We had a very pleasant stay at the Ostello Sigerico just outside of Gambassi Termi. Sigerico was an Archbishop of Canterbury who travelled to and from Rome around the year 990 to receive his  pallium from the Pope. His account of the journey is the earliest description of the Via Francigena.

The hostel is in a recently restored building adjacent to the 11th century Romanesque church of Santa Maria Assunta a Chianni . We also had dinner there . An added bonus was that the hostel is about a kilometer before the town, saving you the effort of another bit of walking uphill late in the afternoon .

They posted our photo on Facebook ( see link below )



A snoring free room to myself !


The church of Santa Maria Assunta a Chianni

Once again our walk was mainly on quiet country dirt roads . Tuscany though is hilly and there was a lot of walking up and down hills .

We passed by the church at Pancole where the occasion in 1668 when a deaf and dumb shepherd was miraculously cured is remembered


in the church at Pancole

As the walk was a short one, about 14 km, after around 3 hours we were getting close .

Vineyards with S Gimignano in the distance


Rosemary in flower attracting bees

I’d rung the sisters at San Girolamo some days ago and was told that they don’t take bookings , there often isn’t space at the foresteria and why don’t we stay somewhere else ?

When we turned up at opening time , 3.30pm there was no one else and we were given a very warm welcome by a nun who mentioned that they weren’t getting many people and they appreciated the income . All very mysterious. She turned out to be from Padova and was surprised and pleased when I was able to chat using a bit of Veneto dialect I picked up years ago from my wife’ s family.

At San Gimignano we were back in a tourist area with selfie sticks , tour groups and so on . The town is of course very beautiful.

The ancient cistern