For the first time since our return from Europe we’ve spent a weekend in the motorhome down in the Waikato. Felicity had an appointment at midday Saturday in Hamilton, but we hit the road early on Friday morning, and as usual she worked with her Surface Pro on her lap all the way down the motorway.
Continue reading Karapiro and Matamata
There is so much to see in Firenze, as the Italians call the capital city of Tuscany, that we are spending a couple more nights here before leaving Europe. Getting here from Siena wasn’t as straightforward as we had hoped, because our train unexpectedly terminated at a place called Empoli, and we had to take another 20 minute train ride to get into the city. Continue reading Return to Florence
Siena is very similar to the other Tuscan hill towns we have visited recently, just ten times the size. There are many thousands of tourists jamming the narrow streets, which also allow cars, trucks and even buses, not to mention maniac Italians on motor-scooters. It is not a relaxing place. Continue reading Siena
On the last day of our walk through Tuscany we have covered about 15 kilometers, because we made a detour along the way to visit the hill town of Monteccheillo. About half a km outside of Pienza we had the option of an alternative road because the GPS waymarked route can get muddy – not much chance of that today! Continue reading Pienza to Montepulciano
The town we have walked to today used to be named Corsignano, but in 1405 a bloke named Enea Silvio Bartolomeo Piccolomini was born. 53 years later he was elected Pope Pius II, and decided to embark on a programme of urban renewal in his hometown, which from then on was called Pienza – the town of Pius. Continue reading San Quirico – Pienza
Today’s walk passed through the thermal spa town of Bagno Vignoni, one of the most interesting places in the Orcia Valley. As we walked down towards the river after breakfast we had some fantastic views of Rocca d’Orcia behind us up on top of the hill. Continue reading Rocca d’Orcia to San Quirico
The 27 inhabitants of this medieval borgo (hamlet) reckon it is the oldest in Italy. It is definitely one of the best preserved in Tuscany. Towering above it is the rocca, which is a fortified tower. For over a thousand years it repelled numerous military assaults, but by the middle of the 20th century it was threatening to collapse onto the town. Continue reading Castelnuovo dell’Abate to Rocca d’Orcia