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"Would I walk 500 miles to go to church?"

Short answer. No. Maybe 25 miles, though....

I was intrigued by an interview I listened to this afternoon on CBC Radio's Tapestry. Hosted by Mary Hynes, it's an interesting Sunday afternoon program that focuses on issues of faith, religion, spirituality, and such.

I'm usually just getting home from my Sunday gym workout when it starts, so I often catch a good chunk of the program and enjoy the topics Hynes covers.

I thought today's was especially interesting. Titled "And Would I Walk 500 Miles - To Go To Church" Hynes talked with Arthur Paul Boers, who says of a pilgrimage he made in Spain: "I once walked 500 miles to go to church!"

Boers is a Mennonite minister, associate professor of pastoral theology at Associated Mennonite Biblical Seminary in Elkhart, Indiana, and the author of The Way is Made by Walking: A Pilgrimage Along the Camino de Santiago.

While the interview itself was thought-provoking, it also reminded me of one of the Umbrian pilgrimages I have read about: The Franciscan Path of Peace. This apparently winds from Assisi to Gubbio, following the path Francis followed in 1206, early in his life as a monk.

I believe there are numerous paths/ trails in the hills around Assisi -- I hiked a very short (but steep!) trail last year, from the town up to the Eremo delle Carceri.

But I'm intrigued by the idea of following the 25-mile Peace walk which was established in 2000 and traces Francis's route to Gubbio from Assisi. I believe it's a two-day walk and one can find lodgings at the Abbey of Vallingegno for the one night on the trail.

And can you imagine how good a gelato in Gubbio would taste, after a walk like that????

Comments (7)

That sounds lovely! Where do I sign up? Some friends did part of it for a peace demonstration there a few years ago.

Eden:

Sandra, I love the gelato spin on the walk! One needs to feed both soul and body and a girl's gotta have her gelato, for sure. :)

25 miles is certainly achievable . . . 500 would kill me!

Do you have a link to a website? I searched for a while but couldn't find anything.

Sandra:

Chiocciola, I've also been searching on the Internet and haven't found anything really helpful, yet. The only info I have is one page in an Eyewitness travel guide to Umbria, which shows a rather vague map from Assisi to Gubbio, with a few sites along the way and the name of guest house where walkers might stay.

But I know that a few years ago, I read a really good newspaper piece, from a travel section, about the walk or at least part of the walk and I'll have try to dig it out.

I also thought I'd ask Letizia (Madonna del Piatto on ST) because she mentions it on her website, I imagine she has some info.

Whatever I find, I'll post. I'm really serious thinking about completing the walk this fall.

Anne:

Sandra, I loved this post. I already wanted to return to Assisi for a longer visit and now even more so.

Chiocciola - this website has some good information:
http://sentierofrancescano.provincia.perugia.it/

Incredible, just last night a friend called me to say that her companion and father of their 7 mo old baby has decided to leave and go walk the Santiago trail for a month, by himself.

The trail that goes to assisi I think is called the via Francigiana.

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