Round-trip airfare from San Antonio
First-class hotels (4 stars or better)
Daily breakfasts and dinners
Transfers, as per itinerary
Sightseeing and admissions fees, as per itinerary
Professional tour guide for the group
Gratuity: $10 per day (required)
Travel Insurance (optional)
Passport and visa costs, if any
Personal items (phone calls, room service, etc.)
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: LANCIANO – LORETO
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 6: 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 7: SIENA – ST. GIMIGNANO
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. We continue on to see the incorrupt relics of St. Catherine of Siena at the Basilica of St. Dominic. Afterwards, on our way towards Florence, we will visit San Gimignano. This hill town is encircled by 13th-century walls. It has a skyline of medieval towers, including the stone Torre Grossa and the Duomo di San Gimignano, a 12th-century church with frescoes by Ghirlandaio in its Santa Fina Chapel.
Day 8: FLORENCE
Today we tour Florence, seeing the Church of The Holy Cross, where Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli are buried. We walk through the Republic Square and tour the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral followed by an afternoon tour of the artwork at L’Accadamia. Here we see Michelangelo’s statue of David and other historic works.
Day 9 and Day 10: PADUA – VENICE
We begin our day heading toward Padua to visit the Basilica of St. Anthony of Padua. Afterwards, we begin our two-day tour of Venice, the capital of northern Italy’s Veneto region. Venice is built on more than 100 small islands in a lagoon in the Adriatic Sea. It has no roads, just canals – including the Grand Canal thoroughfare – lined with Renaissance and Gothic palaces. The central square, Piazza San Marco, contains St. Mark’s Basilica, which is tiled with Byzantine mosaics, and the Campanile bell tower offering views of the city’s red roofs.
Day 11: ITALY – USA
We depart Italy on our flight back to the USA, end of services.