1020AA4 - Catholic Italy Pilgrimage 10 days from Philadelphia

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

Special Package with this Trip :
International departure taxes of $111 plus current fuel surcharges of $400 are included (subject to change).

Tour Code Departure Date Cost per person
AAA1020GS 10/20/2024 $4899.00
Trip Details

Today, we depart from Philadelphia on our overnight flight to Rome aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft.
This morning, we arrive in Rome and are met by our Unitours Tour Manager and motorcoach and begin our tour of Rome. Pending our arrival time, we stop briefly for lunch on our own along the way. We enjoy a walking tour of the Roman Fora, the Arch of Constantine, and the Flavian Amphitheater, more popularly known as the “Coliseum”. We then proceed to the Callistus Catacombs, a burial place of early Christians. We celebrate Mass there and view the 2nd and 3rd century fresco paintings. We check in to our hotel for our “welcome” dinner and overnight.
Today, following morning Mass at St. Peter's, we view the treasures of the Vatican Museum, then marvel at Michelangelo's restored frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. We continue to St. Peter's Basilica to view the “Pieta”, as well as 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 visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major before concluding our day at the Church of St. Peter in Chains, where we view Michelangelo's possibly most celebrated sculpture, the "Moses". Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
This morning, we make our way to St. Peter's for an audience with Pope Francis, if he is in residence. After lunch on our own, we visit the Basilica of St. John Lateran and Holy Stairs. We proceed to our next Basilica, St. Paul’s Beyond 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 celebrate Mass there and then return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Following an early morning departure from Rome, we travel north through the Umbrian countryside. We stop in Orvieto for a visit and Mass at the breathtaking Cathedral, which is known as the jewel of Italian architecture. Inside the Cathedral is the Chapel of the Corporal, which houses the chalice cloth involved in the Eucharistic Miracle, which occurred in nearby Bolsena. In 1263AD, 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 IV instituted The Feast of Corpus Christi. Afterwards, we continue to Assisi. 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 give thanks to St. Francis for two of his most notable gifts to humanity, the Nativity Scene, and the Franciscan promotion of the Stations of the Cross. We then proceed to the hilltop village of Assisi 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 is considered 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, our taxis take us up to the Hermitage of the Carceri, where Francis and his Friars retreated from the world to pray and fast. Here the grotto of St. Francis can also be seen. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
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 that to avoid destruction by Muslim invaders to the Holy Land, on May 10, 1291, seven angels carried the house of the Holy Family from Nazareth to Dalmatia (modern Trsat, Croatia) and then to Italy, where it eventually rested in Loreto! After our visit, we break for lunch on our own as 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. Time permitting, we may visit the beach and “test” the Adriatic waters.
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 heart material. Following a stop for lunch on our own, we continue south to San Giovanni Rotondo, where we celebrate Mass at the tomb of St. Padre Pio and visit the sanctuary. We transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Today, we depart late in the morning for Subiaco. It was here that St. Benedict and his sister, St. 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 also 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 celebrate Mass while there. We stop for lunch on our own before continuing our journey back to Rome in time for our “farewell” dinner and overnight at our hotel.
This morning we transfer to the airport for our flight to the U.S. arriving the same day.