Temple Sinai's
Jewish Heritage Tour to Italy
Led by Rabbi Brad Levenberg
November 4-15, 2023

Tour Rates & Dates:

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Tour Overview:

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We will explore the rich Jewish and general history of Italy. We'll taste culinary delights and sample some of the region's finest wines. We'll examine priceless works of art and discover some of the grandest architecture anywhere. From the time of the Romans through the renaissance to today, the history and sites of Italy offer something for everyone!


4 nights
Grand Hotel Palace, Rome
3 nights Helvetia & Bristol, Florence
3 nights
Baglioni Hotel Luna, Venice
All touring and sightseeing in a deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach with expert English-speaking guides
Jewish communuity tours in Rome, Pitigliano, Florence and Venice
City highlight walking tours
Breakfast daily
Chef-led cooking class + lunch in Rome's Central Market
Welcome dinner in Rome
Dinner with Beth Hillel Roma leaders
Dinner in Siena
Shabbat dinner with Shir Hadash members in Florence
Farewell dinner in Venice
Wine tasting
Vatican museum tours
Visit to the islands of Burano and Murano
Gondola ride in Venice
Entrance fees per itinerary
Airport transfers if arriving/departing with the main group
Venice water tax upon arrival/departure
Whisper headsets


2 nights
Grand Hotel Vesuvio, Naples
Breakfast daily
Farewell dinner
Day tour to Pompei
Air allocation up to $200 per person for flight from Venice to Naples
Van transfer from Naples to Rome for flight home


Roundtrip airfare, departure taxes and fuel surcharges
Border taxes or visa fees
Tips to guides, drivers and dining room personnel ($25 per person, per day; pre-collected)
Meals not listed above
Items of a personal nature
Travel insurance (recommended - group policy available)
Any costs associated with Covid-19 testing or vaccintion

Tour Itinerary:

Day 1: Saturday, November 4, 2023: DEPARTURE FOR ITALY

• We depart on our overnight flight to Rome, Italy to begin our adventure!

Day 2: Sunday, November 5, 2023: ARRIVE IN ROME

• Upon arrival in Rome, we meet our guide and begin our tour of this Eternal City - a city of images, vivid and unforgettable. A city of silhouettes, bell towers, cupolas, the peal of bells, motor scooters, gelato and cappuccino!
• We enjoy a walking tour of Rome, including the Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and the Pantheon.
• Later this afternoon, we check into our hotel and have a chance to refresh before our welcome dinner this evening.

Overnight in Rome

Day 3: Monday, November 6, 2023: JEWISH ROME

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin the day with a tour of the Jewish Ghetto in the Trastevere section on the banks of the Tiber River with a local historian. This was the site of Jewish concentration at the hands of Pope Paul IV. The medieval streets wind their way towards the Deportation Square from where Jews were sent off during the Holocaust.
• Next, we visit the Museo Ebraico di Roma, the Jewish Museum of Rome. Built in 1904, it is one of the oldest Jewish museums in Europe. Most impressive is the collection of Torah covers made with fabric dating back to between the 16th and 18th centuries.
• We continue our day with a visit to the Great Synagogue. It is considered one of the most impressive in Europe and was completed in 1882.
• We visit a wine bar for a wine tasting and small snack.
• The remainder of the afternoon and evening are at leisure to explore and enjoy dinner on own.

Overnight in Rome

Day 4: Tuesday, November 7, 2023: A TASTE OF ITALY + ANCIENT ROME

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit Rome's Central Market filled with artisanal foods of every variety. We enjoy a chef-led cooking class and prepare lunch our purchases.
• Next, we enjoy a tour of the Vatican museums, including one of the largest art collections in the world, spanning from Roman, Etruscan and Egyptian antiquities to contemporary art.
• Later this afternoon, we see the work of Raphael and Michelangelo and admire the Sistine Chapel's magnificent frescoes.
• We continue to St. Peter's Square, where some of the most important Papal ceremonies take place.
• Evening at leisure and dinner on own.

Overnight in Rome

Day 5: Wednesday, November 8, 2023: JEWISH ROME PART II

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we tour the Jewish catacombs, believed to date back to the period between the second and third centuries, with inscriptions in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin that tell the story of the families that were buried there.
• This afternoon, we continue our adventure with a visit to the Coliseum, the Roman Forum and other monuments left as a sign of Rome's great historic past, including the Arch of Titus. This is a monument to a past less deserving of praise and a symbol of Jewish historic lows. Located in the archaeological heart of the city of Rome, the Flavian Amphitheatre, or more commonly, the Coliseum, stands for monumentality and receives a large number of visitors daily, attracted by the enchantment of its history and its complex architecture.
• This evening, we enjoy a visit and dinner with community leaders from Progressive Beth Hillel Roma Congregation. We will learn about the Italian Jewish experience, both in the past and present.

Overnight in Rome

Day 6: Thursday, November 9, 2023: PITIGLIANO & SIENA

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we travel to Pitigliano. Upon arrival, we will be given a guided tour of the “Forno dell Asime”, the Jewish bakery, the Jewish ghetto and cemetery and the breathtakingly beautiful synagogue that sits at the bottom of a flight of stairs.
• At the Valle Orientina, we visit the “Bath of the Jews”, formerly a Mikvah dating back to 1800, now in use as part of their spa facilities.
• We next visit an area winery, time permitting.
• Our next stop is the quaint city of Siena, where dazzling displays of pastry and coffee, chocolates and local wines tug at the taste buds. In Siena, we will find local pottery and unusual artisans as we experience the flavor of everyday life in this charming city.
• We check into our hotel, followed by dinner together tonight.

Overnight in Siena

Day 7: Friday, November 10, 2023: TO FLORENCE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• This morning, we depart Siena and drive to Florence, one of the most beautiful cities in the world with its overflow of palaces, churches and museums filled with masterful paintings and sculptures.
• Upon arrival, we enjoy a tour of Florence with a close look at the Jewish world that was once centered here. The stories that emanate from the late 14th century ghetto to the Moorish style architecture of the synagogue built in 1882 will be enhanced with a visit to the Museo Ebraica (Jewish Museum).
• We continue to the Accademia of Fine Arts to view the Statue of David and other great works by Michelangelo.
• Later this afternoon, we head to our hotel for check in, with time to relax and refresh.
• This evening, we enjoy Shabbat services at Shir Hadash Firenze/Florence, followed by a festive Shabbat dinner at our hotel with members of the congregation.

Overnight in Florence

Day 8: Saturday, November 11, 2023: FINE ARTS IN FLORENCE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• This morning, we visit the Uffizi Gallery, one of the most visited museums all over the world. It houses some of the most important works of the Renaissance, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Giotto and Michelangelo.
• This afternoon, we walk to Il Duomo. Begun in the late 1200's and consecrated 140 years later, this pink, green and white marble Duomo (cathedral) symbolized Florence's wealth and prestige. Nowhere in the world can one see such architectural magnificence in a church as in the Duomo in Florence. While here, we view the Baptistery's renowned "Gates of Paradise" by Ghiberti.
• We continue to Piazza Santa Croce, one of the most famous piazzas in Florence. The piazza houses the Basilica Santa Croce, where the famous Renaissance movers and shakers such as Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and modern Italian inventors such as Guglielmo Marconi and Enrico Fermi lie buried.
• Dinner on own this evening. Santa Croce is considered as the heart of nightlife filled with restaurants, bars and pubs.

Overnight in Florence

Day 9: Sunday, November 12, 2023: VENICE - A CITY OF CANALS

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We begin our drive to Venice, a city of 150 canals, 400 bridges, gondolas, the Piazza San Marco and breathtaking beauty.
• Upon arrival, we visit the Roman Catholic St. Mark's Basilica, which holds the relics of Saint Mark the Evangelist, the patron saint of the city located in the former political and religious center of Saint Mark's Square.
• Next, we enjoy a “secret itineraries” tour of Doge's Palace. We skip the long line and head straight inside to explore the palace's opulent public chambers adorned with masterpieces of Renaissance art. While here, we learn how the powerful doges ruled the Venetian Republic with an iron fist and gain rare entry into shadowy quarters of the Piombi attic prison, where Casanova was once locked up. We complete our visit with a walk across the famous Bridge of Sighs and wander the dark dungeons of the New Prison network.
• We check into our hotel before setting out again for dinner on own.

Overnight in Venice

Day 10: Monday, November 13, 2023: BURANO & MURANO

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we visit the colorful Island of Burano, noted for its lace work and brightly painted houses.
• Next, we visit the Island of Murano and tour one of the many glass-making businesses on the island.
• This afternoon, we return to St. Mark's Square and experience a gondola ride.
• Evening at leisure to explore and have dinner on own.

Overnight in Venice

Day 11: Tuesday, November 14, 2023: JEWISH VENICE

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• We begin our day with a visit to Campo Del Ghetto, where Jews were forced to live by the Venetian government from the mid-1500s to 1797 when Napoleon Bonaparte forced the Venetian Republic to dissolve itself and end the ghetto separation from the rest of the city. While here, we also see the three synagogues as well as the Jewish Museum.
• Afternoon at leisure to explore this beautiful city and time for last-minute shopping.
• Tonight, we come together to enjoy a farewell dinner, reflecting on the wonderful time we've had on our journey through Italy.

Overnight in Venice

Day 12: Wednesday, November 15, 2023: DEPARTURE

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport for our return flight (likely via Rome), landing later today.


Day 12: Wednesday, November 15, 2023: TO NAPLES

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We transfer to the airport and say farewell to our friends returning home.
• We board our flight to Naples, a city founded by Greek settlers in 470 B.C.E. Today, Naples has retained the imprint of successive cultures that emerged in Europe and the Mediterranean basin.
• Upon arrival, we enjoy time for lunch on own at one of the many ristorantes or pizzerias.
• This afternoon, we set out on a tour of this wonderful city with its wealth of outstanding monuments such as the Church of Santa Chiara, the Castel dell'Ovo and Maschio Angoino.
• While Jews were known to have lived in Naples all the way back in the 1st century BCE, life for Jews in the city fluctuated between times of repression and periods of peaceful cohabitation. Today, there are maybe 200 Jews left in the city, mostly centrally located in Via Capella Vecchia in the San Ferdinando district of the city. We set out to visit what remains of Jewish life in Naples, including the synagogue established in 1864 thanks to the Rothschild banking family, which has been restored to its former glory, as well as the former Jewish district of Portanova.
• Visit the Naplois Sotterranea (Naples Underground) revealing 2,400 years of Naples history. We'll explore 40 meters below the city to encounter stories from the time of the Greeks, through its uses during WWII.
• This evening, we check into our hotel and have time to freshen up before setting out for continued exploration and dinner on own.

Overnight in Naples

Day 13: Thursday, November 16, 2023: DAY TOUR TO POMPEI

• Breakfast at our hotel.
• Today, we travel just outside Naples to Pompei for a tour of the ruins. Pompei is one of the most significant proofs of advanced Roman civilization and, like an open book, provides outstanding information on the art, customs, trades and everyday life of the past. The city has re-emerged from the darkness of centuries precisely as it would have been when it was unexpectedly buried in a thick layer of ash and lava which poured down from the devastating eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E. The scale of the tragedy was enormous - in what had been one of the most active and splendid Roman centers, life came to a permanent standstill.
• We return to Naples for a relaxing evening and a final farewell dinner together while reminiscing about all of our wonderful adventures!

Overnight in Naples

Day 14: Friday, November 17, 2023: FAREWELL

• Breakfast and check out of our hotel.
• We travel back to Rome for our flight back to the United States, landing later today.

The Memories Last Forever!!
*Itinerary subject to change