If you want to try out the serenity of a simpler life, then join InterVarsity Study Abroad for a weekend in Italy where you will step back in time in pursuit of a radically different vision for the future.
From atop this layered village, you can see a patchwork of fields and vineyards, speckled with other medieval cities on hilltops. Perhaps those too have winding streets, gurgling fountains, and surprise staircases shortcutting from one level to the next. But you're grateful you’re in this particular village, because there’s something deeper here than a breathtaking view to give you a new perspective.
As sunset turns the stone buildings a dusty rose and the church bells tell you it’s time to gather for dinner, the invitation to this kind of simplicity has already shifted something in you, and your soul is thirsty to pursue more of the same after you leave this place...
What is possible by the end of Journey Italy?
- You feel inspired and equipped to make countercultural choices regarding humility and simplicity, because you trust they will lead to greater freedom.
- You’ve learned spiritual practices and heard stories of Christian role models that make it feel possible to seek a rich inner life with God even in the modern world.
- Your devotion to Jesus flows from the experience of being profoundly loved by him; loving him back and loving others like he does now feels like freedom and not obligation.
- Your sense of connection with all created things leads you to join the chorus of creation in worship of God, your Creator.
- You’ll linger in Assisi where young Francis gave up his nobility and earthly possessions in order to love the poor and outcast. His radical act of faith inspired a tectonic shift in the mission of the Church 800 years ago, the effects of which are still felt today.
- You’ll explore how it’s possible to follow Jesus in the midst of wealth, power, and politics like St. Francis, St. Clare, and their monastic communities who lived at the heart of the Christian empire of their time.
- You’ll touch the cool stone of the caves where the Franciscan brothers would spend 40 days at a time in prayer, and marvel at how the caves feel somehow still warmed by the presence of God’s Spirit that has been welcomed there for centuries.
- You’ll debrief in Rome, the city where Paul was imprisoned and Peter was killed by the Roman Empire for subversively preaching the gospel. Yet, it’s also a city where the church eventually became its own powerful empire. This stark contrast to Assisi will help you prepare to take spiritual risks when you return home to the power structures and opposition there.
When is Journey Italy?
Where is it?
Assisi, then Rome.
When should I arrive?
Plan to arrive by 7:00pm at St. Anthony's Guest House in Assisi. The program will start at 8pm. It is about a 2-hour train ride from Rome to Assisi, but the trip from the airport to Assisi could take about 3.5 hours, so please plan accordingly. If you arrive by 6:30pm, you are welcome to join staff and other students having dinner in Assisi, though this first dinner is not included in the registration cost.
How much does it cost to attend?
The price for Journey Italy ranges from $395 to $445 depending on when the attendee registers for the event. Sponsorships available up to $250. See short-essay requirements below for details on receiving a sponsorship.
What is included?
Journey Italy includes housing from Thursday night through Sunday morning. Meals are provided beginning with breakfast on Friday through dinner on Sunday.
What if I need to cancel?
The $85 deposit is non-refundable and non-transferable.
What is housing like?
In Assisi, you will be staying in a boutique hotel in the heart of town, across from Santa Chiara Church.
Piazza Santa Chiara
06081 Assisi PG, Italy
In Rome, you will be staying at a pilgrimage retreat house run by a religious order. Rooms are clean and simple.
Via di Monte Brianzo, 62
00186 Roma RM, Italy
Also, know in advance that space is a premium in European cities - everything is smaller: apartments, houses, hotels, and hostels.
What should I pack?
- Comfortable walking shoes
- Personal toiletries
- Bible and journal
Which airport should I fly into?
Fly into the Rome airport. You can catch a train to Assisi from the main train station in Rome (Termini Station). Airports in Pisa, Milan, and Florence are also options.
How can I get from the airport to the hostel/starting point?
It depends on where you fly into, but you will likely need to take the train or bus to Assisi from any airport. You can purchase train tickets that will take you from major airports to Assisi on ItaliaRail.com. You can also look at Rome2Rio for possible routes, and/or let us know which airport you plan to fly into and we'll be happy to help you figure out the rest of your transportation to Assisi. Once you arrive in Assisi, you'll need to take the C bus or the taxi into the city. The bus is the cheapest option and costs 1.30-1.50 Euro.
Can I stay in Italy longer?
The program provides housing through Sunday morning. You are welcome to find a flight anytime after 8pm Sunday, but you are also welcome to stay longer in Italy, either before or after Journey. You will need to book your own hostel for any additional nights.
How do I pay my balance after registering?
After registering, the balance may be paid by logging back into your registration through this link. A week before the event, the remaining balance will be automatically deducted from the credit or debit card with which you registered.
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Unfortunately, due to COVID-19 there are currently no in-person Journeys scheduled. We will update this page as soon as we are planning a Journey Italy.