Umbria – In the tracks of St. Francis

Umbria, Italy

Holiday overview

Destination

Italy


Type

Self Guided


Difficulty

Moderate


Month

Apr - Oct


Price

£ 775 pp


Duration

7 nights


Contact Us

A Self Guided Walk Through the Italy of St. Francis. The various landscapes with their beautiful views of the valleys and hills and the towns Assisi, Spello and Spoleto, where you can still taste the medieval atmosphere.

In the heart of beautiful green Umbria lies the medieval town of Assisi, where St. Francis was born. On this walking holiday you will pass through the colourful landscapes and the many monuments and sites which preserve the memory of St Francis and his companions.

This route largely follows two Franciscan walking trails: the ‘Sentiero Franciscano’, or ‘Franciscan Path’, which connects Nocera with Assisi, and the ‘Sentiero della Pace’ (‘Path of Peace’), between Assisi and the town of Gubbio, with its handsome medieval centre.

 

Price:

£775 per person based on two people sharing.   7 night tour.  Single supplement: £140.00

£895.00 per person based on two people sharing.  9 night tour (extra night Assisi and Vescia):  Single room supplement £150.00  (

Supplement solo walker: £70.00

 

Included:

  •  7 or 9 overnight stays with breakfast
  •  5 or 6 dinners (depending on 7 or 9 night tour)
  • luggage transportation
  • route instructions and maps
  • emergency support hotline
  • route briefing on arrival day
  • free tracks for gps: on request will be send by email 2 weeks before arrival date
  • tourist information

Excluded in the price

  • local taxes to be paid directly to the hotel (2018 in Assisi and Gubbio about € 1,50-2,00 per person)
  • meals not mentioned
  • drinks with meals
  • travel to and from the holiday
  • anything not mentioned in ‘included’

 

Terrain, level of difficulty *** / **** for walkers with experience. Routes through middle/high level hilly landscapes with some steep climbs. Daily distances between 15 and 25 km. An average of 3 km – 4 km an hour. You will walk on footpaths, mountain tracks, forest trails and occasionally on roads.

 

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

Day 1: Arrive in Assisi

You arrive at your hotel in Assisi, situated 900m from the historical centre.

(The nine night holiday includes 2 nights in Assisi: A circular walk through Assisi and in its surroundings

This walk will take you among the best-known Franciscan monuments in and around Assisi. It starts at the Porta Cappuccini town gate. From here you walk up through the woods of Mount Subasio to the hermitage ‘Eremo delle Carceri’ (830m a.s.l.), where St. Francis and his companions retreated to meditate and pray in the silence of the woods. A steep descent brings you back to Assisi. The town walk will take you round the Basilica of St. Francis, where he is buried, the Basilica of St.Clare, housing the cross which spoke to St. Francis, his birthplace and the monastery of San Damiano After your visit of this monastery you can choose to go back to your hotel or to continue your walk downhill to the village of S.Maria degli Angel (210m a.s.l.) to visit the impressive basilica. From here the local bus will take you back to Assisi. Walking time: 5 hours (15 km)

Day 2: Assisi – Vescia

Today walk first to Spello and then to Vescia, following the slopes of Mount Subasio, passing through olive groves and enjoying astounding views. Spello has Roman origins, as we are reminded by the Porta Venereand Porta Consolare town gates and the remains of a Roman theatre. Don’t forget to admire the colourful fresco’s by Pinturicchio in the church S. Maria Maggiore. Overnight Vescia.Walking time: 5 ½ hours (18 km)

(If you choose the 9 night version, you stay two nights in Vescia – This walk will lead you to highlights such as the waterfalls of the Altolina river and the Benedictine abbey of Sassovivo (11th cent.). After the village of Belfiore the trail leads you into the mountains. Passing the waterfalls of the Altolina you will reach the hamlet of Pale. Another climb will bring you to the abbey of Sassovivo, situated in an old home oak woodland. The finest architectural feature of the entire abbey is certainly the cloister with the double order columns, surmounted by lily-shaped capitols From here you turn back to your B&B in Vescia. Walking time: 4 hours (14 km)

 

Day 3: Vescia – Nocera Umbra

This walk through the valley of the river Topino takes you among villages like Capodacqua and past the ruins of castles and towers. Halfway you can choose to shorten your route by taking the train from the village of Valtopina (except Sundays) to Nocera Scalo, from where you can walk on to Nocera Umbra. In 1226 St. Francis became very ill and returned to Assisi. On the journey he stayed for the night in the Franciscan monastery of Nocera, outside the town gate, where the ‘Giardino delle Acque’ is now found. The second Franciscan monastery has been preserved and is now a small museum. Your overnight stay will be in a hotel in the town centre.Walking time: 5 hours (14,5 km) or 7 hours (20 km)

 

Day 4: Nocera Umbra – Costa di Trex

Today’s route follows the ‘Sentiero Franciscano’, which reminds us of the saint’s last journey in 1226, accompanied by horsemen. Nowadays this last journey is still remembered with the ‘Cavalcata di Satriano’, when horsemen from all over Umbria, dressed in medieval clothes, ride the same trail as the horsemen of 1226. This route passes the remains of the castle Rocca di Postignano, the little chapel of Satriano, where St. Francis had an overnight stay on his last journey, and the medieval bridge, Ponte Marchetto, which crosses a mini-canyon. Your overnight stay will be in an agriturismo near Assisi (5 km).Walking time: 6 hours (19 km)

 

Day 5: Costa di Trex – Valfabbrica

The Franciscan trail takes you back to Assisi. Enter through the Porta Cappuccini and leave through the Porta S. Francesco. Continue along the Franciscan route ‘Sentiero della Pace’, which connects Assisi with Gubbio and reminds us of the journeys of St. Francis between these two towns. This beautiful route, with splendid views of Assisi and marvellous panoramas of the surrounding valleys and mountains, takes you past the village of Pieve S. Niccolo and ends in the town of Valfabbrica, where you will find your hotel in the town centre. Walking time: 5 hours (15 km)

 

Day 6: Valfabbrica – Abbazia Vallingegno

The second stage of the ‘Sentiero della Pace’ leads to the abbey of Vallingegno. This section passes through the valley of the river Chiascio and passes the Benedictine church of Barcaccia, the ruins of the castle and the monastery of Coccorano, the castle of Biscina, the church of Caprignone and the hermitage of S. Pietro in Vigneto. Today’s walk ends at the abbey of Verecundus, known as Vallingegno, where, according to the tradition St. Francis took refuge after he renounced his worldly wealth. You will stay the night in an agriturismo 100 m.from the abbey.Walking time: 7 ½ hours (22 km)

 

Day 7: Vallingegno – Gubbio

The last stage of the ‘Sentiero della Pace’ takes you to Gubbio, a town built on the slopes of Monte Ingino. Gubbio is closely linked with the life of St. Francis, who came here as a beggar. In this town he found shelter thanks to his friend the textile merchant Spadalunga, who not only gave him a place to sleep but the clothes that became the prototype of the Franciscan tunic. The church and monastery of St. Francis is built on the site of Spadalunga’s house. You will stay in a hotel near the church of St. Francis.Walking time: 4 hours (13 km)

 

Day 8: Departure

Gubbio has a bus link with Perugia: a journey of a little more than an hour. From Perugia you can take the train to Assisi or one of the airports for you flight home.

Hotels

Assisi: Hotel da Angelo ** is situated in the new part of Assisi about 900 meters from the historical centre. The hotel has 32 rooms, all with bathroom, television and telephone. The hotel has a car park, swimming pool, restaurant and bar. www.hoteldaangelo.com  or

Assisi: Hotel la Terrazza***,900 meters from the historical centre: restaurant, bar, swimming pool, air-conditioning and wellness centre (Turkish baths, mud treatment etc. www.laterrazzahotel.it  (supplement of £10.00 per person B&B per night)

Vescia: Il Borgo del Fattore is a B&B in a restored ‘frantoio’ (olive oil mill) from the 17th century. There are 5 rooms, each with a bathroom. The dinner is served in the restaurant ‘Il Fichetto’ close by (50 m.). www.luigitega.it

Nocera: Hotel Flaminio a recently restored hotel in the centre of town. Rooms with private facilities. The hotel has a good restaurant The town’s public swimming pool is 500 meters from the hotel http://www.flaminiohotel.com/

Costa di Trex: Il Castello is a comfortable family-run farmhouse B&B (agritourismo), situated in the hamlet of Costa di Trex in the hills just outside Assisi (6 km). Excellent typical traditional cuisine. All rooms with shower and WC. www.agriturismoilcastello.com

Valfabbrica: farmhouse B&B with restaurant Il Pioppo is situated along the sentiero della Pace surrounded by farmland at 2 kms from Valfabbrica. There are apartments and rooms. Il Pioppo has a swimming pool and an excellent restaurant www.ilpioppoumbria.it

Biscina: The farmhouse B&B with restaurant Tenuta di Biscina is located close to the Castle of Biscina (100m) along the sentiero della Pace (Peace trail). There are 10 apartments spread throughout the two restored farmhouses. The holiday farm has a swimming pool and dinner is served in the farmhouse B&B itself. www.biscina.it

Gubbio: Hotel San Marco *** is situated close to the old medieval centre. The hotel has a

restaurant and private internal garden. All rooms have a private bathroom, air-conditioning, TV and telephone. www.hotelsanmarcogubbio.com

 

Getting there:

Train station in Assisi.

 

Departure:

Gubbio has a bus link with Perugia: a journey of a little more than an hour. From Perugia you can take the train to Assisi or one of the airports for you flight home.