👣 26 km by foot – Monday 30 August
Back to walk! Today, we’ve been literally walking in a postcard, in the rolling golden hills at the heart of Val d’Orcia, decorated with cypress trees, vineyards and beautiful brick houses. The landscape here is so distinctive it cannot be compared to any other.
This morning we said goodbye to Filippo Racanella, the videomaker who has been with us for the last two weeks – from Fidenza onwards. Enrico Baroni will take his place from here and stay with us for almost a month. Welcome Enrico! We also waved goodbye to EAVF colleagues Luca, Elena, and Simona. Instead, we were joined by Paola, who heard about us on the media and joined from Chianciano, and Sergio, a very passionate pilgrim from Ponte d’Arbia. Our current ambassadors, most of which are not Italian and had never been here before, had their eyes glittering at the beautiful sight of Val d’Orcia. I’ve been here before, as well as many others, but I realize you can never get enough of this landscape – so yes, my eyes were glittering too.
Our first stop was in Torrenieri, where the local Pro Loco association set up a welcome banner for us and arranged a surprise performance in the church with an opera singer, singing the ‘Ave Maria’. We had a fresh lunch and then continued walking together with a group from Pro Loco Torrenieri – the funniest part is that these were the same people who welcomed us at the train station yesterday in historical costumes: it seriously took me some time to recognize them! We walked from Torrenieri onwards picking a whole lot of tasty blackberries, which were just everywhere along the trail! We also had a brief meeting along the route with one of Road to Rome’s main partners, SNAM, who has been decorating the Via Francigena with its poles providing information both about our initiative and about the role and the values of their company.
Then we arrived in San Quirico d’Orcia, after a final steep climb; I’m glad to see that the positive impact of slow tourism, in particular the impact of the Via Francigena, is evident here, bringing many hikers and cyclers about the small towns of Val d’Orcia! The welcoming municipality of San Quirico offered dinner and hosted us overnight, and the mayor gave us a short tour of the center. This is such a great place to be!
– The Val d’Orcia landscape
– Warm welcome in Torrenieri
– The beautiful and authentic center of San Quirico d’Orcia
Myra Stals, Social Media Manager (EAVF)
Sami Tawfik, Project Manager (EAVF)
Martina D’Agostino, Project Assistant (EAVF)
Marie & Karim, RTR Ambassadors
Jennifer Deckert (& Maia), RTR Ambassador
Mary Jane, RTR Ambassador
Joanne Roan, RTR Ambassador
Sergio Martelli, local guide
Paola Fortunati, passionate pilgrim
Enrico Baroni, videomaker
Associazione Viandando with President Loredana Cordero
Group of local walkers from Pro Loco Torrenieri