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St Francis Way (from Assisi) 10D/9N

This section of the St Francis Way takes you through the heart of Italy and is inspired by the life of St Francis of Assisi.

The walk will take you through the incredible Valle Umbra, passing through olive groves, vineyards, farmland and some of the best preserved Roman towns in Italy.

You will be then into the green heart of Italy through forests and river valleys and ending up in the town of Rieti. You will experience some stunning, striking and varied countryside in central Italy.

Tour Highlights

  • Travel through the incredible Valle Umbra
  • See olive groves, vineyards and some of the best preserved Roman towns in Italy
  • Experience stunning and varied countryside
Price from

$1,305.00

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Tour Information

Inclusions:

  • - Accommodation with private bathroom (3* - 5*)
  • - Holiday pack with notes and maps,
  • - 24/7 support number during your trip and GPS files
  • - Luggage transfers (one bag per person, up to 20kg)

Departures - Independent or Small-Group Adventure:

April - October

Itinerary

Day 1: Assisi

You arrive in Assisi.

Day 2: Foligno

From Assisi, you will start your St Francis Way journey at Porta Perlici or Porta Cappuccini, walking up to Eremo delle Carceri (800m).

After that, you will continue down the western flank of Mount Subasio, past the former monastery of San Benedetto al Subasio (740m) and Sasso Rosso (830m), a rock offering breath-taking views of Valle Umbra.

You will then continue down and up again past Mount Pietrolungo. The trail then goes down among some trees and olive groves, taking you to just outside the walls of Spello. Wander the streets of this beautiful medieval town and continue on the flat bottom of the valley on country roads up to the outskirts and into the centre of Foligno (235m), your stop for the night.

Day 3: Campello sul Clitunno

Today you will start your St Francis Way walk along the straight road to San’Eraclio (230m), then on a country road surrounded by olive trees, a little above the valley, on your way to the village of Matigge (280m).

You will pass quaint little villages and churches before taking a short steep trail up to the convent of San Martino and the panoramic road taking walkers to the beautiful medieval town of Trevi (410m).

Downhill out of town, you will pass the convent of Madonna delle Lacrime and the church of Croce di Bovara.

For the last part of the day, you will descend to the town of Campello sul Clitunno in the valley of the Marroggia river.

Day 4: Spoleto

From picturesque Campello sul Clitunno you will continue your journey on the St Francis Way.

After following a local road for a little while, you will join the main road briefly, passing a couple of small villages then turning onto a dirt trail descending amid olive trees to the elegant village of Poreta (340m) and up to its castle (450m).

Walking up and down over the countryside, between the valley and the mountains, you will pass Bazzano Superiore (570m), Bazzano Inferiore (360m) and Eggi (350m), at the extreme corner of the Valle Spoletana.

Your stop for the night is Spoleto (390m) where you should visit its beautiful cathedral.

Day 5: Ceselli

Today, you should start by getting to Rocca d’Albornoz, at the top of the town, and across the spectacular Ponte delle Torri. A steep trail takes you up to the Franciscan sanctuary of Monteluco (780m).

You will walk across woods and meadows to get to the pass of Forca delle Porelle (911m), then cross lush forests to reach the other side of the mountain.

Downhill into the province of Terni, you will pass the ghost-village of Sensati and the community of Le Cese further down.

You will continue downhill past the rural village of Nevi and the renovated Pontuglia on your way to Ceselli (270m) and Valtiberina.

Day 6: Arrone

Leaving Ceselli, you will start by crossing the bridge over the River Nera to follow a country road between the river and the mountains.

The first village on your way is Colleponte, with Macenano on the opposite side of the bridge. A dirt road will take you then to Precetto (250m), with Ferentillo just across the river; here the narrow valley opens up into a small plane.

Another dirt road follows the river down to Arrone (230m).

Day 7: Piediluco

Today you have a short walking day ahead. After a short walk to Castel di Lago, you will continue following river on a pleasant country road, down to the edge of Collestatte Piano (220m).

You will now be close to the bottom side of the impressive Marmore Waterfalls, a man-made waterfall created by the Romans and the tallest in Europe. A steep trail in the woods will take you to the top side and the village of Marmore (380m).

A short walk will take you to the banks of the River Velino, that feeds the falls; you will then walk upstream on a smooth trail taking you to Lake Piediluco; you will be able to see the village, on the opposite side of this small but very beautiful lake.

You will continue along the lake banks to the little town of Piediluco (380m).

Day 8: Poggio Bustone

Today, you will begin by crossing the regional border with Lazio, into the province of Rieti.

The St Francis Way trail climbs up to Labro (630m), a medieval village, perfectly preserved, topped by a castle overlooking the lake: you have begun the crossing over the flanks of the Reatini mountain range: the next village is Morro Reatino (740m), then you will start climbing a mountain road, with spectacular views of ‘Valle Santa’, leading to the St Francis Beech-tree (1100m) and the little chapel of Saint Francis.

From there you will descend across meadows and woods to the shepherds hamlet of Cepparo (850m) and continue across woods and along the flanks of Mount Rosato to the Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone (818m).

Day 9: Rieti

You can start today’s walk by hiking an extra stretch of about 2 km up to the rustic chapel of Sacro Speco (1000m) and back to the sanctuary. The path will take you first into the little town of Poggio Bustone, just below the sanctuary, and into the country and woods hanging on the mountainside.

You will then pass the village of San Liberato and the historic town of Cantalice, hanging on the rocks (700m). Descending gradually, you will reach first the sanctuary of San Felice all’acqua (580m), with its miraculous spring, and then continue in the woods down and up again to the sanctuary of La Foresta (510m).

A downhill walk will take you finally to Rieti (405m).

Day 10: Rieti

The pretty town of Rieti preserves in its small historical centre many artistic beauties well worth visiting.

The main monuments are concentrated in the two main squares, Piazza Battisti and Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II (the ancient Roman Forum). Among the many sights to visit we suggest: The Palazzo Comunale and Civic Museum; the Cathedral of the Assumption, with its characteristic Romanesque bell tower and Baroque style; the Baptistry and Diocesan Museum, rich in works of art, garments and property belonging to the Diocese of Rieti; the Bishop’s Palace, a grandiose monument where you will find the Diocesan Art gallery; the Bishop’s Arch, a bridge built by Boniface VIII and famous for its daring architecture; the medieval city walls with their intact gates and towers.

Another must-see is ‘underground of Rieti’, where you will find the viaduct built by the Romans in the 3rd century BC to raise the Via Salaria, the ancient salt route and protect it from flooding due to the river Velino.