- All Inclusive Pricing
- First Class Hotels
- Breakfast and Dinner Daily
- Deluxe A/C Motor Coaches
- Fuel Surcharges and Gov't Taxes
- Entrance and Program Fees
- Guided Tours
- International Airfare from NY
Day 1 Depart USA
Our Italian adventure begins as you depart the USA on your international flight.
Day 2 Rome, Orvieto, Assisi
On arrival at Rome airport you will be met and transferred north by coach through the stunning countryside. Pope Nicholas IV laid the cornerstone for the Cathedral of Orvieto in 1290, dedicating it to the Assumption of the Virgin. Orvieto served as a Papal residence through the Middle Ages, Pope Clement VII being one of the last to stay in Orvieto in 1527. Here the Feast of Corpus Christi is celebrated, marching from the Duomo. Celebrate Mass at the Cathedral here. Finish your day by checking in to your Assisi Hotel for dinner and overnight. (D)
Day 3 Assisi
This morning wake up to the atmospheric sounds of chapel bells, cobblestone footsteps and a tangible spirit of St. Francis preserved within the walls of this holy town. In the morning you will visit the lower city. The Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels stands at the foot of the hill of Assisi over the Porziuncola - Saint Francis’ Church given to him by the Benedictine monks. The Church and Convent of St. Damiano is where in 1205, St. Francis received his calling to “Rebuild My Church.” St. Claire would later lead her Order of the Poor Ladies from here until her death in 1253. Celebrate Mass at one of these sanctuaries. You will have time for private devotion and leisure before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Day 4 Assisi
After breakfast you’ll walk to the Papal Basilica of St. Francis, the mother church of the Franciscan Order and burial place of St. Francis. This Basilica, which was begun in 1228, is built on the side of a hill and comprises an upper and lower church. These are decorated with numerous frescoes by late medieval painters including Giotto. Celebrate Mass here. Continue on your guided pilgrimage of the town’s highlights featuring the Basilica of St. Clare, where you can kneel before the famous crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis. Enjoy an afternoon at leisure in Assisi before returning to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Day 5 Greccio & Rome
After breakfast you’ll begin your journey to Rome. En route, stop in Greccio to visit the Sanctuary. Set within the rock like an eagle’s nest, the Greccio hermitage is an extraordinary fusion of architecture and nature. The Sanctuary is famous because St. Francis of Assisi chose it as the backdrop to one of the highest and most lyrical moments in his life: the first recreation of the Bethlehem Nativity in Christianity on Christmas Eve, 1223. Celebrate Mass here. Upon your arrival to Rome, enjoy a visit to the Forum and the Colosseum, once the heart of ancient Rome and a place of martyrdom for the early saints. You’ll explore the romance of Rome as you stop at the famous Trevi Fountain. Legend says those who toss a coin into the fountain will one day return to Rome to toss another into the waters of Trevi. Check in to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Day 6 Vatican
Enjoy a guided tour of the Vatican’s Museums and Sistine Chapel. Built by connecting portions of the old Papal residence with newer structures, the museum houses a world renowned collection of art and antiquities. Michelangelo painted the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel between 1508 and 1512, and later painted The Last Judgment between 1535 and 1541 for Popes Clement VII and Paul III. The primary function of the chapel is the Papal Conclave, providing the place where the College of Cardinals of the church gather to select a new Pope. Then walk through St. Peter’s Basilica and celebrate Mass here. The present structure completed in 1590 was built over the Byzantine and Middle Ages structures that marked the tomb of St. Peter. There are more than 100 tombs within the basilica, including most recently St. John Paul II. Finish the day at the Pantheon, built by Marcus Agrippa during the reign of Augustus (27 BC to 14 AD). Emperor Hadrian rebuilt it around 126 AD. The building was given to Pope Boniface IV who converted it into a church - St. Mary and the Martyrs (Santa Maria Rotunda). Mass continues to be celebrated here. (B,D)
Day 7 Rome
After breakfast, enjoy the opportunity to join in prayer with Pope Francis and receive his greeting, blessing and prayers. Begin your afternoon with a visit to the Archbasilica of St. John Lateran. Six Popes are entombed here. Next door is the Holy Staircase (Scala Santa), brought from Pilate’s Palace in Jerusalem by St. Helena in the 4th Century. Climbing the stairs on your knees is a devotion that many pilgrims perform, and a plenary indulgence is granted for completing this feat. Next is the Basilica of St. Lawrence Outside the Walls (San Lorenzo). St. Lawrence was one of the first seven deacons of Rome, martyred in 258. The church is built next to catacombs that lead down to his grave. The relics of Saints Justin Martyr and Stephen are also enshrined here. Continue on your pilgrim journey to the Basilica of St. Mary Major (Maria Maggiore). This is the largest Marian church in Rome. Its construction began after the Council of Ephesus in 431 proclaimed that Mary was the Mother of God. St. Jerome, translator of the Bible into the Latin Vulgate, is buried here. Celebrate Mass in one of the churches here. (B,D)
Day 8 Pilgrimage in Rome
This morning, begin your final day of pilgrimage at the Basilica of Saint Paul Outside the Walls. The present structure stands over the place where Constantine built the first church over Saint Paul’s grave. The church features a portrait of every Pope that has served the church, with the face of Pope Francis I illuminated as the present pontiff. Step beneath the surface into the Catacombs of Callixtus, built along the Appian Way. Here, 16 Popes from the 2nd through 4th Centuries were interred, though they have been removed to various churches over the centuries. San Sebastian Outside the Walls is another of the seven Pilgrimage churches, built over the Catacombs of St. Sebastian. The remains of Peter and Paul were temporarily protected here during the Valerian Persecution of 258. Our seventh and final pilgrimage stop is the Basilica of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem. St. Helena brought Passion relics here, and the floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem. Relics here include the index finger of Thomas that touched the wounds of Christ after His resurrection, and a piece of the Good Thief’s Cross. Those who want to complete the seven church pilgrimage as declared by St. John Paul II in 2000 can continue on to one more stop at Shrine of Our Lady of Divine Love. Here a pilgrim pursued by dogs appealed to Our Lady and she intervened for his safety. Pilgrims began to frequent the site and a chapel was built here in 1745. Celebrate mass in one of the churches. Transfer to the airport for your return flight home. (B,D)
Day 9 Return to USA or enjoy an extension on the Amalfi Coast.
Enhance Your Journey
Amalfi Coast Extension
Day 9 - Castel Gandolfo, Sorrento
Travel to Castel Gandolfo, the Pope’s summer residence. The Romans also preferred this area in the summer to get out of the heat. Enjoy the incredible beauty of this region as your bus travels to Sorrento. You will be in awe of the dramatic cliff top drive that leads to your hotel. During your three night stay, you’ll have time to discover the colorful ambiance of this delightful town and enjoy the view of Mt. Vesuvius.
Day 10 - Amalfi Coast, Positano
The Amalfi Coast is considered to be one of Italy’s finest. You will be enchanted by the rich hues of the blue green sea, the tiny mystical islands and the pastel colored cottages gathered around tiny harbors. Have your camera ready to capture one breathtaking view after another! Snap a photo of the famous village of Positano which has graced a thousand postcards and charmed at least three generations of travelers. Visit the town of Amalfi, a must for every visitor. A glorious maritime republic from the 9th to 12th centuries, the town is also famous as the place where the compass was invented and boasts a splendid Duomo in Arab-Norman style. Time permitting, you’ll stop at the village of Vietri Sul Mar, home of Amalfi Coast ceramic factories which produce the colorful tiles that decorate every church tower in the area.
Day 11 - Isle of Capri
Enjoy a boat ride to the lovely Isle of Capri which has enticed visitors for thousands of years. Today you will have the opportunity to savor its beauty and be captivated with the fabulous views and elegant shops.
Day 12 - Pompeii, Rome
You will visit the spectacular ruins in Pompeii which were covered by the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 A.D. The city remained buried and undiscovered for almost 1500 years until excavation began in 1748. These excavations continue today and provide insight into life during the Roman Empire. Continue to the Rome area for dinner and overnight.
Day 13 - Return to the USA with wonderful memories to share!
Guests taking an extension may be on a different flight than their group and/or traveling companion.