The way of Saint Francis: from Rieti to Rome
The daily itineraries pass through moderately mountainous country and hill terrain. On some days the amount of ascent and descent is quite considerable. Daily walking distances are between 15 and 28 km (with an average of 3 – 4 hours walking a day). This route requires a certain amount of experience and familiarity with mountain terrain. A good level of fitness for walking is necessary.
Duration: 8 days
Departure: march - october; during other months tour is available on request
Price: 575,00 eur p.p. in dbl room / 710,00 eur in sgl room / 835,00 eur for solo traveller
- overnights in hotels, B&B or country farms on BB basis
- 1 dinner
- maps and itineraries
- luggage transportation
- transfers as per program
- costs of transportation for getting to Rieti
- meals not mentioned; HB supplement (5 dinners) – 130,00 eur
- tourist tax where required – to be paid in cash on spot
- anything not mentioned under “the price includes”
***The itinerary is only indicative, detailed description and any other information will be available at the moment of confirmation.
individual arrival in Rieti
Rieti, the Sabine Reate, is a quiet town with a lot of interesting sites. A part of the town is still surrounded by the town walls with characteristic round and square towers and 5 town gates. Worthwhile to visit is the roman cathedral Santa Maria with beautiful frescoes, the 13th century Sant’Agostino church and the 13th century S.Francesco church and the palazzo vescovile (“Bishops Palace”), whose construction was begun in 1283. Noteworthy are the loggia and eight Renaissance-style windows from 1532. A guided tour of underground Rieti is available for anyone interested.
Rieti – Poggio San Lorenzo
Leaving Rieti today you will get to know a part of the Via Salaria (the Salt Road) which connected the Tirrenian coast with the Adriatic coast. Along the way you will come across the pretty medieval village of Ornaro Alto and at the end of this third stretch the characteristic medieval village of Poggio San Lorenzo is waiting for you. The name of this village probably derives from the 4th century when Sant’Emidio stopped here to preach about the martyrdom of San Lorenzo (Saint Lawrence). Sant’Emidio’s words made such a mark on the people that they decided to rename their village. The village centre and the town walls date back to the Roman period. Near Poggio San Lorenzo there is the famous animal park ‘Giardino Faunistico di Piano dell’Abatino’, a park with typical sub-Mediterranean vegetation where you can walk among downy oaks, holm oaks, field maples, manna ashes, Turkey oaks and hornbeams. The park is home to about 300 native and exotic animals including sloth’s, chital deer, Bennett’s tree-kangaroos, meerkats, lamas, roe deer and raccoons.
Poggio San Lorenzo – Ponticelli di Scandriglia
The scenery is particularly beautiful today thanks to the combination of ancient oaks, the archaeological area of the ancient Sabine town of Trebula Mutuesca and the church of Santa Vittoria which rises up on the hillside. Continuing on your way you will reach the village of Poggio Moiano which rests at the foot of Mount Moiano. This village is famous for the floral pictures created for the solemn procession during the Feast of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus (the last Saturday in June). Also in the area protected by the Lucretili mountains is the village of Scandriglia, another little marvel which you will encounter today. At the end of the day you can visit the sanctuary of Santa Maria delle Grazie, which has welcomed a good number of saints: Blessed Bonaventure of Barcelona, Saint Leonard of Porto Maurizio, the Venerable Jean-Baptiste Trunchet of Burgundy and Brother Angelo Savini of Ponticelli. You will stay in a B&B just outside town. Tonight the evening meal is included.
Ponticelli di Scandriglia - Montelibretti
After the breakfast you will walk to the village of Ponticelli. The path crosses the road for Nerola, where you can visit the Orsini castle which is perched on a high rocky outcrop. Through the countryside you go up to Montelibretti with its 10th century Palazzo Barberini. You can still see the defence walls of the town with lookout towers. The olive mills of Montelibretti might tempt you in for an olive oil tasting. Your overnight stay is in a farmhouse B&B close to the historical centre of the town.
Montelibretti - Monterotondo
You leave Montelibretti and soon the olive groves and the hills give way to vast orchards. At the end of your day’s walking the Via Salaria will lead you to Monterotondo, where there is plenty to see: the basilica of S. Maria Maddalena (17th century), the church of Madonna delle Grazie (14th – 15th century) and the Palazzo Orsini-Barberini, where you can admire the dining room frescoed by the Flemish artist Paul Brill.
Your overnight stay is in the centre of Monterotondo.
Monterotondo – Monte Sacro
Today the route is mostly flat walking. You will enter the Natural Park of Marcigliana, a protected nature reserve which preserves all the charm of the Roman countryside with its gentle hills and valleys marked by deep ditches. The site of one of the most ancient towns of protohistoric Lazio, Crustumerium, was discovered here in the Marcigliana area. Leaving the Park behind you will find yourself approaching Rome, the climax of the Via di Roma. The end of today’s walk brings you to Montesacro, a district of Rome which was founded in 1924. Among the places of interest is the Acqua Sacra water spring where many Romans come to fill up their bottles with mineral water straight from the source.
Monte Sacro – Basilica di S.Pietro
There are so many things we should say about today’s route! There is so much to see that it would take an entire guide book to sum it up. You will pass near the Mosque and the ‘Parco della Musica’ auditorium which hosts the big musical events of Rome. You will cross one of Rome’s oldest bridges, the Ponte Milvio (4th -3rd century BC). Continue along the right bank of the Tiber to the beautiful Ponte Sant’Angelo bridge, which since medieval times has been the most frequented route for pilgrims heading for Saint Peter’s. Pass Castel Sant’Angelo and finally… perhaps tired but surely satisfied, you will walk along Via della Conciliazione to reach the impressive Basilica of Saint Peter, in the crypt of which there is the St. Peter’s tomb: the end of your journey. Overnight at the hotel near Termini train station.
departure after the breakfast