Off the Beaten Path Rome and Assisi

Dates: December 2nd – 11th, 2019

Price: $3,300 (plus air)

Included: Accommodations for eight nights, five restaurant meals with unlimited wine, all tips for meals and local guides.

Highlights: A very special morning of unlocking the Vatican Museums, a cooking class at an organic Umbrian farm, visits to many off the beaten path churches.

Because of the exclusive access we have to a few of the sites, this pilgrimage is limited to only a small group of people.


December 2nd
Your overnight flight to Rome.

December 3rd – December 5th
I’ll meet you at the airport and we’ll head straight to the Umbrian hill town of Assisi. We are staying at Hotel Umbra, located right off the main piazza. Over the next three days we will visit the tomb of Saint Francis and the tomb of Saint Clare. We will visit the Hermitage of Saint Francis, located high above Assisi. We’ll travel into the valley to visit the Porziuncola, one of the tiny chapels restored by Saint Francis. We’ll also visit San Damiano and San Ruffino. We will be celebrating Mass each day in some beautiful churches.

We will have some amazing meals, including a lunch you prepare yourself! We will visit a small organic winery and farm, where we will take a cooking class to prepare our lunch.

You will have plenty of free time in Assisi for prayer, relaxing, and shopping.

December 6th
Today we travel to Rome, but we’ll be making a few quick and lovely stops along the way. First up is Norcia, the hometown of Saints Benedict and Scholastica. Then we will stop in nearby Cascia to visit Saint Rita. Our next stop is to the town of Greccio, where Saint Francis created the first Nativity set. We will arrive in Rome this evening in time for a lovely dinner.

December 7th – 10th
We have a lot of great things planned for Rome! We’ll see the sites of two Marian Apparitions in Rome. We’ll visit the site of a Eucharistic Miracle that occurred in Rome. We’ll see where Paul was martyred, where Peter, Paul, Luke, and John lived, and where Mark wrote his gospel. We’ll also go behind the scenes in some of Rome’s most beautiful churches.

The highlight for many will be unlocking the doors to the Vatican Museums. We will accompany the key holder and unlock the doors of the Museums, including the Sistine Chapel. Along the way, we will also get to turn on the lights in the galleries. Check out the videos below. Our group will literally be alone in the Vatican Museums and have the Sistine Chapel all to ourselves, and yes, we will be allowed to take pictures in the Sistine Chapel.

Wednesday, December 11th
Your flight home from Rome.


$3,300 (plus air)

This cost is for double occupancy. Traveling alone? No problem! You’ll have a chance to ‘meet’ the other solo travelers before the trip and pick a roommate. This usually works out well. If you really prefer to have your own single room, there is a single supplement of $800.

Included in the price

Accommodations for 7 nights
Rome: Hotel Museum
Assisi: Hotel Umbra

Breakfast daily plus 6 additional meals
Drinks, including unlimited wine, is included in all our meals.

Opening of the Vatican Museums
This is an extremely exclusive visit to the Vatican Museums. Only a handful of people are allowed to do this each day. I was able to secure private access for just our group.

All group ground transportation
We’ll be traveling in a private motor coach.

Full time service of a tour director
Visiting new countries can be intimidating! That’s why you will have an experienced Catholic American tour director (me!) with you at all times.

Local guide
We will have local experts with us during tours in Rome and Assisi.

No hidden costs
If we do it as a group, it’s included in the price! You are responsible only for the meals you have on your own, souvenirs you wish to buy, and anything you want to do in your free time. Tips, air taxes, drinks with meals? Already included!

Guaranteed price
Once I receive your deposit, your tour price will not go up!

All tips for group meals, guides, and drivers
Would you believe that many tour companies require you to tip as you go? Not only does that add to the advertised sticker price of a tour, it’s also a huge hassle to you! No need to worry about that here. Tips are already included and we take care of that behind the scenes.

Entry fees and tours
All entry fees and tours to our included group activities.

Social planning
Plan your trip with your traveling companions before you leave! We set up private Facebook groups for each tour to give you a chance to meet before you meet!

You time
We have a lot planned, but time on your own is important. We take our time in churches to give you the opportunity for prayer and reflection. We also include free time for you to explore, shop and relax on your own.

Is this trip for you?

You should be in good physical shape.
We will do a lot of walking, much of it outside, and much of it on uneven ground. We average around 5 miles per day. Please do consider this before signing up.

You need to be able to carry your own luggage.
You are responsible for your luggage and getting it from the plane to the bus and the bus to your hotel rooms. I will provide a thorough packing list to help you pack lightly and efficiently.

You must be flexible.
This is Italy, things may close without notice, a protest could spring up without warning. But, it’s not all negative, great things come up unexpectedly as well. Being flexible is the key for happy travels!

Sign up

Use the form below to sign up for this pilgrimage. If you have any questions, you can email or call 404.330.9913.

Optional Trip Insurance
If you think there is any chance you may need to cancel, I recommend you purchase travel insurance. Many people go through A Cancel for Any Reason plan will let you, well, cancel for ‘most’ any reason. Most plans should allow for at least a 75% refund should you need to cancel at any time before departure. Please review all your options to be sure the plan you pick is best for you.

Terms and Conditions
What you are getting by signing up, how much walking you will be doing, what happens if something changes in the itinerary, making your final payment, how we can send you home if you misbehave… and more!

Click here to read the Terms and Conditions for this pilgrimage.

Deposit Info
You’ll be able to pay by credit card or check. Payment info will be emailed to you once you sign up.

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