Day 1 – Tuesday, 09th July
We will depart in the morning from Dublin to Venice. Upon arrival we will meet our tour escort and transfer to Padua where we will stay for two nights on a half board basis.
In the afternoon we will celebrate the opening Mass of our pilgrimage at the Shrine of St. Leopold Mandic - the Croatian capuchin friar that, despite his disabilities, spent many hours in the confessional and became known as the Apostle of Confession and the Apostle of Unity. After Mass we will visit the room in which St. Leopold passed most of his day in hearing the faithful, administering the Sacrament of Reconciliation and in silent prayer.
Day 2 – Wednesday, 10th July
This morning we will travel to Venice, the great maritime republic which was once the richest city in the world during the 15th century. We will celebrate Mass in St. Mark’s Basilica and afterwards have time to admire its luminous mosaics. St. Mark’s Basilica is truly an unforgettable sight and considered one of Italy’s best loved tourist attractions.
In the afternoon we will have time at leisure for shopping and sightseeing before returning to our hotel in Padua.
Day 3 – Thursday, 11th July
This morning we will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of St. Anthony and afterwards have time for private prayer.
In the afternoon we will drive to Lake Garda where we will stay for three nights on a half board basis.
Day 4 – Friday, 12th July
After morning Mass we will enjoy a boat tour where we can enjoy the lakeside scenery in all its glory, overlooked by spectacular mountains.
In the afternoon we will have time at leisure with the opportunity to relax by the pool.
Day 5 – Saturday, 13th July
Today we will travel to Verona, made famous as the romantic setting for the moving tale of Romeo and Juliet. We will have a panoramic tour of Verona enjoying views including that of the Arena of Verona, home to the world-famous opera festival. We will have some time at leisure to enjoy the city which charms with its elegance and its warmth.
Day 6 – Sunday, 14th July
This morning we will depart Lake Garda and travel to the town of Sotto Il Monte, the birthplace of St. John XXIII where we will celebrate Mass. During the five years of his Pontificate St. John XXIII appeared to the world as an authentic image of the Good Shepherd. Meek and gentle, resourceful and courageous, simple and ever active, he undertook many spiritual works of mercy, welcoming people of all nations and religions. In Sotto Il Monte we will see the house where St. John XXIII was born, the simple room with the desk where the young seminarian began to write his spiritual autobiography. We will visit the Pontifical Institute for Foreign Missions Seminary and have opportunity to venerate the faithful bronze statue which reproduces the figure of the natural height of the saint and which has become a destination for many pilgrims.
We will continue onto our hotel near Milan where we will stay for the remaining two nights of our pilgrimage.
DAY 7 – Monday, 15th July
This morning we will drive to Milan. Ruled by Caesar, Napoleon, the Austro-Hungarians and Mussolini, Milan has an ancient and fascinating cultural history all of which we will learn about during our guided tour of the city. We will celebrate Mass in the famous Duomo and afterwards have time to enjoy this wondrous city.
DAY 8 – Tuesday, 16th July
This morning we will celebrate Mass in the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie in Milan and afterwards visit the Last Supper Museum, home to the late 15th-century mural painting by Italian artist Leonardo da Vinci, regarded as one of the western world’s most recognised paintings. We will have a guided tour of the museum and afterwards have free time for lunch.
We will have the afternoon at leisure for shopping and personal sightseeing before transferring to Malpensa airport for our return flight to Dublin.