Thursday, 7th June
We will depart in the morning from Dublin to Pisa. Upon arrival we will transfer to the four-star Demidorff Country Resort where we will stay for two nights on a half board basis. In the afternoon we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage and afterwards have the remainder of the evening at leisure to enjoy the tranquil surroundings and picturesque countryside.
Friday, 8th June
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Duomo in Florence, famous for its breathtaking works of art and its bell-tower. Afterwards we will have a walking tour of Florence and will understand more why it is often referred to as the ‘Cradle of the Renaissance’ with its extraordinary art and architectural masterpieces. We will stroll through the narrow-cobbled streets with their elegant 15th and 16th century palaces and see the medieval candle-lit chapels and fresco decorated churches. In the afternoon we will have time at leisure with the opportunity to visit the famous Uffizi Gallery, home to the world’s greatest collection of Renaissance art. We will return to our hotel for evening meal.
Saturday, 9th June
This morning we will travel to the medieval town of Siena. One of the most popular and visited places in Tuscany, rich in history and art. After free time for lunch in one of the landmarks of the city - Piazza del Campo, we will take a walking tour where we will see the famous Torre del Mangi, the imposing Piazza del Duomo and the complex of Santa Maria della Scala, site of one of the oldest hospitals in Europe, often used as a stop for pilgrims making their way on foot to Rome. We will complete our tour with a visit to the Shrine of Saint Catherine of Siena which occupies the site of Catherine's family home, where she was born and where she lived her austere early life as a Dominican affiliate. We will celebrate evening Mass at the Basilica of San Domenico. Founded by the Dominicans in 1125 as part of their friary, it is closely associated with St. Catherine of Siena and contains her head in a reliquary.
Sunday, 10th June
We shall enjoy some time at leisure in Siena and afterwards travel to Assisi where we will stay in the Dal Moro Gallery Hotel for two nights on a half board basis. We will check into our hotel and afterwards visit the nearby Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli where we will celebrate Mass and afterwards visit the chapel of the Porziuncola, the birthplace of the Franciscan Order.
Monday, 11th June
We will celebrate Mass this morning at the Basilica of St. Francis and afterwards have a guided tour admiring the fine works of Giotto, Cimabue and Simone Martini. We will take a walk through the medieval town of Assisi visiting the ‘Chiesa Nuova’ and Basilica of St. Clare where we will have time for private prayer. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for personal sightseeing.
Tuesday, 12th June
This morning we will travel to the town of Roccaporena, birthplace of St. Rita. This town preserves the history of St. Rita as a young girl, a bride, a mother and later as a widow. We will visit the house where St. Rita was born, the 13th century Church of San Montano where St. Rita was married and the Garden of the Miracle, which relates to the story of the last days of St. Rita’s life. We will continue onto the town of Cascia and visit the monastery where St. Rita lived for over forty years as an Augustinian nun. After celebrating Mass in the Basilica of St. Rita we will return to our hotel in Assisi.
Wednesday, 13th June
This morning we will depart Assisi and travel to Lanciano, site of the first Eucharistic Miracle of the Catholic Church. We will celebrate Mass and afterwards have time for private prayer and reflection. After free time for lunch we will continue onto San Giovanni Rotondo where we will stay in the Hotel Colonne for the following two nights.
Thursday, 14th June
We will celebrate morning Mass in the ancient Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie where Padre Pio celebrated Mass. Afterwards we will have a guided tour of the sanctuary, visiting the capuchin friary where Padre Pio lived and died and Church of St. Pio of Pietrelcina where we will have time for prayer before the mortal remains of this great saint of our time.
In the afternoon we will visit the town of Monte Sant’Angelo, home to the oldest shrine in Western Europe dedicated to the Archangel Michael. We will have time for private prayer and afterwards personal sightseeing before returning to our hotel.
Friday, 15th June
After breakfast we will celebrate Mass in San Giovanni Rotondo before transferring to Naples airport for our return flight, arriving into Dublin at 3.45 pm.
*It is our intention to follow the itinerary as outlined above, however due to many factors like local holidays, traffic or weather conditions it may be necessary to make changes to the order of events or even the cancelation of certain events.