A Catholic Pilgrimage Tour to Italy

Including Milan, Padua, Venice, Florence, Siena, Assisi, Rome, the Vatican & more.

 

Under the spiritual direction of Fr. Robert Higgins

Interested in joining this pilgrimage?  Click here to contact us.

Or Call 800-278-1351 For More Information.

September 17, 2018 – Monday
ATLANTA / MILAN
Today we gather for our departing flight from Atlanta, arriving in Milan the following day. Meals are served on board our transatlantic flight.

September 18, 2018 – Tuesday
MILAN / PADUA
Today we arrive in Milan and are met by our Pilgrimage Tours’ tour director who will remain with us until the end of our tour. We depart the airport and arrive for a visit to Milan’s beautiful Cathedral, or “Duomo”, where Saint Ambrose baptized Saint Augustine. Following Mass at the Duomo, we depart for Padua, the home of Saint Anthony, where he centered his preaching mission. We arrive at our hotel for dinner and overnight in Padua.

September 19, 2018 – Wednesday
PADUA / VENICE
Today we enjoy a visit to Venice, where upon our arrival we begin a walking tour of Venice and see Doge’s Palace and the Bridge of Sighs. Following free time for lunch in shopping in St. Mark’s Square, we visit and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Mark, one of the most distinguished creations of medieval architecture and symbol of the ancient Venetian Republic, which contains the tomb of Saint Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of Venice. Finally, we enjoy dinner at a local restaurant in Venice before returning to Padua for overnight.

September 20, 2018 – Thursday
PADUA / FLORENCE / MONTECATINI TERME
This morning we visit and celebrate Mass at St. Anthony’s Basilica, where we will see the tomb of Saint Anthony. Next we depart Padua for the Tuscany region of Italy and the center of the Renaissance. Upon our arrival, we enjoy a guided tour of Florence’s main sights, including the Cathedral with its magnificent Dome by Brunelleschi, Giotto’s elegant belfry and the Baptistery with Ghiberti’s Gate to Paradise. We also visit the Basilica di Santa Croce, where we will see the tombs of several famous people, including Michelangelo, Galileo & Machiavelli. Dinner and overnight outside Florence in Montecatini Terme.

September 21, 2018 – Friday
MONTECATINI TERME / SIENA / ASSISI
Our day begins with our drive to Assisi, including a visit to Siena, the quiet hometown of Saint Catherine, second only to Florence in its contribution to the Renaissance. Here we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of San Domenico, followed by a visit the Church of the Crucifix to see the Cross from which Saint Catherine received the stigmata. Following free time for lunch in Piazza del Campo, we enjoy a guided tour of the historic center of Siena, including a visit to Siena’s magnificent dark-green and white striped Cathedral. Late afternoon we continue on to Assisi, the birthplace of the gentlest of saints, Saint Francis. We arrive at our hotel in Assisi for dinner and overnight.

September 22, 2018 – Saturday
ASSISI
Today we enjoy a full day in the medieval town of Assisi. First we will visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, built to enclose the tiny Church of the Porziuncola, Saint Francis’ place of prayer and where he consecrated Clare as the Bride of Christ. Next we will visit the Lower Basilica of St. Francis, where we celebrate Mass, followed by a visit to the Basilica of St. Clare, Francis’ friend and foundress of the Poor Clare nuns, and see the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis in San Damiano. Following some free time for lunch in Assisi’s historic center, we go to San Damiano to pray in the place where Francis wrote the “Canticle of the Sun”. Dinner and overnight in Assisi.

September 23, 2018 – Sunday
ASSISI / ROME
This morning we depart Assisi and arrive in the Eternal City for a visit to the first of the four major basilicas of Rome, the wonderful Basilica of Saint Paul’s Outside the Walls, where the Apostle is buried. Here we enjoy free time for prayer and exploration of the basilica’s beautiful grounds before continuing on to the ancient Catacombs of St. Calixtus, passing by the ancient Appian Way, the traditional pilgrims’ route followed by Peter and Paul. Following our tour of the Catacombs, we pause for our own celebration of Mass. Next we arrive at our hotel for check-in. Following dinner, we enjoy a panoramic tour of “illuminated Rome by night”, including a walk to see the world famous Trevi Fountain. Overnight in Rome.

September 24, 2018 – Monday
ROME
Following breakfast we embark on a day’s worth of sightseeing beginning with a drive to Capitoline Hill, where we will enjoy a view of the ancient Roman Forum and see Constantine’s Arch, the Arch of Titus, the Circus Maximus and ancient Roman Aqueducts. We stop for some free time outside the famous Colosseum and an opportunity for some picture-taking. Next we visit another of Rome’s major basilicas, St. Mary Major, the most important church in the world devoted to Our Lady. Here we celebrate Mass where Mass has been celebrated every day since the 5th century. While at St. Mary’s we enjoy some free time for prayer and further exploration of this wonderful basilica. In the afternoon we visit St. John Lateran, the Pope’s cathedral church where relics of both Peter and Paul remain under the main altar. Here we will see its impressive statues of each of the Apostles. Next we cross the street to visit the church of the Scala Santa. Here we see the Holy Staircase of 28 marble steps (now covered in wood) which is believed to be a staircase from Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. Finally, we visit Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Church of the Holy Cross), which house pieces of the True Cross. Dinner and overnight in Rome.

September 25, 2018 – Tuesday
ROME
This morning we arrive at the Vatican for a celebration of Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica at the Altar of St. John Paul II. Following Mass, we enjoy a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica, where we see a young Michelangelo’s wonderful Pieta followed by a visit to the Tombs of the Popes in the Vatican Grottos. Following free time for lunch near St. Peter’s Square, we will visit one of the great art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums. Our tour culminates with Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel, which was recently restored to its original splendor. Late afternoon we depart for Piazza di Spagna and the Spanish Steps for free time for shopping.

September 26, 2018 – Wednesday
ROME – Papal Audience
This morning we visit the Vatican for an Audience with the Holy Father. Following our time with Pope Francis, we have free time for lunch and shopping in Piazza Navona followed by a visit to the world-famous Pantheon. Next we visit and celebrate Mass in the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva. The church houses the tombs of Saint Catherine of Siena and the great early Renaissance painter Fra Angelico. Our day concludes with a visit to the Church of the Gesu’, mother church of the Jesuit Order, which contains the remains of its founder Saint Ignatius of Loyola. This evening we enjoy our “Farewell Dinner” at Ristorante La Carovana. Overnight in Rome.

September 27, 2018 – Thursday
ROME / ATLANTA
Following breakfast, we transfer to the airport for our return flight home. Though our pilgrimage has come to an end, the blessings of our encounters with the Lord, Our Lady and the saints are certain to strengthen and encourage us throughout our lifelong pilgrimage.