Holidays, Events, and Festivals along the Via di Francesco

Holidays, Events, and Festivals along the Via di Francesco

A pilgrim on the Via di Francesco is bound to meet surprises. With the large number of events occurring throughout the trail, there’s no doubt you’ll be surprised by a festival or celebration.

Imagine arriving in La Verna on the day of a St Francis holiday, or stumbling upon a chestnut festival at a medieval village.

Read the guide below to see all the important events that you may meet as you walk the trail from Rome to Rome.

Key Highlights

  • St Francis festivals occur in September and October in La Verna and Assisi
  • July is peak season with sun-drenched landscapes and music festivals
  • September features harvest celebrations, fewer crowds, and pleasant weather

Table of Contents

January: Starting Anew

January is the coldest month in Tuscany, but don’t let that deter you from exploring the beauty of the Via di Francesco. Snow-covered landscapes in Casentino National Park and the Apennines offer a magical experience for nature lovers and photographers alike. While trail conditions may be challenging and accommodations limited, starting your journey in Florence allows you to enjoy the city’s museums and attractions without the crowds.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Epiphany Celebrations

Florence (Stage 0)

January 6

A national holiday across Italy, the Epiphany marks the 12th day of Christmas and commemorates the arrival of the Three Wise Men with gifts for baby Jesus. In Florence, the Procession of the Magic takes place, featuring the Three Wise Men on horseback in lavish costumes, marching to Piazza Duomo for a reading of the Magi’s story and a flag-throwing performance.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Befana La Festa dell’Epifania

Rome (Near Vatican City)

January 6

Similar to Santa Claus, La Befana is a popular figure in Italian folklore who visits children on the eve of January 6, filling their socks with sweets or coal, depending on their behavior. Festivities include children dressing up as Befana, a lively market in Piazza Navona, and traditional door-to-door singing in the areas north of Lucca.

February: A Frosty Adventure Awaits

February may be the coldest month along the Via di Francesco, but don’t let that discourage you from taking the pilgrimage! Despite the chilly temperatures, you’ll find beauty, serenity, and a sense of wonder as you traverse the snow-dusted landscapes. Plus, with fewer pilgrims on the trail, you’ll have the opportunity to experience these paths in a more tranquil and introspective atmosphere. Just be sure to bundle up and keep an eye on trail conditions.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Italian Carnival Celebrations

Florence (Stage 0)

Dates vary, often in February

The festivities of Carnival take place throughout Italy, and Florence is no exception. Enjoy the lively atmosphere as the city comes alive with parades, music, and traditional costumes. It’s a great time to explore Florence’s museums and attractions without the usual crowds.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Foiano della Chiana Carnival

Near Arezzo (Off the main trail, accessible by public transit)

Dates vary, often in February

Experience one of the oldest carnivals in Italy at Foiano della Chiana, a charming town outside of Arezzo. This smaller-scale celebration offers an authentic glimpse of Italian tradition, complete with elaborate floats, vibrant costumes, and a joyous atmosphere.

Viareggio Carnival

Viareggio (1.5 hours from Florence, off the main trail)

Dates vary, often in February

Although not directly on the pilgrimage trail, the Viareggio Carnival is worth a detour for those seeking a grander celebration. Known as the second-best carnival in Italy, after Venice, this seaside town boasts impressive parades, ornate floats, and a festive atmosphere that’s truly unforgettable.

February may not be the busiest month on the Via di Francesco, but it offers a unique and memorable experience for those willing to brave the cold. With fewer crowds, a chance to witness Italy’s Carnival season, and the serene beauty of the snow-covered landscapes, February is a frosty adventure just waiting for you to embark on.

March: A Breath of Fresh Air

March brings a touch of unpredictability to the Via di Francesco, as winter starts to transition into spring. With a blend of cool, rainy days and the promise of warmer, sunnier weather, this is the month when the Tuscan landscape comes alive with a burst of colors and the first signs of spring. Although the trail conditions might still be challenging, especially in the beginning of the month, those who venture out in March will be rewarded with fewer crowds, peaceful surroundings, and the excitement of Italy’s Carnavale celebrations.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

International Women’s Day Celebration

Florence (Stage 0)

March 8th

International Women’s Day is celebrated with love and respect throughout Italy. In Florence, you can take part in this tradition by gifting yellow mimosa flowers to the special women in your life. This gesture symbolizes support, solidarity, and appreciation.

Taste Fair

Florence (Stage 0)


Indulge in the best of Italian cuisine at the Taste fair, a festival dedicated to excellence in food, wine, and the ideas that shape contemporary Italian culture. This is the perfect opportunity to savor the unique flavors of Tuscany and discover culinary treasures that will make your pilgrimage even more memorable.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Easter Celebrations

Various Cities and Towns (Stages 7-28)

Dates vary, depending on the liturgical calendar

If Easter falls in March, you’ll have the opportunity to witness and take part in the local Easter celebrations. From processions to special church services, these spiritual events are deeply rooted in Italian culture and offer a unique insight into the local customs and traditions.


Various Cities and Towns (Stages 7-28)

Dates vary, depending on the liturgical calendar

Italy’s Carnavale celebrations are a vibrant and lively affair that occasionally take place in March. As you journey along the Via di Francesco, you may come across parades, parties, and other festivities in the cities and towns you pass through. This is a wonderful opportunity to immerse yourself in the joy and excitement of this nationwide event.

March on the Via di Francesco is an experience like no other, as the landscapes slowly awaken from their winter slumber and the energy of spring begins to take hold. Embrace the unpredictable weather, the serene surroundings, and the chance to partake in Italy’s rich cultural events. This is a month that promises a unique, unforgettable pilgrimage.

April: Spring Blossoms and Spirited Celebrations

April brings the promise of new beginnings as the Via di Francesco comes alive with the colors and scents of spring. Mild temperatures and blossoming flowers create the perfect backdrop for a memorable pilgrimage. As you walk the path, you’ll encounter various religious and cultural events that showcase the rich history and traditions of the region. April is a month of joy, reverence, and celebration, so be prepared to immerse yourself in the festive spirit!

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Scoppio del Carro (Explosion of the Cart)

Florence (Stage 0)

Easter Sunday

The Scoppio del Carro is a spectacular event held in Florence on Easter Sunday. An elaborate cart adorned with fireworks is pulled by white oxen through the city, finally stopping in front of the Duomo. The fireworks are ignited, creating a dazzling display that symbolizes good fortune for the coming harvest. Witness this age-old tradition and join the excitement in Piazza del Duomo!

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Holy Week and Easter Celebrations

Various locations and dates

Throughout April, Holy Week and Easter festivities take place all across Tuscany and beyond. From elaborate floral decorations in churches to parades recreating events from the Crusades, the entire region comes together to celebrate this special time of year. Be sure to plan your journey accordingly to experience these unique events in towns along the Via di Francesco.

Liberation Day

Various locations

April 25

Liberation Day, or Festa della Liberazione, is a national holiday in Italy commemorating the end of Nazi occupation during World War II. Expect public ceremonies, speeches, and concerts in many towns and cities along the pilgrimage trail. Keep in mind that some museums, churches, and public buildings may be closed on this day.

With the beauty of spring blossoms and the excitement of various celebrations, April is an enchanting time to walk the Via di Francesco. Embrace the spirit of renewal as you journey through Tuscany and beyond, experiencing the warmth and joy of this special season.

May: Springtime Magic Unfolds

May is a magical time on the Via di Francesco as the Tuscan landscapes come to life with vibrant colors and fragrant blooms. The weather is pleasant and trails are in good condition, making it the perfect time for a pilgrimage. As the number of pilgrims increases, you’ll still find tranquility and camaraderie on the trail. So, lace up your hiking boots, and get ready to witness the splendor of spring in Tuscany and beyond.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Iris Garden in Full Bloom

Florence (Stage 0)

Throughout May

During this period, Florence’s famous Iris Garden opens to the public, showcasing 1,500 varieties of colorful irises in full bloom. Take a leisurely stroll through the garden and appreciate the radiant beauty of these enchanting flowers.

Labour Day Celebrations

Various locations

May 1

Celebrate Labour Day or International Workers’ Day as you pass through towns and cities along the Via di Francesco. Many museums offer discounted admission, and you might even catch live concerts and special events taking place throughout the region.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Festival of the Ceri (Festa dei Ceri)

Gubbio (Stage 12)

May 15

Join the town of Gubbio in Umbria for the Festival of the Ceri, an exhilarating event honoring Saint Ubaldo, the patron saint of the town. Witness the thrilling race between teams representing three saints as they carry large wooden candles through the city and up the hillside towards the Basilica of St. Ubaldo. This ancient and vibrant celebration will leave you with unforgettable memories.

Sagra del Prugnolo

Pieve Santo Stefano (Stage 7)

Dates vary, often in May

Head to the charming town of Pieve Santo Stefano for the Sagra del Prugnolo, a delightful festival dedicated to the prugnolo mushroom. Enjoy local restaurants serving up dishes featuring this delicious fungi, and watch shepherds guiding their livestock to the Maremma region.


Assisi (Stage 15)

First Thursday to Saturday of May

Experience the enchanting Calendimaggio festival in Assisi, where the town comes alive with medieval costumes, parades, and performances. This three-day event sees the upper and lower sectors of Assisi competing in ancient games and choir competitions, creating a truly magical atmosphere.

May on the Via di Francesco promises an unforgettable journey filled with the beauty of spring, vibrant festivals, and captivating experiences. So, take a step into the enchanting world of Tuscany and beyond, and let the magic of May embrace you.

June: Soak in the Summer Sun

June is a delightful month to embark on your pilgrimage along the Via di Francesco. As the summer sun shines brightly, the Tuscan landscape blooms in vibrant colors, and warm temperatures make for perfect walking conditions. With an average high of 22.9°C and a low of 13.3°C, June offers a pleasant climate for pilgrims to enjoy various outdoor events and festivals. Remember to pack sunscreen, a hat, and a water bottle to stay hydrated during the journey!

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Trekking of the Fireflies in the Fairy Woods

Santuario della Verna (Stage 6)

June 25th

This enchanting event will take you on a magical journey through the Casentino Secular Forests, where thousands of fireflies illuminate the woods at night, creating a breathtaking spectacle. With evenings dedicated to adults and Sundays reserved for children, everyone can experience the awe and wonder of this natural phenomenon.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Festival dei Due Mondi di Spoleto

Spoleto (Stage 18)

June (dates vary)

The Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds) is an annual summer music and opera festival held in Spoleto. Founded by composer Gian Carlo Menotti in 1958, this prestigious event showcases world-class performances and may make accommodations harder to book during the festival period.

Infiorate del Corpus Domini di Spello

Spello (Off the main trail)

9th Sunday after Easter (late May to mid-June)

The Infiorate del Corpus Domini is a unique and colorful celebration that takes place in the charming town of Spello. Residents come together to create stunning floral carpets along the streets, with intricate designs depicting religious themes. This captivating tradition draws tourists and Instagrammers alike, so make sure to have your camera ready!

Giostra del Saracino – Joust of the Saracen

Arezzo (Off the main trail, accessible by public transit)

Third Saturday in June

Travel back in time and witness the thrilling Giostra del Saracino, a medieval jousting tournament held in Arezzo’s picturesque Piazza Grande. Representing different districts, costumed knights charge at a wooden Saracen figure, aiming to strike its shield with their lances. The winner receives the coveted Golden Lance.

June offers the perfect combination of warm weather and captivating events for pilgrims walking the Via di Francesco. Embrace the summer sun and immerse yourself in the rich culture and history of Tuscany and beyond, creating unforgettable memories along your spiritual journey.

July: A Sun-Kissed Journey Through Tuscany

July is the peak of summer in Tuscany, and as you embark on the Via di Francesco pilgrimage, you’ll be surrounded by sun-drenched landscapes, vibrant sunflower fields, and warm, welcoming weather. This is the high season along the trail, meaning you’ll encounter the largest number of pilgrims for the entire year, including many Italians. The trail is in excellent condition, but accommodations in some stages might be more difficult to book or costlier due to the influx of visitors. Despite the crowds, July offers an unforgettable experience on this sacred path, bursting with cultural events, music festivals, and natural wonders.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Trekking of the Fireflies in the Fairy Woods

Santuario della Verna (Stage 6)

From June 25th

Experience the enchanting magic of the Casentino Secular Forests as thousands of fireflies illuminate the night, creating a breathtaking, surreal spectacle. This event offers exclusive evenings dedicated to observing this magnificent natural phenomenon, with Fridays reserved for adults, Saturdays featuring an aperitif and a visit to the Secret Rooms with the Friars of La Verna, and Sundays tailored for children.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Festival dei Due Mondi di Spoleto

Spoleto (Stage 18)

June to early July

Founded by composer Gian Carlo Menotti in 1958, the Festival dei Due Mondi (Festival of the Two Worlds) is an annual summer music and opera festival held in Spoleto. A major cultural event, it can make accommodations more challenging to book, but it’s well worth it to witness world-class performances.

Umbria Jazz Festival

Near Assisi (Stage 15)

July (ten-day festival)

As one of the most influential jazz festivals in the world, the Umbria Jazz Festival draws music enthusiasts from all corners of the globe. Taking place in the Umbria region since 1973, this ten-day festival is a must-visit for jazz lovers.

Organ Music Festival

Chiusi della Verna (Off the main trail)

July and August

The International Organ Music Festival takes place at the Sanctuary founded by St. Francis of Assisi in Chiusi della Verna. The sacredness of the organ music, combined with the stunning architecture and landscape, creates a truly enriching experience for those seeking spiritual connection and unique musical performances.

Historical Reenactment in Chiusi della Verna

Chiusi della Verna (Off the main trail)


Travel back in time during this historical reenactment in Chiusi della Verna. The event brings the village to life with a medieval atmosphere, commemorating the encounter between St. Francis of Assisi and Count Orlando Cattani in 1213, which led to the donation of the Monte della Verna to St. Francis and his companions.

July’s sun-kissed journey on the Via di Francesco is not only an opportunity to walk the sacred path, but also to immerse yourself in the cultural richness of the region. With mesmerizing firefly treks, music festivals, and historical reenactments, the memories you make will last a lifetime.

August: A Symphony of Sun and Celebrations

August may be the warmest month along the Via di Francesco, but it’s also a time when the trail comes alive with vibrant events and celebrations. From the highly anticipated Ferragosto to the rich cultural experiences found in local music and truffle festivals, the heat of the Tuscan sun is no match for the warmth of the pilgrims’ hearts. Remember to stay hydrated and take breaks in the shade as you journey through these unforgettable stages of the pilgrimage.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Rimbocchi Bread Festival

Rimbocchi (Off the main trail)

August 3rd and 4th

Celebrate the traditional Casentino bread at the historical Bread of Rimbocchi Festival. This charming event attracts both local gourmets and travelers, eager to sample the delicious bread unique to this small hamlet.

International Organ Music Festival

Chiusi della Verna (Stage 6)

July and August

Within the Sanctuary of La Verna, world-renowned musicians gather to perform, utilizing the monumental 16th-century organ. This festival offers an enriching experience for music lovers, those seeking spirituality, or anyone looking for a new perspective on this sacred place.

Sagra del Tartufo

Chiusi della Verna (Stage 6)


Address: Parco Macchini

Timing: Every evening from 7:00 PM, Sundays and holidays from 12:00 PM

Feast on the delicious truffle at the Sagra del Tartufo in Chiusi della Verna. The event features the prized local scorzone truffle, harvested from the woods of Casentino and Valtiberina Toscana. In addition to truffle dishes, the festival offers dancing, musical and theatrical entertainment, a children’s play area, and a market for local products and crafts.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Pardon Festival – Festa del Perdono

Assisi (Stage 15)

August 2nd, Indulgence available from noon on August 1st to midnight on August 2nd

The Pardon Festival, or Festa del Perdono, in Assisi is a sacred event commemorating the Indulgence of the Porziuncola, a unique spiritual privilege that draws pilgrims from all over the world. To receive the plenary indulgence, participants must fulfill certain conditions, including confession, attending Mass, receiving Holy Communion, and visiting the Porziuncola. This event is a powerful reminder of the infinite mercy of the divine and the apostolic passion of St. Francis of Assisi.

Ferragosto Celebrations

Throughout Italy (Multiple stages)

August 15th, lasting two weeks

Ferragosto, one of Italy’s most important holidays, is a time when the country slows down to celebrate. With beach trips, barbecues, religious processions, fireworks, and horse races, there’s something for everyone during this two-week-long holiday.

Embrace the warmth and excitement of August along the Via di Francesco, where you’ll experience the richness of Italian culture, gastronomy, and spirituality. While the heat may be intense, the memories you create will shine even brighter.

September: A Harvest of Joy and Celebration

As summer gives way to autumn, September along the Via di Francesco offers a delightful blend of pleasant weather, stunning landscapes, and a series of captivating events. This month marks the start of the harvest season, making it an ideal time to immerse yourself in the culture and flavors of the region. With fewer pilgrims on the trail, you’ll enjoy a more tranquil and authentic experience, while still being able to attend a variety of lively festivities. It’s time to revel in the symphony of harvest and celebration!

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Festa della Rificolona (Festival of the Paper Lanterns)

Florence (Stage 0)

September 6-7

This lively festival in Florence honors the birthday of the Virgin Mary with a colorful procession of paper lanterns. Locals and visitors alike fill the streets, carrying their lanterns and participating in religious services. Don’t miss the huge farmers market in the main square, where you can find organic produce and local delicacies.

Stimmate Feast

Santuario della Verna (Stage 6)

September 17

The most important day for Santuario La Verna, the Stimmate Feast draws pilgrims from far and wide to participate in intense and fascinating celebrations. The prayer vigil on the evening of September 16th is a particularly moving experience, as worshippers gather in the sacred monastery for a night of reflection and devotion.

Stia – Biennial of Blacksmithing Art

Stia (Stage 3)

First days of September, held in odd-numbered years

Experience the artistry of wrought iron craftsmanship at the Biennial of Blacksmithing Art in Stia. This event showcases the fusion of tradition and art, with international sculpture competitions, design contests, and an outdoor market exhibition. A must-see for art enthusiasts visiting Casentino in early September.

Autunno Slow

Casentino (Accessible from various stages)

Throughout September and October

Discover the beauty of fall in the Casentino Forest National Park during “Autunno Slow,” a seven-week event dedicated to the region’s natural wonders. Participate in guided hikes, listen to the bull deer during mating season, gather chestnuts, and attend food festivals and sagras, all while surrounded by the breathtaking colors of autumn.

Bramito del Cervo

Casentino Forest National Park (Stages 3-6)

Mid-September to mid-October

Witness the majestic deer population in the Casentino Forest National Park during their mating season. Join guided evening excursions to experience the powerful call of the adult male deer at dusk and early evening hours. Registration is open from August 1st to September 6th for the deer census, taking place from September 22nd to 24th. Don’t miss this unique opportunity to connect with nature and contribute to wildlife conservation efforts.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Giostra del Saracino – Joust of the Saracen

Arezzo (Off the main trail, accessible by public transit)

First Sunday in September

Travel back in time and immerse yourself in medieval festivities at the Giostra del Saracino in Arezzo. The city’s historic Piazza Grande hosts this traditional jousting tournament, with each quarter of the city competing for the coveted Golden Lance. The celebration starts a week before the event, with captains taking oaths and practicing in the evenings.

Palio della Balestra

Sansepolcro (Stage 8)

Second Sunday of September

This ancient crossbow competition between Sansepolcro and Gubbio is held in honor of Sant’Egidio, the patron saint of Sansepolcro. Watch as the city transforms into a medieval scene, complete with citizens dressed in period costumes and thrilling displays of skill and athleticism.

Palio of Saint Rufinus (Palio di San Rufino)

Assisi (Stage 15)

Last week of August – early September

Experience the competitive spirit and camaraderie of Assisi during the Palio of Saint Rufinus. Watch as the town’s three districts – Saint Francis, Saint Rufinus, and Dive Maria – engage in a spirited bow tournament. Representatives from each district compete for the prestigious pennant (Palio) and honor, making this an exhilarating event not to be missed.

September on the Via di Francesco offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural immersion, and spiritual growth. As you walk the trail, you’ll be swept up in the joy and celebration of the harvest season, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

October: A Kaleidoscope of Colors and Festivities

As the leaves turn to shades of gold and russet, October offers pilgrims a mesmerizing experience along the Via di Francesco. The trail is less crowded during this month, allowing for a peaceful journey through the Tuscan landscape, adorned with autumn colors. Pack light layers for daytime wear, and don’t forget warmer options and waterproof clothing to guard against any nighttime chills or autumn showers.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Offering of Bread and Wine

Chiusi della Verna (Stage 6)

October 4

On the anniversary of St. Francis of Assisi’s death, the mayor of Chiusi renews the Offering of Bread and Wine to the Franciscan Friars Minor, a tradition that recalls the donation made by Count Orlando in 1214. This religious commemoration offers a unique experience steeped in history and local customs.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

EuroChocolate Festival

Perugia (Accessible by public transportation)


A paradise for chocolate lovers, the EuroChocolate Festival in Perugia is a must-visit event during October. Stroll through the city streets, savoring samples from chocolatiers across Europe, marveling at chocolate sculptures, and indulging in a variety of chocolate-themed activities.

St. Francis Festival (Festa di San Francesco)

Assisi (Stage 15)

October 3-4

Celebrate the life and legacy of St. Francis in the picturesque town of Assisi. The streets come alive with art events, folk festivals, and vibrant processions that honor the beloved saint. On October 4th, witness the gold-fringed blue and red banners that drape Assisi’s medieval buildings, followed by a solemn procession to St. Francis’ Tomb in the Basilica di San Francesco. The festivities continue on October 5th with the annual street fair, La Fiera di San Francesco, where you can explore over 150 vendors offering local crafts and delicacies.

October’s charm lies in the vibrant foliage and a rich tapestry of events that pay homage to St. Francis of Assisi. With fewer crowds and a serene atmosphere, this month offers an unforgettable experience for those embarking on the Via di Francesco pilgrimage trail.

November: Embrace the Magic of Autumn

November brings a serene, reflective ambiance to the Via di Francesco. As the landscape transforms into a canvas of vibrant autumn colors, the cooler temperatures and crisp air beckon pilgrims seeking a more introspective journey. While the weather can be unpredictable, the rewards of lower-priced accommodations, fewer crowds, and enchanting fall foliage make this month a true gem for those who don’t mind a little rain.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Chestnut Festival

Stia (Stage 3)

Throughout October and November

Experience the joy of the harvest season in the chestnut woods of the Casentino region. In Stia, join locals as they celebrate the arrival of autumn with the Chestnut Festival, featuring street vendors selling chestnuts and chestnut-based products, artisan markets, and lively street performances. The aroma of roasted chestnuts will fill the air as you indulge in various chestnut delicacies, including caldarroste, castagnaccio, frittelle, and other traditional sweets.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

All Saints Day

Throughout Italy (Stages 7-28)

November 1

All Saints Day, celebrated on November 1 each year, is a national holiday that unites Italians as they honor the memory of their loved ones. Visit the cemeteries in the various towns and villages along the Via di Francesco, and you’ll witness locals paying their respects, offering flowers, and lighting candles at the graves of their departed family and friends.

All Souls’ Day

Various cities (Stages 7-28)

November 2nd

All Souls’ Day is a day of remembrance for the departed, observed across Italy. Families visit the gravesites of their loved ones, cleaning and decorating them with flowers, especially chrysanthemums. In some regions, people leave food and drink at the dining table for visiting spirits, while children may leave their shoes outdoors in the hopes of receiving treats from the dead. This day offers a unique opportunity to witness Italian customs and pay respects to those who have passed on.

Despite November’s unpredictable weather, the Via di Francesco offers pilgrims a magical and tranquil journey through Italy’s stunning autumn landscapes. Embrace the spirit of the season with vibrant fall foliage, heartwarming celebrations, and a more reflective atmosphere as you embark on this unforgettable adventure.

December: A Winter Wonderland of Warmth and Celebration

The air may be chilly and the days shorter in December, but the Via di Francesco comes alive with the warmth of the holiday season. As you journey through Tuscany and beyond, you’ll discover enchanting towns and cities adorned with twinkling lights, festive markets, and a welcoming spirit. This magical time of year offers a unique experience for pilgrims, with cozy accommodations and breathtaking snow-dusted landscapes. So bundle up, and let the spirit of the season guide you on your adventure.

Florence & Casentino Stages (Stages 0-6)

Feast of the Immacolata

Florence (Stage 0)

December 8

Marking the beginning of the holiday season, the Feast of the Immacolata is a national holiday in Italy. On this day, families traditionally decorate their homes with Christmas trees and Nativity scenes. In Florence, the magnificent Piazza del Duomo comes alive with a grand Christmas tree and life-sized terracotta Nativity scene crafted by local artisans. The tree and Nativity scene remain on display until January 6.

Beyond Tuscany Stages (Stages 7-28)

Christmas Eve & Christmas Day Celebrations

Various cities (Stages 7-28)

December 24-25

As you journey beyond Tuscany, you’ll find towns and cities across Italy celebrating Christmas Eve and Christmas Day with family gatherings and special masses. While businesses and offices may be closed during this time, the festive atmosphere offers a heartwarming glimpse into local traditions.

St. Stefano’s Day

Various cities (Stages 7-28)

December 26

On December 26, Italy celebrates St. Stefano’s Day, a national holiday honoring the martyrdom of St. Stephen. This day is dedicated to spending time with friends and family, and you can expect country-wide closures as locals gather to celebrate.

December on the Via di Francesco is a time of wonder, warmth, and celebration. As you embark on your pilgrimage, embrace the festive spirit that fills the air and let the magic of the season guide you on your journey.

As you walk this ancient path, don’t forget to take advantage of the many events and festivals that await you. Through cultural immersion, social interaction, spiritual exploration, refreshing breaks from routine, and gastronomic delights, these celebrations will enhance your overall experience, leaving you with cherished memories and a deeper connection to the life and teachings of St. Francis. So, lace up your boots, open your heart, and let the magic of the Via di Francesco unfold before you.