Walk among vineyards and olive groves through the region St Francis loved, stopping at key sites in his life. See where he heard his call to poverty, where he spoke to the Pope, where he received his vision and look at a letter written in his own hand. Visit serene lakes and enjoy mountain vistas, then feel the mists of the thundering waters of the largest human-made waterfall. When it is all over, arrive at the incomparable Eternal City of Rome to enjoy an unforgettable pilgrimage made more real because you walked to get there. Three 2020 departures: May 9-23, September 21-October 5, and October 6-20.
***Through February 9 the price of our May 2020 Assisi to Rome departure is $150 off.***
- Day 1 – Gather, overnight in Assisi (optional Assisi tour).The beautiful hometown of St. Francis is one of the most beloved pilgrim sites in all the world.
- Day 2 – Assisi to Spello (easier: 13.8km/8.6miles; harder: 17.6km/10.9miles) –The climb on Assisi’s Mount Subasio offers spectacular views of the Tiber River Valley. Choose this for its views or stay below in the easier and still scenic route among olive groves.
- Day 3 – Spello to Trevi (19.1km/11.9miles) – Onto the valley floor now, enter Foligno, where Francis sold his father’s cloth to raise money to rebuild the Church of San Damiano then climb to delightful Trevi famous for its beautiful views.
- Day 4 – Trevi to Spoleto (easier: 19.1km/11.9miles; harder: 27.6km/17.2miles) – Either descend to the valley floor for a quiet walk along a flat bike path or take the longer mountainside option through Poreta. Spoleto is a cultural capital of Umbria as it hosts the annual Due Mondi festival that attracts the world’s finest classical musicians each year; its cathedral houses a hand-written letter of St Francis.
- Day 5 – Spoleto to Macenano (20.4km/12.7miles) – A brisk 45-min climb takes you to the Monteluco Franciscan convent, and then a long downhill wilderness trail leads along dramatic gorges into the Valnerina recreational area. Overnight at the ancient Abbey of San Pietro in Valle (when available).
- Day 6 – Macenano to Arrone (10.4km/6.5miles) – A perfectly restful day with a quiet, flat walk along a green mountain-bike path to the charming Umbrian hill town of Arrone.
- Day 7 – Arrone to Piediluco (15.2km/9.4miles) – Leave later in the morning so you can arrive when the waters are flowing at majestic Cascata delle Marmore, a waterfall on the Velino River made by the Romans over 2000 years ago. Walk alongside the Velino River to quiet Piediluco, home to the Italian National Crew Team.
- Day 8 – Piediluco to Poggio Bustone (21.8km/13.5miles) – Atop a mountain stands the 800-year old Beech Tree of St Francis. The day ends in Poggio Bustone, site of the cave where St. Francis had two visions that would change his life.
- Day 9 – Poggio Bustone to Rieti (17.7km/11.0miles) – A quiet and verdant walk to the gorgeous village of Cantalice and then the sanctuary of La Foresta where legend attributes a key miracle to St. Francis. End the day in Rieti, an important stop on the ancient Roman salt road.
- Day 10 – Rieti to Poggio San Lorenzo (21.8km/13.5miles) – Walk along the ancient Roman Salt Road through quiet farms of the Sabine Region to tiny Poggio San Lorenzo.
- Day 11 – Poggio San Lorenzo to Ponticelli (21.6km/13.4miles) – An up-and-down day of forested ridges, olive groves and sheep pastures with views to castles and quiet villages. Overnight at 15th c Castello Orsini.
- Day 12 – Ponticelli to Montelibretti (13.2km/8.2milesl) – The mountains begin to spread out before you and the hills begin to flatten as you prepare for the broad Tiber Valley ahead.
- Day 13 – Montelibretti to Monterotondo (16.6km/10.3miles) – Although Rome is near, the path carries you through lush nature preserves, away from traffic and city life. In clear weather the first glimpse of St. Peter’s can be seen in the far distance.
- August 4 – Monterotondo to Monte Sacro (19.3km/12.0miles)- With some sadness leave nature behind and walk the second half of this day through Roman suburbs to a comfortable lodging in the Monte Sacro district of Rome.
- August 5 – Monte Sacro to the Vatican (15.4km/9.6miles) – Follow quiet bicycle paths until the right moment to dive into the city, walking through Piazza del Popolo and on the edge of Piazza Navone. Cross the Bridge of Angels and take the first steps out of Rome into Vatican City at the doors of the Basilica of Saint Peter, our journey’s goal.
- August 6 – Depart Rome – With your testimoniumin hand and your mind full of memories say goodbye to Rome. This pilgrimage through the Roman countryside in the places beloved by St. Francis stays vivid in your mind for a lifetime of cherished memories.