Duration: 9 Days
On this inspirational tour, you’ll have the opportunity to attend the Papal Audience, learn about some of Italy’s beloved Saints, and attend Mass. Learn about St. Pio of Pietrelcina, a modern-day saint; visit the Shrine of Monte Sant’Angelo; see the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano; reflect in the Holy House of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Loreto; and visit the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare in Assisi. Italy is a must for Catholic travellers and art lovers.
Headsets are provided throughout the tour.
Please note: Itinerary is based on 2021, and is subject to change. Full details will be confirmed in September 2021.
Welcome to Italy! Check into your hotel, with rest of the day free to explore on your own. This afternoon, meet your Tour Director and fellow Travellers, and prepare for your upcoming spiritual journey. Later this evening, a welcome dinner awaits at your hotel. (D)
This morning, attend the Papal Audience (subject to availability) for the chance to see the Pope and receive the Papal Blessing. Later, with a Local Guide visit St. Paul Outside the Walls, burial place of St. Paul the Apostle and one of Rome's four major Papal basilicas, along with St. John Lateran Basilica. Experience the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs), transported from Jerusalem to Rome around 326 AD by St. Helena, Emperor Constantine's mother. These 28 marble steps are traditionally ascended in a kneeling position with a prayer recital dedicated to Jesus Christ. Then, visit the impressive St. Mary Major Basilica and attend [M] Mass. (B)
A different, quite unique experience is offered today. We will take an included excursion to Castel Gandolfo, a quaint village in the hills outside Rome, to visit the Papal summer residence and its manicured gardens with a Local Guide. This is a unique chance to see the rooms that have been occupied by many Popes over the centuries. Enjoy the opportunity to reflect and meditate in the garden's quiet and relaxing surroundings. In the afternoon, enjoy time at leisure in Rome or join the optional excursion to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo's impressive fresco of The Last Judgment. Today's Distance: 50 mi / 80 km (B)
On your way south, stop in quaint Pietrelcina, to visit the house where the beloved St. Pio was born. Then, head towards San Giovanni Rotondo on the east coast, the Saint's home from 1916 until his death in 1968. Today's Distance: 258 mi / 415 km (B,D)
Attend [M] Mass this morning at Santa Maria delle Grazie (Old Church), then visit St. Pio's friary , including his tomb, cell, confessional, and St. Pio Pilgrimage Church (New Church). Afterwards, take a short drive to the nearby Shrine of Monte Sant'Angelo , one of Christendom's most celebrated shrines, where St. Michael the Archangel appeared in 490, 492, and 1656. Tonight, attend the candlelight procession in San Giovanni Rotondo. Today's Distance: 43 mi / 70 km (B,D)
Visit St. Francis Church in Lanciano, home of the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle, and attend morning [M] Mass. Continue to the famous Marian Sanctuary of Loreto for a guided visit including the Holy House, where, according to tradition, angels transported the house of the blessed Virgin Mary. Arrive at the hilltop village of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare. Today's Distance: 298 mi / 480 km (B,D)
Today, learn more about St. Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment. Attend early morning [M] Mass at St. Francis Basilica, famous for its 14th-century Giotto frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. Meet your Local Guide and visit the Upper and Lower Basilicas of St. Francis and the Basilica of St. Clare, founder of the Order of Poor Clares. Next, stop at the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, situated at the foot of Assisi's hills and protecting the Porziuncola, where St. Francis is said to have founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209, and the Cappella del Transito, where the saint died in 1226. (B)
Travel to Cascia this morning, a scenic town located in Umbria and home of St. Rita, the "Patron Saint of Impossible Causes." Visit the Sanctuary and see the Major Basilica, housing the chapel with St. Rita's tomb. Stop in prayer at the Minor Basilica, site of the Eucharistic Miracle, commemorated each year with the Feast of Corpus Christi. Return to Rome for a final overnight stay. Today's Distance: 149 mi / 240 km (B)
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)