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Cosmos offers Small-Group Discoveries on select faith-based dates. A Small-Group Discovery is limited to an average of just 24 guests per departure. There’s always room to roam with extra space between you and other travelers—while still getting up close and personal to the experiences you’ve been dreaming of. Small-Group Discoveries include all the features of a traditional Cosmos escorted tour, complete with expert Tour Director, Driver, and Local Guides who ensure that your health and safety is our top priority. A Small-Group Discovery trip is the perfectly sized tour—without the crowds.
Total meals included:
Check into your hotel and spend free time exploring this busy city on your own before meeting your tour companions and Tour Director for an included welcome dinner at your hotel.
This morning, explore Milan's most important Catholic churches: St. Ambrose Basilica and the Duomo. Celebrate M Mass and admire the treasures of the Basilica and the Duomo with a Local Guide.
Turin is known in the Catholic community worldwide as the home of the Holy Shroud, only available to the public on very special occasions, and St. John Bosco, the priest who founded the Salesian religious institute. Your visit includes the Holy Shroud Museum, the Basilica of St. Mary Ausiliatrice, and the Camerette di Don Bosco. You’ll have time to appreciate the elegance of this city and former capital of Italy before attending M Mass.
Today's Distance: 90 mi / 145 km
Pavia is home to a beautiful Carthusian Monastery, built in the 1400s by Gian Galeazzo Visconti, Duke of Milan. The monastery is one of Italy’s “hidden treasures” with lavish decorations and monks who still live a traditional life of seclusion and prayer.
Today's Distance: 276 mi / 430 km
Attend morning M Mass at St. Anthony Basilica in Padua and enjoy a visit with a Local Guide, followed by a brief city sightseeing and time on your own. In the afternoon, on the way to Ravenna, we’ll stop to see the Abbey of Pomposa, where the Benedictine monk Guido d’Arezzo invented modern musical notation in the 11th century.
Today's Distance: 85 mi / 137 km
UNESCO declared the early Christian monuments of Ravenna as having “outstanding universal value.” Ravenna was the seat of the Roman Empire in the 5th century and of Byzantine Italy until the 8th century. It has a unique collection of early Christian mosaics and monuments. All buildings—the Mausoleum of Galla Placidia, the Neoninan Baptistry, the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo, the Church of San Vitale, and the Archbishop's Chapel of St. Andrew—were constructed in the 5th and 6th centuries. They show great artistic skill, including a wonderful blend of Greek-Roman tradition, Christian iconography, and Oriental and Occidental styles. The morning is dedicated to discovering these masterpieces and focusing on the Byzantine-style mosaics with a Local Guide. In the afternoon, travel to Rome.
Today's Distance: 221 mi / 355 km
Today you have the unique chance to attend the Papal Audience in the Vatican (subject to availability). Afterwards, enjoy an included city tour with a Local Guide to see the Basilica of St. Paul Outside the Walls, where St. Paul was buried after his martyrdom, St. John Lateran Basilica, the Cathedral of Rome and the seat of its Bishop (the Pope) located next to the Holy Stairs. Said to have led Jesus to the praetorium of Pontius Pilate, the stairs were transferred to Rome by St. Empress Helena. Finally, visit St. Mary Major Basilica, where a reliquary contains wood from the Holy Crib. Attend M Mass here before returning to your hotel.
Visit the Papal summer residence in Castel Gandolfo. Wander through its gardens, an opportunity to reflect and meditate in quiet and relaxing surroundings. Walk through the rooms where many Popes have spent the summer months in the cooler countryside on the hills outside Rome. Later, you can join the optional excursion that will take you back to St. Peter’s to discover the treasures of the Vatican museum, or you can spend time at leisure enjoying the many monuments of Roman heritage.
Start your journey southward to stop in quaint Pietrelcina, to visit the house where the beloved St. Pio was born, and continue towards San Giovanni Rotondo on the eastern coast, the Saint’s home from 1916 until his death in 1968.
Today's Distance: 255 mi / 410 km
Attend M Mass this morning at Santa Maria delle Grazie (Old Church), then visit the friary of St. Pio, including his tomb, cell, confessional, and St. Pio's Pilgrimage Church (New Church). Afterwards, take a short drive to the nearby Shrine of Monte Sant'Angelo, one of Christendom’s most celebrated shrines and where St. Michael the Archangel appeared in 490, 492, and 1656. This evening, attend the candlelight procession.
Today's Distance: 43 mi / 70 km
Visit St. Francis' church in Lanciano, home of the Sanctuary of the Eucharistic Miracle, and attend morning M Mass. Continue to the Loreto Sanctuary, including the Holy House, where, according to tradition, angels transported the home of the blessed Virgin Mary. Arrive at the hilltop village of Assisi, home of St. Francis and St. Clare.
Today's Distance: 298 mi / 480 km
Today, learn more about St. Francis, patron saint of animals and the environment. Attend early morning M Mass at St. Francis Basilica, famous for its 14th-century Giotto paintings depicting the life of St. Francis. Meet your Local Guide and visit the Upper and Lower Basilicas of St. Francis and the Basilica of St. Clare, founder of the Order of Poor Clares. Next, visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli, situated at the foot of Assisi’s hills and protecting the Porziuncola, where St. Francis is said to have founded the Order of Friars Minor in 1209, and the Cappella del Transito, where the Saint died in 1226.
Travel to Cascia this morning, situated in Umbria and home of St. Rita, the “Patron Saint of Impossible Causes.” Visit the Sanctuary and see the Major Basilica, the chapel that houses the tomb of St. Rita. Also, see the Minor Basilica, home of the Eucharistic Miracle that is commemorated each year with the Feast of Corpus Christi. Return to Rome for a final overnight stay.
Today's Distance: 149 mi / 240 km
Your vacation ends with breakfast this morning.
It may occasionally be necessary to use alternative hotels of a similar standard to those shown.
An icon of industry transformed into a landmark of luxury. This 247-room hotel is set inside a converted early 1900s factory and facilities include a fully-equipped fitness room which boasts a panoramic view of the city, two verdant internal courtyards and a lounge bar with a billiards table. A rich menu and a wide selection of wines featuring intriguing labels from Italian vineyards can be enjoyed in the restaurant and Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout.
A 130-room modern hotel with spacious common areas. There is a 24-hour mini-gym on site, an airy restaurant and a lobby bar. The old city center is a short ride away from the metro station located opposite the property and there is easy access to the main motorway. Turin Sandro Pertini Airport is only 25 km away.
NH Padova hotel (formerly known as NH Mantegna) is an easy walk from Padua's historic center, and just 900 meters from the city's main train station. The hotel itself is a modern affair that blends comfort with cutting-edge design. It was originally named after the painter Andrea Mantegna and is dotted with reproductions of his work. The hotel's 190 rooms are stylishly appointed and the in-house restaurant offers stunning city views and a daily breakfast buffet, as well as incredible food and wine from all over Italy with specialities from the local region. There's also a stylish lounge bar for late-night cocktails.
Set in the historic center of the city close to the Basilica of Sant'Apollinare Nuovo and within walking distance of Ravenna's main attractions, this pleasant property boasts 84 guestrooms with modern furnishings and comforts including satellite TV, in-room safe, hair dryer, minibar, and free Wi-Fi. The property comes with a 24-hour bar and an informal restaurant featuring a wide selection of both traditional Italian cuisine and local specialties.
Hotel Club House is located in a quiet area behind Rome's Via Aurelia, 100 m from Rome's Cornelia Metro Station and 3 stops away from the Vatican City (2 from the Vatican Museums). All 105 guestrooms boast simple but elegant design furnishings in warm colors and Italian woods and offer air conditioning, free Wi-Fi, and satellite TV. Breakfast is a buffet of fresh cakes and pastries and the in-house bar serves a range of refreshing wines, exotic cocktails, and snacks.
The Hotel Pineta Palace is a 4-star hotel in Rome, located not far from Vatican City.
This family-run, 205-room hotel boasts a large outdoor area with an Olympic-size swimming pool, a wonderful sun terrace and a room with a grand piano. The in-house restaurant offers both traditional and international cuisine and Free Wi-Fi access is available throughout the property.
Casa Leonori is located in Santa Maria degli Angeli, facing the Subasio Hills on which lies the Assisi Basilica. This 60-room hotel is set in its own courtyard and boasts a a gourmet restaurant and spacious communal areas. The adjacent courtyard offers a nice alternative to relax with its green and peaceful location. Free Wi-Fi internet access is available throughout the property.
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