Day 1, Fri, Oct 06: Depart for Rome
Make your way to your local airport, where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2, Sat, Oct 07: Arrival in Rome
Welcome to Rome, also known as, "The Eternal City". Upon arrival at Rome airport, collect your luggage in the baggage claim area, and continue to the Arrivals Hall, where you will be greeted by a tour escort and/or driver. You will make your way to the bus and transfer to your hotel. Following check-in, you will have free time to unpack and relax, or explore Rome on your own. Your tour escort may suggest places to visit. Later in the after-noon, your group will meet in the hotel lobby for a "Meet and Greet" with your fellow pilgrims and depart for Mass. Following Mass, you will attend a welcome dinner. After dinner, you will have the opportunity to walk to St. Peter's Square as a group, for the Rosary (optional).
Day 3, Sun, Oct 08: Rome: Papal Angelus - Trevi Fountain - Pantheon - Basilica of St. John the Lateran – Holy Stairs - Basilica of St. Mary Major
We begin with the Papal Angelus at St. Peter's Square! The Angelus is a special prayer recited by His Holiness, Pope Francis three times a day, at 6am, noon, and 6pm and is accompanied by the ringing of the Angelus bell. (pending the papal schedule). Following the Angelus, we will visit the Trevi Fountain, where you may enjoy some free time on your own for lunch. This afternoon, you will visit the oldest of the four major Basilicas in Rome, and the home to the relics of Peter and Paul, the Basilica of St. John the Lateran. This Basilica is where Pope Francis was installed as Bishop of Rome. Next, you will cross the street to visit the Holy Stairs. These Holy Stairs are the very steps leading up to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate in Jerusalem on which Jesus stepped on his way to trial during his Passion. The Stairs were brought to Rome by Saint Helena in the fourth century. Ascending these stairs on your knees, in memory of Christ's agonizing Passion. We conclude your day, with a Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major. Church dedicated to Our Blessed Mother, St. Mary Major reigns as the only Basilica that has kept its original structure and is an authentic jewel in the crown of Roman Churches. This Basilica contains a relic from the Manger of the Infant Jesus. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 4, Mon, Oct 09: Rome: St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Appian Way - Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls - Catacombs
Celebrate Mass. Tour St. Peter's Basilica, built on site where St. Peter, was martyred. Pray at the tomb of St. John Paul II. View the Michelangelo's Pieta, a sculpture depicting the Virgin Mary holding Christ after His crucifix-ion. Visit Vatican Museum, to view the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel and Michelangelo's Masterpiece. After lunch, we continue down the Appian Way, the earliest road from Ancient Rome. This road leads to the Domino Quo Vadis Chapel, the Baths of Caracalla, the Arch of Drusus, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, and the catacomb of St. Callixtus. The day concludes with a visit to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside The Walls. Originally founded by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century this Basilica is the burial place of Saint Paul the Apostle. Dinner and overnight.
Day 5, Tue, Oct 10: Rome - Montecassino - Saint Philomena Sanctuary, Mugnano - Sorrento
Following breakfast, you will board your bus to enjoy the scenic route to Montecassino. Passing through the Roman countryside is known for its villas and vineyards. During the bus ride, your tour escort will share interesting information regarding the spiritual, historical, and cultural aspects of Italy. Montecassino, the principle monastery of the Benedictine Order, was founded by Saint Benedict around 530 A.D. Following the tour, there will be an opportunity to visit the gift shop, before we board the bus to Mugnano del Cardinale for a visit to the Shrine of Saint Philomena. When her remains were brought to the village church at Mugnano from Rome, graces, favors, and miracles began to occur among the village people. Miracles continued to occur year after year and in 1837, Philomena was elevated to Sainthood. Drive to Sorrento with its stunning panoramic views of the Bay of Naples, its picturesque narrow streets, parks, villa, and orange, lemon, and olive groves. Enjoy some time to relax before dinner and over-night.
Day 6, Wed, Oct 11: Sorrento - Amalfi Coast - Sorrento
Today you will tour the Amalfi Coast, widely considered one of the most beautiful coastlines in the world; deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site as an outstanding example of a Mediterranean landscape. You'll follow the 34 miles of winding roads, making a quick stop to view the breathtaking panoramic view of Positano. Continue on through Praiano where you will drive by St. Gennaro Church, to Amalfi, one of the four maritime Republics of Italy, and view the beautiful Amalfi Cathedral consecrated to its patron, Saint Andrew. Some free time for lunch before your last stop on the Amalfi coast, Ravello. View its interesting Cathedral devoted to Saint Pantaleone, and the Villa Rufolo, a venue for many festivals throughout the year, and magnificent gardens. View the Gulf of Salerno and its beautiful coastline. Enjoy the landscape on your return to Sorrento, where you will enjoy dinner and overnight.
Day 7, Thu, Oct 12: Sorrento - Pompeii - Assisi
After breakfast, board your motorcoach to Pompeii, the famous ancient city buried by the ashes of Mt. Vesuvius in 79 AD. You will walk through one of the most important and interesting archeological museums in the world. This is a preserved site of excavated ruins of streets and homes that pilgrims can freely explore. Visit the Shrine of the Rosary of Pompeii “La Madonna Del Rosario”, one of the most visited Catholic Shrines. The painting of "Our Lady of the Rosary" with its bronze gilt frame is presented to the pilgrims on the high altar. The venerated painting depicts the Virgin Mary and Child Jesus presenting the Rosary to Saint Dominic and Saint Catherine of Siena. Inside the shrine, there are also two very important relics belonging to the Passion of Christ; a thorn from the Crown of Thorns and a small piece of the Holy Cross. Enjoy some time to relax before dinner and overnight.
Day 8, Fri, Oct 13: Assisi (The Life of a Saint that inspired a Holy Father)
As you visit the birthplace of St. Francis, you will become captivated as the atmosphere has not changed since St. Francis began his ministry, in the early 13th-century. You will start your tour at the St. Francis Basilica, visit his tomb of St. Francis, and have the opportunity to view a series of frescoes depicting his life, along with a few of the saint's possessions. Followed by a visit to the Santuario Della Spogliazione where Blessed Carlo Acutis’ tomb is placed. Carlo is the first millennial to be declared Blessed who loved the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist. From there, you will continue on a walking tour through this picturesque town, including the birthplace of St. Francis, and end with a tour of the Church that honors St. Clare, the foundress of the Poor Clare Sisters. This Saint followed the teachings of St. Francis very closely by also living a life of poverty and humility. Enjoy some free time on your own - you may take this time for additional prayer, shop in the many gift shops, or enjoy a nice lunch. After lunch, you will board the bus, which will take you outside of the walls of Assisi, to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels. This is where St. Francis spent most of his life. This Basilica is made up of two structures, both of which you will visit. The first structure is the "Porziuncola", which is where St. Francis founded his order of the Friar Minor (Franciscans). The second is the "Capella del Transito", which is the place of St. Francis' death. During your time here, you will have the opportunity to visit the beautiful Rose Garden where St. Francis and other friars lived, as well as the cave where the Saint retired to pray. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 9, Sat, Oct 14: Assisi - Gubbio - La Verna - Assisi
After breakfast, you will drive through the beautiful Umbrian mountains to Gubbio. Enjoy this medieval town with a visit of St. Francis Church, where you will be celebrating Mass. After Mass, visit a town that seems painted onto the hill, a succession of backdrops against which towers and houses stand out, all embraced by walls. The town had been freed by St. Francis from a terrible and fierce wolf who afflicted it. After lunch on your own, continue to La Verna, the place where St. Francis, over the years, had been seven times, the last time in 1224 where he received the stigmata. Here you will be able to pray in the Chapel of the Stigmata, the Basilica, and the Chapel of Saint Mary of the Angels. You will also be able to admire the beautiful artworks of Andrea Della Robbia. Return to Assisi for dinner and your last overnight.
Day 10, Sun, Oct 15: Return Home
After an early breakfast and heartfelt farewells, you will leave by motor-coach and transfer to Rome Fiumicino airport for your return flight home. Be sure to tell everyone how much you enjoyed this trip and get prepared for the next pilgrimage with Woodard Luxury Travel!