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Welcome to Hooked on Walking Holidays and our walking holidays in Italy. This particular hiking vacation in Italy is a level 2 self guided tour. During the obscure times of the Middle Ages an enlightened man walked along the ridges and valleys of the Apennines, looking for God’s signs in nature and talking to people about peace, humility and brotherhood. He was Francis of Assisi a mystical person who fascinates us still today and whose charisma and philosophy are respected the world over recognized.
On this trip you will follow the paths Saint Francis covered during his frequent pilgrimages between the area of La Verna (where he received “the stigmata”), and that of Assisi (where he was born and died). Discover the traces of his passage, such as Franciscan hermitages, chapels, crosses as you walk through the typical landscape of Tuscany and Umbria; shady forests, orchards, olive groves and fields of wheat and barley. Apart from amazing natural and religious places, along the “Franciscan path” you will visit towns and villages of great history and culture and you will have many occasions to taste the many traditional recipes from the local poor cuisine.
Day 1 Chiusi della Verna
Arrival in Chiusi della Verna, a quiet hamlet at the base of La Verna Mountain. After checking in to your hotel, walk along the medieval path to the Franciscan Sanctuary of La Verna and the ancient forest surrounding it. Discover the many secrets of the Sanctuary and the signs of Saint Francis.
Day 2 Walk Chiusi della Verna loop 8.1 miles 13 km, up/down 459/459m, 4 hours
Today you walk along the edge of the Catenaia “Alps” between the Arno and Tiber valleys. You can take a rest at Casella Hermitage which was built on the spot where Saint Francis last looked at this holy mountain that was donated to him, before returning to Assisi. During the day you shall enjoy the many panoramic views overlooking the Casentino and Valtiberina valleys.
Day 3 Fonte della Galletta to Anghiari 10 miles 16 km, up/down 200/1400m, 6 hours.
First an included transfer to Fonte della Galletta.Walking through the woods of the “Catenaia Alps” you reach the amazing town of Anghiari. On your way, observe the change of vegetation (beech and chestnut trees to oaks) as you descend along a wild trail. Cross the Monti Rognosi and impressive set of hills composed of magmatic rocks. Discover interesting places rich in local tradition and superstition. Admire the vast MontedoglioLake and the Valley of Tiber River.
Day 4 Anghiari round walk and Sansepolcro 9.2 miles 15 km, up/down 340/ 795m, 5.0 hours,
Walk in the countryside around Anghiari along panoramic gravel roads and stop to admire the medieval parish church of Pieve di Sovara. A short extension takes you to the amazing Galbino castle, built in the 16th century. Along the way you will see many stone farmhouses which maintain the typical architecture of the ancient “case coloniche” letting you understand the lifestyle of peasant families that lived here for centuries. After the walk you’ll be transported to Sansepolcro. According to the legend it was founded by two pilgrims returning from the Holy Land with a fragment of Christ’s tomb and they chose the place as a shrine for this holy relict. The name Sansepolcro is derived from Santo Sepolcro meaning “holy sepulchre”.
Day 5 Sansepolcro to Città di Castello11.8 miles 19 km, 6 hours.
Following the river Tiber, the itinerary crosses one of most cultivated valleys in Italy (Valtiberina). The most important and famous product is tobacco used for the production of Tuscan cigars. Today’s walk is completely flat and runs along country roads or paths parallel to the river; fields and pastures alternate with preserved bank vegetation with by poplars and willows. In this area it is easy to see many birds of prey or water birds as Kestrel, Montagu’s Harrier, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Night-Heron and Moorhen.
Day 6 Valfabbrica to Assisi 7.5 miles 12 km, up/down 615/956 5 hours.
In the morning, a transfer takes you to the hamlet of Valfabbrica from where you follow the “Strada Francescana della Pace” that takes you right into the medieval heart of Assisi. This itinerary runs along the typical hills of Umbria, rich in clay and sand soil. This walk is quite demanding with some steep slopes that have impressive panoramic views; but one demanding section can be avoided.
Day 7 Eremo delle Carceri to Spello
Itinerary n.1 5 miles 8 km, up/down 473/940 3 hours
Itinerary n.2 8.75 miles 14 km, up/down 524/1015 5 hours
Starting from the Eremo delle Carceri you walk to Spello and both walks cross the Subasio Mountain from north to south. Today you will enjoy wonderful landscapes along the routes covered by Saint Francis during his pilgrimages; it’s a trip full of wilderness and spirituality visiting charming hermitages and hamlets.
Day 8 Departure
Departure after breakfast.
Difficulty: This is a level 2 tour with walks up to around the 5 hour mark maybe 6 hours for slower walkers but the terrain is not hard.
Accommodation: A mixture of very nice 3 star hotels, guest houses and farmhouses.
What is Included
Tour Code StFran
Price per persons based on 2 persons sharing double room
Single room (min 2 persons)
How to get there
Rome, Florence and Pisa airports. There are several trains per day from all 3 destinations, going to Arezzo, where you change train to Bibbiena and then a bus to Chiusi della Verna.
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Cycling Holidays in Italy