Italy with the Friars-
October 29 - November 8, 2018

Pilgrimage to Italy

Day 1 Monday October 29

Depart from Albuquerque and New York

We gather at the airport for an overnight flight to Rome. Dinner and breakfast will be served on the flight.


Day 2 – Tuesday October 30


Welcome to Italy!  We arrive in the Eternal City, and are greeted by our tour escort. We stop at St. Paul Outside the Walls for a visit and to celebrate Mass. Then we walk to the nearby Tre Fontane Convent, where St. Paul was martyred.  We check into our hotel where we will enjoy dinner together at the hotel and our first overnight in Rome. (D.)

Day 3 - Wednesday October 31

Papal Audience & Christian Rome

This morning we are up early to take our seats at the Vatican for the Papal Audience. We experience a special thrill at seeing the Holy Father and receiving his blessing. Our day continues with a visit St. John Lateran (co-dedicated to St. John the Evangelist) where we celebrate Mass and to see the Holy Stairs before a break for lunch on your own. Later in the afternoon we visit St. Mary Major. Overnight in Rome. (B.D.)


Day 4, Thursday Nov 1- ALL SAINTS DAY

Rome- Vatican Treasures

This morning, we’re off  to celebrate Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica and a special visit to the Scavi – the excavations underneath the basilica.  (Note that Scavi visits are very limited and subject to confirmation shortly before our departure.)  We explore the Vatican Museums, a group of most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures preserved by the Church through the ages. The highlight of our Vatican Museum visit is the almost overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s Masterpiece, with its restored mural of the Last Judgement. From the Sistine Chapel we return to the Basilica to explore this, the largest church in Christendom, built on the site where St Peter was martyred and buried. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church which pilgrims come to from around the world, St Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches.  Dinner is on our own tonight, so after our day at the Vatican you’ll have time to explore Bella Roma on your own.  Be sure to speak with your Tour Manager or Group Coordinator for ideas on what to see on your free time! Overnight in Rome. (B.)  


Day 5 - Friday November 02


Romans say “It takes a lifetime” – to see all that Rome has to offer.  Today we will walk through the city and see the larger than life monuments that three millennia of Mediterranean civilizations have built.  We will visit the Coliseum; see the Forum, Capitoline Hill, Piazza Venezia & Via Veneto, Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, Piazza Navone and more. Mass will be celebrated at one of the many beautiful churches on our route.  The rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Overnight in Rome. (B. D.)  


Day 6 - Saturday November 3

Orvieto & Assisi

Today we say a bittersweet “Arrivederci Roma” as we journey to Assisi, the city of St. Francis.  Enroute, we stop to visit Orvieto to see the magnificent Duomo – the Cathedral where we celebrate Mass in the chapel of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena.  We’ll enjoy lunch along with local wine this region is famous for. After lunch, we continue on to Assisi where we visit San Damiano Monastery where St. Francis heard the voice of God.  We check into our hotel, rest and enjoy dinner together. Overnight in Assisi. (B. Special lunch. D.)



Day 7 - Sunday November 4


We start the day with a visit to St. Clare and then walk to St. Francis Basilica where we visit and celebrate Mass at Tomb Altar. After lunch we visit Santa Maria Degli Angeli in the Valley to see the Porziuncola, the most sacred place for the Franciscans. It was here that the young Francis understood his vocation and renounced the world in order to live in poverty among the poor and thus started the Franciscan Movement. Dinner and overnight are at our hotel in Assisi. (B.D.)


Day 8 - Monday November 5

Assisi – La Verna – Retreat Day

After breakfast we drive to La Verna, where St. Francis received the stigmata and lived in for long periods is ideal for meditation. We’ll visit the Church of St. Maria degli Angeli, the Basilica of Santa Maria Assunta, the Sasso Spicco, a giant fissure in the rock where St. Francis prayed and the received the Stigmata. The Chapel of the Stigmata, is the most sacred place of the Mount and St. Anthony’s cave is just next to the Chapel. We celebrate Mass at one of the chapels, and have a brief retreat. Return to Assisi for an overnight. Overnight in Assisi. (B. Special meal)


Day 9 – Tuesday November 6

Ravenna- Padua

Depart this morning for Padua, but not before we stop in Ravenna to see the astounding brilliance of Byzantine mosaics whose memory will stay with you long after you depart. You explore Ravenna’s splendid collection of mosaics including the Basilica of St. Apollinaris in Classe, the Tomb of Galla Placidia and the Church of St. Vitalis.  We then continue to Padua, where we see the impressive Basilica of St. Anthony with bronze works by Donatello and where we celebrate Mass. We overnight in Padua.  (B. D.)

Day 10 - Wednesday November 73-2>


After our buffet breakfast we make the short trip to Venice - a city of mystery and fancy. We have a walking tour of Venice including the Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark’s Square and Basilica, and the Doge’s Palace. Marvel at the play of light on the canals of the city and the feeling of romance


Day 11, November 8

Return Home

After breakfast we are transferred to Venice airport for a flight home. (B.)  

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