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John Paul II Beloved Homeland

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Day 1: Kraków

Arrival in Kraków – a city which has strong connections with Pope John Paul II and the only city in the world that includes places that cover almost his entire life.

Overnight stay in Kraków.

Day 2: Kraków

You will be given a professional, guided tour of the city, including a visit to the Bishop’s Palace in which the Holy Father Pope John Paul II resided during of his pilgrimages to Kraków. The programme also includes entry to St. Mary’s Church where John Paul II used to give sermons and listen to confessions and a visit to Wawel Cathedral where Bishop Karol Wojtyła used to go to sing Christmascarrols. We will also show you the Sukiennice Cloth Hall, one of Kraków’s most notable sites which is recognisable throughout the world.


Overnight stay in Kraków.

Day 3: Kraków – Wadowice – Kalwaria Zebrzydowska – Kraków (98 km)

We begin the third day by paying a visit to Wadowice, thehometown of Karol Wojtyła. ‘…In this city, in Wadowice everything began. Both life began and my education began and my priesthood began...’You will see the Basilica of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary on the market square as well as the old building of the secondary school which Karol attended as a teenager. You will visit  Pope’s Family House, nowadays a museum, which documents his life and work as a priest in Poland up till the time when he was elected Bishop of Rome and left the country.You will also find time to drop in St. Peter’s Church,  and try  famous papieskie kremówki, “cream puff cakes”, the favourite cake of the Pope when he was as a child. On the way back to Kraków you will pray at the Shrine of Kalwaria Zebrzydowska, which Karol Wojtyła visited on many occasions. You will then stop off at the Sanctuary of Divine Mercy in Łagiewniki, which John Paul II consecrated in 2002.

Overnight stay in Kraków.

Day 4: Kraków – Częstochowa – Kraków (286 km)

Today we travel to Częstochowa, a town of special importance to John Paul II. He stayed there six times as Pope and chose it as the place for the6th World Youth Day. It was also the first city in the world whose offer of honorary citizenship he accepted. Jasna Góra “Bright Mount” is the most important Marian shrine in Poland and a destination for hundreds of pilgrimages every year. Its focal point is the Chapel of the Blessed Virgin and its miraculous icon of the Black Madonna. When the Pope came to Jasna Góra, heus ed to make his way to the Chapel of the Miraculous Image first where he would pray for a long time and entrust the Church and the World to the hands of the Mother of God.

Overnight stay in Kraków.

Day 5: Kraków – Zakopane – Kraków (208 km)

After breakfast we will take you to Zakopane, a town lying in the Tatra National Park in the heart of the magnificent Tatra Mountains. Your sightseeing tour of the town will include a funicular train ride to the top of Mount Gubałówka where you will enjoy a panoramic view of the Tatras, as well as a visit to the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Fatima that was built as a votive offering of thanks to her for saving the Pope’s life after an assassination attempt of 13 May 1981. Karol Wojtyła’s love of the Tatras and Podhale region was fostered in his youth when he used to trek through the mountains with his father and brother. The Pope hiked along all the tourist trails and his favourite skiing areas were Dolina Chochołowska Valley, Kondratowa and Gąsienicowa mountain pastures and Polana Rusinowa clearing.

Overnight stay in Kraków.

Day 6: Kraków

Today we visit the village of Mogiła just outside Kraków to see the Cistercian Monastery, which the Pope visited in 1979. After his visit even more pilgrims came to this place. You will also pray in the Arkof the Lord Churchin Bieńczyce, whose construction would not have been possible without the efforts of Karol Wojtyła. This enormous church was built thanks to the obstinacy and profound faith of the people of Nowa Huta, support from many Kraków priests and aid from around the country and the world. At the end of the day we invite you to supper in one of the splendid restaurants.

Overnight stay in Kraków.

The end of tour or an extension:

Day 7: Kraków / Rome

Option 1 – departure from Kraków.

Option 2 – flight from Kraków to Rome – a city full of ancient monuments, museums and tourists. Overnight stay in Rome.

Day 8: Rome

After breakfast we will take you to the seat of the highest authority of the Roman Catholic Church – the Vatican, where Pope John Paul II resided from 1978. You will see the Sistine Chapel in the Vatican Palace, whose richly adorned frescoes are the work of Michelangelo. The Chapel is used for major church occasions such as conclaves. You will then visit St. Peter’s Basilica with the tombs of St Peter and John Paul II which attracts thousands of pilgrims every day. In the afternoon we will take you on a sightseeing tour of the city. You will see Castel Sant' Angelo (the most notable building on the banks of the Tiber), Santa Maria Maggiore Basilica, the famous Coliseum and Forum Romanum where the greatness of Rome and its future Empire were born. Overnight stay in Rome.

Day 9: Rome

In the morning you will visit two more of the four basilicas of Rome and the Vatican: the Basilica of Saint Paul Beyond the Walls, built over the tomb of St. Paul, and the Basilica of St. Peter in Chains, best known for Michelangelo’s statue of Moses. In the afternoon you will admire the Basilica of St. John Lateran – the cathedral of the Bishop of Rome.

Overnight stay in Rome.

Day 10: Rome

In the morning you will be taken for a walking tour along the Via del Corso, which stretches almost 1.5 km. This Roman street, enclosed by ancient palaces, is always full of pedestrians and is an excellent place to feel the rhythm of the city. Further on you will find yourself in what is undoubtedly the most famous square in Rome – Spanish Square, which connects with the Triniti dei Monti Church via its majestic impressive stage set - Spanish Steps.The di Trevi Fountain also leaves an unforgettable impression on visitors. The fountain depicts an ocean and chariots pulled by sea horses and tritons from which gush water divided into thousands of streams is pouring onto a throng of nearby statuettes. According to the tradition, throwing coins into the fountain  ensures you a happy future and a swift return to Rome. At the end of the day we will show you Barberini Square with its Triton Fountain. In the evening we will organise a formal farewell dinner in one of marvellous restaurants in Rome.

Overnight stay in Rome.

Day 11: Rome