History major Joe Long ’12 had a dream – to give others the opportunity to experience the beauty and richness of Catholic tradition and culture as only can be discovered through a tour of the greatest cities in Europe. Having experienced living in the heart of the Church during Christendom College’s semester in Rome as a college junior, he wanted to return to the continent and give others the same opportunity he had. In 2015, he founded ProRome Tours, LLC, a company seeking to provide visitors to the Eternal City, and other key sites in Europe, with an unparalleled trip, where they gain an authentic travel experience, rather than what is often sold in brochures.
ProRome Tours fills a gap that has long-existed in travel companies’ Roman vacation offerings, according to Long: a genuine, authentic experience for visitors, where they have the freedom to experience Rome in whatever manner they wish, guided by those who wish to share the best of Rome with others.
“One should be uplifted in Rome, one should love Rome, not leave it feeling at best satisfied. The entrepreneurial and adventurous spirit that led me to leave home, learn a new language, complete an M.A. overseas, and start my own business is the result of an education that liberates the person from preconceived notions of self and of the world, thus allowing the fullness of human creativity to flourish — an education I received at Christendom,” Long says.
After earning his B.A. in history in 2012, Long lived and studied in Rome for two years, founding ProRome Tours with his brother, and fellow alumnus, David Long (’10), upon his return to the United States in 2015.
The confidence needed to take on this new business venture came from his time in Rome, but also from his liberal arts education as well.
“The liberal arts instructed me in logical reasoning and gave me great problem-solving abilities. It also gave me, in general, a universal understanding of things, allowing me to quickly adapt and succeed in the diverse work and academic environments in which I have found myself over the past three years. For this reason, I believe that the education I received at Christendom College helped me understand and approach life, and everything that it entails, better than any other institution may have,” Long says.
Now married, Long and his lovely wife, Rachel, serve as co-directors of the program, and have enlisted a number of other talented men and women to join their team. Additionally, they have recently founded two new summer programs for young people – one for men and one for women. The Bella Vita Summer Program is for young woman to be immersed in art history, cooking, and Italian while the Catholica Summer Program is designed to form young men into confident, Catholic gentlemen. Both programs are held in Italy, and are led by members of the ProRome team.
To find out more about Long’s company, please visit prorome.com