In The Footsteps of St Francis

St. Francis of Assisi is undeniably one of the most impactful spiritual leaders that has ever lived. At the height of corruption in the medieval Church, this 19-year-old boy radically changes the way people think about Jesus. St. Francis is a humanitarian, social activist, voice for oppressed communities, and objector of the rising Islamophobia of the times… above all he is a peacemaker. St. Francis teaches that our primary mission in life is to love one another. St. Clare was not simply a follower of Francis; she was a formidable young woman whose life centered on the essence of human identity- Christ in each of us. She teaches us to be ourselves and to let God dwell within us. This soulful retreat traces the lives of these two mystics from a universal (not religious) perspective. Their timeless wisdom is more relevant than ever amidst the struggles of our modern world. If you strive to combine spiritual values with practical action, this pilgrimage is for you!

Is This Tour For You?

All the darkness of the world cannot extinguish the light of a single candle.

St. Francis of Assisi

Itinerary Highlights


  • This retreat is a spiritual oasis for people of all faiths. Experience personal growth and joyful renewal about your life's purpose in this transformative & supportive environment.
  • Connect with the sacred earth of Sanctuary of Monteluco, an ancient forest of rare Ilex trees, with roots 30 ft high. This forest has been protected since 750 BC.
  • Share a meal with Franciscan Friars from Assisi and learn how the contemplative lifestyle can be applied to you as a modern spiritual seeker.

  • Meet like-minded pilgrims and deepen your relationship to the Divine in the peaceful environments of quiet monasteries.
  • Daily inspirations & powerful meditations connect to the contemplative spiritual practises of medieval saints.
  • Visit the Highlights of ancient Rome including the Colosseum, Roman Forum, Palatine Hill, Pantheon, Trevi Fountain, & Sistine Chapel.
  • Walk the ancient Procession of the Stigmata on Mount La Verna, where the first ever stigmata in history occurred.
  • Discover the roots of Franciscan pilgrimage on the 800 year old pilgrim path through the sacred forest and crumbling Benedictine monastery.
  • Visit San Damiano, where the crucifix spoke directly to Francis about his vocation. We participate the morning ritual of cloistered Nuns singing beautiful medieval songs.

Interested in more details? We've created an in-depth Day-by-Day itinerary to help you decide if this journey is right for you. Click here to receive yours!

  • Nature

  • Centre

  • Connect

  • Peace

  • Sweet

  • Imagine

  • Smile

  • Wander

  • Clarity

Praise for this Journey

"Every detail was well thought out and taken care of in a first class manor; very professional, with a great deal of heart and soul animating every experience. This 'tour' indeed offers pilgrimage for those who wish to connect with the profoundly sacred spaces that Nina introduces us to with such great integrity, knowledge and passion. I am grateful to each member of the Dancing Spirit team for the patience, care, fun and support that they truly extended."

Stephanie, Toronto, Canada

"I would recommend DST to EVERYONE I know. The team, the content, the accommodations, the hotel staff, AND the other guests- everything was perfection! I am so sorry for it all to end."

Leslie, California, USA

"I've come home with new fingerprints from an extraordinary experience led by the stellar hands, hearts and integrity of Nina and Horst providing a safe place to be all that you can be in a new place to explore. I so appreciated the knowledge shared on each new step on this path and the ways this was communicated by the whole team. The diligence, organization and professionalism is well noted. I easily encourage those to join them on their next adventure and look forward to mine."

Lori, USA

Nina Hirlaender
Pilgrimage Guide

Founder of Dancing Spirit Tours, Nina Hirlaender’s extensive experience in group facilitation and community building creates an engaging and reflective spiritual journey. Ms. Hirlaender illustrates how St. Francis and St. Clare, through their writings, letters, prayers and lives continue to provide an example of devotion & peace. Nina focuses on how the mystical path heightens our awareness of purpose and paves the way for a personal relationship with The Divine. Combining animated storytelling with her passion for historical research, Nina brings the stories of these two medieval saints alive, and emphasizes what spiritual seekers are called to be today. 


A near-death experience with cancer showed Nina the importance of “compassionate action,” as taught by St. Francis. She is thrilled to be alive, and attributes her strength in hard times to her friendship with St. Francis & St. Clare.


Ms. Hirlaender studied at York University in Toronto, Canada and the prestigious Studio 58 Conservatory, earning a BFA in Theatrical Production. Her continued training at the University of Barcelona, Spain earned her a diploma in Sustainable Human Settlements. She is currently working on a Masters degree in Theology with a special emphasis on mysticism.

Are You Ready?

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Our highly detailed Trip Guide to help you decide if this journey is right for you will be available soon! Simply fill out the form below, and you’ll receive a downloadable PDF to your inbox as soon as it's ready. The Trip Guide will include an in-depth itinerary, what’s included in the Package (and what’s not), and a special message from the Tour Leader. We'll be in touch soon!

Assisi Trip Guide

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