Pilgrimage to Milan and Lake Maggiore
Led by Fr Michael Johnston.
DAY ONE: London – Milan
Flight from Heathrow to Milan by scheduled flight of British Airways. On arrival, transfer to Milan where we check into our hotel for a 2 night stay. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY TWO: Milan
After an early breakfast, we have a tour of the Cathedral and surrounding area. Milan Cathedral is the third largest in the world and one of the most flamboyant in style, where Charles Borromeo is buried in the crypt. Evidence of St. Charles’ dynamic time as Archbishop is noticeable in the Cathedral, in several aspects of its interior design, and near the Cathedral is the Jesuit church of San Fedele that he commissioned in his bid to inspire greater devotion in members of his diocese. Mass will be celebrated in the Cathedral. In the afternoon we travel across the city to the church of St. Ambrose, which was founded by the great saint of the early church, who is also the patron saint of the city. Vestiges of the basilica that Anselm had built remain but most of the present building dates from the 8th Century and is a wonderful example of the Italian Romanesque style. St. Ambrose’s remains are housed in a 9th century golden altar. Lunch will be at choice with dinner in our hotel.
DAY THREE: Milan - Stresa
This morning we hope to visit and see the Last Supper by Leonardo Da Vinci. After lunch (at choice) we transfer to Stresa where we check in to our hotel for a 4 night stay. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY FOUR: Arona & Lake Maggiore
After breakfast we travel by train to the lakeside town of Arona, where St. Charles Borromeo was born and where in the church of San Carlo can be seen reconstruction of the room where St. Charles was born. The town is dominated by the huge statue of the saint, erected by the inhabitants and the fortress owned by the Borromeo family. We return to Stresa by train before having lunch which is at choice today. After lunch we meet at the port in Stresa before having a boat trip on the lake to visit Isola Bella, one of the Borromean islands. We return to Stresa by boat in the late afternoon. Mass will be celebrated during the morning. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY FIVE: Lake Orta
Depart by coach mid-morning to the smaller lake Orta. What it lacks in size it makes up for in beauty. After a leisurely stroll through the pretty town of Orta San Giulio, there will be time for lunch. In the afternoon we take a very short boat trip to the tiny island of San Giulio to visit the beautiful basilica, that is attached to an enclosed convent. We spend some time on the island before the return trip by boat and coach to Stresa. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY SIX: Varallo and the Sacro Monte
After breakfast we will travel to the town of Varallo, where we go up to the sanctuary by cable car. The sanctuary of Varallo is one of the SacriMonti of Piedmont, which are a form of religious devotion unique to this area of Europe and they consist of life size scenes, depicting events from the Bible of the life of a saint. Varallo was built at the end of the 15th century by a Franciscan friar who had visited the Holy Land and wanted everyone to be able to experience what he had. The SacriMonti became an expression of Counter-reformation devotion and inspiration for the Catholic communities who lived adjacent to the Protestant regions across the Alps. Charles Borromeo had a great personal devotion for Varallo and came here several times, including a last pilgrimage that he made here just before his death. Mass will be celebrated in the sanctuary. Lunch will be at choice. Afterwards there will be some time at leisure in the pretty town of Varallo, before we return to Stresa in mid-afternoon. Dinner will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY SEVEN: Stresa
This morning we visit Santa Catarina del Sasso where we hope to celebrate Mass. Lunch will be at choice and the afternoon at leisure. Dinner tonight will be in our hotel this evening.
DAY EIGHT: Stresa - London
Sometime at leisure in Stresa, before a late morning transfer to Milan for our return flight to Heathrow Airport.
This tour involves a substantial amount of walking, some of which will be over irregular surfaces such as cobblestones and badly-maintained walking areas. If everyday walking is something you find difficult, this tour may be unsuitable for you.
This itinerary is a guide and subject to change.
Travel Insurance: £33
Single room supplement: £266
25/09/17 - 02/10/17
· Scheduled flights on British Airways: Heathrow – Milan Linate and Milan Malpensa - Heathrow
· U.K. and Italy airport departure taxes.
· 23kg luggage allowance per person.
· 7 nights accommodation in shared twin-bedded rooms with en suite facilities as follows:
25th - 27th Sept. Hotel Raffaello, Milan (4 Star)
27th Sept - 2nd Oct. Hotel Astoria, Stresa (4 Star)
· Meal plan: 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners.
· All touring and transfers in Italy by air-conditioned coach, train and boat as per the itinerary.
· Pax Travel Italian-speaking tour manager to accompany the group whilst in Italy.
· Guided tours in Milan and Stresa.
· Entrance fees as per the itinerary.
· Boat trip on Lake Maggiore.
· Daily Mass.
· ATOL and ABTA financial protection.
· Travel insurance at £33.00 per person.
· Single room supplement at £266 per person for 7 nights (limited availability).
· Lunches, drinks.
· Catering during the flights.
· Fuel surcharges if passed on by the airline.
· U.K. coach transfers.