The Choirs of Catholic Central High School Rome Tour
June 23, 2018 – July 3, 2018
June 23, Saturday – Depart for Rome
Depart Chicago O’Hare International Airport on your overnight flight to Rome. Complimentary meals and beverages will be served on board.
June 24, Sunday – Arrive –Rome – Assisi
Arrive at Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport, proceed through Passport Control, claim your luggage, and a Biblical Journeys tour manager will meet you upon your exit from Customs. Board your comfortable motor coach and soon you will be on your way to Assisi, one of the high points of any travel experience. After a two and half-hour ride, you will see Assisi on a mountaintop. The narrow lanes, the Shrines of Saint Francis and the overwhelming art dedicated to its young friar – a rich young man who turned to God after an illness and established an order that has grown stronger over the centuries. Visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli. Crowned by the magnificent dome designed by Alessi, this great Basilica was built in 1569. It enclosed the shrine of the “Porziuncola” or the Little Portion Chapel around which the first Franciscan community was centered, the place where Clare received the habit from Francis, and the Capella Del Transito, which marks the spot where the Saint died. You will see the statue of Saint Francis in the courtyard where thornless roses bloom. After our visit we continue to Assisi for hotel check-in. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Assisi.
June 25, Monday : Visit the Sites of St. Francis & St. Clare
After early breakfast, walk to the Basilica of St. Francis to Celebrate Mass at the Tomb of St. Francis, at which the Choirs of Catholic Central High School will sing for the Mass. After Mass, visit the Basilica of St. Francis. Our local guide will take us to explore the Basilica complex, which is actually composed of two churches built one atop the other. Beneath both churches is the crypt that houses the tomb of St. Francis. The lower Basilica dates from 1228 to 1230, and is richly decorated with beautiful stained glass windows, and paintings done by some of the most important artists of the 13th and 14th centuries. In the upper Basilica, built from 1230 – 1253, you will marvel at the monumental frescoes painted by Giotto, which depict scenes from the life of the saint. Continue to visit the Basilica of St. Clare, the first and most important heroine of the Franciscan movement, view her remains and see the miraculous Crucifix. Independent lunch. Return to your hotel to freshen-up. Late afternoon, walk to the Basilica of St. Francis for rehearsal and concert presentation by the Choirs of Catholic Central High School. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Assisi.
June 26, Tuesday – Siena & Florence
Breakfast at your hotel. After breakfast, we leave Assisi and drive through the gentle Umbrian and Tuscan hills to the city of Siena. Siena, a city that is selfcontained and still rural in parts behind its medieval walls. Upon arrival, we will focus on the beauty of Siena, where Saint Catherine (1347-80) lived as a lay-affiliate of the Dominican Order. St. Catherine is well known for her intellect and mystical visions of Christ. Visit the Basilica of St. Dominic, which contains the incorrupt head of this beloved Patron saint of Italy. Our walking tour of Siena continues to the Cathedral di Santa Maria, better known as the Duomo, enjoy a guided visit of the Duomo, a gleaming marble treasury of Gothic art. Siena’s Duomo was built between 1215 and 1263 in the form of a Latin cross, with a dome and bell tower. Large in scale and ornately decorated inside and out, Siena’s cathedral is one of the finest examples of Italian Gothic architecture. The dome was painted in dark blue with golden stars in the late 15th century, and is topped with Bernini’s gold “lantern”. The exterior and interior are constructed of striped white and greenishblack marble, with addition of red marble on the facade. The Cathedral contains valuable pieces of art including the “Feast of Herod” by Donatello and works by Bernini and the young Michelangelo. It makes this Cathedral an extraordinary museum of Italian sculpture. Continue on to visit Piazza del Campo (Il Campo), the site of the famous Palio horse races, built at the convergence of the city’s principal roads, the Banchi di Sopra, Banchi di Sotto, and Via di Citá. The market also used to take place here. We will best experience the beauty of Siena by walking through its historic streets. Perhaps you will enjoy relaxation and refreshment at one of the outdoor cafés in the Piazza del Campo, surrounded by remarkable Patrician buildings. Independent lunch. Late afternoon, we continue to the Renaissance city of Florence for hotel check-in. Dinner and overnight at hotel in Florence.
June 27, Wednesday – AM/Highlights of Florence; Academy of Fine Arts – PM/At Leisure
Breakfast at your hotel. After breakfast, our local guide will be ready to take you to visit the Accademia, which holds the superb “David” by Michelangelo. Then, we continue to visit the beautiful Piazza Del Duomo and the delicately patterned green, white and pink Cathedral of Santa Maria Del Fiore, crowned with its magnificent Dome by Brunelleschi; Giotto’s Bell Tower; the Romanesque Baptistry of St. John with the exquisite bronze doors by Ghiberti, which Michelangelo called the “Gates of Paradise”; and the 13th century Franciscan Church of the Holy Cross, which holds the Tombs of the greatest of Florentine men. Independent lunch. This afternoon is free to do as you wish. Perhaps you will visit the Piazza degli Uffizi, flanked by the Uffizi Palace, which houses what may be the most important collection of paintings in the world. Or, maybe you would like to visit the Piazza Della Signoria; the famous shop-lined bridge, Ponte Vecchio; and the adjacent “Straw Market”; or shop for leather, gold or other Florentine souvenirs. Return to the hotel for dinner Overnight at hotel in Florence.
June 28, Thursday – Florence – Rome – PM/Tour of the Three Major Basilica of Rome, St. Paul’s outside the walls; St. John Lateran & St. Mary Major
After breakfast, we leave Florence to Rome and the “Eternal City.” History, evolving over 2,500 years, will be made visible for you by the Roman ruins, 15th century churches, 17th century palaces and 20th century monuments. Independent lunch en-route. We visit the magnificent Basilica of St. Paul. It was built by Constantine in the 4th century on the site of St. Paul’s tomb. After having been totally destroyed by fire in 1823, it was rebuilt on the original basilican plan of early Christian churches. Surrounding the nave are the medallions of each Pope, from Peter to Francis XVI. Continue your tour to the Cathedral of St. John Lateran, the first Christian church to be consecrated. It was founded by the Emperor Constantine in the 4th century and was home to the Popes for many years prior to the present Vatican residence. End your morning tour with a visit the Basilica of St. Mary Major, one of the four major Basilicas built by Pope Sixtus III (AD 432-440). View the impressive interior with its remarkable mosaics in the nave depicting scenes from the Old Testament. View relics of Jesus’ manger from Bethlehem and the high altar, which contains the remains of St Matthew the Evangelist. The mosaics above the entablature are among the most ancient Christian mosaics in Rome. Possible 15-minute informal recital at one of the basilicas. Check-in at hotel in Rome. Dinner . Overnight at hotel in Rome.
June 29, Friday – : (Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul) AM/Solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Square – PM/At Leisure – Evening/Formal Concert for the City of Rome
Breakfast at your hotel. This morning you will be transferred to St. Peter’s Square to attend the Holy Mass (Feast of Ss. Peter & Paul) celebrated by His Holiness Pope Francis. The Choirs of Catholic Central High School will be invited to sing together with the Papal Choir (Sistine Chapel Choir) during the Liturgy (subject to confirmation). At noon attend the Papal Blessing in St. Peter’s Square. Then, free time for independent lunch with the afternoon at leisure for browsing, shopping or exploring the sights of Rome. Hearty pilgrims may want to attempt to climb the 330 stairs (or take the elevator) to the top of St. Peter’s for an unparalleled view of Vatican City and Rome. After an early dinner, this evening, you will be transferred to the Church of St. Ignatius ( or similar) for a formal public concert for the City of Rome, presented by the Choirs of Catholic Central High School. After the concert return to the hotel for Overnight.
June 30, Saturday – : AM/Tour of the Vatican Museums; Sistine Chapel; St. Peter’s Basilica – PM/Tour of baroque fountains and squares of Rome
After breakfast, begin your morning of sightseeing with a visit to one of the great art collections in the world, the Vatican Museums. Walk in the footsteps of the Princes of the Church through the richly decorated galleries. Continue on to the Sistine Chapel, the private chapel of the Popes, where Michelangelo best expressed his genius in monumental frescoes. Daily Itinerary tour continues in St. Peter’s Basilica. Take in the awesome architecture and the statuary adorning this largest of all Christian churches, including Michelangelo’s magnificent “Pieta.” Pray at the new tomb of Blessed John Paul II, in St. Sebastian’s Chapel. On your own, with time permitting, you may wish to go to the Vatican Crypt to see and pray near the tomb of St. Peter and where numerous pontiffs are buried, among incredible works of art. Independent lunch. This afternoon, enjoy a walking guided tour: Visit the the beautiful and lively Piazza Navona, with time to browse through the artists’ stalls to buy a painting or just look…and a chance to buy one of Rome’s most famous products, a “tartufo” (ice cream) at the Gelateria “Tre Scalini.” Continue to the Trevi Fountain, and toss in a coin to ensure your “Arrivederci, Roma.”This is the time to visit the local shops and street vendors. Rome is yours! Return to the hotel for dinner and overnight at hotel.
July 1st, Sunday – AM/Tour of Ancient Rome – PM/Solemn Mass at St. Peter’s Basilica
Buffet breakfast at your hotel. Begin your day with a visit to the Church of St. Peter in Chains to see the original chains in which St. Peter was brought captive to Rome and the statue of Moses, one of Michelangelo’s greatest masterpieces. Then, we continue to the ancient Roman Forum. See the Arch of Titus and the Arch of Constantine and proceed to the outside of the Coliseum for a fascinating explanation of its history. Continue on to the grandiose white marble monument of King Victor Emmanuel II, often called the “Wedding Cake.” See the Trajan Column and the Market (the ancient Roman equivalent of a department store). Independent lunch. Around 4:00pm, you will be transferred to St. Peter’s Basilica for the 5:00pm Solemn Mass sung by the Choirs of Catholic Central High School. We will be the principal choir for the Mass. After Mass, photo opportunity. Your gala dinner, this evening, will be at Benito Restaurant in Rome. Experience an atmosphere of hospitality and friendship, and taste the Mediterranean cuisine in a typical Roman setting with wine and music. Overnight at hotel in Rome.
July 2nd, Monday – Leisure day
A day at leisure. In the afternoon, you have village named “Palestrina” Here, was born Giovanni Pierluigi da Music” having been the greatest producer of visit his house-museum where thousands of “compositions” have been collected. in the Village’s Cathedral where the young Pierluigi used choirs which preserves the “Palestrina style” restaurant, based on local recipes Return to the hotel for overnight.
July 3rd Tuesday – : Return from Rome
Breakfast at your hotel. Then, you will be transferred to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport for your return flight home. Arrive on the same day.
Roundtrip Non-Stop Flight – Wide-bodied trans-atlantic jets.
Porterage of Baggage – Your bags will be put on buses and taken up to your room for you.
Air-Conditioned Motor Coaches – Ride aboard a brand-new, private, air-conditioned motor coach.
Guides Knowledgable of Historical and Biblical Context of Sites Visited
Customized Guidebook – Complete with study on where you have been and where you will go on your tour.
Superior First Class Hotels – We stay at only the best hotels the area has to offer.
Group Photos and More – Get a group photo and tons of photography opportunities!
Three Meals Daily plus Drinks Included on the Bus
Comprehensive Sightseeing – With plenty of time and opportunity for pictures.
Limited Trip Size – We strive to make your trip special and unique, so this trip offers limited group size.
Entrance Fees to Places Visited – Walk right past the ticket booth with all your Entrance Fees paid in advance!