0304AZ4 - Pilgrimage to Italy 12 days from Miami

Airline Name Baggage Information
ITA Airways https://bit.ly/3xqpE6E

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $133 plus current fuel surcharges of $400 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
AZA0304GS 03/04/2024 $4699.00
Trip Details

Today, we depart from Miami to connect with our overnight flight to Venice aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner, and breakfast aloft.
This morning, we arrive in Venice (or Milan depending on flight arrangements), where we are greeted by our Unitours Tour Manager as we board our motor coach toward Venice, the Queen of the Cities, and to our hotel in the nearby Mestre area for our “welcome” dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Venice, the glories that Venice has attracted Byron, Goethe, Wagner, Shakespeare and now - you! Today, following Mass in one of her beautiful churches, time is spent 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, following a break for lunch on our own, we are free for shopping, personal adventure, or an optional romantic gondola ride through the inner canals of Venice. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
This morning we depart Venice for our journey to Florence. On our scenic drive through this beautiful countryside, we stop at Padua, including Mass and a tour of the Basilica of St. Anthony to view the largest bronze work of Donatello. We stop for lunch on our own along the way as we continue to Florence’s delightful nearby spa town of Montecatini Terme, whose streets invite us to stroll after dinner at our hotel.
Today, we drive to Florence, where our first stop will be “Piazzale Michelangelo” for the best panoramic view of this spectacular city one could ask for. We proceed with a tour of the Academia Gallery, where we view one of Michelangelo’s most famous works, “David” (OR MEDICI). We continue with the celebration of Mass and a visit to the Duomo (also known as the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore), in the heart of the city and the fourth largest in the world! There we admire the cupola by Brunelleschi, completed in 1240, its campanile by Giotto. Once outside we view the Baptistery’s with its incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti. We break for a leisurely lunch on our own at one of the many trattorias that dot the riverfront area, along Florence’s Arno River. We continue our tour of Florence with the Piazza della Signoria, dominated by the Palazzo Vecchio and its iconic 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.” The rest of our day is free for personal exploring, and shopping in this fascinating city on our own before we return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
This morning, we return to Florence to spend more time in this beautiful city and visit the beautiful Basilica of Santa Croce. Among the most famous Italians interred here, lie Galileo, Rossini, Michelangelo, and Machiavelli. Following a break for lunch on our own, we enjoy some free time for shopping or personal adventure in any of the many art museums or taking a walk along the Arno River admiring the enchanting Ponte Vecchio. This evening, our dinner location will be one of the restaurants of this enchanting city. After our included dinner, we return at our hotel for overnight.
Today, we journey through the Italian countryside arriving in the magnificent city of Siena. We celebrate Mass at the Dominican Church commemorating St. Catherine; we walk 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 1250AD. We continue uphill to visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. We enjoy some free time for lunch on our own and browse the local shops. In the afternoon, we continue south through Umbria to the hilltop village of Assisi, the home of St. 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 thank St. Francis for two of his most notable gifts to humanity, the Nativity Scene, and the Stations of the Cross. We proceed to the upper village for dinner and overnight at our hotel.
This morning, we begin with a short walk to the Basilica of St. Francesco for Mass. After our visit of the Basilica and the tomb of St. Francis, we begin our walking tour of the village with a visit to 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. Kneeling before it, Francis composed the following prayer, which many consider to be among the oldest of his writings: “All Highest, Glorious God, cast your light into the darkness of my heart. Give me right faith, firm hope, perfect charity, and profound humility, with wisdom and perception, O Lord, so that I may do what is truly your most holy will. Amen.” A Eucharistic miracle is attributed to St. Clare which is worth noting. In 1240AD, a band of Saracen soldiers were attacking Assisi and had reached the cloistered convent of a now sickly St. Clare. In fear that the soldiers would harm her sisters, she prayed in front of the Blessed Sacrament for protection. Tradition tells us that Our Lord assured her His protections and when she held the monstrance in front of the soldiers, they fled! This afternoon, following a break for lunch on our own, we can enjoy this picturesque hillside village at our own pace. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Today, we depart Assisi and drive south to Rome. We enjoy some time for lunch on our own before starting our guided tour of the Basilica of 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 with the visit of the Holy Stairs and Basilica of St. John Lateran. We proceed to our hotel 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, following a stop for lunch on our own, we tour the Basilica of St. Mary Major and the Church of St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo's most celebrated sculpture, the "Moses." We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today, we return to Vatican City 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, including the famous Bernini altar columns, one Bernini engraved his own Rosary on, and one is rumored to contain the spear of St. Longinus, the roman centurion who pierced the side of our Savior, and was healed by the blood and water that flowed from it! This afternoon, following a break for lunch on our own, we are free to further enjoy this fascinating city. This evening we enjoy our “farewell” dinner with entertainment at a typical local restaurant. We return to the hotel and overnight.
This morning, we make our way home with memories of a lifetime.