travel on foot on the way of francesco of assisi to greccio

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

Stage 6A - Alternative route through Terni - from Rieti to Greccio

From Rieti to the sanctuary of Greccio, through the Valle Santa (Holy Valley) and passing by the sanctuary of Fonte Colombo.

From Rieti, you walk towards the sanctuary of Greccio, where the tradition of the nativity scene began thanks to St Francis. The leg is approximately 24 km long, alternating between paths and secondary roads, and the only difficulty is the climb up the hill of Sant'Elia. You will be walking between abbeys and villages with unique views over the Valle Santa and of Mount Terminillo.
Sanctuary of Greccio
23,45 Km
Increase in altitude
+ 1.020
Loss of altitude
- 770
gravel road-tarmac
Road Sign
yes (wooden signs indicating Francesco's Way, yellow-blue signs)
Travel time
8 hours
Water sources
Resting areas
Degree of difficulty
We advise you to set off early in the morning, in order to have enough time to visit the village of Greccio and the Franciscan sanctuary, a place of extraordinary importance in the life of St Francis. The first leg is a long one and you can enjoy a splendid view of the peaks of Terminillo and of the Valle Santa. Departure is from the Cathedral of Rieti, setting off from the medieval old town centre. The route begins on a flat, tarmac road and gradually climbs along a white, dirt road. We advise you to stop at the sanctuary of Fonte Colombo, where you can enjoy the peaceful and spiritual atmosphere of this place.
Here, there is a drawing of a Tau, which might have been created by St Francis of Assisi himself, who deeply loved this symbol. You need to save your energy for the uphill climb at Colle Sant'Elia, the only difficulty along the way. Continuing on, the road crosses the hills along a path featuring slight uphill and downhill stretches, mostly in the shade of great downy oaks, that lead to Contigliano. Pilgrims are welcomed by the old village of Contigliano Alto that overlooks the more recently constructed inhabited village.
The route takes you to the village of Contigliano and continues on through the woods and uphill, alternating between stretches of cart-track and tarmac road, until the majestic abbey of San Pastore emerges. Leaving the valley behind you, you continue to walk towards the Franciscan sanctuary of Greccio, set on the rocky ridge of the mountain. The Sanctuary is famous all over the world for having been chosen by the Poor Man of Assisi as the stage for the first re-enactment of the Bethlehem Nativity in the history of Christianity, which took place on the night of Christmas 1223.
What you should know before departure
There are water fountains in Rieti, convent Fonte Colombo, Colle Sant’Elia, Piani di Poggio Fidoni, Contigliano, Greccio, Fonte Lupetta. Remember to fill your water bottle with at least 1.5 litres of water in the summer.
Intermediate legs 
Possibility for intermediate stop-offs or accommodation in Contigliano, Piani di Poggio Fidoni, Colle Sant’Elia.
The Sanctuary and the village of Greccio, as well as the Sanctuary of Fonte Colombo are special places. It is worth ensuring you have sufficient time to visit them and to enjoy the peacefulness of the location. Remember to bring food and water for lunch along the way. We recommend that you have the maps of the trail with you. Simplified maps can be downloaded by clicking on the online map.
Information (e.g. how to get there using public transport)
Tourist Information Office of Perugia
Phone: 075  5736458 - 075 5772686 - Fax  075 5720988
Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
greccio path to assisi route of francesco southern way variant terni

Southern Way - Walking

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Stage 6

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Stage 6A - alternative route through Terni

From Rieti to Greccio

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Stage 6B - alternative route through Terni

From Greccio to Terni

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