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Language and communication General
Communication can be difficult if you do not speak the language - locals are proud of their beautiful language, but resources online and travel guides assist.

Telephone
Telephone numbers often have different numbers of numerals and the '0' in area codes are retained when dialling.

Language
At particular monasteries and convents English is spoken by individuals who may or may not be involved in the provision of hospitality - you may not see these people. Based on our experience we resisted the temptation to advise that 'English is spoken' as untimely and un-notified reassignment of monastery personnel results in inaccurate advice.

Generally the more remote from a major centre the less likely it is that English is spoken.

Finally take a phrase book and use online apps like Google Translate when travelling abroad if you are not a speaker of the native language.
Back to Top Information on Vatican Tours & Papal Audiences Vatican Activities:
We get numerous enquiries about activities at the Vatican and although we are not a travel agency for such services we have put together the following information to help you in organising your visit.
We hope this helps you on the way to organising your visit to Rome &the Vatican.


The website of the Vatican will assist those who wish to visit the Vatican


http://www.vatican.va/phome_en.htm

Seeing the Pope on a visit to Rome
The Holy Father holds a General Audience every Wednesday in Vatican City at about 10:30a.m. Public liturgies celebrated by the Holy Father include Canonization and Beatification Masses, as well as Masses for Solemn Liturgies, such as Christmas, New Year's Day (Solemnity of Mary, the Mother of God), Palm Sunday, Holy Week, and Easter Sunday.

On Sundays and Holy Days, the Holy Father appears at the window of his study to lead pilgrims in a Marian Prayer and to impart his blessing. During the summer months, the Holy Father imparts this Sunday blessing in the courtyard of his summer residence, at Castle Gandolfo.

Requests for participation in Papal Audiences and Papal Masses are hand delivered to the Vatican one week before the event is scheduled. Requests need to arrive in ample time for proper processing. The Bishops' Office is happy to help everyone who asks for assistance.

In your requests to the Bishops' Office (see address, fax number, or email address below) we suggest you indicate the special service that you wish to attend. Groups are encouraged to provide the name of their parish, school, or organization, group leader's name and a request may be made for their group to be publicly announced at the Audience.

A special section at the Holy Father's Wednesday General Papal Audiences is reserved for couples who have been married in the Catholic Church for two months or less. Practicing Catholics may send the Bishop's office a letter, written by their priest, indicating their names, the date of their marriage, and the name of the Catholic Church in which they were married, to be seated in this section. To be admitted by the ushers, the newlyweds must bring with them a Catholic Sacramental marriage certificate.

Choirs who wish to sing for the Holy Father for one-half minute are requested to give advance notice of their request.

Tickets are not required to attend the Holy Father's Sunday Angelus (or Regina Caeli, during the Easter season) Prayer and blessing. Those desiring to receive this blessing can simply be in St. Peter's Square by noon on Sunday.

Send your enquiries to:
Bishops' Office - Visitors to the Vatican
North American College - Casa Santa Maria
Via dell'Umilta, 30 -- 00187 Rome, Italy

TEL 06/690.011
FAX 06/679.1448

Email: NACVISOFFROME@pnac.org

Obtaining tickets
For participation in the Holy Father's Wednesday General Papal Audiences, biglietti, or ticket invitations, are issued by the Vatican the morning prior to the Audience and can be picked up at the above Bishops' Office on Via dell'Umilta, 30, on Tuesday afternoons prior to the Audience, between 3pm and 7pm (in emergency, on Wednesday mornings after 7am). Ticket invitations for the Papal Masses, if held on a Sunday, are usually available by the Thursday or Friday prior to the Mass (in emergency, Saturday morning or Sunday en route to the Mass). It is not possible for tickets to be delivered. When you pick up your tickets, the people at the Bishops' Office are happy to give you a brief introduction to the Papal event and answer any questions you may have about it, including location, time, length, and nature.

The Bishops' Office tries to honour all requests. Ticket invitations are gratis, a gift of the Holy Father, and there is no charge for this service, which is sponsored by the:

Pontifical North American College
and the:
The United States Catholic Conference of Bishops.

Last Minute Tickets to Wednesday General Audience
For tickets days immediately before the Wednesday General Audience, the option it to go to St. Peter's Square, find the Bronze Doors to the Apostolic Palace, and request them from the Swiss Guards. If you want tickets far in advance, have a large group, or require Papal Mass Tickets, you should follow the instructions above.

Dress code
Dress in good taste is requested. Shoulders must be covered. Shorts are not permitted, and skirts should fall in length below the knee. A head covering is not necessary; however, in the summer sun it may be helpful.

Tour of the Vatican Museum or Vatican Gardens
In order to make reservations for Guided Tours of the Vatican Museums, Sistine Chapel and Gardens, we suggest you contact the Guided Tours Office of the Vatican by phone, email or fax.

Guided Tours for Individuals
You may reserve by:
Phone: +3906/69884676
Fax: +3906/69885100
Email: visiteguidate.musei@scv.va

Vatican Gardens: (2 hours) 9,00 7,00
From March - October: Tuesday - Thursday - Saturday
From November - February: Every Saturday except on those in which Papal Ceremonies are held.

Tours leave at 10:00 a.m.

Vatican Museums &Sistine Chapel: (2 hours) 19.50 15,50
If you reserve by fax or e-mail we suggest you provide your address in Rome. The reservation is confirmed only by phoning the office between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. the very same day of the visit.

Tours leave every day in the morning at 10:30 a.m. from Monday through Friday, on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.

Guided Tours for Groups
You may reserve by:
Phone: 011/3906/698-83145
Fax: 011/3906/698-83578

(A) Vatican Gardens: (2 hrs) - 9,00 - *reduced rate 7,00

(B) Vatican Gardens &Sistine Chapel: (3 hrs) - 21,00 *reduced rate 15,00

(C) Vatican Museums &Sistine Chapel: (3 hrs) - 18,50 *reduced rate 14,50

(B) and (C) tours rates include the Vatican Museums entrance ticket

*Reduced rate: students under the age of 14 and students under the age of 26 only with valid international student card.

Reservations - Vatican Gardens and Sistine Chapel
Guided tours to the Vatican Gardens and Sistine Chapel are only organized in the morning, from Monday through Saturday except on Wednesdays; tours to the Museums &Sistine Chapel are available every day but Sundays. It is necessary to book at least 15-20 days in advance. For the reservation send a fax to the Bishops' Office indicating the kind of guided tour requested, the date and the approximate number of participants. Then, 7 days before the tour takes place, send the Bishops' Office a fax with definitive confirmation. If this is not received then the Bishops'Office will automatically cancel your booking, without further warning. Groups with less than 20 visitors will pay the minimum guided tour fee for 20 visitors. To obtain the above reduced rate Pilgrimages need to show the day of the visit with a request on letterhead of the local Diocese. Schools need to show a request on letterhead of the school signed by the Principal.

**Individual or group tours to the Museums and the Sistine Chapel are available everyday but Sunday

Arranging a Scavi Tour
To apply for a Scavi Tour to the Tomb of St. Peter, the instruction from the Ufficio Scavi is that people should apply directly to the Scavi Office by fax or by email. That office is very efficient and able to negotiate times directly with those who want reservations. Letters of application should include the dates of preference and an address at home for their direct contact. It is also wise to indicate the place of lodging in Rome giving an accurate telephone number for further contact. No children under the age of 15 are admitted.

Excavations Office:

Ufficio Scavi Fax 39.06.6987.3017
Fabbrica di San Pietro Tel. 39.06.6988.5318
00120 Citta del Vaticano
E-MAIL scavi@fsp.va
Back to Top Shrines in Italy Believers and pilgrims have visited the Shrines of Saints for centuries. To accommodate these visitors lodgings were established and the tradition of welcoming guests to stay has remained constant.

Monastery Stays has access to many monasteries and convents in the major towns where the shrines lie.

All our monasteries and convents are genuinely assisting The Faith. They are run, or owned by religious orders whose good works benefit the world's communities.

Although some may appear to look like hotels the surpluses earned by making a visitor's stay enjoyable goes back into their program of good work. These works assist many of the poorer people in the world.

In all the monasteries and convents you will be welcome to participate in the religious way of life.

If you are interested in pursing your interest in a particular saint then we have organised our monasteries according to the particular town to which they are associated.

San Giovanni Rotondo

San Giovanni Rotondo enshrines the tomb of Padre Pio and the old church has the crucifix from which he received the stigmata in 1918.

Click the links below to visit one of our offerings in this holy place.

PUS102 PUS105 PUS109 PUS111


Loreto

The Marian Shrine of Loreto enshrines an ancient tradition that the Holy House of Loreto is the same walled Chamber of Our Lady, which had existed in Nazareth, in which Mary was born. It was brought across to Loreto by angels. More than 50 popes have made a pilgrimage to the house transported by angels to this hill in central Italy in 1294. Tradition has it this is the house in which Mary first prayed the Magnificat, in which Jesus grew to manhood and in which the Holy Family lived.

Click the links below to visit one of our offerings in this holy place.

MAL101 MAL109 MAL110


Assisi

The Basilica of Assisi enshrines the tomb of St. Francis and was built in the 13th-century. It also has the hilltop birthplace of St. Francis. It contains many of the possessions of St. Francis, including the crucifix from which Jesus spoke to St. Francis, asking him to rebuild His church.

St. Mary of the Angels Basilica was where St. Francis spent most of his life. The Chapel, Portiuncola, the rose bush, and the cave where the saint retired for prayer are also there.

The Church of St. Clare enshrines the saint's incorrupt body. The founder of the Order of Poor Clares followed the teachings of St. Francis by living a life of poverty and humility.

Click here to see our complete selection of monasteries in this holy place.

Siena

This is the birthplace of Saints Catherine and Bernardine.

Catherine died in 1380, was canonized in 1461, and named doctor of the church in 1970. A relic of Saint Catherine of Siena is located in the great Basilica of San Domenico.

The remains of Saint Dominic, founder of the Order of Preachers (Dominicans), are buried inside the Arca di San Domenico, made by Nicola Pisano and his workshop, Arnolfo di Cambio and with later additions by Niccolò dell' Arca and the young Michelangelo.

Click the links below to visit our offerings in this holy place.

TOS114 TOS121


Cascia

Home of the Eucharistic Miracle and the Sanctuary of Saint Rita, the saint of the impossible, a married woman, mother, widow, nun, stigmatist, and a saint with an incorruptible body. The Basilica enshrines relics such as the crucifix from which she received the stigmata.

View the blood stained pages of the breviary that cradled the miraculous host, leaving a perfect outline of Christ's face.

Click the links below to visit our offerings in this holy place.

UMC130


Monte Sant Angelo

The shrine dedicated to a vision of St Michael the Archangel who appeared in 490 AD.

Click the links below to visit our offerings in this holy place or visit our News page to see a video on the sanctuary.

PUM101


Rome

There are seven pilgrim basilicas in Rome, which were visited by pilgrims in order to gain indulgences.

The St. Peter's Basilica was built on the site where St. Peter was martyred. It is a monument to the long history of the Catholic Church. St. Peter's Basilica is the grandest of the world's churches to which pilgrims come from around the world.

The Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls houses the remains of St. Paul under its main altar. It also has many relics on display including the chains that once bound the apostle while a prisoner in Rome.

The Basilica of St. Mary Major is one of the oldest shrines dedicated to the Blessed Virgin. This is a shrine containing a relic from the manger of the infant Jesus. It is the only Roman basilica, which, in spite of several additional decorations, has retained its original shape. It was built, as the legend goes, in 352 AC. after an appearance of the Blessed Virgin.

Saint John Lateran Basilica
Officially named Archibasilica Sanctissimi Salvatoris (Archbasilica of the Most Holy Savior), it is the oldest and ranks first (being the only cathedral in Rome) among the major basilicas of Rome.

Saint Lawrence Outside the Walls
The basilica is the shrine tomb of Saint Lawrence, one of the first seven deacons of Rome martyred in 258.

Santa Croce in Gerusalemme
According to tradition, the basilica was consecrated around 325 to house the Passion Relics brought to Rome from the Holy Land by St. Helena of Constantinople, mother of Constantine I. At that time, the basilica floor was covered with soil from Jerusalem, thus acquiring the title in Hierusalem. At the end of the north aisle in the Chapel of the relics, are preserved three pieces of the True Cross, a nail, a part of elogium, or the board placed on the Cross (INRI "Iesus Nazarenus Rex Iudeorum"), and two thorns from the crown (3cm long). These relics for 1610 years stayed in the Chapel of St Helena where the saint ordered the ground brought from the Holy Land be spread under the pavement. The entrance is prohibited for women who can enter here only once during the year on March 20, when the feast of the chapel's dedication takes place.

To stay at this monastery click LAR125

Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love
The history of the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Divine Love dates back to the XIII century when in this area of the Roman Campagna there stood a kind of fortress belonging to the Savelli-Orsini family. This fortress was called Castel di Leva (Leva Castle). On one of the towers of the castle there was a votive image of the Virgin Mary, portrayed as sitting on a Throne and holding the child Jesus in her arms. A dove descends upon her as a symbol of the Holy Spirit, who is indeed the Divine Love. The image, which was frescoed in those same times, was much venerated by the local shepherds.

To stay at this sanctuary click LAR154

Monastery Stays has over 120 monasteries in Rome so please click here to be taken to our Rome Overview page.
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