Via di Roma – Stage 1: La Verna to Città di Castello

Italy

Holiday overview

Destination

Italy


Type

Pilgrim Routes, Self Guided


Difficulty

Moderate


Month

Jan - Dec


Price

£ 675 pp


Duration

7 nights


Contact Us

This walking route begins in Tuscany at the La Verna monastery, where St. Francis first received the signs of the stigmata. This is a 7 day, 6 night holiday with 5 days of walking.

Price:

£675.00 per person based on two people sharing.

Single supplement: £140.00

Supplement for one person walking alone £57.00

 

Included:

6 nights accommodation in hotels or agriturismo with private bathrooms;  breakfast each day; 2 dinners; transfers as mentioned in the itinerary; walking maps with route instructions;  luggage transportation; local back-up.

 

Not Included:

Travel to and from the holiday, meals not mentioned in the programme, drinks with meals, insurance.

 

Departure Dates:

Daily according to accommodation availability from the 1st April until the beginning of November.

Day 1: Arrival at Città di Castello

Arrive at your hotel in the old centre of Città di Castello, a town situated in the Upper Tiber Valley and surrounded by a green landscape of rolling hills. It is a town bubbling with life and an important economical centre of the valley. Worth visiting are the municipal museum -with works by painters such as Raphael, Luca Signorelli, Giovanni and Andrea della Robbia, Pomarancio and Ghirlandaio- and the two museums dedicated to the works of Alberto Burri. On request you can start the tour in the monastery of La Verna.

 

Day 2: La Verna – Pieve Santo Stefano

Distance: 16 km

Walking time: 4 ½ hours

Difficulty: medium

Ascent / descent: + 330m, – 970m

 

After breakfast you will be taken by vehicle to La Verna Abbey, built upon the mountain bearing the same name. This is the spot where Saint Francis received the signs of the stigmata. Still remaining from this period are the small church Santa Maria degli Angeli and the cells of St. Francis and his companions. After your visit of the abbey you will start your first walk, climbing to the top of mount Calvano. From here there are magnificent views over the valley of Pieve Santo Stefano far below.

 

Day 3: Pieve Santo Stefano – Eremo di Cerbaiolo – Montagna

Distance: 24,4 km or 22,5 km

Walking time: 7 or 6hrs 30 min (not visiting the hermitage of Cerbaiolo)

Difficulty: difficult

Ascent / descent: +968m, – 746m

 

Today’s walk leads you to the hermitage ‘eremo di Cerbaiolo’ , the pass ‘Valico di Viamaggio’ and the mountain village of Montagna. Leaving Pieve Santo Stefano the route climbs towards the hermitage. There is a saying that “whoever has visited La Verna and not Cerbaiolo has seen the mother but not the child”. Cerbaiolo is cradled against the mountain, surrounded by an oak wood. It was a dreary and abandoned place when Francis and his companions stayed here in 1216, but two years later the first Franciscan monks came to live here and restored the hermitage.The route continues climbing to the Valico di Viamaggio from which you reach the top of Monte Verde. You descend towards the village of Montagna. Here you will be picked up and brought by taxi (incl. in the price) to Sansepolcro. You will stay in the centre of town. On request you can stay in the monastery of Montecasale about 6 km outside Sansepolcro.

 

Day 4: Montagna- hermitage Montecasale– Sansepolcro

Distance: about 13 km

Walking time: 3 hours

Difficulty: easy

Ascent / descent: + 186m, – 570m

 

After breakfast you will be taken by vehicle back to Montagna. You will walk through woodland with occasional clearings, from which you can enjoy amazing views over the surrounding hills and mountains. Your descent continues to the monastery of Montecasale, where there was once a tavern for pilgrims on their way to the Holy Land. Further downhill you reach Sansepolcro, the birthplace of the painter Piero della Francesca, whose famous painting ‘The resurrection’ can be admired in the town’s museum.

 

Day 5: Sansepolcro – Monterchi – Celle

Distance: about 17,8 km

Walking time: 5 hours

Difficulty:medium

Ascent / descent: + 460m – 260m

 

A shorter walk today with less climbing sees you leave Sansepolcro and cross the fertile Tiber valley and enter the region of Umbria. The terrain becomes more hilly and the route climbs through the woods to the town gate of Citerna, a small medieval town, which is listed as one of the most beautiful villages (borghi) of Italy.

 

Day 6: Monterchi – Città di Castello

Distance:15,1

Walking time: 4 hours

Difficulty: medium

Ascent / descent: + 475m – 674m

 

Today you walk through a hilly landscape with oak woods and fields before arriving in Città di Castello. You will pass the hermitage del Buon Riposo, built on the spot where St. Francis stayed in a cave during his journeys to La Verna. The last stretch of descent will take you past Villa Montesca, where Maria Montessori taught, across the bridge over the Tiber and into the centre of Città di Castello.

 

Day 7: Departure after breakfast.