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Saints, Knights & Wine in Italy

Italy: Saints, Knights & Wine 2018

A special Journey through Friuli, Tuscany and Umbria. A wonderful mix of shrines, Eucharistic Miracles, Order of Malta sites, excellent wine estates, Italian cuisine spanning many different regions and beautiful accommodations including a villa as our home base while in Umbria.

$2,900

Single Supplement: $575
October 6 - 14, 2018
8 Nights, 9 Days
Group size: 16 - 26
Highlights

Padua – Basilica of Santa Giustina (relics of St. Luke), Basilica of St. Anthony & Scrovegni Chapel • Venice – St. Marks Basilica (relics of St. Mark), the Doge’s Palace, Murano Glass & Grand Canal Tour • Friuli region – Rocca Bernarda – Order of Malta’s Wine Estate • Sanctuary of Our Lady of Castelmonte • Bologna – Shrine of St. Catherine of Bologna (incorrupt body) & Basilica of St. Dominic (relics) • Citta di Castello – Church of San Domenico (Bl. Margaret of Castello) • Cascia – Basilica of St. Rita (incorrupt), Bl. M. Teresa Fasce, Bl. Simone Fidati and the Eucharistic miracle of Cascia • Assisi • Medieval Convent of St. Bartolomeo • Foligno – Church of St. Francis (St. Angela of Foligno), private Olive Oil tasting in a • Arnaldo Caprai Wine Estate • Montefalco – Church of St. Clare of the Cross (incorrupt) • Cortona – Basilica of Santa Margherita (incorrupt body of St. Margaret of Cortona) • Castello di Magione – Order of Malta Wine Estate • Orvieto – Cathedral of the Assumption of Mary, walking tour • Bolsena – Basilica of St. Christina, the site of the Eucharistic Miracle of Bolsena …and more

  • Small pilgrimage groups 16 – 26
  • Professional Local Guide
  • Luxury Coach
  • Private transfer to hotel on arrival/check-in assistance
  • Audio systems for group guided tours (21+)
  • VAT (Value Added Tax)

  • 7 nights accommodations at 4-star hotels
  • 1 night accommodation at 3-star hotel
  • Wine Tasting – 3 Wines Estates
  • Continental breakfast daily, 3 Lunches, 6 dinners
  • Lunch and dinners include beverages: water/coffee & wine at dinner
  • Daily Mass

Depart via your best connections for your overnight flight to Europe/Venice.

DAY 1

Arrive at Venice airport with departure for Padua. Afternoon visit to the Basilica of Santa Giustina. The Basilica houses the relics of many revered saints; relics of St. Luke the Evangelist and the remains of the Patrons of Padua; St. Justina and St. Prosdocimo. Lunch at leisure then we visit the Basilica of St. Anthony and the Scrovegni Chapel (frescoed between 1303 and 1305 by Giotto) is universally accepted as Giotto di Bondone’s masterwork. This evening we will enjoy dinner in Padua. (D)

DAY 2

Full day in Venice – We’ll start with a Vaporetto (water bus) to Rialto Bridge then a walking tour to St. Mark’s Square. We will start with Holy Mass and then visit St. Marks Basilica and the Doge’s Palace. Lunch at leisure then we will visit the Murano Glass shop where we will have a glass blowing demonstration and an explanation on the various types of glass created. Our day in Venice will end with a Grand Canal tour. This evening we will welcome you to “Italia” with a special welcome dinner in Padua. (B,D)

DAY 3

Full day visit to the enchanting region of Friuli; home to Hemingway, Joyce, D’Annunzio, Rilke and Pasolini. Today we will visit one of the most important of Order of Malta’s SMOM wine estates: Rocca Bernarda which has long been a point of reference in Friulan enology and has been extremely influential within the wine industry of Friuli. We will tour the elegant 15th century Villa, wine making facility and enjoy a typical “Friulian” lunch accompanied by its award winning wines. We then visit the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Castelmonte; one of the most ancient Marian shrines in the world. (B,L)

DAY 4

Today we move south toward our new base in Umbria visiting Bologna and Citta di Castello along the way. Bologna: Shrine of St. Catherine of Bologna where we will venerate her incorrupt body in a chapel where she sits upright in a golden throne. She served as a lady-in-waiting in the court of Nicholas III at 10, but was called to religious life at 14 where she lived a humble life as mystic and painter. Next the Basilica of St. Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (the Dominicans). St. Dominic preached against the Albigensians (heresy) and in 1221, after being forced by illness to return from a preaching tour in Hungary, died in Bologna. Lunch at leisure then continuing to move south we enter Umbria where we will visit the Church of San Domenico in Citta di Castello. Here Bl. Margaret of Castello’s incorrupt body lies peacefully in a glass coffin under the altar. She became a member of the Dominican Third Order and died at 33 and is the patron of the unwanted. We enjoy a wonderful Umbrian meal this evening in a beautiful old villa. (B,D)

DAY 5

We journey to Cascia to visit the Basilica of St. Rita where her incorrupt body is venerated. St. Rita was a wife and mother and later a nun. While praying she was wounded in the forehead by a thorn from the figure of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ when it fell from the crown of thorns. This received a visible wound on her forehead was a mystical yet visible mark (stigmata) she she carried for the rest of her life. We will also visit the chapel below the Basilica to venerate the mortal remains of two other Augustinians; Blessed M. Teresa Fasce and Blessed Simone Fidati. The Eucharistic miracle of Cascia is also located in the chapel. In 1330, a gravely ill peasant asked to receive Communion. The priest, partly through carelessness and apathy, instead of taking the ciborium to carry the Eucharist, he irreverently placed a Host in a prayer book. When he reached the peasant the priest opened the book and with astonishment saw that the Host was transformed into a clot of blood and the pages of the book were marked with blood. Assisi and St. Francis are one in the same thing. There is no other place where the spirit and the spirituality of the Saint are so omnipresent as Assisi. We begin with a visit to the basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli which holds the chapel of the Porziuncola; a place deeply loved by St. Francis. We then move to Assisi for a tour of the Basilica of St. Francis and pray at his Tomb. Our walking tour continues, visiting the major sites associated with St. Francis and St. Clare, including the Church of San Rufino, with the baptismal font of the Saint and the Basilica of St. Clare where the body of St. Clare can be seen in a crystal casket. Also present in the Basilica is the San Damiano Crucifix which spoke to St. Francis. There will also be free time for lunch and to walk about Assisi. (B,D)

DAY 6

Mass and tour the Medieval Convent of St. Bartolomeo (Holy Land Plenary Indulgence – from 1676). We then move to Foligno and visit the Church of St. Francis to venerate the incorrupt relics of Saint Angela of Foligno: “Mistress of Theologians”; one of the great medieval mystics. Count Pandolfi has extended an invitation to tour his palazzo and join him for an olive oil tasting from the Pandolfi Elmi Farm. We have graciously accepted and look forward to our visit. We will leave Foligino for a short drive to an internationally recognized wine estate for a tour, lunch and wine tasting. Our Umbrian host is recognized as the leading wine estate in the production of Sagrantino di Montefalco, a wine produced from grapes of Sagrantino, which comes from the word Sacrament and was planted in Montefalco by the Franciscan Monks in the XI century. Montefalco – we will venerate the relics of St. Clare of the Cross (her body is incorrupt) at the Church of Saint Clare with a private tour of her convent. She was an Augustinian nun and abbess. St. Clare had a number of mystical experiences and had the implements of the passion imprinted on her heart. After her death, her heart was removed and the symbols of Christ’s passion, a crucifix and a scourge, were found within her heart. (B,L,D)

DAY 7

Cortona, known more these days for the book; Under the Tuscan Sun, is home to St. Margaret of Cortona (incorrupt) and we will visit the Basilica of Santa Margherita. Saint Margaret is one of the church’s renowned penitents from thirteenth century Italy. She became a Third Order Franciscan and lived a life of severe penitence and prayer. She tended to the poor and founded a hospital. She is the patron of those who struggle with sexual temptation, prostitution and homelessness. In the afternoon we return through Magione to visit the Order of Malta’s wine estate and Summer Residence of the Grand Master; Castello di Magione for a tour and wine tasting. Castello di Magione is a magnificent XII Century Castle nestled in the Umbrian countryside rich in history as Pontiffs and Sovereigns have sojourned here. Wine production began in the Middle Ages, and it remained an important influence in the history of viniculture worldwide. Tonight, we have a wonderful farewell dinner in the county side. (B,D)

DAY 8

This morning we journey to Orvieto and a visit to the Cathedral, dedicated to the Assumption of Mary, which represents one of the artistic masterpieces of the late Italian Middle Ages. The Cathedral was constructed under the orders of Pope Urban IV to commemorate and provide a suitable home for the Corporal of Bolsena. Bolsena miracle: A Bohemian priest, tormented by the doubt whether the consecrated host was Christ’s body and blood, went on a pilgrimage to Rome in 1263. On his return he stopped in Bolsena to celebrate mass at the altar of Saint Christina’s Basilica; at the moment of consecration he saw the broken host spill blood that stained the Corporal. Pope Urban IV, who had been residing in Orvieto since 1262, sent the town’s Bishop to Bolsena to take the relic to Orvieto; the Pontiff himself waited by the Rio Chiaro bridge for the relic to arrive and a solemn procession accompanied it to the Church of Saint Mary. After the Cathedral there will be a walking tour of Orvieto, lunch and free time. Our last stop before Fiumicino will be our visit to Bolsena: The Basilica of St. Christina where the Eucharistic miracle that was moved to Orvieto took place. There will be a tour of the Church and the Catacombs beneath the church and we will venerate the relics of St. Christina. (B,L)

DAY 9

Breakfast and depart for Rome Fiumicino Airport.
Arriverdverci!

MedSeas Accommodation

7 nights accommodations in 4 Star Hotels/ Villa

1 night accommodation in 3 Star Hotel

Private transfer to hotel on arrival/check-in assistance
Tours with luxury, a/c coach

Welcome and Farewell dinner
All breakfasts, three lunches and six dinners – water, coffee & wine included

Euros to be collected at check-in – €75 per person
Discount of $50 for each pilgrimage you’ve taken with us

Saints, Knights & Wine in Italy

October 5 - 14, 2018
8 Nights, 9 Days

$2,900

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"I took the Saints, Knights and Wine tour in the fall of 2015 and would love to do it again. We visited Order of Malta sites, wineries and shrines not usually available on other tours. The schedule was full but not exhausting. We stayed at only 2 lodgings (one of which was an amazing villa) so packing and repacking was minimized. On this tour, I felt like a guest and not a tourist."

Janice Klich, Hampshire

"Many companies advertise the uniqueness of their tours. MedSeas LLC delivers. They are attentive, caring and personally involved in making their tours not only memorable but spiritually enriching. My participation in the Saints, Knights and Wine tour exceeded all my expectations."

Hal Jopp, Greensboro
✓ I can’t make it on the above dates but please keep me posted for alternative dates.
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