Pilgrimage to Italy - March 4, 2020
Rome | Assisi | Land Only
Travelling to Italy is like walking into layers of history, art, human drama, and deep faith. Here your feet touch soil left from Roman times 3,000 years ago as you begin to venture into this land of martyrs, saints, popes, and ancient civilizations. Visit the place that solidified the Catholic faith in the eyes of the world and still proclaims the Gospel of Christ in all its glory. Italy is where people work, pray, and live in the midst of ancient ruins next to masterpieces of art, fountains, and churches. To journey to Italy is about experiencing the sacred bonds of the Catholic faith that enlightens the soul.
Italy Pilgrimage Itinerary
Our pilgrimage begins as we depart on our overnight flight to Rome. Meals and refreshments will be served aloft.
After our midday arrival in Rome we will spend the rest of the day acquainting ourselves with the Eternal City and begin to discover the importance of this city to our Catholic Faith. We will gain an understanding of the basic street plan and pass by places we will be visiting in depth during this pilgrimage, including St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major. We will familiarize ourselves with the transportation system and settle into our hotel, which will be our home base for the duration of our pilgrimage.
Today we will learn about the beginnings of Rome and how Rome put the Roman in Roman Catholicism! We will visit the heart of ancient Roman government and see the remains of the Forum, including the basilica of Sts. Cosmas and Damian built over the site of a pagan temple, then tour the Colosseum. This afternoon we visit two important sites that began as pagan temples and are now consecrated to our Lord: the Pantheon and the Basilica of San Clemente. Here we will see the second century dwelling of Pope St. Clement, the third successor of St. Peter, and view the original fresco depicting St. Clement celebrating the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. This fresco gives us a picture of Eucharistic worship at the end of the first century.
Today we will continue our pilgrimage through Roman history as we tour the Palazzo Massimo, or Massimo Museum, one of the four buildings of the National Roman Museum. We will enter Santa Maria degli Angeli to see the remains of the baths of Diocletian. This afternoon we will visit St. Paul Outside the Walls, and then take an excursion outside of Rome to the ancient Roman port city of Ostia Antica which became an Episcopal See as early as the 3rd century. Explore the well-preserved ruins of the town with its shops, houses, apartment buildings, temples, and forum. The peaceful ruins contrast with the vivacity of the city that it used to be and that is still there for us to perceive. After dinner at a local seaside restaurant, we will return to Rome.
This morning, join thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world as we walk to St. Peter’s Square to listen to the words of the Holy Father, pray the Angelus with him, and receive his Apostolic Blessing. Then we will travel to Aventine Hill, one of the seven hills upon which Rome was founded. We will visit the church of Saint Pricia, 1st century martyr, built over her family residence. The earliest Christian churches were houses, as the Church was under persecution and in hiding. It is said that Saints Peter and Paul both visited the home church of St. Pricia and we will see the remains of the home. We will also visit the 3rd century Sant’Bonifacio e Sant’Alessio and the 5th century basilica of Santa Sabina.
Today we will take a tour of the peaceful Umbrian city of Assisi including visits to the Convent of San Damiano where the miracle of the Eucharist of 1211 took place, the Basilica of St. Francis where Mass will be celebrated, and the Basilica of St. Clare. We will 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 St. Clare began her religious life. Later, we will drive up 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. Balance of the day free for personal prayer until our return to Rome.
This morning begins with Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica followed by a tour including the Pieta and Adoration Chapel. Our guide then takes us through the Vatican Museum and the Sistine Chapel with its awe-inspiring frescoes painted by Michelangelo. The balance of the afternoon will be free for personal reflection and activities.
This morning we will experience a highlight of our Roman stay, attendance at the Papal Audience at St. Peter’s (subject to the Holy Father’s schedule). Join thousands of pilgrims from throughout the world to listen to the Holy Father and receive his blessing. This afternoon, we will visit the basilicas of Saint John Lateran and St. Mary Major, followed by a tour of the catacombs of San Callistus.
This morning, we will enjoy an in-depth tour of the Church of the Gesu, the Mother Church of the Jesuits, founded by St. Ignatius himself. We will venerate the relics of the saints and take in the intricate frescoes and paintings in all of the side chapels. Lastly, we will visit the tomb of St. Ignatius. This afternoon, we will pilgrimage to other important Roman Jesuit sites, including the Chiesa di Sant’Ignazio di Loyola with its beautiful frescoes celebrating the life of St. Ignatius and the Society of Jesus. We will see the churches of Santa Maria Maddalena, Sant’Andrea al Quirinale, and the Chiesa Nuova (Santa Maria in Vallicella) where St. Philip Neri is buried.
Today we will enjoy a tour through Baroque Rome including visits to Piazza Navona with Bernini’s famous fountains, Sant’Agnese in Agone, the Palazzo Farnese, Campo dei Fiori, San Andrea della Valle, San Carlo alle Quattro Fontane, Santa Maria della Vittoria, Piazza di Spagna, and the Trevi Fountain.
Our last day in Rome begins with visits to the Church of the 12 Apostles, the column of the Immaculate Conception, and the Piazza del Popolo with its neoclassical plan. The balance of the afternoon will be free for personal time and last-minute shopping opportunities. This evening, we will enjoy a farewell dinner at a local restaurant in Trastevere.
Today our pilgrimage throughout Rome comes to an end, as we transfer to the airport to catch our return flight home, cherishing all of the wonderful memories and graces of this pilgrimage.
- Daily Mass at holy sites
- 10 nights’ accommodations, including taxes and service charges
- Porterage of one piece of luggage at airports and hotels
- Knowledgeable, friendly tour manager; whisper headsets; all entrance fees listed on itinerary
- Arrival and departure transfers
- Deluxe motor coach transportation on day trips
- Weekly ticket for public transportation
- Breakfast and dinner per itinerary (excluding drinks)
- Farewell dinner in Rome