The Journeys of Paul 1120Bowen

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The Journeys of Paul 1120Bowen

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Duration: 11 Days
Dates: November 18 to November 27, 2020
Departure City: Phoenix, AZ

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Itinerary

Day 1

Departure

Day 2

Rome/Ostia/Rome

Day 3

Rome

Day 4

Rome

Day 5

Thessaloniki

Day 6

Philippi/ Amphipolis/ Kavala.

Day 7

Vergina

Day 8

Athens

Day 9

Ancient Corinth

Day 10

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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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!

 

Detailed Itinerary

ROME

DAY 1: Departure

We will meet at the airport and begin our journey together. Flying from Phoenix, Arizona to Rome Italy.

Day 2: November 19 Rome/Ostia /Rome

Upon arriving in Rome we drive 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. On the way to Rome, we travel to the Church of Santa Prisca on the Aventino Hill, the home of Priscilla and Aquila. The early Christian Church met in homes; this is one of them. Tradition says Peter worshiped here. When the Emperor Claudius expelled all Jews from Rome, Aquila was a Jew. As victims of Roman persecution, this couple moved to Corinth and partnered with Paul. (Acts 18, 1 Cor 16:19, Rom 16:3, 2 Tim 4:19). We continue to our hotel, check in, dinner and overnight.

DAY 3: November 20 Rome. All day in Rome.

Morning tour (3.5 hours) - Afternoon tour (3.5 hours). This tour will show the great “power" of Rome and Emperors who demanded divinity for themselves. While in Rome, this was what the Apostle Paul preached against. 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 Forum of Trajan, the biggest and most splendid of all, whose markets are true forerunners of the modern commercial centers. On foot you will reach the Capitoline Hill, once political and religious center of the town, which today is the seat of the Municipality. A stairway leads you to the Piazza del Campidoglio, whose natural terrace provides the best panoramic point over the valley of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. Here you’ll find the magnificent result of a single project by Michelangelo, a copy of the most famous equestrian statue in the world, the statue of Marcus Aurelius. 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, temples, columns and arches of triumph erected to commemorate gods of Roman history. From the Forum the guide will show you to the place linked to the fabulous origins of Rome, the Palatine. Here, in 753 B.C., Romolus founded the town. Starting with Augustus, the great emperors settled here. From the valley of the Roman Forum you will explore the ruins of the Imperial Palaces. The Domus Tiberiana, the royal palace, where the emperors placed themselves on the same level as the gods. Leaving the Roman Forum you’ll 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 signovinces", meaning "In this sign you will conquer"). The tour ends at the Colosseum, everlasting symbol of the greatness of Rome and the stage for the historical fights of the gladiators. We’ll then 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. Many modern depictions of the catacombs show them as hiding places for Christian populations during times of persecution. We 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, it’s 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.

Day 4: November 21 Rome.

Paul was not the only Apostle associated with Rome. Peter was martyred on the Vatican Hill and the memory of the impact of the Apostle John’s lasting ministry before and after his arrest and exile to Patmos by Emperor Domitian. This morning we board our bus and continue our Roman visit at Basilica of St John in Lateran which became among the most important Christian 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 rogue 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 will visit the Mamertine Prison, the site of Paul’s Incarceration. Enjoy a walking tour through Baroque Rome's monuments: from the Trevi Fountain, passing by the Pantheon till Navona Square. In the afternoon we visit the Vatican Museum, which includes the Sistine chapel and St Peter’s Basilica. Dinner will be served in a panoramic restaurant, with great view over Rome. Wide-Bodied TransAtlantic Flights Porterage of all baggage through the entire trip New Air-Conditioned private coach Superior First-Class Hotels 2 Meals Daily Breakfast and Dinner Small Group Size for a more interactive experience Entrance Fees to all places visited Customized Guidebooks Guides Knowledgable of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited Visits to Biblical and Historical Places with Photography Opportunities

GREECE:

Day 5: November 22 – Thessaloniki.

We start our excursion viewing the White Tower, an historical landmark of the city before continuing on to visit the Archaeological Museum which houses interesting finds from the Archaic, Classical and Roman periods, with findings from the Sindos area, a suburb of Thessaloniki, a stunning exhibition of golden jewels. Next, make your way up to the Acropolis, located in the upper part of the city. It is here, where you will have a superb panoramic view of the entire city with the Thermaic Gulf and Mount Olympus in the background. We’ll visit St. Demetrios Basilica which was erected in the 5th century AD. The five aisled basilicas suffered a tragic fire in the year 1917 but was later restored in 1948. Marvel at the beautiful mosaics, dating back from the 5th to 9th centuries. From here, follow your guide to the area located under the basilica, where you will see the famous crypt, which according to tradition, was once the confinement for an officer by the name of Demetrius who was later executed by the Emperor Gallerius. Today, St. Demetrius is the patron Saint of the city. Then view the Arch of Gallerius and St. George Rotunda. The tour will end with a short stop at the well-preserved Byzantine Basilica of St. Sophia, an 8th Century structure, rich in mosaics and frescoes.

Day 6: November 23 – Philippi/ Amphipolis/ Kavala.

Touring the Ancient town of Filippi and the modern city of Kavala gives you the opportunity to follow St. Paul’s footsteps. First, we will visit Amfipoli and see the famous Lion of Amfipolis. On this full-day tour you’ll have the opportunity to visit some of the most important archaeological sites and monuments in North-Eastern Greece such as Lydia's Baptistry, the great Amphipolis Lion statue, discover landmarks of glorious history and admire Greek nature very distinct from the well-known Aegean islands. Then arrive to the resort area of Asprovalta for a coffee stop. This day you’ll see the Krenides River, the site of Lydia’s baptism and you’ll see the Philippian Jail where Paul and Silas were imprisoned? Continue to the church site of St. Lydia’s Baptistery where the first Christian woman of Europe was baptized and then proceed to the Archaeological site of Philippi, founded by Philip II King of Macedonia, father of Alexander the Great. It was here where St. Paul set foot on the European Continent during his second missionary journey, establishing a thriving Christian church. The ruins include the Forum Romano with its Basilica, St. Paul’s Prison and the Theater. The famous ancient road Egnatia, which once ran from the Adriatic Sea all the way to Constantinople (modern time Istanbul), passed by this city. The next stop is in Kavala (ancient site of Neapolis) for lunch with traditional specialties and a city tour giving you the opportunity to view the Sylas Monastery named after one of St. Paul’s companions. Return to Thessaloniki in the late afternoon.

Day 7: November 24 - Vergina.

Drive from Thessaloniki to Vergina, the first capital of ancient Macedonia. We start our day with a drive to Pella, birthplace of both Phillip the II and Alexander the Great. We visit the excavations with the unique pebble floor mosaics. We later go to Vergina, first capital of ancient Macedonia and burial place of all Macedonian Kings. We visit the newly completed exhibition bearing the finds of all three tombs, one of them famous as the Royal Tomb (allegedly belonging to Philip the II, father of Alexander the Great). We will visit the unique subterranean structure built to encase and protect the ancient excavated Royal Tombs, as well as the exhibition with all the findings. Continue further south passing from the town of Veroia where we will see the bema where St. Paul stood and preached to the Greeks. Then continue to Kalambaka.

Day 8: November 25 – Athens.

A full day tour where you will view many significant historical and archaeological monuments that date back to the Golden Age of Pericles, in the 5th century BC. During that time, the wealthy, newly democratic and invigorated city-state decided to rebuild the Temples on top of the Acropolis in great splendor. Visit the Parthenon, dedicated to the Goddess Athena, a unique masterpiece of Greek Architecture. This monument is recognized as the culmination of Greek architecture and sculpture. Examine the Propylea, which blends Doric and Ionic building principles. Continue to the Temple of the Athena Nike (Wingless Victory) and the Erechtheum Temple, which was formerly used for cult worship and consists of three basic parts: the main Temple, the north extension and the famous Porch of Maidens. Explore the Museum of the Acropolis housing many masterpieces. The Acropolis museum is considered one of the most important archaeological museums in Athens and ranks among the most important museums of the world. The museum houses more than 4,000 artifacts from the Acropolis site, and its exhibits cover the Greek Bronze Age as well as the Roman and Byzantine periods. Next will be Mars Hill, where St. Paul preached Christianity. You will have a chance to see the Ancient Agora, Tower of the Winds, Herodes Atticus Theater, Theater of Dionyssos, Temple of Zeus, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and the former Royal Palace which is now the House of Parliament. Continue by bus to the University of Athens, the Academy of Athens, the National Library and then to the “Panathenian” Olympic Stadium where the first modern Olympic Games were held in 1896. {You will have the chance to enjoy lunch at a traditional restaurant in the center of Athens. Then you will have the chance to stroll at the Plaka which is the historic heart of Athens. Blending with the adjacent Monastiaki district, the Plaka area seems to have a little of everything, from the ancient ruins of a Roman forum, the Greek Agora, and Byzantine-influenced churches, to restored 19thcentury neoclassical homes and modern-day stores, boutiques and cafes sprinkled throughout. Enjoy some late afternoon free time.

Day 9: November 26 – Ancient Corinth.

Corinth is a city blessed with a superb location, fertile plains and virtually impregnable refuge. Excavations reveal that the ancient city was huge and wealthy; a survivor of the numerous invasions but devastated by earthquakes. St. Paul lived and worked in Corinth for 18 months, making converts where he could. The Bema (platform) where the Roman governor tried him is still visible. See one of Corinth’s most striking ancient buildings – the Temple of Apollo, seven of whose original columns still stand. Walk through the remains of the Market Place, a colonnaded square once surrounded by many small shops. See the celebrated Fountain of Priene, which has produced water from earliest times, and the Lechaion Road, formerly the main thoroughfare to the port of Lechaion. You will then visit the incredible Corinth Canal. The concept of cutting a canal through the Isthmus of Corinth to link the Ionian and Aegean seas was first proposed by the tyrant Periander, founder of Ancient Corinth. The magnitude of the task defeated him so he opted instead to build a paved slipway across which sailors dragged small ships on rollers, a method used until the 13th century. Nero, Rome’s most infamous emperor, inaugurated one attempt in 67 AD with his golden spade, but it was finally completed in 1893. Then return to Athens.

Day 10: November 27- Departure

Return home, with unforgettable memories to cherish forever. Walking in the footsteps of the Apostle Paul and the early Christian believers.