1013LH0 - Catholic Italy Pilgrimage 10 days from Detroit

Airline Name Baggage Information
Lufthansa http://bit.ly/yUhPx7

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $103 plus current fuel surcharges of $350 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
LH1013BH 10/13/2020 $4199.00
Weather Info

Trip Details

Today we depart Detroit on an overnight flight to Europe connecting to Florence, aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft.
This morning, we arrive and are greeted by our Unitours representative and board our private motor coach and proceed to Pisa. Our first stop will be one of the most famous recognizable sites in Italy- the “Leaning Tower of Pisa”, the bell tower of the famous Duomo. After Mass in the cathedral, we visit the Baptistry and the Campo Santo, all found in the main Square of Miracles. This area is framed by beautiful medieval walls. We gather together for an included lunch at a restaurant on the Mediterranean. We continue to nearby Montecatini, a beautiful spa town. The balance of the day is at leisure to stroll through the inviting streets of this charming town and acclimate to the time change. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
After breakfast, we drive to Florence where we visit the Academia Gallery, to view Michelangelo’s famous “David” and many other tremendous works of art. We continue to the Duomo, for Mass in the heart of the city. 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.” We enjoy an included lunch at the Galleria restaurant near the Ponte Vecchio. After free time for exploring, we visit the Basilica of Santa Croce. Among the most famous interred here, lie Galileo, Rossini, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. We conclude our day in Florence at the “Piazzale Michelangelo” for a panoramic view of this spectacular city. We return to Montecatini for dinner and overnight.
This morning we journey south, arriving in the magnificent city of Siena, which invites us to stroll through its Gothic streets. We visit the Dominican Church commemorating St. Catherine, and then 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 back to 1250. We also visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Our next stop is the hilltop village of Orvieto to visit its magnificent Cathedral for Mass and to pay homage to the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena. We have some free time for lunch, and to explore this quaint hilltop town, and taste their famous olive oil and wine! Then we continue to Assisi, the home of Saint Francis, for dinner and overnight.
This morning, we begin our day with Mass at the Basilica and tomb of St. Francis, followed by a walking tour of the village. Included, is a stop at the Church of St. Clare to view the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis. We also enter the famous Temple of Minerva in the Piazza del Comune. The early Christians converted the temple and bestowed on it the name of the powerful Virgin Mary, a saint who could neutralize any lingering pagan power and influence. We stop at Chiesa Nuova atop the childhood home of St. Francis, built by King Philip III of Spain in the 1600s where a bronze statue of St. Francis’ parents sits outside. We also visit San Damiano, a tiny church located outside the walls of Assisi. According to legend, it was here that St. Francis first heard the voice of God telling him to “rebuild the church”. It’s also where he wrote his famous Canticle of the Creatures. This afternoon, we visit the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, and the Portiuncula, Francis' Church of the Little Portion. This evening we can stroll around this picturesque, peaceful hillside village. Dinner and overnight in our Assisi hotel.
After breakfast we depart Assisi and head to Cascia, a town in the Italian province of Perugia, a remote area in Umbria, to visit the Shrine of St. Rita. St. Rita is one of the most popular Italian saints. She was a married woman, a mother, a widow, a nun, a stigmatist, and later, a mystic. The Basilica of St. Rita contains her incorrupt body, several relics from her life, and a Eucharistic miracle from before her time. St. Rita was canonized in 1900. We celebrate Mass here. We continue to Norcia, the birthplace of St. Benedict, and visit the Monastery of St. Benedict on the Mountain, a Benedictine community where Fr. Michael lived as a monk. The monks are well known for their Gregorian Chants, and also the production of a famous brew of beer “Birra Nursia”, famous all over Italy. We enjoy a special lunch here with the monks before we continue to Montesilvano for dinner and overnight.
Today we journey to Lanciano, a town in the Abruzzo region of southern Italy to see the Eucharistic Miracle which took place in approximately 700 AD. A monk in the small Church of St. Legontian witnessed the bread change into flesh and the wine change into blood after he had doubts about Christ’s true presence in the consecrated host. After celebrating Mass, we continue to Rome where, time and traffic patterns permitting, we have a driving tour seeing the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, the Coliseum, and Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Dinner and overnight at hotel.
This morning we rise early for Mass at the Vatican, within St. Peters, before we see 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 continue to the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran. It is here that St. Francis persuaded Pope Innocent III to give permission to begin the Franciscan Order. We stop at the Santa Scala, purportedly the stairs which Christ climbed prior to his condemnation by Pontius Pilate. We continue to St. Paul Outside the Walls. This huge, imposing Basilica, second only to St. Peter’s is one of the largest churches in the Christian world, contains an unusual gallery of papal portraits: 265 tablets portraying the Popes of the past. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Rome.
This morning we set out early to St. Peter’s for an audience with Pope Francis if he is in residence. After the audience, we enjoy free time for lunch and shopping. We then visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the largest church in Rome dedicated to our Blessed Mother and celebrate Mass and have our group photo taken! We walk to the nearby Church of St. Alphonsus, bearing the original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. Time permitting, we visit St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo’s possibly most celebrated sculpture, the “Moses.” Our last stop today will be the Patheon and Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. We throw our coin in the Trevi fountain and see the Spanish steps as we vow one day to return to the Eternal City. After this full day, we return to our hotel to prepare ourselves for our last evening together. We visit Trastevere, the oldest part of Rome, and have dinner at a local restaurant with entertainment. Overnight at our hotel in Rome.
Today we make our way home with memories of a lifetime! Arrivederci ITALIA