An 11-Day Escorted Pilgrimage
October 21-31, 2019
Accompanied by Father Matthew, O.S.B.

Father Matthew, OSB SSPX

 

 

Itinerary:*

Day 1. Monday, October 21: USA – Rome

Board your transatlantic flight to Rome, Italy.

 

Day 2. Tuesday, October 22: Rome

Welcome to Italy! Upon arrival, transfer to your private motor-coach for a visit to the Church of San Benedetto in Piscinula, said to be built around the room where St. Benedict lived while studying in Rome as a young man, as well as the Monastery of Sant’Anselmo, the main house of the Benedictines in Rome. Continue to the Church of San Gregorio Magno al Celio, built on the site of the home of Pope St. Gregory the Great, where in 575 the saint established a monastery dedicated to St. Andrew. St. Gregory was a great proponent of St. Benedict’s monastic vision and avid promoter of St. Benedict’s Rule. Enjoy a welcome dinner and overnight in Rome. (WD)

 

Day 3. Wednesday, October 23: Rome

Enjoy a full day at leisure in Rome, with dinner on your own. (BB)

 

Day 4. Thursday, October 24: Rome: Excursion to Subiaco & Montecassino

Today, travel to Subiaco to visit the Monasteries of St. Benedict and his sister St. Scholastica. In the 6th century, St. Benedict left Rome to become a hermit in a cave above Subiaco. He founded 12 monasteries in the area, but only these two survive. In the afternoon, transfer to Montecassino to visit Montecassino Abbey, the mother church of the Benedictine Order and a center of medieval art. St. Benedict founded it in 529 when he wrote his famous Rule. Based on the principles of prayer, study, and manual labor, the Rule of St. Benedict became the fundamental monastic code of western Europe. Return to Rome for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 5. Friday, October 25: Rome – Sant’Antimo – Monte Oliveto Maggiore – Siena

This morning, travel north Sant’Antimo to visit its Benedictine Abbey, boasting one of the most beautiful Romanesque churches in Italy. Tradition says that the original Benedictine Abbey was founded by Charlemagne in thanksgiving for a miraculous healing against the plague which had struck his army. Afterwards, enjoy wine tasting with snacks at a nearby winery before transferring to the Benedictine Abbey of Monte Oliveto Maggiore. Founded in 1313 by Bernardo Tolomei, the abbey is home to frescoes depicting the life of St. Benedict, which are considered masterworks of the Italian Renaissance. Continue to Siena for dinner and overnight. (BB, L, D)

 

Day 6. Saturday, October 26: Siena: Excursion to San Galgano

This morning, depart Siena for the remote Cistercian Abbey of San Galgano. Visit the monastery, including the enormous church without a roof, and the Hermitage of Montesiepi where legend tells us that San Galgano retired around 1170 to live as a hermit. As a symbol of peace, he embedded his sword in a stone, which can still be seen today. Return to Siena for free time to explore, with independent dinner. (BB)

 

Day 7. Sunday, October 27: Siena – Vallombrosa – Camaldoli – Bologna

Transfer this morning to the Benedictine Abbey of Vallombrosa, founded by a Florentine nobleman in 1038. Visit the abbey, library and pharmacy, while enjoying views of the surrounding forest. After lunch at a nearby restaurant, transfer to the Benedictine Monastery of Camaldoli which was founded in 1012 by St. Romuald, and which includes an ancient pharmacy and laboratory where the monks produced medicines from plants and roots. Afterwards, continue to Bologna for dinner and overnight. (BB, L, D)

 

Day 8. Monday, October 28: Bologna – Bobbio – Piacenza

Today in Bologna, visit the Church of St. Domenico to pray before the tomb of St. Dominic of Guzman, a Spanish priest and founder of the Order of Preachers, also known as Dominicans. In 1208 Our Lady appeared to him and gave him the rosary as the tool to convert the Albigensian heretics in France. St. Dominic spent the last several years of his life building up the Dominican Order and continuing his preaching missions, during which he is said to have converted some 100,000 people. After several weeks of illness, St. Dominic died in Bologna on August 6, 1221 and his tomb remains there. Continue your journey to the Benedictine Abbey of Bobbio, founded in 614 by the Irish monk, St. Columbanus. Bobbio was famous as a center of resistance to Arianism and had one of the greatest libraries in the Middle Ages. Afterwards, travel to the nearby town of Piacenza for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 9. Tuesday, October 29: Piacenza – Pavia – Sacra of San Michele – Turin

This morning, depart for the city of Pavia to visit the Basilica of S. Pietro in Ciel d’Oro, which contains a magnificent shrine to St. Augustine, whose bones were brought to Pavia from Carthage in the 8th century. Its name refers to the mosaics of gold leaf that decorate the ceiling of the apse. Afterwards, transfer to Sacra di San Michele, an ancient Abbey built between 983 and 987 and dedicated to St. Michael the Archangel. From its towers, one can admire Turin and a breathtaking view of the Val di Susa. The Sacra di San Michele is part of a pilgrimage route (over 2000 km long) from Mont St. Michel in France to Monte Sant’Angelo in Puglia. Continue to Turin to visit the Basilica of Our Lady Help of Christians to render homage to St. John Bosco, whose remains are housed here. It was originally part of the home for poor boys founded by the saint. The relics of St. Dominic Savio, pupil of St. John Bosco, and St. Maria Mazzarello, are also kept here. Continue to the hotel for dinner and overnight. (BB, D)

 

Day 10. Wednesday, October 30: Turin – Rho – Milan

This morning, transfer to downtown Turin for free time to sightsee on your own. After lunch, transfer to Milan, stopping en route in Rho to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Sorrows, to venerate the linen handkerchief which is stained with the tears of blood of Our Lady of Sorrows. St. Charles Borromeo was in charge of obtaining the approval for the authenticity of the miracle and ordered the construction of the basilica. Continue to Milan to visit the Duomo, the giant Gothic cathedral, to pray before St. Charles Borromeo’s relics. Tonight, enjoy a farewell dinner at the hotel to celebrate the end of a memorable pilgrimage. (BB, FD)

 

Day 11. Thursday, October 31: Homebound flight

Transfer to Milan’s airport for your flight home. (BB)

 

 

Buffet Breakfast (BB); Lunch (L); Dinner (D); Welcome dinner (WD); Farewell Dinner (FD)

 

* In case of unforeseen events, this itinerary is subject to change.

 

For more information or to register, please contact Regina Pilgrimages.