Walking the St Francis Way from Sansepolcro to Assisi
The green forests, medieval hilltop towns, classic vineyards and lush olive groves of this St Francis Way section highlight the undulating Italian landscape. During this tour, you will leave behind the historic region of Tuscany and enter the beautiful region of Umbria, while enjoying the story of St Francis.
This trip creates 0.2175 tonne(s) of CO2, we offset it for free
Torre Comunale Citta di Castello
A symbol of power, the Torre Citta was used as a prison during the 13d century. The tower stands at 40 meters tall, dominating the surrounding area. It’s thick stone walls protect the remains of a fresco by Lucca Signorelli from 1474.
basilica di Francesco di Assisi
This UNESCO World Heritage site is the main church of the Roman Catholic order in Assisi. Built on a hill, the Basilica is made up of two churches ( upper and lower) and a crypt. The upper church is an impressive example of the Gothic style in Italy. The decoration and frescoes demonstrated the outstanding development of Italian Art.
Gastronomy and Wine
Take a rest in one of the many stunning Umbrian restaurants and taste some Bruschetta, a bread bases dish with olive oil and many incredible toppings. Follow it up with some Brustengolo, a traditional cake made with polenta, apple, pine nuts, walnuts, and lemon. Wash it all down with a glass of local wine.
Sansepolcro to Assisi
St Francis Way
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Sansepolcro, in the western part of Tuscany, is the birthplace of Piero della Francesca. Visit his famous Fresco, “Resurrection”, in the town’s museum.
If you have time a visit, the nearby convent of Montecasale is a short 15-minute taxi ride out of Sansepolcro and is worth a visit. This peaceful and spiritual place is where robbers were camped when St Francis got his followers to provide them with food. To return the favour the robbers provided firewood to the brothers and afterwards even gave up their criminal ways to join them.
Day 2 12.7km
Leaving Sansepolcro, cross the river before going along the flat road through factories, warehouses and farms to Gricignano. Passing through the town of Fighille you will follow a road with the Stations of the Cross for a short while.
Pass by fields of crops with the hills in front of you, then gently climb to the picturesque town of Citerna. Visit the medieval walkway, a covered passageway that is perfect for romantic strolls. Next, visit the Church of San Francesco which has a Byzantine wood crucifix as well as a statue of the Madonna with Child that was recently attributed to Donatello. The Church of San Michele Arcangelo hosts some famous work by Italian artists.
Day 3 19.2km
CITTA DI CASTELLO
Walk the winding trails through forests and fields and expect sweeping views of the region today. At Agriturismo Le Burgne and Lerchi you can take short coffee breaks.
The town of Citta di Castello is built on an old Roman town and the walls of the city date back to the 16th Century. Climb the Torre Comunale which dates from the 11th Century for panoramic views or wander around the Pinacoteca Comunale art gallery which houses medieval and Renaissance art.
St Francis is also linked to this town, as it is claimed he cast a demon out of a woman.
Day 4 30.7km
CITTA DI CASTELLO
Passing by vineyards and olive groves and over the undulating hillside, take time to have a picnic in one of the calm clearings today. Climb to the summit of Monte Santo Stefano before making your way into the Carpinella valley and the town of Pietralunga.
Here you can visit the Church of Santa Maria as well as wander around the narrow streets and enjoy a hearty meal after a long days walk.
Day 5 24.9km
Zigzag through mountain forests before the vistas open up and you begin a descent down to the valley. Visit Monteleto's small parish church in the garden and enjoy a picnic here while drinking in the tranquillity of this place.
Walking into Gubbio you may want to visit the Roman theatre. This stunning stone hill town at the foot of Mount Ingino is where St Francis talked to a wolf and convinced it to stop killing the town’s people, whom then took it in as a pet and ensured it had plenty to eat. It is said that Francis slept in the Chiesa San Francesco’s sacristy when he visited Gubbio.
If this long day of walking has left you hungry be sure to sample some pasta with truffles and porcini mushrooms, a local delicacy.
Day 6 20.4km
The walk today will see you retrace the steps of St Francis after he initially left his family. Visit Chiesa di San Francesco della Pace, where his wolf’s remains are buried under the altar.
Pass by a former 12th Century Leper Hospital before coming to the town of Ponte d’Assi where you can stock up on suppliers for today’s walk. Passing by farms and woodlands you will continue to climb before making your way downhill to the Madonna della Grazie shrine.
Later, visit the 15th Century Eremo di San Pietro Monastery, and the 14th Century Chiesa del Caprignone. Continue through the woods and cross another quaint creek before arriving at Biscina your stop for the night. In this small hamlet, you can see the tower that remains of the Castle that strategically overlooked the Chiascio Valley.
Day 7 31km
Take out your camera for lovely views of the rolling hills and Lago di Valfabbrica. Stroll around the lake and down the river to the Monastery of Santa Maria. This is where Francis sought help after being beaten and left for dead in a snowy ditch by bandits.
Wind through the fields and up a hill to a viewpoint with a wooden cross and for the first time be able to see the Basilica of San Francesco in Assisi. Stop for a rest and a snack while being surrounded by the beauty of this region. You will pass a statue of Padre Pio as you ramble down into Assisi and the Basilica di San Francesco.
You can attend a daily pilgrim mass here at 6pm. Assisi is the birthplace of St Francis and also where his tomb lies. The town is filled with connections to St Francis for you to visit. Contact us if you would like to spend an extra night here to take it all in.