Start: Italy Finish: Italy
Physical rating: 3
Special diets catered: Vegetarians, Please contact Collette with any specific dietary requirements
Tour code: 13154
Tour operated in:
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From the hallowed Basilica of St. Francis to the glorious Sistine Chapel, discover why Italy is a bastion of Catholicism. Spend time at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi, the beloved saint’s hometown. Stay two nights in San Giovanni Rotondo. Reflect at the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Discover the cathedral of Salerno and the abbey of Montecassino. Explore the burial sites of the Catacombs where the early Christians hid and venerated their dead. Attend the weekly Papal audience and receive the blessing given by the Pope. Discover Michelangelo’s Last Judgment mural and explore St. Peter’s Basilica. See the world’s most inspirational sites and relics on a journey through the rolling hills and lively cities of Italy.
Accommodation: Cardinal Hotel St. Peter
Travel on an inspirational journey to some of the most fascinating religious sites and relics in the world.
Accommodation: Hotel Cenacolo
Your tour opens in Rome. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a special welcome dinner at a popular local restaurant featuring regional delicacies and Italian wine.
Meals: Breakfast, Dinner
Travel north to Assisi, where St. Francis spent most of his life. Visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, built on the founding site of the Franciscan Order. Pause at the Chapel of the Porziuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint prayed. Spend time at the Church of St. Clare before reflecting at the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis. Join a local expert on a tour of Assisi, highlighting the 13th-century basilica where you can see many of St. Francis’ possessions and a series of frescoes. Celebrate Mass in the Basilica of St. Francis this afternoon.
Accommodation: Hotel Parco delle Rose
Enjoy a full day at leisure to independently explore historic Assisi. Or, join a full-day optional excursion to Florence, the “Renaissance City,” where a local expert provides a walking tour featuring the Piazza del Duomo, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Palazzo Vecchio, and the Ponte Vecchio.
Travel across the Apennine Mountains to the Marian shrine of Loreto. Discover the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto where more than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage. Celebrate Mass before continuing your journey to San Giovanni Rotondo, home of Padre Pio.
Location: San Giovanni Rotondo
Accommodation: Hotel Scapolatiello
Visit Monte Sant’ Angelo and take in stunning views of the Gargano Peninsula. Explore the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, where popes and saints have knelt and prayed for protection. Return to San Giovanni Rotondo and celebrate Mass in the sanctuary of Padre Pio. Tour Padre Pio’s tomb and the sanctuary, including the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. Spend time in the new church dedicated to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.
Journey through the picturesque landscapes of Apulia on your way to Campania. Visit the Cathedral of Salerno, which guards the relics of Saint Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. You will have the option of celebrating Mass here in Salerno. This afternoon opt to relax at your hotel or visit the Historic Ruins of Pompeii during an optional tour of this vast archeological site.
Travel to Montecassino and discover the renowned abbey founded by St. Benedict in the 6th century A.D., housing the relics of the saint and his sister, Saint Scholastica. Montecassino also became famous during World War II, when the abbey was bombed and destroyed. You’ll have the option of celebrating Mass here before continuing to Rome. Visit the Catacombs where early Christians hid and buried their dead.
Attend the weekly Papal audience* at Vatican City to receive the blessing given by His Holiness Pope Francis. Visit the Marian Basilica of St. Mary Major and Rome’s Cathedral: St. John in Lateran - the former residence of the popes. Conclude your day with a visit to the Scala Sancta, the Holy Stairs which tradition believes are the steps that Christ climbed when he appeared before Pontius Pilate.
Celebrate Mass before exploring the Vatican Museums**, including the Sistine Chapel and the famous Last Judgment mural. End your visit in St. Peter’s Basilica, the world’s largest church. Feel the grace around you as you meander along towering marble columns and stand in awe before Pietà, Michelangelo’s renowned sculpture. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure. Perhaps you’ll go on an optional tour of Rome with visits to the Roman Forum and Colosseum, where the Pope begins the Good Friday Procession. This evening, join your fellow travelers for a farewell dinner celebrating the end of a memorable pilgrimage to Italy.
Your tour comes to a close in Rome.
The beautiful city of Florence is a gem in the crown of the renowned region of Tuscany, and its capital city should not be missed. Enjoy a wonderful full day of shopping and sightseeing as a local expert highlights such treasures as the Ponte Vecchio, Palazzo Vecchio, Piazza del Duomo, the famed Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore and Piazza della Signoria. You will also visit the Church of Santa Croce, one of the oldest and largest Franciscan churches in the world. Before your return to Assisi, take some time at leisure to savor the local flavors of this region and shop in the wonderful boutiques and acclaimed handicraft shops that Florence offers. Duration approximately 12 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 15 passenger(s) is required to operate this option.
Time for lunch will be allotted, but lunch is not included.
Experience the eerie pull of history as you walk through Pompeii, the excavated ruins of a Roman city at the foothills of Mount Vesuvius. Discover what was buried under more than 60 feet of ash and pumice, sealing history away until it was discovered in the mid-1700s. The walking tour begins at Porta Marina, the city gate leading to the Sea. Ascend to the Forum, which was once the core of daily life in the city, as well as Pompeii’s main places of citizen worship. Along the way see the theatres, bath complex, and plaster casts while a local expert guides you through Pompeian life and history. Duration approximately 4 hour(s). Transportation is included. A minimum of 15 passenger(s) is required to operate this option.
Please note that walking in Pompeii can be difficult for some. The streets are uneven, with steps up or down everywhere. Opportunities for sitting and rest could be far between. There is little to no shade available during the walking tour. Travelers need to be able to walk and stand for at least 90 minutes consecutively.
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