Catholic Shrines of Italy and Canonization Pilgrimage

A 12-Day Pilgrimage to Italy including the Canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II
April 24 - May 5, 2014

Thursday, April 24: USA – Rome

Depart towards Rome, the Eternal City.


Friday, April 25: Rome

Welcome to the Eternal City! Upon arrival into Rome, board your private motor-coach. En route to the Catacombs, enjoy a panoramic view of the Roman Forum, Rome’s ceremonial center under the Empire, and the Coliseum, where early Christians were martyred. At the Catacombs, the hiding place of Christians during the persecutions, visit the burial sites and chapels where Masses used to be celebrated. Next, visit the Basilica of St. Paul to render homage to the great Apostle of the gentiles. Tonight, enjoy a welcome drink and dinner at the hotel. Overnight in Rome. (WD)


Saturday, April 26: Rome

This morning enjoy a walking tour of Rome’s center. Visit Chiesa Nuova, the burial place of St. Philip Neri; the church was dedicated to St. Gregory and the Blessed Virgin; Piazza Navona, a popular gathering place with spectacular fountains; the Pantheon, the best preserved monument from ancient Rome, thanks to its transformation into a church in 609; and S. Maria sopra Minerva, to render homage to St. Catherine of Siena, patron saint of Italy. The afternoon is free; you may take advantage and continue exploring downtown Rome. Be sure to visit the Trevi Fountain and the Spanish Steps while browsing churches and stores in the area. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (BB, D)


Sunday, April 27: Rome

Today attend the canonization of Popes John XXIII and John Paul II. (BB, D)

(Since a very large crowd is expected to attend the Canonization, we cannot predict where the group will be and what exactly will be seen; however, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime spiritual experience. The group will likely be standing for many hours and restroom facilities may be scarce.)


Monday, April 28: Rome

Today embark on a guided sightseeing of Rome’s main basilicas including St. Peter’s Basilica, the main church of Christendom and burial place of St. Peter the Apostle and many Popes and martyrs. Visit also the world-famous Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Afterwards, visit S. Maria Maggiore, housing two of Christianity’s greatest treasures: the manger from Bethlehem in which the Baby Jesus was laid following His birth, and a painting of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Salvation of the Roman people. Continue to St. John Lateran, the mother of all churches and the pope’s cathedral. Nearby is the largest relic in the Christian world, the Scala Santa: the staircase from the Praetorian Palace where drops of Jesus’ blood fell after He was flagellated. Visit Holy Cross in Jerusalem, founded by Constantine in 320 to house the relics of Christ’s Passion brought back from the Holy Land by his mother, St. Helena. Overnight in Rome. (BB, D)


Tuesday, April 29: Rome – Pompeii – Sorrento

This morning leave Rome and travel to Pompeii for a guided tour of this Roman city both destroyed and preserved by an eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD. Afterwards, visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Pompeii, the greatest Rosary Shrine in the world, founded and built by a former devil worshiper, Bl. Bartolo Longo. Continue to Sorrento for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)


Wednesday, April 30: Sorrento: Excursion to Capri

Today’s excursion takes you to the mountainous Isle of Capri, famous for its unparalleled scenery and sea views, the Blue Grotto, and the numerous ruins of Imperial Roman villas. There, delight in a walking tour of Anacapri’s old downtown. Afterwards, enjoy free time in this beautiful resort. Return to Sorrento for free time before dinner. (BB, D)


Thursday, May 1: Sorrento – Amalfi – Salerno – Frascati

Today drive the famous Amalfi Coast. Stop at the magnificent town of Amalfi, the coast’s largest town with breathtaking views. Here, visit its chief glory, a lovely 10th-century duomo, where the remains of St. Andrew the Apostle are enshrined. Have free time for lunch and to stroll along this spectacular village. Continue to Salerno to pray before the relics of the Apostle St. Matthew and Pope St. Gregory VII in the cathedral. Drive to Frascati, near Rome for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)


Friday, May 2: Frascati – Assisi

After breakfast, travel to the breathtaking medieval town of Assisi for a guided sightseeing including the imposing 13th-century Basilica of St. Francis, housing the relics of this great saint and many of his possessions. In St. Mary of the Angels Basilica visit the Porziuncola Chapel, where St. Francis spent most of his life; the rose bush; and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Then, visit the Church of St. Clare to venerate her relics. She was the foundress of the Order of Poor Clares and followed the teachings of St. Francis by living in poverty and humility. The afternoon is free to explore Assisi. (BB, D)


Saturday, May 3: Assisi – Siena

Leave Assisi and travel to Siena. There, visit the Gothic Church of San Domenico, where the preserved head of the city’s patroness, St. Catherine of Siena, can be seen. Next, visit the Casa di Santa Catarina surrounded by chapels and cloisters. Among them is the Church of the Crucifixion, in front of which she received the stigmata. Afterwards, stroll along Piazza del Campo,Italy’s loveliest piazza, occupying the site of the old Roman forum. The afternoon is free to explore this lovely city. Dinner and overnight in Siena. (BB, D)


Sunday May 4: Siena – San Gimignano – Orvieto – Rome

This morning, journey to San Gimignano. With walls built in the 13th century and 12 surviving towers, it was once a stop for pilgrims en route to Rome. The city is named after St. Geminianus, a holy bishop of Modena who freed the small town from the Huns. St. Fina, known also as Seraphina and Serafina, was a 13th-century Italian saint born in San Gimignano in 1238. Her major shrine and her home are in this beautiful town. Enjoy leisure time to explore this Italian gem on your own and sample the famous gelato at the town square. Next stop is Orvieto, a magnificent city from any angle. Perched on a 984-ft plateau, it looks down from its cliff-edged balcony over a vineyard-dotted plain. There, admire the Duomo, where a reliquary contains the Eucharistic Miracle in which real blood from a consecrated host fell on the altar cloth in nearby Bolsena. Continue to Rome for a farewell dinner and overnight. (BB, FD)


Monday, May 5: Transatlantic flight

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



(BB) Buffet breakfast; (D) Dinner; (WD) Welcome dinner; (FD) Farewell dinner


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

For more information, please contact Catholic Heritage Tours today!


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