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Near Assisi - some advice please

celia NZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Francis Camino Italy Sept 19
Hi, I am Celia from New Zealand, planning my first pilgrim's walk in the steps of St Francis from Chiusa della Verna to Rieti in September 19 with a French friend. I am 61 but fit and adventurous. Do I need to book with a tour, or is it ok to walk independently? (I usually prefer to do my own thing) How much is the minimum backpack weight one should carry? Is it wise to book accommodation in advance (flexible on having some in refuges, some in b and b or small hotels). Any advice would be welcome. Thanks Celia
 

Dodger

Lone Walker, Camino Frances 2018
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances 2018
Intending Camino Portugese 2020
Hi Celia, I walk the Frances last year, as a sole hiker along with many other male and female hikers. IMO no need to pay tour company. You can walk the Camino from between 25 and 35 euros a day which is dependant on your style. I booked 2 nights in St Jean to rest from the flight from Oz, other wise I walk stopped when I was either tried or wanted to spend more time in one area. I walk April/May and had no trouble finding bed, their was no bed rush during these moths last year. my pack pack was 9Kg a; maximum which included 1ltr of water. I meet some amazing people on the Camino from age 6 up to a young 83 year old American lady who was walking 10-15 kms a day. Buen camino
 

AusM

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
Currently Portuguese Coastal Camino
Started Camino Frances
In Assisi there is fabulous accommodation right across the lawn from the cathedral. Can book though ‘monastery stays’ website. Great rooms and a modest breakfast included.
 

KJFSophie

My Way, With Joy !
Camino(s) past & future
Camino Frances (2014 & 2015 ),Via San Francesco(2017) Camino Portugese (2018 )Camino Ingles(2019) CF
I walked the Via San Francisco from Florence to Assisi to Rome in May/June 2017. There are significantly less amenities along the way compared to any of the routes in Spain. Most days you need to bring food and lots of water as you are traveling mountainous routes without shops/bars. Accommodations were more expensive, rare alburgues. Even the convents/monasteries were pricey as were meals out. It has been raining for weeks now and the mountain snow is still melting , washing away paths deep in wooded areas. I am told by friends there that it tends to be drier in the fall months, so you're traveling at a good time. Plan to spend more than in Spain, plan to carry food/water daily and walk greater distances, plan on huge crowds in the main tourist stops ( I would book these ahead )...Walk with joy!
 

Harington

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Vézelay/Francés 2011, Primitivo 2012, VdlP 2013, Via Domitia 2014, Inglés 2015, Francigena 2016
Hi Celia, I walk the Frances last year, as a sole hiker along with many other male and female hikers. IMO no need to pay tour company. You can walk the Camino from between 25 and 35 euros a day which is dependant on your style. I booked 2 nights in St Jean to rest from the flight from Oz, other wise I walk stopped when I was either tried or wanted to spend more time in one area. I walk April/May and had no trouble finding bed, their was no bed rush during these moths last year. my pack pack was 9Kg a; maximum which included 1ltr of water. I meet some amazing people on the Camino from age 6 up to a young 83 year old American lady who was walking 10-15 kms a day. Buen camino
She is not enquiring about the Camino Francés. She is asking about the Via di Francesco.
 

DLJ

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
(4/2012) St.Jean to Santiago; (9/2013) Geneva to Le Puy-en-Velay and beyond
Hi, I am Celia from New Zealand, planning my first pilgrim's walk in the steps of St Francis from Chiusa della Verna to Rieti in September 19 with a French friend. I am 61 but fit and adventurous. Do I need to book with a tour, or is it ok to walk independently? (I usually prefer to do my own thing) How much is the minimum backpack weight one should carry? Is it wise to book accommodation in advance (flexible on having some in refuges, some in b and b or small hotels). Any advice would be welcome. Thanks Celia
My wife and I walked the WAY of St. Francis from Dovadola to Rome in Sept. 2017, we are in our 70's. There were no tours between Dovadola and La Verna. Until Rieti we met one Frenchman, he started each day before us, but we ended each night together, we were together for the first 10 days, after that we only saw one other Pilgrim, until Rieti, where we met a group tour. It was great, in the refuges, the Frenchman would have one dormitory w/shower, and my wife would have another, so it was like a private suite for us. Reservation are necessary particularly in the smaller villages, as many places close in late Sept. Be advised though, compared to Spain or France, the Italian trail markers can be very confusing. In the bigger towns, Gubbio, Assisi, Spoleto, food and accommodations aren't a problem.
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
Hi, Celia.



My wife and I have walked from Chiuai della Verna to Rieti twice, in 2015 and 2017, both times as part of walks from Dovadola to Rome.

For La Verna to Assisi, be sure to visit the website of the Cammino di Assisi at http://www.camminodiassisi.it/EN/ which has a wealth of information. It has down loadable GPS tracks if you are interested, but you may need to go to the Italian language pages instead of the English pages to find them. It provides maps and accommodations information.

Be sure, also, to look at Sandy Brown's book, The Way of St Francis: Via di Francesco: From Florence to Assisi and Rome, which is a Cicerone Guide available in hard copy or in a Kindle electronic book edition. It also has GPS tracks, maps, and accommodations information. Sandy's route starts in Florence, but goes through La Verna, so you can use it to go to Rieti. Take a look at his website, which is at https://caminoist.org/.

To answer your specific questions:

If you are reasonably fit and adventurous, in my opinion, you do not need an organized tour. The route from La Verna to Rieti is pretty straight forward. The first time we walked we were 67 and 64; the second time, in 2017, when we were two years older. We were quite fit, but nothing extraordinary and did not find the walk from La Verna to Rieti too difficult. KJFSophie's advice about carrying food and water is excellent. If you decide you need an organized tour, you can find information (or post a question) at Sandy Brown’s website.

My wife and I carried about 17lbs (7.7k) and 19 lbs. (8.6k), plus different amounts of water depending on the weather and the day's route. We do a lot of trekking and prefer being well equipped to having ultra-light packs; if you wanted to, you could pack a good bit lighter.

Generally, we booked accommodations in advance, but only the night before or, at most, two. You refer to starting in Chiusa della Verna, but I highly recommend starting at the monastery, a kilometer or two further north. If you wish to stay at the monastery, which was a magical experience for us, note that it only has 22 beds in the dormitory, so you should book as far ahead as you can for the dormitory. They also have nice private rooms, at a much greater cost. The website is at https://www.laverna.it/en. I would book well ahead at Assisi, which can be crowded. We love Cittadella Ospitalità, a reasonably priced religious conference center which has nice rooms. The only hostel there I am aware of is in Santa Maria degli Angeli in the valley below Assisi; we greatly preferred staying in Assisi.

Have a great walk!
 

freescot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
La Plata (2010) Portuguese from Coimbra(2010) Levante (2011) La Lana (2013) Francés from Roncevalles to Molinasaca then the Camino de Invierno (2014)
Hi, I am Celia from New Zealand, planning my first pilgrim's walk in the steps of St Francis from Chiusa della Verna to Rieti in September 19 with a French friend. I am 61 but fit and adventurous. Do I need to book with a tour, or is it ok to walk independently? (I usually prefer to do my own thing) How much is the minimum backpack weight one should carry? Is it wise to book accommodation in advance (flexible on having some in refuges, some in b and b or small hotels). Any advice would be welcome. Thanks Celia
 

freescot

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
La Plata (2010) Portuguese from Coimbra(2010) Levante (2011) La Lana (2013) Francés from Roncevalles to Molinasaca then the Camino de Invierno (2014)
Hello Celia, I'm walking to Assisi just now but not on the route you've chosen. Really, in my experiences in Italy there is no need to book in a group.
In mid-September you should have no problems booking ahead for the next day and almost certainly you will find a bed if you just turn up.
All the best.
Have you read, "Chasing Francis; a pilgrim's tale"?
 

celia NZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Francis Camino Italy Sept 19
Hi Celia, I walk the Frances last year, as a sole hiker along with many other male and female hikers. IMO no need to pay tour company. You can walk the Camino from between 25 and 35 euros a day which is dependant on your style. I booked 2 nights in St Jean to rest from the flight from Oz, other wise I walk stopped when I was either tried or wanted to spend more time in one area. I walk April/May and had no trouble finding bed, their was no bed rush during these moths last year. my pack pack was 9Kg a; maximum which included 1ltr of water. I meet some amazing people on the Camino from age 6 up to a young 83 year old American lady who was walking 10-15 kms a day. Buen camino
Thanks so much for your encouraging reply. I am emboldened now to go it alone, which is what my instincts tell me also. Just one further question: did you register as a pilgrim or just start walking? One Italian site I looked at suggested it was better to register as they like to keep the numbers down to ensure there will be enough places in the refuges. (I plan to use a mixture of accommodation types to experience them all)
 

celia NZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Francis Camino Italy Sept 19
Hello Celia, I'm walking to Assisi just now but not on the route you've chosen. Really, in my experiences in Italy there is no need to book in a group.
In mid-September you should have no problems booking ahead for the next day and almost certainly you will find a bed if you just turn up.
All the best.
Have you read, "Chasing Francis; a pilgrim's tale"?
HI, many thanks for your reply. Will probably go with a combination of some places booked some not. Thanks for the recommendation, will check out that book. Happy walking, Celia
 

celia NZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Francis Camino Italy Sept 19
HI, many thanks for your reply. Will probably go with a combination of some places booked some not. Thanks for the recommendation, will check out that book. Happy walking, Celia
PS, did you register with anyone to walk, or just start? One site I saw suggested registering to limit the number of people on the walk.
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
I would register and get a pilgrim credential. Some places require one, so it’s good to have.
 

celia NZ

New Member
Camino(s) past & future
St Francis Camino Italy Sept 19
I would register and get a pilgrim credential. Some places require one, so it’s good to have.
I would register and get a pilgrim credential. Some places require one, so it’s good to have.
Thanks for that advice - is there an official website or place to do this registration? Thanks Celia
 

kmrice

Active Member
Camino(s) past & future
Santiago - Fisterra 2008
St. Jean Pied de Port - Santiago 2013
The Via di Francesco site has an application at https://www.viadifrancesco.it/en/pilgrim-s-credential-and-testimonium-viae-francisci. Sandy Brown has detailed instructions in his book. This may be the best way for you to get one as they will mail it to you. However, Sandy says it takes a couple of months.

I've always gotten mine from the Cammino di Assisi folks, and picked them up when beginning the Cammino di Assisi, but that was at the convent in Dovadola; not sure one can be picked up in La Verna or mailed to you at home. The Cammino di Assisi site has an application at http://www.camminodiassisi.it/EN/la-credenziale.html. You might email them at info@camminodiassisi.it and ask if they can mail one to you since you are starting at La Verna.
 

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