St. Francesco's way
Pilgrims can discover and share not only space but the rhythm of prayer and life, which helps to discover the deeper meaning of their human and Christian journey along Francis's way. Is accomplished, therefore, a pilgrimage that does not look only to the past, but the present and the future; a route still alive, where the Poverello still speaks to the inner man.
Strictly speaking, there is no Route of Francis or Francis Walk: not like, at least, it is called the Camino de Santiago and Via Francigena. These are paths of pilgrimage consecrated by a thousand-year tradition, attested to by a copious literature of travel and by the presence on the ground in history and art connected with the flow of travelers to the great goals of Christianity. None of this we can find along the trails that lead to Assisi, with some exceptions regarding individual traits that coincide with the oldest roads.
The Francis's way is a path, linking together some places that bear witness to the life and preaching of the Saint of Assisi; a new pilgrimage route, which aims to revive the Franciscan experience in the lands that the Poverello has trodden in its routes. Just in adherence to the story of Francis, his "Way" finds its plausibility and charm. The landscapes on which the eye of the pilgrim rests is the same that have cheered the simple heart of Francis. Stage destinations preserve the memory of his words and his deeds; the people you meet along the path of Assisi are related to him.
The figure of Francis, who looms in Assisi, the final destination of the journey, accompanied all the way pilgrims, speaking his mind and heart. Showing the ability to conduct daily life in full harmony with the world, both with men and with God. Life becomes an art of living, which is the real result of the journey to Assisi. A gift that the Umbria region of Francis can give with its places to the pilgrim approaching with an open heart.
Way of Assisi: The path of St. Francis from the south towards Assisi
You walk in the Holy Valley of Rieti. The Valley is known -Holy - for hosting numerous monastic settlements. Moreover, from the thirteenth century, it has hosted sites mendicant orders. You get to count to twenty-three Franciscan monasteries. The tour continues in the Valnerina road. This road has been for centuries an important route for trade, a direct variant Via Loreto to go to Rome.
The central part of the journey of St. Francis runs in Spoleto Valley (or Valle Umbra), so dear to Francis. "Nihil iucundius vidit mea Spoleto valley." Abbeys, churches, and monasteries testify to the spiritual charm of this territory, which includes historical centers rich in art and history. Higher up, there are deciduous forests, with the significant presence of Aleppo pine. Among them stands the ancient sacred wood of Monteluco, which was declared a Site of Community Interest. The route of Francis's way finally come to Assisi through the territory of Foligno and Mount Subasio (also regional nature park).
The streets and the places of Francis
Contrary to traditional stability monks, mendicant orders that arise between the twelfth and thirteenth centuries are characterized by a strong propensity to wander. The Franciscans are no exception: the preaching of the Gospel leads Francis and his brothers from one city to another, from one village to another, but also the mountains and through the woods, looking for places to retire in prayer and penance. As well as in and around Umbria, the Saint of Assisi takes three big trips: the first stop in Dalmatia; the second will come up in Spain (probably also in Santiago de Compostela); the third will take him to the Middle East in 1219. His wanderings follow, in any case, the mainland and sea route of his time, and touch on the main. Many Franciscans settlements, he calls them “Places” (To emphasize the simplicity and smallness), will rise on the edge of the city because the “brothers” should be close to the poor, where they beg and above all, can reach people through preaching. Over the centuries, many of these early monasteries have become important complex, with buildings and churches rich in art. Other "Places" instead, settling in areas virtually deserted in the woods and hills, to provide environments suitable for prayer, meditation, and penance. This second type of convents, which abounds right along the route of Francis's way, still conveys the charm of Franciscan simplicity. Also architectural essentiality of that fits in complete harmony with creation; a search for God that starts with the little things. Moreover, it is not empty shells pilgrims can meet the modern disciples of Francis, men and women who try to follow in his footsteps in poverty, chastity, obedience, in welcoming charitable brother.
Francesco ‘s ways