Footsteps of St Francis Self-Guided Walk Trip Notes

Ways to Travel:
Self-Guided Holidays
Destinations:
Italy
Programmes:
Walking & Trekking
Trip Code:
W08UM
Activity Rating - Leisurely/Moderate
Leisurely / Moderate

You are reasonably fit, enjoy the outdoors and are looking for some exercise. Some previous experience is preferable for activity based trips.

9 Days Flight Inclusive
9 Days Land only
Min age: 8

Trip Overview

Along the way, you explore the upper slopes of the 'bald mountain' Monte Subasio with stunning mountains vistas. You can discover the secluded hermitages of St Francis, pass the great Abbey at Sassovivo and wander the ruins of Campello Alto.

At a Glance

  • 8 nights hotel-to-hotel
  • 4 Days walking
  • All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals
  • Services of your local Headwater Representative
  • Headwater Wine Collection Service 
  • Route directions and maps 
  • Luggage transfers between hotels 

Trip Highlights

  • Discover Italy's 'Green Heart': deep lush forests, impressive limestone gorges, rare flora and fauna in the Monte Subasio Natural Park
  • World-famous Assisi, jewel in the Umbrian crown; Spello, one of Italy's best preserved medieval towns
  • Exceptionally friendly hotels with panoramic swimming pools
  • Superb regional cuisine: highly prized black truffles, the finest of olive oils, famous Sagrantino wines

Is This Trip for You?

Classification: Self-Guided
Average daily distance on move on days: 15.5km (9.8miles). 
No. of days Walking: 4
Terrain: The paths you follow are generally waymarked and well maintained. As there are frequent ascents and descents, you need to be reasonably fit and confident.

 Vehicle Support: This is a self-guided trip for those who prefer to walk independently, but with our assistance to take out the stress of the logistics and planning. We arrange your accommodations, provide you with a map and route notes so that you can walk at your own pace.

It is important that you are happy reading maps and following route notes, we make these as accurate as possible and they are regularly checked. 

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. There may be others on the same departure date as you, but you will not be organised together. The route notes contain a 24-hour emergency assistance telephone number should you need it and in emergencies, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

The walking is beautifully unhurried, retracing in part the trail St Francis took on his final visit to Assisi in 1226. It's a rural route brimming with rare flora and fauna, passing through olive groves dating back to Roman times. Stroll along pilgrimage trails through centuries-old forest and sacred woodland that has for years been tended and cared for by the Franciscan monks.

You stay in beautiful medieval towns: Assisi 'the town of St Francis' with its UNESCO-listed basilica; pretty Spello, which lies on the other side of Mount Subasio from Assisi; Trevi, standing on its hill overlooking the plains of Campello; Poreta, a tiny village with a restored hilltop castle and church, and finishing in Spoleto - the town of the amphitheatre and aqueduct.

Group

As this is a self-guided holiday there is no group and no leader. A local representative is on hand to assist you and will meet you at the beginning of the week to set up your bike and go through the route notes and point out particular places of interest. Your luggage is transferred and route notes and maps are provided. The route notes contain an emergency assistance telephone number. In an emergency, the local representative is normally able to dispatch a taxi or pick you up themselves. They may wish to charge for this service.

Adult min age:
13
Child min age:
8
Child max age:
12

Itinerary

Land Only

Start City:
Assisi
End City:
Assisi

Flight Inclusive

Start City:
London
End City:
London

Land Only Itinerary

  • Day 1

    Arrive in Assisi

    Arrive at your hotel, where you'll stay for your first night. (Staying at Hotel Fontebella Palace, Breakfast only)

  • Day 2

    Assisi to Spello

    Climb up Monte Subasio to the Hermitage of Asissi. Traversing a trail along the mountain you get unforgettable views of the Vale of Spoleto, before heading down into delightful Spello and your hotel for two nights. (Staying at Albergo La Bastiglia, Half Board)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    6
  • Day 3

    At Spello

    Pink-stoned Spello is a well-preserved Roman town, with beautiful town walls, ruins of the old theatre and amphitheatre and thermal baths. Visit the church of Santa Maria Maggiore with its outstanding frescoes by Pinturicchio, the town's art gallery, annexed to the church, and the Palazzo Comunale Vecchio (Old Town Hall). Or perhaps take the train to Perugia the region's capital. (Staying at Albergo La Bastiglia, Half Board)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 4

    Spello/Sassovivo to Trevi

    A short transfer this morning - Then follow the Sentiero degli Ulivi - the Olive Grove Trail - that connects Spoleto to Assisi. Spend time at the beautifully-restored cloistered Abbey of Santa Croce di Sassovivo and continue through woodland and olive groves to the hilltop village of Roviglieto - the highest settlement on the trail at 700m. Descend to Trevi for a picture-postcard view of this Roman gem on the slopes of Monte Serano. You'll stay here for two nights, and enjoy dinner (included) under the church tower in the atmospheric Piazza della Rocca. (Staying at Hotel Antica Dimora, Half Board with wine included)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 16 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 5

    At Trevi

    Explore this old theatre town with remnants of the Mura Romana (Roman Wall) and Mura Medieval (Medieval Wall) still encircling the town. The Teatro Clitunno is still one of the town's most important gathering places. Visit the Olive Oil Museum, housed in an ex-convent, and stroll around the main square, home to the C14 Palazzo Comunale. (Staying at Hotel Antica Dimora, Half Board with wine included)

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Trevi to Poreta

    On the shared Olive Trail and Francesco Way, amble along to the hillside church of Madonna di San Arcangelo. Pass the secretive Eremo Francescano (Convento Pissignano) and explore the ruins of C10 Castello di Campello Alto. Then meander down to Poreta and your hotel for the next two nights, where dinner is included in the converted stables. (Staying at the Borgo della Marmotta, Half Board )

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
    Distance covered: 15 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 7

    At Poreta

    Borgo della Marmotta is a perfect place to unwind for a day or two. Relax on a lounger by the pool with a good book, soak up the sun in the hotel gardens, or pamper yourself with one of the wellness sessions. Or follow small country roads down to the village of Campello sul Clitunno and visit the Roman Springs and temple of Clitunno. (Staying at the Borgo della Marmotta, Half Board )

    Meals included:
    Breakfast,
    Dinner
  • Day 8

    Poreta to Spoleto

    Pass through the typically Umbrian villages of Santa Maria Reggiano, Bazzano and Eggi. From Eggi, the St Francis Way leads you along back lanes to the bustling town of Spoleto. Or take the old Olive Trail high up onto the former railway line that used to run from Spoleto to Norcia. Cross the 60m-high Cortaccione Viaduct for a superb view back over your week's walking. (Staying at the Hotel Charleston, Breakfast only )

    Meals included:
    Breakfast
    Distance covered: 15 km / 10 miles
    Activity (hours):
    5
  • Day 9

    Leave Spoleto

    Meals included:
    Breakfast

All ascents, descents and distances listed above have been measured by our local partners or tour leaders. Please note that different GPS measuring devices can give differing results dependent on the barometric pressures at the time. Measurements stated throughout these trips notes are given to help you understand the types of terrain and distances you will encounter.

Accommodation

Hotels

The hotels we've chosen are special too. From Renaissance-style palaces in Assisi and Trevi to a chic renovated farmhouse in Poreta.

Where a single supplement is available, paying for a single will only guarantee a room for single use. It does not necessarily mean a twin or double room will be provided for sole occupancy.

Please note that a member of the group may be allocated a single room by default if the make-up of the group means there isn’t anyone for them to share with. Paying the supplement in advance is the only way to guarantee a single room.

Single supplements cannot be refunded retrospectively.

Single supplement from £174.00

Food & Transport

Eating & Drinking

All continental breakfasts and 6 evening meals.

Umbria represents Italian home cooking at its best and the region's cuisine reflects its landlocked location. The distinctive taste of the region's olive oil and black and white truffles flavour many of the dishes. The origins of many of the dishes derive from thrift, for example, bruschetta comes from toasting stale bread, covering it with olive oil and rubbing it with garlic. Similarly, crostini are thin slices of toast with a smear of pate, usually made from chicken liver, anchovies and capers. Cooked and cured meats also have a fantastic reputation in the region. You will get to try many of these famous and delicious antipasti, which will then be followed by a 'primo' (a first course). In Umbria this is usually a pasta dish oozing with flavour. Wild asaparagus is popular in the spring and truffles feature more strongly in autumn. Secondi (second course) will then follow, the Umbrian preference is for grilled meats. Rapidly grilled spatchcocked rabbit and guinea fowl remain favourites. Desserts do not feature strongly on the Umbrian menu, cheese is often the post dinner preference and you will find the option to dip them in oil or honey.

Meal times are usually later throughout the day (08:00-10:00 for breakfast; 13:30-15:30 for lunch; 20:00-22:00 for dinner).

Wine also has a strong history in this region. It has been produced in Umbria since Etruscan times, when vines were first planted. Possibly the most unusual wine of the region is the Vernaccia di Cannara, a desert wine which is unlike any other as it is red.

Weather & Seasonality

Weather Information

The dates run from May through to October which will take advantage of the nicest weather of the region. May and October have the lowest average temperature, with highs of around 22 degrees Celcius. In the morning and evenings the temperature may drop to as low as 13 degrees Celcius so it is worth having an extra layer for your top and bottom that you can take off as it warms up. October will also see more chance of rain. From June to September the temperatures will be much higher, rising to 35 degrees Celcius in July and August, with much lower chance of rain. The weather is always variable so this should be used as a guide only.

Weather Charts

Joining Instructions

Alternative Air Travel
Alternative flights, onward rail to your holiday area, and connecting private transfers can be arranged from most UK airports. If you would like to use one of the many 'low cost' airlines, we can book these on your behalf (£30 admin fee per person). We can also book UK shuttles to connect with your onward flight, please call for details and prices.

Self drive
We can arrange various channel crossings for you. Please call for details and prices.

Alternative transfers
If you require alternative transfers (because you will be arriving at a different time to our standard flights), then we can usually arrange these for you (there may be an additional charge).

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers will be sent to you as part of our Final Joining Instructions. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

Transfers Details

Standard transfers
Transfers included from Foligno train station at 17:15, and back to Spoleto train station at 10:30.

Location start:
Assisi
Location end:
Assisi

What to Take

Essential Equipment

Walking boots
Water bottle
Daypack
Sun hat, sun cream and sunglasses
Warm jumper
Waterproofs

Optional Equipment

  • Warm top and leggings for the early spring and autumn departures
  • Swimming costume
  • Windproof and waterproof layer
  • Walking poles

Reading List

  • DK Eyewitness Travel Guide: Umbria
  • Lonely Planet Guide to Tuscany and Umbria
  • The Rough Guide to Tuscany and Umbria
  • Umbria - Cadogan Guide

Practical Information

Passport

Italy

All nationalities require a full passport that must be valid beyond the intended length of stay. It is your responsibility to have the correct personal documents and to obtain your own visa, if one is necessary, in accordance with the regulations of the country you are to visit. The information offered below is to help you with that process. We are not responsible for the actions of local immigration and customs officials, whether at points of entry or otherwise, and any subsequent effects.

Visa

Italy

Visa regulations can change without notice: please check the current regulations in good time to obtain a visa if one is required.

Vaccination

Italy

There are no specific health risks.

Travel health can often be something people forget about before going away, but a little preparation and knowledge can go a long way to help you stay fit and healthy while abroad.

The above information can change at short notice; as we are not qualified to answer all your questions about travel health we strongly recommend you contact your Medical Professional or a Travel Health Clinic at least 8 weeks prior to departure for up-to-date information. Please note: vaccinations that are routinely recommended to residents of the UK, North America or Australasia are not considered to form part of the travel health advice, and you should ensure these are kept up to date where necessary.

For additional information please visit: https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/countries

Insurance - are you adequately covered?

It is a condition of joining any of our holidays that you must be fully insured against medical and personal accident risks (to include repatriation costs and air ambulance or helicopter rescue services where appropriate). On arrival in destination for your trip, you will be asked to present details to your leader or local representative of your policy.

If you are resident in the UK we strongly recommend the Exodus travel insurance policy, this is specifically designed to cover all activities on your trip. If arranging your own policy please ensure that you are covered for all activities that are part of the trip, optional activities that you intend to take part in and/or on high altitude itineraries, that you are covered up to the maximum altitude of the trip.

Local Time

Italy's Timezone:
Europe/Rome CET (GMT +01:00)

Electricity

Italy's Electricity:

European plug ‐ 2 round pins.

Money

Italy's Currency

The national currency of Italy is the Euro (EUR), with an exchange rate at the time of publication of approximately 1.2 to the UK£ and 0.9 to the US$.

Exchange rates are correct at the time of publication.

 

ATM Availability

ATMs are widely available, but we recommend taking some Euros cash with you in case you can't get to a bank at the start of the trip.

Extra Expenses & Spending Money

You will only need money for lunches and 2 dinners in Spoleto, snacks and drinks and any sites you wish to visit. Lunches can be inexpensive if you buy produce from local markets or shops and make up a picnic. However, if you stop at a café you can easily spend €15. We would recommend budgeting €5‐15 for lunches, €25‐65 for dinner in Spoleto and allow an additional €10 a day for any extras per person.

Responsible Tourism

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here

Exodus Community

Join the Exodus online community

Don't forget to visit the Community area on our website. You can view the range of Exodus videos and podcasts, read trip write-ups which have featured in the national media and take advantage of some special deals on travel gear and equipment.

In the Community Travel Forum you'll find the Departure Lounge where you can discuss your trip with fellow travellers before you depart. When you get back from your holiday remember to upload your images to the relevant trip page on our website. This helps other people see what our holidays are really like and you'll be entered automatically into our monthly photo competition.

To make full use of the Community you'll need to join My Exodus. It's free, registration is simple and easy, so what are you waiting for?

Important Information

On all guided trips

Although our leaders are well trained to deal with different capabilities, if they have any concerns about someone’s ability to safely partake in an activity, or their impact on other people’s enjoyment, we authorise them to take necessary action which, in some circumstances, may involve asking someone to miss that activity.

Although rarely enforced, by booking this trip you agree to section 14 of our Booking Conditions which clearly states that our leaders have the authority to do this. In these circumstances we will ensure anyone sitting out is safely provided for and offered alternative options where possible. Refunds will not be provided for activities missed and customers may be liable for additional costs incurred.

On all trips

In booking this trip you should be confident in your ability to participate in all activities described in these Trip Notes. If you have any doubt about your suitability you should call the Exodus office and ask to speak to one of the experts on this itinerary.

In an emergency, please contact our 24 hour out of hours service on +44 (0) 844 326 7041.

Every time that you travel abroad you should take the time to read the warnings in the essential information in the brochure.

Full joining instructions including local emergency numbers, and details of how to reach the start point, will be sent to you approximately 2 to 3 weeks prior to departure. If you do not receive these at least a week before departure, or require them earlier please contact our office or your travel agent.

The information in these Trip Notes is given in good faith. Where differences exist between the Trip Notes and our current brochure or website, the Trip Notes supersede the brochure and website. All holidays can be subject to unexpected changes; in order to enjoy them you should be prepared to be flexible where necessary. Occasionally, as stated in our brochure, it may not be possible to follow the itinerary as planned. This may be for a variety of reasons - climatic, political, physical or other. In these circumstances we will make the best possible alternative arrangements that maintain the integrity of the original itinerary.

As fuel prices, airport taxes and exchange rates fluctuate, and airlines manage their rates to match demand, it is proving harder than ever to guarantee our Flight Inclusive prices. Although we endeavour to keep our website as accurate as possible, daily fluctuations mean that our Flight Inclusive price may be out of date. For accurate prices we recommend that you contact one of our Travel Experts, or your Travel Agent.

TRAVEL AWARE – STAY SAFE & HEALTHY ABROAD

 

The Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office and the NHS have up-to-date advice on staying safe and healthy abroad. For more on security, local laws, plus passport and visa information, see https://travelaware.campaign.gov.uk/

Keep informed of current travel health news by visiting https://travelhealthpro.org.uk/

Advice can change so check regularly for updates.

For all latest travel information about your holiday, please visit our Travel Safety Advice page.

How to Book

1. Check availability

Go online to check availability, or contact us by phone or email.

2. Secure your place

You can provisionally hold a place on this trip, usually for between three and seven days.

3. Complete your booking and payment

When you're ready to book, go to our website for online bookings, book over the phone or you can complete a booking form (available online or on request by calling us). We accept all major credit and debit cards, or you can pay be cheque. Book with confidence: Exodus is fully licensed and bonded as a tour operator. We hold Air Traffic Organisers Licence (ATOL) number 2582 issued and bonded with the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are also bonded to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and we are members of the Federation of Tour Operators (FTO) and ABTA ‐ The Travel Association. This means you can book your Exodus holiday with confidence, as all monies paid to us for your trip are fully protected.

TRIP NOTE VALIDITY

These Trip Notes are valid from the "Current as" date on page one. They will occasionally be updated post booking and pre-departure; if there are any updates that significantly impact the inclusions or itinerary bookers will be written to separately. All customers will also receive a link to the most up-to-date version of the Trip Notes with their Final Joining Instructions pre-travel.