Looking forward to a summer of walking in Italy

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My new Pilgrim Paths website which was so much fun to put together with photos of prior Italian caminos.

Over the past months I’ve been having a blast as I start a trekking business and plan five big walking itineraries in Italy during the 2017 season. It’s part of a dream to help people enjoy great pilgrimage experiences like those with which I’ve been blessed over the last many years.

These long adventures have changed me in so many ways. They helped me build lifelong friendships, they’ve sent me back to school to learn Spanish and Italian, and they’ve changed my outlook on the world. It’s the effect of “slow travel” where it’s not just the sights, it’s the sounds, smells and tastes of each new village or valley.

So what’s fun about 2017 is I’ll get to walk all summer! And with other pilgrims, too! And with my son, Luke, who’ll be our driver and baggage genie. It’ll be a few hundred kilometers — and that’s part of the fun. The distances look like this:

Kilometers Miles
Lucca to Siena (Via Francigena) 128.5 80.1
Siena to Rome (Via Francigena) 276.4 171.7
Assisi to Rome (Via di Francesco) 249.8 155.1
Florence to Assisi (Via di Francesco) 282.4 175.4
Assisi to Rome (Via di Francesco) 249.8 155.1
Total 1,186.9 737.4

The most I’ve walked in one summer was 900 km in 2011, but what makes 2017’s agenda possible is that the third and fourth walks are separated by a month long vacation with friends in Umbria. When it’s all done I expect to be a little weathered, in great shape, and excited — like after every trek I’ve ever done.

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I still owe these friends a visit. We met walking to Siena last year and became great friends.

Biggest of all is the excitement of walking with pilgrims from around the US and the world. So far, my pilgrim clients include walkers from the states of Washington, Florida, California, Rhode Island, Georgia — and New South Wales, Australia. I’m looking forward to knowing them, hearing their stories, and enjoying our many days’ walks together.

It’s been quite a learning experience to start this new business. I had to get a Federal Employer Identification Number, a Washington State Business License, business bank accounts, set up an international wire transfer account and get a license to sell travel insurance which required I be fingerprinted! All part of the fun.

Of course, you’re invited to join me on any or all of these great walks. Our final itinerary, Assisi to Rome in Sept/Oct, is completely booked, but there’s room in each of the others. You can learn more by visiting my website at www.pilgrimpaths. net. I’ve made photographs a big part of the site and I hope you like it.

One thought on “Looking forward to a summer of walking in Italy

  1. Sandy, I don’t think that June could make it with her walker, nor me. But I enjoy reading about your adventures. We spent Christmas with the family and looking forward to the New Year, have a Happy One, and keep on trekking. Rolf

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