Umbria (9 nights including 3 at Agriturismo Le Mole)
Umbria, St Francis and the Dukes of SpoletoBack to Routes
Autumn gold in Piediluco
Labro at dawn
Meadow near Casperia
Cookery course, Casperia
Summer gardens in Farfa
Sanctuario di Greccio
The view from Labro
The ruined abbey of San Martino
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 privileged to be the only guests at some of the stops, and we were looked after such personalised care and attention. 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
At a glance
9 nights (8 days walking) - the full route, version ending with three nights in Mompeo. See 'Prices' tab for what's included. Le Mole (Mompeo) is often full so availability restricted.
Suggested route pairing: Southern Tuscany, Amalfi Coast
How much walking?
Full days: 11-21 km per day, 4¾-6¾ hrs walking
Using shortening options: 8-16 km per day, 2¾-5½ hrs (using lifts)
Spoleto, the Sabine Hills, the Way of Saint Francis and the Duchy
This, one of two versions of the full route, ends with three nights in Stefano and Elisabeth’s beautifully situated agriturismo outside Mompeo, a great place to relax at the end of your walk, though with availability restrictions. Make sure that at least two of your nights here are spent between Monday and Thursday, to experience Elisabeth’s excellent vegetarian cooking (not available at weekends – local pizzeria instead).
Designed for the experienced walker, this is 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. 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), to Mauro and Ornella’s “real” Agriturismo (have their wines, olive oil, goats cheese and prosciutto for supper) and finally three nights in Mompeo, where 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.
Here’s a lovely short video about the olive harvest at Stefano and Elisabeth’s organic farm at Mompeo, where you’ll spend the last nights of your holiday. With thanks to Alex Koryakin for this evocative little film.
Walked by On Foot staff: Simon, Debbie, Fi, and in part by others!
REVIEWS: For independent walker reviews submitted to the Association of Independent Tour Operators visit Aito.com.
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.
- 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
- The Abbey of Farfa
- A Roman villa and one of the oldest olive trees in central Italy!
This route features the following characteristics and interests: Pilgrimage, Villages and farms, Drive to route, Food, History
Extra nights in Spoleto (to have a good look at this lovely town); in hilltop Labro (your host will have ideas for activities, or you can just relax); in Casperia (see below for cookery course); in Misciani for a half day experience of goat's milk collection and cheese making, pasta making or foraging (enquire for prices); or in Mompeo, to relax by Stefano and Elisabeth's pool; and of course 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 primo, secondo 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?
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.
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.
Temperature and rainfall chart for Labro
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, 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 Mompeo
This magical day takes you through the open woodland below Misciani to the almost-perfect village of Montenero, where time has stood still for a century or more, except for the Bar Neno, where you can stop for a bite to eat and drink. Afterwards, continue down the river valley along quiet tracks before climbing steeply up to the ridge top, from where you will spy the twin hilltop villages of Salisano and Mompeo, next to which lies your goal, route advisor Stefano and Elisabeth’s beautifully positioned organic farm. (Medium: 4½ hrs walking (allow 6 hrs), 14¼ km (9 miles), CUSs 610m)
Day 8 - Salisano circuit
A short but satisfying walk with views back to Mompeo and the hills beyond, and a visit to the nearby ancient hilltop town of Salisano, where you can take refreshments small or large. The walk can be done in either direction, and you should take your time to savour it. (Medium: 3 hrs walking (allow 4 hrs), 11 km (7 miles), CUSs 650m)
Day 9 - 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)
Many walkers have told us that a memorable afternoon can be spent, Stefano's time allowing, visiting his very own Roman Villa, which he is in the process of discovering as layers of earth are stripped away, with help from the University of Vermont (introduced to the project by one of our own walkers). Donations gratefully accepted for the continuation and expansion of this extraordinary project. Arrange a visit locally with Stefano and Elisabeth (supplement).
Depart for home – or why not a night or two in Rome?
ARRIVING BY TRAIN
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:
Via Rome: Shuttle train into city, then direct train to Spoleto; or direct train from Fiumicino airport or city train stations to Poggio Mirteto (for Casperia)
Mompeo to Rome: direct train from Fara Sabina (or Poggio Mirteto) to Rome Fiumicino or the city centre.
We suggest thetrainline.com for times, ticket booking and other information.
ARRIVING BY CAR
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.
ARRIVING BY AIR
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).
For pre-bookable taxi prices see “Prices”.
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)
Family run hotel in central position, with friendly staff and outside breakfast area (summer).Website
Ferentillo – Agriturismo La Pila (dinner, B&B)
Modern agriturismo in gorgeous position with pool; lots of home produce.Website
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.Website
Greccio – Hotel della Fonte (dinner, B&B)
Handsome hotel overlooking the square, with good sized rooms.Website
Total 9 nights in double/twin room, all breakfasts, 3-6 evening meals, 2 picnics, lift from Spoleto to the start of first walk, from Farfa Abbey back to Mompeo (usually after last day’s walk), and taxi from Mompeo to Fara Sabina station (departure morning), 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 £310
Lone Traveller Additional Supplement (LTAS): From £345
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 £70 per person
Maximum party size: 8 (more with some triple rooms)
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)
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.