Germany, Austria, Switzerland & Northern Italy11 days
Your trip includes
- Round-trip airfare from your desired Airport
- All airport taxes & fuel surcharges
- Hotel accommodations (or similar) in double occupancy
- ~ 3 nights: Eurostar Grand Hotel, Munich
- ~ 1 night: Hotel Monopol, Lucerne
- ~ 2 nights: Hotel Grand Visconti Palace, Milan
- ~ 3 nights: Hotel Genova, Turin
- Breakfast and Dinner daily
- Wine with dinners
- Whisper Headsets
- Transfers as per itinerary
- Transportation by air-conditioned motor coach
- Assistance of local guide throughout
- Sightseeing and admissions fees as per itinerary
- Catholic Priest, Mass daily & Spiritual activities
- Luggage handling (1 piece per person)
- Lunches, Tips to your guide & driver.
Day 1: Depart USA
Make your way to your local airport where you will board your overnight flight(s). Your meals will be served on board.
Day 2: Munich Airport - Munich
Upon arrival at Munich Airport, 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 and transfer to Munich, the capital of Bavaria. Upon arrival enjoy visiting many of Munich's top sites; Marienplatz with its world famous "Glockenspiel' ; the twin towered Frauenkirche (the Church of Our Lady), which serves as the Cathedral of the Archdiocese of Munich . The Cathedral is widely considered a symbol of Munich. Celebrate Mass followed by free time for lunch and/or shopping. Dinner and overnight.
Day 3: Munich - Altotting - Salzburg - Munich
Following breakfast we will depart Munich for Altotting, one of Germany's most celebrated shrines and a city whose purpose is pilgrimage; nicknamed "Lourdes of Germany". Upon arrival we'll celebrate Mass at the center of the pilgrimage complex, the Chapel of Mercy. The chapel houses a 13th century statue of the Blessed Virgin to which numerous miraculous cures are credited. While there, we have the opportunity to visit the Basilica, the Panorama of the Crucifixion and St. Konrad's Monastery. In the afternoon, we will enter Austria to visit the Silent Night Chapel, commemorating brief Christmas peace during World War I. Nearby we will enjoy a short visit to the beautiful city of Salzburg, birthplace of Mozart; with a visit to Nonnberg Abbey; convent of Maria Von Trapp and the pilgrimage Basilica, Maria Plain. Return to Munich for dinner & overnight.
Day 4: Munich - Dachau - Neuschwantstein - Seefield - Munich
Depart Munich early this morning for a visit to Dachau, notoriously known as a Nazi concentration camp during the Second World War. Upon arriving at the former camp just outside of Munich, you can feel the darkness and sorrow that overtakes the atmosphere as there were numerous unspeakable atrocities that occurred at this site; and be reminded of the value of Life and importance empathy for the sufferings of others. With heavy hearts we will continue through the Bavarian countryside. We will arrive at King Ludwig's fairytale castle perched in the foothills of the Alps: Neuschwantstein. We will continue and cross the Austrian border to visit Seefield, where an astonishing eucharistic miracle reportedly brought an arrogant knight to humility. Inside the church, pilgrims and visitors can see the hole in the ground where the knight sank up to his knees. We conclude our day with a drive back to Munich for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: Munich - Liechtenstein - Einsiedeln - Lucerne
Following breakfast, we will depart for Switzerland. We will visit the tiny country of Liechtenstein, and then continue to Einsiedeln, Switzerland's famous Marian Shrine. With its majestic baroque edifice, with elaborately decorated pastel ceilings, marble side altars, and a large high altar in the east end. The interior is typically baroque fest for the eyes, gleaming white with elaborate gold and pastel decorations. The most important part of the Basilica is the Lady Chapel, located near the entrance. The Lady Chapel is a free standing, square marble edifice that recalls the shelter over Christ's tomb in Jerusalem's Church of the Holy Sepulchre. It was destroyed in 1798 by invaders, and rebuilt in 1817. Above the chapel's altar is the Black Madonna, resplendent in rich robes and surrounded by gold clouds. A short walk from the Abbey is the world's largest nativity scene, the Diorama Bethlehem, with more than 500 carved wooden figures. The justifiably famous Panorama, a circular painting more than 300 feet long, and 30 feet high, depicting Jerusalem and the Crucifixion. It is open from Easter, until the end of October. We will celebrate Mass at the Shrine, and then continue to our hotel where we will check-in, have dinner, and then overnight.
Day 6: Lucerne - Orselina (Santuario de la Madonna del Sasso) - Lake Como - Milan
After breakfast, depart through the Swiss countryside on your way through the Alps. Along the way, we will celebrate Mass at Pilatus Mountain. After Mass, we continue to the picturesque Shrine of Our Lady of the Rock at Orselina. It is said that the Virgin appeared here in the 15th century on the Feast of the Assumption to a hermetic monk living in a nearby cave. Years later he built a hermitage and at the foot of the mountain he built the Church of Our Lady of the Annunciation. In the 17th century chapels connecting the mountaintop with the valley below were completed; each chapel depicted an event in the life of Christ and Mary. Continue South with a stop at Lake Como before we continue onto the city of Milan for dinner and a restful overnight.
Day 7: Milan - Certosa - Pavia - Milan
Following breakfast, enjoy sightseeing with a local guide in Milan and visit the famous "Last Supper", see the Basilica of St. Ambrogio (tomb of St. Ambrose) and the Duomo (location of the tomb of St Charles Borromeo) including a visitation to the Baptismal Font. After free time for lunch, we will continue to the Carthusian Certosa di Pavia, north of the town of Pavia, to admire its church and the monastery; one of the largest monasteries in Italy. Afterwards, the city of Pavia awaits you; with its famous covered bridge over Ticino river and the middle age historical center. One of the most famous churches built by a Lombard king in Pavia is the church San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro. The largest tomb of the three located in San Pietro in Ciel d'Oro contains the remains of St. Augustine of Hippo. We'll return to our hotel in Milan for dinner and overnight. .
Day 8: Milan - Mesero - Castelnuovo Don Bosco - Turin
This morning we depart to the countryside around Milan. We will visit the Shrine and tomb of St. Santa Gianna Beretta Molla at Mesero. The group will visit Magenta and Pontenuovo to see the house where she was born, the Basilica di San Martino where she was baptized and the chapel of Madonna del Buon Consiglio where she used to pray and where her children has been baptized. After the visit, free time for lunch on pilgrims' own. From here, we continue to Castelnuovo Don Bosco, the birthplace of St. John Bosco in the province of Asti. After our visit, we will depart this evening to the beautiful city of Turin.
Day 9: Turin - Cathedral of St. John the Baptist, Sanctuary of Maria Ausiliatrice, Corpus Domini
This morning, we wake up in the city of Turin, capital of the Piedmont region and home of the famous Shroud of Turin. Although the shroud is not being shown, we will visit it's home - the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist where Blessed Giorgio Frassati in buried. Continue for a visit the Sanctuary of Maria Ausiliatrice, The Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians, completed in 1868. This church in Turin was originally part of a home for poor boys founded by Saint John Bosco, which now contains his Tomb with the relics of St Dominic Savio and other saints. Visit Corpus Domini - site of the Eucharistic Miracle before enjoying some free time for shopping this afternoon. Return to your hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 10: Turin - Oropa - Biella - Turin
After breakfast, we will depart for the town of Biella, the home of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. We continue to Oropa, one of the oldest Marian shrines in the world begun by St Eusebius of Vercilli in the 4th c. According to local legend, during the 17th century, the town was spared from the plague because of the Shrine. Every year the residents make a pilgrimage in thanks to the Blessed Mother. We will see the Brown Madonna, and the Church where Frassati prayed. See the mountain he climbed, and have take a cable car (Optional activity - seasonal availability/time schedule permitting) that goes half way up the mountain to the lake. We return to Turin for dinner and overnight.
Day 11: Return Home
After an early breakfast, your group will leave by motor coach and transfer to the Turin airport for return flights home.
About your trip
About Prague, Salzburg, Vienna & Budapest:
Begin your Pilgrimage in Prague touring beautiful Churches, Cathedrals, Basilicas and statues like the famous Infant Jesus of Prague. Continue to one of Germany’s most celebrated Shrines, the Chapel of Mercy in Alotting. In Salzburg you will see beautiful baroque architecture and stunning views of the Eastern Alps as well as tour St. Peter’s Abbey. In Austria, visit Mariazell Basilica, the country’s most important Pilgrimage site. In Melk you will experience the massive Benedictine monastery, Melk Abbey, overlooking the Danube river. Enjoy sightseeing in Vienna including St. Stephen’s Cathedral, its catacombs, and its famous spire. You will end your Pilgrimage in glamorous Budapest where you will celebrate Mass at the 13th century Cathedral of St. Matthew before returning home with your faith rejuvenated and renewed.