/ Pilgrimage tour to Italy & Greece (13 days) - FOR GROUPS ONLY
Pilgrimage tour to Italy & Greece (13 days) - FOR GROUPS ONLY
JOIN AN INSPIRING AND FULFILLING PILGRIMAGE TO ITALY AND GREECE: VISIT ROME, ASSISI, SIENA, FLORENCE, PADUA, VENICE, ATHENS, CORINTH, METEORA, BEREA, THESSALONICA AND PHILIPPI
DAY 1: ROME, ITALY Upon our arrival at RomeInternationalAirport “Leonardo da Vinci” our representative will meet and assist in our transfer to our tour. We visit the spiritual capital for over one billion Catholics around the world. St. Peter’s Basilica offers the devout pilgrim an experience never to be forgotten. Visit the VaticanMuseum with the Sistine Chapel to admire the works of Michelangelo. Continue to the other Churches of Rome: St. Mary Major and St. John Lateran. Check in at the hotel for overnight (B),
DAY 2: ROME - PAPAL AUDIENCE - CATACOMBS
After breakfast transfer to the Audience Hall in the Vatican City for an audience with His Holiness the Pope (subject to Holy Father’s schedule and health). Following the service, we continue to the Appian Way to visit the Catacombs of St. Callistus and then the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls. Overnight at hotel (B).
DAY 3: ROME - ASSISIDepart Rome in the morning forAssisi. Today we explore the hilltop birthplace of St. Francis. In the crypt of St. Francis’ Basilica lies his tomb. See the Basilica of St. Clare, the Church of St. Damian, Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Porziuncola (located on the lower plains of Assisi). Check in at the hotel for overnight at hotel (B).
DAY 4: ASSISI - SIENA - FLORENCE Depart to Siena, the birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernardine and one of Italy’s loveliest medieval cities. Stroll the Piazza Del Campo and visit the Cathedral Duomo and Basilica of St. Domenico. Continue to Florencefor a half-day walking guided tour that includes the magnificent Santa Maria Del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistery’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise” and the sculpture-studded Signoria Square. Check in at the hotel and overnight (B).
DAY 5: FLORENCE - PADUA Morning free in Florence to enjoy this beautiful city. Then depart to Padua, the home of St. Anthony, patron saint of lost things. Visit the richly decorated tomb inside the Basilica of St. Anthony that contains the remains of the beloved miracle-worker. One of the Catholic Church’s greatest preachers, his remains are kept in the Chapel of the Reliquaries. Overnight at hotel (B).
DAY 6: PADUA - VENICEAfter a short drive to Venice, we begin with a walking tour of Romantic Venice, including visits to the Golden Basilica of San Marco, see the Bridge of Sighs, St. Mark’s Square and the Doges’ Palace. The balance of the day is free to explore Venice on our own. Overnight at hotel in Mestre (B).
DAY 7: VENICE – ROME – ATHENS, GREECE Transfer to Venice International Airport “Marco Polo” for departure flight to Athens via Rome. Upon our arrival in Athensour representative will meet and assist us in our transfer to Athens for our city tour beginning with a climb up to the marble capped Acropolis tovisit the Parthenon and Erechtheion. We then go to nearby Mars’ Hill (or Aereopagus) (Acts ) where the Apostle Paul delivered his well known sermon. Our tour continues with the highlights of modern Athens:we pass by the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Parliament House, Presidential Palace, the Academy and the Temple of Olympian Zeus. Overnight at hotel (B).
DAY 8: ATHENS / CORINTHOur morning’s excursion out of Athens takes us by the Saronic Gulf via the historic CorinthianCanal (quick stop for photos) toancient Corinth(Acts 18:1-18). It was to this megalopolis where the apostle Paul came and worked, established a thriving church, subsequently sending two of his epistles now part of the New Testament.Here, see all of the sites associated with his ministry: the Agora, the Temple of Apollo, the Roman Odeon, the Bema and Gallio’s Seat.The small archaeological museum here is an absolute must! The tour continues with a visit to Lechaion. Also see the ruins of early Christian 5th century basilica at the ancient port of Cenchreae before returning to Athens. Return to Athens for overnight (B).
DAY 9: ATHENS – METEORA / KALAMBAKA
Today we leave Athens and start our drive north. We will enjoy a spectacular visit to Meteora. Colossal symmetrical grey and reddish boulders as though pushed upwards from the bowels of mother earth by an invisible hand. There are veritable Byzantine museums exhibiting superb icons, old manuscripts and unique mosaics and frescoes. Overnight at hotel (B).
DAY 10: KALAMBAKA – VERGINA – BEREA – THESSALONIKIThis morning we drive to Vergina to visit the first capital of Macedonia and the most important tomb ever discovered that of Philip II, father of Alexander the Great. Continue to Bereawhere St. Paul arrived and preached. We see the Byzantine mosaic in the monument commemorating his preaching. Continue to Thessaloniki for overnight at hotel (B).
DAY 11: THESSALONIKI – PHILIPPI – KAVALA - THESSALONIKIDrive to Philippi, where St. Paul came and worked establishing a strong church. We see the river where Lydia is thought to have been baptized, the ruins of a Prison where St. Paul and Silas had been kept, the Agora and the 5th century Basilica. Continue to Kavala for a brief panoramic city tour of ancient Neapolis. Return to Thessaloniki for overnight (B).
DAY 12: THESSALONIKI - THERMOPYLAE - ATHENS Drive to the upper part of the Old City Walls for an excellent view of Thessaloniki. We will pass by the WhiteTower, the Triumphal Arch and Rotunda. Visit St. Demetrius’ Church with its early Byzantine mosaics and St. Sophia, the first Christian Church in Thessaloniki. Return to Athens, passing through Katerini we will see Mount Olympus and the Valley of Tempe, Larissa and Lamia. We stop at Thermopylae to see the statue of Leonidas, arriving Athens for overnight at hotel (B).
DAY 13: ATHENS DEPARTUREWe will transfer with our representative to AthensInternationalAirport “Eleftherios Venizelos” for our departure flight (B).