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2023 Tour Details »2024 Tour Details »
This comprehensive affordable journey through Catholic heritage in Italy invites you to witness the most visited shrines of the country, from north to south. Discover the inspiring Catholic Italian icons of northern Italy: From Milan’s St. Ambrose to Turin’s St. John Bosco and Padua’s St. Anthony, you’ll collect memories and inspiration that will remain with you for life. Visit the Holy Shroud Museum in Turin and the Gothic Duomo in Milan, and marvel at the unique beauty of the Carthusian Monastery of Pavia. Discover the history of musical notes at the Abbey of Pomposa and admire the early Christian artwork of the Byzantine era in Ravenna. Spend two full days in Rome, dedicating your attention to the Papal legacies. Attend the Papal Audience (subject to availability), visit the four major Basilicas of Rome, attend Mass and collect in prayer at many inspiring places of worship instilling a sense of solemnity and serenity. Enjoy a special treat as you visit the Papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo and its gardens, the perfect spot to meditate surrounded by beauty. From here, your spiritual experience continues to the places of some of Italy’s most beloved saints, like St. Pio in Pietrelcina and San Giovanni Rotondo, and to the Marian Sanctuaries of Loreto and Lanciano. You’ll also feel the magic atmosphere of Assisi, home to St. Francis and St.Clare, immersed in the enchanting hills of Umbria.
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*Book a select 2023 Avalon Waterways Europe river cruise to receive $750 off per person on the cruise/land or cruise only price. Booking must be made, under deposit and discount applied between August 1, 2022 and June 30, 2023 for travel in 2023. Promotional discount will apply to Groups of 8 or more who provide their Group Block Deposit within the promotion's booking dates and will apply to all individual members of the Group until the due date of the passenger names/non-refundable individual deposits. Not applicable on TBA space. Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time. Offer combinable only with Welcome Back Credit. Applies to new 2023 bookings only and offer will not be applied to pre-existing bookings. Full cancellation penalties will apply. Additional restrictions may apply; see Travel Terms & Conditions for details. May be withdrawn at any time. Offer applies to participating GFOB offices only. PRMW0992
The Papal audience in the Vatican is subject to availabilityMass services may be in local language and venues are subject to changeSeptember 14 departure – Padre Pio’s passing anniversary (23 September). No Papal Audience on this departure
Touring by private, first-class, air-conditioned motorcoach with free Wi-Fi
Buffet breakfasts daily, 6 dinners
ARRIVE IN MILAN, ITALYCheck into your hotel and spend free time exploring this busy city on your own before meeting your tour companions and Tour Director for an included welcome dinner at your hotel.
MILAN Dedicate the morning to Milan's most important Catholic churches: St.Ambrose Basilica and the Gothic Duomo. St.Ambrose is the patron saint of bee keepers, beggars, learners and Milan. Celebrate [M] Mass and discover the treasures of the Basilica and the Duomo with a Local Guide.
MILAN–TURINTurin is known in the Catholic community worldwide as the home of the Holy Shroud, only available to the public on very special occasions. The city was also home to St. John Bosco, the priest who founded the Salesian religious institute to help poor children with their education during the industrial revolution. Your visit includes the Holy Shroud Museum, the Basilica of St Mary Ausiliatrice and St John’s rooms. You’ll have time to appreciate the elegance of this city and former capital of Italy before attending [M] Mass. Today’s Distance: 90 mi / 145 km
TURIN–PAVIA–PADUA Pavia boasts a beautiful Carthusian Monastery, built in the 1400s by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. The monastery is one of Italy’s “hidden treasures” with lavish decorations and it is inhabited and looked after by monks who still live a traditional life of seclusion and prayer. Today's Distance: 245 mi / 395 km
PADUA–POMPOSA–RAVENNA Attend morning [M] Mass and visit St. Anthony Basilica in Padua with a local guide, then enjoy a short city sightseeing tour and time on your own. In the afternoon, on the way to Ravenna, we’ll stop to see the Abbey of Pomposa, where the Benedictine monk Guido d’Arezzo invented modern musical notation in the 11th century. Today’s Distance: 85 mi / 137 km
RAVENNA–ROMEUNESCO declared the early Christian monuments of Ravenna as having “outstanding universal value.” Ravenna was the seat of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century. It has a unique collection of early Christian mosaics and places of worship. All buildings—the Neonian Baptistry, the Basilica of St. Apollinare Nuovo, St. Vitale Church and the Archbishop’s Chapel of St. Andrew were constructed in the 5th and 6th centuries. They show great artistic skill, including a wonderful blend of Greek-Roman tradition, Christian iconography, and Oriental and Western styles. The morning is dedicated to discovering these masterpieces and focusing on the Byzantine-style mosaics with a local guide. In the afternoon, travel to Rome. Today’s Distance: 221 mi / 355 km
ROME Today you have the unique chance to attend the Papal Audience in the Vatican (subject to availability). Afterwards, enjoy an included city tour with a local guide to see the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, where St. Paul was buried after his martyrdom, St John Lateran Basilica, the Cathedral of Rome, and seat of its Bishop (the Pope) and the Holy Stairs. Said to have led Jesus to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate, the stairs were transferred to Rome by Empress St. Helena. Finally, visit St. Mary Major Basilica, where a reliquary contains wood from the Holy Crib. Attend [M] Mass here before returning to your hotel.
ROMEA special treat today: Visit the Papal Summer Residence in Castel Gandolfo. Wander through its manicured gardens, an opportunity to reflect and meditate in quiet and relaxing surroundings. Walk through the rooms where many Popes have spent the summer months in the cooler countryside on the hills outside Rome. Later, you can join the optional excursion that will take you back to St. Peter’s to discover the treasures of the Vatican museum, or you can spend time at leisure enjoying the many monuments of Roman heritage. Today's Distance: 50 mi / 80 km
ROME–PIETRELCINA–SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO On your way south, stop in quaint Pietrelcina to visit the house where the beloved St. Pio was born. Then, head towards San Giovanni Rotondo on the east coast, the Saint’s home from 1916 until his death in 1968. Today’s Distance: 258 mi / 415 km
SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO. EXCURSION TO MONTE SANT’ANGELO Attend [M] Mass this morning at Santa Maria delle Grazie (Old Church), then visit St.Pio’s friary, including his tomb, cell, confessional, and St.Pio Pilgrimage Church (New Church). Afterwards, take a short drive to the nearby Shrine of Monte Sant’Angelo, one of Christendom’s most celebrated shrines and where St. Michael the Archangel appeared in 490, 492, and 1656. Tonight, attend the candlelight procession in San Giovanni Rotondo. Today’s Distance: 43 mi / 70 km
SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO–LANCIANO–LORETO–ASSISI AREAVisit St.Francis Church in Lanciano, home of the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle, and attend morning [M] Mass. Continue to the famous Marian Sanctuary of Loreto for a guided visit including the Holy House, where, according to tradition, angels transported the house of the blessed Virgin Mary. Arrive at the hilltop village of Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis and St. Clare. Today’s Distance: 298 mi / 480 km
ASSISI Today, learn more about St. Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment. Attend early morning [M] Mass at St. Francis Basilica, famous for its 14th-century Giotto frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. Meet your Local Guide and visit the Upper and Lower Basilicas of St. Francis and the Basilica of St. Clare, founder of the Order of Poor Clares. Next, visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, situated at the foot of Assisi’s hills and protecting the Porziuncola, where St. Francis is said to have founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209, and the Cappella del Transito, where the saint died in 1226.
ASSISI AREA–CASCIA–ROME Travel to Cascia, a scenic town located in Umbria and home of St. Rita, the “Patron Saint of Impossible Causes.” Visit the Sanctuary and see the Major Basilica, housing the chapel with St.Rita’s tomb. Stop in prayer at the Minor Basilica, site of the Eucharistic Miracle, commemorated each year with the Feast of Corpus Christi. Return to Rome for a final overnight stay. Today’s Distance: 149 mi / 240 km
ROME Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
Escorting tours for more than 5 years
"I'm a daily pilgrim, taking each day as a new opportunity to discover & share about life, people & places. Whilst I now live in Italy, I'm originally from Galicia in Spain and have double nationality due to my Portuguese father. I'm proud to consider Catholic faith-based travelling my specialist field. As I always explain to the pilgrims I'm glad to meet on our way, these experiences transcend the simpler sense of vacation touring as we do not only travel in search of shopping, exploring, leisure, relax or entertainment, but we travel to meet what, somehow, has been part of us from the very beginning of our existence through our identity, our family or cultural heritage: that's pilgrimating, a journey that takes us to redefine our existence according to our beliefs through those sites where these have happened or been commemorated."