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September 19-29, 2016. Visit to Italy and Vatican. Jubilee Year of Mercy 2015-2016, Camino Via Francigena

Camino Via Francigena

In the visit’s program:

Florence. Tour of the city with guide and art specialist Caterina Barcucci, acquaintance with the city, its architecture, culture, history, and customs:

  • visiting Uffizi gallery and acquaintance with its collection of paintings;
  • visiting Medici Chapel, a memorial chapel of the Medici family at the Basilica of San Lorenzo in Florence;
  • visiting the most famous of the architectural monuments of Florence – the main cathedral of Florence, the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore;
  • tasting Florentine dishes and sweets
  • Gubbio. Receiving pilgrims’ passports. Excursion to the museum of local lore housed at Palazzo dei Consoli (1332-46), where the famous Iguvine Tablets are kept.
Iguvian Tablet. Gubbio. Italy

Iguvian Tablet. Gubbio. Italy

The Iguvine Tablets — are seven well preserved bronze plates with inscriptions in the Umbrian language, on four of them and part of the fifth tablet – in Umbrian alphabet (one of the forms of the Etruscan alphabet), the rest – in Latin. They were discovered in 1444 in the ruins of the Jupiter temple in Gubbio (Iguvium in Latin). They contain ritual instructions of the local assembly of priests, the Atiedian Brethren. They date back to the 3rd—1st centuries before common era and are the most significant monument in the Umbrian language (around 5,000 words). They are a later copy of the earlier texts, reflecting very archaic forms of social life. The Iguvian Tablets are mentioned in the novel “Anna Karenina” as “evgjubic inscriptions,” as an object of interest of Alexei Alexandrovich Karenin.

  • lunch at a local tavern, tasting wines and cheeses.

Assisi.  The place of birth of Roman poet Sextus Propertius, and the hometown of Saint Francis of Assisi, who built the first monastery of the Franciscan Order here. Since that time this monastery has been considered as the first order friary among other monasteries of the Franciscans; and it bears the name Sacro Convento. For a long time it was in possession of the minorites; at the present moment it is used as a seminary and university.


  • visiting the Basilica of Saint Francis, passing through the “Holy Door,” which is opened in the Jubilee Year of Mercy. The Basilica of Saint Francis is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The Basilica (which was built starting from 1228) comprises an one-nave Lower Church (decorated with frescoes by Simone Martini, Pietro Lorenzetti, Cimabue, and the artists of the Giotto’s school); a crypt (1318, a tomb with the body of Saint Francis resting in it); a cloister of Sixtus IV (XIV—XV centuries); Cloister of the Dead (XVth century); a campanile; and an one-nave Upper Church (frescoes by Cimabue, and Giotto circle). the Basilica sustained great damage from the earthquake of 1997.
  • visiting the Church of Santa Chiara and participation in the evening worship service.
  • Rieti.   Lodging at the hotel, which will be the place of our residence during the entire Camino. It is a city in the region of Lazio, the administrative centre of the Rieti Province, which is situated 80 kilometres to the north-east from Rome.

Rieti is traditionally regarded as the geographical centre of Italy, and due to this fact it was called the “navel of Italy.” It lies in the fertile plain at the bottom of Mount Terminillo, on the banks of the Velino River. Rieti’s centre is its historic part, enclosed within a Medieval fortified wall of the 13th century. The wall has several gates — Porta Cintia, Porta San Giovanni, Porta d′Arci, Porta Aringo, Porta Romana, and Porta Conca.

  • savouring the traditional local dishes and regional wines.
  • Camino — Via Francigena.. A six-day pilgrimage on foot from the Church of Saint Francis in Piediluco to Saint Peter’s Cathedral in Vatican.

Basilica of Saint Francis

  • Vatican and Rome. Receiving the certificate of the Jubilee Year of Mercy, receiving the Testimonium Certificate. Tour of the Museums of Vatican with Anna Sandretti, the official guide of His Holiness Pope of Rome. Visiting Saint Peter’s Cathedral, including a tour of the crypt, where the remains of Apostle Peter are resting. Going through the Holy Door of Saint Peter’s Cathedral. Visiting the Lateran Basilica and passing through the Holy Door. Visiting the Basilica San Paolo fuori le Mura (Basilica of Saint Paul), including a tour of the crypt, where a tomb with the remains of Saint Paul is kept, and passing through the Holy Door. Visiting the Basilica Santa Maria Maggiore and passing through the Holy Door.
  • dinner in honour of Anna Sandretti at a tavern, where the citizens of Rome prefer to dine.
  • Following the trip, a report with photographs will be prepared and published.

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