St Francis Way - Stage 1 from Chuisi to Citta do Castello
During the Middle Ages, an enlightened man walked the ridges and valleys of the Apennine Hills, looking for God’s signs in nature and talking to people about peace, humility and brotherhood. He was Francis of Assisi and you can walk in his footsteps.
Francis of Assisi was a mystical person who continues to fascinate us today and whose personal charisma and philosophy are respected the world over.
On this trip, you follow the same paths trodden by the Saint, during his frequent pilgrimages between La Verna (where he received "the stigmata") and Citta di Castello. Discover the many traces left in the wake of his passage. You'll encounter Franciscan hermitages, chapels and crosses as you walk through the delightful landscapes of Arezzo and Perugia, through shady forests, orchards, olive groves and fields of wheat & barley.
Day 1: Arrival 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) To enter the Sanctuary, you need to cover your chest and arms and wear trousers / skirts long to the knee
Day 2: From Chiusi della Verna to Caprese Michelangelo, 13 km
Walk along the edge of the Catenaia "Alps" between the Arno and Tiber valleys. During the day, enjoy the many panoramic points overlooking the Casentino and Valtiberina valley.
Day 3: From Caprese Michelangelo to Ponte alla Piera, 16 km
Walk on paths and dirt roads along the Valtiberina valley enjoying breath-taking views.
Day 4: From Ponte alla Piera to Anghiari, 10 km
Walk through the countryside surrounding Anghiari and cross 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 of Alpe di Poti mountain chain, in the north the Alpe di Catenaia, towards the south the flat plain of the Tiber river and east the Alpe della Luna. Once you arrive in Anghiari visit this amazing medieval hamlet and have a drink in "Giardini del Vicario" at Piazza del Popolo. It's a lovely cafè-wine bar with a wonderful view over the valley.
Day 5: Transfer to Sansepolcro, From Sansepolcro to Citerna, 16 km
A short morning transfer will take you to Sansepolcro. Today's walk is a long promenade in the valley, following the course of the Tiber River. The itinerary links the two most important towns of Valtiberina; leaving the centre of Sansepolcro you can immerse yourself in this rich countryside and spend many hours among corn, wheat and tobacco fields, pastures and country houses.
Day 6: From Citerna to Citta' di Castello, 20 or 16 km
Following the river Tiber, the itinerary 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 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 as Kestrel, Montagu's Harrier, Grey Heron, Little Egret, Night-Heron and Moorhen.
Day 7: Arrivederci Citta'a di Castello!
Our services end after breakfast unless you have booked another service with us.
- The wild slopes of the Apennine mountains and the best-preserved forests in Italy
- Hills, country houses, cypress lanes, olive grows and all the typical elements of rural Italy
- The Sanctuary of La Verna
- The medieval towns of Anghiari, where time seems to have stopped
- Small, comfortable, family run accommodations
- Friendly people, quiet footpaths and gravel roads
Food & Drink
Apart from amazing natural and religious places along the "Franciscan path" you visit towns and villages of great history and culture, plus lots of opportunities to enjoy the many traditional recipes from the local cuisine.
Examples of our Hotels
Hotel Letizia in Chiusi Alla Verna is a simple and quiet hotel, in a very green setting and located close to the Sanctuary of La Verna. All the rooms are simply decorated with telephone and Tv, and some have a view on the Castle of Count Orlando.
Albergo Ristorante La Buca di Michelangelo in Caprese Michelangelo is a stone farmhouse, in the middle of the village. This accommodation is rustic in style, with beam ceiling and offers simple lightly hued rooms. An ideal place for lovers of nature.
B&B Locanda del Viandante is located between Cerreto and Ponte Alla Piera, right in the middle of the countryside, The lodgings are distributed in three different farmhouses, each with its own features and atmosphere, but all tastefully restored. The Locanda also offers an inn and a swimming pool.
Hotel La Meridiana in Anghiari is set within one of the most beautiful villages in Italy. The Hotel Meridiana overlooks a small square: its balconies have stunning views of the village and the Valtiberina valley. This family-run hotel has a relaxed, pleasant and friendly atmosphere. Free wifi, tv room, bar, internet point, meeting room.
Country House Le Rasse on the outskirts of Citerna is set amongst verdant countryside. Among the most appreciated features, apart from the friendliness of the staff, travellers mention the nice swimming pool with lovely views of the surrounding valley plus the delicious local recipes offered by the restaurant.
Hotel Le Mura in Città di Castello is near the town's defensive walls. Many of the bedrooms have views of the centre. The accommodations feel a little dated, but still comfortable and spacious, with TV, air conditioning & free WiFi. The staff are welcoming, friendly and kind.
Fly into Rome, to one of its two airports: Fiumicino Airport, major international airport or Ciampino Airport, smaller and serviced more by low-cost European airlines.
Or fly to Pisa or to Florence where there are train connections to Arezzo and then public bus to Chiusi or back from Citta di Castello at the end of the tour.
For more information about trains, please visit the website www.trenitalia.it
Arezzo or Assisi are the best train stations to use.