DAY 1 Depart USA
We depart on our international flight to Milan. Dinner and breakfast are served on board.
DAY 2 MILAN/OROPA
Arrive this morning into Milan and transfer to Graglia, located 2,664 feet above sea level offering splendid panoramic views. Visit Santuario di Santa Maria di Loreto sanctuary, another highlight is the Black Madonna of Loreto. Enjoy leisure time to perhaps enjoy lunch or visit the quaint shops.
This afternoon visit the UNESCO World Heritage site of the Sacred Mountain of Oropa. Walk the” devotional path” where each of the 12 chapels offers scenes of the life of the Virgin Mary, ending at the top of the hill; the Crowning of Mary. After attending mass at the Old Basilica enjoy the local atmosphere with a relaxing regional cuisine dinner before checking into the hotel. (B, D)
Day 3 OROPA/BIELLA/SORDEVOLO/OROPA
After breakfast our journey begins with a guided tour of Biella. Biella is a city rich in architecture, art and archaeology. We will visit the town’s two separate centers: Biella Piano (lower) and Biella Piazzo (old town). After our visit in Biella we depart for Sordevolo, home to the distinctive interpretation of “The Passion of Christ” – La Passione. The villagers gather every 5 years to be part of the Passion Play. All of the village participate in La Passione with all the actors being local village people. Dinner will be at a local restaurant in Sordevolo before or after we attend this remarkable performance of “The Passion of Christ” Return to Oropa for overnight.(B & D).
DAY 4 OROPA/FLORENCE
Depart by motorcoach through the Piemonte, and continue through Tuscany to Florence. The best reason to come to Florence is to immerse oneself in a truly astounding collection of Renaissance art and architecture. Florentines are fiercely proud of their cultural heritage and are protective of the assets that define their city. Upon arrival in Florence we will have our guided tour of Florence including Michelangelo Square for a panoramic view of the city, the Academia to see Michelangelo's original David Statue, Giotto's Bell Tower, the Baptistry with its "Gates of Paradise" doors, Signoria Square and Santa Croce Church. Overnight for dinnerisi for dinner and overnight. (B,D)
Day 5 FLORENCE/ASSISI
After breakfast we depart for Assisi, the city dedicated to the beloved St. Francis. We will visit the church of St. Clare where we will see her incorrupt body. Continue to visit the 13th century Basilica and the Tomb of St. Francis in the lower Basilica. It was St. Mary of the Angels Basilica where St. Francis spent most of his life. Here we visit the Chapel, Portiuncola. Dinner at hotel ( B & D)
Day 6 ASSIS/ORVIETO/ROME
After breakfast we will drive through Umbria and stop in Orvieto, famous for its Cathedral that houses the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena, we will celebrate before we depart for Rome. Arrive Rome and begin with a view of Capitoline Hill and then visit the Colosseum, an architectural wonder completed in 80 AD. We view the Arch of Constantine and the Circus Maximus and visit the archeological area of the Roman Forum. Welcome dinner . (D)
DAY 7 ROME
After breakfast we depart for Vatican City to attend a Papal Audience (if available). In the afternoon, we visit the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, with Michelangelo's breathtaking frescoes. We conclude our visit with a tour of St. Peter's Basilica. We have the remainder of the day to explore the wonders of Rome on our own. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (B, D).
DAY 8 ROME
After breakfast we depart for a half-day of guided sightseeing in the "Eternal City." The highlights include the Appian Way, the Catacombs, and St. Peter in Chains. We also visit three major basilicas in Rome including St. Mary Major, dedicated to Our Lady, St. John Lateran, the Cathedral of Rome, and St. Paul Outside the Walls, built over the burial place of St. Paul. Dinner and overnight in Rome. (B, D).
Day 9 ROME/USA
After breakfast we depart for Rome for our flight home, arrival the same day. Bringing home memories to lase our lifetime. (B)