The way of Francesco

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The way of Francesco

Details of a journey. Sacred mountains, shrines, hermits. Supreme Nature, Research, woods and memories. All around, the charm of stone treasures.

Three routes, with its variants: via del Nord (with variant for Perugia), via del Sud (variant for Terni), via Roma (variant for Perugia and Terni).

In Pieve Santo Stefano - there area secular traces that resisted the Germans' mines in 1944 - and  the sanctuary of La Verna and guarding the border between Umbria and Tuscany there is Citerna from which one can observe the upper valley of the river Tiber.

In the Umbria-Marche Apennines, Pietralunga sprouts from the forests perched on a hill. From Pietralunga to Gubbio, a symbol of St. Francis,his name inspired the same paths that characterised his life and works.

We are reminded the story of the wolf who was possessed by the Saint, right here in Gubbio: "Of the holy miracle of Saint Francis, when he converted the fierce wolf of Agobbius." Also noteworthy are Valfabbrica and Assisi.

Francesco's journey can be made on foot, as well as by bicycle, using a cycle path parallel to the footpath.

There are two types of signs to follow: metallic signs, one with a blue band and the image of St. Francis embracing the universe and creatures and one with a yellow band with the logo of Rome, and the church of St. Peter.

Along the way there are many structures ready to welcome pilgrims. Travellers are accompanied on their way, step by step, by stamps that certify their passage.

But it's not a simple certificate, but a credential, the Testimonium Viae Francisci: a religious certificate that certifies not just the completion of the journey, but a document that reminds us of the penitential or judicial pilgrimages of the medieval era when pilgrims were required to walk as a penance indicated by a confessor.

To get the credential, travellers must complete at least the last seventy five kilometres on foot or the last one hundred and fifty kilometres on bicycle.