He wept beneath the battered cross in the crumbling church of San Damiano wondering what had become of his life. Once, the prized child of Assisi, privileged, rich, handsome and the life of every gathering, had come to the end of himself. Nothing that he once prized mattered anymore. Francis spoke allowed to the Lord, “What am I to do?” The answer he received that day changed the world.
Following in the footsteps of St Francis in Italy brings the world’s most beloved saint alive in you. On this journey you will visit the places Francis lived, prayed, preached and served in throughout his mission in and around his beloved Umbria. You will experience thin places, delicious fare, ancient walls, and majestic monasteries. Let the life and ministry of St. Francis challenge and change you on your journey with us in Italy.
- Spend time in contemplation at Francis secret mountain retreat.
- Pray the hours in a living monastic community.
- Visit a local farm and enjoy an Italian feast.
- Do a day bike ride where Francis walked.
- Work in a monastery to experience a different life.
- See how modern Franciscans are living out their call.
Every Wonder Voyage itinerary (mission trip and/or pilgrimage) is personalized to the desires, direction and personality of each group. This itinerary is only a description of the kind of journey we can create for your unique team.
- Day 1 – Roma
Benvenuto in Italia (Welcome to Italy)! As soon as we land, our voyage will head to Rome. As you settle into a pilgrimage rhythm we will visit many of Rome’s iconic sites. We’ll spend the morning at the Colosseum and the Pantheon, plus a special visit to some of the sacred sites in Trastevere. 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 2 – Orvieto
Today we will depart the busy streets of the Eternal City on the road to Assisi. On our way 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 Assisi and enjoy a perfect evening in St. Francis’ beloved country. The next few days will be filled with sacred spaces, holy laughter and a joy that will fill our hearts as we learn about St. Francis.
- Day 3-5 – The Life of Francis
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 Damiano as we learn about the life of Francis’ most famous disciple, St. Clare. We will worship in Santa Maria Degli 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 6 – 7 – La Verna
We spend the next two days in the Francis’ mountain hideaway of La Verna. Gifted to him after he brought peace to a waring faction, La Verna became one of a handful of places the Franciscans went to for regular retreat. La Verna was the place that Francis experienced the stigmata and where he had one of his most powerful revelations. We will take what we’ve learned over the last few days and take time to walk in Franciscan rhythms of prayer, stillness and contemplation. It is one thing to learn about St. Francis. It is quite another to walk out his teaching.
- Day 8 – 9 – Firenze
For the next two days we will soak in a city filled with some of Europe’s most magnificent art. We will continue into 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. Our Celebration Meal will satisfy any last-minute Italian meal cravings you might have before a pleasant evening under the stars.
- Day 10 – Addio Italia
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
Legacy in Footsteps of St. Francis
- *This is the base cost of the trip. Your cost may differ depending on housing, activities, etc.