Italy stands as one of the most complex and alluring destinations of the Lands of the Bible. Ancient populations were drawn to this country positioned in the center of the Mediterranean with its mild climate, fertile soil, stunning alpine passages and scenic coastlines. As populations melded, a unique people emerged, giving rise to a grand empire uniting many nations of different languages, customs, and ideals. The Ancient Roman Empire originated in Italy, spread throughout the world, and continues to have a lasting impact upon our society today.
As the heart of the Ancient Roman Empire, the city of Rome played a vital role in the world of the New Testament, the spread of Christianity, and the establishment of the early Church. A stroll through the ancient city showcases the Street of Imperial Forums, Trajan’s Column, Palatine Hill, Capitoline Hill, and the Colosseum, an enduring symbol of Rome’s grandeur. A visit to the Vatican, the seat of the Catholic church, reveals a wealth of religious and artistic treasures culminating in a view of the legendary Sistine Chapel. Stunning basilicas, ancient churches, and extensive catacombs uncover roots of the early Church.
In addition to Rome, visitors can explore the picturesque city of Naples, enjoy an enchanting gondola ride through the town of Venice, and stand in awe of the basilicas of Assisi. Pompei, the ancient city petrified during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, allows one to be immersed in the daily life of the Imperial Age through its perfectly preserved homes, shops, and streets. Florence, the cradle of the Renaissance, invites onlookers to gaze at the splendor of works from famed artists such as Medici, Michelangelo, da Vinci and Botticelli.
The world has been shaped by the events and movements birthed in Italy. This beautiful country is the stem of the vast Ancient Roman Empire, the Renaissance, and the Catholic church. The combination of Italy’s classical origins, religious heritage, architecture, artistic traditions, and beautiful scenery continues to captivate travelers and pilgrims alike.