PILGRIMAGE TO GREECE AND ITALY
“In the Footsteps of St. Paul”
DAY 1 - DEPARTURE
DAY 2 - ARRIVE ATHENS
On arrival in Athens we will be met and transferred to our centrally located hotel for an afternoon at leisure. Athens overnight.
DAY 3 - ATHENS PILGRIMAGE
This morning we will celebrate our first Mass before setting out on our tour of Christian Athens including the Acropolis , the Aeropagus , the Ancient Agora , Parthenon and the Plaka (Old Greece). Overnight in Athens. Athens overnight.
DAY 4 - CORINTH.
This morning after Holy Mass we'll drive to Corinth, where St Paul preached to the Corinthians. Visit the Temple of Apollo and the Corinth Museum. Returning back across the Corinthian Canal stopping at Cenchreae - from here St. Paul sailed to Ephesus. Athens overnight.
DAY 5 - ATHENS TO KALAMBAKA
Set out from Athens to visit the Byzantine Monastery at Ossios Loukas, considered the most important of its kind in Greece with mosaics thought to be masterpieces. Travelling north we later arrive at the city of Delphi. Visit the Sanctuary of Apollo. Arrive at Kalambaka built at the foot of the majestic grey rocks of Meteora. Kalambaka overnight.
DAY 6 - METEORA DAY
Visit the monastic community of Meteora- an unique phenomenon of nature where Byzantine monks chose to worship God. We will be guided through the outstanding Transfiguration monastery and the Church of the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. Remainder of the afternoon at leisure. Afternoon transfer to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
DAY 7 - THESSALONIKI
Today we dedicate ourselves to Thessaloniki and St. Paul’s Letters to the Thessalonians. Paul established the first church here. After visits to several churches and the Old Town, we return to our hotel to reflect on our day.
DAY 8 - PHILIPPI EXCURSION
Excursion to Philippi. Visit the ruins of the ancient own, including the site commemorating Lydia’s baptism and the place where St. Paul was imprisoned. We return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
DAY 9 - TRANSITION TO ITALY
We travel to some of the enchanting Greek countryside to Igoumenitsa/415km. Overnight boat crossing to Bari, Italy.
DAY 10 - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
Transfer to San Giovanni Rotondo. Today, visit the sites of Padre Pio’s life including his tomb and cell. Celebrate Mass in the convent of Santa Maria delle Grazie where Padre Pio lived. Afternoon free.
DAY 11 - ROME – TRE FONTANE
Transfer to Rome for dinner and overnight. If time permitting visit Tre Fontane Church, where St. Paul suffered martyrdom.
DAY 12 - ROME – ST PAUL – MAJOR BASILICAS
Morning Mass will be celebrated at the catacombs of St. Calixtus. Continue to St. Paul Outside the Walls the burial site of the apostle of Gentiles. Next, to commemorate St. Paul’s year, visit St. John Lateran, the basilica where the head of the saint is enshrined in the canopy of the altar. Proceed to Scala Sancta, the Holy Stairs that Jesus had climbed before being sentenced to death. Continue on to Mary Major, the first Marian shrine in the Catholic Church. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
DAY 13 - ROME- VATICAN
Morning Mass at St Peters followed by a guided tour of the Basilica. Afternoon tour of the eternal city includes Mamertine Prison where the Apostles Peter and Paul were held prisoner. We will also see much of classical Rome, including the Colosseum, Palatine and Capitoline Hills, the Imperial and Roman Forums, Constantine's Arch and the Circus Maximus where Christians were martyred at the games.
DAY 14 - DEPARTURE
Departure. Return flight.