the way of saint Francis pilgrimage

Via di Francesco - St Francis' Way - Southern Way from Roma to Assisi

Stage 6 - from Rieti to Poggio Bustone

From Rieti to the Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone, with a stop at the sanctuary of La Foresta.

On this stage of the journey, which is approximately 18 km long, you will see the sanctuaries of La Foresta and Poggio Bustone, two of the places most dear to the memory of St Francis. You will often walk through the greenery, with uphill and downhill stretches, touching villages and small churches. You need to preserve some energy for the ascent to the Sanctuary of Poggio Bustone.
Poggio Bustone
17,794 Km
Increase in altitude
+ 1.035
Loss of altitude
- 620
dirt road-path-tarmac
Road Sign
yes (yellow blue signs indicating Francesco's Way)
Travel time
7 hours
Water sources
Resting areas
Degree of difficulty
The 18 km route touches two important sanctuaries in the Franciscan valley: La Foresta and Poggio Bustone. Those seeking peace and, like St Francis, a way of escaping from the "worldly pomp", will see these convents hidden away in the greenery as the ideal location. The route includes stretches of tarmac road but the majority is on secondary roads and trails.
You set off from the cathedral of Santa Maria Assunta, leaving behind the town of Rieti. After approximately 3 km on flat ground there is an uphill stretch towards the Sanctuary of La Foresta, with its simple, basic form that brings to mind the simplicity of the Poor Man of Assisi, who often stayed in this place. You walk along alternating uphill and downhill stretches, touching the sanctuary of San Felice All'Acqua and the village of Cantalice Superiore, where you can find dining/refreshment facilities. From here, you can enjoy a splendid view of Mount Terminillo and the lakes of Lungo and Ripasottile on the Plain of Rieti. After a descent of about 300 steps, you can continue on to the residential area of San Liberato. The last stretch, of about 2.5 km, is uphill through the forest and this is the last challenging effort you need to make to reach Poggio Bustone. Tradition has it that in this place, St Francis, as he reached the village at the foot of the Apennines for the first time, greeted the inhabitants with his famous exclamation: "Buon giorno, buona gente!" (Good morning, good people). From the village, a sign-posted trail will lead you to the sanctuary.
What you should know before departure
There are water fountains in Rieti, La Foresta, Cantalice Superiore, San Liberato, Poggio Bustone. Remember to fill your water bottle with at least 1.5 litres of water in the summer.
Intermediate legs
This is a pleasant leg of the journey, with various residential areas and sanctuaries along the way, where you can stop off or take a break from walking. Don't miss the village of Cantalice. There are resting areas.
Make sure you have time to stop at the Sanctuary of “La Foresta”. Its magnificent vegetable garden competes with the most beautiful gardens in Italy for its beauty. A photo of the village of Cantalice is a must. We recommend that you have the maps of the trail with you. Simplified maps can be downloaded by clicking on the online map. Remember to always have a small supply of food with you (fruit, dried fruit, chocolate, energy bars, something energy-giving in general).
Information (e.g. how to get there using public transport)
Territorial Tourist Office of Rieti.
Address: Via Cintia, 87 Rieti - 02100
Phone: 0746 264106/8/0
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
poggio bustone pilgrim route francesco on foot T6

Southern Way - Walking

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Stage 5

From Poggio San Lorenzo to Rieti

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Stage 6

From Rieti to Poggio Bustone

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Stage 6A - Alternative route through Terni

From Rieti to Greccio

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