SHRINES OF ITALY ITINERARY
Day 1: Depart USA for Rome
Pilgrims are welcomed at an international airport for our departing flight to Rome via wide body aircraft arriving the next DAY. Meals served on board the long haul flight.
Day 2: Arrival in Rome
Welcome to Italy! Arrive at Rome airport, Meet & Greet with an English speaking tour leader who will remain with you for the entire trip and group transfer by private motor coach to the hotel in Rome city center. Accommodation in hotel and time at leisure to relax. Celebrate holy mass and dinner at leisure and overnight at your hotel.
Day 3 Rome (Papal Audience & Vatican Museums)
Breakfast in hotel. Morning meeting with the motor coach and transfer to Vatican City where you will attend one of the highlights of the trip, the Papal Audience. After the Audience enjoy a guided tour of Vatican and its breathtaking Museum including the Sistine Chapel. Stroll through St. Peter’s Square, passing Bernini’s famous colonnade, visit St. Peter’s Basilica, where you will view Michelangelo’s Pietà. Balance of the day at leisure to explore Rome on your own. Celebrate holy mass and dinner at leisure and overnight in Rome.
Day 4: Rome (Christian Rome)
Breakfast in hotel. Morning meeting with your English speaking guide for a Christian Rome Tour. You will visit three of the four patriarchal churches in Rome: Saint Mary the Major, St. John in Lateran that is the cathedral of Rome. Then see the Holy Steps climbed by Christ in Jerusalem, and the Basilica of the Holy Cross where some of Christianity’s most important relics are housed, including a piece of the True Cross, thorn and nails. The last visit will be at St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. Continue to the Catacombs of St. Callisto where the early Christians hid themselves to escape. Late afternoon and evening free to explore Rome on your own. Celebrate holy mass and dinner at leisure and overnight in hotel.
Day 5: Day at leisure in Rome
Breakfast in hotel. Celebrate holy mass and free day to explore all of Rome. Dinner at leisure and overnight in hotel.
Day 6: Transfer to Monte Sant’ Angelo with stop in Montecassino and Pompeii
Breakfast and check out of hotel. Morning departure by private coach to Monte Sant’ Angelo. En route you will stop in Montecassino (150 km, 1 hr 45 min), where you will visit the Abbey, originally founded by Saint Benedict in 529, making it one of Europe’s oldest monasteries. Continue to Pompeii (130 km, 1 hr 30 min) for your individual visit to the Sanctuary of the Virgin and then proceed to Mont Sant’ Angelo (230 km – 2 hrs). Celebrate holy mass. Accommodation in hotel and time at leisure to discover the area. Dinner at leisure and overnight in hotel.
Day 7: Full Day in San Giovanni Rotondo and Monte Sant’Angelo
Breakfast in hotel. Morning meeting for an excursion in San Giovanni Rotondo, where you will discover the places that were the backdrop to the life of the saint of Pietrelcina. You will visit the Convent of the Capuchin Friars where the famous Monk lived and worked and the New church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, designed by architect Renzo Piano. After lunch departure by private bus to enjoy a breathtaking view of the Gargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. A panoramic view of the sea and the surrounding countryside awaits you at this most celebrated shrine of early Christianity, a shrine consecrated by St Michael himself in year 490. Celebrate holy mass and dinner at leisure and overnight.
Day 8: Transfer to Assisi with stop in Lanciano and Loreto
Breakfast and check out of hotel. Morning departure by private coach to Assisi. En route you will stop in Lanciano (160 km – 1 hr 30 min), where you will visit to the relic of the living flesh of Jesus in a special Monstrance and Tabernacle. A Eucharistic Miracle took place here. Celebrate holy mass. Before arriving you will stop again in Loreto, hill town in the region of Le Marche, to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. Continue to Assisi (190 km – 2 hrs). Accommodation in hotel and time at disposal for personal activities and individual visits in the town. Dinner at leisure and overnight at your hotel.
Day 9: Assisi city tour
Breakfast in hotel. Morning meeting with your English speaking local guide for 3 hrs walking tour of this mystic city of St. Francis. The city, still surrounded by ancient walls, lies on top of the green slopes of Mount Subasio. Its rose-stone buildings, the winding narrow streets, the noble palaces, the balconies full of flowers: everything in Assisi will hold you spellbound. Visit of the Church of St. Mary of the Angels and of the Basilica of St. Francis (celebrate holy mass), with the masterpieces of Giotto and Cimabue. Afternoon at disposal for personal activities in Assisi. Dinner at leisure and overnight in hotel.
Day 10: Transfer to Florence with stop in Siena
Breakfast and check out of hotel. Morning departure by private coach to Florence. En route you will stop to discover the beautiful town of Siena, the home of St. Catherine, Doctor of the Church, located in the central Italian region of Tuscany, a medieval walled city that to this day retains much of its charm. Visit the Church of St. Dominic, which contains the incorrupt head of St. Catherine and her Sanctuary, and the Basilica of St. Francis where we will celebrate Mass at the Altar of the Miraculous Hosts, which remain intact after 270 years. Also see the Piazza del Campo, the center of the city, the Palazzo Pubblico (town hall famous for its gothic architecture), and the Basilica. Continue to Florence. Accommodation in hotel and time at disposal for personal activities and individual visits in the town. Dinner at leisure. Overnight in Florence.
Day 11: Florence city tour
Breakfast in hotel. Morning meeting with your english speaking guide for visit the Church of St. Ambrose, where two Eucharistic Miracles occurred in 1230 and 1595. Also, you have the chance to see the Carmelite Monastery where the incorrupt body of St. Mary Magdalena de Pazzi is kept, and visit some of Florence’s important: Santa Croce, the famous church where Dante, Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci among others are buried. Continue to Piazza della Signoria and Ponte Vecchio, and final Uffizi Gallery, one of the greatest museums in the world. The museum has a great artistic heritage, which includes thousands of paintings from medieval to modern times, a large number of ancient sculptures and miniatures. Its collections of paintings from the fourteenth century contains some absolute masterpieces of the Renaissance art of all time. Celebrate holy mass and dinner at leisure and overnight at your hotel.
Day 12: Day at leisure in Florence
Breakfast in hotel. Celebrate holy mass and the day at disposal for personal activities in Florence. Dinner at leisure and overnight in hotel.
Day 13: Transfer to Venice Mestre with stop in Padua
Breakfast and check out on hotel. Morning departure by private coach to Venice Mestre. En route you will stop for a guided tour in Padua, where St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things is honored. Celebrate holy mass. Continue to Venice Mestre. Accommodation in hotel and time at leisure to discover the area. Dinner at leisure and overnight in hotel.
Day 14: Venice city tour
Breakfast in hotel. Morning transfer from your hotel to Venice city center and meeting with an English speaking local guide for a walking tour of this unique city. Venice is a magical tapestry of Renaissance buildings perched on narrow canals with sleek gondolas gliding silently beneath ornate bridges that will leave you breathless. During the tour you will have the chance to admire St. Mark’s Square and its Golden Basilica, a marble and golden fantasy and one of the most gorgeous containers ever built to display the relics of a saint. Celebrate holy mass. Continue to the Bridge of Sighs and Rialto Bridge, till to visit the majestic Doge’s Palace. Afternoon and dinner at leisure. Overnight in hotel.
Day 15: Departure
Breakfast in hotel and check out. Morning group transfer from the hotel to Venice airport, on time to embark on your return flight.