Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Day 37 from Ponte-d'Arbia to Montalcino 23km

Wednesday October 16th Ponte-d'Arbia to Montalcino! about 23 km

we left Ponte-d'Arbia at 8 am, there's a very light misty rain that looks as though its going to clear soon- and it does!

Today has been one of my favourite days of walking, this is a very special area of Tuscany, with beautiful rural scenery, farms, fascinating old stones houses, Castellos and villages!
We had a lovely easy walk from Ponte d'Arbia, through farms and tracks
to Buonconvento, where we arrived about 9:30 am - a lovely old village, 
the old centro area of the village is charming

we enjoyed a good break for caffe doppio and pastries, a wander through the old streets, 
then head out of town and buy some picnic supplies at the market.
We spend the next several hours of wandering through the hills of amazing Toscana. 
beautiful vistas, vineyards, 
old farm buildings, olive trees, farms, 
the occasional Castello! 

We've decided to head off the direct Via Francigena and walk to the village of Montalcino. We're so close, it seems a shame to miss it. It's only about 5 km off the current official trail.
Hand picking the famous Grapes that make the Montalcino Brunello wines!

And I'm so glad we made the decision, 
the walk up, up , up the hill to Montalcino is just glorious! We followed quiet gravel roads that meander through farms and arrive at the top of the town - at the rural end of town.

Entering Montalcino from the "rural side"  through portal ... (oops, I've forgotten the name... the opposite end of town to the Fortezza, near Piazza Cavour) 
The Madonna d Soccorso church
Inside the church
We walk around parts of the walls to find our accommodation at the opposite end of the village 

Montalcino has stunning, commanding views of the surrounding countryside.
beautifully maintained old stone houses.
One of the reasons I love this village, is that it's only a little touristy, still a very much "real" hilltop village, with its roots in agriculture, vineyards, olives, ortos.... full of locals going about their everyday working lives, kids going to school etc...

We thought we'd booked pilgrim accommodation, but when we finally find where we are staying, it turns out we had a communication breakdown... the pilgrims hostel is full, there is room in the B&B pilgrims price of 70€ - the house and room are gorgeous- we're happy to treat ourselves for a night!
in Quartiere Borgetto, Montalcino!

our room
Evening Passiagata around Montalcino
a few more photos..
moon rise and sunset!
We walked up to the Fort to watch the gorgeous sunset
Dinner was delicious! We tried a bottle of Brunello €25... it was nice, but not memorable, maybe you've got to go to the next level of price range... we've had local wines at other places on our walk so far that we're just as nice, for a fraction of the price!

found a bottle of Brunello in one shop,for €800!!

Our Accommodation tonight; fantastico!
Il Palazzo B&B 
Via Panfilo dell'Oca, 23
3491235067Carcano Cinzia

other options

There is now pilgrims accommodation in Montalcino about 2 km from town 
approx €17
Parrochcia di Sant'Egidio
3491235067Carcano Cinzia
3476551251 Daniela Baldelli


  1. Hi Anita,
    Thank you for your wonderful blog!
    My husband and I are about to walk the Francigena, and after reading this post we're planning to copy your route from Buonconvento to Montalcino. Wondering exactly what rout you took though? Is there a hiking map or route instructions you'd recommend? Or did you just make it up as you went along? Thanks so much in advance :-)

    1. Thanks for your positive feedback :) I think we saw the sign to Montalcino on a local map along the VF and took the detour. I can't remember it being difficult! Google Earth is always handy for finding tracks too. Hope you enjoy your VF. We're planning on walking the VF South next year, from Rome to Brindisi