Shrines of Italy

Our “Shrines of Italy” Pilgrimage has been specially designed, and includes:


† Round Trip Airfare
            Our price is based out of Los Angeles (LAX airport), you may depart from your local airport
            You may book without airfare: (land only option)
† ALL AIRPORT TAXES & FUEL SURCHARGES!
† 8 nights at centrally located first class hotels as follows: (or similar)
        ~ 3 nights:  Hotel Michelangelo or Hotel Cicerone or Quirinale, Rome
        ~ 2 nights:  Hotel Giotto, Assisi
        ~ 2 nights:  Hotel Gran Paradiso, San Giovanni Rotondo
        ~ 1 nights:  Hilton, Rome
† Transfers as per itinerary
† Breakfast and Dinner daily
† Wine with dinners
† Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
† Assistance of a professional local Catholic guide(s)
† Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
† Catholic Priest available for Spiritual Direction
† Mass daily & Spiritual activities
† Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
† Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents

Not Included: Lunches. Travel Insurance optional, Extended Cancellation Protection Plan), Tips to your guide & driver. Items of a personal nature

Sample Day-by-Day Itinerary:


Day 1 - USA - Italy
Depart from Los Angeles, LAX, or from your hometown for the overnight flight to Rome. Dinner and breakfast will be served on board.
 
Day 2 - Arrive Rome
Upon arrival your escort will warmly greet you this morning and welcome you to Italy. Transfer to your hotel and enjoy a free afternoon for rest, relaxation, or exploration.  You tour escort can suggest sights or walks for you to enjoy.
 
Day 3 - Rome
This morning we depart for a sightseeing tour entitled "Christian Rome" which includes:  the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin, a shrine that contains a relic from the manger of the infant Jesus; the Holy Stairs, the Basilica of  St. John the Lateran, The Basilica of the St John in Lateran, is the former residence of the popes prior to their return to Rome in 1377;  St Paul Outside the Walls, which houses the remains of St Paul under its main altar; and the Appian Way -- the oldest road from Roman times--plus the famous Domino Quo Vadis Chapel; see the ancient Baths of Caracalla, Arch of Drusus;  Tomb of Celilia Metella, and the catacombs of St Callixtus where the early Christians hid themselves to escape persecution. We will also enjoy a visit to the Trevi fountain.  Dinner and overnight.
 
Day 4 - Rome (Papal Audience and Vatican Museum Tour)
Wake up in Eternal City, one of the greatest centers of Western Civilization and the first truly cosmopolitan city on earth! It is also spiritual capital for all the Catholics around the world.   Today is truly a day we will have in our minds for many years to come.  This morning we go to Vatican City to attend the weekly Papal Audience or Blessing given by His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI (pending papal schedule).  Following the audience visit of the Vatican Museums, a group of most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures. See awe-inspiring relics and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. We'll cover The Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms and the most overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Masterpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment.  Later, enter the largest church in Christendom St Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St Peter was martyred. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims come from around the world, St Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches. Marvel Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. We will also visit the grave of Pope John Paul II located at the Vatican. Before dinner, we'll have some time at leisure, to explore your own paths, to shop, or just to sit in one of the outside cafes and watch the world go by.
 
Day 5 - Rome - Siena - Assisi
After breakfast we depart the Eternal City and head north to Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernardine and one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities. Here we will stroll the Piazza Del Campo, one of Italy’s finest squares and visit the Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Francis, containing the miraculous consecrated hosts that remained intact since 1730. View the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic.   We continue on to Assisi for dinner and overnight.

Day 6 - Assisi
Visit the tomb of St Francis. Explore the quaint hilltop birthplace of St Francis that still retains something of the atmosphere of the early 1200s, the period when St Francis began his ministry. Contained within the huge 13th-century Basilica are many of the saint's possessions and a series of frescoes depicting his life. You may kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St Francis, asking him to rebuild His church. It was in St Mary of the Angels Basilica where St Francis spent most of his life. Here we visit the Chapel, Portiuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Stroll the medieval streets of the compact little town. After stopping at an outdoor cafe with a view of an ancient Roman temple, we go to the Church of St Clare to see the saint's incorrupt body. The foundress of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. We will visit these two saints' tombs before dinner and retiring for the evening.

Day 7 - Assisi - Loreto - Lanciano - San Giovanni Rotondo
We will have breakfast at our hotel before we drive toward the Adriatic coast to the great Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived.  After free time for lunch we make our way to Lanciano where we will see the Eucharistic Miracle and celebrate Mass.  Continue to San Giovanni Rotonodo, the hometown of Padre Pio, for dinner and overnight.

Day 8 - San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant'Angel
After celebrating Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio, we tour the sanctuary, see the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. You will see the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with a multitude of pilgrims, directing them on their journey toward God. Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Cargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Six different popes, St Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St Michael. A panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside awaits you at this most celebrated shrine of early Christianity, a shrine consecrated by St Michael himself in 490. Return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, and a restful overnight.
 
Day 9 - San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Cassino - Rome
After breakfast, we head north to visit the Abbey of Montecassino, a beautiful town founded by St. Benedict in 529. After visiting the Abbey and celebrating Mass we will continue to Rome where we will enjoy our final dinner and overnight.
 
Day 10 - Rome - USA
We bid farewell to our new friends and to a pilgrimage which will be in our memories and heart for a long time to come. We depart from Rome Airport for our return flight to the USA. We fondly say, Arrivederci Italia!

Additional Information & Travel Tips:

What to Know Before You Go to Italy booklet (additional file)
 
Any questions? Call Ron at (714)746-4199 or Claudia at (714)414-2038   or Email Us at ronhallertravel@gmail.com or claudiatravelholyland@gmail.com

Why travel with Holy Site Tours? Click here to read letters from our clients.
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