ROME - VATICAN CITY - ASSISI - SIENA - TURIN - STRESA
Morning arrival in Rome. Meeting with an English speaking tour manager and with motorcoach . Departure to our hotel . The rest of the day is at our leisure. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
We enter St. Peter’s through the Holy Doors to celebrate Mass and view the beautiful “Pieta.” We visit the treasures of the Vatican Museum and marvel at Michelangelo’s restored frescoes in the Sistine Chapel. We pray The Angelus with Pope Francis at noon (if he is in residence and we did not celebrate our Mass this morning). Lunch is on our own. This afternoon we see two of Rome’s major Basilicas–St. John Lateran and St. Mary Major; entering through the Holy Doors at each basilica. Our tour continues to St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo’s possibly most celebrated sculpture, the “Moses”. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
This morning we enjoy a panoramic bus tour around the glorious city of Rome including the Roman Fora, the Arch of Constantine, the Coliseum and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. After lunch on our own, we visit St. Paul’s Beyond the Walls where we pass through the last of the Holy Doors of the Basilicas of Rome. This huge, imposing Basilica, second only to St. Peter’s and one of the largest churches in the Christian world, contains an unusual gallery of papal portraits: 265 tablets portraying the popes of the past. We conclude our day at one of the Catacombs, burial place of early Christians. We celebrate Mass here and view the 2nd and 3rd century fresco paintings. We continue to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
DAY 4 – 5
Today we travel north through the Umbrian countryside. Lunch is on our own. 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 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 to the Basilica and the tomb of St. Francis, our walking tour of the village begins with a visit to the Church of St. Clare. Lunch is on our own. This afternoon, 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.
This morning, we journey through the Italian countryside arriving in the magnificent city of Siena, which invites us to stroll through its Gothic streets. After we celebrate Mass at the Dominican Church commemorating St. Catherine, we walk down to the famous Piazza del Campo. This shell shaped square is the dramatic setting for the annual Palio bareback horserace. The piazza’s focal point is the Palazzo Pubblico, the public palace, which dates back to 1250. We continue uphill to visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Siena.
Early this morning, we depart Tuscany and head north to Torino, the home of the Shroud of Turin. On arrival this afternoon, we will visit the Shroud, where it is on display for a short time during this Holy Year. We will celebrate Mass in Turin before continuing to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
SACRED MOUNT OF OROPO
This morning, we depart Turin and drive north into the Piedmont Region. We will drive to the Sanctuary of the Black Virgin of Europe where we will spend our delightful retreat day with Mass in this lovely setting. We will stay in the simple accommodations here and enjoy dinner and overnight.
This morning, following Mass at the Sanctuary, we descend the mountain and drive into the Lake Country of Northern Italy arriving in Stresa, along beautiful Lake Maggiore. We will enjoy a delightful boat ride on the Lake and have free time for shopping and personal adventure. We will be free to enjoy the culinary delights of Stresa tonight as dinner is on our own.
Breakfast at the hotel. Departure to Milan airport. End of the tour.