Pictures from Italy


A Borg-Crossan Pilgrimage to Naples & Rome

Led by:

Marianne Wells Borg and Marcus J. Borg

Sarah M. Crossan and John Dominic Crossan

May 1 - 15, 2013

Trip map

Paul wrote to Roman Christians of his "eagerness to proclaim the gospel to you also who are in Rome" (Romans 1:15) and, having landed in Italy at Puteoli/Puzzuoli, near Naples, he “came at length to Rome” (Acts 28:13-14). Our pilgrimage focuses primarily on Paul within the matrix of Roman imperial theology and earliest Christian theology in Naples and Rome. Our intention is to ponder how—then and now, in 1st and 21st century—Christian Theology confronts Imperial Theology with an alternative vision for peace on earth.

DAY 1: Wednesday, May 1, 2013 - Depart JFK Airport New York for a nonstop flight to Munich with a connection to Naples. M

DAY 2: Thursday, May 2, 2013 - We will arrive in Naples and meet our tour manager and driver and transfer to our Naples hotel.  We will join together for a “welcome to Italy” dinner and overnight in Naples. MD

DAY 3: Friday, May 3, 2013 - We start the day with an orientation meeting to get to meet one another and compare intentions for our Pauline pilgrimage.  We will then go by coach to the National Archaeological Museum.  Of special interest are:  the model of Pompeii; the reconstructed Temple of Isis; the Alexander Mosaic from the Villa of the Faun; and the “Secret Cabinet” to see a small but daring lampoon-painting caricaturing Roman imperial theology’s parable of origins concerning Aeneas’ Flight from Troy to found the Julian dynasty in Italy.  Dinner and overnight Naples. BD

DAY 4: Saturday, May 4, 2013 - We visit Herculaneum and Pompeii to see how Vesuvius turned a heaven into a hell one day in August of 79 CE.  In both those buried and excavated cities we emphasize the relationship between shops belonging to the most elegant street-front villas (for example, the Villa of the Faun).  We consider the earliest Christian shop-churches and how Priscilla, Aquila, and Paul could be, as trade-workers, in direct contact with aristocratic patrons.  Overnight Naples. BD

DAY 5: Sunday, May 5, 2013 - The Abbey of Monte Cassino, about sixty miles north of Naples, was founded by St. Benedict in 529 and from it spread the Roman Catholic Benedictine Order of cloistered monks and nuns.  It is now completely restored after its devastation in 1944 during the Allied advance on Rome.  We will attend a monastic Mass (hopefully with Gregorian Chant) at either 10:30 am or noon.  Afterwards we will visit the Museum. On our ride back to Naples we will stop at Puzzuoli where Paul landed according to Acts 28.  Overnight Naples. BD

DAY 6: Monday, May 6, 2013 - We travel 15 miles northeast of Naples to the paleo-Christian cemetery of Nola, now the small town of Cimitile where Bishop Paulinus (354-431) built several churches around the tomb of the martyr St. Felix and made the site a very popular pilgrimage destination in the fifth century.  The Basilica of the Holy Martyrs, for example, has extensive high quality—but unfortunately damaged—frescoes dated to 900.  Of special interest in the cycle of Jesus’ life is an image of the Resurrection as the raising of Adam and Eve in the iconographic tradition of Eastern rather than Western Christianity.  Overnight Naples. BD

DAY 7: Tuesday, May 7, 2013 - We take a hydrofoil to Capri for two main reasons.  First, because it is one of the Mediterranean’s most beautiful islands.  Second, in terms of our focus on Roman imperial theology, the Emperor Tiberius ruled the Roman Empire from Capri between 26 and his death in 37 CE.  There were originally 12 Tiberian villas with the Villa Damecuta at the island’s western extremity and the Villa Jovis at its western end.  We hope to see both ruins but with the latter is the primary focus.  Overnight Naples. BD

DAY 8: Wednesday, May 8, 2013 - We leave Naples for the drive to Rome—about 118 miles.  We depart early enough to visit the Museum of Roman in the city’s southern suburb (open 9am-2pm).  It has detailed models of archaic and imperial Rome that are the very best introduction to sites we will visit during the week.  Roman imperial theology and its legionary enforcers appear very clearly on Trajan’s Column still upright in Rome but much more visible here in plaster-casts arranged horizontally on the floor.  Overnight Rome. BD

DAY 9: Thursday, May 9, 2013 - From the miles of burial tunnels layered deep in the volcanic tufa under and around Rome, we visit the three main catacomb complexes on the Via Appia Antila, Rome’s strategic road to the south of Italy and thence to Greece.  The second-century catacombs of St. Callixtus have 4 levels and 12 miles of tunnels.  Those of St. Sebastian have four levels, cover 6 miles, and have ancient tradition locating the burial there of Peter and Paul.  The catacombs of Domitilla extend over 10 miles and contain 150,000 burial sites.  Overnight Rome. BD

DAY 10: Friday, May 10, 2013 - We spend the day at Ostia Antica, the harbor-city of ancient Rome, about 15 miles west of the capital, then at the mouth of the Tiber (now a few miles inland).  The city, buried for centuries under sand, is very well preserved and—while less spectacular than Herculaneum or Pompeii—reveals a first-century Roman imperial city with clearly discernible streets and buildings, shops and storehouses, murals and mosaics.  You can also see the difference between the private villas of the few and the apartment houses of the rest.  Overnight Rome. BD

Day 11: Saturday, May 11, 2013 - We focus today on the core of imperial Rome with visits to the Roman Forum itself and focus especially on the Arc of Titus. Then on to the Palatine Hill with a special visit to the House of Augustus.  Afterwards, we will visit and study the Altar of Augustan Peace, enshrined in its new museum, and, outside, read the Acts of the Divine Augustus and see Augustus’ Mausoleum.  Overnight Rome. BD

Day 12: Sunday, May 12, 2013 - We start with the Forum of Augustus—and its Temple to Mars the Avenger—and then continue on to and inside the Colosseum, built with the spoils of the Jewish War of 66-70 CE.  Afterwards we visit one of the most fascinating churches in Rome, the Basilica of San Clemente—a summary of Roman history in stone.  The lowest level goes back to the first century with the altar and cult-room of Mithras; on top of that is a 4th- century church—with some restored 9th- century frescoes; and on the uppermost level a 12th-century Basilica.  Overnight Rome. BD

Day 13: Monday, May 13, 2013 - Our visit to the Vatican Museum will concentrate on three areas:  first, the Pio Cristiano Museum for some of the earliest Christian art, artifacts, and sarcophagi; the Braccio Nuovo, Gallery of the Chiaramonti Museum, for the Prima Porta statue of Augustus; and finally, the Sistine Chapel itself.  Afterwards, we visit St. Peter’s Basilica, not only the upper level but also the lower Grottoes, especially to see some archaeological remnant of the original (Old) St. Peter’s Basilica destroyed and replaced in the 16th century.  Overnight Rome. BD

Day 14: Tuesday, May 14, 2013 - We deliberately leave today free for personal preferences.  The reason is that we have chosen a necessarily limited focus on imperial—especially first-century—Rome as well as on earliest Christianity.  We hardly touched—except in passing—on Medieval, Renaissance, and Baroque culture and religion.  We will have our guide assist with advice and suggestions on whatever other sites might be of interest on this free day.  We will gather this evening for our “farewell to Italy dinner”. BD

Day 15: Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - We depart Rome for the USA arriving back at JFK Airport this afternoon. BM

Price: $5,799.00 per person.  Air from JFK, New York City

Pricing based on a minimum of 40 pilgrims and EXCLUDES airline taxes and fuel surcharges which are $650.80 per person on September 21, 2012 and may change.  These will be added to your final invoice.  Air transportation available from other cities.  Single supplement:  $1,599.00

Tips for the driver and guide are NOT included.

Deposit of $300.00 per person nonrefundable due with application.

Final payment due January 30, 2013

Cancellation Penalties
◊ Until January 30, 2013:  $300.00 plus any unrecoverable fees.
◊ January 31, 2013 or later:  NO REFUND

An application for travel insurance will be included with the receipt for your deposit.  We strongly recommend that you seriously consider this coverage.

Meals: B Breakfast, L Lunch, D Dinner, M Meals on Aircraft

The itinerary is subject to change due to local conditions or at the discretion and direction of the leader or guide.