11 Days Pilgrimage to Rome from Denver, CO (DEN) January 16 - 26, 2023 - Fr. Felicien Mbala
Product pricing based on cash.
Rome (Pope Francis) * Monte Cassino * San Giovanni Rotondo (Padre Pio) * Monte Sant'Angelo (St. Michael) * Lanciano (Eucharistic Miracle) * Assisi (St. Francis) * Siena* Loreto
Day 1 – Depart for Rome
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s). Meals will be served on board.
Day 2 - Arrive in Rome
Welcome to Rome! Also known as, “The Eternal City.” Upon arrival at Rome Airport, you will collect your luggage in the baggage claim area and continue to the Arrival Hall where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver. Make your way to the Bus where your group will transfer to your hotel. Following check-in, your group will make their way to celebrate Mass, followed by the Dinner. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to walk to St. Peter’s Square for the Rosary (optional).
Day 3 – Rome: Papal Audience – Trevi Fountain / Piazza Navona – Basilica of St. John the Lateran and St. Mary Major – Holy Steps
Following breakfast at your hotel, your first sightseeing day in Rome begins! The tour begins with the Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square! This Audience is celebrated each Wednesday by His Holiness, Pope Francis (pending the papal schedule). Following the Papal Audience, your group will make their way to the Fontana di Trevi (Trevi Fountain). In the times of Ancient Rome, this fountain served as the terminal point of the Aqua Virgo, the main aqueduct that supplied thermal baths. Following the Trevi Fountain, your tour continues to the beautiful, Piazza Novona. This square was built on the former Stadium of Domitian that held many festivals and sporting events (86 A.D). At the center of this square, stands the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). There are four figures constructed on this fountain that represent four rivers: the Nile, Ganges, Danube, and Rio de la Plata. Next, your group will enjoy free time for lunch, followed by a visit to the oldest of the four major basilicas in Rome, and the home to the relics of Peter and Paul, the Basilica of St. John the Lateran. This Basilica is where Pope Francis was installed as Bishop of Rome, and where he officiates as the Bishop of Rome. Next, your group will cross the street to visit the Holy Staircase. Tradition states that this staircase is from Pontius Pilate’s palace of Jerusalem during the time of Jesus. It is also said that this Staircase was brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. If time permits, your group will climb the steps on your knees, in memory of Christ’s agonizing Passion. To conclude your day, your group will proceed to the Basilica of St. Mary Major and celebrate Mass. This Basilica contains a relic from the manger of the Infant Jesus. Following Mass, your group will return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4 - Rome: Vatican Museum – Appian Way - Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls - Catacombs
This morning, your group will enjoy breakfast at your hotel and depart for Mass. Your group will celebrate Mass at the largest Christendom Church, St. Peter’s Basilica. This Basilica was built on the site where St. Peter, the first Pope and Bishop of Rome, was martyred. Also, it was Our Holy Father, Pope Francis who was the first Pontiff to visit the necropolis since extensive archaeological excavations were conducted at the ancient site decades ago. At this Basilica, your group will have the opportunity to view Michelangelo’s Pieta. This stunning marble sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary holding Christ after His crucifixion, death, and removal off the cross before being placed in the tomb. Following, your group will proceed to one of the many Vatican Museums. At the world-renowned museum, you will see the most impressive of edifices, galleries, and awe-inspiring relics. Additionally, your group will have the opportunity to observe the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and Michelangelo’s Masterpiece, the restored mural of the Last Judgment. The final stop on your Vatican tour is at the tomb of St. John Paul II. Afterward, your group will enjoy free time for lunch on your own, or to purchase souvenirs from Vatican City. We will then begin the short journey down the Appian Way, the earliest road of Ancient Rome. This road will lead to the Domino Quo Vadis Chapel, the Baths of Caracalla, the Arch of Drusus, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the catacombs of St. Callixtus. The day concludes with a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Originally founded by Emperor Constantine in the 4th Century, this Basilica is the burial place of Saint Paul the Apostle. We will then make our way to dinner at a local restaurant, and overnight at your hotel.
Day 5 - Rome – Montecassino – San Giovanni Rotondo
After breakfast, we will be transferred by bus to Montecassino. This one-hour and forty-five-minute (approximate) bus ride will be extremely scenic, as you pass through the Roman countryside that is known for its villas and vineyards. Throughout this bus ride, your tour escort will share very interesting information regarding the spiritual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. You will arrive in Montecassino, the principal monastery of the Benedictine Order, founded by Saint Benedict around 530 A.D. You will have an opportunity to visit the Gift Shop before we board the bus to continue east (approximately three hours) toward San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of Saint Padre Pio. Upon arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo, your group will enjoy dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Day 6 - San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant’ Angel (View incorrupt body of Padre Pio)
Your first full day in San Giovanni Rotondo begins with breakfast, followed by Mass at the tomb of St. Pio. After Mass, your group will have the opportunity to tour the sanctuary and view the crucifix, in front of which St. Pio received the stigmata. Also, you will visit the confessional from where St. Pio spent an innumerable amount of hours listening to confessions. Next, your group will board the bus and travel through the beautiful Gargano Peninsula to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel, a shrine consecrated by St. Michael. At this grotto, St. Michael appeared to a Bishop to assure him that his diocese would not be annihilated as he feared. Following the visit to this grotto, your group will enjoy free time for lunch on your own and gaze at the breathtaking view of the ocean and surrounding countryside. Lastly, your group will return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, dinner, and overnight.
*In the evening, you will have time to attend the weekly Candlelight Procession at the Sanctuary of St. Pio after dinner, at 9:00 PM. These processions are lit by candlelight and guided by the Most Holy Rosary. Following this prayerful experience, you will return to your hotel for a restful overnight. (May - October only).
Day 7 - San Giovanni Rotondo – Lanciano – Assisi
Following breakfast, your group will board the bus and head to Lanciano (approximately two hours). Upon arrival in Lanciano, you will celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This Church is the site of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the eighth century. At the time of the Miracle, there was a Basilian monk who struggled with the belief in the real presence of The Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. During the time of Mass, the monk, with doubt in his voice, said the “Words of Consecration” and the bread turned into living flesh, and the wine transformed into live blood. After Mass free time for lunch. Continue toward Assisi (Approximately three hours), the hometown of St. Francis. Upon arrival in Assisi, your group will check in, enjoy dinner, before retiring to your room for a restful night’s sleep.
Day 8 - Assisi (The Life of a Saint, that inspired a Holy Father)
This morning, your group will enjoy breakfast followed by a full day of touring the hometown of St. Francis. St. Francis is the “Patron Saint of Animals and the Environment.” Additionally, he is responsible for founding the Franciscan Order, and the inspiration for our Holy Father, Pope Francis. He chose his name in admiration of the Saint of Nature, and Servant to the Poor. Known for being a humble man himself, Pope Francis spent most of his life denying the luxuries of life. He preferred to live in simplicity and humility while giving up all other worldly possessions, just as St. Francis did. As your group visits the birthplace of St. Francis, you will become captivated as the atmosphere has not changed since St. Francis began his ministry, in the early 13th-century. During the tour, your group will have the opportunity to visit the tomb of St. Francis at his Basilica. Also, at the Basilica of St. Francis, you will have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, as well as, view a few of the saint’s possessions. As the tour continues, your group will visit St. Mary of the Angels Basilica. This Basilica is where St. Francis spent most of life and is made up of two structures; both of which you will visit. The Porziuncola is where St. Francis founded his order of the Friar Minor (Franciscans), and the Capella del Transito, which is the place of St. Francis’ death. During this visit, your group will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as the cave where the Saint retired to pray. After visiting this beautiful Basilica, your group will enjoy some free time on your own. Feel free to take this time for additional prayer, or shop in the Gift Shop. The last stop on your tour will be to the Church that honors St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clare Sisters. This Saint followed the teachings of St. Francis very closely by also living a life of poverty and humility. Lastly, your group will transfer back to the hotel, where you will have some free time to walk, shop, or pray. Return to the Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9 - Assisi – Siena - Assisi
Make your way downstairs to breakfast, and then you will travel (approximately one hour and a half) to the Tuscan city of Siena. This medieval city is the birthplace of the Doctor of the Church, St. Catherine, and the Apostle of Italy, St. Bernardine. During your time here, your group will stroll down one of Italy’s finest squares, the Piazza Del Campo to the Cathedral and Basilica of St. Francis. This Basilica is the site of yet another miracle: In 1730, a ciborium of consecrated Hosts was stolen, but two days later the exact number of Hosts were found in the tabernacle, and since then these Hosts have not been consumed nor disintegrated. Following this visit, your group will continue to view the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic. Lastly, your group will transfer back to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Assisi – Loreto - Cascia-Rome
After breakfast, departure to a quick visit of Loreto. This nice city really closed to the Adriatic sea is famous for the shrine of Our Lady of Loreto and the Holy House. Inside of the Basilica is a conserved part of the House of Joseph and Mary in Nazareth We will have Holy Mass at the Basilica then we depart on our way to e to Rome. On the way to Rome, we will stop visiting Cascia, the birthplace of Santa Rita. We will visit the San Francesco Church, the Sant’Antonio Church, the Santa Maria Church, and the shrine of Santa Rita. After the visit, we will continue to Rome. Check-in our hotel and Farewell dinner in a restaurant. Overnight at Your Hotel.
Day 11 –Rome/USA
Breakfast in Hotel, free time in the city, and transfer to the airport for the flight back to the USA.
Trip date: January 16 - 26, 2023
Departure City: Denver, CO (DEN) (other cities available)
Single supplement: $890.00 (Private Room)
Package price includes the following:
ALL AIRPORT TAXES & FUEL SURCHARGES!
Centrally located first-class hotels: (or similar)
~ 9 nights: Hotel accommodation
Transfers as per itinerary
Breakfast and Dinner daily
Wine with dinners
Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
The assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
Spiritual activities daily
Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
portfolio of all travel documents
Travel Insurance optional
Package price does not include the following:
Tips to your guide & driver
Items of a personal nature.