The North Eastern way – from La Verna to Assisi, a wonderful walk in the Franciscan lands (12d/11n)
From the forested Apennine ridges where the hermitage of La Verna is perched, we will follow the footpaths of Francis through the mountains of the Upper Tiber Valley visiting medieval and renaissance towns such as Anghiari (the town of the “Battle of Anghiari”) and Sansepolcro (birthplace of Piero della Francesca), the most important renaissance painter where you can still admire the famous Resurrection of the Christ. Then by following the Tiber river path you will enter Umbria and get to Città di Castello with its sand stone palazzi and quiet narrow alleys, then moving east towards the hills next to the Appenine mountains where the parish of Pieve de’Saddi is and the hamlet of Pietralunga. The next day you will get to one of the most remarkable medieval towns of Italy; Gubbio cradle of the ancient Umbrian population (pre-roman civilization) all built in white limestone then the Franciscan Peace Path will take you to Valfabbrica following the Chiascio river Valley and then finally Assisi entering from the pilgrims’ gate (Porta San Giacomo) and getting to the Upper and Lower Basilica.
|Duration||12 Days/11 Nights|
The Tour starts in
The Tour ends in
La Verna (AR)
|Tour Type||Walking tour|
Ready for Rental
GPS units ( batteries not included), walking poles
15-27 km/day, daily distance and elevation gain may be revised and subject to change depending on the accommodation availability, weather conditions, paths and roads conditions
Footpaths, gravel road & mule tracks, some asphalt roads
|Minimum Age Limit||18 (Younger Guests Must be Accompanied by Relatives)|
|Skill Levels Accommodated||Advanced|
|Self Guided||It means you will be walking on your own, we do provide assistance and support with our local guides or drivers in case of help.|
|Accommodations||A mixture of very nice two and three-star hotels/B&Bs, Rifugios and Agriturismo all comfortably located within the historical center. Most of them are family run. Accommodation upgrades are available.|
|Meals||2 dinners and ten breakfasts are included.|
|About Beverages||Not Included|
Average Price Per Person
(Rates shown are in Euros. Rates and terms are subject to change without notice.)
|Option A – With Luggage Transfer
–,00 € per person in double room occupancy. (minimum two participants)
Single supplement: –,00 €GPS Rental Fee: 25 € per unit ( batteries not included – works with 2x AA)Accommodation Upgrade: Available
|Before you come on the holiday we recommend you to subscribe an adequate travel insurance, which must include cover for baggage, medical expenses and the cost of repatriation should you become too ill to continue, including helicopter rescue and air ambulance.|
Day 1: BENVENUTI! Arrival at Arezzo train station transfer to Chiusi della Verna
Today you will be met by our representative that will accompany you to the town of Chiusi della Verna (1h drive) just below La Verna Sanctuary. This land was given to St. Francis in 1213 by a pious nobleman, Count Orlando, and the Saint at once built some mud huts here for a select group of his followers. He found that La Verna was a perfect spot for meditation.
Special Event of the Day: the visit to the Monastery (1.2km from the town) and the walk around it in the beech tree forest.
Day 2: Chiusi della Verna – La Verna – Pieve Santo Stefano 16.2km +350 m ( +1 alternative walk)
Highlights of the Day: Views of the forested Apennine mountains, La Verna Sanctuary, the views from Monte Calvano, the Pieve “Diary Museum”.
Walk Details: The level is moderate – there are some ascents at the beginning to get to the Sanctuary and to climb to Monte Calvano, the first 8km have some ascents then it will be a gradual descent to the Tiber valley where Pieve Santo Stefano lies. The town boasts an interesting collection of Diary and Memoirs of common people, in a way framing a picture of the recent history of the pre and post war Italy.
Day 3: Pieve Santo Stefano – Pian della Capanna 20.8km +855m ( + other 2 alternative walks)
Highlights of the Day: Views of the countryside, the Apeninne mountains, and the beautiful medieval Hermitage of Cerbaiolo.
Walk Details: The level is moderate to difficult – Exit the village heading south then take the road to the Hermitage of Cerbaiolo, a wide gravel road that will take you up to the Via Maggio mountain pass (8km), then get to another very panoramic dirt track 4k below the pass that will take you to the Alpe della Luna reserve with stunning views of the Upper Tiber Valley.
Day 4 : Pian della Capanna – Sansepolcro 18.4km +203m ( + other 2 alternative walks)
Highlights of the Day: the Hermitage of Montecasale, the forests of Alpe della Luna, the Resurrection of the Christ by Piero della Francesca in Sansepolcro.
Walk Details: From the Pian della Capanna hut we will walk to the uninhabited hamlet of Val di Canale passing the massive oak tree next to that then we will get to the village of La Montagna ancient Longobard outpost then to Pischiano descending the creek and climbing to the area of Montecasale Hermitage a site with lots of legends bound to the presence of Francis. The walk then will take you down to the valley where the town of Sansepolcro is.
Day 5: Sansepolcro-Città di Castello 21.9km +58m (alternative hilly route available)
Highlights of the Day: The Tiber views, the old town of Città di Castello, the Burri Museums, the Pinacoteca in town.
Walk Details: The level is easy, the walk stretches practically in the flatlands.Today we will take the easy way to Città di Castello by following minor roads to get to Umbria, a minor gravel road and asphalt will take you to the village of Selci and then a footpath of a Tiber’s tributary will make you get to the Tiber River path that will take us straight to the first Umbrian town through poplar tree lined roads and robinia woods.
Day 6: Città di Castello – Montone 25.9km +286m (alternative hilly route available)
Highlights of the Day: The Upper Tiber Valley view and the medieval hilltop town of Montone.
Walk Details: Easy walk along the Tiber valley, mostly flat. The walk will start following the Tiber river heading downstream south for mostly 20 km then you will take minor roads next to plantations and farmlands then once at the foot of Montone hill you will climb to the medieval hilltop hamlet. Montone is a lovely small hamlet with churches, a tiny theatre, a main square, very good restaurants and a stunning view of the Tiber and Carpina valley.
Day 7: Montone – Pietralunga 19.2km +576m
Highlights of the Day: The Parish of Pieve de’Saddi center of the evangelization of the Upper Tiber Valley, Countryside views.
Walk Details: The level is moderate – hilly terrain, from the hamlet of Montone home of the famous knight Braccio Fortebraccio da Montone we will take the way of the hills going East through some gravel roads, mule tracks and some footpaths, the walk is partly on woods partly on meadows and some fields until you reach the territory of Pietralunga that consists of woods for the most.
Day 8: Pietralunga – Gubbio 26km +648m
Highlights of the Day: Pre-Apennine views, the stunning old town center of Gubbio.
Walk Details: The trip level is moderate – difficult there are 3 hills to cross in the first 16 km then you will reach the Chiascio river valley and its plains where the town of Gubbio lies. For the first 6k you will walk on a minor asphalt road then you will take a series of gravel roads for 10 km that meander in the valley, here the woods alternate to mountain meadows then slowly as you will walk down to the main plains you will see mostly cultivated fields and farmland, minor asphalt roads will take you to the imposing town walls, Gubbio is the site of the legend of the “Gubbio’s Wolf” is almost a second home for Francis.
Day 9: Gubbio – Biscina 22.4 km +611m
Highlights of the Day: The view of Gubbio from far, the Biscina Castle.
Walk Details: This is one of the most important walks of the path to Assisi filled with stories and legend of the Saint, Francis did the walk in the opposite direction after he got naked from his rich merchant robes in front of his father and the bishop of Assisi. Along the way to Gubbio he proclaimed himself the Herald of the Grand King towards some robbers that hit him, he visited Vallingegno Abbey where he was badly treated and sent to work as servant in the kitchens. After 7 km walking in the wide Chiascio valley we will start the ascent at 10 km you start descending and after another small hill at 16 km you pass in front of the gate of S. Pietro in Vigneto then start descending for another km and then commence the last ascent, at 19 km then pass the church of Caprignone and then reach the area of the imposing Castle of Biscina.
Day 10: Biscina – Valfabbrica 15.8 km +336m
Highlights of the Day: Views of the Chiascio valley, the Parish Church of Coccorano
Walk Details: Easy – moderate walk mostly descending (with a possibility to make it shorter) to Valfabbrica . The initial km will be around the man made dam on the Chiascio river, then between oak woods and wheat fields to the town of Valfabbrica. This route can be added to the next day’s walk the main reason we opted to break it in two walks as to allow our walkers to have enough time to dedicate to Assisi on the next day.
Day 11: Valfabbrica – Assisi 13.6 km +480m
Highlights of the Day: The St James Gate, the town of Assisi, the Upper and Lower Basilica, the tomb.
Walk Details: The level is moderate. The walk commences ascending the hills on the side opposite to the one you came from, the climb to Pieve San Niccolò has some steep sections, then slowly from km 6 it will descend to the foot of Mt Subasio where Assisi is. As you will walk west you will get to a milder climate area of the wide central Umbria valleys where very often in the slopes you see olive groves until you will see the imposing St Francis Basilica overlooking the valley. The entrance to the town is not accidentally through the St James gate ( the Italian the way to Santiago passes though here) and from there you will have a stunning view of the majestic Basilica’s façade.
Day 12: Assisi. Ciao Ciao!
End of tour after breakfast. From the nearby Assisi-Santa Maria degli Angeli railway station there are trains available to reach Rome or Firenze
Eleven Nights in Excellent Two and Three-Star Hotels/B&Bs (Double Room with Private Bath)
Route Notes and Itineraries, Sightseeing Opportunities, Restaurant and Shopping Suggestions
This is a self-guided tour that offers total freedom of dates – you can choose whatever dates you wish.
Small parties of two persons up to large groups can be accommodated.
This tour is not necessarily corresponding 100% with the Franciscan pilgrimage route, it is revised and we think we made it better way for walkers, the reality is that Francis has followed various routes in his journeys.