Pilgrimage to Italy
Spiritual Leader: Fr. Daniel J. Kampschneider
April 15 - 25, 2020
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from Omaha to Venice
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Accommodations in centrally located first class hotels: (or similar)
- ~ Apr 16 - 18: Hotel NH Padua / Hotel AC, Padua
- ~ Apr 18 - 19: Starhotels Tuscany, Florence
- ~ Apr 19 - 21: Hotel Giotto, Assisi
- ~ Apr 21 - 25: Le Meridien Visconti, Rome
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach for all sights and visits
- Assistance of a professional local guide throughout your tour, plus local city guides throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Admission to Vatican City and Vatican Museum
- Arrangements for Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling at hotels
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches, Beverages unless mentioned, Tips to Guide & Driver.
Wednesday, April 15: Omaha - Venice
Make your way to Omaha airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s) to Venice. Your meals will be served on board.
Thursday, April 16: Venice Airport - Padua
Welcome to Italy! This afternoon you will tour the city of Padua. This Northern Italian 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 an overnight.
Day 3, Friday, April 17: Padua - Venice - Padua
Today, you will have early breakfast and then 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; the Bridge of Sighs, 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 an overnight.
Day 4, Saturday, April 18: Padua - Florence
Following breakfast at your hotel, board the motor coach for your transfer to Florence. In Florence, a guided tour starts at the Church of the Holy Cross, the Santa Croce, where many nobles are buried, such as Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli. Continue to walk by Piazza Signorina, Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi, Ponte Vecchio, and Republic Square to the Santa Maria del Fiore. This Cathedral is an iconic piece of architecture of the city of Florence. It was designed by Filippo Brunelleschi in the 13th century. Next, a visit to L'Accademia, the well-known art gallery. At this gallery, you will have the opportunity to view the work from artists such as Botticelli, Ghirlandaio, Pontormo and the ever famous sculpture by Michelangelo, David. This afternoon you will have time to explore Florence on your own. Return to hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 5, Sunday, April 19: Florence - 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 of 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. Continue on 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.
Day 6, Monday, April 20: Assisi
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 Environment." Additionally, he is responsible for founding the Franciscan Order, and known for being a humble man - spending most of his life denying the luxuries of life. 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 your 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, 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. 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, you will board the bus, which will take you 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 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. Return to the hotel for dinner and an overnight.
Day 7, Tuesday, April 21: Assisi - Orvieto - Rome
After an early breakfast, you will head 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. 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. During this tour which includes a visit to the Chapel of the miraculous Corporal in Duomo di Orvieto, you will 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 the lunch. After lunch, board the coach and continue on to Rome where you will check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Wednesday, April 22: Rome | Papal Audience - Trevi Fountain - 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, we will walk to visit the Trevi Fountain, where you may enjoy some free time on your own for lunch. 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, you 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 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, you 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 an overnight.
Day 9, Thursday, April 23: Rome | St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Appian Way - Catacombs - Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls
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. The next stop on your tour is the tombs of Saint John Paul II and St. John XXIII, the Altar of the Confession (where Bernini’s canopy is), and then continue to the crypt where St. Peter’s tomb is. After the visit of St. Peter’s Basilica, 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 Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and Michelangelo's Masterpiece, the restored mural of the Last Judgment. After Free time for lunch you will 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. Next, make your way to a local restaurant for dinner. Following dinner, feel free to explore the streets of Rome, or return to the hotel for an overnight.
Day 10, Friday, April 24: Ancient Rome
After breakfast, transfer to the Archeological area of Rome on your Ancient Rome tour. See the Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill. See Palatine Hill and discover the hill where Rome was founded at the beginning. Then reach the Colosseum and be amazed by this monument that is the symbol of Rome in the world. The Amphitheater created to entertain ancient Roman citizens with bloody shows of gladiators, animals and cruel games, is now one of the most fascinating landmarks of the City. Walk on the original path of ancient Rome along the Via Sacra and see the Temples of Vesta, Antonino and Faustina, the ancient Basilica Julia and Aemilia ; giving you a view of Rome’s past ! After tour, you will have the remainder of the day free to explore Rome at your leisure. Revisit some sites you’ve seen, visit new sites, and reflect on your Pilgrimage experience and discover the culture of the city, however you so choose. Enjoy a farewell dinner with your new friends this evening on your last night in Italy.
Day 11, Saturday, April 25: Rome – Omaha
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, transfer to the Rome Airport for your return flights to Omaha.