A week of self-guided walking along the St. Francis’ Way, following in the footsteps of one of the most venerated religious figures, devoted to nature and compassion. The St. Francis Way is a 550km pilgrimage between Florence and Rome, with this seven day section starting in Spoleto and ending in Rieti. The former is an Umbrian medieval fortress town, with a backdrop of the Apennines, and the latter is in Lazio, overlooked by the iconic peak of Mount Terminillo 2,217m. In between, you have tranquil trails through ancient villages, olive groves and vineyards, following mostly strade bianche, or gravel paths that meander through the hills.
- Pilgrimage stops at important monasteries, chapels
- Lago di Piediluco
- Nera River National Park
Click to view map
Day 1: Spoleto
Arrive in Spoleto, check in at the hotel and then take time to visit some of this ancient city’s sights, such as the Roman theatre, or San Salvatore Basilica. There are plenty of places to sample fine Umbrian food.
- Accommodation: Hotel Charleston or similar in Spoleto
Day 2: Spoleto to Ceselli | 14.5km
Today’s walk is quite challenging, but it is definitely worth it, following well trodden paths with panoramic views, passing an ancient water mill and the Franciscan
Convent of Monteluco.
- Walking for the day: 15km, ↑646, ↓775, 6h
- Accommodation: Casa Vacanze Il Ruscello or similar in Ceselli
Day 3: Ceselli to Arrone | 10km
Today you walk along the Nera River through several hamlets such as Ferentillo (famous for its mummies!) to Arrone, surrounded by ancient stone walls and overlooked by an imposing castle.
- Accommodation: Casa Vacanze Residence Fiocchi or similar in Arrone
- Walking for the day: 15km, ↑169, ↓209, 5h
Day 4: Arrone to Pediluco | 14km
Walk through various hamlets of the Valnerina Valley to Marmore Waterfall, one of the the highest in Europe located in Nera River National Park. Your day comes to a close at Lago di Piediluco, an inspirational place for many artists and poets.
- Walking for the day: 13km, ↑328, ↓185, 5h
- Accommodation: Hotel Ristorante Miralago or similar in Pediluco
Day 5: Pediluco to Poggio Bustone | 12km
Another great panoramic walk through woods and along secondary roads, with great views of, for example, the hamlet of Lambro, with its medieval houses perched on a hill, and the rugged peaks of the Appennine Mountains.
- Walking for the day: 19km, ↑890, ↓549, 7h
- Accommodation: Albergo Diffuso Crispolti or similar in Poggio Bustone
Day 6: Poggio Bustone – Santuario della Foresta – Rieti | 13km
Your final walk takes you into the North of Lazio, walking through the village of hillside village of Cantalice to Santuario Francescano di Santa Maria della Foresta, one of four monasteries in the area, famous for its stunning frescoes. You are then transferred to Rieta.
- Accommodation: 3-star hotel in Hotel Cavour or similar in Rieti
- Walking for the day: 12km, ↑395, ↓594, 4h
Day 7: Departure
Departure after breakfast, or extend your stay in Rieti.
What to expect
Accommodation on this tour includes a mix of mostly small, locally-owned hotels, B&Bs and traditional guesthouses. They have been carefully selected based on a variety of criteria including their location, warm hospitality, fine local food or commitment to responsible tourism. All rooms have en-suite or private bathrooms.
Click to view default hotels
- Hotel Charleston, Spoleto
- Casa Vacanze Il Ruscello, Ceselli
- Casa Vacanze Residence Fiocchi, Arrone
- Hotel Ristorante Miralago, Pediluco
- Albergo Diffuso Crispolti, Poggio Bustone
- Hotel Cavour, Rieti
Hotels are subject to availability. In the event of a particular hotel being fully booked for your chosen dates, we will replace it with a hotel of equal value and quality level. We will provide exact accommodation details to you upon booking confirmation.
Breakfast is included on all days. When no restaurant location is available en route, lunches and snacks can either be bought from local shops or packed lunches can be pre-ordered from your hotel the night before. Dinner is available either at the accommodation or from restaurants in the local area.
Difficulty and terrain
The length of the walks varies from 9.5km to 18km. The biggest ascent is 910m on the first walk, but you can avoid it with a taxi transfer. You walk through several hamlets and larger villages where access roads have been asphalted. We have tried to avoid as much asphalt as possible. Some walks are on gravel roads (strada bianca). For the greater part, the walks are on well-marked trails, old donkey paths and dirt roads; no technical skills are required. A basic fitness level is required for enjoying the walks to the maximum (read more about difficulty grades). We strongly advise you to follow only marked trails and never try to shorten the path through the unknown and unmarked terrain. We will provide you with detailed road notes and maps, and you can call our 24/7 local assistance phone number anytime. More detailed info on route navigation will be included in your holiday information pack.
When to go
You can start your holiday every day between the beginning of April and the end of October; blackout dates are 03 – 24 August.
We advise that if you choose to walk in July, you begin the walks very early in the morning to avoid the midday heat.
Availability in Spoleto can be challenging around the Festival of Spoleto, which is held each year around the first two weeks of July. There may also be a supplement to pay if you wish to go during this time.
Click to view travel options
By train or bus
If you are able to travel to Italy without flying, this holiday is reachable by rail with train stations in Spoleto and Rieti. For more details, see the national rail operator, Trenitalia. All the recommended airports have regular train connections to Assisi and back from Spoleto. Since Assisi Train Station is located about 3km from central Assisi, you will need to take either a bus or taxi to get to town. Please check the Trenitalia website for up-to-date train schedules or use the Omio planner above.
- 6 nights in private ensuite rooms
- 6 breakfasts
- Luggage transfers on all walking days (one piece per person up to 20kg with dimensions not exceeding 60x50x40cm)
- Mobile App with the route descriptions to follow on smartphone, digital maps and the QR code (paper documents not provided)
- 24/7 phone support by our local office/representative
- Airfare and connecting land transfers
- Lunches, dinners, drinks and snacks
- Travel insurance (required – get a quote online)
- Local tourist tax, transport and entry fees (payable locally)
- Personal expenses
- Any items not specifically mentioned as Included in the programme
Options, extras and supplements
- If you’re travelling in a group, a supplement applies to group members who would like to have a room of their own
- This holiday is available for solo travellers; a supplement will be charged as accommodation and luggage transfer costs are not shared (we never mix and match – solo travellers will be accommodated in single rooms)
- Extra nights