Great Basilicas of Italy
Rome, Perugia, Assisi, Florence, Ravenna, Padua, Venice, Milan & Como
This is one of our sample pilgrimage itineraries. These itineraries require a minimum of 10 passengers.
To arrange a pilgrimage like this for your church or group, to this or many other destinations, please call us or email . We'd be happy to put together an itinerary that's just right for your group, including international flights from your home city.
|Itinerary at a Glance
Great Basilicas of Italy
|5||Rome, Orvieto & Perugia|
|6||Perugia, Assisi & Florence|
|8||Florence Ravenna & Padua|
|9||Padua, Venice & Padua|
|10||Padua, Verona, & Lake Como|
|12||Lake Como, Milan|
|Highlights||Papal Audience, Vatican City, 4 Major Basilicas of Rome, St. Francis Basilica and Tomb in Assisi, the Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence, the Accademia of Fine Arts in Florence, the Ravenna Mosaics, St. Anthony's Basilica in Padua, St. Mark's Basilica in Venice, the Cathedral of Milan, The Last Supper.|
Without question, Italy’s basilicas are some of the world’s most sacred sites and a must-see for any pilgrim. They are also stunning architectural marvels and a testament to Italy’s peerless cultural legacy. On this tour, you will visit the great basilicas of Rome, Florence, Venice, and Milan; attend an audience with the Pope (subject to Holy Father's schedule); marvel at the beautiful mosaics that adorn Ravenna’s UNESCO-protected basilicas; pay tribute to two of the most popular saints, St. Francis and St. Anthony, learning details of their lives and sacrifices; and admire artistic masterpieces such as Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel and David, and Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper. To top it off, you will have a chance to unwind at the end of the tour on the tranquil shore of Lake Como. This journey is bound to be full of discovery, beauty, and inspiration, and all for an incredible price!
Day 2, Tuesday: Rome. Welcome to Rome, the Eternal City! After going through customs, transfer to your centrally located hotel for check-in. Take some time to rest from your journey and then spend the rest of the day getting acquainted with this marvelous city on your own. Tonight, meet your fellow travelers for a delicious welcome dinner at a local restaurant. (D)
Day 3, Wednesday: Rome. Start the day with a once-in-a-lifetime experience by joining pilgrims from all over the world for a Papal Audience and receiving a Papal Blessing. Then delve into the history of Christianity at some of Rome’s oldest and most significant churches: View the manger baby Jesus was laid in following his birth at St. Mary Major, one of Rome’s four ancient major basilicas. Admire Michelangelo’s powerful and astonishing statue of Moses at St. Peter in Chains, where you will also find the chains that are believed to have bound St. Peter when he was held captive in the Mamertine Prison. Walk up the marble Holy Stairs, climbed by Jesus Christ to stand trial before Pontius Pilate, at St. John Lateran, which is ranked above all other churches in the Catholic Church, including St. Peter’s Basilica. End your day with a visit to St. Paul Outside the Walls, the site of Apostle Paul's tomb (please note that the sarcophagus is only partially visible below the main altar). If time permits, we may also stop by one of the nearby catacombs. Enjoy some traditional Roman cuisine on your own at one of the many nearby restaurants. Breakfast provided.
Day 4, Thursday: Rome. This morning you find out why St. Peter’s Basilica has been called the “the greatest of all churches of Christendom” on a close-up tour of the religious and architectural landmark. Then explore the religious and artistic treasures of the Vatican Museums. No matter how often you’ve seen it or heard it described, the exquisite Sistine Chapel will take your breath away with its lifelike frescoes and spectacular ceiling painted by Michelangelo. The rest of the day is at leisure. Don’t be afraid to wander—you are sure to find a gem, whether it be a gelateria or a hidden church—around the corner. Breakfast provided.
Day 5, Friday: Rome, Orvieto & Perugia. Today you leave bustling Rome behind for two charming towns. First is Orvieto, built by Etruscans on top of volcanic cliffs jutting out of the Umbrian countryside. You will visit Orvieto’s magnificent Cathedral and Papal Palace, a testament to the town’s power and wealth during the Middle Ages, when it also served as a papal city. On display at the Cathedral is the Corporal of Bolsena, which dates from a Eucharistic miracle in 1263. Savor a lunch made from fresh local ingredients, and then head to Perugia, the stunning capital of Umbria. A brief tour will orient you to the town, and you will have a chance to sample some of Perugia’s world-famous chocolates at a coffee shop before or after dinner. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Our journeys today will cover 140 miles and take approximately 3½ hours.
Day 6, Saturday: Perugia, Assisi & Florence. After breakfast a short motorcar ride will take us to Assisi, a nearby town closely associated with St. Francis. Born in 1182, St. Francis was a humble man who traveled extensively preaching about the love of God and who founded the Order of the Friars Minor in 1210. Around the same time he met St. Clare of Assisi, and soon after the female branch of the Franciscan Order was established. Visit St. Francis Basilica and Tomb and St. Clare's Church, as well as St. Mary of Angels, which lies at the foot of the town. This is where St. Francis lived, died, and began the Franciscan Order, in a simple chapel he himself built, the Porziuncola. Here you will also see the thornless rose bush. After a delicious lunch at a local restaurant continue to Florence for dinner and overnight. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Our journeys today will cover 133 miles and take approximately 3 hours.
Day 7, Sunday: Florence. A Sunday Mass in one of Florence’s historic churches will be followed by a sightseeing walking tour of Florence. A local expert will guide you on a leisurely walk through the city's highlights: the Ponte Vecchio, the Piazza del Duomo, the world-famous Basilica of Santa Maria del Fiore—one of Italy’s largest churches, whose dome was, until the modern era, the largest in the world—and the Baptistery. Your tour culminates with a visit to the Accademia of Fine Arts, home to Michelangelo's David. In the afternoon, travel to the nearby Vicchiomaggio Castle in the Tuscan Chianti countryside to visit a wine estate and learn about the winemaking process in this famous region. Enjoy wine tasting and dinner before returning to Florence. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Day 8, Monday: Florence, Ravenna & Padua. This morning depart Florence, stopping first in Ravenna, a city famous for the stunning mosaics that adorn its early Christian monuments and churches. Some of the most imaginative and vivid mosaics are found in the Basilica of San Vitale, one of Ravenna’s eight UNESCO World Heritage sites and a magnificent example of Christian Byzantine art and architecture. You will also visit the Basilica of St. Apollinare in Classe, which UNESCO has described as “an outstanding example of the early Christian basilica in its purity and simplicity of design and … in the sumptuous nature of its decoration,” as well as the tomb of the “divine poet” Dante Alighieri. After lunch continue to Padua. Upon arrival visit St. Anthony's Basilica, dedicated to the patron saint of the poor and oppressed—and travelers. Over 5 million pilgrims visit this spectacular shrine—a mixture of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque styles—each year. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Our journeys today will cover 260 miles and take approximately 5½ hours.
Day 9, Tuesday: Padua, Venice & Padua. After breakfast, travel by bus to Venice’s Piazzale Roma, from where a motorboat will take you to St. Mark’s Square, the center of this unique and fascinating city. Discover the spectacular St. Mark's Basilica, renowned for its ornate façade, medieval mosaics, and exquisite Golden Altar. View the Campanile (Bell Tower), the tallest structure in Venice. Admire the opulent Doge's Palace and the Bridge of Sighs, which once connected the palace’s courtrooms with one of the cruelest prisons in Europe. Enjoy the views of St. George’s Island and the beautiful Santa Maria della Salute, a basilica built to honor the Virgin who saved the city during a devastating plague in 1630. Explore the beauty of Venice on your own before returning to Padua for overnight. Breakfast provided.
Our journeys today will cover 70 miles and take approximately 2½ hours.
Day 10, Wednesday: Padua, Verona & Lake Como. This morning, travel to the romantic city of Verona to pay tribute to its most famous citizens, Romeo and Juliet. Known as “Little Rome” because of its importance in the imperial era, Verona is home to a number of remarkable Roman buildings still in use today. After an orientation tour and lunch at a local restaurant, continue to picturesque Lake Como, set in the shadow of the majestic Rhaetian Alps, for dinner and overnight at a lakeshore hotel. Breakfast, lunch & dinner provided.
Our journeys today will cover 205 miles and take approximately 3¾ hours.
Day 11, Thursday: Lake Como. Today is a leisure day to explore the charms of Lake Como on your own. Its shoreline dotted with peaceful villages, the lake has inspired artists such as Bellini, Rossini, and Shelley. You may wish to take an optional boat ride to the town of Bellagio, the stately “pearl of Lake Como.” Breakfast provided.
Our journeys today will cover 120 miles and take approximately 3 hours.
Day 12, Friday: Lake Como & Milan. After breakfast, travel to Milan, the second largest Italian city and arguably the fashion capital of the world. A sightseeing tour will include the Cathedral of Milan, maybe the most recognizable gothic cathedral in the world, as well as the world's best known opera, the Teatro alla Scala, and its museum. A highlight of the visit will be a viewing of Leonardo da Vinci's The Last Supper at Santa Maria delle Grazie. (Due to the small size of the church, each viewing is limited to 15 minutes and to 25 people per time slot; larger groups will split accordingly.) Enjoy free time in Milan—and perhaps indulge in some shopping before traveling to your hotel near Milan Airport for a farewell dinner and overnight. Breakfast & dinner provided.
Our journeys today will cover 60 miles and take approximately 1½ hours.