Italy 2018

(featuring Saint "Padre" Pio of Pietrelcina)
May 1-14, 2018

Hosted by Father John Gatzak

Executive Director, Office of Radio & Television
and General Manager, WJMJ-FM


Book Now Rates (until December 31, 2017):
   Double $TBA; Single $TBA** ​(That’s just $TBA per person, per day!)
​Regular rates:  ​Double $TBASingle $TBA**

​*All quoted rates are per person, double occupancy and based on a minimum of 25 passengers traveling in your group.  Price includes all estimated government-imposed taxes and fees and airline fuel surcharges and fees of $369 as of October 11, 2017 (subject to change until ticketed).  Important Conditions: Your price is subject to increase prior to the time you make full payment.  Your price is not subject to increase after you make full payment, except for charges resulting from increases in government-imposed taxes and fees or airline fuel surcharges and fees.  **Single accommodations have limited availability.
​​Please be advised that there is extensive slow paced walking every day of this tour over uneven surfaces, cobblestone streets and walkways.​

Itinerary at a Glance

Day 1 Overnight flight to Milan
Day 2-3 Como
Day 4-5 Florence
Day 6-7 Hotel San Pietro, Assisi
Day 8-9 Hotel Cicerone, Rome
Day 10 Gran Hotel Paradiso, San Giovanni Rotondo
Day 11-13 Oriente Hotel, Bari
Day 14 Return flights to JFK, New York

​​​Air Transportation Provided by Alitalia​​


  • Milan, the fashion and financial capital of Italy!
  • Lake Como, the Villa Balbianello, and Bellagio!
  • Modena, where Aceto Balsamico Tradizionale di Modena has been produced since the Middle Ages!
  • Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance and home of Michelangelo's David!
  • San Gimignano, a medieval town of towers!
    Siena, birthplace of Saint Catherine!
  • Assisi, birthplace of Saint Francis and Saint Clare, patron saint of the television Mass!, Sicily's largest port and its capital!
  • Spoleto, an ancient city on a foothill of the Apennines!
  • Spello, a gastronomic paradise. This hilltop town sits on the edge of Monte Subasio!
  • Bevagna, a sleeper of a town with Roman ruins, interesting churches, and more!
  • Orvieto,
  • Rome... The Eternal City and home of Vatican City!
  • Papal General Audience in Saint Peter's Square!
  • Pietrelcina, birthplace of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina “Padre Pio”!
  • San Giovanni Rotondo, home of Saint Pio!
  • Saint Peter in BevagnaS, location of Saint Peter’s shipwreck and the River Chidro where Saint Peter performed the first baptisms in the Western world!
  • Galatina, one of Puglia's hidden gems with its many Baroque buildings!
  • Bari, the city of Saint Nicholas!
  • Alberobello, home of the Trulli; a UNESCO World Heritage Site!


  • Round trip, economy class air transportation on Alitalia from JFK, New York.
  • All government-imposed taxes and fees and airline fuel surcharges and fees as of 10/11/2017.  If at ticketing these are greater than estimated, the additional amount will increase your price.
  • Airport/hotel transfers on arrival and departure in Italy.
  • 12 Nights accommodations at tourist class hotels or better, double occupancy (twin beds) with private bath or shower.
  • All hotel taxes and service charges.
  • 21 Meals:  12 Breakfasts; 2 Lunches and 7 Dinners, with wine and mineral water included.
  • Fully escorted by professional English speaking Tour Director from arrival to departure.
  • English speaking local guides.
  • All sightseeing, excursions and entrance fees as per itinerary, subject to change.
  • Modern, private air-conditioned motor coach.
  • Porterage of one (1) bag per person at your hotels in Italy.
  • All gratuities for tour director, drivers, local guides, porters and restaurant staff.
  • Tour listening device for entire tour.​


  • Optional travel protection.  See Group Travel Protection Plan flyer/application for details and costs.
  • Optional round trip JFK airport motor coach transfer from Hartford or Waterbury/Prospect: $149 per person.
  • Optional sightseeing or extensions.
  • Air travel deviations.
  • Passport or Visa fees.
  • Items of a personal nature (e.g., laundry, telephone, extra or non-included beverages/meals, etc.).
  • Items not specified in tour brochure and itinerary.
  • Meals not listed in tour brochure and itinerary (most lunches and 5 dinners).
  • Mass offerings.

Note: Itinerary, optional sightseeing tours and sequence of same, Mass frequency/locations, and meal locations are subject to change, and are conducted weather and time permitting.  Vatican events, including Papal General Audiences and Masses, are subject to ticket availability, scheduling and change/cancellation without notice, solely at the Vatican's discretion.  In the rare case where alternate hotel accommodations might be necessary, a similarly classed hotel will be substituted.  Please note that hotel check in may not be possible until after 3 p.m.  All information displayed herein and printed in the tour brochure is preliminary as of October ??, 2017 and is subject to change.


(subject to change)

DAY 1/MAY 1/TUE - DEPART NEW YORK, JFK (Meals in flight)

DAY 2/MAY 2/WED - ARRIVE MILAN & TRANSFER TO COMO  On arrival in Milan, meet your English speaking Tour Director and board our deluxe motor coach which will transport you to Como and the beautiful Lake Como with views of the Italian Alps.  Check-in at your hotel.  Remainder of day at leisure for rest or enjoying the magnificent vistas.  This evening enjoy a welcome cocktail followed by dinner either at a local restaurant or your hotel.  Overnight at hotel to be announced.  (D)

DAY 3/MAY 3/THU - COMO  Today you’ll meet your local guide and enjoy a full day excursion aboard a private boat on Lake Como with a visit to the Villa Balbianello and free time in Bellagio.  Later you’ll return to your hotel where the evening is at leisure.  Dinner on your own tonight.  Overnight at hotel to be announced.  (B)

DAY 4/MAY 4/FRI - COMO/MODENA/FLORENCE  This morning, after breakfast, check-out and departure for beautiful Florence, the birthplace of the Renaissance.  En-route you’ll stop at a Balsamic vinegar factory, outside Modena, for a tour and tasting followed by lunch with local wine.  After lunch, continue on through the beautiful Italian countryside of Tuscany to Florence.  Upon arrival check-in at your hotel and remainder the day is at leisure.  Dinner on your own tonight.  Overnight at hotel to be announced.  (B/L)

DAY 5/MAY 5/SAT - FLORENCE  This morning we meet your local guide for a walking city tour of Florence including the Academy of Fine Arts, home of Michelangelo’s David, the Duomo, Piazza de Signoria, and Santa Croce.  Afternoon is at leisure for shopping, perhaps along the Ponte Vecchio renowned for its famous gold and leather shops OR participate in the OPTIONAL guided visit of the Uffizi Gallery.  Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant.  Overnight at hotel to be announced.  (B/D)

DAY 6/MAY 6/SUN - FLORENCE/SAN GIMIGNANO/SIENA/ASSISI  Today you depart Florence and continue our journey south to the hilltop home of Saint Francis and Saint Clare… magical Assisi.  On the way we’ll stop in San Gimignano for a self-guided visit then continue to Siena, home of Saint Catherine.  Here you’ll meet your local guide for a walking tour of Siena’s historical sites.  Following the tour of Siena, it’s on to Assisi.  On arrival, you’ll visit the Basilica of Santa Maria degli Angeli for a tour and Mass celebrated by Father John.  After Mass continue and check-in at Hotel San Pietro.  Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.  Overnight Hotel San Pietro, Assisi.  (B/D)

DAY 7/MAY 7/MON – ASSISI/SPOLETO/SPELLO/BEVAGNA  This morning you’ll meet your local guide for a wonderful walking tour of Assisi including the Basilica of Saint Francis, the Basilica of Saint Clare, patron saint of the television Mass and the many wonders of this Medieval town.  In the afternoon enjoy a guided tour of Umbria (weather permitting) visiting Spoleto, an ancient city at the head of a large, broad valley, surrounded by mountains, and dates back to the 5th century BC; Spello, the city of art; and Bevagna, a walled town with origins deep in ancient Umbrian tribal history.  Dinner on your own tonight.  Overnight Hotel San Pietro, Assisi.  (B)

DAY 8/MAY 8/TUE – ASSISI/ORVIETO/ROME  This morning, after breakfast you'll depart for Rome.  On the way you’ll stop in Orvieto and meet your local guide for a walking tour.  After the tour, continue to Rome and check-in at the Hotel Cicerone.  This afternoon, enjoy a leisurely walking tour of Rome featuring Trevi Fountain, the Pantheon and Piazza Navona.  The walking tour concludes at 4Fiumi ristorante in Piazza Navona for your included dinner this evening.  Overnight Hotel Cicerone, Rome.  (B/D)

DAY 9/MAY 9/WED - ROME  This morning, early wake-up, breakfast and transfer to Saint Peter’s Square for the weekly Papal General Audience with Pope Francis.  Remainder of the day is free for self-exploration or shopping; OR participate in the OPTIONAL guided visit of the Coleseum and Roman Forum.  Dinner is on your own this evening.  Overnight Hotel Cicerone, Rome.  (B)

DAY 10/MAY 10/THU - ROME/PIETRELCINA/SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO  This morning, after breakfast and check-out, you’ll tour the Vatican Museums, including the Sistine Chapel, where popes have been elected for centuries, and visit Saint Peter’s Basilica, including the tombs of our newest Pope Saints John Paul II and John XXIII.

Following the tour of the Vatican you’ll depart for the region of Puglia, known as the "Holy Land in Italy", and the home of Saint Pio of Pietrelcina “Padre Pio”…  San Giovanni Rotondo.  On the way, you’ll stop in Pietrelcina, Saint Pio’s birthplace, for a short visit, and then continue to San Giovanni Rotondo, where Padre Pio lived, prayed and received the stigmata, and check-in at the Gran Paradiso Hotel.  Dinner is included this evening at your hotel.  Overnight Gran Paradiso Hotel, San Giovanni Rotondo.  (B/D)

DAY 11/MAY 11/FRI - SAN GIOVANNI ROTONDO/MONTE SANT’ANGELO/BARI  This morning, after breakfast and check-out, you’ll meet your local guide for a walking tour including a visit to the Basilica dedicated to Saint Pio of Pietrelcina.  After the tour you'll depart for Bari, the city of Saint Nicholas, and your home base for the next three days, stopping in Monte Sant’Angelo for a walking tour with a local guide.  On arrival in Bari check-in at Hotel Oriente.  After which Fr. John will celebrate Mass at the Basilica of Saint Nicholas.  Dinner is included tonight at a local restaurant.  Overnight Hotel Oriente, Bari.  (B/D)

DAY 12/MAY 12/SAT – BARI/SAINT PETER IN BEVAGNA/GALATINA  This morning, meet your local guide and travel to Saint Peter in Bevagna, where Saint Peter washed ashore after a shipwreck.  You’ll visit the Church of Saint Peter and the River Chidro where Saint Peter performed the first baptisms in the Western world.  Then proceed to Galatina and free time for lunch.  After lunch, meet your local guide for a visit of Galatina, including the Basilica of Saint Catherine of Alexandria, the Treasures Room and the Church of Saint Paul.  Dinner is on your own this evening.  Overnight Hotel Oriente, Bari  (B)

DAY 13/MAY 13/SUN - BARI/ALBEROBELLO  This morning, meet your local guide for a tour of Bari including the Basilica of Saint Nicholas.  Free time for lunch, and then proceed to Alberobello, home of the Trulli, a national monument in Italy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  This evening enjoy a festive farewell dinner at a local restaurant.  Overnight Hotel Oriente, Bari  (B/D)

DAY 14/MAY 14/MON – BARI/ROME/JFK  Today, you’ll say arrivederci to Italy.  But, remember it doesn’t mean goodbye, but “until I see you again”!

Early wake-up, breakfast, check-out and transfer to Bari’s Karol Wojtyła Airport for your early afternoon flight to Rome’s Leonardo da Vinci Airport and your connecting flight home to JFK International Airport, New York.  (B, meals in flight)

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Italy 2018 Terms and Conditions

PRICES: The tour price includes round-trip airfare from JFK International Airport, New York, and land services in Italy as outlined in the tour brochure and itinerary.  All rates are stated in U.S. dollars (unless otherwise stated) and are based on tariffs, taxes and currency exchange rates in effect at the time of publication.  Your price is subject to increase prior to the time you make full payment.  Your price is not subject to increase after you make full payment, except for charges resulting from increases in government-imposed taxes and fees or airline fuel surcharges and fees.  In the event of a billing error, we reserve the right to re-invoice with correct prices. Tour documents and airline tickets will be issued after full payment has been received and processed, normally during a pre-departure group meeting held 1 - 3 weeks prior to departure.
     A deposit of $350 is required to secure a reservation. Late reservations (within 60 days of departure) accepted, if space is available, with full payment due immediately by bank check or money order, and may be subject to a $100 late reservation fee plus any increase in quoted airfare.
     Payment by cash, check or money order made payable to FJ Tours, LLC or credit card.  Returned checks are subject to a $25 fee.

GROUP SIZE: All tour prices herein are per person and based on a minimum of 25 passengers, except for optional tours which require a minimum of 10 passengers.

AIR TRANSPORTATION: Regularly scheduled economy class service on any International Air Transportation Association (IATA) or Airlines Reporting Corporation (ARC) (i.e., commercial) carrier. Transatlantic air transportation is based on special, non-refundable economy class contracted fares for this tour group. The air taxes and fees (domestic and foreign government-imposed taxes, which include security fees (including the September 11th security fee), airport facility charges, customs, immigration and inspection fees, etc.) and airline fuel surcharges and fees, as of 10/11/2017, are included in the tour cost, and are subject to change until tickets are issued. If final government-imposed air taxes and fees or airline fuel surcharges and fees are greater than estimated, the additional amount will be billed on a final tour invoice. There is no advance seat selection for group departures. Early check-in is required to secure seats with a travel companion. International flights require arriving at the departure airport at least three (3) hours prior to departure. Land Only packages do not include airport-hotel transfers in destination countries.

PASSENGER NAME: Passenger is responsible for ensuring that the passenger name printed on the tour invoice matches EXACTLY the name as it appears on their passport. Due to security requirements, any name change including minor spelling corrections are subject to airline change fees, and may require airline reservations to be cancelled and rebooked. Airline reservations are subject to availability at the time of rebooking and may result in an increased airfare. Any airline change fees or increased airfare are the passenger’s responsibility. Airline tickets once issued are nonrefundable. The Tour Operator assumes no liability or responsibility for denial of services by any carrier due to any name discrepancy.

HOTEL ACCOMMODATIONS: Double occupancy, standard twin bedded rooms with private bath throughout. Single rooms are available at an additional cost as stated in the tour brochure. Single rooms, although assuring privacy, may be small in size and may be located in remote parts of the hotel away from the rest of the group. A limited number of single rooms are available. Special requests such as bed types, smoking preferences, and connecting rooms are subject to availability. On those rare occasions when we are not able to find a roommate for you, you will be required to pay the single supplement. Every effort will be made to give you sufficient prior notice if we cannot find you a roommate. Triple rooms may not be available in all countries and usually have limited availability.

PASSPORTS AND VISAS: Passports are required of all passengers. A valid U.S. passport that does not expire for at least six months after the scheduled return date (March 30, 2018) is required for all U.S. citizens. U.S. citizens do not need a visa to enter the European Union of which Italy is a member. Non-U.S. citizens must check entry requirements with their respective Embassy or Consulate, and are responsible for obtaining their own visas and any other required travel documents at their own expense. The Tour Operator assumes no liability or responsibility for passport or visa procurement or for denial of services by any carrier due to lack of required passports and visas.

LUGGAGE: Each passenger is limited to ONE (1) checked bag, that may have a maximum weight of 50 pounds and not exceed 62 linear inches (L+W+D), plus one (1) carry-on. Any bag exceeding these rules is subject to the airline's excess baggage fees and are the passenger’s responsibility. Please visit the airline’s web site for complete baggage rules and restrictions. Hotel porterage services of one (1) bag per person are offered with this tour throughout Italy. The Tour Operator accepts no liability or responsibility for loss or damage of luggage, although maximum care will be taken to ensure safe handling of your luggage.

CANCELLATION POLICY & PENALTIES: All cancellations must be received in writing and signed by the person who made the original reservation. Cancellations are only effective from the day they are actually received, either by fax, email or U.S. Mail, by FJ Tours, LLC. No refunds are issued for cancellations received after the tour departure date. If you cancel your tour, cancellation penalties will apply and will be deducted from any refund. Cancellation penalties apply to each passenger and the amount of the penalties assessed is based on the date the cancellation is effective, as follows. Up to June 18, 2017: Full Refund; 90 to 61 days prior to departure: $350.00; 60 to 46 days prior to departure: 50% of total tour cost; 45 to 31 days prior to departure: 75% of total tour cost; Less than 30 days: 100% of total tour cost - No Refund. Any unused tour portions are non-refundable. A travel protection plan with trip cancellation coverage is highly suggested.

TRAVEL PROTECTION: The Tour Operator offers an OPTIONAL travel protection plan for this tour. Please see the Group Travel Protection Plan flyer/application for complete details and costs and the Group Travel Protection Plan Document for complete terms and conditions. Both the Tour Operator and Tour Sponsor strongly encourage all passengers to protect their travel investment with a travel protection plan.

MEDICAL CONDITION: The Tour Operator makes every effort to provide a high level of service to all passengers. A passenger who require special assistance must be accompanied by a qualified helper who assumes total responsibility for the disabled passenger’s well being. The Tour Operator is not responsible for any medical condition that occurs prior to, during or after the tour.

RESPONSIBILITY: The responsibility of FJ Tours, LLC, 15 Peach Orchard Road, PO Box 7177, Prospect, CT 06712-0177; Telephone: 203.805.5035; Fax: 203.916.5800; email: info@fj-tours.com; www.fj-tours.com, herein after called the “Tour Operator”, and/or their agent (agents) is (are) limited. We (they) act only as agent for the passenger in regard to all matters connected with the making and securing of reservations with transportation carriers and other suppliers of services (“suppliers”), all of which are independent contractors, for accommodations, tours and travel, whether by railroad, motor coach, private car, boat, aircraft or any other conveyance; and assume no liability or responsibility for any injury, damage, loss, accident, delay or irregularity which may be occasioned by either reason of defect, through the acts or default of any company or supplier or person engaged in conveying the passenger or in carrying out the arrangements of the tour, or as a direct or indirect result of acts of God, dangers incident to the sea, fire, breakdown in machinery or equipment, acts of governments or other authorities, de jure or de facto, wars, whether declared or not, hostilities, civil disturbance, strikes, riots, theft, pilferage, epidemics, quarantines, medical or customs regulations, or from any causes beyond the Tour Operator’s control, or from any loss or damage resulting from improper passports, visas or other documents.
     You are responsible for, and release the Tour Operator from: passport, visa, vaccination requirements, if applicable, and safety conditions in tour destination countries.
     The airlines concerned are not responsible for any act, omission or event during the time you are not aboard their aircraft. The passenger contract in use by the airline, when issued, constitutes the sole contract between the passenger and airline.
     Anyone not utilizing the included transportation (i.e., Land Only package) is responsible for all subsequent transportation.
     No changes in the itinerary are expected but we reserve the right to make them if necessary. Because of unforeseen changes in transportation schedules, the land portion of your tour may be occasionally extended or curtailed. The Tour Operator cannot be responsible for changes of itinerary. The number of days indicated for each itinerary begin with the scheduled day of departure and end with the scheduled return arrival day, irrespective of the hour of departure or return, and may vary due to transportation schedule changes.
     The Tour Operator reserves the right to accept or decline any person as a member the tour, or to require any passenger to withdraw from the tour at any time who presents a significant risk to the health or safety of him/herself or of others which can not be eliminated or reduced to an acceptable level by the Tour Operator’s reasonable accommodation.
     The Tour Operator reserves the right to cancel a tour in the event that the minimum number of passengers are not secured, and after refunding all partial and full payments, the Tour Operator has no further obligation to passengers on a cancelled tour. Unused portions of the tour itinerary are not refundable. Any deposit, partial or full payment for a tour reservation constitutes agreement by the passenger to all the provisions of the tour brochure, itinerary, and terms and conditions.

HOLD HARMLESS: ORTV, Inc., D/B/A the Office of Radio & Television and/or WJMJ Radio (the “Tour Sponsor”), has selected FJ Tours, LLC to offer travel arrangements for its “Rome & Sicily 2017 with Father John” pilgrimage tour.  The tour passenger hereby acknowledges and agrees that: (a) the Tour Sponsor is not in the business of providing travel services, and (b) the Tour Sponsor disclaims any liability or responsibility with respect to such travel services. Consequently, in engaging FJ Tours, LLC for this tour, the tour passenger expressly agrees to hold the Tour Sponsor harmless from and against any and all claims, losses, damages, liabilities or judgments, at law or in equity, related to, arising from, or in connection, with respect to the travel, accommodation and tour services procured by the tour passenger. “Claims” include, without limitation: claims for personal injury, disability or death, directly or indirectly related to, arising from or in connection with, any negligence or breach by FJ Tours, LLC or by others.​​​