Pilgrimage to Italy
Spiritual Director: Fr. Fernando Molina-Restrepo
Spiritual Director: Fr. Eric Hill
August 5 - 15, 2018
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located hotels: (or similar)
- ~ Aug 9 - 11, Assisi: Hotel Dal Moro
- ~ Aug 11 -13, Padua: Hotel AC Padova
- ~ Aug 13 -15, Lake Como: Hotel Como
- Tour Escort throughout
- Transfers by private motor coach
- Breakfast and dinner daily including a glass of wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary as follows: Rome, 1 full day plus 1 half day, half day tours in Assisi, Padoa, Venice, Verona and Lake Como
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Headsets for guided sightseeing
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Meals not mentioned, Tips to your guide & driver.
Sun. Aug 5: Depart for Rome
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Mon. Aug 6: Arrival in 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. Aug 7: Rome: St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Trevi Fountain - Appian Way - Basilica of St. Paul 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. Also, it was Our Holy Father, Pope Francis who was the first Pontiff to visit the necropolis since extensive archaeological excavations were conducted at the ancient site decades ago. It is here that you will view Michelangelo's Pieta. This stunning marble sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary holding Christ after His crucifixion, death, and removal off the cross before being placed in the tomb. Continue to proceed to the Vatican Museums. At the world-renowned museum, you will see the most impressive of edifices, galleries, and awe-inspiring relics. Additionally, you will observe the Tapestry Gal-lery, 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. Afterward, you will be transferred to the Fon-tana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain), where you may enjoy some free time on your own for lunch. 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. Follow-ing dinner, feel free to explore the streets of Rome, or return to the hotel for overnight.
Wed, Aug 8: Rome: Papal Audience - Basilica of St. John the Lateran - Holy Steps - Basilica of St. Mary Major
After a nice breakfast at your hotel, your first 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 Stair-case. 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.
Thu. Aug 9: Rome - Assisi
We'll depart for Rome today and travel 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.
Fri. Aug 10, Assisi (The Life of a Saint, that inspired a Holy Father)
Enjoy an early breakfast, followed by a full day of touring the hometown of St. Francis. St. Francis is the "Patron Saint of Animals and the Environ-ment." Additionally, he is responsible for founding the Franciscan Order, and the inspiration for our Holy Father, Pope Francis. He chose his name in ad-miration of the Saint of Nature, and Servant to the Poor. Known for being a humble man himself, Pope Francis spent most of his life denying the luxuries of life. He preferred to live in simplicity and humility, while giving up all other worldly possessions, just as St. Francis did. 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. We will start our tour at the St. Francis Basilica, visit his tomb of St. Francis, and have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, along with a few of the saint's possessions. From there, we will continue on a walking tour through this picturesque town, including the birthplace of St. Francis, and ending with a tour of 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. Enjoy some free time on your own - you may take this time for additional prayer, shop in the many gift shops or enjoy a nice lunch. After lunch, we will board the bus, which will take us outside of the walls of Assisi, to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. This is where St. Francis spent most of life. This Basilica is made up of two structures, both of which you will visit. The first structure, is the "Porziuncola", which is where St. Francis founded his order of the Friar Minor (Franciscans). The second, is the "Capella del Transito", which is the place of St. Francis' death. During your time here, you will have the oppor-tunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as the cave where the Saint retired to pray. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Sat. Aug 11: Assisi to Padua
Following breakfast at your hotel, board the motor coach for your transfer to Padua. This Northern Italy city honors the "Patron Saint of Lost Things and Causes", St. Anthony. You will begin a sightseeing tour of the city, including a view of one of the oldest Universities in Italy, the University of Padua, as well as the Basilica of Santa Giustina, the "Patron Saint of Padua." The tour will conclude at the Basilica of St. Anthony, where you will have the opportunity to visit his tomb. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Sun. Aug 12: Padua - Venice (Full Day Excursion)
Today, you will have early breakfast. Board your bus to depart to the magical city of Venice. After Mass enjoy a tour of the "City paved with Water!" Your walking tour includes a visit to St. Mark's Square, the largest square in the city and the site of many government buildings; the Golden Basilica of San Marco, known for the great mosaics that depict the Old and New Testament of the Bible; and the Bridge of Sigh, a bridge that will bring eternal love to those who drift below it. You will also have the chance to view the Doges' Palace (Duke's Palace), which served as the seat of the Government for the Republic of Venice for centuries. Return to Padua for dinner and overnight.
Mon. Aug 13: Padua - Verona - Lake Como
Depart Padua for your transfer to Verona. Enjoy a visit to this beautiful city with your local guide. Verona is a medieval old town famous for being the setting of Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet." A 14th-century residence with a tiny balcony overlooking a courtyard is said be "Juliet's House." The Vero-na Arena is a huge 1st-century Roman amphitheater, which currently hosts concerts and large-scale opera performances. Afterward, continue to Lake Como, one of the most popular lakes in Italy's Lake Region. Lake Como, in Northern Italy's Lombardy region, is an upscale resort area known for its dramatic scenery, set against the foothills of the Alps. Browse this beautiful town before enjoying dinner and overnight.
Tue. Aug 14: Lake Como
Enjoy a half day of touring this beautiful town. This afternoon, enjoy some time at your leisure before dinner and overnight.
Wed. Aug 15: Lake Como - Atlanta
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, transfer to Milan airport for return flights home.