Spoleto, the Sabine Hills, the Way of Saint Francis and the Duchy
A remarkable extended walk down the spine of Italy from Spoleto, just south of Assisi, to the abbey of Farfa, at the southern tip of the Sabine Hills, designed for the experienced walker. It goes through the territory of the old Duchy of Spoleto, which was founded by the Lombards in the 6th century AD. Its destination, the abbey, was founded by Duke Faraold II of Spoleto in the 7th century. Much of the first few days uses the Via Francigena, so Saint Francis is never far away in the churches and shrines you pass.
From the medieval town of Spoleto, with its cathedral, fortress, ancient streets and sophisticated streetlife, your walk leads you (after a short lift at the start) over the hills to the pretty Val Nerina at Ferentillo; onward past vine-clad pastures to the lake at Piediluco, the last remnant of a stretch of water that once filled the whole of the Rieti Plain. Stay at hilltop Labro in one of two beautifully restored village houses, before crossing the Plain to the Sabine Hills at Greccio, where Saint Francis is believed to have invented the Christmas Nativity scene, and whose cell you can visit. Cross the hills, through Cottanello, then on to Casperia (staying in a palazzetto) and finally two nights in Mompeo, where our route advisor Stefano and his family will be ready to greet you. The last day to the abbey of Farfa completes your pilgrimage – and you may be lucky enough to get a hilltop glimpse of the dome of Saint Peter’s in Rome, forty miles away. You can also add a night or two in Rome at our favourite B&B.
Walked by On Foot staff Simon and Debbie, and in part by the rest!
REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit Aito.com.
TRAVEL ADVICE: To find the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office for UK citizens travelling to Italy, click here. Citizens of other nations will also find it useful, but should always check their appropriate local agency.
At La Torretta in Casperia, you can stay an extra day learning to prepare a traditional 4 course meal with an antipasto, a primo, secondo and contorno, and dolce! The primo is always pasta made from scratch (no machines) so slow pasta-making which is a lot of fun as well as a workout; with the fresh pasta you would then make stuffed ravioli, or fettucine or pasta alla chitarra, with a light fresh sauce. As members of the slow food movement they try to provide organic products with no food miles (or kilometres), which will therefore vary according to season; a light meat course will be served after the pasta with local veg, and usually daughter Jennifer’s award-winning tiramisù for dessert. They serve good quality wines from Lazio with the meal, always D.O.C. These cooking lessons are offered with a minimum of 4 (usually) participants, but you can normally join a group if necessary (supplement from €85 per person, including lesson, full 4 course dinner, wines and an after-dinner liqueur; courses subject to availability and participating numbers – minimum of 4).
Umbria, St Francis and the Dukes of Spoleto
All tour descriptions and conditions are given in accordance with the information of On Foot Holidays