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Travelling in the footsteps of Saint Francis through Umbria, the green heart of Italy: you will perceive his humble spirituality in following his footsteps through forests, vineyards and olive groves, surrounded by green hills sprangled with medieval villages. You will visit towns where time seems to have freezed: from Assisi, where you will able to visit the wonderful Basilica and walk in the Saint Francis wood, to Spello, with its streets full of flowers and the medieval towers. And finally Spoleto, which enshrines in its artistic richness the influence of all the people who have inhabited it.
The foodies will appreciate the tasty Umbria kitchen: recipes based on simple ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil and cereals, home made pasta with meat sauces and typical desserts such as the torciglione, whose recipe is passed down from one generation to the other.
You will start from Assisi, where you will be able to spend your day visiting the most meaningful places of Francis' life: from the Basilica crypt, where millions of people go to visit the Saint's grave, to the Porziuncola, the little church around which the Santa Maria degli Angeli Basilica was built. You will discover a perfectly preserved Roman temple in the middle of the city, and enjoy a unique view from the top of the Rocca. Finally, enjoy the sweetness of Rocciata: it's a dessert similar to a strudel, which is said to have been brought to Assisi by the Longobards people.
|Day 2||From Assisi to Spello, 15,3 km|
Your first day of walk will lead you from Assisi to Spello: you will ascend the Monte Subasio through a wonderful uphill path until reaching the "Eremo delle Carceri", where you can gather in prayer in the caves where Francesco and his companions used to meditate. The itinerary continues trhrough an oak wood to the San Benedetto Abbey, built in the IXth century, today closed for restoration. You will later reach the medieval city of Spello through a downhill path: enjoy an evening walk through its stone made houses, whose balconies are typically decorated with flowers.
|Day 3||From Spello to Vegnole, 10 km|
Before setting off you will be able to visit the medieval city of Spello: the two imposing towers defending Porta Venere are worthwile a picture, but we suggest visiting the rich rooms of the Municipal Palace, and visit the Santa Maria Maggiore church to admire some Pinturicchio and Parmigianino frescoes. Today walk will lead you to the small village of Scanzano, through vineyards and olive groves.
In July and August, this stage has a small variation with arrival in Vescia (one km before Vegnole)
|Day 4||From Uppello to Bovara di Trevi, 20 km|
A brief car transfer will take you to Uppello,where your walk starts. A steep climp will lead you to the Rocca of Scandolaro, once in defense of the surrounding territories. You will continue through an oak wood until Trevi, where you may want to taste the famous olive oil. Walking through an ancient aqueduct you will reach Bovara di Trevi.
|Day 5||From Bovara di Trevi to Poreta, 12 km|
From Bovara di Trevi you'll follow the original "Francis Way", the original path walked by the same Francis, until reaching Campello Alto, surrounded by wonderful views on the Spoleto valleys. Worthwhile of admiration are the convents of Pissignano and Campello, where you'll be able to gather for a few minutes, enjoying the meditative atmosphere permeating these places, surrounded by olive trees.
|Day 6||From Poreta to Spoleto, 15 km|
Today, a narrow trail will lead you to the Santa Maria di Reggiano hamlet: visit the ancient monastery to admire the XIIth century frescoes, to later continue to the hamlet of Eggi. You will walk along a dismantled railway line until Spoleto. You can make a detour for a longer but spectacular entry into the city, passing high above the Tessino stream on the medieval aqueduct that bridges the valley. Once in Spoleto you'll be able to recite your favorite poem in the Roman theatre, let the simple beauty of the San Salvatore Basilica enchant you, or celebrate the end of your journey with a nice dinner: the local pride is the black truffle, to be enjoyed on a bruschetta, or powdered on an omelette.
Services end after breakfast.
6 Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
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.
Hotel Il Cacciatore*** is centrally located in Spello, nestled into the slopes of Mount Subasio. It offers basic rooms with furniture a little bit dated, but clean and spacious with free Wifi, TV, telephone with direct line. The hotel has a terrace overlooking the valley.Breakfast is good and rich.
Agritourism Le Vigne is situated 7 km from Foligno on umbrian hills, surrounded by olive groves and an external swimming pool. Rooms are well-furnished, spacious with relaxing wooden ceilings and underfloor heating. These have TV satellite, free Wifi, air conditioning, private bathroom. Breakfast is very good. Owners are very helpful and courteous.
Agriturismo I Mandorli is an Agritourism run only by women located in Bovara di Trevi, 30 minutes from the city center of Trevi. It offers basic accommodations with rustic style with free Wifi, TV, heating and an external swimming pool. Owners are kind and helpful. Breakfast is simple but good, with savoury and sweet dishes.
The Agritourism Borgo della Marmotta is located near the little hamlet of Poreta halfway between Spoleto and Trevi. The origins of the village date back to the seventeenth century, but an attentive restoration was recently completed. Location is very quiet and relaxing, like the comfortable rooms with a canopy-bed, air conditioning/heating, free Wifi, TV and electric kettle. Staff is nice and helpful.
Hotel Charleston is centrally located in Spoleto and it offers refurbished abd well-furnished rooms with parquet floors and original paintings. These offer free Wifi, mini bar, air conditioning, telephone, TV. Breakfast is good and the staff is courteous and kind.
From Rome airports (FCO, CIA), you need to get to the railway station and take a train from there to Assisi (either direct or with change in Foligno).
From Florence airport (FLR) and Pisa airport (PSA), you need to get to the railway station Santa Maria Novella in Florence, and take a train from there to Assisi (either direct or with change in Terontola-Cortona and Perugia).
On departure from Spoleto, there are direct trains to Rome, whereas you need to change if you need to get to either Pisa or Florence.
Train timetables available on www.trenitalia.com.
GPS tracks are available on request.
What is included
· Nights in double room in **/*** hotels , B&B and agriturismi with breakfast
. one dinner
· luggage transportation from hotel to hotel
. transfer to Uppello
· maps and detailed description of the itinerary
· 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.
These services can be added to the ones included in the base price of the tour:
· Single room supplement
· Half Board supplement
· Transfers to reach the starting location or to leave the arriving location of the tour, which will be quoted on request.