St. Francis in his pilgrimages between Chiusi and Assisi used to stay in Cortona and in the surrounding area.Today it is possible to walk the path that unites the monuments and buildings that testifies us the passage of the Saint in the area.
The itinerary begins at the 19th centurys Church of Santa Margherita. It is said that from here Francis departed to arrive at Isola Maggiore, the Island on the Trasimeno Lake where he used to pass the Lenten.
The Church of Santa Margherita is located at the top of the hill in a beautiful location with a magnificent view across the Valdichiana. Together with the church there is the bell tower (dated 1650) and the ancient Franciscan convent surrounded by a large park.
The route continues with the Romanesque church of San Niccolò and following the church of San Francesco, an important church built by Friar Elia in 1247. Here are still the relics belonged to St. Francis like the tunic, the manuscript evangelary and the cushion.
Leaving Cortona’s Etruscan walls, through Porta Colonia, you head to the basilica of Santa Maria Nuova along a road that was formerly called “of the Cappuccini”. The church is one of the most important monuments of the territory, built on the original project of Cristofanello, then completed by Giorgio Vasari in the mid-sixteenth century.
The last location is reached via a beautiful road between the forests of about 4 km long that leads to the Celle, the historic 13th century hermitage, founded by St. Francis himself and realized by the successor Friar Elia Coppi. It is located in a cove of Mount S. Egidio, so its position makes it the ideal place to find serenity
At present, the convent of “Le Celle” is used as a "prayer house", a place where Capuchins continue to make the beatitude that Francis saw after passing the Valdichiana.