via romea germanica la verna sanctuary
via romea germanica la verna sanctuary

Via Romea Germanica: Stage 1, Forlì to Chiusi

73 km
7 days | 6 nights
Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct
price from
€ 999
CO2 footprint
167 Kg/person
  1. Italy
  2.  | 
  3. Self-Guided
  4.  | 
  5. Tourcode ITSW570

We start from Forlì: a university city, a linguistic hub of the Romagnolo dialect, and a part of the Ostrogothic kingdom.

We arrive at Chiusi della Verna, in the heart of the Casentino Forest National Park, where Saint Francis received the stigmata. In between, the Via Romea Germanica runs between Romagna and Tuscany - it enters the Valley of the Wind, it offers wonderful views of the Tuscan-Romagnolo Apennines, immerses itself in the forests, and runs along the rivers; a beautiful journey along one of Italy's oldest roads.


  • Discover Forlì, a vibrant university city and the starting point of the itinerary;
  • Immerse yourself in the energy of the Casentino Forests Park;
  • Get lost amidst marvelous views, hills, forests, and the beauty of the Tuscan-Romagnolo Apennines.


Day 1

Arrive in Forlì

Arrive in Forlì
Individual arrival in Forlì, “Forum Livii” in Latin is one of the Roman market towns along the Via Emilia from Rimini to Piacenza. Forlì is also the linguistic centre of the Romagnolo dialect. The city's most distinguished building is the 12th century church of San Mercuriale, built on the site of the Basilica/Cathedral of Santo Stefano. The Lombard-style bell tower is the work of Francesco Deddi, who started it in 1178, but it was remodelled in later periods. Inside the church are numerous monumental and pictorial works of art, including paintings by Palmezzano. Other points of interest in the city are Saffi, Corso Diaz, Corso Garibaldi, via Maroncelli, Ordelaffi with the Duomo and the Palazzo della Prefettura.

Day 2

From Forlì to Civitella di Romagna, 14 km

From Forlì to Civitella di Romagna, 14 km
From Forlì a short private transfer will take you to the start of the walk in Valle del Vento valley. The route runs through the typical landscape of Romagna all around hills and woods along the valley of the Bidente river, which increasingly disappears into the depths of its natural banks. A route mainly on dirt tracks or cart tracks that takes us to Ceruscoli. The history of the hamlet depends on that of the castle that dominates it. It was built on the site of a late Roman settlement. It is precisely the characteristic rocky spur on which the village stands, barring the Bidente valley and forcing the river to deviate from its course, that gave rise to a legend, which attributes the creation of the massive spur to the work of the mythical Hercules. Hence, according to some sources, the term Clusum or Clausum Herculis.

Distance: 14 km

Elevation gain: +440/-625 m

Day 3

From Civitella di Romagna to Santa Sofia, 14 km

From Civitella di Romagna to Santa Sofia, 14 km
Civitella di Romagna originally, the settlement was enclosed within the city walls, under the rule of the Abbey of Sant'Ellero di Galeata. After being disputed by various lordships, Civitella became part of the Papal State and marked the border with the Grand Duchy of Tuscany. All around hills and forests along the valley of the Bidente river, formerly Ronco, which increasingly disappears into the depths of its natural banks.

Distance: 14 km

Elevation gain: +700/-690 m

Day 4

From Santa Sofia to San Piero in Bagno, 21 km

From Santa Sofia to San Piero in Bagno, 21 km
Seen from the top of the hills bordering the high valley where it lies, the town of Santa Sofia appears to us like a miniaturised copy of Florence with its grey stone riverside and its Tuscan-style buildings reflected in the waters of the Bidente river that flows through it. Santa Sofia is also home to the Parco delle Foreste Casentinesi, a park that certainly deserves a stop and a careful visit for its vegetative, faunal, and geological peculiarities and for the artificial reservoir of the Ridracoli Dam. With today’s route we leave the Bidente Valley to arrive in the Savio River Valley, passing through the villages of Raggio, La Nocina, Sant'Uberto, Gamberini, Passo del Carnaio, Monte Salvetti, Paganico, Corzano, San Piero in Bagno and finally Bagno di Romagna by bus.

Distance: 21 km

Elevation gain: +860/-650 m

Day 5

Transfer to Gualchiere and walk to Agriturismo Le Gualanciole, 14 km

Transfer to Gualchiere and walk to Agriturismo Le Gualanciole, 14 km
In the morning a short private transfer will take you to the start of the walk in Gualchiere. It has been a documented settlement since at least the 16th century and inhabited ever since. The recently restored hamlet includes dwellings and a farmhouse that preserves machinery from the old mill where wool supplied by local shepherds was mainly processed. We cross the hamlet and begin the route on the path, first graveled, then ballasted. After the bridge over the Fosso del Capanno, we pass in front of the recently restored Maestà Balassini and follow the ancient track that climbs towards the Nasseto plateau, one of the steepest and most strenuous sections of the stage: this is a mule track, the only link between Romagna and Tuscany until the 19th century; in places the ancient paving is visible, but mostly the marly rock on which it was traced emerges.

Distance: 14 km

Elevation gain: +980/-850 m

Day 6

From Agriturismo Le Gualanciole to Chiusi della Verna, 10 km

From Agriturismo Le Gualanciole to Chiusi della Verna, 10 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: 10 km

Elevation gain: +330/-415 m

Day 7

Goodbye Chiusi della Verna

Goodbye Chiusi della Verna
Tour ends after breakfast.


Is this for me?

A journey on the Via Romea Germanica, an ancient route followed by pilgrims from Northern Europe: this particular section touches Forlì, a linguistic center of the Romagnol dialect, before continuing through the Casentino Forests, a National Park, and reaching Chiusi, famous for the beautiful Sanctuary of La Verna.

It's an alternative route to the Via Francigena, not particularly strenuous - however, good fitness and the habit of covering several kilometers on consecutive days are still required. Distances are always under 15 km, except for day 4 when you exceed 20 km.


What is included

  • 6 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
  • luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
  • maps and detailed description of the itinerary in digital 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


We work with 3* hotels, B&Bs and farmhouses that reflect our way of experiencing travel: they are comfortable and characterful structures, which we choose one by one, managed by passionate and welcoming people.

Unless otherwise specified in the travel listing, all provide private en-suite rooms with breakfast included.

Below you see some examples of the facilities used for this trip, but keep in mind that they may vary based on availability in the period. We could therefore book for you structures different from those you see listed here, but of the same category and carefully chosen according to SloWays criteria.

Corte Livia-Room & Breakfast

A structure of great charm, suspended between past and present. The luxury hotel solution par excellence for staying in Forli. Suitable for business and leisure travel or as a location for events. An oasis of relaxation in the city's historic center

Civitella di Romagna: Agriturismo Campo Rosso

Campo Rosso is an Organic Farm, Educational Farm and Agritourism is a fantastic experience that allows you to rediscover yourself thanks to a wonderful setting surrounded by nature. Activities, flavors, traditions and typical Romagna dishes will cheer the guests in the best possible way.

Santa Sofia: B&B il vecchio comune

Our Guest House is located in the heart of Santa Sofia, at the gateway to the Casentino Forests National Park and the ancient beech forests now a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In a secluded but central location, the Old Town awaits your arrival.

San Piero in Bagno: Albergo Bologna

Hotel Ristorante Bologna is located in the center of town and has 14 comfortable rooms all equipped with color TV, telephone and ventilated area, bathroom with shower. It is located in a quiet and strategic area, just 2 km from the thermal pools of Bagno di Romagna and has agreements with the thermal establishments.

Agritusimo le Gualanciole

Agriturismo Le Gualanciole is located in Tuscany, between Casentino and Valtiberina. it is nestled in the Alta Valle del Tevere Monte Nero nature reserve, surrounded by nature.


Chiusi della Verna-Hotel Letizia

The hotel restaurant "Letizia" has been offering hospitality since 1952 to families, pilgrims, tourists and hikers.  It is located in the center of the town of Chiusi della Verna,the childhood village of Michelangelo Buonarroti and gateway to the trails and wonders of the Casentino Forest National Park, just 3 km from the famous Sanctuary of St. Francis on Mount della Verna."

When to travel

The climate in Central Italy is generally very mild with differences depending on the geography of the region, from coasts and valleys to the continental areas. The warmest months are generally July and August, with temperatures ranging from 23°C up to 30°C; the valleys can often see higher  temperatures and 38°C to 40°C is not uncommon. While June and September offer both nice warm weather. Of course, there are always exceptions or dry spells that cause a few days to get really hot.Spring (April and May) and Autumn (October and November) are dry, with sunny days but the chances of rain are high.The weather can change very quickly and you must be prepared forrain, mist, wind, fog (and even hail or snow at higher elevations) –especially in spring and autumn. 

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

Reach Forlì station by trains from Bologna and Rimini
From Chiusi della Verna take the local bus to the Bibbiena/Arezzo train station. From there a local train will take you to Pisa, Florence or Rome.

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
Nominee Best Specialist Tour Operator 2023
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Borgo Allegri 16R
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P. IVA 05227330486

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