Malta, Sicily & the Amalfi Coast

A 13-Day Escorted Tour to Malta & Southern Italy
With: Fr. Tom Chillog
October 15-27, 2018

Father Thomas ChillogVery Reverend Thomas A. Chillog was ordained in 1984 for the Diocese of Steubenville and has been the pastor of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in St. Clairsville, Ohio since 2002. Father Tom also serves as the Episcopal Vicar for Pastoral Planning and Personnel for the Diocese. Father is an avid walker and enjoys listening to and playing music. Father has a passion for traveling, especially to Italy, and appreciates other cultures and their cuisine. Father Tom has led several group tours over the years, including several to Italy.

 

 

Trip Itinerary:*

 

Day 1. Monday, October 15: Transatlantic flight to Rome

 

Day 2. Tuesday, October 16: Rome – Malta

Upon arrival in the Eternal City, enjoy a guided sightseeing of Ostia Antica, the old Roman port. See the remains of the docks, warehouses, apartment flats, mansions, shopping arcades, and baths — all giving a peek into the Roman lifestyle. Afterwards, return to Rome’s airport for your flight to Malta. Dinner and overnight in Malta. (D)

 

Day 3. Wednesday, October 17: Malta

This morning, enjoy a walking tour of Valletta, Malta’s capital. Visit the Co-Cathedral of St. John, Malta’s most impressive church, built between 1573 and 1578 as the conventual church of the Knights of St. John. Visit also the Cathedral Museum, which houses the altarpiece the Beheading of St. John the Baptist by Caravaggio. Continue to the Upper Barracks Garden, a splendid array of Romanesque arches, balustrades and promenades, offering an unrivaled view over the Grand Harbor. The Garden was built by the Knights of St. John in the 17th century. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, with dinner on your own. (BB)

 

Day 4. Thursday, October 18: Malta

Today’s sightseeing includes a walking tour of the old walled city of Mdina. The encircling battlements of Mdina command spectacular views of the surrounding hills. The “silent city” itself, frozen in time, is a labyrinth of yellow-stoned architecture and truly inspiring balconies, balustrades and baroque invention. Admire the frescos of St. Agatha’s Catacombs in Rabat dating from the 12th to the 15th century. Stroll along the top of the Dingli Cliffs where the land falls away at the spectacular 660 feet to the sea. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure. (BB)

 

Day 5. Friday, October 19: Malta – Syracuse – Catania – Taormina

Early this morning, board a ferry from Malta to Sicily. Transfer to Syracuse to visit the impressive Greek Theater, with stunning views. Continue to the legendary Ear of Dionysius, the most famous cave in Syracuse, and the Ortygia Market, an explosion of colors, scents and authentic flavors, with the charm of the ancient markets. Continue to the Piazza Duomo, one of the most beautiful squares in Italy. Afterwards, in Catania visit the Cathedral of Sant’Agata, which stands, according to tradition, on the spot where Saint Agatha died a martyr’s death in 251 AD. Continue to Taormina for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 6. Saturday, October 20: Taormina

This morning, visit Taormina’s famous Greek Theater, originally built in the 3rd century BC under Hiero II of Syracuse. But under Roman rule in the 2nd century BC, it was completely rebuilt with all the characteristics of a Roman theater. Next, take a walking tour of Taormina along the elegant Corso Umberto to the Piazza, lined with romantic buildings and opening onto terraces with stunning views. The rest of the day is free, perhaps to visit one of the nearby beaches. (BB)

 

Day 7. Sunday, October 21: Taormina – Palermo

Today, transfer to Palermo, majestic capital of Sicily. Enjoy a tour of the city with visits to the Cappella Palatina, a jewel of Arab-Norman art founded in 1132 AD and featuring splendid mosaics. The Cathedral, dedicated to Our Lady of the Assumption, stands on the site of an early Christian basilica, later a mosque. Dinner and overnight in Palermo. (BB, D)

 

Day 8. Monday, October 22: Palermo

Morning sightseeing of the Monreale Cathedral, founded in 1172 AD, and the pinnacle of achievement of Arab-Norman art. The cathedral is famous for its remarkable interior with the magnificent gold mosaics. The cloister has scenes from the Bible sculpted on the capitals of the columns. The rest of the day is at leisure. (BB)

 

Day 9. Tuesday, October 23: Palermo – Naples – Amalfi Coast – Sorrento

Take an early flight to Naples, where your motor-coach will take you on a breathtaking ride along the famous Amalfi Coast. Stop in Amalfi to visit its splendid Cathedral, which houses the relics of St. Andrew the Apostle. Continue to the picturesque town of Positano for free time. Arrive in Sorrento for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 10. Wednesday, October 24: Sorrento: Optional Excursion to Capri

Optional tour to Capri and Anacapri: Departure by fast Jetfoil from Sorrento to Capri. Once on the island, transfer by bus to Anacapri, the intimate and charming village located on the hills of the island. After a guided tour of Anacapri, enjoy free time before visiting Villa San Michele for outstanding views. Continue for a visit to the Gardens of Augustus and Capri’s main square. Afterwards, enjoy time on your own before returning to Sorrento. Dinner is on your own. (BB)

 

Day 11. Thursday, October 25: Sorrento – Pompeii – Montecassino – Rome

Depart this morning towards Rome. On the way, stop for a guided visit to Pompeii, the Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. View the past patrician homes, public baths, and commercial districts strikingly recalling day-to-day life when Rome was at its apex. Continue to the Benedictine Abbey of Montecassino: mother church of the Benedictine order and a center of medieval art, founded by St. Benedict over the ruins of an ancient acropolis. Most of the complex was devastated during World War II, but has since been beautifully rebuilt as a replica of its 17th-century predecessor. Continue to Rome for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 12. Friday, October 26: Rome

This morning, enjoy an optional guided tour of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel and the Raphael Rooms. Afterwards, visit the main church of Christendom, St. Peter’s Basilica, where the remains of apostles, martyrs, and popes are entombed for veneration. The rest of the day is free, with dinner on your own. (BB)

 

Day 13. Saturday, October 27: Homebound flight

Transfer to Rome’s airport for your return flight to the USA. (BB)

 

Buffet Breakfast (BB); Dinner (D)

 

* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.

 

For more information or to register, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.

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