WALKING THE VIA FRANCIGENA. Italy Pilgrimages 2014

DRUM ROLL PLEASE ....

THE DATES FOR THE 2014 PILGRIMAGES  - DO PLEASE PASS ON TO FRIENDS WHO MAY LIKE TO COME TOO.

SO, TO ENSURE YOU GET YOUR PLACE, BOOK SOON: EMAIL BACK WITH YOUR CHOICE OF DATES AND NUMBER OF PEOPLE. WE WILL INVOICE YOU FOR THE DEPOSIT TO ENSURE THAT YOUR PLACE IS BOOKED (SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS)


FOLLOWING THE SUCCESS OF THE FIRST MIXED GROUP THAT PENELOPE AND KIM LED IN TUSCANY IN 2013, THERE ARE 2 ITALIAN PILGRIMAGES FOR 2014. 

FOR FULL DETAILS CLICK HERE


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WHAT IS A PILGRIMAGE?

For centuries, Christians have walked to special places, to take time to be with God and allow God the time and space to work in their lives. A pilgrimage is a setting aside of one’s normal routine, and taking time to reflect on what the Lord is saying, and allowing the rhythm of the walk to give mental and spiritual refreshment. It is a physical expression of our spiritual journey with God; it is a time to enjoy the beauty of God’s creation in the company of others; and it is a desire to spend quality time with God in a new way.

It is a vacation with a difference.

This is what the Lord says: “Stand at the crossroads and look; ask for the ancient paths, ask where the good way is and walk in it, and you will find rest for your souls.” Jer. 6:16

The VIA FRANCIGENA

The Via Francigena is the ancient pilgrim path from Canterbury to Rome. The tour operators we use have developed three 8 day routes that cover the final 225 miles of this ancient path. Penelope and Kim plan to lead pilgrimages on 2 of these sections each year. Each pilgrimage will be be a stand alone event; but for those who would like the satisfaction of completing all 3, that will be possible over a period of a few years.


The VIA FRANCIGENA  PART 2 - Montalcino to Viterbo 

 June 2-9  2014 

BE A ‘GUINEA PIG’  help us to test this new route! 2014 will be the the pioneer year for this part of the route. It is a slightly tougher walk than Part 1, but still within the range of anyone who is reasonably fit (doing Penelope's recommended preparations for the walk is essential!) It goes through some wilder country than Part 1, but also goes past the stunningly beautiful abbey at San Antimo, parts of which date from the 4th century. If you like to get right away from it all, this could well be the walk for you. We are looking for 6 - 8 people to come and walk with us and test it out. 

If you like a challenge and an adventure, this is for you!

Full details of the walk can be found  on ATG's website http://www.atg-oxford.co.uk/trip/ancient-volcanic-landscapes-2/#.Ut-1E3k4l-U

but please bear in mind that this is for a self-guided walk and their price does not include all dinners, wine, spiritual input,  etc. Our price of £1650 includes:

                                                                  - 8 day holiday, with 6 days fully guided walking

                                                                  - 7 nights bed and breakfast;  all Dinners (with wine included)

                                                                  - Daily led times of spiritual Devotions

                                                                  - Guided Spiritual ‘exercises’ each day as we walk

                                                                  - luggage moved each day. 

                                                                 - emergency backup

                                                                 - help to get fit before you come!

                                                  


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The VIA FRANCIGENA  PART 1 - San Gimignano to Montalcino 

August 30 -  September 6 2014 

This is the route that we followed in 2013. It is a spectacular walk and includes visits to some beautiful Tuscan towns and cities, including San Gimignano and Siena.

Walking through the vineyards and olive groves of central Tuscany, from San Gimignano to Montalcino, through walled hill top mediaeval villages, following the ancient pilgrim route of the Via Francigena.

We will be using the tour operator ATG, and for more details of this walk, go to the link  http://www.atg-oxford.co.uk/trip/tuscan-hills-footloose-independent-walking/#.Ut-1bnk4l-U

 ATG book all the accommodations for us, move our suitcases each day, and provide route maps, emergency backup and suggestions.  We are doing the guided walk in the Tuscan Hills – but with the Swithinbanks leading us, rather than ATG guides! And the price has been negotiated to be really good for you as part of the Pilgrimage, compared with the ATG guided walk price (which starts at £1995 to over £3,000 for an 8 day guided walk). Our price of £1750 includes:

                                                               

                                                                   - 8 day holiday, with 6 days fully guided walking

                                                                  - 7 nights bed and breakfast;  all Dinners (with wine)

                                                                  - Daily led times of spiritual Devotions

                                                                  - Guided Spiritual ‘exercises’ each day as we walk

                                                                  - luggage moved each day. 

                                                                 - emergency backup

                                                                 - help to get fit before you come!


SO: check your dates and email back to book your place. We would be privileged to have you come and look forward to what the Lord has planned for these special times ahead as we walk these ancient pathways with Him.