Pilgrims who travel to Rome during Lent can participate in a beautiful custom that dates back to the fourth century. It’s a custom that began as a way to strengthen the sense of community in the city while honoring the holy martyrs of Rome. The faithful would journey through the streets to visit various churches. As they walked they would pray the Litany of the Saints. The bishop of Rome, would join them, lead them in prayer, and celebrate Mass at the church.
Though this practice was around for years, Pope Saint Gregory the Great established the order of the churches to be visited, the prayers to be recited, and designated this as a Lenten practice.
On this Lenten Pilgrimage to Rome, we will visit the daily station churches as well as many other of the earliest churches of Rome.
To keep your cost low and give you maximum flexibility, this pilgrimage is being offered as a land-only package. We begin and end in Rome which gives you the freedom to arrive and depart at a time and date that works best for your schedule and budget.
March 11th – 17th, 2017
Seven nights in Rome.
How many people?
Small group. Only 18 people!
Only $2,500 + air
Flights from JFK start at $855 roundtrip
- accommodations for 7 nights in a centrally located four star hotel;
- ground transportation, including your airport transfers in Rome;
- breakfast daily, plus 7 additional meals in Rome’s best restaurants;
- wine with meals;
- entry fees and guided tours;
- all tips;
- and so much more.
Does the cost include air?
No, this trip is land-only. But your airport transfers in Rome are covered. Simply send me your flight details and I’ll handle the rest.
Current flights from JFK to Rome start at $855 roundtrip.
May I extend my stay?
I would love for you to extend your stay and explore more of Italy! You can arrive early or depart late and I’ll help with as much, or as little, as you want.
Saturday, March 11th
You’ll have time to arrive, check in, and freshen up. Our pilgrimage officially begins this afternoon at 2:00 p.m. as we visit, and celebrate Mass, at the site of the martyrdom of Saint Paul, Tre Fontane. Next we’ll visit his tomb at Saint Paul Outside the Walls.
After dinner, we’ll stroll through the piazza of today’s Lenten Station Church, Saint Peter’s Basilica. Dinner and overnight in Rome.
We are staying at a lovely four star hotel located on Borgo Pio.
Sunday, March 12th
This morning we’ll celebrate Mass in Saint Peter’s Basilica. You’ll have plenty of time afterwards to pray, explore, or even climb the dome. At noon we’ll meet up for the Holy Father’s Angelus in Saint Peter’s Square. Then it’s off to an excellent Italian pranzo.
After lunch we’ll stop by today’s station church, Santa Maria della Navicella, the church where Saint Lawrence distributed alms to the poor. We’ll also visit the nearby church of San Stefano Rotondo, a church modeled after the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem. Then we’ll visit Santi Giovanni e Paolo and San Gregorio al Celio to see the rooms of our newest saint, Saint Teresa of Calcutta. Dinner is on your own tonight.
Monday, March 13th
This morning we’ll join the seminarians from the North American College as they celebrate Mass at today’s station church, San Clemente. This twelfth century basilica sits on top of a fourth century basilica which was built over a first century house with a temple next door – and it’s beautiful!
After Mass we’ll have a guided tour of the Ancient City as we visit the Colosseum, Roman Forum, and Palatine Hill.
This afternoon we’ll take a stroll through Rome as we venerate the relics of some of the Church’s most cherished Saints. Just a few of the relics we’ll visit, the foot of Saint Mary Magdalene, the arm of Saint Jude, relics of Saints John Paul II and Padre Pio, and even relics from the Blessed Virgin Mary. Dinner together.
Tuesday, March 14th
This morning we’ll travel up the Aventine Hill to today’s station church, Santa Balbina. This fourth century church is one of the original twenty-five house churches of Rome. Inside is an altar from the first Saint Peter’s Basilica. We’ll celebrate Mass next door at Santa Sabina, the church where Saint Dominic lived and founded the Dominicans.
This afternoon we’ll tour the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel, and Saint Peter’s Basilica. Dinner together.
Wednesday, March 15th
This morning we’ll attend the Papal Audience with Pope Francis.
After lunch we’ll head over to Trastevere, and today’s station church, Santa Cecilia, where we’ll pray at the saint’s tomb.
This evening we’ll stroll through the historic center of Rome, visiting the Pantheon, Santa Maria sopra Minerva Piazza Navona to see the tomb of Saint Catherine, Sant’Agnese, and Sant’Agostino to see the tomb of Saint Monica. We’ll have an amazing dinner together tonight.
Thursday, March 16th
This morning we’ll celebrate Mass at Saint Mary Major under the relics of the Manger of Christ. Then we’ll visit the nearby church of Santa Prassede to see the the pillar where Christ was scourged. Next we’ll pop into Rome’s first cathedral, Santa Pudenziana. Later today we’ll visit today’s station church, Santa Maria in Trastevere. This is one of the oldest churches in Rome, and many believe this is the first church where Mass was celebrated openly. We’ll have a lively dinner in the trendy Trastevere neighborhood.
Friday, March 17th
You’ll have the morning free. After lunch, we’ll stop at today’s station church, San Vitale. This is one of the first twenty-five titular churches of Rome, and not much has changed since the fifth century. Next we’ll visit Rome’s churches most closely tied to the Passion of Christ. We’ll start with a visit to the Cathedral, Saint John Lateran, then we’ll make a prayerful ascent up the Scala Santa, the stairs Jesus climbed when he was condemned to death, next we will visit the holy relics of the Passion at Santa Croce. We’ll celebrate Mass here before heading out to a fancy meatless dinner.
Your deposit reserves your spot. These small group pilgrimages fill up fast, don’t wait!
January 1st, 2017: Final payment is due. Photocopy of your Passport is due – picture page only – can be emailed. Any special dietary or medical requests is also due at this time.
$2,500 per person
$1,000 deposit secures your spot. Tour deposit is fully refundable for 14 days from the time you make your deposit.
Final payment of $1,500 is due January 1st, 2017. Final payment is nonrefundable.
Small group – we are capping this trip at just 18 people! Space is limited!
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 $700.
If you think there is any chance you may need to cancel, I recommend you purchase travel insurance.
Many people go through InsureMyTrip.com. 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.
Is this tour for you?
Please review the following before committing to this trip!
You must 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 room. We will not have porters on this trip, so keep that in mind when deciding how many pairs of shoes to bring! Here’s a post I wrote about packing.
You should be in good physical shape.
We will do a lot of walking, much of it outside. We will cover several miles on most days.
You must be flexible!
This is the 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!
Pre and post trip planning
If you are planning to arrive a few days early or stay a few days after the tour ends, I’ll help you with your itinerary.
Airport transfers between FCO and your hotel
Regardless of the time, or even day, you arrive or depart, I will arrange for your pick up from the Rome airport to bring you to the hotel in Rome and when you depart, from the hotel in Rome back to the airport.
Accommodations for 7 nights
Rome: Hotel della Conciliazione
Breakfast daily plus 7 additional meals
As always, water and unlimited wine is included with our group meals.
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 guides, per itinerary
We will have a local guides join us periodically throughout the pilgrimage.
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, taxes, drinks with meals? Already included!
Once we 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.
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!
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.
Use the form below to sign up for this pilgrimage. If you have any questions, you can email or call 404.330.9913.
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!
You’ll be able to pay by credit card or check. Payment info will be emailed to you once you sign up.