For the last many years, trekkers, activists and tourism departments in Italy have been pulling together walking itineraries among the many St. Francis sites in Tuscany, Umbria and Lazio. The primary itineraries are the Cammino di Assisi (Dovadola to Assisi), the Via di Francesco (La Verna to Assisi and Rieti to Assisi), the Franziskusweg (Florence to Rome) and the Di Qui Passo San Francesco (La Verna to Poggio Bustone).
After walking the Way of St. Francis in 2013 (Assisi to Rome) I sketched out a proposal for a Florence to Rome “Way of St. Francis” guidebook, which was accepted by Cicerone Press. In the summer of 2014 I walked the route and completed the guidebook manuscript, which will be published — complete with maps, photos, profiles, accommodation listings, and detailed walking instructions — in September 2015.
From the book’s back cover:
The Way of St. Francis links cultural treasures and cherished sites from the life of Francis of Assisi into a 550km pilgrimage from Florence through Assisi to Rome. Ideal for the experienced Santiago pilgrim who seeks a less crowded adventure, the route begins among the Renaissance masterpieces of Florence, continues through the forests of Tuscany, pauses to enjoy picturesque hill towns in Umbria, then concludes with a climactic arrival at St. Peter’s in Rome. Inspired by Francis of Assisi, beloved among saints, the walk allows pilgrims to experience for themselves the places he lived, prayed and worked.
This guide provides step-by-step instructions for this once-in-a-lifetime trek, including:
Color maps and detailed directions for each stage;
Accommodation listings and descriptions of shrines, churches and towns;
A concise biography of Francis and stories from his life that relate to each location; and
A bonus walking guide to the historic Seven Pilgrim Churches of Rome.
This blog contains several helpful resources, including
- A full itinerary of the walk;
- Complete GPX tracks (password protected — please contact me to gain access);
- Forty panoramas of the walk that show some of the sites and terrain;
- Copies of my credential and testimonium;
Watch this page for additional information about the book as it becomes available. In the meantime, please visit the English language Facebook page for the Via di Francesco.