Day 1 – Sep. 22
Afternoon departure from Toronto via Rome to Athens.
Day 2 – Sep. 23
Upon arrival in Athens we are transferred to our hotel in Athens for dinner and overnight.
Day 3 – Sep. 24
After breakfast we travel west to Corinth with a short stop at the Corinth Canal. In Corinth we visit the Archeological Museum, the Market Place, the Bema, and the Temples. We visit the ruins of the church of Corinth and see the pillars, steps and public worship place where St. Paul preached. Return to Athens, the capital of Greece and the foundation of democracy. We visit to the Acropolis, the Parthenon, Erectheum and view Athens atop Mars Hill where St. Paul once stood. We continue to the House of Parliament, the Tomb of the Uknown Soldier, Olympic Stadium, and Presidential Palace. Late afternoon return flight to Thessaloniki, dinner and overnight.
Day 4 – Sep. 25
This morning we travel to Phillipi where we visit the Baptistry of St. Lydia, the first convert of St. Paul on European soil. We will visit the old walls and the Byzantine castle. We also view the Roman-era crypt where St. Paul was imprisoned and explore Phillipi’s famous Acropolis, Market Place, the Basilica of St. Paul and Theater. Continue to Neopolis, the site of St. Paul’s first landing in Europe. The harbor is particularly picturesque with the brightly colored fishing boats moored along the waterfront. Return to Thessaloniki for dinner and overnight.
Day 5 – Sep. 26
After breakfast we discover Thessaloniki, the ancient walled city, where we visit St. George’s Basilica, built over the synagogue where St. Paul preached. We visit the beautiful basilicas of St. Sophie and St. Demetrios, dedicated to the early Christian martyrs. We than see the Arch of Galerius on the Via Egnatia where we can look over the second largest city of Greece from the Old City Ramparts, some dating back to Roman times. Continue to Athens for dinner and overnight.
Day 6 – Sep. 27
Today we sail to the quaint isle of Mykonos. Upon arrival free time for leisure on this charming island, dinner and overnight on the cruiseship.
Day 7 – Sep. 28
This morning we arrive at Kusadasi. Today we travel to Ephesus, where the first of Seven Churches was located and where St. Paul lived for some years. We enter through Magnesian Gate and discover numerous monuments such as the Forum, the Odeon, the Library of Celsus, the thermal baths of Scolastica and the Great Theater of Antiquity. We also visit the Monastery of St. John and Grotto of the Apocalypse. Dinner and overnight on the cruiseship.
Day 8 – Sep. 29
Today we arrive in Heraklion on the island of Crete and visit the Knossos Palace, the site of civilization thriving here 6000 years ago. We continue to the volcanic island of Santorini and in the evening we sail to Athens.
Day 9 – Sep. 30
Upon arrival in Athens we disembark and are transferred to the airport for a flight to Rome. Afternoon arrival, transfer to our hotel for dinner and overnight.
Day 10 – Oct. 01
After breakfast our tour of Rome takes us to the Basilica of St. Paul’s outside the walls, displaying relics of the chains that bound St. Peter when he was imprisoned. We continue to the Basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, take in views of the Coliseum, Forum Romanum and Trevi fountain. Mass in one of the churches in Rome. Afternoon free time for leisure, dinner and overnight.
Day 11 – Oct. 02
This morning we attend the Audience with the Holy Father. After lunch we depart to Manoppello – famous for the church which contains an image on a thin veil, known as the Holy Face of Manoppello. Continue to San Giovanni Rotondo for dinner and overnight.
Day 12 – Oct. 03
We start our day in San Giovanni Rotondo with Mass at the Church where Padre Pio said Mass most of his days, and then we visit His tomb and the museum. Afternoon we depart to Sorrento for dinner and overnight.
Day 13 – Oct. 04
Full day excursion to the enchanting Island of Capri. We enjoy a walking tour in Capri Town, where we see across the sea the Faraglioni rocks and Marina Piccola. Return to mainland and have some free time in Sorrento. Mass, dinner and overnight.
Day 14 – Oct. 05
In the morning we are transferred to the airport for a flight from Rome to Toronto. Evening arrival.