1105LH3 - Catholic Italy Pilgrimage 13 days from Chicago

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

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $166 plus current fuel surcharges of $320 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
LH1105BF 11/05/2023 $4499.00
Weather Info

Trip Details

Today we depart Chicago on our overnight flight to Europe aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft.
Upon arrival in Frankfurt, we connect to our continuing flight to Venice where we are greeted by our Unitours guide, who will remain with us for the duration of our pilgrimage. We journey together to Venice for an orientation tour and Mass. We return to our motor coach and on to our hotel in the nearby Mestre area and celebrate Mass before dinner and overnight.
Known as the Queen of Cities; the glories of Venice have attracted Byron, Goethe, Wagner, Shakespeare and now – us! Following Mass in one of her beautiful churches, we spend time enjoying the sights, including 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 are free for 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 and journey to Tuscany. On our scenic drive through the beautiful countryside, we stop at Padua, where we celebrate Mass and tour the Basilica of St. Anthony to view the largest bronze work of Donatello. Next, we continue to the delightful spa town of Montecatini Terme, on the outskirts of Florence, whose streets invite us to stroll after dinner at our hotel.
After breakfast, we drive to Florence where our first stop will be a visit to the Academia Gallery. Here we view Michelangelo’s famous “David”. We continue to the Duomo, in the heart of the city, where we celebrate Mass. We also 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 including Perseus by Cellini, Giambologna's “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 interred here, lie Galileo, Rossini, Michelangelo and Machiavelli. Following time for personal adventure, we conclude our day with a drive to the panoramic view at “Piazzale Michelangelo” We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight in Montecatini.
This morning, we ride through the Italian countryside arriving in the magnificent city of Siena, which invites us to stroll through its gothic streets. After we celebrate Mass at the Dominican Church commemorating St. Catherine, 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 back to 1250. We continue uphill to visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We enjoy free time for lunch and browsing. In the afternoon we travel south through Umbria to the hilltop village of Assisi, the home of Saint Francis. 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 and visit the tomb of St. Francis. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Assisi.
Today is free for rest, shopping, or prayer. In late afternoon, we will celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Clare “the little plant of Blessed Francis” as she loved to call herself, where we view the San Damiano crucifix that spoke to St. Francis. We proceed to our hotel for a special dinner with Fathers Doctor and Potter. At dinner, the priests will talk about their experience so far and what lies ahead to see as the pilgrimages is unfolding…The priests will lead a time of reflection and prayer…that flows into a nice relaxing peaceful meal among pilgrims.
Today we drive east towards Ancona and visit and celebrate Mass at Loreto, the site of the Santa Casa or Holy House. Ancient tradition tells us angels carried the house of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Loreto as it was about to be destroyed by Holy Land invaders. After our visit, we continue southwards via the coastal highway to the Montesilvano Pescara area for dinner and overnight at our hotel on the shores of the Adriatic Sea.
This morning we visit and pray at Lanciano, the site of the oldest Eucharistic Miracle certified by the Church. After almost eight centuries the Body and the Blood still maintain all the characteristics of fresh human material. We continue south to San Giovanni Rotondo where we celebrate Mass at the tomb of Saint Padre Pio and visit the sanctuary. We transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning, we board the bus and travel along the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel, a shrine consecrated by St. Michael. At this grotto, St. Michael appeared to a Bishop to assure him that his diocese would not be annihilated as he feared. We celebrate Mass here and then depart for Subiaco. It was here that Saint Benedict and his sister Scolastica retired at the end of the 5th Century and built five little monasteries. We visit the Monastery of St. Benedict, which dates from the 13th and 14th centuries. We visit the Sacred Cave where Benedict lived as a hermit for three years. The staircase holds the earliest portrait of St. Francis without his halo or stigmata. We continue to Rome for dinner and overnight at our hotel.
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, contains an unusual gallery of Papal portraits: 265 tablets portraying the Popes of the past. We conclude our day at one of the Catacombs, burial place of early Christians. We celebrate Mass here and view the 2nd and 3rd century fresco paintings. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Rome.
Today we visit the Vatican and celebrate Mass below St. Peter’s. Afterwards we enjoy the treasures of the Vatican Museum. We marvel at Michelangelo’s restored frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and the wonders of St. Peter’s Basilica. This afternoon, we visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major. We then visit the Church of St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo's possibly most celebrated sculpture, the "Moses." Farewell dinner with Show near the Coliseum. Return to the hotel and overnight.
Today we make our way home to the USA with memories to treasure forever.