Hiking, Via Francigena

Days 7 and 8: Siena

Monteriggioni to Siena: 21 km
Walking Time (including rest breaks): 6 hours.

Siena: The Lonely Planet has referred to Siena as “a giant, open-air museum celebrating the Gothic.” Siena’s historic centre has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site.  Its museums, art, food and medieval architecture make Siena a popular tourist destination.

Accommodations: CASA DELLE BALIE HOSPITAL SANTA MARIA DELLA SCALA – Vicolo San Girolamo 2, 53100 Siena (SI). Beds: 25 – € 18 per person. Tel. 0577286300 – opera.siena @ operalaboratori.com. New, very clean and organized (and Mary, from a previous post, was our roommate).

Walking from Monteriggioni to Siena: When we left Monteriggioni, Richard and I were desperate for breakfast and to buy lunch food for our packs. We had heard that there were no food stops directly o.n today’s trail. In our search, we ran into two German pilgrims. We asked if they knew of a restaurant that might be open. As if to clarify our English, one woman asked if we were looking for food. When we said yes, she immediately reached into her pack to share her food with us. We politely declined but were immensely touched by this ‘Caminio Community Spirit’ that we’ve repeatedly observed on the trail.   Shortly after leaving the women, we spied a cafe that had just opened. Then, an hour and a half into our walk, we discovered ”Punto Sosta La Villa” an outdoor food and rest-stop offering coffee, juices, croissants, yogurt, boiled eggs and all kinds of goodies to pilgrims—all based on donation. What would our world be like if all generosity and kindness was paid forward?


Siena: Richard and I had a lovely rest day in Siena, exploring the historic center, doing a few errands, having an afternoon nap and meeting Mary and (Camino Forum pal) Karen for dinner. When Karen completes her hike in Rome, she will have walked 2100 km (from London, England). I’m exhausted just imaging it!

Thank you for your continued kind comments. Richard and I have read each and every one. They have been incredibly encouraging to us. I believed that I would be able to reply to all comments once I was in Siena. Alas, the internet gods have not smiled kindly on me and I’ve needed to sneak in my posts with the little bit of WiFi that they have spared for me. The reflection time that writing these posts has provided has become an important part of my day.  It has also helped to ensure that important details don’t get lost before I return home. I did try purchasing a local SIM card, but my Canadian phone plan prevents the use of other SIM cards. Aaaaarrrggghh!

Next Stop: Ponte d’Arbia.


48 thoughts on “Days 7 and 8: Siena”

  1. Hi Donna! Glad you found food AND really nice people! Am hoping Richard is all better now too. And I LOVE Sienna. It was definitely one of our favorite locations when we visited Italy a few years ago. Glad to see your weather is good and I’m enjoying your photos. Thanks! ~Kathy


  2. It was lovely to be able to meet up with you & Richard after playing trail & email-chasey. Identifying someone by footwear amongst the hundreds in the Piazza il Compo was a first for me!…although your hair (always peeking out from under your hat in photos) was a good clue too. 😊
    We may cross paths just once more tomorrow before our Roma-bound timeframes differ.
    I hope the rest of your walk brings all you wish for.
    Safe & happy trails,


  3. You and Richard are such inspirations. Helping so many of us with ideas for our retirement or pre- retirement ideas for walking adventures. Hope to see you in Italy!


  4. Amazing and generous hospitality on your Camino journey. Glad you are taking a day of rest. Happy travels.


  5. It is great that you getting the main details down. Tip re the SIM card. We bought a second basic phone in Nepal for our treks and used that one for our local SIM card. Worked a treat. No I am all caught up after my flurry of comments. I sooo want to do this walk.


  6. How lovely! I remember reading (and rereading) a children’s book about a famous horse race in Siena – the Palio – when I was young. That’s what I think of whenever I hear the name of this city. I did not know it was also a UNESCO heritage site. It must be truly amazing to be walking across history like this! Loving living vicariously through you both…Deb


  7. Have to love that last photo of you in the poppy field, Donna. What glorious colours. And it’s so good to read about the kind nature of our fellow human beings. We’re not as bad as some make out.
    Enjoy the rest of your trip.


  8. I’m so glad you are chronicling your journey, Donna, even if you can’t post every day. But you see to be getting a post out almost every day! Thanks for sharing your adventures and how fun to meet fellow travelers!


  9. Hi Donna,
    Living vicariously through you. Hope Richard is feeling better. Sienna sounds remarkable, and I love the food story. Kindness like that makes me hopeful for this world.
    Hanging on every word in every post.


  10. Interesting how Mary is part of Day 7. The consistent kindness on the trail surpasses what I could imagine. I have no words for the photo at the bottom of this post. Wow!


  11. Hi Donna – I wondered if anyone walked from the UK … but see that they do. I’ll be posting about the Old-Way, which goes from Southampton to Canterbury – via the Bloomsbury Group murals in a local church at Berwick, East Sussex … you’ll be home by the time I get round to writing it all up … the British Prilgrimage Trust has recorded all these old ways across England et al …

    I really need to see Sienna sometime … looks quite amazing – cheers Hilary


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