Tour overview

In the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi

A 6-day Pilgrimage led by
The Reverend Rob Lawrance TSSF
14th – 19th September, 2020

Assisi is a hill town in central Italy’s Umbria region and is the birthplace of St. Francis. St. Francis is one of the patron saints of Italy. He was born in and died in Assisi. In addition to the Franciscan Order, St. Francis is also credited with founding the Order of Saint Clare, the Third Order of Saint Francis and the Custody of the Holy Land.
The Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi is a Papal minor basilica located in Assisi and is one of the most important, and most visited Catholic Pilgrimage destinations in Italy. The breathtaking basilica is built into the side of a hill and includes two Churches referred to as the Upper Church and the Lower Church and the “Sacro Convento” which is the Franciscan friary. The Lower church is a crypt containing the tombs of Saint Francis, to whom the Church is dedicated. St. Francis founded the Franciscan Order and the Basilica is officially recognized as the mother church for the Roman Catholic Order of Friars. After St. Francis’ death in 1226 Pope Gregory IX Canonized him in1228 and work began on the Basilica.

I hope you will join me on this special pilgrimage to Assisi.

Fr Rob Lawrance

Included

  • Scheduled flights on British Airways from Newcastle
  • All airport departure & passenger taxes
  • Accommodation at selected hotel
  • All entrance fees and local government taxes
  • English speaking escort and local licensed guides at major sites
  • All transfers and excursions in modern air-conditioned coaches

Not Included

  • Single room supplement (limited availability) £199
  • Gratuities (£35)
  • Snack lunches & any items of a personal nature (laundry & drinks etc)

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Day 1, Monday 14th September

We leave Newcastle in the morning for our flights to Rome via London Heathrow. On arrival we will be driven to Assisi, stopping for a snack lunch en route. We plan to arrive in Assisi and transfer to minibuses to drive into the walled town and arrive at the centrally located Hotel Priori (five nights). There is the option of attending Vespers at the nearby Santa Chiara (home of the original San Damiano Crucifix) at 7pm, followed by dinner in our hotel.

Day 2, Tuesday 15th September

We visit the Basilica San Francesco for a guided tour, including the shrine of St Francis and the stunning frescos by Giotto and Cimabue describing the life of St Francis. We will attend Mass in the lower basilica and in the afternoon we will visit The Convent of San Damiano, where St Francis first received his call, and a tour of the monastic buildings. There will be time for reflection in the beautiful gardens. Dinner in our hotel.

Day 3, Wednesday 16th September

We drive to La Verna in Tuscany (1.5-2 hours) to visit the Franciscan sanctuary which was where Francis would go on retreat and where he received the stigmata. There will be a tour of the monastery followed by lunch and time for walking in the beautiful grounds before attending the daily procession of friars at 3pm. We return to the hotel for Dinner and an evening of relaxation.

Day 4, Thursday 17th September

We drive to Santa Maria degli Angeli to visit the Portiuncula, the place where Francis lived and died. We then drive to Rivotorto to see the site of the first hovels where the friars lived and also to visit the nearby Commonwealth Military cemetery, which reminds us of another aspect of Assisi's history. After lunch we visit The Hermitage of Il Carceri on Mount Subasio, a beautiful monastery clinging to a cleft in the mountain with time for reflection and prayer in the woodlands surrounding it. Dinner and overnight stay in Assisi.

Day 5, Friday 18th September

This will be a free day to visit other places of interest in Assisi within easy walking distance of our hotel, including The Bishop's House, San Rufino Cathedral, Francis's birthplace, home and other churches connected with his life. There is also the Roman Forum which is underneath the Piazza della Commune or you might like to climb to the castello for spectacular views across the Vale of Spoleto or discover the many restaurants, gelateria, and souvenir shops, or revisit one of the basilicas on your own. Dinner and overnight stay in Assisi.

Day 6, Saturday 19th September

We transfer to Rome Fiumicino Airport for our flight home via London Heathrow arriving back in Newcastle around 10:20pm.

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