THE VIA DI SAN FRANCESCO - WAY OF ROME: FROM CITTÀ DI CASTELLO TO ASSISI

a pilgrimage walking tour of 7 days

 

Since medieval times there have been three famous Christian pilgrimage destinations: Jerusalem in the Holy Land, Santiago de Compostella in Spain, and Rome. The ‘Way of St. Francis'(Roman Way) is a section of a pilgrims' route to Rome, a European cultural path which starts in Vienna and ends in Rome, passing many places connected with the life of St. Francis. The route, which also carries the symbol of the keys of St. Peter, finishes in front of St. Peter’s tomb in Rome. Every year many pilgrims and trekkers from all over the world follow this path, passing hermitages, sanctuaries, ancient forests, olive groves and valleys rich in art and history. This walking route begins in Tuscany, at the La Verna monastery, where St. Francis received the signs of the stigmata (wounds of Christ). The route then crosses Umbria from north to south and finishes in Rome, in the region of Lazio. In Umbria, the native area of St. Francis, his presence is particularly strong and everything reminds us of the much-loved saint. A highlight of this tour is of course the lovely town of Assisi, where a section of the Via di Roma begins at the St. Francis tomb in the Basilica di San Francesco, one of the most celebrated sacred spots of Christianity. Assisi enjoys a splendid position on a hillside at the foot of Monte Subasio, overlooking the Valle Umbra and lying between the rivers Chiascio, Topino and Tescio. St. Francis (1181/82 – 1226) was born in Assisi and lived here for most of his life. It is certainly worth inserting an extra day in your itinerary to visit this fascinating town. Leaving Assisi you will walk through the wonderful countryside of Umbria, which St. Francis so loved, and you will pass through medieval towns and villages such as Spello, Foligno, Trevi, Spoleto and Arrone. You enter the region of Lazio and along the approach Rome the landscape becomes ever flatter, but not less exciting. On the last two days you will walk through Rome passing many monuments, which are worth visiting, but the highlight will certainly be the Basilica of St. Peter, the final destination of this walking tour

 

 

 

 

 

 

Programme in short:  

Day 1 arrival at Città di Castello 

Day 2 transfer by vehicle to Moun Sasso and walking till Pietralunga 

Day 3 Pietralunga - Gubbio 

Day 4 Gubbio - Biscina 

Day 5 Biscina - Valfabbrica 

Day 6 Valfabbrica - Assisi 

Day 7 departure or continuing the Via di San Francesco

 

 

 

Programme

Day 1

Individual arrival at Città di Castello

Your hotel is in the old centre of Città di Castello, a town situated in the Upper Tiber Valley and surrounded by a green landscape of rolling hills. It is a town bubbling with life and an important economical centre of the valley. Worth visiting are the municipal museum -with works by painters such as Raphael, Luca Signorelli, Giovanni and Andrea della Robbia, Pomarancio and Ghirlandaio- and the two museums dedicated to the works of Alberto Burri.

 

Day 2

Città di Castello - Pietralunga  

After breakfast you will be taken by vehicle to Moun Sasso to begin a beautiful walk through Umbrian hills. Of particular interest today is Pieve de Saddi, one of the earliest Christian communities in the Upper Tiber Valley (3rd century a.C.). Your walk today finishes at Pietralunga, a small town built on a hilltop. At the main square you can see the remains of the Longobard castle.

Distance: 29,8 or 21,1 km; Walking time: 10 or 7 hrs; Difficulty: difficult; Ascent / descent: + 900m, - 607m

 

Day 3

Pietralunga Gubbio

Today another spectacular walk awaits you, with beautiful views of the surrounding hills and mountains. You will pass the Abbey of San Benedetto and will climb and descend to reach the high plain of Gubbio, where the town itself is built proudly on the slopes of Monte Ingino. Gubbio not only offers fascinating cultural sights,  but is also a lively town with small shops, excellent restaurants and cosy squares. Gubbio is closely linked with the life of St. Francis, who came here as a beggar. In this town he found shelter thanks to his friend the textile merchant  Spadalunga, who not only gave him a place to sleep but clothes to dress himself. This simple straight dress became  the prototype of the Franciscan tunic. The church and monastery of St. Francis is built on the site of Spadalunga’s house. You will stay in a hotel near the church of St. Francis.. The hotel is situated in the historical centre of the town.

Distance: 25,2 km; Walking time: 8 hours; Difficulty: difficult; Ascent / descent: + 370m, - 450m

 

Day 4

Gubbio - Biscina

This stage of the ‘Sentiero della Pace’ leads to the castle of Biscina. In the beginning a steep climb brings you out of the valley of Gubbio. Today you will have a beautiful scenery and you will pass the small church of Caprignone, the hermitage of S.Pietro in Vigneto and the chapel Madonna delle Ripe. Today’s route ends at a holiday farm near the Castle of Biscina.

Distance: 22,8 km; Walking time: 6 ½  hours; Difficulty: medium - difficult; Ascent / descent: + 520m, - 500m

 

Day 5

Biscina - Valfabbrica

Also today a uphill downhill walk through the hills between Assisi and Gubbio. You will pass the small churches of Sambuco and Coccorano and walking along the Chiascio River you will arrive at Vallfabbrica. Your overnight stay is in town or just outside

Distance:17,3 km; Walking time: 5 ½  hours; Difficulty: medium; Ascent / descent: + 450m - 360m

 

Day 6

Valfabbrica - Assisi

This last stage will see you walking though forest and olive groves to Assisi. From afar you will already be able to see the castle and the basilica of St. Francis.  Near the bridge  Ponte Croce,  you can make a short detour and walk in the ‘Forest of St. Francis’ with the small church of St.Croce, the ‘Ponte dei Galli’ (the bridge where is said that Charles the Great passed) and an old mill.  A last steep climb and you will pass through the town gate known as Porta S.Giacomo. Descending from here you will have an astounding view of the upper church of St.Francis. On the way to your hotel you will cross the town centre, passing the most famous Franciscan monuments. You can also opt for an overnight stay in a monastery

Distance:14,4 km; Walking time: 4 ½  hours; Difficulty: medium; Ascent / descent: + 450m - 360m

 

Day 7

departure after breakfast or continue the Via di Roma  

 

 

 

 

 

The tour includes:

  • 6 nights in 3 and 4 star hotels, a country house and two holiday farms with breakfast 

  • 3 dinners

  • clients assistance 

  • luggage transportation

  • descriptions and maps in English 

  • tour information in English

  • all transfer mentioned in the programme 

 

 

Period

every day from 1 April till beginning of November (the other months on request). 

Level 3/4

The daily itineraries pass through moderately mountainous country and hill terrain. On some days the amount of ascent and descent is quite considerable. Daily walking distances are between 15 and 28 km (with an average of 3 – 4 hours walking a day). This route requires a certain amount of experience and familiarity with mountain terrain. A good level of fitness for walking is necessary.

Price p.p. 2017

in double room     € 535,00

in single room      € 645,00

travelling alone    € 710,00

half board supplement (3 diners)   € 60,00

On request

extra nights, discount transporting your own luggage, tracks for gps (for free)

 

Are you interested in this tour: please ask us the detailed programme in pdf !

See also: La Verna-Città di Castello; Assisi - Spoleto; Spoleto - RietiRieti-Roma