Day 1, Friday, June 26: Depart the U.S. on a transatlantic flight to Rome, Italy.
Day 2, Saturday, June 27, Arrival in Rome: The "eternal city" will be waiting for us to make our arrival! After the long flight, we will relax with a bus tour of Rome that includes an inside visit to the Coliseum. We will enjoy Mass at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls and be able to receive the plenary indulgence offered for all those who visit the Basilica during the current Jubilee Year in honor of St. Paul. Pier Giorgio had a great devotion to St. Paul -- his favorite saint -- and visited this Basilica on his trips to Rome. We will celebrate our first day in Rome with a welcome dinner that may include a surprise guest or two. We will spend the night in Rome.
Day 3, Sunday, June 28, Rome: We will spend this day enjoying the sights and sounds of St. Peter's Basilica, beginning with Mass in a chapel in the Grottoes. Our tour of the Basilica will include a visit to the tomb of Pope John Paul II. We will join the crowds on the piazza for Pope Benedict's Sunday Angelus and then have the afternoon free to explore Rome. We will spend the night in Rome.
Day 4, Monday, June 29, Rome/Siena/Florence: Almost everything is closed in Rome on Monday, so it is the perfect day to travel to Florence. We will first make a stop in Siena and visit the family home of St. Catherine -- another of Pier Giorgio's favorites! We will attend Mass at the Church of St. Dominic where St. Catherine often saw Christ. We will continue on to Florence and enjoy an evening walking tour of the city. We will spend the night in Florence.
Day 5, Tuesday, June 30, Florence: In addition to being one of the most beautiful cities in Italy, Florence is home to the cell of Fra Girolamo Savonarola -- the fiery Dominican preacher whose name Pier Giorgio took when he became a Third Order Dominican. We will visit his cell in the Museum of St. Mark and have the opportunity to view some works by Fra Angelico. Other stops include the Piazza della Signoria (where Savonarola was put to death), the Cathedral of Florence and the Church of Santa Croce. Mass will be celebrated at Santa Maria Novella. We will spend the night in Florence.
Day 7, Thursday, July 2, Turin: Rise and shine as we set out to visit many of the places Pier Giorgio loved to go. We will visit the Cathedral where both the Holy Shroud and the Tomb of Pier Giorgio are located. We will also visit the Church of San Domenico where Pier Giorgio took his vows as a Third Order Dominican. Pier Giorgio's "office" for his many charitable works was beneath the clock of the Church of La Consolata. We will visit this beautiful church as well as the Church of La Crocetta where Pier Giorgio was baptized and where his funeral Mass was held. We will pass the original office of La Stampa -- the newspaper founded by Pier Giorgio's father -- in Piazza Solferino, and view the house where Pier Giorgio died. (This house is now a bank, so we will only see it from the outside.) We will remain overnight in Turin.
Day 8, Friday, July 3, Turin/Pollone/Oropa: Today we will head to the hills, to the beautiful villa where the Frassati family spent so much time when not in Turin. We will visit many of the places in the village of Pollone, including the Frassati family tomb, the Cangio Church where Pier Giorgio's baptism was completed and the Parish Church where Pier Giorgio most often attended Mass. Mass will be celebrated in the family villa in the room where Pier Giorgio died. (He died in Turin but the contents of that room have been moved to the villa in Pollone.) We will spend the night in Oropa.
Day 9, Saturday, July 4, Oropa: Happy Feast Day, Pier Giorgio! We end our trip at the beautiful Sanctuary of Oropa, home of the Brown Madonna at whose feet Pier Giorgio so often came to pray. Weather-permitting, those who are able can climb Mount Mucrone and celebrate Mass at the base of the cross where Pier Giorgio also attended Mass. We will also visit the two beautiful churches and spend time in Eucharistic Adoration. Our farewell dinner will be enjoyed here and we will remain overnight in Oropa.
Day 10, Sunday, July 5, Milan/USA: Perhaps physically exhausted but, God-willing, spiritually rejuvenated, we will depart Oropa for the Milan airport for our flight back to the United States. Arrivederci!