MARIAN SHRINES TOUR
OCTOBER 7 - 19, 2013
Category: Europe tours
ITALY CATHOLIC SAINTS TOUR - 10 DAYS
Venice - St. Marc, Padua - St. Anthony, Bologna - St. Dominic, Assisi - St Francis and St. Claire, Cascia - St. Rita, Norcia - St. Benedict and St. Scolastica, Siena - St. Catherine, Rome and Vatican
Day 1 DEPART FOR ITALY
Italy tour begins with flight to Europe, to Venice. Meals are served on the board of the plane.
Day 2 VENICE/PADUA
Upon arrival to Venice airport we are transferred to our hotel in Padua. Time permit we will make a short visit the Basilica of the St. Anthony and then on to the hotel for diner and overnight.
Day 3 VENICE
We will start our day with bus drive to Venice, the city of romance , history and beauty. Our walking tour today will begin in the Piazza San Marco world-famous marble square lined with shops, charming cafes and galleries. Our main attractions here are the Bridge of Sighs, Doge's Palace, the magnificent Basilica di San Marco that with the mixtures of Byzantine, Romanesque, Gothic styles reflects the history of Venice. We will celebrate the Holy mass in basilica and in the afternoon free time before we return back to Padua, watertaxi to the mainland. Dinner and overnight is at our hotel in Padua.
Day 4 PADUA - BOLOGNA
Today is our walking city tour of Padua. We will start our sightseeing tour of this second oldest university in Italy at "Pratto Della Valle" one of the biggest squares in Italy. We will pass by the basilica of Santa Giustina and to the Basilica of St. Anthony. Narrow streets of old Padua will get us to the University founded in 1222, where first women ever got the university diploma. We'll walk through "Fruit" and "Vegetable" squares in between which stands "Palazzo Della Regione" or The Law Courts. University palace from the 16th century also known as Palazzo del Bo, actually got a nameafter an inn that stood in place, and famous cafe Pedrocchi are sites before we leave padua and head towards Bologna. Upon arrival to Bologna some free time in the afternoon before dinner and overnight in the city hosting the tomb of St. Dominic.
Day 5 BOLOGNA - SIENA - ASSISI
This morning after the breakfast follows the city tour of Bologna where our focus will be on the tomb of St. Dominic. This city is another University center, among the first ones in Europe. Pilgrimage continues to Siena. Lunch is en route, arrival to Siena in the late afternoon and a short visit of the city of St. Catherine Doctor of the Church and "Palio". We will walk through the well-preserved old city of Siena, birthplace of St. Catherine, stroll through the streets starting from impressive Italian Gothic basilica of St. Dominic hosting the relics of saint and continue down to Piazza del Campo, most popular because of the "Palio" horse race that takes place on square during the festival in July! We'll leave Siena and continue our journey. We expect to be in Assisi very late on time for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 ASSISI
This morning we will begin our visit to Assisi and Santa Maria Degli Angeli. We will start by San Francesco basilica walking through the old town; visit of Piazza del Comune (Assisi's main square with medieval government buildings and the roman temple of Minerva), birth house of St. Francis, basilica of St. Claire, and Cathedral San Rufino. Second part of the tour will involve vast church of Santa Maria degli Angeli with story of the life of St. Francis and his first community. Prayer in Porziunkola will be just one of the highlights on today's tour. Our tour includes the chance to have comprehensive guidance inside the Basilica of St. Francis with detailed explanations on frescoes of Giotto and Cimabue given to us by our guide.
Day 7 CASCIA - NORCIA - SPOLETO - ASSISI
Full day excursion to Norcia, St. Benedict and to Cascia to St. Rita monastery and city of Spoleto. We start our travel to Cascia first. Our visit to basilica and monastery of St. Rita and St. Francis after what we continue to Norcia. Here we will have break for a lunch, one must try excellent local specialties like smoked ham, salami and sausages all locally made. After lunch visit of Norcia includes the St. Benedict basilica, the main square with the city hall, the Cathedral Santa Maria Argentea and the papal castle Castellina. On the way back to Assisi stopover and a short walk through Spoleto to visit the Cathedral and the old town. although a long day we've got to know Umbria a much better, and got closer to life of Roman Catholic saints, St. Rita, St. Benedict, St. Scolastica...dinner and overnight in our hotel in Assisi.
Day 8 ASSISI - ROME
This morning we will leave Assisi and before head for Rome stop in Orvieto. City famous by the Eucharistic Miracle from Bolsano, visit will include Cathedral "Duomo" with nearby Papal Palace, then "Palazo del Popolo". After Orvieto we continue to Rome where it is expected to arrive in afternoon for our visit to two Roman basilicas, St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. Truly beautiful Umbria and another day are behind us, dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 9 ROME - VATICAN
Early morning is reserved for General Audience with Pope Benedict XVI, by the St. Peter's basilica. After lunch break we will continue with panoramic city tour passing by the most popular landmarks of Rome: Piazza Venezia, Coliseum, Roman Forums, "Circo Massimo" to the basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. Early evening is at leisure and dinner in one of the Italian restaurants close the famous Pantheon or Fountain Trevi.
Day 10 DEPART ITALY
Transfer to Rome International Airport for our flight back home.
- Round trip air fares USA - Venice, Rome - USA, airport tax included - subject to change
- Accommodation in double/twin rooms
- Superior tourist 3* and first class 4* hotels
- Escort on the tour
- Local English speaking guides in Rome, Assisi, Venice, Padua, Siena, Orvieto
- American or buffet breakfast and dinner daily, drinks included
- High class air-conditioned tourist bus
- Entrance fees according to the itinerary
- Porterage of one piece of luggage in/out hotels
- Daily Holy Mass arrangements, from the basilica of St Peter's to St. Francis, St. Anthony, St. Marc in Venice, San Domenico in Siena....
- Water taxi in Venice, round trip
- General audience by Benedict XVI
- Farewell dinner in Rome, 3 course, drinks included - glass of good vino for sure!
- third meal, souvenirs, personal expenses
- tips for guides and driver
- travel insurance
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See here some more photos by Blue Heart Travel from this tour