12 Day Madrid, Avila, Zaragoza, Torreciuda, Barcelona and Ferry to Rome


Day 1: NORTH AMERICA / EUROPE.  Depart North America for our flight to Lisbon.  Dinner and breakfast will be served aloft.

Day 2:  MADRID / AVILA.  We arrive at the Madrid Airportwhere we will be met and given an half day tour of Avila, featuring the life of St. Teresa of Avila. Visit St. Theresa Church (Basilica), Casa de la Santa and the Cathedral. Return to Madrid for dinner and overnight.

Day 3:   MADRID.   Enjoy your breakfast in Madrid.  Begin a guided visit to the Prado Museum, ranked as the 3rd most valuable museum of art in the world. After the museum visit, we get an opportunity to sightsee some of Madrid’s most famous sights like “Puerta de Alcalá”, "Puerta del Sol", the Royal Palace and the massive "Catedral de la Almudena” (Cathedral of Madrid) dedicated to the Virgin Mary where we celebrate Holy Mass. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.   

Day 4:  MADRID / ZARAGOZA.   After breakfast, we depart Madrid for a visit of Zaragoza (Saragossa) which was founded by the Romans.  Its the capital of the Spanish province of the same name and of the autonomous community of Aragon. This city was also the birthplace ofGoya, whose works grace many of the sites we will visit.  The #1 Marian shrine of Spain - the Pilar Basilica - commemorates apparitions of Our Lady the Pillar to St. James in 40 AD.  Our tour features the world famous Marian Shrine of the “Basilica de Nuestra Senora del Pilar” (Our Lady of the Pillar), where the Holy Virgin Mary appeared standing on top of a pillar to St. James, the apostle, while on his famous apostolic mission to Spain known as the “Camino de Santiago” (Road of St. James), one the world’s most famous pilgrimage routes.  We celebrate Holy Mass at the Basilica where the pillar still stands.  As a sign of fulfillment of your pilgrimage to Our Lady of the Pillar, we will have the opportunity to practice the custom of kissing the venerable column (or Pillar) where Our Lady once stood. 

Day 5: TORRECIUDAD / BARCELONA.  We depart Zaragoza bound for Torreciudad, the most beautiful Marian Shrine in all of Spain. Our trip takes us through the spectacular landscape surrounding the sanctuary and the Hermitage, dating back to the Romanic times.   Set above the clouds in the Aragonian Pyrenees, Torreciudad has been a local pilgrimage site for centuries.  We have a special tour of Torreciudad, hosted by its Rector, Monsignor Javier de Mora-Figueroa.  After the tour we have a Rosary followed by adoration to the Blessed Sacrament.  Before we depart Torreciudad today, we fulfill the local pilgrimage tradition of kissing the medallion that once was on the very old image of Our Lady of Torreciudad.  Continue to Barcelona for dinner and overnight. 

Day 6:  BARCELONA.  Today we enjoy a Classic Barcelona City Tour.  Drive via Layetana and view the Cathedral, Gothic Quarter, and Plaza Sant Jaume en route to visit the Port and Olympic Village.  Continue to Montjuic (Hill of the Jews) for panoramic views of the city and port, and tours of the Olympic Stadium and Sant Jordi Palace.  Also visit the "Poble Espanol" (Spanish Village) to observe its regional architecture characteristic of early Spain. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 7:  BARCELONA / MONTSERRAT / FERRY.  After breakfast we enjoy a relaxing drive along the picturesque villages of the province to reach Montserrat Mountain.  On arrival, visit the Royal Basilica, where you will see the famous 12th-century Romanesque sculpture of "Virgen Moreneta."  Upon your return, enjoy a stop at the harbor area to see the complex with traditional Spanish restaurants and shops.  Dinner at a local restaurant before we board our ferry to Italy. Dinner and breakfast on board.

Day 8: ROME. Arrive Civitavecchia by ferry. Upon arrival (6:45PM), we will be met and taken to our hotel for overnight.

Day 9: ROME / ASSISI. This morning we drive to Assisi. Visit the Tomb of St. Francis and the Portiuncola where the great Franciscan family has its origins. We will also see the relics of St. Clare, as well as her incorrupt body. Return to Rome to visit to the Catacombs, the Appian way. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 10: ROME. Today we visit The Vatican City including the Vatican Museum and Gallery, Raphael's Rooms, the Sistine Chapel, the Catacombs and St. Peter's Basilica. Dinner and overnight.

Day 11: ROME. After breakfast we may attend an Audience with our Holy Father if available. During the afternoon tour highlights include City Hall, the Trevi Fountain, Palatine Hill, the Roman Forum, Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus, Capitoline Hill, St. Peter in Chains, and the Colosseum. Dinner at a local restaurant tonight and overnight at our hotel.

Day 12 : ROME / USA. Transfer to the airport for your flight home—the end of our most memorable pilgrimage.