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Spies, beheadings, and some tour updates
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This week in Rome
Today is the global premiere of Mission Impossible 7. Much of it was filmed here in Rome during the lockdown. It was fun to see Hollywood (Mission Impossible, Red Notice, Jack Ryan, House of Gucci) running around filming while we still had so many restrictions and a curfew. 🤣 Seriously though, I’m always excited to see Rome on the big screen. If you are here in Rome, there’s a red carpet event at the Spanish Steps at 4:30 PM and the premiere is just outside the Vatican at 7:30 PM. if you are hoping to see the stars, just know that hundreds of people waited outside their hotel yesterday for eight hours just to get a glimpse.
The pope is out of the hospital, but as he’s still recovering, the Wednesday Audience is cancelled this week.
Saturday is the Nativity of Saint John the Baptist. Did you know we have his head here in Rome? It’s located at San Silvestro in Capite. But June 24th is the one day of the year you can visit the church of San Giovanni in Decollato — The Beheaded Saint John the Baptist. Not far from here is where public executions would take place, usually beheadings. Charles Dickens even attended one that was performed by the Papal executioner. Did you know there was (past tense) a Papal executioner? His apartment is a few blocks from mine.
June 29 is Rome’s biggest feast day, the Feast of Saints Peter and Paul. If you are in Rome, you’re in for a treat. Streets covered in flowers, fireworks, and Peter all dressed up.
July is typically when the pope takes time off, meaning no Wednesday Audiences.
Paid subscribers get first access to all pilgrimages. Many of these small group pilgrimages sell out quickly.
A reminder, I organize and lead all my pilgrimages. Most everything is included in the price. The groups are always small (exception being the River Cruise). And I get a ton of repeat travelers. 🧡
August: Poland is sold out, but I’ll be doing another in August of 2024.
September: I have a few spots left for the Holy Land and Jordan. (sign up here)
September: After the success of my May pilgrimage from Fatima to Lourdes, I decided I’d offer another this year. I have room for four more people. May was so amazing that I just needed to go back. As an added bonus, you’ll get all the benefits of the World Youth Day infrastructure improvements without the crowds! (sign up here)
October: Rome, Just Rome sold out immediately with a waiting list of about 40 people.
October: Danube River Cruise, I have a few cabins left on my first (and probably only) river cruise pilgrimage. I also have a few singles looking for roommates, so if you want to travel solo, but don’t want to pay for an entire cabin, now’s your chance. (sign up here)
October: Holy Land and Jordan is sold out. Join me in September instead.
November: Rome, Just Rome: Thanksgiving Edition. I have room for three more. Open the Sistine Chapel, food tours, and a Thanksgiving meal you don’t have to prepare. (sign up here)
December: Rome, Just Rome: Advent Edition. Sold out immediately. Waitlist of over 30 people.
February: Ash Wednesday in Rome. We start with a retreat in Assisi, then move to Rome for the beginning of Lent. Details will be posted this week. As always, a small intimate group.
March: Holy Week in Rome. Sold out in seconds. Waitlist of over 100 people.
April: Holy Land and Jordan. I’m only doing two Holy Land trips in 2024, this is the first. Details this week.
June: Croatia and Medjugorje. Details soon.
July: Ireland. My first time back since 2018.
August: Poland. Details soon.
October: France. Details soon.
November: Holy Land. My second, and final Holy Land pilgrimage of 2024.
There are some other Italy trips already planned, just not ready to share yet.
And I have several private / family / parish / diocesan pilgrimages for 2024 that are not advertised to the public.
I cannot believe I’m saying this, but, yes, I am already planning for the Jubilee Year. Expect a full year of mostly Rome / Italy pilgrimages.
Ever wonder how to compare pilgrimage prices? I wrote an article about this back in 2008 and recently revised it.
There are many things that factor into the cost of the trip, but these are some of the biggies, and easiest to compare…
How long is the trip?
How big is the group?
What is actually included?
What’s the quality of what’s included (meals, local guides, etc)?
Some personal travel coming up over the next few days and weeks… Napoli, Paris, Miami, Atlanta. And maybe Minneapolis, Cincinnati, and/or Kansas City if I can find tickets to a popular show that don’t cost $6,000 per person.
Have a great week!