St Francis Way: Chiusi to Città di Castello

St Francis Way: Chiusi to Città di Castello

Trip Highlights

  • Following in the footsteps of pilgrims from centuries ago
  • Discovering the wild slopes of the Apennine mountains and the best preserved forests in Italy
  • Visiting quintessential Italian towns each with their unique atmosphere
  • Staying in comfortable, welcoming and charming B&Bs and agriturismo

Trip Summary

During the Middle Ages Saint Francis of Assisi traversed the ridges and valleys of the Apennines, looking for God's signs in nature and talking to people about peace, humility and brotherhood. During this first section of the Way of St Francis 'camino' route, follow the paths Saint Francis covered during his frequent pilgrimages. Discover traces of his passage, such as Franciscan hermitages, chapels and crosses as you walk through the typical landscape of eastern Tuscany and northern Umbria; shady forests, orchards, olive groves and fields of wheat, corn and tobacco. Apart from the spiritual side of this walk, there are numerous drawcards along the way such as Chiusi with its charming location and Franciscan monastery, the medieval hamlet of Anghiari and the culinary delights which await each evening. Crossing from the Arno to the Tiber river valleys, with hill top castles dotting the landscape and evidence of St Francis and his journey from church to chapels, there are also opportunities to view birdlife such as Montagu's Harrier and Moorhen.

Suitability

MODERATE – GRADE 3

This is a moderate grade walk along paths that are well defined and clearly marked. Most sections are not particularly steep, with the exception some short sections on day 2. The whole itinerary is mainly on paths and gravel roads (strade bianche), and some sections on asphalted road. You should be able to walk for up to 16km per day although there is an option on day 6 to walk for 20km (4-7 hours a day) in sometimes hot sun on stony tracks. The classic Tuscany landscape of small (although sometimes steep) hills, olive groves and vineyards, are traversed each walking day.

A good level of fitness is required and prior experience is advisable. As with all of our trips it is important that you are well prepared. We suggest that you undertake regular exercise – swimming, cycling, and jogging, three to four times a week for three months prior to your departure.

Itinerary

On arrival in Chiusi, head for the hotel and check in (usually from 2pm). If you arrive early enough, you can visit the Franciscan Sanctuary in the afternoon*. The Sanctuary is open every day of the year from 6:30am to 7:30pm (10pm in summer) NOTE: To enter the Sanctuary, you need to cover your chest and arms and wear trousers / skirts below the knee. For more information check on www.laverna.it/en/ *Buses operate only on week days.

Meals:  D

Today's walk takes you along the edge of the Catenaia “Alps” between the Arno and Tiber valleys. Throughout the day you'll enjoy the many panoramic points overlooking the Casentino and Valtiberina valley. Overnight in a country style hotel well located within the village of Caprese Michelangelo in the high Tiber Valley. The town is the birthplace of the Renaissance artist Michelangelo and the Michelangelo museum is worth a visit. Distance 13km/8mi, Ascent +456m, Descent -820m

Meals:  B

The walk continues on paths and dirt roads along the Valtiberina valley, with breath-taking views. On arrival in Ponte Alla Piera, enjoy the sweeping vistas before continuing to your agriturismo in the countryside beyond the village. Distance 16km/10mi Ascent +593m Descent -588m

Meals:  B,D

A gentler day of walking today through the countryside surrounding Anghiari and across castle topped hills, ancient parish churches and medieval villages and hamlets. The landscape is beautiful and the vast views are amazing; looking west it’s easy to recognise the imposing Alpe di Poti mountain chain, in the north the Alpe di Catenaia, towards the south the flat plain of the Tiber river and in the east the Alpe della Luna. Once you arrive in Anghiari enjoy exploring this amazing medieval hamlet and have a drink in at 'Giardini del Vicario at Piazza del Popolo. It's a lovely bar with a wonderful view over the valley. Distance 10km/6.25mi Ascent +248m Descent -447m

Meals:  B,D

A short morning transfer will take you to Sansepolcro. Today’s walk is along the valley, following the course of the Tiber River. The journey links the two most important towns of Valtiberina (the Upper Tiber valley). Leaving the centre of Sansepolcro you can immerse yourself in this rich countryside and spend hours among corn, wheat and tobacco fields, pastures and country houses. The town of Citerna has recently been named as a 'Borghi più Belli d'Italia' (most beautiful villages in Italy). Distance 16km/10mi Ascent +322m Descent -170m

Meals:  B,D

Following the river Tiber, the route crosses one of most cultivated valleys in Italy (Valtiberina). The most important and famous product is tobacco used for the production of Tuscan cigars. Today’s walk is at times completely flat and runs along country roads or paths parallel to the river; fields and pastures alternate with preserved bank vegetation with by poplars and willows. In this area it is easy to see many birds of prey or water birds such as Kestrel, Montagu’s Harrier, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Night-Heron and Moorhen. Overnight in the historic town of Città di Castello. Distance 16 or 20km/10 or 12.5mi Ascent +705m Descent -903m

Meals:  B

Trip arrangements conclude after breakfast, or you can continue on the next stage to Assisi.

Meals:  B

What's Included

  • 6 breakfasts, 4 dinners: Breakfasts are usually continental inclusive of breads, tea, coffee & juices. Dinner will consist of 3 courses, usually starting with a salad or pasta dish, followed by either a chicken, red meat or fish dish with seasonal vegetables & finishing with a dessert of fruit or cakes.
  • 6 nights in B&B's and Agriturismo on a twin share basis with ensuite facilities (hotel taxes extra, payable locally - allow €5-10)
  • Information pack including roadbook and maps per room booked
  • Luggage transfer from day 2 to day 6
  • Emergency hotline
  • Private transfer from Anghiari to Sansepolcro on day 5

What's Not Included

  • Travel to Chiusi and from Città di Castello
  • Meals not included (lunch daily, dinner except on days 1, 3,4 and 5). Allow EUR15-20 for dinner and EUR5 for picnic lunch.
  • Items of a personal nature including drinks, souvenirs, phone calls, internet and laundry etc.
  • Entrance fees (museums, galleries etc.)
  • Guide - this is a self guided tour
  • Travel insurance
  • Tourist Tax - allow EUR1-2 per day - payable directly to each hotel

Upcoming Travel Dates

AT A GLANCE

Duration:7 Days
Countries:Italy
Starting Point:Chiusi
Finishing Point:Città di Castello
Activities:SELF GUIDED WALK
Grade:moderate  Click for more information
Trip Code:SW1
Prices From:GBP£670 Per Person
Single supplement:GBP£100  Click for more information
Single Traveller Surcharge:GBP£230  Click for more information
Please do not book any flights or extra arrangements until such time that your booking is confirmed by Sherpa Expeditions by phone or email.