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Multicountry Tours - Greece & Italy - 13 Day Tour

Christian Treasures of Italy & Greece (13 days)
Rome – Assisi – Siena – Florence – Padua – Venice – Athens – Corinth – Meteora – Kalambaka – Vergina – Berea – Thessalonica – Philippi – Kavala - Thermopylae

This compelling tour, featuring compelling Christian and archaeological sites is an inspirational journey to the best of Italy and Greece.

Day 1 – Rome arrival:
Upon arrival at Rome International Airport, a representative of Aristotle Travel will meet and assist you with your transfer to the hotel for dinner and overnight.

Day 2 – Rome:
The tour begins today with a visit to the Audience Hall at Vatican City for an audience with the Pope, followed by a visit to the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel, continuing to the churches of St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. Following are visits to the Catacombs of St. Callistus and the Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls.

Day 3 – Rome, Assisi:
Today we will depart Rome the morning for Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis where we will visit the basilica bearing his name and containing his tomb. Following are visits to the Basilica of St. Claire, the Church of St. Damian, the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Porziuncola.

Day 4 – Siena, Florence:
After our stay in Assisi, we depart for Siena, birthplace of Saint Catherine and Saint Bernardine, and one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities. Here we will visit the Piazza Del Campo, the Cathedral Duomo and the Basilica of St. Domenico. Following is the voyage to Florence for a half-day walking guided tour that includes the magnificent Santa Maria Del Fiore, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistery's heavy bronze "Gate of Paradise" and the sculpture-studded Signoria Square.

Day 5 – Florence, Padua:
After a free morning exploring Florence, we depart for Padua, the birthplace of St. Anthony, where we will visit the basilica that bears his name and contains his richly decorated tomb.

Day 6 – Padua, Venice:
We depart Padua for Venice in the morning, and upon arrival begin with a walking tour of this enchanting city built on 177 islands, 150 canals and 400 bridges. Included are visits to the Golden Basilica of San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark's Square and the Doges' Palace.

Day 7 – Venice departure, Athens:
The tour transfers to the Venice Airport this morning for the flight to Greece. Upon arrival in Athens, a representative from Aristotle Travel will meet and assist you with transfer to the hotel. Following is a tour of Athens including the famous Parthenon, the Erechteum, and a visit to Mars' Hill (or Areopagus) (Acts 17:22), where the Apostle Paul delivered his well-known sermon. The tour continues with highlights of modern Athens: the tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, Panathenian Stadium, Temple of Olympian Zeus and the National Library.

Day 8 – Ancient Corinth:
Today on the itinerary is a journey to Ancient Corinth via the famous Corinthian Canal, followed by a tour of the church established there by Apostle Paul. Other sites in Corinth include the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema, and Gallio's Seat. Next stop is a visit to the Archaeological museum and a tour of the ruins of a 5th century Christian basilica at the Ancient Port of Cenchreae.

Day 9 – Meteora, Kalambaka:
The voyage continues today to the spectacular region of Meteora where you will see thousand-year-old breathtaking beautiful Byzantine monasteries perched high on colossal gray and reddish boulders. First built in the 14th century by monks seeking isolation and salvation, the site now features exhibits showcasing superb icons, old manuscripts, unique mosaics and frescoes. Dinner and overnight in Kalambaka.

Day 10 – Vergina, Berea, Thessalonica:
The tour then continues to Vergina, the first capital of Macedonia, where we will visit the tomb of Philip II of Macedonia, the father of Alexander the Great, followed by a visit to Berea where we will see the Byzantine mosaic in a monument commemorating the preaching of St. Paul. Following is the transfer to Thessalonica for dinner and overnight stay.

Day 11 – Thessalonica, Philippi, Kavala:
Today on the itinerary is a picturesque drive to Kavala via the city of Philippi, where Paul established the first church in Europe. Here we see the river where Lydia and possibly the jailer were baptized and the ancient Forum and jail where Paul and Silas were imprisoned. Following is brief visit to the beautiful city of Kavala, the ancient port of Neapolis, before returning to Thessalonica for dinner and overnight.

Day 12 – Thessalonica, Thermopylae, Athens:
The final day of our tour begins with a tour of Thessalonica which will pass the Egnatian Road, the Galerius Arch, the Citadel, the White Tower, and the Archaeological Museum. Following is a visit to the early Byzantine mosaics of St. Dimitrios Church and a stop at St. Sophia, the first Christian Church in Thessalonica. Finally, we return to Athens via Thermopylae, the famed site where Leonidas and his famed 300 Spartans battled the powerful Xerxes Persian army of thousands in 480 B.C.

Day 13 – Athens departure:
Transfer to Athens International Airport for departure flight.