Day 1: La Verna Monastery
You can reach the Abbey by a direct bus from Arezzo (summer) or by car. It stands in its severe beauty in a rugged scenery in the Casentino mountains. The mystic ambience that radiates from the place makes a great start to this walk. Spend the night in the simple, but comfortable rooms of the monastery.
Distance 13 km
Day 2: La Verna - Pieve Santo Stefano
Entirely on trails, the walk is pleasant with ups and downs. The first part is among thick woods, but later the road climbs a ridge with open valleys on both sides. The scenery, beautifully severe, mellows and becomes more pleasant. Pieve Santo Stefano is a charming little town; in the cathedral and in the communal palace you can admire terracottas by Della Robbia. An outstanding collection of personal journals can be found in the Communal archives.
Distance 26 km
Day 3: Pieve Santo Stefano - La Montagna
A day in a pristine landscape among woods and narrow valleys. The walk is mostly on dirt roads that, however, can be very muddy in case of rain. A short detour allows to visit the Eremo del Cerbaiolo, many times destroyed and rebuilt keeping in mind the original simplicity. Night in B&B.
Distance 10 km
Day 4: La Montagna - San Sepolcro
A short day through beautiful oak woods which will allow you to enjoy the most beautiful exhibition of the work of Piero della Francesca.
Distance 15 km
Day 5: San Sepolcro - Monterchi
To adapt it to average walker capabilities we decided to cut in two this stage and stop in a farmhouse near Monterchi. A short detour will take you to the centre of this charming little town where the famous fresco by Piero Della Francesca, “La Madonna del parto” can be admired.
Distance 18 km
Day 6: Monterchi - Città di Castello
The trail goes trough woods and green valleys, with beautiful views on the Tevere Valley and the typical Umbrian landscape, reaching the Eremo del Buon Riposo, where St. Francesco used to stop. The final destination is Città di Castello, where San Francesco, has been hosted and homeland to one of the biggest modern Italian artists: Alberto Burri, whose work can be seen in the two city museums. Don't miss the Museo Diocesano where is kept the Canoscio treasure, one of the most ancient liturgical patrimony, attributed to paleochristian age.
Distance 31 km
Day 7: Città di Castello - Pietralunga
With possible transfer from Pieve a Saddi (Km 20km). Today's stage is very long, but there are no accommodations along the way. If you think 31km are too much for you, the owner of the hotel in Pietralunga will kindly come and pick you up about midway.
Distance 16 km
Day 8: Pietralunga - Mocaiana
Today the trail meanders among soft hills, skirts a nice lake and starts descending toward the plain. In order to take an intermediate stop, you will spend the night in a nice agriturismo on the way.
Distance 12 km
Day 9: Mocaiana - Gubbio
Gubbio is one of the most beautiful towns of Umbria. It has kept intact its medieval atmosphere with narrow cobbled streets, art craft workshops and a superb communal palace. Avoid being there on the 15th of May unless you really enjoy the crowd and want to take part in one of the craziest medieval festivals in Italy; The Ceri Festival.
Distance 22 km
Day 10: Gubbio - Castello di Biscina
A tiring day full of ups and downs, ending near an ancient castle that overlooks the Chiascio valley. The castle is an imposing ruin that can be freely visited.
Distance 18 km
Day 11: Biscina - Valfabbrica
A fairly easy day that unfolds, mostly downhill, along the Chiascio valley. Unfortunately, this valley has been spoiled by the construction of a large dam which has then proved unusable because badly built. The view of the meandering river from the surrounding hill is still striking. Valfabbrica is a lively little town where you can stop for a cappuccino before reaching your hotel outside town along the trail.
Distance 12 km
Day 12: Valfabbrica - Assisi
The beginning is a bit tough then it becomes easier. Rolling hills and thick woods and an amazing arrival with a breathtaking view of Assisi. While in the first part the landscape is still rugged and sparsely inhabited, the southern slopes are covered by the first olive groves. Spend the night in a charming "locanda" in the centre of town a few meters from the Basilica.
Eremo loop 3 hours
Day 13: Assisi - Assisi
A relaxing day. If you want to walk you can have a 3 hours loop Have a brisk departure by climbing to the Eremo delle Carceri, S. Francis peaceful retreat. At the top of the trail 500 meters from the Eremo there is a nice picnic spot with tables and benches. Otherwise just visit Assisi, which has a lot more to offer than the St Francis Basilica, although the Giotto’s frescos are superb.
A rest day can be taken either in San Sepolcro, Città di Castello or Gubbio