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In Luthers footsteps in Germany and Italy

DE-H-94

11-day tour

Itinerary (subject to change):

Day 1: Arrival in Berlin. Discover the old town of Berlin, called "Nikolaiviertel", with its historic architectural monuments in a walking tour to St. Nicholas' Church where hymn writer Paul Gerhardt was a deacon. In a bus tour of the city see Berlin's most iconic sights such as the Reichstag and Brandenburg Gate. Check in to hotel for 2 nights in Berlin.

Day 2: After breakfast, free time in Berlin until noon. Continue to Wittenberg. Walk to Castle Church where Luther posted the 95 theses at the "Thesentur", then walk to the Renaissance town hall, the monuments of Luther and Melanchthon and Luther House. Return to hotel in Berlin.

Day 3: Continue to Torgau. A walking tour takes you to the historic market, the town hall and the patrician houses. Visit the Church of St. Mary to see Katharina Luther's tomb stone and the Nothelfer altar of Cranach the Elder. Go on to the Castle Chapel at Hartenfels Castle. Continue to Leipzig. Check in to hotel for two nights in Leipzig.

Day 4: Leipzig. In a tour of the city see the Battle of the Nations Monument, Schillerhaus and the Gohlis Palace. Visit St. Thomas' Church where Luther established the Reformation in 1539. Continue on a walking tour to historic buildings of the city center, Goethe Monument, Auerbachs Keller, St. Nicholas' Church and the Central Railway Station. Continue to Grimma. Visit the monastery church where hymn writer Paul Gerhardt attended school during the 30 Years War. Continue to Nimbschen, the remains of the convent "Marienthron" where Katharina von Bora lived as a nun before she fled to Wittenberg to marry Martin Luther in1525. Return to hotel in Leipzig.

Day 5: Continue to Eisleben. In a tour of the city visit Luther's Birth House, walk to market square, Luther Monument and the town hall. Go on to St. Andrew's Church and Luther's Death House. Continue to Mansfeld. Walk to the Luther Monument near Luther Fountain, to the Latin School and the house of Martin Luther's parents. Visit St. George's Church. Continue to Erfurt. In a guided tour of the city see Erfurt Cathedral, Severikirche church, Merchants' Bridge and the Augustinian monastery where Luther lived from 1505 to 1511. Overnight stay in Erfurt.

Day 6: Continue to Eisenach. Walk through the Old Town to St. George's Church where Luther was a choir boy and J. S. Bach was baptized. Visit to Wartburg Castle and the Luther Room where he translated the New Testament into German. Overnight stay in Eisenach.

Day 7: Transfer flight from Frankfurt to Rome. Welcome by the local tour guide and transfer to the city center. Bus tour of Ancient Rome starting at Capitoline Hill, symbol of the power of ancient Rome, then to the Roman Forum, center of ancient Rome, and the Imperial Fora, to Trajan's Column and the iconic Colosseum Flavian Amphitheater. Continue to the Arch of Constantine, the Church of Saint Peter in Chains with Michelangelo's famous statue of Moses and finally to Palatine Hill with the remnants of the emperors' palaces and Circus Maximus, the chariot racing stadium. Return to the hotel. Check in for 4 nights in Rome.

Day 8: Visit to Janiculum Hill and the Church of San Pietro in Montorio on the site St. Peter was crucified. Go on to the magnificent Basilica of Saint Mary Major on Esquiline Hill (6th station) and the Basilica of Saint Praxedes of the Carolingian period, probably with the oldest church tower in Rome. Continue to Luther's 3rd station, the Papal Arch basilica of St. John Lateran. On his way to the seven pilgrim churches of Rome, Luther came to the Church of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (4th station) for the relics of the Holy Cross and to the Church of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls (5th station) with shrines of St. Lawrence and St. Cyriacus. Return to hotel.

Day 9: Visit St. Peter's Basilica, the last stop of Luther's pilgrimage to Rome, bearing a complex cupola structure. Every morning the Eucharist is celebrated "Ad limina apostolorum" - on the threshold of the tombs of St. Peter and Paul. Visit to St. Peter's Basilica with works of Michelangelo and Bernini. Cross Baroque masterpiece St. Peter's Square to the Bridge of Hadrian, erected by Hadrian in 136 AD to connect the mausoleum and Rome. Go on a stroll through the old town near Piazza Navona with Bernini's Fountain of Four Rivers to the German National church Santa Maria dell'Anima, then go on to the windowless church Pantheon whose single source of light is the oculus at the center of the ceiling. End the tour at Sant'Agostino and the Piazza del Popolo. Return to hotel.

Day 10: Drive to the 1st station on Luther's pilgrimage, St. Paul's Outside the Walls with the tomb of Paul the Apostle. Drive along the Ancient Appian Way, one of the most important consular roads of the Roman Empire, for a visit to the Church of St. Sebastian (2nd station). Continue to the Catacombs. Visit the labyrinth and the Catacomb of Callixtus, then continue on a tour of 'Classical Rome' to the Via Condotti with the world's oldest coffee house "Caffè Greco", visited by many famous artists. Go on to the Spanish Stairs, along Via Veneto to the Piazza Barberini with the Triton Fountain. Free time. Return to hotel.

Day 11: Time at leisure until departure. If requested by the group and if time permits, end your journey with a trip to Ostia Antica, the port of Rome, once by the Mediterranean Sea, with remarkably well preserved thermal baths, latrines and insulae (apartment buildings). Transfer to airport, farewell and return flight.

Tour includes: coach rides and day trips in a modern long-distance coach, experienced driver, and accommodation in mid-price hotels in double rooms with ensuite bathroom or in church guest houses; half-board (breakfast and dinner), guided tours by trained local tour guides, headsets for guided tours in Rome, maps and informative material.

Not included: flights, tips, city tax, beverages, personal expenses, possible increases in jet fuel prices.

Note: Upon request we will include prayer and church services as well as encounters with church communities in the itinerary. Due to traffic conditions in Rome short-term changes to the program may become necessary.

All journeys are customizable to the needs of the group. On request we can send you an offer including your international flights.

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