Created: 10.10.2013

Monday, February 17 - Day 1 ? DEPART USA ? Today we depart St. Louis to connect with our overnight flight to Rome aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft. Tuesday, February 18 - Day 2 - ROME/ORVIETO/ TUSCANY - MONTECATINI ? This morning we arrive in Rome where we are met and board our motor coach for our ride to Tuscany. We drive to Orvieto for a visit and Mass at the breathtaking Cathedral, which is known as the jewel of Italian architecture. Inside the Cathedral is the Chapel of the Corporal, which houses the chalice cloth involved in the Eucharistic Miracle, which occurred in nearby Bolsena. Following lunch on our own we arrive in the delightful nearby spa town of Montecatini Terme. The balance of the day is at leisure to stroll through the inviting streets of this charming town. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Wednesday, February 19 - Day 3 - FLORENCE - This morning we drive to Florence where our first stop will be a visit to the Academia Gallery. Here we view Michelangelo?s famous ?David?. We continue for a visit of the Duomo, the heart of the city, here we admire the cupola by Brunelleschi, completed in 1240, its campanile by Giotto. Once outside we view the Baptistery with its incomparable bronze doors by Ghiberti. Afterwards, we set out to the Piazza della Signoria, dominated by the Palazzo Vecchio and its embattlement crowned tower. Across from the Palace, we visit the Loggia dei Lanzi with the statues of the Perseus by Cellini; Giambologna's the ?Rape of the Sabines? and ?Hercules.? Following free time for Lunch on our own we visit the Basilica of Santa Croce. Among the most famous interred here, lie Galileo, Rossini, Michelangelo and Macchiaveli. We celebrate Mass here. Following some free time for shopping or personal adventure, We conclude with a drive to the ?Piazzale Michelangelo? for a panoramic view of city spectacular city. Return to hotel for dinner and overnight. Thursday, February 20 - Day 4 ? MONTECATINI/SIENA/ASSISI ? This morning, we journey through the Italian countryside arriving in the magnificent city of Siena, which invites us to stroll through its Gothic streets. After we celebrate Mass at the Dominican Church commemorating St. Catherine, we take the escalator down to the famous Piazza del Campo. This shell shaped square is the dramatic setting for the annual Palio bareback horserace. The piazza's focal point is the Palazzo Pubblico, the public palace, which dates back to 1250. We continue uphill to visit the monumental Cathedral dedicated to the Virgin Mary. Free time for lunch and browsing. In the afternoon we continue south through Umbria to the hilltop village of Assisi, the home of Saint Francis. Our first stop is in the lower town for a visit to the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels, and the Portiuncula, Francis' Church of the Little Portion. Then we continue to the upper village for dinner and overnight at our hotel. Friday, February 21 - Day 5 - ASSISI - This morning, we begin at the Basilica of St. Francesco for a visit to the tomb of St. Francis, we begin our walking tour of the village. Included, is a visit to the Church of St. Clare to view the crucifix that spoke to St. Francis. We will celebrate Mass here. We pass by the famous Temple of Minerva in the Piazza del Comune. This afternoon, we can enjoy this picturesque hillside village on our own. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Saturday, February 22 - DAY 6 ? ASSISI/LORETO/ LANCIANO ? Departing Assisi, we drive to Loreto. In the 13th century a pilgrim priest named Peter of Prague was celebrating Mass at the crypt of St. Christina. He was having a faith crisis concerning the real presence of Christ in the Eucharist and while speaking the words of the consecration, blood started to drip from the consecrated Host. Subsequently Pope Urban instituted The Feast of Corpus Christi. Afterwards we continue to Pescara along the Adriatic for dinner and overnight. Sunday, February 23 - DAY 7 - LANCIANO/ROME - This morning we visit and celebrate Mass at Lanciano, the site of the oldest Eucharistic Miracle certified by the Church. After almost eight centuries the Body and the Blood still maintain all the characteristics of fresh human material. We continue south to Rome and our hotel for dinner and overnight. Monday, February 24 - Day 8 - ROME - This morning, we tour Rome?s sites, including the Basilica of St. Mary Major and the Church of St. Peter in Chains to view Michelangelo's possibly most celebrated sculpture, the "Moses." Afterwards, we see the nearby Roman Fora passing the Arch of Constantine, the Coliseum, and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Following lunch on our own, we continue our tour with a visit to the Holy Stairs and Basilica of St. John Lateran where we celebrate Mass. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Tuesday, February 25 - Day 9 ? ROME - Following morning Mass at St. Peter's, we see the treasures of the Vatican Museum. We marvel at Michelangelo's recently restored frescoes in the Sistine Chapel and the wonders of St. Peter?s. After lunch on our own we visit St. Paul?s Beyond the Walls. This huge, imposing Basilica, second only to St. Peter?s and one of the largest churches in the Christian world, contains an unusual gallery of papal portraits: 265 tablets portraying the popes of the past. We conclude our day at one of the Catacombs, burial place of early Christians. We view the 2nd and 3rd century fresco paintings. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight. Wednesday, February 26-Day 10 ? ROME - This morning, we make our way to St. Peter's for an audience with Pope Francis if he is in residence. Following lunch on our own, we are free for shopping or personal adventure. Dinner and overnight at the hotel. Thursday, February 27 - Day 11 - RETURN TO U.S. - Today we make our way home with memories of a lifetime.

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