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Italy

Rome, Assisi & Ravenna

In this pilgrimage we encounter some of the great saints who have shaped Western Christianity. We begin in Rome with four nights in the Eternal City where we focus on the city’s patron saints, Peter and Paul. A comprehensive programme of sightseeing is included featuring the major sites of ancient and imperial Rome and the Vatican City.

We then head north to Assisi stopping about half way to visit the beautiful hilltop town of Orvieto. We spend two nights in the medieval walled city of Assisi, home of St. Francis, set amidst the peace and tranquillity of the Umbrian countryside. The bustle of Rome is contrasted with the peace of Assisi where visits include the famous Basilica of St Francis, the churches of St Clare and Santa Maria degli Angeli as well as other pilgrimage sites.

We finish in Ravenna, the capital of the western Roman Empire in the 5th century. This is home to some of the most magnificent of all Byzantine mosaics and quite different from what you would expect to find in Western Europe.

 

Itinerary

  1. Fly to Rome

    Fly from London Gatwick to Rome with easyJet. Flight EZY8253 departs at 09:30 and arrives at Rome Fiumicino Airport at 12:55. After checking into our accommodation we have a walking tour around the Pantheon and the Piazza Navona.

  2. Classical Rome

    We start the day at the Colosseum set beside the Palatine Hill, the Via Sacra, the Roman Forum and the Arch of Titus. This was the heart of the Roman Empire. We join the Anglican Centre for their lunchtime Eucharist and we continue our walking tour to San Clement, built over the remains of a temple and then visit the Basilica and Baptistry of St John Lateran.

  3. The early Christians

    We travel along the Appian Way, the route Peter and Paul would have taken on entering Rome, to visit the Catacomb of Domitilla where we celebrate Holy Communion. The catacombs were originally the burial chambers of early Christians. We have a break for lunch and then drive back towards Rome, passing the church of Domine Quo Vadis to visit the Basilica of St Paul Outside The Walls.

  4. Vatican City

    This morning we visit the museums of the Vatican including Michelangelo’s masterpiece, the Sistine Chapel. We end the morning at St Peter’s Basilica. The afternoon is free to wander at your leisure and visit other places of interest.

  5. Orvieto

    We drive north through the beautiful countryside of Umbria to visit Orvieto perched high on a cliff edge and once a major centre of Etruscan civilisation. We take the funicular railway up to this medieval city to visit its impressive Gothic cathedral. After a lunch break we continue to Assisi. We call at the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli in Assisi before continuing to our accommodation.

  6. Assisi

    A full day in and around Assisi. Our main visit is to the Basilica of St Francis, mother church of the Franciscan order. We celebrate Communion together here and see the Giotto frescoes. Our other visits include the Basilica of St Clare and the monastic complex St Damian where St Francis heard the words ‘Rebuild my Church’. After a break for lunch we drive up to St Francis’ hermitage where we spend time in the peace of St. Francis’ retreat.

  7. Ravenna

    We drive on to Ravenna, stopping for a lunch break en route. We visit the ancient port of Classe, with the Basilica of Sant’Apollinare. We celebrate Holy Communion in the chapel at the convent.

  8. Ravenna

    Today we enjoy a full walking tour of Ravenna including visits to the mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the churches of St Vitale and St Apollinare Nuovo as well as the Arian Baptistry. All these buildings are richly decorated with mosaics dating back to the Early Christian and Byzantine periods.

  9. Homeward Bound

    We depart for Bologna Airport after a free morning. Our return easyJet flight EZY8990 departs Bologna at 15:10 and arrives into Gatwick at 16:20.

  10. Walking

    There will be quite a bit of walking involved. If this is something you are concerned about, please speak to the tour leader or call the McCabe office.

Essential Information

The price you pay is inclusive

The only extras you need to budget for are lunches, drinks and shopping. We include gratuities to guide, driver and hotel staff.

Price: £1,895, Single Supplement: £195, Travel Insurance Premium:  £49 to age 74 and £74 for 75 years and older.

Included

Flights, Hotel accommodation, Breakfast and dinner daily, Sightseeing programme, Entrance fees & guiding, Gratuities

Not included

Travel Insurance, Single Room supplement, lunches

Touring information

Days generally start at 9 and finish around 5 with dinner served around 7 or 7.30. Lunches are not included as we like to keep flexibility of each day’s timings, but our tour managers are expert at recommending options each day. You will have your own air-conditioned coach, except for the day visiting Classical Rome when walking is necessary as coaches are not allowed to enter this area during the day. All entrance fees are included.

Passports, visas and health

A visa is not required by British and EU passport holders, but please do check that your passport is not out of date. If you are holding a passport from a non-EU country let us know and we will check whether a visa is required. We recommend that you keep your passport in your hotel room and do not carry it on excursions. No inoculations are recommended.

Travel Insurance

The McCabe recommended insurance policy is designed for the older traveller. The premium for an Italian pilgrimage is £49. Travellers over 75 pay £74 and we also recommend that older travellers obtain a note from their doctor stating that they are fit to travel. Do feel free to shop around as there are many suitable insurance options including annual policies on the market. We do insist that all travellers take out medical insurance.

A key feature of our recommended policy is that there is no requirement to call a Medical Help Line as most pre-existing conditions are covered.

You can read the full policy wording here.

Airline

Flights are available from Gatwick, Manchester, Stansted, Birmingham, Edinburgh and other airports. Please check the specific flights shown for your chosen departure. We recommend a Monday start date, which gives a Sunday in Assisi but any departure day is possible

Hotels

You can expect comfortable, clean accommodation during your stay and all rooms have private facilities. McCabe use a mix of religious guesthouse accommodation and locally graded three star hotels

Breakfast and dinner are served generally at your accommodation.

You can click on the hotel websites below:

Rome: Santa Lucia Filippini Guest House

Assisi: Oasi Sacro Cuore

Ravenna: Ostelleria Galletti Abbiosi

Cuisine

Breakfast: Italians are not great breakfast eaters with just croissants and coffee being the norm. We have asked that where possible this be supplemented at all of our guesthouses and hotels and you can expect to be offered in addition fruit juice, rolls, cheese and perhaps cereal together with coffee or tea. Dinner will normally consist of a pasta dish or soup followed by a meat course and desert. Italians don’t normally eat vegetables with a meat course but we have tried to emphasise that we do! Sometimes an “antipasti” course is offered or a salad bar to begin your meal. Coffee can be ordered at the table or at the bar and is not included at dinner. It is the Italian custom to drink bottled water at the table, which can be with or without gas. This is inexpensive as is house wine, which can be ordered in a small or large carafe; generally cheaper than buying by the bottle. Extras should generally be paid for in cash at the table and rounded up a little … say 5% or to the nearest round figure. It is not necessary or expected to tip more than this.

 

Practical information

Travelling Alone

Many of our passengers travel alone and object to expensive single room supplements. McCabe Pilgrimages will accept individual bookings on a 'guaranteed share' basis. We charge the basic price and accommodate you with a person of the same sex also requesting shared accommodation. If we do not find someone to share with you, you will be accommodated in a single room at only 50% of the usual single room supplement. For single travellers who do require single accommodation this should be requested when booking and, if available, the normal supplement will be payable.

The McCabe Educational Trust

For many, meeting the ‘Living Stones’ of The Land becomes a real highlight of their pilgrimage. The McCabe Educational Trust is an independent registered charity with the aim of helping inspiring people we meet on pilgrimage. On your pilgrimage you will meet some of these people. The Trust has become a practical tool for one to help the other.

McCabe Pilgrimages invite all travellers to become partners in this work. A £15 voluntary donation to the Trust’s work is added to every pilgrim’s invoice and all money raised in this way is given in full to the projects the Trust supports. This scheme is voluntary and confidential with nobody put under any pressure to participate.

Full Financial Security

All money paid to McCabe is fully secure. Holidays including flights are covered by our ATOL license from the Civil Aviation Authority, and holidays without flights are protected by our membership of the ABTOT bonding scheme. If a pilgrimage is cancelled, for instance through lack of numbers or for political considerations, McCabe will promptly refund all monies paid.

AITO Quality Statement

McCabe Pilgrimages is a member of the Association of Independent Tour Operators. The Association represents Britain’s leading independent tour operators and encourages high standards of quality and service. McCabe abides by the Association’s Code of Conduct and adheres to the AITO Quality Charter.

You can read McCabe reviews on the AITO website HERE

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Dates

Upcoming Pilgrimages

We have no tours scheduled to this destination at present. Please contact us if you would like to lead or join a tour.

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