11-Day Italy

Day 1: USA - EUROPE. Tour members will depart to Venice. Dinner will be served aboard the flight.

Day 2: ARRIVE VENICE. Upon our arrival at the airport we are met and escorted to our motor coach for a Pilgrimage around the city of Mestre. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 3: MESTRE - VENICE. After a good breakfast we have a half-day Pilgrimage of Venice, including St. Mark's Cathedral, Doge?s Palace and the Academy of Fine Arts. The rest of the day is at leisure for free time in Venice. Enjoy an optional gondola ride. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 4: VENICE - PADUA - VENICE. After breakfast, we drive to Padua and visit the Basilica of St. Anthony and his tomb. Then return to Venice for some time at leisure. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 5: VENICE - FLORENCE. Today begins with a drive across serene Tuscan countryside to Florence, the city considered to be the cultural heart of Italy and former stronghold of the Medici family. Dinner and overnight in Florence.

DAY 06: FLORENCE. Today, we begin our beautiful trip by visiting the Piazza della Signoria, where the Neptune Fountain stands. Then, we visit Giotto's Bell Tower, the baptistery with it's "Gates of Paradise" doors and the Academia that houses the Michelangelo's original statue of David. We also see the Santa Croce Church, the famous church where Dante, Michelangelo, Leonard da Vinci and many others are buried. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 07: FLORENCE - SIENA - ASSISI. Morning excursion to Siena. We drive southwest, through the heart of Italian wine country, over rolling hills of Chianti, in a beautiful landscape of a Renaissance painting. In Siena, we are lead to the Piazza del Campo, through narrow streets, past medieval towers and walls. We feel immersed in a unique atmosphere. Then, on to the mystic province of Umbria and its capital city of Assisi, town of St. Francis. Our afternoon walking Pilgrimage includes Santa Maria degli Angeli with the "thornless rose bush", the Basilica of St. Francis and the Church of St. Clare, which to this day houses her incorrupt body. Dinner and overnight at our hotel in Assisi.

Day 8: ASSISI - ROME. Today we leave Assisi and drive past the hill town Todi, through Umbria -"the Green Heart of Italy," and on to Rome - the Eternal City. Leisure time in Rome after arrival. Dinner awaits us at our hotel.

Day 9: ROME. Early morning, we attend an Audience with Our Holy Father (if available), Pope Benedict XVI. Then we visit The Vatican City including the Vatican Museum and Gallery, Raphael's Rooms, the Sistine Chapel and St. Peter's Basilica. The remainder of the day is at leisure for activities on our own. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 10: ROME. Today we have a half-day Pilgrimage of Rome, including City Hall, the Trevi Fountain, the Coliseum, St. Peter in chains, Appian Way, Palazzo Venezia, Arch of Constantine, and Circus Maximus. Afternoon is for leisure and shopping. Dinner and overnight at our hotel.

Day 11: ROME - USA. Early departure from Rome to the United States. The end of a most enjoyable Pilgrimage.