Rome, Southern Italy & Amalfi Coast
Spiritual Leader: Fr. Rogelio Gonzalez
Group Leader: Cora Reyes
April 23 - May 5, 2018
Your trip includes
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 4 nights | Apr 24 – Apr 28: Hotel Della Conciliazione, Rome
- ~ 2 nights | Apr 28 – Apr 30: Centro di Spiritualita Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- ~ 4 nights | Apr 30 – May 04: Art Hotel Grand Paradiso, Sorrento
- ~ 1 night | May 04 – May 05: Hotel Palazzo Alabardieri, Naples
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Mineral water & Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Wireless headsets where needed
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s) in Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Salerno, Pompeii, Capri, Amalfi Coast, Sorrento and Naples
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerar
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Beverages unless mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.x
Mon, Apr 23: Depart U.S. for Italy
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flights to Italy. Your meals will be served on board.
Tue, Apr 24: Arrive Rome
Welcome to Rome, also known as, "The Eternal City." Upon arrival at Rome airport, collect your lug-gage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by a tour escort and driver. You will make your way to the bus and transfer to your hotel. Following check-in, you will have free time to unpack and relax, or explore Rome on your own. Your tour escort may suggest places to visit. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to walk to St. Peter's Square as a group, for the Rosary (optional).
Wed, Apr 25: Rome: Papal Audience, Basilica of St John the Lateran, Holy Steps, Basilica of St Mary Major
After a nice breakfast at your hotel, your sightseeing day in Rome starts! The tour begins with the Papal Audience in St. Peter's Square! The Audience is celebrated each Wednesday by His Holiness, Pope Francis (pending the papal schedule). Following the Audience, there will be free time for lunch, or shop, or mail a postcard from the Vatican Post Office. This afternoon you will visit the oldest of the four major basilicas in Rome, and the home to the relics of Peter and Paul, the Basilica of St. John the Lateran. This Basilica is where Pope Francis was installed as Bishop of Rome, and where he officiates as the Bishop of Rome. Next, we will cross the street to visit the Holy Staircase. Tradition states that this staircase is from Pontius Pilate's palace of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. It is also said that this Staircase was brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. If time permits, you may climb the steps on your knees, in memory of Christ's agonizing Passion. To conclude your day, we will proceed to the Basilica of St. Mary Major. This Basilica contains a relic from the Manger of the Infant Jesus. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
*The Scala Santa is currently under restoration. Thus, the Vatican has displayed an image replicating the stairs in front of the entrance where you will walk in. There are several staircases just to the side of the Scala Santa that you may ascend on your knees. You will still be able to receive the same graces and indulgences by going up any of the alternative stairs.
Thu, Apr 26: Rome: St Peter's Basilica, Vatican Museums, Trevi Fountain, Spanish Steps and Saint Paul
Early this morning you will depart to Vatican to enjoy VIP early access and visit without crowds. Start with breakfast at the Pinecone Courtyard inside the museum. Vatican Museums contain a group of the most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures. See awe-inspiring relics, and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. You’ll cover The Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms and the most overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's masterpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment and Bramante Staircase. Following visit we will proceed to celebrate Mass in the largest church in Christendom, St Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St Peter was martyred. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims come from around the world, St Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches. Marvel Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. Following the visit of St Peter’s Basilica, you will make our way to the Trevi Fountain built in the 15th Century to mark the ending destination of the Aqua Virgo – a man-made channel erected in 19 B.C or Piazza Navona where at the center: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi “Fountain of the Four Rivers. Here at Trevi Fountain, we toss our traditional three coins. From here we continue to the Piazza Trinita dei Monti at the top of the Spanish Steps, affording a romantic panoram-ic view of the city of Rome. Next, we visit the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls, housing the Tomb of St. Paul the Apostle, affectionately known as the Apostle of the Gentiles. Although heavily restored, the present basilica looks much the same as it did in the 4th century. Enjoy delicious dinner in local restaurant and restful overnight at Hotel.
Fri, Apr 27: Rome: Trastevere & Borghese Gallery (free time in the afternoon)
This morning following breakfast at your hotel you will enjoy a tour of some of the most beloved tourist sites in Rome. You start with ancient Trastevere (“beyond the Tiber”) with its narrow cobbled streets lined by medieval houses. Julius Caesar built his garden villa here. Trastevere contains two of the most ancient churches in Rome, the Basilica of Santa Maria in Trastevere and Santa Cecilia in Trastevere. Today, Trastevere retains much of its unique character, and is a charming favorite with both Romans and tourists. You continue your day with a visit of Borghese Gallery. The Borghese Mansion was commissioned by Cardinal Scipione Borghese to Flaminio Ponzio and Vasanzio and built between 1613 and 1614. Site of Cardinal Borghese's art collection, its extraordinary masterpieces contributed to make it renowned all over Europe. The museum houses an important collection of works by Bernini, Raphael, Caravaggio and Canova, whose Victorious Venus (1805), internationally known as Paolina Bonaparte, is the most famous piece in the museum and virtually its symbol. The collection is arranged over two floors and around 20 decorated rooms; the lower floor is mainly dedi-cated to sculpture; the upper floor to paintings. The balance of your day is at leisure to explore on your own. You may wish to visit some of the excellent religious article shops in the area, or to go on your own up to the dome of St. Peter’s Basilica, where you can gain a striking panoramic view of the city. Dinner tonight is served at a restaurant walking distance from your hotel.
Sat, Apr 28: Rome – Lanciano - San Giovanni Rotondo
After breakfast, you will head to Lanciano. Upon arrival in Lanciano, you will celebrate a Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This church is the site of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the eighth century. At the time of the Miracle, there was a Basilian monk who struggled with the belief in the real presence of The Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. During the time of Mass, the monk, with doubt in his voice, said the "Words of Consecration" and the bread turned into living flesh, and the wine trans-formed into live blood. You continue toward San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of Saint Padre Pio. Upon arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo, you will check-in, enjoy dinner at the restaurant, and overnight.
Sun, Apr 29: San Giovanni Rotondo (View Incorrupt Body of St. Padre Pio) - Monte Sant' Angel
*50th Anniversary of the Feast of St. Padre Pio
This morning, after breakfast you will visit Basilica of Our Lady of Grace. After Mass you will tour the sanctuary. It is here you will view the crucifix, in front of which St. Pio received the stigmata. Visit the confessional from where St. Pio spent an innumerable amount of hours listening to confessions. You proceed to the new shrine where you will be able to see the Incorrupt body of St Padre Pio. Next, you will board the bus and travel along the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, a shrine consecrated by St. Michael. At this grotto, St. Michael appeared to a Bishop to assure him that his diocese would not be annihilated as he feared. Following the visit to the grotto, enjoy free time. On the way back to San Giovanni Rotondo view breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Upon arrival you will have time for devotion and reflection. Dinner and overnight
Mon, Apr 30: San Giovanni Rotondo– Pietrelcina – Santa Philomena – Sorrento
Following breakfast, you will board your bus to enjoy the scenic route to Pietrelcina, the birth place of Padre Pio. In his own words, “It all happened here”. When he was five years old, it is here where he started to have the first apparitions of Jesus, Mary and other saints. Pietrelcina is a small picturesque town made of wide streets, pretty homes, and beautiful gardens. There are ancient signs of its remote origin and of places that recollect the birth and life of the Holy Monk. You will visit his home, the Church of Santa Ana, where he was baptized and you’ll celebrate Mass at Santa Maria degli Angeli. After you will continue the ride through the Roman countryside which is known for its villas and vineyards. During the bus ride, your tour escort will share interesting information regarding the spir-itual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. You arrive at Mugnano del Cardinale for a visit of the Shrine of Saint Philomena. When her remains were brought to the village church at Mugnano from Rome, graces, favors and miracles began to occur among the village people. Miracles continued to occur year after year and in 1837, Philomena was elevated to Sainthood. Drive to Sorrento with its stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Naples, its picturesque narrow streets, parks, villa, and or-ange, lemon and olive groves. Enjoy some time to relax before dinner and overnight.
Tue, May 01: Sorrento – Capri – Sorrento
Following breakfast you will transfer to the port and take hydrofoil and then Funicular to visit the Island of Capri, one of the biggest draws for the region of Campania. Capri is famous for its intensely beautiful landscape and scenery, and it has been visited over the centuries by intellectuals, artists and writers, all enthralled by its magical beauty. A mix of history, nature, worldliness, culture and events that daily blend together and bring the Legend of Capri to life; a legend that sees no comparison anywhere in the world. What many visitors to this lovely island don’t know is that it's also home to some truly extraordinary churches. The Church of San Michele (The Chiesa Monumentale di San Michele) is one of the most exquisite churches in Campania and is located right in the historic center of Anacapri, just a short walk along shop-lined streets from Piazza Vittoria in the center of town. The church was built from 1698 to 1719 and was founded by a nun from Capri named Mother Serafina di Dio. Today the church is home to the Congregation of the Immaculate Conception who look after the preservation and maintenance of this magnificent church. While the façade of the church is a simple, white Baroque design, as soon as you enter you’re just steps from seeing one of Capri’s architectural treasures. After Mass, you will stroll through charming streets and visit some stores and restaurants at Piazza Umberto. Included for your enjoyment today is a boat ride thru the Blue Grotto (subject to sea conditions). Later in the afternoon return to your hotel for overnight.
May 02: Sorrento – Amalfi Coast – Sorrento
Today you will tour the Amalfi Coast, widely considered one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world; deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site as an outstanding example of a Mediterranean land-scape. You'll follow the 34 miles of winding roads. In Positano you will visit Santa Maria Assunta Church that fascinates visitors with its beautiful architecture and ancient religious artwork. A central dome clad in yellow, green and blue majolica tiles make the church of Santa Maria Assunta one of Positano’s distinctive landmarks. This 10th century structure was built on the site of a former Benedic-tine Abbey dedicated to San Vito, an early patron saint of Positano. Take your time to study the church’s white and gold interior. Admire the 12th century Byzantine icon of the Black Madonna, situated above the main altar. According to one legend the icon was aboard a ship that was stranded off Positano’s coast. The sailors believed they heard it calling out to be put down. When the captain interpreted that as the Virgin wanting to stay in the seaside town, the ship moved on and left the icon on the mainland. Continue on through Praiano where you will drive by St. Gennaro Church, to Amalfi, one of the four maritime Republics of Italy, and view the beautiful Amalfi Cathedral consecrated to its patron, Saint Andrew. Some free time for lunch before we continue to Ravello. You’ll visit Cathedral devoted to Saint Pantaleone, and the Villa Cimbrone Gardens, the crown laurel of Ravello with breath-takingly beautiful gardens. We continue to Salerno along beautiful coastline. Stop by Duomo di Salerno and visit the Crypt – relics of St Matthew the Apostle. Return to Sorrento, where you will enjoy dinner and overnight.
May 03: Sorrento
This morning following breakfast we will explore the pearl of the Mediterranean on an incredible journey to discover the history, the culture and the traditions of this enchanting land, the "Penisola Sorrentina". We will start with Piazza Vittoria and Tasso Square, where you get a sense of local life as you stroll around the fishing harbor and take in the views from the public gardens. Along the way, admire landmarks and visit places like St Anthony Basilica, Cathedral of St Philip and St James, San Francesco Cloister, and marvel at the spectacularly situated Valley of the Mills. All while going through the narrow streets that will lead you from city centers to the magnificent panoramic terraces over-looking the sea, typical of this area. The immensity of the sea and the rich vegetation, characterized by olive groves and gardens of oranges and lemons, will be the protagonists of our tourists' route.
May 04: Sorrento– Pompeii– Naples
After breakfast board the motor coach to Pompeii. Visit one of the most important and interesting archeological museums in the world. The famous ancient city was buried by the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD, and is a remarkable site. Visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompeii. After the visit continue on to Naples. Enjoy lunch on your own at one of the authentic Neapolitan Pizzerias (Pizzeria Dal Presidente or Pizzeria de Matteo). Then off to Gran Caffe Gambrinus for some sfogliatella and coffee. You continue with visiting Naples main attractions including the Royal Palace, Castel Nuovo and San Francesco di Paola church. You’ll stop by Via San Gregorio Armeno, a narrow cobblestoned alley in Naples Historic District famous Christman Alley. It is here, where you will find Naples famed presepi, the Neapolitan nativity scenes: finely crafted figurines in terracotta and wood and hand made cribs (the mangers). If time allows you will visit The Sansevero Chapel Museum and view it’s masterpiece, the famous Veiled Christ. You’ll end the day and this beautiful pilgiamge with deli-cious farewell dinner and restful overnight.
May 05: Naples – Naples Airport
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we will leave by motor coach and transfer to Na-ples airport for return flights home.