Tour: TV / 2013 (TV) - 2013 / 2014

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The Vatican
The Vatican
The tomb of Michelangelo
Visit the Roman Forum, where Roman legions marched in triumph
The Colosseum, Rome
Roman Forum
The Church of Santa Maria Delle Grazie
St. Peters Square and Basilica
Sistine Chapel

Itinerary

DAY 1Arrive in Rome, Italy

Welcome to Rome! At 5 pm, meet your Tour Director, then enjoy this evening’s welcome dinner with wine at a local restaurant. (Dinner)

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DAY 2Rome

Attend the weekly general audience of the Pope (subject to availability). This afternoon, visit ST. PAUL OUTSIDE THE WALLS and the CATACOMBS. During the persecutions, the catacombs were used as places of refuge for the celebration of the Eucharist. Next, visit ST. JOHN LATERAN BASILICA, the HOLY STAIRS, which were brought from Jerusalem to Rome around 326 AD by St. Helena, mother of Constantine the Great. As a favorite of pilgrims everywhere, officially these 28 white marble steps may only be ascended on the knees. Then, visit the impressive ST. MARY MAJOR BASILICA. (Breakfast)

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DAY 3Rome

This morning, enjoy a guided visit of the VATICAN MUSEUMS and the SISTINE CHAPEL, world famous for Michelangelo’s ceiling paintings and The Last Judgment. Continue to monumental ST. PETER’S SQUARE and BASILICA. Cross the Tiber River and visit the COLOSSEUM, one of the New 7 Wonders of the World®, and the ROMAN FORUM, where Roman legions marched in triumph. (Breakfast)

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DAY 4Rome–Cascia–Assisi

Enter Umbria and stop in the town of Cascia to explore the life of St. Rita, known as the “Saint of the Impossible.” Visit the MAJOR BASILICA, the chapel that houses the tomb of St. Rita, and the MINOR BASILICA, home of the Eucharistic Miracle, which is commemorated each year with the Feast of Corpus Christi. Arrive at the hilltop village of Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare. Here, visit ST. MARY OF THE ANGELS BASILICA, where St. Francis consecrated St. Clare as the “Bride of Christ,” and the PORTIUNCOLA, where he founded the Franciscan Order of Friars Minor in 1209. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 5Assisi

Celebrate Mass this morning followed by a guided walking tour of Assisi. Visit the BASILICAS OF ST. FRANCIS and ST. CLARE, and see the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis. A short trip by minibus will take you to the CARCERI HERMITAGE, where St. Francis came to meditate and pray, an oasis of peace and tranquility in the midst of the woods of Mount Subasio. Finally, visit the MONASTERY OF ST. DAMIAN, a Franciscan shrine built on the spot where St. Francis heard the voice of Christ, and where he wrote the Canticle of the Creatures. The convent founded by St. Clare is still intact; here she died in 1253. This afternoon you may wish to join an optional excursion to magnificent Spello. (Breakfast)

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DAY 6Assisi–Siena–Florence

Leave Assisi and enter Tuscany. Stop in Siena to visit beautiful PIAZZA DEL CAMPO, theater of the biannual Palio, Siena’s spectacular medieval-style horse race. Then, enjoy a walk with a local expert through the ancient narrow lanes and visit the SANCTUARY OF ST. CATHERINE and the BASILICA OF ST. DOMINIC. In the afternoon, continue to Florence, “Cradle of the Renaissance.” (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 7Florence

Follow your Local Guide on a walking tour through Florence’s historical center. Visit the SANTA MARIA NOVELLA BASILICA, admire the Duomo, Giotto’s Bell Tower, the Baptistry’s heavy bronze “Gate of Paradise,” and visit sculpture-studded SIGNORIA SQUARE. Also visit the SANTA CROCE BASILICA with the tombs of Michelangelo, Dante, Rossini, and others. (Breakfast)

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DAY 8Florence–Pavia–Milan

Through the Apennine Mountains, arrive in the flat Po area and in picturesque Pavia. Here enjoy a guided visit of the Carthusian CERTOSA MONASTERY, founded by a member of Milan’s Visconti family in the 14th century as a private family chapel, and which housed only 12 monks. Continue to Milan, Italy’s commercial and fashion capital, also renowned for its Duomo, the Galleria, and the Scala Theater. Follow your Local Guide on a walking tour of this fascinating city. Also on the agenda a special visit to the CHURCH OF SANTA MARIA DELLE GRAZIE to see Leonardo da Vinci’s world-famous The Last Supper. This evening dinner has been prepared at one of Milan’s fine restaurants. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 9Milan–Padua–Venice

Depart for Padua and meet your Local Guide. Visit the BASILICA OF ST. ANTHONY to see the tomb and reliquaries of this miracle-working saint and patron of lost and stolen articles, and enjoy Mass. Journey on to Venice, one of the world’s most romantic cities. Tonight is your chance to sample one of Venice’s fine restaurants. (Breakfast)

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DAY 10Venice

This morning, enter in style by PRIVATE BOAT and start sightseeing with your Local Guide. Visit ST. MARK’S SQUARE and its BASILICA, lavish DOGES’ PALACE and the BRIDGE OF SIGHS. Also watch skilled GLASSBLOWERS fashion their delicate objects in an age-old traditional manner. The afternoon is at leisure. You may wish to join an optional gondola serenade or attend Mass at the Basilica. This evening, enjoy a farewell dinner with wine. (Breakfast, Dinner)

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DAY 11Venice

Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning. (Breakfast)

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