Holy Land, Fatima, Spain, Lourdes & All Italian Shrines30 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Centrally Located First Class Hotels: (or similar)
- ~1 night: Dan Panorama or Herod's, Tel Aviv
- ~2 nights: Leonardo Plaza Tiberias
- ~1 night: Marques de Pombal or Mundial, Lisbon
- ~2 nights: Santa Maria Jardim, Fatima
- ~1 night: Abba Fonseca, Salamanca
- ~1 night: Abba, Burgos
- ~2 nights: Centro di Spiritualita Padre Pio, San Giovanni Rotondo
- ~3 nights: Hotel Giotto, Assisi
- ~2 nights: Hotel Machiavelli Palace, Florence
- ~2 nights: Hotel Biri, Padua
- Breakfast and dinner daily (lunch daily included in the Holy Land)
- Wine & mineral water with dinners
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Free Wi-Fi on motor coach
- Wireless headsets where needed
- Assistance guide(s) throughout
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest throughout for Confession and Spiritual Guidance
- Votive Masses daily
- Tips to hotel staff, restaurants, luggage handlers
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Flight bag & portfolio of all travel documents
*Renew Wedding Vows in Cana - Couples will have a special opportunity to renew their wedding vows during a ceremony led by their Spiritual Director on Day 3, (Each couple will receive a commemorative Certificate following the ceremony) Please note: It is NOT a Mass, but a ceremony.
- Lunches (Portugal, Spain, France & Italy). Tips to your guide & driver.
Depart for the Holy Land
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight. Your meals are served on board.
Arrive in Tel Aviv
Upon arrival at Ben Gurion Airport in Tel Aviv, make your way to the baggage claim area and collect your luggage. Proceed to the arrival's hall, where you will be greeted by your tour guide and/or driver. Transfer to your hotel in Tel Aviv in time to check-in. Enjoy dinner at the hotel before retiring for the evening.
Caesarea - Haifa - Stella Maris - Nazareth - Tiberias - CanaTheme: The Annunciation
Following breakfast, we will drive to Caesarea, the former capital of Judea. You will have the opportunity to visit the archaeological remains of this ancient port, which aided as base for the Herodian navy. Shortly after the time of Jesus Christ, it was revealed to Peter in Caesarea that the Good News (to repent) is not only intended for Jewish people, but also the entire world. This is the place which officially ended the tradition of adhering to the Jewish ceremonial laws. As a result, Peter baptized a group of gentiles, the Roman Centurion, Cornelius, and his family. Continue North to Haifa. In Haifa, you will find Stella Maris, a Carmelite Monastery. The monastery is located above the cave where Elijah, the prophet, once lived. A colorful painting of this "wonder-worker" can be found on the ceiling of the Church. Following this visit, enjoy the scenic drive (with view of the bay of Acco) to Nazareth. In Nazareth you will experience the town where Mary once lived and where Jesus lived as a child (Matthew 2:23). During the visit to Nazareth we visit the church of the Annunciation which includes the church of St Joseph ( It's not Byzantine - it's from 1914-21 built over Byzantine ruins) which tradition identifies it with the workshop of Joseph and the house of the Holy family. We will continue with a visit of the Church of the Incarnation, viewing at Grotto the remains of the house of the Blessed Virgin where the Angel appeared and announced the good news. Following Pilgrims path we visit Mary's well, where often the Virgin Mary would have walked to draw water from the spring. The next stop will be to Cana where you will visit the Franciscan Wedding Church. Couples will have the opportunity to participate in the ceremony to renew their wedding vows. Your first day culminates with a transfer to Tiberias. Upon arrival in Tiberias, you will check-in to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Tiberias: Sea of GalileeTheme: The Ministry of Christ in the Galilee
Today begin this day with breakfast at the hotel, followed by a boat ride on the beautiful and scenic Sea of Galilee (Luke 5:1). Upon docking the boat, you will have the opportunity to view the remains of a boat that dates back to the time of Jesus. Following the Sea of Galilee, we continue to the Mount of Beatitudes, where Jesus proclaimed His great Sermon on the Mount (Luke 6:20-49). Near the Mount, is Tabgha, one of Jesus' miracle sites. At Tabgha, Jesus fed the crowd of 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish (Luke 9:10-17). Also, in Tabgha is St. Peter's Primacy where Jesus bestowed church leadership upon Peter (John 21:9). Continue to visit the birthplace of Mary Magdalene in Magdala. During the time of Jesus, this village was a prosperous fishing village that exported fish and garum (a fish sauce reduction; popular in Roman cooking). Your day concludes at Capernaum, the launching place of Jesus' ministry. In Capernaum, see the Synagogue where Jesus taught (Mark 1:21-29) and gave His sermon on the Bread of Life. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Jordan River - Mt. Tabor - Jericho - Jordan River - JerusalemTheme: The Transfiguration
After breakfast, we will drive to the site of the Transfiguration, Mount Tabor (Matthew 17:1-50). At this site, you will have some time to reflect on Christ's Humanity and Divinity. Celebrate Mass at the Basilica of the Transfiguration. Continue south to the Jordan Valley to the oldest inhabited city in the world, Jericho (Joshua 6:12-25). In Jericho, you view the exact location, the Mount of Temptation, of where the Devil tempted Jesus during his forty-day fast (Luke 4:1). Following the view of the mountain, continue to Jesus' baptismal site on the River Jordan (Matthew 3:13-17). After some time at the Jordan River, we will transfer to Jerusalem to check-in to your hotel and enjoy dinner and overnight.
Jerusalem: Temple Model - Ein Karem - BethlehemTheme: The Visitation and Nativity
This morning, enjoy breakfast before we start our day in Jerusalem, which houses the temple to which Jesus was Presented (Luke 2:22). Visit a model of the Second Temple as it was in the time of Jesus. Following this visit, we will take a short drive to the village of Ein Karem, the birthplace of John the Baptist. It is known that there are two churches in Ein Karem, both representing the two homes of Zechariah and Elizabeth. The first is in a valley where the birth of St. John the Baptist is commemorated (Luke 1:39-80) in the Church of the Nativity of St. John the Baptist. The second is on a hill where Elizabeth spent five months in seclusion (Luke 1:24) at the Church of the Visitation. You will have a chance to visit both of these churches and have the opportunity to pray the Mystery of the Rosary as you walk up the hill to the Church of the Visitation. In the afternoon, transfer to Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus. In Bethlehem, you will have the opportunity to view the Shepherd's Fields (Luke 2:8). In the caves of these fields, you are still able to see the soot marks of fires that shepherds lit to keep warm. The tour concludes at the Manger Square which stands in front of the Church of the Nativity. As you enter the Church, you will proceed down to the Grotto of the Nativity which marks the spot of Our Savior's birth (Matthew 2:1-18). Beneath the altar, there is a silver star and a Latin inscription that states: HIC DE VIRGINE MARIA JESUS CHRISTUS NATUS (Here Jesus Christ was born to the Virgin Mary). Following Mass in this Sacred space, return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Bethany - Dead SeaTheme: Early Years in Jerusalem & the Wilderness.
Following breakfast at your hotel, we will travel down the Jordan Valley to Qumran. Qumran is made up of 2,000 year old ruins from the days of the Second Temple and also the site where the Dead Sea Scrolls were written and discovered (Ezekial 47:8-10). These writings have helped further the understanding of Jewish background in Christianity. Time and weather permitting, you will have the opportunity to take a float in the Dead Sea, the lowest and saltiest spot on Earth. Continue as you travel through the Judean wilderness, the site where Jesus spent His 40 days of fasting. The day of touring culminates with a transfer to Bethany. Bethany is the site where Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead which foreshadows His own Resurrection (John 11:38-44). Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Jerusalem: Mt. Of Olives - Gethsemane - Mt. Zion - Western WallTheme: Palm Sunday and the Agony in the Garden
After breakfast, we will make our way to the Mount of Olives where you will be able to take in the beautiful, panoramic view of Jerusalem. Historically, the Mount of Olives was a mandatory transit point for Jesus during many iconic moments. Visit the Pater Noster Shrine where Jesus taught His disciples the Lord's Prayer (Pater Noster) (Luke 11:1-4). You will have the opportunity to stop at Dominus Flevit which is a Church that commemorates where Jesus wept for Jerusalem (Luke 19:41). Continue on to Gethsemane, a garden at the foot of the Mount of Olives. Jesus brought His disciples here to pray the night before He was crucified (Luke 22:29-53). The Garden still contains trees with roots that date back to the time of Jesus. Your next stop, the Church of All Nations, built over the "Rock of Agony". This is where Jesus prayed alone on the night of His arrest. Throughout this time, you are invited to remain in prayer and to reflect on Christ's agony that He experienced. You will have the opportunity to visit the Western Wall, which is the last remnant of the Jewish Temple after it was destroyed in 70 A.D. Continue with a visit to the house of the High Priest Caiaphas (Church of St. Peter in Gallicantu). This Church commemorates where Jesus was examined and eventually imprisoned before the Council in Jerusalem. It also commemorates Peter's Denial of Christ (John 18:15-18), Peters' repentance, and Jesus' forgiveness of Peter. You will also visit the Upper Room on Mt. Zion. The Upper Room is where Jesus and His disciples celebrated the Last Supper (Matthew 26:17-30) and where Jesus appeared to His disciples after His Death and Resurrection (Mark 16:14). In addition, visit the nearby Benedictine Church of the Dormition. Tradition tells us that this Church is where Mary, the Mother of Jesus, "fell asleep." At the end of this prayerful day, return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Jerusalem: Via Dolorosa - Holy SepulchreTheme: The Way of the Cross, The Crucifixion, The Resurrection
This morning you will have a very early wake-up to begin the Via Dolorosa (The Way of the Cross) at the Antonia Fortress. This is the spot where Jesus was condemned to death by Pontius Pilate (John 18:28-19:16). Following His condemnation, He was taken (on the Road to Calvary) to His place of Crucifixion. Reflect upon the Stations of the Cross as you travel through the markets of the Old City to the Church of the Holy Sepulcher (Luke 23:26-33). This sacred destination is the site of Calvary (Jesus' crucifixion place) and His tomb (Luke 23: 50-55). Celebrate Mass at the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Following Mass, we will return to the hotel to enjoy breakfast. We will continue our day with a visit to the Church of St. Anne's, the home of Jesus' maternal grandparents (Anne and Joachim); and the Pool of Bethesda, where Jesus healed the crippled man (John 5:1-9). This afternoon, enjoy a revisit to the Old City. Following this visit return to the hotel to enjoy dinner and overnight at your hotel.
Jerusalem - Lisbon
Early morning departure for Tel Aviv Airport for flights to Lisbon. Upon arrival in Lisbon you will find your luggage and exit the baggage claim into the arrivals hall where you will be greeted by a tour guide and/or driver. You will be escorted to the vehicle which will then take you on a sightseeing tour of this beautiful Portuguese city. We will visit the Cathedral, St. Jerome's Monastery, Saint Anthony's Church (the patron saint of lost objects), Belem Quarter, the Belem Tower, 25 April Bridge, and Discoveries Monument. Our drive will also take us through the Basilica of the Star, Rossio Square, Commerce Square and Marquee of Pomba Square. We arrive at our hotel in time for dinner.
Lisbon - Santarem - Fatima
After breakfast depart for Santarem, one of the oldest cities in the world. We will walk through its narrow streets to the Church of St. Stephen, containing the oldest recorded Eucharistic miracle. This miracle has been on continuous display since 1269 A.D. We will celebrate Mass at this holy site. We then continue on to Fatima, where the Blessed Mother appeared in 1917 to three simple shepherd children and exhorted mankind to pray for world peace. We arrive in time for dinner and retire for a restful evening.
After breakfast, we begin our day celebrating Mass at the Little Chapel of the Apparitions. After Mass we begin our tour of Fatima where we will experience the beauty of this spiritual town. We will see the Basilica, the site of Francesco and Jacinta's graves, the Hamlet of Aljustrel, where the children lived, and Valinhos, the site of Our Lady's appearance after the children's return from prison. Experience Christ's love as you walk and follow the Stations of the Cross along the Via Sacra (The Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary, which overlooks all of Fatima. Join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous well. Attend the blessing of the sick and participate in nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Time for private devotions before dinner and a restful night's sleep.
Fatima - Salamanca
After a filling breakfast we depart towards the city of Salamanca. Salamanca is the most graceful city in Spain and for four centuries it was the seat of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. We will have a chance to see many of the city's sights including the grand Plaza Mayor, the hub of Salmantine life; the vast Baroque church of La Clerecia; the Casa de las Conchas (House of Shells), named after the rows of carved scallop shells symbol of the pilgrimage to Santiago which decorate its facade; the University; the cathedrals; the Roman Bridge; San Marcos and San Martin churches bridge; San Marcos and San Martin churches, and more. We will enjoy a delicious dinner in a local restaurant before continuing to our hotel for a restful overnight.
Salamanca - Alba de Tormes - Avila - Burgos
After breakfast, we will depart to the quaint village of Alba de Tormes. Here we will visit and celebrate Mass at the Carmelite Monastery, where Saint Teresa died in 1582 A.D. and is buried. In the little museum of the Carmelite Monastery we will be able to see the incorrupt heart and left arm of the St. Teresa. We enjoy free time for lunch before we continue our journey to Avila. Two things distinguish Avila; the perfectly preserved eleventhcentury walls which surround the old town, and the mystic writer Santa Teresa, who was born here and whose shrines are a must see for all Catholic pilgrims! Avila's atmosphere has changed very little since the days of Santa Teresa, the first woman to be named a Doctor of the Church, to whom the city is dedicated. During our tour of Avila we will see the Cathedral and San Vicente church. We will visit the Incarnation Convent, where St. Teresa became a nun and home to the most comprehensive museum dedicated to her life. We also visit La Santa Monastery, built on the site of the house where she was born, and San Jose Convent, the first monastery founded by the Saint. After walking in the footsteps of St. Teresa we depart for Burgos, the historic capital of Old Castile. After dinner you will have free time to explore Burgos, and admire the magnificent limestone Cathedral.
Burgos - Loyola - Lourdes
After breakfast, we depart Burgos for Loyola, the birthplace of St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Jesuits. Here, we will see the 17th-century Basilica dedicated to St. Ignatius. We will visit his family home which is behind the sanctuary. We will have time to pray at the most venerated room where Ignatius at age 30, was brought following his serious wounding at the Battle of Pamplona. After free time for lunch we motor through the spectacular Pyrenees Mountains. Nestled in the mountains stands picturesque Lourdes, the birthplace of St. Bernadette to whom Our Lady appeared in 1858 near the Grotto of Massabielle. We arrive in time for dinner at our hotel before retiring for a restful night's sleep.
During the next two days in Lourdes you will have time to pray with your fellow pilgrims from around the world. During your trip you will have an opportunity to: Attend Mass at the Grotto, watch a video presentation telling the story of Lourdes, and walk in the footsteps of St. Bernadette. See Boly Mill where St. Bernadette was born, and the "Cachot," an abandoned prison where Bernadette's impoverished family lived. Join your prayers with those of pilgrims from around the world as you pray for the sick, drink water from the miraculous spring or submerge yourself in the healing baths. Experience Christ's love as you walk the life sized Stations of the Cross overlooking the holy Grotto. Kneel in the chapel built on the very rock of the Grotto, in obedience to the request of the "Immaculate Conception." Evenings are free for optional Blessed Sacrament Procession before dinner. Your role in the universal church will have new meaning as you join the candlelight procession and group rosary. (candle light procession and group rosary April through October only).
Lourdes - Rome
Arrive Rome. Welcome to Rome, one of the most magnificent and interesting cities in the world, also known as the "Eternal City"! You will be transferred to your hotel. This afternoon our guide will introduce us to our fellow pilgrims and our priest who will be with us for the rest of the journey. We will make our way to Mass, followed by a welcome dinner with wine. This evening we will walk to St. Peter’s Square for Rosary (optional).
Rome: Papal Audience - Trevi Fountain / Piazza Navona - Basilica of St. John the Lateran and St. Mary Major - Holy Stairs
Following breakfast, we will make our way to St. Peter's Square to attend the Papal Audience, led by His Holiness, Pope Francis. (Papal Audience: Is scheduled to take place every Wednesday, pending the schedule of Pope Francis.) Following the audience, we will make our way to the Trevi Fountain built in the 15th Century to mark the ending destination of the Aqua Virgo – a man-made channel erected in 19 B.C or Piazza Navona where at the center: Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi "Fountain of the Four Rivers". After free time for lunch we will visit the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, the Pope's cathedral church where relics of both Peter and Paul remain under the main altar. It was here that Pope Francis was formally installed as Bishop of Rome. Next we cross the street to see the Holy Staircase which is believed to be a staircase from Pilate's palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome by St. Helen in the 4th century. Time permitting we may climb the steps on our knees in memory of Christ's Passion. Continue to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the most important and the oldest church dedicated to Our Lady. St. Mary Major contains a relic from the Manger of the infant Jesus. We will celebrate Mass, and then make our way to dinner and overnight.
Rome: St. Peter's Basilica - Vatican Museum - Appian Way - Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls - Catacombs
Following breakfast, we will depart to celebrate Mass in the largest church in Christendom, St Peter's Basilica, built on the site where St Peter was martyred. Unsurpassed in beauty, a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church, to which pilgrims come from around the world, St Peter's is the grandest of the world's churches. Marvel Pieta and Bernini's amazing bronze canopy. Following Mass, we will visit of the Vatican Museums, containing a group of the most impressive edifices with hundreds of galleries filled with art treasures. See awe-inspiring relics, and works of art donated throughout centuries as tributes of faith. We'll cover The Tapestry Gallery, The Raphael Rooms and the most overwhelming Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo's Masterpiece, restored mural of the Last Judgment. The tour ends as we make our way back into St. Peter's Basilica. Pope Francis visited the tomb of St. Peter, following his elevation, for a visit of devotion that lasted 45 minutes. He is the first Pontiff to visit the necropolis since extensive archaeological excavations were conducted at the ancient site decades ago. We will also visit the tomb of Saint John Paul II located at the Vatican. There will be free time for lunch, and then we will continue on to visit St Paul. Outside the Walls. Continue our tour via the Appian Way -- the oldest road from Roman times--plus the famous Domino Quo Vadis Chapel; see the ancient Baths of Caracalla, Arch of Drusus; Tomb of Celilia Metella, and the catacombs of St Callixtus where the early Christians hid themselves to escape persecution. We will conclude our day and wonderful stay in Rome with dinner at a local restaurant in Rome.
Rome - Monte Cassino - San Giovanni Rotondo
Following breakfast, we will head south and cross through the Roman countryside with its villas and vineyards. During your drive, your tour escort will explain the spiritual, historical, and cultural overview of Italy, which will help to orient you to this beautiful country and prepare you for all that you will experience in the days to follow. We stop at Montecassino, a beautiful town founded by Saint Benedict in 529. Enjoy lunch and then continue through the countryside heading east to Padre Pio's town, San Giovanni Rotondo, our base for the following two nights. Dinner and overnight.
San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant' Angel (View incorrupt body of Padre Pio)
After celebrating Mass at the tomb of Padre Pio, we tour the sanctuary, see the old church and the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918. You will see the confessional where Padre Pio spent innumerable hours with a multitude of pilgrims, directing them on their journey toward God. (We will have the opportunity to view and pray before the incorrupt body of Padre Pio.) Enjoy a breathtaking view of the Gargano Peninsula and a visit to the Grotto of Michael the Archangel. Six different popes, St Francis and at least four other saints have knelt in prayer at this grotto, seeking the protection of St Michael. Following lunch, take in the panoramic view of the ocean and the surrounding countryside awaits you at this most celebrated shrine of early Christianity, a shrine consecrated by St Michael himself in 490. Return to San Giovanni for devotions, reflection, and a restful overnight.
*In the evening, you will have time to attend the weekly Candlelight Procession at the Sanctuary of St. Pio after dinner, at 9:00 PM. These processions are lit by candlelight, and guided by the Most Holy Rosary. Following this prayerful experience, you will return to your hotel for a restful overnight. (May - October only).
San Giovanni Rotondo - Lanciano - Loreto - Assisi
We will have breakfast at our hotel before we make our way to Lanciano, and visit the Church of St. Longinus where we will see the Eucharistic Miracle and celebrate Mass. It was here, as they celebrated the Latin Rite, a Basilian hieromonk was assigned to celebrate Mass. The monk had doubts about the real presence of Jesus Christ in the Holy Eucharist. With doubt in his voice, he said the "Words of Consecration" and the bread turned into living flesh, and the wine changed into live blood. The blood coagulated into five globules, corresponding to the wounds Christ suffered in each hand and foot on the cross, and the wound from the centurion's spear. After free time for lunch, we will continue on toward the Adriatic coast 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 this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it that this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood, and in which the Holy Family lived. Enjoy lunch before we make our way to Assisi, the hometown of St. Francis, the patron saint of animals and the environment, and the founder of the Franciscan Order. We arrive in time for dinner at our hotel.
Assisi (The Life of a Saint, that inspired a Holy Father)
Today is a very special day, as we will spend a full day touring the home of the Saint that inspired our Holy Father. Pope Francis chose his name in admiration of the Saint of Nature and Servant to the Poor. Known for being a humble man himself, Pope Francis spent most of his life denying the luxuries of life, and preferring to live in simplicity and humility. Following breakfast, we will begin a tour of Assisi. Visit the tomb of St Francis. 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. It was in St Mary of the Angels Basilica where St Francis spent most of his life. Here we visit the Chapel, Portiuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer. Stroll the medieval streets of the compact little town. You will have some free time to shop or eat lunch at an outdoor cafe with a view of an ancient Roman temple, we go to the Church of St. Clare to view the relics of St. Clare. The foundress of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. We will visit these two saints' tombs before dinner and retiring for the evening.
Assisi - Gubbio - La Verna - Assisi
After breakfast, we will drive through the beautiful Umbrian mountains to Gubbio. Enjoy this medieval town with a visit of St. Francis Church, were we will be celebrating Mass. After Mass we will 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 has been freed by St. Francis from a terrible and fierce wolf who afflicted it. After lunch, on your own, we will continue to La Verna, this is the place where St. Francis, over the years, has been seven times and 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 overnight.
Assisi - Siena - Florence
Breakfast, followed by a scenic drive to the Tuscan city of Siena. This medieval city is the birthplace of St. Catherine "Doctor of the Church", and the Apostle of Italy, St. Bernardine. Visit of the Basilica of St. Catherine (which is also known as the Basilica of St. Domenico). St. Catherine passed a large part of her life inside the walls of this Basilica. It is here you will also view the incorrupt head of St. Catherine. After, we will visit the Shrine of St. Catherine, which occupies the site of her family home. Enjoy our walking tour through the Siena including a visit to its Cathedral (Duomo di Siena). We will conclude at one of Italy's finest squares, the Piazza Del Campo, where you will be given free time to spend at your own leisure. There are a number of restaurants surrounding the square to have lunch, as well as shops for gifts and souvenirs. Continuing to Florence. Upon arrival in Florence, you will notice immediately that it is the land for art lovers. Some of the most world renowned artists are from Florence such as, Dante, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael, Botticelli, Donatello, and many others. Remainder of the afternoon, you will have the opportunity to explore the streets of Florence at leisure. In the evening gather for dinner, followed by an overnight.
After breakfast, we are off to enjoy guided tour of Florence which includes magnificent Franciscan church of The Holy Cross or Santa Croce with the beautiful facade, church is a burial place of nobles, among which is Michelangelo, Galileo and Machiavelli. Walking tour through Piazza Signoria, pass by Palazzo Vecchio, Uffizi and Ponte Vecchio. Continue through Republic Square to the Santa Maria del Fiore 13th century cathedral. After lunch we will visit L'Accadamia where we will view Michelangelo's "David" as well as other works of art. You will have free time to explore the museum and city before we return to the Hotel for dinner and overnight.
Florence - Padua
After breakfast, we depart for Padua, where St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things is honored. We celebrate Mass at the Basilica built in his honor. Following Mass, begin our sightseeing tour including one of the oldest universities in Italy, the Tomb of St. Anthony and we have an opportunity to see several of his relics. We will pass by Pratto Della Valle, and see the Basilica of Santa Giustina. We arrive at our Hotel in time for dinner and a restful overnight.
Padua - Venice (Full Day Excursion)
After breakfast, we depart for nearby Venice, where the streets are paved with water! We will enjoy a tour and visit to some of the greatest sights you will ever see: St. Mark's Square, The Golden Basilica of San Marco, the Bridge of Sighs, and we will even have an extraordinary visit of Dodges' Palace. After the tour you will have free time to explore Venice on own, shop and perhaps take a gondola ride. Don't forget to enjoy a cappuccino and gelato at one of the cafes in St. Mark's Square, a “must” for any visit to Venice. We will return to our Hotel in time for Dinner and overnight.
Venice - USA
We will bid farewell to our new friends and to a Pilgrimage which will be in our memories and hearts for a long time to come. We depart for Venice Airport for our return flights home. We fondly say, Arrivederci Italia!
*206 Tours Disclaimer: Though every effort will be made to follow the itinerary, it should be considered as an indication, rather than a contract of places to be visited. Occasionally local religious holidays, national days, weather, traffic conditions and other events may necessitate changes in the sequence of visits or the missing of certain visits.
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About your trip
About The Holy Land - In the footsteps of Jesus:
If you desire to draw closer to Jesus of Nazareth, come, as we follow in His footsteps. You will have time to renew and affirm your faith each day of your pilgrimage; to pray and reflect. The Scriptures will come alive as you visit Our Lord's homeland. You will be inspired by the natural beauty of the landscape, in addition to its rich historical heritage. It is an encounter that has changed the lives of many pilgrims, an act of faith and prayer. Pilgrims have been traveling to the Holy Land for hundreds of years, and as part of your pilgrimage, we include many of the rich traditions that have evolved over time. The maxim at the entrance to the Church of the Nativity says: "We are hoping that: If you enter here as a tourist, you would exit as a pilgrim. If you enter here as a pilgrim, you would exit as a holier one." We pray that same will occur when you join this 206 Tours pilgrimage.
The Shrine of Our Lady of Fatima is one of most famous Marian shrines in the world. 4 million Pilgrims visit Fatima each year! Many are drawn by the apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the three local shepherd children, in 1917. The Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to the shepherd children on the 13th day of six consecutive months in 1917, starting on May 13th until October 13th. The events at Fatima gained fame due to their elements of prophecy and eschatology, particularly with regard to possible world war and the conversion of Russia.
Saint Teresa and Saint Ingatius both hailed from Spain. Saint Teresa of Ávila, also called Saint Teresa of Jesus, was a prominent Spanish mystic, Carmelite nun, and writer. Saint Ignatius of Loyola was a Spanish knight who became priest and found the Society of Jesus and became its first Superior General.
She came for you and for every one of us! 6 million Pilgrims go to Lourdes each year and 10,000 visit this holy site daily. At the foot of the Pyrenees mountains in Southwestern France, nestled between the spectacular mountain river, Gave de Pau, is Lourdes, one of the most paramount pilgrimage sites in the World. Lourdes is the birthplace of St. Bernadette, to whom Our Lady appeared to in 1858, near the Grotto of Massabielle. Included in our pilgrimage to Lourdes are visits to the Sanctuary and the Basilica of St. Pius X, the world's largest underground church. Drink from the spring that the Virgin directed Bernadette to do, located at the base of the Grotto, which has flowed uninterrupted since 1858. Wash yourself in the baths, that has resulted in hundreds of miraculous cures. Contemplate Christ's Passion as you pray the unique three-dimensional Stations of the Cross. Attend the Blessing of the Sick, and participate in the nightly candlelight processions requested by Our Lady. Daily Mass, and Mass at the Grotto on Sunday will be followed by a video presentation telling the miraculous story of Lourdes. Visit Lourdes and experience a spiritual journey, one that many have claimed healing and conversion from.
Rome has been one of the most powerful and influential cities throughout history, along with being home to the Roman Catholic Church, the Pope, and the site of the Vatican City. First built in 337, St. Peter's Basilica lies over the tomb of St. Peter and contained within, is a vast array of the most beautiful artwork ever assembled, reflecting the immensity, beauty, vastness, majesty, and glory of God.