Rome - Vatican - Naples - Pompei - Sorrento - Capri - Amalfi Coast - Salerno. Pilgrimage organized for Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church, Montclair, NJ.
Spiritual Leader: Rev. Anthony J. Lionelli

Day 1 (Mon 5/12):  Depart Newark

Depart Newark Airport on a transatlantic flight to Rome at 5:50pm. Dinner and breakfast served on board.

Day 2 (Tue 5/13):  Arrive Rome - Walking tour

Early morning arrival in Rome. Our trip officially begins in Rome, which is more than just a beautiful European city; it is a magnificent encyclopedia of living history. We will meet our guide and be transferred to our hotel near the Vatican, where we will have time to rest after our flight. Later in the afternoon will be our first walking tour of Rome! We start off with a metro ride to the Spanish Steps and the Piazza di Spagna, where we will find the Fontana della Barcaccia- a fountain of a half- sunken ship. From here we will walk the narrow streets to one of the most popular places in the city – Fontana di Trevi; the largest Baroque fountain in the city and one of the most famous in the world (throwing in coins for luck is a must)! We will then make our way towards the Pantheon. However, on the way there, we will be passing the church of Santa Maria sopra Minerva. We will then visit Pantheon – the pearl of architecture and one of few complete ruins still standing. If time permits, we will also visit the Piazza Navona with the “Four Rivers” fountain Berniniego. Return to our hotel. In the evening we’ll enjoy a welcome dinner. (D)

Day 3 (Wed 5/14):  Vatican City - General audience with the Pope - Tour of Vatican

After breakfast, we will start the day by touring the smallest country in the world, Vatican City, beginning from St. Peter’s Square and Basilica, known for its most renowned work of Renaissance architecture. Here we will participate in the general audience with Pope Francis.  After a brief coffee/lunch rest we will make our way to visit the Sistine Chapel preceded by brief tour of the Vatican Museum, where you will find a collection of some of the finest and most famous arts of the world. We will walk to St.Peter’s Basilica to explore the history of our church. Afterwards, take the metro to Arch Basilica of St. John Lateran, the oldest and official seat of the Pope, out of the four major basilicas. From there we will walk to the Basilica di Santa Maria Maggiore, which is the largest Catholic Marian church in Rome. Return to the hotel via metro. After dinner we have an optional tour; night open double decker bus tour of Rome to all the major historic and archaeological sites, such as the most famous arena in the world, the Coliseum (viewed from outside, no entry). Overnight stay in our hotel. (B,D)

Day 4 (Thu 5/15):  Drive: Rome - Caserta - Naples

After an early morning breakfast, we will depart from Rome by bus. While heading south towards Naples, we’ll stop at the Royal Palace of Caserta along the way. This famous palace and spectacular grounds were named a UNESCO World Heritage Site – where we will take some time to visit this former royal residence of the 18th century. Enjoy the beautiful terrain of Italy as we continue to Naples. As we arrive in Naples we will break for lunch, and afterward visit the Naples Cathedral, where the miraculous blood of San Gennaro remains. If time permits we will tour the Museum of Capodimonte. Check into our hotel for dinner and overnight. (B,D)

Day 5 (Fri 5/16):  Naples - Pompei - Sorrento

After breakfast we will visit Our Lady of Mount Carmel of Italy, where there will be time for prayers.  We will then have free time for shopping and lunch near Piazza Mercato (Market). In the afternoon, we will tour the ruins of Pompeii, a city that was completely buried by the volcano’s wrath in AD 79, frozen in time offering a glimpse into daily life almost 2,000 years ago. Once our tour is done, we will drive to the beautiful city of Sorrento where we will stay for dinner and the night.  (B,D)

Day 6 (Sat 5/17):  Capri

The day begins at our hotel with breakfast, then onto a ferry from Sorrento to the islands of Capri. Our first adventure in Capri will be the famous Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzura). The next stop will lead us to Anacapri, where we’ll be taking advantage of the incredible panoramic views that boast perfect photo opportunities. Our trip in Capri will come to an end with a ride on the island’s Funicular railway, a small train, back to the Marina Grande. This is a railway that runs up the side of the mountain. We will then head back onto the ferry back to Sorrento for dinner, and an evening free to discover this beautiful city. (B,D)

Day 7 (Sun 5/18):  Sorrento - Amalfi Coast - Salerno

Early morning wake up in our Sorrento hotel for breakfast. Enjoy the rest of the morning on your own to walk around the charming streets, and take the time to marvel at the shopping and some of the ancient churches in Sorrento. Afternoon we will meet once again at our bus, where we will drive along one of the world’s most spectacular coast lines, the Amalfi Coast. This breathtaking landscape that keeps centuries of art, history, and culture is included in the UNESCO’s World Heritage List. Along the coastline, we will be going to the beautiful town Positano, and spending the afternoon at Marina Grande Beach. This is Positano’s main beach that is the liveliest of all those on the Amalfi Coast, with a string of restaurants and spectacular seascapes. If time permits we will stop and visit a town located in the hills above Amalfi, called Ravello. In the evening we will head to Salerno for dinner and to our hotel. (B,D)

Day 8 (Mon 5/19):  Salerno - Mercogliano - Caposele - San Giovanni Rotondo

Today after breakfast, there will be an early departure by bus to the Province of Avellino, making the town of Mercogliano our first stop to see the Madonna of Monte Vergine. Our next stop will be to the Basilica of San Gerardo Maiella (church of St. Gerard) in Caposele. Next we will be stopping through three small towns within the Province of Avellino where some of our parishioners from Our Lady of Mt. Carmel are from, named: Aquilonia, and Lacedonia. As we admire the beautiful province of Avellino, we will stop as a group for lunch before continuing on and arriving in the evening in San Giovanni Rotondo to spend the night. (B,D)

Day 9 (Tue 5/20):  San Giovanni Rotondo - Monte Sant’ Angelo - S.G. Rotondo

The day will be spent in San Giovanni Rotondo - where St. Padre Pio lived. The entire day is dedicated to visit the Basilica of Our Lady of Grace where the Tomb of Padre Pio is located. There is time for individual prayer and our own holy mass. Afternoon we will visit Monte Sant' Angelo with the grotto and shrine of St. Michael, where the Archangel Michael is said to have appeared in 490 and 492. Dinner at our hotel in San Giovanni Rotondo. (B,D)

Day 10 (Wed 5/21):  S.G. Rotondo - Lanciano - Manoppello - Rome

After breakfast we will still have the morning left in San Giovanni, followed by a bus departure in the afternoon making our first stop in Lanciano - where in the church of St. Francis we will find the “Eucharistic Miracle”, Original Flesh and Blood of Jesus Christ closed in tabernacle. Upon entering the church, our attention will be immediately focused on the unusual altar. There are two tabernacles, rather than the traditional one. The second tabernacle is on top of the first. Continuing down the aisle toward the main altar, we see a large tablet on the wall, dating back to 1574, which tells the story of the Eucharistic Miracle. Then we will continue to Manoppello to the church of Sanctuario di Volto Santo to see the miraculous image of Jesus’ face captured on St. Veronica’s original shawl. Rome will be our final destination for the day where we will arrive in the late evening. Farewell dinner and last night in Italy in our hotel near the airport. (B,D)

Day 11 (Thu 5/22):  Flight: Rome - Newark

Early morning transfer to the airport. Departing Rome at 9:50am on nonstop flight to Newark. Arrive Newark at 1:40pm.

Abbreviations: B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner

San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo is the name of a city and commune in the province of Foggia, Puglia region, southern Italy. As of 2006 it had a population of 26,442.

San Giovanni Rotondo was the home of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina from July 28, 1916, until his death on September 23, 1968. The Padre Pio Pilgrimage Church was built in devotion to the saint and dedicated on July 1, 2004. The city is renowned for the important hospital and medical research center Casa Sollievo della Sofferenza (Home for the Relief of the Suffering) founded by Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.

The nearby Sanctuary of Saint Michael the Archangel is also the site of Catholic pilgrimages and was visited by Pope John Paul II in 1987.


Rome (Italian: Roma, Latin: Rōma) is the capital of Italy and the country's largest and most populated city and commune, with over 2.7 million residents in 1,285.3 km2. Rome's metropolitan area is the second largest in Italy (after Milan), with some 3.7 million residents. The city is located in the central-western portion of the Italian Peninsula, on the Tiber River within the Lazio region of Italy.

Vatican City

Vatican City (Stato della Città del Vaticano) which translates literally as "State of the City of the Vatican", is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the capital city of Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares (110 acres), and a population of just over 800.


Capri is an island in the Tyrrhenian Sea off the Sorrentine Peninsula, on the south side of the Gulf of Naples in the Campania region of Italy. The main town Capri on the island shares the name. It has been a resort since the time of the Roman Republic.

Features of the island are the Marina Piccola (the little harbour), the Belvedere of Tragara (a high panoramic promenade lined with villas), the limestone crags called sea stacks that project above the sea (the Faraglioni), the town of Anacapri, the Blue Grotto (Grotta Azzurra), and the ruins of the Imperial Roman villas.

Capri is part of the region of Campania, Province of Naples. The town of Capri is the island's main population centre. The island has two harbours, Marina Piccola and Marina Grande (the main port of the island). The separate comune of Anacapri is located high on the hills to the west.

Amalfi Coast

The Amalfi Coast (Italian: Costiera Amalfitana) is a stretch of coastline on the southern coast of the Sorrentine Peninsula in the Province of Salerno in Southern Italy. The Amalfi Coast is a popular tourist destination for the region and Italy as a whole, attracting thousands of tourists annually. During the 10th–11th centuries, the Duchy of Amalfi existed on the territory of the Amalfi Coast, centered in the town of Amalfi. The Amalfi coast was later controlled by the Principality of Salerno, until Amalfi was sacked by the Republic of Pisa in 1137. Since then the Amalfi coast has experienced a crisis. But after the unification of Italy the Amalfi coast has enjoyed a huge economic revival, prompted even by the international tourism. In 1997, the Amalfi Coast was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a cultural landscape.


Naples is the capital of Campania and the third-largest municipality in Italy, after Rome and Milan. As of 2012, around 960,000 people live within the city's administrative limits. The Naples urban area, covering 1,023 km2 (395 sq mi), has a population of between 3 million and 3.7 million, and is the 8th-most populous urban area in the European Union. Between 4.1 and 4.9 million people live in the Naples metropolitan area, one of the largest metropolises on the Mediterranean Sea.

Naples is one of the oldest continuously-inhabited cities in the world. Bronze Age Greek settlements were established in the Naples area in the second millennium BC. A larger colony – initially known as Parthenope – developed on the Island of Megaride around the ninth century BC, at the end of the Greek Dark Ages. The city was refounded as Neápolis in the sixth century BC and became a lynchpin of Magna Graecia, playing a key role in the merging of Greek culture into Roman society and eventually becoming a cultural centre of the Roman Republic. Naples remained influential after the fall of the Western Roman Empire, serving as the capital city of the Kingdom of Naples between 1282 and 1816. Thereafter, in union with Sicily, it became the capital of the Two Sicilies until the unification of Italy in 1861. During the Neapolitan War of 1815, Naples strongly promoted Italian unification.

Back to Travel Reviews