In the footsteps of St. Francis and Fransiscan communities in Italy
01 – 16 October 2017
Pilgrimage Director: Fr. Jacek Leszczynski OFMConv.
Pilgrimage Coordinator: Vivi Camacho, Parish Secretary
Spiritual Guide: Fr. Michael Lewandowski OFMConv.
Rome – Vatican – Bolsena – Orvieto – Greccio – Spoleto – Perugia – Assisi – Porziuncula –Rivotorto – Gubbio – La Verna – Florence – La Verna – Venice – Padova – Adriatic Sea – Loreto – Lanciano – San Giovanni Rotondo – Monte Sant’Angelo – Pietrelcina – Monte Cassino
Day 1 (Sun, 10/01/2017)
Arrival to the airport (RDU-Raleigh, NC), check in for 10:25 a.m. flight to Rome.
Day 2 (Mon, 10/02/2017)
Land in (FCO) Rome-Fiumicino at 07:35 a.m. Italian control, meet your tour escort and transfer to the hotel. Rest after long flight, dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 3 (Tue, 10/03/2017)
Early breakfast, transfer to the centre of Rome, Eucharist in St. Peter’s Basilica. Later city-tour: Vatican Museums with the Sistine Chapel, the Castel of the Angel, Piazza Navona, Il Gesu church – the first baroque temple in the world, Venetian Square. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 4 (Wed, 10/04/2017)
After breakfast, attend General Audience on St. Peter’s Square. Later continued city-tour: the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, Roman Forum and Colosseo (from outside), Basilica of St. John Lateran and the Scala Santa; finally the Basilica of St. Paul (Eucharist). Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 5 (Thu, 10/05/2017)
After breakfast drive to the north. Bolsena – the Basilica of St. Christina (the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle), the catacombs. Short drive to Orvieto – the cathedral with its famous facade; interiors with the Chapel of the Corporal (Eucharist). In the afternoon drive to the hotel in the southern part of Tuscany. Dinner and overnight.
Day 6 (Fri, 10/06/2017)
After breakfast drive to some picturesque places in Umbra. Greccio – where St. Francis organized the first living crib. The idea was to discourage would-be pilgrims from going to Bethlehem. Later short stop in Spoleto, where young Francis received revelations at the age of 23 – visit to the early-romanesque churches San Salvatore, San Ponziano, San Gregorio Maggiore and the ruins of the roman theatre, finally the Bridge of Devils. Drive to Perugia, where Francis was imprisoned during 13th-century wars – the cathedral with tombs of two popes, the ring of Mary. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7 (Sat, 10/07/2017)
Breakfast, the whole-day city-tour in Assisi: the church of San Damiano, where Christ from the cross (now displayed in the church of St. Clara) spoke to St. Francis, later walk through the medieval town: Basilica of St. Clara with her relics. Later the Cathedral of St. Rufinus (where both saints have been baptized) and finally the Basilica of St. Francis with his tomb and famous frescoes by Giotto. In the afternoon, short drive down to Porziuncula – the Basilica of Our Lady of Angels. Later drive to Rivotorto, where the Saint stayed for two years 1209 – 11 and where the Monastic Rule of the Franciscans was written. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 8 (Sun, 10/08/2017)
Breakfast, drive to Gubbio – a medieval town in the north of Umbra region, where St. Francis talked to a legendary wolf with a cross in his hands. Drive to La Verna – small tuscanian sanctuary, where in 1224 St. Francis received stigmates. Accomodation in the vicinity of Florence, dinner and overnight.
Day 9 (Mon, 10/09/2017)
Breakfast, drive to Florence – the capital of Tuscany. City-tour: the cathedral, the church of the Holy Cross with the tomb of the most famous Tuscanians, the baptistery, Museo dell’Academia (with the famous David by Michele Angelo) walk along the streets of Florence to the Old Bridge (sometimes called the Bridge of Goldsmiths). Later short drive to the Michele Angelo viewpoint. Drive to the hotel in the vicinity of Padova, dinner and overnight.
Day 10 (Tue, 10/10/2017)
After breakfast transfer to Venice, change for a boat and ride to the centre of the city. City-tour: the Square and the cathedral – Basilica of St. Mark (Eucharist), The Clock Tower, walk accross channels to the famous Rialto bridge. Free time for a gondola-ride (paid individually) and in the city. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 11 (Wed, 10/11/2017)
After breakfast drive to Padova – the biggest city square in Europe, visit to the Basilica of St. Anthony, Eucharist in the Basilica complex, galleries and other places related to St. Anthony. In the afternoon, some rest on the Adriatic beach. Dinner and overnight nearby the sea.
Day 12 (Thu, 10/12/2017)
Breakfast and long drive along the Adriatic Sea. Visit in Loreto – shrine of the Holy House. Eucharist in the Basilica, a moment for prayer in the Holy House. In the afternoon drive to Lanciano – place of another Italian Eucharistic Miracle. In the afternoon arrival to San Giovanni Rotondo for dinner and overnight.
Day 13 (Fri, 10/13/2017)
Whole-day stay on the Gargano Peninsula. In the morning Eucharist in San Giovanni Rotondo and visit to all places related to the life of Padre Pio: the old church with his confessional, the cell of the Saint and the cross. Then walk to the New Basilica, a moment for a prayer at the tomb of Father Pio. In the afternoon short drive to Monte Sant’Angelo, the underground church – the place of revelation of Michael the Archangel. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 14 (Sat, 10/14/2017)
After breakfast drive accross the Apenine Peninsula to Pietrelcina, where Padre Pio was born. Then drive to Monte Cassino – visit to the first benedictine monastery (Eucharist), moment of reflection at the WWII cemetery. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 15 (Sun, 10/15/2017)
After breakfast, continued Rome city-tour: Piazza del Popolo with the church of Our Lady of the Nations, catacombs and Via Appia Antica. Drive to airport. At 05.25 p.m. flight to TLV.
In the footsteps of Jesus in the Holy Land
16 – 24 October 2017
Bethlehem – Shepherds’ Fields – Jerusalem – Mount of Olives – Cenacle – Our Lady’s Tomb – Via Dolorosa – Calvary – Western Wall – Dead Sea – Jericho – Bethany – Jordan Valley – Cana – Jaffa – Cesarea – Mount Tabor – Nazareth – Tabgha – Sea of Galilee (cruise) – Capernaum – Mount of Beatitudes – Mount Carmel – Haifa
Day 16 (Mon, 10/16/2017) -1
Arrival to Tel Aviv at 1:50 a.m., transfer to the hotel, overnight. Late breakfast. Visit to Bethlehem Nativity Basilica, some free time on local palestinian market, then Eucharist at Shepherds’ Fields. After the Mass – traditional local beduine-style lunch. Return to the hotel, dinner, overnight. In the evening return to the hotel for dinner and restful night.
Day 17 (Tue, 10/17/2017) – 2
After breakfast meet our local guide and trip to Jerusalem: the Mount of Olives (place of Resurrection, Our Father church, Dominus Flevit church), Getsemani Garden with Mary’s Tomb. Later walk to the Lion’s Gate of Jerusalem and 14 Stations of the Cross, finish on the Calvary with the Basilica of the Holy Sepulcre built upon it. Lunch break during the day. Eucharist in Jerusalem. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Day 18 (Wed, 10/18/2017) – 3
After breakfast another trip to Jerusalem: the Western Wall and the Temple Mount. Then walk to the Mount of Zion: Cenacle, Dormition Church, King David’s Tomb, local protestant cemetery with the grave of Oscar Schindler. Transfer to Ain Carem – the homeland of John the Baptist, then Yad Vashen – the Museum of Memory (Holocaust) and finally Menora – the symbol of Israel and the Israeli Parliament. During the day: Eucharist and lunch break. Return to the hotel, dinner and restful stay overnight.
Day 19 (Thu, 10/19/2017) – 4
Breakfast and short trip to Jericho – the remnants of the oldest city in the world, the famous Zacchaeus’s sycamore. Transfer along Jordan River to the place, where Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist (Eucharist). In the afternoon some free time at the Dead Sea. On the way back short stop at Good Samaritan’s Inn. Return to Bethlehem, dinner, overnight.
Day 20 (Fri, 10/20/2017) – 5
Last breakfast in Bethlehem and check-out. Transfer to Jaffa – church of St. Peter. Our journey will continue along the shore of the Mediterranean Sea to Cesarea – the remnants of the city of Pontius Pilate. Transfer to Mount Tabor (minibuses). Drive to Cana to the church (Eucharist) standing on the place of the first miracle done by Jesus. Our trip will finish this day in Nazareth in a comfortable hotel with plentiful dinner.
Day 21 (Sat, 10/21/2017) – 6
After breakfast day for Galilee – the region, where Jesus spent most of his life and made most of his miracles and acts. Visit to Tabgha: the church of the multiplication of loaves and fish, the church of Peter’s primacy. Short transfer to Capernaum and the cruise on the Sea of Galilee (Lunch). In the afternoon, steep climb (by coach) to the Mount of Beatitudes. Return to the hotel, dinner and overnight.
Day 22 (Sun, 10/22/2017) – 7
After breakfast and check-out visit in the Assumption Basilica in Nazareth (Eucharist). Later we head to the south; on the way short stop in Haifa on the Mount Carmel and for some pictures in Bahais’ Gardens. Last supper in the Holy Land, overnight.
Day 23 (Mon, 10/23/2017) – 8
Early transfer to the airport, flight to Rome (via Athens). After arrival to the Eternal City at 10.10 a.m. transfer to the center and free time in Rome for last prayer in Roman churches, last ice cream, last pizza… Drive to the hotel, dinner and last night in Rome.
Day 24 (Tue, 10/24/2017)
After early breakfast drive to the airport, check in and flight back home. Depart Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO) at 08:05 a.m., arrive RDU at 10:49 p.m.
(Option 1) Italy Pilgrimage (1-16 October, 2017)
Total price: for a group of 20 to 25 persons: $ 4,300.00 USD
– air ticket (RDU, Raleigh, NC, USA) – Rome, Italy (FCO) – (RDU, Raleigh, NC, USA)
– tips for local staff,
– AC coach in Italy,
– 14 nights in ***/**** hotels in Italy with continental strenghtened breakfast and dinner (5 nights in Rome,
4 in southern Tuscany, 2 nearby Padua, 1 near Rimini, 2 in San Giovanni Rotondo),
– Eucharist’s in Italian shrines,
– licensed tour guide,
– local guides in Rome, Assisi, Venice, San Giovanni Rotondo,
– bus entry and parking fees in all Italian cities,
– tour audio guide radio for all pilgrims,
– entrance fees to museums, castles, churches etc.,
– medical insurance
– single supplement ($ 450.00 USD)
– lunches, drinks for dinner,
– personal expenses.
(Optional extension to the Holy Land from and back to Rome 15-24 October, 2017)
Total price: for a group of 20 to 25 persons: $ 1,600.00 USD
– air ticket (RDU, Raleigh, NC, USA) – Tel Aviv, (TLV) – (RDU, Raleigh, NC, USA)
– coach with AC during the whole trip in the Holy Land,
– 8 nights in *** hotels in the Holy Land (6 in Bethlehem and 2 in Nazareth), twin / double rooms with bathroom,
– traditional Bedouin lunch on Shepherds’ Fields and lunch with St. Peter’s fish at Sea of Galilee,
– certified tour leader during the whole trip,
– local guides in Israel and Palestine,
– entrance fees and the Sea of Galilee cruise,
– insurance policy.
– tips for local staff,
– single supplement ($310.00 USD)
– lunches, drinks for dinner,
– personal expenses.