around the mountain where St. Francis received the sacred stigmata

Ghiacciaia itinerary, La Verna


Visit La Verna, Franciscan Sanctuary

La Verna Sanctuary

Other walks in the sacred mountain of La Verna

Walks to La Verna

Excursions and walks in the National Parck

Nature trails in the Park

Itineraries for walks in Camaldoli

Walks to Camaldoli

55 images with captions to know the path that goes around the Verna mountain. Click to follow the itinerary

an itinerary in the muontain of San Francesco in the National Park

Cliff of the Stigmata The itinerary covered in this web section offers visitors to La Verna to reach the holy place in an alternative way to arriving at the car parks located a few meters from the entrance to the sanctuary. It will take about two and a half hours on foot to reach our destination. We will have to face an undemanding path that will certainly prepare us for an encounter with this place particularly dear to St. Francis.
The Mount of La Verna is part of the National Park of the Casentino Forests. This Franciscan place, with morphologic and naturalistic characteristics, is unique in the Apennine area. As regards the particularities of the rocky conformation of the mountain we can see them, in part, by visiting the sanctuary It is – geologically speaking – an enormous calcareous rock come out of the sea and today “floating” on a great mass of clay. It is clear that the naturalistic vegetative aspect of La Verna is influenced by the position of this environment, but, mostly, it is the mirror of the Franciscan spirit. If the Camaldolese monk took care of the woods for the sake of their beauty, but also to make them productive, the Franciscan leaves beauty to nature. The Sacred Forest of La Verna is, therefore, “fascinatingly in disorder”. Beeches, spruces, turkey oaks and many other types of plants vegetate together in the same wood. Enormous uncommonly shaped rocks make this forest fairy.
The nature trail that we are about to describe, in about 5 kilometers (7,5 km if we go up to Monte Calvano) shows us the aspects mentioned above. It is the so-called “Anello basso of La Verna”. It starts from La Beccia and through the CAI 048 route climbs towards the summit of the mountain. We are on the ancient road that went up to La Verna, the one that according to tradition the "Poverello d’Assisi" walked. When the road becomes more rugged we have on the right a sturdy wall beyond which there were the well-known gardens of La Verna. At the curve to the right, we have an iron gate on the left. Walking past it through the staircase on the wall, you will get to the route CAI 053 that, in 200 meters leads to the spectacular cliff. If the view from below is suggestive, the thought that this gigantic rock came up here from the sea is even more evocative. 100 meters further, you will enter the Sacred Forest, or Monumental, of La Verna. The majestic spruces and beeches along the path make this place even more magical. 700 meters further, on the right, there is a group of rocks. Among them, there is a small cave, the “ghiacciaia”. Icy air comes out of here and the friars used it to preserve food in the summer. Further 300 meters, you will reach a clearing offering a beautiful view on the underlying Vallesanta and part of Casentino. The path goes up and soon after you will reach a crossroad. The CAI 053 turns left, but we are going to keep straight on the CAI 056 that goes inside a dense wood made of many types of plants. A few meters further, it unwinds through enormous rocks in the most bizarre shapes. On the left of the path, we come across a gigantic mass, below it there is the “Cave of Fra David”. Further 500 meters, you will get to Croce alla Calla with another crossroads. Keep Ghiacciaia, La VernaContinuing straight we begin to walk along the CAI 50. In forty minutes, with challenging uphill stretches, we reach the beautiful meadows of Monte Calvano which offer us a beautiful view of the Valtiberina to the southeast. Towards the east, we see the Simone and Simoncello mountains on the horizon. Let's go back on the same road. Once in Croce alla Calla we turn left continuing on CAI 50. After about a hundred meters we notice on Monte della Verna, in a point where there is no vegetation, a crack in the fortress. It is the so-called "Calcio del Diavolo". It is said that Satan, angry at not being able to tempt St. Francis, gave a great kick to the mountain at this point. A little more than two hundred meters and we cross a carriage road. From here, turning right, in about a kilometer we arrive at the car parks of the sanctuary.
Now the visit to the holy place begins at 1128 meters above sea level. Once finished, in front of the Church of Santa Maria degli Angeli there is the old door of La Verna. Beyond it, we find ourselves on the road that comes from La Beccia. The one on which we started our itinerary. We will cross the Chapel of the Birds and the gate we passed to start the tour around the mountain. The rest is the path already taken at the beginning.

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