Assisi - 3/4 hours - Walking through olive trees and river.
An intact piece of the Umbrian Countryside a place of harmony and silence at the foot of the great Basilica of St Francis of Assisi; a walk through this landscape becomes an inner journey - one that inspired Michelangelo Pistoletto to create a stunning work of land art.
This is a woodland under Fai protection.
Through a gateway in the wall surrounding the square of the Basilica Superiore in Assisi you enter in a narrow path that leads to a wide valley floor, at the foot of the city centre. This is no ordinary excursion; rather, it is an ongoing, peaceful discovery, a new form of pilgrimage into history and into the sacred, through 64 hectares of nature, amid wooded tracts, cultivated fileds, walls of pink stone, clearings and olive groves - a 64 hectare plot that years of neglect had reduced to a dumping ground, but which FAI has now salvaged in its entierity.
Meeting point with the guide at 10.00 am at Basilica Superiore di San Francesco in Assisi.
Starting of walking tour .
Making your way now into the woodland, surrounded by hornbearn , juniper, maple and downy oak, you come first to the Bed of RiverTescio and, next to it, you can see the evidence of a microcosm inhabited by Benedictine nuns in the 13th and 14th centuries: a convent ( now home to the FAI information point) ; the Romanesque church of Santa Croce; a mill that was operational until the early 20th century ( now a Trattoria serving meals to visitors ); the remain of hospital that treated the diseased and passing pilgrims; and an ancient 14th - century tower erected to defend and early factory.
Climbing to the top of the tower is worth the effort, since it will allow you to admire fully the "third Paradise" a piece of land art by renowned artist MIchelangelo Pistoletto , which takes the form of 121 olive trees arranged in a double row to form three large, tangential circles ( of which the central one is the largest) , and featuring a 12- meter - high pole to symbolize the union between heaven and earth. You are invited to make your way around the serpentine path between the rows, becoming in the process a part of this work, which encourages you to reflect on the potential for peaceful co-existence between mankind and nature, here symbolized by the third sphere - the third paradise - of the title.
Lunch pic - nic in a dedicated area. At your arrival you will find the box lunch with typical Umbria products ( optional lunch in a restaurant with supplement)
At the end , you will start the visit of one of the most famous churches of Italy and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.with your guide.