Sadly, the morning of November 19, 2015 arrived and we had to say “Arrivedichi” to Italy. I think it safe to say each pilgrim carried more than souvenirs home. The days were long and we were always on the move. Sometimes it was hard to keep our itinerary straight our days were so packed with activity. Sometimes it was hard to keep putting one foot in front of another as we were up and down steps in museums, churches, streets, sidewalks, and uneven roads more than a thousand years old. My wife’s Fitbit recorded an average day of walking totaled 5-7 miles. Our “best” day was 10 miles. And at the end of the day we gladly welcomed our dinner and then a night of sleep, only to get up the next morning and do it all over again.
Over the course of the tour this group of relative strangers developed a close bond of friendship as we shared so many sights: the canals of Venice, the art museums and churches of Florence, Padua, Assisi, and Rome. We shared emotional bonds as we stood just feet away from “El Papa” and realized this man was the direct descendent of the person Jesus Christ personally appointed to “shepherd” his flock.
We stood amazed at the emotional display of affection the peoples from the South American countries displayed as they shouted, sang, waved their flags, and repeatedly cheered the first South American pope. We walked in silent reverence through portions of the miles and miles of catacombs that had contained the bodies of the persecuted Christians of our Catholic faith. We touched the sarcophaguses of St. Mark, St. Anthony, and St. Francis. We walked the same streets they walked. We developed a deeper appreciation and understanding of how and why they are “saints” of our faith. We developed an understanding of the depth of their love for Christ and their passion and commitment to preaching and teaching others so they too could find the same peace, happiness, and purposeful lives as they had found.
It is my hope that these web pages will help you understand, and see, and hear the blessings that all of the St. Paul’s pilgrims experienced on this tour.
A Few Trivia Facts
Flight Time Detroit, Michigan to Paris, France
The flight distance from Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) to Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG)) is 3956 miles (6366 kilometers, 3438 nautical miles).
Estimated flight time is 7 h 59 min.
Time difference between Paris and Detroit is -6 Hours. Current local time in Paris is 2016-01-24, 03:47 CET and time in Detroit is 2016-01-23, 21:47 EST.
Flight Time Paris, France to Venice, Italy
The flight distance from Charles de Gaulle International Airport (CDG) to Venezia / Tessera – Marco Polo Airport (VCE) is 519 miles (836kilometers, 451 nautical miles).
Estimated flight time is 1 h 29 min.
There is no time difference between Paris and Venice
Flight Time Rome, Italy, to Amsterdam, Netherlands
The flight distance from Leonardo Da Vinci (Fiumicino) International Airport (FCO) to Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) is 807 miles (1298 kilometers, 701 nautical miles).
Flight Time Amsterdam< Netherlands to Atlanta, Ga
The flight distance from Amsterdam Airport Schiphol (AMS) to Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is 4395 miles (7074kilometers, 3819 nautical miles).
Estimated flight time is 8 h 49 min.
Time difference between Atlanta and Amsterdam is 6 Hours.
Time/Miles Travelled By Bus
Venice to Florence: 214.3 miles; 3 hours, 30 minutes
Florence to Rome: 200 miles, 3 hours (does not include side trips to the smaller cities we visited)
Rome to Pompeii:149 miles; 2 1/2 hours
Pompeii to Sorrento: 16 miles; 40 minutes (small winding roads through the mountains)
Sorrento to Rome: 165 miles; 3 hours
The image below is from my iPhone altimeter showing our elevation and air speed as we flew from Amsterdam to Atlanta: elevation – 38,643 feet; air speed (into the jet stream) – 427 kts or 491.3 miles per hour.