The Footsteps of Francis in Italy
Wonder Voyage has partnered with Jeff Johnson to present a Selah pilgrimage: The Footsteps of St. Francis in Italy. Join us as we partake in a voyage across Italy that will feast on some of the world’s most profound art, deepest pools of history, and most delectable food. Our central focus will be on the life and faith of St. Francis who profoundly altered the course of history through his devotion to Christ. The Footsteps of Francis will offer plentiful opportunities to encounter God’s peace in the holy “thin spaces” of Assisi where monks and travelers have encountered God’s peace for centuries.
Jeff Johnson’s Selah worship experience is a blend of contemplation, prayerful meditation, sung worship, and silence. We will weave this unique spiritual experience into a one-of-a-kind itinerary that includes cultural immersion, expert guided tours, and fine dining. Each day has two tracks – one featuring a quieter, slower-paced, cultural experience and another offering more energetic activities, such as hiking, biking, and exploration. We invite you to be one of the 20 adventure seekers to join us on this special journey.
- Single Supplement: +$300
What is included in price:
- Breakfast and dinner
- All ground transportation
- Quality voyage guides
- Unique cultural experiences
What is NOT included in price:
- Travel insurance*
- Snacks/supplies for extreme dietary needs
*Travel insurance is required.
A non-refundable deposit of $300.00 per person is required to reserve your place. The final balance of three equal payments are due December 1, 2018, February 1, 2019 and March 1, 2019.
Day 1 & 2 – Firenze (Sunday & Monday, April 28-29)
Benvenuto in Italia (Welcome to Italy)! As soon as we land, our voyage will head northward toward Firenze (Florence). For the next two days we will soak in a city filled with some of Europe’s most magnificent art. We will be introduced to the heart of pilgrimage and the culture of Italy with a trip to a nearby market before taking in the Duomo. In the afternoon, we’ll head to the Galleria Dell’Accademia, the home of what many believe is the finest sculpture known to mankind: Michelangelo’s David. Each evening will be filled with delicious meals, lively conversation and time to reflect on the days encounters with the holy. Taking a couple of days to adjust with tasty Italian fare and lively conversation will prepare us for a fantastic week in Italy.
Day 3-6 – Assisi (Tuesday – Friday, April 30 – May 3)
Pilgrimage embraces the unexpected, which is something that our week is sure to bring. Over the next few days we will trace the footsteps of St. Francis. Throughout our journey we will explore places like Santa Chiara and San Daminao as we learn about the life of Francis’ most famous disciple, St. Claire. We will worship in Santa Maria delgi Angeli, the baroque church that was built over the Porziuncola. The little chapel restored by St. Francis contains the simple cell where he died. From there we will ascent to Eremo Delle Carceri, a monastery in the dense woodlands on the side of Monte Subasio. In the caves on the slope of this mountain, St. Francis and his followers established their first home where he often prayed and meditated. We will have the chance to do the same during our visit.
We’ll be able to experience modern day monastic life in Assisi and see the continued work of St. Francis alive in men and women today. For the adventurous ones, you’ll have a chance to bike the countryside around Assisi and see this voyage from a two wheel perspective. We will end our time in Assisi at the Basilica di San Francesco, which contains twenty-eight scenes from the life of St. Francis. In the crypt beneath the church, we’ll spend a few reverent minutes at his tomb.
Day 7 – Orvieto then Roma (Saturday, May 4)
Today we will depart the pastoral beauty of Umbria on the road to Rome. On our way south we will take a side trip to Orvieto. This village sits precariously on a cliff of stone with a great Gothic cathedral as its crowning jewel. In the late afternoon we will arrive in Roma and enjoy a perfect evening in the Eternal City.
Day 8 – Roma (Sunday, May 5)
No trip to Rome would be complete without a visit to her numerous iconic sites. We’ll spend the morning visiting places like the Colosseum and the Parthenon, plus a special visit to some of the sacred sites in Trastevere. Our Celebration Meal will satisfy any last minute Italian meal cravings you might have before a pleasant evening under the stars.
Day 9 – Addio Italia “Farewell Italy” (Monday, May 6)
This week we will have walked in the footsteps of St. Francis, traveled through history, heard stories of inspiration, and created our own stories. We will return home with a renewed faith as we part with the pilgrim’s blessing ascribed to Francis: Lord make me an instrument of your peace. Where there is hatred let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light. And where there is sadness, joy.
Shawn Small – Voyage Director
For the past twenty years, Shawn’s Wonder Voyage has led thousands of seekers into the ancient sacrament of pilgrimage in over forty countries. He is a storyteller, author, documentary film maker and a wonderful host.
Jeff Johnson – Worship Leader
About the time Shawn began Wonder Voyage, Jeff was developing the Christian contemplative worship service called the Selah Service. From its beginnings, Selah took much inspiration from the Christian Celtic tradition which is at the heart of this pilgrimage.