0315AA1 - Catholic Italy Pilgrimage 13 days from San Francisco

Airline Name Baggage Information
American Airlines http://bit.ly/zRWIZO

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $110 plus current fuel surcharges of $350 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
AA0315BH 03/15/2021 $5199.00
Weather Info

Trip Details

Today we depart our San Francisco on an overnight flight to Rome aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft.
We arrive in Rome, this morning, where we are met by our guide, who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. Our first stop is the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Wall where Father Mangini will celebrate our arrival Mass. This magnificent basilica with enormous marble columns and gold mosaics, is built over the grave site of St. Paul the Apostle, after he was executed in the first century AD in Rome. Portraits of each of our Popes grace the walls of the basilica, with a ray of sunshine lighting up the portrait of our current Pope, Pope Francis. Stop at Piazza Navona for free time for lunch. We walk by the Spanish Steps, the Trevi Fountain and also visit the Pantheon. We continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning, after breakfast (included daily) we make our way to St. Peter's for an audience with Pope Francis if he is in residence. We continue to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the largest church in Rome dedicated to our Blessed Mother, where we celebrate Mass. Our last stop today is St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo’s possibly most celebrated sculpture, the “Moses.”. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
We start our day at St. Peter’s Basilica, location of Michelangelo’s famous sculpture “La Pieta”, and tombs of many Popes, to celebrate Mass. After, we visit the Vatican museums and marvel at the many treasures including Michelangelo's restored frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. After free time for lunch, we visit the St. John Lateran. It is here that St. Francis gained permission from Pope Innocent III for the Franciscan Order. We walk to the nearby Santa Scala, which are believed by many to be the staircase from Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem, brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. Tonight, we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant near the Colosseum. Overnight at our Rome hotel.
We depart the Eternal City to journey to the hilltop village of Orvieto to visit its magnificent Cathedral and pay homage to the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena. After Mass in the Cathedral, we have some free time for lunch and to explore this quaint hilltop town, discovering the famous olive oil and wine. Our next stop is Assisi the home of Saint Francis, the patron saint of Italy and Saint Clare, one of his early followers. Our first 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. We continue to the upper village for dinner and overnight at our Assisi hotel.
We begin our day at the Basilica of St. Francesco with Mass and pray at the tomb of St. Francis. We view relics and beautiful frescoes by Giotto depicting the life of Italy’s patron saint, then we begin our walking tour of the village. We stop in at the famous Temple of Minerva, a former pagan temple, now the Santa Maria Sopra Minerva Church in the Piazza del Comune. We visit the Basilica of Santa Chiara, the final resting place of St. Clare, where her body is preserved in the crypt and where the famous crucifix that spoke to Francis is preserved. We continue to San Damiano, to visit the dormitory where Clare slept and the chapel where the sisters prayed. This afternoon, we enjoy this picturesque, peaceful hillside village on our own. Dinner and overnight at our Assisi hotel.
Today we journey north towards Florence. Upon arrival we visit the Academia Gallery, to view Michelangelo’s famous “David” and many other tremendous works of art. We continue to the Duomo, to celebrate Mass in the heart of the city. We admire the cupola by Brunelleschi, completed in 1240, and its campanile by Giotto. Outside, we view the Baptistery’s with its incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti. Free time for lunch and shopping or visiting the Grande Museo del Duomo, underneath the cathedral containing the crypt of Santa Reparata. Overnight and dinner at our hotel in the nearby spa town of Montecatini.
After breakfast, 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 also visit the Basilica of Santa Croce for Mass. Among the most famous interred here, lie Galileo, Rossini, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. We have free time for lunch and personal adventure. You may choose to visit the Medici Riccardi Palace Museum containing a vast array of spectacular art. We conclude our day in Florence with a drive to the “Piazzale Michelangelo” for a panoramic view of this spectacular city. Return to hotel in Montecatini for dinner and overnight.
This morning we leave Montecatini and travel to beautiful Padua. Here we’ll visit the tomb of Saint Anthony, the tomb of Saint Luke, and the amazing Scrovegni Chapel. We celebrate Mass in Padua and enjoy free time before continuing to our hotel on the outskirts of Venice. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Mestre.
After breakfast, we journey together to the heart of Venice and see the famous Rialto Bridge, which spans the river and is lined with picturesque little shops. We walk into the pigeon filled Piazza San Marco and enter the most famous Basilica for Mass. After, we enjoy a walking tour of the city, including a stop at the Bridge of Sighs! We also view the Torre Dell’Orologio, the Renaissance clock tower and the Museo Civico Correr. Our last stop is Doge’s Palace, a palace built in Venetian Gothic style, and one of the main landmarks of the city of Venice. The palace was the residence of the Dogge of Venice, the supreme authority of the former Venetian Republic, opening as a museum in 1923. We continue to our hotel in nearby Mestre for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast, we journey together to the heart of Venice. This is your morning for exploring Venice! You may decide to take one of the many ½ day trips offered to the small islands- including Murano- or you may take the elevator to the top of the campanile for a spectacular view of the city. You might enjoy a gondola ride and the tremendous shopping and restaurants. This evening we gather together for our farewell dinner in Venice. Overnight at our hotel in Mestre.
This morning we drive to Milan. Upon arrival we visit one of the largest Gothic cathedrals in the world, the Duomo. We visit the crypt to celebrate Mass and pay homage at the tomb of Saint Charles Borromeo, the great reformer and Cardinal of Milan. After, conditions permitting, we visit the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie, to view the Leonardo da Vinci’s Last Supper. Undoubtedly one of the most famous paintings in the world, is a fresco painted on a dining room wall. Dinner and overnight in Milan.
Today we make our way to the airport for our flight home. Our memories of our time in Italy will never fade! ARRIVERDERCI ITALIA!