Pilgrimage to Siena, Florence, Assisi & Rome

Pilgrimage to Siena, Florence, Assisi & Rome

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Your Adventure, Day by Day

Day 1 Departure from North America
  • Flight to Rome Relax and enjoy our scheduled flight from North America to Rome.
Day 2 Arrive Rome – Siena Area
  • Duomo Visit the Duomo, highlighted by distinctive striped marble columns. Our visit will include the beautiful Piccolomini Library, designed to house the cathedral’s collection of illuminated manuscripts. The magnificent room features an unrivaled ceiling and large frescoes depicting important events in the life of Pope Pius II.
  • Sanctuary of St. Catherine's Visit theSanctuary ofSt.Catherine,which washome toone ofthegreatest female mystics who ever lived. Having had her first mystical experience at the age of 6, St. Catherine was graced with many spiritual gifts, including the stigmata. She also helped convince Pope Gregory XI to return to the papacy to Rome.
  • Piazza del Campo Stroll through the narrow and winding streets of Siena to the Piazza del Campo, a vast and lively square in the heart of the city.
  • Continue to Siena
Day 3 Day Trip To Assisi
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
  • Mass at St. Francis Basilica
Day 4 Day Trip To Florence
  • Piazza del Duomo Enjoy the Piazza del Duomo, where the cathedral, tower, and baptistery exhibit the traditions of Florentine art from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance. We will observe the massive and detailed facade of the Duomo before viewing the baptistery’s bronze doors, designed by Ghiberti and which Michelangelo commented were worthy to be the “Gates of Paradise.” After a brief visit inside the Duomo, we will have the opportunity to do one of the following: ascend the Bell Tower; climb the narrow steps to the top of the Red Dome; or visit the spectacular interior of the Baptistery.
  • Piazza della Signoria Spend time in the Piazza della Signoria, the political stage of Renaissance Florence and an open-air museum of sculpture.
  • Ponte Vecchio Stroll along the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest of Florence’s six bridges and one of the best-loved sites of Florence. Lined with numerous shops, visitors often do not realize they are on a bridge until they reach the center arches that look out over the Arno.
  • Have Mass at Santa Croce
Day 5 Siena – Appian Way – Rome
  • Ancient Appian Way 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. Highlights of our walk will include the Tomb of Cecilia Metella, a cylindrical tomb that honors the wife of one of Julius Caesar’s military commanders from the Republican era; the Domine Quo Vadis Church, built on the spot where Peter saw a vision of Christ; the Villa and Circus of Maxentius; and the evocative Fosse Ardeantine, a memorial tomb to 355 Italians killed in World War II.
  • Catacombs Visit the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, funerary tunnels which represent the first known cemetery of the Christian community of Rome. There are many sepulchral chambers and almost half a million tombs of early Christians, along with paintings, sculptures, and epigraphs that provide invaluable material for the study of their life and customs.
  • San Pietro in Vincoli Visit the church of San Pietro in Vincoli, which was founded in the 5th century to house the chains that bound St. Peter in Palestine, now preserved under glass. We will also view the tomb of Pope Julius II, crowned by one of Michelangelo’s most famous sculptures, Moses.
Day 6 Rome (The City of the Caesars)
  • Colosseum Enjoy a specialist-guided tour, with whisper sets, through the spectacular remains of the Roman Empire, beginning at the Colosseum, considered to be the greatest symbol of Ancient Rome’s power and glory. Completed under Titus in 80 A.D., the Colosseum could hold 55,000 spectators, on a par with many of today’s modern sports stadiums. Among the sights included on our tour is the Arch of Constantine, a triumphal arch finished in 315 A.D., commemorating the victory of Constantine I over Maxentius in the year 312 A.D.
  • Roman Forum We will also tour the ruins and excavations of the Roman Forum, which features the remains of magnificent temples, basilicas, and triumphal arches that once formed the heart of the Empire.
  • Mamertine Prison See the Mamertine Prison, originally created as a cistern for a spring. The prison was typically reserved for higher-profile prisoners and those that posed a threat to the security of Rome; the most famous of these was St. Peter.
  • Trajan's Column and Market Explore Trajan’s Column and Market. Completed in 113 AD as a monument to the Emperor Trajan, the column is most famous for its spiral bas-relief. Also view the Victor Emmanuel Monument, a giant building created to honor the first king of a unified Italy.
  • Pantheon Visit the Pantheon, one of the grandest and best-preserved Roman monuments, and the oldest large-scale dome in Rome. The Pantheon has been in continuous use throughout its history and today houses many tombs, including those of Italian kings Victor Emmanuel II and Umberto I, and painters Caracci and Raphael.
  • Piazza Navona DAY 7 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 7 Rome (The 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.
  • Mass at St. Peter's Attend Mass at St. Peter's Basilica. Annually,on June 29 attend Feast Day of Saints Peter and Paul at St. Peter's Basilica. The two Saints were assigned by tradition to the same day of June in the year 67. This is also the day when the Holy Father invests the Pallium on the new Metropolitans Archbishops created this year. This garment is made of lamb’s wool and is worn over the chasuble during Mass. This is further sign of the unique relationship a Metropolitan Bishop has with the Vicar of Christ.
Day 8 Rome (The Great Churches and Christian Shrines)
  • Basilica of St. John Lateran Visit the church of San Giovanni in Laterano, the cathedral church of the diocese of Rome. The interior is credited to Borromini, and remains believed to have been painted by Giotto have also been discovered.
  • Church of San Alfonso Visit the Victorian-Gothic Church of San Alfonso and the Shrine of Our Lady of Perpetual Help. The icon was originally venerated on the Island of Crete. A merchant allegedly took the picture to hide it from the ensuing Turkish forces and it was first venerated in Rome in 1499 AD.
  • Santa Maria Maggiore Visit Santa Maria Maggiore. One of Rome’s four patriarchal basilicas, the church dates back to the 5th century. Along with its Baroque interior and Romanesque bell tower, the basilica is noted for a cycle of mosaics from the 5th century that decorate the arch and nave, depicting biblical scenes.
  • Museo Borghese Visit the Museo Borghese, located in the Borghese Palace. This museum features an impressive collection that includes sculptures by Bernini, such as Apollo and Daphne, and masterpieces by 16th and 17th century Italian artists, such as Raphael, Correggio, Titian, and Caravaggio.
  • Trevi Fountain & Spanish Steps This evening we will dine near the spectacular Trevi Fountain where it is traditional to toss a coin into the fountain to ensure a safe return to The Eternal City. 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 9 Depart Rome
  • Depart for Home Our rewarding and enjoyable tour comes to an end as our guide accompanies us to the airport on our final day.