Italy & Medjugorje Tour - IMP18
Number of Days: 14
- St Michael's Grotto
- Monte Cassino
- home of St Padre Pio
DAY 1: Rome
After arrival the rest of the day is free for rest, relaxation, or exploration.
DAY 2: Rome
Wake up in Eternal City, one of the greatest centres of Western Civilization and the first truly cosmopolitan city on earth! It is also spiritual capital for all the Catholics around the world. Today is truly a day we will have in our minds for many years to come. This morning we go to Vatican City to attend the weekly Papal Audience or Blessing given by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (pending papal schedule). Following the audience visit of the Vatican Museums, a group of most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures. See awe-inspiring relics and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. We'll cover The Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms and the most overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Masterpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment. Later, enter the largest church in Christendom St Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St Peter was martyred. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims come from around the world, St Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches. Marvel Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. We will also visit the grave of Pope John Paul II located at the Vatican (time permitting). Before dinner, we'll have some time at leisure, to explore your own paths, to shop, or just to sit in one of the outside cafes and watch the world go by.
DAY 3: Rome
This morning we depart for a sightseeing tour with focus on "Christian Rome" Touring we will see many important cultural and monumental sights around Rome. Stop for a visit at three major Basilicas: St Mary Major, one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, a shrine that contains a relic from the manger of the infant Jesus. The Basilica of the St John in Lateran, is the former residence of the popes prior to their return to Rome in 1377. St Paul Outside the Walls, which houses the remains of St Paul under its main altar. We will also see the ancient Baths of Caracalla, Arch of Drusus, Chapel "O'Domine Quo Vadis?" the remains of imperial tombs, Tomb of Celilia Metella, and the catacombs of St Callixtus where the early Christians hid themselves to escape persecution. We will also enjoy a visit to the Trevi fountain. Dinner and overnight for your last evening in Rome.
DAY 4: Rome - Monte Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
Depart Rome, the Eternal City, for San Giovanni Rotondo. Stop in Monte Cassino, to see the visit of spectacular Benedictine abbey on the top of the mountain. This monastery was founded and built by St. Benedict in 529. Continue East to Padre Pio's Town. Dinner and overnight in San Giovanni Rotondo.
DAY 5: San Giovanni Rotondo- Monte Sant’Angelo
After celebrating Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio, we tour the sanctuary, see the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. We will have an opportunity to view his exhumed body (through September 2009). You will see the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with a multitude of pilgrims, directing them on their journey toward God. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Cargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Six different popes, St Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St Michael. A panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside awaits you at this most celebrated shrine of early Christianity, a shrine consecrated by St Michael himself in 490. Return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, and a restful overnight.
DAY 6: San Giovanni Rotondo - Lanciano - Loreto - Assisi
We will have breakfast at our hotel before we embark on a drive up the Adriatic coast to Lanciano where we will see the Eucharistic Miracle and celebrate Mass. We then continue on to the great Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. Continue to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: Assisi
Visit the tomb of St Francis. Explore the quaint hilltop birthplace of St Francis that still retains something of the atmosphere of the early 1200s, the period when St Francis began his ministry. Contained within the huge 13th-century Basilica are many of the saint's possessions and a series of frescoes depicting his life. You may kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St Francis, asking him to rebuild His church. It was in St Mary of the Angels Basilica where St Francis spent most of his life. Here we visit the Chapel, Portiuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Stroll the medieval streets of the compact little town. After stopping at an outdoor cafe with a view of an ancient Roman temple, we go to the Church of St Clare to see the saint's incorrupt body. The foundress of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. We will visit these two saints' tombs before dinner and retiring for the evening.
DAY 8: Assisi - Sienna - Assisi
We are off to the beautiful town of Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernardine and one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities. Here we will stroll the Piazza Del Campo, one of Italy’s finest squares and visit the Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Francis, containing the miraculous consecrated hosts that remained intact since 1730. View the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic. Return to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9: Assisi - Florence
After a brief drive through the beautiful Tuscan countryside, we arrive in Florence. A paradise for art lovers, Florence drew to itself the greatest artists of the Renaissance: Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello and many others. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 10: Florence (afternoon optional tour to Pisa )
After Mass, we will enjoy guided tour of Florence which includes magnificent Franciscan church of The Holy Cross or Santa Croce with the beautiful facade, church is a burial place of nobles, among which is Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Walking tour through Piazza Signoria, pass by Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio. Continue through Republic Sqare to the Santa Maria del Fiore 13th century cathedral. Free time you may decide to take one of several optional tours including tour to Pisa (additional cost approximately $30.) or shop, or continue to explore the city on your own. Return to our hotel in Florence for dinner and overnight.
DAY 11: Florence - Medjugorje
Early morning departure from Florence Airport where you will take a short flights to Medjugorje. AIitalia flight AZ1678 to Rome departing at 11.35 am & Croatia Airlines flight OU381 to Split departing at 6 pm - *these tickets will be given to you in Rome by the tour host. Upon arrival, you'll also be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver who will then take you on the 2 1/2 hour drive by private coach to the village of Medjugorje. Guide will be with your throughout your stay. Once there, you'll meet your fellow pilgrims and your spiritual leader and be introduced to your host family in whose modern and comfortable house you will be staying for the next four nights.
DAY 12 - 14: Medjugorje
The balance of your trip in Medjugorje provides time for a personal retreat. As such, your time in Medjugorje is not designed to be a “tour”, but rather to provide you with time to pray, reflect, and explore on your own as you feel called. Daily Mass in English, as well as English confessions are available at St. James Church. During your stay in Medjugorje you will have full discretion over how your time is spent, in order to have the fullest spiritual experience possible.
Experience the beauty and peace of this simple village. During your stay in Medjugorje you will have the opportunity to share faith with pilgrims from all over the world.
Here are some of the activities you may share with fellow pilgrims: Assemble at St James Church for the English-language Mass. Follow the path up Apparition Hill where the visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Touch and pray before the cross that commemorates the spot where Mary first appeared to the visionaries.
In the evening join the pilgrims to pray the rosary and check times for the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and Veneration of the Cross in the Church. During the Croatian Mass, there is the Blessing of the Sick and blessing of the items you have with you.
DAY 15: Medjugorje
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, we leave by motor coach for flight to onward arrangements.
Italy & Medjugorje Tour - IMP18
Rome to Medjugorje
This is a Hosted Tour & includes:
- Meeting & Assistance at the airport upon arrival
- Meals as per the itinerary
- Activities and excursions as per the itinerary
- Coach touring and tour host
- Entrance fees as per itinerary
- Prices and dates available on application