Upon arrival at Milan airport your tour escort will greet and welcome you to Italy. Before departing for Padua enjoy a panoramic city tour including La Scala, the Dome, the Sforza Castle, etc. Upon arrival in Padua you will begin a sightseeing tour of the city, including a view of one of the oldest Universities in Italy, the University of Padua, as well as the Basilica of Santa Giustina, the “Patron Saint of Padua.” The tour will conclude at the Basilica of St. Anthony, where you will have the opportunity to visit his tomb and celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight.
Italy and Medjugorje
14 days / 13 nights
After breakfast board your bus to depart to the magical city of Venice. Once arrived enjoy a tour of the “City paved with Water!” Your walking tour includes a visit to St. Mark’s Square, the largest square in the city and the site of many government buildings; the Golden Basilica of San Marco, known for the great mosaics that depict the Old and New Testament of the Bible; and the Bridge of Sigh, a bridge that will bring eternal love to those who drift below it. You will also have the chance to view the Doges’ Palace, which served as the seat of the Government for the Republic of Venice for centuries. Afternoon at your leisure. Return to Padua for dinner and overnight.
This morning depart for Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernardine. Upon arrival you will start your tour from Piazza del Campo, one of Italys finest squares. Then visit the Cathedral and St. Francis Basilica and view the incorrupt head of St. Catherine at the Basilica of St. Dominic. Continue to Orvieto for dinner and overnight.
Our morning visit in Orvieto includes the Cathedral, located in the towns main square, which is undoubtedly the tony town’s most important and unrivalled wonder. View the holy corporal containing the blood from the Eucharistic Miracle of Orvieto in 1263 that occasioned the proclamation of the Feast of Corpus Christi. Afterwards depart for Cascia to visit the Basilica of St. Rita that contains the saint’s incorrupt body. Continue to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
This morning visit the tomb of St. Francis and explore the quaint hilltop birthplace of St. Francis that still retains something of the atmosphere of the early 1200s, the period when St. Francis began his ministry. Contained within the huge 13th century Basilica are many of the saint’s possessions and a series of frescoes depicting his life. You may kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis, asking him to rebuild His church. Visit as well the Church of St. Clare to see the saint’s incorrupt body. The foundress of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St. Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. After time for lunch on own continue to the great Marian Shrine of Loreto and see the family home of Jesus, Mary and Joseph located inside the Basilica,here since 1294. This evening embark your overnight ferry to Split.
Morning arrival in Split. Departure for the village of Medjugorje. Upon arrival spend the afternoon exploring this peaceful place. In the evening, you can join the villagers and pilgrims for the evening Mass and the blessing of the sick.
In the morning, attend the English Mass at St. James Church and later we follow the same path up the Apparition Hill where the young visionaries first encountered Our Lady. Afternoon dedicated to personal devotions.
After Mass at St. James Church, we depart for Split. We visit the old city with its Roman heritage and its Renaissance and Gothic structures. Visit the Roman ruins and the Cathedral of St. Domnius, the oldest building among the European cathedrals. Overnight ferry to Ancona.
Morning arrival in Ancona. Depart for San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of Saint Padre Pio. Stop en route in Lanciano, where we will celebrate Mass at the Church of St. Longinus. This Church is the site of the Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in the eighth century. At the time of the Miracle, there was a Basilian monk who struggled with the belief in the real presence of The Lord Jesus in the Eucharist. Proceed to San Giovanni Rotondo for dinner and overnight.
We will spend the day in and around San Giovanni to see the places associated with St Pio of Pietrelcina, a Capuchin friar, priest and mystic known for his devotion to God, care for the sick, and supernatural gifts. Visit the Shrine of Our Lady of Grace, that houses the tomb of Padre Pio. Later we visit the Grotto of St. Michael the Archangel in Monte SantAngelo. It has been visited by countless popes and saints, including Pope John Paul II, Pope Benedict XVI and St. Francis of Assisi, who considered it to be so holy that he would not even enter it.
Drive to Pompeii, the ancient Roman town mostly destroyed and buried in the eruption of the Vesuvius in 79 AD. Visit the ancient ruins including the temple of Apollo, Jupiter and the Forum, the commercial district and many other Pompeii beauties that deserve to be seen. Visit as well the famous Shrine of Our Lady of the Rosary and learn about the life of the Blessed Bartolo Longo, who built the shrine and dedicated his life to serving orphans and preparing them for careers. Mass will be celebrated there. Continue to Rome for dinner and overnight.
After breakfast before make your way to the largest Christendom Church, St. Peter’s Basilica. Celebrate Mass here. Guided visit of this Basilica, built on the site where St. Peter, the first Pope and Bishop of Rome, was martyred. It is here that you will view Michelangelo’s Pieta. This stunning marble sculpture depicts the Virgin Mary holding Christ after His crucifixion, death, and removal off the cross before being placed in the tomb. Continue to the Vatican Museums. At the world-renowned museum, you will see the most impressive of edifices, galleries, and awe-inspiring relics. Additionally, you will observe the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, and Michelangelo’s Masterpiece, the restored mural of the Last Judgment. Afternoon at your leisure. Dinner and overnight.
Transfer to Vatican City for the weekly Papal audience. Following the audience, we visit the Catacombs of St. Callixtus and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Originally founded by Emperor Constantine in the 4th century, this Basilica is the burial places of Saint Paul the Apostle. Farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight.
It time to fly home. Transfer by bus to the airport for your return flight home.