Day 1: Arrive in Milan
Transfer from Milan Airport to the hotel. Check-in, welcome drink and the rest of day at leisure.
Day 2 – Milan and Padova
Today our English speaking guide will take us on a city tour which includes the most important sights. Starting with the “Duomo”, Milan’s extravagant Gothic cathedral, we will discover the Gallery Vittorio Emanuele and famous La Scala Theater. Our spiritual path will then take us to Padua, home of Saint Anthony, where we visit the Basilica of Saint Anthony. Housing some body remains of the saint, it is an important pilgrimage destination.
Day 3: Venice
We board our motor coach which takes us to Venice where we will enjoy a guided tour exploring the Basilica of St. Mark which contains the tomb of St. Mark the Evangelist, patron saint of the city. We will also enter the Doge's Palace, a magnificent example of medieval architecture, and walk through the peculiar and beautiful Bridge of Sighs. The afternoon is free to do as you please.
Day 4: Padova and Florence
We spend the morning exploring Padua’s city center. It is home to Italy’s third oldest universities where Galileo Galilei once was a teacher. On our guided tour we also discover other more worldly sights such as the Palazzo della Ragione, a large medieval hall, or the Jewish Ghetto. Another amazing experience is the Basilica di Santa Giusta, where the remains of many martyrs and the tombs of several saints can be found. In the afternoon we travel to Tuscany.
Day 5: Florence
We board our couch bound for Florence, the capital of the Renaissance, where an English speaking guide will lead us to the Cathedral with its Dome by Brunelleschi, Giotto's elegant belfry and the Baptistery of San Giovanni whose doors feature Ghiberti's masterpiece, relief sculptures of ten scenes from the old Testament, named “Gate to Paradise” by Michelangelo. In the afternoon we will discover the Uffizi Gallery’s collection of priceless masterpieces and works of art in on a guided tour.
Day 6: Siena and Assisi
On a guided tour we will explore the historic center of St. Catherine’s hometown, Siena with its famous Piazza del Campo, a beautiful seashell-shaped square, where the famous horse race “Il Palio” takes place. We will also visit the Basilica of San Domenico where St. Catharine passed a large part of her life. In the afternoon our journey takes us to Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis of Assisi whose spirit can be felt in this saintly place. Inside the spectacular Basilica of St. Francis, we will see his tomb and admire the frescoes..
Day 7: Assisi and Rome
Before we make our way to Rome this morning, we will stop at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels with its beautiful rose garden, the Porziuncola, a tiny church where St. Francis founded his order (Franciscans), and the Capella del Transito, which is the place of his death. After our arrival in Italy’s capital an orientation tour will introduce us to some of the city's sights, including Trevi Fountain, Piazza Navona and the Pantheon.
Day 8: Ancient Rome
From the Palatine and Capitoline Hills we start our guided tour which will then take us to the Imperial and Roman Forums, the Hippodrome and Constantine’s Arch. After an outside visit of the Collisseum, we proceed to St. Mary Major, the most important church in the world devoted to Our Lady. We then visit St. John Lateran, the Pope’s cathedral, where relics of both Peter and Paul are located under the main altar. Just across the street we will find the church of the Scala Santa and the Holy Staircase which is believed to be a staircase from Pilate’s palace in Jerusalem and brought to Rome in the 4th century.
Day 9: Rome and Vatican Museums
Our day begins with a guided visit to one of the greatest art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums. We will walk through the Tapestry Gallery, Raphael Rooms, Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo’s Masterpiece, the Last Judgment and the tomb of St. John Paul II finishing off at St. Peter’s Basilica. We will spend the afternoon exploring the Catacombs of St. Callixtus and the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, the burial place of the Apostle.
Day 10: Rome - Papal Audience
Enjoy an audience with the Holy Father in the morning before we will have free time to discover this unique city at our leisure.
Day 11: Rome
Transfer to Rome Airport and departure
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