June 18 Departure to Venice by direct flight.
June 19 Morning arrive in Venice. We relish the sights and sounds of this serene city including canal cruise by motor launch to St. Mark’s Square. We view the bridge of Sighs and Doge’s Palace. Then excursion to Padua, one of the oldest cities in Italy with the renowned University of Padua, almost 800 years old and famous, among other things, for having had Galileo Galilei among its lecturers. The highlight of the day is a visit of the Basilica of Saint Anthony. Built immediately after the death of the Franciscan monk in 1231, Basilica has been one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations for people from all over the world. Dinner and overnight in Venice.
June 20 Travel to Milan. Upon arrival, panoramic tour of Milan takes us to the Duomo, one of the biggest and grandest Gothic cathedrals in the world, Dominican convent Santa Maria delle Grazie “La Scala” Opera House and Basilica Sant’Ambrogio one of the Milan’s oldest churches. Mass. Dinner and overnight in Milan.
June 21 After breakfast we travel the medieval city of Siena, the birthplace of St. Catherine.
Sightseeing tour of Siena including Piazza del Campo, scene of annual Palio horse race and the Cathedral dedicated to Our Lady of Assumption. Large in scale and ornately decorated inside and out, Siena Cathedral is one of the finest examples of Italian Gothic architecture. Mass. Dinner and overnight.
June 22 After breakfast, transfer to Assisi, the city of St. Francis, patron saint of Italy. The town of Assisi with its winding medieval streets and sacred shrines has been one of the most popular pilgrimage destinations. We visit the Lower Basilica housing the tomb of St Francis and the Upper Basilica with famous Giotto frescoes, illustrating scenes from St Francis life. Mass. We also visit the Basilica of Santa Chiara. In the afternoon visit to Santa Maria Degli Angeli Basilica. Inside the Basilica we can see the Porziuncola, original stone chapel restored and frequently used by St. Francis and Chapel of Transition, small room in which St Francis died on October 3, 1226. Dinner & overnight in Assisi.
June 23 After breakfast, travel to travel Rome. Mass in St John in Lateran Basilicaateran Basilica, the oldest of the four major basilicas of Rome, home to the relics of Peter and Paul. Crossing the street we come to the Holy Staircase which is believed to be brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th Century. Afternoon panoramic tour of Roman Rome including drive down the Appian Way to see Domino Quo Vadis Chapel, the Baths of Caracalla, the Arch of Drusus, the Tomb of Cecilia Metella and the Catacombs of St. Calixtus, underground cemeteries where early Christians were buried. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
June 24 Full day sightseeing in Rome, starting with a morning mass. After mass, St. Peter’s Basilica and the Tomb of St. John Paul II. After lunch, we visit the two remaining major basilicas – St Paul Outside the Walls and St. Mary Major. We also stop by the famous Rome landmarks: Piazza Navona, Trevi Fountain and Pantheon. Some free time in the afternoon. Dinner & overnight in Rome.
June 25 Transfer to the airport in Rome for our direct flight back home