.
DAY 2 — Arrive Rome
We arrive at the Rome airport and transfer our lodging for the next three nights. This afternoon we will take an afternoon tour of the Catacombs where thousands of Christians were buried in a remarkable tiered series of galleries.
DAY 3 — Forum, Mamertine, Coliseum, Ostia Antica
We begin our walking tour at the ancient Roman Forum, where our guide will divulge its secrets. We will visit the Arch of Titus that commemorated the sack of Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70. We will view the Mamertine Prison exterior, where tradition says the Apostle Paul was imprisoned. The Roman church would say that Peter was imprisoned here as well, but there is no imperial evidence that Peter was ever in Rome. Next, we visit the Coliseum, where thousands of people and animals perished during gladiatorial games. The Coliseum first opened in AD 80 and within 100 days of its opening, 5000 wild beasts perished here. The slaughter of both humans and animals continued for three more centuries. Historians believe the Coliseum could hold between 40,000 and 80,000 people depending on how close the seating was. The floor has recently had a plank placed over the middle making it accessible for people to walk over the labyrinth of brick cells, ramps, and elevators used to transport animals and gladiators into the arena. Hear the stories of the games that have fascinated people for hundreds of years. We conclude our day at the ruins of Ostia Antica, which provides an excellent example of city life in classical times and the Ostian Gate, today called the Gate of St. Paul.
DAY 4 — Vatican Museums, St. Peter’s, Scala Santa, Abbey of Three Fountains, St. Paul Outside the Wall
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 stop at The Abbey of the Three Fountains, the traditional site of Paul’s martyrdom and the ancient street that he walked on. Next, visit the 4th century Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the site of Paul’s tomb, and the Scala Santa, where Martin Luther made his stand against the practice of indulgences. This fascinating museum houses the Steps from Pilot’s Judgment Hall in Jerusalem brought to Rome by Helena, the mother of Constantine. Additional sights include the Arches of Constantine and Titus, Circus Maximus and the beautiful marble monument called the Wedding Cake.
DAY 5 — Frescoes, Assisi, Florence
After breakfast you will say “Arrivederci Roma” and board your coach and travel through scenic Umbria 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. The stories of the sacrificial life of St. Francis will be an encouragement to us all. Our home for the next two evenings is in the beautiful city of Florence, the heart of charming Tuscany.
DAY 6 — Beautiful Florence, Michelangelo’s David
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, Baptistery and a visit to the Academia Galley, home of Michelangelo’s David. A stop will also be made on the hillside overlook across the river from Florence where we will enjoy a panoramic view of the beautiful red-tiled roof cityscape. This afternoon is at your leisure to enjoy shopping, visiting more galleries or strolling on the famous Pont Vecchio, the old bridge that 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 7 — Pisa & Verona
The sightseeing this morning includes a tour of Pisa where you will visit the Baptistery, Duomo and the famous leaning tower in the Piazza dei Miracoli. This afternoon we stop in romantic Verona, medieval setting of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, with a walk through the historic center/shopping district to see the famed balcony of Juliet. Our lodging for the next two evenings will be in Venice Mestre.
DAY 8 — Charming Venice
Start the morning sightseeing in style as your guide takes you by private boat along the Giudecca canal to meet your resident expert. Highlights of your walking tour are St. Mark’s Square and the Byzantine splendor of St. Mark’s Basilica, lavish Doges’ Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Afterwards enjoy Venice at your own pace, or join an optional gondola ride through the picturesque canl system, visit the many charming shops and take photos galore.
DAY 9 — Venice USA
This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight home.
TOUR DATES IN 2015
Oct 5 – 13
Nov 2 – 10
CUSTOMIZE YOUR TOUR FROM YOUR GATEWAY CITY
If you have a group of 20 or more we will create a custom tour for you with an itinerary of your choosing including your own private motor coach. We will price your tour from your gateway city. Then we will print a custom brochure personalized to your group. We will offer our suggestions to complement your ideas in order to achieve the best possible program for your group. We are happy to design any program you like. Flexibility is part of our service to you.
(800) 213-9155 – Tours@friendshiptours.com
Book your tour now
Questions to consider when selecting your Tour Company
REASURCH IS KEY TO SELECTING THE RIGHT COMPANY
Please read this carefully before you sign up with any tour company
What is the Tour Company’s main focus?
Several vacation tour companies have attempted to make inroads into the Christian
Pilgrimage market. Friendship Tours only specializes in Christian pilgrimages. We do not sell vacation packages to other countries. Christian Pilgrimages is all we do and we do it well!
What knowledge does the company have about their guides?
The owners of Friendship Tours personally screen and select all of our guides. We choose guides who are flexible and responsive to the needs of our group leaders. Our guides are well informed with a broad base of knowledge in both the Old and New Testament. Our guides make us successful and this is why our group leaders re-book year after year with us.
How long has the company been around?
After 9/11 several companies avoided refunding churches the tour payments and closed shop only to re-open under a different name. Friendship Tours has been in business since 1982 and has refunded all travelers their money. Every client was cared for after 9/11. This level of service and trust is important in the ever-changing world we live in.
Are the company owners Christian?
Friendship Tours is a Christian Company. We consider our work to be the work of God on behalf of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We understand Christian Pilgrimage and we make every effort to help you in planning a meaningful, memorable and faithful experience.
What financial protection does the company offer?
Friendship Tours carries high limits of liability insurance that protects the churches that work with us. We adhere to all US government over sight with regard to Financial regulations. We have strict company policies prohibiting the commingling of client deposits. This is a critical component of our integrity. During difficult times some companies will use customer deposits to survive and run out of funds to service their group commitments. Friendship Tours is a member of the Better Business Bureau with an “A” rating. Friendship Tours has the best buying power due to our long-standing professional relations with all international airlines offering us the lowest airfares with the best connections. Our buying power for ground services is reflected in the prices we are able to offer. Very few
Companies are able to do what we do. How do we do it? Very simple. As a wholesale Tour Operator we work on large volume of passengers and pass the savings on to our clients. This is our mission. This is a ministry entrusted to us by God. At every turn we will seek to be faithful to you and our mission. Our
tag line says it all. “We build lasting relations. One client at a time.”