Venues for Your Choir:
- Rome – Concert
- Rome – Sung Mass
SUN, DAY 1: DEPART
We depart en route to Rome with complimentary meals and beverages served aloft.
MON, DAY 2: ARRIVE ROME
We arrive in Rome this afternoon and are met by our Catholic Travel Centre representative, who will accompany us throughout our pilgrimage. We check-in to our hotel, and the balance of the day is at leisure to rest from our journey. Dinner is served at our hotel. (D)
TUE, DAY 3: ROME: VATICAN DAY – ST. PETER’S BASILICA, SCAVI TOUR & VATICAN MUSEUM
We begin our day early this morning where we celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in the Basilica of St. Peter, housing the Tomb of St. Peter.
After Mass our guide will lead us on a tour of the Basilica, with Michelangelo’s dome which is the most prominent building inside Vatican City. Built over the site of “Old Saint Peter’s” constructed by the Emperor Constantine in the fourth century, the new Basilica began construction in 1506. The building absorbed the attention of twenty popes and ten architects before completion in 1626. There are over 100 tombs located within the Basilica, including 91 popes. Here we see the Papal Altar covered with the sumptuous bronze baldachin by Bernini, and the apse, aglow with golden mosaic. In addition to many sculptures and monuments by Bernini and other great artists, we will see Michelangelo’s famous statue of The Pieta. We will also visit the tomb of John Paul II. This afternoon we enjoy a visit of the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Dinner tonight is served at our hotel. (B, D )
WED, DAY 4: ROME: PAPAL AUDIENCE & HISTORIC WALKING TOUR
This morning, we make our way to the Vatican City to attend the General Papal Audience at Pope Paul VI Audience Hall (subject to the Holy Father’s schedule). Our choir will have the opportunity to sing impromptu in the audience hall prior to the Holy Father’s appearance.
After some time for lunch on our own, we meet a local guide who will lead us on a walking tour of the historic central Rome, starting with the beautiful Spanish Steps.
We continue with a visit to the Trevi Fountain, where we toss our traditional three coins into the fountain to make our three wishes: one for love, one for money, and one to return to Rome!
Our next stop is the Basilica of Santa Maria Sopra Minerva, housing the tomb of the St. Catherine of Siena. Here we celebrate Mass. We finish our tour with the Pantheon, originally built to honor all the gods of Ancient Rome and the Piazza Navona, with its beautiful fountains you may wish to stop in route for a gelato (an Italian ice cream) at the famous Giolitti’s!
We return to our hotel for a bit of rest. Dinner tonight is served at a local restaurant close to our hotel. (B, D)
THU, DAY 5: ROME: FULL DAY EXCURSION TO ASSISI
Today we make a full day’s excursion to Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare. We visit the Basilica constructed over St. Francis’ tomb.
After Mass at the Basilica, we enjoy a light lunch with wine at a nearby restaurant. After lunch we continue to the Church of St. Clare, where St. Clare lies in repose. Here too we see the original ‘San Damiano’ crucifix that spoke to Francis. After some time on our own in the upper town, we transfer to the town below to visit the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, containing the Porziuncola, built in part by St. Francis. Nearby marks the site where Francis surrendered to “Sister Death.” We make our way back to Rome for the evening, and dinner is on our own. (B, L)
FRI, DAY 6: ROME: ST. JOHN LATERAN, ST. MARY MAJOR PLUS EVENING CONCERT
This morning we join people of Rome for Mass at the Papal Basilica of St. John Lateran for the Feast of the Dedication. It is here that St. Francis persuaded Pope Innocent III to give permission to begin the Franciscan Order. The night before, the Pope had seen a man in a dream and the man was supporting the tottering building of St. John Lateran. The next day, when Francis appeared before Pope Innocent, His Holiness recognized the face from the dream and consented to Francis’s request. Nearby is the Scala Santa, purportedly the stairs which Christ climbed prior to his condemnation by Pontius Pilate.
Just up the street we come to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, the oldest basilica in Rome dedicated to the Blessed Mother. Then we stop at the nearby Church of St.Alphonsus which houses the original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help.
We transfer back to the hotel for lunch on our own and some leisure time.
Your choir will offer a concert for the people of Rome at Sant’Agnese in Aragone Church in Piazza Navona in the evening. Afterwards we enjoy a festive dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (B, D)
SAT, DAY 7: ROME: AT LEISURE WITH OPTIONAL FLORENCE OR NAPLES & POMPEII EXCURSIONS
Today is at leisure in Rome for shopping. Perhaps this would be a good day to stroll around the city, do some shopping or visit your own personal favorite Roman sites. If you would like to travel outside the city, you may select from a variety of optional tours. Dinner is on our own this evening, and our tour escort will have some suggestions on where to dine in the area. (B)
OPTIONAL EXCURSION TO FLORENCE – FULL DAY
Leaving Rome, we pass through three of the most beautiful regions of Italy, Latium, Umbria and Tuscany. Florence, lying amid the rolling green hills of Tuscany is Italy’s city of the arts. Florence owes it reputation as the jewel of the Renaissance to the Medici family. Under their patronage Florence became the liveliest and most creative city in Europe. During our visit we will see for ourselves that reputation is deserved even today.
We begin with a visit to the Academy with its impressive statue of “David” by Michelangelo. We’ll admire the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, with Giotto’s Belltower, one of Italy’s most beautiful, and the Baptistry, with its famous bronze doors. We’ll see the Piazza della Signoria, and visit the court-yard of Palazza Medici, the first authentic Renaissance mansion. We’ll lunch at a Florentine restaurant. This afternoon we continue to Santa Croce Square, with a visit to a leather factory, to see one of modern day Italy’s more famous crafts. From there we will reach Piazzale Michelangelo, where we have a wonderful panoramic view of the city. We return to Rome in the evening. Cost: 148,- Euro (payment by cash only)
OPTIONAL EXCURSION TO NAPLES & POMPEII – FULL DAY
Leaving Rome in a southerly direction, we take the “Highway of the Sun” crossing the fertile Roman countryside known as the area of the ‘Castelli Romani.’ Along the highway you will be able to see the Abbey of Montecassino, noted for its famous battle and complete destruction during the World War II.
Arriving in Naples we will proceed towards the hill of Posillipo from where we can enjoy a spectacular view over the Gulf of Naples and the volcano Vesuvio. Descending, we arrive in the ancient fishing quarter of SantaLucia and see the impressive Castel Dell’Ovo.
Our city tour continues to the Piazza del Plebiscito, the Royal Palace, the Basilica of San Francesco Di Paola, the San Carlo Opera House, the Gallery of Umberto I and the imposing Maschio Angioino.
We depart Naples for Pompeii where we enjoy lunch. After lunch we visit the excavations on foot with a local guide on an archaeological journey through the ancient city. You will see what was discovered in the 1900 plus years since Pompeii was covered by ashes during the eruption of Vesuvius in the year 79 AD. Through the remains and ruins of this ancient city, we can picture the everyday life of the Imperial Age and imagine the panic felt by the people in those last few minutes before the city was so disastrously buried. We return to Rome for the evening. Cost: 118,- Euro (payment by cash only)
SUN, DAY 8: ROME: CHOIR SINGS AT SUNDAY MASS & FREE TIME
This morning after taking some time to have a leisurely breakfast, we transfer to St. Peter’s Basilica where our Choir will sing the Sunday noon Mass. After Mass we gather at a local restaurant for our farewell lunch. The rest of the afternoon is free to do some last minute shopping. (B, L)
MON, DAY 9: ROME: RETURN USA
Early this morning we transfer to the Rome airport for our return flight to the United States, our suitcases full of memories! (B)
Customized Itineraries: The itinerary shown here is one example of how you might plan your Choir tour. Catholic Travel Centre specializes in customized tours, so we can willingly add days or sites.
Pricing: Our Catholic Travel Centre Choir specialists will custom quote your itinerary depending upon your dates of travel, group size, class of hotels, etc. Call us toll free at (800) 553-5233.