Assisi to Rome
In the Footsteps of St. Francis
July 11 - 23, 2020 - 12 Days
Join Creatio for a trek to one of the world’s most significant pilgrimage sites, Rome. Follow in the footsteps of the great St. Francis of Assisi on his journey to the heart of Christendom. This pilgrimage combines deep Christian spirituality, world history, and mystic adventure into a life-changing experience.
St. Peter and St. Paul found their way to the ancient capital of the world in the 1st century, and since the 3rd century, millions have made the trek to Rome on religious pilgrimage as it became the Catholic center of the Western World. Thousands of historic churches line the route; not to mention bars, refugios (pilgrim hostels), and every other amenity you could need to make your pilgrimage a success.
On this pilgrimage, become a part of the St. Francis story yourself as you walk along the historic Via Francigena (“The Way of St. Francis”), the path Francis took many times to visit the Holy Father in the heart of the Church as he sought direction and approval for his new mendicant order. Participants will be able to visit sites on a daily basis that where touched by the wonderful allure of the Umbrian saint and visit the many shrines and chapels constructed in his honor. While the walking may be painful and the heat challenging, hopefully the cool breezes of the Umbrian and Rieti valleys and a glass of local wine in the evenings can help make our pilgrimage a bit more enjoyable.
Whether you are a devout Christian looking to deepen your relationship with God, a seeker trying to find what’s missing, or someone simply looking for a fun and challenging way to get some exercise amidst some of the world’s most beautiful scenery and friendliest people.
$1800 (Land Cost Only – No International Flight)
Creatio can help participants organize flights together if desired.
Lunches while walking
- Creatio guide
- Trip insurance and Medical Traveler’s Insurance
- Lodging in hostels, monasteries, and some hotels
- Ground transportation
- All breakfasts and some dinners
- Pilgrim materials (shells, credenciales, certificates, etc.)
- Spiritual Formation Talks
- Wonderful opportunities for friendship, spiritual talks, and the chance to meet pilgrims from around the world!
A 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. After registration you can contact your Trip Guide and they can give you some helpful pointers on what flights might work.
A NOTE ABOUT THE CREATIO PILOT PROGRAM
Trips run under the name “Creatio Pilot Program” signify a new and innovative trip that Creatio is offering most likely for the first time ever. On these trips Creatio Guides might be learning a new route for the first time and encourage participants to have some flexibility with the new surroundings. Creatio still guarantees to offer the same High-Level of professionalism available on its other trips, and solely asks for some patience and adaptability on the part of the participants. Pilot Program Trip Participants are subject to approval by the Creatio Staff because these trips may include a Higher Level of Challenge and Difficulty than other trips.
“The highlight of the trip was doing it within a community. I don’t think the trip would have been nearly the experience it had been if doing it with a small group or 1 or 2 others”
Rob, South Dakota
“The Camino teaches humility and perseverance…you will know yourself better, emerging more aware of your tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses”
Will, University of Colorado
The Pilgrimage of Our Lives
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…!”
This humble town in central Italy was a small and insignificant hamlet until the appearance of Francesco Bernardone in late 12th century. The charismatic son of a merchant brought the town worldwide acclaim through his passionate love for Christ and His Church and through the incredible attraction of his radical lifestyle. With the appearance of St. Francis on the scene and the foundation of the Order of Friars Minor, Assisi has become a household name and a sought after site for many pilgrims. It still preserves much of its quiet and medieval character through its steep cobblestone streets and many churches, and will be an appropriate place to start our pilgrimage.
The Ancient City of Rome, once the Capital of the Western World, and home to the Church for nearly 2,000 years is our final destination. The center of the city preserves much the character, charm, and history despite the many conflicts it has experienced over several millennia of existence, and has won for itself the title of “The Eternal City.” The Vatican City, crowned by Saint Peter’s Basilica with its sweeping plaza, will be the destination of our journey as it is for so many pilgrims around the world.
Community and Friendship
“Community,” “deep conversation,” “friendship.” Many pilgrims chose these words when asked to describe their Camino de Santiago experience in one phrase. Others affectionately remember their experience by calling their fellow pilgrims their “Camino Family.” Of course the Camino 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 (yes, they’re real) 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!
Creatio’s spirituality is focused on strengthening the four relationships: relationship with self, with one another, with nature and with God. We encourage all of our pilgrims to be open to experience a deepening of these relationships while on our trips. Nearly everyone that walks the Camino de Santiago will say that it is a profoundly spiritual experience, regardless of religious background. Stopping at 1000 year old churches to pray for a moment (or an hour), has a powerful affect on the soul. Celebrating the famous daily “Pilgrim Mass” is essential for all pilgrims, and many non-Catholics join in because of how important this is for the pilgrim.
Pilgrims will have the opportunity for daily moments of prayer and reflection led by both trip guides, and will participate in the daily Pilgrim Mass at each stop. These are a wonderful complement to the daily walk and the heart of the pilgrimage itself.
One of the most beautiful aspects of a pilgrimage is not knowing where we will sleep each night. Along the route, many “refugios” (roughly translated as “pilgrim refuges”) receive pilgrims at a meager cost. 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). Joyous also is meeting and resting with other pilgrims from around the world who also nightly seek the comfort of the albergues for a well-deserved night’s rest.
(route subject to change)
Approximate Walking distance 203km – Subject to Change
Day 1: Arrive in Rome – Train to Assisi (Overnight in Assisi)
Day 2: Retreat and Tour in Assisi. (Overnight in Assisi)
Participants will begin this Creatio Pilgrimage entering into the Spirit of St. Francis in his home town, walking the streets where he grew up, made friends, and eventually left everything to follow his call to serve the poor and “rebuild the Church.” It in Assisi that the famous Crucifix of San Damian that spoke to Francis and called him to mission resides, and participants will be able to spend time in reflection in front of that same cross in preparation for their pilgrimage to Rome.
Day 3: Assisi – Spello
The walk begins by ascending up the great mountain of Subasio and entering the caves where Francis used to hide and pray. The route than continues down into the beautiful countryside of Umbria into the enchanting medieval town of Spello.
Day 4: Foligno – Trevi
Day 5: Trevi – Spoleto
Day 6: Spoleto- Piediluco
Day 7: Piediluco – Rieti
Day 8: Rieti – Ponticelli
Day 9: Ponticelli – Monterotondo
Day 10: Monterotondo – Monte Sacro (Vatican City) (Overnight near the Vatican)
Day 11: Tour of Rome
Participants will spend the morning in a final time of reflection and community sharing concluding. During the afternoon participants will be free to Rome the streets of central Rome and see the major religious and cultural sites. There will be a final meal together in the evening before participants will be free to head home late in the evening of the 22nd or the following morning on the 23rd.
Day 12: Return to the USA
Travel to and from Italy
ARRIVAL: Participants may arrive in ROME (Leonardo da Vinci-Fiumicino Airport – FCO) anytime BEFORE 12 p.m. on the first day of the trip TBD. The participants will meet at the Rome Airport (FCO) at that time. Pilgrims will be given instructions for meeting location. The Experience officially begins at 12 p.m. in Rome on TBD, any prior travel arrangements are the responsibility of the participant.
DEPARTURE: Participants will arrive back in Rome at approximately 11pm on TBD. Two nights of lodging (TBD) in Rome ARE INCLUDED in the Trip Cost. The Experience officially ends at 8am on TBD. Participants who wish to remain for extra time may do so on their own. You do not have to stay in Rome until 8am, especially if you find an early-AM flight you prefer. Transportation to the airport at the end of the trip is the responsibility of each participant, but we can help you get a taxi or take public transit. In the past, our pilgrims have often traveled to the airport together since they’re on flights departing at or near the same time.
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 Denver and Philadelphia if you wish to depart from either of those two cities.
The cost of your pilgrimage with us includes trip insurance. This insurance covers things like trip cancellation/interruption, emergency medical & evacuation, delays, lost luggage, etc…
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.
Northern Spain has a very moderate climate, though summer weather can be hot. Most of the time, temperatures are between 50-80o F with some rain. 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.
Leon and Galicia, Spain: Medical Care in Spain is very good, although slightly less available in the Northern rural regions along the Camino de Santiago. 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
Suggested Packing List
RECOMMENDED – One Backpack (30-55L range)
- Travelers insurance card
- General insurance card
- Copy of Passport, ID, and insurance cards
- Emergency contact information
- Money for souvenirs, airport meals, Camino lunches, personal items, and additional snacks or drinks you might want
- Sleeping bag liner, light sleeping bag, or light blanket
- Water bottle or Camelbak (easily refilled; Spanish tap water is safe to drink)
- Headlamp (helpful if it has a dim/red setting)
- Hiking clothes – Bring two sets of clothing. You can wash one each night. Clothes that dry quickly are best. 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
- 2-3 pair non-cotton socks
- light outer shell raincoat
- Good walking/hiking shoes
- Sandals/flip flops for shower and evenings
- Sunglasses and hat, sunscreen
- Laundry detergent or bar (easy to buy there as well)
- Toilet paper (small quantity for trailside emergencies)
- Towel (microfiber or raw linen; fast drying is key)
- Prescribed and non-prescribed medications
- Pack cover (or poncho or garbage bag to keep your pack dry)
- Book. Keep in mind that there won’t be a lot of time to sit and read. A small book with daily reflections is ideal. Low weight, high mental “calorie” content.
- Bible – be prudent with weight or prepared for penance. Travel version?
- Rosary (sheenrosaries.com is a friend of ours and makes near-unbreakable Rosaries, with a percentage of sales going towards mission work in Uganda)
- Camera and charger – confirm voltage will work with Spain’s 220V outlets
- Phone and charger – most new phones can handle both U.S. and European voltages, but you’ll need an outlet adapter available at any travel store or REI. Leaders will carry a phone for emergencies, enabling you to minimize screen time.
- Spork (FYI common “Light My Fire” plastic ones tend to break in peanut butter/honey)
- Earplugs; albergue bedrooms are noisy at night with other pilgrims
- Moneybelt / small pouch for passport and personal money
- Blister care – safety pins (2), needle, thread, band-aids, first aid tape, Vaseline, moleskin. These are easily found along the route if needed.
- Watch – not necessary, but handy for meeting times and morning alarms
- A stone from home to leave at the Cruz de Ferro
*Trip insurance provides coverage during the advertised dates of the Experience. If a situation arises prior to departure, this would not be covered.