Walking from Rieti to Assisi on the Via di Francesco allows a deep connection with the places in the life of Italy’s beloved Saint Francis. Walkers see convents, hermitages, and sanctuaries that remember key events in his life as well as the landscapes of olive orchards, forests, and rivers that accompanied him on his journeys. Each day hear memories and reflections on this Patron Saint of the Environment as told by author, Russ Eanes, and take time to reflect on the lessons of faith, prayer, and love that St Francis lived out each day.
Itinerary for Rieti to Assisi:
Saturday, April 27, 2024 – Gather, Overnight in Rieti.
Orientation meeting and introduction to the life of St Francis in Lazio and Umbria.
Sunday, April 28, 2024 – Tour Rieti.
Transport to Greccio Station, walk to Santuario Greccio, Greccio town, and Contigliano. Return transport to Rieti.
Monday, April 29, 2024 – 11km walking Tour of Santuario Fonte Colombo.
Walk to Santuario di Fonte Colombo. After Fontecolombo, walk over mountain to Poggio Fidoni, for transport home and lunch. Overnight Rieti.
Tuesday, April 30, 2024 – 17.7km Rieti to Poggio Bustone.
Visit Santuario della Foresta and see beautiful Cantalice on the way to Poggio Bustone, home to Santuario di San Giovanni and the Sacro Specco (sacred cave) of St Francis’s important initial visions.
Thursday, May 1, 2024 – Walk 21km from Poggio Bustone to Piediluco.
For 800 years the story has been told of the beech tree that shielded St Francis in a storm. What is believed to be an offshoot of that tree is the focus of our day’s climb up to Faggio San Francesco. The views are worth the walk! On the way downhill we come to the deserted town of Labro, then make our way to lakeside Piediluco and its church that remembers the visit of St Francis to this lakeside town. Overnight Piediluco.
Friday, May 2, 2024 – Walk 13km from Piediluco to Arrone.
After a big day up to Faggio San Francesco it’s nice to get a break with this short day, punctuated by a visit to the largest human-made waterfall in the world – Marmore Falls. Overnight Arrone.
Saturday, May 3, 2024 – Walk 10km from Arrone to Macenano.
A second short day includes a visit to an ancient monastery that is now a luxury hotel. This is our opportunity to rest and stock up for the big climb to Spoleto.
Sunday, May 4, 2024 – Walk for Macenano to Spoleto.
The most challenging day of the trip takes us from the Nera Valley to the beautiful town of Spoleto. The views are spectacular and the walking is extraordinary. Before the final descent into Spoleto we stop at the Convent of Monteluco to see a cell where St Francis stayed.
Monday, May 5, 2024 – Rest day in Spoleto with Tour.
Spoleto’s Duomo holds a letter written in St Francis’s own hand, and above Spoleto is its mighty fortress that dominates the skylines. Spoleto also has an intact Roman-era amphitheater. We enjoy a 2-hr tour and then take the rest of the day to absorb the atmosphere of this beautiful Umbrian city.
Tuesday, May 6, 2024 – Spoleto to Trevi
The Spoleto Valley is ringed by tall hills, and for the next days we walk in the valley and along the hillsides, enjoying the views of the valley and walking among castles and convents. One of the most beautiful of the Umbrian hilltop villages, Trevi is known for the production of olive oil, and we tour the Museum of the Olive before our overnight here.
Thursday, May 7, 2024 – Trevi to Spello
We stop at Foligno to remember the place where Francis sold his father’s cloth to pay for his newfound ministry. Then it is on to Spello, the walled village that still rings with the medieval sounds of St Francis’s day.
Friday, May 8, 2024 – Spello to Assisi
Today’s walk delves into the olive groves and forests of Monte Subasio, the place where Francis spent much of his childhood. We make a glorious entry into Assisi through the Porta Nuova, passing the Basilica of Santa Chiara on our way to the Basilica of San Francesco, known worldwide for its early Renaissance frescoes, but even more importantly as the tomb of San Francesco himself. After a time of reflection, we make our way to the Pilgrim Office to receive our completion certificates. Overnight Assisi.
Saturday, May 9, 2024 – Tour Assisi and Surrounding Areas.
A trip to Assisi must include sights like San Damiano, Rocca Maggiore, Santa Maria degli Angeli, and San Gregorio. We tour them all, enjoying the medieval atmosphere of this beloved pilgrimage city. In the afternoon, an optional walk to Eremo delle Carceri, a beloved sanctuary of St Francis. We share a final meal together. Overnight Assisi.
Sunday, May 10, 2024 – Depart Assisi
We go our separate ways for further adventures, now filled with memories of the places dear to St Francis of Assisi.