Hiking, Via Francigena

Day 3: San Miniato Basso to Gambassi Terme

Gambassi Terme is located on a (very) hilly ridge 35 km from Florence. Its mixture of natural beauty, historical buildings, visible pieces of the past (as well as its location on the VF) make it a very worthwhile place to visit.

Pieve of Saint Maria
Permanent Glass Exhibition
Via Francigena Spa

Distance Walked:  27.5 km
Time: 8.5 hours (including rest breaks)
Accommodation: Ostello Sigerico
Address:  Parish church of Santa Maria a Chianni 26, 50050 Gambassi Terme
Telephone: Tel. 0571639044 – 3247968837 
Email: ostello.sigerico@yahoo. com
Website: http://www.ostellosigerico.it/joomla/en/home-en.html
Beds: 38
  17 euros per person (22 euros if bedding and towels are required)
Dinner and Breakfast: 13 euros (combined)

Summary: Today began with a big climb (which I was prepared for), and then non-stop hills continued for the rest of the day (I had totally missed that memo)! Despite this, I thought that I was fine throughout the hike…until we got to our PRIVATE room and NO-SHARE bathroom (hoorah) and two hours later, I still can’t move from the bed. Seriously, I cannot!

The true rock star is Richard, not only is he doing this with an injured knee, he also has a bad cold. He just grinds through without complaining. He allows himself to get lost in the stunning panoramic views, the cool pieces of history coming to life, the people we meet along the way and the kindness of others. (If it were me, I would totally complain!) Speaking of kindness, we saw a few of these little first-aid cabinets for hikers today. Yesterday, we saw free fruit and cookies for hikers just before San Miniato Basso. No donation jar was present. The thoughtfulness was very inspiring (and greatly appreciated).

Here are a few pics from the rest of the day. The final photo is of our laundry (currently drying).

Unfortunately, the most panoramic views escaped the ability of my iPhone (and its user).

Tomorrow’s Destination: San Gimignano (if I can get off of the bed)!

Thank you for following!






39 thoughts on “Day 3: San Miniato Basso to Gambassi Terme”

  1. Beautiful photos, Donna. I hope you and Richard get enough rest and recover from the impressive 27.5 km walk. I look forward to reading about San Gimignano. I visited SG many moons ago.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Donna! I loved that photo of cliffs and fog in the background. And sorry you are hurting a bit. I would be whining for sure! Take care of yourselves..can you stop and rest a day or two when you want or are you on a tight schedule? Just asking when you get a chance! ~Kathy


  3. How nice that they’ve stocked the cabinets for the hikers. No doubt that was a sight for sore body parts. I hope Richard doesn’t do any permanent damage to his knee. Thanks for sharing the beautiful photos, Donna. I love the wildflowers! Be safe!


    1. Thanks, Janis – Each community tended to have their own unique way to support this pilgrimage. Some had the free first aid bixes. Others had specific mileage signs. While others had posted information about the history of the VF in terms of that specific area. Ironically, the only city were this seemed to be absent was Rome. 🙂


  4. Looks like you are doing great, despite a few challenges – a cold is a drag, hope it is better soon. But look at your weather. I’m in Croatia for a few days before London and home, and at this moment it is….raining. But I did get a swim in today!. Rand and I will finish up our posts when we reunite this week. Enjoying your adventures! The Randoneurds


    1. Hi, Lisa – It is wonderful to hear from you. Richard and I have been faithfully following your posts. They have been very inspiring. I would like to mention your blog in an upcoming post, if okay with you. Enjoy Croatia!


  5. Oh my gosh, 27.5 km!!! You’re wonder woman and if you don’t make it off of the bed I will understand why!


  6. Hi Donna,
    You hiked an impressive distance today…no wonder the bed is calling to you.
    Poor Richard – how distressing that he is battling knee and cold issues to interfere with your long-anticipated Camino!
    Again, am wowed by the lovely scenery…even the laundry!


  7. Haha Donna. Thank you for giving the important memo to all of the rest of us who follow your footsteps. So we will know about all those hills. I think I could do that bit – its the distance that worried me.
    It looks lovely, really lovely. Louise


  8. Hi Donna, Possibly a bidet or their version of a toilet in the room? I immediately thought about Richard with all of the hills and his injured knee. Thank you for sharing the thoughtful gestures and kindness:)


  9. Hi Donna – I’m finally getting round to reading and checking out what’s going on – gosh I admire you … but that view from the bench is just wonderful. Love the care and thought about the medical shelf and free fruit etc … Poor Richard though, and now poor you … still you’re going on – that much I know … I can see at least 20 posts ahead! Cheers Hilary


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