ALTUM L'ALTO PILGRIMAGES

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PILGRIMAGE EXPEDITIONS

Leading the whole person to holy places

Altum l’alto Pilgrimages (ALP) integrates outdoor adventure, cultural immersion, and spiritual formation into its pilgrimages restoring the life-changing nature to modern pilgrimages, in the spirit of St. John Paul II and Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

Our Mission
and guides

“That they may have life and have it more abundantly” (John 10:10)

Our guides take you away from life on the surface and into the deep heights

Duc in altum
Put out into the deep

” Verso l’alto
Towards the heights

EXPEDITION INTO THE DEEP

 “Let down your nets for a catch” (Luke 5:4)

Nature

Literally into the deep and to the heights: mountains, hills, cliffs, seas, rivers, and lakes.

culture

The beauty and variety of human life: ancient towns, beautiful cities, fascinating museums, and other historical sites.

grace

Where God’s grace has manifested itself in the world in an extraordinary way: ancient pilgrimage routes, apparition sites, the tombs of saints, shrines, sanctuaries, and more!

Pilgrimage to the Heights

“Live, don’t just get by” (Frassati)

HUMAN

Outdoor adventure

Our pilgrimages are multi-adventure trips and include a range of activities like hiking, biking, kayaking, rafting, and climbing primarily as a means of pilgrimage (e.g.- kayaking to churches on the Mediterranean coast, climbing the route up to Sacra San Michele, or biking to Rome) but also just for recreational purposes. 

Poetic experience

We integrate things like star-gazing, drawing, painting, singing and dancing into our pilgrimages so pilgrims can discover that “there lives the dearest freshness deep down things.” (Gerald Manley Hopkins) 

Technology break

There is so much happening on our pilgrimages and we want pilgrims to experience every single moment, so we recommend phones be kept for emergency purposes only.

Intellectual

sensing

The modern world can easily overwhelm the five senses with the digital and the artificial. So whether it’s seeing the beauty of Assisi, the smell of the lavender in Provence, feeling the warmth of the Mediterranean, hearing the cowbells in the alps, or tasting fresh pasta in Rome–our pilgrimages put you into contact with the real. 

Abstracting

We combine a discovery and a teaching approach to sites. We don’t hire external tour guides; instead, ALP staff and pilgrims take turns presenting sites from pre-provided information and their own experience. 

Thinking

We read short texts on a variety of topics- history, art, music, philosophy, theology, literature, poetry- from original sources that have some relevance to our experience which we may discuss over coffee in an Italian piazza, on an alpine trail, in a restaurant in Paris, or wherever else we find ourselves. 

Spiritual

Prayer

Whether it’s in St. Peter’s Basilica, at an altar on top of a mountain, or in a kayak out on the sea, we keep prayer at the center of our days. Mass, morning prayer, evening prayer, and the rosary are integrated throughout our pilgrimages. 

lODGING IN RELIGIOUS HOUSES

We stay almost exclusively in religious houses: monasteries, convents, sanctuaries, and more. They are all clean, comfortable, and safe. Many have a fascinating history and we love to support the life of these places!

Spiritual Reading

We incorporate spiritual readings written by the saints that we encounter on our pilgrimages. Reading their own writings while walking in their footsteps really makes everything come to life.

Pilgrimage Expedition Options

Classic

Our standard pilgrimage expeditions ranging in length from about two to three weeks giving pilgrims the chance to truly have a life-changing experience.

SECTION

Half of each classic trip can be experienced independently ranging from about seven to ten days for those looking for the same experience but in less time.

Custom

Any combination of classic or section trips to suit your dates or desired length. If you would like to design a pilgrimage expedition for your group, send us a message.

Expedition-style

Backpacks

Everything you need must be in a backpack. We sometimes utilize luggage transfers and bag drops to minimize the amount of time traveling with your backpack. Rolling suitcases are not suitable for these trips.

Various Skill Levels

Basic fitness ability is required but we can accommodate different levels of physical activity. 

Leadership

Whether it’s leading a hike, presenting a historical site, or sharing a spiritual reflection, pilgrims have an active role in the expedition receiving training and guidance from staff.

Friendship

Pilgrims coming together with the common goal of reaching a holy place makes for a unique group experience. Add the outdoor adventure and limited technology, and you may find some life-long friendships! 

Rhythm

The rhythm of our trips is based on the life of Christ who was always going from town to town, praying in the mountains, and putting out into the deep. 

Transportation

Our preferred means of transport is by foot, kayak, bike, or something similar– but we also utilize trains, buses, private coaches, ferries, gondolas, taxis and occasionally an airplane to blend our pilgrimages into a smooth journey from start to finish.

“To go on pilgrimage is not simply to visit a place to admire its treasures of nature, art, or history. To go on pilgrimage really means to step out of ourselves in order to encounter God where he has revealed himself, where his grace has shone with particular splendor and produced rich fruits of conversion and holiness among those who believe.”   – Pope Benedict XVI 

Upcoming Pilgrimage Expeditions

1. France

  • Classic: May 16-30, 2021 (15 days)

  • Section 1: May 16-25, 2021 (10 days)

  • Section 2: May 21-30, 2021 (10 days)

    2. Italy

    • Classic: May 31-June 20, 2021 (21 days) 

    • Section 1: May 31-June 9, 2021 (10 days) 

    • Section 2: June 9- 20, 2021 (12 days)

      3. Italy

      • Classic: June 21-July 3, 2021 (13 days) 

      • Section 1: June 21-27, 2021 (7 days) 

      • Section 2: June 27-July 3, 2021 (7 days)

        4. France

        • Classic: July 5- 25, 2021 (21 days) 

        • Section 1: July 5-15, 2021 (11 days) 

        • Section 2: July 15-25, 2021 (11 days)

          5. Switzerland and Italy

          • Classic: July 25-August 15, 2021 (22 days) 

          • Section 1: July 25-August 4, 2021 (11 days) 

          • Section 2: August 4-15, 2021 (12 days)

            Contact ALP

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