THE WAY OF ST FRANCIS VIA DI FRANCESCO: FROM FLORENCE TO ASSISI AND ROME by The Reverend Sandy Brown
The Way of St Francis is one of Italy's most popular pilgrim routes, beginning among the Renaissance masterpieces of Florence, travelling through the forests of Tuscany and the picturesque hill towns of Umbria before its climatic arrival at St Peter's in Rome. The 550km trail lays Central Italy at your feet and dares you not to love it. This guidebook splits the trek into 28 stages, graded 'easy', 'medium' or 'hard' – there are some steep climbs and descents, but no special gear is required. While the complete pilgrimage can be completed in as little as a month, alternative schedules are possible and the route can be split into sections to be completed in a series of visits.
The Way of St Francis connects places and paths important in the life of Francis of Assissi, Italy's patron saint. On the way it passes countless wonders, from Michaelangelo's David, Brunelleschi's Dome and Giotto's tower in Florence to quiet mountain pathways, olive groves and vineyards in what Italians call 'Il cuore verde d'Italia' – the green heart of Italy. The route travels through hilltop towns, passes ancient ruins, and comes to an end in bustling St Peter's Square.
The guidebook contains a concise biography of St Francis and stories from his life relating to each location you'll visit. Route descriptions are accompanied by colour maps and stage profiles, accommodation listings, information about shrines and churches, and more. This wealth of information makes this a perfect companion on a walk that, even after many centuries, echoes with St Francis' presence.
About the author
Sanford 'Sandy' Brown is an activist, long-distance walker and ordained minister from Seattle, Washington. After reading The Pilgrimage, by Paolo Coelho, he planned his first trek on the Camino de Santiago and since then has walked over 3500 kilometres on pilgrim trails in Spain and Italy. He records his pilgrim adventures in his popular blog: www.caminoist.org.