Thomistic Institute Study Abroad
Pilgrimage through Italy
Spiritual Director: Rev. Albert Trudel, O.P.
March 11 - 31, 2023
Roccasecca · Montecassino · Orvieto · Fossanova · Napoli · Florence · Siena · Pienza · Montepulciano · Rome
Your trip includes
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- Round-trip Transfers on modern motor coach.
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Breakfast and Dinners daily in Florence and Siena
- Lunches daily
- Wine Tasting in Siena
- Unlimited Bottled Water on the Bus
- Assistance of a professional local Guide (Roccasecca, Montecassino, Orvieto, Fossanova, and Napoli)
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Whisper Headsets for additional sightseeing
- Travel Package (206 Tours Bag, Lanyard/Nametag, Luggage Tags, and Tip Envelopes for Guide and Driver)
- Breakfast/Dinners, and Tips to your Guide & Driver.
- Tour 1: Excursion to Roccasecca (Lunch included) – Saturday, January 28th
- Tour 2: Excursion to Montecassino (Lunch included) – Saturday, February 11th
- Tour 3: Excursion to Orvieto (Lunch included) – Saturday, February 25th
- Tour 4: Excursion to Fossanova (Lunch included) – Saturday, March 25th
- Tour 5: Excursion to Napoli (Lunch included) – Saturday, April 22nd
Day 1: Saturday – March 11 – Depart for Florence (Half Day Tour of Florence)
Board our transfer that will bring you north to Florence. Upon arrival in Florence, you will notice immediately that it is the land for art lovers. Some of the most world-renowned artists are from Florence such as Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello, and many others. Start the day with a guided tour. The 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. Arrival at the hotel for dinner at a local restaurant, and then return to the Hotel for overnight.
Day 2: Sunday – March 12 – Return to Rome
Starting this morning, you will leave your luggage outside your Hotel room where the porters will bring your bags down to place them on the Bus. Make your way to an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, you will board your transfer back to Rome.
Overnight Excursion to Siena:
Day 1: Wednesday – March 29 – Depart for Siena – Pienza - Siena
Board our transfer that will bring you north through the Tuscan countryside to Siena. On the way, you will stop in Pienza. Around the year 1300, parts of this village became property of the Piccolomini family, and the Franciscans settled down here in the 13th century. Enea Silvio Piccolomini, the Renaissance humanist who later became Pope Pius II, was born in this tiny hamlet in 1405. Once he became Pope, he had the entire village rebuilt as an ideal Renaissance town and renamed it after himself as Pienza, which means “city of Pius”. Intended as a retreat from Rome, it is the first application of humanist urban planning concepts, subsequently adopted in other Italian towns and cities. We will have lunch in a local restaurant before we continue on to Siena, the medieval city and the birth-place of St. Catherine "Doctor of the Church", and the Apostle of Italy, St. Bernardine. Check in to your Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 2: Thursday – March 30 – Siena (Half Day Tour)
Starting this morning with breakfast, followed by boarding the bus to start our day tour of Siena. Start with a visit to 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 the Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Friday – March 31 – Siena – Montepulciano – Wine Tasting - Rome
Starting this morning, you will leave your luggage outside your Hotel room where the porters will bring your bags down to place them on the Bus. Make your way to an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, you will board your transfer back to Rome. Along the way, you will stop in Montepulciano. Admire the town while you walk from the main gates to the historical center. Taking in the quaint shops, you will come to the first square where you will see the Colonna del Marcozza, a marble column with the heraldic lion of Florence which decorates many of the places such as the Palazzo Avignonesi. Continue on to the Church of Sant ‘ Agostino, designed by Michelozzo, and contains the crucifix attributed to Donatello. Then take in the Fortezza, and then the Church of Santa Maria dei Servi. Then we will conclude the day with a visit to the Shrine of the Madonna del buon Viaggio. On April 23, 1518 two girls were returning from carrying water from a nearby fountain when they witnessed the Madonna’s eyes repeatedly opening and closing. A nearby farmer also witnessed the miracle. September 15th, 158 – we saw the commencement of construction for the Shrine, and in 1681, the Vatican allowed the miraculous image to be crowned in gold. In 1739, the Church was consecrated by the Bishop of Montepulciano, and in 1963 – the image of the Madonna of San Biagio was proclaimed Madonna del Buon Viaggio, protector of those who travel by earth, sea, and sky. From there, we will make our way to a local winery for a special wine-tasting. After some free time, we will continue back to Rome where our pilgrimage will conclude.*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.