Journeys Of Faith

Summit Christian Academy 2023 Europe Trip

(March 23 – April 8, 2023)

Thursday, March, 23

Today we depart for our overnight flight to Rome. Meals In-Flight

Friday, March 24

Welcome to Rome! We are met by our tour leader and transferred to our hotel. We have time to relax this afternoon and visit some of the sights within walking distance of our convent hotel. We enjoy dinner together and get a good night’s rest in preparation for our first full day of touring tomorrow. (Rome-3 nights) Meals D

Saturday, March 25

Our introduction to the roots of Christian history begins with a fascinating visit to Ostia Antica—located just outside of Rome. This ancient port town was once home to 60,000 people. The ruins of this city give us insight into what life would have been like for early Christians when Paul was preaching the gospel in Rome. Later, we visit the Catacombs and view these fascinating ancient Christian burial grounds and see impressive early Christian art which decorate the walls. On our way back into the city we have a brief orientation tour by bus and end our first day with a visit to the Pantheon for the greatest look at the splendor of Rome and the best-preserved interior from ancient times. Built 2,000 years ago, this influential domed temple served as the model for Michelangelo’s dome of St. Peter’s and many others. Tonight, dinner is on your own—choose from dozens of cafes and restaurants near your convent hotel. Your guide will direct you to some of the best options. 

Meals B/D

Sunday, March 26

This morning we meet our local guide for an exciting day of touring which includes the Forum, the Colosseum, Michelangelo’s Square, and San Clemente Church—where the many layers of Rome are visible through 2,000 years of history.We also have an inside visit of the Mamertine Prison—where according to tradition both Peter and Paul were imprisoned before their executions in Rome.  After dinner on your own, take a walk around Rome’s most beautiful piazza’s and fountains—including the famous Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps. Meals B/D

Monday, March 27

Today we begin with an early morning tour of the magnificent Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel—arriving before the crowds of the day. We also visit St. Peter’s Basilica—the largest and most impressive Christian Church in the world. Our tour ends in St. Peter’s Square. We catch an afternoon train for Florence and check into our youth hostel. We’ll have time to relax before our 5pm excursion to a Tuscan farmhouse where we have a hands-on pizza and gelato making class. After selecting your fresh ingredients and creating your dream pizza, you’ll enjoy eating your creation for dinner. (Florence-3 nights) Meals B/D

Tuesday, March 28

Today we enjoy a morning tour of Florence. Our tour includes the famous Duomo, the Baptistry Doors, and Giotto’s Tower. We also view the magnificent statue of David in the Accademia Museum. Enjoy a free afternoon to explore Florence’s incredible art in its many outstanding museums or shop the local street markets, famous for leather goods. Tonight, we have dinner together.

Meals B/D

Wednesday, March 29

Enjoy a relaxing day spent in Tuscany. We start the morning with a visit to San Gimignano—a lovely hill town with 14 medieval towers. The town is surrounded withbeautiful views of the countryside. Later we head to a nearby organic farm and enjoy a typical Italian lunch together. In the afternoon we visit Siena—the ultimate Tuscan hill town and Italy’s best medieval city experience. While there we’ll view “The Allegory of Good Government and Bad Government,” a fresco made in 1339 that takes up three walls of City Hall. The allegory of Good Government depicts such attributes as Fortitude, Prudence, Justice, and Temperance, joined by Peace and Magnanimity. In the panel known as “The Effects of Bad Government,” the viewer is stunned by images of collapsing buildings, ruined crops, broken bridges, and a city devoid of street life, as if in a plague. We’ll take some time to discuss this powerful fresco and the important message it still holds for us today. Dinner is on your own in Florence. Meals B/L/D

Thursday, March 30

Today we fly to Paris and head for Normandy to the lovely town of Bayeux where we spend the next two nights. After checking into our convent hotel, we view the incredible Bayeux Tapestry. Seventy yards long—this historically precious document is embroidered onto linen cloth and tells the fascinating story of William the Conqueror’s victory at the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It’s considered to be one of the earliest forms of political propaganda. Tonight, we have dinner in the home of an American and French couple who will share about the differences between life in France and the US. Our host came to France as a student—25 years ago—and now lives there with her French husband and children. This cultural exchange is one of the highlights of the trip! (Bayeux-2 nights) Meals B/D

Friday, March 31

Today our local battlefield guide Lena, joins us for a powerful tour of the D-Day sights including Omaha Beach, the American Cemetery, Pointe du Hoc, and many other meaningful memorials that bring the Normandy battle and World War II history to life. It’s a day you will never forget as you walk along Omaha Beach and learn about the amazing battle plans and brave American soldiers who helped liberate Europe. Meals B/L/D

Saturday, April 1

This morning we visit the local outdoor market in Bayeux to sample delicious cheeses, meats, and other enticing locally grown items. This is a great opportunity to experience village life and a popular Normandy local market. We depart for Paris this morning and upon arrival, we take a bike tour of some of the highlights of the city. Discover why it’s considered one of the most beautiful cities in the world! We enjoy dinner together near our hotel. (Paris-3 nights) Meals B/D  

Sunday, April 2

This morning we attend a local church service and learn about some of the challenges of sharing the gospel in France. After lunch we have a private guided tour of the magnificent Louvre Museum. Famous works of art such as the Mona Lisa, and Venus de Milo, are featured. After our tour we hear the fascinating story of the Huguenots (French Protestants) and the St. Bartholomew’s Day Massacre of August 1572, during the Wars of Religion. The church bells across the street from the Louvre were rung as a signal for the massacre to begin and the plot was hatched next to the museum, in the Tuileries Palace. These Christians (mostly Calvinists) were persecuted for their beliefs, and many were forced to flee France. Dinner this evening is on your own. Your guide will direct you to some delicious options.

Meals B/D

Monday, April 3

Our day begins with a Protestant tour of Paris to learn about the great Reformer John Calvin. We visit the tower where he hid after being ex-communicated from the Catholic Church and later fled to Switzerland. We enjoy lunch together in a nearby Parisian café as we discuss his life and ministry and his impact on the Reformation. This afternoon we see the outside of Notre-Dame Cathedral and learn about the devastating fire there in April of 2019. Later, we visit the beautiful Eiffel Tower. Dinner tonight is on your own. Meals B/L/D

Tuesday, April 4

This morning we fly from Paris to Munich and make the short drive to the Dachau Concentration Camp with our guide, for a powerful visit of this memorial to thousands of Holocaust victims. Take time to reflect on what happened here and “Never Forget.” Later, we make the three-hour journey to Rothenburg Ob der Tauber—a charming, well preserved medieval German village where we spend two nights.After dinner together at the hotel, we join the Night Watchman for a guided walk through his city (Rothenburg-2 nights) Meals B/D

Wednesday, April 5

Today is yours to explore Rothenburg at your own pace. You have all day free to walk the medieval walls, shop, or visit the many interesting museums—including the fascinating Crime and Punishment Museum from medieval times. Dinner is together at the hotel. Meals B/D

Thursday, April 6

This morning we drive to Eisenach to visit Wartburg Castle. Martin Luther lived in hiding here for one year and translated the Bible into German. We will see the room where he worked on the translation and enjoy a tour of the castle. Later, we drive to Wittenberg for our overnight stay.Tonight, during dinner, our local guide joins us along with two friends, to share what life was like under Communism and how much things have changed since the Berlin Wall came down more than thirty years ago and East and West Germany were reunited. Wittenberg is part of the former East Germany. This question-and-answer time will be great preparation for our visit to Berlin the next day. (Wittenberg-1 night) Meals B/D

Friday, April 7

It’s been more than 500 years since Martin Luther nailed his 95 Theses to the door of the Castle Church—marking the birth of the Reformation! Wittenberg is a great introduction to Reformation history. We tour The Luther House—the largest Reformation Museum in the world. We also visit City Church, where Luther often preached, and the famous Castle Church. This afternoon we drive to Berlin and enjoy a bike tour of this historic city. We learn about the Berlin Wall, the daring escape attempts made by desperate citizens and the celebration that engulfed the city when the wall came down in 1989. Tonight, we celebrate the end of a successful and meaningful trip during our farewell dinner together. (Berlin-1 night) Meals B/D

Saturday, April 8

This morning we have an early departure for the airport for our return flight to the U.S. Meals B / In-flight meals