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Saints of Italy

Saints of Italy Pilgrimage

 
 

15 Days / 12 Nights  -  Venice to Rome Pilgrimage

An unforgettable journey through Italy's most important shrines, from St Mark's in Venice, the birthplace of St Francis in Assisi, all the way to St Peter's in Rome and much more.
 
Highlights: Venice (2) – St Mark's / Padua – St Anthony’s Basilica / Ravenna – Mosaics / Florence (2) – Santa Croce & Duomo / Siena – St Catherine / Assisi (2) – St Francis Basilica / St Clare's / Loreto Shrine / Lanciano – Eucharistic Miracle / San Giovanni Rotondo (2) – Padre Pio / Monte Sant’Angelo – St Michael the Archangel / Pietrelcina / Rome Pilgrimage (4)
 

Saints of Italy Pilgrimage

 
MEAL CODE: B: Breakfast   L: Lunch   D: Dinner
ITINERARY
DAY 1: DEPART FOR ITALY
DAY 2: ARRIVE VENICE

After our arrival at Venice airport we will be transferred directly to our centrally located hotel on Venice island.

Venice overnight (D)

DAY 3: VENICE

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS

• Mass in St Marks' Basilica

• Walking tour of Venice

Venice comprises a dense network of waterways with 117 islands and more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals. Instead of main streets, you’ll find main canals, instead of cars, you’ll find Gondolas!

We enjoy a full day here in Venice, known as Europe’s most romantic destination. Our day begins with Mass in St Mark’s Basilica, built to house the saint’s remains. Our guided walking tour includes St Mark’s Square and its famous monuments. See open squares with enchanting palaces, cross over stunning bridges and walk down narrow passageways. View the Rialto Bridge, and the striking Bovolo spiral staircase.

Enjoy the remainder of the afternoon at leisure to wander at our own pace.

Venice overnight (BD)

DAY 4: VIA PADUA TO FLORENCE

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS

• Mass in the Basilica of St Anthony

• Pray at the tomb of St Anthony

• Admire the masterpieces of Giotto

We farewell Venice today, travelling on to nearby Padua, home to St Anthony, the renowned patron saint of lost articles. Originally from Lisbon, Anthony came to Italy where his gift of preaching brought many to conversion.

On arrival we view the impressive park of ‘Prato della Valle’ and the nearby Basilica of Santa Giustina with its claimed relics of St Luke the Evangelist. Onwards to the infamous Scrovegni Chapel. The Chapel is a masterpiece in the history of painting in Italy and Europe in the 14th century, considered to be the most complete series of frescoes executed by Giotto in his mature age.

Continue on to the Basilica of St Anthony with a guided tour including the Chapel of the Reliquaries and St Anthony’s tomb.

Journey south to Ravenna, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire some 1,500 years ago. The city’s rare mosaics are thought to be the best preserved in Europe and our visit to the Basilica of San Vitale will give evidence to this reality.  Our walking tour also includes highlights such as the Piazza del Popolo, the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo including Arian Baptistery and the tomb of Dante.

We then continue on to Florence, the art capital of the world and home to superb churches, galleries and museums.

Florence overnight (BD)

DAY 5: FLORENCE

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS

• Guided walking tour of Florence

• Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo

Our tour of Florence begins today with Mass at the Church of Santa Croce before continuing to the Academy of Fine Arts containing many treasures, including Michelangelo’s statue of David. We will visit the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo, whose magnificent dome was created by Brunelleschi. Across the way are Ghiberti’s celebrated bronze doors to the Baptistery, so lovely that they are commonly known as ‘The Gates of Paradise’.

Some free time in the late afternoon will allow the opportunity for rest or bargain shopping in the streetside bazaars.

Florence overnight (BD)

DAY 6: VIA SIENA TO ASSISI

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS
• Guided walk through the medieval city of Siena
• Pray before the relics of St Catherine

Departing Florence this morning, we travel south to Italy’s loveliest medieval city, Siena, birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernadine. Upon arrival we will visit St Dominic’s Basilica for Mass and view the incorrupt head of St Catherine, the mystical bride of Christ. From here we walk through the narrow lanes to the Basilica of St Francis where we will view the Eucharistic miracle of the incorrupt hosts that occurred in 1730, defying all scientific testing. Continue on and stroll the Piazza del Campo, one of Italy’s finest Squares.

After visiting the medieval Cathedral of Siena (1263), dedicated to Holy Mary of the Assumption, we depart Siena and drive through scenic Umbrian countryside to the pilgrimage centre of Assisi, where St Francis tended the poor and sick and founded the Franciscan Order. On arrival in this medieval hillside town we will visit the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels down on the plains where St Francis spent most of his life and containing the Chapel where he died in 1226. Onwards to the Upper Town to check in to our hotel.

Assisi overnight (BD)

DAY 7: ASSISI

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS
• Mass in the Basilica of St Francis
• Ascend to the hilltop Hermitage

This morning we awake to the sound of chapel bells, cobblestone footsteps and the tangible spirit of St Francis preserved in this holy town.

After breakfast we enjoy a guided tour through some of the town’s highlights including: Basilica of St Francis housing the tomb of St Francis (for Mass) and the Church of St Damiano built where the voice of Christ spoke to St Francis through the crucifix ‘go rebuild my Church, which you see is falling down’.

Culminate up at the Hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri), an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the woods built on the site of a simple cave where St Francis often withdrew to spend many hours in prayer. The cave and the Chapel of Our Lady are preserved in the Hermitage. We end our tour at the Basilica of St Clare which houses the famous crucifix through which Jesus spoke to St Francis.

An opportunity presents itself before dinner to attend Vespers in the Basilica of St Clare and listen to the angelic voices of the Poor Clare nuns.

Assisi overnight (BD)

DAY 8: VIA LORETO & LANCIANO TO SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS

• Pray in the Holy House of Nazareth at Loreto

• Mass in the presence of the Eucharistic Miracle at Lanciano

After breakfast we will rejoin our coach and continue our journey to the great 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 a hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house where Mary received the Annunciation, where Jesus grew to manhood and the Holy Family dwelled. A tour of the shrine will be included.

Journey south this afternoon to Lanciano, scene of the Eucharistic miracle in the 8th century where, during Mass and moments after consecration, the Basilian monk (who doubted the real presence of Our Lord in the Eucharist) found himself holding a host that had changed to flesh and the wine to blood. To this day the sacred relics have remained incorrupt while recent scientific examinations have confirmed that the “flesh is real flesh, the blood is real blood”. Here we will celebrate a special Mass.

We continue on to San Giovanni Rotondo where St Padre Pio spent a lifetime of prayer, penance, self-denial and intense pain caused by the five wounds of Our Lord’s passion. His list of supernatural gifts are overwhelming - reading of souls, prophecy, miraculous healings, spiritual direction, etc while spending extraordinarily long hours in the confessional and often sleeping very little. Throughout his life he received visits from Jesus and Mary and had regular communication with his guardian angel.

San Giovanni Rotondo overnight (BD)

DAY 9: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO & MONTE SANT’ANGELO

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS

• Visit Padre Pio’s tomb and cell

• Mass in the cave at Monte Sant’Angelo

This morning we take a tour of the shrine including: Tomb and cell of St Padre Pio; his Confessional; and the Crucifix from which he received the stigmata. We visit the English speaking office for an inspirational talk by one of the friars and to view a special rare film showing highlights of St Padre Pio’s daily life in the Monastery.

Travel by coach in the afternoon to Monte Sant’ Angelo to visit the Shrine of St Michael the Archangel and celebrate Mass in the cave. The Archangel is said to have made four separate appearances here mostly during the 5th century, making the sanctuary here one of the earliest Christian sites in Europe and visited by thousands of pilgrims every year.

San Giovanni Rotondo overnight (BD)

DAY 10: VIA PIETRELCINA TO ROME

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS

• Visit the birthplace of Padre Pio

Departing San Giovanni Rotondo we journey west to Pietrelcina, where St Padre Pio was born on 25 May, 1887.  Visit here the room of his birth, the friary and the Church of Our Lady of the Angels. 

In the afternoon travel north to Rome, the Eternal City.

Rome overnight (BD)

 

DAY 11: ROME

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS
• Private Mass at St Peter’s Basilica
• Marvel at the Sistine Chapel
• Pray at the tomb of Pope St John Paul II

Celebrate this morning a spectacular Mass at St Peter’s Basilica before coming to the nearby Vatican Museums. Wander the spectacular chambers leading to the Sistine Chapel to view Michelangelo’s masterpieces, including the magnificent fresco of the Last Judgment. Continue through to the awe inspiring St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world for an informative exploration. Our guided tour will feature among other highlights Michelangelo’s stunning Pieta, the tomb of Pope St John Paul II, the great Confessional and the Crypt containing the tombs of several Popes.

Some free time will be afforded this afternoon to discover the sights of Rome. Strolling through the streets is like walking through the pages of a history book. Indulge in a gelato or enjoy a coffee while absorbing and admiring the history of this ancient city. Marvel at the Pantheon or visit the Church of St Ignatius with its amazing ceiling painted to look like a dome.

Rome overnight (BD)

DAY 12: ROME

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS
• Visit the St Mary Major Basilica
• Basilica of St John in Lateran
• Ascend the Holy Stairs in prayer

Enjoy a morning at leisure. (OR attend a Papal Event - schedule permitting)

In the afternoon, visit the impressive St Mary Major Basilica. Onwards to the Basilica of St John in Lateran (First Papal residence) and the adjacent Holy Stairs brought from Jerusalem to Rome in 326AD by St Helena (as a favourite of pilgrims, these steps may only be ascended on the knees).

Visit the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme with its extraordinary collection of relics from the Holy Land. Mass today will be celebrated one of the papal basilicas. We will then be transferred to Trastevere where we can enjoy some time to perhaps visit the lovely Church of Santa Maria in Trastevere. We enjoy dinner here this evening at a Restaurant run by volunteers of the Sant’Egidio Community.

Rome overnight (BD)

DAY 13: ROME

HARVEST HIGHPOINTS
• Guided visit of the Colosseum
• Mass in the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls
• Guided visit of the Catacombs

This morning we enter into the most visited attraction in Rome - the Colosseum. In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV declared the Colosseum a sacred site, as it was a place where early Christians had been martyred. View also the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum en route.

Continue to the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls as a special tribute to the Church’s greatest evangelist. Here we will celebrate our group Mass. From here we will return to our hotel to have some time to rest and freshen up.

Later this afternoon we journey out to the ancient Catacombs for a memorable guided tour. Marvel at these underground burial tunnels for Christians and Hebrews.

This evening we will celebrate our final night in Rome at L’Eau Vive Restaurant – Meaning Living Water (from the Biblical scene of Jacobs Well). This fabulous French Restaurant is run by Carmelite Missionary Nuns who will actually sing the Ave Maria to us between courses!

Rome overnight (BD)

DAY 14: DEPART ROME

Enjoy some free time before we are transferred to the airport for our homebound flight connections.

(B)

 

N.B. Rome programmes will aim to include attendance at a Papal Event in St Peters wherever possible ie Papal Audience on a Wednesday or praying the Angelus on a Sunday with the Holy Father.

DAY 16: ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

 

2017 DATES AND PRICES

AIR & TOUR PACKAGE
Code Departs Aust AUD
7SI03A Wed 13 Sep $6390
7SI04A Sun 15 Oct $5980
TOUR ONLY
Code Begins/Ends AUD
7SI03L 14 Sep to 26 Sep $4290
7SI04L 16 Oct 28 Oct $4190
CHAPLAIN
Name
Fr Peter Meo
Fr Gabriel Ezenwa

Single Room Supplement: $920
NB. An additional mandatory prepaid tipping fund of $15 per day per person will be invoiced in advance by Harvest to avoid regular inconvenience to pilgrims on tour.
 
Full package based on departure from Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth including all airline taxes and levies (subject to change). Tour Only costs include local internal airfares between Start/End dates. Refer to our full price inclusions and Booking Procedures for more information.

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