Combining Holidays in Italy with a Pilgrimage to the Jubilee “Pilgrims of Hope” 2025

Italy’s allure is undeniable. With its historical richness, breathtaking landscapes, and culinary delights, it stands as a perennial favorite among travelers. Imagine combining this quintessential Italian experience with the profound spiritual journey of the Jubilee Year 2025, themed “Pilgrims of Hope.” This unique opportunity not only allows you to explore Italy’s scenic beauty but also renews your faith and hope amid challenging times. In this article, we will guide you on how to seamlessly blend your holiday in Italy with the spiritual journey of the Jubilee.

Understanding the Jubilee Year 2025

The Jubilee Year is a significant event in the Catholic Church, occurring approximately every 25 years. It is a time for renewal, forgiveness, and extraordinary grace. Declared by Pope Francis, the Jubilee Year 2025 carries the theme “Pilgrims of Hope,” which resonates deeply in a world grappling with war, climate crises, and social challenges. The Jubilee will begin on December 24, 2024, with the Opening of the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica and will conclude on December 23, 2025. This period invites pilgrims from around the globe to reflect, renew, and find hope through faith.

Planning Your Trip

Best Times to Visit To make the most of your pilgrimage and holiday, consider visiting Italy during the spring (April to June) or fall (September to November). These seasons offer pleasant weather, fewer crowds, and vibrant natural beauty. Avoid peak summer months when tourism is at its height, leading to long queues and higher prices.

Travel Preparations Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months beyond your planned return date. Check if you need a visa, particularly if you plan to stay for an extended period or travel extensively within the Schengen Area. Stay updated on health advisories and requirements by checking reputable sources such as the World Health Organization.

Budgeting Your Trip Italy can cater to a range of budgets. For a two-week trip, including flights, accommodation, meals, and local transport, expect to budget between $2,500 and $5,000 per person. Save costs by booking flights and accommodations in advance, opting for budget-friendly options like Airbnb or hostels, and using public transport. Look for package deals that combine flights, hotels, and tours to get better rates.

Key Pilgrimage Sites in Italy

Rome Rome is the epicenter of the Jubilee celebrations. St. Peter’s Basilica in Vatican City is where the Holy Door will be opened, symbolizing a gateway to God’s grace. As a pilgrim, participating in liturgies here will be a lifetime highlight. Don’t miss the Vatican Museums and the Sistine Chapel, home to Michelangelo’s masterpieces. Additionally, visit other significant basilicas like St. John Lateran and St. Paul Outside the Walls to deepen your spiritual journey.

Assisi Assisi, the birthplace of St. Francis, offers a serene environment ideal for reflection. The Basilica of San Francesco d’Assisi, a UNESCO World Heritage site, houses stunning frescoes depicting the life of St. Francis. This town exudes spirituality, making it a perfect retreat for pilgrims. Take time to explore the peaceful streets of Assisi and visit other notable sites, such as the Basilica of Santa Chiara and the Hermitage of the Carceri.

Other Notable Locations Florence, known for its Renaissance art, is home to the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore. Marvel at Brunelleschi’s Dome and Giotto’s Bell Tower. Milan’s Duomo di Milano is another architectural marvel with profound religious significance. Take a moment to ascend to the rooftop for panoramic views of the city. Both cities offer rich cultural experiences that complement your spiritual journey.

Integrating Holiday Activities

Cultural Experiences Italy’s cultural wealth can enrich your pilgrimage. Embark on art and history tours in Florence, Rome, and Venice. Discover the treasures of the Uffizi Gallery, wander through the ruins of the Roman Forum, and glide along the canals of Venice in a gondola. Participate in local festivals and events that may align with the Jubilee celebrations, offering a unique blend of tradition and festivity. Consider attending opera performances or classical music concerts in historic venues like La Scala in Milan or Teatro La Fenice in Venice.

Culinary Delights No trip to Italy is complete without indulging in its culinary offerings. Savor regional dishes—think cacio e pepe in Rome, pizza in Naples, and seafood along the Amalfi Coast. Engage in wine tasting tours in Tuscany, where you can enjoy some of the world’s finest wines against the backdrop of picturesque vineyards. Join cooking classes to learn how to make traditional Italian dishes such as pasta and tiramisu.

Natural Beauty and Relaxation The Amalfi Coast and Cinque Terre are perfect for unwinding amidst spectacular coastal scenery. Hike the scenic trails connecting the colorful villages of Cinque Terre or take a leisurely drive along the winding roads of the Amalfi Coast, stopping at charming towns like Positano and Ravello. Consider staying in agriturismos (farm stays) in the Italian countryside for a peaceful retreat, experiencing local hospitality and organic produce. Explore the rolling hills of Tuscany, dotted with vineyards and olive groves.

Practical Tips for Pilgrims and Tourists

Navigating Crowds and Queues To avoid long waits, visit major sites early in the morning or late in the afternoon. Use skip-the-line tickets or guided tours for popular attractions. During the Jubilee, expect heightened security and larger crowds, especially at religious sites. Download official apps for real-time updates on events and recommended visiting hours.

Staying Connected and Safe Stay connected with international SIM cards or local mobile plans. Keep personal belongings secure to avoid petty theft, common in tourist-heavy areas. Be aware of common scams and maintain vigilance. Use ATMs in well-lit, busy areas and avoid carrying large amounts of cash. Register with your embassy in case of emergencies and keep copies of important documents.

Respecting Local Customs and Traditions Dress modestly when visiting religious sites—covered shoulders and knees are typically required. Be respectful of local customs and traditions, particularly during religious ceremonies and events. Learn a few basic Italian phrases to show respect and enhance your interactions with locals. Greet people with a friendly “Buongiorno” (Good morning) or “Buonasera” (Good evening).

Personal Reflections and Testimonials

Past pilgrims often describe their journeys as transformative. For instance, Maria, a pilgrim from Spain, shared how visiting the Holy Door at St. Peter’s Basilica brought her a sense of peace and renewal. Combining the spiritual depth of a pilgrimage with the cultural richness of Italy creates a profound and enriching experience. Stories from previous travelers highlight the impact on their faith and personal growth, making the Jubilee Year a truly memorable adventure.


Blending holidays in Italy with the spiritual journey of the Jubilee “Pilgrims of Hope” 2025 offers a unique and enriching experience. This special year invites you not only to explore the beauty and culture of Italy but also to renew your hope and faith in the face of global challenges. We encourage you to embark on this journey, balancing moments of leisure with profound spiritual reflection. Whether you’re strolling through the ancient streets of Rome, savoring a glass of Tuscan wine, or participating in a solemn liturgy, Italy promises a journey that will nourish both the body and the soul.

Additional Resources

For further information and planning assistance, visit the official Jubilee 2025 website. Contact pilgrimage groups and tour operators specializing in religious tourism to help organize your trip and ensure a seamless experience. Check with travel advisory sites for the latest guidelines and tips for making the most of your pilgrimage.

This article aims to equip you with comprehensive insights and practical tips for combining your Italian holiday with a meaningful pilgrimage, ensuring a fulfilling and memorable journey.