$4995 Land and Air Package
$4095 Land Only Package
Solo Traveler (Additional Cost) $795.00
Prices are valid only if the deposit of $500.00 is received no later than January 20, 2020. Final payment due March 25, 2020.
May 25-June 4, 2020
NOTE: Mass for our group will be celebrated daily by our pilgrimage chaplains in some of the most amazing sites in Italy!
Visit the holiest places in early Christendom and experience the beauty of the Italian countryside on this summer pilgrimage. Led by international tour guide and theological historian Marcellino “Dr. Italy” D’Ambrosio, this 11-day trip will take you to the cities of Assisi, Florence, and Rome. Explore ancient basilicas, the treasures of the Vatican, and attend a Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square. Enjoy daily Mass with the chaplain who will accompany this very special tour. Dr. Italy will be our principal guide, providing expert commentary on saints, sites, and shrines of Italy.
Dr. Marcellino D’Ambrosio and his wife, Susan
Known on Catholic radio and TV as “Dr. Italy,” Dr. D’Ambrosio is a NY Times best-selling author and a renowned commentator on Catholic issues appearing on Fox News’ “Geraldo Rivera At Large” and Bill O’Reilly’s radio show. A doctoral student of the re- nowned Jesuit theologian Avery Cardinal Dulles, Mar- cellino is an expert on the history of the Church in Italy and has a special familiarity with the shrines we will be visiting on this very special tour. Dr. Italy will be our principal guide, providing expert commentary on saints, sites, and shrines of Italy.
Depart NYC area airport or Dallas / Ft. Worth on an overnight flight to Italy. Dinner and breakfast are served on the plane. Add-on rates are available from Albuquerque and most major cities. To qualify for the group rate used for pricing at least ten passengers must travel from the same airport.
Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival, we are greeted by our English speaking tour manager who will be with the group during our entire stay in Italy. We board the private deluxe motor coach for a drive to Florence. Dinner and overnight in Florence.
This morning after our open buffet breakfast, which is included each day, we have a full day tour of the Renaissance city including a visit to the Convent of San Marco. The priory, which is now a museum, was home to two famous Dominicans of the fifteenth century, the fiery preacher Savonarola and the saintly artist, Fra Angelico, whose frescos adorn the walls of the convent. Next, visit the Academy Gallery, home to one of the most famous sculptures in the world, Michelangelo’s David. In the afternoon we will explore the Cathe- dral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, with its great representation of Tuscan Gothic Architecture and Giotto’s Bell Tower, a 14th-century masterpiece that rises to a height of 292 feet. The giant dome of the church, designed by Brunelleschi, is decorated by an immense fresco, “The Last Judgement,” by Vasari and Zuccaro. We will also visit the Baptistry of San Giovanni and admire the East Door or “Great of Paradise” which took the artist, with Ghiberti, some 27 years to complete. Enjoy a bit of leisure time before we return to the hotel dinner and overnight in Florence.
Today we explore the Renaissance town square of Florence, the Piazza Della Signoria, and visit the quaint Bargello museum which houses a lovely collection of Florentine art by Michelangelo and others. Next, we will visit Michelangelo’s parish church, Santa Croce, where Dante is buried, and then visit Santa Maria Novella to see the famous Trinity by Masaccio. We will then bid farewell to Renaissance Florence and make our way to Assisi, the hometown of the great Saint whose name was taken by our current Pope. We will begin our visit at the Portiuncula, one of the chapels rebuilt by St. Francis, and St. Mary of the Angels Church. Dinner and overnight in the magical, medieval hill town of Assisi.
We will visit the Basilica of St. Francis, the upper Basilica with Giotto’s frescos represent- ing the life of St. Francis, then the lower Basilica and the Tomb of St. Francis. Proceed to the Basilica of St. Clare and the Chapel of San Damiano where St. Francis received his call to rebuild the Church and where St. Clare lived and died. We will also visit the Carceri Hermitage, a series of caves on Mt. Subasio, above Assisi, to which St. Francis and the friars frequently retreated to meditate and pray. Dinner and overnight in Assisi.
We depart Assisi and drive to Rome via Orvieto where we visit the gothic Cathedral built to house the holy relics of the Eucharistic Miracle of Orvieto. It was this miracle that occa- sioned the proclamation of the Feast of Corpus Christi and inspired St. Thomas Aquinas to write the famous hymn “Tantum Ergo.” We enjoy lunch in a local restaurant with tasting of the Orvieto and Orvieto Classico wine this region is famous for. In the afternoon we pro- ceed to Rome and settle into our hotel for dinner and overnight in Rome.
We celebrate Mass with the locals this morning before going to see the Holy Father praying the Angelus at noon from the window of his study overlooking Saint Peter’s Square. After the Angelus, Pope Francis will give his Apostolic Blessing, which extends to you, your loved ones, and any devotional items that you have brought with you to be blessed. Following lunch we visit St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran, the Holy Stairs and Holy Cross in Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
We begin our day visiting the fascinating Church of San Clemente an early Christian basilica in Rome dedicated to Pope St. Clement (d. 99 AD). In the 19th century, excavations under the present basilica uncovered not only the original, fourth-century basilica directly underneath, but also, on an even lower level, the remains of the first-century Christian house church that most probably was the home of Pope St. Clement, the third successor of St. Peter. We walk to the Colosseum, where fights between men and beasts, gladiatorial contests, races, and simulated naval battles took place in the arena, and which was dedicated to the memory of the Christian martyrs by Pope Benedict XIV. Continue to the Roman Forum, the religious, political, and commercial center of ancient Rome, and for centuries, the entire civilized world. We see the Arches of Constantine & Titus. Next, we visit the Pantheon and the Church of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, where St. Catherine of Siena is buried under the main altar before time at leisure and an opportunity to visit the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and Piazza Navona on our own. Overnight in Rome.
This morning, we start with a visit to the Vatican Museum where we will see the magnificent rooms painted by Raphael as well as the Sistine Chapel, followed by a tour of St. Peter’s Basilica and the fascinating Scavi, or Vatican Necropolis, the excavations under St. Peters where St. Peter was buried after his martyrdom. There will be free time during which people may explore St. Peter’s, pray in one of the chapels, ascend to the top of the cupola, visit the basilica’s treasury, or shop for souvenirs. The afternoon is at leisure to explore Rome on our own. Overnight in Rome.
We return to Vatican City to attend a Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square with Pope Francis surrounded by the Magni cent colonnade of Bernini. Following lunch, we drive to the Basilica dedicated to the other great apostle of Rome, St. Paul Outside the Walls. Continue to the Catacombs of St. Sebastian, to venerate the tombs of the martyrs, and see some of the earliest examples of Christian art. Tonight we enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight in Rome.
This morning we are transferred to the airport for our flight back to the USA.