Day 1: Depart U.S.A.
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart on our overnight flight to Rome. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
Day 2 : Arrive Rome
After arrival in the “Eternal City” of Rome, we will be met by our local tour manager and transfer to our centrally located hotel, our home for the next four nights. Following Mass at a local church the balance of the day will be free.
Day 3 : Rome
This morning our sightseeing of Rome includes visits to the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, St. Peter in Chains featuring Michelangelo’s “Moses” and St. Paul Outside the Walls where Mass will be celebrated. After lunch we will continue our exploration of Rome with a visit to the Renaissance section of the city. We will see the Trevi Fountain where a coin thrown over your shoulder will guarantee you another visit to Rome, the Pantheon, Piazza Navona with Bernini’s famous fountains and Campo de’ Fiori which is one of the most colorful street markets in Rome.
Day 4: Rome
A full day of exploring Rome will begin with Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Our guide will then take us on a guided tour through the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel with its awesome frescoes painted by Michelangelo. In the afternoon our sightseeing includes visits to St. Mary Major Basilica, St. John Lateran, San Clemente, the Holy Stairs, the Old Appian Way and the St. Sebastian Catacombs.
Day 5 : Rome
This morning we will experience a highlight of our Roman stay, attendance at the Papal Audience at St. Peter’s (subject to the Holy Father’s schedule). Join thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world to listen to the Holy Father and receive His Blessing. We will then explore the Scavi Excavations which explore the necropolis underneath St. Peter’s (subject to availability). The remainder of the day will be free.
Day 6: Rome / San Giovanni Rotondo
This morning we will depart Rome and drive south to Monte Cassino to visit the famous Benedictine Abbey founded in 529 by St. Benedict. After Mass we will continue across the Appenines to San Giovanni Rotondo, the birthplace and home of St. Padre Pio.
Day 7: San Giovanni Rotondo / Assisi
Spend the morning touring this quaint 11th century town where the famous Padre Pio spent most of his life. We will have the opportunity to visit the Shrine for Mitigating Suffering, which he founded and have Mass at his tomb. This afternoon, drive up to Monte Sant’ Angelo for a breathtaking view of the Gargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Then drive northward to Assisi, a town that welcomes us in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare into its peaceful interior.
Day 8: Assisi
This morning we will visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, site of the Porziuncola, the tiny church in the woods where St. Francis began his ministry and where St. Clare began her religious life. We will then proceed to the Convent of San Damiano where the miracle of the Eucharist of 1211 took place, the Basilica of St. Francis where the saint lies in rest, and the Basilica of St. Clare. The remainder of the day is free for personal activities. Those with the stamina may wish to take an optional walk up Monte Subasio to Eremo delle Corceri, the St. Francis’ favorite retreat.
Day 9: Assisi / Siena / Florence
After a morning at leisure in Assisi we drive to Siena, the home of St. Catherine. Here we’ll visit the sanctuary built on the site of her home and celebrate Mass at the Church of San Domenico where she lies in rest. We’ll also visit the Duomo which is one of Italy’s greatest cathedrals, the Basilica of St. Francis where we’ll venerate the Eucharistic miracle of Siena, and the Piazza del Campo which is one of the most beautiful squares in the world. We will then travel north through the beautiful Tuscan countryside until reaching our final destination of the day, Florence.
Day 10: Florence / Padua / Venice
Our tour of Florence this morning is an artful experience as we take in the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and the Baptistery with its renowned bronze doors. Continue on to the Galleria Dell’ Academia to see Michelangelo’s “David”. This colossal nude Classical sculpture depicts the Biblical hero who killed the giant Goliath. Afterwards, visit Santa Maria Novella Church and Santa Croce. We will then depart Florence and drive north to Padua to visit the Basilica of St. Anthony. After Mass we will continue on to Venice, one of Italy’s most colorful cities.
Day 11: Venice
This morning we’ll enjoy a walking tour of Venice, first visiting St. Mark’s Square (Piazza San Marco) and St. Mark’s Basilica (Basilica di San Marco) which was built to house the remains of St. Mark. Also visit the famous Doges’ Palace and “Bridge of Sighs”. The balance of the day is free to explore this fascinating city of islands on our own.
Day 12: Venice / U.S.A.
Following breakfast, transfer to the airport to catch our return flight home.
The above itinerary is only a small taste of what we have to offer.
Customized itineraries and competitive quotations will be furnished upon request.