Day 1 :
Departure from North America
- Flight to Rome:
Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America.
Day 2 :
Arrive in Rome – Monte Cassino – Sorrento Area
- Meet Your Guide:
Our 24-hour WorldStrides Tour Director will meet us at the airport and remain with us until our final airport departure.
We will have use of a private coach and driver while touring for the next 8 days.
- Abbey of Monte Cassino:
Visit the Abbey of Monte Cassino. Founded by St. Benedict in the 6th century, the Abbey was the site of one of the fiercest battles of World War II.
- Travel to Sorrento:
Sorrento is an Amalfi coast town situated in the region of Campania, one of the most culturally diverse areas in Italy. Influenced by Roman, Greek, Byzantine, Norman, Spanish, and French cultures, Campania is known for its gastronomy, music, architecture, and divine beauty.
- Walking Tour:
Enjoy an evening Walking Tour around this lovely town, home of the legendary sirens, whose voices lured ancient seamen.
Day 3 :
Naples, Amalfi Drive and Salerno
- Naples Duomo:
Visit the Naples Duomo adorned inside by 110 ancient granite columns dating from the 13th Century. Highlights include the Gothic Cappella Capece Minutolo with its beautiful 13th-century frescoes and mosaic floor, the Cappella Tocco and the Cappella Carafa, known as one of the most elegant Renaissance architectural structures ever created.
- San Lorenzo Maggiore:
Visit San Lorenzo Maggiore, and explore the new museum now opened on the premises, as well the Roman archaeological site beneath the church itself. Beneath San Lorenzo, about half of an original Roman market has been excavated.
- Duomo of Amalfi:
Continuing to Amalfi, explore the impressive Duomo of Amalfi, located on the main square. The original structure dates back to the 9th century. Its beautiful bronze doors were cast in Constantinople in 1066.
- Salermo Duomo:
Visit Salerno, an important port city in the life of Campania that was used as the Allies base camp after landing a short distance south of here on September 5, 1943. We will visit the Duomo, final resting place for St. Matthew, whose tomb was brought here in 954, and the Museo Diocesano, housing most of the cathedral’s sacred and artistic treasures.
Day 4 :
Sorrento Area – Benvento- San Giovanni Rotondo Area
- Duomo di Benevento:
Visit the Duomo di Benevento, a majestic cathedral founded in the 7th century AD. Over the years it has been renovated several times. During the visit, explore the recovered 13th-century facade, the bell tower, and the crypt.
- San Giovanni Rotondo:
San Giovanni Rotondo is a city and commune in the province of Foggia, Puglia region, southern Italy. San Giovanni Rotondo was the home of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina from July 28, 1916 until his death on September 23, 1968. The Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church was built in devotion to the saint.
- Basilica Church of Padre Pio, Tour and Mass:
Visit the famous Basilica Church of Padre Pio for a special Tour and Mass. The church, designed by Renzo Piano, the Italian architect who designed the Pompidou Center in Paris and Osaka airport, is one of the most modern buildings of recent times. We will have time to visit and pray before we continue.
Day 5 :
Grotto of Archangel Michael & San Giovanni
- Church of St. Michele Arcangelo:
Visit the Church of St Michele Arcangelo, located in the cave where the Archangel Michael appeared to St Lawrence, the local bishop, in 493. The church doors are located at the bottom of a stairwell and contain biblical scenes cast in bronze in Constantinople.
Day 6 :
San Giovanni Rotondo – Lanciano – Assisi Area
- Sanctuary of the Eucharist:
Visit the Sanctuary of the Eucharist in Lanciano. This is the scene of one of the most astounding Eucharistic miracles. In the 8th century a priest began to doubt the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist. As he pronounced the words of consecration, the host he held turned to flesh and the wine in the chalice into blood.
- Travel to Assisi:
The medieval town of Assisi is heir to the legacy of its most prominent citizen, St. Francis. Although the town was damaged in the earthquake of 1997, it has been restored to its former glory with geranium-hung streets, lovely views, and fountain- splashed piazzas.
Day 7 :
Assisi – Rome
- Church of Santa Chiara:
Explore the Church of Santa Chiara, resting place for St. Clare’s bones, and home of St. Francis’s miraculous crucifix. Our visit will include the Neo-Gothic Crypt and the Oratorio del Crocifisso, which preserves the venerated 12th century crucifix that spoke to St. Francis at San Damiano and set him on his holy path.
- Basilica di San Francesco:
Visit the Basilica di San Francesco, an incongruous memorial to a man who preached and lived an utterly simple life of poverty, abstinence, and the enunciation of worldly goods in search of greater spirituality. We will explore the bi-level basilica, including the Lower Church, the Crypt, and the Upper Church, with Giotto’s famous frescoes of 28 scenes of the Life of St. Francis.
- Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, Portiuncola Chapel:
Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli to see the small Portiuncola Chapel and the site where St. Francis died.
- Travel to Rome:
- Piazza Navona:
This evening we will dine in the Piazza Navona area. Built on the foundations of Domitian’s Circus, this magnificent square was designed in the 17th century by Bernini. It is full of life and is highlighted by one of Rome’s most spectacular fountains, the Four Rivers. The square is often filled with local artists. The surrounding neighborhood is also one of the best places in Rome to get a tasty tartufo or gelato ice cream.
Day 8 :
- Via Appia Antica:
Travel just outside the city for a stroll along the Via Appia Antica (Appian Way), the most famous road that led to Rome. Built in 312 BC, it eventually stretched to the seaport of Brindisi, through which trade with colonies in Greece and the East was funneled. We will explore the road’s initial stretch in Rome, lined with the great monuments and ancient tombs of patrician Roman families.
- Quo Vadis:
Visit the little church of Quo Vadis, located along the Appian Way. Tradition holds that after St. Peter fled Rome to escape persecution he had a vision here of Jesus, which convinced him to return to Rome to face martyrdom.
- Catacombs of St. Domitilla:
Visit the Catacombs of St. Domitilla, the largest and perhaps earliest of the catacombs. St. Domitilla, martyred in 95 AD, was related to emperors Domitian and Vespasian, and was a member of the distinguished Flavian family. These catacombs were named for her because the entrance was on her property. Inside, we will find incredible works of art, including frescoes of Sts. Peter and Paul and a rendition of a Last Supper created a thousand years before that of da Vinci. Most of the corpses here were placed into shallow slits cut in the stone, while the wealthy had larger tombs or separate family vaults with decorated arches.
Day 9 :
Rome (City of the Popes)
- Vatican Museums:
Experience a specialist-guided tour of the Vatican Museums, home to one of the world’s most impressive collections of art. Our tour includes the map tapestry rooms, the magnificent Raphael Rooms, and the spectacular Sistine Chapel, highlighted by Michelangelo’s ceiling and his Last Judgment.
- St. Peter’s Basilica:
We will continue into St. Peter’s Square to visit St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the western world and the center of Catholicism. Highlights of our visit include Michelangelo’s Pieta and Bernini’s magnificent Baldacchino Over the High Altar.
- Restaurant Tanagra Cameo Opera:
This evening, dinner will be provided at the Restaurant Tanagra Cameo Opera. Here we will eat traditional Italian food and hear a variety of the most famous Italian opera arias.
- Trevi Fountain:
No trip to Rome would be complete without seeing the spectacular Trevi Fountain where it is traditional to toss a coin into the fountain to ensure a safe return to The Eternal City.
- Piazza di Spagna:
Spend time at Rome’s meeting place, the Piazza di Spagna, home of the famous Spanish Steps. The piazza and steps are both named in reference to a 16th century Spanish ambassador who lived here. English poet John Keats lived and died in the house to the right of the steps, which is now a memorial.
Day 10 :
Departure from Rome
- Return flight home:
Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our guide accompanies us to the airport on our final day.