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Holy Tours

Italy: The kingdom of Christianity

Download the complete program of the Tour  "Papal Basilicas of Rome"  in .pdf format

When travelling to Italy, it's nearly impossible not to notice the influence Christianity had in the art and architecture of the country; in truth, spirituality is, for many, a strong reason to visit the country. If you're looking to make a pilgrimage or to have a vacation with a religious element, then Italy is really a great place to visit.

Rome and Vatican City are always been the center of pilgrimages. With more than 900 churches in the urban area, it is simply the heart of Christianity.  

Following in the steps of countless saints and pilgrims for centuries and millennia before you, we give you the chance to visit the Papal Basilicas of Rome  with the Holy doors and the other tree Jubilee churches, to dispose yourselves towards the receipt of the attached indulgences.

 “the practice of pilgrimage has a special place ... because it represents the journey each of us makes in this life. Life itself is a pilgrimage, and the human being is a ‘viator’, a pilgrim travelling along the road, making their way to the desired destination....May pilgrimage be an impetus to conversion: by crossing the threshold of the 4 Papal Basilicas, we will find the strength to embrace God’s mercy and dedicate ourselves to being merciful with others as the Father has been with us...”                                                                                                                                          Pope Francis

Despite the end of the Holy Year, many of the points made in his opening Bull are still applicable; the Pope said

It is fitting therefore, that our Holy Mother the Church, has always attached Indulgences to pilgrims who visit the 4 Major Papal Basilicas of Rome in order to help and encourage the faithful to participate ever more deeply in the love of God.

In Rome, in addition to the four Papal Basilicas, there will be three other Jubilee Churches (minor basilicas). They are Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls (San Lorenzo fuori le Mura), The Church of the Holy Cross in Jerusalem (Santa Croce in Gerusalemme), and Saint Sebastian Outside the Walls (San Sebastiano fuori le Mura). These churches, with the Papal Basilicas, make up the traditional “Seven Church Walk”.  The importance of pilgrimages for the Jubilee suggests that the faithful rediscover and undertake this penitential itinerary left to the Romans by Saint Philip Neri in the 1500’s. Therefore, pilgrimages to any one of these three additional churches will also be an occasion to gain the Jubilee Indulgence.

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Holy destinations in Italy

Download the complete program of the Tour "Holy destinations in Italy"  in .pdf format 

Day 1-2: Rome - Vatican

St. Peter and the Roman Cathedrals

The first stop for many is - and should be - the Vatican, as St. Peter's Cathedral not only represents the core of Catholicism, but also the largest church in the world. Many people visiting Italy make sure to make a stop in Rome, which makes a trip to Vatican City not only easy, but inevitable in many cases. If you're a Catholic then visiting the Vatican - whether attending a Mass, gazing at the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel, or visiting the underground tombs of past Popes - is a once in a lifetime experience that allows one to feel a connection with the Church and feel its power. For those who aren't Catholic, or not even religious, the art and history of St. Peter's rival any museum. After St. Peter, the other cathedrals(Papal Basilicals) like St. Maria Maggiore, San Giovanni in Laterano and San Paolo fuori le Mura should be on your list.

Each of the four Papal Basilicas in Rome has a Holy Door.  These are Jubilee Churches; one can obtain the Jubilee indulgence by making a pilgrimage to one of them and fulfilling the other necessary conditions.  The Basilicas of the Holy Land are also traditionally Jubilee Churches. The above list will cover all the major churches in Rome and the roots of Catholicism, which  bloomed here thousands of years ago and has since spread across the world. If you visit San Paolo be sure to look up, just beneath the ceiling, where you can see the image of ever single Pope since St. Peter.

Divino Amore

While in Rome, it is not a bad idea to visit the Santuario del Divino Amore (Divine Love), where faithfuls go to pray for miracles. While there are reports that many prayers have been answered here, the real experience is the overall feeling of spirituality. Many people walk to the sanctuary from the city at night. It is a 15 mile walk, and groups gather almost every night to walk together while praying, singing or simply repenting.

(OPTIONAL) Food experience in Rome

In Rome we organize tours to taste the gastronomic excellence of the eternal city, visit a market, taste a street food or stop to eat in a historic tavern, all talking about gastronomy

Some examples of tours we make:

  • The beer ferment : discovering Italian pubs and craft beers.
  • In the shadow of St. Peter's : a tour in the markets and among the gastronomic specialties of the neighborhood meadows.
  • Street Food and much more : a trip to the Monti and Esquilino districts, between ancient and multiethnic Rome.
  • Roman Holiday : an enogastronomic walk in the center of Rome.
  • Buy , cook and Taste:  visiting a local streetmarket and a professional cooking lesson

As well as Enogastronomic tour we can offer the guide of local gourmet that will accompany you in the discovery of “Fraschette” the typical Roman tavern where taste traditional cuisine and locally produced wine . These taverns, more often  located in revamped cellars, can only be found in the regions of Ariccia and Castelli Romani on the outskirts of Rome. There’s no finer place to savour the best porchetta, cured meats and a whole array of typical Roman dishes…

 

Day 3: Assisi – S. Francis

Assisi is the world capital of peace and the city of two great saints, St. Francis and St. Clare, good friends in real life and extraordinary examples of love and peace. Assisi is the center of many religious activities and stands in favor of world peace, but it also gently and elegantly holds on to its Franciscan traditions, well represented by the monumental frescos from Giotto. Assisi is in Umbria, and besides its spiritual value, is a very beautiful historical town.

Assisi is a town where you can breathe Christianity’s smell. It is the place where Saint Francesco and Santa Chiara were born. In this town there are many important worship places deeply bound with the Saints: Basilica of San Francesco d'Assisi that is also a World Heritage Site. The Franciscan monastery, il Sacro Convento, and the lower and upper church of St Francis were completed in 1253. The lower church has frescos by renownedlate-medieval artists Cimabue and Giotto. In the upper church is decorated by frescos of scenes of the life of St. Francis previously ascribed to Giotto. Basilica of Santa Chiara contains the tomb of the saint and 13th‑century frescoes and paintings.: Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli  which houses the Porziuncola, the small church  that was built by Saint Francesco.

Furthermore Assisi in twinned with Betlemme.

Assisi lies in the middle of Umbria, an Italian region also called “the green heart of Italy” thanks to its beautiful green landscapes. Furthermore Assisi is quite close to Perugia, a notable artistic and cultural center in Italy where you can admire masterpieces of Perugino, Raffaello and Pinturicchio.

(Optional) Food experience : cooking lessons in a typical Farmhouse Assisi

For the lovers of  good food that  desire to learn cooking the delicacies of the italian tradition to stupefy your guest at home, we can offer a cooking lessons of traditional italian food.

The professionality of the cooks and the goodness of the prepared dishes make this experience funny, instructive and tasty

At the farm house “La Malvarina” in Assisi, we will take part to a private lesson of umbrian cuisine and will learn to cook the best dishes of the local gastronomic tradition. All the lessons are coordinated by the qualified cooks of the farm house and, in a joyful and familiar atmosphere, we are going to discover the secrets and the curiosity of the typical dishes and of the preparation tecniques.

 

Day 4: Florence

Florence, as usually happens in Italy, is both an artistic and religious destination. It offers an inner religious itinerary thanks to its wonderful churches. They lie in the center of the city that was included in UNESCO’s World Heritage List. The major are Santa Maria del Fiore, the Cathedral engineered by Brunelleschi, Santa Croce, the principal Franciscan church in Florence and where the graves of Italian Notables take place, Santa Maria Novella’s Basilica that contains masterpieces of Masaccio, Uccello and Lippi, San Giovanni Baptistery, and many precious others. But as we have say it before, Firenze shows an extraordinary cultural offer. There you can enjoy famous museums like Uffizi, that houses masterpieces of Giotto, Botticelli, Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, and many other great Masters, Palazzo Pitti or Palazzo della Signoria just to quote anyone of them. But Firenze is a place where you can have suitable tastes of Tuscany’s cuisine and the place where have a great shopping time.

 

Day 5: Loreto

After Lourdes and Fatima, Loreto is probably home to the most important Santuario in the world. Such prestige comes from the Santa Casa (The Holy House) that is believed to be the house of Mary before she married Joseph, the house where she received the announcement from the archangel Gabriel of the coming of her Son, Jesus Christ.

The basilica is a huge edifice richly adorned, with a great Vanvitelli’s campanile. But the true pilgrims’s attraction is the Holy House, the place where the Annunciation took place and where Jesus was born. According to the legend  it was carried there by the angels, however it was done by crusaders. That makes of Loreto  a crucial religious destination. Furthermore this city is twinned with other international religious destinations like: Lourdes, Częstochowa, Fatima and Nazareth.

Loreto lies on the Apennines and it domains a marvelous landscape that ends with the sea. It is close to Osimo, a nice medieval village where Saint Giovanni da Copertino lived. You can also easily reach Ancona from Loreto, it needs just a short journey by car.

 

The legend says that the house was flown from Nazareth, in the Middle East, all the way to Italy; the reality is less spiritual, as the Crusaders brought it to Italy, stone by stone. Regardless of how it arrived in Italy, it is amazing to be able to see such a place.

 

Day 6: S.Giovanni Rotondo – PADRE PIO

St. Padre (Father) Pio is one of the most controversial figures in the Catholic Church, but probably also one of the most adored. San Giovanni Rotondo, in the Northern part of Apulia, is where  St. Padre Pio spent most of his life and where a sanctuary was erected in his honor. Famous for receiving the stigmata (just like St. Francis) Padre Pio is considered a true holy figure, capable of performing miracles for those who pray to his picture or think of him. Many of Padre Pio's miracles have been recorded and many with strong faith go to San Giovanni Rotondo on pilgrimages.

San Giovanni Rotondo is the place where Saint Pio of Pietrelcina lived. It every year attracts millions of people driven by the devotion to the Saint, by the faith of his miracles. The Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church was built in devotion to the saint, dedicated on July 1, 2004, projected by Renzo Piano. The city hosts an important hospital and medical research center Casa: Sollievo della Sofferenza (Home for the Relief of the Suffering) founded by Saint Pio of Pietrelcina. The nearby Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel is also the site of Catholic pilgrimages and was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1987.  Therefore  San Giovanni Rotondo is a crucial place of worship in Italy. The city is twinned with Wadowice, where Pope John Paul II was born.

(Optional) Food experience: Dinner in a typical Farmhouse and local products

On the slopes of the Gargano, where the wild and uncontaminated nature manifests itself in immense expanses of centuries-old olive groves, stands the Masseria Calderoso. Donated to the Padre Pio Opera in 1955 by the Neapolitan baroness Gisella Colletta, the farm was built in the late 1700s according to the style of the Apulian fortified farms. The old baronial house has been completely renovated over the years and now houses the rooms of the farm.

 

Day 7-8: NAPLES-Pompeii and the Miracle of San Gennaro

San Gennaro (Januarius) is the patron saint of Naples and the city truly worships him. Three times a year, people gather at San Gennaro Church to witness the miracle. Tradition says that the blood of the saint is contained in a glass ampoule. The blood is always in a solid state except on these three occasions when it becomes liquid.

Beata Vergine del Rosario’s Sanctuary is the symbol of devotion to the Holy Virgin. It is a giant building in Pompei that was built in the late 19th  Century thanks to people donations. It attracts every year more than four millions of pilgrims and devout tourists. In one of the Chapels there is the famous painting that retracts the Holy Virgin instituting the Rosary.

Once you are in Pompei you can’t avoid to visit the extraordinary archaeological parks of

Pompei and Ercolano, two cities that have been destroyed by the Vesuvio’s eruption on 79 AD. Ash and dust covered the remains during the centuries and have well maintained  them. The park of Ercolano and Pompei is an UNESCO’s site and one of the Italy’s best tourist attractions.

 

Day 9:  Montecassino ABBEY

What Assisi is to the Franciscans, Montecassino's Abbey is to the Benedictines. The building is a beautiful construction that carries both religious and historical significance. During World War II, the Allies bombed the abbey, almost destroying it entirely, believing that Nazis were hiding there. Today, it is fully rebuilt and still carries a special aura.

 The Abbey we can now see there was rebuilt thanks to Italian government after its destruction during the World War Second. In the huge Abbey is buried the body of Saint Benedict, and is often visited by the Popes. It’s a spiritual place, a must s of the religious itinerary of Italy.

 

Day 10: LANCIANO– Eucahristic miracle

The importance of Lanciano as a religious destination is related to Eucharistic Miracle that has taken place there. As a matter of fact in 700 A.D. a monk had doubt about the real presence of Christ in the Holy Eucharist during the Celebration. When he was pronouncing the Words of Consecration, the bread became flesh and the wine blood. Those relics are saved into Saint Francesco’s Church. Their authenticity is granted by many examinations made by experts. Beside Saint Francesco’s church, Lanciano offers other important religious places to visit like Santa Maria del Ponte’s Cathedral or Santa Maria Maggiore.

Lanciano lies in Abruzzo, a wonderful Italian region that offers great chances to enjoy its naturalistic treasures too like Gran Sasso Mountains or the National Park of Abruzzo, its pastoral traditions, its medieval villages.

 

Day 11 – 12: PADOVA - S.Anthony

Despite what it might sound like from the name, Saint Anthony of Padua was actually born in Lisbon, Portugal in 1195. Against the wishes of his noble family, he left to join the Canons Regular of Saint Augustin at the age of 15. He left after several years to join the Augustinian monastery at Coimbra, Spain.

After seeing the relics of 5 Franciscan missionaries who had been martyred in Morocco he felt a desire to join the Franciscans and go preach the Gospel to the Moors and had hopes of becoming a martyr himself.

His plans were not fulfilled, because upon arrival he contracted malaria and had to return home; however, on his return voyage the ship was hit by a terrific storm and he ended up in Italy. Once there he decided to make Italy his new home rather than continue on back to Portugal.

In 1221, while attending the general chapter of Franciscans in Assisi, he met Saint Francis in person. Soon after he began what became a brilliant life of preaching. When it was realized that a priest had not been assigned to give the homily on one occasion, Anthony was assigned the task. Until that time he was thought only worthy of reading the gospel, not really as a preacher. He was such a powerful homilist that soon crowds began to flock to the missions and retreats that he gave.

His love for Christ and the Eucharist shown through and he fought against the indifference and abuses rampant in the Church at that time.

There were several reported miracles during his lifetime, including a time when heretics tried to poison his food but he rendered the poison harmless when he made the sign of the cross over the food.

Saint Anthony of Padua died in 1231 and in 1263 when his body was transferred to a new Basilica, his body was found to have disintegrated except for his tongue and vocal cords, both of which are now on display in reliquaries in the Basilica of Saint Anthony.

 

Day 13: VENICE

Venice contains more than 200 churches, and 8 basilicas, so it is a particularly  interesting destination for religious tourism too. Saint Mark’s Basilica,  Santa Maria Gloriosa dei Frari, and Rialto’s Basilica are the most important places to visit, but everyone can choose a visit itinerary that could  fit  his interests. In its churches Venice contains a lot of extraordinary art masterpieces made by great masters like Donatello or Bellini. To  improve this kind of tourism many hotels and bed and breakfast have been arranged nearby the religious places.Visiting the marvelous Churches and Basilicas Venice could be an interesting way to approach this city, really unique in the world. There you can find a landscape that doesn’t need presentation, an excellent handicraft and a lot of treasure floating on the lagoon. You can finally savour the fine taste of the city.

 

(Optional) Food experience : Bacaro Tour” In Venice

According to one of the many legends about it, the term bàcaro comes from a gondolier’s exclamation: one day, when tasting a new wine from Southern Italy, he cried out “Bon, bon! Questo xe proprio un ‘vin de bàcaro” (“Very, very good! This is a bàcaro’s wine, indeed”). The Venetian phrase far bàcara means going on a drinking bout, in honour of Bacchus. And this is how, following the high wake of the “good wine”, the typical Venetian taverns were born.

The city is bursting with such Osterie: some of them are mainly frequented by tourists, whereas others, hidden in narrow, almost untrodden lanes of this city on the lagoon, are certainly cosier and more genuine. This is why Venetians like them better and are used to take a giro d’ombra (literally, a “shadow tour”), i.e. to go from bacaro to bacaro and have a good glass of the tavern’s wine with their friends. These taverns fame, though, is far from being a recently acquired one, given that it has been – literally – feeding the city’s history by hosting famous people, both from Venice and from elsewhere. One if them was Giacomo Casanova, who apparently was fond of something else, besides women: the ombra.

There are countless legends on the origins of the word ombra, as well. Anyway, the glass of wine seems to be called “shadow” because it was originally sold by itinerant traders, who followed the shadow of Saint Mark’s bell tower in order not to let the wine get warm. Each  Bacaro usually offers a wide range of wines from all over Veneto, that perfectly go both with cicheti (typical venetian tartine) and with our delicious dishes, inspired by region’s cooking traditions and prepared with local products.

We propose a tour that will allow you to discover the welcoming atmosphere of the famous Venetian Bacari.

An expert sommelier will guide you in this journey and will provide interesting information on local wines and territory. To experience the city and its tastes like a real Venetian!

 

(Optional) Food experience : Bacaro Tour” In Venice

According to one of the many legends about it, the term bàcaro comes from a gondolier’s exclamation: one day, when tasting a new wine from Southern Italy, he cried out “Bon, bon! Questo xe proprio un ‘vin de bàcaro” (“Very, very good! This is a bàcaro’s wine, indeed”). The Venetian phrase far bàcara means going on a drinking bout, in honour of Bacchus. And this is how, following the high wake of the “good wine”, the typical Venetian taverns were born.

The city is bursting with such Osterie: some of them are mainly frequented by tourists, whereas others, hidden in narrow, almost untrodden lanes of this city on the lagoon, are certainly cosier and more genuine. This is why Venetians like them better and are used to take a giro d’ombra (literally, a “shadow tour”), i.e. to go from bacaro to bacaro and have a good glass of the tavern’s wine with their friends. These taverns fame, though, is far from being a recently acquired one, given that it has been – literally – feeding the city’s history by hosting famous people, both from Venice and from elsewhere. One if them was Giacomo Casanova, who apparently was fond of something else, besides women: the ombra.

There are countless legends on the origins of the word ombra, as well. Anyway, the glass of wine seems to be called “shadow” because it was originally sold by itinerant traders, who followed the shadow of Saint Mark’s bell tower in order not to let the wine get warm. Each  Bacaro usually offers a wide range of wines from all over Veneto, that perfectly go both with cicheti (typical venetian tartine) and with our delicious dishes, inspired by region’s cooking traditions and prepared with local products.

We propose a tour that will allow you to discover the welcoming atmosphere of the famous Venetian Bacari.

An expert sommelier will guide you in this journey and will provide interesting information on local wines and territory. To experience the city and its tastes like a real Venetian!

 

OPTIONAL SITE AND DESTINATIONS:

Depending on the Season and calendar we can offer also:

Celebration of Patron Saints

A tradition in Italy is for every town to celebrate its patron. These festivals are important events that are worth seeing and participating in. Dates, celebrations, traditions and food change and vary from city to city, therefore look up the city you will be visiting and see if the day of its patron matches your schedule. It is usually a great day of festivity and joy.

Stay in a Convent or Monastery

This last is not a site per se, but rather an experience. Many monasteries or convents offer opportunities to stay there. A stay at a convent or monastery is meant to relax the mind and allow one to get in touch with their own spirituality. Keep in mind that it is far from a luxe vacation and actually could be a demanding experience, but also very rewarding. People who choose this type of vacation must be serious and ready to unplug from the rest of the world for a while.

Useful information

All the organisation of the tour will be supported from local certified and qualified travel agencies that can offer the best solution about accommodation and transfer and can respond to all the requests about flights and visa if needed.

Duration: the duration is flexible and will be customized according to customer needs and requests.

Price: the price depend from the duration of the tour and from the quality of the accommodation and experiences chosen.

Minimum participants: 8 -10

The Package include:

  • Round trip airport transfer
  • Transfer by private minivan for the excursions and experiences
  • Private Indonesian tour guide during the excursions
  • Overnights in double room with breakfast
  • Dinners
  • All tastings
  • Guided tours on days …..
  • Entrance ticket to museum, churches, etc.;
  • Entrance fees as in the program.

 

Not included in the package:

  • Flight from/to
  • Tips and everything not included in ”the package include“.
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