Download the programme of the group tour  Rieti-Rome

 

THE 'WAY OF ST FRANCIS' - 'WAY OF ROME': FROM RIETI TO ROME

a 8 days pilgrimage walking holiday

 

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 Rieti

Day 2 Rieti - Poggio San Lorenzo

Day 3 Poggio San Lorenzo - Ponticelli 

Day 4 Ponticelli - Montelibretti

Day 5 Montelibretti - Monterotondo

Day 6 Monterotondo - Montesacro  

Day 7 Montesacro - Rome St.Peter 

Day 8 departure 

 

 

Programme:

Day 1

Individual arrival at Rieti

The town centre rests on a small hilltop, commanding a wide plain at the southern edge of an ancient lake. The area is now the fertile basin of the Velino River. Rieti, the Sabine Reate, is a quiet town with a lot of interesting sites. A part of the town is still surrounded by the town walls with characteristic round and square towers and 5 town gates. Worthwhile to visit is the roman cathedral Santa Maria with beautiful frescoes, the 13th century Sant’Agostino church and the 13th century S.Francesco church and the palazzo vescovile ("Bishops Palace"), whose construction was begun in 1283. Noteworthy are the loggia and eight Renaissance-style windows from 1532.  A guided tour of underground Rieti is available for anyone interested.

 

Day 2

Rieti - Poggio San Lorenzo

Leaving Rieti today you will get to know a part of the Via Salaria (the Salt Road) which connected the Tirrenian coast with the Adriatic coast. Along the way you will come across the pretty medieval village of Ornaro Alto and at the end of this third stretch the characteristic medieval village of Poggio San Lorenzo is waiting for you. The name of this village probably derives from the 4th century when Sant'Emidio stopped here to preach about the martyrdom of San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence). Sant'Emidio's words made such a mark on the people that they decided to rename their village. The village centre and the town walls date back to the Roman period. Near Poggio San Lorenzo is the famous animal park 'Giardino Faunistico di Piano dell'Abatino', a park with typical sub-Mediterranean vegetation where you can walk among downy oaks, holm oaks, field maples, manna ashes, Turkey oaks and hornbeams. The park is home to about 300 native and exotic animals including sloths, chital deer, Bennett's tree-kangaroos, meerkats, lamas, roe deer and raccoons. The animals are kept here for study and observation.

Distance:21,7 km; Walking time:6 hrs; Difficulty: medium; Ascent and Descent: + 274m  -230m

 

Day 3

Poggio San Lorenzo - Ponticelli

The scenery is particularly beautiful today thanks to the combination of ancient oaks, the archeological area of the ancient Sabine town of Trebula Mutuesca and the church of Santa Vittoria which rises up on the hillside. Vittoria is said to have been a Roman noble girl who lived in the 3rd century AD and refused to wed a rich patrician, instead consecrating herself to God. She died in exile in Trebula Mutuesca, where her sarcophagus is now housed in a church. A lot of salvaged building materials from Trebula Mutuesca were used to build the church, which is a little gem of Romanesque art revised over the centuries. Inside the church is a cistern where water miraculously sprung up when Vittoria died here as a martyr.

Continuing on your way you will reach the village of Poggio Moiano which rests at the foot of Mount Moiano. This village is famous for the floral pictures created for the solemn procession during the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (the last Saturday in June). Also in the area protected by the Lucretili mountains is the village of Scandriglia, another little marvel which we will encounter today. Scandriglia is known largely for a tragic event: the martyrdom of Saint Barbara in the year 290. Several places are worth visiting in Scandriglia: the 15th century Palazzo degli Anguillara is a grand building with fine renaissance architecture and some late gothic features. Preserved in the building are some frescoes ascribed to the school of Antoniazzo Romano.

At the end of the day you can visit the sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which has welcomed a good number of saints: Blessed Bonaventure of Barcelona, Saint Leonard of Porto Maurizio, the Venerable Jean-Baptiste Trunchet of Burgundy and Brother Angelo Savini of Ponticelli. You will stay in a B&B just outside town / dinner is included 

Distance: 21,5 km; Walking time: 6 hrs; Difficulty: easy; Ascent-Descent: +670m  -770m

 

Day 4

Ponticelli - Montelibretti

After breakfast you continue the route. Today is a short day and with not too much climbing. The path crosses the road for Nerola, where you can visit the Orsini castle which is perched on a high rocky outcrop. Through the countryside you go up to Montelibretti with its 10th century Palazzo Barberini. You can still see the defence walls of the town with lookout towers. The olive mills of Montelibretti might tempt you in for an olive oil tasting. You will have an overnight stay in a B&B

Distance:14,4 km; Walking time: 4 hrs; Difficulty:  easy/medium; Ascent-Descent: +414m  -200m

 

Day 5

Montelibretti - Monterotondo

Soon the olive groves of the hills give way to vast orchards. At the end of your day's walking the Via Salaria will lead you to Monterotondo, where there is plenty to see: the basilica of S. Maria Maddalena (17th century), the church of Madonna delle Grazie (14th - 15th century) and the Palazzo Orsini-Barberini, where you can admire the dining room frescoed by the Flemish artist Paul Brill. You will have an overnight stay in an *** hotel

Distance: 17,2 km; Walking time: 5 ¼  hrs; Difficulty:  easy; Ascent-Descent: +289m  -262 m

 

Day 6

Monterotondo - Montesacro

Again today the route is mostly flat walking. You will enter the Natural Park of Marcigliana, a protected nature reserve which preserves all the charm of the Roman countryside with its gentle hills and valleys marked by deep ditches. The site of one of the most ancient towns of protohistoric Lazio, Crustumerium, was discovered here in the Marcigliana area. Leaving the Park behind you will find yourself approaching Rome, the climax of the Via di Roma. The end of today's walk brings you to Montesacro, a district of Rome which was founded in 1924. Among the places of interest is the Acqua Sacra water spring where many Romans come to fill up their bottles with mineral water straight from the source. You will have an overnight stay in a B&B

Distance: 18,3 km; Walking time: 5  hrs; Difficulty:  easy; Ascent-Descent: +13m  -125m

 

Day 7

Montesacro - Rome St.Peter

There are so many things we should say about today's route! There is so much to see that it would take an entire guide book to sum it up. You will pass near the Mosque and the 'Parco della Musica' auditorium which hosts the big musical events of Rome. You will cross one of Rome's oldest bridges, the Ponte Milvio (4th -3rd century BC). Continue along the right bank of the Tiber to the beautiful Ponte Sant'Angelo bridge, which since medieval times has been the most frequented route for pilgrims heading for Saint Peter's. Pass Castel Sant'Angelo and finally... perhaps tired but surely satisfied, you will walk along Via della Conciliazione to reach the impressive Basilica of Saint Peter, in the crypt of which is St. Peter's tomb: the end of your journey. You will have an overnight stay in a B&B

Distance: 15,4 km; Walking time: 4 ¼ hrs; Difficulty:  easy; Ascent- Descent: +30m  -0m

 

Day 7

Departure 

 

 

The tour package for the tour includes:

  • 7 nights with breakfast in 3 and 4 star hotels, B&B and holiday farms

  • 1 dinner in Ponticelli

  • clients assistance 

  • luggage transportation

  • descriptions in English 

  • tour information in English

  • all transfer mentioned in the programme 

 

Period

daily from 1st April till the beginning of November. (In other months only on request).  

Level 3

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 a double room    € 565,00

In a single room     € 655,00

travelling alone € 800,00

half board supplement (3 dinners)   € 56,00

On request

extra nights, discount without luggage transportation, tracks voor gps (for free)

                              

      

 

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

See also: La Verna-Città di Castello; Città di Castello -AssisiAssisi- SpoletoSpoleto - Rieti