Thursday, September 30, 2010

The Diocese of Evansville experience the Papal audience mere feet from the Pope

The Diocese of Evansville travelers attended the Papal audience Wednesday morning. The group experienced the amazing event from special seats, arranged by the Bishop, just feet away from the Pope. The choir also had the honor and privilege of being the only ensemble to sing at the Papal audience that morning. Below are photos of the Pope and the Evansville group, taken by the official Vatican photographers.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010: Welcome to the Eternal City!

Following what Director Jeremy Korba begin_of_the_skype_highlighting     end_of_the_skype_highlighting called "an amazingly prayerful, powerful, and musical experience at Saint Francis of Assisi," the Diocesan Choir of Evansville is off to the Eternal City of Rome. The group will begin this morning with an exciting guided tour of Baroque Rome that includes such breathtaking sights as the Spanish Steps and the Trevi Fountain. 
City facts about Rome:
  • Rome's early history is shrouded in legend. According to Roman tradition, the city was founded by the twins Romulus and Remus on 21 April 753 BC.
  • Due to this centrality on many levels, the city has been nicknamed "Caput Mundi" (Latin for "Capital of the World") and "The Eternal City".
  • Its rich artistic heritage and vast amount of ancient, notably architectural and archaeological sites, contribute to the city's UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
  • Rome is the third-most-visited tourist destination in the European Union.
  • The city is also an important worldwide hub of the cinematic and filming industry, home to the important and large Cinecittà Studios, which saw the filming of several internationally acclaimed movies as well as television programmes.
  • The Rome metropolitan area has a GDP of €109.4 billion (US$ 149.14), and according to a 2008 study, the city is the world's 35th richest city by purchasing power.
  • The city hosted the 1960 Olympic Games and is also an official candidate for the 2020 Olympic Games.
  • Rome is an important centre for music, and it has an intense musical scene, including several prestigious music conservatories and theatres. It hosts the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia (founded in 1585), for which new concert halls have been built in the new Parco della Musica, one of the largest musical venues in the world.
  • A Jewish influence in the Italian dishes can be seen, as Jews have lived in Rome since the 1st century BCE. Examples of these include "Saltimbocca alla Romana" - a veal cutlet, Roman-style; topped with raw ham and sage and simmered with white wine and butter - and "Carciofi alla giudia" - artichokes fried in olive oil, typical of Roman Jewish cooking.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010: the Diocesan Choir of Evansville celebrates High Mass at St. Peter's Basilica in Vatican City

Following their morning tour of Rome, the Evansville Diocesan Choir have the exciting privilege of singing and celebrating High Mass at the historic Saint Peter's Basilica in the Vatican at 5:00 this evening.
The Papal Basilica of Saint Peter is located within the Vatican City. St. Peter's Basilica has the largest interior of any Christian church in the world, holding 60,000 people. It is the symbolic "Mother church" of the Catholic Church and is regarded as one of the holiest Christian sites. It has been described as "holding a unique position in the Christian world" and as "the greatest of all churches of Christendom".
In Catholic tradition, it is the burial site of its namesake Saint Peter, who was one of the twelve apostles of Jesus and, according to tradition, first Bishop of Rome and therefore first in the line of the papal succession. Tradition and some historical evidence hold that Saint Peter's tomb is directly below the altar of the basilica. For this reason, many Popes have been interred at St Peter's since the Early Christian period. There has been a church on this site since the 4th century. Construction of the present basilica, over the old Constantinian basilica, began on April 18, 1506 and was completed on November 18, 1626.
St. Peter's is famous as a place of pilgrimage, for its liturgical functions and for its historical associations. It is associated with the papacy, with the Counter-reformation and with numerous artists, most significantly Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni (1475-1564), an Italian Renaissance painter, sculptor, architect, poet, and engineer. Michelangelo took over a building site at which four piers, enormous beyond any constructed since the days of Ancient Rome, were rising behind the remaining nave of the old basilica. He also inherited the numerous schemes designed and redesigned by some of the greatest architectural and engineering brains of the 16th century.
Incidentally there are over 100 tombs within St. Peter's Basilica, many located in the Vatican grotto, beneath the Basilica. These include 91 popes, St. Ignatius of Antioch, Holy Roman Emperor Otto II, and the composer Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina. Exiled Catholic British royalty James Francis Edward Stuart and his two sons, Charles Edward Stuart and Henry Benedict Stuart, are buried here, having been granted asylum by Pope Clement XI. The most recent interment was Pope John Paul II, on April 8, 2005.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010: the Diocese of Evansville Tour enjoy a private Vatican visit and recital in the Sistine Chapel

Following the completion of Mass at St. Peter's Basilica, the Diocese of Evansville travelers conclude their special day today with a private visit to the Vatican, including a featured recital in the astounding Sistine Chapel under Michelangelo's famed frescoes.

Vatican City facts:

Vatican City, officially the State of the Vatican City, is a landlocked sovereign city-state whose territory consists of a walled enclave within the city of Rome, the capital city of Italy. It has an area of approximately 44 hectares, and a population of just over 800.
Vatican City is a city-state that came into existence in 1929. It is distinct from the Holy See, which dates back to early Christianity and is the main Episcopal see of 1.147 billion Latin and Eastern Catholic adherents around the globe. Ordinances of Vatican City are published in Italian; official documents of the Holy See are issued mainly in Latin. The two entities even have distinct passports: the Holy See, not being a country, only issues diplomatic and service passports; the state of Vatican City issues normal passports. In both cases the passports issued are very few.
Vatican City is an ecclesiastical or sacerdotal-monarchical state, ruled by the bishop of Rome - the Pope. The highest state functionaries are all Catholic clergymen of various nationalities. It is the sovereign territory of the Holy See (Sancta Sedes) and the location of the Pope's residence, referred to as the Apostolic Palace. The Popes have resided in the area that in 1929 became Vatican City since the return from Avignon in 1377.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Happy New Year from Incantato Tours

Incantato Tours wishes everyone a very happy new year 2009.
As you may already know, our company relocated to Charlotte, NC to expand and improve our services. Our new address is 2805 Olympus Drive, Charlotte, NC 28214. You can reach Incantato by emailing to or calling our new office number 704.820.6224.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Merry Christmas from Incantato Tours & Pilgrimages

We wish you all a very merry Christmas, happy Holidays as well as a wonderful start in the new year.
Updates on the blogs and news about the upcoming Incantato concert season 2009 will follow soon.
In the meantime, we thought you may enjoy reading about Christmas and New Year celebrations in some of the countries Incantato takes groups to by clicking on the following links:
Christmas in Spain
Christmas in Portugal
Christmas in Italy
Please note that Incantato Tours relocated to North Carolina.
Our new address is
2805 Olympus Drive, Charlotte, NC 28214

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Passion Play 2010 in Oberammergau

For most, it is a once in a lifetime event to experience the Passion Play Performance in Oberammgau taking place only every ten years and next from May to October 2010.

There are many reasons why you should consider to travel with Incantato Tours to Oberammergau. Here is one of them: Sandra Weinacht, CEO of Incantato Tours, was born and raised in Germany and has been in the travel industry for many years prior to starting her own company with like-minded professionals. In 2000, Sandra personally directed over 15 groups to the Oberammergau Passion Play and experienced first-hand the immense joy, but also challenges that such a large scale event brings along for both the participants and organizers. She has returned to the otherwise quaint village almost every year since and established relationships that are sure to benefit the groups heading to Passion Play with Incantato Tours.

Unlike most tour operators, Incantato limits the number of groups they are bringing to Oberammergau in 2010, because it is our mission to make sure the travelers receive the personal attention they deserve and is needed when they are among thousands of others. Essential spiritual experiences are our trademark and we look forward to providing your group with a truly custom-designed journey. Because all Incantato Passion Play Tours are individually designed, they are suitable for all budget types and for all age groups starting with students from kindergarten age as part of our multi-generational offers and include special itineraries for senior citizens. We tailor-make every journey to meet your expectations and gladly incorporate special interest such as art, music, culinary, architecture, gardens etc. We specialize in groups starting at 15 and have organized enriching journeys for more than 300 traveling together.

We feature a selection of Oberammergau Passion Play 2010 itineraries that incorporate various destinations and interests below. You are invited to review them as a first introduction into the many possibilities and look forward to hearing from you via phone at 646.696.1195 or email to to design your future pilgrimage and faith-based journey to Europe.

Catholic Germany & the 2010 Passion Play

These journeys heading to Bavaria and the neighboring regions in the central and southern part of the country focus on Germany’s rich catholic history and many historical sights including shrines, churches and museums. Like every Incantato tour, we custom design the itinerary to match your groups’ expectations. Destinations could include Munich, Regensburg, Altoetting, Neuschwanstein with Wies-KIrche, Oberammergau.

Enchanting Italy & Oberammergau

Start or end in the eternal city of Rome and experience a Papal Audience at the Vatican as just one of many highlights. Stops en-route to Bavaria and the 2010 Passion Play can be made in Assisi, Florence, Venice, Padua, Milan, Munich.

Grand Reformation Tour & Passion Play 2010

Follow in the footsteps of Luther, Zwingli and Calvin. Visit sights and stations associated with the reformers’ lives in Germany and Switzerland either before or after you experience the events in Oberammergau. You may choose to visit Berlin, Wittenberg, Eisenach, Heidelberg, Worms, Lucerne, Zurich, Geneva.

For more information on the 2010 Passion Play in Oberammergau, click on the following links:

Passion Play 2000 Impressions set to Music

The History of Passion Play in Oberammergau

Our Incantato Passion Play Team looks forward to hearing from you via phone at 646.696.1195 or email to to design your future pilgrimage and faith-based journey to Europe.