Italy: Venice to Rome

Embark on this journey of a lifetime as we unearth the spiritual treasures of Italy, while befriending St Anthony, St Catherine, St Francis and his mission to ‘Go rebuild my Church’. Be inspired by these holy men and women as we follow their paths etched into our faith heritage. Be prepared then for a week of faith, friendship and celebration as we open our lives to amazing possibilities flowing from the WYD encounter in Lisbon.

WYD Lisbon Logo Color
Venice to Rome Map


Padua (2 Nights) • Venice • Ravenna • Bologna • Florence (2 Nights) • Siena • Assisi (2 Nights) • Cascia • Rome (3 Nights) • WYD Week Lisbon (7 Nights) • Post-WYD Retreat – Fatima area (3 Nights)

  • 22 Days
  • Departs Australia 21 July 2023
  • Returns Australia 11 August 2023
  • Italy & Portugal

FEATURED SAINTS: St Anthony of Padua • St Mark the Evangelist • St Luke the Evangelist • St Giustina • St Dominc • St Catherine of Siena • St Francis of Assisi • St Clare • St Rita • St Peter • St Paul • St Mary Major • St John • St Pope John Paul II • Our Lady of Fatima




On arrival at Venice airport we will be met and transferred to Padua, home to St Anthony, the renowned patron saint of lost articles. Originally from Lisbon, Anthony came to Italy where his gift of preaching brought many to conversion.

Once in Padua, we enjoy a guided tour and Mass in the Basilica of St Anthony including the Chapel of the Reliquaries and St Anthony’s tomb.

Padua overnight (D)


Today we travel to the romantic and beautiful city of Venice, “The Floating City” where streets are canals and transport is via boat and gondola. After our boat transfer we begin with Mass in St Mark’s Basilica, built to house the saint’s remains. Our guided walking tour includes St Mark’s Square and its famous monuments. See open squares with enchanting palaces, cross over stunning bridges, and walk down narrow passageways.

Back in Padua we will view the impressive park of ‘Prato della Valle’ which includes the Basilica of Santa Giustina with its claimed relics of St Luke the Evangelist. Onwards to the infamous Scrovegni Chapel. The Chapel is a masterpiece in the history of painting in Italy and Europe in the 14th century, considered to be the most complete series of frescoes executed by the Italian painter, Giotto in his mature age.

Padua overnight (BD)


We farewell Padua today and journey to Ravenna, once the capital of the Western Roman Empire some 1,500 years ago. The city’s rare mosaics are thought to be the best preserved in Europe and our visit to the Basilica of San Vitale will give evidence to this reality. Our walking tour also includes highlights such as the Piazza del Popolo, the Basilica of Sant’ Apollinare Nuovo including Arian Baptistery and the tomb of Dante.

Departing Ravenna we come to Bologna – one of Italy’s most ancient cities and home to its oldest university. We visit the Basilica of St Dominic, where the Order of the Preachers came to Bologna in 1218. Visit here the shrine to St Dominic, which to this day holds the saint’s sarcophagus. The church is a magnificent collaboration of skills, including the work of a young Michelangelo, visible in the angel candleholder on the right side of the saint’s tomb.

Continue on to Florence, home to many masterpieces of Renaissance art and architecture.

Florence overnight (BD)


Our tour of Florence begins today with Mass at the Church of Santa Croce before continuing to the Academy of Fine Arts containing many treasures, including Michelangelo’s statue of David. We will visit the Ponte Vecchio and the Duomo, with a magnificent dome created by Brunelleschi. Across the way are Ghiberti’s celebrated bronze doors to the Baptistery, so lovely that they are commonly known as ‘The Gates of Paradise’.

Enjoy some free time in the late afternoon to browse the bazaars, explore or rest.

Florence overnight (BD)


Before departing Florence today, we will ascend the hill of Piazzale Michelangelo to admire the most beautiful view over the whole city.

Today we travel south-east to Italy’s loveliest medieval city, Siena, birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernadine. Upon arrival we will visit St Dominic’s Basilica and view the incorrupt head of St Catherine, the mystical bride of Christ. From here we walk through the narrow lanes to the Basilica of St Francis where we will view the Eucharistic miracle of the incorrupt hosts that occurred in 1730, defying all scientific testing. Continue on and stroll the Piazza del Campo, one of Italy’s finest Squares.

After visiting the medieval Cathedral of Siena (1263), dedicated to Holy Mary of the Assumption, we depart Siena and journey through the Umbrian countryside to Assisi, where St Francis tended the poor and sick and founded the Franciscan Order.

On arrival, we will visit the Basilica of St Mary of the Angels on the plain where St Francis spent most of his life. Here we will see the Portiuncola, the thornless rose bush, the cave where the saint returned for prayer and the Chapel where he died in 1226.

Here we are also blessed with the opportunity to visit and pray at the tomb of Blessed Carlo Acutis, a young Catholic from Italy with a passionate devotion to the Real Presence of Jesus in the Eucharist and an aptitude for computer programming. From the ages of 12 to 14, he designed a website cataloguing Eucharistic miracles that have occurred around the world, which he launched in 2005. He died of leukemia a year later at the age of 15, offering his suffering for the Pope and for the Church.

Onwards to the Upper Town and our pilgrim accommodation for the evening.

Assisi overnight (BD)


This morning we awake to the sound of chapel bells, cobblestone footsteps and the tangible spirit of St Francis preserved in this holy town. 

After breakfast we enjoy a guided tour through some of the town’s highlights including: the tranquil Church of San Damiano and the actual chapel where it all began when the voice of Christ spoke to Francis in the year 1205. Here too we find the first monastery of the Order of St Clare where Clare built her community in close friendship with Francis. 

Culminate up at the Hermitage (Eremo delle Carceri), an oasis of peace and tranquillity in the woods built on the site of a simple cave where St Francis often withdrew to spend many hours in prayer. The cave and the Chapel of Our Lady are preserved in the Hermitage. 

We end our tour at the Basilica of St Clare where we will proceed to the side chapel to pray before the Holy Crucifix from which God spoke to Francis “Go and repair my Church which as you see is in ruins”. Here too we can also take the stairway down to the crypt where the body of Clare, partially restored, is displayed. 

An opportunity presents itself before dinner to attend Vespers in the Basilica of St Clare and listen to the angelic voices of the Poor Clare nuns.

Assisi overnight (BD)


We conclude our time in Assisi with Mass and a guided exploration of the buzzing Basilica of St Francis which occupies the entire western end of the upper town. Construction began in 1228, just two years after the death of Francis and was finally completed in 1250. The Upper Basilica houses the famous fresco cycle of the life of St Francis, historically attributed to Giotto. Wander through the marvels of the Upper Basilica before our tour descends to the crypt of the Lower Basilica where Francis was laid in 1230 and where we will take some time to seek the intercession of this spiritual legend.

We then board our coach and depart Assisi, travelling south to the remote village of Cascia, home to the shrine of St Rita, patron saint of impossible cases. Our time in Cascia will feature a visit to the magnificent Basilica of St Rita where we can view her incorrupt body. Walk through the ancient Monastery of St Rita where we will visit her cell and the crucifix from which she received her stigmata. We will also be able to view the exposed Eucharistic Miracle (1330) in the lower chapel and hear the incredible story of how it came to be. 

After our visit we depart Cascia and travel to Rome, the Eternal City.

Rome overnight (BD) 


We start our pilgrimage this morning with a spectacular Mass at St Peter’s Basilica before coming to the nearby Vatican Museums. Wander the spectacular chambers leading to the Sistine Chapel to view Michelangelo’s masterpieces, including the magnificent fresco of the Last Judgment. Continue through to the awe-inspiring St Peter’s Basilica, the largest church in the world for an informative exploration. Our guided tour will feature among other highlights Michelangelo’s stunning Pieta, the tomb of Pope St John Paul II, the great Confessional and the Crypt containing the tombs of the Popes. 

Continuing on we visit the impressive St Mary Major Basilica. Onwards to the Basilica of St John in Lateran (First Papal residence) and the adjacent Holy Stairs brought from Jerusalem to Rome in 326AD by St Helena (a favourite of pilgrims, these steps may only be ascended on the knees). 

Visit the Basilica of Santa Croce in Gerusalemme with its extraordinary collection of relics from the Holy Land.

Set out after dinner to view Rome by night as we discover the city’s renowned monuments from inside our comfortable coach. See the Colosseum alight, the Victor Emmanuel Monument, the Piazza Della Republica, St Peter’s Basilica and Capitol Hill. Disembark to throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain before strolling to the Piazza Navona to soak up the vibrant atmosphere.

Rome overnight (BD)


This morning we enter into the most visited attraction in Rome – the Colosseum. In 1749, Pope Benedict XIV declared the Colosseum a sacred site, as it was a place where early Christians had been martyred. View also the Circus Maximus and the Roman Forum en route. 

Continue along the ancient Appian Way, the oldest road from Roman times, to the ancient Catacombs for a memorable guided tour to marvel at these underground burial tunnels for Christians and Hebrews. On the way, drive by Domine Quo Vadis – the chapel that stands at the site where, according to tradition, St Peter met Christ when he fled from Rome to escape martyrdom.

Our Christian Rome pilgrimage culminates this afternoon at the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls as a special tribute to the Church’s greatest evangelist. Here we will celebrate our group Mass. 

Visit the vibrant district of Trastevere, known for its culture and restaurants, and also home to the Sant’Egidio Community, renowned for their work with the homeless, disadvantaged and poor.

This evening we will celebrate dinner at a special restaurant which is a place of evangelisation in the heart of Rome, run by missionary nuns who actually sing the Ave Maria to us between courses!

Rome overnight (BD)


Departing Italy today, we join the streams of young pilgrims converging today on Lisbon, the World Youth Day host city and our long-awaited meeting with the youth of the world and our Holy Father.

Upon our arrival, we will be welcomed and ushered to our designated place of accommodation. At this point we will receive our WYD pilgrim’s bag containing the WYD handbook, tourist guide, pilgrim pass, transport card and all the information you need to get around Lisbon and participate in the WYD events.

Lisbon overnight (BD)


Theme: “Mary arose and went with haste.” (Lk 1:39)

AM: MORNING WALKING TOUR OF LISBONThis morning we meet our guide and enjoy a walking tour of Lisbon city. From the scenic Garden of San Pedro de Alcantara – taking in sweeping views of the city, to its narrow streets of the picturesque Alfama district, bustling plazas, and along the riverfront – stopping in Lisbon’s most beautiful and historic churches all along the way. 



AM: MORNING CATECHESISThere will be opportunities for Catechesis, Daily Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

PM: YOUTH FESTIVAL EVENTSFeaturing music, dance and dramatic performances from around the world in small and large stadiums and venues across the city.


AM: MORNING CATECHESISThere will be opportunities for Catechesis, Daily Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

PM: YOUTH FESTIVAL EVENTSFeaturing music, dance and dramatic performances from around the world in small and large stadiums and venues across the city.



AM: MORNING CATECHESISThere will be opportunities for Catechesis, Daily Mass and the Sacrament of Reconciliation.

PM: YOUTH FESTIVAL EVENTSFeaturing music, dance and dramatic performances from around the world in small and large stadiums and venues across the city.

PM: STATIONS OF THE CROSSThe focus tonight is on the moving Way of the Cross when we as young pilgrims will contemplate the reality of Christ’s passion and the call to true freedom.


Today will begin the mass mobilisation of pilgrims along set walking paths through the city as we converge on the site chosen for the historic WYD gathering here in Lisbon.

An afternoon of concerts, performances, and song will unfold as we await the arrival of the Holy Father. This begins the main event! Multitudes of young people together with the Pope – a summer evening of unforgettable atmosphere. The celebrations continue all night as we share in a global sleep-out under the stars.

WYD Vigil Site Sleepout (WYD BLD)


As the sun rises, we’ll share in Morning Prayer, breakfast and the climactic WYD Papal Mass with the youth of the world. 

AM: MORNING MASS WITH THE HOLY FATHERThe Pope will concelebrate Mass with thousands of bishops and priests, addressing us and sending us out to the world to witness to our faith, as the Lord did with his Apostles. At the end of the Mass, the Holy Father will announce the place where the next international World Youth Day will be held.



Today we farewell Lisbon for the tranquillity and relaxation of our Post WYD Retreat in the Fatima area. As we depart out of the city, see Europe’s longest suspension bridge and view the inspiring Statue of Christ the King pointing the way north to Fatima. 

Enroute, we will visit the Holy Miracle Church of St Stephen at Santarem containing the oldest recorded Eucharistic miracle.

Arriving at our post-WYD retreat lodgings, we will spend the following days entering into a time of rest, recreation and retreat, as we unwind and process the amazing past days on pilgrimage and WYD experiences.

Fatima area overnight (BD)


This morning we travel to Fatima, where in 1917 the Blessed Virgin Mary appeared to three children as ‘a lady in white’. We will enjoy a tour of the Square (the largest square in Christendom) including the site of the Apparitions, Rosary Basilica with the Tombs of the visionaries, the Museum, Blessed Sacrament Chapel and other main sites. 

Back at our lodgings this afternoon, we enter a time of retreat, prayer and recreation. 

Fatima area overnight (BLD) 


We travel back to Fatima this morning where we will walk and pray the Stations along the beautiful Way of the Cross (the Sacred Way) culminating in the Chapel of Calvary which overlooks all of Fatima. Continue to Valinhos, the site of Our Lady’s appearance to three peasant children Lucia, Francisco and Jacinta. Proceed on to the little village of Aljustrel to visit the homes where the children lived. Finally, we enter the original Parish church and see the Baptismal font where the children were baptised. 

Back at our lodgings this afternoon, we enter a time of retreat, prayer and recreation. 

Fatima area overnight (BLD) 


Today we will be transferred to the airport for our homebound flight connections to Australia. (B) 


MEAL CODES: (B) Breakfast, (L) Lunch, (D) Dinner


  • Return International Economy class airfare from Australia
  • Internal European flights as applicable
  • All prepaid airport taxes, charges and fuel levies (subject to variation)
  • Mass daily (as indicated in the pilgrimage itinerary)
  • University residence lodgings (all rooms with private facilities) with breakfast daily in Lisbon during WYD week (Additional costs applicable for Hotel standard accommodation)
  • Accommodation throughout mostly in multi-share lodgings, hotels, pilgrim/religious houses or retreat centres on pilgrimage programme and retreat days outside Lisbon
  • Meals as included in the WYD registration during WYD week in Lisbon
  • Breakfasts and dinners daily on Pre-WYD touring programme. Other meals included as indicated in the itinerary
  • All transfers and touring as indicated in deluxe air-conditioned coaches
  • All Sightseeing with entrance fees and local guides whilst on pilgrimage as listed
  • Services of a local multi-lingual Tour Director for touring programme / coach transfers (not included during WYD week or during Retreat stays)
  • Tips and gratuities for drivers and guides on tour
  • Full services of the Harvest Support Team during WYD week in Lisbon
  • WYD Lisbon Registration Package including:• Harvest’s management of group registration with WYD Lisbon • Public transportation pass during WYD week (Tuesday to Sunday) • Entrance to all WYD cultural activities • Access to all areas reserved for WYD participants • WYD Lisbon pilgrim’s backpack with WYD Lisbon inclusions
  • Harvest WYD 2023 pilgrims travel pack including travel wallet, baggage tags, pilgrims journal

Not Included

  • Any meals not specified as part of the itinerary
  • All beverages
  • Any additional sightseeing costs or entrance fees not listed in the itinerary
  • Items of a personal nature, phone calls, laundry, etc
  • Any passport or visa fees required
  • Any associated health or vaccination costs
  • Porterage
  • Travel insurance
Photo Gallery
World Youth Day Lisbon 2023
logo icons