camaldoli in saint francis way
camaldoli in saint francis way

St. Francis Way: Stage 1, Florence to Chiusi della Verna

Level
3
Distance
75 km
Duration
8 days | 7 nights
period
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 984
CO2 footprint
129 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSW470

Saint Francis traveled the Apennines during the dark Middle Ages, searching for signs of God in nature and spreading the message of peace, humility, and brotherhood.

As you start from Florence, one of Italy's most beautiful cities, you are immediately immersed in a rural landscape that changes color every day, offering you new reasons for enchantment, surprising you and caressing your senses. The first stretch of Via di Francesco is a captivating prelude to the entire journey.

The Foreste Casentinesi National Park, a magical place filled with energy, housing the Hermitage of Camaldoli; the Medieval center of the village of Stia, the Casentino woods, the unforgettable panoramic views of the Val di Sieve and the Valle Santa.

Finally, Chiusi della Verna, with its Sanctuary - few other places preserve so well the energy of Francis and the simplicity and beauty of his message, which transcends all religious beliefs and soothes body and soul.

Highlights

  • Walk to Piazzale Michelangelo, overlooking Florence, for a breathtaking view;
  • Admire he wild slopes of the Apennine mountains and the best-preserved forests in Italy
  • Stop at the Sacred Hermitage of Camaldoli, from the 11th century
  • Visit the Sanctuary of La Verna

Itinerary

Day 1

Arrive in Florence

Arrive in Florence

Arrive in Firenze and breath the Renaissance air all around you: take a stroll along the tiny alleys and end up in piazza del Duomo, or climb up to Piazzale Michelangelo to get a panoramic view, at sunset!

Day 2

From Pontassieve to Consuma pass, 17,5 km

From Pontassieve to Consuma pass, 17,5 km

After a short transfer by train or bus you start walking towards La Consuma pass. It's a long walk which runs from the bottom of the valley to the top of the mountains at Consuma pass, with great views over the Sieve valley. You walk mostly in the shade of the forest, passing by Ferrano castle.

Distance: 17,5 km

Elevation gain: +1184/-272 m

Day 3

From Consuma pass to Stia, 14,7 km

From Consuma pass to Stia, 14,7 km

From the pass you descend easily to the bottom of Casentino valley. Most of the itinerary runs inside the woods, with an optional detour to the village of Castel Castagnaio. You have also options of an alternative route with great panoramic views over the Casentino valley, before you reach the beautiful hamlet of Stia.

Distance: 14,7 km

Elevation gain: +475/-1073 m

Day 4

from Stia to Camaldoli, 15,8 km

from Stia to Camaldoli, 15,8 km

Today you have a long and demanding walk in terms of difference of altitude. You start at the bottom of the valley, you reach the top of Apennines edge and then you descend to Camaldoli monastery, walking through the Casentino's rural landscape, until you reach the fascinating Eremo di Camaldoli, dating back the XI century. A must stop!

Distance: 15,8 km

Elevation gain: +1098/-790 m

Day 5

From Camaldoli to Badia Prataglia, 8 km

From Camaldoli to Badia Prataglia, 8 km

Today a relatively short but demanding walk for the difference in altitude going from Monastero di Camaldoli to the top of mountain edge, and then down to the village of Badia Prataglia. The walk runs mostly inside the forests. There is also an alternative route you can follow: 6 km longer but more interesting in term of landscape, with spectacular views of southern Casentino valley, its villages and the surrounding mountains.

Distance: 8 km

Elevation gain: +550/-551 m

Day 6

From Badia Prataglia to Casa Santicchio, 10 km

From Badia Prataglia to Casa Santicchio, 10 km

Today’s walk runs through the forests till the hamlet of Frassineta from where you can enjoy panoramic views of Vallesanta, La Verna mountain and the Apennine's ridge.

Distance: 10 km

Elevation gain: +563/-659 m

Day 7

From Casa Santicchio to Chiusi della Verna, 9 km

From Casa Santicchio to Chiusi della Verna, 9 km

Today you finally arrive in Chiusi della Verna. Head for the hotel and check in. If you arrive early enough, you can visit the Franciscan Sanctuary in the afternoon. The Sanctuary is opened every day of the year from 06:30 to 19:30 hrs (22:00 hrs in summer) NOTE: To enter the Sanctuary, you need to cover your chest and arms and wear trousers / skirts long to the knee.

Distance: 9 km

Elevation gain: +791/-577 m

Day 8

Arrivederci Chiusi della Verna!

Arrivederci Chiusi della Verna!

Last day is included. Service ends after breakfast.

Details

Is this for me?


This is a wonderful journey, a concentration of beauty and serenity. Perfect for those who want to combine a visit to Florence with a delightful walking trip like few others - you'll see the Monasteries of Camaldoli and La Verna, places of rare serenity and energy, the magic of the Casentino forests, the Apennine landscape...

It's a journey with some very challenging elevation changes, suitable for those with prior experience in walking journeys. We suggest carefully checking the elevation changes and evaluating your level of preparation before choosing it.

Included


What is included

  • 7 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • 3 dinners (Caiano, Casa Santicchio and Chiusi della Verna)
  • 1 packed lunch in Casa Santicchio
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • transfers as described in the day by day program 
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary in figital form, app
  • Pilgrim Passport
  • Medical and luggage travel insurance
  • 24h phone assistance

What is not included 

  • Transfers to the starting location and from the arriving location of the tour
  • lunches and dinners, if not otherwise stated
  • visits and entrance fees - tips
  • personal expense
  • possible sojourn taxes
  • everything that is not mentioned in the "What is included" section.

Optional Services

These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:

  • Single room supplement
  • cancellation insurance
  • Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.
  • official camino guidebook, shipped to the first hotel
  • travel documentation in printed form (maps and detailed description of the itinerary), shipped to the first hotel

Accommodation


Hotel Bonifacio - Firenze
Agriturismo Borgo Caiano
B&B La Guardia - Stia
Antica Dimora Locanda dei Baroni - Camaldoli
Hotel Bosco Verde- Badia Prataglia
Rifugio Casa Santicchio - Chiusi della Verna
Hotel Letizia - Chiusi della Verna

When to travel


Throughout Central Italy you can expect temperatures between 10° and 25°C in spring and autumn and they can reach 35°C in July and August. Mornings can be chilly but they quickly warm up as the day goes by. Showers are common in early spring and from September on and throughout the autumn, although not every day and they tend to be either short and intense or prolonged but light. Because you are by the sea, the sea breeze tends to make the long summer days less hot.

What to bring


Clothing and other items
You will need your regular walking/cycling gear, including some sort of reflective garment. For the evenings, smart outdoor style trousers (or shorts) are invaluable, as are quick-dry t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town.

Take as little as possible to avoid potentially lugging a heavy suitcase up three flights of stairs at the end of the day. Please be aware that laundromats (“Laverie”) are not common in rural areas, so plan to do handwashing of small items.

Lightweight walking shoes/ trainers
For wearing around towns & villages. They can also be a back-up pair.

Socks & underwear
Take only good quality socks with quick-dry and insulating qualities. Road test them before you go on the trip. Take a suitable quantity of underwear as washing facilities are limited.

Warm jacket, hat, gloves
Bring a fleece, Polartec or warm layers for the evenings especially in spring or autumn; be sure it is totally suitable for your needs.
A fleece jacket which blocks the wind (Wind-stopper) is the most preferable. In the summer months a lightweight jacket is suitable for evenings.
If you are cycling/walking in mountainous or coastal areas, even in the height of summer, the weather can change very quickly and unexpectedly and you should be prepared for fog, mist, rain, snow or hail at any time. Always take an extra layer with you, as well as a warm hat and gloves.

Waterproof jacket & trousers
If you are caught in heavy rain, with good waterproof clothing you should remain dry. Remember that most garments will lose their properties over time. Few will remain waterproof for more than five years and many deteriorate in three years or less. We recommend a rain jacket with a good hood and collar and waterproof or thermal walking/cycling trousers or tights.

Dress code
In general, you should wear suitable clothing when entering a church (in many places, it is considered unacceptable to go inside wearing shorts or a tank-top). We suggest that women carry a shawl to cover up bear shoulders or low-cut tops. It also comes in handy when your shoulders get sunburned!

It is considered inappropriate for men to go without a shirt / T-shirt (other than at the beach).

Trekking poles (adjustable)
Highly recommended. A pair works best, depending on what you are comfortable with. If you suffer from back or knee pain this should be considered essential. Remember to practise walking with your pole(s) on different types of terrain in the months preceding your trip.

Walking boots
The importance of good footwear cannot be stressed enough. Your boots should be sturdy and of good enough quality to handle all types of terrain. Lightweight boots, (cordura/leather boots) which have Gore-Tex or sympatex water-proofing are most suitable for this trip. They should provide good ankle protection and be well broken in. Waxing leather boots regularly prolongs their life.

Walking tops & trousers
We recommend walking trousers and shorts and quick-dry wicking t-shirts. These can be washed easily and will dry overnight and still look good for sightseeing or having a drink in town. Wicking T-shirts are fast drying, keep moisture away from your skin and are available at outdoor stores. You should also bring one pair of loose-fitting trousers to wear in cities and for evenings out, etc. Shorts or zip-off trousers are useful in warmer weather.

Practical info

How to arrive


You can reach Florence by train: if your flight is not landing in Florence, you can take a direct train from Pisa, Rome or Bologna, which have international airports. More information and timetables on the Trenitalia website: www.trenitalia.com

Return from Chiusi della Verna: you can take a Tiemme line bus from Chiusi della Verna to Bibbiena. From Bibbiena you can reach Florence by train, changing in Arezzo (Bibbiena-Arezzo and Arezzo-Florence)

Mobile App


Use the SloWays APP for iOS and Android smart phones in combination with the written documentation provided.

The App has the detailed tracks and maps that you can use offline and without roaming. Thanks to the phone’s internal GPS, you can check your exact position on the map, so you always know exactly where you are. It also helps you self-navigate you way while travelling. More information on how to use the App inside the roadbook documents.

The navigation features include:

  • Offline navigation. Mobile data not required after initial download
  • Accurate GPS tracks
  • Autorotation of the maps
  • Daily route summary and elevation chart
  • Panorama of the track and at street level
  • Alarm and vibration that alerts you in case you go off track.
  • Emergency SMS button with position coordinates
  • Possibility to record and take georeferenced photos of problems on route alerting fellow travelers
  • Hotel information
  • Points of interest along the way
  • Historical background

Wanderlust Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
Wanderlust
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Touroperating
S-Cape Countryside Travels srl
Borgo Allegri 16R
50122 Firenze FI
P. IVA 05227330486

 
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Touroperating S-Cape Countryside Travels srl Borgo Allegri 16R 50122 Firenze FI, Italy
VAT Nr 05227330486
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