Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages are different from all other tours and pilgrimages. We craft a daily itinerary which creates a fabric woven of spiritual, historical and personal elements — the personalities of great saints, the personalities of those we encounter and the personalities of our pilgrims with everything they bring from their lives and their faith journeys. Our pilgrimages, therefore, are unique, unrepeatable experiences. Our Signature pilgrimages — small, private groups averaging 15 pilgrims — are impossible to mass produce. They are like a product of an artisan, a work of art that reflects the painstaking commitment of an artist to create something of great and unique beauty. To learn more about our Signature Pilgrimages click on the button below.
Join us for on this Signature Pilgrimage for an extraordinary journey to Rome and Assisi at Christmas for a peaceful and joyful time, in the places where St. Francis, St. Benedict and St. Peter walked and bore their witness to the Gospel!
Christmas in Italy is one of our Signature line pilgrimages which aims to create “boutique” pilgrimage experiences though small, private groups averaging 15 pilgrims, but never more than 18.
“Behold, I bring you tidings of great joy!” (Luke 2:10)
Christmas is a wonderful time to be in Rome. The entire city seems to light up with a special joy, and there is even more peace throughout the city than usual. Little red and white lights flicker on kiosks set up in the lovely Piazza Navona, and the Vatican erects a larger-than-life manger scene in St. Peter’s Square, right next to the ancient obelisk at its center. Roman grandparents stroll with their grandchildren through the piazzas and streets of Rome to look at the nativity scenes and little displays of local hand crafted toys and other gifts. We will join them. People throughout Rome tend to be more courteous to one another “in the spirit of the season,” and the entire city can actually seem to become a small village. We, too, will become “Roman villagers” at Christmas.
Throughout Italy, every church constructs a presepio (or presepe) — a Nativity tableau which may even include “living” crèche scenes with real people and animals — ranging from charmingly simple to stunningly elaborate. Some include hills, trees, lakes, rivers, angels suspended by wires, the Christmas star and reproductions of an entire village or the countryside of Bethlehem. Always, the straw-filled manger remains empty until the night of Natale — the birth of Christ.
Christmas time is also a special time to visit Assisi. St. Francis of Assisi began the Christian tradition of the manger scene by creating the very first one, with live people and animals, in the nearby town of Greccio. In Assisi, a beautiful life-size manger scene is displayed each Christmas in front of St. Francis’ Basilica.