Franciscan University of Steubenville
Pilgrimage to Italy
Spiritual Director: Fr. Dave Pivonka, T.O.R.
(President of Franciscan University of Steubenville)
March 11 - 19, 2022
Your trip includes
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally located first class hotels: (or similar)
- ~ 3 night: Giotto, Assisi
- ~ 2 nights: Centro di Spiritualita Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Transportation by air conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of professional local guides
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
- Lunches and beverages unless mentioned; Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1 | Friday, March 11: Depart for Italy
Meet in New York airport, where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals are served on board.
Day 2 | Saturday, March 12: Arrive Rome - Assisi
Welcome to Italy ! Upon arrival at Rome airport, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrivals Hall, where you will be greeted by a tour escort and/or driver. You will make your way to the bus and transfer to Assisi. Enjoy a relaxing evening and dinner. Overnight Assisi.
Day 3 | Sunday, March 13: 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 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. 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. 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 4 | Monday, March 14: Assisi - La Verna - Assisi
After breakfast, you will drive to La Verna, the place where St. Francis, over the years, visited seven times, the last time in 1224 when 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.
Day 5 | Tuesday, March 15: Assisi - Loreto - Lanciano - San Giovanni Rotondo
After breakfast, you will head to Loreto to the great Marian Shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth, and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 Popes have made pilgrimage to the house which was transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition states that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. Continue on to Lanciano, and celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This Church is the site of a Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the eighth century. At the time of the miracle, there was a Basilian monk who struggled with belief in the Real Presence of the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. During the time of Mass, the monk, with doubt in his voice, said the words of consecration and the bread turned into living flesh, and the wine transformed into live blood. There will be some free time to explore Lanciano, before continuing toward San Giovanni Rotondo for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 | Wednesday, March 16: San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant' Angelo
This morning, after breakfast, you will visit the Old Church at San Giovanni Rotondo. After Mass, you will tour the sanctuary; it is here you will view the crucifix, in front of which Padre Pio spent innumerable hours listening to confessions. Next, you board the bus and travel along the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, a Shrine consecrated to St. Michael. At this Grotto, St. Michael appeared to a bishop to assure him that his diocese would not be annihilated as he feared. Following the visit to the Grotto, enjoy free time. On the way back to San Giovanni Rotondo, enjoy breathtaking views of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Upon arrival back in San Giovanni, you will have time for devotion and reflection. Dinner and overnight in San Giovanni Rotondo.
Day 7 | Thursday, March 17: San Giovanni Rotondo - Pietrelcina - Monte Cassino - Rome
Following breakfast, you will board your bus to enjoy the scenic route to Monte Cassino with a stop in Pietrelcina, the birthplace of St. Padre Pio. Francesco Forgione was born May 25, 1887 in Pietrelcina. He was the son of peasant farmers Grazio Mario Forgione and Maria Guiseppa Di Nunzio. He had three younger sisters (Felicita, Pellegrina and Grazia) and one older brother (Michele), as well as two other siblings who had passed away as infants. Padre Pio was baptized at the Church of St. Ann in Pietrelcina. He was an altar server later on in this same Chapel. By the time he was five years old, he had already made the decision to dedicate his life to God. He began taking on penances to prove his dedication and love for God. After this visit, you will continue to Monte Cassino, the principal monastery of the Benedictine Order. It was founded by St. Benedict around 530 A.D. Following the tour, there will be opportunity to visit the gift shop, before you board the bus to continue toward Rome for dinner and overnight.
Day 8 | Friday, March 18: Full Day Rome
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 from the cross and before being placed in the tomb. If circumstances permit, we will attend private Mass in a Chapel in the Basilica. Following your visit to the Basilica, you will have free time for lunch on your own, then a visit to the Basilica of Sts. Cosmas and Damian, which is the mother Church of the Third Order Franciscans. You will then have some free time in the afternoon, followed by a farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight at your Rome hotel.
Day 9 | Saturday, March 19: Rome - Rome Airport
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to the Rome Fiumicino airport for return flights 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 hotel 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!