Father Jeffrey Tudgay, pastor of the Cathedral of St. Peter in Scranton, PA, invites you to join him for a unique journey to Italy. This is a customized itinerary that explores the influences of our faith heritage and showcases the evolution of religious art, architecture, and practices over the centuries. Our program begins in Rome where we learn about the Roman context of early Christianity – visiting the classic Roman monuments as well as the various religious, artistic, and architectural gems of the earliest generations of Christians in Rome. We continue to the enchanting city of Assisi, walking in the footsteps of visionary men and women of faith – St. Francis and St. Clare. We continue through beautiful Tuscany to spend time in Florence where the Renaissance not only envisioned a rebirth of classical literature and art but an invigoration of Christian faith. Throughout our program, we will enjoy the expertise of local guides who will open our eyes to artistic, religious, and cultural treasures. We will be in centrally located hotels affording maximum opportunity to explore other sites during leisure time. We have incorporated a lot of special meals showcasing Italian cuisines, and we will celebrate liturgy each day in select historical venues. The program is designed for those who are curious and anxious to learn. While everyone is welcome, since the itinerary is full, people should be prepared for substantial walking. This is a memorable and rich program, and we hope you will join us!
Monday, November 4, 2024
Theme: We Depart as Pilgrims
Departure from Newark on our overseas flight to Rome.
Tuesday, November 5, 2024
Theme: Setting the Context - the Historic Palette of Rome
We arrive in Rome and are met by our local tour manager who will accompany us to our city-center hotel. Depending on the time of the flight and the availability of our rooms - we will either check in or be able to leave our luggage at the hotel for a later check-in. We will enjoy a casual walking tour today that helps set the context for our pilgrimage. We begin walking to the Campidoglio, the original capital of Rome. Michelangelo was given the task of redesigning the hill in the 1500s with a new orientation. It used to face the Forum. Now that Rome was being rebirthed - it was a Christian Rome - so the square faces the Vatican. We will have a chance to see the Forum from a lookout point. We will pass the colossal statues of Castor and Pollux - the original protective gods of Rome replaced by Sts. Peter and Paul during the Christian era. We will visit the newly opened Area Sacra Largo Argentina with some of the earliest temples of Rome and some of the foundations of the building where Julius Ceasar was murdered. We will visit the Pantheon - one of the oldest intact buildings from ancient Rome - an innovative structure desgined to create a spiritual experience through architecture. Celebrate liturgy and visit Santa Maria Sopra Minerva - a graceful gothic church that includes Michelangelo's "Risen Christ," a nude statue of Jesus, symbolic of the Renaissance's celebration of redeemed humanity. The sequence of visits today are subject to local opening/closing times. We gather this evening at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. Overnight Rome.
Wednesday, November 6, 2024
Theme: The Roman Context of Early Christianity
Breakfast. We will tour the Roman Forum, the Colosseum, and the Basilica of San Clemente today. We begin exploring the center of ancient Rome - learning about the architecture and the traditions of Roman culture. We will compare and contrast ancient Roman religious beliefs with those of early Christianity. We will view the Circus Maximus from the Palatine Hill where Augustus began to build imperial palaces near the foundations of ancient huts believed to have belonged to Romulus and Remus (the founders of Rome). We will break for lunch near the Colosseum before touring this magnificent arena. We continue to a unique site nearby, the Basilica of San Clemente - a site which includes 11th century, 4th century, and 1st and 2nd century levels - allowing us to gain an appreciation for the continuity of Christianity in one place. We will celebrate liturgy here. Our evening will be at leisure to enjoy Rome at our own pace. Overnight Rome.
Thursday, November 7, 2024
Theme: The Early Martyrs of Rome
Breakfast. Morning visit to the Scavi - the excavations under St. Peter's Basilica that have uncovered St. Peter's tomb in the context of an ancient Roman cemetery. We then head out to the Via Appia Antica to visit the Catacombs with liturgy. After the included lunch, we will visit St. Paul Outside the Walls - one of the largest basilicas in the city. It was burned in 1823 and rebuilt according to original plans. Thus, it is one of the most pristine examples of early Christian monumental churches. We will continue with a visit to St. John Lateran and the Baptistry - the actual Cathedral of Rome. Our evening will be free. Overnight Rome.
Friday, November 8, 2024
Theme: The Ministry of the Bishop of Rome
Breakfast. This morning we will celebrate liturgy at St. Peter's Basilica. We continue with a guided visit to the Vatican Museums. There will be some free time for people to explore the museum at leisure and/or to grab some lunch in the historic Borgo neighborhood. In the afternoon, we will visit the Roman Curia. Overnight Rome.
Saturday, November 9, 2024
Theme: In the Footsteps of Visionary Men and Women of Faith
Breakfast. We travel today to Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare. On arrival, we begin with a visit to San Damiano - the church that St. Francis rebuilt. We will continue then to our hotel, check in, and have time to get something to eat on our own. We then enjoy a visit and liturgy at Santa Chiara (built over the tomb of St. Clare). There will be free time to explore the city - to take in its spiritual richness. Dinner and overnight Assisi.
Sunday, November 10, 2024
Theme: Bringing the Gospel to Life
Breakfast. We will visit and celebrate Mass at the Basilica of San Francesco - a historic church built over the tomb of St. Francis. We will have free time today to explore the city at our own pace. For those who have stamina and interest, we will walk to an old Franciscan hermitage on the edge of town. We will visit the Porziuncula - a chapel in the valley where St. Francis would meet with his companions and where he died. Dinner/overnight Assisi.
Monday, November 11, 2024
Theme: The Renaissance
Breakfast. Today we travel to Florence - where the Renaissance began - the celebration of art, scholarship, and faith. We will stop in Siena en route to see the center of town and the Cathedral (with Mass) before continuing to Florence. En route to Florence, we will stop at a vineyard in the Chianti region for wine tasting and a light lunch. On arrival in Florence, we will enjoy a walking tour/orientation of Florence - including Brunelleschi's magnificent duomo and the spectacular baptistry nearby. Evening at leisure to explore. Overnight Florence.
Tuesday, November 12, 2024
Theme: The Artistic and Religious Riches of Florence
Breakfast. We will begin with liturgy this morning at Santa Croce - one of the historic churches of Florence where many of its visionary artistic and political leaders have been buried. We continue then with a visit to the Accademia - where Michelangelo's David is displayed (along with other Michelangelo sculptures). We continue with a visit to the Ufizzi Gallery - one of the great museums of the world. There will be free time this afternoon for people to take advantage of other options. We gather for a farewell dinner this evening at a local restaurant. Overnight Florence.
Wednesday, November 13, 2024
Theme: We Return Home Inspired as Pilgrims Transformed
We transfer to the Florence airport for our return flights to the USA.
Flights Newark-Rome and Florence-Newark, 8-nights accommodations in centrally located 4-star hotels, breakfast daily, three lunches, four dinners, local transportation via deluxe motorcoach, a full-time local tour manager and guide, and entrances and guided visits per the itinerary. Gratuities to your tour manager and bus driver are not included.
Complete Program Prices:
Includes group airfare and airport transfers
$6300 per person based on double occupancy
$850 supplement for single occupancy
Land Only Program Prices:
Excludes all airfare and airport transfers
$5400 per person based on double occupancy
$850 supplement for single occupancy
Please note: Single rooms for single use are limited to 10% of the total number of rooms reserved. Should additional single rooms be requested, hotels may impose a higher supplement for all single rooms of $1050. If you have selected double occupancy but no roommate is available due to uneven numbers or if your roommate should cancel you will be in a single room and responsible for the single room supplement.
All prices listed are discounted for payment by check. When paying with a credit card, you will be charged the standard base price, which is 5% higher.
All program prices are based on availability of services at the time registration material is received; currency exchange rates in effect July 21, 2023 —and on 2023 land and air tariffs—and are subject to change. All services are provided subject to Illume’s Conditions and Clauses.
The program prices will be reviewed before the invoices for the final payment are mailed, and will reflect the current prices.
With questions, please contact:
Rev. Jeffrey Tudgay
Cathedral of St. Peter
315 Wyoming Ave.
Scranton, PA 18503
Step 1: Complete the Event Registration Form before January 10, 2024.
Step 2: Submit your $1500 deposit check per person to illume not later than January 10, 2024.
Checks should be made payable to illume and mailed to 236 Lewis Wharf, Boston MA 02110.
Please include the program number 24.10468 on the memo line.
You will receive a Welcome E-mail from illume after January 10, 2024. You will also receive a link to add optional Travel Insurance/Protection to your program at that time.
Nonrefundable second deposit of $1500 per person due not later than: April 10, 2023
Balance of payment due not later than: August 5, 2024
Note: Any changes to the program will be outlined in the final documents which you will receive one month prior to departure. If changes are made that affect the program price, you will receive an invoice or a credit accordingly.
Program No. 24.10468