Aquinas College Nashville
& Franciscan University of Steubenville
Italy Pilgrimage Retreat
For Catholic Educators
Retreat at Villagio Betania in Bracciano and Assisi; with Visits and Sightseeing in Rome, Assisi, Siena and Montecassino
Special Guest: Fr. Dave Pivonka, T.O.R.
(President of Franciscan University of Steubenville)
Spiritual Director: Fr. Nathan Malavolti, T.O.R.
Group Leader: Sr. Mary Rachel Capets, O.P.
June 11 - 20, 2023
Rome · Bracciano · Montecassino · Papal Audience · St. John the Lateran · Holy Stairs · St. Mary Major · Vatican Museums · Saint Peter's · Catacombs · Saint Paul · Orvieto · Assisi · Siena
Your trip includes
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Convent accommodations in Religious Houses (or similar) double occupancy
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Whisper Headsets
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Sightseeing and admissions fees : Montecassino, Rome, Papal Audience, Christian Rome Tour, Vatican Museum, Orvieto, Assisi and Sienna
- Catholic Priest, Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches and beverages unless mentioned; Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1: Sunday - June 11 - Depart to Rome
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Meals will be served on board.
Day 2: Monday - June 12 - Arrive in Rome - Bracciano
Welcome to Rome, also known as "The Eternal City." Upon landing at Rome Airport, you will make your way through Passport Control, and through Baggage Claim. Then proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where your tour guide and/or driver will greet you. You will make your way north to the beautiful medieval town of Bracciano. Following check-in at the Convent, enjoy some free time to unpack, relax or explore. Your tour escort may suggest places to visit. Later this afternoon, your group will meet in the Convent lobby for a meet and greet with fellow pilgrims and your priest. You will depart together for Mass, and following Mass, you will attend a Welcome Meeting followed by dinner. Return to your rooms for a restful nights sleep.
Day 3: Tuesday - June 13 - Bracciano - Montecassino - Bracciano
This morning, you will have breakfast and then board the bus and enjoy the scenic route to the Abbey of Monte Cassino. This is the principal monastery of the Benedictine Order, founded by St. Benedict around 530 A.D. Celebrate Mass here and then return to Bracciano for some free time, dinner, and overnight.
Day 4: Wednesday - June 14 - Bracciano - Rome Papal Audience and Sightseeing St. John the Lateran, Holy Stairs, St. Mary Major
This morning we attend the Papal Audience in St. Peter's Square celebrated each Wednesday by His Holiness, Pope Francis (pending the papal schedule). Next Trevi Fountain area for some free time and lunch (on own). This afternoon, visit the oldest of the four major Basilicas in Rome, the Archbasilica of St. John the Lateran, the cathedral church and seat of the Bishop of Rome. Cross the street to the Holy Stairs, the very steps lead up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem which Jesus climbed on his way to trial during His Passion. Holy Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, dedicated to Our Blessed Mother. This Basilica contains a relic from the manger of the infant Jesus. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Thursday - June 15 - Bracciano - Rome Sightseeing Tour: Vatican Museums, Saint Peter's, Catacombs & Saint Paul
Today we will tour St. Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St. Peter the Apostle was martyred. Here, you'll have the opportunity to pray at the tomb of St. John Paul II and view Michelangelo's Pieta sculpture. Next you will visit the Vatican Museum, where you can see the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, and Sistine Chapel. After lunch, continue down the Appian Way, one of the earliest roads built in ancient Rome to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and the Catacombs. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6: Friday - June 16 - Bracciano - Orvieto - Assisi
Following breakfast we depart Bracciano and head north through the Roman countryside of vineyards and villas. Throughout this bus ride, your tour escort will share very interesting information regarding the spiritual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. On the way to Assisi we will make a stop in Orvieto, where a Eucharistic Miracle is preserved in the Cathedral of Orvieto. In 1263, a Priest stopped to celebrate Mass at Saint Christina's Church in Bolsena. Having doubts that the Eucharist was really the Body and Blood of Christ, the Priest was shocked when the host began to bleed right after the prayer of consecration. Unable to hide this fact, he interrupted the Mass and went to Orvieto where Pope Urban IV was in residence. The Pope ordered that the miraculous host and then linen altar cloth stained with blood be brought to Orvieto and placed on display, where is still rests today. The Cathedral also has some of the most magnificent frescoes to be found anywhere. The depicting visions of heaven and hell in the San Brizio Chapel rival those of the Sistine Chapel. Enjoy visit to local winery with wine testing and light lunch included and then continue on to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis. Check-in to your Convent and enjoy delicious dinner and restful overnight.
Day 7: Saturday - June 17 - Assisi
As you 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. You will start a tour at the St. Francis Basilica, visit the 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. Followed by a visit to the Santuario Della Spogliazione where Blessed Carlo Acutis' tomb is placed. Carlo is the first millennial to be declared Blessed who loved the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. From there, you will continue on a walking tour through this picturesque town, including the birthplace of St. Francis, and end with a tour of the Church that honors St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clare Sisters. St. Clare followed the teachings of St. Francis very closely by also living a life of poverty and humility. Enjoy some free time - you may take this time for additional prayer, shop in the many gift shops, or enjoy a nice lunch. After lunch, board the bus, which will take you outside of the walls of Assisi, to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. Here is where St. Francis spent most of his 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 St. Francis died. During your time here, you will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as secluded sanctuary where in the early 13th century St. Francis often come to pray and contemplate. Return to the Convent for dinner and overnight.
Day 8: Sunday - June 18 - Assisi - Retreat with Fr. Dave Pivonka
Following an early breakfast, you will enjoy a Retreat led by Father Dave Pivonka. You will have the remainder of the day free to spend at your own leisure and then enjoy dinner, followed by a restful nights sleep.
Day 9: Monday - June 19 - Assisi - Siena - Assisi
Breakfast, followed by a scenic drive to the Tuscan city of Siena. This medieval city is the birthplace of St. Catherine "Doctor of the Church", and the Apostle of Italy, St. Bernardine. Visit the Basilica of St. Catherine (which is also known as the Basilica of St. Domenico). St. Catherine passed a large part of her life inside the walls of this Basilica. It is here you will also view the incorrupt head of St. Catherine. After, visit the Shrine of St. Catherine, which occupies the site of her family home. Enjoy your walking tour through the Siena including a visit to its Cathedral (Duomo di Siena). Conclude at one of Italy's finest squares, the Piazza Del Campo, where you will be given free time to spend at your own leisure. There are a number of restaurants surrounding the square to have lunch, as well as shops for gifts and souvenirs. Return to Assisi in the evening gather for dinner, followed by an overnight.
Day 10: Tuesday - June 20 - Assisi - Return Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, you will leave for Rome Fiumicino airport to board your return flight(s) home.
The benefit of buying airfare with 206 Tours?
- Your transfers are always secured, even if your flights are delayed - round trip transfers to/from the Convent and airport are included no matter what!
- If you purchase your airline ticket on your own, you have to pay in full at the time of booking, and most of the time it is non-refundable. If you book with 206 Tours, full payment is due 60 days prior.
- In the very rare event that a tour is cancelled, you would get all your money back, which would most likely not be the case if you purchased it directly from the airline.
- Your flight arrangement will be followed up on and reconfirmed by 206 Tours.
- 206 Tours can arrange for you to travel before the tour, make a stop-over, or stay later!