Cathedral of Saint Andrew (Diocese of Grand Rapids) Pilgrimage to Italy 0620Rybicki


Cathedral of Saint Andrew (Diocese of Grand Rapids) Pilgrimage to Italy 0620Rybicki


Duration: 12 Days
Dates: June 15, 2020 to June 27, 2020
Departure City: Chicago, IL


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Day 1

Depart for Rome

Day 2

Arrive –Rome – Assisi

Day 3


Day 4


Day 5

Florence - Siena - Rome

Day 6


Day 7


Day 8


Day 9

Rome - Sorrento

Day 10

Amalfi Coast

Day 11

Sorrento - Pompei - Frascati

Day 12

Rome - Departure

Included in your Trip:



Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight- Wide-bodied tans-atlantic jets.



Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.



Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.



Boat Ride on the Sea of Galilee – Complete the experience with prayer, singing and dancing on a 2,000 year old boat replica.



Knowledgeable Guides- Informed of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited



Customized Guidebook – Complete with study on where you have been and where you will go on your tour.



Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.


Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!


Two Meals Daily 



Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.



Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.



Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!


Special Rabbinical Tunnel Visit



Masada Visit Including Round-Trip Cable Car Ride to the Top


Detailed Itinerary

June 15 Monday –Depart for Rome

Depart... International Airport on our overnight flight to Rome. Complimentary meals and beverages will be served on board.

June 16 Tuesday -Arrive –Rome – Assisi

Assisi, one of the high points of any travel experience. After a two and half-hour ride, we will see Assisi on a mountaintop. The narrow lanes, the Shrines of Saint Francis and the overwhelming art dedicated to its young friar - a rich young man who turned to God after an illness and established an order that has grown stronger over the centuries. Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. Crowned by the magnificent dome designed by Alessi, this great Basilica was built in 1569. It enclosed the shrine of the “Porziuncola” or the Little Portion Chapel around which the first Franciscan community was centered, the place where Clare received the habit from Francis, and the Capella Del Transito, which marks the spot where the Saint died. You will see the statue of Saint Francis in the courtyard where thornless roses bloom. After our visit we continue to Assisi for hotel check-in. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Assisi. (B,D) Grand Hotel Dei Congressi 4*

June 17 , Wednesday - Assisi

Visit the Sites of St. Francis & St. Clare – -After early breakfast, transfer to the Basilica of St. Francis to Celebrate Mass at the Tomb of St. Francis, at which we will. After Mass, visit the Basilica of St. Francis. Our local guide will take us to explore the Basilica complex, which is actually composed of two churches built one atop the other. Beneath both churches is the crypt that houses the tomb of St. Francis. The lower Basilica dates from 1228 to 1230, and is richly decorated with beautiful stained glass windows, and paintings done by some of the most important artists of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the upper Basilica, built from 1230 - 1253, we will marvel at the monumental frescoes painted by Giotto, which depict scenes from the life of the saint. Continue to visit the Basilica of St. Clare, the first and most important heroine of the Franciscan movement, view her remains and see the miraculous Crucifix. Independent lunch. Return to the hotel to freshen-up. Late afternoon, walk to the Basilica of St. Francis for rehearsal and formal concert . Dinner and overnight at hotel in Assisi. (B,D)

June 18 , Thurday - Assisi / Highlights of Florence; Academy of Fine Arts

After breakfast, we check out . We drive two hours to reach Florence, where we meet our local guide will be ready to take us to visit the Accademia, which holds the superb “David” by Michelangelo. Break for lunch at the San Lorenzo market area. Then, we continue to visit the beautiful Piazza Del Duomo and the delicately patterned green, white and pink Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, crowned with its magnificent Dome by Brunelleschi; Giotto’s Bell Tower; the Romanesque Baptistry of St. John with the exquisite bronze doors by Ghiberti, which Michelangelo called the “Gates of Paradise”- after time at leisure for some shopping – In the evening, dinner at the hotel and overnight.

June 19 , Friday – Florence

Am / FORMAL CONCERT PM/At Leisure Breakfast at the hotel – This morning we will perform our second Italian concert This afternoon is at leisure. We can decide to stroll around the streets of Florence or to visit one of the rich art galleries of Florence, such as the Uffizi Gallery or Palazzo Pitti. . We then return to our hotel for dinner and overnight ! (B. D.)

June 20 Saturday Florence – Siena – Rome

After breakfast and check out. We leave Florence and drive through the gentle Umbrian and Tuscan hills to the city of Siena. Siena, a city that is self-contained and still rural in parts behind its medieval walls. Upon arrival, we will focus on the beauty of Siena, where Saint Catherine (1347-80) lived as a lay-affiliate of the Dominican Order. St. Catherine is well known for her intellect and mystical visions of Christ. Visit the Basilica of St. Dominic, which contains the incorrupt head of this beloved Patron saint of Italy. Our walking tour of Siena continues to the Cathedral di Santa Maria, better known as the Duomo, enjoy a guided visit of the Duomo, a gleaming marble treasury of Gothic art. Siena’s Duomo was built between 1215 and 1263 in the form of a Latin cross, with a dome and bell tower. Large in scale and ornately decorated inside and out, Siena’s cathedral is one of the finest examples of Italian Gothic architecture. The dome was painted in dark blue with golden stars in the late 15th century, and is topped with Bernini’s gold “lan-tern”. The exterior and interior are constructed of striped white and greenish-black marble, with addition of red marble on the facade. The Cathedral contains valuable pieces of art including the “Feast of Herod” by Donatello and works by Bernini and the young Michelangelo. It makes this Cathedral an extraordinary museum of Italian sculpture. Continue on to visit Piazza del Campo (Il Campo), the site of the famous Palio horse races, built at the convergence of the city’s principal roads, the Banchi di Sopra, Banchi di Sotto, and Via di Citá. The market also used to take place here. We will best experience the beauty of Siena by walking through its historic streets. Perhaps you will enjoy relaxation and refreshment at one of the outdoor cafés in the Piazza del Campo, surrounded by remarkable Patrician buildings. Independent lunch. Late afternoon, we continue to Rome - Check in at the hotel, dinner and overnight (BD)

June 21 , Sunday – AM/Solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica, Angelus / Palestrina.

After a good breakfast, we will be transferred to San Pert’s basilica to attend the 10:30 am international Mass, during which we have the chance of singing – followed by the “Angelus” – The Urbi et Orbi ( to Rome and to the World) Papal Blessing ! Break for independent lunch. In the afternoon, you have the chance to drive a short distance and reach a hilly village named “Palestrina” Here, was born Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestina, also known as “Princes Music” having been the greatest producer of Sacred Polyphony Music “ – You have the chance to visit his house-museum where thousands of “compositions” have been collected.- You can perform in the Village’s Cathedral where the young Pierluigi used to sing and you can meet with the local choirs which preserves the “Palestrina style” way of singing. – Dinner will be served in a local restaurant, based on local recipes Return to the hotel for overnight (B Special D)

June 22 - Monday - : – AM/Imperial Rome – PM Major Basilicas

After breakfast, we depart on our journey to learn about the great history of Rome, the “Eternal City.” Its history, evolving over 2,500 years, will be made visible for us by the Roman ruins, 15th century churches, 17th century palaces and 20th century monuments. We start day with a visit to the ancient Roman Forum. See the Arch of Titus and the Arch of Constantine and proceed to the outside of the Coliseum for a fascinating explanation of its history. Continue on to the grandiose white marble monument of King Victor Emmanuel II, often called the “Wedding Cake.” See the Trajan Column and the Market (the ancient Roman equivalent of a department store). Independent lunch. In the afternoon, we will visit the Cathedral of St. John Lateran, the first Christian church to be consecrated. It was founded by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century and was home to the Popes for many years prior to the present Vatican residence. End your morning tour with a visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the four major Basilicas built by Pope Sixtus III (AD 432-440). View the impressive interior with its remarkable mosaics in the nave depicting scenes from the Old Testament. View relics of Jesus’ manger from Bethlehem and the high altar, which contains the remains of St Matthew the Evangelist. The mosaics above the entablature are among the most ancient Christian mosaics in Rome. Then we tour the magnificent Basilica of St. Paul. It was built by Constantine in the 4th century on the site of St. Paul’s tomb. After having been totally destroyed by fire in 1823, it was rebuilt on the original basilica plan of early Christian churches. Surrounding the nave are the medallions of each Pope, from Peter to Benedict XVI. – We celebrate and Sing at Mass . Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight (BD)

June 23 – Tuesday AM/Tour of the Vatican Museums; Sistine Chapel; St. Peter’s Basilica – PM Tour of baroque fountains and squares of Rome/ formal concert

After breakfast, begin your morning of sightseeing with a visit to one of the great art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums. Walk in the footsteps of the Princes of the Church through the richly decorated galleries. Continue on to the Sistine Chapel, the private chapel of the Popes, where Michelangelo best expressed his genius in monumental frescoes Daily Itinerary tour continues in St. Peter’s Basilica. Take in the awesome architecture and the statuary adorning this largest of all Christian churches, including Michelangelo’s magnificent “Pieta.” Pray at the new tomb of Blessed John Paul II, in St. Sebastian’s Chapel. On your own, with time permitting, you may wish to go to the Vatican Crypt to see and pray near the tomb of St. Peter and where numerous pontiffs are buried, among incredible works of art. Free time for independent lunch in the Vatican area. we drive to the city centre, for a walking guided tour from the Spanish Steps to the Trevi Fountain, to toss in a coin to ensure your “Arrivederci, Roma.” Continue to the Pantheon and to Navona Square . This is the time to visit the local shops and street vendors. Rome is ours! Take advantage for some shopping, “gelato” or “pizza” Tonight we have our second Rome concert at .... In Piazza Navona - Finally we enjoy a farewell dinner and overnight at hotel (BD)

June 24. Wednesday Rome / Sorrento

After a good breakfast we check out – We depart Rome towards south on the highway. Approx 3 hour to reach the city of Sorrento, located on the Mediterranean sea. Upon arrival we check out at our hotel, Enjoy some time at leisure in Sorrento, then we reach a local church for a formal concert. Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight

June 25. Thurdsay – Amalfi Coast

Today we will enjoy a bus ride along the Amalfi coast, one of the most fascinating coastlines in the world. A first picture stop over Positano. Then, Amalfi, the main town of the coast on which it is located, named Costiera Amalfitana, and is today an important tourist destination. Amalfi is included in the UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Visit the Cathedral dedicated to Saint Andrew , where the saint in buried. Here we will celebrate and sing a Mass – Enjoy a free afternoon, do not forget to taste a fresh lemon juice or a lemon ice-cream!. Return to our hotel in Sorrento for dinner and overnight (B,D)

June 26 Friday - Sorrento /Pompei / Frascati

We enjoy a late morning breakfast, then we depart towards north – Stop along the way , in Pompei, to visit the rich “scavi” In the afternoon we arrive the hilly village of Frascati, where we perform our last concert , then to the hotel for dinner and overnight (BD) PARK HOTEL VILLA FERRATA 4*

June 27 : Saturday Return from Rome

Breakfast at your hotel. Then, you will be transferred to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your return flight home. Arrive on the same day.