ITALY 2020

July 3-25, 2020


Our pilgrimage expedition begins in Frassati’s Alps and ends in Rome with St. John Paul II.  Each section is a mini-pilgrimage in itself to the saints and holy places of that area. There are five sections of the trip: Alps, Cinque Terre, Tuscany, Umbria, and Rome.  We will be taking private motor coaches and trains between sections.

the Pilgrimage Paths


Outdoor Activities

  • Hike Pier Giorgio Frassati’s trail
  • Rock-climb in the Alps (optional)
  • Sea-kayak the Cinque Terre
  • Hike the Sanctuary Trail along the coast
  • Bike along the Italian Riviera
  • Hike the Via Francigena in Tuscany
  • Hike the way of St. Francis of Assisi
  • Raft the Nera River in Umbria
  • Hike through fields of wildflowers to Norcia
  • Bike the ex-railway trail from Spoleto
  • Kayak on Lake Albano outside of Rome
  • Hike the Via Appia Antica into Rome


  • Visit the Uffizi Gallery in Florence
  • Wander the Vatican Museums 
  • Explore the Borghese Gallery in Rome
  • Visit the Roman Forum and the Colosseum
  • Descend into the catacombs
  • Learn how to waltz and swing dance
  • Gaze at the constellations of the night-sky
  • Discover local Italian food from several areas
  • Learn how to speak the beautiful Italian language


Pilgrimage to the Saints

St. John Paul II, Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, St. Bernard of Menthon, St. John Bosco, St. Bona of Pisa, St. Julianna Falconieri, St. Mary Magdalene de’Pazzi, St. Anthony of Florence, St. Geminianus, St. Fina, St. Catherine of Siena, St. Francis of Assisi, St. Claire of Assisi, St. Pontianus of Spoleto, St. Rita of Cascia, St. Benedict of Norcia, St. Peter, St. Paul, and the many saints of Rome.


Daily mass, Morning Prayer, Evening Prayer, Rosary, Spiritual Readings from the saints we will be encountering


literature, philosophy, theology, and poetry

Everyday there will be a short reading either in common or individually, generally in the mornings, to give some material for reflection during the day. On each of the five sections of the trip, there will be one day dedicated to a short reading in the following areas: literature, philosophy, theology, and poetry. 

Literature: We recommend you read the book ‘Till We Have Faces by C.S. Lewis prior to coming. The airplane should give you some time to read, and you are free to read on the trip as well. This is the book we will discuss on the literature day of each section. For the other readings, we will provide you with a packet of short readings.

  • ALPS:  Poetry:” Love (III)” by George Herbert.  Philosophy: Human Nature.  Theology: Redemption in Christ
  • CINQUE TERRE: Poetry: “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.  Philosophy: Humility.  Theology: Grace
  • TUSCANY: Poetry: Dante. Philosophy: Nature and Grace. Theology: Faith
  • UMBRIA: Poetry: “The Road Not Taken” by Robert Frost. Philosophy: Man in Nature and Society. Theology: Hope
  • ROME:  Poetry: “Batter My Heart” by John Donne. Philosophy: Friendship. Theology: Love




Pilgrims will have the opportunity to be the “leader of the day” during the pilgrimage working with our staff to develop leadership skills.  Pilgrims will be able to request what kind of day they would like to lead whether it be in a specific place or for a specific activity


As we will be encountering countless saints, churches, towns, and artists on the pilgrimage, pilgrims will have the opportunity to share simple 2-5 minute presentations with the group in order to illuminate what we are seeing.  These will be chosen from a list beforehand and can be prepared at home, on the flight, or during the pilgrimage.

“The higher we go, the better we shall hear the voice of Christ”
– Pier Giorgio Frassati

Italy 2020 Pilgrimage Details


  • Hiking in Frassati’s footsteps
  • Sea-kayaking to mass on the coast
  • Biking the Italian riviera
  • Rafting in Umbria
  • Visiting St. John Paul II’s tomb in Rome


    • ALP will review applications until all of the July 2020 spots are filled
    • Additional applications will be placed on a waiting list after all the spots are filled (30 maximum)

    Total Payment

    • $3950 due by June 1st, fully refundable by July 1st.
    • Includes: Lodging, Transportation, Most meals, Outdoor Activities, Museums, Site visits, Course materials
    • Does Not Include: Flights, 3 Dinners, 14 lunches, and 7 breakfasts, Optional Rock Climbing


    One of the unique features of ALP is that we stay almost exclusively in religious accommodations: monasteries, convents, sanctuaries, and religious guest houses.  Depending on the night, pilgrims will have from one to several roommates.


    Considering the unique and wonderful nature of the pilgrimage, we recommend you keep your phones for emergencies only in order that you may fully engage in the trip.  If you have a camera separate from your phone, we recommend you bring that.

    Journal/ Sketch Book

    We will provide you with the prayers we will be saying as a group and a book that you can journal, sketch, and take notes in.  Pencils and watercolors will be provided. Key Italian phrases will also be provided to you in writing so you can interact with the locals more.

    Expedition Style

    Everything you bring must be in a backpack that you are able to carry on your back.  No rolling suitcases are allowed. We will provide you with a detailed packing list.


    We have an English speaking doctor on-call and we work with a network of English speaking doctors throughout Italy should the need arise.  Staff will always accompany students in the event of a doctor visit. Each pilgrim should have medical insurance.


    You should arrive on July 3rd at Milan Malpensa Airport (MXP) by noon.  Staff will be at the airport to greet you starting at 8 a.m.  You are welcome to come before the 3rd, but you will need to meet the group at the airport.  


    You should depart on July 25th by noon from Rome Fiumicino Airport (FCO).  We will arrange transportation to the airport from Rome that will arrive at the airport at 7am.  If you leave before then or are staying late, we can help you arrange the travel arrangements yourself.  


    A basic level of fitness is required, but you do not need to be an athlete.  We have a beautiful rhythm of movement and rest throughout the 21 days. We even built in some options like an optional hiking day (or extra time in Siena), and we can also accommodate pilgrims in various ways if they are struggling to keep up with the group or to do a certain activity.  Some basic things you should be able to do:

    • Hike with your backpack on trails for several hours, sometimes up steep hills
    • Bike on a paved or gravel path with a long but mild uphill and downhill
    • Kayak at a leisurely pace for several hours in the sun

    Contact ALP

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