DAY 1: BENEVENTO
Depart Dublin Airport at approximately 06:15 hrs. Our Joe Walsh tours representative will meet us on arrival in Naples. Coach transfer to Benevento where we will check into the Grand Hotel Italiano and have lunch. After lunch, we will have a walking tour of Piana Romana and Mass at 16:30. We will head afterwards to visit the Cathedral in Benevento where Padre Pio was ordained. Time for dinner and overnight.
DAY 2: PIETRELCINA AND SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO
Today we will be traveling to Pietrelcina, the birthplace of Saint Pio. We visit St. Pio’s family home and the church of St. Anna where Padre Pio was baptised and received his First Holy Communion.
There will be time for lunch and mass before continuing to San Giovanni Rotondo. We will check in at the Parco delle Rose where we will be staying for the next 3 nights on a Full Board basis. One pizza night in the lovely Parco delle Rose’s garden will be also organised according to the weather. Time permitting before dinner we will be visiting and pay homage to Padre Pio’s tomb in the new Sanctuary.
DAY 3: SAN MARCO IN LAMIS, ST MATTHEW'S MONASTERY & MONTE SANT' ANGELO
This morning after breakfast, we will travel to the nearby town of San Marco in Lamis and visit St. Matthew’s Monastery. We will also have time to enjoy the market in San Giovanni Rotondo, next to the hotel before lunch. In the afternoon we will visit and have mass in Monte Sant’Angelo, the shrine in the cave where the Archangel Michael appeared in the fifth century. A long list of Saints and Popes have visited this cave to pray to the Archangel, among them St. Francis of Assisi, St Pio and St John Paul II. Dinner and overnight in the hotel.
DAY 4: SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO & PADRE PIO
Today we spend the full day in San Giovanni Rotondo. After the morning Mass we will be visiting the English office where we hear about the extraordinary life of Padre Pio and the Capuchin Friary, the cell where Saint Pio lived and died, the crucifix before which he received the stigmata.
In the afternoon we will be going to the hospital ‘Casa Sollievo della sofferenza’, also known as “Home for Relief of the Suffering”, which now welcomes many patients, being one of the best health care centres in Italy. Free time to explore and visit St.Pio’s tomb again or the cemetery if anyone wishes to.
Time to go back to Parco delle Rose for dinner. This evening you are welcome to join the procession in San Giovanni taking place after dinner.
DAY 5: ASSISI & ST FRANCIS ANNIVERSARY
This morning we depart for Assisi. En route we will stop in Lanciano for mass, where we will visit the Holy House, one of the most sacred places in the world.We continue to Assisi, for this special week dedicated to St. Francis anniversary that takes place every year on October 4th. We will check into the Hotel il Cenacolo, our base for the next three nights. We will have breakfast and evening meal each day at the hotel.
DAY 6: ASSISI, BASILICA OF ST FRANCIS & BASILICA OF ST CLARE
Today we visit Lower and Upper Assisi. Possibly we will have Mass in S.Maria degli Angeli. It will be a privilege as it is the ‘Patron of Assisi’. We have a walking tour of the main sights of the medieval town of Assisi. We visit the impressive thirteenth century Basilica of St. Francis, the mother church of the Franciscan order. We also visit the Basilica of St. Clare, foundress of the Order of the Poor Clares. St. Clare followed the teachings of St. Francis by living a life of poverty and humility. Dinner and overnight.
DAY 7: CASCIA AND ROCCAPORENA
Today we will be visiting Cascia, St Rita’s Town followed by Mass. We will also visit Roccaporena, birthplace of St Rita. After a full day we will return to Assisi for dinner and overnight.
DAY 8: DEPART TO DUBLIN
Today is our last day, after breakfast and check out from the hotel we will be picked up to go to the airport for our way back to Dublin.