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"Benedictus"
Latin meaning "blessed". It is taken from Matthew 21.9: "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord." It is also known as Zechariah's Song, while being filled with the Holy Spirit, he gave praise to the Lord for his prayer was answered. Visit the site where St. Peter was martyred and buried. A small oratory, or memoria, was built on the site about 80 AD. Eventually over time, it was expanded to the basilica that is now visually recognized as the center of the Roman Catholic Church.
Rome, Assisi, Florence
10 Days - Regions of Latium, Umbria and Tuscany, Italy
Itinerary
Day 1: Depart the USA on an international flight bound for Rome. Meals will be served on the overnight flight.
Day 2: Upon arrival in Italy, we are welcomed in the "Eternal City" by our Tour Director, who will transfer us to our hotel. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 3: This morning, participate in the Papal Audience (if this falls on a Wednesday) or Papal Blessing (if this falls on a Sunday), followed by a visit to the Basilica of St. Peter, the largest church in the Christian world, built over the tomb of St. Peter. Inside this wonderful great piece of architecture are works of Bernini and Michelangelo, like the Pieta, his earliest marble sculpture masterpiece of the Madonna and Christ. We continue to the Vatican Museum with its priceless collection of art and treasures, and the Sistine Chapel where you will be amazed by the unique ceiling which is one of Michelangelo’s greatest achievements. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 4: Enjoy a panoramic tour of the classic Roman Empire (the Colosseum, the Roman Forum, the Arch of Constantine, Circus Maximus and more) on the way to one of the catacombs where the early Christians were buried. In the afternoon, we’ll visit the three major basilicas: St. Mary Major, St. John Lateran and St. Paul Outside the Walls, time permitting. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 5: The road finds us traveling north to Assisi, which is spread across the slopes of Monte Subasio but still retains its medieval character. Assisi owes its fame to St. Francis, whose dedication to humility and charity became the foundation of the Franciscan Order, and to St. Clare, who along with St. Francis, made a significant contribution to the past and present of the city. After checking-in at our hotel, we celebrate Mass at the 13th Century Basilica of San Francesco. One church is superimposed upon another, with a crypt containing the saint’s tomb and many of his possessions. In the Upper Basilica are twenty eight frescoes by Giotto depicting the life of St. Francis. Then, our walking tour begins with a visit to La Chiesa Nuova, the church built in 1616 on the site of the home of Pietro Bernardone and Lady Pica, the parents of St. Francis, continuing to the Basilica of Santa Chiara which houses the incorrupt body of St. Clare, contained in a glass-walled sarcophagus. Kneel before the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis, asking him to rebuild His Church. Dinner and overnight in Assisi.
Day 6: Free day in Assisi to do as you wish. An optional day trip to Siena in the Tuscany region will be offered. Dinner and overnight in Assisi.
Day 7: In early morning we rise to visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli built over the Portiuncula. It was in this chapel that St. Francis received a clear understanding of his vocation, thus making this the first Franciscan community. A few steps is the Capella Del Transito which marks the spot where he died in 1226. Then we travel to the City of Art, Florence, home of Renaissance Art and enriched by the Medici's rule. Enjoy a panoramic tour as we reach Piazzale Michelangelo, then our walking tour leads us to the Church of Santa Croce where famous artists like Michelangelo, Galileo, Machiavelli and many others are buried. Continue on to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (more commonly known as the Duomo) crowned by Brunelleschi’s famed dome and flanked by Giotto’s Bell Tower. At the adjacent Baptistry is Ghiberti’s famous "Gates of Paradise" doors. Stroll through Piazza della Signoria, past the Palazzo Vecchio and shop to your heart’s content. Dinner and overnight in Florence.
Day 8: Free day in Florence to do as you wish. An optional full day excursion today to Pisa will be offered. Dinner and overnight in Florence.
Day 9: Today we head back to Rome where the rest of the afternoon is at leisure. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
Day 10: "Arriverderci Italia!" We bid farewell to Italy as we depart for the airport to catch our flight back to the U.S. for a same day arrival.
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FIAT Holidays, Inc. 916 N. Western Avenue, Suite 225, San Pedro, CA 90732
Telephone: 310-832-FIAT (3428) with 24/7 text capability, or 310-328-FIAT (3428) Fax: 310-781-9070
E-mail: info@fiatholidays.com   CST #2064804-40
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