August 22 – 31
SUNDAY,8/22 : Meet 3:20 p.m. sharp at JFK Airport, Terminal 1 . CHECK-IN, Mincha, snack and board plane for our 5:20 p.m. direct American Airlines, Fl.# 236 to Fiumicino Airport in Rome.
MONDAY, 8/23: Arrive at Fiumicino Airport, Rome at 7:55 a.m. where we are warmly welcomed by our wonderful ROME tour director. We will daven Shacharis in a private area @ the airport, followed by a small breakfast. We begin our day/evening of touring with a panoramic ride around this wonderful city. Our walking tour of Rome begins with a stroll through Via del Portico d’Ottavia, the main street of the old Jewish Ghetto (1555-1789), in the San Angelo neighborhood, and its smaller, quaint side streets, followed by a visit to the Great Synagogue and its excellent Jewish Museum. Special lecture: Mrs. Supino, the charming Museum Curator. In addition to its unique collection of very rare artifacts and ceremonial objects, there is a permanent display commemorating the Nazi persecutions and deportation of Rome’s Jews. The second part of the day will be devoted to Ancient Rome. We will visit the Roman Forum, the ceremonial center of the Empire, the Arch of Titus, Basilica of Constantine, the Forum of Caesar, the Arch of Constantine and conclude with a thorough exploration of the Coliseum. A well-deserved dinner of gourmet Italian cuisine will follow. An exciting evening panoramic tour of the city covering especially the Vatican and Trastevere areas on the way back to our hotel. Plunk into bed!
TUESDAY ,8/24 : 8 a.m: Shacharis at the Great Synagogue, breakfast; We will visit some of Rome’s must-see “stops”: the Pantheon, the Trevi Fountain , the Piazza Navona and the Piazza di Spagna , the most famous square in Rome, and the Campo de’Fiori where thousands of Jewish books were burned in 1553. This will be followed by a wonderful picnic lunch near the Castel Sant’ Angelo . We will then embark upon an afternoon exploration of Piazza San Pietro (St. Peter’s Square) and the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel (optional) and the nearby Basillica (optional). Mincha and Ma’ariv at the Great Synagogue. Early dinner in the Ghetto. Guest Speaker: Rabbi Riccardo Di Segni, Chief Rabbi of Rome. Free time for evening stroll to the Trevi Fountain or shopping .
WEDNESDAY 8/25 : Early morning rise (leaving hotel at 8:30 am!) for one final morning panoramic tour in Rome (all those important places we didn’t see yet!). We then take a two and one-half hour trip to lovely Siena, along the Italian countryside. Siena is one of the surviving examples of a medieval city; it is also the home of Italy’s loveliest piazza, the Piazza del Campo. We will explore this piazza, one of Europe’s greatest medieval squares, and the narrow streets and alleys around it. We will end our exploration with a visit to the 1756 synagogue, one of the most beautiful in Tuscany. Late picnic lunch at the Fonte Gaia, the famous 19th century fountain, whose water is still supplied by a 500 year-old aqueduct. Afterwards, one final trip on this busy day: a one hour ride DUE North to Florence, Italy’s vast and beautiful monument to the Renaissance. We then head straight for the Academia to visit Michaelangelo’s “David.” This is followed by a comprehensive, panoramic tour all around the city concluding with Mincha and an unbelievable view of the glorious sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo ! Well-deserved delicious dinner and Ma’ariv. A free evening to stroll along the romantic Arno River. .
THURSDAY, (8/26): We will discover Florence in one full day! 10 a.m visit to the Moorish-style Great Synagogue  and its Jewish Museum . Explore the 1345 bridge, Ponte Vecchio and the Bell Tower of Giotto in the Piazza Santa Maria delle Grazie . Next, we take a beautiful walking tour which includes stops at the Giardino di Boboli and Piazza Santa Maria Novella and all other major Florence attractions. Once again, Mincha right before sunset at Piazzale Michelangelo ! Wash –up, short rest, late dinner: Guest Speaker: Rabbi Eliyahu BORENSTEIN, Chabad Rabbi of Florence and Bologna, Evening stroll, free time.
FRIDAY 8/27: Early morning rise (Shacharis: 7:30 a.m., breakfast, leaving Florence at 9:15 a.m. sharp!) for our one hour trip directly west to Pisa to explore the Leaning Tower, mankind’s open challenge to the laws of gravity, view the nearby Duomo, one of the finest Romanesque buildings in Tuscan and visit one of the most well-preserved Jewish cemeteries in Italy! All this, in addition to a final panoramic tour as we take leave of Florence. After Pisa, we embark upon a 250 km trip eastward via Bologna towards the Adriatic Coast. Renowned all along the Adriatic coast in the Le Marche region of central Italy, for its excellent facilities and classy service, this state of art hotel is located on the promenade of Gabicce Mare, one of the most elegant seaside resorts in Italy,between Rimini and Ancona. Its facilities include a large indoor heated pool, as well as two full size outdoor swimming pools and a kiddie pool. The internationally-acclaimed Beauty Centre on premises offers customers hydro massages, sauna, two Turkish baths and a selection of beauty and health treatments. A beautiful synagogue and well-stocked Beis Medrash is also available. After a speedy check-in, the remainder of the afternoon will be devoted to hotel orientation, discovering the beach ( = a visit to the Mikva for the men ), sampling of delicious kosher ice-cream @ about 5 pm and some quaint shopping in town, with candle-lighting no later than 7:30 pm, enough time for all the above. Friday evening Kabbalat Shabbat at the beautiful schul in a huge AC tent , Seudat Shabbat (1) with our guest speaker, Rabbi Benilow of Milan. After the seudah, socializing with hotel’s guests, board games and delicious snacks and drinks throughout the night.
Overnight: Gabbice Mare
SHABBAT KODESH, (8/28):
Delicious Glatt kosher (Pas and Chalav Yisrael) five star cuisine will be served throughout Shabbat under the strict Rabbinical supervision of the Milan Rabbinate supervised by Rav Yitzchak Belinow and his dedicated staff of Mashgichim. A wonderful , properly run, tea room, Italian- style will be available 24/7 . Late Shacharit, sermon by Ha ‘Rav Rabinowich, an unbelievable Kiddusha Rabbah followed by an enjoyable, leisurely stroll along the gorgeous beach. Parshat Ha’Shavua with Ha’ Rav Dr. Rabinowich; Seudat Shabbat (2), More Divrei Torah and then, a well-deserved shluf. Pirkei Avot shiur @ 6:45 with our rabbi , followed by Mincha @ 7:30 and a delicious dairy shalosh seudos . On Motzoei Shabbos, there are a variety of shows and musical entertainment in the area . Art enthusiasts can also enjoy a Mini Montmartre, where dozens of painters and sculptors work and converse with the public. A charming road zigzags up to Gabicce Monte, part of the Mount San Bartolo Regional Park, set up in 1994. From there a breathtaking panorama can be enjoyed, as the mountain blossoms offer a colourful contrast to the absolutely crystal-clear waters of the coast .
Overnight: Gabbice Mare
SUNDAY,8/29 : Very early morning rise (Shacharis: 6:45 a.m., breakfast, leaving Gabbice Mare at 8 a.m. sharp!) We embark upon the longest journey of our trip, a northeast drive to Venice (2.5 hours; appx. 200 miles) passing the famous 16th-17th century Jewish cities of Bologna, Modena and Ferrara. Arrive in glorious Venice, check-in at our luxurious hotel ). Begin our first full day in Venice with an 11 a.m. visit to the Jewish Museum, in the Ghetto Nuovo which stores some fascinating early 16th century Jewish books! As part of the visit we will view Venice’s famous synagogues: The Spanish Synagogue (1555), the Levantine Synagogue (1538) right across it and the German Synagogue, the oldest in Venice (1528) and the Italian Synagogue (1531). After a picnic lunch in the ghetto , we take a short trip by vaporetto (waterbus) to Lido, site of the famous Cemetery of Venetian Jewry , probably the second oldest existing cemetery in the diaspora , with one tombstone dating back to 1386. From there, time-permitting, back on the vaporetto to Murano, a cluster of small islands: the center of the glassmaking industry since 1290)! Do some serious, discounted, opportunity of a lifetime, “glass” shopping. Return to mainland to explore the Piazza San Marco (“the most elegant drawing room in Europe” according to Napoleon) and, of course, the Rialto. (Optional: Palazzo Ducale (Doges’Palace) and visit the Accademia, one of the world’s most famous museums). At 6 pm, Rabbi Rabinowich will give his famous “walking tour of the ghetto, including the Ghetto Vecchio and the Ghetto Nuovissimo, both added to the original Ghetto in the 1541 and 1633 respectively. We will then daven Mincha and Ma’ariv in the Spanish Synagogue with Chief Rabbi Elya Richetti followed by a delicious dinner @ the popular GAM GAM restaurant . There will be plenty of free time after dinner to explore this unbelievable city on your own and to do some evening shopping. Why not treat your wife or date to a very romantic Gondola-ride (no, it’s still not free! But she’s still worth it ! )
MONDAY, 8/30: Free time to do some self-touring of Venice.We have a noon departure from our hotel (Shacharis at 7:30 a.m. sharp) for the most relaxing and fun day of our excursion. Short ¾ hour trip to the old university town of Padua to pray at the 16th & 17th century gravesites of the very holy Abravanel and Rebbi Meir Katzenellenbogen (Maharam of Padua) and to visit (& daven mincha) the Italian- style synagogue of Rebbi Moshe Chaim Luzatto (RAMCHAL). Beautiful drive due west to Sirmione, on Lake Garda, the largest and easternmost of the stunning Italian Lakes. Marvelous fun on the motor boat trips (optional) around the Sirmione Peninsula, observing the Roman ruins at its tip and the boiling sulphur springs along its rim. Picnic lunch as we view the splendid scenery of the impressive rocky cliffs and snow-covered mountains of Austria and Switzerland at the northern tip of the lake. We then take a wonderful, scenic drive farther west to Milan, the chic and busy metropolis of Northwest Italy, for a panoramic tour of the city, quick shopping, Ma’ariv and a delicious dairy dinner. Our final scenic drive in Italy; one hour north to the simply breathtaking Lake Como, set in an idyllic landscape of mountains and rugged hillsides. Check-in and completely free time to be inspired by this unique lake. An unforgettable evening!
Overnight: LAKE COMO
Early wake-up (you must experience the simply stunning sunrise @ 6 am over the spectacular Lake Como); Daf Yomi: 6:15 a.m., Shacharis: 7 a.m; delicious, healthy breakfast. We depart hotel at 8:00 a.m. sharp to Malpensa Airport for our 10:35 am, AA Flight #199 direct to JFK Airport arriving @ 1: 35 p.m.
(Extensions in Como and to Switzerland available)
(Extensions to Israel before and after trip possible for only $750 additional)
All shiurim and prayer sessions are optional !
|: Rav and
Scholar-in-Residence, is a noted historian and Talmid Chacham, author of ten critically-acclaimed books on varying topics from Jewish history to Geonic literature to Chassidut.
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