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Umbria, St Francis and the Dukes of Spoleto

Back to Routes
Autumn gold in Piediluco

Autumn gold in Piediluco

Spoleto Cathedral

Spoleto Cathedral

Labro at dawn

Labro at dawn

Meadow near Casperia

Meadow near Casperia

Cookery course, Casperia

Cookery course, Casperia

Summer gardens in Farfa

Summer gardens in Farfa

Hilltop Cottanello

Hilltop Cottanello

Sanctuario di Greccio

Sanctuario di Greccio

The view from Labro

The view from Labro

The ruined abbey of San Martino

The ruined abbey of San Martino

  • 8 Night Route

    Price: from £1160
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: from £825
  • 4 Night Route

    Price: from £695
  • 9 Night Route

    Price: from £1425
    Limited availability
Price: from £1160
Nights: 8
Walk: 2½-6¾ hr/day

Travellers Blog

Beautiful Umbria – now even better!

Thursday 9th March | Posted by On Foot Staff

Beautiful Umbria – now even better! view article

We enjoyed the peacefulness and the solitude on the walk. Apart from in villages and towns, we hardly met a soul. Everything was very well organised. The accommodation was excellent - small with character, great views or both. We were looking for a reasonably challenging walk, off the beaten track. Umbria seemed to fit this requirement. The hilltop towns and Umbrian cuisine were also an appeal. In addition, as the walk ended very close to Rome, we were able to combine the walk with some art and culture.

Martin Prevett, Southampton, UK - October 2023

Well planned route, enjoyed walking quiet and peaceful and very beautiful rural locations and landscapes. Flowers were beautiful. Well balanced length of days.

We wanted to walk independently opposed to part of a group. Chose On Foot holidays on the basis of the options available, not only location but because of the flexibility of all routes. It was also very clear that all routes were well detailed, and researched. Good information provided on travel to and from locations and also of the accommodation.

Belinda Pett, Waikato, New Zealand - June 2023

We loved being able to discover places in Umbria which we would have otherwise never have visited eg Labro and Casperia. We felt a huge sense of satisfaction in having completed the walk.

A real positive for us was to be able to stay in restored old properties with local Italians who knew the history of their locality, that is something special as some of the properties are exceptional buildings and all of the people are great ambassadors and very helpful. We have come away with some very special memories not just of the places we’ve seen or the walking we’ve done, but most importantly, the people we met along the way. Everyone was so welcoming!

Jennifer Lemberg, Nelson, New Zealand - June 2023

A beautiful route especially in this Spring season with wild flowers everywhere. Some truly stunning landscapes with rolling hills, beautiful medieval hilltop villages and rich farmland throughout. The sometimes wild weather added to the experience. The On Foot formula works very well and we enjoy the feeling of being off the beaten track for large parts of the day with just ourselves for company followed by a convivial evening somewhere new and often quirky / local / distinctive. The walking was tough enough in the heat and the deluges to make the first beers taste especially good! As we have come to appreciate over many years On Foot provide the basis for some excellent adventures.

Patrick and Kate Harding, Egham, UK - May 2023

We try to take a walking holiday most years and have used On Foot three times before. There is so much to see in Italy and the food and drink is always good. Staying at relatively small hotels and B&Bs in picturesque villages is a great formula - don’t change it.

George Roffe-Silvester, Chard, UK - May 2023

Il Fienile di Orazio was a highlight of the trip because of the family! We took the pasta making class and had a wonderful time and wonderful meals. It is a beautiful spot and where you can relax and restore.

Sarah Sprayregen, Underhill Centre, Vermont, USA - September 2022

What I liked most was the joy of discovery each day - heading out with my GPS, map and notes to see what unfolded.

My favorite day was the walk from La Pila to Labro. I was able to break it up by stopping for a snack in Arrone and then for a late lunch in Piediluco. The final stretch up to Labro was so spectacular, with poppies blooming at the base of the last climb up to Labro, and a view to die for of Lago Piediluco from my lovely hotel room.

Laurie Gunn, Portland, USA - June 2022

We walked for a week in the Umbrian sunshine, following paths originally walked by St Francis of Assisi. The walking was rewarding, the scenery beautiful, the meals and drinks at the end of each day somehow tasted better as we felt we'd had to work for them.

Anon - January 2022

We like the On Foot concept and the ability to see the true country rather than the tourist traps, and to interact with locals. Love to support the local economies. On the value front, the trips are great value.

Stephanie Tsacoumis, USA - September 2021

Le Mole sul Farfa - well!!

That view on approach - so true, the best of the walk. Elisabeth has created a real oasis here, from the view out of the window in our room, the bed, linen, towels and smelly stuff in the bathroom to the food! Perfect, should have stayed more nights.

Tracey Collins, London, UK - October 2019

A thoroughly enjoyable walk through very attractive countryside and charming hilltop towns, with excellent accommodation throughout.

Marc Jeffery, Samobor, Croatia - September 2021

Superb walking and food in the foothills of Umbria.

A week of quiet, beautiful walking through villages, meadows, woods, hills and valleys with the knowledge that a lovely room, welcoming hosts and fantastic food awaits.

Andy - May 2019

More independent feedback
A self-guided walking holiday in Umbria, Italy, with On Foot Holidays

At a glance

8 nights (7 days walking) - the full linear route. See 'Prices' tab for what's included.
Suggested route pairing: Southern Tuscany, Amalfi Coast

How much walking?

Full days: 8-21 km per day, 2½-6¾ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-16 km per day, 2½-5½ hrs (using lifts)

Max. Grade:

Spoleto, the Sabine Hills, the Way of Saint Francis and the Duchy

This 8-night version of our Umbria route is a traditional inn-to-inn walk (see other versions for 3-night Mompeo endings).  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. The route 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 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), to Mauro and Ornella’s “real” Agriturismo (have their wines, olive oil, goats’ cheese and prosciutto for supper) and on to ancient Castelnuovo.  On your final morning, walk to the Abbey of Farfa to complete your pilgrimage, before walking to the ruined hilltop abbey of San Martino.  Your final night is in Agriturismo Santo Pietro, where you will dine well on their own produce.  Consider also spending time in Rome.

Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Debbie, Fi, and in part by others!

Consider pairing this route with Southern Tuscany (2½ hrs by train and taxi) or Amalfi Coast (5 hrs by taxi and train) – for more details click here.

REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit

ARTICLE: Read an article about the Albergo Diffuso organisation (which includes our accommodation in Labro) from Sawdays here.

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.

Route Highlights

  • Medieval Spoleto and the aqueduct
  • The lake of Piediluco and hilltop Labro
  • The fortified villages of Sabina
  • Wooded hills and high pastures
  • The palazzetta in Casperia
  • Montenero and Castelnuovo – medieval villages
  • The abbey of Farfa

This route features the following characteristics and interests: Pilgrimage, Villages and farms, Drive to route, Food, History

We Recommend

Extra nights in Spoleto (to have a good look at this lovely town), Casperia (see below for cookery course), optional night in Misciani for a half day experience of goat's milk collection and cheese making, pasta making or foraging (enquire for prices), and nights in Rome.

Eating and Drinking

At La Torretta in Casperia, you can stay an extra day learning to prepare a traditional 4 course meal with an antipasto, a primosecondo 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 (preferred – 2 people sometimes possible) 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).

At Misciani, you will eat truly from the fruits of the (local) earth – but you can also help to make them happen, with various farm-based activities available including milking the goats, cheese making, foraging, pasta making etc.. allow half a day (supplement).

At Mompeo (Mompeo ending versions only), chef Elisabeth is a superb vegetarian cook, which gives the lie to the idea that such food can be dull or non-sustaining.  With luck you will be able to sample Stefano’s olive oil, and you will certainly be able to buy preserves (having tasted them at breakfast).  Dinner is not available at weekends (local pizzeria obliges instead).

How much Walking?

Full days: 8-21 km per day, 2½-6¾ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-16 km per day, 2½-5½ hrs (using lifts)

Walking on old hill paths and tracks, sometimes rocky, uneven and steep. Good waymarking. Highest point on route: 1065m.

Medium-hard: Average cumulative uphill stretches (CUSs) 625m (350m-750m) per day.
Medium: CUSs 457m (340m – 600m) using shortening options.

Acrophobia/vertigo warnings: None.

GPX file available for handheld GPS or smartphone App for complete route.

Important note: Times given for each day are  walking times for an “average” walker and exclude stops.  “CUSs” stands for “Cumulative Uphill Stretches” and measures the aggregated ascents in each day, expressed in metres of climb.  See “Walk Grading” for more information.

When to go?

The best months to walk:  May, June, September, October

Other possible months: April, July

These tree-clad hills offer a certain amount of shade, except on the higher reaches, where exposure can be high. The elevation tempers the otherwise fierce heat of the summer too, so we can offer this unique route for most of the walking year except peak holiday period times in July and August.  Our final accommodations are often very busy, so do reserve your dates as early as possible.

Start Dates


Weather Chart


Temperature and rainfall chart for Labro


About the Route

Day 1 - Arrive in Spoleto

Arrive in Spoleto, settle in to your accommodation and explore the old town. Extra night recommended.

Day 2 - Spoleto to Ferentillo

After a short lift (to the top of the hill!), a leg-loosening first day along pretty paths and easy tracks across the hills to the pretty Val Nerina at Ferentillo, where you stay in a beautifully sited agriturismo with pool. (Medium: 5 hrs walking (allow 6¾ hrs), 15 km (9½ miles), CUSs 350m)

Day 3 - Ferentillo to Labro

A lovely and easy walk into Ferentillo (via the Mummy Museum (yes!) if open) down the Val Nerina as far as Arrone (lunch?) before striding off into the vine-clad hills which precede the lake at Piediluco. Take it easy alongside the water before the fin-du-jour slog to the top, where you stay in the heart of the village in one of two beautiful conversions. (Medium-hard: 5 hrs walking (allow 6¾ hrs), 20 km (12½ miles), CUSs 700m, or Medium: 4 hrs walking (allow 5¼ hrs), 15 km (9½ miles), CUSs 450m if you summon a lift from Piediluco (supplement).)

Please note that on this day you will carry all you need for the night and next day with you, and will be reunited with your suitcase in Greccio.

Day 4 - Labro to Greccio

Down to the plain, and cross to the Sabine Hills to join our bespoke waymarked path through the woods to the Santuario di Greccio. Visit the church and St Francis’s cell before a final push to your comfortable hotel in Greccio village proper. (Medium-hard: 4¾ hrs walking (allow 6¼ hrs), 17 km (10½ miles), CUSs 750m, or Medium: 3¾ hrs walking (allow 5 hrs), 13½ km (8½ miles), CUSs 550m with lift on final stretch from Santuario to Greccio)

Day 5 - Greccio to Casperia

A long-ish day with a sting at the start. Climb to the top of the Sabine Hills (views of the Apennines) to a remote shrine, then down through woods and bucolic pastures to the dramatic hilltop village of Cottanello. Stop here for a snack, and continue with a walk down one of the oldest roads from the town to its ancient bridge; then a pleasant country road walk through attractive woodland. Visit pretty Montasola and end at Casperia, the best of the hilltop towns, and a stylish Palazzetta. (Hard: 6 hrs walking (allow 8 hrs), 19 km (12 miles), CUSs 800m, or Medium: 4 hrs, 11 km, CUSs 600m with taxi at end)


Your host Maureen suggests: “An extra day here could involve short local walks around the old mule paths, to the next village for lunch, or just along the valley below. We have cooking lessons for (preferred )min 4 people - three hours hands on followed by Italian 4 course meal with wines."

Day 6 - Casperia to Misciani

Walk (or arrange for a taxi through your host) from Casperia to the fine fortified village of Roccantica, which is definitely worth an explore and a coffee stop, before you start walking – a gentle climb up the Valle de Galantina to a waterfall; then through high pastures down the valley leading to Mauro and Ornella’s quiet agriturismo. (Medium: 4¼ hrs walking (allow 5¾ hrs), 13 km (8 miles), CUSs 550m from Roccantica, plus start as above for purists)


Spend an extra night in this beautiful place, and experience some real old Umbria - a half day experience of goat's milk collection and cheese making, pasta making or foraging (enquire for prices) - led by Mauro.

Day 7 - Misciani to Castelnuovo di Farfa

An easier day as you leave the wildness of Misciani for the relative orderliness of the southern Sabine Hills.  Great views over to Salisano and Mompeo before dipping down into the gorge of the Farfa river, home to the conservation project of route designer Stefano.  Arrive at the medieval ring-fortified town of Castelnuovo di Farfa, visit the olive oil museum and explore the pretty streets of the old town (and maybe a bar) before dinner. (Easy-medium: 4 hrs walking (allow 5¼ hrs), 11¾ km (7½ miles), CUSs 450m). AlternativeExtend the walk by looping to the extraordinary village of Montenero (adds 1½ hrs walking, 6 km and 350m more CUSs)

Day 8 - Castelnuovo di Farfa to Santo Pietro

A day of two abbeys. Leaving Castelnuovo di Farfa, the Abbey of Farfa is always in view (and refreshment opportunities abundant). The fine church is always open, but you can only have a guided tour of the Abbey complex. Then up to the final hill of San Martino to see the ruins of Farfa’s would-be sister abbey on the top, and, who knows, a view of St Peter’s dome in the distance, before a descent down the hillside to your final accommodation in an agriturismo and an excellent meal prepared mainly from their own produce. (Medium: 3 hrs walking (allow 4 hrs), 8 km (5 miles), CUSs 400m)

Departure day

Depart for home – or why not a night or two in Rome?

Travel Information


Nearest railway stations:
Start: Spoleto (Poggio Mirteto for 4 night option)
Finish: for those finishing at Mompeo or Santo Pietro – Fara Sabina; for those finishing at Casperia – Poggio Mirteto.

Sample journey by rail:

Arriving via Rome: Shuttle train into city, then direct train to Spoleto; or (for Casperia) direct train from Fiumicino airport or city train stations to Poggio Mirteto.

Returning to Rome: direct train from Fara Sabina (or Poggio Mirteto) to Fiumicino airport or the city centre.

We suggest for times, ticket booking and other information.


Only suitable for those whose last nights are in Mompeo or Santo Pietro.  Park your car at the final accommodation – no charge, but leave keys with your hosts). Taxi to station (supplement), then train to Spoleto.


The best airport is Rome Fiumicino (Leonardo Da Vinci) (including intercontinental flights), though Rome Ciampino and Ancona are also useful.  (Perugia airport transfers are only feasible by taxi.)

Land by: 15:00 for public transport connections to Spoleto or Casperia.
Return flight earliest:  11:00 for train connections from Fara Sabina or Poggio Mirteto (see transfer information below).
Earliest return time not applicable if using pre-booked taxi.

Flight information can change rapidly and not all flights run daily. Please do check directly with the airlines’ websites or Skyscanner (see below) before finalising any booking with us. Do not book your flights until we have confirmed that we have provisionally reserved accommodation for you.

For up-to-date schedules and flights from all airports check Skyscanner.

See “getting to the start of the walk” below for transfer information.


Getting to the start of the walk

The first hotel is in Spoleto (Casperia for 4 night option) and the last in Casperia (for 5 night option), Mompeo or Santo Pietro. Transfer times and methods are suggested for Rome Fiumicino airport below. For train arrival transfers see below.

Outward: from Fiumicino train/train/local bus or taxi 3 hrs. Taxi whole way possible but very expensive.
Return: Direct train from Fara Sabina or Poggio Mirteto to Fiumicino airport 1.5 hrs.

Transfers from/to train stations:
Outward: Spoleto or Casperia – taxi pre-booked for you to your accommodation, payable locally.
Return: Lift from Mompeo or Santo Pietro to railway station included (from Casperia, pay locally).

Full transfer advice, including timetables, is provided in your Walkers’ Pack. Contact us if you would like additional pre-booking information.

Where You'll Stay

A great variety of accommodation, from palaces to traditional hotels to committed agriturismos. All comfortable, some memorable.

Spoleto – Hotel Charleston (B&B)

Night 1

Spoleto – Hotel Charleston (B&B)

Family run hotel in central position, with friendly staff and outside breakfast area (summer).

Ferentillo – Agriturismo La Pila (dinner, B&B)

Night 2

Ferentillo – Agriturismo La Pila (dinner, B&B)

Modern agriturismo in gorgeous position with pool; lots of home produce.

Labro – Albergo Diffuso Crispolti (B&B)

Night 3

Labro – Albergo Diffuso Crispolti (B&B)

Remarkable architect-designed conversion of a collection of houses in the old town. Upgrade apartments also available. Table booked for supper in nearby restaurant.

Greccio – Hotel della Fonte (dinner, B&B)

Night 4

Greccio – Hotel della Fonte (dinner, B&B)

Handsome hotel overlooking the square, with good sized rooms.

Casperia – La Torretta (B&B)

Night 5

Casperia – La Torretta (B&B)

An almost fabulous Palazzetta in the historic centre.

Misciani – Il Fienile di Orazio (dinner, B&B)

Night 6

Misciani – Il Fienile di Orazio (dinner, B&B)

Spectacularly located Agriturismo with pool - as well as donkeys, pigs and geese. Stay longer for a half day experience of goat's milk collection and cheese making, pasta making or foraging (enquire for prices).

Castelnuovo di Farfa – Il Cantinone Rooms (B&B)

Night 7

Castelnuovo di Farfa – Il Cantinone Rooms (B&B)

Simple rooms in the centre of the village.

Santo Pietro – Agriturismo Santo Pietro (dinner, B&B)

Night 8

Santo Pietro – Agriturismo Santo Pietro (dinner, B&B)

A restored farmhouse, with rural views and a pool, and great home cooking.


Price: from £1160 for 8 nights

Total 8 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, 3 evening meals, 2 picnics, lift from Spoleto to the start of first walk and from Santo Pietro to Fara Sabina station (departure day), luggage transfers between all hotels on walking route except for to/from Labro (see itinerary tab); full Walkers Pack with route directions, maps, transfer and background information; local telephone support.

All prices are per person unless otherwise indicated, and are based on a standard booking in May. Prices may vary seasonally and a fixed price will be given to you before you commit.

Single Room Supplement (SRS): From £220
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £340
Large Party Saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on an identical itinerary, on the same booking and booked at the same time) –  discount of at least £75 per person
Maximum party size: 8


Add Ons

Extra B&B night in Labro: From £50 pp sharing; £30 single supp
Extra B&B night in Casperia: From £46 pp sharing; £18 single supp
Further Dinner, B&B night in Misciani: From £73 pp sharing; £23 single supp
Extra nights in other centres: Contact On Foot Holidays
Taxi from Mompeo, Santo Pietro or Casperia to Rome centre or either Rome airport: Contact On Foot Holidays
Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK:  £20-£60 (per pack, location dependent)

Travellers Blog

Beautiful Umbria – now even better!

Thursday 9th March | Posted by On Foot Staff

Beautiful Umbria – now even better! view article
Reserve your dates Add to shortlist
Daniele Cavazzoni (Umbria)

Our local team

Daniele Cavazzoni (Umbria)

Daniele's early passion for nature led him to explore all the Italian regions on foot. He started working as a nature guide for an international tour operator, working around the Indian Ocean and in the African savannah.

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