The Best of Italy on a Christian Tour

Beautiful cityscape skyline of Florence, Italy with the bridges over the river Arno in the distance

Beautiful cityscape skyline of Florence, Italy with the bridges over the river Arno in the distance

Some travelers choose a destination based on its scenery and beauty. Others seek cultural experiences like food, architecture or famous artwork. Still others—especially within the Christian travel community—want to tour historic sites and see places central to their faith.

In Italy, every single one of these travelers finds something to love. Few places on earth offer the depth of rich, meaningful experiences for believers. From Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel and the Vatican Museums to stunning cities like Florence and Venice, Italy is a feast for the senses. 

Using an itinerary from one of our upcoming Italy tours as a guide, here are a few of the unforgettable experiences available for Christian travelers to this Mediterranean nation.

Rome

Explore the city where Paul was imprisoned and wrote letters now included in the New Testament. With more than 3,000 museums and more paintings per square mile than any other nation in the world, Italy is known for its fine art and historic architecture. The culmination of this culture is the ancient city of Rome, which is a highlight of any trip to Italy.

Christian travelers standing and smiling at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

Christian travelers at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy

  • Immerse yourself in the world’s greatest collection of religious art at the Vatican Museums.
  • Gaze in wonder, admiring Michelangelo’s best-known work at the Sistine Chapel.
  • Step into the history of early Christianity at the Colosseum, a 1st-century structure which saw the martyrdom of countless early Christians.
  • Enjoy the best pizza you’ve ever eaten at a restaurant along one of Rome’s cobblestone streets. (Trust us: almost any streetside café serves amazing pizza.)
  • Read Paul’s letters alongside other like-minded believers. Many of his epistles were written during his imprisonment in Rome.

Orvieto

This stunning Italian hill town in central Italy is just 75 miles north of Rome but feels like a distinctly different place. A medieval city, Orvieto is known for its narrow streets and beautiful churches—all surrounded by the green hills and vineyards of Umbria.

Aerial view of the famed Orvieto, a medieval hill town, rising above the almost vertical faces of tuff cliffs

Aerial view of the famed Orvieto, a medieval hill town, rising above the almost vertical faces of tuff cliffs

  • Gaze in wonder at the depths of St. Patrick’s Well, 175 feet deep and nearly 500 spiraling steps down. This massive engineering project dates back to the 16th century.
  • Marvel at the colorful facade and biblical frescoes of the Duomo Cathedral, one of the most beautiful churches in Italy.
  • Perk up with a mid-afternoon cappuccino or espresso from a quaint café in Orvieto’s old town.
  • Enjoy conversations with new friends as you explore historic sites in the “green heart” of Italy.

Florence

Renaissance greats like Michelangelo and Botticelli once walked the narrow streets of this influential, riverside city in Tuscany, and you’ll follow some of those centuries-old paths on a walking tour as you explore art and architecture.

Famed plaza in Florence, Italy, is named for the stunning Piazza Santa Croce church at its center

This famed plaza in Florence, Italy, is named for the stunning Piazza Santa Croce church at its center Italy – Piazza Santa Croce with the church of the same name

  • See Michelangelo’s David and other classic works at the Academy of Fine Arts.
  • Tour the massive Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the third-largest church in the world. Its brick-red dome dominates the city’s skyline. 
  • People-watch at Piazza della Signoria, the square that serves as the city’s political center.
  • Try award-winning gelato near the Santa Croce Piazza, where you can also hear live music from nearby restaurants.
  • Sample one of the 500 varieties of pasta served throughout Italy, like the local favorite tagliolini.
  • Deepen relationships with your traveling friends or family members who walk through each of these unforgettable moments with you.

Venice

Built upon hundreds of islands in a lagoon of the Adriatic Sea, Venice is a historic, man-made wonder. Its countless canals are lined with palaces, museums and cathedrals that date back centuries. The unequaled allure of this car-free city will stay with you forever.

Sunrise over San Marco square in Venice, Italy

Sunrise over San Marco square in Venice, Italy

  • Revel in the details of the architecture surrounding Piazza San Marco—St. Mark’s Square—which Napoleon once called “the drawing room of Europe.”
  • Step into history at the landmark Palazzo Ducale, once the seat of the Venetian government and a masterpiece of Gothic architecture.
  • Get out your camera at the “Bridge of Sighs” on the Rio de Palazzo, known for its iconic views of Venice and its canals.
  • Try delicious cicchetti, small side dishes and finger foods for which Venetian restaurants are famous.

Murano and Burano Islands

Venice is a world-famous city and draws huge numbers of tourists, but most of those tourists miss another side of this destination. Abandon the crowds with a day trip to the islands of Murano and Burano, the two most famous islands in the lagoon.

Colorful buildings and boats along a canal and sidewalk in Burano, Italy

Colorful buildings and boats along a canal and sidewalk in Burano, Italy

  • Watch master glass-blowers create beautiful works on Murano. Murano glass is known worldwide for its craftsmanship.
  • Shop for intricate, needle-designed lace on Burano, a fishing village famous for its pastel-colored homes and history of lacemaking.
  • Reflect on your time together within your tour group, a community of fellow Christians who have walked through these life-changing experiences with you.

Nine Days of Personal Highlights

Italy is filled with wonders: iconic artwork, groundbreaking architecture, incredible religious traditions, and history around every corner. There’s a reason it’s the 4th most visited country in the world! On a Christian tour of its cities, we’ve found that faith, food and fellowship impact every believer who travels here.

Skip Heitzig teaching Christian travelers about Paul’s time in Mamertime Prison

Skip Heitzig teaching Christian travelers about Paul’s time in Mamertime Prison

  • Faith: You’ll reflect on dramatic New Testament scenes depicted by the Renaissance greats and contemplate the missionary journeys and teachings of Paul, connecting you more deeply with God and your faith.
  • Food: Italian food always tastes better in Italy, and you will enjoy some of the best meals of your life as you travel through this nation.
  • Fellowship: Most importantly, the history and culture of Italy will draw closer to your travel companions, to your spouse or family, and to the Creator behind this gorgeous landscape. 

Italy is a special place filled with the kinds of experiences that will stay with you for a lifetime. We’d love to introduce it to you.

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