Walk from Rome to Assisi
Finding Love through Simplicity along The Way of St. Francis
About This Trip
The Way of St. Francis, or the Via Francigena, follows the 150-mile path that St. Francis of Assisi would have likely traveled on his way from Rome to his hometown of Assisi. Pilgrims will walk through the stunning Italian countryside, stopping along villages and conversing with locals as they make the same journey that St. Francis made almost 800 years ago.
The pilgrimage will include stops in multiple villages along the route, including Terni, to the Shrine of St. Valentine, the saint of courtly love and once Bishop of Terni, whose body lies incorrupt under the altar.
A pilgrimage is a metaphor for, and a reality of, our lives. As we walk we see how our lives are like a voyage filled with joy, effort, beauty, suffering, surprises, goals, adventure, love and expectation. But our life is not only "like" a pilgrimage, it is in fact a pilgrimage from birth to death; in this world we are only “strangers and sojourners” (1 Pe. 2:11). "For we brought nothing into the world, just as we shall not be able to take anything out of it." (1 Tim 6:7) We are all pilgrims walking through, and this life, this passage, is the time we are given to reach the eternal goal, IT IS THE TIME OF SALVATION. Let us enjoy the journey, love it and live it! Pope Francis reminds us: “I want people to go out! I want the Church to go out to the street! Jesus, with His Cross, walks with us…!”
Incredible Italian food and wine, daily Mass, wonderful opportunities for friendship, spiritual talks, chance to meet pilgrims from around the world!
Added Bonus: all lodging, 2 pilgrim meals/day, ground transportation, group activity and entry fees, trip leaders, taxes and tips included.
international flights, passport fees, travel insurance (required)
Note about flights...
We allow you to choose your own flights to keep our trip costs as low as possible. The earlier flights are purchased, the better! We recommend checking www.kayak.com, www.skyscanner.com, and www.google.com/flights/ for flight options.
“I grew closer to God overall from this experience. I encountered God in creation, and also through people that would aid us. There are people out there that are truly living with God in their heart and it is very heart-warming.”
Rafael | University of Colorado
“The people I came with were beyond inspiring, and our conversations were always profound, personal, and stirring. I got to know these men and women better than I know some of my closest friends at home, and it’s humbling as well as uplifting to have formed such close friendships with them.”
Paula | Belmont University
The Way of St. Francis
Rome and Terni
Experience new depths to your faith by walking over 150 Km on foot. Begin by spending one day at the city of Catholicism’s roots. Rome, more than any other city, bears witness both to the past splendor of the pagan world and to the triumph of Christianity. It is here that the history of the Church can be traced from the earliest days, from the humble beginnings in the Catacombs to the majestic ritual of St. Peter’s.
The walking pilgrimage begins the next day in Piediluco (a short bus ride from Rome) where Francis of Assisi rested on his way to see the Pope. From Piediluco pilgrims walk into Terni to the Shrine of St. Valentine, the saint of courtly love and once Bishop of Terni, whose body lies incorrupt under the altar. After a beautiful days walk pilgrims can begin by praying for their future spouse and vocation to marriage to St. Valentine. The walking journey of five days from Terni to Assisi winds through the romantic forests, vineyards and olive groves of Umbria following the Way of Saint Francis. Enjoy the majestic fortress of Spoletto, the medieval village of Spello and the saints of Foligno. Arrive at the Basilica of St. Francis in Assisi.
Best known as the birthplace of St. Francis, Italy’s patron saint, Assisi lies amid Umbria’s rolling hills. Religious pilgrims have come here for centuries to visit the Basilica of San Francesco (where St. Francis is buried) and the Basilica of Santa Chiara (to see the tomb of St. Clare). Visit the Eremo delle Carceri to see caves where medieval hermits withdrew from the world.
Community and Friendship
“Community,” “deep conversation,” “friendship.” Many pilgrims chose these words when asked to describe their pilgrimage experience in one phrase. Others affectionately remember their experience by calling their fellow pilgrims their “family.” Of course the experience is known as a great opportunity for silence, personal reflection, and soul-searching. But we are made for community, made for encounter, and much of that soul-searching happens in communion with others. Those conversations while preparing dinner, or sipping a hot expresso in tiny village, or helping someone with their blisters may be the ones that help change our lives. Come prepared to live out the beauty of Community in a way that you may have never experienced before!
Spirituality: Finding Love in Simplicity
Finding Love in Simplicity
Pilgrimage is prayer in action. This unique pilgrimage is designed for young adults who are seeking to discover and deepen their path towards marriage and dating through prayer. This pilgrimage is specifically designed to take one’s desire to love a spouse on a journey of simplicity and prayer by traveling from St. Valentine to the Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi. The spirituality of this pilgrimage places absolute trust and confidence in God so that he may be the one who helps you find and love your vocation and spouse.
While both singles and couples are welcome to attend the pilgrimage, we encourage the pilgrimage to be a time of non-exclusive relationships. The no dating policy on all Creatio trips promotes community, prayer and friendship (and helps take off the pressure!) If you happen to meet someone on the trip you would like to date, please wait until after the pilgrimage is over. If God wants it and you are open, it will happen.)
Pilgrims are invited to open themselves to a spiritual experience and encounter with God, regardless of religious background. Stopping at 1000 year old churches to pray for a moment (or an hour), receiving the love and care of others, walking in beauty and silence all have a powerful affect on the soul. Participating in a daily “Pilgrim Mass” is encouraged for all pilgrims, and non-Catholics are welcome to join in the tradition. Also, enjoy some of the best food and wine in Italy as you wander through the medieval villages of Umbria.
On this Creatio Pilgrimage, there will be two experienced guides who will lead pilgrims along the way and suggest personal reflections and conversations. There are also many opportunities for quiet time and exploring on your own. Pilgrims can walk in groups or individually and set their own pace.
One of the most beautiful aspects of a pilgrimage is not knowing where we will sleep each night. Along the way, many pilgrim refuges or families receive pilgrims. The hosts see their reception of pilgrims as a true mission and ministry, and go out of their way to make pilgrims feel at home at the end of each day. It's truly amazing to witness! Because this is a pilgrimage, conditions may not exactly be 5 star, but basic needs for pilgrims will always be met (warm place to sleep, blankets, etc).
(subject to change)
- Day 1 – Fly to Rome
- Day 2- Arrive Rome and tour of city
- Day 3 – Mass in St. Peter’s Basilica – drive to Piediluco
- Day 4 – Piediluco- St Valentine in Terni
- Day 5 – Terni to Montebibico
- Day 6 – Montebibico – Spoleto
- Day 7 – Spoleto – Foligno
- Day 8 – Foligno- Assisi
- Day 9 – Assisi to Rome by train
- Day 10 – Fly Rome to US
Getting to Italy
Participants may arrive in Rome (Fiumicino Airport – FCO) anytime BEFORE 12 p.m. (Time in Italy) on Saturday, August 4th, the participants will meet at the Rome airport at that time. Pilgrims will be given instructions for meeting location. The trip officially begins at 12 p.m. in Rome on August 4th, any prior travel arrangements are the responsibility of the participant.
Participants may depart from Rome to the U.S. anytime after 8 p.m. on Sunday, August 12th. One night of lodging in Rome (August. 11th) IS INCLUDED in the Trip Cost. The Trip officially ends at breakfast on Sunday, August 12th (approximately 10 a.m.). Participants who wish to remain extra time may due so on their own.
Please wait until we have confirmed your spot in the pilgrimage to buy your flights. Please contact us if you’d like assistance choosing flights or connecting with other missionaries to travel together. We will be coordinating for pilgrims to travel together from D.C. or Denver if you wish to depart from either of those two cities.
All participants are required to purchase their own traveler insurance. You can compare options and decide what is best for you, but it should include coverage for medical and travel occurrences. Two options we suggest are World Nomads or TravelGuard. You must send a copy of your traveler insurance card to Creatio.
In addition to travelers insurance, it is good to know what your medical insurance covers in foreign countries. Call your insurance before departing and know what is in your plan. Bring your insurance card with you.
Health & Safety Information
We recommend you undergoing a medical check-up before traveling to make sure you don’t have any kind of medical condition that could obstruct your participation in the pilgrimage.
Temperatures are warm in Southern Italy in August, with temperatures ranging from around 64F to 86F and an average of 75F, with chances of rainfall. The most significant difficulty that pilgrims will encounter involves walking the 18-22 miles/day, which can be very physically demanding. Pilgrims are encouraged to build up considerable resistance to walking long distances, wearing the boots or shoes that they will wear on the pilgrimage. Blisters are one of the most frequent challenges of the walking pilgrim. They can be limited/avoided by getting high quality and good-fitting socks and boots. Pilgrims are encouraged to break-in their footwear if they are purchasing new equipment, walking at least 3-4 weeks with the new boots before use. Many pilgrims walk part of the day in boots, the other part in good walking sandals.
Medical care in Italy is very good, although slightly less available in the rural regions along the pilgrimage route. At each of the daily stops there is generally a local clinic and Pharmacy available to pilgrims, many specifically catering towards pilgrims. Medical Care will be within reach along the entire Way.
For more country-specific health and safety information, visit www.travel.state.gov for details.
- Passport must be valid for at least 6 months after the final day of trip. Passport must have at least one blank visa page.
Non US Citizens or those traveling from outside of the US:
- Visit travel.state.gov to understand visa and vaccine requirements regarding the country from which you are coming.
- Please contact us to confirm non-US citizen visa requirements.
What To Bring
RECOMMENDED – 1 Backpack Only (30-55L) w/ a small Daypack
- Passport (See “Preparation Items”)
- Travelers insurance card
- General insurance card
- Copy of Passport, ID, and insurance cards
- Emergency contact information
- Money for souvenirs, airport meals, personal items, and additional snacks or drinks you might want (See “Preparation Items”)
- Debit card (and PIN) (See “Preparation Items”)
- Pack to carry all items
- Sleeping bag liner, light sleeping bag, or light blanket (Bed bugs are always possible. There are sprays to treat your bag to help keep beg bugs away if you would like.)
- Water bottle or Camelbak (It doesn’t need to be huge – tap water is drinkable and readily available along our route. If you do bring a Camelback, also bring a water bottle to use in the evenings.) We will also purchase some bottled water along the way.
- Hiking clothes – Recommendation: Bring two sets of clothing. You can wash one each night. Clothes that dry quickly are best – technical/hiking clothes. Avoid cotton.
- 3 shirts – base layer, we will only need a t-shirt most of the day
- 1 long sleeve/outer layer for chilly mornings
- 2 pairs of pants that zip off into shorts (or 2 of each)
- 3 underwear – preferably technical/quick dry (women – same material for bras)
- 2 pair silk liner socks (See “Preparation Items”)
- 2-3 pair non-cotton socks (See “Preparation Items”)
- Light outer shell raincoat
- 1 set of light sleeping clothes – t-shirt and shorts
- Women – one lightweight long skirt for going into churches
- Use layering system, you won’t need a large coat
- Good walking/hiking shoes
- Sandals/flip flops for shower and evenings
- Toiletries (toothpaste, toothbrush, shampoo, travel size items or share) Recommend: Dr. Bronner’s soap or similar – You can use it as shampoo, soap, laundry detergent, etc.
- Laundry detergent or bar (easy to buy there as well)
- Toilet paper – just a small roll for wilderness trail times
- Small towel (highly recommend the Pac or swimmer towels that are small and dry quickly)
- Prescribed and non-prescribed medications
- Pack cover (or poncho or garbage bag to keep your pack dry if it rains)
- One small book – Be very prudent with weight! There won’t be a lot of time to sit and read. (Recommendation: The Way or a similar small book with reflections)
- Bible – Again, be prudent with weight. Travel versions are best.
- Magnificat – We will bring a copy of the Magnificat for every pilgrim.
- Camera and charger – Be aware of voltage difference so bring an adapter or share one.
- Phone and charger – Be aware of voltage difference. Most new phones can handle it. Leaders will carry a phone for emergencies so you will be able to leave your phone off during the trip.
- Gold bond powder (chaffing…you’ll be glad you brought it)
- Small pouch for Passport and personal money
- Blister care – safety pins (2), needle, thread, band-aids, first aid tape, Vaseline, moleskin. Creatio will provide some. You can also buy these things along the way if you need them.
- Watch – not necessary, but handy for meeting times and morning alarms
- Stone from home to leave at Cruz de Ferro
- ***Pack light!! Remember you are literally carrying this on your back for 170 miles (wahoo! J). Your pack should be 10-15lbs, not more than 15lbs or 10% of your body weight
- There are shops in the towns. You can buy pretty much anything you need along the way, especially toiletries. Don’t over pack; you can always replenish along the way.
- Talk among one another (or with leaders) about sharing items – toothpaste, sunscreen, moleskin, etc.
- For indications/recommendations for Hiking Boots, Socks, and other details, please see Preparation Items or email the Trip Guide