10 – 21st May 2020
BELLISSIMO! WE ARE GOING TO ITALY...
Updated with new and exciting information (on the 20th January)…
IS WALKING A CAMINO CALLING YOU?
Join us for a life-changing experience on an extraordinary journey across Italy.
Camino enthusiasts, Darene and Sylvie are setting off on pilgrimage again and can’t wait to share the stunning landscapes of one of their favourite routes, the beautiful Via Francigena – arguably the most beautiful route of all.
Experience the joy of moving through quaint medieval towns on ancient fragrant paths, delicious regional food and connection with others.
An exciting optional extra on your personal journey..
Darene, a transformation specialist and eutaptics Tapping practitioner, is offering to guide you on your inner journey – walking with intention, finding peace, purpose and perspective.
WHAT TO EXPECT
We will walk about 150km in total and an average of 15km per day, sometimes less and sometimes more. Some stretches may involve hill-climbing. Medium fitness is preferable.
We will help you get fit with a training schedule.
Where do we start?
We start our pilgrimage in beautiful San Miniato, Tuscany, which is easy to reach from two international airports. Florence Airport, Peretola, (Aeroporto di Firenze-Peretola) is 41km away. Pisa International Airport is 43km away. There are bus and train options which we can help you with.
Tuscany is a smorgasbord of green hills, history and remarkable gastronomy, like the white truffle. We pass through iconic vineyards, olive groves and avenues of cypresses. We will enjoy impressive churches, medieval towns, local wines and cheeses and an Italian cooking class. Our Tuscan meander ends in Siena, Italy’s loveliest medieval city and UNESCO-protected site.
In the second half of our Camino, we move on to the gentle green Lazio hills North of Rome for a few days, starting in Acquapendente, moving on to Etruscan territory, Bolsena and its breathtaking, largest volcanic lake in Europe – a brilliant swimming and glamorous holiday town for Italians. Next is Montefiascone famous for its Cathedral, with Italy’s third largest dome, famous white wine and nearby therapeutic hot thermal springs, which we will visit!
We will stay in the ancient town of Viterbo, the seat of the popes in the 13th Century, and oozing history and character. The energy here is palpable. What an experience. Another highlight ahead, is the town of Formello, where we will climb the architectural staircase at the 16th Century restored, Palazzo Chigi, which dedicates each step to a leg of the Via Francigena. An emotional moment to know you have walked this way!
We get our first glimpse of Rome walking from the green of Monte Mario Park, which offers a panoramic view of our grand ending, the Vatican City. We will visit some key landmarks with a personal guide and celebrate the end of our spectacular journey, with our last night in Rome.
WE HOPE you can join us for a unique and intimate experience on this much-loved route with a carefully chosen itinerary to showcase some of our favourite highlights from this 1000km long pilgrimage route in Italy.
This is where we share our love of pilgrimage with you, which gives us great joy. Come experience the satisfaction of walking each day, with stillness, friendship amongst the group, interaction with pilgrims and Italian people, and deep connection with yourself. It is our wish that you leave with a sense of achievement, appreciation for the amazing Italian culture, history and landscape, forever woven in your heart.
An exciting optional addition ~ Darene will lead you in setting your intentions for the journey in a healing capacity and guide you through until your arrival in Rome. This will include a group session and one personal Tapping session.
We will enjoy a variety of beautiful accommodations along the way. Accommodation will be in twin share rooms. A single supplement can be organised where available.
Sylvie and Darene will guide and support you on your pilgrimage, which will always be uniquely yours. Transport to destinations can be arranged if you need it, and transfer of backpacks ahead to night stays can be arranged (at extra cost of 15 euros/ day and discounted to 10 euros minimum 6 days).
SO DEAR TRAVELLER….
No matter where you are right now, your life is always beginning, and we couldn’t think of a more magical place to start, following ancient, fragrant paths into little Italian villages, surrounded by friends. Being on Camino is a wild dream. You cannot know it till you do it. It marks you and claims a seat in your soul. It’s a reminder to live in awe and wonder in the present. So come walk with us; the path is made by walking…
Space is limited to 6 people. Reserve your place now with an $800 deposit (of which $400 is non-refundable after the 1st of March 2020). The balance of payment will be due on the 20th of March.
The cost of this guided pilgrimage is AU$3450.
- Shared accommodation for 12 nights
- All breakfasts
- A cooking class
- Entrance to hot thermal springs
- A private and group Tapping session with Darene
- A full body massage
- Pilgrim passport (to be stamped in each town to qualify for a testimonium, and a personal memento of where you have placed your feet.)
- Guided support throughout your Camino, before and during
- A detailed itinerary, training guidelines and suggested packing list
- You will be invited to join a closed Facebook group where more details and exciting information will be shared, and questions can be asked leading up to our pilgrimage.
NOT INCLUDED are flights, taxes, individual transfers outside of the itinerary, visas, lunch, dinner and snacks, baggage transfer, single-room accommodation, travel insurance (medical, personal liability, baggage insurance is an essential requirement) and anything else not specified here.
Some history of the Via Francigena
The Via Francigena, was first mentioned in a parchment of 876 AD in the Abbey Of San Salvatore at Monte Amiata in Tuscany.
The considered starting point of the VF is in the English cathedral city of Canterbury, passing through England, France, Switzerland and Italy, ending in Rome. The route was known in Italy as the “Via Francigena” – “the road that comes from France”. Pilgrims took this route to visit the tombs of apostles Peter and Paul.
In 2009, the Italian government started reviving the route based on a journal written by Sigeric the Serious, archbishop of Canterbury, in AD 990.
Sigeric used the Via Francigena to travel to and from Rome, recording his route. He only documented his return journey, consisting of 80 stages and averaging about 20km a day for a total of 1700 km.
The Via Francigena comprises several routes that changed over the centuries, dictated by trade and pilgrimage. Unlike Roman roads, the VF did not connect cities, but relied more on Abbeys – monasteries and convents. About 1200 pilgrims a year make this pilgrimage.
According to Unesco, the Via Francigena in Italy is the first and most important road that in the Middle Ages, connected the countries beyond the western Alps (the land of the Franks) to Rome: the main destination – along with Jerusalem and Santiago di Compostela – for pilgrims who, at the time, travelled from all over Europe. For its history and the assets that form it, the Via Francigena is one of the most eminent and extensive medieval pilgrimage routes.
At its heart, the journey of each life is a pilgrimage, through unforeseen sacred places that enlarge and enrich the soul.
~ John O’ Donohue
Show your expression of interest by emailing Darene at firstname.lastname@example.org
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We can’t wait to receive you!
TESTIMONIALS FROM OUR ALCHEMY ON THE CAMINO DE SANTIAGO TOUR 2019
“What an incredible experience. Very well organised. I feel very fortunate to have been part of such an amazing group of people for my first Camino. Everything was planned perfectly with some amazing added touches to make this an unforgettable journey.”
Lisa Desmond, Brisbane, Australia
“My Camino experience, led by the ever joyous and exuberant Darene Puttergill and Sylvie Chouinard – the kindest souls you’ll ever meet – who made sure our journey was well taken care of. I will never forget our “Camino family” and I am so glad I chose to join you this year!”
Sue Bolton, East London, South Africa