Shrines of Italy Pilgrimage
Spiritual Leader: Fr. Donald Calloway, MIC
April 30 - May 9, 2023
*Note: Fr. Calloway will be with group until May 5th
Orvieto · Assisi (St. Francis) · San Damiano · Eremo delle Carcaeri · Cascia · Vatican Museums · Catacombs · Papal Blessing · Monte Cassino or Mugnano del Cardinale (St. Philomena) · Rome
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 3 nights: May 2 - 5 Giotto, Assisi
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine and mineral water with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Whisper Headsets
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest, Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1, Sunday, April 30: Depart for Italy
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Meals will be served on board.
Day 2, Monday, May 1: Arrive Rome
This morning you will arrive in Rome, the eternal city! Upon landing in Rome airport, claim your baggage and proceed to the Arrivals Hall, where your tour guide and/or driver will greet you. Following check-in at the hotel, enjoy some free time to unpack, relax or explore Rome on your own. Your tour escort may suggest places to visit. Later this afternoon, your group will meet in the hotel lobby for a meet and greet with fellow pilgrims and Fr. Donald Calloway! You will depart together for Mass, and following Mass, you will attend a welcome dinner. Enjoy a restful overnight.
Day 3, Tuesday, May 2: Rome – Orvieto – Assisi
Today, we get an early start on the motorcoach driving through the idyllic Northern Italian countryside towards Orvieto! Throughout this bus ride, as you pass vineyards and villas, your tour escort will share very interesting information regarding the spiritual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. Arrive in Orvieto, a city known for its Duomo and considered one of the most architecturally important in Europe, for its Etruscan roots, and for the museums where one finds collections and displays that range over 2,500 years of history. See the Cathedral of Orvieto, which contains some of the most magnificent frescoes. Walk through Orvieto's charming, narrow alleys, and small squares. Your tour will be a very memorable experience, perfect for reflecting over while you enjoy an Umbrian meal and a glass of Orvieto Classico wine. After lunch, board the coach and continue to Assisi for a restful overnight.
Day 4, Wednesday, May 3: Assisi
Wake up in the beautiful hometown of St. Francis. St. Francis is the "Patron Saint of Animals and the Environment." Additionally, he is responsible for founding the Franciscan Order and, the inspiration for our Holy Father, Pope Francis. He chose his name in admiration 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 your group visits 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, your group will have the opportunity to visit the tomb of St. Francis at his Basilica. At the Basilica of St. Francis, you will have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, as well as, view a few of the saint's possessions. 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. Lastly, your group will return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5, Thursday, May 4: Assisi
Wake up in beautiful Assisi! Today you will visit the Church of San Damiano. At this modest, yet beautiful Holy Church, you will have the opportunity to kneel before the crucifix where Jesus asked St. Francis, "to rebuild His church." As the tour continues, your group will 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. Visit Eremo delle Carceri and enjoy the evening to relax during your last night in Assisi.
Day 6, Friday May 5: Assisi – Cascia – Rome
Today, say goodbye to Assisi to head back to Rome. Make a stop in Cascia, the hometown of St. Rita where you will see her body is incorrupt and enshrined in the Basilica of Santa Rita da Cascia. Built in 1931, the minor Basilica, in the town of Cascia in the Umbrian region of Italy, has an interior filled with notable frescoes. Also, Cascia is the site of the 1330 Eucharistic Miracle. At this time a very sick peasant asked a Priest from the Basilica of St. Rita to bring Communion to his dwelling. The Priest irreverently placed the host in a prayer book rather than taking the ciborium with him to the man’s house. When the Priest arrived, and opened the book to administer the Host, it had miraculously transformed into a clot of blood. Dismayed and penitent, the Priest immediately took the book to nearby Siena to the Augustinian Priory and asked the counsel for advice. They pardoned him and kept the miraculous book. Many popes have promoted the veneration of this Eucharistic Miracle. The book in enshrined in the Church of St. Augustine and each year on the Feast of Corpus Christi a procession following the book is led through the city. Tonight, the group will have dinner and say Farewell to Fr. Calloway and hello to your new Spiritual Director. Continue to Rome to check in to your hotel for a restful overnight.
Day 7, Saturday, May 6: Rome Saint Peter’s - Vatican Museums – St Paul Outside the Walls
This morning we begin with a morning tour of 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. Enjoy guided tour of 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 in Rome.
Day 8, Sunday, May 7: Rome
Wake up in Rome and enjoy a relaxing breakfast at your hotel before heading to Vatican City to receive the Pope’s Blessing. This afternoon we will continue touring Rome with guided visits to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran, Holy Stairs and the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 9, Monday, May 8: Rome Amalfi Coast, Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii and St. Philomena
Today you have a choice to either enjoy a Free Day in Rome or to take a tour to Amalfi Coast, which will include Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii, St. Philomena and Monte Casino. We will travel South passing some of the most loved tourists attractions, including the nearby Pompeii still active volcano of Mt. Vesuvius where we tour the 79 AD eruption that blanketed Roman city of Pompeii in lava, see the excavation snapshot of ancient Roman life frozen in time. Our main focus will be the Mass at the Shrine of the Our Lady of the Rosary Church in Pompeii, where many miracles happened. Not far from Napels is a small town of Mugnano del Cardinale where the tomb and body of a great saint, miracle worker Saint Philomena. Drive along the Amalfi coast road, famous for its breathtaking views of the mountainous coastline and Mediterranean Sea. Stop at the Abbey of Monte Cassino, the principal monastery of the Benedictine Order, founded by St. Benedict around 530 A.D. The reason we are giving everyone an option, to either stay in Rome on own or, take this excursion, is because it will be a long day. Dinner will be served in Rome upon return.
Day 10, Monday, May 9: Depart Rome
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, you will leave for Rome Fiumicino airport for return flight home.*206 Tours Disclaimer:
Occasionally local religious and national holidays, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of events or the missing of certain events/places. Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of events and places to be visited.