Catholic heritage in Italy extends well beyond the Vatican. Discover the inspiring Catholic Italian icons of northern Italy on this affordable tour of Italy. From Milan’s St Ambrogio to Turin’s Don Bosco and Padua’s St Anthony, you’ll collect memories and inspiration that will remain with you for life. Admire in awe the early Christian works of art of the Byzantine era in Ravenna, and finally spend two full days in Rome, dedicating your attention to the Papal legacies and visiting many inspiring places of worship instilling a sense of solemnity and serenity—with the opportunity to attend the Papal audience if possible. This Italian guided tour of faith-based sites is sure to move the most devoted faithful, as well as those just approaching the Catholic faith—on your affordable tour of Rome, Milan, and the Holy sites along the way.
Contact Planet Travel for Pilgrimage dates and prices.
DAY 1 - ARRIVE IN MILAN, ITALY.
Check into your hotel and, if you have time, start exploring this busy city on your own before meeting your tour companions and tour director during the included welcome dinner at your hotel. (D)
DAY 2 - MILAN.
Early morning Mass at St. Ambrose Basilica. St. Ambrose is the patron saint of bee keepers, beggars, learners, and Milan. After Mass, a local guide will show you the treasures of the Basilica and the Duomo, the iconic cathedral and symbol of Milan. (B)
DAY 3 - MILAN-TURIN.
Turin is known in the Catholic community worldwide as the home of the Holy Shroud, only available to the public on very special occasions, and of St. John Bosco, the priest that founded the Salesian religious institute to help poor children with their education during the industrial revolution. Your visit includes the HOLY SHROUD MUSEUM, the BASILICA OF ST. MARY AUSILIATRICE, and DON BOSCO'S ROOMS. You'll have time to appreciate the elegance of this city and former capital of Italy before attending Mass in the Cathedral. (B)
DAY 4 - TURIN-PAVIA-SIRMIONE-PADUA.
Pavia is home to a beautiful CARTHUSIAN MONASTERY, built in the 1400s by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. The monastery is one of Italy's "hidden treasures" with lavish decorations and monks who still live a traditional life of seclusion and prayer. On the way to Padua, you'll also stop in Sirmione, a charming village on Lake Garda, with a medieval peninsula protected by walls and a bridge connecting it to the mainland. (B,D)
DAY 5 - PADUA-POMPOSA-RAVENNA.
Attend morning Mass and visit the ST. ANTHONY BASILICA in Padua with a local guide, then enjoy a short city sightseeing and time on your own. In the afternoon, on the way to Ravenna, we'll stop to see the ABBEY OF POMPOSA, where the Benedictine monk Guido d'Arezzo invented modern musical notation in the 11th century. (B,D)
DAY 6 - RAVENNA-ROME.
UNESCO declared the early Christian monuments of Ravenna as having "outstanding universal value." Ravenna was the seat of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century. It has a unique collection of early Christian mosaics and monuments. All buildings-the NEONIAN BAPTISTRY, the BASILICA OF SANT'APOLLINARE NUOVO, the CHURCH OF SAN VITALE, and the ARCHBISHOP'S CHAPEL OF ST. ANDREW-were constructed in the 5th and 6th centuries. They show great artistic skill, including a wonderful blend of Greek-Roman tradition, Christian iconography, and oriental and Western styles. The morning is dedicated to discovering these masterpieces and focusing on the Byzantine-style mosaics with a local guide. In the afternoon, travel to Rome. (B,D)
DAY 7 - ROME.
Today you have the unique chance to attend the PAPAL AUDIENCE in the Vatican (subject to availability). Afterwards, enjoy an included city tour with a local guide to see the BASILICA OF ST. PAUL OUTSIDE THE WALLS, where St. Paul was buried after his martyrdom, ST. JOHN LATERAN BASILICA, the Cathedral of Rome and the seat of its Bishop (the Pope) famous for the Holy Stairs. Said to have led Jesus to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate, the stairs were transferred to Rome by St. Empress Helena. Finally, visit ST. MARY MAJOR BASILICA, where a reliquary contains wood from the Holy Crib. Attend Mass here before returning to your hotel. (B
DAY 8 - ROME.
Visit the PAPAL SUMMER RESIDENCE in Castel Gandolfo. Wander through the its GARDENS, an opportunity to reflect and meditate in quiet and relaxing surroundings. Walk through the rooms where many Popes have spent the summer months enjoying the cooler countryside on the hills outside Rome. Later, you can join the optional excursion that will take you back to St. Peter's to discover the treasures of the Vatican museum, or you can spend time at leisure enjoying the many monuments of Roman heritage. (B)
DAY 9 - ROME.
Your holiday ends with breakfast this morning. (B)