Depart Dublin Airport for Naples at 07.20hrs. Upon arrival we will be met by our Joe Walsh Tours Pilgrimage co-ordinator and transferred to the Grand Hotel in Benevento. After lunch we will have a guided tour of Pietrelcina, the birthplace of Padre Pio. Pietrelcina is an attractive village situated in the scenic Apennine foothills. Visit the two-room stone house of Padre Pio’s family and the single room perched on top of a rock where Padre Pio lived as a hermit for seven years in preparation for his great mission. We also visit the church of St. Anna, where Padre Pio was baptised and received his First Holy Communion, as well as the church where he celebrated his first Mass as a newly ordained priest. Pietrelcina has a profound effect on all who visit it. We return to Benevento for dinner and overnight.
We depart our hotel this morning for San Giovanni Rotondo and check in to Parco delle Rose Hotel, where we will stay for the next three nights. We will visit some of the sights in San Giovanni this afternoon and find our bearings. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
This year we celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Padre Pio’s death on 23rd September 1918. We visit the Capuchin Friary where Saint Pio lived and we see the cell he died 50 years ago. We also visit the church where Padre Pio received the visible stigmata 100 years ago this year. We visit the new church and Padre Pio’s tomb. After lunch we will visit the English Office and learn about the life of St. Pio and have the opportunity to receive a personal blessing with St. Pio’s glove and crucifix. Dinner and overnight in hotel.
Today we will have an excursion to Monte Sant’Angelo and St. Marco in Lamis. In Monte Sant’Angelo we will visit the shrine in the cave where the Archangel Michael appeared in the fifth century. Over the centuries, many saints, popes and emperors have visited this cave to pray to the Archangel, among them St. Francis and Padre Pio. We have free time to stroll around its cobblestone streets and browse among the colourful shops and stalls selling handcrafts and typical local produce. We will visit St. Matthew’s Monastery in the nearby town of San Marco in Lamis and proceed to Sorrento. Overnight in Sorrento.
After breakfast we visit Pompeii. Here we will experience an incredible journey back to life in Roman times and have a guided visit of the ruins. Life in the first century was preserved in this renowned World Heritage site when Mount Vesuvius erupted in 79AD.The volcanic ash and rock captured the daily city scenes, as well as the local residents. Excavation began in 1748 and continues today with approximately 110 of the 160 acres of this ancient city excavated to date. We return to Sorrento, enjoying the spectacular coastline.
This morning we visit the bustling town of Sorrento. We will browse among the shops and stalls along the busy streets and taste some of the local fare, including delicious homemade ice-cream and limoncello, the local lemon-based liqueur. Evening meal in hotel.
Breakfast will be served in the hotel. Today we have a free day to relax around the hotel or stroll around the town of Sorrento. Alternatively, local excursions are available to the Amalfi Coast or the legendary island of Capri (payable locally). Dinner and overnight in hotel.
We depart Sorrento for our return flight, arriving back in Dublin at approximately14:50 hrs. *Pease note, this is a sample itinerary and may be subject to change.