Distance: 13.7 km – Elevation +320 m -260 m
Weather: Sunny. Temperature: High 31 degrees
An early rise this morning and after coffee and with the break of dawn, I joined Barbara and the two brothers as we weaved our way through the narrow streets of San Gimignano to connect with the Via Francigena. Barbara was now carrying a much smaller rucksack and walking in new shoes and seemed much more at ease than during those first two days that I had walked with her. The two brothers were good company as we walked through the beautiful countryside following country lanes, and narrow woodland paths, and wider dirt tracks through farmland, woodlands, and vineyards. We crossed several streams. At Badia a Coneo we caught up with Laura and Michela and also met Federico who lived and worked in Rome and spoke impeccable English. We found a small café and bar for a light lunch before moving on, a larger group now, through the villages of Quartaia, Fabbrica, and Graciano Dell’Elsa where we crossed the river Elsa. Then to Caldane, Strove, and finally, Abbadia a Isola where we were staying in the Ostello Contessa Ava dei Lambardi within the grounds of the medieval village built in the XI century around the benedictine Abbey of San Salvatore. In the early evening, I attended Mass in the Abbey Chapel and after enjoyed a communal dinner with 18 other pilgrims. It had been a glorious day.