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2024 Tour Details »2023 Tour Details
On this inspirational tour, you’ll have the opportunity to visit the Catholic icons of Rome, such as the four major Basilicas, the Scala Sancta and the Papal summer residence of Castel Gandolfo; attend the Papal Audience, learn about some of Italy’s beloved Saints, and celebrate Mass. Learn about St. Pio of Pietrelcina, a modern-day saint, visit the Shrine of Monte Sant’Angelo, gather in prayer at the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle in Lanciano, reflect in the Holy House of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Loreto, and admire the timeless beauty of the Basilicas of St. Francis and St. Clare in Assisi. Italy is a must for Catholic travelers and art lovers.
To know more about the visas for this vacation, click here
*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 November 11, 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 Offer reliant on space availability at time of booking and may be withdrawn at any time.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 May be withdrawn at any time.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 PRMW0992
ROME Papal audience in the Vatican (subject to availability), visit the four Major Basilicas of Rome, and the Papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. PIETRELCINA and SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO Follow in the footsteps of St. PioMONTE SANT’ANGELO Visit the ShrineLANCIANO and LORETO Visit the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle and the Holy HouseASSISI Familiarize yourself with the life of St. FrancisCASCIA Visit the Sanctuary[M] MASS SERVICES:Rome, San Giovanni Rotondo, Lanciano, AssisiGuides:
PROFESSIONAL TOUR DIRECTORNotes:
The Papal audience in the Vatican is subject to availabilityMass services may be in local language and venues are subject to changeDeparture May 21 St. Pio's feast day (25 May) – No Papal audience on this departureDeparture September 19 Anniversary of St. Pio's passing (23 September) – No Papal audience on this departureDeparture June 16 – No Papal audience on this departure
World Heritage Sites are designated by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) for having cultural, historical, scientific or other form of significance. The sites are judged to contain cultural and natural heritage around the world considered to be of outstanding value to humanity.
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Spiritual Highlights of Italy
Buffet breakfasts daily, 4 dinners
ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALY Welcome to Italy! Check into your hotel, with rest of the day free to explore on your own. This afternoon, meet your Tour Director and fellow travelers, and prepare for your upcoming spiritual journey. Later this evening, a welcome dinner awaits at your hotel.
ROME This morning, attend the Papal Audience (subject to availability) for the chance to see the Pope and receive the Papal Blessing. Later, with a Local Guide, visit St. Paul Outside the Walls, burial place of St. Paul the Apostle, St John Lateran Basilica and St. Mary Major Basilica, the Rome’s four major Papal basilicas. Experience the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs), transported from Jerusalem to Rome around 326 AD by St. Helena, Emperor Constantine’s mother. These 28 marble steps are traditionally ascended in a kneeling position with a prayer recital dedicated to Jesus Christ. Then, visit the impressive St. Mary Major Basilica and attend [M] Mass.
ROME. EXCURSION TO CASTEL GANDOLFO A different, quite unique experience is offered today. We will take an included excursion to Castel Gandolfo, a quaint village in the hills outside Rome, to visit the Papal summer residence and its manicured gardens with a Local Guide. This is a unique chance to see the rooms that have been occupied by many Popes over the centuries. Enjoy the opportunity to reflect and meditate in the garden’s quiet and relaxing surroundings. In the afternoon, take advantage of time at leisure in Rome or join the optional excursion to the Vatican Museums and Sistine Chapel, world famous for Michelangelo’s impressive fresco of The Last Judgment. 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, before heading 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 the Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church (New Church). Afterwards, take a short drive to the nearby Shrine of Monte Sant’Angelo, one of Christendom’s most celebrated, 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 AREA Visit 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, stop at 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 this morning, 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.
With Cosmos, there’s no better way to get to know your destination than through the eyes of your Tour Director. Averaging over a decade... we’d like you to meet a Tour Director, who is representative of the type of expert that will be with you on your vacation.
Escorting tours for more than 10 years
"There's sage travel advice that "When in Rome, do as the Romans do!" That's my goal...to help every traveler experience Italy (and the Mediterranean) through an Italian perspective. We'll get to the heart and soul of each town-the sights, sounds, and flavors that make each place so unique. You'll definitely come away with a better understanding of why we say, "Italians do it better!""
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."