Fratelli Group Travel


sword as a sign of the end of the plague of 590 .

Much of this mornings tour will be on foot, please wear comfortable shoes and clothing. Dinner (included) and overnight in Rome.

Day 4—November 7—Rome—Vatican City & Sistine Chapel                                                                   
Today after breakfast we will visit Vatican Hill; one of the Seven Hills of Rome where the seat of Christianity; St. Peter’s Basilica is located atop. At 22,067 square meters, (approx. 210,000 square feet) St. Peter’s is the world’s largest church; regarded as one of the holiest Catholic shrines, it is a popular place of pilgrimage, even though it is neither the Mother Church nor a cathedral (San Giovanni in Laterano is both).  It is hard to grasp its proportions until you have seen it.  Particularly impressive is its height, 136 meters from the ground to the top of the magnificent dome, the tallest in the world.  According to Catholic tradition, the Basilica is the burial site of the apostle St. Peter, the first Pope and Bishop of Rome.  St. Peter's tomb is said to be below the high altar.  Many popes have been buried here since the Early Christian period.  A church has been on this site since Roman Emperor Constantine the Great. Construction of the present basilica, which replaced the basilica of the 4th century, began on 18 April 1506 and was completed in 1626.  St. Peter’s Basilica is also famous as a magnificent work of art, to which  

Cathedral of Santa Margherita
12th-14th century, rebuilt at the end of the 19th century.

The church was destroyed by fire in 1643, and was subsequently rebuilt in various stages, with the final completion overseen by architect F. Dasti and supervisor V. Vespignani.
It has three naves and incorporates pre-existing structures from the 12th and 14th centuries.
Inside the church, notable frescoes depict the stories of the Virgin

The Church of Saint Francis
Inside the church, notable frescoes depict the stories of the Virgin. The church was built between the late thirteenth and early fourteenth century apparently on a site following a miracle of St. Francis. On the site was erected an oratory dedicated to the Trinity where it has been a place of worship for the Franciscan Friars Minor ever since. 

Time allowing we  will visit the Church of La Madonna di Valverde, the Patron Saint of Tarquinia, prior to leaving.

Lunch will be included today in Tarquinia. We head back to Rome later in the day.  Overnight in Rome.

Day 8— November 11— Santa Maria Maggiore / Santa Croce in Gerusalemme / Sta Maria della Vittoria and more

Today we will have Mass at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Holy Cross of Jerusalem): Catholic Minor basilica and titular church in Rome. According to Christian tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I. The basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; it is not dedicated to the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, but the basilica was considered in a sense to be "in Jerusalem" (much in the way that an embassy today is considered extraterritorial). 

Saint Mary Major (Santa Maria Maggiore) The largest church in Rome dedicated to the Virgin Mary, hence the name, and one of the first to be built in her honor, Santa Maria Maggiore is located on Piazza Esquilino, not far from the Termini train station.  It is the only basilica among  

Footsteps of St. Lucy Filippini

November 4-14, 2024

Please click here for the full brochure and tour application (link will open in a new window)

Cardinal Barbarigo came to hear of the success of a free school opened by St.Rose Venerini in the nearby city of Viterbo, the first in Italy. He invited Venerini to come to his diocese to establish similar schools. She accepted the invitation and arrived in Montefiascone in 1692, where she spent the next two years establishing schools throughout the diocese. Having established 10 schools, she was called back to her own diocese, and left the school building project to St. Lucy Filippini, who built the Religious Teachers Fillippini into an international order.  Today the Sisters of the Motherhouse will give us a tour and explanation. A full lunch (included) will be in a local restaurant in Montefiascone. Return to Rome for overnight.

Day 10—November 13—Castel Gandolfo & Frascati Wine Region

Castel Gandolfo is a town located 25 kilometers southeast of Rome in the Lazio region of Italy. Occupying a height on the Alban Hills overlooking Lake Albano, the Pope’s sumptuous summer palace, until recently when Pope Francis opened the Palace for tourism for the first time ever.  Much of Castel Gandolfo is discreetly dedicated to the various Pontifical villas and religious foundations. The Papal Palace - with it’s astronomical observatory attached - dominates Piazza della Libertà, but other locations, like the sprawling papal gardens, are tucked away out of sight.   Tours of the Palace are independent and by audio-guide.  Immediately following there is an audio guide of the Barberini Gardens by vehicle, weather permitting. 

Frascati: the Ancient Town sits on the rim of a dormant volcano.  Its rich volcanic soil was much sought after by the Etruscans, Ancient Romans, the Vatican State and most recently by Romans on weekend get-aways. Wine has been produced in Frascati for thousands of years.  Frascati wine is known as the ‘Golden Wine of the Romans’, the ‘Pope’s Wine’ and the white wine of Rome.  Each stone building, cobblestone street, and ancient church tells the story of the centuries of people who have called Frascati home.  Here in Frascati we will enjoy a wine and pecorino cheese tasting before returning to Rome. 

This evening we will enjoy a farewell dinner (included) with music, wine, water and coffee included  in Rome.  A Roman institution for 60 years, Meo Patacca is a fun, social restaurant where out of towners, and locals share meals over long tables. In the very center of Rome in the medieval bohemian quarter called Trastevere.

Overnight will be in Rome. 

Day 11—November  14— Departure

Today, we bid not farewell, but Arrivederci (see you again) to Italy as we transfer to Leonardo DaVinci Airport in Fiumecino.  Upon boarding our flight homebound, not only will we be carrying many kilos of Italy in our luggage, but many memories of  spiritual days, wonderfully interesting meals shared with friends, a bit more culture to add to our already cultured consciousness, but above all, the recollection of an impressive and wonderful journey in the Footsteps of St. Lucy.         

Dinner aloft and overnight at HOME!!!

Day 9—November 12— Fountain of Trevi—The Spanish Steps—Pantheon Piazza Navona

Fountain of Trevi: It is the largest Baroque fountain in the city and the most beautiful in the world. A traditional legend holds that if visitors throw a coin into the fountain, they are ensured a return to Rome.  The Trevi Fountain is situated at the end of the Aqua Virgo, an aqueduct constructed in 19 BC by Agrippa, the son-in-law of Emperor Augustus. Enroute  from Trevi to Piazza Navona we will pass the

Piazza Navona: The main attraction of Piazza Navona is the trio of fountains that adorn the square. The central and largest fountain is the Fontana dei Quattro Fiumi (Fountain of the Four Rivers). It was constructed between 1647 and 1651 on request of pope Innocent X.                                                                                                                                                                                 
While visiting Piazza Navona we will walk over the Chiesa del Gesu` just steps away; first Jesuit church to be built in Rome. The illusionistic and rich decoration in the Nave and dome along with the gilded lapis lazuli columns in the chapel of Saint Ignatius, the founder of the Jesuit order are examples of the use of Counter Reformation Baroque architecture and design that has been imitated throughout the Catholic world. 

After the audience, we will gather at a meeting point to board our transports to visit the “Generalizia”.  The  Generalate house is in the north of Rome about a 30 minute drive from Vatican City.  Here we will be welcomed by, our hostess, Sister Ascenza Tizano and the Sisters. Overnight in Rome.

these four to have preserved the Paleochristian structure of the 5th century, even though it underwent several makeovers and additions externally.  It closely resembles a 2nd-century imperial basilica, imposing in its aspect, perhaps to signify Rome’s Christian future.  Under the high altar is the Crypt of the Nativity, with a crystal reliquary said to contain wood from Jesus’ crib.

Santa Maria della Vittoria 
A titular church and basilica dedicated to the Virgin Mary in Rome, Italy. The church is known for the masterpiece by Gian Lorenzo Bernini in the Cornaro Chapel, the Ecstasy of Saint Teresa. The church is in the Rione Sallustiano, on number 98 via XX Settembre, where this street intersects with Largo Santa Susanna. It stands to the side of the Fontana dell'Acqua Felice. The church mirrors the Church of Santa Susanna across the Largo. It is about two blocks northwest of the Piazza della Repubblica and Teatro dell'Opera metro station.

A pizza lunch (included) will be in order today.  Overnight in Rome.

Day 6—November 9 — Montefiascone

Today, once again, we embark on an all day excursion outside of Rome to the City of Montefiascone, the Mother House of the Filippini Sisters and the burial place of St. Lucy in the Cathedral of Santa Margherita. The Renaissance Cathedral of Santa Margherita, dated 1519 and ascribed to architect Michele Sanmicheli, with a majestic 8-sided dome completed in the 16th century by Carlo Fontana, the third largest in Italy after St Peter's in Rome and Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence preserving inside a fine marble representing St. Margaret, the work of Arnolfo di Cambio (1240 - 1302).

Spanish Steps: The elegant staircase of 135 steps was inaugurated in the Jubilee Year of 1725 by Pope Benedict XIII, originally used to link the Bourbon Spanish Embassy to the Church of Trinità dei Monti. The name comes from the Spanish Embassy to the Vatican that has been located in the piazza since the 1600s. The Spanish steps also represent figuratively and metaphorically the close relationship between the Sacred and the Eternal city, shown through the elevation and vastness of the monument. The longest and widest steps in Europe are also an important landmark in Rome as they host events and are home to Italian traditions.

Afternoon Optional Excursion with Audio Guide
The Mausoleum of Hadrian, also known as Castel Sant'Angelo is a towering rotunda. It was initially commissioned by the Roman Emperor Hadrian as a mausoleum for himself and his family. The popes later used the building as a fortress and castle and is now a museum. Legend holds that the Archangel Michael appeared atop the mausoleum, sheathing his 

Day 7—November 10  / Nettuno Santa Maria Goretti / Campo di Carne—The Farmhouse

Today, once again we will venture outside of Rome to the city of Nettuno along the Tyreman Coast to visit the Shrines of St. Maria Teresa Goretti .

The Maestre Pie have been in the area since 1758. They were active with the first free school in Nettuno with three teachers. At the beginning the institute owned a house-conservatory in via Andrea Sacchi initially intended to train the daughters of the people in catechism and work.

Maria Goretti was taught religion by the Maestre, as this was the only school for children in the area at that time.

Day 8— November 11— Santa Maria Maggiore / Santa Croce in Gerusalemme / Sta Maria della Vittoria and more

Today we will have Mass at Santa Croce in Gerusalemme (Holy Cross of Jerusalem): Catholic Minor basilica and titular church in Rome. According to Christian tradition, the basilica was consecrated circa 325 to house the relics of the Passion of Jesus Christ brought to Rome from the Holy Land by Empress Helena, mother of Roman Emperor Constantine I. The basilica's floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem; it is not dedicated to the Holy Cross of Jerusalem, but the basilica was considered in a sense to be "in Jerusalem" (much in the way that an embassy today is considered extraterritorial). 

Day 1—November 4,  2024 Departure Day

Today we will meet and transfer to Newark Liberty International airport for our trans-Atlantic flight to Rome.  Overnight flight with meals and entertainment aloft.

Day 2—November 5—Arrival in Rome                                                                                                                                                              
Upon arrival at Fiumecino, Leonardo daVinci Airport, we will clear customs, baggage claim, and meet our motor-coach and driver. Today, we will begin with our first stop  at the Major Basilica of San Paolo Fuori Le Mura (St. Paul Outside the Walls) is the second largest basilica of the four. It was founded by the Roman emperor Constantine over the burial place of St. Paul (now under the papal altar), making it a popular pilgrimage site. The huge basilica has maintained the original structure with one nave and four aisles, but it was almost entirely reconstructed in 1823 following a fire.  The covered portico that precedes the façade is a Neo-classicist addition from the reconstruction.  What remains of the ancient basilica is the interior portion of the apse with the triumphal arch. South of the transept is the cloister, considered one of the most beautiful of the Middle Ages.

Asta Member

St. Maria Goretti is best known for her commitment to purity and the courageous defense of her faith at the young age of eleven that made her willing to undergo death rather than participate in a sin against God. She is also remarkable for the forgiveness she willingly granted her attacker as she lay on her deathbed.

Perhaps one of the first miracles attributed to St. Maria Goretti is what speaks most of her character. Nearly six years after her violent murder by Alessandro Serenelli, she appeared to him in his jail cell. She had forgiven him as she lay dying in 1902, after he stabbed her to death 14 times for refusing his sexual advances. Maria died the next day in the midst of horrendous infection brought on by her lacerations. Her last words were,

“I forgive Alessandro Serenelli … and I want him with me in heaven forever.

We can be inspired by Maria's loving display of forgiveness, as well as her simple and steadfast faith. As Pope John Paul II once said: St. Maria Goretti was a girl whom God's Spirit endowed with the courage to stay faithful to her Christian vocation even to the point of making the supreme sacrifice of her life.

St. Maria's mother Assunta Goretti was unable to care for her surviving children after the girl's death, and the family was split up. Three of her brothers moved to America and put down roots, raising large families – some of whom eventually settled in Charlotte, NC and Phillipsburg, NJ.

Dinner (Included). Overnight in Rome

She was an Italian virgin martyr of the Catholic Church, and one of the youngest saints to be canonized. She was born to a farming family. Her father died when she was nine, and the family had to share a house with another family. 

Day 5—November 8 —Rome to Tarquinia

Lucy Filippini was born on January 13, 1672, in Corneto-Tarquinia. She had not yet reached her first birthday when her mother died and was buried in the Church of San Marco. Her father, whom she loved dearly, also died six years later and was buried in the Church of Santa Margherita in Corneto. Now orphaned, Lucy went to live with her aunt and uncle. As a child Lucy would prepare small altars and pray devoutly. It was soon clear that she possessed a precocious intelligence, an inclination toward the spiritual life, and a modesty that was truly angelic. Her vision was set on God. Notwithstanding her aristocratic upbringing, she always conducted herself with modesty and its practice.

Here in Tarquinia we can visit the home where St. Lucy was born, baptized, and grew up in the central part of the old medieval village.  The home was then transformed into a chapel. 

major Renaissance artists, including Michelangelo, Bramante, Raffaello, Sangallo and Giacomo della Porta contributed.   Gian Lorenzo Bernini designed the ample staircase and elliptical square surrounded by columns, which “introduces” the basilica, with the façade by Carlo Maderno. Inside the Basilica you will visit Michelangelo's famous “Pieta`”, the Baldacchino Altar and crypt where the many of the popes are buried and much more.  Later we will continue through the Vatican Museum & the Sistine Chapel to see one of the world’s most famous masterpieces by Michelangelo—”The Ceiling”. The Sistine Chapel is a chapel in the Apostolic Palace, the official residence of the Pope, in Vatican City. Originally known as the Cappella Magna, the chapel takes its name from Pope Sixtus IV, who restored it between 1477 and 1480.  Lunch today will be included after the tour.  

This afternoon we will visit St John Lateran: The Papal Archbasilica Cathedral of the Most Holy Savior and of Saints John the Baptist and the Evangelist in the Lateran is the Catholic cathedral church of the Diocese of Rome in the city of Rome, and serves as the seat of the bishop of Rome, the pope.  Here  today we will have the opportunity to visit recently opened Lateran Palace Museum by private tour.  The wealthy Lateran (Laterani) family held the palace estate during the Roman Empire, and the estate eventually came into the hands of the Emperor Constantine. From the fourth century, the palace was the principal residence of the popes, and continued so for about a thousand years until the Apostolic Residence ultimately moved to the nearby Vatican. The palace is now used by the Vatican Historical Museum, which illustrates the history of the Papal States.  Overnight in Rome. 

Our next visit today will be to the Shrine of Our Lady of Revelation in the Tre Fontane quarter of Rome.  Here there will be some time for private prayer. Our Lady has appeared there on many occasions to different people giving them instructions and revealing many things.

“Go to my beloved daughters, the Teachers Filippini, and tell them that their mission is to be one of intense prayer for the conversion of nonbelievers and sinners.” 

Afterwards, we will proceed to our hotel. This evening after supper, for those interested and still energized, we will have a nice leisurely walk.

Supper (included) and overnight in Rome.

Day 3—November 6—Papal Audience   / Sisters Filipini  Generalate                                                          

Papal Audience are held on Wednesdays if the Pope is in Rome, giving pilgrims and visitors the chance to "see the Pope" and receive the Papal Blessing or Apostolic Blessing from the successor of the Apostle Peter during their visit. The Audience with the Pope consists of small teachings and readings mainly in Italian but also in English, French, German, Spanish, Polish, Portuguese and sometimes other languages depending on groups visiting. The Pope will do a greeting in each language and special visiting groups, Choirs from various countries will get a mention. At the end of the Audience the Pope will pray together with those attending the Audience, the Our Father prayer in Latin. This Prayer is normally printed on the back of the Papal Audience Ticket. At the end of the Prayer as Head of the Catholic Church he will impart his Apostolic Blessing upon the crowd which also extends to loved ones that are sick and suffering and blesses any religious articles such as rosary beads that people have brought with them for the purpose of the blessing. The Papal Audience is usually scheduled to start at 10:00am. However, you will find that most people will arrive early (up to 3 hours before) to get a good seat. Security opens generally at 8:00am.