Flanders to Rome

Nicola Sciascia
Family Pilgrimage 2007

Current as at 15.07.2007

RENEWED PROGRAM 9th to 13th and 15th August 2007 updated 15th July 2007

Days 1 - 4

DAY 1: MON 29JUL– ARRIVE BRUSSELS 10.30pm - night at hotel in Brussels
Dominique will be meeting you there and sleep at the same hotel so will be joining and supporting and guiding the group from the very start. If Paul Sciascia or other people are arriving earlier they should be able to make it to the hotel by themselves and let her know by email asap when they arrive so she can come out earlier to the hotel and meet them. she won't have her car so won't be able to come and pick them up from the airport….sorry

Leaving at 10 a.m. from the hotel. Visit through Brussels with bus and lunch there as well as stroll around the Grand Place, near Manneken Pis .

Leaving at 2.30 p.m. for Ghent (approx 35 min) and visit of the town, strolling around

Arrival at Ieper and dinner there. According to Ellen that would be around 8 pm.

DAY 3: TUE 31JUL – IEPER AREA (MESEN) (Messines) theme: La Basseville
9.30 a.m. Battlefield private ceremony with the family : all Maori rituals can be performed and there will be full privacy for that (police protection as well).

11.00 Official ceremony at Mesen Memorial of the Missing Official Ceremony and perhaps a little drink after

12.00 Lunch on battlefield venue

15.00 some explanation –history at same venue

after that free time - back to Ieper – Flanders Fields Museum for those who are fit enough (jet lag will be playing up…!)

19.00 Dinner at choice (not included in the tour)

20.00 Last Post at the Menin Gate- walking distance from the hotel

DAY 4: WED 01 AUG IEPER AREA  theme the third Battle of Ieper = Battle of Passendale

9.30 a.m. start for Zonnebeke (Passendaele) from the hotel in Ieper.

Guided visit of the area, museum and Ypres with the bus, lunch WWI will be taken there too. We'll follow the footsteps of the New Zealanders via Wieltje St Jan's Graventafel, Bellevue spur, Passchendaele. It's very impressive and emotional journey and the New Zealanders played a very important part in this battle.  Will also visit Tyne Cot Cemetery as it is a special place to some in our group.

Short rest in Ieper if possible after that.

5 p.m Start for the Poporoake on battlefield and official ceremony in Warneton in presence of the NZ Ambassador and the Bourgemestre of Warneton-Comines and local RSA's and drinks afterwards (police protection while ceremony goes on as well)

Dinner at the hotel around 8 pm

Days 5 - 10

We leave Belgium and head for France, on the way we will visit the LOCATION OF THE BATTLE OF THE SOMME. The Battle of the Somme was one of the largest all out offensive planned by the British against the German Army in WWI. Carry on to Paris for the night. We can settle into our hotel and find a lovely French spot to have Dinner. Evening is free. (B)

One full day to explore the city that's known throughout the world for its fashions, art and museums, delicious food, and joie de vivre. Included sightseeing with a local expert of many of the best-known Parisian sights: La Sorbonne (University) , Arc de Triumphe, Opéra, Madeleine, the EIFFEL TOWER, the Pyramid near the Louvre, the Invalides, and Champs Elysées. (Itinerary and sights may be altered due to newly enforced traffic and parking regulations).
Optional excursions are also available to the Palace and Gardens of Versailles. You may like to find a French Show and Dinner to fill in our last night in France (B) (free time )

Fascinating, ever-changing scenery today. Views of Fontainebleau Forest, the wine-growing area of Burgundy, then prosperous farms and tidy half-timbered villages as you head through the Alpine heart of Switzerland to Bern. (B) (free evening)

Admire the towering majesty of the Swiss Alps on the way over 2114 metres high (6,935 foot) St. Gotthard Pass and on the way to Italian-speaking southern Switzerland. Then cross the border and drive to Genoa. (B,D)


- 9:00 am : Your bus ought to drive you from your hotel to square Caricamento, front of "Porto Antico"/Acuario;

- 9:30 am : By a hired non-stop open-top bus (perhaps two), "tour de la ville", say a sight-seeing of the central town, with its important ancient buildings, streets, monuments, architecture, places, etc.. Guide in English by headphone set.

- 10:30 am : Return to Caricamento square; then by your bus, going to a Sanctuary on a nearby mountain colled LA GUARDIA ( the Guardian, where in the ancient time it was possible to spot enemy ships and troops). It is a nice place where you can have a lookout all around; and where we can have lunch in a good restaurant (typical menu, with Italian pasta, fish, meat, etc.). I am sending you by mail some depliants, including a map of Genoa, place La Guardia, and things to be seen.

- 12:30 am : Enjoying meal alltogether.

- 2:00 pm : Visit to the Sanctuary, for those who like it.

- 3:00 pm : Return to PORTO ANTICO (Ancient Port), where you can enjoy some additional visits, such as the "Bigo" a rotating lift allowing you to see Genoa from high up; or the "Lanterna", the ancient lighthouse built in year 1543, with its promenade and museum; etc., according to your wishes.

- 5:00 pm : anything we decide at the moment, like going to see some other places.

- 7:00 pm : Returning to the Hotel for Dinner. Some of us will be glad to join you.

- 10:00 am : Visit to the grave of Raffaella Sciascia, for those who like to come (We suggest the morning for that visit).

- The rest of the day, at leisure, like to go and see some other suggested places..

Days 11 - 15

Travel south today to the walled city of Assisi, home of the mystical St. Francis. Marvel at the remarkable treasures of the magnificent Basilica. On the way visit the COMMONWEALTH FLORENCE WAR CEMETERY. (B)

Commonwealth Florence War Cemetery, On the Banks of the Arno: The Commonwealth Florence War Cemetery is located outside Florence on the north bank of the Arno River It is small, quiet and beautiful. You can actually hear the birds while the traffic passes on the road outside the cemetery gates. Enjoy the quiet and the beautiful view as you look all around the cemetery. This cemetery is the burial place for 1,637 Commonwealth soldiers. We will visit the grave of our Pene Whanau soldier, ki reira tangi, mihi ai.

We will leave Assisi to travel to Pescara, calling at Ortona to meet with our Weigerts/Sciascia relatives who live there, the family of Giacinto. They will host us for a small informal reception. Paolo Fulci and his family will join us at this stop and travel on with us to Trani and Rome. We will then proceed to the Val di Sangro Cemetery which is less then an hours drive from their home. We will visit the other grave of our Pene Whanau soldier, ki reira tangi, mihi ai.

Sangro River War Cemetery: Lie’s in the Contrada Sentinelle in the Commune of Torino di Sangro, Province of Chieti. The cemetery contains 2,617 Commonwealth burials of the Second World War.

From there we will travel to Castelfrentano for a reception at 3.30pm. Then onto Trani for arriving late that night.(B.)

Breakfast at the hotel.

Your Group should preferably be split in advance into 4 sub-groups (ten persons each). To each sub-group an English speaking guide will be provided by the Committee.

In the morning, visit of the city of Trani (50.000 inhabitants) including the former house of Carlo Sciascia Sr. (1764-1809), Via del Cambio, 20; of Nicola Sciascia (1792-1836), Vico della Rosa, 6; of Carlo Sciascia Jr. (Strada la Giudea, 20) before he left Trani for Fiume in 1848.

Visit to the Swabian Castle built by Frederick II.

Return to the Hotel, lunch and rest.

4.30 p.m.: Departure from Trani to Bisceglie (10 Km). I presume you will have your bus available during the entire trip.

Visit of Bisceglie and reception at the City Hall.

Refreshment offered by Bisceglie’s friends.

Breakfast at the Hotel

9 a.m.: departure by bus from Trani to Bari (50 Km)

Visit to the city of Bari (Basilica of San Nicola, Città vecchia and Lungomare guided by Mrs. Adele Coronati and his husband, Mr. Rossignoli)

Visit to the Bartolomeo’s tomb (?)

12.30 p.m. Refreshment offered by Mrs. Adele Coronati and Mr. Rossignoli at the Hotel Sheraton Nicolaus (27, Via Cardinale A. Ciasca - Bari).

2 p.m. return to the Trani Hotel and rest

3.30 p.m. departure by bus from Trani to Castel del Monte (30 Km)

Visit to the famous Castel del Monte built by king Frederick II (1240).

Return to Trani by bus

7.30 p.m.: Historical Representation - seen from a vantage point - of the marriage in Trani of King Manfredi, son of King Frederick II, with Elena Comneno, Princess of Epirus, in 1259.

Dinner at the Hotel

Breakfast at the hotel

Visit to the Cathedral of Trani and to the Baptistery, located in the crypt of “Santa Maria della Scala” (downstairs the Cathedral of Trani) where all the Sciascias of Trani were baptized.

11.30 a.m. Holy Mass in the Cathedral of Trani celebrated by the Archbishop of Trani

Lunch and rest at the Hotel

5 p.m. Meeting organized by “Trani Nostra” at Palazzo Palmieri.

6 p.m. Ceremony in the “Aula Magna” of the City Hall (Palazzo Palmieri)

8 p.m. Farewell reception at the “Union Club” with the participation of the Italian relatives from Bari and Caserta.

Days 16 - 19

Breakfast at the Hotel
9 a.m.: departure from Trani to Rome by bus calling at Caserta on the way

A comfortable drive northwards this morning for arrival in Rome well in time to enjoy the afternoon and evening. Paolo Fulci, a descendant of another brother, Giacinto Sciascia lives here, he is a retired senior Italian diplomat. It is here in Rome where we hope to organise an evening (if it hasn’t already happened) where the descendants of the four families – Nicola, Giacinto, Bartolomeo, Raffaella and now Margherita Sciascia may gather. We can expect miracles. (B,D)

This city is steeped in history, vibrantly alive and exciting and absolutely unique. Included sightseeing with a local guide starts in St. Peter's Square, followed by a visit to the Roman Forum and the mighty Colosseum. Then some more time to do just as you please or to do some optional excursions. That evening we will attend a cocktail reception at the home of Paolo and Claris Fulci at 34, Via Bruxelles (Quartiere Parioli) (B,)


An opportunity for more sightseeing and to take in the magic of this romantic city. We will attend a public audience with Pope Benedict XVI at 12.30pm Wednesday, the 15th of August, which is the Solemnity of the Assumption of Mary, a major feast throughout the Catholic world — it is the patronal feast of the Catholic Church in New Zealand. Furthermore, it is most probable that the papal audience will take place in Castel Gandolfo, the summer residence of the Pope. This evening we will attend a Farewell diner at the Circolo del Ministero degli Esteri ( 42, Lungotevere dell” Acqua Acetosa ) at 7pm. The NZ Ambassador-designate Laurie Markes has been invited to attend both receptions and he has been invited to join us in Trani. (B.)


Free time most of this day. We will spend all day in this beautiful city before being transferred to the airport for your home bound flight at 5.20pm (B)

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