Discover the breathtaking "meravigliosa" Umbria, Italy. This tour offers the right combination of visiting typical Umbrian towns and walking through exciting colourful landscapes with unique views. Umbria has been praised for its beauty since Roman times, because of its greenness, lots of lakes, rivers, refreshing springs, mountain streams and waterfalls. The tour starts in the beautiful and fascinating town of Assisi, the pilgrims’ town built against the slopes of Mount Subasio and finishes in Spoleto - a very special town with many squares, lovely little streets, shops with local delicacies and handicrafts, restaurants and a lot of sights to visit.
Day 1. Arrival at Assisi
Your hotel is in the new part of town, at only 900 meters from the historical centre. Overnight in Assisi
Day 2. Assisi - Spello
There are two routes to go to Spello: a longer one going uphill to the hermitage Eremo delle Carceri or a shorter one through olive groves along the slopes of Monte Subasio.
Option 1: From the porta Cappuccini a footpath will take you to the hermitage, which is situated at 830m a.s.l. Saint Francis and his companions used to retreat here to meditate in the woods. After St. Francis’s death, a monastery was built on this spot. Passing the spring ‘Tre Fontane’ and the abbey of S. Benedetto you will descend to Spello, walking first through the woods and then through olive groves.
Walking: 6 hours, 17 km, ascent/descent: 900 m/900 m
Option 2: The lower route follows the slopes of Mount Subasio and involves less climbing, but it is also a beautiful walk through olive groves with astounding views. Spello is built on the slopes of Mount Subasio. This little town has Roman origins, as several features including the porta Venere and porta Consolare town gates and the remains of a Roman theatre outside the town walls remind us. Do not forget to admire the colorful frescoes by Pinturicchio in the church S.Maria Maggiore.
Walking: 3 hours, 11 km, ascent/descent: 304 m/380 m
Day 3. Spello - Bevagna
You will leave the hills for a while now and will descend into the valley ‘Valle Umbra’ . Walking on quiet little country roads you will arrive in Bevagna, which unlike most Umbrian towns isn’t built on a hilltop, but rather at the confluence of the rivers Timia and Topino. During Roman times Bevagna was a prosperous town, as it was situated along the busy trade road, the Via Flaminia, which connected Rome with the Adriatic coast. Particularly characteristic are the 2km of 13th to 14th century town walls which surround most of Bevagna. The heart of this town is the square, ‘Piazza Silvestri’, with its beautiful fountain and two Romanesque churches. Do not forget to visit the mosaic of a former Roman baths. Your hotel is in the historical centre of the village.
Walking: 3,5 hours, 13 km, ascent/descent: 60 m/190 m
Day 4. Bevagna - Montefalco
Here you will again be walking through a slightly hilly landscape, but the olive groves soon make make way for vineyards. The hills surrounding Montefalco are famous for the production of excellent wines: Sagrantino and Rosso di Montefalco. To reach the town you have to climb, because Montefalco is –predictable- built on a hilltop. The town is also known as the balcony (‘ringhiera’) of Umbria, because of its beautiful panorama. The St. Francis church is now a fine museum which housing, among other things, frescoes by the Florentine painter Benozzo Gozzoli. Do not forget to taste some of the delicious wine in one of the many wine bars.
Walking: 4 hours, 13 km, ascent/descent: 506 m/286 m
Day 5. Montefalco - Trevi
On the way to Trevi (420m a.s.l.), on the lower flank of Mt. Serano overlooking the wide plain of the Clitunno river, your route crosses the fertile valley with its various waterways. Trevi is also called the capital of olive oil and indeed, you will notice that the slopes of the surrounding mountains are covered with evergreen olive groves. Trevi has a dozen medieval churches: the most important are the Romanesque Duomo (S. Emiliano), the shrine of the Madonna delle Lacrime notable for a fresco by Perugino and the former church of S. Francesco, now a museum. You will stay in the historical centre of the town.
Walking: 4 hours, 13 km, ascent/descent: 297 m/380 m
Day 6. Trevi - Poreta
From Trevi you will pick up the pilgrimage route the Way of Saint Francis, which runs from La Verna in Tuscany, crosses Umbria and finishes in Rome. The route will lead you through olive groves and you will have astonishing views of the Valle Umbra.
Walking: 4,5 hours, 13 km, ascent/descent: 448 m/535 m
Dag 7. Poreta - Spoleto
You leave Poreta and walk again along the Way of Saint Francis. Also today, the olive groves will accompany you. You cross Eggi, a typical medieval ‘Borgo’ and you will reach Spoleto, a pretty hill-town filled with beautiful architecture. It is famous for the Spoleto Festival, which takes place every summer (end of June beginning of July). In Spoleto worthwhile to visit are the cathedral, the castle, a Roman house, Roman theatre and many museums. But Spoleto is not only art and culture, but also food & wine ! The town has some nice shops with fantastic local products, many cosy bars with terraces and excellent restaurants.
Walking: 5 hours, 15 km, ascent/descent: 560 m/519 m
Day 8. Departure
The tour ends after breakfast. Optional transfer from Spoleto to Assisi can be arranged.
How to get there: You can fly to Rome, Florence or Pisa or Perugia regional airport. Arrival to Rome: take the train to Rome Tiburtina or Rome Termini. Then take the train to Assisi. This line passes by Spoleto and you can use it on your way back. Florence and Pisa airports: take the bus to the main train stations and then take the train to Assisi. Perugia airport is about 15 km from Assisi. You can take the shuttle bus to Perugia and then train to Assisi or book a transfer. Taxi service can be booked in advance with a discount for the transfer Assisi train station - hotel. You can check the train schedule here: www.trenitalia.com Private transfer from the airport can be arranged on request
Recommended travel period of the year: April - June, end of August - October
Necessary equipment: sturdy walking boots and walking socks, a small rucksack, a water bottle with at least 1 litre capacity, sunglasses, sunhat, sun cream, rainwear and insect repellent.