PLANNING “The practice of pilgrimage has a special place… it represents the journey each of us makes in this life… the human being is a viator, a pilgrim traveling along the road, making his way to the desired destination.”
– Pope Francis
PLANNING YOUR PILGRIMAGE
The blessings of a pilgrimage to one of our many spiritual destinations begin before you even set foot in Europe, or Russia, or Turkey, as you prepare for the opportunities to come. This section will provide some helpful information you will need to prepare for an Inside the Vatican Pilgrimage so that you can get the most out of it.
Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages takes care of all your meals (except one or two lunches on the road, on some pilgrimages); we bring our pilgrims to some of our favorite restaurants, or enjoy wonderful, authentically prepared meals from the kitchens of the monasteries and guest houses we stay in. Meals are not just a necessity, but a real occasion — to share conversation, stories of our day and insights gained from the people we have met and spent time with.
We also provide all accommodations, ground transportation and tickets to scheduled events such as papal audiences and papal masses.
What kind of pilgrimage are you interested in?
We offer several different styles of Inside the Vatican Pilgrimage, each with its own character, features and price range. Perhaps you are a retired couple who wishes to spend an engaging, yet meditative spiritual retreat among some of the most beautiful and most revered sites in the world, with the comfort of five-star accommodations: our Signature Pilgrimages are designed with you in mind.
Maybe you are a family who wants to share the unforgettable experience of walking through the Vatican, the historic Christian shrines of Rome, or even the home of St. Clare and St. Francis, lovely Assisi, with your children: we offer family-friendly Classic Pilgrimages with family-friendly pricing.
And if you have a passion to accomplish that desire enunciated by Christ Himself, “That all may be one,” by helping to promote and foster closer fraternal relations with our brothers and sisters of the Orthodox Church, who share our same faith and same sacraments, perhaps you will feel drawn to join our Urbi et Orbi Foundation and participate in our Building Bridges Pilgrimages. These trips are exclusively designed for Foundation members, to meet with people of great importance in this endeavor, in locales like Moscow, Istanbul and Kiev.
Pick up a book!
Pre-eminent among all books, of course, is the Word of God in Sacred Scripture. But there is also a whole host of spiritual classics for every taste and temperament. We recommend you find one or two that will help you turn your attention more fully to the things of God, in order to make your pilgrimage all the more spiritually profitable. Some of our pilgrims even bring along a dog-eared copy of their favorite spiritual reading on pilgrimage, for a quiet visit to a monastery chapel or a relaxing motorcoach ride.
Pack lightly! We’ll help you
A couple of weeks before your departure date, Inside the Vatican Pilgrimages will send you a complete packet of information, including a suggested packing list (traveling lightly, while not forgetting anything you will really need, is the recipe for a comfortable, hassle-free journey), tips for successful international travel, and instructions for finding your party at the airport or hotel, as the case may be. We’ll even include guidelines on how to tip, and a few useful phrases in the language(s) spoken in the countries you will visit. Also included to help you prepare will be an itinerary describing interesting details to look for at a few of the sites of your upcoming trip and an overview of the highlights.
Don’t wait to get your passport!
You will need your passport in order to travel, and its expiration date must be no later than six months after the scheduled date of arrival if you are traveling to Italy (this is required by the governments of Italy and Vatican City); other destination countries may have different requirements, of which we will make you aware.