Day 1: DEPARTURE
Board your flight to Rome. Dinner and breakfast will be served aboard your international flight.
Day 2: ROME
We arrive in the beautiful city of Rome. Your guide/escort will greet you at the airport and transport you to your hotel to relax and settle in. Spend your evening meal getting acquainted with your fellow pilgrims.
Day 3: VATICAN CITY – POPE FRANCIS
Today we begin our morning by attending a papal audience with Pope Francis. After the audience we visit the Vatican Museums to see centuries of beautiful artwork and artifacts. See the artworks of Michelangelo, such as, the Pieta and the Sistine Chapel. We will explore St. Peter’s Basilica in all of its splendor, built over St. Peter’s tomb. We end the day by visiting the excavated necropolis.
Day 4: ROME – COLOSSEUM
We begin by seeing the Basilica of St. Mary Major, which contains a relic from the manger. From here, we visit the Scala Sancta, the stairs Christ climbed to stand before Pontius Pilate. Those who wish may climb the stairs, as is the custom, on their knees. The Basilica of St. John Lateran, once the residence for popes, is a marvelous site, as is St. Paul Outside the Walls, which shelters the relics of St. Paul the Apostle. We will also visit the Colosseum, 3-tiered Roman amphitheater once used for gladiatorial games.
Day 5: MONTECASSINO – SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
Heading south, we pass through the rich Italian country-side of vineyards, orchards and olive groves. We take in the amazing panoramic view as we make our way to Montecassino, a town founded by St. Benedict in 529. Afterwards, we continue on to San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of St. Padre Pio.
Day 6: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO – MONTE SANT’ ANGELO
Today we visit the old church and the crucifix before which Padre Pio received the stigmata in 1918. We see the confessional where he directed people on their path and we will aslo stand and pray before Padre Pio’s incorrupt body. Moving on, we have a stunning view of the Gargano Peninsula as we make our way to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Saints, popes, and people from all over have come to this grotto looking for the protection and intercession of St. Michael.
Day 7: LANCIANO – LORETO – ASSISI
Today we travel to Lanciano to visit the Church of St. Longinus, home of a Eucharistic miracle. Afterwards, we make our way to the Holy House of Nazareth, the house where Mary first prayed the Magnificat. Afterwards, we make our way to Assisi.
Day 8: ASSISI
The namesake of our Pope, St. Francis of Assisi is our main focus today as we begin our tour with a visit to his tomb. We will tour the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi and view many of his personal possessions. The crucifix that spoke to him, asking him, “Rebuild my Church.” We will also visit the chapel where St. Francis spent most of his time.
Day 9: SIENA – ASSISI
In the morning, we head to Siena and view the city’s Romanesque Gothic cathedral that was completed in 1380. The Sanctuary of St. Catherine of Siena houses the miraculous crucifix from which she received her stigmata. We walk the shell shaped Piazza del Campo town square which houses the Palazza Pubblico and the Torre del Mangia, two of their architectural treasures. We continue on to see the incorrupt relics of St. Catherine of Siena at the Basilica of St. Dominic. Afterward, we return to Assisi to enjoy our farewell dinner.
Day 10: ITALY – USA
We depart Italy on our flight back to the USA, end of services.
Day 1: DEPARTURE