Pilgrimage 101

 

Browse through the topics and some of your questions may find answers.

20 Travel Tips for First Time Rome Visitors

For 20 helpful tips on traveling to Rome for the first time, click here.

Attire

Being a pilgrim is an experience of inculturation. We ask all pilgrims to wear casual, but tasteful, clothing when we go out as a group. Cool, washable clothing is best in summer months. For early spring or late fall programs, you will need warm clothing, such as a jacket, gloves, scarf, and hat/cap. Rain gear (umbrella and or disposable raincoat or poncho) is also needed. Leisure clothing such as slacks, jeans and t-shirts are acceptable, but shorts and tank tops are not allowed in the churches and sanctuaries.

Arrival at Leonardo Da Vinci Airport in Rome

You arrive in Terminal 3, pass through PASSPORT CONTROL, collect your luggage, and finally, pass through CUSTOMS by going through the line which says “Nothing to Declare”. This should take about one (1) hour to get through this entire process.  Keep on the alert because there is a special line for US, Can, UK and AUS passports, but it is not always open. 

You will meet your Pilgrimage Leaders at the information Booth just outside of Customs. YOU NEED TO WALK THROUGH the SLIDING DOORS, outside of Customs, AND INTO A ROOM WITH LOTS OF PEOPLE STANDING AROUND. We call this the general hallway. If you do not see people standing around the edges of the room, and traffic outside the windows, you have not gone far enough. Meet your pilgrimage leaders at the Information Booth, in the general hallway, by the assigned time provided to you. They will be the ones holding the FPP pilgrimage sign. Please remember to wear your name tags. It helps the leaders identify you from the other travelers.

If your bags do not arrive with your flight, let one of the other pilgrims know to tell the FPP pilgrimage leaders that your luggage has not arrived yet and that you are waiting for it. If you have a phone, contact your FPP pilgrimage leaders directly to inform them of the situation. You may need to file a lost baggage claim and that will take some time. We do not want you to miss your transportation connection, especially if starting in Assisi.

If you know your flight is going to be late, it is always good to contact your pilgrimage leaders. Usually, the pilgrimage leaders are following the flight times either on their phone apps or at the airport. Their phone numbers can be found in your pilgrimage booklet, near the back pages.

Commitment

Please do not come with any personal agenda that would prevent you from following the daily schedule. Full participation in the program, from beginning to end, is a non-negotiable expectation/commitment for all pilgrims.

Cancellation

This covers both the Full program and Land Only program options.

If you cancel after you have sent full payment, but before your ticket has been issued:
• Land Only program, your program payment will be refunded, minus the non-refundable deposit and a USD 50 processing fee.
• Full Program, your program payment will be refunded, minus the non-refundable deposit and a USD 50 processing fee.

If you cancel after you have sent full payment, but after your ticket has been issued:
• Land Only program, you will need to contact the agency where you booked that ticket through concerning your flight ticket. Your program payment will be refunded, minus the non-refundable deposit and a USD 50 processing fee.
• Full Program, most connecting flights and international tickets are non-refundable. It might be re-useable for a fee, depending on the airline’s policies. If we are able to cancel any tickets purchased, then your program payment will be refunded, minus the non-refundable deposit, any airline penalty fees, and a USD 50 processing fee. Note: The cost of your international ticket might be refunded If it is due to sudden serious illness or death of an immediate family member, policies vary from airline to airline. and in this instance the airlines might reduce their penalty. Documentation of illness/death is required.
• If you decide to transfer to another pilgrimage program, your program payment can be transferred to the new pilgrimage. Any fees associated to this movement will be at your cost and will need to be paid by you. If the program you are transferring to is more expensive, you will also need to pay the difference of that cost. A processing fee of USD 50 is charged.

If cancellation is due to a sudden serious illness or death of an immediate family member, exceptions can be granted. Documentation is required.

Correspondence

Additional correspeondence from the Pilgrimage Office includes: the Final Correspondence packet, which includes last minute information, a rooming list, a list of your companion pilgrims with their addresses, and a detailed itinerary.

Airline Food

If you are used to snacking a lot and think that the meals served during your flights may not be sufficient, an option is to pack a few simple snacks in your carry-on before you leave home (granola bars, candy bars, a bottle of water). If you bring a bottle of water with you, you can refill it from the water fountains in the airports. Airport food is generally quite expensive! 

Airlines vary on the kinds of diets they provide, but some of the possibilities on some airlines include: Bland/Soft; Diabetic; Gluten Free; Lactose Free; Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low Cholesterol or Low Sodium; or Vegetarian.

Pilgrimage Food

The food offerings are well balanced and representative of all basic food groups. Some refer to these meals as a “Mediterranean Diet”. The pilgrimage staff carefully reviews the medical information forms and they will try to provide that food accommodations are made for allergies and medical conditions. However, it is difficult to expect those who prepare our meals to provide elective diet options. If foods you prefer are not sufficiently available, the pilgrimage staff will tell you where these items can be purchased at your own expense.

Eating Out
You will be provided the opportunity to eat out at your expense throughout the pilgrimage. At that time, you can order what you want. When eating out at FPP’s expense, you may be provided 2-3 choices, often made in advance. This is due to traveling in a group.

The founder of Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, Damien Isabell, OFM, once wrote: “The pilgrim often feels that he/she is not in control as one is at home. This is true. Others plan daily schedules, others prepare your food, others arrange your accommodations, others are with you with whom you would not choose to live. Loss of control heightens one’s sense of anxiety which is displayed in the constant pressing of the pilgrim leaders for information, help and attention.” [Workbook for Franciscan Studies, pp.253-256]

We encourage pilgrims to enter into a sense of pilgrimage to a foreign land, where in Francis’ words, you are “gathered under a roof that belongs to another,” [2 Celano: 59] and are invited to “eat all foods which people can eat.” [Early Rule 9:13]

Dietary Requirements/Food Allergies

Food allergies and medical dietary restrictions such as ‘gluten-free’ or ‘lactose intolerance should have been reported on your medical form returned to the FPP Office. Our lodgings do make allowance for elective vegetarians IF NOTIFIED BY US IN ADVANCE. Mediterranean diets are the norm. If you did not inform us, please do so immediately.

Drinking Water

 The water in Rome and some parts of Israel are fine to drink. However, the minerals (excess chlorine or other chemicals) that are used to treat it might taste a bit strange and take a bit of adjustment. It could cause a bit of queasiness or have an adverse effect on your health. Therefore, you might want to stick to bottled water.

Immunization

Some immunizations are required of USA citizens, some are recommended for those who enter Italy and Israel. Go to https://www.passporthealthusa.com/destination-advice and select the country you are traveling to to find out additional information about travel vaccines.

Health - Physical Requirements

Pilgrimage – Physical Requirements
Pilgrims MUST have the ability to:
• walk on uneven surfaces, where footing can be awkward,
• walk up and down steep inclines
• walk on trails that are hilly and rocky
• walk up and down flights of steps
• carry one’s own luggage from the airport to the bus; from the bus to your lodge room, etc)
• stand for up to half an hour in one spot for mini-lectures after walking several blocks
• walk fast enough to keep up with the group while being led from one historical place to another

If you have any health problems that would create difficulty during a pilgrimage, such as heart disease or mental health issues, please consult with your doctor before deciding to make this journey.

NOTE: ***The pilgrimage is STRENUOUS! ***

We do a lot of walking, some of it up and down hills and on uneven, cobblestone streets. Past pilgrims have commented on how rigorous the terrain can be and have asked us to “warn” future pilgrims.

Any pilgrim who is physically challenged must inform his/her doctor of the above requirements and submit a certificate from his/her medical doctor stating that he/she is capable of taking part in this pilgrimage without assistance.

Medications
If you are taking prescription medications, bring along enough medicines to last the trip, plus a little extra. Some like to bring medication for diarrhea or constipation. You may want to consider bringing small amounts of over-the-counter medicines for headaches, colds, etc. if you normally use these items.

Do not put YOUR MEDICATIONS into your checked luggage. Please take all your medications with you in your carry-on bag. In the event of misplaced luggage, it can be difficult or impossible to get replacements. It would be helpful to write out a list of your prescription medications, their dosages and when you take them, and keep this information with your passport. Please contact your medical insurance in order to understand what kind of coverage may be available for you in Europe.

If you take a medication that requires the use of syringes, a general rule is that a limit of five syringes can be put in your carry-on luggage, with the rest of the supply packed in your checked luggage. Your name should be written on the prescription label, and it would be advisable to obtain a note from your physician stating your name, the name of your injectable medication, and the purpose for its use.

 

 

Insurance

Travel Insurance – IMPORTANT!
Travel Insurance is not included in this pilgrimage. We highly recommend taking out travel insurance, which covers risks associated with traveling, such as loss of luggage, delays, or injury while in a foreign country. Please contact Barbara Witkowski, at Rex Travel, at 312.641.6633, or 800.777.7739, or Barbara@rextravel.com

Internet - WIFI

Internet service and WiFi is available in most of the places you will visit. However, the service is often unstable and irregular. There are locations — usually associated with cafes — that provide internet service for a fee. The pilgrimage staff will provide direction to help in this area.

Pilgrimage - Land Only Program

If you want to make your own travel arrangements, you would choose the Pilgrimage Program Land Only on your travel plans forms in the First Communication packet. After your flight plans are finalized, we ask that you send us a copy of your itinerary. Our pilgrimage leaders need to be able to track your arrival in case of flight delays or cancellations, and for transportation plans.

If your travel request deviates from the departure/return dates of the pilgrimage group flight, you will be asked to make your own flight arrangements and the pilgrimage becomes a Land Only Program, paying the Land Only program fee. Flight deviations change the class of your ticket from group fare to an individual ticket, which can result in a higher air fares. All other parts of the pilgrimage are still managed by FPP, just not your flight arrangements. If you do not have a travel agent of your own, we can contact our travel agent and ask them to work with you on your travel itinerary. You will be asked to pay for your air flight arrangements directly to the travel agency. We ask that you provide us a copy of your travel itinerary so we can inform your pilgrimage leaders of your travel arrangements.

Pilgrimage travel includes two days – one for arrival and one for departure. If you purchased a Land Only Program, note that you will need to meet the pilgrimage leaders at the airport by 11:00 AM on the arrival day of the pilgrimage.

 

Laundry

There is no washing machines or dryers available in the lodges. Some lodgings have a laundry service for a fee (Rome and Assisi). We suggest bringing a small supply of laundry soap and a traveler’s clothes line (available where you buy luggage) so you can do it yourself. In some pilgrim lodges there are outdoor clotheslines available.

Luggage

Generally, the maximum weight of a carry-on is 22 pounds. The dimensions for the carry-on can be no larger than 22″ x 16″x 8″ so that it can fit under the seat or in the overhead bin. Some domestic carriers may limit you to slightly smaller dimensions (20″ x 12″ x 8″). The average weight limit for checked baggage is 50 pounds. There may be a baggage fee for checked luggage.

Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, Inc. is not responsible for luggage fees charged by the air carriers.

Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs, Inc. has no control over luggage. Luggage is picked up before you pass through Customs and get to the spot in the general hallway where the FPP pilgrimage leaders will be waiting for you. If your bags do not arrive with your flight, let one of the other pilgrims know to tell the FPP pilgrimage leaders that your luggage has not arrived yet and that you are waiting for it. If you have a phone, contact your FPP pilgrimage leaders directly to inform them of the situation. You may need to file a lost baggage claim and that will take some time. We do not want you to miss your transportation connection, especially if starting in Assisi.

Connecting Flights

For those who take the Pilgrimage Only option we strongly suggest that you have our travel agent arrange any connecting flights. Airlines sometimes change their flight schedules and our travel agent would make the necessary adjustments so that your international flight connection will not be missed. Neither our travel agent nor Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs can be responsible for missed connections when the pilgrim has made his/her own connecting flight arrangements. You will be contacted to get your approval of the proposed flight itinerary and the cost.

ATM Machines

ATM’s are available in many places but they do not always work. You need to be aware that in addition to the ATM fee there is also an exchange fee and interest for most cards. A 4-digit pin number will be required.

Credit Cards

Visa and Mastercard are widely accepted in Italy. We recommend that you go with a card that is universally accepted and be aware of the currency exchange costs with using a credit card and a transaction cost. All banks, and most restaurants and shops accept Mastercard and Visa (not American Express or Diners Club). Your credit card is the most convenient means of payment to avoid carrying cash. However, note that most credit card companies add a 2% currency exchange transaction fee. Check with your credit card company for their policy. Keep a list of your credit card numbers and emergency bank contact with you in case your wallet is lost or stolen.

IMPORTANT: Be sure to notify your credit card company that you will be out of the country.

Currency Exchange – Euros/Shekels

In Europe, pilgrimage leaders will be able to exchange a limited amount of USD (in 50 or 100 USD increments) for Euros. We are not able to provide this service for pilgrims to the Holy Land. Consult the “currency converter” web-site www.xe.com/ucc for the up-to-date currency exchange rates. Note, however, that they do not distinguish between the rates for buying or selling the currencies nor do they calculate service fees or foreign transaction fees. Major airports have Currency Exchange (Cambio) offices and ATMs (Bancomat in Italy) throughout the terminal areas.

Personal Spending

Meals At your own expense – You will have the opportunity to eat 3-5 meals at your own expense. A decent meal is about 30-60€. For 5 meals, you are looking at 150-300€. Plan accordingly for this expense.

Snacks/Beverages, including water – on some airlines are no longer free and you may need to purchase any desired items. You will need to have cash available. At many of the lodges, you will need to pay for any coffee, beverage, or snacks between meals, or after the evening meal. Don’t be surprised if you spend about 20€ per day for snacks.

Covered meals – Look carefully at your itinerary. Every meal is provided unless stated otherwise. Some lodges have a breakfast buffet while others serve a continental breakfast. The evening meal is usually served later than in the USA. The meals are very adequate, but time in between is quite long and you will get hungry.

Gifts/Souvenirs – In addition plan what you intend to spend for gifts/souvenirs, postcards and stamps (about 1.50€ per card). Many pilgrims say that a good rule-of-thumb is about 400€ to cover EVERYTHING per week (700€ for two weeks). These are generous, but safe, figures. Whatever you don’t spend you can bring home. The fluctuation of the dollar needs to be taken into consideration.Snacks and beverages – including water – on some airlines are no longer free and you may need to purchase any desired items. You will need to have cash available.

Look carefully at your itinerary. Every meal is provided unless stated otherwise. You will need to pay for any coffee, beverage or snacks between meals, or after the evening meal. Meals are usually served at 8:00 AM, 1:00 PM and 7:30 PM (European custom). The meals are very adequate, but time in between is quite long and you will get hungry. Don’t be surprised if you spend about $20.00 per day for snacks. In addition plan what you intend to spend for gifts/souvenirs, postcards and stamps (about $1.50 per card). Many pilgrims say that a good guide to use to cover EVERYTHING is $400.00 per week ($700.00 for two weeks). These are generous, but safe, figures. Whatever you don’t spend you can bring home. The fluctuation of the dollar needs to be taken into consideration.

Maps of Rome/ Assisi

Maps of Rome and Assisi and will be provided to you by your pilgrimage leaders. If you want to download the maps sooner, you can find them at our FPP website: https://www.franciscanpilgrimages.com/pilgrims-maps-of-rome-and-assisi/

 

Participants

Our pilgrimages are open to all regardless of gender, religion, or race. Age and physical limitations need to be a consideration by the individual due to the amount of walking necessary on uneven surfaces and on hills. Many of the major churches and basilicas in Italy do not have handicap access. Our programs are not suitable for children under the age of 15. Signed parental consent and a designated chaperone who takes full responsibility are required for participants between the ages of 15-18.

Punctuality

Pilgrimage is a group endeavor. Your itinerary booklet indicates the time and place of meeting for various events. Please be prompt. Failure to do so can result in you being “left behind”. If for some reason you choose leave earlier than the scheduled time, please inform your pilgrimage leader or fellow-pilgrims.

Passport

Everyone must have a passport valid for six months after your return date to
travel to Italy or Israel. A photocopy of the signature/photo page of your passport must be sent to our office with your forms and payment. Also, PLEASE MAKE A COPY OF YOUR PASSPORT AND AIRLINE TICKET and keep them with you in a separate place while traveling.

https://travel.state.gov/content/passports/en/passports/apply.html – This is a government web site that may be helpful in applying for a passport.

It is also suggested that you make a copy of the information page to keep in your carry-on luggage the entire trip and leave a copy at home with a relative or friend. Your Passport must be signed. Keep the photocopy of your passport on your person and DO NOT carry your passport with you.

Payment

You are encouraged to send in your full payment with your completed forms as soon as possible. There is a deadline given in the First Correspondence packet which is based on the requirements of the airlines. Payment reminders are not sent out at this time.

Full payment must be received in our office, along with other required forms, a minimum of 95 days prior to departure. We must provide information to the airlines 95 days in advance and we do not confirm final reservations until payment is received. Tickets will not be sent out until full payment is received. Payment can be made by check, bank draft, money order, credit card, or by electronic funds transfer. Please contact the Pilgrimage Office for information on this process.

Over Payment
Those who send in final payments without deducting their deposit or previous payments, resulting in an overpayment, will be refunded the overage amount after the pilgrimage is completed.

Pilgrimage vs. Tour

This is a pilgrimage, not a tour. It is a “cross-cultural journeying together in the spirit of Francis and Clare in order to nurture an encounter with Jesus Christ through the spirituality of place.–Mission Statement

Cell Phones / Phone Cards

If you want to purchase phone cards to use for calling home from Italy, wait until you get to Italy and buy the cards there. You will not be able to use your USA phone cards in most Italian phones. The Staff will have a small sheet available for you in Italy that gives instructions on using Italian cards and Italian phones.

There are some USA cell phones that work in Italy, but the roaming charges may be very high. Your phone may have to be “unlocked” to work in Europe. Check with your cell service provider at least two weeks before the pilgrimage. Tell them where you will be on pilgrimage to make sure your cell phone will operate when you land! Tourist SIM Cards are available for rental in Italy. These can be purchased at the airport.

Preparation for a Pilgrimage

We hope that you will find time to read a biography of Francis and Clare and pray for God’s revealing inspiration. Our purposes/goals are: to focus attention on God under the guidance of Francis and Clare, to broaden our experience of life, to probe Francis and Clare’s experiences in order to clarify our own. We try to make our pilgrimage a dramatic expression of God as center, with all that it might imply for our personal lives. Recommended reading
“Legend of the Three Companions,” (Francis of Assisi: The Founder—Early Documents, Vol. II, 61–110) 
Clare of Assisi , Bartoli, Marco, trans. by Sr. Frances Teresa, OSC. (Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press, 1993) 
Clare of Assisi: A Biographical Study, Peterson, Ingrid J., OSF. (Quincy, IL: Franciscan Press, 1993) 
Francis of Assisi , Fortini, Arnaldo, trans. Helen Moak. (New York: Crossroad Press, 1981) 
Francis of Assisi , Frugoni, Chiara. (New York: The Continuum Publishing Company, 1998) 
Francis of Assisi : A Revolutionary Life , House, Adrian., ( Mahwah , NJ : HiddenSpring, 2001) 
Francis: The Journey and the Dream , Bodo, Murray 
God’s Fool , Green, Julian. 
Salvation: Scenes from the Life of St. Francis of Assisi, Martin, Valerie. (New York: Vintage Books, 2001) 
St. Francis of Assisi, Chesterton, G.K., (New York: Image Books, 1957) 
The Pilgrim’s Italy , Heater, James & Colleen. (Nevada City, CA: Inner Travel Books, 2003) 
The Road to Assisi: The Essential Biography of St. Francis, Sabatier, Paul. Edited with Introduction by J. Sweeney. (Brewster, MA: Paraclete Press, 2003
)

Priests and Deacons

It is church policy that we submit the names of priest celebrants will in advance of the pilgrimage. For Francis, participation at the Holy Eucharist, as in the Liturgy of the Hours, was a celebration of the presence of the Lord Jesus Christ, bonded with the community and with the Roman Church. Thus, all pilgrims are invited to participate fully—as they are able—in the celebration of the Holy Eucharist. It is our custom for a member of the staff to preside at all prayer (including the Holy Eucharist) and for no concelebration. Priests may talk to pilgrimage leaders for special situations.

Ordained presbyters and deacons are invited to abide by the admonition of St. Francis: “I admonish and exhort you in the Lord, therefore, to celebrate only one Mass a day according to the rite of the Holy Church in those places where the brothers dwell. But if there is more than one priest there, let the other be content, for the love of charity, at hearing the celebration of the other priest.” (A Letter to the Entire Order, 30–31.) If you have a concern, please consult with the pilgrimage leaders.

Required Text

Our official guidebook and text is Pilgrim’s Companion to Franciscan Places. This book contains all the readings, prayer services, Scripture texts, liturgies and rituals for the Pilgrimage. A copy of this book will be given to you when you arrive in Italy. .

Private-Single Room

We travel as pilgrims and are invited to be flexible. Because of the nature of our pilgrimage we ask you to understand that there are only a few single rooms available. All rooms have their own bathrooms, however. We try our best to meet individual needs. If you find that you are not compatible with the roommate assigned to you, please confer with your pilgrimage leaders and they will do their best to make adjustments, if possible.

Travel Lightly

You will need to carry your own suitcase on and off buses, and in and out of our places of lodging. Please, do not expect others to carry your luggage for you. Pack your suitcase, take out half and you will still have too much. Walk with this around the block and you will get some idea of what we mean by traveling lightly. Suggestion: try to manage with one small carry-on bag and one average sized suitcase as checked luggage.

Tickets

Because of the changes brought about by the ability of finding airline “deals” on the internet, many pilgrims elect to make their own flight arrangements. While this can be cost effective, it does create, possibly, some difficulty in arriving at your destination at a time for the coach to depart for Rome and Assisi.

If you elect to have our office provide your place ticket it will be sent to you approximately three weeks before your date of departure. If you haven’t received your ticket two weeks prior to departure, please contact Sr. Linda at 414.427.0570 x223. Remember to check your ticket for accuracy as soon as you receive it.

If you have a connecting flight within the USA, reconfirm your ticket the day before you depart. This will avoid any surprises as occasionally the airlines make last minute changes to flight numbers and times.

Plan to arrive at the airport a good two and a half hours before your international flight departs. Unless you inform us otherwise, your air ticket will be sent to the address you list on the Invoice–Travel Plans Form. Note that airlines no longer issue paper tickets for domestic flights; you will receive confirmation of an electronic ticket. If you want or need a paper ticket, the airlines charge an extra fee.

Visas

For citizens of the USA, no visas are required for entrance into Italy or Israel at this time. In 2021 you will be required to obtain Electronic Travel Authorization. You will need to use the ETIAS (Europe Travel Information Authorization System) to obtain your visas. Go to https://www.etiasvisa.com/etias-requirements/americans for additional information on how to apply for a ETIAS.

If you hold a passport from a country other than the USA or the European Union, please check with the local consulate in Italy or Israel to find out if you need a visa. If you need a visa, you will need to initiate the process several months in advance in order to assure that your visa arrives in time. The Pilgrimage Office can send a letter confirming your participation in a pilgrimage. You may want to check on the availability of a visa service in your country. Such a service can assist you (for a fee) in obtaining the necessary documents for your visa. One such office is: Expert Visa Service Inc., 28 E. Jackson Blvd, Ste 1520, Chicago, IL 60606-2281, Tel: 312.663.6667.

Beware of Taxis

There are robbers and thieves in Italy just as there are in other countries. When you are on your own in Rome, take only taxis that are at regular taxi stands. Drivers may solicit you at the airports and train stations. Walk right by them and look for a legitimate taxi stand. Ordinarily there are cards in English in the taxis explaining additional fares. Carry your Itinerary Booklet with you. It has the address of your pensioni and phone numbers of the pilgrimage leaders in the back. In 2019, the set fee from our pensioni to the Rome airport, during the day, is 50€.

Safety in Travel - STEP

Many travelers overseas are naturally concerned about their safety. The Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs has enrolled in the United States STEP Program. The Smart Traveler Enrollment Program (STEP) is a free service to allow U.S. citizens and nationals traveling abroad to enroll their trip with the nearest U.S. Embassy or Consulate.

Benefits of enrolling include:
• Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
• Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
• Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

This information is only accessible to authorized U.S. Department of State Embassy and Consular personnel in the event that emergency assistance needs to be provided to U.S. citizens and nationals who are traveling abroad.

An individual may also enroll in the STEP program on his/her own. For more information about this USA Government service go to https://step.state.gov/step/

You can also go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html , a United States Government web site on travel safety. This is the same site the Pilgrimage Office consults to receive information on travel safety.

NOTE: Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs submits the names, phone numbers, emails and dates of birth of pilgrims to Italy to the United States Consulate in Italy and Israel as a service to our pilgrims.

Travel Insurance - Important

Travel Insurance, also known as Trip Cancellation Insurance, is not included in this pilgrimage. We highly recommend taking out travel insurance, which covers risks associated with traveling, such as trip cancellation, trip interruption, loss of luggage, trip and baggage delays, and some medical expenses before you leave and while in a foreign country. Please contact Barbara Witkowski, at Rex Travel, at 312.641.6633, or 800.777.7739, or Barbara@rextravel.com

Benefits of enrolling include:
• Receive important information from the Embassy about safety conditions in your destination country, helping you make informed decisions about your travel plans.
• Help the U.S. Embassy contact you in an emergency, whether natural disaster, civil unrest, or family emergency.
• Help family and friends get in touch with you in an emergency.

This information is only accessible to authorized U.S. Department of State Embassy and Consular personnel in the event that emergency assistance needs to be provided to U.S. citizens and nationals who are traveling abroad.

An individual may also enroll in the STEP program on his/her own. For more information about this USA Government service go to https://step.state.gov/step/

You can also go to https://travel.state.gov/content/travel.html , a United States Government web site on travel safety. This is the same site the Pilgrimage Office consults to receive information on travel safety.

NOTE: Franciscan Pilgrimage Programs submits the names, phone numbers, emails and dates of birth of pilgrims to Italy to the United States Consulate in Italy and Israel as a service to our pilgrims.

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