Tour takes in Italy’s religiously significant sights

St. Paul's tomb

Among biblically significant sites in Rome is the Papal Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, built over the resting place of Paul. (Greg Reilly/Maranatha Tours)

Maranatha Tours, which specializes in Christian tours that visit places relevant to the Bible, has a new itinerary this year that tours Italy accompanied by biblical scholars. Scheduled for Sept. 4-11, the trip will include attending the first night of a week-long evangelism effort as well as worshiping on Sunday morning in a church in Casoria. In Rome the scholars leading the trip will offer their insights during visits to the Vatican, Sistine Chapel, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Pantheon and the Catacombs. The trip is priced from $3,499 per person double occupancy, which includes round-trip air from Chicago, Houston, Los Angeles, New York or Phoenix. There also is an optional four-day post-trip extension to northern Italy and the spiritual aspects of Milan, Florence and Venice. A video on the website shows tour highlights. Info: 800-545-5533, CLICK HERE TO SIGN UP!

Great guided expeditions

Bicycling country roads in Japan or exploring the bird life of Scotland’s Cairngorms National Park sound like interesting ways to spend a vacation. They’re among the 2015 listing of 50 of the World’s Best Guided Expeditions by National Geographic Traveler. The trips are broken down by continent, and many — but not all — tend to be active adventures. In North America, for instance, there’s a hike from Vail to Aspen in Colorado via the high route, with llamas carrying your gear. But, for a more sedate experience, there’s the opportunity to ride the historic City of New Orleans rail route from Chicago to the Big Easy in vintage rail cars. You can check out all 50 of the tours worldwide at

America’s wilderness heaven

The outfitter Wilderness Inquiry, which operates adventures the world over, is offering trips to the wilderness gem of the upper Midwest along the Canadian border: the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness. The BWCAW, often not known outside the region, is a million acres of woods and water. For lovers of trees and wildlife, it is heaven. The area is so vast that it’s possible to go a day or more without seeing other groups. Guided five-day, four-night group trips run $695 per adult ($350 for age 17 and under) for dates from early June through early September. Travelers need only supply their clothing and sleeping bags; Wilderness Inquiry handles the rest, including all meals and lightweight Kevlar canoes. Light canoes are important, because Boundary Waters trips require carrying the canoe over portages. A tip from one who has been there: Mosquitoes are much less of a factor later in summer. Van transportation can be arranged if flying in to Minneapolis. 612-676-9400,



Marty is a freelance reporter for the Chicago Tribune.
Copyright © 2015, Chicago Tribune

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