Assisi & Rome

St Francis: A Catholic Pilgrimage

St. Francis of Assisi represents a timeless example of hope, authenticity and devotion. In the cross of Jesus Christ, St. Francis realizes that God doesn’t hold back anything, but rather gives Himself to us completely. This simple yet profound realization continues to inspire Catholics today, and has become more relevant than ever amidst the struggles of our modern world. St. Clare was not simply a follower of Francis; she was a formidable, resolute and loving saint whose life centered on the essence of human identity- Christ in each of us- and who sought to teach us to just be ourselves and to let God dwell within us. This reflective journey is an invitation for you to let the stories of these saints refresh & inspire your faith!

Is This Pilgrimage For You?

All the darkness of the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.

St. Francis of Assisi

Itinerary Highlights


  • Pray in San Damiano, where the crucifix called St. Francis to his vocation. During morning mass we listen to cloistered Nuns sing beautiful medieval songs.
  • Strengthen your relationship to Jesus Christ in the serene & peaceful environment of quiet monasteries. St. Francis reminds us to reflect on our faith.
  • Share a meal with our friends, a group of Franciscan Friars from Assisi. They speak to us about their spirituality & contemplative lifestyle.
  • Discover the roots of Franciscan pilgrimage on an 800 year old path through a beautiful forest and crumbling Benedictine monastery.
  • Stroll through an ancient forest of rare Ilex trees, with roots reaching 30 feet high! Sanctuary Monteluco has been protected land since 750 BC.
  • Walk alongside the priesthood at the ‘Procession of the Stigmata’ on Mt. La Verna, where the first ever stigmata in history occurred.
  • Visit the highlights of ancient Rome including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain & Sistine Chapel.
  • Enrich your theological understanding & put your knowledge into practise by learning St. Clare’s devotional prayers in the original chapel where she wrote them.
  • Experience Papal audience in St. Peter’s Square. This is an opportunity to listen to Pope Francis make an address in Italian. He’ll even bless your rosary!

Interested in more details? We've created an in-depth Day-by-Day itinerary to help you decide if this journey is right for you. Click here to receive yours!

  • Nature

  • Centre

  • Connect

  • Peace

  • Sweet

  • Imagine

  • Smile

  • Wander

  • Clarity

Praise for this Journey

"Every detail was well thought out and taken care of in a first class manor; very professional, with a great deal of heart and soul animating every experience. This 'tour' indeed offers pilgrimage for those who wish to connect with the profoundly sacred spaces that Nina introduces us to with such great integrity, knowledge and passion. I am grateful to each member of the Dancing Spirit team for the patience, care, fun and support that they truly extended."

Stephanie, Toronto, Canada

"I would recommend DST to EVERYONE I know. The team, the content, the accommodations, the hotel staff, AND the other guests- everything was perfection! I am so sorry for it all to end."

Leslie, California, USA

"I've come home with new fingerprints from an extraordinary experience led by the stellar hands, hearts and integrity of Nina and Horst providing a safe place to be all that you can be in a new place to explore. I so appreciated the knowledge shared on each new step on this path and the ways this was communicated by the whole team. The diligence, organization and professionalism is well noted. I easily encourage you to join them on your next adventure, and I look forward to mine."

Lori, Georgia, USA

Nina Hirlaender

Founder of Dancing Spirit Tours, Nina Hirlaender’s extensive experience in group facilitation and community building create an engaging and reflective spiritual journey. Ms. Hirlaender illustrates how St. Francis and St. Clare, through their writings, letters, prayers and example, are true mystics who continue to help generations of Catholics clearly see how Christ took on human flesh, not just to suffer and die for us, but to help us all in turn reflect back the face of Christ to the world. Combining animated storytelling with her passion for historical research, Nina brings the stories of these two medieval saints alive, and emphasizes what we Catholics are called to be today. Since a near-death experience in 2011 with cancer, Nina has been deeply called to share the good news of God's love and the power of prayer with others. She is thrilled to be alive, and attributes her strength in hard times to God's grace.

Ms. Hirlaender studied at York University in Toronto, Canada and the prestigious Studio 58 Conservatory, earning a BFA in Theatrical Production. Her continued training at the University of Barcelona, Spain earned her a diploma in Sustainable Human Settlements. She is currently working on a Masters degree in Theology.

Horst Prelog

An adept, discerning global executive leader, Horst Prelog has spent the last 30 years in the Automotive Industry with the past 10 years as President and COO at the helm of a multi-billion dollar global company. His achievements are highly regarded by those who have had the benefit of working with him, and are undisputed in the Automotive Industry. Horst has a natural gift for collaborative team building. His reputation as a visionary leader is underlined by his intuition and passion for motivating people. Horst believes that the key to a fulfilling life and career is discovering your unique talent and combining it with passion and action.

In 2012, Horst took a break from the rat race of the corporate world and turned his focus to his relationships with his children. His daughter Nina encouraged her father to join her on a pilgrimage in hopes that he would decompress from the hectic pace of his corporate existence. Horst welcomed the opportunity to spend time with his daughter, and reconnected to his own spiritual life during their time together overseas. After this important pilgrimage, father & daughter were inspired to create Dancing Spirit Tours in order to share the joy of meaningful travel with others. Horst is thrilled to apply his knowledge and extensive business experience to this exciting project.

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Assisi & Rome

Our highly detailed Trip Guide to help you decide if this journey is right for you will be available soon! Simply fill out the form below, and you’ll receive a downloadable PDF to your inbox as soon as it's ready. The Trip Guide will include an in-depth itinerary, what’s included in the Package (and what’s not), and a special message from the Tour Leader. We'll be in touch soon!

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