Authentic Italy

What is God doing through Cru in Italy?

Register Here

October 1-8, 2022

COST: $2990 + airfare
Only 12 places available

What is God doing through Cru in Italy?

Join us for a tour of Cru’s Italian ministry, Agape Italia. You will see the places where God is at work through Agape Italia in Rome, Florence, and Bologna. You’ll hear about the rich spiritual heritage of Italy…and its urgent spiritual needs.

You’ll be part of a small group of 12 people for an intimate look at authentic Italy. We’ll travel the way Italians do—by train—not in a tour bus. You’ll be personally guided by Agape Italia’s staff.


Come with us! 

  • Meet Italians whose lives have been changed by Jesus 
  • Minister to students, refugees, professionals, and professors alongside our Agape Italia staff
  • Enjoy leisurely dinners of great food in good company
  • See the Roman locations associated with the lives of Peter, Paul, and the early Christians
  • Learn the spiritual history of Renaissance Florence
  • Visit the oldest university in the west in Bologna
  • Learn to make pasta, Italian appetizers, and tiramisu, taught by true Italian mamas
  • Shop in the street markets of Florence
  • Visit the Ducati motorcycle museum in Bologna
  • Enjoy a private visit to an artisan workshop that creates unique works of art using ancient mosaic techniques
  • Did we mention the food?




$2990 per person

Price includes:
 – 7 nights lodging in four-star hotels in Rome and Florence
 – All ground transportation by train, bus, metro, and taxi
 – All admissions 
 – All breakfasts, 4 lunches, and 4 dinners (for other dinners together we’ll split the check)
 – A special gift

Price does not include:
 – Airfare
 – Final night hotel on October 9th in your departure city. If you fly out of Florence, you will be able to book your final night in our Florence hotel at the same discounted price.

Hold your spot with an $800 non-refundable deposit by June 18, 2021 (if COVID realities force us to cancel the trip, we will refund your deposit).

Balance of $2190 due by July 23, 2021

Pay and register here



Your Hosts

Haswell and Maria Beni
Maria Nolfo came to Christ as a student in Rome through Cru/Agape Italia. She joined our staff and eventually met Haswell Beni while on an Agape Italia summer mission to Malawi. They later married, and have served with Agape Italia together since 1992.


Daryl and Ceil Wilson
40-year veterans of Cru, Daryl and Ceil have served in eight different Cru ministries. Since 2012, they have spent part of each year in Italy, connecting American Christian professors with students and professors in Italy.



Italy—though post-Christian like the rest of Europe—has a rich Christian history. Today God is building upon these ancient foundations through Agape Italia and other Italian believers. Each day of your trip will acquaint you with a different aspect of God’s work in Italy. (Planned events are subject to change.)


Day 1: Refugee Ministry
Meet your hosts at 11:00 a.m. at our hotel in Rome, the NH Collection Roma Vittorio Veneto, overlooking the beautiful Borghese Gardens.  After a quick lunch, we’ll train you to serve alongside other Italian believers at our Roman refugee center in the afternoon. There you will meet asylum-seekers who have landed in Rome from Africa or the war-torn Middle East.

We’ll visit nearby ancient monuments. Then we’ll wander up to the Pantheon area to hear the spiritual stories behind the most complete ancient building in Rome, plus the famous paintings of St. Matthew by the Baroque painter Caravaggio in a nearby church.


Day 2: Family Life Ministry
After attending church in Rome, we’ll explore places connected with the early Christians in Rome, including the Catacombs of Priscilla.

In the evening we’ll enjoy dinner together while you learn about the cultural differences and spiritual needs of Italy from Agape Italia’s national director, Franco Bosio. Families are the foundation of Italian society, but they are under threat from post-modern cultural changes. Franco will introduce you to Italians who serve alongside him in our Family Life ministry, building strong marriages and leading Italians to Christ.


Day 3: Student Ministries Rome
In the morning, we’ll tour the Vatican Museums and visit St. Peter’s Basilica. You’ll hear the story of the ministries of the Apostles Peter and Paul in first-century Rome. 

You’ll meet with our Campus Ministry team to hear how Agape Italia is using digital strategies and Christian professors to help open student ministries on new campuses around Italy.

You’ll also have an opportunity to connect with Italian students and professionals in your field of expertise. 


Day 4: Arts and Film Ministry
We’ll take the fast train for our journey north to Florence, where you’ll settle into Grand Hotel Cavour, just two blocks south of the Duomo in the center of the city. Over lunch together, we’ll meet Agape Italia staff and film-maker Giosuè Petrone, whose short film Unforgivable has won awards at film festivals across the US and Europe. Giosuè will show you the film and explain how it is used to begin spiritual conversations with Italians as they ponder their own need for forgiveness.

We’ll also tell you about Agape Italia’s ministry among the arts community in Florence. Then your host Haswell Beni will take you on a walking tour through the historic center of Florence.


Day 5: Professors in ministry
We’ll ponder the lovely devotional frescoes of Fra Angelico at the former monastery Museo San Marco.

You’ll hear how Christian professors from America who are connected to Cru’s faculty ministry are sharing God’s love with Italian students and professors. You can watch Dr. Phil Bishop put this in action as he lectures to students at the University of Florence.

Free time in the afternoon gives you an opportunity to shop in the markets and wander the medieval streets of Florence.

Over dinner, you can connect with our Italian staff who run the student ministry at the University of Florence. 


Day 6: Daytrip to Bologna
We’ll catch a morning train and tunnel through the Apennine Mountains for the 35-minute journey to Bologna, site of the oldest university in the West (it was founded by Christians in 1088!). There you can sample what Bologna has to offer: climb the medieval tower in the center of town, visit FICO Eataly World (the largest food park in the world), visit the Ducati motorcycle museum, or simply shop in Bologna’s beautiful shopping district.

We’ll lunch with our staff team, who will explain the spiritual needs of the city and its students. You’ll have a chance to meet some students over coffee, then we’ll catch an early evening train back to Florence and have dinner there.


Day 7: Agape Italia National Office
In the morning we’ll view the famous sculptures in the Duomo museum, including one in which Michelangelo carved his own face on the figure of Nicodemus laying Jesus in His tomb. Then we’ll visit an artisan workshop which uses ancient techniques to hand-craft unique mosaic works of art. 

We’ll lunch with the team who runs the vital operations side of the ministry. You’ll hear about our various projects to translate evangelism and discipleship materials into the Italian language, so Italian believers can grow in their faith and share it with other Italians.

Then we’ll visit the Medici-Riccardi Palace, whose chapel hosts the stunning fresco The Journey of the Magi. The famous Florentine Medici family had their own faces painted onto the characters in the fresco.

In the evening, we’ll enjoy a memorable Italian dinner together, and we’ll invite you to paint yourself into the spiritual picture of God’s work in Italy by investing your prayers, finances, and time with Agape Italia.


Day 8: Pasta-making and Humanitarian Projects for Malawi
On our final day together, you’ll learn how to make a three-course Italian meal, including home-made pasta, with our team of real Italian mamas. You’ll meet Italians who work together on humanitarian projects in your host Haswell Beni’s home village in Malawi. You’ll hear how seeing Jesus’ love put in action is leading not just Malawians, but also non-believing Italians toward a relationship with Jesus.

We’ll feast together with your new Italian friends on antipasti, pasta, and tiramisu before saying goodbye. You can return to Rome by train for a flight out of Rome Fiumicino Airport, or stay another night in Florence and depart from Florence Peretola Airport. Or take a train to another beautiful destination in Italy. We can advise you on travel and hotel arrangements.




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