About

photo-11Sanford “Sandy” Brown is a writer, pilgrim walker, pastor and progressive activist from Seattle, Washington USA. His popular guidebook for Cicerone Press called The Way of St Francis: From Florence to Assisi and Rome, leads pilgrims on a fantastic trail through scenic, cultural, religious and historical treasures in Central Italy. He currently serves as Lead Pastor of the Edmonds United Methodist ChurchEdmonds United Methodist Church, was formerly senior pastor of the historic First United Methodist Church in Seattle and executive director of the Church Council of Greater Seattle. During vacations since 2008 he has walked over 4500 kilometers along the routes of the Camino de Santiago de Compostela and Via di Francesco.

Under the screename HuskyNerd, Sandy served as moderator for the Camino Forum, one of the largest online Santiago pilgrim Internet forums in English. A recent collection of his sermons is available for the Kindle and iCloud. His partner is Theresa Elliott, a yoga master teacher in Seattle. He has two grown sons. In addition to trekking on the Camino, Sandy enjoys piano, sailing, and watching great movies.

Sandy’s activism has included leadership in the fight against homelessness, where he helped found the Committee to End Homelessness in King County. As part of his work against gun violence he chairs the board of the Center for Gun Responsibility, serves on the Steering Committee of the Washington Alliance for Gun Responsibility and was honored by Washington Ceasefire as 2013 Citizen of the Year. He was a key leader in the successful passage of I-594 in Washington State in 2014. He also worked on the campaign for marriage equality in Washington State and relaxation of proscriptions against same sex marriage in the United Methodist Church.

This blog shares his pilgrimage tips, reflections and stories. Buen camino!

112 thoughts on “About

  1. Hello Sandy,

    I’ll be back in Spain to finish the Camino del Norte from Oviedo into Santiago de Compostela in May. Last season, my two French friends and I walked from Bayonne to Oviedo using a guide book by Gérard du Camino. (Mr. Google will bring you to his site.) Gérard’s book is the best guide book I’ve come across ever – provided you can read French. I’ve just ordered his guide for the VdP which is my next goal.

    Best regards and Buen Camino,

    Ron

  2. Florian and I (John from Calgary) are in Santiago! We will try and be in the the square tomorrow. Keep your eyes open.

  3. Rev Brown, you are my hero–I read your blogs and watch your videos repeatedly. I have a question about your planned trips to Assissi and to St Peter’s–why go twice? Couldn’t you just visit StP’s at the end of the StF trip? Or have I misread the whole blog?

    • Hi Buck, glad you like the stuff on this blog. My current plans are to go to Rome on a short trip this year, following the footsteps of St. Francis from Assisi to Rome. Next year will be a major trip of about 75 days from England to Rome along the historic Via Francigena. The destinations of the two trips are the same, but the walks will be completely different, even arriving in Rome from different directions. So to me it’s like walking the various routes of the Camino de Santiago — lots of different routes, but to the same destination. It’s the walking through new areas that provides the new adventure.

  4. Hi Sandy!
    I am trying to decide which Camino to walk in mid-May of this year (aka just 2 months from now!!) and stumbled upon your blog. Can you say which you preferred best? While I seek the solitude and peace of the Camino del Norte, I am afraid of getting lost! The Camino Frances seems much more populated (maybe negatively so) and the wide expanses of fields and plains are very appealing. I’ve also read that the Frances route has 30% walking on car roads, which is not very appealing…

    Many thanks!
    Ann

    • Hi Ann ~
      I think the Camino Frances is definitely better for first-timers. Yep, it’s populated, but that’s not all a negative. If you’re social, love meeting people, and have a positive attitude it is a wonderful experience. May is a beautiful month for the Camino Frances so I highly recommend it.

      I would say that if you don’t like walking on car roads you’ll not like the Camino del Norte. I haven’t heard a calculation, but I’d have to guess that approx 60% or more is on asphalt. There are long stretches when the CdN joins beach trails, but there are many, many miles on quiet side roads and some somewhat scary miles on non-quiet roads. The weather is an issue in May, too, since summer on the coast is mostly July/August. So, yes. My recommendation is definitely the CF for first-timers. After getting that experience you might want to come back and try a quiet route, but even so you may very well miss the joy of pilgrim fellowship that happens best on the CF. Buen camino!

      • Thanks so much for your insight!! I will certainly come back and let you know how it went! 🙂

  5. Hi Sandy!!
    I am running into time restraints at work in getting time off. Can you do say a two week Camino on the CF? If so, where would you recommend starting from? Thanks

    • You might consider starting in Leon. It’s 312 km from there to Santiago, and Leon is a super town with good rail and bus connections from Madrid. If you’re shorter than 14 days you could take the train past Leon to Astorga and begin there — it’s +/- 2 days walking after Leon. Buen camino!

      • I was hoping to land in Paris and take the train down to Biaritz.. Would it be a huge deal getting to say Leon or a midway point? I will only have about two weeks or so.

      • Hi Charlie ~
        Just to be clear, you’re wanting to start in St Jean Pied-de-Port and end as close to Leon as possible? If that’s your plan it sounds like a good one. You might actually aim for Sahagun, because from there you can take the train to Leon or down to Madrid for a flight back to Paris. Check out http://www.godesalco.com/plan/frances for help with itineraries.

  6. I was hoping to do the last half of the camino… from say Leon to Santiago. I have always wanted to go to Paris and take the train down to Biaritz and was hoping to still do so on this trip. Could that work, or would it be much simpler to fly into Madrid? Thanks.

  7. Please give me an indication of cost. Would $100. a day do it staying in the monestaries? I am ready to go physically and spiritually,airfare booked and have all the equipment………..now putting it out to the universe for the finances

    • Hi Pippi ~
      Not sure of which camino you’re asking about. In Spain on the Camino Frances it’s not too hard to walk for less that 30€ per day. Same would be true for the Via de la Plata. I found the Camino del Norte to be a little more pricey because sometimes albergues were not available in the season I walked (May/June). In Italy — I have no idea yet. But I’ll know very soon!

  8. Hi Sandy,

    I’ve been trying to find an email address for you, but no luck! I’ve enjoyed following your blog over numerous caminos and am particularly interested to hear about the Saint Francis pilgrimage!

    My husband and I work with pilgrimage trails in the Middle East (Jesus Trail, Abraham Path and others) and have walked the Francés and Norte routes. We’ve recently published (hot off the press today!) a new guidebook to the Camino Francés and Finisterre. I would love to send you a complimentary copy and would be very interested in your feedback.

    There is more info at http://www.caminoguidebook.com including a sample chapter. Feel free to just shoot me your mailing address if you are interested in getting a copy.

    Thanks for all the great info on your blog. We’d love to see you in the Holy Land for your next pilgrimage. 🙂

  9. Thank you for spending your precious time keeping would-be pilgrims company while they are still at home, trying to learn about the Camino. Your advice is so helpful but, for some reason, I’m finding it impossible to register on the Camino website. Can you ask someone to help me?
    Thank you,
    Regina Daly

    • Hi Regina —
      Registration on the camino forum is easy — just sign in. However your first three comments will be reviewed by the moderator which sometimes takes a couple of days. If that doesn’t work you should be able to contact Leslie, the site administrator.

  10. Hi Sandy,

    I woke up this morning in Mudgee, 4hrs drive NW of Sydney Australia, to see that you’d “liked” several posts on my blog – http://www.pgstheway.com.

    Thank you!

    I am now following your blog, and I look forward over the coming days to catch up on your posts, your thoughts and insights, and of course your travels.

    I take my hat off to you for doing the Caminos that you have already, and will follow with fascination your future pilgrimages through Italy.

    Also, I notice that you’re a moderator on a Camino forum – which forum is this?

    By the way, as you might have gathered from my blog, I’m a filmmaker and former journalist, and have begun writing an ebook about walking the Camino intuitively.

    Bill Bennett
    pgstheway@gmail.com

    • Hello Bill, my name is Rocky and I’m Sandys sister. I’m currently walking the Camino Francés and started reading your blog on the recommendation of a fellow blogger and peregrino. The confusing thing is that my brother set up my blog and lent me his IPhone so that I could post easier and enter pictures. So, sometimes entries are listed with his name, but are actually done by me. He hasn’t been able to reply to your message, but I have “liked” your posts too. Love your posts, best of luck on your future endeavers. Rocky…..”Rocky Walks”

  11. Hi Rocky – I’ve actually been following your posts too! You’re just outside of Leon, no? Sounds like you’re having a great time – Ive been enjoying your posts. Bill.

  12. Rocky, You have cleared up a big question for me as to your two identities. I had not figured that one out though I knew both were you. I am in Ascebo, walking without Jill, who is in England. BTW, my dad was a methodist minister.
    Bill, I am the peregrino who turned Rocky onto your blog. Nice that she followed through.

  13. Sandy,

    Have followed your blog for awhile and enjoyed your travels. My wife Robin and I walked the Frances in 2012 from SJPP and the Portuguese in 2013 from Porto. We are Catholic and are now focused on the walk of St Francis in March 2014. Can your share resource info? I know you are writing a guide book due out late this year and I’d be willing to support your efforts in any way. All the best in 2014.

    • Hi Paul ~
      Thanks for your note. I’ll contact you via private email. Some of the links I’ll send you include extremely large pdf files that need to be downloaded from my private file storage site. I’m excited for your upcoming St Francis walk! I loved it and know you will, too. FYI I’ll be there July and August 2014 doing research. Let me know your dates — maybe we’ll see each other!
      Buen camino ~ Sandy

  14. Loved your blog.
    With your knowledge and experience are you able to help me?
    With two friends I wish to take our bikes from Santiago to Burgos to cycle to Santiago by the French route returning via the northern route to Bilbao.
    Because of time restraints we would like to use public transport to get to Burgos.
    Do you know if this is possible and if so how.
    Kind regards
    Mike Morris

    • Hi Mike ~
      I’m glad you’ve enjoyed this blog. Yes, you can absolutely take public transport to get from Santiago to Burgos. The two primary options are rail and bus. By rail you can take the train from Santiago to Ourense and then from Ourense to Leon, etc. Here’s a PDF map that shows the route post-Ourense. This is a Renfe train and the website can be a mess sometimes because it’s not good at making connections, so you may need to buy tickets separately for each leg. By bus you can use Alsa, the major private bus company in Spain.The website’s much easier to use. It takes 9 hours to get to Burgos from Santiago. My guess is that train will be a little easier with your bikes and packs. To me, train is much more relaxing since a person can get up and move around, which is nice especially on a long trip.

      Sounds like you’re planning a great trip and you’ll have an absolute blast. Buen camino!
      –Sandy

  15. 100 years since the outbreak of WW1, the European Peace Walk (EPW) is set to launch this summer on July 28th from Vienna and cross 5 European countries, all the way to Trieste, Italy. http://www.peacewalk.eu/route.html

    Similar to the Camino in Spain, the EPW is free to participate in, and will have budget accommodation for its Walkers along the route to make the experience as easy and as enjoyable as possible.

    We hope to see you this summer.

    The European Peace Walk
    https://www.facebook.com/pages/European-Peace-Walk/396941733774323?ref=hl
    http://www.peacewalk.eu/

  16. Sandy,

    I’m interested in walking the Via di San Francesco pilgrimage route sometime in the next year. I realize you are working on a book that would be of great assistance in preparing for this journey, but wondered if you might provide some information since I may be embarking on this journey prior to the book’s release. Specifically, do you have a suggested itinerary breakdown? (accommodations and sites to be sure and visit) what would an appropriate budget be for ground costs? packing list? best airport to fly in and out of? Thanks for any assistance you can provide.

  17. Just found your blog and am extremely excited about the book you are writing! Thank you, thank you, thank you for taking on the writing of this guide in English! Do you know the approximate publishing date? Will you post on your blog when an Amazon link is available to add the book to our wish lists?

  18. Sandy, what a wonderful blog. My wife and I just completed the Cammino di Assisi from Dovadola to Assisi, arriving in Assisi for the feast of St. Francis. It was a wonderful pilgrimage. We walked the CF last year from St. Jean PdP to Santiago. Reading your blog made us realize how amateur our blogs about our pilgrimages are!

    We’d like to continue our pilgrimage by walking from Assisi to Rome next year. Do you know when your book will be published? If not soon, is there any information you can provide on this portion of the route? I’d be happy to support your efforts with a donation. I am especially interested in GPS tracks, as my GPS provided a lot of comfort on the Cammino di Assisi.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance you can provide.

    Karl

    • Thanks so much, Karl. Great to hear about your Cammino di Assisi. My book will be to the publishers by the end of this year, but it takes 9 months to produce it. So look for it in Sept 2015. Meantime, I’m happy to help by providing a draft and GPX tracks for you. Let me know when you begin your planning! –Sandy

  19. Thanks so much for the reply!

    My wife and I are tentatively planning to walk next October (perhaps starting right after the feast of St. Francis on October 4) so any assistance you can provide at this time would be greatly appreciated.

    Do you have an opinion on how the difficulty of the Assisi to Rome section of your walk compares with that of the Firenze – Assisi section? We walked Dovadola – Marzanella – Premilcuore – Corniolo – Camaldoli – Biforco – La Verna, and it was pretty tough for us. (We’re getting older, I’m afraid.) La Verna to Assisi was a bit easier. I did see your Via di Francesco Distance Log, but what I saw only covers Firenze to Assisi. Perhaps you posted similar data for Assisi to Rome somewhere else and I missed it?

    Anyway, thanks again for a great blog and for any assistance you can provide.

    Karl

    • There are some tough sections from Assisi to Rome, but in my opinion not as hard as the area around La Verna. In some cases there are options that have a lower elevation gain. I’ll post my elevations and distances page soon so you can see. It’s a beautiful walk and wonderful to enter into Rome as a pilgrim.

  20. Thanks! I look forward to seeing your elevations and distances page.

    Entering Rome as a pilgrim sounds wonderful. We approached Assisi through the park, rather than the road, and entered by the gate right next to the Basilica, rather than through Porta San Giacomo. It was glorious!

    I’d be grateful to receive the GPS tracks, and any other information you can provide. Would our tracks from the Cammino di Assis would be of any interest to you? I’d be happy to send them.

    Karl

  21. Hello Friends

    I will be walking from Assisi to Rome in May, think this blog is the single most helpful guide I have seen, and wonder if Rev. Brown has ever written a once mentioned book on that trek? How hard is it to stay on the path? Do you suggest a gps to help or is it easy enough without one? I appreciate the packing guide, it is helping me be a bit more sensible.

    Thanks so much.

    Donna

  22. Hi Sandy
    I am wanting to walk Assisi to Rome or Assisi to Rieti in May 2016. i will be looking forward to the availability of your book. At this point I am doing the camino alone. I am not opposed to hiking alone but certainly would not mind joining a group of individuals with like minded plans. I live in the midwest. Is there a forum or place you suggest I visit. Thank you for this fabulous blog

  23. Hi Sandy,
    Thanks for the blog- it has been such a great reference! We are anxiously waiting your book release! My family and I are considering walking Assisi to Rome Spring 2016. It was really nice to read Donna’s recap. We were hoping that we could ask a few questions before your book release in September as we are hoping to have made up our mind before then. Our previous camino was to Santiago–the Portuguese Route (Lisbon to Santiago). Being fishermen in AK the time that works best for us is March/April, but we are a little worried about the accommodations being open that time of year. We also should mention that we will have kids with us (1 yo, 4 yo). We had our daughter in a pack when we walked to Santiago, but this time we will have two- so the older will be in a roller/pack combo which is made for off-road hiking, but just curious if you can think of any part of the trail that it could not work?

    Thanks for your help!

  24. Hi Sandy,

    My group and I just finished the Via di Francesco from La Verna to Assisi.

    The walk was incredible. The most beautiful walk I’ve ever done.

    Your GPX files were really helpful, thank you – and I am in awe of your achievement in writing a detailed guide book for the path.

    Thank you for all your help in making our tour such a great success. And I wish you every success with the publication of your book. If it encourages more people onto this wonderful pilgrimage route, it will be well worthwhile.

    Bill

      • Hi Sandy, thanks – yes the walk was truly amazing. And man o man you must be fit to have done the entire walk. But again, it’s a huge achieve,ent to have done what you did in mapping every tiny detail. Your directions were incredibly accurate and clear. With your book, and the GPX files, there’s no way you can get lost! So again, my thanks.

        Feeling better now. Have arrived in Istanbul for work now, and have had a chance to rest. I think my attitude to some of the days, saying in my blog that they were tough, was in large part because of my illness. I started each day with no miles in my legs. An empty tank. And I had trained for this walk, plus I had residual fitness. So if I were to walk it again without feeling crook, I’m sure I would find it much easier.

        It’s the kind of walk you do want do do again, I have to say. There is a potency to this walk which is indescribable.

    • Hello Bill, I am the most nervous about traveling from the Florence (FLR) airport to Santuario della Verna. Do have have a good recommendation on transportation? Thanks in advance, Iva

  25. Sandy, just found your site. Very nice. What I need is some clear advice and information on hostels between Florence/Assisi/Rome. I won’t have time to do the entire thing, and my heart’s desire is to walk to Assisi on pilgrimage (although Rome would be nice). I’ve done the Camino de Santiago and am a good walker. But, I don’t see much here about the hostels. Or I haven’t looked closely enough yet.

  26. Sandy,
    Thank you so much for dropping off the book. I’m sorry I missed you. It looks like we are neighbors. My oldest daughter and I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2008 as her college graduation gift. Now my youngest wants to walk a pilgrimage but not the same as her sister. I came across the St Francis pilgrimage and it looks wonderful. I have never been to Italy. We are planning to go in June. Your book is so detailed and clear. I am excited to start reading and planning. Thanks again.
    Jane Bissonnette

  27. Dear Sandy,
    we may have met on the Camino del Norte in 2012, not hundert percent sure about it, but I definitely recongnize some of the people on your pictures. And want to say thank you for the little moment of nostalgia I had while reading your blog.
    Greetings,
    Cathy

  28. Greetings Sandy, I not much of a computer person so I am trying this blog thing! I walked the Camino de Santiago in 2014 and just started reading you guide book ” The Way of St. Francis ” really enjoying it. I’m only on the 7th stage and see the places you have to stay are in the 50 euro range. Is there places like the Camino that are only 10 to15 euro a night? Blessing Andy from Green Bay WI

    • You’ll see as you continue on that there are indeed some hostels that are much less expensive, mostly between Gubbio and Trevi.

      Thanks for reading this blog!

      • Greetings Sandy, Thanks for the info. In your best guestestimate ( made up word ) what would be the cost of this Pilgrimage. I’m a cheapskate.
        Blessing Andy

      • Hi Andy — I’m excited you want to walk the Francesco! Cost estimates and most lodging prices are included in the book. There are too many variables to give an estimate of overall cost since I don’t know where you’re traveling from, how many days you’ll walk, what food you eat, etc. sorry!

      • Thank you Sandy, I am not sure when I will go maybe in two years. Thanks for your info and I will try to follow your blog and other thing.
        God Bless and take care in your travels…
        Andy

  29. Hello Sandy,

    Thanks so much for your great website.

    I will be sent to Rome for a pilgrimage experience with my college in late July – and I was hoping to do a camino experience prior to that. I’ve don’t the Camino Ingles and the Camino Frances (starting from Lourdes). I love the amazing experience of being on camino.

    After helping recently helping a family member out financially, I will only have around 600-700 euro for my budget. Do you think it will be possible to do the walk from Assisi to Rome with that budget? I’m also an experienced walker can do up to 50 ks if needed. Anyway I definitely will appreciate your advice.

    Thanks,

    Kristone (Sydney Australia)

  30. Hi Sandy. My family and I walked the Camino Frances last year and encountered so many Alburges with bed bugs. Since we were walking with children, it could be very unpleasant. This year we are walking from Assisi to Rome. Did you find the accommodations in Italy to be free of these pests? I appreciate your honesty and any tips. We have your book and are excited to walk! Thank you! Caroline

  31. Hello Sandy,

    I am going to walk the St. Francis Way in August from Assisi to Rome. Since I am from Germany I have the “Franziskusweg”-Books by Ochsenkühn and by Roodenburg, but to be honest I am not very satisfied with the maps provided. Yesterday I found out about your book on the internet an saw, that you are taking an other route, which seems more direct. I would appreciate that, because my time is limited. Now I tried to find out about the maps provided in your book, which would be essential to me, since I am not going to buy a GPS-device or carry five different maps with me on the way. Is there any possibility, that you could send me on or two of the maps in your book via eMail, so that I could get the Idea about how they look like? I saw, that it’s not a problem to get your book within a few days here in Germany. I would buy it, if I had the feeling, I could find my way better than with the books I already have. Looking forward to read from you

    • Hi Manuel ~ Thanks for your note. Here’s a representative sample of the maps in the book. As you can see, roads as well as trails and topographical markings are included. It and all the other maps are at 1:50,000 resolution. I do not believe any better maps of the trail are available through any source, except for very hard-to-find Italian hiking maps which cover small portions of the walk. Together a person would need to purchase over 25 maps to cover the route. Hope this helps. Thanks! – Sandy Sample Map

  32. Good evening,
    I am looking at walking the Florence to Rome Way in late 2017 but not sure if November is too late. I have just finished walking 547klms through Ireland in 4 weeks so walking long distances is no problem.
    Jennifer

    • I’d say it’s too late in the season. It sounds like you’re a well-experienced hiker, but there will be some snow at higher elevations (I had some at LaVerna when I was there last November) and also the hunters are out doing their thing, which makes it a little dicey. I’d say plan for a future year. Thanks for your note!

      • Thanks for the advice as I have not been happy with November so you have just made the decision for me. I am now looking at late September. I ordered a book on the Way last week and it arrived today – just happened to be your book so a nice surprise. A lot of digesting over the next week. The Ireland hike was my first big walk and 15 months back I had never even walked more than 2klms at a time and even then that was pushing. I am also over 60 year old and thoroughly enjoy walking and on my own.
        The walk from Florence to Rome with 3 -4 rest days could be done over 4 weeks? With a couple either side so 5 weeks should see it all done and dusted?. I have been to Rome before so only St Peters at a non busy time is of interest to me in that city. Looking at flying into Paris and then onto Florence and out of Rome. I have to apply for leave at least 10 months in advance so the reason I am asking so many questions. Hope you don’t mind.
        Jennifer

      • Hi Jennifer ~

        It sounds like a lovely trip. Late September should be very nice, and also very quiet on the trail. I’m walking myself in September of next year, leaving Sept 3 from Florence. Your pace will determine the number of days, but don’t underestimate the rigors. Even though some of the stages seem short they are sometimes challenging. My book lists 28 daily stages, so with 3-4 rest days that’s a little over 4 weeks. Given some are around 30km you’ll want to train well so you can handle the distances. I wish you the very best! – Sandy

  33. I just finished the walk from Assisi to Rome with my husband and two young children. It is a wonderful walk but be forewarned, it is very challenging. It was much more difficult than the Camino de Santiago, but in many ways more rewarding too. I’d say four weeks only if you are in excellent shape.

  34. HI Sandy,
    Great blog! I am currently a master’s student reseraching and writing about bloggers and/or students along the final section of the VF. If possible, I would love to get in contact for a quick interview (skype, phone…). If interested, let me know and I will send over more detials about my work. Thanks!

  35. Hi Sandy
    We are a couple of senior Australians who have done a number of Caminos and long walks in Spain, Portugal, France England and Scotland. These days we look for the ‘easier’ option if possible and was wondering if you knew of a company that would transport our packs. We are walking friom Florence to Terni and commence on Sept 10 2017. We have purchased your book and have booked nearly all of our accommodation. Many thanks. Jane

    • Congrats on your upcoming cammino! You’ll want to talk with Francesco Gallo. I hate to post email addresses online, so please send me a note at sandybrownseattle at gmail dot com and I’ll send you his address. Ciao!

  36. Hello Sandy,
    Thanks in advice for leading advices, comments and informations about the way.I want to plan to walk the way of St. Francis in May of 2018.I have exposure(head for heights) problem in side passing through steep downhill, if the path is narrow and open(uncovering).This is my big problem.Is there some points, stages in the whole route?

    Thanks again.

    Yahya

    • Congrats on your upcoming walk, Yahya. Watch out for the portion of the path between Spoleto and Ceselli, which does have a steep, narrow, open downhill section. I believe that otherwise you are fine. There are steep sections, but I can’t think of any that are also narrow and downhill. Have a great cammino!

  37. Sandy, I am an Episcopal priest and have walked the Camino Frances and the Camino del Norte. I would like to walk a portion of the Camino Francesco, but the only available time I have is March 24 to April 7. Is this an unreasonable idea?

  38. Dear Sandy, I stumbled across your wonderful blog looking for info on a possible Italian Camino. I read your 2012 CdN account and was quickly reminded how much I had forgotten. We met briefly but shared a wonderful day walking together as well a many good chats.
    I returned to Spain last October (2016) for my second CdN and again enjoyed it thoroughly.
    Upon my return to Honolulu my eldest son (aged 17) advised me he wanted to walk the Camino this June (2017) before heading in to his final year of high school.
    I think this is a fantastic opportunity for him and perhaps in some ways it has the makings of, at his young age at least, a right of passage. My plan would be to begin the walk with him but then steadily give him increasing independence. It is my hope that he would eventually feel comfortable with the idea of completing the final two weeks on his own wits, with me shadowing him some distance behind.
    I would love to catch up with you and pick your brains about some of the logistics of the various different options I am considering.
    Please let me know how to best follow up with you.

    Julian from Honolulu

  39. Hi Sandy,
    I am walking the Cammino di Francesco in september and i would like to stay at the Spedale San Francesco e San Giacomo in Assisi. Any update about them? Are they opened? I tried to email and phone them but.. Not posible.
    Thanks
    Michel

  40. They closed, with very little fanfare, a while ago, said to be for renovations. This year,they reopened in early April, again with considerable fanfare, but were reported as closed again in June. It appears they have financial problems.

    I can recommend Cittadella Ospitalità; it is a religious conference center, not a hostel, within the walls of the city. Accommodations there are simple but quite nice, at a reasonable price. My wife and I stayed there in 2014 and 2015. I have reserved a room with breakfast for my wife and me for this September for € 25,00 per person per night. The breakfasts are good. They offer dinner, which we have not tried.

    I can also recommend Monastero di Santa Chiara, a convent just outside the walls of Assisi where we have stayed. More expensive than Cittadella Ospitalità, but reasonable. We woke to the sound of the Nuns singing in the chapel – it was beautiful.

    I believe there is also a hostel in the town below Assisi, Santa Maria degli Angeli.

  41. Thank you for all of this wonderful information !! I am presently researching this Camino and there seems to be such conflicting info. Some say it’s important to officially apply by email and wait to be accepted so they can reserve beds along the route. Some say it’s best to start at Dovadla where the Priest gives out the “proper credential’ etc and goes to Assisi only. Other sites state Florence to Rome. What is your take on this please. Many thanks. Mary

  42. Thank you for this generous resource. Can you explain the difference between your route and the traditional “Camino di Assisi” which begins in Dovadola rather than Florence? I am planning on walking to Assisi from either Florence or Dovadola in late September. I live in Austria so it is not a problem to decide my starting point, even at the last moment. Will your book and GPS info help me on the route from Dovadola? Thank you again.

  43. Good morning Sandy,
    I hope your walk is still going well.
    How many different compostelas or testimoniums are there? The image you put up for santiago is different to the one I received and you have yellow ones from Rome, whereas I received the one with the two saints on it. Am puzzled, am I missing something?
    John

    • The certificates change occasionally. Mine are the ones given out in the particular year I arrived. So I don’t think you’re missing anything, except perhaps that the design of the certificates may change over time.

  44. Sandy currently on the via roma in Trivi. Looks like there are wildfires ahead. Any recommendation to rerout around poggio bustone? Thanks for help!

  45. Hi Sandy,
    We walked from Assisi to Rieti last May and you helped with information re baggage transfer.
    We are back in Italy (from Australia) with some friends to walk some more of the Camino Di San Francesco. We are in Stia tonight and set out tomorrow to walk to Assisi. Thank you for your ongoing information and support for us all….it is greatly appreciated.

  46. We are 2 Australian who have just finished walking from Florence to Piediluco. We finished in Piediluco on 28 sept. Sandy put us on to Francesco and Barbara Gallo to transport our bags and they were fabulous and provided an excellent service. Would highly recommend them. Safe walking

  47. I would like to purchase the Way of St. Francis book as a gift. To get it from Cicerone will take much too long. I see the book on Amazon with a publication date of January 2016, and a publish date of 2017 on Cicerone’s site. Someone told me to get the second edition with updates. Is there much difference between these two editions? Thanks for your help.

    • Look for the updates page on the book’s Cicerone website and you’ll see the quantity of differences. All the updates (except maps) are included there. I’ll have additional updates this fall based on my walks this year.

      • Thank you for such a prompt response. So are those updates included in the 2017 book or are they only listed on the website as a supplement? Is there any way to get a 2017 book from within the US?

      • Always happy to help. The updates on the website bring the 2015 printing to match the 2017 printing. The new updates this fall will go beyond the 2017 printing.

        Amazon is our primary seller in the US and there’s no way at present to tell whether they are still selling the 2015 stock or the new 2017. Sorry! This fall I’ll get a supply of 2017 stock from Cicerone so I can sell them directly.

    • Ok, got it. Amazon says it’s a 2016 publication, but I guess I’ll just take my chances and maybe buy a new one whenever this trip ends up happening! Thanks for all your help!

  48. Hi Sandy

    Sometime ago on this site you had information about the walk from Lucca to Siena. Do you still do this walk and will there be one in 2018.
    Sheelagh

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