Mountain paths, amazing views

Bas-relief sculptures from 10th century on the facade of Spoleto’s Chiesa San Pietro

Day four: Spoleto to Ceselli — 17km (10.6 miles)

With the Ponte delle Torri closed in Spoleto we walked around via San Pietro, then climbed the giant hill. From there it was over the hump to Valnerina and our overnight at gorgeous Abbazia San Pietro in Valle.

We gave hikers the option of walking today’s mighty hill or taking the van. Five of eleven walked with me. Here we gather for a photo.

The currently closed bridge.

Hiking up toward the summit after Monteluco sanctuary.

Eating at the lunch pasture.

Photo op above the gorge.

The gorge.

“Look how high up we are!”

From below, that is where we were. Way up there above the cliffs

Our stop Forbes the night — Abbazia San Pietro in Valle.

Perfect day walking to and through the perfect Italian town

An original letter of St Francis kept at the Duomo di Spoleto.

Day three: Trevi to Spoleto — 24 km (14.9 miles)

The beautiful weather was the star of the day, not counting the constant bellaviste toward the valley. Four of us walked the whole way, then rewarded ourselves with prize winning gelato as we arrived in Spoleto.

Last glimpses of Trevi.

Clitunno springs is always a treasure.

Pilgrims cross a bridge.

Mike and Mary eat championship gelato.

View from Piazza Mercato

Luke and I goof off at il Duomo under the amazing frescoes.

Duomo at sunset.

Dinner with the gang.

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 ┬áTrevi’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.