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Umbria

  • 7 Night Route

    Price: £910
  • 6 Night Route

    Price: £810
  • 5 Night Route

    Price: £660

Umbria, St Francis and the Dukes of Spoleto

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Spoleto Cathedral

Spoleto Cathedral

Labro - hotel pool overlooking Piediluco Lake

Labro - hotel pool overlooking Piediluco Lake

Labro at dawn

Labro at dawn

Umbrian mountain path

Umbrian mountain path

Entrance arch into Casperia

Entrance arch into Casperia

Price: £910
Nights: 7
Grade:
Walk: 4¾-6¾ hr/day
Max. party size: 10

Travellers Reviews

Very much enjoyed the whole trip and would recommend to anyone.

Loved in particular the second and last day of walking where we were out of tree cover and there were expansive views, small villages etc. We enjoyed stopping for lunches in trattorias. We had a marvellous time and wish we were still there!

Hermione Nevill, Istanbul

I had such a wonderful time. Everything worked flawlessly, from the arrivals to the luggage transfers to the packed lunches.

All the hosts/drivers I interacted with were friendly and welcoming, the directions were clear, and the paths were easy to follow. I enjoyed this week far more than my following week in Rome - small towns are the best way to see a country, and the walking holiday was the most peaceful and rewarding part of the trip.

Diane Tomion, Virginia, USA

It was more spectacular and isolated than we were expecting.

So close to Rome, almost wilderness in places. Came across no one else on the walking paths for first four days. Only rarely later!

John Jureidini, Adelaide

More independent feedback
About the Route

At a glance

7 nights (6 days walking) - the full route - or 8 nights (7 days) if including a night in Misciani. We recommend extra nights in Spoleto, Labro, and Casperia, and a night in Rome.

How much walking?

Full days: 12-21 km per day, 4¾-6¾ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-16 km per day, 2¾-5½ hrs (using lifts)

Max. Grade:

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

A remarkable extended 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, this is a longer version of our much-loved “Sabine Hills” route and is designed for the more experienced walker.  It 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 one of two 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) and finally two nights in Mompeo, where our route advisor Stefano and his family will be ready to greet you.  The last day to the abbey of Farfa completes your pilgrimage – and you may be lucky enough to get a hilltop glimpse of the dome of Saint Peter’s in Rome, forty miles away.  You can also add a night or two in Rome at our favourite B&B.

Walked by On Foot staff Simon and Debbie, and in part by the rest! 

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

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
  • A Roman villa and one of the oldest olive trees in central Italy!
  • The Abbey of Farfa

We Recommend

Extra nights in Spoleto, Labro, Casperia (see below for cookery course), optional night in Misciani to relax by the pool, ditto in Mompeo with Stefano and Elisabeth, 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 (usually) 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 – minimum of 4).

How much Walking?

Full days: 12-21 km per day, 4¾-6¾ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-16 km per day, 2¾-5½ hrs (using lifts)

Walking on old hill paths and tracks. 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

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: April, May, June, September, October

Other possible months: July, August

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. However, please note that the route is unavailable for start dates at the end of April/start of May 2016 owing to the fact that our accommodation in Mompeo is fully booked.

Start Dates

Recommended
Possible
Unavailable

Weather Chart

 

Temperature and rainfall chart for Labro

Itinerary

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, 15 km, CUSs 350m)

Day 3 - Ferentillo to Labro

After a visit (we suggest) to the extraordinary Mummy Museum, a lovely and easy walk down the Val Nerina as far as Arrone (lunch?) before striding off into the vine-clad hills which precede the lake at Piediluco. Here you can summon a lift up to hilltop Labro, or purists can try the fin-du-jour slog to the top… where you stay in the heart of the village in one of two beautiful conversions. (Medium: 5 hrs, 15km, CUSs 600m, or easy-medium 3¾ hrs, 10km, CUSs 400m with lift from Piediluco)

Day 4 - Labro to Greccio

Down to the plain, and cross to the Sabine Hills to join Route Advisor Stefano’s self-made-and-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: 17km, 5 hrs, CUSs 750m, or medium:  3¾ hrs, 13½ km, 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: 6½ hrs, 21km, CUSs 750m, or medium: 4 hrs, 11km, CUSs 600m with taxi at end)

Option

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 min 2 people - three hours hands on followed by Italian 4 course meal with wines.

Day 6 - Casperia to Mompeo

Walk (or hitch a lift with the luggage) 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 the twin hilltop villages of Salisano and Mompeo, behind which lies your next goal, route advisor Stefano and Elisabeth’s beautifully positioned organic farm. (Medium-hard: 6¾ hrs, 20km, CUSs 750, or medium:  5½ hrs, 16km, CUSs 500m with lift at start)

Option

The above day can be divided into two, to include a stay at Mauro and Ornella's quiet agriturismo (with pool - see alternative accommodation, Casperia). Casperia to Misciani (Medium: 4 ½ hrs walking, 11 km, CUSs 510m, plus start as above for purists); Misciani to Mompeo (Medium: 5¼ hrs walking, 13km, CUSs 450m, but lift available to cut out steepest section).

Day 7 - Mompeo to Farfa

A day of (potentially at least) two abbeys. Down to the gorge for a quick paddle before your final day’s walking. Your chance to see Castelnuovo di Farfa, its quirky olive museum and old streets, before a final descent to the Abbey of Farfa. Hardy walkers can bag 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? Lift back to Mompeo for the night. (Easy version 2¾ hrs, 8 km, CUSs 340m, medium version with final ascent/descent of San Martino 4¾ hrs, 12 Km, CUSs 550m)

Departure day

Depart for home – or why not a night or two in Rome at our favourite B&B?

Travel Information

ARRIVING BY AIR

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

Land by: 15:00 for public transport connections to Spoleto.
Return flight earliest: No time limit if staying final night in Rome. If not, 11:00 for train connections from Mompeo or Casperia (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.

ARRIVING BY TRAIN
Nearest railway stations:
Start: Spoleto
Finish: Mompeo – Fara in Sabina; Casperia – Poggio Mirteto (Rome Termini if including night/s in Rome)

Typical rail journey from UK : There is a variety of options, taking around 20 hours from London to Spoleto, with or without sleeper connections, and all involving a transfer across Paris.
See www.seat61.com/Italy.htm for inspiration, and www.bahn.de for full timetables.

Rome: As above but quicker, making full use of a day in Rome to catch the sleeper to Paris. ~17.5 hrs

 

Getting to the start of the walk

The first hotel is in Spoleto and the last in Mompeo. 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 in Sabina or Poggio Mirteto to Fiumicino airport 1.5 hrs, or shuttle/local taxi from Rome B&B to airport

For prebookable taxi prices see “Prices”

Transfers from/to train stations:
Outward: Local bus to town centre or Prebookable taxi (10 mins)
Return: Lift from Mompeo (or Casperia) to railway station included. If staying in Rome, from Rome Termini, bus or local taxi to B&B, and same on return to station.

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).

Spoleto – Palazzo Dragoni: (B&B)

Night 1 (Upgrade)

Spoleto – Palazzo Dragoni: (B&B)

Historic former palace in great location with views and maze of tunnels underneath.

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 – Casa Luce/Due Archi: (B&B)

Night 3

Labro – Casa Luce/Due Archi: (B&B)

Lovely restored townhouses, with great views (and one with pool). Table booked for supper in nearby restaurant. (No website.)

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.

Mompeo – Le Mole sul Farfa (Dinner, B&B)

Night 6 & 7

Mompeo – Le Mole sul Farfa (Dinner, B&B)

Charming vegetarian Agriturismo with swimming pool, run by the route designer. Holds coveted Ecolabel certification for meeting highest environmental standards.

Staying in Rome

We think we have one of the best and most reasonably priced places to stay in Rome – Roberta’s B&B Orologio. In a narrow street between the Piazza Navona and the Vatican, Roberta has been our Rome host for the last ten years and has never let us down.  With her stylish charm and attention to detail she ensures that if you return to Rome you will stay there again.  And has opened another B&B nearby just in case she is full!

Prices

Price: £910 for 7 nights

Total 7 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, 4 evening meals, 1 picnic, lift from Spoleto to the start of first walk, from Casperia to Roccantica to start the Mompeo walk (if required), from Farfa Abbey back to Mompeo (Day 7), and from Mompeo to Fara Sabina station (Day 8), luggage transfers between all hotels on walking route; 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 £150
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS) From £145
Larger party saving (LPS): Groups of more than 2 people (on identical itinerary) –  discount of at least £55 per person

 

Add Ons

Extra B&B night in Casperia: From £46 pp sharing; £23 single supp
Optional Dinner, B&B night in Misciani: From £66 pp sharing; £18 single supp, + £20 extra luggage transfer
Nights in Rome: From £71 pp sharing; £40 single supp
Extra nights in other centres: Contact On Foot
Taxi from Mompeo to Rome centre or either Rome airport: From £110 ( 1-3 pers); for larger groups contact On Foot Holidays.
Sending Walkers Packs to addresses outside the UK and Ireland:  £10-£40 (per pack, location dependent)
Guiding services by Stefano Fassone: Contact On Foot Holidays

Travellers Reviews

Very much enjoyed the whole trip and would recommend to anyone.

Loved in particular the second and last day of walking where we were out of tree cover and there were expansive views, small villages etc. We enjoyed stopping for lunches in trattorias. We had a marvellous time and wish we were still there!

Hermione Nevill, Istanbul

I had such a wonderful time. Everything worked flawlessly, from the arrivals to the luggage transfers to the packed lunches.

All the hosts/drivers I interacted with were friendly and welcoming, the directions were clear, and the paths were easy to follow. I enjoyed this week far more than my following week in Rome - small towns are the best way to see a country, and the walking holiday was the most peaceful and rewarding part of the trip.

Diane Tomion, Virginia, USA

It was more spectacular and isolated than we were expecting.

So close to Rome, almost wilderness in places. Came across no one else on the walking paths for first four days. Only rarely later!

John Jureidini, Adelaide

More independent feedback
Reserve your dates Add to shortlist
Elisabeth de Coster & Stefano Fassone

Route designed by:

Elisabeth de Coster & Stefano Fassone

Elisabeth and her partner Stefano (and their children Marit and Theo) live and work on an organic agriturismo close to the Gorge of Farfa, for which they have recently obtained national protection.

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