Distance Walked: 19.6 km (door to door).
Time: 7 hours (including rest stops and a LONG lunch break).
Weather: Cloud coverage with a steady, cool breeze for the last 5 km.
Our Route: The traditional Via Francigena walking section from Ponte d’Arbia ends in San Quirico, 26+ km. As Tuscany provides endless hills to climb and descend, and because we have the time, we decided to modify this route and end today in Torrenieri. It was the perfect decision for us that led to a very relaxed pace…and some wonderful perks.
Perk 1: Quite unintentionally, we began this day without coffee. Honestly, I think that was harder on Richard than beginning yesterday without water. In Buonconvento, we passed a gas station with a coffee vending machine. As I hurried back to get our caffeine-fix, I ran into Karen (from Day 8). We hadn’t expected to see her again as she is walking at a much faster pace. It was a great final catch-up…and yes, we commiserated about the Tuscan hills…and yesterday’s weather!
Perk 2 – The Lunch – 10 km into our day we spied a sign from Caparzo Winery offering a ‘Pilgrim Lunch’ (sandwich, bottled water and glass of wine) for 7 euros. You didn’t need to tell us twice. We were there!
Perk 3: As there were no pilgrim accommodations listed for Torrenieri, I reserved a last minute special on Booking.com. When we arrived at the address given, I was sure that there must have been a mistake. The owner toured us around a fully equipped apartment with kitchen, living room, laundry room, luxurious bedroom and private bath…just for the two of us! She had stocked bottled water (both sparking and still) in the fridge, as well as fresh eggs. There was also coffee and a large assortment of teas. Had we actually died somewhere on the trail and this was our Heaven? Our tired bodies and feet relaxed instantly!
Accommodations: I Due Cipressi. Via San Giovanni 29. Tel: +393450208245. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Cost: 59.60 euros (one night’s stay). Considerations: This apartment is attached to a large home that includes other vacation rentals. On the evening of our stay, bustling activity could be heard well past our bedtime.
Tomorrow’s Destination: Castilone d’Orcia.