ENCHANTING PILGRIMAGE TO ROME, SOUTHERN ITALY & SICILY WITH MALTA OPTION
SEPTEMBER 16 - SEPTEMBER 30, 2019 (15 Days)
With Fr. Richard Tuttle
A 15-Day Italian Pilgrimage to Rome, (Vatican & a Papal audience), Southern Italy, Sicily and with a Post Tour Option to Malta for 6 Days (Sept. 30 - Oct. 5, 2019)
DAY 1: DEPART USA
DAY 2: ARRIVE IN ROME
Upon arrival in Rome, travel to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, housing the Tomb of St. Paul the Apostle. After Mass and a tour, travel to your hotel for check in and dinner.
DAY 3: ROME
Your day will begin with Mass at the Basilica of St. Mary Major, then a visit to the Church of St. Alphonsus, the Basilica of St. John Lateran and the Scala Sancta (Holy Stairs). After lunch, take a walk to Trevi Fountain, Piazza Trinità dei Monti, the Pantehon and Piazza Navona. We’ll
see the Church of Sant’Agnese in Agone and then enjoy dinner in Piazza Navona.
DAY 4: ROME
Begin with Mass at the Basilica of St. Peter, followed by a tour of the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Take some time for lunch and shopping near St. Peter’s. Later, travel to Castel Gondolfo, and have a private wine tasting (if available) and dinner nearby.
DAY 5: ROME
In the morning visit the Basilica of San Clemente. Celebrate Mass at Sts. Cosmaand Damian Church, then drive through the Roman countryside up to Tivoli, and visit Villa d’Este. Dinner follows at Sibilla Restaurant on Acropoli Tiburtina, overlooking the waterfalls of Tivoli.
DAY 6: ROME/PADRE PIO/SORRENTO
Depart Rome this morning, and we board the bus to drive towards San Giovanni Rotondo, the hometown of Saint Padre Pio. Upon arrival in San Giovanni Rotondo, we will visit the Old Church. After Mass we will tour the sanctuary, it is here you will view the crucifix, in front of which St. Pio received the stigmata. Visit the confessional from where St. Pio spent an innumerable number of hours listening to confession. After the visit, continue our drive to Sorento for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: SORRENTO/CAPRI/NAPLES
After breakfast, board a boat for the Island of Capri and its enchanting Blue Grotto. After lunch, visit the Port of Naples to celebrate Mass at the Church of Gesu Nuovo. Then on to Sansevero Chapel and Naples Museum. Return to Sorrento for dinner.
DAY 8: SORRENTO/POMPEII
Today head to Pompeii, best known for its burial in the year 70 A.D., when Mount Vesuvius erupted. Visit the ruins and go to the Basilica of Our Lady of the Rosary in Pompeii for Mass. Return to Sorrento for dinner and a special Tarantella Show.
DAY 9: SORRENTO/AMALFI/
SALERNO/PAESTUM/CONSENZA/ REGGIO CALABRIA
In the morning enjoy a scenic drive along the Amalfi Coast, visit the Cathedral, and celebrate Mass at St. Andrew’s tomb. After Mass, continue to Salerno, the Greek temples of Paestum, and finally Cosenza and its Sanctuary of San Francesco di Paola. Continue to Reggio Calabria for dinner and overnight.
DAY 10: REGGIO CALABRIA/TAORMINA
Depart for Sicily and the beautiful coastal town of Taormina for a tour and a visit to the Greek amphitheater. Next, see the Giardini della Villa Comunale, a tranquil garden. Mass will be celebrated at the of St. Catherine. In the evening, dine at Ristorante Bella Blu, which
overlooks enchanting Taormina. After dinner, enjoy one of the greatest Italian operas held in the San Giorgio Theatre (Optional: Pending Availability/ Own expense). Overnight in Taormina.
DAY 11: TAORMINA/CATANIA/SIRACUSA
Travel to Catania, celebrate Mass at the Cathedral (Fortress Church), and visit two of the “Seven Doors.” After lunch, continue to Siracusa Cathedral, the Greek Theatre, and the Roman Amphitheatre. Later, travel to the Island of Ortygia and Santuario della Madonna delle Lacrime (Our Lady of Tears). Dinner and overnight in Siracusa.
DAY 12: SIRACUSA/PIAZZA/ ARMERINA/ AGRIGENTO
Begin with a visit to Piazza Armerina and its famous Roman Villa del Casale. Then travel to Agrigento, the Valley of the Temples, and conclude the day with Mass at the Sanctuary of Santa Maria della Catena. Dinner will be at a local restaurant and overnight in Agrigento.
DAY 13: AGRIGENTO/CEFALU/PALERMO
After breakfast, depart for Palermo via Cefalu and its Norman Cathedral. Celebrate Mass in Palermo at the small Santa Cita Oratory. Dinner and overnight in Palermo.
DAY 14: PALERMO, EXCURSION TO MONREALE
Visit the Cathedral and the Royal Palace (Palazzo dei Normanni) with the Palatine Chapel. Then head to Mount Pellegrino (Pilgrims Mountain) and St. Rosalie’s Shrine for Mass. After lunch head to Monreale and its Cathedral, Santa Maria la Nuovo. Return to Palermo to celebrate a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Palermo.
DAY 15: RETURN TO THE USA OR JOIN THE OPTIONAL TOUR TO MALTA
OPTIONAL PILGRIMAGE TO MALTA
Sept. 30-Oct. 5, 2019 (6 Days/5 Nights)
10 Min. Required Persons
Check in at Palermo airport for your flight departing for Malta. Upon arrival, we depart for Mass at the Church of the Bonfire (St. Paul’s shipwreck Church) in St. Paul’s bay. Tour of Saint Paul’s Bay and the church of the Bonfire. Saint Paul’s Bay is a town in the Northern Region of Malta. It is situated sixteen kilometers northwest of the capital city of Valletta. Saint Paul’s Bay is largest town in the Northern Region and the seat of the Northern Regional Committee. The Village’s name refers to Saint Paul’s Shipwreck, he was shipwrecked as a captive en-route to Rome in AD 60. According to the Bible, he was shipwrecked on an island while travelling from Caesarea to Rome and it is believed that this island was Malta. Saint Paul is believed to have introduced Christianity to the Maltese. Transfer to the 4* Solana Hotel Resort & Spa in Mellieha for 6 nights on a half board basis.
Morning departure to Mass in rotunda of Mosta church, to see where the miracle of Mosta happened. In the steps of St. Paul, morning drive in Mellieha, introduction to this beautiful resort with the largest sandy beach in Malta. Visit the Parish church, the church of Our Lady’s Grotto and the Air raid shelter. Afternoon excursion to see St. Agatha’s Tower, Popeye village, and visit the Mellieha sanctuary with its famous painting by St. Luke who was shipwrecked here with St. Paul. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Morning departure for mass in Mdina. In the steps of St. Paul, this morning we visit St. Paul’s Grotto - his first resting place on the island, and now part of the refurbished Wignacourt Museum. Visit Roman Domus, typical of the period when St. Paul was in Malta and one of the richest archaeological finds in Malta. Afternoon visit to Mdina, built on a plateau in the Centre of the island. See the old Baroque buildings, the magnificent Bastion Walls, and visit the Cathedral and Museum. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Early morning departure for a day trip to Gozo and Mass at noon in Ta’ pina Basilica. A short 25-minute ferry crossing takes us past the island of Comino and on the return, you see the Blue Lagoon in the distance. On Gozo we visit the Basilica of the Blessed Virgin of Ta’Pinu, visit the Rotunda of St. John the Baptist, and see the natural limestone arch of the Azure Window. Visit the Citadel, Victoria - a Medieval City and Capital of gozo, enjoy a breathtaking view of the island from the Ramparts, and visit the 17th century Cathedral. Late afternoon return ferry to mainland Malta. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Morning departure to Shipwreck church in Valetta, where there are 2 important relics to be seen. Then proceed around Valetta and visit St. Johns Co-Cathedral - home of Caraveggio’s masterpiece “the beheading of St. John”. Then proceed with a visit to Marsaxlokk, walk along the promenade and market place of this picturesque, serene and charming fishing village with colorful fishing crafts. The open-air market takes place every day. Afternoon visit to Hagar Qim and Mnajdra Megalithic Temple Complex. continue to the Blue Grotto and enjoy a short boat journey through the caves. This boat trip is OPTIONAL (not included, depending on weather and time).
Day 6 – FLIGHTS TO USA
Depart hotel for mass in Balzan church on way to the Airport. After mass we will transfer to Malta Airport for our flight to the US. We bid farewell to our new friends, and to a Pilgrimage which will be in our hearts and memories for a long time to come. Arrivederci Italia!