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Italy Questions and Answers


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HotelDr. D'Ambrosio has already been asked some questions about the Italy Pilgrimage, so here are a few of the more frequent ones for anyone needing more information.


Q. Will this be a tour or a spiritual pilgrimage or a vacation?

A. All of the above. We will have wonderful times of prayer, liturgy & music daily and plenty of oppurtunity of enjoy the sites of Italy!


Q. Where will we be staying?





Q. Who is arranging all the practicalities of the tour?

A. Consolidated Tour Organization, CTO, out of Atlanta. Father Mitch Pacwa (EWTN) and Dr. Marcellino D'Ambrosio have used CTO exclusively for their tours to the Holy Land. They are a well respected company with an excellent reputation.


Q. Flight Numbers and Times?

A. You can download the Air Schedule - HERE.

** Please Note: Flight numbers and times subject to change without prior notice.  It is best to check flights with the airline after booking to keep up to date on changes!


Q. Can I fly First Class?

A. Yes!  Please alert Consolidated Tours if you wish to fly first class from JFK, DFW, or IAH.  You can write this on the bottom of your application page before you fax/mail it in.  You can also call CTO directly at (404) 767-2727.  Consolidated Tours will provide you with pricing information for First Class flight upgrades!


Q. How long are these flights?

A. Dallas to Houston: about 1 hour

Houston to Paris (CDG): about 9.5 hours

Paris (CDG) to Rome (FCO): about 2 hours

JFK to Zurich (ZRH): 8.5 hours

Zurich (ZRH) to Rome (FCO): about 1.5 hours


Q.  Is there any extra reading I can do prior to or after the pilgrimage to delve deeper into what we’ll see and learn?


Absolutely!  The challenge will be picking the topic and time period you’d like to read more about – the civilization of Ancient Rome (753BC to 476AD), the early Church of the apostles and martyrs, saints like Benedict, Francis, and Catherine of Siena, the Papacy, the Second Vatican Council . . .   For a bibliography that provides resources on these and more topics, click here.  You can download, save and print it.



VaticanQ. If I am traveling alone, do I have to pay for a single room?

A. No, you do not have to pay for a single room if you are traveling alone unless you want to!  We often have several pilgrims traveling alone tour company will work with you to match up potential roommates, keeping in mind gender and age!


Q. How much cash should I travel with? And can I use my American credit or debit card in Italy?

A. This depends on what you plan to purchase while on pilgrimage and how often you use wish to use major credit cards (VISA, AMEX, Mastercard) or your debit card!  When we arrive, we’ll have opportunities to exchange dollars for Euros in the airport and usually at the hotels where we stay (though there are no guarantees on individual hotels).  There are ATMS in major Italian cities where you can use your debit card to get Euros, but you will be charged an ATM fee and a currency conversion fee.  Major souvenir shops and some restaurants will accept the major credit cards listed above (Discover not always accepted), but street vendors and some restaurants may be cash only.  Lunch will generally cost $10-35 per day per person depending on your personal selections and is the only meal not provided in the price of your tour!  I would recommend that you exchange dollars for Euros as to leave the Rome airport with approximately 200-300 Euros per person and try to use credit cards for most lunches and major purchases.  One tip – call the banks that issues your credit or debit card before you leave and tell them the dates you’ll be traveling and the countries you’ll be visiting.  That way they won’t suspect fraud and block your card from being used.   


AssisiQ: Can someone come on this trip who is not Catholic?

A: On most of our Rome and Holy Land pilgrimages we have several non-Catholic pilgrims usually having a Protestant background.  It has always been a blessing for all and not in any way awkward.  It is a pilgrimage – we’ll be doing praise & worship sort of music and praying together daily in a variety of ways.  Some will be distinctively Catholic such as daily Mass together in a special spot (like near the tomb of St. Paul, St. Francis, etc) and some prayers with a Marian element such as the rosary.  Most times Protestant brethren have really enjoyed participating in everything and felt at home, but there is no requirement to attend all or any of the masses.  While we can’t invite Protestant Christians to take sacramental communion at daily masses, we encourage all who can’t make sacramental communion to enter into spiritual communion during the Eucharist – this is what Catholics do when attending an Eastern Orthodox liturgy.  This is a good reminder for all of us to pray for full, visible communion of all Christians as part of our pilgrimage.

Q: How many will be coming on this trip?

A: We have space for 56 pilgrims total.  We will fill one bus.  In our extensive pilgrimage experience, this is the perfect size group – there is a wide variety of people so that people of all ages and backgrounds will be able to make friends with people of similar age and background.  At the same time, the size is small enough so that everyone gets to know each other and the tour leaders.  We finish the trip really feeling like one big family and relationships are typically made that last a lifetime.

Q: What is the age range of the participants?

A: We will have a full ranges of ages participating.  Some retired people, some undergraduate college students and everything in between.  Some families will be coming with school-age children.

Q: When is the deadline for signing up?

A: People can apply to be accepted as passengers on the pilgrimage by sending in the application (page 2 of the tour brochure) with a $300 deposit per passenger.  Once we’ve accepted 90 applicants, the trip will be closed and new applicants will be put on a waiting list in case of cancellations.  We can’t be sure how soon the trip will fill up.  So, if you are interested, we urge you to get your application and deposit in ASAP to assure you will have a place on the trip!


Q. What if I have a question about the Italy Tour that isn't answered here yet?

A. E-Mail us at and we will get you an answer as quick as we can.


$4569 From New York, (JFK)

(Plus Tips, Taxes and Fuel Surcharge)

$4159 Land Only

(Plus Tips)

For more information, please contact: Cyndi Lucky

Tel: 800-803-0118

Or Visit:


Marcellino and Susan D'Ambrosio

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