Created: 13.08.2015

Day 1 ??? DEPART USA ??? Today we depart our home airport to connect with our overnight flight to Rome aboard a wide-bodied jet. We enjoy in-flight movies, dinner and breakfast aloft. Day 2 - ROME/TUSCANY/MONTECATINI ??? This morning we arrive in Rome where we are met and board our motorcoach for our ride to Tuscany.  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 your hotel. 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???. (OR MEDICI). We continue for Mass and 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???s 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. 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. 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 walk 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. Continue to the upper village for dinner and overnight at our hotel. Day 5 - ASSISI - This morning, we begin at the Basilica of St. Francesco with Mass. After our visit of the Basilica and 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 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 out hotel. DAY 6 - LORETO/NORCIA/MANOPPELLO/MONTESILVANO ??? Today we drive east  WE WILL FLESH OUT THE DESCRIPTION OF THIS DAY LATER. After our visit, we continue southwards via the coastal highway to the Montesilvano Pescara area for dinner and overnight at our hotel on the shores of the Adriatic Sea. DAY 7 - LANCIANO/SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO - This morning we visit and pray 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 San Giovanni Rotondo where we celebrate Mass at the tomb of Saint Padre Pio and visit the sanctuary.  We transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight. DAY 8 - SAN GIOVANNI/SUBIACO/ROME ??? We depart early this morning for Subiaco. It was here that Saint Benedict and his sister Scolastica retired at the end of the 5th Century and built five little monasteries.  We visit the Monastery of St. Benedict, which dates from the 13th and 14th centuries.  We visit the Sacred Cave where Benedict lived as a hermit for three years.  The staircase holds the earliest portrait of St. Francis without his halo or stigmata.  We celebrate Mass here.  Continue to Rome for dinner and overnight at our hotel. Day 9 ??? ROME - This morning we pass through the Holy Doors of St. Peters and then celebrate Mass in one of the crypt chapels below the Vatican.  Afterwards, we 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. Rome where this afternoon we tour her sites, including the Basilica of St. Mary Major where we pass through the Holy Doors opened for this Jubilee Year.  We continue to 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. We return to our hotel for dinner and overnight.  Day 10 ??? ROME - This morning, we make our way to St. Peter's for an audience with Pope Francis if he is in residence. This afternoon, we continue our tour as we pass through the Holy Doors of the Basilica of St. John Lateran. We continue to St. Paul Outside the Walls where we pass through the final set of Holy Doors opened for the Holy Year.  We conclude our day at one of the Catacombs, burial place of early Christians.  We view the 2nd and 3rd century fresco paintings. Dinner and overnight at our hotel. Day 11 ??? ROME FREE DAY - Today is free for rest, shopping or personal adventure. We have the opportunity to explore the culinary delights of Rome tonight, as dinner is on our own. Overnight at the hotel. Day 12 ??? ROME/USA ??? Today we make our way home with memories of a lifetime.  

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