Here’s an exciting announcement that I’ve been eager to make. And now I can. I’ll be taking a group of interested (and interesting) folk on a ten-day trip to Rome and Southern Italy on April 14-24, 2020 (this coming April!); this is tour sponsored by Thalassa Journeys, the group that arranged my (with some other blog members)to Greece and Turkey last year. It was spectacular.
And this one will be as well. It is an amazing itinerary, as good as they come. The theme is “Pagans and Christians in the Roman World,” and the places we see will be tied both to my most recent book The Triumph of Christianity, and the one about to come out in March, Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife.
I’ve been to Rome a number of times, but this trip looks unusually good. Some of the highlights: Four nights in a hotel in Sorrento (one of the places I’ve never been; but google it and check it out: right on the Bay of Naples), with trips to Pompeii and Herculaneum (Pompeii is flat out amazing and I’ve always been eager to go to Herculaneum — both of them destroyed in the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 CE), Naples. and Paestum; up the Amalfi Coast to Rome; and then the rest of the time in Rome.
Rome. What can you say? One of the great cities of the world, with historical significance that can’t be matched. Roman imperial sites: the Colosseum, the Forum (and all the glories it holds), the Pantheon, lots of pagan temples; a day trip to Ostia (the famous port for the city — again, I’ve never been there). And the Christian sites: Basilica of St. John Lateran (residence of the pope), St Peter’s Basilica; Sistine Chapel, Vatican museums. The Catacombs!
For a very long time I’ve been interested in the relationship of emerging Christianity from its pagan matrix. In Triumph I talked about how it all happened, how Christianity ended up becoming the religion of Rome and empire. And much of what we see will be related to that. In Heaven and Hell I talk about how the Christian views of the afterlife emerged out of pagan ones: again, lots we see will be of relevance.
I’ll be giving lectures on the tour. There will be a local tour guide who is a real expert on all the places — archaeology, history, geography, and so on. I’ll have nothing to do but hang out with whomever comes and share our thoughts and ideas. Food in Italy is fantastic (if you like pasta, pizza, coffee, and/or gelato, welcome to heaven); landscape/scenery is amazing; people are great; historical and cultural significance is mind blowing.
It will be a small trip — Thalassa never does masses of people on a trip, usually around 18 people or so. So space is limited.
Wanna come? A brochure can be accessed through this link HERE. NOTE: if you decide sooner rather than later, by November 15, you’ll receive a free signed copy of my book Heaven and Hell: A History of the Afterlife as an additional bonus.
Any questions, let me know. I’ve done a lot of trips over the past 20 years. This one looks like one of the very best. Hope you can think about signing on!