A journey full of beauty and spirituality, from the first to the last step: from Città di Castello with stunning architecture to Assisi, the town from which the story of Francis began.
You will discover the traces of the "Holy Jester's" passage in remote hermitages, chapels, crosses hidden in nature, as you walk through the typical Umbrian landscape; you will cross shady woods, shady forests, orchards, olive groves, wheat and barley fields.
At the end of the journey awaits Assisi, the city of Peace, rich in culture and spirituality: you can admire the frescoed Basilicas or explore the city from an unusual point of view, immersing yourself in ancient history through a visit to the Roman forum of Asisium, the ancient Assisi.
But since not only the eye wants its part, food lovers can enjoy the flavours of Umbrian cuisine: dishes based on simple ingredients like extra virgin olive oil and cereals, fresh pasta topped with meat sauces, sweets such as the Torciglione. Recipes handed down through the generations, but also enriched with new flavors.
Your journey begins in Città di Castello, which will surprise you with its many artistic treasures: from the Palazzo del Podestà, overlooking other palaces on Piazza Matteotti, the Cathedral of San Florido, which gathers together a multitude of architectural styles. Do not miss the view of the Umbrian hills from the top of the Civic Tower, before celebrating the first day of your trip with a dish of white truffle, a prized local delicacy.
The day begins with a transfer to the starting point of the stage: you can choose from two different locations, shortening or lengthening the path accordingly. The route winds through woods and wide gravel roads up to Pietralunga, a village perched on a hill high 566 meters. Here you can wander through the narrow streets of the medieval center, admire the frescoes in the church of Santa Maria and the remains of the ancient Lombard fortress, positioned right in the middle of the square. Finally, enjoy a good home-cooked meal in the farm that will host you for the night.
From Pietralunga you will reach Mocaiana with a transfer: from there you will face a scenic route passing through ancient abbeys, once an important reference point for pilgrims: among them, St. Benedict: founded in the tenth century by an hermit monk. You continue on forest roads up to Ponte San Giorgio, where you will be picked up and transported to Gubbio. From Piazza Grande, dominated by the majestic Palazzo dei Consoli, you will enjoy a magnificent view over the old town. You can walk under the high arches of the Cathedral or browse through the pottery workshops throughout the city center but do not miss the well-preserved Roman theater: if you are lucky, you can even watch a show or a concert.
After a short bus ride to the Castle of Petroia, you regain your way through the Umbrian countryside. The stretch towards Valfabbrica follows the original "Franciscan Path of Peace", a leg walked by Francis himself, and will test you with its many ups and downs. But the effort will be rewarded by the beautiful landscape: you will walk through the valley of the river Chiascio, surrounded by castles and old farms perched on the hills, and if the weather is good you might even see the outline of Mount Subasio.
Today you will continue down the Franciscan path, for the last stage of your journey to Assisi: the path winds through roads and pine forests to the Chapel of the Holy Cross, from where you will face a final climb up to cross Porta San Giacomo, finishing your path in front of the Basilica of San Francesco. Despite the many visitors, Assisi is always pervaded with great peace: experience this sensation with a walk in the forest of Saint Francis (belonging to FAI - Italian Environment Fund), let yourself be guided by a friar to discover the cathedrals, and if you're interested in ancient history go to discover the amazing roman Assisi. To celebrate the end of your trip, enjoy the sweet Rocciata, an Umbrian variant of strudel.
The services end after breakfast.
Nights in a double room in hotels ***, B&B and agriturismi
The Hotel Le Mura is near the Città di Castello's walls and rooms have a nice view on the city center. The accomodations are a little dated, but these are comfortable and spacious. These offer TV, air conditioning, free WiFi. The staff is friendly and kind. Breakfast is normal.
This Hotel is an agritourism surrounded by calmness, obtained by an ancient benedectine monastery and overlooking Carpina's Valley. The charm accomodations are confortable, quiet with rustic furniture. These have private bathroom, free WiFi, TV, heating. Breakfast is genuine and bio.
Hotel Gattapone is located in the historic center of Gubbio into a medieval palace on a quiet road. Rooms are elegants, confortable and clean. These are equipped with TV, telephone with direct line, free WiFi. Breakfast is rich with salad and sweet dishes. Staff is friendly and helpful.
Ostello Francescano is located within the town centre, it is a small, cosy structure that somewhat mantains the original character of an authentic pilgrims' rest. The building features prominent beamed ceiling and pleasant terracotta tiled floors. Rooms are quite simple but confortable. In the restaurant you will have the chance to sample authentic Umbrian dishes. Big garden around the structure.
Country House Tre Esse is located 400 m from the centre of Assisi with views of the Umbrian countryside. It's surrounded by the green and it offers an external swimming pool. Rooms are confortable and equipped in a simple way with air conditioning/heating, TV, free Wifi. Breakfast buffet is various and rich.
From any airport, you first need to get to the railway station and then to Arezzo by train. From there, you can reach Città di Castello by bus.
For further information about trains, please visit the website www.trenitalia.it.
GPS tracks are available on request.
The price includes:
· Nights in a double room in hotels ***, B&B and agriturismi
· Two dinners
· Luggage transport between hotels
. Transfer Città di Castello-Campanile on day 2, Pietralunga-Mocaiana on day 3
· Maps and detailed itinerary
· Medical-luggage insurance
· Telephone support 24 hours
The price not included:
· Journey to the place of arrival and departure
· Lunches and dinners, except where otherwise noted
· Visits and entrance fees - tips
· The gratuities
· Any taxes
· Anything not specified under "The price includes"
You may require in addition to the services included in the fee:
· single supplement
· half board supplement
· Any transfer to get to the starting point or to return from the point of arrival, which can be quoted on request.