ST FRANCIS PATH
Umbria is magic. Once you get into this region, you feel you’ve entered another dimension, somewhere in an indefinite time in the past. It’s a window into a different world where daily rhythms are different and more pleasant. A good way to explore the region is through the St Francis Way, the path walked by the Saint hundreds of years ago.
THE PATH OF ST FRANCIS
The St. Francis Path, also known as the Way of St. Francis or Via di Francesco
The St. Francis Path, also known as the Way of St. Francis or Via di Francesco, is a famous walking trail that winds through the beautiful countryside of Umbria in central Italy. This trail retraces the footsteps of St. Francis of Assisi, a revered Christian saint known for his simplicity, humility, and love for nature.
The St. Francis Path starts in Florence, where St. Francis lived briefly before embarking on his spiritual journey. The trail then winds through the Tuscan and Umbrian countryside, passing through some of the region’s most picturesque towns and villages, including San Gimignano, Siena, and Cortona.
As hikers travel along the St. Francis Path, they will encounter stunning landscapes, charming medieval towns, and historic churches and monasteries. The trail also passes by many places important to St. Francis, including the hermitage of La Verna, where he received the stigmata, and the town of Assisi, where he was born and later founded the Franciscan order.
The St. Francis Path is a spiritual pilgrimage and a physical challenge. The trail covers a distance of over 500 kilometers and takes around 30 days to complete. Therefore, hikers must be prepared to walk long distances, climb steep hills, and navigate rugged terrain. However, the effort is well worth it, as the trail offers breathtaking views and a chance to connect with nature and oneself.
One of the unique aspects of the St. Francis Path is the sense of community and support that hikers often experience. Along the way, there are many places to rest and refuel, including small villages and monasteries that offer hospitality and a chance to connect with locals. In addition, many organized tours and groups provide support and guidance to hikers, making the journey more accessible to those who may not have experience with long-distance walking.
The meaning of St Francis’s way
Walking the St. Francis Path is a life-changing experience that offers a chance to step back from the stresses of modern life and connect with a simpler way of living.
The landscapes that the pilgrim will see are the same that brought joy to the simple heart of St Francis.
It is a chance to reflect on one’s own spirituality, connect with nature, and experience the hospitality and warmth of the Italian people.
The figure of St Francis, towering over Assisi, accompanies you throughout the journey, speaking to the heart and mind of the traveler. He silently suggests the possibility of leading your everyday life in total harmony with the world, with man, and with God.
Umbria has remained Francesco’s land, nourished by a spirituality that speaks of love for the small things, respect and gratitude for creation, of generous hospitality to the next man, whoever he may be.
It is a precious teaching, the art of living, and the most authentic result of the journey to Assisi.
A gift that the Umbria of St Francis can give the pilgrim or any person approaching it with an open heart.
Whether seeking a spiritual pilgrimage, a physical challenge, or simply a chance to connect with nature, the St. Francis Path is a journey that should not be missed.
Walking along the St Francis’ Way is, therefore, an authentic spiritual journey that satisfies man’s desire to seek the meaning of his own existence deep within himself.
ART, FOOD, AND PEACEFUL ATMOSPHERES IN UMBRIA
Much more. On the way, you’ll experience both natural and artistic places. The “Franciscan path” passes through many fascinating medieval towns and villages. Not to mention the food, with the black truffle of Spello or the red wine of Montefalco. The foodies won’t get bored, I promise.
The foodies will appreciate the tasty Umbrian kitchen: recipes based on simple ingredients, such as extra virgin olive oil and cereals, homemade pasta with meat sauces, black truffle, red wine, and typical desserts such as the “torciglione,” whose recipe is passed down from one generation to the other.
DISCOVER UMBRIA THROUGH ST FRANCIS PATH
This itinerary will not only take you to the classic sites of interest but will make you discover many Medieval villages in Umbria. Starting from Assisi with its wonderful St Francis basilica (that alone would deserve a visit to the city of Assisi), you walk through St Francis wood to small historical cities like Spello, Foligno, Trevi, Montefalco, Bevagna, and finally Spoleto.
“Forests, vineyards and olive groves, green hills dotted with medieval villages characterize this part of the Way.”
THE MANY BENEFITS OF EXTRA VIRGIN OLIVE OIL
What many consumers don’t realize is something that people living millennia ago in ancient Greece took for granted; extra virgin olive oil, all by itself, is one of the best beauty secrets.
First, Olive Oil is a natural, hypoallergenic skin moisturizer.
Furthermore, virgin olive oil has the advantage of providing potent antioxidants, including vitamins E and K.
These vitamins help repair and renew skin damaged from overexposure to sun and air pollution. Other modern-day environmental hazards like cigarette smoke and fast food create aging effects on the skin.
The nutrients in olive oil naturally stimulate cells and return skin to a firmer, smoother, and healthier state.
Let’s provide a slightly more scientific explanation. Skin damage is related to the destructive activity of oxygen-related free radicals produced by skin cells.
Polyphenolic components of olive oil are like the traditional antioxidants, such as tocopherols, used by the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry to prevent skin damage.
There are several simple and inexpensive ways to get the best skincare and beauty benefits from a single bottle of extra virgin olive oil.
The rich emollients in olive oil allow just a little to go a long way.
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