DAY 1: PADUA
Today we will travel in comfort from London Stansted airport to Venice. Upon arrival we will be met by one of our Joe Walsh representatives and transferred by private coach to ‘Casa del Pellegrino’ in Padua. We will check-in at the hotel once the rooms will be ready and will enjoy lunch (at our own expenses) before visiting and having Mass (time tba) at the magnificent Basilica of Saint Anthony. This beautiful Romanesque Church is one the most visited sanctuaries in Italy, dedicated to Saint Anthony of Padua, patron saint of ‘Lost articles’. After the visit, you will enjoy dinner at your hotel, where we will be staying for the following 3 nights with breakfast and dinner included every day.
DAY 2: PADUA
After breakfast and Mass (time tba) we will finish our morning with a guided visit of the Basilica. Time for lunch and rest, before taking a walking tour of Padua city centre, visiting its many historical sites, such S.Giustina Basilica, the magnificent squares, including Prato della Valle known for its ancient public market, and the famous Scrovegni Chapel (outside), a Romanesque-Gothic Church known for Giotto’s masterpiece fresco. Dinner and overnight at the hotel.
DAY 3: ST LEOPOLD MANDIC – VENICE
Today after breakfast we will visit and have Mass in the sanctuary of S.Leopold Mandic.
The church of the Capuchin friars of Padua, now better known as the Sanctuary of St. Leopold Mandić, was built in the 16th century. Almost completely destroyed in World War II, it was later rebuilt. The rest of the day will be dedicated to either an optional excursion to Venice (coach for transfer will be provided from Joe Walsh Tours), or free time to explore Padua e.g. the Scrovegni Chapel (**this must be pre-booked individually), Botanic Gardens, and shopping.
DAY 4: ASSISI & LORETO
After breakfast and check out from the Hotel the group will travel to Assisi.
On our way, we will be making a stop at Loreto, known for its spectacular “Santa Casa” or “Holy House of the Virgin” which houses the bronze statue “the Virgin and Child” by Girolamo Lombardo.
Located in the Marche region of central Italy and close to the Adriatic Coast, Loreto is a special place for Catholic pilgrimage.The group will have mass in Loreto before checking in at the Hotel Da Angelo in Assisi, where we will be spending the next 4 nights on a half Board basis.
DAY 5: ASSISI SHRINES
Today, you will spend the day visiting Assisi and its shrines, including the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, built in the 16th century where you will have Mass, and the Porziuncula Chapel, one of Saint Francis’ favourite places. The group will then visit the Upper Assisi Basilica of Saint Clare and the Basilica of Saint Francis, resting place of Saint Francis and the town’s most important sanctuary. Dinner and overnight in the hotel
DAY 6: CASCIA AND ROCCAPORENA
After breakfast we will make our way to Cascia and Roccaporena.
The city of Cascia is ideal for those looking for spiritual peace, tranquillity and beauty.
Located in the Italian Province of Perugia in Umbria, Cascia is important in the history of Catholic Christianity and the Roman Catholic Church because it is the birthplace of Saint Rita who lived from 1381-1457. We will be visiting many attractions including the Basilica of Santa Rita da Cascia. The Basilica of Saint Rita or tomb of Saint Rita is one of the most famous shrines in Cascia and a beautiful space for its magnificent architecture and art.
The alluring village of Roccaporena known to have existed since the Middle Ages, is also believed to be the place where Saint Rita prayed and lived.
The town has several other interesting attractions to see, from Casa Natal de Santa Rita or “The House of Saint Rita” where the Saint was born and her family home, the Orto del Miracolo or “Miracle Orchard”, and Santuario di Saint Rita, a sanctuary dedicated to the Saint. Mass (tbc)
DAY 7: ASSISI
Today we will visit the place where S. Francis received the Stigmata, ‘La Verna”. La Verna, about 2h from Assisi, it is famous because St. Francis lived there.
The Sanctuary is located on Mount Penna (also called Mount of La Verna) above Chiusi della Verna in the province of Arezzo. Every year, La Verna is visited by numerous visitors (Christians and not) because St.Francis is one of the most adored saints worldwide as well as Italy's Patron Saint.
DAY 8: BACK HOME
After breakfast and check out from the hotel we will be picked up and transferred by coach to Rome airport for our flight back to London.