Martin Luther and the Reformation - Journey to Rome

Day 1
Arrival - Berlin - Wittenberg (130kms)
Upon arrival in Berlin, we take a city tour of Germany's largest city and capital. We then head south to Wittenberg, the town where from 1508 Martin Luther spent most of his time. Dinner and overnight Wittenberg. B, D

Day 2
Wittenberg
Today we visit Luther Hall (an Augustinian monastery where Luther lived as a monk and later with his wife and family; nowadays it's the largest museum of Reformation history in the world). We will continue on to the Market Square and Town Hall followed by viewing the All Saints Church (Schlosskirche) where Luther posted his 95 Theses on the Castle Church door sparking the beginning of the Reformation (it is here that Luther is buried along side his fellow reformer, Philipp Melanchthon); guided tour of St. Mary's Church, where Luther did the majority of his preaching and a visit to the Melanchthon House. This museum offers a rare look into the life and works of this important humanist and reformer. In the afternoon, free time to shop or enjoy the town. Dinner and overnight Wittenberg. B, D

Day 3
Eisleben - Erfurt (200kms)
This morning we drive to Eisleben, Luther's birthplace and where he in 1546 died. Our first stop is Luther's "Birth House". After a tour of the memorial museum, we will visit St. Peter and Paul Church where Luther was baptized. We then visit St. Andrew's Church where Luther preached his last sermon followed by a visit to the great reformer's "Death House." We board our coach and drive through the picturesque Thuringian countryside to Erfurt for dinner and overnight. B, D

Day 4
Eisenach - Wartburg Castle (150kms)
Morning drive to Eisenach. Our day begins with a visit to St. George's Church where St. Elisabeth was married and J.S. Bach baptized. We then tour the Luther House where Luther lived as a student, tour the Luther exhibition documenting his life and theologies. Nearby we visit the Bach Museum, the birth house of the famous composer Johann Sebastian Bach. Although he was born 200 years later than Luther he is the composer who influenced the protestant music the most. Our next stop takes us to the magnificent Wartburg Castle where we will take a tour of the Palas (Great Hall), Art exhibition, the Elisabeth Hallway and the Luther Room where "Junker Jörg" (the Knight George) translated the New Testament into German. We return to Erfurt for dinner and overnight. B, D

Day 5
Erfurt
Erfurt
, where Luther attended university: We visit to the Augustinian Monastery with its famous dome and stained-glass window choir and where Luther entered as a novice in 1505 and took his vows as a monk in 1507. We then take a city tour to include the Fish Market, Town Hall and Merchant's Bridge followed by a short walk to Anger Square with its numerous shops, Merchants' Church, Luther Memorial and St. Mary's and St. Severus Churches. Time at leisure. Dinner and overnight. B, D

Day 6
Flight to Rome
Today we depart Germany for Rome, Italy. After breakfast, we drive to Frankfurt airport for our flight to Rome. Upon arrival in Rome, you meet your Italian tour escort. Dinner and overnight Rome. B, D

Day 7
Protestant Rome
Today, we continue our tour in Luther's footsteps as we discover the Protestant Rome. In the morning we visit the Christ Church, Italy's largest Lutheran church located on Via Sicilia (Sundays: possibility to attend the church service). Afterward, we continue on to Monte Mario, the highest hill of Rome from where Luther first saw the city. Our next stop takes us to the Santa Maria del Popolo Church. Located next to the northern gate of Rome, it housed an Augustinian monastery where Luther lived during his stay in Rome. It is now world famous for its large collection of Renaissance art works. At the corner of the Via del Corso/Via Lata, we see a fountain, a figure with rounded face spouting water. It is said that this face is the portrait of Luther. Our final stop for the day is the Cimitero acattolico – the Non-Catholic Cemetery or Protestant Cemetery where many important writers, poets, artists and sculptors are buried to include the English poets Shelley and Keats. Dinner and overnight Rome. B, D

Day 8
Ancient Rome
Today our day is dedicated to the ancient Rome. We begin with a walk to the top of the Capitoline Hill, one of Rome's seven hills and then descent to the Forum Romanum with a brief stop at the Mamertine Prison where it is said that St. Peter was held captive. Once at the Forum Romanum, we visit Ceasar's grave, the Via Sacra, the Rostra, the Curia Hostilia, Basilica Maxentius and the Arch of Titus. We then ascend the Palatine Hill with its ancient palaces, the centremost of the Seven Hills of Rome for a panoramic view of the ancient city. We also visit the Arch of Constantine and the Colosseum followed by the Basilica of St. Clement, a former site of Mithraic worship during the second century. Dinner and overnight Rome. B, D

Day 9
Christian Rome
The today's focus is on the early Christians in Rome. We visit the catacombs along the Via Appia Antica (Old Appian Way) followed by the Basilica di San Paolo fuori le Mura (Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls), one of the four ancient basilicas of Rome and burial place of St. Paul. We then visit the Basilica of Saint Mary in Cosmedin located at the Forum Boarium and site of the well-known "Bocca della Veritá" or "Mouth of Truth." Afterward, we continue on to the Basilica of Saint John Lateran, the cathedral of the Church of Rome and site of the famous Lateran Baptistery followed by a visit to the Scala Santa or "Holy Stairs." Dinner and overnight. B, D

Day 10
Vatican
On our final day in Rome, we explore Vatican City and surrounding area. We begin with a tour of the Sisteen Chapel and the Vatican Museum (time for specific objects only) and then continue on to St. Peter's Basilica, the largest church in Christianity and site of the papal tombs. Located directly in front of the basilica, we walk onto St. Peter's Square, one of the world's most magnificent squares, colossal in size and scope. Our next stop is San Pietro in Vincoli (St. Peter in Chains), a basilica housing the chains, that according to legend were those that bound St. Peter when he was imprisoned in Jerusalem. It is also home of Michelangelo's impressive statue of Moses, part of the tomb of Pope Julius II. After a brief visit of the Piazza Navona, we continue on to the Pantheon, the best preserved building of ancient Rome still standing. Originally built as a temple, it is now a Roman Catholic Church. Our final stops take us to the largest and most famous fountain in Rome, the Trevi fountain and the longest and widest staircase in Europe, the Spanish Steps. Dinner and overnight Rome. B, D

Day 11
Departure
Today, we board our coach and drive to the Rome airport, Fiumicino for check-in and return flight home. B

Program changes possible for logistical reasons.