All three schools will play four games each against professional teams of various levels.
Because of NCAA rules, the trips must be privately funded.
Temple will begin its tour in Paris and end in Rome.
St. Joseph's left Sunday, returning Aug. 21. Temple and Penn are both leaving Wednesday and returning Aug. 23.
Once all three found out they would be in the same country, there was an initial thought about scrimmages.
Except there was one problem.
"That's against NCAA rules," Temple coach Fran Dunphy said.
Penn coach Jerome Allen has a true affinity for Italy. Allen played professionally in Europe, including 81/2 years in Italy.
"Going to Europe changed my mind-set because as far as Americans, we tend to think we are at the center of the world and it revolves around us. And to live in a different culture and setting gave me a more rounded appreciation of life," Allen said. "It was great to see the world and play basketball and I think Europe really changed my life and made me a much better person."
All three head coaches insist that the trip is much more than just about basketball.
"It's so wonderful to present a new culture and language to the players," Dunphy said.
When he coached at Penn, Dunphy took the Quakers to Italy in 1998.
"We will have the kids do a journal," Dunphy said. "Paris, Florence, Rome are oozing with history and culture and this will be great to experience."
The Hawks recently met with Kristen Grimes, an assistant professor of Italian at St. Joseph's who gave them a few phrases to learn and taught them some of the customs of the country.
One of the other benefits in going on an overseas trip is that scholarship schools are able to hold 10 practices before leaving.
Penn, a non-scholarship school in the Ivy League, is able to conduct five practices before the trip. In addition, Ivy schools can't bring incoming freshman on the trip. St. Joseph's and Temple are bringing their freshmen.
Of the three, Temple has the most inexperienced team, with Will Cummings and Anthony Lee the key veterans from a 24-10 team that lost to Indiana, 58-52, in the third round of the NCAA tournament.
"Getting the chance to practice doesn't hurt, especially in our case where we have an inexperienced team," said Dunphy, whose Owls are one of eight teams to compete in the last six NCAA tournaments.
At St. Joseph's on Friday, the players were working on half-court sets and banging bodies for rebounding position during practice. The Hawks, coming off an 18-14 season and second straight NIT appearance, were showing midseason intensity during the summer.
"We have to go after it because it's the only way the young guys will get better," said Hawks MVP Ronald Roberts Jr., a 6-foot-8 senior who averaged 11.2 points and 8.3 rebounds per game last season. "We are really excited about this trip."
Penn has the most experienced team of the three. Led by senior guard and team MVP Miles Cartwright (13.5 ppg.), the Quakers are expected to be vastly improved after a 9-22 season.
All three coaches agreed that Europe is a great place to get a head start on the 2013-14 season.
When asked why the team chose Italy, Martelli answered with a question.
"Why not?" he said.
He jokingly added: "When the Pope was named as a Jesuit and we are a Jesuit school, we had to go to Italy."
Contact Marc Narducci at email@example.com. Follow @sjnard on Twitter.