Pilgrimage to Rome

Hosted by Mike Aquilina

November 2 - 10, 2024

About

Join Mike Aquilina to experience the fullness of the history and beauty of the Catholic Church on a trip to Rome. From the tomb of St. Peter, to the catacombs, to Ostia Antica, Mike will bring the past alive. Encounter the roots of our Faith with incredible walks through history, Catholic art, and the best food, wine, and lodging.

Trip Details

Group Type

Open to All, Hosted by Mike Aquilina

Length

9 days, 8 nights

Accommodations

Standard

Cost

As low as

$3,583

Deposit:

$500

What's Included

Verso Pilgrimage Director (Groups of 30+ pilgrims)
Meals as indicated on itinerary
Daily Mass
Catholic Chaplain
Custom booklet for each pilgrim
Private transportation on motor coach, including airport transfers
Standard accommodations
Breakfast and Dinner daily
Gratuities for driver(s), hotel staff, and meals
Audio headsets

Itinerary

November 2
Depart U.S.
  • Depart for Italy (individual flights not included in the package)
  • Optional group flight will be available (details forthcoming by January 2024)
November 3
Rome
  • Arrive in Rome
  • Local Mass at San Giuseppe or St. Peter’s Basilica
  • Angelus with the Holy Father in St. Peter’s Square (pending on Holy Father’s Schedule and flight times)
  • Explore Trastevere and city center on foot, including various church visits
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodations: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar
  • Meal included: Dinner
November 4
Rome
  • Visit prison where Saints Peter and Paul were held – the Tullianum – followed by the Roman Forum and Colosseum
  • Basilica of St. Peter in Chains and the Basilica of San Clemente
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodations: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
November 5
Rome, Ostia Antica
  • Day trip to Ostia Antica, a national park outside of Rome, a fifth – century town
  • Walk the ancient pavement, visiting the amphitheater, church, baths, cemetery, tavern, and many homes
  • Celebrate Mass in the ruins and read aloud from the works of the saints who lived there
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodations: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
November 6
Rome
  • Attend the Papal Audience in St. Peter’s Square (pending the Holy Father’s travel schedule)
  • Tour Vatican Museums including the Sistine Chapel and Raphael Rooms, followed by St. Peter’s Basilica with time for private devotions
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodations: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
November 7
Rome
  • Head to the outskirts of Rome for a guided tour of the Catacombs of St. Callixtus, followed by an exploration of the Catacombs of St. Sebastian
  • Celebrate Mass at St. Paul Outside the Walls
  • Visit to Villa Tevere
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodations: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
November 8
Rome
  • Return to city center, including churches and sites around Piazza Navona, the Pantheon, and the Trevi Foundation
  • Pray at the tomb of St. Monica in the church dedicated to her son, Sant’Agostino
  • Visit the relics of St. Agnes at the Renaissance Church dedicated to her
  • See the “French Church” Of St. Louis which holds two famous paintings by Caravaggio
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodations: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar –
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
November 9
Rome
  • Start the day praying on the Holy Stairs, the marble staircase Jesus climbed at his judgement before Pontius Pilate, before a visit to St. John Lateran
  • Venerate the Passion Relics at the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
  • See original icon of Our Lady of Perpetual Help in the church of Sant’Alfonso
  • Conclude the day with a visit to Mary Major Basilica
  • Farewell dinner in a local restaurant
  • Overnight in Rome
  • Accommodations: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar
  • Meals included: Breakfast, Dinner
November 10
Depart Rome
  • Transfer to airport and depart (individual flights not included in the package)
  • Optional group flight will be available (details forthcoming by January 2024)

Led by

Group LeaderChaplain
Mike Aquilina

Mike Aquilina is author of more than seventy books on Catholic history, doctrine, and devotion. He is executive vice-president of the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology. He serves as contributing editor of Angelus News and general editor of the Reclaiming Catholic History series published by Ave Maria Press. He founded the “Way of the Fathers” podcast for Catholic Culture and has hosted eleven television series on EWTN. He is past editor of New Covenant magazine (1997-2002) and The Pittsburgh Catholic newspaper (1993-1996). Mike is also a poet and songwriter, whose works have been recorded by Dion, Paul Simon, Van Morrison, Bruce Springsteen, Amy Grant, Peter Frampton, and many others. With Dion DiMucci he wrote all the music for the album Blues with Friends, which was Billboard’s Number 1 Blues album for 2020. Mike is married, the father of six children, and a grandfather.

Rev. Frederick Gruber

Father Frederick Gruber is a priest of the Diocese of Pittsburgh, ordained in 2012. He is a popular speaker and retreat master. Father Gruber pursued advanced studies in mariology at the Marianum, Rome’s Pontifical Marian Academy. He is co-author of the book Keeping Mary Close: Devotion to Our Lady Through the Ages (Servant Books, 2015).

Pricing

As low as

$3,583

Package Cost (without savings)

$3,883

Trip Savings

Early bird savings (register by January 29, 2024)
$300/person

Optional Add-ons

Travel protection
Quote available upon request*
Single room supplement (limited availability)
$1,241/person
Group Flight
$1369/person

Pricing listed per person in double-occupancy rooms and does not include airfare.
The number of available single-occupancy rooms is limited.

*Travel protection premium is calculated based on a variety of factors and optional plans are provided by Travel Insured International”

Rates assume a minimum of 20 full-paying pilgrims.

  • Roundtrip airfare (group quote provided in January 2024)
  • Local, licensed tour guide(s)
  • Passport, visa, or luggage fees
  • Any personal purchases
  • Any meals not indicated on itinerary, as well as beverages at meals
  • Any required COVID tests or vaccinations
  • Gratuities for pilgrimage director and local guide(s) (if applicable)
  • Recommended travel protection with Cancel for Any Reason coverage
  • Anything else not explicitly mentioned as included

Group Flight details

November 2, 2024 – Pittsburgh, PA (PIT) to Rome, Italy (FCO)

  • American Airlines flight AA1251
    • Departs Pittsburgh (PIT) at 1:43 p.m.
    • Arrives Philadelphia (PHL) at 2:50 p.m.
  • American Airlines flight AA718
    • Departs Philadelphia (PHL) at 7:40 p.m.
    • Arrives Rome (FCO) at 9:00 a.m. (November 3)

November 10, 2024 – Rome, Italy (FCO) to Pittsburgh, PA (PIT)

  • American Airlines flight AA719
    • Departs Rome Rome (FCO) at 1:20 p.m.
    • Arrives Philadelphia (PHL) at 5:00 p.m.
  • American Airlines flight AA789
    • Departs Philadelphia (PHL) at 6:30 p.m.
    • Arrives Pittsburgh (PIT) at 7:46 p.m.

Designated arrival and departures times

  • Arrival information
    • Arrive by: November 3, 2024
    • Arrival time: Arrive by 11:00 a.m.
    • Arrival airport: Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO)
    • Arrival transfer: Pilgrims will be transferred in one group from the Leonardo da Vinci International Airport to the hotel.
  • Departure information
    • Depart on: November 10, 2024
    • Departure time: Depart at or after 11:00 a.m.
    • Departure airport: Leonardo da Vinci International Airport (FCO)
    • Departure transfer: Pilgrims will be transferred in one group from the hotel to Leonardo da Vinci International Airport.

 

Want to arrive or depart outside of the designated times?

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designated times, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.
  • Private transfer information and pricing can be found in the Additional Information section below.
  • Need to book a private transfer? Contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at (574) 383-9396.

 

Want help arranging your flights?

Standard Accommodations

  • Rome: Hotel Orazio Palace or similar

 

Need to get around? Private transfers

  • Please note: If you arrive/depart outside of the designated times at the Rome airport, private transfers (fee applies) can be arranged on your behalf. Airport transfers outside of the designated arrival/departure times are not included in the package pricing.
  • Need to book? Contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at (574) 383-9396.

 

Arriving early or staying late? Pre-stay and post-stay options

 

There is no extension for this pilgrimage. Please contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at (574) 383-9396 with any questions or special requests.

Deposit due upon registration – $500/person
Final balance due 120 days prior to departure – Final balance

Please note: Payment plans can be arranged if needed. Please contact us if you would like to pay in several installments.

Final package price is estimated. Pricing is based on currency exchange rates as of October 2023. Any drastic fluctuations in currency exchange rates may impact final pricing. If you have any questions about pricing and when final pricing decisions will be communicated, please do not hesitate to contact us at any time.

 

Cancellation Policy

All cancellations must be submitted to Verso Ministries in written form and received via email or mail. Any refunds, as applicable, will be processed based on the date stamp of email or mail received. Cancellation fees are for individual pilgrims and fees will be charged per person per booking.

Cancellations are possible at any time, but refunds are subject to cancellation fees at the rates listed here.

  • Within 2 weeks of deposit: Free Cancellation*
  • 91 days or more from departure: Deposit is retained
  • 90-61 days prior to departure: 25% of trip cost is non-refundable
  • 60-31 days prior to departure: 50% of trip cost is non-refundable
  • 30 days or less prior to departure: 100% of trip cost is non-refundable

*To qualify for free cancellation within 2 weeks of deposit, deposit must be made 180 days or more prior
to departure.

Any cancellation charges incurred from other suppliers or vendors (flight, lodging, ground transportation, tickets, etc.) may come in addition to the administrative fees listed here. All group flight airline tickets, optional excursions, trip options, pre/post extensions, private transfers, and additional hotel nights are non-refundable 100 days or less prior to departure unless otherwise noted.

FAQ

The sooner you register for the pilgrimage, the better! Not only does registering early guarantee you a spot on the pilgrimage before the departure fills up, but you don’t want to miss out on available discounts, including the early bird savings (see “Trip Savings” in the Pricing section above more details). Also, there is no risk for 14-days after you register should you then have to cancel (must register 180 days or more prior to departure). So let’s say you register for a pilgrimage, but then realize you can no longer attend, as long as you cancel your pilgrimage within 14-days of registering and registered more than 180s days prior to the departure, then we will fully refund your deposit no questions asked. Just send us a written confirmation of your cancellation and we will take care of the rest. Plus, the sooner you register the sooner your journey begins. Register today!

There is no risk! Your deposit will be fully refunded as long as you cancel within 14-days of registering and you have registered more than 180 days or more prior to departure. With no risk, why wait? Get registered today!

Registration closes when the pilgrimage reaches the maximum number of pilgrims. If the pilgrimage is filled when you register, you will be added to our waiting list, and contacted in the event that space on the pilgrimage becomes available. Don’t miss your chance, register now and begin your journey.

We highly recommend that all pilgrims buy travel protection. Travel protection is not only for peace of mind, but helps protect you and those you are traveling with from unforeseen emergencies, which always seem to happen at the worst possible time. In the event of emergencies, both before and during your travels, as well other circumstances, like travel delay, lost baggage, missed connection(s), and much more, travel protection can help. Upon registration you will receive a travel protection quotation. If you have any questions regarding your quotation, please call the issuing company. If you need an updated or new quotation, please contact us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at 574-383-9396. We are happy to help!

Including optional add-ons with your pilgrimage can really add to your experience whether it is one of the optional extension or arranging an extra night stay beforehand so you are rested when the pilgrimage begins. If you would to add on any optional arrangements, as listed above, please email us at hello@versoministries.com or call us at 574-383-9396.

A pilgrimage, at its simplest, is a trip of faith. Which means a pilgrimage can be anything from a walk around your city to an encounter of Jesus in the Holy Land. For Catholics, it’s a trip of faith that people have been taking for hundreds or even thousands of years, many times in the same exact places you can visit today. It’s an opportunity to experience the spots God has made his presence known most in time and space, whether that’s where Jesus walked, where Mary appeared, or where the saints have lived and worked.

At Verso, we believe in crafting pilgrimages that offer you a view of God’s world and his work in it that you can’t get anywhere else. We believe everything from the holy sites, to the meals, to daily Mass, to your fellow pilgrims are ways God can speak to you, which means we’re intentional about it all. We also believe a pilgrimage isn’t just the days you travel, it’s how you prepare from the moment you sign up, to the days and weeks after you arrive home. Which means it’s our intention to shepherd you through the entire process — before, during, and after — so you can have the best, most transformative experience possible. We’re not just travel experts, we’re experts in Catholic pilgrimage.

We know from experience that preparing for a journey is just as important as the journey itself. Our goal is to make sure you’re physically, logistically, and spiritually ready for your pilgrimage. You’ll receive essential emails that will walk you through the process and give you ways to prepare your mind and heart for what you’ll encounter. A pre-trip webinar will make sure you are in touch with the Verso leader of the trip, can get trip-specific info, and can ask questions. We’ll send you a pilgrim kit that contains a comprehensive booklet for your trip along with some Verso swag (such as a bag, pen, and sticker) that you can bring along with you on your pilgrimage. And of course, we’re always available by phone or email if you have any questions or special needs.

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Activity Level

Easy
This trip’s activity level is easy. It’s recommended that travelers be in good health to enjoy this itinerary and be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include half or full-day itineraries with 1-3 hours of leisurely walking per day on smooth or slightly inclined terrain. The pace is more relaxed, with opportunities to rest throughout the day.

Moderate
This trip’s activity level is moderate. Travelers must be in good health and be in good physical condition to enjoy this itinerary. Travelers must be able to walk and climb stairs on their own. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries of 3-5 hours of walking at a normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and hills. The pace is faster and more demanding, with some breaks throughout the day.

Difficult
This trip’s activity level is difficult. Travelers must be in good health and physically fit to enjoy this itinerary. Trips at this activity level may include full-day itineraries with up to 5-7 hours of walking at normal to brisk pace per day on varied terrain including uneven surfaces, stairs, and steep hills. The pace is vigorous and demanding, with little down time each day.

Accommodation Level

Simple
For the duration of your trip, enjoy a range of lodging accommodations — from quaint guesthouses to simple-styled hotels. Discover a newfound appreciation for each of these locations which often have a unique character of their own. With your private bathroom and sleeping quarters, these locations will provide you with a clean, comfortable, and cozy place to settle into during your journey.

Standard
Venues at this level will provide you with the best accommodations at a reasonable cost. Not only will you have access to modern amenities and services, but special care is taken to ensure hotels are located in close proximity to the area’s local attractions. Expect your stay at this level to provide you with an added feeling of comfortability and convenience as you experience your pilgrimage.

Premium
Your stay at the premium level will ensure that your travel involves the opportunity to experience some of the most unique and luxurious stays that a destination has to offer. You’ll find that traveling at this level will afford you the opportunity to optimize your experience at each spot. From fine dining to scenic views, anticipate that your pilgrimage will provide you with breathtaking experiences no other location could provide.

How will I know what my stay will be like?
Each of our pilgrimage locations come with their own unique accommodations. From simple to luxurious, you can know that the care and satisfaction of each pilgrim is our greatest priority. While specific amenities will vary, we are sure that each of these handpicked locations will leave you rested, rejuvenated, and ready for each day.

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