Pilgrimage to Loreto, Ravenna, Bologna & Ferrara
Led by Fr Shaun Church, 28 September - 5 October 2019
DAY ONE: U.K. – Rimini – Loreto
Scheduled flight from Stansted to Rimini. Transfer to Loreto where we check into our hotel for a two-night stay. Today lunch is at choice. Dinner will be in our hotel.
DAY TWO: Loreto
Today we shall spend the day in the small town of Loreto. We celebrate Mass in the morning and have a guided tour of the Basilica, so that we come to understand more of the details of its history. The great basilica, built and decorated by some of the greatest artists is merely a cover for the real treasure, the House in which the Incarnation took place. As the inscription “Hic Verbum Caro Factum Est” reminds us that these are the very stones of that House. Lunch is at choice and the rest of the afternoon at leisure. Dinner in the hotel.
DAY THREE: Loreto – Ravenna
Early breakfast and departure from Loreto. We drive to Ravenna, an important port on the Adriatic coast founded by the Emperor Augustus. Ravenna became the capital of the Western Roman Empire when the Emperor Honorius moved the Imperial Court here in 401 AD when Rome was under threat from barbarian invasion. Despite itself falling to the barbarians and then being reconquered by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian in 540, Ravenna contains the finest Byzantine mosaics, sculpture and architecture in Western Europe. On arrival we will check into our hotel for a five night stay. Lunch is at choice and dinner in a local restaurant. Mass will be celebrated during the course of the day.
DAY FOUR: Ravenna
The morning we meet our guide for a visit to the church of San Vitale, the most precious example of Byzantine art extant in western Europe. We will see the marbles, capitals and mosaics which include depictions of the retinues of the Emperor Justinian and Theodora. Nearby, is the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, erected by the sister of the Emperor Honorius in the 5th century A.D., a small cruciform building which contains the earliest wall mosaics in Ravenna. After visiting the Mausoleum we walk to the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo, originally the palatine church of the Emperor Theodoric. Its wall mosaics, including the ceremonial procession of martyrs and female saints, rank among the largest to have come down to us from antiquity. Lunch is at choice and the afternoon at leisure for your own explorations. Dinner will be in a local restaurant. Mass will be celebrated during the course of the day.
DAY FIVE: Sant’ Apollinare in Classe – Ravenna
This morning we drive to Classe, the ancient port just to the east of Ravenna, now inland, to the splendid Basilica of Sant’ Apollinaire in Classe with its magnificent mosaics. It was consecrated by Archbishop Maximilian in 549 A.D. We also visit the Mausoleum of Theodoric, begun by the great Ostrogoth himself. The rest of the day is at leisure. Lunch is at choice and dinner in a local restaurant. Mass will be celebrated during the course of the day.
DAY SIX: Bologna
After breakfast we join our coach and transfer to Bologna. This morning we will visit the Church of San Domenico, built in 1251, thirty years after the death of Dominic in 1221. It is built on the site of a convent founded by Dominic, and where he died. The Church houses the Saint’s tomb, the Arca Di San Domenico. Here we hope to celebrate Mass. Lunch is at choice. There will be some free time for your own explorations before we return by coach to Ravenna. Dinner will be in a local restaurant.
DAY SEVEN: Ferrara
After breakfast we join our coach and transfer to the city of Ferrara famous for the palaces erected by its Renaissance rulers of Ferrara, the Este family. Today we will visit the Romanesque Cathedral dedicated to the patron of the city, St George. The cathedral is the seat of the Archbishop of Ferrara and the largest religious building in the city. Lunch is at choice. Coach transfer back to Ravenna will be provided. Dinner will be in a local restaurant. Mass will be celebrated in the morning.
DAY EIGHT: Ravenna – Bologna Airport – Stansted
Today we transfer by coach to Bologna airport to check in for our return flight to London Stansted. Flight time permitting Mass will be celebrated before departure.
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.
Single room supplement: £109
28/09/19 - 05/10/19
Scheduled flights from London Stansted to Rimini and Bologna to London Stansted. UK and Italy airport taxes. One checked-in luggage per person. 7 nights accommodation in shared twin and single rooms with private facilities as follows: 28th – 30th September - Hotel San Francesco (or similar), Loreto. 30th September – 5th October – Hotel Centrale Byron (or similar), Ravenna. Meal plan: 7 breakfasts and 7 dinners. Transfers from/to airports in Italy. Coaches transfers as per itinerary. 1 half day guided tours in Loreto, 2 half day guided tours in Ravenna and 1 guided tour in Bologna and a guided tour of the Cathedral in Ferrara. Headphones for the guided tours included. Entrance fees to: Basilica di San Vitale, Mausoleo di Galla Placidia, Basilica di sant’Apollinare Nuovo, Mausoleo di Teodorico and Basilica di Sant’Apollinare in Classe. ATOL and ABTA financial protection. Religious services arranged on request. Pax Travel Italian-speaking tour manager.
Single rooms supplement at £109 per person for seven nights (limited availability). Fuel Surcharges if passed on by the airline. UK coach transfers. Lunches and drinks. Gratuities to driver, guides and hotel staff. City tax to be paid directly to the hotel at the time. This price is held until Monday 14th January 2019. Any bookings received after this date may be subject to a surcharge.
Terms of Payment:
Deposit of £200 per person is required (plus the insurance premium if the cover we offer is required) per person, with a completed booking form. Balance payment is due no later than 10 weeks before departure date.