Shrines of Italy

10 Days / 8 Nights

Rome, Siena, Assisi (St. Francis), Loreto (Holy House), Lanciano (Eucharistic Miracle), San Giovanni Rotondo (Padre Pio), Monte Sant'Angel (St. Michael), Monte Cassino

Day 1: USA / ITALY
Depart for Italy on your overnight transatlantic flight.
Day 2: ARRIVE Rome
Upon arrival in Rome, you will be met by your Homeric Tours representative and transferred to your hotel. The rest of the day is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in your hotel. (D)
After breakfast we will explore the spiritual capital for all Catholics around the world. Today attend a papal audience pending the papal schedule, followed by a visit to the Vatican Museums. We will cover the Tapestry Gallery, the Raphael Rooms and the overwhelming Sistine Chapel with the restored mural of the Last Judgment. Later, enter the largest church in Christendom, St Peter's Basilica, built on the site of St. Peter's tomb. We will also visit the tomb of Pope John Paul II located at the Vatican. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Following breakfast, we depart for full day of highlighting Christian Rome which includes a visit to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the most important and the oldest church dedicated to Our Lady, which contains relic from the manger of the infant Jesus. Continue to the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, the Pope's Cathedral church where relics of both Peter and Paul remain under the main altar. See the Holy Staircase which is believed to be from Pilate's palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. Time permitting, climb the steps on your knees in memory of Christ's Passion, visit St Paul Outside the Walls, and celebrate Mass. Continue on the Appian Way, the oldest road from Roman times. Visit the famous Domino Quo Vadis Chapel and the catacombs of St. Callixtus where the early Christians hid to escape persecution. Conclude by visiting the Trevi Fountain. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Following breakfast, head south crossing through the Roman countryside with its villas and vineyards. During our drive, our tour escort will explain the spiritual, historical and cultural overview of Italy, which will help to orient you to this beautiful country and prepare you for all that you will experience in the days to follow. We stop at Monte Cassino, a beautiful town founded by Saint Benedict in 529. Enjoy lunch and then continue through the countryside heading east to Padre Pio's town, San Giovanni Rotondo, our base for the following two nights. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)
After celebrating Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio, tour the sanctuary to see the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. See the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with multitudes of pilgrims, view the Gargano Peninsula and the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Six different Popes, St Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St Michael. Afterwards enjoy the panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)
After breakfast, we make our way to Lanciano to visit the Church of St. Longinus where you see the Eucharistic Miracle and celebrate Mass. Continue toward the Adriatic coast to the Marian shrine of Loreto to visit the Holy House of Nazareth and the beautiful Madonna of Loreto. More than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificent, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. We continue to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, and the founder of the Franciscan Order. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)
After breakfast, we begin our full day tour at the home of the Saint that inspired our Holy Father. Pope Francis chose his name in admiration of the Saint. Visit the tomb of St. Francis and explore the 13th-century Basilica that contains the saint's possessions plus a series of frescoes depicting his life. Kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis, asking him to rebuild His church. It was in St. Mary of the Angels Basilica where St Francis spent most of his life. Visit the Chapel, Porciuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Stroll the medieval streets of the this little town. Visit the church and tombs of St. Clare to view the Saint's uncorrupt body. Dinner and overnight. (B,D)
After breakfast we will travel south to Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine (Doctor of the Church, and one of the two patron Saints of Italy, with St. Francis of Assisi) and Bernardine (known as the "Apostle of Italy" for his efforts to revive the Catholic faith in the 15th century). Siena is one of Italy's lovely medieval cities. Stroll the Piazza Del Campo, visit the Cathedral and the Basilica of St. Francis, continue on to view the uncorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic (Her body is preserved in Rome in the Basilica St. Maria sopra Minerva). Travel back to Assisi for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Day 10: ASSISI / Rome / USA
Following breakfast, we will depart for Rome Airport for our return flight home. (B)
The itinerary may be modified and tailored to the specific requirements and budget of your group

* Ask about our church donation program

Round-trip air: USA - ITALY - USA
Meet and assist upon arrival by your Homeric Tours representative
Private deluxe air-conditioned motorcoach throughout
English speaking Catholic tour guide(s)
Choice of 3, 4 or 5 star hotels
8 Nights of hotel accommodation
Breakfast and dinner daily
Wine with dinner daily
7 Days of sightseeing tours
All entrance fees including the Vatican City and the Vatican Museum
Daily mass and spiritual activities
All transfers
Hotel taxes and service charges
Porterage of one suitcase per person
USTOA $1 Million Travelers Assistance Program

Shrines of Italy   departs daily from USA. Airfares are based on departures from New York.