7 days

Program Overview

See centuries of art, architecture and religious history in two of Italy’s most ancient cities: Assisi and Rome. On this pilgrimage, students experience the center of Catholicism by spending time in Vatican City, visiting famous basilicas and cathedrals, seeing holy relics and even attending a Papal Audience at St. Peter’s Square. Each day is spent immersed in European culture and reflecting on Italy’s impact on the world.

Map

Destination Highlights

Begin the pilgrimage through Catholic historical sites on a trip to Assisi. Travel through the Italian countryside in the region of Umbria, which is known for its picturesque rolling hills and charming towns. Stand in the place where the Franciscan movement began at the Basilica of St. Mary of the Angels and the Porziuncola. On a guided tour in Assisi, learn where St. Francis was born and founded the Franciscan Order of Friars as well as the women’s Order of St. Clare. View the basilicas dedicated to these orders and gather in the Piazza del Commune to see history that dates back to Etruscan times, including the Temple of Minerva.

Explore both the surface-level and underground construction of Vatican City. Descend into the city of the dead, beneath St. Peter’s Basilica, on a Scavi tour to see where the saint himself is buried. Journey through the Vatican Museums on a guided tour, where the most magnificent art collections in the world are on display. Visit the Catholic pilgrimage site, St. Peter’s Basilica and take in Michelangelo’s heart-wrenching sculpture, The Pietà, of Jesus being held by his mother Mary after the crucifiction. At the Sistine Chapel, view Michelangelo’s Old Testament painting that covers the entire ceiling and his “Last Judgement” fresco on the altar wall.

While in the Eternal City, receive blessings from the Pope in a Papal Audience, wind through ancient burial grounds, celebrate Mass and tour all four of the papal basilicas. Find the burial place of martyrs and uncover holy relics in the Catacombs that tunnel for miles under Rome. See the mosaic portraits of the popes at the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, constructed on the burial grounds of Saint Paul. Mother Mary’s shrine in Rome, the Basilica of St. Mary Major, has a crypt preserving wooden relics of the nativity of the baby Jesus. Visit the mother of all churches, the Basilica of St. John Lateran.

Take a moment each day to admire the culture, history and architecture of Rome. Continue traveling back in time to the Colosseum, known by some as a symbol of martyrdom, an amphitheater that seated thousands of spectators who cheered on the battles between men and beasts in ancient Rome. With a guide, explore the ruins of the Roman Forum, which was the central location for day-to-day religious, political and social activities for centuries. At the Church of St. Peter in Chains, see Michelango’s sculpture of Moses and the “Miracle of Chains” painted onto the ceiling by Giovanni Battista Parodi. Find time during this pilgrimage to enjoy the authentic Italian cuisine and taste every flavor of gelato.

Daily Itinerary

Learning Outcomes

During our seven days in Italy, we introduce students to over a thousand years of history and cultural experiences. Home to some of the world's most famous artists, architects and religious figures, Assisi and Rome provide educational insight into the people and places that have influenced civilizations across the globe. Students are encouraged to critically think about the role of Rome and the Catholic Church throughout history to gain a deeper understanding of the world today.

Services Included

Transportation

Private transportation provided throughout the program.

Activities

All scheduled activities and experiences are included in the cost.

Insurance

International travel insurance is provided for protection in case of accidents, illness, flight interruptions or baggage loss.

Accommodations

Local hotel (quad occupancy) lodging, with a night chaperone to ensure security.

Meals

Two meals are provided daily: breakfast and dinner.

Education

Interactive learning experiences designed to expand educational and career goals.

Technology

Advanced student security software that integrates geofencing, logistics, communication and more optimized safety features.

Support

Dedicated 24/7 staff availability, supporting students every step of the way.

Guides

Tour Directors create a fun and engaging learning experience for students.