Day 1: Departure from USA.
Day 2: Arrival. Meditation at the Capella Paolina at St. Mary Major, facing the icon of the Virgin Mary (Salus Populi Romani painted by St. Luke). Tour of St. Mary Major, the main Basilica dedicated to Mary in Rome. We will see the remains of Jesus’ manger, the tomb of Bernini, the remains of St. Matthew the Evangelist, the tomb of St. Jerome. Visit the Basilica of St. Paul outside the Wall where the body of St. Paul is buried. It is the 2nd largest basilica in Rome and the 5th in the world. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 3: Start around 9:00am. Meditation in front of Ecstasy of St. Teresa of Avila, located in the Cornaro Chapel, Santa Maria della Vittoria. Mediation is followed by Mass. Visit the Colosseum, the symbol of the city of Rome; a great building that has been standing since 80 A.D. Then visit the breathtaking Catacombs where 500,000 people were buried. After the Catacombs tour of St. John Lateran, the first Basilica ever to be built in the Roman Empire. Silent Holy Hour for Adoration at St. John’s Basilica. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 4: Meditation in front of Michelangelo’s statue of St. Pietro in Vincoli, in the Church of St. Pietro in Vincoli followed by Mass. Tour the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel (the Pope’s private Chapel). Then tour of St. Peter’s in the Vatican, the largest Basilica in the world. Long pants, capris, or skirts below the knee, shoulders covered. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 5: We will have an early start as our private bus leaves around 7:00 am to the Vatican to experience the 10:00 am Audience with the Pope. We will see the Pope very closely; sometimes we even shake his hand. After the Audience, we will hold a discussion about our experience of seeing Pope Francis. There will be time for lunch in the area of the Vatican, before we visit the Spanish Steps. This is the place where the Romans hung out. From there we will walk to Trevi Fountain, and have time for shopping. Followed by a walk to the Pantheon, the oldest functional building in the world, and then to the great artistic place of Piazza Navona around 4:30 pm. You will attend an outdoor music concert with candles in Rome. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 6: Meditation in St. John Lateran facing the statues of the Apostles made by Borromini. En route to Florence stop in Assisi. Visit the tombs of St. Francis and St. Clare; enjoy a peaceful walk on the streets of Assisi. Dinner in Tuscany and overnight in Florence.
Day 7: Meditation at the Duomo in Florence in front of the interior paintings of the Last Judgment by Giorgio Vasari. Tour of Florence in the region of Tuscany. Tour of the Ponte Vecchio, Piazza della Signoria, the Uffizzi, Michelangelo’s masterpiece, The David, Flea Market, Duomo (Cathedral), and the Baptistery. Tour Guide will show to those interested the location of the Basilica of San Lorenzo and the Medici Chapel (where the Medici family was buried), and Basilica della Santa Croce (where Michelangelo and 15 other glorious Italian artists and thinkers were buried). Holy Hour for Adoration with Music at the Duomo. Dinner in Florence. Casual dress throughout the day. Overnight in Florence.
Day 8: Meditation at San Marco Basilica in Venice in front of the tomb of St. Mark the Apostle followed by Mass. Tour of Venice: an amazing city built on water. Leave for Venice in the morning on our private bus. Estimated time of arrival is 12:00 noon. Visit St. Mark’s plaza. Optional: Gondola ride and shopping. Long pants if you intend to go inside St. Mark’s. Casual dress if you intend to go on a Gondola ride or spend time shopping and visiting the beautiful streets and bridges of Venice. Dinner and overnight in Venice.
Day 9: Our private bus brings us to the airport in Venice to fly back to USA.
Please note: We do our best to ensure that all sites listed in this itinerary will be seen. However, due to scheduling conflicts, or other circumstances beyond our control, sites may be visited on a different day than listed. If this happens it will also necessitate a change in the restaurant for dinner. However, we will never sacrifice the quality of the meal, all restaurants will meet Proximo Travel’s very high standards. Since we have several different trip configurations touring at the same time, it is likely that groups on different tours will be combined when their itineraries overlap in certain areas.