0916AZ9 - Catholic Italy Pilgrimage 14 days from Chicago

Airline Name Baggage Information
Alitalia http://bit.ly/1iCXrSi

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $125 plus current fuel surcharges of $350 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
AZ0916GS 09/16/2019 $5399.00
Weather Info

Trip Details

Today we depart our home airport to connect with our overnight flight to Rome aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft.
Upon arrival in Venice (or Milan – pending flight verification), where we are met by our Unitours Tour Manager and transferred to our hotel in the nearby Mestre area for welcome dinner and overnight.
Venice, the Queen of the Cities! The glories of Venice have attracted Byron, Goethe, Wagner, Shakespeare and now - you! Following Mass in one of her beautiful churches, time is spent this morning walking the sights of Venice: the splendid Piazza San Marco and the incredibly rich Byzantine Basilica of San Marco. We marvel at the intricate network of elegant squares lined with stately Renaissance villas and palaces. This afternoon we have ample free time for shopping, personal adventure or an optional romantic gondola ride through the inner canals of Venice. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Mestre.
This morning, we depart Venice for our journey to Florence. On our scenic drive through this beautiful countryside, we stop at Padua for Mass and a tour of the Basilica of St. Anthony and view the largest bronze work of Donatello. Next, we continue to Florence’s delightful nearby spa town of Montecatini Terme, whose streets invite us for an evening stroll after dinner on our own. Overnight at our hotel.
This morning we drive to Florence where our first stop will be a visit to the Academia Gallery, where we view Michelangelo’s famous “David”. We continue for Mass and a visit to the Duomo, the heart of the city. Here we admire the cupola by Brunelleschi, completed in 1240, and its campanile by Giotto. Once outside, we view the Baptistery with its incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti. Afterwards, we set out to the Piazza della Signoria, dominated by the Palazzo Vecchio and its embattlement crowned tower. Across from the Palace, we visit the Loggia dei Lanzi, with the statues of the “Perseus” by Cellini, Giambologna's the “Rape of the Sabines” and “Hercules.” Following free time for Lunch on our own we visit the Basilica of Santa Croce. Among the most famous people interred here are; Galileo, Rossini, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Following some free time for shopping or personal adventure, we conclude with a drive to the “Piazzale Michelangelo” for a panoramic view of city spectacular city. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning, we journey through the Italian countryside arriving in the magnificent city of Siena, which invites us to stroll through its Gothic streets. After arriving, we celebrate Mass at the Dominican Church commemorating St. Catherine. Following Mass, we walk down to the famous Piazza del Campo. This shell shaped square is the dramatic setting for the annual Palio bareback horserace. The piazza's focal point is the Palazzo Pubblico, the public palace, which dates to 1250 AD. We continue uphill to visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We enjoy free time for lunch and browsing the many shops nearby. In the afternoon we continue south through Umbria to the hilltop village of Assisi, the home of Saint Francis. After check-in we have some free time to explore the medieval streets of Assisi before dinner on our own. Overnight at our hotel.
This morning, we begin at the Basilica of St. Francesco with Mass. After our visit of the Basilica and the tomb of St. Francis, we begin our walking tour of the village, to include a visit to the Church of St. Clare to view the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis. We pass by the famous Temple of Minerva in the Piazza del Comune. Our next stop is in the lower town for a visit to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, and the Portiuncula, Francis' Church of the Little Portion. Following a break for lunch on our own, we depart Assisi and travel south through the Umbrian countryside, stopping at Orvieto for a visit at the breathtaking Cathedral, known as the jewel of Italian architecture. Inside the Cathedral is the Chapel of the Corporal, which houses the chalice cloth, involved in the famous Eucharistic Miracle, which occurred in nearby Bolsena. In the 13th century a pilgrim priest named Peter of Prague was celebrating Mass at the crypt of St. Christina. He was having a faith crisis concerning the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and while speaking the words of the consecration, blood started to drip from the consecrated Host! Subsequently Pope Urban instituted The Feast of Corpus Christi. Afterwards, we continue south to Sorrento for dinner and overnight at our hotel.
This morning, we board the boat to Capri, the Island of Dreams. We tour the island including Anacapri and, weather permitting, the beautiful Blue Grotto. Following Mass at one of the local churches, we return to Sorrento for dinner overnight
Today, following a very early departure, we drive along the famous Amalfi Coast with stops along the way, the first being Positano’s overlook, where we can take wonderful pictures of the scenic vista. We continue along the Amalfi coast and pass by the village of Amalfi. Afterwards, we continue to Pompeii, the Roman City destroyed yet preserved by the volcanic ash of Vesuvius in 79 AD. We celebrate Mass at the church of the Holy Rosary, visited by St. John Paul II shortly before his death. We finish our day in Rome for dinner and overnight.
This morning, we make our way to St. Peter's for an audience with Pope Francis (if he is in residence). This afternoon, we visit the Holy Stairs and Basilica of St. John Lateran. We continue to St. Paul Outside the Walls. This huge, imposing Basilica, second only to St. Peter’s and one of the largest churches in the Christian world, containing an unusual gallery of papal portraits: 265 tablets portraying the popes of the past. We conclude our day at one of the Catacombs, burial places of early Christians. We celebrate Mass here and view the 2nd and 3rd century fresco paintings. Dinner on our own and overnight at our hotel.
This morning, we again travel to the Vatican where we celebrate Mass below St. Peters. Afterwards we view the treasures of the Vatican Museum. We marvel at Michelangelo’s restored frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and the wonders of St. Peter’s. This afternoon, we are free to explore the many shops and trattorias that surround St. Peter’s square before dinner and overnight at our hotel.
This morning we visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the final of the four major Basilicas in Rome. We enjoy a walking tour passing by the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, the Coliseum, as well as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. We then visit the Church of St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo's possibly most celebrated sculpture, the "Moses." We travel back to St. Peter’s square for lunch on our own and take in all that this beautiful city has to offer. Dinner on our own and overnight at our hotel.
Today we enjoy our last day in Rome with a completely free day to do as we wish, as a group or individually, we have an opportunity to visit some cultural landmarks, revisit a favorite venue or simply take a relaxing walk to absorb Rome one more time. Tonight, we enjoy our farewell dinner, then return to our hotel for overnight.
Today we make our way home with memories of a lifetime.