Holy Land and Italy Tour 0720Henderson

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Holy Land and Italy Tour 0720Henderson

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Duration: 14 Days
Dates: July 13, 2020 to July 25, 2020
Departure City:

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Itinerary

Day 1

Leave the USA to Tel Aviv

Day 2

Arrival Tel Aviv – Caesarea – Muhraqa – Megiddo – Nazareth Village - Tiberias

Day 3

WEDNESDAY – July 15: Sea of Galilee – Bethsaida – Mt. Beatitudes – Capernaum – Boat Ride & Jesus Boat Museum 

Day 4

THURSDAY– July 16: Tel Dan – Tel Hazer – Caesarea Philippi – Jordan River

Day 5

FRIDAY– July 17: Beit Shean – Jordan River – Tel Jericho – Mt. Scopus

Day 6

SATURDAY – July 18: Ein Gedi – Qumran

Day 7

SUNDAY- July 19: Mount of Olives – Gethsemane – Davidson Centre – Bethlehem – Shepherd’s Field 

Day 8

MONDAY- July 20: Western Wall Tunnels – Temple Mount – St. Anne – Via Dolorosa Ecce Homo – Israel Museum 

Day 9

TUESDAY- July 21: City of David – Mt. Zion – Judgement Hall-Garden Tomb

Day 10

Departure/Extension to Rome

Day 11

Rome/Ostia

Day 12

Rome

Day 13

Rome

Day 14

Departure

Included in your Trip:

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Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight- Wide-bodied tans-atlantic jets.

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Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.

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Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.

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Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee – Complete the experience with prayer, singing and dancing on a 2,000 year old boat replica.

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Knowledgeable Guides- Informed of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited

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Customized Guidebook – Complete with study on where you have been and where you will go on your tour.

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Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.

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Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!

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Two Meals Daily 

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Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.

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Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.

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Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!

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Special Rabbinical Tunnel Visit

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Masada Visit Including Round-Trip Cable Car Ride to the Top

 

Detailed Itinerary

10 Days Israel – 4 Days Italy

MONDAY- July 13- Leave the USA to Tel Aviv 

TUESDAY– July 14: Arrival Tel Aviv – Caesarea – Muhraqa – Megiddo – Nazareth Village - Tiberias

Welcome to Israel! We will arrive in Ben Gurion Airport where we meet our local guide and transfer. We then drive to Caesarea Maritima (entrance included), where we will visit the magnificent city with Roman, Byzantine, and Crusader ruins. Here we will elaborate on the story of the baptism of Cornelius, the first gentile converts into Christianity (Acts 10), and on the travels of Paul — those events that led Caesarea Maritima to become the springboard of Christianity to the West. We will then continue to Mount Carmel (entrance included) and consider the contest between the Prophet Elijah and the false prophets of Baal (I Kings 18), discussing the reasons why the Prophet chose that place for the contest, and the lessons we learn from the story. We then travel to Megiddo (entrance included) and explore the Tel that goes back in history to 4000 BC, looking at ruins from the times of King Solomon and King Ahab.  Overlooking the Armageddon Valley, we will also discuss the reasons why we believe this will be the setting for the final battle between good and evil mentioned in Revelation 16:16. we travel to Nazareth where we will climb the Mount of Precipice, the brow of the hill on which the city was built (Luke 4). There we will reflect on the rejection of Jesus by his family and friends in Nazareth. In addition to discussing Jesus’ boyhood we will also consider the life and times of Deborah (Judges 4). We will then visit Nazareth Village (entrance included), a reconstruction of an ancient village from the time of The Lord. We check into our hotel on the Sea of Galilee for the next three nights and enjoy another dinner together. (B, D)


WEDNESDAY – July 15: Sea of Galilee – Bethsaida – Mt. Beatitudes – Capernaum – Boat Ride & Jesus Boat Museum 

You will be encouraged each morning to rise for a private, early morning walk and a time of prayer on the shores of the Sea of Galilee. Most likely you will get to see modern fishermen using nets the way Jesus and His disciples did. After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with a breathtaking view of the Sea of Galilee from the Peace Vista lookout, where we will be able to see the entire lake. From this view we will consider why Jesus chose to begin delivering His message from there. We then travel to Bethsaida (entrance included), the hometown of Peter, Andrew, and Philip, this is one of three cities that make up the Gospel Triangle and the location where Jesus spent two of His three years of public ministry. We then proceed to the Mount of Beatitudes and discuss the Sermon on the Mount, finishing the theme that was started earlier that day. you will have the opportunity to try St. Peter’s fish, commonly eaten by people in Jesus’ day on your own. We will then visit Capernaum (entrance included), Jesus’ Galilean ministry base. There we will see the house of Peter’s mother in law, in addition to other ruins of the village. We will stand in the ruins of the ancient synagogue where Jesus was confronted by the demoniac. We end our day with a visit to the ancient boat museum (Entrance included), containing a recently-discovered 2000-year old fishing boat. We will then sail (included) on the Sea of Galilee on a replica of that boat. We return to our hotel. Dinner included. (B, D)


THURSDAY– July 16: Tel Dan – Tel Hazer – Caesarea Philippi – Jordan River

After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with traveling to the northern boundary of Israel and begin with visiting Tel Dan (entrance included), the northern extremity of Biblical Israel. Our First stop will be Tel Hazer (entrance included), where we will view the ruins of the largest Canaanite city and the only place that Joshua burned. This is one of three cities mentioned in the Book of Kings as part of the building activities of King Solomon. We will visit the location of the altar where the golden calf was placed by King Jeroboam. There we will discuss the downfall and idolatry of the Northern Kingdom of Israel. We will move on to the Dan Stream, the largest tributary of the Jordan River and possibly the place where Psalm 42 was written (“As the dear pants for the water brook, so my soul pants for Thee...”). We will then continue to Caesarea Philippi, (entrance included) where we will visit the ruins of the pagan altars and consider the confession of Peter in Matthew 16 (“Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God.” We will have our lunch break where you will have the option to try falafel, a typical Middle Easter meal on your own. We will drive further north to the border with Syria where we will consider the dramatic conversion and life-transformation of Saul of Tarsus: The Apostle Paul. We then travel to the baptismal site of Jesus on the Jordan River. You will be offered the opportunity to be baptized in the waters of the Jordan in an available location picked by your host and guide. We then spend the evening in our hotel on the Sea of Galilee. Dinner included. (B, D)


FRIDAY– July 17: Beit Shean – Jordan River – Tel Jericho – Mt. Scopus

Jerusalem After a buffet breakfast, we leave the area of Galilee, following the Jordan Valley Road to Beth Shean (entrance included), the capital of the Decapolis. There we will see the ruins of the Roman and Byzantine cities. We will also discuss the demise of King Saul and his sons, whose bodies were hanged on the walls of Beth Shean. We will then continue traveling south to the actual location where John the Baptist was baptizing on the Jordan River. Jericho will be our next stop, where we will visit the Tel of Jericho (entrance included) with its ancient ruins, pointing out what possibly could be the foundations of the ramparts that Joshua and the Israelites brought down. we travel to the Old Roman Road, where we will consider the setting for the Parable of the Good Samaritan. From there we will go up to Jerusalem, and have a Genesis Welcome to the Holy City.  Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)


SATURDAY – July 18: Ein Gedi – Qumran

After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day visiting Ein Gedi, the oasis in the desert where the meeting between David and King Saul took place (I Samuel 24) and where many of the psalms were written by David.  we visit Qumran (entrance included), the location where the Dead Sea Scrolls where found by a Bedouin boy back in 1947. There we will see the caves and other buildings that the Essenes, the group of Jews who wrote the scrolls, lived. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)


SUNDAY- July 19: Mount of Olives – Gethsemane – Davidson Centre – Bethlehem – Shepherd’s Field 

After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with an orientation over the holy city from the Mount of Olives, pointing out important locations within the Old City, connecting them with Biblical stories and prophecies about the return of Jesus. We will then walk down the Palm Sunday Procession road to the Garden of Gethsemane, where the passion of Jesus began. Each of us will be given some personal time in a private section of the Garden. We will then visit the Southern Wall excavations (entrance included) where ruins of the retaining walls of the Temple Mount are still visible. We will then gather at the teaching steps, the main entrance to the Temple where Rabbis met and taught their disciples. we then travel to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. We begin with a visit to the Shepherds fields where the angels appeared to the shepherds and announced the birth of Our Lord. These fields are also the setting of the Book of Ruth. We will then travel to the Church of the Nativity and view the actual place where Our Lord was born. Time will then be given to shop for olive wood and other items. We return to our hotel. Dinner included. (B, D)


MONDAY- July 20: Western Wall Tunnels – Temple Mount – St. Anne – Via Dolorosa Ecce Homo – Israel Museum 

After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day entering the Old City and a visit to the Western Wall, a section of the Western retaining wall of the Temple Mount, and Judaism’s holiest site. We will ascend the Temple Mount, discussing its connection to both the Old and New Testaments. We will also discuss why it is considered the third holiest site in Islam. Leaving the Temple Mount, we will visit the Church of St. Anne’s (entrance included), a perfectly intact Crusader church. It is a wonderful place to gather and sing a song (sometimes with fellow Christians from all over the world). There, we will also visit the pools of Bethesda where the healing at the pool took place (John 5). We will then walk the Via Dolorosa (The Way of Suffering), the actual path that Jesus walked from the Antonia Fortress (entrance included) to the crucifixion site. We will also visit the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, Jesus’ tomb. we travel to the Israel Museum (entrance included) where we will visit the Second Temple Period Model of Jerusalem, a 1:50 scaled model of the city from the year 66 AD. We will also visit the Shrine of the Book where the Dead Sea Scrolls are on exhibit, in addition to the archeological section where many artifacts are displayed, we will play special attention to those items that relate to Bible history. We then return to our hotel. Dinner included. (B, D)


TUESDAY- July 21: City of David – Mt. Zion – Judgement Hall-Garden Tomb

After a buffet breakfast, we begin our day with a visit to the original location of the city of Jerusalem, going back in history 3000 years. We will also visit Hezekiah’s tunnel (entrance included), a 1749-foot-long tunnel that was dug by King Hezekiah as he prepared for the Assyrian King Sancharib’s invasion in 701 BC. Those interested in walking the foot-deep water tunnel will have the chance to do so. We will visit the Upper Room, the place of the Last Supper and also the home of the High Priest, Caiaphas (entrance included).We will then visit the Judgement Hall where Jesus stood before Pilate. We end our day with a visit to the Garden Tomb, where we will worship together and celebrate communion. We return to our hotel for our last Dinner provided. (B, D)


WEDNESDAY – July 22

will travel to the airport and return home with unforgettable memories, amazing new friends and a life-changing understanding of the Bible. Optional extension to Rome. (B)


Rome Itinerary:


WEDNESDAY – July 22 Day 1 :  Rome/Ostia /Rome

Upon arrival at Rome’s international airport, and before we start the visit of Rome, we drive for approx 10 minutes towards the sea, to visit the site of Ostia Antica the harbor city of Ancient Rome. We explore the well preserved excavations and step back in time into Roman antiquity. Ostia was a cosmopolitan city, which is reflected with the various temples dedicated to Mitra ( Persian) Cibele ( Turkish ), Iside  ( Egyptian) and even a synagogue. Not better place to understand that Rome was the right place for Christianity to start being a worldwide religion. 

On the way to Rome ,we continue with our tour:  we will be reminded of the early companions if Paul, travelling to the Church of Santa Prisca dedicated to Santa Prisca on the Aventino Hill. Prisca came from a rich Roman family  and Aquila, her husband was probably Greek. Paul spent a couple of years with them in Corinth and this is very often mentioned in his Letters and the Book of Acts  

Rom 16, 1-23  …..Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, who for my life, laid down their own necks; to whom not only I give thanks, but also all the assemblies of the Gentiles. Greet the assembly that is in their house.

The House on the Aventino Hill where Paul lived is named in a legal document of the 5th century, as “Titulus Priscae.”   We continue following the steps of St Paul recalling both is first and second visits to the city. We will begin our visit to the Insula Di San Paolo alla Regola. According to tradition, S. Paolo Alla Regola is the most accredited hypothesis of the first home of Paul in Rome. Here he lived between 61 and 63 AD, for eighteen months as required by law, pending trial. In this first Roman period, in his state of semi-freedom, Paul may have met the community of Rome, "domus ecclesiae" where they gathered to share the Word and the Eucharist and may have visited the house of Aquila and Priscilla. Paul lived in one of the places inhabited by the Jews, near the River Tiber, the Trastevere area, beyond the port of Ripa Grande, the 14th and final quarter of the city, according to the division of Augustus. Recent archaeological excavations in this zone showed the presence of stores of grain (horreum) and a second-century apocryphal ancient states, in fact, that "Paul took a rented horreum. A large barn where you think you could preach, teach, comfort the Christians. As the majority of the people living there, Paul worked as a leather tanner. This area became known by the name of “Contrada Pauli” ( Paul’s district)  In a legal document of the year 1245, we find the words “ In loco qui dicitur Pauli” ( In that place called “ of Paul”) . In 366 AC, Pope Damaso wanted to build a church over the ruins and dedicated it to Paul. Visiting the church, you will see the oratory which has been created using the room where Paul lived and on the main beam you can read the following: “This is the place where the Apostle Paul lived and taught.”

Check in at our hotel in Rome – 

THURSDAY- July 23 Day 2 :  Rome All day in Rome.

This tour will show the great “power” of Rome and Emperors who demanded divinity for themselves. This was mainly what Apostle Paul preached against in Roman 1-25: 

Romans 1, 25 …. And worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed forever.  

From the  Trajan's Column, jewel of architecture and sculpture made by Apollodorus of Damascus, our guide will show you 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 Mamertine Prison, 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 you will reach the Capitoline Hill, once political and religious center of the town, which today is the seat of the Municipality. The stairway will lead you to the Piazza del Campidoglio, the magnificent result of a single project by Michelangelo, with a copy of the most famous equestrian statue in the world, the statue of Marcus Aurelius, in the middle. Behind Piazza del Campidoglio you will find a natural terrace providing the best panoramic point over the valley of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill.  Walking through the valley of the Roman Forum the great Rome with its important buildings will revive before your eyes; the Curia, seat of the Roman Senate, the State Archive, the basilicas, palaces of justice, the temple of Vesta, and the House of the Vestals, the virgins in charge of keeping the sacred fire always alive, and all around temples and columns and arches of triumph erected to commemorate gods of Roman history

Romans 1, 23 ... and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…..

From the Forum the guide will show you to the place linked to the fabulous origins of Rome: the Palatine. Here Romolus founded the town in the year 753 B.C. and starting with Augustus the great emperors settled here. From the valley of the Roman Forum you will admire the Domus Tiberiana only partially explored and the ruins of the Imperial Palaces. Leaving the Roman Forum you will find the Arch of Constantine, erected to commemorate the victory of the emperor over Maxentius in the 4th century A.D. (tradition says  that before the battle the Emperor saw a brilliant cross in the sky and said the famous words “in hoc signo vinces”). The tour ends at the Colosseum, everlasting symbol of the greatness of Rome and the stage for the historical fights of the gladiators.

Continue on the Ancient Appian Way, to visit the Catacombs of Santa Domitilla. The Christian catacombs are extremely important for the art history of early Christians. At first they were used both for burial and the memorial services and celebrations of the anniversaries of Christian martyrs (following similar Roman customs). They probably were not used for regular worship. Many modern depictions of the catacombs show them as hiding places for Christian populations during times of persecution.

Regain our bus and continue the tour visiting Abbey of the Three Fountains, the place of Paul’s martyrdom, where tradition has it that three different springs gushed out at each spot touched when Paul’s head fell down. Legend claims that when St Paul was decapitated, his head bounced three times and fountains miraculously sprang out when it touched the ground. The legend is nice, but the springs were known in pre-Christian times as the Aquae Salviae, and the excavations revealed ancient mosaic pavements. Still, even if it is not true it helps identify the site of St Paul's martyrdom. It is also said that there was a stone-pine tree at the site of his death, and the identification of this place was strengthened when ancient stone-pine cones were found here during excavations in 1857.

To conclude this day in Rome we will visit the place where the bones of Paul have recently been found, Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. It is a Benedictine Abbey which shares its name, origins and centuries of history, both joyful and sorrowful, with the adjoining basilica. 

Return to the hotel, for dinner and overnight


FRIDAY- July 24 Day 3 :  Rome

Paul was not the only Apostle if the early church associated with Rome. Peter was martyred on the Vatican Hill and the memory of the impact of the Apostle John0s lasting ministry before and after his apparent arrest and exile to Patmos by Emperor Domitian also has its place.

This morning we board our bus and continue our Roman visit at Basilica of St John in Lateran which became among the most important Christians Churches of Rome. When Constantine opened the Roman world to Christianity, his apparent conversion was symbolized by the donation of a significant family property for the Basilica. The important Lateran Baptistery reminds us of the many early converts to the faith and the process of moving it from a rouge influence to a sponsored and ordered faith.

Then continue with Holy Steps, According to tradition, these steps (now covered with wooden plants) are the very ones Jesus climbed in the house of Pontius Pilate only to see the Roman governor wash his hands of the self-styled messiah .  Martin Luther, on his trip to Rome to meet the Pope, climbed on his knees, a tradition still maintained today- 

We continue with a relaxing walking tour throughout the most beautiful squares of Rome, from the Trevi Fountain, to the Pantheon  and Navona Square, where we will enjoy a break for lunch. In the afternoon we will visit the imposing Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel 

 

Dinner  will be served in restaurant located at walking distance from the Spanish Steps- Return to the hotel for overnight 


SATURDAY – July 25 Day 4:   Departure 

“ O Roma Felix, quae tantorum principum es purpurata pretioso sanguni !!

Non laude tua, sed ipsorum meritis

Excellis omnenmundi pulchritudinem “


Rome blessed, bathed in the blood of these great apostles

you exceed any beauty in the world
not for your glory but for their own merits