Join me on the journey of a lifetime Sept. 30 to Oct. 11, 2024! La Dolce Vita: An Italian Pilgrimage of Food, Faith & Culture will take us from Rome to Orvieto, Assisi, Siena, Florence, Padua and Venice. Operated by Select International Tours & Cruises, this pilgrimage will depart Newark International Airport on Monday, Sept. 30, with a non-stop United flight to Rome’s Fiumicino Airport. There we’ll be met by our bilingual tour guide, who will stay with us for the remainder of the 12-day trip. From there, the magic begins!
We will visit the most spectacular and sacred sites these Italian cities have to offer while leaving plenty of time for sipping a cappuccino in a piazza, shopping in an open-air market, or just wandering down a narrow cobblestone street toward a hidden-but-magnificent gem you didn’t even know you needed to see. Throughout we’ll have our own chaplain with us every step of the way. Father Matthew Duclos of the Albany Diocese will say daily Mass for our group and offer insights gained from his years of study in Rome. That’s a benefit that can’t be calculated!
We’ll stay four nights in Rome, giving us plenty of time to get our fill of the Eternal City and all its glories, including a papal audience with Pope Francis. From there we’ll take our comfortable motor coach to the small-but-spectacular city of Orvieto en route to Assisi, where we will spend two nights soaking up the mystical, magical energy that seeps up from the streets of this city of St. Francis. We head to Siena next, another not-to-be-missed medieval city, on our way to fabulous Florence, where we will spend another two days and nights. We head north to the quaint and walkable city of Padua, which will be our base for Venice and our last two days of the pilgrimage. We’ll depart from Venice on another non-stop flight back to Newark on Friday, Oct. 11, 2024.
I have traveled to Italy four times — as a pilgrimage leader, a pilgrim, a student, and with my family — and I can tell you that this particular pilgrimage offers a wonderful and much-needed balance, giving us plenty of time in key cities to see all that needs to be seen while also providing ample time to experience Italian life and not simply check off a list of tourist attractions. You don’t want to race through Italy; you want to experience, at least now and then, dolce far niente — the sweetness of doing nothing, for which Italians are so famous. Join me, and find out for yourself why I continue to return to Italy again and again. You will discover that you cannot get enough.
You can find many more details in the full itinerary and brochure HERE. For New York Capital Region folks, Father Matt and I will be hosting an informational gathering on Sunday, Jan,. 14, at 10 a.m. at St. Matthew’s Church in Voorheesville, following the 9 a.m. Mass. Join us for a slide show, Q&A, and some Italian cookies!