I’m back to the writing routine for The Way of St. Frances: From Florence to Assisi to Rome and wanted to share some of the helpful info I’ve learned that might not make it into the book. One example is the graphic above of the many walks of St. Frances in and around Assisi.
As I’ve said before, my completed book will be the first one that actually guides pilgrims on every step between Florence, Assisi and Rome. The almost-complete guidebooks are Franziskusweg, a German book (in yellow above), along with the German language Outdoor Guide by the Dutchman Kees Roodenburg (not shown). Both of these guidebooks have pilgrims taking a train for the first day out of Florence and then taking public transport the last day or two into Rome. This is too bad, since there are good walking routes at both ends.
Another popular English (plus Italian and German) guidebook is by Angela Seracchioli (in purple above). Her thick and well-researched book covers the distances between La Verna and Poggio Bustone. The Via di Francesco (dark blue) of the Umbrian Tourism Department also starts at La Verna then continues on to Rieti, where the Via di Roma (light blue) picks up for the last 100 or so kilometers.
The Cammino di Assisi (in green) is a popular route among Italians that begins with non-Frances sites at Dovadola and then finishes at Assisi. There are several smaller routes as well, like the Holy Valley routes near Rieti and the Sentiero Francescano della Pace between Assisi and Gubbio.
The challenge I faced was to find a single route that actually has pilgrims walking on foot each step of the way between Florence, Assisi and Rome. This required some scouting and help from locals who know these routes well. The resulting route is marked above in red and, modeled after the Camino de Santiago in Spain, is doable in 30 days.