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A Theology of Beauty Pilgrimage to Italy with Fr. Leo and Leah Darrow - July 9-19, 2018

January 11, 2017 | Select International Tours
A Theology of Beauty Pilgrimage to Italy with Fr. Leo and Leah Darrow - July 9-19, 2018

Fr. Leo Patalinghug (Host of EWTN's "Savoring Our Faith" and the Grace Before Meals movement) and Leah Darrow (formerly featured on America's Next Top Model, now popular Catholic speaker and author) join forces to lead a special pilgrimage and tour of Italy, inviting you to discover a Theology of Beauty amidst the unique food, fashion, and faith that only Italy features. 


DAY 1 - Depart USA on an overnight trip to Milan. Dinner and breakfast are served on the plane.

DAY 2 – MILAN- THE FASHION CAPITAL OF THE WORLD We arrive at the Milan airport, meet our English speaking tour manager who helps us board the bus and make our way to Milan. This afternoon we visit the magnificent Duomo of Milan, taking the elevator to the top for magnificent views. Also, visit the nearby Galleria shopping center where we have time to enjoy a cup of coffee. We celebrate Mass and return to our hotel for dinner and a restful overnight. Overnight Milan. (D)

DAY 3 – MILAN –LAST SUPPER – ITALIAN OUTLET SHOPPING This morning we celebrate Mass, see the magnificent fresco of the Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci (TBC), enjoy a panoramic city tour of Milan, the center of fashion and enjoy a shopping spree at the nearby outlet mall. In the late afternoon, we depart for Turin. Dinner at the hotel. Overnight Turin area. (B,D,)

DAY 4 – TURIN- SHROUD OF TURIN- DON BOSCO- BLESSED PIER GIORGIO FRASSATI- SLOW FOOD MOVEMENT AND CHOCOLATE CAPITAL This morning we enjoy a city tour including a visit to Duomo di San Giovanni to see the replica of the famous Shroud of Turin, venerated by many as the burial cloth of Christ. The original was on display for a short time in 2015 and will not be seen for a long time, as the Shroud is on public display only by special Papal Decree. Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral. We also see the tomb of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a Turin native, fun-loving, avid athlete, devout Catholic and benefactor of the poor, called the “saint for youth of the Third Millennium”, who was beatified by John Paul II in 1990. So revered is he that his relics were carried to World Youth Day in Spain in 2011 and again to World Youth day in 2013 in Brazil. We see Mole Antonelliana, the symbol of Turin, Piazza Castello and visit Basilica di Superga dedicated to the Blessed Mother. The Slow Food movement began in Turin as a reaction to fast food, and got its start in protest to the opening of a McDonald’s near the Spanish Steps in Rome. Slow food focuses on taking pleasure in eating, of enjoying the freshest local ingredients from local food producers and preserving and celebrating local culinary traditions. Today we visit Eatily for lunch, a food emporium where you see the slow food movement at its best. Today we visit places associated with St. John Bosco. Basilica of Maria Ausiliatrice (Our Lady Help of Christians) is where we see the tombs of Saint John Bosco and Saint Mary Mazzarello. We then visit the Church of St. John the Evangelist, where Don Bosco started his second oratory in the city. Even today the oratory is the refuge for the poorest young people of Turin. As Turin is one of the Chocolate Capitals of the world and the chocolate most associated with Turin is gianduia (chocolate with hazelnuts). We enjoy a chocolate tasting along with a visit to a chocolate making facility. Dinner is on your own tonight in Turin. Overnight Turin. (B,Lunch)

DAY 5 – PARMA – MODENA – BOLOGNA – BREAD BASKET OF ITALY Depart after breakfast to Parma, to visit a Ham factory and have a tasting of this Italian delicacy. Following Mass we explore Modena, best known for its cheese, Parmigiano Reggiano and Balsamic vinegar. We visit a local farm where we see cheese masters at work repeating the ancient gestures of processing milk in a very special way to make the famous cheese. Following lunch we discover the secret of the Balsamic vinegar, which is one of Modena’s most authentic products, still steeped in local tradition. It can be traced back to the eleventh century and is known to have been used by the dukes of the d’Este family as a “royal gift”. Following lunch and time to explore on our own, we drive to Bologna, the food basket of Italy, to celebrate Mass in Santo Stefano church, also known as the Seven Churches complex. Overnight in Bologna. (B,L,D)

DAY 6 – BOLOGNA – COOKING LESSON Visit Bologna in the morning and celebrate Mass. We hike up to the Sanctuary of the Madonna of San Luca, the basilica church in Bologna, sitting atop a forested hill, Colle or Monte della Guardia, some 300 meters above the city. While we can take a cable car and reach the Sanctuary by road, it is breathtaking to reach it along a (3.8 km) monumental roofed arcade (Portico di San Luca) consisting of 666 arches, which was built in 1674-1793. It was meant to protect the Byzantine Icon of the Virgin as it was paraded up the hill. A yearly procession from the Cathedral of San Pietro in the center of Bologna to the Sanctuary goes along this path. Tradition tells us that in the 12th-century, a pilgrim from the Byzantine empire came to Bologna with an icon of the Virgin from the temple of Saint Sofia in Constantinople, which we see today along with other magnificent works of art. We have time at leisure for shopping and lunch before we gather for a cooking class, teaching us how to prepare “tortellini” (filled pasta ) or “lasagna Bolognese” We will eat what we cook for dinner. Overnight in Bologna. (B, Cooking class and Special dinner)

DAY 7 – PADUA – CITY OF ST. ANTHONY Following breakfast, we depart for Padua, where we explore the Basilica of St. Anthony and celebrate Mass. Following lunch in the university city, we transfer to Mestre and settle into our hotel. Tonight we enjoy a dinner of pizza and pasta in a local restaurant. Overnight in Mestre. (B,Special dinner)

DAY 8 – VERONA- ROMANTIC TALES OF LOVE, FOOD AND WINE We visit the romantic city of Verona, best known for the tale of Romeo and Juliet, whose famous balcony we see today. It is also known as a cultural center, with the famous Opera house and festival, and a center of wine, with a world renowned wine festival. The vineyards of the Valpolicella region begin just outside the city of Verona, and stretch in two directions from the romantic home of Romeo and Juliet: west towards Lake Garda, at the historic heart of this very traditional winemaking region, and to the east, where younger, more modern winemakers are making their mark. The region produces only red wines, and although its reputation suffered in the past as the kind of cheap vino you’d order in a pizzeria, today it is producing some of Italy’s finest. Our first stop, the Frantoio Salvagno is just 10km outside Verona, at the foot of vine-clad hills, but it is olive oil they sell here and not wine. Olives are as a much a part of the Valpolicella culture as grapes, and today we meet the Salvagno family, whose mill has been pressing olives since 1923. High above the city of Verona, with stunning views, San Mattia is like no other agriturismo in the Valpolicella region. It is not just a vineyard, but a working farm with chickens, ducks and horses, olive groves, vegetables and fruit trees. Whenever possible, everything is prepared here, including the freshly laid eggs at breakfast, and the creative chef prepares for us a five-course menu showcasing his slow-cooked cuisine, which even includes vegetarian dishes. Our final stop of the day is a winery where we taste Amarone, a unique wine which ranks as one of the greatest Italian red wines, though the high alcohol content – it can rise to a heady 17% – can take a bit of getting used to. Every tasting here ends with recioto, a luscious sweet dessert wine that is the perfect pairing for sticky chocolate cake. After our great wine adventure today we return to Mestre for an overnight. Dinner at the hotel. (B, Special lunch, wine tasting, D)

DAY 9 – VENICE – LA SERENISSIMA We enjoy the entire day in Venice. An incredible site awaits us as we approach this romantic city. In the morning we visit the Basilica of St Mark, including the incredible PALA D’ORO , and walk through the city to see the most famous bridges: Rialto and Bridge of Sights. We celebrate Mass and enjoy lunch in a local restaurant. The afternoon is at our leisure for optional tours ( Murano and Burano islands to visit the glass factory) or Gondola ride. Dinner is on your own tonight. Enjoy a farewell dinner in a local restaurant to celebrate meeting new friends and recall the wonderful memories of this trip. (B, Special dinner. Overnight in Mestre.) DAY 10, JUNE 13 – RETURN TO USA Early this morning we are transferred to the airport and our flight home. (B) Optional extension to Rome:

DAY 10 – DEPART FOR ROME BY TRAIN – CHRISTIAN & ANCIENT ROME This morning we are transferred to the train station where we board the train to Rome (four hours) We board the coach and depart for the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. This shrine contains a relic from the manger of the infant Jesus. Visit the Holy Stairs and the Basilica of St. John the Lateran, the former residence of the Popes prior to their return to Rome in 1377. We settle into the hotel. In the evening we have a walking tour visiting the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps, the Pantheon and Piazza Navone. Overnight in Rome. (B,D,)

DAY 11 - PAPAL AUDIENCE- DAY AT LEISURE in ROME This morning we are transferred early to St. Peter’s Square for a Papal Audience with the Holy Father Pope Francis. Rest of the day is at leisure. Enjoy the day in the Eternal City at your pace. You may choose to visit the Borghese Gardens and Villa, the Coliseum or or enjoy the Vatican Museum, take a full day excursion to Pompeii and Naples, or soak up the great atmosphere in Rome and shop for religious items which will be blessed tomorrow. Dinner on your own. Overnight in Rome. (B)

DAY 12 – VATICAN TREASURES This morning we visit the Vatican Museum to see some of the greatest art treasured in the world including the Sistine Chapel. We then have a guided tour of St. Peter’s Basilica. In the afternoon, we visit St. Paul Outside the Walls Basilica and Tre Fontane to see where St. Paul was beheaded. Rest of the day and the evening are at leisure. Overnight in Rome. (B.)

DAY 13 – ROME – USA Transfer to airport for the flight back to the US (B)

Price including airfare from Newark or Philadelphia: $4295.00
Price without airfare: $3295.00
Single room supplement: $595.00