Thursday 28 June 2018

Depart Aquinas around 10.00am and travel to Dublin airport for direct flight to Rome.

Upon arrival, our coach will then transfer us to the Pontifical Irish College, our base for the week. We will be welcomed by the College Rector, Monsignor Ciaran O’Caroll, and then have a light supper. Pupils will be accommodated in twin bed, air-conditioned, en-suite rooms.


Friday 29 June 2018

Today is the feast day of St Peter and St Paul and a public holiday in Rome.

Following breakfast, (served in the open air on the cortile of the college and consisting of cereals, fruit juice, fresh rolls and tea and coffee), we will use the coach to travel into the centre of Rome and will visit such famous landmarks as the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps and the Piazza Navona before grabbing a light lunch and then returning to the College for a swim in the open air pool or relaxing on the roof garden. In the afternoon we will visit the Colesseum for a guided tour and, afterwards walk to the beautiful basilica of St Peter in Chains where Michaelangeo’s famous statue of Moses is to be found.  Dinner will be served in a local restaurant before returning to the College via a very nice ‘gelateria’, ice cream shop!


Saturday 30 June 2018

After breakfast we will board the coach and travel south to Rocca Secca, where the family castle of St Thomas Aquinas is still to be seen up in the hills above the town.  If all goes according to plan, we will be met by the Mayor of Rocca Secca, who will then lay on transport to bring us up to the castle and the church dedicated to our patron saint on the occasion of his canonisation in the 14th century and which is still in daily use!  After lunch, we will then travel down beyond Naples to Pompeii where we will receive a guided tour from one of the best tour guides to be found in this iconic location.  On our way back to Rome we will visit the famous monastery of Montecasino, founded by St Benedict, the patron saint of Europe, in the fourth century.  The monastery was destroyed by Allied bombs towards the end of World War II, but completely rebuilt according to the original plans in the 1950s.  After dinner in a local restaurant we will complete our journey back to Rome.




Sunday 1 July 2018

After breakfast we will visit the famous English cemetery to see the graves of two famous poets from the 19th century, John Keats (1795 – 1822) and Percy Bysshe Shelley 1792 – 1822). We will then head down to St Peter’s Square for the Angelus address from Pope Francis and then back to the College for lunch and a swim.  In the afternoon we will travel along the Appia Antica, an ancient Roman road, to the catacombs of St Callixtus, to visit the burial sites of the early Christians, many of whom were martyred by the Roman Emperors such as Nero and Vespasian in the early years of the Church.  Sunday Mass will be celebrated here. We will then travel back to the College to freshen up before dinner in a local restaurant during which we will be entertained by Roman opera singers.  This will be followed by a tour of this beautiful city by night with a few stops at some of its most iconic sites.


Monday 2 July 2018

After breakfast we will walk up the Via Mirulana to the basilica of Santa Maria Maggiore, the chief church in the city dedicated to Our Lady.  Amongst its famous possessions is the manger from Bethlehem.  We will cross over to the Casa del Rosario to buy our religious gifts and souvenirs before boarding the coach and travelling out to Castelgandolfo, the town of the pope’s summer residence.  We will have lunch here and also have a chance to visit the lake which is the top of an ancient volcano and was also the location of all the aquatic events during the Rome Olympics of 1960.  We will travel back into Rome and then visit the Mother Church of the world, St John Lateran, which is also the Pope’s Cathedral as Bishop of the diocese of Rome.  After a dip in the pool we will travel down into the centre of Rome for some more sightseeing, including a visit to the Pantheon before stopping at a restaurant for dinner.  After dinner we will stop for ice cream at the most famous ice cream parlour in Rome, Giolitti’s, which was opened in 1890 and is still owned by the same family.


Tuesday 3 July 2018

After breakfast the coach will head out of Rome once again, this time to Assisi, the home town of once of the most famous and popular saints of all time, St Francis.  We will spend the day in this beautiful medieval town retracing the life of Francis from his birth until his death in 1226.  We will stop for dinner on our way back to Rome.


Wednesday 4 July 2018

After breakfast we will spend the morning in St Peter’s Basilica, probably the most famous church in the world and closely associated with the papal office, including elections and funerals.  We will walk around the basilica visiting the beautiful statues of the Pieta and St Peter, along with the tombs of Pope St John Paul II and Pope St John XXIII, before descending into the crypt to view the many monuments and tombs of other popes.  We will return to the College to use the pool and relax for a while before heading off to visit the Basilica dedicated to St Paul which is well outside the centre of Rome.  We will also travel back in time by visiting the monastery of Tre Fontane built in 626 by Pope Honorius I on the site of St Paul’s martyrdom.


Thursday 5 July 2018

After breakfast we will board the coach and make our way back to the airport for our return flight to Dublin.


Cost of trip;                 £895.00  (approx.)


Included in the cost are:

  • Return flights, Dublin to Rome (Fiumicino) airports
  • Full use of coach for the week
  • Full-time tour guide
  • Accommodation in twin bedded, air-conditioned en-suite rooms
  • Breakfast and evening meals each day
  • Use of Irish College facilities


There will be a meeting in the Chaplaincy in Aquinas on Wednesday 14th June at break time to provided interested pupils with more information about the trip and an opportunity to ask questions.