Walking along St. Francis Way

Text written and edited by Chiara Condello

The Way of Saint Francis is a journey of the history and of the heart, a way that follows and passes through many places connected with of St. Francis of Assisi’s life. You move through lush and green landscapes, on the same roads and paths where Francis passed by crossing the plains, hills and mountains; meetings trees, rocks and winding rivers where there is peace all around you… only the sound of the feet among the leaves, the sounds of nature and the memory of joyful verses, that St. Francis sang in his hard pilgrimages, gently interrupt this impressive silence.

www.ecologicotours.it tel. 346 3254167

www.ecologicotours.it tel. +39  346 3254167

As the Saint of Assisi, to the rhythm of your steps, you reach famous medieval towns, where Frances lived the key episodes of his life, the waiving of his goods in Assisi and the miracles in Città di Castello, Pietralunga and Gubbio. You can see and visit hermitages and sanctuaries, including the Sanctuary of La Verna where Francis received the stigmata and the Hermitage which still retains the well from where the “poverello” made water gush; passing by secular olive trees and vineyards and crossing sacred forests, even along the Monteluco forest, one of St. Francis’ most favourite place for meditation. At the end of the journey you pass through the Holy Valley of Rieti, that Francis crossed to meet the Pope in Rome, and see the places where he stayed during his travels.

This invigorating and mystical journey is divided into five stages, which can be traversed from the first to the last or choosed separately. Whether you choose the whole journey from La Verna to Rome, whether you choose just a few steps, walking on this path you dive into a magical and spiritual dimension where, artistic and environmental excellence come together in a harmonious balance and tell you about the message of peace and love for creation and its inhabitants that Francis translated in the beautiful verses of the Canticle of the Creatures, centuries ago.

The Stages of The Way Of St. Francis are:

La Verna – Città di Castello (7 days)

You can enjoy the magnificent landscape of the High Tiber Valley from the Sanctuary of La Verna in Pieve Santo Stefano and the Hermitage of Cerbaiolo, where St. Francis and his companions retreated to pray. Then you go to Montagna, praised by Francis for his quiet, then to Sansepolcro and the Convent of Buonriposo, where the saint of Assisi lived in a cave during his trip to La Verna and here “well rested.” The stage ends in Città di Castello.

Città di Castello – Assisi (7 days)

In the landscape of Umbria with its rolling green hills you start your journey from Città di Castello, through Pietralunga, to the amazing Gubbio, where Francis found the pilgrim shelter after having renounced all his possessions and where he met and became friend with the fierce wolf. Then you reach the hermitage of San Pietro in Vigneto, Biscina Castle and Valfabbrica to finish the stage in the seraphic Assisi, through the San Francesco wood.

Assisi – Spoleto (6 days)

From the birthplace of St. Francis once you move to the Hermitage of the Carceri, a place of Franciscan meditation which preserves the cave where the Saint was asleep and where is the pit of hell that recalls his temptations. From Eremo continue towards the Roman Spello through the abbey of St. Benedict, then reach Foligno, Trevi and finally Spoleto, one of the places that marked the way to the conversion of the saint.

Spoleto – Rieti (7 days)

From the beautiful Spoleto you walk towards Ceselli, passing the sacred wood of Monteluco and the Path of Pius IX. Keep up the path through the lush valley of the Nera and join Arrone, Piediluco and Poggio Bustone while you meet Francis’ beech, a tree loved by the famous saint for winding up the branches intertwine to create waves and knots of an unusual beauty. The end of this stage is Rieti, passing through Cantalice and the Sanctuary The Forest, where St. Francis lived fifty days to cure his eyes.

Rieti – Rome (8 days)

On the way into the Holy Valley of Rieti leaving Rieti through the Via Salaria you reach Poggio San Lorenzo and Ponticelli di Scandriglia, whose fame is due unfortunately to the martyrdom of Santa Barbara. After the visit to the Sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which has hosted a number of saints, you move toward Montelibretti, Monterotondo and Monte Sacro, a district of Rome known for the Acqua Sacra. The stage ends at St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, an architectural masterpiece and place of worship for excellence.

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