Rome Trip

Tour organizers: Cultural Connections (grouptravel@libero.it), in association with: Tom Mannion Travel

Trip to Rome in the Footsteps of
Monsignor Hugh O' Flaherty

Confirmed Dates: Nov 2nd – Nov 6th 2014

ITINERARY

DAY 1: Sunday
Afternoon departure from Dublin to Rome. Transfer to our hotel in Rome centre. Dinner will be arranged. Overnight.

Day 2: Monday
ST PETER’S, GERMAN COLLEGE, JEWISH GHETTO, TOUR BY NIGHT
Breakfast at 8.30am.

We will visit St Peter’s Basilica and see the steps where Monsignor O’Flaherty made himself available for those seeking refuge. The famous Arco delle Campane is visible from here, through which the Monsignor led refugees into the Vatican.

Tour of the Basilica including the tombs of St Peter, John Paul II and others. We will see the magnificent dome designed by Michelangelo and his beautiful Pieta. Later we intend to visit the interior of the German College where Monsignor O’Flaherty lived during the war. This was also the residence of Major Sam Derry.

From here we can see the Holy Office where O’Flaherty worked, and the house of Santa Marta, the home of important associates of O’Flaherty in running the Escape Line. At present the Holy Father, Pope Francis, is living in Santa Marta. 

Free time for lunch on Borgo Pio, a street filled with restaurants that begins at the main traffic entrance to Vatican City. In the afternoon we will have a walk through the Jewish Ghetto. Here in October 1943 the Nazis rounded up over a thousand Jews and shipped them to Auschwitz. Thousands of other Jews were hidden in convents and monasteries, many at the behest of Hugh O’Flaherty.

At 6.30 pm coach departs hotel for dinner and tour by night. The tour will take in many of the places connected with Monsignor O'Flaherty's wartime activities, including the safe house for refugees on Via Firenze. We will also see some of the major basilicas, Regina Coeli Prison, Circus Maximus, Colosseum, Roman Forum, and other places.

Day 3: Tuesday
ST PAUL’S BASILICA, ARDEATINE CAVES, TREVI, PROPAGANDA COLLEGE, ST ISIDORE’S

After breakfast we will visit the magnificent Basilica of St Paul’s Outside the Walls. Here we can see the recently excavated sarcophagus of the great St Paul.

We will have a tour of the Basilica and discuss some of the episodes that occurred here during the war in relation to O’Flaherty and the Escape Line. The coach will drop us at the scene of the Ardeatine massacre where over 300 people were killed in reprisal for the Via Rasella bombing.

We will see the tombs of some of the associates of O’Flaherty and Sam Derry, pausing in particular at the tomb of Umberto Lusena, a key figure in the Escape Line. Afterwards we will return to the centre of Rome and have lunch in the area of the Trevi Fountain.

We will visit Via Rasella, scene of the bombing that led directly to the Ardeatine Massacre. We will continue on foot past the Spanish Steps. We will see (from the outside) the old Propaganda Fide college where Hugh studied for the priesthood and was ordained. Hugh then become vice-rector and worked in the college for some years.

Time for shopping in the area.  In the evening we will visit the Irish Franciscan College of St Isidore. At St Isodore’s we intend to organise a meeting with members of the Irish Community (this is to be confirmed). This would include a presentation on the life and work of O’Flaherty by a member of the Memorial Committee.

Day 4: Wednesday
PAPAL AUDIENCE, SAN LORENZO AREA, GOLF COURSE, THE MONSIGNOR’S “PARISH”

Audience with the Holy Father, Pope Francis, in St Peter’s Square. Free time for lunch afterwards in the area. Afternoon coach drive taking in San Lorenzo (scene of Allied bombing and the place where Pius XII visited the victims of the destruction), and the most important safe-house in Monsignor O'Flaherty's organisation, the one-time Chevalier residence (view from the outside).

Continue to Rome’s Golf Course on the Via Appia. O’Flaherty spent many hours playing golf here before the war, building up a network of associates that became very important for the success of the Escape Line. Nearby is a community where the Monsignor worked and ministered voluntarily after the war, rebuilding the church, baptizing converts, and helping to construct housing for the community. We will celebrate Mass in the church rebuilt by O’Flaherty and meet members of the community.

Free evening.

Day 5: Thursday
ABBEY OF MONTECASSINO, WAR MEMORIAL AT CASSINO, DEPARTURE

Check out. Excursion to the Abbey of Montecassino (one and a half hour drive). This great Abbey is considered the cradle of Western Monasticism. We will visit the tomb of St Benedict and savour the beautiful views of the surrounding countryside. We will also visit one of the war cemeteries in Cassino where Allied soldiers who fought in the Battle of Cassino are buried. Lunch in the area. Return to Rome Airport for evening check-in. Flight to Dublin

NUMBERS ARE LIMITED ON THIS TRIP AND EARLY BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL TO GUARANTEE YOUR PLACE – BOOKINGS ARE NOW DUE!

CONFIRMED PRICE: 735 EURO PER PERSON. Early booking by you allows us to secure the flights at a lower cost. Any savings will be passed on to the group.

HOW TO BOOK:
1. Get a booking form from your group leaders, or request one from Laura/Kieran at 057 9355050 (mornings only). Alternatively you can email us on grouptravel@libero.it

2. Return your booking form to Cultural Connections Ltd, Rahan, Tullamore, Co. Offaly with a deposit of 250 euro made out to Tom Mannion Travel.