• In the Steps of St Francis and St Clare

    In the Steps of St Francis and St Clare

In the Steps of St Francis and St Clare

Tour Dates: May 1 to 22, 2019 (21 nights)

Visit Key Sites Associated with St Francis and St Clare


Day 1

Wednesday, 1 May 2019

Arrive Milan international airport and met by local assistant. Transfer with coach to hotel. Visit to Milan Cathedral. Overnight

Day 2

Thursday, 2 May 2019

Depart Milan for Venice. Take a 40 minute private boat transfer from Tronchetto to accommodation. Free time to explore Venice. Overnight

Day 3

Friday, 3 May 2019

Private boat transfer from Madonna dell'orto dock to Isola del Deserto. Visit San Francesco del Deserto monastery where St Francis stayed - the visit will be led by the monks. The visit will include seeing a small shrine which contains the remains of the tree believed to have developed from the walking stick St Francis planted. Visit picturesque Burano, one of the islands famous for lace making and glass blowing. Dinner and overnight

Day 4

Saturday, 4 May 2019

Travel by coach to Bologna and transfer to hotel. Visit the Piazza Maggiore where in 1220 Francis preached and cured a boy's blindness. Visit the San Petronio cathedral with its 22 chapels. Overnight

Day 5

Sunday, 5 May 2019

Guided walking tour of Bologna including St Francis Basilica and Nettuno Square. Overnight

Day 6

Monday, 6 May 2019

Travel by coach to Florence and transfer to hotel. Free day to explore Florence. Dinner and overnight.

Day 7

Tuesday, 7 May 2019

Morning at leisure in Florence. Early afternoon depart Florence for Siena including a visit to the St Francis Sanctuary of Alberino. Continue to Siena and transfer to hotel. Dinner and overnight.

Day 8

Wednesday, 8 May 2019

Depart for Cortona. Stop at Le Celle Hermitage for a visit. Continue to accommodation. Dinner and overnight

Day 9

Thursday, 9 May 2019

Full day visit to La Verna, a large monastery complex set in a forested national park. This is where St Francis received the Stigmata (wounds of Christ) in 1224. Each afternoon the friars walk in procession from the Church of Santa Maria to the Chapel of the Stigmata and we can join the procession. Dinner and overnight

Day 10

Friday, 10 May 2019

Transfer to Assisi. Orientation tour of Assisi including Cathedral St Rufino, where St Clare and possibly St Francis were baptised, and St Clare's Basilica where St Clare is buried and where the original St Damiano crucifix can be viewed. Overnight

Day 11

Saturday, 11 May 2019

Visit Basilica of St Francis, the burial place of St Francis and described by one commentator as 'the most beautiful picture book in the world'. Optional walking tour to explore other sites which are significant in the stories of Clare and Francis including Francis' birthplace, family home, place of encounter with the Bishop of Assisi. Vespers at St Damiano, a small sanctuary on the slopes below Assisi, where Christ spoke to Francis from the crucifix and where Clare lived for 47 years with the Poor Ladies community. Overnight

Day 12

Sunday, 12 May 2019

Worship with the local Anglican congregation of St Leonards. Enjoy time to explore Assisi yourself. Vespers at Basilica of St Clare. Overnight

Day 13

Monday, 13 May 2019

Walk to the Carceri/Hermitage in the hills behind Assisi. As well as visiting the monastery complex which is still a functioning Franciscan community there will be time for prayer and quiet reflection and to explore the many wooded paths that surround the monastery buildings. Overnight

Day 14

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

Walk down from Upper Assisi to Rivotorto where Francis and the first brothers lived at the beginning of the Franciscan movement. On to Lower Assisi and Santa Maria degli Angeli which houses La Porziuncola where Francis died. This is a relaxed walk through lovely countryside and takes us past the Assisi Commonwealth War Cemetery as well as the Capella Maddelena which marks the place where Francis had a significant encounter with a leper. It is possible to travel to each place by taxi- this would be at participant's own cost. Return to Upper Assisi. Overnight

Day 15

Wednesday, 15 May 2019

Visit to the medieval town of Gubbio where Francis made peace between the townsfolk and the wolf. Optional adventure to travel up the Funiva (approx £10). Return to Assisi. Overnight

Day 16

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Visit to the beautiful Rieti Valley sanctuaries of La Foresta (miracle of the grapes), Poggio Bustone (Francis understanding his mission), Fonte Colombo (Francis' eye was operated on here) and Greccio (commemorates the first living Nativity scene). Return to Assisi.

Day 17

Friday, 17 May 2019

Visit to Lake Trasimeno and cross on the ferry to Isola Maggiore where St Francis spent the whole of Lent in 1212. Return to Assisi. Overnight

Day 18

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Travel to Spoleto and visit the Cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta which houses a handwritten letter Francis wrote to Brother Leo. Also visit the hermitage Francis founded in 1218. Continue to the outstanding medieval town of Orvieto, where Francis met Pope Honorius III. Overnight

Day 19

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Travel to Rome. Orientation walk around old Rome. Dinner and overnight

Day 20

Monday, 20 May 2019

Travel to the small town of Subiaco where St Benedict retreated to seek God's will for his life and ministry. We will visit the twin monasteries of St Benedict and St Scholastica and view the only portrait of St Francis made in his lifetime. Overnight.

Day 21

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

Visit the Anglican Centre in Rome for the midday Eucharist and lunch. Time to explore other important pilgrimage sites in old Rome. Overnight

Day 22

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Attend the General Papal audience in St Peters Square. This marks the end of the pilgrimage.

Photo credits: 

Slideshow: Basilica San Francesco, Assisi © Fototeca ENIT

Photos to the right of the tour: Statue di Frati © Eremo delle Carceri; Burano island © Fototeca ENIT Gino Ciani

  • Tours International paid careful attention to our tour details, providing amenities which often exceeded our expectations; city centre hotels, marvellous meals and a wonderfully capable and knowledgeable guide.

Included in the tour

  • Accommodation for 21 nights, 7 dinners, 1 lunch, motor coach, local guide for walking tour in Bologna
  • Entrance fees to listed attractions, Private boat transfer in Venice, Ferry Tickets to Isola Maggiore
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