Day 1. Arrive in Florence Settle into your room, relax! Return to Top
Day 2. Rest Day Florence Enjoy the fantastic Renaissance artwork and architecture of this beloved city. Make certain to stop at Basilica Santa Croce for your first credential stamp. Overnight in Florence. Return to Top
Day 3. Walk to Pontassieve (18.9km). Today’s walk at first follows the Lungarno, the pedestrian path alongside the Arno River, and then it makes an uphill turn among olive groves and dry stone walls. The track then drops back down to the Arno at Pontassieve, the last urban enclave before the next few days under the green canopy of Tuscan forests. Return to Top
Day 4. Walk to Passo della Consuma (17.8km). The Arno chooses a long, lazy curve to work its way around a low, Apennine hill, while instead we summit the hill through the deep forest after Diacceto. First we stop at Diacceto’s famous bakery, which hosts some of the finest baked goods and homemade gelato you’ll find anywhere. Return to Top
Day 5. Walk to Stia (16.5km). The path down to Stia, through forests and among ruins of castles, returns us to the Arno, which here in the mountains is just a large stream. Stia is gateway to the Castentino National Forest, but itself is an interesting town whose residents are reputed to preserve Etruscan DNA in their bloodlines. Return to Top
Day 6. Walk to Monastero di Camaldoli (16.5km). Now in the national forest, the fresh air and dirt paths make for marvelous walking. At the end of the day is a stay at the 1000-year-old monastery of the Camaldolese monks. Return to Top
Day 7. Walk to Casa Santicchio. The forest walk continues, today with a stopover at Badia Prataglia, one-time home to an ancient monastery of its own. Rather than finish the day here, we begin the climb, once again through forest, up to Santuario della Verna, stopping for an overnight at friendly Casa Santicchio. Return to Top
Day 8. Walk to Santuario della Verna. Outside of Assisi there is no place that carries the spirit of St Francis better than this monastery on a mountaintop, widely revered as one of Italy’s most holy places. Given to him by a noble admirer, the site has been in Franciscan hands ever since. The walk is stairway-steep on dirt paths, but the exertion is rewarded by the fairytale forest of ancient birch trees strewn with moss-covered boulders. Overnight at the monastery. Return to Top
Day 9. Rest day at Santuario della Verna. Explore the remote chapels that remember Francis’ stigmata and St Anthony’s presence here as well. If time allows, walk a ring of trails that least through the forest around the monastery, or simply enjoy the view over the Casentino Forest and soak up the serenity and calm of this quiet and beautiful refuge. Overnight at the monastery. Return to Top
Day 10. Walk to Pieve Santo Stefano (15.2km). It’s all downhill through forests to Pieve Santo Stefano, a town destroyed by WWII but which in rebuilding set the goal of remembering. The Piccolo Museo del Diario holds 10,000 diaries that describe joy and loss and love. An hour spent here among the memories easily becomes a highlight of the journey. Return to Top
Day 11. Walk to La Montagna. Today brings a return to the mountains and the gift of another Franciscan gem, Eremo di Cerbaiolo, a restored ruin also beloved by Francis that today is run by the Camaldesi monks. If Father Claudio is in he will show you around and in between you can soak up the spectacular mountain views. Continue on to Montagna, a mountain town filled with quiet among its shaded lines. Return to Top
Day 12. Walk to Sansepolcro. Now on the downhill slopes, stop first at Montecasale, a Capuchin hermitage that has a story of St Francis to tell. Continue afterward down to Sansepolcro, a Tuscan town that is impossible not to love. Return to Top
Day 13. Walk to Citerna (12.5km). The shortest of walking days allows time to linger over breakfast (and maybe lunch) in Sansepolcro. Afterward walk across the valley to the next hillside, leaving Tuscany and entering Umbria, to find this fortified city with a historic center that offers sweeping views of the Tiber River and back to Sansepolcro and the mountains beyond. Return to Top
Day 14. Walk to Città di Castello (20.3km). If you liked Sansepolcro, you’ll love Città di Castello, a town of towers and squares. To get there is a walk, once again, among forests, but this time mostly on quiet, country roads. If you have time, visit the dragon bones at the local museum. Return to Top
Day 15. Walk to Pietralunga (29.8km). A very similar walk to the previous day, through quiet forests and often on asphalt roads. The destination is Pietralunga, a village enlivened by its connection to pilgrims on the Via di Francesco. Return to Top
Day 16. Walk to Gubbio (26.5km). From the Tiber Valley you have now crossed into the Chiascio Valley which will ultimately lead to Assisi. Today’s walk begins in the mountains before coming to quiet asphalt roads on the valley floor. Before entering Gubbio, pause at the Roman amphitheater, sign of Gubbio’s importance in the Roman era. Today, Gubbio is recognized as one of Italy’s best-preserved medieval towns, and you’ll see why as you wander the streets filled with stone homes carved from granite quarried in the adjacent mountains. Return to Top
Day 17. Rest day in Gubbio. Gubbio holds many treasures – its medieval lanes, its museum, its amphitheater, its cuisine, and also the funivia, a ski-lift like funicular that takes passengers in baskets up to the Basilica di San Ubaldo above town. The churches of St Francis and Vittorina in Gubbio hold reminders of Francis’s visit here and his conversion of the infamous wolf that had plagued the townspeople. Return to Top.
Day 18. Walk to Biscina (22.7km). Head out through Gubbio’s suburbs before climbing up to the quiet walks in the Chiascio Valley with constant views of Lago Valfabbrica and the green mountains of Umbria. Overnight in Gubbio Return to Top.
Day 19. Walk to Valfabbrica (15.9km). Pass through forests above Lago Valfabbrica and then through fields before Valfabbrica, Francis’ first stop after separating from his parents in Assisi. Prepare this evening for your entry tomorrow into Francis’ hometown. Return to Top.
Day 20. Walk to Assisi (13.4km). Catch your first glimpse of the Basilica of St Francis as you walk over the last hill toward Assisi, then walk up through the Bosco di San Francesco woods to come to the end of your journey at the Basilica di San Francesco in Assisi. Tour the Basilica, catch a gelato in celebration, or head straight to the pilgrim office to receive your testimonium that confirms your journey’s successful completion.
Day 21. Rest day Assisi. There’s so much to see, so we have included a second night in Assisi as part of the package. A full tour of the Basilica of St Francis is in order, where you can marvel at the frescoes of Cimabue and Giotto. Tour other sites important to Francis, and also to St Clare. You may also head downhill to Santa Maria degli Angeli to tour the basilica that houses the Porziuncola, first headquarters of the Franciscan order and the place where St Francis came into his final rest. Top it all off watching the sunset over the valley – a fitting conclusion to a fantastic journey of discovery in the footsteps of St Francis of Assisi.
Day 22. Depart Assisi for your onward adventures.
Route map for Via Di Francesco – Florence To Assisi by Sanford Brown on plotaroute.com
At registration, all Package Trek participants must affirm they have read and understood the Terms and Conditions listed below:
Nature of Pilgrimage and Accommodations: Pilgrim Paths organizes religious and cultural travel itineraries in the pilgrimage walking tradition. Accommodation prices are based on single and/or double occupancy and these itineraries will utilize a range of accommodation ranging from pilgrim hostels where no hotel is available to 3-star hotels in larger cities. Return to Top
Package Trek Participant Responsibilities: As a Package Trek participant you have responsibilities, including:
Passports and Visas: Participants must carry with them a valid passport with at least six months of validity and the necessary visa as required by local law. Any information from Pilgrim Paths regarding visa applications is only a guideline. The participant is responsible for all necessary visa and legal documentations, noting that European Union (Schengen) visa requirements apply and may vary depending on your country of origin. Return to Top
Price: The Package Trek price per does not include ground transportation to and from the origin and destination. Luggage transfer service is included only when specified (usually in our Standard Level Plus+ package). Price includes lodging (per person at double-occupancy or single lodging); a guidebook, and credential. The price does not include airfare, meals, recommended travel insurance, personal expenses, or anything not expressly stated on the itinerary. When a guide is provided, a tip at the end of the walk is customary. Return to Top
Payment Information: A deposit of 33% is required to secure a reservation and €500 of the deposit is non-refundable but transferable to another Pilgrim Paths itinerary. The final payment is due 90 days prior to departure. Payment can be made by e-commerce site (with additional fees), personal check or wire transfer (bank fees from the sending bank apply). Trip prices and costs are listed in Euros and translation to other currencies is to be based on Google Finance conversion rates, which fluctuate daily. Return to Top
Changes and Cancellations:
Once the itinerary pricing has been confirmed by the participant and the deposit and final payment have been received, we ask that no further changes to the itinerary be made. If changes are requested, Pilgrim Paths must confirm the feasibility of the changes and then will charge a fee of €50 per change for each accommodation or ground transportation change needed to complete the revised itinerary. Changes will be incorporated into a revised itinerary once the change fee has been billed and paid. Return to Top
If a participant cancels 90 days or more before departure, all payments will be refunded except €500 of your deposit which is transferable to another trip with Pilgrim Paths. If the cancellation is made fewer than 90 days before departure, the following non-refundable charges are added to the $100 withheld by Pilgrim Paths:
These mandatory charges are included in order to cover the cost to Pilgrim Paths of subcontractors who have required advance payment in order to confirm bookings. Other terms and conditions may apply at registration. Return to Top
Release and Assumption of Risk: I understand and agree that during the tour in which I will participate, under the arrangements of Pilgrim Paths, certain risks and dangers may arise, including, but not limited to, acts of God, the hazards of the forces of nature (including but not limited to animal or insect bites), dangers and risks inherent in trekking activities (including but not limited to falls or injuries), and accident or illness in remote places without access to medical facilities, transportation, or means of rapid evacuation and assistance. Pilgrim Paths shall not be responsible for any injuries, damages, or losses caused to any traveler in connection with any of the above, mechanical or construction failures or difficulties, diseases, local laws, climatic conditions, abnormal conditions or developments, or any other actions, omissions, or conditions outside the travel company’s control. Traveler assumes complete and full responsibility for, and hereby releases the agent from any duty of, and all safety or security conditions at such destinations. Return to Top
In consideration of, and as a part of the payment for, the right to participate in such treks, tours, expeditions, or other activities and as a part of the payment for, the services arranged for me by Pilgrim Paths and its agents, employees, associates, affiliated companies, or subcontractors, I do hereby expressly assume all of the above risks. Return to Top
This comprehensive packing list is designed to help you be well-prepared for a great pilgrimage hike experience. Participants must be prepared for rain, blisters, bugs, sun and potential emergencies. We ask that you carefully prepare yourself by going through this list in detail well before departure, and then bringing along each item.
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