Rome has been one of history's most powerful and important cities, along with home to the
Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, and the site of the Vatican City. First built in 337, St. Peter's Basilica lies over the tomb of St. Peter. Contained within is a vast array of the most beautiful artwork ever assembled, reflecting the immensity, beauty, vastness, majesty, glory and awesomeness of God.
DAY 1: DEPART USA: Depart en route to Rome with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
DAY 2: ARRIVAL IN ROME: Upon arrival in Rome, we are met by our Holy Land Travel Center representative, who will accompany us throughout our tour. We will immediately begin our tour of the Eternal City. We start our pilgrimage with a Holy Mass at St. Paul outside the walls, one of the major 4 basilicas in Rome. We then go for a panoramic view of Ancient Rome. After lunch, we transfer to our hotel. Evening we gather for a welcoming dinner at our hotel. Later we enjoy a night panoramic tour passing by some of Rome's landmark buildings and squares such as Piazza Venezia, the Coliseum, the Capitoline Hill and the Roman Forum.
DAY 3: ROME / PAPAL AUDIENCE: This morning we leave to the Vatican to attend the Holy Father's General Papal Audiences at Saint Peter’s Square. Some free time for lunch in the area and on to the world-renowned Vatican Museum and the spectacular Sistine Chapel with Michelangelo's vivid frescoes and to a guided tour of the interior of St. Peter's Basilica. As part of this morning's special visit, we spend time at the tomb of Pope John Paul II.
DAY 4: ROME: We start our morning with a guided tour of two of the major churches in Rome including the 1600-year-old St. Mary Major, and St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome. We then visit the Coliseum. The afternoon is at leisure. We end our night with a walking tour of Rome, featuring a stroll to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, a Christian church since the 7thcentury, and Piazza Navona.
DAY 5: ASSISI: Today we leave Rome and head to Assisi in the Umbria’s region. Upon arrival we visit the sites of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, including the Basilica of Santa Maria Degli Angeli (Our Lady of the Angels). Inside this Basilica, we explore the Portiuncola, the chapel of the Transitus and the Rose Garden. We continue to the Basilica of St. Clare, the Town Hall Square and the Basilica of St. Francis. We enjoy an afternoon at leisure to explore the lovely town with its quaint streets and alleys.
DAY 6: SIENA / FLORENCE: This morning we depart to visit the medieval town of Siena in Tuscany. We visit the Basilica of San Domenico, where the incorrupt head and finger of St. Catherine lies, and to explore the center and the Piazza del Campo on our own. We continue to Florence in the heart of the Tuscany region.
DAY 7: FLORENCE: This morning we discover the wonders of Florence, "City of Art." We visit the Academy of Fine Arts to view Renaissance masterpieces, including Michelangelo's "David." We explore the wonderful Basilica di Santa Maria del Fiore (Duomo), the Baptistery, Piazza della Signoria, and Santa Croce, housing Michelangelo's tomb.
DAY 8: FLORENCE: Following breakfast, we head into the Tuscan countryside to explore this region's rich history and culture. We visit San Gimignano, a very well-preserved medieval town dating back to the 12th century. We have free time to walk the streets and taste the local wine. Latter we continue our journey to Pisa to visit the leaning tower; it’s pretty Romanesque’s monuments and Cathedral .We return to Florence.
DAY 9: PADUA: This morning we head to Padua, visit this beautiful medieval city related to the Legend of Romeo and Juliet and continue to PADUA, where we will visit the famous Cathedral of St. Anthony, guarded by Donatello's "Gattamelata". Evening is at leisure to rest or explore Padua on our own.
DAY 10: VENICE: After breakfast we take our private boat to San Marc’s Square and explore Venice, nicknamed "la Serenissima”. We begin with a guided walking tour of St. Mark's Square, one of the largest open spaces in Venice. We visit two of its landmark buildings, the Basilica of San Marco and the Bridge of Sighs. We will be able to participate in a glass-blowing demonstration. We enjoy a free afternoon to explore on our own, sightsee, shop or take a gondola ride with music on one of Venice's scenic canals.
DAY 11: MILAN: Today we take in the sights of Milan including the famous opera house LA SCALA; the 19th century GALLERIA; and MILAN CATHEDRAL whose imposable size took nearly 6 centuries to construct. We end our tour of Milan with a special private viewing of Leonardo Da Vinci’s fresco masterpiece, the LAST SUPPER, located in the Church of Santa Marie delle Grazzie.
DAY 12: RETURN HOME: This morning we transfer to Milan’s Airport for our return flight.