Advent in Tuscany with the Keys to the Vatican

December 6th – 14th, 2022
$3,800 (plus air)

This will be a small group pilgrimage through Tuscany with a special early morning visit to the Vatican Museums.

We will experience art and culture in Florence, culinary adventures in Siena, and a once in a lifetime visit to the Sistine Chapel.

Space is extremely limited.

Winery visits.
Tuscan hill towns.
Saint Catherine’s head.
Alone in the Sistine Chapel.
Daily Mass in some amazing locations.
Lots of incredible meals along the way.
Florence, Siena, and Rome covered in Christmas lights.

Italy is currently open to all with no testing or restrictions.

Is this pilgrimage trip for you?

You need to be adventurous.
Our pilgrimage begins in Florence. You will most likely fly into Rome. It is quick and easy to get from the Rome airport (FCO) to Florence. There are several trains a day from FCO airport to Florence with no changes. There are even more options with a simple change at Rome’s main train station, Termini. I will give detailed instructions for all who sign up.

You need to be flexible.
This pilgrimage is not for grumpy people or those unable to be joyfully flexible. Italy is fully back to normal, but the world is still a bit uncertain. While everything is going well so far, we must be able to adjust our plans if needed.

That said, all my pilgrimages since Italy has reopened have been great with no issues.

So if you are easy-going and excited to travel, even with some uncertainties mixed in, this could be the trip for you!

If this pilgrimage doesn’t work for you, no worries, I’ve been doing this for nearly 17 years and plan to do many, many more.

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 can walk up to 5 miles in one day. Siena has some very unforgiving hills that are sometimes unavoidable. That said, I had people on my most recent pilgrimage who were older, not used to walking much, one with a cane, and everyone did great. But please do consider the walking before signing up.

You need to be able to carry your own luggage.
You are responsible for your luggage. We don’t not have porters and the two story hotel we use in Rome does not have an elevator. I will provide a thorough packing list to help you pack lightly and efficiently.


We begin with three nights in Florence. Our hotel is centrally located, making all site seeing, shopping, and our tours easily accessible. In Florence we will visit the Accademia, Santa Croce, the Duomo, San Marco, the Uffizi, and a few other off-the-beaten path places. We have some special surprises planned along the way.

Then we travel deeper into Tuscany, for three nights in Siena. We will spend our days exploring this hill town, visiting a winery, and learning to cook. There will also be Eucharistic miracles, relics, and some amazing meals – including lunch at the world famous Dario Cecchini’s Officina della Bistecca.

We will end with two nights in Rome in the Borgo neighborhood – with lots of great food and shopping just outside the door, and Saint Peter’s Basilica only a 60 second walk away. In Rome we will visit a few of my favorite churches. If this is your first visit to Rome, you may want to stay an extra day to visit the Colosseum or any other highlights you hope to see. I can help you with that planning.

The grand finale of our pilgrimage will be opening the Vatican Museums. We will accompany the guy with the keys as we go from room to room, gallery to gallery, unlocking the doors and turning on the lights. Our group will be completely alone in the Sistine Chapel.

Of course Mass will be celebrated daily in some of the most beautiful churches in Italy.


$3,800 per person – ground only.

$1,000 deposit secures your spot.

Final payment of $2,800 is due November 14th, 2022.

The cost is per person, in double occupancy, meaning two people to a room.

Traveling alone?
I match singles with other traveling singles (of the same sex) and that always works out great. If you are uncomfortable sharing a room with a stranger, you can request a single room for an additional $800. Single rooms are limited.

Included in the price

Accommodations for 8 nights
We are staying 3 nights in Florence – if you want to arrive early, I can make the arrangements for you.

We are staying 3 nights in Siena.

We are staying 2 nights in Rome – if you want to stay late, I can make the arrangements for you.

All our hotels are centrally located with excellent cafes, restaurants, and shopping right outside.

Breakfast daily plus 7 additional meals in some of my favorite restaurants.
Drinks, including wine, is included in all our lunches and dinners.

Airport transfer from Rome to FCO
Airport transfer from our hotel in Rome to the FCO airport. Even if you are staying extra days in Rome, your airport transfer is included.

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

Full time service of a tour director
I’ll be with you at all times.

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, church offerings at Mass, and anything you want to do in your free time.

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.

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! I’ll 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.

Not Included

Your flights
You should arrive in Florence no later than December 6th, we will begin with a late afternoon stroll and dinner together this evening. If you want to arrive early, let me know and I can arrange the extra nights.

You should depart Rome no earlier than December 14th. Our last activity together is dinner on the 13th, the hotel for the 13th is included. If you want to stay longer, let me know and I can arrange the extra nights.

Most airlines are offering free changes should anything happen to the trip. Most airlines are not offering refunds, but rather a credit.

If you need to cancel your trip for any reason, if the situation in Italy changes and we need to cancel or postpone the trip, it’s your responsibility to work with your airline to cancel, reschedule, or request refunds.


If for any reason I need to cancel or postpone the trip, you will be refunded 100% of the cost of the pilgrimage.

If Italy changes their requirements for entry, and you decide that doesn’t work for you, you will be refunded 100% of the cost of the pilgrimage.

If you need to cancel for any other reason at all before departure, you’ll get everything back minus the deposit.

Trip insurance is a wise investment in case something comes up while you are in Italy. If you think there is any chance you may need to cancel, I recommend you purchase travel insurance. 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. I have a friend who specializes in trip insurance, you can contact him directly, but you are under no obligation to use him and I don’t get any sort of kick backs, so shop around and find what is best for you.

Sign up

Use the form below to sign up for this pilgrimage. If you have any questions, email me at

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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