|Starts||Fri 24 July 2020|
|Finishes||Thu 6 Aug 2020|
|Air & Tour||$8,390 Twin Share|
|Single Room||$1,180 Supplement|
|Prepaid Tips||$120 per person|
|Deposit||$1200 non-refundable deposit|
|* Costs have been based on prices as at December 2018 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size (20) contingencies. Single supplement does not include Oberammergau which is on request basis only. Should a single room be confirmed in Oberammergau, a supplement will apply.|
Economy class airfare from Brisbane to Bologna & Munich return (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations).
ACCOMMODATION & MEALS
Accompanied by Fr Frank Jones
11 Nights / 14 Days: Bologna (2) • Ravenna • Padua (2) • Venice • Ljubljana (2) • Lake Bled • Salzburg (3) • Innsbruck • Oberammergau Passion Play (2)
Meal Code: (B) Breakfast (L) Lunch (D) Dinner
Today we arrive into Bologna. This is one of Italy’s most ancient cities and is home t its oldest university. The Dominicans were attracted to this centre of learning in 1218 and it was here, in the convent of San Domenico (known in Dominic’s time as St Nicholas of the Vineyards), that St Dominic died in 1221.
This morning we meet our guide visiting the Piazza Maggiore and many churches including Basilica di San Domenico. This church where his tomb lies is a magnificent collaboration of skills, including the work of a young Michelangelo, visible in the angel candleholder on the right side of the saint’s tomb. We also visit the Anatomical Theatre of the Archiginnasio.
Remainder of the day at leisure.
Following breakfast, we journey north to Ravenna, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire some 1,500 years ago. The city’s rare mosaics are thought to be the best preserved in Europe and our visit to the Basilica of San Vitale will give evidence to this reality. Our walking tour also includes highlights such as the Piazza del Popolo, the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo including Arian Baptistery and the tomb of Dante.
Travel on to Padua, home to St Anthony, the renowned patron saint of lost articles.
Originally from Lisbon, Anthony came to Italy where his gift of preaching brought many to conversion. On arrival we enjoy a guided tour and Mass in the Basilica of St Anthony including the Chapel of the Reliquaries and St Anthony’s tomb.
Venice comprises a dense network of waterways with 117 islands and more than 400 bridges over its 150 canals. Instead of main streets, you’ll find main canals, instead of cars, you’ll find Gondolas!
Today we travel out to Venice, known as Europe’s most romantic destination. As we board our boat transfer we enjoy our first glimpses of this unique city. Our time here begins with Mass in St Mark’s Basilica, built to house the saint’s remains. Our guided walking tour includes St Mark’s Square and its famous monuments. See open squares with enchanting palaces, cross over stunning bridges, and walk down narrow passageways.
Mid afternoon we return to Padua. On arrival view the impressive park of ‘Prato della Valle’ and the nearby Basilica of Santa Giustina with its claimed relics of St Luke the Evangelist.
Onwards to the Scrovegni Chapel. The Chapel is a masterpiece in the history of painting in Italy and Europe in the 14th century, considered to be the most complete series of frescoes executed by Giotto in his mature age.
Early this morning we depart Italy crossing into Slovenia and on to the Postojna Cave Park. Here we enjoy a train ride to the heart of the cave and see its magnificent halls. We then visit Predjama Castle, a medieval marvel perched in the middle of a towering cliff.
We then continue onto the Slovenian capital of Ljubljana.
This morning we meet our guide for a tour where we see the famous Dragon Bridge and the Triple Bridge that connects Preseren Square with the Old Town before entering the 18th century St Nicholas’ Cathedral where we plan to celebrate our group Mass. We also see the Franciscan Church of the Annunciation.
Free time this afternoon
Departing Ljubljana this morning we travel through rural Slovenia towards the Julian A ps to Bled. Upon arrival we take a short boat ride to Bled Island (weather permitting), where we visit the Church of the Assumption.
Returning to the mainland, we visit the medieval Bled Castle perched on a cliff high above the lake, offering splendid views of the surrounding Alpine peaks and lake below.
We then continue north where in outskirts of Salzburg, we visit the hilltop shrine of Our Lady of Maria Plain for Mass, where pilgrims have been coming for three centuries to pray to a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary.
Finally, we arrive in Salzburg where we will proceed to our hotel for check-in.
This morning we visit Nonnberg Convent and admire the magnificent Byzantine frescoes in the choir, some of the oldest in Austria. The convent is more famous for having the real Maria Von Trapp from “The Sound of Music” enrolled as a novice. Continue on to the huge domed Salzburg Cathedral for Mass which can be seen from all over the city. We see the bronze font with reliefs of saints and where Mozart was baptised – many of his works were performed here for the first time.
Stroll through Residenz Platz and into Mozart Platz where we can view a statue of the great composer. We will visit the Mozart House where the family lived between 1747 and 1773. On a side street we see one of Europe’s most revered objects – The statue of the Christ Child of Loreto which miraculously cured the sick.
Remainder of the afternoon is at leisure to wander the Mirabell gardens, the backstreets, boutiques or just enjoy a coffee and a strudel.
Travel out by coach this morning to nearby Mondsee, where the hills will surely come alive with the “Sound of Music”! Our visit includes St. Michael’s Church – scene of the wedding between Maria and Captain Von Trapp. Also enter Hellbrunn Palace, a unique world of trick fountains and in the garden, see here the Pavilion where Liesl sang “Sixteen Going On Seventeen.” On the outskirts of Salzburg, we visit the hilltop shrine of Our Lady of Maria Plain for Mass, where pilgrims have been coming for three centuries to pray to a miraculous image of the Virgin Mary.
In the afternoon we return to Salzburg
Following breakfast, we travel south to the charming city of Innsbruck, where its most breathtaking treasures are the grandeur of the high snow-capped mountains.
Upon arrival we ascend the mountains by Hungerburg Funicular where we have tremendous views of the whole valley to the Italian border. Enjoy a visit to the Hofkirke which features giant figures surrounding and representing the family of Maximilian I. The old townhouses with their rich stucco ornaments, reliefs and frescoes provide a fantastic backdrop to our next stop, the Dom St. Jacob where we see at the high altar the picture of “Madonna and Child” by Lucas Cranach the Elder – miracles have been attributed to this picture. We also see the famous Goldenes Dachl where the golden roof consists of 2,657 gilded copper roof tiles.
In the late afternoon we arrive into the beautiful village of Oberammergau, home to the world-renowned Passion Play.
Every ten years affords pilgrims the great privilege of witnessing the world-renowned Passion Play of Oberammergau. For over 300 years this picturesque village in the Bavarian Alps has re-enacted the passion of Jesus, and people of every religious denomination have been drawn to this cherished spectacle.
Oberammergau region overnight
The history of the Oberammergau Passion Play begins in 1633. During the Thirty Years’ War, after much suffering and also many deaths caused by the plague, the surviving population of Oberammergau vowed that they would perform the “play of the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ” every ten years if they were spared from extinction. At Whitsun in 1634 they kept their promise for the first time. As early as the middle of the 18th Century spectators came to Oberammergau from all parts of Germany, attracted by the great power and mystique of the play. In 2020 the village will perform the play for the 42nd time, maintaining the continuity of this unique world-famous event.
Over 2000 participants bring the story of Jesus of Nazareth to the ears and eyes of the audience in a five-hour presentation on the imposing open-air stage. Almost half of the inhabitants of Oberammergau enact with great devotion the story of Jesus, whose message gives billions of people hope and strength. The play covers the period of Jesus entering Jerusalem and continues up to his death on the Cross and his resurrection.
Today is the highlight of our pilgrimage when we attend the world-famous Passion Play.
Oberammergau region overnight
“This trip has intensified our spiritual connection with Mary and the time provided gave us opportunities for personal reflection.”