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2022 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.
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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
The following UNESCO World Heritage Sites can be seen or visited on this vacation:
Spiritual Highlights of Italy
Buffet breakfasts daily, 4 dinners
Inside visits and special features are shown in UPPERCASE in the tour description.
ARRIVE IN ROME, ITALYWelcome 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.
ROMEThis 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 and one of Rome’s four major Papal basilicas, along with St. John Lateran Basilica. 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 GANDOLFOA 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, enjoy 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. 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’ANGELOAttend [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, 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
ASSISIToday, 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–ROMETravel 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
ROMEYour 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."