The program will focus on creating an environment for reflection in order to deepen your connection with God. This retreat is open to people of every demographic. A typical day will look like this:
Morning: Pilgrims usually rise shortly after daybreak to enjoy the crisp morning air. We will begin the day with a short facilitated meditation on the inspirational theme for the day followed by an orientation for the hike ahead. Breakfast will then be on your own, based on your own needs and desired departure time. The morning will be spent walking, with rests and lunch along the way.
Afternoon: After walking 4-6 hours (averaging 25 km each day), you will arrive at your overnight destination sometime in early to mid-afternoon. Everyone is permitted to walk at their own pace, with or without a companion. Afternoons will be spent showering, resting, journaling or doing laundry. Before dinner, you will have the opportunity to debrief the day with the group over drinks, if desired.
Evening: You may choose to eat dinner with our cohort, a smaller group, or on your own. Dinner in Italy is typically much later than in other countries (around 9pm). However, due to the rigorous exercise of the pilgrimage, we will aim to arrange dinner between 7-8 pm. Afterward, there will be an optional brief meditation before bedtime.
The program above describes a typical day and the opportunities that will be available to you. While we hope you will participate in some of the group sessions to enrich the experience of others, it is not required because we realize that every person’s pilgrimage is unique. Each person comes with different questions, hopes and needs. We want to respect and honor where each person is at. The intent of the program is to provide a basic rhythm that pilgrims can follow as desired.
Via Francigena – Siena to Acquapendente / Orvieto
This part of the Via Francigena passes through iconic Tuscan landscape. You will enjoy walking through beautiful countryside and enjoying views that have barely changed for hundreds of years. Starting from beautiful Siena, famous for its palio, you will pass through the medieval villages and historic towns of southern Tuscany such as the thermal springs at Bagno Vignoni and the stunning hilltop town of Radicofani. In Lazio you will visit the small jewels of Proceno and Acquapendente. You will end in the town of Acquapendente before being transferred to Orvieto which holds a scenic and commanding position atop a cliff riddled with mysterious underground passages and Etruscan caves. Its Duomo is one of Italy’s best medieval treasures with a stunning mosaic facade.