Sunday, 13 October 2013

Day 34 San-Gimignano to Monteriggioni 30.5 km

Sunday 13th October. Day 34 San-Gimignano to Monteriggioni 30.5 km

We leave San-Gimignano early, up at 6am and out of the town gates by 7am we have a long 30.5 km walk today!
Leaving so early has its bonuses- sensational sunrise over the Toscana hills
then we see the first rays of sun touching San-Gimignano from the distance, more gorgeousness!
The early morning sunlight highlights the jet streams behind this sculpture

More delightful walking through the Tuscan Hills. "limited opportunities for food and water, take some along" is the advice from the guide book...
We have a couple of water crossings, love the strategically placed stepping stones.

Early morning traffic jam, Toscana milking sheep!
The Maremma guard dogs are quite friendly today

by this time, we've been walking for a few hours... I'm in need of a toilet stop, was thinking of finding a quiet spot off the track- but it's the weekend, and hunters with their dogs keep appearing! I excersize the pelvic floor muscles again, and hope there's a bar aperto in the next village...
Just past a group of old farm houses, we pass by this old water fountain and washing ruin. 

The building, carving and water spout look ancient, I distract myself from my bursting bladder by imagining the possible events and years of stories that would have taken place around such a large communal watering and washing facility.

the next little villages, Quartaia, Onci... no luck, no bar open- finally, at Gracciano d'Elsa I ask a local, and head slightly off the trail to find a bar aperto! phew, I made it, 19 km along our 30.5 km walk -a toilet stop, and break for CaffĂ© and snack, now I'm a happy, comfortable pilgrim again.
More old communal clothes washing rocks along a canal.

We come across some very muddy sections we need to carefully tread through! The recent rain, and farmers ploughing has turned this field and the track into a quagmire!
through Strove, looks a lovely village - there's also pilgrim accommodation here, 
past another Castello,
Next comes Abbadia Isola - 
the Pilgrim accommodation closed here yesterday. We go into the medieval Abbey and church,
 the church is lovely - 

Carved stone font

There's so many medieval buildings and villages in this area, It makes it easy to picture pilgrims walking along hundreds of years ago... And feel,their pain! after 25 km, my feet and legs start complaining and letting me know they've had enough! but we need to continue on to the village - 
after Abbadia Isola we have another 3 km or so walk on to Monteriggioni. Past some happy free range pigs.
We can see something ahead- no, it's not a fairy tale.
 It's  Monteriggioni in the distance! Wow! 
 arrive at Monteriggioni at about 4:30 pm, 

a completely walled 13th Century medieval village with fourteen towers.
We are so lucky! the pilgrim accommodation is right on the Piazza in the village centre!
And there is a festival of the Madonna today! We arrive just as a procession and band are marching into the Piazza!
Monteriggioni is a tiny, lovely village, quite touristy.
Here's the link to a short video of the festival

There's a beautiful sunset this evening
I need to learn how to take better sunset photos!
There are I think four trattorias in the piazza, also little arty shops, and local produce stores.

Chatting to the waitress at dinner, she says that there are 50 people who live in Monteriggioni now. I have mushroom and truffle pasta for dinner- intense mushroom flavour! I love it!

Our accommodation tonight
0577.304214 – mobile 335.6651581
phoned 327 0655678 and booked accommodation in Monteriggioni for Sunday 13th
(other listed phone numbers didn't work - neither did the email listed) 
Address: Piazza Roma, 23 - Castle of Monteriggioni
Phone: 0577 304214 - 335 6651581 - 327 0655678
Email: -
Type: Holiday House
Open all year
Price: 15 Euros in the dormitory
Number of places: 20
Use of kitchen: YES, you dinner

other accommodation options;

Address: Loc Abbey Island, 4 - (Monteriggioni)
Phone: 0577 304214 - 335 6651581 - 327 0655678
Email: -
Type: Hostel Pellegrini
Independent: Volunteers of the Confraternity of St. James of Perugia
Open from April to October
Price: Offer
Number of places: 24
Use of kitchen: are offered breakfast and dinner

Address: Loc Strove, next to the market
Phone: 345 1009440 - 0577 355555 - 0577 301238
Type: Hostel Pellegrini
Open: All year round
Price: 12 €
Number of places: 12
Kitchen use: YES
Services: Washing machine

The hostel, opened in July 2011, is in Strove, an ancient village located
on the Via Francigena, a few kilometers west of  Monteriggioni.The accommodation is particularly suitable for pilgrims walking along the Via Francigena
€ 12,00 for pilgrims with credentials
For Booking
Ristorante hotel
Casalta  Strove Tel. e fax +39  0577 301171 Relais Castelbigozzi
- Strove  Tel. +39 0577300000  Fax +39 0577300001
Info e contacts
Tourist office +39 0577 304834 www.monteriggioniturismo.i

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