Discover Italy: Voices of the Church

Rome Italy Colosseum Discovery Tour!
Intro
Rome Italy Colosseum Discovery Tour!

Embark on a soul-stirring pilgrimage through Italy, tracing the echoes of faith that reverberate across centuries. Our 11-day journey unveils the spiritual tapestry of Rome, Florence, Milan, Assisi, and Siena.

In Rome, where ancient basilicas stand sentinel, we’ll explore the Vatican and its hallowed halls. Assisi, birthplace of St. Francis, beckons with its serene landscapes and sacred sites. Florence enchants with Renaissance artistry, while Siena whispers secrets in its medieval streets. Finally, Milan—a symphony of devotion and design—invites us to listen closely to the voices of the church echoing through time.

Itinerary

This tour begins in Rome and ends in Milan. European participants typically depart from their home cities early on the first day of the tour and arrive in time to join the group when it assembles in the late afternoon or early evening. Western Hemisphere participants typically depart the previous day, flying overnight to arrive in Rome on the first day for the beginning of the tour.

Day 1 – Arrival in Rome

italy rome trevi fountain

Afternoon arrival at Rome Fiumicino (FCO) airport. Transfer to our hotel in Rome. Check-in. Free time before dinner and orientation at the hotel. Evening discussion introducing our voices theme and the archaeology of Rome and the major excavations from the 1st century C.E.

Day 2 – Discover Ancient Rome

rome colosseum

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning walking tour of ancient Rome, commencing at the majestic Colosseum, the largest amphitheater ever built, where gladiators once battled fiercely and thousands of Christians were martyred for their faith. Next, we will explore the Roman Forum, where the remnants of temples, basilicas, and public spaces whisper stories of the past. Highlights include the Julia Curia (where the Roman senate once met), the House of the Vestal Virgins, and the Arch of Titus (depicts the sacking of Jerusalem in 70 C.E.) Our tour ends at the Palatine Hill, one of Rome’s seven hills, offering panoramic vistas and a glimpse into the lives of emperors and nobility. Along the way, we will catch sight of other landmarks like the Pantheon and the Trevi Fountain. Group lunch and devotional talk, followed by free time to explore on your own. Dinner near the hotel.

Day 3 – Explore the Vatican Museum and St Peter’s Basilica

italy rome vatican sistine chapel

Breakfast at the hotel. All day tour of the Vatican City, the smallest state in the world and the seat of the Roman Catholic Church. We will start our visit at the Vatican Museums, where we will view treasures such as Guiseppe Momo’s Snail Staircase (1832), the Raphael Rooms (1508-1524), the Gregorian Egyptian Museum (1839), the Gallery of Maps (1580) and the incomparable Sistine Chapel (1512), Michelangelo’s great masterpiece, considered the finest painted work of all time. We will leave the Vatican for lunch and a devotional talk, then return to enter St. Peter’s Basilica, the largest and most important church in Christendom. Highlights include Giotto’s mosaic of Jesus Walking on the Water, Bernini’s Baldacchino and Micheangelo’s La Pietá. Optional climb up St. Peter’s dome (551 steps), the highest point in Rome, for a breathtaking view of the city. Free time before dinner near the hotel.

Day 4 – Paul in Rome

italy rome apostle paul

Breakfast at the hotel. Walk to the Chiesa di Santa Maria, built upon the traditional site where Paul was held under house arrest. Next we will walk from there to the Mamertine Prison, where both Peter and Paul are believed to have been imprisoned. Finally, we will bus to the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, one of the four Papal basilicas in Rome. It was founded by Constantine the Great over the burial place of the Apostle Paul. We will take a break for lunch and a devotional talk before continuing to the Catacombs of St Callixtus, considered the most important of the ancient cemeteries in Rome. Established in the 3rd century C.E., this complex labyrinth of tunnels and passageways are the final resting place for over half a million people, including 16 Popes. The walls are adorned with intricate frescoes and inscriptions that offer insights into early Christian beliefs, practices, and artwork.

Day 5 – Assisi

Italy assisi knight francis of assisi

Early breakfast and check out from the hotel. Bus to the mountain town of Assisi, where we will trace the footsteps of St. Francis. We will begin at the majestic Basilica of St. Francis, where awe-inspiring frescoes narrate his life story, then visit the Cathedral of San Rufino (where St. Francis was baptized), and the San Damiano Monastery (home of the Franciscan Clarist Order of nuns). Along the way, we will encounter the Sacro Tugurio Rivotorto, the Porziuncola (where St. Francis passed away), and finally, stand in reverence at the Basilica of St. Francis, his eternal resting place. Lunch and a devotional talk follow the tour before we continue by bus to Florence. Hotel check-in and free time before dinner near the hotel.

Day 6 – Florence

Italy Florence duomo night

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning walking tour of Florence, soaking in the medieval charm of the historic center. The iconic Duomo stands out, with its intricate white marble facade, Giotto’s Bell Tower and the Baptistery, where the Gates of Paradise await your gaze. Other sights include the San Lorenzo Basilica, Mercato Centrale, Piazza della Repubblica and the Palazzo Vecchio. We will walk across the Ponte Vecchio, the oldest Bridge in Florence. Lunch on your own and a free afternoon to explore more of the city at your leisure. Devotional talk before dinner near the hotel.

Day 7 – Florence

florence uffizi museum fabriano adoration of the magi

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning tour of the world famous Uffizi Museum, including Botticelli’s Birth of Venus, Cimabue’s Madonna Enthroned, Gentile da Fabriano’s Adoration of the Magi, Domenico Veneziano’s Virgin and Child, and The Annunciation by Leonardo da Vinci. Lunch and devotional talk. Afternoon bus to Fiesole, an ancient Etruscan city perched on a hill overlooking Florence. Its Renaissance villas, cypress-lined lanes, and a well-preserved Roman theater offer a glimpse into Tuscany’s rich past. Explore on your own before enjoying a group dinner with sunset views over historic Florence. Bus return to the hotel.

Day 8 – Siena

Italy Siena Tuscany

Breakfast at the hotel. Bus to Siena, where we will explore the most evocative places linked to the figure of St Catherine, the co-patron saint of Italy and Europe. Our tour starts at St. Catherine’s neighborhood in the historic center, where a Shrine marks the site where Catherine’s family home once stood. We’ll then visit the Catherine Chapel within St. Dominic Basilica. As we continue, we’ll stroll along Costone, one of Siena’s emblematic streets. It was here that Catherine, as a child, had her first mystical vision—a symbol of her profound faith and passionate commitment to Christian unity. In St. John Square, we’ll see where Catherine was baptized. Our route also takes us to the imposing 11th-century St. Maria della Scala Hospital, where Catherine engaged in charitable works. Descending, we’ll encounter the St. Catherine of the Night Oratory, recalling Catherine’s custom of praying for the dead here at night. Lunch and a devotional talk complete our visit before returning to Forence by bus. Free time before dinner near the hotel.

Day 9 – Milan

davinci last supper milan

Breakfast at the hotel and check-out. Bus to Milan, stopping at the Basilica of Sant’Ambrogio in Pavia. This is a Romanesque church that was built in the 10th century on the site of a previous 4th-century basilica, where the relics of St Ambrose, the patron saint of Milan, were transferred in 386. Group lunch and devotional talk, followed by a visit the Santa Maria delle Grazie convent, where we will view Leonardo DaVinci’s The Last Supper, perhaps the world’s most famous mural. Our day ends with arrival and check-in at the hotel. Free time and dinner on your own.

Day 10 – Milan

Italy Milan duomo

Breakfast at the hotel. Morning walking tour of the Duomo and its surrounding precincts. The distinctive white marble facade is adorned with intricate marble sculptures, spires, and Gothic details. Take time to appreciate the craftsmanship and symbolism. Interior highlights include Marco d’Agrate’s sculpture of St. Bartholomew, depicting the saint flayed and holding his own skin—a powerful and haunting work of art, the Altar of the Virgin of the Tree, featuring a beautiful golden canopy and intricate reliefs, and the Crypt of St. Carlo Borromeo, an influential figure in Milan’s history. Optional climb to the cathedral’s terraces for breathtaking views of Milan. Here, we will also view the Madonnina, a gilded statue of the Virgin Mary that stands atop the highest spire. Opposite the Duomo stands the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, a 19th century architectural marvel and one of the most famous building in Milan. Tour followed by group lunch and a devotional talk. Free time for more sightseeing or last minute souvenir shopping for those with extra room in their bags. We will enjoy a farewell banquet to end the tour and reminisce about all that we have enjoyed together.

Day 11 – Departure

alitalia airplanes

Breakfast at the hotel and transfer to the airport for departures home.

Video Introduction to the Discover Italy: Voices of the Church Tour

Coming soon

Important Information about the Voices of the Church Tour

Price Includes

  • In country transportation, including airport transfers.
  • 10 nights accommodation in specially selected hotels.
  • Meals per the itinerary.
  • Professional guides.
  • Destination travel tips.
  • Entry fees and gratuities.

Price Excludes

  • International travel to and from Italy.
  • International Health Insurance.
  • Travel Interruption or Cancellation Insurance.
  • Meals listed as “on your own.”

Terms & Conditions

Prices are based on double occupancy. Single supplement available for an additional charge.

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