Today we board our private boat that will take us on a special journey to the island of Patmos. It was here that John was exiled for his faith, and wrote the book of Revelation. In Patmos we will visit the cave where tradition says he received his vision. We will also visit the monastery of St. John. Lunch is included at a lovely cafe on Patmos. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi.
Today will be extra special since we will visit one of the most important archaeological sites in the world—ancient Ephesus. Ephesus was once the most important commercial city in Asia Minor. The Apostle Paul spent nearly 3 years in Ephesus, before he was driven out of the city by a riot stirred up by Demetrius the silversmith (Acts 19:23-34). It is from this city that Paul wrote his letters to the Corinthians. In addition to walking the streets of this ancient city and visiting the theater, we will also visit the famous Terrace Houses, the place were the most important people of Ephesus lived. We will also visit the Church of St. John which was built in Byzantine times and dedicated to the apostle, the Ephesus Museum, and what remains of the Temple of Artemis. Dinner and overnight in Kusadasi at the Charisma Delux Hotel.
This morning we head to Izmir where we will catch a flight to Istanbul at 10:00 am and then on to Rome, Italy at 12:45pm. After arriving in Rome at 2:25 pm, we will take a bus down to Naples. We will spend a relaxing evening in Naples enjoying supper and evening vespers.
After a Sabbath morning worship, we head out to tour the remains of the ancient city of Pompeii. Pompeii was a bustling city of around 12,000 people during the time the gospel was spreading around the ancient world due to the missionary work of the apostle Paul. The city, however, completely vanished on August 24, A.D. 79 when the mighty volcano Vesuvius exploded. Within a period of 24 hours the mountain dumped four billon tons of pumice, rock, and ash upon the city--burying the city and many of its inhabitants under 13 to 20 feet of ash.
The city remained buried until farmers stumbled upon it in the 17th century. Since that time, archaeologists have excavated large portions of the city. Unlike all the other ancient cities we have visited, this city does not lie in rumble. It remains almost exactly like it was nearly two thousand years ago. After a guided tour of the city in the morning and lunch, we will explore the Naples National Archaeological Museum--home to a wonderful collection of antiquities from the city of Pompeii. Evening bus transfer to Rome. Overnight at the Grand Palantino Hotel.