Shrines of Italy Pilgrimage
Spiritual Director: Fr. Dennis O'Brien
October 6 - 15, 2019
*Optional Post Tour to Florence & Padua - October 15 - 19, 2019
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- Airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located first class hotels as follows: (or similar)
- ~ 3 nights: Oct 07 - 10: Hotel Della Conciliazione, Rome
- ~ 2 nights: Oct 10 - 12: Centro di Spiritualita Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- ~ 3 nights: Oct 12 - 15: Hotel Dal Moro, Assisi
- Optional Post Tour to Florence & Venice:
- ~ 2 nights: Oct 15 - 17 Machiavelli Palace, Florence
- ~ 2 nights: Oct 17 - 19: Hotel Biri, Padua
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine and water with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Whisper Headsets where needed
- Assistance of a professional local Christian guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Beverages unless mentioned, Tips to Guide & Driver.
Sun, October 6: Depart for Rome
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s) to Rome. Meals will be served on board.
Mon, October 7: Arrive Rome
Welcome to Rome, also known as, "The Eternal City." Upon arrival at Rome airport, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by a tour escort and/or 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. Later in the afternoon, your group will meet in the hotel lobby for a "Meet and Greet" with your fellow pilgrims and depart for Mass. Following Mass, you will attend a welcome dinner. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to walk to St. Peter's Square as a group, for the Rosary (optional).
Tues, October 8: Rome: St Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Appian Way - Basilica of St. Paul's Outside the Walls - Catacombs
This morning you will enjoy an early breakfast before making your way to the largest Christendom Church, St. Peter's Basilica. This Basilica was built on the site where St. Peter, the first Pope and Bishop of Rome, was martyred. Continue to proceed to the Vatican Museums. You will observe the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and Michelangelo's Masterpiece, the restored mural of the Last Judgment. The final stop on your Vatican tour is at the tomb of Saint John Paul II. Continue on your short journey down the Appian Way, the earliest road of Ancient Rome. This road leads to the Domino Quo Vadis Chapel, the Baths of Caracalla, the Arch of Drusus, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the catacombs of St. Callixtus. The day concludes with a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Originally founded by Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century, this Basilica is the burial places of Saint Paul the Apostle. We will make our way to a local restaurant for dinner. Following dinner, feel free to explore the streets of Rome, or return to the hotel for overnight.
Wed, October 9: Rome: Papal Audience - Trevi Fountain - Piazza Navona - Basilica of St. John Lateran - Holy Steps - Basilica of St. Mary Major
After a nice breakfast at your hotel, 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 Papal Audience, we will make our way to the Trevi Fountain. Following the Trevi Fountain, continue to the beautiful Piazza Novona. This square was built on the former Stadium of Domitian that held many festivals and sporting events (86 A.D). At the center of this square, stands the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). There are four figures constructed on this fountain that represent four rivers: the Nile, Ganges, Danube, and Rio de la Plata. Next, you may enjoy free time for lunch, followed by a visit to 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. 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 and celebrate Mass. This Basilica contains a relic from the manger of the Infant Jesus. Following Mass, return to the hotel for dinner and overnight
Thurs, Oct 10: Rome - Monte Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
Following breakfast, you will board your bus to enjoy the route to Monte Cassino. During the ride, your tour escort will share interesting information regarding the spiritual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. Monte Cassino was founded by Saint Benedict around 530 A.D. Following the tour, there will be an opportunity to visit the gift shop, before we board the bus to continue toward San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of Saint Padre Pio. Upon arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo, you will check-in, enjoy dinner in the restaurant, and overnight.
Fri, Oct 11: San Giovanni Rotondo (View Incorrupt Body of St. Padre Pio) - Monte Sant' Angel
After breakfast we will visit the Old Church and after Mass we will tour the sanctuary. It is here you will view the crucifix n front of which St. Pio received the stigmata. Visit the confessional where St. Pio spent innumerable hours listening to confessions. Next, we will board the bus and travel along the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, At this grotto, St. Michael appeared to a Bishop to assure him that his diocese would not be annihilated as he feared. 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.
Sat, Oct 12: San Giovanni Rotondo - Lanciano - Assisi
After breakfast, we will go to Lanciano, where we will celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This Church is the site of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the eighth century. There will be some free time to explore Lanciano before we continue to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis. Upon arrival in Assisi, you will enjoy dinner, before retiring to your room for a restful night's sleep.
Sun, October 13: Assisi
This morning, enjoy breakfast followed by a full day of touring the hometown of St. Francis. As we visit the birthplace of St. Francis, you will become captivated as the atmosphere has not changed since St. Francis began his ministry, in the early 13th century. During the tour, you will have the opportunity to visit the tomb of St. Francis at his Basilica and have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, view a few of the saint's possessions. As the tour continues, visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica. This Basilica is where St. Francis spent most of life, and is made up of two structures; both of which you will visit. The Porziuncola is where St. Francis founded his order of the Friar Minor (Franciscans), and the Capella del Transito, which is the place of St. Francis' death. During this visit, your group will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as the cave where the Saint retired to pray. Enjoy free time on your own, you may take this time for additional prayer, or shop in the gift shop. The last stop on your tour will be to the Church that honors St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clare Sisters. This Saint followed the teachings of St. Francis very closely by also living a life of poverty and humility. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Mon, October 14: Assisi - Gubbio - LaVerna
After breakfast, we will drive through the beautiful Umbrian mountains to Gubbio. Enjoy this medieval town with a visit of St. Francis Church, were we will be celebrating Mass. After Mass we will visit a town that seems painted onto the hill, a succession of backdrops against which towers and houses stand out, all embraced by walls. The town has been freed by St. Francis from a terrible and fierce wolf who afflicted it. After lunch, on your own, we will continue to La Verna, this is the place where St. Francis, over the years, has been seven times and the last time in 1224 where he received the stigmata. Here you will be able to pray in the Chapel of the Stigmata, the Basilica and the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels. You will also be able to admire the beautiful artworks of Andrea della Robbia. Return to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Tues, October 15: Assisi - Rome Airport - Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, transfer to Rome Fiumicino airport for return flights home.
About your trip
Rome has been one of history's most powerful and important cities, along with home to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, and the site of the Vatican City. First built in 337, St. Peter's Basilica lies over the tomb of St. Peter. Contained within is a vast array of the most beautiful artwork ever assembled, reflecting the immensity, beauty, vastness, majesty, glory and awesomeness of God.