A Journey Through Jewish History in Spectacular Italy 2013
12:00AM Monday August 5 - 12:00AM Wednesday August 14, 2013
Register By: 10:06PM Monday December 10, 2012

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Event Overview

Join Torah in Motion and Dr. Marc Shapiro for a unique and intellectually inspiring trip to Italy.


We'll be visiting Rome, Tuscany, Pitigliano, Florence, Pisa, Ferrara, and Venice. This trip promises to be an unforgettable Italian experience, with a focus on places of Jewish interest. A central feature of the tour will be Dr. Shapiro's expert discussions of the many places we will visit, making the trip nothing less than a travelling classroom. In addition, we will be joined by expert local guides who will provide their own angle. Before departure, Dr. Shapiro will send participants an educational packet that will be used on the trip.

And of course, in addition to the special Torah in Motion educational and spiritual nourishment, the Journey Through Jewish History in Italy will feature:

• luxury hotels in prime locations;

• strictly kosher food; and

• expert local tour guides for sites of general interest.

Full payment for land arrangements $4,490 per person based on double occupancy. Single supplement $1,330.


A tax receipt will be issued to the maximum extent allowable by law. Momentum Tours and Travel, Inc. (FL Lic. # ST35769), is the designated, responsible tour operator for this departure. Therefore, all special requests, claims, complaints, etc. must be made to the Tour Operator, Momentum Tours and Travel or elsewhere. Finalization of plans for the trip is dependent on registration of a minimum of 20 travellers. Please do not purchase tickets on your own without speaking to a Torah in Motion representative.

To find out more about other Torah in Motion trips, please click here.

Here's what previous participants had to say about their Journey Through Jewish History to Europe trip:


"Beyond words.. the degree to which all attempted to accommodate the group was superb." Shmuel Rosenberg, Elizabeth, New Jersey

"Marc was absolutely amazing. Jewish history came alive in this wonderful TiM trip!" Yehudit Shier Weisberg, Toronto

"It brought our European heritage alive--it was everything I had hoped for..." Jeff Shanes, Chicago, Illlinois

"Exceeded my expectations... Marc Shapiro is a major attraction." Moe and Faigy Green, Toronto, Ontario

"A truly inspiring experience." Florence Weinberger, Toronto, Ontario

"An amazing trip... brings Jewish history to life..." Seth Cohen, Mamaroneck, New York

"I must compliment all involved in the efficient and smooth running of all aspects of the trip. It exceeded all expectation." Barbara Abrams, Toronto, Ontario

Main Topics

Day 01, Monday: Departure to Italy


Departure on your flight to Rome.

Day 02, Tuesday: Arrival in Rome


Arrival in Rome airport, followed by transfer to the hotel. Begin sightseeing (from the hotel) at 1 PM in the former ghetto area of Rome. Rome is the oldest Jewish community in the Diaspora, and its ghetto remained longer than anywhere else in Europe. As part of our tour, we will see the Jewish Museum, the Great Synagogue, and the Trastevere, where there is evidence of the medieval Jewish community. We will also visit the Campo Di Fiori where, on Rosh Ha-Shanah 1553, the Talmud was burned. In the evening, enjoy a welcome dinner. Hotel Augusta Lucilla Palace.

Day 03, Wednesday: Rome


Breakfast. This morning begins with a visit to the Arch of Titus and its famous Menorah which, as we will learn, does not correspond to other ancient descriptions. We will then visit the Colosseum, with its legacy of horrors and bravery as slaves fought for their lives to the roars of spectators cheering and booing. This massive structure was actually built with slaves brutally seized after putting down the Jewish Revolt in Eretz Yisrael. Continue to the ruins of the Roman Forum, an international center filled with great palaces and all the pomp that we connect with names like Caesar, Nero and Cicero. Later, drive to the Spanish steps and soon find yourself in the romantic setting of the glorious Trevi Fountain, beloved spot for many great films made in “Roma.” After lunch, enjoy the afternoon at leisure to explore Rome on your own or join an optional tour of the Vatican Museum (not included). In the evening, meet for dinner. Hotel Augusta Lucilla Palace.

Day 04, Thursday: Rome – Pitigliano – Florence


Breakfast. Depart Rome this morning and drive towards the hills of Umbria and Tuscany. En route, visit the remote town of Pitigliano, where Jews settled in the 16th century as anti-Jewish sentiment became stronger in the Papal States. Pitigliano became known as “Little Jerusalem” as the Jewish community grew increasingly prosperous throughout the following centuries. Visit the former ghetto, synagogue and Museum. Lunch boxes are provided this day. Continue along typical Tuscan roads to Florence and upon arrival, stop on the hillside Piazza Michelangelo for an amazing panoramic view of the city below. Even the dome of the synagogue is visible. Check-in at the hotel. Dinner. Regency Hotel.

Day 05, Friday: Florence


Breakfast. Begin your walking tour of Florence with a visit to the Academy of Fine Arts (Accademia), home of Michelangelo’s statue of David. Later, continue to the extraordinary synagogue whose dome punctuates the skyline of the city. Visit the attached Jewish Museum with its fine collections. After lunch, continue on the walking tour and be inspired by the beauty of Florence as you walk the charming streets and great squares. Visit the Uffizi Gallery. Return to the hotel in the afternoon. Celebrate Shabbat in Florence. Attend services followed by Shabbat Dinner. Regency Hotel.

Day 06, Shabbat: Florence


Breakfast. Attend services this morning. After lunch, choose to relax or join a short walk to Piazza Delle Signoria. Your tour will take you by the famous Duomo. Dr. Shapiro will also offer a class in the afternoon dealing with an Italian Torah theme. Later, Seudah Shlishit is served. Regency Hotel.

Day 07, Sunday: Florence – Sienna – Livorno – Pisa – Florence


Breakfast. Begin the day with a drive through the Chianti District. Stop in Pisa, the town associated with Galileo (and, of course, the Leaning Tower). It was also the site of important Jewish scholars and even a printing press. Today, traces of the Jewish past are seen at the cemetery and the Pisa synagogue. Unlike most other Italian towns, Pisa never had a ghetto; its Jewish population lived in different areas of the city. Next, continue to Livorno for lunch, hosted by the Jewish community. Livorno was the home of many important figures, including R. Hayyim David Azulai and R. Elijah Benamozegh, and we will learn about them. We will then travel to Sienna where we will see the town square and the fascinating synagogue before returning to Florence later in the afternoon. Dinner. Regency Hotel.

Day 08, Monday: Florence – Venice


Breakfast. Depart Florence and drive north towards Venice. Upon arrival in the floating city, transfer to a small boat and travel in this romantic way to the Dei Dogi hotel. The hotel is housed in a former prestigious palace in the lagoon of Venice. The hotel also boasts a peaceful secret garden and it is located only a brief walk from the ghetto, where lunch is served. After lunch. tour the Jewish Ghetto (Europe’s first official ghetto). The tour will include the various synagogues and the Jewish Museum. At one time, Venice was a world power; and its Jewish community was one of the most important in the world, with noted rabbis, poets, merchants, and actors. Return to the hotel for check-in and time to rest. Later, dinner is served at the ghetto. Dei Dogi (Boscolo Venezia) Hotel.

Day 09, Tuesday: Venice


Breakfast. Today, enjoy the unique flavor of Venice as you sightsee in this legendary city. See the area of Piazza San Marco and visit to the Doge’s Palace, the Bridge of Sighs (with artwork by Tintorreto, Veronese and Bosch), and see the San Marco Basilica (outside view). Continue, via Venice’s characteristically narrow streets and alleys, to the Rialto Bridge, which spans across the Grand Canal of Venice Island. After lunch, continue by boat to the Venice Lido for an exclusive visit to the Jewish cemetery, which was in use for hundreds of years but only “rediscovered” at the beginning of the twentieth century. Return to the hotel by way of the Murano Island in the late afternoon. Farewell Dinner. Dei Dogi (Boscolo Venezia) Hotel.

Day 10, Wednesday: Venice – Home Flight


Breakfast. Transfer by boat to the airport for your flights back home.

Participating Leaders And Speakers

Dr. Marc Shapiro's picture

Marc B. Shapiro holds the Weinberg Chair in Judaic Studies at the University of Scranton. He is the author of Between the Yeshiva World and Modern Orthodoxy: The Life and Works of Rabbi Jehiel...

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"Kudos to Marc – he made the trip a truly memorable and enjoyable experience."

- - Steve and Mali Schwartz

"I thoroughly enjoyed the Torah in Motion trip to Central Europe with Marc Shapiro. The trip exceeded my expectations - and my expectations were very high."

- - Mel Barenholtz

"Marc's depth of knowledge is awesome and his enthusiasm is incomparable. He brought Jewish history alive and introduced us to so many great Jewish scholars!"

- - Eudice Greenfield

"The trip to Africa with Rabbi Slifkin was a once-in-a-lifetime experience. The raw and natural beauty of the  animals and the country we encountered was enhanced by Torah insights, bringing the trip to a spiritual level, as well." 

- - Frieda Bomrind, Brooklyn, NY