Via di Francesco in Italy Via di Francesco | From Assisi to Rome

Activity:
Walking or Cycling
Duration:
Up to 29 nights
Distance:
239 km
Difficulty:
Medium +
Time To Go:
April to October
Price:
7 nights from €732
Rating:

Via di Francesco | Assisi to Rome

The Via di Francesco from Assisi to Rome is also called Cammino di Francesco. It serves as an alternative route to the Via Francigena and follows an ancient Roman road between Florence and Rome, following in the footsteps of Saint Francis (San Francesco), founder of the Franciscan tradition.

Our itinerary covers 239 km and is recommended for experienced hikers only as the mountainous terrain makes the trail quite challenging, particularly From Assisi to Rieti.

Inspired by the life and work of Saint Francis, the Full Via di Francesco is a pilgrimage to the Vatican that will take you approximately two weeks to complete.

Walkers, however, will be rewarded with the stunning and peaceful countryside, passing through areas of impressive natural beauty as well as important Franciscan sites including Assisi and Rieti.

This walking trail is particularly appealing for those with an interest in the religious history and culture of Italy. The Via di Francesco passes through all of the main points of interest from Assisi to Rome, so you will really feel like you are getting the full experience of an ancient pilgrimage.

The Via di Francesco route is well signposted all along the way and you will find an abundance of interesting places to visit and spend time along this route.

We recommend you undertake the Via di Francesco in the spring and summer months when the weather is very pleasant. It’s the optimum time of year to explore the Italian countryside and when you’re likely to meet other pilgrims taking this route.

The Via di Francesco Assisi to Rome finishes at the Vatican, where you can apply for your ‘Testimonium‘ of pilgrimage to Rome. This is similar to the Compostella for the Camino de Santiago.

Click below to create your trip. You can either walk or cycle this route.

Map of the Via di Francesco Florence to Rome

Itinerary of the Via di Francesco Assisi to Rome

This is the most popular itinerary, you may be able to combine or split the distance for each day. Click on get a quote to customize your trip.

Assisi
Assisi
You arrive in Assisi.
20 km
Foligno
Foligno

From Assisi, you will start your St Francis Way journey at Porta Perlici or Porta Cappuccini, walking up to Eremo delle Carceri (800m). After that, you will continue down the western flank of Mount Subasio, past the former monastery of San Benedetto al Subasio (740m) and Sasso Rosso (830m), a rock offering breathtaking views of Valle Umbra. You will then continue down and up again past Mount Pietrolungo. The trail then goes down among some trees and olive groves, taking you to just outside the walls of Spello. Wander the streets of this beautiful medieval town and continue on the flat bottom of the valley on country roads up to the outskirts and into the centre of Foligno (235m), your stop for the night.

20 km
Campello sul Clitunno
Campello sul Clitunno

Today you will start your St Francis Way walk along the straight road to San’Eraclio (230m), then on a country road surrounded by olive trees, a little above the valley, on your way to the village of Matigge (280m). You will pass quaint little villages and churches before taking a short steep trail up to the convent of San Martino and the panoramic road taking walkers to the beautiful medieval town of Trevi (410m). Downhill out of town, you will pass the convent of Madonna delle Lacrime and the church of Croce di Bovara. For the last part of the day, you will descend to the town of Campello sul Clitunno in the valley of the Marroggia river.

12 km
Spoleto
Spoleto

From picturesque Campello sul Clitunno you will continue your journey on the St Francis Way. After following a local road for a little while, you will join the main road briefly, passing a couple of small villages then turning onto a dirt trail descending amid olive trees to the elegant village of Poreta (340m) and up to its castle (450m). Walking up and down over the countryside, between the valley and the mountains, you will pass Bazzano Superiore (570m), Bazzano Inferiore (360m) and Eggi (350m), at the extreme corner of the Valle Spoletana. Your stop for the night is Spoleto (390m) where you should visit its beautiful cathedral.

16 km
Ceselli
Ceselli

Today, you should start by getting to Rocca d’Albornoz, at the top of the town, and across the spectacular Ponte delle Torri. A steep trail takes you up to the Franciscan sanctuary of Monteluco (780m). You will walk across woods and meadows to get to the pass of Forca delle Porelle (911m), then cross lush forests to reach the other side of the mountain. Downhill into the province of Terni, you will pass the ghost-village of Sensati and the community of Le Cese further down. You will continue downhill past the rural village of Nevi and the renovated Pontuglia on your way to Ceselli (270m) and Valtiberina.

15 km
Arrone
Arrone

Leaving Ceselli, you will start by crossing the bridge over the River Nera to follow a country road between the river and the mountains. The first village on your way is Colleponte, with Macenano on the opposite side of the bridge. A dirt road will take you then to Precetto (250m), with Ferentillo just across the river; here the narrow valley opens up into a small plane. Another dirt road follows the river down to Arrone (230m).

13 km
Piediluco
Piediluco

Today you have a short walking day ahead. After a short walk to Castel di Lago, you will continue following river on a pleasant country road, down to the edge of Collestatte Piano (220m). You will now be close to the bottom side of the impressive Marmore Waterfalls, a man-made waterfall created by the Romans and the tallest in Europe. A steep trail in the woods will take you to the top side and the village of Marmore (380m). A short walk will take you to the banks of the River Velino, that feeds the falls; you will then walk upstream on a smooth trail taking you to Lake Piediluco; you will be able to see the village, on the opposite side of this small but very beautiful lake. You will continue along the lake banks to the little town of Piediluco (380m).

22 km
Poggio Bustone
Poggio Bustone

Today, you will begin by crossing the regional border with Lazio, into the province of Rieti. The St Francis Way trail climbs up to Labro (630m), a medieval village, perfectly preserved, topped by a castle overlooking the lake: you have begun the crossing over the flanks of the Reatini mountain range: the next village is Morro Reatino (740m), then you will start climbing a mountain road, with spectacular views of ‘Valle Santa’, leading to the St Francis Beech-tree (1100m) and the little chapel of Saint Francis. From there you will descend across meadows and woods to the shepherds hamlet of Cepparo (850m) and continue across woods and along the flanks of Mount Rosato to the Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone (818m).

17 km
Rieti
Rieti

You can start today’s walk by hiking an extra stretch of about 2 km up to the rustic chapel of Sacro Speco (1000m) and back to the sanctuary. The path will take you first into the little town of Poggio Bustone, just below the sanctuary, and into the country and woods hanging on the mountainside. You will then pass the village of San Liberato and the historic town of Cantalice, hanging on the rocks (700m). Descending gradually, you will reach first the sanctuary of San Felice all’acqua (580m), with its miraculous spring, and then continue in the woods down and up again to the sanctuary of La Foresta (510m). A downhill walk will take you finally to Rieti (405m).

The pretty town of Rieti preserves in its small historical centre many artistic beauties well worth visiting. The main monuments are concentrated in the two main squares, Piazza Battisti and Piazza Vittorio Emanuele II (the ancient Roman Forum). Among the many sights to visit we suggest: The Palazzo Comunale and Civic Museum; the Cathedral of the Assumption, with its characteristic Romanesque bell tower and Baroque style; the Baptistry and Diocesan Museum, rich in works of art, garments and property belonging to the Diocese of Rieti; the Bishop’s Palace, a grandiose monument where you will find the Diocesan Art gallery; the Bishop’s Arch, a bridge built by Boniface VIII and famous for its daring architecture; the medieval city walls with their intact gates and towers. Another must-see is ‘underground of Rieti’, where you will find the viaduct built by the Romans in the 3rd century BC to raise the Via Salaria, the ancient salt route and protect it from flooding due to the river Velino.

22 km
Poggio San Lorenzo
Poggio San Lorenzo

You will start your journey on the St Francis Way from St Maria Assunta Cathedral: leave the city by crossing the River Velino and heading south into a narrow valley. You will pass by Fonte Cottorella, the ancient springs of curative waters, and then follow a footpath to Kartodromo della Mola, near San Giovanni Reatino (425m). Continue upstream by the generally dry Torrente Ariana passing a Roman bridge, Ponte del Sambuco (480m), at the top of the valley. The path will now climb steadily, up to an asphalt road and further up to Osteria di Colonnetta (640m), then descending into a deep valley over the ancient Via Quinzia and up again towards the outskirts of Torricella Sabina and the convent of Collina del Sacro Cuore (610m). On your last stretch, you will walk along peaceful woods, olive groves and a few scattered houses, following a country road leading to Poggio San Lorenzo (490m).

20 km
Ponticelli
Ponticelli

From Poggio, you will continue your St Francis Way along olive groves, with your path winding its way up and down the pretty hills of the Sabina. You have many interesting sights along the way today: Monteleone Sabino, the archaeological area of Trebula Mutuesca, the Romanic church of Santa Vittoria and Poggio Moiano (470m) follow one another at short intervals. After a flat stretch in open country, your path reaches the T-junction of Strada del Brecciaro: one branch leads to Rome via Farfa Abbey; you will follow the other branch, over the rural hamlets of Santo Paolo Alto above and Santo Paolo Basso below, with sweeping views of Scandriglia and the mountains of Parco dei Monti Lucretili. You will continue your walking day amid olive groves to reach the little village of Ponticelli (330m), your stop for the night.

13 km
Montelibretti
Montelibretti

Today you will begin by walking over yet another hill covered with olive groves, with Orsini Castle overlooking the area between here and the Tiber Valley from the mountains above. You will then continue down again to Osteria di Ponticelli (240m) and crossing into the province of Rome, up to Pitirolo (310m), both no more than a few houses, then down to a full size village, Acquaviva di Nerola (210m); then further down then uphill again to the town of Montelibretti (220m).

16 km
Monterotondo
Monterotondo

From Montelibretti, you will now have full sight of the vast plane of the Tiber Valley, north of Rome. Across the lush countryside, you will reach the ancient Via Nomentana at Tre Ponti (a few scattered farms) and the little lake of La Muraccia and follow it down to its crossing with Strada della Neve (90m), in the municipality of Palombara Sabina. The landscape of the St Francis Way has now opened up into a wide area of low hills and vast fields, leaving the last layers of mountains behind. Over a quiet country road you will reach the hamlet of Grotta Marozza (100m) and past the motorway, to the city of Monterotondo (150m) and its Duomo della Maddalena.

18 km
Monte Sacro
Monte Sacro

From Monterotondo and over yet another hill, you will get down to sleepy Valle Ricca (50m), entering the municipality of Rome. Across the olive groves, fields and low hills of the protected area of Parco della Marcigliana you will be reaching the outskirts of the ‘Eternal City’, in the semi-rural borough of Cinquina. You are now following footpaths, along the low-traffic road Via di Tor San Giovanni, soon merging with Via della Bufalotta and, past the external ring-road (Grande Raccordo Anulare), into more densely populated areas in the area between popular Casal Boccone (45m) and elegant Montesacro.

15 km
Rome
Rome

Today is your last walking day on the St Francis Way. From Via della Bufalotta you will continue over Viale Adriatico, down to Piazza Sempione and across the bridge over the Aniene River, that you will follow downstream, avoiding the city traffic on a pedestrian/cycling path. The path continues across Via Salaria, by the Great Mosque, the Auditorium and the Olympic Village, to reach Ponte Milvio. You will then cross to the other side of the Tiber River and follow another pedestrian/cycling path along its banks, passing under several bridges and enjoying unique views, down to the statue-lined Ponte Sant’Angelo. Upstairs to Castel Sant’Angelo and down Via della Conciliazione into the arms of the Bernini’s colonnade, you have reached your destination, St Peter’s Square!

No city in the world can rival the history, architecture and general grandeur of the Eternal City. Founded 2700 years ago, Rome long reigned as Caput Mundi, or Capital of the World. Monumental buildings like the Colosseum are reminiscent of the era when emperors like Nero and Trajan ruled the Roman empire. But today’s Rome also owes much of its beauty to the Renaissance period when new squares like Campidoglio were created and new impressive structures built, including the world’s largest church: the Saint Peter’s Basilica. Ask the FrancigenaWays.com team if you would like to book additional nights in Rome to explore this magnificent city.

Accommodation

Standard Hotel & Guesthouse

We have hand-picked hotels and guesthouses along the Camino for their character and warm hospitality. Up to 3-stars, you will be staying in the centre of town and close to your Camino trail. All rooms are en-suite with bathroom.

For our family packages, we have hand-picked establishments with outdoor space and swimming pools where possible. Where accommodation with private outdoor space is not available, we have selected comfortable hotels with spacious common areas as well as a convenient location close to recreational areas and sights. As your comfort is our priority, we try to book hotels located within walking distance of the Camino. Despite our effort, on rare occasions your accommodation can be located a few kilometers away from the trail, so we organise transportation to/from your accommodation.

Access

How to Get There

Live information on Rome2Rio. We can also arrange private transfers if you prefer, just ask us.

Assisi

Rome Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Airport 204km: Take the train (Leonardo Express, €14) from the airport to Rome Termini Train Station, which takes about 30 minutes.

Rome Ciampino Airport 189km: There are 2 options for getting from Ciampino Airport to Rome Termini Train Station. (A) Take a 5min shuttle bus to Ciampino Train Station and then a train to Rome Termini Station, which takes about 15 minutes. OR (B) Take a 40min bus (Terravision – €4) from the airport. Bus info: www.terravision.eu/rome_ciampino.html

  • Rome Termini take the train to Assisi train station (2hrs 30) Train info www.trenitalia.com/tcom-en.

Rieti

Rome Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Airport 109km: Take the train (Leonardo Express, €14) from the airport to Rome Termini Train Station, which takes about 30 minutes.

Rome Ciampino Airport 94km: There are 2 options for getting from Ciampino Airport to Rome Termini Train Station. (A) Take a 5min shuttle bus to Ciampino Train Station and then a train to Rome Termini Station, which takes about 15 minutes. OR (B) Take a 40min bus (Terravision – €4) from the airport. Bus info: www.terravision.eu/rome_ciampino.html

  • Rome Termini: (Option A) take the train to Rieti, which takes about 2 hours. Train info: www.trenitalia.com.

(Option B) Take the local train to Tiburtina Station (€8), and from here to Rieti take a bus which takes 1hr 40 and costs €4.20 one-way.  Info: www.cotralspa.it

Rome

Rome Leonardo da Vinci – Fiumicino Airport 30km: There is a shuttle train (Leonardo Express) to the airport from Rome Termini Station, which takes about 30 mins (€14).

Rome Ciampino Airport 15km: From Rome Termini there are 2 options for getting to Ciampino Airport. (A) Take a 15min train to Ciampino Cittá and then a 5min shuttle bus to the airport. OR (B) Take a 45 min bus to the airport from the station. Bus info www.adr.it/static/en/portal/portal/adr/Ciampino/Servizi/Come_raggiungerci/Arrivo_bus.html

Whats Included

  • Included: Selected accommodation with private bathrooms, Holiday Pack on your mobile phone (Route ebook and Google Maps) and a 24/7 support number providing assistance during your trip, for instance organising a support vehicle if needed. In 2021 we also offer a Free Postponement with every booking made
  • Not included: Flights, drinks, city tax, Travel Insurance (Recommended)
  • Optional: Luggage transfers (On by default. One bag up to 20kg per person), dinners (On by default, where available), bike rental (On by default) and airport transfers, etc…

Manage your trip online

Note on Accommodation: We aim to book you into each of the towns listed on the itinerary, however in case of low availability we may book you 2 nights in the same town with provided transfers. If you are booking Superior collection or Country cottages, please note it is subject to availability and therefore cannot be guaranteed. Superior/Country cottage accommodation may be away from the route with included transfers. More details.

Have questions? Read our FAQ pages.

Specialist: Juanma
Juanma grew up near Vigo and moved to Ireland just 2 days after his graduation. his passion is discovering new places around the world on his bike. He has walked the Via Francig...
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