Hiking, Via Francigena

Day 12: Castiglione d’Orcia to Radicofani

Distance Walked: 26km (door to door).
Time Walking: 6 am – 2:30 pm (8.5 hours).

Accommodations: Rifugio Communale Alceo Gesti, Piazza Anita Garibaldi 2. Tel: 331-5291556, infostelloradicofani@libero.it. Bunk Bed: 14.70 euros per person.

Summary:  Although we walked 8 km more than yesterday, our early start and frequent cool breezes made it a much easier day for me. Still, it was not without its challenges. Since leaving Radicofani, we saw no shops or cafes which meant that Richard went without coffee until 2:30 p.m. The night before, we had stocked our packs with fruit, muffins,  nuts and water so we were well prepared. And there were a few picnic tables (some with water fountains) along the way, which were greatly appreciated.

When there were no ‘official’ picnic areas, we just kinda sat anywhere!

About 3 hours into our walk, we ran into the remains of a Church that had been recorded by Sergiac the Serious, in the 10th Century, as a  place for Pilgrims to receive accommodations. Sergiac was the Archbishop of Canterbury who originally recorded the Via Francigena Route…or at least, the lodgings that he stayed at along the way)!


Shortly after that, a family home had  set up a  Pilgrim rest area in their side yard, with lemonade and snacks. Sadly, they did not have coffee. However, they do offer evening lodgings (which would be very useful for anyone wishing to break up the traditional 32 km of this section..,without climbing up to Castiglione as we did).

Punto Sosta Casa Cantoniera

Other challenges for today were FIVE small rock and water sections to forge. I was fine until the last one…when my socks became completely soaked!

5 km outside of Radicofani we were stopped by a Pilgrim’s’ Assistance Vehicle that wanted to check that we were okay. We seriously should have asked for a ride up yet another very LONG and STEEP final hill (as shown in the feature photo). That was definitely today’s biggest challenge!

Richard has now lost interest in hanging out in this bar. Thus ends my free WiFi. See you tomorrow from wherever we are (we have 3 different options in mind)!


37 thoughts on “Day 12: Castiglione d’Orcia to Radicofani”

  1. Try and buy a small flask, I have a one cup flask which is brilliant on hikes. No coffee is just not on 🙂 Do you think this walk is “safe” for a solo woman? A big question to answer! Are there quite a few people on the trail with you?


  2. I had a blood test yesterday that required fasting so I didn’t have my usual coffee until about noon and I thought I was going to pass out. I can’t imagine waiting until 2:30 AND hiking hours and hours! Wishing you two coffee on demand and dry socks for the rest of your journey.


  3. The feature photo with the horses is surreal. The coffee issue would be important for me. Note to self, when I travel, I try to remember a package of instant coffee in my knapsack just in case. Did I mention a cup of morning coffee is important lol. I feel Richard’s pain:)


  4. I’m with Richard. A morning that doesn’t involve coffee shortly after rising would be a rough one for me! Kudos to him for surviving 8 hours of hiking before a coffee!!


    1. Thanks, Joanne – Richard actually survived three mornings on this trip without coffee…and has lived to tell the tale. 🙂 Packing instant coffee would not have helped. On those three mornings we were also without access to hot water!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Hi Donna – I can imagine things … I’d hate mornings without coffee, wet socks and waiting while someone else blogs – such is life … but wonderful record you’re giving us – thank you!! Cheers Hilary


    1. Thanks, Hilary – Richard’s second and third mornings without coffee were easier than the first. As I wore hiking sandals the whole way, and the temperatures were high, my wet socks dried almost instantly. I was actually able to whip off most of my posts fairly quickly (you may have noticed a distinct lack of editing) — so Richard never needed to wait very long! 🙂


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