The Via Francescana is mostly on so called Strade Bianche, gravel roads that meander through the hills. Further you walk along forest paths and cart tracks through fields. In near villages and towns tarmac roads are unavoidable. Because the route passes through hilly terrain, you must consider that you will climb an occasional height.
Start: Città di Castello Finish: Assisi
Your journey begins in Città di Castello, which will surprise you with its many artistic treasures: from the Palazzo del Podestà, overlooking other palaces on Piazza Matteotti, the Cathedral of San Florido, which gathers together a multitude of architectural styles. Do not miss the view of the Umbrian hills from the top of the Civic Tower, before celebrating the first day of your trip with a dish of white truffle, a prized local delicacy.
After a short transfer you walk through a nice wooded area to Pietralunga, a rural village at 566m of altitude. The old town with its steep narrow streets, the church of Madonna dei Rimedi and Pieve di Urbino really are worth a visit. You can be dropped off at two different spots and thus choose between a short or longer walk.
Challenge: 5 hours, 15 km, 614 m ascent, 655 m descent
From Pietralunga you walk through a scenic landscape passing the monasteries of San Pietro and San Benedetto. The abbey of San Benedetto, dated back to XII century, was once an important reference point for pilgrims. The final stretch to Gubbio is by taxi. The town of Gubbio is worth an extensive visit. It is one of the most beautifully preserved Medieval town, with impressive buildings and Churches. In Gubbio many traditional festivities are honoured still today.
Challenge: 5 hours, 18 km, 547 m ascent, 712 m descent
Today’s walk is quite long, along the hills which separates Gubbio from Valfabbrica. The route offers breath-taking views until the Mt. Sibillini. It is possible to shorten the walk by taking a transfer. (about 2km). It is a very nice walk through the lovely countryside in the heart of Umbria. Continue through a beautiful valley on the “Sentiero Francescano” to Valfabbrica.
Challenge: 7 hours, 23 km, 336 m ascent, 336 m descent
It’s a beautiful itinerary along Umbria’ hills starting from Valfabbrica, a quiet town which was an important fortress in the middle age; the towers and part of walls are well preserved. At the end of slopes, you can enjoy landscape around you with woods, fields, country houses, parish churches with the Apennine peaks overpowering above. Assisi appears at the middle of the walk when you are in a wonderful panoramic point over the edge of the hills.
Challenge: 4 hours, 13 km, 578 m ascent, 498 m descent
Our services end after breakfast, unless you have booked another service with us.
All accomodations are carefully selected because of their location, atmosphere and/or unique services. All rooms are en-suite.
You can find below the standard hotels of this trip. If a hotel is fully booked, then we will book a similar one for you and inform you about the alternative booked.
Extra overnight: You can book additional night(s) at any of the accommodations along the way.
The Hotel Le Mura is near the Città di Castello's walls and rooms have a nice view on the city center. The accommodations are a little dated, but these are comfortable and spacious. These offer TV, air conditioning, free Wi-Fi. The staff is friendly and kind. Breakfast is normal.
This Hotel is an agritourism surrounded by calmness, obtained by an ancient Benedictine monastery and overlooking Carpina's Valley. The charm accommodations are comfortable, quiet with rustic furniture. These have private bathroom, free Wi-Fi, TV, heating. Breakfast is genuine and bio.
Hotel Gattapone is in the historic center of Gubbio into a medieval palace on a quiet road. Rooms are elegant, comfortable and clean. These are equipped with TV, telephone with direct line, free Wi-Fi. Breakfast is rich with salad and sweet dishes. Staff is friendly and helpful.
B&B Sui Passi di Francesco is located right in the centre of Valfabbrica: it is a small and cozy B&B created with walkers of St Francis Way in mind. The atmosphere is welcoming and intimate. The B&B serves dinner, but breakfast is not included. However, being in the town of Valfabbrica there are several places nearby where you can find a good breakfast.
Country House Tre Esse is located 400 m from the center of Assisi with views of the Umbrian countryside. It's surrounded by the green and it offers an external swimming pool. Rooms are comfortable and equipped in a simple way with air conditioning/heating, TV, free Wi-Fi. Breakfast buffet is various and plentiful.
You can start on any day of the week, subject to availability, between April 1st and October 31st.
Arrival in Cittá di Castello
From any airport, you first need to get to the railway station and then to Arezzo by train. From there, you can reach Città di Castello by bus.
For further information about trains, please visit the website www.trenitalia.it.
GPS tracks are available on request.
"We especially enjoyed the availability of swimming pools to use after a day's hiking. All the accommodation exceeded our expectations with quality rooms and very friendly hosts. We have enjoyed many S-Cape holidays and this one was well up to the usual standard we expect. S-cape holidays are a rare opportunity to discover lesser known areas of various countries (we have travelled to Spain and Italy.)"