After spending some time winding through the suburbs of Arezzo, I started to climb into the hills yet again.

Here’s a view looking back at Arezzo.

This lady was changing the flowers in a tiny church on the hill overlooking Arezzo.

She told me that it was of Lombard origin. The Lombards or Longobardi in Italian were a Germanic people who ruled large parts of Italy from the 6th to 8th century .

A solar farm.

As I climbed further, I started getting beautiful views across the Valdichiana – a valley rich in history.

The note of this tree says – In 1944/1945 two fragments from an English hand grenade hit this oak tree. The two lumps formed over time. Nature adapts . ‘I remember’

I’ve found that there’s an immutable law walking along the VRG. If there’s a fork in the road, the Via Romea will be the one going steeply uphill!

I’d planned to combine two stages into one today as the second one was only 13km. By the time I got to the town of Castiglione Fiorentino, the 25km and quite a lot of climbing got to me so I hopped on a train to Cortona.

However the walk up the hill from the train station took over half an hour as it was a 250m climb.

The town, of Etruscan origin, is perched high on a hill.

Even when I arrived at the town, as you can see from the photo above, there was till lots of climbing

There are spectacular views and lake Trasimeno is visible in the distance.

Near here in 227BC Hannibal and his Carthaginian army that had crossed the Alps complete with elephants met the Romans in a bloody battle

Stairs going up

Stairs going down

A 14th century fresco in San Cristoforo .

For dinner I tried some pigeon – finicky to eat and not much meat but tasty.

A nice fig flavoured ice cream to finish things off.

Tomorrow I’ve got an easy 25km walk to Pozzuolo .