Italian Art & History: A Seminar-Pilgrimage

A 10-Day Fully-Escorted Seminary-Pilgrimage to Italy
With: Fr. Dwight Longenecker, Jim Craft and Joseph Pearce
June 8-17, 2019

Fr Dwight LongeneckerTrained at Oxford University, Fr. Dwight Longenecker is a parish priest, author, blogger, speaker, and broadcaster. He has written hundreds of articles and over twenty books on Catholic history, spirituality, and apologetics. Fr. Longenecker will serve as chaplain and lecturer on our seminar-pilgrimage.




Dr Jim CraftJim Craft, Professor Emeritus, has taught Art History and Studio Art courses for the last 30 years. As a professional artist, he has worked in a variety of media, including painting, sculpture, ceramics and architectural installations. Jim will be available to answer questions about the technical processes of art and architecture, as well as providing historical context.




Joseph PearceJoseph Pearce is the author of many books, including The Quest for Shakespeare, Tolkien: Man and Myth, The Unmasking of Oscar Wilde, C. S. Lewis and The Catholic Church, Literary Converts, Wisdom and Innocence: A Life of G.K. Chesterton, Solzhenitsyn: A Soul in Exile and Old Thunder:  A Life of Hilaire Belloc. His books have been published and translated into nine languages.






Day 1. Saturday, June 8: Transatlantic flight to Rome

Board your flight to Rome, Italy.


Day 2. Sunday, June 9: Rome – Tuscany

Upon arrival at Rome’s airport, board your private motor-coach and transfer to your hotel in the Tuscan countryside. Enjoy time to settle in and relax before dinner. Dinner and overnight in Tuscany. (WD)

Seminar: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Conversion – Introduction to the Seminars, by Fr. Longenecker


Day 3. Monday, June 10: Tuscany

A full day of seminars at the hotel. Evening social with questions and discussion. (BB, L, D)

Morning Seminar:

Fr. Longenecker – An Overview of the History of Florence

Joseph Pearce – Dante and the Classical World

Jim Craft – Classicism and Christian Art

Afternoon Seminar:

Joseph Pearce – Dante’s Assent to Ascent

Jim Craft – The Conversion of the Artist

Fr. Longenecker – St. Benedict on Stability, Obedience and Conversion of Life


Day 4. Tuesday, June 11: Tuscany

Early this morning, transfer to Florence for a full day excursion. Visit the Convent and Museum of San Marco and admire devotional frescos on the cloisters and cells by the famous Fra Angelico. Continue to the Academy of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo’s David. Later, enjoy a guided walking tour, including a short visit to Dante’s house. See the Piazza della Signoria, the political hub of the city, as well as the oldest and most famous bridge across the Arno, the Ponte Vecchio. The rest of the afternoon is free with dinner on your own, before returning to the hotel. (BB)


Day 5. Wednesday, June 12: Tuscany

Today, return to Florence to visit the Uffizi Gallery, Italy’s greatest art gallery, which houses works of art by great Italian artists, such as Botticelli, Giotto, Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci and Raffaello. After lunch on your own, continue to the Opera del Duomo Museum,  founded in 1296 to oversee the construction of the Duomo. Today it houses many stunning works of art that have been removed from the Duomo over the centuries. Nearby, visit the red-domed and richly decorated Duomo of Santa Maria del Fiore, the fourth largest church in Europe and one of the oldest buildings in Florence. Also admire the magnificent East Door of the Baptistry, known as the “Gate to Paradise.” The rest of the afternoon is free. Dinner is on your own. (BB)


Day 6. Thursday, June 13: Tuscany

This morning, drive through the Tuscan countryside to visit the Convent of Bosco ai Frati, which dates back to the 12th century and is the home of a beautiful crucifix attributed to Donatello. Continue to the Benedictine Abbey of Vallombrosa, founded in 1036 by St. John Gualberto, a Benedictine monk and founder of the Vallombrosan order. In the afternoon, return to your hotel. Dinner and overnight in Tuscany. Evening social with discussion. (BB, D)

Afternoon Seminar:

Fr. Longenecker – A Journey Through Dante’s Inferno

Jim Craft – The Mosaics of Ravenna and Venice


Day 7. Friday, June 14: Tuscany – Ravenna

Early this morning, transfer to Ravenna, renowned for its rich mosaics and Byzantine churches. Upon arrival, visit the Basilica of San Vitale, the most famous monument of Ravenna, and one of the most important examples of Byzantine art and architecture in Western Europe. Continue to the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the earliest and best preserved mosaic monument, and the Tomb of Dante. Also visit the Basilica of St. Apollinare Nuovo, built by the Arian Emperor Theodoric and famous for its two side walls full of figurative mosaics dating from 500 AD. Finally, visit the Chapel of St. Andrew, the only archiepiscopal chapel of the early Christian era that has been preserved intact. Continue to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

Morning Seminar en route:

Fr. Longenecker – The Magi and the Mosaics

Joseph Pearce – Boethius and Dante – Faith and Reason


Day 8. Saturday, June 15: Ravenna – Venice

Today, depart  for Venice, “the Floating City.” Upon arrival, enjoy a guided walking tour beginning with the famous Piazza San Marco, described as the most elegant drawing room in Europe. Visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Mark, where the remains of St. Mark the Evangelist reside, and its Pala d’Oro and Treasury to admire the rich jewel-spangled altarpiece, situated behind the high altar and consisting of 250 enamel paintings on gold foil, enclosed in a gilded silver Gothic frame. Enjoy the rest of the afternoon at leisure, with dinner on your own. Overnight in Venice. (BB)

Morning Seminar en route:

Joseph Pearce – Shakespeare’s Venice

Fr. Longenecker – Venice and St. Mark

Jim Craft – The Bellini Family of Venice


Day 9. Sunday, June 16: Venice

This morning, visit one of the great museums in the world, housing one of the finest collections of Venetian art: the Gallerie dell’Accademia. The collection includes works by Bellini, Carpaccio, Canaletto, Tintoretto, Tiziano, Tiepolo, Titian, and Veronese. Adjacent to the Basilica of St. Mark, visit the Doge’s Palace, the official residence of each Venetian ruler, with richly decorated chambers and halls. Continue to the Correr Museum, bequeathed to the city by Teodoro Correr in 1830, and providing superb views over the Piazza San Marco. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)


Day 10. Monday, June 17: Homebound flight

This morning, transfer to Venice airport for your return flight to the USA. (BB)



also accompanied by Fr. Longenecker and Jim Craft


Tuesday, June 4: Transatlantic flight to Rome


Wednesday, June 5: Rome

Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic view of Ancient Rome. Before reaching your hotel, make a visit to the Museo Capitolini. The rest of the day is at leisure. (D)


Thursday, June 6: Rome

Morning walking tour of Rome’s downtown, visiting Piazza Navona, San Luigi dei Francesi, St. Augustine, the Pantheon, and Santa Maria sopra Minerva. The rest of the day is free. Tonight, dinner is on your own. (BB)


Friday, June 7: Rome

Morning visit to the Vatican Museums, including the Raphael Rooms and the Sistine Chapel. The rest of the day is free with dinner on your own. (BB)


Saturday, June 8: Rome

Morning visits to the Galleria Borghese and the Galleria Doria Pamphilj. Rest of the day is at leisure. (BB)


Sunday, June 9: Rome

Transfer to Rome Fiumicino airport to join the rest of the group traveling to Tuscany. (BB)



(BB) Buffet Breakfast; (L) Lunch; (D) Dinner; (WD) Welcome Dinner


* 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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