Very 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.
Day 1. Wednesday, September 25: Outbound flight to Rome
Day 2. Thursday, September 26: Rome
Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival, enjoy a panoramic tour of Rome and visit Castel Sant’Angelo, built between 123 and 139 AD as the mausoleum of the Roman Emperor Hadrian and his family. It was named after St. Michael the Archangel, who appeared at its top sheathing his sword and ending the plague of 590 AD which tormented Rome. Today, it is a wonderfully rich museum. Visit the papal apartments and soak in the views from the balcony. Tonight enjoy a welcome dinner with fellow travelers. (WD)
Day 3. Friday, September 27: Rome
Today visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Peter, the largest Catholic church in the world. It holds hundreds of precious works of art, some salvaged from the original 4th-century basilica built by Constantine, others commissioned from Renaissance and Baroque artists. The basilica contains the relics of many popes and martyrs. Then, take a tour of the Borghese Gallery, which houses major collections of Caravaggio, Raphael, and Titian, and also of ancient Roman Art. Stroll through the Borghese Gardens on a guided walk. The rest of the day is at leisure, with independent dinner. (BB)
Day 4. Saturday, September 28: Rome
This morning, enjoy a walking tour of downtown Rome. Admire Rome’s most beautiful Baroque square, Piazza Navona, which follows the shape of a 1st-century stadium dedicated to athletic contests, chariot races, and other sports. St. Agnes was martyred on the spot where a church was erected in her name. Admire Bernini’s most magnificent fountain, Quattro Fiumi. Continue to visit San Luigi dei Francesi, the French national church in Rome, best known for three magnificent canvases by Caravaggio. Marvel at the Pantheon, the best-preserved ancient building in Rome, thanks to its transformation into a Catholic church, Santa Maria ad Martires, in 609. It is said that the day the building was consecrated, 28 wagons of martyrs’ bones were transported here, taken from various city cemeteries. This event is the origin of All Saints’ Day (November 1), instituted by Gregory IV in the 9th century. Visit the Church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva, one of Rome’s rare Gothic buildings, built in the 13th century over the ruins of a Temple of Minerva. Relics of St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint of Italy, and Fra Angelico are kept in this church. Enjoy the rest of the day at leisure, with independent dinner. Overnight in Rome. (BB)
Day 5. Sunday, September 29: Rome – Pompeii – Sorrento
Journey to Pompeii, where excavations revealed a city petrified in time by the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD, burying it in 20 feet of pumice and ash. In some buildings, paintings and sculpture have survived, and graffiti is still visible on street walls. Continue to Sorrento for an overview of this beautiful coastal town before dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 6. Monday, September 30: Sorrento. Excursion to Capri
Capri was the home of emperors, seat of monasteries, and a place of exile. English and German expatriates discovered its charms in the 19th century. Head to Anacapri and start your day on a chairlift to the top of Monte Solaro, the island’s highest point. Afterwards, visit Villa San Michele with beautiful gardens and spectacular panoramic views. Before returning to Sorrento, visit Anacapri’s historic center. Dinner and overnight in Sorrento. (BB, D)
Day 7. Tuesday, October 1: Sorrento – Amalfi Coast – Vietri sul Mare
Positano is a small, beautiful beach town, famous for its colorful buildings. Offering an ideal location on the Amalfi Coast, it is home to tiny, winding roads that run down to the sea and that are lined with restaurants and shops. Then, visit Amalfi, the coast’s largest town and a popular resort. It was a maritime power before being subdued in 1131 by King Roger of Naples. The 13th-century Paradise Cloister flanks the Duomo that contains the relics of St. Andrew the Apostle. In Ravello, enjoy the best views of the Amalfi Coast. Visit Villa Cimbrone’s gardens and Ravello’s Cathedral, housing St. Pantaleon’s blood, which miraculously liquefies annually in May and August. Continue to the picturesque town of Vietri sul Mare for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)
Day 8. Wednesday, October 2: Vietri sul Mare
Enjoy a full day at leisure in this breathtaking town. You may choose to visit the city of Salerno with its imposing cathedral or simply relax in Vietri sul Mare, visiting its artisan ceramic shops. (BB)
Day 9. Thursday, October 3: Vietri sul Mare – Montecassino – Ostia Antica – Rome
Depart this morning to Montecassino for a visit to its spectacular Abbey, the mother church of the Benedictine Order and a center of medieval art founded in 529 by St. Benedict, patron saint of Europe. By the 8th century, it was an important center of learning, and by the 11th century, it had become one of the richest monasteries in Europe. The abbey was destroyed during World War II and rebuilt as a replica of its 17th century predecessor. Relics of St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica can be venerated in the abbey. Continue to Ostia Antica for a guided sightseeing of the remains of the city. For over 600 years Ostia Antica was Rome’s main port and a busy trading center. Silt preserved its buildings and is now three miles from the coast. The ruins of Ostia give a vivid idea of life in Classical times. Ostia’s remains include a forum, temples, a theater, baths, shops, and multistory buildings. Arrive in Rome in time to enjoy a farewell dinner with your travel companions. Overnight in Rome. (BB, FD)
Day 10. Friday October 4: Return flight to the USA
Transfer to Rome’s airport for your homebound flight. (Boxed Breakfast)
Buffet Breakfast (BB); Dinner (D); Welcome Dinner (WD); Farewell Dinner (FD)
* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.
For more information, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours.