Celebrate your Catholic faith on this Pilgrimage to Assisi, Florence and Rome. With daily Holy Mass at some of Italy’s most historic Catholic churches and basilicas, learn about the history and importance of these religious sites. Attend a special Papal Mass at the Vatican with His Holiness Pope Francis. Also, revel in the art, history and culture of both Florence and Rome with some free time to explore these marvelous cities.
Depart the United States on your overnight flight to begin your Pilgrimage to Assisi, Florence & Rome.
Upon arrival in Rome, you and your English speaking tour escort will join your private motorcoach driver for a direct transfer to Assisi. Relax on your scenic drive north through the rolling hills of Umbria. Arrive at your 4* hotel in Assisi, the hill town sanctified by “Il Poverello”, St. Francis of Assisi. This afternoon can be spent relaxing or exploring this charming town. Just prior to dinner we will celebrate a special Holy Mass at the Chapel of Peace, an underground stone chapel located in the Sacred Convent belonging to the friars of the Basilica of St. Francis. Return to your hotel to enjoy your first group dinner together.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Begin your day with a celebration of Holy Mass at the Tomb of St. Francis in the Basilica of St. Francis. After mass, your English speaking local guide will begin a tour of the Basilica which was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000. Learn about the magnificent frescoes painted by Giotto that depict the life of St. Francis. Embark on a walking pilgrimage tour through Assisi to the Piazza del Comune. Continue to the Basilica of St. Clare where you will see the original San Damiano Cross. It was while praying before this cross that St. Francis received the Lord’s command to “Rebuild my Church”. The Basilica also houses the crypt of St. Clare where you can view her “incorrupted” remains. After your walking tour, please enjoy a little free time for lunch. In the mid-afternoon, you’ll be driven down to the plains below Assisi to visit the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. Inside the Basilica, see the Porziuncola, the small chapel in which St. Francis accepted his vocation and the Franciscan order was created. Return to Assisi and the remainder of your day is at leisure with dinner on your own.
Breakfast included at your hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking guide for a drive to the city of Florence, with a stop in the city of Siena along the way. Drive through the Umbrian hills into the picturesque Tuscan countryside to the medieval city of Siena. Visit the Basilica of St. Dominic to celebrate Holy Mass at the relics of St. Catherine. Born in Siena in 1347, St. Catherine is venerated as a Doctor of the Church and is known for her influence on the Papacy. Your English speaking guide will take you on a walking tour to the city’s main square, Piazza del Campo, known for its annual horse races called Il Palio. Entrance to the Cathedral of Siena is included where you can marvel at the black and white marble design, intricate mosaics and Gothic façade. Enjoy some free time and lunch on your own before departing for Florence. Fall in love with the Tuscan landscape as you approach the magnificent city of Florence – the flourishing center of the Renaissance and medieval center of Europe’s trade and finance. Check into your 4* hotel and enjoy a group dinner together at the hotel.
Breakfast included at hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking guide for a celebration of Holy Mass at the Basilica of Santa Maria Novella, an important city center church adorned with numerous Renaissance frescoes. Your guided walking tour of Florence, famously called the art capital of the world, includes the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Its red dome defines the Florentine skyline and its bronze Baptistry doors were called the “Gates of Paradise” by Michelangelo. Walk to the city’s main square, the Piazza della Signoria, and see the impressive Palazzo Vecchio. Continue your walk to the Gallery of the Academy of Florence with entrance included to view the quintessential sculpture of Michelangelo’s David. Take some free time for a light snack or lunch. Continue your walking tour with your guide to the Basilica of Santa Croce where you will enter to view the famous tombs of Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and Rossini. Go to your private motorcoach to drive across the Arno River to the Piazzale Michelangelo, a hilltop spot with stunning views of the entire city of Florence. The remainder of the day is at your leisure to further explore or to relax. Enjoy dinner at your leisure.
Breakfast included at hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking guide to visit the city of Orvieto before finally reaching Rome.
Travel south from Florence through the spectacular Tuscan and Umbrian landscapes to Orvieto, the unique town perched high above the valley on large volcanic stone. It is here in Orvieto that in 1263, Pope Urban IV proclaimed the authenticity of a Eucharistic miracle. The Sacred Host had bled during a Mass celebrated in nearby Bolsena. From this event, the Church instituted the Feast of Corpus Christi. You can still see the Corporal (altar linen cloth) associated with the miracle enshrined within
the Orvieto Cathedral. Built in the 13th century, this cathedral boasts a world famous façade and houses some of the most magnificent frescoes from the Renaissance. The frescoes depicting heaven and hell rival those found in The Vatican’s Sistine Chapel. You will Celebrate the Eucharist within the Cathedral’s Chapel of the Corporal. Take time to notice the chapel’s frescoes that depict the history of the Eucharist. Lunch is on your own in Orvieto. Continue your drive to Rome, the Eternal City. Upon arrival, check into your hotel and enjoy a group dinner tonight at a local Roman restaurant.
Get an early start today by waking up and going directly to the Vatican to celebrate Holy Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica. Mass will be celebrated in the Crypt very close to the tomb of St. Peter. As you walk through and pray, thoughts are flooded with the events that have taken place here and the people who have worshiped in this great center of the Church. After Mass, return back to your hotel to enjoy breakfast. Return to the Vatican with your English speaking guide for a tour of The Vatican Museum. Tour the treasures of the Vatican Museum, including the awesome frescoes by Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel. Learn more about the Basilica of St. Peter with an in depth visit and guided tour. Take the remainder of your day to explore Rome on your own. Perhaps some shopping or museums or historical treasures of Ancient Rome will interest you. Lunch and dinner is at your leisure.
Breakfast included at the hotel. Depart from your hotel with your private motorcoach and English speaking guide to further explore the city of Rome. Firstly, pay a visit to the Church of St. Alphonsus Ligouri, a Redemptorist church that focuses on ministering to the poor and the socially abandoned throughout the world. Here, you can venerate the original icon of Our Mother of Perpetual Help which hangs above the altar. A few steps away, you’ll enter the most illustrious church dedicated to Our Lady, the Basilica of St. Mary Major for a tour and a celebration of Holy Mass. This completes your visit to all four Major Basilicas of Rome. Under the high altar is the Nativity Crypt containing ancient wood once belonging to Jesus’ manger in Bethlehem. Marvel at the ornate gilded ceiling as well as the beautiful 5th century mosaics that adorn the nave and the apse. You might get a chance to go to the upper floor of the Basilica to see the beautiful angels and then view the staircase designed by famous sculptor and architect Bernini. After Mass, transfer to the Church of St. Peter in Chains which houses the original chains used to imprison St. Peter both in Jerusalem and in Rome. You will also see Moses, the majestic sculpture done by Michelangelo for the tomb of Pope Julius II. Enjoy a short lunch at your leisure. Finish today’s tour with a step back into Ancient Rome. Enter the Colosseum, the iconic Roman amphitheater remembered for its ancient gladiator battles. Learn about the Arch of Constantine located in between the Colosseum and Palatine Hill. Your guide will give explanations about: The Forum – the excavated center of Ancient Rome with ruins of temples, squares and government buildings, Palatine Hill – the most central of Rome’s 7 hills, which today is a vast archaeological site showcasing many ruins and ancient palaces of imperial Rome’s nobility and the Circus Maximus – Rome’s oldest stadium built for chariot racing. Return to your hotel to prepare to go out and celebrate your Farewell Dinner at a local Roman restaurant (including wine and music).
Breakfast included at your hotel. Transfer with assistance by your private motorcoach from your hotel in Rome to Rome Fiumicino Airport. Say “Ciao Italia!” as you return home with meaningful memories of your Pilgrimage to Assisi, Florence and Rome.