Italy Experience

italy

Itinerary

MONDAY, MAY 12, 2014 Depart Chicago

Our Italy Experience begins as we depart Chicago on our non-stop flight to Rome, Italy.

TUESDAY, MAY 13, 2014 Rome/Ancient Rome

Upon arrival at Rome Airport, we’ll meet our professional tour escort and be transported to the Basilica of St. Paul’s, located Outside the Walls. There will be time for a meal or snack at your expense, and Mass. After we visit the Basilica of St. Paul’s, the Coliseum and the Forum, we will journey to the Spanish Steps. Dinner is included at our hotel.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 14, 2014 Papal Audience/Assisi

Breakfast (included) at our hotel. We will travel to the Vatican City for the weekly Papal Audience and blessing (subject to Holy Father’s health and schedule). Immediately after the Audience, we will take our motor coach and travel for an overnight stay in Assisi. En route we will visit Fonte Colombo and the Franciscan Monastery, known as the Sinai, where St. Francis wrote the “Rule” of the Franciscan order. Dinner is included at our hotel.

THURSDAY, MAY 15, 2014 Assisi

Breakfast (included) at our hotel. We have a full day guided tour of this charming town, the pilgrimage center where St. Francis and St. Clare lived. We’ll visit the Upper and Lower Basilica of St. Francis (with its Renaissance masterpieces by Giotto and Cimabue) and the Basilica of St. Clare, as well as the Church of San Rufino. In the afternoon, we tour the Church of St. Damiano, where St. Francis probably wrote his famous Canticle of the Sun. Our tour will continue to Maria degli Angeli to visit the Church of St. Mary of the Angels with its Chapel, the “Porziuncola”, the rose bush and the cave where the Saint retired for prayer. This ancient chapel, venerated for an apparition of angels within it, was originally property of the Benedictines of Subasio and was located on a piece of land that was known as the Porziuncola. This name became attached to the chapel. After a long period of abandonment, it was restored by St. Francis. Here, he was given a clear understanding of his vocation and founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209, “Establishing here his home”. Tonight dinner will be on our own.

FRIDAY, MAY 16, 2014 Assisi/Greccio/Assisi

After breakfast (included), we depart Assisi and travel through the Umbria Valley and the picturesque cities of Spello and Spoleto to reach the hermitage of Greccio, the “New Bethlehem”. The edge of the building blends into the lush Holm oak woods that greeted Saint Francis on his solitary retreats. The sanctuary is famous because Saint Francis chose it as the backdrop to one of the highest and most lyrical moments in his life. The visit starts from the Chapel of the Nativity and continues through the ancient convent, the refectory, the dormitory and the cells. Mass will be celebrated in the Chapel of the Nativity. Christmas lunch at a local restaurant (included). We will return to Assisi with time for a tour of Eremo delle Carceri. Tonight dinner will be on our own.

SATURDAY, MAY 17, 2014 Assisi/La Verna

After breakfast (included) at the hotel, we will depart to the north to the Sanctuary of La Verna. Here, St. Francis, with a few companions, built a cluster of huts. In September 1224, he received the stigmata and from that time, the place became an important sanctuary. We can celebrate Holy Mass in the Chapel of the Stigmata, which harks back to 1263. We will spend the night in La Verna. Lunch and dinner are included.

SUNDAY, MAY 18, 2014 La Verna/Florence

Breakfast (included) at our hotel. In the morning, we will proceed by coach to Florence. After lunch (included), we visit the Academia fine arts gallery with the famous  Michelangelo’s David. This will be an overnight stay with dinner included at our hotel.

MONDAY, MAY 19, 2014 Florence

Breakfast (included) at our hotel. Full day in Florence. After Holy Mass, we will begin our day with an orientation tour of the beautiful Piazza della Signoria, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery of St. John with the “Gate of Paradise”. These doors are dubbed by Michelangelo “the Gates of Paradise” because of their beauty, and are said to have begun the Renaissance. Break for lunch (included). Following lunch, we will have time to explore additional treasures of Florence and shop on our own. The outdoor market of San Lorenzo, covered since medieval times, boasts a wide variety of fine leather products and the Ponte Vecchio, with goldsmiths’ shops, is a must for Florence’s other specialty gold jewelry. Tonight dinner is on your own.

TUESDAY, MAY 20, 2014 Florence/Siena/Winery/Rome

Breakfast (included) at our hotel. Morning departure heading south, leaving Florence and crossing the green Umbria region, we will arrive in the Valley of Chianti, which is covered with olive groves and vineyards, and then in Siena, we meet our local guide for a guided tour of the city. This sole living model of a medieval city is also the birthplace city of Santa Caterina. We will see the Church of San Domenico, a Gothic style Basilica. Inside is the Chapel of St. Caterina, whose tabernacle contains a reliquary with the hand of the Saint. Lunch on our own (not included). At approximately 1 p.m., we will board our bus and drive back to the Chianti Valley for a special tour to discover vineyards and wines and learn how to taste a wine. There will be people at Rocca delle Macie waiting for us. We will taste wines and food from the Tuscan countryside. Our trip continues to Rome, where we will arrive in the late afternoon. Check in at hotel for dinner (included) and overnight.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 21, 2014 Rome/Vatican Museum/Basilicas

This morning after breakfast (included) we will have a tour of the Vatican Museums, passing through the Court of the Pigna, designed by Bramante in the 16th century. We will enter the Belvedere Palace and the Courtyard. We will then pass by the secondary galleries to the Greek Cross Room where the splendid Sarcophagi of St.
Helene and St. Constance are housed. We will continue through the Galleries of the Candelabra, the Maps and the Tapestries and the Apostolic Palace. We will see the Apartments of Julius II and then continue to the Sistine Chapel, where we will admire the art masterpieces, the Genesis and the Last Judgment by Michelangelo. We will
continue down the Royal Stairway to the Basilica of St. Peter and then to St. Peter’s Square. In the afternoon, we will travel to the Curia at the convent of SS Cosma e Damiano where we will have a Mass. Then we visit the Basilicas of St. Mary Major, the Basilica of St. John in Lateran and the Holy Stairs. We’ll return to the hotel to refresh and relax before leaving for dinner (included).

THURSDAY, MAY 22, 2014 Rome

Breakfast (included) at our hotel and a full day at our disposal to discover the city, shopping and to celebrate Holy Mass. This evening we will enjoy our farewell dinner (included).

FRIDAY, MAY 23, 2014 Rome/Chicago

At the conclusion of our journey, filled with many wonderful memories, we will bid farewell to Rome as we depart for Chicago.

Itinerary is subject to change without notice.

What Your Trip Includes

  • Scheduled transatlantic flights
  • Transfers and sightseeing in air conditioned motor coach
  • Services of a professional tour director/guide
  • Accommodations in first and superior tourist class hotels with private facilities
  • Breakfast and dinner as specified on each day
  • All entrance fees, local taxes and baggage handling
  • Booking of Holy Mass

NOT INCLUDED: Lunches (except those mentioned in the program), items of personal nature, insurance and gratuities.

Terms & Conditions

All prices quoted in this flyer are based on airfares, land rates and exchange rates in effect July 2013 and on group rates of 30 passengers or more. All prices are subject to change without notice prior to departure due to major currency fluctuations, departure taxes, airport taxes, fuel prices and/or unforeseen economic circumstances. If you cancel, the following cancellation charges per person will apply: 120 days or more before departure $25 per person; 119-91 days $250 per person; 90-61 days $1,000 per person; 60-31 days $1,500 per person; 30-1 days - No Refund.

“Pilgrims are responsible for ensuring that their passports are in order and for securing any necessary Visas”
- US Citizens do not need visas.

For More Information and Reservations, Please Contact:

Susie or Jennifer
2820 Broadway Street
Quincy, IL 62301
Phone: (217) 228-1122 or (800) 323-6347

A deposit of $350 plus $271 insurance (optional) payable to 4 Discount Travel is required at the time of booking, but not later than January 17, 2014. Balance is due on or before February 28, 2014. Any booking after February 29, 2014 is subject to availability plus late fee booking will apply.

Rates shown reflect payment made by check. You may make your final payment with your credit card but 4% additional processing fee will apply. Fuel surcharges are subject to change up to 25 days prior to departure date. NON-USA citizens must obtain a visa before their departure.