Heart of Italy Pilgrimage

Rome • Orvieto • Assisi • Siena • Florence • Chianti • Tuscany

Nov 26 - Dec 5, 2023

Please browse the Day-by-day itinerary

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  • Sunday, Nov 26, 2023


    Day 1: Departure Washington Dulles Airport

    Meet at Washington, Dulles

    Meet at Dulles airport: 7:30 PM for distribution of trip envelopes and Father Gould’s pilgrimage prayer & blessing for our journey of faith.

    • Departure*
      Lufthansa Flight LH 415, 10:30 PM
      via Munich for Rome, Italy
    • Arrival
      Nov 27 | 3:10 PM

    *Dinner on Flight

  • Monday, Nov 27, 2023

    Colosseum, Rome

    Day 2: Arrival Rome

    • Arrival 3:10 PM Rome.
    • We will depart from the airport aboard our private motor coach
    • On arrival into the Eternal City (Rome) we will take a brief panoramic bus tour of the city including Capitoline Hill, Circus Maximus, Coliseum, Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia
    • Check into our hotel
    • Afternoon Mass TBA
    • Dinner
    • Free evening

    Overnight Rome

    Detailed Summary of Day 2 CLICK HERE

  • Tuesday, Nov 28, 2023

    Saint Paul outside the Walls

    Day 3: Major Basilicas of Rome

    • Early AM Holy Mass at St Peter’s Basilica
    • Return to hotel for Breakfast
    • Depart by bus for St Mary Major, Basilica John Lateran, Catacombs of St Sebastian
    • Brief lunch on your own. Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls
    • Return to hotel. Dinner
    • Free evening

    Overnight Rome

    Detailed Summary of Day 3 CLICK HERE 

  • Wednesday, Nov 29, 2023

    Piazza San Pietro, Vatican City, Rome, Italy

    Day 4: Rome, Papal Audience & Old Rome

    • Box breakfast
    • Walk
    • Depart very early AM for Papal Audience (Subject to Papal Schedule)
    • St Peter’s Square
    • Meet after for Pranzone (Lunch)
    • Walking Tour of Old Rome / and notable churches including Church of the Gesù, Pantheon, Santa Maria Minerva, St Ignatius, Chiesa Nuova and more)
    • Holy Mass TBA
    • Dinner and Evening on your own

    Overnight Rome

    Detailed Summary of Day 4 CLICK HERE

  • Thursday, Nov 30, 2023

    The Pantheon, Rome

    Day 5: St. Peter’s,Vatican Museum, Sistine Chapel

    • Breakfast
    • Early morning Mass at St Peter’s Basilica followed by tour
    • Visit /Tour Vatican Museum / Sistine Chapel
    • Free afternoon
    • Meet at hotel TBA for Farewell Dinner
    • Free evening

    Overnight Rome

    Detailed Summary of Day 5 CLICK HERE

  • Friday, Dec 1, 2023


    Day 6: Rome-Orvieto-Assisi

    • Breakfast/Check-out. 8:30 AM Departure for Orvieto
    • We will visit the beautiful Duomo housing the Corpus of the 13th century Eucharistic miracle (Orvieto is a beautiful city built on a mountain of volcanic rock. Also famous for Orvieto wine)
    • Lunch in Orvieto. Departure for Assisi
    • There we will visit the sites made famous by its two best-known citizens, St Francis and St.Clare, including the tombs of these famous Saints, the Monastery of St Damian and the convent founded by St Clare. Check-in for our one night stay
    • Dinner
    • Free evening

    Overnight Assisi

    Detailed Summary of Day 6 CLICK HERE

  • Saturday, Dec 2, 2023

    Siena, Italy

    Day 7: Assisi-Siena-Florence

    • Breakfast
    • Morning Mass TBA
    • Walk Assisi followed by Departure to Siena
    • Church of St. Dominic, we will visit relics of St Catherine of Siena (youngest of 25 children)
    • Lunch in Siena
    • We will continue our journey traveling through the beautiful Tuscany Region finally arriving in the capital city of Florence
    • Check into our hotel
    • Evening walk and dinner
    • Free evening

    Overnight Florence

    Detailed Summary of Day 7 CLICK HERE

  • Sunday, Dec 3, 2023

    Florence, Italy

    Day 8: Florence

    • Breakfast
    • Walking Tour
    • MASS- TBA We will take a guided walking tour of this great city including the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, the Franciscan church of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce), where Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli are buried, the Piazza Signora and Ponte Vecchio
    • Lunch on your own
    • FREE TIME all afternoon to explore Florence on your own shopping, museums etc.
    • Dinner
    • Free evening

    Overnight Florence

    Detailed Summary of Day 8 CLICK HERE

  • Monday, Dec 4, 2023

    Tuscany, Italy

    Day 9: Florence-Tuscany-Chianti

    • Breakfast
    • Mass TBA
    • Depart to visit Basilica San Miniato al Monte for an amazing view of Florence
    • Depart by bus for the Tuscany-Chianti region
    • Lunch wine tasting
    • (Half Day) Farewell Dinner

    Overnight Florence

    Detailed Summary of Day 9 CLICK HERE

  • Tuesday, Dec 5, 2023


    Day 10: Florence

    • Breakfast
    • 8:15 AM Depart from Hotel to FLR Airport
      Air Dolomiti Flight EN8195
      From Florence to Munich
      TIME: 12:25
      Arrive Washington, Dulles 7:55 PM


    (on flight)

Day 2 – Monday Nov 27

Arrival: The Eternal City- Rome: A Panoramic Welcome

As we disembark from our flight and step onto Italian soil, our journey commences in the Eternal City – Rome. Greeted by our private motor coach, we are set to embark on a captivating exploration. The city’s grandeur and history unfold before us during a panoramic bus tour. We’ll ascend Capitoline Hill, glimpse the vastness of Circus Maximus, and view the iconic Coliseum, Roman Forum, a living testament to the past’s enduring significance.

We will check into our hotel, our temporary sanctuary in this extraordinary city. Amid the ancient and modern, we gather for Holy Mass that transcends time and tradition followed by dinner. With the evening at leisure, the enchantment of Rome beckons, allowing us to explore its mysteries.

Day 3 – Tuesday Nov 28

The Major Basilicas of Rome

We begin the day with Holy Mass at the iconic St. Peter’s Basilica. Following this sacred moment, we return to our hotel, where a nourishing breakfast awaits. Energized and enriched, we set out on a journey through Rome’s spiritual landmarks. Our first stop is the exquisite St. Mary Major, This sacred haven, dating back to the 5th century is dedicated to the Virgin Mary, exudes a sense of tranquility and reverence that envelops every visitor. Among its most cherished relics is the legendary relic of the Holy Crib, believed to be a piece of the Bethlehem manger that cradled the infant Jesus.

Boarding a comfortable bus, we proceed to the majestic Basilica of St. John Lateran, an essential pilgrimage site and the oldest of the four major basilicas in Rome. As the official ecclesiastical seat of the Pope, St. John Lateran holds a special place in the hearts of pilgrims and visitors alike, offering a glimpse into the rich tapestry of Roman Catholic history and devotion. Our route then leads us to the Catacombs of St. Sebastian, an underground testament to the courage and resilience of early Christians.

A brief interlude allows for a personal lunch, where you can reflect on the experiences of the day thus far. Our itinerary continues with a visit to the remarkable Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. St. Paul’s is one of Rome’s four major basilicas and holds the profound significance as the resting place of Saint Paul the Apostle. The basilica’s golden nave and stunning cloister are among its highlights.

Day 4 – Wednesday Nov 29

Spiritual Reflection and Exploration in Rome

In the very early hours, (Box Breakfast provided) we set out for the esteemed Papal Audience (subject to the Papal Schedule) at the illustrious St. Peter’s Square. Amid the reverent atmosphere, you may be blessed with the presence of His Holiness, a truly unforgettable experience.

Following this spiritual encounter, gather for Pranzone, a midday meal that nourishes both body and soul. The afternoon leads you on a Walking Tour of Old Rome, guiding you through the captivating streets and landmarks that resonate with centuries of history and devotion.

Notable churches await your exploration, including the Church of the Gesù, a gem of Baroque architecture. Marvel at the grandeur of the Pantheon, once a Roman temple, now a Christian basilica. The sacred aura continues at Santa Maria Minerva, Rome’s only Gothic church. Once inside, the splendor of Michelangelo’s Christ Bearing the Cross takes center stage, a masterpiece that stirs emotions and captures the essence of devotion

As the sun sets, you’ll experience the quiet beauty of St. Ignatius and Chiesa Nuova, each with their own stories to tell. St. Ignatius and Chiesa Nuova, two significant churches in Rome, offer a glimpse into the profound spiritual heritage of the city. St. Ignatius Church, dedicated to the founder of the Jesuit Order, St Ignatius of Loyola, stands as a symbol of unwavering dedication to faith and education. Chiesa Nuova, also known as Santa Maria in Vallicella, stands as a spiritual testament to the life and devotion of St. Philip Neri. This church holds profound significance as the heart of the Oratorian community founded by St. Philip Neri, a beloved figure known for his joyful spirituality and dedication to fostering a personal relationship with God.

With the free evening ahead, you’re free to dine and explore as you wish. Whether you choose to continue your exploration or simply find a quiet corner for contemplation, you’ll find the city’s enchantment to be a constant companion.

Day 5 – Thursday Nov 30

Farewell Rome

Following the Mass, embark on a guided tour that unveils the treasures of St. Peter’s Basilica. Inside, Michelangelo’s breathtaking Pieta, depicting the Virgin Mary and Jesus, showcases profound emotion and artistry. The monumental dome, designed by Michelangelo, offers panoramic views of the city. Gian Lorenzo Bernini’s baldacchino, an intricate canopy over the main altar, stands as a symbol of devotion. The Confessio, a space beneath the altar, is associated with St. Peter’s tomb and Papal tombs. The basilica’s spiritual heart is marked by the papal altar and chair.

As our journey continues, we will venture into the renowned Vatican Museum, a repository of priceless artifacts. Marvel at the Sistine Chapel, a masterpiece of Michelangelo that captures the essence of faith through art.

(Free afternoon) The afternoon is yours to explore at your own pace, a time for personal reflection and contemplation. In the evening, we reconvene for a special Farewell Dinner. The evening is open for you to explore Rome’s enchanting streets, perhaps to find a quiet corner for introspection or to embrace the vibrant energy of the city one last time.

As you retire to your accommodations for the night, your heart is filled with the memories of your spiritual journey through Rome’s profound landmarks. With the echoes of the day’s experiences guiding you, you rest in anticipation of the day to come.

Day 6 – Friday Dec 1

Spiritual Tranquility and Reverence: From Orvieto to Assisi

Awaken to a new day with a nourishing breakfast and check-out from our Rome accommodation. At 8:30 AM, we embark on a journey to the captivating city of Orvieto.

Nestled atop a mountain of volcanic rock, Orvieto’s charm unfolds before you. The highlight of your visit is the magnificent Duomo, a breathtaking masterpiece housing the Corpus of the 13th-century Eucharistic miracle. Feel the reverence as you witness this testament to faith, set against the backdrop of a city that exudes historical significance and is renowned for its Orvieto wine.

Lunch in Orvieto promises not just culinary delight, but also a chance to soak in the city’s unique ambiance. As the day progresses, we set our sights on Assisi. The pilgrimage continues in this sacred town, famously associated with its cherished citizens, St. Francis and St. Clare.

Sites of deep spiritual resonance await your exploration, including the tombs of these revered saints, the Monastery of St. Damian, and the convent founded by St. Clare. The echoes of their devotion reverberate through the very stones of the city. Check-in at our Assisi lodging for the night, followed by a satisfying dinner.

With the evening at your disposal, you’re free to embrace the serenity of Assisi, perhaps to seek personal reflection amidst its hallowed streets or to take in the tranquil beauty that surrounds you.

Day 7 – Saturday Dec 2

Assisi to the Heart of Tuscany: A Journey of Devotion and Beauty

After breakfast, the morning unfolds with a Mass, time and location to be announced.

Following the Mass, we embark on a meaningful walk through the sacred town of Assisi, where the legacy of St. Francis continues to inspire. Your steps trace the path of devotion as you connect with the essence of this revered saint.

The pilgrimage then takes you further to Siena, a city steeped in history and faith. Begin at the Church of St. Dominic, where a deep sense of reverence envelopes you. Here, you’ll encounter the relics of St. Catherine of Siena, the youngest of 25 children, whose devotion and impact have left an indelible mark on history.

Lunch in Siena promises a chance to savor both cuisine and the city’s enchanting atmosphere. As the day progresses, your journey continues through the captivating Tuscany Region. The landscape unfolds like a painting, an exquisite backdrop as you approach Florence, the capital city that has shaped the course of art, culture, and faith.

Upon arrival, check into our Florence hotel, your haven amidst this cultural treasure trove. The evening offers a leisurely walk through the city’s historic streets, a journey punctuated by dinner that reflects both the local flavors and the shared camaraderie of your fellow pilgrims. With the evening at your disposal, you’re free to explore, reflect, and embrace the enchantment of Florence.

Day 8 – Sunday Dec 3

Splendor and Exploration in Florence

We begin with a delightful breakfast, setting the stage for a day of cultural discovery and personal exploration. The morning unveils a captivating Walking Tour, an immersive experience that promises to reveal the heart of Florence‘s grandeur.

Our journey commences with a Mass, time to be announced. Following Holy Mass, we embark on a guided walking tour that winds through the streets of Florence, a city that has ignited the flames of creativity for centuries.

Marvel at the awe-inspiring Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, its grand dome a symbol of human achievement and devotion. Venture to the Franciscan church of the Holy Cross (Santa Croce), where the final resting places of luminaries such as Dante, Michelangelo, Galileo, and Machiavelli serve as a testament to the city’s artistic and intellectual legacy.

The tour continues to Piazza Signora, a historic square steeped in stories, and the iconic Ponte Vecchio, a bridge that’s not just a structure, but a living link to the past. As the tour concludes, lunch is yours to savor as you wish, offering a moment of personal reflection amidst the day’s discoveries.

The afternoon unfolds with free time, a canvas for you to paint your own Florence experience. Whether you delve into shopping, immerse yourself in museums, or simply stroll through the streets, you’ll find inspiration at every corner. As the sun begins to set, gather for a well-deserved dinner, followed by an evening that’s yours to embrace. Reflect on the beauty you’ve encountered, perhaps finding a quiet spot to cherish the memories or indulging in the vibrant energy that Florence exudes.

Day 9 – Monday Dec 4

Farewells and Enchantment: Tuscany and Chianti

Awaken to a fresh morning with a nourishing breakfast, preparing for a day. The day’s spiritual journey begins with Holy Mass, time to be announced.

Following Mass, the pilgrimage takes you to the serene Basilica San Miniato al Monte. Perched atop a hill, this sacred sanctuary offers breathtaking views of Florence and a tranquil space for contemplation.

As the morning sun climbs higher, it’s time to depart for the captivating landscapes of Tuscany and the renowned Chianti region. Here, time seems to stand still as you’re welcomed into a world of rolling hills, vineyards, and the essence of Italian beauty.

Lunch in this enchanting setting promises both culinary delight and a chance to savor the surroundings. A wine tasting experience allows you to indulge in the flavors of Chianti, a region known for producing some of Italy’s most renowned wines. This half-day experience is a celebration of both nature’s bounty and the joyful camaraderie that marks the end of a pilgrimage.

As the day winds down, we gather for a Farewell Dinner in Florence, a poignant moment to relish shared memories and bid farewell to newfound friends. The evening is a tapestry of laughter, stories, and heartfelt connections, an embodiment of the journey you’ve taken together.

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