7 Day Rome and Assisi
Day 1: USA - EUROPE. Depart North America aboard our trans- Atlantic flight. Dinner and breakfast are served aloft.
Day 2: ROME. Arrival at Rome’s International airport. We meet our guide and transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 3: ROME. Today’s sightseeing Pilgrimage starts at Vatican Museums. Walking through the beautiful halls of the Museums, we see unforgettable pieces of art: Candelabra, maps, pictures and the highest masterpiece of art - Judgment by Michelangelo at the Sistine Chapel. Continue with a Pilgrimage of St. Peter’s Basilica to admire the famous Michelangelo’s Pieta. Then we proceed on the Ancient Appian Way, Stop at the Church of Sts Nereo and Achilleo. This Church was built to commemorate the place where St. Peter lost his “Fasciolae”, the bandage he used to cover the injury on his legs while escaping from Mamertine prison. Next stop is the Domine Quo Vadis, the chapel that stands at the site where according to tradition, St. Peter met Christ when he fled from Rome to escape martyrdom. Visit Catacombs of San Callisto, the oldest and most important catacombs of Rome. On the way back to our hotel, we stop at Basilica of San Paul to pray on the tomb of the Apostle of the Gents. Mass is celebrated at a selected location. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.
Day 4: ASSISI - ROME. Early morning departure traveling north, crossing the green valley of Umbiria, we arrive in Assisi. Our sightseeing includes visits to the Church of St. Clare, which houses her incorrupt body. One of the chapels contains the crucifix that bowed its head and ordered St. Francis to “repair God’s Church.” Afterwards, we visit the Basilica of St. Francis built in 1228 to house the Relics of the Saint. The “upper“ Basilica houses beautiful frescoes of Giotto. Before leaving Assisi, we visit the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli, containing the famous Porziuncola. The very ancient chapel venerated for an apparition of angels within it, was originally property of the Benedictines of Subasio. It was located on a piece of land known as the Portiuncula; this name became attached to the chapel. After a long period of abandonment, it was restored by St. Francis. Here, he was given a dear understanding of his vocation. He founded here the Order of Friars Minor (1209), "establishing here his home." Continue travel south by coach through the Umbrian Valley and reach Rome in the late afternoon. Return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 5: ROME. Early morning transfer to San Peter Square to attend the weekly Papal Audience (If available). In the afternoon, we transfer to the city center for a walking guided Pilgrimage through the real core of Ancient Rome. Walking from the magnificent Trajan's Column, jewel of architecture and sculpture made by Apollodorus of Damascus, our guide shows us along the Via dei Fori Imperiali (street of the Imperial Fora), the ruins of the fora that the great emperors had built as lasting memory of their power. You will see the Forum of Trajan, the biggest and splendid of all, whose markets, true forerunners of the modern commercial centers, offered to the Roman citizen any goods to be found at that time. We reach the Capitoline Hill, once the political and religious center of the town, today seat of the Municipality. The stairway leads us to the Piazza del Campidoglio, the magnificent result of a single project by Michelangelo, with a copy of the most famous equestrian statue in the world, the statue of Marcus Aurelius, in the middle. Behind Piazza del Campidoglio, we find a natural terrace providing the best panoramic point over the valley of the Roman Forum and the Palatine Hill. We then walk through the valley of the Roman Forum of great Rome with its important buildings that revive before our eyes; the Curia, seat of the Roman Senate, the State Archive, the basilicas, palaces of justice, the temple of Vesta, and the House of the Vestals, the virgins in charge of keeping the sacred fire always alive, and all around temples and columns and arches of triumph erected to commemorate gods and men of the Roman history. From the Forum, our guide shows us to the place linked to the fabulous origins of Rome: the Palatine. Here Romulus founded the town in the year 753 B.C. and starting with Augustus the great emperors settled here. From valley of the roman Forum you will admire the Domus Tiberiana only partially explored and the ruins of the Imperial Palaces. Leaving the Roman Forum, we find the arch of Constantine, erected to commemorate the victory of the emperor upon Maxentius in the IV century A.D., and the Coliseum - everlasting symbol of the greatness of Rome and stage of the historical clash of gladiators.
Day 6: ROME. Today is at leisure to discover the city on our own. Take the opportunity for shopping or to walk throughout beautiful fountains and squares of Rome, to see, among others, the Trevi Fountains and the Spanish Steps. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 7: ROME - USA. Early morning transfer to the airport for our flight home - the end of a memorable pilgrimage.