From $2779 per person land tour only
Sale price $2429 – for November 28 – December 7, 2018
10 days 9 nights and includes 9 breakfasts 6 dinners
Join us on an inspirational journey through the rolling hills and lively cities of beautiful Italy. Attend the weekly papal audience and receive the blessing given by His Holiness, Pope Francis. Discover the incomparable splendour of the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter’s Basilica. Spend time at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, the beloved saint’s hometown. Stay two nights in San Giovanni Rotondo, and pray in the church dedicated to St. Pio of Pietrelcina – “Padre Pio.” Reflect at the Grotto of Michael the Archangel, on the rugged Gargano Peninsula. Discover the Abbeys of Santissima Trinita and Montecassino. In the town of Pompeii, have time at the Madonna del Rosario Sanctuary, one of the most famous shrines of Christianity.
Day 1 – Rome, Italy – Tour Begins
Travel on an inspirational journey visiting some of the most fascinating religious sites and relics in the world. Your tour begins in Rome. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a special welcome dinner at a popular local restaurant featuring regional delicacies and fine Italian wines.
Day 2 – Rome – Papal Audience – Vatican Museum
This morning, attend the weekly papal audience* at Vatican City to receive the blessing given by His Holiness, Pope Francis. Later, visit the Vatican Museum** where you will view such historical treasures as the Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo’s restored mural of the Last Judgment. Then it’s on to the breathtaking St. Peter’s Basilica, built on the site where St. Peter was martyred. Known as the grandest of the world’s churches, St. Peter’s is unsurpassed in beauty.
Day 3 – Rome – Christian Rome City Tour
Begin your day at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, where the remains of St. Paul are located under its main altar. You’ll celebrate Mass before making your way to the catacombs where early Christians fearing persecution hid and buried their dead. Continue on to visit the other major Roman basilicas, St. Mary Major and St. John in Lateran, the former residence of the popes prior to their return to Rome in 1377.
Day 4 – Rome – Abbey of Montecassino – Madonna del Rosario-Campania
This morning you travel to Montecassino to visit the renowned abbey founded by St. Benedict in the 6th century A.D. This sacred place houses the relics of St. Benedict and his sister, Saint Scholastica. Montecassino also became famous during the battles that took place here during World War II, when the abbey was bombed and destroyed. Later, your travels continue to the town of Pompeii where you will visit the Madonna del Rosario Sanctuary, one of the most famous shrines of Christianity. Finish your day in Campania.
Day 5 – Abbey of Santissima Trinita – San Giovanni Rotondo
Begin your morning with a special visit to the Benedictine Abbey of Santissima Trinita in Cava de Tirreni, founded in the 11th century by a local saint. Your travels continue southeast through the picturesque landscape of the regions of Campania and Apulia to San Giovanni Rotondo, home of Padre Pio.
Day 6 – Monte Sant’Angelo – San Giovanni Rotondo
Begin your day with a special visit to Monte Sant’ Angelo. Take in the breathtaking views of the Gargano Peninsula and explore one of the most celebrated shrines of early Christianity – the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel. Many popes and saints have knelt and prayed at this grotto, seeking the protection of Saint Michael. Later, return to San Giovanni Rotondo and celebrate Mass in the sanctuary of Padre Pio. This is followed by a tour of the sanctuary, including the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918, as well as Padre Pio’s tomb. Then visit the new church dedicated in 2004 to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. You will also see the confessional where Padre Pio spent many hours directing pilgrims on their journey towards God.
Day 7 – San Giovanni Rotondo – Loreto – Assisi
Travel the Adriatic Coast to the Marian shrine of Loreto. Visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto where more than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage. You will celebrate Mass before crossing the Apennine Mountains en route to Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis.
Day 8 – Assisi – Optional Florence Excursion
Enjoy a full day at leisure to relax or independently explore historic Assisi. Or, you may join a full day optional excursion to Florence, the “Renaissance City,” where a local expert provides a leisurely paced walking tour featuring the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore – one of the largest in the Christian world – and the Baptistery doors. You also view the Palazzo Vecchio and the Ponte Vecchio. Enjoy several hours at leisure in Florence before returning to Assisi.
Day 9 – Post Night: Cardinal Hotel St. Peter
The Cardinal Hotel St. Peter is a 4-star property located in the center of Rome. Situated in the tranquil district of Villa Pamphili, the hotel is nearby to Vatican City, the Vatican Museums and Pio XI Square.