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Rev. Fr. Christopher Loester.jpeg

Italy Pilgrimage w/ Fr Christopher and Holy Family Parish

Dates TBD


$200 discount check or Zelle payment
Space is limited


Spring  & Fall


ET +6 hours 

Fr Christopher Loester invites you on a transformative pilgrimage to Italy, often referred to as the "Holy Land of Europe."  Italy is rich in history, natural beauty and, of course, great food!  


In Rome, The Eternal City, we will visit and worship in the four major papal basilicas, attend a Papal audience in St Peter's Square, visit the famous Roman Catacombs, tour ancient Rome including The Pantheon, Colosseum, Roman Forum and Palatine Hill, and visit the incredible Spanish Steps and Trevi Fountain.


We will also make our way north to the Renaissance City of Florence and it's incredible Cathedral, and the medieval, hilltop towns of Assisi and Siena.  Assisi, the home to Saints Francis and Clare and their respective basilicas, and Siena, the home to one of the great Doctor's of the Church, St Catherine.

For many pilgrims, this is a once in a lifetime opportunity to visit Italy, and we hope you will join Fr Christopher on this journey of spiritual discovery.  Please see itinerary below for more details, and don't hesitate to contact us with any questions.  Many thanks, and God bless!

DAYS 1 & 2: USA > Rome

Depart USA on overnight flight to Rome, Italy. Upon arrival in Rome we will be greeted by our tour escort and bus driver. We will check-in at the Hotel Orazio Palace before setting off to celebrate Holy Mass at the Major Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls.  This is one of four Major Basilicas in Rome we will visit during our pilgrimage.  After Holy Mass we will have time to relax before our Welcome Dinner at Visconti 2.0  Ristorante. (D)

DAY 3: Rome

Papal Audience -The Audience with the Pope consists of small teachings and at the end of the Audience, the Pope will pray the Our Father and impart his Apostolic Blessing upon the crowd which also extends to loved ones that are sick and suffering. Lunch at a local restaurant.  The Vatican Museums - The Vatican Museums contain masterpieces of painting, sculpture and other works of art collected by the popes through the centuries.  St Peter’s Basilica - St. Peter's is one of the holiest sites in Christendom, standing on the traditional site where Peter was crucified and buried. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.  (B|L|D)

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DAY 4: Rome

After breakfast, we start the day with a tour of the famous Catacombs of St Callisto - one of the most extensive and significant catacombs in Rome, dating back to the 2nd century AD. Named after Pope Callixtus I, who expanded the catacombs during his papacy (217–222 AD), these underground burial chambers became a central place for Christian burials.  We then celebrate Holy Mass at the Church of Domine Quo Vadis where tradition tells us St. Peter, fleeing from the city to avoid martyrdom, meets Jesus to whom he addresses the following words “Domine quo vadis (Lord, where are you going)?” ​After lunch at a local restaurant, we will enjoy a City Tour including views of The Spanish Steps, Trevi Fountain and the Pantheon.  Remainder of the day free to enjoy Rome. (B|L)

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DAY 5: Rome > Chianti > Florence

After an early breakfast, we leave Rome and head north to incomparable Greve in Chianti, Tuscany. We will have lunch and an optional wine tasting at the beautiful Castello Vicchiomaggio nestled on top of a hill overlooking the Greve in Chianti Valley. The Vicchiomaggio Castle is built in solid stone whose fulcrum is the high crenellated tower dating back to 1100.  The castle has a Catholic Church, Chiesa di Santa Maria a Vicchiomaggio, so we will celebrate Holy Mass at this unique site before our tour, lunch and tasting. After lunch, we continue to The Renaissance City of Florence with a stop at Piazzale Michelangelo with its stunning view of Florence.  Upon arrival we'll check into our hotel with the rest of the afternoon and evening free to explore this legendary city. Overnight in Florence. (B|L)

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DAY 6: Florence 

After breakfast we will enjoy a tour of Florence including the Galleria dell’ Accademia where we will see another masterpiece of Michelangelo - the statue of David, Santa Maria del Fiore Duomo - a masterpiece of Gothic architecture including the Baptistry of St John with its famous bronze doors, including the "Gates of Paradise," Piazza della Repubblica - originally known as the Roman Forum during the Roman era, it became the Mercato Vecchio (Old Market) in the medieval period. In the 19th century, during the Italian unification, the area was redesigned and transformed into Piazza della Repubblica to celebrate the establishment of the Kingdom of Italy. and the Ponte Vecchio - the oldest bridge in Florence, known for its gold shops. Lunch on our own, and remainder of the day free. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. (B|D)

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DAY 7: Siena 

After breakfast, we checkout of our hotel and bid farewell to Florence. We travel south the Tuscan country for the medieval, hilltop fortress town of Siena, the home of St Catherine. We will celebrate Holy Mass at the Basilica of Saints Dominic and Catherine which houses the first class relic of Catherine's head. After Mass, we will walk to Piazza del Campo, the iconic main square that is not only the heart of Siena but also one of the most remarkable medieval squares in Europe. After lunch at a local restaurant we will enjoy a guided tour that includes the beautiful Siena Cathedral (Duomo di Siena).  We continue on to Assisi for dinner and overnight at The Grand Hotel Assisi.  (B|L|D) 

DAY 8:  Assisi

Today we say, "Buongiorno" to Assisi, a charming hill town in the heart of Umbria. Assisi is home to two of Italy's most revered Saints, St Francis and St Clare. We start our day with Holy Mass at the Papal Basilica of St Francis.  After, we will enjoy and half-day guided tour of the Basilica of St Francis, the town of Assisi and the Basilica of St Clare. After lunch on our own and time to spend shopping or revisiting the Basilicas, we depart for The Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli in the Assisi valley. We will visit the Porziuncola, a small chapel within the basilica, where St. Francis founded the Franciscan Order. We continue our journey back to Rome for dinner and overnight at The Hotel Mediterraneo. (B|D)

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DAY 9: Rome

After breakfast, we are off on a full day walking tour of Ancient Rome and the final two Major Papal Basilicas.  But first, we will visit the St Peter in Chains Minor Basilica where tradition tells us the chains believed to have bound St Peter during his imprisonment in Jerusalem and Rome are housed. The relic is displayed under the main altar.  The Basilica is also home to the third masterpiece of Michelangelo we will see - "Moses." We will then begin our tour with views of the Colosseum, Palatine Hill, and the Roman Forum.  

After lunch at a local restaurant, we will visit St John Lateran Basilica and Cathedral, the home church of the Bishop of Rome, Pope Francis.  St John Lateran is the oldest christened church in the western church.  We then visit The Holy Steps and St Mary Major Basilica.  After Holy Mass at St Mary Major, it's back to the hotel and dinner on our own.  (B|L)

DAY 10: Castel Gandolfo & Montecassino

This morning we tour the Pontifical Villas of Castel Gandolfo.  Now a museum, it had served for centuries as a summer residence and vacation retreat for the Pope. The Papal Palace itself is an architectural gem, featuring a mix of Renaissance, Baroque, and Neoclassical styles. We will explore the rooms that were once used by popes for private audiences, meetings, and relaxation.  This afternoon we travel south to the Benedictine Abbey of Montecassino, one of the most famous abbeys in the world.  Founded by St. Benedict in 529 AD, the Abbey of Montecassino is one of the oldest monasteries in Italy.  The original abbey was destroyed several times, most notably during World War II, but it has been reconstructed to preserve its historical and religious significance. Lunch in a local restaurant in Cassino before Holy Mass at Montecassino Abbey. Return to Rome for our Farewell Dinner.  (B|L|D)

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DAY 11: Rome > USA

After breakfast, we say ‘Arrivederci’ and transfer to the airport for our flight back home after a life changing pilgrimage through Italy. B 

What’s Included 
· Round trip airfare from USA to Rome

· Meeting/assistance upon arrival and departure at airport w/ porterage at airport
· Daily Holy Mass w/ Fr Christopher

· 9 nights in beautiful 4* hotels 
· Daily breakfast, 6 lunches and 6
 dinners including Welcome and Farewell Dinners
· 9 full days sightseeing as per program with Catholic guide
· Luxury air-conditioned coach w/ Wi-Fi
· Entrance fees as per itinerary

* Price is for double occupancy - single supplement is $TBD. $200 discount for check or Zelle payment (all payments must be check or Zelle, otherwise full price applies)
Price is based on a minimum of 24 pilgrims.  If the minimum number of pilgrims is not met, a modest price increase may be required.
* Price is based on estimated international airfare.  
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