Climbing through olive orchards to scenic Trevi

This afternoon I walked mostly with Millie, Fiona, Mary and Mike.

Day two: Spello to Trevi: 20.3 km (12.8 miles)

The weather could not be better — clear skies with cool temps. A coffee stop in Foligno was our first stop, followed by a long, gradual climb, followed by a short steep climb to Trevi. Our group arrived between 2:30 and 4:30 in good spirits.

Our group at the start of the day.

This morning I walked mostly with Grady.

Believe it or not sometimes I get requests from other pilgrims for photos with me, as guidebook author. This is Angelica from Trieste, Germany.

Another fan — Manileo.

Not a fan. Not sure if this honky goose was upset we disturbed her, was asking for a handout, or was asking the date and time of Christmas dinner.

No photo can capture the full beauty of  Trevi’s majestic setting.

Leading a fun and happy new group to Rome

Pilgrims, from left: Grady, Danielle, Fiona, Lynn, Mary, Mary Ann, Lisa, Denise, Millie, Mary, Mike.

Day one: Assisi to Spello — 13km (8.3 miles)

As we began our day, our group took a quick stroll through the historic Basilica di San Francesco. We headed to Basilica Santa Chiara and then left town, traversing Monte Subasio, to lovely Spello.

Two weeks ago our prior group met Elizabeth, an Austrian pilgrim. Today we saw her here in Assisi, finishing her walk.

Mike and Mary leaving Basilica Santa Chiara.

Example of our trail.

Another example.

This little fellow accompanied us for about five kilometers.

Group climb.

And behold, Spello

Arriving in Assisi means saying goodbye to beloved friends

Day 16: Valfabbrica to Assisi — 13.3 km (8.3 miles)

A short day of walking left us lots of time to explore Assisi, especially the Basilica di San Francesco. Afterward we shared dinner and goodbyes with people we’ve come to enjoy and love over these weeks together. Many laughs and warm feelings as we said today’s goodbyes. Tomorrow at breakfast we share final goodbyes and I know there will be some tears.

Today we walked – all the way

Fresco at Santa Maria Assunta church at Valfabbrica.

Day 15: Biscina to Valfabbrica — 15.8 km (9.8 miles)

OK, I admit. With a van available to us we may have escaped a few raindrops here and there through the use of motor vehicles. But today we walked all the way. It felt good, plus the scenery was beautiful. After our arrival, we headed to a monastery church to survey its 13th century frescoes.

Group selfie with Castello Biscina as background.

The scenery.

Alma and Halldora.

Pilgrims cross a bridge.

Castello Biscina from a distance.

Halldora inspects a field of sunflowers.

Benedictine chapel.

Valfabbrica fresco.

More frescoes.

Walking, raining, vanning, exploring

St. Francis and the Wolf of Gubbio are backdrop for the day’s group selfie

Day 14: Gubbio to Biscina — 8km (5 miles)

From the start of the day black clouds hovered over us, so after visiting the Wolf Church in Gubbio and walking into the Chiascio Valley we were happy to find ourselves ensconced in the dining room of an agriturismo as a thunderstorm raged around us. After a pasta/panino lunch we took the van to a remote church where we inspected its fresco. Afterward we explored ruins of a castle and finished the evening with a concert by Luke and dinner at our overnight location. We’re all hoping for better weather tomorrow, our penultimate day.

Our wonderful Gubbio friends hosted us for a celebration of tozzetti and vin santo.

Fonte at Ponte di Ricchio

Frescoes at Eremo San Pietro in Vigneto.

Pilgrims leave memories at Madonna delle Grazie.

Entry gate at Castello Biscina.

Biscina castle tower can be seen for many miles.

Story of the castle.

Magical mystery trek under puffy clouds*

Day 12: Pietralunga to Gubbio — 16 km (9.9 miles)

After starting just outside Pietralunga we walked to Loreto Basso and caught the Sherpa Van to Gubbio from there. Cloudy, threatening skies with T-storms in the forecast actually remained puffy grey and dry through the day. Glorious scenery and fun, relaxed walking led to a great day. After arriving Gubbio we stopped at the Roman amphitheater and later took the Funivia funicular to Basilica San Ubaldo.

*Credit to our group for today’s blogpost title.

Back on the road and loving Umbria’s rolling hills

Day 11: Città di Castello to Pietralunga — 13.6 km (8.5 miles)

Tuesday night was spent with one of our group at the hospital. Though she was released yesterday morning, it’s clear that getting back to 100% will take an extended time. We said goodbye to her and her roommate this morning as we headed on to Pietralunga while they made plans to either take a few days off the trail or return immediately to the US. Meantime we all agreed that Hotel Tiferno in Città di Castello is a remarkable place to which we’d all like to return.

After our sad farewell we walked the quiet and green portion of the trail between Bar il Sasso and Pieve di Saddi, a 4th century church partway to Pietralunga. Tomorrow we head to charming Gubbio.

Starting under grey skies.

Clouds break up for long distance views.

Looking back toward Città di Castello.

Ever marching onward.

Cheery, rolling hills.

Sue, Kim and Gary.

Green.

Pieve di Saddi, now a pilgrim hostel. Still a 4th century church.