The way of Saint Francis

Itinerary from Assisi to Gubbio

A journey through the beautiful landscapes of Umbria connecting two cities with a unique artistic heritage

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Are you after authentic and exciting experiences? Umbria has what you're looking for. Whether you like hiking on horseback, on foot, or on a bicycle, the views you shall find are bound to offer the perfect backdrop to a day of well-being.

The itinerary begins in Assisi, a town which needs no introduction. Here is located the famous basilica dedicated to St. Francis, a place of pilgrimage and devotion. As well as the tomb of the Saint, one can admire some of the world's most famous artistic masterpieces by the likes of Cimabue, Giotto, Pietro Lorenzetti and Simone Martini.

From a naturalistic point of view, the town is enveloped by the majestic Monte Subasio national park which protects, among others, also the Carceri hermitage: one of the most mystical and spiritual places in the area.

Leaving behind Assisi, we move towards Valfabbrica, a historic small town which rose up in the Middle Ages on the banks of the river Chiascio. In-between woods, dirt tracks and hills, it is possible to admire the castle of Coccorano, which owes its name to a characteristic local plant which is used as dye. Legend has it that St. Francis himself enjoyed the view from the castle's tower before returning to his path.

From here, we continue walking amidst the greenery and in-between castles and small churches towards the town of Gubbio, on the slopes of the Monte Cucco Regional Park. The latter is a real haven of greenery, and it preserves little towns in its depths as if they were gems – for example, Scheggia, Pascelupo, Costacciaro, or Sigillo. Not to speak of the area's naturalistic richness: this is the land of beech-tree forests and waterfalls, caves and small lakes, streams and ample pastures. And in this atmosphere imbued with silence and peace, we find the hermitage of St. Girolamo, the abbey of St. Maria of Stiria, or the Benedictine monastery of St. Andrea. Finally, Mount Cucco is beloved by more daring sportspeople who practice trekking, cross country skiing, paragliding, and speleology.

We thus reach our final destination: Gubbio. Even Dante Alighieri was captivated by the beauty of the town and describes it in one of the canti of the Paradiso. The area is made even more precious by the Topino stream and by the hill named after the town's patron saint, St. Ubaldo.

The locality practically grips onto the rocks of mount Ingino, from which one can enjoy breath-taking views. In the city centre, worthy of a visit are the Roman Theatre, the church of St. Francis, located where there once was the palace (or fondaco) of the Spadalonga family, or alternatively also the Palace of the Consuls or the coeval Palace of the Podestà.

Today, Gubbio is famous not just for its cultural richness and beautiful landscape, but also for having offered the backdrop to the Italian TV series Don Matteo. Its narrow alleyways and elegant urban tapestry fascinate and draw many visitors each year.