Pilgrimage to Italy - March 16, 2020
Rome | Florence | Siena | Assisi
Experience the beauty and universality of the Catholic faith as you journey through Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome, and more. Venerate Eucharistic miracles that reinvigorated the faith of doubters, marvel at the centuries-old art and architecture intertwined with the modern cities, absorb the Tuscan culture on a relaxing journey through the countryside, and experience the Franciscan peace that permeates the home of Saints Francis and Clare. A pilgrimage throughout Italy is a journey through centuries of faith and history, culminating in the heart of the Catholic Church today.
Italy Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart on our overnight flight to Rome. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
Upon arrival in Italy, we are met at the airport by our tour manager, who will be with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. We proceed to Florence for Mass and then check-in at our hotel, home for the next 3 nights.
Our tour of Florence is an artful experience as we take in the Ponte Vecchio, the Duomo, and the Baptistery with its renowned bronze doors. We will visit the Franciscan Basilica of Santa Croce to celebrate Mass before heading out into the Tuscan countryside. In this region, we will visit a family-owned winery and enjoy the delicacies of the area before returning to Florence.
This morning, we take a day trip to Pisa, stopping in the medieval walled city of Lucca along the way. Here we explore the historic city center with its cobblestone streets and numerous churches and towers. Visit the Duomo di San Martino and marvel at the ornate beauty of the Romanesque exterior and soaring bell tower. Enjoy lunch on your own, making sure to try some of the renowned regional olive oil, before continuing to Pisa to visit the famous Leaning Tower, which acts as the bell tower of the religious complex in the Duomo Square. Return to Florence for our final night in this wonderous town.
This morning we travel to Siena, where we celebrate Mass at St. Dominic’s, St. Catherine of Siena’s parish church where she attended daily Mass and went into ecstasy. Adjacent to the church is her home, which we’ll visit and see the cell where she fasted and prayed. Experience a highlight of our day in the Basilica of St. Francis: venerating the Eucharistic miracle of Siena. This afternoon, we travel to the peaceful village of Assisi, a town which welcomes you in the spirit of St. Francis and St. Clare into its peaceful interior, and our home for the next three nights.
This morning we will begin in the Basilica of St. Francis, where the saint lies in rest and where we will celebrate Mass at the Tomb of St. Francis. Afterwards, we’ll visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica, site of the Porziuncola, the tiny church in the woods where St. Francis began his ministry and where he consecrated St. Clare. This afternoon we’ll tour the Convent of San Damiano where the miracle of the Eucharist of 1211 took place and visit the chapel where Jesus spoke to St. Francis from the crucifix. The balance of the afternoon will be free to explore more of this peaceful town.
This morning begins with Mass at the Basilica of St. Clare, after which we will view and venerate her incorrupt body. Then we will take a taxi up to Monte Subasio to L’Eremo delle Carceri (the Carceri Hermitage), the Saint’s favorite retreat. There are many caves here that St. Francis and his followers retreated to for seclusion and prayer. The remainder of the day will be free for personal prayer and activities in this retreat-like setting, before returning to our hotel.
Depart this morning for Orvieto where we journey by cable car up the hill to the city center. Here we visit the Signorelli Chapel in the Cathedral and venerate the sacred Eucharistic miracle. See the steps of the Papal summer residence where Pope Urban IV held up the blood-stained corporal and announced his intention to institute the Feast of Corpus Christi. After Mass, continue to Rome to check into our hotel, our home for the next four nights.
We begin our day in Rome with an early morning Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica, followed by a tour including the Pieta and Adoration Chapel. Later, explore the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel with its breathtaking frescoes painted by Michelangelo, followed by a tour of the Vatican Gardens. Based on availability, we will explore the Scavi Excavations below St. Peter’s Basilica including the tomb of St. Peter (entrance fee not included).
This morning we will attend the weekly Papal audience given by His Holiness, Pope Francis (depending upon the Holy Father’s schedule). In the afternoon we visit and celebrate Mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls, originally built by Constantine in the fourth century over the site of St. Paul’s tomb. After some time for prayer, we visit the Tre Fontane, site of three fountains and three churches, where St. Paul was beheaded. Afterwards, we proceed to the Catacombs of St. Callistus and venerate the martyrs and early saints of the Church. This evening, we will enjoy dinner at local restaurant on the Piazza Navona including a walking tour to the Pantheon, Spanish Steps, and the Trevi Fountain where a coin thrown over your shoulder will guarantee you another visit to Rome.
This morning we venerate the Holy Stairs and the Basilica of St. John Lateran, followed by visits to St. Clement’s and St. Peter in Chains. St. Clement’s houses an original fresco depicting St. Clement celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, giving us a picture of Eucharistic worship at the end of the first century or the beginning of the second. Michaelangelo’s magnificent statue of Moses is located inside St. Peter in Chains. Later, we visit St. Mary Major, and celebrate Mass in this, the fourth major basilica in Rome.
Our time pondering the history and faith of Italy comes to a close. We transfer to the airport for our return flight home.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- Roundtrip economy airfare from Memphis on Delta/Air France
- 10 nights’ accommodations, including taxes and service charges
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Knowledgeable, friendly, Catholic/Christian guides; whisper headsets; deluxe motor coach transportation to holy sites; all entrance fees listed on itinerary (except for the Scavi excavation)
- Breakfast and dinner per itinerary (excluding drinks)
- Wine tasting at a local winery
- Dinner at a local restaurant in Rome