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TOUR PRICING
Tour Code PV7020
Starts Mon 13 April 2020
Finishes Thu 30 April 2020
Air & Tour $8830* Twin Share
Single Room $1360 Supplement
Prepaid Tips $15 PP per day
Deposit $800 non-refundable deposit
* Costs are based on prices as at July 2019 and must remain subject to possible change in the unlikely event of significant exchange rate variations, airfare increases and minimum group size contingencies. PP = Per Person. Refer to Harvest Terms & Conditions for more details.
INCLUSIONS
Airfares: Economy class airfare from Sydney to Rome and return (N.B. Airlines taxes are included on standard itinerary and subject to fluctuations).

Accommodation & Meals: Based on moderate standard hotel accommodation throughout with breakfast daily & 11 dinners.

Touring & Transportation: Deluxe Air Conditioned Coach touring with driver • Professional English Speaking Guide • Sightseeing & Entrance Fees • Porterage of 1 piece of luggage per person at hotels.

Other: Harvest Backpack, Pilgrim Journal & Tour Wallet.

Not Included: Passport • Visas (if applicable) • Prepaid Tipping (invoiced with other services) • Other meals not stated • Items of a personal nature including phone calls, laundry, beverages, etc. • Travel insurance (Harvest will recommend a special group policy rate).

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Along the Via Francigena. Road to Rome

  • 15 Nights / 18 Days
  • 13 - 30 Apr 2020
  • PV7020
  • With Catherine MacLaurin

Catherine MacLaurin is a Sydney based Italian teacher who has led numerous pilgrimages along the famed Via Francigena from Assisi to Rome. Join Catherine on this amazing journey through Umbria following in the footsteps of medieval pilgrims immersing yourself in the spiritual atmosphere of St Francis as you walk through the Italian countryside.

Catherine MacLaurin

Accompanied by Catherine MacLaurin

Background & Overview
Many Christians who went on pilgrimages to Rome from the end of the 2nd century didn’t undertake such journeys out of obligation or duty. Rather, they saw life itself as a pilgrimage and believed that by visiting objects and places associated with saints or martyrs, would allow them to be closer to the divine. During the Middle Ages, there were several major routes to Rome originating from England, France, Spain, Germany and Switzerland. The route was first documented as the ‘Lombard Way’, and was first called the Iter Francorum (the “Frankish Route”) in the Itinerarium sancti Willibaldi of 725, a record of the travels of Willibald, bishop of Eichstätt in Bavaria.

Who would enjoy this journey?
If you welcome the idea of travelling as a way of self-exploration and appreciate engaging with like-minded travellers with respect, kindness and support, if you are content to stay in simple but comfortable lodgings while walking through Italy’s rustic landscapes and enjoying traditional Italian food, then this pilgrimage journey is indeed for you. This journey will require participants to walk up to 5 or 6 hours a day including rests, sometimes in wind, rain or shine.

Road to Rome Itinerary

15 NIGHTS / 18 DAYS. DEPARTS MON 13TH APRIL 2020. Assisi (4 nights) • Orvieto • Bolsena (1) • Montefiascone (2) • Viterbo (2) • Vetralla (1) • Capranica • Sutri (1) • Veio • Rome (4).

Meal Code: (B) = Breakfast (L) = Lunch (D) = Dinner

DAY 1MON 13 APRIL 2020 - DEPART AUSTRALIA

DAY 2TUE 14 APRIL - ARRIVE ITALY

We meet at Rome international (Fiumicino) airport in the morning and travel by private coach to Umbria and check into our lodging in the hill town of Assisi – our base for the following four nights.

After time to settle in and rest, we gather for an orientation talk, followed by a gentle walk following in the footsteps of St Francis. We visit the Franciscan Church of Chiesa Nuova, built in 1615 using the remains of the house where St Francis was born. We also visit the Cathedral of St Rufino where St Francis was baptised.

In the evening we meet for our welcome session and enjoy our first dinner together

Assisi overnight (D)

Day 3WED 15 APRIL - ASSISI

Today, we visit the monastery of San Damiano, where according to tradition, St Francis, while praying before an ancient crucifix, heard the words “Go Francis, and repair my house, which as you see is falling into ruin.” We then visit the magnificent Basilica of Santa Maria deli Angeli, where the Franciscan brotherhood used as their first meeting place. At a local restaurant, we come together this evening for dinner.

Assisi overnight (BD)

Day 4THU 16 APRIL - ASSISI

After breakfast, we walk to the caves on the slopes of Monte Subasio and visit the first home of St Francis and his followers at the Eremo della Carceri, a place where St Francis would return to during his life to contemplate and pray. Situated on densely wooded slopes, this church and monastery retain the peaceful and contemplative mood cherished by St Francis. The afternoon is at leisure for you to rest, explore Assisi or journal your reflections.

Assisi overnight (B)

Day 5FRI 17 APRIL - ASSISI

On our last full day in Assisi, we first visit the Rocca Maggiore (Major Fortress) with its commanding view of Assisi and the Spoleto Valley. We then visit the impressive Basilica of St Francis where he chose to be buried here and where his coffin can be seen in a crypt below the lower basilica. Some of Europe’s finest frescoes can be seen in both the lower and upper basilicas.

Assisi overnight (B)

Day 6SAT 18 APRIL - VIA ORVIETO TO BOLSENA

After breakfast we depart Assisi by private coach and travel to Bolsena, known as the town of miracles because of two events associated with St Christine. En route, we visit the picturesque hilltop town of Orvieto. Before and over dinner, we discuss final preparations for our first walk tomorrow along the Via Francigena and overnight in Bolsena.

Bolsena overnight (BD)

Day 7SUN 19 APRIL - BOLSENA TO MONTEFIASCONE (18 Km)

After breakfast, we begin our walk together to Montefiascone, an old hilltop town, situated on the rim of an ancient volcano about 18km away. We walk over the undulating hills around the eastern side of Lake Bolsena, passing some hamlets and rest from time to time in shaded areas overlooking olive groves. Approaching Montefiascone, we see the large dome of St Margaret’s Cathedral looming in the distance. On arrival, we check into our lodging and rest. We gather for dinner and share our experiences before resting for the night.

Montefiascone overnight (BD)

DAY 8MON 20 APRIL - MONTEFIASCONE

Depending on how you feel, you might like to rest in the morning or participate in an optional gentle stroll through Montefiascone’s beautiful piazza and enjoy in morning activities. The afternoon is at leisure where you can further explore the town or spend some quiet time reflecting, reading or writing in your journal. We gather in the evening, share a meal at a local trattoria, and spend a second night in Montefiascone.

Montefiascone overnight (BD)

DAY 9TUE 21 APRIL - MONTEFIASCONE TO VITERBO (18 Km)

After breakfast, we continue along the Via Francigena and walk together to Viterbo – some 18km away. On arrival in Viterbo, one of central Italy’s best-preserved medieval towns, we check into our lodging and rest. We gather in the evening and share our experiences over dinner.

Viterbo overnight (BD)

DAY 10WED 22 APRIL - VITERBO

Today is a rest day. You might like to spend the day at leisure or join the group leaders for a stroll to the medieval quarter of San Pellegrino and visit a couple of beautiful churches en-route. Weather permitting, they will also take interested enthusiasts to the ‘wild spa’ at Bulicame in the outskirts of Viterbo. The thermal springs around Viterbo are known for their curative effects on the mind and body since Roman times.

Viterbo overnight (BD)

DAY 11THU 23 APRIL - VITERBO TO VETRALLA (15 Km)

After breakfast, we visit the 13th century Papal Palace, a historical and architectural jewel in the city. After lunch, we depart Viterbo by private coach and travel south to Vetralla, a short distance away. On arrival we take a stroll to the historic centre of Vetralla. We meet in the evening and share a meal together and overnight in Vetralla at a Benedictine Monastery.

Vetralla overnight (BD)

DAY 12FRI 24 APRIL – VIA CAPRANICA TO SUTRI (16 Km)

After breakfast, we begin our walk together to Capranica, some 16km away. We rest in the town of Capranica and continue to Sutri by private coach. On arrival in Sutri, we check into our lodging, a converted monastery and rest.

Sutri overnight (BD)

DAY 13SAT 25 APRIL - VIA VEIO TO ROME

On the seventh day since our walk began along the Via Francigena, today we travel to our final destination, the eternal city of Rome, visiting the Etruscan town of Veio en-route. We begin the day with a short walk from the monastery to Sutri, about 2km away. After a short exploration of Sutri, we travel by private coach to Veio. Leaving Veio, our private coach will take us to the Milvian Bridge, on the outskirts of ancient Rome where we cross the Tiber River on foot and walk the final kilometres into the heart of Rome. We check into our lodging in Trastevere, our base for the following four nights. Over dinner we gather for a briefing and share our experiences.

Rome overnight (BD)

DAY 14SUN 26 APRIL - ROME AREA

In the morning, we stroll around Trastevere to orientate ourselves before we continue our walk to St Peter’s Basilica and visit Rome’s most important church. In the afternoon, as a reminder that our existence is both precious and finite, we visit by local transport the Catacombs of St Sebastian. Located outside the walls of ancient Rome, these four-level deep catacombs feature some wonderful.

Roman paintings and fine mosaics. Built above the catacombs is the Basilica of St Sebastian, one of the seven pilgrim churches in Rome, which for centuries the early pilgrims have visited and drawn inspiration from the holy relics housed within.

Rome overnight (B)

DAY 15MON 27 APRIL - ROME AREA

In the morning, we travel to Tivoli, situated on the lower slopes of the Sabine Hills – about 30km northeast of Rome – famous as the summer haven of the wealthier Roman citizens. Here we visit the extensive grounds of the emperor Hadrian’s Villa and the Villa d’Este, an impressive Renaissance palace built by Cardinal Ippolito d’Este. The villa has extraordinary terraced gardens filled with fountains and water features. In the afternoon, there is an optional visit to the magnificent Renaissance art collection in the lavish Villa Borghese, set in beautiful park-like gardens in central Rome.

Rome overnight (B)

DAY 16TUE 28 APRIL - ROME DAY AT LEISURE

Today is completely at leisure for you to explore and enjoy our penultimate day in Rome. You might like to visit the Vatican, shop for gifts, or simply relax in your favourite piazza. We gather in the evening and enjoy our farewell dinner at a local restaurant.

Rome overnight (BD)

DAY 17WED 29 APRIL - DEPART ITALY

We share our last breakfast together and then bid farewell to the group as we transfer by private coach to Rome international
(Fiumicino) airport. (B)

DAY 18THU 30 APRIL - ARRIVE AUSTRALIA

  • “Words simply cannot describe the pilgrimage – you just have to go and experience it for yourself.”

    Anne Burrows-Jung
    Saints of France
  • A great deepening of faith, seeing and hearing of the lives of the saints and celebrating Mass in many special places”

    Stella Teg
    Saints of France