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Pilgrimage to Italy Blog

The Mercy Academy juniors and seniors traveled to Rome, Assisi, Siena, and Florence in March 2023.  The students shared their journey along the way!

Monday, March 6

The group of 21 travelers is off to Boston Logan for their overnight flight to Rome!

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Tuesday, March 7

News from Rome! Our travelers made it to their destination without any troubles. They met up with their guide, Alessandro, and checked into their hotel, just outside the Vatican walls. They walked to St. Peter's Square, and then celebrated Mass at Pope St. Gregory VII Church. They had dinner at their hotel, and then were off to catch up on some much needed sleep before a full day tomorrow. (Photos from Mr. Smith, Dr. Pearson)

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Arrow pointing to the Sistine Chapel!

Wednesday, March 8

Wednesday was an incredible day in Rome for the juniors and seniors, highlighted by the audience with Pope Francis at St. Peter's Square! They also saw the Vatican Gardens and toured the Vatican Museum and Sistine Chapel. Father Alan celebrated Mass at the Church of the Twelve Holy Apostles, a minor basilica where Saint James the Lesser and Saint Philip are buried. (Photos from: Mikayla Bruce, James Crisman, Brooke Muchmore, Mr. Sully, Mr. Smith, Dr. Peason) 

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Mass celebrated by Fr. Alan at the Church of the Twelve Apostles.

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From Mikayla:  "We gave up on finding to-go coffee."

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From the roof of their hotel with St. Peter's Basilica in the background.

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All of that...PLUS they test drove a Lamborghini. (just kidding!)

Thursday, March 9

Today's update from Dr. Pearson -- We started our day with a private Mass and tour at St. Mary Major and then traveled to the Basilica of St. John Lateran. We then ascended the Holy Stairs and then made our way to Piazza del Popolo where we all had some free time for lunch and shopping. We encountered a huge crowd of very enthusiastic Spanish soccer fans before they went to a big game against Rome. This evening, we drove outside the city to a private pizza making class where we all learned how to make pizza the “right way” and then enjoyed it with some tiramisu for dessert. Fr Alan surprised the students with new Rosaries that he purchased for them all and he blessed them when we returned this evening. Packing and enjoying our last evening in Rome before we do a tour of Ancient Rome in the morning and then head to Assisi in the afternoon. (Photos from: Dr. Pearson, Brooke Muchmore, Angel Mercado, Mr. Smith)

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Friday, March 10

From Dr. Pearson: Good evening! Another full day. Checked out of our hotel in Rome and went to the Basilica of St. Paul’s Outside the Walls and had Mass. We then got an up close and personal tour of Ancient Rome, including walking through the Roman Forum and in and throughout the Colosseum. We had lunch and then boarded the bus and arrived in Assisi where we checked in, had dinner and did an evening walk through the center of Assisi. Heading to bed to get ready for a full day in Assisi tomorrow. (Photos by: Brooke Muchmore, Dr. Pearson, Mr. Smith)

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At the Colosseum!

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Traveling to Assisi

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View from our hotel in Assisi

Evening tour of Assisi

Saturday, March 11

Today (Saturday) we visited the Basilica of Saint Francis (where we had Mass) , Saint Mary of the Angels and the Basilica of Saint Clare as well as the hermitage that is built into the hills above the city where some of the Franciscan friars live. This afternoon and evening, we had some free time to shop, eat and explore Assisi on our own. Tomorrow morning, we check out in the morning and head to Siena then on to Florence in the afternoon! (Photos by: Alex Shield, Tessa Pearson, Dr. Pearson, Mr. Smith)

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Where we had Mass.

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Basilica of Saint Francis, where we had Mass.

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Basilica of Mary of the Angels

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Sunday, March 12

Sunday's adventure...We left early Sunday morning and drove from Assisi to Siena to tour St. Catherine’s Basilica and her childhood home. We spent some time in the city center before making our way to Florence. We went to visit the David statue and then made our way to the hotel in the evening. (Photos by: Christian Swingle, Mr. Smith, Dr. Pearson)

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Siena, Italy

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Michelangelo's David

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Michelangelo

Florence, Italy

Monday, March 13

The final day in Florence was awesome.  On the final night, we had an amazing dinner out together followed by getting gelato to celebrate. The city center was beautiful at night and full of live performers. We went to Cathedral Square and visited the old bridge one last time.

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Many thanks to our incredible guide, Alessandro, our driver, Antonio, and

Fr. Alan!

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The (extra long) journey home...

via Bologna and Frankfurt!

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