Monday, 8th October
This morning we will depart from Dublin to Rome with Aer lingus. Upon arrival in Rome we will meet our tour escort and transfer to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls. We will have a tour of the basilica and have free time for lunch.
In the afternoon we will have a panoramic tour of Rome enjoying views of the Roman Forum, Piazza Venezia and world-famous Colosseum before transferring to the four star Grand Hotel Fleming where we will stay for four nights on a bed and breakfast basis.
Tuesday, 9th October
After breakfast we will travel to St. Peter’s Basilica for our guided tour. Inside the basilica we will see Michelangelo’s delicate Pietá statue, the canopy altar where the Pope celebrates Mass and the crypt of the Popes.
In the afternoon we will travel to the Irish College where we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage. We will visit the nearby Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest of the four Papal Basilicas and afterwards have the opportunity to climb the Holy Stairs in the traditional manner.
Wednesday, 10th October
This morning we will travel to St. Peter’s Square for the Papal Audience and afterwards have time at leisure.
In the afternoon we will have a walking tour visiting such famous sites as the Pantheon and Trevi Fountain and have time in the elegant Piazza Navona.
Thursday, 11th October
After breakfast we will travel to the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the largest Marian churches in Rome, where we will celebrate Mass.
We will have the afternoon at leisure for shopping and personal sightseeing.
Friday, 12th October
This morning we will depart Rome and travel to Greccio. A tiny spot in the hills of Rieti, also called the ‘Holy Valley’ we will see the monastery on the site of the ancient hermitage where, in 1223, St. Francis set up the very first
Christmas Crib. We will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage in Greccio before continuing onto Assisi where we will stay in the Hotel Assisi Garden for three nights on a half board basis.
Saturday, 13th October
We will celebrate Mass this morning at the Basilica of St. Francis and afterwards have a guided tour of the basilica 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 and Cathedral of San Rufino where we will see the baptismal font used to baptise both St. Francis and St. Clare. We will have the remainder of the afternoon at leisure for personal sightseeing.
After dinner we will have the opportunity to participate in the weekly candlelight procession taking place in the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli.
Sunday, 14th October
This morning we will visit the sanctuary at Rivotorto and see the humble dwelling where St. Francis gathered together his followers before obtaining the chapel of the Porziuncola. Afterwards we will transfer to the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli where we will celebrate Mass and afterwards the chapel of the Porziuncola – chapel of St. Francis first community.
In the afternoon we will visit the church and convent of San Damiano. Located in a beautiful setting just outside the walls of Assisi, it is the place where St. Francis received his miraculous calling in 1205 and where St. Clare died in 1253 – an important stop on a pilgrimage to the Franciscan Holy City. We will have time to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and tranquility of the sanctuary.
Monday, 15th October
After breakfast we will check out of our hotel and travel to the town of Orvieto which sits majestically overlooking the Umbrian plains. We will celebrate Mass in the cathedral, the town’s most famous landmark and afterwards see the linen bearing the spots of blood which date back to the Eucharistic Miracle that took place in Bolsena in 1263. We will enjoy a guided tour of the quaint town and after free time for lunch will transfer to Fiumicino airport for our return flight to Dublin.
*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.