Sunday, 6 October 2013

Day 27 from Camaiore to Lucca 26 km

Sunday 6th October Camaiore to Lucca 26 km

I have a confession to make... more about that later;

We left Camaiore at about 8:30, after CaffĂ© and prima calazione at the pasticeria where we ate last night, the wood fired oven is going again, and this morning pastries and focaccia is coming out fresh for prima calazione  we order a couple of filled fresh focaccia to take away for lunch,and say "ciao" to Camaiore 
Look at these amazing artichokes! Wish I could grow them like this. I've also seen the stems in the vege shops, not sure how they're prepared and cooked...
A section of the track is a bit steep and rough, thankfully not too long though.
We stop off at Valpromoro - the door to the pilgrims house is open, and there is a lovely welcome, we stop for a chat and a coffee! 
this is, we think the only confraternity volunteer staffed Refugio on the Via Francigena. (on the Camino de Santiago, there are many volunteer staffed Refugios) We also meet an older couple from France who have just walked the St Francis of Assisi pilgrimage, and are now walking a section of the VF back towards France. 
As we leave Valpromoro, we hear horns tooting, lots of kerfuffle... we walk around the corner and come upon a procession of cars! 
the Fiat car club rally! about 50 or more old cars, mostly Fiats out for a Sunday drive. (with their human owners at the wheel)
Then we have a bit of serious upwards walking through olive groves. Nets spread out ready for harvest. Sewing and installation art on a grand scale!
More upwards, a bit rough and muddy...
These beautiful tiny cyclamens are everywhere in the shady moist forest in this area!
We walk for about 3 km along the banks of the river Serchio before entering the walled city of Lucca

We arrived in the walled city of Lucca at 3:30 pm.

Our accommodation is next door to a church, in the emergency services building, our room has a little balcony! Fountain in the Piazza next to Misericordia di Lucca - the emergency services transport. I call,her, "our lady of the bath" lots of locals come here to fill up drinking water bottles.

On a Sunday, it's pretty hectic here in Lucca! We wander around, and keep taking side streets exploring until we get to a quieter area where we stop and have a relax in a bar. 
chiodino - is what they call the Campari macchiato here! 
Dinner at Trattoria da Sergio

Very delicious! for prima we shared grandmothers Tuscan soup (full of yummy vegetables) and pasta with chestnuts and cheeses, mmmmm

Then... we shared a secondi - roast suckling pig with Rosemary potatoes, all slow cooked in the wood fired forno! melt in your mouth tenderness!

I nearly forgot... back to my confession! I bought another pair of walking shoes!!! can you believe it? at the little town of Camaiore last night, we found a great sports, hiking and - surf shop! (surf shop in Tuscany??) my feet and toes still haven't been 100% in either my boots, or the joggers I bought a week or so ago... and, I found a great pair of Patagonia walking shoes, really comfy, supportive, great sole and inner sole - and my size! So, I bought them, and left my boots at the accommodation last night with a note "free to good home" The sports store manager is a kiwi who's been in Tuscany for almost 40 years! she also rents out a house in the hills that sleeps 12 - photos of the house look lovely!
The shoes are wonderful! coped with all the rough, muddy ups and downs and my feet are feeling fine at the end if a 26 km walk! Lovely, comfy New shoes...below, me getting a stone out of my new shoe.

Our accommodation for tonight- fantastic!

The Magistrate of the 'Confraternity of the Misericordia di Lucca is pleased to announce that the Confraternity provides the Pilgrims on the Via Francigena a place to sleep and eat. 
It is an apartment adjacent to the headquarters, located in
Via Cesare Battisti, 2 in Lucca, a few steps from the Church of the Arch: St. Saviour in Mustolio, also called "Mercy".
5 beds, kitchen, living room and toilet.
For more information contact:
Secretariat: tel. 0583 409 546 (press 2).
or visit

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