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The Holy Land and
Rome

Trip Length

9 Days

Current Weather

Trip Type

1-800-CATHOLIC

Trip Overview & Highlight

Immerse yourself in the teachings of Jesus Christ in this unforgettable 11-day journey through the Holy Land and Rome. Visiting numerous remarkable Christian sites in Galilee, Nazareth, Jerusalem, the Dead Sea, and Rome.

Connect with the teachings of Jesus Christ in this unforgettable journey for the soul.

Highlights

  • Visit important Christian sites throughout Israel
  • See ancient sites along the Sea of Galilee.
  • Visit the Mount of Beatitudes
  • Visit Tabgha, the site of Loaves and Fishes
  • Visit the town of Nazareth
  • Explore the ancient Roman town of Caesarea
  • See the many sites of Jerusalem’s Old City
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Continue to Mt. Zion, site of the Last Supper room, and David’s tomb
  • See the various sites of Imperial Rome
  • Visit 3 major basilicas and St Paul Outside the Walls in Rome
  • Attend a Papal Audience (subject to availability)
  • See the Sistine Chapel and Vatican Museums

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What’s Included

  • International airfare from New York gateway
  • 8 nights hotel accommodations
  • Breakfast and Dinner daily
  • Ground & Air Transportation
  • Sightseeing & Entrance fees
  • Professional English Speaking Tour Director throughout
  • Private motorcoach & driver
  • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person

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Prices & Dates

 

Prices are based on double occupancy: all other room configurations are on request and cannot be guaranteed. We will accommodate triples/quads whenever possible. Please call for further details.

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Itinerary

DAY 1: New York, NY

We depart on our international flight to Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion Airport. Dinner and breakfast are served on board.

DAY 2: Galilee

We arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, where we are met by our tour escort and transferred to our hotel in Galilee. Enjoy some free time before dinner. Overnight in the Galilee area. (D)

DAY 3: Galilee

Our exploration of the Holy Land begins with visits to Christian sites along the shores of the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus taught and performed miracles. We visit the Mt. of Beatitudes, where, according to tradition, Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount. The sermon is commemorated in the Church of the Beatitudes, built overlooking the Sea of Galilee. We continue to Tabgha, site of the Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes. A mosaic commemorating this miracle is located near the altar at Tabgha. We also visit Capernaum and the Church of the Primacy of Peter. Later we proceed to the Church of the Transfiguration at Mt. Tabor and the Jordan River, site of Jesus’ baptism. We enjoy a cruise on the Sea of Galilee and visit Ginnosar where we see a fisherman’s boat that dates to Christ’s time. Dinner and overnight in the Galilee area. (B, D)

DAY 4: Jerusalem

Today we travel to Nazareth in Lower Galilee, the place where Jesus grew up and lived most of his life. We visit the Church of the Annunciation, built over the Grotto of the Annunciation, the place where early Christian tradition says that the angel Gabriel spoke to the Blessed Mother. We continue to Joseph’s carpentry workshop and then to Cana, site of the wedding feast. On Mount Carmel we stop at the Carmelite Monastery at the Muhraka, site of Elijah’s altar, and celebrate Mass at Stella Maris Church. Paintings in the church dome depict Old Testament stories, including one of Elijah being swept up to heaven in a fiery chariot. We continue to Caesarea on the Mediterranean Sea to discover the ancient Crusader and Roman town, its aqueduct and theater. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)

DAY 5: Jerusalem

We spend the day in the Old City of Jerusalem, visiting St. Anne’s Church, the Pool of Bethesda, the Chapel of the Flagellation and the Ecce Homo Arch. We continue through the Bazaar to the Via Dolorosa, which winds through the streets of Old Jerusalem and commemorates the path that Jesus walked on his way to the crucifixion. We visit the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, containing the tomb where Jesus was buried and rose from the dead. Later we head to Bethlehem for an inspiring visit to the Church of the Nativity (subject to availability). While returning to Jerusalem, we view Shepherd’s Field and Rachel’s Tomb. Dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)

DAY 6: Jerusalem

Our destination for today is the Dead Sea region, the lowest point on earth. We drive to Masada, the fortress where Jewish Zealots held off the armies of the Roman Empire before choosing death over surrender. We continue to Ein Gedi, where King David found shelter from the wrath of King Saul. This afternoon we can opt to “float” on the Dead Sea. On our way back to Jerusalem, we view the caves of Qumran where, in 1947, the Dead Sea Scrolls were discovered. We return to Jerusalem for dinner and overnight. (B, D)

DAY 7: Jerusalem

Today we participate in a full-day tour of Jerusalem including the Mt. of Olives, Mt. Scopus, the Garden of Gethsemane and the Basilica of Agony. We continue to the Kidron Valley and to Mt. Zion, site of the Last Supper room, and David’s tomb. We visit a model of Jerusalem during the Second Temple period as well as the Shrine of the Book at the Israel Museum. We drive to the village of Ein Kerem, birthplace of St. John the Baptist. This evening we enjoy a farewell dinner and overnight in Jerusalem. (B, D)

DAY 8: Tel Aviv - Rome

We depart very early for our transfer to the airport for our flight to Rome. Upon arrival in the “Eternal City” we are met by our tour escort and transfer to the hotel. The remainder of the day is at leisure for individual exploration. Dinner and overnight are in Rome. (B, D)

DAY 9: Rome

After breakfast we enjoy a guided sightseeing tour of “Imperial” Rome, including the Catacombs, the Appian Way, St. Peter in Chains, the Colosseum, and Circus Maximus. We also visit the three major basilicas in Rome including 1600 year old St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, Cathedral of the city of Rome and St. Paul Outside the Walls, built over the burial place of St. Paul. Dinner and overnight are in Rome. (B, D)

DAY 10: Rome

After breakfast we depart for Vatican City, to attend a Papal Audience ( subject to availability ). In the afternoon, we visit the splendid Vatican Museums with their world-renowned art collections and the breathtaking Sistine Chapel, adorned with Michelangelo’s frescoes. We conclude our visit with a tour of the awe inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica, including time to pray at the tomb of Pope John Paul II. We have the remainder of the day to explore the wonders of Rome on our own. Dinner and overnight are in Rome. (B, D)

DAY 11: New York, NY

We depart for Rome’s Fiumicino Airport for our return flight, arriving the same day. (B)

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Essential Information & Weather

 

Weather

Israel

Israel enjoys long, warm, dry summers (April-October) and generally mild winters (November-March) with somewhat drier, cooler weather in hilly regions, such as Jerusalem and Safed. Rainfall is relatively heavy in the north and center of the country, with much less in the northern Negev and almost negligible amounts in the southern areas. You may even see the odd wintertime snowfall in different parts of the country.

Spring and autumn-time are both great times to visit Israel, as the temperature stays in the high 60s to mid 70s throughout. You’ll smell the diverse citrus harvest and experience the high holidays when traveling between September and November, or catch stunning views of flowers blossoming across the country when visiting between March and May.

All in all, there’s never a bad time to visit Israel – just pack accordingly!

Find up-to-date weather forecasts for Israel here: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/israel

Italy

The country of Italy has a mostly Mediterranean climate characterized by hot, dry summers and cold, rainy winters. But at nearly 840 miles in length north to south, Italy also has a variety of sub- and micro-climates where seasonal weather can differ greatly from national norms. Global climate change is affecting Italy’s weather, with more extreme weather events and overall warmer temperatures year-round.
In general travelers to Italy should plan on hot, sunny summers; mildly cold winters with a lot of rain and little snowfall; and fall and spring seasons that can range from sunny and pleasant to rainy and chilly.
In the heavily touristed area of Rome north to Florence and the rest of Tuscany, you’ll find four distinct seasons. Summers are dry and can be extremely hot, with daytime temperatures in the high 90s F and even exceeding 104 F. Winters in this section of Italy are generally wet and mild, with temperatures seldom dropping below 32 F.
While you may get some chilly, sunny days, overcast skies are more the norm.
In the eastern, mountainous regions of Abruzzo and Le Marche, summertime temperatures may be lower, and winters more severe, with regular snowfall.
For a real-time weather report: https://www.timeanddate.com/weather/italy

Packing List

Israel

Packing list: The following suggested packing list is for a general week to ten-day trip in Israel. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust. Of worth remembering, as a modern country, you will be able to purchase any needs in-destination – just in case!

• 7-9 x underwear, socks,
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal!
• 3-4 x shorts
• 2 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops
• 2-3 evening tops
• 1-2 x swimming gear
• 1-2 x sweater or cardigan
• 1-2 x sandals or flip flops
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x beach bag
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Specific packing notes for religious sites:
• Cover shoulders: avoid strapless tops, spaghetti straps tops and vests (both men and women)
• Avoid above the knee skirts and shorts (men and women)
• Avoid exposing excessive cleavage, a waist/belly or back
• Do not wear slogans or prints that may be perceived as offensive

Italy

The following suggested packing list is for a general week to ten-day trip in Italy. Please consider the season of travel and type of trip to adjust, as it gets quite hot in the summer and can get quite cold and wet in wintertime.

• 7-9 x underwear, socks,
• 2-3 x loose, lightweight trousers or skirts– one full length and one cropped pair would be ideal!
• 2-3 x shorts
• 2 x long, loose shirts
• 4-5 x t-shirts or tops
• 2-3 evening tops

• 1-2 x sandals or flip flops for warmer-weather walking
• 1-2 pairs of comfortable walking/running shoes
• 1 x pair of more formal shoes
• 1 rain/wind-proof jacket
• 2-3 sweaters or other colder-weather gear
• sunglasses
• sun hat
• toiletries
• 1 x day bag
• 1 x evening bag
• European adapter
• Phone, camera and any other electronics needed
• passport and travel docs
• insurance

Specific packing notes for the Vatican:
• Cover shoulders: avoid strapless tops, spaghetti straps tops and vests (both men and women)
• Avoid above the knee skirts and shorts (men and women)
• Avoid exposing excessive cleavage, a waist/belly or back
• Do not wear slogans or prints that may be perceived as offensive

Passports

Israel

Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months following your return from the destination. Additionally, you’ll need an empty page for the entry stamp.

Italy

Please make sure that your passport is valid for at least six months following your return from the Schengen area, and that you have at least two blank pages available for the entry stamp.

Visa

Israel

Tourist Visas are Not required for stays of 90 days or less. Please see below for detailed information about entry, exit and visa requirements

Italy

Visas are not required for stays less than 90 days.

Currency & Exchange

Israel

The State of Israel’s currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in Hebrew or shekels in English). There are 100 agorot (agora in singular) in each shekel. Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100, and 200; coins are in denominations of NIS10, NIS5, NIS2 NIS1 and 50 and 10 agorot. Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought into Israel as cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards or State of Israel bonds. Foreign currency of all kinds may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities. A passport is required when exchanging travelers’ checks. The rates vary from place to place, and banks charge a commission. It is recommended, though not obligatory; to carry a small amount of US dollars, since certain tourist sites, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem, take payment in dollars. More Information is available here. Holders of international credit cards can withdraw local or foreign currency at banks which accept their credit cards. There are Automated Teller Machines outside most banks.

Italy

The currency of Italy is the Euro, which breaks into 100 cents. You will be able to exchange dollars for Euros in most hotels, as well as at banks and registered money exchanges. ATMs can be found throughout the country, and most major credit/debit cards can be used to withdraw cash.

Though most merchants prefer cash, credit and debit cards are accepted at most larger businesses — especially aimed at tourists. For purchases under 20 euros, you’ll likely need to use cash. Before traveling, try to ascertain what fees your credit card company or bank of choice might take for transactions, to avoid any unhappy surprises.

Tipping is not obligatory, but is appreciated. There is no standard for you to follow, but consider rounding up on restaurant bills, and adding a euro while paying for a taxi-ride. Please note that tips should be in cash.

Phone & Internet Connectivity

Israel

The State of Israel’s currency is the New Israel Shekel (NIS) or shekel for short (pluralized as shkalim in Hebrew or shekels in English). There are 100 agorot (agora in singular) in each shekel. Bank notes are in denominations of NIS 20, 50, 100, and 200; coins are in denominations of NIS10, NIS5, NIS2 NIS1 and 50 and 10 agorot. Unlimited sums of local and foreign money may be brought into Israel as cash, travelers’ checks, credit cards or State of Israel bonds. Foreign currency of all kinds may be exchanged at the airport, banks, post offices, most hotels or licensed exchange agencies in large cities. A passport is required when exchanging travelers’ checks. The rates vary from place to place, and banks charge a commission. It is recommended, though not obligatory; to carry a small amount of US dollars, since certain tourist sites, especially in the Old City of Jerusalem, take payment in dollars. More Information is available here. Holders of international credit cards can withdraw local or foreign currency at banks which accept their credit cards. There are Automated Teller Machines outside most banks.

Italy

The currency of Italy is the Euro, which breaks into 100 cents. You will be able to exchange dollars for Euros in most hotels, as well as at banks and registered money exchanges. ATMs can be found throughout the country, and most major credit/debit cards can be used to withdraw cash.

Though most merchants prefer cash, credit and debit cards are accepted at most larger businesses — especially aimed at tourists. For purchases under 20 euros, you’ll likely need to use cash. Before traveling, try to ascertain what fees your credit card company or bank of choice might take for transactions, to avoid any unhappy surprises.

Tipping is not obligatory, but is appreciated. There is no standard for you to follow, but consider rounding up on restaurant bills, and adding a euro while paying for a taxi-ride. Please note that tips should be in cash.

Italy

Broadband internet access is available in most cities, and some municipalities even offer free wifi in the touristic centers. Free wifi is also offered to customers in different cafes, restaurants and some hotels (hotels may charge for access). Internet connectivity on your mobile device is available throughout most of the country, but unless you have unlimited roaming, your bill may leave you a nasty surprise. If your mobile phone allows for it, and you are in need of constant connectivity, you can always purchase a local SIM card and a prepaid plan. This provides you with local phone number and internet access, allowing for your mobile phone to double as a modem through the mobile hotspot function.

Electricity and Adapters

Israel

The Israeli power supply is single phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pin holes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers and adaptor plugs.

The Israeli power supply is single-phase 220 volts at 50 Hertz. Most power sockets in Israel have three pinholes, but many of them will work with double-pin European plugs. Visitors who want to use shavers, traveling irons and other small appliances may need both transformers (converters) and adapter plugs.

Italy

In Italy the power plugs and sockets are of type F and L.
• Type F: also known as “Schuko”. This socket also works with plug C and plug E.
• Type L: This type is of Italian origin. This socket also works with plug C.

Dress & Modesty Norms

Israel

Israel is a casual country when it comes to dress code. It is not uncommon for business executives even to wear jeans and a t-shirt to work! However, we will be visiting some religious sites where “modest” clothing is appropriate. On entering Jewish religious sites, women should wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. We suggest bringing a scarf or cardigan to throw over your shoulders, and a skirt that can be easily pulled over your shorts for a more “modest” look. Pants or capris are also acceptable. Men should have their shoulders covered on the days where religious sites are on the itinerary. Remember to bring comfortable lightweight and comfortable walking shoes. Know that when your feet are happy, you stay happy walking.

Italy

Italy is chic, fashion-forward, and respectful of religion. You’ll spot locals dressing elegantly just to go on daily errands. This, of course, is not expected, but worth noting if you want to blend in. Additional tips for dress norms:
• Italy is a major center of European fashion. Italians are chic. Even people in small towns spend a great deal of money on their wardrobes and dress well at all times.
• Dress elegantly but conservatively.
• Jackets and ties are required in better restaurants.
• Old, torn, dirty clothing are seldom seen and not appreciated.
• Men and women dress conservatively and formally for business (men: suits and ties; women: dresses or suits). Women should wear feminine clothing.

A few notes on body language:
• Maintain eye contact while talking. Otherwise Italians might think you are hiding something.
• To beckon a waiter or waitress raise your index finger and make eye contact.
• Italians are known for using the most body language of all European nations.

Food & Water

Israel

Food. Israel has great food. Most people are probably familiar with falafel – fried ground chick peas served with salad in pita. Meat eaters will love shwarma, lamb sliced off a spit and served in pita (similar to gyros). Both are cheap, filling meals. Lots of other Mediterranean specialties like shishlik (shish kebab), baklawa (sweetmeat made of dough, honey, and nuts) and moussaka (baked eggplant, minced meat, onion and parsley) will stimulate your taste buds. Hummus (hummus bi tahini), is a Levantine and Egyptian food dip or spread made from cooked, mashed chickpeas or other beans, blended with tahini, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and garlic. The Americanization of Israel also means you will find such familiar names as McDonald’s, Burger King, Pizza Hut and Dunkin’ Donuts.

Water. The water in Israel is safe to drink; nevertheless, it is different from what you are used to and people with sensitive stomachs may want to stick to bottled water. Also, Israelis don’t usually put ice in their drinks, so if you want some, ask for kerakh. Keep in mind that not everything in Israel is kosher. Restaurants that are kosher serve either dairy or meat and close on Shabbat. The restaurant should have a Teudat certificate either on the window or available for inspection. Unless the menu or check says otherwise, tips are not included.

Staying Hydrated. The sun is much stronger in Israel than most places even in the U.S. Carrying a water bottle is mandatory, as your body will require much more frequent hydration than you are probably used to, around 2-4 liters of water per day. Israelis often recycle their plastic store-bought bottles of water by refilling them from the tap (which is safe to drink!). If you don’t have a water bottle, we will be making plenty of stops for you to purchase water.

Italy

Water: Thanks to the mountains, clean drinking water is abundant and relatively available across most regions. The processing and cleaning standards are as good as any in Europe. The main issue is the piping and storing, so be careful when drinking from the tap.

While out and about, cheap alternative to bottled water runs from public water fountains that can be found in all towns and villages. This water is free, safe and readily available from marked water posts everywhere. And it is safe for tourists to stop and take a drink or fill up their drinking bottles from these fountains instead of carrying bottled water around.

Timezone

Israel

Israel is +3 hours UTC. You can find up-to-date time information here:https://www.timeanddate.com/time/zone/israel

Italy

Italy is +2 hours UTC. You can find up-to-date time information here: https://www.timeanddate.com/worldclock/italy

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From The Pilgrimage

 

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