Pilgrimage to Grand Italy

Under The Spiritual Direction Of Fr. Francisco Ramirez
17 DAYS
FROM $5,799

Date

September 5 - 21, 2024

Activity Level

High

Book By

Group Limit

Pilgrimage Overview

Join us on a Pilgrimage to Grand Italy with Fr. Francisco Ramirez!

DAY 1
Depart USA

Today we board our overnight flights to Milan with snacks and beverages served aloft.

DAY 2
Milan

We arrive in Milan and are greeted by our Holy Land Travel Center Representative. We then transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Time permitting, we visit the Duomo to celebrate Mass and enjoy time at leisure in the city center. 

DAY 3
Padua

This morning we take a short orientation tour of Milan before we continue to Padua, where we will visit the famous Cathedral of St. Anthony, guarded by Donatello’s “Gattamelata”.  We will also visit the Basilica of Saint Giustina, the second most important pilgrimage site in Padua after St. Anthony’s. Here, the tomb of Luke the Evangelist is housed. We continue to our hotel in Venice by boat for our dinner and overnight.

DAY 4
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 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. Dinner will be at leisure tonight.

DAY 5
Venice – Florence

With an early morning start we depart Venice and go towards Pisa. Once in Pisa, we will head straight to the iconic Leaning Tower of Pisa, where we will take the obligatory tourist photos. Free time in Piazza dei Miracoli and free time for lunch we will transfer to Florence, our home for the next two nights.

DAY 6
Florence

Today we have a full-day tour of the Renaissance city of Florence, starting from the Academy Gallery, home to Michelangelo’s “David”. Free time during lunch to explore the famous San Lorenzo market. In the afternoon, we will explore the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with its great representation of Tuscan Gothic Architecture, like the giant dome of the church, designed by Brunelleschi. We will see Giotto’s Bell Tower, a 14th century masterpiece that rises to a height of 292 feet and the Baptistry of San Giovanni, withs East Door which is called the Gates of Paradise. The doors took artist Ghiberti 27 years to complete. Then we will visit Michelangelo’s parish church, Santa Croce, where Dante is buried. Here we celebrate Mass before returning to our hotel for dinner and overnight.

DAY 7
Florence / Siena / Assisi

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 then continue to our hotel in Assisi for the next two nights.

DAY 8
Assisi

Today, we visit Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis and St. Claire. Located in the Apennine Mountains, it has breathtaking views of the Umbrian countryside. Drive to Perugia. Upon our arrival, we embark on a guided orientation tour of the city highlighting Piazza IV November, Perugia’s Main Square, Palazzo dei Priori, the Fontana Maggiore, Arco Etrusco and the Cathedral where Mary’s wedding ring is. Travel back to Assisi for dinner and overnight.

DAY 9
Assisi

In Assisi, we will visit the Basilica of St. Francis, the upper Basilica with Giotto’s frescoes representing the life of St. Francis, then the lower Basilica and the Tomb of St. Francis. We then proceed to the Basilica of St. Clare for a tour. After lunch, we will transfer to the Convent of San Damiano, where St. Francis received his call to rebuild the Church and where St. Clare lived and died. Here we celebrate Mass before returning to Assisi.

DAY 10
Loreto

Today will start by leaving Assisi and driving to the Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. We continue to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, and the founder of the Franciscan Order. St. Francis of Assisi is the first person recorded who received the stigmata. After spending some time in Loreto, we make our way to Lanciano to visit the Church of St. Longinus where you see the Eucharistic Miracle and celebrate Mass.

DAY 11
Lanciano

This morning we depart to San Giovanni Rotondo the home of Padre Pio. Upon arrival, after Mass at the tomb of St. Padre Pio, tour the sanctuary and see the old church and the crucifix he was praying in front of when he received the stigmata for the second time in 1918. See the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with multitudes of pilgrims, view the Gargano Peninsula and the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel. Six different Popes, St. Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St. Michael the Archangel. Afterwards, enjoy the panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside before our dinner and overnight. 

DAY 12
San Giovanni Rotondo

This morning we leave San Giovanni Rotondo on our way to Montecassino. Along the way we stop in Pompeii, a UNESCO World Heritage Site that was destroyed by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Afterwards, we continue to Monteccasino, a hilltop town in the Lazio Region for our dinner and overnight.

DAY 13
Montecassino

Today we visit the famous Abbey of Montecassino, a Benedictine monastery that was founded in the 6th century and see its impressive collection of art and manuscripts. We then transfer to Rome, visit the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. After a guided tour, we celebrate Mass before checking our hotel for dinner and overnight. 

DAY 14
Papal Audience

Today we are up early for the General Audience with Pope Francis at St. Peter’s Square! This afternoon, we take 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.  In the evening, we end our night with a walking tour of Rome, featuring a stroll to the Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon, a Christian church since the 7th century, and Piazza Navona.

DAY 15
St. Peters Basilica

We continue to the Vatican Museums for a visit. Here we will see art masterpieces of the famous Michelangelo, Bernini – from antiquity to Renaissance. Visit the Sistine Chapel with the magnificent fresco of The Last Judgment and many more halls and rooms filled with Christian art, history and inheritance of all civilization. Today is also our visit to the heart of Vatican State, St. Peter’s Basilica, and underground burial stones with the tomb of St. Peter, and Square dedicated to same Saint. After some free time in the late afternoon for shopping we continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight. 

DAY 16
Tivoli

After breakfast we drive to visit Villa D’Este a UNESCO world heritage site, where our guide will tell us about the history and development of the villa, considered one of the most enchanting sites of the late Italian Renaissance. In the late afternoon we will drive to Castel Gandolfo. Time at leisure to explore the charming little town where the Papal Residence is the dominant attraction. We will enjoy a restaurant farewell dinner before returning to the hotel for the night.

DAY 17
Return Home

Today we board our return flights home with memories and keepsakes that will last a lifetime.

WHAT'S INCLUDED

  • Roundtrip Flights
  • Excursions per itinerary
  • 10 Nights Accommodation
  • All Meals per Itinerary
  • Professional Catholic Tour Guides
  • Spiritual Director

WHAT'S NOT INCLUDED

  • Passport and Visas (Refer to the section below for Passports or Visas help)

TRAVEL INSURANCE

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