Richard from the CaminoWays.com Customer Care team shares a few tips all walkers contemplating travelling the St Francis Way should keep in mind:
This is an extremely challenging route, suitable only for experienced walkers and trekkers. There is a lot of incline and decline as the route passes through the valleys of a very mountainous area in Italy (it crosses the Apennines and many natural parks). The easiest section would be the last one from Rieti to Rome. Have a look at the trail profile in our product page (click on ‘itinerary’ tab to see map and elevation): St Francis Way walking.
You will encounter very few other walkers on a daily basis along the St Francis Way. This will be ideal if you are looking for a peaceful walking holiday but we wouldn’t recommend it to walkers looking for a social experience. There are no bars/ cafés along the route to stop during the day and so we recommend organising a picnic / packed lunch each morning. You will also need to bring adequate supplies of water each morning as options to fill up or buy water along the way are extremely limited.
Some of the towns along the St Francis Way are very small and do not have hotel or guest house accommodation. Our only option in these places is to book accommodation outside the centre and organise transport to and from the accommodation. Clients must call for pick up when they arrive and they will be taken back to the trail the following morning.
The standard of these hotels cannot always be described with a star rating. We visit them each year and are confident that they are all clean and comfortable and you will always have a private room with ensuite bathroom. As you can appreciate in many towns, accommodation options are extremely limited and we book the best available for our clients. In the most remote places of the trail, the standard of food served in the properties can be quite basic and/or have less options than bigger towns along the way.
Cicerone have recently published a comprehensive guidebook for the St Francis Way and we provide this guidebook as part of our holiday packs. With the guidebook and signage along the route walkers can find their way. In addition, you should check your hotel information document (sent by email before your trip) for the exact location of your accommodation each night in relation to the trail.
We don’t mean to deter anyone from booking a walking trip on the St Francis Way as it is an spectacular trail crossing areas of stunning natural beauty. However we feel it is important to understand completely the type of walk involved to make sure it is the right one for you.