Distance: 22.7 km – Elevation +310 m -670 m
Weather: Sunny/thunderstorms. Temperature: High 29 degrees
I woke early and was in the kitchen enjoying a cup of coffee when our host arrived, she seemed reluctant to quote a sum for my stay so I gave her a donation of 30 euro. After a quick breakfast, I said goodbye to the other guests and I was walking out of the village by 6.00 am. Today was going to be so different to yesterday, a shorter distance and just one upward incline at the end of the walk. With the sun rising above the distant Mount Amiata, and the magnificent golds and browns of this unique Tuscan landscape, it was a long but incredibly beautiful descent to the valley of the river Rigo. The “white roads” continued along the valley floor following the line of the river to reach the small village of Ponte a Rigo where I was able to take a break for coffee. After Ponte e Rigo the path takes to the road for a few kilometres along the old Via Cassia before it branches off onto a narrow path through woodland. The peace and quiet of my leisurely walk were abruptly disturbed by the loud conversation of walkers behind. It was the lead walkers of the large group of walkers I had first encountered when walking to Ponte D’Arbia and not wishing to be swallowed up by this noisy group I quickened my pace and after a while, the noise diminished and I did not see them again today. I arrived in Proceno just before 10.00 am passing the house where the famous astronomer Galileo had to stay in 1633. He was on his way to Rome and had to quarantine in Proceno as a result of the plague in Tuscany at that time. Later I cross the river Paglia via the 16th century Ponte Gregoriano and shortly after I start the short climb into Acquapendente. Again I had not booked ahead for accommodation and knowing that my Italian friends had reserved beds in the La Casa del Pellegrinoso I was first in the queue for available beds and was fortunate to be given one of the two beds available.