More Tuscan landscapes to melt the heart today. It’s glorious. The sun is shining, there is a light breeze to rustle the trees and the air is thick with the sound of those chirping grasshoppers. Let us all gather around the old wooden table out on the patio, pour the wine and enjoy some good Italian food. We are staying in a farmhouse dating from 1600 but tastefully restored in 1710. It’s surrounded by fields and trees and it just looks like the Tuscany of your favourite film.
Currently Paul and I are alone in this pilgrim hostel but they will not turn anyone away so by evening it might be teaming with cyclists clad in rubber tyres, pilgrims like ourselves or other walkers. Like so many pilgrim hostels in Italy there is no charge; you donate what you can reasonably afford. It’s staffed by voluntary hospitaliers who generally work for a week. Our hosts are a couple from Rome and we’ll dine with them this evening. They will also prepare our breakfast at 5.30 for our early start.
We continued our walk through the woods of Le Cerbaie and the Arno basin. The medieval marshland has been tamed so now we walk on levees between the fields or along manicured paths in the woods. And every so often a notice board explains the history and ecology of the area in Italian and English.
We spent last night at the excellent Affittacamere da Vitto in Galleno. Super clean and only 44 Euro for a large room for the two of us and breakfast. Plus last night’s dinner was 16 Euro for two including the bottle of wine. Excellent value.