Plan & Preparation

Explore the Sacred Tuscan Stages

The Via di Francesco is a non-religious path that inspires peace, tranquility, and self transformation. Those who walk the path are called Pilgrims by locals.

Pilgrims will meet medieval churches, trek through sacred forests, and visit lands cherished by St. Francis of Assisi.

The 537 km trail starts in Florence, climbs into the pristine Apennine mountain forests, through Casentinesi Forests National Park to the Santuario della Verna and stunning Assisi, and delivers pilgrims to Rome.

For pilgrims starting in Florence: Use this site for information and accommodations for Tuscany’s six stages – Florence, Pontassieve, Consuma, Stia, Camaldoli, Badia Prataglia, and La Verna.

See information about stages from La Verna to Assisi to Rome.


Name: Via di Francesco,
The Way of St Francis, St Francis’ Way

Places Crossed: Florence, Pontassieve, Consuma, Stia, Camaldoli, Badia Prataglia, Santuario della Verna. See all towns.

​Length: approximately 100.69 km

​Number of Stages on Foot: 6 stages. These can be adjusted to 6-8 days according to the weather and the preference of the walkers.

​Number of Stages on Bike: 3 stages.  See Cycling route here.

Credentials of the Trail: Yes (not a religious document but a nice souvenir to take home) See how to request yours.

​Hiking Map and Guide: Yes. There are hiking guidebooks in English, German, Italian, and Dutch. See all guidebooks.

GPS Apps and GPX: Yes. We have GPX files for each stage. See all GPX.

​Association: I Cammini di Francesco in Casentino, Stia Pratovecchio, AR. About us.

Table of Contents

The Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence
The Basilica di Santa Croce, Florence


The Florence route climbs from the valleys of Arno River up through the Tuscan hills, and into the forested Apennine mountains.

Pilgrims starting from Florence will experience climbs and descents of 500-1,500 meters through forested paths, with steep grades of 25% or greater.

Most pilgrims daily walk about 18 km, for 5–7 hours to complete each official stage.

While considered more strenuous than much of Spain’s Camino de Santiago, the Tuscan section of the Via di Francesco rewards pilgrims with rich and pristine nature. Pilgrims can experience solitude, the sounds of the forest, and precious time for reflection and retreat.

Looking for a printable walking guide? Get that and more in the Pilgrim Essentials Kit.

Where to Begin

The official route begins at Santa Croce in the center of Florence. See the Tuscan Stages

La Verna
Some pilgrims also begin at La Verna Sanctuary. See how to get to La Verna.

Seasons in Via di Francesco

Seasons and Timing


The season most commonly extends from April through October. Fewer accommodations are available in March and November.

Some accommodations — such as donativos and monasteries — close for the season by mid-October.

Many Italians vacation during the hot month of August, reducing available accommodations and fewer open stores.

Helpful Guides:

Schedule Your Walk

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NOTE: For pilgrims with fewer days available, the popular La Verna to Assisi section may be completed in 9-12 days. See more about the La Verna.

Multiple Routes

The Via di Francesco is a collection of trails from Florence to Rome. While the official route is noted in our GPX files, different guidebooks offer unique route options and alternatives. Some routes may explore a mountain monastery and rejoin the official path later on. Eventually, all roads lead to Rome.

Via di Francesco Pilgrim's Credentials with stamps (also known as "timbros")

Credentials and Stamps

Credentials are used as a “pilgrim’s passport” along the trail. Pilgrims collect stamps (also known as “timbris”) from churches, hotels, and stores, and may present them in either Assisi or Rome to receive a certificate of completion, also known as a Testimonium.

Learn about how to get your official credentials here


Where to Receive the Tau

St. Francis adopted the symbol of the Tau when he began serving lepers, and the Tau now marks the trail for pilgrims to follow.

It is possible to obtain Tau symbols at shops near Santa Croce in Florence, or at churches and stores along the way. Many options are available at La Verna Sanctuary bookstore and stores of Assisi.


Accommodations are available throughout the trail, but availability may be limited by season, local events, and the number of pilgrims on the trail.

See accommodations from Florence to La Verna 

Want a printable accommodations guide? Get that and more in the Pilgrim Essentials Kit.


Laundromats are rare. Consider carrying a lightweight clothesline.

Grocery stores — commonly COOP — are available in most larger towns: Florence, Pontassieve, Diacceto (small), and Stia.

Cafes and bars usually open early (6-8am), but are often closed 2-7pm. Sandwiches, pastries and snacks are available.

Restaurants often close after 2pm and re-open closer to 7:30pm.

A pilgrim filling his water in Lonnano
A pilgrim filling his water in Lonnano


Potable drinking stations are marked and available in most towns, but not common in the middle of a stage. Plan to carry 1.5 to 2 liters in the fall, and more than 2 L in the summer.

Most people drink tap water. Consider bringing a filter as some fountains are labeled non-potable.

The Casentinesi Forest
The Casentinesi Forests overlooking Chiusi della Verna

National Park

The Florence section guides pilgrims for 60 km through the Casentinesi Forests National Park. The path enters the park after Stia and continues into the sacred forests surrounding La Verna Sanctuary.

Read more about the park here


Most Common Questions:

The Via di Francesco crosses the regions of Tuscany, Umbria, and Lazio. Each region independently manages the stages in their region. There is not one organizing managing the entire trail. See the Umbrian sections

The official beginning of the path is at Santa Croce in Florence. The first six stages take pilgrims from Florence to La Verna. See the Tuscan stages

For pilgrims on limited time, you can follow our directions to La Verna. We encourage all pilgrims to experience the Tuscan stages so that you can acclimate to the peaceful energy of the Via di Francesco.

The first six stages offer up-and-down trails that can be challenging for some hikers. But the rewards are more than worth it. This gives pilgrims a chance to slow down and acclimate their pace to one that allows transformative experiences.

The Camino de Santiago is a popular pilgrimage trail across Spain. Services and accommodations are more limited on the Via di Francesco. The Italian trail’s vibrant nature and seclusion offer more opportunity for solitude and self reflection.

Pilgrims should budget €65-€100 per person per day for food and lodging when hiking solo. See the full guide and breakdown in our Budget Guide.

Many accommodations are small, family-run B&Bs through the first six stages. See our booking guide for tips to receive a pilgrim’s discount.

Pilgrims should aim to hike with about 3 days worth of clothing and minimal weight in their backpack. See our full packing guide.

Italy features great public transport, with nearby stops to nearly every stage along the Via di Francesco. See our transportation guide.

Next Step

See the Tuscan Stages