After 16 days, 150 miles (250k) and more elevation gain that I kept track of, we reached Assisi on Wednesday this week. It was the great end to our pilgrimage.
We had entered Assisi over two years ago on our first pilgrimage here and it was a wonderful feeling. This time was no exception. In 2019, we entered through the South Gate, this time from the North.
When I left off this journey, we were on our way into Pieve San Stefano, after leaving Della Verna. The worst of our climbing was over, but ahead lay several days of potential rain.
We decided to take it one day at a time, rather than fret about potential rain. This was a good decision, because we had only one serious day of rain in the next 8 days.
But rain and the potential for rain, did play a factor in our decision to take a bus from Sansepulcro to Citta di Castello. We also needed some serious rest. It was a good decision.
We also took a day to rest in Gubbio, a delightfully charming city built on a mountainside, where we got to take a cable car (cage, really) up to a church on the top of the mountain. Spectacular ride and spectacular view.
Our last three days after Gubbio were the best—lots of sunshine and gorgeous, green countryside. The highlight of this section of the walk was a stay in San Pietro di Vigneto, an old hermitage/monastery that now operates as a donation-only pilgrim hostel. The night we were there, we were the only pilgrims. But we had a great conversation with the volunteers that run it, Primo and Nadia, both from Italy.
On the 27th of April we walked into Assisi, after a night in Valfabrica. The last day was sunny and warm and we took our time. We are going to miss being pilgrims. We love the simplicity of the trail, the simplicity of having nothing more to worry about than walking and nothing more to care for than what fits into our packs.
Our last stop before we head home is Florence, home to some of Italy’s greatest art and birthplace of the Renaissance.
Talk about Assisi.