We went down for breakfast which had been set out for us. We didn’t see our welcoming nun again. Their daily scheduled is laid out as below so she would have been at mass.

I met a cyclist at breakfast who was following the Via Francigena from Pavia to Rome doing about 4 of our stages every day and following the route as best you can on a mountain bike.
Walking through San Gimignano on the way out at 9 am, there were already tour groups wandering around. One Chinese group were having gelato ! The two rival shops in the main square were already open. One advertises itself as the ‘best gelato in the world’ and the other as ‘winner of the world’s best gelato award’. I certainly enjoyed my  cinnamon and pistachio gelato  the day before!

A last view of San Gimignano


Our route took us through some beautiful country again.

Wild cyclamen
Artichokes growing in rich red soil


Hazelnut trees perhaps ?

We passed through the town of Colle Di Val d’Elsa. It has a beautiful medieval centre but little of the tourist trappings of San Gimignano. Perhaps this is because it has a relatively extensive surrounding urban area, whilst S Gimignano is surrounded by beautiful countyside .

The town of Colle

The hostel is in a hamlet surrounding a 12th century church. This used to be a fortified abbey surrounded by marsh land, again a haven for pilgrims. There is also accommodation for quite a few families of boat people .


The hostel is in this hamlet


Fantastic ! Clothes hanger, pegs, sun – maybe my socks will dry tonight !